A Threefold Treatise
A THREE-FOLD TREATISE: Containing the THE SAINTS Sure and Perpetuall GUIDE.Selfe-Enriching EXAMINATION.Soule-Fatting FASTING.
OR, MEDITATIONS,Concerning the WORD,the Sacrament of the LORDS SUPPER,and FASTING.
BY The Labours of that late Reverend, Learned, Divine, Master ROBERT BOLTON, Bachelour of Divinitie, and Sometimes Preacher of Gods Word at Broughton in Northamptonshire.
PUBLISHED BY E. Purslow
PUBLISHED FOR Rapha Harford
Hence then may wee clearely see the reason why our Times, in all reason, should be more visited with Judgements, than former dayes of ignorance.
1 Because that the Light of the Gospel is come amongst us; and many love Darknesse rather than that Light, because their deeds are evill: for every man that doth evill, hateth the Light, neither commeth to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
2 Because the Gospel is not so thankefully received and entertained, as so excellent a Blessing and precious a Treasure ought to be.
3 Many that heare it, live not after it: Perhaps, onely make a shew of godlinesse; but deny the power thereof, in their lives and conversations. So, that negligence and disobedience to the Word of God, is the true cause of those Judgements [Page 81] and miseries, which are wickedly & wrongfully pretended to bee a cause why they have so little care to attend and obey it.
As for Hospitality in the time of Popery, it did not so much spring from the truth of Religion, as
1. From a superstitious opinion of redeeming their sinnes, and purchasing Heaven by almes-deeds.
2. From an excessive cheapnesse of all things, by reason of the scarcity of money.
3. From the superfluitie of the wealth, riches, lands and impropriations, the price of the bloud of soules, which Monasteries, and other religious, or rather superstitious houses, had immeasurably and unconscionably ingrossed and got into their hands. And when they had ingrossed the world to themselves, (as one sayes) they seemed liberall in giving something; like unto some vaineglorious theeves, which having robbed wealthy Merchants, bestow some pence upon beggers.
As for works of Charity: Certaine it is, and a reverend and learned man of our Church hath proved it, and it will more clearly appeare hereafter; That the charitable benevolence, bountifull liberalitie, large expences in building and enlarging Colledges, and erecting Hospitals, Libraries, Freeschooles, and many other works of charity, and fruits of faith, since the light of the Gospell began to shine amongst us, may compare with, if not farre excell any time of the like or longer continuance in any age.
As for greater dearth & higher price of all things [Page 82] now, than in former times, it is a cleare and plaine case, that the reason is; that the great store and plentie of treasure which is walking in these parts of the world, farre more in these our dayes, than ever our forefathers have seene in times past. Who doth not understand of the infinite summes of Gold and Silver which are gathered from the Indies, and other Countries, and so yearly transported into these coasts? And this is confest to be the true cause of the same unancient dearnesse of all things, even in other Kingdomes also, where Popery is professed. One Bodin, a great Polititian of France, tels us, that the common people are much deceived, who thinke that the price of Corne, Cattell, and other necessaries, should hold the same rate it did of old. They doe not understand and consider, that the price of things is more by ten parts (saith he)than it was anciently, by reason of the plenty and abundance of Gold and Silver, which is brought out of the West Indies into Europe, whereby it comes to passe that money is lesse esteemed, for plenty of any thing lessens the estimation of it.