King David Playin a Psaltery 
 c. 1430

Asperges me Domine hysopo, & mundabor: lauabis me, & su­per niuem dealbabor. Auditui meo dabis gaudium & laetitiam: & exultabunt ossa humiliata.

Thou shalte sprinkle me with hysope, o lord, and I shalbe cleansed: thou shalte washe me, & I shalbe made white aboue snowe. Vnto my hearing thou wilte giue ioye & gladnes: and my humbled bones shall reioyce.

THE VSE OF CEREMONYES DECLARED by a picture: and the propertyes of hysope, whervnto they maybe alluded. Sect. 1. 

1. THe priestes of Moyses lawe doo purifye by sprinkling of bloud with hysope:Exod. 12. & 22. Num. 19. & Leuit. 24. and so they cleansed in a type or figure. 1. such as must eat the paschall lam­be. 2. such as were defiled by touching the dead. 3 such as were infected with leprosy. 4. or those who being penitent did offer sacrifice for their sinnes. O Lorde, as one who haue neede of all these, I looke not so much to the outwarde Ceremonyes, as I hope to be partaker of thy inwarde grace by the bloud of that paschal lambe, who is allso a sacrifice for the pollution & sinne of all the worlde.

2. In this actuall sprinkling of hysope and clensing application of our Sauiours me­rites, and of his death and passion, we doo liue, we doo bleeue, we doo hope, we doo merite, we doo labor & worke our saluation with feare & trembling, and not as Pro­testantes te [...]ch, by only faith, and so with presumptuous beleeuing.

3. Let others therfore be content alone with colors of imputation: our soules desire to be allso innocent in substance. We respecte not so much the outward figure of hy­sope, as the inward vertue of our deare Sauiours deare bloud▪ Types and ceremo­nyes are excellent ordinances; yet we doo lifte vp our mindes highe [...], and by occa­sion of these we doo more often remember, & more deuoutly apprehend the truthes, which they doo signifye. Some paynted Tables are so cutte & paynted, that one way they resemble a beautifull face, another way a deathes head; and a certeyn artificiall workeman made such a like picture of Moyses brasen serpent hauing vnde [...] it a multi­tude of Israelites looking vpwarde to be cured of the stinging of fiery serpentes: and aboue it he placed a looking glasse in such a situation, that when he opened or drew a curtayne hanging before the said picture (which thoughe whiles it was couered you saw nothing in the glasse, and thoughe whiles it was open you saw no other picture but that of the brasen serpent) yet so soone as the curtayne was drawne you mighte playnly see in the glasse, not a reflection of the serpent, but a liuely representation of our Sauiour on the crosse, with our blessed lady, S. Ihon, & S. Mary Magdalen standing at the foote therof: for as those other double pictures are made by cutting & paynting the Table sidewayes, so this was done crossewayes: in which as it downe­warde [Page 50]represented nothing but the serpent which was a type of our Sauiour, and vp­warde reflected on the glasse the thing signifyed, which was his exaltation on the crosse; so shoulde we from the inferior resemblance of all ceremonyes, by opening the Curtayn, lifte vp our minds to beholde and lay holde on their signifyed subst [...] ̄ce for good thinges are figured, to be remembred: and they are remembred, to be apprehended. And so whiles we remember hysope sprinkling the bloud of sacrifices, let vs by faith & good workes of deuotion, labour to apply the sacrifice of our Sauiours bloud & passion.

4.  Allso hysope we knowe is a lowe herbe & medicinable, which naturally desires to fasten his roote about stones;S. Aug. so doo thou fasten the roote of thy loue on Christe our rocke; and by imitation of his humility, he will cleanse thee. And as hysope is good to purge the swelling of the lunges, so haue we need of the humble vertue he­reof to purge our Brestes puffed vp in malice or pride. As Saul went towardes Da­mascus breathing out hotte & bigge crueltyes against the christians, but being once humbled and caste downe vpon the earthe, his swelling h [...]nges were purged, & his vnsauory breath was sweetned.

5. These propertyes allso are written of hysope in twoo verses. Parua, calens, p [...]ctus purgans, Act. 9.petrosa, screatrix, Ius sapidat, pleuri congrua, spargit aquam. It is little, and hotte, purging the breast, stony, and spitting, it relisheth broathe, helps a pleu­risy, serues for water sprinkling. Allso which doo well agree with a penitent; for thou must be little and lowly in thine owne eyes, and so thou shalte be exalted and great in the eyes of allmighty God. Thou must be hotte and feruent in charity; which is the loue of God aboue all, and of our neighebor as our selues for his sake. By sor­rowe & contrition thou must purge thy harte from sinne: spitte out this sinne by cō ­fession: and by stony and stedfaste satisfaction take roote in Christe our rocke. These foresaid religious exercises doo relishe and giue good taste to all our prayers & de­uotions: they heale and take away all payne & punishment due to sinne; and lastly they sprinkle & refresh vs with the dewe & droppes of all heauenly grace. O come my soule to this medicinable herbe of hysope, that being therwith sprinkled, we may be cleansed: and being washed in these vertues hereof, we may be made white aboue snowe. Magist. sentent. lib. 4. dist. 18. Scot. dict. 14.We haue neede of all these: for sinne is a deepe pollution hardly cleansed, whi­ther it be a priuation, or haue oughte in it positiue, or negatiue? whither it be di­rectly in the soule, or a crooked relation to the iustice of God, sure it is of all men called a deadly [...]eformity, and a detestable blotte, whose guilte remayneth still in the soule, after the acte is passed. It is a poysonous spotte & a venimous leprosy: o what shall we doo to be cleansed! washed! & made white aboue snow [...]. A dangerous disease requireth precious remedyes: when he physicians prescribe Bezar stone, or Confe­ction of pearles; then we knowe the patient is in a weake & wofull estate: And no lesse may we vnderstand our selues to haue bene in a wretched case when by no other meanes we coulde he cured (speaking of Gods ordinary power) but by this rare & excellent hysope sprinkled with the precious bloud of our Sauiour Iesus.

OF DIVERSE CEREMONYES IN THE Catholique Church made profitable by the▪ sprinkling & vertue of our Sauiours precious bloud, which is compared to the water of the Poole of Bethesda. Sect 2.

1. IN this precious sprinkling I shall finde a double cleansing. First I shal be clean­sed from veniall faultes:Hugo Cardinal. and allso if thou wash me I shalle made white aboue sno­we from mortall sinnes: for mortall crimes are remitted by washing of Baptisme or re­pentance & veniall offences by diuerse other meanes, of which some are expressed in these verses Confiteor, Tundor, Respergor, Conteror, Oro, Signor, Edo, [...]ono, per quae ve­nialia pono. By Contrition, Confession, Knocking the Breast, Sprinkling with holy water, Prayer, By blessing ourselues with the signe of the Crosse, By receiuing the blessed sacrament, By eating holy bread, By Agnus Dei, holy graynes, Indulgences &c. by giuing almes and by forgiuing iniuryes. By all, or any one of these, euer ioy­ned with some contrition or displicence for our faultes, in generall, or particular, we may be washed from our veniall faultes: yet euery one & all these are vnprofitable excepte they be referred & grounded vpon the merites and vertue of our Sauiour Christes bloud, wherin the hysop [...] must euer be dipped or else these sprinklinges will doo no good: but being therin moystened, our holy mother the Churche hath ap­poynted diuersity of hysope branches, that euer some mighte be at hande: and who wanted occasion or affection concerning one, might readily find more & easily stirre vp his deuotion by another.

2. Because allso it is necessary we doo make vse and benefite of this precious bloud, therfore diuerse meanes are assigned by which we may applye his excellent vertue.Ioan. 5. The water of the Poole mentioned in the gospell healed all maladyes: yet excepte they entred into it to be washed, it cured none: so it is most true, that without the bloud of our L. Iesus, no sinne is cleansed: nor any by this, except we do enter into this founteyne. Wherfore as to that poole (which was a figure of our Sauiours pre­tious bloud) seing the water is so necessary, if there were certeyn gates by which we must enter, were it not willfull slothfullnes, or idle madnes, not to enter those gates which may be diuided into fiue sortes, as there be fiue kindes of sinnes. 1. Originall. 2. mortall. 3. venial. 4. such as haue the Guilte & erernall paynes remitted, but are subiect to temporall punishments in this worlde. 5. or such of these laste, who dye be­fore they haue here satisfyed all those temporall punishments, which therfore they must suffer in Purgatory.

3. The first kinde must enter this sacred poole by the large water gate of Baptisme,Panigar. in discep­ta [...]one 7. part. 2. which cleanseth originall sinne. The second must passe into the same precious poole by the narrow roughe ston y gate of penitence, opening his three hard lockes of contrition, confession, & satisfaction, which giue entrance to deadly sinners. The thirde for veniall offendors is a playne free stone gate, more easily opened (hauing alwayes the master key of contrition) by any on other key of those good workes, Sacraments, Sacramentalls, or Indulgences, as is before mentioned. To enter this healing holy poole by the fourthe yron gate, for satisfying or escaping temporall punishments in this life, you must needes haue either the key of penall good workes, or of Indulgences, which vpon some good consideration may commute these penances. And lastly, for them who dye before they [Page 52]haue satisfyed sufficiently for all their temporall punishments: these to be altogether clen­sed in the vertue of that pool [...], must passe it by the boate fiery gate of purgatory, which they passe the more spedily, hauing the helpe of holy masses, indulgences, or prayers, offred by others in their behalfe.

4. This poole (I say) is the precious founteyn of our Sauiours bloud, vnto which all th [...]se gates and keyes doo directe: and without which, all these can doo nothing. But as o [...] lord Iesus is only the foundation of all our redemption; and yet we vse the h [...]lpe of his sacramentes to communicate vnto vs the benefite of his merites, which we doo confesse they doo communicate without any derogation or dishonor to our Sauiour himselfe: So good workes, and purgatory, and those Sacramentalls of holy water &c. they doo wish & helpe vs, in the vertue only of his precious bloud, not diminishing but applying the maruelous fruite therof, which by so manifolde & di­uerse meanes is ready at hand to profite vs.

5. A weake body apte to faynte or sounde, had need of many helpes to holde or recall life: among the rest it is vsed to sprinkle colde water in the face, [...]hervpō Plau­tus said:P [...]t. Vega Sparsisti aquā, iam redijt animus: thou hast tolde me so good tydinges, that being rea­dy to s [...]unde for feare, now thou hast sprinkled water vpon me, I am come agayne to life. O blessed Iesu, my sinnes and my doubtes had so reuolued & turmoyled my conscien­ce, that vntill I bleeued thy catholique truthe which thou louest, and vntill thou did­dest manifest vnto me the secrets of thy mysteries hidden in the wisdome of thy catholique churche, I was euer doubtfull & fearfull, and often ready to sounde at the bare na­me of death: But now thou haste sprinkled water▪ in my face by the precious hysope of thee my Sauiour, I may say with Iacob when he heard of his sonne Iosephes well­fare my spirite is reuiued:C [...]n. 45. for now my doubtes are dissolued, my sinnes are absolued, my feare is expelled, and my harte is setled in courage▪ O proceede, deare Sauiour, to gi­ue yet more ioye and gladnes to my hearing, that, my humbled bones may reioye ▪ and that thy promise by Ezech [...]el may be fullfiled to powre [...] cleane water by which we shalbe clensed from all our iniquit [...]es:Ezech. 36 for as S. Paul collecteth: if the bloud of goates sprin­kled did sanct [...]f [...]e the polluted; how much more the bloud of Christe, which shall cleanse our conscience from dead workes?Heb. 9▪ and thus I hope, o lorde thou wilte sprinkle me with hysope, and I shall be cleansed.

THE WONDERFVLL EFFICACYE OF OVR Sauiours bloud, and of the signe of the Crosse, which was be sprin­kled therewith. Sect. 3.

1. O most precious and miraculous bloud! which doost not spotte & steyne vs, as any other bloud vseth to doo. Thou doost rather cleanse vs w [...]sh vs and make vs white aboue snowe. Ap [...]c. 7.As the Sayntes washed their stoles, and whited thē in the bloud of the lambe: not their persons only but allso their garments. And as in Dyars arte out of one & the same Dyefatte they will make diuerse colors, according to the dis­position or aptenes of the color put into it, as white will become blew; yelowe will become greene, & blew will become red: only blacke, will take no color, but co­me out rather more blacke. So a fowle, blacke, deadly sinner not repenting truly, thoughe he beleeue our Sauiors passion, or neuer so often frequent the sacramentes, so long as he continues still in his fowle sinne, his blacke soule will take no other [Page 53]color: rather for his abuse, he comes away worser; and of such the prophet asked; can a blackmore change his skinne? But a true penitent, or he that is in state of grace according to the preparation of his harte and his deuoute disposition in which he applyes to himselfe the bloud of our Sauior;Ierem. 13. so he euer receiues therefrom a perfiter color. Wherfore. S. Augustin speakes vnto the catholique church in these wordes, O happy and heauenly mother! among thy flowres neither wante lilyes nor Roses, let euery one indeuour to attayne the colors which he can:Serm. 2. omnium Sanctor. eyther by virginity a crowne of white lillyes; or by martyrdome a crowne of purple Roses. In the contemplation of our hopes, we may haue a fresh greene; or in the burning of charity, a perfect fla­me color: & in one word all the beautifull colours in the world may be obtayned by this one admirable Tincture or Dye of our Sauiours bloud: therfore herein, o lord sprinkle me with hysope, and I shalbe cleansed in beauty.

2. Many herbes, beastes, fishes, & other creatures, haue wonderfull effectes of na­ture: But the vertues of all gathered into one, are not so strange nor so stronge, as this one effecte of our Sauiours bloud To cleanse and make white, the polluted blacke soule of a contrite sinner. Not the herbe Guila; which S. Ambrose saith, the Turtles vse about then nestes,Aelian. lib. de A­nimal. 2. o [...]p. 37. to driue away by his smell the hungry wolnes from deuou­ring her yong ones. Not the leaues of the plane tree, by which the storke driues away from her neste the owles or nighte Battes, least they touching her egges should ma­ke then rotten. Not the Pan [...]her, which by his sweete smelling skinne drawes other beastes to him, & then deuours then: and yet he himselfe, so soone as he sees the Hyaena, he runnes to lye downe at his feete, and by him is torne in peeces. Not the little fish Remora, that sticking to a shippe vnder sayle presently hinders her course. Nor the Torpedo, which from the hooke by the Anglestringe & the Rodde so be­nummes the fishers hande, that he cannot drawe him out of the water. Not the In­d [...]an haematites, which so stoppes the course of bloud, that whiles it toucheth any parte of your body, thoughe you receiue neuer so many woundes; yet not one will bleed. Not these nor a thousand more strange propertyes of all creatures, can be com­parable to the admirable effectes of one drop of his bloud, who was the Creator of all these, & the Redeemer of the whole worlde.

3. Saint Peters shadowe did worke miracles: but it was in vertue of this bloud.Act. 5. What miracles may the shadowe of the bloud it selfe doo? wherfore now a figure or shadowe of this bloud; since it was really shed for vs, can be no lesse forcible then those figures which did but signifye it should be shed afterward. As this Type of hy­sope, sprinkling the bloud of legall sacrifices, what vertues had it? May not therfore now the sprinkeling of holy water in a better memory haue more efficacy?

4. As for the signe of the crosse, which touched & was besprinkled with his bloud: what mira [...]les! what force hath it had? and hath stil euery day wonderfull effectes frō the vertue of our Lordes death, and the effusion of his bloud shed thervpon. Euen the wood of the yong mans Coffen, said S. Ambrose, after Iesus had touched it,Lib. 2. sup. Lu [...] Ruffin. hist. lib. 1. c. 7. & 8. Niceph▪ lib. 8. cap 28. Paulin. ep. 11. be­gan to avayle vnto raysing him to life, much more the wood of his crosse it selfe: which when it was found by S. Helena, both reuiued the sicke, & raysed the dead. And only the signe of the crosse, somtime without faith and deuotion, yet hath wroughte maruelous effectes; which doth shew the dignity that our lorde giueth vn­to the signe, for the excellency of the thing it selfe, which he sanctifyed by his death. As that christian who wickedly purposing to poyson himselfe, came to Iew a Doctor of physicke for some strong poyson: the Iew glad to kill a Christian, gaue him a vio­lent poysonous potion. Before he dronke it, he made the signe of the crosse ouer it, [Page 54]as he vsed to doo commonly before he did eat or drinke. It did him no harme: he complaynes to the Iew that his poyson was not strong enoughe. The Iew coulde giue him none stronger: but the encreaseth the quantity of the same. As before, he takes it making the signe of the crosse. The poyson preuayles not. He is angry at the Iew: and the Iew is madde to see him still aliue: he doubtes the Christian had not ta­ken it: or had mixte, or done somewhat else to it. The Christian sweares he had done nothing to it: only he remembers he had made the signe of the crosse, as alwayes he vsed. The Iew giues a little to a dogge, which presently burste. The Christian signing it with the crosse, agayne takes a great deale more of the same poyson, in the sighte of the Iew, and yet feeles no harme: whervpon he repentes: the Iew is conuerted: both of them aske God mercy, and become honest deuout men.

5. A blessed signe: made holy, and most glorious, by touching the body, and being sprinkled with the bloud of our Sauiour, who was God and man; he hallowed it with his death, sanctifyed it by his merites, honored it with his person: and as it repre­senteth his passion, so it deriueth vertue from his merites. The [...]res [...]e before times was a detestable torment for malefectors: now it is a royall ornament in the crownes of Kinges and Emperors: honored of all Catholique Christians: scorned, or abhor­red of none, but Pagans, Iewes, Heretiques, and Diuells. And as the wonted sha­me therof is turned into honor; so the former curse therof is changed into blessing. O sacred signe, which as the Royall standarde of the lambe shall come before him to iudgment: A terror to the diuels, and such as shalle damned: a conforte to all An­gells, Sayntes, and such as are to be saued: thou arte the key of Dauid vnlocking Lim­bo, and Purgatory to let out soules vnto liberty, and opening heauen and Paradise, to giue them entrance into rest and glory. Thou arte the hysope of Dauid which hel­peth to sprinkle sinners with the bloud of our Sauiour, to be cleansed, washed, & made white aboue snow. Or as Origen said: thou arte Tendiculum magni Fullonis, the Tenter of our great Fuller, who clenseth vs with his owne bloud instead of soape; and in place of our weake rotten clothe, suffered his diuine body to be stretched for vs vpon this Tenter of the crosse.

THERE ARE SVNDRY DEGREES OF WAS­hing, cleansing, and whyting of sinne. Sect. 4.

1. O Blessed Sauiour! washe me from the filthynes of vice: and in the beauty of vertue, make me white aboue snowe. By thy mercie cleanse me: and make me white by thy grace. If I be white as snowe in inwarde deuotion for my selfe, make me more white aboue snowe in externall exercise of good workes towardes others.

2. Or thou, o my soule, take comforte from hence, that not only an innocent, but euen a penitent,Ockam in 4. sent. q. 8. Gab. dist. 14. q. 5. a. 3. Esay. 35. Demonst. euan▪ lib. 9. cap. 6. may attayne to estate of most perfect purity. As S. Peter, S. Paul, S. Mary Magdalene, and holy Dauid in this place, by vertue of Christes merites hoped after repentance to be restored to perfection and purity aboue snowe. Wherfore, if we haue bene great sinners, let vs labour so much more to become great Sayntes, that as the prophet saith In the caues where dwelte dragōs there may spring vp greene rushes: which (as Eusebius expoundes it) is instead of venimous filthy sinne, to haue pleasant flo­rishing vertue. Neither let it seeme strange, that as a notable saynte may become a notorious sinner; so a lothsome sinner may become a glorious saynte: for a garment which hath bene torne, did you neuer see it drawne vp with such skill that no rent [Page 55]could be discerned? and if vpon this occasion, the same garment were all embrode­red, and the rent place couered with golde lace, or set with pearle, would it not be both a necessary mending of the rent? and a better decking of the garment? much better can our Lord Iesus repayre & adorne the deformed beauty of a polluted soule he can sprinkle it, cleanse it, wash it, and white it aboue snowe.

3. O sprinkle me with hysope, as a Begimner in goodnes; to haue at firste some dewe & droppes of grace. O washe me next with some more plenty of this water,Innocē. 3. that I may proceede from grace to grace. And to the end I may be perfecte, make me white aboue snowe. Among earthly creatures there is nothing whyter then snowe: but aboue this doo the Sayntes in heauen shyne as the [...]unne. I beseech thee, O Sauiour, sprinkle me with thy hysope, and wash me with thy bloud,Math. 13. 1. cor. 15. that when this corruption shall put on in­corruption, and when this mortall shalbe cloathed with immortality, then I may be made white aboue snowe, and shyne as the Sunne in eternall glory.

IT IS BETTER TO CONFESSE THEN to excuse: to heare, then to speake: and of sundry kindes of ioye and gladnes. Sect. 5. 

AFter my pardon I will rejoyce: But a soule that is in sinne, how should it haue mirth? I will reioyce, o lorde, by hearing thy comfortes,S. Aug. not in pleading for my selfe excuses. Rather let me heare thy ioye speaking absolution to mine eares, then any way delighte in my tongue pleasantly extenuating, or wittily auoyding my faultes. Wouldest thou after sinne, fayne plead for thy reputation? rather heare thy conscien­ce, and listen to repentance. Be sorye for it, & confesse it: then shalte thou heare ioye in thy harte, and no terror at thyne eare.

2. In generall, we knowe it is better to heare then to speake. And in spirituall con­templation, excepte we first heare what God saith to our harte, how can we hartily speake to him with our mouthe? according as in nature wee see him that is borne dea­fe to be euer dumbe. Allso among men, he that heares as a good scholler, practiseth Silence, Beleefe, Humilitie, and obedience▪ but he that is speaking as a paynful Teacher, must labor with his voyce; he must be carefull that he speake to good pur­pose for others, without falsehood or flattery; and he must be heedfull to himselfe, least his speach fauour of pride, or vaynglorie. Wherfore in S. Ihon it is said. The freind of the spouse doth stande & heare him: and S. Augustin there notes that if we heare dutifully we are freinds of Christe: and by hearing we stande more stedfast,Ioan. 3. wher­as he that is speaking is alwayes in danger by his wordes to fall into some folly.

3. Wherfore, o lord, doo thou speake vnto my soule, the wisdome of thy miste­ryes; the comforte of thy promises; and the desires of thy loue: o let me heare the musique of thy voyce in all these harmonyes: and last of all,S. Greg. let me heare that swete close of happynes venite benedicti: come you blessed. There is ioye & gladnes. In the soules felicity is ioye: & in the bodyes immortality is gladnes: as the propet said, in their owne country they shall possesse double benefites. Then our bones, Esay. 49.that is our ver­tues shall reioyce: now they may be despised of worldlinges, or of Diuels assaulted: but if now they so humbled; then they shalbe crowned.

4. Thy prophet Nathā, hath let me heare the pardō of my guilt, & so the release of eternal paynes▪ but he hath left a tēporal pūishmēt stil vpō me▪ Vegathat the sword shal not depart [Page 56]my house &c. o let me heare allso the relaxation of these temporall calamityes. For as in euery sinne, S. Tho. 1 2. q. 87. art. 4. Et in sent· 4. d. 15. a. 4. Dyō. Car­thus. Ti­telma. there is auersion from God, & Conuersion to some creature; so it hath a double punishment: first because so we forsake him who is infinitely Good: and for our conuersion to creatures sensible punishments are due, because we were too much delighted in transitory vanityes. O mercifull Iesu! let me haue ioye for the re­mission of eternall payne, and gladnes for the pardon of temporall punishments. Or ioye for sinne pardoned, and gladnes for grace restored. In euery sorte for all my sin­nes, let my conscience be fully pacifyed, which till I was conuerted would neuer suffer me to liue without feare or disquiet.

THE IOYES AND GLADNES OF GOOD men, different from those of sinners: with a harty reioycing of the Author for his Co [...]uersion. Sect. 6.

1. THere is a hearing of faithe, which bringes vs to giue obedience & prayses▪ and there is a hearing of wordes by reading or preaching: Hugo Cardinal. Innocent. 3. Rom. 10. Psal. 84. Math. 5 Psal. 83. the firste is inward leading to ioye: the second is outward directing to gladnes. Or the outwarde bringes vs to the inwarde, and after both we come to ioye & gladnes. Wherfore, o my soule, seeke to encrease faith by hearing outwardly; and allso doo thou heare what our lord speaketh within thee: o seeke ioye in the pardon of thy sinnes; & desire gladnes in the promise of rewarde. A wicked man can haue no true ioye: but they may reioyce whose reward is plenteous in heauen: such a harte may haue ioye; and such a bodie may haue gladnes: as Dauid saith elsewhere my harte & my flesh haue reioyced in our liuing God, the harte hath ioye beleuing it selfe purged from [...]irituall pollution, and the body hath gladnes feeling it selfe cleansed from carnall co [...]uption.

2. In these shall our humbled bones reioyce: not so much of the body, as of the min­de: yet alas how few reioyce spiritually! and how many are full of mirthe carnally? but the end of such mirthe is sorowe because they are glad when they haue done ill: and they recoyce in the worste thinges:Prou 14. Ioan. 14. wheras to the other it is said, Aske & you shall receiue, that your ioye may be full, and your ioye shall none take from you. It is exceeding hard to or­der and subordinate any ioye of this life, to that ioye which is in our lorde: the one doth diminish or endanger the other: but carnall and spirituall ioyes can neuer dwell together; and of these S. Ierome said, that neuer any passed from delightes on earthe, to ioyes in heauen. Sara broughte not forthe Isaac, which signifyes mirthe, till she was olde, that is, till carnall pleasures be mortifyed we cannot conceiue any spirituall ioyes, nor can this spirituall Isaac agree with fleshly Ismael, who instead of mirthe is but a mocker: wherfore let vs banish this sonne of the bondwoman, for wheras the ioye of wordlinges is said in the scriptures to haue a crowne of roses which are but flo­wres that will fade,Sap. 2. Psal. 20. the crowne of Gods seruantes is said to be of precious stones, which are euer of value and cannot wither.

3. How should we expresse, o my soule, the ioye and gladnes which we haue inward­ly tasted, since we were reconciled to God. we are neither able worthely to giue thankes for it; nor sufficiently to expresse it: only let vs most humbly beseech our gracious lorde to continue vs this mercy, which verily is alone more worthe then all the kingdomes, riches, & delightes of the whole worlde. And I dare vpon my soule assure any sinner or misbeleeuer, who shall with contrition make a sincere confes­sion, [Page 57]reconciling himselfe to God & his Churche, that presently he shall find him­selfe so disburdened, and so comforted, that he woulde not at that instante for all the worlde retourne agayne to his former estate.

4. O how proper is that speach of holy S. Bernard to our heauenly father! Quando c [...]r nostrum visitas tunc ei lucet▪ veritas, vilescit mundi vanitas, & intus feruet charitas. O my harte! when God doth visite thee, then shines to thee his veritie, the worlde appeares ba­se vanitie, and in thee boiles heauens charitie. I can wish my best freindes no better, then to taste and see how sweete our lorde is: whersoeuer I may find a Nathanael I cannot chuse but tell him I haue found the Messias; let him come and see: vnto his hearing and to his harte he shall receiue ioye & gladnes. And if his bones (that is, the best fa­cultyes of his minde) be humbled sincerely, they shalbe wonderfully reioyced. This hast thou experienced o my soule, for whiles thy bones would mooue and stand vpon their owne strenghte, and still trust to their owne skill, I could find no ease, nor any rest; for alwayes I felte somewhat was out of ioynte: but since they were humbled to obedience of faith, and submitted to the instruction and direction of the Catholique churche, O what rest! what ease! & what reioycing of bones! for here be the best b [...]nesetters of a contrite soule: now I feele no former doubtes: nor wonted feares: I haue all quiet; and all assurance: the truthe shynes cleare, the worlde seemes base, the charity and loue of God shed abroad in our hartes is so confortable, that it is vnspea­kable. O what inwarde ioye, what true gladnes! O swete Iesu when thou entrest into a penitent publicanes house, thy father comes with thee, and thy holy spiritie comes with thee. O blessed Trinity! come daily into my poore harte with the riches of thy grace, and ioyne me vnto thee, that as our Sauiour prayed vs all, so I allso may be one with you, not one in substance: but one in humble & obedient vnitie of will, and one in deuout & feruent vnitie of loue.

5. O how doth my soule thirste (as a chased Harte to the water founteyn) to be ioyned vnto thee more & more in this loue! I haue obligation to loue thee, because of th [...]e benefites: but it thirsteth more in deuotion to loue thee for thie selfe, and because of thine owne worthienes. Because thou arte God, therfore I will loue thee: and be­cause thou arte our God, therfore I will prayse thee. O thou who arte loue it selfe! and Author of loue: O warme my soule; nay heate it; nay make it burne and flame in thy loue. In this loue is inseparable vnity: in this vnity is vnspeakable peace: in this peace, which passeth all vnderstanding, is that ioye & gladnes which thou giuest to our inward hearing. O let me daily heare thee enter into my harte, and say peace be vn­to this house: o sweet Iesu make thy prayer effectuall vnto me; and accomplish thy promise of sēding vs allso some portion of thy holy spirite: o come with thy Father; and take vp your dwelling & make your mansion in me: O come in vnitie of obedient will, and in vnitie of feruent contemplation; come thus, and dwell with me: Let me thus reioyce in the: speake alowde, and say vnto my soule; I am thy saluation. So vnto my hearing thou shalte giue ioye & gladnes; and my humbled bones shall reioyce.


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