A [...]nt 54 Au [...]ust 7th. 1639

[...] quando [...] mus Tan [...]en [...] by W•• Richardson York H [...] Strand


Sometime Minister of the Gospel at St. Bartholomew's behind the Royal Exchange, and lately Preacher to the English Con­gregation of Rotterdam in Holland.

With severall of his Speeches and Let­ters, while in Exile, for his Loyalty to the Kings most Excellent Majesty.

To which is annexed, A SERMON Preach'd by him at Mercers Chappel, Febr. 25. 1648. not long after the inhumane beheading of His Majesty; for which he was committed Prisoner to the Gate-house in Westminster.

Published with the Approbation of several of his Brethren, Ministers of the Word in London.

London, Printed for Tho. Basset under S. Dunstans Church in Fleetstreet. And R. Hall at the Ball in Westminster Hall. 1662.

To the Worshipfull, Sir ANTHONY IRBY Of Boston in Lincolnshire, Knight. And to his Virtuous and Religious Lady, KATHERINE IRBY, My much honoured and obliging FRIENDS.

In token of my Thankfulness for their Love to my Father while imprisoned, and my self at present,

I with due observance and Humility, offer this poor Paper-gift, wishing them what ever they can want or wish.


To the Reader.

Good Reader:

THE Exemplary Lives of God's faithfull Servants should be unto us like the Pillar of Cloud Heb. 12 1. to the Israelites in their jour­ney to the promised Land; for by them we have guidance, encouragement, and support in our way to Heaven. Every individual person is advised by Prov. 2. 20 Solomon to walk in the way of good men, and to keep the paths of the righteous. And persons of all sorts are called upon by St. Paul to be Heb. 6. 12. fol­lowers of them who by faith and pa­tience inherit the Promises. As it was a precious priviledge unto God's Israel of old, that he Exod. 13. 21, 22. took not away the Pillar of the Cloud by day, nor the Pillar of Fire by night from before the people, so is it to be accounted a very rich mercy [Page] unto us, that we have in all times, both of prosperity and adversity men emi­nently gratious, who have gone before us through the wilderness of this world to glory. For as young Scollars are edi­fied in learning by seeing Rules veri­fied in Examples; so are Christians built up in their faith and obedience, by perceiving the conscienciousness and confidence of others in their conversa­tion. The blessed Apostle greatly COm­commended the believing Thessalonians, that they became 1 Thes. 1. 6. followers of such who received the Word in much affliction; with joy of the Holy Ghost. And his charge unto the Philippians is considera­ble. Phil. 4. 9. These things which you have heard and seen in me, do, and the God of peace shall be with you. Hereunto may be added the Argument whereby he perswadeth Timothy to per­severe in God's Truth and fear, 2 Tim. 3. 10, 11, 12, Conti­nue thou in the Truth which thou hast learned, for thou hast known my Doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long suffering, Charity, Patience, Persecutions.

In tendency to this improvement, we [Page] have encouraged the printing of this ensuing Narrative of the Life of Mr. Thomas Cawton, our Reverend and much endeared Brother. His necessary transplantation for health's sake, from an Aguish air in Essex unto London, made way for our acquaintance with him, where upon frequent and familiar converse with him, he became more and more precious in our account. We ex­perienced him a man both learned and pious. He was Orthodox and laborious in his Ministry. In his whole conversa­tion, both personal and relative, he held forth much sweetness, with meekness of wisdom, and the power of godliness. Notwithstanding the variety of changes with which he was exercised, in regard of the Times, and manifold Transacti­ons, he was still steady in his course, walking with God, and by faith seeing him who is visible. As his company was comfortable to us while we enjoyed it, so was his removall grievous when he was banished from us. It would be esteemed a useless tautologie, if we should attest that which this History of his ho­ly and fruitfull life representeth to [Page] view and imitation. Therefore we shall detain thee no longer from perusing this Narrative, which is drawn up by an able and faithfull hand; but commending thee with this and all other means of thy spirituall advantage to the blessing of the Almighty, through Christ, in him we remain,

Thy soul-friends and Servants,
  • Arthur Jackson.
  • Edm. Calamy.
  • Simeon Ashe.
  • James Nalton.
  • Tho. Watson.

THE LIFE and DEATH Of that Reverend and Holy Man of God, Mr. THOMAS CAWTON, Late Minister of the Gospel at Rotterdam in Holland.

THomas Cawton was born at Rain­ham in Norfolk in the year 1605. of honest Parents, un­der whose tuition and edu­cation he remained, til the immature part of his life was something ripened, and made capable of being improved for higher designs than those of his Infancy. The grain of his nature from a child lay towards the Ministry, to which he had so strong an inclination, that nothing could unbyas or divert the current of his affections from an eager desire of following that imployment.

His Parents seeing him indued with so good a principle, were very solicitous how to bring him up in learning, but being much [Page 2] discouraged by the smalness of their estate, want of friends and counsel, how to manage their affairs most for his good: they were in suspence, having their eyes towards God, whose good hand of divine providence fa­vouring their intended enterprise, stirred up friends above expectation, and particularly procured the Patronage of Sir Robert Towns­end, a Knight of Norfolk, eminent for parts and piety, whose rare endowments both for Religion and Learning, as they did accom­plish his Person, so they sounded forth his praise in that County. This munificent Moecenas having encouraged his Parents by his bounty, he was sent to the Trivial School to be instructed in such kind of literature as might fit him for the University: during which time, I cannot but note the sweet carriage and condescention of his worthy Moecenas, who would call him up into his own chamber and pray with him, and often give him Verses to make, and correct them himself. When he came a little to under­stand himself and the use of Learning, he was so unwearied in the further pursuit of it, that to out-strip others, he did constantly rise very early summer and winter; insomuch that (though he had a great way to go to School) yet he would be there before his Master was stirring, and had admittance in­to his Masters chamber, where he did every morning construe a Chapter in the Greek [Page 3] Testament at his bed-side: by this means [...]e got an exact skill in the Greek Text, in [...]o much, that he could at the first sight ex­plain any chapter, or verse in the whole Testament, before any of his fellow Schol­lars, and this he would often say he got by [...]he by, while others got nothing: thus in­dustrious he was even then to improve the very shavings of time, Tempus insta­bile furtim nullo pedum strepitu inter somnum et jo­cos effluit.which though it be thief and may be known by its pace steal­ing away, yet he was so vigilant as that he that never was a time server was in this [...]ence a great time server, or rather obser­ver, accounting none a worse thief than him that steals from himself so rich a com­modity as time, in doing ill, or that which [...]s next to it, nothing.

Having for a while manifested his affectio­nate love to learning, as also given many evident demonstrations of his proficiency, [...]oth to his Master and noble Moecenas, he [...]as judged fit for the University, and was accordingly sent thither, and maintained by [...]ir Roger, he was admitted in Queens Col­ [...]edge in Cambridge: where he had for his [...]utor Mr. John Goodwin, but he sucked in one of his evil Principles, which even then [...]e endeavoured to infuse into his Pupils, [...]ough it were afterwards that he discover­ed himself more fully in setting his hereti­ [...]ll Doctrines more openly to sale.

During his residence in the Colledge, he [Page 4] did most exquisitely perfect and polish his Naturall parts (which were very good) by Art and Grace: he was an hard Students, and as he had begun at School, so here he was an excellent husband of his time, so provi­dent and frugall that he highly valued the shreds and odd ends of it, and would gather up the fragments of this also that nothing might be lost: he presently embraced the present occasion, those that were intimately acquainted with him give him this character that he was the greatest enemy in the world against delays, and would not only speak for the frons capillata, but himself laid hold on the fore-lock of opportunity in so much that his usuall mot [...]o was that of the grave Rabbin [...] si non nunc, quando? If not now, when? he accounted more of one hour present, than o [...] the hopes of many to come, and was much for the season for every Study, knowing there was [...], Virtute et in­dustria bona­rum (que) artium studiis frenari possunt tempora non quin [...]gi­ant sed ne pe­reant.much time in an oportunity: and that time might be kept with bit and bridle (not from fleeing away, but) from perishing. He was so industrious that he had no leasure to be idle but was most glad of that leasure that gave him leasure to imploy himself, for he esteemed an unimployed life a burden to it self, and thought that man unworthy of the world that never did any thing in the world bu [...] lived and died.

[Page 5]He was observed in matters of learning to [...]im very high, being possessed with an He­roick kind of ambition, contemning medi­ [...]crity, and contending for excellency; he would read Ringelsberg de rationi studii to whet and edge his appetite to learning, and afterwards used to commend the Book to young Schollars as a notable piece to quicken them in their Studies, and to spurr them on to great and noble enterprizes, and him­self would often use that speech of his quam turpe est mediocrem esse velle, its but mean and low to be of a middle stature in [...]earning: and therefore he would never set himself bounds, thus farr will I go and no further, I'le get as much learning as such [...]n one hath and no more, but was expiring to the highest pinnacle of knowledge, ne­ [...]er setting himself any task, but that of perfection: this generosity of his mind was [...]eiled with so much modesty, and so free from curiosity that his demeanour seemed a continued repetition of that Divine precept, expressed in that elegant Paranomasy [...], that no man should think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think soberly; sobriety was woven into and twist­ed with the whole course of his studies, it was the frame he made to the picture of the Muses, though he were not so modest, as to let every one get above and before him, [Page 6] yet he was so modest as to preferr every one before himself, and to slight his own excel­lency; he was, as Nazianzen speaks of Atha­nasius [...], lofty in worth but low in heart, knowing, that he that is proud of his vertue, kils him­self not with a Sword, but with a medicine: Qui de virtu­tibus superbit non gladio sed medicamine se interficit.he could bear any thing but his own com­mendation; he had learned how to possess learning rather than be possessed of it, and that by ballasting his mind, lest knowledge should puff him up.

To instance in particulars, he being natu­rally of a deep judgment, made a famous Logician, and would handle an Argument with extraordinary dexterity: for the Arts and Sciences he was well skilled in them too, especially in those of them that concern a Divine.

He was an incomparable Linguist, for the Oriental tongues; few in those times (none almost) of his standing went beyond him [...] he took much delight in the Chaldee, Syriack and Arabick, and to gain more and more skill in them, got acquaintance with the fa­mous Wheelock, then Arabick Professor: but his greatest and chiefest endeavours were spent upon the Hebrew, in the study of which (as the most profitable) he quickly conquer­ed the difficulties of the tongue, and was Master of it, insomuch that he was a great help to others: for that was his manner [Page 7] when he intended to be excellent at any thing, he taught others what he himself had learned, thinking it the best way to get learn­ing to give learning: he was even in his Youth apt to teach; and I may say, to my knowledge, that many eminent in God's Church at this day owe all the Hebrew they have to his instructions.

He learned and understood the Saxon, high and low Dutch, the Italian, Spanish and French tongues perfectly, and read many Books in them all, after he left the Univer­sity.

And it is worth the taking notice, that he got the skill he had in languages most by his own industry, having little or no assistance or encouragement but his love to tongues, which put him upon turning every stone, and using every means needfull and fit to ob­tain his end, which labour of his was sud­denly crowned with success, and he with­out a Master made Master of the tongues, which to his dying day he kept bored to his mind as perpetual servants to be subservient to their Mistress Divinity.

As his profound reasoning shewed the depth of his judgment, so his readiness in langua­ges, in understanding so many, and that so well as he did, does evince and evidence the strength of his memory; judgment and memory seldom meet together in one and the same person, but in him they kissed and [Page 8] embraced each other, and with a sisterly complyance dwelt together in unity, help­ing one another, and both conspiring to make him throughly furnished to every good word and work.

But that that made his parts so eminent was his eminent piety, his holy, strict, pre­cise conversation; he never thought much of doing or suffering much for God: he was a noted Professor both in the Town and Colledge, and went through much opposi­tion, though but a young Disciple; yet he was truly conformed to his Master in indu­ring the contradictions of sinners; as adver­sity was his University to teach him more of God, so the University was his adversity for teaching the waies of God: for he was an early Champion for Holiness, and could better bear the reproaches of men for his holiness, than the wrath of God for his un­holiness, behaving himself so that none could speak truly and reproachfully of him at the same time.

He was naturally inclined to solitude, and having through desire separated himself, he intermedled with all wisdom, he loved to withdraw and retire from the world, giving himself much to meditation and prayer, thinking he had studied well when he had prayed well: in this solitude he entertained his Saviour, and by his refreshing society was more and more in love with his solitary [Page 9] as I may say) society; he could say with Cyprian, Solus non est cui Christus comes est, he wants no company that hath Christ for his Companion: and indeed though solitude [...]e to some hatefull, to others hurtfull, yet [...]e that knows not how to be alone, knows not how to be in company with profit: this [...] know, that the less wisdom a man has, the more he complains of the want of com­pany.

The society he conversed with was of those that were painful and pious, he kept no com­pany with bad company, such as loved God were his friends, such as would come toge­ther to pray, and confer about religion, and strengthen one anothers hands against pro­faneness and ungodliness, such were his delight, and with such he would be very fa­miliar and open-hearted; If there be a Da­lilah under Heaven it is evill society, this (as one says) will bind us, betray us, blind us and undo us: but the Lord being merci­full to him preserved him blamless and spot­less in the midst of a wicked generaton of Schollars, his righteous soul being vexed for the unlawfull deeds of those amongst which he dwelt. The stream of example was never strong enough to make him stirr a­long with it, when a gale of custom would carry others with full sails to the port of endless and easless misery: alienis perimus ex­emplis, we mostly borrow our own ruine, and [Page 10] perish upon credit; non ad rationem sed ad similitudinem vivimus, unde ista tanta coacer­ [...]atio aliorum super alios cadentium, we more aim at being like others than like men that are rationall, and thence we see what great heaps stumble one upon another: but he took up no imployment, followed no com­pany but what he had the broad seal of Hea­ven to confirm, and what the narrow way to Heaven did warrant as usefull to travel with up the hill to happiness.

As he was carefull of himself lest he should at any time fall into bad company, so he was very desirous and laborious to keep others out of it, and reclaim those that were inveigled in it. Particular and espe­ciall notice was taken of one thing for which he was eminent and exemplary, which was this, that when any young youths came to the University either from his own Coun­try, or else where, such as he knew, or was informed were well educated under godly Parents, or a godly Ministry, he would be sure to get acquaintance with them at their first coming to the University, before they were ingaged, intangled, or infected with bad company, and would bring them into the society of some pious Schollars of which he himself was: he was so pious as to lead them from the snare, and so prudent as to take them at their first coming, shewing them the danger before they fell into it, [Page 11] and thereby disingaging them from the company and acquaintance of vain and de­bauched Schollars, of which that Colledge was then full, and who were as so many Factors for the Devil, venting the wares which that grand Malefactor had to sell to young Schollars: severall there were in the Colledge at that time who drew away new­come Students from their books and studies to their ungodly company and so made them debauched like themselves, they were not content to go to Hell alone, but they must force others to go many miles in the broad way, who of themselves would not have gone one; yet though this might seem to discourage him to see what Merchandize was made of souls, he conscienciously, and constantly laboured to counterwork these Factors of Hel, and drove a trade for God in bestirring himself to insinuate into any lad that was ingenious, and was very succes­full therein, to the astonishment and con­fusion of his opposers: many had great cause to bless God for him, and their first ac­quaintance with him, for his bringing them to Dr. Prestons, and Dr. Sibbs his Lectures in those times, and some (to the knowledge of a Reverend and learned Divine, his inti­mate friend at the University, from whom I have this part of the narrative) that are yet alive have blessed God for their ac­quaintance with him; this his unwearied di­ligence [Page 12] in trafficking for God in his youn­ger years was so generally observed in the Colledge, that it grew almost into a pro­verb among the lewd and profane Schol­lars, that such and such a youth was poison'd by Cawton's faction, and was become a Caw­tonist, which nevertheless could not in the least deterr him from prosecuting the work of the Lord, or from abiding and abound­ing in it, but rather rooted and grounded him, especially when he considered his la­bour was not in vain in the Lord, and that God did graciously let him see of the travell of his Soul, in the welfare of those Souls which he had been a means to deliver from being taken captive at Satans will.

He remained faithful in this good imploy­ment, as also in following his private studies in the University, till he took his degree of Master of Arts, seldom absenting: and ha­ving served an apprenticeship of seven years to humane learning, he found it prov'd but a blear-ey'd Leah (as an ingenious Author loves to speak) and not so amiable as was expected; therefore now he resolves to serve for Rachel, that is Divinity, which is more beautiful and quick-sighted.

In order to his study of Divinity he remo­ved for a time from the University to a place called Ashwell, twelve miles from Cambridge, to live in the house of that Reverend and holy man of God Mr. Herbert Palmer, then [Page 13] Minister of that place, from whom (as he himself would often say) he reaped no small benefit in his first setting upon the study of Theology, both Theoretical and Practical: [...]e followed his business closely, and with much delight; and, which is most and best, [...]e studied Theological Truths with a Theo­logical Heart; and indeed they are divine affections and a divine conversation which make the Divine: Alsted. Impii quidam homines egre­giè videntur callere [...], revera ta­men illa cognitio rerum Theologicarum est [...], quia fieri non potest ut cognitio verè Theologica babitet in corde non Theologo. Many wicked wretches seem to be excellently skil'd [...]n Divinity, but the truth is, such a know­ledge of Divinity is no Divine knowledge; for it is impossible that true Divine know­ledge should dwell in an heart that is not Divine. Having grafted his Divinity know­ledge upon a Divine heart, and watered it with his tears in his frequent and fervent addresses to the Fountain of saving Wisdom, God speedily gave an encrease with the en­creases of God; so that he in that place be­gan his Ministry, somtimes assisting Mr. Pal­mer in Preaching, alwaies exercisi [...] himself unto Godliness, giving attendance to read­ing, to exhortation, and to doctrine; not neglecting, but stirring up the gift of God that was in him, and in studying to approve himself to God a Workman that needeth not [Page 14] to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Wor [...] of Truth.

After he had thus prepared and furnishe [...] himself for the Ministry, though he were fit yet he apprehended it not so safe to ente [...] upon a Pastoral Charge, for his singula [...] modesty made him suspect his own abilitie and strength; he was so little in his ow [...] eyes, that he could not be less in the eyes o [...] others than he was in his own: wherefore h [...] still continued assistant to Mr. Palmer, till a [...] length (by the means of the Reverend Mr▪ Thomas Down Minister of Exeter) he was cal­led to live in the house of Sir William Armi [...] of Orton in Huntington-shire, to which plac [...] he had a free and clear call by a special pro­vidence of God, the circumstances of which would be too long to insist on in this brief Relation. While he was there he was well beloved both in the Family and Countrey, for his abilities, faithfulness, and plain deal­ing with that Family, from the highest to the lowest: A Papist could say, that few rich mens Confessors should be saved; that is that few great mens Chaplains should go to Heaven [...] because they were so apt to flatter their M [...]ers: but he could neither smother faults, nor smooth them over in the greatest, but would so sweetly reprove and admonish all sorts according to their qualities, that though he were so honest as to be plain, yet he was so discreet as to be pleasing in his re­prehensions: [Page 15] this his faithfulness joyned with a grave familiarity gained him the affe­ [...]ions of all.

He was ever taking occasion to do good in at Family: more especially in his solid [...]und and plain Exposition of Scripture, in [...]s profitable and clear way of principling [...]techising and building them up in their [...]ost holy faith: and in his Family and pri­ [...]te prayers with and for them: thus he [...]ent and was spent for God, laying himself [...]t for his Lord and Master, and imitating [...]m in his readiness to instruct the meanest [...] lowest capacities, suiting himself to them, [...]d becoming all things to all, that he might [...]n some; by which means, backed with a [...]rious godly conversation, he so effectually [...]rought upon that Family, that many have [...]use to be thankfull they ever were of that [...]amily, for his sake.

Not to let the gift of preaching rest, and [...] rust, he often preached for the godly Mi­ [...]sters round about him in that Country, which Province he so zealously, piously, and [...]arnedly performed, that he generally gain­ [...] the hearts of all the godly in that Coun­ [...]y, especially of the Ministers, witness that [...]rge testimonial given him under the hands [...] the chiefest Ministers in that County at his [...]parture; in which they much bewail their [...]eat loss in parting with him. He was with [...]r William Armin four years, painfully fol­lowing [Page 16] his private studies, family duties, and often publick Preaching: and now he was perswaded to venture into the World, and to serve God more publickly in his Church to which, by the advice of some able Divines he was perswaded, resolving that when God should make way for him, he would cheer­fully embrace the offer of a Living.

About this time his worthy Moecenas (ne­ver to be mentioned without a Preface of ho­nour) Sir Roger Townsend being very sick unto death, sent for him, but he could not come, (though he made all possible hast) soon enough to see him living: yet Sir Ro­ger had not forgot him, for just before his death he sealed a presentation of him to living in Essex called Wivenbo not far from Colchester, that being then void.

Much lamenting the death of his worthy (now glorious) Moecenas, and leaving the place he had at Sir William Armins he en­tred into his Ministeriall charge at Wivenho he found the Town notorious for all man­ner of vice and wickedness, drunkenness and swearing abounded among them, but espe­cially Sabbath-breaking, it was their com­mon practise, (it being a sea Town) to bring up their fish and sell it on the Lords day, al­most at the Church doors: they would ex­cuse themselvs that if they kept their fish they should spoil Gods creatures: poor wretches [...] as if it were worse to spoil Gods creatures, [Page 17] than to disobey God the Creator.

He was instant in season and out of season, preaching against that sin, reproving them with much zeal, meekness and compassion to their Souls: perswading them not to go to sea on Saturday, which they mostly didin regard of a Market near by kept on Mun­day, which they said was the best market thereabouts for their profit: such and the like cavils he easily removed, shewing the weakness of them, and bringing arguments against their ungodly courses, to confute their specious pretences which Satan sug­gested to them to defend their sins withall, and to defeat the reasons that were brought on Gods side for their eternall welfare.

Notwithstanding his publick preaching, and his private admonishing, he found it a very difficult work to bring them off from that sinful practice, (sea-men of all men be­ing most obstinate) yet he gave not over, he was not short breath'd in the work of the Lord, but still was importunate with them to look to Soul-work and eternity work, and proceeded to sharp and cutting rebukes plainly stating their case here, and their case hereafter. Many of his Parish would send him fish in the evening of the Lords day, but he never would receive any: he would not be bribed to stop his mouth, but more ve­hemently declaimed against their fin, and gave them no rest, till there was such a re­formation [Page 18] wrought in the place, as caused the admiration of such as knew that peo­ple.

Thus it pleased God to give a blessing to his unwearied labours amongst them in a plentifull Harvest of converts, many com­ing in to him, and seeing the evil of their sins, were savingly wrought upon, and given in to him as the seals of his Ministry: others were restrained to an astonishment: the pow­er of godliness did so shine in his Doctrine and life, that it had a commanding autho­rity over the consciences of those with whom he conversed: It was well said of one, that a good Minister will reform a Parish better than a Justice of peace, he spits fire into mens consciences and binds them over to the great Assizes: I am sure the change that by his means was made in the People of Wivenbo was so remarkable that it deserves to be registred in Marble, if that be du­rable enough to perpetuate so famous an a­mendment of so profane a generation of drunkards, swearers and Sabbath-breakers: that an Aegypt for darkness and ignorance should be turned into a Goshen of light and knowledge, a Bethaven changed into a Be­thel deserves to be written in immotall Re­cords.

One thing for which he was noted in that place, was his zeal in preaching against Sectaries and their hereticall tenets, which [Page 19] [...]s one speaks) though Paul never planted [...]r Apollos ever watered (to be sure God [...]ver blessed them) yet grew a pace in all [...]rners of the land: he did so solidly and [...]nvincingly confute them, that he kept his [...]rish almost free from them, when other [...]owns were mightily infested, and infect­ed with the Sectarian insect: He gave clear evidence of what I said before that [...] sucked in none of John Goodwins prin­ [...]ples though he were his Pupil.

He often preached at Colchester for Reve­ [...]nd Mr. Robert Harmar, where there was [...]nest of Sectaries, but he feared neither [...]gh nor low. Once having preached up­ [...] that Text, If God be God, serve him; Baal be God serve him: the Anabaptists [...]reatned him on the Road to pull him off [...]om his horse as he was riding home, but [...]at God hindered them. He had many [...]sputes and private conferrences with them [...]fore he preached so much against them, [...]d found many of them very ignorant as catechistical principles: they were per­ [...]aded before they were instructed, and [...]refore they would not be perswaded to be [...]structed, for, as Tertullian speaks, Here­ [...]ks persuadendo docent non docendo persua­ [...]nt, they teach by perswading, but do [...]t perswade by teaching, they wooe and [...]tice the affections of their hearers without [...]nvincing their judgments.

[Page 20]No man was ever more beloved of his peo­ple than he was; all sorts rich and poor did manifest a great deal of respect and af­fection to him: the very children were s [...] taken with his winning way of catechizing them, that they loved him and their catechism the better for it: a great many of them would every Sabbath day go to­gether to meet him between his house an [...] the Church shewing their readiness to be catechized by him. Thus he that at fir [...] was counted so severe, was esteemed worthy of all love and honour, and that not only amongst the good, but the bad, such a Ma­jesty there is in grace, and such amiableness there is in holiness.

This their love was not ill bestowed, the [...] was none of it lost, there being an arde [...] love in his brest to them again, in so much that he would often say Wivenho was h [...] first love. He hath this character given [...] him by all that knew him, that he was very much unconcerned in the world he was convinced that all the world ca [...] afford was either uncertainly good or certainly evil, and therefore he could not s [...] his heart on that which was to be tram­pled under his feet, he counted the mouth and bellies of the poor the best treasurie to store up his goods in. Manus paupe­ris est gazo­phylacium Christi, & quicquid pau­per accipit Christus ac­cipta [...].All the profits [...] his living for three years together, (being about an hundred pounds per annum) h [...] [Page 21] laid out upon the Personage house, which was old, and ready to drop down: he built it with brick from the ground, a very good house, with Orchards of his own planting, and fish-ponds made at his own charge, and was often heard to say, that it might please God this might be an inducement to some godly Preacher or other to come amongst his people when he was dead and rotten: he cared not for his mony so much as for his people, and was of so publick a spirit that he made all his private conveni­encies give way to that way that did most promote his peoples publick welfare, he was not content to do them all the good he could while with them, but was sollici­tous that one might succeed him who might be faithfull to their Souls: when he was forced to leave the living he was offered an hundred pounds to resign the Living and Personage-house, but would not, but pro­vided them a Minister who was presented by the Patron, and let the house go to the Minister, and all that succeeded him as long as it stands.

Having finished the house, and enjoy­ing some content in seeing his spirituall children walking in the truth, God inclin­ed his heart to Marriage (which was after the thirtyeth year of his life) and he gave God leave to choose his Wife, for I count that giving leave to choose for us, when we [Page 22] choose for God, or in order to Gods glo­ry more than for our own profit, when that side God is on carries it in our choice: he wa [...] Non quanta sit dos sed qualis sit uxor refert. offered many great matches, but none s [...] good as that which he pitched upon, which was Mrs Elizabeth Jenkin, daughter to the Reverend Mr. William Jenkin a renowne [...] Preacher in Sudbury, and Grand-child t [...] the famous Mr. Richard Rogers of Wether field: He preferred the stock she came of her religious education, parts, and eminent piety before a great portion which h [...] might have had with others: he thought good portion far above a great portion.

Being married he returned again to h [...] charge of Souls in Wivenho, where he we [...] on in his Ministeriall function with mu [...] delight, and as much dilligence: on Lord days he preached with a great deal of v [...] ­gour and life, and on week-days his li [...] was a continued Lecture, and commen­tary on his Sabbath Sermons: he went [...] and down doing good, and did not thing all his work was to be done in the Pulpit but discharged his conscience and tr [...] with much fidelity visiting the sick, admo­nishing the wicked, strengthning the wea [...] quickning the strong, and counselling a [...]

Thus this holy man of God continue among them for the space of seven years during which time he was very sickly, a [...] not likely to live long, being naturally [Page 23] an infirm constitution; the badness of the air at Wivenho did not a little add to his dis­tempers. At the end of the seventh year of his abode in Wivenho, he had a very great fit of sickness, in so much that his Physitians and friends did even despair of his recovery: but it pleased the great Phy­sitian who was his Maker, as he had built the cottage of his body, so to shoar up the building, and he was in some measure re­stored to health: whereupon the advice of his Physicians was, he should change the air, and get out of that could waterish place he was in, and the more because he con­stantly was troubled with an ague twice a year at least. London was the place which was thought might best agree with his thin body: a great many arguments were used by his friends to perswade him to leave Wi­venho, but none could prevail but that of necessity, by reason of the intire love he bore to his people, and the great blessing he saw God gave to his Ministry in that place. Necessity urging him more and more to look after his health; he was at length brought to hearken after a place to serve Gods Church in at London: and his intentions being made known, he was quickly called to the Parish of Bartholomews behind the Royall Exchange: the main instrument of his settlement in that living was Sir Har­bottle Grimstone who at that time dwelt [Page 24] in the same Parish, and was his exceeding good friend.

In London it pleased God, he had his health farr better than at Wivenho, and quite lost the ague he was used to have twice a year all the while he was there.

His health did not a little encourage him to his former painfulness in the work of the Ministry, in which he now laboured more a­bundantly than ever, he was more carefull of himself than ever, knowing he had now more eyes observing him than ever, and that the sins of Teachers were Teachers of sins: he was well acquainted with the meaning of the Ceremony, Lev. 8. 24. where Moses put the bloud on the lap of the Priests right ear, on the thumb of their right hand, and on the great toe of their right foot; Ministers must hear, work, and walk right: and therefore he dayly went out and in before his people, as an ensample to the flock: the very pro­fane of the Parish would say, they believed Mr. Cawton did really believe what he prea­ched, when they were ready to bark and snarl at others, and say of them (as one said of vicious Ministers) that when they are in the Pulpit it's pity they should ever come out, they are so good in their Instructions; when out of the Pulpit it's pity they should ever come in again, they are so bad in their conversations.

Having preached some time, he began to [Page 25] resume his old Theme of opposing Heresies which crept in a pace into the Kingdom: He proved a true Malleus Haereticorum, and a [...]lagellum errorum: when he had preached so zealously against the Sectaries, that his friends were afraid they would have dragg'd him out of the Pulpit, he would say, I am set for the defence of the Gospel, and am re­solved, with Gods assistance, to contend ear­nestly for the Faith.

In the year 1648. the February after King Charls the first (of glorious memory) was most inhumanly and unnaturally beheaded, he was desired by the Mayor of the City (then in being) to Preach before him and his Bre­thren the Aldermen of London at Mercers Chappel on the 25. of that Month; which he undertook, and accordingly performed. In his Prayer, as he thought it his duty, he prayed for our Legall Sovereign and the Royal Family. In his Sermon he laid nothing be­fore his Auditory but Gospel-truths; but li­miting of Souldiers too much (as they thought) to the Divine rule, and shewing them how in their places they ought to adorn the Gospel, which was a thing too precise for them that could violently do a­ny thing: he was much threatned by them, swearing they would molest him as soon as he had done, but God so restrained them that they were hindred in their design at that time: he did in his Sermon glance at [Page 26] mens pretending an impulse of spirit and thinking the success of their cause was an evi­dence of its goodness, and in severall expressi­ons did much cross the sectaries, and King­killers of that time: I have added the heads of that Sermon (as full as he writ them) to this narrative, hoping they will not be un­welcome to the world.

For that time he escaped the hands of unreasonable men, or rather the paws of roaring Lions, and raving Wolves; but not long after having a fast at his own Church, and he concluding the day, there was a warrant procured by some malicious sectaries and Soldiers, that had given in­formation of what they had heard at Mer­cers Chappel, (stiling his preaching there seditious) summoning him to appear before the Councill of State, (it might well be cal­led a Councill of Estate, for they consulted much together how to take away men estates, if not lives) when he had concluded the fast, the warrant brought by some Red­coats was presented to him in the very Church, so greedy they were of their prey, the warrant ran thus:

These are to will and require you forthwith upon sight hereof to make speedy repair into any such place where you shall understand the Person of Mr.Thomas Cawton to be, who preached before the Lord Mayor yesterday, and him you [Page 27] are to apprehend and bring in safe custody before the Councill of State for seditious preaching, here­of you are not to fail, and for so doing this shall be your sufficient Warrant.

Signed in the name and by the Order of the Council of State appointed by Authority of Parliament. Arthor Hesilrige President.
To Rowland Hawkard and Richard Freeman Messengers attending the Council of State, and to all the rest of the Messengers attending the said Council.

A true Copy of a Warrant directed to me from the Council of State the 26. of February, 1648.

per me Row. Hawkard Messenger.

This Warrant was issued out the very next day after his Sermon, but came not to him till the second of March: when he had look­ed on it, he told them (without any altera­tion in Countenance or mind) he would go along with them, only desired them to go with him to his house, that he might take [Page 28] something to refresh himself, having fasted all the day: this they though unwillingly as­sented to, and they were followed with whole multitudes of people, which thronged about the house (crying out against their unjust dealings) to see him go with the Soldiers: having refreshed himself and prayed, he sent for a Coach, and with unparallel courage and cheerfulness, taking a friend or two with him, went to the Councel of Estates, & though the Warrant was only for Sediti­ous Preaching, yet when he came before them they had nothing to lay to his charge but those words in his Prayer for our LEGAL SOVEREIGN and the ROYAL FA­MILY. He told them he came to answer for a seditious Sermon, not for his Prayer according to their Warrant, but they sa­tisfyed him no other way, than by telling him he had proclaimed the King, and that was high treason according to an Act of their own making, which made all loyalty Trea­son, when they themselves were the Tray­tors.

Hereupon that compleat Hypocrite Oliver Cromwell did with extremity of indignity & severity admonish and command him to re­cant of what he had said: but Mr. Cawton no whit daunted by his proud insolent car­riage, was Mr. Cawton still, semper idem, and told him, If I have done any thing not becoming a Minister of the Gospel, I hope I [Page 29] should be willing to recant, and that was all they could get from him: which they tak­ing as a contempt of their Authority, made it an aggravation of his crime: and order­ed that he should be kept in safe custody that night. Their Janizaries carried their Captive to the Irish harp in Kings-street Westminster, and there kept him priso­ner till the next day, and then he was a­gain brought before them, and asked whe­ther he was not sorry for what he had said, he replyed as before he had done nothing but what did become a Minister of the Gospel, and more they could not wring from him by all their menaces, and subtile captious ques­tions, and therefore seeing all they could do was in vain to move this rock, they thought delaying was but dallying, and that no argument would prevail but a Pri­son to make him recant: wherefore they agreed to send him to the Gate-house in Westminster, and immediately drew up a commitment, which was as follows.

These are to will and require you forthwith upon sight hereof to take into your custody the body ofThomas Cawton clerk, and him safely keep in your Prison of the Gatehouse, he being committed for Treason against the late Act of Parliament, of which you are in no wise to fail, and for so doing this shall be your suffi­cient [Page 30] warrant.

Signed in the name and by or­der of the Council of State ap­pointed by Authority of Par­liament. R. Denbigh. Preses pro tempore.
To the Keeper of the Gate-house, or to his Deputy.

Hereupon he was carried to the Gate-house and there imprisoned: during the time he was there, his confinement did not in the least abate his confidence, which had great reward, one affliction had fitted him for another, and the cross was to him but co­ticula fidei the whetstone of faith, he could not see any new light in a Prison, much less timorously petition a viperous brood of Usurpers, but did even then declare to all that came to him his stedfastness in and faithfulness to his former proceedings, ma­ny temptations he had to spare himself, as a sorrowfull Wife bigg with child, six small children to provide for, a good liv­ing in danger of being lost, but with a ho­ly cruelty and contempt he denyed them all, that he might deny God nothing. He spent almost half a year in Prison so exem­plarily that his life seemed to those that [Page 31] came to him no less than a miracle, able to convert Infidels: it was a Heaven on earth (nay Heaven in a Prison) to be in his company. It will be worth my pains and thy patience to take a view of those graces that did shine most radiantly in his suffer­ings: and here a great cloud of witnesses both Ministers and private Christians, and mine own observation do present me with six sparkling Diamonds, which so dazled the eyes of his visitants that all admired him for them.

1. His sincerity, this was the corner stone of all his other graces, he gave so many evident demonstrations of this, that it was as visible as if he had a casement in his breast opened for every one to gaze into his heart, he that ran might read that [...] truth in the inward parts, it was written in so legible a character in his out­ward practises. A Reverend Minister of London lately deceased, said on his death bed, Mr. Cawtons Crown was his sincerity: indeed he walked in a plain path; and made streight steps in that plain path: he ab­horred crooked ways, and would many times say, though we cannot be perfect, yet we may be sincere, again he used to say, that carnall policy would render religion despicable at last, though some men did take a great deal of li­berty to equivocate and daub over their wicked­ness; yet it would prove but untempered mor­tar: [Page 32] he observed that the strongest faith was in the purest conscience. He had his loins gird about with truth, and his heart armed a [...] well as adorned with uprightness: sinceri­ty was an ingredient in every one o [...] his actions and sufferings, and the chief cordiall that comforted his spirits, and kept them from drooping: his conscience bore witness that his sufferings were purely and meerly for God and his Cause, and tha [...] kept him from fainting fits in his work. He would speak much against half Christians that served God with a secret reserve, and for the loaves. He could serve God for nought, and thought his sincerity wa [...] nought that could not serve God for nought. He was so far from having any design of hi [...] own in his suffering, that he was of Nazian­zeus excellent temper, to thank God he had any thing to lose for Christ: He could not subject his heart to his head, his conscience to his policy, or (as one speaks) make a hole in his conscience to keep a whole skin, he could not lose well-living to keep his Living and life: in a word, his rejoycing was this, the testimony of his conscience, that in sim­plicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God he had his convesration in the world.

2. He acted Faith to the very life of it, and God did try the strength of his Faith, as well as the truth of it, and found him a faith­full [Page 33] servant, that could depend on a bare word of God, and think that security enough: he would say, that they that won't be­lieve unless they see a reason or experience, do tacitely imply that God does not speak truth unless he prove it, or at least that their faith is more in reason than in God. He could confute an eye of sence by an eye of faith, and trust providence where he could not trace it. Indeed it were no­thing to be a believer if every thing were seen here, but to put a holy confidence in that unseen power that does so mightily sup­port us, that is to believe. He promised himself but little from the creature, and so was never much deceived by it, he could ask himself that question, and answer it with the advice of the wise Hebrew.


Why shouldest thou beg of a begger? beg of God: are not all things in the hand of God? He knew the world could not give that which it had [...]ot, and therefore would not be a friend [...]o that which was never true to any that trusted it. He was one that thought he [...]ould not expect too much from God, nor [...]oo little from man: it was a note of his [...]wn, that Christ is more jealous of our faith than [...]f our love, for he'l let us believe in nothing [...]ut himself though he'l let us love somthing be­ [...]des him, so it be in subornation to him. He [Page 34] was a second Gamzu whose speech was what ever befel him [...] also this shall be for good, according to the counsel of the Rabbin,


Whatsoever comes from God, acquiesce in it, and say also this shall be for good. He believed that a good God made evils good to Believers, in making good his promise that all things should work together for good to them that love God. By faith this man of God cheerfully endured imprisonment, by faith he left his Wife and children, and friends, and living, and all, afterwards (as shall be related in its place) forsook the Land of his Nativity, not fearing the wrath of the Usurper, by faith he sojourned in a strange Country where in faith he died, faith as the Italian Ecclesiastes observes, M. Ochino predich. 2. e un lume si chiuro et alto, che offuscando gl' altri, ci fa vedere le richezze nella poverta, la gloria nelle confusioni, la securta ne pericoli, la pace nelle persecutioni, la quiete ne travagli, la felicita, nelle miserie, et la vita nella morte. Its a radiant and high light set up in the firma­ment of the Soul, which like the noonday sun darkening all other lights, makes u [...] see riches in poverty, glory in confusions, security in dangers, peace in persecutions, rest in labors, felicity in miseries, yea, life in death. I am sure he staggered not at the [Page 35] promise of God through unbelief but was strong in faith giving glory to God, and would often say none but believers make God to be God.

3. He was a Patron and pattern of self de­niall, he durst not look after great matters in the world either for himself or children, but would often say to his dear Wife, I would have thee to rejoyce more at a little grace in thy childrens hearts, than if I had thou­sands to leave them. Self denyall (it was one of his speeches) it in many mens mouths but hardly to be found in any mans practise. It is a rare thing to see self deniall take place of self love yet he could say to God minus te amat qui tecum aliquid amat quod propter te non amat, he loves God but little that loves a­ny thing with God which he does not love for God. All things in the world are but little, and yet to despise that little is a great matter non est minimum in humana vita negligere minima: but this man of God was no man for the world, because he esteem­ed all the greatness of the world unable to make him great, otherwise than by his con­tempt of it. He would often say, I do observe some professors give a great deal of scope to the flesh, which they of all men should not do, but should tye, up their affections shor­ter, and if God be God, live as those that be­lieve it. It was (as one observes) Erasmus his speech that since men could not bring the [Page 36] world to christianity they have brought christianity to the world, those precepts that have been too strict to give us liberty to fol­low the worlds vanity, we have found vain distinctions and expositions of them to make those precepts signifie no more than we practise: but we that make a good professi­on should make good our profession. For his own particular, he was one that could not take a breadth in Gods narrow, or look for much elbow room in the pinching way that leads to Heaven. He could strip him­self of his posse and possidere, all his abilities and enjoyments, and lay himself and them down at the foot of his Saviour: he was so much above himself that all things were be­low him, and thought he was never per­fectly himself, till he had perfectly put off himself, his interest, his judgment, his will, his affections, his relations, his all went at a word from Christ, he denyed him­self, and denyed all, now judge whether this were not true self-deny-all.

4. His patience was singular, which was shewn not only in bearing but in willing bearing any burden laid on his shoulders: Tolerare est patientia necessitatis, amare tolera­re est patientia virtutis, to bear is the pati­ence of necessity, to love to bear is the pa­tience of virtue: he was not so unhappy in his afflictions, as he was happy in his pa­tience. When at any time he was told of [Page 37] his patience, and that God could not have picked out such another to suffer for him, he would reply, I thank God I never am so much impatient as to see religion abused to base and private ends. All the while he was in Prison, and afterwards in all the tribulations he went through he never charged God foolishly, not discovering the least discon­tent or distast, but when his visitants wish­ed his releasment, he would say, he that be­lieveth makes no hast, and, in our afflictions we should neither faint nor fret, read the 37th Psalm; he fainted not by dispair, knowing that God was alsufficient, he fretted not by passion, kuowing that Gods cause might often need his patience, never his passion. This his patience was boiled up into joy and triumphing in tribulation, he express­ed more joy in parting with the world, than ever he did for the enjoyment of it: He was ever contented with a little of the creature; but when God called him to it he cared not for any thing of it, thinking those wants well supplyed that were sup­plyed with contentedness: It's not abun­dance that contenteth and enricheth, but want, to wit, the want of desire, for he that is poor in desires is rich in content, sum­mae opes inopia cupiditatum, He that desires nothing, is in some sort like God and those that are already blessed, who are hap­py not because they have all, but because [Page 38] Patientia non modo animi vim auget sed asperitatem ipsam doloris imminuit & pene in nihi­lum redigit, atque hinc est ut acerrimo in dolore recti quidam & immoti, alii e­tiam laeti sint.they desire nothing: comparing the 6th verse of the 4th of Phil. with the 7th, he noted that our peace of contentation makes way for Gods peace of consolation: and at a­nother time speaking of Pauls being buffe­ted, he said, God somtimes did supply his Peoples wants by wants: Thus in the worst condition he studied arguments to cause thankfulness, and being thankfull he could not but be joyfull, and being joyfull he could not be miserable. This was patience and more than patience.

5. For resolution, and execution of his resolutions none went ever beyond him, he was almost to a Proverb called, THE RE­SOLVED MAN: he chose with Atha­uasius Sedem maluit mutare quam syllabam. rather to lose his whole See than one syllable of truth and was observed by many to act more according to the willing­ness of his spirit, than according to the strength, (rather weakness) of his body: he would say, I am confident God will have me to do as well as say; true it is Q' on ne peut point trouuer de harnois pour asseurer la peur, et pour la rendre hardie: et que s'il se trou­voit des armuriers qui en sceussent et peussent faire, ils auroyent grand presse. None can find out an harness sufficient to make fear fearless and if there were any Armourors that could and would make such an har­ness they would have great custom: but God had steeled his breast with undaunted [Page 39] fortitude, and through the power of his might he could defie every thing besides and below God, the joy of the Lord was his strength, he had not only his armour on him but in him. Resolution (as one speaks) as a strong stream carries down all before it, little good is done in Religion with­out it, and with it, all is as good as done: his christian generosity and magnanimity fitted him for any encounter, and put him upon a [...], somthing more than o­ther christians could do: He said once, they that do but little for God do as much as say, that either they have but little ground why they should do much for God, or if that they have great ground they are groundless in what they do: come of it what would his heart was fixed and resolved for high and noble ex­ploits: courage it self might as soon have turned coward as he, so firm was he to his principles. He was (as Nazianzen speaks of Athanasius) both magnes and Adamas a loadstone in his sweet gentle drawing nature, and yet an adamant in his constant reso­lute, unbroken, invincible carriage, he was a wall of brass nothing could enter though every thing assaulted: He was of an heroick Spirit, as bold as a Lion, as a good Soldier induring hardship for Christ without any hard thoughts of his Master, nay thinking light of his sufferings, knowing that it was not the hardness of [Page 40] affliction so much as the tenderness and softness of our nature that makes us fear suffering, non quia dura sed quia molles pa­timur, the sufferings are not hard, but the sufferers are soft, as one speaks, we do not so much not attempt things because we find them difficult, as make them diffi­cult because we do not attempt them. He could endure any necessity rather than pre­tend a necessity of sinning, knowing with Tertullian, non admittere statum fidei alle­gationem necessitatis delinquendi, quibus una est necessitas non delinquendi, that they can­not alledge a necessity of sinning, who have but one necessity not to sin. That that made him so resolved for God was his ex­perience of Gods alsufficiency; for as one says, its good Scripture logick to draw con­clusions of confidence from premises of ex­perience, nay he himself did note out of the same AuthorMr. Reyner., that experiences are the sinews of resolution, they mettall and embolden a soul to stick to and stand for God and his cause.

Lastly he persevered in well doing, he was not for God in a mood, or when the fit took him, but went on in an even temper, and kept his pace: He was jealous of his own heart, and would say, Satan may take occasion because I have done somthing more for God than others to make me secure, which is the way to fall: which consideration made [Page 41] him so suspect himself, that with all dili­gence and heedfulness he scanned every part and passage of his life, and as he had begun well so he laboured to end well: when he saw any godly men miscarry he would say, If God should leave me to do so my life would be a burden to me: and indeed he was so tender of Gods glory, that he would rather have fryed at a stake, than have been a shame to, or ashamed of his pro­fession: He was faithfull to the death, and said often, that perseverance would set on the crown of life, which in trouble and persecu­tion he had laboured for: affliction is the antecedent of Heavenly glory ( [...],Chrysost. if no tryall no triumph) the Crown is the relative, and these must not be separated. He persisted in the former and is perfected by both.

These graces were his fellow-prisoners which welcomed all his visitants, besides the prayers which were made by him, and with him without ceasing, which were the messengers he sent abroad when he could not go forth himself. While he remained in Prison his charge was drawn up, and the time expected when the Usurpers would imbrue their hands in his bloud, yet com­ply he would not, he was as stiff as an oak in his way, and would not bend to death it self: he knew death might strike him but it could not sting him, it might let him at [Page 42] liberty from his imprisonment, it might make the Gate-house the gate of his fathe [...] house, but as for hurting of him he feared no such matter from so good a friend a [...] death is to Gods people.

In the midst of the tears, and sorrowfull sighs of his relations, and hundreds of Gods people looking for nothing but his sudden execution, it pleased God to create him a deliverance, the occasion whereof was [...] victory the Parliament (if it be not a dis­paragement to Parliaments to call it so) ha [...] obtained in Ireland; whereupon it was mo­ved in the House, that some acts of grace might be done in testimony of their thank­fulness, and it was resolved that some pri­soners should be set at liberty. Among o­thers, some moved that Mr. Cawton might have his freedom, and by their votes car­ried it clearly beyond all expectation: so God over-ruled them whose mercies were cruelties, that there was an Order made presently, which was this,

Ordered by the Commons assembled in Par­liament that Mr.Cawton be forthwith dis­charged of his imprisonment in the Gatehouse, and that the Keeper of the Gate-house do forth­with set him at liberty accordingly.

Hon: Scobell Cler. Parliament.

[Page 43] The joy that was expressed among his re­ [...]tions and all that knew him is unexpres­sible, that which himself most rejoyced at was that God had delivered him, and not [...]e himself, that he had kept a good consci­ence while he was in Prison, and that he [...]ept the same now released, that he had made no composition with the Usurpers, and that he was not only free from his confine­ment, but also free to declare to the world that he was of the same mind he was before and that a Prison and death were but poor arguments with him to deterr him from his duty.

For some short time he enjoyed respite, in which he (being returned to his parish) followed his ministeriall function with his wonted painfulness and alacrity; not o­mitting to declaim against the sins of the times, nor ceasing to pray for our Dread Soveraign.

About which time there was a plot (as they called it, known by the name of Mr. Loves plot) discovered, the design of which was to send a summ of money into Scotland to Major Generall Massie there in the Kings service: sundry Ministers were hereupon clapt up in the Tower, and Mr. Cawton be­ing conscious to the design, and a helper by his own contribution, rumors were spread abroad that he that had abused the Parliaments mercy should now infalliably go [Page 44] to it, and that he should be sent for spee­dily: This made him take advice of hi [...] friends what to do in this strait, he wa [...] counselled to keep himself secret in th [...] Country till it were seen what the Parlia­ment intended, which he did, and was hi [...] in the house of Reverend Mr. Whitaker [...] Horn-church in Essex: no sooner was he de­parted, but there came a warrant to fetch him away, but he being not to be found, th [...] Messengers watched all night at the An­twerp Tavern right over against his house thinking he might come home in the dea [...] of the night, but they were disappointed and fain to go without him.

He continued for some time at Mr. Whita­kers, and spent it most in Prayer; every week one day was set apart on purpose for it: and indeed his case was so full of Labyrinths that he knew not what to do, only his eyes were towards God to extricate him and, to lead him in aplain path because o [...] his enemies. It was thought dangerous [...] ­ly long hid for fear of his being discovered and therefore having asked Counsell a [...] the mouth of the Lord, and his judicious friends, they agreed he should be con­veyed away into Holland, in which voy­age Mr. Nalton being much threatned fo [...] the same crime, was his companion an [...] fellow-sufferer.

A little before they set upon their voyage▪ [Page 45] He most solemnly takes his leave of his dear Wife in two letters, sent speedily one after another, which because they shew his faith, patience and resolution in sufferings, I think [...]t will not be amisse to insert,

The one was this,

Dear Heart,

—I am joyfull that God hath assisted thee in the midst of thy sorrowes, and sufferings, so that thou art enabled to bear up, and to encourage thy self in God, and look upon his hand, as the work, of a Father towards his Child. Read Heb 12. and then see what way God takes with his Children.—I do not fear but God will be thy husband in mine absence, and the Father of my fatherless Children; let them be taught the fear of the Lord, and then they shall not want any good thing, and then he that leaves not his will be their portion and God alsufficient. I shal indeavour to lay up a stock of prayers in heaven for them, I hope I shall Pray, and not faint, both for thee and them, the Lord increase our faith, and then be it unto us according to Gods promises and our faith. We must not be so covetous as to desire two heavens; the wicked have their Portion in this life, we in another; here persecuted, in the world to come the crown that is laid up for us, which [Page 46] the righteous Judge shall give unto u [...] reioyce more to see grace in thy Children hearts, than if thou hadst thousands t [...] give them. Know that he that is our Go [...] is the God of our seed, and thou remem­brest what the holy man of God said, I never saw the righteous forsaken, nor b [...] seed begging bread. Train up our chil­dren in their catechism, and in frequent reading of the Scriptures, let them know the Scriptures from their childhood, and they will make them wise unto salvation let me and them enjoy thy prayers, an [...] the fervent prayers of all our sincer [...] friends: whatsoever is laid aside let no [...] the work of prayer be forgotten. Min [...] my friends of my condition, that they may begg a way of the Lord for me; an [...] that I may be counselled from Hea­ven how to imploy my self, and that may not be wholly laid aside as useless and that if God will give me my life thi [...] time also, I may lay it out more than eve [...] for his glory; and that God would kee [...] me from the snares of the place where [...] may dispose of me. I have lost much tim [...] and now would fain redeem some of it if God will give an opportunity, when God has brought me to a place of rest, shall (I hope) not loyter in my studies as [...] have done. If I have an opportunity m [...] friends of the Ministry and others sha [...] [Page 47] hear from me. The Lord help us to keep the word of his patience, that he may keep us in the hour of temptation. What­soever my Brethren can lawfully do and without scandall to the wisely Godly, I desire (if it may advantage me for my true and safe liberty) that I may not be left out. Remember me to all our Friends that love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity,—Improve thine Interest for me i [...] Heaven, that as the Church had two wings of a great Eagle given her, that she might flye from the Draggon into the Wilderness, so God would make me a member of that Church & give me the benefit of those wings. What shall I say more to thee, the Lord blesse thee, the peace of God that passeth understanding guard thy heart, the joyes of the Holy Ghost that are unspeakable fill thy soul: I wish thy perfection. Thou art mine, and I am thine; the great sea shall not quench our love, the blessings of heaven and earth be upon thee. Far­well, farwell in the Lord, the Lord in his good time bring us together again. Adiew in Christ,

Thine through Christ really, cor­dially a sympathizing Husband.

The other letter written upon the receit, of a letter from his Wife, in which she [Page 48] testified her willingnesse to submit to God and to follow him where ever God should place him, was this,

Dear Heart.

I have read thy sweet and gratious letter with teares, and great ioy: the Lord make way for our happy meeting; at the throne of grace we shall meet I hope every day. I know God will appeare for thee and me and stirr us up friends—let us la­bour to act faith, and say dayly Lord increase our faith. It's a very great mer­cy that the Lord was pleased to deliver me this time, as I hope he will. I grieve at the very heart to hear what—have done not only to accuse themselves but to betray the lives of their Brethren; yet I will not boast, I do not know what my vile heart might have done, I will rather judge my self, I know my own great unbe­lief and base fear, the Lord help me a­gainst them. I do not fear but that Christ will be thy Husband, and make up all in my absence. If God make my way plain before me I shall look upon it (as things now stand) as the greatest mercy ever befell me in the matter of delive­rance, and that if he give me my life this second time, I hope I shall improve it better for his glory than ever I have done. I see I could not be without this [Page 49] tryall, and yet I think I was not fit for the greatest of this affliction, and there­fore I hope God will lay no more upon me than I am able to bear, and will make away to escape. I hope that I shall at last learn to live that which I have preach­ed unto others. I grieve for my dear friends in the Parish that will be left as sheep without a shepheard, but God will provide for them; remember my dear af­fection to them all, they shall have my prayers; and I hope I shall have theirs. I hope God will make way for the imploy­ment of that poor Talent he hath given me, if not in my Native Country, yet some other where. I have been unprofi­table, and therefore God may lay me a­side, but I hope he will still make use of me. But sweet soul, how shall I leave thee and my little ones behind me? yet we shall only in body and place be separa­ted, not in mind and affection. For di­rections I know not what to give thee, only be thankfull, if God hath left this back door for thy Husband, and hath not shut him up in the Tower, from whence no re­demption, but upon sad tearms, which would have been worse than death. Re­member what I preached, troubled on every side, yet not distressed, God hath troubled thee and me on every side, yet hi­therto we never were so distressed as that [Page 50] there was not some way to escape.—My heart cannot express its love to thee, much less my Pen, be assured I shall be the same I ever was; when God shall bring us toge­ther it will be a resurrection from the dead: what shall I say? I shall now leave thee, but not lose thee, and when I leave thee, thou hast one that wil never leave thee nor forsake thee; my heart will be with thee, wheresoever my body shall be. Speak to all my dear friends, that they would pray for me more than ever, that I may not fall into the hands of unreasonable men, and that God would make my way plain before me, and that he, who is the God of the Sea and dry land would bring me to my desired Haven. What can I say more unto thee? but the Lord bless thee, and make his face to shine upon thee; the Lord fill thy heart with joy and gladness by believing: be of good cheer, my sweet soul, it's better thy Husband should be ta­ken from thee, than not be. Learn to walk without such a poor arm of flesh: remem­ber how long thou hast enjoyed me beyond expectation.—My serious blessing to my poor babes, I shall pray for all o [...] them. Farewell my dearly beloved in the Lord, Farewell. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with thee, Amen, Amen.

Thy sincere, cordiall and truly loving Husband.

[Page 51] Presently after the writing of these Let­ters, (in which above all things I cannot but take notice of his humility and vile e­steem of himself) he made preparation for his voyage, and secretly departed by ship­ping to Rotterdam, from whence he and Mr. Nalton went to the University of Lei­den, intending to sit down a while there, till the storm in England was blown over: yet Gods providence so ordered it (that though they came somthing under a dis­guise) yet they were quickly known, and speedily messengers were sent from the En­glish Congregation at Rotterdam to find them out, and bring them thither, the place being at that very time by Gods pro­vidence destitute of a Minister. The En­glish Messengers found them out at Leiden, and saluted them with the speech of the Ma­cedonian man, come and help us. They did not a little wonder how they should be known to be Ministers, seeing they kept themselves so private, and were not at all to be discerned by their garb. But turning their admiration into adoration they prais­ed God for the door he had opened to let them into their former imployment, and went a long with the messengers (better messengers than those that brought the war­rant) to Rotterdam, where they were joyfully entertained by the English, particularly by Mr. Harris and Mr. Shepheard, and were [Page 52] received into Mr. Shepheard's house. The Sabbath-day came wherein Mr. Cawton preached in the forenoon, and Mr. Nalton in the Afternoon, with general approbation: thus these Prophets were not without ho­nour save in their own Country, and though they of whom their Country was not wor­they were counted unworthy their Country, yet he that honours them which honour him counted them worthy of double honour, and gave them that in a strange land, which their own Land did not afford.

No sooner had Nimrod, that mighty hun­ter, chased these lambs out of their Native Land, but he and his creatures sent Mr. Love out of his earthly into an heavenly coun­try, by beheading that faithfull Antipas, for his love and Loyalty to his Majesty's service, to the dishonour of Religion, and grief of Gods People all over the Nation, and especially of his two banished Brethren.

They continued Preachers at Rotterdam, and though they were generally beloved and respected, yet they met with much opposi­tion from some of the Independent party, and had many disputes with them to good purpose, in so much that being vanquished they vanished and never appeared after to molest them o [...] the English Church, which before was Independent, but now was brought off, and remains▪ so to this day▪ Mr. Cawtons wife followed her Husband [Page 53] with some of her Children, and safely came to him at Rotterdam, where they most joyful­ly met together, and remained. Mr. Nal­ton having staid about half a year there, had leave to come home again, and so return­ed into England: No pardon for Mr. Caw­ton that had abused former pardon but upon base and unworthy tearms, which kept him where he was, alone to supply the place of Minister to the English Congregation. That which he most rejoyced at was, that he was out of the reach of Temptations, he would say, it's a blessed thing for those that have not strong grace, to be out of Temptations: for Temp­tations may make great alterations.

He did not at all hanker after his Native Country, but was weaned from it to admira­tion, when his Wife spake of coming to England, he would say, it may be God will call me to exercise more and greater resolution and sincerity than ever I have, he did exactly verifie that which a Reverend Minister of London said in a letter to him, a Godly man is a Plant will thrive in any soil: any place is a Country to him who makes no place here below his Country, but as a Pilgrim and stranger seeks a better Country, that is an heavenly. He that is [...], is [...], a Citizen of Heaven is a Citizen of any place on Earth, it's all one to him where he is. He [...]ook extraordinary pains in preaching to his Congregation twice every Lords day, and [Page 54] spent himself infinitely by reason of the want of help, there being few or none that could preach in the English tongue: yet he persisted though he were not assisted by any but Gods alsufficient assistance, by which he was able to say often, when I am weak, then am I strong, I have laboured, yet not I.

And thus I have traced the severall passa­ges and parts of this Man of God's life: give me leave (Reader) to leave him a while at Rotterdam, and to give thee a view of some things observable that were common to e­very place he was in, I shall reduce them to the common place of his Relations, as a Mi­nister, a Master, an Husband and a Father, these heads will take in what ever I shall speak in reference to his severall Relations, which being dispatched, I shall return to [...] further description of his life in Holland.

First then as a Minister, he knew there w [...] onus as well as honos ministerii, the work a [...] well as the worth, the duty as well as the dignity of the ministry, and therefore h [...] did not so much desire praeesse as prodesse, to be esteemed chief as to be profitable: I nee [...] not give any more instances of his unwearied labours in the vineyard of God, or of his sincerity in his work, dressing the Vine, no [...] for the vintage, but for his Master who h [...] hired him to labour: it will be superfluous t [...] tell you he was an experienced Preacher he felt what he spoke and then spoke what h [...] [Page 55] felt: he was not overcurious in his words, but used such as were very significant, the paint of eloquence does but besmear and darken the pearl of the Gospel: truth is most beautiful in its own dressings, and is ashamed to see it self clad with the flanting and adul­terous attire of eloquence: yet He could say with the Father, Lactant. vellem mihi dari eloquen­tiam, vel quia magis credunt homines veritati ornatae, vel ut ipsi suis armis vincantur, I like eloquence only because either men give more credit to truth in robes, than to truth in rags, or that they may be disarmed with their own arms; Rhetorick is a flexanimous suada, and causes often the matter with the words sweetly to slide in the hearts of the hearers. But though he did love in veris ver­ba, yet he did in verbis vera amare non verba, though he loved good words in expressing the truth, yet he loved the truth expressed with good words, not the words. He could at his pleasure use eloquence, but he could do more, that is, deny his eloquence, and preach with more affection than affectation: He used so much Art as rightly to divide, not to rend the word of truth; he preached not to shew his learning, but that the ignorant might learn: in a word, he was [...], the Master of words: but thought it better to be a Minister of the word, and in his Ministry to omit his Mastry. I need not tell you of his trials, his whole life was but [Page 56] [...]. Chrysost. Hom. 21. p. 322.one continued series of Temptation; He was given to prayer and mditation, to which if you add his sufferings for a good conscience, you may behold the character of a compleat Divine, whose three notes (according to Luther) are, Oratio, Meditatio, et Tentatio, Prayer, meditation and temptation. But these are generals, to descend to a few per­ticulars.

1. He was an excellent Textuary, well read in the sacred pages, he was an Ark of Scripture, and would often say, that Ser­mon is no Sermon to me that is not full of rightly applied Scriptures, his eloquence consisted in his being [...] able or mighty in the Scrip­tures, as it's noted of Apollos, Act. 18. [...]4. he was an eloquent man [...] good at wording, but it's immediately added, mighty in the Scriptures, his good words were the sound words of the Holy leaves. I believe if Apollos should come unknown and preach amongst the florid Orators of this age, he would scarcely be accounted eloquent, because he would coat too much Scripture, and yet we see the Scripture puts ableness in Scripture and ableness in eloquence together, nay Scripture language seems the only Divine eloquence, and a Divine should be ashamed to speak without it. This holy man of God so accustomed himself to the Scriptures that he never rose in a morning but the first thing he did was to take his Bible into his hand, [Page 57] and so lifting up his eyes to heaven in a most serious manner, he prayed shortly, and then read some portion of Scripture or other: which being observed by his loving Consort, she asked him why he used that practise? and he told her, ▪it was my custome ever since God made me a Minister. Neither did he only de­light in Gods law, but was very clear and plain in expounding it also, he could fit his discourses on it to every necessity and capa­city; but which was most, he interpreted Scripture (as one speaks in Solomons words) with his feet, and taught it with his fingers, his walking and working were Scripture ex­plications: his life was a lively effigies and transcript of the word of life, and he cast in­to the mould of it, there was a sweet and harmonious concord and correspondence between the originall and the copy, the Bi­ble and his conversation.

2. He was Minister (as hath been declared) in three Places, Wivenho, London, and Rot­terdam▪ and in every one of these he preach­ed ov [...] the whole body of Divinity very me­thodically and exactly, and though it were in different places, yet he never preached one old Sermon, but has left three bodies of Divinity, on severall texts, and differently handled, behind him as witnesses of his la­boriousnesse in his function, nay all the while he was in Holland he never preached one old Sermon. By going through a Sy­stem [Page 58] of Theologie he laid a foundation for his People to build on, and successively held forth one head after another, all they were to believe, or do: In this Narrative I shall not shew the use of Systems, only this I may affirm, that such forms of sound words are the best provision a Pastor can lay in for his flock, if he would have them sound and free from the contagion of Heresie on the one, and profaneness on the other hand: a body of Divinity, is physick to souls and bodies of ignorant People, these [...], healthfull wholsome words do both pre­serve from sickness, and procure lost health no remedy against the malady of heresie, no salve for the sore of heterodoxie so proper as an [...] or platform of Divinity.

3. He was eminent for the study of the Sa­craments, especially the Lords supper, he was noted by many to be singularly well versed in the doctrine, of this Sacrament particularly in that great work of self-exa­mination, and self-judging, but in the practise of it he was most Divine a [...] Sera­phick, whether he received from another or administred it himself he did it with so much reverence and affection that he was almost transported on a Sacrament day. The first time he ever received he was so deeply affect­ed with the love of his Saviour that he soun­ded away as soon as he had received the bread, and not coming to himself till the Sa­crament [Page 59] was ended, he had the cup admini­stred to himself alone, thus he was sick of love for him that dyed out of love to him: ever since he was Minister he celebrated the Lords supper with so much heavenliness, and seriousness that all his Communicants could not choose but observe and admire him, as if they had received Angels food from the hand of an Angel, for at that work he shew­ed himself more than man.

4. In writing his sermons he used to set down nothing but his heads and places of Scripture, so that his notes are very short, and so very unfit for the publick: he never read any thing in his Sermons, but always laid his notes behind him, and would de­hort young men from reading, telling them that memory loved to be trusted: he could ve­ry aptly and affectionately enlarge upon his short heads ex tempore, and with a little prae­meditation would (even when he was young) insist two hours upon so many heads as might be contained in less than half a page in small octavo, as I have books and papers of his to shew. This his brevity has hindred the publishing of any of his works though they were much desired, especially his Sy­stemes of Divinity, and severall excellent Sermons on assurance: only I have here gi­ven a specimen, one Sermon annexed to this Narrative which was never intended by him for the press, that the Christian [Page 60] Reader may have somthing of his, it being the fullest written of any Sermon of his I could find, though in it self it be very short.

5. He himself observed that Providence kept him about seven years in every place he was in, God so ordered his affairs that he was seven years at Cambridge, seven at Wivenho, seven at London, and as many at Rotterdam, He would often say towards the end of the seventh year in Holland, where shall I be next? but God had no more ap­prentiships for him to serve; The good and faithfull servant that had his Masters joys entering into him here, is now entred into his Masters joy, he could not contain them all, and therefore they contain him: the less was laid out for him here the more was laid up for him in Heaven. He that thought Heaven to be perfect without the Earth, and Earth without Heaven to be Hell, is now above Earth and Hell: his seven years are now turned into eternity, and all his gra­ces swallowed up in glory, glorious things are spoken of thee, (and now by thee) O man of God! thou art gone to preach Heavenly Sermons, and art become of a Minister a Mi­nistring spirit before the Lord, verily I say unto thee, thou hast thy reward.

Thus as a Minister.

As a Master, he was a Prophet, Priest, and King in his Family, a Prophet to teach, a [Page 61] Priest to pray for, and a King to govern it, he was a true Pater familias, not so much a Master as a Father of a family; though he could trust God when Gods cause required it with his family, yet he did provide for it (God inabling him) in a plentifull manner, though he thought him worse than an Infi­del that provides not for his own house, yet he counted him no better than an Infidel that does it by Infidelity, or any other un­warrantable means. He could not abide to trouble himself with worldly affairs, but committed all to his second self: He thought it below a man, much more below a Minister, to be at leisure to take account of what was spent in his house: He was given to hospitali­ty, even in Holland where his means were smal in comparison of his charge; he never dined on a Sabbath day without some of the poorer sort of his Congregation, and he would be sure not to forget to call upon them when he came out of the Church, to come and take part of what God had given him. He was so milde and meek natur'd to his Ser­vants, that he did seem rather to love than to rule them; he thought impetrare melius quam imperare, it better to desire than com­mand them: by which sweet disposition he wrought so deeply upon them, that they could not but love him and speak well of him, nay some of his servants, next to God, owe their Salvation to his Ministry and con­versation; [Page 62] He was the same at home he was abroad, and the same in his heart as he was in his house: He kept a constant hour morn­and evening for reading the Scripture to, and praying with his family, thinking that they that kept no set time were in dan­ger to keep no time. Company coming in at the time set a part for family duties, if they were such as he knew would join with him, he desired them to stay with him and defer their business till after prayers; if they were such as he thought would not joyn with him, he would send his second self a part with his children to pray with them. Thus this man of God behaved himself as a Master.

As an Husband, he was loving and tender; he chose a Wife for her lovely vertues, and loved her with the greatest affection; he found not only his Rib, but his Heart when he found her; they wedded one anothers humors as well as persons, and so went the shortest way to perfection. He never denied her any thing in all his life that was consist­ent with his Ministry, and she never desired any thing but what was becoming the Gos­pel. He made her his Collateral, not his Servant; if he were the Head, she was not at his feet, but at his side, and in his heart. He would be stirring her up to resolution for God, not that he thought her backward, but to make her more forward. He would com­municate his secrets to her whom he knew to [Page 63] be faithful, and of his mind. He would not slight her advice and counsel in any business, but if good, embrace and execute it. As for Temporals, he gave her the disposing of all, himself seldom medling with any such affairs unless they were too hard for her to do. In all things he behaved himself so as in all the 20 years they were married to one another there was not the least jar or discord, no, not dissent or dislike between them, but a perfect sympathy and union, nay unity of affections.

As a Father, he was very carefull for his childrens good, training them up in the way they should go; he took a great deal of pains to instruct and catechise them, to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; he counted good education the best portion, it's well said of one, that a little grace will make a great shew in a well­bred person, whereas a great deal of grace will make but a little shew in an ill­bred person. He had taken Gods testimonies as an heritage for ever; he had not only a lease in them for his own life, but did endeavour to conveigh them to his posterity: he com­manded his Children [...] him to keep this in­heritance, not to a [...]e [...]ate it whatever they parted with: he was almost ambitious to have grace and godliness perpetuated in his Progeny. He was very exemplary to his Children, and did blondissimè juber [...] exemple, sweetly command by his example, with a [Page 64] welcome violence, and free necessity he insi­nuated into their hearts; they were constrai­ned, and yet consented; there was so power­full and attractive a virtue in his carriage, it would have forced love from a marble brest. To his example he added many encourage­ments both by speeches and gifts; he never let any sparks go out for want of blowing up either by commendation or reward; he was wisely indulgent, and would dispense with any slip but breaking of God Laws. If he came to correct his Children, he did it with so much love, that his sweet admoniti­ons and pathetical instructions, shewing the evil they had done, and his lothness to cor­rect, but that it was Gods Ordinance, did more break their hearts than the correction it self: He was often so moved with com­passion, his fatherly bowels did so yearn over them, that the tears would trickle a pace from his eies when he was correcting them: no­thing ever wrought upon me like this sight, which did plainly convince his Children of his unwillingness to chastise, but that he was forced to it; his tea [...] did sink so deep into their hearts, that the [...] [...]ould not but be sof­tened at least for that time; for, believe me, to see ones Parents weep cannot but be a great grief to dutiful Children. He had his Children in subjection with all gravity; and yet I may say, that never was Father so little feared as he, because so much loved. In a [Page 65] word, he left his Children God for a Father when he left them; and they count it no small priviledge, that they can call God the God of their Father; for, [...] he that kept the Fathers will keep the Children.

Thus I have given you a rude draught of this Man of God, in his several relations, in every one of which he was another Apelles, Rom. 16. 10. [...], approved in Christ, a currant Christian, (as the Greek word signifies) one accepted and allowed of, as being not counterfeit, but of the right stamp. He was good in all his relations, which is a character of a good man, and (which is much) was ne­ver known to give offence to any.

To return from whence I digressed, This Man of God had not been long at Rotterdam, but his fame was spread abroad all over the united Provinces, especially Holland; He that valued Gods glory above his Name in his own Countrey, received his own name in a strange, and Gods glory in an heavenly Countrey. He shone in that Firmament as a Star of the first magnitude, and was highly esteemed of by the Dutch, French and En­glish Ministers round about. He had corre­spondence with most of the famous Professors, particularly with Dr. Gisbert Voetius, Divini­ty Professor, and Mr. Leusden, Professor of the Oriental Languages at Ʋtrecht, with Mr. Ʋchtman and Mr. Hulsius, both Hebrew Pro­fessors, [Page 66] the one of Leiden, the other of Breda: several Letters there passed between them, some of which I have to shew.

From England he had whole showers of Letters from his Brethren the Ministers, and his friends congratulating his safety, and li­berty to speak boldly in the name of Christ. He was much honored, and often written to by Dr. Walton, & was not a little useful in pro­moting the great work of the Polyglot Bible, partly by procuring subscriptions, partly by sending over Manuscripts. He was after­wards written to by Dr. Castell, whose Poly­glot Lexicon got several Subscriptions by his means: and by Mr. Samuel Clark concerning another Volume to be added to the Oriental Bible: he was known to be of so publick a spirit in any thing that was for the profit of the Common-wealth of Learning, and the good of Gods Church, that he was sought to of most that did any singular matter in order to the encrease of learning.

Though Rotterdam were a place very wa­terish and could, yet He took great notice of Gods great goodnesse in reference to his health, which was better the five first yeares, than ever it had bin in any place in his own Country. It's not an healthful climate but a good Physitian, even the Lord that healeth us, that makes us healthfull. He would say, I thank God I have preached twice a day every Lords day (besides fast and thanksgiving days, [Page 67] as also his monthly administration of the Sa­crament) for five years together, and have not had five (three was the most) Sermons given me.

But the two or three last yeares he was weak, and for half a year together went with a continuall pain at his stomack, so that it was a very difficult thing for him to Preach, yet he left not off, but cheerfully and constantly preached, as at other times: though he never went up into the Pulpit, but every one thought he would either faint or die before he came down: he was indeed weary in his work, but never weary of his work. Once he did faint in the Pulpit, inso­much that his voice failed him, and he was taken down, being unable to proceed, but by the means of cordial Waters given him he recovered his Spirits in some measure, yet not so as to Preach in the afternoon: when his Friends came about him in the evening, he told them, the Pulpit is a good place to die in. By the next Sabbath he was (by Gods bles­sing) recruited, and preached forenoon and afternoon with much vigour and zeal: but from that time till within half a year of his death I saw him evidently decay.

About this time he had an only Son al­most fit for the University, whom he did always, but especially now much instruct, and forward in his studies: Mr. Robert She­ringham being then in exile at Rotterdam, he [Page 68] sent his son to him to learn the Hebrew, Sy­riack, and Arabick tongues, before he went to the Academy: and would every morn­ing call him to his bedside, to expound a Greek or Hebrew chapter: He spent much time in catechizing him in particular, sea­soning him with the knowledge of God, and charging him to walk as in Gods sight, when he was from under his Fathers eye. The time coming, he went with him to the Uni­versity of Ʋtrecht, and there bestowed him, committing him to the care of Dr. Gisber­tus Voetius, and his son Mr. Daniel Voetius, both Professors in that University, and e­minent for learning and piety. He gave his son much good counsell and directions in his studies, and was very desirous of his pro­gress: He would strive to enflame this young schollar's heart with an Heroick ambition to get learning, and as he himself had done; and would exhort him most affectionately to strive to be inter eruditissimos non inter medio­cres. He gave him these four rules, which be­ing observed, were very effectuall to get learning, and to keep it in readiness.

  • 1. To consider one's own parts and time, and accordingly to order and dispose one's time.
  • 2. To be always doing, constant in studies, like Mr. Calvin, who being asked why he was always at it? returned this answer,
    Scit virtus hoc tempus esse mi­ [...]itiae non tri­ [...]mphi, atque ideo nunquam [...]orpet & sem­per in actu est.
    Do­minus cum venerit inveniet me laborantem: [Page 69] when the Lord comes he shall find me work­ing.
  • 3. To review over things again and a­gain; this rule is so profitable that Al [...]edius said, all learning was contained in this one word (REPETE) this was famous Dr. Whitakers practise, he read over his Gram­mar, and logick once a year.
  • 4. To note in reading some specialls, and many things to referr.
    [...] Isocrat.

His Son thought good to communicate a Letter of advice (written to him by his Fa­ther) to me, which because of the use it may have among young Students; and to show his great care in training him up for the work of the Ministry, I cannot but impart, the Letter is as followeth, out of his sons own copy.

Son Tho.

I am glad to hear of your welfare and studies: my directions at present in order to your happy and safe progress in learning are,

That you would take what counsel you can to get a fixed, and regular method in your studies, that they may [Page 70] neither be confused nor troublesome. I send you here a little Bisterfeldii Logica. Book, in the end of which are two little treatises, which I would have you read over a thousand times, and to have them per­fect at your fingers ends: the one he calls Phosphorus Catholicus, or the art of meditation: the other consilium de studiis feliciter instituendis, you must now begin to settle your self in an unchangeable method of studies, that you must hold to all your life, you must always be noting of what you hear, read, and observe. I think you can­not be better advised by any than by this little treatise: yet somthing may be added to it in the matter of taking notes, and about paper-books, you must enquire what method others follow, and compare theirs with this, and what you find excellent in theirs add to this. I do intend to consider, what paper­books you must have for all sorts of learning: in the mean time I would have you note things in a quire of pa­per, that you may transcribe them when you have setled your method: you may call your book of daily notes [Page 71] your Diary, and here there must be nul­la dies sine linea. This method of your studies must be long deliberated on, because it is but once to be done.

I much desire that you should sud­denly take a A Colledge is taken in tho [...]e Univer­sities for a number of Scholars mee­ting together to hear the Professor read in private. Colledge under the Pro­fessor eloquentiae, and that you would diligently follow the exercises of that Colledge, for if you can get the Art of speaking, and making Orations well, it will be a great help to you in order to the obtaining an outward grace in your delivery, when you come to preach: as you frame your elocution, and gesture now while you are young, such they will be when you come to age. I would have you to write all your Let­ters to me in Latine, for exercise sake; exercises are the very spirit of studies: learn to make your sentences more short and quick.

Vita minutissi­mis p [...]rtiunc [...] ­lis dum datur, eripitur.You have your time before you, and you may say with the ancient, si non nunc, quando? therefore be carefull you lose it not, for it is short, that which is past you can never recover, and what is to come you know not, whether you may live to come to it; and for the [Page 72] present time, it's but a moment that soon passeth away: now is the time while you are young to perfect your self, in Philosophy, languages, and all other Divine and humane learning: now your parts are vigorous, and now you have nothing else to do, or to molest you. Be constant in reading over the old Testament and new in their ori­ginals, that you may be very ready in the Texts of Hebrew and Greek. I have heretofore counselled you to read often St. Pauls Epistles to Timothy and Ti­tus, and can do no other but put you in mind again.Oratione ope­ratio, & opera­tione fulciatur oratio. Jerom. Pray to God daily for a blessing on your studies: Luther got more learning by prayer than by study: follow Pauls rule, keep your self pure, that the sins of your youth may not be a trouble to you in your old age: add Gods fear to all your studies, know­ing that the fear of the Lord is the be­ginning of true wisdom.Melius est bo­num fieri quam doctum.

My desire is not only to have you a Schollar, but an excellent Schollar, let therefore your resolutions and en­deavours be to excell, get as far on as may be, and let not others overtake [Page 73] you, let that noble spirit be in you to get above others, and to put out your parts. I desire nothing but (as St. Paul saith) [...], 1 Tim. 4. 15.your perfection, and with Peter, that you may daily grow in grace and knowledge, give your self wholly to these things, that your profiting may appear to all, that you may be a workman that needeth not be ashamed. I send you Ringelsberg, and desire you to read e­very day one chapter in it, it is a Book that will put mettall into a Schollar; I hope the excellency of A famous learned Virgin at Ʋtrecht Anna Maria Schurman will provoke you young Schollars with a gallant indignation, not only to do so well as she hath done, but also to go beyond her.

Let us know what you do in French, for which I would have you spare one hour in a day, that when you are ma­ster of that, you may begin with Itali­an, and so with Spanish, in these lan­guages there are many excellent Books; if you could converse with some Schol­lar that hath the French tongue perfect, you might get it with ease; when you understand a little go to the French Church; always be speaking that little [Page 74] you have: it may be hereafter you may go into France, and study some time there.

As to your A Dissertati­on printed af­terwards by his Son at Ʋ ­trecht, de vsu linguae Hebreae in philosophia theoretica. Dissertation, I would have you look it over many times, and to be adding, and mending of it daily, till you have brought it to perfestion: Quisquis ad summam perve­nisse se credit in hoc primum fallitur, quod ubi credit esse non est: deinde quod illuc se­rentem viam aberrando dese­rit, dumque quod non hab [...]t anticipat, quod habere potu­isset, sponte sua negligit. Nihil tam profectui adver­sum quam perfectionis opinio, nemo studet agere quod pere­gisse se putat. Petrarcha.be very curious about the stile, and furnish it with as much Learning as may be; let this be your Rule, to think it never wel enough: you must remember Rin­gelsberg's Rule, resolve in all things to contemn Me­diocria; do [...], some excellent thing, Mat. 5▪ 46, 47. according to the Apostle, see that ye excell [...], 1 Cor. 14. 12. I shall pray that God would warm and stir up both grace and learning in you: as in the World every man would be more rich and honorable than another, so let this holy emulation be in you, both for Grace and Learning: RESOLVE NONE SHALL GO BEYOND YOƲ.

I very well approve of your following the Chaldee Paraphrase, and the being [Page 75] exast in the punctation. I will send Clenard's Epistles, which I hope will stir up your zeal towards the Arabick tongue: they were commended to me by the learned Arabick Professor, Mr. A­braham Wheelock, when I began to study Arabick; they are very good E­pistolary Latine, and there are many things in them worth the taking notice of.

I would have you dispute often in the Schooles; disputing will quicken your parts, and raise your spirits too: you must do it with all your might as for victory.

I see you have much work upon your hands, the good God of Heaven help you to go through it to his glory, to your Parents comfort, and to your own com­fort and benefit. The God of wisdom breath upon your studies: be sure to get what learning you can; Si patrem ad­huc habes ute­re sedulo, fugi­tiva jucunditas pater senex.while your Fa­ther lives, your Father grows ancient and infirm, and you know not how soon God may call him from you: you are only [...]e that I hope to see come up to somthing, before I die; and if it shall please God to let me live so long, [Page 76] as to see you throughly furnished for the work of the Ministry, it will be great satisfaction to mee, and above all to see you endued from Heaven with grace as well as abilities.

Believe that your Father, and Mo­ther both shall be so carefull of you, that you shall have all the encourage­ments we are able to give you, even to our uttermost, that you may proceed cheerfully and with courage in your stu­dies: do all that is of good report, want nothing.

Use recreati­on not as that thou likest, but as that thou lackest.Have a care of your health, and use some Schollar-like exercise, that will stand without loss of time, read, note, write, meditate, pray much, lose not the least inches of time. The reason I press you to so many things, is that when you are dulled with one, you may refresh your self with another; variety will fallere taedium in the course of your studies.

Your mother, and my self send you our blessing, counting it our only bles­sing here, to see our children walking in the truth, that good man old Dr. Vo­etius will endeavour to season your [Page 77] heart in the matter of religion, without which, learning is but a sword in a mad mans hand. Christ Jesus dwell in your heart, and keep you, and open your understanding to understand the Scrip­ture. I have nothing else, but to be­lieve that God will make you an instru­ment of his glory and our comfort, to his grace I commend you, and rest,

Your Loving Father THO. CAWTON.

Having setled his Son at Ʋtrecht, it plea­sed God to give him another son, which was his third child in Holland, and the last he had. He named him [...] Exod. 2. 22. Gershom, for be said, I have been a stranger in a strange Land: and devoted him like another Samuel to the Lord and the Ministry from his cradle: but Gods providence hath taken him away from us, to be a companion to his Father in glo­ry as well as in sufferings.

A little after in the year 1658. the Kings Majesty being at Bruxells, and calumniated as being a Papist, his Majesty was pleased to send a Letter to Mr. Cawton, testifying his constancy in the Protestant religion, and desiring him to wipe off that unjust aspersion by satisfying all of his stedfastness in that re­ligion, the Letter was printed a little be­fore [Page 78] his Majesties return to this Kingdom, to clear him then, and deserves here to be inserted: it is this,


TRusty and welbeloved, we greet you well, we have received so full a testimony from persons (to whom we give intire credit) of your good af­fection to our Person, and zeal to our service, that we are willing to recom­mend an affair to you, in which we are very much concerned. We do not won­der that the malice of our enimies should continue to lay all manner of scandals upon us, which might take a­way our reputation; but that they should find credit with any to make our affection to the Protestant religion in any degree suspected, is very strange, since the world cannot but take notice of our constant, and uninterrupted profession and exercise of it, in those places where the contrary Religion is only practised, and allowed. And though we do not boast of doing that, which we should be heartily ashamed if we did not do; we may reasonably be­lieve [Page 79] that no man hath, or can more ma­nifest his affection to, and zeal for the Protestant Religion, than we have done; or in some respects hath more suffered for it. And therefore we are the more sen­sibly affected, that those calumnies can make impression, to our disadvantage, in the minds of honest, and pious men, as we are informed they have done. And we do the rather impart the sense we have of our suffering in this parti­cular to you, because, as you have the charge of the English Congregation in Rotterdam; so you cannot but have much conversation and acquaintance with the Ministers of the Dutch Church, and others in that populous place, with whom we would not suffer under so un­just and scandalous an imputation. And we presume and axpect from you, that you will use your utmost diligence and dexterity, to root out those un­worthy aspersions, so maliciously and groundlesly laid upon us by wicked men; and that you assure all, who will give credit to you, that we value our self so much upon that part of our Title of being Defendor of the faith, that [Page 80] no worldly temptations can ever prevail with us to swerve from it, and the Pro­testant Religion, in which we have been bred: the propagation whereof we shall endeavour with our utmost power. And as we shall never fail in the per­formance of our duty herein, so we shall take the offices you shall do, in vindicating us from these reproaches, very well from you. In which we pro­mise our self you will serve us effectu­ally. And so we bid you farewell. Gi­ven at our Court at Bruxels, the se­venth day of November, in the tenth year of our Reign.

By his Majesty's command. EDWARD NICOLAS.

The Latine Translation of this Letter was sent at the same time from the King, which for brevities sake I omit.

The last half year he was taken notice of, to look better, and some said fatter in the face than ever before, insomuch that many of his friends were not a little deceived: the truth is, he himself found himself better than ever, yet did many times cast out spee­ches, as if he could not live long.

The last Sabbath he ever preached was the third of August 1659. that day he admini­stred [Page 81] the Sacrament of the Lords Supper with his wonted heavenliness, and preached fore­noon and afternoon, with as much zeal as ever he was known to do: his Text was that of our Saviour to his Disciples, John 15. 3. Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you: shewing, that the usual means whereby men are made clean, was the preaching of the Gospel, Augustin. the Word which I have spoken, non quia dicitur, sed quia creditur: not because it's spoken, but because it's believed: the Word is the Instrument by which men be­lieve, and believing, they are made clean. He made two excellent Sermons on those words; and if he had known he should have concluded his Ministry that day, he could not (me thinks) have chosen a fitter Text to conclude withall. Now ye are clean, now ye have heard me preach so often; now ye are so diligent and attentive to what I preach: now I shall preach no more, now ye are clean, though the word believed, embraced, and accompanied with Gods Spirit: at least, now I am clean and clear from your blood, I have Spoken unto you, and my words will judge you at the last day, if you will not hear, the privledge you have had above others to hear will aggravate your sin and punishment. These were the last words of this man of God to his people, and I question not but they have taken some impression on their hearts.

[Page 82]Having spent himself much with preach­ing, and being wearied by the great pains he had taken that day, after the afternoon Sermon (according to his usual manner) he laid himself down upon his bed to rest and repose himself a little: after he had slumbred about half an hour, he awaked and having some warm thing brought him to drink, he drank heartily, but said not any thing, being a little sleepy. He laid down again about a quarter of an hour, and had another little slumber, and then rising, got up alone, and sat upon his bed-side: his Wife perceiving him to look very ill, (though she did not in the least suspect or expect any more danger than formerly) asked him how he did? he answered, I cannot tell how: she leading him to a chair two or three steps off, he sat down and suddenly fainted. He was a good while rubbed, and chafed, having his mouth opened by force to pour in strong waters, and coming a little to himself, he lifted up his eyes and said, I shall never come to my self again: whereupon his Wife said to his Son fetch the Doctor quickly, but he said no, no, Mr. Shepheard, a loving friend very near him: yet when he came he could not speak to him. The Doctor was just gone by his door, and coming back, gave him some little Physick which wrought well: but he was very sick, and faint, and not a­ble to speak, so that about seven a clock he [Page 83] was had to bed, and continued slumbering all night, not once speaking to any, or so much as opening his eyes, but refusing e­very thing the Doctor appointed him to take. In the morning he with much a do spake two or three words, and bad his son answer a Letter that came from Amsterdam, but all the day lay in a drowsie posture speaking to none. It proved to be a palsey all over his right side, and tongue, and so he lay till four a clock on Thursday morning being the seventh of August 1659. and then gave up the ghost. Yet observable it is that on Wed­nesday he called for all his children by name and blessed them, laying his hand on their head, and lifting up his eyes, and had his memory so well, that one of his children being wanting, (sleeping in its cradle) he said one more, and so it was brought to him. He had his eye fixed for a great while toge­ther on his eldest son, and stroked him often as he stood by him, lifting up his eyes to Heaven, in token of his praying for him. And now if tears were words I could be both fluent, and eloquent, if my tears could do him good they might seem just, nay there­fore my tears are just because I cannot do him good. But I must (as one says) when I have deplored the death of my friend as a friend, learn to bear it as a Saint, it's a wretched virtue not to know what to do else than bewail the dead. I have not so many tears to [Page 84] lament miseries, that I must wast them in lamenting my friends happiness. Not Laza­rus his death, but his rising to the miseries of the world again drew tears from Christs eies.Christus non pl [...]ravit La­zarum mortu­um▪ sed ad hu­jus vitae ae [...]um­nas resuscit [...]n­dum. Interpreters did well to make a verse of those two words Jesus wept, John 11. 35. in which there is matter enough for a volume, planè Lazarum mortuum flevit Christus, (saith St. Jerom, to a Mother lamenting the death of her daughter) sed non tuas lachrymas fudit, doluit Lazarum non dormientem sed potius resur­gentem. Christ wept over dead Lazarus, but he shed not thy tears, he grieved not because Lazarus slept, but because he was to be disturbed and rise again. This man of God sleeps in Jesus, he laboured for rest here, and now he rests from his labour. Mourn not for him, unless you would de­prive him of his rest, and bring him again to labour.

The Dutch Ministers took order to have him buried in their own grave, and accor­dingly attended him to it.

And thus I have (Christian Reader) run over the several parts and passages of this man of Gods life, and followed him from his Cradle to his Grave: He was about fif­ty years old when he died, of stature tall and thin, in countenance lean and pale, of a very weak constitution, yet very active and stirring: of a courteous nature, very affable and easie to to be intreated; in his [Page 85] fashions neither rude nor fantastick: He was both morall and gracious, and in all his actions gracefull, Earth hath lost and Hea­ven hath gained a Saint by his death. [...] 1 Sam. 18. 30He is now blessed, and I doubt not but his me­mory is blessed, and his name pretious among those that have recieved like pretious faith.

And now (Christian Reader) I doubt not but this short description of this exemplary life, will incite thee to imitation, and teach thee to be prepared for any estate, to be contented in every estate, and to think the present condition (for the present) best. This rude draught of his life (which though none can draw out to the life but himself by living it over again) I hope may enamour thee with a Godly life. Example does more affect and infect than rule, practise does o­verbias precept; Pauci sunt qui consilio se sua­que disponant, c [...]te [...]i corum more qui flu­minibus inna­tant non eunt sed feruntur.our life is a continued imi­tation, we are one anothers patterns and temptations. Most go the way that is gone, not the way that must be gone: nay, few go rationally, but are carried with the stream, the River of custom sweeps them away the ancient River the River of custom. It's to be wished that we that can out do our pat­terns in evill could be equall to them in good:O utinam qui majores vestros v [...]tus in rebu [...] facile vincit [...] eosdem in se­r iis aequare [...] i [...]. imitating virtue is a virtue to be imi­tated, that is truly excellent, when we strive to exceed in that, in which we cannot be excessive, we may sequi though we cannot assequi, we may follow though we cannot [Page 86] fully come up to our patterns. This life is eminent for sufferings, and as eminenent for faith, self-deniall, syncerity, resolution and constancy in enduring them; we know not what times we may live to see, I am sure the example of others is a speciall cor­diall to keep our souls from fainting in the day of adversity▪ [...] To have good compaini­ons in troubles is no small part of our com­fort in troubles; Solamen mise­ris socios h [...] ­ [...]uisse doloris. Affictiones multorum dimi­dium solatii, said the Rabbin, He is half comforted, that has many fellow-sufferers, wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Patimur quia peccavimus, patimur ne peccemus. Optabile ma­lum quod mali remedium sit majoris. This will make adversity seemprosperity at least a mercy if we consider we do not only suffer because we have sinned but we suffer also that we may not sin, and that it's a desirable evill that is a remedy of a greater evill: They that sin then to avoid suffering, they do a mischief to avoid a mercy. This History hath abundantly evin­ced what I here affirm, and to the end it may, it remains, that as That holy (now HAPPY) Saint was at the pains to live it, and I to write it, we both would be at the pains to live it over again, following him as he follow­ed Christ, that so we may live well, dy better, and after death live best, in a life that has no


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