The PREFACE.52

The PREFACE.

won it to such Point, that it was fit to receive the Number, and to succour the same with all Necessaries requisite, and in such Case needful; and had indeed received, and daily maintained it at the Full; certain Busy-bodies, more ready to espy Occasion how to blame other, than skiful how to redress Things blameworthy indeed; yea, I fear me, having all their Zeal in their Tongue only, not contented privately, one and another, among their Neighbours, to hinder the Profit of the Poor, and to slander the good Citizens occupied thereabout, rounded into the Ears of the Preachers also their tender Consideration. Who being less circumspect in crediting heir Matter-Ministrers, than to Men of such Calling appertaineth: And thinking peradventure, if the City had done their Duty herein, this Hospital should have made a general sweep of all Poor and Afflicted: As though this privy Backbiting could not so sufficiently and weightily set forth this Enormity of the Citizens, as seemed behoveful for the Querele of Charity; took upon them to give Speed and Authority to the Thing, each after his Manner.

Busy-Bodies.

Preachers.

So that the good Citizens, which now for these five Years Space have shunned for no Loathsomeness, to administer the Relief, without other Gain than that Jesus Christ, God and Man, promiseth, and will undoubtedly pay, have here received nothing else but for a common Benefit, an open Detraction, and the Poor (as shall afterward appear) a larger Hinderance. Where, in the mean Season notwithstanding, there have been healed of the Pocks, Fistulaes, filthy Blains and Sores, to the Number of eight Hundred; and thence safe delivered, that other, having Need, might enter in their Room. Beside eight Score and Twelve, that have there forsaken this Life, in their intollerable Miseries and Griefs; which else might have dyed and stunk in the Eyes and Noses of the City, for all these Charity-Tenderers, if this Place had not vouched safe to become a Pump alone, to ease a common Abhorring. Wherein, although they have at all Hands so well deserved, that hard it were with the most favourable Report to requite it; yet, for that they look for their Reward another where, contented to pass that in Silence: It may justly be answered to all such Charity-Proctors, that if they well weighed these Things already alledged, and the Wages of the Chirurgeons, and such Officers and Servants as needfully are attendant about the Poor; the Charges of Bedding and Shift for so many Sore and Diseased, and the excessive Prices of all Things at this Day: They might both marvel how so many are there relieved, and daily maintained; and with Repentance of that they have mis-said, endeavour themselves, with as much good Report and Praise, to advance both the Deed and the Doers; to wipe away the Slander as they have spread, to hinder them both by the contrary.

Eight Hundred healed.

Eight Score and Twelve dead.

But forasmuch as it is doubtful whether they will do as they may, and of Conscience are bounden, and the Slander is so wide spread, that a narrow Remedy cannot amend it: It is thought good to the Lord Maior of this City of London, as chief Patron and Governour of this Hospital, in the Name of the City, to publish at this present, the Overseers and Orders by him appointed, and from Time to Time practised and used by twelve of the Citizens most ancient in their Courses, as at large in the Process shall appear; partly for the Stay and Redress of such Slander, and partly for that it might be an open Witness, and Knowledge unto all Men, how Things are administred there, and by whom. Wherein, if any Man judge more to be set forth in Word, than in Deed is followed, there be Means to resolve him. But if there be not so much set forth as is expedient, (as what Thing at the first can attain to the Top of Perfectness?) or that any Man spieth ought in this Order worthy to be reformed, he shall not need to cry it at the Cross, but shall find those at the Hospital, that both gladly will and may reform it.

And where yet by such Means Occasion is found, as tofore was signified, to withdraw Mens Charities, by reason that it is thought but Folly to bestow more Relief where there is enough for the Number already; the City, of their endless good Will toward this most necessary Succour of their poor Brethren in Christ, although at the first they seemed bound to the precise Number of an Hundred, and no more, wish all Men to be most assuredly perswaded, that if by any Means possible they might, they desire to enlarge the Benefit to a Thousand, as ordinary as at this Day the Hundred are. Finally, they wish that all Almoisners and Houses of Almoise, known either by the Name of Hospital, or Savoy, might, by these their Doings, be provoked to like Endeavour and Benefit to the Poor; that what one is not able alone to succour, the other might in Fellowship supply at this Time, namely, when the Misery of the Poor most busily seemeth to awake.

The Lord Jesus kindle in us all that Faith that worketh by Love; that we may indeed put on Christ our Righteousness before God, and not suffer him to lie up in Presse, that seeketh to be worn, to the Glory of his Father and ours, and to the Testimony of our Hope laid up in him. Amen.