Of the Childs Portion

By E.W.

The Book of the Education of
Youth,that hath for some yeers lain in obscu-
rity; but is now brought to light, for the help
of Parents and Tutors, to whom it is
Will: Goudge. D.D. Edm: Calamy John Goodwin.}{Joseph Caryll. Jer: Burroughs. William Greenbill.
Psal. 34. 11. Duet. 12. 28.
Come ye children hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the lord,
that it may go well with you, and your children after you for ever,
when thou dost that which is good, and right in the sight of the Lord thy
God. Chrysost.

At our Seminaries or seed-plots are, such are the Land and Nation: As
the Parents, house and school are, such are the Town and City.
Printed at LONDON: and are to be sold by Tho: Underhill at
the signe of the Bible in Woodstreet. 1649.

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1. A
Laid out upon the good Culture or
tilling over his whole man.

1.1. CHAP. I.
Wherein the Parents dutie doth consist, and when
it begins. Of Infancy.

A Parents dutie begins where the childe had its beginning, at the wombe. There the Parents shall finde that, which must busie their thoughts about it, before they can imploy their hands. And this work lyeth specially, in considering Gods worke upon the childe; and how their sinne hath defaced the same. First, they consider Gods worke, and the operation of His hands, how wonderfull it is, and how curiously wrought in the secret parts of the earth Psal. 1 37.(so the Prophet calls the Wombe; because curious pieces are first wrought privately, then being perfected, are exposed to open view). It was He, that made the bones to grow, we know not how, then clothed them [Page 2] with flesh; Chap. 1. sect. 2.He, that in the appointed time, brought it to the wombe, and gave strength to bring forth. Here they acknowledge an omnipotent hand full of power towards them, and as full of grace, and they doe returne glory and praise both; But here it ceaseth not. Now they have their burden in their armes, they see further matter of praise yet, in that they see the childe in its right frame and feature, not deformed or maimed. Some have seene their childe so, that they had little joy to looke upon it; but, through Gods gracious dispensation, it is not so, and for this they are thankfull; And upon this consideration, they will never mocke or disdaine (nor suffer any they have in charge so to do, a thing too many do) any poore deformed creature, in whom God hath doubly impaired His Image. This they dare not do, for it might have been their case, as it was their desert. Deformitie, where ever we see it, admits of nothing but our Pitie and our Praise.

2. Thus they see Gods handyworke, and it is wonderfull in their eyes; but still they see their owne Image also, and cause enough to bewaile the uncleannesse of their Birth. What the Pharisees once spake of him, whose eyes Christ had opened, is true of every mothers Childe; Thou wast altogether borne in sinnes; which should make every Parent to cry out, as that mother did; Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou sonne of David; my Childe is naturally the childe of wrath; Except it be borne againe of water and of the spirit, it cannot enter into the kingdome of God. The Parents see evidently now, that they are the channell conveying death unto the childe. The mother is separated for some time, that shee may set her thoughts apart, and fixe them here: The father is in the same bond with her, and in this we may not separate them. God hath made promise to restore this lost Image, this, not tooke, but throwne away integritie: And this now their thoughts run upon, and they pray; That the Lord would open their mouthes wide, and enlarge their hearts towards this so great a Mysterie. They have a fruit of an old stocke, it must be transplanted, [...]


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14. We may observe children spoyling much more then they eat, like calves, that make many orts. They cannot un[Page 57]derstand what a blessing they have in their hands, therefore they cannot prise it. But looke to them herein, so shall you prevent a great evill, and a great provocation, the treading under foot Gods good creatures: In an house, where I once lived, the children had their trencher full, and their hands full, and mouthes full, all at once: Some was spilt on the ground, and some upon the trencher, for commonly childrens hands are so foule, that none will eate after them. The parents did not well observe it, and servants worse. There was plentie, and where that is, it is hard to pick up crums; sicknesse came, and tooke away the parents; and the Parish the children, one friend takes one, and the second another; at home was nothing, there had been too much spilt.

This may minde us of Christs rule, and practise, That the broaken meat be taken up, and nothing kept so ill, that it is not fit for the prisoners basket. We may also consider, If God send us cleannesse of teeth (which we may feare) it will adde much to our smart, That we now want, what we once spilt, or suffred so to be, or worse; That, when the fuller furnished our tables were, the fuller of vomit and filthinesse they were; The fuller our pastures, the more, like beasts, we trod down with our feet, and kicked with our heele; The more Gods blessings were, the more we forgat the Giver; The more sleightly we esteemed, the more carelesly we cast away the fruits of His bountie towards us: The parent must remember, and he must remember the childe of it often; That the hungry stomack calls out for bread, bread, and accounts it for dainties; Yea, unto that soule, every bitter thing is sweet . Water out of the rocke is honey to him. So Chrysostome enterprets those words of the Psalme, Ad pop. Ant. Hom. 2. But bread is daintie indeed, thats the staffe of life, it is All. If bread be deare, that makes a deare yeare, how cheape so ever other things are, Though what is cheape, when bread is deare, unlesse it be the needymans houshold stuffe, his dish, or his stoole, & c. his cloath, or his bed, or his millstone; any thing he hath, all he hath, shall go for bread. [Page 58] Where you finde no bread in a house, there looke to finde nothing, but thin cheekes, hollow eyes, and a black visage. All goes out there, that bread may come in. A man will sell himselfe for bread, Man hath eat the off all or garbage of Doves, that which we cast to Dogs, but they will scarce eate it; Nay, man hath eat his own flesh for want of bread. All these the sacred Scripture tells us, and it is good to tell it the childe. It is proper also to tell the childe what our Chronicles do report; That in King William the Conquerours dayes, 1069. there was a dearth, which eat up the inhabitants, so that some part of the land was wasted without people, none left to till the ground for the space of nine yeares: In that time of distresse we reade, they did eat mans flesh. In King Henry the thirds dayes, in the eighteenth yeare of his raigne 1234, many perished for want of victualls. In the ninth yeare of Edward the second, 1315. the extremitie was such, that horsflesh was accounted great cheare, and some eat their own children; and the theeves in prison did pluck in pieces those, who were newly brought in. In the yeare 1440. breadcorne was so scarce that the people made bread of Fernroots. This dearth was in the eighteenth yeare of Henry the sixt. In the eighteenth yeare of Henry the eighth, Cornfields and pasture were destroyed by the much raine, which fell in November, and December: then it was dry till the twelfth of April, and from that day, it rained both day and night, till the third of June, whereby the famine was sore the yeare following.

Many such sad stories there are, touching the extreamitie of famine; Lipsius hath some, so hath Eusebius cited by Mr. Brightman on Revel. 6. 8. Dr. Hackwell hath some of these before mentioned, with an addition of some other; But we have all summed up together, in that sad Relation out of the Palatinate. If this be laid to heart, many things will be reformed, which are now quite out of order; and amongst many, this one; Parents or Governours, will take care, so far as is possible, That there be an humble, thankfull, [Page 59] sober, temperate use of the creatures, so as they may re-fresh, not oppresse; this will be their care; And they will looke to it also, that the broken meat be taken up, that the least crum, which can be saved, be not lost; no, not a crum.


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5. And now that we suppose we are set down to feel and taste how good the Lord is, who hath so furnished our table; we must consider well what is set before us, else we are as he, who puts a knife to his throat , saith the wiseman. What meaneth he by that? If we do not moderate our selves in a sober temperate use of the Creatures, as men not given to our appetites, we do then turn that, which was ordained to maintain life, and to refresh the spirits, the clean contrary way, as a meanes to destroy life and to suppresse and damp the spirits, which is a great provocation: for thereby we fight against God with His own blessings; and against our selves with our own weapons, and so are as they, who, instead of putting their hands to their mouthes to feed them, put both to their throat to cut it: For by intemperance this way, in meat and drink, by feeding without fear, we transgresse the set bounds, and our heart thereby is made as heavy as a stone, our spirits quite flat and dead; whence the proverb is, An intemperate man digs his grave with his fingers: so that, although life be within him, yet his body is his prison, and the grave of Gods mercies; and his life serves him to little other purpose, then to dishonour that God, who hath provided so bountifully for him. And this kinde of intemperance, I mean, this lifting up the heel in our full pasture and exalting the heart; this unkinde requitall of the Lord, [Page 81] puts man, that reasonable creature one degree below the unreasonable: The ox, the horse, and the asse, These, saith the Father usefully, when they are fed, go on their way, carrying their burdens and performing their service; but man so overchargeth himself, that his meat proves his burden, if not this surfeit, and makes him unfit to return any service, but such as sheweth him to be a debter onely to the flesh; which indeed we must nourish, that it may be serviceable, but further we owe it neither suit nor service. Think then how ill we do requite the Lord, when fed by Him, we spurn against Him; loaded with His mercies, we load Him with our sinnes; refreshed with His comforts, we grieve His Spirit, by a contrary and unsavorie walking.

Here then is a fit place and season to teach and learn abstinence, one of those vertues so much commended, and that may help much to the learning of the other, patience; (so I invert the order ) He that hath gotten command over himself at his Table, in moderating his appetite, and can deny himself, what his stomach eagerly craves, will be able to command himself in great matters, and bear hard things. It is unseemly for a man, the Lord over the creatures, to be brought under the power of the creature; and if he would not, which is his wisdome, he must consider as well, what is expedient, as what is lawfull. And so he teacheth his childe by his own example, as well as by precept, and much better, and now is his season; for abstinence is best taught and learnt at the first, and no where better then at our meat.

It is Mr Perkins rule; That man must deny his desires at the table, he must command himself there, as one under his own power, and not under the power of the creatures, if he look to be able to deny goods, goodname, wife, children, selfe and all; All which must be parted with, when they stand in competition with the truth, else we lose our selves. These are sweet bits indeed; and he, that cannot deny himself his sweet bi s at his table; w ll very hardly deny himself in these. If a man must needs swallow that bit because it is sweet, and that cup [Page 82] of wine, because it is pleasant: if he hath so farre lost the command over himself, that this he must needs do, when yet his stomach needs it not: It is very probable then, that the same man will strain at the cup of sorrow, as at a cup of trembling; it will no more down with him by his will then will a Camel; but if down it must, it is because it must be so, there is no remedie, for God hath put the cup into his hand, and he must drink thereof.

The lesson then is, At our tables we must begin this deniall, so we shall frame unto it the better in other things of greater importance. We may note here; that naturally we are very short spirited, all for the present; we are impatient of waiting, soon tired there, even almost before we begin, though the Lord hath said, The waiting of the meek shall not be forgotten; And though the Lords manner is to make His children wait, putting a long date to the performance of His promises, when yet His deferring is no empty space, for in that space much good is done, even a fitting for the promise, as, while the seed lieth in the earth, the time is not lost; for the hard winter fitteth for the more hopefull Spring. But I say, so the Lords manner is, to in re unto a patient waiting, to stay, as in the case of Lazarus , and with those, He most loveth, two dayes longer, when the extremity seems greatest; so long, as we may think, with Martha, that the season for help is quite past. We may take notice how short our spirits are, by that we reade of the two sisters, but especially of the three disciples . The third day was come, and not fully over, and yet but so long deferring their hopes, weakened their trust; And to day is the third day. By them we may learn how short our spirits are, and how impatient in waiting. But the shortnesse and eagernesse of our spirits appeares in nothing more, then in those things, which presse upon the necessities of nature. We see ordinarily the bread and the cup are put to the mouth before so much as a thought (the quickest thing that is) is conceived of Him, who hath ordained both for our comforts. And we may [Page 83] remember how hard it pressed upon Esau; yea and upon the good old Prophet , who was easily seduced upon the mention of bread, which sheweth us the eagernesse of our appetites; and how peremptory the demands of an hungry stomack are, which a man can no more rule, then he can his tongue; but He, who restrained the ravenous lion from tearing the asse and the Carkeise, (mark it) can restrain our eagernesse this way, and give us the command of our selves, for the better performing His command in cases extraordinary, and in suffering great matters, when He shall call us unto it. I think now of the extremities which famine drives unto, and they are scarce utterable by them, that never felt them: I think also, how soon our very necessaries, which we have riotously abused, and carelessely cast at our feet, may be taken from us. But then I think withall; that in these extremities, wherewith Gods dearest children may be exercised and pressed, they do so look up to Gods hand and so rest upon it, that they certainly finde the same hand as gracious towards them in sustaining them, as it was powerfull in holding the mouth of the lion, in the forementioned case: So as, though the extremitie be great, yet they do not put forth their hand to wickednesse, not to such horrid and bloody dishes, as we reade and heare that some in their extremities have done. If God take away the meat, He can take away the stomach also, as the Martyr said; or restrain the rage of it, so as it shall not touch the carkeise, or such unclean things. But we cannot tell what delicate wanton persons may do in their straits; nor how far our unmortified lusts may carry us. If we are in no part crucified to the world, and have the world in no sort crucified to us, the extremitie may prove unsupportable; want of necessaries will presse sore upon those, who alwayes have lived at the full, and fed themselves without feare; and could never part with so much as any of their superfluities. They who feed themselves like beasts (saith Clem. Alex) very likely will walk and do like beasts : wants to such are more disrellishing
then [Page 84] then dead beer after the sweetest banket. They that live in pleasure, and lie at ease, cannot endure a change . And therefore, as we expect the support of the Almighties Hand in our fainting time, when we have nothing to support us from without; we must look up humbly and thankfully to the same Hand, now that we have plenty; And we must accustome our selves, now that our tables are spread, to a sober temperate use of the creatures, and to all fitting abstinence, holding command over our spirits (in His strength we are able to do it, who overpowered the lion) that we be not brought under the power of the Creature.

The body hath some preparatives before a purge, and when we would come out of a sweat kindely, we cast off first one cloth, then another: so should we do in the ranknesse and sweat of our prosperity . And now the time calls upon us: famine, and the extremities thereof we have read and heard of, and what hath it taught us? Our tables are as full of excesse as before, and fuller of surfeit. So the fool goes on and is punished, he cannot lay things to heart; but they that are wise, do heare the voice of the rod, and do fear before it, walking humbly with the Lord: They have got command over their spirits, and are got from under the power of the Creature, by denying themselves a little in this, and a little in that: Now in this lesser thing, so making way for greater, so as, when the rod of their affliction shall bud out again, which they expect, nay when the Lord shall turn the former rod (which wrought no reformation) into a serpent, so that it stings like a scorpion; they may feel the smart thereof, but the poyson thereof shall not be deadly.

And so much to teach us abstinence; and to get command over our selves, that we be not brought under the power of the creature, which will help us much to possesse our souls in patience in the day of trouble. They that have not learnt to wait, are not fitted to receive the fruits from the earth, or the accomplishment of the promise from heaven.

Now touching our children, the lesson is this; we must [Page 85] not give them alwayes when they aske, nor so much as they would have, let them feele sometimes the want of it, and the biting of an hungry stomack: It sweeteneth the creature, when they shall have it, and puts a price upon the same when it is in their hand. It is rare amongst those, that are grown up, to finde a stomack full of meat, and an heart as full of praise. The emptie stomack feeles the comfort, and is in likelihood more enlarged. Let the childe abstain from all sometimes; but not often, it is their growing time; yet sometime altogether from all, at all times from part. They must not taste of every dish, nor look so to do (it is not good for the parent, lesse wholsome for the childe, there is a drunkennesse in eating as in drinking:) Accustome children to waite now, they will waite with more patience hereafter. But more specially teach them a fit and reverent behaviour both before and at the table. Though they sit at a common table, yet it is Gods table; He spread it for the parent and the childe; Though there we receive common blessings, yet we must not put upon them common esteeme, nor return for them common thanks; children must not, by their rude and uncivill deportment before, and at the table, make it a stable, or an h gsstye; nor must they drown themselves there in an eager fulfilling their appetite, like beasts at their manger, or swine in their trough; like beasts, I say, that have their manger before them, and their dung hill behind them: hereof Clem. of Alex. makes very good use, and that is all I tend to here.

6. And now that we have eaten, we must remember to return praise. Our great Master is our great example; Before He gave common bread, He gave thanks; and when He administred the Sacrament of His blessed body and bloud, He concluded with an Hymn . Hearken to this, saith Chrysostome y upon those words, all ye that goe from your common table like swine, whereas ye should give thanks, and conclude with a Psalme; And hearken ye also, who will not sit out till the blessing be given. Christ gave thanks before He gave to His disciples, [Page 86] that we might begin with thanksgiving; And He gave thanks after He had distributed, and sung a Psalme, that we might do so likewise; so Chrysostome. Now then, that we are filled, it is the very season of thanksgiving, saith the Father; And he that is now to addresse himselfe to return thanks, is supposed to have fed temperately, and to be sober. They that have fed without feare, and are filled with their pasture, are more like to kick with the heele, then to return praise: and in so doing are worse then the most savadge creatures, who, to shew their thankfulnesse, will be at the beck of those that feed them. We must remember that with us men, every favour requires a returne, much more when we receive these comforts of meat and drink from Gods hand, we must return, in way of homage, our thankfulnesse. If it should be thrice asked (as one in another case) what is the speciall dutie or grace required in a Christian? I should answer thrice also (supposing the season) Thankefulnesse; Thankfulnesse at our sitting down; Thankfulnesse at our receiving the blessing; Thankfulnesse when we are refreshed. Thankfulnesse is as good pleading in the Common Law, the heart string thereof; so of Religion: It is the very All of a Christian, if it be with all the heart: And heartie it should be, for, as it is for beasts to eate till they be filled: so is it beastlike to look downward when they are filled. If God had made me a Nightingale, I would (saith on) have sung as a Nightingale doth; but now God hath made me a man, I must, as a man, sing forth His praise; All Thy works blesse Thee, and Thy Saints praise Thee. Now that we have received mercies, we must think to make return, else every bit we have eaten, will be an inditement against us.

There is a vanitie in our natures, for sometimes we stand upon exactnesse of justice (as one saith) in answering petty courtesies of men, and in shewing our selves thankfull for favours received there; when yet we passe by substantiall favours from God, without taking notice of them. But we can easily consider, that, if it be a sinne in civilitie, carelesly [Page 87] to passe by the favours from men; much more in Religion, to receive from Gods hand, and not to returne our thanks . And if it be a rude and uncivill fashion, to rise from our common tables, where we receive common bread, to play: much more then, so to rise from our seat at Church, where the bread we are fed withall, is so much more precious as the soule is above the body.

We suppose then, we are now rising from our common table, where every man hath put in his thanks, as into a common stock, and so joyntly offered unto God: Cyprians words are seasonable here (I finde them in Ursinus) touching the order and connexion of the fourth with the fift petition; After our supplication to God, for supply of food and sustenance, (Give us) we say, forgive us; that is, we pray for pardon of sinnes and offences; That He, who is fed by God, may live to God : Thankfulnesse (and that is the spring of a kinde obedience) must presently follow the receipt of mercies. It is good to take the advantage of the freshnesse of a blessing: He will not be thankfull anon, who is not thankfull now, he hath newly felt, and found the sweetnesse of a mercy; what we adde to delay, we take from thankfulnesse; If the heart be closed now that the Lord hath so newly opened His hand toward it, it is like, it will be as hard and dry as a flint afterwards; And what an unkinde requitall is it, when, in stead of being Temples of His praise, we become graves of His benefits? They lye buryed in us.

It is an old tradition, but instructs very much, which is; That every creature hath a threefold voice to man; take, returne, beware: In more words, the meaning is this; when we take the creature into our hands, be it bread, or be it water (under these two all is contained, saith Calvin) we must remember that it speaks thus unto us;

  1. Take the benefit and comfort, which the Lord hath ordained thee, from me.
  2. Returne the duty of praise and thanks, which is due to the Lord, for me.
  3. [Page 88]And beware thou forget it not, least the Lord deprive thee of me, or curse His blessings.

Our goodnesse is nothing to the Lord, nor can we adde unto His glory, by making returne of our thankfulnesse, any more, then we can give to the fountaine where at we drinke; or to the Sun whereby we see; but yet, we must note, That there is a taxation or impost set upon every thing we enjoy, which is this, "God the supreame Lord must have His tribute of glory out of the same: And from man, who hath these things to trade withall, God must have the tribute of thankfulnesse: It being the easie taske, tribute or impost, which the supreame Lord of All, layeth upon all the goods we possesse, and blessings we receive; and if we be not behinde with Him in this tribute of our lips, He will see that all creatures in heaven and earth, shall pay their tributes unto us: But, if we keep back His homage, we forfeit and endanger the losse of all; Man will not sow his best seed but in a fruitfull ground: God intends His glory in every mercy , and he that praiseth Him, glorifies Him. Remember then we must, when we receive Gods mercies, what we reade, Deut. 10. 12. And now, O Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee? All errors, saith one , who said much in a little, are tolerable save two, about the first beginning, and the last end; we erre against the first, when we derive things amisse, not acknowledging all to come from God: Against the second we erre, when we referre things amisse, when we returne not all to Him giving Him the tribute of praise.

I must remember herewith, the memorable words of Clemens, which are these. Behold, O man , for how small a matter the Lord doth give thee land to till; water to drink, another water, whereby to send forth, and to returne thy commodities; ayer, wherein to breath; A house, to cover thee from the injury of the weather; fire, whereby to warme thee, and where at to imploy thee; A world, wherein to dwell: all these things, so great, so many, Thy Lord hath as it were rented out unto thee, at a very easie rate, a little faith, a little thanks, so it be true, so they be hearty: And most unkinde thou, if thou denyest Him,
that [Page 89] that rent, The earth is the Lords, and the fulnesse thereof; if then, thou dost not acknowledge thy Lord, being compassed round with His blessings; He will then say unto thee ; Get thee out of my land, and from out of my house; Touch not my water, partake not of my fruits. If I have rented these out unto thee for so small a matter, a little thanks, and thou dost deny me that little, thou hast, in so doing, for eited the whole, and I shall require the forfeiture at thy hands. So usefully spake Clem ns of Alexandria, worthy all mens knowledge.

This Theame is large, I will conclude it with a story, which I finde related by Mr. Down m in his Guide to Holinesse ; which is this; "If the Lord curse His blessings for our ingratitude, we shall either have no power to feed upon them, or in stead of nourishing us, they will be the cause of weaknesse, sicknesse and death it selfe: of the former, not long since, my selfe, with many others saw a fearefull example in one, whom I visited in his sicknesse, of which he dyed; whose strength being little abated, and his appetite very good to his meat, would often and earnestly desire to have some brought unto him: but no sooner did it come into his sight, but presently he fell into horrible shaking and trembling, distractions and terrible convulsions of all his parts, so as the bed would scarce hold him whereon he lay; all which presently ceased, as soone as the meat was taken away. And this was done so often, till at length he grew weary of so many attempts in vaine, and prepared himselfe for death, giving unto us all, many signes of earnest repentance: Among others, he penitently confessed, that this punishment was justly inflicted upon him, for his abuse of Gods good creatures, especially, because he would neither of himselfe, nor by the perswasion of his friends, give thanks unto God when he received his food, which he conceived to be the cause, why now God would not suffer him to have the use of his creatures, which he had so often abused by his grosse ingratitude; and earnestly de[Page 90]sired that he might be an example unto all men in this fearefull judgement, that they might escape the like, by shunning his sinne. Remember this story when thou sittest down to meat, and forget it not, when thou risest up; for, remembring such an example as was this, we cannot forget to return our tribute of thanks and praise. So much to the second season.

And now having so done, and being risen from our table, we may take a walke and view the fields with the creatures there: This season follows, and the observations therefrom.


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The Elephant is the greatest, I shall not relate what we reade, touching his ready obedience, dociblenesse, memory, and some other things scarce credible . Certain it is, he is Behemoth in the plurall number, because of his massive bulk, as big as many beasts; and as the beast is, such is his strength; So we reade in the Historie of the Maccabees ; And upon the Beast were there strong towers of wood, which covered every one of them, and were girt fast unto them with devices, there were also upon every one, two and thirty strong men, that fought upon them, besides the Indian that ruled him The more loaded he is, the firmer he goes, because feeling his burden, he puts out his strength: He is the chief of the wayes of God, as we reade in Job; And it is notable which followeth; He that made him, can make His sword to approach unto him: If we mark whose sword that is, it carrieth the eye to God, and teacheth the childe the wonderfull might of His power; He that made him & c. Therefore as Job also saith, If we speak of strength, lo He is strong. The other creature we call the mite, or weevell; a very little creature, the least of any, saith the Naturalist, and that little, which is, is all throat; The husbandman shall meet with it in his barne, as sure as he findes it in his cheese; and for one, as the old Poet saith, five hundred; A great devourer it is, where ever it is, but most likely in the cornheap. It will consume, saith be that writeth of husbandry , a great heap of grain. Hence the instruction is; "God usually hangs the greatest weight, upon the smallest wyars; And doth the greatest works, both in a way of mercy and of judgement, by the silliest and weakest executioners.

He needs not an army of Giants, one whereof (and he was the greatest, that I think, our last Centuries have taken [Page 113]notice of) was of such a stature, that the sole of his foot did cover foure of ours : The Lord needs not an army of such, nor needeth He iron charriots, nor Elephants to make a battel fierce and terrible against a backsliding and revolted people. When a Nation needeth a sharp knife, as the Father expresseth it, to cut away the dead fresh; the Lord can do it by despicable instruments, and yet of force and sharpnesse enough to execute His pleasure; who to approve Himself the God of all power, worketh great things by the weakest meanes. Even by His northern Army, the locust, the cankerworm, the caterpiller: These silly creatures can make a Garden of Eden before them, a desolate wildernesse behinde them; and nothing shall escape them, verse the 3. If He speak the word and bid it go, the silly frog shall scale the palace, and the Kings bedchamber; The rats shall take the tower; The mise shall consume all the provision of war, and in one night they shall do it; as writeth Herodotus: And so speaketh that monument there, of one holding a mouse in his hand, and bidding the beholder look up to God, and serve Him in feare And to relate nearer to the thing in hand; A little worm can devoure all the provision of bread, as experience hath sometimes told us; and that noted story in Grimston, who writeth; That the corn twice or thrice sown, was as often eat up by a little worm, or gray snaile, and in one night, whence followed dearth, famine, pestilence, wolves

Oh that man, so dependant a Creature, should carry himself proudly before the God of Heaven! Who to approve Himself the God of all power, and able to abase the proud heart, hath a thousand wayes and meanes whereby to do it; He can by a gnat, a fly, an haire, stop the breath; and by the weakest means destroy life and livelyhood: We have often read these words, and there is much comfort in them, to such, who are fearers of the Lord; Thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field; and with the creeping things, & c.

I remember what an old Preacher said upon these Texts, It was this; "What great matter is it, will some man think [Page 114] "to be at league with the stones of the field, or in covenant with creeping things of the ground; he feares no danger from these; No, said the Preacher, he doth not; and therefore being out of covenant with his God, his danger is the greater, because not feared. He that feares not God, hath cause to feare every thing, and that he least feares may most hurt him: That stone, which lieth before him, may dash out his brains, by such a meanes, as no man possibly could suspect; and the beast that is in his hand, and knows not his strength, nor shall put it forth, yet may occasion his fall. I knew a man, for he lived amongst us, who had a Barbary horse to present to his great friend; and stroaking the back of the beast, and there feeling it crushed with the saddle, was presently in a great rage with his man; and in that rage stamped with his foot; the heel of his boot being, after the fashion, high, slipt within the crevice of the stones, (it was on a causieway.) and he, plucking his heel out again, with some heat and choler, fell down forward, where a sharp stone standing above the rest, met with his forehead, and his brains, and dashed them out.

A great mercy to be at league with the stones, and in covenant with the beasts, and creeping wormes; which we cannot be, if out of covenant with God. So much to the works of God on the earth; and to the instruction therefrom, which, in this cursorie way and view of them, we may take along with us, "They serve to refresh and comfort, to instruct and humble. God is great in the very least, and to shew Himself the God of all power, He can and doth bring to passe great works by the weakest and simplest persons and meanes. It follows now that we take a view of the great Waters, for they, with the earth, make up but one Globe. In the view of this subject (leaving more subtile enquiries for a fitter place,) I behold first, their surface; secondly, their barres and

This is a selection from the original text


bread, dearth, drink, earth, eating, religion

Source text

Title: OF THE CHILDS PORTION, viz: GOOD EDUCATION. By E.W. OR, The Book of the Education of Youth,that hath for some yeers lain in obscu- rity; but is now brought to light, for the help of Parents and Tutors, to whom it is recommended. BY Will: Goudge. D.D. Edm: Calamy John Goodwin.}{Joseph Caryll. Jer: Burroughs. William Greenbill. Psal.34. 11. Deut. 12.28. Come ye children hearken up to me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you for ever, when thou dust that which is good,and right in the sight of the Lord thy God. Chrysost. As our Seminaries or seed-plots are, such are the Land and Nation: As the Parents, house and school are,such are the Town and City. Printed at LONDON : and to be sold by The: Underhill at the signe of the Bible in Woodstreet. 1649

Author: Ezekias Woodward

Publication date: 1649

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: Bibliographic name / number: Wing (2nd ed.) / W3500 Physical description: [4], 47, [13], 182, [14], 14, [6], 207, [4] p. Copy from: British Library Reel position: Wing / 2105:04

Digital edition

Original author(s): Ezekias Woodward

Language: English

Selection used:

  • ) Title Page
  • ) A Child’s Patrimony- pp.1-2, 56-9 (14. we may observe children ... not a crum)
  • ) pages 80-90 (5. And now that we suppose ... observations therefrom)
  • ) pages 112-14 (the elephant is the greatest ... simplest persons and meanes)


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 > manuals and guides

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