The blacke rod, and the white rod (justice and mercie,) striking, and sparing, [brace] London
About this text
Thomas Dekker’s The blacke rod, and the white rod… (1630) is one of his last “plague pamphlets”, marking a year that saw a recurrence of the deadly disease in London, one in which 1317 deaths were recorded. F.P. Wilson considered the work among the “slightest” of Dekker’ works: however the work powerfully conveys Dekker’s dark moral vision in which plague appears as a kind of universal corrective to the spread of avarice and the decline of moral values. The sections given here include contemporary statistics of the 1603 visitation of the plague.
(Justice and Mercie.)
Striking, and Sparing, LONDON.
‘PSAL. 91. Surely hee will deliver thee from the snare of the Hunter. And from the noisome Pestilence. Hee will cover thee under his wings, and thou shalt be sure under his Feathers. Thou shalt not bee afraid of the Pestilence, that walketh in the Darke, nor of the Plague that Destroyeth at Nooneday.’
Pugna suum Finem, cum jacet Hostis, habet.
Printed by B.A. and T.F. for JOHN COwPER. 1630.
PUBLISHED BY B.A.
PUBLISHED BY T.F.
PUBLISHED FOR IOHN COwPER
THis World is a Royall Exchange, where all sorts of Men are Merchants: Kings hold Commerce with Kings, and their Voyages are upon high Negotiations: As, the deare buying of anothers Country, with their owne Subjects Bloud: The Purchasing of new Crownes, and new Scepters, not satisfied with the old.
And, as Kings, so Princes, Dukes, Earles, Lords, Clergymen, Judges, Souldiers, have their Trading in particular Marchandizes, and walke every day for that purpose upon this Old Royall Exchange.
They talke in severall Languages, And (like the murmuring fall of Waters) in the Hum of severall businesses: insomuch that the place seemes Babell, (a Confusion of tongues.)
The best, (yet most incertaine) Commodity, which all these Merchants strive for, is Life: if Health begot into the bargaine, He is a Made man, into whose hands it comes. Yet when these two inestimable Treasures are shipped in one Bottome, together; There are Winds, and Waves, and Woes, which still fill the Sayles, and hang upon the Tacklings.
What's the end of this Voyage.
Currit Mercator ad Indos.
To heape up Gold.
The Merchants Name i'th Indies, is inroll'd.
Nay, though he casts a Girdle about the World, yet, Anchor he must in one Harbour or another, to come to shore, and Proclaime his Lading on this Ryalta, this Burse, or this Royall Exchange, And when the Exchange-Bell rings. (his passing-Bell tolles) That's the warning-Peece to tell him hee must goe off, he must for that time talke there no more of his Transitorie Commodities, the Exchange of this world with him is then done, and Home does he hasten to dine with Wormes.
This Earthly spacious Building, in which we Dwell, (as Tenants onely for life) is likewise a glorious Theater, full of admirable Conveyances and Curiosities; The Frame or Module of it is round, with a Silver moving Roofe (call'd the Heavens) to cover it by day, and a Golden Canopy of Starres to Curtaine about it by Night.
In stead of Arras and Tapestrie, (which commonly doe now, and ever have adorned, the old Amphitheaters, this is richly hung round about with the Element of Ayre.
The beauties of the Earth are the Stage: Furnished bounteously, and set forth in all Bravery, with Woods, full of Trees, Gardens full of Flowers, Orchards full of Fruit, Fields full of standing Corne, (like so many Speares ready for a Battaile) Mountaines high in Pride, Valleys sweet in Pleasure.
Our Mothers Wombe is the Tyring-house, where we make us ready; And our Cradle, the Musicke-Roome, for there we are sweetly strung with Innocence. Nothing (then) puts us out of tune, but a peale of crying, And whats that? Onely a little Note, a little too high; which being mended, the Melodie is Heavenly; for, there is no Concord without Discord.
Upon this goodly Stage, all sorts of People (Men, Women, and Children) are Actors; Some play Emperours, some, Kings, some Beggars, some Wise-men, some Fooles. The hardest part to play is a good Man: and 'tis rare to see a long part given him to study.
On this stage are presented Tragedies, and Comedies; The terriblest Tragedie is that, of the Soule, fighting to get off (well,) from the Body. The best and most pleasing Comedie, is that of a white Conscience, and the Peace of Mind.
Some have Plaudits, Showts and Acclamations, and those are such who have play'd good parts, and play'd them Bravely-well. Some goe hissed off the Stage. And that is for want of being perfect in those good parts, which are put into them.
Some, play very long Parts, (and they are old Men) some, have done in the midst of the Play, (And they are young Men) some, being but in a Scaene, before they speake, are out, and lost, (And they are Children.)
Every Actor hath his Entrance, every one his Exit: As one comes out, another goes off, and sometimes meeting on the Stage together, they leave the Stage together. But in the Conclusion, He that can get Angels to sit, in the Galleries of Heaven, and clap his action with theyr Immortall hands, he is the onely Roscius of the time, [Page 4] and one of the best Actors that ever stept on stage.
The sum, upshot, and cloze of all, is this: That, as many Men as that walke on that Royall Exchange, and seeme rich, doe often breake and are lay'd in Prison: So in this World; when we appeare never so strong in Body, never so stirring in minde; yet, if health turnes Banquerupt once, and that the Sergeant with the Blacke Rod, (Sicknesse) Arrests us; if eyther Casualties, by Sea or Land, if losses, vexations, misfortunes or miseries, breake our hearts, whether then are we carried! To our everlasting Prison the Grave.
And so, when in this Magnificent Theater, we have Ietted long on the Stage, And borne our Heads high; yet, our Parts being done, we are inforced to put off, our gay borrowed garments, and wrapping our selves in poore winding-Sheets, Hasten to our owne homes, and (still) that's the Grave.
The Grave then, is the Rendez-vouz where we all meet; The Market-place where the Drum of Death beates, to have us come together: The Towne-Hall, where all our brablings are ended: The Castle, to appeare at, which at the Assizes, the Body is bound over, and there it is Cast: In the Feild of dead mens Sculs, and fleshlesse bones, must the great Army of all Mankind muster, on Mount Calvary, CHRIST lost his life, And in Dust and Ashes must we leave Ours.
We need not read any Bookes to prove this: Every man holds a Pen in his hand, to write a story of it.
To passe over the Volumes of the Grave, (filled by Adam and his Children,) in the first World; And clasping-up, those likewise which have beene ever since, after the Deluge, in this second World: Let us cast our [Page 5] Eyes onely at that Blacke Rod, and that white Rod, which from time to time, have first smitten, and then spared, This Kingdome of Great Britaine.
In the Raignes of William the Conquerour, Rufus, and Hen: 1. (his Brother,) Death walked up and downe this Land in strange shapes: Men, Women, and Children, fell by the Pestilence: So great were the numbers of those who dyed, that the numbers of the living could harldy bury them. Cattell were stricken in the Feild, Birds drop'd from the Ayre, Fishes, perish'd in the Waters, Famine followed, Tillage went to Ruine, so that the Earth, which wont to feed others, had in the end no meate for her selfe.
Then, for foure Kings together, little mention is made of any devouring mortality of people by the Pestilence; yet were there blazing Starres, Earthquakes, Stormes of Hayle, which kill'd Cattell, and beat downe Corne: with the Apparition of Spirits in the Ayre, in the likenesse of strange, ugly Fowle, flying with fire in theyr Beakes, and doing much mischiefe to Houses.
But presently after in the Raigne of Hen: 3. the Kingdome in generall was torne in pieces, by two Dragons, (Dearth, or want of victuals, and an exceeding great sweeping Plague.)
So, Edward the second, saw the fall of his people, and the famishing of his Countrey by the two fore-named Tyrants.
So, Edw. 3. in his long Raigne of fiftie yeeres, lamented the losse of his then warlike Nation, so struck downe by a Pestilent Contagion, that many who had health in the morning, lay in their Graves at night: Forty Bodies at one time, crowding in those cold Beds together, for want of more and better roome.
Thirteene yeares after, Death spread his Cullors againe, and then in that dismall Battell Henry Duke of Lancaster, his Dutchesse, and the Earle of Warwicke, fell under the cruell Conquerours hands.
Besides in one yeare, in a plot of ground, being at that time in Compasse, thirteene Acres, (then called Spittle-Croft, or the Charter-house, founded by Gualter Manny Knight of the Garter, who there lyes Intoomb'd,) were buried 50000. Persons, besides those who tooke up their everlasting lodgings in other places. In this yeare, the Blacke Rod smarted deeply: The Sword of Divine Justice had a sharpe terrible edge, and where it hit, it strucke home.
Few of the then following Kings, but had their Subjects snatched from them by these hot and speeding calamities. We will now, (omitting all the rest) looke onely, at these two great Plagues indeed, (fresh, too fresh in our memories) the first, beginning when Q. Elizabeth left us, and that K. James, tooke us to be his people: The second, when K. James tooke his way to Heaven, and left both all his Kingdomes, and their mighty Nations, to his Royall Sonne, our most gracious Soveraigne King Charles, whose yeares the great Arithmetician of Heaven, multiply, and blesse the numbers, till they bee all golden ones. But, let us now draw our Arrowes, to the Marke we ayme at; Those two last Visitations, this Hydra-Sicknesse with so many Heads, The Plague! Why carryes it the Name of Plague? Plaga signifies a stripe, and this Sicknesse, comes with a blow, or stripe, given by the hand of Gods Angell, when (as he did to David) he sends him to strike a people for their sins.
Our sinnes therefore, were and are the Whirle-winds, [Page 7] breaking open Jehovahs Armory, and forcing him (the better to keepe us from further Rebellion) to shoot his fiery and consuming indignation against us. He hath severall sorts of weapons; severall Punishments, for severall Offences.
When Q. Elizabeth departed, and went on her Progresse to Heaven; what a Traine followed her! How many thousands of Coffins, wayted on her Herse! 'Tis fit, at the Deaths of great Princes, that there should be a great number of Mourners. And so, at the comming in of new Kings, there is a kind of State to be observed, that multitudes of the old Subjects, who have done service to their Country before, should give way to others, to step into their places.
At the Arrivall therefore of King James, upon this, his Crowne-Land, God beate a Path (narrow at first, though it stretched wider) to lead us by the hand as it were, to this Funerall Ceremony of dying Subjects.
We were at the Coronation of our new King, (King James) not a new Nation, but the selfe-same stiffe-necked people we were before. As mighty in our sinnes, as in our Multitudes. Roome therefore must be made; for our sins were so Ruffianly, and such roaring Boyes, they did nothing but justle one another for the wall, to try, which sinne should have the upper hand.
The Thunderer looking downe upon this, was loath, to shoot his Arrowes feathered with Lightning, and headed with Vengeance, utterly to confound the Mis-dooer. No; Pitty stood in his eyes, and Compassion lean'd upon his Bosome. So that spying two Rods lying before him, A White one, and a Blacke, the Blacke he threw by, till he should have time (by compulsion) [Page 8] to use it; And then, taking up the white Rod, he lay'd it gently, upon the head onely of one, who forthwith dyed of the Plague: And this was on the thirteenth of January, in the yeare 1602. Now almost twenty eight yeares agoe.
There dyed then but one of the Plague! O sparing Mercy! From such a huge Tree (as London is,) so laden with all sorts of Fruit, but one Apple to drop to the ground! No more to be shaken downe! But one windfall! A Mountainous Quarry of stony hearts, to have but one poore pibble, digg'd away!
In the next weeke (that yeere) soft Mercy forgot the white Rod too and strucke None, None at all; Not One! In the Weeke after, foure felt the smart: Then 1. againe. Then none againe: then 3. then none: then 3. then 2. then 3. then 2. then 6. then 4. then 4. and then 8. So that in 15. Weekes, which by this time reached to the end of Aprill, there dyed of the Plague but 39. This was the Rod of Mercy, the white Rod, the Fatherly Correction! It goes on a little quicker; for then the Number swelling up, and increasing by Tens, amounted in June (23. day) to 72. (the highest;) So there dyed in these other 9. weekes, the full number of 297.
It increased then to hundreds weekely, so that in July there dyed 917. in one weeke here. The white Rod, (no amendment in our lives being seene) was for a time layd by, and the blacke officer of Death, comming abroad, thousands were stricken downe every weeke: So that from July 28. to October 13. being 12. weekes, were buried, twenty five thousand, sixe hundred and sixe. Here, the Divine Justice, sate in her full Throne, roab'd in Scarlet, with a face threatning Terrors.
But Mercy then step'd in, and held hands with Justice, so that a Retreat was sounded; The terrible Execution, was not so hotly pursued; The Pestilentiall Enemy, retyr'd a little, and fell backe, yet so; that from October the 20. to Decemb. the 1. being seaven weekes, there dyed 600. and odde, 500. and odde, 400. 200. 100. and odde still every weeke. And then abated againe to tens, (as at first it did rise by tens,) the greatest number of the Dead, in December 22. being onely 74.
So that in all these maine Battels, Seidges, Sallyes, Batteries, and skyrmishes; (Continuing for a whole yeare together, From December 23. Anno 1602 to December 21. Anno 1603. in and about London, (then the most desolate of Cities,) there dyed, of all Diseases, 38244. Out of which number the Plague challenged, 30578. for her share: yet the yeare immediately following, (Give thankes (ô noble Troynovant) give thankes) thou then didst freely walke up, and downe in health, when all thy Neighbours and Friends (when all the Shires in England) were mortally beleaguer'd by the same furious Enemy.
Now, as when Q. Elizabeth resigned her Crowne and Scepter to King James, and that he sate in the Throne, all these changes were visibly seene: So, when the Royall Father went to rest, and that his most Princely Sonne (CHARLES, our Royall succeeding King, and now gracious Soveraigne) was the Top-branch, of the Tree, (Nay, the Caedar it selfe,) A second Angell was sent downe, to turne over the Audit-Bookes of our Transgressions.
And finding London (for her part) to be run out, in deepe Arrerages, she was not too suddainly nor too Rigorously call'd upon, but the Steward of Gods Court, [Page 10] (Mercy) pointing with her white wand, onely at One, set a fine of Death upon his head, and that party was taken from thence on the sixth of January, Anno 1624. And this was the first Weekes worke of the Plague for that yeare. It began at One.
Death then had little to doe within the Walles or without, for his Infections, by the space of 12. weekes following; In which time there dyed no more but 26. of the Sicknesse. And then for 11. weekes following the former, it amounted to 480. The other foure weeks succeeding them, (wherein they fell by hundreds,) could shew in their Bils, of all Diseases, 3314, out of which the Plague tooke 1387.
And all these three Reckonings, grew to this last heighth, from the sixth of January, Anno 1624. to the 7. of July, Anno 1625. being fully seaven and twenty weekes. But then on the 14. of July, (being the same Moneth) the dead Marches began to come in by thousands in a company.
Observe therefore in what dreadfull Equipage, the two Armies of both our Kings, (I meane King JAMES, and King CHARLES,) went along to those fearefull Encounters.
So, by this Accompt, there fell in that great overthrow given to King James his Subjects, for 12. Weeks together, (when they drop'd downe by thousands) the full number of twenty nine thousand, one hundred and twenty: The terror and cruelty of the Plague sweeping from that number, twenty five thousand, sixe hundred and sixe.
But in that lamentable defeature of Bodies, which fell upon us in the raigne of K. Charles, Anno 1624. to the end of that yeere in 1625. There dyed in all, (within the Compasse of eleven Weeks, thirty eight thousand, seaven hundred fourescore and eight: of which the blacke Rod of Pestilence smote, thirty thousand, [Page 12] eight hundred seaventy and sixe. The difference of the numbers in those twelve Weekes in King James his Raigne, and those eleven in that yeere of King Charles, being: 14. thousand, nine hundred, thirty and eight: The latter exceeding the former (in a few weekes) by so much. The number of all the dead for those two yeares of the two Kings, Amounting to one hundred fifty, eight thousand, five hundred and foure.
Now, if within so small a Compasse, as a Citty, and the adiacent places, so many went out of the world, how many millions, did the whole Kingdome loose!
But note the exceeding, Incomprehensible love of a Father to us his Children; The mildnesse and Mercy, of our Judge! On the 22. of December, which ended that yeere of 1604. (going on to 1605.) there was strucke but one: It began with one, and ended with one. O just and even Ballance, of the Heavenly Compassion! How much are we in Thankes indebted (for more we are not able to pay) for this wonderfull sparing us, Now, in this third Visitation! In that former yeares July, about this time, there dyed 2471. of the Sicknesse; Now (praised be Heaven) the greatest number is but sixty seaven. Here was a Fall! There is a Favour.
In the end, this fall from such a great number to one, came to nothing,(A Cypher.) And so continued a long time. Heaven held out a Flagge of Truce, and all was quiet; The Bils proclaimed no such mortall wars; The Sexton opened some few Graves for common Diseases, to lye in, and for five yeares together, the burning Pestilence, had not kindled her fires amongst us
Yet in that interim of yeares, other calamities afflicted us; Warres eate up many of our Gallants, the Sea swallowed others; Quarrels tooke away some, by the fatall stabbe or desperate fighting in the Feild. We have but one doore, at which we come into the World, but a thousand Gates (set wide open) to send us out of it. For such ill bargaines doe we make with life, that the Body and the Soule, being deere Partners, and setting up together, doe every day, by many devises, plots, and conspiracies undoe one another.
What one sinne, Vice or ill custome, since the Departure of the last great Sicknesse is gone out of the Kingdome, or hath forsaken the City?
Fasting and Prayer, (whilst Gods Artillery shot off, and battered downe the Wals of our flesh, making breaches into the lives and estates of thousands) Ran every weeke to the holy Temples. Much Condoling, there was, much crying for Mercy, and mercy came downe. But where is fasting now, unlesse with those that are almost starv'd with hunger? At how few mens dores sits Charity? Yet are there great numbers of Religious, Godly, and Faithfull Relievers of the Poore: But take all this City in a lumpe together, and how little true Charity, true Love, true Christianity, true Friendship is there one to another? What cruelty dwels in our hearts, if we catch a man (by Law) at advantage? How doe we grinde his Bones, and gnaw his heart in peeces? How doe Tradesmen enuy one another? How doe Gentlemen undoe themselves and their Posterities by Ryots! How doe an infinite number of Schollers complaine of want? How doe Souldiers gape after spoyle! What Covetous Farmer, but is glad of a deere yeare? [Page 14] A dearth of Corne makes such Cormorants Fat? Is not Pride, (which five yeares agoe shew'd not her face in the Citty, being afraid of the Plague) now to bee seene jetting up and downe in every street! Does not the Drunkard that was then, haunt still the same Tavernes!
The Body is both the Caroach, in which, the Soule (being the Queene of life) rides, and the Coachman too, that drives her from one place to another, from one wickednesse to a worse; And the Horses, that draw us, are our wilde passions, or our intemperate desires. Our sinnes with a Dyals motion, leade us to destruction, in a soft pace, but insensible: Our Ruines steale upon us with woolly feet, all the time it comes after us, but being overtaken, It smites home: for, sinne is such a Boone companion, it goes to Bed with us, and all night sits waking, on those very Pillowes, on which we lay our heads: when we rise, It makes us ready, waytes when we goe forth, followes us all day, and is more servile, more fawning, more flattering then a slave; And never goes in mourning, till he sees us going to our Graves.
The Soule is the Mistresse, the Body the Chambermaid, that rules that Mistresse; if the Soule sayes, I will rise, and doe good to day: O sayes the Chambermaid you are young enough, lye longer, take your ease, be merry, and care for nothing; Twenty yeeres hence you may doe these pious deeds, and by this wicked Councell of the Mayd, the Mistresse pulls backe her hand.
Thus from time to time, we deferre doing well, and thus from houre to houre, we headlong run upon our owne miseries.
This being perceived by him, whose eye measures all mens Actions. Now againe, (this yeare) hath he opened his Quiver, and is still shooting the blacke and dismall Arrowes of the Pestilence, both at Country, and City: In many places of the Country, these darts of Contagion sticke up to the very feathers; some harts have beene strucke quite through here in the City, yet nothing to that Army which fell in the last Plague.
This began in March last, and then, from the eleventh day of March, to the eighteenth, it rise to foure. The totall of all that dyed that weeke, being 153. And of the Christenings 187. So that 34. came into the World more then went out of it.
Then, the Sicknesse fell, and at the beginning of Aprill was but one againe. Another Weeke dyed 2. then 7. then 3. the highest it hath since mounted to, in any one Weeke (and that was now in August) being 75.
So that in 8. of the greatest Weekes of sicknesse this Summer, (omitting the rest) there have dyed of all Diseases, within London (being 97. Parishes within the Walles,) and the nine out-Parishes,and the Pest-house 1593.
Of the Plague in those 8. Weekes, 165. to which adde 54. of the sicknesse last Weeke, and 67. this Bartholmew weeke, it maketh 286.
Of Children in that short time, 402. of Consumptions some 300.
And to repaire these losses and ruines amongst us, observe the numbers of Children christened, which in those few weeks amount to 1434. out of which deduct 402. buried, there remaines 1032. alive. Then take that Number from the former 1594. of all diseases, there [Page 16] have for these 8. Weekes but 561. departed out of the World more than are come into it: Westminster being not reckoned in this Accompt, The Burials there being very few, Neither is the greatest number of dead Bodies formerly set downe, so terrible as so to hurt, spartle, and afflict so mighty and populous a City, as we see it does, but that Country Townes round about, are infected, and for that cause onely are Faires and Concurses of People forbidden, for feare the Contagion by Throngs meeting together, (mingled with some infected Persons) should increase.
In the former passages of this yeares sicknesse, Note the great Mercy of God extended to Infants, in calling such a number of them to Heaven, because he would have that place glorified with some white pure, and unspotted Soules, snatched from the Societie of the wicked.
Oh happy Fathers and Mothers, that are sure you have so many Saints entertained above, before they could have time to offend their Maker. You weepe for them when you follow them to their Graves, but you should rather call it a Tryumph, for they then are going to a Coelestiall Coronation. If you but looke upon your Childrens cloathes, you call them to mind, and then, beat your breasts, and teare your hayre, but remember, they are cloathed in the roabes of immortality. When you but talke of your little darlings, you tell how beautifull they were, how well-favoured, how forward: but now, where they are, all the beauty of the world is uglinesse to that sweetnesse which they possesse: They have faces and formes Angelicall, and are Play-fellowes and Companions with none but blessed Creatures.
Be glad therefore, that they are ridde from the miseries of the World; that Time never layd foule hands on them; they are free from want, hunger, thirst, diseases, cold, heat, weeping and wayling, and all other Calamities, which even rocke us in our Cradles; they are well and happy, we left behind them, miserable.
As therefore here you are counselled, to beare the absence of your little-ones with patience, so comfort you others, with this, that both their Children and yours, are gone to that high Starre-Chamber Office, where their names are entred into the Booke of Life.
Now albeit in so many set Battailes of the Pestilence in yeares before, and in the light skyrmishes of this Summer, so many have falne: Yet (blessed be Heaven) wee are a populous Nation still; we have Peace and Plenty, and all Blessings that Heaven and Earth can bestow upon a people: sing therefore Hymnes unto the Almighty JEHOVAH; send up Sacrifices of Feare, Love and Obedience to him: Cry to him, as DAVID did, when he numbred his people, and every one say, I have sinned exceedingly, in that I have done: therefore now LORD I beseech thee, take away the Trespasse of thy Servant, for I have done very foolishly, And then, though there dye of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba, seaventy thousand men, in three dayes: yet when the Angell, is stretching out his hand upon Ierusalem to Destroy it, The LORD will repent him of the Evill, and say to the Angell that destroyeth the people; It is sufficient, Hold now thine hand. [Page 18] And then the blacke Warder shall be throwne downe to part Death and our Kingdome from falling into so terrible a Combat.
But art thou in feare of an Arrest, now that Writs are gone out (from the Kings-Bench Office of Heaven,) to Attach severall Mens Bodies! Art thou in doubt to be laid up! In danger to be imprisoned in thy Grave! Hath sicknesse knock'd at thy doore! Does she sit on thy Beds side! Hath Infection blowne upon thee with her Contagious, noysome and stinking breath! Hath the Pestilence, (Now in this present drooping, and sick-wing'd season) Printed her nayles within thy Flesh, and hast thou tokens sent thee to come away!
Fall on thy knees, Call for Mercy, to helpe thee, Cry out upon thy sinnes, send for thy Heavenly Physitian, to minister good things to thy Soule, settle thy minde in peace, shake off the world, looke up at Heaven, Thither is thy Journey, prepare for no voyage else?
Art thou all-spotted over! They are GODS rich Ermines; to Inroabe thee like a King, and to set a Crowne of Glory on thy Head.
Art thou mark'd with Tokens, and hast thou thy Memory! Make use of that Memory, and seeing those Markes are so set up, That thine eye may shoote at them and hit them, now draw the last Arrow home, and winne the game of thy everlasting Salvation.
Remember why those Tokens are sent: To make all the hast thou canst to set forward, for away thou must: Hug them therefore, as thy Lover; Kisse, [Page 19] and bid them welcome, thanke that sweet Token-sender for his guift, and having nothing (which thou canst call thine) to send backe to him, leave thy Body with some Friend in Trust, and bid thy Soule goe cheerfully on her journey.
Cheerfully indeed, and with all Alacrity, for now thou art travailing into a farre Country, where all thy Friends are. There, thou shalt meet with thy old Parents, (thy old Father and Mother) ADAM and EVE.
There shalt thou see that great Navigator of the World (NOAH) who in one ship, carried all the people in the world then living. There wilt thou find ABRAHAM and his Sonne ISAAC; Old JACOB, and his twelve Sonnes the Patriarches. MOSES and AARON will there receive thee into GODS Sanctum Sanctorum; In that glorious Pallace, shalt thou behold, all the Kings of ISRAEL, all the Tribes of JUDA, all the ancient Prophets, all the Apostles, all the Saints and glorious Army of Martyrs, with branches of Palme-trees in their Hands, and golden Starres sticking on their foreheads.
Nay, there thou shalt see thy Redeemer sitting at the right hand of his Father; There (face to face) shalt thou see GOD himselfe, attended on by Angels, Archangels, Principalities, and Powers, Cherubins, and Seraphins; And who would not rejoyce, to be setting forward on this blessed Journey, to the end he may at length come to be a fellow-Citizen, in the Heavenly HIERUSALEM.
All the Kingdomes on the Earth, are not worth the Seeling of that glorious Chamber of Presence, [Page 20] which is in this Court: This is a Kingdome,
where there are no changes of Kings; No alterations of State:
No losse of Peeres: No Warres: No Revenges: No
Citizens flying for feare of Infection: None dying of
Them, that stay, No Women-keepers to rob you of
your Goods, nor to hasten you to your End: In this
Coelestiall Kingdome, there is true Majestie, True
Glory, True Honour, True Beauty, True Peace,
True Liberty, True Health: There is all Life,
All Happinesse, All Immortality. To
this-Kingdome, the King of Hea-
uen and Earth, call us
when it is his Plea-