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G U I D E, 




Inftrutions and Directions how 
to become Virtuous. 

Written originally in Spanifb, by the Reverend Father 

LEWIS of Granada, Provincial of the Order of 

St. Dominicki in the Province of Portugal. 


Carefully Rcvifcd and 


Printed For N. GIBSON in St. Alban's - Street, near 
St. James's - Square, 1 7 60. 

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Author's Preface. 

SAY /* thejuft man, that it is well, Ifa. iii. 10. This is a 
Meffage from GOD, delivered by the Prophet Ifaiab 
to all the Juft, it is the fhorteft in Words, and the mod 
copious in Bounty, that could have been fent. Men 
are ufually free in prorhifmg, but flow in performing; 
GOD, on the contrary, is fo liberal and magnificent in 
performing, that all the Expreflions of his Promifes are 
infinitely fhort of his Actions. For what could be ex- 
preffed fliorter than the aforefaid Sentence : Say tothejuft 
man, that it is well. Yet how comprehenfive is this Word 
Well? which I conceive, was therefore not enlarged upon, 
or diftinguifhed* that Men might be fenfible no Words 
were fufficient fully to exprefs it, nor any Diftinction re- 
quifite tp declare what Sort of Bleflings were compre- 
hended under this Word Well-, which includes all that 
can be imagined. So that, as when Mofes afked of GOD* 
what Name He had, the Anfwer was : He that is, with* 
out adding any other Word ; to mow that his Being was 
not limited and bounded, but that it comprehended 
every Being and Perfection, which belongs to the faid 
Being without Mixture of Imperfection ; fo here he de- 
livered this fhort Word, Well^ without explaining of it, 
to fignify, that all the Bleflings the Heart of Man is ca- 
pable of defiring, are contained under this Promife, 
GOD makes to the juft Man in Reward of his Virtue^ 
expreffed by the fingle Monafyllable, Well. 

2. This is the main Subject I defign, by the Help of 

GOD, to treat of in this Book, adding fuch Rules and 

Inftructions as are proper to make a Majn virtuous, 

b Ac- 


confider ferioufly upon this Matter, where there occurred 
to him two diftinct Methods of Living : the one of Vir- 
tue, the other of Pleafure, and after weighing both of 
them maturely, he at lad refolved to follow the Way of 
Virtue, and forfake that of Delight. If any Thing iri 
this World requires good Advice, and a fteady Refolu- ' 
tion, it is this fame ; for if we fo often make Reflections 
on thofe Things which are for the Benefit of Life, how- 
much more Application ought we to make for the Bufi- 
nefs of Life itfelf, efpecially fince in the World, there are 
fo many Guides and Ways of Living. 

7. This is it, Chriftian Reader, I would have ^ou do* 
and what I invite you to, viz. That laying afide for a 
fhort Time, all the Cares and Bufmefs of the World, 
you withdraw yourfelf into this fpiritual Solitude, and 
diligently confider what Courfe of Life you had beft to 
fleer. Remember, that among all worldly Concerns, 
there is none requires more Sollicitude and a longer Study^ 
than the Choice of what Life we are to follow, for if 
this be rightly inftituted, all other Things will go right, 
and on the contrary, if this be miftaken, every Thing 
clfe will go wrong. So that to be right or wrong in other 
Cafes, concerns only Particulars, this alone is Univerfal* 
and comprehends all. For what can be built upon an ill 
Foundation ? what will all other Profperities and pruden- 
tial Acts fignify, if Life itfelf be diforderly ? or what 
harm can all Adverfities and Miftakes do, if Life be 
duly formed*? what does it avail a Man, fays our Sa- 
viour, to gain the whole World, if he lofes his Soul ? 
fo that there is not under the Sun any Bufmefs of more 
Moment to be handled than this, nor is there any that 
more nearly concerns Man, for it is not his Honour or 
Fortune that lies at Stake here, but the Life of his Soul 
and everlafting Blifs. Do not therefore read this cur- 
forily, as you do other Things, turning over many 
Leaves, and haftening to the End, but fit down like a 
Judge on the Tribunal of your Heart, and give ear to 
thefe Words with Silence and Attention. This is no 

* Luke, e. ix. v. 25. 


Bufmefs to be done with Precipitation, but require? 
much Sedatenefs, as treating of the whole Bufmefs of 
Life, and all that depends on it. Confider how nice you 
are in examining worldly Affairs, fince you will not (land 
to the Judgment of one Bench, but Appeal to higher 
Courts and Judges, that they may not mifcarry. And 
fince the Matter you have in Hand does not concern 
Earth but Heaven , not the Things belonging to you, 
but your own Perfon, remember this is not to be handled 
negligently, as if you were half afleep, but with much 
Application. If hitherto you have been in the Wrong, 
reckon, yourself now New-born into the World, let us 
now call ourfelves to an Account, let us wipe off all paft 
Mifcarriages, and turn over a new Leaf. O that you 
would now believe me, liften to me attentively, and like 
an upright Judge, give Sentence according to what {hall 
be alledged and made out ! How happy would your 
Choice be, how fortunate my Labour ? 

8. I am fenfible my Wifh is very great, and no Pen of 
itfelf is able to bring it to Pafs, for which reafon I here 
in the Beginning befeech him, who is the Virtue and 
Wifdom of his Father, and who has the Keys of David 
to open and fhut to whom he pleafes, that he will be 
prefent with, and inftill himfelf into thefe Words, and 
give them Spirit and Life to move fuch as mall Read 
them. Yet if I reap no other Fruit of my Labour, but 
the fatisfying my own Defire, in abundantly extolling fo- 
commendable a Thing as Virtue is, which I have long 
coveted ; I mall look upon this alone as a fuflicient Re- 
ward for all my Labours. I have endeavoured in this, 
as in all my other Works, to fuit myfelf to all Perfons, 
either Spiritual or Carnal, that fince the Neceffity and 
Caufe is Univerfal, my Writing may be fo too. For 
good Men by reading this Book, will be more confirmed 
in the Love of Virtue, and take deeper Root in it ; and 
thofc who are not fo, will perhaps difcover how great 
Lofers they are in deviating from it. According to this 
Do&rine, good Parents may Educate their Children from 
their Infancy, that from thofe tender Years it may be- 


come habitual to them, to honour, worfhip, and follow 
Virtue, for a virtuous Child is one of the greateft Blef- 
Jfings a Father can have. 

9. This Work may be alfo of great Ufe to thofe whofe 
Duty it is to inftruct the People, and preach up Virtue, 
becaufe the principal Motives and Inducements to oblige 
us to embrace it, are here orderly fet down, and what- 
foevcr has been writ upon this Subject, may be reduced 
to them as to common Places. And forafmuch as we 
here fpeak of the prefent Advantages of Grace promifed 
to Virtue, fpecifying twelve fingular Privileges it enjoys, 
and that it is moft certain, all thefe Riches and Bleffings 
were conferred on us through Jefus Cbrift^ therefore this 
Doctrine is very beneficial for the better Understanding 
thofe Books of Holy Writ, which particularly treat of 
the Myfteries of Chrift, and the ineftimable Benefit of 
our Redemption, fuch as the Prophet Ifaiab* the Canti* 
ties, and the like. 





Publifher rt? /^ Reader. 

YO U have here> Chriftian . Reader, prefented 
to you, the fecond edition of a moft excellent 
and ufeful book, entitled 'The Sinners Guide, 
a book which has defervedly gained the efteeni 
of every one, and has been tranflated from the original 
Spanifh into moft of the European languages. It was 
publifhed in Englifh feveral years ago, and was fo well 
received, that the firft edition being all fold, it has been 
long defired to appear again in a fecond. The excellent 
effects, in the converfion of many fmners, has abundantly 
fhown the utility of it : and we may venture to defy any 
(inner to read it ferioufly over, and not to own himfelf 
convicted of the greateft folly and madnefs in .neglecting 
the ftudy and practice of virtue , and in purfuing the 
ways of fin. The neceflity of the former, and the ami- 
ablenefs of it, are here painted in the flrongeft and moft 
lively colours. The dreadful confequences of fin, and 
the extreme ingratitude of fmners to GOD, with their 
madnefs and folly are fet forth in the cleared light. To 
read the powerful motives the pious author ufes to excite 
to a love of virtue, and hatred to fm, muft make a deep 
imprefTion on all who are not quite infenfible, and to- 
tally regardlefs of their future (late. His method is clear, 
juft, and convincing, and of which he gives an account 
in his preface ; and it would be fuperfluous to add any- 
thing to what he there fays. 

In this fecond edition fome very fmall alterations have 
been made in a few expreflions, to render it more con- 
formable to the prefent manner of writing and fpeaking, 
but the ftile and diction of the firft tranflator is ftrictly 
adhered to : ir is fo very plain, moving, and full of 
unction, as to attempt to change it would be a fault. 
The ftile of the excellent author appears alfo to have 
a 2 been 

iv The Publijber to tie Reader. 

been plain, familiar, and yet nervous , the proper 
flile for books of piety and inftruction : the more eafy 
and natural, the more of unction and fpirit appear in 
them, the more they affect the mind, and work upon 
the will. It is the fimple and devout ftile which mould 
be chiefly obferved in all writers and tranflators of fuch 
books, and in which, the firft tranflator of this into 
Englifh happily fucceeded. This determined the revi- 
fers of it in this fecond edition, to adhere to, and pub- 
lifh it in the fame ftile and expreflion. Flouriming 
periods, beautiful cadencies, and rhetorical flights, are 
not to be fought for, nor ufed in works of this nature* 
defigned, not to tickle or pleafe the ear with pompous 
founds of elegant fentences, but to touch and inflame 
the heart ; to move the will efficacioufly to a fmcere 
converfion from fin, and to love and ferve GOD in an 
earneft purfuit of virtue. Never more neceffary to be 
enforced then in tht-fe times of an almoft univerfal de- 
generacy, of coldnefs and indifference in what regards 
that imporant affair the falvation of our fouls. 

It may be objected, by fome, that there are already 

freat plenty aud a fufficient number of books of this 
ind already printed, and that new books are only fay- 
ing the fame thing over again, rather tedious than 
agreeable. To this it may be anfwered, that while 
the devil, by his inftruments, is daily publHhing books 
of a contrary tendency in order to root out virtue and 
piety, to furnifh antidotes againft the poifon of fuch 
pernicious bocks, and to mew the fallacy and weak 
reafoning of practical infidels and libertines will be always 
neceffary. Can we fee religion xlaily attacked, and not 
appear in defence of it ; can we tamely and without 
concern, behold multitudes of fouls redeemed by the 
facred blood of JESUS CHRIST, running headlong to 
hell, and not to be moved with pity and endeavour to 
flop them ? can we fee ourfelves in danger, and not 
willingly accept of any thing that may preferve us ? 
as to the multiplicity of books of devotion and inftruc- 
tionj it may be confidered, that variety is not only 
agreeable, but profitable likewife ; as one may more 


The Publijher to tie Reader. r 

affect and move us than another, and from this variety 
every one's fpiritual tafte may be fitted. The different 
thoughts and reafonings of fpiritual writers, are but as 
fo many different ways and means to arrive at the fame 
end, and are fo many various and agreeable paths 
wherein we may walk, and, by them, be brought to 
heaven, whether we ought to tend as to the great and 
fole end of our being. This may fufHce, as to this 
fecond edition of this excellent book. A word con- 
cerning the pious author of it may not, perhaps, be 

Father Lewis of Granada, fo called from his being born 
in that city, came into the world in the year 1504 or 1505. 
His parents were poor and of low circumftances, but 
a Spanim nobleman was fo charitable as to put him to 
ichool, and take care of his education. Having made 
a good progrefs in learning, and his early piety grow- 
ing up with him, he foon difcovered the folly and dan- 
ger of a worldly life, and therefore refolved to quit the 
world, and to feek a proper fecurity againft its tempta- 
tions, in a religious ftate, therein to confecrate himfelf 
entirely to the fervice of GOD. For this end he entered 
into the holy order of St. Dominick, and took the reli- 
gious habit in the Dominican convent of Granada, in 
the year 1524. In his novicefhip, and after his pro- 
fefilon, he was remarkably edifying in his exact obfer- 
vance of regular difcipline, and all the rules of the con- 
vent j for his great mortification, and ardent love of 
GOD His fmgular merits raifed him, by degrees, to 
feveral offices of fuperiority, till he was chofen provin- 
cial, or chief fuperior of his province. Having long 
practifed and imprinted in his own foul the maxims of 
Chriftian Perfection, he was called forth to preach the 
fame to others ; nor was fuffered to hide, or only difplay 
in private the excellent talents he was endued with, but 
to exercife them in publick, which he did with incredi- 
ble fruit by his fervent and zealous preaching, in Gra- 
nada, Valladolid, and all other places, and became the 
moil celebrated preacher in all Spain, and was looked 
upon as one of the greateft mailers and directors in a 


2 *Tbe Sinners Guide. 

begin with this principal part, (hewing how far we art 
obliged to it, on account of the duty we owe to GOD, 
who being gocrdrkfs itfelf, neither commands, requires, 
nor afks any thing of us in this world but that we 
be virtuous. Let us fee in the firft place, and ferioufly 
confider on what grounds, and for what reafon, Almighty 
GOD claims this duty of us. *., 

2. But as thefe are innumerable, we mail here touch 
upon only fix of the chiefeft of them, on account of 
every one of which, man owes to him all he is, or can do : 
the firft, greateft, and moft inexplicable of them, is the 
very, being of GOD, which comprehends the greatnefs 
of his infinite Majefty, and of all his perfections : that 
is, the incomprerrenfible immenilty of his goodnefs and 
mercy; of his juftice, his wifdom, his omnipotence, 
his excellency, his beauty, his fidelity, his fweetnefs, 
his truth, his felicity ; with the reft of thofe inexhauftible 
riches and perfections, that are contained in his Divine 
Efltnce. AH which are fo great, and wonderful, that, 
according to St. Auguftin, if the whole world were full 
of books, and each particular cfeature employed to write 
in them , and all the fea turned into ink ; the books 
would be fooner filled, the writers fooner tired, and the 
lea fooner drained, than any one of his perfections could 
be fully exprefs'd. The fame doctor fays farther ; that 
Ihould GOD create a new man, with a heart, as large, 
and as capacious as the hearts of all men together, and 
lie fhouki, by the afliftance and favour of an extraordi 
nary light, attain to the knowledge of any one of his in- 
conceivable attributes , the pleafure and delight, this 
muft caufe in him, would quite overwhelm and make 
him burft with joy , unlefs GOD were to fupport and 
ftrengthen him, in a very particular manner. 

3. This, therefore, is the firft and chief reafon, that 
obliges us to the love and fervice of GOD. 'Tis a point, 
fo univerfally agreed upon, that the very Epicureans, 
who by their denying of a Divine Providence, and the 
immortality of the foul, have ruined all philofophy, never 
went fo far, as to cut off all religion; which is nothing 
dfe, but the worihip and adoration we owe to GOD. 


Tbe Sinners Guide. 3 

$o? one of thefe philofophers, difcourfing upon this mat* 
ter, in Cicero *, brings very {Iron g and undeniable ar- 
guments, to prove that there is a GOD -, that this GOD is 
infinite in all his perfections, and deferves therefore to 
be reverenced and adored ; and that this duty would be 
incumbent on us, though GOD had no other title to it. 
If a king, even out of his own dominions, purely only for 
the dignity of his perfon, is treated with refpect and 
honour, when we have no expectations of any favour 
from him , with how much more jullice, are we to pay 
the fame duties to this King and Lord, who, as St. John 
fays, has thefe words written upon his garment, and 
upon his thighs, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 
This is he, ivho with three fingers poifes the bulk of the 
earth~\-. 'Tis he, that affigns the caufes of all things , 'tis 
he that gives motion to the celeftial orbs, that changes 
the feafons ; and that alters the elements. He it is, 
that divides the waters, produces the winds, and creates 
all things. 'Tis from him, that the planets receive their 
force and influences. 'Tis he, in fine, that, as King and 
Lord of the univerfe, gives every creature irs life and 
nourimment. And, befides all this, the kingdom he is 
in poflefiion of, neither came to him by fucceflion nor by 
election, or inheritance, but by nature. And as man is 
naturally greatly above an ant, fo this noble being, is in 
fuch an eminent degree, above all created things whatfo- 
ever, that they, and all the world together are icarce any 
more, in regard of him, than any one of thefe infects. 
If a philofopher, fo ill-principled, as the Epicureans were, 
has acknowledged this truth ; what ought we to do, 
who are brought up in the Chriftian religion ? a reli-r 
gion, which teaches us, that notwithftanding the infinite 
obligations we have to GOD , we are more indebted to 
him, upon this account, than upon any other: fo that 
if a man had a thoufand hearts and bodies, this reafon 
alone would be enough to make him offer them all to 
his honour and fervice. This is a point, which all the 
faints who have had a fincere and difinterefted love for 
him, have faithfully complied with. And therefore St. Ber- 
* CIC. de Nat. Deortim. f Kai, xl. 12. 

4 The Sinners Guide. 

nard, writing upon this fubject, fays: " True love is 
neither increafed by hope, nor leflened by diftruft :" here- 
by giving us to underftand, that it is not the reward 
a Chriftian expects, that makes him ferve GOD ; but, 
that he would go on ftill with the fame fervor, though 
he were fure he fhould never have any thing for itj 
foecaufe he is not influenced by intereft, nor wrought 
upon by any other confideration, but that of the pure 
love which is due to this infinite goodnefs. 

4. But though this, of all obligations, is the greateft, 
yet 'tis that which leaft of all, moves thofe who are not 
perfect. Becaufe, the greater power felf-love has over 
them, the more they are carried on, by their own in- 
tereft ; and, being as yet, bu.t rude, and ignorant, they 
are unable to conceive the beauty and excellence, of 
this Supreme Goodnefs. Whereas, were they but a little 
more enlightened, the very brightnefs of this Divine 
Glory, would charm them, into a love of it, above all 
other things. For which reafon, it will be very proper, 
to inftruct them, upon this matter, that they may acquire 
a more perfect knowledge, of the Majefty of GOD. All 
I intend to make ufe of, for the effecting of this, fhall 
be taken out of St. Denis, who wrote his treatife of myf- 
tical divinity, with no other defign, but lo let us know, 
;how infinitely different GOD Almighty's excellencies and 
perfections are from thofe of the creatures : that, by feeing 
-this, we may learn, if we -have & mind to know what GOD 
is, the neceflity of (hutting our eyes to the beauties, we 
obferve in creatures, for fear of deceiving ourfelves, 
whilft we Judge of GOD by thofe things that bear no pro- 
portion at all with his greatnefs. We are to look upon them, 
as mean and bafe; and to raife up our fouls to the con- 
templation of a being that exceeds all beings; of a fub- 
ftance above all fubftances ; of a light, that eclipfes all other 
lights -, and of a beauty, which is fo far beyond all 'beau- 
ties imaginable, that the greateft of them, and the moft 
compleat, is but uglinefs and deformity, when fet by this. 
This is what we are taught by the cloud*, Mofes entered 
unto, for to difcourfe with GQDJ which removed every 


* Serm. 83. in Cantic.' -f Exod. xxiv. v. 16, 18. 

Sinners Guide. 5 

thing but Gob from him, that he might by that means, 
have a better knowledge of GOD. And Elias's * covering 
his face with his 'cloak, when he faw the glory of GOD, 
paffing before him, is a lively expreffion of the fame thing. 
'Tis certain then, that a man, to contemplate the perfec- 
tions and beauty of GOD, mould turn away his eyes from 
all the things of this world, as too bafe and mean to be 
regarded at the fame time with them. 

5. We fhall underftand this much better, if we confi- 
der the vaft difference betwixt this uncreated being, and 
all that are created : that is to fay, betwixt the Creator 
and his creatures. For all thefe we fee had a beginning, 
and may have an end : but he is without a beginning, 
and can have no end. They all acknowledge a fuperior 
and depend upon another ; but he knows nothing above 
himfelf, and therefore, is independent. The creatures 
are variable and inconftant ; but the Creator is always 
the fame and cannot change. The creatures are com- 
pofed of different matters, but the Creator is a moft 
pure Being, and free from all thofe mixtures which 
bodies are made up of: for mould he confilr. of feveral 
parts, there muft of neceffity have been fome being 
above and before him, to have ordered thefe parts : a 
thing altogether impoffible. The creatures can never 
come to fuch a degree of perfection as not to admit of 
a farther increafe : they may receive more than they 
have already ; and know, what at prefent they are ig- 
norant of; but GOD can never be better than now he 
is, becaufe he contains within himfelf, the perfections of 
all other beings : nor is it poflible that he who is the 
fource of all riches, mould ever be richer. Nor can he 
know more than he does already, becaufe his wifdom is 
infinite, and his eternity, which has all things prefent 
to it, fuffers nothing to be concealed from his know- 
ledge. Ariftotle, the chief of all the heathen philo- 
fophers, not ignorant of this, calls him, a Pure Act -, 
which is a compleat and abfolute perfection, incapable 
of any farther addition : there being nothing imaginable 
above it, nor can we think of any thing it ftands in need 
of. There is no creature in the world free from motion 
* Reg.xix, 13. C ' and 

6 The Sinners Guide. 

and change ; and, it is this that helps them in the find- 
ing of what they want , for, they are all of them poor 
and needy. GOD, on the contrary is fixed and im- 
moveable ; becaufe he is never expofed to any kind of 
nccefiity ; but is prefent in all places. There is in all 
created things fome difference or other, by which, one 
creature is to be eafily known and diftinguifhed from 
another ; but the purity of GOD'S effence, allows of no 
difference or diftinction. So that his being, is his ef- 
fence ; his effence is his power , his power is his will j 
his will is his underftanding , his underftanding is 
his being ; his being is his wifdom ; his wifdom is 
his juftice ; his juftice is his mercy. And though the 
effects of the one, are contrary to thofe of the other $ 
becaufe the duty of mercy is to pardon, and that of 
juftice, to punifh ; they are notwithftanding, fo per- 
fectly one and the fame thing in him ; that his mercy 
is his juftice, and his juftice, his mercy. So that, al- 
though in appearance, there are contrary perfections 
and qualities, in. GOD , yet, as St. Auguftin obferves, 
there is no fuch thing in effect : becaufe he is very re- 
mote, and yet very prefent ; very beautiful and very 
ftrong -, conftant and inconceivable ; confined to no 
place, and in all places -, feen by none, and yet feeing 
all ; who changes every thing, whilft he himfelf can 
never change. He it is, who is always in action, and 
yet always enjoys an eternal reft : it is he that fills all 
things, but cannot himfelf be circumfcribed i who pro- 
vides for all without any folicitude ; who is great with- 
out quantity, and confequently immenfe ; who is good 
without quality, and therefore truly and fovereignly 

food ; nay, what is yet more, He only is gtod *}. In 
ne, not to loie ourfelves in this abyfs, we may venture 
to fay, that as all things are tied up to the bounds of a 
limited being, fo they have a limited power, beyond 
which they can never pafs. The works they are em* 
ployed about, are limited ; the places they live in have 
their bounds ; they have names to diftinguifh them by ; 
and definitions by which we may know them; and are 
reduceable to their particular kinds. But, as for this 
* Medit. c. 19. & 29. f Matt. xix. v. 17. Supreme 

The Sinners Guide. 7 

Supreme Subftance, it is as infinite in its power, and in 
3!! its other attributes, as it is in its being. It is not 
known by any definition, nor comprehended under any 
kind ; not confined to any place ; nor diftinguifhed by 
any name. On the contrary, according to St. Denis, 
it has all its names, though it has no name, becaufe it 
contains, within itfelf, all thofe perfections, which are 
fignified by names. We may therefore fay, that all 
creatures as they are limited, are to be comprehended ; 
whilft this divine eflence, in as much as it is infinite, is 
far above the reach of any underftand'ng. For, as Ari- 
ftotle fays, fince that, which is infinite, has no end -, it is 
not to be comprehended, but by him alone who com- 
prehends all things. What elfe could be the meaning of 
thofe two feraphims Ifaiah faw *, near the majefty of 
GOD, feated upon a high throne, each of which had fix 
wings, with two of thtm they covered their faces, and 
with two, their feet ; was it not to teach us, that thefe, 
which are of all the intellectual beings, the moft excel- 
lent ; which poflefs the chief places in heaven, and are 
feated the neareft to GOD, are not capable of knowing 
perfectly, what he is, though they have the favour to fee 
him clearly, in his very eflence, and in all his beauty ? 
For as a man {landing on the more, fees the fea itfelf, 
yet cannot difcover its depth or extent, fo thefe blefled 
fpirits, with all the faints in Heaven, fee GOD truly and 
really, but can neither fathom the abyfs of his greatnefs, 
nor meafure the duration of his eternity. For this rea- 
fon GOD is faid to be feated on the cherubims : and, tho* 
they are filled with treafures of wifdom-, neverthelefs, 
to mew how (hort they come of conceiving his majefty, or 
of underftandinghis eflence, it is faid, that befits upon them. 

6. This is the darknefs David fpeaks of, when he fays, 
God has made his covert darknefs f: to give us to under- 
ftand, what the apoftle has exprefled more clearly, 
faying: that GOD inhabit eth light inacce$iUe\: the pro- 
phet calls this light, darknefs , becaufe it dazzles our 
eyes fo, that we cannot look againft it to fee GOD. And, 
as according to one of the philofophers, there is nothing 
C 2 more 

* Ifa, vi, 12. f Pxxii. 12. J 16. 

8 <The Sinners Guide. 

more refplendent, or vifible than the fun ; and nothing, 
at the fame time, which we can lefs look at, becaufe of 
its extraordinary brightnefs and the weaknefs of our 
fight ; in like manner there is nothing more intelligible 
in itfelf, than GOD is, anp! yet nothing for the lame 
reafon, that we underftand lefs in this life. 

7. If therefore, any man defire to know what GOD is, 
when arrived at the higheft degree of perfection he is 
capable ot conceiving , he muft with humility, confefs 
there is an infinite fpace ftill remains, that what he pro-r 
pofed to himfelf is infinitely greater than he imagined 5 
and that the more fenfible he is' of this incomprehenfibi- 
lity, the farther advance he has made in this fublime 
fcience. For this reafon, St. Gregory writing upon 
thofe words of Job, Who doth great things and unfearchable 
find wonderful things without number *, fays thus : We 
never fpeak better of the works of Almighty GOD, than, 
when furprized with aftonimment and ravimed with won- 
der, we keep an awful filence. And, as thofe perfons 
who defign to praife another, whofe deferts are above 
all they are able to fay, think, they then bed dif- 
charge their obligation, when they fay nothing at 
all ; fo ought we, in St. Denis's opinion, to reve- 
rence the wonders of this Supreme Deity, with a holy 
and profound refpeft of our fouls ; and with a chafte and 
devout filence. The Saint feems herein to allude to 
thofe words of David, A hymn^ O God becometh thee in 
Sion -f , which St. Jerome has tranflated thus ; 1'hon, 
O God art praifed by filence, in Sion ; to fignify to us 
that we cannot praife GOD in a more perfect manner, 
than by faying nothing at all in praife of him ; ack- 
nowledging the incapacity of our underftanding, own- 
ing with humility, that this inexpreflible fubftance is too 
high for us to conceive ; and confefling that his being 
is above all beings ; his power, above all powers ; his. 
greatnefs, above all greatneffes , and that his fubftance 
infinitely excelh, and is inconceivably different from aU 
other fubftances , whether material or fpiritual. Upon 
which St. Auguftin fays J, excellently well : " When I 

* Cap. v. v. 9. -j- Pf. Ixiv. 2. J L. iO. conf. c. 6. 

c. 3 1 . feel$ 

'The Sinners Guide. 9 

feek my GOD, I feek not the beauty of the body, nor 
the agreeablenefs of the feafons, nor the brightnefs of 
the light , not the fweet charms of the voice ; nor the 
odoriferous fmell of flowers, perfumes, and effences ; 
it is neither manna nor honey, nor any other thing that 
is pleafing to the flefh. I feek none of thefe things when 
I feek my GOD ; and yet I feek a certain light not to be 
feen by the eyes, and exceeding all light , a voice be- 
yond all voices, yet not to be dilcerned by the ears ; a 
fmell furpaffmg all fmells, which the noftrils are not ca- 
pable of; a fweetnefs more delightful than all fweetnefs, 
yet unknown to the tafte ; and a fatisfaction above all 
fatisfactions, that is not to be felt. For this light mines 
where there is no place, this voice founds, where the 
air does not carry it away, this fmell is perceived, where 
the wind does not difperfe it, this tafte delights, where 
there is no palate to relifh it, and this fatisfaction is re- 
ceived, where it is never loft." 


8. If none of thefe reafons, as weighty as they arc^ 
can give you the fatisfaction you expect, of having 
fome idea of this unfpeakable majefty ; caft your eyes 
upon the frame of this material world, the work of GOD'S 
own hands ; that fo, the contemplation of fuch a noble 
effect, may give you fome infight into the excellency of 
the caufe. Prefuppofing in the firft place with St. Denis, 
that in every thing there is a being, power, and action, 
which bear fuch proportion to one another, that the 
power is always fuitable to the being, and the action to 
the power. This being prefuppoied, confider the beauty, 
the order and the extent of this world , fmce, as aftro- 
nomers tell us, there are ftars in heaven fourfcore times 
as big as the earth and fra together. Confider again 
how many different forts of creatures there are upon the 
earth, in the water and in the air , you will fee every 
thing fo compleat and perfect in its kind, monfters only 
excepted, and yet as parts, they add to the beautv of 
the whole, that you can wifh for nothing to be added or 
fliftinguifhed, to make its being more compleat : and 


io The Sinners Guide. 

yet according to St. Auguftin, who grounds his opinion 
on Ecclefiafticus *, GOD in one fmgle moment created 
this world, as great and wonderful as it is , drew a being; 
from no being ; and wrought this great work without 
any matter to work upon, without any help and afiiit- 
ance, without any outward draught or plat-form, with-r 
out any tools or inftruments, without any limits of either 
fpace or time, he created the whole earth and all that 
is contained within the extent of the fame, by one fmgle 
act of his will. Confider farther, that GOD could have 
produced a thoufand worlds more, much fairer and 
larger than this and much better peopled too, as eafily 
as he created this ; and that if he had made them, he 
could with as much eafe and without any kind of oppofi- 
tion, reduce them to nothing again. 

Now, if according to our fuppofition, taken from 
St. Denis, by the effects and operations of things we 
judge of their power and by their power of their being ; 
how powerful muft that caufe be, which has produced 
fuck wonderful effects ? And if this power be fo great, 
what muft the being be, which we are to judge of by 
this power? this doubtlefs furpafles all exprefHon or 
imagination ; and yet we are farther to confider, that 
all thefe great and perfect works, which are, or might 
have been, are nothing at all in comparifon of the Di- 
vine Power, but infinitely inferior to it. Who them 
can reflect on, or contemplate the greatnefs of fo emi- 
nent a Being and fo high a Power without furprize and 
aftonimment ? and though we do not fee with our cor- 
poreal eyes, we cannot chufe from what has been faid, 
but conceive in fome meafure, how great and incom- 
prehenfible this power is. 

9. St. Thomas in his fum of divinity, explains this 
infinite greatnefs very clearly, by this example : We fee, 
fays he, that in material and corporeal things, that which 
is the moft perfect, is the biggeft in quantity. Thus 
the water is bigger than the earth, the air is bigger 
than the water, and the fire bigger than the air. The 
firft heaven is bigger than the element of fire , the 
iecond heaven bigger than the firft ; the third than the 
* C. xTiii. i. fecond ; 

Sinners Guide. U 

fecond , and fo of the reft, till you come to the tenth 
fphere or empyreal heaven, which is of unmeafureabld 
greatncfs. This will appear much plainer yet, if we 
confider but what proportion the fea and earth joined 
together have with the heavens ; for, aftronomers tell 
us, they are both but as a point in comparifon of them -, 
which they prove by this demonftration : They divide 
the heavens equally into twelve figns, through which 
the fun performs its yearly courfe , and becaufe a mart 
may always fee fix of thefe figns in whatfoever part of the 
earth he be, they conclude the earth is but as a point, or 
a meet of paper in the middle of the world; for, if its 
extent could be, though never fo little, compared with 
that of the heavens, we mould not be able to difcover 
half of them at once, in any part of the earth what- 
foever. Now, if the empyreal orb, the moft excellent 
and moft noble of all material fubftances, is fo incom- 
parably bigger than all the other orbs, we may from 
thence infer, that GOD who is above all beings imagi- 
nable, whether corporeal or fpiritual, as being the author 
of them all, muft be infinitely greater than all of them 
together ; not in quantity, for he is a pure fpirit, but 
in the excellency and perfection of his being. 

But to come more home to our fubject , you may, I 
fay, by this means know in fome manner, what GOD'S 
perfections are, becaufe they cannot but bear a pro- 
portion to his being. The author of the book called 
Ecclefiafticus, fpeaking of GOD'S mercy^ fays: Ac- 
cording to bis greatnefs, fo alfo is bis mercy with him *. 
Nor are any of his other attributes lefs. So that his 
goodnefs, his mercy, his majefty, his meeknefs,' his 
wifdom, his bounty, his excellency, his omnipotence, 
and his juftice, are all intirely equal. Thus, he is 
infinitely good, infinitely merciful, infinitely wife, 
infinitely amiable ; and upon thefe confiderations, moft 
infinitely worthy to be obeyed, refpecled, reverenced, 
and feared by all creatures. Nay were man's heart capa- 
ble of an infinite love and fear, juftice would oblige him 
to give it all to GOD -, upon account of his infinite 
greatnefs. For, if the greater quality a perfon is of, 
* Ecclus ii. v, 23. the 

12 The Sinners Guide. 

the more refpect we are to (hew him ; we ought to pa^ 
GOD, an infinite refpect , becaufe his excellence is infi- 
nite. Whatfoever therefore our love wants, of acquire- 
Sng this degree, is wanting upon no other account, but 
our inability of making GOD the returns his boundlefs 
greatnefs deferves. 

n. Since then it is certain, that were there no other 
confideration, but that alone, it would be a fufficierit 
motive to oblige us to the love of GOD ; what can he be 
in love with, who does not love this goodhefs ? or what 
can he be afraid of, who does not fear this infinite 
majefty? whom will he lerve who will not ferve this 
Lord ? what was our will given us for, but to love and 
to embrace good ? if therefore this great GOD be the 
Sovereign Good, why does not our will embrace it be- 
fore all other goods ; if it is an unhappinefs and mifery 
not to love him ; nay, and that too, above all things iri 
the world; what can thofe perfons expect, who love 
every thing elfe better than they do him ? who would 
ever have thought that man could carry his ingratitude 
and malice fo far ? and yet, what do they lefs, who are 
continually offending this Sovereign Goodnefs, for a 
beaftly pleafure, for a trifling punctilio of honour, or 
for fome vile and fordid intereft ? what then mall we 
think of them, who fin upon no motive at all, but either 
out of mere malice or cuftom, and without the leaft 
hope of advantage or profit ? O unparrelleled blindnefs 
and folly ! O infenfibility, worfe than that of brutes ! 
O the diabolical rafhnefs, and impudence of man ! what 
punifhment does he not deferve, that lets himfelf be car- 
ried away by fuch a crime as this ? what torments ought 
not he to expect, who has the boldnefs to defpife fo 
high a majefty? fuch an unhappy foul mall without 
doubt, be condemned to thofe pains and torments that 
have been prepared for it ; which are, to be burning with 
the devils in hell for all eternity. A punifhment far lefs 
than fuch offences deferve. 

12. This is the firft and chiefeft reafon that obliges us 
to the love and fervice of GOD. An obligation, fo clofe 
and ftrict, that there is nothing in the world can oblige 


The Sinners Guide. 13 

*as to love the creatures, becaufe of their perfections, 
which is to be called an obligation, if we compare it 
with this. For as the perfections of the creatures are 
but mere imperfections, in comparifon with the perfec- 
tions of Goo ; fo all the obligations that proceed from 
thefe perfections and excellencies, cannot with any 
juftice be called obligations, if you fet them againft 
-thofe we owe to GOD : nor can the offences we commit 
againft the creatures, be properly accounted fuch, if we 
but confider thofe we are guilty of towards GOD. This 
is the reafon why David in his penitential pfalm, cries 
out ; To tbee only y meaning GOD, have I finned*. Tho* 
at the fame time he had finned againft Urias, whom he 
murthered ; againft Urias's wife, whom he debauched ; 
and againft all his fubjects, in the fcandal his bad ex- 
ample gave them ; and yet after all, he declared he had 
finned againft GOD alone, looking upon all thofe other 
offences, as nothing at all, if compared with thofe he had 
committed againft the law of GOD. This crime fo af- 
flicted him, that he took no notice of the reft. For as 
GOD is infinitely greater than all the creatures , fo the 
obligations we have to ferve him, and the offences we 
commit againft his Divine Majefty, are infinitely greater 
too -, there being no comparifon nor proportion between 
finite and infinite. 


Qfthefecond motive that obliges us to virtue and the ferries 
of God y which is the benefit of our creation. 

ANOTHER obligation we have to the purfuit of 
virtue, and the keeping of GOD'S commandments, 
befides his being in itfelf, is the confideration of what he 
is towards ras , that is, of thofe innumerable favours we 
have received from him, which though we have fpoke of 
elfewhere upon other occafions, we will neverthelefs treat 
D of 

* Pfalm 1, v. 5. 

14 7& Sinners Guide.' 

of them again, that fo we may the better underftand hovf 
much we are obliged to this liberal benefactor. 

2. The firft of thefe benefits is our creation, which be* 
ing fo well known, I will only fay, that fuch a favour is 
of itfelf, fufficient to oblige man to give himfelf up en- 
tirely to the fervice of his Creator; becaufe in juftice he 
{lands indebted for all he has received : and fince by this 
benefit he has received his being ; that is, his body with 
all its fenfes, and his foul, with all its faculties, it follows, 
he is obliged to employ them all in the fervice of his 
Creator, under the penalty of being looked upon as un- 
grateful to fo bountiful a benefactor. For if a man builds 
a houfe, who mould have the ufe or the rent of it, but 
he that built it ? if a man plants a vine, who elfe mould 
have the fruit of it ? but the planter. If a man has any 
children, who are they obliged to ferve, but the father 
that begot them ? This obligation is fo ftricl, that the 
laws themfelves give every father a right and power to 
fell his own children, if he mould be reduced to a very 
preffing neceffity. For, his having given them their 
being makes his authority over them fo abfolute, that he 
may difpofe of them as he pleafes. What power then 
and authority ought he to have, who is the fovereign 
matter and author of all creatures, both in heaven and 
on earth , fince the power a father has over his children 
extends fo far ? and if thofe perfons who receive a fa- 
Your, are according to Seneca, obliged to imitate a good 
foil, which returns with intereft what it receives, how 
fhall we be able to make Gop any fuch return, when 
after having given him all we have, we can give no 
more than what we have received from him ? and if he 
who gives back but juft what he received, does not com- 
ply with this precept of the philofopher, what mail we 
fay of him that does not return fo much as the leaft part 
of it ? Ariftotle tells us, 'tis impoflible for a man to make 
equal returns to the favours, his father and the gods have 
beftowed on him. How then can it be pofiible for us to 
make any return to this Great GOD, who is the father of 
all fathers, and from whom mankind has received infi- 
nitely more than from all tijs fathers in the world to- 

Sinners Guide. i$ 

Aether. If for a fon to difobey his father, is fo heinous a 
Iin ; how grievous a crime muft our rebellion be againft 
GOD, who has fo many titles to the name of father, that 
in comparifon with him no father deferves to be fo called. 
And therefore he with much reafon complains of this in- 
gratitude by one of his prophets, in thefe words : If then 
I be a father ', where is my honour ? and if I be a mafter, 
where is my fear * ? *Tis upon account of the fame ingra- 
titude, that he expreffes his indignation, in another 
place, with much more feverity and anger : faying, Is 
this the return thou makeft to the Lord, O foolijh and fenfelefs 
people ? is not he thy Father^ that hath pojfeffed thee, and 
made thee and created thee t ? Thefe are truly the un- 
grateful creatures, that never lift up their eyes towards 
heaven, to contemplate on it ; nor look down, to con- 
fider themfelves. Did they but enter into this confide- 
ration, they would foon inform themfelves what they are ; 
and defire to have fome knowledge at leaft of their ori- 
ginal. They would be willing to know by whom, and 
for what end they have been created, that they might, 
by this means, be acquainted with one part of their duty. 
But having already neglected the one, they eafily neglect 
the other, and live as if they had made and created them- 
felves. This was the crime of that unfortunate king of 
Egypt, whom GOD threatened fo feVerely, by his pro- 
phet, when he fent him : Behold^ Pharoah king of 
Egypt> 'tis to thee Ifpcak, thou great dragon^ that liefi down 
in the midft of thy rivers and fay eft : the river is mine, and I 
have made myfelf. Thefe words, if they are not in the 
mouths, are at leaft in the hearts of thofe who think as 
feldom of their Creator, as if they themfelves were the 
authors of their own beings, and would acknowledge no 
other. St. Auguftin's fentiments were quite different 
from thefe men's ; for, the knowledge of his own origin, 
brought him to the knowledge of Him, from whom he 
had received it. Hear how he fpeaks in one of his Soli- 
loquies : " I returned to myfelf and entered into myfelf, 
faying ; What art thou ? and I anfwered myfelf, a ra- 
tional and a mortal man. And I began to examine what 
D 2 this 

* Mai, i, 6. t Dent, xxxii. 6. 

16 . The Sinners Guide. 

this was , and faid, O my Lord and my God, who is it 
that has created fo noble a creature as this is ? who O' 
Lord, but thou ? thou O my God, haft made me, and 
not I myfelf. What art thou ? thou by whom I, and 
all things live. Can any body create and make himfelf ? 
can he receive his being and his life from any one elfe, 
but from thee ? art not thou the chief being, from whom 
every other being comes ? art not thou the fountain of 
life, from which all lives flow ? for whatfoever has life, 
lives by thee , becaufe nothing can live without thee. 
*Tis thou, O Lord, that haft made me, and without thee 
nothing is made. Thou art my Creator, and I am thy 
creature. I thank thee, O my Lord and my God, be- 
caufe thou haft created me : thou, by whom I live, and 
by whom all things live. I thank thee, O my light, for 
having enlightened and brought me to the knowledge of 
what thou art, and what I am myfelf." 

3. This is the firft favour we have received from GOD, 
and the foundation of all the reft ; becaufe all other be- 
nefits prefuppole a being, and this is firft given us at 
our creation. Nay, there is no benefit but has as near 
a relation to our being, as the accidents of a thing to the 
fubftance of it ; by which you may fee, how great a be- 
nefit this is, and how deeply you are indebted to GOD 
for it. If then it is certain that GOD is very exact in re- 
quiring fome acknowledgment for all the benefits he be- 
llows on us ; not out of any intereft or advantage to him- 
felf, but only for our good : what acknowledgment do 
we think he will expect from us for that favour, upon 
which all others are built ? for, GOD is no kfs rigorous 
in exacting of our thanks, than he is liberal in confer- 
ring of his graces : not that he gets any thing by it ; 
but becaufe the performance of our duty is fo very ad- 
vantageous to us. Thus we read in the Old Teftament, 
that GOD no fooner beftowed any grace upon his people, 
than he commanded them not to forget the fame. As 
foon as he had brought the Ifraelites out of the flavery of 
Egypt *, he immediately commanded them to keep a fo- 
lemn feaft every year, in remembrance of that happy 

* Exod, xii. 

Ibe Sinners Guide. 17 

day. He deftroyed all the firft-born of the Egyptians, 
but at the fame time, to prevent his people's ingrati- 
tude, he gave orders, that in return for fo fignal a fa- 
vour, they mould offer up all their firft-born to him. A 
little after their departure from Egypt *, when he firft 
rained down the manna from heaven, a food with which, 
he maintained them for forty years in the wildernefs, he 
ordered immediately, that a certain quantity of it mould 
be put into a veflel and kept in the fanctuary, as a re- 
membrance to all their pofterity, of fo extraordinary a 
mercy. After the victory which he gave them over the 
Amelikites -f, he bids Mofes write it down in a book, 
for a memorial, and deliver the fame to Jolhua. Now 
if GOD has been fo exact in requiring that his people 
mould never forget thofe temporal favours he had done 
them , what will he not expect from us, for this his im- 
mortal one ? for fmce the foul he has given, us is im- 
mortal, the benefit we receive with it muft be fo too. 
It was this that introduced the cuftom amongft the old 
patriarchs, of erecting altars, as often as GOD had fa- 
voured them in any particular manner J. Nay, the very 
names they gave their children expreffed the favours they 
had received ; that fo they might always be mindful of 
them. Hence St. Auguftin took occafion to fay : That 
man ought to think of GOD every time he fetches hi* 
breath ; becaufe, as it is by the means of his being that 
he lives, he mould be continually giving GOD thanks for 
this immortal being, which, he has had from the Divine 

4. We are fo ftrictly obliged to the performance of 
fihis duty, that it is the advice even of worldly philofo- 
phers, never to be ungrateful to GOD. Hear how Epic- 
tetus, a very noted itoick, fpeaks upon this matter. 
*' Have a care, fays he, O man, of being ungrateful to 
that Sovereign Power, and forgetting to return thanks 
not only for having given you all your fenfes, and life 
itfelf, but for all thofe things that fupport it ; nor only 


* Exod. xvl. 33. *f- Exol. xvii. 14. J Gen. xa. 7, 8. 
c. xiii. 18. c, xxii, &C, Sclibq. c. xviii, ManuaJe, c. xxix. 
Medit, c. vi. 

Sinners Guide. 

for the pleafant fruits, for the wine, the oil, and for 
whatever other advantages of fortune you have received 
from him ; but praife him particularly for having endued 
you with reafon, by which you may know how to make 
that ufe of every thing, which it ought to be put to -, 
and underftand the true Worth and excellency of all 
things." If a heathen philofopher obliges us to fuch 
acknowledgments, for thefe common and ordinary things, 
what fentiments of gratitude (hould a Chriftian have, 
who has befide all thefe, received the light of faith, 
which is a moft ineftimable favour ? 

5. But you will perhaps afk me, What obligations can 
thefe benefits lay upon me, which are common to all, 
and feem rather to be the ordinary graces of GOD ; fmce 
they are nothing but the confequences and products of 
fuch caufes, as work always after the fame manner ? 
This objection is fo much below a Chriftian, that a hea- 
then would be amamed to make it, and none but a beaft 
can be guilty of fo much bafenefs. That you may the 
more eafily believe me, hear how the fame philofopher 
condemns it. " You will fay, perhaps, that you receive 
all thefe benefits from nature. Senfelefs and ignorant 
creatures that you are ! do not you fee then when you 
fay fo, you only change the name of GOD ? for what is 
nature, but GOD, who is the author of nature ? it is 
therefore no excufe , ungrateful man to fay you owe this 
obligation to nature, not to GOD , becaufe without GOD 
there is no fuch thing as nature, Should you borrow a 
fum of money of Lucius Seneca, and afterward, fay you 
were obliged only to Lucius and not not to Seneca, that 
would only change your creditor's name, but not your 


Of another part of this motive, that obliges us to the fer- 
vice of God, 'which is, that we are to receive our ptr- 
fe&ion from him. 

6. It is not juftice alone that obliges us to the fervice 
of our creator : our own neceflities force us to addrefs 


The Sinners Guide. 19 

ourfelves to him, if we defire to arrive at the happinefs 
and perfection of our being, which is the end of our 
creation. For the better underflanding hereof, you 
muft conceive, that generally fpeaking, whatfoever is 
born, is not born with all its perfections -, it has fome^ 
thing, but it wants much more yet ; and none but he 
that began the work can rightly finilh it. So that no 
being can be perfected by any other caufe than that which 
put the firft hand to it. This is the reafon, why all 
effects have an inclination and tendency towards thofe 
particular caufes which produced them , that they may 
receive their laft ftroke and perfection from them. The 
plants love the fun, and run as deep as they can into the 
earth which {hot them forth. The fifties continue in the 
waters where they were firft ingendered. A chicken 
runs under the hen's wings as foon as it is hatched, and 
follows her up and down for flicker. A lamb, as foon 
as it is brought forth, runs after its ewe, and can diftin- 
guifh her from a thoufand others of the fame colour. It 
follows her without ever lofing fight of her, and feems 
to fay , here it is I received whatfoever I have, and it is 
here I will receive whatfoever I want. This is what 
ufually happens in the works of nature , and if thofe of 
art had any fenfe and motion, they would do the fame. 
Should a painter draw a piece and leave out the eyes, 
what would it do were it fenfible of its wants ? whither 
would it go ? not to the palaces of kings or princes, 
who as fuch could never be able to fupply its defects ; 
but to the matter's houfe, that he who drew the firft 
ftrokes, might give the laft, and finim it quite. Is not 
this your own cafe, O rational creature ? you are not yet 
finifhed , you have, 'tis true, received fomething, but 
there is a great deal yet wanting, to make you as com- 
pleat and perfect as you mould be. You are fcarce any 
more than a rough-draught. You have received nothing 
of the beauty and luftre you are to have, This you will 
be very fenfible of, if you do but obferve the propenfion 
of nature in itfelf, which being always in want, never 
refts, but is continually craving and wifhing for more, 
GOD thought fit to ftarve you out, that your own wants- 

ao he Sinners Guide. 

might force you to have recourfe to him. For this 
reafon it was, he left you at firft unfinifhed. His not 
jgiving you, at your creation, all that you flood in need 
<of, was an effect, not of covetoufnefs, but of love. 'Twas 
not to leave you poor, but to make you humble. 'Twas 
not to forfake you in your neceflities, but to oblige you 
to addrefs yourfelf to him i for fince you are really poor 
and blind, why do you not go to the Father that made 
you, and to the painter that firft began to draw you, that 
they may give you what you have not received ? confider 
whether David did not understand this fecret, when he 
faid : 'Thy hands have made me and formed me : give me un- 
derftanding, and I will learn thy commandments*. As if he 
fiad faid : All that is in me, is the work of thy hands, O 
JLord, but thy work is not yet compleated. I am not 
c[uite finished, O Lord, becaufe the yes of my foul are 
not yet opened. I have not light enough to fee what is 
convenient for me. Whom fhall I have recourfe to, for 
the obtaining what I want, unlefs to him that has given 
me what I have ? grant me, O Lord, that light which is 
neceffary for me. Enlighten the eyes of this wretch that 
has been born blind ; that he may fee thee, and that 
thou O GOD, mayeft finifh what thou haft already begun, 
in me. 

7. As therefore there is none but this Great GOD, that 
can perfect the underftanding , fo neither is there any 
befide him, that can cornpleat and rectify the will, with 
all the other faculties of the foul ; that fo he who firft be- 
gan the work, may finifh it. It is this Lord alone who 
fatisfies, without leaving any want ; who enlarges without 
noife ; who enriches without vanity ; and gives a folid 
contentment without poflefiing many things : with him 
the creature lives though poor, yet content , tho' rich, 
yet deftitute ; tho* alone, yet happy , though deprived 
of all things, yet pofieflTmg all. J Tis upon this occafion 
the wife man fays, with fo much reafon : One is as 
it were rich, when he hath nothing ; another is as it were 
poor, when he hath great riches -f. By this we are 
$aught, that the poor man, who has GOD for his 

* f. cxviii. 73. -f Prov, xiii. 7. 

*Tbe Sinners Guide. 21 

inheritance, as St. Francis had, is truly rich, and that he 
whom GOD takes no notice of, is very poor, let him be 
never fo rich in worldly poffeflions. 

What advantage have great and wealthy men by all 
their riches, if they are neverthelefs racked with fuch 
cares and difeafes, that all they have cannot give them 
any eafe ? or, what comfort can rich cloaths, a plentiful 
table, and chefts crammed with gold and treafures, bring 
an unquiet and troubled mind ? how often, and with 
what refllefsnefs, does the rich man turn and tofs about 
every night in his down bed -, nor can all his wealth help 
him to the leaft wink of fleep, or give any reft to his 
difturbed confcience ? it follows, upon what has been 
faid, that we are infinitely obliged to ferve GOD, not 
only upon the account of this benefit -, but for whatfo- 
ever elfe contributes towards the making of our hap- 
pinefs compleat. 


Of the third motive that abliges us to ferve God, which is 
the benefit of our prefervation and direction. 

i. A NOTHER obligation man has to GOD, befides 
Ji\. that of his creation, is the care he takes to pre- 
ferve him. He it is who gave you your being, and who 
ftill continues the fame to you. So that you depend now 
as much upon his power, for the preferving of it, as you 
did before he gave it you, for the receiving of it -, and 
'tis as impofHble for you to fubfift without him, as it was 
before you were created, to create yourfelf. Nor is this 
fecond obligation lefs than the firft, but rather greater ; 
for that was laid upon you but once ; whereas this is con- 
ferring on you every moment of your life. For, to be 
continually preferving you after your creation, requires 
no lefs love nor power, than it did to create you. If 
therefore your obligation to him for having created you 
in an inftant, be fo great , what do you not owe him, 
for preferving you fo many moments, fo many hours j 
E nay, 

22 ne Sinners Guide. 

nay, fo many years ? you cannot go a ftep, unlefs he 
gives you power to move. You cannot fo much as open 
or fhut your eyes, without his will and afliftance. For 
if you do not believe it is he that moves every joint 
and member of your body, you are no Chriftian , but if 
you believe it is from him you receive this favour, and 
yet after all are fo impudent as to offend him, I cannot 
tell what name to give you. If a man were (landing on 
the top of a high tower with a fmall cord in his hand, 
and another man hanging at the end of if, do you think 
that he, who mould be fo near falling down headlong, 
would dare to give any abufive language to the perfon 
that held the cord ? imagine yourfelf to be in fuch a 
condition. You depend on the will of GOD, as it were 
on a thread , fo that, mould he forfake you, but for one 
moment, you would be inftantly reduced to your firft 
nothing. With what infolence then, can you dare to 
provoke fo dreadful a Majefty, which is fo merciful, as 
to fupport you, even then, when you fin againft it ? For, 
as St. Denis fays, fuch is the virtue of the Sovereign 
Good, as to give the creatures power to difobey and re- 
bel, at the very moment they afe rebelling againft it. 
Since there is no denying of this truth, how dare you 
prcfume to make ufe of thofe fenfes and members, as 
inftruments to offend him that preferves them. O in- 
credible blind nefs and folly ! O unheard of rebellion and 
difobedience ! was there ever fo horrid a confpiracy as 
this is -, that the members mould rife up againft their 
head, for which they ought to die a thoufand times ? 
the day will come when this affront mail be moft feverely 
punifhed. 'Tis then that GOD will hear thofe complaints, 
which his own honour trampled under foot by you, mall 
make to his Divine Juftice. Difloyal and ungrateful 
man, is it not juft, fmce, you have confpired againft your 
GOD, that the whole world mould rife up and rebel 
againft you? that GOD mould arm all his creatures to 
revenge the injuries you have offered him , and that the 
whole earth fhould fight for him, againft the ungrateful. 
Without doubt there is no greater juftice, than that 
they, who would not open their eyes to fo many mercies, 


The Sinners Guide. 23 

when they might have done it, fhould be forced to it 
now by feverity and rigour, without finding any remedy 
or comfort. 

2. If to all ttefe benefits we add the whole world, 
which is as a rich and plentiful table, GOD has prepared 
and fpread for your particular ufe ; how infinitely will 
the obligation be increafed ? there is not any one thing 
under the face of heaven, but what is intirely for man, 
or for his fervice. And mould any one objecl:, that flies 
are of no ufe to man, he may obferve, they are food for 
birds, which are created for him. Though man does 
not eat the grafs in the fields, it nourifhes the cattle, 
which are necefTary for his fubfiftance. Caft your eye 
about the world, and you will fee what rich lands, and 
what large poflefiions you have ; and how great your 
inheritance is. All that moves on the earth *, all that 
fwims in the waters, that flies in the air, or that mines 
in the heavens, is made for you. Thefe things are all 
of them the effects of GOD*S bounty : the works of his 
Providence ; the marks of his beauty ; the witnefles of 
his mercy; the fparks of his charity; and the common 
publimers of his greatnefs. Confider thefe are fo many 
preachers GOD fends to you, that you may not want the 
opportunity of knowing him. Every thing, fays St. Au- 
guftin on earth, and in heaven, perpetually exhorts me, 
O Lord, to love you. And, that no man may pretend 
to a lawful excufe from fo juft a duty, they fpeak the 
lame language to every body elfe. 

3. O ! that you had but ears to hear the voices of the 
creatures, you would eafily underftand how they all agree 
in their inviting you to the love of GOD ; for they 
filently declare, they have been created to ferve you : 
that you may therefore love and adore this common Lord, 
not only for yourfelf but for them. The fky fays, it is I 
that by my ftars continually furnifh you with light, that 
you may not walk in the dark. It is I that by my different 
influences occafion the production of all things neceflary 
for life. The air, on the other fide tells you, it is I who 
E 2 give 

* Pf. viii. 

24 The Sinners Guide. 

give you breath , it is I who refrefh you with my gentle 
blafts, and temper the heat of your vital fpirits, that you 
may not be fcorched up by them ; it is I who maintain this 
almoft infinite number of different kinds of birds, pleafing 
your eyes with the beauty of their feathers , charming 
your ears with the fweetnefs of their notes ; and fatif- 
fying the nicenefs of your appetite with their delicious 
tafte. The water fays, it is for you that I pour out my 
feafonable and moderate rains: it is for you that my 
flreams aud fountains are always running : it is for your 
nourifhment that I engender fuch variety of fiih. I water 
your lands and your gardens, that they may bring you 
their fruits in due feafon. I make a fhort paflage for 
you through the fea, that you may thereby have the 
opportunity of making ufe of the whole world, and of 
joining the riches of other countries with thofe of your 
own. What mall I fay of the earth, the common mo- 
ther of all things, and the univerfal mop as it were of 
nature ; where all the different caufes produce their 
feveral effects? me may with a great deal of reafon 
fpeak to you, as the reft have done, and tell you, it 
is me that like a mother carries you in her arms ; it is me 
that fupplies you with all the neceffaries of life , it is 
(he that maintains you with the variety of her products ; 
that to ferve you, me holds a correfpondence with all 
the other elements, and with the heavens themfelves, 
for the procuring of their influences , and that (he, in 
fhort, like a tender mother, neither forfakes you whilft 
you are alive, nor leaves you at your death ; for (he it is 
that nourifhes and fupports you during your life, and 
takes you into her bofom when you are dead ; and there 
gives you a refting place. To conclude, all the world 
cries out aloud to you , behold, O mortal man, and con- 
fider what a love your Creator has had for you ; fince it 
is for your fake that he has made me, commanding me 
at the fame time, for the love of him to ferve you*; that 
fo you may love and ferve him, who has created me fp,r 
you, and you for himlelf. 

4. This O Chriftian, this is the general voice of all 
the creatures ; and can you after this deny, that you 


Ihe Sinners Guide. 25 

are mod ftrangely dull and ftupid -, if you have no ears 
to hear the lame ? how can you choofe but confefs that 
you are guilty of an unparralleled ingratitude -, if you 
take no notice of fo many favours ? if you are not 
alhamed to receive an obligation ; why do you refufe to 
make a fimple acknowledgment of it, to the perfon from 
whom you have received it ; that fo you may efcape the 
the punimment your ingratitude will otherwife deferve ? 
for, according to a famous writer*, there is no creature 
in the world but what fpeaks thefe three words to man : 
" Receive, give, take heed. That is to fay, receive the 
benefit, give what is due, and take heed of the punifh- 
ment which follows ingratitude, if you do not do fo." 

5. And that you may have more caufe to admire, 
confider how Epictetus, a heathen philofopher before- 
mentioned, has been able to lift himfelf up to this fub- 
lime divinity. He advifes us in thefe words, to make 
the creatures ferve us as fo many memorials of the 

" When the raven crokes, fays he, and thereby gives 
you notice of fome change of weather, it is GOD, not 
the raven, that gives you this notice, If men mould by 
their words and difcourfe advife you to any thing, is it 
not GOD that has given them power to advife you thus , 
thereby to let you underftand, that he exercifes his divine 
power feveral ways, in order to bring about his defigns ; 
for when GOD thinks fit to acquaint us with matters of 
greater moment, he makes choice of more excellent and 
more infpired men for this purpofe. Afterwards he adds 
this : in fine, when you fhall have read my inftrudlions, 
fay to yourfelf, it is not Epictetus, but GOD that has 
given me this advice ; for whence could he have had 
luch precepts and rules as thefe are, if GOD had not fug- 
gelled them to him ?" thus far are the words of Epic- 
tetus. Now is there any Chriftian in the world that will 
not be alhamed and blu(h to be out done by a heathen ? 
if there be, he may well be confounded to think, that 
his eyes with the alfiftance of the light of faith, cannot 
fee as far as thofe that were in the darknels of human 

* Rich, de St. Viol. SECT. 

rt6 The Sinners Guide. 


From what has beenfaid is inferred, how unworthy a thing 
it is not to feme God. 

6. Since things are really juft as we have reprefented 
them ; is it not a great ingratitude and neglect for a 
man to be furrounded on all fides, by fo many benefits, 
and yet to forget him from whom he has received them 
all ? St. Paul lays *, Thai he who does his enemy a good 
turn, heaps coals of fire on his head, by which he inflames 
Jiis charity and love. Now if all the creatures in the 
world are fo many benefits GOD beftows on you ; the 
whole world can be nothing elfe but one fire, and all 
the creatures fo much fewel to feed and increafe it. Is 
it pofllble any heart mould be in the midft of fuch 
flames as thefe, and not be intirely burnt, nor fo much 
as warmed by them ? how comes it, that after receiving 
fo many benefits and graces, you (hould neglect even to 
call your eyes up towards heaven, to fee from whence 
they come ? if you were to go a great journey, and 
HI the way, being quite tired and almoft dead for hun- 
ger, fhotild be forced to fit down at the bottom of a 
fiigh tower, from the top of which fome charitable per- 
fon mould take care to fupply you with whatsoever you 
wanted; could you forbear looking up fometimes, if it 
were but to have a fight of one that was fo kind and 
charitable to you ? does GOD do any thing lefs for you, 
than continually mower down from above, all forts of 
ble/Tings upon you ? find me out if you can, but one 
thing in the world that does not happen by a parti- 
cular providence of his. And yet you never fo much 
as look up to know, and by that means to love fo liberal 
and conftant a benefactor. What can be faid of fuch 
hard-heartednefs, but that man has dhrefted himfelf of 
his own nature, and is grown more infenfible than 
brutes ? It is a fliame to fay whom we refemble in this 
particular, but it is fit man mould hear his own. We 
are like an herd of fwine feeding under an oak, which 

* Rom. xii. v. 20. 

The Sinners Guide. 27 

all the while their keeper is lhaking down the acorns 
from the top of the tree, do nothing elfe but grunt and 
fight with one another for their meat, without ever 
looking up to him that gives it them, or lifting up their 
eyes to fee from whofe hands they receive fuch a benefit. 
O ! the brutifh ingratitude of the children of Adam ! 
who having received not only a rational foul, which 
other creatures have not ; but alfo an upright body, and 
eyes fet to look up toward heaven ; yet will not lift up 
the eyes of their foul to behold him that beftows fuck 
ble/Hngs on them. 

7. 'Tis to be wifhed, that brutes and irrational crea- 
tures did not outdo us in this point. For, this duty of 
acknowledgment is in effedl, fo deeply engraved by the 
finger of GOD, upon all his creatures, that the very 
fierceft of them have not been deprived of fo noble an 
inclination. There are a great many examples in hif- 
tory to prove what we here afifert. Is there any beaft 
more fierce than a lyon ? and yet Appian a Greek au- 
thor, tells us of a man who having accidentally flickered 
himfelf in a lion's cave, and there plucking a thorn out 
of one of his feet, fhared with him every day in the 
prey he got, as an acknowledgment of the favour, and 
the cure he had wrought upon the beaft. This man was 
taken up a confiderable time after for forne notorious 
crime, and condemned to be expofed to the wild beads 
in the amphitheatre at Rome, to be torn in pieces by 
them. The fame lion, which had been taken fome days 
before, being let loofe, eyed the man, and knowing him, 
came up gently and fawned upon him, juft as a dog does 
upon his mafter when he has been abroad, and ever 
after followed him up and down without doing any 
harm. We read of another lion, who having received 
the fame favour from a feaman that had been caft by a 
ttorm upon the coaft of Africa, brought him daily a 
part of his booty, which maintained him and his com- 
pany till fuch time as they put to fea again. Nor is that 
lefs to be admired, which they tell us of another, who as 
he was fighting one day with a ferpent, was fo put to it, 
that in all appearance he would have loft his life, had not 

a gen- 

28 be Sinners Guidt. 

a gentleman, who was riding that way, accidentally 
come in to his afliftance and killed the ferpent. The 
lion to return the obligation, gave himfelf up entirely 
to his deliverer, and followed him whitherfoeverhewent, 
ferving him as a hound in hunting. The gentleman at 
laft took fhipping, and left his lion a more , the beaft 
was fo impatient and uneafy to flay behind, that he took 
the water, and not being able to make the vefTel, was 
drowned. What mall I fay of the gratitude and fidelity 
of horfes ? Pliny gives us a relation of fome that have 
had fuch a lively concern for the lofs of their matters, 
as to Ihed tears for them ; and of others that have ftarved 
themfelves to death for the fame reafon. Some there 
are again that have revenged their mailer's death upon 
thofe that murdered them, by tearing them in pieces, or 
by trampling th~m under their feet. Nor is the grati- 
tude of dogs lefs furprifmg, of whom the fame author 
relates fuch ftrange things, as are almofl incredible, 
Amongft the reft, he tells us of one that having fought 
for his mailer, who was murdered by highwaymen, as 
long as he was able, fat by the dead body, to keep off 
the birds and beads from devouring of it. He fpeaks 
of another that would neither eat nor drink after he had 
feen his mailer Lucius dead. He relates another much 
more remarkable paflage that happened at Rome in 
his time, which is this : A certain man who was con- 
demned to die, had a dog which he had kept very long, 
and which never left him all the time he was in prifon ; 
no, nor after his execution ; but on the contrary, flaying 
always by him, made known his grief by his howling. 
If any body flung him a piece of bread, he would take 
it up and carry it immediately to his mailer, and put it 
into his mouth. At laft, the body being thrown into 
the Tiber, the dog leaped in and got under it to keep 
it from finking. Can there be any thing in the world 
more grateful than this was ? now if beafls who have 
only a fpark of natural inflinft, whereby to acknowledge 
a good turn, are yet fo ready to requite, ferve and attend 
their benefadlors , how can man who has fo much more 
light to know the good he receives, be fo forgetful of 


Sinners Guide. 29 

him that beftows fo much 'upon him ? how comes he to 
fuffer himfelf to be outdone by beads, in courtefy, fide- 
lity and gratitude ? efpecially when the benefits which 
man receives from GOD, are fo infinitely beyond thole 
which beafts receive from men, when the benefactor is fo 
excellent, his love fo fingular, and his intention fo fincere, 
that he propofes no intereft to himfelf, but does all out of 
mere charity and bounty. This is indeed a matter of no 
fmall wonder and aftonimment ; and evidently mews there 
are devils that blind our understandings, harden our 
wills, and impair our memories, that we may not re- 
member fo liberal a benefactor, 

8. Now, if it be fo great a crime to forget this Lord, 
what muft it be to affront him, and to convert his favours 
into the inftruments of our offences againft him ? Seneca 
fays, that not to pay back the benefits we have received, 
is the firft degree of ingratitude ; the fecond is to forget 
them ; the third is to render evil for good ; and this laft 
is the higheft degree. But what is all this to the affront- 
ing and abufing of your benefactor, with thofe very kind- 
neffes he has mewed you ? I doubt whether there is any 
man in the world, who has ever dealt with his fellow- 
creatures, as we frequently deal with GOD. What man 
would be fo inhuman as to go immediately and employ 
a confiderabie fum of money he had received from his 
prince, in raifmg an army agamft him. And yet you, 
bafe and miferable wretch ! never ceafe to make war 
upon GOD with thofe very bounties you have received 
from him. What can a man think of more abominable 
than this ? mould a hufband make a prefent to his wife 
of a necklace of pearl, or a rich fet of diamonds to oblige 
her to honour and love him the more ; what would you 
fay of the perfidioufnefs of this woman, if me mould 
throw all away immediately upon her gallant, to tie him 
the more ftrongly to her, and make herfelf more the 
miftrefs of his affection. Every body would certainly 
look upon this, as the bafeft action any perfon could be 
guilty of; and yet the offence here is only between 
equals. How much more heinous then is this crime, 
when the affront is offered to GOD ? and yet this it is 
F "thole 

30 7/&* Sinners Guide. 

thofe pcrfons are guilty of, who wafte all their ftrength, 
fpend their eftates, and ruin their health in committing 
of fmful actions. Their ftrength makes them proud, 
their beauty makes them conceited, :and their health 
unmindful of GOD. Their wealth enables them to de- 
vour the poor, to vie with the great ones, to pamper 
their flem, and to corrupt the chaftity of fome unthinking 
maid, making her like Judas, fell what Chrift purchafed 
with his blood, whilft they buy it for money like the 
Jews ? What mail I fay of the abufe of other graces ? 
the fea ferves but to fatisfy their gluttony-, and the 
beauty of the creatures their luft. The fruits and pro- 
duds of the earth ferve to feed their avarice , and their 
wit and natural parts go to the increafing of their vanity. 
They are puffed up in profperity, even to folly , and caft 
down to defpair in adverfity. They chufe the darknefs 
of the night to hide their thefts, and the light of the 
day for the laying of their fnares^ as we read in holy 
Job. In fhort, whatfoever GOD has created for his own 
glory, they have devoted to fatisfy their inordinate paf- 

' 9. What mall I fay of their effences and perfumes, of 
their ftately furniture, their fumptuous tables, the nice- 
nefs and fuperfluity of their dimes, with their different 
forts of fauces, and their feveral ways of cooking ? nay, 
fenfuality and luxury are fo much in fafhion, that men 
have made a trade of thefe fcandalous excefies ; and pub- 
limed books to inftrucl: us how to fin in this matter. 
They have corrupted all things, by their mifufing them, 
and inftead of taking an occafion from them to praife 
GOD, the end they were given them for ; they have 
made ufe of them as the incentives to their debaucheries 
and vanities ^ thus perverting the lawful ufe of the crea- 
tures they have made thofe things help and affift them 
in vice, which ought to have encouraged and excited 
them to virtue. There is nothing, in fine, whiqh they 
have not facrificed to the gratifying of their fenfes and 
the pampering of their flem , whilft they have quite ne- 
glected to relieve their neighbour, though GOD has fq 
particularly recommended him to their care. They ne- 

The Sinners Guide. 31 

ver complain that they are poor, but to thofe that are To 
themfelves ; nor do they ever fo much as think of pay- 
ing their debts, unlefs when any body comes to beg an 
alms of them : take them at any other time, and you lhall 
neither find them poor nor in debt, 

IQ. Have a care this be not laid to your charge, at the 
hour of your death. Do not fuffer fo heavy a burthen 
as this, to be prefling upon you at that time. Consider, 
that the greater the concern is, the more Uriel: account 
you muft give of it. To have received much, and to 
have made but fmall acknowledgment for it, is a kind 
of judgment laid upon you already. 'Tis a great fign of 
a man's reprobation, when he continues to abufe thofe 
favours Goo beftows on him. Let us look upon it 
as the utmoft difgrace, that brutes mould furpafs us 
in this virtue j fmce they requite their benefactors 
with gratitude, whilft we neglect to do it ? if the Nine- 
vites are to rife up in judgment againft the Jews, and 
condemn them for not entering into a Aate of penance, 
after our Saviour's preaching , let us take care that the 
fame Lord has no reafon at the laft day to condemn us, 
upon the examples of beafts, for taking fo little notice 
of our benefactors, when they have expreffed fo much 
love to theirs. 


Of the fourth motive that obliges us to the furfuit of virtue, 
which is ths ineftimable benefit of our redemption. 

i. T E T us come now to the great work of our re- 

-L/ demption ; a favour not to be comprehended by 

either men or angels. A myftery, fb much above what- 

foever I am able to fay, and myfelf fo unworthy at the 

fame time to fpeak any thing of it, that I neither know 

where to begin, nor where to leave off, what to take, 

nor what to leave. Were not man fo ftupid as to (land 

in need of thefe incentives to ftir him np to the love of 

F A virtue, 

32 The Sinners Guide. 

virtue, it would be much better to adore this profound 
myftery in filence, than to eclipfe it as it were, by the 
darknefs of our exprefllon. They tell us of a certain 
famous painter who having drawn a picture reprefenting 
the dea<h of a king's daughter, and painted her friends 
and relations, Handing about her, with moft forrowful 
countenances, and her mother, more melancholy than 
any of the reft v when he came to draw the father's face, 
he hid it under a (hade, to fignify that fo much grief was 
not to be expreffed by art. Now if all we are able to 
fay, fall mort of explaining the benefit of our creation, 
what eloquence can defervedly extol that of our redem- 
ption ? GOD created the whole univerfe by one fingle act 
of his will, without fpending the leaft part of his trea- 
fures, or weakening the ftrength of his Almighty Arm. 
But to the redeeming of it, there went no lefs than 
thirty- three years fweat and toil , with the effufion of his 
blood to the very laft drop , and not one of his fenfes or 
members was exempt from fuffering its particular pain 
and anguifh. It looks like a leflening of fuch fublime 
myfteries to attempt to explain them with a human 
tongue. What mall I do then ? mail I fpeak, or mall I 
hold my peace ? I am obliged not to be filent, and am 
unfit to fpeak. How can I be filent of fuch wondrous 
effects of GOD'S mercy ? and how mall I be able to dif- 
courfe of fuch ineffable myfteries ? to be filent looks 
like ingratitude, and to fpeak of it feems a rafhnefs. 
Wherefore, I here proftrate myfelf before thee, O my 
GOD, imploring thy divine affiftance and mercy, to the 
end, that, whilft my ignorance detracts from thy glory, 
inftead of extolling and difplaying it, thofe who are ca- 
pable of doing it may praife and glorify thee in heaven, 
that they may fupply what I am deficient in, and beau- 
tify and adorn what a mortal man cannot but fpoil by 
the meannefs of his capacity. 

2. After GOD had created man, and with his own hand 
feated him in a place of delights ^ inverting him with ho- 
nour and glory-, that which ought to have engaged him the 
more deeply in his Creator's fervice, emboldened him the 
more to rebel againft him. Whereas the infinite favours 


Ibe Sinners Guide* 33 

he had received mould have laid a ftricter obligation on 
him, to love that Divine Goodnefs that beftowed them, 
he made ufe of them as inftruments of his ingratitude. 
This was the caufe of his being driven out ot paradife 
into the banifhment of this world, and condemned to 
the pains of hell ; that as he had been the devil's affociate 
in fin, he might partake of his fufferings and torments. 
When Giezi, Eliftia*s fervant, had received the prefent, 
which Naaman the leper made him, the prophet faid to 
him : Since tbou haft received Naaman's money ; the kprofy 
therefore of Naaman Jhall alfojlick to thee and to thy feed for 
ever *. GOD has pronounced a like fentence againft man, 
judging it requifite, that fmce he has coveted the riches 
of Lucifer, which are his guilt and his pride, he mould 
in like manner be defiled with Lucifer's leprofy, which 
is the punimment of his rebellion. Thus man, by imi- 
tating the devil's fins, become like them, and mares with 
them in their punimment, as well as in their guilt. 

3. Man having brought fuch a difgrace upon himfelf, 
this fame GOD, whofe mercy is as great as his majefty, 
confidered not the affront, which was offered to his infi- 
nite goodnefs, fo much as he did our mifery. He was 
more concerned for the unhappy condition we were re- 
duc'd to, than angry for the offences we had committed 
againft himfelf, and therefore refolved to fuccour us by 
the means of his only fon -, and to make him the Me- 
diator of our reconciliation with himfelf. But what was 
this reconciliation ? who is able to exprefs this mercy ? 
he fettled fuch a clofe friendfliip betwixt GOD and man, 
as to find out a way to make GOD not only pardon man, 
receive him into his favour again, and make him one and 
the fame thing with himfelf, by love ; but what is far be- 
yond all expreflion, he united him to himfelf, in fuch a 
manner, that there are no created beings in nature fo 
clofe united as thefe two are now ; becaufe they are not 
only one in love and in grace, but in perfon too. Who 
could ever have thought that fuch a breach as this would 
have been fo made up again ? who could have imagined 
that thefe two things, which nature and fin had fet at 

f 4 Kings, c, v. v. 26, 27. 

34 tt* Sinners Guide. 

fuch a diflance, mould ever have been united together, 
not in the fame houfe, at the fame table, in the fame 
union of grace and love, but in the fame perfon ? are 
there any two things in the world more different from 
one another, than GOD and a fmner ? and yet, are there 
any things more clofely united than GOD and man are 
now ? there is nothing, fays St. Bernard, more high than 
GOD, and nothing lower than the clay man was made of. 
Yet has GOD with fo much humility defcended into this 
clay, and this clay with fo much honour afcended to 
GOD, that we may fay, the clay has done whatfoever 
GOD has done ; and GOD has luffered all the clay has 

4. When man, finding himfelf naked, and become an 
enemy to GOD, endeavoured to hide himfelf in the moft 
concealed parts of the terreftrial paradife, who would 
have made him believe, a time would come when this 
bafe and vile fubftance mould be united to GOD, in one 
and the fame perfon ? this alliance was fo ftrict arid clofe, 
that it could not be feparated even by death, which broke 
the union between foul and body, but could never di- 
vide the divinity from the humanity, becaufe GOD never 
quitted what he had once taken on him for our fake. 

Thus our peace was concluded ; this is the medicine 
we have received at the hands of our Saviour and Me- 
diator. And, though we are infinitely more indebted to 
GOD for fo fovereign a cure, than we are any ways able 
to exprefs, we are no lefs obliged to him, for the manner 
of applying it, than for the remedy itfelf. I am infinitely 
indebted to thee, O my GOD, for having redeemed me 
from hell, and reftored me to thy favour , but I owe thae 
much more for the manner of reftoring my liberty than 
for the liberty itfelf. All thy works, O Lord, are to be 
admired in every part of them : and though man may 
feem to lofe himfelf in the contemplation of any one of 
thy wonders ; the fame difappears, as foon as he lifts up 
his eyes towards heaven, to reflccl: upon another. Nor 
is this any difcredit to thy greatnefs, O Lord ; but an 
argument of thy glory . 

. What 

The Sinners Guide. 35 

5. What courfe, O my GOD, haft thou taken to heal 
me ? thou mighteft have procured my falvation an infi- 
nite number of ways, without putting thyfelf to any 
trouble or expence , but thy bounty was fo great and 
furprifmg, that to give me a more manifeft proof of thy 
goodnefs and mercy, thou haft chofe to relieve my mi- 
feries by thy own pains and fufferings, which were fa 
vehement that the very thoughts of them drew a bloody 
fweat from thy veins, and thy undergoing of them rent 
the very rocks with forrow. Let the heavens and the 
angels praife thee, O my GOD, for ever ; and let them 
never ceafe to publifh thy wondrous works ! what need 
had'ft thou of our goods, or what damage were our mi- 
feries to thee ? If thou Jin, fays Elihu to Job, whatjhalf 
thou hurt him? and if thy iniquities be multiplied, what 
Jhalt thou do againft him ? on the contrary ; and if thou do 
juftly what Jhalt thou give him, or what Jhatt he receive of 
thy hand* ? This great GOD, who is fo powerful, and fo 
far above the reach of any misfortune ; he whofe riches, 
whofe power, and whofe wifdom can neither be increafed 
nor leflened , he who was neither greater nor lefs, after 
he had created the world, than he was before; he, who 
can receive no more glory from all the praifes men and 
angels are able to give him, than what he has always 
had from all eternity ; he who would be no lefs glorious, 
though each particular mouth were to be employed ir* 
curling and blafpheming him : this Lord, I fay, whofe 
Majefty is fo great and infinite, notwithftanding our 
infidelities and treacheries have been fuch, as deferve his 
eternal anger and hatred, has vouchfafed even when he 
had no need at all of us, and upon no other motive but 
that of his exceflive love to us, to bow down the heavens 
of his greatnefs, and to defcend into this place of banifh- 
ment , to doath himfelf with our Mem, to undertake the 
payment of our debts, and that he might difcharge us to 
undergo the moft dreadful torments that ever were, or 
that ever mall be undergone. It was for my fake, O my 
GOD, that thou haft been born in a ftable, laid in a 
manger, circumcifed the eighth day, and forced to fly 

* Exod. c. xxv. v. 1 8. 

36 *The Sinners Guide. 

into Egypt it was for the love of me that thou haft been 
fo affronted and injured ; it was for me that thou haft 
faded, watched, and wandered from place to place ; that 
thou haft fweated, weaped, and fubjected thyfelf to all 
thofe mileries, which my fins have deferved, notwith- 
ftanding that thou wert fo far from being the offender, 
as to be all this while the party offended. It was for me 
that thou wert apprehended, forfaken, fold, denied, and 
brought before feveral courts and judges ; it was for my 
fake that thou wert accufed before them, that thou wert 
affronted, buffered, fpit upon, whipped, blafphemed, 
put to death, and buried. Thou haft, in fine, vouch- 
iafed for the healing of my wounds, to die upon a crofs, 
in the fight of thy moft holy mother, in fo great po- 
verty, as not to have one drop of water at the hour of 
thy death, and in fo ftupendous a manner forfaken by 
all, that thy Heavenly Father himfelf feemcd to neglecl: 
thee at that time. Can any thing enter into the heart o 
man more lamentable than this, to fee a GOD of moft in- 
finite majefty, come down upon earth to end his life 
upon a crofs, like a notorious malefador. 

6. If any maa, though of never fo mean a condition, 
were to be executed for fome public crime he had com- 
mited, there is nobody could, without fome kind of 
concern, efpecially if he had known him before, confi- 
der the deplorable ftate his mifery had reduced him to -, 
and the unhappy end he was going to make. Now if it 
be furprifing to fee a man but of an ordinary condition 
brought to fuch difgrace; how ought we to be afto- 
nifhed, when we fee the Lord of all created things in no 
better circumftances ? what a fubjecl: of wonder, to fee a 
GOD dealt with like a malefaftor ? and if it be true, that 
the greater-quality a perfon is of, the more we are fur- 
prized at his difgrace and fall -, what furprife muft have 
feized you, O bleffed angels, who had fo full a know- 
ledge of the greatnefs of this Lord ? what did you think, 
when you faw him hanging upon a crofs ? GOD com- 
pianded Mofes to put two cherubims at the fides of the 
ark, with their faces turned toward the mercy-feat, and 
Joojdng upon one another with admiration \ and for 


Parti. Ch.4. Of our Redemption. 37 

what other end was all this, but to give us to nnder- 
ftand, with what a holy aftonifhment thefe fupreme fpi- 
rits muft be feized, when they confider the effect of fo 
great a charity, and behold this Great GOD, who created 
heaven and earth, nailed to the Holy Crofs to atone for 
our crimes ? nature herfelf is amazed, and every creature 
is aftonifhed. The principalities and powers of heaven 
are ravifhed with this inestimable goodnefs, which they 
behold in GOD. Is there any-body, after all this, that is 
hot fwallowed up in the abyfs of fuch wonders ? who is 
there that is not drowned in the ocean of fuch infinite 
mercies ? who is there that can contain his admiration, 
fo as not to cry out with Mofes, when GOD mewed him 
the figure of the myftery upon the mount : O the Lord* 
the Lord God^ merciful and gracious^ patient and of much 
companion, and true* ! He was unable to do any thing 
elfe but publifli aloud the infinite goodnefs GOD had 
given him a fight of? who would not, like Elias, hide 
his eyes -f, if he faw his GOD pafFing by ; not in the 
brightnefs of his majefty ; but under the veil of his lit* 
tlenefs : not overturning the mountains, or fplitting the 
rocks in pieces by his omnipotence ; but delivered up 
into the hands of the wicked -, and making the very 
rocks grow foft, and burft afunder with companion ? 
who is there that will not fhut the eyes of his under- 
ftanding and open the bofom of his will, that at the 
fight of fo boundlefs a love, it may be inflamed with 
gratitude, and return all the love it is able to give, 
without fetting any limits or meafure to its paffion ? O 
height of charity ! O depth of humility ! O greatnefs of 
mercy ! O abyfs of incomprehenfible goodnefs ! 

7. If it be true, O Lord, that I am thus indebted to 
thee, for having redeemed me; how great muft the 
obligation be for thy having redeemed me in fuch a man- 
ner ? for to redeem me, thou haft fuffered fuch torments 
and fuch difgrace, as are above the reach of our imagi- 
nation. Thou haft made thyfelf the fcorn of men and 
the contempt of the world, for the love of me. To 
procure me honour, thou haft difhonoured thyfelf ; and 
G haft 

* Exod. c, xxxiv. v, 6. f Swings, c.xix. v. 13, 

38 The Sinners Guide. Book L 

haft fuffered thyfelf to be accufed, that I might be ac- 
quitted. Thou haft fhed thy blood, to warn away the 
ftains of my guilt* Thou haft died, to raife me to life y 
and by thy tears, haft delivered me from everlafting' 
weeping and gnafhing of teeth. How truly doft thou 
deferve the name of a kind father , fmce thou haft had 
fo tender a love for thy children ? how juftly art thou 
to be called a Good Shepherd, who haft given thyfelf 
for the nourifhrnent of thy flock ? how truly faithful a 
guardian art thou ; .fmce thou haft fo freely laid down 
thy life, for thofe whom thou haft taken into thy care ? 
what prefent mail I make thee, anfwerable to this pre- 
fent ? with what tears lhall I return thefe tears ? with 
what life (hall I repay this life ? what proportion is there 
betwixt the life of a man, and the life of his GOD ; be- 
twixt the tears of a creature, and thofe of its Creator ? 

8. But if, O man, thou moulded perhaps imagine, 
that his fuffering for every body elfe as well as for thee, 
has leflened thy obligation, thou deceiveft thyfelf. For 
though he fuffered for all mankind in general, it was in 
fuch a manner, that he fuffered for each particular per- 
Ibn. For his infinite wifdom gave him as clear and as 
diftinct a reprefentation of all thofe, for whom he under- 
went thofe torments, as if there had been but one fmgle 
perfon ; and his immenfe charity, which made him fufFer 
for all, has done no lefs for each one in particular. So 
that he has med his blood for every fmgle man, as much 
ats for all mankind together , and fo great has bee hins 
mercy, that had there been but one finner in the whole 
world, he would have fuffered as much for him alone, 
as he has now done for all the world. Confider therefore, 
how infinitely thou art obliged to this Lord, who has 
done fo % much for thee ; and who would have done a 
great deal more, if there had been any need of it, for 
procuring thy happinefs. 


Part f. Ch. 4. Of our 'Redemption. 39 


We may gather front what has been hitherto faid, how 
grievous a thing it is to of end God' : 

9. I appeal now to all creatures, whether man can 
poflibly think of any greater benefit, any more generous 
favour, or any obligation more binding than this is. 
Tell me, O all ye Choirs of Angels, whether GOD has 
ever done fo much for you. Can any man then, after 
all this, refufe to give himfelf up entirely to the fervice 
of GOD ? I am indebted to thee, O Lord, fays St. An- 
felm, for all that I am, upon three feveral accounts. 
Becaufe thou haft created me, I owe thee all that is in 
me , I owe thee the fame debt, and with more juftice, 
becaufe thou haft redeemed me. And becaufe thou haft 
promifed to reward me with the enjoyment of thyfelf, I 
cannot but acknowledge I am wholly thine. Why then 
do not I give myfelf once, once at leaft, to him to whom 
I am fojuftly due ? O infup portable ingratitude! O in- 
vincible hardnefs of man's heart, which is not to be fof- 
tened by fo many favours 1 there is nothing in the world 
fo hard, but it may by fome means or other be made 
much fofter. Fire melts metals -, iron grows flexible in 
the forge : the blood of certain animals will foften even 
the diamond itfelf : but O more than ftony heart, what 
iron, what diamond, is fo hard as thou art ; if neither the 
flames of hell, nor the care of fo charitable a father, nor 
the blood of the unfpotted Lamb, which has been fhed 
for thee, can make thee foft and flexible. Since thou, 
O Lord, haft (hewed fo much goodnefs, fo much mercy, 
and fo much kindnefs to man, is it to be borne with 
that any one mould not love thee -, that any one fliould 
forget thy benefits, and that any one mould offend thee. 
What can that man love, that is not in love with tkee ? 
what favours can work upon him, that is not to be 
wrought upon by thine ? how can I refufe to ferve him, 
who has had fuch a love for me , who has fought after 
me with fo much folicitude ; and who has done fo 
much for the redeeming of me ? I, fays our Saviour, If 
G 2 I h 

40 The Sinners Guide. Book I, 

/ be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to tny- 
felf*. With what force, O Lord, with what chains ? 
with the force of* my love, with the chains of my mer- 
cies. / will draw them, fays the Lord, with the cords of 
Adam, with the lands of love f. Who is there that will 
not be drawn with thefe cords ? who will not fuffer him- 
felf to be bound with thefe chains ? or, who will not be 
won by thefe mercies ? 

10. Now, if it be fo heinous a crime, not to love this 
Great GOD , what muft it be, to offend him and break 
his commandments ? how can you dare to employ your 
hands in injuring thcjfe hands, which have been fo li- 
beral to you, as to fuffer themfelves to be nailed to a 
crofs for your fake ? when the holy patriarch Jofeph was 
folicited by his lewd miftrefs to defile his mafter Poti- 
phar's bed ; the chafte and grateful young man, by no 
means confenting to fo foul an action, made this reply : 
Behold my matter hath delivered all things to me, and 
knoweth not what he hath in his own houfe : neither is there 
any thing which is not in my power, or that he hath not de- 
livered to me, but thee, who art his wife ; how then can I 
do this wicked thing, and fin againft my God\ ? As if he 
had faid : fince my mafter has been fo kind and generous 
to mej fince he nas put all that he is worth into my 
hands, and has done me fuch an honour, as to entruft 
Hie with his whole eftate, how mail I, who am bound by 
fo many obligations, dare to affront fo good a mafter. 
We are to obferve here, that Jofeph did not fay : I ought 
vot\ or, 'tis not juft that I Jhould offend him : but, how 
then can I do this wicked thing ? To fignify that extraor- 
<Jinary favours ought to deprive us not only of the will ; 
tut in fome meafure, of the very power of offending our 
benefactor. If therefore fo great an acknowledgment 
was due to fuch benefits as thefe, what is it thofe favours 
we have received from GOD do not deferve ? that mafter 
who, was but a mortal man, had entrufted him with the 
management of his eftate. GOD has delivered into 
your hands alrnoft ajl he has ; cgnfider how much the 


* St. John, c. v. v. 32. f Qfee. c. xi. v. 4. 

J Gen, c. *xxix. v. 8, 9. 

Part I. Ch. 4. Of our Redemption. 4 1 

riches of GOD exceed thofe of Potiphar, for fo much 
more have you received than he did. And to make this 
out, what is it GOD poffeflfes, which he has not entrufted 
you with. The fky *; the earth, the fun, the moon, 
the ftars, the rivers, the birds, the fifties, the trees, the 
beads ; whatfoever is under the heavens, is in your 
power ; and not only what is under heaven, but evea 
what is in heaven itfelf ; that is, the glory, the riches, and 
the happinefs that is to be found there : For all things 
are yours, fays the Apoftle, whether it be Paul or Apollo* 
er Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things prefent* 
or things to come , for all are yours }-. For they all con- 
tribute to your falvation. Nor is that which is in hea- 
ven all we have, the very Lord of heaven himfelf is ours 
too. He has given himfelf to us a thoufand ways, as 
our father, our tutor, our faviour, our mafter, our phy- 
fician, our price, our example, our food, our remedy, 
and our reward. To conclude, the Father has given us 
his Son ; the Son has made us worthy of the Holy Ghoft ; 
and it is by the virtue of the Holy Ghoft, that we deferve 
the Father and the Son, who are the very fources and 
fountains, from whence all forts of riches flow. 

n. If it be true, that GOD has thus given you the 
pofTe/Tion of all, how can you find in your heart to of- 
fend fo bountiful and fo generous a benefactor. If it 
be a crime not to requite fuch great favours, what muft 
it be to defpife and offend him that beftows them. If 
young Jofeph thought himfelf unable to do an injury to 
his mafter, becaufe he had committed the care of his 
houfe to him ; with what face can you affront him, who 
has delivered all heaven and earth ; nay himfelf too, 
into your hands ? O miferable and unhappy man ! if you 
are not fenfible of this evil, you are more ungrateful thaa 
brutes are, more favage than the moft favage tigers, 
and more fenfelels than any fenfelefs thing in nature. 
For what lion or tiger is fo enraged, as to fly at him who 
has done him a kindnefs. St. Ambrofe tells us of a dog, 
that feeing his mafter killed by one of his enemies, con- 
tinued all night by the body barking and howling. The 

* Pfalm via. ( I Cor. c. iii. v. 22. 

4* The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

next day, amongft a great many people that crowded to 
fee the corpfe, the dog fpied out the perfon that had 
committed the murder, and immediately flew upon 
him, and fo by his barking and biting difcovered the 
malefactor, who otherwife might have probably efcaped. 
If a dog (hewed fo much love and fidelity to his mafter, 
for a morfel of bread, how can you be fo ungrateful, as 
to let a dog outdo you in good nature and gratitude ? 
and if this creature was in fuch a rage againft the man 
that had murdered his mafter, how can you forbear be- 
ing incenfed againft thofe who have put yours to death ? 
and who do ye think are they, but your own fin's ? it 
was they that apprehended and bound him, that fcourged 
and crucified him. Your fins I fay were the caufe of all 
this. For his executioners could never have had fo much 
power, if your fins had not given it them. Why then 
do not you rife up in arms againft thefe barbarous mur- 
derers, who have taken away your Lord and Saviour's 
life ? how can you behold him lying dead before you, 
and for your fake, without increafmg your love for him, 
and your averfion to fin, which has been the occafion of 
his death ? efpecially, knowing that whatfoever he either 
faid, did, or fuffered in this world, was for no other end, 
but to excite in our hearts a horror and deteftation of 
fin. He died to make fin die, and fuffered his hands 
and his feet to be nailed, that he might bind up fin in 
chains, and bring it under fubjection : why then will you 
let your Saviour's toils, fweat and pains be loft to you ? 
fmce he has with his blood delivered you from fetters ? why 
will you (till remain a flave ? how can you forbear trem* 
bling at the very name of fin, when GOD has done fuch ex- 
traordinary things to ruin and deftroy it ? what could GOD 
have done more, in order to bring men off from fin, than 
to place himfelf upon a crofs, betwixt it and them ? if a 
man were to fee heaven and hell open before him, would 
he then dare to offend GOD ? and yet it is without 
doubt a thing much ftranger and more furprifmg, to 
fee a GOD nailed to an infamous crofs. If therefore fo 
frightful a fpedlacle as this cannot work upon man, 
there is nothing in nature will be able to move him. 


Parti. Ch. 5. Of our Vocation and Juftification. 43 


Of theffth motive that obliges us to virtue, which is the 
benefit of our juftification. 

i. TQ U T what would the benefit of our redemption 
D avail, were it not followed by that of juftifica- 
tion, by which this extraordinary favour is applied to 
us ? for as phyfic, though never fo well prepared, is 
wholly ufelefs, if not applied to the diftemper ; fo this 
heavenly medicine will work no cure upon us,' unlefs ap- 
plied by means of this benefit we now treat of. This 
application is peculiarly the work of the Holy Ghoft, to 
whom the fanctification of man is attributed. He it is 
who prevents the finner with his mercy ; who having 
thus prevented, calls him ; who juftifies him when called j 
who conducts him, when juftified, in the paths of juflice ; 
and thus raifes him to perfection, by the gift of perfe- 
verance; to crown him in the end with everlafting 
glory. Thefe are the different degrees of grace,, con- 
tained under the ineftimable favours of juftification. 


2. The firft of all thefe graces is that of our vocation. 
When man by the force of this Divine Spirit, having 
broken all the bands and fetters of his fins, is freed from 
the tyrannical flavery of the devil, and raifed from death 
to life ; when of a finner, he becomes a faint and a child 
of GOD, from a child of wrath ; which is not to be done 
without the fpecial help of the Divine Grace, as our Sa- 
viour teftified to us by thefe words : No man can come to 
me, except the Father, who hath fent me, draw him *. Sig- 
nifying to us, that neither free-will, nor all the advan- 
tages of human nature, are fufficient of themfelves to lift 
a man out of the depth of fin, and raife him to the 
ftate of grace, unlefs GOD lend him a helping- hand. 
And St. Thomas explaining thefe very words, fays, That 
as the ftone naturally tends downward, and cannot raife 

* St. John, c. vi. v, 44. 

44 ffi> e Sinners Guide, Book. I. 

itfelf Up again without forne exterior afliftance. fo man 
according to the bent of his nature, depraved by the 
corruption of fin is always finking downward in the de- 
fire of earthly things i fo that unlefs GOD lend a hand 
to lift him up to a fupernatural love and defire of hea- 
venly delights, he will never be able to rife. This fen- 
tence very well deferves both our confideration and tears, 
for by it man comes to know himfelf, grows fenfible of 
the corruption of his nature, and of the neceflity he per- 
petually lies under, of begging GOD Almighty's af* 

3. But to come to the matter in hand. It is impof- 
fible for man to return from fin to grace, unlefs the Al- 
mighty-Hand of GOD raife him up. But this is a favour 
of fuch value, that there is no exprefiing how many 
graces are contained in it. For there being nothing 
more certain, than that fin is by this means rooted out 
of the foul, and that it is fin which is the caufe of all 
its miferies ; how great a good muft this confequently 
be, which expels and baniihes fo many evils ? but for- 
afmuch as the confideration of this benefit is a powerful 
motive to make us grateful for it, and excite us to the 
purfuit of virtue, I will explain here in fhort, the vaft 
riches this benefit brings along with it. 

4. Firft then j it is by this that man is reconciled to 
GOD, and reftored to his favour. For the greateft mi- 
fery fin caufes in our fouls, is the rendering them odious 
to GOD, who as he is goodnefs itfelf, bears fuch a ha- 
tred to fin, as is proportioned to his goodnefs. For this 
reafon the royal prophet fays : fhou^ O Lord, bat eft 
all the workers of iniquity^ thou wilt deflroy all that fpeak 
a lie : the bloody and the deceitful man the Lord will abhor *. 
It is this, which in effect is the greateft of all evils, and 
the fource from whence all others flow j as the love of 
GOD on the other fide is the greateft of all goods, and 
the very fountain of all the reft. This therefore is the 
evil we are freed from, by virtue of our j unification ; 
fince by it we are reftored to GOD'S favour, and though 
we were his enemies before, this reconciles us to his 

* Pfalm v. v, 7, 8, 

Part I. Ch. 5. Of our Vocation and Juftification. 45 

love again, and that not in any mean degree, but in the 
higheft that may be, which is that of a father for his fon. 
This is what the beloved Evangelift St. John fo much 
extols when he fays, Behold, what manner of charity the 
father hath bejlowed upon us-, that we fiould be called the 
fons of God\ and be fo too *. He does not think it enough 
to fay, that we are called the children of GOD ; he adds 
farther, that we are really fo -, to the end, that our hu- 
man intellect, which carries fo much weaknefs and im- 
perfection along with it, might have a clearer and more 
diftinct view of the liberality of GOD'S grace, and per- 
ceive thafhe has truly and really enobled man by making 
him his Son, and not given him the title only. If, as we 
have faid, it is fo miferable a thing to be hated by GOD ; 
what a happinefs muft it be to be loved by him ? philo- 
fophers tell us, that the worfe any thing is, the better and 
more excellent its contrary muft be. Whence we are to 
conclude, that thing muft be fupremely good, whole op- 
pofite is fupremely evil ; and fuch man is, when he is be- 
come the object of GOD'S hatred. If men ufe fo much 
caution in this world, not to lofe the love of their mafters, 
fathers, princes, fuperiors, or kings ; how folicitous 
mould we be to keep in favour with this Powerful King, 
this Heavenly Prince, this Sovereign Lord and Father ; 
in comparifon of whom, all earthly power and authority 
is mere nothing ? this favour is the greater, by how 
much it is more freely beftowed -, for as man could do 
nothing before he was created to deferve his being, be- 
caufe at that time he was not ; fo neither could he, after 
having once fallen into fin, do any thing at all that 
might deferve the gift of Juftification : not becaufe he 
was not, but becaufe he was wicked and odious in the 
fight of GOD. 

5. Another benefit befides this is; that Juftification 

takes off the fentence of everlafting torments, which 

man's fins had condemned him to. For, whereas fin 

makes a man the object of GOD'S hatred, and it is im- 

pofiible that any one mould be hated by him, and not 

at the fame time be in the greateft mifery imaginable 5 

H it 

* St, John, c. iii. v. I. 

46 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

it follows, that the wicked, having caft GOD off from 
them, and ungratefully defpifed him, deferve very juftly 
to be caft away by GOD, and to be defpifed and ne- 
glected by him. They deferve to be banifhed for ever 
from his prefence ; never to enjoy his company , never 
to enter into his moft beautiful and glorious palace- 
And, becaufe in feparating themfelves from him, they 
have had an irregular love for the creatures, it is but juft 
they mould be condemned for the fame to eternal pains 
and torments, which are fo rigorous, that if we compare 
all that men fuffer in this life to them, they will look 
more like painted, than real torments. Let us add to 
thefe miferies, the never-dying worm, which will conti- 
nually gnaw the very bowels and tear the confciences of 
the wicked ; add alfo the company which thefe unhappy 
fouls muft always keep, which mall be no other than 
that of all the damned. What mall I fay of their horrible 
and melancholy habitation, full of darknefs and confu- 
fion ; where there never mail be any order, joy, reft or 
peace ; never any comfort, fatisfaction or hope : where 
there mail be nothing but eternal weeping and gnafhing. 
of teeth ; eternal rage and blafphemies. GOD delivers 
thofe whom he juftifies from all thefe miferies, and having: 
peftored them to his grace and favour, frees them en- 
tirely ( frGm his wrath and vengeance. 

6. There is another advantage yet more fpiritual than 
the : fp'rmer ; which is, the reforming and renewing of 
the inward man, all deformed and disfigured by fin. 
Becaufe fin, in the firft place, deprives the foul, not only 
of GOD, but of all its fupernatural force, and of all thofe 
gifts and treafures of the Holy Ghoft, with which it was 
enriched and adorned. So that being once robbed of 
the riches of grace, it is immediately maimed and 
wounded in all its natural powers and faculties : becaufe 
man being a rational creature, and fin being an action- 
againft reafon j as it is very natural for one contrary to 
deftroy another, it follows of courfe, that the greater and 
more numerous our fins are, the greater muft be the 
ruin the faculties of the foul lie open to ; not in them- 
felves, but in the natural inclination they have to do 


Parti. Ch. 5. Of our Vocation and ^uflificatlon. 47 

good. Thus fin makes the foul miferable, weak, floth- 
ful, inconftant in the doing of what is good, and bent 
upon all kind of evil ; unable to refift temptations, and 
foon tired with walking in the way of GOD'S command- 
ments. It alfo deprives the foul of true liberty and fo- 
vereignty of the fpirit, and makes it a mere (lave to the 
world, the flelh, the devil and its own inordinate appe- 
tites ; bringing it under a harder and more unhappy fer- 
vitude, than that of the Ifraelites in Egypt or Babylon. 
Nor are thefe all the miferies which fin reduces the foul 
to ; it opprefies it befides in fuch a manner, and fo de- 
ftroys all its fpiritual motions and fenfes, that it can nei- 
ther hear GOD fpeaking to it, nor perceive thofe dread- 
ful calamities which it is threatened with -, it is quite 
fenfelefs to that fweet fmell, which comes from the vir- 
tues and examples of the faints : it cannot taftc how 
fweet the Lord is ; nor feel the ftrokes of GOD'S haad, 
any more than thofe graces which he pours into it, to 
excite it to the love of him. Befides ail thefe ills, it 
takes away the peace and jay of confcience, and fo by 
degrees lefTens and cools the fervour of the fpirit, till it 
leaves poor man in fuch a miferable condition, that he is 
foul, deformed and abominable ia the fight of GOD, and 
of all his faints. 

7. The grace of juftification delivers us from all thefe 
miferies. For GOD who is an infinite abyfs of mercy, 
thinks it not enough to pardon our fins, and receive us 
into his favour ; unlefs he does free our fouls from all 
thofe diforders which fin had raifed in it, by reforming 
and renewing our inward man. So that he heals our 
wounds ; cleanfes us from our filth ; loofens our chains ; 
eafes us of the burthen of our evil defires ; and frees us 
from the flavery and captivity of the devil ; he mode- 
rates the heat of our pafllons , he reftores us to a true li- 
berty , he beautifies the foul anew , he fettles peace and 
joy in our.confciences again ; he enlivens our inward mo- 
tions ; he makes us forward to do what is good, and 
backward to do that which is evil ; he ftrengthens us 
againft temptations ; and, after all thefe benefits, he en- 
riches us with a treafure of good works : in fine, he re- 
H 2 pairs 

48 'The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

pairs our inward man with all its faculties, after fuch a 
manner, that the apoftle does not flick at calling thofe 
who are thus juftified, New men, and new creatures*. So 
great is the grace of this renovation that when we re- 
ceive it by baptifm, it is called a regeneration ; when by 
penance, a refurre&ion ~f : not only becaufe the foul, by 
virtue of it is raifed from the death of fin to the life of 
grace , but becaufe it holds fome proportion with the 
glory of the general refurre<5tion at the laft day. This 
is fo certainly true, that no tongue is able to declare the 
beauty of a juftified foul, but only that divine fpirit 
which beautifies, and makes it his temple and dwelling- 
place , fo that if we mould compare all the riches of the 
earth, all the honours of the world, all the benefits of 
nature, and all the virtues we are able to acquire, with 
the beauty and riches of fuch a foul , they would all ap- 
pear bafe and deformed before it. Becaufe the life of 
grace has the fame advantages over that of nature ; the 
beauty of the foul over that of the body ; inward riches 
over the outward, and fpiritual ftrength over the corpo- 
real , as heaven has over earth, a fpirit over a body, or 
eternity over time. For all thefe things are tranfitory, 
limited, and only beautiful to the eyes of the body , nor 
have they need of any more than of a general afliftance 
and fupport from GOD, whilft the others (land in need 
of a peculiar and fupernatural help, and cannot be called 
temporal, becaufe they lead us to eternity ; nor can we 
fay they are altogether finite, becaufe they make us 
worthy to partake of the infinity of GOD ; who has fuch 
an efteem and love for them, that he is even enamoured 
with their beauty. And though GOD could do all thefe 
things, only by his will ; yet he was not fo fatisfied, but 
would adorn the foul with infufed virtues, and the feven 
gifts of the Holy Ghoft , by means whereof not only the 
clfence but all the faculties of the foul are adorned and 
beautified with thefe heavenly graces. 

8. To all thefe extraordinary benefits, that infinite 

goodnefs and boundlefs liberality has added another, 

which is, the prefence of the Holy Ghoft, and of the 

* 2 Cor. iv. v, 1 6, f taalat, vi, v. 15. 

Parti. Ch. 5. Of our Vocation and Jitftifaation. 49 

whole bleiTed Trinity, which defcends into the foul of 
him that is juftified, to inftruct him what ufe to make of 
all thefe riches : like a good father who not only leaves 
his eftate to his fon, but provides him a guardian to look 
after and manage it for him -, fo that as the foul of one 
that is in fin, is a den for vipers, dragons and ferpents -, 
that is to fay, a place where all forts of wicked fpirits 
dwell, according to our Saviour in St. Matthew * : fo 
the foul of a juftified man becomes the habitation of the 
Holy Ghoft, and of the whole blefled Trinity, which 
having expelled all thefe hellifti monfters and wild beafts, 
make it their temple and place of abode, as our Saviour 
has exprefly fignified by thefe words : If any one love me 
he will keep my word^ and my father will love him, and we 
will come to him and will make our abode with him -f\ From, 
which words the holy fathers and the fchbolmen conclude, 
that the Holy Ghoft dwells in a particular manner in the 
foul of a juftified man, diftinguifhing the Holy Ghoft 
and his gifts ; and declaring, that fuch perfons partake 
not only of the gifts of the Holy Ghoft, but of the 
Holy Ghoft himfelf ; who entering into every foul thus 
dilpofed, make it his temple and dwelling place ? and to 
this end he himfelf cleanfes, fanctifies and adorns it with 
his gifts, that it may be a place worthy to entertain fuch 
a gueft. 

9. Add to all thefe benefits one more, which is, that 
all thofe who are juftified become living members of 
Jefus Chrift, whereas they were dead before and inca- 
pable, whilft they remain in that condition of receiving 
the influence of his grace, whence many other fingular 
privileges and excellencies flow to it. For this reafon 
the Son of GOD loves .and cherifhes thefe perfons as his 
own members : and as their head is continually commu- 
nicating force and vigour to them. And laftly, the Eter- 
nal Father beholds them with eyes of affection, becaufe 
he looks upon them as living members of his only Son, 
united to, and incorporated with him by the participation 
' of the Holy Ghoft : and therefore their actions are pleafing 
to him, and meritorious to thcmfelves inasmuch^ as they 

* Matt, xiii. -j- St. John, c. xiv. v. 25; 

50 <n>e Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

are actions of the living members of his only Son Chrift 
Jefus, who produces all that is good in them. This is 
alfo the reafon why thofe perfons who are thus juftified, 
whenfoever they beg any favour of Almighty GOB, ad- 
drefs themfelves to him with a perfect confidence *, be- 
caufe they fuppofe, that what they afk, is not fo much 
for themfelves as for the Son of GOD, who is honoured 
and glorified in them and with them. For fmce the 
members cannot receive a benefit, but the head muft 
partake of it : Chrift being their head, they conceive, 
that when they afk for themfelves they afk for him. And 
if what the Apoftles fay be true, that they who fin 
againft the members of Jefus Chrift, fin againft Jefus 
Chrift himfelf ; and that he looks upon any injury of- 
fered to one of his members, upon his account, as done 
to him, as he faid to the apoflJe himfelf, when he per- 
fecuted the church ; w&at wonder is it, that the honour 
done to thefe members mould be done to him ? this be- 
ing fo, what confidence will not the juft man bring with 
him to his prayers, when he confiders that in begging for 
himlelf, he in forne meafure begs of the Heavenly Father 
for his Beloved Son ? for when a favour is granted, at 
the requeft of another, it may doubtlefs, rather be 
laid to be beftowed on him that begs, than on him that 
receives it : as we fee that he who ferves the Poor, for 
the love of GOD, ferves GOD more than he does the 

10. There remains another benefit to which the reft 
teml and are directed, which is the right and title thofe 
that are juftified have to eternal life. For GOD, who is 
o lefs merciful than he is juft, as he on one fide con- 
demns impenitent finners to everlafting torments , fo, on 
the other fide, he rewards them who are truly penitent, 
with everlafting happinefs. And though he could for- 
give men their fins, and reftore them to his friendfhip 
and favour, without raifing them fo high as to partake 
of his glory , yet he would not do fo, but out of the 
cxcefs of his mercy, juftifies thofe whom he has par- 
doned, adopts thofe whom he has juftified, and makes 
them his heirs, giving them a mare in his riches and 


Part I. Ch. 5. Of our Vocation and Juftification. 5 1 

inheritance with his only Son. Hence proceeds that 
lively hope which comforts the juft in all their tribula- 
tions ; becaufe they are allured before-hand of this in- 
cftimable treafure. For, though they lee themfelves fur- 
rounded with all the troubles, infirmities and miferies of 
this life, they know very well, that all the evils they can 
poflibly fuffer here, are nothing at all> in compa?rifon of 
the glory which is prepared for them hereafter : nay, on 
the contrary, they allure themfeives, that, For our prefent 
tribulation, which is momentary and light, worketh for u$ 
above meafure, exceedingly an eternal weight of glory *. 

11. Thefe are the advantages comprehended under 
that ineftimabk benefit of j unification, which St. Auguf- 
tin, with a great deal of reafon prefers before the crea- 
tion of the whole world : becaufe GOD created all the 
world with one fingle word ; but the juftifying of man 
after his fall, was at the expence of his blood, and of 
thofe other moft grievous pains and torments he endured. 
Now, if we are fo ftrictly obliged to GOD Almighty's 
goodnefs for having created us , how much more do we 
owe his mercy for juftifying us ; a favour we ftand fo 
much the more indebted for, as it cofl him lo much. 
more than the other I 

12. And, though no man can certainly tell whether 
he be juftified or no, yet may he give a probable guefsy 
cfpecially by the change of his life; as for example, 
when one that before never fcrupled at committing a. 
thoufand mortal fins, would not now commit one, though 
it were to gain the world. Let him that perceives he is- 
in fuch a happy condition, confider what an obligation* 
lies upon him to ferve his Lord, for having thus fanc- 
tified him , and at the fame time delivered him from all 
thofe miferies, and heaped all thofe favours upon him 
which we have fpokerv of. But if he happen to be in 
the flate of fin, I know nothing that can more efficaci- 
oufly excite him to a defire of being freed from it, than 
the confideration of thofe misfortunes which fin draw* 
after it ; and of thofe treafures of blefllngs which go 
along with the incomparable benefit of juftification. 

* 2 Cor. iv. v. 1* 

S 2 ttc Sinners Guide. jBookL 


Of fame other cffeffs that are wrought by the Holy Ghoft, iti 
the foul of a juftified man\ and of the Sacrawnt of the 

13. Notwithftanding thofe effects we have faid are 
produced by the Holy Ghoft, in the foul of one that is 
fanctified, are very great : yet they do not end there. 
This Divine Spirit thinks it not enough to put us in the 
way of juftice , but, after having led us in, ftill helps 
us forward, till all the ftorms of this world being wea- 
thered, he brings us into the haven of our falvation ; 
fo that when he has entered into a foul by the grace of 
juftification, he does not remain idle there ; he not only 
honours fuch a foul with his prefents, but alfo fanctifks 
it with his virtue ; doing; in it and with it, whatfoever 
is neceflary for the obtaining of its falvation. He be- 
haves himfelf there, like a head of a family in his houfe; 
looking after, and directing like a mafter in his fchool 
teaching, like a gardiner in his garden cultivating, and 
like a king in his kingdom ruling and governing it : he 
further performs in the foul, what the fun does in the 
world , that is, he gives light to it, and like the foul in 
the body, animates and enlivens it; though he does not 
act as the former does upon its matter, but as the head of 
a family in his houfe. Can man defire any greater happinefs 
in this world, than to have fuch a gueft, fuch a guardian, 
fuch a companion, fuch a governor, fuch a tutor, and fuch 
an afFiftant within himfelf: for he being all things, ex- 
ercifes all capacites in the foul, with which he takes up 
his habitation : thus we fee, that like a fire he enlightens 
the underftanding, inflames the will, and raifes us from 
earth to heaven. It is he, who like a dove makes us 
fimple, peaceable, gentle and kind to one another : He 
it is, who like a cloud defends us againft the burning 
lufts of the flefh , who moderates the heat of our paf- 
fions ; and in fine, like a violent wind forces and bends 
down our will towards that which is good, and carries 
them away from all fuch affections as may lead them to 


Part I. Ch. 5. Of our Jujlijkatlon. 53 

evil. Hence it is, that thofe who are juftified, conceive 
fuch a horror of the vices they had fo great a love for 
before their converfion, and fo great an efteem for the 
virtues they fo much detefted before. This David very 
lively reprefcnts to us, fpeaking himfelf in one of his 
pfalms, where he fays, I have hated and abhorred iniquity *, 
and in another place of the faid plafm, / have been de- 
lighted in the way of thy teftimonies, as in all riches -f\ Who 
was it, but the Holy Ghoft that occafioned this altera- 
tion ? for he, like a loving mother, put wormwood upon 
the breads of this world, and moft delicious honey into 
the commandments of GOD. 

This plainly (hows, that whatfoever good we do, what 
progrefs foever we make, we are intirely obliged to the 
Holy Ghoft for the fame. So that if we are converted 
from fin, it is by his grace , if we embrace virtue, it is 
he that brings us to it , if we perfevere in it, it is by his 
afiiftance ; if in (hort, we one day receive the reward he 
has promifed, it is he himfelf that gives it us: For 
which reafon St. Auguftin fays very well, " GOD re- 
wards his own benefits, when he rewards our fervices." 
So that one favour purchafes us another, and one mercy 
is only a ftep to the obtaining of another. The holy 
patriarch Jofeph thought it not enough to give his bro- 
thers the corn they went to buy in Egypt J, but ordered 
his fervants to put the money they brought to pay for 
it into the month of their facks. GOD in fome meafure 
does the fame with his elect, for he gives them not only 
eternal life, but grace, and a good life to purchafe ic 
with. Whereupon Eufebius EmifTenus fays excellently 
well, That he who is adored to the end that he may 
(hew mercy, has fliewed mercy already when he gave us 
grace to adore him. ^ 

Let every man therefore confider how he has fpent his 
life, and reflect upon all thofe favours GOD has beftowed 
on him, and on all thofe crimes, as frauds, adulteries, 
thefts and facrileges which he has preferved him from 
falling into, and by this means he will fee upon how 
I many 

* Pfalm cxviii. V. 163. f Ibid, v, 14. J Gcnef. 

c. xlii. v. 25. 

54 *Tbe Sinners Guide. ' Book I. 

many accounts he ftands indebted to him ; becaufe ac- 
cording to St. Auguftin, it is no lefs mercy to preferve 
us from falling into fin ; than to pardon it when com- 
mitted, but much greater, and therefore the fame faint 
writing to a certain virgin, fays*, Man is to make account 
that GOD has pardoned him all forts of fin, inafmuch 
as he has given him grace not to commit them : let not 
therefore your love be little, as if he had pardoned you 
but a little, rather endeavour to love much, becaufe you 
have received much. For if a man loves a creditor that 
forgives a great debt, how much more reafon has he to 
love a benefactor that beftows much on him to poffefs. 
For he who has lived chaftly all his life-time, has there- 
fore continued fo, becaufe he had GOD to direct and 
guide him : he who of an impure perfon becomes pure, 
has had GOD to correct him , and he who continues im- 
pure to the end, is juftly forfaken by GOD Almighty. 
This being a matter beyond all doubt, it only remains, 
that we fay with the prophet, Let my mouth be filled with 
fraife^ that I may fmg thy glory ; thy greatnefs all the day 
long -f ; upon which words St. Auguftin fays, what means 
all the day ? nothing elfe, but that I will praife thee for 
ever, and without ceafing in my profperity, becaufe thou 
comforteft me , in my adverfity, becaufe thou chaftifeft 
rne , before I was made, becaufe thou haft made me ; 
fmce I have had my being, becaufe it is from thee that 
I have received it ; when I finned, becaufe thou for- 
gaveft me ; when I returned to thee, becaufe thou re- 
ceiveft me , and when I perfevered to the end, becaufe 
thou rewardefl me. For this reafon my mouth mail be 
filled with thy praife, O Lord, and I will fmg to thy 
glory all the day. 

14. It would be proper here to fpeak of the benefit of 
the Sacraments, which are the inftruments of our juflt- 
fication, and particularly of that of baptifm, as alfo of 
the light of faith, and of the grace we receive with it. 
But having handled this fubject elfewhere, I mail add no 
jnore at prefent, yet I cannot pafs over in filence, that 
grace of graces, that facrament of facraraejits, by virtue of 

lib. ii. Conf. c. 7 ' t Pklm htf, v. 8. 

Parti. Ch. 5. Of our Jufttfication. 55 

which GOD is pleafed to live with us on earth , to give him- 
felf every day to us as our food, and as our ibvereign 
remedy. He was facrificed on the crofs, but once for 
our fakes : but here he is daily offered up to his father 
on the altar, a propitiation for our fins. As often as you 
jball do this ; da this, fays he, for a commemoration of me *. 
O precious pledge for our falvation ! O divine facrifice ! 
O moft acceptable victim ! bread of life ! moft delicious 
nourishment ! food of kings ! O fweet manna which 
contains whatfoever is pleafant and delightful ! who can 
ever be able to praife you according to your deferts ? 
who can worthily receive ? who can honour you with 
the due refpect and reverence ? my foul quite lofes 
itfelf when it thinks of you ; my tongue fails me, nor 
am I able to exprefs the lead part of your wonders as I 
defire to do it. 

Had our Lord beftowed this favour upon none but 
innocent and holy men, it would ftill have been ineili- 
mable ; how great then muft this unparalleled chanty be, 
which after having moved him to communicate himfelf 
fo freely to thofe, has farther prevailed upon him, to 
pafs through the impure hands of many wicked priefts, 
whofe fouls are the habitations of devils ; whofe bodies 
are vefiels of corruption, whofe lives are continual fa- 
crileges, and fpent in nothing elfe but in fin and iniquity. 
And yet that he may vifit and comfort his friends, he 
fuffers himfelf to be touched by fuch polluted hands, to 
be received into their prophane mouths, and to be buried 
in their noifom and abominable breads. His body was 
fold but once, but in this facrament he is fold a thou- 
fand times. He was fcorned and defpifed but once in 
paffion ; whereas thefe impious priefts offer him infinite 
affronts aud injuries, at the very table of the altar. He 
was once crucified between two thieves, but here he is 
crucified millions of times in the hands of finners. 

15. Who is there that will pretend, after all this, to 

be able to pay a due refpecl and honour to a Lord that 

has confuted our intereft, fo many feveral ways ? what 

returns can we make him for fo wonderful a nourifh- 

I 2 merit? 

* Luke xxii. v. 

56 'The Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

ment ? if fervants ferve their mafters for a poor lively- 
hood ; if foldiers for their pay, expofe themfelves to 
fire and fword ; what ought we to do for this Lord who 
maintains us with this heavenly and immortal food ? If 
GOD, in the old law, required fo great an acknowledge- 
ment for the manna he fent from heaven, though it was 
a corruptible food ; what returns will he expect for this, 
which befide its being exempt from corruption, makes 
all thofe who receive it worthily, incorruptible ; if the 
Son of GOD thanks his Father in the Gofpel, for only 
one meal of barley-bread , what kind of thanks, mould 
we give him for this bread of life ? if we are fo much 
indebted to him for the nourifhment he gives us, to pre- 
ferve our being ; how much greater is our obligation for 
that food which preferves in us the fupernatural being 
of grace ? for we do not commend a horfe purely be- 
caufe he is a horfe, but becaufe he is a good horfe , nor 
wine, becaufe it is wine, but becaufe it is good wine ; 
nor man, becaufe he is man, but becaufe he is a good 
man. If you are fo much obliged to him, that made 
you a man, how much greater is your obligation for hav- 
ing made you a good man ? If the acknowledgement be fo 
great upon the account of corporal benefits ; what mould 
it be for the fpiritual ? if you are fo deeply indebted for 
the gifts of nature, how much more do you owe for 
thofe of grace ? and if, to conclude, his having made 
you a fon of Adam, lays fo ftrict a tie of gratitude upon 
you ; how much muft you be obliged to him for having 
made you a Son of GOD himfelf ? for, it is certainly true, 
as Eufebius Emiflens fays, that the day we are born to 
eternity, is infinitely better than that which brought us 
forth to the toils and dangers of this world. 

This dear Chriftian, is another motive, and as it was 
a new chain added to the others, to bind your heart the 
fafter, and oblige you to the purfuit of virtue and fer- 
vice of this Lord, 


Part I. Ch. 6. Of Predeflinatlon. $7 


Of the ftxth Motive that obliges us to the love of virtue* 
which is the benefit of the Divine Predejlination. 

i. A DD to all the benefits we have hitherto fpoken 
zV. of, that of Ele&ion, which belongs to none but 
thofe whom GOD has chofen from all eternity, to be par- 
takers of his glory. It is for this ineftimable benefit the 
Apoftle thanks GOD, in his own and in the name of all 
the eled ; when in his Epiftle to the Ephefians, he fays, 
Ble/ed be the GOD and Father of our Lord Jefus Cbriji* 
who bath ble/ed us with all fpiritual ble/mgs in heavenly 
places in Chrift : as he hath chofen us in him before the foun- 
dation of the ivorld> that we Jhould be holy and unfpotted 
before him in charity. Who hath predeftinated us unto the 
adoption of children through Jefus Chrift unto himfelf, ac- 
cording to the purpofe of his will *. The royal prophet 
highly extols this favour, when he fays, Ble/ed is he 
whom thou haft chofen and taken to tbee ; he Jhall dwell in 
thy courts f. This therefore we may juftly call the grace 
of graces, and benefit of benefits-, inafmuch as GOD, 
purely out of his own goodnefs, beftows it upon us be- 
fore we deferve it. For he, like one who is the abfolute 
mafter of his own riches, without wronging any man, 
but rather affording every one furficient affiftance to 
work his falvation , pours out the abundance of his 
mercy on fome particular perfons, without any limits or 

2. It is alfo the benefit of benefits, not only becaufe 
it is the greateft, but becaufe it is the very fource of all 
the reft. For GOD having chofen man for his glory, 
beftows on him through the means of this firft fa- 
vour, whatfoever is neceflary for the obtaining of his 
glory, as he teftifies by the mouth of one of his pro- 
phets, in thefe words : Tea, I have loved thee with an 
everlajling love, therefore have I drawn thee, taking pity 
en tbee J. That is, I have called you to my grace, that 


* Ephef. c. i. v. 3, 4, 5. f Pfalm Ixiv. v. 5. 

J Jerem. c, xxxi. v. 3. 

58 *The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

by its help you may arrive at my glory. The Apoftle 
exprefTes the fame thing to us in much clearer terms ; 
For "whom be forknew, he alfo predeftinated to be made con- 
fotmable to the image of his Son^ that he might be the firft- 
lorn amongft my brethren. And whom he predeftinated, 
them he alfo called ; them he alfo juftified, and whom he juf- 
(ified, them he alfo glorified *. The reafon of this is, be- 
caufe as GOD difpofes all things fweetly and regularly, 
he has no fooner been pleafed to chufe a man for his 
glory, but he beftows upon him on account of this grace 
many others, and furnifhes him with a fufficient fupply 
of all things necefifary for the obtaining of this firft grace. 
So that as a father that has a defign to bring one of his 
children up for the church or the bar, employs him whilft 
he is but a child, about fuch things as have a regard to 
the one or the other, and directs all the actions of his 
life to this end ; fo the Eternal Father, when he has 
chofe a man for his glory, to which the way of juftice 
leads us, takes care always to keep him right in this 
road, that fo he may attain the end he is defigned for. 

It is fit, therefore, that thole who perceive in thern^ 
felves any tokens of this favour, fhould thank Go 
fincerely and heartily for it. For though it is a fecret 
hid from human eyes, yet there are certain figns of our 
election, as there are of our juftifkation. And as the 
iureft mark of our juftifkation is the converfion of our 
lives 9 fo the beft token of our election is our perfever 
ranee in a good life -, for he who has lived many years IT\ 
the fear of the Lord, and has been very careful not to 
fall into any kind of fin, may pioufly believe, that ac- 
cording to the Apoftle , GOD will alfo confirm him unto 
the end without crime> in the day of the coming of our Lord 
Jefus Chrift f. 

3. It is true, no man ought to think himfelf fecure, 
fince we fee, that Solomon after he had led a pious life 
for feveral years, was feduced in his old age : but yet 
this example is only as a particular exception from a 
general rule ; which is the fame in effect with what the 
Apoftle has taught us, which the fame Solomon 


* Rom. c. viii. v. 29, 30. f I Cor. c, i. r. 8. 

Part I. Ch. 6. Of Predejllnation. 59 

tells us in his Proverb?, in thefe words, // is a proverb, 
a young man according to his way, even when he is. old he 
will not depart from it * ; fo that if he was virtuous in 
his youth, he will be fo when he is old. By thefe or 
fuch like conjectures, which are to be met with in the 
writings of the faints, a man may humbly prefume, 
that GOD out of his infinite goodnefs* has made him 
one of the number of his elect. And as he hopes to 
be faved through GOD'S mercy, fo may he with all 
humility, conclude he is of the number of thofe that 
are to be faved, fmce the one prefuppofes the other. 

This principle once fettled, a man will foon fee how 
ftrictly he is obliged to ferve GOD, for fo extraordinary a 
favour, as is that of having his name written in that book, 
whereof our Saviour fpeaking to his Apoitles fays : But 
yet rejoice not in this, that fpirits are fubjett unto you : but 
rejoice in this, that your names are written in heaven, -f- For 
what greater benefit can there be, than to have been be- 
loved and chofen from all eternity, ever fmce Goo has 
been GOD ; to have been lodged in hisbofom, and made 
choice of by him for his adopted child, when he begot 
his own Son according to nature in the glory of the faints, 
who were then all really prefent in the divine under- 
ftaading ? 

Weigh therefore all circumftances of this election, and 
you will find that each of them is an extraordinary fa- 
vour, and a new obligation to ferve GOD. Confider the 
dignity of him who has elected you ; it is GOD himfelf, 
who as being infinitely rich and infinitely happy, had no 
need of you, or of any body elfe in the world. Reflect 
next upon the perfon elected, how unworthy he is of 
fuch a grace ; fmce he is no better than a poor mortal 
creature, expofed to aJl the necefllties, infirmities and 
miferies of this life , and worthy for his fins to be con- 
demned to eternal torments in the next. Obferve how 
glorious an election this is ; fmce the end, for which you 
have been elected is fo noble, that nothing can be above 
it j for what can be greater than to become the fon of 
GOD, the heir to his kingdom, and fharer with him ia 


* Prov. c. xxii. v, 6. -\ Luke, c. x, v. 2O. 

60 *Tbe Sinners Guide. Book I. 

his glory ? examine in the next place, how gratuitous 
this election was ; fmce it was before all merit whatfo- 
ever, proceeding only from the good -will of Almighty 
GOD, and according to the apoftle, unto the praife of the 
glory of bis grace *. For the more generous and free 
a favour is, the greater obligation it lays on him that 
receives it. Confider alfo how antient this election is, 
for it did not begin with the world, but was long before 
it, for it is co-eternal with GOD, who being himfelf from 
all eternity, has in like manner from all eternity, loved 
his elect; has always had them in his Divine Prefence, 
and has them there dill, beholding them with a fatherly 
eye of love, and being always refolved to confer fo great 
a favour on them. Confider after all, how particular this 
benefit is, fince he has been pleafed to honour you with 
fo infinite a blefllng, as is the admitting of you into the 
number of his elect; whilft there are fo many nations 
quite ignorant of him, and which he has rejected ; and 
therefore he feparated you from the mafs of perdition, 
to raife you to a holy union with his faints, making that 
which was the leaven of corruption, become the bread of 
angels. Such a grace may put a ftop to our pens and 
tongues, that we may be wholly taken up in the ack- 
nowledging and admiring of it, and in learning what re- 
turns we are to make for it. But what mould give a 
greater value to this favour, is the fmall number of the 
elect, whilft that of the damned is fo great, that Solomon 
calls it infinite : The number of fools ', that is, of the re- 
probate, is infinite -f. But ir none of all thefe confide- 
rations is able to make any imprefiion on you, be moved 
at leaft by the excefllve price this fovereign elector has 
given to purchafe you : it is no lefs than the life and 
blood of his only begotten Son, whom he from all eter- 
nity refolved to fend down into the world, to put this his 
divine decree into execution. 

5. If this be true, what time can fuffice to fpend in 
humble reflections upon fo many mercies ? what tongue 
can be eloquent enough to exprefs them ? what heart 
capacious enough to conceive them ? what returns and 

* Ephef. c. i. v. 6, *f Eccl, c. i. v. 15. 

Parti. Ch. 6, Of Predeftination. 6 1 

acknowledgments be made for them ? with what love 
fliall a man be ever able to repay this eternal love ? can 
any man be fo bafe as to defer loving of GOD to the end 
of his life, when Goo has had fuch a love for him from 
all eternity ? who will part with fuch a friend as this is, 
for any friend in this world ? for if the fcripture fets fuch 
a value upon an old friend, how much ought we to prize 
that friendmip which is eternal. Forsake not an old friend^ 
for the new will not be like to him *. If this advice holds 
good in all cafes, who is there that will not prefer this 
friend before all the friends in the world ? and if it be 
true, that pofTeffion time out of mind, gives him a title 
that had none before , what muft a poffeffion do that has 
been everlafting : it is eternity that has intjtled GOD to 
the poiTeiTion of us, that he might by this* means make 
us his. 

6. What riches or honour can there be in the world, 
which a man mould not give, in exchange for this blef- 
fmg ? what troubles or misfortunes, which we ought noc 
to fuffer for purchafing of it ? is there any man though 
ever fo wicked, that would not fall down and kifs the 
ground a beggar trod on, were he allured by divine re- 
velation, that the beggar was predeftinated to everlafting 
happinefs, that would not run after him, and proftrating 
himfelf at his feet, call him a thoufand times happy ? 
who is there that would not cry out ; O bleffed foul, is 
it poffible that you mould be one of this happy number 
of the elect ? is it pofllble that GOD mould have made 
choice of you, from all eternity, to fee him one day in 
all his beauty and glory ? that he mould have chofen 
you to be a companion and brother to the elect ? are you 
one of thofe, who are to be feated amongft the choirs of 
angels ? muft you hear the heavenly mufic ? and fliall 
you behold the refplendent face of jefus Chrift, and of 
his Holy Mother ? happy the day which firft brought you 
into the world , but much happier that of your death, 
becaufe then you mall begin to live for ever. Happy 
the bread you eat, and the ground you tread on, fines 
it bears fuch an ineftimable treafure ! but much more 
K happy 

* Ecclus, 9, v, 14 

6 2 be Sinners Guide. Book!. 

happy thofe pain's you endure, fince they open you the 
way to eternal eafe and reft ! for what clouds of afflic- 
tions can there be which the afTurance of this happinefs 
will not difperfe. 

7. We Ihould doubtlefs break out into fuch tranfports 
as thefe, did we behold a predeftinated perfon and knew 
him to be fo. For if all people run out to fee a young 
prince, that is heir to fome great kingdom, as he pafles 
through the ftreet, admiring his good fortune, as the 
world accounts it, to inherit large dominions, how much 
more realon have we to admire the happinefs of a man-, 
elected from his birth, without affy precedent merits on 
his fide, not to a temporal kingdom in this world, but to 
an eternal crown of glory in heaven. 

8. Here you may learn how great thofe obligations are, 
which the elect owe to GOD for fo unfpeakable a favour. 
And yet, there is not one of us all, if we do what is re- 
quired of us, that is to look upon himfeff as excluded 
this number. On the contrary, every one mould ufe 
his endeavours, according to St. Peter, to make his call- 
ing and cleEfion fare, by good works*. For we are moft 
certain that he, who does fo, {hall not mifs of his falva- 
tion : and what is more, we know that GOD has never 
yet refufed, nor ever will refufe, any man his grace and 
afTiftance. It is therefore our main bufmefs, fmcewe arc 
allured of thefe two points, to continue in the doing of 
good works, that we may t^y that means be of the number 
of thofe happy fouls, wh|>m GOD has chofen to be par- 
takers of his glory for even 


Of thefcventh motive that obliges us to the purfuit of virtue, 
'fsohich is death ; thefirft of the four loft things. 

i. A NY one of the afore-mentioned motives, ought to 

\. be fufficient to perfuade men to give themfelves 

up entirely to the fervice of a mafter, that has obliged 

* 2 Pet, c. i, v. 10. them 

Part I. Ch. 6. Of Predejllnation. 63 

them with fo many favours. But becaufe duty and 
juftice have lefs influence over the generality of mankind, 
than profit and intereft ; I will therefore add thofe great 
advantages which are propofed as the recompence and 
reward of virtue, both in this life and in the next, and 
fhall firft fpeak of the two greateft, viz. the glory we 
fhall acquire, and the punilhrnent we fhaM avoid, by 
faithfully adhering to it. Thefe are the two oars that are 
fo ferviceable to us in this voyage , they are, as it were, 
the compafs, by which we may fleer our courfe more 
fteadily and fecurely. This is the reafon why St. Francis 
and St. Dominick, In their rules, both of them moved 
by the fame fpirit, and making ufe of the very fame 
words, commanded the preachers of their orders, never 
to take any other fubjedls of their fermons, but virtue 
and vice, heaven and hell ; the one to inftru6l us how to 
live well ; the other to incline us to it. This is a re- 
ceived opinion amongfl philofophers, that reward a-Rd 
punifhment, are as it were, the two fprings, which make 
the wheels of a man's life turn round in a regular motion. 
For fuch alas ! is our unhappinefs ; and fo great the cor- 
ruption of our nature, that nobody can endure naked 
virtue j that is to fay, if the fear of punimment does not 
go along with it, or the hopes of a reward attend it. 
But fmce there is no punifhment, nor reward, which can 
fo juftly deferve our confideration, as thofe which are ne- 
ver to have an end ; we will therefore fpeak kere of cver- 
lafting glory and everlafting torments, together with 
thofe other two things, that are to precede them, which 
are death and judgment. For any one of thefe points, 
confidered with attention may be infinitely advantageous 
to the making us love virtue and hate vice, according 
to that of the wife man, where he fays : In all that tho'u 
under take ft ^ remember thy loft end, and thou /halt never Jin*. 
He means here thofe four things, we have juft now men- 
tioned j and which we are going to difcourfe upon. 


To begin with the firft, which is death : the reafon 

why this of all the reft, works moft upon us, is its be- 

* ccluf. c. 7. v. 40. K 2 ing 

64 *tbe Sinners Guide. Book I. 

ing the moft certain, the moft frequent, and the moft 
familiar of them all ; efpecially if we reflect upon the 
particular judgment that is to be given upon the whole 
courfe of our lives, at that time which when once paflfed, 
will not be reverfed at the general judgment day : but 
whatfoever is then decreed (hall ftand good for ever. 
But how rigorous this judgment will be, and how fevere 
an account will be taken of all our actions, I do not de- 
fire you mould believe upon my bare allegation, but 
that you give credit to a paflage, related by St. John 
Climachus upon this point, to which he himfelf was an 
eye-witnefs, and is indeed one of the dreadfulleft I ever 
read in my life. tc He tells us, there was a certain monk 
in his time, called Hefychius, who lived in a cell upon 
mount Horeb. Having led a very carelefs and negligent 
fort of life, during the whole time of his retirement, 
without fo much as ever thinking of his falvation ; he 
was at laft taken very ill, and being paft all hopes of re- 
covery, laid for about the fpace of an hour as if he had 
been quite dead. But afterwards coming to himfelf 
again, he earneftly defired that we would all go out of 
his cell. As foon as ever we had left him, he walled up 
his door, and remained thus Ihut up within his cell for 
twelve years ; never fpeaking one word to any body 
during all this time. He lived upon nothing but bread 
and water , and continued always fitting, keeping his 
whole thoughts, as if he had been in a perpetual extafy, 
fo bent upon what he had feen in his vifion, that he ne- 
ver fo much as once altered the pofture he was in, but 
remaining as it were always out of his fenfes, and in a 
deep filence, wept moft bitterly. A little before his 
death we broke open his door and went into his cell, ear- 
neftly defiring him to fpeak fome words of edification. 
But all we could ever get from him was : Pardon me my 
brethren^ if I have nothing elfe to fay to you, but this : That 
Ipe who has -the thoughts of death deeply imprinted in his mind^ 
can never fa" Thefe are St. John Climachus his own 
words, who was prefent when this happened, and relates 
nothing but what he faw ; fo that though the paffage 
feem incredible, there is no caufe to miftruft the 


Parti. Ch. 7. Of Death. 6$ 

truth of it, fince we have it from fo grave and fo cre- 
dible an author. There is nothing which we ought not 
to fear, when we confider the life this holy man led ; 
but much more if we enquire into the frightful vifion 
that was the occafion of his long penance. This evi- 
dently makes out the truth of that faying of the wife 
man : In all thy works remember thy loft end^ and thoti 
Jh alt never fin*. If then this confideration be of fuch 
force to make us avoid fin, let us briefly reflect upon 
the moft remarkable circumftances that attend it, to the 
end we may by this means obtain fo great a benefit. 

3. Remember therefore that you are a man, and a 
Chriftian. As man you know you are to die , and as a 
Chriftian you know you are to give an account of your 
life, as foon as dead. Daily experience will not permit 
us to doubt of the one, nor the faith we profefs let us 
call the other in quetlion. Every one of us lies under 
this neceflity. Kings and popes muft fubmit to it. The 
day will come when you mail not live to fee night , or a 
night when you mall not furvive till day. The day will 
come, and you know not whether this very day, or to 
morrow, when you yourfelf, who are now reading this 
treatife, in perfect health, and who perhaps think, the 
number of your days will be anfwerable to your bufinefs 
and wifhes, (hall be ftretched out in your bed, expecting 
the laft ftroke of death, and the execution of that fen- 
tence, which is pafTed upon all mankind, and from which 
there is no appeal. Conftder then the uncertainty of 
this hour ; for generally it furprifes us when we leaft 
think of it, and is therefore faid to come like a thief in 
the night ; that is when men are fad afleep. A violent 
and mortal ficknefs is the ufual forerunner of death, and 
of all its accidents. Pains, aches, diffractions, griefs, 
ravings, long and tedious nights, which quite tire and 
wear us out, are but fo many ways and difpofitions to~ 
wards it. And as we fee then an enemy before he can 
force his entrance into a town, muft batter down the 
walls ; fo the forerunner of death is fome raging dif- 
temper, which fo furioufly without intermiflion, batters 

* Ecclus. vii. v, 40. 

66 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

down our natural vigour, and breaks in upon the chief 
parts of the body, that the foul, not able to hold out 
any longer, is obliged to furrender. 

4. But when the ficknefs grows defperate, and the 
phyfician, or the diftemper itfelf undeceives us, by leav- 
ing no hopes of life, how great is our anguifh at that 
time ? then it is we begin with concern and forrow, to 
think of departing this life, and of forfaking whatfoever 
we held moil dear. Wife, children, friends, relations, 
cftates, dignities, employs, all vanim when we die. Next 
follow thole laft accidents that attend us juft upon our 
going off, which are much more grievous than all the 
reft: the feet grows cold, the nofe fhrinks in, the 
tongue ftammers, and is incapable of performing its 
duty : in fine, all the fenfes and members are in confu- 
fion and diforder, upon fo fudden and hafty a departure. 
Thus man at his going out of the world, by his own 
fufferings, pays back thofe pains he put others to when 
he came into it , fo that there is no greater difference as 
to the matter of fuffering, betwixt his birth and his 
death, fince they are both of them attended with grief, 
the firft with that which his mother endured, and the 
laft with what he endures himfelf. 

5. Nor is this all that makes this kft pafTage fo ter- 
rible j for after thefe violent fits and anguimes, there 
appears before him the agony of death, the end of life, 
the horror of the grave, the miferable condition of the 
body, juft ready to be preyed upon by worms : but 
what is more dreadful than all the reft, is the lamentable 
ftate of the poor foul, as yet {hut up in the body, but 
knows not where me mail be within two hours ; then 
you will imagine yourfelf before the judgment feat of 
Almighty GOD, and all your fins rifmg up againft you , 
then unhappy man, you will be fenfible of the heinouf- 
nefs of thole crimes you committed with fo little con- 
cern , then you will curfe a thoufand times the day in 
which you finned, and thofe pleafures which were the 
occafions of your offences ; your condition will be fo 
deplorable, that you will never be able fufficiently to 
Admire your own blindnefs and folly, when you fhall 


Parti. Ch. 7. Of Death. 67 

fee for what trifles, for all you have fo foolifhly fet your 
affection on, are no better j you have expofed yourfelf to 
the danger of fuffering moft exquifite torments which 
you will then be fenfible of : for the pleafures being 
now all over, and the judgment that is to be patted upon 
them beginning to draw on, that which of itfelf was 
little, and now ceafes to be, feems nothing, and that which 
of itfelf is of fo much weight and confequence, being 
prefent, appears clearly juft as it is : thus will you become 
fenfible of the danger you have expofed yourfelf to, of 
lofing fo much blifs for the enjoyment of mere vanities, 
and which way foever you turn your eyes, you will fee 
you are furrounded with fubjefts of forrow and trouble ; 
for you have no time left to do penance, the glafs of 
your life is run out, nor muft you expect the leaft af-* 
fiftance from your friends, or from thofe idols you have 
hitherto adored ; nay, what you have had the moft af- 
fection for, will be the greateft torment and affliction to 
you then. Tell me now if you can, what your thoughts 
will be at that time, when you mail fee yourfelf reduced 
to fuch extremities ? whither will you run ? what will 
you do ? or whom will you have recourie to ? to go 
back is impoffible, to go forward intollerable, to con- 
tinue as you are is not allowed ; what is it then you will 
do ? then fays GOD by the mouth of his prophet, The 
fun Jh all go down at mid- day ', and I will make the earth dark 
in the day of light , and I will turn your feafts into mourning, 
and all your fongs into lamentation ; and the latter end thereof 
as a bitter day *. Is there any thing more dreadful 
than thefe words ? GOD fays, the fun mail go down at 
mid-day, becaufe then the wicked having the multitude 
of their fins laid before them, and perceiving GOD'S 
juftice is beginning to fhorten the courfe of their life, 
many of them mail be feized with fuch dread and def- 
pair, as to imagine, that GOD has intirely removed his 
mercy from them. So that, though they are ftill in 
broad day, that is within the bounds of life, a time to 
merit good or evil, they mall perfuade themfelves, that 
do what they can, it is loft, fince it is impofllble -for 

* Amos, c. viii, v. 9, 10, 

68 *Tbe Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

them to obtain pardon. Fear is a very powerful paf- 
fion ; it makes thofe things which are little, feem great ; 
and gives us a near view of that which is fartheft from 
us. If a light apprehenfion has been able fometimes 
to do fo much, what muft a certain and real danger 
do ? though they fee they have a little life left, and all 
their friends about them, yet they fancy they already 
begin to feel the torments of the damned in hell. They 
look upon themfelves as between life and death, and 
grieving at the lofs of the goods of this life, which they 
are juft ready to part with, they begin to fuffer the 
pains of the next, which they apprehended. They think 
thofe men happy whom they leave behind them , and 
envying the condition of others, increafe their own mi- 
fery. It is then the fun lhall truly fet to them at noon- 
day, when, which way foever they look, the way to hea- 
ven, (hall feem to be blocked up againft them ; and they 
fhall not fee fo much as the leaft glimmering of light. 
If they look up towards GOD'S mercy, they think them- 
felves unworthy of it, If they reflect upon his juftice, 
they imagine it is now going to fall upon them, that till 
then it has been their day, but now it is the day of GOD'S 
wrath. If they confider their lives paft, there is fcarce 
one moment but what rifes up in judgment againft them; 
if they reflect upon the prefent time, they fee themfelves 
upon their death beds : if they look forwards, they ima- 
gine they fee the judge waiting for them. What can 
they do, or whither can they fly from fo many objects of 
fear and terror. 

6. The prophet tells them, That GOD will darken the 
earth in the clear day : which is, that " thofe things which 
they have moft delighted in before, mail now become 
the greateft occafions of their forrow. A man in per- 
fect health, loves to fee his children, his friends, his 
family, his riches, and whatfoever elfe lhall be any way 
agreeable to him ; but this light (hall be then turned 
into darknefs, becaufe all thefe things will be a great 
affliction to a dying man : and there is nothing will be a 
greater torment to him, than what he moft delighted in. 
For as naturally we are pleafed in the pofiefiion of what 


Part I. Ch. 7. Of Death. 69 

we love, fo are We equally troubled and concerned at 
the lofs of it. This is the reafon, why they will not let 
a man's children come near him when he is a dying; and 
why women, that are unwilling to loole their hufbands, 
keep from them at this time, for fear the fight of one 
another mould increafe grief and forrow. And though 
the journey is fo long and the time he is abfent fo tedious, 
yet grief breaks through all the rules of good breading, 
and icarce allows him that is departing, leafure to bid 
his friends adieu. If you have ever been in this con- 
dition, you cannot but acknowledge all I fay to be true. 
But if you have never yet made the experiment, believe 
thofe that have. Let them that fail on the feas, tell the 
dangers thereof *. 


7. If the circumftances and accidents which go before 
death are fo frightful, what muft thofe be which follow 
it ? death has no fooner clofed the fick mans eyes, but 
he is brought before the judgment-feat of Almighty 
GOD, to give up his accounts to him, who will revenge 
himfelf with feverity and terror of the crimes which have 
been committed againil him. For the underftanding of 
this, you are not to inquire of the men of the world, 
who living in Egypt, that is, in darknefs and ignorance, 
are always expofed to miftakes and errors. Afk the faints 
who dwell in the land of JefTen, where the light of this 
truth mines always in its full vigour. They will tell you, 
not only by their words, but by their actions, how terri- 
ble this account will be. 

For David, though fo holy "a man, was fo prepofTerTed 

with this fear, and with the juft apprehenfions of the 

accounts he was to give that he begged of GOD, faying, 

Enter not into judgment with thy fervant O Lord, for in thy 

fight no man living /hall be juftified f-, Arfenius was a 

great faint, and who had lived a very virtuous and rigid 

life for feveral years in the defert ; and yet rinding he had 

but a very little time to live, he was feized with fuch 

L appre- 

* Ecclus. c, xliii, v. 26. }* Pfalm, cxlii. v. 2. 

jo 'The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

apprehcnfions of this judgment, that his difciples, who 
were all gathered together about him, perceiving it, 
afked him this queftion, " Father are you afraid now . ? " 
to which the holy man made anfwer : " This is no new 
fear, which you obferve in me now my children ; it is 
what I have been fenfible of all my life-time." They 
write, that St. Agatho, when he was near his death, 
was feized with the fame apprehenfions, and being afked 
what he could be afraid of, who had lived fo virtuoufly, 
he faid, " Becaufe the judgments of GOD are quite dif- 
ferent from thofe of men." St. John Climachus gives 
us another, no lefs dreadful example of a holy monk > 
which being very remarkable, I will here relate in the 
faint's own words. " There was a certain religious man, 
fays he, called Stephen, that lived in this place, after 
having fpcnt a great many years in a monaftery, where he 
was very much in repute, upon account of his tears and 
fafting, and where he had enriched his foul with feveral 
other excellent virtues. But having an extreme defire 
to lead a folitary and a retired life, he built himfelf a cell 
at the bottom of Mount Horeb, where the prophet 
Elias had the honour, in former times, to fee GOD. 
This man, notwithstanding his great aufterity and rigour, 
thinking that what he did was not enough, and afpired 
to a more rigid and fevere way of living, went to ano- 
ther place called Siden, where fome holy anchorets lived. 
Here he continued for fome years in the fevereft and 
ftrideft life imaginable, deftitute of all human comfort 
and converfation ; having feated his hermitage about 
threefcore and ten miles from any town. But the good 
old man, towards the end of his life, came back again 
to his firft cell, at the foot of Mount Horeb j having 
there with him two difciples who were natives of Pa- 
leftine, and had retired thither not long before he came 
back. Within a few days after his return, he fell into 
his laft ficknefs. The day before he died, being in a 
kind of extacy, but with his eyes open, and gazing 
firft on one fide of the bed, and then on the other, juft 
as if he had feen fome perfons there, who made him give 
an account of his life ; he anfwered fo loud that every 


Parti. Ch. 7. Of Death. 71 

body there could here him ; fometlmes faying, Yes I con- 
fe/s it : that is true\ but I have fajled fo many years in fa- 
tisfaftion for the fin. Sometimes he was heard to lay. Tb*t 
is falfe, you 'wrong me, I never did any fuch thing. Imme- 
diately after : as to that, I acknowledge it , you are in the 
right , but I have bewailed the fame, and have done penance 
for it, by ferving my neighbour upon fuch and fucb occa- 
fwns. Then again he cried out : that is not true, you are 
allimpofters. But to other accufations he anfwered ; // is 
true, and I have nothing to fay to this point, but that cur 
GOD is a GOD of mercy. Certainly this invifible judg- 
ment being fo fevere, could not but be frightful and 
terrible. And, what ought to make it more dreadful, 
they laid fuch crimes to his charge, as he had never been 
guilty of. O my GOD ! if an hermit, after about forty 
years fpent in a religious and folitary life, after having 
obtained the gift of tears, declared that he had nothing to 
fay for himfelf, as to fome fins that were brought againft him, 
what will become of fuch a miferable and unhappy wretch 
as I am ? nay, what is more, yet I have been very cre- 
dibly informed by feveral, that while he lived in the de- 
fert, he ufed to feed a leopard with his own hands. He 
died as he was giving this account of himfelf, leaving 
us in an intire uncertainty of the end of this judgment, 
and of the fentence that was paired upon him." Thus 
far St. John Climachus. By this we may plainly fee, 
what apprehenfions and fears a man that has lived idly 
and carelefly muft be in, when he comes to die, fmce 
fuch great faints as thefe, have been fo hard put to it at 
this' time. 

8. Should you afk one what there is in death that can 
fright fuch holy men, I will anfwer you out of St. Gregory's 
fourth book of his morals *, where he fays, " The faints 
ferioufly confidering how juft the judge is, to whom they 
are to give an account of all their actions, are continu- 
ally thinking upon the laft moment of their lives, and 
carefully examining themfelves upon what anfwer they 
fhall make to every queftion their judge (hall put to 
them. But if they find themfelves free from all thofe 
L 2 fmful 

* Chap, xvi, xvii, xviii. 

72 The Sinners Guide. Book I 

fmful actions which they might have committed , another 
fubjeft of their apprehenfion is, leaft they fliould have 
confented to thofe bad thoughts, which man's corruption 
always expofes him to. For let us put the cafe, that the 
overcoming of fuch temptations, as lead us to the per- 
formance of fome fmful aftion, is no very hard matter, 
yet you will not find it fo eafy to fecure yourfelf againft 
the continual war, raifed by bad thoughts. And though 
thefe holy men are always afraid of the fecret judgments 
of fo juft a judge, yet they then particularly fear them 
moil, when they are neareft the point of dilcharging the 
common debt of nature : and when they perceive them- 
felves advancing nigher to their fovereign matter. But 
this fear of theirs is much greater at that time, when 
the foul is juft going to leave the body. Then it is, 
that the mind is no longer filled with idle thoughts, nor 
the imagination drawn away by impertinent fancies. 
Neither does he, that has now done with this world, 
think of any thing at all that is in it. Dying men think 
of nothing but themfelves, and GOD who is juft before 
them. They look upon every thing elfe as no concern 
of theirs. But, if whilft they are in this condition, they 
cannot think of any good a6lion, which they have know- 
ingly omitted; they are afraid, leaft they might have 
omitted that which they did not know : becaufe they 
cannot pafs a true judgment upon themfelves -, nor have 
a perfedt knowledge of their own failings. This is the 
reafon of their being feized at their death with fuch great 
and fecret apprehenfions, becaufe they know they are 
upon entering into a ftate, which they (hall never after- 
wards be able to change." Thefe are St. Gregory's 
own words ; which plainly mew us there is much more 
to be feared in this judgment, and at this laft hour, 
then worldly men imagine. 

9. If this judgment is fo rigorous, and has been fo 
much, and fo juftly dreaded by holy men, what appre- 
henfions ought theirs to be, who are not fo ? they who 
have fpent the greateft part of their lives in vanities and 
trifles, who have fo frequently defpifed GOD and his 
commandments i who have fcarce fo much as ever 


Part I. Ch. 7 Of Death. 73 

thought of their falvation , and have taken ib little pains 
to prepare themfelves for this laft hour. If the juft man 
be ready to fink under the weight of his fears, how mall 
the fmner be able to keep up ? if the cedar of Libanus 
be thus fhaken, what will become of the reed in the 
wildernefs ? and in fhort, if as St. Peter fays, The juft 
man Jhall fear cely be faved, where Jhdl the ungodly and the 
fmner appear *? tell me now, after all this, what will be 
your thoughts at that laft hour, when having left this 
world, you appear before the divine tribunal, in a^ 
lonely, poor and naked condition , without any other 
affiftance but what your own good works will bring you; 
without any other company but that of your own con- 
fcience, there to be tried, not for a temporal life or 
death, but an eternal. And if your accounts fall fhort, 
how miferable will your condition be ? what fhame and 
confufion will your paft neglects put you to ? the princes 
of Judah were without doubt, very much furprized when 
they faw the conqueror Sefach, king of Egypt, putting 
all Jerufalem to the fword. Their prefent punimment 
brought them to a fenfe of their former crimes, and yet 
what was all this, in comparifon with the trouble and 
diforder the wicked fhall be in, when they are near their 
end? what fhall they do? whither mail they go? or what 
defence (hall they be able to make ? their tears will be 
then unprofitable to them , their repentance will not 
avail; their prayers will not be taken notice of; nor 
their promifes of a future amendment regarded : they 
will have no more time given them to do penance , and 
as for their riches, their honours, or the refpe<fl the 
world gave them, they will fignify leaft of any thing ; 
for according to the wife man, Riches Jhall not profit in the 
day of revenge, but juftice Jhall deliver from death -\. What 
will a poor foul do, when it fees itfelf furrounded with 
fo many miferies ? what will it do but cry out with the 
royal pfalmift; The forrows of death have compajfed me^ and 
the perils of hell have found me J. Unhappy wretch that 
I am ! what a miferable condition have my fins reduced 


* I Peter, c. iv. v. 18. } Prov. c. xi. v, 4. 

J Pfalm, cxiv. v. 3. 

74 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

me to ? how unexpectedly has this unfortunate hour 
ftolen upon me ? how fuddenly has it furprized me, when 
I leaft thought of it ? what good will all my former titles 
and honours do me now ? all my friends and fervants, 
thofe riches and revenues which I was once matter of j 
what fervice can I expect from them now ? fix or feven feet 
of land at the moft, with a poor winding -meet to bury me 
in, is like to be my whole inheritance j and to compleat 
rny milery, all that money I have been fo long raking 
up with fo much pains and injuftice, I muft now leave 
behind me to be fquandered away by an extravagant heir, 
whilft the fins I have been guilty of in getting it, will 
follow me into the next world, to condemn me to eternal 
torments. Where is now the delight I took in all my 
former recreations and pleafures ? they are now at an end 
for ever, and nothing but the dregs of them remain ; 
that is, the fcruples and remorfe of my guilty confcience, 
the flings of which pierce my very heart, and will tor- 
ment me for all eternity. Why did I not rather imploy 
my time in preparing myfelf againft this laft hour ? how 
often have I been forewarned of what 1 fuffer, but would 
never give ear to the advice ? Why have I hated inftruffions, 
and my heart consented not to reproof, and have not heard 
the 'voice of them that taught me, and have not inclined my 
ear to my maflcrs * ? I have committed all kinds of fins 
and iniquities in the very bofom of the church, and in 
the fight of all the world. 

10. See here, what anxieties and difquiets the wicked 
will be wrecked with. See here, what a burthen their own 
thoughts will be to them, in this miferable condition. 
But to preferve you from falling into the fame misfor- 
tunes, I here advife you to gather from what has been 
faid, thefe three considerations, and to keep them con- 
tinually in your mind. The firft is that of the trouble 
you will be in at the hour of your death, for all thofe fins 
you have committed againft GOD, during the whole 
courfe of your life. The fecond is, how you will wifli to 
have ferved him, that he might be favourable to you at this 
moment. The laft is, what a rigid penance you would 

* Prov. c. v. v. 12, 13, 

Part I. Ch. 8. Of Judgment. 75 

willingly undergo in the world, if you could but obtain 
the favour of returning thither, that you might begin 
from that very moment to live as you will then defire to 
have lived before. 


Of the eight motives that obliges us to the purfuit of virtue ; 
which is the loft judgment^ the fecond of the four loft 

i. AS foon as ever the foul has left the body, imme- 
Ji\. diately follows its particular judgment-, and after 
that, the genera] of all mankind together; at which time 
fhall be accomplifhed what the Apoftle faid : We muft all 
appear before the judgment-feat of Chrifl^ that every one 
may receive the proper things of the body^ according as he has 
done\ whether it be good or evil*. Having treated in 
another place of thofe dreadful figns, which are to be 
the fore-runners of the general judgment-day, I fhall 
fpeak here of nothing but that fevere and exacl: account, 
which will be then required from us , and of what is to 
follow it, that this may teach man how much he is 
obliged to the purfuit of virtue. 

2. As to the firft, which is the ftrict inquiry GOD will 
make into all our actions, it is fo frighful, that there was 
fcarce any thing furprized holy Job more, than to confi- 
der, that GOD whofe majefty is fo great, could fhew la 
much rigour towards man, notwithstanding his being fa 
frail a creature, as to fet down every word, every thought, 
every motion of his, in his book of juftice, to require a 
particular account thereof. After having faid a great zeal 
to this purpofe, he goes on thus : Why hideft thou thy 
facc^ and thinkeft me thy enemy ; againft a leaf that is car- 
ried away with the windy thou/heweft thy power ^ and thou 
purfueft a dry ftraw^ for thou ivriteft bitter things againft 
me, and will confume me for the the fins of my youth. T'bou 
baft put my feet in the ftocks^ and baft obferved all my paths ^ 

* 2 Cor. c, v. v. i o, 

76 *rhe Sinners Guide. Book L 

and haft confidered the fteps of my feet ; 40b0 am to be con- 
fumed as rottennefs, and as a garment that is moth-eaten *. 

Immediately after, he adds, Man born of a woman liveth 
for jbort time i is filled with many mif erics ^ who cometh forth 
like a flower and is deftroyed^ and flecth as a jhadow^ and 
never continueth the fame ft ate ^ and doft thou think it meet to 
open thy eyes upon fuch a one, and to bring him into judg- 
ment with thee ? who can make him clean that is conceived 
of unclean feed ? is it not thou who only art f ? Thefe are 
the terrible words which Job (poke, filled with furprize 
and aftonifhment, at the feverity the divine juilice ex- 
ercifes againft fo poor and helplefs a creature as man is. 
Againft one fo bent upon any thing that is evil, and that 
drinks up iniquity like water. For, if GOD mould be 
fo fevere to the angels who are fpiritual and very perfect 
creatures, it would not be a matter of fo much wonder. 
But for his juflice to call men, whofe vicious inclina- 
tions are numberlefs, to fo ftric"r. an account, as not to 
pafs over any one circumftance of their whole lives, not 
to leave out any one idle word, nor fo much as one mo- 
ment of time that has been mif-imployed, without a 
very narrow inquiry into it, is a fubject of the greateft 
amazement. For who can hear thefe words of our Sa- 
viour without aftonifhment ? But I fay unto you, that 
every idle word that men Jhatt fpeak, they Jhall render an 
acconut for it in the day of judgment^. If we are to give 
an account of fuch words as thefe are that hurt nobody ; 
what an examination will be made into lewd difcourfes, 
unchalt thoughts, bloody hands, and lafcivious looks ? 
what, in fhort, into all that time men have fpent in com- 
mitting of fmful actions ? and if this be all true, as 
doubtlefs it is, what can a man fay of the feverity of this 
judgment, but will fall far mort of it ? what a fright 
will poor man be in, to fee himfelf accufed before fo 
venerable an affembly, of fome light word he fpoke in 
his life-time, without any defign or intention ? who will 
not be furprized at fo ftrange a charge ? or, who would 
have dared to affirm this, had not GOD himfelf faid it ? 


* Job, c. xiii. v. 24. 25, 26, 27, 28. ( Ibid, c, xiv. 
v. i, 2, 3, 4, J Matt. c. xi. v. 36. 

Part I. Ch, 8. Of Judgment. 77 

was there ever any prince that called his fervant to ac- 
count for the lols of a pin or a needle ? O the excellency 
of Chriflian religion ! what perfection and purity does it 
teach, and how ftricl an account will be required of it ; 
and with how rigorous a judgment will it be examined 

3. Now if this judgment day be fo great a fubjecl of 
all mens aftonifhment, what fhame and confufion muft 
fmners be then put to ? for all the wickednefs they have 
ever committed, with fo much caution and privacy in 
their moft fecret clofets, all the impurities they have ever 
been defiled with, and all the evil that has lain hid in 
the darkeft recedes of their fouls, mall be then made 
public, and expofed to the view of all the world. Is 
there any man now, whole confcience is fo clear as not 
to begin to blufh and be afraid of this confufion ? we 
fee how often it happens, that men; upon no other mo- 
tive, but that of a fmful and criminal mame, will not 
difcover their fecret fins to their confeflbrs, not even in 
confeffion, where the obligation to privacy is fo inviola- 
ble, and the tie fo facred. They for no other reafon but 
this, chofe rather to let their fouls be preffed down under 
the weight of their fins, than to undergo the mame of 
revealing them. How great then will that fhame be, 
which men (hall be put to before GOD, and in the fight 
of all the angels and the whole world ? the prophet tells 
us, this confufion will be fo extraordinary, that the 
wicked jh all fay to the mountains^ cover us, and to the hills, 
fall upon us *, that we may not be expofed to fuch mame. 

4. But what horror will they be filled with, at the 
hearing of this laft fentence thundered out againft them ; 
Depart from me you curfed^ into everlafting fire, which was 
prepared for the devil and his angels f. What will the 
damned think at the found of thefe dreadful words ? If y 
fays Job, We can fcarce endure a little drop of his word, 
who /hall be able to behold the thunder of his greatnefs $? 
this fentence will carry fuch terror and force along with 
it, that it will make the earth open in a moment, 
M to 

* Hozee. c. x. v. 8. ) Matth. c. xxv. v. 41. 

J Job G. xxvi. v, 14. 

7 8 *Tbe Sinners Guide. Book I. 

to (wallow up and bury in its bowels, thofe, who as the 
fame Job fays, 'Take the timbrel and the harp, and rejoice 
at the found of the organ *. St. John in his Revelation 
defcribes this fall in thefe words , If aw another angel come 
down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was 
enlightened with his glory. And he cried out with a Jlrong 
voice, faying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen and is 
become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every unclean 
fpirit, and the hold of every unclean and hateful bird -f. 
In the fame place the holy Evangelift adds ; And a mighty 
angel took tip a Jlone as it were a great mill-fione, and caft 
it into the fea, faying, with fuch violence as this, Jhall Ba- 
bylon that great city be thrown down, and Jhall be found no 
more at all J. After the fame manner {hall the wicked, 
u-ho are to be underftood here by Babylon, be flung into 
the dungeons of everlafling darknefs and confufion. 

5. But what tongue can be able to exprefs the multi- 
tude of torments they are to fuffer there ? their bodies 
lhall burn in fcorching flames, which {hall never be ex- 
tinguiflied ; the worm of confcience {hall perpetually 
gnaw and tear their very fouls in pieces, without ever 
being tired or fatisfied. There, that weeping and wail- 
ing, and gnafhing of teeth, we are fo often threatened 
with in holy fcripture, {hall never ceafe. There the 
damned carried on with rage and defpair, fhall vent their 
fury upon GOD and themfelves, biting off their flefh, 
burfling their hearts with fighs and grief, breaking their 
teeth with grinning and vexation -, like mad men, pulling 
their own limbs in pieces, and continually blafpheming 
that juft GOD, who has condemned them to fuch tor- 
ments. There every one of them will a thoufand times 
curfe. the hour of his birth ; frequently repeating, tho' 
with a different fpirit., thefe words of holy Job ; Let the 
day peri/h wherein I was born, and the night in which it was 
faid, a man child is conceived. Let that day be turned into dark- 
ncfa let not GOD regard it from above, and let not the light 
fbine upon it. Let darknefs and the /hadow of death cover 
it, let a mifl overfpread it, and let it be wrapped up in bit- 
ternefs -, let a darkfome whirlwind feize upon tbat night, let 

* Job, c. xxi. v. 1 2. t Revel, c. Xviii, v. i, 2, J Ibid. v. 21. 

Part I. Ch. 8. Of Judgment. 79 

// not be counted in the days of the year, nor numbered in the 
months. Why did I not die in the womb, why did I not 
"perijh when I came out of the belly, why was I received upon 
the knees, why was I fuckled at the breajls * ? Thefc are the 
complaints the damned fhall.make in hell for all eternity. 
O unhappy tongues which fhall never utter any thing 
but blafphemies ! O wretched ears which fhall never hear 
any thing but frightful fhrieks and groans ! O unfortu- 
nate eyes which fhall never fee any thing but objects of 
mifery ! O wretched bodies, which inftead of being re- 
frelhed, fhall be eternally burning in hell flames ! what 
a condition will thofe fenfual perfons be in then, who 
have fpent all their days in fmful fports and delights ? O 
for how fhort and how fleeting a pleafure have they 
brought upon themfelves, an endlefs train of miferies ? 
foolifh and fenfelefs creatures ! what do all your paftimes 
which lafted fo fhort a time, avail you, when the confe- 
quence is an eternity of pain and forrow ? what is now 
become of all your riches and treafures ? where are now 
your delights ? your feven fruitful years are now over, 
and fee they are followed by feven years of fuch barren- 
nefs, that your former abundance is all fwallowed up, 
and not the leaft fign or memory of it remains. Your 
honour is loft, and your happinefs drowned in that ocean 
of forrow. You are reduced to fuch extremity, as not 
to be allowed one fmgle drop of water to quench the 
fcorching thirft which parches up your very bowels -, nay, 
your pan: profperity is fo far from giving you any com- 
fort now, that it is rather one of your greateft torments. 
For then fhall be fulfilled this faying of Job ; Let mercy 
forget him, may worms be his fweetnefs f. Which accord- 
ing to St. Gregory, will happen, when the remembrance 
of their paft pleafures fhall be an increafe of their pre- 
fent torments ; when they fhall call to mind the days 
they have -feen, and thofe they now fee ; thus unhappily 
experiencing at their own coft, that for things of fo 
fhort a continuance, they fuffer miferies which fhall never 
have an end. Then they will plainly fee, how the enemy 
has deceived them j and being now though too late, fen- 
M 2 fible 

* Job, c. iii. v. 3, 4, 5, 6, 1 1, 1 2. f Ibid. c. xxiv. v. 20. 

80 ^The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

fible of their folly, they will begin to make ufe of thefe 
words in the book of Wifdom. Therefore we have erred 
from the way of truth, and the light of juftice hath not 
fiined unto us, and the fun of under/landing hath not rifen 
upon us. We wearied ourfehes in the way of iniquity and 
deftruttion, and have walked through hard ways, but the 
way of the Lord we have not known *. Thefe are to be 
the perpetual complaints of the damned j this their re- 
pentance, this their forrow, but all to no purpofe, for 
the time of improving is now pall. 

6. The due confideration of thefe things cannot but 
excite us to the love of virtue. And therefore St. Chry- 
foftom often makes ufe of thefe arguments in his homi- 
lies, to exhort us to it. In one of them he fays, That 
you may prepare your foul in time, to be the temple and 
abode of GOD ; call to mind the dreadful day when wd 
are to appear before the throne of Jefus Chrift, to give 
an account to him of all our actions. Confider in what 
manner this Lord will come to judge the living and the 
dead. Confider how many thoufands of angels will at- 
tend him. Imagine you already hear the found of that 
frightful, but irrevocable fentence, which Jefus Chrift 
will pafs againft the world. Confider, that as foon as this 
fentence (hall be given, fome will be tumbled headlong 
into outward darknefs ; others, though they have taken 
a great deal of pains for the preferving of their virginity, 
fhall have the gates of heaven (hut upon them ; fome 
ihall be tied up, like bundles of weeds and flung into 
the fire ; others again mail be delivered up as a prey to 
the worms, which will never die, and condemned to 
everlafting wailing and gnafhing of teeth. We are all of 
us convinced of the truth of thefe things : why then do 
not we whilft we have time, cry out with the prophet ; 
Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to 
my eyes ? and I will weep day and night -}-. Let us there- 
fore make hafte and endeavour before it is too late, to 
prevent the judge by a confeflion of our fins, fince it is 
written, And who jh all confefs to thee, Lord, in hell$. 

7. Let 

* Wifd. c, v. v. 6. 7. f Jerem. c. ix. ,v. I. J Pfalm vi. v. 6. 

Part I. Ch. 8. Of Judgment. Si 

7. Let us confider farther, that GOD has given us two 
eyes, two ears, two feet, and two hands, that if we 
mould happen to lofe the ufe of any one of thefe mem- 
bers, the other may ftill ferve us. But he has given us 
but one foul, fo that if we lofe that, we have no other 
left us to enjoy eternal glory. Let it therefore be our 
main concern to preferve it ; for this foul muft one day 
be faved or damned with the body for ever ; and muft 
appear before the tribunal of our great GOD, where if 
you would excufe yourfelf, faying, you were dazzled with 
the falfe glittering of money : the judge will anfwer, 
that he forewarned you of this danger, where he faid, 
For what doth it profit a man^ if he gain the whole world, 
and lofe his own foul*? mould you fay, the devil fe- 
duced me ; he will tell you -f , that Eve did not clear 
herfelf, by faying, it was the ferpent that deceived her. 

8. Look into the fcriptures, and confider the prophet 
Jeremy's vifion J ; firft he faw a watching rod -, and then 
a great cauldron boiling over a hot fire, to fignify how- 
Go D dealt with men. Firft he threatens, and then if 
that will not do, punifhes them. Nor is it to be doubted, 
but that he who will not fubmit to the correction of the 
rod, mall be made to undergo the torture of the cauldron. 
Read but the gofpel, and you will fee, that nobody of- 
fered to intercede for thofe unhappy wretches whom our 
Saviour condemned. Brothers did not fpeak for their 
brothers, nor friends for their friends : the father did 
not ftand up for his fon, nor the fon for his father. But 
what do I fpeak of thefe who were fmful men , fmce 
neither Noah, Daniel nor Job, notwithftanding all their 
virtue and piety, will be able to alter the fentence once 
given by the judge. See whether any one || durft fo 
much as open his month in favour of him, who was 
turned away from the wedding-dinner. See whether 
any body ever fpake one word for that fervant <f[, who 
would not trade with the talent his mafter intruded him 
with. Which of all thofe five virgins JJ, that could not 


* Matt. c. xvi. v, 26. "f" Gen. c. iii. Jerem. c. i. 

Ezech. c. xxvi. [| Matt. c. xxii. v. i r, 12, 13, 

f Ibid. c. xxv. Jf Ibid. 

82 The Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

get admittance into heaven, ever found any one that 
undertook to plead her caufe. Jefus Chrift himfelf 
called them fools, for manageing themfelves fo unwifely, 
as after having defpifed the delights of the flem, and 
extinguimed the fire of concupifcence -, nay, after having 
obferved the great precept of virginity, to neglect the 
command of humility, which feems to be much eafier-, 
and to take a pride in their chaftity. Confider, whether 
the rich man, who took no pity on Lazarus *, could 
obtain one fingle drop of water, which he begged of 
the holy patriarch Abraham, as poor a comfort as it was, 
to mitigate thofe fcorching flames that fo tormented him. 
"Why then will we not charitably afilft one another ? why 
will we not praife and glorify GOD, before the fun of 
his juftice is fet; and before he removes his light from 
our eyes ? we had much better let our tongues be parched 
up with fading, for the fhort remainder of this life, than 
having fadsfied them in this world, to let them be re- 
duced to the neceffity of begging for a drop of water 
in the next, with no poflibility of obtaining it. If we 
are fo nice and tender here, that we cannot fuffer the heat 
of a light fever, the fpace of three days, how mail we 
be able to endure thofe eternal burnings ? if the fentence 
of death patted upon us by a mortal judge, who cannot 
take away above forty or fifty years of our life, at fartheft, 
be fo terrible to us, why do not we tremble at the fen- 
tence that is to be given by a judge, in whofe power it 
is to deprive us of life everlafting ? it terrifies us to fee 
the punimments inflicted on malefactors here upon earth: 
to fee the executioners drag them away by force , fcourge, 
disjoint, quarter, tear or burn them. And, yet, what 
is this but a mere dream or fhadow, in comparifon of 
the pains of hell. For death puts an end to all theie 
fufferings ; but there the worm of confcience never dies, 
their life is never at an end , the tormentors are never 
tired, and the fire never put out. Let us therefore fet 
what we will againft this mifery, let it be fire or fword, 
wild beafts, or any other torment whatfoever, to this it 


* Luke, c. xvi. 

Part I. Ch. 8. Of judgment. 83 

will all appear, but as an imperfect draught or repre- 

9. What will thefe unhappy wretches do, when they 
fhall fee themfelves deprived of fo many bleflings, and 
condemned to differ fuch unfpeakable miferies ? what 
will they fay ? how will they cry out againft themfelves ? 
how horribly will they figh and groan, and yet to how 
little purpofe ? for neither is the failor ufeful after he has 
loft his veflel ; nor the phyfician when his patient is 
dead. Then, but too late, alas ! they will begin to re- 
flect upon their fins, and to fay, We fhould have looked 
better to ourfelves, and not have fallen into this deplo- 
rable ftate. Alas ! how often have we been told of this, 
and would take no notice of it ? the Jews fhall then know 
him, who came in the name of the Lord ; but it mail 
not avail them, becaufe they would not know him, when 
this knowledge might have been beneficial to them. 
But what fhall we miferable creatures be able to fay for 
ourfelves, when heaven and earth, the fun and moon, 
night and day, nay the whole world (hall cry out againft 
us, and be witnefles of the fins we have committed : but 
mould every thing elfe be filent, we have ftill our own 
confciences to rife up againft and accufe us ? this is almoft 
all taken out of St. John Chryfoftom, and is fufficient 
to fhew us how terrible the idea of this dreadful day 
muft be to thofe perfons who have not governed them- 
felves by the dictates of reafon and virtue. St. Ambrofe 
gives us plainly to underftand, in his commentaries upon 
St. Luke, that this was his fentiment; his words are 
thefe : Woe be unto me, O Lord, if I do not bewail my 
fms ; alas for me, if I do not rife at midnight to praife 
thy holy name ; if I deceive my neighbour, or if I fpeak 
againft the truth, becaufe the axe is now laid to the root 
of the tree. Let him therefore who is in the ftate of 
grace, endeavour to bring forth the fruits of juftice \ 
and let him who is in the ftate of fin, endeavour to bring 
forth the fruits of penance. For the Lord is nigh ac 
hand, and comes to gather in his fruit, and will give 
life to thofe who work faithfully and profitably -, and 
death to them who are idle and unferviccablc. 

C H A P. 

84 We Sinners Guide. Book I. 


Of the ninth motive that obliges us to virtue, which is 
heaven ; the third of the four laft things. 

i. A^Y one of thefe confiderations we have here pro- 
\. pofed, fhould fuffice to perfuade us to the love 
of virtue. But becaufe the heart of man is fo ftubborn, 
that very often all of them together are not able to pre- 
vail upon it. I will here add another motive no lefs 
powerful than any of the others. That is, the happinefs 
and reward promifed to a good life, which is the poffef- 
fion of everlafting glory; wherein two things particu- 
larly occur to be taken notice of-, one is the beauty of 
the place itfelf, which is the empyreal heaven , the 
other the glory and excellency of the king, who keeps 
his refidence there with all his cleft. 

As for the firft, though no tongue is able to exprefs 
the beauty of this place, yet we will endeavour to ex- 
prefs it as well as we can, and to difcover, as it were at a 
diftance, fome part of it. The firft thing then to be 
confidered, is the end for which GOD created this ex- 
cellent frame -, for generally the beft way of knowing the 
worth of a thing, is to enquire into the defign of it. 
Now the defign of this place is to make known GOD'S 
glory. For though, as Solomon fays : The Lord hath 
made all things for himfelf\ , 'tis plain neverthelefs, that 
he particularly made this place for this end, becaufe it is 
here that he manifefls the greatnefs and fplendor of his 
glory, in a more than ordinary manner. Therefore, as 
the great King Ahafuerus, who reigned over an hundred 
and feven and twenty provinces J, made a fumptuous 
feail in the city of Sufa, the metropolis of his empire, 
which lafted a hundred and fourfcore days, with all the 
coft and ftate imaginable, to let his fubjects fee how 
powerful and how rich he was : fo this Almighty King 
is pleafed to make a noble feaft in heaven, not for an 


t Prov. c. xvi. v. 4. J Either, c, i. 

Part I. Ch. 9. Of Heaven. 85 

hundred and fourfcore days only, but for all eternity, to 
mew the infinite immenfity of his riches, his wifdom, his 
bounty, and his goodnefs. This is the feaft Ifaiah fpeaks 
of, when he fays : And the Lord of Hofts Jhatt make unto 
fill people in this mountain^ a feaft of-' fat things, a feaft of 
ivine, fat things full of marrow , of wine purified from the 
lees *. That is to fay, of moft rich and delicious things. 
If GOD has prepared this banquet to make the greatnefs 
of his glory known j we muft needs imagine, that fince 
this glory of his is fo great, the beauty of the place 
where he refides is proportionable to it. 

2. We fhall ftill better underftand this, if we but ex- 
amine into the power and riches of the Lord, who has 
chofen it for his refidence. As to his power, it is fo 
great, that he created the whole world out of nothing, 
with one word ; and with one word can deftroy it again 
whenfoever he pleafes. Nay, it reaches fo far, that with 
one fingle word he could have created, not only one 
world, but millions of them, and reduced them to no- 
thing with another. And what is more confiderable yet, 
whatfoever he has made, has coft him no pains nor 
trouble ; nor was it any harder to him to create the no- 
bleft feraphim, than it was to create the lead pifmire ; 
;-becaufe this infinite power can do whatfoever it has a 
mind to do, and whatfoever it has a mind to do, it does 
purely by its own will -, and is neither tired by the greateft 
works, nor eafed by the leaft. If this Lord is fo pow- 
erful ; if the glory of his holy name is fo great, and if 
he has fuch a love for his own glory ; how beautiful 
muft that place or that banquet confequently be, which 
he has prepared to mew us his glory. What is there 
wanting towards the perfection of this great work ? there 
can be no want of hands, becaufe the workman is infi- 
nitely powerful. No want of fkill becaufe he is infinitely 
wife ; no want of will, becaufe he is infinitely good ; no 
want of wealth, becaufe he is infinitely rich. If then all 
things be fo well difpofed to make it great, what muft 
that work be, which is performed by the omnipotency of 
the Father, by the wifdom of the Son, and by the good- 

N nefs 

* Ifaiah, c, xxv, v. 6. 

86 The Sinners Guide. Book I, 

nefs of the Holy Ghoft ? where goodnefs inclines, wif- 
dom directs, and omni potency performs all that an in- 
finite goodnefs defires, and an in&nite wifdom prefcribes , 
though all theie things are the fame in the Divine 

3. There is another remarkable thing further to be 
confidered in this matter ; which is, that GOD has pre- 
pared this ftately place, not only for his own honour,, 
but alfo for the glory of all his elect. How felicitous 
GOD is for them, and for the effecting of all he has pro- 
mi fed in their behalf, when he faid : Whofoever Jhall glo- 
rify me, him will I glorify *, plainly appears by his actions \ 
fince he has put every thing in the world under their 
command, even whilft they are in this life. How won- 
derful was it to fee Jomua command the fun to ftand 
ftill in the midft of its courfe -f, and to make it flop, as 
if he had the direction of the whole world in his power ? 
GOD, as the fcripture fays, obeying the voice of a man. 
How ftrange was it to fee the Prophet IfaiahJ bid King 
Ezechias, chufe whether he would have the fun go back 
ten degrees upon the dial, or forward, for either mould 
be performed ? how prodigious was it to fee the prophet 
Elias , lock up the waters, and the clouds of heaven, 
as long as he thought fit ; ami then command them, 
virtue of his word and prayer, to pour down their 
again ? nor is it during their life-time only, that GOD 
has given his faints fuch a power ; he continues the fame 
after their death, and confers it upon their very bones and 
afhes ||. Who can forbear praifing GOD, when he reads 
of the Prophet Elifha's bones raifing a dead man to life, 
who was accidentally thrown by a band of highwaymen, 
into the prophet's grave ? who will deny that GOD beftows 
great favours upon his faints, when he has been pleafed 
to infpire the whole church, to inftitute a feaft, in honour 
of St. Peter's chains , and we may clearly fee the great 
eftecm he has for the bodies of his faints, fince he has 
commanded us to pay fuch a fbleinn refpect to the fetters 


* I Kings, c. 2. v. 30. f Jofliua, c. 10. v. 14. 

J Ifa. c. xxxiii. v. 8. 3 Kings, c. 17. v. I. Ibid* 

c. xviii. v. 43, Sec. || 4 Kings, e. xiii. v. 21. 

Part I, Ch. 9. Of Heaven. 87 

they wore. But what is all this, in companion with the 
honour which GOD did not only to this apoftle's fetters; 
not only to his bones or body, but to his very fhadow -, 
which, as St. Luke affirms, in the Acts, cured all Tick 
perfons of their diftempers, that could come within the 
reach of it *. O GOD ! how infinitely art thou to be ad- 
mired? O GOD! how infinitely good art thou, and with 
what an infinite honour doft thou reward thy faints ? thou 
haft given this man, a power which thou never macleft 
ufe of thyfelf: for nobody ever law Jefus Chrift curing 
the fick with his fhadow. Now if it be certain that GOD 
has fuch a love for his faints, even at fuch a timr, and in 
fuch a place too, as is defigned for them to toil and la- 
bour in, and not to receive their rewards \ how great 
muft that glory be, which he has prepared to honour 
them with, and for which he will be honoured and praifed 
in them ? What may we imagine he, who has fo great a 
defire to glorify them, and who at the fame time, both 
can, and knows beft how to do, whatfoever is capable of 
contributing to their glory, has prepared and provided 
for this end. 

4. Confider farther how liberal GOD is in rewarding 
the obedience of his faithful fervants. He commanded 
Abraham to facrifice his fon, whom he loved fo ten- 
derly -, and juft as the patriarch was upon the point of 
complying with his command, his Divine Goodnefs 
flopped him, and would not let him proceed any farther : 
The angel of the Lord f aid to him \ lay not thy hand upon the 
boy, neither do thou any thing to him : now I know that thou. 
feareft God, and thou haft not fpared thy only begotten Son 
for my fake. By my ownfelf have I fworn, faith the Lord ; 
becaufe thou haft done this thing, and haft not fpared thy 
only begotten Son for my fake, I will blefs thee, and I will 
multiply thy feed as the ftars of heaven, and as the fand that 
is by the fe a-Jhore -, and thy feed /hall pojfefs the gates of their 
enemies -, and in thy feed /hall all the nations of the earth be 
blejfed, becaufe thou haft obeyed my voice ['. Was not this 
obedience well requited ? it was truly a return that be- 
< ame GOD, who appears like himfelf in all things , as 
N 2 we]/ 

* A&s, c. v, v. 15. -j- Gen. c, xxii, v. 12, 1 6, 17, 1 8. 

88 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

well in the favours he beftows, as in the punimments he 

David confidering that he had a houfe to dwell in him- 
felf, and the ark of GOD had none, thereupon refolved 
to build one for it. But GOD fent the Prophet Nathan 
to him the next morning with this meflage : Becaufe thou 
baft thought of building me a houfe, I fwear to thee, that I 
'will build one for thee, and thy pofterity which /hall remain 
for ever ; and I will give thee a kingdom which Jhall have 
no end, nor will I ever remove my mercies from it *. This 
was the promife GOD made David -, nor did he fail in 
the performance of it , for the kingdom of lirael was 
governed by princes of the houfe of David, down to the 
coming of our Saviour ; who reigns there now and there 
will reign for all eternity. What follows from this is, 
that heaven is nothing elfe but the general reward, which 
GOD gives his faints for all the fervices they have done 
him : and would we but at the fame time confider, how 
generous GOD is in the returns he makes, we might give 
ibme kind of guefs, at leaft, at the qualities and condi- 
tions of this glory. Though it is an abyfs too deep for 
us to fathom. 

5. Another way of pafTmg a judgment upon it, is, to 
reflect upon the price GOD has thought fit it mould be 
purchafed at for us. For fmce he has been fo liberal to 
us, we muft not think he would fet a greater value upon 
things than they are worth in themfelves. Yet that we 
might, after we had finned, be made partakers of this 
glory, nothing lefs than the blood and death of his only 
Son could procure it for us. So that GOD has been 
pleafed to die the death of a man, that man might live 
the life of GOD. GOD has fuffered thofe afflictions and 
tribulations which were due to man, that fo man mould 
enjoy the reft and eafe that belongs to GOD. Nor would 
man have ever been honoured with a place amongft the 
choirs of angels, had not GOD been nailed upon the crofs, 
betwixt two thieves. How great a favour then muft this 
be, for the procuring of which, a GOD has fweated blood ; 
has been taken prifoner ; has been fcourged, fpit upon, 

* 2 Kings, c. vii. 3 Kings, c, viii. I Chronic, c, xvii. 

Part I. Ch. 9. Of Heaven. 89 

and buffeted , and after all fattened to a crofs ? what can 
that be which GOD, who is fo generous, has purchafed at 
fo great a rate ? could a man fathom this abyfs, he would 
have no better way of finding out the greatnefs of eternal 

But befides all this, GOD requires of us as much as 
pofTibly can be required of man j which is, that we take 
up our crofs and follow him ; that if our right eye of- 
fend us, we pluck it out , that we have no concern for 
father or mother, nor regard any thing in this world, be 
it what it will, if it be inconfiftent with whatsoever GOD 
mail command us. And after we have punctually com- 
plied with all he enjoins, he tells us he beftows this glory 
grafts. This is what he fays in St. John : / am Alpha and 
Omega ; the beginning and the end : to him that thirfleth I 
'will give of the fountain of the water of life *. How great 
a favour muft this be, when GOD requires fo much of us 
for it ; and yet when we have given him all we can, he 
tells us himielf, he gives it us for nothing ? I fay, for 
nothing, with refpect to what our actions are worth in 
themfelves, when feparated from the value grace puts on 
them. Tell me now, if this Lord is fo liberal in grant- 
ing of his favours , if he has been fo good as to beftow 
upon every-body, fo many feveral kinds of benefits, even 
in this life ; if every creature, both in heaven and earth, 
has been created for man's ufe in general , if he has 
given the fmner, as well as the juft, the bad man as 
well as the good, a free and common polTefllon of this 
world ; how mall we be able to efteem rightly thofe in- 
exhauftible riches which he has laid up for the juft ? how 
will he who has been fo generous in conferring of his 
favours upon thofe who have not deferved them, reward 
thofe to whom his graces are in fome manner due ? how 
noble muft he be in requiting fervices done him, who 
has been always fo forward in beftowing of his mercies ? 
and if he is fo bountiful in his gifts and prefents, how 
magnificent will he be in the returns he makes ? it is 
certain we can neither exprefs nor conceive the glory he 
will beftow on the grateful, fmce he has here laid fo many 
obligations upon the unthankful. 

* Revelat. c, xxi. v. 6. SECT, 

O The Sinners Guide. Book I, 


6. Something of this glory may be farther made out 
by the fituation and height of the place defigned for it, 
which is not only the moft capacious, but the nobleft 
and moft beautiful of all the reft. It is called in fcrip- 
ture, The land of the living. Whence we are to infer, 
that the land we now live in, is the land of the dying. 
If therefore, it is certain there are fo many excellent and 
curious things in this country of the dying, what muft 
there be, where thofe perfons refide who are to live for 
ever ? look into every quarter of the world, and confider 
how many beautiful objects there are in it. Obferve the 
greatnefs of the heavens, the brightnefs of the fun, 
moon, and ftars ; the beauty of the earth, and of the 
trees, of birds and other creatures. Confider how plea- 
fant the plain and open fields are ; how delightful the 
mountains with their unevennefs ; the vallies with their 
greennefs, and how the fprings and rivers which arc dif- 
perfed and fcattered like fo many veins throughout the 
whole body of the earth, contribute with their frefhnefs 
to its beauty. Reflect upon the vaft extent of the feas, 
which have fuch a great variety of wonders in them. 
What are the lakes and pools of pure water ? but as it 
were the eyes of the earth, or the mirrours of the hea- 
vens ? or, what can we think of the verdant meadows, 
interwoven with rofes and other flowers, but that they 
refemble the firmament all fpangled with ftars in a clear 
night. What mail we fay of the mines of gold and 
filver, and other rich metals ? of rubies, emeralds, dia- 
monds, and other precious ftones, which feem to ftand 
in competition with the ftars themfelves, for a glittering 
luftre and beauty ? what mall we fay of that variety of 
colours which are to be feen in birds, in beafts, in 
flowers, and in an infinite number of other wonderful 
objects ? befides all this, art has added to the perfections 
of nature, ard improved the beauty of all things. Hence 
come thofe works which are fo pleafing to the eye, glit- 
tering with gold and precious ftones, noble paintings, 
delightful gardens, royal garments, ftately ftructures 


Part I. Ch, 9. Of Heaven. 91 

adorned with gold and marble, and innumerable things 
of other forts. If then there are fo many and iuch de- 
lights in this, which is the loweft of all the elements, and 
the land of the dying , what muft there be in that fub- 
lime place, which as far exceeds all the other heavens 
and elements in riches, honour, beauty, and all kinds of 
perfections, as it does in height ? if we confider how 
much thofe beauties of the heavens, which are vifible to 
our eyes, as the fun, moon and ftars furpafs thofe of this 
lower world in brightnefs, in power, in form, and in 
duration ; how glorious muft we imagine thofe of the 
next world to be, which are only to be feen with immor- 
tal eyes ? all we are able to conceive or think, will come 
infinitely mort of them. 

7. We know man muft have three different places of 
habitation, anfwering the three different ftates of life. 
His firft place of habitation is his mother's womb, after 
his conception ; his fecond, is the world he lives in 
after his birth , his third, is heaven, where he will be 
placed after his death, if he has lived a good life. Thefe- 
three feveral places bear fome fort of proportion to one 
.another, fo that the third has in an infinite degree, all 
thofe advantages over the fecond, which the fecond has 
over the firft, as well in duration, greatnefs and beauty, 
as in all other qualities whatfoever. As to the duration 
it is vifible, for the length of life in the firft place, is- 
nine months ; in the fecond, it fometimes extends to an 
hundred years : but in the third, it lafts for all eternity. 
The fame is to be faid of the largenefs of the firft place, 
which has no greater an extent than that of a woman's 
womb; the fecond is no narrower than the whole world 
itfelf ; and as for the greatnefs of the third, the beft rule 
we have, whereby to judge of it, is the wide difpropor- 
tion which is between the firft and the fecond place ; nor 
does it lefs excell thofe other places in beauty, riches, 
and all other perfections and accomplimments, moft pro- 
per to recommend it to us, than it does in extent and 
duration. If therefore this world of ours be fo great and 
glorious as we have reprefented it ; and if, notwithstand- 
ing the other we have been fpeaking of, be as far above 


92 'The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

it as we have faid it is -, how charming muft its beauty 
be, and how vaft and fpacious its extent ? this we may 
difcover by the great difference there is between the in- 
habitants of both places, becaufe the ftatelinefs of a 
building mould hold a proportion with the quality of 
the peribn that is to live in it. We are to confider then, 
that the place we live in, is the land of the dying ; the 
other of the living. The one is the habitation of fmners, 
the other of faints. The one is the dwelling-place of 
men, the other of angels. The one is a place for peni- 
tents, the other for thofe who are juftifiec 1 . The one is 
the field of battle, the other the city of triumph. In 
the one, to conclude, there are enemies as well as friends ; 
whilft there are none but friends in the other, and thole 
no other, but the elect themfelves. The fame difference 
that is between the inhabitants of thefe two places, is 
betwixt the places themfelves. For GOD has created all 
places fuitable to the quality of the perfons they are de- 
figned for. Glorious things are faid of thee : O City of 
GOD *. Thou art unmeafurable in thy extent , and moft 
ftately in thy ftructure. The matter which thou art 
made of, is moft precious ; the people that live in thee 
are moft noble , all thy employments are delightful ; all 
forts of goods abound in thee ; nor is there any kind of 
mifery whatfoever, which thou art not entirely free and 
fecure from. Thou art very great in every thing, be- 
caufe he who made thee is very great -, becaufe the end 
which he defigned thee for, is very noble-, and becaule 
thofe citizens, for whofe fake he has created thee, are the 
moil honourable of all mankind. 


8. All we have hitherto faid, relates only to the acci- 
dental glory of the faints , befides which, there is ano- 
ther fort called the effential glory, infinitely beyond the 
accidental. This effential glory confifts in feeing and 
enjoying GOD himfelf, which St. Auguftin fpeaks of, 
when he fays, that virtue mail be rewarded with no lels 

a price, 
* Pf. Ixxxvi. v, 2. 

Part I. Ch. 9. Of Heaven. 93 

a price, than with GOD himfelf, the giver of all virtue, 
whom we fhall fee for all eternity ; whom we fhall love 
without ever being cloyed ; and whom we mall praife 
without ever giving over. So that this is the greateft 
reward we can receive; for it is neither heaven nor earth, 
nor fea, nor any created being whatfoever ; but it is GOD 
himfelf, who, riotwithftanding his being free from all 
kind of mixture, contains within himfelf, all that is good 
and perfect. For the underftanding of this point, you 
muft conceive, that one of the greateft myfteries in this 
divine fubftance is, that it comprehends within itfelf, in 
an infinitely eminent degree, the perfections of all the 
creatures, though at the fame time, it is a moil pure 
being -, becaufe GOD having created them all, and di- 
rected them to their laft end, he muft of neceflity pofTefs 
what he gives to others. Whence it follows, that the 
blefied fhall enjoy and behold all things in him, each in 
proportion to the glory he mall be partaker of. For as 
the creatures ferve us now inftead of a mirrour, in which 
Xve may behold fome part of GOD'S beauty ; fo GOD him- 
felf will at that time be the glafs, wherein we mail fee 
-the beauty of the creatures, but in a much more perfect 
manner, than if we faw them in themfelves. Thus GOD 
will be the univerfal happinefs of all the faints ; he will be 
their compleat felicity, and the accomplimment of all their 
defires. He will then be a mirrour to our eyes, mufic 
to our ears, fweetnefs to our tafte, and a moft pleafant 
perfume to our noftrils. In him we mail behold all the 
variety of the feveral times and feafons of the year , the 
frefhnefs of the fpring ; the clearnefs of the fummer; 
the plenty of the autumn , and the repofe of winter. 
There is nothing, in mort, that can pleafe all the fenfes of 
our bodies, or the faculties of our fouls, which we mail 
not meet with in him. // is in him, fays St. Bernard, we 
Jhallfind the f nine fs of light for our under/landing, the abun- 
dance of peace for our wills; and the continuation of eternity 
for our memories. There the wifdom of Solomon will ap- 
pear but folly ; the beauty of Abfalom deformity ; the 
ftrength of Sampfon weaknefs ; the Ion* lives of the old 
O patriarchs 

94 *Ibe Sinners Guide. Book I. 

patriarchs a mort mortality ; and the riches of all the 
kings of the earth mere poverty and want. 

9. If, as moft certainly it is, all this be true, why do 
you (lay to look for draws in Egypt, and to drink muddy 
water in filthy puddles, when you mould be going on- 
toward this fpring-head of happinefs, this fountain of 
living waters ? why do you beg by parcels, what you 
may find heaped up together, and more abundantly irt 
this Great ALL ? if you aim at pleafures, raife up your 
heart, and confider how delightful this Good muft be,. 
which contains in itfelf all goods and pleafures. If you 
are in love with this created life, how much greater fa- 
tisfaftion will you take in that life, which has created 
every thing ? if the health you enjoy be a pleafure to 
you, how much more will you be pleafed with him, who 
is himielf the author of health ? if you are taken with the 
knowledge of the creatures, how much more will you be 
with that of the Creator ? if beauty charms you, he it is 
whofe beauty the fun and moon- admire. If nobility be 
what you feek after, he is the very fource and original of 
all that is noble , if you wifh for long life, he is life ever- 
lafting. If plenty be your defire ; he is the fulnefs of 
all riches. If you love mufick and charming voices ; the 
angels are continually fmging in his prefence. If you 
hunt after company and converfation , you will there 
have the company of all the blefled, who have but one 
heart and one foul. If you aim at honourable employs, 
and covet riches ; they are both to be found in the houfe 
of GOD. If, in fine, you would be freed from all kinds 
of miferies and fufferings, 'tis there you will be happily 
delivered from them ; and that for ever. GOD com- 
manded his people, in the old law, to circumcife their 
children on the eighth day ; giving us thereby to under- 
Hand, that upon the eighth day, that is the day of the 
general refurrection, which is to follow the week of this 
life, he will circumcife and cut off all the miferies of thofe 
perfons, who (hall have circumcifed themfelves, and have 
put a (lop to all their inordinate defires ; who mail have 
retrenched all their fuperfluities, and have overcome their 
failings for his fake. What can be happier than fuch a 


Part I. Ch. 9. Of Heaven. 95 

life as this, which is free from all mifery and trouble ; 
and which as St. Auguftin fays, fhall be never expoled 
to any fear of poverty, indifpofition or ficknefs ; where 
there never fhall be any anger or envy , where we fhall 
never fland in need of eating and drinking ; never covet 
worldly preferments and honours, never be afraid of de- 
vils ; never dread the pains of hell, nor apprehend the 
death, either of the body or of the foul. For, we fhall 
live there with all manner of content and fatisfaction ; 
enjoying the delights of immortality, which fhall never 
be interrupted or difturbed with divifion and factions : 
for there all things are in a perfect and perpetual peace 
and concord. 

10. To all thefe advantages muft be added that of 
living in the company of angels , of enjoying the con- 
verfation of all thofe fublime fpirits ; and of feeing thofe 
noble troops of faints, who are more bright and glorious 
than the ftars of heaven. There the patriarchs fhall ap- 
pear with glory, for their perfect obedience, and the 
prophets for their lively hope. There you fhall behold 
the martyrs adorned with crowns, dyed in their own 
blood, and the virgins cloathed in white robes, in token 
of their chaftity. But what tongue fhall be able to ex- 
prefs the majefty of the fovereign monarch, who refides 
in the midft of them all ? were we every day to fuffer 
frelh torments ; nay, mould we undergo for fome time 
the pains of hell itlelf, that we might fee the Lord in 
his glory, and enjoy the happy company of his elect, it 
would certainly be worth our while to endure all this, 
that we might arrive at fuch a heighth of happinefs. 
Thus far St. Auguftin. 

If therefore this be fo great a blefflng, how happy fhall 
thofe eyes be, that are to be always fixed upon thefe ob- 
jects ? what a happinefs muft it be to fee this ftately city ; 
to behold thefe honourable citizens in all their glory -, to 
have a fight of the face of this Creator , the magnificence 
of thefe buildings -, the riches of thefe palaces, 'and tne 
common joy of this heavenly country ? what muft it be 
to behold all the orders of thefe bleffed fpirits , the au- 
thority of this facred fenate j the majefty of thofe vene- 
O 2 

96 The Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

rable elders, whom St. John * faw fitting upon thrones 
in the prefence of GOD ? what a pleafure muft it be to 
hear thefe angelical voices, thefe charming fingers, and 
this harmonious mufic, not in four parts as ours here is, 
but in as many parts, and of as many different voices, as 
there are blefled fouls in heaven ? how {hall we be charmed 
when we hear them fmg this moft ravi(hing fong, which 
the fame St. John once heard : Rlefling and glory > and wif- 
4om^ and thank/giving, and honour ^ and power , andftrengtb, 
be unto our God^ for ever and ever -f. Amen. And if it 
be fo pleafant a thing to hear the harmony thefe voices 
(hall make ; how much more delightful muft it be to fee 
the unity and concord which there reigns ? to obferve 
what a union there will be between men and angels ; 
but more particularly betwixt man and GOD ? what a 
happinefs mail it be to fee thefe fine fields, thefe fountains 
of life, and thefe paftures upon the mountains of IfraelJ? 
what a glorious thing will it be to fit down at this fum- 
ptuous table , to have a place amongft the guefts, to 
eat out of the fame dim with Jefus Chrift ; that is, to 
jfhare with him in his glory ? there the bleffed (hall be at 
reft, and have a full enjoyment of eternal blifs. It is 
there that they mail fmg and praife, and be perpetually 
entertained with moft delicious banquets. Since there- 
fore faith tells us, that fuch great bleffings as thefe are 
the rewards of virtue -, can any man ftand fo much in his 
own light, as not to refolve upon an immediate purfuit 
after it, in hope of fo large a recompence ? 


Of the tenth motive that obliges us to the love of virtue^ 
which is the fourth of the four laft things, viz. 'The 
fains of hell. 

AN Y the leaft part of this great reward we have now 
fpoken of, fhould be more than fufficient to inflame 
pur hearts with the love of virtue. But if, to the ful- 
* Revel, c. iv. v. 4. f Ibid. c. vii, v, 12. nef$ 

J E?ek. c, xxxiv. v. 14. 

Parti. Ch. io. Of Hell. 97 

nefs of that glory which is referved for the juft, we fur- 
ther add the feverity of thofe torments that are prepared 
for the wicked -, what an effect muft this have upon us ? 
efpecially there being no middle ftate betwixt thefe two. 
The wicked man cannot comfort himfelf, by faying; 
All that can come of my living wickedly is, that I mail 
never enjoy GOD -, as for the reft, I expect neither happinefs 
nor mifery. The linful man mall not efcape thus. One of 
thefe two oppofite conditions muft be his lot, he muft 
either reign with GOD for all eternity, or burn for ever 
with the devils in hell. Thefe are the two bafkets the 
Lord in a vifion (hewed the Prophet Jeremiah *, before 
the gates of the temple ; one of which had very good 
figs, and the other very naughty ones, which could not 
be eaten they were fo bad. GOD'S defign was by this, 
to let the prophet know, that there were two forts of 
perfons ; the one the object of mercy, the other of his 
juftice. The firft cannot be in a more happy condition, 
nor the latter in a more miferable ; becaufe the happinefs 
of the firft confifts in feeing GOD, the perfection of all 
goodnefs ; whilft the mifery of the others is to be deprived 
of his fight, the greateft misfortune that can pofiibly 
befall poor man. 

This truth well confidered, would make fchofe men 
who fin fo unconcernedly, fenfible, what a weight they 
voluntarily lay upon themfelves. Thofe who get their 
living by carrying of burthens, firft obferve what they 
have to carry, and lift it up a little, to fee if it is not 
too heavy for them. And will you, who are brought up 
amidft' the delights and charms of fin, let your fenfual 
defires draw you away fo far, in oppofition to the will of 
GOD, as to oblige you to carry the heavy burthen of fin, 
without any hope of eafe or reft ; and all this for the 
enjoyment of a bafe infamous pleafure ? try firft its 
weight, that is, confider the punimment attending it ; 
that you may fee whether you are able to bear it : that 
you may the better conceive how painful this torment 
is, and how weighty a burthen you lay on your ihoulders 
s often as you fin j I will propofe to you the following 

* Jerem. c, xxiv. v. i, 2, 

98 'The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

confiderations. And though I have handled this matter 
elfewhere, yet I cannot pals it over without faying Tome- 
thing upon it again in this place , though quite different 
from what I have faid before. For, the fubjedt is fo 
copious, there is no wearing of it threadbare j or danger 
of fpeaking too much upon it. 

2. Confider firft the immenfe greatnefs of GOD, who 
is to punifh fin. He is GOD in all his works j that is, 
great and wonderful in them all ; not only in heaven, 
earth, and fea, but even in hell, and all other places. 
Now if he (hows himfelf GOD in all his actions, he will 
certainly appear fo no lefs in his wrath, in his juftice, 
and in the punimment he inflicts on fin. This is what 
he means, when he fays by the Prophet Jeremiah ; Will 
you not then fear me, faith the Lord-, and will you not repent 
at my prefence ? I have fet the fand a bound for the fea, an 
evcrlajling ordinance, which it Jhall not pafs over-, and the 
waves* thereof Jhall tofs themfelves, and Jhall not prevail^ 
they Jhall fwell, and Jhall not pafs over it *. As if he had 
faid more plainly ; it is not highly requifite, that you 
fhonld fear the (Irength of that arm which has wrought 
fo great a miracle ? which will be neither lefs powerful, 
nor lefs wonderful in the punimment it inflicts, than in 
all its other works. So that we have as much reafon to 
fear him infinitely, upon the account of the miferies he 
can reduce us to, as we have to praife him for the fa- 
vours he has beftowed upon us. It was this that made 
the fame prophet, though innocent, and fanctified in his 
mother's womb, to tremble, when he faid, Who flail not 
fear thec, O king of nations, for thine is the glory f, and 
in another place, / fat alone, becaufc thou haft filled me 
'with threats J. The holy prophet knew very well, that 
thefe threats did not touch him , yet, for all this, they 
were fo dreadful as to make him tremble. Therefore it 
is with reafon we fay, the pillars of heaven make before 
the Majefty of GOD, and powers and principalities all 
tremble in his prefence : Not that they are in doubt of 
their own happinefs, but becaufe they are in continual 
admiration of his Infinite Majefty. If thefe pure fpirits 

* Jerem. c. v. v. 22. -f Jer. c. x. v. 7. JIbid. c. xv. v. 17, 

Parti. Ch. 10. Of Hell. 99 

are not free from fear ; what apprehenfions fhould fin- 
ners, and fuch as defpife GOD'S commandments be in, 
as being the perfons upon whom he will thunder out the 
dreadful effects of his vengeance ? this is without doubt, 
one of the chief reafons which ought to ftir up in our 
fouls, a fear of this puniihment, as St. John plainly 
(hows us in his Revelation, where fpeaking of the pu- 
nifhments which GOD will inflict; he fays, Babylon's 
plagues Jhall come in one day, death, and mourning, and fa- 
mine, and Jhe Jhatt be utterly burnt with the fire ; becaufe 
GOD is Jirong, who Jhall judge her *. And St. Paul, who 
very well knew his great itrength, fays, It is a fearful 
thing to fall into the hands of the living GOD -f. It is no 
dreadful thing to fall inio the hands of men, becaufe they 
are not fo ftrong but that a man may break from them, 
nor have they power enough to thruft a foul headlong 
into hell. Our Saviour for this reafon, faid to his dif- 
ciples . Be, not afraid of them that kill the body, and after 
that have no more that they can do. Fear ye him, who after 
he hath killed, hath power to cafl into hell ; yea, I fay unto 
you, fear him . Thefe are the hands, the apoftle fays 
it is a terrible thing to fall into. Thofe perfons were 
furely very fenfible of the force of thefe hands, who 
cried out in the Book of Ecclefiafticus, If we do not pe- 
nance we Jhatt fall into the hands of the Lord, and not into 
the hands of men J. All this plainly makes it appear, 
that as GOD is great in his power, in his authority, and 
in all his works ; fo will he be in his anger, in his juf- 
tice, and in punifhing of the wicked. 

3. This will be ftill more evident, if we confider the 
greatnefs of the Divine Juftice, which inflicts this pu- 
niihment -, and we may fee more of it in thofe dreadful 
examples recorded in the holy fcriptures. How remark- 
able did GOD punifh Dathan and Abiram ||, with all their 
accomplices, by making the earth open to fwallow them 
alive , and by finking them down into hell for rebelling 
againft their fuperiors ? who has ever heard of any 
threats or curfes like thofe that are to be read in Deute- 

* Jerem. c. xviii. v. 9. -f- Heb. c. x. v. 31. Luke, c. xii. 
v, 4. J Eccluj.-c. ii, v. 22. || Numb. c. xvi. 

100 The Sinners Guide. Book f* 

ronomy, againft the tranfgreflbrs of the law ? thefe are 
fome of thole many dreadful comminations. I will bring 
upon thee, fays GOD, a moft info lent nation, that will con- 
fume thee in all thy cities, and thy enemies Jhall dtjlrefs then 
within all thy gates : the tender and delicate woman that 
could not go upon the ground, nor let down her foot for over- 
much nicenefs and tendernefs : and the filth of the after-births 
that come from between her thighs, and the children that are 
born the fame hour-, for they Jhall eat them fecretly for the 
want of all things in the fiege and diftrefs, wherewith thy 
enemy Jhall opfrefs thee within thy gates J; Thefe are 
indeed moft terrible punifhments * and yet, neither arc 
thefe nor any other whatfoever, that man can fuffer 
in this life, any more than a mere fhaclow, or a faint 
refemblance in comparifon of thofe which are referved 
for the next. Then will be the time that the divine 
juftice mail fignalize itfelf, againft thofe who have 
here defpifed his mercy. If therefore the fhadow and 
the refemblance be fo frightful, what muft we think of 
the fubftanCe and original ? and if the chalice of the 
Lord be fo unpalatable now, when there is water mixt 
with it ; and when the feverity of juftice is leflened fo 
much by the mildnefs of mercy ; how bitter muft the 
portion be, when we mail be forced to drink it off with- 
out any mixture at all ; and when thofe perfons who 
would not accept of GOD'S mercy, mall feel nothing 
but the effects of his judgments ? and yet thefe torments, 
though fo great, are all infinitely lefs than what our fins 

4. Befides the confideration of the greatnefs of GOD'S 
juftice , another way to make us underftand the rigour 
of thefe pnnimments he will inflict, is to reflect on the 
effects of his mercy, which fmners fo much prefume 
upon. For what greater fubject of aftonimment can we 
have, than to fee a GOD taking human flefh upon him, 
and fuffering in his body, all the torments and difgraces 
which he underwent, even to the dying upon a crofs ? 
what greater mercy could he mew, than thus to humble 
himfelf, to carry the burthen of all our fins, that he 

J Deut. c. xxviii, v. 50, 55, 56, 57. 

Parti. Ch. 10. 'Of He!!. lo i 

might thereby eafe us of the weight of them, and to 
offer up his moft precious blood for the falvation of thofe 
very wretches who med it ; now as the works of the 
divine mercy are wonderful in themfelves, ib will the 
effects of GOD'S juftice be. For fmce GOD is equal in 
all his attributes, becaufe all that is in him, is GOD ; it 
follows, that his juftice is no lefs in itfelf, than his mercy 
is ; and as by the thicknefs of one arm, we may judge 
how big the other is, fo we may know how great the 
arm of GOD'S juftice is, by that of his mercy, fmce they 
are both equal. 

If GOD, when he was pleafed to make known his 
mercy to the world, performed fuch wonderful, and 
almoft incredible things, that the fame world looked upon 
them as folly-, what do you think he will do at his fecond 
coming, which is the time defigned for manifefting the 
feverity of his juftice ? efpecially, fmce every fin that is 
committed in the world, gives him a new occafion to 
exercife it; whereas he never had any motive to mercy, 
but that fame mercy itfelf; there being nothing at all in 
human nature that deferves his favour : but as for his 
juftice, he will have as many reafons to execute the ut- 
moft rigour of it, as there have been crimes committed 
by mankind. Judge by that how terrible it muft be. 

5. St. Bernard in one of his fermons upon the coming 
of our Saviour, has explained this very well in thefe 
words ; " As our Lord at his firft coming into the world, 
mewed himfelf very merciful and eafy in forgiving; fo at 
his fecond, he will mew himfelf as rigid and fevere in 
punifhing : and as there is nobody but may be reconciled 
to his favour now, it will be impoflible for any one to 
obtain it then : becaufe he is as infinite in his juftice, 
as he is in his mercy ; and can punifh with as much 
rigour, as he pardons with mildnefs. His mercy, it is 
true, has the firft place, provided our behaviour has not 
been fuch as may provoke the feverity of his juftice." 
Thefe words give us to underftand, that the greatnefs 
of GOD'S mercy is the ftandard we may go by, to guefs 
at his juftice, The fame doctrine is held forth to us by 
the royal prophet, faying, Our GOD is the GOD of fal- 
p vation ; 

IO2 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

vation , and of the Lord, of the I^ord are the iffues from 
death) but GOD jh all break the heads of his enemies; the 
hairy crown of them that walk on in their fins *. This 
mews how kind and merciful GOD is to thofe who return 
to him ; and how fevere againft hardened and cbftinate 

6. Another proof of this we have in the extraordinary 
patience with which GOD bears ; not only with the whole 
world in general, but with every fmner in particular. 
How many do we daily fee, who from the very firft mo- 
ment they came to the ufe of reafon, till their latter 
days, have been employed in nothing but fin, without 
ever regarding GOD'S promifes, or his threats ; his mer- 
cies, or his commands ; or any other thing that tended 
to their converfion ? and yet this fovereign goodnefs has 
been all the while expecting them with patience, without 
cutting off one minute of their unhappy lives, and has 
not ceafed to make ufe of feveral means to bring them to 
repentance, but all to no purpofe. What therefore will 
he do, when after having exhaufted this long patience, 
his anger which has been for fo long a time gathering in 
the repofitory of his juftice, mall overflow the banks 
which kept it in ? with how much force and violence 
will it rufh in upon them ? this is what the apoflJe meant 
when he faid : Doejl thou not know, O man, that the good- ' 
nefs of GOD leadeth thee to -penance? but according to thy 
hardnefs and impenitent heart, thou trcafureft up unto thyfelf 
wrath, againft the day of wrath, and revelation of the juft 
judgment of GOD, who will render to every man according 
to his works -f. 

What can he mean by, I'reafureji up unto thyfelf wrath* 
but, that as they who hoard up riches, daily heap gold 
upon gold, and filver upon filver, for the increafing of 
their flock ; fo GOD daily adds to the treafure of his 
anger, in proportion to the number of the finners crimes? 
were a man to be altogether employed for fifty or fixty 
years together, in heaping up treafure, fo as not to let 
one day or hour pafs, without making fome addition to 
it 5 what a mighty fum would he find at the end of this 


* Pfalm, Ixvii. v. 21, 22. f Rom. c. ii. v, 4, 5, 6. 

Parti, Ch. 10. Of Hell. 103 

time. How miferable then muft your condition be, fmce 
you fcarce fuffer one moment of your life to flip, with- 
out adding fomething to the treafure of GOD'S wrath, 
which is every minute increafed by the number of your 
fins ? for though nothing elfe were to be put in but the 
immodeft cafls of your eyes; the malice and vicious 
defires of your heart ; the oaths and fcandalous words 
which come from your mouth, thefe alone would fuffice 
to fill a whole world. Then, if fo many other enormous 
crimes as you are daily guilty of, be added to thefe ; 
what a treafure of wrath and vengeance will you have 
heaped againft yourfelf at the end of fo many years ? 

7. If befides all this, we make a ferious reflection 
upon the ingratitude and malice of the wicked; it will in 
a great meafure (hew us, with what feverity and rigour 
this punifliment will be inflicted. To pafs a true judg- 
ment upon thi matter, we muft confider on one fide, 
how mercifully GOD has dealt with men ; what he did 
for them, whilft he was here upon earth ; and how much 
he fuffered for them ; what helps and means he has 
afforded them for their leading a virtuous life ; how 
much he has pardoned, or feemed not to take notice of, 
the benefits he has done them ; the evils he has deli- 
vered them from, with infinite other graces he is always 
bellowing upon them. Let us confider, on the other 
fide, how forgetful men have been of GOD ; their ingra- 
titude ; their treafons ; their infidelities ; their blafphe- 
mies ; tne contempt they have had both of him and of 
his commandments ; which has been carried fo far, that 
they have trampled them under foot, not only for a tri- 
vial intereft, but very often for nothing, and out of mere 
malice : nay, many are come to fuch a degree of impu - 
dence, that the laws of GOD are the frequent matter of 
their pleafantry, ridicule, and drollery. What do you 
think thofe perfons who have defpifed fo high a Majefty -, 
thofe who as the apoftle fays : Have trodden under foot the 
Son of God, and hath efteemed the blood of the covenant un- 
clean, with which he was fanttified * ; can expeft, but to 
be punifhed and tormented in that day, wherein they 
P 2 muft 

* Heb. c, x. v, 29. 

*Tbe Sinners Guide. Book I. 

muft render an account of themfelves, according to the 
affronts and injuries they have offered ? for GOD being, a 
moft equitable judge ; that is to fay, fuch a one as will 
punifli the offender proportionably to the offence given ; 
and being befides the party offended, how great muft 
the torments be, which the body and foul of the criminal 
delivered up to his juftice, mall fuffer ; fince they are to 
equal the grievoufnefs of the crimes, by which the Divine 
Majefiy has been affronted , and if it was neceffary that 
the Son of GOD mould fhed his blood to fatisfy for thofe 
fins which had been committed againft him 5 the merits 
of the perfon fupplying what might be wanting to the 
rigour of the punimment ; what muft follow, when this 
fatisfa&ion is to be made by no other way, but by the 
feverity of the punimment, without any confideration of 
the perlon at all ? 

8. If, as we have feen, the quality of the judge ought 
to make us fo much afraid ; what mould that of the exe- 
cutioner do ? for the fentence which GOD mail pafs 
againft a foul, is to be put into execution by the devil ; 
and what favour can be expected from fo cruel an enemy ? 
that you may conceive fome thing of his fury and malice, 
confider how he dealt with holy Job, when GOD had de- 
livered him into his power. What cruelty and violence 
did he not exercife upon this righteous man, without the 
leaft tendernefs or pity ? he fent the Sabeans to drive 
away his oxen and affes ; his fheep and his fervants he 
deftroyed by fire ; he overthrew all his houfes ; he killed 
his children , he covered his body all over with fores and 
ulcers, leaving him no part of thofe vaft riches he pof- 
fefled before, but a dunghill to fit on, and a tile to fcrape 
off the corruption that ran from his fores. And to add 
to his forrow he left him a wicked wife, and fuch friends, 
as it had been more humanity to deftroy than fpare. 
For they with their tongues, pierced and tormented his 
heart more cruelly than the worms that preyed upon 
his flefh. Thus he behaved himfelf towards Job. But 
what was it he did, or rather, what was it he left undone 
againft the Saviour of the world, in that dreadful night, 
when he was delivered up to the powers of darknefs ? It 


Parti. Ch. io. Of Hell. 105 

is more than can be comprized in a few words. If then 
this enemy of mankind, and all his accomplices are fo 
inhumane, fo bloody, fuch enemies to mankind, and fo 
powerful to do harm, what will become of you miferablc 
creature when you mail be delivered up into their hands, 
with a full and abfolute authority to execute upon you, 
all the cruelties they mall be able to invent ? and this, 
not for a day, or for a night 5 not for a year only or for 
an age ; but for all eternity. Do you think thefe mer- 
cilefs devils, when they have you in their clutches, will 
yfe you kindly? O! how dark and difmal will that 
unhappy day be, when you fhall be delivered up to the 
power of thefe ravenous wolves , thefe favage beafts ! 

9. But that you may the better conceive what ufagc 
is to be expected at their hands, I will here fet down a 
notable example out of St. Gregory's dialogues *: " He 
tells us, that there was a religious man in one of his mo- 
nafteries, no riper in virtue than in years, who was ready- 
to die of a violent ficknefs. The brothers being all met 
together, according to their cuftom, to a/lift him in this 
his dangerous pafiage, and kneeling about his bed, to pray 
for him, the dying man cried out to them f : "Be gone, 
be gone fathers, and leave me a prey to this dragon, that 
he may fwallow me up, for my head is already in his fiery- 
jaws, and he preffes me with his fcales, which are like the 
teeth of a faw, fo that I am in a mod infupportable tor- 
ment. I defire you therefore to go out of the room, and 
leave me to him -, for not being able to make an end of 
me whilft you are here, he puts me to fo much greater 
pain." The religious advifed him to take courage, and 
make the fign of the crofs : " How mail I do it, fays he, 
when the dragon has fo twifted his tail about my hands 
and feet, that I am not able to ftir ?" They not at all 
difheartened at this, renewed their prayers with much 
greater fervour than before ; and feconding them with 
fighs and tears, obtained of the Father of Mercies his de- 
liverance from this violent agony, which left him fo af- 
tonimed and confounded, that he afterwards lived fuch a 
virtuous life, as put him out of all danger of feeing him- 
felf reduced to fuch circumftances again. 

* L. iv. c. 33. ) c. ix, v. i. to v. io. io. TheJ 

io6 The Sinners Guide. Book I, 

10. Thefe are the wicked fpirits which St. John de- 
fcribes in his Revelation*, under the moft frightful 
forms we are able to conceive : Ifaw, fays he, a ft ar fall 
from heaven upon the earth ; and there was given to him the 
key of the bottomlefs pit. And he opened the bottomlefs pif 9 
and the fmoke of tfte pit arofe, as the fmoke of a great fur- 
nace, and the fun and the air were darkened -with the fmoke 
of the pit. And from the fmoke of the pit there came out 
locufts upon the earth , and power was given to them, as the 
fcorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded 
them that they Jhould not hurt the grafs of the earth, nor any 
green thing, nor any tree ; but only thofe men who have not 
the feal of God on their foreheads. And it was given to 
them that they Jhould not kill them, but that they Jhould tar- 
men t them five months : and their torment was as a torment of 
a fcorpion, when he Jlriketh a man. And in thofe days Jhall 
men feek death, and Jhall not find it, and they Jhall defire to 
die, and death Jhall fly from them. And the Jhapes of the 
iocufts were like unto horfes prepared for battle, and on their 
heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces 
were as the faces of men. And they had hair, as the hair of 
women; and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And 
they had breaft-plates, as it were breafl-plates of iron, and 
the found of their wings was as the found of chariots of many 
horfes running to battle. And they had tails like unto fcor- 
pions, and there were ftings in their tails. Thus far are the 
words of St. John. Now what was the defign of the 
Holy Ghoft in mewing us the greatnefs of thefe tor- 
ments, under fuch terrible reprefentations and figures ? 
what other defign could he have, but to let us know by 
thefe dreadful forms, how great the wrath of the Lord 
will be ? what the inttruments of his juftice , what pu- 
nimments are to fall upon fmners ; and what power our 
enemies are like to have ; that the dread of thefe things 
might deter us from offending GOD. For what ftar was 
it that fell from heaven, and had the key of the bottom- 
lefs pit delivered to it, but that bright angel who wa.s 
flung headlong out of heaven into hell , and to whofe 
power the kingdom of darknefs was committed ? and 

* C. ix, v. i. to v, 10. 

Part I. Ch. io. Of Hell. Io? 

what were thefe locufts fo fierce, and fo well armed, but 
the devils, his accomplices, and the minifters of his 
rage ? what were thefe green things which they were 
commanded not to hurt, but the juft ; who flourim by 
being watered with the heavenly dew of grace, and thus 
bring forth the fruits of eternal life ? Who are thofe that 
have not the feal of GOD ftamped upon them, but fuch 
as are deftitute of his fpirit , the true and infallible 
mark of his fervants, and of the innocent (heep of his 
flock ? ic is againft thefe unhappy wretches the divine 
juftice has railed fuch forces, that they may be tor- 
mented, both in this life and in the next, by thofe very 
devils, whofe fervice they have preferred before that of 
their Creator , as the Egyptians once were by the flies 
and gnats, which they adored. Add to all this, how 
dreadful it will be, to behold in this fad place, thofe 
hideous and frightful monfters ; this devouring dragon, 
and this wreathing ferpent. What a horrible fight muft: 
it be, to fee this huge and monftrous Behemoth, which 
is faid in the book of Job to erect his tail like a cedar ; 
to drink up whole rivers, and to devour mountains. 

1 1. A thorough confideration of all thefe things is fuf- 
ficient to make us underftand what torments the wicked 
are to fuffer. For who can imagine from what has been 
faid, but that thefe pains muft be very great ? what can 
a man expect from the greatnefs of GOD himfelf ; from 
the greatnefs of his juftice in puniming fin , from the 
greatnefs of his patience to bear with finners ; from the 
infinite multitude of favours and graces, by which he 
has endeavoured to invite and draw them to himfelf ; 
from the greatnefs of the hatred he bears to fin, which 
deferves to be infinitely hated, becauie it offends an in- 
finite Majefty ; and from the greatnefs of our enemies 
cruelty and fury ? what can we, I fay, expe<5b from all 
thefe things which are fo great, but that fin mould meet 
with a moft fevere and terrible punifhment ? if therefore, 
fo fevere a punimment is ordained for fin, and no doubt 
can be made of it, fmce faith teftifies this truth, how 
can they, who pretend to own and believe it, be fo in- 
fenfible of the heavy weight, every fin they commit 


The Sinners Guide. Book* I. 

throws upon them , when by giving way to but oner 
offence, they bring themfelves into the danger of incur - 
ring a penalty, which on fo many accounts appears to be 
fo terrible. 


Of the duration of thefe torments. 

12. But though all thefe confide rations are fufHcient, 
without any farther addition, to make us tremble ; we- 
fhall have much more reafon to be afraid, if we do but 
reflect with ourfelves, upon the duration of the pains we 
have now fpoken of. For if after feveral thoufands of 
years, there fhould be any limit fet, or any eafe given to 
thefe fufferings, it would be fome kind of comfort to the 
wicked : But what mall I fay of their eternity, which has 
no bounds, but will laft as long as GOD himfelf. This 
eternity is fuch, that as a great doctor tells us, mould 
one of the damned, at the end of every thoufand years, 
fhed but one tear, he would fooner overflow the world, 
than find any end to his miferies. Can any thing then 
be more terrible ? this certainly is fo great an ill, that 
though all the pains of hell were no fharper than the 
prick of a pin, confidering they were to continue for 
ever, man ought to undergo all the torments of this 
world to avoid them. O ! that this eternity ; this ter- 
rible word, For Ever, were deeply imprinted in your 
heart, how great would be the benefit you would reap 
by it. We read of a certain vain and worldly-minded 
man, who confidering ferioufly one day upon this eternity 
of torments, was frighted with the duration of them 
into this reflection. No man in the world, in his right 
fenfes, would be confined to a bed of rofes and violets, 
for the fpace of thirty or forty years, though he were at 
this price to purchafe the empire of all the earth. If fo, 
faid he to himfelf, what a madman muft he be, that will, 
for things of much lefs value, run the hazard of lying 
infinite ages upon a bed of fire and flames ? this thought 
alone wrought him up to fuch, and fo immediate a 
change of life, that he became a great faint, and a 


Part I. Ch. 10. Of Hell. 109 

worthy prelate of the church. What will thofe nice and 
effeminate perfons fay to this, whofe whole night's Deep 
is diilurbed and broken, if a fly be but buzzing in their 
chamber? what wiil they fay, when they mall be ftretched 
out upon a fire, and furrounded on all fides with fulphu- 
reous flames, not for one fliort fummer's night, but for all 
eternity. Thefe are the perfons to whom the Prophet 
Ifaiah put this queftion : Which of you can dwell with de- 
vouring fire ? which of you Jhall dwell with everlafting 
"burnings * ? who can be able to bear fuch a fcorching 
heat as this is, for fo long a time ? O foolifh and fenfe- 
lefs man, lulled into a. lethargic deep by the charms of 
this old deceiver of mankind ! can any thing be more 
unreafonable, than to fee men fo bufy providing for this 
mortal and corruptible life: and at the fame time, to 
have no greater concern for the things which regard eter- 
nity ? if we are blind to this miftake, what will our eyes 
be open to ? what mall we be afraid of, if we have no 
apprehenfion of this mifery ? or what fhall we ever pro- 
vide againft, if not againft an evil of fuch importance ? 
13. Since all this is undeniably true, why will we not 
refolve to walk in the way of virtue, though never fo 
troublefome, that we may avoid thofe punimments we 
are threatened with, if we take the contrary way? mould 
GOD leave it to any man's choice, either to be tormented 
with the gout or tooth-ach in fuch' a violent manner, as 
not to have any hopes of eafe, either day or night ; or 
elfe to turn Carthufian or bare-foot Carmelite, and 
undergo all the aufterities thofe religious men are obliged 
to , it is not to be imagined any man would be fo (lupid, 
as not to choofe either of thefe two ftates, though upon 
the bare motive of felf-love, rather than fuffer fuch a 
torture for fo long a time. Why then do we not ac- 
cept of fo eafy a penance, to avoid fuch a lafting tor- 
ment, fmce the pains of hell are fo much more infuffe- 
rable, of fo much longer continuance, and GOD requires 
fo much lefs of us, than the life of a Carthufian or Car- 
melite ? why do we refufe to undergo fuch a little trou- 
ble, when by it, we may efcape fo long and fo rigorous 
Q^ a pu- 

*Ifa;ah, c. *xxiii. V, 14. 

1 1 o The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

a punifhment? can any man be guilty of a greater folly 
than this is ? but the punifhment of it mail be, that 
fince man would not by a (hort penance done here, re- 
deem h'mfelf from fo much mifery, he mall do penance 
in hell for all eternity, without reaping any benefit by it, 
The fiery furnace which Nebuchadnezzar * commanded 
to be kindled in Babylon,, is a type hereof, for though 
the flames mounted nine and forty cubits, they could 
never reach to fifty, the number of years appointed for 
folemnizing of the Jewifh Jubilee. To fignify to us, 
that though the flames of this eternal furnace of Baby- 
lon, which is hell, are continually cafting forth a moft 
violent heat, and put thofe fouls which are thrown into 
them, to moft exquifite pains and torments ; yet they 
mall never purchafe them the grace and remiflion of the 
year of jubilee. O unprofitable pains ! O fruitlefs tears ! 
O penance fo much the more rigorous, as it is accom- 
panied with perpetual defpair t how fmall a part of all 
thofe evils you are now forced to fuffer, might have ob- 
tained you a pardon, if you would but -willingly have 
undergone it in this life. How eafily might we prevent 
cur falling into fuch miferies, with but a little pains and 
trouble ! let our eyes then burft out into fountains of 
tears, and let our hearts break forth into continual fighs 
without any intermifiion. For this, fays the prophet, 
Therefore will I lament and howl, I will go Jlript and 
naked : I will make a wailing like the dragons, and a mourn- 
ing like tbe oftricbes^ becaufe her wound is defperate -}-. 

14. If men had never been told of thefe truths, or 
if they had not looked upon them as infallible, we mould 
not wonder to fee them fall into that fupine negligence 
they are fubjed to. But have we not a great deal of 
reafon to be aftonifhed, when thofe very perfons who 
hold what we here afierted, as an article of faith ; and 
know, that as our Saviour has faid, heaven and earth 
(hall pals away, but not his word j that is to fay, it mail 
infallibly have its effect-, live fo inexcufably carelefs and 
unconcerned ? tell me now, O man, blind in body, but 


* Daniel, c. iii. v. 47. f Mich, e. i. v. 8, 9. 

Part II. Ch. I. Advantages of a Virtuous Life. 1 1 1 
blinder much as to your foul and underftanding , what 
pleafure can you find in all the advantages and riches of 
the world, to counter ballance the hazard of your eter- 
nal falvation ? " If, fays St. Jerome, you were as wife 
as Solomon, as beautiful as Abfalom, as ftrong as Sam- 
fon, as old as Enoch, as rich as Cnefus, and as powerful 
as Casfar , what good would all this do you ; if when 
you die, the worms mould prey upon your body, and 
the devils feize upon your foul to torment it, as they do 
the rich glutton's for all eternity." 

Thus much for the firft part of the exhortation to vir- 
tue. We will treat now of the extraordinary favours, 
which are promifed it even in this life. 

B O O K I. P A R T II. 

Of the fpiritual and temporal Advantages promifed 

to Virtue in this Life; and particularly of Twelve 

extraordinary Privileges belonging to it. 


Of the eleventh motive that obliges us to the purfuit of virtue, 
which is the ineftimable advantages promifed to it in this life. 

i. "Y" Know not what excufe men can plead for not fol- 

lowing virtue, which is fupported by fuch power- 

JL ful reafons , for in its behalf, may be urged, all 

that GOD is in himfelf , whit he deferves, what favours 

he has done us, what he {till promiles, and what punifh- 

ments he threatens. And therefore we have caufe to 

afk how there come to be fo few Chriftians that fcek after 

virtue, fince they confefs and believe all that has been 

faid. For, it is no wonder, that the heathens, who are 

Q^ 2 ignorant 

1 1 2 The Sinner* Guide. Book I. 

ignorant of its value, fhould not prize what they do not 
know, like a delving peafant, who if he happen to find 
a precious {lone, makes no account of it, becaufe he is 
ignorant of its value. But for Chriftians who are very 
well acquainted with thefe great truths, to live as i 
they believed nothing at all of them, to be fo entirely 
forgetful of GOD j to be fuch flaves to their vices, to 
let their padions fo tyranize over them, to be fo wedded 
to the things of this world, and fo little concerned 
abcut thofe of the next; to give themfelves over to all 
manner of crimes, as if there were neither death, judg- 
ment, heaven or hell , this is what mould furprize the 
whole world, and gives us ground enough toafk x whence 
this blindnefs, this itupidity proceeds. 

2. This mighty evil owes its rife to more caufes than 
one. The chiefeft is the general prepofTefTion of world- 
lings, that GOD referves to the next life, all the rewards 
he promifes to virtue, without making it any recom- 
pence in this. This is the reafon, why men, who con- 
fult their own prefent intereft fo much, and are fo vio- 
lently wrought upon by prefent objects, concern them.- 
felves fo little about what is to come, as looking after 
nothing that does not give them an immediate and pre- 
ient fatisfaction. Nor is this miftake a new one ^ for it 
is what was made in the days of the prophets. Thus 
we fee, that whenever Ezeckiel either made any great 
promifes, or threatened feverely in the name of GOD, 
the people laughed at him, and faid to one another, 'The 
I'ificn that this man feeth, is for many days to come, and this, 
man prophefieth of times afar off*. They alfo jeared the 
Prophet Ifaiah, and repeated thefe words, faying, Com- 
mand and command again , command and command again + 
fxpeft and expett again -, expeR and expeff again , a little 
there,, a little there -f. This is one of the chief reafons 
of men's not obferving the commandments of GOD. 
They have nothing, they think, to hope for from his 
mercy at prefent, but that all is to be put off till here- 
after J. Solomon, as very fenfible of this common error, 


* Ezech. c. xii. v. 27. -J- Ifaiah, c, xxviii. v. 1 3. 

J Kccles. c.- ix. v. 2 3 &c, 

Part II. Ch. I. Advantages of a virtuous Life. 1 13 

took occafion from hence to fay, " That the reafon why 
men give themfelves over without any kind of confide- 
ration to all manner of vice, is, becaufe the Tentence 
pafl"ed againft the wicked, is not immediately put into 
execution. And afterwards, he fays, that the greateft 
mifery in this life, and what of all makes men fin moft, 
is to fee, that the good and the bad j that thofe who 
offer up facrifice, and thofe who contemn it, fare a like 
in all things, in appearance at lead." And therefore the 
hearts of men are filled with malice in this life, and they 
are afterwards plunged into hell. What Solomon faid 
concerning the wicked, is fufficiently confirmed by them- 
felves in the Prophet Malachy, where they fay, He la- 
bour eth in vain that fortieth GOD, and wbat r prfffit is it that 
we have kept his ordinances, and that we have walked far- 
row ful before the Lord of Hefts ? wherefore now we call the 
frond people happy, for they that have worked wickednefs 
are built up, and they have tempted GOD and are preferved *. 
This is the common talk of fmners, and one of the chief 
motives of their continuing in their crimes. For, as 
St. Ambrofe fays, " They think that to buy hopes with 
danger is too hard a bargain, that is, to purchale future 
goods with prefent evils ; and to let go what they have 
in their hands, to feed themfelves up with an imaginary 
pofieflion of things which they have no hold of yetf." 

3. There is another better, in my opinion, to difabufe 
us of this dangerous miftake, than thefe words of our 
Saviour, interrupted with his tears, when confidering the 
deplorable ftate of Jerufalem, he wept over it, faying, 
If thou alfo haft known, and that in this thy day, the things 
that are for thy peace , but now they are hid from thy eyes J. 
Our Saviour confidered on one fide, what advantages 
this people had received by his coming , for all the 
treafures, and all the graces of heaven, were brought 
down from thence with the Lord of heaven. On the 
pther fide he faw that this fame people, defpifing the 
poor and mean appearance which he made in his drefs, 
and in his perfon, would neither receive nor own him 


* Mala. c. iii. v. 14, 15. f L. vii. in Luc. c, 7. 

J St. Luke, c. xix. v. 42. 

114. *The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

for what he was. He knew how great a lofs this nation 
which he loved fo tenderly, would fuffer by their ig- 
norance. For they were to lofe not only all thofe graces 
which he brought with him for them ; but their tempo- 
ral government and liberty. The Lord pufhed on by 
the force of his grief, med thofe tears, and fpoke thofe 
few words, which he brake off abruptly, though they 
were as fignificant as they were fhort. Thefe fame words 
may be well applied to our prefent purpofe ; becaufe if 
on the one hand we confider the beauty of virtue, with 
the extraordinary graces which go along with it ; and 
how thefe graces on the other hand are hid from the 
fight of carnal men, it is manifeft we have reafon to 
weep, and to fay with our Saviour, haddeft thou but 
known ! O unhappy fmner, how great a value would you 
fet upon virtue ? how would you long after it, and what 
would you not do for the obtaining of it : mould GOD 
but open your eyes to let you fee what riches, what 
pleafures, what peace, what liberty, what tranquility, 
what light, what fweetnefs, and what other benefits are 
its continual attendants ? but thefe are all hid from the 
eyes of worldlings, who minding nothing but its hard 
and bitter out-fide, imagine all within to be troublefome 
and unpleafant, and that it may pafs for current in the 
next life, but not in this. So that reafoning according 
to the flefh, they fay they will not be at the charge of 
certain dangers, for the purchafe of uncertain hopes ; 
nor hazard their prefent happinefs for a flippery depen- 
clance upon what is to come. This is the common dif- 
courfe of thofe who are daunted by the outward appear- 
ance of virtue. They do not know that Chriftian phi- 
lofophy is like Chrift himfelf, who even under the form 
of a poor and humble man, continued flill to be GOD, 
and the fovereign Lord of all things. And for this rca- 
fon it is faid of the faithful,' That they are dead to the 
world, but their life is hid with Chrift in GOD *. For as 
our Saviour's glory was concealed under this vail, fo 
mould the glory of all fuch as imitate him. We read of 
certain images that were called Silenes, courfe and rough 

* ColofT. c. iii, v, 2. 

Part II. Ch I. Advantages of a Virtuous Life. 115 

on the out-fide*, but very curious and artificial within; 
fo that all the beauty and art lay hid, whilft that which 
was but mean and ordinary was turned outward. Thus 
the eyes of the ignorant were deceived by the appearance, 
but the infide ingenuity attracted the wifer fort. Such 
without doubt, have been the lives of the prophets and 
the apoflles, and of all true and perfect Chriftians ; as 
was the life of their Lord and mafter. 

4. But if you flill find the practice of virtue hard, 
reflect upon the means GOD has aflifted you with to 
make it eafy. Such are the infufed graces, which the 
gifts of the Holy Ghoft, the facraments of the new law, 
and feveral other divine favours that ferves as oars and 
fails to a (hip, or as wings to a bird. Confider what the 
very name and being of virtue imports, which is effen- 
tially a very noble and perfect habit ; and therefore, re- 
gularly fpeaking, ought like all other habits to make us 
act with facility and pleafure. Confider farther, that our 
Saviour has promifed to his elect, not only the goods of 
glory, but thofe of grace ; the latter for this life, and 
the former for the life to come. As the royal prophet 
aflures us, faying, 'The Lord iviU give grace and glory * : 
which are like two rich veflels filled with all kinds of 
good things ; the one for this life, and the other for the 
next. By which we may fee there is fomething more in 
virtue, than appears at firft fight. Confider again, that 
fince GOD lets us want nothing that is neceflary, having 
fo plentifully provided all creatures with whatfoever they 
ftand in need of; it is not to be imagined, fince nothing 
can be more necefTary, or of greater importance to mart 
than virtue, that he would leave us intirely to the dif- 
pofal of our own free-wills, which are fo weak and im- 
potent, to the blindneis of our underftanding ; to the 
inconftancy of our humours ; to our own defires which 
are fo bent to evil ; to a nature fo depraved by fin, with- 
out ftrengthening us with infufed habits, which are as 
it were oars to help us over all thofe melves and fands, 
that hinder us from making our way through the fea of 
this life. For it is unreafonable to think, that the Di-- 

* Pfalm Ixxxiii. v. 12. 

1 1 6 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

vine Providence, which has taken fo much care for the 
fly, the fpider, and the ant ; having fupplied them with 
all things requifite for their fubfiftance , has left man, 
the nobleft of ail creatures under heaven, without fuch 
means as are neceflary for his acquiring of virtue. 

5. To go farther yet, how can GOD poffibly be fo 
fparing to his faithful fervants, as to leave them in their 
neceflities, and forfake them in the midft of their fuf- 
ierings, whilft the world and the devil, by fo many dif- 
ferent falfe delights and pleafures, win the hearts of 
thofe who ferve them ? how can you imagine the prac- 
tice of virtues to be fo mean, and that of vice fo noble ? 
can you perfuade yourfelf that Go k o would ever permit 
this laft fo much to furpafs the other ? what do you think 
GOD defigned to fignify to us, by the anfwer his Pro- 
phet Malachy made in his name, to the complaints of 
the wicked ? And you Jhall return and fee the difference 
between the jttft and the wicked \ and between him that 
Jerveth GOD, and him that ferveth him not *. This mows, 
that GOD does not think it enough to propofe the advan- 
tages of the next life, of which he treats afterwards, to 
thofe who return to him , but he fays to them, be con- 
verted and you fhall fee ; as if he had faid, it is not my 
only defign you fhould wait till the other life, to know 
the advantages you are to make, but return to me, and 
you mall fee this very moment , what difference there is 
between the good and the bad -, the riches of the one, 
and the poverty of the other; the joy, peace and fatis- 
faction the one enjoys, and the forrow, reftlefsnefs, and 
difcontent that follows the other. The light the one 
walks in, and the darknefs that furrounds the other. 
Thus experience will mew you how many advantages 
more than you imagined, the followers of virtue have 
over thofe that follow vice. 

6. GOD gives almoft the very fame anfwer over again 
to fome other perfons, who had no better opinion of 
virtue than the former. Thefe deceived by the fame ap- 
pearance, laughed at thofe that were virtuous, and. faid 
to them. Let the Lord be glorified^ and we Jball fee in 

* Mala, c, iii, v. 18. 

Part II. Ch. i . Advantages of a Pirtuous Life. 1 1 J 

your joy *. After thefe few words, the prophet giving 
a large account of the torments prepared by GOD'S juf- 
tice for the wicked , immediately tells us what joys are 
laid up for the juft. Rtjoice, fays he, 'with Jerufalem, 
'and be glad with her all you that love her : rejoice for joy 
with her, all you that mourn for her : that you may fuck and 
be filled with the breafls tf her consolations ; that you may 
milk out, and flow with delights from the abundance of her 
glory. For thus faith the Lord, behold I will bring upon 
her as it were a river of peace, and as an overflowing torrent, 
the glory of the Gentiles which you jhall fuck, fhen Jhall 
you fuck, you Jhall be carried at the breaft, and upon the knees 
they Jhall carefs you : as one whom the mother cnrejfeth ; fo 
'will I comfort you, and you Jhall be comforted in Jernfalcm. 
Tou Jhall fee, and Jhall rejoice, and your bones Jhall 
flourijh like an herb, and the hand of the Lord fo all be known 
to his fervants f. This is to fignify, that as men, by the 
vaft extent of the heavens, earth and fea ; and by the 
brightnefs of the fun, moon, and ftars, judge of the 
omnipotence, and the infinite beauty of GOD, the au- 
thor of thefe wondrous works ; fo the juft (hall difcovef 
the greatnefs of his power, riches, and mercy, by thofe 
infinite favours he will beftow on them, and the joy they 
receive. So that as he mewed the world his feverity and 
rigour towards the wicked, by the punimments he in- 
flicted upon Pharaoh , he will in the fame manner mew 
the greatnefs of his love to his elect, by the extraordi- 
nary favours he will confer on them. Happy the foul 
that mail receive favours from GOD, in token of his infi- 
nite love ! and unhappy me, whole torments and fuf- 
ferings (hall manifeft the rigour of his juflice ! for each 
of thefe attributes being infinite, what effects muft fuch 
infinite caufes produce ? 

7. I muft further add, that if you mall think the way 
of virtue uneafy and melancholy, you may look into 
thofe words the Divine Wifdom utters of herfelf, as 
follows ; / walk in the way 'of juflice, in the midfl of the 
paths of judgment j that I may enrich them that love me, 
R * and 

*Ifaiah, c. Ixvi. V. 5. -f Ibid, v, IO, U, 12, 13, 14- 

1 1 8 The Sinners Guldi. Book I. 

find may fill their treafures *. What are thefe riches, but 
the riches of this heavenly wifdom , far more precious 
than are the riches of the world, and beftowed upon the 
lovers of juftice , which is the fame we have hitherto 
called virtue ? for if her riches did not much better de- 
ferve the name than all other riches, how could the 
apoftle have thanked GOD for the Corinthians being rich 
in all fpiritual things -j-. He calls them rich without any- 
kind of limitation, whilft he ftiles others the rich of this 
world only. 

S E C T. I. 
A gofpel authority for what has been fold. 

8. For the farther proof of what I have faid, I wift 
add this divine fentence of JESUS CHRIST. St. Mark 
tells us, that when St. Peter afked our Saviour what re- 
ward they mould have, who had quitted all fof the love 
of him, he gives him this anfwer : Amen I fay to you y 
there is no man who jhall ba'ue left houje, or brethren, or 
fiftcrs, or father, or mother ; or children, or land for my fake p , 
find for the go/pel, who Jhall not receive an hundred times as 
much now in this time, and in the world to come, life ever- 
lafting J. If you but weigh thefe words exactly , you 
cannot in the firft place deny, but that JESUS CHRIST 
makes a formal diftinction betwixt the rewards of vir- 
tue in this life, and in the next ; the one being a pro- 
mife of a future, and the other of a prefent happinefs. 
You muft confefs too, that it is impoflible this promife 
mould not be performed, fince heaven and earth are 
fooner to pafs away, than one tittle of thefe words, how 
harcj foever they appear, mail fail. And as we certainly 
believe there is in GOD both Trinity and Unity, becaufe 
he has faid fo, though this myftery is beyond the reach 
of our reafons : fo are we to believe this other truth, 
though it exceeds all human underftanding, fince it is 
grounded upon the fame authority of GOD'S own word. 

9. What then is this hundred fold which the juft re- 
ceive, even in this life ? for we fee they are for the moft 


* Prov. c. viii. v. 20, 21. f I Cor. c. i, v. 5. 

J St. Mark, c. x. v. 29, 30. 

Part II. Ch. i . Advantages of a Virtuous Life. 1 1 9 
part, men of no very confiderable quality, nor very rich, 
of no great employs in the ftate, nor enjoy any other 
worldly advantages ; but on the contrary, many of them 
live retired, obfcure, poor and neceflitous. How then 
can this infallible word of GOD be proved to be true, 
but by acknowledging, that GOD makes them fo fpiri- 
tually rich, that they are more happy and quiet, than if 
they were fovereign lords of the world ; and yet have 
no need of any of the conveniencies of this life ? nor is 
this to be wondered at ; becaufe, as GOD may preferve 
mankind by other means, and not by bread alone ; fo it 
is not necefTary he mould fatisfy thofe fouls he has fuch a 
love for, with temporal goods, having better ways of 
doing it. This we have feen in a particular manner juf- 
tified in all the faints , whofe prayers, fadings, tears and 
labours have given them a far greater delight and fatif- 
faction, than all the joys and pleafures of the world could 
ever have done ; which (hews us plainly, that what they 
receive, was an hundred times better than what they left 
for the love of GOD. For inftead of the falle and ap- 
parent goods thay forfook, they received fuch as were 
true and real, inftead of the uncertain ; thofe which were 
certain, fpiritual inftead of corporal, eafe inftead of care, 
quiet inftead of trouble, and for a vicious and unplea- 
fant life, one virtuous and delightful , fo that if for the 
love of GOD you have defpifed the bafe treafures of this 
world, you (hall find in him fuch as are ineftimable. If 
for his fake you have contemned falfe honours, you mall 
meet with true ones in him. If you have forfaken a 
mortal father upon his account, the eternal father will 
fatisfy you with all kinds of delights. If, in fine, you 
have bid adieu to hurtful pleafures for the love of him, 
he will entertain you with fuch as mail be free from the 
leaft tincture of bitternefs or allay. When you mail 
arrive to fuch a degree of perfection as this is, you will 
then abhor what you took the greateft pleafure in before. 
For when our eyes are once cleared by this heavenly 
brightnefs, we difcover a new light, which reprefents 
things quite different from what they appeared to us at 
firft. What we then thought fweet, taftes bitter to us 
R 2 now, 

120 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

now j and what we looked upon as bitter then, we now 
find to be fweet. We are pleafed now with that which 
frighted us before ; and look upon that as hideous and 
ghaftly, which once feemed beautiful and charming. 
Thus we find our Saviour's words to be verified, by his 
beftowing on us the incorruptible goods of the foul for 
the corruptible ones of the body ; and for the goods of 
fortune, thofe of grace which are incomparably better, 
and more capable to fatisfy man than all earthly goods. 

10. For the farther proof of this important truth, I 
will give you an example taken out of the lives of the 
famous men of the order of the Ciftercians. It is there 
written, that as St. Bernard was preaching in Flanders, 
full of zeal for the converfion of fouls to GOD ; amongft 
thofe who were touched with a particular grace was a 
certain perfon called Arnulphus, one of the chief men of 
the country, and clofely tied to the things of this world. 
But he at laft breaking through all, became a Ciftercian 
Monk in the monaftery of Clairvaux. St. Bernard was 
fo pleafed with this great change, that he ufed often to 
fay, that GOD had manifefted his power as wonderfully 
in converting of Arnulphus, as in raifing of Lazarus 
from the dead ; having drawn him from fo many plea* 
fures, which, like a grave he lay buried in, to raife him 
to a new life, which was no lefs to be admired in its 
procefs than it had been in his converfion. But becaufe 
it would be -too tedious to give you a particular account 
of this holy man's virtues, I mall orly make ufe of what 
ferves our prefent purpofe. This good monk was very 
fubjecl: to terrible fits of the cholic, which often put him 
in a dying condition. One day it feized upon him fo 
violently, that he loft both his fpeech and fenfes. ; Where- 
upon the religious feeing but little hopes of life left, 
gave him the Extreme Unction. Soon after, coming to 
Himfelf, he began to praife GOD, and cried aloud, " All 
that thoy haft ever faid, O moft merciful Jefus, is very 
true.'* The religious fiirprized at his frequent repeating 
of the fame words, afked him what he meant ; but he 
made them no anfwer, continuing to cry out louder and 
loxider, " All tjia,t thou haft ever fajd, rnoft merciful 


Part II. Ch. i . Advantages of a Virtuous Life. 121 
Jefus, is very true." Some that were prefent fancied his 
pains had put him befide himfelf; but he perceiving 
their miftake, faid to them : " It is not fo my brothers, 
it is not fo, for I never was better in my fenfes than now,, 
whilft I tell you, That all that Jefus Chrift has faid is 
very true." Hereupon the reft of the monks faid, it is 
what we all of us believe , but why do you repeat it fo 
often to us ) Becaufe, faid he, our Saviour has told us in 
hisgofpel: That wbcfoever Jhall forfake bis friends and re- 
lations for the love of tarn, Jhall receive an hundred times as 
much, now in this time, and in the world to come^ life ever- 
ing *. " This is what I find true by my own experience. 
For I aflure you, I at this very moment receive that hun- 
dred fold, the excefllve pains I endure, being fo pleafmg 
to me, through the lively hope I have now given of my 
falvation, that I would not exchange them for an hun- 
dred times as much as I left, when I forfook the world. 
And if fo great a fmner as I am, finds fo much fatisfac- 
tion in what I fuffer, what confolations muft they who 
are perfect be fenfible of? for the anticipated fruition of 
thofe eternal pleafures which I enjoy now by hopes, is 
not a hundred times only, but a hundred thoufand times 
better than all thole delights the world could ever afford 
me.'* They were all aftonimed to hear a man of no 
learning at all talk fo pioufly and fublimely. But it 
plainly appeared, that what he faid was dictated by the 
Holy Ghoft. 

ii. This is a demonflration that GOD can give thofe 
who ferve him, more pleafure and delight than they for- 
fook for his fake, and yet not enrich them with temporal 
goods. And thus we fee how much in the wrong thofe 
men have been, who could never perfuade themfelves, 
that virtue had a reward in this life. The twelve follow- 
ing chapters /hall ferve for the better undeceiving of fuch 
perfons ; wherein we mall treat of twelve wonderful 
fruits and privileges that attend virtue, even in this life. 
By which they who have hitherto loved nothing but the 
world, may underftand, that it is more delightful than 
they imagine. And though it is in fome manner requi- 

* St. Mark, c. x, v. 30. 

122 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

fite for the perfect comprehending of this truth, that a 
man fhould have had fome experience from the practice 
of virtue, becaufe there is nobody knows her own worth 
fo well as fhe herfclf does ; this defect may neverthelefs 
be fupplied by faith, fmce by means of it we believe 
the Holy Scriptures to be true, out of which I intend 
to prove all I mail fay upon this fubject, that fo no one 
may call the truth of it into queftion. 


Of the twelfth motive that obliges us to the purfuit of virtue, 
ivhich is the particular care the Divine Providence takes 
of the good, in order to make them happy \ and the feverity 
with ivhich the fame Providence punijhes the wicked. The. 
firji privilege. 

i. /^\F all thefe favours, the greateft certainly is the 
\<J care GOD takes of thofe who ferve him. From 
this, as from their fountain, flow all the other privileges 
of virtue. For though Providence extends itfelf to all 
creatures, yet we fee how particularly careful it is of 
thofe whom GOD has chofen for himfelf. Becaufe they 
being his children, and receiving as his gift an affection 
truly filial for him, he on his fide loves them with a truly 
fatherly love, and this love is the meafure of the care he 
takes for them. Yet no man can conceive how great 
this Providence is, unlefs he has either had experience 
of it, or red the holy bible with much attention, and 
obferved thofe pafiages there that treat of this matter ; 
for there is fcarce any part of fcripture, but handles this 
fubject. It runs all upon thofe two points, to afk and to 
promiie, as the world turns round upon its poles. So 
that whenever GOD on one fide requires our obfervance 
of his commandments, he promifes a generous reward 
to thofe who comply, and very feverely threatens fuch as 
neglect to obey. This doctrine is fo diftributed, that 
almoft all the moral books in it are, require and promife, 
whilft the hiftorical verify the fulfilling of both, giving 


Part II, Ch. 2. GOD'S Care qf the Juft. 123 

to us to underftand, how differently GOD deals with the 
juft man and the finner. 

But confidering how liberal he is, we muft needs find 
a great difference betwixt what he requires and what he 
gives. All he requires of us is, that love and obedience 
which he himfelf has given us , and yet in return of that 
little which we hold purely of his liberality , he offers us 
ineftimable riches for this life, as well as for the next. 
Of all which, the chiefeft is the fatherly love and pro- 
vidence wherewith he aflifts thofe he looks upon as his 
children, and this is infinitely beyond whatever affeclion 
the moft tender father in the world can Ihow ; for never 
was there any one yet who laid up fuch riches for his 
children as GOD does, which is no lefs than the partici- 
pation of his eternal glory. Never did any man undergo 
fo much for his children, as GOD has done, having for 
their fakes ftied the very laft drop of his blood. Nor 
will ever any father take fo much care of them as GOD 
does, fmce he always has them in his fight, and a/lifts 
them in all their necefilties. This holy David acknow- 
leges, when he fays, Thou haft received me into thy care, 
by reafon of my innocence ; and haft eftablijhed me in thy fight 
for ever *. Which is to fay, you have always watched fo 
carefully over all my actions, as to keep your eyes con- 
tinually fixed upon me. And in another pfalm he fays, 
The eyes of the Lord are upon the juft, and his ears are 
unto their prayers : but the countenance of the Lord is againft 
them that do evil things ; to cut off the remembrance of them 
from the earth ~\. 

2. But becaufe this Divine Providence is the greateft 
treafure aChriftian has, and upon his hopes and affurance 
of being protected by it, depends the encreafe of his 
confidence and joy, it will be to our purpofe here to 
make ufe of fome paffages of fcripture, in proof of 
-thofe immenfe riches with which GOD bleffes the juft. 
In Ecclefiafticus it is faid, The eyes of the -Lord are upon 
iloem that fear him ; he is their powerful protettor and ftron* 
ft ay, a defence from the heat, and a cover from the fun and 
moon, a prcfervation from ftumbling, and a help from falling* 

* Pfalm. xl. v. 13. -f- Pfalm, xxxiii, v. 16, 17. 

124 tf* Sinners Guide. Book.!. 

be raifeth up tie foul, and enligbtenetb the eyes, and givetb 
health, and life, and blejjing *. The royal prophet fays, 
With the Lord Jhatt the fteps of a man be direffed, and he 
Jhall like well his way ; when he Jhall fall, he Jhall not be 
bruifed, for the Lord putteth his hand under him -f. What 
harm can he come to who falls fo foft, and is fupported 
by the hand of God ? he fays again, in another place, 
Many are the affiittions of the juft -, but cut of them all will 
the Lord deliver them. The Lord keepeth all their bones , 
mt dne of them Jhall be broken \. This Providence is 
much more magnified in the gofpel; for our Saviour 
himfelf, not only tells us that he takes care of all their 
bones, but of their very hair [|, that not one of them may 
be loft i to exprefs in how extraordinary a manner he 
protects them. For what is there he will not look after, 
who does not neglect the very hair of our heads ? if this 
be a declaration of his great concern for us, what the 
prophet Zachary tells us, exprefies it no lefs : For he 
that touche th you toucheth the apple of my eye . It 
were much, had he faid, For he that toucheth you, toucheth 
me : but, For he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of 
my eye, is ftill more. 

3. Nor does he only look after us himfelf, but has alfo 
committed us to the care of his angels; and therefore 
David fays : He hath given his angels charge of thce ; to 
keep thee in all thy ways. In their hands they Jhall bear thee 
up, left thoujhouldeft dajh thy foot againft a ft one (i}. Thus 
our good angels, like elder brothers, carry the juft men 
in their arms ; for not knowing how to walk by them- 
felves, they have need of another to lead them. Nor 
are the angels content to ferve them thus in this life 
only , but even at their death, as appears by the poor 
man in the gofpel, who after he was dead, Was carried by 
angels into Abraham's bofom (2). We are told alfo in 
another pfalm, that tbe angels of the Lord Jhall camp round 
about thofe who fear him, and Jhall deliver them (3). Or 


* Pfal. XxXiv. v. 19, 20. f Pfal. XXXvi. v. 23,24. 

J PA xxxiii. v. 20, 21. II St Luke, c. xxi. v. 18. 

Ibid. c. ii. v . 8. (i) Pf. xc. v. n, 12. (2) St, Luke 
c. xvi. v, 22. (3) Pialm, xxxiii, v. 8. 

Part II. Ch. 2. GOD'S Care of tie Ju/t. 125 

as St. Jerome renders it more fignificantly : The angel 
of the Ltrd has pitched his camp about thofe that live in his 
fear, to preferve them. What king has fuch a guard 
about his perfon as this is ? We fee it plainly in a paffage 
out of the book of Kings, where we read *, that as the 
king of Syria's army was marching toward Samaria, with 
a defign to take the prophet Eliiha, the holy man took 
notice of the concern his fervant was in, at the fight of fo 
formidable an army, and prayed to GOD, that he would 
be pleafed to open the young man's eyes, and let him fee 
that there was a much greater army ready to defend 
them, than that of their enemies. GOD heard the pro- 
phet's prayer ; whereupon the young man faw the whole 
mountain covered wiih horfes and fiery chariots, and 
Elifha in the midft of them. We read of fuch another 
guard in the Canticles, in thefe words : What fh alt than 
fee in the Shulamite f , who is the figure of the church, 
and of a foul in the ftate of grace, but the companies of 
campS) which is compofed of angels ? the fame thing is 
fignified by the fpoufe, under another figure in the 
fame book, where it is faid : Behold threefcore valiant 
ones of the moft valiant of Ifrael, furround the bed of Solo- 
mon all holding fwords, and moft expert in war , every man's 
fivord upon his thigh, becaufe of fearing in the night . What 
is all this but a lively reprefentation made by the Holy 
Ghoft, under thefe figures of that care the Divine Provi- 
dence has over the fouls of the jtift ? for how can a man, 
who is conceived in fin, who lives in a body fo naturally 
inclined to evil ; and who is furrounded with fo many 
dangers, preferve himfelf for feveral years, from commit- 
ting any mortal crime, did not the Divine Providence 
fecure and keep him from it. 

4. This Providence is fo powerful, that it not only 
delivers us from evil, and leads us to good, but what is 
more, very often, by a wonderful effecl:, draws even 
good out of evil, which fometimes GOD permits the 
juft themfelves to fall into. This happens when repent- 
ing for their fins, they thence take occafion to become 
S more 

* B. IV. v. 15, 1 6, 17, f Ibid, c.vii, v. i, 

Ibid, c. iii, v. 7, 8, 

126 'The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

more circumfpect, more humble, and more grateful to 
GOD, for the mercies he hasfhewn them, in freeing them 
from the danger they were in, and in pardoning them all 
their faults. It is in this fenfe the apoftle fays : That to 
them that love God, all things work together unto good *. 

If therefore thefe favours fo highly deferve our admi- 
ration , how much caufe have we to wonder at GOD'S 
being fo careful of their children, of their whole pofte- 
rity, and of all that belongs to them ? as himfelf has af- 
fured us, when he faid : / am the Lord thy God, mighty 
jealous, lifiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the chil- 
dren, upon the third and fourth generation to them that hate 
me ; andjhewing mercy unto thoufands of them that love me 
and keep my commandments f. "We find him as good as 
his word to David J, whofe race he would not deftroy, 
after a great many years, though feveral of them had 
deferved it for their fins. Another example of his care we 
have in Abraham, whofe pofterity he pardoned fo often for 
their father's fakes. This care of his went fo far, as to 
promife Abraham, that he would blefs his fon Ifmael, 
though he were born of a flave : 'That he would make him 
increafe and multiply exceedingly, and that he Jhould grow 
into a great nation ( i ). And all this only becaufe he was 
Abraham's Son. We have yet a farther proof hereof, 
in GOD'S conducting Abraham's fervant through his 
whole journey (2), and inftrueting him in his bufmefs, 
when he went to feek a wife for Ifaac. Nor has he only 
been merciful to a fervant, for the fake of a good mafter ; 
but even to wicked matters, for their pious fervants fake. 
Thus we fee he beftowed great favours upon Jo- 
feph's mafter (3), though a heathen, in confideration of 
the virtuous young man who lived with him. What 
mercy can exceed this ? who will not ferve fuch a mafter, 
who is fo liberal, and even fo thankful to thofe that do 
him any fervice, and fo careful of every thing which be- 
longs to them. 


* Rom. c. viii. v. 28. f Exod. c. XX. v. 5, 6. J 4 Kings, 
c. viii. v 19. (i) Gen. c. xvii, v. 30. (2) Ibid. c. 24. 
(3) Ibid. c. xxxiii. v. 22, 23. 

Part II. Ch. i. GOD'S Care of the Jujl. 1 27 


Of the titles given to Almighty God in Holy Writ, on account 
of bis Providence. 

5. On account of this Divine Providence producing fo 
many different and wonderful effects ; GOD has a great 
many different names given him in the Holy Scripture ; 
but the moft ufual and moft remarkable is that of Father, 
as his beloved Son calls him in the gofpel , and he has 
been pleafed it mould be given him in feveral places of 
the Old Teftament. And therefore David fays (i), As a 
father hath companion on his, children, fo hath the Lord com- 
pajjion on them that fear him* for he knoweth our frame. 
Another prophet calling GOD Father, becaufe his care is 
infinitely greater than that of an ordinary Father, fpeaks 
thus to him : Thou, O Lord art our Father, and Abraham 
bath not known us, and Ifrael hath been ignorant of us (2). 
To give us to underftand, that thefe being only our 
carnal fathers, deferved not that name, in companion of 
GOD our heavenly Father. 

6. But becaufe a mother's affection is generally fpeak- 
ing more paflionate and tender than a Father's, GOD is 
pleafed to call himfelf a Mother, nay, and more than a 
mother. Can a woman, fays he in Ifaiah, forget her infant, 
fo as not to have pity on the fon of her womb ? and if jhe 
jhould forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold I have 
graven thee in my hands, thy walls are always before me (3) 
Can any thing be more tender than this ; or can any 
man be blind to fuch proofs of love as thefe are ? 

7. Did we but confider, that it is GOD who fpeaks ; 
he whofe truth cannot deceive, whofe riches are inex- 
hauftible, and whofe power has no limits; what joy 
would fuch pleafmg words as thefe bring us ? but fuch is 
the excefs of 600*8 mercy, that not content to compare 
his affection with that of common mothers, he amongft 
all others chofe the eagle, a creature the moft remar- 
kable for this love, and compares his tendernefs to hers ; 

S 2 faying, 

(i) Pfalm, cii. v. 13. (2) Ifaiah, c. Ixiii. v. 16. 
(3) Ibid, c, xlix. v. 15. 1 6. 

128 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

faying, by Mofes ( i ) : As the eagle enticeing her young to fie, 
find hovering over them, he fpread his wings, and hath taken 
him and carried on hisfhoulders. The fame prophet exprefled 
this more lively to the people of Ifrael, when upon their 
arrival at the land of promife, he tells them ( 2 ) : And in 
the wildernefs as thou haft feen the Lord thy God hath carried 
thee, as a man is wont to carry his little fon, all the way that 
you have come, until you come to this place. As he does 
not difdain to call himfelf our Father, he does us the 
honour to call us his children. A proof of which we 
have in the prophet Jeremy (3): Surely Ephraim is an 
honourable fen to me, furely ht is a tender child : forfince I 
/poke of him, I will fiill remember him : therefore are my 
Jewels troubled for him , pitying I will pity him, faith the 
Lord. Every word here mould be weighed with atten- 
tion, as coming from GOD , and mould force from us a 
tender affection for him, in return of his tender love to 

8. It is upon account of the fame Providence, that he 
gives himfelf the name of a Shepherd as well as that of a 
Father. And to let us fee how great this his paftoral care 
is. He fays (4), 1 am the good Shepherd, and I know 
mine, and mine know me. How is it, O Lord, that thou 
knoweft them ? how doft thou look after them ? As the 
Father knoweth me, and I know my Father. O bleffed care ! 
O fovereign Providence ! what greater happinefs can a 
man enjoy, than to be taken care of by the Son of GOD, 
juft as his Father takes care of him ? the comparifon, it 
is true, will not hold in all refpedts, becaufe a begotten 
fon deferves much more, than one who is only adopted ; 
but to be in any manner whatever compared with him, is 
a very great honour. GOD acquaints us with the won-* 
derful effects of this his Providence, very full and ele- 
gantly by the mouth of the Prophet Ezekiel, faying (5) : 
Behold, I myfelf will feek my Jheep, and will vifit them-, as 
the Jhephcrd vifiteth his flock - % in the day when hejhall be in 
the midft of his Jheep that were fcattered : fo will I vifit my 


(l) Deut. c. xxxii. v. n. (2) Ibid. c. i. v. 31. (3) Ibid. 
c. xxxi, v. 20. (4) St. John, c. 10. v. 14, 15. (5) Ezekiel 
c.xxxiv. v. n, 12, 13, 14, j 5 , IQ". 

Part II. Ch. i. GOD'J Care of the Juft. 

Jheep, and 'will deliver them out of all the places, where they 
have been fc altered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will 
bring them out from the people, and will gather them out of 
the countries, and will bring them to their own land : and I 
will feed them in the moft fruitful paftures, and thiir paftures 
Jhall be in the high mountains of Ifrael : there Jhall they reft 
on the green grafs, and be fed in fat paftures upon the moun- 
tains of Ifrael. I will feed my Jheep, and I will caufe them 
to lie down, faith the Lord God. I will feek that which 
was loft, and that which was driven away I will bring again ; 
and I will bind up that which was broken, and I willftrengthen 
that which was weak, and that which was fat and ftrong / 
will preferve ; and I will feed them in judgment : that is 
with great care, and with a particular providence. A 
little lower he adds * : / will make a covenant of peace 
with them, and will caufe the evil beaft to ceafe out of the 
land-, and they that dwell in the wildernefs, Jhall Jleep 
fecure in the for efts f And I will make them a blejjing round 
about my hill, and I will fend down the rain in itsfeafon-, 
there Jhall bejhowers of blejjing: that is to fay, wholefome 
fhowers, and fuch as (hall do no hurt to the places which 
my flock feeds in. What greater promifes can GOD 
make us, or what more tender exprefilons can he give us 
of his love ? for it is certain, that he does not fpeak here 
of a material, but of a fpiritual flock, compofed of men 
as the text itfelf plainly (hews. It is no lefs certain, 
that he does not mean fat lands, or an abundance of 
temporal goods, which are common to the bad as well 
as the good, but, like a good fhepherd, he promifes to 
aflift thofe that are his, with particular graces ; upon all 
occafions. It is what he himfelf has explained by Ifaiah, 
where he fays ; He Jhall feed his flock like a Jhepherd', he 
Jhall gather together the lambs with his arm, and Jhall take 
them up in his bofom, and he himfelf Jhall carry them that are 
young ]-. Is there any tendernefs like this. The divine 
pfalm which begins thus, The Lord is my Jhepherd J ; is 
full of thefe charitable offices of a Shepherd, which GOD 
performs to man. 

9. As 

* Ezekiel, c, xxxiv. v. 25, 26. t Ifaiah, c. Ix. v. 1 1. 

J Pfalm, xxii. 

Sinners Guide. Book I. 

9. As we call GOD our Shepherd becaufe he guides 
us, fo we may call him our king becaufe he protects us 
our mafter becaufe he inftructs us ; our phyfician becaufe 
he heals us ; our fofter father becaufe he carries us in his 
arms , and our guard becaufe of his watching fo care- 
fully over all our actions. The Holy Scripture is full of 
fuch names as thefe. But yet, there is none expreffes a 
more tender love, or difcovers his providence more, than 
that of Spoufe ; a title he often gives himfelf in the can- 
ticles, and in other places of the bible. It is by this he 
invites the finner to call upon him : Therefore at the leaft 
from this time call to me\ thou art my father ', the guide of 
my virginity *. Which name the apoftle mighty extols ; 
for after thefe words f which Adam fpake to Eve , There- 
fore a man jh all leave father and mother, and /hall cleave to 
his wife, and they Jhall be two in one fiejh J ; he goes on 
faying, This is a great facrament, but I fptak in Chrift and 
in the Church, which is his fpoufe : and we may in fome 
refpect, fay the fame of every one in the ftate of grace. 
What then may we not hope from him, who goes by 
fuch a name, and that with fo much reafon ? 

But what need is there of turning over the bible to 
feek for names, fmce there is not one that promifes us 
any good, but may be applied to GOD ? for whofoever 
loves and feeks him (hall in him find whatever he can 
wifh. For this reafon St. Ambrofe fays, " We have all 
things in Chriir, and Chrift is all to us. If you want a 
cure for your wounds, he is a phyfician : if you are in 
a burning fever, he is a fountain : if you are tired with 
the burden of your fins, he is juftice : if you are afraid 
of death, he is life in you : if you hate darknefs, he is 
the light : if you would go to heaven, he is the way : 
if you are hungry, he is your food ." See here how 
many names GOD has wh in himfelf is but one-, for 
though he is but one in himfelf, yet he is all things 
for us, that he may relieVe all our neceflities which are 

JO. It 

* Jerem. c. Hi. v. 4. f Gen. c. ii. v. 4. J Ephes. 
c. v. v. 31, 32. L. iii. de Virg. 

Part II. Ch, 2. GOD'J Care of the Juft. 13 ,' 

i o. It would be tedious to reckon up all the authori- 
ties of this kind in the Holy Scriptures. Thefe I have 
taken notice of for the comfort and encouragement of all 
that ferve GOD, and for the gaining of fuch as do not : 
for it is certain there is no greater treafure under heaven 
than this. As therefore thofe perfons who have ferved 
their prince upon fome extraordinary occafions, and re- 
ceived certificates under his hand, and promifes of confi- 
derable rewards for their fervice, are very careful to fe- 
cure thofe authentic papers comforting themfelves in the 
midft of dangers, with the hopes of obtaining^ the re- 
ward of their labours : fo GOD'S fervants lay up in their 
hearts all thefe divine promifes, which are much more 
fecurely to be relied on, than any that are made by mor- 
tal kings. In thefe they place their hope ; thefe are 
their fupport in all their toils ; their truft in all their 
dangers ; and their comfort in all their miferies. To 
thefe they have recourfe in all their necefEties. Thefe 
inflame them with the love of fo good a mailer, and 
oblige them wholly to his fervice ; for as he allures them, 
he will give himfelf entirely up to the procuring of their 
good ; for he is their All. Thus we fee that the main 
foundation of a Chriftian Life, is the practical knowledge 
of this truth. 

1 1. Can there be any thing in the world, more pre- 
cious or valuable, or that better deferves our efteem and 
love ; or what greater happinefs can a man conceive in 
this life, than to have GOD for his father, his mother, 
his mepherd, his phyfician, his tutor, his mafter, his 
mediator, his wall, his defence, and what is yet more, 
for his fpoufe ; in fhort, for his all ? has the world any 
thing comparable to this, to give to its lovers ? how 
much reafon then have thofe, who enjoy fuch a benefit to 
rejoice, to comfort, to encourage themfelves, and to 
glory in him above all things ? Be glad in the Lord, and 
rejoice ye juft and glory all ye right of beart [i]. As if he 
had faid more clearly, let others rejoice in their worldly 
riches and honour ; others again in their birth and qua- 
lity j others in the favour and efteem, of their prince ; 

[i] PfaJm.xXXi. v. ii. 

132 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

others in their great employs and dignities , but as for 
you, who lay claim to GOD for your mare, do you more 
truly rejoice in this inheritance, which as far exceeds all 
other inheritances, as God himfelf does all other things. 
This we may learn from the Royal Pfalmift, when he fays : 
Deliver me O Lord and refcue me out of the bands of Jtrange 
children, wbofe mouth bath fpoke vanity j and their rigbt 
band is tbe rigbt band of iniquity. Wbofe fons are as new plants 
in tbeir youth: their daughters are decked and adorned round 
about after a Jimilitude of the temple. Their ftore-houfes full 
flowing out of this into that. Their Jheep fruitful in young, 
abounding in their goings forth. They have called tbe people 
happy , that bath tbefe things : but happy is that people wbofe 
God is tbe Lord [ i ]. The reafon why David delivers him- 
felf thus is evident, becaufe in GOD alone we pofiefs 
every good thing that is to be defired. Let others value 
themfelves as much as they pleafe upon their riches ; but 
as for me, though I am a rich and powerful king, in GOD 
alone mail be all my glory. Thus another holy prophet 
gloried, faying [2] : I will rejoice in tbe Lord, and I will joy 
in God my Jefus. The Lord God is my firengtb, and he will 
make my feet like tbe feet of harts ; that I may run with- 
out Humbling, the courfe of this life : And be will lead 
me upon my high places,Jingingpfalms. This is the treafure ; 
this the glory, which he has prepared, even here, for 
thofe that ferve him. This is a great reafon why all men 
fhould defire to ferve him, and upon this will he ground 
the greateft complaint he can make againft thofe who 
ferve him not. Thus it was he complained, by the 
Prophet Jeremy of his people [3] : What iniquity, fays 
be, have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far 
from me and have walked after vanity, and are become vain ? 
And a little lower : Am 1 become a wildernefs to Ifrael, or 
& late word fpringing land : As if he would have faid ; it 
is plain it is not fo, fmce by my means they have been 
fo fuccefsful and victorious. Why then have my people 
faid : we are revolted, we will come to thee no more ? will a 
virgin forget her ornament, or a bride berjlomacher ? but my 


[i] Pf.cxliii. v. u, 12, 13, 15. [2] Habak. c, iii 

1 8, 19. [3] Jerem. c. ii. v, 5, 31. 

Part II. Ch. 2. GOD j Care of tie Jujl. 1 3 3 

people hath forgot me days without number *, who am all 
their ornament, their glory and their beauty. If GOD 
complained thus in the time of the old law, when his fa- 
vours were not fo great -, how much more reafon has he 
to complain now, when they are fo much greater, as they 
are more fpiritual and divine ? 


12. If the mercy of this BlefTed Providence which the 
good enjoy, has no influence on us -, let us at leaft be 
moved with the fear of that Providence, if I may fo 
call it, which GOD ufes againft the wicked, and which 
meafures finners by their own meafure, and deals with 
them according to their forge tf LI Inefs and contempt of 
the Divine Majefty-, forgetting thofe by whom he is de- 
fpifed. GOD to make this the plainer to us f , com- 
manded the Prophet Hofea to marry an Adulterefs, to 
fignify to his people, the fpiritual fornication they had 
committed, in leaving their true fpoufe and Lord, and 
ordered a child he had by this wife, to be called Lo- 
arnmi, a Hebrew word, which means, not my people ; 
to mew them, that fince they would not acknowledge 
nor ferve him as GOD, he would not own nor deal with 
them as his people. And that they might know him to 
be in earneft, he fays to them, Judge your mother ', judge 
her becaufe Jhe is not my wife, and am I not her hufband J ; 
giving them to underftand, that fince me had not ob- 
ferved the refped and duty of a good wife ; neither 
would he mew her the love and kindnefs of a true huf- 
band. Thus plainly GOD tells us, he will deal with us 
as we deal with him. 

They therefore who live and take no notice at all of 
GOD, are abandoned by him, and left as a fchool with- 
out a matter, a fhip without a rudder, as goods without 
an owner, or as a flock that goes aftray for want of a 
fhepherd, which never miffes falling among the wolves. 
And therefore he tells them by the Prophet Zachary, / 
T will 

*Habak. c. ii. v. 31. -\ Ibid. c. i. v. 2. 

Ibid. c. ii. v. 2. 

j 3 4 tte Sinners Guide. Book I 

will not feed you: that which dieth let it die: and that 
which is cut off, let it be cut of: and let the reft devour 
every one the fe/h of another *. What he fays by Mofes 
in his canticle, is to the fame purpofe ; I will hide my 
face from them ; and will conjider what their laft end /hall 


13. He acquaints us more at large with this kind of 

Providence by the Prophet Ifaiah, fpeaking to his peo- 
ple under the figure of a vine -, againft which, for not 
yielding the fruit that was expected from it, after having 
been fo carefully dreft and pruned, he pronounces this 
fentence-, And now I will Jhew you what I will da to my 
vineyard ; and I will take away the hedge thereof \ and it 
/hall be wafted , and I will break down the wall thereof ^ and 
it jhall be trodden down. And I -mil make it defolate, it 
/hall not be pruned^ and it Jhall not be digged, but briars and 
thorns /hall come up; and I will command the clouds that 
they rain no rain upon it J. That is to fay, I will take 
away all thofe efficacious helps and fuccours I had given 
jt before , and then muft necefiarily follow its utter ruin 
and deftruction. 

14. Do not you think this fort of Providence is much 
to be dreaded ? what greater mifery can a man fall into, 
than to be deprived of the providential care of GOD, to 
be expofed to all the accidents of the world, and to all 
the. injuries and calamities this life lies open to? for 
fince on the one hand, this world is like a tempeftuous 
fea ; a defcrt full of fo many wild beafts and thieves j 
fince there are luch a number of misfortunes and acci- 
dents j fo many and fuch powerful enemies to encounter 
with ; fo many fnares laid for us, and fo many dangers 
furrounding us : and man on the other hand, is a crea- 
ture fo frail, fo helplefs, fo blind, fo impotent, fo def- 
titute of ftrength, and Hands fo much in need of ad- 
vice -, what can he do if he wants the help and afllftance 
of Gop ? what can he, who is a mere dwarf, do againft 
fo many giants ? how can he who is fo blind, avoid fo 
many fnares ? or alone and unarmed, how can he deal 
with fo many enemies ? 

15. How. 
*Zacha.c.xi. v. 9, ) Deut. c. xxxii. v. 2Q. { Ifaiah, c.v.'v, 5,6, 

Part II. Ch. 2. GOD'S Care tf the Juft. 135 

15. Nor does their punimment end here. For GOD 
not only turns his eyes from the wicked, whence it fol- 
lows, that they fall into fuch fins and miferies ; but does 
himfelf procure and fend them thefe afflictions. So that 
the eyes which watched for their advantages before, are 
now open to their ruin : as the Prophet Amos teftifies, 
faying, / will fet mine upon them for evil, and not for 
good *: That is, I who before looked upon them, in 
order to fecure them, will do in now to punifli them, 
according to what their fins deferve. And the Prophet 
Hofea tells us plainly, that GOD fays, I will be like a moth 
to Ephraim, and like rottennefs to the Houfe of Judah -f*. 
And becaufe this feemed too eafy a punifhment, and too 
lingering, he immediately threatens them with another 
more fpeedy and more fevere. For I will be like a lionefs 
to Ephraim, and like a lion's whelp to the Houfe of Judah : 
/, even I will catch and go away, and there is none that can 
refcue J. Can any thing be more terrible than this ? 

1 6. We have as clear a 'proof of this kind of Provi- 
dence in the prophet Amos , who after telling us that 
GOD would put all the wicked to the fword for the fins 
of their covetoufnefs, goes on, and fays : They /hall 
flee, and he that Jhall flee of them Jhatt not be delivered. 
Though they go down even to hell, thence Jhall my hand bring 
them out -, and though they climb up to heaven, thence will 1 
bring them down. And though they be hid in the top of 
Carmel, I will fearch and take them out thence j and though 
they hide themjelves from my eyes in the depth of the fea, there 
iv ill I command theferpent, and he Jhall bite them. And if 
they go into captivity before their enemies, there will I com- 
mand the fword, and it Jhall kill them : and I will fet my eyes 
upon them for evil, and not for good. Thefe are the words 
of the prophet. And what man, on the reading of them, 
if he but confiders that they were fpoken by GOD him- 
felf, and does but obferve what kind of providence he 
exercifes againft fmners, can without trembling, fee how 
powerful an enemy he has againft him ; and how clofely 
he purfues him, having fecured all the avenues, and ly- 

T 2 ing 

* Amos, c. ix. v. 4. *f Hofea, c. v. v, 12. f Ibid. v. 14. 
Amos, c, ix, v, 1,2, 3, 4. 

136 TZv Sinners Guide. Book I. 

ing continually in wait to deftroy him ? what reft can a 
man take that reflects upon this? what ftomach can he 
have to his meat, who has the eyes of GOD red 'with in- 
dignation and fury fixed upon his arm ? who has fuch a 
pcrfecutor, and fuch an arm ftretched out againft him ? 
for if it be fo great a misfortune to be deprived of GOD'S 
favour and providence ; what muft it be to have armed 
this fame Providence againft you, and to make him turn 
that fword upon you, which was drawn in your defence ? 
what an unhapp'-nefs muft it be, to have thofe eyes open 
to your deftruction, which before watched for your fe- 
curity ? to have that arm which was before ftretched out 
to hold you up, extended now to caft you down ? to 
have that heart, which thought of nothing for you once, 
but of peace and love, have no other thoughts for you 
now, but of affliction and forrow ? what a mifery is it, 
that he who ought to fhade, (hield, and protect you, 
mould be changed into a moth, to confume you ; and 
into a lion to tear you to pieces ? how can that man 
fleep fecurely, who knows that GOD all the while ftands 
over him, like Jeremy's rod, to punifh and torment him ? 
what means can he ufe to fruftrate the defigns of GOD ? 
what arm can withftand his arm ? or what other Provi- 
dence can refift his Providence ? Wbo y fays Job, hath 
rcfifted kirn, and bath had peace *, 

1 7. This evil, in fine, is of fuch a nature, that the 
withdrawing of his fatherly providence from finners, is 
one of the fevereft punifliments he either inflicts upon, 
or threatens them with in this life, as he himfelf has de~ 
clared, in feveral places of the holy fcripture. In one 
of which he fays : But my people heard not my voice ; and 
Ifrael hearkened not to me-\. For which reaibn I will not 
take any notice of them, as I have done before : So I 
let them go according to the deftres ef their heart, they Jh all 
.walk in tkeir even inventions. Their condition muft there- 
fore grow every day worfe and worfe. He fays alib by 
the Prophet Hcfea : Tlou haft forgotten the law of thy 
GW, I alfo will forget thy children. As there is no greater 
misfortune can befal a woman, than to be divorced from 

* Job, c. ix. v. 4. f Pfalm, Ixxx. v. 12, 13. 

Part II. Ch. 3; Grace of the Holy Gboft. 1 37 

her hufband , nor a vine than to lie neglected and un- 
pruned ; fo the greateft lofs a foul can undergo, is to 
have GOD withdraw his hand from her. For, what is a 
foul without GOD, but a vine without its pruner 5 a 
garden without a gardiner ; a fliip without a pilot ; an 
army without a general ; a commonwealth without a 
ruler ; and, in fhort, a body without life ? fee here how 
GOD encompafTes you on all fides, that the fear at lead 
of being forfaken by him, may work upon you -, though 
his providential love and concern do not move you -, for 
fear and apprehenfion often influence thofe, whom fa- 
vours and benefits can do no good with. 


Of the fecond privilege of virtue, viz. the grace of the 
Holy Gboft, beftowed upon virtuous men* 

i.TT^ROM this fatherly providence, as from a fountain, 
J[/ flow all the favours GOD beftows upon thofe who 
ferve him, For it belongs to this Providence to fupply 
them with all neceflaries for the obtaining of their end, 
which is their laft perfection and happinefs, by aflifting 
them in all their wants, and infufing into their fouls fuch. 
virtues and habits, as are requifite for this end. Of all 
which the chiefeft is the grace of the Holy Ghoft ; be- 
caufe, next to this Divine Providence, it is the begin- 
ning of all other heavenly gifts and privileges. It is the 
garment which was firft given to the prodigal fon, upon 
return to his father's houfe. And mould you afk me 
what this grace is ? I anfwer, That grace, as divines de- 
fine it, is a participation of the Divine Nature ; that is, 
of GOD'S fanctity, purity, and greatnefs. By virtue of 
which, a man rifes from the bafenefs and filth he re- 
ceived from Adam, and partakes of the divine fan&ity 
and beauty; diverting himfelf of himfelf, and putting on 
Chrift Jefus. Holy writers explain this to us by this fa- 
miliar example. When we take a piece of iron out of 
the fire it fparkles and looks red, like fire itfelf, but con- 

138 The Sinners Guide. Book. f. 

tinues ftill to be iron, retaining the fame name and fub- 
fiance it had before, though the brightnefs, heat, and 
other accidents belong to fire : fo grace, which is a hea- 
venly quality, infufed by GOD into the foul, transforms 
man into GOD, in fuch manner as to make him in fome 
meafure partake of the virtues and purity of GOD, with- 
out ceafing to be man. Thus was he transformed who 
faid : And I live-, now not /, but Cbrift liveth in me *. 

Grace is alfo a divine and fupernatural form, by means 
whereof man lives fuitably to the original and fource, he 
proceeds from ; which is fupernatural and divine. And 
here it is the Providence of GOD fo glorioufly exerts itfelf. 
For, it being his will, that man mould have two lives, 
the one natural and the other fupernatural, he has to this 
end given him two forms, which are as it were two 
fouls, for each life one. Hence it follows, that as all 
the powers and fenfation of the natural life fpring from 
the foul the natural form ; fo from grace the fupernatural 
form, flow all thofe virtues and gifts of the Holy Ghoft ? 
that go to the fupport of the fupernatural life. As if 
one man fhould furnifh another that underftands two 
trades, with two fets of tools to work at them both. 

2. Grace is moreover a fpiritual drefs and ornament 
for the foul, made up by the hands of the Holy Ghoft, 
which renders her fo acceptable to GOD, that he adopts 
her for his daughter, and takes her for his bride. And 
it was in this drefs the prophet glorified, when he faid : 
1 will greatly rejoice in the Lord y and with the robe of juf- 
tice he hath covered me, as a bridegroom decked with a crown, 
and as a bride adorned with her jewels -\ : which are the 
feveral gifts of the Holy Ghoft, wherewith the foul of a 
juft man is adorned and beautified by the hand of GOD. 
This is the garment of divers colours J, 1 with which the 
king's daughter feated at the right hand of her bride* 
groom, was glorioufly arrayed. For, from grace come 
the colours of the different virtues, and divine habits, 
wherein their beauty confifts. 

By what has been faid, we may judge what effects 
grace works upon the foul it refides in. One of the 


* Gala. c. ii. v. 20, f Ifaiah, c. Xvi, v. 10. J Pf. xliv. 

Part II. Ch. 3 . Grace of the Holy GhoJI. 1 39 
greateft is, to make it look fo lovely and fair to the eyes 
of GOD, that he chufes her as has been faid, for his 
daughter, his fpoufe, his temple and his habitation, 
where he takes his pleafure with the children of men. 
Another effect is to ftrengthen the foul by means of thofe 
virtues it brings with it, which like Sampfon's * hair, at 
the fame time confer both force and beauty ; (he is com- 
mended for both thefe qualities in the book of Canticles, 
where the angels admiring her beauty, fay : Who isjbe 
that cometh forth as the morning rifing^ fair as the moon^ 
bright as the fun, terrible as an army fet in array? Grace 
then is like a compleat fuit of armour, which fecures a 
man from head to foot. It both beautifies and ftrength- 
ens him in fuch a manner, that as St. Thomas fays, the 
lead degree of grace fufHces to overcome all the devils, 
and all forts of fin. 

3. A third effect of it is, to make man fo pleafing to 
GOD, and to give him fuch a power with him, that every 
action deliberately performed, faving thofe that are fm- 
ful, is acceptable to the deferving of eternal life. So 
that not only acts of virtue, but even thofe actions that 
are done in fubmiffion to the neceflities of nature, as 
eating, drinking, fleeping, and the like, are grateful to 
GOD, and merit fuch a favour. For, when the object 
itfelf is fo agreeable and meritorious, whatever it does 
that is not fin, muft be fo too. 

Befides all this, grace makes man the adopted Son of 
GOD, and heir to his kingdom. It caufes his name to 
be written in the book of life, and gives him a claim to 
the inheritance of heaven. This is the privilege our 
Saviour fo highly commended to his difciples, when, ob- 
ferving how pleafed they were, that the devils had obeyed 
them in his name, he faid to them : Rejoice not in this, 
that fpirits are fubjetJ unto you ; but rejoice in this^ that 
your names are written in heaven -f. This therefore is the 
greateft treafure a man can wilh for in this life. 

4, To conclude; it is grace that qualifies men for all 
kind of good, that makes the way to heaven fmooth 
and eafy, and the yoke of Chrift light and pieafant : It 

f Cant. vi. v. 9, St. Luke, c, x. v. 20. 

140 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

is this makes men run in the paths of virtue : It is this 
that cures the infirmities of nature, and makes that 
cafy and light, which, whilft me was weak, weighed 
her down : It is this that by means of thofe virtues 
which proceed from it, reforms and ftrengthens all the 
faculties of our fouls, enlightning the underftanding, in- 
flaming the mind, refremwg the memory, fortifying the 
free-will, moderating the concupifcible appetite, that it 
may not give way to evil, and rowzing up the irafcible, 
that it may not be too backward in the purfuit of good. 
And becaufe all the pafllorts of nature, which refide in 
thefe two inferior parts, are like fo many hills that over- 
look and command the fortrefs of virtue, or as fally- 
ports through which the devils enter into our fouls ; to 
remedy this, grace fets a centinel at thefe places, to fe- 
cure the pafiage -, and this is fome infufed virtue, fent 
down from heaven, and placed there to deliver us from 
thofe dangers the heat of our paflions may expofe us to. 
Thus temperance, for example, fecures us againft glut- 
tony ; chaftity, againft impurity ; humility, againft pride i 
and fo of the reft. 

But what is yet above all this, grace brings down GOD 
himfelf into our fouls, that he, by his prefence, may go- 
vern, defend, and conduct them to heaven. There,,- he 
is, like a king upon his throne ; like a general in his 
army , like a houfekeeper in his family ; like a mafter in 
his fchool -, and like a Ihepherd amidft his flock -, exerci- 
fing, in a fpiritual manner, all their feveral offices. If 
therefore fo precious a pearl as this is, which brings in 
fuch vaft treafures, be the infeparable portion of virtue, 
can any man refufe to imitate the direction of the wife 
merchant in the gofpel *, who gave all he had for the 
purchafe of this jewel? 


St. Matt. c. xiii. r. 46. 

Part II, Ch-4. Supernatural Light. 


the third privilege of virtue-, viz. Supernatural light 
and knowlede. 

third privilege of virtue is a particular light 
JL and wifdom GOD grants the juft j which, like all 
the reft, comes from that grace we have fpoken of. 
For as it is the bufmefs of grace, to cure nature and to 
heal the infirmities occafioned by fin in the appetite and 
will j fo it enlightens the uriderftanding, which was no 
lefs obfcured by fin. To the end that man through 
the one may know his duty ; and by the help of the 
other, may put it in execution. It is on this account 
St. Gregory fays in his morals , that, " As man's not 
knowing his duty is a punimment for his fins, fo is his 
not being able to perform it, when he does know it. f" 
For the fame reafon the Pfalmift fo often repeats : The 
Lord is my light^ againft ignorance : The Lord is my fal- 
'vation^ againft the want of power. By the one we are 
taught what we are to defire, and we are enabled by the 
other, to bring our defires about ; but they both depend 
on grace. And therefore, befides the habits of faith 
and of infufed wifdom, which inftrufb us in what we are 
to believe, and what we are to do, there are added the 
gifts of the Holy Ghoft ; whereof four belong to the 
underftanding; which are, that of wifdom, to give us 
the knowledge of the fublimeft things ; that of know- 
ledge, for thole things that are lower ; that of under- 
Handing to dive into the divine myfteries, and fee how 
beautiful they are, and how confonant to one another; 
and that of counfel, to direct us how to behave ourfelves, 
amidft the difficulties, fo frequent to be met with in this 

All thefe rays of the divine light are reflected upon us 

by grace, which in the holy fcripture, is called an unc- 

tion, or anointing ; but as this uncYion, fays St. John, 

teacheth you in all things J. For as oil, above all other 

U liquid 

t L 'Xxv. c. 9. J Ep. i. c.ii. v.2;. 

142 *Tbe. Sinners Guide. Book I. 

liquid things, is good both for the nou'rifhing of lignt 
and for the curing of wounds, fo this divine unction 
performs both , curing the wounds of our will and en- 
lightning the darkneis of our underftanding. This is 
the oil, more precious than any balfam, which holy 
David gloried in when he faid * : 5T0, Lord^ haft 
anointed my head with oil. It is plain he fpeaks not here 
of a corporeal head, or of material oil , but of a fpiritual 
head which is the nobleft part of our fouls, and accord- 
ing to Didymus upon this place, the feat of the under- 
ftanding ; and of the fpiritual oil, which is the light of 
the Holy Ghoft that feeds this lamp and keeps it in-. 
This holy King was fenfible of the light this oil gave, as 
he himfelf confeffes in thefe words : The uncertain and 
hidden things of thy ivifdom thou haft made manifeft to me -j~ . 

2. Another reafon is, that fmce it is grace makes a 
man virtuous ; and fmce it cannot do this without dif- 
pofing him to a forrow for his paft life ; to a horror of 
fin ; to a love of GOD ; to a defire of heavenly things, 
and to a contempt of the earthly , the will can never be 
excited to fuch affections unlefs the underftanding receive 
a fufficient light and knowledge to produce them. For 
the v/ill is a blind faculty, altogether unfit to act unlefs 
the underftanding go before, and inform it what is good 
or bad ; that fo it may accordingly fix or withdraw its 
affection. St. Thomas to this purpofe fays J, That the 
knowledge of GOD'S goodnefs and beauty increafes in the 
fouls of the juft, proportionably to the love they have 
for him. So that if the one advance an hundred degrees, 
the other will advance as many ; beeaufe he that loves 
much, muft know a great many qualities in the thing he 
loves, which make it deferve his love : and fo on the 
contrary. What we fay of the love of GOD, is alfo to 
be underftood of fear, of hope, and of the horror of fin ; 
which he can never have above all things, if he does not 
know that it is fo great an evil, as to deferve fuch hatred. 
For as the Holy Ghoft requires all thefe good affections 
fhould be in the foul of a juft man ; he expects there 
ftiould be caufe to occafion and produce them, even as 

*Pfe!m, xxii. v.5 -f Pfalm,!. v.8. J S.Th, ii, 

Part II. Ch. 4. Supernatural Light. 143 

when he defigned to work different effects upon the 
earth, he appointed there Ihould be different caufes and 
influences in the heavens. 

3. Moreover, fmce as we have faid before, grace makes 
GOD dwell in the foul of a juft man, and GOD, according 
to St. John *, is a light which enlighteneth every man that- 
cometh into this world ; it is as certain the purer and 
cleaner he finds this habitation, the rays of his divine 
light will mine the brighter upon it; as a glafs, the 
clearer it is, the brighter and the flronger it reflects the 
fun. St. Auguftin therefore calls GOD -f, The wifdom of 
a purified foul : for enlightening the foul, which is infuch 
a ftate with the rays of his light, and inftructing it in 
what is neceffary to its falvation. And what wonder 
that GOD mould do this for man, fmce it is in fome 
manner what he does for other creatures ? for they, by 
a certain natural inftinct know all thofe that are neceffary 
for the confervation of their being. Who has taught 
the fheep among fo many different plants to avoid thofe 
which are hurtful to them, and to browfe upon thofe 
which are not ? from whom has it learned what creature 
is its enemy, and what its friend, and by this means to 
run from the wolf, and to follow the maftiff? Is it not 
from GOD ? now, if GOD thus inftructs the brutes for 
the prefervation of their natural life, how much more 
reafon have we to think he will enlighten the juft with 
fuch a knowledge, as mail be necelTary to the maintain- 
ing of their fpiritual life ? confidering that man (lands 
in no lefs need of thofe things that are above his nature 
than brutes do of fuch as are fuitable to theirs. And if 
the Divine Providence has been fo careful in providing 
of what regards only nature, how much more folicitous 
will it be in furnimino; us with fuch things as regard 
grace, which are infinitely more excellent ; but at the 
lame time, far above the reach and power of man. 

4. This example teaches us not only that there is fuch 
a knowledge, but what a kind of knowledge it is : 
which confifts not fo much in the fpeculation as in the 
practice ; fmce it is given us more for the directing of 

U 2 our 

* St. John, c. i, v. 9. f Lib > " de Lib ' Artit - 

144 7& Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

our' actions than for the improving of our underftand- 
ing ; and is rather to inftruct us how to perform all we 
do virtuoufly, than how to difcourfe learnedly. For this 
reafon it flops not at the underftanding, as that know- 
ledge we acquire in the fchools does, but communicates, 
itfelf to the will and makes it ready in the performance 
of whatever this knowledge inclines it to. This is the 
property of the infpirations of the Holy Ghoft, who. 
like an accomplilhed mafter perfectly inftructs thofe 
under his care in all that is requifite for them to know. 
And therefore the fpoufe in the Canticles fays ( i ) : Mp 
fcul melted when he fpoke. Thus we may fee what diffe- 
rence there is ' betwixt this and human learning. For 
whereas the one does nothing elfe but increafe the un- 
derftanding ; the other moreover governs and excites 
the will; and by its virtue fearches into all the receffes 
of our foul-, doing all that is neceffary for the reforma- 
tion of each in particular. Whereupon the apoftle fays : 
The word of God is living and ejfeffual, and more piercing 
than any two edged fword (2). Becaufe it feparates the 
fenfual part of a man from the fpiritual, cutting afunder 
thofe unhappy knots, which generally tie the flem and 
the fpirit together, when the fpirit, clofely contracted 
with the wicked flem becomes one with it ? it is the 
force and efficacy of the word of GOD that breaks this 
knot, and makes man follow, flot the dictates, of the 
fiefh, but of the fpirit. 


^ 5. This is one of the chief effects of grace, and a par- 
ticular privilege of virtuous men in this life. But, be- 
caufe carnal and fenfual men perhaps, can neither un- 
derftand,. nor will fo readily believe this truth , I will 
make it plainly appear to them, by feveral paflages both 
of the Old and New Teftament. In the New our Sa- 
viour fays (3) : The Holy Qhoft, whom the Father will fend- 
in my name, he will teach you all things? and bring all things 


(i)C%nt. v. V. 6. (2) Heb. c. iv. v, 12. (3) St. John, 
c, Xiv. v. 26. 

Part 1 1. Ch. 4 Supernatural Light. 14 ^ 

to ycur mind, what fo ever I Jhall have faid to you. He tells 
us in another place ( i ) : // is written in the prophets, and 
they Jball all be taught of God. Every one that hath heard of 
the Father ; and hath learned, cometh unto me (2). He has 
told us in like manner by his prophet Jeremy (3) : / w /// 
give my law in their bowels, and write it in their hearts. 
And they Jhall teach no more every man his brother, faying, 
know the Lord, for all Jhall know me. In the Prophet 
Ifaiah, the Lord fpeaking of the profperity of his church, 
ufes thefe words : O poor little one, toffed with tempejt and 
without comfort ; behold, I will lay thy ftones in order, and 
will lay thy foundations with faphires. And I will make thy 
bulwarks ofjafper, and thy gates of graven ft ones , and all thy 
borders of lovely Jtones. All thy children Jhall be taught of 
the Lord (4). He repeats the fame again elfewhere by the 
fame prophet (5) : / am the Lord thy God which teachetb 
thee profitable things, that govern thee in the way that thoit 
walkeft. By thefe words are underftood two forts of know- 
ledge ; that of faints, and that of wife men. It is that of 
faints which Solomon fpeaks of when he fays (6) : 'The 
knowledge of the holy is prudence. For bare knowledge 
does but teach us to know ; but prudence inftructs us 
how to act by what we know ; and this is the knowledge- 
of holy men. 

6. Befides, how often fhall we find this very fame 
wifdom promifed to the juft in David's pfalms. In one 
of them he fays (7) : The mouth of the juft Jhall meditate 
wifdom -, and his tongue Jhall fpeak judgment. GOD, in 
another makes the good man this promife(S): / will 
give thee underftanding, aud I will inftrutt thee in this way, 
in which thoujhalt go. In another, as if it were a bufmefs 
of the greateft confequence, the Prophet puts the quef- 
tion, faying (9) : Who is the man that feareth the Lord-, 
he hath appointed him a law in the way he hath chofen. 
And in the fame pfalm we have thefe words : The faha- 


(i) St. John, c. vi. v. 45. (2) Ifaiah, c. liv. v. 13. (3) Ibid. 
C.xxxi. v. 33, 34. (4) Ibid. c. liv. v. 1 1, 12, 13. (5) Ibid. 
c. Ixviii. v. 17. (6) Prov. ix. v. jo. (7) Pfalm xxxvi. v. 30* 
(8) Pfalm xxxi. v. 8. (9) Pfalm xxiv. v. 12. 

146 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

tion of tie juft is of the Lord ; which St. Jerom renders 
thus : The Lord dif covers his fecrets to thofe that fear him, 
find he will Jhew them his covenant. That is, his holy 
laws are made known to them. This knowledge is a 
great light to the underftanding ; a delicious food to the 
will, and the greateft pleafure man can enjoy. The fame 
prophet calls it, a pafture in which GOD fed him , a wa- 
ter with which he refrefhed his foulj and a table (i), 
upon which were placed fuch meats, as might ftrengthen 
him againft all the power of his enemies. For which 
reafon the fame prophet, fo frequently begs for this in- 
ward light, and for inward inftructions, in that divine 
pfalm, which begins: Eleffed are the undefiled (2). To 
this end he fays in another place : Lord I am thy fer* 
want, give me under/landing that I may know thy tcjlimonies. 
&i another place : Open thou my eyes, Lor^ and I will 
confider the wondrous things of thy law -, and again : Give 
me imderjlanding, and I Jha'U fearch thy law ; and I will 
keep it with my whole heart. This is, in fine, the petition 
he fo often makes in this pfalm. Nor would he have 
clone it with fuch earneftnefs, had he not been very well 
acquainted with its efficacy, and with the manner of 
GOD'S communicating the fame. 

7. All this being undeniably true, what greater ho- 
nour can a man receive than to have fuch a mailer, and 
ftich a fchool to go to -, where the Lord himfelf teaches 
his elect this heavenly wifdom ? if, as St. Jerome fays, 
men, in former times went as far as Rome, from the very 
remoteft parts of France and Spain to fee I. ivy, a man 
fo renowned for his eloquence (3). And if Apollonius, 
who had the falfe reputation of one of the wife men of 
his age, went to Mount Caucafus and rambled the 
greateft part of the world to fee Hiarchas fitting amongft 
few fcholars upon a golden throne, difputing with 
them upon the motions of the heavens, and of the pla- 
nets , what mould men do to hear GOD, feated on the 
throne of their hearts, not to teach them how the hea- 
vens move, but how they themfelves may move thither. 

8. And 

,(i) Pfalmxxii. v. 5. (2)Pfalm, cxviii. v. 125^ v. 18, 
~" v - 34- (3) p- cxx - ad Paulin.. 

Part II. Ch . 4. Supernatural Light. 

8. And that you may not look upon this doctrine as 
contemptible, hear the prophet's commendations of it : 
/ have underftood more than all my teachers \ becaufe thy 
teftimonies are my meditation. 1 have had undcrftanding 
above ancients -, becaufe 1 have fought continually thy coin- 
mandments (i~). Nay the Lord promifes more than, all 
this by his prophet Ifaiah, to thofe that ferve him : The 
Lord, fays he, will give thee reft continually, and will fill 
thy foul with brightness, and deliver thy bones, and thou 
(halt be like a watered garden, and like a fountain of waters^ 
tuhofe waters Jhould not fail (2). What brightnefs is this 
wherewith GOD fills the fouls of his fervams, but the 
knowledge he gives of things neceiTary to their falva- 
tion ? for, it is he that (hews them, how beautiful virtue 
is, and how deformed vice. He it is that tells them how 
vain a thing the world is ; that informs them of the 
worth of grace; the greatnefs of eternal glory; the fweet- 
nefs of thofe confolations which the Holy Ghofb bellows, 
the goodnefs of GOD, the malice of the devil, the fhort- 
nefs of life, and the general miflake of moft men. GOD, 
as the fame prophet obferves, by virtue of this know- 
ledge, make his fervants dwell on high, That they foall 
fee the king in his beauty, they Jhall fee the land afar off (3). 
Therefore the things of this world are of fb little value with 
them, becaufe befides their being really fo, they fee them 
only at a diftance : but as to the riches of the other 
world, they prize them at what they are worth, as hav- 
ing a very near view of them. The wicked, on the 
contrary, having a diftant profpect of heavenly things, 
and {landing fo clofe by the earthly, undervalue thofe and 
over-rate thefe. f his it is preferves fuch perfons as per- 
fake of this heavenly gift, from being either puffed up 
with profperity, or caft down by adverfity ; for they, by 
the help of this life, fee how little what the world can 
give them, is in comparifon of what they have from 
GOD. And therefore Solomon fays, A holy man continueth 
inwifdomas the fun-, but a fool is changed as the moon (4), 
Upon which words St. Ambrofe fays : " That as for the 


(i) Pfalm cxviii. v. 99, 100. (2) Ifaiah, c. Iviii. v. n, 

(3) Ibid, c. xxxiii. v, 17. (4) Ecclus. c, xxvii. v. 12. , 

148 'The Sinners Guide. feook I. 

wife man, neither can fear move him, nor power change 
him : amidft his profperity he is never proud : nor me- 
lancholy in the midft of troubles (i), becaufe virtue, 
ftrength and courage are the perpetual attendants of 
v/ifdom. Such a man's foul is always in an even temper, 
no change makes him either greater or lefs, nor is he to 
be carried away by the winds of new doclrine ? but 
remains iVeady in Jefus Chrift ; immoveable in his cha- 
rity ; and unmaken in his faith. 

9. Nor are we to wonder at the force of this wifdom, 
fince it is not earthly, but heavenly ; which does not 
puff up, but edify; which does not only enlighten the 
underftanding by its fpeculation, but inflames the will 
with its heat. Thus wonderfully was St. Auguftin(2) 
touched and moved, that, as is written of him, he never 
heard the pfalms and hymns of the church fung but he 
wept. The words entering in at his ears, funk down to 
the very bottom of his heart, whilft the warmth of his 
devotion fpread the truth of them throughout his whole 
foul. This made him break out into tears, and accord- 
ing to his own confeffion, gave him a great deal of joy 
and comfort. O bleffed tears ! O divine fchool ! O 
happy wifdom that bears fuch fruit as this ! is there any 
thing in the world to be compared with this wifdom ? 
Job fays : The fineft gold Jhall not pur chafe zY, neither Jhall 
fil'ver be weighed in exchange for it. It Jhall not be compared 
with the died colours of India, or with the moft precious 
ftone fardonyx cr the faphire. High and eminent things Jhall 
not be mentioned in comparifon of it ; but wifdom is drawn 
cut of fecret places^ &c. ($). After all thefe commendations, 
the holy man concludes : Behold the fear of the Lord that 
is wifdom , and to depart from evil is under/landing. 

10. This is is one of the greateft rewards that can be 
offered to excite you to follow virtue. And Solomon 
makes this propofal to encourage men to a good life (4) : 
My fon, if thou wilt receive my words and wilt hide my com - 
vnandments with thee, then Jhalt thou under/land the fear of 
Ibe Lord, and Jhalt find the knowledge of God. Because the 


(l) Epift. L. ii. Ep. vii. (2) Conf. i. ix. v. 24 (3) Job, 
c. xxviii. v. 15, 1 6, &c. v, 28. (4) Prov. c, ix, v. 5, 6. 

Part II. Ch. 4. Supernatural Light 149 

Lord giveth wifdom ; out of his mouth cometh prudence and 
knowledge. This wifdom does not always continue in the 
fame degree, but receives a daily increafe of light and 
knowledge, as the fame wife man has hinted to us(i): 
'The path of the juft, fays he, is as a Jhining light goetb 
forwards and increafeth ever to perfect day : the day of this 
bleffed eternity, wherein we fhall receive the divine in- 
fpirations, I will not fay with Job's friends, by Health (2) ; 
but mail have a full fight and knowledge of GOD himfelf. 
1 1. Of this true wifdom the children of light partake j 
whilft the wicked, on the contrary, live in fuch igno- 
rance, that like the Egyptian darknefs, they may feel it 
with their hands. We have a lively figure of the one, 
in the land of JefTen, where the Ifraelites lived, which 
always enjoyed the light j and of the other, in the land 
of Egypt (3), which was quite covered over with dark- 
nefs ; a true emblem of that horrible blindnefs in which 
the wicked live, as they themfelves acknowledge in 
Ifaiah, when they fay (4) : We looked for light, and behold 
darknefs \ brightnefs, and we have walked in the dark. We 
have groped for the wall, and like the blind we have groped as if 
we had no eyes : we have ftumblcd at noon-day, as in dark- 
nefs, we are in dark places as dead men. What greater 
blindnefs than that which the wicked fall into every ftep 
they take ? what greater Windnefs than for a man to 
fell the folid joys of heaven for the vanities of the world ? 
what greater blindnefs than for a man not to be afraid of 
hell ; not to feek after heaven ; not to have a horror of 
fin, nor to think of the laft judgment , not to regard 
either the threats or promifes which GOD has made ; not 
to be afraid of death, which may every moment fur- 
prize him; not to prepare himfelf for the making up of 
his accounts ; not to fee how fhort and momentary his de- 
lights are here ; whilft the torments that mall follow them, 
are to laft for Ever ? T'key have not known nor underftood y 
fays the Royal Prophet (5), but walk on Jltll in darknefs ; 
X fron 

(l) Prov. c.iv. v. 18. (2) Job, c. iv. v. 12. (3) Exod. 
c. x. v. 22, 23. (4) Ifa. c.lix. .9, 10. (5) Pf - lxxxi ' 

150 The Sinners Guide. Book L 

from an inward darknefs to an outward one , from the 
darknefs of this life to that of the next. 

12. I lhall conclude this chapter with a word or two 
of advice ; which is, that notwithftanding the truth of 
all I have faid upon this matter-, a man, how juft fo- 
ever he is, mould not upon this account,, withdraw him- 
felf from the humble fubmifiion he owes to the opinion, 
and counfel of thofe above him, efpecially of fuch as are 
looked upon as the doctors of the church. For was 
ever any man more enlightened than St. Paul or Mofes, 
who talked with GOD face to face ? and yet one of them 
goes to Jerufalem *, to confer with the apoftles upon the 
gofpel he had learned in the third heaven : and the other 
refufes not the advice of Jethro -j- his father- tn-law, tho r 
a heathen. The reafon is, becaufe the inward helps of 
grace do not exclude the outward afliftance of the 
church ; fince the Divine Providence has been pleafed 
to allow them both to fupply our weaknefs, which (lands 
much in need of them. As therefore the outward heat 
of the air maintains the inward natural heat ; and as na- 
ture, after all its care to procure health of every particu- 
lar, is affifted with fuch medicines, as have been created 
for this end j fo is the light and doctrine of the church 
a help to the inward lights and- afliftances of grace ; and 
whofoever refufes with humility to fubmit to the autho- 
rity of the one, is to be judged unworthy to receive the 
favours and helps of the other. 


Of the fourth privilege of virtue, viz. We confolatiom 
'which good men receive from the Holy Ghojl. 

i.T Might here very well, after having fpoken of the 

A light of the Holy Ghoft, which enlightens the 

darknefs of our underftandings, reckon charity, and the 

love of GOD, with which our wills are inflamed, for the 

* Galat. c. xii. v. I, 2. t Exod, c. 

Part II, Ch. 5. Confolatiom of tie Holy Ghoft. 15 1 

fourth privilege of virtue ; efpecially as the apoflle 
accounts it the firft fruit of the Holy Ghoft. But our 
defign at prefent, being not fo much to treat of virtue 
itfelf, as of the favours granted to it ; and charity being 
not only a virtue, but of all virtues the nobleft, we (hall 
forbear to treat of it here , not but that we might fpeak 
of it in this place , though not as a virtue, yet as of a 
gift which GOD beftows upon the virtuous, inflaming 
their wills in an unfpeakable manner, and making them 
4ove GOD above all things. The 1 more perfect this vir- 
tue grows, the pleafanter it becomes -, fo that we may 
therefore look upon it as the fruit and reward, not only 
of other virtues, but of itfelf too. But not to be thought 
ambitious of fpeaking too much in commendation of this 
virtue, which gives us fo many other occafions of fpeak- 
ing in its favour ; I will aflign the fourth place to the 
joy and comfort of the Holy Ghoft ; it being the natura-i 
property of charity itfelf, and one of the chief fruits of 
this fame fpirit, as St. Paul tells us. 

2. This privilege is a branch of the former; becaufe, 
as we have faid before, this light, with which GOD en- 
lightens his fervants, does not ftop at the underftanding, 
tut defcends into the will, and there darts out the ray* 
of its brightnefs, with which it entertains them, and 
gives them a wonderful delight in GOD. So that from 
this fpiritual light comes the fpiritual joy we fpeak of, as 
the material light produces the heat we perceive by our 
fenfes. This gave the royal prophet occafion to fay * : 
Light is rifen to the juft> and joy to the right of heart. We 
have handled this fubjecl: elfewhere, yet we may venture 
to fpeak of it again, without any fear of repeating what 
we faid before. 

3. For the better purfuing the defign of this book, we 
rnuft firft explain the greatnefs of this joy ; becaufe the 
knowing of this, will go a great way towards making 
men in love with virtue. We are every one of us to 
know, that as all kinds of miferies are included in vice, 
fo are all kinds of delights in virtue, even thofe which 
the wicked complain it has not. For which reafon, man 

X ^ being 

* Pfalm xcvi. v. 1 1 . 

152 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

being naturally a friend to pleafure ; thefe perfons tell 
us, by their actions at leaft, if not by word of mouth y 
that they had rather enjoy what pleafes them, though at 
the expence of their falvation, than not fatisfy their fenfuat 
defires, though hell is to follow the contenting of them. 
Lactantius writing upon this fubjeft, fays : " That men 
are frighted into a flight from virtue, and charmed into 
a purfuit of vice, becaufe virtue has no kind of fenfible 
pleafure attending it* ". This being the rife of fo many 
misfortunes, he who {hall difabufe men of this miftake, 
and {how them plainly, that the way of virtue is much 
more pleafant than that of vice, muft certainly be very 
ferviceable to mankind in general. My defign therefore 
is, to prove this to them by unqueftionable authorities, 
drawn particularly from the holy fcripture , the beft 
proof we can bring for matters of this nature ; fmce 
heaven and earth fhall pafs away, but the words of GOD 
fhall not f. 

4. Tell me now, blind and deluded man ! if the way 
to heaven be fo rough and fo unpleafant as you may- 
imagine it is i what means the Prophet David, when he 
fays, how great is the multitude of thy fweetnefs, O Lord y 
which thou haft hidden for them that fear thee J ! here he 
lets us fee what delights the virtuous enjoy, and why they 
are unknown to the wicked, becaufe GOD hides them 
from fuch. What likewife do thefe words of the fame 
prophet fignify , My fouljhall rejoice in the Lord* and jh all 
be delighted in his falvation. All my bones^ that is, all the 
powers of my foul, Jhall fay, Lord, who is like to thee ? 
This is to teach us, that the comfort the juft have is fo 
great, that notwithftanding it is immediately received by 
the fpirit, it rebounds in fuch a manner upon the flefh, 
that though its chief delight is in carnal things, yet by 
the communication of the fpirit, it is pleafed with the 
fpiritual, and places its fatisfaftion in GOD, and that with 
fuch tranfports of joy, that all the bones of the body 
being ravifhed with this fweetnefs, men are forced to cry 
out, Who is like to thee Lord ? what pleafures are to 


* L. ii. deFalfa. Relic, c. I. f St. Mark, c. xiii, v, 31, 

J Pfalmxxx. v.xx. Pfalm xxxiv, v 9, 10. 

Part II. Ch. 5. Confolatlons of the Holy Ghofl. 153 

be compared with what we enjoy in thee ? what con- 
tent ? what love, what peace, what delight can any 
creature give us, like what we receive from thee ? what 
is it again the lame prophet means by his faying, The- 
voice of rejoicing and of fahation is in the tabernacles of the 
juft * ? but to tell us, that true peace and pleafure are 
no where to be met with, but in the dwelling of the 
juft. He fays in another place, Let the juft feaft and 
rejoice before GOD, and be delighted ivith gladness -f. 
And this to {hew us, what fpiritual feafts GOD often 
makes for the entertainment of his elect, by giving them 
a tafte of heavenly things, for the refreshment of their 

5. It is at thefe divine banquets they drink that deli- 
cious wine, the fame prophet fo highly commends : They 
Jhall be inebriated, fays he, Lord-, with the plenty of thy 
houfe , and then fcall make them drink of the torrent of thy 
pleafure J. Could the prophet have ufed more expreflive 
words, to mew how thefe delights even force men to a 
hearty love of GOD ? for, as one that has drank a great 
deal of wine, lofes the ufe of his fenfes, and is, in that 
point like a dead man j fo he that has once drank of this 
celeftial liquor: dies to the world, and to the irregular 
defires of what is in it. 

6. We read again : Eleffed is the people that knew etb ju- 
bilation . Others would perhaps have faid, happy they 
who roll in riches, who are incloled with ftrong walls, and 
have their foldiers to defend them ! but Holy David, 
who had a good mare of thefe things, terms him only 
happy, who by experience, knows what it is to rejoice 
in GOD, and that not with an ordinary joy, but with 
fuch a one as deferves the name of Jubilation || : which 
according to St.. Gregory, is a joy of the fpirit, we can-, 
neither exprefs by words, nor difcover by outward figns, 
and actions. Happy they who have made fuch an ad- 
vance in the love of GOD, as to experience this jubila- 
tion. It is a knowledge which neither Plato with all his 
wifdom, nor Demofthenes with his charming eloquence, 


* Pfalm cxvii. v. 15. f Pfalm Ixvii. v. 4. J Pfalm, 
xxxv. v.9. Pfalm Ixxxviii. v. 16. || L xxiv. Moral. 0.3. 

154 *The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

could ever arrive to. For GOD refides in none, but the 
pure and humble heart. If then GOD be the author of 
this joy, how great muft it be of courfe, fmce the com- 
forts that come from him, are equally proportioned to 
himfelf, as are the punimments he inflicts ? if then he 
puniflies with fo much rigor, with what fweet delights 
muft he fill the fouls of thofe that love him ? if his arms 
is fo heavy when he holds it out to chaftife, how light 
muft it be when ftretched out to carefs ? for he is gene- 
rally more wonderful in his works of mercy, than he 
is in thofe of juftice. 

j. What cellar of rich wine is that which the fpoufe 
in the Canticles *, boafts of her being carried into by 
her beloved, and of being filled there with charity and 
love ; what noble banquet is that which the fame fpoufe 
invites us to ? Eat friends, drink and be inebriated my 
dearly beloved f. We look upon a man to be drunk, 
when having had more wine than his natural heat can 
digeft , the vapors fly up into his head, and rendering 
him incapable of governing himfelf, force him to follow 
the impreflions they make upon his imagination. If 
this be fo, what condition muft a foul be in, that has 
drank fo much of this heavenly wine, and is fo full of 
GOD and of his love, as to be overcharged with an excefs 
of delights and pleafures, and to be made unable with 
all its force, to bear up under fuch a weight of happi- 
nefs ? fo it is written of St. Ephrem, that he was very 
often fo over- powered with the ftrength of the wine of 
this divine fweetnefs, that his body not being able to 
iupport thefe delights, he was forced to cry out ; Retire 
from me a little O Lord, becaufe my body is too weak to 
tndure the force of thy fweetnefs any longer J. 

8. O unfpeakable goodnefs ? O immenfe fweetnefs of 
this fovereign Lord ! who communicates himfelf with 
fuch profufion to his creatures, that their bodies are too 
weak, and their hearts too narrow to endure and contain 
the ftrength and fulnefs of fuch charms ! It is by this 
celeftial wine the powers of the foul are lulled afleep : 


* Cant. c. i. v. 3. -f Cant, c. v. v, i. J St, John, 

Clim. deg. j 9. 

Part IL Ch. 5. Confolations of the Holy Ghojl. 155- 
it is this that gives them a gentle (lumber of peace and 
life : it is this that raifes the foul above herfelf : it is by 
the virtue of this fhe knows and loves, and enjoys fuch 
pleafures, as are far above the ftrength of her natural 
faculties. Hence it follows, that as water over a fire, 
when it has arrived to a certain degree of heat, forgetful 
as it were of its own quality, which is to be heavy, and 
confequently to tend downwards, mounts upwards, bor-^ 
rowing the natural lightnefs of fire, which gives it this 
extraordinary motion , fo the foul warned with- this hea- 
venly fire, lifts herfelf up above herfeif, and endeavour- 
ing to fly from earth to heaven, from whence this flame 
was darted, is tranfported with the defire of enjoying 
GOD ; runs after him with all the fpeed fhe can-, to em- 
brace him, and ftretches out her hands to catch at him? 
whom (he fo paflionately loves. But if me can neither 
overtake him, nor cool the heat of her flames, fhe pines 
and languifhes under the lofs of her with ; and all the 
comfort fhe has, is to fend up her amorous fighs to hea- 
ven, crying out with the fpoufe in the Canticles, 'Tell my 
beloved that I languijb with love *. Holy writers informs 
us, that thefe languifhings proceed from the oppofition the 
foul meets with in the effecting of her defires. Where- 
upon one of them fays, be not difcouraged O amorous 
foul ; for Thyficknefs is not to death y but for the glory of GOD, 
that the Son of GOD may be glorified by it ~f . But what 
tongue can exprefs the charms and pleafures thefe happy 
lovers enjoy, upon Solomon's flately bride-bed, Which 
was made of the wood of Libanus, the pillars- thereof he 
made of fifoer, and the feat of gold J ? Here it is the Spi- 
ritual marriage-feaft is kept. It is called a bed, for its 
being a place of reft and love, and where they enjoy fuch 
pleafures, that as St. John lays in his Revelation, no 
man can conceive how great they are, but he that has 
experienced them. Though the knowledge of thefe 
things be hid from us, we may neverthelefs frame to 
ourfelves fome idea of them. For if a man does but 
eonfider what an excefs of love the Son of GOD has 


* Cant. c. ii. v. 5. f St, John, c, xi, v. 4. J Cant 
c, iii. v. 9. io. 

156 We Sinners Guide. Book I. 

fhown for him, in differing fuch unheard of injuries and 
torments for his fake ; he cannot wonder at what we now 
fay, fmce it is but little when compared to this. What 
will he not do for the juft, who has undergone fo much 
for fmners ? how will he carefs and make much of his 
friends, who has endured fuch pains, as well for his 
enemies, as for them ? we have a token of this in the 
book of Canticles, where the heavenly bridegroom (hews 
fuch a paffionate tendernefs to his bride, which is the 
church, and every particular perfon in the ftate of grace. 
Such amorous difcourle pafies there between them, that 
no other eloquence or love can exprefs the like. 

9. We may alfo conjecture at it from the juft them- 
felves, GOD'S true friends -, for if you look into the hearts 
of thofe perfons, you will find their greateft concern and 
defire, and the perpetual employment of their thoughts 
is the fervice of GOD, and the putting themfelves into a 
condition of doing fomething for him, who has done, and 
who continues every day to do fo much for them, treat- 
ing them with fuch fweetnefs and love. If therefore 
man of himfelf fo unfaithful, and fo unable to do any 
good, can neverthelefs be fo faithful to GOD ; what is 
there that GOD will not do for him ? GOD who is infinite 
in his fidelity and love. If it is the property of a good 
man, as the Pfalmift fays * : With the holy, tbou wilt be 
holy ; and with the innocent man^ thou wilt be innocent , and 
if man can arrive to fuch a degree of goodnefs, as we 
have faid he can, how far will the goodnefs of GOD 
reach ? if GOD mould vye with juft men upon this point, 
how much will he outdo them in this glorious ftrife. If 
therefore a good man is willing to do fo much to make 
himfelf pleafing to GOD ; what will not GOD do in re- 
turn to comfort and pleale him ? he will do more than we 
can exprefs or conceive. For this reafon, the Prophet 
Ifaiah fays, The ear hath not heard^ neither hath the eye 
feen, what thou Q GOD haft prepared for them that wait 
for thee f. This is to be underftood, not of the goods 
of glory only, but, according to St. Paul, of thofe of 
grace likewife J. 

10. This 

* Pfalm xvii. v, 26. f Ifaiah, c, Ixiv, v. 4. J i Cor. c. ii. 

J^artll. Ch. 5. Cenfofations cftbe Holy Ghoft. 157 

10. This fure may fuffice to fliow us how pleafant the 
way of virtue is ; and that the delights of this world are 
not to be compared with what the juft enjoy : for what 
companion is there betwixt light and darknefs, Chrift 
and Belial ? between the pleafures of earth and thofe of 
heaven ; the fatisfactions of the flefh, and thofe of the 
fpirit , the delights which come from the creature, and 
thofe from the creator ? it is as certain the more excellent 
a thing is, the more capable it is of contenting us. What 
could the prophet mean elfe, when he faid * ; Better is 
a little to the juft) than great riches of the 'wicked. And in 
another place -f : I have chofen to be an abjeft in the hoiife 
of my God, rather than to dwell in the tabernacle of Jinners. 
Thefe words of the fpoufe, in the Canticles, teach us the 
fame lefTon J : 1%y breafts are better than wine , and a 
little lower : We will be glad and rejoice in thec, remember- 
ing thy breafts more than wine. That is to fay : we will 
think of the mod delicious milk of comforts 'and ca- 
refles, more fweet than wine, with which you feed your 
fpiritual children at your breafts. It is as certain that 
neither material wine nor material milk is meant here 5 
for by thefe are underftood the pleafures of the world, 
which the lewd women in the Apocalipfe , feated over 
many waters, cloathedin fcarlet, and holding a golden cup 
in her hand made the inhabitants of Babylon drunk 
with -, thus drowning their fenfes, that they might be 
carelefs of their ruin. 


// is particularly in prayer, that the virtuous enjoy thefe 
Divine Confutations. 

11. If upon farther enquiry into this matter, you 
fliould afk me, where it is particularly the virtuous en- 
joy thefe comforts -, GOD himfelf will anfwer the qiieftion 
by the Prophet Ifaiah : <Tbe children of the Jiranger, fays 
he, that adhere to the Lord, to worjhip him, and to love his 


*Pfalmxxxvi. v. 16, 
Cant, c, i. v. 3. Ap, c. xvii. 

158 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

name, to be Ms fervants : every one that keepeth the fabbath 
frcm prophaning it, and that holdeth forth my covenant } 
I will bring them into my holy mount, and will make them 
joyful in my houfe cf prayer *. So that it is in this holy 
exercife particularly, that the Lord comforts his elect, in 
fuch a manner. It was upon this occafion St. Laurence 
Juftinian faid, " The hearts of the juft are inflamed with 
the love of their creator, whilft they are at their prayers. 
It is then they are fometimes raifed above themfelves, 
and imagine they are amidft the choir of angels, fmging 
with them in the prefence of their GOD ; it is then they 
love and moan ; it is then they praife, weep, and rejoice ; 
it is then they eat and are ftill hungry , they drink with- 
out being fatisfied, and endeavour with all the force that 
love can give them, to transform themfelves into you, 
O Lord, whom they contemplate by faith ; whom they 
adore with humility, whom they defire with pafFion, and 
enjoy with the utmoft heat of love -f." It is then they, 
by their own experience, find thefe words of yours to be 
true ; This my joy therefore is fulfilled J. This joy, like a 
gentle ftream, fpreads itfelf over all the faculties of the 
foul. It enlightens the underilanding ; it pleafes the 
will ; it refrefhes the memory, and makes them think of 
nothing but GOD, and they lovingly embrace a thing 
they are unacquainted with, and which yet they have 
fuch a paflion for,, that they had rather die than Jbfe it, 
Thus the heart, wreftlefs with this divine fweetnefs, for 
fear it mould get away, being the only object of it's 
wilhes, as the patriarch Jacob did with the angel . 
And thus, like St. Peter upon the mountain, it cries out, 
O Lord, it is good for us to be here \\. It is here the foul 
has all that amorous difcourfe, which is in the Canticles 
addrefTed to her ; whilft (he on her fide fmgs thefe charm- 
ing airs of love , Stay me up with flowers, compafs me 
about with apples -, becaufe I languifh with love, his left hand 
is under my head, and his right hand jhall embrace me ( i ). 
Then it is, the foul inflamed with thefe divine heats^ 


* Ifaiah, c. Ivi. v. 6, 7. f Traa. de Ord. in Lig. Vita;. 

St. John, c. iii. v. 29. Gen. c. xxxii. v. 26. |[ St. Matt. 
c. xvii. v. 4. ( i ) Cant. c. ii. v. 5, 6. 

Part IT. Ch . 5. Confolatlons of tie Holy Ghojl. 159 
defires nothing more than to break out of the prifon of 
her body, whilft her tears are her food both day and night, 
becaufe the time of her enlargement is not yet come. 
Life is the trial of her patience, but the objed of her 
defires is death ; and therefore me is continually ufmg 
thefe words of the fpoufe : Who Jhall give thee to me for 
my brother, fucking the breafts of my mother^ that 1 may 
fnd thee without. and kifs thee *. It is then me is aftonifhed 
at herfelf, and wonders how fuch treafures could be hid 
from "her fo .long : but finding it is a happinefs which 
every man is capable of enjoying, (he longs to run up 
and down in the ftreets and public places, and to cry 
out j fools and mad men, whether do you run ? what is 
it you are in fearch of? why do you not run to the pof- 
feffion of fuch a treafure as this is ? tafte and fee that 
the Lord is fweet, blejfed is the man that hopeth in him -f. 
When the foul has once tailed thefe fpiritual pleafures, 
no carnal delights will relim with her. Company is then 
a reftraint upon her, whilft (he accounts upon folitude as 
a paradife ; for all her defire and comfort is to be alone 
with her GOD, whom me loves. Honours and prefer- 
ments are but a burden to her, and an eftate and family 
a torment. She would not, for all the world, no, not 
for heaven itfclf, be deprived of her comfort ; and for 
this reafon, all her endeavours are to difmgage herfelf 
from the world. She has but one love, and one defire : 
fo that whatfoever me loves, it is for the fake of one 
alone, and this one me loves in all things : fhe knows 
how to cry out with the Royal Prophet : What have I O 
Lord in heaven ? and befides thee what do 1 defire upon earth? 
for thee my flejh and my heart hath fainted away> thou art 
fhe GOD of my heart, and the GOD that is my portion for 
ever J- 

12. The knowledge of holy things feems no longer 
obfcure to a foul in this ftate : fhe fees them now with 
other eyes, and feels fuch motions and changes within 
her, as are ftrong proofs of every article of faith. She 
thinks the day long and tedious ; and the management 

Y 2 Of 

* Cant. c. viii. v. I. "f Pfam xxxiii. v. 9. J Pfaln> 

Ixxii. v. 25, 26. 

l6a The Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

of her temporal concerns is troublefome to her, longing 
till the night comes, that fhe may fpend it in the com- 
pany of her GOD. She never looks upon the night as 
too long , the longeft on the contrary, are thofe (he de- 
fires moft. If they happen to be clear, with her eyes 
caft up towards heaven, fhe admires its beauty, and the 
brightnefs of the moon and ftars -, confidering them quite 
differently from what fhe ufed to do and much more 
chearfully. She looks upon them as fo many marks 
of her creator's beauty, and fo many mirrors of his 
glory -, as fo many meffengers that come to bring her 
news of him ; as fo many lively draughts of his grace 
and perfections, and as fo many prefents which the 
bridegroom fends his bride, to indear and make her con- 
ftant to him, till he himfelf fhall come and lead her by 
the hand, to confummate this happy marriage for an 
eternity in heaven. She looks upon the whole world as, 
a book, that treats of nothing elfe but of Gop. She 
regards it as a letter from her beloved, and a token of 
his love. Thefe are the pleafures and delights they that 
love GOD pafs the nights in. Thefe quiet the fleeps they 
enjoy : for the regular motions all creatures obferve, are 
like an harmonious confort to the foul, that makes her 
{lumber a little, and lulls her into the gentle and foft; 
fleep, of which it is faid, IJleep and my heart watcheth *. 
And when her deareft fpouie perceives her thus at reft 
within his arms, he takes care not to difturb her, and 
gives orders that nobody prefume to wake her, faying, 
/ adjure you O ye daughters of Jerufalem, by the roes and 
fhe harts cf the fields , that you fir not up^ nor make the 
beloved to wake till ft <e pleafe -j-. 

What do you think now of fuch nights as thefe ? 
which do you imagine to be more pleafant, thefe, or 
thofe of worldlings, who fpend this time, lying in wait 
to defile innocent virgins, to rob them of their chaftity, 
and to make them lofe their honour and their fouls. 
Thus they miferably expofe themfelves to the hazard of 
$heir own lives, heaping UJD for. themfe\ves a treafure of 


* Cant. c. y. v. a. } Cartf. c, ii, v. 7^ 

Part II, Ch , 5. Confilathm of tbe Holy Ghofl. 1 6 \ 

vengeance againft that day, ^wherein GOD will punilb, 
them according to the heinoufnefs of their crimes *, 


Of the comforts they enjoy who begin to ferve GOD.' 

13. Perhaps you will tell me fuch extraordinary favours 
as thefe, are for none but thofe who have already advanced 
far in perfection and virtue. It is true, they are for 
them ? but yet GOD prevents even thofe who are but 
juft entered into his fervice, with all the blefTmgs of his 
confolations. He feeds them at firft like children with 
milk, and brings them by degrees to eat more folid meats. 
You fee how the prodigal fon was entertained at his re- 
turn, and welcomed home with mufic and with feaft- 
ing. This is but a reprefentation of the fpiritual joy *f- 
which the foul conceives, when fhe fees herfelf efcaped 
out of Egypt, and freed from the captivity of Pharaoh, 
from the flavery of the devil. For how can a flave when 
he has got his liberty, not be glad of fuch a benefit? 
what can he do lefs than invite all creatures to thank his 
deliverer with him ? Let us fing to the Lord, for he is glo- 
rioujly magnified ; the horfe and the rider he hath thrown into 
the fea J. 

14. If this were not fo, where would be that Provi- 
dence, which fupplies every creature fo fully, according 
to its nature, ftrength, age, and capacity ? for it is cer- 
tain carnal men could never be able to enter into this 
new road, and trample the world underfoot, unlefs GOD 
(hewed them fuch favours. To this end his Divine Pro- 
vidence takes care as foon as ever it has determined to 
difengage them from the world, fo to fmooth and plain 
the way, that they meet with no rubs to make them 
Humble. This is admirably reprefented to us by GOD'S 
leading the children of Ifrael into the land of promife, 
whereof Mofes gives us this relation : When Pharaoh 
had fen t out the people, the Lord led them not the way of the 
land of tbe Philiflims, which is near ; thinking leaft perhaps 


*Rora. c.ii. v. 5. -j- St. Luke, c, xv. J Exod. c, XV. v. i. 
Ibid. c. xiii, v. 1 7. 

1 62 *The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

they would repent , if they Jhould fee 'wars arife agalnfl them, 
and would return into Egypt. The fame Lord who took 
fuch care to conduct the Ifraelites into the land of pro- 
mile, after he had brought them out of Egypt, takes no 
lefs care' at prefent to brkig thofe to heaven, whom he 
is pleafed to call to this happinefs, after having made 
them quit the world. 

15. But I would have you to conceive, that though 
fuch as have arrived to perfection in virtue, are careffed 
after a particular manner ; yet GOD is fo good to young 
beginners, that confidering their poverty, he helps them 
forward in the new way they have undertaken, and per- 
ceiving they are ftill expofed to the temptations of fin, 
and have paOions to overcome , he gives them imper- 
fect as they are, fo much comfort, that their joy does 
not come very fhort of that they pofTefs, who are ad- 
vanced much farther. This he does for no other end, 
but to give them an entire victory over all their inordi- 
nate appetites, to make them break off with their own 
flefh , to wean them from the milk -, that is, from the 
weak delights of this world, and to tie them to him with 
fach ftrong bands of love, that they may never be 
*.ble to break loofe. If this does not convince you, 
confider what GOD has been pleafed to fignify to us by 
the fcafts of the Old Teftament, where he commanded 
the firft and laft day to be obferved with an equal fo- 
lemnity. As for the fix days which were between them, 
they were no more than the ordinary days of the week, 
but thefe two they always kept with a much greater ve- 
neration. What can this be but a figure of what we 
are now treating ? he ordered the firft day to be kept 
folemnly, as well as the laft, to give us to underftand, 
that he makes ufe of thofe that ferve him in the begin- 
ning of their converfion, as well as of thofe who are 
come to their utmoft perfection. This he does in confi- 
deration of what thefe have deferved, and of w'hat thofe 
(land in need of, dealing with the one according to the 
rules of his juftice, by giving them what their virtue 
has deferved ; and treating the other according to the 
dictates of his grace and mercy j by beftowing on them 


Part IL Ch. 5. Csnfotations of tie Holy Ghofl. 163 

much more than they have deferved on account of their 

1 6. We are never more taken with the fight of trees* 
than when they are in their flourifhing condition, and 
the fruit upon them is ripe. The day of betrothing, 
and the wedding-day are always devoted to mirth and 
jollity. Almighty GOD, upon the return of a foul to 
him, betroths her to himfelf;. and when he marries her, 
he is at all the charges of the wedding feaft,. which he 
makes according to his eftate and ability, not according 
to the deferts and quality of his fpoufe ; and to this pur- 
pofe he fays * : Our fifter is little, and hath no. breafis \ 
and therefore (he mufl live upon anothers milk. The 
bride fpeaking to her bridegroom, tells him-f-: The 
young maidem have loved thee. She does not fay, the 
maidens^ which are thofe fouls that have made a confide- 
rable progrefs in virtue ; but thofe who are not of fo 
ripe an age ; that is, fuch as have but juft opened their 
eyes to this new light. Thefe, fays me, have an ardent 
love for thee. For young lovers do ufually exprefs their 
paffion with the greateft force and heat. This is what 
St. Thomas tells us in one of his Opufcula; where, 
amongft feveral other reafons, he alledges this,, that the 
newnefs of the ftate, of the love, of the light, and of 
the knowledge of divine things, difcovers thofe beauties; 
to them which they never perceived before ;. filling them 
with a great deal of admiration, giving them at the fame 
time a particular delight, and teaching them what re- 
turns they are to make him, who has fo kindly reftored 
them their fight, after they had been fo long blindfolded 
and in the dark. When a man firft comes into any great 
town or noble place, he walks up and down, for fome 
time, and is pleated with what he fees ; but having fatif- 
fied his curiofity with the frequent fight, he is lefs taken 
with it than before, nor does he admire it fo mucrt. 
Thus flands the cafe with thofe who firft come into, this 
new country of grace, for they are furprized to find 
fuch wonderful things. k So that it is not to be admired, 
that young beginners in devotion mould feel more fer- 
* Cant, c, viii. v, 8, f Nd. c. i. v. 2* 

'164 52* Sinners Guide. Book L 

vour in their fouls than old practitioners ; for the hew- 
nefs of the light, and of their underftanding divine myf- 
teries, caufes a greater commotion in them. This, as 
St. Bernard remarks *j-, is the reafons why the prodigal 
fon's elder brother was not in the wrong, when he com- 
plained to his father, and told him , that for liis fo many 
years fervice, without ever difobeying the leaft of his 
commahds, he had never mewed him fo much favour as 
he had done this extravagant lewd foil of his, at his re- 
turn home. Thus new love like new wine, ferments at 
firft, and a"s water over a fire, boils up as foon as it feels 
the heat it never felt before. The flame, after thefe 
firft fallies, grows more ftrong and equal, though in the 
beginning it is more violent and impetuous. 

17. GOD entertains thofe that enter anew into his 
houle, with a great deal of kindrtefs and love. He bears 
all their charges at firft, and makes every thing feem 
light and eafy. He deals with them as (hop-keepers do 
with their cuftomers, who give famples of their wares 
gratis, but will have their full price for what they fell. 
The affection we mew little children, is ufnally more ten- 
der, though perhaps not greater than what we (hew thofe 
who are of riper years. We carry thofe up and down 
in our arms, but let thefe go by themfelves ; and whilft 
thefe are labouring and toiling, we lay thofe to deep, and 
let them take their reft, without giving them the trou- 
ble of afking for their meat, we feed them ourfelves, 
and put their victuals into their very mouths. 

It is this kind reception new beginners find with GOD$ 
and the manifeft favours he mews them, which occafion 
that fpiritual joy and comfort the Royal Prophet fpeaks 
of, Fill up plentifully the ftreaihs thereof; Multiply its fruit s^ 
it Jhall fpring up and rejoice in its Jhowers J. Now, what 
is this plant, and what thefe drops, but the dew of the 
Divine grace, with which GOD waters thefe fpiritual 
young plants, which he has lately dug up from amoriglt 
the wild brambles of the world, and fet in his own gar- 
den? thefe are the plants which the prophet means, 
when he fays, They Jhall rejoice in its flowers %. This mows 


t Serai, xiv. in Cantic. J Pfalm Ixiv. v, 1 1 Ibid. 

Part II. Ch. 5. Cohfolations of the Holy Ghofl. 1 65 

how great the joy of fuch perfons is, at their firft re- 
ceiving of their new vifit. Nor are you to think, that 
becaufe thefe favours are called but drops, they have no 
more in them than their name feems to promife ; for as 
St. Auguftin fays, he that drinks of the River of Para- 
dife, one drop of which is more than all the ocean, is 
fure, though he drink but one fingle drop, it will quench 
his thirft for ever. 

1 8. If when you think of GOD, you are not fenfible 
of thefe comforts, it is no argument at all againft what 
has been faid. For if the palate, when it is out of tafte, 
by any bad humour, cannot diftinguifli what is bitter 
from what is fweet, but judges what is fweet to be bit- 
ter ; what wonder is it, if your foul corrupted with fo 
many vices,and irregular affections, and which longs fo 
earneftly after the flefh-pots and onions of Egypt, mould 
not relifh the manna of heaven, and the bread of angels. 
Waih your mouth firft clean with the tears of penance ; 
and then you will be able fo tafte and fee that the Lord 
is fweet *. 

What I have faid being undeniably true, is there any 
pleafure in the world to compare with thefe ? holy wri 
ters tells us, there are two forts of happinefs ; the one, 
a happinefs that is but begun ; the other, compleat and 
perfect ; the latter the blefTed above enjoy, and jufl men 
here on earth the former. What therefore can you de- 
fire better, than from this very moment to begin to be 
happy, and even in this life to receive the pledges of 
that divine marriage, which is to be confummated per- 
fonally in heaven ; though it be propofed here but by- 
proxy, and at a diftance ? O mortal man ! whoibever 
you are, fince it is in your own power to live in paradife, 
and to enjoy fuch a treafure, go and fell all you are 
worth to purchafe fo great an eftate, for fo fmall a fum. 
Jefus Chrift will fell it, and he will let you have it in a 
manner for nothing. Do not defer the opportunity any- 
longer, for every moment loft is of more concern than 
all the riches of the world. And though you may per- 
haps meet with an occafion of purchafing it hereafter ; 
Z yet 

* Pfalm xxxiii, v. 9. 

1 66 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

yet allure yourfelf, the time you fhall have loft will be a 
trouble to you, and will force you to cry out with tears, 
as did St. Auguftin ; " O ancient goodnefs, too late I 
have known thee ! *" The delay of this glorious faints 
converfion, though he failed not of his crown, was the 
perpetual fubject of his complaints and tears, before he 
obtained it. Have a care therefore, leaft it mould be 
your misfortune to deplore the lofs of both; if you 
mould be deprived of the benefits of glory, the inheri- 
tance of the faints in the next life, and of grace, the 
reward of the juft in this. 


Of the fifth privilege of virtue, viz. the peace of conscience 
which the juft enjoy, and of the inward remorfe that tor- 
ments the wicked. 

i.TJESIDES the joy proceeding from the confola- 
\j tions of the Holy Ghoft, there is another attends 
the juft, which is the teftimony of a good confcience. 
For the underftanding of the nature and value of thi* 
privilege , you are to conceive, that the Divine Provi- 
dence which has furnilhed all creatures with as much as 
is neceffary for their prefervation and perfection, being 
willing, that the rational creature mould be moft perfect, 
has fupplied it with all that was requifite for this purpofe. 
And becaufe the perfection of this creature confifts in 
the perfection of its underftanding and will, which are 
the two principal powers of the foul, the one made per- 
fect by knowledge, and the other by virtue ; therefore 
he created the principles of all fciences, from whence the 
conclufions flows , and the feed of all virtues in the foul, 
enduing it with a propenfion to good, and averfion to 
evil , which inclination is fo natural and prevalent, that 
though a long habit of ill life may weaken, yet it cart 
"never totally deftroy it. Thus we read, that amidft all 
holy Job's misfortunes, there was always a fervant ef- 

* Solic. c. xxxi. 

Part II. Ch, 6. Peace of Conference, Sec, 167 

caped to bring him the news ; even fo, he that fins is 
never forfaken by that faithful fervant conlcience, who 
flill efcapes alive and fafe, to fhow the wicked man what 
he has loft by fin, and the miferable eftate he is reduced 

2. This plainly demonflrates how vigilant Divine Pro- 
vidence is, and its love for virtue, fince it has furnifhed 
us with a monitor, that never fleeps, and a continual 
preacher that is never filent, and a mafter and tutor 
that never ceafes guiding and directing us. Epicletus 
the Hoick was very fenfible hereof, when he faid, That 
as fathers are wont to commit their young children to 
fome careful tutor, that will diligently divert them from 
vice, and lead them to virtue , fo GOD, as our father, 
after creating, put us into the hands of this natural vir- 
tue, called confcience, as it were of a tutor, that it might 
ilill put us forward in the way of goodnefs, and check us 
in all wickednefs. 

g. Now this confcience, as it is a mafter and tutor to 
the good, fo is it an executioner and fcourge to the 
wicked, inwardly accufmg them of, and punifhing them 
for the ills they do, and mixing fuch bitternefs among 
their delights, that they have no fooner tailed the 
Egyptian onion, but their eyes prefently begin to water. 
This is one of the punilhments wherewith GOD threatens 
the wicked by the mouth of Ifaiah, faying : He will de- 
liver Babylon into the power of the hedge-hog. For GOD'S 
juftice delivers the heart of a wicked man, fignified by 
Babylon, to the hedgehogs ; that is, the devils, and to 
the pricks of confcience that attend fin, which like (harp 
thorns pierce the heart. If you would know what thefe 
thorns are, one is the deformity and hideoufnefs of fin, 
which is fo abominable of itfelf, that a philofopher was 
wont to fay : If I knew the gods would forgive me, and 
men mould know nothing of it ; yet I could not dare 
commit a fin, becaufe of its own deformity. Another 
thorn is, when the fin is prejudicial to another, for then 
it appears like that blood of Abel, which cried to Goo 
for vengeance. Thus it is written in the firft book of 
Maccabees, that King Antiochus had a full view of the 
Z 2 mif- 

1 68 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

mifchiefs he had done in Jerufalem, which fo afflicted 
him, that they haftened his death, and being ready to 
expire, he faid * : I remember the evils that I did in Jeru- 
falcm, from whence alfo / took away all the fpoils of gold 
and of filler that were in it, and I fent to deftroy the inha- 
bitants of Judea 'without caufe. I know therefore that for 
this caufe thefe evils have found me ; and behold I perijh 
with great grief in a Jlrange land. Another thorn is the 
fhame that attends fin, which the fmner cannot be ig- 
norant or infenfible of, becaufe it is natural for man to 
defire to be beloved, and to be troubled at being hated ; 
for, as a wife man faid, There is no greater torment in 
the world, than the public hatred. Another thorn is the 
inevitable fear of death, the continual uncertainty of 
life, the apprehenfion of the ftric"t account that muft be 
given of every action, and the dreadful horror of eternal 
torments , for each of thefe things pricks and gores the 
finner's heart in inch a manner, that he can never think 
of this death, fo certain on one hand, and fo uncertain 
on the other, without being extremely concerned, as 
the book of Ecclefiafticus fays, becaufe he is fenfible 
that day will take vengeance of all his crimes, and put 
an end to all his fmful pleafures. It is impofiible for any 
man to put this thought out of his mind, becaufe there 
is nothing more natural to man than death is ; and there- 
fore the leaft indifpofition fills him with a thoufand fears 
and doubts whether he mail die or no ; for the excefs of 
felf-love, added to fo violent a paffion as that of fear is, 
makes him afraid of every fhadow, and puts him into a 
concern and apprehenfion, where there is not the leaft 
ground for it : fo that if any mortality mould happen, 
any earthquakes, or thunder and lightning, the fmner 
is immediately difturbed by his guilty confcience, and 
fancies that GOD fends all this to punifh his iniquities. 

4. All thefe thorns gore the wicked at once, as one 
of holy Job's friends declares at large, whofe words, I 
will add as a clearer proof of what I have aflerted -f : 
The wicked man, fays he, is proud all his days, and the 
number of tj?e years of his tyranny is uncertain, Tbe found 


* \ Mac,, v, 12, 13, *f Jobj c, xv. v, 20, 21, 22., 

Part II, Ch. 6. Peace of Confcience, &c. 169 

of dread is always in his ears ; which are nothing but the 
cries of his guilty confcience, accufmgand correcting him 
every moment : And when there is peace he always fuf- 
petteth treafon ; becaufe, let him live feemingly never fo 
quiet, his wicked confcience never fails of putting him 
into continual apprehenfions. He believeth not that he 
may return from darknefs to light : that is to fay, he does 
not believe there is any poffibility of his getting out of 
the dreadful darknefs he lives in, to enjoy the tranquil- 
lity of a good confcience ; which like a comfortable and 
clear light rejoices and enlightens the moft fecret parts 
of the foul ; for which way foever he turns himfelf, he 
fancies he fees a naked fword pointed at him ; fo that, 
when he movetb himfelf to feek bread *, which is generally 
fpeaking a place of mirth and joy, he is wrecked with 
all kinds of fears, diftrufts and jealoufies , he knowetb 
that the day of ^darknefs is ready at his hand\ that is, the day 
of death and judgment, and in which his laft fentence is 
to be paffed upon him. Tribulation Jhall terrify him, and 
diftrefs Jball furround him, as a king that is prepared for the 
battle. This is the defcription which Job's friend gives 
of the dreadful torments thofe unhappy wretches fuffer 
within ; for to make ufe of the faying of a philofopher : 
" GOD by his eternal law has ordained that fear fhould 
be the conftant companion of the wicked;" which 
agrees very well with a fentence of Solomon, who fays, 
*That the wicked fieeth when no man purfueth ; but thejuft 
Jhall be without dread as a lion -j-. St. Auguftin has the 
fame thing, in mort, when he fays : " Thou, O Lord 
haft commanded, that every foul that is irregular, mould 
be its own executioner, and we find that it is foj." 
There is nothing in nature that does not convince us of 
this truth : for can you tell me of any thing in the 
whole world, which is not difturbed when out of its or- 
der ? what a fenfible pain, a man feels, if he has but a 
bone out of joint ? what a violence does the element 
fuffer, which is out of its center ; and what ficknefs 
does not follow, when the humours of our bodies are 


* lob, c. xv. v. 23.- Ibid. v. 24, ( Prov. c. xxviii. v. I. 

J St. Aug. L. i, Conf, c, 12. 

170 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

out of their due proportion and temperament ? fince 
therefore it is fo natural to a rational creature to live a 
regular orderly life, how can its nature chufe but fuffcr 
and be uneafy, when life is irregular and contrary to 
reafon. Job had a great deal of reafon to fay * : Who 
bath refifted him^ and hath had peace? Upon which words 
St. Gregory fays f : " That the order in which GOD has 
difpofed of all things for the continuing and preferving 
of them in their being, is no lefs the matter of our ad- 
miration, than the power with which he has created 
them. Whence it follows, that no-body can difturb the 
order of the Creator, without breaking that peace which 
ke has intended mould be the effect of this order : be- 
caufe it is impoffible for any thing to be at reft, when it 
is out of the place where GOD had put it. And thus we 
fee that thofe things which were undifturbed, whilft they 
fubmitted to the order of GOD, no fooner broke off from 
this fubjedion, than they lofe the peace they enjoyed 
before. We have an example hereof in our firft parent, 
and the fallen angels , who as foon as ever they difobeyed 
the wUl of GOD, to- follow their own, and went out of 
the order he had put them in, were deprived of their 
former happinefs, and loft that content they had before. 
And man, who whilft he continued obedient, was abfo- 
lute over himfelf, when he caft off that obedience, found 
a war and rebellion within himfelf. 

6. This is the torment the wicked by GOD'S juft 
judgment, are perpetually racked with ; and one of the 
greateft miferies they can fuffer in this life, according 
to the opinions of all the faints, amongft whom 
St. Ambrofe in his book of offices, aiks J, " Is there 
any greater torment in the world, than the inward re- 
morfe of a man's own confcience. Is it not a mifery we 
ought to fly more than death itfelf, or the lofs of our 
cftates, our health, or our liberty. And St. Ifidore tells 
jus, " There is nothing in nature which man cannot fly 
from but himfelf: for, let him run where he will, he 
will ftill carry the fting of his own wicked confcience 


* Job, c. ix. v. 4. f St. Greg. Moral. L, ix, c. 12. 

J L. iii. c. 4. 

Part II. Ch. 6. Peace of Confcience, Sec. 171 

along with him *." The fame faint fays in another place, 
" The greateft punifhment that can be inflicted, is that 
of an evil confcience ; if therefore you defire to live in 
peace, follow virtue and piety -f." This is fo undeni- 
able a truth, that the very heathen philofophers them- 
felves acknowledged it, though they neither knew nor 
believed any thing of thofe pains, which our faith teaches 
us the wicked are to fuffer ; and therefore Seneca afks, 
" What avails it to fly from the converfation of others ? 
a good confcience calls all the world in, to witnefs for it ; 
whilft a bad one is always tormented, though in the 
midfl of a defart. If what you do be good, you need 
not be afhamed to let the whole world know it ; but if 
on the contrary, it be bad, what matter is it whether 
any body knows it or no, as long as you know it your- 
felf ? your condition will be miferable if you take no 
notice of fuch an evidence, fince every man's own con- 
fcience is as good as a thoufand witneffes ." The fame 
author tells us in another place -, " That the fevered pu- 
nifhment which can be inflicled for any crime, is the 
very committing of it :" And he repeats the fame 
elfewhere, faying, " If you have been guilty of any 
crime, you ought not to fear any witnefs that can come 
in againtl you, fo much as your ownfelf, becaufe you 
may find out fome means or other to fly from every body 
elfe, but you will never be able to fly from yourfelf ; 
for every wicked acYion you do, is its own executi- 
oner ||." Cicero has fomething to the fame purpofe, in 
one of his Orations , where he fays, " There is nobody 
fo able as a man's own confcience is, either to caft or to 
acquit him-, and therefore an innocent man is never 
afraid, whilft the guilty lives always in apprehenfions (i)." 
This therefore is one of thofe torments which the wicked 
are never free from , it begins in this life, and will re- 
main for all eternity in the next; it is the never-dying 
worm, as Ifaiah calls it (2), that (hall never ceafe to gnaw 
the confciences of the wicked. And it is in this fenfe 


* St. Ifid. in fent. L. ii. c. 36. f Idem. L. ii. Synon. c. 36. 
Sen. Epift. 97. Epift. 98. || Epift. 45. (I) St. Ifid, 
In feat. L, ii. c, 36. (2) Ifaiah, c. Ixvi. v. 24, 

172 'The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

St. Ifidore interprets thofe words of the pfalmift : Deep 
calletb upon deep * ; that is, fays he, " The wicked fhall 
be carried from the fentence, which their own confci- 
cnces pafs againft them, to that of eternal damnation f." 


Of the peace of confcience which the virtuous enjoy. 

Virtuous men are free from this plague, becaufe they 
are never tormented with the flings of a bad confcience j 
but on the contrary, enjoy the comforts they receive from 
the fweet fruits of virtue, which the Holy Ghofb&has 
planted in their fouls, as in an earthly paradife, and a 
private garden in which -he delights. So St. Auguftin 
terms it in his books upon Genefis, where he fays, " The 
joy a good confcience gives a virtuous man, is a true 
paradife J. And this* is the reafon why the church is 
called a paradife full of all kinds of graces and innocent 
pleafures, for thofe that live juflly, pioufly, and tempe- 
rately. And the fame Saint in his method of inttructing 
the ignorant, has thefe words ; " You who feek after 
that true peace which is promifed to Chriftians after their 
death, affure yourfelf, that it is to be found amongft the 
bitter troubles and pains of this life, if you will but 
love him that has made you this promife, and will keep 
his commandments.; for you will foon find by your own 
experience, that the fruits of juftice are much fweeter 
than thofe of iniquity : and you will meet with a much 
more folid fatisfaction from a good confcience, amidft 
all your afflictions and tribulations, than a bad confcience 
would ever let you take, though in the very midft of 
delights and pleafures . Hitherto the words of the 
faint,, which gave us to underftand, that this comfort is 
of the nature of honey, which is not only fweet itfelf, 
but makes thofe things fo, though of themfelves unfa- 
vory that it is mixt with ; fo a good confcience brings fo 
much peace along with it, that it makes the moft painful 
like, fweet and eafy. And as we have faid, that the 


* Pfalm xli. v. 8. f St - Md. n fent. L. ii. c. 26. J Tom. iii. 
Lib. j 2! de Gen. ad. lit. c. 34. Lib. de Catech. rud. 

frirt II. Ch. 6. Peace of Confcience t &c. 173 

foulnefs and enormity of fin are of themfelves a torment 
to the wicked ; fo on the contrary, the beauty and worth 
of virtue, without any thing elfe, are a comfort to the 
good ; it is what the holy Prophet David exprefly teaches 
us, when he fays, The judgments of the Lord are true y 
juftified in themfelves ', more to be dejired than gold and preci- 
ous ft ones -, and fleeter than honey and the honey- comb *. 
This holy prophet, who had tafted how fweet they were, 
took no greater pleafure in any thing, than in the ob- 
fervance of them, as he tells us himfelf in another pfalm, 
where he fays, / have been delighted in the way of thy 
teftimonies, as in all riches -f-. His fon Solomon in his 
book of Proverbs, is of the fame opinion, for he fays, 
// it joy to the juft to do judgment J , that is, to aft virtu- 
oufly, and to do his duty. Though there are feveral 
caufes for this joy, yet it proceeds chiefly from the fplen- 
dor and brightnefs of virtue, which according to Plato, 
is moft incomparably fair and beautiful. In fine, the 
advantages and delight which a good confcience brings, 
are fuch that St. Ambrofe in his book of offices, makes 
the happinefs of the juft in this life, depend upon it; 
and therefore he fays, " The brightnefs of virtue is fo 
great, that the peace of confcience, and the afliirance 
of our own innocence are enough to make our lives plea- 
fant and happy ." 

The antient philofophefs were no lefs acquainted by 
the light of nature, with the comfort that proceeds from 
a good confcience, than they were with the difturbances 
which attend a bad one -, as we may fee by Cicero, who 
in his Tufculan queftions, fays thus, " That life which 
which is fpent in actions of honour and virtue, is accom- 
panied with fo much fatisfaction and pleafure, that they 
who pafs away their time thus, either never feel any- 
trouble at all, or if they do, it is very light and infig- 
nificant ||." He repeats almoft the fame thing in another 
place, and fays, " That virtue can find no theatre, either 
more public or more honourable, than the teftimony of 
A a a good 

* Pfalm Xviii. v. TO, 1 1. f P( " alm cxvil1 ' v> ! 4 t ProV * 
c. xxi. v. 15, St. Amb, L. ii, de Off, c. i. ft L, iii. 
Tuf, cul, 

174 We Stnners Guide. Book.!. 

a good conference *." Socrates being alked, who could 
live free from paflion, immediately made anfwer, a vir- 
tuous man. And Bias, another famous philofopher y 
being afked, who in this world was free from fears and 
apprehenfions, anfwered, a good confcience. Seneca in 
one of his epiftles, writes thus, " A wife man is always 
chearful, and this chearfulnefs comes from a good con- 
fcience -}-." So that you fee how thefe philolbphers were 
of the fame opinion in this matter with Solomon, wha 
fays, All the days of the poor are evil J ; that is to fay, 
tedious and troublefome , But a fecure mind like a conti- 
nual feaft. It is impofllble for a man to fay more in a 
few words ; by which we are to underftand, that as he 
who is invited to a feaft, is pleafed with the variety of 
dilhes, and with the company of his friends that are 
invited ; fo the juft man is delighted with the teftimony 
of a good confcience, and with the fweetnefs of the 
divine prefence, having fuch good ground to believe, 
that GOD is in his foul. But there is this difference be- 
tween thefe delights, that the pleafure a man has in a- 
feaft, is but earthly, fhort, and as it were beftial; 
whereas this other is heavenly, eternal, and noble. The 
one begins with hunger, and often ends with diftafte and 
loathing ; but the other begins with a virtuous life, is 
preferved and continued by perfever-anee, and ends with 
eternal honour and glory. Now if the philofophers, 
who had but a very imperfect notion of any reward after 
this life, had fuch an efteem for the pleafure which a. 
good confcience gives, at what rate ought a Chriftian to 
value it, who knows very well what rewards GOD has 
prepared for him in the next life, and with what favours 
he honours him even in this ? and though this afiurance 
ought not to be quite void of a holy and religious fear ; 
yet this is fuch a fear, as does not difmay, but rather 
ftrengthens him that has it, after a wonderful manner ; 
becaufe it tells him inwardly, that his confidence is then 
more fecure and profitable, when it is tempered with, 
and kept in by this wholefome fear ; and that if he had 


* I . Hi. Tuf. cul T Epift. 23. J Prov. c. xv. v. 15, 

Part II. Ch. 6. Peace of Confcience, &c. ' 175 

no fear at all, it would no longer be a confidence, but a 
falfe fecurity and prefumption. 

9. there is another privilege which the virtuous enjoy, 
of which the apoflle fpeaks, when he fays, Our glory is 
this, the teflimony of our confcience *, that we have lived in 
fimplicity, of heart, and in a true fmcerity, not accord- 
ing to the wifdom of the world. 

This is almoft all that is to be faid of the greatnefs of 
this privilege , but neither what I have faid, nor what 
I am able to fay, can difcover its excellency to him that 
has never had any experience of it ; for how can any 
one explain the delicioufnefs of a meat, to one that has 
never tafted it ? this joy is in effect, fo great, that very 
often when a virtuous man is afflicted, and can find no 
eafe, which way foever he cafts his eyes ; yet if he but 
reflect upon himfelf, he is immediately comforted with 
the consideration of the peace and quiet he finds in his 
confcience. For he knows, that as for all the reft, let 
it go which way it will, it is no matter to him ; this is 
the only thing he has to look after. And though, as I 
have faid already, he cannot have an evident knowledge 
of his innocence ; neverthelefs, as the fun in the morn- 
ing enlightens the world before we fee it, by its advance 
towards us-, fo the teftimony which a good confcience 
gives a juft man, is a comfort to his foul ; though this 
knowledge is not abfolutely clear and evident. This is 
fo true, that St. Chryfoftom fpeaking of the fame thing, 
fays, " Let a man be never fo melancholy, if he have 
but a good confcience, all his troubles vanifhes like a 
fpark of fire that is extinguifhed, when it falls into a 
great river f ." 

Aa 2 CHAP. 

* 2 Cor. c. i. v. 12. f Hoa I0 - in 2> ad Corinth - c ' 3 
Hon. 54. in Matt. c. 16. 

176 <The Sinners Guide. Book I, 


Of ibffaib privilege of virtue, viz. 'The lopes thejuft have 
in GOD'J Mercy i and of the vain confidence of the wicked. 

i. fTTMIE comfort of a good confcience is always ac- 
companied with that particular hope virtuous 
men live in. Of which the apoftle fays, Rejoice in hope ; 
patient in tribulation *. Advifmg us to make our hope 
the fubject of our joy ; and in virtue of the fame, to 
fuffer with patience whatever crofles may happen: af- 
furing us, that GOD himfelf is our afliftance, and the 
reward of our fuffering. This is one of the greateft 
treafures of a Chriftian life : thefe are the riches, this the 
inheritance of the Children of GOD , it is the common 
haven in all the ftorms of this life, and the beft remedy 
we have againft all our mileries. 

2. But not to deceive ourfelves, we muft obferve here, 
that as there are two forts of faith, the one a dead faith, 
which performs no actions of life, and is that which bad 
Chriftians have ; the other a lively one, the effect of 
charity, by which the juft perform the actions of life ; 
fo there are two forts of hope, the one a dead hope, 
which neither enlivens the foul, nor aflifts her in her 
operations, nor comforts her in her trouble; fuch a 
hope as the wicked have ; the other is a lively hope, as 
St. Peter calls it -f-, becaufe it produces the effects of life 
as thofe things do which have life in them, that is, it 
encourages, enlivens, and ftrengthens us in our way to 
heaven, and gives us breath and confidence, amidft all 
the dangers and troubles of this world. Such a hope a,? 
this, the chafte Sufanna had, of whom we read J, that 
after (he was condemned to die, and as they were lead- 
ing her through the ftreets to be ftoned to death, yet 
her heart trufted and confided in GOD : David had fuch 
a confidence, when he faid, Be thou mindful O Lord of thy 
word to thy fervant, in which thou haft given me hope. 'This 


* Rom. c. xii. v. i2. -f i P$ter a c. i, v, 3. | Dan, 
c. xiii, v, 42, 43. 

Part II. Ch. 7. Hopes cfthe Jnjl. 

hath comforted me in my humiliation^ becaufe thy word hath 
enlivened me *. 

3. This hope works many, and very wonderful effects, 
in the foul of thofe who are filled with it j and that in 
a greater meafure, and by much the more it partakes 
of chanty and the love of GOD, which gives it life. The 
firft of thefe effects is to encourage man to continue in 
the way of virtue, in hopes of the reward he is to re- 
ceive -, for as all the faints teftify, the furer man is of his 
reward, the more willing he is to run through all the 
miferies of this world. St. Gregory fays, " Hope is fo 
flrong as to be able to lift up our hearts to the joys of 
heaven, and to make us quite infenfible to the miferies 
of this mortal life -f." Origin fays, "The hope of fu- 
ture glory gives thofe perfons much eafe, who are toiling 
in this life for the obtaining of it ; as we fee the hopes 
of victory, and of a reward, mitigates the pain of the 
wounds the foldier receives in war." St. Ambrofe fays, 
" An allured hope of reward makes toils feem lefs, and 
leffens the apprehenfion of dangers J." St. Jerome fays, 
" Any labour feems light and eafy, when we put a value 
upon the reward ; becaufe the hopes of what we are to 
receive, makes us think there is no trouble in what we 
have undertaken ." St. Chryfoftom is much fuller 
upon this matter. If, fays he, " A tempeftuous fea is 
not able to frighten feamen , if the hard frofts and violent 
rains of winter are no difcouragement to the hufband- 
man ; if neither wounds nor death itfelf can daunt the 
foldier-, and if neither falls nor blows can difhearthen 
the wreftler, whilft they think of the deceitful hopes of 
what they propofe to themfelves for the reward of their 
toils and labour : how much lefs ought they who afpire 
to the kingdom of heaven, to take any notice of the 
difficulties they may meet with in their journey thither. 
Therefore, O Chriftian ! confider not that the way of 
virtue is rugged and uneven, but reflect upon what it 
will lead you to , and do not on the contrary, falfely per- 
fwade yourfelf, that the path of vice is fmooth and plea- 
fan t, 

tPfalm cxviii. v. 45, 50. "f Moral. L. 16. Cap. 13. 

{ St. Ambr. in Pfal. 12, Epift. ad Demetri. c. 9. 

178 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

{ant, but think of the precipice it will bring you to ( i )." 

how true is every word this great faint fpeaks , for 
will any man be fo mad as willingly to follow a path that 

1 s ftrewed with flowers, if he is to die when he comes to 
the end of it ? and who is there that will refufe to take 
another that is rugged and uneafy, if it leads to life and 
happinefs ? 

4. Nor does this hope ferve only for the attaining of fo 
happy an end, but affifts us in the means that tend to it, 
and in bearing with all the miferies and neceflities of this 
life. For it is this that fupports a man in tribulation, 
that defends him in danger, that comforts him in afflic- 
tions, that aflifts him in ficknefs, and fupplies all his ne- 
cefTities and wants ; becaufe it is by the means of this 
virtue that he obtains mercy from GOD, who helps us 
upon all occafions. We have evident proofs of this 
throughout the holy fcripture, but particularly in the 
Pfalms : fo that there is fcarce any of them wherein the 
royal prophet does not highly commend this virtue, and 
fpeak of the wonderful effe&s and advantages of it, as 
being without doubt one of the greateft treafures and 
comforts the virtuous can poffibly enjoy in this life. 
To prove this, I will make ufe of a few paffages of the 
fcriptures , but mall be forced to pafs by many more 
than I am able to quote. The prophet Hanani tells 
King Afa (2) : 'The eyes of the Lord behold all the earth, and 
give fir ength to them that with a perfett heart truft in him. 
The Prophet Jeremy fays (3), The Lord is good to thofe 
that hope in him, and to the foul that feeks after him. And 
in another place it is faid (4), That the Lord is good, and 
giveth Jtrength in the day of trouble; and knotveth them 
(hat hope in him ; that is, he takes care to relieve and 
aflift them. Ifaiah fays (5): If you return and be quiet, 
you Jhall be fayed: injilence and hope Jhall your Jlrength be. 
By filence, is to be underftood here, the inward reft 
which the foul enjoys amidft all her troubles ; now this 
reft is nothing elfe but the particular effect of this hope, 


(i) St. Chryft. Horn. 18. inGenef. (2) 2 Paral. c. xvi. v. 9. 
(3) Thren. c. iii. v. 25. (4) Nahum. c. i. v. 7. (5) Ifaiah, 

C. XXX. V. 12. 

Part II. Ch. 7, Hopes of tie ^uft. 

which baniflies all kind of folicitude and immoderate 
trouble, by the favour it expefts from the mercy of GOD. 
The book of Eccluf. fays ( i ) : Tc that fear the Lord be- 
lieve him , and your reward Jhall not be made void. Te 
that fear the Lord hope in him \ and mercy Jhall come to you 
for your delight. My children, behold the generations of 
men \ and know ye that no one hath hoped in the Lord and 
hath been confounded. Solomon's advice to us in his 
Proverbs is this (2) : In all thy ways think of the Lord? 
and he will direct thy jleps. The Prophet David fays in 
one of his pfalms (g) : Let them trujl in thee who know 
thy name ; for thou haft not forfaken them that feek thce O 
Lord. And in another pfalm (4) : But I have hoped in 
the Lord; I will rejoice and be glad in thy mercy. And in 
another place he fays (5) : Mercy Jhall encompafs him that 
hopeth in the Lord. He has much reafon to fay, Jhall en- 
sompafs, to let us know, that he fhall be furrounded or* 
all fides with this mercy, as a king is with his guards, 
for the fecurity of his perfon. He handles this fubjeft 
more at large in another pfalm, where he fays (6) : With 
sxpeftation 1 have waited for the Lord, and he was at- 
tentive to me. And he heard my prayers, and brought me 
eut of the pit of mifery, and the mire of dregs. And he fet 
my feet upon a rock, and directed my Jleps. And he put a 
new canticle into my mouth, a fong to our God. Many 
Jhall fee this, and Jhall fear, and they Jhall hope in the Lord. 
Eleffed is the man whofe truft is in the name of the Lord ; and 
who hath not had regard to vanities and lying follies. From 
thefe words you may learn another extraordinary effect 
of this virtue ; which is, to open a man's mouth and 
eyes, that he may be fenfible, by his own experience, of 
the fatherly tendernefs of GOD ; and may fing a new 
fong, with frefh delight for the new favour he has re- 
ceived ; to wit, the affiftance he hoped for. If we were 
to cite all the verfes in the Pfalms that treat of this 
fubject, we mould never have done , for the whole pfalm 
which begins (7) : >ui confidant in Domino ficut mons 

Sion : 

(l) Ecclus. c. ii. v, 8, 9, II. (2) Prov. c. iii. v. 6. 

(g)Pfalmix. v.n. (4) Pfalmxxx. v.8. (5) Pfalm xxxi.v. 10. 
(6) Pfalm xxxix. v, i. to 6. (7} Pfalm cxxiv. Heb, cxxv. 

t8o ffie Sinners Guide. feook \. 

Sion : They who truft in the Lord Jball be as Mount Sion 
is to this purpofe, and fo is the pfalm which begins (i) : 
Qui habitat in adjutorio altijfimi : He who dwelleth in the 
aid of the Moft High. They neither of them fpeak of 
any thing elfe, but the extraordinary advantages of thofe 
who put their truft in GOD, and live under his protection. 
For this reafon St. Bernard, writing upon thefe words of 
the pfalm : Lord thou art my refuge ', fpeaks thus (2) : 
" Whatever I am to do, or whatever I am to omit ; 
whatever I am to fufFer, or whatever I am to defire, you 

Lord, are my hope. It is this hope that makes you 
perform every thing you have promifed , and it is you 
that are the chief caufe of this hope of mine. Let ano- 
ther alledge the good works he has done, and pleafe 
himfelf with having undergone all the heat and burthen 
of the day. Let him fay with the Pharifee, that he ha$ 
fafted twice a week, and that he is not as other men are ; 

1 for my part, will cry out with the Prophet (3) : It is 
good for me to flick clofe to my God, and to put my hope in 
the Lord God. If any one promifes me a reward, it is 
by your mercy alone that I mall hope to obtain it ; if 
any-body mould make war againft me, my hopes of 
overcoming mall be in you. Should the world fet upon 
me, mould the devil roar at me, mould the flefh rebel 
againft the fpirit, I will hope in none but you. Since 
therefore the Lord is the only one that is able to affift 
us, why do we not immediately banifh out of our hearts 
all thefe vain and deceitful hopes ? and why do we not 
with fervour and devotion ftick to fo fecure a hope as 
this is ?" The faint immediately after has thefe words : 
" Faith, fays GOD, has laid up ineftimable benefits for 
thofe that ferve him faithfully : but hope fays, it is for 
me that he keeps them ; and as if this were not enough 
charity cries out, I will make hafte and take pofleflion 
of them." 

Behold how advantageous this virtue is, and how ne- 
ceflary upon feveral occafions. It is like a fecure haven 
whicji the juft put in at in bad weather. It is like a 


( i ) Pfalm xc. Heb. xci. (2) St. Bern, Serin. 9. Pfalm 
xc. v. 2. (3) Pfalm Ixxii, v. 28, 

Part II. Ch. 7. Hopes of the Jujl. 1 8 1 

ftrong fhield, to keep off the attempts of the world. It 
is like a magazine of corn, in time of famine, whither the 
poor refort to relieve their wants. It is the tent and 
lhade which GOD promifes his elect by the Prophet 
Ifaiah, to fhelter them from the burning heats of fum- 
mer, and from the ftorms and tempefls of winter , that 
is, from the profperity and adverfity of this world. To 
conclude, k is an univerfal remedy for all our evils, 
becaufe it is certain that whatfoever we hope with juftice, 
faith and prudence, to receive from GOD, we lhall not 
fail of obtaining it, provided it is for our good. For 
which reafon St. Cyprian fays, that GOD'S mercy is a 
fountain of healing waters, that hope is a veflel to re- 
ceive them, and that the cure will be proportioned to 
the largenefs of the veflel ; for if we confider the foun- 
tain, it is impoflible it mould ever be dried up. So 
that as GOD himfelf told the children of Ifrael (i), that 
whatever place they did but fo much as fet their feet 
upon, it mould be theirs ; fo as much mercy as a man 
lhall put his confidence in, mall be his own. According 
to this, he who infpired by GOD, mall hope for all things, 
mall accordingly obtain all things. Thus this hope feerhs 
to be a refemblance of the divine virtue and power, which 
redounds to the honour of GOD. For as St. Bernard very- 
well obferves (2) : " Nothing fo much difcovers the om- 
nipotence of GOD, as that we fee he is not only Almighty 
himfelf, but that he in fome meafure makes all thole fo 
who hope in him.'* Did not Jomua partake of that om- 
nipotence, who from the earth commanded the fun to 
ftand ftill in the firmament (3) ? Nor was his power lefs, 
who bid King Ezechias choofe which he would, either to 
have the fun go back, or advance fo many degrees (4). 
It is his giving his fervants fuch power as this, that pro- 
motes the greatnefs of his glory, in a particular manner. 
For if Nabuchadnezzar, that great king of the AfTyrians, 
valued himfelf upon having fo many princes to obey and 
ferve him, that were kings as well as he , how much 
more reafon has GOD Almighty to glorify himfelf, and 
B b fay, 

(l) Jofu. c. i. v. 3. (2) Serm. Ixxxv. in Cant. (3) Jofu. 
C. x. v, xiii. (4) 4 Reg. c. xx, v. 9, 1 1. Ifa, c. xxxviii. v. 8. 

182 The Sinners Guide. Book f. 

fay, That thofe who ferve him, are in fome meafure 
GOD'S, in refpect he communicates fo much of his power 
to them. 

Of the vain hope of the wicked. 

You fee here what a vaft treafflre the virtuous enjoyv 
whilft the wicked have no benefit of it, becaufe though 
they have not entirely loft all hope , yet what they have 
is only a dead one ; as it is deprived "of its life, fo that 
it cannot work any of thofe effects on them which we 
have fpoken of. For as nothing enlivens hope, fo much; 
as a good confcience, fo nothing ruins it more than a 
bad one , becaufe it generally walks in dread and fear, 
as being fenfible how unworthy it is of God Almighty's 
grace. So that diftruft and fear are the infeparable com- 
panions of a bat! confcience, as the ftiadow is of the 
body. By which it appears, that fuch as is man's hap- 
pinefs, fuch is his confidence ; for as he places his hap- 
pinefs in worldly treafures, fo his truft is in them, be- 
caufe all his glory is in them, and it is to them he has 
recourfe in time of affliction. The book of wifdom takes 
notice of this kind of hope ; where it is faid * : For the 
hope of the wicked is as duft, which is blown away with the 
wind; and as a thin froth which is difperfed by the Jtorm ; 
and that is fcattered abroad by the wind as fmoak. Judge 
by this, how vain fuch a hope muft muft be. 

7. Nor is this all , for it is not only an unprofitable, 
but a prejudicial and deceitful hope ; as GOD himfelf 
has declared to us by the Prophet Ifaiah, faying -f- : Woe 
to you apoflate children, faith the Lord, that you would take 
counfel, and not of me ; and would begin a web, and not by 
my fpirit, that you might add Jin upon Jin. Who walk to go 
down into Egypt, and have not ajked at my mouth, hoping 
for help in theftrength of Pharaoh, and truft ing in the jhadow 
of Egypt. But the Jlrength of Pharaoh Jhall be to your con- 
fvjlon, and the confidence of the Jhadow of Egypt toyourjhame. 
7'hcy were all confounded at a people that could not profit 
them : they were no help^ nor to any profit, , but to confujion 


* Cap. c. v. v. 15. f Ifaiah, c. XXX. V. *, 2, 3, ^ " 

Part II. Ch. 7. Vain Hope of the Wicked. 1 83 
and reproach. Thefe are the prophet's own words, who 
not thinking that he has faid enough yet, continues in 
the next chapter, to make the fame reproach to them 
again j faying * : Woe to them that go down to Egypt for 
help) trujling in horfes, and putting their confidence in their 
chariots, becaufe they are many ; and in horfemm, becaufe 
they are 'very flrong ; and have not trufted in the Holy One 
of Ifrael, and have not fought after the Lord. Egypt is man, 
and not God ; and their horfes, flejh, not fpirit ; and the 
Lord will put down his hand, aud the helper Jhall fall, and 
be that is helped Jhall fall, and they Jhall all be confounded 

8. See here the difference between the hope of the 
juft, and that of the wicked, for the hope the wicked 
have, is the flem, but the fpirit that of the juft. Or, if 
this does not thoroughly exprefs it, man is the hope of 
the wicked, whilft the hope of the juft is GOD. By 
which it appears, that there is the fame difference be- 
tween thefe two hopes, that there is between GOD and 
man. It is upon this account that the Pfalmift, with a 
great deal of reafon, advifes us to beware of the one, and 
invites us to the other ? with thefe words -f" : Put not your 
trufl in princes ; in the children of men, in whom there is no 
falvation. His fpirit Jhall go forth, and he Jhall return into 
his earth : in that day all their thoughts Jhall perijh. BleJJed 
is he who hath the God of Jacob for his helper ; whofe hope 
is in the Lord his God; who made heaven and earth, the fea 
.and all things that are in them. Here you plainly fee how 
different thefe two hopes are. The fame prophet ex- 
preffes it again in another pfalm, where he fays J : Some 
trufl in chariots and fome in horfes, but we will fall upon 
the name of the Lord our God. They are bound and are 
fallen -, but we are rifen and are fet upright. Confider 
now, how the effeds of their hopes are proportioned, 
to what they are founded upon -, fmce ruin and deftruc- 
tion are the confequences of the one, and viftory and 
honour of the other. 

Bb 2 9- For 

* Ifaiah, c. xxxl. v. i, 3. f Pfalm cxlv. v. 3.4, 5. 
J Pfalm xc. v. 8, 9. 

184 The Sinners Guide. Book T. 

9. For this reafon thofe that rely upon the firft of thefe 
hopes, are rightly compared to the man in the gofpel, 
that built his houfe upon the fand, which was beat down 
by the firft ftorm that arofe : but they who rely on the 
other, are like him that built his houfe upon a firm rock ; 
fo that neither winds nor waves, nor any tempefts what- 
ever were able to (hake it *. The Prophet Jeremy ex- 
plains this fame difference, by a very proper compa- 
rifon -J- : Curfed be the man that trufleth in man -, and maketh 
fejh bis arm, and whofe heart departeth from the Lord. For 
he /hall be like amarick in the defart, and he Jhall not fee 
when good Jhall ccme : but he Jhall dwell in drinefs in the de- 
fart, }n a fait land and not inhabited. But fpeaking im- 
mediately after of the juft, he fays J : Blejfed be the man 
that trufleth in the Lord, and the Lord Jhall be his confidence. 
He Jhall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that 
fprec.deth cut its roots towards moifture, and it (hall not fear 
when the heat cometh ; and the leaf thereof Jhall be green, 
and in the time of drought it Jhall not be follicitous, neither 
Jhall it ceafe at any time to bring forth fruit. Now what 
more need be faid, were men in their right fenfes, to 
Ihow how different the condition of the virtuous is from 
that of the wicked, and how much more happy they are 
than thefe, upon the bare account of hope itfelf. Is it 
poffible for a tree to fiourifh better in any place than in 
fuch a one as the prophet has here reprefented ? it fares 
exactly after the fame manner with a virtuous man , for 
there is nothing but what goes well with him, becaufe 
he is planted near the ftreams of the waters of divine 
grace. But on the other hand, it is impoffible for a tree 
to be in a worfe condition, than to branch all out into 
wood and to bear no fruit, becaufe of its^being fet in a 
bad ground, and in a place where no-body can come to 
lop it. This may convince the wicked, that it is their 
greateft mifery to turn away their eyes and hearts from 
GOD, who is the fountain of living waters, to fix them, 
upon the creatures, and to rely upon their affiftance, who 
are themfelves fo weak and fo deceitful , and may be 


* Matt. c. vii. v. 24, 25, 26, 27. f Jer, c. xvii, v. 5, 6, 
J Ibid. v. 7, 8. 

Part II, Ch. 7. Vain Hope of the Wicked. 

truly called a dry, barren, and inhabitable land. By this 
you may fee, how much the world deferves our tears, 
being planted in fo bad a foil, as having placed its hope 
in things that are fo unable to affill it ; if that may be 
called a hope, which is in itfelf fo far from being fo, that 
it is on the contrary, nothing but deceit and confufion. 
10. What mifery is to be compared with this ? can 
there be any greater poverty than to live without this 
hope. For, if fin has reduced man to fuch a low con- 
dition, that he can find no relief, but from the hope he 
has in GOD'S mercy, what will become of him, if this 
anchor, which is the only fupport left him, mould fail ? 
we fee all other creatures are in their way perfeft at their 
birth, and provided with all things neceffary for the 
prefervation of their being. Man, on the contrary, by 
reafon of fin, comes in fuch an imperfect manner into the 
world, that he has fcarce any thing in himfelf that he 
flands in need of, but requires every thing mould be 
brought to him , and lives upon the alms which GOD 
Almighty's mercy diftributes. If therefore he is defti- 
tute of this means, what kind of life muft his be, but 
an imperfecl: and defective one, fubjecl: to a thoufand mi- 
feries and wants. What is it elfe, to live without hope, 
but to live without GOD ? what therefore has man left 
him of his ancient patrimony to live upon, if this fup- 
port be taken from him ? is there any nation in the 
world fo barbarous, as not to have knowledge of a GOD, 
as not to pay fome kind of honour and worfhip to him, 
or to hope for fome favour from his providential care ? 
when Mofes had been abfent but for a little while from 
the Children of Ifrael, they imagined they were without 
their GOD , apd being as yet very raw and ignorant, 
they immediately cried out to Aaron to make them a 
GOD: becaufe they were afraid to go on any farther with- 
out one. By which it appears, that man is taught by 
nature, that there muft of necefiity be a GOD, though 
he is not always fo happy as to know the true j and that 
he is fenfible of his own weaknefs, though he is at the 
fame time ignorant of the caufe of it ; and therefore 
runs naturally to GOD for a remedy againft it. So that 


184 tte Sinners Guide. Book I. 

jas the ivy feeks fome tree to fupport it, that it may- 
creep upward, not being able to fupport itfelf ; and wo- 
man naturally has recourfe to the affiflance and protec- 
of man ; her own imperfection telling her me wants his 
help , fo human nature being reduced to the utmoft ex- 
tremity, feeks after GOD to defend and protect her. 
And fmce nothing is more evident than this, what kind 
of life muft thofe men live who are unhappily neglected 
and forfaken by GOD. 

n. I would willingly know of thofe who are in fuch 
a condition, what it is that comforts them in their afflic- 
tions ? to whom they have reconrfe in dangers ? who 
looks after them when they are fick ? to whom they cara 
difcover their ailments ? whom they confult in their dif- 
ficult affairs ? with whom they hold a correfpondence, 
with whom they converfe, and whom they defire to aflift 
them in all their neceffities ? with whom they difcourfe, 
lie down and rife ? in fhort, how can they who are de- 
prived of this help, get out of the confufion and diflur- 
bances of this life ? if a body cannot live without a foul, 
how is it poflible for a foul to live without GOD, who is 
as abfolutely neceffary for preferving of the life of the 
foul, as the foul is for preferving that of the body ? and 
if, as we have faid before, a lively hope is the anchor of 
our life, what man will be fo ram as to venture out into 
the flormy fea of this world, without carrying this anchor 
along with him ? if hope is the fhield, with which we 
are to defend ourfelves againft our enemies ; how can 
men dare go without that fhield into the very midft of fo 
many foes ? if hope is the flaff that has fupported human 
nature ever fmce the general diftemper, wherewith our 
firft parent infected it , where will feeble and impotent 
jnan be, if he has not this flaff to keep him up. 

12. We have here fufficiently explained the difference 
there is between the hope of the good, and that of the 
bad ; and confequently between the condition of the one 
and the other ; for the one has GOD to protect and de- 
fend him : whilft the other puts his truft in the flaff of 
Egypt, which if he venture to lean upon, will break and 
run into his hand : becaufe the very fin man commits in 


Part II. Ch. 8; Liberty of tie Ju/!. 

placing his confidence, is enough to make Goo let him 
know, by his own fall, how foolifhly he has deceived 
himfelf : as he has declared by the Prophet Jeremy, who 
foretelling the definition of the kingdom of Moab, and 
the occafion of it, ufes thefe words * : Becaufe thou haft 
trujled in thy bulwarks, and in thy treafure, thou alfo Jhall be 
taken -, and Chamos, which is the god in whom you have 
trufted, Jhall go into captivity, his priefts and his princes to- 
gether. Confider now what a kind of fuccour this muft 
be, fince the very feeking and trufting in it, is certains 
ruin and deftruction. 

This mall fuffice to (hew how great a privilege this of 
hope is : and though it may feem to be the fame with 
the particular Providence we have treated of already, 
which GOD extends towards thofe that ferve and love 
him ; there is yet as much difference between them as 
is between the effect and its caufe. For, though there 
are feveral caufes and beginnings of this hope, as the 
goodnefs and veracity of GOD, the merits of our Saviour, 
and the reft; however his paternal Providence, from 
which this confidence proceeds, is one of the chiefeft > 
becaufe the knowledge that GOD has fuch particular care 
over him is the caufe of this confidence in man. 

Of the feventh privilege of virtue, viz. The t 

which the virtuous enjoy, and of the mifefable and unae 


true liberty 

countable Jlavery the wicked live in. 

FROM all the above-mentioned privileges, but parti- 
cularly from the fecond and fourth, which are the 
grace of the Holy Ghoft, and the divine confolations, 
there arifes another extraordinary one, which virtuous 
men enjoy, and is the true liberty of the foul. It is 
what the Son of GOD brought into the world with him 5 
and it is upon this account that he is called the Redeemer 

* Jerem. c. xlviii. v. 7. 

I 6 *The Sinners Gtiide. Book L 

of mankind, for having delivered it out of that real and 
miferable bondage, it had fo long lived under, and having 
reflored it to perfect liberty. This is one of the greateft 
favours our Saviour has beftowed on us -, one of the moft 
remarkable advantages of the gofpel, and one of the chief 
effefts of the Holy Ghoft. For, as the apoftle fays * : 
Where the fpirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. It is, in.- 
fine, one of the nobleft rewards GOD promifes thofe who 
ferve him in this life. And it was this our Saviour him- 
felf promifed to fome perfons, who had a mind to enter 
into his fervice ; when he faid to them -f- : If you continue 
in my word, you Jhall be my difciples indeed, and you Jhalt 
know the truth; and the truth Jhall make you free: that is 
to Jay, fhall give you true liberty. To which they an- 
fwered : We are the feed of Abraham, and we never have 
beenjlaves to any man : how fay eft thou, we Jhall be free ? 
Jefus anfwered them : Amen, amen, I fay unto you, that 
whofoever committeth Jin, is the fervant of Jin. Now the 
fervant abideth not in the houfe for ever. If therefore the 
Son Jhall make you free, you free indeed. 

2. Our Saviour by thefe words, gives us plainly to 
underftand, that there are two forts of liberty , the one 
falfe, which though it looks like liberty, is not fo j the 
other true, which is what it appears to be. As for the 
falfe one, it belongs to thofe perfons, who though their 
bodies are free, have put their fouls under the arbitrary 
goverment of every paflion ; like Alexander the great, 
who, after having made himfelf matter of the whole 
world, was a flave to his own vices. But the true li- 
berty is enjoyed by them alone whofe fouls are free from 
the yoke of fuch tyrants, though their bodies may fome- 
times perhaps be prifoners, and fometimes at large, as 
was St. Paul's ; who notwithftanding his imprifonment, 
foared up to heaven in fpirit, and by his preaching and 
do&rine, fet the whole world free. 

The reafon why we with fo much freedom call this, 
Liberty, and not the other, is, becaufe, fmce of thofe 
two parts which compofe man, to wit, the body and 
foul, the foul is beyond all comparifon, the moft noble, 


*2Cor.c.iii. v.i;. John,c.viii, ^31,32,33,34,35,36. 

Part II. Ch. 8. Slavery of the Wicked. 187 

and as it were man's all ; whereas the body is nothing 
but the matter and fubject, or the cafe the foul is fhut 
Up in, it neceffarily follows, that he who has the beft 
part of him at liberty, may be faid to be truly free ; 
whilft he, whofe better part is under confinement, en- 
joys but a falfe liberty, though he has the free difpofal 
of his body, and may carry it where he pleafes. 


Of tie Jlavery of the wicked: 

Should you afk me whofe (lave he is who is under fuck 
a confinement ? I anfwer, he is a {lave to the moft hi- 
deous tyrant we can pofTibly reprefeht to ourfelves ; I 
mean to fin. For hell torments being deeply abomina- 
ble, fin muil of necefiity be yet more abominable ; in- 
afmuch as thefe torments are but the effe&s of it. It is 
to this the wicked pay their flavim homage, as appears 
plainly from the words of our Saviour, fo lately cited j 
wkofoeoer commit ctb Jin^ is the fervant of fin *. And can 
a man pofiibly be oppreffed with a more deplorable 
flavery than this is ? 

Nor is he a (lave to fin oiily, but what is ftill worfe, 
to thofe that incite him to it, that is, to the world, the 
devil, and his own flem, depraved by fin, and to every 
diforderly appetite the flefli is the occafion of: for he 
who is a flave to the fori, milft be a flave to his parents; 
Now there are none of us but know that thefe three are 
the parents of fin, and upon this account, they are ftil'd 
the enemies of the foul, becaufe they take it prifoner, 
and put it under the power of this cruel tyrant fin. 

4. But though thefe three agree in this point, yet 
there is fome kind of difference in their manner of pro- 
ceeding. For the two firft make ufe of the thircl; whi \\ 
is the flefli, like another Eve for the deceiving of Adam ; 
or like a fpur to drive him on to all manner of milchief. 
For this reafon the apoftle calls it fin, as it were by ex- 
cellence, giving the name of the effecl: to the caufe ; 
becaufe there is no kind of fin whatever, which it does 
C c toi 

* Joan ; c, via- V; 34, 

1 88 *Tbt Sinnen Gfiuk.- Book f, 

not tempt us to. The divines upon the fame account, 
term it, Femes pecati, that is, 'The bait and nourijhment of 
fm, becaufe it ierves inftead of wood and oil, to keep iri 
and increafe the fire of fin. But the name we generally 
call it by, is fenfuality, flefh, or concupifcence, which 
to fpeak more plainly, is nothing elfe but our fenfuai 
appetite, the caufe of all our paffions, as it is fpoiled 
and corrupted by fin, it being the incentive and provo- 
cative, and the very fource of all manner of vices. This 
it is particularly, that makes our other two enemies em-^ 
ploy our fenfuai appetite as their inftrument, for carrying' 
on the war againft us. It was this that gave St. Bafil 1 
occafion to fay ; " That our own defires are the chief 
arms with which the devil fights againft us : becaufe the 
immoderate affection we have for whatever we defire, 
makes us endeavour to poflefs it right or wrong, and 
break through all that lies in our way, though forbid by 
the law of GOD. And from hence all fins take their rife 
and origin. 

5. This appetite is one of the greateft tyrants the 
wicked are fubject too, and by which the apoftle fays, 
they are made flaves ; and though he calls them flaves r 
he does not mean that they have loft that free-will with 
which they were created ; becaufe this never was, nor 
ever will be toft, as to its efience, though man commit 
never fo many fins ; but that fin on the one fide has fo 
weakened this free-will, and on the other, lent fuel* 
forces to the appetite, that the ftronger, generally fpeak- 
ing, prevails over the weaker. Befides, what greater 
fubject of grief can we have, than to fee man, whofe 
foul is created according to GOD'S own image; who 
is enlightened from heaven, and has an underftanding 
fo fubtle as to fly above all created beings, and ta 
contemplate GOD himfelf ; It is a deplorable thing to 
confider, that this foul mould take no notice of all 
thefe noble qualities, but let herfelf be governed by 
the blind impulfe of her beaftly appetite, which has 
been corrupted by fin, and hurried on by the devil? 
what muft a man expect from fuch a government; 


* St. Baf. Horn. 23 . de non ad her. rcb. faecularibus. 

Part II. Ch. 8. Slavery of the Wicked. 189 

from fuch directions, but dangers, calamities, and all 
.kinds of unparalleled misfortunes ? 

I will give you a clearer .profpecl: of the deformity of 
this flavery, by an example which comes home to our 
prefent bufmefs. Reprefent to yourfelf a man married 
to a woman, as noble, as beautiful, and as prudent as 
poffibly woman can be ; and that this fortunate man, 
mould at the fame time have a fervant a moft deformed 
creature, and a mere forcerefe -, who envying her matter's 
happinefs, mould give him a potion, fo to pervert all 
his femes ; that deipifing his wife, and mutting her up 
in fome corner of the houfe, he mould give himfelf over 
to this lewd fervant of his, make her the companion of 
his bed, and of all his pleafure ; mould confult her upon 
the management of his affairs and family, and follow 
'her advice in all things ; nay, to pleafe her, mould at 
lier command fquander away his whole eftate, in enter- 
tainment, feafting, revelling, and fuch kinds of delights ; 
and mould befides all this, come to fuch a pitch of mad- 
Jiefs, as to oblige his wife to wait upon this wicked wo- 
man, and to obey all her commands. Can any one per- 
iuade himfelf, a man mould ever be guilty of fuch folly ? 
who would not be aftoniftied at fo great a madnefs? 
what indignation would he be in againft: this wicked 
woman, what pity would he have for the poor injured 
lady , and how would he cry out againft this blind and 
fenfelefs hufband ? we mould look upon fuch an aflion 
as bafe and infamous to the laft degree ; and yet, it is 
nothing in companion of what we are now treating of. 
For you are to underftand, that we ourfelves have thefe 
two different women, to wit. the fpirit and the flelh, 
t/ithin our own fouls, which the divines, in other terms, 
call the fuperior and the inferior part -, the fuperior part 
of our foul is that in which refide the will and reafon, 
which is that natural light GOD beftowed on us at our 
creation. This reafon is fo beautiful and noble, that it 
makes man like GOD, capable of enjoying him, and 
unites him by a brotherly love to the very angels. It is 
the noble woman to whom GOD has married man, that 
they may live together, and that he may follow its 
C c 2 couniel 

190 tfhe Sinners Guide^ Book I. 

counfel and dictates in all things ; that is to fay, that he 
may let himfelf be guided by that cekftial light, which 
is reafon. But for the inferior part of the foul, it is 
taken up by the feniual appetite, which we have already 
fpoken of, and which has been given us for no other 
end, but the defiring of things neceffary for the fupport 
of our lives, and for the coniervation of mankind. But 
this is to be done according to the rules which reafon 
prefcribes ; as a good fteward would do, who makes no 
provifion but what his matter bids him. This appetite 
therefore is the flave we have all this while been talking 
of; nor is it fit to be a guide, becaufe it wants the light 
of reafon, and upon that account muft itfelf be directed 
by another. But man on the contrary, has been fo un- 
happy, as to place fuch an immoderate affection upon, 
and to give himfelf over entirely to the fatisfying of this 
wicked woman's lufts, that he has taken no notice of 
the fuggeftions of reafon, which he mould have guided 
himfelf by, but has in all things followed the directions 
of his appetite, and made it is whole bufinefs to fatisfy 
every irregular defire. For we fee, there are fome men 
fo fenfual, fo unruly, and fo abandoned to the defires of 
their own hearts, that there is fcarce any thing they 
propofe, but immediately like beads they purfue it, 
without any refpect either to the laws of juftice or of 
jreafon. And what is this but giving themfelves up to 
the fiefli, which is the deformed loathfome (lave, and 
following all thofe delights and paftimes fhe has any in- 
clination to, and defpifmg the advice of that noble and 
lawful wife, which is our reafon. 

7. But what is flill more intolerable, they are not fa- 
tisfied with ufmg this lady fo bafely, but will force her 
to ferve this wretched Have, and to make it her whole 
bufinefs, day and night, to think of, and to procure what- 
ever may ferve for the fatisfying of her bafe defires. For 
when a man employs all his wit and fenfes about nothing 
jn the world, but inventing new faftiions in his drefs, in 
his buildings, in his table and diet, for the pleafing of 
Jiis palate, with new fauces and pickles ; in the furniture 
of his hpuje, and in continually thinking of new meajis 

Part II. Ch, 8. Slavery of the Wicked. 1 9 1 

and devices, for raking up of money, to compafs all thefe 
things , what does he elfe, but take the foul off from 
thole fpiritual exercifes which are more fuitable to the 
excellency of her nature, and make her a mere drudge to 
that creature, who ought to have done the fame offices 
for her ? When a man, that is paffionately in love with 
a woman, ufes all the wit he has in writing love-letters, 
and in compofing fongs and poems, and fuch other prac- 
tices as are ufual in tfrofe cafes : what does he in all this, 
but make the miftrefs wait upon the maid, by employing 
this divine light, in contriving means to fatisfy the im- 
pure defires of the flefh * ? When King David ufed fo 
many flights to cover the fin he had committed in fecret 
with Bathfheba , fending for her hufhand out of the 
camp; inviting him to fupper; making him drunk j 
and afterwards giving him letters to the camp, with 
private orders to Joab, to put him in the very heat of the 
engagement, that fo the innocent man might be taken 
put of the way. Who was contriver of this chain of 
wickednefs, but reafon and the underflanding ? and who 
was it that urged them to it, but the wicked flefli, to 
cloak her fault, and to enjoy her delights with the more 
fecurity ? Seneca though a heathen and a philofopher, 
blufhed at thefe things, and therefore ufed to fay-{-: " It 
is beneath me who have been born to fomething that is 
great, to be a flave to my own flem." If we fliould be 
aftonimed at the ftupidity of that man fo bewitched, how 
much more reafon have we to be concerned at this dif- 
order, which is the occafion of our being deprived of 
much greater benefits, and of our falling into more de- 
plorable misfortunes ? 

8. Now though this be fo frequent, and fo monftrous 
a diforder, we take little notice of it, and no-body is fur- 
prized at it, becaufe the world is fo diforderly. For as 
St. Bernard fays J, We are not fenfible of the flench of 
our crimes, becaufe the number of them is fo great. 
For as no-body is affronted to be called a blackamoor in 
thofe countries, where every-body is as black as himfelf ; 


* 2 Reg. c. xi. -f Sen, Ep, 65. J St. Bern. Ep. ad 
Fratres de Mon^e Dei. 

Sinners Guide. Book L 

and as no one thinks it a difgrace to be drunk (notwith- 
flanding the filthinefs of the. fin) where drunkennefs is in 
fafhion ; fo this diforder being general, there is fcarce 
any one that looks upon it as he ought to do. From 
what has been faid we may fee how unhappy a flavery 
this is , and not only that, but what dreadful torments 
man muft expect in punilhment of his fins, which have 
delivered up fo noble a creature into the hands of fo 
cruel a tyrant. The author of Ecclefiafticus looked 
upon it as fuch when he prayed to GOD *, That he would 
take frwn me the greedinefs of my belly > and let not the lufts 
of the flejh take bold of me , and give me not over to ajhame- 
iefs and fooli/h mind. As if he had begged not to be de- 
livered into the hands of fome cruel tyrant or execu- 
tioner -, looking upon his irregular appetite as fuch. 


9. If you would now be acquainted with the power 
of thi$ tyrant, you may eafily gather it, by obferving 
what effects he has wrought in the world in all ages. I 
vrill not to this purpofe reprefent to you the fictions of 
the poets, or fet before you the example of their famous 
Hercules, who after having killed or tamed all the 
monfters in the world, was himfelf at laft fo fubdued by 
the unchafte love of a woman, as to lay down his club 
for a diftaff, and to leave his adventures to fit and fpin 
amongft a company of maids, in compliance to his 
haughty miftrefies commands. It is a pretty invention 
of the poets, to mow yhat arbitrary power this paffion 
cxercifes over us. Nor will I alledge the authority of 
the holy fcripture in proof of this truth , nor bring the 
example of Solomon f, a man of fuch extraordinary 
wifdom and fanftity on one fide, whilft on the other, he 
was proftrating himfelf before his idols and building 
temples to them, in compliance to his concubines. It is 
an example indeed that comes very home to our prefent 
purpofe ; but we will only take notice of thofe inftances 
that occur to us daily. Confider therefore, what dan- 
gers an adultereTs expofes herfelf to, for the fatisfying 

* Eccl. c. xxiii. v. 6. t S Re S? c> xi - 

Part II. Ch. 8. Slavery of the Wicked. 193 

of an inordinate appetite. ^ I choofe this pa/lion before 
any of the reft, that by this you may difcover the force 
of the others. She knows, that Ihould her hufband 
furprize her in the crime, me is a dead woman, and that 
me mall in one moment loofe her life, her honour, her 
riches, and her foul, nay, and whatever elfe flic is ca- 
pable of loofing, either in this world or ia the next, 
which is the greateft k>fs can be fuftained. She knows, 
that befides all this, (he (hall difgrace her children and her 
whole family , and that me mall herfelf find fubjeft of 
eternal forrow , and yet fuch is the force of this pafiion, 
or rather, fuch is the tyrant, that it makes her break 
through all thefe difficulties, and fwallow down fo many- 
bitter draughts, fo eafily, for the executing of all that 
it commands her. Was there ever any mafter fo cruel, 
as to expofe even his (lave to fo much danger, for the 
performance of his orders ? can you think of any flavery 
more hard and miferable than this ? 

10, This is the ftate the wicked generally live in, ac- 
cording to the royal prophets remark, when he fays, Such 
ar are fet in darkwfs, and the Jhadaw of death, bound in 
want and in iron -\. What can the prophet mean by this 
darknefs, but the dark blindnefs the wicked live in, who 
neither know themfelves nor GOD as they ought to do-, 
nor underftand what it is they live for, or what is tire 
end of their creation. They are unacquainted with the 
vanity of what they love, and are not fenfibk of the 
flavery they are oppreft with. And what are the chains 
that bind them down, but the force of thofe irregular 
affections, by whkh their hearts are fo clofe linked to 
thofe thin-gs, they have fo unlawful a love for ? and what 
can this hunger fignify, but the infatiable defire they 
have of a great many things, which there is no pofli- 
bility of obtaining ? is there any flavery fo troubiefomc 
as this ? 

1 1. Let ws take another example of this fame pa-flion. 
Caft your eyes on David's eldeft fon Ammon, who as 
foon as ever he beheld his fitter Thamar with a wanton 
eye, was fo blinded, fb fettered* and fo- tormented with 

f Pfalrncvi* v. 10. 

196 *Tke Sinners GuUe. Book I. 

ttndants, his pofture, his gate, his mien, his difcourfe, 
his looks , in fine, all he does tends this way , becaufe, 
it is done fo as it may gain him moft efteem, and procure 
him the empty puff and blaft of honour : fo that if you 
look narrowly into him you will find, that what he does 
or fays, is a bait for popular applaufe and commendation. 
If we wonder at the folly of Domitian the Emperor, for 
hunting after flies with a bodkin, when he had nothing elfe 
to do. How much more mould we admire the folly of 
the wretched ambitious man, who not only fpends fome 
fpare time, but runs out his whole life in hunting after 
the fmoke of worldly vanity ? it is this makes the unhappy 
man do nothing he has a mifld to do ; he neither dreffes 
himfelf according to his own fancy, nor goes where he 
himfelf would go : fince he very often neglects even go- 
ing to church, and does not care to converfe with vir- 
tuous perfons, for fear the world, whofe flave he is, 
mould reflect upon him. And what is yet worfe, this 
vice makes him live above what he has, and by that 
means reduce himfelf to a thoufand necefiities, which, 
ruin his foul, and are very often the deftruction of his 
poilerity, who have no other inheritance left them by 
him, but his debts to difcharge, and his follies to imi- 
tate. Can fuch perfons as thefe deferve any eafier punifh- 
ment than that, a certain king inflicted on an ambitious 
man , which was, to be ftifled with fmoke, faying, it 
was no more than juftice that he mould be condemned to 
die by fmoke, for having fpent all his life in feeking after 
fmoke and wind.. What mifery can be greater than this ? 
j 4. What mall I fay of the greedy covetous man, who 
is not only a (lave too, but even an idolater of his money ? 
while he lerves, adores, and obeys it in every thing it 
commands him : for this he fafts fo rigoroufly, as fcarce 
to allow himfelf a morfel of bread ; this treafure, in 
fine, he loves more than he does GOD ; whom he makes 
no fcruple to offend for the leait profit. This is his 
comfort, his glory, his hope, the continual fubject of 
all his thoughts, and the object of his love : with it he 
goes to (leep, with it he rifes, employs his whole life 
about it, and is continually finding out new ways to im- 

Part II, Ch. 8. Slavery of the Wicked. ~ 197 

prove it ; negleding at the fame time, and forgetting 
himfelf and every thing elfe. Can we call fuch a man 
the mafter of his money, to difpofe of it as he has a 
mind ; or ought we not rather to fay, that inftead of his 
money being a flave to him, he becomes a flave to his 
money, confidering himfelf as it were made for his mo- 
ney, and not his money for him ? neglecting his belly 
and his very foul, to give himfelf entirely to it ? 

1 5. Can there be a harder flavery than this ? for if we 
.call that man a prifoner, who is clapt up into a dungeon, 
or loaden with chains and irons ; what better name can 
we give him, who has his foul oppreffed and charged 
with the diforderly affection of what he loves ? for 
when a man is once come to this degree, he has not 
any one power of his foul that enjoys a perfect liberty -, 
ne is not his own mafter, but his flave, whom he has fo 
paffionate a love for. For wherefoever his love is, there 
his heart will be, though ftill he does not lofe his free-will. 
Nor does it fignify any thing what chains you are tied 
down with, if the nobler part of you is made a prifoner ; 
nor does your confenting to your imprifonment make 
your confinement lefs , nay, on the contrary, if it be a 
true prifon, the more voluntary it is, the more dangerous 
it will be ; as we fee in poifon, which if pure, is no lefs 
hurtful, becaufe it is fweet : certainly there can be no 
ftraighter prifon than that you are thus confined too, 
which makes you turn your eyes away from GOD, 
truth, honefty, and the laws of juftice; and lords it over 
you at fuch a rate, that as a drunken man is not his 
own mafter, but a flave to his liquor, fo he that is op- 
preffed with this flavery, is no longer in his own power, 
but at the command of his pafflon, though his free-will 
is yet remaining. Now if imprifonment be a torment, 
what greater torment can there be, than that which one 
of thefe miferable men endures ; by continually defiring 
what he knows he can never obtain -, and yet he cannot 
forbear or curb his defires, fo that he is reduced to fuch 
circumftances, that he knows not which way to turn 
himfelf. And being in this perplexity and trouble, he 
is forced to make ufe of the words of a certain poet to 
Dd 2 an 

198 tte Sinners Guide. Book I. 

an ill-natured lewd woman : " I love you, and I hate 
you at the fame time, and if you afk me the reafon of it, 
it is becaufe I can neither live with you, nor without you. 9 ' 
But if at any time he endeavours to break thefe chains, 
and to overcome his paffions, he immediately finds fuch 
refiftance, that he very often defpairs of obtaining the 
victory, and returns to his chains and flavery again. 
Do not you think after all this, that we may very well 
be allowed to call this ftate, a torment and captivity ? 

1 6. If thefe prifoners had but one chain to hold them, 
their miferies would be much lefs, for there were fome 
hope of breaking a fingle bond, or overcoming one 
enemy alone. But how miferable muft we imagine their 
condition to be, when we confider what a great number 
of other paffions, like fo many fetters, keep down thefe 
unhappy creatures ? for man's life lying open to fo many 
neceffities, and every neceffity exciting fome new defire, 
and adding as it were, another link to the chain , it fol- 
lows, that he who has a great many paflions, muft have 
but very little command of his own heart ; but (till this 
is mere in fome perfons than in others , for fome mens 
apprehenfion is naturally fo tenacious, that they can fcarce 
ever put from them any thing, that has once taken pof- 
feflion of their imagination. Others are of a melancholy 
temper, which makes them conceited and violent in their 
clefires. Others are mean fpirited, who look upon all 
things, though never fo inconfideyable, as great and 
worthy to be coveted, for every little thing feems great 
to a poor foul. Others are naturally violent in whatever 
they defire, as generally women are , who as a philofo- 
pher obferves, paflionately love, or hate, becaufe there 
is no medium in their affections. All thefe paffions ex- 
ercife continual cruelties upon thofe that are fubject t;o 
them ; now if the mifery of being bound with but one 
chain, and of ferving only one mafter be fo great, how 
miferable muft that man's condition be who is held by 
fo many chains, and has fuch a great number of mafters 
to command him, as the wicked man has ; for every 
pafTion and vice he is fubject too, is a diftind mafter, an,d 
Requires his obedience and fubmifHon. 

Part II. Ch. 8. Slavery of the Wicked. 

Can there be any greater mifery than this ? for if the 
dignity of man, as man depends on two things, viz, 
reafon and free-will ; what can be more oppofite, either 
to the one, or the other, than pafiion is, which at the 
fame time blinds the reafon, and drags away the free-will 
along with it ? by which you may perceive what preju- 
dice we receive from the leaft irregular affection, fmce it 
turns a man out of his throne by obfcuring his reafon, 
and perverting his free-will, without which two, man is 
no longer a reafonable creature, but a mere brute. See 
here the unhappy flavery the wicked are reduced to ; as 
men that will neither take notice of the laws, or infpira- 
tions of GOD, nor the dictates of their own reafon, but 
are hurried away by the impulfe of their own paffions 
and appetites. 


Of the liberty virtuous men here enjoy, 

17. This is the cruel flavery the Son of GOD came 
down from heaven, to deliver us from ; and it is this 
liberty and victory Ifaiah fo highly commends, when he 
fays , Thofe whom thou haft redeemed, they jhall rejoice be- 
fore thee, O Lord, as they that rejoice in the harveft, as 
conquerors rejoice after taking a prey, when they divide the 
fpoils. For the yoke of their burthens, and the rod of their 
Jhoulder, and the fceptre of their opprejfor, thou haft over- 
come , as in the day of Median *. All thefe names, of 
yoke, of rod, and fceptre, agree very well with the ty- 
rannical power of our paflions and appetites; becaufe 
the devil, who is the prince of this world, makes ufe of 
them as very proper inflruments to work us under his 
tyranny, and into fubjection to fin. From this tyranny 
and fubjection, the Son of GOD has delivered us by the 
fuperabundance of his grace, which the facrifice he made 
of himfelf on the crofs, has purchafed for us. For 
which reafon the apoftle fays, 'That our old man is cruci- 
fied with him -f ; meaning here, by The old man, our fen- 
fitive appetite, which became diforderly by the fin of 
our firft parent. And the reafon why our old man has 

c. ix. v, 3, 4, f R om, c, vi. v. 6. 

2oo he Sinners Guide. Book I. 

been crucified with him, is becaufe he by the merit of 
his pa/lion, has obtained grace for us, whereby we may 
fubdue this tyrant, and make him fuffer the fame punifh- 
ment he has caufed us to fuffer; thus crucifying him 
who before crucified us, and bringing him into flavery, 
under whofe (lavery we have been To long groaning, 
Thus, what the Prophet Ifaiah foretold in another place, 
has come to pafs : They Jhall make them captives that had 
taken them, and Jhatt fubdue their opprefors *. For our 
fenfual appetite, before the reign of grace, tyrannized 
over our underftanding, and made it a flave to all its 
unlawful defires ; but as foon as ever grace came into its 
fuccour, it grew fo ftrong, as to prevail againft this 
tyrant, and make it fubmit to what reafon prefcribed. 

1 8. This fubduing of the appetite to reafon, has been 
in a particular manner reprefented to us by the death of 
Adonibefech king of Jerufalem, who was put to death 
by the Children of Ifrael, after they had firft cut off his 
fingers and toes. This unhappy prince feeing himfelf 
in this condition, and calling to mind the cruelties he 
had before exercifed upon others, was heard to fay, 
Seventy kings, having their fingers and toes cut off, gathered 
up the leavings of the meat under my table -, as I have done, 
fo hath GOD requited me -^. After which the fcripture adds, 
that he was carried in this condition to Jerufalem, and died 
there. This cruel tyrant is a figure of this world, which 
before the Son of GOD came down from heaven, cut off the 
hands and feet of almoft all men in general, by this 
means maiming and putting them out of the capacity of 
ferving GOD ; cutting off their hands to hinder them 
from doing any good ; and their feet to prevent them 
from fo much as defiring it; and befides all this, reducing 
them to the neceffity of living upon the poor fcraps that 
fell under his table, that is, the fenfual pleasures of the 
world, wherewith this wicked prince maintains his fer- 
vants. There is much reafon for calling them fcraps, 
and not pieces of bread, becaufe this tyrant is fo niggardly 
in diftributing of thefe crumbs and fragments, that he 


* Ifa'ah, c. xiv. v. 2. f Judu. c. i. v. 7. 

Part II. Ch. S. Liberty of tie Jujt. 50 1 

never gives enough to fotisfy their appetite. But after 
our Saviour came into the world, he made this tyrant 
undergo the fame torments he had put others to before, 
cutting off his hands and feet, that is, defeating all his 
forces. The fcripture exprefsly declares, that Adoni- 
befech died in Jerufalem ; becaufe this was the place where 
our Saviour by his death, deftroyed the prince of this 
world, and where dying upon the crofs, he crucified this 
tyrant, binding him hand and foot, and taking all his 
power from him. And therefore immediately after his 
moft facred pafilon, men began to triumph and infulc 
over this tyrant, and fo to lord it over the word, the 
devil, and the flefh, with all its concupifcences, that 
neither all the tortures they could be threatened with or* 
one fide, nor all the pleafures that could be propofed to 
them on the other, were able to make them commit any 
mortal fin. 

Of the canfes whence this liberty proceeds. 

19. You will afk perhaps whence this great victory 
and liberty proceeds ? to whk h I anfwer, that next to 
GOD, it proceeds immediately, as I have faid already 
from this grace, which by the means of thofe virtues it 
infpires, fo moderates the heat of our paflions, as not to 
let them get the better of reafon. So that as forcerers 
can by certain fpells enchant fnakes, that they mail do 
no hurt, without killing them or taking away their ve- 
nom -, fo the grace of GOD charms all the venomous fer- 
pents of our paflions ; and though it ftill leaves them 
their natural being in perfect vigor, yet they can do us 
no hurt with their poifon, becaufe they are not capable 
as they were before, to infect our lives. This was meant 
by the Prophet Ifaiah, when he faid, We faking child 
fiallplay on the hole of the afp, and the weaned child Jhall 
thrujl his band into the den of the bafdijk. They Jhall not 
hurt, nor Jhdl they kill in all thy holy mountain, for the 
earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the cover- 
ing waters of the fea *. It is plain the prophet does not 

* Ifaiah, c. xi, v, 8,9, 

202 The Sinners Guide. Book t; 

fpeak here of vifible, but of invifible ferpents, which 
are nothing but our own paffions and bad inclinations, 
which when once they break out, are enough to corrupt 
the whole world. Nor does he fpeak of corporal chil- 
dren, but of fpiritual, and thofe he calls fucking children, 
as fuch as are but juft beginning to ferve GOD, and there- 
fore mufl be fed with milk ; but thofe that are wean'd, are 
fuch as have made a greater progrefs, and can go alone, 
and eat bread and ftronger meats. The prophet there- 
fore fpeaking of both, fays of the former, that they 
fhall be glad to fee, how notwithftanding they are per- 
petually in the very midft of thefe invifible ferpents -, yet 
the grace of GOD will fecure them from receiving any 
confiderable hurt, by not permitting them to confent in 
any manner to fin. As for the latter, thofe I mean, that 
are already weane d, and have advanced farther in the 
way of GOD, he fays, they mail put their hands into 
the very dens of bafilifks ; which is as much as to fay, 
that GOD will preferve them, even in their greateft dan- 
gers -, fo that we fee thefe words of the pfalmift verified 
in them. Thou Jhall walk upon the afp and the bajilijk^ 
thou Jhall trample under foot the lion and the dragon *: 
Thefe are they that (hall receive no harm at all, though 
they put their hands into a bafilifk's den, becaufe thefe 
ferpents mail be fo charmed by the abundance of GOD'S 
grace, fp read ing itfelf over the whole face of the earth, 
that they fhall not do any hurt to the children of GOD. 

20. St. Paul explains this much more clearly, and 
without any kind of metaphor ; for after having dif- 
courfed very fully of the tyranny our irregular affections 
and our flefh exercife over us, he crys out at laft, Un- 
happy man that I am, who Jhall deliver me from the body of 
this death-\? but he himfelf immediately anfwers his 
own queftion in fhort, and fays, The grace of GOD which 
is given us by Jefus Chrijl our Lord J. What he means 
here by The body of death, is not this body of ours, that 
is fubject to a natural death, which we all of us look 
for -, but what he himfelf in another place calls The body 


*Pfalm xc, v. 13. -j- Rom, c. vii. v, 24* J Ibid. y. 25* 

Part II. Ch. 8. Liberty of the Jujl. 223 

cfSin*-, that is, our depraved appetite, from which pro- 
ceed all inordinate affections, which are continually en- 
ticing us to fin, juft as the members do from the body ; 
and this is the body the apoftle fays, the grace that 'is 
given us through Jefus Chrift delivers us from; as from 
a cruel tyrant. 

21. The fecond, and that a main caufe of this liberty, 
is the greatnefs of that joy, and of thofe fpiritual con- 
ifolations which the virtuous enjoy, as we have proved 
already. By thefe all their defires are fo fully fatisfied, 
that they eafily overcome and difmifs all their irregular 
appetites ; and having found out this fource of all that 
is good and pleafant, they covet no other happinefs, as 
our Saviour himfelf declared to the Samaritan woman, 
when he told her ; But be that Jhall drink of the waters 
which I Jhall give him, (which is the grace of GOD] Jhall 
not thirft for ever -f-. St. Gregory allures us of the fame 
thing in one of his Homilies, in thefe words, " He who 
is once thoroughly acquainted with the fweetnefs of a 
heavenly life, immediately bids adieu to all thofe things 
he had a fenfual love for before. He forfakes all he is 
in pofleflion of; he diftributes liberally all his treafures; 
his heart is enflamed with the defire of heaven ; there is 
nothing upon earth can pleafe him , and whatfoever he 
before thought beautiful and lovely, he now accounts 
deformed and hideous ; becaufe this precious jewel is the 
only thing that mines and glitters to the eyes of his foul." 
for when the veffel of our heart is full of this liquor* 
and the thirft of our foul is quenched with the fame ; 
it has no occafion to run after the fleeting and vain plea- 
iures of this life ; but live free from the flavery of all 
thofe affections, which bafe earthly pleafures excited in 
ner , becaufe where there is no love for them, there can 
be no flavery to them , and thus the heart that has found 
him who is the Lord of all things, finds itfelf to be in 
fome meafure Lord of all things ; there beirjg ho other" 
folid good which it does not meet with iri this one good. 
22. Add to thefe two divine favours, which aflift Us 
fo much in the regaining of our liberty, the pains vir- 
E e tuows 

* Rom, e k vi. v, 6* f St - M n c ' iv - v> J 3- 

224 2fo Sinners Guide. Book I. 

tuous men take to fubdue the flelh to the fpirit, and to 
make the pafiions fubmit to reafon. By this means they 
gradually mortify their pafiions, obtain a habit of virtue, 
and lay afide that heat and violence which ufed to difturb 
them before. For if, as St. Chryfoftom fays, " The 
wildeft beads that are, by living amongft men, come in 
time to lofe their .natural fiercenefs, and to grow tame 
and gentle, by obferving the fame qualities in men.'* 
Which gave a poet occafion to fay, that time and cuftom 
bring lions under obedience , what wonder is it, that 
our paflions, if we but accuftom them to fubmit to rea- 
fon, mould by degrees become tame and rational, that 
is, mould in fome manner partake of the quality of the 
fpirit and of reafon ; and love nothing more than to do 
as they do ? now if this may be done only by ufe and 
cuftom, how much fooner and more efficaciously muft it 
of necefllty be effected, when ufe and cuftom are afiifted 
by grace. 

23. Hence it is, that thofe who ferve GOD, very often 
feel a more fenfible pleafure and fatisfaction, if I may fo 
term it, in their recollection, filence, reading, prayers, 
meditations, and in all their other exercifes, than they 
could find in hunting, hawking, gaming, and converfa- 
tion, or in any other worldly recreations and diverfions^ 
which they look upon as mere torments, infomuch, 
that the flem itfelf begins now to hate what it loved be- 
fore, and to be pleafed with what it formerly loathed. 
All this is fo true, that the inferior part of our fouls, as 
St. Bonaventure obferves in the preface of his Incentive to 
the Love of God, is very often fo delighted in prayer, and 
in converting with GOD , that it is no fmall torment to 
it, when there is any, though never fo juft caufe, that 
obliges it to break off thefe exercifes. And this is what 
the Royal Prophet meant, when he faid*: I will blefs the 
Lord, who hath given me under/landing : moreover my rein* 
alfo have ccrrefled me even till night ; or as another tranf- 
lation has it : Have inftrufted me all the night-long. This 
is without doubt a particular favour of GOD'S grace ;, 
becaufe the expofitors of the holy fcriptures underftand 

* Pfaltn xv. v. 7. 

Part II. Ch. 8. Liberty of tie Jujt. 225 

in this place by the reins, all the inward affections and 
motions of man ; which as we have faid already, are the 
general incentives to fin. But yet by virtue of this 
grace, they are very often fo far from ftirring us up to 
fin, as they ufed to do, or from fighting for the devil, 
whofe fervice they were engaged in before -, that on the 
contrary, they forward us in virtue, and running over to 
Jefus Chrift, turn their arms againft the common enemy : 
though this may be feen in all the exercifes of a fpiritual 
life, it appears much more plainly in our forrow and con- 
trition for our fins; wherein the inferior part of our 
foul has its (hare, afflicting itfelf, and (hedding tears for 
them. This is the reafon of David's faying : "That his 
reins reproved him in the night-time -, becaufe then the 
day being ended, the juft are ufed to examine their con- 
fciences, and to bewail whatever they have offended in ; 
and then it was, that he himfelf, as he fays in another 
place: Swept his fpirit* by this exercife. It was in the 
night, I fay, that his reins reproved him, becaufe the 
forrow which he felt in this part of his foul, for having 
offended GOD, was a continual correction, to keep him 
from falling into thofe fins again, which had troubled 
him fo much. Upon which account, he with a great 
deal of juftice thanks GOD , becaufe, not only the fupe- 
rior part of his foul, which is the feat of reafon, invited 
him to do good, but even the inferior part too, which is 
ufed for the moft part, to encourage us to evil. Though 
all this be really true, and one of the greateft benefits we 
receive from Chrift's redemption, who redeemed us moft 
fully, and gave us perfect liberty ; yet we ought not to 
take occafion from hence, te be negligent, nor truft too 
much to our fle.fh, be it never fo mortified, during the 
courfe of this mortal life. 

24. Thefe therefore are the chief caufes of this extra- 
ordinary liberty. And amongft feveral other effects it 
produces, one is the new knowledge we have of GOD, 
and the confirming of us in the faith and religion we pro- 
fefs, as GOD himfelf openly declares to us by the Prophet 
Ezekiel, faying : Vbey Jhall know that I atn the Lord, 
E e 2 when 

* Pfalrolxxvi. v. 7. 

Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

when they Jh&ll have broken the bonds of their yoke , and 
Jkall have delivered them out of the hands of thofe that ride 
'ever them -f. We have faid already, that this yoke was 
our fenfuality, or our inordinate affedlion for fin, which 
dwells within our flefh, and which oppreffes us, and 
makes us fubject to fin. The chains ot this yoke are 
all thofe bad inclinations by which the devil catches hold 
of us, and draws us after him -, now thefe bad inclinations 
are fo much the more efficacious, as they have been for- 
tified by a longer habit. St. Auguftin, by his own con- 
fefTion, had fufficient experience of this, for he fays : " I 
was bound, not with anothers fetters, but thofe of my 
own -hard and iron will, which the enemy had in his 
power, and of which he made a chain for me, and tied 
me down with the fame. For my perverfe will has been 
the caufe of my vicious defire -, and whilft I followed my 
vicious defires I contracted a vicious habit, which for 
want of being refilled, grew into a necefiity ; with all 
which, as with fo many links, that have gone towards the 
making up of the chain, I have been tied down and re- 
duced to the utmoft hardfhip -J-." When a man finds 
himfelf as this faint did, to have been groaning for 
fome time under flavery, and after having made feveral 
attempts to get out of it, perceives his efcape fo diffi- 
cult-, yet when he addrefies himfelf to GOD, fees all his 
chains broken, his paffions mortified, himfelf at liberty, 
and mafter of his own appetites, with the yoke that had 
preffed fo heavily upon his fhoulders, lying now under 
his feet: who, but GOD can he imagine has broken his 
fetters, and eafed him of the weight that had fo long 
galled his neck ? what has he to do, but to praife GOD 
with the Royal Prophet, and to cry out with him J: O 
Lcrd, thou heft broken my chains ; I will offer up a facrijict 
of praife to thec, and will call upon thy holy name. 


* Ezech. c . xxxiv. v. 27. f Conf. L. viii. c, 5. 
Pfaiir, cxv. v. 8. 

Par 1 1 1. Ch , 9 . Inward Peace of the Jit/}. 227 


Of the eighth privilege of virtue^ viz. The inward peace 
and calm the virtuous enjoy ; and of the miserable reftlefs- 
nefs and difturbance the wicked feel within themfelves. 

j.TT^ROM this privilege above-mentioned, which is 
JP the liberty of the Sons of GOD, flows another in- 
ferior to it, which is the inward peace and tranquility 
they enjoy. For the better underftanding whereof it is 
to be obferved, there are three forts of peace ; one with 
our neighbour, another with GOD, and the third with 
ourfelves. Peace with our neighbours confifts in fuch a 
friendly and civil correfpondence with them, as baniihes 
all defign or defire of doing any man a prejudice. This 
peace David had, when he fays, With them that hated peace 
I was peaceable \ when 1 fpoke to them, they fought again/I me 
without caufe *. St. Paul recommends this fame peace 
to us, when he advifes us, If it be pojfible, as much as is 
in you> have peace with all men -f. The fecond peace, 
which is that with GOD, confifts in his friendfhip and fa- 
vour, and is to be obtained by the means of juftification, 
which reconciles man to GOD, and makes them both love 
one another, without any difturbance or contradiction on 
either fide. The apoftle fpeaking of this peace, fays, 
Therefore being juftifad by faith ', let u< have peace with GOD 
thro* our Lordjefus Chrift J. The laft peace is that which 
a man has with himfelf ; nor ought any body wonder at 
this kind of peace, fince we know very well, that there 
are in the very felf fame man, two oppofite to one ano- 
ther, as are the outward and the inward man, the flefti 
and the fpirit, the pafTions and reafon. For the flem and 
the pafllons are not only at perpetual variance with the 
fpirit, but befides difturb the whole man with their irre- 

fular appetites, and trouble his inward peace which con- 
fts in tranquility of mind. 

* Pfalm cxix. v. 7. f Rom.[xii, v, 18. J Rom. c. v. v. x. 

228 The Sinners Guide* Book I, 


Of the inward rcftle/nefs and difauiet of the wicked. 

2. Wicked men, and fuch as hearken to the perfua- 
fions of the flefh, are never free from fuch difturbances 
as thefe. For being on the one hand deprived of GOD'S 
grace, which is the curb to keep their pafllons in awe, 
and on the other, their defires being fo active and unruly, 
that they are fcarce able to refift them in the lead thing 
imaginable ; it neceffarily follows, that they muft be car- 
ried away by an infinite number of oppofite defires ; 
fome by the defire of honour, others of great employs, 
others of converfation and friendlhip, others of great 
and honourable titles, others of riches, others again of 
iuccefs in marriage, and others of recreations and plea- 
fures. For thefe appetites are like a devouring fire, that 
confumes whatever it catches hold of; or like a ravenous 
bead, that is never fatisfied , or like the leech that is 
perpetually thirfting after blood ; and which as Solomon 
fays, Hath two daughters, that fay, bring, bring *. This 
leech is nothing but the infatiable defire of our heart ; 
and her two children are necefiity and concupifcence. 
The firft of them feems to be a true thirft, but the laft 
is only a falfe one, though they are both of them equally 
troublefome, notwithftanding our fuppofing one to be a 
real, the other but a pretended necefllty. This is the 
reafon why no wicked man, whether he be rich or poor, 
can ever enjoy any content. For if he be poor, then 
want is continually difturbing his heart, and crying out, 
more yet, more yet; whilft concupifcence never ceafes 
to break the rich man's reft with the fame noife. How 
then can man enjoy any eafe, that has two fuch impor- 
tunate beggers always making a noife at his door, and 
craving many things he is not able to give them ? what 
trouble muft a poor mother be in, that has ten or a dozen 
children hanging' about her, continually bawling for 
bread, if fhe has not a morfel to give them ? this is one 
of the greateft miferies the wicked endure: T'hey perijh, 
fays the plalmift, with hunger and thirft , and their fouls 
* Prov. c. xxx. v. 15. fall 

Part II. Ch. 9. Inward Dijlurb. of the Wicked. 229 

fail within them *. For felf-love, the caufe of all thefe 
defires, having got fo much power over them, and they 
placing all their happinefs in earthly riches andpleafures : 
it is impofllble they mould not, with greedinefs, hunger 
and thirft after thofe things, upon which they imagine 
all their happinefs depends. And becaufe they cannot 
always obtain what they long for, being prevented by 
others, more covetous and powerful than they ; they dif- 
turb themfelves like a froward child, that longs for every 
thing it fees, and grows fullen if denied it. For as the 
obtaining of our wifa is according to the wife man, 
The tree of life f, fo there is nothing in the world tor- 
ments us worfe, than to be difappointed of what we have 
a mind for. It is like being ready to die for hunger, 
and having nothing to eat. But what is word of all, 
the more they are hindered from obtaining their defires, 
the more their defire increafes, and as they find they 
have lefs hopes left, they are more vexed and troubled ; 
fo that they are continually turned about like awheel 
that is in perpetual motion. 

3. This is the miferabie condition our Saviour ex- 
prefled, fo much to the life, by the parable of the pro- 
digal fon, of whom he fays J; that leaving his father's 
houfe, he travelled into a far country, and there fquan- 
dered away his fubftance in riot and debauchery : and 
when he had fpent all, there happened to be a great fa- 
mine in thofe parts, during which, he was reduced to 
that extremity, as to be obliged to look after fwine, and 
what is dill more, he was pufhed to fuch ftreights, as to 
defire to fill his belly with what the hogs themfelves lived 
on, and yet nobody would give him even that. Could 
any one lay out the whole courfe of a wicked man's life, 
with all the miferies that attend it, in more lively colours 
than thefe ? who can this prodigal fon be that leaves his 
father's houfe, but the unhappy finner, who feparates 
himfelf from Almighty GOD, gives himfelf over to all 
forts of vices, and abufes all GOD'S favours and mercies? 
what is this country, where there is fo great a famine, 
but this miferable world, where worldly men are fo in- 

* Pfalm cxxxvi. v. 5. f Pfalm xiii. v. 12. St. Luke, v. i j.. 

The Sinners Guide. JBook I. 

fatiable in their defires, as never to be fatlsfied with 
what they have , but are perpetually running up and 
down like ravenous wolves, ftill feeking after more ? 
and what can you imagine is the employ of their whole 
life ; but feeding of hogs ; that is, labouring how td 
content their own fwinim appetites ? if you are not con- 
vinced of this truth, obferve a young man, who is wholly 
intent upon the world from morning till night, and you 
will fee that all his bufiriefs is, beaft-like, to find out new 
ways to pleafe and delight fome one or more of his 
fenfes , as the fight, the tafle, the hearing, or the reft \ 
as if he were one of Epicure's followers, and not a difciple 
of Jefus Chrift , as if he had nothing die to look after, 
but a body like a beaft ; as if he believed that fenfual 
pleafures were his only end. Thus his whole entertain- 
ment is to run from place to place, here to-day and 
there to-morrow, in purfuit of frefh delights for the 
feeding of his corporal fenfes. What other end can he 
have in his gallantry, in his feafting, and banquetting, 
in his foft beds, in his mufic, in his converfations, in 
his vifits, in his walks, but to look after meat for this 
fort of fwine ? you may give all this what name you 
pJeafe, call it gentility, or grandeur, or good breeding, 
if you will but know, that in the language of GOD, and 
of the gofpel, it is nothing but feeding of fwine, be- 
caufe as hogs love to be wallowing in dirt and mire, fo 
the hearts of fuch men love nothing but the filth of car- 
nal pleafures. 

4. But the greateft rhifery is, to fee that the fon of 
fuch a noble father, born to be fed with the bread of 
angels, at GOD'S own table, cannot fatisfy his hunger 
with fuch vile food, fo great is the fcarcity of it. Be- 
caufe there being fo many buyers of this commodity they 
hinder one another, and fo they all go away unfatisfied. 
My meaning is, that whilft fo many are catching at it, 
there muft needs be much ftrife, as it is impoffible for 
fwine to feed under an oak without grunting and biting 
one another, to get the better (hare of the acorns that 


fart II. Ch. 9. Inward Dtflurb. cftbe Wicked. 236 

This is the dreadful hunger holy David defcribes, 
where he fays * : They wandered in a wildernefs in a dry 
-place without water , they were hungry and thirfty ; their 
foul fainted in them. What can this extreme hunger 
and third be, but the inordinate defire of the things of 
this world the wicked are inflamed with ? this appetite 
of theirs is fuch, that the more they give it, the greedier 
it grows , the more it drinks the drier it is , and the 
more wood they lay on, the more violently it burns. 
O unhappy creatures, what can be the caufe of your be- 
ing parched up with fuch a burning thirft as this is : 
They have for faken me the fountain of living water, and have 
digged to themfelves ciflerns^ that can hold no water -f . You 
have miftaken the ftream of true happinefs, and for this 
reafon you run up and down, till you lofe yourfelves 
through wild and defart places, in fearch of the muddy 
ponds and lakes of the perifhable goods of this world, 
in hopes they will quench your thirft. This was cruel 
Holofernes's policy when he befieged Bethulia , for as 
foon as ever he fat down before the city, he commanded 
his men to cut off all the pipes and channels that con- 
veyed water to the town, fo that the poor befieged had 
but a few little fprings left, juft by the walls where they 
ufed to drink now and then by ftealth, rather wetting 
their lips than quenching their thirft. Is not this youi 4 
cafe, you who are always feeking after pleafures ; you 
who are perpetually in purfuit of honour, and who are 
fuch friends to every thing that pleafes the appetite, 
for having miffed of the fountain of living waters -, what 
elfe do you do, but run to the little fprings of creatures 
that come in your way, and rather ferve to wet your 
lips and increafe your thirft than to quench it. O un- 
fortunate man ! What haft thou to do in the way of Egypt 
to drink the troubled water $ ? What water can be more 
troubled than fenfual pleafure, which is not to be drank 
without perceiving an ungrateful tafte and fmell ? for 
what worfe fmell than the flench of fin ; and what more 
unpalatable, than the remorfe of confcience* occafioned 
Ff by 

* Pfalmcvi. Vi 4, 5* f Jerein, c. ii. V. 13. % Jefenu 
c, a, V. 184 

231 he Sinners Guide. BookL 

by it ? which, as we are told, even by a philofopher, is 
the infeparable companion of carnal pleafures. 

5. Befides this appetite being blind, and unable to 
diftinguifh between what it can obtain, and what it can- 
not : and the eagernefs of defire, making that appear 
very eafy, which is in itfelf moft difficult; thofe things are 
often moft coveted that cannot be obtained , for there 
is nothing worth coveting, but what is much fought 
after and defired by many lovers. Now the appetite 
being deprived of what it longs for, being hungry, and 
wanting whereon to feed , often ftretching out its arms, 
and yet grafping nothing but the air, and ufing all en- 
deavours without any fuccefs ; therefore it frets inwardly, 
waftes and confumes to fee itfelf fo far from what it de- 
fires. For thofe two chief faculties of our fouls the 
irafcible and concupifcible, being fo clofely united to- 
gether, as never to be wanting to one another ; it is cer- 
tain that whenever the concupifcible is fruftrated of its 
defire, the irafcible comes in immediately to relieve 
it, expofing itfelf to all accidents and dangers, that 
it may give the other fatisfaction. From this con- 
fufion of defires, proceeds the inward difturbance we 
are now fpeaking of, which St. James calls a war ; when 
he fays (- : From whence are wars and contentions among 
you ? come they not hence ? from your concupifcences^ which 
war in your members ? ye covet and have not^ &c. The 
natural contradiction that is between the flelh and the 
fpirit, and between the defires of each, has given the 
apoftle a great deal of reafon to call it a war. 

6. There is ftill another thing of this nature much to 
be lamented, which is, that very often men obtain all 
that feemed to fuffice, to put them into the ftate of fa- 
tisfactSon they aimed at ; and when they are in fuch a 
condition., that if they pleafed, they might live happy, 
they then conceit they ought to afpire to fome other 
honour, preferment, dignity, or the like ; which if they- 
fail of, they are more perplexed for the mifs of that 
nothing they want, than pleafed with the enjoyment of 
all they poflefs. Thus they pafs their life with this 

f Jam. c. iv. v. i, 2. 

Part II, Ch . 9 . Inward Dijturb. of the Wicked. 232 

thorn, perpetually pricking, or rather with this fcourge 
continually chaftifing them, which palls all their happi- 
nefs, and turns their pleafure into fmoke and vapour. 
This is what I call nailing up the cannon, as enemies do 
in time of war; for a little nail driven into the biggeft 
piece of artillery is enough to make it unfit for fervice. 
The cannon is ftill as big and as found as it was before ; 
and yet fuch a little thing makes it lofe all its force. GOD 
deals after the fame manner with the wicked. They 
might fee plainly, if they would but open their eyes, 
that, joy of heart is a free gift of Almighty GOD, who 
beftows it upon whom he pleafes, and when he pleafes, 
without making any preparation before-hand, as we do ; 
and that he can take it away again whenever he thinks 
fit, only by nailing up -the cannon ; that is, by permit- 
ting fome unhappy turn, or change of their profperity 
and fortune. And then, this fingle misfortune, tho* 
unknown to any-body, is fufficient to make them as un- 
eafy and melancholy, as if they had nothing in the world 
to live on, though at the fame time they may be very 
rich and happy in all appearance. GOD himfelf tells us 
as much, when fpeaking by the Prophet Ifaiah, again ft 
-the pride and power of the King of Aflyria , he fays *: 
And under his glvry Jhall be kindled a burning, as it 
'were the burning of a fire : To mew us that GOD can 
fink a veflel when it fails with the faireft wind, can 
weaken the greateft ftrength, and make a man miferable 
in the midft of his profperity. The fame is fignified to 
xis again in the book of Job, where it is faid J : The 
giants groan under the waters , to let us know, that GOD 
has his deep places and his punimments for the great 
as well as for the little ones , though thefe feem to lie 
more open to the misfortunes and injuries of the world. 
But Solomon has expreffed the fame thing much plainer, 
when counting up all the notable miferies in the world, 
he reckons this one of the greateft of them : There is alfo 
another evil, fays he, which I have feen under t he fan, and 
that frequent among men. A man to whom God hath given riches, 
and fubftance, and honour, and his foul wanteth nothing of 
F f 2 ail 

* Ifaiah, c. x. v. 16. -f Job, c. xxvi. v. 5. 

233 We Sinners Guide. Book I 

all that he defireth ; yet God doth not give him power to eat 
thereof-, but a jirangcr Jhall eat it arpf. What does he 
mean by thefe words, God doth not give him power to eat 
thereof i but that he mall not enjoy even what is his own, 
nor take the fatisfadion and pleafure which his pofleflions 
might give him, becauie GOD had ordained that this 
happineis fhall be difturbed and ruined. And here we 
are given to underftand, that as true wifdom is not to 
be learnt by dead letters, but that it is GOD who 
teaches it ; fo neither does true content depend vipon, 
the goods of this world, but upon GOD alone. 

7. But to come home to our fubje<5t, how unhappy 
muft thofe poor creatures be, who have nothing, if 
even thole who enjoy all they can wifh are fo uneafy, 
becaufe they do not enjoy Goo ? for the want of every 
one of thefe things is a particular hunger and thirft that 
torments them ; and a thorn that is perpetually pricking 
their hearts : what peace, what quiet is it poflible for a 
foul to have, when all its thoughts and defires are 
continually fo importunate and rebellious ? the Pro- 
phet fays very well of fuch fort of people J : But the 
nicked are like the raging fea> which cannot reft. And 
indeed, what fea, what waves, or what winds can 
be more boifterous and ftormy, than the paflions and 
defires of the wicked, which very often diflurb, not 
only the fea, but all the world. But there often ftart 
up contrary winds in this fea, -which is another more 
violent fort of ftorm. For the fame defires, like op- 
pofite winds, frequently refift one another-, fo thai; 
what pleafes the flefh does not pleafe honour ; what 
honour loves, riches does not care for ; reputation does 
not covet that, which is agreeable to wealth ; nor does 
floth or luxury defire what reputation does. So that by 
this means it often happens, that the wicked, whilft 
they defire all things, do not know what they would 
have ; and fo are ignorant what to take, and what to 
leave, becaufe their defires contradicl one another , juft 
as bad humours do in diftempers which proceed from 
different caufes, where the phyficians are puzzled what 

\ E?ql. 9. yi. v. i. J Ifaiah, c. Ivii, v. 2o. 

Par t II . Ch . 9 . Inward Difturb. of the Wicked. 234 

remedy to prefcribe, becaufe that which is good for the 
expelling of one humour, may be apt to nourifh another. 
Such was the confufion of languages at Babel ( i ) and 
fuch was that, for preventing of which the Royal Pro- 
phet prayed to GOD, faying (2) : Caft down O Lord, and 
divide their tongues^ for I have feen iniquity and contradic- 
tion in the city. What therefore can this divifion of 
tongues, this iniquity, and this contradiction be, but 
the diflurbance which different paffions make in the 
hearts of worldly-minded men, when they oppofe one 
another, and one defires that which is againft the incli- 
nation and defire of another. 


Of the inward peace and fatisfaftion good men enjoy. 

8. Thus you fee what the condition of the wicked is ; 
whilft the juft on the contrary, becaufe they know how 
with prudence to moderate their defires ; how to mortify 
their paflions ; how to make GOD, (and not the peri- 
fhable goods of this life,) the only object of their happi- 
nefs and the center of their repofe ; how to aim at no- 
thing, but the acquiring of thofe eternal goods which 
no- body can deprive them off; how to be in a per- 
petual war with felf-love, with their own flelh, and with 
the whole train of their irregular appetites ; and be- 
caufe, in fine, they know how to refign their will to 
GOD'S, to conform theirs to his, and to throw them- 
felves entirely into his arms, are never molefted by any 
fuch cares, fo as to have their inward peace loft, or fo 
much as interrupted. 

^This amongft feveral others, is one of the rewards 
GOD Almighty promifes to thofe who love him ; as we 
may fee almoft every where in the Holy Scriptures. 
Holy David fays, Much peace have they that love thy law, 
and to them there is no ftumbling block (3). GOD himfelf 
fays by the Prophet Ifaiah ; O that thou hadft hearkened 
to my commandments \ thy peace had been as a river ; and thy 


(i) Gen. c. xi. (2) Pfalm liv. v. IQ. (3) 

ptviii. v. 165. 

235 7& Sinners Guide. Book I. 

jujtice as the waves of the fea -f. The reafon of his call- 
ing this peace a river, is becaufe it is able to extinguiili 
the flames of our defires, to appeafe the burning heat 
of our lufts, to water the dry and barren veins of our 
hearts, and to comfort and refrefh our fouls. Solomon 
aflures us of the fame truth in a divine manner, though 
in a few words : faying, When the ways of a man Jhall 
fleafe the Lord^ he will convert even his enemies to 
peace J. What enemies are thefe that are at war with 
man, but his own paffions, and the evil inclinations of 
his flelh, which are perpetually fighting with the fpirit ? 
GOD therefore fays, that he will make the flefh and the 
fpirit live peaceable together, when by the virtue of his 
grace, and of good habits, the flefti with all its defires, 
fhall accuftom itfelf to the works of the fpirit; and by 
that means live quietly with it ; whereas before, it was 
in continual oppofition. For though virtue at the be- 
ginning, meets with a great deal of oppofition from the 
pafTions ; yet when it comes to its perfection, it acts with 
a great deal of fweetnefs and eafe, and with much lefs 
contradiction. It is this peace, in fine, which Holy 
David, by another name calls The enlarging of my heart; 
when he lays, Thou haft enlarged my fteps under me-> and 
my feet are not weakened . The prophet by thefe words 
intends to (hew us how different the way of the virtuous 
is, from that of the wicked-, becaufe, whilft the one 
walk with their hearts oppreft and ftreightened by con- 
tinual fears, folitudes and apprehenfions, like a traveller 
that is going through a narrow path, with fleep rocks 
and precipices on both fides of him , the others on the 
contrary, walk with a great deal of fecurity and joy, 
like a man in a plain and ope-n way, that is in no appre- 
henfion of falling. The juft underftand this better by 
practice than by theory, as being fenfible by their own ex- 
perience, and the alteration they find in their own hearts, 
of the vaft difference there is between the time they em- 
ployed in the fervice of the world, and what they fpend now 
in the fervice of GOD : for whilft they ferved the world, 


f Ifaiah,r. xlviii. v. jg. J Prov.c. xvi. v. 7. 

4 Pfalm xvii. v. 37. 

Part II. Ch. 9. Inward Peace of the Juft. 236 

they were upon all occafions, full of troubles, folitudes, 
jealoufies, fears, and narrownefs of heart -, but now 
they have forfaken the world, and have fixed their affec- 
tions upon eternal goods, and placed all their happinefs 
and confidence in GOD, they are out of the reach of all 
thefe things, with a heart fo open, ib free, and fo re- 
figned to the will of GOD, that they are often aftonifhed 
at fuch a change, and cannot think themfelves the fame 
they were before - 7 or at leaft, they imagine they have 
new hearts, becaufe they find fuch a change in them. 
And we may with truth affirm, that they are, and are 
not the fame perfons ^ for though they be the fame irf 
nature, they are not the fame as to grace, which works 
this change, though no man can be allured of it. 

9. This is what GOD himfelf promifed by his Prophet! 
Ifaiah, when he faid, When thou Jhall pafs through tht 
wafers, I will be with thee, and the rivers Jhall not cover 
tbee;. when thou jh&lt walk in the fire, thou Jhalt not bs 
burnt, and the flame Jhall not burn in thee *. Now what 
are thefe waters, but the rivers of tribulations we fuffer 
in this life, and the deluge of innumerable miferies we 
meet with here every day ? and what is this fire, but the 
heat of our flefh, which is the fiery furnace of Babylon, 
heatened by Nebuchodonofor's fervants -j-, that is, by 
the devils from whence the flames of inordinate paffion* 
and appetites, are continually breaking out ? how can 
any man live in the midit of this fire and water, which 
the whole world is perpetually in danger of, without 
receiving any hurt, and not be fenfible at the fame time, 
that it was the prefence of the Holy Ghoft, and the alli- 
ance of GOD'S grace that preferved him ? this is the peace 
which as the apoftle fays, Surpajfes all under/landing J, be- 
eaufe it is fo noble, fuch a fupernatural gift of GOD, that 
it is impofftble for man's weak underflanding to conceive 
of itfelf, by what means a heart of flefh mould come to 
enjoy fuch content, fuch quiet;, and fuch a calm, amidft 
the ftorms and tempefts of the world. 

jo. But he who enjoys this favour acknowledges and 
praifes the author of thefe wonders, crying out with the 


* I&iah, c, xHii. v, 2. f Dan. c "* $ Philip, c. iv. v. 7, 

23? ^ e Sinners Guide. Book f. 

Prophet -j- : Come and behold ye the works of the Lord j 
what wonders he hath done upon the earth -, making wars to 
ceafe even to the end of the earth. He jhall deftroy the bow, 
and break the weapons, and the jhields he jhall burn in the 
fre. Be ftill and fee that I am God: I will be exalted 
among the nations, and 1 will be exalted in the earth. This 
being fo, what can there be in the world, more rich, 
more delightful, and more defirable than this reft, this 
repofe, this effufion and extenfion of heart, and this 
moft happy peace ? 

ii. But if you will go a little farther, and would know 
from what caufe this heavenly gift proceeds ; I anfwer, 
it proceeds from all thofe other privileges and advan- 
tages of virtue we have before-mentioned , for as in the 
chain of vice, the links are all one within another ; fo in 
the ladder of virtue they have all a dependance on and 
connection with one another, in fuch a manner, that the 
higheft, as it produces moft fruit, fo it has moft roots 
to fpring from* And thus this happy peace, which is 
one of the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghoft, takes its 
rife from thofe other privileges we have before fpoken of; 
but particularly from virtue itfelf, whofe infeparable com- 
panion it is. For as an outward reverence is naturally 
due to virtue, fo is an inward tranquility, being at the 
fame time its effed and its reward. For fmce inward 
war, according to what we have already faid, is begun 
by the pride and difturbance of the paffions, as foon as 
ever they are weakened by thofe virtues, whofe duty it 
is to fubdue them ; the very occafions of thefe tumults 
and feditions are moved. And this is one of the three 
things, by means whereof we partake of the happinefs 
of the kingdom of heaven, even here upon earth. The 
apoftle fpeaking of them, fays, 'The kingdom of GOD is 
not meat and drink, but juftice, and peace, and joy in the 
Holy Gboft J. Where, by juftice, according to the He- 
brew way of fpeaking, is to be underftood, the very 
fame virtue we are talking of; in which, together with 
thefe two admirable fruits, Peace and joy in the Holy Ghoft, 
confifts the felicity which virtuous men enjoy, by advance 


fr Pfalm xly v. 9 I0 X i % Rom, c. xiv* v* 17. 

fart II. Ch. 9. Inward Peace of the Juft. 238 
in this life. And to prove that this peace is an effect 
of virtue, God himfelf fays exprefsly by Ifaiah * : 
The work of juftice Jball be peace, and the fer vice of juftice y 
quietnefs and fecurity jor ever , my people Jhall fit in the 
beauty of peace, and in the tabernacles of confidence, and in 
a wealthy reft. What he calls here juftice, is nothing 
elfe but this fame inward peace ; that is, the repofe o 
the paffions which difturb the filence of the foul, by the 
perpetual clamours of their irregular lufts. 

12. The fecond caufe this peace proceeds from, is the 
liberty of the foul, and the dominion it has over the 
paflions above fpoken of. For juft as when any country 
is brought under a foreign fubjec~tion> as foon as ever the 
inhabitants furrender themfelves, there is a general peace 
immediately, and every one fits under his own fig-tree 
and under his own vine, without any fear of the ertemy ; 
fo after the paffions of the foul, which are the canfes of 
all its difquiet's, are fubjected to reafon, there immedi- 
ately follows in the foul an inward filertce or peace, which 
makes it live free from all difturbances imaginable. So 
that man being now free from their tyranny, and what is 
more, keeping them in fubjection to him, there is nothing 
to difturb the peace he enjoys ; though on the contrary, 
whilft the paffions had the rule and maftery, every thing 
was tolTed up and down, and the whole man in a ge- 
neral confufion and diforder. 

13. The third caufe of this peace is the greatnefs of 
fpiritual confolations, that lull afleep all the affections of 
our appetites, which during that tirrie are content with 
"what the fuperior part of the foul is pleafed to give, them ; 
becaufe the concupifcible appetite, after having (rfjfij 
how fovereignly fweet and delightful GOD IF, makes him 
the objecl: of all its wifties, and the irafcible is quiet, be- 
caufe its companion is fatisfied. And thus the whole 
man enjoys an entire peace and happinefs, on account 
of his tailing the fovereign good. 

14. In the fourth place, this peace proceeds from the 
teftimony and inward joy of a good confcience , which 
makes the foul of a juft man eafy and quiet, though it 

G g - - does 

* Jfaiah, c. xxxiu v. 17, 18, 

239 3%* Sinners Guide. Book,!, 

does not give him any perfect afiurance, for fear of 
making him negligent, and putting him in danger of 
lofing that holy fear, which puts him forward. 

15. Laftly, this peace proceeds from the confidence 
juft men have in Almighty God. It is this particularly 
that gives them the greateft joy and comfort imaginable, 
even amidft the 'miferies of this life j becaufe it is the 
very anchor they truft to ; that is to fay, becaufe they 
allure themfelves, that they have GOD for their father, 
their deliverer, their defender, and their fhield ; under 
\vhofe protection they live in peace and happinefs ; and 
have all the reafon that can be to fing with the Prophet *, 
In peace in the felffame I will Jleep, and I will reft ; for 
thou O Lord> fmgularly haft fettled me in hope. It is from 
this hope that the peace of the juft fprings ; and in this 
they find a remedy for all their evils. How then can 
any man be troubled, that has fo powerful a protector as 
GOD is ? 


Of the ninth privilege of 'virtue) viz. That God hears the 
prayers of 'the ju/t, and rejects thofe of the wicked. 

ANother extraordinary privilege virtuous men enjoy, 
is, that GOD hears their prayers, which is a fove- 
reign remedy againfl all the necefllties and miferies of 
this life. To make this the plainer, you are to under- 
ftand, that there have been two univerfal deluges in the 
world ; the one material, the other fpiritual, but both 
of them caufed by fin. The material deluge which hap- 
pened in Noah's time, deftroyed every thing in the world, 
but the ark and what was within it ; for every thing elfe 
was conlumed by the waters ; fo that all the labours and 
riches of mankind, together with the whole earth itfelf 
was fwallowed up by the fea. But the other deluge, 
which was before this, and which arofe from the firft fm 
that ever was committed, was much more terrible, and 

* Pfalm iv. v. , io. ' 

Part II. Ch. i o. Prayers of tie Jufl t &c. 240 

much greater than this was -, becaufe it was the ruin, 
not only of thofe perfons who were alive at that time, 
but even of all ages paft, prefent, and to come. Nor is 
the hurt it does to the body, to be compared with what it 
does to the foul ; which it ftrips and robs of all thofe 
graces that were bellowed on the whole world, in the 
perfon of our firft parent ; as we may fee in a young in- 
fant newly born, who comes into the world, as bare of 
all thefe goods, as it is of cloaths to cover it. 

2. From this firft deluge flowed all thofe miferies and 
wants this mortal life is expofed to, which are lb many, 
and fo great, that they have furnimed a famous pope 
and doctor * with matter to compofe a book on this only 
fubjecT:. And feveral eminent philofophers confidering 
on the one fide, the excellency of man above all other 
creatures , and on the other, the infinite number of mi- 
feries and vices he is fubjecl to, could not but wonder to 
fee fo much cliforder in the world, though they were not 
capable of finding out the caufe of all thefe miferies, 
which is nothing elfe but fin. For they faw that man 
was the only creature in the world, that had fuch an in- 
finite variety of carnal delights and pleafures; that none 
but he was oppreffed with avarice, with ambition, and 
infatiable defire of life i but moft of all, with a concern 
for that which muft follow. They obferved that no 
other creature had a more frail and uncertain life than 
man has -, that none had a more inflamed luft ; none 
more fubject to fear, and that without any ground ; nor 
any one more cruelly angry or enraged than he. They 
took notice, that other creatures fpent the greateft part 
of their lives, without any ficknefles, or without being 
troubled with phyficians and medicines. They faw them 
provided with all neceflTaries, without taking any pains or 
care : but as for unhappy miserable man, they faw him ex- 
pofed to a thoufand forts of infirmities, accidents, necefil- 
lies, misfortunes and pains, not only of the body, but of the 
foul -, and as much difturbed at the miferies of his friends, 
as at his own. They faw him forry for what was paft, 
afflicted with the prefent, and painfully felicitous about 
G g 2 * what 

* Innocentius de Vilitate condkionis humanae. 

34* We Sinners Guide. Book I, 

what was to come ; nay very often toiling and fweating 
all his life-time for the poor fuftenance of a little bread 
and water. 

3. If we were to reckon up all the miferies of human 
life, we (hould never have done. Holy Job fays, The. 
life of man is a warfare , and bis days are like the days of 
a hireling, who looketh for the end of his work *. Several 
of the old philofophers had fuch a lively fenfe of this, 
truth, that fome of them faid, they could not tell whe- 
ther to call nature a mother, or a ftep -mother, becaufe 
Ihe has fubjected us to fo many miferies. Others again 
ufed to fay, it were better never to be born, or at leaft 
to die as loon as we are born : nay, fome of them have 
gone fo far, as to fay, there are but few perfons that 
would accept of life, after having made an experiment 
of it -, that is* if it were pofiible to make a trial of it 

4. Since therefore life has been reduced to this mife- 
rable condition by fin, and fince we have loft our whole 
{lock and fubftance in this firft deluge , what remedy can 
we expect from him, who has punifhed us fo feverely ? 
if a man that is fick and wounded, were to be upon the 
fea in a great ftorm, and there lofe all he is worth, what 
could he look for afterwards, having loft both his goods 
and his health, but beggary and want -, every man muft 
make this cafe his own : for fince there is nobody but 
what has loft all he was worth, in this univsrfal deluge, 
and is left fo poor and naked : how can he help himfelf, 
but by crying like a poor beggar, at the gates of GOD, 
for relief and afliftance ? the Holy King Jofaphat taught 
us this, when we faid, As we know not what to do, we can 
only turn- cur eyes to thee -f. The good King Ezechias has 
instructed us fully upon the fame, point, when he faid, 
from morning even to night thou wilt make an end of me. I 
will cry like a young fivallow> I will meditate like a dove J. 
As if he had faid, I am fo poor O Lord, and have fuch 
a dependance upon your mercy and providence, that I 
Cannot give myfelf any affurance of one day's life ; and 


*Job, c. vii. v. i, 2. f iParal. c. x*. * 12. J Ifaiah, 
?. xxxyiii. v. 13. 14. 

Part II. Ch. 10. Prayers of the Jit/i, &c, 242 
therefore, all I have to truft to, is to be always bemoan- 
ing mylelf before you like a dove, and to cry out to you 
as the young fwallow does to its dam. Thus faid this 
holy man, though he was a great king, and King David 
his father, though he was much greater, made ufe of 
this fame remedy in all his neceflities ; and therefore in- 
fpired by the fame fpirit, and enlightened with the fame 
knowledge, he fays, / cried to the Lord with my voice, to 
GOD with my voice, and he gave ear to me* In the day of 
my trouble I fought GOD, with my hands lifted up to him 
in the night, and I was not deceived , my foul refufed to be 
comforted *. That is to fay, when I look round about 
me and fee all the pafTages of hope Jhut up -, when no- 
thing upon earth can give me any eafe, I immediately 
feek for a remedy from heaven, by the help of prayer ; 
which is that fovereign cure GOD has given me for all 
my ills. 

5. You will a{k me perhaps, whether this is a certain, 
and univerfal cure for all the neceffities of life, or no ? 
this being a fecret which depends entirely upon the will 
of GOD, there is nobody can anfwer it but thofe whom 
he has made choice of to difcover his will, which are 
the apoftles and prophets. One of them fays, Neither 
is there any other nation fo great, that hath gods fo nigh 
them, as our God, if prefent to all our petitions -f . They 
are the words of GOD himfelf, though delivered by the 
mouth of a man -, and they aflure us with all the cer- 
tainty imaginable, that as often as we pray, though we 
we fee nobody, and though nobody anfwers us, that we 
do not fpeak to the walls, or talk to the air ; but that 
GOD is prefent with us, and hears all we fay ; that he 
afiifts us in our prayers, that he pities our miferies, and 
prepares the remedy we afk for, in cafe it be proper for 
us. What greater comfort can a man have, when he is 
at his prayers, than fuch a certain pledge of Almighty 
GOD'S affiftance ? and if this alone is fufficient to encou- 
rage and comfort us, how much more will the words of 
our Saviour be, and thofe aflurances he has given us in 
his gofpel, where he fays ; AJk and it jball be given you; 

* Pfalro Ixxvi. v. I, 2, 3. } Deut. c. iv. v. 7. 

243 Th? Sinners Guide. Book I. 

feek and you Jhall find; knock and it Jhall be opened to you *. 
Can we have a furer token than this is ? can any man 
doubt of the truth of thefe words ? who is there that 
as often as he goes to his prayers, is not comforted with 
the hope of this divine promife ? 

6. This therefore is one of the greatefr. privileges the 
virtuous enjoy in this life, to know that thefe promifes 
are made particularly for them. For one of the greateft 
favours GOD beftows on them, in reward of their obedi- 
ence and loyalty, is, that he wiM be near them, and hear 
the prayers they addrefs to him. David aflures us of it, 
when he fays, The eyes of the Lord are upon the jujt, and 
his ears are open to their prayers -f. And GOD himfelf 
promifes the fame by Ifaiah, laying, Then, that is to fay, 
when you mall have kept my commandments, then Jh alt 
thou call, and the Lord Jhall hear : thoujhalt cry, and hefoall 
fay, here I am\\ that is, I am ready to grant whatever 
you (hail defire. Nay, more than this, he promifes them 
by the fame prophet to hear them, not only when they 
call upon him, but even long before. And yet, after 
all, none of thefe promifes come any thing near that, 
which/we read in St. John, where our Saviour fays, If 
you abide in me, and my word abide in you ; you Jhall ajk 
whatever you will, and it Jhall be done to you. But for 
fear this promife, as being fo noble, mould be more 
than any man could believe, he repeats it a fecond time, 
and affirms it more pofitively, faying, Amen, Amen, I 
fay unto you ; if you ajk the Father any thing in my name* 
he will give it you ||. Can there be any greater favour, 
any greater riches, or a-ny more fovereign command than 
this is ? you {hall afk me, fays he, for whatever you 
pleafe, and it fhall be granted you. Could any expref- 
fion better become the perfon that promifes, than this 
does ? Who, but GOD, could ever have made fuch a 
promife ? is there any body, befides GOD, that is able 
to do fuch great things as thefe are ? or is there any one, 
but him that has fo much goodnefs, as to oblige himfelf 


* St. Matt. c. vii. v. 7. St. Luke, c. xi. v. 9. -j- Pfalm 
xxxvi. v. 1 6. J Ifaiah, c. Iviii. v. 9. St. John, c, Xv, v. 7. 
j] St. John, c. xvi. v. 23. 

Part II. Ch. i o. Prayers of tie Jtift, &c. 244 

to grant fuch favours ? what elfe is this but to mak* 
man, in fome meafure, lord of all things , and to entruft 
him with the keys of the divine treafuries ? all the other 
favours of GOD have their bounds fet them , but this 
above all the reft, as being the royal gift of an infinite 
Lord, carries fome degree of infinity along with it. For 
our Saviour does not determine either this, or that, 07 
any particular thing, but whatever you fhall defire, pro- 
vided it be for your eternal good, mail be granted you. 
Could men but fet a juft value upon things, and giv 
them their true eftimate, how great a rate would thej 
efteem this at ? how happy would a man think himfelf, 
to have fo great an intereft with his king, as to obtain 
his grant for every thing he mould defire ? now if a 
man would look upon- it as fo great a- happinefs, to be fo 
much in favour with an earthly king ; what muft he think 
it is, to have fo much intereft with the King of heaven ? 
7. And that you may not think thefe are only bare 
promifes, without performance ; do but look into the 
lives of the faints, and confider what great things they 
have done, by the virtue of prayer. What did Mofes in 
Egypt, and during all the time of his travels through 
the wildernefs-? what did not Elias and Elifeus his dif- 
eiple ? what miracles were not wrought by the apoftles, 
and all by prayer ? This was the weapon the faints fought 
with ; with this they overcame the devil ; with this thejr 
triumphed over the world, with this they fubdued na- 
ture, with this they turned the moft violent flames into a 
gentle dew ; with rhis-, in fine, they appeafed and qui- 
eted the wrath of GOD, and obtained of him whatever 
they afked. It is written of our holy father St. Domi- 
nick, that he told- a certain friend of hisj he was never 
in his life denied any thing he had begged of GOD , his 
friend defired him to pray that one Dr. Reginald, a man 
famous at that time, might become a religious man of 
his order. The holy man fpent the night in prayer for 
him, and the next day early in the morning, as he was 
beginning the hymn of the firft hour, Jam lucis orto 
(idere. This new morning-ftar came into the choir, and 
there proftrating himfelf at the faint's feet, defired, with 

a great 

12 4 5 ^ Sinners Guide* ook t k 

a great deal of humility, that he would give him the ha- 
bit of his order. This therefore is the reward that is 
promifed to the obedience of the juft ; and it is their 
faithful obferving the voice of GOD, that makes him in 
fome manner obedient to their prayers i and becaufe 
they anfwer to the call of GOD, be fays them again, ac- 
cording to the proverb, in the fame coin, by anfwering 
them whenever they call upon him. And for this reafon 
Solomon fays (i) : An obedient man Jhall fpeak of viftoriei : 
as it is juft that GOD comply with the will of man, when 
man complies with the will of GOD. 

8. But it happens quite otherwife in the prayers of the 
wicked; for GOD tells them by Ifaiah(2): When y oil 
fir etch forth your hands, twill turn away my eyes from you , 
and when you multiply prayer, I will not hear. He threatens 
them in like manner by his Prophet Jeremy, faying (3) : 
In the time of their affliction they will fay, arife, and deliver 
us. And he will afk them ; Where are the gods, which 
thou haft made thee : let them arife and deliver thee, in the 
time of thy affliction. In the book of Job we read thefe 
words (4) : What is the hope of the hypocrite, if through 
covetoufnefs he take by violence, and God deliver not his foul ? 
will God bear Ins cry, when diflrefs Jhall come upon him ? 
And St. John in his epiftle fays (5) : Dearly beloved, if 
our heart do not reprehend us, we have confidence towards 
God -, and whatfoever we Jhall ajk^ we Jhall receive of him ; 
becaufe we keep his commandments, and do thofe things that 
are pleafmg in his fight. What the Holy Pfalmift fays, is 
to the fame effect, If I have looked at iniquity, in my heart 
the Lord will not hear me : therefore hath God heard me, 
and hath at tended to the voice of my fupplicatiou (6). 

9. There are infinite examples of this fort in Holy 
"Writ, to mow you what vaft difference there is, between 
the prayers of the juft, and thofe of the wicked ; and 
confequendy, the extraordinary advantages which the 
one have over the other: becaufe the juft are heard and 
dealt with as true children of GOD, whilft the wicked 


(l)Prov.c. xxi. v. 28. (2) Ifaiah, c* i. v. 15. (3) Jer. 
c. ii. v. 7.7. (4) Job, c. xxvii. v. 8, 9. (<j) St.Johnj c, iii* 
T. 21, 22* (6) Pfalmlxv. v. 18, 19. 

Part II. Ch. 10. Prayers of the Juft, &c, 246 

are treated as enemies. And what wonder is it that their 
prayers mould not be heard ; fince there are no good 
works, no devotion, no fervour of fpirit, no humility to 
accompany them? for, according to St. Cyprian (i): 
*' It is impofiible that a petition mould be efficacious, 
when prayer is barren." Though this is generally true , 
GOD'S goodnefs is yet fo great, that he fometimes vouch- 
fafes to hear the prayers of the wicked, which notwith- 
flanding their want of merit, do not ceafe to obtain their 
end ; becaufe, as St. Thomas fays (2), merit proceeds 
from charity, but the grant of the petition comes from 
the infinite goodnefs and mercy of GOD, which fome- 
times hears the prayers of fuch perfons. 


Of the tenth privilege of virtue, which is the ajjiftance good 
mm receive from God in their afflictions ; and, of the im- 
patience, en the contrary, with which the wicked fuffer 

i. \ Nother extraordinary privilege granted to virtue, 
jfj^ is the great encouragement it gives to its fol- 
lowers to bear up againft the tribulations, they cannot 
but meet with in this life. For we know that there is 
no fea fo tempeftuous and inconftant as this life is -, be- 
caufe a man is never fo fecure of the felicity he enjoys, as 
not to be expofed to an infinite number of fuch accidents 
and misfortunes as he never thought of, and which he is 
neverthelels every moment in danger of falling into. It 
is therefore a matter of great confequence to obferve, 
with what difference the wicked and the good behave 
themfelves in all thefe changes : for the good confidering 
they have GOD for their father, that it is he who fends 
them this cup, as a potion prescribed them by a mod 
experienced phyfician for their cure , that tribulation is 
like a file, which fetches off the ruft of fin cleaner, and 
Hh poliflies 

(i) St. Cypr. &c, Orat. Dominica. (2) St. Tho. 2. q. 83. 
art 15. & 16. 

247 *ft> e Sinners Guide. Book I. 

polishes it brighter, the rougher it is. They confider 
that affliction makes man more humble in his thoughts, 
more devout in his prayers, and gives him a purer con- 
fcience. Thefe confiderations make them bow down 
their heads, and humble themfelves with chearfulnefs in 
the time of their tribulation. They put water into the 
chalice of the crofs ; or, to fpeak plainer, GOD himlelf 
puts it in: for, he, as the Holy Ffalmift fays(i): 
Gives them tears to drink by meafure. And there is no 
phyfician fo careful in the mixture of his drugs, accord- 
ing to the conftitutinn of his patient, as this heavenly 
phyfician is, in the tempering of tribulations, which he 
fends the juft, according to the ftrength every one has 
to bear them : and if at any time the burden mould be 
increafed, he increafes the afiiilance he gives them for 
bearing of it ; that fo the tribulation any man lies under, 
may make him fo much the better, as it is the more 
painful and troublefome. Nay, when his afflictions are 
tempered thus, he is fo far from endeavouring to get 
rid of them, as things prejudicial ; that on the contrary, 
defires them, as very advantageous and profitable. 
So that by the help of thefe confiderations good men 
very often bear their neceflities, not only with patience, 
but v.'ith pleafure, becaufe they look upon the reward, 
and not the labour ; upon the crown, and not the jfuf- 
fering ; upon the health, their phyfic will reftore them 
to, and not upon the potion itfelf ; not upon the fmart of 
the ilroke, but upon the love of him that lays it on, 
who has laid (2) : that he loves tbofe whom he chaftifes. 

2. To all thefe confiderations muft be added Almighty 
GOD'S grace, which as we have mown already, is never 
wanting to a juft man, in the time of his tribulation. 
For GOD being fo true a friend to thofe that love him, 
he is never nearer to them, than when they are in af- 
fliction, though he feems then to be fartheft from them. 
If you doubt of the truth hereof, do but look into the 
holy fcriptures, and you will fee nothing fo frequently 
repeated, or fo often promifed. Who does the Royal 
Prophet mean but Goo, when he fays (3) : 'That he is a 

( i) Pfalm xcvii. v. 6. (2) Heb. c. iii. v. 19, (3) Pf. ix. v, icx 

Part II. Ch. 1 1. Patience of tie Jufl. 248 

helper in due time in tribulation. Has not he himfdf com- 
manded all perfons to call upon him, during the time of 
their affliction, faying (i): Call upon me in the day of 
trouble, and I will deliver tbee, and tbou Jhall glorify me ? 
Has not the prophet teftified this, upon his own ex- 
perience, when he fays (2}: When 1 called upon him, the 
God of my juftice heard me-, when I was in diftrefs, thou, 
haft enlarged me ? Is not this the Lord, in whom the pro- 
phet placed all his truft, faying (3) : I waited for him that 
hath fa*ved me from pujillanimity of fpirit, and ftorm? It is 
certain that he does not fpeak here of any ftorm at 
fea, but of that ftorm, which the heart of a negligent 
end weak man, that is in tribulation, is to/Ted with; and 
the more a man's heart is confined, the more boifteroufly 
this ftorm rages ; which the prophet often repeats, for 
the greater confirmation of this truth, and for the 
ftrengthening of our weaknefs. 'The falvation of the juft^ 
fays he (4), is from the Lord , and he is their proteftcr in 
the time of trouble ; and the Lord wit! kelp them, and will 
refcue them from the wicked ; and fave them, becaufe they 
have hoped in him. 

3. In another place the fame Prophet fpeaks yet 
plainer thus (5) ; How great is the multitude of thy fwect- 
nefs, Lord, thou haft hidden for them that fear thee ! which 
thou baft wrought for them that hope in tbee, in the fight of 
the fons of men ? thou Jhalt hide them in the fecret of thy 
face from the dijlurbance of men. Thou Jhalt hide them in 
thy tabernacle, from the contradiRian of tongues. Eleffed be 
the Lord, for he bath Jhewed his wonderful, mercy to me in a 
fortified city. But If aid in the excefs cf my mind, I am 
cafl away from before thy eyes. See here how plainly this 
holy prophet has taught us, that GOD affifts the juft, in 
their moft preffing neceflities. But you muft here take 
particular notice of thefe words: Thou /halt hide them in 
fecret of thy face : for by this, according to a certain in- 
terpreter, we are given to underftand, that as the kings 
of the earth, when they have a mind to protect any per- 
H h 2 fon, 

(l) Pfalm xlix. v. 15. (2) Pfalm iv. v. i. (3) Pfalm liv. 
v. 9. (4) Pfalm xxxvi, v. 39, 40. (5) Pralm xxx. v. 20, 
21, 22, 23. 

249 We Sinners Guide. Book I. 

fon, with a more than ordinary care, keep him within 
their own palaces , that fo, not only the royal walls, may 
fecure him from his enemies, but that the king's conti- 
nual prefence, and the watchful eye he has over him may 
be his fecurity, than which none can be greater , in like 
manner this fovereign king ufes the fame care for the fe- 
curing of thofe he loves. In confirmation of this, we 
both fee and read that holy men, even in the midft of 
the greateft dangers and temptations, ftill kept the 
fame calmnefs and evennefs of fpirit, as they had before, 
without mewing the leaft concern or trouble in their 
looks ; becaufe they knew for certain, that he who pro- 
tected them would be fo faithful as not to forfake them ; 
nay, on the contrary, that he would ftand nearer to them, 
if he mould fee them in greater danger. Juft as he did 
to the three young men, whom Nabuchodonofor com- 
manded to be flung into the fiery furnace of Babylon * : 
for the Angel of the Lord was feen walking in the midft 
of them, and changed the violent flames into a cool and 
refrelhing air. At which the tyrant being aftonifhed, 
began to fay: Did we not caft three men bound into the midft 
of the fire? behold, I fee four men loo fed, and walking in 
the midft of the fire, and there is no hurt in them, and the 
form of the fourth is like the Son of God -j-. Do not you 
fee by this, how certain ,it is, that Almighty God is with 
the juft, whenever they are in any tribulation ? nor is 
the care he took of young Jofeph, after his brothers had 
fold him, a lefs proof of this truth. For as we may read 
in the book of Wifdom, She went down with him into the 
fits, and in bands fl^e left him not, till Jhe brought him the 
fceptre of the kingdom, and power again/I thofe that opprej/ed 
him : Andjhewed them to be liars that had accufed him ; and 
gave him everlafting glory J. Thefe examples evince the 
truth of GOD'S promife made to us by the pfalmift, when, 
he fays, / am with him in his trouble, I will deliver him y 
and I will glorify him . O how truly happy muft afflic- 
tion be, that makes us worthy of the company of our 
GOD ! let us all cry out with St. Bernard ; " Jf thefe are 


*Dan.c.iii. f Ibid, v. 91, 92. J Wifd. c. x. v. 13, 14. 
Pfalm xc. v. 15, 

Part II. Ch. 10. Patience of the Jujl. 250 

the effects of tribulations ; grant, O Lord, that I may 
never be free from them, that fo you may be always 
with me V 

4. Add to this the relief and afliftance of all virtues, 
which upon fuch occafions, come in ready armed, to 
fuccour the afflicted heart. For, whenever the foul is 
ilreightened, or in any kind of danger from tribulation, 
all the virtues immediately run into her, with what forces 
they can make ; juft as the blood does towards the heart 
whenever it is oppreft. In the firft place, in comes 
faith, with a certain knowledge of the happinefs and mi- 
feries of the next life, compared to which, all we can 
pofTibly fuffer here, is but a mere trifle. Next comes 
hope, which makes man bear all his troubles with pati- 
ence, in expectation of the reward that is to follow. 
After her, comes charity, which makes them even defire 
to be afflicted in this world, that they may thereby ex- 
prefs their affection for GOD, Then follows obedience 
and conformity to the divine will, which helps them to 
receive whatever GOD fends them, with chearfulnefs, 
and without grumbling. Patience repairs thither, and 
it is her bufmefs to keep their moulders up, for fear they 
mould bend beneath the weight. Then humanity bows 
down their hearts like young trees, by the ftormy wind 
of affliction, teaching them to humble under the power- 
ful hand of GOD, and to acknowledge, that what they 
fuffer, is infinitely lefs than their fins deferve. Another 
virtue that affifts them, is the confideration of what 
Jefus Chrift fuffered upon the crofs, and of what all the 
faints have endured, which is far more fevere and painful 
than what they fuftain. 

5. Thus all virtues officioufly affift us in fuch dange- 
rous encounters , nor do they afilft us in their fervice 
only, but with their words, if I may be allowed to term 
it fo. For firft of all, faith tells us, That the fufcrings 
of this prefent time, are not worthy to be conrpaired with the 
glory to come, that Jhall be revealed in us in the next -f. 
Charity comforts us, faying, it is but reaibnable we 
fhould fuffer fomething for his fake, who has had fuch as 

* Serin, 17. in Pfelm xc, -f Rom, c, viii. v. 18. 

251 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

love for us. Gratitude tells us, with Holy Job, If we 
have received good things at the hand of God, wbyjhouldwe 
not receive evil* ? penance fays, it is no more than juf- 
tice, that he who has done fo much againft GOD'S will, 
Ihould undergo fomething now againft his own. Loyalty 
fays, it is requifite that we mould, once at lead in our 
life, give fome token of our fidelity to him, who has 
been beftowing his favours upon us ever fince we were 
born. Patience tells us, 'That tribulation worketh pati- 
ence ; and -patience trial; and trial hope; and hope con- 
foundeth not f- Obedience fays, the higheft degree of 
fanctity a man can arrive to, and the molt plcafing fa- 
crifice he can offer up to GOD, is to conform in all his 
fufferings to his will. 

6. But that which of all thefe virtues helps us moft 
upon fuch occafions, and which makes us moft refolute 
in the very midft of tribulations, is a lively hope. It is 
what St. Paul teaches us ; for he has no fooner faid Re- 
joicing in hope : than he adds , Being patient in tribulation. 
He knew very well, that one is a confequence of the 
other ; that is to fay, that the ftrength we get by pati- 
ence, proceeds from the joy hope gives us. For which 
reafon the apoftle very elegantly calls this hope an an- 
chor J; becaufe, this lively hope being fattened very 
ftrongly to the promifes of heaven, it keeps the foul of 
the juft man firm and conftant, in the midft of the 
waves and ftorms of this world; and makes it flight the 
violence of its winds and tempefts ; juft as an anchor, 
when it is ftruck into the ground, makes the fhip ride 
fecurely upon the water ; and keeps it fteady, though 
the winds and waves are continually beating againft it. 
This, they fay, was the practice of a certain faint, who 
whenever he was in any kind of affliction, ufed to fay, 
" The happinefs I hope for is fo great, that all I can 
fuffer is delightful to me. 

7. Thus it is, that all virtues meet and agree together 
for the fortifying of a juft man's heart, whenever he is 
in any tribulation. And if at any time he mould lofe 


* Job, c. ii , v. 10. ) Rom, c. v. v. 3, 4, 5, J Heb. 
c. vi. v. 1. 

Part II. Ch. 10. Patience of the Juft. 252 

courage, they come up to him again with much more 
vigour, and addrefs him in this manner: how now, 
what is become of that lively faith and confidence you 
ought to have in Almighty God, if you begin to Ihrink, 
at the very time that he is going to make a trial of you, 
and to fee what you are ? where is your charity, your 
courage, your obedience, your patience, your loyalty, 
and the fervour of your hope ? is it for this, that you 
have fo often prepared yourfelf, and made fo many re- 
folutions ? is this all you have defired fo earneftly of GOD, 
and prayed fo often to him for ? confider a little, that 
the duty and perfection of a good Chriftian, does not 
confift, in faying a few prayers, in fafting and in hearing 
mafs: it is neceflary, befides all this, that GOD mould 
find you as faithful, as another Job or Abraham, in the 
time of tribulation. Such considerations as thefe, and 
the virtues a juft man is endowed with, together with 
GOD'S never-failing grace, makes him ftrong enough to 
bear thofe burthens, not only with patience, but very 
often with thankfulnefs and pleafure. Holy Tobias's 
example will fuffice at prefent, to make this out : we 
read of him, " That GOD having permitted that he 
mould lofe his fight, after having fuffered a great many 
other afflictions," for an example of patience to men in 
all ages, he was not troubled, nor did he lofe the leaft 
part of that fidelity, and obedience he paid to GOD, 
before thefe misfortunes happened to him. Whereupon 
the fcripture immediately gives the reafon of it ; faying, 
For whereas he had always feared GOD from his infancy, and 
kept his commandments, he repined not againft GOD, becaufe 
the evil of blindnefs had befallen him, but continued immove- 
able in the fear of GOD, giving thanks to GOD all the days 
of his life J*. You fee now by this, how plainly the Holy 
Ghoft attributes the patience, with which a man fufTers 
afflictions, to virtue, and the fear of GOD \ which as the 
fcripture has declared, this holy man was fo famous for. 
I could bring feverai remarkable inftances of holy men 
and women, even in our days, who have undergone all 
the troubles GOD has fent them, with a great deal of 

f Tob. c.ii, v. 13, 14, 

253 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

chearfulnefs and love ; who have found out honey even 
in gall, who in a ftorm had a calm, and have been re- 
frefhed and cooled in the very midft of the flames of 

Of the impatience and rage of the 'wicked in their affatJions, 

But on the contrary, how dreadful a thing is it, to fee 
the wicked in any trouble ? to fee them without charity, 
patience, courage, hope, or any fuch virtue ? to fee 
how all their miferies come upon them, unarmed and 
unprepared ? to fee how blind they are, and how unable 
to behold that which the juft fee by a fteady faith ? to 
confider they have no lively hope to embrace what GOD 
fends them j nor have ever had any experience of his 
fatherly providence to thofe that ferve him ? it is a la- 
mentable thing, to fee how they are fwallowed up in this 
gulf, without finding any place to reft upon, or lay hold 
of. What better hopes can a man have of them, than 
that they mould perifh in the ftorm, or be killed in the 
battle ; fince they have no kind of afliftance to truft to, 
becaufe they fail without a rudder, and fight without 
weapons ? what can a man expect, but that the fury of 
the winds, and the tempeft of their afflictions, mould 
dam them againft the rocks of anger, pride, dejection, 
impatience, blafphemy, and defpair ? fome there are, 
who through the excefs of their miferies, have loft either 
their fenfes, their health, or their life, or at leaft their 
fight by their continual tears. So that the juft remain 
found and entire in the fire of adverfity, like fine filver ; 
\vhilft the wicked like lead, melt and are diflblved as foon 
as they feel the heat. Thus, whilft the one cry, the 
others fing , whilft the one are finking, the others pafs 
over dry-mod. The one like frail earthen veffels crack 
in the fire, whilft the others, like pure gold, are the 
more refined. So that The voice of rejoicing and offaha- 
tion is in the tabernacles of the juft -f ; whilft there is no- 
thing to be heard in the habitations of the wicked, but 
{he voices of forrow and confufion, 

9. If 
j* Ffalm cxvii. v. 15. 

Part II. Ch. 1 1 . Impatienct of the Wicked. 

9. If you would more fully comprehend what I fay, 
do but obferve what extravagances feveral ladies daily 
commit upon the death of their children or hufbands, 
and you will find fome of them hiding themlelves in 
dark places, where they may never fee the light again. 
Others fhut themfelves up in cages like wild beafts. 
Some have thrown themfelves headlong into the 1 midft of 
the flames. Others, out of madnefs and rage, and the 
horror they have of this life, dafh out their brains againft 
the walls. Others that foon end their days with im- 
patience and fury, caufed by their grief : and thus a fa- 
mily is ruined and deftroyed in a moment. And whac 
is worft of all, they are not only in a paflion with, and 
cruel to themfelves, but pour out horrible execrations 
againft Almighty GOD , accufmg his providence, con- 
demning his juftice, blafpheming his mercy, and open- 
ing their facrilegious mouths againft heaven, nay, and 
againft GOD himielf i till at length all their curfes fall on 
their own heads, with many other calamities much more 
dreadful, wherewith Almighty GOD puniihes them for 
fuch horrible blafphemies. This is the reward he de- 
ferves, who is fo impudent, as tofpit at heaven itfelf, and 
to kick againft the fpur. Sometimes this proves a very 
compleat cure, wrought by the hand of GOD i who thus 
diverts their hearts from fome extraordinary afflictions, 
by fending them others that are greater. 

10. Thus thefe miferable creatures, wanting the rud- 
der of virtue to fteer their veiTels, are caft away in the 
ftorm, for blafpheming and curfmg him they ought to 
praife and blefs : for being puft up with pride, when 
they ought to humble themfelves, for being ftubborn 
when they are chaftifed ; and growing worfe upon thofe 
remedies, which were applied to make them better ; 
which feems to be a beginning of their hell, and a refem- 
blance of that they are to fuffer in the next world. For, 
if hell be nothing but a place of fin and punimmerrt, 
why mould we not look upon this ftate, as a hell, fmce 
it has fo great a (hare of both. 

11. But what pity is it, that ftill thefe troubles muft 
be endured, and that if they were borne with patience, 

I i they 

255 1%' Sinners Guidt. Book I. 

they would become more tolerable, and at the fame time 
more meritorious -, and yet, in ipite of all this, wretched 
man is refolved to deprive himfelf of the ineftimable 
fruit of patience; and to increafe the weight of his- 
burthen, by adding that of impatience, which alone is 
much heavier than all the reft of the load. It is a great 
trouble to labour and toil, and to receive no reward, nor 
know whofe account to place it to, but it is much worfe 
to loie all that is got, and after travelling all night, to be 
further from the journey's end in the morning. 

1 2. By what has been faid, we may perceive the diffe- 
rence there is between the ufe the good and the bad 
make of their afflictions. With what peace, what joy, 
and what courage do the good bear theirs ; whilft the 
wicked are quite overwhelmed with grief and trouble ? 
this was reprefented to the life by the great lamentations 
and complaints, which were heard throughout the land of 
Egypt *, when GOD deftroyed all their firft-born in one 
night : for, there was not a houfe free from grief and 
forrow : and yet there was no cry heard in the land of 
Jefien, where the Children of Ifrael lived. 

13. Befides this peace, what (hall I fay of the advan- 
tage the juft make of tribulations, which are fo preju- 
dicial to the wicked ? St. Chryfoftom fays f, that as 
gold is refined by the fame fire which confumes wood ; 
fo the juft man, like gold, becomes more pure in the 
fire of tribulation, whilft the wicked, like dr^ wood, is 
burnt to afties. St. Cyprian has fomething to the fame 
purpofe : he fays J, that as the wind in harveft time 
blows away the light chaff, but cleans the corn ; fo the 
wind of tribulation blows away the wicked like light 
ftraw, but purges the juft, and gathers them together 
like good wheat. The lame is reprefented to us by the 
waters of the Red-Sea, which were fo far from drown- 
ing the children of Ilrael as they pafled through them, 
that on the contrary they ferved them for a wall on the 
right hand and on the left. Whereas they broke down 
upon, and drowned the Egyptian's chariots and all Pha- 

Exod. c. xii. -j- St. Chryf. 14. in Matt, to I. J St. Cyprv 
de imitate Ecclefiae. 

Part II. Ch. 1 1. Impatience cf tie Wicked. 256 

raoh's army. The waters of tribulation, after the fame 
manner, are a greater fecurity to virtuous men, and ferve 
as prefervatives, and trials of their humanity and pati- 
ence, but are like a tempeftuous fea to the wicked, which 
drowns and buries them in the abifs of impatience, blaf- 
phemy and defpair. 

14. This therefore is another very confiderable advan- 
tage virtue has over vice ; and it was on this account, 
that the philofophers cried up philoiophy fo much ; ima- 
gining, that the making of a man conftant and refolute 
in all kind of adverfities, belonged only to it. But they 
deceived themfelves in this point, as they did in many 
others -, for neither true virtue nor true refolution and 
conftancy are to be found among the philofophers, but 
in the fchool of that matter, who, being nailed to a crofs, 
comforted us by his example ; and reigning now in hea- 
ven, ftrengthens us by his fpirit; and encourages us 
with the hopes of the glory, he has promifed us ; all 
which human philofophy is incapable of. 


The eleventh privilege of virtue^ which confifls in the care 
GOD takes to fupply the temporal nccejjilies of the Juft. 

i. A LL we have hitherto treated of, are the fpiri- 
JL\L tual favours which are beftowed upon the fol- 
lowers of virtue in this life, befides the everlafting glory 
which is laid up for them in the next. Thefe benefits 
were all promifed them at our Saviour's coming into the 
world, as all the prophefies in the Holy Scriptures teftify, 
for which reafon he is juftly ftiled the Saviour of the 
world; bec.aufe it is by him we obtain true falvation, 
which is grace, wifdom, peace, victory, and dominion 
over our paffions ; the confolations of the Holy Ghoft, 
the riches of hope, and, in fine, all other benefits re- 
quifite for the obtaining of this falvation, of which the 
prophet has faid : Jfrael is faved in the Lord with an eter- 
nal falvation *. 

li a But 

* Ifaiah, c. xlr. v. 1 7 

257 tt* Sinners Guide. Bcok I. 

But if there be any perfon fo carnal as to have a 
greater love for the goods of the flem, than for thofe of 
the fpirit, as the Jews had, even he fhall herein find 
more fatisfadion, as to this part, than he can pofiibly 
\vifh. For what elfe could the wife man mean, when 
fpeaking of true wifdom, in which the perfection of vir-> 
tue confifls, he fays, Length of days is in her right kand\ 
and in her left hand, riches and glory *. So that (he holds 
thefe two forts of goods in her hands ; inviting men, 
with one of them, to the enjoyment of eternal bleffings ; 
and with the other, to a fearch after temporal. Do not 
imagine, that GOD ftarves thofe who ferve him, or that 
he is fo carelels, as to feed the very ant and worms of 
the earth, and fuffer them to want. If you will not be- 
lieve me, read the fixth chapter of St. Matthew, and 
there you will fee what earneft and fecurity he has given 
you. Behold the birds cf the air., fays our Saviour, for 
they neither fow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns : 
yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are not you of much 
more value than they -f- ? A little after he concludes thus : 
Be net felicitous, therefore faying ; what jhall we eat, or 
what Jh all we drink, or wherewith Jhall we be cloathed? for 
after all thefe things do the heathens feek. Seek you, therefore-, 
frft, the kingdom of GOD, and all thefe things Jhall be ' 
added unto you J. It is for this reafon, particularly, that 
the Holy Pfalmift obferving, that this alone was a fu- 
ficient motive to make men fubmit to one another, in- 
vites us to ferve GOD, faying, Fear the Lord all ye his 
faints, for there is no want to them that fear him. 'The 
rich have wanted and have fuffer ed hunger, but they that 
feck the Lord Jhall not be deprived of any good . This is 
fo certain, that the fame prophet adds in another pfalm -, 
/ have been young, but now am old-, and I have not feen the 
iuft fcrfaken, nor his feed feeking bread \\, 

2. If you would be better informed of the mare 
the juft have in this promife, hear what GOD him^ 
felf fays in the book of Deuteronomy, to thofe that 


* Prov. c. iii. v. 16. -f St. Matth. c. vi. v. 26. J Ibid, 
V- v. 31, 32, 23. J Pfalm XXXiii. v, 10, j i. Pfaln\ 

Part II. Ch. 12. GOD'S Core of tie Juji. 258 
keep his commandments *. " Now if thou wilt hear 
" the voice of the Lord thy GOD, to do and keep all 
" his commandments which I command thee this day, 
<c the Lord thy GOD will make thee higher than all the 
" nations that are on the earth. And all thefe bleffings 
" mail come upon thee, and overtake thee, yet fo if 
<c thou hear his precepts. BlefTed mail thou be in the 
" city, and blefTed in the field. Bleffed mall be the fruit 
" of thy womb, and the fruit of thy ground, and the 
" fruit of thy cattle, the droves of thy herds, and the 
" folds of thy fheep. Bleffed mall be thy barns, and 
" blefTed thy ftores. Bleffed fhall thou be coming in and 
" going out. The Lord mall caufe thy enemies that 
" rife up againft thee, to fall down before thy face : one 
*' way mail they come out againft thee, and feven ways 
" mall they flee before thee. The Lord will fend forth 
*' a bleffmg upon thy ftorehoufes, and upon all the works 
" of thy hands : and will blefs thee in the land that thou 
" malt receive. The Lord will raife thee up to be a 
' holy people to himfelf, as he fwore to thee, if thou 
" keep the commandments of the Lord thy GOD, and 
" walk in his ways. And all the people of the earth, 
" fhall fee, that the name of the Lord is invocated upon 
" thee, and they fhall fear thee. The Lord will make 
" thee abound with all goods, with the fruit of thy 
*' womb, and the fruit of thy cattle, with the fruit of 
' thy land, which the Lord fwore to thy fathers that he 
" would give thee. The Lord will open his excellent 
<c treafure the heaven, that it may give rain in due fea^ 
" fon ; and he will blefs all the works of thy hands.'* 
Thefe are the words of GOD himfelf, delivered by his 
prophet. Tell me now after all this, are the treafures 
of both the Indies to be compared with fuch infinite, 
bleffings as thefe are ? 

3. But, fuppofing the promife of temporal bleffings, 
was made to the Jews, rather than to Chriftians, becaufe 
Almighty GOD, by Ezechiel *, promifes to enrich thefe 
with other kind of goods of greater value, to wit, thofe 
of grace and glory ; yet as GOD in the carnal law did not 


Deut, c. xxviii. v, I. to v. 13. f Ezec, c. xxxiv, & xxxvi, 

a 59 ^ e S timers Guidt. Book. I. 

ceafe to give fpiritual goods, to thofe Jews that were 
virtuous ; fo neither will he refufe to give temporal blef- 
fings to good Chriftians, in the fpiritual law, and that, 
with the addition of two extraordinary advantages, which 
the wicked have not the leaft knowledge of. The one is, 
that he gives them thefe forts of bleffings like an experi- 
enced phyfician, according to their feveral necefTities ; 
that fo they may ferve to fupport, and not puff them up. 
The wicked know nothing at all of this, for they heap 
up all they can, without confidering, that fuperfluity of 
temporal goods is no lefs prejudicial to the welfare of the 
foul, than fuperfluity of meats is to the health of the 
body. For, though a man cannot naturally live without 
eating, yet to eat too much impairs the health ; and tho* 
man's life is in his blood, yet too much of it quite choaks 
him up. The other advantage is, that with lefs noife, 
he gives them much more content and fatisfaftion, 
which is the end of mens feeking after temporal riches, 
than the others can purchafe with all their {lores. Be- 
caufe, whatfoever GOD can do by the means of fecond 
caufes, he can do by himfelf and much more perfectly. 
It is what he has done to all the faints, in whofe names 
St. Paul fpake, when he faid t : As having nothing and 
poffefling all things : becaufe we are as content with the 
little we have, as if we were lords of all the world. 
Travellers endeavour to carry what money they have, in 
gold, becaufe they can carry much more, and with lefs 
burthen. So GOD provides for thofe that love him ; 
by giving them a lighter burthen, but much more 
of joy, eafe and fatisfaction. Thus the juft travel in 
this lite, naked, and contented , poor, and rich : whilft 
the wicked wallow in the ir riches, and yet die for hun- 
ger. And though like Tantalus, they are up to the 
very chin in water, yet they cannot quench their third. 

4. For this, and fuch like reafons, Mofes fo earneflly 
recommended the keeping of the law of GOD, defiring 
it mould be our whole ftudy and care, as well knowing 
that all happineis confiited in the fulfilling thereof. And 
thefe words which I command thee this day> fays he, Jhall be 

t 2 Cor. c. vi. v. 10. 

Part II. Ch. 1 2. GOD'S Care of the Juji. 26$ 

in thy heart; and thoujhalt tell them to thy children, and thoa 
jhalt meditate upon them fitting in thy houfe, and walking on 
thy journey, Jleeping, and rifeng. And thoujhalt bind theln as 
a fign on thy hand, and they Jhall be andjhall move between 
thy eyes, and thou Jbalt write them in the entry and on the 
doors of thy houfe ; that by this means thy days may be mul- 
tiplied, and tho/e of thy poftcrity, in the land which God /hall 
give thee *. What was it O holy prophet, that you faw, 
what did you find in the keeping of GOD'S command- 
ments, that mould make you recommend them fo ear- 
neftly to others ? you without doubt underftood the inef- 
timable value of this good, as being fo great a prophet, 
and privy to the divine counfels. You knew that all 
kind of goods whatever, prefent and to come, temporal 
and eternal, fpiritual and corporal, were contained in, 
and depended on this : and that, if we complied with; 
this obligation, we mould fatisfy all the reft. You knew 
very well, that he who made it his bufmefs to do the 
will of GOD, mould never lofe his labour, becaufe the 
doing of this, was pruning his vine y watering of his 
garden, increafing his eftate, and looking after all his 
affairs, much better than he could do it himfelf, becaufe 
it layed an obligation on GOD to do it for him. For 
the condition of the treaty which GOD has made with 
man, is , that whilft man- is bufy about keeping of GOD'S 
law -, GOD will be bufy about looking after marc's con- 
cerns. And there is no fear of the contract being broken 
en GOD'S fide. On the contrary, if mart prove a faithful 
fervant, GOD will ftill mow himfelf a better matter. 
This is that one thing, which our Saviour faid was ne- 
ceffary ; to wit, the knowing and loving of GOD- -f. 
For he that knows how to pteafe GOD, is fecure of all 
the reft. Godlinefs, fays St. Paul J, is profitable to all 
things, having promifes ef the life that n-ow is, and of that 
which is now to come. You- fee here how plainly the 
apoftle promifes to piety, which is the worfhip of GOD, 
not only the goods of the next, but thofe of this life too, 
as far as they contribute to the gaining of eternal hap- 

pinefs j 

* Deut, c. vi. v. &, 7, 8 r &c. f St. Luc. c. x. v. 4Z. 
I Tim. c. iv. v. 8, 

26 1 'The Sinners Guide. Book L 

pinefs ; and yet man is not excufed upon this account, 
from labour, or from complying with the obligations of 
his ftate and calling, as far as he is able. 


Of the poverty of the Wicked. 

I. If any-body defires to know what poverty, what 
afflictions and calamities are laid up for the wicked, let 
him but read the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuterono- 
my, and he will there fee fuch things as will aftonilh and 
frighten him, where amongft many other dreadful threats, 
Mofes delivers thefe moft terrifying words from the 
mouth of GOD * : " But if thou wilt not hear the 
" voice of the Lord thy GOD, to keep, and to do all his 
" commandments and ceremonies, which 1 command 
" thee this day, all thefe curfes mall come upon thee, 
" and overtake thee* Curfed malt thou be in the city, 
" curfed in the field ; curfed mall be thy barn, and curfed 
" thy (lores ; curfed mail be the fruit of thy womb, and 
*' the fruit of thy ground, the herds of thy oxen, and 
" the flocks of thy fheep , curfed malt thou be coming 
" in, and curfed going out. The Lord mail fend upon 
" thee famine and hunger, and a rebuke upon all the 
" works which thou malt do : until he confume and de- 
" ftroy thee quickly, for thy moft wicked inventions, by 
*' which thou haft forfaken me. May the Lord let the 
*' peftilence upon thee, until he confume thee out of the 
*' land, which thou (halt go in to pofTefs. May the 
" Lord afflid thee with miferable want, with the fever 
** and with cold, with burning and with heat, and with 
" corrupted air and with blafting, and purfue thee till 
" thou perifh , be the heaven that is over thee of brafs, 
" and the ground thou treddeft on of iron. The Lord 
<c give thee duft for rain upon thy land, and let aflies 
" come down from heaven upon thee, till thou be con- 
" fumed. The Lord make thee to fall down before 
*' thy enemies ; one way mayeft thou go out againft 
" them, and flee feven ways, and be fcattered through- 
* Deut. c. xxviii. v. 1.5, to v, 18. 

tart II. Ch. 12. Poverty of the tricked. 264 
" out all kingdoms of the earth ; and be thy carcafs* 
*' meat for all the fowls of the air, and the beads of the 
"earth, and be there none to drive them away. The 
* c Lord ftrike thee with the ulcer of Egypt, and the part 
tl of thy body by which thy dung is caft out, with the 
tc fcab, and with the itch , fo that thou canft not be" 
" healed : the Lord ftrike thee with madrtefs and blind- 
" nefs and fury of mind, and mayeft thou grope at mid- 
" day as the blind is wont to grope in the dark, and not 
" make ftrait thy ways ; and mayeft thou at all times 
" fuffer wrong, and be oppreffed with violence, and mayeft 
" thou have no one to deliver thee. Mayeft thou take a 
*' wife and another deep with her j mayeft thou build a 
" houfe and not dwell therein ; mayeft thou plant a 
" vineyard, and not gather the vintage thereof. Mayeft 
*' thy ox be (lain before thee, and thou not eat thereof. 
" May thy afs be taken away in thy fight, arid not re- 
*' llored to thee ; may thy (heep be given to thy enemies^ 
" and may there be none to help thee. May thy fons 
" and thy daughters be given to another people, thy 
" eyes looking on, and languifliing at the fight of then! 
" all the day , and may there be no ftrength in thy handi 
tc Thou (halt be loft, as a proverb and a bye-word to all 
" people, among whom the Lord (hall bring thee in." 
In fine, after a great many other curies, and thofe very 
dreadful ones, he adds farther (i) : " And all thefe 
" curfes (hall come upon thee, artd (hall purfue and over- 
" take thee, till thou perifh ; becaufe thou heardeft not 
*' the voice of the Lord thy GOD, and didft not keep his 
" commandments and ceremonies which he commanded 
" thee, and they (hall be as figns and wonders on thee 
" and on thy feed for ever ; becaufe thou didft not ferve 
" the Lord thy Gor> with joy artd gladnefs of heart for 
" the abundance of all things. Thou (halt ferve thy 
l enemy, whom the Lord will fend upon thee in hun- 
" ger, and thirll, and nakednefs, and in want of all 
" things ; and he (hall put an iron yoke upon thy neck, 
" till he confume thee. The Lord will bring upon thee 
" a nation from afar, and from the uttermoft ends of the 
K k " earth* 

(i) Deut c. xxviii. Vi 45. to 54* 

263 tte Sinners Guide. Book I. 

*' earth, like an eagle that flieth fwiftlf ; wftofe tongue 
" thou canit not underftand ; a moft infolent nation, that 
*' will (hew no regard to the ancient, nor have pity on 5 
" the infant , and will devour the fruit of thy cattle, and 
" the fruits of thy land, until thou be deftroyed. And 
" will leave thee no wheat, nor wine, nor oil, nor herds 
c< of oxen, nor flocks of ftieep , until he deftroy thee, 
" and confume thee in all thy cities, and thy ftrong and 
*' high-walls be brought down, wherein thou truftedft irr 
" all thy land. Thou fhalt be befieged within thy gates 
*' in all thy land, which the Lord thy GOD will give thee r 
" and thou fhalt eat the fruit of thy womb, and the flefh 
" of thy fons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy 
*' GOD lhall give thee, in the diftrefs and extremity where- 
" with thy enemy mall opprefs thee," Thefe threats 
and curfes are all taken out of the holy fcriptures, where 
you may find 5 many more which I here omit to relate ;> 
but whoever reads them with attention, will meet with 
fuch dreadful things, as cannot but aftonrm him. Then,, 
perhaps, he will open his eyes, and begin to have fome 
knowledge of the rigour of GOD'S juftice, and of the 
malice of fin, together with the extreme hatred he bears 
to it, as appears by the terrible pUBifhments He inflicts on 
it in this life ; by which men may conjecture, what a 
finner is to expect in the next. Befides, he will pity the 
infenfibility and mifery of the wicked, who are fo blind; 
as not to fee the dreadful punifhments that are referved 
for them. 

2. Do not perfuade yourfelf that thefe threats are 
only empty words ; but confider that they are a true pro- 
phecy of thofe misfortunes, which have fmce happened 
to that people. For, during the reign of Achab king of 
Ifrael, the king of Syria's army having befieged them in 
Samaria, we read that men were forced to eat pidgeon's 
dung, which was fold at a great price -fv Nay, they were 
reduced, at laft, to fuch extremities, that mothers de- 
voured their own children. And Jofephus tell&us, they 
were brought to the fame mifery again in the fiege of 
Jerufalem J. There is fcarce any-body but has heard of 

.vi. .JJof.t.7. 

Part IT. Ch. 1 2, Poverty of the Wicked. 264 

<he captivity of this people, with tfie utter fubverfion of 
the whole kingdom. For ten tribes of them were car- 
ried away into perpetual captivity by the King of Afly- 
xia, and never returned home again ; and the two which 
remained were quite deftroyed a great while after by tbe 
Roman army : who took many of them prifoners -, but 
the number of thofe that were flain, or died during the 
fiege, was far greater, according to the relation of the 
feme hiftorian. 

3. But let no man deceive himfelf by imagining, that 
all thefe calamities, concerned none but this people. 
For, they belong to all thofe in general, who profeffing 
to ferve GOD, neverthelefs contemn and violate his law : 
It is what he himfelf allures us of by his Prophet Amos ; 
faying * : Did not I bring up Ifrael out of the land of Egypt , 
and tbe Paleflines out of Cappadocia^ and the Syrians out of 
Cyrene? Behold the eyes of the Lord God are<upon thejinful 
kingdom^ and I will deflroy it from the face of the earth. 
By this he gives us to underftand, that all changes of 
'kingdoms and ftates , as the deftroying of fome, and 
the eftabliftiing of others, are the effects of fin. And 
if any one doubts whether this concerns us or no, let 
him fearch into the hiftories of paft ages, and he will 
find that GOD deals after the fame manner with all the 
wicked, but particularly with thofe, who have known the 
true law, and yet have not obferved it. He will there 
fee, that a great part of Europe, Africa, and Afia, which 
were formerly full of Chriftian churches, are now in the 
hands of heathens and barbarians. He will fee, what ca- 
lamities the church has fuffered from the Goths, the 
Hunns and the Vandals, who in St. Auguflin's time, 
laid all the countries of Africa wade, fparing neither 
man, woman, nor child, old, nor young. And at the 
fame time all the country of Dalmatia, and the neigh- 
bouring towns, were fo ruined by thefe barbarians, that, 
as St. Jerome who was himfelf of that country, fays ; 
whofoever patted through it, could fee nothing but 
heaven and earth ; fo univerfalwas the defolationf. All 
this ferves to inform us, that virtue and true devotion, 
Kk 2 not 

* Amos, c. ix. v. 7, 8. f St. Hieron in chap. i. Sophon 

$6$ The Sinners Guide. Book I, 

not only affift us, in order to obtain the eternal goods, 
but alib to fettle us in the pofifefTion of the temporal. 
"Wherefore, let the confideration of this and all thofe 
Other advantages virtue has, ferve to make an impreflion 
on our hearts, and excite them to the love of that which 
delivers us from fo great evijs, and procures us fuch 
mighty benefits, 


tfhe twelfth privilege of virtue, which is the quiet and happy, 
death of the 'virtuous , and on the contrary ', the deplorable 
end of the wicked. 

l. A DD to thefe privileges the glorious and happy 
Jr\ death of good men, to which all the others are 
directed. For if, as we commonly fay, It is the end that 
Browns the work; what can better deferve a crown, or 
what can be more glorious than the end of good men ; 
and what more miferable than that of the wicked ? The 
4eath of the faints^ fays the pfalmift, is precious in the 
fight of the Lord^ but the death of the wicked is very evil *. 
Becaufe it is the greateft of all miferies, either of thp 
body or foul. And therefore St. Barnard writing upon 
thefe words -f, " The death of finners is the worft, fays : 
that firft of all it is bad, becaufe it takes them away from 
the world ; worfe yet, becaufe it feparates the foul from 
the body \ but worft of all, becaufe of thofe two eternal 
torments, fire everlafting, and the worm that never dies, 
which immediately follow it." It cannot but be a great 
affliction to fuch perfons to leave the world ; a much 
greater to forfake their own flefh ; but the greateft of all 
will be hell torments, which they are to be for ever con- 
demned to. Thefe therefore, and feveral other miferies 
put together, will difturb the wicked at this time. Be- 
caufe then they will be fenfible of the fymptoms and ac- 
cidents of their diftemper, the racking pains they erv 


* Pfalm cxv. v. 15. Pfalm Xxxjii. v. 22. f St, Bern. 
inter pervos. 

Part II. Ch. 1 3. Unhappy End of tie Wicked. 266 
dure all over their bodies , the frights and terrors of 
their fouls, the anguifh their preftrnt condition caufes, 
their apprehenfions of what muft follow, the remem- 
brance of what is pad ; the reflexion on the accounts 
they are going to give in, the dread they have of the 
fentence to be paft againft them , the horrours of the 
grave-, their being feparated from all they had an inor- 
dinate affection for; that is, from their riches, their 
friends, their wives, their children, nay, from the very 
light and common air which they enjoy, and even from 
life kfelf. The greater love they have had for any of 
thefe things, the more unwilling will they be to leave 
them. For, according to the great St Auguftin, " What 
we poflefs with love, we can never lofe without grief*." 
Conformable to which, was the faying of a philolbpher ; 
The fewer pleafures a man has enjoyed, the lefs afraid 
he is of death. 

2. But the greateft torment they fuffer at this time, 
is that of an evil confcience ; with the confideration and 
<dread of thofe pains which are prepared for them. Be- 
cauie man being then alarmed at the approach of death, 
begins to open his eyes, and to confider what he never 
thought of in all his life before. Eufebius EmifTenus 
gives us a very good reafon for this in one of his homi- 
lies, where he fays -j- ; " Becaufe, at this time, man lays 
afide all the folicitnde with which he ufed to feek for, 
and procure all that was neceffary for life ; and does not 
trouble his head any more, either about working or 
fighting, or any other employ whatever; it follows 
from hence, that the foul being free from every thing 
elfe, thinks of nothing but the account (he muft make, 
and all her powers are overcharged with the weight of 
the Divine Juftice, and of God Almighty's judgments. 
Man therefore lying in this miferable condition, with 
life behind his back, and death before his eyes, he eafily 
forgets the prefent which he is going to leave, and begins 
to think of the future, which he is in continual expecta- 
tion of. There he fees, that his pleafures and delights 
are now at an end, and that he has nothing left him, 


* J3e. Civit. Dei. -f St. Eucher. Homil, i. ad Monachos. 

267 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

but his fins to appear againft him before the tribunal of 
GOD.** The fame doctor difcourfing again upon this 
fubject in another homily, fays, " Let us confider what 
complaints a negligent foul will make at its departure 
out of this life ; what tribulation and anguifh will me 
be filled with ? what clouds and darknefs will me lie 
tinder, when among thofe enemies that furround her, 
(he mail fee her own conference, attended by a multitude 
of fins, the forwardeft to appear againft her. For me 
alone, without any other witnefs, will appear before us, 
to convince us by her evidence, and confound us by her 
knowledge. It will be impoffible to hide any thing 
from her, or to deny any thing me mall charge us with, 
fince there will be no need of going any farther than 
ourfelves for a witnefs. 

3. Peter Damianus handles this matter much better, 
and more at large *. " Let us confider, fays he, with 
attention, what dreadful fears and apprehenfions the foul 
of a finner will be oppreft with, when me is upon the 
point of leaving the prifon of the flefh ; and how the 
flings of a guilty confcience will prick and torment her. 
Then me calls to mind the fins me has committed, and 
fees how fhe has defpifed and broken the commandments 
of GOD. Then fhe is troubled to have loft fo much 
time, in which me might have done penance j and with 
affliction, fees that the account fhe muft unavoidably 
give, and the time of divine vengeance is juft at hand. 
She would willingly (lay, but is forced to go ; fhe 
would fain recover what fhe has loft, but cannot obtain 
leave to do it. If fhe cafts her eyes behind her, and 
confiders the whole courfe of her life, it feems no more 
to her than a fhort moment ; if fhe looks forward, fhe 
fees there the fpace of an infinite eternity that expects 
her. She weeps when (he confiders the everlafting hap- 
pinefs me has loft, which fhe might have gained in the 
fhort time of this life -, and to be deprived of this un- 
fpeakable fwe-etnefs of eternal delight, for a fleeting car- 
nal latisfaction, is a great affliction to her. She is filled 


* Peter Damian. c. vi. in Inftitut Monial. ad Blancam Co- 

Part II. Ch. 13. Unhappy End of tie Wicked. 268 

with confufion to confider, that for the pleafing of this 
miferable body, which mud be the food of worms ; {he 
has negle&ed herfelf, who ought to have taken her place 
amongft the choirs of angels. When- fhe reflects upon 
the brightnefs and glory of immortal riches, fhe is 
alhamed to fee herfelf deprived of therrv, for having 
fought after fuch as were bafe and perifhable. But when 
fhe has done looking upward, and cafts her eyes down 
upon the dark and frightful valley of this world, and 
at the fame time fees the glory of eternal light above her, 
me is fully convinced, that all (he loved in this world, 
was nothing but night and darknefs, O if fhe could 
but then obtain a little time to do penance in, what 
aufterities and mortifications would fhe not undergo ? 
what is it fhe would not do ? what vows would fhe not 
make and what prayers would fhe not be continually offer- 
ing up ? but whilft man is revolving, thefe things in his 
mind, behold the mefTengers and fore-runners of death 
are juft at hand; his eyes become dark and hollow, his 
breaft heaves, his voice grows hoarfe, he rattles in the 
throat, his limbs wax cold, his teeth turn black, he foams 
at the mouth, and his face grows wan and pale , whilft 
thefe things which ferve as fo many preparations to ap- 
proaching death, orderly fall out ; the miferable foul fees 
before her aH the works, words, and thoughts of her 
fate wicked life, which give in a lamentable teftimony 
againft her, as being the author of them all; and tho* 
fhe would willingly turn her eyes away from them, fhe 
cannot, but is forced to fee them. Let us add to all 
this, the horrible prefenee of the devils on one fide, and 
that of virtue and of the blefled angels on the other; and 
we foon guefs which of the two parties this prey is like 
to fall to. Becaufe, if the dying man carries any works 
of piety and virtue with him,, he is immediately com- 
forted by the invitations and carefTes of the angels : but, 
if the foulnefs of his fins, and of his wicked pafl life, 
require that he fhould be treated after another manner, 
immediately he trembles every joint of him for fear, 
falls into defpair ; and in this condition, is fnatcht, rent, 
and torn away from this miferable ikm, and thrown 


269 The Sinners Guide'. Book L 

headlong into everlafling torments." Thus far Peter 

4. If all this be true, what need of any more, if a 
man has not loft his fenfes, to make him fee how mife- 
rable the condition of the wicked is, and how carefully 
to be avoided, fmce their end is like to be fo wretched 
and deplorable. 

5. If the goods of this world could do any fervice at 
that time, as they do all the other part of life, their mi- 
fery would be much eafier , but there is none of them 
that can give the leaft afllftance. For, neither can ho- 
nours profit a man, nor riches fecure him, nor friends 
help him ; he can have no fervants to attend him ; he 
muft expect no favour, becaufe of his quality, no fuc- 
cour from his eftate, nor any fervice from any thing 
whatever, but from virtue and innocence of life. For 
as the wife man fays, Riches Jhall not -profit in the day of 
revenge, but juftice, that is, , virtue, Jhall deliver from death *i, 
How therefore can the wicked man, finding himfelf fo 
poor and deftitute of all kind of help, forbear trembling 
to fee himfelf thus forfaken and neglected at the judg- 
ment feat of Almighty GOD ? 


Of the death of the juft, 

6. But on the contrary, how fecure are the juft: againft 
all thefe miferies, when they come to die. For, as the 
wicked at this time receive the punimment of their fins, 
the juft receive the reward of their virtue. According 
to Ecclefiafticus, who fays -f- : // Jhall go well 'with him 
that fear eth the Lord, and in the days of his end, he Jhall be 
llefled -, that is, he mail have the rich reward of his la-; 
hours. St. John in his Revelations declares the fame 
thing to us more exprefsly, when he tells us J : That he 
heard a voice from heaven, which commanded him to write j 
an d the words which it diflated, were thefe : BleJJed are the 
dead who die in the Lord ; becaufe the Holy Ghoft tells them, 


* Prov. c. xi. v, 4. *f Ecclus, c. i, v. 19. J Apoc,, 
c* xiv. v, 13. 

Part K. Ch. 15. tfapfy Death of the Jitft. 270 

the time is come that they may reft from their labours ; for 
their works follow them. How is it poffible then for a 
juft man, that has received fuch a promife as this, from 
Almighty GOD himfelf, to be frightened at the hour of 
his death, when he fees himfelf juft upon the point of 
receiving what he has been labouring for all his life-time ? 
for this reafon one of holy Job's pretended friends tells 
him (i ) : If thou wilt put away from thee the iniquity that 
is in thy hand, and let not injuftice remain in thy tabernacle : 
bright nefs like that of the noon- day , Jhall rife to thee at even- 
ing : and when thou Jhalt think thyfelf ton/timed, thou Jhalt 
rife as the day-ftar. St. Gregory writing upon thefe 
words, fays : " That the reafon why this morning-bright- 
nefs fhines upon the juft in the evening, is becaufe he 
perceives fome glimmerings at the hour of his death, of 
that glory which GOD has prepared for him ; and there- 
fore, when others are the moft dejected, he is then moft 
chearful (2).'* ' Solomon in his Proverbs teftifies the fame, 
when he fays (3) : The wicked man Jhall be driven out in 
his wickednefs ; but the juft hath hope in his death. 

7. To prove this by an example , could any man have 
better hopes, or more courage than the glorious St. Mar- 
tin had upon his death- bed , who, feeing the devil by 
him, afked him : " What doeft thou here, cruel beaft ; 
thou wilt find no mortal fin in me to glut thyfelf with, 
and therefore I fhall be received into Abraham's bofom 
in peace." Again, what greater confidence can be, than, 
that St. Dominick had* when he was in the fame circum- 
ftances : for feeing the religious brothers all about him, 
bemoaning themfelves for his departure, and the want 
they mould have in the lofs of him, he comforted them, 
with thefe words : " Let nothing trouble or afflict you, 
my children, for I (hall do you much more fervice where 
I am going, than I mail be able to do you here.*' Ho\v 
can a man lofe courage in this combat, or be afraid of 
death, who looked upon eternal glory to be fo much his 
own, as to be in hopes of obtaining it, not only for him- 
felf, but for his children too ? 

LI 8. It 

(i) Job, c. xi. v. 14, 17. (2) St. Greg.L. 10. Moral, c. I, 

(3) Prov. e> xiv, v, 32, 

27 l *Ihe Sinners Guide. Beok I. 

8. It is upon this account the juft have To little reafon 
to be afraid of death, that they praife GOD, when they 
are dying ; and thank him for having brought them to 
their end ; looking upon death as a cefTation from their 
labours, and the beginning of their happinefs and glory. 
Whereupon St. Auguftine, on St. John's Epiftle, fays * : 
*' It is not to be faid of him that dies in peace, but of 
him that lives in peace, and dies with joy, that he defires 
to be diffolved and be with Chrift." Thus we fee the juft 
man has no reafon to be troubled at death ; but we may, 
with juftice, fay of him, that, like the fwan, he goes fing- 
ingoutofthe world, praifing and glorifying GOD, for 
calling him to himfelf. He is not afraid of death, be- 
caufe he has feared GOD ; and whofoever has done that, 
has nothing elfe to be afraid of. He is not afraid of 
death, becaufe he has been afraid of a wicked life ; the 
fear a man has of death, being only the effect of a bad 
life. He is hot afraid of death, becaufe he has fpent all 
his life in learning how to die, and in preparing himfelf 
againft death , and he that ftands always upon his guard, 
has no need to fear his enemies. He is not afraid of 
death, becaufe the whole employ of his life has been, to 
feek after thofe that might affift and Hand by him at this 
hour ; that is, virtue and good works. He is not afraid 
of death, becaufe the many fer vices he has done his judge, 
will make him kind and favourable at that time. He is 
not, in fine, afraid of death, becaufe death is no death, 
but only a (lumber, to a juft man : it is no death; it is 
but a change : it is no death ; it is but the laft day of his 
toils and labours , it is no death ; but only the way that 
leads to life, and the ftep by which he muft mount to 
immortality ; for he knows that when death has pafled 
through the veins of life, it lofes the bitternefs it had 
before, and takes up the fweetnefs of life. 

9. Nor can any other of thofe accidents, which ufually 
happen at this time, terrify him. For, he knows they 
are nothing but childbed pangs, which give him birth to 
that eternity, the love of which has made him continu- 
ity long for death, and fuffer life with patience. He is 

* St. Aug. 9. in Ep. B. Joan. 

Part II. Ch. 1 3. Happy Death of the Jujl 272 

is not frightened with the remembrance of his fins, be- 
caufe he has Jefus Chrift for his Redeemer, whom he 
has always been acceptable to ; nor does the rigour of 
GOD'S judgments dimearten him, becaufe his Redeemer 
is his advocate -, neither does he fhrink at the fight of the 
devils, becaufe Jefus Chrift is his captain -, nor can the 
horror of the grave make any impreffion upon him, be- 
caufe he knows, that he muft foiu a fiejhy and corruptible 
body in the earth, that it may after-wards fyring up incor- 
ruptible and fpiritual* . If it be true that the end crowns 
the work , and if, as Seneca fays f : " We mull judge of 
all the reft, by the laft day ; and accordingly pafs fen- 
tence upon the whole life paft -, becaufe all that is paft is 
condemned or juftified by it." And if the death of good 
men be fo peaceable and quiet, and that of the wicked, 
on the contrary, fo difturbed and painful, what need 
have we of any other motive, than barely this difference, 
which is between the death of the one and of the other, 
to make us refolve againft a bad life, and to live a good 

10. Where is the benefit of all the pleafures, profpe- 
rity, riches, and all the titles and honours in the world,- 
if after all I mould be plunged headlong into hell-fire ? 
and on the other fide, what hurt can all the miferies of 
this life dp me, if by means of them, I can make a 
happy end, and carry along with me the pledges of eter- 
nal glory. Let the wicked man manage his point in the 
world with as much cunning as he pleafes, what will he 
get by all his craft, but juft to know, how to acquire 
fuch things, as will ferve to make him more proud, more 
vain, more fenfual, more able to fin, more unable to do 
good, and to make death fo much the more bitter and 
unwelcome, as life was the more pleafant and delightful ? 
if there is any fenfe and wit in the world, certainly there 
can be none greater, than to know how to order life well, 
againft this laft hour-, fmce a wife man's chief bufinefs is 
to underftand, what means are the moft proper for him 
to ufe, in order to arrive at his end. If therefore we 
look upon him, as a fkilful phyfician, who knows what 
L 1 2 remedies 

* z Cor. c, xiii. v. 44. *f Senec. Ep. 12. 

273 The Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

remedies to prefcribe for the recovery of health, which is 
the end of this fcience ; we muft of necefiity think him 
truly wife, who knows how to govern his life, in order- 
to death ; that is, in order to the making up of his ac- 
counts well, when death, to which he is to direct all hia 
life, (hall come. 

% be foregoing feflion proved by feme examples *. 

11. For the better explaining and confirming of what 
I have faid, and to give the reader a little fpiritual re- 
creation, I think fit to add here a few famous examples 
of the glorious deaths of fome faints, taken out of 
Holy Pope Gregory's fourth book of dialogues; by 
which we may plainly perceive, how pleafant and how 
happy a thing death is to the juft. If I enlarge a little 
upon this point, I (hall not think my time ill fpent, be- 
caufe the faint, at the fame time as he relates thefe 
paffages, gives a great deal of wholefome advice and 

12. "He tells us, that during the time the Goths 
were in Italy, there was a certain lady called Galla, of 
very confiderable quality, in Rome, daughter to one 
Symmachus, a conful. She was married very young, 
and became both wife and widow in one year. She had 
all the invitations imaginable from the world, her youth 
and her fortune to take a fecond huiband ^ but me chofe 
to be the fpoufe of Chrift, and to celebrate a marriage 
with him, that begins with forrow, but ends with joy -, 
rather than with the world, where it begins in joy, but 
ends in forrow. This lady was of a very hot conftitution, 
and the phyficians told her, that if fhe did not marry 
again, (he would certainly have a beard like a man, which 
accordingly happened. Yet the holy woman, charmed 
with the inward beauty of her new bridegroom, was not 
troubled at her outward deformity, well knowing it 
would not be offenfive to her heavenly fpoufe. There- 
fore, laying afide her worldly drefs, fhe gave herfelf en- 
tirely up to the fervice of GOD, a.nd entered into a mo-r 

* Greg, 4. L. Dial c. 13 

Part II. Ch. 1 3. Happy Death of the Jujl. 274, 

nailery near St. Peter's church, where (he lived for fe^- 
veral years in great fimplicity of heart, and in the fre- 
quent exercife of prayer and chanty to the poor. Al- 
mighty GOD being refolved 'at length, to reward the 
labours of his fervant with eternal glory -, fhe was trour 
bled with a cancer in the breaft, which grew to fuch a 
height, that fhe was forced to keep her bed, where, as 
me lay, fhe had always two lamps burning by her, being 
fo great a lover of light j as to have a horror, not only 
of fpiritual, but even of corporal darknefs. Finding 
herfelf one night very much out of order, fhe faw the 
blefied Apoftle St. Peter Handing between the two lamps; 
not at all difturbed at the vifion, but her love on the 
contrary emboldening and encouraging her, fhe with a 
deal of chearfulnefs and joy, afked him : great Apoftle, 
are my fins pardoned yet ? to which he anfwered, with 
a fmiling countenance, and bowing down his head, yes, 
they are pardoned you, come along with me. But the 
holy woman having contracted a ftricr, tie of friendship 
with another religious woman of the fame monaftery, 
called Benedicta ; replied immediately, I beg that fifter 
Benedicta may go along with me ; the apoftle told her, 
fhe was not to come yet, but that another fifter whom 
he named, mould bear her company, and that fifter Be- 
nedicla mould follow her within thirty days. After 
which he vaniflied, and the fick lady fending for the 
priorefs, gave her an account of all that had happened, 
and both fhe herfelf and the other whom St. Peter named, 
died within three days after, and at the end of thirty 
days, the other (he had afked for. The memory of this 
paflage is ftiil preferved in that monaftery, and the 
younger religious women, who received it from their 
mothers, recount it with as much fervour and devotion, 
as if they themfelves had been eye-witnefies to it." 
This is St. Gregory's own relation ; the reader may ob- 
ferve how glorious an end this was. 

13. After this the fame faint gives us an account of 
another example no lefs wonderful -f-. " There was a cer- 
tain man, fays he, at Rome, called Servulqs, very poop 


f Greg. 4, L. Dial c. 14, 

275 ffi* Sinners Guide. Book I P 

as to the world, but very rich in merits. His ufual fta- 
tion was under a perch before St. Clement's church* 
where he begged, being fo lame with the palfy, that he 
could not rife nor fit up in his bed, nor fo much as lift 
his hand to his mouth, or turn from one fide to the other. 
His mother and a brother always kept him company, 
and affifted him, and all the alms he could conveniently 
jpare, he defired his mother or his brother to diftribute 
among the poor. He could not read, yet he bought 
fome books of the fcripture, and when any devout per- 
fon came to fee him, would defire them to read to him, 
and by this means he got fome infight into Holy Writ, 
Befides, he always ufed to blefs GOD in the midft of his 

freat pains, and to employ himfelf day and night in 
nging of hymns. But the time drawing nigh when the 
Lord intended to reward his great patience, the holy 
man fell extreme fick ; and when he perceived he was 
going out of the world, he called together all the 
ilrangers thereabout, defiring them to join with him in 
praifmg GOD, for the hopes he had given him of his 
being at the end of his labours. 

14. But as he was finging amongft the reft, he inter- 
rupted them on a fudden, crying out with a loud voice, 
Silence, do not you hear the fongs and hymns of praifes 
and thankfgivings which fill the heavens ? and liftening 
thus, with the ear of his heart, to the voices he heard 
within himfelf, he died. And as foon as he had given 
up the ghoft fuch an extraordinary fragrancy was fmelt 
all over the place, that all thofe prefent were delighted 
with its fweetnefs, by which they underftood that he re^ 
ally had heard the fongs of praile and joy, with which he 
was received into heaven. A religious man of our con- 
vent, who is ftill living, and who was prefent when this 
happened, often, with tears, tells me, that thofe who 
were there when he died, never loft the fweet fmell, till 
his body was buried." 

15. 1 will add another memorable example out of the 
fame faint, whereof he gives a faithful teftimony, as be- 
ing himfelf nearly concerned in it(?). " My father, 

(i).Greg. 4. L.Dial c. 16. 

Part II. Ch. 13. Happy Death of the Jujl. 276 
fays he, had three fitters, who all confecrated their virgi- 
nity to GOD : the^ eldeft was called Tarfilla, the fecond, 
Gordiana, and the youngeft, Emiliana. They all three 
offered themfelves up to GOD at the fame time, with 
an equal fervour, devotion, and refignation ; living to- 
gether at their own houfe, under the obfervance of a 
very rigorous rule. After they had lived thus for a con- 
fiderable time, Tarfilla and Emiliana began to increafe 
every day more and more in the love of their Creator ; 
and arrived to fuch a degree of perfection, that though 
their bodies remained upon earth, their fouls were con- 
tinually converfant in heaven. But Gordiana, on the 
contrary, growing every day more and more cold in her 
affection for GOD, was proportionably inflamed with the 
love of the world. Tarfilla ufed frequently to tell her 
fitter Emiliana, with a great deal of forrow ; I fee our 
fitter Gordiana is not well pleafed \vith our way of living. 
I perceive me is wholly bent upon outward things, and 
that me does not obferve, in her heart, the vows of her 
religion. Whereupon the other two fitters often advifed 
her, with all the fweetnefs and tendernefs they could, to 
lay afide her light behaviour, and be modeft and grave 
as became her habit. Thus (he fpent her time in idle 
difcourfe, delighted in the company of worldly women ; 
nor could fhe endure to converfe with any others. One 
night, my great grandfather Felix, who had been Pope, 
appeared to Tarfilla, who had made a much greater pro- 
grefs than her fitters, in continual prayer, corporal au- 
fterities and fafts, in modefty, in gravity, and in all 
kind of piety, and mewing her a habitation of eternal 
brightnefs, faid to her : " Come hither to me ; for I am 
" to receive you into this habitation of light/* Within 
a few days after, Tarfilla fell fick of a burning fever, 
and was paft all recovery : and, as it is the cuttom for 
much company to vifit a perfon of quality that lies a 
dying, to comfort their kindred and relations ; at that 
time feveral perfons of note were there, and amongft the 
reft, my mother, Then the fick lady lifting up her eyes 
towards heaven, faw her Saviour coming to her ; and 
ftruck with admiration, began to cry cut, ftand afide, for 


Sinners Guide. Bobk 1* 

Jefus Chrift is coming. And having fixed her eyes very 
fteadily upon her Saviour, whom me faw, me foon after 
breathed out her blerTed foul -, and immediately fuch a 
fragrancy was fmelt by all there prefent, as fuftkiently 
.evinced, that the author of all fweetnefs had really been 
among them. When they uncovered her to warn her 
body, as is ufually done with the dead, they found her 
knees and elbows as hard as a camel's, with continual 
proftrating at her prayers : fo that her dead flefh gave a 
fufficient teflimony of the employ of her fpirit, during 
her life. This happened before Chriftmas ; and as foon 
as Chrift mas-day was over, Tarfilla appeared to her fifter 
Emiliana in the night time, and faid to her : come my 
dear filler, and let us keep the feaft of the Epiphany 
together, fmce I have kept that of Chriftmas without 
you. But Emiliana being concerned at the danger her 
fifter Gordiana would be expofed to if (he were left alone, 
anfwered, if I go along with you, to whofe care fhall I 
recommend our fifter Gordiana ? Tarfilla, with a heavy 
countenance replied ; Do you come with me ; as for 
Gordiana, {he is reckoned amongft the people of the 
world. Immediately after this vifion, Emiliana fell fick, 
and growing every hour worfe and worfe, died before 
the day her fifter had named. Gordiana feeing herfelf 
now left alone, became more and more wicked every 
day , and by degrees, quite lofing the fear of GOD, and 
neglecting her modefty, her devotion, and the vows by 
which (he had confecrated herfelf to GOD, went and 
married a man who farmed her eftate of her." This is 
all taken out of St. Gregory, who by the examples of 
thofe <sf his own family and blood, mows us how happy* 
and profperous the end of virtue is, s and how forrowful 
and mean that of light and inconftant perlbrts. I will 
conclude with one example more upon this fubjedl out 
of the fame faint, which happened in his time, and which 
he delivers after this manner* 

1 6. "About the time when I entered into a monaf- 
tery , there was an ancient woman at Rome^ called Re- 
dempta, who wore a religious habit, and lived juft by 
our blefied Lady's. She had been formerly under the 


Part II. Ch. 1 3 . Happy Death of the Juft. 278 

:Care of a certain holy virgin, called Hirundina, who, fay 
they, was in great efteem for her virtue ; having led a 
Solitary life upon the Preneftine Mountains. This fame 
Redempta had two other young virgins that came to her 
to be her difciples, the name of one of them was Ro- 
jnula, as for the other, who is ftill living, I know her by 
fight, but cannot tell her name. Thefe three virgins 
Jived a very poor but holy life, all in the fame houfe. 
But Romula out-ftript her other companion in all kinds 
of virtues and graces, as being a woman of wonderful 
patience, of a moil perfect obedience, of an extraordi- 
nary recollection, a very Uriel obferver of filence, and 
very much given to prayer and contemplation. But, 
fometimes thofe who appear perfect in the eyes of men, 
&re not without imperfections before GOD ; as we often 
fee unfkilful perfons commend a ftatue before it is 
finifhed, as a complete work ; and yet the mafter who 
knows there *s much more to be done to it, does not lay 
it afide, becaufe of their extolling it, nor neglect to 
finifh it, becaufe of their commendation. Almighty 
GOD dealt after the fame manner with Romula, whom 
he thought fit to refine and perfect, by afflicting her fe- 
verely with the palfy, which obliged her to keep her 
bed for feveral years, without any ufe of her limbs. 
All her pains and fufferings could never move her to the 
leaft impatience ; on the contrary, the want of the ufe 
of her limbs, made her increafe more and more in vir- 
tue ; fo that the lefs able me was to do any thing elfe, 
the more (he exercifed herfelf in her devotions and 
prayers. At length fhe called her mother Redempta to 
her, who had brought up thefe two difciples of hers, as 
if they had been her own children, and faid to her; 
come hither my dear mother, come hither. Redempta 
immediately went to her with her other difciple, accord- 
ing to the relation which they have both fmce made to 
feveral perfons, fo that the thing is now become public, 
and I myfelf had an account of it at the fame time it 
happened. As they were fitting about midnight by her 
bedfide, there appeared a light from heaven on a fudden, 
which filled the whole chamber. The brightnefs of it 
M m was 

279 Tke Sinner* Guide. Book \ 

v/as fo great that they were aftonimed at it, Afterward^ 
they heard a nolle, as if a great many perfons were 
coming into the cell; fo that the door cracked as if it 
were preffed by the throng. Then they heard many; 
come in, but through fear and the extraorninary bright- 
nefs, could fee nothing; for their hearts were no lefs 
clamped with fear, than their eyes were dazzled by the 
\ight. After this there followed a fweet fmell, which 
comforted and refrefhed them, as much as the light had 
frighted them before. They being no longer able t6. 
bear with the extraordinary brightnefs of that light, the 
lick woman began to comfort her miftrefs, who fat there 
trembling and fhaking, and faid, " Be not afraid my 
dear mother, for I am not dying yet.'* And as me often 
repeated thefe words, the light leflened by degrees, till 
it was quite gone , but the fweet fmell continued ftill, 
for the fpace of three days, as frefh as when they firft 
fmelt it. The third day being over, me called her 
miftrefs again, and defired the Viaticum, that is, the 
Bleffed Sacrament: which after me had received, Re- 
dempta and her other companion were no fooner gone 
from her bedfide, but they began to hear two choirs of 
muficians at the entrance of the door , which as near as 
they could judge by their voices, confifting of men and 
women ; the men fung pfalms, and the women anfwerecj. 
them. And whilft they were thus performing the rites 
of this celeftial funeral, this holy foul, leaving the prifon 
of her body, began her journey heavenward, the divine 
mufic and fragrancy going away with her, fo that the 
higher me mounted, the lefs they were perceived below, 
till fuch time as they were both quite loft." Hitherto are 
^'the words of St. Gregory. 

17. Many more examples might be brought to this 
purpofe , but thefe will fuffice to mow us, how quiet, 
how fweet, and how eafy the death of good men gene- 
rally is. For, though fuch evident tokens as thefe are, 
do not always appear, yet inafmuch as they are all the 
children of GOD, and fince death is the end of all their 
miferies, and the beginning of that happinefs they ex- 
*9 he rewarded with, they aje always in this extre- 

art il. Ch. 13. tiappy Death of the Ju/l. 280 
tnity, {lengthened and encouraged by the help of GOD'S 
grace, and by the evidence their own good confciences 
give in favour of them. Thus the glorious St. Ambrofe 
comforted himfelf upon his death-bed, faying, " I have 
hot lived fo, as to have any reafon to be forry that I was 
ever born , nor can I be afraid to die, becaufe I know I 
have a favourable mailer *." But if any man imagine 
thefe favours and graces are incredible, let him reflect 
Upon the incomprehenfible immenfity of GOD'S good- 
nefs, the erFedl of which is to love, honour, and favour 
the good* and he will acknowledge, that all I have here 
atferted is but little, in comparifon with what the thing 
itfeJf is. For, if the infinite goodnefs iloopt fo low 
as to take our flefh, and to die upon a crofs for the fal- 
vation of man ; what great matter is it, to comfort 
and honour the good when they are dying, fmce their 
redemption has coft him fo dear ? and what wonder is 
it, that he mould beilow fuch graces upon thofe perfons, 
when they are dying, whom he is to receive into his own 
houfe, and to make partakers of his glory when they are 
dead ? 

SECT. lit. 
The conclufion of this Second Pdrt. 

18. Thefe we have mentioned, are the twelve privi- 
leges, granted to virtue in this life-, and are like the 
twelve fruits of that moil beautiful tree St. John, in his 
Apocalypfe, faw, planted by a river fide, which brought 
forth twelve fruits every year, according to the number 
of the months. For, next to the Son of GOD, what other 
tree could bear fuch fruit but virtue, which is the tree 
that brings forth fruits of holinefs, and of life ? and what 
fruits can be more precious, than thofe, we have here 
given an account of? What more delicious fruit, than 
the fatherly care and providence, which GOD has over 
thofe that ferve him ? what more pleafant than his di- 
vine grace ; than the light of wifdom , the confolations 
of the Holy Ghoft ; the joy of a good confcience , the 
help of a fecure confidence in him ; the true liberty of 
M m a the 

? In vita D. Ambrofy. 

We Sinners Guide. Book 1. 

the foul ; the inward peace of the heart ; the being heard 
by him in our prayers ; the being aflifted by him in our 
tribulations ; the having of our temporal neceffities fup- 
plied ; and, in fine, the comfort of a fweet and quiet 
death at laft ? any of thefe privileges, is doubtlefs fo 
great in itfelf, that, were a man but thoroughly acquainted 
with it, he would need no other motive to embrace vir- 
tue, -and make a change of life. This alone would fuf- 
ficiently convince him of the truth of that faying of our 
Saviour * : That whofoever /hall leave the werld for the 
love of him, Jhall receive even in this life a hundred-fold, 
and hereafter life everlafting -, as has been fhewn above. 

19. Confider ferioufly what good this is we invite you 
to. Think whether you would have any caufe to repent, 
mould you quit all the things of this world for it, The 
only reafon why it is not valued by the wicked is, becaufe 
they know not its value. Therefore the Saviour of the 
world faid f : That the kingdom of heaven was like unto a 
treasure hiddep in the field. For it is a real treafure, hid 
from others, but not from the owner. The prophet un- 
derftood the value of this treafure when he faid J : My 
fecret to myfelf^ my fecret to tnyfelf. He did not much 
care whether others knew of his happinefs. For this 
is not like other goods, which are not goods, unlefs they 
are known ; becaufe being in themfelves, no longer 
goods than whilfl the opinion of the world makes them 
fuch , it is requifite the world mould know them, or 
elfe they will never have fo much as the name of goods. 
But this good, on the contrary, makes him good and 
happy that poflelTes it ; and though none, but himfelf, 
knows of it, yet he has as much true comfort and fatif- 
faction with it, as if all the world knew it. 

20. But neither my tongue, nor all that has hitherto 
been faid, is fufficient to unfold this fecret : becaufe all 
that the tongue of man is able to exprefs, falls far more 
of what it truly is. The only key therefore to explain 
it, is the divine light, and the long experience, and the 
ufe of virtue. Beg this light of our Lord, and you will 


* St. Mark, c. x. v. -f- Matt. c. xiii. v, 44. J Ifaiah, 
c. xxiv. v. 1 6. 

Part Ii. Ch. 1 3. Happy Deafb of tie Ju/t. ' 2 82 

foon find this treafure and GOD himfelf, in whom you 
will find all things : and you will fee with how much 
reafon the prophet faid* : Happy is the people whofe God 
is the Lord; for what can he want, that is in poflefTion of 
this good ? we read, in the book of the Kings, that Heb- 
canah, Samuel's father, feeing- his wife Anne troubled be- 
caufe me had no children ; faid to her : Anna, why weepeft 
thou ? and why doft thou afflift thy heart ? am not 1 letter to 
thee> than ten children -j- ? Now if a loving hulband, who 
to-day is and to-morrow is not, be worth more to his 
wife than ten children , how much more muft GOD be 
worth, do you think to the foul that truly pofleffes him. 
Blind and fenfelefs men ; what is it you do ? what is it 
you are about ? what is it you feek after ? why do you 
leave the fountain- of paradife, for the muddy lakes of 
this world ? why do you not take the advice of the pro*, 
phet along with you, when he fays J : Tajlc and fee that 
the Lord is fweet ? Why will you not once at leaft, try 
this food ? why will you not tafte of this meat ? do but 
believe what GOD has faid ; do but once begin, and you 
will find yourfelves undeceived of all your errors, as foon 
as ever you enter into this path , as foon as ever you. 
take this bufmefs JIT hand. The ferpent Mofes's rod 
was turned into, looked frightful at a diflance ; but as 
foon as he touched it with his hand, it became a harm>- 
kfs rod again. It was not without reafon, that Solomon 
faid : // is naught* it is naught, faith every buyer ; and 
when he is gone away, then will he boaft he is glad of the 
bargain ||. Thi-s happens every day to men, in this fort 
of purchafe ; for they, through their want of fkill in fpi- 
ritual affairs, are at firft ignorant of the value of this 
commodity ; and therefore think it is fet at too great a 
price, becaufe they are carnal. But when once they have 
tailed how fweet the Lord is, they are immediately pleafed 
with their purchafe, and confefs a man can never give too 
much for fo great a treafure : how glad was the man in the 
gofpel f , that he fold all his eftate, to purchafe that piece 


* Pfalm cxliii. v. 15. f i Reg. c. i. v. 8. J ?falrn, 
xxxiii. v. Exod. c. vii* (J Fror. <?, XX. v. 14. 

^ Matt, c, xiii, v. 

283 %be &nnirs Gillie. Book t; 

of ground in which he found a treafure ? cart a Chriftiari 
then, who has heard of the name of this good, not fo much 
as try what it is ? It is ftrange, that if a merry companion 
Ihould affirm to you, that a great treafure was hid in 
lome part of your houfe, you would not fail to dig there, 
to difcover the truth ; and yet, when you are afTuredi 
by the infallible word of Almighty GOD himfelf, that 
you may find an ineftimable treafure within your own 
breaft, you have not courage^ or will not take pains to 
look for it. O that you did but know how much truer 
this news is, and how much greater this treafure ! O that 
you did but know with how little trouble you might find 
it ! O that you did but fee, 1 he Lord is nigh unto all them 
that call upon him , /b all that call upon him in truth * ! 
how many men have there been in the world, who by a 
true forrow for their fins, and begging pardon for them* 
have, in lefs than a week's time, difcovered land ; or, 
rather have found out a new heaven, and a new earth, 
and have begun to perceive the kingdom of GOD within 
themfelves ? and what wonder is it, that the Lord who 
has faid, In what fo ever hour the finner /hall be forry for his 
fins, I will remember it no longer -f , mould work fuch art 
effect as this is ? what wonder is it to fee him do this, 
who fcarce gave the prodigal fon leave to make an end 
of the fhort prayer he had ftudied, before he fell about 
his neck, embraced and received him with fo much joy 
and welcome ? return therefore to this tender father ; rife 
a little in the morning, and continue for fome days to 
beg and cry at the gate of his mercy , and aflure your- 
felf, that if you perievere with humility, he will anfwer 
you at laft, and difcover the hidden treafure of his love 
to you : and after having had fome proof of it, you 
will immediately cry out with the fpoufe in the Canti- 
cles ; If a man Jhould give all that he is worth for love 
olone, he would think what he had given as nothing J. 

* Pfalm cxliv. v. 28. "j* Luc. c. 15. J Cant, c. viii. 

End of tfa Second Part. 


fart I II. Ch. i. Delay of Repent once Dangerous. 284 



Wherein are anfwered all thofe Excufes Men 
generally mal^e for not following Virtue. 


dgainjl. tkefirft excufe of thofe who defer changing their lives \ 
and advancing in virtue, till another time. 

j. fTT^HERE is no doubt, but what we have hitherto 
faid, is more than enough for the obtaining; 
JL of that end we have propofed to ourfelves, 
which is, to excite men to a fincere love of virtue, 
GOD'S aflifting grace co-operating. But though 
this be true, yet the malice of man, is not without its 
excufes, and apparent reafons, either to defend or com- 
fort itfelf when it does amifs ; as Ecclefiafticus affirms in 
in thefe words * : A Jinful man will flee reproof, and will 
fnd an excufe according to his will. And Solomon fays to 
the fame purpofe -f- : He that bath a mind to depart from a 
friend, feeketh occc.fions to do it. So the wicked, that de- 
fire to feparate themfelves from GOD, have always fome 
excufe or other ready. Some there are, that put off this 
bufmefs of their falvation to another time ; others again 
defer it till their death ; others fay, they are afraid of 
fetting upon an undertaking fo hard and laborious ; 
fome again there are that comfort themfelves with hope 
of GOD'S mercy, whilft they perfuade themfelves, that 
without charity, they may be faved by faith and hope ; 
?nd others, in fine, enamoured with this world, cannot 

* Eccl. c. xxxii. v. 21. -f Prov. 9. xviii. v. I. 

85 he Sinners Guide. Book I % 

quit the happinefs they have in it, though for the ob- 
taining of that which GOD has promifed them. Thefe 
are the moft frequent deceits and amufements the enemy 
of ^mankind makes ufe of to infatuate men, that he n?ay 
keep them all their life-time under the flavery of fin, 
that death may furprize them in that miferable ftate. We 
(hall now expofe thefe frauds in t^his laftpart of the book, 
and firft anfwer thofe who put off this grand concern till 
Another time, which is the rnoft frequent practice of this 

2. Some there are, who own all that has been faid to 
be true ; and that there is no way fo fecure as that of 
virtue, which they defign to follow, though they cannot 
do it at prefent, but mall have time enough hereafter; to 
do it better and with more eafe. St. Auguftin tells us, 
k was thus he anfwered vGoo before -his coiwerfion .: 
" Stay but a little longer, ..O Lord ; juft jiow, juft now I 
will leave the world ( i )", Thus the wicked deal conti- 
nually with GOD, firft appointing one day, and then ano- 
ther, ftiH mifting the time of *heir corwejfion. 

3. It will be no hard matter to prove, that this is a 
manifeft artifice of the old ferpent, who has been very 
well ufed to lying, and deceiving of men ; and this once 
made out and granted, all the controversy ceafes. For 
we are already convinced, there is nothing in this world 
y/hich every Chriftian ought -to defire more, than his fal- 
vation , and that for the obtaining of it, a fincere conver- 
fion, and a perfed amendment of life is abfolutely necef- 
lary , for, without thefe, there is no falvation to be ex- 
peeled. What we have therefore to do, is, to fee when 
this converfion ought to be. All >the bufmefs at prefent, 
is the appointing of the time , as to the reft, it is what 
every- body agrees upon. You fay, you will begin your 
converfion very fhortly , I fay, you are to begin it at this 
very moment. You fay, it will be eafier for you to do it 
hereafter , I fay, it will be eafier to do it now ; let us fee 
whether of us two is in the right. 

4. But, before we fpeak of the eafmefs of a conver- 
iion, I defire you would tell me, who it is, that has giveo 

(i)St, Aug. L. 8. Conf. c. 5. 

Part III. Ch. i . Delay of Repentance Dangerous. 286 
you fecurity for an after converfion ? how many, do ye 
think, have been deceived by this hope ? St. Gregory 
tells us*: " That GOD, who has promifed to pardon a 
finner, if he does penance, has not promifed that he Ihall 
live till to-morrow." St. Csefarius has fomething to the 
fame purpofe f : " Some-body will perhaps fay, when I 
come to be old, then I will make ufe of the phyfic of 
penance. How an human weaknefs have the impudence 
to prefume fo far of itfelf, when it has not fo much as 
the promife of one day ?" As for my part, I cannot 
but think that the number of thofe fouls, that have been 
loft by this means, is infinite. It was thus the rich man 
in the gofpel was damned for ever. St. Luke fays of him, 
that feeing, he had as good a crop one year, as he could 
have defired J : He thought within himfelf, faying ; What 
ft all I do, b'ecaufe 1 have no room to lay my fruits ? This will 
I do : I will pull down my barns, and will build greater ; 
and into them will I gather all things that are grown to me, 
and my goods -, and I will fay to my foul : foul, thou haft 
much goods laid up for many years. Take thy reft, eat, drink, 
and make good cheer. But as this unfortunate wretch 
was computing what he was worth, he heard a voice 
which faid to him : Fool, this night do they require thy 
foul of thee ; and whofe Jhall thofe things be which thou haft 
provided? What greater folly then, can there be, than 
for a man to difpofe of Hereafter, with as much autho- 
rity, as if he had time itfelf in his own hands ; whereas, 
there is none but GOD that can difpofe of it ? St. John 
fays of the Son of GOD : He had the keys of death and life y 
for to open and to (hut them when, and upon whom 
he thought fit. With what face then can a vile worm 
dare to ufurp fuch a power ? this infolence alone, de- 
ferves, for its punimment, never to have an opportunity 
of doing penance for the future, that fo the fool may 
pay for his folly, in not making his advantage of the 
time GOD gave him. 

5. And fince the number of perfons that meet with 

this kind of punidiment, is fo great, it will be prudent 

N n to 

* Homil. 12. in Evang. -f St. Csefar. Horn. 13. Tom. 2. 
Biblioth. Patr. f Lvc.c.xii. v. 17, 18, 19, 20. 

287 The Sinners Guide. Book, I. 

to leara to be wife at other men's expences, and to let 
their misfortunes teach us, how to fecure ourfelves pur- 
fuant to this wholefome advice of Ecclefiafticus -, Delay 
not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to 
day. For his wrath jh all come on a fitdden, and in the time 
of vengeance he will deftroy thee *. 


6. But, after all, fuppofe you mould live as long as you 
imagine; do you think it will be the eafier to begin from 
this very moment to amend your life, or to defer it till 
another time ? for the clear underftanding of this point, 
let us confider the chief reaibns which make a prefent 
converfion feem fo difficult. This difficulty does not 
proceed from thofe obftacles which men fancy, but from 
the bad habit of their wicked lives paft, which they had 
rather die in, than change. For this reafon St. Jerom 
faid : " That which makes the way of virtue fo hard and 
narrow, is the long cuftom of finning ; becaufe, cuftom 
being a fecond nature, there is no overcoming it, with- 
out overcoming nature herfelf, which is the greateft vic- 
tory a man can poflibly gain f." And St. Barnard tells 
us, " That when once any vice is well rooted by a cuf- 
tom of many years {landing, there is no overcoming of 
it without a very extraordinary, nay, even miraculous 
aOHlance of GOD'S grace J.. M So that a Chriftian ought, 
upon this confideration, to be afraid of nothing, more than 
of a bad habit in any vice -, becaufe vices in fome manner, 
claim prefcription, as well as the atTair.^of the world, and 
when once they have got fo far as this , you will find it 
no eafy matter to overcome them, unleis as St. Barnard 
fays, GOD afiift you by his particular grace. 

7. Another caufe of this difficulty is the power of 
the devil-, who has an abfolute command over a foul in 
fin. He is the ftrong man the gofpel fpeaks of, that 
keeps all he has in his power with care and fecurity . 
This difficulty alfo proceeds from GOD'S withdrawing 


* Eccl. c. v. v. 8, 9r f Epift. 1 4. ad. Celentian. J Sr 
0.47. de modo bene vivendi. Luc. 15. 

Part III. Ch. i . Delay of Repentance Dangerous 28$ 
himfelf from the foul, polluted with fin. For, though 
he Hands centinel.upon the walls of Jerufalem ; vet lie 
retires ftill farther from a foul in fin, as the number of 
its fins increafes. And what miferies and afflictions a foul is 
opprefTed with, on account of this feparation ; we may 
learn from GOD himfelf, who has declared it by the 
mouth of one of his prophets ; Wo be to them* jor they 
have departed from me *. And in another chapter he 
fays j Tea^ and wo to them, when 1 /hall depart from 
them -j- ; which is the fecond wo St. John fpeaks of in 
his ApocalipJe J. 

8. The laft caufe of this difficulty is the corruption 
of the faculties of our foul, which are very much im- 
paired by fin, not indeed in themfelves, but in their 
operations and effects. For, as vinegar corrupts and 
fowers wine, as worms rot the fruit, and, as in fine, one 
contrary fpoils another; juft fois fin, the greateft enemy 
the foul has, and the thing which is moft directly oppo- 
fite to her, fpoils and ruins all her powers and faculties. 
For, fin -darkens the underftanding, weakens the will, 
diforders the appetite, and makes the free-will more in- 
firm, and lefs able to govern itfelf, and the operations 
that belong to it; though it can never entirely lofe ei- 
ther its being or its liberty. Now thefe faculties of the 
foul being the inftruments for the doing of any good, 
and the wheels of the clock, winch is a virtuous and re- 
gular life ; if thefe wheels and inftruments are out of 
order, what can be expected from them but diforder and 
trouble ? thefe therefore are the chief caufes of this 
'difficulty ; and they all of them originally fpring from 
/in, and increafe in proportion to the crimes we commit. 

9. The cafe being thus, how can you pofiibly imagine, 
that your converfion, and the reformation of your life, 
will be eafier to you , when the continual increafe of 
your fins (hall have increafed the occafion of thefe dif- 
.ficulties ? it is certain, the greater the number of your 
,fms mall be, the lefs you will be difpofed to leave them. 
Nay, your deferring will but give the devil a greater 

N n 2 power 

* Ofeah. c. vii. v. 1 3. f Ibid, c' ix. v. 1 2. J Apoc, c. xj. 

289 7& 1 Sinners Guide. Book I. 

power over you, and oblige GOD to withdraw himfelf fa 
much the farther from you. Hereafter your foul will be 
more depraved with all its powers and faculties. Now, 
if this difficulty arifes from thefe caufes, what man of 
found judgment will ever fancy, that when the caufes of 
it increafe on all fides, it will be lefs troublefome to re^ 
move them, than when they were fewer? 

10. For, it is evident, that if you continue every day 
to commit new fins, you will, in time, add other knots 
to thofe you were tied down by before ; you will increafe 
the chains that bound you, by adding new ones to them i 
and make the weight you gfoaned under before, much 
more heavy : hereafter the habit of fin will blind the 
underflanding, make the will lefs able to do any thing 
that is good -, ftrengthen the appetite in its defire of 
evil, and render the free-will more weak in defending 
itfelf. Since therefore things Hand thus, how ean you 
perfwade yourfelf, you (hall find lefs trouble in this bu- 
finefs hereafter ? if you fay you cannot pafs over this 
ford till it . grows deeper, how will you be able to 
get over, when it is fwelled to a rapid dream ? if you 
find it fo hard a matter to pluck up the plants of your 
vices, when they are but newly fet , how much more 
troublefome will it be to remove them, when they 
mall have taken very deep root ? that is, if now, whilft 
your vices have but little force, you fay you cannot 
overcome them, how mail you be able to get the better 
of them when they are more fixed and ftrengthened ? 
you have now perhaps an hundred vices to fight with, 
and fome time hence you may have a thoufand. Now 
perhaps you refift bad habits of a year or two {landing, 
hereafter perhaps they will be of ten. Who tells you, 
that you may with more eafe carry your burthen here- 
after, when you have added a great deal more weight to 
it ; fmce you are not able to carry it without ftooping 
now ? how can you be fo blind, as not to fee, that all 
thefe are the artifices and deceits of an ill pay-mafter, 
who puts you off from time to time, becaufe he has no 
mind to difcharge the debt ? how can you chufe, but 
fee, that thefe are the impoftors of the old ferment, who 


Part III. Ch, i. Delay ofRepentance Danperous. 290 
by his lies feduced our firft parent, and is continually en- 
deavouring to put the lame trick up en us ? 

11. If this be true, how can you imagine that the r e 
difficulties, which feem impoilible for you to break 
through now, fhauld become much eafier when their 
ftrength and number is increafed ? How can a man thiir-:, 
that the more his crimes are, the eafier it will be for h ; i 
to get his pardon ? or that the cure will be the eafr % 
when the difeafe is grown more defperate ? have yea 
never read in Ecclefiafticus : d long ficknejs is troubhfime 
to the phyfician \ the phyfician cutteih off a jhort Jickmfs j. 
This kind of cheat was difcovered by an angel, to one 
of the holy fathers of the defart, as we read in their 
Jives ; for, taking him by the hand, he led him into a 
field, and there (hewed him a man that was making 
faggots , after he had made up a great bundle, he en- 
deavoured to carry it away upon his moulders, and find- 
ing it too heavy for him, he fell to cutting again to make 
his bundle ftill bigger ; but, perceiving himlelf lefs able 
to carry it now than he was before, he went on nevcr- 
thelefs, a third time to increafe his former bundle, ima- 
gining, that adding of more to it, was the way to make 
it lighter. The holy man wondering at what he faw, the 
angel told him, that thofe men were guilty of no lefs 
folly, who, finding themlelves unable to bear up under 
the weight of their fins, which prefs fo heavily upon 
them, yet increafe their load every day, by heaping fin 
upon fin, fuppofing they fhall be better able to carry the 
load hereafter, when it fhall be much bigger, though 
they cannot carry it now. 

12. Amongft all thefe things, which are fuch hin- 
drances to our converfion, what fhall I fay of the force 
of ill cuftom in particular, and of the power it has to 
keep us in our fins ? for, it is certain, that as a man when 
he is knocking in a nail, drives it the farther every ftroke 
he gives, and that the deeper it goes, the harder it is to 
be plucked out again ; in the fame manner, every bad 
action we do, is like a frefh ftroke with a hammer, that 
drives our vices deeper into our fouls, and, by degrees, 

| Eccl. c. x, v, II, 12, 

zgi <Tbe Sinners Guide. Book I. 

fixes them fo faft there, that it is as much as a man can 
do to get them out again. This is the reafon why f<? 
many perfons, who fpend their youth in debauchery and 
vice, are frequently fubjecT: to the fame fins, even in their 
old age, though their years, and the weaknefs of nature 
itfelf, have caft them off. So that when nature is quite 
tired and worn out with fin, cuftom ftill runs on in the 
fame track, and makes this fort of men feek after thofe 
pleafures, which they are out of all pofflbility of enjoy- 
ing , fo tyrannical and arbitrary is the power, which evil 
.cuftora alone exercifes over thofe that are carried away 
-by it. For this reafon we read in the book of Job; 
<T-hat ike bones of a wicked man jh all be filled with the vices 
cf his youth y and -they Jhall Jlecp with him in the duft *. By 
this we fee, that fuch kinds of vices as thefe have no 
other end but death, the common end of all things; 
-nor do they end here, but continue for all eternity; and 
therefore it is faid, they 'Sleep with him in the duft^ For 
an old cuftom which is changed into nature, imprints 
the very inclinations to vice; fo deep in the bones and 
marrow, that, Jike a flow fever, in a phthifical man, it 
ifets the <very bowels in a flame, and makes him quite 
^defpair of any eafe or comfort. This is what our Sa- 
viour himfelf has taught us by his raifing of Lazarus 
no. life again, after he had been dead four days; it 
<was with cries, and a great many tears, that he raifed 
vhim, notwithftanding he had with fo much eafe re- 
*ilored feveral dead to life before. This was to give underftand, what a miraculous work it was for 
GOD to raife a man to life that had been four days 
.dead, and almoft corrupted. That is, who has been 
va long time accuftomed to fin, and habituated in it. 
vFor, according to St. Auguftin's expofition, the firft of 
.thefe four days, is the pleafure of fin ; the fecond, is the 
^c'onfent given to it ; the committing of it the third ; and 
the fourth is the cuftom of finning ; and he that is once 
.arrived to this degree, is the Lazarus that has been four 
jdays dead ; that cannot be reftored to life again, but by 
cur Saviour's fighs .and tears. 

ij. This 
* Job,c. xx. v, n- 

Part III. Ch. i. Delay of Repentance dangerous. 292 

13. This plainly demonftrates, how difficult that man 
makes his conversion, who puts it off from time to time, 
and how the longer he defers, the more uneafy- he makes 
it. It is therefore a very great folly and deceit in thofe 
men, who fay, it will be much eafier for them to amend 
their lives hereafter, than it is at prefent. 


14. But let us put the cafe now, that all falls out as 
you imagine, and that your hopes meet with no difap- 
pointment -, yet what will you fay to all the time you 
lofe before your converfion, in which you might merit 
fuch mighty treafures ? what folly would it be, to fpeak 
according to the world, for a man, when a town was 
taken by florm, and all the reft of the foldiers plunder- 
ing up and down, and loading themfelves with wealth, 
to be playing in the market among the ; children : your 
folly is much greater, for whilft the juft are bufying 
themfelves on good works, that they may, byr virtue of 
them purchafe the kingdom of heaven, you lofe this opi. 
portunity, and fpend your time, in mere follies and,trifle-s 
of the world. 

15. And what will you fay, not only to thofe goods 
you lofe, but to the evils you commit in the mean time? 
is it not certain, as St. Auguftin fays-f : " That a man 
ought not, for the whole world, to commit one venial 
fin ?" How can you then conlent fo eafily, to commit fo 
many mortal ones during all this time , when you ought 
not to commit any fin whatfoever, though it were for 
the falvation of a thoufand worlds. How can you dare 
to fin againft, and to provoke him to wrath, at whofe 
gates you muft knock ? at whofe feet you are to fall? 
from whofe hands you are to expe6l your eternal loc^ 
whofe mercy you pretend to obtain at laft, by your 
fighs and tears ? how can you dare, with fo much trea- 
chery, to offend him, whom you will one day (land in 
fo much need of: an.d whom you muft expeft to find fo 
much the lefs favourable to you, as you (hall have of- 
fended him the more ? againft fuch perfons as the& 

f Lib, 4, Samendaciad. c. i , 

293 Tt> e Sinners Guide. BookL 

St. Bernard reafons excellently well, when he fays : " Tell 
me now, you who reckon fo falfely continuing (till irt 
your evil courfes, whether you think that GOD will par- 
don you your {in 5 or no. If you imagine he will not ; 
what greater folly than to fin on without hopes of par- 
don ? and if you perfuade yourfelf he is fo good and 
merciful as to pardon you, notwithftanding you have 
fo frequently offended him, tell me, what greater ingra- 
titude and malice can there be, than to make that the 
occafion of offending, which ought to excite you the 
more ftrongly to love him ?" How can a man anfwer 
this argument ? What will you fay of the tears, the fins, 
you now commit, will coft you hereafter (and your con- 
dition will be very miferable if he does not) be aflfuredj, 
that every mouthful you eat now, will be more bitter to 
you than gall ; that every fin you have committed, will 
coft you continual tears , and that you will, one day, with 
you had fuffered a thoufand deaths, rather than have of- 
fended fo good a GOD. The time King David fpent in 
unlawful pleafures, was but very fhort, and yet his grief 
and forrow for it was fuch, that he himfelf tells us ( i ) : 
Every night I will wafh my bed and I will water my couck 
<with my tears. His tears flowed from him with fuch ex- 
cefs, that St. Jerom's tranllation inftead of faying, Iwill 
luajk my bed\ renders it : I will make my bed fwim in my 
tears-, to give us a lively reprefentation of thofe ftreams 
that flowed from his eyes, becaufe they had not obferved 
the law of GOD. Why then will you fpend your time in 
fowing fuch feed, as can never bring you any other fruit 
but tears ? 

1 6. You ought farther to confider that yon do not 
only fow tears for the future, but raife difficulties to ob- 
ilruct a good life, through the fettled habit of living ill. 
For as a lingering dillemper is fcarce ever fo perfectly- 
cured, but that it leaves fome of its ill fymptoms behind, 
even fo does the habit of fm, which is of a long continu- 
ance, weaken a man, on that fide, and expofe him the 
more to the attacks of his mortal enemy. Mofes made 
the children of Ifrael drink the very afhes of the calf (2) 

(i) Pf. vi. v. 7. (2) Exod. c, xxxii. v. 20. 

Fart III. Ch. i. Delay vf Repentance Dangerous. 293 
they had adored in punifhment of their crime. The 
ordinary punifhment GOD inflicts for fome kinds of fins ; 
is, to permit them, by a juft judgment, to remain in 
our very bones, as if we had drank them up; and to 
let thofe become our executioners, which were the idols 
we adored before. 

17. Add to all this, the bad choice and diftribution 
you make, in letting apart old age to do penance, and 
fuffering the prime and flower of your years to flip away, 
without making any advantage of it. What a folly 
would it be, for a man, who has many beads of burden, 
and feveral loads to put on them, to lay all upon the 
weakeft bead, and to let the reft go light ? fuch is the 
folly of thofe who leave the whole burthen of penance 
for old age to carry, and let their youth and vigorous 
days pafs away, without laying any weight upon them ; 
whereas youth is fitter to bear this load than old age is, 
which is fcarce able to fupport itfelf. It was a good fay- 
ing of the great philofopher Seneca : " That whofoever 
defers his being virtuous, till he comes to be old, does 
as good as tell us, he will fpend no other time upon 
virtue, but that which is fit for nothing elfe *. Confider 
farther, how great the fatisfaction is which the Divine 
Majefty requires for thofe offences committed againft it. 
This fatisfa&ion is fo great, as St. John of Climachus 
tells us, : That man can fcarce fatisfy to day for the fins 
of to day, and fo ballance his daily account. Why then 
will you be all your life-time, increafing your debts, and 
refer the payment of them to old age, which will have 
enough to do, to wipe off its own fcores. This crime 
is fo heinous, that St. Gregory looks upon it as a fort of 
treafon : " That man fays he, comes very fhort of the 
allegiance he owes to GOD, who expects old age to do 
penance in. Nay, he has a great deal of reafon to fear 
his falling into the hands of juftice, for having prefumed 
fo rafhly upon mercy f. 


* Sen. Lib. de Crevitate vita c. 15. | Grad. 5, 

294 fb* Sinners Gmde. Book I. 


1 8. But let us fuppofe that nothing, of what we have 
faid, happen : yet if there be any honefty, any reafon or 
juflice in the world, is not the greatnefs of the benefits 
you have received, and of the glory you have a promife 
of, a fufficient motive to make you careful to fpend 
your time in the fervice of him, who will be fo li- 
beral in rewarding you ? It was with a great deal of reafon 
Ecclefiaflicus faid * : Let nothing binder you from praying 
always, and be not afraid to be juftified even to death ; for 
the reward of God continueth for ever. If therefore the 
continuance of the reward be fo long, why mould you 
defire your fervice to end fo foon ? if the reward is to 
remain as long as Goo mail reign in heaven, why mould 
not your fervice continue, as long as you live upon earth ? 
Your whole life at beft, is but one fmall point, and yet 
you will cut off the two thirds of it, and leave GOD 
no more than a mere puff, or breath. 

19. Befides all this, if you have any hopes of your 
falvation, you are to fuppofe, that GOD has predeftinated 
you from all eternity for this falvation. If then GOD 
has been fo good as to love you from all eternity ; to 
make you a Chriftian j to adopt you for one of his chil- 
dren ; and to make you an heir of his kingdom ; how 
can you negleft to love him, till the eiid of your days, 
who has loved you from all eternity, which has no be- 
ginning ? how can you refolve to do him fo little fervice, 
who has refolved to confer fo many favours on you ? it 
is but reafonable, that fince the reward is to laft for ever, 
the fervice mould do fo to, if it be poffible. But fince it 
can laft no longer than life, why will you, out of fo (hort 
a fpace, take fo much time for the world, which mould 
have been fpent in GOD'S fervice ; leaving him fo little, 
and that the worft part of it. For, as Seneca fays: " The 
little that is left at the bottom of a vefTel is nothing but 
dregs." Thus you fee how fmall a mare you give to GOD. 
Curfed is the deceitful man, fays GOD by his Prophet Ma~ 
lachy, that hath in his flock a male> and making a vow of- 

* Eccl, c. xviii. v. 2 2* 

Part III. Ch. r. De'Iay of Repentance Dangerous. 295 

fereth in facrifice that which is feeble to the Lord : for I 
am a great King^ faith the Lord of Hofts^ and my name is 
.dreadful among the Gentiles *. As if he had faid more 
plainly , there are none but great fervices due to fo great 
a Lord as I am : and it is an affront to fuch a Majefty, to 
offer it the refufe of any thing. Why therefore do you 
referve the better, and the more beautiful part of your 
life, for the fervice of the devil, and are willing to give 
GOD no other, but what the world will not accept of? 
GOD has faid -j- : Neither Jh all there be in thy houfe a greater 
iu/hel and a lefs : thou jhalt have a juft and a true weight. 
And yet in contradiction to this law, you will keep two 
unequal meafures, a great one for the devil, whom you 
treat as your friend, and another very- little one for 
GOD, whom you deal with as an enemy. 

20. Above all this, I earneftly defire, that if thefe 
benefits cannot move, you would at leaft reflect a little 
.upon the ineftimable favour, the Eternal Father has con- 
ferred upon you, in giving you his only begotten fon to 
redeem your foul, by laying down that life, which was 
worth infinitely more than all the lives of men and angels 
together : fo that, had you all thofe lives in yourfelf, 
and infinite number more, you ought to give them all 
to him that has given you his life, and yet all this would 
be too fmall a return for it. Upon what account, with 
what face, and by what privilege can you refufe him, 
who has laid down fo precious a life for fuch a poor and 
miferable one as yours is ? what is worfe, you take away 
the beft and moft noble part of it j and leave him nothing 
but the lees and dregs. 

21. We will conclude this chapter as Solomon ends 
Ecclefiaftes, where he exhorts man to be mindful of his 
creator in his youth, and not to put off a bufmefs of 
fuch concern, till old age comes on, which is unfit for 
any kind of corporal labours; and whofe infirmities and 
inabilities he describes under obfcure and wonderful pa- 
rables J. Remember^ fays he, thy creator in the days of 
thy youth, before the time of affliction comes, and the yean 
O o 2 draw 

* Mal.c. i. v. 14. f Deut. c. xxv. v. 14, 15. J Eccl. 
cxii. from v. i to v, 8. w 

296 ke Sinners Guide. Book I. 

draw nigh, of which thcujhalt fay, they plea fe me not, be- 
fore the fun, ar,d the light, and the moon, and the Jlars be 
darkened, and the clouds return after the rain, when the 
keepers of the hcufe, that is to fay, the hands Jball tremble^ 
when the ftrong men frail ft agger*, that is to fay, the legs 
which bear all the weight of this building; and the 
grindtrs Jhall be idle in a fmall number, and they that look 
through the holes Jball be darkened, and they Jhall Jhut the 
doors in the ftreet; becaufe the organs and inftruments of 
all the other fenfes will fail too, when the grinder's voice 
Jhall be low, and they Jhall rife up at the voice of the bird, 
by reafon of the little Deep men generally take when they 
are at this age ; and all the daughters of mufic Jhall grow 
deaf, becanle all the veffels which form the voice fhrink 
up and grow narrower; and they Jhall fear high things, and 
they Jhall be afraid in the way, the almond tree Jhall flourijh, 
that is, when the head (hall be covered with grey hairs j 
the locuft Jhall be made fat, and the caper-tree Jhall be de- 
firoyed; becaufe the faculties of the foul, where the feat 
of the appetites is, grow weaker and weaker every day * 
lecaufe man Jhall go into the houfe of his eternity, which is 
the grave, and the mourners Jhall go round about in the 
ftreet : when, in fine, the duji returns into its earth, from 
whence it was, and the fpirit return to Cod who gave it* 
Thus far Solomon. 

22. Follow therefore this advice; remember your 
creator whilft you are young, and do not put off doing 
penance, to thofe heavy years when nature itfelf fails, 
and the vigor of all the fenfes weakens and decays, and 
man is fitter to fupply the defects of nature, by making 
much of himfelf, than to embrace the toils and hardfhips 
of penance ; when virtue feems rather a necefilty than a 
choice; and when vices quit us fooner than we quit 
them ; though for the moft part we are the fame when 
we grow old, as we were when young, according to the 
faying of Ecclefiafticus ; The things that thou hajl not 
gathered in thy yontb y how Jhalt thou find them in thy old 

23. This is the wholefome advice we have from Solo- 
mon, and in Ecclefiaftieus he gives us the fame, when 

f Eccl. c, xxv, v. 5, h 

Part III. Ch. i. Delay of Repentance Dangerous. 297 
he fays : Give thanks ivhilft thou art living, whilfl thou art 
alive and in health, thou Jhalt give thanks, and Jhalt praife 
God, and Jhalt glory in his mercies *. It is a very mifte- 
rious thing, that of all the fick that were near the pool -j-, 
he who firft went in after the motion of the waters, 
found a moft certain cure : to give us to underftand, 
that all our falvation depends on our ready compliance 
with, and fubmifilon to GOD Almighty's inward motions. 
Run therefore, and make all the hafte you can -, And if, 
as the prophet fays, Tou Jhould hear the voice of GOD to 
day J, do not put off your anfwer till tomorrow, but 
begin from this very moment, the work of your falva- 
tion, which you will find fo much the eafier to finilh, as 
you mail begin the fooner to labour for it. 


Againft thofe perfom who defer their penance till the hour 

of death. 

THERE is another fort of men who put off their 
penance to the hour of their death ; but what we 
have faid in the foregoing chapter,- might ferve to make 
them afliamed of their folly. For, if it be fo dangerous 
to defer it but for a fhort time, what muft be the con- 
fequence of deferring it, till the very moment that a 
man is going to leave the world ? this being fo univerfal 
an error, and many fouls being loft by it, it is neceflary 
we mould treat of it in a more particular manner. And 
though it is to be feared, that the handling of this fub- 
ject may be an occafion to fome weak perfons of dif- 
couragement ; yet the confequence is much worfe, if 
men mould remain ignorant of the danger they expofe 
themfelves to, by deferring their converfion to the hour 
of their death. So that, if we weigh thefe two dangers 
together, we mail find the latter far the greater, becaule 
there are fo many more fouls which perifli through an 
jndifcreet confidence, than an immoderate fear. It is 

* Eccl. c. xvii. v. 27. . t Joan, c.v, v.4 J Pf. xciv. v. 8. 

298 tte Sinners Guide. Book I. 

therefore requifite, that we, who are placed on Ezechiel's 
watch tower, mould forewarn them of thefe dangers ; 
that fo they who will follow our advice, may not be drawn 
headlong into this error ; and that they, who are refolved 
to deflroy thernfelves, may not lay their blood at our 
doors. But, becaufe all the light and truth we are ca- 
pable of in this life, can be no other than that we receive 
from the fcripture, the holy fathers and doctors ; let us 
fee what they fay upon this point, for, I do not think 
any man will be fo rafti as to prefer his opinion before 
theirs. To proceed then in this method, we will firft 
deliver what the faints of ancient times, and then what 
the fcripture teaches upon this fubject. 


be opinions of the ancient fathers concerning death-bed 

2. Before we enter upon this point, we muft prefup- 
pofe, what St. Auguftin, and all other doctors fay : that 
as true penance is the work of GOD ; fo it is in his 
power to infpire it whenever he pleafes ; and therefore, 
whenfoever we are touched with a true forrow for our 
fins, it has force and power enough for the working out 
of falvation, though we were lying upon our death-beds. 
But to let you fee how rarely we have any examples 
hereof, there is no need of believing either yourfelf or 
me , do but believe the faints , for it is by their mouths, 
that the Holy Ghoft has fpoken ; and it is highly rea- 
fonable we mould give credit to their words and tefti- 
mony. In the firft piace then, hear what St. Auguftin 
fays to this purpofe, in his book of true and falfe pe- 
nance (i) : " Let no-body defer his doing of penance, 
till fuch time as he is able to fin no longer ; becaufe GOD 
requires we mould perform this action with chearfulnefs 
and freedom , not with reftraint, and of necefllty: and 
therefore, he that lets his' fins leave him, before he will 
get rid of them, does not feem to leave them fo much 
out of choice, and freely, as out of a mere necefiity. 

(i) Aug. <le falfa & vcra Penit. 

Part III. Ch. 2. Of Death-Bed Repentance. 
This is the reafon why thdfe perfons, who would not re- 
turn to GOD, when they had the power of doing it, and 
yet confefs their fins when they are out of the capacity of 
finning any more, will not fo ealily obtain their defires, 
as they imagine "they mail.'* And a little lower fpeaking 
of the nature of this converfion, he fays : " That man is 
truly converted to GOD that returns to him with his 
whole heart , who is not only afraid of punifhment, but 
ufes his utmoft endeavours to obtain God Almighty's 
graces and favours. Should any-body, though at the 
end of his life, be converted to GOD, after this manner, 
we fhould have no reafon to defpair of his pardon. But 
becaufe we fcarce ever, or at leaft, but very feldom, meet 
with fuch a perfect converfion as this is, in thefe days, we 
have a great deal of reafon to be afraid for him, who 
flays fo long before he returns to GOD becaufe it is 
very hard for a man to make a true fatisfaftion, when 
he finds himfelf overcharged with the pains his ficknefs 
puts him to ; and frighted with the apprehenfion of pu- 
nifhment : and this efpecially, if he fees his children, 
and his wife before him, for whom he has had fuch irre- 
gular love, and reflects upon the world, which he is juft 
going to be taken out of. Now, becaufe there are a 
great many things, which hinder a man from doing pe- 
nance at this time, it is certain there can be nothing 
more dangerous, nor which expofes him more to ruin, 
than his deferring, till death, the feeking of proper re- 
medies to cure him. What is more yet, I make bold 
to fay, that in cafe fuch a man mould obtain pardon for 
his fins, he would not therefore be acquitted from the 
punifhment due to them ; for he muft be purged and 
cleanfed, firft by the fire of purgatory, for having rc- 
ferved the fruits of fatisfa&ion for the next world ; and 
though this fire is not to laft for ever, as that of hell 
is, it is notwithftanding extremely great, and far beyond 
all the torments one can poflibly fuffer in this world ; 
fince never any man endured fo much in this life; no, 
not even the martyrs themfelves, notwithftanding the 
exquifite pains they have undergone , nor any criminals 
whatfoever, that haye been put to the greateit tortures, 


300 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

that either human wit or cruelty could invent. Let him 
therefore omit no opportunity of returning from his 
wicked life, that he may, by this means, eicape thofe 
dreadful torments, which he muft otherwife expect, to 
fuffer after death." 

3. Thefe are St. Auguftin's own words \> by which 
you may fee what danger that man expofes himfelf to, 
that defers, on purpofe, doing penance till his dying 

4. St. Ambrofe alfo in his book of penance, which 
fome attribute to St. Auguftin ( i ), is very copious upon 
this matter. And amongft many other things, has thefe 
words : " If any man defire the facrament of penance as 
he lies upon his death-bed, and receives it and dies, I 
own we do not refufe him what he afks, but I dare not 
give you any aflurance of his going the right way. I 
tell you again, it is more than I dare affirm, nor will I 
give you any promife of it, becaufe I will not deceive 
you. Will you then have this doubt cleared ? do you 
defire to avoid fuch an uncertainty as this is ? do pe- 
nance for your fins, whilft you are in good health, and 
able to do it, and then I will give you my word for it, 
that you are in a good way, becaufe you have done pe- 
nance for your fins, when you might have increafed the 
number and quality of them : But if, on the contrary, 
you defer your penance, till fuch time as you are able 
to fin no longer ; it is not you that leave your fins, but 
your fins leave you. 

5. St. Ifidore has almoft the fame thing, though in 
other words (2) : " Let that man that has a mind at his 
death to be certain of having his fins pardoned him, do 
penance for them, whilft he is well and able ; let him 
bewail and deplore offences : but, if having lived wick- 
edly all his life-time, he expects to obtain his pardon, 
when he is dying, he runs a great hazard ; becaufe, tho* 
he is not fure he {hall be damned, he has a great deal of 
reafon to doubt of his being faved. 

6. Thefe authorities of the faints are fufficient to make 
us fear-, but, what Eufebius tells us of St. Jerome his 

(i) St. Aug. 50. Horn, 4. 52. (2) St. Ifid. L. 2. fent.c. 13. 

Part lit . Ch . 2 . Of Death-Best Repentance. 3 o r 
mafter, a little before he died, as he lay proftrate upon 
the ground, and covered with fackcloth, will put us into 
a greater apprehenfion and fright. But becaufe it is fo 
terrible, that I dare not relate it with all the rigour and 
feverity that the faint fpoke iu I will refer fuch as defire 
to read it, to an epiftle of Eufebius's to Damalus a 
biflhop, upon the death of this glorious doftor. They 
will find it in the fourth tome of the faint's works ; after 
a great many other things he fays : " He that has per-* 
fevered all his life-time in his fin, may fay : when I am 
ready to die, I will do penance and be converted ; O ! 
what a melancholy comfort is this ? for, he that has Jpent 
his whole life wickedly, without fo much as ever thinking 
of penance, unlefs as it were in a dream, will be very 
uncertain of its fuccefs at that time. For, being at this 
time entangled with worldly affairs, afflicted with the 
pains of his diftemper, and diftracted with the thoughts 
qf his children he muft part with, and with the love he 
has for the goods of this life, which he has no hopes to 
enjoy any longer j how is it pofHble he mould be in a 
difpofition to raife up his heart towards GOD, and to do 
true penance, when he is furrounded by fo many afflic- 
tions and troubles ? it is what he never did as long as he 
had any hopes of living ; nor would he do it now, if he 
thought he mould recover again. Befides, what kind 
of penance muft that be, which a man performs, when 
life itfelf is going to leave him ? I know fome of the 
rich men of this world, who have recovered the health 
of their bodies after dangerous ficknefies, but have 
grown worfe and worfe, in that of their fouls. I believe 
therefore, and am of opinion, (for it is what I have had 
fufficient experience of,) that for a man that has always 
led a wicked life, that has never been afraid of com- 
mitting any fin whatever, and that has always been a 
flave to pride and vanity, after all this to make a happy 
end, is no lefs than an extraordinary miracle." You 
may fee by thefe words of Eufebius, how this holy doc- 
tor feared and doubted of the penance, which a man 
that had never done any all his life-time before, began 
to do upon his death bed, 

P p 7- Nor. 

302 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

7. Nor was St. Gregory lefs afraid of what generally 
happens in this conjuncture; for writing upon thefe 
words of Job, For what is the hope of the hypocrite, if, 
through covetoufnefs, he take by violence, and God deliver 
not his foul? will God hear his cry, when diflrefs Jhall come 
upon him ( i ) ? he fpeaks thus : if a man does not hear 
GOD'S voice, when in profperity, GOD will not hear him 
in the time of his adverfity ; for it is written, He that 
turnefh away his ears from hearing the law, his prayer Jhall 
be an abomination (2). Holy Job confidering how all 
thofe who neglect now to do good, when they are ready 
to die, turn themfelves towards GOD, and beg pardon of 
him for their crimes, fays, what will GOD hear the cries 
of fuch a people ? which words of his come very near 
thofe of our Saviour, But at laft come alfo the other vir- 
gins, faying. Lord, Lord open to us (3). But immediately 
anfwer was given, Amen I fay unto you, I know you not (4); 
becaufe, the greater mercy GOD (hews now, the greater 
fever ity he will exercife then ; and the rigor with which 
he will punifli then, will be fo much the heavier, as his 
goodnefs is the fweeter and more merciful now Thus 
much St. Gregory. And Hugh of St. Viftor mews us, 
that he is of the fame opinion with thefe faints, when 
he tells us in his fecond book of the facraments ; " It is 
very hard for that penance to be true which comes late, 
and we have a great deal of reafon to fufpecT; it, when 
it is forced (5). Every man can witnefs for himfelf, 
that he has no defire to do that which is out of his power 

'to do. For, we may eafily judge of the will, by the 
power; fo that if you do not do penance when you are 
able, it is a fign you have no mind to do it. 

8. This is the opinion of the mafter of the fentences, 
when he fays (6)-, "Since true penance is the work of 
GOD, he can infpire it when he (hall think fit, and re- 

. ward' out of his mercy, thofe, whom he might have 
condemned by his juftice. But, becaufe there are a great 
many things at that time, which divert men from this 

bufmefs ^ 

(i) Job, c. xxvii. v. 8. (2) Prov. c.xxviii. v. 9. (3)81. 
Matt. c. xxv. v. 1 1. (4) Ibid. v. 12. (5) Lib. 2 de Sacr. 
Part 14. c. 5. (6) Lib. 4. dift. 20. 

Part III. Ch 2. Of Death-Bed Repentance. 303* 
bufinefsj it is very dangerous, nay, even mortal, to 
defer the applying of the remedy of penance, till the 
very utmoft extremity, Neverthelefs, it is an extraor- 
dinary grace of GOD to infpire a man with thefe difpo- 
fitions, as he lies upon his death bed, if there be any fo 
infpired." Obfcrve how dreadful thefe words are. What 
a madnefs is it then to expofe the greateft treafure to the 
moil imminent dangers. Is there any thing in the world, 
of greater confequence to you, than your falvation ?. 
what madnefs is it then to hazard fo precious a jewel. 

9. This is the fentiment of all thefe great doctors, 
by which you may judge, what a madnefs it is to be fo. 
fecure, where fo many fkilful pilots have mown fo much 
concern. The art of dying well ought to be the ftudy 
of our whole life, for at the hour of death, we have fo 
much to do to die, that we then mall have no time to 
learn to die well. 


Vbe opinions of the fchoolmen upon the fame matter. 

10. For the farther confirmation of this truth, let us 
fee what have been the opinions of the fchool-men upon 
this matter. But above all the reft, Scotus in his fourth 
book of fentences, handles this queftion the moft to our 
prefent purpofe, which he concludes thus : " The great 
difficulty a man has to do penance, at the hour of death, 
makes the penance he does then, to be hardly a true pe- 
nance *." This he proves by four reafons. 

1 1. The firft is the great hindrance the pain his diftem- 
per puts him to, and the prefence of death are to him, 
from lifting up his heart to GOD, and from exercifing 
himfelf in the duties and obligations of a fincere pe- 
nance. To make this the plainer, you are to under- 
ftand, that all the paflions of our foul have a great deal 
of force to draw man's reafon and free-will, which way, 
they pleafe. And, according to the maxims of the phi- 
lofophers-, the paflions that excite forrow, are much 
ftronger than thofe that are the caufes of joy. So thrt 

P p 2 ,. the 

* Scot. 9. 4. dift. 20. art, I. 

304 tte Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

the pafllons and affeftions of a man ready to die, are 
ftronger , becaufe, as Ariftotle fays *, " Death is of all 
terrible things, the moft terrible-," by the reafon of the 
pains and torments the body is in ; or the difquiets and 
troubles of the foul, which are numerous ; of the grief 
and forrow which the thoughts of leaving children, wife, 
and the world then wrack a man with. Now, whilft the 
paflions are fo ftrong and turbulent, where muft the 
dying man's thoughts and reafon be, but where fuch 
violent griefs and paflions, as thefe carry it ? 

12. We fee by experience, that, even a virtuous man, 
if he be troubled with a violent fit of the cholic, or 
with any other fharp pain whatever, whilft he is in this 
condition, he can fcarce have his thought fixed entirely 
upon GOD ; but, generally fpeaking, lets them go where- 
foever his pain carries them. If it be thus with a good 
and juft man, what will become of him that never knew 
what it was to think of GOD ; and who being always ac- 
cuftomed to love his body better than his foul, is the 
more eafily inclined to run to his greater friend, than to 
his lets, for help and fuccour when he is in any danger ? 
one of thofe four things, which St. Bernard fays are im- 
pediments to contemplation -f, is the indilpofition of 
the body, becaufe the foul is, at that time, fo taken up 
with the thoughts of what the flefti fuffers, that me can 
hardly think of any thing elfe. If this be true, what 
folly is it to expect the greatell indifpofition of body,. 
in order to treat of the greateft affairs of the foul ? 

13. I knew a perfon myfelf, who, being ready to die, 
and advifed to prepare himfelf as well as he could for 
death, was fo furprized and troubled at the nearnefs of 
it, that, all his bufinefs was to defire, with the more 
esgernefs and folicitude, fuch remedies as were the moft 
proper for keeping off the flroke, if it were poffible ; 
as if he had imagined he could have pulhed death away 
with his hsnds, when it was fo near him. A prieil that 
was by, feeing him fo forgetful of what ought to have 
been, at that time his chief concern, and advifing him tor 
lay afide thofe cares and folicitudes, and to call upon 

GOD : 
* Ariftotle, -f Serm, 5. de Afium, 

Part III. Ch. i. Of Death-Bed Repentance. 305 

GOD : the Tick man looking upon this good advice as 
troublefome to him, anfwered the prieft after fuch a 
manner, as lead of all became one in that condition, 
and at fuch a time ; immediately afterwards he died, and 
yet this fame perfon had patted for a man of virtue all 
nis life-time. From hence you may fee, how trouble- 
fome the nearnefs of death will be to men, that have 
loved this life too well, fince it has been fo unwelcome to 
thofe, who, whilft they lived, feemed not to have any 
extraordinary affection for it. 

14. I heard of another perfon, who being very ill, 
and imagining he had not long to live, defired to enter- 
tain himfelf before he died, with none but GOD, and 
prevent his judge by the fervour of his devotion -, but 
the violent and continual pains he was in, gave him no 
kind of eafe or refpite, for the accomplifhing of his 
defire. What man then will be fo mad, as to defer the 
reform of his whole life, till fuch a time, when he lhal.l 
find himfelf fo ill-difpofed for this bufinefs ? 

15. The fecond reafon this doctor brings is, that true 
penance ought to be voluntary, that is, to proceed from 
a free motion of the will, and not to be done purely out 
of necefllty. And therefore St Auguftin fays, " That 
a man Ihould not only fear his judge, but love him too 5 
and do what he has to do, freely and willingly, not out 
of neceffity *." So that according to this, he that 
never did true penance all his life, but has put off doing 
of it till he is ready to die, feems to do it only out or 
neceffity, not freely and willingly. And if this be the. 
only reafon of his doing it, it is certain his penance is 
not purely voluntary. 

1 6. It was fuch a penance as this, that Semei did for 
the offence he had committed againil David, when he 
fled from his fon Abfalom -}- : for feeing him return home 
with victory, after his flight, and being fenfible of the 
misfortune that might befall him on that account, he 
went out at the head of a great many men, to receive 
the king, and with fubmiffion to beg pardon for what 
he had done. Whereupon Abilai, one of David's rela- 

* De Civit Dei L. 14. c, 39. f 2 Reg. c. 16, v. 19. 

306 *rhe Sinners Guide. Book I. 

tions feeing him, cried out -, " What fliall Semei for 
thefe words, not be put to death, becaufe he curfed the 
Lord's anointed*?" but David who knew better than 
Abifai, that this fubmiflion would do Semei but little 
good, prudently diflembling his difpleafure for that 
time, did not let the crime go unpunimed , for, as he 
lay upon his death bed, out of the zeal he had for juf- 
tice, not out of revenge, he commanded his fon Solo- 
mon f, as if it had been his laft will, to deal with the 
traitor, according to his deferts. It is fuch a penance 
as this, feveral Chriftians may be faid to perform, who, 
after having without any interruption, offered the Ma- 
jefty of GOD during their whole life, when the time of 
giving up their accounts comes, feeing death juft before 
them, with the grave open, and themfelves juft ready to 
appear before their judge, and at the fame time under- 
ftanding that there is no force that can refift this fu- 
preme power, and that the moment is juft come, which 
is to determine nothing lefs than eternity, they proftrate 
themfelves before their judge, begging and entreating 
him with all kind of humility, and making all the pro- 
teftations imaginable, which, fuppofing them to be 
fincere, would be profitable, but we may guefs what 
they are, by the fuccefs they commonly meet with. For 
we have feen by experience, that feveral of thefe perfons, 
after having efcaped the danger they were in, have im- 
mediately neglected all their former promifes, have taken 
up all their ill courfes again, and put themfelves a fe- 
cond time under the yoke, which they feemed before to 
have been freed from, as if they did nothing out of a 
motive of virtue, and for the love of GOD, but only 
becaufe they faw themfelves in danger, which was no 
fooner over, than the good effedls which were caufed by 
it ceafed. 

17. By which it appears, that this kind of penance is 
juft like that of feamen, when they are in a ftorm ; for 
every one then makes a great many promifes, and good 
purpofes of changing his life, and of labouring for folid 
virtue , but as foon as ever the ftorm is paft, and they 

* 2 Reg. c. 19". v, 22. f 3 Reg. c. 2. v. 8, 9. 

Part III. Ch. 2. Of Death-Bed Repentance. 307 
out of ail danger, they fall to curfing and gaming again 
juft as they did before ; and trouble their heads no more 
about what is paft , as if all their promifes had been 
nothing but mere talk and paftime. 

1 8. The third reafon is, becaufe the evil cuftom of fin- 
ning, which a wicked man has lived in all his days, gene- 
rally fpeaking, is his conftant companion till his death, as 
the fliadow is that of the body ; for, cuftom is like a 
1 fecond nature, which it is very hard to conquer. Thus 
we fee, though with grief, feveral perfons fo entirely 
forgetful of their fouls at that time ; fo covetous, not- 
withftanding they are dying ; fo charmed with the love 
of life, that they would give any thing in the world, to 
recover it again , as much flaves to the world, and to 
every thing in it they had any affection for, as if they 
were not reduced to the miferable extremity they un- 
happily find themfelves in. Have you never feen, even 
old men, fometimes as greedy and as covetous, as bufy 
about the fecuring of every little infignificant trifle, and 
as proof againft charity, as ever they were before ? nay, 
have they not as great a defire of thofe things, they 
know they cannot carry away, with them? this is a fort 
of punimment, which GOD frequently inflicts upon fin, 
permitting it to go along with its author to the very 
grave, as St. Gregory exprefles thus*, " GOD punilhes 
a finner after this manner, permitting him to forget him- 
felf at his death, becaufe he never thought of GOD, 
during his whole life , fo that one forgetfulnefs is pu- 
nimed by another , that which has all along been a fin, 
is punilhed by that which is at the fame time, both a 
punimment and a fin." This is what we have daily 
proofs of; and we have often heard of feveral who have 
died in the very arms of lewd women, whom they loved 
to their own ruin -, and would not quit the company of 
them, not even at the very moment of their death, be- 
caufe, by a juft judgment of GOD, they have neither 
been mindful of themfelves, nor of their own fouls. 

19. The fourth reafon is grounded upon the worth of 
thole actions, that are done at this time, for it is plain, 

* Homil. 2.inEvang, andinEzech.Iiem.Lib. 20. Moral. 0.15. 

308 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

at leaft to one that has any knowledge of Goo, that he 
is much lefs pleafed with the fervice done him at this 
time, than with that we do him at another. " Becaufe 
it is no great matter, as the Holy Virgin and Martyr 
St. Lucy faid, to be profufe of that which you will be 
forced to leave behind *." What is it for a man to for- 
give an affront, when it would be a difhonour not to 
pardon it. What is it to turn away his miftrefs, when a 
man can keep her no longer. 

20. From thefe reafons this doctor concludes, that it 
is very hard to perform a fmcere penance at that time, 
nay, he adds more yet, and fays, That the Chriftian who 
defignedly defers his penance till he is ready to die, com- 
mits a mortal fin ; becaufe he does a great injuftice to 
his own foul, and expofes himfelf to the danger of lofmg 
his falvation. Is there any thing then in the world, we 
have more reafon to be afraid of, than of this ? 


he fame thing proved by the authority of the holy fcripturt* 

But, becaufe the decifion of this queftion depends 
chiefly upon the word of GOD, from which there is no 
appealing, nor any exception to be brought againil; 
hear now what it fays upon this point. Solomon, in 
the firft chapter of his Proverbs, after fetting down the 
words which the eternal Wifdom makes ufe of, for call- 
ing of men to repentance, immediately adds thofe which 
it will pronounce againft fuch perfons as (hut their ears 
to this call, thus, Becaufe I called^ and you refufed\ .1 
Jlretched out my hand, and there 'was none that regarded, 
you have defpifed all my counfel, and have neglefted my repre- 
benjions, I alfo will laugh in your deftrutlion, and will mock 
when that Jbatl come to you, which you feared : when fudden 
calamity Jhall fall on you, and deftruftion as a temp eft Jhall be 
at hand : when tribulation and diftrefs Jhall come upon you : 
then Jhall they call upon me, and I will not hear: they 
Jhall rife in the morning, and Jhall not find me : becaufe they 
have hated injlruftion, and received net the fear of the 

* Surius. Dec. 13. 

Part III. Ch. 2. Of Death-Bed Repentance. 309 

Lord, nor confented to my counfel, but dffpifed all my reproof*. 
Thefe are Solomon's words, or rather the words of GOD 
himielf; which St. Gregory in the book of his morals, 
cited before, turns to our prefent matter. What anfwer 
can you make to all this ? will not thefe threats, as com- 
ing from GOD himielf, be of force to make you afraid 
of falling into fuch a danger, and to prepare yourfelf in 
time againft this dreadful moment ? 

22. If this will not fuffice, give ear to another autho- 
rity, no lefs clear than this. Our Saviour in the gofpel, 
fpeaking of his coming at the day of judgment, with 
much earneftnefs advifes, his dilciples to be ready againft 
that day, and. to this purpofe brings feveral comparifons, 
to make them underftand how important a concern this 
was. BleJJed, fay< he, is that few ant, whom when his lord 
Jh all come, he foall find watching; but if that evil fervant 
Jhall fay in his heart : my lord is long a coming : and Jhall 
begin to jlrike his fellow-fervants, and Jhall eat and drink 
with drunkards, 'The lord of that fervant Jhall come in a 
day that he looketh not for him, and at an hour that he 
knoweth not : And Jhall fepar ate him, and appoint his portion 
with the hypocrites : there Jhall be weeping and gnajhing of 
teeth -f. By this you may fee that our Saviour was ac- 
. quainted with the defigns of the wicked, and the ways 
they ufe to cloak their crimes. And, for this reafon, he 
meets them as it were, and tells them what mail befall 
them, and what are like to be the effects of their vain 
confidence. Now, what is it we are treating of, but 
this very bufmefs -, and what do I fay, but what our Sa- 
viour himfelf faid ? you are this bad fervant, who are 
conceiving the fame defigns in your heart; and have a 
mind to take hold of this delay of your matter, as an 
opportunity of fpending your time in eating and drink- 
ing, and of continuing ftill in your fins. How comes it 
you do not dread this threat, which is made by GOD, 
who is as able to put every thing he fays in execution, 
as he is to fay it. It is to you he fpeaks ; It is you he 
treats with ; it is to you he directs his voice ; awake 
Q^q then, 

* Prov. c. i. v. 23 to v. 31. "f St, Matt. c. xxiv. v. 46, 
48,49, 50, 51. 

The Sinners Guide. Book!, 

then, unhappy man., and amend your life while you 
have time, for fear of being torn to pieces, when the 
hour of this dreadful judgment mall come. 

23. Methinks I fpend too much time about a thing fo 
clear ; but what mall I do, when, notwithilanding all 
this, I fee the greateft part of the world make ufe of this 
unhappy pretence ? that you may therefore have a clearer 
fight of the greatnefs of this danger, hear what our Sa- 
viour fays to this purpofe, in another place. He had rio 
fooner made an end of the above-mentioned words, but 
he adds thefe which follow * : 'Then Jhall the kingdom of 
heaven be like to ten virgins, jive of which were -wife, and 
fve were foolijh ones. He fays, then ; and when will this 
Then be ? when the judge comes -, when the hour of 
judgment {hall draw nigh ; and not only the general* 
but each particular judgment ; as St. Auguftin explains 
this pafiage -f : .becaufe the fame fentence that mail be 
palled at the particular judgment, will ftand good at the 
general. This is the time, when what happened to the 
ten virgins, fays our Lord, mall happen to you. There wife and five foolijh virgins, that were waiting for 
ihe bridegroom -, the wife ones furnijhed their lamps with oil, 
betimes, to go out to receive him \ but the foolijk ones ne- 
glefled to do it. At midnight, the time of the deepen: 
ileep ; that is, when men are not at all felicitous, and 
think lead of death, a noife was heard, The bridegroom is 
coming, let us go out and receive him. Immediately thefe 
virgins all rofe up, and they that had prepared their lamps 
entered with him to the marriage, and the door was jhut : 
but thofe that had not got their lamps ready, began then to 
drefs, and to fdl them ; and to call upon the bridegroom, fay- 
ing, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he anfwering, faid, amen 
I fay unto you, I know you not. With thefe words the evangelift 
ends the parable, and immediately after tells us the meaning 
of it, faying : Watch ye therefore, becaufe you knew not 
the day nor the hour. As if he had faid : you have feen 
how thofe virgins profpered, who had got all things 
ready, and how unhappy on the contrary, they were, 
who had not. Therefore, fmce you neither know the 


*Matl."c. xxv. v. I. t Aug. Ep. 80. ad Aefychium. 

Part III. Ch, 2. Of Death-Bed Repentance. 3 1 1 
day nor the hour of his coming ; and fmce the bufineis 
of your falvation depends on your being ready , watch, 
and be always prepared, for fear of being taken before 
you are aware, like thefe foolifh virgins, and of perifh- 
ing as they did. This is the literal fenfe of the parable, 
according to Cajetan, upon this place, where he fays : 
That from this example alone, we may draw this con-' 
fequence ; that penance which is deferred to the very 
hour of a man's death, when he hears theie words ; be- 
hold the bridegroom is coming, is not fecure. On the 
contrary, it is looked upon in this parable, as falfe ; be- 
caufe, generally fpeaking, it is fo. And at the end he 
makes this the refult of the whole parable, faying: The 
moral of this doctrine is to let us know, that the five 
foolifh virgins were rejected, becaufe they were not pre- 
pared when the bridegroom came ; whillt the others, 
being ready, were admitted. And therefore it is re- 
quifite we mould be always fo, fmce we a*e ignorant 
both of the day and hour, when he will come. What 
could be better expre'fied than this is. I admire there- 
fore, that after fo plain a proof of this truth, men dare 
comfort themfelves with fo vain a hope. Were cot this 
truth fo clear, I mould not wonder if they believed the 
contrary, or endeavoured to deceive thernfelves. But 
after our great Matter has decided this bufmefs, after 
the Judge himfelf has explained his laws and.juJgments, 
by fo many examples, and has told us how we are to 
be judged, who can be fo fenfelefs as to think this bu- 
fmefs will fall out quite otherwife, than he who is to 
pronounce the fentence has declared it (hall. 


Some objections anfwereL 

24. But perhaps in anfwer to all this, you will (ay, 
What ? was not the good thief faved by one word fpeak- 
ing at the hour of death ? St. Auguftine anfwers this 
queftion for me in the book above-cited, where he lays : 
" That the confefTion the good chief ^made was, all at 
once, the hour of his converfion of his baptifm, and of 

2 his 

312 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

his death : whence it follow?, that as he who dies, im- 
mediately after being baptized, goes directly to heaven, 
as has happened to leveral perions ; fo it fared with this 
happy thief, becaufe the hour of his death, was the fame 
to him as that of his baptifm (i). 

25. We may anlwer this query another way ; which is, 
that fo wonderful an action as this, like all other miracles 
of the fame nature, was referved to the coming of the 
Son of GOD into the world, for a teftimony of his glory : 
and therefore it was requifite that, at the time of our 
Saviour's paffion, the heavens mould be darkened, the 
earth quake, the graves be opened, and the dead arife, 
becauie thefe prodigies were all kept againft this time, 
as fo many proofs of the glory of him that fuffered ; 
and amongft them we may reckon the falvation of the 
good thief: but we mud here take notice that this man's 
confefHon was no lefs wonderful, than his falvation -, for, 
he confeffed the kingdom of heaven, even upon the 
crofs , he publickly preached the faith of Chrift prefent, 
when the apoftles had almoft loft all theirs ; and praifed 
and glorified our Saviour when all the world was blaf- 
pheming and curfing him. Since therefore this miracle, 
as well as the reft was for the manifefting of our Srviour's 
dignity and glory at his death, it is a folly to expect 
that fhould generally be done at all times i which was 
particularly referved for that. 

26. Befides, we fee in all governments there are ordi- 
nary and extraordinary methods and ways of proceeding; 
the ordinary are common to all, the extraordinary for 
fome peculiar perfons. The fame is practiled in the 
divine government of GOD'S church , for that is a regular 
and common method, which the apoftle fpeaks of, that 
the end of the wicked {hall be anfwerable to their works -, 
to fignify, that generally, a good death follows a good 
life, and an ill death, an ill life. The ordinary way of 
proceeding, that thofe who have done good works, mail 
go into life everlafting, and thofe who have done evil, 
{hall be condemned to eternal flames (2). This is what 
we find frequently repeated in the holy fcriptures. It is 

(i) Devera& falfa penit, (2) 2 Cor. c. xi. 

Part III. Ch. 2. Of Death-Bed Repentance. 313 
fung by the pfalmift, declared by the prophets, pub-, 
limed by the apoftles, and preached by the evangelifts. 
This is what David has explained in a few words, when 
he faid (i) : God hath fpoken once, tbefe two things have I 
beard, that power belongeth to God; and mercy to thee O 
Lord ; for thou wilt render to every man according to his. 
work. This is the fum of all Chriftian philofophy. Now 
according to this, we fay, it is ufual for the wicked, as 
well as for the juft, to be rewarded at the end of this 
life, according to their deferts, which are to be meafured 
by their works. Not that this law is fo univerfal, but 
that GOD can {hew a particular favour to fome perfons, 
for his own glory j and grant thofe the happinefs of dy- 
ing the death of the juft, who have lived the lives of 
finners , as it can on the contrary happen, that a man 
may, by a fecret judgment of GOD, die the death of a fin^: 
ner, that has lived all his life-time, like a juft man. As 
a merchant after a profperous voyage, may be loft as 
he is entering the port. For which reafon Solomon (2). 
faid : Who knoweth if the fpirit of the children of Adam 
goeth upward^ and if the fpirit of the beafts goeth down- 
ward? Becaufe, though it generally happens, that the 
fouls of thofe men, who live like beafts, go down to hell, 
and that the fouls of thofe who live like rational creatures, 
mount up to heaven : yet by fome fpecial judgment of 
GOD, the contrary may fall out in both reipects ; but 
notwithstanding all this, the fecure and general docTrine 
is, that whofoever lives well, (hall die happily. For this 
reafon, no-body ought to rely on the examples of parti- 
cular graces, fmce they do not make any general rule, 
nor belong to all indifferently ; but to a very few indeed, 
and thofe unknown ; fo that you can have no afiurance 
of your being of this number. 

27. Others make ufe of another pretence, and fay, 
the facraments of the new law make contrition, of attri- 
tion, and that they (hall be in this difpofition, at leaft 
when they are dying, which joined to the virtue of the 
facraments, will fuffice for the obtaining of their falva- 
tion. My anfwer is, that it is not any fort of forrow 

(j)Pfalmlxi. v. 12, 13. (a) Eccl.c. iii. r, 21, 

314 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

that will fuffice for that kind of attrition, which joined 
to facraments, produces grace in thofe perfons that re- 
ceive them. For it is certain there are feveral forts of 
attrition and forrow, and that not any kind of it that 
changes a man's attrition into contrition, but only that 
which is known by no one, but by him who is the giver 
of all grace. 

28. The holy doctors have not been unacquainted with 
this truth, and therefore it is, that they have fpoken of pe- 
nance, with fo much fear and apprehenfion, as we have 
ihewn already. And St. Auguftin, in the firft authority, 
cited in confirmation of this doctrine, fpeaking of him 
that receives penance, and is reconciled by the facraments 
of the church, faysexprefsly, " We adminifter the facra- 
ment of penace to the fmner , but we give 'him no af- 
furance (i) .'" 

29. But if after this, you mould urge farther, and ob- 
ject the penance of the Ninivites to me, which proceeded 
from the apprehenfion they were in, of being deftroyed 
within forty days. I would have you reflect not only on 
the rigorous penance they performed, but the change of 
their lives: and do you change your life, as they did 
theirs ? and you will not fail of finding the fame mercy 
they did. But when I fee you have no fooner recovered 
your health, than you return to your former evil courfes, 
and neglect all the good refolutions you had made, dur- 
ing your ficknefs , what would you have me think of 
uch penance as this is ? 

The conclufion of this chapter. 

30. All we have faid here, has not been to thut the 
gates, either of falvation or hope againft any one, which 
the faints have not done ; nor ought any of us to da 
Our only defign is to turn the wicked out of this flrong 
hold, in which they always take fhelter, that they may 
continue in their fins with the 'more fecurity. Tell me 
now, I befeech you by the love of GOD, how dare you 
cxpofe yourfelf to fo imminent a ruin, when you have all 

(i) De 50. Horn 42. 

Part III. Ch. 2. Of Death-Bed Repentance 

the doctors and faints of the church, when you have rea- 
fon itfelf, and the holy fcriptures continually admonifb- 
ing you of the danger of this penance ? what is it you 
have to truft to at that laft hour ? is it to the legacies 
you bequeath in your will for pious ufes ? is it to the 
prayers and mafTes you order to be faid for you ? alas- f 
you have feen how felicitous the foolifh virgins were, to 
lupply themfelves with what was requifite, and what in- 
treaties they ufed at the door with the bridegroom, but 
all to no purpofe becaufe nothing of all this proceeded 
from a true penance. Do you truft in the tears yau 
fhall flied then ? tears, it is true, have a great force at 
all times, and happy is the man that weeps without hy- 
pocrify and conftraint, but confider what floods of tears 
it coft him, who fold his birth-right to fatisfy his glut- 
tony, and yet the apoftle tells us, For be found no -place 
of repentance, although with tears he had fought it *. For 
it was not for GOD'S fake that he wept, but for the lofs 
he had fuffered. You, perhaps, rely upon the good re- 
folutions you fhall make at that time. Thefe go a great 
way when they are fmcere, but call to mind the good 
defigns which king Antiochus propofed to himfelf, for, 
as he lay upon his death-bed. He made fuch great pro- 
mifes to GOD, that we cannot fo much as read them 
without admiration and aftonifhmcnt, and yet after all 
the fcripture fays : Then this wicked man prayed to the Lord* 
of whom he was not like to obtain mercy -f . And why, 
but becaufe all he promifed was not out of a motive of 
love, but of fervile fear ; which though it is good, is not 
yet Sufficient of itfelf, for the gaining of the kingdom 
of heaven : for to be afraid of hell torments is what may 
proceed from the natural love and affection every man 
has for himfelf. But for a man to love himfelf, is not 
a means whereby he can pofllbly arrive at this kingdom. 
So that as nobody had admittance into king Afllierus's 
palace , that was cloathed in fackcloth j fo nobody can 
enter into the kingdom of heaven, in the drefs of .a 
flave, that is, by the means of this fervile fear alone, 


* Heb. c. xii. v. 17. -f 2 Macch. c. ix v. 1 3. J Either, 
< c. iv. v. 2. 

316 Tfhe Sinners Guide. Book I. 

vmlefs he be cloathed with his wedding garment, which 
is love. 

31. Confider therefore, ferioufly, now whilft you have 
time before you, that you mufl without doubt, be one 
day or other in this condition ; nay, the time cannot be 
far off; for you fee what hafte the heavens make to finifh 
their courfes. This mortal life of our-, which is no 
more than a fmall flock of wool will be foon fpun out, 
whilft the wheel is perpetually turning round with fo 
fwift a motion. For this reafon Mofes fays ( i ) : 'That the 
day of deftruttion is at hand^ and the time makes hafte to 
come. When you have run this fhort courfe, will follow 
the fulfilling of thefe prophecies, and then you will fee 
how true a prophet I have been, in all I have foretold 
you ; then you will find yourfelf furrounded with pains, 
diflurbed by cares, tormented by the prefence of death, 
and in continual expectation of the lot, which is imme- 
diately to befall yon. O doubtful lot ! O dreadful paT- 
fage ! O terrible trial, in which is to be palled the fentence, 
either of eternal life, or of eternal death ! who will be able 
then to change their lots, Who will put a flop to this fen- 
tence ? it is at prefent in your own power to do it, do not 
neglect the opportunity. You have now a convenient time 
to make your judge your friend ; now you may gain his 
favour. Take therefore the advice of the prophet along 
with you, who fays, Seek ye the Lord while he may be found , 
call upon him while he is near (2), He is now near to hear 
us, though we cannot fee him ; when we are to be judged, 
we fhall fee him-, but he will not hearken to us, unlefs 
we now do fomething to deferve it. 


Againft thofe who continue in their fms^ confiding in the 
mercy of GOD. 

f A HERE are others who continue in their wicked 
JL lives, confiding in GOD'S mercies, and in the me- 
rits of our Saviour's paffion, whom it is requifite to 

(i) Deut. c. xxxii. v. 35. (2) Ifaiah, c, Iv. v. 6. 

Par till. Ch. 3. Agamjl Prefumption. 317 

undeceive, as well as the reft. You fay the mercy of 
GOD is great, fince he died upon the crofs for the falva- 
tion of finners. I confefs it is very great, fmce it bears 
with fo great a blafphemy, as is making his goodnefs 
the motive of your wickednefs, and turning the crofs, 
which he made ufe of as his inftrument for the deftroy- 
ing the kingdom of fin, into an inftrument for eftablifhing 
and promoting it -, and whereas you are obliged to lay 
down a thoufand lives, if you had them, in return of 
that which he laid down for you , you take occafion 
from thence to deny him that fmgle life you have re- 
ceived from him ? this crime was a greater affliction to 
our Saviour, than the death he fuffered : for though he 
never complained of his fufferings, yet he does of this 
injury, by the prophet, faying (i): The wicked have 
'wrought upon my back : they have lengthened their iniquity. 
Who is it that taught you to deduce this confequence ; 
that becaufe GOD is good, you will take the liberty of. 
finning, and efcape without being punifhed. The Holy 
Ghoft doe* not teach us to argue after that manner, but 
thus : Becaufe GOD is good, he deferves to be honoured, 
obeyed and loved above all things. Becaufe GOD is 
good, it is j uft I mould be fo too ; and that I mould hope 
in his mercy, for the pardon of fins, though they are 
never fo great, if I do but return to him with my whole 
heart. Becaufe GOD is good, and infinitely good, it will 
be the greater crime in me, to offend fo much goodnefs : 
and for this reaibn, the greater you fuppofe this mercy, 
which you put your truft in, fo much the more heinous 
is evrery fin you commit againft it. Nor is it juft that 
fuch a crime fhould go unpunifhed. Nay, it belongs to 
the divine juftice to take care it mould not ; neither is 
this juftice, as you falfely perfuade yourfelf, oppofite to 
the divine goodnefs , but is its fifter and proteclrefs, and 
cannot by any means confent, that fuch a crime fhould 
pafs unpunifhed. 

2. This fort of excufe is not new, but has been long 

ufed in the world. This was the difpute between the 

true and falfe prophets ; for thofe coming from Almighty 

R r GOD 

(j) PuJra cxxviii, v. 3. 

318 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

GOD, threatened the people with the execution of his 
juftice ; thefe fpeaking of their own head, promifed them 
a falle peace and mercy. And as foon as ever GOD'S 
heavy judgments had difcovered the truth of the one, 
and the lies of the others, the true prophets faid ( i ) : 
Where are your prof bets that prophejied to you^ and faid : 
the king of Babylon ; that /j, Nabuchodonafor Jhall not corns 
Ggainjl you. 

3. You fay, GOD is very merciful , but believe me* 
whofoever you are, that fay fo, he has not opened your 
eyes yet, to let you fee how'great his juftice is ; for if he 
had, you will cry out with the Prophet (2) : Who know- 
eth the power of thy anger : and for fear can number thy 
wrath ? 

4. That you may the more clearly perceive the danger 
of this miftake, let us go hand in hand together a-while* 
Neither you nor I have ever feen GOD'S juftice, as it is 
in itfelf, to know how far it reaches ; nor have we any 
other way of knowing GOD, in this world, but by his 
works. Let us then go now into this fpirvtual world 
of the holy fcriptures, and when we have been there a 
little while, we will come into this corporeal world we 
live in, to take a view in each of them, of the effects of 
the divine juftice y that we may be the better able to 
know what it is. 

5. This journey will be very advantageous to us ; far 
befides the end we propofe to ourfelves, we fhall receive 
another very confiderable benefit, which is the exciting 
and nourifhing of the fear of GOD in our hearts, which 
the faints tell us, is the treafure, the defence, and the 
ballaft of our foul. So that as a veflel is not fafe, unlefs 
it be well poifed and ballafted, becaufe any guft of wind 
may overlet her ; fo neither can the foul be fecure, if it 
wants the weight of this fear. It is fear keeps her from 
being carried away and overturned by the winds, either 
of human or divine favours : whereas, let her be never 
fo richly fraught, the is perpetually in danger of being 
caft away, whilft me wants this ballaft. It is necefTary 
then, that not only thofe who are juft entered into the 

( i ) Jer. c, xxxvii. y. 18. (2) Pfalm Ixxxix. v. n. 

Part III. Ch. 3. Againft Prefumption. 319 

fervice of GOD, hut even thofe who have been a long 
time in his family, fhould live continually in fear; nor is 
this virtue required in finners only, who have motives 
.enough to excite them to it ; but alfo in the juft, who 
have not done fo much as the others have, to be afraid 
of: the fubject of thofe perfons fear is, becaufe they 
have fallen already ; the motive thefe have is, lead they 
mould fall. The one ought to be afraid becaufe of their 
paft fins ; and the others, upon the account of the dan- 
gers they may probably be expofed to. 

6. If you would know how this holy fear is to be pro- 
duced within you -, I tell you, that when it is once infufed 
into your foul by grace, it is preferved and increafed 
there, by frequent reflections on the effects of GOD'S 
juftice, which we are now going to treat of. Let thefe 
be the frequent entertainment of your thoughts, and you 
will find this fear will, by degrees, be formed in you. 


Of the effefls of the divine juftice^ mentioned in the 
Holy Scriptures. 

7. The firft effect of GOD'S juftice, which the Holy 
Scripture fpeaks of, is the reprobation of the angels. 
The beginning of the ways of GOD, was firft (hewn upon 
the prince of the devils, as we find it in the book of 
Job ( i ) : All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth (2 ) ; 
his juftice, till this firft crime, had never manifefted it- 
felf. It was fhut up in the boforn of GOD, like a fword 
-in its fcabbard ; which the prophet Ezechiel was frighted 
at, when he confidered what deftruction it would make (3). 
This firft fin made GOD draw the fword, and confider 
what a terrible blow the firft was. Do but look up, and 
you will fee what a great deal of hurt it has done : you 
will fee one of the richeft jewels of GOD'S houfe, one 
of the greateft ornaments of heaven, a draught which 
gives fo lively a representation of the divine fplendour 
;and beauty, fall down from heaven like a fla/h of light- 

Rr 2 nin% 

(i)Job, c.xl. v. 14, (2)Pfahnxxiv. (3) Eze. c, xxi. 

320 The Sinners Guide. Book!. 

ning(i\ for one proud thought. He that was before 
the prince of angels, was made the chief of devils , he 
that was before fo very beautiful and glorious, became 
as oppoTitely deformed and ugly ; he that was crowned 
before with the greateft glory, was condemned to the 
fevereft torments , he, that was before GOD'S greateft fa- 
vourite, was changed into his greateft enemy ; and fo 
will continue for all eternity. "What a fubject of admira- 
tion muft this be to thole heavenly fpirits, who very well 
know from whence and whither that fo noble a creature 
fell ? with what aftonimment will they repeat thefe words 
of Ifaiah (2) : Hew are thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer , 
thou who didjl rife in the morning ? 

8. Defcend from heaven to the terreftrial paradife, and 
you will there fee another fall, no lefs terrible than the 
former, had it not been retrieved (3). For, if the angels 
fell, every one of them had committed an actual fin, 
which was the occafion of his fall. But what actual fin 
has an infant been guilty of, to deferve to be fent into 
the world a child of wrath and indignation ? there is no 
need of any actual fin for this, it is enough to be def- 
cended from one that finned, and by finning, infected the 
very root of all human nature, which was in him ; that 
fo the child may be born with that fin : fo great is the 
glory and majefty of GOD, that a creature, for one of- 
fence committed againft it, deferves no lefs a punifnment 
than this is. If Ainan, Afluerus's creature (4), did not 
look upon himfelf as fatisfied, when he was revenged on 
Mordocheus, whom he imagined to be the man that had 
injured and abufed him , but, on the contrary, thought 
his greatnefs obliged him to deftroy all the Jews for 
the affront, which one fingle man had offered him. What 
great matter then is it, for GOD'S glory and infinite 

treatnefs, to exact fuch a punimment ? confider then the 
rft man turned out of paradife, for eating of one morfel, 
for which the whole world has been, ever fince, con- 
demned to hunger and want. After the revolution of 
fo many ages, the infant- child carries the mark of his 


(i)Luc.c.x. v. 18. (2) Ifaiah, c.xiv. v. 12. (3) Gen.c. iii. 
(4) Either, c. iii. 

Part III. Ch. 3. Agalnft Prefumptlon. 321 

father's wound along with him, and is made a child 
of wrath , not only before he is capable of committing 
any fin, but even before he is born. This injury is not 
put up yet, though it is fo long fmce it was done ; tho* 
it has been divided amongft fo many millions of men, 
and has been fo often and fo feverely punimed. On the 
contrary, all thofe torments that have been fuffered in 
the world, to this very day , all the deaths that have 
been hitherto, and all the fouls that have been burning 
in hell-fire, fmce the fall of the angels, or that .(hall burn 
there for all eternity, are nothing but fo many effects of 
this firft crime, and fo many proofs of the divine juftice. 
Nay, what is more dill to be admired, it continues not- 
withftanding the redemption of the world by the blood 
of Jefus Chrift. And yet if man had not had this re- 
medy applied to him, there would have been no dif- 
ference at all betwixt him and a devil ; becaufe the one 
would have had as great a probability of obtaining his 
falvation, as the- other. Are not thefe proofs of the di- 
vine juftice ftrong enough to convince you ? 

9. But as if this yoke which the fons of Adam have 
fo long groaned under, were not heavy enough, there 
have been from that time new additions of punifhments 
upon punifhments for new fins, which have taken their 
rife from this firft fin ( \ ). The whole world was drowned 
by the deluge. GOD rained down fire and brimftone 
from heaven, upon five lewd cities (2). The earth 
opened and (wallowed up Dathan and Abiron alive for 
contending with Mofes (3). Aaron's two fons, Nadab 
and Abiu (4), were burnt on a fudden by the fire of the 
fanctuary, without finding any mercy, either upon the 
confideration of their own dignity, as priefts, or their 
fathers's fanclity, or the familiarity which Mofes their 
uncle had with GOD. We read in the new taftament, 
that Ananias and Saphira (5), for lying to St. Peter, in 
a matter which did not feem to be of any very great 
moment, fell down dead both of them upon the fpot. 

10. What 

(i)Gen. c. vii. (2) Gen. c. ix. (3) Numb. c. x. 
(4) Levit. c. x. (5) A&s, c. v. 

322 *The Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

10. What (hall I fay of GOD'S dreadful judgments ? 
Solomon the wifeft amongft the children of men, for 
whom GOD had fuch a tender love, that he commanded 
him to be called the " Beloved of the Lord (i)," came 
at laft by GOD'S unfearchable judgments, to fall into the 
word and greateft of all (ins, viz. the adoring of idols (2). 
Can there be any thing more dreadful than this is ? and 
yet, if you did but know, how many judgments of the 
lame nature happen every day in the church, you would 
perhaps be no lefs furprized at them, than at all that 
has been faid. For, you would fee a great many liars 
fallen from heaven, you would fee feveral perfons that 
have been invited to GOD'S table (3), and have been fed 
with the bread of angels, brought into fuch a miferable 
condition, as to long after the food of fwine to fatisfy 
their hunger. You would fee a great number of chafte 
fouls, more beautiful and more glorious than the fun, 
fullied all over, and darker than the mid-night fky , all 
which was occafioned by the fins and offences they fell 
into. For GOD'S decrees and judgments lay no neceflity 
tipon mens actions, nor deprive them of their free-will. 

ii. But, what is ftill more, could there be a greater 
proof of this juftice, than that GOD mould not be fatisfied 
with any lefs fatisfadtion than the death of his only be- 
gotten fon, to purchafe pardon for mankind. Can any 
words be more moving than thofe of our Saviour to the 
women that followed him, when he went to be crucified : 
Daughters of Jerufakm, weep not over we* but weep for 
yourfehes, and for your children : for behold the days Jhali 
come, wherein they will fay r , bleffed are the barren, and the 
wombs that have not born, and the paps that have not given 
fuck. Then /jail they begin to fay to the mountains, fall 
-upon us , and to the hills cover us : for if in the green wood 
they do thefe things, what Jhall be done in the dry (4). As 
if he had faid more clearly, if this tree of life and of 
innocence ; upon which there has never been any worm, 
or ruft of fin, burns thus by the flames of the divine 
*juftice, for the fins of other perfons ; what will become 


(l) 2 Reg. c. xit v. 24. (2) 3 Reg. c. xi. ($) St. Luc, C..V. 

(4) St. Luc. c. xxiii. v. 28, 29, 30, 31. 

Part III. Ch. 3. Again/I Prefufnptwn. 

of the barren and dry tree , which, not charity, but 
malice has over-loaded with its own crimes. How rt- 
gorous therefore muft GOD'S juftice be, in thofe other 
works of his, in which mercy does not exert itfelf, fince 
it is fo fevere in this which is the effect of an infinite 
goodnefs ? 

12. But if you are fo dull, as not to fee the force of 
thefe arguments reflect upon the eternity of hell tor- 
ments, and confider how terrible this juftice is, which, 
for a fin of but one moment, condemns the foul to no- 
thing lefs than pains everkfting* This dreadful juftice 
fuits very well with the merey you fo highly commend. 
Can any thing be fo dreadful as to fee how this great 
GOD feated upon the throne of his glory, will from 
thence look down upon a foul after it has been tormented 
millions of years, in fuch a terrible manner, without 
being moved to the leaft pity and companion ? on the 
contrary, he will take a pleafure in fuch a foul's fuffer- 
ings, and will never put any end or limit to them, nor 
give it any hopes of ever rinding eafe. O wonders of 
the divine juftice ! O fubject of our aftonifhment and 
admiration ! O the unfathomable depth of this abyfs ! 
who is there fo unreafonable and fenfelefs, as not to trem- 
ble at the thoughts of fo dreadful a punithment. 


Of tie effeffs of the divine juftice which are fo be feen in 
this world. 

ig. Let us now leave the holy feripture, and come to 
this vifible world, and we mail there rind other effects of 
a moft terrible and moft fevere juftice. They who are 
never fo little enlightened with the knowledge of GOD, 
live whihl they are in this world, in fuch fear and appre- 
henfion of thefe effects of juftice, that, though they 
are able to conceive in fome meafure, all the reft of 
GOD'S works, yet in refpect of this, they are at a lofs, 
forced to content themfelves with a fincere and humble 
act of faith. Who is* there that is not furprized to fee 
the whole face of the earth covered over with infidelity ? 


324 7/?tf Sinners Guide. Book T. 

to fee what nurfery the devil has here to people hell ? 
to fee that the greateft part of the world has been as 
much overfhadowed with the darknefs of its errors, even 
fmce our Saviour's death, as it was before ? what is all 
the Chriftian world in comparifon to what the infidels 
pofTefs, and to what has in latter times been difcovered ; 
how great a part of the world is under the tyranny of 
the prince of darknefs, without the leaft glimmering of 
the fun of juftice ? where the light of truth has never 
fhone out. There no more rain or dew falls down from 
heaven, than ufed to do upon the mountains of Gelboe 
(i). From thence the devils ftill continue to carry off 
a great number of fouls every day to everlafting flames, 
as they have done ever fmce the beginning of the world. 
For as in the time of the deluge (2), no one efcaped 
that was not in Noah's ark ; as none of the inhabitants 
of Jericho were faved (3), but Rahab and her family, 
fo neither can any body be faved but thofc of the houfe 
of GOD, that is the church (4). 

14. Confider again in this little fpot of the world, 
\vhich the Chriftians pofiefs, how every body behaves 
himfelf, and you will fee, that in all this myftical body, 
there is fcarce one found part from the fole of the feet, 
to the crown of the head (5). Lay afide but a very few 
of the chief cities, where you may fee fome marks of 
found doctrine, and run over all the other towns and 
countries, where they have no notion of the true worfhip, 
and you will find many places of which we may truly 
fay, what GOD faid once of Jerufalem ; Go about through 
the ftreets of Jerufalem., and fee ', and confider, and fcek in 
the broad places thereof^ if you can find a man that executetb 
judgments, and feeketh faith : and I will be merciful unto 
him (6) , I do not defire you to run up and down the 
market places, or to public houfes, which are for the 
moil part full of nothing but lying and deceit. Do but 
confider, what parTes in your neighbour's families, and as 
Jeremy fays (7), do but give an ear to what they fay, 


( I ) 2 Reg. c. iii. (2) Gen. c. vii. (3) Jofu. c. vi. 

(4) 2 Pet. c. ii. (5) Ifaiah, c. i. (6) Jerem. c, v. v, 6. 

{7) Jerem. c. viii. v. 6. 

Part III, Ch. 3. dgainji Prefumptlon. 

and you will fcarce hear any one good word amongft 
them. Go where you will, and you will hear nothing 
but murmuring, detracting, fwearing, blafpheming, 
quarrelling, coveting and righting. In fine, the tongue 
and the heart entertain themfelves every where with the 
things of this world, and with the ways of promoting 
their interefts; whilft, at the fame time, GOD, and hea- 
venly things, are what they trouble themfelves about but 
little, unlefs it be in blafpheming and fwearing by his 
holy name. Such a remembrance as this, GOD himfelf 
complained of by his prophet, faying (i) : Ton whofwear 
by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of 
Ifrael, but not in truth, no? in juftice. So that, a man can, 
hardly tell, at leaft by what he fees, whether thefe perfons 
are Chriltians or heathens, except perhaps by the high 
towers and fteeples he fees at a diftance, and by the oaths 
and perjuries he hears when he comes nearer. What 
pretence then have fuch perfons to reckon themfelves in 
the number of thofe, of whom Ifaiah faid (2) : All that 
Jhall fee them,Jhall know them , that thefe are the feed which 
the Lord has blejfed. If therefore the life of a Chriftian 
ought to be fuch, that every-body that fees, fhall ack- 
nowledge him to be a child of GOD ; what rank fhall we 
put thofe in, who rather feem to defpife and laugh at 
Jefus Chrift, than live as become Chriftians ? 

15. How can you chufe but fee by this, the effects of 
GOD'S juftice, fince the crimes of the world are fo many, 
and fo great ? for, that the permitting men to fall into 
fin, is one of the greateft punifhments, and one of the 
moft manifeft figns of GOD'S anger, is a truth as unde- 
niable, as that the preferving him from fin, is one of the 
greateft favours he is capable of receiving from GOD. 
Thus we read, in the book of Kings, that GOD*S anger 
was kindled againfl the children of Ifrael (3), and there- 
fore he permitted David to fall into that fin of pride, of 
ordering Joab to go number the people. We read in 
Ecclefiaiticus, that God will preferve the merciful men 
from all evil, and they Juatt not wallow in their fins (4) : 
S f for 

(i) Ifaiah. c. xl.viii. v. i. Zach.c.v. (2)Ifaiah, c. Ixi. v, 9, 
(3) 2 Reg. c. xxiv, (4) Eccl, c. xxiii. v, 16. 

326 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

for, as one part of the reward due to virtue is the in- 
creafe of virtue itfelf-, fo it frequently happens that the 
punifhment of one fin, is the permifiion to fall into 
another. Thus we fee, the fevered punifliments inflicted 
for the moft heinous fin that ever was committed in the 
world ; to wit, the putting of the Son of GOD to death, 
was that which the prophet threatened the authors of 
this crime with, when he faid*: Add thou iniquity upon 
their iniquity : and let them not come into thy jujlice , that 
is to fay, permit them not to keep and obey thy com- 
mandments ? And what follows from all this ? the fame 
prophet tells us himfelf, in the next verfe, where he fays f : 
Let them be blotted out of the bock of the living -, and with 
the jitft let them not be written. 

1 6. If therefore GOD'S punifhing of one fin by per- 
mitting another, be fo fevere a punimment, and fo great 
a proof of his anger, how is it poflible you mould not 
fee the marks of the divine juftice, amongft fuch a num- 
ber of fins as are even in vogue and reputation in the 
world ? turn your eyes which way you pleafe, and you 
fhall fcarce fee any thing but fins, like men in the midft 
of the fea, that have no other object but fky and water. 
And can you fee all thefe fins, without feeing juftice too ? 
can you be in the middle of the ocean, and lee no water? 
and, if all this world is nothing but an ocean of fin, it 
muft needs be an ocean of juftice? there is no need of 
going down into hell, to fee how the divine juftice mani- 
tefts itfelf there j we may fee it plainly enough in this 

i~. But if you can fee nothing beyond yourfelf, at 
leaft look into yourfelf; confidcr that, if you are in the 
flate of fin, you are under the ftroke of this juftice, and 
are then moft expofed to it, when you think you are 
rnoft fecure. St. Auguftin was once in this condition, 
as he himfelf acknowledges, when he fays J : " I was 
drowned in the depth of fin, your anger was provoked 
againft me, and I knew nothing of it ; I was quite deaf 
to the noife, which the chains of my mortality made, 
and this ignorance of your anger, and of my fault was a 

* TYalm Ixviii. v. 28. -f- Ibid. v. 29. J Conf, L. ii. c. 2. 

Part III Ch. 3. Agalnjl Prefumption. 327 

punimment of the pride of my foul." Now, if GOD has 
inflicted this kind of punifhment upon you, and has per- 
mitted you to remain blind, for fo long a time, and to be 
drowned in your iniquities ; how can you falfly imagine 
yourfelf to be in fo happy a condition, when all things, 
go fo ill with you ? let him, that is in favour with GOD 
talk of his graces and mercies , but he, that fufFers the 
rigour of his juftice mould talk of nothing but his juftice. 
Will GOD, out of his mercy, permit you to live fo long in 
your fins, and not permit you for abufmg his mercy, to 
run headlong into hell, out of his juftice ? O that you 
did but know how fmall the diftance is betwixt fin and 
the punifhment, and betwixt grace and glory. When a 
man is in the ftate of grace, what great matter is it to 
make him partaker of glory , or to punifh him, when he 
has committed any fin ? grace is the beginning and pur- 
chafe of glory, fo fin is an introduction and high-way to 

1 8. Befides, what can be more terrible, than to fee, 
that though the pains of hell are fo dreadful, as we have 
defcribed them, GOD mould permit fo great a number to 
be damned and fo few to be faved. But that you may 
not think I defign to impofe upon you, when I fay that 
this number is fo very fmall , He who tdleth the number 
ef the ftars ; and calleth them all by their names *, will tell 
you the fame. Can any man, without aftonifhment and 
fright, hear thefe words of our Saviour, which are fo 
well known, and yet fo little underflood and regarded ; 
they are his words to his difciples, when he anfwered 
them the queftion, whether the number of the elect was 
fmall, or no -f : Enter, fays he, at the narrow gate ; for- 
wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to de- 
ftruRion, and many there are who go in thereat. O how 
narrow is the gate, and fir ait is the way, which leads to 
life, and few there are that find it. Who can imagine how 
our Saviour was moved, when he cried out, not in a 
cold and indifferent manner, but with fuch an emphatic 
S f 2 excla- 

* Pfalm cxlvi, v. 4. f St. Matt, c. vii. v. 13, 14. Luc. c. 

328 *n>e Sinners Guide. Book I. 

exclamation ( i ) : O how narrow is the gate? and howftraight 
is the way. 

19-. All the world was deftroyed by the waters of the 
deluge (2), and only eight fouls were preferved in Noah's 
ark ; which according to St. Peter, reprefents the fmall 
number of the elect, in companion of the reprobate (3). 
GOD brought fix hundred thoufand men out of Egypt (4), 
without counting their wives and children, to lead them 
into the land of promile , and for this end he afiifted 
and favoured them in feveral refpects, in a peculiar man^ 
ner; yet, after all, they, by their own fault, loft the 
land which GOD of his grace had offered them (5), and 
only two men out of this great number, had the happi- 
nefs to go into it. From whence all the holy fathers una- 
nimou/ly conclude, that this is a figure of the great 
number of thofe that are damned, and of the few that 
are faved j which is the meaning of thefe words, That 
many are called, but few are chofen (6). For this reafon 
the juft in feveral places of holy fcriptures, are called 
precious ftones; to give us to underftand, that juft men 
are as rarely to be found in the world, as precious ftones, 
and that the number of the wicked as far exceeds that 
of the good, as the number of the ordinary ftones doth 
that of the precious : as Solomon declared to us, when 
he faid, T'he number of fools is infinite (7). If therefore the 
number of the elect is fo fmall, and fo foon reckoned 
up as the figure reprefents it to us, and as truth itfelf 
tells us-, for you fee how many perfons were by a juft 
judgment of GOD, deprived of the happinefs they were 
called to ; how can you ftand fo unconcerned in this com- 
mon danger and univerfal deluge ? if the number of 
the elect were equal to that of the damned, you would 
ftill have fufEcient reafons to fear for yourfelf : but what 
do I talk of being equal ? for to be damned to hell for 
all eternity, is a mifery fo great, that though there were 
but one perfon out of the whole race of mankind, to be 
fent thither, each particular man ought to tremble foj 


( i ) Luc. c. v. 14. (2) Gen. c. vii. (3) 2 Pet c. ii. v. 5. 
(4)Exod.c.xH. (5)Nyni,c,xiv, V.JO. (6)Matt.c.xx. v.i6, 
(7) Eccl, c, i. v, 13. 

Part III. Ctu 3. Againft Prefumption. 329 

fear of himfelf. When our Saviour told his difciples, 
as he was at fupper with them, That one amongfl them was 
to betray him *, they all began to be afraid, though their 
own confciences told them, they were innocent , becaufe 
when a crime is very heinous, though it touch but few, 
every one is afraid leaft he fhould have fome (hare in it. 
If a great army of men were ftanding in a field, and 
fhould underftand by Divine Revelation, that a thunder- 
bolt was to fall and take one of them off, none know- 
ing who it was to be; every one would be afraid, leafi; 
he fhould be the perfon, and look upon the danger as 
his own. What then would their apprehenfion be, if 
half the army, or the greater part were to be deflroyed 
by this thunder-bolt. Tell me now, you that are fo wife 
in all worldly affairs, but a mere fool to what regards 
your falvation, fince GOD here reveals to you, that the 
thunder of his divine juftice will fall upon fo great a 
number of perfons, and fo few mall efcape it; how can 
you live fo unconcerned and fearlefs, when you know 
not which of the two parties you belong to ? is hell to 
be dreaded lefs than thunder ? has GOD given you any 
fecurity for your falvation ? there is nothing that can 
give you any certainty of it. Your own works condemn 
you, and as the cafe now flands, unlefs you turn over a 
new leaf, you are one of the reprobates ; and can you 
ftill be unconcerned at your danger. 

20. You fay, GOD'S mercy encourages you ; this is 
no anfwer to what has been faid ; on the contrary, if the 
permitting of fo many perfons to be damned, be not 
incompatible with his mercy, why may it not as well 
fuffer you to be one of that number, if you live as they 
have done ? do not you perceive, unhappy creature, that 
felf-iove deludes you, making you think better of youn- 
felf, than of all the world befides ? what privilege have 
you above the reft of the children of Adam, not to go 
where all thofe whofe works you imitate, have been fcnt 
before you ? 

21. If, as I have proved already, GOD is to be known 
t>y his works ; I may fafely fay, that, though we may 

* Joa. c. xiii. v. 21, 

330 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

make a great many comparifons betwixt his mercy and 
his juftice, in which his mercy will always be fuperior, 
yet we fhall find at laft, that there are more vefiels of 
wrath in the race of Adam, from which you defcend, 
than there are of mercy * -, becaufe the number of the 
damned, is fo far greater than that of the elect. Now 
this does not happen for want of GOD'S grace and af- 
fiftance (for he, as the apoflle tells us, would have all 
men to be faved, and come to the knowledge of truth) 
but through the fault of the wicked, who will not make 
their advantage of GOD'S mercies. 

22. All I have hitherto faid, has been to convince you, 
that if it is not incompatible with that infinite mercy 
of GOD you talk of, to permit fo many infidels in the 
world, and fo many bad Chriftians in the church, and to 
fuffer all thefe infidels ; and fo great a number of thefe 
Chriftians to be loft for ever, it will be no lefs agreeable 
to it, that you mould perifh with them, if you behave 
yourfelf like them. Did the heavens fo far fmile upon 
you at your birth : or were the decrees of GOD, and the 
Jaws of the gofpel changed in favour ofyou,thatyou fhould 
expect to be fingular in the world. If it be no prejudice 
to this great mercy, that hell fhould enlarge its womb, 
and that fo many thoufands of fouls fhould be fwallowed 
up amongft them ? and leaft you mould fay, that GOD 
was fevere and rigorous then, but is mild and merciful 
now, confider, that notwithftanding all his mildnefs, 
there is nothing of what you have heard, which he does 
not permit to this very day ', fo that you will have juft 
caufe to fear punifhment, though you be a Chriftian, if 
you are a bad one. 

23. Will it be any leffening to GOD'S glory, if you 
alone mould fair of being admitted to it. Have you 
any extraordinary qualities which GOD ftands particularly 
jn need of, to make him bear with you and all your 
faults. Or have you any particular privilege above other 
men, which fecures you from being damned, as well as 
they, if you are as wicked ? fince David's children who 
were favoured in confideration of their father's deferts, 

* 2 Tim. c. ii. v. 20. Rom. c. ix. v, 22, 23. 

Part III. Ch. 3. Againjl Prefumption. 331 

were punifhed by GOD *, according to their crimes, 
when ever they did wickedly ; and feveral of them came 
to unfortunate ends ; can you be puffed up with a vain 
confidence, and imagine yourfelf to be fecure ? you de- 
ceive yourfelf unhappy man, you deceive yourfelf, if 
you think this is hoping in GOD. This is not hope but 
prefumption ; for hope is a confidence that GOD will for- 
give all your fins, though never fo many, or fo great, 
if you repent and amend. But it is prefumption to be- 
lieve, that though you perfift in a wicked life, your fal- 
vation is fecure. And do not think this is an indifferent 
fort of fin, for it is accounted one of thofe againft the 
Holy Ghoft ; becaufe it is an abufe and affront to the 
goodnefs of GOD, which is particularly attributed to the 
Holy Ghoft, which fins our Saviour has told us, are not 
forgiven in this world, nor in the next ; to fignify, that 
they are very hard to be forgiven, becaufe they as much 
as in them lies, (hut the gates of grace, and offend the 
phyfician that is to heal us. 

The Condufwn. 

24. We will conclude this matter with the difcovery 
which the author of Ecclefiafticus makes us of this 
error-, in thefe words, Be not without fear about Jin for- 
given, and add not Jin upon Jin, and fay not-, the mercy of the 
Lord is great, be will have mercy on the multitude of my fins : 
for mercy and wrath quickly come from him, and his wrath looketb 
uponfmners f. If we are commanded to be afraid, even 
for thefe fins which have been pardoned already ; tell me 
how is it poffible you mould be free from fear, who daily 
increafe the number of your fins ? reflect well upon thefe 
words - 'The wrath of the Lord looketb upon finners, be- 
caufe the underftanding of this whole difcourfs depends 
upon it. To this end you are to know, that though the 
mercy of GOD extends itfelf to finners, as well as to 
thejuft; and that every man partakes of it, either by 


* 3 Reg. c. ii. 4 Reg. c. xiv, Abfalon, Amon. Adonias. 
, v. v. 5, 6, 7. 

332 The Sinners Guide. Book It 

being preferred by it, as fome are, from falling into 
fin , or by being reclaimed from fin, as others are, and 
expected to do penance ; notwithflanding all this, thofe 
extraordinary favours which GOD promiles in his fcrip- 
tures, belong particularly to the juft ; to whom he is in 
every point, as good as his word ; becaufe they have not 
failed in their promife to him, which was to obferve his 
commandments with all the exactnefs and fidelity imagi- 
nable : and becaufe they have been obedient and dutiful 
children to him, therefore he fhews himfelf a loving and 
tender father to them. But as for all thofe threats and 
curies which you may read in the holy fcripture, and all 
thofe rigours and feverities of the Divine Juftice, per- 
fuade yourfelf they are aimed at you, and all fuch as are 
like you. How great then muft your blindnefs be, if 
you are not afraid of thofe threats which are addre(Ted 
immediately to you : but on the contrary, feed yourfelf 
up with the hopes of thofe favours which were not pro- 
mifed you ? take you what falls to your mare, and let 
the juft have what belongs to him. Anger is for you ; 
therefore fear, love and friendmip is for the juft, let 
him therefore rejoice. Would you have this made out 
to you ? confider what David fays -, The eyes of the Lord 
are upon the juft ; and his ears unto their prayers. But the 
countenance of the Lord is aga'mft them that do evil things, 
to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth * k And 
in the Book of Efdras you will find thefe words ; 1'he 
hand of God, that is, his fatherly providence, Is upon 
them that feek him in goodnefs : and his power ', andftrength, 
and wrath upon all them that for fake him }*. 

25. If all we have faid here be true, how can you go 
on thus, deceiving yourfelf; unhappy wretch who con- 
tinue ftill in your fins ? how can you ftand thus idly with 
your arms a-crofs ? why do you change and confound 
the order of things ? thofe words are not directed to 
you. It is not to you that the fweetnefs of the divine 
love and friendmip is promifed, whilft you continue thus 
in the ftate of anger and enmity. This belongs to 
Jacob, not to Efau. This inheritance is for the good, 


* Pfalm xxxiii. v. 16, 17. -\ Efdr. c. viii, v. 22. 

Part III. Ch. 3. dgainft Preemption. 333 

what pretence therefore can you, who are wicked, have 
to it ? ceafe to be fo, and it is yours ? ceafe to be fo, 
and GOD will direct his love and his paternal pro- 
vidence to you. But hitherto, you have only ufurped 
what is another man's right, and defired to enter into 
the poffefFion of what you have nothing to do with. 
Truft in the Lord, fays David, and do good *. And in 
another pfalm, Offer up the facrifice of jujiice^ 1 and truft In 
the Lord *f . This is the right way of hoping, and not 
to continue in your fin, and think of gaining heaven by 
jefting with God Almighty's mercy. True hope is to 
forfake your fins, and to have recourfe to GOD. But if 
you remain obflinately in them, it is then no longer hope 
but prefumption. This is not to hope, and by hopeing 
to deferve mercy ; it is rather offending mercy, to be- 
come unworthy of ever obtaining it. For, as being a 
member of the church, is no advantage to him, who 
relying upon her, takes no notice of her precepts, but 
lives wickedly; fo it is but juft, that he mould reap no 
benefit of GOD'S mercy, who lays hold of it to do evil. 

26. This ought to be duly confidered by the minifters 
of the word of GOD, who very often not regarding to 
whom their difcourfe is directed, give wicked men en- 
couragement to continue in their fins. They ought to 
confider, that as the more you let a fick man eat, the 
more hurt you do him , fo the more you encourage and 
exhort thofe perfons in their fins, to this kind of confi- 
dence; the more you encourage them to continue in 
their evil courfes. 

27. I will end this difcourfe with an excellent fentence 
out of St. Auguftin, who fays, " That men go to hell 
by hope, as well as by defpair ; by hopeing ill whilft they 
lived, and by defpairing worfe at their death J." I ad- 
vife you therefore, O finner, whofoever you are, to lay 
afide this prefumptious confidence, and to remember, 
that GOD has his juftice as well as his mercy; fo that as 
you confider his mercy, to encourage your hope; you 
are likewife to reflect upon his juftice, for the exciting 

Tt of 

* Pfalm xxxvi. v. 3, f P fajm iv - v & J Serm. 147. 
Dte verb. Dom. 

334 ffl* Sinners Guide. Book I. 

of yonr fear. For as St. Bernard fays *, GOD has two 
feet, the one of mercy, and the other of juftice, and 
nobody ought to embrace either of them, without tak- 
ing hold of the other-, that fo juftice alone without 
mercy, may not fright us into defpair; nor mercy with- 
dut juftice flatter us into preemption. 


Againft thofe perfons who excufe themfelves from following 
virtue, by Jay ing the way to it is rough and uneafy. 

THERE is another excufe worldly men make ufe 
of, for not following of virtue; which is, that fhe 
is difficult and uneafy -, though they know, this does not 
proceed from virtue itfelf, becaufe, being a friend to 
reafon, fhe is fuitable to the nature of a rational crea- 
ture, out from the evil inclination of our flem and ap- 
petite, derived from fin. This it was that made the 
apoftle lay, For the flejh lufteth again/} the fpirit, and the 
fpirit againft the flejh\ for thefe are contrary one to ano- 
ther^. And in another place he fays-, 1 am delighted 
Kith the law of GOD, according to the inward man: but 
I fee another law in my members, fighting againft the law of 
my mind, and captivating me in the law offing. The apoftle 
by thefe words, gives us to underftand, that virtue and 
the law of GOD, agree well with, and are conformable 
to the fuperior part of our foul, which is all fpiritual, as 
being the place where the understanding and the will re- 
fide ; but we are hindered from obferving this law, by 
the law, of our members, that is, by the evil inclination 
and corruption of our appetite, with all its pafilons : 
which rebelled againft the fuperior part of the foul, at 
the fame time that rebelled againft GOD ; which rebellion 
is the caufe of all this difficulty. Therefore it is, that 
fo many perfons rejeci virtue, though they have a' great 
efteem for it, like fick men, who, though they defire to 


* Serm. 80. in Cantic, *f Galat. c. v. v. 17. J Rom. vii. 
V. 22, 23. 

Part III. Ch 4. Way to Virtue Eafy. 335- 

recover their health, yet hate the medicines becaufe they 
are unpleafant. If we could clifabufe men of this mil- 
take, it would be a great work; for, it is this that 
chiefly drives them from virtue, in which every thing 
elfe is to be eiteemed and valued. 


That the grace which is given us through Jefus Chrifl^ makes 
the way of virtue fmootb andcafy. 

2, You muft underftand, that the chief caufe of this 
miftake, is men's confidering nothing but the difficulty 
that is in virtue, without fo much as ever reflecting upon 
the affiftance GOD gives us, for the overcoming of it. 
It was luch an error as this, the Prophet Elifeus's fervant 
was in. For feeing his mafter'8 houfe befet with the Sy- 
rian army, but not perceiving the forces which GOD had 
prepared to fuccour the prophet, lie was quite difmayed 
till fuch time as GOD, at the prophet's interceffion, 
opened his eyes, and let him fee there were more forces 
on his fide than on the enemies. Thofe we here treat of, 
are deceived after the fame manner ; for finding in them- 
felves the difficulty there is in virtue, without having had 
any proof of the favours and affiftance they may receive 
from GOD, in order to acquire the fame, they look upon 
the enterprife as very hard, and therefore lay it quite 

3. But if the way of virtue be fo difficult, what can the 
prophet mean, when he fays * : / have been delighted in 
the way of thy teftimonies^ as in all riches. And in another 
place T , Thy commandments O Lord are more to be defired 
than gold and many precious ft ones , and facet er thdn honey 
and the honeycomb. So that he not only allows virtue, 
what we all of us grant it -, that is, its extraordinary 
worth and excellence ; but that which almoft all the 
world denies it, that is, pleafure and fweetnefs : whence 
you may conclude, that thofe who reprefent this as a 
heavy load, though they be Chriftians, and live under the 
law of grace, have not fo much as tafted of this myftery. 

T t 2 Unhappy 

* Pfalmcxviii. v, 14. \ Pfalm xviii. v, M. 

The Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

Unhappy creature that you are, who talk fo much of be- 
ing a Chriftian ! for what did Chrift come into the world ? 
what was the end of his fhedding his blood ? what did 
he defign by inftituting the facraments ? why did he fend 
down the Holy Ghoft ? what fignifies the gofpel ? what 
fignifies the word grace ? what means the name Jefus ? 
what can this moft Holy name of that fame Lord, whom 
you adore, fignify ? if you are ignorant of this, afk the 
evangelift, who fays * : And thou /halt call his name JE sus : 
for hefoallfave bis people Jrom their Jins. What is it then 
to deliver us from our fins, but to deferve pardon for us 
for paft fins, and to obtain grace for us, whereby we may 
be able to avoid fin for the future. What therefore was 
the end of our Saviour's coming into the world, but to 
help us in the work of our falvation ? for what reafon 
did he die upon the crofs, but that he might thereby de- 
ftroy fin ? why did he rife again afterwards from the 
dead, but only to make you rife again to this new kind 
of life ? what did he pour out his blood for , but to 
make a medicine of the fame, for the healing of your 
wounds ? why did he ordain the facraments ? It was for a 
remedy and affiftance, againft your fins. What is one of 
the chief advantages of his paflion and of his coming, but 
the making that way, which before was rough and dif- 
ficult, fmooth and eafy for us ? Ifaiah told us as much, 
when he faid -j- : That at the coming of the MeJJias, the 
crooked jhall become ftrait^ and the rough ways plain. For 
what reafon, in fine, did he fend down the Holy Ghoft, 
but to change you from flefh into fpirit ? and why did he 
come in the form of fire, but to kindle, enlighten, and 
enliven you ; to transform you into himfelf, and make 
you mount up towards heaven from this earth of ours ? 
what is the ufe of ^rae, with the infufed virtues which 
proceed from it, but to make the yoke of Chrift fweet 
and delightful ? to make the practice of virtue eafy ; to 
make you hope in your dangers ; and to give you a vic- 
tory over all your temptations ? this is the whole defign 
of the gofpel, viz. That as a earthly and finful man, to 
wit, Adam made us earthly and finners j fo another man 

* St. Matt. c. i. v. 31. t Ifaiah, c. xl. v. 4. 

Part III. Ch. 4. Way of Virtue Eafy. 3 37 

that was heavenly and juft, to wit, Chrift Jefus has made 
us become fo too. What elfe do the evangelifts treat 
of ? what elfe have the apoftle preached to us -, this is 
the fum of all Chriftian divinity. This is the word 
which GOD fpake upon earth. This is the accomplifli- 
ment and abridgment which the Prophet Ifaiah fays He 
had from the mouth of GOD -f, from whence fuch vaft 
treafures, fo many virtues, and fo much juftice imme- 
diately flowed into the world. 

4. To make this the plainer, I afk you what is the 
caufe of that difficulty which we meet with in virtue ? 
you will tell me the evil inclinations of our hearts, and 
the flefh that is conceived in fin J , becaufe the flefh 
refifts the fpirit, and the fpirit the flefh, as things con- 
trary to one another. Let us put the cafe that GOD fays 
to you : come hither, O man, I will take away this wicked 
heart of yours, and will give you another new heart, 
and withal ftrength to mortify your inclinations and 
appetites. Should GOD make you that promife, would 
the way of virtue be then difficult to you ? it is certain 
it would not. What is it lefs than this, that GOD has fo 
often promifed in his holy fcriptures ? hear what he fays 
by the Prophet Ezechiel, addreiling himfelf particularly 
to thofe who live under the law of grace. And I will 
give them one heart, and will put a new fpirit in their 
bowels : and I will take away the Jlony heart out of their flejh, 
and will give them a heart of fiejh ; that they may walk in 
my commandments, and keep my judgments, and do them : 
and that they may be my people, and I may be their God . 
Thefe are the words of the prophet. What can you 
doubt of after fuch a promife ? can you be afraid that 
GOD will not be as good as his word ? or can you doubt 
of your being able to obferve his 'law, if he (lands to 
his promife of a/lifting you ? if you affirm the firft, you 
make GOD a liar, which is one of the greateft blafphe- 
mies you can poflibly be guilty of. If you fay you can- 
not obferve his laws, even with his affiftance -, you make 
him unable to provide for us, as our neceflities require, 


j- Ifaiah, c. ii. v. 2, 3. J Gal. c. v. v. 17 Pvom. c. vii. 

Ezec.c. xi. v. 19, 20. 

338 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

becaufe having intended to cure man, he has applied fuch 
a remedy as was not fit to do it. 

5. Befides all this,* GOD will give you power to mor- 
tify thefe evil inclinations which rife up againft you, and 
make this way fo hard. This is one of the chief effects 
of the tree of life, which our Saviour has fanctified by 
his blood, according to the apoftles confeflion, when he 
lays, Our old man is crucified with Jefus Chriji, that 
the body of Jin may be dejlroyed, and that we may ferve Jin 
no longer \. The apoftle calls here The old man, and the 
body of Jin, our fenfual appetite, with all the vicious in- 
clinations that proceed from it. He fays, that he was 
crucified upon the crofs with Jefus Chrift, becaufe our 
Saviour has by this moft auguft facrifice, obtained for 
us grace and ftrength, as may enable us to overcome 
this tyrant, and free ourfelves from the oppreffion of our 
own evil inclinations, and from the flavery of fin, as we 
have faid elfewhere. This is the victory and the extra- 
ordinary favour which the fame Lord promifed us by 
Ifaiah, faying; Fear not, for lam with thee\ turn not 
afide for I am thy God. 1 have ftrengthencd thee, and have 
/yelped thee, and the right hand of my juft one, which is the 
Son of GOD himfelf, hath upheld thee. Behold all that 
fight again ft thee Jhall be confounded and ajhamed, they Jh all 

be as nothing^ and the men fnall perijh that ftrive againft 
thee. 'Thou (halt feek them and Jhalt not find; the men that 
refift thee, they Jhall be as nothing, and as a thing confumed 
the men that 'war againft thee. For I am the Lord thy God, 
'who take thee by the hand, and fay to thee : fear not, I have 
helped ibee J. Thefe are GOD'S words by the Prophet 
Ifaiah. Will any man therefore be difcouraged, when 
he is fo ftrong ? will any man now fink under the fear of 
his own vicious inclinations, when grace gets fuch a 
glorious victory over them ? 


Some objections anfojered. 

6. You tell me perhaps that, after all this, the juft are 
never without their private failings, which are the 

f Rom. c. vi. v. 6. J Ifaiah, c. xli. v. 10, 1 1, f2, 13. 

Part III. Ch. 4. Way to Virtue Eafy. 
wrinkles that, as Job fays (i), accufe and bear witnefs 
ngainft them. The fame prophet, whole authority we 
have juft cited, anfwers this in mort, faying (2): That 
they Jhall be as nothing. Becaufe, if they remain, it 
is only to keep us in continual exercife, and to 
prove us, not to hinder, or to (hock us: they remain 
to excite and roufe us, not to lord it over us : they re- 
main to give us perpetual occafions of merit, not to 
draw us into the fnares of fin : they remain for us to 
triumph over them, not that they may overcome us. 
They remain, in fine, for thofe ends that are moft proper 
and convenient for our trial, for our humiliation, for the 
knowledge of our weaknefs ; for GOD'S glory, and the 
honour of his grace : fo that their continuing thus turns 
to our intereft. For as wild beads, let them be never 
fo fierce, and of their nature fo great enemies to man, 
when once they have been tamed, are ferviceable to him 
fo our pafiions, after having been moderated and fubdued, 
affift us very much in our improvement in virtue. 

7. Tell me now, if GOD fupport, who will be able to 
overturn you (3) ? If God be for you^ who will be againft 
you ; The Lord, fays David, is my light and my fahation, 
whom Jhall I fear? The Lord is the protestor of my life: of whom 
fiattlbe afraid ? if armies in camp JJoouldftand together againft 
. me, my heart Jhall fear not. If a battlejhould rife up againft 
me, in this 1 will be confident. You muft needs be a o-reat 
coward if fuch promifes do not encourage you to lerve 
GOD , if you will not rely upon thofe words, it is a fign 
you are very faithlefs. It is GOD that fays, he will give 
you a new being (4) : 'That he will change your heart of 
ft one i and give you another of fiejh for it. That he will 
mortify your pafiions, and bring you to fuch a pafs, that 
you mall not know yourfelf; that you mail look for your 
evil inclinations, and mall not find them, becaufe, he will 
weaken all their forces. What can you defire more ? 
what do you want, but a lively faith and hope, that you 
may place all your confidence in GOD, and cad yourfelf 
entirely into his arms ? 

8. All 

(l) Job.c.xvi. v. 9. (2)Ifaiah,c. xli. v. 12. (3) Rom. 
c. viii. v. 31. Pialm xxvi, v. 3. (4) Ezec, c, xi. v. 19. 

34 & e Sinners Guide. Book I. 

8. All the objeftion I imagine you can make to this is, 
that your fins are very great, and therefore it is likely they 
will be the occafion of GOD'S refufing you this grace. To 
which I anfwer, that this is one of the greateft affronts 
you can offer to GOD : becaufe, by this, you perfuade 
yourfelf, either that GOD cannot or will not affift his crea- 
tures, when they return to him, and beg his help. I do 
not defire you mould believe me in this particular, do 
but believe the holy prophet, who feems to have thought 
upon you, and as it were, to have prevented you, when 
he wrote thefe words ( i ). If, jays he, all thefe curfcs Jhall 
become upon thee, which I have fet forth before thee, and 
thoujhalt be touched with repentance, and Jhall return with 
all thy heart, and with all thy foul: the Lord thy God will 
bring back again thy captivity, and will have mercy on thee. 
If thou be driven as far as the poles of heaven, the Lord thy 
Cod will fetch thee back from thence, and will take thee to 
limfelf, and bring thee into the land which thy fathers pof- 
fejjed, and thoujhalt po/efs it. He adds further, 'The Lord 
thy God will circumcife thy heart, and the heart of thy feed ; 
that thou mayeft love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, 
end with all thy foul, that thou mayeft live. O that this 
Lord would at prefent circumcife your eyes, and re- 
move the mift that is before them, that you might fee 
plainly what kind of a circumcifion this is ! you can- 
not be fo dull as to take it for a corporal circumcifion, 
becaufe the heart is not capable of it , what fort of cir- 
cumcifion is it then, that the Lord promifes in this place ; 
it is without doubt, the retrenching of that fuperfluity 
of paffions and evil inclinations which flow from the 
heart, and which hinder it from placing its love where it 
ought. Thefe are the fuperfluous and hurtful branches 
which he promifes to lop off with the knife of his grace, 
that the heart being thus pruned and circumcifed, may 
fhoot forth all its virtue, by this only branch of the love 
of GOD (2). Then it is that you will be an Ifraelite in- 
deed , it is then you will be truly circumcifed, when he 
(hall fee the love of the world cut off from your foul, and 
no other love remaining in it but the love of him. 

9- ! 
(i) Deut. c. xxx. v, i, 6. (2) Joan. c. i. v. 47. 

Part III. Ch. 4 . Way to Virtue Eafy. 341 

9. I could wifli you would confider with attention, how 
GOD in another place commands you to do that yourfelf, 
which he promifes here he will do for you, if you will but 
return to him. His words are thefe ( r ) : Be circumcifed 
to the Lord^ and take away the fore/kins of your hearts. 
Why, O Lord, do you command me to do what you your- 
felf promife to do for me? if you muft do it, why do 
you command me to do it ? if I mud do it, why do you 
promife that you will ? the glorious St. Auguftin clears 
this difficulty, by thefe words : " Give me grace, fays he, 
O Lord, to do whatever you pleafe (2)." S^ that it is he 
commands me all that I am obliged to do, and will aflift 
me with his grace to do it. Thus the command and 
the promife, meet here both together, and GOD and man 
produce the fame effect; GOD as the principal caufe, and 
man as the lefs principal. Thus it is that GOD deals 
with men, as a painter that fhould guide the pencil in 
his fcholar's hand ; and he, by this means, comes to draw 
a fine piece , that thef both made it, is clear ; but it 
would not therefore follow, that they both deferved the 
fame honour, or that one had as good a hand as the other. 
It is juft fo GOD does in our prefent cafe, and that with- 
out prejudice to the liberty of free-will, that man may 
have nothing to take a pride in, when the work is done, 
but may give all the glory of it to the Lord, and fay 
with the prophet (3) : 'Thou Lord haft wrought all our 
works for us. 

10. Reflect therefore upon this fentence, and by the 
means of it, you will come to have a perfect underfland- 
ing of the commandments of GOD, becaufe he promifes 
to be with you in doing of all he commands you. And 
thus, as he fays, when he bids you circumcife your heart, 
that he will circumcife it for you , fo when he bids you 
love him above all things, he will give you grace to do 
it. This is the reafon why it is faid (4), 'That God's yoke 
is fweet, becaufe there are two to carry it ; that is, GOD 
and man : fo that by this means, GOD'S grace makes 
that eafy, which nature by itfelf made very difficult. 

U u And 

(l) Jerem. c. iv. v. 4. (2). Conf. L. x. c. 31. 

(3) Ifaiah, c. XXvi. v. 12 (4) Matt. c.xi. v. 30. 

342 The Sinners Guide* Book 1 

And therefore Mofes immediately after the words above- 
ciLcd, goes on Nius * : 'This commandment, that I command 
thee this day, is not above thee, nor far from thee, nor is it 
in heaven that thcu foouldeft fay : wkicb of us can go up to 
heaven to bring it to us, and we may hear and fulfill it in 
wcrks. Nor is it beyond the fea ; th%t thou mayeft excufe 
thyfelf, and fay : which of us can crofs the fea, and bring it 
unto us : that we may hear, and do that which is commanded. 
But the word is very nigh to thee, in thy mouth, and in thy 
heart, that thou mayeft do it. By which words the holy 
prophet defigned to remove thofe difficulties and impedi- 
ments, which fenfual men find in the law of GOD ; be- 
caufe confidering the law barely, without the gofpel ; that 
is to fay, looking on what is commanded, without re- 
garding the grace which is given to enable them to per- 
form it, they "reflect upon the law of GOD as hard and 
unpleafant, without confidering they flatly contradict 
St. John in this point, who faysf : 'True charity ccnjifls in 
our keeping of God's commandment and his commandments 
are not heavy. For whatfoever is born of God overcometh 
the world ; meaning, that thofe, who have received the 
fpirit of GOD in their fouls, by the means of which they 
have been regenerated, and made the children of him, 
whole fpirit they have received, have GOD within them, 
who dwells in them by grace, and enables them to do 
much more, than all the world could befides. So that, 
neither the world, nor the devil, nor all the power of 
hell can prevail againft them. Whence it follows, that 
though GOD'S commandments were very heavy, the new 
force furnifhed by grace, would make them light. 


tfhat the love of God makes the way to heaven eafy 
and pleafant. 

ii. If to all that has been faid, we add the afiiftance 
we receive from charity, how light and eafy will virtue 
be then ? for it is evident, that one of the^ chief qualities 
t)f charity is to make the yoak of GOD'S laws very de- 
lightful ; 

* Deut. c. xxx. v. 1 1, 12, 13, 14, f St, John, c. v. v. 3, 4* 

Part III. Ch. 4. Way to Virtue Eafy. 343 

Jightful , becaufe as St. Auguflin fays *: Thofe who love 
think no labours painful ; nay they delight in them, as 
men that love fiPning, hunting, or hawking, do in the 
toils and fatigues of thofe fports. What is it that makes 
a mother not regard the pains me takes in bringing up 
her children, but love ? what is it, but love, that makes 
a virtuous wife tend her fick hufband, day and night, 
without any intermiffion ? what is it that makes even 
beafts and birds take fo much pains for the nouriming of 
their young ones -, fo as almoft to ftarve themfelves to 
feed them 9 to labour hard, that they may take their 
reft ; and to expoie themfelves to danger, with a great 
deal of courage, to defend and fecure them ? It is no- 
thing but love. What elfe was it that made the apoftle 
St. Paul, fpeak thefe generous words which we read in 
his epiftle to the Romans + : Who then Jhali feparate us 
frcm the love of Chrijt ? Jhall tribulation f or diftruft ? or 
famine ? or n'akednefs '( or danger ? or persecution ? or the 
fword ? for I am fure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, 
nor -principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things 
to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, ncr any creature 
Jhall be able to feparate us from the love of God. What was 
it elfe, but the force of this love, that made holy St. Do- 
minick thirft fo ardently after martyrdom ? what was it 
that made St. Lawrence fo chearful, whilft he was broil- 
ing upon the gridiron, as to cry out that thefe very 
Barnes refrefned him, but the exceflive defire he had of 
martyrdom, kindled in him by this love. For the true 
love of GOD, as St. Chryfologus fays J, thinks nothing 
hard, nothing bitter, nothing heavy. What iron, what 
wounds, what pains,' what death is there which true love 
cannot overcome ? love is armour proof, it turns the ar- 
rows, repels the darts, defpifes dangers, and laughs a 
.death. In fine, love carries all before it. 

12. Nor is perfect love fatisfied with overcoming fuch 

labours and difficulties as occur, but defires to meet with 

more for his fake, that is beloved. Hence proceeds that 

ager thirfting of perfect men after martyrdom ! that is, 

U u 2 to 

* St. Aug. Tree. 48. in Joan, -j- Rom. c. viii. -v. 35538,39. 

J St. Chryfologus's Serm. 144. de locarnat. 

344 We Sinners Guide. Book 1. 

to fhed their blood for him, who firft med his for them. 
And becaufe they cannot obtain their defires, they are 
enraged, as it were, againft themfclves, and become in 
fome meafure their own executioners. Therefore they 
afflict their bodies, and make them fuffer hunger, thirft* 
cold, heat, and many other mortifications; and find a 
great deal of comfort in their fufferings, becaufe they in, 
lome meafure obtain what they defired. 

13. This language thofe that love the world do not 
underftand, nor can they conceive how any man can 
love, what they fo much abhor , or have a horror for that, 
they fo paflionately love. "We read in the holy fcrip* 
tures, that the Egyptians had brute beads for their gods, 
and as fuch adored and worfhipped them. But the chil- 
dren of Ifrael (i) called thofe tilings abominations, which 
the Egyptians- ftiled gods, and facrificed fuch creatures, 
as they adored for gods, in honour of the true GOD* 
The juft, in the fame manner, like true Ifraelites, call 
thofe abominations, which the world worfhips as its 
gods , fuch are, honours, pleafures, and riches, which it 
adores and offers facrifice to ; they defpife and make a 
facrifice of thofe falfe gods, as of fo many abominations, 
to the glory of the true GOD. So let him that would of- 
fer an acceptable facrifice to GOD, obferve what the world 
adores, and offer that : on the contrary, let him embrace, 
for the love of GOD, whatibever he fees the world deteft 
and abhor. Did not they do fo, who after receiving the 
firft fruits of the Holy Ghoft, were glad to have been car- 
ried before the council, and to have fuffered injuries for 
the name of Chrift. Is it pofilble then, that what made 
prifons (2), fcourges, gridirons and flames delightful, 
fhall not be able to make the keeping of GOD'S com- 
mandments, fweet and pleafant to you ? Can that which 
is every day powerful enough to make the juft bear, not 
only the burden of the law, but the additional weight of 
their fafts, their watchings, their difciplines, their hair- 
fhirts, their nakednefs and their poverty, want force to 
make you carry the bare burden of the law of GOD, and 
of his church ? alas ! how much you are deluded ? alas I 

(l) Exod. c. viii. v. $6, 27, (2) Afts,c.v, 

Part IF. Ch. 4. Way to Virtue Eafy. 345 

how ignorant you are of the force of charity, and of the 
grace of GOD ? 


Of ferns other things which make the way of virtue plea* 
Jant to us. 

What has been faid might fuffice to remove this ob- 
jection fo many make ufe of. But fuppofmg there were 
nothing of what we have urged, fuppofmg the re were 
many hardlhips in this road ; what wonder were it, you 
mould for the falvation of your foul, do fome part of 
what you do for the health of your body. What mighty 
matter would it be to do fomething to efcape eternal 
torments? what do you think the covetous rich man, 
who is now burning in hell fire, would not do, if he 
were to have the liberty of returning to the world, to 
do penance for his paft fins ? there is no reafon but you 
fhould do as much now, as he would do, were it in his 
power ; becaufe if you are wicked, the fame torment is 
prepared for you, and therefore you ought to have the 
fame defire. 

15. Befides,* if you ferioufly confider how much GOD 
has done for you, and how much more he promifes you, 
if you did reflect upon thofe many crimes you have com- 
mitted againft him, upon the toils and hardmips which the 
faints have undergone, but particularly upon thofe which 
the faint of faints has endured for your fake : you could 
not but be alhamed and blufh, not to fuffer fomething 
for the love of GOD j nay, you would even be afraid 
and jealous of every thing that pleafed you. This it 
was that made St. Bernard fay ; " That all the tribula- 
tions and torments we can potfibly fuffer in this life, bear 
no proportion with either the glory we hope for, or the 
torments we fear, or the fins we have committed, or the 
benefits GOD has beftowed on us." Any one of thefe 
confiderations ought to fuffice to make us undertake this 
life, though never fo laborious and troublefome. 

1 6. But to deal ingenuoufly with you, though there be 
troubles and difficulties in all places, and in ail forts of 


346 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

lives, yet the hardfliips that occur in the way of the 
wicked, are incomparably more than in the way of the 
juft. For, though it is troublefome to go a long journey 
a foot, pick your way out as well as you can, becaufe 
you will be tired before you get to your journies end ; 
yet it is certain, that a blind man who Humbles every 
ftep he takes, will find it much more troublefome than 
he that walks with his eyes open, and minds where he 
treads. Since therefore this life of ours is but a jour-* 
ey, it is impoflible to avoid all thofe troubles that are 
in it, till we arrive at our refting place. But the wicked 
man, not guiding himfelf by the rules of reafon, but 
-according to the impulfe and bent of his paflions, it is 
a plain cafe that he walks on, as if he were blind, fince 
there is nothing in nature fo blind as pafTion. On the 
contrary, the good and virtuous man following in all 
.things, the dictates of reafon difcovers thefe precipices 
at a diftance, and avoids the fame, continuing on his 
journey, by this means with lefs trouble, and much more 
iecurity. Solomon the wile was fenfible of this, and 
acknowledges it to be fo, when he fays, But the path of 
the juft, as a fanning light , goeth forwards and increafeth^ even 
to perfeft day. The way of the wicked is darkfome^ fo they 
know not where they fall *. It is not only dark, as Solo- 
.mon fays -f-, but flippery too according to David, fo that 
by this you may fee, how often that man muft of ne- 
Hceffity fall, who walks in fuch a way as this is ; in the 
-dark, and himfelf quite blind ; and by thefe comparifons 
you may perceive, what vaft difference there is betwixt 
the two ways of the wicked, and the juft ; and betwixt 
the difficulties both parties meet with. 

17. And what is yet more, the juft have a thoufand 
iielps, that leffen and eafe this little trouble they are at, 
as has been obferv'd before. For firft they have the af- 
fiftance of GOD'S fatherly providence, which directs and 
guides them , they have the grace of the Holy Ghoft, 
that ftrengthens and encourages them j they have the 
virtue of the facraments which fanctifies them ; they have 
the divine confolations which refrefh them ; they have 

* Prov. c. iv. v. 18, 1C). *}" Pfalm xxxiv, v. . 

Part III. Ch. 4. Way to Virtue Eafy. 347 

the examples of good men to excite them ; they have 
the writings of the faints to inftruft them , they have 
the joy of a good confcience to comfort them ; they have 
the hope of everlafting glory to nourim them ; with a 
thoufand other favours and afMances which Almighty 
GOD gives them, by the means of which this way be- 
comes fo pleafant to them, that they come at laft to cry 
out with the prophet : How fweet are thy words Lord, 
to my mouth ; they are finest er than honey. 

1 8. "Whofoever will but reflect upon this, will imme- 
diately fee how feveral paffages of the holy fcriptures, 
fome of which make the way of virtue rough and trou- 
blefome, and others again fmooth and eafy, are to be 
reconciled together. For the royal prophet fays in one 
place ; For the fake of the words of thy lips, I have kept 
hard ivays *. And in another, / bave been delighted in the 
"jo ay of thy tejtimomes^ as in all riches f. For it is true 
to fay, that thefe things, to wit, difficulty and eafe are 
in this way ; the firft comes from nature, and the other 
from the virtue of grace ; and thus what was difficult, 
on account of the one becomes eafy by means of the 
other. Our Saviour himfelf fignified as much to us, bj 
thefe words : My yoke is fweet and my burthen light J ; 
for by giving it the name of a yoke, he expreffed the 
heavy weight, and by calling it fweet, he mewed us with 
how much eafe we might carry it, by the help of grace. 

19. But if you mould afk me, how it is poffible this 
can be a yoke, and at the fame fweet too , it being the 
nature of a yoke to be heavy : I anfwer, it is becaufe 
GOD makes it light, according to his promife by the 
Prophet Ofea : And I will be to them as one that taketb 
of the yoke on their jaws. What wonder is it then that 
this yoke mould be eafy when GOD makes it fo, and 
when he himfelf helps us to carry it ? if the bufh was 
on fire without being burnt, becaufe GOD was in it, 
why fhould we be aftonilhed at a burden*s being light, 
when GOD himfelf is under it|l? Would you fee them 


Pfalmxvi. v. iv. -f Pfalm cxviii. v. 14. J St. Matt. 
c. xi. v. 30. Olea, c. xi, v. 4. g Exod. c. iii. v. 2. 

348 The Sinners Gnide. Book T> 

both in the fame perfon ? hear what St. Paul fays * : In 
all things we fuffer tribulation, but are not dijlreffcd : we 
areftraitned, but are not dejlitute: we fuffer per fee ution, but 
tire not for Jake n : we are caft down, but we peri/h not. Con- 
fider here, on the one fide, the weight of theie labours, 
and on the other, how light Goo ufed to make them. 

20. Ifaiah fignified this more exprefsly to us, when he 
faid f : But they that hope in the Lord /hall renew their 
Jlrength, they Jhall take wings as eagles, they /hall run, and 
not be weary: they /hall walk, and not faint. You fee 
here the yoke flung off, by the virtue of grace , you fee 
the ftrength of the flem changed into that of the fpirit, 
or rather, the ftrength of man turned into that of Goo. 
You fee the holy prophet did not pafs over in filence, 
either the labour, the reft," or the advantage which one 
has over the other, when he faid : They Jhall run, and /hall 
not be weary ', they Jhall walk, and /hall not faint. So that 
you ought not to go out of this road, becaufe it is 
rugged and troublefome, fince there are fo many things 
in it, which make it fmooth and eafy. 


Some examples to prove what has been faid. 

If all thefe reafons cannot convince you, and your in* 
credulity remains, like that of St. Thomas, who would 
not believe any thing, but what he faw with his own 
eyes, I will comply with you in this point too, not fear- 
ing that fuch a good caufe as this is, can want a defence. 
Let us for example, take a man that has run through all 
the courfes of this life, that has been for fome time very 
vicious and worldly, and has afterwards, through the 
pure mercy of GOD, changed thefe evil practices and be- 
come quite another thing , fuch a man as this is a proper 
judge, becaufe he has not only heard, but feen and had 
the experience of both thefe conditions. You may de- 
fire this man to tell you, whether of thefe two he found 
to be thefweeteft? feveral of thofewhofe bufmefs it is to 
examine into the confciences of others, will give you 

- * 2 Cor. c. iv. v. 8, 9. } Ifaiah, c. xl. v. 31. 

Part III. Ch. 4. Way cf Virtue Eaft. 349 

good teftimonies of this truth : They that go down to the 
fea in Jbips> doing bujincfs in the great waters ; thzfe have 
feen the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep * ; 
which are nothing elfe but the effect of his grace, and 
thofe extraordinary changes which are wrought everjf 
day by virtue thereof, and which are without doubt, fub* 
jecis of a more than common wonder. For, it is cer- 
tain, there is nothing in the world which better deferves 
our admiration, if a man would but confider it well, 
than to fee the effects which grace produces in the foul of a 
juil man ; to fee how it transforms him ; how it beats 
nim up ; how it flrengthens him , how it comforts him ; 
how it compofes him all over both within and without; 
how it makes him change the cufloms of the old man ; 
how it alters all his affections and pleafures ; how it 
makes him love that which he hated before, and hate 
that which he had before a love for; how it makes him 
relifh that, which before he looked upon as unfavoury ; 
whilft at the fame time he loaths that which he fought fo 
much after before. Who can conceive what flrength it 
gives him for fighting ? what joy ? what peace ? what 
light for the knowing of the will of GOD, the vanity of 
the world, and the true value of fpiritual things which 
he ufed to defpife. But what is yet more wonderful than 
all the reft, is to fee in how fhort a time all thefe things 
are performed ; for there is no neceflity of fpending fe- 
veral years in the fchools of the philofophcrs, nor of 
flaying till we are old men, that age may help us to re* 
cover our fenfes, and the mortifying our paffions : a man 
may be changed in the very heat and vigor of his youth, 
and in the fpace of a few days, fo as to be fcarce able to 
know himfelf. Therefore it was St. Cyprian faid, " That 
this is a thing which may fooner be felt than learned ; 
and that it is not to be gained by many years ftudy, but 
by a turn of grace which produces it all in a very little 
time -f." We may therefore call grace a kind of fpiri- 
tual charm, by which GOD changes mens hearts, to 
make them have a pafllonate love for thofe things which 
before they had a horror of; as for example, the practice 
Xx of 

*Pfalm cvi. v, 23, 24- t St - C 7P ri - E P' ad Donat - 

350 Tike Sinners Guide. Book. I. 

of the feveral virtues ; and the greateft averfion imagi- 
nable to thofe they defired fo eagerly before, to wit, the 
delights and pleafure that are in fin. 

22. This is one of the mofl confiderable advantages 
thofe confefTors gain by their employ, who difcharge it 
with a right fp'rit and devotion ; for they daily fee feveral 
of thefe miracles by \vhich GOD feems to requite the 
trouble they undergo, in doing him that piece of fervicc. 
And this return which GOD makes them is fo generous, 
that we have feen feveral confeffors changed themfelves, 
by feeing fuch changes in others : and thefe frequent 
examples have been the occafions of their advancing iri 
the way of virtue. So that thefe perfons, whilfl they are 
Blent, like another Jacob, hear Jofeph's myfterious words, 
and value the fame at their juft rate, whilft the fimple 
infant that relates, does not know what price to fet 
upon them. 

27. But for the greater confirmation of what I have 
faid, I will here add the examples of two great faints, 
who lived in this fame error for fome time, but after- 
ward difcovered the deceit. GOD has thought fit, that 
they fhculd both of them leave us in writing, an account 
of the lame for our inftruction and example. The glo- 
ricus martyr St. Cyprian, writing to his dear friend Do- 
natus, to acquaint him with the beginning and manner 
cf his converfion, delivered himfelf thus. 

2^. " * During the time in which I walked in darknefs, 
and in an obfcure night , when I was tofTed up and down, 
like one in a ftorm, by the inconftant waves of this 
world, and was funk very deep into the mire, knowing 
nothing at all of my own courfe of life, and deprived of 
the light of truth, I looked upon all that as very hard 
to be effected, which GOD had promifed me in order to 
my falvation -f , which is, that a man could be born 
again, and by the virtue of baptifm, receive a new life, 
fo as to be changed from what he was before, and be 
made a new man within, though the fubflance without 
remained ftill the fame. How, faid I, is it poffible, that 
fuch a converfion mould happen, as that we mould im- 
* St. Cypri. Ep. ii. L, 2. *f Joan. c. iii. v. 3. 

Part III. Ch 4. Way to Virtus Eajy. 3-1 

mediately, and on a fudclen fhake off, that which has 
been a long time rooted in us, either by the corruption 
of our nature, or by a long ufe and cuftom ? how can 
he live fparingly, who has been ufed to keep a great 
table ? when will he wear a plain drefs, who has been 
always cloathed in filks and fcarlet ? he that has always 
carried a great retinue with him, and has been attended 
by a train of lackeys, will never endure to go by him- 
felf. He that has placed all his delights in great employ- 
ments, can never live like a private man. He cannot 
but be always wrought upon by thofe things he ufed to 
be charmed with j intemperance will folicit him, pride 
will puff him up, anger will inflame him, covetoufnefs 
torment him, cruelty prefs him, ambition pleafe him, 
and luft hurry him blindly away. I frequently reflected 
upon thefe things with myfelf, for being engaged in fo 
many different fins of my pad life, which I thought I 
mould never be freed from ; I myfelf encouraged the 
vices which {luck faft to me, and defpairing of ever 
growing better, I favoured my crimes, as if they had 
been of my own houfe and family. Bqt as foon as the 
ftains and filth of my former life was warned off by the 
water of baptifm, a heavenly light flione down upon my 
foul, now cleaned and purged from all its fins. As foon 
as I had received the Holy Ghoft, I was by the means 
of a fecond birth, fo changed into a new man, that 
what I before doubted of, I immediately looked upon as 
moft certain j what was fhut up againft me before, was 
immediately opened ; that which was dark became light, 
I thought thofe things eafy which before feemed to be 
fo hard ; .and what ufed to feem impofllble, I looked 
upon as quite contrary ; I faw clearly that what was born 
of the ftem, and liable to frequent failings, was earthly, 
and that what the Holy Ghoft had animated, came from 
GOD, and not from man. You know very well, my 
dear Donatus, what this holy fpirit has taken from me, 
and what he has beftowed on me : he who is the death of 
fin, and the life of all kinds of virtues. You know all - 
this, nor do I boaft of any thing now : it is odious to 
boaft of fuch things, for to get praife and commenda- 
Xx 2 tion ; 

35 2 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

tion , though for a man to talk of what he has receive^ 
from the pure mercy of GOD, and what he cannot by any 
means afcribe to himfelf, is fo far from boafting, that on 
the contrary, it is but juftice and gratitude j for it is 
pkin, that the forfaking of fin is no lefs the effect of. 
divine grace, than the committing of it is the effect of 
human trailty. 

25. Thefe are the words of St. Cyprian, which plainly 
difcover the miftake you and many more are under, who 
meafuring the difficulty of virtue by their own flrength, 
look upon the acquiring of it as not only difficult but 
jmpoflible, and never fo much as confider that, if they 
will but caft themfelves into the arms of GOD, and re-, 
folve fully to forfake their fins, he will receive them into 
his grace, which makes this way fo fmooth, as appears by 
this example. For it is certain there is no falihood in 
all this, nor will that grace be denied you, which was 
granted to this faint, if you will return to GOD as fincerely 
as he did. 

26. Hear another example no lefs wonderful than the 
former. St. Auguftin in the eighth book of his con- 
feffions, tells us, that he had no fooner begun to think 
ferioufly with himfelf of leaving the world, but a great 
many difficulties offered themlelves to him, in this 
change, whilft at the fame time he thought on the one 
fide, that all his former pleafures came and flood before 
him, and faid to hini ; " What ? will you part with us ? 
and Ihall we, from this moment, never fee you again for 
all eternity* ?" On the other fide, he fays, That virtue 
appeared to him with a ferene and chearful countenance, 
accompanied with a great many good examples of vir- 
gins and widows, and of other perfons, who had lived 
chaflly in all kinds of dates and ages j and that they faid 
to him -j-. ' Cannot you do as much as thefe men and 
women have done ? have they done any thing of them* 
felves ! is it not GOD that has done all in them ? whilft 
you rely upon yourfelf, you mufl of neceffity fall. Caft 
yourfelf upon him x be, not afraid, he w,Ul not go away 


* Conf. L, viii. c, xi, 

Part III. Ch. 4. Way to Virtue Eajy. 3 53. 

from you, and let you fall ; caft yourfelf upon him with 
confidence, he will receive and cure you." 

27. This great faint fays, that as he was in the heat of 
this combat, he began to weep bitterly, and going a little 
afide, laid himfelf down under a fig-tree, and there giv- 
ing way to his tears, cried out from the bottom of his 
heart, faying.: " And thou O Lord, how long ?" How 
long O Lord wilt then forget me ? Remember net our former 
iniquities: How long O Lord, how long will this. tomorrow, 
tomorrow laft ? Why not now ? why /ball there not be an end 
of my diforders this very hour * ? 

28. As foon as the faint had made an end of thefe and 
fuch complaints, he fays, his heart was fo changed on a 
fudden, that from the very moment, he never had any 
farther affection for the fins of the fiefh, nor for the de- 
lights and pleafures of the world. On the contrary, he 
perceived his heart entirely freed from all his former 
irregular defires. And having recovered his liberty, he 
begins in his following book to thank his deliverer, 
faying, O Lord, lam thy fervant, 1 am thy fern ant and 
the [on of thy handmaid. Thou haft broken my bonds afunder* 
I will facrifice to thee the facrif.ce of praife. Let my heart 
and my tongue praife thee, and let all my bones Jay, who is 
Kke unto thee, O Lord f ? " Where has my free-will been 
for fo many years, O Jefus Chrift my helper and my re- 
deemer, fince it has not returned to thee ? from what 
deep abyfs haft thou drawn it in a moment, that I might 
put my neck under thy eafy yoak, and my moulders 
under thy light burthen ? how am I on a fudden de- 
lighted with being deprived of the trifling pleafures 1 have 
fo long run after, and what a fatisfaction is it to me to 
part with thofe follies I was afraid of lofmg before * 
thou O folid and chief delight haft driven all thofe other 
falie ones from me , thou haft driven them away, and 
haft taken up their places-, thou art more delightful 
than all other delights, and more beautiful than all other 
beauties together J." Thus far St. Auguftin. 

29. Tell 

* Conf. L. viii. c. 12. Pfalm Ixiv. Pfalm xii. v. i. 
Pfalm Ixxviii. v. 8. Ifaiah, c. Jxiv. v. 2. t 

V. 16, 17. Pfalmlxxxiv. v, 2. J L. ix. c. j. 

354 ffi* Sinners Guide. Book I. 

29. Tell me now, fince the cafe ftands thus, and fince 
the power and efficacy of GOD'S grace is fo great, what 
is there can ftill enflave, and keep you from doing as 
much as this glorious faint has done ? if you believe 
that what I have here related is true, that it is in the 
power of grace to work fuch a change, as this of St. Au- 
guftin's -, and that this grace is denied to no man that 
fhall feek after it with his whole heart, GOD being the 
fame now, that he was then, without any refpeft of 
perfons, what hinders you from getting out of this mi- 
ferable llavery, and from embracing this fovereign good, 
which is fo freely offered you ? why had you rather gain 
one hell by another, than one paradife by another ? be 
not dejected nor difcouraged : try once at leaft, whether 
this be true or no, and put your confidence in GOD, 
that as foon as ever you begin, he will come and meet 
you with open arms, as he did the prodigal fon -f-. It 
is a ftrange thing, that if a notorious cheat mould pro- 
mife to teach you the art of finding out the philofopher's 
ilone, or of turning brafs into gold, you mould endea- 
vour to learn it, whatfoever it coft you, and yet God 
Almighty here gives you his word, that he will teach 
you, how you may change yourfelf from earth into hea- 
ven, from flem into fpirit, from a man into an angel, 
and you will not fo much as try the experiment. 

30. In fine, fince you muft of neceflity, either fooner 
or later, either in this life or in the next, acknowledge 
this truth -, I beg of you, that you would confider feri- 
oufly how you will find yourfelf deceived at the making 
up of your accounts, when you mall fee yourfelf damned 
for all eternity, for leaving the path of virtue, becaufe 
you falfely imagined, that it was uneven and difficult; 
you will then, but alas too late, perceive that it was a 
much more pleafant way than that of fin j and the only 
road that led to everlafting delight. 


f kuc. c. xv. 

Part III. Ch. 5. Love- of the World. 


Againft thofe who refufe to walk in the way of virtue ', lecanfs 
they love the world, 

i. TF we did examine all thofe who refufe to walk in the 
J[ way of virtue, we fhould perhaps find the deceitful 
love of this world to be one of the chief caufes of their 
faint- heartednefs. I call that love of the world deceitful, 
becaufe it is grounded on a falfe, imaginary and apparent 
good, which feems to be in the things of the world, and 
makes ignorant perfons fet fo great a value upon them. 
For as creatures, that are naturally timorous, always 
avoid fome particular objects, imagining there is dan- 
ger in them, even when they are fartheft from them; 
fo thefe men, on the contrary, love and run after the 
things of the world, becaufe they fancy they are pleafant 
and delightful, though in reality they are not fo. And 
therefore, as thofe who would break fuch creatures of 
that imperfection make them go clofe by thofe things 
they were afraid of, that they may fee they were fright- 
ened at nothing but a fhadow ; fo it is requifite now we 
fhould lead thefe perfons through the mere fhadows of 
worldly things they fo pafllonately affect, that they may 
look on them with other eyes, and perceive how they 
have placed all their love upon a mere vanity, and ack- 
nowledge that thefe falfe goods no more deferve to be 
beloved, than thofe dangers we have fpoken of deferve to 
be feared. 

2. If we therefore ferioufly reflect on the world and its 
happinefs, we mail find thefe fix kinds of evil in it : to 
wit, mortnefs, mifery, danger, blindnefs, fin, and deceit. 
Thefe are the infeparable companions of all the world's 
felicity , which plainly mow what it is : we will fpeak 
here briefly of each of thefe evils according to their 

How Jhort the bappinefs of this wsrld is. 

3. To begin with the fhortnefs ; you cannot deny, but 
that all the happinefs of this world, though never fo 


356 , The Sinners Guide. Book l> 

great, is but of fhort continuance. For man's felicity- 
can lafl no longer than this life. Now, how long this 
life is, we all know , fmce the longeft fcarce ever arrives 
to the hundredth year. But how few are there that ever 
reach to this ? 1 have feen bifhops that have not lived 
above two months, popes that have not outlived one, 
and new-married couples that have died within a week 
after their marriage. We read of a great many fuch ex- 
amples in former times j and fee as many at prefent 
every day. Put the cafe, your life may be one of the 
longeft , let us grant, fays St. Chryfoftom, that a man 
may have a hundred years to fpend in the pleafures of the 
world. To this let us add another hundred, nay two 
hundred more, if you will, what is all this in refpect of 
eternity? If, fays Solomon *, a man live many years, and 
have rejoiced in them all, he muft remember the darkfomt 
time, and the many days -, which when they come, the things 
faffed Jhall be accufed of vanity. For all happinefs what- 
ever, let it be never fo great, will appear to be but vanity, 
as it really is, when compared with eternity. This is 
what even the wicked themfelves confefs, in the book of 
"Wifdom, where they fay f : So we alfo being born, forth- 
with ccafed to be. Confider how fhort all the time of this 
life will feem then to the wicked , they will imagine they 
have fcarce lived one day , they will think they were hur* 
ried away immediately from the womb to the grave. 
Whence it follows, that all the pleafures of this world 
will then feem to be only imaginary, and thofe things 
which appeared to be pleafures, were not fo. The pro- 
phet Ifaiah has given us an excellent defcription of this 
in thefe words J : And as he that is hungry dreameth, and 
eateth, but when he is awake, his foul is empty : and as he 
that is thirjly dreameth, and drinketh, and after he is awake, 
is yet faint with thirft, and his foul is empty : fo Jball be 
the multitude of all the Gentiles that (ought agamft Mount 
Sicn. Their profperity mall be fo (hort, that as foon as 
ever they {hall open their eyes, and this little time (hall 
pafs away, they mail find that all their joys were nothing 
but mere dreams. For what other name will you give 

*Eccl.c, xi. v.8. -fSap.c. v. v, 13. J Ifaiah, c. xxix. v. 8, 

Part III. Ch . 5. Love of the World. 3 57 

to the glory of as many princes and emperors as have 
ever lived in the world ? Where, fays the prophet *, are 
the princes of the nations, and they that rule over the beafls 
that are upon the earth ? that take their pa/time with the 
birds of the air ? Where are thole who have piled up 
mountains of filver and gold, in which they place their 
.confidence ? where are all thofe, who have taken fo much 
pains in making rich veiTels of gold and filver, that its 
almoft impoffible to reckon up all their different defigns 
and inventions ? what is become now of all thefe per- 
fons ? where is it that they live ? they are now turned out 
of their palaces, they are thrown down into hell, and 
others have taken their places : what is become of the 
wife man ? what is become of the fcholar ? what is be- 
come of him that ufed to fearch into the fecrets of na- 
ture ? what is become of all Solomon's glory ? where is 
now the mighty Alexander, and the glorious Afluerus ? 
where are all the famous Roman Casfars ? where all the 
-other princes and kings of the earth ! what have they got 
by their vain -glory ? by the power they had in this world ? 
by the great number of attendants ? by their falfe riches ? 
by their mighty armies ? by thofe crowds of buffoons, 
of fawning parafites and flatterers, which were perpe- 
tually about them ? all this has been nothing but, a mere 
fhadow, a mere dream, a fleeting happinefs of but a 
moment's continuance, confider then how more the hap- 
pinefs of this worjd is. 


Of the great miferies, worldly delights are mixf with. 

i. This happinefs, befides its being fo mort, has ano- 

t;her evil, which is, that it is always attended by a thou- 

fand miferies, not to be avoided in this life ; or to fpeak 

plainer in this vale of tears, in this place of banifliment, 

in this tempeftuous fea. For the miferies which man 

perpetually lies open too, are in truth many more than 

the days, nay than even the hours of his life : becaufe 

C very-day ufliers in frefh cares an-d folicitudes, and he is 

Y y every 

f Bar. c, iii. v. 16, i;. 

35 8 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

every hour threatened with new mifcries, which no 
tongue can be able to exprefs. Who can reckon up 
all the infirmities of our bodies, all the pafllons of our 
fouls, all the afflictions caufed by our very friends, with 
all the other difafters of our lives ? one goes to law with 
you for your eftate *, another endeavours to take away 
your life ; a third robs you of your reputation and ho^ 
nour : fome men purfue with hatred, fome with envy, 
fome with fraud, fome with defigns of revenge, fome 
with calumnies, fome with arms, and others, in fine, 
wound you mortally with their tongues, more dangerous 
and more hurtful far than even arms are. Befides all 
thefe miferies, there is an infinity of others, for which 
we have no names, becaufe they are unexpected acci- 
dents. One man has an eye thruft out, another has an 
arm cut off, another falls down out of a window, another 
off his horfe j another is drowned in a river, another lofes 
his eftate, another is ruined by being bound for friends, 
If you would know more of thefe miferies, a(k the 
worldly man, to give you a true account of the pleafures 
and difpleafures, he has had in his way of living. If they 
were both put into equal fcales, you will fee now much 
the one would outweigh the other, and how, for one 
jnoment of pleafure, there are an hundred hours of trou- 
ble and difcontent. If therefore man's whole life is fa 
fhort, and fo great a part of it filled with fuch miferies 
what room can there be for true happinefs ? 

2. But, as for thefe miferies which I have here reck- 
oned up, they are fuch as happen to the good, as well as 
to the bad , for fince they are all aboard the fame vefTel, 
and failing in the fame fea, they muft needs be expofed 
to the lame ftorms. There are other miferies, which are 
more fenfible than thefe, and particularly belonging to 
the wicked, as being the effects of their fins. The 
knowledge of thefe will be much more to our purpofe, 
inafmuch as it makes the lives of fuch men as tire ex-* 
pofed to them more abominable. The wicked them- 
felves inform us of the greatnefs of them in the book of 
Wfdom, faying, We weaned ourfehes in the 'way of ini- 
ytity and tftftt&Wb <wd walked through bard ways, but 


Part III. Ch. J. Love of the World 359 

the way of the Lord we have not known *. So that, as the 
good \have a paradife, even in this life, and hope for 
another in the next, and go from one fabbath to another, 
that is, from one joy to another; fo on the contrary, the 
wicked have a hell iri this lite, and exped another in the 
next, becaufe they go from the hell of a bad conicience, 
to that of everlafting torments. 

3. Thefe calamities happen to the wicked feveral ways. 
GOD fends them to fome, for he, as being a juft judge, will 
not permit the evil of the crime to pals over, without 
the due punifhment, which though it be generally 
referved for the next life, yet often begins in this. For 
it is certain, that GOD'S providence, as it is over the 
world in general, fo is it over each perfon in particular. 
And therefore we fee, that when there are more than 
ordinary fins committed in the world, they are followed 
by more than ordinary punifliments, as famine, wars, 
plagues, herefies, and fuch other calamities ? it fre- 
quently happens too, that GOD punimes man according 
to his fins which he is guilty of. For this reafon he faid 
to Cain , If thou do well, jhali thou not receive ? but if ;'//> 
Jhall not fin forthwith be prefent at the door t, That is, the 
punifhment which your fins deferves; and in Deutero- 
nomy, Mofes told the people of Ifrael, Thoufoah know) 
that the Lord thy God, he is a jtrong and faithful God, 
keeping his covenant, and mercy to them that love him, and 
to them that keep his commandments, unto a thoufand genera- 
tions : and repaying forthwith them that hate him, fo as to 
deftroy them without further delay, immediately rendering to 
them what they deferve J. Confider how many times in 
this place he repeats the word immediately , by which 
we may underftand, that befides the punifhment due to 
the wicked in the next life, they are often punifhed in 
this, fince the fcripturein this place fo often repeats, that 
they (hall be punifhed immediately. This is the caufe of 
thofe many calamities and torments they endure, ftill 
rov/ling in a perpetual wheel of difquiets, fatigues, ne* 
ceflities and hardfhips : now fuppofmg that they are fert- 
fible of them, yet they do not know from whence they 
Y^ 2* Come 

? Sap.c.v, v./. f Gen, c. iv. v.?. J Deut. evii. ,9,10. 

360 . , 'The Sinners Guide. Book 1. 

come. So that they look upon them rather as the ne- 
ceflary conditions of nature, than as punifhments inflicted 
on them for their crimes. For as they do not reckon the 
common benefits as the effects of GOD'S mercy, and 
therefore do not thank him for them, fo neither do they 
account the calamities he fends them, as the ftroaks of 
his anger, nor are they any thing the better for them. 

4. Other miferies befal them which come from GOD'S 
vicegerents the minifters of his juftice, who often meet 
with the wicked, and punifh them with imprifonments, 
banifhments, fines, infamies, forfeiture of eftates, and 
other kinds of torments, which make the pleafure of 
their fins prove bitter, and dearly bought, even in this 

5. Other pains and rniferies are brought upon therrr 
by their inordinate appetites and paflions of their hearts ; 
for what can be expected from an immoderate affection, 
from a vain fear, from a doubtful hope, from an irre- 
gular defire, from a folicitous forrow, but a thoufand 
cares and perplexities, which deprive them of the peace 
and liberty of heart, which make their whole life uneafy^ 
which excite them to fin, which hinder them from pray- 
ing, which difturb their reft in the night, and which 
make them melancholy and unhappy all the days of their 
life. Man himfelf, that is, the irregularity of his paffionSj 
is the caufe of alJ thefe miferies. You may judge by 
this what he has to hope for from any thing elfe, who 
has fuch a harvefl of his own as this is, and with whom 
he can be at peace, who is fo hotly at war with himfelf? 


Of the great fnares and dangers of the world. 

If there was none but pains and torments of the body 
in the world, there would not be fo much reafon to fear ; 
but alas ! there are dangers of the foul much more to 
be apprehended, and ought to touch us more to the 
quick. Thefe dangers are fo great, that the royal pro- 
phet fays : God jhall rain fnares upon finners f . What a 

P/a!mx. v. , . . 

. Ch. $. Love of the World. 361 

vaft number of fnares muft he fee in the world, to com- 
pare them to drops of rain ? he fays exprefly upon fin- 
ners, becaufe being fo little watchful over their hearts, 
and their thoughts fo unconcerned about avoiding 
the occafions of fin, and thinking fo little of providing 
themfelves with fpiritual remedies, and what is worfe than 
all this, walking continually in the midft of the flames of 
the world, how can they chufe but walk among infinite 
dangers ? it is upon the account of thefe many dangers 
the prophet faid, That God foall rain fnares uponfmners* 
Snares in youth, and fnares in old age ; fnares in riches, 
and fnares in poverty ; fnares in honour, and fnares in 
diflionour; fnares in company* and fnares when a man 
is alone-, fnares in adverfity, and fnares in profperity; 
in fine, every one of a man's fenfes, as the eyes, the 
tars, the tongue, arid the reft, lay fnares in the way* 
There are fo many, in fhort, of thefe fnares, that the 
prophet cries out aloud, faying, Snares upon you inha- 
bitants of the earth *. Would GOD but open our eyes a 
little, as he did St. Antony's, we mould fee all the world 
full of fnares entangled one in ariother, and mould cry 
out with him ; O who mall be able to avoid them all ! 
this is the deftrucEtiori of fo many fouls as perim every 
day, and therefore St. Bernard fays with tears, that there 
is fcarce one (hip in ten caft away in the fea of Mar- 
feilles , whilft on the contrary, there is fcarce one foul 
in ten, that is not loft in the fea of this world. Who 
will not endeavour to avoid fo many fnares ? who can, 
without trembling, go barefoot amongft fo many fer- 
f>ent: ? who will run unarmed among!! fo many mortal 
difeafes. Who will not endeavour to get out of this 
Egypt -j- ? who will not fly from this Babylon J ? who 
will not endeavour to be delivered from thefe flames of 
Sodom and Gomorrah , and to fave himfelf in the 
mountain of a good life ? fince this world is full of fo 
many fnares and precipices-, and burns in the flames of fo 
many vices, who will think himfelf fecure ? Can a man 
fays the Wife man, hide fire in his bofom^ and his garments 


* Jerem. c. xlviii, v. 43. f Exod. c. xii, J Jerem. c. li. 
Gen. c, xxix. 

362 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

toot burn ? or can he walk upon hot coals, and his feet not 
be burnt*? He that toucheth pitch^ fays Ecclefiafticus, 
Jhall be defiled with it ; and he that hath fellow/hip with the 
proud, Jhall put on pride -j% 


Of the blindnefs and darknefs of the world. 

To this infinite number of fnares and dangers, add 
another evil, which makes them greater , and is the blind* 
fiefs and darknefs of worldly men, excellently reprefented 
to us by the Egyptian darknefs J, which was fo thick, 
that they could feel it with their hands ; and, during the 
three days it continued, no-body ftirred out of the 
place he was in, nor could fee his neighbour, though he 
flood juft by him. Such as this, and much more if pof- 
iible, is the darknefs" that covers the world. For what 
greater blindnefs, than for men to believe, and yet live 
as they do ? to make fuch account of their fellow-crea- 
tures, and to take fo little notice of GOD ? to be fo care- 
ful of obferving the laws of the world, and fo negligent 
in keeping of GOD'S commandments ? to take fo much 
pains about the body, which is at the beft, but a brute 
beaft, and to be fo little concerned for the foul, which is 
no lefs than the image of the Divine Majefty ? to lay 
up fo much {tore for this life, which will perhaps, be at 
an end to-morrow, and to provide nothing for the next, 
which muft laft for all eternity ? to be fo folicitous about 
raifing a fortune upon earth, and not to move fo much 
as one ftep, for the acquiring of heavenly good : what 
greater blindnefs than to live fo negligently, as if life 
were never to end, when we know we are to die, and that 
moment to decide what mail be for ever ? for, what is 
it fmners, who are to die to-morrow, do lefs than if 
they were never to die at all ? what greater blindnefs than 
to lofe the inheritance of heaven, for the fatisfying of a 
hungry appetite ? to be fo careful about an eftate, and 
to have fo little regard for confcience ? to defire that 
all things mould be good, except only a man's own 

life ? 

* Prov. c. vi. v, 2 7, 2 8., f Ecd, c, xiii. r, I , J Exgd. e, x, 

Part III. Ch. 5. Love of tie World. 363 

life ? you will find the world fo full of fuch blindnefies, 
that you will believe almoft all mankind is enchanted and 
bewitched, fo as not to fee, though they have eyes ; nor 
hear though they have ears ; and though they are as 
fharp-fighted as eagles, to difcover the things of the earth, 
yet they are as blind as beetles to thofe of heaven ? thus 
it happened with St. Paul, when he went to perfecute 
the church: for as foon as ever he was. thrown down 
upon the ground, he could fee nothing at all, though 
ke had his eyes open. This is what happens to all thofe 
unhappy wretches, who having their eyes wide open to 
the things of the world, yet keep them fhut to all that 
is of GOD. 

S E C T V. 

Qf the multitude of fins that are in tbe world. 

Since therefore there are fo many fnares in the 
world, and fo much darknefs, what can a man expect 
here, but to be continually {tumbling and falling ? of all 
the miferies in the world this is the greateit, and that 
which ought to give us a moft averfion to it. This was 
the only argument St. Cyprian * made ufe of, to per- 
fuade his friend to a contempt of the world. He fup- 
pofes to this end that they were both of them on the 
top of a very high mountain, from whence he had a 
profped of all the world ; pointed out to his friend, as 
it were with his finger s all the feas and all the countries, 
all the markets and all the courts of judicature, full of 
thofe feveral fins and injuftices which are to be found in 
all parts ; that fo beholding, as it were with his eyes, fo 
many and fo great evils, as there are in the world, he 
might underftand what a horror and dread he ought to 
have of it, and how much he was obliged to Almighty 
GOD, for having withdrawn him from them all. Do 
you in imitation of this proceeding, get up to the top 
of this fame mountain, caft your eyes a little upon all the 
. market-places, all the palaces, all the courts, and all the 
mops in the world, you will there fee fo many forts of 
ns, fo much corruption, fo many diffractions, fo many- 
* L, 2. Ep. 2. ad Donat, 

364 The Sinners Guide. Book I f 

cheats, fo many perjuries, fo many robberies, fo much 
envy, fo much flattery, fo much vanity, and above alj 
fuch an entire forgetfulnefs of GOD, and fo great a ne- 
glect of a man's own falvation, that you cannot but be 
amazed at fo much diforder. You will fee the greater 
part of men living like brute beafts, following the bent 
and impulfe of their own pafllons, without having any 
more regard to the laws, either of juftice or of reafon, 
than heathens, who have no knowledge at all of GOD, 
and who think man has nothing elfe to do, but to live 
and die. You will fee the innocent opprefled, the guilty 
acquitted, the virtuous condemned, and finners honoured 
and promoted. You will fee the poor and humble 
trampled upon, whilft favour and intereft get the better 
in all things of virtue. You will fee juftice fold, truth 
flighted, fhame loft, arts ruined, offices abufed, and all 
ibrts of employs for the -moft part corrupted. You will 
fee many knaves that deferve to be feverely punifhed, 
for their villanies become rich, honoured and courted by 
every body , and all this by their thefts, their cheats, 
and a thoufand other unlawful means. You will fee 
thefe and many others who have fcarce any more than 
the fhape of man, filling the greateft places, and pre- 
ferred to the moft honourable employs. You will fee, 
in fine, that men love and adore their money more than 
they do GOD -, whilft all laws, both divine and human, 
are corrupted by avarice, and aim oft all the world over, 
there is nothing of juftice to be feen, but the mere name 
and fhadow of it. When you have feen all thefe things, 
you will underftand how much reafon the prophet had for 
laying : Ibe Lord bath looked down from heaven upon the 
children of men, to fee if there be any that underjland find 
feek God. 'They are all gone afide, they are become unprofi- 
table together : there is none that doth good, no, not one *. 
Nor does GOD complain any lefs by his Prophet Ofea, 
when he fays ; 'There is no truth, and there is no mercy, and 
there is no knowledge of God in the land. But on the contrary,, 
curfing and lying, and killing, and theft, and adultery, have 
ever -flowed, and blood hath touched blood -f-. 

u. In 

* Pfalmxiii, v. 2, 3. t Ofea,c. iv. v. i, 2. 

fart III. Ch. 5. Love of tie World. 3 6$ 

8. In fine, that you may the better fee what the world 
is, caft your eyes upon the head that governs it; and by 
this means you will perceive the condition of the thing 
fo governed. For, if it be true, as Jefus Chrift faid, 
that the devil is the prince of this world, that is, of 
wicked men, what muft we expect from a body, that 
has fuch a head, and from a commonwealth that has fuch 
a ruler ? this alone is enough to let you underftand, that 
the world itfelf muft be like thofe who are lovers of it* 
What kind of a place then muft it be, but a den of 
thieves ; an army of cut-throat?, a ftye full of fvvine, a 
lake full of ferpents arid bafilifks ? now, if the world be 
fuch a thing as this, why, fays a philofopher, (hall not I 
leave fuch a filthy place, fo full of treacheries, deceits, 
and fins, that there is fcarce any room left for honefty, 
piety, -or juftice ? a place where all kinds of vices reign, 
where one brother takes up arms againft another, where 
a fon wifhes for the death of his father, a hufband for 
the death of his wife, and the wife for that of her huf- 
band. Where there are fo few perfons that do not either 
fteal or cheat ; fince great men, as well as little ones, 
have their ways of robbing and cozening, though under 
fpecious pretences ? where in fhort there are fo many 
fires of lu ft, of impurity, of anger, ambition, and many 
Other vices, continually burning ? who will not defire to 
fly from fuch a world ? it was, without doubt, the defire 
of the prophet who cried out: Who will give me in the 
uuildernefs a lodging place of wayfaring men, and 1 will leave 
my people, and depart from them ? becaufe they are all adul- 
terers^ an affembly of tranfgreffors *. All that has been 
faid of this matter hitherto, belongs to the wicked in 
general ; though nobody can deny but there are feveral 
good men in the world, of all ftates and conditions, and 
it is for their fakes that GOD bears with the reft. 

9. When you have weighed all thefe things, confider 
how reafonable it is, to abhor and deteft fo great an evil; 
in which had GOD opened your eyes, you might have 
feen more devils and more fins, than there are atoms in 
the rays of the fun j and with this confide ration, nourifh 

Z z and 

* Jerem. c. ix. v. 2. 

366 , jfZtf Sinners Guide. .^~. Book I. 

and encreafe in your fouls, the defire of leaving this 
world, in fpirit at leaft; fighing with the royal pro- 
phet, and faying with him : Who will give me wings like 
a dove, and Iwillfy and be at reft-f ? 


How deceitful the bappinefs of the world is. 

10. Thefe and many more like them are the difap- 
pointments and croffes that attend the wretched felicities 
of this world, by which you may perceive, how much 
more gall there is than honey, and how much more 
wormwood than fugar. I forbear to take notice of fe- 
veral other miferies. This happinefs and delight, befide* 
being fo fliort and miferable, is alfo filthy, becaufe il 
makes men carnal and impure : it is brutifh, inafmuch 
as it makes men brutilh ; it is foolifh, becaufe it makes 
men fools, and very often deprives them of their fenfe 
and reafon -, it is inconftant, becaufe it never continues 
in the fame ftate : it is, in fine, treacherous and falfe, 
becaufe when we feem to want it moll, it leaves us and 
vanifhes into air. But I will not omit fpeaking of one 
evil that attends it, which perhaps is worfe than all the 
reft, viz. its being fraudulent and deceitful, for it appears 
to be what it is not, and promifes what it has not to 
give , fo that by this means it draws moft men after it 
to their eternal ruin. For as there is true and falfe gold, 
as there are true and counterfeit jewels, which look as 
if they were of value and are not ; fo there are true and 
falfe goods ; a true happinefs and a falfe one, which has 
nothing at all of happinefs but the bare appearance. 
Such is the happinefs of this world, which deceives and 
cheats us with its outfide glofs and colour. For as ac- 
cording to Ariftotle, it often happens, that lies, not- 
withftanding their falfhood, have a greater appearance of 
truth, than even truth itfelf , fo it is worth our obfe'rv- 
ing, that there are fome evils, which though they are 
real evils, look more like good than even fome things 
that are really good. Such is the happinefs of the world, 

f Pfdm liv. v. 7. 

Part HI. Ch. 5. Love of the World. 367 

sand therefore ignorant perfons are eafily deluded by it, 
as birds are decoyed, and as fifties caught with a bait. 
It is the nature of worldly things to prefent themfelves 
to us under a pleafant appearance, and with a flattering 
and deceitful look, which promifes a great deal of joy 
and fatisfaction -, but as foon as experience has undeceived 
us, we perceive a hook was hid under the bait, and fee 
clearly, that all is not gold that glitters. This you will 
find by experience, happens in all worldly things. Do 
but confider the pleafures of a new married couple, you 
will fee their happinefs generally lad but a few days, and 
then follow difcontents, troubles, and cares. They foon 
find afflictions from children, difeafes, abfence, jealoufy, 
difcord, mifcarriages, misfortunes, grief, and, in fine, 
from death itfelf, which is inevitable, and fometimes 
furprifes them early, and changes their wedding-joys not 
yet compleated, into the tears of widow-hood. What 
greater deceit and hypocrify than this ? how contentedly 
does a young woman go to the marriage-bed, becaufe 
her eyes are only open to that which appears outward : 
but alas ! how much more reafon would fhe have to cry 
than laugh, if fhe did but fee the train of miferies that 
follow her ? Rebecca defired to have children, but when 
Ihe found herfelf big, and perceived the contention that 
was between the two infants in her womb, fhe faid, If 
it were to be fo with me, what need was there to conceive * ? 
O how many have been thus deceived, when having ob- 
tained what they wifhed for, they find it to be quite 
another thing than what they expected. 

1 1. What fliall I fay of employments, of honours, pre- 
ferments and dignities ? how delightful they appear at 
firft fight, yet when the falfe luftre is worn off, what 
trains of palTions and folicitudes, what envy, what hard- 
fhips then difcover themfelves ? what mall I fay again of 
thofe, who are engaged in unlawful love ? how pleafant 
do they find the entrance into this dark labyrinth, at the 
beginning ? but when once they have got in, what hard- 
fhips are they to undergo ? how many unhappy nights 
tnuft they endure ? how many dangers muft they expofc 
Zz 2 thernr- 

* Gen. c, xxv. v. 22. 

368 *tbe Sinners Guide. Book I. 

themfelves to ? becaufe the fruit of this forbidden tree is 
guarded by the fury of a venomous dragon ;, that is, by 
the cruel iword, either of a parent, or of a jealous hui- 
band, in which action a man often lofes his life, his ho- 
nour, his eilate, and his ibul, all in a moment. Yoq. 
may in like manner take a view of the lives of covetous 
and cf worldly men, of thofe who aim at glory, either by 
their arms or by favour ; and you will find, in all thefe, 
the tragical effects of fortunate and pleafant beginnings, 
which have been followed by unhappy ends. For the 
nature of this cup of Babylon *, is to be gilt without, 
but to be full of poifcn within. 

12. What then is all the glory of the world, but 3 
fyren's fong which lulls us afleep j a fweet poifon, that 
carries "death along with it, a viper finely party-coloured 
without, and full of venom within ? if it delights, it is 
only to deceive us ; if it raifes up, it is to caft us down 
again , if it diverts us, it is to make us melancholy. It 
expects an unreafonable intereft for whatever it bellows. 
If you have a child born, and it mould happen to die, 
you would be ten times more troubled at its death, than 
you were pleafed at its birth. Any lofs is always the oc- 
cafion of much more grief than gain is of joy. Sicknefs 
is much more afflicting than health is comforting ; an 
affront difcontents a man more than honour pleafes, or ' 
charms him. For nature has been fo unequal in dif- 
pofing of pains and pleafures, that thofe are more able 
to torment us than thefe are to give us any eafe and 
comfort. A thorough confideration of all this, will make 
Us plainly fee, how falfe and deceitful this happinefs is, 


The (ondufion sf all that has been f aid* 

13. Here we may behold the true figure of the world, 
which, notwithflanding its outward appearance, is no-^ 
thing lefs than what feems to be. Confider what its 
happinefs is. It is fhort, miferable, dangerous, blind, 
and deceitful. If fo, what can the world be but a ma- 
gazine of labours, as a philofopher wifely terms it ; a 
* Ajjtoc, q. xvii, v. 4. fcjiooj 

Part II!. Ch. 5. Love cf the World. 369 

fchool of vanities, a market of deceit, a labyrinth of er- 
rors, a prifon of darknefs, a high-way full of robbers, a 
muddy lake, and a fea, that is perpetually ftormy ? what 
is this world, but a barren foil, a field full of ftones, a 
wood full of thorns, a green meadow full of lhakes and 
ferpents ; a garden that has flowers, but no fruit : a 
river of tears, a fountain of cares, a fweet poifon, a ferious 
comedy, and a pleafmg phrenfy. Are there any delights 
in it, which are not falfe ; or any miferies which are not 
real ? its eafe is full of trouble , its fecurity has no 
grounds to build upon ; its fear is without reafon ; its 
labours without any advantage , its tears without any 
effect ; its defigns without fuccefs - y its hopes vain ; its 
joy counterfeit , and its grief true. 

14. You fee how lively a reprefentation this world is 
of hell , for if hell be nothing but a place of torments 
and of fins, what is there in the world abounds with 
more ? the Royal Prophet was of this opinion, when he 
faid * : Day and night Jhall iniquity furround it upon its 
iff alls : in the midft thereof are labour and injuftice. This 
is the fruit the world produces, this the merchandife that 
is fold in it, this the trade that is fettled in every corner 
of it , to wit, labour and injuftice, which produce the 
evils of pain, and the evils of guilt. If hell is nothing 
but a place of torment and of guilt ; why do we not 
call this world, in fome meafure at leaft, a hell, fmce we : 
fee fo much of both in it ? St. Bernard looked upon it as 
fuch, when he faid -f- : This world would appear to be 
aimoft as miferable as hell, if it were not for the hopes 
we have, whilfl we are in this life, of obtaining a better, 


tfhat true felicity and content are to be found no where 
but in God> 

15. Having hitherto taken fo clear a view of the mi- 
fery and deceit of worldly happinefs, our next bnfmefs 
will be to confider, that the true happinefs and reft, 
which the world cannot give us, is to be found in GOD, 
"\Vere worldly men but thoroughly convinced of this, 
v. ii. -fSerm. 4. de Afceus, they 

370 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

they would not as they do now, take fo much pains in 
the purfuit of worldly pleafures. In fhort, my defign 
now is to prove the importance of this truth, not by the 
authorities and teftirnonies of faith, but purely by the 
force of reafon. 

16. For the effe&ing of this you are to underftand, 
that no creature whatever can enjoy a compleat and 

Eerfect happinefs, till it obtains its laft end ; that is, the 
ift perfection, which is proportioned to its being and 
nature. For, as long as it is without this, k cannot but 
be unquiet and difiatisfkd^ becaufe it is fenfible it wants 
fomething that is neceffary for it. I put the queftion 
now, what, man's laft end is, upon the poflefTion of which 
all his felicity depends, which divines call liis formal 
beatitude r that this isGao, is undeniable : who, as he is 
his firft beginning, fo is he his laft end. Now, as it is 
impoflible for a man to have two firft beginnings, it is 
no lefs to have two laft ends ; becaufe this would be to 
have two GOD'S. If therefore GOD alone is man's laft 
end, and ultimate happinefs, and if it is impoflible for 
him to have two laft ends, there is confequently the fame 
impofiibility of his finding any happinefs, but in GOD, 
For as the glove is made for the hand, and the fcabbard 
for the fword, fo there is no putting them to any other 
ufe , in like manner man's heart having been created for 
GOD, cannot find any reft but in him. It is with hin\ 
alone that he is content and fatisfied, and without him 
very poor and miferable. The reafon of it is, becaufe 
the undcrfbnding and the will, which are the two nobleft 
faculties, being the principal feat of blife, whilft they 
are difturbed and uneafy, man cannot pofiibly enjoy 
any peace and quiet. And it is a plain cafe, that thefe 
two faculties cannot be at reft- but in the enjoyment of 
GOD. For as St. Thomas fays -f, our underftanding 
cannot know or understand fo much, as not to be capable 
and dcfirous of knowing more, if there be more to be 
known -, fo our will can never love or enjoy, fo many 
goods as not to be capable . of more, if mOre be given 
it. Therefore thefe two powers will never be fatisfied, 
till they fhall find an univerfal object, in which all things 
t St. Thorn, jj 2, Qu. 2, Ait. 8. are 

Fart III. Ch. 5. Love of the World. 371 

are contained , and which as foon a> ever it is knov/n and 
loved, there remains no more truths to be known, nor 
any more goods to be enjoyed. Hence it follows, that 
no created being whatibever, though it were the pofTef- 
fion of all the world, is able to fill and fatisfy man's 
heart : there is none but GOD, for whom he was created, 
can do this. Thus Plutarch writes of a private foldier, 
who from one thing to another, came to be emperor, 
and feeing himfelf raifed to this honour he had fo long 
defired, and yet wanting the fati&facYion he expected, he 
faid : I have lived in all itates and conditions, and have 
found no fatisfaction in any of them : by which we may 
perceive, it is impoffible for man to find any reft but in 
GOD, as he has been created for none but GOD. 

1 7. That you may underftand this the better, look 
upon the needle of the compafs, and there you will fee 
a lively figure of this neceflary doctrine. The nature 
pf this needle is to point always to the North, when it 
has been once touched by the Joadftone. GOD, who 
created this ftone, gave it fuch a natural inclination to 
turn always that way : and you may fee by experience, 
what a violent motion it is in, and how refllefs till it 
points exactly thither, and then it immediately flops and 
remains fixt. It is not to be doubted, but that GOD has 
created man with the fame natural inclination and ten- 
dency toward him, as toward his pole, his center, and 
his laft end , and therefore it is that, like the needle, he 
is continually difturbed and unquiet, as long as he is 
turned from GOD, though he (hould enjoy all the riches 
in the world : but as foon as like the needle, he returns 
to him, he ceafes from his violent motion, and enjoys 
perfect and entire reft ; becaufe it is in GOD he is to find 
his peace : whence we infer, that he alone is happy who 
poflefTes GOD ; and that the nearer a man is to GOD, the 
nearer he is to this happinefs. And therefore the juft, 
though the world is unacquainted with their happinefs, 
are the only happy men, becaufe, whilft they are in this 
life, they draw as nigh as they can to Almighty GOD. 

1 3. The reafon is, becaufe true felicity does not confift 
in fenfible and corporal pleafures, as the Epicurean phi- 


372 The Sinners Guide* Book I* 

lofophers would have it, and after them the Mahometans) 
and laftly, the followers of both thefe feels -, that is, 
wicked Chriftians who in words renounce the law of Ma* 
hornet, but follow it in their action s, and in this world * 
feek no other paradife than his. For, what is it the great 
and rich men of the world fpend their time in, but in 
hunting after all manner of pleafures and divertifcments * 
and what is this but to make Epicure's pleafure our la(l 
end, and to look for Mahomet's paradife in this world ? 
O unhappy fcholars of fuch matters ! If you deleft the 
names of thefe men, why do you not hate their life and 
manners ? if you will enjoy Mahomet's paradife in this 
life, you muft expect to lofe our Saviour's in the next. 
Man's happinefs does not con fift either in the body, or 4 
in the goods of it, as the Turks pretend , but in the 
fpirit, and in fpiritual and invifible goods, as was the 
opinion of the great philofophers of old, and it is what 
Chriftians ftill hold, though after quite another manner. 
The royal prophet fignified the fame to us by thefe 
words ; All the glory of the kings daughter is within in golden 
border s^ doathed round about with varieties-^: and where 
(he enjoys fo much peace and comfort, as all the kings 
of the earth never have had, or are ever like to have 5 
unlefs we will fay, that they have more fatisfaction than the 
friends of GOD, which many of them will deny, who very 
chearfully quitted great kingdoms and riches, as foon as 
they tailed of GOD. Pope Gregory the Great will alfo 
deny it, who had fufficient experience of both ftates, and 
was placed by force in St. Peter's chair, on which he 
always fighed and wept for the poor cell he left in his 
monaftry, as a flave in Barbary fighs after his country 
and liberty. 

Examples to prove all that has been faid. 

19. But becaufe this miftake is fo great and fo univer- 
fal, I will add one reafon more, as convincing as the 
former, that the lovers of the world may difcover by it, 
how impoflible it is to find that happinefs they look for 
in the world. To this purpofe you are to prefuppofe, 
f- Pfalmxliv. v. 14, 14. 

Part III. Ch. 5. Love of the World. 373 

that there is much more goes to the making of a thing 
perfect, than to leave it imperfect; becaufe, for effect - 
ing of the firft, it muft necefTarily have all thofe condi- 
tions, which are abfolutely requifite for its perfection : 
whilft, on the contrary, any one fingle imperfection, 
makes the whole piece imperfect. It is allb to be pre- 
fuppofed, that a man muft have all things according to 
his own defirc, to make himfrlf compleady happy ; and 
that any one thing contrary to his wifb, goes a great way 
farther, towards making him m;ferable> than the enjoy- 
ment of all the reft, towards making him happy. I nave 
myfelf feen feveral perfons of very confiderable rank and 
fortune, live the moft unhappy lives, of any men in the 
world : becaufe the fatisfaction they had in what they 
enjoyed, was nothing comparable to the torment of noc 
being able to obtain what they defired. For, it is cer- 
tain; that this latter, which is like a thorn ftuck into the 
very heart, is more grievous and troublefome, than the 
other is acceptable and pleafing : for it is the obtaining 
of his defire, not the pofleflion of goods, that makes a 
man happy. St. Auguftin in his treaf.ife of the cuftoms 
of the church, explained this point very excellently in 
thefe words *. " I do not think a man can be faid to be 
happy, who does not enjoy what he loves, let it be never 
fo mean and ordinary ; nor do I look upon that man any 
happier, who does not love what he enjoys, though the 
thing be never fo good and excellent. Nor is he in a 
better condition, than either of the others, who does 
not defire that which is worth his defiring : becaufe, he 
that cannot get what he defires, is in a great deal of tor- 
ment-, he that has what is not worth his defiring, is no- 
torioully cheated , and he who does not defire that which 
is worth his defiring, is a mere fool and a mad-man. From 
whence we conclude, that our happinefs depends upon 
the poffefling of no other good, but the Sovereign Good ; 
without which there is no fuch thing as happinefs." So 
that poiTeffion, love, and fovereign good, thefe three 
things put together, make a man compleatly happy ; 
A a a without 

? St. DC Morib. Eccle, Cath. c. 3. 

374 The Shiners Guide. Book I. 

without which, no man can be fo, though he pofieffe* 
never fo much. 

23. Though I could bring many examples to make 
this out, I will cite only that of Am'an, King Affuerus's 
creature and favourite. This man being highly offended 
that Mordocheus, one of the guards at the palace-gate, 
did not pay him the refpecl he looked for, fent for all his 
friends and his wife, and declared to them : 'The greatnefi 
cf bis riches , and the multitude cf bis children^ and with how 
great glory the king had advanced him above all his princes 
and Jervants. And after -this he faid : Queen EJlher alfs 
hath invited no ether to the banquet with the king, but me : 
and with her 1 am alfo to dine to-morrow with the king. 
And whereas I have all thefe things^ 1 think I have nothing* 
fo long as I fee Mordochai the Jew Jit ting before the king's 
gate-]-. Do but confider how this fmall affront was the 
occafion of much more difcontent and trouble, than all 
his riches and honours were of happinefs and fatisfaclion. 
Confider likewife, how far man is from being happy, as 
long as he is in this world, and how near he is, on the 
contrary, to mifery, fince there are many goods required 
to the obtaining of the firft ; whilft the want of any one, 
is enough to make us fall into the latter. Now, if this 
be true, who can avoid being unhappy in this world ? is 
there any king, any emperor fo powerful, as to have all 
things according to his own will, and never to meet with 
any thing contrary to his inclinations ? let us put the 
cafe, he mould never receive any contradiction from 
men, who can fecure himfelf againft all the ftrokes of 
nature, againft all the infirmities of the body, or all the 
fears, or vain imaginations of the foul, which is fre- 
quently fo apprehenfive, when there is no reaibn for it, 
and difturbs herfelf without any caufe ? poor, unhappy, 
miferable man, how can you think of finding any con- 
tent in the ways of the world, when it is more than 
what the greateft princes and monarchs have ever been 
able to do ? if all goods whatever muft neceffarily con- 
tribute to the acquiring of this one good, when mail 
you', who are at fuch '& diflance from GOD, ever be fo 

t Efler, c. v. v. 10, &c. 

Part III. Ch. 5. Love of the World. 375 

happy, as to Hand in need of nothing in the world ? 
there's none but GOD, can give you this happinefs , and 
if there be any man that does in fome manner enjoy it 
in this life, know, it is only he, who loves and enjoys 
Goo: becaufe, it is a condition of friendlhip, that all 
things are in common amongft friends. 

24. If thefe plain and evident realbns cannot convince 
you, but that you are more eafily wrought upon by 
experience -, addrefs yourfelf to Solomon, fo celebrated 
for his wifdom, and defire him, fmce he has failed in 
this fea, and was more fuccefsful than any other in dif- 
covering all forts of worldly grandeurs and delights, to 
give you an account of what he difcovered, and whether 
he found any thing that could fatisfy him, and you mail 
have no other anfwer from him but, Vanity of vanities * 
vanity of vanities, and all is vanity *. Do not doubt to 
give credit to fuch an experienced man as Solomon was, 
who fpeaks to you, not upon bare fpeculauon, but upon 
a certain knowledge. And do not think that you, or 
any body elfe, is able to difcover more than he has done. 
For, what prince in the world was ever wifer, richer, 
better attended, more glorious, or more reverenced than 
he ? who ever tried more different forts of paftimes and 
pleafures, as hunting, and mufic, women* drefling, ride- 
ing, and the like, than he ? and yet, after having tried 
all, he made no other advantage of them but what you 
have heard. Why will you make a frefh trial of what 
fo many have tried before you ? do not fancy you can 
find what Solomon could not, fmce you have no other 
world to fearch in, nor any better means to find what 
you feek, than he had : and fmce he could never fatisfy 
his longings with fo plentiful a harveft, do not perfuade 
yourfelf you (hall ever be able to do it with the bare 
gleanings. Seeking of pleafure was the employ of all 
his time, and it is very probable, as St. Jerome obferves, 
in a letter of his to Euftochium, that this was the occa- 
fion of his fall. And will you be fo mad as to caft your- 
ielf headlong after him ? but, becaufe men rather believe 
xperience than reafon, therefore GOD perhaps, permitted 
A a a 2 this 

*Ecclef. c. i. v, 2, &c. c. xii. v. 9. 

376 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

this king to try all the goods and pleafures of this world, 
that he might, after trying, give us a character of them 3 
that Ib the mifery of one man might be an example to 
' all the reft, and prevent their falling into the fame mif- 

25. Npw, if this be fo, I may, with a great deal of rea- 
fon, cry out with the Prophet * : Oye Jons of men, how long 
will you be dull of heart ? why do you love vanity, and Jeek 
after lying ? He does well in giving it the name of vanity 
and a lie : becauie, if there were nothing elfe in worldly 
things, but vanity (which fignifies no more than to be 
nothing) there were no great hurt in them ; but there 
is fomething ftill much worfe than this, which is a lie, 
and a falfe appearance, by which we are perfuaded to be- 
lieve them fomething, when in effect they are juft no- 
thing. For this realbn Solomon fays -j- : 'That favour is 
deceitful, and beauty is vain. To be vain had been no 
great matter, had it not been deceitful too : becaufe va- 
nity, when once known, can do but little harm , the 
greateil danger is in that which truly and really is vain, 
though it does not appear to be fo. By this we may fee 
how great a hypocrite the world is. For, as hypocrites 
endeavour to hide the faults they have been guilty of, fo 
the rich men of this world do all they can, to conceal the 
miferies they continually groan under. Some, though 
they are finners, would pafs for faints, and others for 
happy men, though they are miferable. If you call this 
into queftion, do but come a little nearer to one of thofe, 
who feem outwardly to be fo happy , feel his pulfe a 
little, and then put your hands upon his heart, and you 
will fee what difference there is betwixt that which ap- 
pears on the outride, and that which is hid within. 
There are fome plants in the fields, which look very 
pretty at a diftance, but when you come and touch them, 
caft forth fuch an ungrateful fmell, that a man is forced 
immediately to fling them away from him : thus, when 
the hands touch, they correct the miftake of the eyes. 
Such are moil of the rich and mighty men of the world ; 
for, if you confider their great eftates, their noble houfes., 

* Pfelm iv. v. 3, f Prov. c. xxxi. v. 30. 

Part III. Ch. 5. Love of the World. 377 

their retires, a man would take them to be the only 
happy men upon earth. But if you go a little nearer, 
and fearch into the recefles of their fouls, and into the 
fecret corners of their houfes, you will find them not the 
fame men they feem to be. So that feveral of thofe, 
who at firft aimed at great eftates, when they confidered 
them at a diftance, no foonef had a nearer view of them, 
but they entirely refufed them, as many heathens (ac- 
cording to feveral hiltories) have done. And in the 
lives of the emperors, we read that there have not been 
wanting fome, who, notwithflancling their being hea- 
thens, have refufed to accept of the empire, though 
they have been elected by the general confent of the 
whole army, and this, becaufe they knew that this 
flower, which feemed to be fo fine and beautiful, had 
nothing but thorns and briars underneath it. 

26. \Vhythen, O ye children of men, who are created 
according to the likenefs of GOD, who are redeemed 
with his blood, who are defigned to be the companions 
of angels ? why do you love vanity, and feek after a lie ? 
imagining with yourfelves, that you fhall receive any 
comfort from thofe falfe goods which never were, nor 
ever will be able to give you the lead fatisfa&ion imagi- 
nable ? why have you left the table of angels for the 
food of beads ? why have you refufed the delights and 
fweet fmells of paradife, for the bitternefs and itink of 
this world ? how is it pofTible, that fo many calamities 
and miferies as you are daily fenfible of, mould not fuf- 
fice to make you deny any farther allegiance to fo cruel 
a tyrant as this is ? we feem herein to be like certain lewd 
women, that give themfclves intirely up to fome de- 
bauched fellow, who devours and fpends all they are 
worth, and then beats and kicks them every day, and 
yet they are fond of their (lavery, and dote on him that 
makes it. 

27. Wherefore from all that has been faid, I conclude, 
that if there are fo many reafons, Ib many examples, 
and fo many experiments, to prove, that the happinefs 
and eafe we look for in the world, is to be found no 
where but in Gop : why do we not feek for it in him ? 


378 The Sinners Guide. Book I. 

it is what St. Auguftin advifes in thefe words : " Corn- 
pals the fea and earth, and go where you pleafe ; but 
allure yourfelf, that wherefoever you go, you will be 
miierable, if you do not go to GOD *." 


The ccnclufion of all that is contained in this firft Book. 

i. TT T E may plainly gather from all that has been 
W hitherto faid, that there's no kind of good 
whatever, which is not included in virtue , which mews 
it to be fo great and fo univerfal a good, that there is 
nothing either in heaven or earth, to which we can better 
compare it, than to GOD himfelf. For, as. GOD is fo 
univerfal a good, that the perfections of all other goods 
are found in him, fo are they in fome manner to be found 
in virtue. We fee, that amongft created things, fome 
are modeft, others beautiful, fome honourable, others 
profitable , fome are agreeable, and others again have 
Several perfections : now thofe of all are the perfecteft, 
and the moft worthy of our love, which have the greateft 
fhare of all thefe different perfections. If this be true, 
what efteem, what love ought we to have for virtue, in 
which none of all thefe perfections are wanting ? for, 
if we confider modefry, what can be more modeft than 
virtue, which is the very fource and fountain of all mo- 
deity ? if we look for honour, what can deferve honour 
and refpect, if virtue does not ? if we have an efteem 
for beauty, what can be more beautiful than virtue is ? 
Plato, fpeaking of its beauty, fays, that if we could but 
fee it, it would draw the whole world after it. If we 
have any concern for profit, what can we expect any 
greater profit from, than from virtue, fince it is by it 
that we are to acquire the chief good ? Length of days> 
with the good of eternity, are in its right hand, and riches 
and glory in its ~left^. If pleafure be all that you long 
for, what greater pleafure than that of a good confci- 

* Conf. L, vi. e. 16. } Prov.c. iii. v. 16. 

Part III. Ch. 5. Love of tie World. 379 

ence, of charity, of peace, of the liberty which the 
Children of GOD enjoy, and of all the confolations of 
the Holy Ghoft, who never fails to keep company with 
virtue ? if credit and reputation be the object of your 
aim, The memory of the juft is with praifes-, and the name 
of the wicked fo all rot-\, and vanifh away like fmoak. 
If you feek for knowledge, what deeper knowledge than 
knowing of GOD, and underflanding the befb means for 
directing of your life to your laft end ? if we have a 
mind to gain the love and affection of men, what can be 
more lovely than virtue, or more conducible to this end ? 
for, according to Cicero, as corporal beauty, which we 
fo much admire, confifts in the exact fymmetry and due 
proportion of the members and humours of the body : 
lo from the exaflnefs and regularity of life, is formed 
fuch a beauty, as is not only agreeable to GOD and his 
angels, but even charms the wicked, and a man's greateft 

2. This is the good, which is fo abfolutely and com- 
gleatly good, as not to have the lead mixture of evil in 
it. It was with a great deal of reafon, that GOD fent 
this fhort, but glorious embafly to the juft, which we 
have mentioned in the very beginning of this book, and 
with whic.h we are now going to conclude the fame : Say 
to the juft man, that it is well . Tell him he was born 
happily, and mall die happily : tell him he fhall b blefled 
in his death, and in what is to come after it, as he has 
been in his life : tell him he mail have fuccefs in all 
things, in his pleafures, in his pains, in his labours, in 
his reft, in his credit, and in his difgrace : And we know 9 
that to them that love GOD, all things work together unto 
good(\}. Tell him he has nothing to fear, for though 
the whole world fliould he clifturbed and troubled, tho* 
the elements fliould be in confufion, and though the hea- 
vens themfelves mould fall in pieces (2): he may then 
lift up his head, becaule the day of his redemption is 
at hand. Tell him it is well, becaufe the greateft of 
all goods, which is GOD himfelf, is prepared for him ; 


f Prov, c. x. v. 7. J Ifaiah, c. iii. v. 10. (i) Rom. 
c. viii. v. 28. (2) Luc, c. xxi. v. 2$. 

380 We Sinners Guide. 'Book I. 

and becaufe he is delivered from the company of the 
devil, which is the greateft evil of all. Tell him that 
it is well, becaufe his name is written in the book of 
life-, becaufe GOD the father has adopted him for his 
Son j becaufe GOD the Son has taken him for his bro- 
ther, and the Holy Ghoft for his living temple. Tell 
hirn it is well, becaufe the way he has taken, and the 
party he has followed is advantageous to him in all re- 
ipeft : advantageous to the body, and advantageous to 
the foul , advantageous in confideration of GOD, advan- 
tageous in confideration of men ; advantageous for this 
life, and for the next; Becaufe all good things fa all be 
leflowed upon thofe who fcek the kingdom of GOD (i). And 
though perhaps his temporal affairs go not well with 
him, yet this will turn much more to his advantage, if 
he does but take it patiently ; becaufe, to thofe that arc 
patient, lofles prove gains , labours and fuffering are the 
occafions of merit and combats, brings crowns and 
trophies (2). As often as Laban lefiened Jacob's wages 
with an intention to benefit himfelf thereby, and to pre- 
judice his fon in law, his defign was thwarted , and 
what he thought would advantage him and hurt the 
Other, proved quite contrary. 

3. Why then will you be fo cruel to yourfelf, and fo 
much your own enemy, as to refufe to embrace that 
thing which is every way fo advantageous to you ? can 
you take any better advice, or follow any better part 
than this ? Bleffed are the undefiled in the rtay who walk 
in the way of the Lord. BleJJ'ed are they who fearch his 
teftimomeS) that ft ek him with their whole heart (3). 

4. If therefore, as the philofophers fay, good is the 
object of our will, and if of confequence, the better a 
thing is, the more it deferves our love ; who has cor- 
rupted your will fo, as to make it neither relifli nor 
enjoy, fo univerfal and fo great a good ? O how much 
greater an efteem had King David of it, when he cried, 
out, 'Thy law Lord in the midft of my heart (4). Not 
in a corner, not on one fide, but in the very middle, 


(i)Luc, c. xii. v. 31. (2) Gen. c, xxxi. (3) Pfalm cviii. 
v. i, 2. (4) Pfalm xxxix. v. 9. 

Part III. Ch. 5. Love of tie World. 381 

the moft worthy and honourable place of all. As if he 
had faid, this is my greateft treafure, this is the moft 
important bufinefs I have, and the chief of all my con- 
cerns. Worldly men proceed in a direct oppofition to 
this, becaufe vanity has the firft place in their heart, and 
the law of GOD the laft. But this holy man, notwith- 
ftanding his being a king, and having much to preferve 
and to iofe, trampled all under his feet, and placed no- 
thing but the law of GOD in the midft of his heart ; as 
knowing, that if he was but careful in the keeping of 
this, all the reft was fecure enough. 

5. What can hinder you now from making a refolution 
to follow this example, and to embrace fo great a good ? 
for, if you look upon the obligation, is there any greater, 
than what we all of us owe to Almighty GOD, purely 
upon account of what he is. All other obligations of 
the world, do not fo much as dcferve to be fo called, if 
compared with this. If you look for benefits, what 
greater can there be, than thofe we have received from 
him ; ilnce, befides his having created and redeemed us 
with his own blood, every thing, either in us, or out of 
us, as the body, foul, life, health, eftate, grace (if we 
have it) every hour and moment of our lives, all the 
good defigns and defires of our fouls j whatfoever, in fine, 
has the name either of being or of good, proceed origi- 
nally from him, who is the fountain of all beings, and of 
all good ? if intereft be your aim, let all the angels, and 
all mankind declare, whether we are capable of any 
greater intereft, than that of receiving eternal glory, and 
of being delivered from everlafting pains and torments : 
for, this is the reward of virtue. If we pretend to the 
enjoyment of prefent goods, what greater goods can we 
pofTefs, than thofe twelve privileges above-mentioned, 
which all good men enjoy in this life ; the leaft of which 
is much more able to content and pleafe us, than all the 
conditions and treafures of the world are ! what more 
can we put into this ballance, than what is here promifed 
us ! all the excufes worldly men are ufed to bring againft 
us, are now quite baffled, and I fee no hole for them to 
creep out at, unlefs they wilfully and obftinately ftop 
B b b their 

3 82 lie Sinners Guide. Book T. 

their ears, and (hut their eyes, againft fo clear and ma- 
nifeft a truth. 

6. What then remains, but that having feen the per- 
fection and beauty of virtue, you repeat thefe words of 
the Wife Man, fpeaking of wifdom, virtue's fifter and 
companion. Her have I loved, and have fought ber out 
from my youth, and have de/ired to take her for my Jpou/e, 
and I became a lover of her beauty. She glorified her nobility 
by being ccnverfant with God ; yea, and the Lord of all things 
hath Icved her. For it is Jhe that teachetb the knowledge of 
God, and is the choojer of his works. And if riches be dejired 
in life, what is richer than wijdom which maketb all things ? 
and if fenfe work, who is a more artful worker than Jhe of 
thofe things that are? and if a man lovejujtice, her labours 
have great virtues: for Jhe teacheth temperance, and prudence^ 
andjujlice, and fortitude, which are fuch things as men can 
have nothing more profitable in life. I propofed therefore t& 
take her to me to live with me ; knowing that Jhe will com- 
municate to me of her goodnefs, and will be a comfort in my 
cares and grief *. Thefe are the words of the wife man. 
What then remains, but to conclude this matter, as the 
bit-fled martyr St. Cyprian concludes a moft elegant 
epifde he writ to a friend of his, upon the contempt 
of the world, as follows : 

7. "There is, fays he-f-, but one quiet and fecure 
tranquility, but one folid and perpetual fecurity; which 
is when a man, being freed from the dorms of this world, 
and laid up in the fecure haven of falvation ; lifts up his 
eyes from earth to heaven, and being already admitted 
into the company and favour of the Lord, is glad to fee 
himfelf defpife and undervalue from his heart, whatever 
the world has fuch an efteem for. A man in fuch a con- 
dition, cannot defire any thing in this world, becaufe he 
is already greater than the world itfelf.'* And a little 
lower he goes on, faying : " There is no need of being 
very rich, or having any honourable employs, for the ob- 
taining of this happinefs. It is a pure gift of GOD, be- 
ftowed upon tne devout foul ; for GOD is fo liberal and , 


* Epift. 1. 2. ep. i. ad Donat. -f- Epift. I. 2. ep. I. a4 


Part III. Ch. 5. Love of tie World. 3 83 

free, that, as the fun heats, as the day gives light, as the 
fountain flows, and as the water falls down from a deep 
place, fo this divine fpirit communicates himfelf freely 
to all perfons, For this reafon, do you, who are already 
lifted into this heavenly army, ufe all your endeavours to 
be faithful in the obfervance of the difcipline of this 
warfare, by ads of piety and devotion : let prayer and 
holy reading be your continual companions : fometimes 
do you fpeak to GOD, and at other times hearken to 
what GOD has to fay to you. Let him inftruft you in 
his commandments, let him have the difpofing and or- 
dering of all the concerns of your life. Let no-body 
look upon him as a poor man, whom GOD has once en- 
riched. It is impofiible for the foul to fuffer hunger and 
thirft, that has been filled with the bleflings and abun r 
dance of heavenly things. Then the moft (lately build- 
ings, crufted over with marble, and laid over with gold, 
fhall be no more efteemed by you, than dirt and clay. 
Then you will underftand that your chief bufinefs, is to 
adorn and beautify yourfelf , and that this is much the 
more magnificent and noble ftructure, wherein GOD re- 
pofes, as in a living temple, and in which the Holy 
Ghoft has taken up his habitation. Let us paint this 
building over, but let it be with innocence , and let the 
lights of the painting be no other, than thofe of juftice. 
Time and age fhall never be able to deface thefe co- 
lours ; and when the paint and gilding of material walls 
fhall be quite worn off, thefe mail look as frefli and as 
lively as ever they did. Artificial and mixed things are 
all frail and perifhable, and they, in whofe pofieffion 
they are, can never allure themfelves that they (hall 
keep them long, becaufc it is no true pofTeflion j but 
this remains with its colours always lively, with its re- 
putation untainted, and with a fettled love and charity : 
it cannot either decay or be blafted, though it may be 
improved and made more beautiful at the refurre&ion." 
Thus far St. Cyprian. 

If any-body through the grace and infpiration of Gor>, 

without which it is impofiible for man to do the leaft 

good, is convinced and perfuaded by all the reafons and 

B b b 2 arguments 

The Introduction to the 
arguments we have brought in this book, fo as to defire 
to embrace virtue, the following book will inftruft him 
in what is to be done for the obtaining of his defire. 

To the Second Book of the SINNERS GUIDE ; 

Which treats of the Doctrine of Virtue, with 

necefTary Inftructions and Advice for making 

a Man virtuous. 

FOrafmuch as it is not fufficient to perfuade man to be 
virtuous, unlefs we teach him how to be fo, therefore, 
having in the foregoing book, urged fo many and fuch 
weighty reafons, to excite our hearts to the love of vir- 
tue, it will be requifite to come now to the ufe and 
practice of it, by giving fuch inftructions as are necef- 
fary to make a man truly virtuous. And, becaufe, ac- 
cording to the faying of a wife man, the firft virtue is 
to avoid all vice, after which a man may apply himfelf 
to the practice of virtue; we will therefore divide this 
book into two parts : in the firft of which we will fpeak 
of the moft ufual, or common vices, and the reme- 
dies againft them : and in the fecond, of the virtues. 
But before we enter upon this point, we muft lay down 
two principles, which muft be prefuppofed by him, that 
is reiblved to follow this way. 

S E C T I. 

Of the firft thing to be prefuppofed by him that defires 
to ferve God. 

i . He that refolves to offer himfelf up to the fervice 
pf GOD, and to change his life, muft in the firft place, 
ind above all things, have a good opinion of the defign 
Jie has in hand, and put that value upon it, as it deferve$. 

I mean 

Second feook of the Sinners Guide. 585 

I mean, that he (hould look upon this as the moft im- 
portant bufinefs, the greateft treafure he can have ; as 
the beft and the moft prudent action he can undertake. 
Nay, I would have him perfnade himfelf there is no other 
treafure, no other bufinefs,- no other prudence in the 
world, but this: this is the advice the prophet gives us; 
when he fays * : Learn, O Ifracl, where prudence, where 
ftrength, where underflanding is ; that you may, at the fame 
time, know, where length of life is, and an abundance of all 
things ; where the light of the eyes and peace is. GOD upon 
the fame account, fays by the Prophet Jeremy f : Let 
net the wife man glory in his wifdom, let not the Jlrong man 
glory in his ftrength, let not the rich man glory in his riches : 
but he that takes a pride in any thing, let it be in his know- 
ing and under/landing me : For this is the fum of all goo d^ J. 
And if there is any one amongft the children of men, of 
a ccnfummate wifdom, if he hath not this wifdom too, 
he fhall not be efteemed at all. 

2. The holy fcripture, which fo ferioufly recommends, 
and praifes this bufinefs to us, excites us to it, in a very 
particular manner. This we are invited to by all crea- 
tures, in heaven and earth ; by the voices and cries of 
the church, by all kinds of laws, both divine and human ; 
by the example of all the faints, who being enlightened 
from heaven, defpifed the world, and pufaed on the de- 
fign they had of embracing virtue, with fuch vigour 
and love, that many fuffered themfelves to be torn in 
pieces, to be broiled upon gridirons, and to undergo a 
thoufand torments, rather than commit the leaft offence 
againft GOD, and be out of his favour, though but for a 
moment. It is this, in fine, that whatever has been 
treated of in the foregoing book, invites and obliges us 
to, becaufe there is nothing there, but what is in favour 
of virtue, and what (hews us of how ineftimable a value 
it is. Each of thefe things duly confidered, is fufficient 
to convince us of the importance of this affair , and if 
fo, what effedl muft all of them together, have upon 

us ? 

* Baruch. c. iii. v. 14. -j- Jerem. c. ix. v. 23, 24. 
J Sap. c. ix. v. 6. 

386 The Introduction to tie 

us ? So that, he who rcfufes to follow virtue, may by 
this, perceive how great, and how glorious a defign he 
undertakes, and how reafonable it is, as we fhall (hew 
hereafter, to give himfelf up entirely to it. Let this 
therefore be the firft thing to be prefuppofed in this 


Of t6e fecond. thing to be prefuppofed by him, that defires to 
ferve GOD. 

i. The fecond thing to be prefuppofed is, that fmcc 
it is a bufmefs of fuch worth and merit, you profecute 
it with all the vigour imaginable, and with a refolution 
and readinefs to bear up againtt all the contradictions and 
difficulties you may probably meet with, in carrying on 
of your defign. You are to look upon all thefe trou- 
bles as little as nothing, in companion with fo glorious 
an undertaking as that you have in hand, and to confi- 
der, that it is the order of nature, that the acquifition of 
any thing that is honourable, mould coft much labour. 
For no fooner mail you refolve upon this bufmefs, but 
hell itfelf will raife its power and forces againft you. 
The flefh, which loves any thing that is delightful and 
charming, and from its very birth, is bent upon all kinds 
of evil, and has been fo ever fmce it was firit intoxicated 
with the poifon of the old venomous ferpent, will con- 
tinually, and with much importunity, prefs and invite 
you to all its ufual delights and pleafures. Depraved 
cuftom, which is as ftrong as nature itfelf, will imme- 
diately oppofe this change, and will rcprefent it to you 
as a thing very difficult. Becaufe, as the turning of a 
river from its ordinary courfe and channel, is a laborious 
work ; fo the turning of a man out of the way which 
evil cuftom has for a long time led him in to make him 
take another, is, in fome manner as hard and toilfome. 
Befides, the world, that moft powerful and cruel monfter, 
armed with the authority of all the bad examples that are 
in it, will invite you with its pomps and vanities, tempt 
you with evil practices of others, and frighten you with 
the perfections and reproaches of the wicked : and, as 


Second Book of tie Sinners Guide. 387 

if all this were nothing, the devil, that cunning and 
old deceiver, will fet upon you, and, according to his 
cuftom, with all that are newly converted, make his 
utmoft efforts upon you, for forfaking his party. 

2. You are to prefuppofe and conclude, you (hall meet 
with all thefe difficulties and contradictions, that fo, 
when ever thay occur you may not be furprized, but 
reflect upon the advice of the wife man, when he fays, 
When thcu come ft to the ferule e of GOD, ft and in j lift ice 
and in fear^ and prepare thy foul for temptation *. And 
therefore you muft not imagine you are invited to en- 
tertainments, to fports and paftimes; but that you are 
called upon to take up the mield and fpear, and to arm 
yourfelf for fight. For, notwithftanding the aiTurance 
we have of powerful affiftance, it is not to be denied, 
but that there is always a great deal of difficulty at the 
beginning. He that refolves to ferve GOD, is to pre- 
fuppofe, and to forefee all this, that fo nothing may feem 
ftrange or undefiled to him ; and to be perfaaded, that 
the jewel he fights for, is of fuch a value, as to deferve 
much more than he can give for the purchafe of it. 
And, leaft all thefe enemies mould difcourage, remember 
you, there are many more for you than againft you : be- 
caufe, though fin raifes up all thefe adverfaries, yet virtue 
comes into your afliftance, with more powerful fuccours. 
For, you have GOD'S grace againft corrupted nature; 
GOD himfelf againft the devil ; good cuftom againft bad ; 
many good fpirits againft many evil ones : you have the 
examples and exhortations of the faints, againft the bad 
examples and perfecutions of the wicked j and againft 
the delights and pleafures of the world, you have the 
confolations of the Holy Ghoft. It is plain therefore, 
that each of thofe that are for you, is ftronger than his 
adverfary. For, grace is certainly ftronger than nature ; 
GOD than the devil ; the good angels more powerful than 
the bad ; and fpiritual delights and pleafures, incompa- 
rably more charming and more winning than fenfual 


*Eccl.c. ii. v. i. 




Which treats of Vices, and of the Remedies to be 
applied againft them. 


Of the frm resolution a good Chriftian is to make, never t6 
commit any mortal fm. 

j. /" | ^HESE two principles being prefuppofed, as 
J. the main foundations of this fpiritual building, 
the firft and chiefeft thing, which he, that is ferioufly 
refolved to give himfelf up to GOD'S fervice, and to 
the ftudy of virtue ought to do, is to fix in his foul, 
a fincere refolution never to commit any mortal fin. For, 
by this alone, we lofe the grace and friendihip of our 
Lord, and with it, many other favours and benefits. 
This is the chief bafis of a virtuous life; by this we are 
to keep ourfelves in GOD'S favour, and to preferve his 
friendihip, and the right we have to the kingdom of 
heaven. In this confifts charity, and the fpiritual life of 
the foul depends upon it. It is this makes men the 
children of GOD, the temples of the Holy Ghofl, and 
the living members of Jefus Chrift.-, and confequentty 
as fuch, partakers of all the privileges of the church. 
As long as the foul keeps this refolution, (he remains in 
charity, and in the ftate of grace : but as foon as ever 
file falls from it, fhe is immediately blotted out of the 
book of life, and put down into that of perdition, and 
banimed into the kingdom of darknefs. 

2. This matter being duly confidered, it appears, that 
as all things, whether natural or artificial, are compofed 


Partt Ch. 1. 'Of Mortal Sin. 389 

of fubftance and accidents, with this difference, that the 
fubftance always remains, tho* the accidents be changed ; 
as a houfe is faid to be ftill ftanding (when the carved 
work and painting is quite defaced) though not fo per- 
Feft as it was at firft : but when the houfe falls, all fails. 
So the foul, as long as it Hands firmly to this refolution^ 
ftill retains the fubftance of virtue ; but when once this 
fails, all the ftructure falls to the ground : the reafon of 
it is, becaufe the whole being of a virtuous life confifts 
in charity, that is, in loving GOD above all things. And 
he loves .Goo after this manner, who hates mortal fin 
above all things ; there being nothing but this that can 
make a man lofe the love and fnendfliip of Goo. So 
that, as there is nothing more injurious than adultery to 
a marriage bed, there is nothing more prejudicial too, 
and more deftruiflive of a virtuous life, than mortal fin ; 
becaufe it deftroys charity, which maintains and nou- 
rifhes this life. 

3. This is the reafon why all the martyrs willingly en- 
dured fuch dreadful torments : for this caufe they fuffered 
themfelves to be burned, to be flead alive, to be racked, 
to have their fiefh pulled off with pincers, and to be torn 
in pieces, rather than commit a mortal fin ; which would 
in a moment have deprived them of the friendmip and 
grace of GOD. They knew, that if they had finned mor- 
tally, they might have repented of /heir crime, and have 
obtained pardon, as St. Peter did for denying our Sa- 
viour : and yet, they rather chofe to undergo all the tor- 
ments in the world, than to be never fo (hort a fpace out 
of GOD'S favour. 

4. We have three great examples of this fort, in three 
noble women ; one of the Old Teftament, the mother of 
feven fons, and two of the New, called Felicitas and 
Symphorola; who had alfo each of them feven fons. 
Thefe holy women, were all. of them prefent at the fuf- 
ferings and martyrdoms, of their own children, and were 
fo far from being frightened at the lamentable fight, 
when they beheld them torn in pieces before their faces, 
that on the contrary, they exhorted and encouraged them 
to die bravely for the faith and fervice of GOD > and gave 

Ccc up 

390 The Sinners Guide. Book ll. 

up their own lives with them, with a great deal of cou- 
rage and refoiution for the fame Caufe. 

5. St. Jerome, in his life of St. Paul, the firil hermit, 
gives us an example (I am doubtful, whether not prefe- 
rable to thefe) of a young man, whom after having tried 
all other means, the tyrants ordered him to be laid upon 
a foft bed, under a made of trees, in a very frefh and 
pleafant garden , tying down his arms and his hands with 
filken cords, that he might neither fly nor defend him- 
felf : then they fent a lewd woman to him, richly drefs'd, 
to ufe all the arts fhe could think of, to overcome his 
refoiution and conftancy. What could the foldier of 
Chrift do in this diftrefs ? what courfe could he take to 
avoid fuch difgrace, when he was naked, and had his 
hands and feet tied ? yet the power of heaven, and the 
prefcnce of the Holy Ghoft did not forfake him : for he 
was immediately infpired to deliver himfelf from his pre- 
fent danger, by a ftratagem more ftrange and heroic, 
than any we read of, either in the Greek or Roman hif- 
torians. For, out of the great fear he had of GOD, and 
out of the horror of fin, he bit out his tongue with his 
teeth, the only part of him then at liberty, and fpit it 
into the impudent woman's face : thus, by fo ftrange 
and unheard of an action, terrifying and obliging her to 
fly, and at the fame time cooling the natural heat of the 
Mem, by the pain he put it to. This is enough to let us 
fee, in Ihort, to what a degree all the faints have hated 
and abhorred mortal fin. I could here give you the ex- 
amples of fome perfons, who rolled themfelves naked 
aroongft briars and thorns : and of others, who have flung 
themfelves into the fnow, in the very depth of winter, to 
quench the fire of luft, which the enemy had kindled in 

6. He therefore that defigns to walk in the fame path, 
muft endeavour to fix this refoiution deep in his ibul j 
efteeming the friendfhip of GOD, more than all the trea- 
fures of the world ; and chufing, when occafion offers, 
to part freely with things of fmall value, for thofe that 
are of ineftimable worth. Let this be the very bafis of 
his life j it is to this all his actions are to tend ; it is 


Part I. Ch. i . Of Mortal Sin. 3 9 1 

what he ought to beg earneftly of GOD in all his prayers ; 
it is for this he is to frequent the facraments ; this is the 
fruit he muft reap, by hearing of fermons and reading of 
good books : it is the leflbn lie is to learn from the form 
and beauty of the world, with all the creatures that are in 
it. This is the chief benefit he is to make of the paffion 
of our Saviour, and of all the reft of Almighty GOD'S fa- 
vours and graces ; to wit, never to offend him, to whom 
he is fo infinitely indebted: and it is this holy fear and 
firm refolution, by which he is to meafure his progrefs ii\ 
virtue, looking upon himfelf to have been advanced fo 
much the more or lefs, as he has been the more or lefs 
obfervant of his refolution. 

7. And, as a man that would drive a nail up to the 
head, is not content to give it three or four ftrokes, but 
continues hammering, till he has drove it in : fo, it i* 
not enough to make this refolution any how, but a man 
muft endeavour every day, to apply whatfoever he fhall 
fee, hear, read, or meditate upon, to his farther advance 
in the love of GOD, and in a deteftation of fin : becaufe 
the greater progrefs he makes in this hatred, the more 
forward he advances in that love, and confequently in all 
forts of virtue. 

8. He is, for his greater confirmation in this-defign, to- 
be throughly convinced, that if all the ill accidents, andt 
all' the pains that ever have been in the world, from its 
creation to this very day, with all the torments that the 
damned fuffer in hell, were put together into one fcale, 
and mortal fin into another, this would without doubt, 
weigh down all the torments, as being a much greater 
evil, and by confequence, fuch a one, as deferves more 
to be avoided, than all thefe pains and torments : though 
the dreadful, blindnefs and darknefs of this Egypt makes 
men imagine thefe things to be quite different from whac 
they are in effecl:. But, after all, what wonder is it, that 
neither the blind mould fee fo great an evil, nor the dead 
be fenfible of fo deep a, wound-, fince it is.impoflible for 
the blind to fee any thing, though never fo great, or for 
the dead to feel any wound, though it be mortal 

C c c z SECT, 

Sinners Guide. Book II. 


9. The fubje<5t of this fecond book being the doctrine 
of virtue, to which fin is directly oppofite , the firft part; 
of it (hall be fpent in treating of the horror we ought to 
have of it, and of fuch particular remedies, as may be ap^ 
plied to it; becaufe, if we can but once root thefe weeds 
out of the foul, it will be no hard matter to fet the plants 
of virtues in their places ; whereof we will treat in the 
fecond part. We will fpeak here, not only of mortal 
but of venial fins j not that thefe take away the life of 
the foul, but becaufe they weaken and difpofe it for 
death. And for this fame reafon we will here fpeak of 
the feven capital or deadly fins ; which are the very heads 
and iources of all the others : not that they always happen 
to be mortal, but that they very often ace fo, when a 
commandment of GOD, or of the church is broken, or 
any thing done contrary to chanty. 

10. In this doctrine, he that finds himfelf powerfully 
tempted by any vice, may find remedies for all his dif- 
tempers. Some of them it is true, are general, againft 
all kinds of fins, fpoken of in the Memorial of a Chriftian 
Life-, where I have given fifteen or fixteen remedies 
againft fin. Others are particular, and applicable only 
to particular fins : as to pride, covetoufnefs, anger, and 
the like. Thefe are what we (hall treat of at prefent, by 
applying to every peculiar vice its proper remedy, and 
by furniftiing thofe perfons who are refolved to fight 
againft fin, with fpiritual weapons. 

11. But you muft here carefully obferve, that, for 
fighting of this battle, we have more need of eyes to 
fee what is done, than of hands to*fight or feet to run 
away. The eyes are the chief weapons man can ufe in 
this war ; which is carried on, not againft flem and blood, 
but againft the evil angels, which are fpiritual creatures. 
The reafon of this is, becaufe the very firft root of all fin, 
is the error and deceit of the underftanding, which coun- 
fels and directs the will. And therefore our adverfary's 
chief endeavour is, to pervert the underftanding. For, 
if this be perverted, the will, which is governed by it, 


Part I. Ch. 2, Remedies againft Pride. 

inuft neccflarily go the fame way. For the better ef- 
fecting of this, they colour evil over with the appearance 
of good, and make vice pafs for virtue, and cover the 
temptation fo cunningly, that it appears to be neceflity 
and reafon, not a temptation. So that if, for example, 
they have a mind to tempt us by ambition, avarice, anger, 
or the defire of revenge, they endeavour to make us be- 
lieve it is highly reafonable, to defire what we do, and 
that, to do the contrary, would be to aft againft reafon. 
Thus they make reafon ferve as a cloak to the tempta- 
tion, that fo they may by this mean?, the better deceive, 
even thofe who follow the dictates of reafon. It is ne- 
cefiary therefore, upon this account, that a man fhould 
have eyes to difcover the hook which lies under the bait, 
and not to be deceived by the bare form and appearance 
of good. 

12. It is alfo requifite to have eyes here, to fee the 
malice, the deformity, the danger, the loffes, and all the 
other inconveniencies which the vice we are tempted to, 
perpetually carries along with it, that fo we may keep 
our appetite in, and be afraid to tafte that, which, if 
once tailed, will infallibly be death to us. For this rea- 
fon, the myfterious animals in Ezechiel *, which are the 
figures of the faints, were full of eyes all over, though 
their other members were but fingle ; to give us to un- 
derftand, how neceflary thefe fpiritual eyes are to the 
fervants of GOD, to fecure them againft the fnares of 
vice. This is the chief remedy we mall make life of 
upon this occafion; to which we will join all others 
that may be 1 thought any ways neceflary j as will appear 


Remedies againft Pride. 

I, T TAVING promifed in this firft part, to treat of 

J[~l vices, and their remedies, we will begin with 

thefe feven which are called capital, becaijfe they are the 

Ezeck. c. u. heads 

394 tte Sinners Guide* Book II, 

heads and fources of all the reft. For, if we can but. 
pluck up thefe feven vices (whence all others proceed) 
py the roots, the reft which fpring up from them, muft 
of necefFity perifli, as all the branches of a tree die, 
when the root from which they received the fap that 
nourilhed them, is cut off. This was the occafion of 
Caftan's taking fo much pains in. writing his eight books 
^gainft thefe vices, (which has alfo been done by feveral 
other very grave authors) becaufe he was throughly con-, 
vinced, that if thefe enemies were defeated, none of the 
reft would be able to make any refiftance. 

2. The reafon of it, as St. Thomas writes, is *, be^ 
caufe all fins originally proceed from felf-love, for they 
are all committed through a defire of fome particular 
good this feli-loye makes us covet. From this love, 
ipring thofe three branches, which St. John fpeaks of 
in his canonical epiftle, to- wit, The concupifcence of the 
flejh, and the comypifcence of the eyes, and the pride of ltfe-\. 
Which to (peak plainer, are nothing elfe but the love of 
pleafures, the^lpve- of riches, ajid the love of honour, 
Becaufe, from the firft love proceed thefe three ; and all 
others come from them. For, from the love of plea- 
iure, arifes three qapital vices, luxury, gluttony, and 
floth. Fron> the love of honour comes pride ; and co- 
vetoufnefs from the love of riches. And as for the other 
two, anger and envy^ they ferve every one of thefe un- 
lawful loves. For, anger is caufed by meeting with any 
obftru&ion in : the obtaining of what we defire; and 
when another get that, which felf-love defired for itfelf, 
then envy is, excited. Since therefore thefe are the three 
univerial roots of all evils, from which thefe feven vices 
proceed, it follows of courfe, that if we can but over- 
come thefe fgYsn^ all the others muft be routed. We 
ought, for this reafon, to employ all our ftrength in 
fighting with thefe mighty giants, if we have a mind to 
iubdue all thofe other enemies, which, have taken the 
land of promife from us. 

3. The firft and moft confiderable of them, is pride, 
wJiich is an inordinate defire of excelling. It is the com- 
< * i, 2, 9, 77. Part 4. f i Joan. c. ii. v. 16. 

Part I. Ch. 2. Remedies agamjl "Pride. 395 

mon opinion of holy writers, that this vice is the mother 
and queen of ail the reft; and for this reafon, holy 
Tobias amongft many other good counfels which he 
gave his Ion, advifed him particularly againft this vice, 
faying, Never permit any pride to rule over your thoughts, 
or over your dijcourfe ; for our perdition took its beginning 
from it *. As often therefore as this peftilential vice (hall 
tempt you, you may defend yourfelf againft it by the 
following confiderations. 

4. Firft of all confider the dreadful punimment Goo 
inflicted on the bad angels, for their pride and infolencej 
they were flung headlong out of heaven in a moment, 
and caft in the bottomlefs pit of hell. Confider how this 
vice darkened and obfcured him, who but juft before 
fhone brighter, than all the ftars of heaven , and made 
not only a devil, but even the worft of devils of him, 
who before was not only an angel, but the prince of 
angels. If the angels were treated no better than thus, 
what will become of you who are but duft and afhes ? 
for neither is GOD contrary to himfelf, nor is there with 
him refpect of perfons. Pride is as odious to him in art 
angel, as in a man ; and humility on the other fide as 
acceptable. It was this gave occafion to St. Auguftin to 
fay ; " That humility makes angels of men, and that 
pride makes devils of angels f ." And St. Bernard for 
the fame reafon fays, " That pride humbles a perfon 
down from the higheft degree to the lowed. The angels 
for being proud in heaven, were caft down into hell; 
and men for being humble here upon earth, are railed 
above the ftars of heaven J. 

5. With this fevere punimment inflicted upon pride, 
confider the example which the Son of GOD has given 
you of an inconceivable humility, who has taken upon 
him a nature fo much beneath his own, for the love of 
you, and for the fame reafon, Becoming obedient to his 
father unto death, nay, even to the death of the crofs . 
Bafe and miferable man, let the example of your GOD 
here teach you obedience ; learn from him O earth ! to 


* Job, c. iv. v. 24. t Tom. 12. ad Etras in fcmo. 

J Septem. c. 2. Phil, c. ii. v. 8. 

396 The Sinners Guide. Book II. 

humble yourfelf ? learn from it O dufl 1- to look upon 
yourfelf as nothing , learn O Chriftian from your Lord 
and GOD, Who was meek aud humble of heart -\-. If you 
think it below you to imitate the examples of other men, 
do not think it below you to imitate that of GOD ; who 
became man, as well to humble as to redeem us. 

6. Call your eyes upon yourfelf and you will there 
find motives enough of humility. Do but confider what 
you were before you were'born-, what you are fince you 
have been born ; and what you are like to be after your 
death. Before your birth you were a filthy matter un- 
worthy to be named , at prefent you are a dunghill co - 
vered with fnow, and in a mort time will be meat for the 
worms. What have you now, O man, to be proud of? 
you whofe birth is fin ; whofe life is mifery -, and whofe 
end is rottennefs and corruption. If the temporal riches 
you poflefs are the fubjecl of your pride; flay but for a 
moment, death will come and make us all equal. For as 
we are all born equal, as to our natural condition, fo we 
fhall all die equal, according to the common necefiity of 
mankind, with this only difference, that they, who have 
had the moft here, will have the largeft accounts to make 
\ip after death. Whereupon St. Chryfoftom fpeaking to 
the fame purpofe, fays, Confider ferioufly the graves of 
the dead, and find if you can, the leaft marks of all 
that fplendour and magnificence they lived in, or of the 
riches and pleafures they enjoyed. Tell me now, what 
is become of all their rich furniture and coftly cloaths ? 
where are all their fports and paftimes ? what have they 
done with all their fervants and attendants ? their fump- 
tuous entertainments, their merriments, their jefts and 
worldly mirth are now all over : do but go near any one 
of their graves, and you will find nothing there now but 
duft and afhes, with worms and rotten bones. This 
therefore is the end the bodies are to come to, how ten- 
derly and nicely foever they have been treated. And I 
with there were no evil beyond, or greater than this j 
there is fomething follows, that is much more to be ap- 
prehended : it is the dreadful tribunal of the divine 

juftice 5 
f Matt, c, xi, v. 29. 

Parti. Cn. 2. Remedies againft Pride. 397 

Juftice; the fentence which will be pafs'd there j the 
weeping and gnaming of teeth, the never-dying worm, 
which bites and gnaws the conferences, and the fire 
which fhall never be extinguifhed. 

7. Confiderthe danger of vain-glory, pride's daughter, 
of which St. Bernard fpeaking fays : " It flies lightly, it 
enters lightly, but it wounds not lightly. *" For this 
reafon, you ought, whenever men commend or refpecl: 
you, to confider immediately whether you really have 
thofe qualities they commend you for, or no. For if you 
have not, you have no reafon at all to be proud ; but if 
you mould perhaps have them, fay with the apoille : By 
the grace of God 1 am^ what I am -f. So that you have 
no reafon to be proud on that account, but on the con- 
trary, to humble yourfelf and to praife Goo, to whom 
you are indebted for all you have ; that by this means, 
you may make yourfelf not unworthy of what he has 
been pleafed to beftow on you , for it is certain, that 
refpect which men pay you, and the reafon for their doing 
fo comes from GOD : and therefore you rob GOD of as 
much honour as you appropriate to yourfelf. Can any 
fervant be more unfaithful than he that fteals his matter's 
glory ? confider farther what a folly and madnefs it 
is, to rate your worth and meritj according to the opinion 
and efteem of men, who having the liberty of turning 
the fcale which way they pleafe, of taking away in a fhort 
time what they now give you, and of ftripping you of 
the honour they at prefent afford you. If you build your 
reputation upon what they fay of you to day, perhap? 
you will be a great man, as mean to-morrow, and next 
day nothing at all, juft as a company of inconftant and 
changeable men fhall think fit to talk of you. Your bufi- 
nefs therefore is, never to value yourfelf upon the com- 
mendations others give you, but only upon what you 
know of yourfelf. And though they mould cry you up 
to the very fkies, hearken you at the fame time to what 
your confcience fays to you ; and be perfuaded, that you 
are better acquainted with yourfelf than other men are, 
Who have only a diftant view of you, and can judge of 
D d d ycu 

* Serm. vi, in Pfalm, Qui habitat. -j- 1 Cor. c.XV. v. 10. 

398 The Sinners GviJe. 'Book If. 

you by nothing elfe but by what they hear. Take no 
notice of what men fay or think of you, but commit 
your honour and glory into GOD'S hands ; he is wife 
enough to lay it up for you, and faithful enough to give 
it you back again. 

8. Confider alfo O ambitious man, what dangers the 
defire you have of commanding others, expofes you to. 
For, how mall you be able to command others, who have 
not yet learned to obey ? what account fhall you be able 
to give Almighty GOD of many others, when you are 
fcarce able to anfwerfor yourfelf? confider what a hazard 
you run, by adding to your own, thofe perfons fins who 
are committed to your care , for this realbn the fcripture 
fays, That a moft Jevere judgment jhall be for them that 
bear rule. For to him that is little, mercy is granted ; but the 
mighty Jhall be mightily tormented *. Beiides, who is able 
to exprefs the cares and troubles thofe perfons live in, 
who have many others to look after ? we have an excel- 
lent example hereof in a certain king, who juft as he was 
going to be crowned, took the crown in his hands before 
they placed it on his head, and having looked ftedfaftly 
on it for a while, cried out ; O crown, much more 
.richer than happy ; if a man did but know thee tho- 
roughly, he would never (loop to take thee up, though 
he mould find thee'lying on the ground. 

9. Confider once again, O proud man, that your pride 
is acceptable to nobody. It is not acceptable to GOD, 
becaufc he is your enemy, for, He rejijleth the froud> but 
to the humble he giveth grace ~f. It cannot but be odious 
to the humble, becaule every body fees what a horror 
.they have of any thing that is proud and haughty; nor 
will thofe that are themfelves as proud as you like it, 
becaufe they hate you on the very fame account, that 
you value yourfelf, and can endure none that is greater 
than they are. And what is worft of all, you will never 
be fatisfied with yourfelf in this world : if you do but 
enter into yourfelf and reflect upon your own vanity and 
folly, and you will have much lefs contentment in the" 
next world, when you (hall be condemned in punimment 
of your pride to eternal torments. GOD confirms this 
VVifd. c. vi. v. 6, 7. i Pet. c. v. v. 5. by 

Parti. Ch 2. Remedies againjl Pride- 399 

by the mouth of St. Bernard, when he fays, " O man, 
if you were but thoroughly acquainted with yourfelf, you 
would be difagreable to yourielf, and thereupon agre- 
able to me-, but for want of knowing yourfelf, you are 
puft up with pride, and therefore it is that I hate you.'* 
The time will come when you will neither pleafe your- 
felf nor me , you will not pleafe me, becaufe of the 
crimes you have committed, nor yourfelf, becaufe of the 
torments you mall be condemned to for all eternity. 
There is none but the devil that approves of your pride ; 
it was this changed him into a moft hideous and deformed 
fpirit, from a moft glorious and beautiful angel; and 
therefore it is natural to him to be pleafed, when he ices 
others like himfelf. 

10. Another motive you may ufe for the humbling of 
yourfelf, is, the confideration of the fmall fer vices you 
have done GOD, fuch at lead as are fincere and true ; and 
confequently the little favour you are to expect from him; 
for there are many vices hid under the appearance of 
virtue, and very often thofe actions which are good of 
themfelves, are fpoiled by the pride we take in them ; 
and what men imagine to be as bright as noon- day, fre- 
quently proves to be dark as night before GOD. This 
moft jutt judge-, makes another judgment of things than 
we do-, and an humble finner is not fo odious to him, 
as a proud juft man, though we cannot properly call 
him juft, who is proud. But after all, let us put the 
cafe that you have done fome good works ; do but call to 
mind the ill actions you have been guilty o/, and you 
will find they far out- weigh the other ; nay, perhaps you 
will find the .good you have done, has been fo faulty and 
imperfect -, that there will be much more reafon to afk 
pardon, than to pretend to any reward for it. And there- 
fore St. Auguftin faicl, " Woe to a virtuous life, if GOD 
fhould lay afide his mercy when he examines into iff,*' 
becaufe it is not at all improbable, that he may con- 
demn it for thofe very things we thought would pleafe 
him ; for the evil actions we commit, are entirely and 
purely evil j but the good we do, are not always per- 
D d d 2 fectly 

"t'St. X, ix. Cor. c. 13. 

400 %le Sinners Guide. feook It. 

fedly and abfolutely good, being frequently mixt with 
a great many imperfections. This duly confidered, will 
make you acknowledge, it is far more reafonable to fear 
than to value yourfelf upon your good works, Job, as 
holy as he was, dreaded it, when he faid, / jear all my 
works, knowing that thou didft not /pare the offender * 


Of fame oiler more particular remedies againft Pride. 

,n. But becaufe the knowledge of man's felf. is the 
chief foundation of humility, fo that of pride is a 
man's ignorance of himfelf , whofoever has a mind to 
be truly humble, muft endeavour to acquire this know- 
ledge, and by this means he will know how to humble 
himfelf. For how can he chufe but to have a mean opi- 
nion of himfelf, when looking into his own breaft with- 
out partiality, by the light of truth, he finds himfelf 
full of fins ; defiled all over with the dregs of carnal 
pleafures , under a thoufand miftakes and errors ; feared 
with a thoufand idle frights and fancies , intangled in a 
thoufand perplexities ; prefied down by the weight of a 
mortal body; fo forward to all kind of evil-, and fo 
backward to any thing that is good ? fo that if you but 
examine yourfelf with due care and attention, you will 
be eafily convinced, that you have nothing at all in you 
to be proud of. 

12. But there are fome, who though looking into 
themfelves, they are humbled , yet they grow proud by 
looking upon others, finding themfelves upon comparifon 
better than they. Thofe who are puffed up on this ac- 
count, ought to confider, that if they are better than 
others in fome things, there are many other things in 
which did they perfectly underfland themfelves, they 
would fee thofe others are better than they. Why there- 
fore mould you have a good opinion of yourfelf, and 
defpife your neighbour for being more abftemious or 
more laborious than he is, when though you excel him 
ift thefe virtues, he is perhaps more humble, more pru- 

* Job, c. ix. v. 28, 

Part I. Ch. 2. Remedies again/I Pride. 40 1 

dent, more patient, or more charitable than you ? fo 
that it is your bufmefs to look, not fo much upon what 
you have, as upon what you want ; and to take more 
notice of thofe virtues you obferve in others, than of 
thofe you fee in yourfelf : by this means you will pre- 
ferve your humility, and excite and increafe in your foul 
a defire of perfection. Whereas if you look only upon 
what you have yourfelf, and what others want, you will 
have a better opinion of yourfelf than of them, and will 
grow tepid and idle in the ftudy of virtue. The reafon 
is plain, becaufe you will imagine upon comparing your- 
felf with others, that you are fomething, and fo you will 
come by degrees, to be pleafed with the itate you find 
yourfeif in, and will not care for going any farther. 

13. If after any good actions you difcover any inclina- 
tion to think well of yourfelf, and to take a pride in what 
you have done ; your bufmefs then will be to watch more 
carefully over yourfelf, for fear you mould fpoil and lofc 
all the merit of it, by pride and vain-glory, the very bane 
and peft of all that is good. You ought to be fo far from 
attributing any good to your own merits, that you are on 
the contrary to thank GOD for all ; and fupprefs your 
pride with thofe words of St. Paul : What baft thou that 
thou baft not received? and if thou haft received ; why doft thou 
glory as if thou hadft not received it * ? You mould endea- 
vour to conceal all thofe good works you do, which are 
not of duty, but for your farther advance in perfection ; 
unlefs the ftate you are in requires they mould be public : 
you mould not fo much as let your left hand know what 
your right hand does ; becaufe we are more apt to be 
proud of the good works we do openly, than of others. 
As foon as you perceive your heart but beginning to 
fwell, you are immediately to make ufe of the remedy ; 
that is, to call to mind your fins, but particularly one 
or more of the moft heinous of them ; and thus like the 
phyficians you will expel one poifon by another ; follow 
the example of the peacock, look upon that which is 
moft deformed in you, and you will foon remove the very 
Occafions of your vanity. 

\4 The 
* Cqr. c. iv. v. 7. 

402 The Sinners Guide. Book II, 

14. The greater you are, the more humble you ought 
to be , for it is no great matter to be humble, if you are 
a mean perfon, but if you are a perfon of honour and 
quality, and yet thus difpofed, you will acquire a very 
excellent and great virtue ; becaufe humility, in the 
midft of honour, is an honour to honour itfelf, and one 
dignity added to another : but if you have no humi- 
lity, your honour and dignity will fall to the ground. 

15. If you defire to acquire the virtue of hiimility, 
be content to meet with humiliations-, for you will never 
be humble, if you cannot endure to be humbled : for 
there are ft-veral perfons who pretend to be humble, when 
in reality they are far from being fo : and it is certainly 
true, that the way to humility, as St. Bernard fays, is 
humiliation * : as patience is the way to peace, and ftudy 
to learning. Obey GOD therefore with all humility; and 
according to St. Peter's advice; Be ye Jubjeft therefore 
to every human creature for God's fake { . 

1 6- St. Bernard would have us always keep three forts 
of fears in our hearts ; one when we are in the (late of 
grace ; another, when we are out of it ; and the third 
when we recover grace again. " Be afraid, fays he, whe^ 
you are in grace, lead you fhould do fomething unworthy 
of it : be afraid, when you havr loft gnce, becaufe with- 
out it you are deprived of the guard that watched o 'er 
you, to iecure you. Be afraid too, if alter having once 
loft it you (hould ever recover it again, that y*a may 
not be io unhappy as to lofe it a fecond time J". Do 
but keep yourlelf continually in thefe ar^fhenfions, and 
you will never prefume upon your own ftr.'ngth and vir- 
tue, being always thus full of the rear or G >. 

17. Suffer all your pc-rfecutions wirh patience; for it is 
the bearirp- ^ f injuries and affronts in this manner, that 
(hews us whether a man be truly humble, or no. Never 
defpife thole who are poor and in diitrefs-, our neigh- 
bour's milery mould rather excite us to companion, than 
to a contempt of them. Be not too curious and ex- 
penfive in your drefs ; for it is impoilible a man's heart 


* St. Bern, ad Fratres de monte Dei. f i Pet. c. ii. v. 13. 
^ St, Bern. Serm. 4. in Cantic. 

Part I. Ch. 2. Remedies againft Pride. 403 

fhould be always humble, when he is perpetually felicitous 
about coftly apparel ; nay, he that is fo, cannot but make 
it too "much his bufmefs and ftudy to pleafe men : for a 
man would never take fuch pains to drefs him, if he 
thought no-body would take any notice of him. But 
whilft you endeavour to avoid this extreme, have a care 
at the fame time of running into the oppofite, of going 
meaner than your ftate and condition requires , otherwife 
you will meet with vain-glory, whilfl you are running 
from it, as feveral perfons do, who then feek moft for 
commendations, when they pretend moft to defpife them; 
thus cunningly ftudying to be admired, under the pre- 
tence of running from it. You ought not to difdain 
mean and bafe employs ; for a man that is truly humble, 
will be fo far from refufing fuch, as thinking them be- 
neath him , that he will rather feek after them with all 
the chearfulnefs imaginable, becaufe he is bafe and vile 
in his own eyes. 


Remedies againft covetoufnefs. 

i. /"^Ovetoulnefs is an inordinate defire of riches. And 
\^Jl therefore not only he, that fteals from others, but 
he that paffionately covets what is another man's, or is 
too felicitous in keeping his own, is properly accounted 
covetous. The apoltle condemned this vice, when he 
faid * : Ttiey that become rich^ fall into temptation, and into 
the fnare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful 
defires, which drown men in deftruftion and perdition : for 
covetoufnefs is the root of all evils. He could not have ex- 
aggerated the malignity of this vice in more proper 
terms ; for this gives us to underftand, that he who is 
fubjecl: to this vice is a flave to all others, 

2. Whenever therefore you are fet upon by this vice, 
you may arm yourfelf againll it with the following con- 
fiderations : Confider in the firft place, O covetous man, 

* i Tim. c. vi, v. a., 19, 

404 The Sinners Guide. Book It. 

that your Lord and your GOD, when he came down from 
heaven upon earth, did not defire to poflefs fuch riches, 
as thofe you feek after : on the contrary, ] he had fuch an 
extraordinary love for poverty, that he chofe to take flefh 
of a poor and humble virgin, not of a rich and noble 
queen. After he was born he would not live in great 
palaces, nor lie in a chamber well furniflied, nor in a 
foft bed ; but in a bafe and poor manner, and upon a 
little flraw -f. Befides this, he had a particular love for 
poverty during his whole life, and defpifed riches, fmcc 
he chofe poor filhermen for his embaflfadors and apoftles, 
and not princes or perfons of great quality. What 
greater abufe then can there be, than for a bafe worm to 
defire to be rich, when the fovereign lord of all creatures 
became fo poor for his fake ? 

3. Confider again the vilenefs of your own heart, fince 
you are willing for a little intereft, to fling away your 
foul which was created to the likenefs of GOD, and re- 
deemed by his blood, in comparifon of which all the 
world is nothing. This foul therefore muft be of a much 
greater value than the whole world. It is not filver, nor 
gold, nor precious ftones that are the true riches, but 
virtue the infeparable companion of a good confcience. 
Lay afide the falfe opinion and judgment of men, and 
you will fee that your filver and gold is nothing but a 
little earth, which receives all its worth and value from 
the erroneous judgment of men. Will you who are a 
Chriftian, and who are called to the enjoyment of greater 
goods, fet forth an efteem upon that, which all the heathen 
philofophers contemned and flighted, as to make your- 
felf its flave ? for as St. Jerom fays ( i ) : "He that looks 
after his riches like a flave, is a flave to them ; but he 
that (hakes off this yoke pofiefles them as lord and 

4. Confider alfo, that as our Saviour fays : No man 
canferve two mafters^ God and mammon (2) , and that it is 
impoflible for a man to contemplate GOD, whilft he is 
running open-mouth'd after worldly goods : he that 


+ Luc. c. ii. v. 7. ( i) Hieron. in c, vi. Matt. _ J Matt. 
*.vi. v, 24, 

Ch. 3. Remedies agamjl Covetottfnefs. 40$ 
loves temporal delights and comforts, muft not expect 
to poflefs the fpiritual : nor is there any poflibility of 
joining falfe and true things together, high and low, 
eternal and temporal, fpiritual and carnal, fo as to enjoy 
them both at once. Confider, that the more fuccefs you 
meet with in your worldly concerns, the more miferable 
you are like to be , becaufe of the. occafiorts it gives you 
of trufting too much to this falfe happinefs you enjoy. 
O ! that you did but know what mifery attends this poor 
fuccefs ! the very defire, which proceeds from the love 
of riches is a much greater torment* than the poffeflion 
of them can be a delight and pleafure : becaufe it en- 
tangles the foul in many temptations, it engages it in 
many cares ; invites it with its empty delights ; excites 
it to fin, and difturbs its reft and quiet : befides all this, 
there is no getting of riches without pains and labour j 
there is no keeping of them without folicitude and care; 
and there is no lofing of them without much grief and 
vexation : but what is worft of all, they are fcarce ever 
to be heaped up without offending GOD , for it is a 
common faying : " That a rich man is either a wicked 
man, or elfe a wicked man's heir." 

5. Confider what a folly it is to be continually defiring 
thofe things, which it is certain can never fatisfy your 
wifh ; on the contrary, they do but provoke and raife 
your defire the more, as a dropfical man the more he 
drinks, flill the drier he is ; becaufe let your poflefllons 
be never fo large you will be always coveting what you 
have not, and continually gaping after more. So that 
whilft your heart is unhappily running after the things o 
this world, it tires itfelf without ever being fatisfied, it 
drinks and yet cannot quench its thirft, becaufe it takes 
no notice of what it has ; and thinks of nothing but how 
to get more , and what is ftill worfe, that which it is al- 
ready pofTeiTed of, cannot give it fo much eafe and con- 
tentment, as that which it cannot obtain, gives it difturb- 
ance and trouble , and whilft you are filling your coffers 
with gold, you fill your heart full of air and fmoke. 
St. Auguftin had a great deal of reafon to be aftonifhed 
at this kind of proceeding, and therefore he faid : " How 
Ecc is 

406 *Fbe Sinners Guide* BodkIL 

is it pofRblc that men fhould be fo infatiable in their de- 
fires , when even brute creatures obferve a bound and 
meafure in theirs ? for they never feek their prey but 
when they are hungry ; and as foon as ever they are fa-, 
tisfied, they give over. There is nothing but the co- 
vetoufnefs of rich men that knows no limits * it is per- 
petually preying, and yet never fatisfied. *" 

6. Confider again, where there are great riches, there 
are many to confume them, many to fquander or fteal 
them away. What can the richeft man in the world get 
by all his riches, more than what is necefTary for the 
fupport of life ? you may, if you will, put all your truft 
in GOD, and caft yourfelf wholly upon his Providence, be 
free from this care : becaufe he never forfakes thofe that 
rely on him ; for he that has fubjected man to the neceflity 
of eating, will never let him die for want of meat. How 
can it be thought that GOD mould take no notice of man, 
when he feeds the birds of the air, and cloaths the lillies 
of the field f ; and this efpecially when fo little ferves 
for the fatisfying of nature ? life is fhort, and death is 
continually advancing apace ; what need is there then of 
providing fo much for fo fhort a journey ? why will you 
load yourfelf with fo many riches, when the lefs you have 
the more free you will be, and the better able to walk ? 
and when you mall come to your journey's end, you will 
find no worfe entertainment for being poor, than thofe 
that ihall come hither richer fraught. But you will be 
lefs troubled for what you leave, and will have the lefs 
to anfwer for. Whereas the rich when they come to 
their journey's end, will be grieved to the heart, to leave 
thofe heaps of gold they fo entirely loved, and will be 
accountable for what they poflefled, to the great danger 
of their fouls. 

7. Confider further, O covetous man, for whom you 
heap up all thofe riches ; fmce it is a plain cafe, that you 
are to go naked out of the world, as you came into it J. 
You were born poor in this life, and fo you will be forced 
to leave it. This is what you are frequently to reflect upon : 


* St. Aug. Serm. 25. de Verbis Domini, f St. Matt. c. vi. 
V. 26, 28. J Job, c.u v. 21. 

Part I. Ch. 3. Remedies againft Covetoufnefs. 407, 
For as St. Jerom fays (i) : " It is an eafy matter for him 
that thinks often of death, to defpife the goods of this 
life." At the very moment of your death, you muft 
take your leave of all your temporal goods, and carry 
nothing away with you but the good, or evil works you 
have done during your life ! then you v/ill be deprived 
of all heavenly goods, if whilft you lived, you took but 
little notice of them, and fpent all your time and pains 
in procuring the temporal. For then all you have will 
be divided into three parts ; your body will be given to 
the worms , your foul to the devils ; and your riches will 
fall into the hands of your heirs, who will perhaps be 
either ungrateful, extravagant, or wicked. It would be 
better for you, according to the advice of our Saviour, 
to diftribute your goods amongft the poor betimes (2), 
that you may have them carried by them before you ; as 
great men have when they travel : for what greater 
madnefs than to leave your goods, where you mail never 
go back to fetch them, and not to fend them where you 
are to live'for ever? 

8. Confider farther, that this Sovereign Governor of 
the world, like a difcreet mafter of a family, difpofes of 
his goods, and the charges under him, in fuch a manner, 
as that fome he conftitutes to look after the reft, and 
others he appoints to be fubject to thofe whom he fets 
over them : fome he has ordered to diftribute what is 
neceflary, and others to receive the diftributions. And 
fince you are one of thofe who are to diftribute to others, 
what remains over and above your own neceflary ex- 
pences, can you imagine, that you are allowed to keep 
that for yourfelf, which has been given you for feveral 
others ? For as St. Bafil fays (3) : " The bread you lock 
up belongs to the poor, the cloaths you hide, are for 
thofe who have none to put on, and the money you hoard 
up, is to be diftributed amongft thofe that want it." 
Therefore allure yourfelf, that you have robbed as many 
perfons as you have neglected to afHft, with what you 
had to fpare, whenever it was in your power to do it. 
Eee 2 Confider 

(l) Ad Paulinum in Prologo Biblix. (2) Luke, c. xvi. v. 9. 
(3) Hon, de diverfis. 

408 Me Slnnen Guide* Book II. 

Corifider then, that the goods GOD has intrufted yotf 
with, are the remedies of human miferies, not the occa- 
fions of a bad life. Be fure then when you are in the 
rnidft of yo.ur profperity, that you do not forget the au- 
thor of it : nor make the means you have of affifting 
your neighbour in his diftrefs the fubject of your pride 
and vanity. Do not therefore love the place of your 
banifhment more than your own country. Do not make 
a burthen of the provifions and neceflaries for your 
journey : do not prefer the light of the moon, before 
that of noon-day, nor change the fuccours of this life, 
into the inftruments of everlafting death. Be content 
with the condition GOD has placed you in ; and think of 
what the apoftle fays (i) : Having food, and wherewith to 
fa covered, with thefe we are content. For, as St. Chry- 
foftom fays, a fervant of GOD ought not to drefs himfelf 
out of vanity, or to indulge and pleafe his flelh, but 
only to fupply necefiity and want. Seek ye therefore firjl 
the kingdom of God, and hisjtiflice ; and all thefe things Jhall 
le fidded to you (2). For GOD will never deny you fuch 
fmall things as thofe are, when he is willing to give you 
the greateft you are capable of receiving. 

9. Remember it is not poverty, but the love of it, 
that is a virtue. Thofe who are voluntarily poor, are 
like our Saviour himfelf, who as rich as he was, made 
himfelf poor for our fakes. But thofe who are poor, and 
cannot help it, make a virtue of neceflity, when they 
bear their poverty with patience, and contemn thofe 
riches which they have not. And as they who are poor, 
conform themfelves by their poverty to Jefus Chrift ; fo 
they who are rich, reform themfelves by their alms, for 
Jefus Chrift. For we fee, that not only the poor (hep- 
herds had the happinefs to find Chrift, but that wife and 
great men came to him, and made him prefents of their 
riches and treafures. Do you therefore, who have an 
eftate large enough to do it, give alms to the poor ; for 
it is GOD himfelf that receives what you give them, and 
look upon it for certain, that what you beftow upon them 
now, will be laid up for you in heaven, where you are to 

, livp 
( i Tini, c, vi. v. 8. (2) St. Matt. c. vi. v. 33. 

Part I. Ch. 3. Remedies agamft Covetoufnefs. 409 
live for all eternity : but if you mould hide your riches 
in this world, you muft not expeft to find any thing there, 
where you have not laid it up. With what juftice then 
can we call thofe things goods, which man cannot carry- 
along with him, and which he unwillingly parts with ? 
but fpiritual goods, on the contrary, are what we may 
truly call fuch, becaufe they do not leave their mailer ; 
even at his death, nor can they be taken from a man, 
without his own conient. 


*fbat no-lody ought to detain another man's goods. 

10. A word or two of advice here, upon the danger 
there is in detaining other men's goods, will not be 
amifs. To which purpofe, you are to underftand, that 
it is not only a fin, to take what belongs to another, but 
even to detain it againft the owner's will. And it is 
not enough to have a defign of reftoring it hereafter, if 
a man is able to do it now ; becaufe he is not only 
obliged to make reftitution, but to make it immediately. 
It is true, that if he cannot do it prefently, or is fo poor 
that he cannot do it at all ; he is not in fuch a cafe, 
obliged either to the one or to the other, becaufe GOD 
does not oblige man to any thing that is impoffible. 

1 1. There is no need of any more words to prove what 
I have faid, than thofe of St. Gregory, in his letter to a 
gentleman of his acquaintance. " Remember, Sir, fays 
he, that the riches gotten by unlawful ways, are to re- 
main here, and the fins you have been guilty of, in ac- 
quiring them, are to go along with you. What greater 
folly can you commit, than to leave the gain here and to 
carry the lofs with you, where you are going ? to let ano- 
ther take the pleafure, whilft you undergo the torment, 
and to oblige yourfelf to fuffer in the next world, for that 
which others are to have the benefit of in this ? 

12. Befides, can there be greater madnefs than to 
look lefs to yourfelf than to your eftate ? to lofe your 
foul, rather than part with your money, and to expofe 
your body to the danger of being run through, rather 


4i o We Sinners Guide. Book IT. 

than part with your coat. This is fomcthing like Judas, 
who, for a little money, fold juftice, grace, and his own 
foul. If, in fine, it is true, as without doubt it is, that 
you muft make reftitution at the hour of death, if you 
defign to fave your foul ; how can you mew yourfelf a 
greater fool, than to continue here fo long in fin ; to 
fleep in fin, to awake in fin, to confefs in fin, to com- 
municate in fin, and to lofe what a man in fin lofes, 
which is worth much more than all the riches of the 
world ; whilft, at the fame time, you are fo ftriflly 
obliged to pay off whatever you owe ? we cannot look 
upon him as a man of found judgment or reafon, that 
will run fuch hazards as thefe. 

13. Endeavour therefore to pay what you owe to the 
utmoft farthing ( i ) ; and let not any one fuffer for want 
of your doing fo. Let ru>t the labourer's toil and fweat 
gd unrewarded , let him not run up and down, and lofc 
his time in feeldng after his wages ; and take more pains 
in foliciting for them when due, than he did in earning 
of them, as ill paymafters often do. If you be made an 
executor, do not defraud the fouls departed of -the fuc- 
cour and help that is due to them, leaft they mould 
fuffer their torments longer, upon account of your ne- 
glect. For all will fall heavy at laft upon your own foul. 
If you are indebted to your fervants, endeavour to make 
all clear and even with them, that fo you may difengage 
yourfelf; or at leaft agree with them upon fuch terms, 
whilft you live, that there may be no difputes nor dif- 
ferences after your death. Whatfoever you can perform 
of your own will, leave not to executors ; for, how can 
you imagine, if you are fo carelefs in your own concerns, 
that other perfons will be more diligent in concerns which 
are none of their own. 

14. Endeavour to be indebted to no man, for by that 
means you will fleep quietly, enjoy peace of confcience, 
an eafy life and a calm death. The means to obtain all 
this is, to put a flop to your irregular defires and ap- 
petites ; not to do every thing you have a mind to do ; 
to fee your expences do not exceed your eftate , but to 

* Deut. c. xxiv. Tob. c. iv. 

Part I. Ch. 4. Remedies againft Impurity. 
moderate them according to your ability, and not accord- 
ing to your own defires -, that fo you may always keep 
out of debt. For they are our unruly appetites which 
make us run into debt ; moderation is worth more than 
a great eftate, and large revenues. Look upon thofe as 
the chief and the only true riches, which the apoftle reck- 
ons as fuch, when he fays * : Godlinefs with contentment^ 
in what condition GOD puts us in, are great gains. Men 
would always live in peace, did they not defire to be 
greater and happier in this world, than GOD would have 
them ; but when they afpire to go beyond this bound, 
they muft of neceffity lofe a great deal of their peace and 
quiet ; for we muft not expect that mould prove fuc- 
cefsful, which is not according to the will of GOD. 


"Remedies againft impurity. 

i. TMpurity is an inordinate defire of unlawful pleafures. 

X It is one of the moft common, the moft furious, 
and moft dangerous vices in its atracks , which gave 
St. Auguftin reafon to fay f : " That of all the encoun- 
ters a Chriftian meets with, thofe in which chaftity is en- 
gaged, are the moft difficult , for there the engagements 
are frequent, and the victories rare." 

2. As often therefore as you perceive yourfelf fet upon 
by this filthy vice , you may oppofe it with the following 
confiderations. Confider firft, that this vice not only de- 
nies the foul, which the Son of GOD has purified by his 
blood, but that it alfo ftains the body in which Chrift's 
moft facred body refides, as in a holy ihrine. Now, if it 
be fo great a crime to defile any material temple, dedi- 
cated to GOD, what muft it be to profane this, in which 
GOD himfelf dwells ? for this reafon the apoftle fays J : 
Fly fornication : every fin tb at a man dotb is without tbt 
body ; but be that committeth fornication* Jinnetb againft bis 


* i Tim. c. vi. v. 6. -f St. Avg. de honeftatc Mulierum. 
i Cor. c. vi. v. i $. 

41 fc We Sinners Guide. Book II. 

won lody i by profaning and defiling it with the fin of" 
the flefh. Confider again, that there is no committing of 
this fin, without an injury and fcandal to as many others, 
as are accomplices with you in your crime. Nothing 
lies fo heavy upon the confcience, at the hour of death, 
as this fin does. For, if GOD, in the old law ( i), required 
life for life and tooth for tooth, what returns can a man 
make to Gop for the deftroying of fo many fouls ? 
and what fatisfa&ion can he give for that which Goo 
purchafed at the price of his blood ? 

3. Confider that this deceitful vice, though it begins in 
pleafure, produces nothing but bitternefs and forrow, at 
the end. It is eafy to be drawn into it ; but nothing 
harder than to get free from it again. For this reafon 
the Wife Man faid ( 2 ) : For a harlot is a deep ditch ; and 
e ftrange woman is a narrow pit. So that as eafy as it is 
to fall into it, it is no fuch eafy matter to get out again. 
For no vice furprizes men more eafily., becaufe it appears 
fo delightful and charming at the beginning; but after 
they are once intangled in it, have knit a fort of friend- 
fhip, and laid afide all modefty, what means can ferve to 
reclaim them from it ? for this reafon it is juftly com- 
pared to a fifherman's wheel, which has the entrance 
wide, but the way out fo narrow, that it is almoft im- 
poflible for the Mm, when once they are in, to get out 
again. By this you may underftand, what a multitude of 
fins are the confequence of this one : for it is plain, that 
during the whole time a man has been engaged in it, he 
cannot but have offended GOD an infinite number of 
times, by thoughts, actions and defires. 

4. Confider how many other evils this bewitching 
plague brings along with it. For, in the firft place it 
robs a man of his reputation, which is the deareft of all 
things we can poflefs in this world ; for no vice whatever 
is fo difreputable and infamous as this is. Nor is this all.; 
it impairs ftrength, decays beauty, cleftroys the good 
temper of body, is prejudicial to health, and caufes many 
foul and loathfome diftempers ; it blafts the gayety, 
and dales the freflinefs of youth before its time, and 

( i) Exod, c, xxi, v, 24. (2) Prov. c. xxiii, y. 27. 

Part I. Ch. 4. Remedies again/I Impurity. 413 
brings on an infamous old age too fail upon us ; it dulls 
the wit, clogs the underltanding, and makes it in a man- 
ner merely brutal. It takes a man off from all honour- 
able employs and virtuous exercifes, and buries him in 
the mud and filth of this bafe pleafure \ fo that he can 
neither think, nor talk, nor treat of any thing but what 
is bafe and filthy. It makes youth fooliih and infamous, 
and old age unhappy and abominable. Nor is it content 
with all this diforder which it caufes in a man's own per- 
fon ; it puts all his affairs and concerns into no lefs con- 
fufion. For though a man be never fo rich or wealthy, 
this one fin of impurity will run it all out in a very more 
time. The belly muft come in for its mare, and help to 
deflroy and devour what it can. For thole men that are 
given to the fins of the flefh, are for the mod part glut- 
tons and drunkards, and fo fquander away what thev have 
in feafting and fine cloaths. Befides, women think they 
have never enough of jewels, coftly apparel, and other 
expenfive toys, which they love much better than they 
do thofe very gallants that give them , we have an ex- 
ample of this in the prodigal fon, who fpent all his pa- 
trimony after this manner *. 

5. Confider farther, that the more you indulge your- 
felf in carnal pleafures, the lefs fatisfadion you will find 
in them. For this delight is fo far from fatiating, that it 
ftill creates an appetite; becaufe the love of man for 
woman, or of woman for man, never dies, but though 
it happen to be a little (mothered in embers, will break 
out into flames again. Confider how fhort and fleeting 
this pleafure is, whereas the punimmnt due to it will 
lait for all eternity: fo that it is a moft unequal exchange, 
to give the peace of a good conference in this life, and 
eternal glory in the next, befides purchafing everlafting 
torments for a filthy pleafurej of a moment's lafting. 
Xhis made St. Gregory fay, "The delight lafts but for a 
moment, but the tormenrs lad for ever." 

6. Confider the price and value of virginal purity, 
which is loft by this vice : becaufe they, who are virgins, 
begin even in this life to live like angels, and the bright- 

F f f nefs 

* Luc. c. xv. 

414 *H>e Sinners Guide. Book II. 

nefs of their fouls makes them refemble the heavenly 
fpirits, becaufe, to live in the flefh without doing the 
works of the flefh ; is more an angelical, than a human 
virtue (i). St. Jerome fays, it is virginity which refem- 
bles the ftate of immortal glory in this place, and during 
this time of mortality (2) : it is it alone which follows the 
cuftoms of the heavenly Jerufalem, where there is no 
fuch thing as betrothing or marrying, and by this means, 
gives men a proof, whilft they are upon earth, of the 
converfation they are to have in heaven. For this reafon, 
there is a particular reward in heaven for virgins ; of whom 
St. John fays in his apocalypfe, Thefe are they who were 
not defiled -with women, for they are virgins ; thefe follow 
the lamb ivkitherfoever he goeth (3). For fmce they have 
had the advantage in this world over the reft of man- 
kind, of imitating Chrift in his virginal purity, they 
fhall therefore have a freer accefs to him in the next, 
and the purity of their bodies fhall give them a particu- 
lar happinefs and joy. 

7. Nor is it the only effect of this virtue, to make 
thofe who pofTefs it like Chrift himfelf -, but it makes 
them living temples of the Holy Ghoft; for as this 
divine lover of purity abhors nothing fo much as the fin 
of fiefh. fo he no where fo willingly makes his abode, 
as in pure and chafte fouls. Wherefore the Son of GOD, 
who was conceived by the Holy Ghoft, had fuch efteem 
and love for virginity, as to work the miracle of being 
born of a virgin mother. Do you, who have already 
loft your virginity, after once fuffering fhipwreck, dread 
dangers you have run .through. And fmce you would 
not prefcrve that gift, of nature entire, endeavour now 
at leaft to repair the lofs 5 and turning to GOD after fin, 
employ yourfelf fo much the more in good works, by 
how much you are fenfible your evil actions have de- 
ferved punifhment. For as St. Gregory fays, " It often 
happens, that a foul which if it had remained in a ftate 
of innocence, would have been more tepid and carelefs, 
becomes; after fin, more diligent and ferment (4)." And 


( I ) St. Bern. inNat.Virg. (2) St. Hier. to 9. & 1 4. inVirginitatis 
aude. (3) Apoc. c. xiv. v. 4. (4) St. Greg, iu Psftoral. Par. I. 

Part I. Ch. 5. Remedies againft Impurity. 415 
fince GOD, notwithftanding the many fins you have 
committed, has yet preierved you, commit not any thing 
again which may oblige him to punifh you, both for 
what is paft, and for the prefent, leaft your lad crime 
fhould be worfe than your former. 

8. With thefe and the like confederations, a man is ro 
prepare and arm himfelf againft this vice : and thefe are 
the firft remedies we prefcribe aganft it. 


Of other more particular remedies againft impurity. 

9. Befides thefe general remedies againft this vice, 
there are fcveral others more particular, and more fove- 
reign, of which it is requifite we mould fpeak. The 
firft is to refill the very firft motions of it , it is an advice 
we have frequently given in other places : for if we do 
not beat this enemy off, as foon as ever he fets upon us, 
he immediately grows ftronger and more vigorous ; be- 
caufe, according to St. Gregory (i), when once the 
irregular defire of pleafure gets the better of the heart, 
it will not give it time to think of any thing elfe, but 
how to enjoy its delights. We muft for this reafon refift 
the beginning, by not giving admittance to any carnal 
thoughts, for as fire is nourimed and kept in by wood, 
fo our thoughts increafe and inflame our defires, which if 
they are good, kindle the fire of charity , and if bad, 
that of impurity. 

10. Befides all this, you muft keep a ftri<5t guard upon 
all your fenfes ; but above all, have a-care of looking on 
any thing that has the leaft danger in it : for a man often 
looks upon a thing without any ill defign ; yet the foul 
is wounded by a glance "of the eye. And becaufe the 
cafting of a look inconfiderately upon women, may either 
quite bend or at leaft weaken his conftancy that cads it, 
therefore the author of Ecclefiafticus gives us this ad- 
vice : Ccft not your eyes through the corners of the cit)\ nor 
through the ftreets or public places ; turn away thy face from 
a woman dreffed up, and goe not upon another* 'beautv. Holy 

Fff2 J&bs, 

(l) L. 7. Moral, c. 12. 

4i6 The Sinners Guide. Book II- 

Job's example upon this occafion mould fuffice , who 
notwithstanding his extraordinary fanctity, never ne- 
glected, as he afTures us himfelf (i), to fet a watch over 
his eyes , not relying upon himfelf, or his long practice 
and exerciie of virtue. But if this example alone will not 
do, let us fee that of David before us ( 2) -, and we (hall 
find that he, though a very holy man, and after GOD'S 
own heart, by looking curioufly upon a woman, fell into 
three mod grievous fins j to wit, murther, fcandal, and 

1 1. Nor are you to be lefs careful in keeping your ears 
from hearing of any thing that is obfcene and unchafte ; 
or if at any time you (hould hear fuch kind of difcourfe, 
let your looks fhew that your are not pleafed with it ; 
for if a man once takes delight in hearing of a thing, he 
will be eafily wrought upon to act it. You muft alfo 
keep your tongue from fpeaking filthy words, becaufe 
as St. Paul fays (3) : Evil communications corrupt good 
manners. A man's difcourfe difcovers his inclinations 
and affections, becaufe it is the touch-ftone of the heart, 
and what this is full of, that the tongue generally blurts 
out. . ' 

12. Endeavour to have your heart always entertained 
with good thoughts, and your bodies always employed in 
fome good exercife. For as St. Bernard fays (4) : " The 
devils always put bad thoughts into an idle foul, to keep 
it in employ, that fo it may not ceafe to think ill, though 
it ceates to do ill." 

13. It will be very proper in all temptations, but ef- 
pecially in this, to reprefent to yourfelf your guardian 
angel, and the devil your accufer , for they both of them 
really take notice of all you do, and give an account 
thereof to the fame all-feeing judge. If this be true, (as 
there is no doubt to be made of it) how can you dare to 
commit fo bafe-and fo deteftable a crime, which you will 
blufh to do before the meaneft man in the world, in the 
fight of your guardian, of your accufer, and of your 
judge? reflect alfo how terrible the divine judgment is, 


CiJJob. c. xxxi. v.i. (2) 2 Reg. c. ir. (3) i Cor. 
c. xv. v. 33. (4) St, Bern, de dockriori dom, c, 4. 

Part I. Ch 4. Remedies agalnft Impurity. 417 

and how dreadful the flames of everlafting torments. 
For as one nail drives out another, fo the apprehenfion 
we have of one punimment, is overcome by the fear of 
a greater , and fo the fire of luft is often extinguifhed 
by reflecting upon that of hell. Befides all this, avoid 
as much as poffibly you can, the difcourfing alone with, 
any women, whofe age may give the leaft fufpicion -, for 
according to St. Chryibftom j " Our adverfary fets upon 
men and women, with more boldnefs and vigour, when 
he fees them alone ; and the temper will come with much 
more affurance, when there is no fear of any body's correct- 
ing them for their diforders ( i ). It is for this reafon very 
advifable, that you would never converfe with a woman, 
without fome companion ; for being alone is a great in- 
ticement and temptation, to do any thing that is wicked. 
Do not truft your own virtue, no not after the practice 
of many years, for you know how the two old judges 
were inflamed with the love of Sufanna, after having feen 
her feveral times all alone in her garden (2). Avoid the 
company of all women whatever, that may give any fuf- 
picion, becaufe the very fight of them is prejudicial, to 
the heart, their words charm it, their converfation in- 
flames it, their touch provokes it, in fine, there is no- 
thing about them that is not a fnare to thofe that keep 
them company. For this reafon St. Gregory fays (3) ; 
" Thofe who have confecrated their bodies to chaility, 
mould not venture to live in the fame houfe with women ; 
for a man ought not to think, that the fire of his heart 
is quite out, as long as he has any heat in his body." 

14. Have a care how you receive any prefents, vifits, 
or letters from women, for all thefe are fo many chains 
to entangle the poor heart, and fo many blails to blow 
up the fire of evil dcfires, when all the flame was quite 
out. If you have any affection for any holy and chafte 
woman, love her in your foul, without troubling yourlelf 
about vifiting or converfing familiarly with her. Now 
becaufe the whole management of this bufmefs confifts 
particularly in avoiding thefe occafions ; I will give you 


(i) St. Chryfoft. Serm. contra Concubircarios. Torn. 5. 
(2) Dan. c. Xiv. (3) L. i. Dialrg. c. 7. 

4i 8 7#* Sinners Guide. Book II. 

two examples very pertinent to the matter in hand, related 
by St. Gregory in his dialogues thus * : " There was a 
certain prielt in the province of Myfia, who governed a 
church committed to his care with a great deal of piety, 
and in the fear of GOD. There was, in the fame place, a 
very virtuous woman who looked to the church-furniture 
and ornaments. The good prieft loved this woman 
as entirely, as if (he had been his fitter ; but at the 
fame time was as much afraid of her, as if flie had 
been his enemy ; fo that he never permitted her to come 
near him, upon any account whatever, and removed all 
occafion of familiarity or converfation with her. As it 
is ufual for holy men to feparate themfelves, even from 
fuch things as are lawful, that they may be at a greater 
diftance, from fuch as are unlawful ; and for this reafon, 
he would never let her ferve him in any of his neceflities. 
The holy man being very old, for he had been a prieft 
above forty years, was taken fo violently ill, that he was 
l"uft at death's door ; as he lay in this condition, this vir- 
tuous woman came to his bed fide, and put her ear to 
his noftrils, to know whether he was dead. The dying 
man perceiving it, was off ended, and cried out as loud as 
jpoffible he could, faying, get you hence woman, get 
you hence j for the embers are not quite extinguilhed 
yet, therefore take away the ftraw. The woman imme- 
diately went away, and he, recovering as it were frefh 
ftrength, began to fay with a great deal of joy and chear- 
iulnels : You are come my lords at a happy time, you 
are come at a good hour. How could you vouchfafe to 
come to fo mean a fervant as I am ? I come, I come ; I 
give you a thoufand, and a thoufand thanks. As he re- 
peated the fame words over and over again, thofe that 
were (landing by aiked him who he fpoke to-, he won- 
dered at their queilion, and made them this anfwer : 
What do not you fee the glorious apoilles St. Peter and 
St. Paul ? and immediately turning hi mfelf towards them, 
be began again to cry out, I come, I come ; the words 
were no fooner out of his mouth, but he gave up his 
foul to GOD. St. Gregory gives us this example of fo 

* Lib. 4. Dial. c. i. 

Part I. Ch. 4. Remedies again ft Impuriiy. 
holy a man, together with his happy death, in the fourth 
book of his dialogues : for, he that was to much afraid 
of offending GOD whilft he lived, could not but make 
a very glorious end." 

15. He gives us another in the third book of the fame 
dialogues, of a holy bimop, though not fo difcreet and 
cautious, which I will here relate for a warning to thofc 
who are not fo much upon their guard, as they mould 
be. The faint allures us, there were almoft as many 
witnefles of it, as there were people in . the town where 
it happened. 

t6. " * There was in a certain city of Italj^ a bifliop, 
whofe name was Andrew, who having always lived a 
very virtuous and holy life, permitted a pious and de- 
vout woman to live in the fame houfe with him, as being 
well affured of her virtue and chaftity. The devil laying 
hold of this opportunity, found a way to get into his 
heart ; and began firft to imprint the form of this wo- 
man in his mind, and to excite him to impure and wan- 
ton thoughts. It happened at the fame time, that a 
certain jew, as he was travelling from Campania to Rome, 
was benighted, not far from this bimop's city , and not 
rinding any other place to lodge in, was obliged to take 
up in a ruinous temple of idols, where he laid himfelf 
down to fleep. But fearing fome ill neighbourhood, 
though he had no faith in the crols, yet having obferved 
that the Chriftians ufed to fign the- mfelves with it when 
ever they were in any danger, he did fo too. Not being 
able to deep for fear, about midnight he faw a great 
troop of come into the temple, and one above the 
rdl letting himfelf in a chair in the middle of the temple, 
began to aftc thofe evil fpirits, what mifchief each of 
them had done in the world. Every one of them in his 
turn, having told how he had beha/ed himfelf ; out ftept 
one of them at laft and told him, that he had folicited 
Bifhop Andrew to fin, by reprelenting to him the form 
of a devout woman he had with him in his houie. As 
the malicious devil that prefidrd, was liflning very at- 
-tcntively to this relation, looking upon the gains the 

* 3. L. Dial. c. 7. 

220 The Sinners Guide. Book II. 

greater, the more pious the perfon was ; the evil one that 
gave him this account, went on and told him, that the 
day before in the evening, he tempted him fo violently, 
that coming to the holy woman with a fmiling counte- 
nance, he gave her a little ftroke on the moulders. 
Here upon the old enemy of mankind began to encou- 
rage this tempter to go through with what he had begun, 
that he might receive a particular reward for fo noble an 
action." The Jew flood ftill during this ceremony, and 
faw all that pailed , trembling with fear at fo dreadful a 
fpe&acle. " At laft, the evil fpirit who was the chief 
of the company, fent fome to fee who had been fo bold 
as to fleep there. When they had viewed him very 
narrowly, they cried out, alafs, alafs ! it is an empty 
vefTel, but well fealed , at which the whole gang of evil 
fpirits vani(hed immediately. When they were gone, 
up rofe the Jew, and made what hade he could into the 
city, and there finding the bifhop in the church, took 
him afide, and afked him if he was not troubled with 
fome particular temptations. The bifhop denied it for 
mame, the Jew told him, that at fuch a time, naming 
the day, he caft a wanton eye upon a fervant of GOD. 
The bifhop continuing ftill to deny the whole matter, 
the Jew faid to him ; why do you deny what I afk you, 
when but yefterday in the evening, you went fo far as 
to give her a little blow with your hand over the 
moulders. The bifhop aftoniftied at what the Jew had 
told him, and perceiving himfelf catched in this fault, 
freely confefTed what he had denied before ; and then 
the Jew told him how he came to know it. As foon as 
the bimop had heard all, he proftrated himfelf upon the 
earth, and prayed very devoutly to Almighty GOD , and 
immediately after difmifled not only this holy woman, but 
all the maid-fervants he had. He built a chapel in honour 
of St. Andrew, in the ver^- fame temple of Apollo in 
which the Jew had heard this paffage, and was never 
troubled again with any fuch temptation. Befides this 
he converted the Jew, by whofe vifion and admonition 
he had been cured himfell, to the true kno *ledge of GOD -, 
inflrufted him in the myfleries of our faith -, baptifed 


Part. I. Ch 5. Remedies agamjl Envy. 421 

and received him into the church. Thus the Jew hap- 
pened to find his own falvation whilft he was procuring 
another man's, and our Lord made ufe of the fame means 
to bring one to a good life, and to preferve another 
therein- I could inftance here a great many other ex- 
amples to this purpofe, both of paft times and of our 
own, but thefe two mall ferve at prefent. 


Remedies againft envy. 

J. TT^NVY is a forrow at other mens good, and a 
l\j repining at their happinefs , that is, at great per- 
fons, becaufe the envious man fees he cannot be equal 
to them ; at his inferior, becaufe they endeavour to 
equal him ; and at his equals, becaufe they vye with 
him *. Thus Saul envied David, and the Pharifees Chrift, 
to that degree, as to procure his death : for this paflion 
is fo cruel, as not to fpare even fuch perfons as thefe. 
This fin is mortal in its kind, becaufe it is as directly 
oppofite to charity, as hatred is ; though it often proves 
not to be mortal, which as in all other fins, fo in this of 
envy happens, when the envy is not confummate For 
as there is a down-right hatred, and a fort of an aver- 
fion which cannot be called a perfect hatred, though it is 
not far from it, there is alfo a perfect and an imperfect 
envy, but the latter leads to the former. 

2. This is one of the moft powerful and moft preju- 
dicial fins that are-, and which of all OLhers, has the 
greateft command and rule in the world; but particu- 
larly in courts and great men's houfes. Nay, there is 
jio fociety, community, or monaftery, that can efcape it. 
What man is there then that can defend himfelf againft 
this monfter ? who is there fo happy, as neither to envy 
others, nor to be envied himfelf? for when a man con- 
fiders what envy there has been in former* times, I do 
not fpeak of that which was betwixt the two brothers 
G g g Romuius 

* i Reg. c. xix. 

422 'The Sinners Guide. Book II. 

Romulus and Remus the firft founders of Rome *, but 
of that which was between the two brothers who firit 
peopled the world, and went fo far as to make one of 
them kill the other -f , of that which Jofeph's brothers 
bore him, when they fold him for a flave , of that which 
was between our Saviour's difciples themfelves J, before 
the Holy Ghoil's coming down upon them , and above 
all, of that which Aaron and Mary the chofen of GOD , 
bore their brother Mofes. When a man reflects upon 
all this, what muft he think of other men in the world, 
who are neither fo holy as thefe perfons were, nor fo 
nearly related to one another ? this is certainly one of the 
vices that moft predominates in the world, and does the 
mcft mifchief without making any noife. For its pro- 
per effect is to profecute good men, and fuch as are 
efleemed for their virtue, and other commendable qua- 
lities. This is its chief aim ; for this reafon Solomon 
fays, That men's pains and labours lie all open to the emy of 
their neighbour \\. 

3. You ought therefore, upon this confideration, to 
be very cautious, and to arm yourfelf well againft this 
enemy, by continual prayer to GOD, to affift you againft 
him , and by being careful to reject it upon all occafions. 
And if it mould continue ftill to folicit and difturb you, 
be you Hill conftant and vigorous in beating it off-, for 
it matters not, though the malicious flefh feel the flight 
flroke of this weak motion, fo long as the will does not 
content to it. So that if at any time you mould fee 
your neighbour or friend in a happier, and more thriving 
condition than yourfelf, thank GOD for it, and perfuade 
yourfelf, that either you have not deferved to fare fo well 
as he does, or at leaft, that it is not requifite you mould; 
and never forget, that to envy another man's happinefs, 
is no relief to your poverty, but rather an increafe and 
addition to your milery. 

4. But if you would know what weapons you muft 
make ufe of againft this vice, let them be the following 
confiderations, Confider therefore, in the firft place, 


* Gen. c. iv. -f Gen. c. xxxvii. J Luc, c, xxii. 
Num, c. xii. fl Ecckf. c. iv. v, 4. 

Part I. Ch. 5. Remedies againft Envy. 423 

that envious perfon^ refemble the devils, who are ex- 
tremely troubled ar the good works we do, and at the 
eternal happinefs we are capable of: and this not be- 
caufe mens lofing this happinefs can give them any hopes 
of obtaining it, for they are out of all hopes of ever 
recovering it again, but becaufe men that are formed 
out of the duft of the earth, enjoy what they have for 
ever loft. It is this made St. Augultin fay in his book 
of Chriftian doctrine, " GOD preferve not only the 
hearts of Chriftians, but all mankind from ever falling 
into this vice ; becaufe it is diabolical, and particularly 
appertaining to the devil, and for which he will fufFer for 
all eternity, without any reprieve or refpit." For, the 
devil is not punifhed for committing adultery, or for any 
robbery or theft he has been guilty of, but for having 
envied man that flood, when he was fallen. So envious 
men, like the devils, envy other perfons, not fo much 
becaufe they pretend to be as happy as thofe others are, 
as becaufe they would have thofe others as miferable as 
themfelves. Confider therefore, O envious man, that 
you would not be the better for thofe goods for which you 
envy another, though he whom you envy had them not ; 
fo that if his having what he has be no prejudice to you, 
you have no reafon to be troubled at it. If you envy 
another man's virtue, confider you are in this point your 
own enemy, becaufe there is no good work your neigh- 
bour does, which you have not a (hare in, if you are but 
in the ftate of grace j and the more he merits, the more 
you gain for yourfelf. You have fo little reafon there- 
fore to envy his virtue, that you ought to rejoice both 
of his profit and your own, fince you have a mare in his 
good. Confider therefore what a misfortune it is, that 
your neighbours growing better, mould make you grow 
worfe ; whereas thofe very goods which you cannot have, 
would be yours through charity, if you would but love 
them in your neighbour, and by this means you would 
enjoy the benefit of other men's labours, without taking 
any pains yourielf. 

5. Confider that envy burns up the heart, pirches the 

flefh, wearies the underftanding, robs a man of the peace 

G g g 2 of 

424 The Sinners Guide. Book II. 

of confcience, banifties all kind of joy and pleafure from- 
the foul, and makes him melanchol^ and uneafy all his 
life-time. It is like a worm that generates in wood, 
which gnaws away and confumes the very wood that gave 
it being. After the fame manner, the firft thing that 
envy preys upon, is the heart itfelf, from whence it re- 
ceives its rife and origin. When once it has corrupted 
the heart, it foon disfigures and changes the colour of 
the face ; and you may guefs by the outward palenefs, 
at the difturbance and trouble there is within. For 
there is no judge in the world fo fevere as this vice is 
againft itfelf, for it is perpetually puniming and tor- 
menting its own author. And therefore feveral learned 
men Very properly call it juft, not becaufe it is really fo, 
being a very heinous fin ; but becaufe it is itfelf a punith- 
ment to him that has it, and fo far does juftice on him. 

6. Confider alfo how oppofite it is to charity, which is 
GOD, and how much againft the common good, which 
every one mould promote as far as he can, for to envy 
another man's happinefs, and to hate thofe perfons whom 
GOD has created and redeemed, and on whom he is con- 
tinually beftowing fo many favours. What is this but 
to diflike and undo what GOD has done, in will at lead, 
and in deiire, if not in effect and actions ? but if you 
would have a more efficacious remedy againft this poi- 
fon , love humility, and abhor pride, which is the mo- 
ther of this plague. Becaufe a proud man not being 
able to endure any one above, or even equal to him, is 
eafily wrought upon, to envy thofe perfons who have 
any kind of advantage over him, perfuading himfelf, 
that the higher another man rifes, he muft of courfe fall 
the lower. The apoftle was very fenfible of this when 
he faid - y Let us not be dcfirous of vain glory, f revoking one 
another^ envying cne another *. Defigning by thefe words, 
to difarm envy, and therefore begins with ambition, 
which is the very root from whence it fprings. For the 
fame reafon, you mould wean your affection from the 
love of worldly riches, and fix it upon none but the 
fpiritual, and on the inheritance you are to have in hea- 
* Galat. c. v. v. 26. 

Fart I. Ch. 5. Remedies agcnnft Envy. 425 

ven , becaufe this treafure is of fuch a nature, that it 
will never grow lefs, becaufe there are many to enjoy it ; 
for on the contrary, the more there are to poffefs it, the 
more it increafes -, whereas worldly riches, the more they 
are diftributed, the fooner they are diminimed. There- 
fore it is, that envy torments the foul of him that covets 
this kind of wealth ; becaufe another perfon getting what 
he covets, either deprives him entirely of it, or at leaft 
diminimes what he would have had. For a man care 
fcarce forbear being troubled, if another carries away 
that, which he had let his heart on. 

7. Nay, it is not enough for you not to be troubled at 
your neighbour's profperity, you mud farther endeavour 
to do him all the good you can, and pray to GOD that 
he would be pleafed to aflHl him in what you cannot. 
Hate no man , love your friends in GOD, and your ene- 
mies for the fake of GOD, who has had fuch a tender and 
paflionate love for you, though you were firft his enemy, 
as to lay down his life to deliver you from the power of 
your enemies. And though your neighbour be a wicked 
man, yet you are not to hate him for his being fo ; but in? 
fuch a cafe you muft aft the part of a phyfician, who loves 
his patient, though he hates his diftemper -, and this is 
nothing elle, but to love what Goo has done, and hate 
that which has been done by man. Never fay within 
yourfelf , what have 1 to do with this man, or what am- 
I obliged to that man for? I do not know him; he is 
no relation of mine ; he never did me any good turn \ 
but I am fure he has done me many a bad one. All 
you have to do is, to refleft on thofe infinite favours you 
have received from GOD, without ever having deferved 
them. All the return he requires is, that you would 
be liberal and kind, not to him, for he has no need of 
any of your riches ; but to your neighbour, whom he 
has recommended to you. 


426 *The Sinners Guide. Book II. 


Remedies again/I Gluttony. 

i.y^Luttony is an inordinate love of eating and drink- 
\Jf ing. Our Saviour gave us a charge againft this 
vice, when he faid ( i ) : Take heed to yourfelves, left perhaps 
your hearts be overcharged, with forfeiting and drunkennefs y 
and the cares of this life. 

2. Whenever therefore you find yourfelf tempted by 
this vice, make ufe of the following confiderations, in 
order to overcome the temptation. Confider in the firft 
place, that death came into the world by the fin of glut- 
tony (2) : and therefore this is to be the firft battle you 
are to win. For the lefs you oppofe this vice, the more 
powerful the reft will grow, and you at the fame time 
the lefs able to encounter them. If therefore you would 
come off with victory, fubdue gluttony firft ; for unlefs 
you overcome this vice, you will labour againft the others 
to no purpofe. Do but deftroy the enemies that are 
within, and you will find it no hard matter to overcome 
thofe that are without. It avails little to fight againft 
enemies abroad, whilft there are others more dangerous 
at home. For this reafon the devil tempted our Saviour 
firft with gluttony, to make himfelf mailer of the gate, 
which all other vices enter in at. 

3. Caft your eyes upon the extraordinary abftinence of 
our Saviour Jefus Chrift (3), who dealt very feverely with 
his moft facred flem, not only during his faft in the de- 
fert, but at feveral other times ; fuffering hunger for our 
example, as well as for our benefit. Now if he who 
maintains the angels by his prefence, and feeds the birds 
of the air, fuffered hunger for you, it is much more 
reafonable that you mould endure it for yourfelf. What 
pretence have you to value yourfelf upon being Chrift's 
fervant, if whilft he is fafting, you fpend your whole 
life in eating and drinking (4) ? If whilft he is undergoing 
all kind of hardfhips for you, you will fufFer nothing at 


(l)Luc. c. xxii. v. 34. (2) Gen. c. iii. (3) Matt. iv. 
(4) Joan, c. xix. 

Parti. Ch. 6. Remedies againjl Gluttony. 427 
all for yourfelf ? if you imagine this crofs of abftinence is 
too heavy(i), reflect upon the vinegar and gall which 
our Saviour tailed upon the crofs ; becaufe. as St. Ber- 
nard fays : " There is no meat fo unfavoury, but which 
may be made palatable, if mixed with the gall and vi- 
negar of Jefus Chrift." 

4. Confider the abftinence of all the holy fathers of the 
defart, who retiring themfelves far from any human con- 
verfation, crucified their flefti with all its inordinate ap- 
petites, in imitation of Chrift , and were able by the fa- 
vour of this fame Lord, to live feveral years upon no- 
thing but roots ; and obferved fuch rigorous abftinence, 
as feems incredible to us. If thefe men followed Chrift 
fo clofe, and got to heaven this way , how can you ex- 
pect to go where they are, if you follow no other path 
but that of delights and pleafures ? 

5. Confider how many poor fouls there are, that would 
be glad of a little bread and water to fatisfy their hunger, 
and by this you will perceive how merciful and liberal 
GOD has been to you, in providing fo much better for 
you than he has done for them : and how unreafonable 
it is to make his liberality and favours the inftruments 
of your gluttony. Confider again, how often you have 
received the Sacred Body of Chrift into your mouth, and 
never confent that* death mould enter in at the fame gate, 
which life comes in at. Confider that the pleafure of eat- 
ing is confined to a very narrow fpace, and a ihort time. 
What then can be more unreafonable, than that the whole 
earth, air and fea mould not fuffice to fatisfy fo fmall a 
part of man, and fo Ihort a pleafure ? yet for this very 
often the poor are robbed ; for this many outrages are 
committed, that fo the hunger of the little ones may 
become the delight of great ones. It is a miferable cafe, 
that the fatisfying of fo fmall a part, mould caft all men 
headlong into hell, and that all the members and fenfes 
mould iuffer everlafting torments for the greedinefs of 
one of them. Do not you perceive how grofsly you err, 
in pampering that flefh, which will foon be food for the 
worms j and neglect the foul, which (hall at the fame 

(l) Matt, c, xxvii, 

428 The Smners Guide. Book II. 

time be brought before the tribunal of GOD, where if 
it be found empty of virtues, though the belly be never 
fo full of its dainties, it (hall be condemned to everlaft- 
ing torments ? nor mall the body efcape when the foul is 
punifhed, becaufe as it was created for the foul, fo it 
mall be tormented with it. So that defpifmg that which 
is the beft part of you, and making much of that which 
is the worft, you unhappily lofe both, and deftroy your- 
felf with your own food ; becaufe you make the fleih, 
which was given for your help and afliftance, the very 
fnare to catch your foul in, which mall one day be the 
companion of your torments, as it was here of your 

5 Remember how poor and hungry Lazarus was j- ; 
who defired to feed on the crumbs that fell from the rich 
man's table, and could not get them. Yet he was carried 
after his death, by the hands of angels into Abraham's 
bofom-, whereas the rich glutton, who was cloathed in 
purple, was buried in hell. For it is impo/Tible that hun- 
ger and gluttony, pleafure and temperance, mould meet 
with the fame fuccefs in the end : when once death 
comes, pleafures will be punifhed with miferies, and mi- 
feries rewarded with pleafures. What advantage have 
you reaped by all your former excefs in eating and drink- 
ing. All you have got is the remorfe of confcience, 
which will perhaps fting and gall you for all eternity. So 
that you have quite loft all you have devoured with fo 
much laviflinefs; and all you have kept for yourfelf is,, 
what you have given away to the poor; this is laid up 
fecurely for you in heaven. 

6. But to prevent your falling into this vice, you 
rfnuft confider in the firft place, that when neceflity re- 
quires to be fatisfied, the pleafure which lies hid under 
this cloak, defigns to obtain its end, and the more it 
covets its inordinate appetite under the pretence of a 
lawful neceffity, the more eafily men are deceived by it. 
For this reafon you are to ufe a great deal of caution 
-and prudence in refraining the defires of pleafure, and in 
.putting fenfuality under the government of reafon. If 

-j- Luc. c. xvi. 

Parti. Ch. 6. Remedies againft Gluttony. 429 

then you have a mind that your flem fhould be fubjeft 
to, and ferve the foul, make your foul fubmit itfelf to 
GOD ; for it is requifite the foul (hould be governed by 
GOD, that it may by that means, rule and tame the flem. 
By the obfervance of this order, we mall be very fecurely 
conducted : that is, when GOD mail govern reafon ; rea- 
fon direct the foul , and the foul command the body ; 
and thus the whole man will be entirely reformed and 
changed. Whilft, on the contrary, if the foul is not go- 
verned by reafon, and if reafon does not conform, in all 
things, to the will of GOD, the body will be always rifing 
up againft the foul. 

8. When you are tempted by gluttony, fancy you have 
already enjoyed that fhort delight, and that it is already 
over ; for the delight of the tafte is like a paft dream, 
with this difference, that the confcience is difturbed after 
the pleafure is over. Whereas, if you overcome the 
pleafure, your confcience continues quiet and eafy. There 
is an excellent fentence of one of the learned ancients, 
which comes home to our prefent purpofe ; it is this : 
" If you have had any trouble in the performance of a 
virtuous action, the trouble foon pafTes away, and the 
virtue remains , but if you have taken any pleafure in 
committing an evil action , the pleafure is foon over, and 
then there is nothing left but the filth of it (i)." 


Remedies againji anger, and the hatred and enmities 
which arife from it. 

i. A NGER is an inordinate defire of revenge, againft 

xV any one we imagine has offended us. The apoftle 

has left us a good medicine againft this vice, when he 

fays (2) : Let all lit term f\, and anger , and indignation, and 

clamour^ and blafphemy, be 'put away from you, with all 

malice. Be ye kind, merciful, forgiving one another, even 

as God hath forgiven you in Chrifl. Our Saviour fpeaking 

H h h in 

(i) Aul. Gel. Noft. Attic. (2) Ephef. c. iv. v. 31, 32. 

430 T^e Sinners Guide. Book II. 

in St. Matthew of this vice, fays (i): That whofoever is 
angry with bis brother Jhall be in danger of the judgment , 
and wbofoever Jhall fay to his brother thou fool> Jhall be in 
danger of hell-fire. 

2. Whenever you find yourfelf in danger of running 
into this outrageous vice, do not forget to make ufe of 
the following confiderations, and to arm yourfelf, as much 
as you can, againft the temptation, Confider in the firfl 
place, that even brute beafts live peaceably with thofe 
of their own kind. We fee that elephants are friendly 
to one another ; that fheep and oxen are in their flocks 
and herds , that little birds fly together ; that cranes 
take it by turns to ftand centry in the night , that ftorks, 
'flags, dolphins, and many other creatures do the fame ; 
every body knows the friendfhip there is between the 
ants and the bees. Nay, even wild beafts, be they never 
fo cruel, are at peace with one another. The lion does 
,not vent his fury upon lions ; bears do not fight with 
bears ; one wolf does not devour another ; nor do dra- 
gons fall out amongft themfelves. In fine, the very de- 
vils, the firft authors of all our difcord, have their mutual 
ties, and exercife their tyranny by common confent. 
Man whom peace mod becomes, and who Hands mod in 
need of it, is the only creature that entertains an inve- 
terate hatred againft his own kind. Nor is it lefs remar- 
kable, that nature has furnifhed all other creatures with 
arms to fight ; as the horfe with his feet, bulls with horns, 
boars with tufks, bees with ftings, birds with beaks and 
talons, and even gnats and flees are not without the 
power of biting , but thou, O man whom fhe has de- 
figntd for peace and concord, fhe fent into the world 
naked and unarmed, that thou mighteft have nothing at 
all to do harm with. Reflect then how unnatural it is 
for you to endeavour to be revenged, or to return an in- 
jury that has been offered to you ; efpecially with wea- 
pons fought without yourfelf, when nature denied you. 

3. Confider in the next place, that anger, and the de- 
fire of revenge is a vice that become none but wild beafts ; 
of whofe favage fury Solomon fays (2): GOD gave him 

CO Matt. c. v. v. 22, (2) Wifd, c.vii. 

Part I. Ch. 7. Remedies againjl Anger. 43 i 

the knowledge ; and that you confequendy degenerate 
and fall very low from the generoficy and noblencfs of 
your condition, as often as you imitate the fury of lions, 
ferpents, and other wild creatures. Elian relates a paf- 
fage of a certain lion, that had been wounded once with 
a lance in a chafe : a twelve-month after the perfon that 
had given him the wound paffed by the fame way in com- 
pany with King Juba, who had a great train attending 
him. The lion knew the man again, and breaking thro* 
the guards, notwithftanding all their endeavours to beat 
him off, made no flop till he came to the man that had 
hurt him, fell upon him and tore him to pieces. We fee 
bulls do the fame every day to thofe that vex them. 
Men that are given to anger and revenge imitate thefe 
brutal motions ; for when they might quiet their fury 
with reafon and human difcretion, they chufe rather to 
follow the fury and impulfe of beads, and to make ufe 
of that bafer part of their fouls, which even brutes have 
as well as they, neglecting at the fame time that part of 
them which is more divine, and which they mare in wuh 
the angels. If you fay" it is very hard to quell and tame 
a heart, when once it is provoked ; why do not you con- 
fider how much harder that is, which the Son of GOD 
has undergone for your fake ? What were you when he 
fhed his blood for the love of you ? were you not at that 
time his enemy ? why do not you confider how patiently 
he bears with you, notwithftanding the fins you are 
hourly committing againfl him ; and with what mercy 
he is ready to receive you, when you return home to 
him ? You will fay perhaps your enemy does not deferve 
to be pardoned, do you deferve any better, that GOD 
fhould pardon you ? you will have GOD (hew his mercy 
to you, whilft you yourfelf will exercife nothing but 
juftice upon your neighbour. Confider, that if your 
enemy does not deferve to be forgiven, you yourfelf are 
unworthy of pardon, and Jefus Chrift is mod worthy 
that you mould pardon your enemy, for the love of him. 
Confider, that as long as you keep any malice in your 
heart, you cannot make GOD any offering that he will 
H h h 2 accept 

43 2 The Sinners Guide. Book II. 

accept of. Our Saviour for this reafon fays (i) : If thou 
bring thy gift to the altar, and there jhalt remember that thy 
brother bath any thing againft thee : leave there thy gift be- 
fore the altar i and go firft to be reconciled to thy brother 5 
and then come and offer thy gift. This fufficiently mews 
what a grievous crime difcord is ; becaufe, as long as it 
continues, you are one of GOD'S enemies ; and do what 
you will in this ftate, you never will be able to pleafe him ; 
whereupon St. Gregory fays (2): " That all our good 
adions can have no merit, unlefs we fuffer with patience 
the injuries that are offered us." 

5. You are alfo to confider what he is, whom you 
look upon as your enemy ; for he muft of neceflity be 
either a juft man or a finner. If he be a juft man, it is 
certainly a very deplorable thing to wifli any ill to fuch 
a one, and to reckon him your enemy, whom GOD 
looks upon as his friend. But if he be a finner, it is a 
a cafe no iefs lamentable, to defire to be revenged of 
another man's wickednefs, by being wicked yourfelf, 
and by making yourfelf judge in your own caufe, to 
commit an injuftice yourfelf, that you may the more 
eafily punim another man's. If the other perfon mould 
endeavour to revenge his injuries as much as you do 
yours, 'when will your quarrels be at an end ? the apoftle 
teaches us a much mere generous way of over-coming 
our enemies, when he fays ; Overcome evil with good (3), 
that is to fay, another man's bad aflions by our own 
good ones. For whilft you are endeavouring to return 
evil for evil, and are unwilling to yield in any point 
whatever, you may often happen to be (hamefully foiled, 
whilft you are carried away by anger, and overcome by 
your paflion , whereas, if you had refifted it, you would 
have fliewn yourfelf much ftronger than him, who mould 
have taken a town by force of arms. For the taking of 
a city, which is a thing without you, is not half fo confi- 
derable a viftory, as is the fubduing of the paffions thaf 
are within you j the putting of yourfelf under your own 
equitable laws, and the bridling and flopping of your 


(i) Matt. c. v. v. 23, 24. {%} 2i Moral, c. 16, 
(3) Rom. c.xii. v. 21. 

Parti. Ch. 7. Remedies again/I Anger. 433 

anger in its heat, and in its moil vigorous failles. For if 
you do not fupprefs it in time, it will rife up againft you, 
and make you do that which you will afterwards be ferry 
for. And what is worft of all, you will fcarce be able to 
know what mifchief you do, becaufe an angry man thinks 
whatever he does, in order to revenge himfelf, he has al- 
ways juftice on his fide. Nay, he is often deceived fo 
far, as to imagine that the very heat of his anger, is no. 
thing but a zeal for juftice, and thus vice hides itfelf 
under the colour of virtue. 


6. One therefore of the moft fovereign remedies for 
the better over-coming of the vice, is to endeavour to 
pluck up this evil root of an inordinate love of yourfelf, 
and of every thing that belongs to you ; otherwifc the 
leaft word fpoken either againft you or yours, will make 
you fly out into a pafFion : and befides, the more natu- 
rally you mail find yourfelf inclined to anger, you ought 
to labour fo much the harder for the acquiring of pati- 
ence, by confidering before hand, and preventing all 
kinds of grievances which you are like to meet with in 
your affairs , for the forefeeing of any misfortune leffens 
the influence it would otherwife have had over us, For 
this reafon you are to make a ftrong refolution, as often 
as you mail perceive yourfelf breaking out into a paf- 
fion, not to fay or do any thing whilft you are in that dif- 
pofition, not to believe even your ownfelf, but to fufpeft 
whatever your heart (hall at that time dictate to you, 
let it feem never fo juft and reafonable j put off the 
execution till fuch time as your paffions is over, or fay 
the Pater-nofter once over, or oftner, or fome other de- 
vout prayer. Plutarch tells us of a very eminent and 
learned philofopher, who taking his leave of a prince hi 
great friend, advifed him never when he was in a paflTion, 
to order any thing to be done till he had firft laid the 
letters of the alphabet over, to give him to underftand, 
what ram and inconfiderate actions the heat of anger 
would excite him to, 

7. And 

434 Tb* Sinners Guide. Book II. 

7. And it is very obfervable, that though this is the 
word time that can be for a man to refolve upon any 
thing he has to do, yet at no time has he a ftronger de- 
fire to do any thing in than this, which obliges you to 
be very prudent and rigorous in refitting of the temp- 
tation. For as a man that is drunk is incapable of afting 
according to reafon, and afterwards repents him of what 
he has done, as is written of Alexander the Great ; fo 
he that is drunk with the wine of anger, and blinded 
with the vapours of this paffion, cannot follow any ad- 
vice or counfel to day, but he will dillike and condemn 
it tomorrow. For it is certain, that the worft counsellors 
in the world are anger, wine, and the defires of the 
fiefh ; and therefore Solomon fays, 'That wine and women 
made wife men bejide themfelves. Where by wine, he 
means not only real wine, which is wont to blind the 
reafon, but any violent paflion, which in fome manner 
blinds the fenfes, and yet whatfoever a man does, in fuch 
a difpofition, is neverthelefs a fin. 

It is very advifeable, whenever you are angry, to em- 
ploy yourftlf about fomething elfe, and to put the thing 
out of your mind, which was the occafion of your paf- 
fion, becaufe if you take away the fuel that nourimes 
the fire, the flame muft of neceffity go out. Endeavour 
alfo to love what neceflity obliges you to fuffer : for if 
differing and love do not go together, the patience which 
appears on the outfide, is very often turned into hatred; 
whereupon St. Paul having faid, Charity is patience ; im- 
mediately adds, It is kind; becaufe true charity never 
fails to have a kind and tender love for thofe perfons 
who fuffer patiently. In fine, it is farther advifable, to 
give your neighbour time to let his anger work off; for 
if you will but retire a little when you fee him in a paf- 
fion, you will give him room to overcome it by degrees ; 
or at Itail in iuch a conjuncture, you muft anfwer him 
with a great deal of civility and mildnefs ; becaufe as 
Solomon fays, A [oft anfwer appeafes anger * 

*Prov. c. xx. v. i. 

Part I. Ch. 8. Remedies againft Sloth. 435 


Remedies againft Sloth. 

i. O LOTH is a lazinefs of mind in performing of 
O any thing that is good, and particularly a loathing 
and diftafte of fpiritual things *. We may guefs at the 
danger which attends this vice, from the words of our 
Saviour. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, 
Jhall be cut down, and Jhall be caft into the fire f. And in 
another place he adviles us to live with a great deal of 
care and diligence, a virtue direclly oppofite to thi< vice; 
Watch and pray, becaufe you do not know when GOD wilt 
come J. 

2. Whenever therefore you perceive yourfelf tempted 
to this fin, defend yourfelf againft it by the following 
confideration. Confider in the firft place what toils and 
hardfliips Chrift underwent for your fake, from the very 
beginning of his life, to the end of it: how often he 
fpent whole nights without taking any reft in continual 
prayer, how he travelled up and down from town to 
town, inftructing and curing men of their infirmities 
and corporal ailments : how his employ was upon fuch 
things as conduced to our falvation i and what is much 
more than all this, how at the fame time of his pafiion, 
he carried the heavy burthen of the crofs upon his 
moft facred moulders, bending under the weight of all 
thofe bitter torments which he had been put to but juft 
before. If therefore the GOD of Majefty himfelf, has 
taken fo much pains to procure your falvation, how much 
more are you obliged to labour for the fame end ? it was 
to free you from your fins, that this moll tender lamb 
fuffered fo much ; and will not you undergo 1 the lead 
trouble in the world, to be discharged from the guilt of 
them ? confider what pains the apoftles took, when they 
travelled all the world over to preach the gofpel. Con- 
fider how much the martyrs, how much the confefibrs, 
how much the virgins, how much all the holy fathers 
that retired into defarts, from the converfation of men 

* Caflian. L. to. "f" Matt. c. vii. v. 19. J Mar.c.xiii. v. 3^. 

43 6 'The Sinners Guide. Book II. 

underwent, how much, in fine, all the faints now reign- 
ing with GOD, have differed; they, who by their doc- 
trine, by their labours and fweat, have defended the true 
faith of Chrift, and increafed the Holy Catholic Church 
to this very day. 

3 Confider that there is nothing in nature altogether 
idle ; for the blefled troops of faints and angels in hea- 
ven, are continually fmging GOD'S praifes, and adoring 
him; the fun, moon and ftars, with all the heavenly 
bodies, are in a perpetual circle of labour to ferve us. 
The plants and trees are always increafmg from a fmall 
root, till they come to their juft proportion and bignefs. 
The ants are bufy all fummer, getting in corn to main- 
tain them in winter. The bees employ themfelves in 
making their honey-combs, and are careful to turn out 
the drones, and fuch that will not work ; we find the 
fame in all other creatures whatever. And can you, O 
man, who are a rational creature, give yourfelf up to 
lazinefs and floth, and not to be amamed of it, when 
you fee there is not an irrational creature, but has a horror 
of this vice, by bare inftinft of nature ? 

4. Again, if merchants and tradefmen take fuch pains 
to gather their perifhable riches, the preferving of which 
wants as much care and folicitude, as the fcraping of 
them together did ; what pains mould not you take, who 
are to trade for heaven, about the acquifition of eternal 
treafures, which are never to be loft when once gained ? 

5. Confider that if you are unwilling to labour now, 
you have time and ftrength, the time may come here- 
after, when you (hall have neither the one nor the other. 
It is what we have daily examples of in others ; the time 
of this life is fhort, and full of a thoufand incumbrances, 
and therefore you ought to have a care of lofing the 
opportunities you have of doing good, through your 
own idlenefs and floth, The night cometb, when no man can 
work *. 

6. Confider, that the multitude and grievoufnefs of 
your fins, require a very rigorous penance, and a great 
deal of fervour and devotion, to fatisfy for them. St. 

* Joan. c. ix. v. 4. 

Parti. Ch. 8. Remedies again/I Sloth. 437 

Peter denied our Saviour three times, and wept all his 
life after for it, though he was already pardoned f. St. 
Mary Magdalen bewailed to the Jaft moment of her life, 
the fins me had committed before her converfion -, and 
yet me heard our Saviour himfelf with fweetnefs and 
mercy, fay, Thy Jins are forgiven thee f. I omit here for 
fear of being too tedious upon this matter, the exam- 
ples of feveral others, who fet no fhorter bounds to their 
penance, than thofe of their life ; though they had never 
offended GOD fo heinoufly as you have done. And can 
you, who every day heap fins upon fins, think any pains 
or labour too much, that is required from you in fatif- 
faclion for your crimes ? let it therefore be your chief 
employ, during the time of grace and mercy, to bring 
forth worthy fruits of penance ; that fo you may, by the 
labours you endure in this life, buy off the torments you 
muft otherwife fuffer in the next ; for though all our en- 
deavours and actions feem mean and inconfiderable, yet 
they are very meritorious, inafmuch as they are the ef- 
fects of grace , and therefore, though they are but tem- 
poral, if we confider only the labour, they are at the 
fame time eternal, if we have a regard to the reward : 
they are fhort indeed as to their continuance , but the 
crown they are rewarded with, will laft for ever. Let us 
not therefore fuffer the time which is given to merit in, 
pafs away without reaping any good from it ; let us fet 
before our eyes the example of a certain holr man, who 
ufed to cry out every time he heard the clock ftrike ; 
" O my Lord and my GOD, here is another hour gone 
out of the number of thofe you intended for the mending 
of my life, and for which I am to give you an account." 

7. As often as we find ourfelves furrounded with 
troubles, let us remember it is by the way of tribulations, 
that we are to enter the kingdom of heaven ( i ), and 
that none will be crowned but he that fights courage- 
oufly. But if you imagine you have taken fufficient 
pains, and fought long enough already, remember what 
the fcripture fays (2) : But he that perfeveretb to the end, 
I ii be 

-f- Matt. c. xxvii J Luc. c. vii. (1)2 Tim.e, ii. v. 4. 
(2) Matt, c. ii. v. 13. 

438 The Sinners Guide. Book II. 

he /ball be faved. So that all our actions will prove un- 
profitable, and our labours go unrewarded, without this 
virtue of perfeverance , neither mall he that runs, get 
the prize, nor he that ferves GOD, obtain the laft favour, 
if he does not perfevere. For this reafon our Saviour 
would not come down from the crofs, when the Jews 
defired it ( i ), that the work of our redemption might 
not be left imperfect. And the fame reafon obliges us, 
if we intend to tread in the fteps our Head has marked 
out for vis, to ufe our utmoft diligence, and not to leave 
off our work till death ; becaufe the reward which GOD 
will give us, is to laft for all eternity. Let us not ceafe 
from doing penance, let us not lay down the crofs we 
have taken up, after Chrift ; for if we do, what profit 
fhall we get by a long and profperous voyage, if we be 
caft away at laft, in the very haven (2). 

8. You are not to be frighted at the difficulty of the 
labours, nor at the dangers of the combat ; for GOD, 
who encourages you to fight, helps you to overcome, 
fees the battle, fupports you when you faint, and crowns 
you when you conquer. But if at any time you fhould 
faint under the weight of your labours, you may make 
ufe of this remedy to bring you to yourfelf again. Do 
not make any companion between the troubles of virtue, 
and the pleaiure that is in its oppofite vice; but betwixt 
the pain you find in virtue, and that which you muft 
feel if you fhould commit the fin. Compare the delight 
the crime may give you, whilft you are committing it, 
with the joys you will one day receive in eternal glory : 
and by this you will perceive how much more advan- 
tageous it is to follow virtue than vice. When you have 
won one battle, do not become negligent ; for it often 
happens, that fuccefs makes us carelefs ; but be always 
upon your guard, as if you expected another alarm every 
moment ; becaufe it is as impofiible for a man to live 
without temptations, as it is for the fea to be always in 
a calm. Befides, a man is generally expofed to the mod 
violent temptations, at his beginning to lead a new life ; 
for, the enemy does not think it worth his while to tempt 

(i) Matt. c. xxvii. (2) Eccl. c. xviii. 

Part I. Ch. 8. Remedies agatnft Sloth. 439 

thofe whom he is mafter of already ; he fets upon them 
that are out of his jurifdiftion and power : fo that it is 
your bufmefs to be always upon the guard. To be never 
unprepared or without your arms in your hands, as long 
as you are ported upon the frontiers : and if you mould 
at any time perceive your foul wounded, you muft not 
think then to ftand with your arms acrofs, or fling your 
fhield and fword away, and deliver yourfelf up to your 
enemy ; you are rather to imitate brave foldiers, who 
looking upon it as a difgrace to be defeated or forced to 
fly -, fet upon the enemy again, and the more they are 
wounded, the more vigoroufly they return the ftrokes. 
And thus recovering new ftrength by your fall, you will 
foon fee thofe perfons fly from whom you fled before ; 
and you yourfelf will purfue thofe who before purfued 
you. But if, as it often happens in an engagement, you 
fhould be wounded a fecond time, you are not therefore 
to be difcouraged, but remember, that refolute and brave 
men, do not fight with hopes of being never wounded, 
but with a refolution never to furrender themfelves up to 
their enemies : for, we cannot fay, that a man is over- 
come when he has received many wounds, but when 
after having been wounded, he flings his arms away, and 
lofes all his courage. If therefore you mould ever re- 
ceive a wound, endeavour to heal it as foon as you can ; 
becaufe it is much eafier curing one than many ; and a 
green one is fooner clofed up, than one that is old and 

9. Do not think you have done enough in refitting a 
temptation, but rather endeavour to draw from the 
temptation incentives to virtue ; and fo, by your own 
diligence, and GOD'S grace, you will not be the worfe 
but the better for having been tempted ; and turn all to 
your own benefit and advantage. If you mould be 
tempted either by impurity or gluttony, leflen a little of 
the good chear you were ufed to before, though it never 
went beyond what is lawful and allowable ; and encreafe 
your fafting and devotion. If avarice mould afiault you, 
be more frequent in alms and good works. If you 
dfaould be fet upon by vain-glory, humble yourfelf fo 
I i i 2 much 

44 The Sinners Guide. Book II. 

much the more in all things. If you do fo, the devil 
may perhaps be afraid to folicit you again, for fear of 
giving you an opportunity of bettering yourfelf, and of 
doing good works, when it is his defire, that every action 
you do fhould be evil. Let your chief bufmefs be to 
fly idlenefs, and never be fo much out of employment, 
as not to attend to fomething that may be for your ad- 
vantage, nor fo much employed, as in the midft of your 
bufmefs, not to endeavour to lift up your heart to GOD, 
an,d to treat fometimes with him. 


Of feme other Jins wbicb every good Cbrijlian muft endeavour 
to avoid. 

i. TJESIDES thefe feven capital fins, there are feveral 
X3 others that fpring from them ; which every good 
Chriftian ought to avoid as carefully as thofc we have al- 
ready fpoken of. One of the chiefeft of thefe, is the 
taking of GOD'S name in vain, becaufe this fin points 
directly to GOD ; and is in itfclf, much more heinous 
than any we commit againft our neighbour, let it be 
never fo "great. Nor is this true only, when a man 
fwears by GOD'S own name ; but when he fwears by the 
crofs, by any of the faints, or by his own falvation, be- 
caufe any of thefe oaths is a mortal fin, if brought to 
afTert or favour a lie, and feverely cenfured in Holy Writ, 
as highly injurious to the Divine Majefty. It is true, 
that when a man fwears to a lie without reflecting on it, 
he does not fin mortally ; becaufe where there is no de- 
termination of the will, and where reafon does not pafs 
a judgment upon the matter, there can be no mortal fin. 
But this is not to be underftood of thofe perfons, who 
have a cuftom of fwearing without any kind of fcruple, 
without confidering either how, or what it is they fwear, 
and without making the leaft endeavour towards breaking 
of the bad habit. Such men as thefe being accuftomed 
to fwear to a lie, without ever reflecting upon it, are by 


Part. I. Ch 9. Remedies againjl other Sins. 441 
no means free from fin, becaufe it is what they both 
might and ought to have been careful in. Nor can they 
alledge for their excufe, that they did not think of what 
they laid, or did not defign to fwear to a lie ; becaufe, 
fince they will not break off this habit, it is not their 
will to avoid the effects of it ; and therefore thefe, and 
fuch like inconveniencies, are always looked upon as 
voluntary fins. 

3. For this reafon every Chriftian ought to labour for 
the rooting out of this evil cuftom, that fo thefe inad- 
vertencies may not be reckoned as mortal fins. The 
beft method for effe&ing of this, is to take the advice 
given us by our Saviour, and after him by his holy 
apoftle St. James, Afave all things, my brethren, do not 
Jwear \ neither by heaven, nor by earth -, fwear not in any 
other manner whatever : but let your difcourfe be\ Yea, yea\ 
Nay, nay , that you may not fall under the judgment *. 
Which is, that you may not be wrought upon by cuftom, 
to fwear DO what is falfe, and to be condemned to ever- 
lafting death. Nor is a man only to endeavour to avoid 
this fm in himfelf, he is obliged to excite in his children, 
his fervants, and in all his family, a horror and detefta- 
tion of the fame vice j and to reprove his acquaintance 
and companions of it. And when he happens himielf to 
be carelefs in this point, let him in punifhment of his 
neglect, give fome alms, or fay a Pater- nofter, or an 
Ave Maria, not fo much in penance for his fault, as for 
a memorial and advertifement to him, not to fall into 
it again. 

Of detraction, fc offing, and judging rajhly. 

Another fin we are to be very diligent in avoiding is, 
that of detraction, as much ufed in the world as the 
former , for there is no houfe fo ftrong, no fociety fo re- 
ligious, or place fo facred, as to eicape the lafh of a li- 
centious tongue. But though this vice is familiar to all 
forts of perfons (for the world, as it gives good men fuf- 
ficient reafon to weep, by its daily follies, fo it fupplies 

* Matt. c. v. v. 34. Joe. c. v. v. 12. 

442 he Sinners Guide. Book II. 

the weak with matter of calumny and'flander) yet there 
are always fome perfons to be met with, that are more 
naturally and more paflionately inclined to this vice than 
others. For, as there are fome palates that can relifh 
nothing that is fweet, and love nothing but what is 
bitter or fowre , fo there are fome kinds of men, fo cor- 
rupt in themfelves, and fo full of a heavy and melancholy 
humour ; that no fubject of virtue, nor any commenda- 
tion of ones neighbour favours well with them, but they 
only delight in railing, fcoffing and detraction. So that 
they are as it were afleep, and dumb to all other dif- 
courfe j but as foon as any man happens to touch upon 
this firing, they are prefently awake again, and ready to 
lafh out upon that fubject. 

5. That you may therefore conceive a great hatred of 
fo hurtful, and fo execrable a vice as this is, confider 
three great evils it draws after it. The firft is, that it 
is not very far from mortal fin, for there is but a very 
little diftance between cenfuring and detraction ; and 
thefe two vices being fo near neighbours, it is eafy to 
pafs from the one to the other , as the philofophers fay, 
that thcfe elements which agree in any one quality, may 
be eafily converted into another. Thus we fee how often 
it happens that men, when they begin to cenfure, de- 
fcend without any fcruple, from general imperfections to 
particulars, from public to private, and from little to 
great ones. By this means they blemifh their neighbour's 
reputation, and leave it without endeavouring to wipe 
off the fpot. For when the tongue is once going, and 
the defire or itch of magnifying things prevails, it is as 
hard a matter to fupprefs the motion of the heart, as it 
is to flop the violence of the flame, when blown upon by 
the wind, or to keep in a hard mouth'd horfe when once 
he has got his head. Then the railer has no refpect for 
any man, and never (tops till he difcovers the mod hid- 
den fecrets. This was the reafon why the author of Ec- 
clefiafticus, defircd fo earneftly to have a guard fet at 
this little gate, when he faid (i) : Who will fet a guard 
4<ver my month ; and a fure feat upon my lips ; tbat I j "all wt 

(i) Eccl. c.xxii. v. 33, 

Part I. Ch. 9. Remedies againft Detraction, &c. 443 
by them, and that my tongue dejlrey me not. He that faid 
it, very well knew the great confequence and the diffi- 
culty of this affair ; becaufe he expected his cure from- 
none but GOD ; who is the only phyfician that can cure 
this diftemper, according to theie words of Solomon (i) : 
It is the part of man to prepare the foul ; and of the Lord 
to govern the tongue. So weighty a concern this is. 

6. The fecond evil which attends this vice is, its beino-, 
very prejudicial and dangerous: becaufe there are three 
evils- in it at leaft, which cannot be avoided-, the rirft 
concerns him that fpeaks , the fecond thofe that hearken,, 
and confent to it ; and the third concerns the abfrnt, who 
are talked of. It is a common faying, that walls have 
ears, and words have wings ; and men love to feek new 
friends and to ingratiate themfelves with others, by car- 
rying tales and ftories, under pretence of being concerned 
for the honour of thofe perfons ill fpoken of; and fo when 
thefe things come to the ears of the party that has been 
defamed he is offended, and falls into a rage and paffion 
againft the man that defamed him : whence follows ir- 
reconcileable enmity, and fometimes duels and bloodfhed. 
For this reafon the Wife Man faid : The whifperer and the 
double-tongued is accurfed : for he hath troubled many that 
were at peace (2). And all this, as you fee, comes from 
a word fpoken out of feafon ; for, according to the ex- 
preffion of the Wife Man : Of one fpark cometh a great 

7. This vice, upon account of thefe great damages, 
is compared in fcripture fometimes to a rafor (4) which 
ihaves the hair without being felt -, fometimes again to 
bows and arrows, which fhoot at a great dittance and 
wound thofe that are abfent-, at other times to ferpents, 
that make no noife when they bite, yet leave their poifon- 
in the wound (5). The Holy Ghoft is pleafed to give 
us to underftand by thefe companions, the malice and 
damages of that vice, which is lo great that the Wife 
Man fays (6) : T'he Jiroke of a ivbip maketh a blue mark : 
but the ftroke of the tongue will break the bones. 

8. The 

(i) Prov. c. xvi. v. i. (2) Eccl. c. xxviii. v. 15. (3) Ibid, 
c. xi. v.34, (4) v.2, (5)Hrov, c.Xxv, v.i8, (6)Pf.vii. 

444 3% e Sinners Guide. Book II. 

8. The third evil that attends this vice is, its being 
moft abominable and infamous amongft men : becaufe 
every body flies as naturally from a detractor as from a 
poifonous ferpent. And therefore the Wife Man fays : 
A man full of tongue is terrible in his city (i}. Are not 
thefe evils great enough to make you abhor a vice, which 
is at once fo hurtful and fo unprofitable ? why will you 
make yourfelf odious in the fight both of GOD and man, 
without reaping any advantage by it ? efpecially by a (in 
that is fo frequent and ufual, that you can fcarce fpeak 
one word, without expofmg yourfelf to the danger of 
falling into it. Look upon your neighbour's life as a 
forbidden tree which you mould not fo much as touch. 
You are to be careful in endeavouring never to fpeak 
well of yourfelf, nor ill of others ; becaufe one is vanity, 
and the other detraction. Talk of all perfons as if they 
were virtuous men, and men of honour, and let all the 
world believe, there is no wicked man in it, by your 
difcourfe. Thus you will avoid many fins, fcruples, and 
remorfes of confcience ; you will gain the favour both 
of GOD and man, and be refpected as much by others, 
as you refpect every body elfe. Put a bridle in your 
mouth, and be always ready to repel and fwallow down 
thofe words, which you perceive will be too fharp and 
biting. Be allured that it is one of the moft prudent and 
difcreet actions you can do to curb your tongue ; and that 
there is fcarce any empire fo great, as that which a man 
has, when he knows how to command and govern this 

9. Do not think you are free from this vice, when 
you ufe craft in your detraction, by praifing a man firft, 
when you defign to decry him. For, there are fome de- 
tractors, like furgeons, who chafe the vein gently before 
they open it, that their lancet may find the eafier pafTage, 
and the blood fpurt out the more freely. The Royal 
Prophet fpeaking of fuch perfons, fays (2) : Their words 
Are fmoother than oil ; but at the fame time they are arrows. 

10. And as it is a great virtue to forbear all detraction, 
fo it is a much greater to rail at thofe who have done 

(i) Eccl c, ix. v. 25. (2) Pfalm liv. v. 22. 

Part I. Ch. 9. Remedies agamjl Detraction, &c. 445 

us any injury. So that the more we find ourfelves inclined 
to fay any thing againft them, the greater gencrofity it 
will be to fay nothing, and to fubdue this paffion ; for 
where the danger is greateft, there the mod precaution 
is to be ufed. 

11. Nor is it enough to forbear you rfelf from mur- 
muring and detracting, you mud alfo fhut your ears 
againft all that do fo, following the advice of Ecclefiaf- 
ticus : Pledge in they ears, fays he, with thorns, hear not 
a wicked tongue*. He thinks it not fufficient for you to 
ftop your ears with cotton, or with any thing that is foft, 
he would have you do it with thorns ', rhat fo the words 
which otherwife you would have heard with pleafure, 
may not only make no imprcffion upon your heart ; but 
may prick the heart of him that delivers them, when he 
fees by your looks, that you are difpleafed at what he has 
told you. Solomon gives us the fame advice in clearer 
terms, when he fay ; The north wind drive th away rain^ 
Jo doth a fad countenance a backbiting tongue -f. Becaufe, 
as St. Jerom fays, " An arrow out of a bow cannot enter 
into a hard ftone ; but on the contrary, flies back again, 
and fometimes returns upon the man that mot it J. 

12. For this reafon you are to impofe filence upon any 
one that detracts, if he is your inferior, or of fuch a 
condition and rank, that you may do it without offence. 
If you cannot do this, you muft at leaft ufe fome cunning 
to divert the difcourfe ; or, if that will not do, let the 
feverity of your countenance make him aihamed of what 
he has faid. By this means, being civilly told of his fault, 
he will turn his difcourfe, and talk of fomething elfe. 
But mould you, on the contrary, contenance him in the 
leaft, you will encourage him to go on, and fo make 
yourfelf as guilty, by hearing him, as he is by his talk- 
ing : for as it is a very criminal action to fet a houfe on 
fire, it would be very blameable, for another to ftand 
warming his fingers by it, when charity bids him fetch 
water to help to put it out. 

K k k 13. Bur 

* Eccl. c. xXviii. v. 28. -f Prov. c. xxv. v. 23. J Epift. 2. 
ad Nepo. tiam. 

446 The Sinners Guide. Book IL 

13. But of all detractions, the greateft is, when a man 
fpeaks ill of virtuous perfons ; becaufe it is the ready way 
to dilcourage thofe that are but weak and faint-hearted, 
and to give an abfolute repulfe to fuch as have no cou- 
rage at all, fo as to deter them from entering into the 
way of virtue. This would be laying a ftumbling-block 
in their way, that are but juft beginning to walk, though 
thofe that are quite grown up, know how to pafs over 
it. And that you may have no reafon to fay, this is but 
a fmall and inconfiderable fcandal , reflect upon thefe 
words of our Saviour ; But he that foall fcandalize one of thefe 
tittfe ones that believe in me , /'/ were better for him that a 
milflcne were hanged about his neck^ and that he were 
drowned in the depth of the Jea *. You are therefore to 
account upon it as a kind of facriledge to make fcanda- 
lous reflections on the fervants of GOD ; for, fuppofing 
they are fuch as the wicked reprefent them, yet the cha- 
racter they bear, mould make you have a refpect for 
them, efpecially fmce God Almighty fpeaking of the 
love he has for them, faysj For he that touches you, 
tcucheth the apple of my eye "f. 

14. Whatever we have here faid againfls detractors and 
backbiters, may be applied to thofe that jeer and fcofFat 
others, and with more than reafon, becaufe this vice,, 
be fides its having all in it that the other has, is never 
without a tincture of pride, prefumption, and contempt 
of others , fo that, upon this confideration, we are more 
obliged to avoid this vice, than the former. GOD, in 
the old law, has given us a particular caution againit it, 
in thefe words : Thou ft:> all not be a detractor nor a whifperer 
among the people J. And therefore there is no need of 
faying any more of the deformity of it, for what has been 
faid may fuflice. 

Of rcfo judgments^ and of the commands of the church. 

15. To thefe two fins, we may add that of ram judg- 
ment, as coming very near to them, becaufe detractors 
and jeerers, not only fpeek ill of things which really are, 

*Matt.c,xviii. v.6. -j-Zach. c.ii. v.8. JLevit.c.xix. v,i6. 

Part I. Ch. 9. OfRaJh Judgment, Sec. 447 

but of whatever they imagine or fancy. And, that they 
may never want fomething to be biting upon, t.ic-y iur- 
nifh themfelves when there is no occafion, by rafti judg- 
ments and fecrets fufpicions j by turning the iiJe 
of a thing outwards, when they might as eaiily tu ii cli 
beft; and this, in oppofition to what our S,- 
commanded us, faying, Judge not that \;uu .;*. 
judged \ condemn not, and you Jhall not be condt 
This may often happen to be a mortal fin, if the ma r 
a man pafies fentence upon, is of concern and we. 
and the judgment grounded on a fhallow and weak foun- 
dation : but if it proves to be rather a fufpicion than a 
judgment, it will not then be a mortal fin, becaufe the 
act is not entire and perfect. 

1 6. Befides thefe fins againft GOD, there are thofe 
which a man commits againft the five commandments of 
the church, which oblige us by precept. As hearing 
mafs upon fundays and holy days, confeffing our fins once 
a year, communicating at Eafter, falling all days ap- 
pointed by the church, and paying of tithes. The com- 
mandment of fading, binds from one and twenty years 
of age and upwards, more or Iefs 3 according to the dii- 
cretion of the confeffor or curate, if a man is not fick 
or very weak, or old labouring men, nurfes that give 
fuck, or women that are with child, and fuch as are not 
able to afford themfelves one good meal a day, and o 
there may be other lawful impediments. 

17. As to the hearing of mafs upon fundays and holy 
days, a man muft endeavour to aflift there, not only in 
body, but in fpirit, having his mind recollected ; and 
with a profound filence with his heart fixed upon GOD, 
or upon the myfteries of the mafs, or bufied with fome 
other pious thoughts, or faying fome devout prayers. 

1 8. And as for thofe perfons who have fervants, and 
children, and a family to look after, they mould be very 
careful and diligent, and feeing that all under their 
charge, here mafs upon holy days , and if they cannot 
let them go to high mafs, becaufe of th^ir being im- 
ployed about neceSary bufinefs, at Icaft, they muft make 

Kkk 2 them 

* Matt, c, vii. v. i. 

4^ The Sinners Guide. Book II, 

them go fome time in the morning to hear a private 
mafs, that fo they may comply with their obligation. 
There are many mafters of families, very blameable and 
negligent in this point, and they muft anfwer for it to 
GOD. It is true, when there is any juft and prefiing ne- 
ceflity, that hinders a perfon from hearing mafs -, as his 
looking after a fick perfon, or any fuch employment, it 
will not be then imputed to him as a fin, becaufe necef- 
fity excufes a man from this law. 

19. Thefe are the mod ufual fins which man generally 
falls into. It is our duty always to endeavour to avoid 
them all ; fome becaufe they are mortal, others becaufe 
they are very near to mortal fin, and others again, be- 
caufe they are more henious of themfelves, than other 
common venial fins. This is the way to preferve our 
innocence, and thofe white garments which Solomon re- 
quires of us, when he fays ; At all times let your garments 
be white, and let not oil depart from thy head ( i ). That is, 
the unction of divine grace, which enlightens and 
ftrengthens us upon all occafions, and which inftrucls us 
in and encourages us to all kind of good. 


Of venial fins. 

I, ripHOUGH thefe be the chief fins you are carefully 
JL to avoid, yet do not think you are therefore al- 
lowed to run freely into all venial fins. On the contrary, 
I earneftly intreat you, not to be one of thofe, who make 
no fcruple of committing a fin, when once they know it 
is not mortal. Confider what the Wife Man fays : He 
that contemneth fmall things, will fall by degrees into 
greater (2). Think of the olc^proverbi for want of a 
nail we lofe a (hoe, for want of a flioe a horfe, and for 
want of a horfe a trooper. Houfes that fall with age, 
begin their decay with fome little flaw, which by degrees 
grows bigger and bigger, till the whole building comes 

(i) Eccl. c. ix. v. 8. (3) Eccl, c. xix, v. i. 

Parti. Ch. 10. Of Venal Sin. 449 

to the ground. Confider, that though in reality neither 
feven thoufand venial fins, nor feven thoufand to thofe, 
can make Up one mortal , yet that which St. Auguftine 
fays is true ( i ) : "Do not defpife venial fins, becaufe 
they are little , but be afraid of committing them, be- 
caufe they are many : we often fee that little animals may 
kill a man, when there is a great number of them : is 
not a grain of land a very fmall thing ? and yet if you 
overload a veiTel with it, it will certainly fink. How 
fmall are drops of water, yet they make the greateft 
rivers, and bear down the moft {lately edifices in the 
world." The meaning of this fentence of St. Auguftine, 
is not that many venial amount to a mortal fin, but that 
they difpofe the foul to mortal fin, and very often make 
a man fall into it. Nor is this only true, but that alfo 
which St. Gregory fays (2) : " That to fall into fmall 
fins is fometimes more dangerous, than to fall into great 
ones :" Becaufe the greater a fault is, the more it dif- 
covers itfelf, and is by confequence the more eafy to 
be remedied -, whereas little faults being looked upon as 
nothing, the more fecurely a man commits them, the 
greater danger he is in of falling frequently into the 
fame again. 

2. In fine, venial fins, tho' never fo little, are very 
prejudicial to the foul j becaufe they take away devotion, 
difturb the peace and quiet of confcience, extinguifh the 
heat of charity, weaken the heart, deftroy the vigour of 
the foul, impair the flrength of the fpiritual life, and in 
fhort, refill in fome manner the Holy Ghoft himfelf, and 
hinder his operations in us. For this reafon we are 
obliged to ufe the utmoft diligence for avoiding of thefe 
fins, fince it is certain there is no enemy, how mean fo- 
evcr, but may be able to do us much harm, if we do 
not fecure ourfelves againft him. 

3, Now if you would know wherein thefe fins parti- 
cularly confift , I anfwer, that in a little anger, gluttony, 
or vanity, in idle words and thoughts, in immoderate 


(l) Super Joan. Tree. 12. ad fin. Tom. p. & L. de dectm 
ehordis. c. 1 1. & L. de Medicina Paenitentiufii ad fin. Tom. 9. 
C. 2. (2)InPaftora3. p. 0.33. 

45 *Tbe Sinners Guide. Book II. 

laughing and jefting, in the lofs of time, in fleeping too 
much, in lies and flatteries, and the like. 

4. We have here defcribed three forts of fins, one 
which is generally mortal, another that is commonly ve- 
nial, and a third that lies as it were betwixt thefe two 
extremes ; fo that they are fometimes mortal, and fome- 
times only venial. It is requifite we fhun all thefe in ge- 
neral, much more thofe which are in the middle, and 
mod of all thofe that are mortal : becaufe by thofe alone 
our peace with GOD is difturbed, our friendfhip violated, 
and by the fame, we lofe all the goods of grace, and all 
the infufed virtues : though faith and hope it is true, 
cannot be loft but by the contrary afts. 


Of fome other Jhorter remedies againft all forts offins^ but 
-particularly thofe feven, called Capital. 

i. f i ^HE feveral confiderations we have here fet down, 
J[ will ferve to keep the foul in good order, and 
well armed againft all kinds of fins : yet during the en- 
gagement itjelf -, that is, when you are tempted to any 
of thefe fins, you may make ufe of thefe fhort fentences, 
found amongft the writings of a certain holy man, who 
ufeol to arm himfelf thus, upon all occafions, againft 
every one of thefe vices. 

2. When pride affaulted him he faid : When I confi- 
der with what an excefs of humility the moft high and 
glorious Son of GOD has humbled himfelf for the love 
of me ; no creature in the world can defpife me fo much, 
as to make me think I do not deferve to be much more 
contemned and defpifed. 

3. If covetoufnefs fet upon him, his faying was; 
Having cnce underftood that nothing can fatisfy my 
foul, but GOD alone , I cannot but perfuade myfelf, that 
it muft be a great folly to feek any thing befides him. 

4. As often as impurity attacked him he faid : Being 
fenfible of the great dignity my body is raifed to, when I 


Part I. Gh. 1 1. Other Remedies againft Sin. 451 

receive my Saviour's moil facred body ; I fhould account 
myfelf guilty of a horrible facrilege, fhould I defile the 
temple he has confecrated to his fervice, with the filth of 
carnal fin?. 

5. If he was tempted to anger, he faid : No man 
could ever injure him fo far, as to difturb and trouble 
him, when he reflected upon the injuries he had offered 
to GOD. 

6. His defence againft hatred and envy was : I cannot 
wifh any hurt to my neighbour, or refufe to pardon any 
man ; knowing with what mercy my GOD has vouchfafed 
to receive fuch a finner as I am. 

7. Againft gluttony, he faid : That if any man would 
but call to mind the bitter potion of vinegar and gall, 
which they gave the Son of GOD for his laft refreshment, 
in the midfl of all the torments he fuffered for us ; he 
would be amamed to endeavour to pleafe his palate with 
dainty meats ; being obliged to undergo fomething for 
his own fins. 

8. His faying againft floth was : Since I have been 
taught, that for a little toil and labour here, I may pur- 
chaie for myfelf everlafting glory, all the pains I can 
poflibly take, for the obtaining of this happinefs, feem 
very inconfiderable. 


9. St. Auguftine gives us another fort of fhort reme- 
dies againft all vices ; though fome perfons attribute 
them to St. Leo the Pope : He mews us in the fame, 
how on the one fide each particular vice tempts us, and 
what propofals it makes us : and on the other fide, he 
fupplies us with fuch confiderations and reafons, as we 
are to make ufe of againft it, which I will here fet 
down, looking upon them as very ferviceable and be- 

10. Pride therefore begins firft to fpeak to us after 
this manner : Certainly you excell others in knowledge, 
in eloquence, in wealth, and in feveral other good qua- 
lities ; it is therefore reafonable you mould have but 
little efteem for others, as being fo far above them. 


452 The Sinners Guide. Book II. 

But humility anfwers : Remember that you are but duft 
and alhes -, mere rottenefs and corruption at prefent \ 
and defigned to be the companion and food of worms in 
a very little time. And fuppofing you are as great as 
you imagine, yet the greater you are, if you do not 
humble yourfelf the more, you will foon ceafe to be what 
you were. Are you greater than the angels that fell ? do 
you mine brighter upon earth than Lucifer did in hea* 
ven ? Now, if his pride was the occafion of his falling 
from fo high a ftate of glory, into fuch an abyfs of mi- 
fery ; how can you think of rifing from fuch an excefs 
of mifery to fuch a height of glory, when you are in all 
refpefts as proud as he was ? 

11. Vain-glory comes next, and fays : Do all the good 
you can, and let every body know it, that they may take 
you for a good man , that the whole world may reve- 
rence and honour you , and that no one may mew you 
the leaft difrefpeft. The fear of GOD anfwers : It is a 
moil notorious folly to fling away the purchafe of eternal 
glory, for a little temporal honour. Endeavour there- 
fore to hide all the good actions you do, at leaft in de- 
fire ; becaufe, if you have a real defire to conceal them, 
it will be no vanity in you, if they mould come to be 
known i for that cannot be called public which in your 
wifhes is fecret. 

12. Hypocrify fays: Since you have nothing in you 
that is good , endeavour, at leaft, to make man believe 
you have what you have not, that you- may not be hated 
by all the world, if every body mould know you to be 
what you are. True religion anfwers : endeavour much 
more to be what you are not, than only to be thought 
fo-, for, it is the proper duty of a Chriftian, not to en- 
deavour to pafs for a good man, but to labour to make 
himfelf fo , for all that you can get by impofmg upon 
others, will be your own condemnation and ruin. 

13. Contempt and difobedience fay, who are you, 
that you fhould be fubjecT: to others inferior to you ? it 
is but jnft you mould command, and they obey, fince 
they do not come up to you, either in wit, judgment, or 
virtue. It is enough for you to keep the commandments 


Part.!. Ch 1 1. Other Remedies agamjl Sin. 453 
of GOD, you need not trouble your head with thofe of 
men. Subjection and obedience anfwers the lame reafon 
that obliges you to an obfervance of GOD'S command- 
ments, obliges you to fubmit to what men decree -, be- 
caufe GOD himfelf his faid : Whofoever hearetb you, heareth 
me ; and he that defpifeth you> defpifeth me *. But if you 
fay that this (lands with reafon and juftice, when he that 
commands is a good man - t and not otherwife ; hear what 
the apoftle fays againft this opinion : There is no power but 
from GOD , and thofe that are^ are ordained of GOD f. So 
that it is none of your bufmefs to know what kind of 
men your fuperiors are ; all you are to do, is to know 
what they command, and put their orders in execution. 

14. Envy fays; in what are you lefs than this man or 
that ? why then mould not you have as much refpect 
(hewed you as they have, or more ? how many things 
can you do, which they cannot ? it is therefore unjuft, 
that they fhould be made equal to you , or fet over you ? 
brotherly love anfwers, if you are more virtuous than 
others, you will be much fecurer in a low place than in 
a high one , becaufe, the higher a man falls from, the 
more dangerous will be his fall. Put the cafe, that there 
are many men as rich or richer than you , what are you 
the worfe for it ? you ought to confider, that whilft you 
envy another that is in a better ftation, you make your- 
felf like him, of whom it is faid ; By envy of the devil, 
death came into the world, and they follow him that are of 
his fide, fc 

15. Hatred fays, God Almighty can never expect you 
mould love him that is always contradicting and oppofmg 
you in all things ; that is always detracting and back- 
biting you ; that is always upbraiding you to your face, 
with all your failings : that is, in fine, perpetually 
thwarting you in all his words and actions ; for it is 
certain, he would never thus trample upon you, if he 
did not hate you- True love anfwers. Suppofing thefe 
things are deteftable in a man, muft you therefore hate 
the image of GOD, that is (lamped upon him ? did not 

Lll J.-fus 

* Luke, c. x. v. 16. -f Rom c. xiii. v. I. J Wild. 

c. ii. v. 24, 25. 

454 Tik Sinners Guide. Bookll 

Jefus Chrift, even when he hung upon the crofs, love~ 
his enemies ? did he not advife us to the fame, a little 
before his departure out of this world ? banim therefore 
all the bitternefs of hatred from your breaft, and inftead 
of it, take in the fweetnefs of love ; for befides the eter- 
nal confiderations and reafons that oblige us to it, there 
is nothing in this life more pleafant, nothing more fweet 
than love, and nothing on the contrary, more bitter, no- 
thing more diftafteful than hatred ; which like a canker, 
ts always preying upon the bowels that firft gave it being. 

1 6. Detraction is always crying, who can endure this ? 
who can conceal the crimes fuch or fuch perfons have 
committed, without being accefTary to them ? Brotherly 
correction anfwers, we are neither to publilh, nor to con- 
fent to our neighbours fins *. But he that has done amifs 
is to be corrected with charity, and to be borne with pa- 
tience. Befides, it is fometimes convenient to take no- 
notice of a man, when he has committed a fault, that 
you may afterwards have a more favourable opportunity 1 
of reproving him. 

17 Anger fays, how can you have patience to endure 
the injuries that are offered you; and if you do refent 
them, you will have greater affronts put upon you every 
day. Patience anfwers, if you would but reflect upon 
our Saviour's paffion, there is no wrong which you would 
not be willing to put up. For St. Peter fays, Chrift alfo 
fufferedfor us, leaving us an example, that we Jbould folhw 
bisfteps , 'who when he fuffered^ never was angry with, nor 
threatened them that ufedhim ill-\. We are therefore more 
particularly obliged to imitate our Saviour in this point, 
confidering that what we fuffer is fo little in comparifion 
of what he underwent for us. For, he was affronted, 
buffeted, fcourged, crowned with thorns, and crucified, 
and yet we finful and miferable wretches fly into a pafTion 
at every little word, and the leaft incivility that is, touches 
lis to the quick. 

1 8. Hardnefs of heart fays, how can you fpeak kindly 
to men that are as ftupid, as ignorant, and fenfelefs as 
brute beads, and who very often grow proud and faucy, 

Matt. c. xvtii. v, 15. f I Pet. c. ii. v, 21. 

. Ch. ii. Other Remedies agatnft Sin. 455 
the kinder you are to them ? meaknefs anfwers, your 
advice is not to be taken in this point , but the apoftle 
who fays, he fervant of the Lord muft not wrangle* 
but be mild towards men *. This fault of replying and 
wrangling, it is true, is much more dangerous in infe- 
riors ; becaufe it often happens, that they lofe the refpeft 
they mould have for thofe that are put over them, when 
they are too kindly dealt with ; and laugh at and ridicule 
the humility and fweetnefs their fuperiors (hew them. 

19. Preemption and rafhnefs fay, GOD in heaven is 
witnefs of all your actions ; and therefore you need not 
trouble your head about the opinion men have of you. 
Our duty to our neighbour anfwers ; you are not to give 
other perfons occafion of murmuring, or of revealing all 
they think and fufpect of you ; but if what they find 
fault with you for is true, tell them fmcerely you have 
done amifs -, if falfe, you are with humility to deny i,t. 

20. Sloth and idlenefs fay, you will foon lofe your 
fight, if you give yourfelf thus continually to ftudy, 
prayers and tears ; if you fpend a good part of the night 
in performing of thefe exercifes, you will foon be dif- 
trac~bed, if you tire yourfelf out with too much labour, 
you will become unfit for any fpiritual exercifes. Dili- 
gence and labour anfwer, why do you .promile yourfelf 
many years to undergo thefe hardships and labours ? who 
has given you any fecurity, that you mall live till to- 
morrow, nay, till this very hour be over? have you 
forgot what our Saviour faid , Watch^ becaufe you know 
not the day nor the hour f. It is your bufinefs therefore, 
to make off all idlenefs, becaufe the kingdom of heaven 
is not for the flothful and tepid, but for fuch only as are 
, diligent and refolute. 

21. Covetoufnefs fays, if you give away what you 
have to ftrangers, what will be left to maintain your own 
family. Mercy anfwers, remember what happened to 
the rich man in the gofpelj, that was cloathed in purple 
and the fineft linnen, he was not condemned for taking 
away another man's goods, but for not giving away his 
own For this he was condemned to hell fire, and re- 

Lll 2 duced 

*2Tin. c. ii. v. 24. -f Matt. c. xxv. v. 43. J Luc. c. xvi. 

456 The Sinner* Guide. Book II. 

duced to fuch extremity there, as not to be able to ob- 
tain one drop of water, though he .begged it with fo 
much earnefinefs ; for, not giving the crumbs that fell 
from his table to a poor man that was begging at his 

22. Gluttony fays, GOD created all things for your 
nourimment , if therefore you refufe to eat, you flight 
GOD'S favours ? temperance anfwers, what you fay is true 
in one refpecl: ; for GOD created all things, that man 
might not die for hunger. But to prevent his committ- 
ing any excefs, he commanded him to be abftemious, 
and not being fo, is reckoned one of the chief fins that 
drew down GOD'S juft judgments upon the unhappy City 
of Sodom *, and was the occafion of its utter ruin. For 
that reafon a man, though he be in good health, is to 
take his meat as a fick man does his phyfic ; that is, only 
to fupply the prefent necetfity. So that, if he would 
quite break himfelf of that vice, he muft, befides pre- 
fcribing himfelf a certain quantity, and no more ; def- 
pife all danties, unlefs either want of health or charity, 
oblige him to the contrary. 

23. Empty joy fays, why do you conceal and fmother 
the joy of your heart ? let every body be fenfible of your 
joy, and talk pleafantly and merrily with your compa- 
nions, to divert them, and to make them laugh * gravity 
anfwers ; what is the meaning of all this mirth and plea- 
fantry -, have you overcome the devil ? is the time of 
your banilhment expired, and are you called home to 
your country ? you have forgot perhaps what our Saviour 
laid \ Toujhott lament and weep, but the world Jhall rejoice ; 
but your forroiv Jhatt be turned into joy\. Put a Hop there- 
fore, I advife you, to this vain delight , for you have 
not yet weathered all the ftorms, that are fo frequent 
upon this dangerous fea. 

24. Talkativenefs fays, there is no hurt in talking 
much, if a man talks well , as on the contrary, he is 
not free from fin, though he fpeak but little, if what he 
fays be ill. Difcreet filence anfwers, what you fay is true, 
yet it often happens, that when a man would fay many 

* Ezcch, c. xvi. -f- John, c. xvi, v. 20. 

Part I. Ch. 11. Other Remedies againfl Sin. 457 

good things, he makes a bad end of what he began well. 
And the Wife Man fays, In the multitude of words there 
jhall not ivanf f>n *. And if you fliould be fo fortunate 
as talking much, not to fpeak any thing that is hurtful, 
it will be very hard to avoid all idle words which you 
muft give an account of, at the day of judgment. You 
muft therefore be moderate in your talk, be it never fo 
good, leaft excefs mould make it quite otherwife. 

25. Impurity fays,why are you not now to enjoy pleafures 
and delights, fince you do not know what may happen to 
you ? It is unreafonable to lofe fuch a favourable oppor- 
tunity when you cannot tell how foon it may pafs away. 
For, if GOD had not defigned that men mould enjoy 
thefe pleafures, he would never have created men and 
women at the beginning : Chaftity anfwers, I would not 
have you pretend to be ignorant of what is prepared for 
you after this life. For, if you will but live purely and 
chaftly here, you mail enjoy fuch pleafures and delights, 
as mall never have an end ; but if, oh the contrary, you 
live lewdly here, you mall be condemned to torments for 
all eternity hereafter. And the more fenfible you are of 
the fhort durance of thefe falfe pleafures, the more reafon 
you have to live chaftly , for how wretched an hour's 
pleafure is that, which is purchafed at the expence of a 
life that is to lad for ever. 

26. All that has been hitherto faid may ferve to fur- 
nifli us with fuch fpiritual weapons, as are neceffary for 
this combat. By the help of which we mail obtain the 
firft part of virtue, which is to abftain from fin, and to 
maintain the poft which GOD put us in, and in which he 
himfelf lives, that it be not furprized by the enemy. If 
we defend it with refolution, we (hall have the honour 
of entertaining this heavenly gueft , becaufe, as St. John 
fays : God is charity , and he ihat abideth in charity, abide th 
in God, and God in bim-\. And that man is in charity, 
who never does any thing contrary to it, and nothing is 
contrary to it, but mortal fin : againft wnich, all that we 
. have faid in this book, is to be applied as a remedy and 

* Prov. c. x. v. 19, -j- i John, c. iv. v. 16. 



B O O K II. P A R T II. 

Containing fuch Rules as are requifite for the Pra&ice 
of Virtue. 


Of three kinds of virtues* wherein eonjifts the fulnefs 
of all Juftice. 

HAVING in the firft part of this book, fpoken 
of thofe vices which pollute and darken the foul'; 
let us treat now of fuch virtues, as adorn and 
beautify it with the fpiritual ornament of juftice And 
as it is the property of juftice to give every one his due, 
whether it be GOD, our neighbour, orourfelf: fo there 
are three forts of virtues that compofe it ; fome are par- 
ticularly for the performance of the duty man owes to 
<JOD : fome again, for that he owes to himfelf. This is 
all he has to do, in order to fatisfy the obligations of 
virtue and juftice, that is, for the making himfelf truly 
juft and virtuous, the only thing we pretend to here. 

2. If you would know, in fliort, how that is to be done, 
and have it made more plain by a few familiar compan- 
ions ; I fay, a man will comply exactly with thefe three 
duties, if he has thefe three things , the heart of a fon 
towards GOD -, the heart of a mother towards his neigh- 
bours ; and that of a judge towards himfelf. In thefe 
three points of juftice, the prophet placed the very per- 
fection of our good, when he faid, / will Jhew thee, O 
man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee- t 
verily* to do judgment* and to love mercy* and to walk care- 
fully with thy GOD *. The doing of judgment, (hews a 

* Mich. c. vi. v. 8. man 

Part II. Ch. r. Man's Dafy to Mmfelf. 459. 

man what he owes to himfelf : mercy what he owes to 
his neighbours, and walking carefully with GOD, what 
his obligation is to him, fmce all our good depends on 
thefe three things ( i ), we will handle them now at large, 
having only fpoken of them briefly in the memorial of 
a Chriftian life, with a defign to explain them more fully 
in, this place. 


Of man's duty to himfelf. 

r. O INCE charity begins at home ; let us now begin 
^5 as the prophet did, that is, with the doing of 
juftice or judgment, which is the part of a judge, and 
which every man ought to exercile towards himfelf. Ther 
duty of a good judge is to fee the ftate be orderly and 
reformed. And becaufe in this little ftate or common- 
wealth of man, there are two principal parts to reform \ 
that is, the body with all its members and fenfes, and 
the foul with all its affections and powers. It is re- 
quifite thofe things mould be all governed and directed, 
according to the rules of virtue, which we mail here 
ky down : And thus man will perform his duty to 

Of the reformation $f the body. 

The firft thing to be done, in order to reforming of 
the body, is to fettle a juft decorum , obferving what 
St. Auguftine fays in his rule (2) : That there mould be 
nothing in our gate, our poilure, our drefs, or in any 
thing elfe, that may give offence to our neighbour; 
but that every thing in us (hould be conformable to the 
fanctity of our profefilon. To this end, he that ferves 
GOD muft endeavour to carry himfelf towards all men 
with that modefty, with that humility, with that fwcet- 
nefs and meeknefs, that every one he converfes with 


(i) I Par. Tra. 4. c. 3; (2) V, Caflian, L, 5, c. 12. 

460 > The Sinners Guide. Book II. 

may .profit and be edified by his good example. The 
apoftle would have us be like Tweet perfume, which im- 
mediately communicates its fcent to every thing that 
touches it, and makes the hands it has once been in, 
fmell like itfelf: for fuch ought to be the difcourfe of 
thofe . that ferve GOD, fuch their actions, their beha- 
viour, and their converfation (i), that every body who 
has any thing to do with them, may be edified and im- 
proved by their example. This is one of the great be- 
nefits that flows from modefty, and an outward com- 
pofure, which is a kind of a filent fermon, by which 
we invite men, by our good example, and without the 
lead noife of words, to praife GOD and to love virtue, 
according to what our Saviour commanded us, when he 
faid(2) : Let your light fo Jbine before men, that they may 
fee your good works, and glorify your Father who is in bea- 
<uen. What Ifaiah fays, comes to the fame purpofe(3,) : 
I'be fervants of God Jh all be called the mighty ones of juftice, 
the planting of the Lord to glorify him. Yet we are not to 
think this gives us any privilege to do good works n 
purpose, that they may be feen (4) , " We ought rather, 
according to St. Gregory's rule, to publifh that good we 
do in fuch a manner, that the intention may ftill be 
unknown, that fo our good action may be a pattern for 
our neighbours, and the intention we have of pleafing 
none but GOD, mav make us always define fecrecy." 

3, The fecond advantage reaped by this outward com- 
pofure of the body, js the fecurity of the inward man, 
and a prefervative of devotion. For the union and tye 
that is betwixt thefe two, is fo clofe, that what one has, 
the other immediately partakes of, and fo on the con- 
trary.. For this reafon, if the fpirit is in good order, 
the body immediately is fo too, and that naturally : and 
if on the other fide, the body is uneafy and irregular, 
the fpirit grows irregular and uneafy : fo that one of 
them is like a glafs to the other. For as you may fee 
all you do in a glafs that Hands before you , fo all that 
pafles in either of thefe two, is immediately reprefented 


(1)2 Cor. c. ii. v. 15. (2) Matt. c. v. v. 16. (3) 
c.lxi. v. 3. (4) Lib. 29. Moral, c. 18. 

Part II Ch. 2. Mans Duty to himfelf. 46 1 

in the other : and this is the reafon why an outward com- 
pofure and modefty, is of fo great an afiiftance to an 
inward; and it would be a matter of wonder to find a 
recollected mind, in a troubled and diftracted body. 
Upon that account the Wife Man fays, He that is hafty 
with his fiet Jhalljlumble (i), giving us to underftand by 
this, that thofe perfons who fall from the gravity and 
ftaidnefs that Chriftian difcipline requires, are frequently 
fubject to (tumble, and cannot but often fall into a great 
many failings, as thofe who walk toofaft, make frequent 

4. The third good effect of this virtue is, the main- 
taining of a man in the authority and greatnefs, that 
belongs to his perfon and employ, if he be a man in, 
any dignity, or confiderable charge, as holy Job kept 
up his, who tells us himfelf in one place, That the light 
of his countenance, amidft all his feveral accidents, fell not 
on the earth (2). In another place he fays, that his au- 
thority was fo great, that young men, When they faw 
him, hid tbemfelves ; and that old men rofe up to pay him 
refpctl: -, that princes ceafed to fpeak, and laid their fingers on 
their mouths (%}, out of the reverence they had for him. 
The holy man backed this authority of his, which had 
not the leait appearance of pride in it, with fo much 
fweetnefs and mildnefs, that he fays of himfelf-, 'That 
even when he fat like a king, with his army about him, he 
was the comforter of them that mourned (4). 

5. You may obferve from hence, that the want of 
this modefty and compofure, is not condemned by wife 
men for a great fault, fo much as it is for a fign of levity; 
becaufe the immoderate loofenefs of the outward man, 
is a proof of the lightnefs and unfettlednefs of the 
inward. And therefore the author of Ecclefiafticus fays, 
The attire of the