Page images

know the truth, among us at least, do make of your Lordship, that I dare fay not the loins only, but the fouls of thousands do bless you, and God for you; praying for a rich reward to be given you of the Lord, and that with your ancient predeceffor honourable Nehemiah, the Lord would remember you herein, and wipe not out all the kindness you have shewed on the house of your God, and on the ministers thereof. For in the zeal of God, and uprightness of my heart, not to give titles unto men, which is not my wont, but to provoke all of like honourable condition to follow your godly practice: this I fay, that as your pure religion is the crown of your nobility, fo this . is the crown of your religion, that besides your ordinary presence in the public affemblies of the church, your zeal to God, and love to his people, hath herein especially been manifested to the world, in your continual care to plant faithful preachers in all & those livings which have been in your Lordfhips gift, or which by all your friends you could procure. What is the worthy fruit thereof cannot indeed be valued, much less by me now uttered: yet this I say with common consent of all found-hearted Proteftants, that if the true prophets of God be the chariots and horsemen of Israel, then may we refer to this honourabie practice of

your Lordship, and of other like Christian patrons, as to a chief means under God, and under the religious regiment of our gracious Sovereign; the safety of his highness' person, this admirable tranquility of the realing, that notable ruin of Rome, which is so worthily with us effected, and shall be assuredly elsewhere in due time accomplished. And to say all in few words, to this may we refer the safety of foul and body of many thousands in the land, who, though they do and shall live by faith, yet doth their righteousness far exceed the righteousness of all Popish hypocrites both in duty to God, and to their dread sovereign our noble king.

Whereupon I may conclude, that I scarce think of any service more honourable to God, and profitable to his church, than this care to bring into the Lord's temple such painful labourers as both by life and doctrine do faithfully build up the same. Go on therefore, Right Honourable, and cease not to shine out in this dark world with such light of good example: and withal rest upon his word, who cannot lie, that you shall shine in the kingdom of light, whereinto fhall enter no unclean thing: neither whatsoever worketh abomination or lies, but they which are written in the Lainb's book of life. To which blessed in.

heritance, immortal, undefiled, and that fadeth not, that God of his mercy would bring you, my hearts desire and prayer is, and Thall be: and in the mean season, that the years of your life being multiplied, your life may be full of honour to God, profit to his church, and comfort to your own foul.

Your honours most deeply bound,





EING often requested, gentle reader,

and much importuned by sundry, both learned and godly, to publish that doctrine of the Apocalipse, which divers of them with lively voice heard publicly delivered, I did at last, upon my most mature deliberation, yield unto their reasonable request; I mean the reasons of their request. Indeed I do ingenuously confess, that I am the unfiteft of many, which this age, God be thanked, doth afford, to deal in a mat"ter of fo great importance, or any wise to be employed in so great and honourable a service as this is. But if I do industriously use my small talent, and be found faithful in a little, I hope it shall have both chearful and comfortable acceptation with the church of God. For this I presume will be granted of all, that he which hath but a little strength, and yet he putteth it forth to the uttermoft to do good withal, is more to be commended, than he which hath thrice his strength, and useth it not to the help and benefit of others. And true it is indeed, that sundry worthy labours of divers excellent meri upon the Apocalypse, are already extant, so as he may feem to pour water into the sea, or go about to mend the crows eyes, that will attempt to add any thing to that which is already published. But know this, O Christian reader, that the Lord's garden is fo large and plentiful of all most sweet and pleasant flowers, that where any one hath gathered a nosegay most fragrant and delectable, another may come after, and gather another not to be contemned. For the wisdom of God is such an undrainable fountain and head. spring, that where one hath drawn much before, another may come happily, and draw as much afterward; yea tho thoufands do succeed, yet can this fountain never be drawn dry. Be it far from me to arrogate any thing to myself, above others; for I am privy enough to mine own means, and do freely confess, that in this work, I have received much light from others; and therefore do not as a judge, give sentence upon other men's works; But as one that

« PreviousContinue »