Famine and Dearth

The Saints Sacrifice

THE
STRANGE DISCOVERY:
A Tragi-Comedy.
Written
By J. Gough. Gent.

LONDON,
Printed by E.G. for William Leake, and are to be sold
at his shop in Chancery-Lane, joyning to the
Roles.1640

London.
PUBLISHED BY E. G
PUBLISHED FOR William Leake
1640
[Page 276]

1. § .122. Of Gods present mercies to England.

FOr a particular application of the generall summe and scope of the Psalme, and of the two last mentioned duties of praising God our selves, and of provoking others so to doe, let us take a view of the speciall occasions which the Lord doth now, even at this present time give us to quicken our owne and others spirits to render all possible thanks unto him for his unspeakable blessings on our owne, and other nations.

1 We here in England doe still enjoy the great blessing of peace, together with that farre greater blessing the Gospell of peace, and a free use of all Gods holy ordinances requisite for our spirituall edification and eternall salvation.

At this time this blessing ought to be the more highly esteemed, because it is in a manner proper to us. For most of the parts of Christendome are now, or lately have beene exceedingly annoyed with bloudy warre.

Of this blessing, Scotland, Ireland, and all the parts of His most excellent Majestie our Soveraigne Lord King CHARLES, do partake.

See The Churches Conquest. §. 86. Of the benefit of this blessing I have els where treated. So as here I need no longer to insist upon it.

2 The last yeare there was great scarcity of corne every where in this land. Corne rose to a greater price then hath beene knowne in our memories. And where in former times supply in like cases hath beene made by the plenty of other countries, All the nations round about us were pinched with penury: so as there was too great cause of fearing a famine.

But the Lord was pleased to heare the heavens, whereupon the heavens heard the earth, and the earth heard the corne, the grasse, and all manner of fruits, and they heard England, and the cry of the poore therein.

Thus by the divine providence our land brought forth such a plentifull harvest, and the heavens afforded so faire a [Page 277] season for gathering it in, as scarcity is turned into plenty, dearenesse into cheapenesse. Our floores are now full of wheate: we eat in plenty and are satisfied.

The misery of famine giveth sufficient proofe of the great benefit of plenty.

3 There was also the last yeare great feare of much sicknesse: and that of the infectious, pestilentious sicknesse, which some few yeares before had moneth after moneth, weeke after weeke, day after day destroyed such multitudes, as the feare of the returne thereof was the more terrible.

Physitians gave up their opinion, that the aire was infected.

The famous University of Cambridge was so smitten therewith, as for the space of halfe a yeare and more, Colledges were dissolved, Students dispersed, Readings and Acts intermitted, that populous place made desolate, and the poore that remained much pinched with poverty.

Other great market townes round about in the country were also the last yeare much infected with the plague: and many people were thereby destroyed, or brought into great exigences.

But now hath the Lord healed our land. Sicknesse is removed, and health restored to our borders.

If the miserable desolation that the plague maketh in many places, taking away Magistrates from their subjects, Ministers from their people, husbands and wives one from another, parents from children, children from parents, deare friends, helpfull neighbours one from another; and then especially depriving persons of the comfort of their best friends, when they stand in most need of them. If (I say) the miserable condition occasioned by the plague be well weighed, we shall find our deliverance and freedome from the same to be a great blessing.

To amplifie this blessing the more, Gods more then ordinary providence, not onely in abating the violence of that extraordinary sicknesse which in the yeare 1625 so fiercely [Page 278] raged, but also in his speedy suppressing, and utter removing it, is frequently and seriously to be considered. A distinct narration thereof is § 3 before set downe.

The more terrible the three evill arrowes of warre, famine and plague are, the more remarkable are the blessings of peace, plenty, and health.

The birth of Prince CHARLES.4 We in our dayes have such a blessing conferred upon us, as hath not fallen out in England fourescore and thirteene yeares before: which is the Birth of a Prince, heire to the crowne. Blessed in this respect be the nine and twentieth day of May 1630. On that day was Prince CHARLES borne.

From the twelfth of October 1537. whereon Prince Edward (who was Edward 6. King of England) was borne, to the said 29 of May 1630, England was not honoured with such a blessing. This is an incomparable blessing to this present age, and to future ages also, as we stedfastly hope, and from our hearts with the most humble devotion, and the most earnest affection that we can, we daily pray.

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This is a selection from the original text

Keywords

deprivation, famine, health, penury, plague, plenty, sickness

Source text

Title: The Saints Sacrifice

Author: William Gouge

Publisher: E. G.

Publication date: 1640

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 12125 Physical description: [16], 294, [10] p. Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery Reel position: STC / 1101:13

Digital edition

Original author(s): William Gouge

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) tp
  • 2 ) pp.276-8 (Of Gods present mercies to England)

Responsibility:

Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > non-fiction prose > religion: sermons

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.

Acknowledgements