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VOLUME xni. 



















PtlnteU at tT)« ®n(ijnsttB ^teB«, 


The Editor feels considerable reluctance in publish- 
ing this volume of Sermons, as if it contained the 
genuine writings of Archbishop Ussher. Dr. Ber- 
nard, the Chaplain of the Archbishop, says, " If any 
sermon notes taken from him have been printed in 
his life-time, under his name, or shall be hereafter 
(which divers have of late attempted), the reader 
is to take notice, that it was against his mind, and 
that they are disowned by him, which as he en- 
deavoured to his utmost to suppress, while he was 
living, so it was his fear to be injured in it after his 

However, as a very general feeling was expressed, 
that the works would not be complete without the 
sermons, the Editor has given up his own opinion, 
and published two series of them. The first series 
was published in 1660, by John Crabb, William 
Ball, and Thomas Lye, ministers of the Gospel, who 
state, " they writ them from his mouth, and com- 
pared their copies together." The second series of 
fifteen sermons was never pubhshed before, and is 
taken from a MS. in the Library of Balliol College, 
Oxford, to which the Editor had access through the 


kindness of the Rev. Dr. Jenkyns, the Master of 
Balliol. This MS. contains thirty-six sermons, at 
least equal in merit to those already published, but 
only the first fifteen are given in this volume, as the 
Editor thinks that number will be fully sufficient to 
justify the fears expressed by the Archbishop for 
such unauthorized publications. 




Hebkews, Chap. IV. Veh. 7. pag. 

Again he limiteth a certain day ; saying in David, to day after so 
long a time, as it is said, to day if you will hear his voice, harden 
not your hearts 1 


Hebrews, Chap. IV. Ver. 7. 

Again he limiteth a certain day ; saying in David, to day after so 
long a time, as it is said, to day if you will hear his voice, harden 
not your hearts 15 


Gal., Chap. VI. Ver. 3, 4. 

For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, 
he deceiveth himself : but let every man prove his own work, 
and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in 
another _ . . 31 


Ephes., Chap. II. Ver. 1, 2,3. 

And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins, 
wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this 


world, according to the prince that ruleth in the air, the spirit 
that worketh in the children of disobedience. Among whom 
also we all had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of 
our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and 
were by nature the children of wrath, even as others .... 4.5 


Gal., Chap. III. Ver. 22. 

But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise 
by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe . 60 


Lament., Chap. V. Ver. 16. 

Woe unto us, that we have sinned 77 


RoM., Chap. VI. Ver. 23. 

The wages of sin is death ... 92 


Rev., Chap. XXI. Ver. 8. 

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and mur- 
derers, and whore-mongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all 
liars, shall have their part in the lake, which burneth with fire 
and brimstone, which is the second death 107 


Phil., Chap. II. Ver. 5, 6, 7, 8. 

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being 
in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; 
but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form 
of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men ; and being 
found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obe- 
dient unto death, even the death of the cross 1 26 


Phil., Chap. II. Ver. 8. 

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and be- 
came obedient unto death, even the death of the cross . . .140 


John, Chap. I. Veb. 12. 

But to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become 
the sons of God, even to them that believe on his Name . . , 159 


Ephes., Chap. I. Ver. 13. pag. 

In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, 
the Gospel of your salvation ; in whom also after that ye believed, 
ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise 173 


1 CoR., Chap. II. Veb. 29. 

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh 
damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body . .192 


Heb., Chap. IV. Ver. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we 
may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need . . 209 


RoM., Chap. V. Ver. I. 

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, 

through our Lord Jesus Christ 226 

RoM., Chap. V. Ver. 1. 
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, 
through our Lord Jesus Christ 245 

Rom., Chap. V. Ver. 1. 
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, 
through our Lord Jesus Christ . . 262 

Rom., Chap. V. Ver. 1, 2. 
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ : by whom also we have access 
by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope 
of the glory of God 279 

RoM., Chap. VIII. Ver. 15, 16. 
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, 
but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry 
Abba, Father. The same Spirit beareth witness with our spirit, 
that we are the children of God 297 



Rom., Chap. VIII. Ver. 16. pag. 

The same Spirit beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the 
children of God 317 


1 CoE., Chap. XXI. Ver. 33. 

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the 
churches of the saints 335 


in a sermon preached before the king. 

Gen., Chap. XLIX. Ver. 3. 

Reuben, thou art my first born, my might, and the beginning of my 
strength 353 



John, Chap. VIII. Ver. 31, 32. 

Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed on him, if ye continue 

in my word then are ye my disciples indeed. 
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free . 367 

John, Chap. VIII. Ver. 32. 
And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free . 380 

Psalm XXXII. Ver. 10. 

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked : but he that trusteth in the 
Lord, mercy shall compass him .... 404 


Psalm XXXII. Ver. 10. 

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked : but he that trusteth in the 
Lord, mercy shall compass him ,421 



Psalm XXXII. Ver. 10. pag. 

Many sorrows shall be to the wiclied : but he that trusteth in the 
Lord, mercy shall compass him ... 438 


Psalm XXXII. Ver. U. 

Be glad, ye righteous, and rejoice in the Lord, and be joyful (or 
shout for joy) all ye that are upright of heart 452 


LoKE, Chap. I. Ver. 73, 74, 75. 

The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would 
grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our 
enemies, should serve him without fear all the days of our life 
in holiness and righteousness before him 475 

Hebrews, Chap. II. Ver. 14, 15. 

Forasmuch then as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, 
he also himself likewise took part with them, that he might des- 
troy through death him that had the power of death, that is 
the devil. 

And that he might deliver all them, which for fear of death were 
all their life-time subject to bondage 490 


Galatians, Chap. VI. Ver. 4. 

But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son 
made of a woman, made under the law - that he might redeem 
them which were under the law ; that we might receive the adop- 
tion of sons 506 


Romans, Chap. VI. Ver. 14. 

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the 
law, but under grace .... 523 


Matthew, Chap. XIII. Vek. 44. 

Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like unto treasure hid in the field ; 
which when a man hath found, he hideth it, and for joy thereof 
departeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeththat field . . 539 



1 ThessjU-oxians. Chap. II. Veb. 13. pag. 

For this cauie also thanlf we Goi without ceasing, that when re 
receired of us the word of the preachin? of God. ye receiredit not 
as the word of men, but as it is indeei the word of God, which 
also worketh in yon that believe ... . . 5o7 


2 CsBosici-is. Chap. XXXIV. Veb, -33. 

So Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries 
that pertained to the children of Israel, and corcpeJed all that 
were foundin Israel TO serve the Lord their Go<i. Soallhisdays 
tbey turned not back from the Lord God of their fathers . . 567 


Psalm CIII. Tee. J, i. 3. 

ily soul praise thou the Lord, and all that is within me praise his 

holy name. 
Mj soul praise thou the Lord and forget not all his benefits: 
Which forgiveth all thine iniquity, and healeth all thine infirmi- 
ties . 5S0 

PsAiM CIII. Veb. 1, -2. 3. 

My sonl praise thou the Lord, and all that is within me praise his 
holy name. 

My soul praise thou ihe Lord, and forget not all his benefits ; 

Which forgiveth all thine iniquity, and healeth all thine infirmi- 
ties 593 













He being dead yet speaketh. — Heb. xi. 4. 



&c. &c. 

Hebrews, chap. IV. vek. 7. 

" Again he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, to day after so long a 
time, as it is said, to day if you will hear his voice harden not your hearts." 

I HAVE entered on these words in the other university on 
a day of public humiliation, as being suitable to the occa- 
sion, the chief matter of them being the doctrine of the 
conversion of a sinner 

Forasmuch as " God's judgments are abroad upon 
the earth," and hang over our heads, the only means to 
prevent and remove both temporal and eternal, is our 
speedy conversion and return unto God, else " He" will 
whet his sword, bend his bow, and make it ready" to our 
destruction. God did bear a deadly hatred against sin in 
the time of the psalmist, and so he doth still, for his na- 
ture cannot be changed. If we return not, we are but 
dead men. The eternal weight of God's wrath will be 
our portion, both here, and in the world to come, if 
we repent not. 

In the words there are three observable points, though 
not expressly named, yet if we weigh the context, sufh- 
ciently implied. 

• Psalm 7. ver. 12. 


~ sermo:ns. 

1 . Continuance in sin brings certain death, it hinders us 
from entering into God's rest, and out of it there is no- 
thing but death : or. 

For sin God's judgments are on particular nations, and 

2. If particular nations, or persons turn away from their 
evil courses, no hurt shall come near them, or if temporal 
calamities surprize them, they shall be made beneficial 
unto them. 

" God takes no delight in the death of a sinner," nor 
that he should despair of his mercy : but would have us 
turn out of the broad way, which leads to destruction. 

3. It behoves every one speedily to set about the work 
of conversion. 

Esteem not this therefore a vain word. I bring you 
those things, whereon your life depends. Obeying it, 
you are made for ever, neglecting it, you are undone 
for ever. Unless you embrace this message, God will 
bend his bow, and make ready his arrow against you, or 
rather the arrows which he hath drawn to the head, he 
will let fly upon you. Know therefore, 

1. " That continuance in sin brings certain death." 
There will be no way of escaping, but by repentance, by 
coming in speedily unto God. 

The words of this text are taken from Psalm XCV. 
" Harden ntit your hearts, as in the provocation, and 
as in the temptation in the wilderness." If when God 
calls us, either to the doing of this, or leaving that undone, 
yet we are not moved, but continue in our evil ways. 
What is the reason of it ? It is because we harden our 
hearts against him. The Word of God ; which is " the 
power of God to salvation, and a two-edged sword to 
sever between the joints and the marrow." The strength of 
the Almighty encounters with our hard hearts, and yet 
they remain like the stony and rocky ground : whereon 
though the word be plentifully sown, yet it fastens no 
root there, and though for a season it spring, yet sud- 
denly it fades and comes to nothing. We may haply have 


a little motion by the word, yet there is a rock in our 
souls, a stone in our hearts, and though we may some- 
times seem to receive it with some affection, and be made 
as it were sermon-sick, yet it holds but a while, it betters 
us not: Why? because it is not received "as an ingrafted 
word." Therefore, saith St. James, " Receive'' with 
meekness the ingrafted word." Let the word be ingrafted 
in thee ; one sprig of it is able to make thee grow up to 
everlasting life. Be not content with the hearing of it, 
but pray God it may be firmly rooted in your hearts ; this 
will cause a softening. " To-day if you will hear his 
voice, harden not your hearts" against Almighty God. If 
you do, expect him also to come against you in indig- 
nation. Hearken what he saith by his prophet : " P 
will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men 
that are settled on their lees, that say in their heart the 
Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil." Mark, 
" I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish those 
that are settled on their lees." When a man is thus 
settled and resolved to go on in his sins, to put the matter 
to the hazard come what will come, there is a kind of 
atheism in the soul. For what does he but in a manner 
reply, when God tells him by his minister that he is pre- 
paring the instruments of death against him. Do you think 
us such fools to believe it? What does this but provoke 
God to " swear that we shall never enter into his rest." 
What is the reason of this ? It is because men are not 
shifted, they have no change, they are settled on their 
lees, " Moab hath been at ease from his youth, he hath 
been settled," and hath not been emptied " from'' vessel to 
vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity." Consider we 
whether our security comes not from the same cause : we 
have not been emptied from vessel to vessel, we have always 
been at rest. Why have we so little conversion ? There are 
two things hinder it: the hardening of a man's heart 

' James, chap. 1. ver. 21. " Zeph. chap. 1. ver. 12. 

^ Jer. chap. 48. ver. 1 1. 



against the word : and our settling ourselves on our lees. 
When we have no change in our condition, we are secure, 
we never see an evil day. That makes us say with the 
sensualists in the prophet, '' To-morrow^ shall be as this 
day, and much more abun4ant." And this is that, which 
slays the foolish person : " Wo to them that are at 
ease." It were better for tjiee to be emptied from vessel 
to vessel, to go into captivity. For as long as a man 
continues thus in an unregenerate condition, he can look 
for nothing but troubles : certain judgments must neces- 
sarily follow, and as sure as God is in heaven, so sure 
may they expect misery on earth : and they shall receive 
the eternal weight of Go(}'s wrath, treasured up against 
the day of wrath : therefore there is a necessity of our 
conversion, if we will keep off either temporal or eternal 
wrath. Our Saviour makes it the case of all impenitent 
sinners, to be hable to wrath: one judgment befel the 
GaUleans, another those on whom the tower of Siloam 
fell : but what saith our Saviour : " Suppose' you that 
these were greater sinuers above all the men of Je- 
rusalem ? I tell you nay, but except you repent you 
shall all likewise perish.' All, every mother's son here 
present, if you turn not from your sinful courses, God will 
meet with you one time or other, if you harden your 
hearts against him be sure. " Who^ ever hardened his 
heart against God and prospered ?" As long as a man is 
in this condition, his state is woful. As many as are in 
the state of unregeneracy, are under the power of Satan. 
Mark the apostle's words : " In'' meekness instruct those 
that oppose themselves, if God peradventure will give 
them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. And 
that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the 
devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." The 
state then of the hardened and settled on their lees, is as 
of a bird in a cage, taken aUve, at the will of the fowler. 

'^ Isai. chap. 56. ver. 12, ^ Luke, chap. 13. ver. 3. 

8 Job, chap. 9. ver.^4. •" 2 Tim. chap. 2. ver. 25, 26. 


So it is here, as long as we continue obstinate, and har- 
dened, we are taken alive at Satan's will, we are at his 
disposing. While we are at liberty, we are waylaid by 
his nets and traps, and taken, we are at his pleasure : 
as long as we are hardened in heart, we are in the Devil's 
cage : true repentance is that, whereby alone we purchase 
our freedom, whereby we recover ourselves; and there- 
fore in Rom. chap. II. ver. 5. hardness of heart and 
impenitency signify the same thing : " After thy har- 
dened and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up unto thy- 
self wrath against the day of wrath." Mark then: what 
is a hard heart? It is an impenitent heart. Dost thou 
harden thy heart .*" Then know that for the present thou 
art a dead man. If notwithstanding all God's threats out 
of his word, thou art not a jot moved, thou art dead 
whilst alive, as " the woman that lived in pleasure." And 
if thou continuest so, thou treasurest up wrath against 
the day of wrath, and the just revelation of God's judg- 
ments. God's word is the especial means to recover thee. 
A man that is in a swoon, they rub him to recover him, 
because there is life in him ; but if dead, strong w^aters, 
or any thing else cannot restore him. Examine thyself 
then, does the working of the word rub, and gall thee ? 
It is a sign there is life in thee ; but if it make no impres- 
sion, it moves thee not, it is a sign of a dead heart. 
Consider then the danger of this condition for a man to 
resolve on his evil courses, never purposing to alter mat- 
ters. It exceedingly hastens God's judgments. 

But leaving this, I proceed to the second point, which 
is to direct us how to work our escape. Though God 
threatens us, yet if we have but the grace to look about 
us, and remember ourselves : if God do but cause us to 
consider we have to deal with a merciful Father, and 
make us meet him by humiliation, then though our sins 
were as scarlet, yet submitting ourselves to our judge,^ 
living as obedient subjects, the storm shall pass from us : 
so that this is the second point. 

2. Notwithstanding God threatens us, yet if he 


gives us but grace to repent, and bethink ourselves, 
let our sins be never so great, we may be sure of 

O that we could see with what a gracious God we have 
to deal! Canst thou but humble thyself? All these 
things shall speak peace unto thee. As an impenitent 
sinner is under the power of Satan, and liable to all mi- 
sery: so contrary wise whoever returns and seeks the 
Lord, is sure to be under his wings, and free from all 
evil. Thinkest thou that God makes use of threatenings 
for thy hurt? No, he deals not with us as an angry 
judge, but as a compassionate father : men will take an 
enemy always at an advantage, when they may do him 
most hurt. God's terrors overtake us, he threatens us, 
that he will do this and this, that we may prevent it. 
He knows that unless his terrors awake us, we will rest 
secure. Before he smites us, he tells us ; "He' will whet 
his sword: He hath bent his bow, and made it ready: 
He hath prepared his instruments of death." He could 
shoot thee presently, and instantly run thee through, but 
he threatens thee, that so he may not strike thee. " Non 
te vult percutere qui tibi clamat, observa ; He that saith : 
Look to yourself, hath no intention to strike thee." 
See what the prophet Amos denounces from the Lord : 
" P have given you cleanness of teeth, I have withholden 
rain, P have smitten you with blasting and mildew, I™ 
have sent amongst you the pestilence, yet have you not 
returned unto me. Therefore" thus will I do unto thee O 
Israel, and because I will do thus unto thee, prepare to 
meet thy God, O Israel." What judgments have be- 
fallen us, have befallen us for our own use, if so be we 
will be warned by them. The reason why God saith, he 
will overthrow us, is not because he means to do it, but 
that we may prevent it by repentance. Look into Jeremiah, 
chap. III. ver. L and see what wonderful passages are to 

' Psalm"7. ver. 12, 13. k Chap. 4. ver. 6, 1. 

' Amos, chap.'4. ver. 0. m Ibid. ver. 10. 

" Amos, chap. »1. ver. 12. 


this purpose : there is a law case : " If a man put away 
his wife, and she go from him, shall he return unto her 
again ? Shall not that land be greatly polluted ? But 
thou hast played the harlot with many lovers." And 
in the twentieth verse : "Asa wife treacherously de- 
parteth from her husband, so have you dealt treacher- 
ously with me, O house of Israel." And yet see God's 
unspeakable mercy: " Return again unto me." And 
twenty-third verse : " Return ye backsliding children, and 
I will heal your backsliding : turn to me, and I will not 
cause mine anger to fall upon you. Only" acknowlege 
thine iniquity that thou hast transgressed against the 
Lord thy God." See God supporteth us the worst and 
vilest of all, and yet as it were intreats us to return. See 
then the conclusion of the second point; how, if God 
give us but grace to repent, let our former evils be what 
they will, the danger is past, the terror I mean of eter- 
nal destruction ; so that you may say, and not in Agag's 
delusion, the bitterness of death, the second death, is 

But I leave this and come to the third, for which I 
chiefly chose this text. You have seen how dangerous a 
thing hardness of heart is, how it brings certain death : 
and that if we have the heart to repent, we are safe. As 
to make it appear in an instance. It is not the falling into 
water, but the lying under it that drowns a man. Art 
thou fallen into sin ? only lift up thy head : if thou canst 
be but thus happy, the promise of salvation belongs to 
thee. The main thing then is this. 

3. It behoves us to set about the work of conversion and 
repentance presently. 

God is angry with us, and we know not whether God 
will execute his judgments on us this day or no, there- 
fore go about it presently. God will remove all our adul- 
teries, and put away all our sins, if we will come to him 
within a day. Now what madness is it to neglect it 

° Jerem. chap. 3. ver. 13. i' 1 Sam. chap. 15. vev. 32. 


" After a certain time," saith the apostle, according to 
that in the psalmist, "GodP hath limited a certain day:" 
Thou hast provoked the holy Ghost and now he limits 
thee a day : " Wherefore"," saith the Holy Ghost, " to- 
day if you will hear his voice." Now is it safe think you 
to pass this day .'' A hard heart is a provoking heart, 
and as long as it continues hard, it continues provoking 
God, and despising the Holy Ghost. " To-day therefore 
hear his voice," that is, this present day. But which is 
that day ? It is this very time, wherein you stand before 
God, and in which you hear me. If you embrace the 
opportunity, happy are you; if not, you shall give as 
dear an account, as for any thing you ever heard in 
your life. There is no dallying with God, take his 
proffer, take him at his word, in a matter of salvation. 
He calls to thee to-day, peradventure he will speak no 
more, therefore' we shall find it is a limited day : " Ex- 
hort^ one another to-day, whilst it is called to-day, lest any 
of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 
While it is called to-day, that is, stay not till to-morrow, 
but embrace the present opportunity. This day God 
holds out the golden sceptre, and my life for yours, if you 
accept it you shall be saved. If you take it not to-day, 
your heart will be more hardened to-morrow ; and so it may 
be you will never touch it ; your hearts will be like stones, 
and you will be incapable of yielding. " God' is angry 
with us." Why ? He is our adversary, because we bear 
arms against him, and will try the mastery with him. 
We oppose him in hostile manner as long as we continue 
sinful against him. What is the best counsel in this case ? 
" Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the 
way with him." It is wisdom to do that soon, which must 
of necessity be done. If it be not, we perish for ever. 
" Kiss" the son, lest he be angry, and thou perish from 
the right way." 

P Psalm 95. i Heb. chap. 3. vcr. 7. 

' Heb. chap. 4. ver. 7. " Ibid. chap. 3. 13. 

' Psalm 7. ver. 11. u Psalm 2. ver. 12. 


Obj. But what needs such haste, I may do it hereafter, 
•when I come to my journey's end? 

Sol. There needs haste. The day is limited. A thou- 
sand to one, if God be angry, but we perish from the way. 
" I" have heard thee in an accepted time, and in the day 
of salvation have I succoured thee, behold now is the day 
of salvation." It is a day of salvation, and would not we 
be glad to know this time ? Behold this is the accepted 
time. " Seek^ the Lord while he may be found, call on 
him while he is near." This is the accepted time, this is 
the day of salvation''. Embrace this time, for now he may 
be found ; this instant is the time, the rh vvv, the present 
now. God at this time stirs the waters, if now thou wilt 
step in and close with God, casting down thy weapons, 
then this will be the day of thy salvation ; this is called, as 
God's day, so our day : " O" Jerusalem, Jerusalem, if 
thou hadst known in this thy day, the things that belong 
unto thy peace, but now they are hidden from thine eyes." 
Mark, "If thou hadst known in this thy day :" so that if 
we pass by in this acceptable time those things which be- 
long to our peace, they will be hidden from our eyes. 
Therefore should the enemies of Jerusalem lay "her even 
with the ground," because she had neglected this opportu- 
nity, the day of God's visitation. Wilt thou be so hard 
hearted, as to put from thee God's grace? If thoufindest 
now that Satan hides this from thee, and persuades thee 
to do it to-morrow, and to take a day of thine own, ne- 
glecting God's day, know and remember that he is a liar 
from the beginning. 

Give me leave to press this to you, for nothing more 
brings destruction, than this putting from us the proffers 
of God's grace ; unless we return to the Almighty, hum- 
bling ourselves, there will be " bitterness in the end." 
There is the matter, whether God must wait on us, or we 
on him ? This " is the day of salvation," saith God, and 

* 2 Cor. chap. 6. ver. 2. y Esai. chap. 55. ver. 6. 

»Esai, chap. 49. ver. 8. » Luke, chap. 19. ver. 42. 


we must take time to think of it, whether it be seasonable 
or no. Alas 

1 . By this means we incur the highest presumption : 
and this is no light thing inconsiderately to be passed 
over. Shall God offer you such a proffer, and you be so 
presumptuous, as to think such a one more seasonable ? 
It is high presumption for thee to make thyself wiser than 
God, to neglect that he prescribes, and that with a pro- 
mise too, as if thou hadst God at command. If thou re- 
solve to take to-morrow, it is requisite that thou have, 

1. Space to repent, and 

2. Grace to do it. 

Now neither of these are in thine own hands, if 
they were, thou hadst ground for a farther delay. If 
thou hadst power to say, I will Uve so long, or couldst 
by thine own might prolong thy hfe, it were something, 
but it is otherwise. In refusing God's proffer, thou 
refusest him that hath thy life in his hand. ^Miat high 
presumption is this? See it in Jezebel: " I^ gave her 
space to repent, but she repented not." As if God 
should have said, it is I gave it her, I gave her time to 
live, I might have cut her off in the midst of her whore- 
doms. Observe here by the way the reason why God 
gives us this space ; it is to repent. ^Miat presumption 
must that be, when we will go quite contrary to God ? 
And because we have space, therefore we will not repent. 
Why does not God smite thee from heaven, when thou 
thus audaciously settest thyself against him ? ^Yhy does he 
not strike thee with a thunderbolt ? Sure he gives thee this 
space not to spend idly, but to another end ; not to follow 
our lusts, neglecting God's call, but that thou mayest re- 
member thyself, and return with all thy heart. Remember 
those words of the prophet, " My'' times are in thy hand." 
He said not. My times are in mine own hands ; for he 
knew it was grand presumption. ^^Tiy then should any 
chaDenge that to himself which belongs to God, as if he 

» Rev. chap. 2. ver. 21. >> Psalm 31. Ter. 15. 


were the lord of his own hfe, supposing God's call un- 
seasonable, and that he may think on it better hereafter ? 
May not a young man die soon ? Now an old man can- 
not live long. Many strong and lusty men are brought 
to the grave as well as the weak and feeble. And why 
should we suffer Satan to abuse us thus ? Thy space then 
is preserved in God's hand, and therefore thou mayest 
not be lord and master of it. But admit God grant thee 
space, yet thou mayest not have the grace to do it. What 
was Jezebel's case, " Though" God gave her space, yet 
she repented not." What canst thou tell, what may then 
become of thee ? perchance thou mayest live long, yet 
mayest thou never find as much as thy thoughts on 
repentance, much less the grace to do it: thou mayest not 
have a desire that way, much less perform it. Repent- 
ance is not a thing at our own command. " In'* meekness," 
saith the apostle, " instruct them that oppose themselves, 
if God peradventure will give them repentance to the ac- 
knowledgment of the truth." " If God will give it them." 
It is a thing then, it should seem, in God's hand, it is his 
proper gift. Mark, the apostle would have God's minis- 
ters to be humble and meek ; but how many are of other 
spirits ? If another's opinion be contrary to theirs, they 
are in a heat presently, as if a man were master of himself 
and of his own heart, to believe what he would. No, no, 
repentance is a grace out of our reach, it is not in a man's 
own power. Be meek therefore in instructing. What 
needs passion ? That helps not the matter. The open- 
ing of the eyes of the blind is in God's hands ; thank him 
for what thou seest, and know that it is his gift. The 
apostle speaking of our Saviour Christ, saith: "Him^hath 
God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Sa- 
viour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of 
sins." The grace of repentance then is no herb growing 
in our own garden, it is a gift of God's bestowing. And 
to this purpose is Acts, chap. XI. ver. 18. " When they 

= Rev. chap. 2. ver. 21. <• 2 Tim. chap. 2. ver. 25. 

' Acts, chap. 5. ver. 31, 



heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified 
God, saying, then hath God also to the Gentiles granted 
repentance unto hfe." As God grants life, so repentance 
unto life. '" I' have heard Ephraim hemoaning himself 
thus," saith the Lord, " Thou hast chastised me, and I 
am chastised as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke, turn 
thou me, and I shall be turned." And to the same pur- 
pose : " Turns thou us unto thee, O Lord, and vre shall be 
turned." As if ZAon should have said, we are no more 
able to turn ourselves than a dead man. " After that," 
saith Ephraim, " I was turned, I repented, and after I 
was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, 
yea even confounded.'' See then what an high presump- 
tion it is for a man to presume he hath this grace of God 
at command: But as it is high presumption, so 

2. It is the highest contempt and despising of the grace 
of God. " Despisest*" thou the riches of his goodness, 
and forbearance, and long suffering ?" Thus is it here. 
God gives thee space : thou hast it, but employest it not 
in what God gave it thee for. Thou deferrest the main 
business ; and the apostle accounts it no better than de- 
spising the proffers of God's grace and goodness. Dost 
thou think God will take this at thy hands ? WUt thou 
despise him, and think he will not despise thee ? " With 
the froward he will shew himself froward." God will come 
on a sudden, if thou makest not use of thine opportunity, 
and take all away from thee. The threatening is plainly 
laid down : " If' thou shalt not watch, I will come on 
thee." It is spoken to us all, and therefore concerns 
us all: " ^Miosoever hath an ear to hear, let him hear." 
They are God's words I have spoken to you this day, 
and you shall be accountable for them : let not the 
Devil steal this from you, hold it fast, this is your 
day: "If thou shalt not watch, I wUl come on thee 
suddenly as a thief." It is the heaviest judgment can 
come on unconverted persons, irregenerate souls, not to 
awake till God comes on them, never to bestir them- 

' Jer. chap. 31. vcr. IS. f Lam. chap. 5. ver. 21. 

^ Rom. chap. 2. ver. 4. ' Rev. chsp. 3. ver. 3. 


selves till hell rouse them up. Thus will it be with us, 
unless we awake by repentance, God will come stealing 
on us as a thief by sudden death and speedily cut us off. 

To pray against sudden death, and not to fit thyself for 
it, is to add contempt to thy presumption and rebellion. 
The wise man tells us, " That*^ man knoweth not his time, 
as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds 
that are caught in the snare, so are the sons of men snared 
in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them." 
Mark, when it falls suddenly, at unawares, here is the wis- 
dom then to provide that thou mayest not be taken sud- 
denly. " If the good man of the house knew at what time 
the thief would come, he would have watched, and not 
have suffered his house to have been broken up." And 
therefore Christ counsels us " to watch, since we know 
not the day nor hour when the Son of man cometh." 
Here is the difference then between wisdom and folly. 
Hereby may we know whether we are wise men or fools, 
if we foresee this day, and provide for it, it is an argument 
of wisdom, if we watch, so as that, when it falls, it may not 
fall on a sudden on us. If we are negligent of this day, 
and suffer our hearts to be dead as " Nabal's™ like a stone." 
He had a great time of repentance, ten days, yet re- 
pented not, for his heart was dead, and like a stone ; and 
this may be the case, if thou despisest the day of thy sal- 
vation, God's day, and thine own day too, thou mayest be 
a Nabal, no more moved than a pillar in the church, as 
I have found some by sad experience. 

But you may reply, I suppose God will not take me at 
an advantage, I trust I shall have life and space, and not 
Nabal's condition ; I hope I shall have my wits about me to 
be able to cry, " Lord have mercy upon me." 

But suppose God gave thee a tender heart, and thou 
art sensible of thy danger, that so thou call and cry ear- 
nestly to God for mercy, yet this is a miserable condition. 
Thou shalt find it will not be enough to cry, " Lord be 

'' Eccles. chap. 9. ver. 12. ' Matth. chap. 24. ver. 43. 

" 1 Sam. chap. 25. ver. 37. 


merciful unto me.'" If thou neglectest him here, he will 
cry quittance with thee on thy death bed : nor do I speak 
this of myself; no : look what Wisdom saith : " Because" 
I have called and you refused, I have stretched out mine 
hand, and no man regarded, but set at nought all my 
counsel, and would none of my reproof, I also will laugh 
at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh." 
As if he had said, you refused me, on my day I called and 
cried unto you, but you set at nought my words, and re- 
jected my coxmsel, and were wiser than I, therefore " will 
I laugh at your destruction :" when you are in misery I 
will mock and deride, instead of succouring. A terrible 
thincr it win be, when instead of hearing our cries to answer 
them, he shall deride us, and laugh at our folly and mad- 
ness; and in the twenty-eighth verse : " Then shall they 
call upon me, but I will not answer, they shall seek me 
early, but they shall not find me." See what foUy then it 
is to let shp this time. This is the acceptable day, " Seek" 
the Lord while he may be foimd, caU on him while he is 
near." ^Mien a man refuses God's day, God will not hear 
his prayer, all his sighs and sobs, his groans and cries, 
shall not prevail. " i^* will choose their delusions, and will 
bring their fears upon them ; because when I called, none 
did answer ; when I spake, they did not hear." When 
men wUl needs be choosers of what God would not have, 
God wiU have his choice too, and it shall be that which 
will be displeasing to them. " I will choose their delu- 
sions, and win bring their fears upon them." 

■" ProT. chap. 1. ver. 24, 23, 26. ° laaL chap. 55. ver. 6. 

" Isai. chap. 66. ver. 4. 



Hebrews, chap. IV. ver. 7. 

" Again he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, to-day after so long a time, 
as it is said, to-day if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts." 

The last day I entered on the opening of this place, 
and shewed, how the Lord had proposed a limited time for 
our conversion unto him, in which we should hear and 
obey his voice. 

We shewed farther how it was Satan's policy to make 
men seem wiser than God, that when God proposes a cer- 
tain time, and limits us a day, wherein he will be found, 
we will not have his, but our own. True, say we, God 
calls on us, and it is fit and convenient to hearken unto 
him ; but yet I will stay for a more seasonable opportunity. 
There is nothing provokes God so much against us, as 
when we vrill thus scorn that acceptable time he hath pro- 
posed : nor can there be a greater hindrance to repent- 
ance, than to stop our ears at his counsels, and to suffer 
him to call and cry unto us so long, and yet to abuse his 
patience by a foolish neglect. It accuses us of rebellion 
and high presumption, on such infirm grounds, to put 
fi'om us the day of salvation. Folly it is in the highest 
degree to trust on the future, when as in our own hands 
we have neither space nor grace for such a business. 
God is the Lord, and owner of them both, and will not 
part with his prerogative. " Go to, you that say, to-day 
or to-morrow we will return unto the Lord," you add to 
presumption both folly and rebellion. Jezebel had space 
to repent, yet she repented not, for she had not the grace, 
that, without this, will not benefit. 

Seeing then these are not in your power, " harden not 


your hearts, as in the provocation ;" nor offer despite unto 
the Holy Ghost, " by* whom you are sealed to the day of 
redemption." If we embrace not God's day, we despise 
the riches of his goodness, long suffering, and patience. 
" Despisest*" thou the riches of God's grace, not knowing 
that the long suffering of God leadeth to repentance ?" 
There can be no higher presumption than this, to bid de- 
fiance to the Spirit of God : nor can there be greater con- 
tempt of mercy, than to set light of the time of our re- 
pentance, and returning imto God, making that the great- 
est argument of our delay, which God uses to draw us to 
him. God gives us space, that we may repent, and we 
repent not, because he gives us space : He gives us 
life, that with fear and trembling we may set about the 
business of salvation, and we, through strong delusions^ 
put from us the proffers of his grace, as if they were im- 
seasonably offered. ^Miat madness is it to frustrate the 
Almighty of his ends and purposes ? " The'^ Lord is not 
slack touching his promise." It is a great stop and hin- 
drance to our progress in goodness and the work of re- 
pentance, when we distrust God, and take him not at his 
word. He sends abroad his ambassadors, who proclaim, 
" This* is the accepted time, this is the day of salvation, 
to-day if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts ;" 
yet we put this day from us, and say, hereafter is a more 
acceptable time. I have this delight, this pleasure to take 
first in the world, I am not so weaned from it, as I would 
be. As if God would take it well firom our hands, that 
we should then return to him, when there is no remedy. 
I will first use all the pleasure the world affords me, and 
then, " Lord have mercy on me," wUl serve the turn. 
This is the very stifling of the beginning and proceeding 
of Christianity. Let this be well and speedily weighed, 
as we tender our good and comfort. 

Obj. But may some say, what needs this haste, may 
we not use leisure ? Soft and fair goes far. 

" Ephes. chap. 4. ver. 3. ■■ Rom. chap. 2. ver. 4. 

' 2 PeL chap. 3. vet. 9. 

J 2 Cor. chap. 6. ver. 2. Psalm 95. ver. 7, 8. 


Sol. True, soft and fair goes fairly in the way. In this 
case, though thou go but softly, thou mayest come to thy 
journey's end; but the doubt remains still, there is a ques- 
tion whether thou art in the way, or not. Happy are we 
if we are, although we can but halt and limp on in this 
way : although this should be no ground for us to content 
ourselves therewith. We must not trifle in the ways of 
—holiness. It is that concerns our life, and must be se- 
riously thought on, and that speedily too. " Agree'' with 
thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with 
him." God is thine adversary, unless thou agree with 
him speedily, his patience will break forth into his fury. 
" Kiss*^ the son lest he be angry, and thou perish from the 
right way." Thou hast no assurance of thy life, thou 
mayest be snapt off, whilst thou thinkest it time enough 
to repent and return. As long as we go out of the way of 
repentance, we are in the way to hell, and the farther a 
man goes in a wrong way, the nearer is he to hell, and the 
greater ado to return back : and in this regard soft and 
fair may go far ; but it is far out of the way, far in the 
way to perdition and destruction. As long as we are out 
of the right way to heaven and happiness, we are in the 
path that leads directly to the chambers of death. 

But let me in this particular rip up the heart of a natu- 
ral man. What is the reason that when God gives men a 
day, and cries out, " This is the day of salvation, this is 
the accepted time," what in the name of God, or the De- 
vil's name rather, for he is the adversary who maligns our 
salvation, should cause them to put salvation from them ? 
To defer and desire a longer time ? Thus a natural man 
reasons with himself, I cannot so soon be taken off 
from the profits, and pleasures of the world ; I hope to 
have a time, when I shall with more ease and a greater 
composedness of mind, bring myself to it : or if it be not 
with so much ease, yet, T trust, in a sufiicient manner I 
shall do it : wherefore, for the present, I will enjoy the 
profits, and delights of the state, and condition where I 

« Matth. chap. 5. ver. 25. ' Psalm 2. ver. 12. 




am ; I will solace myself with the pleasures of sin for a 
season; I hope true repentance will never be too late. 

This is well weighed ; but consider, whether these 
thoughts which poise down our hearts, be not groundless : 
see, whether they will hold water at the last ; and whether 
in making such excuses, to great presumption we add not 
the height of foUy. To pretend for our delay the profits 
and pleasures of sin, and yet hope for heaven at the last, 
as well as the generation of the righteous ; it is but a mere 
fallacy, and delusion of Satan, to fill our hearts with such 
vanities. Can it be expected, that we should have our 
good in this world, and in the world to come too ? This 
is well, if it might be. 

But let us try the matter, and begin with your first 

i ou are loth to part with your profits and pleasures. 

But consider what a grand iniquity this is. Can you 
offer God a greater wrong and indignity ? " Do you thus 
requite the Lord, you fooHsh and unwise?" Dost thou 
think this the way to make thy peace with God, whom 
thou hast offended, as long as thou mayest to be a rebel 
against him ? What a high dishonoiu- is it to him, that 
thou shouldst give him thy feeble and doting old age ; 
and the devil thy lively and vigorous youth, thy strength 
and spirits ? Dost thou think he will drink the dregs and 
eat the orts? WOl he accept thee in the next world, 
when thou thus scornest him in this ? " Ifs you offer the 
blind for sacrifice, is it not an evil ? If you offer the 
lame and sick, is it not evil ? Offer it now unto thy gover- 
nor, wiU he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person, 
saith the Lord of Hosts ?" But mark how he goes on : 
" Cursed'' be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, 
and Toweth and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing." 
Mark, God accounts such service a corrupt thing, and the 
person that offers it a mere cheat, a deceiver. Never 
look for a blessing fi-om God in heaven, when thou sacri- 
ficest to him such corrupt things. No, thou art cursed of 

! Mai. chap. 1. ver. 8. >> Ibid. Ter. 14. 


God, as long as thou continuest in this hypocrisy. We 
are to offer and present ourselves " a' living sacrifice, holy 
and acceptable unto God." Now judge whether they 
offer God the living, who say, when my doting days come, 
my lame days, that I cannot go, my blind days, that I can- 
not see, I will offer myself a sacrifice to God ; will this be 
acceptable to him ? " Is not this evil," saith the Lord, 
" to offer me such a corrupt thing ?" Nay more, he is 
accursed that offers such an offering, such a polluted sa- 
crifice. God vsdll not like with it; when we serve our- 
selves first with the best and choice ? " Do you thus re- 
quite the Lord ?" Do you think he will accept it at your 
hands ? Go offer such a gift to thy ruler, to thy prince, 
will he accept it, or be pleased with it ? No, a landlord 
will have the best and the choice ; and it must needs pro- 
voke God, when we give him the refuse. " I am King of 
kings, saith the Lord, my name is dreadful," and I will 
look to be served after another manner. Let no man then 
thus delude himself with vain hopes, but let him consider, 
how dishonourable a thing it will be to God. 

2. And how unprofitable to him, whoever thou art. 
Indeed, we cannot be profitable unto Him properly as he 
that is wise may be profitable to himself. But he is so 
gracious a master, that he esteems our sincere and season- 
able service to be his own gain, and our sloth and neglect 
to be his detriment, he accounts our destruction to be his 
own loss. Now it is the ready way. 

J . It is the ready way to thy destruction. Heaven, and 
happiness, and eternal hfe, are laid up for those that em- 
brace the acceptable time ; death, horror, and eternal mi- 
sery for those that refuse it; and wilt thou, hazard soul 
and body on this ? Moses, on this ground, " did' rathel- 
choose to suffer affliction in this world with the people of 
God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." 
When these things are past, " what profit will you have of 
those things, whereof then you will be ashamed ?" Nay, 
whereof, were thine eyes open, thou wouldst now be 

* Rom. chap. 12. ver. 1. ^ Job, chap. 22. ver. 2. 

' Heb. chap. 11. ver. 25. 



ashamed ; and happy wouldst thou be if thou wert, as the 
converted Romans were, even now ashamed™. Shame 
accompanies sin so constantly and unavoidably, that even 
repentance itself removes it not. The Romans, now 
Christians, were ashamed for what they had done, before 
they knew Christ. When a man comes to see truly and 
thoroughly into himself, he wiU find no profit of such 
things as these : death will certainly foUow us, not only 
temporal but eternal; also if we repent not the more 
speedily, that is all the profit we shall find. 

2. But suppose thou prevent everlasting death by re- 
pentance, yet " what profit is there of those things where- 
of we are now for the present ashamed ?" The best can 
come is shame. 

3. Thou art loth to part with the pleasiKes of sin for a 
season, and hereafter thou thinkest thou canst amend aU. 
But consider the particulars, and then shall you see how 
you are befooled in your hearts and souls. Beheve it for 
an vmdoubted truth, there is nothing in the world, by 
which Satan more deludes a man, than by his persuading 
him to neglect his day, and that he may repent well 
enough hereafter. That you may expel this suggestion 
out of your souls, pray unto God that he would go along 
with his word, and cause you to lay this to heart, that by 
his spirit your understanding may be enlightened to see the 
truth. Though I make this as clear as the sun, that it is 
a false supposition, a mere folly, on which we build, in de- 
ferring our return to God, yet God from heaven must teach 
you, or you will be never the wiser. Know therefore that 
this very day God reaches out the golden sceptre to thee, 
and what foUy were it to neglect it, since thou knowest not 
whether he will ever proffer it thee again ? And assure 
thyself, that he is a Uar that tells thee, thou mayest as well 
repent hereafter as now : and this will appear, whether 
we consider the order of outward things in the world, or 
the natiu*e of sin. 

1. For external things, every age after a man comes 

o" Rom. cliap. 6. ver. 21. 


into the world, if he embrace not the present opportunity 
for repentance, is worse than other, and are each of them 
as so many clogs which come one after another to hinder 
it. As for thy childish age, that is mere vanity, and thy 
riper age will bring many impediments and hindrances, 
that youth never thought of. Thou art then troubled about 
many things, and perplexed how to provide for mainte- 
nance ; in the midst whereof know, that thou hast not a 
body of brass, but a corruptible and fading body : and yet 
such is the folly of the heart of man, that the less ground 
he hath to go, the fewer days to spend, the more he often 
provides, and is the more covetous. Consider that the 
wisest of men gave thee this counsel : " Remember" thy 
Creator in the day of thy youth, before the evil days come, 
wherein thou shalt say, thou hast no pleasure in them." 
Here we find it is a youthful thing, and should be a young 
man's practice : not according to that devilish saying, " a 
young saint and an old devil :" but " remember thy Crea- 
tor in the days of thy youth." The more sin thou com- 
mittest, the more unapt thou art to repent. Custom in sin- 
ning makes thee a Lot ; the elder thou growest, the more 
loth to go out of Sodom. Besides, 

2. Consider what sin is in its nature. It is a weight. 
" Let" us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth 
so easily beset us." Sin is then a weight, and so an heavy 
thing ; but add sin to sin, a weight to a weight, and it be- 
comes heavier and heavier. A man that is in a state of 
impenitency, hath this weight laid on him, and is subject 
to the Devil, in a state of rebeUion against God. A man 
now in this estate is weighed down, what will he be, six, 
seven, or ten years hence, going on in his impenitency ? 
How will he then shake that off, which now he cannot free 
himself of .'' He must hereafter buckle against it with a 
great deal of disadvantage, and wrestle with more diffi- 
culty. One says well, that if we consider of sin aright, it 
is hke the rising of water, over which a man being to pass, 
and finding it higher than it was wont to be, he stays 

" Eccles. chap. 12. ver. 1. " Hcb. chap. 12. ver. 1. 


a while, and then tries again, and finds it higher than be- 
fore : he stays yet longer, till it become impassable, so that 
he may not adventure without great disadvantage. Thus 
it is with sin : now, perad venture, the waters of iniquity are 
passable, if thou wilt thou mayest go over, but if thou de- 
layest the adventure, the streams of sin wiU run together in- 
to one channel, and he more diiBcultly passed. Thou shalt 
find them like the waters in Ezekiel, rising from the ankles 
to the knees, from the knees to the loins, till they become 
water, in this indeed unlike them, not to swim in, as they 
were, but to sink in, hke the waters of the Red Sea return- 
ing in their force, in which Pharoah, and his host, sank 
down as a stone, nay as lead when the wind of the Lord 
blew upon themi". 

Take another metaphor from the Scriptiu'e : the Scrip- 
ture compares sin to cords, which are instruments of bind- 
ing, and the mystery of the Gospel is expressed by bind- 
ing and loosing ; " "V\'Tiosesoever« sins you shall bind on 
earth, they are bound in heaven, but whose sins ye remit, 
they are remitted." Every sin thou committest is a bond, 
and binds thee hand and foot, against the judgment of the 
great day. Therefore it is said: " His'^ own iniquity shall 
take the wicked, and he shall be bound and holden with 
the cords of his sins." Xow consider what folly it is, when 
a man shall say. Though my sins are so many cords difficult 
to be broken, yet I will not trouble myself about it in my 
younger days, but I will stay till my old age, and then I 
hope I shaU be the better able to break these bonds, and 
cast all these cords from me ; when every iniquitj- I com- 
mit is as a new cord, which binds me fe,ster and faster. Is 
not this madness itself to think so, that in our younger 
years being scarce able to break one of them, in our do- 
tage we shall be able to break ten thousand together? 
And certainly this is the disposition and nature of sin. 

3. But add hereunto the argmnent in the text : " To- 
day if ye win hear his voice, harden not your heart ;" but 

n Exod. chap. 15. ver. 5. 10. 

1 Matth. chap. 18. ver. IS. John, chap. 10. rer. 23. 

' Frov, chap. 5. ver. 22. 


repent while it is called to-day. Shewing that if we pass 
this day, we shall be harder and harder. Wherefore, 
saith the apostle, " Exhort" every one another daily while 
it is called to-day, lest any of you be hardened through 
the deceitfulness of sin." As if he had said, if thy heart be 
hard to-day, it will be harder to-morrow. Custom in sin 
hardens the heart, and takes away the sense of it. Where- 
fore saith the apostle, " P speak after the manner of men, 
because of the infirmity of your flesh. For as ye have 
yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to ini- 
quity unto iniquity, even so now yield your members ser- 
vants to righteousness, unto holiness." So that we see if 
a man once give himself up to sin, he will not be satisfied 
therewith, but will give himself up to iniquity unto iniquity. 
What is the meaning of that ? It is as if he had said, if we 
give ourselves up to iniquity, we will not rest there, but we 
will add iniquity unto iniquity, sin unto sin : we will be 
brought to such a custom in evil, as that it will be " easier" 
far a blackmoor to change his skin, and a leopard his 
spots, than for those that have been accustomed to do evil, 
to learn to do well." It will be to as much purpose to 
wash an iEthiopian, as to go put off that ill custom, and 
shake off that second nature. Sin is a hammer, and sin 
is a nail too. Every sin strikes the former sin home to 
the head, that whereas before it might easily have been 
drawn out, it roots it in so fast, as that it can very hardly 
be plucked out. Mark how the apostle describes this 
cursed nature of sin : " Having" eyes fuU of adultery, and 
that cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls, a 
heart they have exercised with covetous practices." What 
makes a man prompt in any thing but exercise ? When 
a man is exercised in sin, see the event of it : it brings 
him to that vicious habit, as that at length he cannot 
cease from sin. If a man deal with a young twig, it will 
bend, and break at his pleasure ; but when it comes to 
full growth, it is past his strength. So fares it with sin : 

Heb. chap. 3. ver. 13. ' Rom. chap. 6. ver. 19. 

Jer. chap. 13. ver. 23. " 2 Peter, chap. 2. ver. 14. 



if thou dealest ■with it whilst thou art young, and it in 
thee, before it hath taken root, thou mayest easily wield 
it, at least with more facility, than otherwise thou couldst ; 
but if thou let it run on to confirmed habits, it becomes 
immoveable. WTierefore saith the apostle, " Let^ us lay 
aside the sin which doth so easily beset us.' The reason 
is evident, because, else we shall be so hardened, as that 
we shall not be able. A man that hath a green wound, 
if he will seek for his cure betimes, it may be quickly, 
and easily remedied ; but through delay, it begins to 
fester, and must be lanced to the quick, not without great 
pain and anguish to the patient. Sin is such a wound ; 
if it be let alone, it corrupts ; and proud flesh the more 
grows up, the longer the cure is delayed. This there- 
fore should be a chief thing we should take heed of, how 
we put from us God's time, and the proffers of mercy, till 
another day. 

2. But there are another sort, as greatly befooled, as 
these, yea more, if more may be : and those are they 
who put it off till the hour of their death, till the last 
gasp, as if they desired to give God as little of their ser- 
vice as possibly they might, who think if they can but cry 
Peccavi, and " Lord have mercy upon me," when their 
breath departs their bodies, they shew a good disposition, 
and perform such acceptable service, as that God cannot 
choose but grant them a pardon : but think not all will be 
surely well, because thou hastest to shake hands with 
God, at thy journey's end, when thou hast not walked with 
him all the way. 

Obj. But did not the thief repent at the last on the 
cross, and why not I on my death bed. 

Sol. This is no good warrant for thy delay, for Christ 
might work this miraculously, for the glory of his passion. 
Dost thou think when in thy health and strength, thou 
hast, for several years, despised the riches of God's 
goodness and forbearance, and long suffering that leads 
thee to repentance, that as soon as thou art cast on thy 

' Heb. chap. 12. ver. 1. 


death bed, and ready to breathe out thy soul, the rocks 
shall be rent again, and the graves opened, to quicken 
thy repentance and beget in thee a saving faith ? Trust 
not therefore on this, nor content thyself with good in- 
tentions, but set about the business in good earnest and 
presently. Our death beds will bring so many disadvan- 
tages, as will make that time very unseasonable : whether 
we respect, 

1. External hindrances, such as are pangs and pains in 
thy body, which must be undergone : and thou shalt find 
it will be as much, as thou well canst do, to support thy- 
self under them. Every noise will then offend thee ; yea 
thou wilt not be able to endure the speech of thy best 
friends. When Moses came to the children of Israel, 
and told them God had sent him to deliver them, what 
acceptation found this comfortable message? The text 
saith, " They^ hearkened not through anguish of their 
spirits." See here the effects of anguish and grief; 
Moses spake comfortably, but " by reason of their pains, 
they hearkened not unto him ;" they were indisposed to 
give attendance. So shall it be with us on our death 
beds, through the anguish of our spirits we shall be unfit 
to meddle with ought else ; especially, when the pains of 
death are upon us, the dread whereof is terrible : how 
will it make us tremble, when death shall come with that 
errand, to divide our souls from our bodies, and put them 
into possession of hell, unless we repent the sooner. Now 
thou art in thy best strength, consider what a terror it 
w^ill be, what a sad message it will bring, when it comes 
not to cut off an arm, or leg, but soul from body. Now 
then make thy peace with God : but that these men are 
fools, they would " through fear of death be all their life- 
time in bondage." It is the apostle's expression^. The 
consideration hereof should never let us be at rest, till we 
had made our peace with God ; it should make us break 
our recreations and sports. The considerations of what 
will become of us should put us in an extacy. Nor are 

^ Exod. chap. 9. ver. 6. ' Heb. chap. 2, ver. 15. 


these all our troubles; for besides these, outward trou- 
bles will then even overwhelm us, when a man is to dis- 
pose of his wife and children, house and lands, he must 
needs be ven.- unfit at this time, for the work of repent- 
ance. These things will cast so great a damp on his heart, 
as that he shall be even cold in his seeking after peace 
with God. 

2. But suppose these outward hindrances are removed, 
that neither pains of body, nor fear of death seize on 
thee, neither care of wife nor children, houses, nor lands 
distract thee, but that thou mightest then set about it 
with all thy might, though thou wert in the most penitent 
condition, that might be to man's seeming, yet where is 
the change or new nature should foUow thy contrition, 
unless we see this in truth, we can have but Uttle comfort. 
Shall I see a sinner run on in his ill courses, tiU the day 
of death, and then set on this work, I could not conclude 
therefore the safety of his soul, because it is the change 
of the affections, not of the actions, that God looks after ; 
for the fear of death may extort this repentance, where 
the nature is not changed. Take an example of a cove- 
tous man, which dotes on his wealth more than any thing 
else in the world; suppose bim in a ship with all his 
riches about him, a tempest comes and puts him in dan- 
ger of losing all, both life and goods, in this strait he 
sticks not to cast out aU his wealth, so he may preserve 
his life ; and shall we therefore say he is not covetous ? 
No, we wiU account him nevertheless covetous for all this, 
not that he loved his goods the less, but his life the more. 
It is so in this case, when an impenitent person is brought 
upon his death bed ; he is apt to cry out in the bitterness 
of his soul. If God wiQ but grant me life, and spare me 
now, I win never be a drunkard, swearer, or covetous 
person, more, ^"hence comes this ? Not from any change 
of his nature, and loathing of what he formerly loved, 
but because he cannot keep these and life together : 
fear alters his disposition, the terrors of the Ahnighty 
lying upon him. I have myself seen many at such a time 
as this, that have been so exceeding iull of sorrow, and 


penitent expressions, that the standers by have even 
wished their souls to have been in the other souls' cases, 
and yet when God hath restored them, they have fallen 
into their former courses again; and why is this? But 
because when repentance comes this way, it alters only 
the outward actions for the present, not the sinful dispo- 
sitions, things that are extracted from a man, after the 
outward appearance, not the nature. Therefore saith the 
Lord, " P will go and return to my place, till they ac- 
knowledge their offence, and seek my face : in their afflic- 
tion they will seek me early." Mark, when God's hand 
is on them, they will seek him : and as in chap. VI. ver. 1 . 
say one to another, " Come let us return unto the Lord, 
for he hath torn and he will heal us, he hath smitten and 
he will bind us up." How penitent were they, when 
God's hand was on them : but let it once be removed, and 
hear how God presently complains of them: " O Ephraim, 
what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do 
unto thee ? For your goodness is as a morning cloud," 
such a goodness as is extorted, that is as temporary as 
earthly dew ! Another considerable place we have in 
Psalm LXXVIII. ver. 34. " When he slew them, then 
they sought him, and returned, and inquired early after 
God." Was not this a great conversion? When they 
were in this dismal condition, they were not troubled with 
cares, for wife or children, houses or lands, how can we 
think but that these men died in peace, that were in so 
good a humour ; yet see what follows : " Nevertheless'^ 
they did flatter him with their mouths, and lied unto him 
with their tongues." 

Besides, consider the unworthiness of it ; I will forsake 
sin, when sin forsakes me : we leave it when we can keep 
it no longer : " Thank you for nothing," may God say, 
if you could, you would sin longer, this is that folly, 
which deferring our repentance brings us to. 

But to draw to a conclusion : God hath set us a certain 
day, and if we pass the time, wo be to us. For though 

*• Hos. chap. 5. ver. 15. <" Psalm 78. ver. 35. 


he is full of mercy, and patience, yet patience hurt often- 
times harms, and provokes the Almighty to fury. " God'' 
wiU not always strive with man, but his days shall he an 
hundred and twenty years," if he convert in that space, 
and retiu-n, well, if not, he shall be swept away. And to 
this purpose is that parable : " A^ certain man had a fig- 
tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and sought fruit 
thereon and found none, Then said he unto the dresser of 
his vineyard, behold these three years I came seeking 
fruit on this fig-tree, and find none : Cut it down, why 
cumbereth it the ground?" There is an appointed time, 
then, fore-ordained by God, wherein he offers us grace. 
" Let it alone," saith the dresser, " one year more :" it 
may be seven years, or ten, it may be but two hours, for 
ought thou knowest, that God may offer thee longer this 
space. No man knows the time, and its continuance, but 
he that hath appointed it to this purpose : which is a 
point I thought not to speak of, but now I wUl. 

You hear much talk of God's eternal and everlasting 
election, and we are too apt to rest on this, that if we are 
elected to salvation we shall be saved, and if not, we shall 
be damned, troubling ourselves with God's work of pre- 
destination, whereas this works no change in the party 
elected, until it come unto him in his own person, ^^^^at 
is God's election to me? it is nothing to my comfort, 
unless I myself am eff'ectually called. We are to look to 
this eff'ectual calling. The other is but God's love to 
sever me from the corrupt mass of Adam's posterity. But 
what is my eff'ectual calling .' It is that, when God touches 
my heart, and translates me from the death of sin, to the 
life of grace. Before this eff'ectual calling, even the 
elect Ephesians were " without' Christ, aliens from the 
commonwealth of Israel, strangers from the covenant of 
promise, having no hope, and without God in the world." 
Now there are certain times which God appoints for this 
eff'ectual calling, wherein he uses the means to work on 

* Gen. chap. 6. ver. 3. ' Luke, chap. 13. ver. 6. 

' Ephes. chap. 2. \ei. 12. 



US, and of which he can say, " What could I do more 
than I have done?" And mayest thou not fear an actual 
rejection, since thou hast lived thus long under the means 
of grace ; that God hath waited these, not only three, but 
many years, the dew of heaven continually falling on thee, 
and that yet thou shouldest remain unfruitful. Doest 
thou not fear, I say, that dismal sentence, " cut it down, 
why cumbereth it the ground ;" God's grace is not to be 
dallied with, as wanton children do with their meats ; if we 
do thus slight him, he may justly deprive us of all. See 
a terrible place to this purpose : " The^ earth which drink- 
eth in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth 
herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth 
blessing from God, but that which beareth thorns and 
briars, is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end 
is to be burned." Consider these places : God calls us, 
where the droppings of his grace are distilled ; consider 
then, do we bring forth that fruit which is meet for the 
dresser, answerable to those continual distillings and 
droppings on us? If our consciences witness for us, 
happy are we, but when there have been these showers of 
grace out of God's word flowing down upon us, and yet 
we have received so much grace in vain ; O what can we 
expect, but a curse in this life, and eternal death in the 
world to come ? What can we look for, but the figtree's 
curse, which was barren ? The tree was not cut down, 
but withered : we are near the same curse, if we answer 
not God's grace. When we have had so long a time the 
ministry of the word, and yet suffer it to be lost through 
our barrenness, our condition is sad, and woful ; we can 
look for nothing, but withering. " But*" beloved, I must 
hope better things of you, and such as accompany salva- 
tion." Labour therefore to prevent, and arm yourselves 
against this suggestion and fallacy of Satan, and resolve 
to hear God in this acceptable time, now to set to the 
work, which if we do, all will be well, God will be gra- 
cious to us. If otherwise, we are undone for ever. Till 

5 Heb. chap. 6. ver. 7, S. ^ Heb. chap. 6. ver. 9. 


you have learned this lesson, you can no further. Where- 
fore let not Satan possess you with that madness, to cause 
you to pass and let sUp this golden opportunity, through 
a false conceit, that you may have a more seasonable day 
of your own, for repentance hereafter. I will not say, 
that a death hed repentance is always fruitless ; the an- 
cient fathers, though they give no encouragement to defer 
it tiU then, yet in case it be so long put off, they enjoin 
it even then. "Eiog^ ors sfiirvhig, iv idxary nfii^a, Itt' aiirf/c 
Tr]Q kXivtiq, iav ^g Kiifisvog ^V)(oppayu)V fiiWojv i^Uvai TOV 
Oedrpov tovtov kol rov fdiov, ron fU.Tav6r\aov tov KaiQov' tj 
OT£vOT^(i)jO(a oh KuXevei rjjv tov Qtov (piAavOpwTriav, &C. 

" As long as thou breathest, even in the last day of thy 
Ufe, upon thy bed, when thou art expiring, and about to 
depart from the theatre of this life, then repent : the 
straitness of the time doth not exclude the philanthropy 
of God, that love which he beareth to mankind. Only 
remember what I have said of the danger of this procras- 
tination, and how unfitting a season it is, for so great a 
work, and what reasons we have to judge it seldom 

■ Chrysost. in Psalm 51. page 675. and 705. edit Sa?ilian. 



Gal. chap. VI. ver. 3, 4. 

" For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth 
himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have re- 
joicing in himself alone, and not in another." 

Having entered on the doctrine of the conversion of a 
sinner in that text, Heb. chap. IV. ver. 7. upon which 
depends our everlasting salvation, I laboured to persuade 
you of the necessity of taking the accepted time of em- 
bracing the proffers of God's grace, and of the necessity 
of doing it speedily. 

I shewed you that there is a certain time in which God 
will be found, and that this time was the present time. 

I declared unto you the great danger that would follow, 
if we took not God at his word, but refused his day for a 
day of our own, as if we were wiser than he ; if when 
God calls, and holds out the golden sceptre, we refuse to 
draw near, and touch it : also what danger there is of 
being deluded by Satan, and our own hearts. 

I shewed you farther, that the work was half done if 
this were done, if we could but learn this lesson. 

And now all that I shall speak will be to little purpose, 
if this be not first wrought. If it be already wrought in 
us, blessed are we. Our condition were thrice happy, 
would God now strike in, and cause us to return to him- 
self. It is not good to dally with God, the time may come 
when it will be too late, when we shall wish we had done 
otherwise, and taken the accepted time. 

Now I will go on to a farther point, which is this ; when 
Satan cannot prevail with a sinner, to say to his soul, or 


to think with himself, I will do it hereafter, or I will at 
the day of death, when he cannot prevail with him to 
defer it, and leave it quite undone for the present : then 
he will give way to his doing a little to it, hut it shall be 
so superficial, and on such false grounds, that he had as 
good leave it undone ; for Satan makes him thus conclude 
with himself, Well, since I see it is a duty so necessary, I 
will not put it off an hour, but yet I see no such matter 
required in conversion, no such great need of being new 
moulded. But now in the point of conversion, there are 
two things to be thought on. 

First, what estate the sinner is in for the present, and 
then, when he hath made search, and foimd it to be amiss ; 
then the next thing is, he must turn unto God, and re- 
solve to amend. 

I shall not now stand to speak of that common asper- 
sion cast upon rehgion, and ways of God, that men must 
sail to heaven by the gates of hell, of which many are so 
much afraid : but yet we must not think that our Saviour 
came to heal those, which were whole already ; he is a 
God of wisdom, and the Physician of the soul ; he comes 
to find that which is lost : so that we must be lost in our 
own apprehensions, if we will be found, as David was. 
He first saith : " P have gone astray like a sheep that is 
lost, then seek thy servant." If now we are once lost, we 
are lost for ever, for he seeks us not ; therefore we should 
first consider with ourselves, what estate we are in now, 
how the case stands with us at present, that if God 
should come and strike thee with death, if thou wert now 
to come to judgment, what would trouble thee most, what 
couldst thou then answer hini ? Therefore since it is 
uncertain how soon God may deal thus with thee, it is 
wisdom to be always ready. " Let"^ lis search and try our 
ways, and turn again unto the Lord." Let us first try how 
the matter stands with us, at the present ; let us examine 
ourselves and our ways, and see if all be well, and then 
may we go on with comfort in the way wherein we are. 

*■ Psalm 119. ver. 176. ■" Lam. chap. 3. ver. 40. 


But when we have searched, and find things not go as 
well as they ought, or that we are not in a right way, then 
after our searching we must turn unto the Lord : thus 
the prophet did : " F thought upon my ways, and turned 
my feet unto thy testimonies." First he thought on his 
ways, he considered, whether he was going to heaven 
or hell ; when he had thus thought, he made haste, and 
" turned his feet unto God's testimonies." Here are both 
put together: first he made haste and thought on his 
ways, and then he turned. 

I took this text to shew that one of these is as dan- 
gerous as the other, and how men are apt to deceive them- 
selves in their search and examination. It is as dan- 
gerous not to prove our ways, as to put off and defer our 
turning to God. This is a dangerous disease, that when 
men come to examine and try their spiritual estates, they 
have false weights and unequal balances to prove them- 
selves by: they are very willing to save themselves the 
labour, though they be deceived. A man is loth to be 
cozened by another ; but here is his folly, that he is 
willing enough to deceive and betray himself. Such fools 
the devil makes many men, because they take not right 
glasses to look on themselves in, and so they deceive 
themselves : " For'' if a man think himself to be something 
when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself; but let every 
man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing 
in himself alone and not in another." 

In the words here are, 

1. The disease. 

2. A remedy. 

1 . The disease is in the third verse " If a man think him- 
self to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth him- 
self." This is a common dangerous disease ; and a disease 
which is both common and dangerous is the more to be 
feared, the more careful must the physician be. This is the 
most common disease, for there is not a man but finds a 
snatch of it in his own heart. And it is the more dan- 

J Psalm 129. ver. 57. ' Gal. chap. 6. ver. 3. 



gerous ; for who is in more danger than he that is blind 
and will be blind I that is willing to be cheated by Satan, 
and himself. This is the patient. Now what his disease 
is, and the dangerousness of it, the apostle teUs us : " He 
thinks himself to be something, and he is nothing." This 
is the patient to be cured, and that is his disease, than 
which none more common : for there is not the worst of 
men, but will say, I thank God I am something, and I am 
not half so bad as the preacher would make me, I have 
some good thing in me. 
Now this his disease stands in two things. 

1. That he is nothing. 

2. That he thinks himself to be something. 

1. He is nothing. And for a man to be brought before 
God's judgment-seat, and have nothing to answer, how 
will it fare ^^th him then ? But yet this man cannot but 
think, he is something : well then, something he is, but 
nothing to the purpose : as we say of an idol. An idol is 
nothing in the world : that is, nothing that can help, or 
succour those that bow to it, and adore it, nothing that 
can relieve the worshipper of it. An idol is something 
indeed, for it is silver, or gold, or brass, or stone. Sec. 
But it is nothing that can plead for a man when he holds 
up his hand at God's bar. 

2. " He thinks himself to be something, though he be 
nothing :" He thinks he shall come to heaven, though he 
be not in the way; as the foolish virgins, that thought 
they should be let in, feared not the contrary, till they 
came to the marriage chamber door*. So these men walk 
in their way all their life, and vet fear not entrance into 
heaven, tiU they receive sentence to the contrary. If 
these men knew themselves to be nothing, they would 
seek something for themselves : but now they are nothing, 
though they think themselves something. This is the 

2. The remedy is in the next verse, " Let him prove 
his own work." Let him view himself in a true glass, and 

* Matth. chap. 25. ver. 1 U 


that is the point we shall insist on. If then we provide, 
that Satan shall not delude us in deferring, and putting 
oiF our repentance ; so let us also provide, that he deceive 
us not with a false conceit of our ways and estate ; that 
we may not make ourselves something, when we are nothing. 
Therefore let us see what false glasses they are, that men 
get to themselves. If Satan bring us to have a good opi- 
nion of ourselves, and our condition, and persuade us, 
that it is not with us, as precise preachers tell us ; that it 
is no such matter to go to heaven, but that it may be done 
with less pains and more ease : when, I say, Satan lulls a 
man asleep with such plausible things as these, he hath 
him where he would have him. Why then no marvel, if 
this man like his ways, when he looks upon them with 
false glasses. 

1. The first false glass is self-love, and the property of 
love is to make the good things in the party it loves very 
great, and the vices very little, self-love represents nothing 
in its true shape. The apostle speaking of the latter 
days, saith, " There^ shall be perilous times :" and where- 
in lieth the peril? " Mien shall be lovers of their own 
selves." As if he had said, that is one of the worst pe- 
rils, for a man to have a great conceit of himself. If one 
be sick of this disease, it will so blind him, that he shall 
never see a thing in its right place : we may see it by the 
contrary in the want of love. Suppose it in the case of a 
malignant neighbour, for example ; he that is full of ma- 
lice and envy towards his neighbour, (consider what a 
false glass this is,) will never want matter of quarrel against 
him. The man that wants love, see how the good and 
bad deeds of his neighbour shew themselves to him : 
when he looks on the good actions of his neighbour, they 
appear but very small, he is always abridging and con- 
tracting his virtues and good things, making them seem 
less than indeed they are. On the other side, all things 
he sees amiss in him, this want of love makes them far 
greater than they are. Love breeds the contrary ; when 

' 2 Tim, chap. 3. 


a man loves himself, his good things seem very great, and 
his evil things very small, those he abridges and contracts ; 
and hereupon is that instance brought of the Jews. 
" Thinkest* thou, O man, that judgest them that do such 
things, that thou shalt escape," &c. When such a man 
looks upon his own sins, they appear small to him ; but 
when on the infirmities of others, they seem very great. 
With one eye he looks on himself, with another on his 
neighbour. This man perchance is a drunkard as well 
as his neighbour, covetous, as well as him, yet he con- 
cludes them great evils in his neighbour, but extenuates 
them within himself: self love causes this diiFerence. As 
long as this sways us, that we love things, because they 
are our own, we shall never be able to guess at our own 
condition. If another man should look on you both, 
would he not account thee partial ? K a man hath a son 
or daughter, though they be not so wise or beautiful as 
another man's, yet he delights in them as much as if they 
were, he loves them because they are his own. I^et a 
man be born in a barren country, he wUl praise it most, 
not because there is none so good, but because he loves it 
best, it is his own coimtry. Thou wilt never be a good 
judge of thine own estate if thou viewest thyself in this 
false glass, for it will easily deceive a man. 

True, I know self love is a deceitful glass, and looking 
therein, a man will be favourable to himself, and so de- 
ceive himself, for it renders things in a bigger shape than 
in truth and reality they are. But 

2. I thank God, my neighbours also, and all others 
that know me, speak well of me. I have not only a good 
conceit of myself, but every man about me can speak well 
of me, cannot say, " black is mine eye." I have a good 
report of all men. But if this were enough and sufficient 
to assure thee of the goodness of thy estate, it were well, 
but it is not enough. True it is, a good report from men 
for fair and honest dealing is not to be despised ; yet it 
will do no good, unless thou have it from Grod. It was 

• Roro. chap. 2. ver. 3. 


one of the happinesses of our Saviour, that he was in 
favour with God and men ; it was with God too as well as 
men. When both meet together, it is well indeed. De- 
metrius, in John, chap. III. ver. 12. we read, " had a 
good report of all men, and of the truth itself." To 
have a good report from men, and also from the truth, is 
an happy thing; but having it not from the truth, "Wo 
to us, when all men speak well of us." What folly is it to 
rest upon a good report from men, when I have it not 
from the truth ? The like madness it is, as for a man to 
trust in the absolution of his fellow-prisoners, when the 
law of the land condemns him. Shall a sick man be so 
mad as to say he is well, because others say so ? as if 
we should seek ourselves out of ourselves. No, " Let 
every man prove his own work, and then shall he have re- 
joicing inhimselfandnotin another." "He'^sa Jew, which 
is one inwardly, whose praise is not of men but of God." 
Not as if this did discommon, or turn out the praise of 
men; but it is comparatively spoken, and it is meant, 
whose praise is not so much of men as of God. So that 
this is the second false glass, when a man concludes him- 
self to be in a good estate because men praise him, thinks 
it well -with him, because others think so, and say so. He 
hath a good opinion of himself, but that is not all, other 
men give him a good report too. And this follows the 
former : for a man needs never fear flattery from others, 
that doth not flatter himself. 

But these are not my only grounds that I have so good 
an opinion of myself, and that others speak well of me, 
but when I compare myself with others and I find wherein I 
may rejoice. So that this is the 

3. Third glass, when a man compares himself with 
others, and himself. 

1. When he compares himself with others. I thank 
God, saith he, I am better than twenty of my neighbours ; 
I know this man that follows such courses, and another 
lives in such a foul sin. Sure, saith he, I am not such a 

•> Rom. chap. 2. ver. 29. 


sinner as these, therefore I am happy, and I doubt not 
room in heaven. This is the cause that the Pharisee 
went home unjustified, because, looking on other men, he 
justified himself: " God I thank thee I am not as other 
men, no extortioner," &c. This fellow is so far from 
begging any thing of God, that he fiUs up his time with 
thanksgiving, he thinks he wants nothing, and that is his 
error ; he looks on other men, and compares himself with 
them, and thence concludes he is well enough, because 
he is not so bad as this or that man. This is the common 
deceit, when men take this for a rule, that because they 
are not so bad as the off-scouring of the world, but are 
better than the ordinary sort of men, therefore they sup- 
pose they are very well, or as well as they need to be. As 
if a sick man should say, I am not so sick as such a man, 
who is at the point of death, therefore I am very well. I 
would desire such men, that as they look on those that 
are under them, so they would a little cast up their eyes 
on those that are above them. "When you look on the 
pubUcan, this and that man, and bless yourselves, because 
you are not so bad as these, who perchance are before 
you in points of moraUty : if you stand on comparisons, 
look on those that are above you, that go beyond you in 
grace and zeal, and look not so much on the sins of others 
as your own : another man's sins may condemn him, they 
cannot save thee. When a thief and a murderer are both 
arraigned at the bar for their hves, will the thief say to the 
murderer thy sin is the greater, thy fault is of an higher 
nature, therefore I shall be saved, because mine is not 
heinous, when they both are pvmishable with death? The 
fault of another will not make thv case better. It is no 
point of justification, thus to deceive thyself, and to con- 
clude because another is worse than thee, that therefore 
thy estate is blessed. So we see the degrees of false 
glasses. Self love, or self conceit: then a good opinion 
of men: and conferring a man's self with some others. 
He is better than they, therefore his estate is good. An 
absurd conclusion ; the devil will mightily insult over such 
as he can so easUy deceive. 


But this man goes farther ; I not only compare myself 
with others, but with myself too, and find good ground to 
conclude the safeness of my condition. I remember a 
time, when I was vain and idle, when I ran in a way con- 
trary to God. But now I have sowed my wild oats ; and 
whereas before I was loose and dissolute, I have care to 
do my duty, to serve God, &c. I am not so profane as 
formerly, my estate must needs be good. This is a very 
dangerous thing to say, that because I am not as bad as I 
was, I am therefore good. It is as if a man had a debtor, a 
slack paymaster, to whom the creditor calls earnestly to 
pay the debt ; the best answer the debtor gives is this, I 
am sure there are many worse paymasters in the world 
than I am, and I myself have been a worse, and more 
slow paymaster heretofore than I am now. Well, because 
there are worse paymasters, and he himself hath been a 
worse, doth this make him a better now ? And shall this 
serve to excuse thee, by comparing thyself with others 
that are worse? And with thyself, that because thou 
hast mended thyself in some particulars, therefore thou 
art in the way to heaven ? It is a false and foolish con- 

4. Now we come to the main thing, another false glass, 
which we call partial obedience, when a man goes fur- 
ther, looking upon the letter of the commandment only, 
saying, I thank God I forbear many sins, and do many 
duties, I am not a thief, nor a murderer, swearer, drunk- 
ard, or covetous person : I do not take God's name in 
vain; I have not broken the Sabbath, though I doubt 
whether it be moral or no. I have served God in com- 
ing to his house, given obedience to my parents, &c. 
And looking on this he concludes, doubtless all is well 
with him : as when I have a thousand thorns in my feet, 
and have three or four taken out, will this help me ? be- 
cause I have not the stone or the gout, shall I conclude I 
am well, as if I could not be sick without this or that dis- 
ease. Because I do something that God requires, shall I 
think I do as much as I need ? No, we must take heed of 


that, God will not be contented with partial obedience ; 
he wiU have the whole heart or none. 

Obj. But mine is not partial obedience, I do my endea- 
vour, as far as I am able to do, what God requires : here 
comes in natural reason, and saith, I thank God I do what 
I can, and I see no reason, why more should be required. 
I conform myself, as I am able, and I see it needful, to the 
greatest duties of Christianity ; I lead such a blameless 
life, that no man can tax me in any particular what God 
hath enabled me to do ; and according to moral philoso- 
phy, I know not how more can be required : I go as far as 
Seneca's rules, and somewhat farther, and sure this is not 
partial obedience. 

Sol. I speak not against morality. But yet let me tell 
thee, if thou hast no more than morality, it will not bring 
thee to heaven. Not but that a moral man is an excellent 
stock, whereon to graft grace and virtue, it is a good help 
to heaven, yet it comes far short of bringing him thither. 
Natural reason was once a fuQ and fair glass, till it was 
broken by the fall : but now it is insufficient. The tables 
in Moses' hands were excellent things, God made the first 
tables with his own hand, and perchance they may be 
therein tvpical, when these were broken, Moses makes the 
second, these not so excellent as the former, though I 
should esteem a piece of these more excellent than aU 
the relics of the papists, for there was something of the 
first in them, God writes them with his own finger. This 
glass which was then so perfect, is now broken, and is not 
so perfect as it was, though there be something yet remain- 
ing in it ; we mav see something of its ancient lustre in the 
Gentiles ; " for these having not a law, are a law unto 
themselves." There are practical principles yet remain- 
ing in the tables of our hearts, so that they that care not 
for the law, shall be judged by that natural light, which is 
in them. We have a conscience to difference between 
good and evil. This is the truth. It is a part of the 
image of God implanted in us, which we are not to despise 
lest we be judged with those that " hold the truth in im- 
righteousness :" the truth is the principle of difference 


betwixt good and bad : the soul was to have a seat as a 
queen to rule all our actions : but now this queen is taken 
captive, and all is lost : morality and inward principles are 
to be much esteemed, as things which God at first plant- 
ed, yet do they come short of bringing a man to heaven. 
The young man in the Gospel had a'good esteem of him- 
self, and was doubtless well esteemed of others, and did 
many things : but yet our Saviour tells him, " how hard a 
thing it was for one no better qualified than at that time 
he was, or rather impossible (for he preferred his wealth 
before the blessed society of Christ) to come to heaven :" 
Although he thinks himself well enough, though he were 
rich not only in great outward possessions, but in his mo- 
ral virtues too, so that when our Saviour tells him of the 
commandments, he replies : " all these have I kept from 
my youth," which evidenced him to have been a good 
moral man indeed in that he had done so much, yet this 
was not enough, one thing lacked : " go and sell all that 
thou hast," &c. However, because there was so much in 
him, we read, Mark, chap. X. ver. 21. " Jesus loved him :" 
he sheweth that his cause was heavy, that going so far he 
should not attain his end. But this was not to be de- 
spised, for this Jesus loved him. So 1 Kings, chap. XIV. 
ver. 13. " He only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, 
because in him there is found some good things towards 
the Lord." If there are but some good things in a man, 
the remains of God's work, God loveth his own work ; 
here is the point then, though morality be good, and na- 
tural reason be good : and what through the providence 
of God remains in us, since the state of our first creation ; 
(for this state was a pure and a full glass, made by God 
himself, but since the fall is much darkened : if we con- 
sult with natural reason and moral philosophy, they will 
discover many things :) yet this comes short. There are 
abundance of things that it cannot discover, manifold de- 
fects which it cannot discern. The apostle saith in the 
Romans, chap. VII. ver. 7. " I had not known sin but by 
the law. I had not known lust to have been a sin, had not 
the law said) thou shalt not lust." We have many sins 


we cannot know, but by the law, yea such secret sins, as 
must be repented of. Our Saviour overthrew the tables 
of the money changers, and woidd not suffer them to 
carry burdens through the temple, though for the use of 
those that sacrificed, a thing which had some shew of re- 
ligion in it. He whipped both out, not only those that 
had residence there, but those that passed through : he 
would suffer none but those that could justify what they 
did by the law. Now, as God would not have sin lodge 
and make its abode in the soul, so he would not have it 
made a thoroughfare for sin : he would not have vain 
thoughts come up and down in the hearts. Now, " by 
the law comes the knowledge of these secret sins." Rea- 
son is a glass much to be esteemed for what it can shew ; 
but it is not a perfect glass ; sometimes it shews a sin, 
but many times diminishes it, that we cannot see it in fuU 
proportion. The apostle makes this use of the law, that 
by it " sin becomes exceeding sinful." Thou mayest see 
sin to be sin by natural reason, but to see it exceeding 
sinful, this morahty comes short of, thou must have this 
from the law of God. 

5. There is another false glass, when the " Devil trans- 
forms himself into an angel of light," when he preacheth 
Gospel to a man. Beware of the doctrine when the de- 
ceiver preacheth. This may be his doctrine : " He that 
beUeveth and is baptized shall be saved." From this, by 
Satan's cunning delusion the natural man thus concludes ; 
A mere heathen shall be shut out of heaven's gates, but I 
beheve in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, 
therefore I am in a good condition. Why then should I 
trouble myself any ftu-ther ? There is no man can accuse 
me, and my own good works will testify unto me, that I 
do enough. Strictness in reUgion is troubleness, and it 
is an unreasonable thing to do more : but this is but a 
mere delusion of Satan, for there is nothing more quiets, 
and satisfies a man, than religion ; there is nothing in the 
world more reasonable, than the service of God. First 
then know thy disease, and then apply those sweet and 
sovereign cures. It is no easy matter for a man to be- 


lieve : we block up the strait ways of God, if we think it an 
easy matter to believe of ourselves. It must be done by the 
mighty power of God : it is as great a work of God, as the 
creation of the world, to make a man believe : it is the 
mighty power of God to salvation. Such a one must not re- 
ceive Christ as a Saviour, but as a Lord too. He must re- 
nounce all to have him, he must take him on his own terms. 
He must deny the world and all, looking beforehand what it 
will cost him. Now for a man to take Christ, as his Lord, 
denying himself the world, and all, to resolve to pluck 
out his right eye, cut off his right hand rather than to part 
with him, and account nothing so dear to him as Christ, 
is no small matter. Thou canst not be Christ's spouse, 
unless thou forsake all for him. Thou must " account 
all things as dung and dross in comparison with him :" and 
is not this a difficult thing ? Is this an easy task ? Easily 
spoken indeed, not as easily done : it must be here as in 
the case of marriage ; a man must forsake all others, yea 
the whole world, else Christ will not own him. Observe 
the speech of the apostle, " What* is the exceeding great- 
ness of his power to usward that believe," &c. Mark, is 
to believe so easy a matter think you ? Why, unless the 
mighty power of God be engaged for it, with that strength 
as it was engaged in raising Christ from the dead, it can- 
not be. When thou art to believe, and united unto 
Christ, the agreement is not that thou shalt take him as 
thy wife, and thou shalt be his husband : no, he must be 
thy husband, and thou his wife, and according to the 
obligation of that relation, thou must be in subjection to 
him, and must obey him. Now for a man to be brought 
out of his natural condition, and to take Christ on any 
terms, so he may be saved by him in the end, is not so 
easy. Canst thou think there is no more required but 
only the outward baptism, or that there is no more in bap- 
tism but the outward washing of the flesh ? No ; " He'^ is 
not a Jew that is one outwardly, neither is that circumci- 
sion which is in the flesh ; but he is a Jew that is so in- 
wardly, and circumcision is that of the heart." Thou then 

' Eph. chap. 1. ver. 19. '' Rom. chap. 2. ver. 29. 


enterest into God's livery. Mark this, for by it I strive 
only to bring thee back to thyself. Thou enterest into co- 
venant with him ; thou bindest thyself to forsake the world, 
the flesh, and the devil ; and we should make this use of 
baptism, as now to put it in practice. ^Tien we promised, 
there were two things in the indenture ; one, that God 
%Till give Christ to us, the other, that we must forsake 
all the sinful lusts of the flesh : this is that which makes 
baptism to be baptism indeed to us. The other thing re- 
quired is, that we forsake all'. It is not confined to the 
very act, but it hath a perpetual effect all the days of thy 
life. I add, it never hath its full effect till the day of our 
death, the abolition of the whole body of sin. That which 
we seal, is not complete till then, till we have final grace. 
The water of baptism quenches the fire of purgatory; for 
it is not accomplished tiU final grace is received. We are 
now under the physician's hands, then shall we be cured. 
Baptism is not done only at the font, which is a thing de- 
ceives many ; for it runs through our whole life : nor hath 
it consummation till our dying day, tiU we receive final 
grace : the force and efficacy of baptism is for the washing 
away of sin to-morrow, as well as the day past : the death 
of sin is not till the death of the body, and therefore it is 
said " we must be buried with him by baptism into his 
death." Now at our death we receive final grace; till 
when, this washing and the virtue thereof hath not its 

Let no man therefore deceive you with vain words ; take 
heed of looking on yourselves in these false glasses, think 
it not an easy thing to get heaven, the way is strait, and 
the passage narrow. There must be a striving to enter ; 
there must be an ascending into heaven, a motion con- 
trary to nature : and therefore it is foUy to think we shall 
drop into heaven, there must be a going upward, if ever 
we win come thither. 

' Rom. chap. 6. ver. 2. 



EPHES. chap. II. VER 1, 2, 3. 

And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins, where in 
times past you wallied according to the course of this world, according to the 
prince that rulethin the air, the spirit that worketh in the children of diso- 
bedience. Amongst whom also we all had our conversation in times past, in 
the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and 
were by nature the children of wrath even as others." 

The last time I declared unto you the duty that was ne- 
cessarily required of us if we look to be saved, that we 
must not only take the matter speedily into consideration, 
and not be deluded by our own hearts and the wiles of 
Satan ; but that we must not do it superficially or per- 
functorily, but must bring ourselves to the true touchstone, 
and not look upon ourselves with false glasses, because 
there is naturally in every one self-love ; and in these last and 
worst times men are apt to think better of themselves than 
they deserve. If there be any beginning of goodness in 
them, they think all is well, when there is no greater danger 
in the world than being but half Christians. He thinks 
(the half Christian I mean,) that if he hath escaped the 
outward pollutions of the world, through lust, and be not 
so bad as formerly he hath been, and not so bad as many 
men in the world are, therefore he is well enough : where- 
as his end proves worse than his beginning. This super- 
ficial repentance is but like the washing of a hog, the out- 
side is only washed, the swinish nature is not taken away. 
There may be in this man some outward abstaining from 
the common gross sins of the world, or those which he 
himself was subject unto ; but his disposition to sin is the 
same, his nature is nothing changed : there is no renova- 
tion, no casting in a new mould, which must be in us. 



For it is not a little reforming will serve the turn, no, nor 
all the morahty in the world, nor all the common graces of 
God's Spirit, nor the outward change of the life : they 
^ni[ not do, unless we are quickened, and have a new life 
wrought in us ; unless there be a supernatural working of 
God's Spirit we can never enter into heaven. Therefore 
in this case it behoves every man to prove his " own' 
work." A thing men are hardly drawn unto, to be exact 
examiners of themselves, ccelo discendit yviLOi a-eavrov, a 
heathen himself could say, to know a man's self is a hea- 
venly saying ; and it is an heavenly thing indeed, if we 
have an heavenly master to teach us. The Devil taught 
Socrates a lesson that brought him from the study of natu- 
ral to moral philosophy, whereby he knew himself; yet 
the Devil knew morahty could never teach him the lesson 
indeed. All the morahty in the world cannot teach a man 
to escape hell : we must have a better instructor herein 
than the Devil, or ourselves ; the Lord of Heaven must 
do it, if ever we vrill be brought to know ourselves aright. 
St. Paul was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, one of the 
learnedest doctors of the Pharisees, and yet he could not 
teach him this. When he studied the law, he thought 
himself unblameable, but coming to an higher and better 
Master; he knows that "in him, that is, in*" his flesh 
dwells no good thing." By self-examination a man may find 
many faults in himself, but to find that which the apostle 
afterwards found in himself, to see the flesh a rottenness, 
the sink of iniquity that is within him, and to find himself 
so bad as indeed he is, vuiless it please the Lord to open 
his eyes, and to teach him, he can never attain it. 

Now we come to this place of the apostle, wherein we 
see the true glass of ourselves, the Spirit knows what we 
are, better than ourselves ; and the Spirit shews us that 
every man of us either was, or is such as we are here set 
down to be. We are first natural before we can be spi- 
ritual, there is not a man, but hath been, or is yet, a natu- 
ral man, and therefore see we the large description of a 

" Gal. chap. 6. ver. 4. •' Rom. chap. 7. 


natural man before he is quickened, before God, which 
is rich in mercy, enhvens him being dead in sins, and saves 
him by grace in Christ. Thus is it with us all, and thus 
must it be ; and we shall never be fit for grace till we 
know ourselves thus far, till we know ourselves as far out 
of frame, as the Spirit of truth declares us to be. In this 
place of Scripture consider we 

1. Who this carnal man is; what they are which the 
apostle speaks of, to be "dead in sins: and that walk after 
the course of the world, led by the Devil, and have their 
conversation after the flesh, children of wrath." These are 
big words and heavy things : consider first the subject, of 
whom this is spoken. 

Then follows the prtedicate, or 

2. What that ill news is, which he delivers of them. 
We begin with the first. 

1 . Who they are of whom this is spoken : and that is 
you: " You hath he quickened who were dead :" and "ye 
(in the words following,) that in times past walked after 
the course of the world :" and in the third verse more par- 
ticularly : " Among whom also we all had our conversa- 
tion in times past." He speaks now in the first person, as 
before in the second, so that the subject is we all and 9/e 
all. Not a man in this congregation, but is or was as bad 
as the Holy Ghost here makes him. But 

2. To come to that, which is delivered of him : he is 
one " not quickened, dead in sins :" no better than nature 
made him, that corrupt nature which he had from Adam, 
till he is thus spiritually enlivened. 

Now he is described. 

1, By the quality of his person. 

2. By his company. " Even as others." Thou mayest 
think thyself better than another man, but thou art no 
better ; never a barrel the better herring (as we say) : 
" Even as others ;" thou art not so alone, but as bad as the 
worst, not a man more evil in his nature than thou art. 
When thou goest to hell, perhaps some difference there 
may be in your several punishments, according to your se- 
veral acts of rebellion ; but yet you shall " all come short 

48 sERMoys. 

of the glory of God," and for matter of quickening, you 
are all alike. 

I. First concerning their quality : and this is declared. 

1. By their general disposition, " they are dead in tres- 
passes and sins." Dead, and therefore unable and indis- 
posed to the works of a spiritual hving man : besides, not 
only indisposed and unable thereto, but " dead in tres- 
passes and sins." For, the separation of the soul from 
God is a more dangerous death, than the separation of 
the soul from the body, and this is the reason, why 
St. John^ calls damnation the second death: reckoning 
(in comparison) the natural death for none. Accordingly 
also speaketh the learned patriarch of Alexandria : " Qa- 
varoe* Kvpiwc, oii;^l 6 j^wpiZwv -jjv ■J.v\riv awo Tov (TWfiaTog, 
aXX 6 Xbjpi^iiiv \lv\Tjv imo tov 0£ov. 'O Qioq Zwri kariv' 
b Se -rJQ \u}pLZ,6fitvOQ, TiBvr\K£, rjjv iTgoaBiv -rrapprjiriav, wg 
TTjv Z'^rjv, airofiaXwv. That is not properly death, which 
separateth soul from the body, but that which separateth 
God from the soul. God is the life of the soul, but he 
that is separated from life is dead, being deprived of ala- 
crity and cheerfulness, as of Ufe." He lies rotting in his 
own filth, like a rotten carcase, and stinking carrion in the 
nostrils of the Almighty, so loathsome is he : all which is 
drawn from original sin. Not only dis-enabled to any 
good, but prone to all sin and iniquity. 

2. By his particular conversation : and that appears in 
the verse following. " Where in times past ye walked." 
How ? Xot according to the word and wiU of God, not 
according to his rule, but they walked after three other 
wicked rules. A dead man then hath his walk you see : a 
strange thing in the dead, but who directs him in his 
coiurse ? These three, the world, the flesh, and the Devil, 
the worst guides that may be ; yet if we look to the con- 
versation of a natural man, we see these are his pilots, 
which are here set down, 

1. The world. "Wherein in times past ye walked after 
the course of the world." He swims along with the 

■^ Rev. chap. 20. Ter. 14. ^ St. Cyril. voL 6. page 415. 


stream of the world. Nor will he be singular, not 
such a precise one as some few are, but do as the 
world doth, run amain whither that carries him. See 
the state of a natural man. He is apt to be brought 
into the slavery of the world. This is his first guide. 
Then follows 

2. The second, which is the Devil. The Devil leads 
him as well as the world: " According to the prince 
of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh 
in the children of disobedience." Instead of having 
the Spirit of God to be led by, he is posted by the 
spirit of Satan, and " the lusts of his father the De- 
vil he will do," he hath not an heart to resist the vi- 
lest lusts the Devil shall persuade him to. When 
Satan once fills his heart, he hath no heart to any 
thing else, than to follow him. 

3. There remains the flesh, his guide too, and that is 
not left out, verse 3. " Amongst whom we had our 
conversation in times past in the lusts of the flesh, 
fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind." 
So that you see the three guides of a natural man ; 
and he is as bad as these three can make him : and till 
the stronger man comes and puUs him out, in this 
condition he remains, and in this natural estate, he is 
a son of disobedience. We see then the state of diso- 
bedience described to be wretchedness. 

3. This further appears by that which must follow, 
which is cursedness. Rebellion and wretchedness going 
before, cursedness will follow. For God will not be abused, 
nor suflfer a rebel to go unpunished : therefore saith the 
apostle, "We are by nature the children of wrath." 
Being the natural sons of disobedience, we may well con- 
clude we are the children of wrath. If we can well learn 
these two things of ourselves, how deep we are in sin, and. 
how the wrath of God is due to us for our sins, then we 
may see what we are by nature. Thus much concerning 
the quality of a natural man. Next follows 

II. His company. "Even as others." By nature we are 
" the children of wrath even as others." That is to say, 



we go in that broad wide way that leads to damnation, 
that way we all naturally rush into : though we may think 
it otherwise, and think ourselves better, yet we are de- 
ceived. For it is with us even as vrith others. Naturally 
we are in the same state that the worst men in the world 
are ; so that we see the glass of a natural man, or of a man 
that hath made some beginnings, till Christ come and 
quicken him. 

Q. See we then who it is spoken of to be dead men, 
that are rotten and stinking, as bad as the world, the 
flesh, and the Devil can make them ? Who should these 

A. I answer, it is you : " you hath he quickened." 
And ye, " wherein ye walked," &c. But who are they ? 

The Ephesians perhaps that were in times past hea- 
thens : I hope it belongs not to us. They were Gentiles 
and Pagans that knew not Christ^, " Aliens to the com- 
monweal of Israel, strangers to the covenant of promise, 
having no hope, without God in the world." iiOtoi, as the 
text renders it, atheists, and therefore they might well be 
so. But I hope it is not thus with me, I was never a Pa- 
gan or Heathen, I was born of Christian parents, and am 
of the Church. 

But put away these conceits. Look on the third verse : 
" Amongst whom we also had our conversation:" and 
wherein ye yourselves, &c. It is not only spoken of you 
Gentiles, but verified of us also : as if he had said here as 
Gal. chap. II. " We who are Jews by nature, and not sin- 
ners of the Gentiles." He paints out not only you the 
Gentiles in such ugly colours, but we Jews also, we of the 
commonwealth of Israel. We, before we were quickened, 
were in the same state that you are described to be in. 

Obj. Oh but the apostle may do this out of fellowship, 
and to avoid envy, as it were making himself a party with 
them, as Ezra^ did, that included himself in the number of 
the offenders, though he had no hand in the offence : " O 
our God," saith he, " what shall we say ? Our evil deeds," 

' Verse 12. ' Cap. 9. 


&c. " and how shall we stand before thee because of 

this ?" Making a particular confession, whereas he was not 
accessary to the fault, but to sweeten it to them. 

Sol. But here the apostle doth not so, he was not thus 
minded, but it is we all, he puts universality to it : so that 
it is clear, that before conversion and quickening by grace 
from Christ, we all, all of us are in as foul and filthy a con- 
dition as this which is here described and set down : so 
that this is the point, that it is not spoken of some despe- 
rate sinners, but that it is the common state and condition 
of all the sons of Adam. 

DocT. All men, every man and woman in this place, 
either is or hath been in the state that here the apostle 
describeth the natural man to be in. 

Therefore we have all need to examine ourselves, whe- 
ther we yet remain in that condition or not. The apostle 
brings this description to testify the truth of the point : 
"Thes Scripture hath concluded all under sin." The 
whole current and course of the Scripture shews the 
universality of it, that it is true of all. See, the apos- 
tle speaking of himself and the rest, saith, " We'' our- 
selves also," not only you of the Gentiles, but "we our- 
selves also were foolish, disobedient," &c. "But after the 
kindness of God towards man appeared," &c. That is, 
before the " day-star of grace did arise in our hearts," 
there is not the best of us all but have been thus and 

Rom. chap. III. ver. 19. There the apostle insists on 
the point expressly, " that every mouth might be stopped ;" 
to shew the state of all men naturally, having laid down a 
large beadrole of the iniquities of the heathen, he cometh 
afterward to convince the Jews. " What, are we better 
than they ; no in no wise ; for we have proved before that 
all are under sin : there is none good, no not one." 

Obj, But though you bring many places to prove that 
all are sinners, yet I hope the Virgin Mary was not. 

Sol. An inch breaks no squares, but all are sinners. 

• Gal. chap. 3. ver. 22. '' Tit. chap. 3. ver. 3. 

E 2 


" There is none righteous, no not one." The drift of the 
apostle in this, is to shew that these things are not spoken 
of some heinous sinners only, but there is not one to be ex- 
empted ; and therefore in his conclusion", he saith that 
whatever things the law saith, it saith to them which are 
under the law. " That every mouth may be stopped, and 
all the world become guilty before God : and that by the 
deeds of the law no flesh can be justified from sin." 

So that now having proved this so clearly to you, consi- 
der with yourselves how needful it is to apply this to our 
own souls. Many men, when they read such things as 
these of the Scripture, read them but as stories from strange 
countries. What, are we dead in sins, not able to stir 
one foot in God's ways ? bad we are indeed : but dead, 
rotten and stinking in sins and trespasses ? What, as bad 
as the world, the devil, and flesh, can make us? What, 
children of wrath? Firebrands of hell? Few can per- 
suade ^themselves that it is so bad with them. Therefore 
take this home to yourselves; think no better of your- 
selves than you are : for thus you are naturally. There- 
fore consider if thou wert now going out of the world, 
what state thou art in, a child of wrath, a child of BeUal, 
or the like. Set about the work speedily, go to God, 
pray, and cry earnestly; give thyself no rest, till thou 
know this to be thy condition : let not thy corrupt nature 
deceive thee, to make thee think better of thyself, than God 
saith thou art. 

Now that we may better know to whom these things 
belong, know it is thou and I, we all have been, or are in 
this estate, till we have supernatural grace ; and therefore 
we are declared to be children of wrath, and children of 
disobedience, till regenerated. Why ? It is because it is 
thy nature, it belongs to all. Now we know the common 
nature always appertains to the same kind : there is no- 
thing natural, but is common with the kind. If then by 
nature we are children, then certainly it belongs to every 
mother's son of us, for we are all sons of Adam. " In'' Adam 

' Verse 19. k Rom. chap. 5. 


■we all die." That is the fountain whence all misery flows 
to us. As thou receivedst thy nature, so the corruption of 
thy nature from him ; for " he' begat a son in his own like- 
ness." This therefore is the condition of every one. The 
apostle in 1 Cor. chap. XV. speaks of two men, " the 
first was from the earth, earthly, the second was the Lord 
from heaven." What, were there not many millions and 
generations more ? True, but there were not more men 
like these men of men, two head-men, two fathers of all 
other men. There were but two, by whom all must stand 
or fall, but two such men. By the fall of the first man we 
all fell ; and if we rise not by the second man, we are yet 
in our sins. If he rise not, we cannot be risen. We must 
rise or fall by him. He is the mediator of the second 
covenant. If he rise and we are in him, we shall rise with 
him ; but if not, we are dead still. So it is in the first 
Adam, we all depend on him, he is the root of all man- 
kind. It is said in Isaiah, chap. LIII. " Our Saviour should 
rejoice to see his seed." His seed, that is to say, he is 
the common father of all mankind, I mean of all those 
that shall proceed from him by spiritual generation. He 
shall present them to his father, as when one is presented 
to the university : " Behold" here am I, and the children 
thou hast given me." So in Adam, he being the head of 
the covenant of nature or works, that is, the law, if he had 
stood, none of us had fallen ; if he fall, none of us all can 
stand. He is the peg, on which all the keys hang : if 
that stand, they hang fast; but if that fall, they fall with 
it. As we see in matter of bondage ; if the father forfeit 
his liberty, and become a bondman, all his children are 
bondmen to a hundred generations, here is our case. We 
were all once free, but our father hath forfeited his liberty ; 
and if he become a slave, he cannot beget a freeman. 
When our Saviour tells the Jews of being freemen : " We 
were never bondmen," say they, though it be false ; for 
even Cicero himself could tell a Jew that he was a slave, 

Genes, chap, 5, ver. 3. " Heb. chap. 2. ver. 14. 



genus hominum ad servitium natum, although they had a 
good opinion of themselves : but our Saviour saith, you 
are bondmen unto sin and Satan. For till the Son make 
you free, you are all bondmen : but when he makes you 
free, then are you free indeed. So that we see our con- 
dition here set down. 

1. " We are dead in trespasses and sins ;" that is, there 
is an indisposition in us to all good works. A dead man 
cannot walk or speak, or do any act of a living man ; so 
these cannot do the actions of men that are quickened 
and enhvened, they cannot pray with the spirit, they can- 
not love God, &c. They cannot do those things that shall 
be done hereafter in heaven. There is not one good duty 
which this natural man can do. If it should be said unto 
him ; Think but one good thought, and for it thou shalt 
go to heaven, he could not think it. TiQ God raise him 
from the sink of sin, as he did Lazarus from the grave, he 
cannot do any thing that is well pleasing imto God. He 
may do the works of a moral man, but to do the works of 
a man quickened and enlightened, it is beyond his power. 
For if he could do so, he must then have some reward from 
God ; for however we deny the merit of good works, yet 
we deny not the reward of good works to a man that is in 
Christ. There is no proportionable merit in a cup of cold 
water and the kingdom of heaven, yet " he that gives a cup 
of cold water to a disciple in the name of a disciple, shall not 
lose his reward." Here then is the point. The best that 
a natural man doth, cannot so rehsh with God, as that he 
shoidd take dehglit in it, or reward it: whereas the least 
good thing that comes from another root, from a quick- 
ened spirit, is acceptable and well pleasing to him. Con- 
sider for this end that which is set down. Take the best 
works of a natural man, his "prayers, or sacrifice, and see 
there what is said. " The" sacrifice of the wicked is an 
abomination to the Lord." It is said again, where there 
are additions : " The" sacrifice of the wicked is an abomi- 
nation to the Lord : How much more when he brings it 

" Prov. chap. 15. ver. S. " Prov. chap. 21. ver. 2". 


with a wicked mind ?" Suppose there should come upon 
this man a fit of devotion, where he hath or should have 
some good motions, is it then accepted ? No, it is so far 
from heing accepted, that it is an " abomination to God ; 
how much more then, if he brings it with wicked mind ?" 
That is, if he brings it not with a wicked mind, it is an 
abomination, how much more with it ? See the case set 
down in Haggai, chap. II. ver. 12, 13, 14. " If one bear 
holy flesh," &c. " shall it be holy ? And the priest an- 
swered. No. Then said Haggai, If an unclean person 
touch any of these, shall it be unclean ? And he said, It 
shall be unclean. Then answered Haggai, So is this 
people, so is this nation before me, saith the Lord, and so 
is every work of their hands, it is unclean." A man may 
not say, prayer is a sin, because it is so in them ; no, it is 
a good duty, but spoiled in the carriage. He mars it in 
the carriage ; and therefore instead of doing a good work, 
he spoils it ; and so instead of a reward, must look for 
punishment. " The? end of the commandment is love out 
of a pure heart, a good conscience and faith unfeigned." 
Let the things thou dost be according to the command- 
ment : look what thou dost be in the middle, end, and be- 
ginning according to the commandment. If wrong in all 
these, then though the work be never so materially good, 
being faulty in the original, middle, or end, it is so far 
from being a good work, that God vnll not accept of it, 
and thou mayest rather expect a plague for spoiling it, 
than a reward for doing it. 

See then the beginning of a good work, it must be 
" from a pure heart.'' A man not ingrafted into Christ, 
is a defiled, polluted person, his very mind and consci- 
ence are defiled. The conscience is the purest thing a man 
hath, it holds out last, and taketh part with God, that as 
Job's messenger said, " I" only escaped to tell thee," so 
conscience only remains to declare a man's faults to God, 
and to witness against the man ; and yet this very light, 
the eye of the soul is defiled : therefore if thou have a cor- 

i" 1 Tim. chap. 1. ver. 5. i Job. chap. 1. ver. 15. 


rupt fountain, if the heart be nought, the fountain muddy, 
whatever stream comes from it cannot be pure. 

Again, the " end of it is love." Consider when thou 
dost any duty, what puts thee on work. Is it love doth 
constrain thee ? If love do not constrain thee, it is mani- 
fest that thou dost not seek God but thyself, and art " to' 
every good work a reprobate," that is, thou art not then 
able to do any thing that God wiU accept ; the best thing 
thou dost, wiU not rehsh with God. A hard estate in- 
deed, that when a man shall come to appear before God, 
he shall not have one good thing, that he hath done in 
all his life, that God will own. Some there be that take 
a great deal of pains in coming to the word, in prayer 
pubhc and private, in charity and giving to the poor. 
Alas, when thou shalt come to an account, and none of 
these things shall stead thee, not one of them shall speak 
for thee, but all shall be lost ; how heavy wiU thy case be? 
'■ Look' to yourselves, that you lose not the thing that 
you have wrought :" by being indisposed to do the works 
of a Uving man, we lose all; that is to say, God will never 
own nor accept them: we shall never have reward for 
them. So that here is the case, thou being dead, unable 
to perform the works of a Kving man, canst have no re- 
ward from heaven at all ; until a man is quickened, and 
hath life from Christ, his works are dead, as well as his 
person. " Without* me," saith our Saviour, " you can 
do nothing." St. Austin on this place observes that 
Christ saith not, " Without me ye can do no great 
matter :" no, but unless you be cut off from your own 
stock, taken from your own root, and be ingrafted into 
me, and have life from me, and be quickened by me 
" you can do nothing at all :" nothing, neither great nor 
small, aU that you do is lost. So that if there were no- 
thing but this being dead, you could do no good ac- 
tion. " I" know that in me, that is, in my flesh," saith 
St. Paul, '•' there dwelleth no good thing," that is, nothing 

' lit. chap. 1. Ter. 16. ' 2 John, chap. 8. 

' James, chap. l.i. ver. 5. ■ Rom. chap. 7. ver. IS. 


Spiritually good, nothing for which I may look for a re- 
ward in heaven. The Lord will say of such a man, thou 
hast lived ten, twenty, forty, or it may be fifty years 
under the ministry, and yet hast not done a good work, 
or thought a good thought that I can own. " Cut'' down 
this fruitless tree, why cumbers it the ground?" And 
this is the case of every man of us, while we continue in 
our natural condition, till we be ingrafted into Christ, and 
live by life, God will own nothing we do. 

But now we are not only dead, and indisposed to the 
works of a living man, though this be a very woful case, 
and we need no more misery ; for this will bring us to be 
" cut down and cast into the fire," if we continue so: but 
this is not the only sad case of a natural man, but he is 
very active and fruitful in the works of darkness, the 
others were sins of omission. Here he is wholly set upon 
the commission of sins and trespasses. He not only 
" brings^ not forth meet fruit," or good fruit, or no fruit, 
but " he brings forth thorns and briars ; and is therefore 
rejected, and nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be 
burnt." Thou art not only found a barren tree, and so 
deservest to be cut down ; but thou bringest forth thorns 
and briars, and deservest to be burnt ; not only no good 
fruit, but noxious, bad and poisoned fruit ; and this doth 
mightily aggravate the matter. Now for us that have 
lived so long under the ministry, and the Lord hath wa- 
tered, and dressed, and hedged us, do we think the Lord 
expects from us no good fruit ? Had we lived among 
heathens, or where the word is not taught, then so much 
would not be expected; but we have heard the word 
often and powerfully taught, and therefore it is expected, 
that we should not only bring forth fruit, but meet fruit, 
answerable to the means. Where God affords greatest 
means, there he expects most fruit. If a man live thirty 
or forty years under powerful means, the Lord expects 
answerable fruit, which if he bring forth, he shall have a 
blessing from the Lord. But when a man hath lived long 

■^ Luke, chap. 13. ver. 7. i Heb. chap. 6, ver. 7. 


under the means, and brings forth no fruit pleasing to 
God, but all God's cost is lost, when notwithstanding the 
" dew and the rain which falls oft upon him, he brings 
forth nothing but thorns and briars, he is rejected, and 
nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burnt. The earth 
which drinketh in the former and the latter rain," &c. if it 
bring not forth fruit answerable to the labour of the 
dresser, " it is nigh unto the curse." 

Now if we consider but the particulars, and search into 
God's testimonies, we shall see how bad this man is. 

But who should this man be? 

We have God's own word for it. It is men, generally 
all men. " God^ saw the wickedness of man was great in 
the earth, and that every thought and unagination of his 
heart was only evil continually." Every word is as it 
were a thunderbolt: and was it not time, when it was 
thus with them, for God to bring a flood ? The thoughts 
are the original, from which the words and actions do 
usually proceed. Now all their thoughts were evil : what, 
was there no kind of goodness in their thoughts ? No, 
they were " only evil continually :" and that was the rea- 
son the flood came. Well, but though it were so before 
the flood, yet I hope they were better after the flood. 
No, God said again after the flood : " The" thoughts of 
the hearts of men are evil," &c. Like will to like. Men 
are of one kind, till they receive grace from Christ. We 
are all one nature, and naturally all the thoughts and 
imaginations of our hearts are only evil continually. 

See it in the understanding : " The"" natural man per- 
ceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, neither can 
he know them, for they are foolishness unto him," &c. 

Look upon his will, " If^ is not subject to the will of 
God, neither indeed can it be." Our Saviour doth ana- 
tomize the heart of such a man: " Those* things that 
come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they 
defile the man, for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, 

' Gen. chap. G. ver. 5. » Ibid. chap. 8. 

*> 1 Cor. chap. 3. ver. 14. '- Rom. chap. 8. 

•1 Matt, chap. 15. ver. 8. 


murders, adulteries," &c. " these are they which defile 
the man," because they come from his heart from within. 
If a man go by a house, and seeing great flakes of fire 
come out of the chimney, though he see not the fire 
within, yet he cannot know hut there is fire within, he- 
cause he seeth the flakes without. I am not able to see 
the heart of any man, and to declare to you what I have 
seen with mine eyes ; but yet if I see such to come forth, 
as murder, thefts, blasphemies, lying, and the like, I 
may say there is hell-fire in the heart ; thy heart is a little 
hell within thee, these manifestations from without make 
it appear to be so. The words of this man are rotten 
words and stinking words, and his heart is much more. 
So, this is the point, we are utterly indisposed, aliens to 
all good, and bent to all evil. " I am carnal," saith the 
apostle, " we are sold under sin," slaves unto it ; sin is 
our Lord, and we its slaves. We have generally for- 
feited our happy estate, and are servants to Satan, whom 
we obey. Therefore this is a thing not easily to be passed 
over; this is our condition, of which if we were once truly 
persuaded, we would never give ourselves any rest, till we 
were got out of it. 

If the party that goes to the physician, could but know 
his disease and cause the physician to know it, and the 
causes of it, whether it came from a hot cause or a cold, it 
were easily cured, it were as good as half done : that is the 
chief reason why so many miscarry, because their disease 
is not perfectly known. That is the reason that we are 
no better, because we know not how bad we are. If we 
did once know our disease, and knew ourselves to be heart 
sick, and not like the Laodiceans, " which thought them- 
selves rich and wanted nothing, when they were poor, 
blind and naked," then we would seek out, and were in the 
way to be cured. So much for this time, but we will have 
another lecture on this point. 



Gal. chap. III. ver. 22. 

' But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of 
Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe." 

You see in this excellent portion of Scripture, the two 
covenants of Almighty God : to wit the covenant of na- 
ture, and the covenant of grace. The first of nature, 
which was " written by God in man's heart," and this is 
the holy law of God, by virtue whereof a man was to con- 
tinue in that integrity, holiness and uprightness, in which 
God had first created him, and to serve God according 
to that strength he first enabled him with, that so he 
might live thereby. 

But now, when man had broken this covenant, and en- 
tered into a state of rebelHon against God, he is shut up 
in misery, but not in misery for ever, as the angels that 
fell were, being " reserved^ in chains till the judgment of 
the great day." No, the Lord hath shut him up in pri- 
son, only for a while, that so he may the better make a 
way for their escape and deliverance, and for their en- 
trance into the second covenant of grace : that so mak- 
ing him see his own misery, wherein by nature he is, and 
cutting him off from his own stock, he may be ingrafted 
in Christ, draw sap and sweetness from him, and bring 
forth fruits to everlasting life. And this is the method 
the Scripture useth : " It*" concludes all under sin, that so 
the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to 
them that believe." It is no new doctrine devised by us, 

* Jude, ver. 6. » Gal. chap, 3. ver. 22. 


but it is the course and method of the Scripture : for it 
begins in this great work with imprisoning and shutting 
up. The law is as a justice of peace, by his mittimus 
commands us to prison. It is a Serjeant that arrests a 
man, and carries him to the gaol. But why do the 
Scriptures do thus ? It is not to destroy you with famine ; 
the law sends you not hither to starve you, or to kill you 
with the stench of the prison, but thereby to save and 
preserve you alive, and that you may hunger and thirst 
after deliverance. So that we find the reason added in 
the text, " The Scripture concludes all under sin," why? 
It is that " the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be 
given to them that believe." You are shut up as pri- 
soners and rebels, that having found the smart of it, seen 
your misery, and learned what it is to be at enmity with 
God, and the folly to make yourselves wiser and stronger 
than God, you may submit yourselves, casting down your 
plumes, and desire after Christ with an hungry and thirsty 
appetite, for not only a priest to sacrifice himself for you, 
and a prophet to teach and instruct you, but a king to be 
swayed by him, earnestly craving from your soul to be his 
subjects, and to be admitted into the privilege of his sub- 
jects in the commonwealth of Israel, and esteem it your 
greatest shame that ye have been aliens so long, so long 
excluded. " The Scripture then concluded you under 
sin," and shut up by it, not to bring you to despair, but 
to bring you to salvation : as a physician, which gives his 
patient bitter pills, not to make him sick, but that so he 
may restore him to health : or as a chirurgeon, that lays 
sharp drawing plasters, and cuts the flesh, not with an 
intent to hurt, but to cure the wound. 

This is the Scripture's method : " It concludes all under 
sin, (ruv£KXei(T£v, hath shut up all." The text saith not 
Toiig Travrag, but to, wavra, not all men in the mascuhne 
gender, but all things in the neuter. And it is all one, as 
if the apostle hath said, " The Scripture arrests not only 
thy person but thine actions :" the Scripture lays hold 
not only of the man, but of every thing in him. This 
word all is a forcible word, and empties us clean of every 


thing, that we may truly confess with the apostle, " In*^ 
me, that is, in my flesh dwells no good thing." It is 
impossible a man should by nature think thus of himself, 
that there is no good in him ; or that he should by asking 
others find himself half so bad, as the law makes him to 
be, by shutting up a man under sin, and all things in a 
man, yea all good whatsoever is in thee. 

And this it doth " that thou mayest come to Christ :" 
as it is enlarged in the second verses following : " Before 
faith came," saith the apostle, " we were kept up under 
the law, shut up unto the faith, which should afterwards 
be revealed : wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to 
bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." 
Before the time then that thou hast faith, (which is " the 
day wherein salvation comes to thine house) thou art kept 
under the law." Thou art not assured of salvation, nor 
canst thou expect, till then, that God should shew thee 
mercy. We have a conceit, that though we are never 
transplanted, nor cut off from our own stock, yet God 
will shew us mercy : but we shall beguile ourselves to hell 
therein ; for " we are kept under the law till faith comes," 
that so we may know ourselves. " We are kept," &c. 
Ttept, it is a metaphor drawn from military afiairs, when 
men are kept by a garrison, and kept in order. Now 
the law is God's garrison, which keeps men in good awe, 
and order. The law doth this, not to terrify you too 
much, or to break your minds with despair, but to fit you 
for the faith : it is a " shutting up, till that faith comes, 
which should afterward be revealed." He is a miserable 
preacher which ends with preaching of the law ; the law 
is for another, it is to fit us for faith. " It is our school- 
master to bring us to Christ.'' We thunder not the law, 
to make men run away from God, but to bring them home 
unto him. The schoolmaster by the smart of his rod 
makes the child weary of his bondage, and desire ear- 
nestly to be past his nonage, and this is his end, not that 
he delights to hear him cry. Thus are we beaten by the 

■■ Rom. chap. 7. ver, 18. 


law, not that God delights or loves to hear us sigh or sob, 
but that we may grow weary of our misery and cruel 
bondage, may desire to be justified by faith. The law 
then " is so a schoolmaster," as that by making us smart, 
it might bring us home. We see then the course and 
method of the Scripture, it " hath concluded all under 
sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be 
given to them that believe." 

Now because men like not this kind of doctrine, to 
begin with preaching of the law, and therefore think 
there may be a shorter and nearer way to preach Christ 
first, I will therefore make known unto you this method of 
the Scripture, and I will justify it unto you. 

There must be this preparative, else the Gospel will 
come unseasonably. If, before we are soured by the 
leaven of the law, Christ be preached, he will be but un- 
savoury and unpleasant to us. 

1 . Does God at the first preaching of the Gospel begin 
with Adam by preaching Christ, before he saw his sin 
and wickedness ? No, he said not to him presently, as 
soon as he had sinned. Well, Adam, thou hast sinned, and 
broken my covenant, yet there is another covenant, thou 
shalt be saved by one that comes out of thy loins : but 
God first summons him to appear, he brings him out of 
his shelters and hiding places, tells him of his sin, and 
saith, " Hast thou eaten of the tree which I forbad thee 
to eat of?" But the man shifts it off, and the woman 
also to the serpent: " The serpent beguiled me, and I did 
eat." Yet all this will not excuse him, God's judgments 
are declared, his sin is made apparent, he sees it : then 
being thus humbled, comes in the promise of the 
Gospel, " The seed of the woman shall break the ser- 
pent's head. Be ye open then ye everlasting doors, and 
the king of glory shall come in." 

2. John the Baptist, who was the harbinger to prepare 
the way for Christ, preaching to the Scribes and Phari- 
sees, warned them, " O generation of vipers." He came 
" to throw down every high hill, and to beat down every 


mountain : he calls them serpents. This was his office, to 
lay the axe at the root of the tree. 

3. And Christ himself coming into the world, and 
preaching to Nicodemus, begins: " Unless* a man be 
born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." 
A man in his natural condition can never enter into hea- 
ven, for he is carnal. " That that is born of the flesh is 
flesh, and that that is born of the Spirit is Spirit." It is 
carnal, and must be born again. A little patching will 
not serve the turn. Thou must be new born, new mould- 
ed, a little mending is not sufficient : A man must be a 
new creature, and new made. So that this is the sub- 
stance of this doctrine of Christ, that if thou be no better 
than moral virtue, or civil education can make thee; if 
thou hast any thing less than regeneration, believe me 
thou canst never see heaven. There is no hope of heaven 
till then, till thou art born again : till then our Saviour 
excludes all these fancies that way. 

4. The apostles begin to gather the first church after 
Christ's resurrection^. They do not begin to preach Christ 
first, his virtue and efficacy ; but first they tell them of their 
great sin, in crucifying the Lord of life, viz. " Whom with 
wicked hands you have taken and crucified." But what 
was the end of their doing thus ? It is set down : " They*^ 
were pricked to the heart, and then they cried out. Men 
and brethren, what shall we do to be saved i" See, this 
was the end of all, the humbling of them, that by declar- 
ing what they had done, they might be pricked at the 
heart ; so that now they see it, if it be no better with them, 
than for the present, it is like to go ill with them. This 
makes them cry out, " What shall we do 1 Then," saith 
Peter, " repent and be baptized, and you shall receive 
the gift of the holy Ghost." After he had told them their 
own, and had brought them to their search, which is their 
first work, then comes the promise of Christ. Observe 
the apostle's method in the epistle to the Romans : which 
book is a perfect catechism of the Church, which contains 

^ John, chap. 3. = Acts, chap. 2. ver. 23. 

f Acts, chap. 2. ver. 37. 


these three parts of divinity: humiUty, justification, and 
sanctification. See how the apostle orders his method. 
From the first chapter to part of the third, he treats all of 
the law, and " convinces both Jew and Gentile, and all, 
of sin." Then mark his conclusion: " that^ every mouth 
may be stopped." When he had stopped every mouth, 
cast down every strong hold, which lifted itself up against 
God : when he had laid all at God's feet, and left them 
bleeding, as it were, under the knife of God, then comes 
he to Christ : " The*" righteousness of God without the 
law is manifest." He had done his first business in hum- 
bling them, in shewing them their sins by the law : and 
as soon as that was done, when every mouth was stopped, 
then comes he to " the promise by faith in Jesus Christ 
to all that believe." 

You see then the method of the Scripture is first to 
" conclude all under sin," and so to fit men for the promise 
of Jesus Christ. Know, therefore, that law is the high- 
way to the Gospel, the path that leads to it, that way 
which must be trodden in : we are still out of our way, 
till we have begun our walks in this path : and if thou art 
not terrified by the law, and the sight of thy sins, been at 
thy wits end, as it were, weary of thy condition and 
bondage, thou art not in the way yet. " Our' sowing 
must be in tears." And it is said, that in the Church 
triumphant " all tears shall be wiped away from our eyes." 
That is a promise : but is it possible that tears should be 
wiped from our eyes before we shed them ? Shall we 
look to go to heaven in a way that was never yet found 
out ? Shall it be accounted a point of preciseness to walk 
in this way, or a soul-torturing doctrine to preach it? 
This is the way that all our forefathers have both preached 
and gone. This is that time of sowing spoken of in Psal. 
CXXVI. ver. 5, 6. " They that sow in tears shall reap 
in joy." It brings us joy in the end, to begin our " sow- 
ing in tears." It waters that precious seed, and makes it 

i Chap. 3. ver. 19. '' Rom. chap. 3. ver. 21. 

' Psalm 126. ver. 5. 



bring forth joy unto us in abundance, yet such as no man 
can take from us. 

So then having laid this point for a foundation, we now 
will come to the next. 

That until we come to Christ, the law lays hold of us. 
Till Christ come we are shut up under the law, kept 
under it. And if there were nothing else in the world 
to make a man weary of his condition, this were enough. 
Until a man hath given over himself to Christ, and re- 
nounced his own righteousness, he is subject to the law, 
kept under it, not under grace. It brings a man only to 
the place where grace is. Put this therefore close to 
your consciences, and jumble not these two together. 
First nature cometh, and whilst you are under that, you 
are under the law. Never think you are under the co- 
venant of grace, till you believe, of which belief we 
shall speak more hereafter. Whilst you are under 
the law you are held under it, and by it made ob- 
noxious to the wrath of God ; " Whoever is under the 
law, is under the curse." 

Now that I may unfold it, and shew what a fearful 
thing it is to be under the law, to be held under it, al- 
though many think it no great matter, hearken what the 
apostle saith of it: " Cursed"^ be every one that conti- 
nueth not in all things that are written in the book of the 
law to do them." Well then, art thou under the law ? 
Then never think of being under grace at the same time ; 
not but that we may hope to be under grace afterwards : 
by this law we must be judged, and the judgment of the 
law is very severe : it requires not only, that thou do this, 
or that good thing, but if thou continuest not in every 
thing that is written therein, it condemns thee. 

Strange conceits men have now adays, and strange 
divinity is brought forth into the world : that if a man 
does as much as Ues in him, and what he is of himself 
able to do ; nay farther, though he be a heathen, that 
knows not Christ, yet if he doth the best he can ; if he 
live honestly towards men, according to the conduct of 

" Gal. chap. 3. ver. 10. 


his reason, and hath a good mind towards God, it is 
enough, he need not question his eternal welfare. A cursed 
and desperate doctrine they conclude hence. Why, say 
they, may not this man be saved as well as the best ? But 
if it be so, I ask such. What is the benefit and advantage 
of the Jew more than the Gentile? What is the benefit of 
Christ? of the Church? of faith? of baptism? of the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper ? This ground of Pela- 
gianism is that, for which the devout spouse of Christ, the 
Church, abhors us, when we shall undertake to bring a 
man to salvation without Christ : whereas, if he be not 
under grace, under Christ, he is accursed. If thou wilt 
be saved by the law, it is not thy endeavour or doing 
what lieth in thee, that will serve the turn;" every jot 
and tittle that the law requires must be fulfilled. What 
would be thine estate, if thou shouldst be examined ac- 
cording to the strict rigour of the law ? Not the least 
word or thought, that is contrary to it, but thou must 
give an account for. If thou standest upon thine own 
bottom, or lookest to be saved by thine own deeds ; not 
one vain word which thou speakest, but thou shalt be 
questioned for, cast, and condemned. Consider then the 
great difference of being under Christ and grace, and of 
being under the law. When we are under Christ, we are 
freed from a great deal of inconvenience : we are not lia- 
ble to answer for those evil things which we have com- 
mitted ; as in that comfortable place of Ezekiel : " All his 
iniquities that he hath done shall not be mentioned unto 
him." When a man is come to forsake his old way, his 
evils are cast out of mind; a marvellous comfort to a 
Christian : whereas if a man be not in Christ, every idle 
word he must be accountable for ; if in Christ, the greatest 
sin he ever committed he shall not hear of. All they that 
stand on God's right hand, hear only of the " good things 
they have done, you have fed, cloathed, and visited me :" 
but they on the left hand hear not a word mentioned con- 
cerning the good they have done, only their evil deeds are 
reckoned up. 
Now that I may declare to you the difference between 




the law and the Gospel, I will difference it in three par- 

1. The law rejects any kind of obedience besides that 
which is thorough, sound, full, and perfect, without 
any touch of the flesh. It rejects all cracked payment: 
it will take no clipped coin. That obedience which hath 
any imperfection joined with it, will not be accepted : but 
here I must not speak without book. See Rom. chap. 
VII. ver. 14. " We know that the law is spiritual, but I 
am carnal." And then concludes : " O wretched man," 
&c. " The law is spiritual," what is that? We may 
know the meaning of it by the particle but : " but I am 
carnal." " The law is spiritual." That is, it requires, 
that all our works be spiritual, without any carnality, or 
touch of the flesh. If in any point of our obedience there 
be a smell of the cask, it is rejected. If the beer be 
never so good, yet if it have an evil smatch, it wiU not 
relish. Let our services have this savour of the flesh, 
and they will not be pleasing to God, neither will they 
have a right savour in his nostrils. And thus " the law 
is spiritual, but we are carnal." Now it is otherwise here 
in the state of the Gospel : alas ! we are carnal, it is true. 
The apostle himself complains, " That there is a law in 
his members rebelling against the law of his mind, and 
leading him captive," &c. Yet notwithstanding the Gos- 
pel accepts our obedience, though the law will not. 
What is the reason of this 1 Why, it is plain. When the 
law comes, it looks for justice, it presents a strict rule to 
us ; it requires we should be complete : but now the 
Gospel doth not so; it requires not justification of our 
own, but looks that, being justified by God's free grace, 
we should shew forth our thankfulness, and express that 
we are so in heart, by our obedience to our utmost power. 
Here is all the the strictness of the Gospel : " If there be 
a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man 
hath, and not according to what a man hath not." God 
takes well the desires of our mind. This is then our 

' 2 Cov. chap. 8. ver. 12. 


blessed condition under the Gospel ; it requires not per- 
fect obedience, but thankfulness for mercies received, and 
a willing mind. Suppose we cannot do what we would, 
that is no matter, God looks to our aifeetions, and the 
willingness of our minds ; if it be according to the strength 
that thou hast, it is received with acceptance. Here 
then arises the second point of difference, and that is, 

2. The law considers not what thou now hast, but what 
thou once hadst. If thou sayest, I have done my best ; 
and what, would you have a man do more than he can 
do ? The law heeds not that : it considers not what thou 
doest, but what thou oughtest to do. It requires that 
thou shouldst perform obedience according to thy first 
strength, and that perfection once God gave thee, that 
all thou doest should have love for its ground: that 
thou shouldst " love™ the Lord thy God with all thine 
heart and strength." Here the law is very imperious, 
like those taskmasters in Egypt, " that laid burdens 
on the Israelites too heavy for them to bear.'' They 
had at first materials, and then they delivered in the full 
tale of bricks : but when the straw was taken from them, 
they complain of the heaviness of their burden. But 
what is the answer ? " You" are idle, you are idle, you 
shall deliver the same tale of bricks as before." So stands 
the case here. It is not enough to plead, Alas ! if I had 
strength, I would do it ; but I have not strength, I cannot 
do it. But the law is peremptory, you must do it : you 
are compelled by force, you shall do it. The impossi- 
bility of our fulfiUing it does not exempt us, as appears 
by comparing Rom. chap. VIII. ver. 3. with Rom. chap. 
VII. ver. 6. although it be impossible, as the case stands, 
for the law to be by us fulfilled, yet we are held under it, as 
appears plainly thus. If I deliver a man a stock of money 
whereby he may gain his own living, and be advantageous 
to me ; and he spend it, and when I require mine own 
with increase, he tells me. True, sir, I received such a 
sum of money of you for this purpose, but I have spent it, 

■" Matth. chap. 22. ver. 37. " Exod. chap. 5. ver. 17. 


and am disenabled to pay. Will this serve the turn ? will 
it satisfy the creditor, or discharge the debt? No, no, 
the law will have its own of him. If thou payest not thy 
due, thou must be shut up under it. It is otherwise under 
the Gospel: that accepts a man according to what he 
hath, not according to what he hath not. And here comes 
in the third point. ^ 

3. Under the Gospel, although I am fallen, yet if I re- 
pent, the greatest sin that is cannot condemn me. By 
repentance I am safe. Let our sins be never so great, 
yet if we return by repentance God accepts us. Faith 
and repentance remove all. The law knows no such 
thing. Look into the laws of the realm. If a man be in- 
dicted and convicted of treason, murder, or felony, though 
this man plead, True, I have committed such an offence, 
but I beseech you, sir, pardon it, for I am heartily sorry 
for it : I never did the like before, nor never will again. 
Though he thus repent, shall he escape ? No, the rigour 
of the law will execute justice on him : there is no benefit 
had by repentance, the law will seize on him, he should 
have looked to it before. If thou committest murder or 
burglary, it is not enough to put one good deed for ano- 
ther ; to say, I have done thus and thus for the king ; I 
kept such a fort, or I won such a town : this will not 
serve thy turn, it will not save thy neck : the law takes 
no knowledge of any good thing done, or of any repent- 
ance. This is thy estate. Consider then what a case 
they are in, that are shut up under the law : until a man 
have faith, it admits no excuse, requires things far above 
thy power to perform ; it will accept no repentance : and 
therefore we may well make this conclusion in the Gala- 
tians : " As" many as are under the law, are under the 
curse, as it is written, Cursed is every one that conti- 
nues not in all things that are written in the book of the 
law to do them." 

But now, where are we thus shut up ? " It is under 
sin," as the apostle tells us. " ForP the law discovers sin 

" Gal. chap, 3. ver. 10. i" Rom. chap. 7. vei. 13. 


■to be sin indeed: that sin by the commandment may 
become exceeding sinful." The law makes us see more 
of it than we did, or possibly could come to have seen. 
" Byi the law cometh the knowlege of sin : I had not 
known sin but by the law." Yes, peradventure I might 
have known murder, adultery, &c. to have been sins, but 
to have known them to have been exceeding sinful, I could 
not but by the law. To know what a kind of plague sin 
is in itself, so as not to make a game of it, or a small 
matter, as many usually make it ; to see the ugliness of it, 
I cannot without the law. But that we may know what 
sin is, and that we may see it to be exceeding sinful, I 
here bring you a few considerations, which I would have 
you ponder on, and enlarge them to yourselves, when you 
come home. 

1. Consider the baseness of him that offends, and the 
excellency of him that is offended. You shall never know 
what sin is without this twofold consideration : lay them 
together, and it will make sin out of measure sinful. See 
in David : " The drunkards made songs and ballads of 
him." He aggravates the indignity offered him, in that 
he was their king, yet that those wretched and filthy 
beasts " the drunkards made songs of him." See it like- 
wise in Job, chap. XXIX. when he had declared unto them 
in what glory he once was, that he was a king and prince 
in the country. Then see chap. XX. " They that are 
younger than me have me in derision, whose fathers I 
would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my 
flock." He aggravates the offence : first, from the dig- 
nity of the persons wronged, " a king, and a prince." 
Then from the baseness and vileness of those who derided 
him, " They were such as were younger than he, such as 
whose fathers he would have disdained to have set with 
the dogs of his flocks." A great indignity, and mightily 
aggravated by these circumstances, that a king should be 
abased by such vile persons. Now some proportion there 
might be between David and the drunkards, Job and 

'I Rom. chap. 3. ver. 20. 


these men ; but between thee and God what proportion 
can there be ? Who art thou therefore that darest set 
thyself in opposition and rebelhon against God? What a 
base worm that crawleth on the earth, dust and ashes, 
and yet darest thou thy Maker ? Dost thou, saith God, 
hft thyself up against him, before whom all the powers of 
heaven do tremble ? whom the angels do adore ? Exaltest 
thou thyself against him who inhabiteth eternity ? What, 
oppose thyself, a base creature, to Almighty God thy cre- 
ator? Consider this, and let the baseness of the dehn- 
quent, and the majesty and glory of that God against 
whom he offends, be the first aggravation of sin, and thou 
shalt find sin " out of measure sinful." 

2. Consider the smallness of the motives, and the little- 
ness of the inducements that persuade thee, so vile a 
creature, to set thyself against so glorious a God. If it 
were great matters set thee a work, as the saving of thy 
life, it were somewhat: but see how small and little a 
thing does usually draw thee to sin. A little profit it 
may be, or pleasure : it may be neither of these, or not so 
much. When thou breathest out oaths, and belchest out 
fearful blasphemies against God ; when thou rendest and 
tearest his dreadful and terrible name : what makes such 
a base and vile villain as thou thus to fly in God's face ? 
Is there any profit or delight in breathing forth blasphe- 
mies? Profit thou canst take none, and if thou take 
pleasure in it, then the devil is in thee : yea, then thou 
art worse than the devil himself. This is the second con- 
sideration which may make us see the vileness of sin, and 
abhor ourselves for it : to wit, the slenderness of the 
temptations, and smallness of the motives to it. 

3. Add what strong helps and means God hath given 
to keep thee from sin. As, I say, thou shouldst consider 
the bitterness of the delinquent, the glory of the offended, 
the mean motives which cause so base a creature to do so 
vile an act; so also consider the great means God hath 
given thee to keep thee from sin. 

He hath given thee his word, and this will greatly ag- 


gravate thy sins, to sin against his word. When God 
convinces Adam, he proceeds thus far with him : " Hast"^ 
thou," saith he, " eaten of the tree whereof I commanded 
thee that thou shouldst not eat?" What, hast thou done 
it, as if thou wouldst do it on purpose to cross God? 
God hath given thee an express command to the con- 
trary, and yet hast thou done this ? Hast thou so often 
heard the law, and prayed, " Lord have mercy on me, 
and incUne my heart to keep this law," and yet wilt thou 
lie, swear, commit adultery, and deal falsely, and that 
contrary to the command of God, obstinately disobey 

Now God hath not only given this great means of his 
word and commandment, but great grace too. Where 
understand that there is not only final grace, but degrees 
of grace : else the apostle would not have said, " receive^ 
not the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in vain." Consider 
then how much grace thou hast received in vain. How 
many motions to good hast thou rejected? Perhaps thy 
heart is touched at this sermon, though it is not my 
tongue, nor the tongue of the most elegant in the world, 
that can touch the heart, but the Spirit that comes along 
with his word. Now when thou findest with the word a 
spirit to go with it, it is a grace. If thy conscience be 
enlightened, and thy duty revealed to thee, so that it tells 
thee what thou art, what thou oughtest to do, and not to 
do, it is a grace. Now if for all this, thou blindly run- 
nest through, and art never the better, but obstinately 
settest thyself against God, and dost many things which 
others that have not received the same grace would not 
have done, know then that thou receivest this grace in 
vain, and thy case is lamentable. 

4. Consider God's great goodness, which ought to re- 
strain thee from sin upon a double account. 

First, his goodness in himself should keep thee from 
offending him. There is nothing but goodness, infinite 
goodness in him, and canst thou find in thy heart to sin 

' Gen. chap. 3. ver. U. '2 Cor. chap. 6. ver. 1. 


against so good a God ? To offend, and wrong a good 
dispositioned person, one of a sweet nature and affection, 
it aggravates the fault, it is pity to wrong or hurt such a 
one, as injures nobody. Now such a one is God, a good 
God, infinite in goodness, rjch in mercy, very goodness 
itself ; and therefore it must needs aggravate the foulness 
of sin to sin against him : but now he is not only thus in 
himself, but 

Secondly, he is good to thee : " Despisest* thou the 
riches of his goodness and forbearance?" &c. What 
hast thou that thou hast not received from his bounti- 
ful hand ? Consider of this, and let this be a means to 
draw thee off from thy sinfulness. When David had 
greatly sinned against God, and when God brings his 
murder home to him, he pleads thus with him : " When" 
thou wert nothing in thine own eyes, I brought thee," 
saith God, " to the kingdom, I took thee from the sheep- 
fold, and exalted thee, and brought thee to a plentiful 
house." And may not God say the like to us ? and " Do'^ 
you thus requite the Lord, O you foolish people and un- 
wise," that the more his mercy and goodness is to you, 
the higher your sins should be against him. 

5. Besides, consider more than all this, we have the 
examples of good men before our eyes. God commands 
us not, what we cannot do : if God had not set some 
before our eyes, that walk in his ways, and do his will, 
then we might say that these are precepts, that none can 
perform. But we have patterns, of whom we may say, 
such a man I never knew to lie, such a one never to swear, 
and this should be a means to preserve us from sinning. 
Noah was a good man, and being moved with fear, set 
not at nought the threatening of God, but "builtythe 
ark, and thereby condemned the world." His example 
" condemned the world," in that they followed it not, al- 
though it were so good, but continued in their great sins. 
So, art thou a wicked deboist person ? there is no good 

t Rom. chap. 2. " 2 Sam. chap. 12. ver. 7, 8. 

" Deut. chap. 32. ver. 6. y Heb. chap. 11. ver. 7. 


man but shall condemn thee by his example. It is a great 
crime " in^ the land of uprightness to do wickedly," to 
be profane, when the righteous by their blameless lives 
may teach thee otherwise. 

6. And lastly, add to all the consideration of the multi- 
tude and weight of thy sins. Hadst thou but sinned once 
or twice, or in this or that, it were somewhat tolerable. 
But thy sins are great and many : they are heavy, and 
thou continually increasest their weight, and addest to 
their number. " A^ lion out of the forest shall slay them, 
and a wolf of the evening shall spoil them, a leopard shall 
watch over their cities, and every one that goeth out 
thence shall be torn in pieces." Why ? " Because their 
transgressions are many, and their backslidings are in- 
creased." If thou hadst committed but two, or three, or 
four sins, thou mightest have hope of pardon ; but when 
thou shalt never have done with thy God, but wilt be 
still increasing, still multiplying thy sins, then mayest thou 
expect to hear from God's mouth that dreadful expostu- 
lation in the prophet : " How* can I pardon thee ?" Thus 
David sets out his own sins in their weight and number : 
" Mine" iniquities are gone over my head, as an heavy 
burden they are too heavy for me." The continual mul- 
tiplying of them adds to their heap both in number and 

Thus I have shewed you what the law does in respect 
of sin, the benefit of being under the law, that it makes 
sin appear in its own colours, and sets it forth to be, as 
indeed it is, exceeding sinful. But the law does not yet 
leave sin, nor let it escape thus : but as the law discovers 
our sinfulness, and accursedness by sin, its wretchedness 
and man's misery by it, till his blessedness comes from 
the hand of his Jesus: so it lays down the miserable 
estate which befalls him for it. If he will not spare God 
with his sins, God will not spare him with his plagues. 
Let us consider of this accursedness sin brings on us : 

' Isaiah, chap. 26. ver. 10. * Jer. chap. 5. ver. 6. 

'' Jer. chap. 5. ver, 7. '^ Psalm 38. ver. 4. 


God will not let us go so, but as long as we are under the 
law, we are under the curse ; and till we are in Christ, we 
can expect nothing, but that which should come from the 
hand of a provoked God. Assure thyself, thou that 
pleasest thyself in thy abominations, that God wiUnot take 
this at thine hands, that by so base a creature as thou art, 
so vile a thing as sin is should be committed against him. 
But of the woful effects of sin, which is God's wrath, we 
wiU speak the next time. 



Lam. chap. V. ver. 16. 
" Woe unto us that we have sinned." 

I DECLARED unto you heretofore, what we are to consi- 
der in the state of a natural man, a man that is not new fa- 
shioned, new moulded, a man that is not cut off from his 
own stock, a man that is not ingrafted into Christ ; he is 
the son of sin, he is the son of death. First I shewed you 
his sinfulness, and now, secondly, I shall shew you his 
accursedness, that which follows necessarily upon sin un- 
repented of. I declared before what the nature of sin is : 
and now I come to shew what the dreadful effects of sin 
are ; I mean the inevitable consequence that follows upon 
sin, and that is, woe and misery : " Woe unto us that we 
have sinned." A woe is a short word, but there lieth much 
in it. 

DocT. Woe and anguish must follow him that conti- 
nueth sinning against God. 

And when we hear this from the minister of God, it is 
as if we heard that angel, " flying^ through the midst of 
heaven, denouncing. Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of 
the earth." The ministers of God are his angels ; and the 
same that I now deliver to you, if an angel should now 
come from heaven, he would dehver no other thing. 
Therefore consider that it is a voice from heaven, that 
this woe, woe, woe, shall rest upon the heads, upon the bo- 
dies and souls of all them that will not yield unto God, 
that will not stoop to him, that will be their own masters, 

" Rev. chap. 8. ver. 13. 


and stand it out against him : woe, woe, woe unto them all. 
" Woe unto us." It is the voice of the Church in general, 
not of one man; but "but woe unto us, that we have 

That I may now declare unto you, what these woes are, 
note by the way, that I speak not to any particular man, 
but to every man in general. It is not for me to make 
particular application, do you do that yourselves : " We 
are all children of wrath by nature :" in our natural con- 
dition we are all alike, we are all of one kind, and every 
kind generates its own kind : it is an hereditary condition, 
and " till^ the Son makes us free, we are all subject to 
this woe. By nature we are all children of wrath, as well 
as others." Now that I may not speak of these woes in 
general, I have shewed how " two woes are past and a 
third woe is coming." God proceeds punctually with us. 
And are not our proceedings in judiciary courts after this 
manner ? The judge when he pronounceth sentence doth 
particularize the matter ; " Thou shalt return to the place 
from whence thou camest, thou shalt have thy bolts 
knocked off, thou shalt be drawn to the place of exe- 
cution, thou shalt be hanged, thou shalt be cut down, 
and quartered;" and so he goes on. And this is that 
which is the witness of justice. Thus it is here, the 
Spirit of God thinks it not enough to say barely, the 
state of a sinner is a woful state ; but the woes are punc- 
tually numbered, and this shall be my practice. Now 

1. The first thing that followeth after sin is this : after 
the committing of sin, there cometh such a condition 
into the soul that it is defiled, polluted, and becometh 
abominable. And this is the first woe. 

2. The soul being thus defiled and abominable, God 
loaths it ; for God cannot endure to dwell in a filthy and 
stinking carrion soul, he startles as it were, and seems 
afi:aid to come near it, he forsakes it, and cannot endure 
it. And that is the second woe : first sin defiles it, then 
God departs from it, there must be a divorce. 

'' Eph. chap. 2. ver. 3. 


3. When God is departed from the soul, then the 
Devil enters in, he presently comes in, and takes up the 
room ; there will be no emptiness or vacuum. And this is 
a fearful woe indeed : for as soon as God is departed from 
a man, he is left to the guidance of the Devil, his own 
flesh, and the world. There will be no emptiness in the 
heart: no sooner God departs, but these step in, and 
take God's place. 

4. Then in the fourth place, after all this is done, 
comes sin and cries for its " wages, which is death." 
The terrible death which comprehends in it all that bead- 
roll of curses, which are written in the Book of God ; and 
not only those, but the curses also which are not written'^, 
which are so many that they cannot be written. Though 
the Book of God be a complete book, and the law of 
God a perfect law, yet here they come short, and are im- 
perfect : for the curses not written shall Ught upon him, 
which are so many, as pen and ink cannot set down, nay, 
the very pen of God cannot express them, so many are the 
calamities and sorrows that shall light upon the soul of 
every sinful man. 

Now let us take these woes in pieces, one after ano- 

1. The first woe is the polluting and defiling of the 
soul by sin. A thing (it may be) that we little think of; but 
if God once open our eyes, and shew us what a black soul 
we have within us, and that every sin, every lustful 
thought, every covetous act, every sin gets a new spot 
and stain upon the soul, and tumbles it into a new puddle 
of filth, and then we shall see it, and not till then; for our 
eyes are carnal, and we cannot see this. If once we did 
but see our hateful and abominable spots, that every sin 
tumbles us afresh into the mire : did we see what a black 
devil we have within us, we would hate and abhor our- 
selves, as Job did. It would be so foul a sight, that it 
would make us out of our wits, as it were, to behold it. 
A man that is but natural, cannot imagine what a black 

' Deut. chap. 28. 



devil there is within him : but though he seeth it not, yet 
" he* that hath eyes Uke a flame of fire," seeth our stains 
and spots. 

Our Saviour shews the filthiness of the heart, by that 
which proceeds out of the mouth: " Those^ things which 
proceed out of the mouth, come from the heart." And, 
verse nineteenth : " Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts," 
&c. Observe. Of all evils we account evil thoughts the 
least. This we think strange, what, thoughts defile a 
man ? what, so light a matter as a thought ? Can they 
make any impression ? Yes, and defile a man too, leaving 
such a spot behind them, which nothing but the hot blood 
of Christ can wash away. So many evil thoughts, so many 
blasphemies, so many filthy things come fi-om the heart, 
every one being a new defilement and pollution that a man 
is made so nasty by it and filthy, that he cannot beUeve 
that it is so bad with him, as indeed it is. The apostle 
having shewn the Corinthians their former life, and ex- 
horted them against it^, goes on : " Let us cleanse our- 
selves from the filthiness of the flesh, and spirit." Mark 
then, there is a double filthiness, " a filthiness of the 
flesh, and a filthiness of the spirit." The filthiness of the 
flesh, that every one acknowledgeth to be filthy carnality, 
fornication and adultery, &c. These bestial lusts every 
one knows to be unclean. But then there is a filth of 
the spirit too, and such are evil thoughts. They are 
the filth of the spirit. " Corruptio optimi est pessima. 
The corruption which cleaves to the best thing is worst." 
The soul is the best thing, the most noble thing ; the 
filthiness which cleaves to it therefore must needs be the 
greatest. Fleshly filthiness, as adultery, is filthy ; but con- 
templative adultery, to dwell thereon is worse : however 
such a man may be pure from the filth of the flesh, yet if 
he delight himself in filthy thoughts, his spirit is abomina- 
ble in the sight of God : there is a stain by every one of 
thy impure thoughts left behind. However an actual sin 

■i Rev. chap. 1. ver. 14. « Matt. chap. 15. ver. 18. 

' ICor. chap. 6. B Ibid. chap. 7. ver. 1. 


be far greater than the sin of a thought, yet if that be but 
once committed, and these are frequently in thee ; if thou 
always lie tumbling in the suds of thy filthy thoughts, thy 
continuing therein makes thy sin more abominable than 
David's outward act, which he but once committed. So 
that we see there is " a filthiness of the spirit, as well as 
the flesh." In James, chap. I. ver. 21. we have a word 
sets out the filthiness of it, which is syperfluity. " Lay 
apart," saith he, " all filthiness and superfluity of naugh- 

First, it is expressed by the name of filthiness, shewing 
there is nothing so defiles a man as sin. 

Then it is called superfluity of naughtiness ; but what, 
is there any naughtiness to be borne with 1 And what 
exceeds that, is it superfluity? No, that is not the mean- 
ing of the place. By superfluity is meant the excrements 
of sin. Excrements are the refuse of meat, when the 
good nourishment is taken away from it. And it is as if 
he had said : Lay aside filthy, nasty, or excrementitious 
sin. The word was used in the ceremonies of the Jews, 
and thereby we may see what was taught concerning sin : 
" Thou'' shalt have a place without the camp whither 
thou shalt go," &c. Though the comparison be homely, 
yet it shews the filthiness of the sin, that it is a very ex- 
crement : " Thou shalt have a paddle, and it shall be 
that when thou wilt ease thyself, thou shalt dig there- 
with," &c. " And thou shalt cover that which cometh 
from thee." And what, did God care for these things ? 
No, it was to teach them a higher matter, as the reason 
following implies : " For the Lord thy God walketh in the 
midst of the camp." God would thereby shew them, that 
those things at which every man stoppeth his nose, are 
not so filthy to man, as a sin is unto God. So that you 
see how the case stands with a sinful man: sin defiles 
him, it pollutes him. 

And then in the next place, it makes God's soul to 
hate and abhor him. It is true, some sins there are 

'• Deut. chap. 23. ver. 12, 13. 


that every man imagineth to be shameful and filthy ; but 
we see all is sin to God, it is filthiness of flesh and spirit. 
A man may have carnality, fleshly filthiness ; peradven- 
ture also he may have covetousness, but pride and prodi- 
gality that he may get, as he thinks, credit by, that he 
cannot maintain the reputation of a gentleman without 
them. A miserable thing, that a man should account 
that a garnish of the soul, which doth defile and pollute 
it. If a man should take the excrements of a beast to 
adorn himself, would not we think him an ass .'' Well, 
when we thus defile ourselve by sin, God cannot endure 
us, he is forced to turn from us, he abhors us ; and that is 
the next woe. 

2. When thou hast made thyself such a black soul, 
such a dunghill, such a sty, then God must be gone, he 
canhot endure to dwell there : it stands not with his 
honour, and with the purity of his nature to dwell in such 
a polluted heart, there must now be a divorce : " Holi- 
ness' becomes his house for ever. His delight is in the 
saints." He is king of the saints, he will not be in a sty ; 
when thou hast thus polluted and defiled thy soul, God 
and thou must presently part: God puts thee oiF, and 
thou puttest God off too. We read in that place before 
alleged, that before they knew Christ, they were " with- 
out'^ God in the world," &c. atheists, adeoi. And in chap. 
IV. ver. 18. " Having their understanding darkened, and 
being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance 
that is in them." The presence of God is the life of our 
souls ; and we having through sin and ignorance banished 
God, we become strangers until the time of our ingrafting 
into Christ ; we are aliens from the life of God, whereupon 
comes a mutual kind of abhorring one another. God ab- 
hors us, and we, vile and filthy wretches, abhor God again. 
There is enmity betwixt God and us, and between all 
that belongs to God, and all that belongs to us. There 
is an enmity betwixt God and lis, and observe the expres- 

' Psalm 93. ver. 5. Psalm 16. ver. 3. Rev. chap. 15. ver. 3. 
k Eph. chap. 2. ver. 12. 


sion of it: " If you shall despise my statutes, or if your 
souls shall abhor my judgments, so that you will not do 
my commandments," &c. See here how we begin to 
abhor God ; and then for judgment on such persons ; 
" My" soul shall abhor you." We are not behind hand 
with God in this abhorring ; " My" soul loathed them, 
and their soul abhorred me." When we begin to abhor 
God, God's soul also abhors us. When a man hath such 
a polluted soul, he becomes deorjTvyric, a hater of God, 
and hated of him. When thou hast such a stinking soul, 
God must needs loath it as a most loathsome thing ; and 
so thou art not behind God neither. Thy filthiness 
makes God abhor thee, and thou abhorrest him, " Gtoo-- 
Tvyti^, haters of God" is one of the titles of natural men 
drenched in sin". And this is thy case, by hating thou art 
hated of God. 

Nor is this all the enmity. There is enmity also be- 
twixt all that belongs to God, and all that belongs to us. 
God's children and the wicked have ever an enmity be- 
twixt them, such an enmity as will never be reconciled. It 
is set down in Proverbs, chap. XXIX. ver. 27. "Anunjust 
man is an abomination to the just, and he that is upright in 
his way, is an abomination to the wicked." Just as it is 
between God and the seed of the serpent, so it is between 
both the seeds. " A wicked man is an abomination to 
the just, and an upright man is an abomination to the 
wicked." There is a pale of abomination set between 
them : so that this is the second woe. We come now to 
the third. 

3. And the third woe is that which immediately fol- 
lows, God's leaving of us. When we have polluted our- 
selves with sin, and God by reason thereof abhors us, 
and turns from us, then are there others ready presently 
to take up the room ; and so soon as God departs, the 
Devil steps in and becomes thy God. He was thy God 
by creation, this by usurpation : he was thy father that 

' Levit. chap. 26. ver. 15. ™ Ibid. ver. 30. 

" Zach. chap. 11. ver. S. " Rom, chap. I. ver. 30. 



would have given thee every good thing ; but now thou 
art fatherless, or rather worse, thou hast the Devil for thy 
father, and better is it to be without one. When the 
Devil is thy father, his works thou must do. When " the" 
Spirit of God departed from Saul, presently the evil 
spirit entered into him." If the good spirit be gone out, 
the evil spirit soon comes in : he comes and takes pos- 
session, and is therefore called " the God of this world :" 
and while we are in that state, " we* walk after the course 
of him that worketh in the children of disobedience." We 
would account it a terrible thing for ourselves or any of 
our children to be possessed of a devil ; but what it is to 
be possessed of this devil thou knowest not. It is not 
half so bad to have a legion possess thy body, as to have 
but one to possess thy soul. He becomes thy God, and 
thou must do his work; he will tyrannize over thee. 
What a fearful thing therefore is this, that as soon as God 
departs from us and forsakes us, and we him, that the 
Devil should presently come in his room, and take up 
the heart? Mark that place in Eph. chap. II. ver. 2. 
" Where in times past ye walked according to the course 
of the world, according," &c. As soon as God leaves a 
man, what a fearful company assail him ? They all concur 
together, the world, the flesh, and the Devil : these take 
God's place. 

The world is like the tide, when a man hath the tide 
with him, he hath great advantage of him that rows 
against the tide. 

But here is the Devil too. The world is as a swift 
current, and besides this comes the Devil and fills the 
heart, the " prince of the power of the air." While thou 
wert carried with the world thou wentest with the stream, 
and hadst the tide with thee ; but now the Devil being 
come, thou hast both wind and tide; and how can he 
choose but run, whom the Devil drives ? 

But this is not all : there must be something in thine 
own disposition too, that it may be completely filled ; 

p 1 Sam, chap. 16. ver. H. i Eplies. chap. 2. ver. 2. 


though there be wind and tide, yet if the ship be a slug, 
it will not make that haste that another ship will : there- 
fore here is the flesh too, and the fulfilling the desires 
thereof, which is a quick and nimble vessel, and this 
makes up the matter. So that if we consider the wind 
and tide, and lightness of the ship, it will appear how the 
room is filled : and how woful must the state of that man 
be ? It is a fearful thing to be delivered up unto Satan, 
but not so fearful as to be delivered up to one's own lusts. 
But by the way observe this for a ground : God never 
gives us up, God never forsakes us till we first forsake 
him. He is still beforehand with us in doing us good ; 
but in point of hurt we ourselves are first, in the point of 
forsaking we are always beforehand with God. If it 
should be proposed to thee, whether thou wilt forsake 
God or the Devil, and thou dost forsake God and choosest 
the Devil, thou deservest that he should take possession 
of thee. When a man shall obstinately renew his gross 
sins, doth he not deserve to be given up ? Observe the 
case in our first parents. God told the woman one thing, 
the Devil persuades her another ; she hearkens to the 
Devil, and believes him rather than God ; and when we 
shall desire to serve the Devil rather than God, the God 
that made us, and that made heaven for us, do we not 
deserve to be given up to him ? For " his"^ servants we 
are whom we obey." And thus we see how fearful a 
thing it is to be delivered up to ourselves and to the 
DeviP. First they forsake God : God comes and offers 
himself unto them, I will be thy God, thy Father, thou 
shalt want nothing : yet notwithstanding Israel " would 
not hear, they would have none of me." And then if thou 
wilt have none of me, I will have none of thee, saith God. 
Then see what follows, God commits the prisoner to him- 
self: " I' gave them up to their own heart's lusts," &c. 
And there is no case so desperate as this, when God 
shall say : If thou wilt be thine own master, be thine 

•" Rom. chap. 6. ver. 16. * Psalm 81. vcr. 11. 

' Psalm 81. ver. 12. 


own master. Thus, to be given up to a man's self, is worse 
than to be given up unto Satan: to be given up unto 
Satan may be for thy safety, but there is not a mountain 
of God's wrath greater, than to give a man up unto him- 
self. We would fain go over the hedges ; but when God 
loves us, " He" hedges up our ways." If God love us he 
will not leave us to ourselves, though we desire it. But 
when God shall say. Go thy ways, if thou wilt not be kept 
in, be thy own master, this is a most fearful thing : ^nd 
this is the third woe. First the soul is polluted with sin ; 
it forsakes God, and God forsakes it: then the world, 
the flesh, and the Devil, these fill up the room ; and then 
what follows, when these three rule within? But all 
kinds of sin: and so all kinds of punishment, which is the 
next woe. 

4. And this woe brings in all the curses of Almighty 
God, an Iliad of evils. Sin calls for its wages, viz. death, 
death. That is the payment of all : " The wages of sin 
is death." And this is the next thing which I shall open 
and explain. 

Now in handling hereof, I will first shew how death in 
general must of necessity follow sin, that thou who hast 
forsaken the fountain of life, art liable to everlasting 
death. And for this see some places of Scripture : " The'^ 
wages of sin is death." Consider then, first, what this 
wages is. Wages is a thing which must be paid : if you 
have an hireling, and your hireling receive not his wages, 
you are sure to hear of it, and God will hear of it too : 
" He>' which keeps back the wages of the labourer, or the 
hireling, their cry will come into the ears of the Lord of 
Sabaoth." As long as hirelings' wages are unpaid, God's 
ears are filled with their cries. Pay me my wages, pay 
me my wages. So sin cries, and it is a dead voice. Pay 
me my wages, pay me my wages, "the wages of sin is 
death." And sin never leaves crying, never lets God 
alone, never gives him rest, till this wages be paid. 

" Hos. chap. 2. vev. 6. " Rom. chap. 6. ver, 2, 3. 

y James, chap. 5. ver. 4. 


When Cain had slain Abel, he thought he should ne- 
ver have heard any more on it ; but sin hath a voice : 
" The voice of thy brother's blood cries unto me from 
the ground." So the Lord saith concerning Sodom : 
" Because^ the cry of Sodom is great, and their sin very 
grievous, therefore I will go down and see, whether they 
have done according to the cry that is come up into mine 
ears." As if the Lord had said, It is a loud cry, I can 
have no rest for it, " therefore I will go down and see," 
&c. If man had his ears open, he would continually hear 
sin crying unto God, Pay me my wages, pay me my wages, 
kill this sinful soul : and though we do not hear it, yet so 
it is. The dead and doleful sound thereof fills heaven : it 
makes God say, " I will go down and see," &c. Till sin 
receive its wages God hath no rest. Again: " Sin" taking 
occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew 
me." I thought sin not to have been so great a matter as 
it is. We think on a matter of profit or pleasure, and 
thereupon are enticed to sin ; but here is the mischief, sin 
deceives us. It is a weight, it presses down, it deceives 
men, it is more than they deemed it to be. The com- 
mitting of sin is, as it were, running thyself upon the point 
of God's blade. Sin at first may flatter thee, but it will 
deceive thee : it is like Joab's kiss to Amasa. " Amasa'^ 
was not aware of the sword that was in Joab's hand, till 
he smote it into his ribs that he died." When sin entices 
thee on by profits and pleasures, thou art not aware that 
it will slay thee : but thou shalt find " it will be bitterness in 
the end." A sinner that acts a tragedy in sin, shall have 
a bloody catastrophe. " What" fruit had you then in 
those things whereof you are now ashamed?" Blood 
and death is the end of the tragedy. " The end of those 
things is death." " The'' sting of death is sin." What is 
sin ? " It is the sting of death :" death would not be 
death, unless sin were in it. Sin is more deadly than 

"^ Gen. chap. 18. ver. 20, ' Rom. chap. 7. vcr. U. 

^ 2 Sam. chap. 2. ver. 26. "^ Rom. chap. 6. 

" 1 Cor. chap. 15. 


death itself; it is sin enableth death to sting, enableth it 
to hurt and wound us. So that we may look on sin, as 
the barbarians looked on the viper on Paul's hand : " they 
expected continually when he would have swollen" and 
burst. Sin bites like a snake, which is called a fiery 
serpent, not that the serpent is fiery, but because it puts 
a man into such a flaming heat by their poison : and such 
is the sting of sin, which carries poison in it, that had we 
but eyes to see our ugliness by it, and how it inflames us, 
we should continually every day look, when we should 
burst with it. The apostle useth another metaphor: 
" Sin^ when it is accomplished bringeth forth death." 
inroKvu, saith the original, sin goeth, as it were with child, 
with death. The word is proper to women in labour, who 
are in torment till they are delivered. Now as if sin 
were this woman, he useth it in the feminine gender, 
afiapria. So it is with sin, sin is in pain, cries out, 
hath no rest till it be delivered of this dead birth, till it 
have brought forth death : that is, sin grows great with 
child with death, and then it not only deserves death, but 
it produceth and actually brings forth : this is generally 

Now .consider with yourselves, death is a fearful thing. 
When we come to talk of death, how doth it amaze us ? 
The priests of Nob are brought before Saul for relieving 
David, and he saith, " Thou shalt surely die, Ahime- 
lech." And this is your case, you shall surely die : death 
is terrible even to a good man. As appears in Hezekiah, 
who though he were a good man, yet vnth how sad a 
heart doth he entertain the message of death ? The news 
of it affrighted him ; it went to his heart, it made him 
" turn to the wall and weep." How cometh it to pass 
that we are so careless of death ? That we are so full of 
infidelity, that when the word of God saith, " Thou 
shalt die Ahimelech," we are not at all moved by it? 
What, can we think these are fables ? Do we think God 
is not in earnest with us ? And by this means we fall into 

• James, chap. 1. ver. 15. 


the temptation of Eve, a questioning, whether God's 
threats are true or not. That which was the deceit of 
our first parents is ours. Satan disputes not whether sin 
be lawful or not : whether eating the fruit were unlawful : 
whether drunkenness, &c. be lawful; he will not deny 
but it is unlawful. But when God saith, " If thou 
dost eat, &c. thou shalt die :" he denies it, and saith 
" ye shall not die." He would hide our eyes from the 
punishment of sin. Thus we lost ourselves at the first, 
and the floods of sin came on in this manner : when 
we believed not God, when he said, " If thou dost eat 
thou shalt surely die:" and shall we renew that capital 
sin of our parents, and think, if we do sin, we shall not 
die ? If any thing in the world will move God to shew us 
no mercy, it is this, when we slight his judgments, or not 
believe them. This adds to the height of all our sins, 
that when God saith, If thou dost live in sin thou shalt 
die, and yet we will not believe him : that when he shall 
come and threaten us, as he doth : when he shall curse, 
and we " shall bless ourselves in our hearts, and say, we 
shall have peace though we go on," &c. " The^ Lord 
will not spare that man, but the anger of the Lord and his 
jealousy shall smoke against him." It is no small sin, when 
we will not believe God : this is as being thirsty before, we 
now add " drunkenness to our thirst :" that is, when God 
shall thus pronounce curses, he shall yet bless himself, 
and say, I hope I shall do well enough for all that. 
There are two words to that bargain. Then see what 
follows : " The anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall 
smoke against that man." We are but now entered 
into the point ; but it would make your hearts ache and 
throb within you, if you should hear the particulars of it. 
All that I have done is to persuade you to make a right 
choice, to take heed of Satan's delusions : " Why'* will ye 
die?" " Therefore' cast away your sins, and make you a 
new heart and a new spirit, for why will you die ?" Where 

' Deut. chap. 29. ver. 19. ^ Ibid. ver. 20. 

"i Ezek. chap. 3.3. ver. 11. ' Ibid. chap. 18. ver. 31, 


the golden candlestick stands, there Christ walks, there 
he saith, " I am with you." Where the word and sacra- 
ments are, there Christ is, and when the word shakes thy 
heart, take that time, now choose hfe. " Why will you 
die?" Consider of the matter: " Moses'' put before the 
people hfe and death, blessing and cursing :" we put hfe 
and death before you in a better manner: "he^ was a mi- 
nister of the letter, we of the spirit. Now choose life." 
But if you will not hearken, but will needs try conclusions 
with God, therefore, " because"' you will choose your 
own conclusions, arid will not hearken unto God, because 
you will needs try conclusions with him, will not obey him 
when he calls, therefore he will turn his deaf ear unto 
you, and when you call and cry, he will not answer." I 
press this the more, to move you to make a right choice. 

But now to turn to the other side, as there is nothing 
but death for the wages of sin, and as I have shewed you 
where death is, so give me leave to direct you to the 
fountain of life. There is life in our blessed Saviour ; if 
we have but an hand of faith to touch him, we shall draw 
virtue from him to raise us up from the death of sin to 
the life of righteousness. He that " hath" the Son hath 
life, he that hath not the Son hath not life." You have 
heard of a death that comes by the first Adam and sin, 
and to that stock of original sin we had from him, we 
have added a great heap of our own actual sins, and so 
have " treasured" up unto ourselves wrath against the 
day of wrath." Now here is a great treasure of happi- 
ness on the other side in Christ ; " have the Son, and have 
life." The question is now, whether you will choose 
Christ, and hfe, or sin, and death ? Consider now, the 
minister stands in God's stead, and beseeches you in his 
namcj he speaks not of himself, but from Christ. When 
he draws near to thee, with Christ's broken body, and his 
blood shed, and thou receivest Christ, then, as thy na- 

k Deut. chap. 30. ver. 15. 19. ' 2 Cor. chap. 3. ver. 6. 

" Prov. chap. 1. ver. 28. " 1 John, chap. 5. ver. 12. 

° Rom. chap. 2. ver. 5. 


tural life and strength is preserved and increased by these 
elements, so hast thou also spiritual life by Christ. If a 
man be kept from nourishment a while, we know what 
death he must die. If we receive not Christ, we cannot 
have life, we know that there is life to be had from Christ, 
and he that shall by a true and lively faith receive Christ, 
shall have life by him. There is as it were a pair of 
indentures drawn up between God and a man's soul: there 
is blood shed, and by it pardon of sin, and life conveyed 
unto thee on Christ's part. Now if there be faith and 
repentance on thy part, and thou accept of Christ, as he 
is offered, then thou mayest say, I " have the Son," and as 
certainly as I have the bread in my hand, I " shall have 
life by him." This I speak but by the way, that the sun 
might not set in a cloud, that I might not end only in 
death, but that I might shew that there is a way to reco- 
ver out of that death, into which we have all naturally 
precipitated ourselves by our apostacy from God. 



Rom. chap. VI. ver. 23. 
The wages of sin is death. 

The last day, I entered on the declaration of the cursed 
effects and consequents of sin, and in general shewed that 
it is the wrath of God ; that where sin is, there wrath must 
follow. As the apostle in the epistle to the Galatians : 
"As many as are under the works of the law are under 
the curse." Now all that may be expected from a God 
highly offended, is comprehended in Scripture by this 
term, death. Wheresoever sin enters, death must follow : 
" Death^ passed over all men, forasmuch as all had 
sinned :'' if we are children of sin, we must be " children* 
of wrath." We are then " children of wrath even as 
others." Now concerning death in general, I shewed you 
the last time, that the state of an unconverted man is a 
dead and desperate estate : he is a slave, it would affright 
him, if he did but know his own slavery, and what it is 
that hangs over his head ; that there is but a span betwixt 
him and death, he could never breathe any free air, he 
could never be at any rest, he could never be free from 
fear. The apostle saith, that " Christ'' came to deliver 
them that through fear of death were all their life-time 
subject to bondage." This bondage is a deadly bondage, 
that when we have done all that we can do, what is the 
payment of the service? death. And the fear of this 
deadly bondage, if we were once sensible, if God did 

=> Rom. chap. 5. ver. 12. '' Eph. chap. 1. ver. 3. 

" Heb. chap. 2. ver. 15. 


open our eyes, and shew us, as he did Belshazzar, our 
doom written, did we but see it, it would make " our 
joints loose, and our knees knock one against another." 
Every day thou livest, thou approachest nearer to this 
death, to the accomplishment and consummation of it : 
death without and death within ; death in this world and 
in the world to come. 

Not only death thus in gross and in general, but in par- 
ticular also. 

Now to unfold the particulars of death, and to shew 
you the ingredients of this bitter cup, that we may be 
weary of our estates, that we may be drawn out of this 
death, and be made to fly " to the Son, that we may be 
free indeed ;" observe, that death is not here to be un- 
derstood of a separation of the soul from the body only, 
but a greater death than that, the death of the soul and 
body. We have mention made of a first resurrection : 
" Blessed"* and happy is he that hath his part in the first 
resurrection, for on such the second death hath no power." 
What i^ the first resurrection ? It is a rising from sin : 
and what is the second death ? it is everlasting damna- 
tion. The first death is a death in sin, and the first re- 
surrection is a rising from sin. 

And so again for all things, the judgments or troubles 
that appertain to this death, all a man suffers before. It 
is not, as fools think, the last blow that fells the tree, but 
every blow helps forward. It is not the last blow that 
kills the man, but every blow that goes before makes way 
unto it. Every trouble of mind, every anguish, every 
sickness ; all these are so many strokes that shorten our 
life, and hasten our end, and are as it were so many 
deaths : therefore, however it is said by the apostle, " it 
is appointed for all men once to die," yet we see the 
apostle to the Corinthians, of the great conflicts that he 
had, saith, " that^ he was in labours abundant, in stripes 
above measure, in prisons frequent, in deaths oft." " In 
deaths often;" what is that? That is, however he could 

•• Rev. chap. 20. vev. G. "= 2 Cor. chap. 11, ver, 23. 


die but once, yet these harbingers of death, these 
stripes, bonds, imprisonments, sicknesses, &c. all of 
them were as so many deaths, all these were compre- 
hended under this curse, and are parts of death ; in as 
much as he underwent that which was a furtherance to 
death, he is said to die. So, we read, Pharaoh could say: 
" Prayf unto your God that he would forgive my sins this 
once, and intreat the Lord that he will take away from 
me but this death only." Not that the locusts were death, 
but are said to be so, because they prepared and made 
way for a natural death. Therefore the great judgments 
of God are usually in Scripture comprised under this 
name death. All things that may be expressions of a 
wrath of an highly provoked God, are comprehended 
under this name. All the judgments of God that come 
upon us in this life, or that to come, whether they be 
spiritual and ghostly, or temporal, are under the name of 

Now to come to particulars, look particularly on death, 
and you shall see death begun in this world, and seconded 
by a death following, the separation of body and soul from 
God in the world to come. 

1 . First, in this hfe he is always a dying man : " Man 
that is born of a woman," what is he ? He is ever spend- 
ing upon the stock, he is ever wasting like a candle, 
burning still and spending itself as soon as lighted, till it 
come to its utter consumption : so he is born to be a dying 
man, death seizeth upon him as soon as ever it findeth 
sin in him. " Ins the day that thou eatest thereof thou 
shalt die :" saith God to Adam, though he lived many 
years after. How then could this threatening hold true ? 
Yes it did, in regard that presently he fell into a lan- 
guishing estate, subject and obnoxious to miseries and 
calamities, the hasteners of it. If a man be condemned 
to die, suppose he be reprieved, and kept prisoner three 
or four years, yet we account him but a dead man : and 
if this man's mind shall be taken up with worldly matters, 

' Exod. chap. 10. ver. 17. s Gen. chap. 2. ver. 1. 


earthly contentments, purchases or the hke, would we 
not account him a fool or a stupid man, seeing he lightly 
esteems his condemnation, because the same hour he is 
not executed ? Such is our case, we are, while in our 
natural condition in this life, dead men, ever tending to- 
ward the grave, towards corruption, as the gourd of Jonah, 
" so soon as ever it begins to sprout forth, there is aworm 
within," that bites it and causes it to wither. The day 
that we are born, there is within us the seed of corrup- 
tion, and that wastes us away with a secret and incurable 
consumption, that certainly brings death in the end: 
so that in our very birth begins our progress unto 
death. A time, a way we have, but it leads unto death. 
There is a way from the tower to Tyburn, but it is a way 
to death. Until thou comest to be reconciled unto Christ, 
every hour tends unto thy death ; there is not a day that 
thou canst truly say, thou livest in, thou art ever posting 
on to death, death in this world, and eternal death in the 
world to come. 

And as it is thus with us at our coming into the world, 
so we are to understand it of that little time we have 
above ground, our days are full of sorrow. But mark 
when I speak of sorrows here, we must not take them for 
such afflictions and sorrows as befal God's children, for 
theirs are blessings unto them : chastisements are tokens 
of God's love ; " For'' as many as I love, I rebuke and 
chasten:" saith Christ. Affliction to them is like the 
dove with an olive-branch in her mouth, to shew that all is 
well; but take a man that is under the law, and then 
every cross, whether it be loss of friends, loss of goods, 
diseases on his body, all things, every thing to him is a 
token of God's wrath, not a token of God's love, as it is 
to God's children ; but it is as his impress money, as part 
of payment of a greater sum, an earnest of the wrath of 
God, the first part of the payment thereof. 

It is the apostles direction, that, among the other ar- 
mour, we should •' get our feet shod," that so we might be 

'' Revel, chap. 3. ver. 19. 


able to go through the afflictions we shall meet withal in 
this life : " Let' your feet be shod with the preparation of 
the Gospel of peace." What, is the shoeing of the feet a 
part of the armour? Yes: for in the Roman discipline 
there were things they called galltraps, which were cast 
in the way before the army, before the horse and men ; 
they had three points, so that which way soever they 
threw them, there was a' point upwards. Now to meet 
with and prevent this mischief, they had brazen shoes 
that they might tread upon these galltraps and not be 
hurt: as we read of Goliah, amongst other armour he 
had boots of brass. To this it seems the apostle had re- 
ference in this metaphorical speech : the meaning is that as 
we should get the shield of faith and sword of the spirit, 
so we should have our feet shod, that we might be pre- 
pared against all those outward troubles, that we should 
meet with in the world, which are all of them as so many 
stings and pricks ; all outward crosses I say are so : and 
what is it that makes all these hurt us ? what is it that 
makes all these as so many deaths unto us but sin ? If sin 
reign in thee and bear rule, that puts a sting into them. 
It is sin that arms death against us, and it is sin that arms 
all that goes before death against us. Hast thou been 
crossed in the loss of thy wife, children, good friends, 
&c. why the sting of all is from sin, sin it is which makes 
us feel sorrow. What shall we then do ? Why, get thy 
" feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace." 
Prepare thyself, get God at peace with thee ; and then 
whatsoever affliction cometh, howsoever it may be a 
warning piece to another that God's wrath is coming, yet 
to thee it is a messenger of peace. Now these outward 
troubles are the least part of a wicked man's payment, 
though all these are a part of his death, so long as he 
remains unreconciled, whatsoever comes upon him where- 
by he suffers either in himself or in any thing that belongs 
unto him, they are all tokens of God's wrath, and are the 
beginnings of his death, in the twenty-sixth of Leviticus, and 
the twenty-eighth of Deuteronomy, the particulars of it are 

' Eph. chap. 6. ver. 15. 


set down. But this is that I told you the last time, how that 
the law of God is a perfect law, and nothing is to be 
added to it, yet the variety of the curses belonging unto 
a man unreconciled are so many, that the ample book of 
God cannot contain them : " All' the curses which are 
not written," &c. we read : " The'' Lord shall smite thee 
with the botch of Egypt, and with emrods, and with 
a scab, and with itch." See the diversities of plagues, 
all these are made parts of the curse. The very itch and 
scab is a part of the payment of God's wrath in hell. " I' 
will send a sword amongst you, which shall avenge the 
quarrel of my covenant." The book of God compre- 
hends not all the curses that are to light on the wicked. 
And therefore we find in Zachary, a book, a great folio 
book, every side whereof was full of curses. " He" said unto 
me. What seest thou ? And I said, I see a flying roll, the 
length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof is 
ten cubits." Here is a big book indeed ; but mark what 
is in it : sure it is not for nought that the Holy Ghost sets 
down the dimensions of it : there is something question- 
less in it, the length " thereof is twenty cubits, and the 
breadth ten cubits :" a huge volume. Nor is it a book but 
a roll, so that the crassitude goeth into the compass, and 
this is " written thick within and without," and is full of 
curses against sin. Now for the dimensions of it, compare 
this place with 1 Kings, chap. VI. ver. 3. and you shall 
find them the very dimensions of Solomon's porch: a 
great place where the people were wont to come for the 
hearing of the word, and not only in that time, but it v/as 
continued in the time of Christ and the apostles : for we 
read how our Saviour walked in Solomon's porch, and the 
apostles were in Solomon's porch". So large then was 
this roll, that it agreed in length and breadth with Solo- 
mon's porch, and so many curses were written in it as 
were able to come in at the church door. It is as if we 
should see a huge book now, coming in at the church 

' Deut. chap. 28. ver. 61. '' Ibid. ver. 27. 

' Lev. chap. 26. ver. 26. '" Zach. chap. 5. ver. 2. 

" Acts, chap. 5. 




door, that should fill it up. Such a thing was pre- 
sented unto him, and it was a roll fuU of curses, and all 
these curses shall come on those that ohey not all the 
commandments, all shall come upon them and overtake 
them. " Cursed" shalt thou be in the city, and cursed 
shalt thou be in the field, cursed in thy basket and in thy 
store, cursed when thou comest in, and when thou goest 
forth." Till a man come to receive the promises, till he 
come to be a son of blessing, till he be in Christ, he is 
beset so with curses, that if belie down to sleep, there is a 
curse on his pillow ; if he put his money in his coffer, he 
lays up a curse with it, which as rust eats it out and can- 
kers it ; if he beget a child, he is accursed, there is a 
curse against his person and his goods, and all that be- 
longs unto him, there is still a curse over his head. 

The creditor in this world by the laws of the reahn may 
choose, whether he will have his debtor's person seized on, 
or his goods and chattels : but not so here, this writ is 
executed against his person and goods, and all that be- 
longs unto him. So that " it is a fearful thing to fall into 
the hands of the living God." If this be the condition of 
a wicked man, that his " very blessings be curses," what 
a woful case is it ! There is nothing till he be reconciled 
to Christ, but hath a curse at the end of it. 

Consider that one place in the prophecy of Malachy, 
where the very blessings are accursed : not only when 
God sends on him the itch, or botch, or scab, or sword, 
but in blessings he is accursed : " If p you will not hear, 
and if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to my 
name, saith the Lord, I will even send a curse upon you." 
But how ? See how this curse is threatened : " I will 
curse your very blessings, yea I have cursed them already, 
because you do not lay it to heart." Mark, is it not a 
great blessing that God yet affords the word, that we yet 
enjoy it ; but if we come to hear but formally, to hear it 
only, and lay it not to heart, God curseth this blessing, 
yea, " I have cursed it already, saith the Lord." When 

• Deut. chap. 28. ver. 16. P Mai. chap. 2. ver. 2. 


thou prayest in hypocrisy, thy prayer is a curse to thee. 
If thou receive the sacrament unworthily, the cup of bless- 
ing is a cup of poison, a cup of cursing to thee. Stay not 
therefore one hour longer quietly in this cursed condi- 
tion, but fly unto Christ for life and blessing : run to this 
city of refuge, for otherwise there is a curse at the end of 
every outward thing that thou enjoyest. " I have cursed 
these blessings already.'' It is as sure as if already passed 
on thee. What a woful thing then it is, think you, to be 
liable to the curse of God ! 

2. But what is become of the soul now ? Why, if thou 
didst but see the cursed soul that thou earnest in thy 
body, it would amaze thee. These outward curses are but 
flea-bitings to the blow that is given to the soul of an un- 
regenerate man, that deadness of spirit that is within : 
didst thou but see the curse of God that rests upon the 
soul of this man, even while he is above ground, it would 
even astonish thee. 

1. Consider there are two kinds of blows that God 
gives unto the soul of an unregenerate man. The one is 
a terrible blow. The other, which is the worst of the 
two, is an insensible blow. The sensible blow is when 
God lets the conscience out, and makes it fly into the face 
of a man, when the conscience shall come, and terribly 
accuse a man for what he hath done. This blow is not 
so usual as the insensible blow ; but this insensible is 
far more heavy. But as it falls out, that as in this world, 
sometimes before the glory in heaven, the saints of God 
have here a glimpse of heaven, and certain communion 
with God and Christ, certain love tokens, " a white stone, 
a new name engraven, which no man knoweth, but he that 
receiveth it :" and this is the testimony of a good con- 
science, which is hidden joys : privy intercourse is be- 
tween Christ and them, secret kisses : and as God's chil- 
dren do, as it were, meet with a heaven upon earth some- 
times, and are, as we read of Paul, " caught up into the 
third heaven," which to them is more than all the things 
in the world besides : so the wicked have sometimes 
flashes of hell in their consciences. If you had but seen 



men in the case that I have seen them in, you would say 
they had an hell within them ; they would desire rather, 
and they have expressed it, to be torn in pieces by wild 
horses, so they might be freed from the horrors in their 
consciences. When the conscience recoils and beats 
back upon itself, as a musket overcharged, it turns a man 
over and over : and this is a terrible thing. This some- 
times God gives men in this world : and mark, where the 
word is most powerfully preached, there is this froth most 
raised, which is the cause many desire not to come where 
the word is taught, because it galls their consciences, and 
desire the mass rather, because they say. The mass 
bites not: they desire a dead minister, that would not 
rub up their consciences, they would not be tormented 
before the time. They would so, but it shall not be 
at their choice, God will make them feel here the fire 
of hell, which they must endure for ever hereafter. This 
is the sensible blow, when God lets loose the conscience 
of a wicked man ; and he needs no other fire, no other 
worm to torment, nothing else to plague him : he hath 
a weapon within him, his own conscience, which if God 
lets loose, it will be hell enough. 

2. But now besides this blow which is not so frequent, 
there is another more common and more sensible blow. 
God saitb, he is a dead man, and a slave to sin and Satan, 
and he thinks himself the freest man in the world. God 
curses and strikes, and he feels it not. This is an insen- 
sible blow, and like unto a dead palsy : thou art dead, 
and yet walkest about, and art merry, though every one 
that hath his eyes open seeth death in thy face. O this 
deadness, this senselessness of heart is the heaviest thing 
that can befal a sinner in this life. It is the cause the apostle 
speaks of in the epistle to the Romans, when God delivers 
up a man " Etc vovv aSoKi/iov, to a reprobate mind :" and so, 
in the epistle to the Ephesians, chap. IV. ver. 19. declares 
such a man to be past feeling ; " Who being past feeling, 
have given themselves over to lasciviousness to work all 
uncleanness even with greediness." Although every sin, 
as I told you before, is as it were the running a man's self 


on the point of God's sword, yet these men being past 
feehng, run on, on, on, to commit sin with greediness, 
till they come to the very pit of destruction, they run 
amain to their confusion. When this insensibleness is 
come upon them, it is not God's goodness that can work 
upon them. Who art thou that " despisest* the riches 
of God's goodness, not knowing that the goodness of God 
leadeth thee unto repentance." It is not God's judg- 
ments that will move them, they leave no impression. 
" And' the rest of the men which were not killed by these 
plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, 
that they should not worship devils, &c. brass, nor stone 
and wood, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk." 
They repented not though they were spared, but wor- 
shipped gods which cannot see, nor hear, nor speak, so 
brutish were they to be led away by stocks and stones. I 
think the papist gods cannot do it unless it be by cozenage ; 
yet such is their senselessnes, that though God's fury be 
revealed from heaven against papists, such as worship false 
gods ; yet are they so brutish, that they will worship things 
which can neither hear, nor see, nor walk. " They that 
made them are like unto them, and so are all they that 
worship them," as brutish as the stocks themselves : they 
have no heart to God, but will follow after their puppets 
and their idols, and such are they also that follow after 
their " drunkenness^ covetousness, &c. Who live in 
lasciviousness, lusts, excess of riot, that run into all kind 
of excess ;" and marvel that you do not so too. They 
marvel, that ye that fear God, can live as ye do ; and 
speak evil of you that be good; call such hypocrites, 
dissemblers, and I know not what nicknames. This, I 
say, is a most woful condition ; it is that dead blow. 
When men are not sensible of mercies, of judgments, but 
run into all excess of sin with greediness : and this is a 
death begun in this life, even while they are above ground. 
But then comes another death, God doth not intend 

1 Rom. chap. 2. ver. 4. ' Rev. chap. 9. ver. 20. 

' 1 Pet. chap. 4. ver. 2. 



sin shall grow to an infinite weight : " His Spirit shall not 
always strive with man," hut at length God comes and 
crops him off, and now cometh the consummation of the 
death hegun in this life : now cometh an accursed death. 
3. After thou hast lived an accursed life, then cometh 
an accomplishment of curses. 

First, a cursed separation between body and soul, 
and then of both from God for ever, and this is the last 
payment. This is that great death which the apostle 
speaks of, " Who' delivered us from that great death." 
So terrible is that death. This death is but the severing 
of the body from the soul : this is but the Lord's har- 
binger, the Lord's serjeant to lay his mace on thee, to 
bring thee out of this world into a place of everlasting mi- 
sery, from whence thou shalt never come, till all be satis- 
fied, and this is never. 

First, consider the nature of this death, which though 
every man knoweth, yet few lay to heart. This death, 
what doth it ? 

I. It takes the things which thou spentest thy whole 
life in getting. It robs thee of all the things thou ever 
hadst : thou hast taken pains to heap and " treasure up 
goods for many years," presently when this blow is given, 
all is gone : for honour and preferment, it takes thee from 
that ; pleasure in idle company-keeping, it bars thee of 
that. Mark, this is the first thing that death doth, it 
takes not only away a part of that thou hast, but all, it 
leaves thee quite naked, as naked as when thou earnest 
into the world : thou thoughtest it was thy happiness to 
get this and that. Death now begins to unbewitch thee, 
thou wast bewitched before, when thou didst run after all 
worldly things : thou wast deceived before, and now it 
undeceives thee ; it makes thee see what a notorious fool 
thou wast, it unbefools thee. Thou hadst many plots, 
and many projects, but when thy breath is gone, then 
without any delay in that very day, saith the psalmist, 
" ail" thy thoughts perish," all thy plottings, and pro- 

' 2 Cor. chap. 1. vor. 10. " Psalm 146. ver. 4. 


jections go away with thy breath : a strange thing, to see 
a man with Job, the richest man in the east, and yet in 
the evening, we say, " as poor as Job :" he hath nothing 
left him now. Now though death takes not all things 
from thee, yet it takes thee from them all ; and so in 
effect them also from thee ; though they remain in thy 
house, and grounds, yet they are as far removed from 
thee, as thou from them. All thy goods, all thy books, 
all thy wealth, all thy friends thou mayest now bid fare- 
well : now adieu for ever, never to see them again. And 
that is the first thing. 

2. Now death rests not there, but cometh " to seize 
upon thy body." It hath bereaved thee of all that thou 
possessedst of all thy outward things, they are taken 
away : now it comes to touch the wicked man's person, 
and see what then. It toucheth him, it rends his soul 
from his body : those two loving companions that have so 
long dwelt together, are now separated. It takes thy 
soul from thy body: this man doth not deliver up his 
spirit, as we read of our Saviour : " Father, into thy hands 
I commit my spirit," or deliver their spirits as Stephen 
did : but here it is taken from them ; it is much against 
his mind, it is a pulling of himself from himself. This it 

3. But then again, when thou art thus pulled asunder, 
what becomes of the parts separated ? 

1. First, the body, as soon as the soul is taken from 
it, hastens to corruption, that must see corruption ; yea 
it becomes so full of corruption, that thy dearest friend 
Qannot then endure to come near unto thee. When the 
soul is taken from the body, it is observed that of all 
carcasses that are, man's is the most loathsome, none so 
odious as that. Abraham loved Sarah well, but when he 
comes to buy a monument for her, see his expression : 
" He" communes with the men and saith. If it be your 
mind to sell me the field, that I might bury my dead out 
of my sight." Though he loved her very well before, yet 

" Gen. chap. 23. ver. 8. 



now she must be buried out of his sight. " It is sown in 
dishonour," and it is the basest thing that can be : there- 
fore when our Saviour was going near to the place where 
Lazarus lay, " his^ sister saith, Lord by this time he 
stinketh." " V" have said to corruption, thou art my fa- 
ther," saith Job, " and to the worm, thou art my mother 
and my sister." As in the verse before : " The grave is 
my house, I have made my bed in the darkness." Here 
then he hath a new kindred, and though before he had 
affinity with the greatest, yet here he gets a new affinity : 
" He saith to corruption, thou art my father, and to the 
worm, thou art my mother and my sister." The worm is 
our best kindred here ; the worm is our best bed ; yea 
worms thy best covering^. Thus is it thy father, thy 
mother, and thy bed : nay, it is thy consumption and de- 
stroyer also*". Thus is it with thy body, it passeth to 
corruption, that thy best or dearest friend cannot behold 
it or endure it. 

2. But alas ! what becomes of thy soul then ? Thy 
soul appears naked, there is no garment to defend it, no 
proctor appears to plead for it : it is brought singly to 
the bar, and there it must answer. " It is appointed for 
all men once to die," but what then? " And'^ after that 
to come to judgment.'' " The** body returns unto the 
earth from whence it was taken, but the spirit to God 
who gave it." All men's spirits, as soon as their bodies and 
souls are parted, go to God to be disposed of by him where 
they shall keep their everlasting residence. Consider when 
thou hearest the bell rung out for a dead man, if thou 
hadst but the wings of a dove to fly, and couldst fly after 
him, and appear with him before God's tribunal, to see 
the account that he must give unto God for all things 
done in the flesh: and when no account can be given, 
what a state of misery and horror wouldst thou see him 
in ! and this is a silent kind of judging : the last day of 
judging shall be with great pomp and solemnity. This is 

' John, chap. 11. ver. 39. ' Job, chap. 17. ver. 14. 

- Isaiah, chap. 14. ver. 11. '' Job, chap. 26. 

= Heb. chap. 9. ver. 27. <l Eccles. chap. 12. ver. 7. 


a matter closely carried between God and thyself; but 
then thou must give an account of all that thou hast re- 
ceived, and then when thou canst not give a good account, 
then is thy talent taken from thee. Why, saith God, I 
gave thee learning, how didst thou use it ? I gave thee 
other gifts of mind, how didst thou employ them ? God 
hath given thee wisdom and wealth, moral virtues, meek- 
ness, and patience, &c. These are good things, but 
mark, whatsoever good things thou hadst in this world are 
now taken from thee. If a man could but see the de- 
grading of the soul, he should see that those moral vir- 
tues in which his hope of comfort lay, even these, though 
they could never bring him to heaven, yet they shall be 
taken from him. As when a knight is degraded, first his 
sword is taken from him, then comes one with a hatchet 
and chops off his golden spurs, and then go Sir Knave. 
This is the degrading of the soul before the judgment is 
received : the moral virtues are taken from him, and then 
see what an ugly soul he hath ; he had hope before, now 
he is without hope : he had some patience in this world, 
but he made no good use of it ; and now his patience is 
taken from him : and when thou shalt come to a place of 
torment, and thy hope and patience be taken from thee, 
what case wilt thou be in then ? patience may stay a man 
up in trouble, and hope may comfort a man up in tor- 
ment, but both these are taken away. This is a thing we 
very seldom think ; but did we seriously consider of this 
first act of the judgment before the sentence, we would 
not be idle in this world. 

3. Then lastly, he is put into an unchangeable estate : 
so soon as ever death lays God's mace upon him, he is 
put into an estate of unchangeableness. Such is the ter- 
ribleness of it, that now, though he yell and groan, and 
pour out rivers of tears, there is no hope of change. 

Consider now what a woful case this is, if some friend 
of this man's should now come to him, would he not tell 
him we have often been very merry together, but didst 
thou know the misery that I am in, thou wouldst be trou- 
bled for me : half those tears that I now pour forth would 


have put me into another place : had I taken the season, 
but now it is too late. Oh ! therefore do thou make use 
of tears, a little may do it now, hereafter it will be too 

That is the thing we should now come to speak of, the 
second death : but think not that I am able to speak of it 
now : no, that which is everlasting deserves an hour at 
least in speaking, and an age in thinking of it. There- 
fore that everlasting torment, horror, and anguish, which 
God hath reserved for those that make not their peace 
with him (which is easily done God knows) I shall speak 
of the next time. 



Rev. chap. XXI. ver. 8. 

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and 
whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their 
part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second 

The last day I entered, you know, upon the miserable 
estate of an unreconciled sinner, at the time of his disso- 
lution, when his soul shall be taken from him, and be pre- 
sented naked before Christ's tribunal, there to receive ac- 
cording to the works which he hath done in the flesh : 
and I shewed that the wofulness of that estate consisted in 
two acts done upon him : the one before he comes to 
his place, before he is thrust away from God's presence 
into hell fire ; which I shewed you the last day, and did 
then promise to shew you the other : to wit, the wofulnes 
of his estate, being once come into his place. The act 
done to the sinner's soul before he is sent to hell, is the 
deprivation of his light, the taking away of his talent. For 
whilst a man is in this world, he hath many good things 
in him, too good to accompany him to hell : now all these 
excellent gifts and natural endowments which did adorn a 
wicked man's soul, before the soul is hurled into hell, 
must be taken away from him. There is a kind of degra- 
dation of the soul, it is depriested as it were, and becomes 
like a degraded knight that hath his honor taken from 
him. All the rich talents, and all the rich prizes that were 
put into the fool's hand, shall be taken from him. Is there 
any moral virtue? Are there any common graces and 
natural endowments in the miserable soul? it shall be 


stripped of all and packed to hell. You that have abused 
your learning and gifts that God hath given you, do you 
think that they shall go with you to hell ? No such mat- 
ter, you shall be very sots and dunces there. All your 
learning shall be taken from you, and you shall go to hell 
arrant blockheads. He that had fortitude in this world, 
shall not carry one drachm of it to hell : all his courage 
shall then be abased, and his cowardly heart shall faint 
for fear. Fortitude is a great advantage to a man in dis- 
tress, but let not the damned soul expect the least advan- 
tage : his fortitude which he had whilst he was in the way 
shall be taken from him. It may be he had patience in 
this world : now patience is a virtue imfit for hell, there- 
fore shall that be taken from him. A man if he were in 
most exquisite torment, yet if he had patience it would 
bear it up with head and shoulders (as we say) but this 
shall add to his torments, that he shall not have any pa- 
tience left him, to allay it. A man hath perhaps hope in 
this world, and as the proverb is, were it not for hope the 
heart would burst ; yet even this too shall be taken away 
from him, he shall have no hope left him of ever seeing 
God's face again, or of ever having any more tastes of his 
favour : and so what hath been said of some, may be said 
of all his graces and endowments : he shall clean be 
stripped of all, ere he be sent to hell. 

I come now to speak of the place of torment itself, 
wherein the sinner is to be cast eternally, which is the se- 
cond act. But think not that I am able to discover the 
thousandth part of it, no nor any man else : God grant 
that no soul here present ever come to find by experience 
what it is. What a woful thing is it ; that many men should 
take more pains to come to this place of torment, than 
would cost them to go to heaven, that men should will- 
fully run themselves upon the pikes, not considering how 
painful it is, nor how sharp those pikes are : and this 
I shall endeavour to my power to set forth unto you. This 
text declares unto us two things. 

1 . Who they are for whom this place is provided. 

2. The place itself, and the nature of it. 


1. For whom the place is provided. The text contains 
a catalogue of that black roll (though there are many more 
than are expressed) but here are the grand crimes, the 
ringleaders to destruction, the mother sins. And here we 
have in the first place the fearful : whereby is not meant 
those that are of a timorous nature (for fear simply is not 
a sin) those that are simply fearful ; but such as place 
their fear on a wrong object, not where it should be : that 
fear not God, but other things more than God. Such as 
if affliction and iniquity were put to their choice, will ra- 
ther choose iniquity than affliction : rather than they will 
have any cross betide them, rather than they will incur the 
indignation of a man, leather than they will part with their 
life and goods for God's cause, will adventure on any 
thing, " choosing'' iniquity rather than affliction ;" being 
afraid of what they should not fear, never fearing the 
great and mighty God : this is the fearful here meant. 
See how Elihu in Job expresses it: "This'' hast thou 
chosen." This, that is, iniquity rather than affliction, to 
sin rather than to suiFer. Christ biddeth us not fear 
poor vain man, but the omnipotent " God, that is able both 
to kill, and to cast into hell." The man that feareth his 
landlord, who is able to turn him out of his house, and 
doth not fear God, who is able to turn him into hell, this 
dastardly spirit is one of the captains of those that go to 
hell, those timorous and cowardly persons, that tremble at 
the wrath or frowns of men, more than of God. But 
what is the reason men should thus stand more in fear of 
men, than of God ? Why, it is because they are sensible 
of what men can do unto their bodies, but they cannot with 
Moses by faith see what that is that is invisible. They 
are full of unbelief ; for had they faith, they would ba- 
nish all false fears. See what the Lord saith: " Fear" not 
thou worm Jacob, I will help thee, saith the Lord." He 
saith not, Fear not ye men, or thou man, for then perhaps 
thou mightest be thought to have some power to resist, 
but " fear not thou worm." A worm (you know) is a poor 

i* Job, chap. 36. ver. 21. >• Ibid. 

■= Isaiah, chap. 41. ver. 14. 


weak thing, apt to be crushed by every foot ; yet be this 
thy case, be thou a worm, unable to resist the least oppo- 
sition, yet fear not thou worm. Fear not, why ? For " I 
will help thee, saith the Lord." Couldst thou but believe 
in God, this would make thee bold ; and hadst thou faith 
thou wouldst not fear. When word was brought to the 
house of David, that two kings were come up into the 
land to invade it, it is said, " his* heart was moved as the 
trees of the wood are moved with the wind." But what is 
the remedy of this fear ? See Isaiah, chap. VIII. ver. 13. 
" Fear not their fear, nor be afraid," that was a false and 
a base fear, " sanctify the Lord in your hearts, and let him 
be your dread." There is an object of our faith and com- 
fort, and a remedy against fear proposed : " P, even I, am 
he that comlorteth thee, who art thou that shouldst be 
afraid of a man that shall die, and the son of man that is 
as grass ?" What, art thou one that hast God on thy side ? 
how unworthy art thou of that high favour, if thou fear 
man ? The greatest man that lives cannot shield himself 
from death, and from a covering of worms, and wilt thou 
be afraid of a man, and forget the Lord thy Maker ? The . 
more thou art taken up with the fear of man, the less thou 
fearest God ; and the more thou rememberest man, the 
more thou forgettest thy Maker. 

You have seen the main, the ringleaders, which are 
these fearful, faithless, dastardly, unbelieving men. 

Now see what the filthy rabble is that followeth after, 
and they are abominable, murderers, &c. Abominable, 
that is, unnatural, such as pollute themselves with things 
not fit to be named, but to be abhorrred whether it be 
by themselves or with others. They are the abominable 
here meant, such as Sodom and Gomorrah, who were 
" set' forth to such as an example, suffering the vengeance 
of eternal fire ;" fideXvyfiivoi, such are abominable, being 
given up to unnatural lust. Let them carry it never so 
secretly, yet are they here ranked amongst the rest, and 
shall have their portion in the burning lake. 

<! Isaiah, chap. 7. ver. 2. ' Ibid, chiip. 21. ver. 12. 

' Jude, ver. 7. 


After these come sorcerers, idolaters, liars : though 
these may be spoken fairly of by men, yet cannot that 
shelter them from the wrath of God, they shall likewise 
have their part in that lake, when they come to a reckon- 
ing. If there be, I say, a generation of people that wor- 
ship these, say what you will of them, when they come to 
receive their wages, they shall receive their portion in that 
burning lake with hypocrites : those that make so fair a 
shew before men, and yet nourish hypocrisy in their 
hearts, these men, though, in regard of the outward man, 
they so behave themselves that none can say to them, 
black is their eye, though they cannot be charged with 
those notorious things before mentioned ; yet if there be 
nothing but hypocrisy in their hearts, let it be spun with 
never so fair a web, never so fine a thread, yet they shall 
have their proportion in the lake, they shall have their 
part, their portion, &c. Then it seems these of this 
black guard have a peculiar interest unto this place. 
And as it is said of Judas, that^ he was gone " tlg^ 
Tov i'Siov TOTTov, to his propcr place." So long as a 
man that is an enemy to Christ, and yields him not 
obedience, is out of hell, so long is he out of his 
place. Hell is the place assigned to him, and prepared 
for him ; he hath a share there, and his part and portion 
he must have, till he is come thither he is but a wanderer. 
The Evangelist tells us'', that the Scribes and Pharisees 
went about to gain proselytes, and when they had all done, 
they made them seven times more the children of hell 
than themselves, filios GelienncB : so that a father hath 
not more right in his son, than hell hath in them : he is a 
vessel of wrath filled top full of iniquity, and a child of the 
Devil's : so that as we say, the gallows will claim its right, 
so hell will claim its due. But mistake me not, all this 
that I speak concerning hell, is not to terrify and affright 
men, but by forewarning them to keep them thence. For 
after I have shewn you the danger, I shall shew a way 
to escape it, and how the Lord Jesus was given to us 

E Acts, chap. 1. ver. 25. >■ Matt. chap. 23. ver, 15. 


to deliver us from this danger : but if you will not hear, 
but will try conclusions with God, then you must to 
your proper place, to the "lake that burneth with fire and 

A lake, it is a river, a flaming river, as Tophet is de- 
scribed to be a lake burning with fire and brimstone, a 
metaphor taken from the judgment of God on Sodom and 
Gomorrah, as in that place of St. Jude before mentioned, 
as also in 2 Pet. chap. II. ver. 6. where it is said, " God 
turned the cities of Sodom into ashes, making them an ex- 
ample to all them that should after live ungodly." Mark 
the judgment of God upon these abominable men, the 
place where they dwelt is "destroyed with fire, and the situa- 
tion is turned into a lake, full of filthy bituminous stuff 
called lacus asphaltites, which was made by their burn- 
ings. And this is made an instance of the vengeance of 
God, and an emblem of eternal fire ; therefore, said he, 
"you shall have your portion with Sodom." Nay, shall 
I speak a greater word (with Christ) and tell you, that 
though they were so abominable, that the lake was deno- 
minated from them, yet it shall be " easier for Sodom and 
Gomorrah than for you," if you repent not while you may, 
but go on to despise God's grace. But can there be a 
greater sin than the sin of Sodom ? I answer yes. For 
make the worst of the sin of Sodom, it is but a sin against 
nature ; but thy impenitency is a sin against grace, and 
against the Gospel, and therefore deserves a hotter hell, 
and an higher measure of judgment in this burning pit. 

But what is this second death ? 

2. Sure it hath reference to some first death or other 
going before. A man would (as it is commonly thought) 
think that this second death, is opposed to that first 
death, which is the harbinger to the second, and se- 
parates the soul from the body, but it is far otherwise. 
That, alas, is but a petty thing, and deserves not to be 
put in the number of deaths. The second death in the 
text hath relation to the first resurrection : " Blessed'' 

•> Rev. chap. 20. ver, 6. 


and holy is he that hath his portion in the first resurrec- 
tion, on such the seconc;! death shall have no power." The 
first death is that from whence we are acquitted by the 
first resurrection, and that is the death ; for that is a kind 
of death (as St. Paul speaking of a wicked and voluptuous 
widow, saith, she is dead while she liveth) and "the time 
shall come and now is, when they that are dead shall hear 
the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall hve;" 
and again : " Let the dead bury their dead." So that the 
first resurrection is, when a man, hearing the voice of the 
minister, is roused up from the sleep of sin and carnal se- 
curity, and the first death is the opposite thereunto : so 
that the death of the body is no death at all, for if it were, 
then this were the third death : for there would be a 
death of sin, a death of the body, and a death of body 
and soul : this death of the body is but a flea-biting in 
comparison of the other two. This second death is the 
separation of the body and soul from God, and this death 
is the wages of sin, and God must not, will not lie in ar- 
rear to sin, but will pay its wages to the full. All the af- 
flictions a wicked man meeteth withal here, are but as 
God's press-money, and part of payment of that greater sum : 
but when he dies, the whole sum comes to be paid : be- 
fore he did but sip of the cup of God's wrath, but he must 
then drink up the dregs of it down to the bottom, and 
this is the second death, it is called death. Now death is 
a destruction of the parts compounded, a man being com- 
pounded of body and soul, both are by this death eter- 
nally destroyed. That death (like Sampson pulling down 
the pillars whereby it was sustained, pulled down the 
house) draws down the tabernacles of our bodies, pulls 
body and soul in sunder. A thing which had little hurt 
in itself, were it not for the sting of it which makes it fear- 
ful : to die is esteemed far worse than to be dead, in re- 
gard of the pangs that are in dying, to which death puts 
an end. This temporal death is in an instant, but this 
other eternal, whereby we are ever dying, and never dead, 
for by it we are punished with an everlasting aTroXda, 



and that " from* the presence of the Lord by the glory of 
his power." Than which piece I have no need to add 
more ; for, as much as can be said of men and angels is 
fully comprehended in it. The apostle terms this a 
" fearfuP thing indeed," whereon if a man but think, if 
he hath his wits about him, he would for fear " of it be 
all his life long subject to bondage." He would scarce 
draw any free breath, but would still be in bondage and 
drudgery, till he were delivered. Thus I have declared 
the nature of the place, and of this second death. 

That I may now go farther, know that this lake and this 
place is the place that the Lord hath provided for his 
enemies : it is the Lord's slaughter-house ; it is called " a' 
place of torments," a place wherein God will shew the 
accomplishment of his wrath, and revenge upon his ene- 
mies. " Those™ mine enemies that would not have me to 
reign over them, bring them forth, and slay them before 
my face." Those vessels of wrath, those rebels ; the King 
is enraged, and his wrath is as the " roaring" of a lion," 
which makes all the beasts of the forest to tremble : 
" And" where there is the wrath of such a king, the issue 
thereof must needs be death. The wrath of a king is 
a messenger of death." How much more fearful is the 
wrath of the King of kings. God hath sharp arrows, 
and he sets a wicked man as his butt to shoot at, to shew 
his strength, and the fierceness of his wrath. See the 
expression of Job in this case : " The arrows of the Al- 
mighty stick fast in me, and the venom thereof hath drunk 
up my spirits :" in so few words there could not be an 
higher expression of the wrath of God. First, that God 
should make thee a butt, and that thou shouldst be 
shot at, and that by God's arrows : and then they are 
not shot by a child, but (as the man is, so is his 
strength) by the Almighty, by his bow, wherein he draws 
the arrow to the head. And then again these arrows are 

' 2 Thess. chap. 1. ver. 9. '' Heb. chap. 2. ver. 15. 

' Luke, chap. 16. ver. 24. 28. ■" Ibid. chap. 19. ver. 27. 

" Prov. chap. 19. ver. 12. » Ibid. chap. 16. ver, 14. 


poisoned atrows, and such poison as shall drink up all 
thy soul and spirit : Oh, what a fearful thing is it to fall 
into the hands of such a God : it is a saying of Moses, 
for it is Moses's psalm : " Who^ knoweth the power of 
thine anger ? The power of God's anger is unknown." 
And so inhis song, Deut. chap. XXXII. ver. 22. he sets it 
out in some measure. " A fire is kindled in mine anger, 
which shall burn unto the lowest hell," &c. So that the 
King being thus provoked, is provoked to curse thee"*. 
It is put into the form of thy sentence ; this cursing shall 
be thy lot in hell, it shall be thy very sentence, " Go ye 
cursed into everlasting fire." There is nothing but cur- 
sing : as Job cursed himself, and the day of his birth, so then 
shall cursing be all thy song : thou wilt curse thyself, that 
thou didst not hearken to the preacher, that thou wouldst 
not accept of Christ, and the means of mercy and grace, 
when it was offered thee : and thou wilt curse the time thou 
wert acquainted with this man, and that man, and others 
will curse thee for drawing them to sin : God curses thee, 
and man curses thee ; and God curses not in vain when he 
curses : others will curse thee, and thou thyself and 
others ; and think then how cursed will be thy condition ? 
All the curses that cannot be thought on, shall rest on the 
head of an impenitent sinner, to shew God's terrible and 
just indignation against him. O beloved to deliver us 
from this curse, Christ the Son of God was " made a 
curse for us :" the curse is so great, nought else can free 
us from it. But now that I may rank these punishments 
of the damned, and bring them for memory's sake into 
some order, although there be no order there, for it is a 
place of confusion', you may consider that the penalties 
of God's enemies are penalties partly of loss, and partly 
of sense. 

1. Of loss. And that consists in the deprivation of 
every thing that might administer the least comfort to 
him; and for this cause hell is termed utter darkness. 

!■ Psalm 90. ver. 11. 1 Matth. chap. 25. ver. 41. 

■• Job, chap. 11. ver. 22. 


Now darkness is a privation of all light, so is hell of all 
comfort, to shew that there is not the least thing that may 
give thee content, nor is the poorest thing thou canst 
desire to be had there. Darkness was one of the plagues 
of Egypt, though there were no kind of sense in it, yet 
we may think what a plague and vexation it was to them, 
to sit so long in darkness. The darkness of hell is darker 
than darkness itself. " They* shall never see light," saith 
the Scripture, they shall not have so much as a glimpse of 
it : to be cast into this utter darkness, where shall be 
nothing to administer the least comfort, what an infinite 
misery will that be ? Were it only the loss of the things 
we now possess and enjoy, of all which death robs us, as 
pomp, honour, riches, and preferment, this were grievous 
to a wicked man : these are things death dispossesses a 
man of, these cannot follow him, nought but thy works 
accompany thee : thy friends may follow thee to the 
grave, but there they shall leave thee. To have been 
happy, and to be miserable, is the greatest woe ; to have 
lived in good fashion, and to be wretched, is the greatest 
grief. How will this add to the sinner's misery, when he 
shall say to himself, I had once all good things about me, 
but have now for my portion nothing but woe : I had a bed 
of down, buT; it is now exchanged for a bed of fire : I was 
once honourable, but now I am full of shame and con- 
tempt; this will greatly add to his misery. But all this is 
nothing, these are but the beginnings of hie sorrow in 
regard of loss : for a man to be rich and wealthy to-day, 
and to-morrow to be stript of all, and left not worth a 
groat, to have all swept away, this is a woful case. 

2. But if this be so grievous, what is it to lose heaven ? 
Certainly, to lose the highest and greatest good, is the 
greatest evil, and punishment, that can be inflicted upon a 
creature. Which makes many divines think, that the 
penalties of loss are far greater than those of sense, 
though they seem not to make that impression. It is 
-another thing to judge of things by sense, than by loss : 

» Psalm 49. vev. 19. 


as for example, a man is greatly troubled with the tooth- 
ache, and he thinks his case more miserable than any, and 
thinks no man ever endured so much misery as himself, 
he judges of his misery by sense : another man is in the 
consumption, and he hath little or no pain at all ; yet if a 
man come with a right judgment, he will judge his condi- 
tion far worse than the other's. So take all the pains in 
hell, though sense may say they are the greatest that can 
be, yet discreet judgment can say, that the loss of God, the 
greatest good, is the worst of evils. Now, if thou be a 
firebrand of hell, thou must be for ever banished from 
God's presence. Thou base wretch, dost thou think 
heaven a place for thee ? Not so. It is : " without" are 
dogs and sorcerers," &c. Thou art a damned dog, there- 
fore thou must out from God, and from the company of 
the blessed saints and angels. When Peter saw Moses 
and Elias with Christ in his transfiguration, though he 
had but a glimpse of glory, yet he saith, " It^ is good for 
us to be here." But oh, how infinite good it will be to be 
in heaven ? How shall we be then rapt up with glory, 
when we shall "be^ for ever with the Lord, in^ whose 
presence is fulness of joy, and at whose right hand there 
are pleasures for evermore." On the contrary, how ex- 
ceeding terrible will it be to be shut out from the pre- 
sence of God ? When God shall say, Avaunt hence, 
whip out this dog, what doth he here? Let him not 
defile this room, this is no place for a filthy dog. Oh, 
the unspeakable horror and dread! Oh, the infinite 
shame of that man, who is in such a case ! But this is not 

3. There is yet one thing more, the wicked shall not only 
be banished from God's gracious presence, and cast into 
hell, but this shall be done in the sight of heaven." 
The glorious saints of God have continually a sight of 
God's justice upon sinners, that they may glorify his 
mercy the more. The Scripture runs much to this pur- 

" Rev. chap. 22. ver. 15. "■ Matth. chap. 17. ver. 14. 

J 1 Thess. chap. 4. ver. 17. ^ Psahn 16. ver. 11. 


pose: "If^ any man worship the beast and his image, the 
same shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the 
presence of God and of his holy angels." This in the 
ninth verse is " the portion of them that worship the 
beast," that is the pope, " and receive the mark of his 
name." That is, if any will be an express public or private 
papist, if any one will be a slave to the pope, see his por- 
tion; he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, 
and be banished from the society of holy angels, and be 
tormented with hell fire in their presence. Oh, what a 
vexation will this be to the damned, when they shall see 
others in heaven, and themselves shut out of door ? This 
will cause " weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth." 
It will go to their very heart, when they shall see Mo- 
ses and Aaron, and the prophets, and holy sair;ts in 
joy and glory, and shall consider and remember, that if 
they had made use of those means and opportunities of 
grace, they might have lived in heaven too, whereas now 
they must be everlastingly tormented in that lake which 
burneth with fire and brimstone, and that without any 
hope of recovery, " Punished'' with everlasting destruc- 
tion, from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of 
his power." You know that by the law of Moses, when- 
soever an offender was to receive his strokes, " The*^ 
judge was to cause him to lie down, and to be beaten be- 
fore his face, and he himself was to see it done." So 
when God comes to give the damned their strokes in hell, 
(for hell is the place of execution, wherein he " that knows 
his master's will, and doth it not, shall be beaten with many 
stripes,") he himself will see them beaten in the presence 
of all his holy angels, and if so, how shameful will their 
punishment be ? when there shall be so many thousand 
witnesses of it, when they shall be made, as we say, the 
world's wonder. These are they that shall " rise'* to ever- 
lasting contempt." So in Isaiah, it is said of the damned, 
" their* worm shall not die, nor their fire be quenched, 

» Rev. chap. 14. ver. 10. '' 2 Thess. chap. 1. ver. 9. 

' Deut. chap. 25. ver. 2, 3. '^ Dan. chap, 12. ver. 2. 

' Isaiah, chap. 64. ver. 24. 


but they shall be an abhorring to all flesh," and the holy 
angels and saints shall go forth and| look upon them : 
those proud ones that scorned God's people here, shall 
then be abhorred and scorned of them. 

4. Add to all this, that he is not only banished from 
the presence of God for a while, but from all hope of ever 
seeing God again with comfort. Thy estate is endless 
and remediless. Whilst thou art here in this life, of a 
Saul thou mayest become a Paul, and though thou art not 
yet a beloved son, yet thou mayest come in favour : whilst 
thou livest under the means of grace, there is yet hope of 
recovery left thee, it may be this sermon may be the 
means of thy conversion: but then amongst all thy 
punishments, this will be one of the greatest, that thou 
shalt be deprived of all means of recovery, and this shall 
be another hell to thee in the midst of hell, to think with 
thyself: I have heard so many sermons and yet have ne- 
glected them, I had so many opportunities of grace, and 
yet have slighted them, this will make the sinner rage, 
and bite his tongue, and tear himself, to think how that 
now all means are past. And this is the first penalty, the 
penalty of loss. 

That of the sense succeeds. By the former we are 
deprived of all the joys and comforts of heaven and earth, 
of Mount Sion, shut out of " the city of the living God, the 
heavenly Jerusalem, deprived of an innumerable company 
of saints, of the general assembly and church of the first- 
born, of God himself the judge of all, and the souls of the 
saints made perfect." This shall make a sinner curse 

Now follows the penalty of torments and sense. When 
Adam W3.s banished out of Paradise, he had the wide 
world to walk in still, but it is not so here : thou art not 
only cast out of heaven, but cast into hell, and art de- 
prived of thy liberty for ever. It is said : " Christ' 
preached to the spirits in prison, them that in the days of 
Noah were disobedient, and for this cause are now in 

^ 1 Peter, chap. 3. ver. 19. 


prison." Hell is compared to a prison, and a prison in- 
deed it is, and that an odious one. For, 

1. Look on thy companions. If a man were to be kept 
close prisoner, it were a great punishment, but " Go ye 
cursed," saith God, " into everlasting fire, prepared for 
the Devil and his angels." To be among such compa- 
nions is most infinitely miserable, and there is nothing but 
devils and damned howling ghosts, woful companions : if 
there be an house possessed with an evil spirit, a man 
will scarce be hired to live in it, but here the damned 
spirits, the filthy and cursed host must be thy yoke fel- 
lows: suppose there were no torment to suffer, yet to be 
banished from heaven, and to be tied and yoked to wicked 
spirits, were a torment sufficient to make the stoutest 
that ever was, tremble and quake, and be soon weary of 

2. But it is a place of torment too, a prison where there 
is a rack, to which thou must be put, and on which thou 
must be tormented : " P am tormented in this flame," 
saith Dives. To speak of the torments there, will be 
matter enough for another hour, but I delight not to dwell 
on so sad a subject : only this is that which prepares the 
way to the glad tidings of salvation, therefore I shall a 
little longer insist upon it. The body and soul, the whole 
man, shall be there tormented; not the soul only, but 
even the body too after judgment. Do you think the 
members of the body,' which have been the instruments, 
shall escape ? be raised, and cast into hell to no purpose ? 
Why should God quicken it at the last day, but to break 
it on the anvil of his wrath, and to make it accompany the 
soul, as well in torments as in sinning. It is true, the 
soul is the fountain of all sense, and the body without it 
hath no sense at all : take away the soul, and you may 
burn the body, and it will not feel it. Now the soul being 
the fountain of sense, and the body being united to it, 
when God shall lay his axe at this root, at this fountain, 
how dreadful shall it be? How shall the body choose 

s Luke, chap. 16. ver. 24. 


but suffer too ? Should any of us be cast into a fire, what 
a terrible torment would we account of it? Fire and 
water, we say, have no mercy ; but alas, this fire is no- 
thing to the fire of hell, it is but as painted fire to that 
which burns for ever and ever. The furnace wherein 
Nebuchadnezzar commanded those to be thrown that fell 
not down to the graven image which he had set up, was 
doubtless at every time a terrible place. Hell is com- 
pared to such a furnace ; but what shall we think of it, 
when the king in his wrath shall " command the furnace 
to be heated seven times hotter than usual ?" Nay, what 
shall we think of hell, when the King of Heaven shall 
command it to be heated seventy times seven times 
hotter than before ? When there shall be a fire, and a 
fire prepared : for so is this fire of Tophet, " It"* is a pile 
of much wood." When the King of Heaven shall, as it 
were, set to work his wisdom, to fit it in the sharpest 
manner, in procuring such ingredients as may make it rage 
most, and be most violent : it is a fire prepared for the 
Devil and his angels, the strongest of creatures, for the 
punishment of principalities and powers: and if it can 
master angels, think not but that God hath a fire to roast 
thy soul. It is the soul that is in hell only till the day of 
judgment, though the body be not there. A man would 
think that the soul did not suffer, but philosophy tells us, 
that the soul suffers mediante corpora, in and by the body : 
therefore it is a rule in divinity, that whatsoever God 
doth by means, he can do without means. Though the 
body be not there, but the soul only, yet God is able, nay 
doth make the soul as well feel grief, without the body, 
as he doth by means of the body. 

3. But now besides thy fellow-prisoners in that cursed 
gaol, consider who are thy tormentors, thou that dost 
continue in impenitency. Now thy tormentors are these 
three : 

1. The Devil. 

2. Thyself. 

^ Isaiah, chap. 30. ver. 33. 


3. God Almighty. 

1. The Devil, who is thy deadly enemy, a bloody- 
minded adversary, a murdering and merciless minded 
spirit, a murderer from the beginning, a merciless tor- 
mentor, who being in plagues and torments, and thereby 
even at his wits' end, would fain ease himself in torment- 
ing thee. , When the Devil, as we read, was dispossessed 
of a child wherein he was, " he* rends and tears, leaves 
him foaming, that there was little hope of life in him." 
But now, when a man shall be delivered into the hands 
of this merciless spirit, when God shall say to the Devil, 
take him, do what thou wilt with him, do thy worst to 
him : when thou shalt be thus put into the hands of one 
that hates thee, and delights in thy ruin, how will he 
tear thee into pieces? How will he torment thee? In 
how desperate and wretched a case will thy soul and 
body be ? 

2. But the tormentor within thee is far more heavy, pain- 
ful, and grievous, " that'' never dying worm" within, the 
the sting of a guilty and wounded conscience, this, like a 
sharp dagger, is still stabbing thee, at the very heart. 
This by a reflecting act upon itself, will cause thee to re- 
venge God's quarrel on thyself; and as a musket over- 
charged beats back on the shooter, so will it most furi- 
ously return upon thee. This is that that smote David, 
when it is said, " David's^ heart smote him." A man needs 
no other fire, nor other worm to torment him, than that 
within him : which, as the worms on the carcass, gnaws on 
a wretched soul. But there is a greater tormentor than 
both these behind, and that is, 

3. God himself; he is highly offended and enraged at 
thee, and therefore comes and takes the matter into his own 
hand, and will himself be executioner of his fury. There 
is a passage in the Thessalonians to this purpose, which 
methinks is more than can be spoken by men or angels : 
" Who™ shall be punished with everlasting destruction 

' Mark, chap. 9. vev. 20. *" Ibid. chap. 9. ver. 44. 46. 48. 

' Sam. chap. 24. ver. 10. ■" 2 Thess. chap. 1. ver. 9. 


from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his 
power." Mark that God, whom thou hast so highly pro- 
voked to wrath, hath a strong hand, and glorious power. 
He shewed the glory of his power in the making the 
world, and all things in it ; and all that infinite power 
which he hath manifested in the creation of heaven and 
earth, shall be engaged in the tormenting of a sinner. 
Were there a man that should lay a target of brass, or a 
target of steel on a block, and should then cleave all in 
sunder at a blow; this would sufficiently manifest his 
strength : so doth God make manifest his power in crush- 
ing thee to pieces. There are still new charges and dis- 
charges against sinners, to make his power therein mani- 
fest. " What" if God, willing to make his power known," 
saith the apostle, " suffered a while the vessels prepared 
to destruction.^" God will manifest his power by the 
strength of his stroke on those that rebel against him. 
Hence proceedeth " weeping, and wailing, and gnashing 
of teeth ;" which is a metaphor taken from one either that 
hath a great coldness on him, or from the symptoms of a 

Add to all that hath been said these two things : 

1. The torment shall be everlasting, you shall " desire" 
to die," that your torments may have end : and here you 
may expect that I should say something of the eternity of 
the torments of the damned ; but I am not able, nor any 
one else sufficiently to express it: it shall continue ten 
thousand thousand years, after that an hundred thousand 
times ten thousand, and yet be no nearer end than at the 
first beginning. Thou must think of it seriously thyself, 
and pray to God to reveal it to thy soul, for none else 
sufficiently can. 

2. But besides, as it is everlasting, so is it unabateable. 
If a man were cast into a fire, the fire coming about him, 
would in a short time blunt his senses, and take away his 
feeling, and besides the materials of the fire would soon 
spend and waste : but it is not so here, here is not the 

" Rom. chap. 9. ver. 22. " Rev. chap. 9. ver, 6. 


least abatement of the horror, nor the least inch of torment 
taken away throughout all eternity. It was a poor request 
of Dives, one would think, that " Lazarus^ would dip the 
tip of his finger in water, and cool his tongue." A cold 
comfort, but one drop of water for the present, which 
would soon be dried, and yet that is denied him, he must 
have no abatement of his torment. Nor is there any 
abatement of thy feeling, but thou art kept in full strength ; 
and as long as God is God, shall Tophet burn, and thou 
feel it. 

Obj. But, may some say, this is preaching indeed, this 
would affright a man, and make him go hang himself 
sooner than be converted. 

Sol. True, should God let loose the cord of our con- 
science, it were the way, such would be the terrors of it, 
to make a man find another cord, did not God restrain 
him. I desire not by this to hurt you, but to save you. 
I am a messenger not sent from Abraham^, as Dives en- 
treated, but from the God of Abraham, to forewarn you 
that you come not to that place of torment. 

But now, beloved, there is a way to escape this misery, 
and that is by Jesus Christ. He was for this end called 
Jesus, " because'' he saves his people from their sins." 
And consequently from wrath : which how it is done I 
shall shew in a word, and that is 

1 . By Christ Jesus offered for us. And 

2. By Christ Jesus offered to us. 

By Christ offered for us, he must die for us, and if there 
be any death more cursed than other, that death must 
he die ; if any more painful, that must he suffer. Thus 
he undertakes thy cause and suffers what for sin was due 
to thee. 

And then being offered for us, he is offered to us, as 
we may see in the sacrament, where there are two acts of 
the minister, the one the breaking the bread, the other 
the offering it to the people. Thou hast as good warrant 

p Luke, chap. 16. ver. 14. i Ibid, ver, 27. 

f Matth. chap. 1. ver. 21. 


to take Christ offered, as thou hast to take the bread and 
wine, which thou art commanded to receive. Thus I 
thought good to add something to sweeten the rest, that 
I might shew that there is a way to be freed from the 
bitter pains of eternal death. 



Phil. chap. II. ver. 5, 6, 7, 8. 

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus : who, being in the 
form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God : but made himself 
of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in 
the likeness of men : And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled him- 
self and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

You have heretofore heard that point of Christian 
doctrine which concerns the knowledge of our misery, and 
wretched estate by nature. The substance of all is, that 
we are the children of wrath and disobedience, as well as 
others. You see then in what state every man stands, 
before he hath made his peace with God, as long as he 
stands on terms of rebellion. You see what the Holy 
Ghost saith : " We were all the sons of disobedience, and 
children of wrath as well as others." This I tell you, as 
hath often been declared, not to discourage a sinner, or to 
drive him to desperation, but because it is fit he should 
know his estate in which he is. If they will try conclu- 
sions with God, if they oppose him, the Lord cometh vrith 
a " rod^ of iron, and will break them in pieces like a 
potter's vessel ;" " Those'' mine enemies that will not have 
me to reign over them, bring them, and slay them before 
me." It is fit every man should know this ; this part is 
only for this end, that it may awaken us ; otherwise to 
what purpose do we preach unto you? Till the law 
awaken us, we sleek securely in our sins, till the dreadful 
trumpet of Mount Sinai comes with thundering and light- 

• Psalm 2. ver, 9. ^ Luke, chap. 19. ver. 27. 


ning : " Awake" thou that sleepest," &c. Unless this 
awaken us, in what case are we ? Sinful men are as 
sleepers, that are a dreaming, as the apostle speaks*. A 
sleeping sinner will be a dreaming sinner ; he never 
sees things as they are in their proper shape: but he 
thinks with the church of Laodicea, " That he is rich, 
and wants nothing ; whereas he is poor, miserable, blind 
and naked." He thinks he shall be admitted into heaven 
as soon as the proudest : but this is a dream ; " As^ the 
hungry man dreameth, and behold he eateth ; but when 
he awakes behold he is empty : or as a thirsty man that 
dreams he drinketh ; but awakes, and behold he is faint." 
Thus it is with us, we think we are entering upon the 
suburbs of heaven, and yet we are but in a dream, and in 
a sleep. 

Now being thus awaked, consider with thyself what 
thou hast to do, when the dreadful trumpet of the law 
hath awakened thee, consider thy state ; if thou sleepest 
this night in thy sins, perhaps hell fire may be thy portion 
before the morning. It were better for thee therefore to 
awake, before the flames of hell fire awake thee. Consider 
likewise that thou must not be led by thyself, thou must re- 
nounce thine own will. Our estates may be pleasing unto 
us, to enjoy in a dream our heart's lusts here on earth ; 
but consider, unless thou cross thy will here, it shall be 
crossed hereafter : yea, it shall be the main cross a man 
shall have in hell, besides the eternal weight of God's 
wrath, that he can will or desire nothing, but he shall be 
crossed in it : not the least thing he desires, but he shall 
have the contrary, world without end : learn then what a 
woful thing it is to be our own lords, to follow our own 
lusts and pleasures, see what we shall gain by it : never 
shalt thou enjoy the least portion of thy will in the world 
to come ; if thou wouldst have but a drop of cold water, 
thou shalt be crossed in it. There is nothing thou de- 
sirest but thou shalt have the opposite to it. 

= Ephes. chap. 5. ver. 14. ^ Jude, ver. 8. 

" Isaiah, chap. 29, ver. 8. 


Thus, having truly and plainly shewed our sinfulness, 
wretchedness, and cursedness by nature, I come unto the 
second part which I proposed, to wit : Our remedy, or 
our redemption by Christ. And God forbid that he 
should create man the best of his visible creatures for 
destruction: "What' gain and profit is there in our 
blood ? God is full of grace and compassion, and he 
considers that we are but dust." And happy are we that 
we are but dust. Had we been more glorious creatures, 
as angels, we had not had the benefit of a saviour. When 
they rebelled, God considered their metal ; and as with 
an high hand they rebelled, " So^ the Lord reserved them 
in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment 
of the great day." They fell without a redeemer ; it is 
well for us that God considereth that we are but dust ; 
" For'' by Jesus Christ he delivereth us from the wrath 
to come." It had been better for us never to have been 
born, than to be born firebrands of hell. But now the 
point is, that we are " brands' plucked out of the fire." 
It is fit therefore we should know who is our redeemer. 

Now, as I have shewed you the last day, it is Jesus 
Christ : and here consider, 

1. That Christ Jesus was offered for us, for the sa- 
tisfaction of God's justice, and this is his priestly of- 

2. As there was no " remission' without shedding of 
blood," therefore after the blood is shed, and the priest 
offered himself, there comes a second thing, else we are 
never the better : and that is Christ offered to us : 
this makes up our comfort. Many talk of the extent 
of Christ's death and passion, saying, he died sufficiently 
for us, which is an improper speech: for what comfort 
were this, that Christ was offered for us, if there were no 
more ? A bare sufficiency in Christ serves not the turn : 
this were a cold comfort : as if a man that were in debt, 
and afraid of every serjeant and every sheriff, should be 

' Psalm 30. ver. 9. 

E Jude, ver. 3. 1 Thess. chap, 1. ver. 10. 

'' 1 Thess. chap. 1. ver. 10. ' Zach. chap. 3. ver. 2. 

J Hehr. chap. 9. ver. 22. 


told. Sir, there is money enough in the king's exchequer 
to discharge all your dehts. This is very true, but what 
is that to him? What comfort hath he by it, unless the 
king make him an offer to come, and take freely for his 
discharge ? And a cold comfort were it to us to know 
Christ to be sufficient for us, unless he invite us to take 
freely of the waters of life, " Ho", every one of you 
that thirsteth, come you to the waters." Thus, unless 
Christ be offered to us, as well as for us, we are never the 

Now to .make this appear ; observe that in every sacra- 
ment there are two acts of the minister. The one hath 
relation to God, a commemoration of the sacrifice, in 
which respect the ancient fathers called it a sacrifice : the 
other, the breaking of the bread, and pouring out of the 
wine ; wherein there is a commemoration of the body 
broken, and the blood shed, not as they are concomitants, 
the wine in the bread, as the foolish papists dream, for 
that were rather a commemoration of his life than of his 
death, when the blood runs in the veins. The comme- 
moration of Christ's death is made by separation of the 
blood from the body ; and as there is one act of the mi- 
nister in consecrating by breaking the body, and pouring 
out the blood, so there is a second act which is minis- 
terial. When the minister saith, " Take, eat, this is my 
body ;" as if Christ were present, and said, " Come, take 
my body ;" thou hast as free an interest to it, as when 
thou art invited to thy friend's table thou hast a right to 
the meat before thee. So that as Christ was once offered 
for thee, so he is, in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, 
offered to thee : and what now should hinder thee ; unless 
thou art one that will obstinately oppose thy own salva- 
tion, and say, " I will not have this man to rule over me," 
thou canst not miscarry. But if thou wilt be thine own 
lord, perish in thine infidehty. Here be the keys of the 
kingdom of heaven given unto God's - ministers ; unless 
thou wilfully oppose thine own salvation, and shut the 

'' Isaiah, chap. 55. ver, 1. 


door of salvation which Christ hath opened so wide for 
thee. See, the ways of God are plain. Christ hath paid 
a great price for thee ; and then, as great as it is, he of- 
fers it to thee. 

Now for the former of these, which is Christ's satisfac- 
tion made unto the Father for us, I made choice of this 
place of Scripture, which sets it out particularly. Herein 
two things are to be observed. 

1. The person who it is that will thus humble him- 
self. The apostle grounds his exhortation on the fourth 
verse ; where he tells us, we ought not to " look every 
man on his own things, but every man on the things of 
others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ 
Jesus." If Christ had looked only on his own things, he 
might have saved himself a great deal of labour and pains. 
He being the Son of God, might, as soon as he was born, 
have challenged a seat with God in glory : he need not 
have gone per viam, he might be confprehensor in meta : 
but he would pass on to his journey's end in a thorny and 
troublesome way. " Let then the same mind be in you 
which was in Christ Jesus ;" who minded not his own 
things, but the good of others. 

2. What it was wherein he humbled himself, " He 
took upon him the form of a servant, and was obedient 
unto the death of the cross." The highest humihation 
that can be, that he who is above all praise, whom angels 
adored, that he should be brought from heaven to earth ; 
and not only be a pilgrim there, but have a sorrowful and 
pitiful pilgrimage ; and at last be cut off by a shameful 
death from the land of the living. This humihation hath 
no parallel. 

The depth of the humiliation consists in the height of 
the person thus humbled ; and were not he so high, it 
could have done us no good. It is no small satisfaction 
that can appease God's wrath : therefore the apostle, in 
the epistle to the Hebrews, speaking of Melchisedech, 
the type of Christ, concludes, " how' great this man 

' Heb. chap. 7. ver. 4. 


Consider the invaluable price that was paid for thee, 
and how great he was who paid it ; who being in the 
form of God, he who was fellow, and fellow-hke with 
God, as good as himself, as great as himself, was thus 
humbled. It was the second person in the sacred Tri- 
nity, he, and no other, that was thus humbled for thee : 
he was weary for thee, and reviled for thee, sweated and 
fainted for thee, hungered for thee, and was buffeted for 
thee. It was he, the second person of the blessed Trinity, 
in proper speech, without either trope or figure, shed his 
blood for thee, died for thee ; and suffered all these 
things in his assumed nature, taking on him the form of 
a servant, though not in his divine. He remaining God 
alone could not die, but die fain he would for thee ; there- 
fore he took thy nature on him, that he might die for thee 
in that assumed nature. He took not on him the nature 
of angels, " but™ the seed of Abraham." He being the 
fountain of life, and the prime of our life, " and with- 
out shedding of blood" no redemption can be wrought, 
having not blood to shed as God, therefore took our 
nature on him ; as it is said : " Sacrifice" and offer- 
ing thou wouldst not, but a body thou hast prepared 
me: then, said I, lo, I come; in the volume of thy 
book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God." As 
if he should have said. Lord, I am not able to accomplish 
thy will, or to be subject to thee in thy nature ; therefore 
thou hast made me a man, that in the form of a servant 
I might shew obedience, which I could not while I was in 
nature equal unto thee. Now consider how great this 
person is that hath suffered all for thee. " Jesus" Christ, 
who is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead, 
and the prince of the kings of the earth :" to have a great 
prince bound like a thief, arraigned, and executed ; the 
consideration of this state of the person would move a 
stony heart. " HeP is the Lord of lords, and King of 

Amongst men, the father is more honourable than the 

■» Heb. chap. 2. ver. 16. " Ibid. chap. 10. vev. 5. 

° Rev. chap. I. ver. 5. P Ibid. chap. 17. ver. 14. 



son, and the son is but a servant, until he be emanci- 
pated : but it is not so in the divinity ; but the Father 
and the Son are both alike honourable. 

Among men, the son hath the same specifical nature 
with the father, but not the same individual : but it is 
not so in the divinity ; the Father and the Son have the 
self same individual nature. " I' and my Father are one," 
therefore there must be an equality. The Pharisees 
themselves could draw this conclusion, that if he were 
the Son of God, he was equal with God. " Therefore"^ the 
Jews sought the more to kill him, because he said, God 
was his father, making himself equal with God." A man 
would think how could that follow ? He was but God's 
son ; but God's son must be equal with the father. In 
making himself God's son, he made himself equal with 
God : and therefore know, upon this, and by this stands 
the point of our redemption. If a pure and holy angel 
had suffered never so much, it would not have availed for 
our redemption. It is a price no man nor angel must 
meddle withal, it will require a greater price. It was 
God himself that suffered in his assumed nature : he, and 
no other person ; (for we must understand, though Christ 
took on him the nature of a man, yet not the person of a 
man) here stands the point, the second person in the 
Trinity is the swppositum of all this humiliation: and 
therefore observe when the point of suffering comes, there 
is a remarkable speech. The Father seemeth to say 
concei'ning the Son, that it was against his heart to smite 
him. The expression was a lively one : it went to his heart 
to smite one that was his equal, that did him no wrong : 
" Awake% O sword, against my shepherd, and against 
the man that is my fellow." You know of whom it is 
spoken by Matthew, " I' will smite the shepherd, and the 
sheep of the flock shall be scattered." " The" Lord is 
ready to break him." The sword was, as it were, unwil- 
ling to smite, " The man that is my fellow ?" A blow 

1 John, chap. 10. ver. 30. ' Ibid. chap. 5. ver. 18. 

• Zach. chap. 13. ver. 7. ' Matth. chap. 26. ver. 31. 

" Isaiah, chap. 53. 


lighting on God's fellow, equal with God, of what value is 
it ? Consider the difference betwixt a man and a man : 
the state of a prince makes great odds between that is 
done to him, and that is done to another man. When 
David would adventure himself into the battle, " Thou'' 
shalt," say they, " go no more with us, lest thou quench 
the light of Israel ;" and more fully : " Thou>' art worth 
ten thousand of us." They would not hazard the person 
of the king in the battle, why ? because " thou art worth 
ten thousand of us." The dignity of a prince is so great, 
that ten thousand will not countervail the loss of him. If 
this be the esteem and worth of David, what is the worth 
of David's Prince ? If thus with a king, what with the 
King of kings, and Lord of lords.'' This is a great 
ground of the sufficiency of Christ's suffering. " If^ the 
blood of bulls and goats sanctify to the purifying of the 
flesh ; how much more shall the blood of Christ, who, 
through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot 
to God, purge your consciences from dead works, to serve 
the living God ?" It is not the offering of the body only, 
but he did it " through his eternal spirit." When the 
martyrs and saints offered themselves a sacrifice, they 
offered it through the flames of their love, and there- 
fore embraced the stake ; and love is described as strong 
as death : but Christ did not offer his sacrifice with the 
flames of his love, though love was in him the greatest 
that ever was ; but with the everlasting flames of his 
Godhead and Deity ; with that fire from heaven, which 
is a consuming fire? He did the deed, that will purge 
our consciences from dead works. " Take^ heed unto 
yourselves, and to the flock, over which the Holy Ghost 
made you overseers, to feed the Church of God which he 
hath purchased with his own blood :" God hath pur- 
chased the Church with his own blood : whose blood ? 
God's blood. The blood of God must be shed. " He 
who thought it no robbery to be equal with God," must 

" 2 Sam. chap. 21. ver. 17. 1 Ibid. chap. 18. ver. 3. 

^ Heb. chap. 9. vev. 13. ' Acts, chap. 20. ver. 28. 

134) SERMONS. 

shed his own blood : as Zippora said to Moses : " A" 
bloody husband hast thou been to me." So may Christ 
say to his Church : A bloody spouse hast thou been to me, 
that my blood must be shed for thee : " Had*^ they known, 
they would not have crucified the Lord of glory ;" that 
is, they would not have crucified God. He that was cru- 
cified, was the glorious Lord God. " You'' denied the 
Holy One, and killed the Prince of life." Here is the 
matter, unless the Prince of life had been killed, thou 
couldst not have life. This the apostle sets down as the 
ground of all, before he comes to the particularities of his 
humiliation ; and sets down who it was who was thus 
humbled : he whom the " heaven of heavens could not 
contain," he must descend into the lowermost parts of the 
earth ; that is a descent indeed. His humiliation appears 
in this, that he who was thus high became a man; " And 
being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, 
and became obedient unto death, even the death of the 
cross." In this humiliation consider, I say, these two 

1. The person who was humbled. 

2. The degrees of his humiliation. Some things have 
regard to the whole course of his life, others to the con- 
clusion or period of his life. All his life from his incarna- 
tion to his passion, was a continual thread of humihation 
from his cradle to his cross, from his womb to his tomb : 
so here is set down the humbled life of our blessed Sa- 
viour. For I would not have you think his humiliation 
consisted only in coming to the cross, when they so mer- 
cilessly handled him : it cost him more than so : as sin- 
ners have the curse of God on them in their life, as well 
as an accursed death. Though the heat came at the end 
of the tragedy, yet his whole Hfe was a continual suffering. 
Consider the degrees of it. 

1. He made himself of no reputation, iKsvuffev kavrov, 
he emptied himself. It was the second person in the 

I" Exod. chap. 4. ver. 25. <: 1 Cor. chap. 2. vcr. 8. 

' Acts, chap. 3. ver. 15. 


Trinity that thus humbled, and emptied himself (not in 
his divine nature, but his assumed,) of all his transcendent 

Consider the particulars of it, he took on him the form 
of a servant ; was not this a great humiliation ? That the 
second person in the Trinity should stoop so low as to 
take on him the nature of one, who is not worth the look- 
ing on ? That he should take dust and ashes upon him. 
God's greatness is thus expressed : " Who"' is like unto 
the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high, who humbleth 
himself to behold the things in heaven, and in the earth : 
What humihation is that? Compare these two humilia- 
tions together. It is an humihation, to cast but his eye 
upon the heavens, to look upon the most glorious of all 
his works, to look upon the angels, but what is man 
that thou so regardest him? That thou shouldst not 
only look upon him, but take him up, and make him an 
imnate under thine own roof? This is a greater abase- 
ment, but here is a further degree, Christ during the time 
of his pilgrimage was content to deprive himself of his 
glory, that he now enjoys. By reason of his hypostatical 
union with the Godhead, he deserves all honour and 
glory ; " When' he brought his first begotten into the 
world, he said. And let all the angels worship him." Every 
knee bows to him that is thus highly exalted. We see 
Christ crowned with glory and honour, all dominion and 
power being made subject unto him, yet lie for thirty-three 
years and a half was content to be exiled from his father's 
court. " Glorify^ thou me with the glory I had with thee 
before the world was ;" which is expounded in the Proverbs, 
where the wisdom of God was shewn before the world was 
framed. " Then*" I was by him as one brought up with 
him, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before 
him;" this was the work, before the foundation of the 
world, which God was doing, the Father was glorifying 
the Son, and the Son was glorifying the Father. The 

« Psalm 113. ver. 5. ' Heb. chap. 1. ver. 6. 

E John, chap. 17. ver. S. ^ Prov. chap. S. ver. 30. 


Father took infinite delight in the Son, and the Son took 
infinite delight in the Father, and the Holy Ghost in them 
both. To be deprived of such a sight, and such a glory 
as this, and for thy sake to be banished from that high 
court, where not to enjoy that fulness of joy, was an 
emptying of himself : yet all this he did for thee. 

2. tie minded not his own things ; if he had, he might 
have presently sat at God's right hand, where is fulness of 
joy for evermore : but his bowels yearned on us, and he 
took upon him the form of a servant, and was found in 
shape of a man, that is, as an ordinary man : we know what 
the nature of servitude is. Every man naturally desires 
liberty, but Christ that he might make thee free, was con- 
tent to be bound as an apprentice, and endure a servile 
estate. Christ both in respect of God and man took on 
him the form of a servant. 

1. For him to be God's servant was an humiliation, 
though for us, it be the greatest honour to be God's ser- 
vants. St. Paul makes it his prime epithet: " Paul a ser- 
vant of Jesus Christ." And David calls himself the ser- 
vant of the Lord : " O Lord I am thy servant, truly I am 
thy servant." But it was an humiliation for Christ to be- 
come God's servant, and to take a nature on him, that he 
might say : " My father is greater than I ; behold my Father 
and I were one," but now taking on me a human nature, I 
am become his servant : " Behold' my servant in whom I 
am well pleased ;" by his knowledge shall my righteous 
servant justify many. There is much difierence in ser- 
vants. A free servant and a bond servant. A very bond- 
man doth Christ make himself, being man, and accounts it 
as great an honour as may be, not only to be his father's 
servant, but his bondman. Can I shew that there is any 
such humiliation as this? Look on, " Sacrifice'' and 
burnt offerings thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou pre- 
pared me ;" these words have relation to that of the 
Psalmist, " Sacrifice and burnt offerings thou didst not 

' Isaiah, chap. 53. '' Heb. chap. 10. ver. 5. 

' Psalm 40. ver. 6. 


desire, but mine ears hast thou opened ;" it is in the margin, 
mine ears hast thou digged, or hast thou bored. The 
boring of the ear was an expression of everlasting servi- 
tude. Another servant that had not yet his ear bored, 
might be free at the year of redemption, at the seventh 
year : but if not, his ear was bored that he might be a ser- 
vant for ever according to that: " He" that loved his ser- 
vice so well as to have his ear bored, is a servant for ever- 
more. Mine ear Lord hast thou bored, I will be thy ser- 
vant for ever." Christ took on him the form of such a 
servant; nay Christ was more than an ordinary slave. 
He was one bound to an everlasting slavery, for he was 
the son of an handmaid : now the children of an hand- 
maid were not to go forth at the year of jubilee. " The" 
wife and her children shall be her masters, and he shall go 
out by himself:" meaning thus : He that was the son of an 
handmaid, must be bound. Partus sequitur ventrem. 
Now that Christ was the son of an handmaid, we have 
Mary's own confession: "Behold" the handmaid of the 
Lord, and he hath looked upon the low estate of his hand- 
maid." Hence David saith, " Of Lord I am thy servant, 
and the son of thine handmaid :" I am not only thy ser- 
vant, but thy bond servant : I am he who was born in thy 
house : and out of thy house I will never go. Thus is 
Christ a servant in respect of God. 

But it is not only thus, he is not only a servant in regard 
of God, but he took on him the form of a servant in re- 
spect of men too. Look what relations are between men, 
that have superiority, and subjects ; Christ, who was born 
a free child, yet made himself a servant unto man : he had 
a reputed father, but a true, and a natural mother : from 
the twelfth year of his age, till the thirtieth, he went with 
them, and was subject unt6 them. No apprentice was 
more subject to his master in his trade, than he was to his 
reputed father ; he kept him close unto his trade. Look 
on him out of the family, in the commonwealth : he paid 

■" Exod. chap. 21. ver. 4. " Exod. chap. 21. 

" Luke, chap. 1. ver. 38. 48. P Psalm 116. ver. 61. 

' Luke, chap. 2. ver. 5 1 . 


tribute. He might stand upon his privilege : " Of whom 
do the kings of the earth exact tribute?" They an- 
swer, " Of strangers : Then are the children free." If 
the son of a temporary prince be free, how much more 
shall the Son of God be free ? But yet it behoves us to 
fulfil all righteousness. He would be a subject unto Cae- 
sar, and in recognition of his subjection he would pay tri- 
bute, though he fetched it out of the fish's beUy. Hence 
the apostle tells us, " For' this cause pay you tribute, to 
testify your subjection." Neither was Christ only a ser- 
vant to them who were in some authority, but generally 
among men he was in the state of a servant. " The^ son 
of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, 
and to give his life a ransom for many." Not to be a 
master to command, and have others to attend him ; but 
he came to be a servant ; see in what esteem he was had. 
We account a servant in the next degree unto a beast ; 
for Uberty is that whereby a man breathes, and a man were 
better be dead, than have his liberty took from him ; and 
so Christ was not only a bondman in regard of his Father, 
but in regard of men. In the estimation of men he was 
vilified for a bondman : and that will appear by the price 
for which he was sold. It was thirty pieces of silver. To 
consider what the price was, is a considerable part of his 
passion. There is a prophecy cited out of Jeremiah in 
your books, but it is Zachariah ; though I have seen some 
copies which mentioned neither, but only, "according to the 
words of the prophet ;" it is : " Cast' it unto the potter, a 
goodly piece that I was priced at of them." He speaks 
it with disdain ; " And' I took the thirty pieces of silver, 
and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord." 
There is a place parallel to it, which will expound it clearly ; 
" If" an ox shall push a man-servant," or a maid-servant 
that he die, the owner of the ox shall give to the master 
of the servant thirty shekels, and the ox shall be stoned." 
It was the very price that was paid for a slave : thirty she- 

■■ Rom. chap. 13. » Matt. chap. 26. ver. 28. 

» Zach. chap. 11. ver. 13. « Exod. chap. 21. ver. 32. 


kels, which is three pound fifteen in our money. A base 
estimation they had of Christ, as if he were a bondman ; 
the same price that was given for a slave that was killed 
by an ox, for this same price was he sold. In the twelfth 
book of Josephus, chap. III. " When Ptolomaeus Phila- 
delphus would redeem all the Jews which were bondmen, 
it is set down what he paid for a slave. There is set 
down a great sum of money, and the number of the 
slaves'' : here stands the valuation ; divide the number of 
slaves, and you shall find the quotient for every man one 
hundred and twenty drachms ; four drachms make a she- 
kel, thirty shekels was the ordinary rate cried in the mar- 
ket for the price of a bondman." Thus Christ took on 
him the form of a bondman, not only God's bondman, but 
in the estimation of men so despicable, that they valued 
him at no higher rate than thirty pieces of silver. This 
is but the beginning and entrance on Christ's humiUation, 
to be made in the similitude of sinful flesh, and in the ve- 
rity of true flesh. Christ had all infirmities, as weariness, 
hunger, thirst, which follow a sinful man, which were not 
sinful : such a nature he took upon him, and then he be- 
came obedient both by active and passive obedience. That 
which remains of the pains of his life, to the passage of his 
doleful death, we will speak of the next time. 

^ Which were twelve thousand. 



Phil. chap. II. ver. 8. 

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obe- 
dient unto death, even the death of the cross. 

In these words and those that went before, you see 
there is delivered unto us the point of the humihation of 
the Son of God. It stands in this. 

1 . That he took upon him the form of a servant, and 
was made in the hkeness of man. God the Son, the se- 
cond person in the blessed Trinity did assume our dust and 
ashes, unto the unity of his own sacred person. 

2. This human nature being thus assumed, he was con- 
tent to deprive himself a long time of that estate of glory, 
which he might have in our human nature always (after 
its assumption) enjoyed, and in that time was as obedient 
as the meanest and poorest servant of his father. Nor was 
he only actively, but passively obedient ; " He was obe- 
dient unto the death :" He was content to lay down his 
life for our redemption. And it was not every death that 
would serve the turn, but it must be death of the cross, 
the most accursed shameful and painful death, that which 
was most suitable, and best able to answer the wrath of 

First, he humbled himself by taking our nature upon 
him : " He that thought it no robbery to be equal with 
God, took upon him the form of a man." If it were an 
abasement for God to look upon heaven the most glorious 
of bis works, how much more to take upon him a clod, or 
piece of this earth, and unite it to his own sacred person 
for ever. This was a descending indeed, he descended 


first that he might ascend. " Now" that he ascended, 
what is it, but that he descended first into the lower parts 
of the earth ?" That is, he descended into the womb of 
the virgin ; and it was a great abasement indeed for him 
thus to descend : wherefore the Psalmist, speaking of the 
wonderful framing of the babe in the womb, saith : " My'' 
substance was not hid from thee, when I was ihade in se- 
cret, and curiously wrought in the lower parts of the 
earth." So that we see God descended into the lower- 
most parts of the earth, and there was he fashioned. A 
great humiliation it was for him to be thus enclosed. Thus 
did he humble himself in taking our nature. Had he ta- 
ken the form of a king upon him, it had been a great hu- 
miliation ; how much more, when he took on him the form 
of a servant ? " He"' came not in a state to be ministered 
unto, but to minister." As we shewed the last day. Nor 
was he only his father's servant, but a servant of servants, 
and therein underwent Canaan's curse : " A servant of 
servants shalt thou be.'' Our Saviour became such a ser- 
vant. He was the author of freedom. " If^ the Son make 
you free, then are you free indeed." He, I say, who was 
the king's son and so the most free, the author of it to all 
that enjoy any spiritual freedom, became a servant, that 
we which were servants might be made free. 

But besides, it is added here, thathe humbled himself. 
Having taken on him the form of a servant, he humbled 
himself. Where we may observe what made the suffer- 
ing of our Saviour so meritorious : it was because it was 
active, free and voluntary. Our passions are contrary to 
our will: we are drawn to it, as it is said of Peter: 
" When' thou art old, they shall lead thee whither thou 
wouldst not." Peter died the same death our Saviour did, 
according to the external passion ; but they led him, whi- 
ther he would not. Our Saviour was an actor in it; hum- 
bled himself. A bare suffering God regards not so much ; 
but when it is done willingly, and in obedience to God. And 

^ Eph. chap. 4. ver. 9. ^ Psalm 139. ver. 15. 

= Matt. chap. 20. vev. 28. >> Gen. chap. 9. ver. 25. 

« John, chap. 8. ver. 26. ' Ibid. chap. 21. ver. 18. 


as he was obedient in his death, so also in his other pas- 
sions. In the Gospel according to St. John^, whereas the 
text reads, " he was troubled ;" the marginal note hath it, 
according to the original Greek, lavrov WaQa^tv, he trou- 
bled himself: he was the "author'' of his own sufferings." 
He was not humbled as a mere patient ; but he humbled 
himself: and so it is said in Scripture oft, " He gave him- 
self for us," and in all his passive obedience he had an 
eye to do the will of God. The merit of his passive obe- 
dience ariseth from a mixture with his active. This was a 
great part of his priesthood, his humbling. And how 
doth he take his priesthood upon him ? it was his father's 
call. " He' was called unto it as was Aaron. No man," 
saith the apostle, " taketh this honour upon him, but he 
that is called." Now Christ being called to it, he did it to 
follow his call. And thus he did it actively : it was not a 
bare suffering as those in hell suffer, but according to his 
father's call. Observe, that place taken out of the Psalm, 
" I am come to do thy will, O God." What, was it 
only in its active obedience ? No, it was thy will that he 
should suffer ; as the words follovnng in the tenth verse 
import : " By the which will we are sanctified, and by the 
body of Jesus Christ once offered:" So that Christ offered 
up himself to do his father's will ; so that his passive obe- 
dience was in his active. So, " therefore' doth my Father 
love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it up 
again ; no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down." Our 
Saviour, when he laid down his life, put it off, as a man 
puts off his cloak, and lays it from him. They wondered 
that he was dead so soon, it was because himself laid down 
his hfe. His soul then was not dragged or forced out of 
his body. It was not passive but active obedience. " No 
man taketh it from me ; I have power to lay it down, and 
I have power to take it up. This had I from my Father." 
They are grossly deceived then, that say Christ's active 
obedience was not free and voluntary, because he was com- 

e John, chap. 11. ver. 33. *• Ibid. chap. 10. ver. 17. 

' Heb. chap. 5. ver. 4. k jbij, chap. 10. ver. 9. 

' John, chap. 10. ver, 17. 


manded, which none can deny. Thus Christ's offering 
was a free-will offering, though it was a most bitter one ; 
yet, this being a part of his Father's will, he went as volun- 
tarily to the pains of the cross, as thou dost to thy dinner, 
when thou art throughly hungry. " For™ his meat and his 
drink was to do his Father's will." And this makes it of 
so much worth and efficacy, that he did it willingly : see 
it in the type that went before him, in Isaac ; Isaac was 
grown up, he was no babe, he was able to carry wood 
enough to burn himself when he went to be sacrificed ; 
and therefore, sure he had strength : if Isaac had pleased, 
he might have ran away from the old man his father ; yet 
he suffers himself to be bound, and to be laid upon the 
wood. A true type of our Saviour : his also was a fi:ee- 
will offering, and so a sweet smelling sacrifice unto God. 
It being the highest active obedience, it presently pacifieth 
the wrath of his Father. " He humbled himself, and be- 
came obedient." This obedience of our Saviour is the 
matter and ground of our justification. " As" by the of- 
fence of one, judgment came on all unto condemnation ; so 
by the righteousness of one, the free gift came on all to jus- 
tification of life." By the obedience of this blessed Saviour 
many are made righteous, so that now our Saviour's obe- 
dience foUoweth next. 

Now this obedience is double. Active or passive. 

1. Active ; and this was that whereby he did all the will 
of his Father. The reason why he came into the world, if 
we look to the place before alleged, will appear : " Where- 
fore", when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacri- 
fice and offering thou wouldest not have, but a body hast 
thou prepared me. In burnt-offerings and sacrifices for 
sin thou hast had no pleasure ; then said I, Lo I come, 
in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do 
thy will, O God." When he cometh into the world, 
saith he, "Lo, I come:" For what? "to do thy will, 
O God." The reason why he came into the world, was, 

^ John, chap. 4. ver. 34. " Rom, chap. 5. ver. 11. 

" Heb. chap. 10. ver. 5. 


that he might be obedient unto his father : " Thus it be- 
hoveth us," saith he to John, " to fulfil all righteousness." 
John wondered that he that was pure and spotless, should 
come to him to be baptized. He knew baptism presup- 
posed some sin or blot, some stain or corruption to be 
washed oiF; and therefore it is said, " ThatP there came 
unto him all the land of Judea to be baptized, confess- 
ing their sins." And sure if one who had been but a bare 
man should have come to John, and say, he had no sin, 
and yet desired to have been baptized by him, he had no 
right to baptism : yet our Saviour saith, " Let alone, let 
it be so, that we may fulfil all righteousness." I have no 
need indeed in regard of myself: but I have^taken upon me 
the form of a servant ; and therefore, what the lowest of 
them must do : therefore was I circumcised, and therefore 
was I baptized. " I came not to destroy the law, but to 
fulfil it." And he fulfilled it to the utmost, both in his 
active and passive obedience. 

Now for his active obedience, it had a double tetIXso-- 
rai, or comummatum est. First, for his active obedience 
in the whole course of his life. 

" I have glorified thy name, and finished the work 
which thou gavest me to do." Would you know what 
it is to glorify God in this world ? It is to finish the 
work which he giveth us to do. Art thou a minister? 
if thou wouldst glorify God, finish the work he gave thee 
to do; then mayest thou say, " Glorify thou me with 
thy glory." But now Christ's work was not all ended 
when he had finished it ; the greatest part was behind, to 
wit, his passive obedience : all the works of his life were 
done ; of which actions there Christ is to be understood : 
but then cometh his passion, and that being finished, 
there is something to do yet after that ; for he was to rise 
" again to our justification:" but for the oblation of the 
sacrifice, it was fully finished. If we look upon our blessed 
Saviour in the whole course of his life. For, 

1. Though he lived in a whole world of sin, yet he was 
free from all manner of sin. 

P Mark, chap. 1. ver. 5. 


2. He was enriched with all manner of good works, 
graces and virtue. Christ had both of these. He was 
free from any spot of sin, though in the midst of a wicked 
world ; and there was nothing in him which could expose 
him to any temfiiations. He was continually assaulted, 
and yet he was spotless. " The Prince of the world 
came, and yet he found nothing in him." Satan could 
find nothing in him, whereon to fasten any temptation. 
" Such'' an high priest became us who was holy and harm- 
less, undefiled, separate from sinners." 

There is the purity of his nature, he is holy, and in his 
carriage harmless, he did no man hurt. Undefiled, a 
pure and innocent Lamb, " a Lamb without blemish, 
separate from sinners," and could not contract any guilt 
of sin. Though he conversed with publicans apd sinners 
at the table, yet they could not infect him. " He' knew 
no sin, neither was there guile found in him." Therefore 
we see when it comes to the point that the Devil would 
tempt him, yet he himself must needs say, " What have 
I to do with thee thou Holy One of God V He is forced 
to acknowledge him to be so. And so if we look on the 
place, where he saith, " I^ do the will of my Father 
always," there likewise he shews himself the holy one of 
God. In a word, as he was thus obedient unto God, so 
was he subject to men too ; to his father in the family, 
and to Cffisar in the commonwealth :" as he taught, he 
did : subjection towards governors was his doctrine, and 
rather than he would not pay tribute, he would have it 
out of the fish's belly: to shew a recognition of his sub- 
jection unto higher powers, the text tells us, " He went 
about doing good. This man," say they, " hath done 
all things well." And at the last cast, when all the quar- 
rels and accusations were brought against him, they could 
bring nothing that could hold water; that he could 
boldly challenge them all, as it were : " Which of you can 
accuse me of sin?" you that pick so many holes in my 
coat, come forth, spare me not, accuse me; yet at the 

1 Heb. chap. 7. ver. 26. ' 1 Tet. chap. 1. ver. 19. 

* John, chap. 8. ver, 29. 



last he is accounted a just man. Judas himself could 
acknowledge him to be blameless, and that " he had 
sinned in betraying his innocent blood." Pilate's wife 
could say to her husband : " Have thou nothing to do 
with that just man :" and Pilate himself washed his hands, 
and would be free from the blood of that innocent 
person. The thief crucified with him, acquits him; his 
whole life was a perfect obedience to the law of God. 
•'• Christ' is the end of the law; That" the righteousness 
of the law might be fulfilled in us ;" not by us, we are not 
able to fulfil the law ; but in us, Christ did it for us : and 
the Father is better pleased with the thirty-three years' 
hearty obedience of his Son, than if Adam, and all his 
posterity had been obedient throughout the whole course 
of the world : so acceptable was this obedience to God. 
And thus much of his active obedience. 

2. Now for his passive obedience, his suffering. If 
our Saviour will be a sacrifice, he must be used like one ; 
he must be slain, if he will make satisfaction to his Father 
for us. He must for our eating sour grapes, have his 
own teeth set on edge. Consider his humiliation both in 
life and death ; if we look on the service of Jacob, under 
his uncle Laban, his " service'' was an hard service, 
twice seven years did he serve: the drought consumed 
him by day, and the frost by night, and the sleep de- 
parted from his eyes ; twenty years' hard service ; four- 
teen years for his two wives, and six years for his cattle." 
Our Saviour spent thirty-three years in his hard service ; 
and oft did the sleep depart from his eyes. When Israel 
came to appear before Pharoah, " My^ days," saith he, 
" have been one hundred and thirty years : few and evil 
have the days of thy servant been." The true Israelite 
might say more. Jacob's days were few, but as few as 
they were, they were one hundred and thirty years ; but 
if we look upon our Saviour's days, they were scarce a 
quarter so many. 

^ Rom. chap. 10. ver. 4, " Ibid. chap. 8. ver. 4. 

^ Gen. chap. 31. ver. 40. ' Ibid. chap. 47. ver. 9. 


And that is our Saviour's humiliation, that he was cut 
off " in the midst of his days." If we look into the 
psalm, we shall find it a curse on the " bloody and deceit- 
ful man, that he shall not live out half his days." The 
lively part of a man's age, from Moses's time to this day, 
in that psalm of Moses, " is^ three score years and ten." 
Half this is thirty-five years; and our Saviour is taken oiF 
before this thirty-five is expired. He was to take on him 
all the curses due to sinners, to the bloody and deceitful 
man : he is cut off and cropt off in the midst of his vigour, 
he that is that Melchisedech, " that" hath neither be- 
ginning nor end of days^ was cut off as a branch, lopt off 
as a twig from the land of the living." He is pulled out, 
so his days were few, far fewer than Jacob's : he was not 
suffered to live out half his days: yet if we look upon his 
days they were evil too ; evil enough as few as they were, 
full of trouble, and full of misery : from his first coming 
into the world to his last going out. 

1 . When he did descend into the lowermost part of the 
earth. He was nine months in the womb of his mother : 
and if we take the opinion of the schoolmen, he had his 
full understanding and judgment all that time, the free 
use of sense and reason, though I do not aver it to be a 
truth; only I say, if it be so, it makes his humiliation 
insupportable. What an extreme burden would it be to 
us to be so long in the womb, and in ripe understanding ; 
therefore there was somewhat in that. But now : 

2. Look at his coming forth into the world : though his 
mother were in her own city, yet he was so despicable, 
that "there'' was not room for them' at the inn." Our 
Saviour that should, one would think, have been brought 
into a stately palace, was fain to have his lodging among 
the beasts, and a cratch for his cradle. The wise men, 
when they came to worship him, found him in no better 
case : and what a disgrace was it, instead of a palace, the 
king of the east should find our Saviour in a cratch. 

^ Psalm 90. => Isaiah, chap. 53. ver. 8. 

'' Luke, chap. 2. ver. 7. 



3. And now when eight days are over, lie must have 
his skin cut off, he must be circumcised, and give the first 
payment or earnest of his blood. How painful and irk- 
some a thing circumcision was, appears by that story in 
Gen. chap. XXXIV. Where the sons of Jacob offering the 
Shechemites the condition of circumcision, and they 
accepting it, it was so troublesome a thing, that by reason 
of their soreness and weakness by it, two of the sons of 
Jacob, Simeon and Levi, slew a whole city. The pain 
was so great that they could not manage their weapons, 
therefore two men slew thousands of them. Our blessed 
Saviour was thus served, when the eight days were over 
he was thus made sore, and this was the first effusion of 
his blood. 

4. After the eight days are over, then come the forty 
days, and then he must be carried a long journey to be 
offered up to the Lord, and his mother, as if she had 
brought an unclean and impure thing into the world, must 
be cleansed and purified. And then she came to offer a 
sacrifice according to the law of the Lord. " A"^ pair of 
turtle doves or two young pigeons :" but was this the 
law? It were good if the law were looked into. The 
law is this : " She'' shall bring a lamb, or if she be not able 
to bring a lamb, then two turtles, or two young pigeons. 
If she be not able;" but the margin hath it, " If her hand 
cannot reach to a lamb," if she be so poor that she cannot 
offer a lamb. As if the text should have said, Alas, poor 
woman, poor lady, all she had was not able to reach to 
a lamb, so poor was she : doubtless her heart was as 
large as another's, but she was not able to offer a Iamb, 
and is therefore content with two turtles. 

5. Hence we may conceive in what state our Saviour 
lived, till he came into the ministry, questionless in a poor 
house : and he made many a hungry meal, when his 
mother was not worth a lamb. All that they had, must 
be by hard labour. 

6. Now our Saviour, notwithstanding after he had tra- 

" Luke, chap. 2. vcr. 24. "■ Levit. chap. 12. ver. 8. 


veiled that weary journey to Jerusalem, must return again, 
and be subject to his parents : but how ? Even as a ser- 
vant in his trade. They had not bread to spare, but 
what was gotten by hard laborious work. At his father's 
trade, I say ; for so it is said of him, " Is not this the car- 
penter ?" It is put in the nominative case, " The" car- 
penter." And whereas this is cast as a curse on our first 
parents, and their seed, " That' in the sweat of their 
brows they should eat their bread." Our Saviour must 
undergo this curse too : he must work hard for his living : 
with his own hands he must get a living for himself, 
and his poor mother by a laborious trade. No wonder if 
he went many a morning without his breakfast, and 
made many a hungry meal, that lived in so poor a house, 
and by so poor a trade. 

7. If we come now to the time he lived after he came 
from his father and mother, that same three years when 
he shewed himself more publicly in the world, and you 
shall find him subject to those dangers, difficulties, and 
distresses which accompany evil days. He was a pilgrim, 
and had no abode. " The^ foxes have holes, and the 
birds of the air nests, but the Son of man had not where 
to lay his head." He was a diligent preacher of the 
Gospel, although he had neither prebend nor parsonage ; 
and he had nothing of his own, but was relieved often 
by the charity of certain devout and religious women. 

2. Besides, all the reproaches that could be cast on a 
man, were laid on him ; " This'' man is a wine-bibber, and 
a glutton ; a friend of publicans and sinners." And again, 
" Do' we not say well, thou art a Samaritan ?" that is, a he- 
retick. He was a caster out of devils. And therein they 
denied not, but he did good, but see the villainy of it : 
he was a good witch, as we call them, and though he 
did good, yet it was by the help of Belzebub : when he 
drew near his death, the text saith : " They'' accuse 
him of many things." Few things are expressed, yet a 

• Mark, chap. 6. ver. 3. ' Gen. chap. 3. ver. 49. 

t Luke, chap. 9. ver. 58. ■■ Matt. chap. 11. ver. 19. 

' John, chap. 8. ver. 48. '' Mark, chap. 15. ver. 3. 


great many comprehended in these words ; those that are 
expressed, are heinous and notorious crimes. First, 
against the first table, they accuse him of blasphemy, and 
therefore condemn him in the ecclesiastical court : " Do' 
you hear his blasphemy ?" say they. Then against the 
second table, they post him to the civil court, and there 
they lay to his charge high treason against Casar : for he, 
say they, " that™ maketh himself a king, is an enemy unto 
Csesar:" and yet the "innocent" lamb," for all this, 
" opened" not his mouth." Insomuch that Pilate won- 
dered he spake not a word in his own defence ; and the 
reason was, because he came to suffer, and to have all 
these slanders and reproaches put upon him, not to excuse 

3. He led a life subject to dangers, when he went 
amongst his ovra people to preach the acceptable year of 
the LordP. They bring him upon an high hill, to the 
brow thereof, with a purpose to cast him down, and break 
his neck. Others threaten to kill him too. The Devil 
here follows him with temptations : even to idolatry itself. 
The' Devil himself tempts him forty days, and then left 
him : not as if he would not return and tempt him no 
more, but as St. Luke renders it, " The"' Devil left him 
for a season." Not as if he intended to leave him quite, 
but to come and try him again. The scribes and pha- 
risees they tempt him too, and prove him with hard ques- 
tions ; which if he could not answer, they would proclaim 
him an insufficient man, and all the people would have 
laughed him to scorn. Nor was this all only in the exer- 
cise of his ministry. All his life was as it were paved vpith 
temptations, every step was as it were a gin and trap to 
ensnare him. 

4. Add to all this, that he was not like us ; he knew 
when, and by what death he should die : he knew in all 
the time of his suffering what he should suffer, and what 

' Matt. chap. 26. \er. 65. ■" John, chap. 19. ver. 12. 

" Matt. chap. 27. ver. 12. ' " Ibid. ver. 14. 

" Luke, chap. 4. ver. 19. 29. ' i Matt. chap. 4. ver. 6. 

•■ Luke, chap. 4. ver. 13. 


should come upon him at his death. If any of us should 
know that he must die a cursed, shameful, and painful 
death, and knew when it should be, it would mar all our 
mirth, and put us to our dumps in the midst of our jollity. 
Our Saviour in the midst of all his joy on earth, saith, 
" P have a baptism to be baptized with :" he knew the 
cruel death, which he should suffer on the cross. And 
how is he pained, " till it be accomplished." The pains 
of it run through all his life, and might well make his 
whole life uncomfortable unto him. In the twelfth of John, 
ver. 23. a little before the Passover, saith he, " The 
hour is come that the Son of man shall be glorified :" and 
then, verse twenty-seventh : " Now is my soul troubled, and 
what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour." 
When the time was drawing nigh, some five or six days 
before, the consideration of it troubled him, though he 
knew he should be glorified, yet the fright of it enwrapt 
him with fear. " Now is my soul troubled ; what shall I 
say ? Father, save me from this hour." Such a kind of 
fife did our Saviour lead : few, but evil were his days. 
As evil as few, he had no comfort in them. 

Come we now to the point of his death, the last thing ; 
and those things that did touch him therein, are the curse, 
shame, and pain of it. If there were any death more 
accursed, he must die that death: if any death more 
shameful, or more painful than other, he must die that. 
All these do concur in the death of our Saviour, which 
he suffered in that death of the cross. It was the most 
accursed, most shameful, and most painful death as could 
be devised. 

First, for the accursedness of it, there was no death 
that had a more peculiar curse on it than this. Howso- 
ever all deaths are accursed, when they light on one that 
is without Christ ; but his death had a legal curse : and 
this was the curse annexed to the cross ; a type of that 
real curse. Now the type of a real curse was, " hanging' on 
the tree : thou shalt bury him that day, for he that is hanged 

' Luki;, chap. 12. ver. 50. ' Deut. chap. 21. ver. 23. 


on a tree is accursed by God." So the Son of God was 
made a curse for us, alluding unto this". And here we see 
the blessed Son of God, he in whom all the nations of the 
earth are blessed : the fountain of all blessedness : we see 
him stand in so cursed a condition, to be made as it were 
as an anathema, the highest degree of cursing that may be. 
Secondly, consider the shame of it. There is a place 
in the best of orators that expresses the detestableness 
and shame of this death of the cross : " Facinus'^ est 
vinciri civem Romanum ; scelus, verberari ; prope par- 
ricidium, necari : quid dicam in crucem toUere ?" See 
what a gradation there is, it is hardly to be expressed 
in English: " It is a great fault to bind a citizen of Rome 
and a gentleman, what is it to beat him ? What to cru- 
cify him?" His eloquence failed him there, as being 
unable to express the detestableness of it, and therefore 
the chief " captain^' was afraid because he had bound 
Paul, after he had heard he was a freeman of Rome." 
But then it is worse to beat him ; but what was it to cru- 
cify him? Our blessed Saviour went through all these 
indignities. First " they come against him with swords 
and with staves, as agaisist a thief." They sold him for a 
base price. They beat him with rods, pricked him, and 
after all they crucified him. Consider then the shame of 
it : he that was to be crucified was stripped naked, as 
naked as ever he came out of his mother's womb: how- 
ever the painters may lie in it. And was not this a 
shame thus to be stripped before thousands ? Wherefore 
it was a custom among the Romans, that the greatest 
king, if he were baptized, was to be stripped naked, 
which they did as a memorial of the shame of our Saviour. 
So shameful a thing it was, that they thought him imwor- 
thy to suffer ■«vithin the walls. " Christ'', that he might 
sanctify the people, suffered without the walls. Let us 
go with him out of the camp bearing his reproach." He 
was a man unfit to suffer within the walls. Pilate thought 
he would meet with them, when they were so violent to 

" Galat. chap. 3. ver. 12. 'i Cicero, lib. 5. in Verrem. 

J Acts, chap. 22. ver. 29. ■ Hebr. chap. 13. ver. 12, 13. 


have him crucified, and therefore he joins Barabbas with 
him, the vilest thief in the country, and a murderer : so 
that Peter cast this in their teeth, " That they preferred 
a murderer before him. He was reckoned with the trans- 
gressors," as it was prophesied of him before". " They 
crucify him between two thieves," as if he had been the 
captairi of them. Pilate thought by naming of Barabbas, 
to have saved Christ ; but so enraged was their bhnd ma- 
lice, that they preferred the release of Barabbas, before 
the exemption of Christ. Wherefore, as St. Luke saith, 
" Pilate'' released unto them him, that for sedition and 
murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired ; but 
he delivered Jesus to their will." 

Thirdly, consider the pain of the cross, " Whom'^ God 
raised up, having loosed the sorrows of death." Not 
meaning there were sorrows that Christ endured after his 
death, but it is meant of the sorrows that accompanied his 
death. It was the most dolorous death that ever could 
be endured. We scarce know what crucifying is. The 
Christian emperors, in honour of our Saviour banished 
that kind of suffering, that none after him might suffer it : 
But yet it is fit we should know what it was, since it was 
so terrible a thing. And here, as the apostle said to the 
Galatians, " Suppose you see Christ crucified before 
your face at present." The manner of it was thus. 

First there was a long beam, on which the party was to 
be stretched, and there was a cross beam on which the 
hands were to be stretched : they pulled them up upon 
the cross before they fastened them ; they pulled him to 
his utmost length. And this is that the psalmist speaks 
of: " You'' might tell all mj bones." His ribs were so 
stretched, as that they even pierced the flesh : conceive 
him now thus stretched with his hands and feet nailed to 
the wood : the stretching of Christ on the cross, was such 
a thing as the working of the rack. Imagine him before 
your eyes thus represented. Your sins crucified him : 
being thus stretched upon the cross to his full length, the 

' Isaiah, chap. 53. ver. 12. •" Luke, chap. 23. ver. 25. 

" Acts, chap. 2. ver. 24. •> Psalm 22. ver. 17. 


hands and the feet were fastened, and nailed to the 
wood. It is no small torment to have the hands bored, 
especially if we behold the place, it was through the lower 
part of the hand where the veins and sinews all met toge- 
ther : it is a place that is full of sense, consider withal the 
bigness of the nails : " They'' have digged my hands," to 
shew the bigness of the spikes : for the original bears it, 
"They digged him." Believe not the painters: " Our 
Saviour had four nails : Not one through both feet, as 
they describe it, but two through his hands, and two 
through his feet:"' and that you, may the better compre- 
hend it, you must know that " toward the lower part of 
the cross, there went along a ledge or threshold wliereto 
his feet were nailed," otherwise the flesh would have rent 
by reason of the nails, if he had hung by the hands alone. 
Then comes the liftmg up; as the serpent was lift 
up, so must Christ be lift. As when a man is stretched 
to the full length, and should be with a jerk put up ; it is 
like a strapado, as it were the unjointing of a man ; and 
this is that the psalmist speaks of, " All my bones are out 
of joint." Consider withal the time how long it was. St. 
Mark saith, " It^ was the third hour, and they crucified 
him." In St. John it is the sixth hour, but the ancient 
and best copies have the third hour, and so hath Nonnus. 
The ninth hour he gave up the ghost: so that it was 
six long hours by the clock that our Saviour did hang 
upon the cross. And it was not with him as with other 
men, in whom extremity of pains disannul sense, and 
blunt pains, because they have not a perfect apprehen- 
sion ; but Christ was in his perfect sense all the while. 
All that the Jews could do, could not take away his life 
from him, till he would himself: and therefore it is said, 
thats immediately before he gave up the ghost he cried 
with a loud voice ; whereas others are wont at that time 
to be so weak, that they can scarce be heard to groan : 
but never was Christ stronger, nor never cried louder 
than when he gave up the ghost", this of itself made the 

c Psalm 22. ver. 16. ' Chap. 15. ver. 25. 

c Mark, chap. 15. ver. 37. '' Ibid. ver. 39. 


centurion as soon as he heard it conclude, " certainly 
this man was the Son of God." How doth he gather this 
from his crying ? thus, for a man to be in his full strength, 
and cry out so strongly, and immediately to give up the 
ghost, this is a great miracle : " Truly this man was the 
Son of God." This adds unto the greatness of his tor- 
ment, that he had his full and perfect sense : that he was 
six full hours thus on the rack, and the extremity of pain 
took not away his sense. He was as strong at tlie last as 
at the first. 

These things seriously ^t^eighed. Oh ! how do they ag- 
gravate the depth of his humiliation ? Seriously weigh 
them : they are miserable and lamentable matters ; yet in 
these lie our comfort. Through these words is there a 
passage open for us into the kingdom of heaven : When 
he had overcome the terrors of death, he opened the 
kingdom of heaven to all believers : these were now but 
the outside of his sufferings, which did belong to man 
for his sins. He suffered not only bodily sufferings, but 
sufferings in soul, and that he did in a most unknown and 
incomprehensible manner ; but now may some say, 

Obj. Did Christ suffer the pains and torments of 

Sol. No, he suffered those things that such an inno- 
cent lamb might suffer, but he could not suffer the pains 
of hell. The reason is, because one thing which makes 
hell to be hell, is the gnawing worm of an accusing con- 
science. Now Christ had no such worm. He had so 
clear a conscience, as that he could not be stung with any 
such evil. 

Another great torment in hell is desperation, arising 
from the apprehension of the perpetuity of their torments, 
which makes them curse and blaspheme God, and carry 
an inexpressible hatred against him ; but Christ could not 
do so ; he could not hate God : God forbid that Christ 
should be liable to these passions. 

But it is certain God the Father made an immediate 
impression of pains upon his soul ; his soul did immedi- 
ately suffer : look on him in the garden, he was not yet 


touched nor troubled by men, and yet he fell in a sweat : 
consider the season of the year ; this was then, when they 
that were within doors were glad to keep close by the fire, 
he thus did sweat in the garden, when others freezed 
within; this was much: but to" sweat blood, thick blood, 
clotted, congealed blood, (for so the word will bear it,) 
not like that in his veins, and yet it came through his 
garments, and fell to the ground : this is a thing not to be 
comprehended. Our blessed Saviour encountering with 
his Father, he falls a trembling, and is overwhelmed, as it 
were, with the wrath, beseeching God intensively, saying, 
" Father' if it be possible let this cup pass from me ;" 
thou mayest give free pardon ; which affections in Christ 
are such a thing as puzzles us all: we must not say 
Christ did forget for what he came ; but he did not re- 
member : these words proceeded from the seat of passion, 
which while it is disturbed, reason suspends its acts. 
Christ had passions, though no impurity in them. As 
take a clear phial full of water from the fountain, and 
shake it, it may be frothy, yet it will be clean water still. 
Christ did not forget, only he had the suspension of his 
faculties for a time. As a man in a sleep thinks not what 
he is to do in the morning, and yet he is said properly to 
forget. " He*^ cried, My God, my God, why hast thou 
forsaken me ?" He was contented to be forsaken for a 
time, that thou mightest not be forsaken everlastingly, 
and this was no faint prayer : if you will read the place 
in the psalm : " He cried out unto God :" and it is said : 
" Who' in the days of his flesh when he had offered up 
prayers and supplications with strong cries and tears." 
He cried to the Almighty, he made God's own heart to 
pity : he would break™, yet his heart is repenting, and 
rolled together, so that he sent an angel to support and 
comfort him, those strong cries are expressed with a more 
forcible word, " My" God, my God, why hast thou for- 
saken me, why art thou so far from helping me, and from, 

■ Matt. chap. 27. ver. 39. k Ibid. ver. 40. 

' Heb. chap. 5. ver. 7. " Isaiah, chap. 53. 

" Psalm 22. 


the words of my roaring?" Consider how it was with 
Christ before any earthly hand had touched him, when 
he beseeched God for his hfe : this shews the wonderful 
suffering of Christ; and for that point, " Why hast thou 
forsaken me?" consider it was not with Christ as with 
the fathers, they suffered a great deal of punishment and 
taches, and would not be delivered, yet Christ was more 
courageous than they all. He had a spirit of fortitude, 
he was anointed above his fellows, and yet he quivers : 
" Our fathers cried unto thee, they trusted in thee, and 
were not consumed ; they were delivered : but I am a 
worm, and no man." I can find no shadow of comfort. 
Lord, why art thou so angry with me ? this speech came 
not from the upper part of the soul, the seat of reason, 
but from the lower part, the seat of passion : " My God, 
my God," these were not words of desperation. He held 
fast to God; " Why hast thou forsaken me?" these are 
words of sense : thus you see the price is paid, and what 
a bitter thing sin is. God will not suffer his justice to be 
swallowed up by mercy. It must be satisfied ; and our 
Saviour, if he will he a mediator, must make payment 
to the uttermost farthing : consider what a time this was, 
when our Saviour suffered : the sun withdraws his beams, 
the earth shakes and trembles : " What aileth thee, O 
thou sun to be darkened, and thou earth to tremble?" 
was it not to shew his mourning for the death of its 
maker ? The soul of Christ was dark within, and it is fit 
that all the world should he hung in black for the death 
of the King of kings. But mark, when he comes to de- 
liver up his life, and to give up the ghost, " The vail of 
the temple rent in twain," and that was the ninth hour, 
which in the Acts is called the " hour of prayer ;" it was 
at three o'clock in the afternoon. Hence it is said, " Let 
the lifting up of my hands be as the evening sacrifice." 
The priest was killing the Lamb at that time, there 
was a vail that severed the Holy of holies, it was be- 
tween the place of oblations, and the Holy of hohes, 
which signifies the kingdom of heaven. As soon as Christ 
died, the vail rent, and heaven was open, the priest saw 


that which was before hidden. Our Saviour, saith the 
apostle, entered through the vail of his flesh unto his 
Father, and fit it was, that the vail should give place when 
Christ comes to enter: but what becomes of Christ's 
soul now ? his soul and body were pulled asunder, and 
through the vail of his flesh, as it were, with blood about 
his ears, he entered the Holy of holies unto God, saying. 
Lord, here am I in my blood ; and here is blood " that 
speaks better things than the blood of Abel ;" that cries 
for vengeance, this for blessing and expiation of our sins. 



John, chap. i. ver. 12. 

But to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of 
God, even to them that believe on his name. 

Having heretofore declared unto you the woful estate 
and condition wherein we stand by nature, I proceeded to 
the remedy, that God of his infinite mercy hath provided 
for the recovery of miserable sinners from the wrath to 
come. And therein I proposed two things, that our 
Saviour, that was to advance us, and raise us out of this 
condition, when we had lost ourselves in Adam, did both 
deliver us from the punishment, which we had deserved, 
and also translate it upon his own person. He did " his'' 
own self bear our sins in his own body on the tree." We 
having eaten sour grapes, he was to have his teeth set on 
edge ; we accounted him smitten of God, and buffeted ; 
but we had sinned, and he was beaten. That when the 
Lord in his wrath was ready to smite us, he underwent 
the dint of God's sword, and stood betwixt the blow and 
us; the blow lighted on him that was equal with God, 
and deserved not to be beaten. " Awake, O sword, 
against my shepherd, and against the man that is my 
fellow." The sword was unwilling to strike him; and 
thus being smitten he became a propitiation for our sins : 
" The chastisement of our peace was on him." He of- 
fered himself a sacrifice : here are two things consi- 
derable : 

1. How Christ was offered for us. 

2. How he is offered to us. 

« 1 Peter, chap, 2. ver. 24. 


First, for us, and so he offered up himself a " Sacri- 
fice", a sweet smelling sacrifice unto God." Mark the 
point is, he is not only the sacrifice, but the sacrificer. 
" He offered up himself," saith the apostle ; he was the 
priest, and it was part of his priesthood to offer up him- 
self. The sacrifices in the old law that typified him, were 
only sufferers. The poor beasts were only passive : but 
our Saviour, he must be an actor in the business. He was 
active in all that he suffered. He did it in obedience to 
his Father's will, yet he was an agent in all his passions'^. 
He groaned in spirit, and was troubled; the Greek is 
hapa^sv iavTov, or (as it is in the margin) " He troubled 
himself." With us in our passions it is otherwise : we are 
mere sufferers. Our Saviour was a conqueror over all his 
passions, and therefore unless he would trouble himself, 
none else could trouble him : unless he would lay down 
his life, none could take it from him; unless he would 
give his cheek to be smitten, the Jews had no power to 
smite it. " P gave my back to the smiters, and my 
cheeks to them that plucked off the hair, and hid not my 
face from shame and spitting." In all these we should 
consider our Saviour, not as a sacrifice only, but a sacri- 
ficer also ; an actor in all this business : their wicked 
hands were not more ready to smite, than he was to give 
his face to be smitten, and all to shew that it was a volun- 
tary sacrifice. He did all himself; " He" humbled him- 
self unto the death." And now by all this we see what 
we have gotten : we have gotten a remedy and satisfac- 
tion for sins. That precious blood of that immaculate 
Lamb takes away the sins of the world, because it is the 
Lamb of God, under which else the world would have 
eternally groaned. 

Obj. But doth this Lamb of God take away all the 
sins of the world ? 

Sol. It doth not actually take away all the sins of the 
world, but virtually. It hath power to do it if it be 

'' Eph. chap. 5. ver. 2. ' John, chap. 11. ver. 43. 

<< Isaiah, chap. 50. ver. 6. « Phil. chap. 2. ver. 8. 


rightly applied, the sacrifice hath such virtue in it, that 
if all the world would take it, and apply it, it would ex- 
piate, and remove the sins of the whole world : but it is 
here, as with medicines, they do not help, being prepared, 
but being applied; rhubarb purgeth choler, yet not unless 
applied, &c. In Exodus^ there is mention made of a golden 
altar : Christ is this golden altar, to shew that his blood 
is most precious : " We' are not redeemed with silver and 
gold, but with the precious blood of Jesus Christ." He 
is that golden altar mentioned in the Revelation, which 
stands before the throne. He was likewise to be a brazen 
altar; for so much was to be put upon him, that unless 
he were of brass, and had infinite strength, he would have 
sunk under the burden. It is Job's metaphor : Job in his 
passion saith : " Is^ my strength the strength of stones ? 
or is my flesh brass?" If Christ's flesh had not been 
brass, if he had not been this brazen altar, he could never 
have gone through these : now he is prepared for us a 
sacrifice for sin. " For*^ what the law could not do, in 
that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own 
Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin," for sin, 
make a stop there, " condemned sin in the flesh." This 
same for sin hath not reference to condeimied. To 
condemn sin for sin is not good sense; but the words 
depend on this : " God sent his Son," that is, God sent 
his Son to be a sacrifice for sin, irtpi afiapTiag, as the 
word is translated, " a' sacrifice for sin." It was impos- 
sible the law should save us : not because of any imper- 
fection, or failing in the law, but because our weakness is 
such, as that we could not perform the conditions : there- 
fore God was not tied to promises ; by reason then of the 
weakness of our flesh, rather than we should perish, " God 
sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and in that 
flesh of his condemned all our sins ;" we need not look 

« Exod. chap. 39. ver. 38. 

* 1 Peter, chap. 1. vev. 18, 19. Kev. chap. 8. ver. 3. and chap. 9. ver. 13. 

K Job, chap. 6. ver. 12. '' Rom. chap. 8. ver. 3. 

' Heb. chap. 10. ver. 6. 



that sin should be condemned in us, when he bare our 
sins on the tree, then were our sins condemned ; there- 
fore it is said : " When" he had made his soul an offering 
for sin :" that is in the original, when he had made his 
soul sin, then he " saw' his seed." 

We come now to the second thing, if Christ be offered 
for us, yet unless he offer him to us : unless any man may 
have interest in him, it is nothing worth. Here then 
stands the mystery of the Gospel ; Christ, when he comes 
to offer himself to us, he finds not a whit in us that is to 
be respected ; nothing. And that is the ground of all 
disturbance to ignorant consciences ; for there is naturally 
in men pride and ignorance, they think they may not 
meddle with Christ, through God's mercy, unless they 
bring something, unless they have something of their own 
to lay down. This is to buy Christ, to barter betwixt 
Christ and the soul : but salvation is a free gift of God. 
As the apostle speaks, Christ is freely given unto thee, 
when thou hadst nothing of worth in thee. Faith, when 
it comes, empties thee of all that is in thee : to whom is 
the Gospel preached ? to the dead. Now before Christ 
quicken thee, thou art stark dead, rotting in thy sins. 
Here is the point then, when there is no manner of good- 
ness in thee, in the world. " In me," saith St. Paul, 
" that is, in my flesh there is no good thing." When I 
have been the most outrageous sinner, I may lay hold on 
Christ. Christ comes and offers himself to thee. 

Now when Christ offers, the other part of the relation 
holds, we may take. We have an interest to accept what 
he proffers. Consider it by an example : if one give me a 
million, and I receive it not, I am never the richer : and 
so if God offer me his Son, and with him all things, I am 
nothing the better, if I receive him not. That he is born 
and given, what is that to us? unless we can say, " To™ 
us a child is born, to us a Son is given." Faith comes 
with a naked hand to receive that which is given; we 

k Isaiah, chap. 53. • Ibid. chap. 57. 

™ Isaiah, chap. 9. ver. 6. 


must empty ourselves of what is in us. Consider thy 
estate, the Lord sets down how it is with us, when he 
comes to look upon us : : " And" when I passed by thee, 
and saw thee polluted in thy blood, I said unto thee, 
when thou wert in thy blood, live." Why is this set down ? 
It is to shew how God finds nothing in us, when he comes 
to shew mercy. He finds nothing in us that is lovely, 
when he comes to bestow his Son upon us. For it is said, 
" That" Christ loved us, and washed us from our sins in 
his own blood." He doth first cast his eyes upon us when 
we are unwashed ; as I may say, unwashed, and un- 
blessed : " When no eye pitied thee, and thou wast cast 
out into the open field ; when thou wast in thy blood, I 
said unto thee, live :" when he comes to making up of the 
match : " ThenP I washed thee with water ; yea, I tho- 
roughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed 
thee with oil: I cloathed thee also with embroidered 
work, and shod thee with badgers' skins." That is, when 
Christ comes to cast his affections on us, and to wed us 
unto himself, he finds us polluted and naked, not with a 
rag on us. Full of filth, just nothing have we, he takes 
us with nothing ; nay, we are worse than nothing. So 
that here is the point ; what ground is there whereby a 
man that is dead, and hath no goodness in him, (make 
him as ill as can be imagined,) what ground hath he to 
receive Christ? Yes, " To as many as received him, to 
them he gave the power to become the sons of God." 
First, the receiving of Christ, and then comes believing. 
It is the receiving of this gift, that is the means, whereby 
Christ is offered to us. The apostle joining the first and 
second Adam together, makes the benefit we have by the 
second to lie in the point of receiving". 

Obj. If it be a free gift, why is faith required ? 

Sol. Because faith takes away nothing from the gift. 
If a man give a beggar an alms, and he reach out his hand 
to receive it, his reaching out the hand makes the gift 

" Ezek. chap. 16. \er. 6. " Rev. chap. 1. vcr. 5. 

P Ezek. chap. 15. ver. 9. 'i Rom. chap. 5. ver. 17. 



never the less, because the hand is not a worker, but an 
instrument in receiving the free gift. " If' through the 
offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of 
God, and the gift by grace hath abounded unto many in 
Jesus Christ." And " If' by one man's offence death 
reigned by one, much more they that receive abundance 
of grace shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ :" here is 
the point then, God is well pleased, and therefore sends 
to us. Wilt thou have my Son? with him thou shalt 
have abundance of grace, and everlasting life, and my love 
too. There is no creature in this place, but this shall be 
made good unto, if he can find in his heart to take Christ, 
thou shalt have a warrant to receive him. Now to receive 
Christ, is to believe in his name, and to draw near unto 
him. The word receiving, is a taking with the hand, with 
free entertainment ; as* immediately before the text. It 
is not so properly receiving, as entertaining. He came 
to his own, and his own received him not ; they were like 
the foolish Gadarenes, that preferred their pigs before 
Christ; they would rather have his room than his com- 
pany : and so, when Christ comes, and thou hast rather 
be a freeman, as thou thinkest, and wilt not have him to 
reign over thee, then thy case is lamentable : then self- 
will, self-have. The only point is, whether we come to 
Christ, or he come to us, there is a drawing near. If 
thou comest to Christ he will not put thee back ; if Christ 
come to thee by any good motion, if thou shut not the 
door against him, thou shalt not miss him : " Behold", I 
stand at the door and knock ; if any man hear my voice, 
and open the door, I will come in unto him, and sup with 
him, and he with me." The Lord by the knock" of his 
mouth, by the sword that comes out of his mouth, would 
fain come in, and be familiar with thee. If thou wilt not 
let him in, is it not good reason that, as in the Canticles^, 
he withdraw himself? If he see thy sins, and would fain 
come in, what an encouragement hast thou to open ? 

■■ Rom. chap. 5. ver. 15. ' Ibid. ver. 17. ^J 

' Rom. chap. 5. ver. 11. ^ " Rev. chap. 3. ver. 30. 

^ Rev. chap. 1. ver. 16. J Cantic. chap. 5. ver, 6. 


" He' that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." 
Canst thou have a better word from thy prince than this ? 
When he holdeth out his golden sceptre, if thou takest 
hold on it, thou art safe ; otherwise thou art a dead man : 
thou canst not have a greater security; all the point is, 
faith is a drawing near unto Christ, and unbelief is a 
going from him : the Gospel is preached " to those that 
are afar off, and to those that are near." " He" came to 
preach peace to you that are afar off, and to them that are 
nigh." Who were they that were afar off? they were 
those that had " uncircumcision in the flesh, without 
Christ, aliens to the commonwealth of Israel, aOtoi, those 
that had no hope ;" to these Christ came ; these that 
were afar off, by faith drew near : that expression is 
a singular one, " Now* the just shall live by faith ;" what 
is that ? " but if any man draw back," that is, if any man 
be an unbeliever, " my soul shall have no pleasure in 
him." Faith makes a man come, and draw near to Christ. 
It is a shamefaced bashfulness, that makes a man draw 
back; it is unbelief, if any draw back, and to believe 
is to go on with boldness ; " We are not of them which 
draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to 
the saving of the soul." What an excellent encou- 
ragement is this, " to come with boldness unto the 
throne of grace,, that we may find help in time of 
need ?" So that now let thy estate be what it will, if thou 
wilt not hold off, but dost entertain Christ, " though'^ thy 
sins be as red as scarlet," be not discouraged, " they 
shall be made as white as wool." The very sinner against 
the Holy Ghost is invited ; and why is' that unpardonable ? 
Can any sin be so great as to overtop the value of Christ's 
blood ? There is not so much wretchedness in the heai-t 
of man, as there is grace, goodness and mercy in Christ : 
but then it is unpardonable; Why? Because it is the 
nature of the disease, that will not suffer the plaster to 
stick on. " If^ counts the blood of the covenant, where- 

' John, chap. B. ver. 37. ' Ephes. chap. 2. ver. 17. 

I" Heb. chap. 10. ver. 38, ' Isaiah, chap. 1. ver. 18. 

•1 Heb. chap. 10. ver. 29. 


with we should be sanctified, an unholy thing." If this 
sinner would not pluck off the plaster, and tread it under 
foot, he should be saved : but this is it, when God is libe- 
ral, and Christ is free, we have not the heart to take him 
at his word and come. To open this word, this is the 
point of all, this is the free preaching of the Gospel in- 
deed ; when a man hath nothing desirable in him, but is 
stark naught, and stark dead, and is not worth the taking 
up, that yet he may challenge Christ, and be sure of all. 
Unless thou hast Christ thou hast nothing by promise, 
not so much as a bit of bread by promise ; if thou hast it, 
it is by providence; " AlP the promises of God are in 
him," thatis, Christ, " yea, and amen :" " ye^ are the chil- 
dren of the promise in Christ,'' but you have nothing till 
you be in Christ. 

The question is. What must I do in this case ? What 
encouragement shall I have in my rags, when I am abomi- 
nable, worth nothing ? 

There are certain things that are preparations to a pro- 
mise ; such as are commands, precepts, entreaties, which 
encourage them to it; and then comes a proposition : I 
being a believer, shall have eternal life ; if Christ be mine, 
I may challenge forgiveness of sins, the favour of God, and 
everlasting life : but how is faith wrought ? believe not 
that foolish conceit that is too common in the world ; that 
faith is only a strong persuasion that God is my God, and 
my sins are forgiven ; this is a foolish thing, a fancy, a 
dream, unless it be grounded on the word of God. It is 
but a dream, else that will lead thee unto a fool's paradise. 
Nothing can uphold faith, but the word of God : here is 
the point ; I being as bad as can be, what ground have I 
out of the word of God, of an unbeliever to be made a be- 
liever ? Now we must not take every text, but such only 
as may be appliable to a dead man, one that hath no good- 
ness in him, that is yet out of Christ ; we were all swim- 
ming at liberty till this word catched us in; we never 

' 2 Cor. chap. 1. ver. 20. 

' Gal. chap. 3. ver. 29. and chap. 4. vcr. 28. 


thought of the business before, till we were thus taken. 
Now there are certain degrees to get faith in us. 

1. The first word is a general proclamation, whereby 
Christ gives any one leave to come and take him. Christ 
is not only a fountain sealed, as in the Canticles, but a 
"fountain open for sin and for uncleanness," as in Zacha- 
riah: so that now, when he keeps open house, he makes 
proclamation that none shall be shut out. He puts none 
back ; sins, not the greatest that can be, can keep thee 
back : this is the first thing ; and to confirm it, we have 
our Saviour's own proclamation : " Ho^ ! every one that 
thirsteth, come you to the waters ; and he that hath no 
money, come, buy, and eat : yea, come, buy wine and milk 
without money, and without price." A strange contra- 
diction, one would think ; what ! buy, and yet without 
money, and without price. The reason is, because there 
is a certain thing which fools esteem a price, which is 
none ; " P counsel thee to buy of me gold which is tried 
in the fire :" Why ? How must this be done ? Truly thus ; 
whensoever a sinner comes to Christ to have his sins par- 
doned, and to be a subject of Christ's kingdom, thou must 
not then be as thou wast, but thou must be changed. 
Thou must not live as thou didst before, in the state of 
rebellion. Now to leave sin is not worth a rush, it is not 
a sufiicient price ; but yet we see a fool will esteem his own 
baubles : I must lay down my lusts, I must lay down my 
covetousness, intemperance, &c. and a man thinks it a 
great matter thus to do ; and to leave the freedom that he 
had before, though it be a matter of nothing. When a 
rebel receives his pardon, is the king's pardon abridged, 
because he must live like a subject hereafter ? Why 
should he also seek for the benefit of a subject? This is 
said in respect of the foolish conceit of man, who thinks it 
a great price to forsake his corruptions. Again, with the 
same loud voice, Christ cried when he offered himself a sa- 
crifice for sin : he cried at the time of the great feast, that 

E Isaiah, chap. 55. ver. 1. '' Rev. chap. 3. vec. 18. 



all should come. " In' the last day, the great day of the 
feast, Jesus stood, and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let 
him come unto me and drink." In the last of the Revela- 
tions, there is a quicunque vult, that is it I pressed : it is 
a place worth gold. And these are the places which being 
applied, make you of strangers, to draw near : but now 
these are not appliable to a man before he hath grace ; 
every one cannot apply them. Never forget that place 
while you live ; it is the close of God's holy book, and the 
sealing up of his holy book. What is that ? It is in Re- 
velations, chap. XXII. ver. 17. "And the Spirit and the 
Bride say, come, and let him that is a thirsty come, and 
drink of the water of life freely." Whosoever will, let 
him come : what wouldst thou have more ? Hast thou no 
will to Christ ? No will to salvation ? then it is pity thou 
shouldst be saved. No man can be saved against his 
will, nor blessed against his will : if thou wilt not have 
Christ, if thou wilt try conclusions with God, then go 
further, and fare worse ; but whosoever will, let him come. 
Oh ! but I have a will : why, then thou hast a warrant ; 
take Christ. 

Obj. But, O sir, you are a great patron of free will : 
What ? doth it all lie in a man's will? Will you make the 
matter of taking Christ lie there ? 

Sol. I say, if thou seest thou hast a will, then thou 
hast a warrant ; I say not that this will comes from thyself. 
It is not a blind faith will do thee good ; the word of God 
works faith in thee, thou hast not a will to it born in thee. 
It is not a flower that grows in thine own garden, but is 
planted by God; "No" man can come unto me, except 
the Father which hath sent me, draw him." What ? Will 
Christ offer violence to the will, and draw a man against 
his will? No, there is no such meaning. It is expounded 
in the sixty-fifth verse ; " No man can come unto me, ex- 
cept it were given him of my Father." By this Christ 
sheweth what he meant. If thou hast a will to come, 
thank the Father for it ; for of him, as in the Philippians, 

' John, chap. 7. vcr. 37. ■• John, chap. 6. vcr. 44. 


we have both the will and the deed. Take for example 
that general proclamation in the book of Ezra, "What- 
ever' Jew would, might be free." So said the king that 
had power to make them free ; " Who is there among you 
of all his people, his God be with him, and let him go up 
to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of 
the God of Israel." Then we read : " Then" rose up the 
chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the 
priest, and the Levites, with all them whose Spirit God 
had raised up to go up." Observe here, though the pro- 
clamation were general, yet the raising up of the will was 
from the Spirit of the Lord. We must not by any means 
take our will for a ground : the will cometh from God ; 
but if thou hast the will, thou hast a warrant. Whoever 
will, let him take the water of life freely without covenant- 
ing : say not, if thou hadst but a measure of faith, and such 
a measure of humiliation ; for that were to compound with 
Christ : away with that ; " whosoever will, let him come." 
Christ keeps open house ; " Whosoever" will, let him 
come : whosoever comes to him, he will in no wise cast 
out." If thou hast a heart to come to him, he hath a will- 
ing heart to receive thee ; as it was with the prodigal son, 
the Father stays not till he comes to him, but runs to meet 
him : he is swift to shew mercy, and to meet us, though 
we come slowly on towards him. But this is not all, there 
is a second gracious word that is preached to a man, not 
yet in the state of grace. A man that keeps open house, 
he seldom invites any particularly ; but if he come, he 
shall be welcome. Christ, he keeps open house; but 
some are so fearful, and so modest, that unless they have 
a special invitation, they are ashamed to come to Christ ; 
they reason thus : If my case were an ordinary man's, I 
should come ; but I am so vile and wretched, that I am 
ashamed to Qome; my sins have been so many, and so 
heavy, that I am not able to bear so great a weight; 
they are more in number than the hairs of my head ; and 

' Esra, chap. 1. ver. 3. " Ibid. vej. 5. 

" John, chap. 6. vcr. 37. 


yet farther, alas they are crying ones too. But hearken, 
here is a second word ; dost thou think thy case more 
heavy, because thou art out of measure sinful. Lo, it 
pleaseth God to send thee a special invitation, who findest 
thyself discouraged with the great bulk and burden of thy 
sins. Though all apply it not to this use ; " Come" unto 
me all you that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest." You, of all others, are they that Christ 
looks for. Those that can walk bolt upright in their sins, 
that desire to live and die in them, they will not look 
upon me, and I will not look upon them ; they scorn me, 
and I scorn them : but you, that are heavy laden, and 
feel the burden of your sins, are invited by Christ. Let 
not Satan then cozen you of the comfort of this word ; 
that which Christ makes the latch to open the door 
to let himself in, we do usually by our foolishness make 
the bolt to shut him out. Let thy wound be never so 
great, thou hast a warrant to come, and be cured : be 
of good comfort then, as it was said to blind Bartimeus, 
so it is to thee ; " Lo'', he calleth thee." When Christ 
bids thee come, and gives thee his word, that he will heal 
thee, come, let not the Devil, or thy corruptions hinder 
thee, or make thee stay back ; haste thee to this city of 
refuge, he hath engaged his word for thee, and he will 
ease thee. But now, after all these there is a 

Third word, that though Christ keeps open house, so 
that who will, may freely come ; and though he sends spe- 
cial invitations to them that are most bashful, because 
their case is extraordinary : what do you think now, that 
Christ will come with his soldiers, and destroy those that 
do not come in ? He might do it, when he is so free, and 
invites thee, and thou turnest it back again into his hand : 
but yet here is another word of comfort, Christ doth not 
only send a messenger to invite thee, who hast no good- 
ness in thee, but he falls to beseeching and entreating 
thee; and that is a third word, whereby faith is wrought 

" Matt. chap. 11. ver. 28. P Mark, chap. 10. ver. 49. 


in an unbeliever ; " Now'' then we are ambassadors for 
Christ, as though God did beseech you by us ;" observe 
the place, " We pray you in Christ's stead be reconciled 
unto God." This is the most admirable word that ever 
could be spoken unto a sinner. Alas ! thou mayest say, 
I am afraid that God will not be friends with me ; why ? 
he would have thee to be friends with him : do not then, 
with the papists, make such an austere God, as though he 
might not be spoken unto, as though thou mightest not 
presume thyself, but must make friends unto him ; " We' 
have not an high priest that is not touched with our infirmi- 
ties." Will the papists tell me, I am bold if I go to God, or 
lay hands on Christ ? I am not more bold than welcome ; 
" Let' us go with boldness to the throne of grace." We 
are commanded to it. Do not think but that he had 
bowels to weep over Jerusalem, and he carried the same 
into heaven ; when thou liest groaning before him, he will 
not spurn thee. We pray you and beseech you to be 
friends ; therefore in this case make no doubt, it is God's 
good pleasure to entreat thee, and therefore thou hast 
warrant enough. Christ wept over Jerusalem, and he is 
as ready to embrace thee. You have now three words to 
make a man of an unbeliever, a believer : is there, or can 
there be more than these ; open house-keeping, special in- 
vitations, entreaties and beseechings ? Yet there is more 
than all this ; which if thou hast not a heart of stone, 
it will make thee believe, or make thee rue it. And 
that is, 

4. When God seeth all these things will not work with us, 
but we are slow of heart to believe, then he quickens us ; 
and there comes a word of command. God chargeth, 
and commands thee to come ; and then if thou breakest 
his command, be it to thy peril. It is the greatest sin, 
that can be committed. Thou wilt not draw near to God, 
because thou art a sinner ; thou now committest a greater 
sin, than before, thou returnest back Christ unto God, 

1 2 Cor. chap. 5. ver. 10. ' Hel). chap. 4. ver. 15. 

' Heb. chap. 4. ver. 16. 


thou biddest him take his commodity into his hand again, 
thou wilt not believe : and this is an heinous crime ; 
" And' when the Spirit shall come, it shall reprove the 
world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment ; of 
sin, because they believe not in me." This is that great 
sin he shall convince the world of, " because they be- 
lieve not in him. Of all sins, this was the most no- 
torious ; this makes us keep all other sins in possession : 
it is not only one particular sin, but it fastens all other 
sins upon us, be they never so many. When faith comes, 
it will out them, but till then they remain in thee ; where 
there is no commandment, there is no sin. How could 
it be a sin in not believing, if I were not commanded 
so to do : but you shall hear more than so. When 
the apostle speaks of excluding rejoicing under the law ; 
" Where" is boasting, then, saith he .'' it is excluded : By 
what law, by the law of works ? No, but by the law of 
faith :" there is a law of works, and a law of faith. God 
doth not only give thee leave to come, and take him, and 
draw near unto him, but he commands thee ; there is a 
law : by the breach of that law of faith thou art made 
guilty of a high sin. There is a full testimony of this ; 
" And'' this is the commandment, that we should believe 
in the name of his son Jesus Christ." If a man should 
ask, may I love my neighbour ? would you not think him 
a fool ? because he must do it, he is commanded. So 
should a poor soul come, and say to me, may I believe ? 
thou fool, thou must believe. God hath laid a command 
upon thee, it is not left to thy choice : the same command- 
ment that bids thee love thy brother, bids thee to believe 
on Christ. To entreaty is added God's command; and 
therefore, if thou shalt argue, what warrant have I to be- 
lieve ? Why, God enjoins it thee, and commands it. As 
the impotent man said, so mayest thou: " He that healed 
me, said unto me, take up thy bed, and walk." This is 

' John, chap. 15. ver. S, 9. " Rom. chap. 3. ver. 37. 

" 1 John, chap. 3. ver. 23. 


the very key of the Gospel, and this is the way to turn it 
right. When being thus clean naked, we have as it were 
a cable put in our hands, to draw ourselves out of this 
flesh and blood. 

5. The last thing is, if keeping open house, special in- 
vitations, entreaties and commands will not serve the turn, 
then Christ waxeth angry ; what, to be scorned, when he 
proffered mercy, and as it were, invite all sorts, and com- 
pel them to come in by his preachers, and by a peremptory 
command ? Then he falls a threatening; "We are not of 
those which draw back unto perdition ;" if thou wilt not 
come upon this command, thou shalt be damned ; " He'' 
that believeth not, shall be damned." Christ commands 
them to go into the world, and preach the Gospel to 
every creature, unto every soul this Gospel which I 
speak. If you will not hear, and believe ; if you will 
not take God at his word, you shall be damned ; " He" 
that believeth not, shall not see life ; but the wrath of 
God abideth on him." Here is an iron scourge to drive 
thee, thou that art so slow of heart to believe. In Psalm 
LXXVIII. where is set down God's mercy unto the Is- 
raelites : afterwards comes one plague upon another ; it is 
said, " They'' believed not in God, and trusted not in his 
salvation." A like passage to this out of the ninety-fifth 
Psalm, is applied, in Hebrews, chap. III. ver. 2. to unbe- 
lievers. And the reason of God's wrath mentioned in the 
seventy-eighth Psalm, is said to have been the unbelief of 
the people ; " The Lord heard this, and was wrath; a fire 
was kindled against Jacob, and against Israel." Why was 
this? because they believed not in him, because they 
trusted not in his salvation. Nothing will more provoke 
God to anger, than when he is liberal and gracious, and 
we are straitened in ourselves, harden our hearts, and not 
trust him : never forget this sermon, while you live ; this 
is the net that Christ hath to draw you out of the world. 

> Mark, chap. 16. ver. 16. ' John, chap, 3. ver. 36. 

> Psalm 78. ver. 22. 

174< SERMONS. 

I shall hereafter tell you what faith is, which is to receive 
Christ, and to believe in his name : but that will require a 
more particular explication. And on that I shall enter 
the next time. 



Eph. chap. I. ver. 13. 

In whom ye also trusted after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your 
salvation, in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy 
Spirit of promise. 

The last time I entered on the declaration of that main 
point, and part of religion, which is the foundation of all 
our hopes and comfort, namely, the offering of Christ unto 
us ; that as he did offer himself a sacrifice to his Father 
for us upon the cross, so that which is the basis, ground 
and foundation of our comfort is, that he offereth himself 
unto us. And here comes in that gracious gift of the Fa- 
ther which closes in with God : that as God saith, " To 
us a child is born, to us a son is given :" So there is 
grace given us to receive him. And as the greatest gift 
doth not enrich a man, unless he accept it, and receive it ; 
so this is our case, God offers his Son unto us, as an ear- 
nest of his love: if we will not receive him, we cannot be the 
better for him : if we refuse him, and turn God's commo- 
dity, which he offers us, back upon his hand, then God 
storms, and his wrath abides on us for evermore. That it 
is his good pleasure that we should receive Christ, it is no 
doubt, we have his word for it : all the point is, how we 
may receive him, and that is by faith. 

And in this text is declared, how faith is wrought, and 
that is by the word of truth; "In whom also you trusted, 
after you had heard the word of truth." Now after this 
faith, there Cometh a sealing by the Spirit of God ; " In 
whom also, after you believed, you were sealed by the 
Holy Spirit of promise." Now lest a man should through 
ignorance and indiscretion, be misled and deceived, there 


is faith, and there is feeling. Where this is not feeHng I 
mean, I say not, that there is no faith ; no : for feeHng is 
an after thing, and comes after faith. If we have faith, 
we Hve by it ; " But after you believed, you were sealed." 
You see then faith is that, whereby we receive Jesus 
Christ ; " And to as many as received him, to them he gave 
power to become the sons of God, to as many as believe 
on his name." The blood of Christ is that which cureth 
our souls, but, as I told you, it is by application. A 
medicine heals not by being prepared, but being applied : 
so, the blood of Christ shed for us, unless applied to us, 
doth us no good. In Heb. chap. XII. it is called " The 
blood of sprinkling:" and that in the fifty-first Psalm, 
hath relation to it, where he saith, " Purge me with 
hyssop." In the Passover there was blood to be shed, 
not to be spilt, but to be shed : and then to be gathered up 
again, and put into a basin, and when they had so done, 
they were to take a bunch of hyssop and dip and sprinkle, 
&c. Faith is this bunch of hyssop that dips itself, as 
it were, into the basin of Christ's blood, and our souls are 
purged by being sprinkled with it. In Leviticus there was 
a bird to escape alive; but see the preparation for it: 
" You^ shall take it, and the scarlet, and the cedar wood, 
and the hyssop, and shall dip them, and the living bird in 
the blood of the bird that was killed, &c. And then you 
shall sprinkle on him that is to be cleansed from the le- 
prosy, seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and 
shall let the living bird loose into the open field." We 
are thus let loose, cleansed, and freed, but how? Un- 
less we are dipped, as the living bird was in the blood 
of the dead bird, there is no escaping, unless we are 
dipped in the blood of Jesus Christ, this dead bird, and 
sprinkled with this hyssop, we cannot be freed. 

So that now to come to that great matter, without which 
Christ profiteth us nothing, which is faith. The well is 
deep, and this is the bucket with which we must draw. 
This is the hand by which we must put on Christ : " As*' 

' Levit. chap. 14. ver. 6. '' Galat, chap. 3. ver, 27. 


many as are baptized put on Christ." Thus must we be 
made ready : we must be thus clothed upon, and by this 
hand attire ourselves with the sun of righteousness'. 
Wherefore I declared unto you that this faith must not be 
a bare conceit, floating in the brain ; not a device of our 
own. The Devil taking hold on this, would soon lead a 
man into a fool's paradise. To say I am God's child, and 
sure I shall be saved, I am persuaded so ; this the Devil 
would say amen to, and would be glad to rock men asleep 
in such conceits. Such are like the foolish virgins, 
" that went to buy oil for their lamps;" and were per- 
suaded they should come soon enough to enter with the 
bridegroom ; but their persuasion was groundless, and 
they were shut out. So such groundless persuasions and 
assurances in a man's soul, that he is the child of God, 
and shall go to heaven, is not faith ; thou mayest carry 
this assurance to hell with thee : this faith is not faith ; 
" for faith comes by hearing," and that not of every 
word or fancy, but by hearing the word of truth. Faith 
must not go a jot further than the word of God goeth. 
If thou hast an apprehension, but no warrant for it out of 
the word of God, it is not faith, for it is said, " After 
you heard the word of truth you believed." So that we 
must have some ground for it out of the word of truth, 
otherwise it is presumption, mere conceits, fancy, and not 

Now I shewed unto you the last time, how this might 
be ; for while a man is an unbeliever, he is wholly defiled 
with sin, he is in a most loathsome condition ; he is in his 
blood, filthy, and no eye pities him. And may one fasten 
comfort on one in such a condition, on a dead man ? And 
this I shewed you was our case: when faith comes to us, 
it finds no good thing in us, it finds us stark naked, and 
stark naught : yet there is a word for all this to draw us 
unto Christ, from that miserable ocean in which we are 
swimming unto perdition, if God catch us not in his net. 
Hearken we therefore to God's call : there is such a thing 

<: Make. chap. 4. ver. 2. 


as this calling. God calls thee and would change thy 
condition, and therefore offers thee his Son. Wilt thou 
have my Son ? Wilt thou yield unto me ? Wilt thou be 
reconciled unto me ? Wilt thou come unto me ? And 
this may be preached to the veriest rebel that is. It is 
the only word whereby faith is vprought. It is not by 
finding such and such things in us beforehand ; no, God 
finds us as bad as bad may be, when he proiFers Christ 
unto us. He finds us ugly and filthy, and afterwards 
washes us, and makes us good. It is not because I found 
this or that good thing in thee, that I give thee interest 
in my Son, take it not on this ground. No, he loved us 
first, and when we were defiled he washed us from our 
sins in his own blood"*. Now there is a double love of 
God towards his creatures. 

1. Of commiseration. 

2. Of complacency. 

That of commiseration is a fruit of love which tenders 
and pities the miserable state of another. 

But now there is another love of complacency, which 
ariseth from a likeness between the qualities and manners 
of persons, for like will to like : and this love God never 
hath but to his saints after conversion, when they have 
his image enstamped in them, and are reformed in their 
understandings and wills, resembling them in both, then, 
and not till then bears he this love towards them. Be- 
fore, he loves them with the love of pity: and so God 
loved the world, that is, with the love of commiseration, 
that he sent his only Son, that whosoever believed in him 
might not perish, but have everlasting life. And there- 
fore he said in the prophet Isaiah : " In° his love and in 
his pity he redeemed them." 

Now we come to the point of acceptation : the word is 
free, and it requires nothing but what may consist with 
the freest gift that may be given. Although here be 
something that a man may startle at. 

Obj. Is there not required a condition of faith, and a 
condition of obedience ? 

"i Rev. chap. 1. ver. 5. « Chap. 63. ver. 9. 


Sol. Neither of these, according to our common under- 
standing, do hinder the fulness and freedom of the grace 
of the Gospel. 

1. Not faith, because faith is such a condition, as re- 
quires only an empty hand to receive a gift freely given. 
Now doth that hinder the freeness of the gift, to say, you 
must take it? Why, this is requisite to the freest gift 
that can be given. If a man vrould give something to a 
beggar, if he would not reach out his hand and take it, 
let him go without it, it is a free gift still ; so that the con- 
dition of faith is such a condition as requires nothing but 
an empty hand, to receive Christ. 

2. Obedience hinders it not. I am required, may some 
say, to be a new man, a new creature, to lead a new life : 
I must alter my course : and is not this a great clog and 
burden ? And do you account this free ? When I must cru- 
cify lusts, mortify passions, &c. Is this free, when a man 
must renounce his own will ? Yes ; it is as free, as free 
may be ; as I shewed you the last time. The very touch- 
ing, and accepting of Christ implies an abnegation of 
former sinfulness, and a going off from other courses that 
are contrary to him. If the king give a pardon to a noto- 
rious rebel for treason, so that now he must live obedient 
as a subject, the king need not in regard of himself to 
have given the pardon ; if he give it, it takes not from its 
freeness, that he must live like a subject afterwards ; the 
very acceptance of the pardon implies it. 

But now to declare faith, and to open the mystery 
thereof. Faith is a great thing, it is our life ; our life 
stands in the practice of it : that as in the offering of 
Christ for us, there is given him a name above every 
name, " that at the name of Jesus every knee shall 
bow :" as, I say, in the purchasing of redemption, so in 
the point of acceptation ; God hath given unto this poor 
virtue of faith a name above all names. Faith indeed, as 
it is a virtue, is poor and mean, and comes far short of 
love : and therefore by the apostle, love is many degrees 
preferred before faith, because love fills the heart, and 
faith is but a bare hand, it lets all things fall, that it may 


fill itself with Christ. It is said of the virgin Mary, 
" that God did respect the low estate of his handmaid :" 
so God respects the low estate of faith, that nothing is 
required, but a bare empty hand, which hath nothing to 
bring with it, though it be never so weak, yet if it have a 
hand to receive, it is " IdOTifiog^ Tricmg, a like precious 
faith," that of the poorest believer, and the greatest saint. 

Now that we may come unto the point, without any 
more going backwards. In the words read, there is the 
point of faith, and a thing God confirms it withal, a seal : 
" In whom also, after that you believed, you were sealed." 
Faith is of itself a thing unsealed : the sealing with the 
Jloly Spirit of promise is a point beyond faith ; it is a point 
of feeling, and not only of beheving of God's word, but a 
sensible feeling of the spirit : a believing in my soul, ac- 
companied with j oy unspeakable, and full of glory : of which 
sealing we shall speak more hereafter. Observe for the first. 

1. The object of it; "in whom you trusted." We speak 
of faith now as it justifies, as it apprehends Christ for its 
object : for otherwise faith hath as large an extent as all 
God's word. Faith hath a hand to receive, whatsoever 
God hath a mouth to speak. What is the object? "He 
in whom you trusted." It is a wonder to see how many 
are deceived, who make the forgiveness of sins to be the 
proper object of faith. A man may call, as long as he 
lives, for forgiveness of sins, yet, unless there be the first 
act, to lay hold on Christ, in vain doth he expect forgive- 
ness of sins. Until thou dost accept Christ for thy King 
and Saviour, thou hast no promise. We are never chil- 
dren of the promise, till we are found in him. The 
proper and immediate object of faith is, first Christ, 
and then God the Father by him : for faith must have 
Christ for its object. I must believe in none else but 
God, in and through Christ. Now that this is so, we 
may see in that famous place, 1 Peter, chap. III. ver. 
21. When he had spoken of the precious blood of 
Christ, " the Lamb without blemish," he goes on, and 

' 2 Peter, chap. 1. ver. 1. 


shews, " that he was manifested in those last times, 
for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised up 
Christ from the dead, and gave him glory, that your 
faith and hope might be in God." There is no true be- 
lieving in God the Father, but by the Son. The proper 
object of hope, and faith, is God, and he that doth be- 
lieve, or hope, or trust in any thing else, there is idolatry 
in it ; we believe in God by him : so that the primary 
object of faith is Christ. " Ye^ are the children of God 
by faith in Jesus Christ.'' What is my faith then ? If 
thou wilt be the child of God, receive, hold Christ Jesus, 
accept him for thy Saviour, and for thy Lord : he is the 
proper object of thy faith. Again, you must have Christ 
Jesus, and him crucified, that should be the highest 
knowledge in our account, " to know Christ and him 
crucified," and by it to accept him. Hereupon the 
apostle to the Romans, when he speaks of faith, makes the 
object of it Christ, and Christ crucified : " Whom^ God 
hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his 
blood ; to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins 
that are past through the forbearance of God." Whatso- 
ever then thou findest in Christ, is an object of thy faith. 
The point is, " He' who eats my flesh, and drinks my 
blood," that is, he who receiveth me, and makes me as his 
meat and drink, " dwelleth in me and I in him." Compare 
this, Romans, chap. IH. ver. 25. with Romans, chap. V. 
ver. 9. for it is wo^th comparing. We are said to be 
"justified by his blood, Romans, chap. V. ver. 9. " by 
faith in his blood," Romans, chap. III. ver. 25. Now 
both these come to one, and they resolve the point, 
and clear the question, whether faith in itself, as a vir- 
tue doth justify, or in respect of its object ? surely it is in 
respect of the object. You that have skill in philosophy, 
know, that heat, considered as a quality, its effects are not 
so great ; but if considered as an instrument, it transcends 
the sphere of its own activity ; it doth wonders ; for it is 
the principle of generation, and many other strange effects. 

' Gal. chap. 3. ver. 26. ■■ John, chap. 6, ver, 56. 

' Rom. chap. 3. ver. 25. 


So here, take faith as a vh-tue, arid it is far short of love : 
but consider it as an instrument, whereby Christ is ap- 
plied, and it transcends, it works wonders, beyond its 
proper sphere : for the meanest thing it lays hold on, 
is the Son of God. " He that hath the Son, hath life." 
Some would think this an hard kind of speech, when 
we are justified by faith, we are justified by Christ, 
apprehended by faith: and yet that place is clear, to 
be justified by his blood : and faith in his blood be- 
comes one faith. As if a man should say, I was cured 
by going to the bath : so faith comes unto Christ ; faith is 
the legs. A man is not said properly to be cured, by 
going to the bath, nor justified by coming to Christ by the 
legs of faith : but the applying of the bath, the coming to 
Christ, and applying of his virtue, to make him the object 
of my faith, this is the way to be justified. As it is not the 
making and preparing of a plaster, that cures, but the 
applying it ; so that this concludes this point, that the 
true object of faith is Christ crucified, and God the Fa- 
ther in, and by him. Here then is the point, thou must 
not look for any comfort in faith, till thou hast Christ ; 
and to think thou shalt ever have any benefit by God, till 
thou hast Christ, thou deceivest thyself. It is impossible 
for a man to receive nourishment by his bread and drink, 
till he partake of it in the substance : so thou must par- 
take of Christ, before thou canst receive any nourishment 
by him. Christ saith not, thou must have forgiveness of 
sins, or thou must have my Father's favour, but take my 
body and blood, take me crucified. Buy the field, and 
the treasure is thine : but thou hast nothing to do with 
the treasure, till thou gettest the field. This is prefer- 
ment enough, to have the Lord's promise to Abraham : " I 
am thy exceeding great reward : I am my well beloved's, 
and my well beloved is mine." There is a spiritual match 
betwixt Christ and thee : there are many, who are matched 
with Christ, and yet know not how rich they are : when a 
man reckons of what he shall get by Christ only, when all 
his thoughts are on that, he marrieth the portion, and not 
the person: thou must set thy love on Christ's person. 


and then having him, all that he hath is thine : how rich 
Christ is, so rich art thou : he must first be thine. " He 
that hath the Son, hath life," but the Son must first be 
had. Is there any now in this congregation, who is so 
hardhearted, as to refuse such a gift as this ? When God 
shall give thee his Son, if thou wilt take him, is there any 
so prophane, as with Esau to sell his birthright. To 
pursue the poor pedling things of this life, and refuse sal- 
vation, so high a gift? A gift which is not given to an- 
gels, they think it an honour to wait at the Lord's table : 
they have not this precious food given to them ; they ne- 
ver taste it : and therefore many Christians, on serious 
consideration, would not change their estate for the estate 
of angels. Why ? Because hereby Christ is my husband, 
I am wedded to him, he is bone of my bone, and flesh of 
my flesh, which privilege the angels are not capable of. 
Our nature is advanced above the angelical nature : for 
we shall sit and judge the world with Christ, judge the 
twelve tribes of Israel : and what an high preferment is 
this ? Nay, observe this, and take it for a rule. Never 
beg of God pardon for thy sins, till thou hast done this 
one thing, namely, accepted of Christ from God's hands. 
For thou never canst confidently ask any thing till thou 
hast him : " for all the promises of God are in him, yea, and 
amen." This may serve for the object of faith: to shew 
that the primary object is Christ crucified, and God by 
him. We come now to declare ; 

2. The acts of faith what they are, and there is some 
intricacy in that too : there is much ado made in what part, 
and power of the soul faith is : we must not proportionate 
the act of faith according to our own fancy. For it is no 
faith, but as it hath relation to the word : now look, how 
is the word presented : " After you heard the word of 
truth, the Gospel of your salvation." Now the word is 
presented under a double respect. 

1 . It is presented sub ratione veri ; " after you had heard 
the word of truth ;" and there comes in the understanding. 

2. Then sub ralione boni, as a good word, that so we 
should lay hold on it, and here comes in the will. For the 

184 sf;rmons. 

will, we say, challenges that which is good, for its object : 
now the Gospel of salvation is a good word, " it™ is glad 
tidings worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came 
into the world to save sinners." And now as the word is 
presented, as a good word, so must my act of faith be an- 
swerable unto it. See the act of faith answering hereto : 
" These" all died in faith, not having received the pro- 
mises." What did their faith to them? It made them 
"seethe promises afar off, and they wei-e persuaded of 
them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were 
strangers and pilgrims in the earth." So that by compa- 
ring place with place, it appears that first this Gospel was 
presented as the word of truth, they were persuaded of it. 
It is the first act of faith, to persuade men of the truth of 
the word : and then, as it is a good word, they embraced 
it : these are the two arms of faith ; as true, it persuades 
me ; as good, I embrace it. We must not now be too 
curious in bringing in philosophical disputes, whether one 
virtue may reside in two faculties ; whether faith may re- 
side in the understanding, and the will. The truth is, 
these things are not yet agreed upon ; and shall we trou- 
ble ourselves with things not yet decided in the schools, 
as, whether the practical understanding and the will be 
distinct faculties or no ? The word of God requires that 
I should believe with my whole heart : as Philip told the 
Eunuch, " If" thou believest with all thy heart, thou may- 
est." If with the heart ; but with what faculties, may you 
say ? Why, I tell thee, believe with thy whole heart : 
and what ! shall I piece and divide the heart, when the 
whole is required ? Now, to come to those two : the word 
is presented, 

1 . As a true word. 

2. Then as a good word ; a word like gospel, like sal- 

1. As a true word. And the act of faith answering- 

■" 1 Tim. chap. 1. ver. 15. " Heb. chap.ll. ver. 13. 

"■ Acts, chap. 8. ver. 37. 

SERMONS, 18.5 

thereto, is called in Scripture yvuKjiq and tiriyvwai^, know- 
ledge and acknowledgment''. 

1. Knowledge, that is a thing requisite: why? be- 
cause, if there be a remedy able to cure a man's disease, 
if he do not know it, what is he the better for it? Know- 
ledge is so essential unto faith, that without it there can be 
no faith. In John, chap. XVII. ver. 3. the terms are con- 
founded, the one put for the other : " This is life eternal, to 
know thee to be the true God ; and whom thou hast sent :" 
to know thee, that is, to believe in thee ; because know- 
ledge is so essential to belief, as one cannot be without the 
other : thou canst not believe what thou hast never heard 
of: " I know''," saith Job, " that my Redeemer liveth ;" 
that is, I believe he liveth. And hereupon it is said, 
" By' his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify 
many." Knowledge is an act, primarily requisite to faith ; 
to be justified by his knowledge is to be justified by faith 
in his blood. This then is the first thing, that I know it 
to be as true as gospel ; then comes the acknowledgment. 

2. The acknowledgment. " We' know, and are assured 
that thou art that Christ." This is an assurance ; I say 
not the assurance of my salvation, for that is another kind 
of thing : but an assurance that God will keep touch with, 
&c. will not delude me, but that if I take his Son, I shall 
have life, I shall have his favour. When God illuminates 
me, I find all things in him ; when I have him, I am made. 
When the understanding clearly apprehends this, then 
comes the next word, it is the Gospel of salvation, there 
being a knowing, and acknowledging, the act of the un- 
derstanding : then comes the will, and it being, 

2. Propounded as a good word ; then follows, 

1. Acceptation. 

2. Affiance. 

1. Acceptation, which receives Christ; "As' many as 
received him, to them he gave power to become the sons 

P Tit. chap. 1. ver. 1. 1 Pet. chap. 1. ver. 3. and chap. 2. ver. 18. 
1 Job, chap. 19. ver. 25. ■■ Isaiah, chap. 53. ver. 11. 

' John, chap. 6. ver. 69. ' John, chap. 1. ver. 12. 


of God, even to them that beUeve on his name." Then a 
man resolves, I vrill take God on his word : thereupon 

A resting or relying on God, which is a proper act of 
faith. I need no other place than Romans : " Whosoever" 
shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved : But how 
shall they call on him, on whom they have not believed ?" 
that is, on whom they have not reposed their confidence. 
Mark the apostle: " How shall they call on him, on whom 
they have not believed V That faith which was the ante- 
cedent, must be in the conclusion ; therefore our faith is a 
relying on God : and so in this place this trust is made 
the same with faith, as it is in the text, " in whom you 
trusted, after you had received the word of truth:" for 

our trust and belief there is the self same word, • Ni- 

mium ne crede colori : this credo is to have a great con- 
fidence in fleeting and fading things ; and so it is in justi- 
fying faith. " With^ respect to the unshaken tru1;hs of the 
incorruptible and unchangeable word of his, which liveth 
and abideth for ever." If I have a knowledge of God, and 
acknowledgment of him, and from my knowing, my will is 
conformed to accept Christ ; and if when I have accepted 
him, I will not part from him : this is faith, and if thou 
hast this faith, thou wilt never perish. Suppose thou ne- 
ver hadst one day of comfort all thy life long, yet my life 
for thine thou art saved. Perhaps by reason of thy igno- 
rance thou hast no feeling, yet if thou consent, thou art 
justified ; it is the consent makes the match. If thou consent 
to the Father, and take Christ the Son, know it, or know it 
not, thou hast him : though thou knowest not, whether thy 
sins are forgiven ; yet as long as thou keepest thy hold, 
all the Devil's temptations shall never drive thee from 
him ; thou art justified, and in a safe case, though igno- 
rance and other things in thee cause thee not to feel it, if 
thou layest hold on him for his sake, thou art appre- 

Obj. Now then this is an easy matter, you will say. 

" Rom. chap. 10. ver. 13. J 1 Peter, chap. 1. ver. 23. 


Sol. No so easy a matter as you guess it to be. It were 
easy indeed, were there nothing hut saying the word to 
make man and wife ; there are terms and conditions to be 
agreed upon. God casts not his Son away, he looks there 
shall be conditions on thy side ; he must be thy king, and 
head, if thou wilt have him to be thy husband. But what 
shall I get by him then, saith the wife ? Get ? there is 
no end of thy getting. " All'' is thine, Paul, ApoUos, 
Cepbas, life," &c. " Thou art Christ's and Christ is 
God's." Every man will take Christ thus for the better ; 
but there is somewhat else in the match. If thou wilt 
have him, thou must take him for better, for worse, for 
richer, for poorer. Indeed there are precious things pro- 
vided for you ; " It^ is your Father's good pleasure to give 
you the kingdom." You shall be heirs with Christ, but 
for the present, while you are in the Church militant, you 
must take up your cross; you must not look for great 
things in this world : in this world you must have tribula- 
tion, you must deny yourselves, and your own wills. 
What ? would you have Christ the wife, and you the hus- 
band ? No, if you think so, you mistake the match. 
Christ must be the husband and the head ; and as the wife 
promises to obey her husband, to stick to her husband 
in sickness and in health, and to forsake all others ; so 
Christ asketh, wilt thou have me ? if thou wilt, thou must 
take me on these terms, thou must take my cross with 
me, thou must deny thine own will ; yea, it may be thine 
own life also. Let a Christian consider all these things, 
these are the words, and these are the benefits, and then 
compare them together ; and then if he can say, I will have 
Christ however, for I shall be a saver by him : I will take 
him with all faults, and I know I shall make a good bar- 
gain, therefore I will have him on any terms, come 
what will ; when a man can have his will so perpendicu- 
larly bent on Christ, that he will have him, though he 
leave his skin behind him : there is a true acceptation of 
him. We must not here distinguish with the schools 

y 1 Cor. chap. 3. ver. 22, 23. 

' Luke, chap. 12. ver. 32. Rom. chap. 8. Ter. 17. 



about velleities, a general wishing and woulding, and true 
desires after Christ : wishers and woulders never thrive ; 
but there must be a resolution to follow Christ through 
thick and thin, never to part with him : a direct will is 
here required. And therefore Christ bids us consider 
beforehand what it will cost us. " If ^ any man come to 
me, and hate not father and mother, wife and children, 
and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Do not 
think that our Saviour here would discourage men from 
love. Doth the love teach us hatred ? The phrase in 
the Hebrew is " loving less," as it is said, " Jacob*" have I 
loved, and Esau have I hated :" that is, loved less. If a 
man hath two wives, one beloved, and the other hated, 
and they have borne children, both the beloved and the 
hated : by the hated is not meant, that the man hated one 
wife, but, less loved her than the other. So " if any man 
come to me, and hate not father and mother ;" that is, if 
he love not all less than me ; and that it is so, we may see 
it expounded by our Saviour. " He" that loveth father 
and mother more than me, is not worthy of me." There 
Christ expounds it. He that will follow Christ in calm 
weather and not in a storm, is not worthy of him ; " Which"^ 
of you intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, 
and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish 
it ?" What is that to the purpose ? " So'' likewise who- 
soever he be of you, that forsaketh not all that he hath, 
cannot be my disciple." It is a small matter to begin to 
be a Christian, unless you consider what it will cost you ; 
" Do' you think it a small matter to be a king's son ?" think 
not on so great a business without consideration what it 
will cost you. It will be the denying of your own wills. 
You must be content to follow naked Christ nakedly ; fol- 
low him in his persecution and tribulation, in his death 
and suftering, if thou will be conformable to him in glory. 
When this case comes, it makes many draw back, as the 
rich man in the Gospel, when he must forsake all, he 

» Luke, chap. 24. ver. 26. "J Deut. chap. 21. vev. 15. 

" Matt, chap. 10. vei. 37. ' Luke, chap. 14. ver. 28. 

" Luke, chap. 14. ver. 33. < 1 Sam. chap. IS. ver. 23. 


drew back. When troubles arise, many are offended ; 
so when it comes to a point of parting, they go back. 

Now we come to speak one word of the sealing of the 
text. " After that ye believed, ye were sealed with the 
Holy Spirit of promise." This sealing, which is a point of 
feeling, is a distinct thing of itself from faith ; no part of 
faith. If I have faith, I am sure of life, though I never 
have the other : these are two seals. We put our seals to 
the counterpart that is drawn betwixt God and us. 

The first seal is our faith. I have nothing but God's 
word, and indeed I have no feeling, yet I venture my sal- 
vation, and trust God upon his bare word. I will pawn all 
upon it ; " Hes that hath received his testimony," that is, in 
effect, he that believeth, saith John, " hath set to his seal 
that God is true." If men doubt, and trust God no fur- 
ther than they see him, it is not faith. But when God 
gives me a good word, though I am in as much distress as 
ever, yet I trust, though it be contrary to all sense, or out- 
ward seeming, yet I put to my seal, and trust him still. 

Then comes God's counterpart. God being thus ho- 
noured, that I believe his word, though contrary to all 
sense and feeling, even his bare word ; then God sets to 
his seal, and now the word comes to particularizing. Be- 
fore it was in general, now it comes and singles out a man ; 
" Say*" thou unto my soul, that I am thy salvation," that 
is, as I did apply the generality of God's word unto mine 
own case to bear me up against sense, and feeling : then 
comes the Spirit of God, and not only delivers generali- 
ties, but saith unto my soul, " I am thy salvation." This 
is called in Scripture a manifestation, when God manifests 
himself unto us ; as in Isaiah, chap. LX. ver. 16. " Thou 
shalt suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the 
breast of kings, and thou shalt know that I the Lord am 
thy Saviour and thy Redeemer," that is, when we have 
made particular application by faith, God will put to 
his seal, that I shall know that God is my strength and my 
salvation : I shall know it ; " He' that loveth me shall 

E John, chap. 3. ver. 33. ^ Psalm 35. ver. 3. 

• John, chap. 14. ver. 21. 



be loved of my father, and I will manifest myself unto 
him." Christ comes and draws the curtains, and looks on 
with the gracious aspect of his blessed countenance. When 
this comes, it cheers the heart, and then there are secret 
love-tokens pass betwixt Christ and his beloved. " To*^ 
him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, 
and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new 
name written, which no man knows, save he that receives 
it ;" that is, there is a particular intimation that I shall 
know of myself more than any other ; more than all the 
world beside : " It^ is such a joy as the stranger is not 
made partaker of," such joy as is glorious™ and unspeak- 
able, such peace as passeth" all understanding. One 
minute of such joy surpasseth all the joy in the world be- 

Now consider, sure there is such a thing as this joy, ov 
else do you think the Scripture would talk of it, and of the 
Comforter, the Holy Ghost, " by° whom we know the 
things that are freely given us of God." There is a ge- 
neration in the world, that hath this joy, though you that 
know it not, do not, nor cannot believe it ; there is a righ- 
teous generation that have it : and why dost thou not try 
to get it ? do as they do, and thou mayest obtain it like- 
wise ; " Thei" secrets of the Lord are revealed to them 
that fear him, and he will shew them his covenant." 
These are hidden comforts ; do you think God will give 
this joy to those that care not for him ? No, the way is to 
seek God, and to labour to fear him. The secrets of the 
Lord are revealed to such, and such only as fear him ; 
do as they do, and follow their example, and thou mayest 
have it likewise. 

Obj. Many have served Christ long, and have not 
found it. 

Sol. It is long of themselves ; you are straitened in 
your own bowels, or else, open your mouths wide, and God 
will fill them. No wonder that we are so barren of these 

■' Rev. cliap. 2. ver.'17. ' Prov. chap. 14.ver. 10. 

"' 1 Peter, chap. 1. ver. S. " Fhilipp. chap. 4. ver. 7. 

" 1 Cor. chap. 2. ver. 12. P Psalm 25. ver. 14. 


comforts, when we be straitened in ourselves. There is 
a thing wondrously wanting amongst us, and that is medi- 
tation. If we could give ourselves to it, and go up with 
Moses to the mount, to confer with God, and seriously 
think of the price of Christ's death, and of the joys of hea- 
ven, and the privileges of a Christian ; if we could fre- 
quently meditate on these, we should have these sealing 
comforts every day, at least oftener. This hath need to 
be much pressed upon us ; the neglect of this makes lean 
souls. He that is frequent in that, hath these sealing days 
often. Couldst thou have a parley with God in private, 
and have thy heart rejoice with the comforts of another 
day; even whilst thou art thinking of these things, Christ 
would be in the midst of thee. Many of the saints of God 
have but little of this, because they spend but few hours 
in meditation. And thus, as this hour would give leave, 
have we proceeded in this point. 




1 Cor. chap. II. ver. 29. 

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to 
to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 

I HAVE heretofore declared unto you the ground of our 
salvation, and have represented unto you, first, Christ 
offered for us, and secondly, Christ offered to us. Now 
it hath pleased Almighty God, not only to teach us this 
by his word ; but because we are slow of heart to believe 
and conceive the things we hear, it pleases his glorious 
wisdom, to add to his word his sacraments, that so what 
we have heard with our ears, we may see with our eyes, 
being represented by signs. 

There is a visible voice whereby God speaks to the 
eyes : and therefore we find in Exodus, chap. IV. ver. 8. 
God bids Moses that he should use signs, saying, " It 
shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither 
hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe 
the voice of the latter sign." Signs you know are the ob- 
ject of the eye, and yet see, they have, as it were, a visible 
voice, which speaks to the eye. Now God is pleased to 
give us these signs for the helping, 

1. Of our understanding: The eye and the ear are the 
two learned senses as we call them, through which, all 
knowledge is conveyed into the soul : and therefore, that 
we may have a more particular knowledge of Christ, God 
hath not only by his ministery given us audible voices, but 
visible also in his sacraments, by which, as by certain 
glasses, he represents to us the mystery of Christ Jesus 
offered for us, and offered to us. And hence is it that 


Paul calls the eyes to witness, as well as the ears : " O'' ye 
foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you that you 
should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ 
hath been evidently set forth, crucified amongst you '." 
That is, before whose eyes Christ hath been crucified, not 
by hear-say only, but evidently before your eyes, not in 
any foolish crucifix, with the papists, but in the blessed sa- 
crament, wherein he is so represented, as if his soul were 
before our eyes poured out to death : so that by these sa- 
craments, heavenly things are, as it were, clothed in earth- 
ly garments, and this is the first reason, viz. to help our 
understanding : but besides he doth it, 

2. To help our memory; we are apt to forget those won- 
derful things Christ hath wrought for us. And therefore, 
verses 24, and 25. of this chapter, we are bid to eat his 
body, and drink his blood in remembrance of him. To 
take the signs as tokens of him ; the sacrament is, as it were, 
a monument and pillar raised up, to the end, that when- 
ever we see it, we should remember the Lord's death un- 
til he come. It is said, that Absalom in his life time had 
taken, and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the 
king's dale ; for he said, " I* have no son to keep my name 
in remembrance." He would fain be remembered, but 
he had no child, whereby he might live, after he was dead : 
therefore he raises it, and calls it after his own name, " Ab- 
salom's place, as it is this day :" that so, as often as any 
came that way, they might remember him. Christ doth 
thus by his sacrament and erects it as a monument for the 
remembrance of his death, and, as it were, calls it by his 
own name, saying, " This is my body, and this is my 
blood :" that whenever we see them, we may call to mind, 
Christ offered for us, and to us. But that I may apply 
this my doctrine to the ears also, know that, 

3. These signs are for the strengthening of our faith, 
and therefore it is considered as a seal. " Abraham" re- 
ceived the sign of circumcision, as a seal of the righteous- 
ness of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised." 

» Gal. chap. 3. ver. ]. '■2 Sara. chap. 18. ver. IS. 

"^ Rom. chap. 4. ver. 11. 



It helps our understanding by being a sign, and is a con- 
firmation, a seal, by virtue whereof Christ is passed, and 
made over to us, so that we have as true an interest and 
right to him, as to our meat and drink : yea, he becomes 
as effectually ours, for every purpose in our spiritual life, 
as our meat and drink doth for our corporal. To which 
end these elements are changed spiritually in their na- 
tures ; not in substance, but in use, so that which was but 
now a common bread, becomes as far different as heaven 
is from earth, being altered in its use. For instance, the 
wax whereby the king passes over an inheritance to us, 
and by which conveyances of our estates are made, that 
wax is but as another piece of wax differing nothing from 
that which is in the shop, till the king hath stamped it 
with his seal : but being once sealed, one would not give it 
for all the wax in the kingdom, for now it serves to ano- 
ther use ; so is it here in these elements ; but stiU know, 
the difference is not in the matter, or substance, but in 
the use. And this is the reason why this blessed bread 
and wine is termed a communion, namely, because it is an 
instrument whereby Christ instates me into himself, and 
whereby I have fellowship, and communion with him. 
In the words then we have these particulars, viz. 

1. A sin. If any man shall presume to eat that bread, 
or drink that cup unworthily. It is a dangerous thing, a 
great sin to eat and drink at the Lord's table in an un- 
worthy manner. 

2. A punishment. He eats and drinks damnation, or 
judgment unto himself. So that now what was ordained 
to life, and appointed to be a seal and confirmation of God's 
love and favor is now changed and become a seal and con- 
firmation of God's anger and indignation. The unworthy 
receiving of it makes it prove clean contrary to what it was 

3. A reason ; because he discerns not the Lord's body, 
but takes them as ordinary things, deeming the elements 
not different from the bread and wine which we have at 
our tables, not knowing that they are the dishes wherein 
Christ is served in unto us, that by these the greatest gift 



is given us, and nourishment conveyed, for the maintenance 
of our spiritual life. This life was given us in baptism, 
but in and by these signs is conveyed spiritual nourish- 
ment for the continuance and maintenance of it, for the 
strengthening of our faith, and making us daily stronger 
and stronger to fight the Lord's battles : now, when 
we discern not this, nor by the eye of faith see Christ 
Jesus, crucified for us, and by these elements conveyed 
unto us, but take them hand over head without any consi- 
deration, we receive them unworthily, and a fearful indig- 
nity is offered unto Christ, which he will certainly re- 
venge. I will then 

1. Shew in general what it is to eat worthily. 

2. What it is to eat judgment ; and then 

3. I will come to the particulars, how this sin may be 
avoided, and what the particulars are wherein the sin con- 

1. Concerning the first, What it is to eat unworthily. 

Obj. And here may some say, is there any of us who 
can avouch that he eats and drinks at the Lord's table 
worthily ? is there any so presumptuous as to say, that he 
is worthy to eat Christ's flesh, and drink his blood ? As for 
bodily food and entertainment, we are unworthy to pre- 
sent them to him ; the centurion could say, " I am not 
worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof:" How 
then comes this to pass, that he which eats and drinks 
the Lord's body unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to 
himself? If we are not worthy to present bodily food unto 
him ; can we be worthy to receive spiritual from him ? 

Sol. But here understand what is set down ; worthi- 
ness is not always taken for a matter of merit, or propor- 
tion of worth between the person giving and receiving ; 
but in Scripture it is often taken for that which is meet, 
fitting, and beseeming ; and in this sense the apostle uses 
it : " If* it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me." 
If it be meet : the word in the original is a^iov, or wor- 
thy, which is here rightly translated meet ; so in that ser- 
mon of St. John Baptist : " brings forth fruits meet for re- 

^ 1 Cor. chap. IC. ver. 4. = Matt. chap. 3. ver. 8. 

O 2 



pentance ;" that is, fruits beseeming amendment of life. 
And in this sense are we said " to*^ walk worthy of God, 
who hath called us to his kingdom and glory." Worthy 
of God, that is, worthy of that calling God hath imparted 
to us. And therefore to use the similitude as I have else- 
where, if the king should vouchsafe to come into a sub- 
ject's house, and find all things fit and beseeming so great 
a majesty, that subject may be said to give the king wor- 
thy entertainment ; not that a subject is worthy to enter- 
tain his prince : but the meaning is, he provided all things, 
which were meet and fit for the entertainment of him. So 
is it here : if we prepare ourselves with such spiritual or- 
naments to entertain the King of Glory, as are requisite 
for those who approach his table, though our performan- 
ces come far short of the worth of his presence ; yet we 
may be said to eat his body, and drink his blood worthily. 
When the king in the Gospel had prepared his feast, two 
sorts of guests there were, who were unworthy. 

1. Those^ that made light of the invitation, who had 
their excuses, when they should come to the feast; one 
must go to his farm, another to try his oxen, &c. 

2. Others there were who came, and yet were unworthy 
guests, for coming unpreparedly ; for in the midst of the 
feast the king comes in to view his guests, and beholds a 
man that did not refuse to come, but yet came without his 
wedding garment, and so came unworthily for not coming 
preparedly. Ye see then there may be an unworthiness 
in those that do come, since they come unfitted and in a 
dress unbeseeming such a banquet. They are unworthy 
receivers of the Lord's body, and he accounts it an irreve- 
rent usage of him. In like manner may some say touching 
the ministery of the word ; May I not read a good sermon 
at home with as much profit ? What needs all this stir ? 
Why, here is the advantage and privilege you get in the 
public ministery of the word : God himself comes down, 
as a king amongst us, he views his guests, and considers, 
who comes with his wedding garment, who comes prepa- 

' 1 Thess. chap. 2. var. 12. e Luke, chap. 14. ver. IS. 


redly, Christ comes and looks on us, and where two 
or three are gathered together in his name, there he hath 
promised to be in the midst of them''. He walks in the 
midst of the golden candlesticks, the ministers of his word ; 
he takes a special view of those that come and frequent 
his ordinances, and is ready ever to reward them. You 
see then what it is to eat worthily ; it is to do it with that 
reverence, that is requisite where the King of Heaven is 
master of the feast. Now this being the sin, unmannerli- 
ness, and unprepared approaching his table : we come to 
the second thing, viz. 

2. The punishment: and that is a terrible one : " He 
that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation 
to himself:" damnation, that is somewhat hard, the word 
in the margin is better, Kplfia, judgment. True, there are 
such as so come, that they deserve to eat condemnation 
to themselves, as openly profane ones, in whom it is high 
treason, being God's vowed enemies, to take his privy 
seal, and put it to so vile a use : this, I say, deserves dam- 
nation ; but then others there are that have faith and re- 
pentance, and a portion in Christ, yet coming unworthily 
to this feast, eat judgment to themselves : that is, a judg- 
ment of chastisement. There is a twofold judgment. 

1. One of revenge : for such a person that puts God's 
seal to a wrong evidence, having no faith to make Christ 
his portion : in such a one it is high treason to put forth 
his hand to this tree of life. 

2. Another of chastisement, for such a one as hath re- 
pentance, and yet comes too unmannerly, and carries him- 
self too carelesly at the Lord's table : at this the apostle 
aims in the text; not at that judgment of condemnation, 
but at a judgment to prevent damnation ; and this appears 
in the words following, where we shall find the apostle re- 
counting up the particulars of this judgment of chastise- 
ment : " For' this cause many are weak, and sickly among 
you, and many sleep." Mark what is the judgment, he 
eats : why this ? he is cast upon his bed of sickness, into 

I" Matt. chap. 18. ver. 20. ' Ibid. ver. 30. 


a consumption perchance, or some other corporal disease ; 
a cause physicians seldom or never look into : they look 
to agues, colds, or the like ; they never once conjecture 
that their unworthy eating at the Lord's table cast them 
into the disease, and was the principal cause of the malady. 
Nay, death itself too often is the punishment of such bold 
attempts, so that all the physicians in the world cannot cure 
them. And thus God inflicts temporal judgments to free 
them from eternal, as appears farther in the thirty-second 
verse: " When we are judged, we are chastened of the 
Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world ;" 
that is, we undergo a judgment of chastisement, to prevent 
the judgment of condemnation : which, though it be a sharp 
and bitter pill, yet by the mercy of God we eat that where- 
by damnation is prevented. This judgment of condemna- 
tion is the portion of the profane person, who dares to 
meddle with that which belongs not to him, against whom 
the angel of the Lord with a flaming sword stands to keep 
the way of this tree of life. Those that come that have 
faith, yet coming unpreparedly, they eat judgment too, 
yet by God's mercy it is that which preserves them from 
the damnation of the soul. 

Now before I come to the particulars, note how careful 
God is, that spiritual exercises shoul be spiritually per- 
formed. He is very angry, when he sees a spiritual duty 
carnally undertaken. "For this cause many are sick," 
that is, because you that are believers, have faith, repen- 
tance, and a portion in your Saviour, come irreverently, 
come unpreparedly, perform a spiritual work so carnally. 
We have precedents hereof in Scripture: and chiefly two: 
first, for circumcision''. At the the twenty-first verse, God 
sent Moses on a message into Egypt, and in the twenty- 
fourth verse, the text saith: "It came to pass by the way 
in the inn, that the Lord met him, and sought to kill him." 
This is very strange, this hath no dependance on that 
which goes before : a strange accident, God sought to kill, 

^ Exod. chap. 4. ver. 24. 



although he, but a little before, had sent him into Egypt, 
and told him he would be with him. Why? what should 
he do then ? how should the message be done, and ful- 
filled.'' But what was the reason hereof? It is not ex- 
pressed, yet we may gather from the following words, that 
it was by reason his son was uncircumcised, for verse 25. 
" Zippora took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of 
her son, arid cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody 
husband hast thou been unto me :" God would have smit- 
ten him for the neglect of the sacrament of circumcision. 
Another instance we have for the passover in Hezekiah's 
time. " A'' multitude of the people, yea many of Ephraim 
and Manasseth, Issachar and Zebulon had not cleansed 
themselves, yet did they eat the passover otherwise than 
it was written." There were many likewise in the con- 
gregation that were not sanctified; and therefore God 
punished them. It is not set down in what manner God 
punished them, yet by the consequent it may be gathered 
that it was by sickness, for the next words are to that ef- 
fect : " Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The Lord par- 
don every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the 
Lord God of his father, though he be not cleansed ac- 
cording to the purification of the sanctuary ; and the Lord 
hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people." So that 
you see for this God smites a person, and it is to be feared 
lest judgments temporal fall on the whole nation for this 
fault ; that he even smites not a few of the people to death. 
But we pass from this, and come to the particulars. 

3. The particulars of this offence, and wherein it con- 
sists, that a man comes unworthily, that so we may know 
whether we are guilty of the crime. Know therefore 
that there are two sorts, that come to the communion. 

First, those to whom the business doth not belong, that 
have nothing to do with the thing, as openly profane 

Secondly, such as have interest in the matter, but yet 
come unpreparedly, and in an unbeseeming manner ; the 

" 2 Chion. chap. 30. ver. 17, 18. 


former take part in the sign, but enjoy not the thing signi- 
fied : and the latter coming unpreparedly, depart without 
the comfort which otherwise they might have. Now mark 
to whom Christ would say, if he were now coming to judg- 
ment in the clouds, to whom I say, if he were now com- 
ing in the clouds, he would say, " Come^ ye blessed of my 
Father, inherit a kingdom prepared for you from the be- 
ginning of the world ;" to them he would likewise say, 
Come to my table, come to this banquet, partake of my 
body and blood; and to as many as he would say, "Depart 
from me ye cursed into everlasting flames," to so many 
would he say. Go you from my table, come not near. 

Now there are two sorts of people, to whom, if the 
Lord Jesus were coming in the clouds to judgment, he 
would say, " Depart into everlasting flames ;" and those 
are these that " know" not him, and obey not the Gospel 
of Jesus Christ." Now to these sorts of people Christ 
would say, if he were on earth. Depart from my table, 
meddle not with those mysteries. And they are, 

1. Those that know not God: and indeed it is a most 
unworthy thing for an ignorant man to come to God's 
table. Know, whoever thou art, that art such an one, 
that it belongs not to thee, it was appointed for an under- 
standing people. The Lord invites not fools and block- 
heads to his mysteries. God will not know them that 
know not him. If thou knowest not what the signs are, 
or the relation of them, to the thing signified, hast no in- 
sight, or understanding of the mysteries : know that it is 
to no other purpose to thee to come to the sacrament, 
than if thou wentest to a mass, to see the gesticulations, 
elevations, or if thou wentest to see a play, not knowing to 
what end and purpose it was done. Such a one is not a 
friend of God, but an enemy that shall be destroyed in 
everlasting fire, that knows not him. Deceive not then 
yourselves, but seriously weigh it, and consider what a 
judgment falls on us for this. What an unworthy thing 
is it, when as in one month's space, or less, if a man had 

1 Matth. chap. 25. rer. 34. '" 2 Thass. chap. 1. ver. 18. 


any care, he might learn as much as would bring him to 
heaven. What saith the apostle ? " Some" have not the 
knowledge of God, I speak this to your shame." And a 
shameful thing it is indeed, when the knowledge of the 
principles of Christian religion may be had in so short a 
space, to be so grossly ignorant, as commonly many are. 
It is a most unworthy and a shameful thing to think the 
knowledge of Christ not worth thus much pains. Thou 
that carest not for the knowledge of God's ways, what 
hast thou to do to take his word into thy mouth, to tread in 
his courts ? I doubt not but very many here too are but 
babes in Christ. An ignorant person then cannot possibly 
come worthily ; for we are to come with faith ; and faith 
cannot be without knowledge. And hence are they joined 
both together : " By" his knowledge shall my righteous 
servant justify many." By his knowledge, not subjective, 
but objective, the knowledge of him : if thou knowest not 
him, his nature, and offices, the end of his offering himself, 
and wilt be still a mere ignoramus, come not to God's ta- 
ble, go to Nebuchadnezzar, and feed with him amongst the 
beasts*, thou hast nothing to do here : nay the very beasts 
among whom he fed wiU upraid thee ; " For* the ox know- 
eth his owner, and the ass his master's crib :" but thou art 
like stupid Israel, which did neither know, nor consider. 
This is the first sort. 

2. The second are those, that obey not the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ. They have wit enough, and can talk of re- 
ligion fast enough ; but where is the obedience is required ? 
I know the Lord gives me the proffer of Christ Jesus ; 
can I cast down my proud will, and submit it, lay down 
my stately plumes, and take him, not only as my priest, to 
sacrifice himself for me, but as my Lord, and my King to 
be guided, governed, and ruled by him ? when such a one 
comes that hath not the power of grace in him, who is 
filled with nothing but rebelhon and profaneness ; when 
such a one comes, and presumes to sit down at God's ta- 
ble : it is a most unworthy act ; it is more fit that such a 

" 1 Cor. chap. 15. ver. 34. " Isaiah, chap. 53. ver. 11, 

P Dan. chap. 4. yer. 33. i Isaiah, chap. 1. ver. 3. 


one should feed amongst the swine, than eat the body, 
and drink the blood of his Saviour. Nor is it an unwor- 
thy act for these only, but also for civil honest persons, 
though civility be a good stock whereon the science of 
grace may be grafted : but if a man had nothing besides 
what nature and education can teach, what moral philoso- 
phy can store us with, we have nothing to do at this table 
of the Lord. How can I dare presume to eat Christ's 
body, and drink Christ's blood, that am not acquainted 
with God, know not the principles of rehgion, and will not 
be swayed by him, nor be obedient unto his Gospel? 
These are the particulars then, which make a man an un- 
worthy receiver : first, when he is an ignorant person ; 
and secondly, when he will not obey the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ, such persons are to be discarded and cashiered ; 
they eat the judgment of condemnation unto themselves. 

But there are, as I shewed you, a second sort, that come, 
that have interest in the business ; such as have knowledge, 
grace and faith in Christ, and shall taste of the new wine 
with Christ, in the world to come, and be with Christ, 
which notwithstanding may eat and drink unworthily, and 
come impreparedly, and irreverently : whereby they lose 
that comfort that otherwise they might have : and these, 
though they eatnot the judgment of condemnation, yet they 
do the judgment of chastisement : they put God's seal to 
a blank, but the former sort put it to a false instrument : 
they put it to a blank, I say, and by that means lose much 
comfort, yea, temporal life itself too, perchance. They eat a 
judgment of chastisement ; by putting it thus to a blank they 
taste God's displeasure in sickness, weakness and death ; but 
I will shew you how you may avoid this : why, come worthily. 
Fit yourselves to the purpose, set to it, and thou shalt 
see, one communion wiU even bring thee to heaven. I say, 
if that thou couldst but at one communion fit thyself to 
come worthily, thou wouldst find exceeding comfort in it. 
Try the Lord once, and see what a mighty increase of 
grace this will bring unto thee. That you may know how 
you may come worthily, there are three things requisite to 
every worthy receiver at the Lord's table. 


1. Some things are requisite before the action be enter- 
prised, or else I shall come very unworthily. 

2. Some at the time, and in the very act of receiving. 

3. Others after the communion is ended. Many will be 
persuaded that there is some preparation to be used before- 
hand, but never do as much as dream of any after: where- 
as if a man neglect this, the Lord's meat is, as it were, lost 
in us. 

I. As for those things, which are requisite before we 
come to the Lord's table, they are these. 

1. A consideration, what need I have of the sacrament. 
Is there any such necessity of it ? Examine then, what 
need have I to eat my meat and receive my drink ? When 
we see God brings this before us, let us reason thus with 
ourselves ; it is as needful for the nourishment of my soul to 
receive the sacrament, as for my body to take meat and 
drink. This is that whereby we are spiritually strength- 
ened and enabled to hold out to the last. And here I will 
not stand to dispute the case, whether a man may fall from 
grace, or not. And no doubt, but he may : yet I say not, 
that he doth. I say, no doubt but he may ; and why ? 
There is such an opposition, and antipathy betwixt the 
flesh and the spirit, that did not God refresh the spirit 
now and then, it might be overborne by the bulk of our 
corruptions. Now God's ordinances are appointed to keep 
it in heart, and refresh it, as the sick spouse was "staid'' 
with apples, and comforted with flagons.'' And God hath 
appointed his sacrament of the Lord's supper to strength- 
en, and continue that life, which we received in baptism, 
as by spiritual nourishment. In baptism our stock of life 
is given us ; by the sacrament of the holy eucharist it is 
confirmed and continued. If a child be born only, and 
after birth not nourished ; there is none but will know 
what a death such a soul will die. It will quickly perish 
by famine. So it is here, unless Christ be pleased to nou- 
rish that Ufe, which he hath breathed into me in baptism, 
and by his ordinances to give me a new supply and addi- 

1 Cant. chap. 2, ver. 5. 


tion of grace ; I am a dead man, I am gone for ever, upon 
this ground, that I receive not the never perishing food, 
that endureth (as Christ who is himself that meat teacheth 
us) unto " everlasting Hfe'." Therefore upon examination, 
being conscious, and privy to the weakness of my faith, to 
the manifold imperfections of my spirit, to my want of know- 
ledge, the frailty of my memory, my often doubtings, the 
dangers of relapsing, and falling back in my Christian pro- 
gress, I cannot but apprehend, that it is no needless thing 
for me to come both often, and preparedly, to the Lord's 

2. The next action requisite before my coming to the 
sacrament, is the whetting of my appetite, and preparing 
of my stomach; I must come with an hungry desire, as a 
man that comes to his meat, that would live and be strong : 
we think meat very ill bestowed on him, that hath no sto- 
mach : unless we eat Christ's body, and drink his blood, 
we can have no spiritual hfe. All the question, and the 
main business is, whether I come hungry, and thirsty, or 
not, as an hungry and thirsty man, with an appetite after 
his meat, and Uquor ; longing after Christ, " as^ the hart 
after the water brooks.'' When a man comes dully, and 
as children that play with their meat, cares not whether 
he eats or not ; when a man comes, I say, without an ap- 
petite, it is time for God to take it away from him. It is 
an unworthy coming to come with an unprepared stomach, 
and without whetting our faith, to feed on Christ Jesus 

3. The third action requisite to a worthy comer, is 
cleansing of himself. I would fain come, may a man say, 
to the Lord's table, having such need of it, as I have, and 
having such an appetite, and desire to feed on Christ ; but 
I am to come before a great King, therefore I must " wash' 
mine hands in innocency." In the Gospel according to 
St. Mark, the Jews found fault with Christ's disciples, be- 
cause they came with unclean or common hands. For so 

' John, chap. 6. ver. 27. ' Psahn 42. ver. ) . 

' Psalm 26. ver. 6. 


the word signifies, and is so used by the apostles as equi- 
valent thereunto. " P have learned to call nothing com- 
mon or unclean." Now when I come to meet the Lord 
in his ordinances, I must " put'' off my feet, for the place 
where I stand is holy." " Wash^ your hands you sinners, 
and purify your hearts you double minded." The purify- 
ing of the soul is that which is required of every worthy 
communicant. We come now not to receive life, but 
strength ; and that it may strengthen us, we must of ne- 
cessity cleanse ourselves. A stomach over clogged with 
choler, whatever meat may be taken into it, it turns it into 
its own nature : so is it here, unless the vessel be clean, 
quodcunque infundis, acescit. Christ Jesus, the purest thing 
in the world, is to come into my soul, as into a sanctuary, 
and shall not I fit, trim and garnish it to receive him, but 
leave it as a pig-sty ? Know therefore, that thou comest 
unworthily when thou comest with unwashed hands. 
The^ people were to be sanctified when they came to re- 
ceive the law. And so must . we, if we will receive the 
benefit from the business in hand. But I cannot stand on 
all. I pass from this therefore, to the second thing I pro- 
posed ; and that was, 

II. Those things which were required of us in the action. 
And there we have the acts of the minister in the adminis- 
tration : I must not look on these as idle ceremonies, but 
as real representations, otherwise we take God's name in 
, vain. I must look upon the minister, who represents the 
person of Christ, and by the eyes of faith see Christ him- 
self offered for me, when I see the bread broken, the wine 
poured out. Whosoever, therefore, thou art, who wouldst 
worthily partake of Christ at the holy table, behold him 
offered to thee, when the minister bids thee take, and eat ; 
take, and drink. And when the minister bids thee take, 
know that in as good earnest as the minister offers thee 
the bread and wine, the Lord offers thee his Son, Christ 
Jesus. Take Christ my Son, dead, and crucified for thee. 

" Rom. chap. 14. ver. 14. " Exod. chap. 3. ver. 5. 

1 James, chap. 4. ver. S. » Exod. chap. 19. ver. 10. 


Consider, when thou seest the minister set the bread and 
wine apart, how God from all eternity set apart his Son 
for us : if we have not done this, we must do it. See the 
manner of the setting apart of the lamb, which was a 
type of Christ ; " In^ the tenth day of the month they 
shall take unto them every man a lamb, according to the 
house of their fathers :" this lamb was to be " set apart and 
taken out of the flock." And in the fifth verse : "It must 
be a lamb without blemish : then you shall keep it until 
the fourteenth day of the same month." From the tenth 
day to the fourteenth it was to be kept : this typified that 
Lamb of God, that was so set apart. Then was the Lamb 
to be killed : by whom ? by all the congregation of IsraeP. 
And thus was Christ to be singled out, and to be slain : 
Every mother's son had a hand in killing this Lamb of 
God. He is set apart to suffer for sinners, picked out as 
a single deer; which being designed to the game, the 
hounds will follow only, and no other. Thus was Christ 
hunted to death by one sorrow after another, till he gave 
up the ghost upon the cross. In the Gospel according to 
St. John, we read how the people took "branches" of 
palm trees," and went forth to meet Christ, and that was 
the day the lamb was set apart ; and he was so set apart, 
till the Jews' passover. This concerns me, saith Christ. 
Christ saw himself typified in the lamb that was set apart : 
observe then on that very day, " Father," saith he, " de- 
liver me from that hour." On that very day in the lamb 
he saw himself to be sacrificed by all the congregation of 
Israel. We were all of us actors in the business ; not one 
here, but had a hand in the offering up of the Son of God, 
in killing Christ Jesus. 

Thus for these actions of the minister, the setting apart 
of the bread and of the wine. Then follows the breaking 
of the bread, and the pouring out of the wine. At the 
breaking of the bread, consider Christ's flesh torn asun- 
der, all the lashes which made such scratches in his flesh, 

' Exod. chap. 12. ver. 3. '' Ibid. ver. 6. 

= John, chap. 12. ver. 12, 13. 


the ruptures which were made by the nails, and the spear 
that pierced his side. The breaking of him by his Fa- 
ther ; the word signifies, crushing him to powder : " God* 
would break him," saith the prophet, " even to powder." 
At the consideration hereof how should our faith, be 
stirred and set awake ! Thou takest God's name in vain, 
if with a dull eye thou canst see things, and not take it to 

The next action is the pouring out of the wine : " This 
is my blood," saith Christ, " drink you all of this." Dost 
thou see the wine poured out ? at that very instant, con- 
sider how much blood Christ spilt, how much he poured 
forth : and that not only in the very time of his passion, 
when he hung upon the cross, when-the spears pierced his 
sides, when the nails bored, and digged his hands and 
feet: but that which he shed in the garden in the cold win- 
ter time, when he shed great drops, great clots of blood, 
thickest blood that pierced his garment, and ran down 
. upon the ground. Consider how much blood he lost, 
when he was whipped, and lashed : when the spear came 
to the very pericardium ; thus let us weigh his torments, 
and it will be a means to make us much affected with his 
sufferings for us. 

But this is not all, there is another thing yet in the 
blood : this was but the outward part of his sufferings. 
Yet some there are, who are against Christ's sufferings in 
his soul ; if it were so, say they, then something either in 
the sacrifices of the old Testament or in the new Testa- 
ment, should signify it. Whatever such persons object 
against it, I am sure there was as much in the sacrifices 
of the old Testament, as could possibly be in a type to 
signify it. Now that I may make this to appear, know 
that in every sacrifice, there were two parts, or two things 
considerable, and those were the body and the blood : 
the whole was to be made a sacrifice, viz. both body and 
blood ; the body was to be burned, the blood to be poured 
forth : now nothing in a beast can signify the sufferings of 

^ Isaiah, chap. 53. ver. 10. 


Christ in soul, better than the pouring out of the blood". 
The blood was the life, and this is that which had a rela- 
tion to the soul, and was therefore, as in the same place 
appears, poured out as an atonement for the soul. And to 
this in our common prayers there is an allusion, viz. 
" Grant us gracious Lord so to eat the flesh of thy dear 
Son Jesus Christ and to drink his blood, that our sinful 
bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls 
washed through his most precious blood." And in Isaiah, 
chap. LIII. ver. 12. the metaphor holds : " He poured out 
his soul unto death for us." So that whatever some have 
fondly thought, it is evident and manifest that Christ suf- 
fered both in soul and body : both soul and body were 
made an offering for sin, in the fashion of sin who knew 
no sin. I should have gone fiirther, but the time cuts me 

' Lev. chap. 17. ver. 11. 



HEE. chap. IV. VER. 16. 

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, 
and find grace to help in time of need. 

In handling heretofore the doctrine of the conversion 
of a sinner, I declared and shewed you what man's misery 
was, and what that great hope of mercy is that the Lord 
proposeth to the greatest sinner in the world. I shewed 
unto you the means whereby we may be made partakers of 
Christ ; and that was by the grace of faith, which doth let 
fall all other things in a man's self, and comes with an 
open and empty hand, to lay hold on Christ, and fill itself 
with him. I shewed you also the acts of faith as it jus- 

And now, because it is a point of high moment, wherein 
all our comfort stands, and in which it lies, I thought 
good to resume it all again, so far as may concern our prac- 
tice, that we may see what the work of God's Spirit is from 
the first to the last, and the conversion of a sinner from the 
corruptions and pollutions of the flesh in which he wallowed ; 
and to this purpose have I chosen this place of Scripture, 
wherein we are encouraged by God's blessed word, that 
whatever we are, though accursed, and the greatest sinners 
in the world ; and that whatever we want, we should come 
to God's throne of grace. 

And we are to think that whatever sins are or have been 
committed, and though our sins are never so great, yet 
that they are not so great as the infiniteness of God's 
mercy ; especially having such,- not only an Intercessor, 
but Advocate to plead the right of our cause, so that 




Christ comes, and he pleads payment ; and that however 
our debts are great, and we run far in score, yet he is our 
ransom': and therefore now God's justice being satisfied, 
why should not his mercy have place and free course ? 
This is the great comfort that a Christian hath, that he 
may come freely, and boldly to God, because he comes 
but as for an acquittance of what is already paid. As a 
debtor will appear boldly before his creditor, when he 
knows his debt is discharged, he will not then be afraid 
to look him in the face. Now we may come and say, 
Blessed Father, the debt is paid, I pray give me pardon 
of my sins, give me my acquittance. And this, is that bold- 
ness and access spoken of: " In^ whom we have access 
by faith." 

Now that I may not spend too much time needlessly, 
come we to the ground and matter in the words : wherein 
there is, 

1 . A preparative grace. 

2. The act itself whereby we are made partakers of the 
grace of God. 

First, the preparatives are two, the law and the Gospel, 
and wrought by them. 
The first preparative. 

1. Wrought by the law. The law works in a time of 
great need, or rather by the operative power of the law 
convincing us of sin, we are made sensible of our need 
and deep poverty : this is the first preparative, for a man 
to be brought to see he stands in great need of God's 
mercy, and Christ's blood ; so that the sinner cries out. 
Lord, I sfand in great want of mercy. His eyes being 
thus opened, he is no longer a stranger at home, but he 
sees the case is wondrous hard with him ; so that he con- 
cludes, unless. God be merciful unto me in Christ, I am 
lost and undone for ever. This is the first preparative ; 
and till we come to it, we can never approach the throne 
of grace. The second is, 

2. Wrought by the Gospel : I see I stand in great 

' Rom. chap. 5. ver. 2. 



need; but by this second preparative we see a throne of 
grace set up, and that adds comfort unto me. If God 
had only a throne and seat of justice, I were utterly un- 
done ; I see my debt is extremely great ; but the Gospel 
reveals unto me, that God of his infinite mercy, hath 
erected a throne of grace, a city of refuge, that finding 
myself in need, my soul may fly unto. 

And now to fit us for this, God's blessed Spirit works 
by his word, to open unto us the rigour and strictness of 
the law, and our wants ; to enlighten our understandings, 
that we stand in great need ; to win our affection, and 
open the Gospel and its comforts. 

Therefore, first for the time of need, the law reveals 
unto us our woful condition, to be born in sin, as the 
Pharisee said, and yet not able to see it. Every man 
may say in generalities, I am a sinner ; yet to say, and 
know himself to be such a sinner as indeed he is, to stand 
in such need ; that he cannot do. This one would think 
to be a matter of sense, but unless God's Spirit open our 
eyes, we can never see ourselves to be such sinners as we 
are ; or else what is the reason that the child of God 
cries out more against his sin and the weight thereof after 
his conversion, than he did before ? What, are his sins 
greater or more, than they were formerly ? No, but his 
light is greater ; his eyes are opened, and now he sees 
more clearly what sin is. When the sun shines, and its 
rays come in, what a number of motes do we discover, 
which before we saw not ? Not as if the sun-beams made 
them, or the sun raised the dust ; no, there are here as 
many motes, and as much dust flying about, as if the sun 
shined here : what is the matter then ; why this ; the sun 
discovers them to us. So that here is the point, our sins 
in our souls are as motes in the air, and are not more than 
they were before conversion ; but we cannot see them, till 
the glorious beams of God's Spirit shine upon us. The 
sight of sin, and of the danger that comes by it, is the 
work of God's Spirit. The Spirit discovers sin unto us ; 
" When'' the spirit cometh, he shall convince the world of 

'' John, chap. 16. ver. S. 


212 SF.RMOXS. 

sin :" the word is eXty^n, the Spirit shall convince them : 
and the same word is used where faith is said to be 
" the"^ evidence of things not seen," £A.t-y;;^oc. Heretofore 
we had a slight imagination of our sins ; but to have our 
mouth stopped, and to be convinced, is not a work of 
flesh and blood, but of " God's" Spirit." Till we are 
awakened by his Spirit, we cannot see, nor feel, the moun- 
tains and heaps of sins, that lie upon our souls. Thou" 
art dead in sin. Thou art in bondage ; and to know it 
is a work of the Spirit, not of nature. The spirit of 
bondage, what is that? Why, however we are all bond- 
men, until the Son hath made us free, in a woful estate, 
slaves to sin and Satan ; yet till God's Spirit convince us, 
and shew it us, and make us know it, we shall sleep se- 
cure, are not afraid, but think ourselves the freest men in 
the world, and see not this to be a time of need. This 
therefore is the first preparative, when God brings his 
people by Mount Sinai : " For'' you are not come unto 
the mountain that may be touched, and that burned by 
fire, nor unto the blackness, and darkness, and tempest :" 
so. Mounts Sinai is made a figure of the law, which begets 
bondage. Not that mount which might be touched, and 
that burned with fire, where was the sound of the trum- 
pet, and voice of words, such a sound as never before was 
heard, nor never will be till one day we shall hear the 
same. The sound of the trumpet which sounded at the 
deliveryof the law"", in Exodus, where it is described ; for 
when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed 
louder and louder, that Moses heard, it was such a noise, 
a great noise at first, but it grew higher and higher, and 
at last it came to that height that it was almost incompre- 
hensible ; then Moses spake : and what spake he ? The Holy 
Ghost sets not down what he spake in that place. Look in 
Hebrews : " So' terrible was the voice, that Moses said, I ex- 
ceedingly fear and quake," such a kind of lightning and loud 

" Heb. chap. 11. ver. 1. ■* Rom. chap. 3. ver. 19. 

« Rom. chap. 8. f Heb. chap. 12. ver. 18. 

f Gal. chap. 4. ver. 25. *■ Exod. chap. 19. ver. 19. 
' Heb. chap. 12. ver. 21. 


\wice this was ; the Lord commands such a voice as this : 
" Cry"^ aloud, spare not, hft up thy voice like a trumpet, 
and shew my people their transgression, and the house of 
Jacob their sins." When God shall sound with the voice 
of the trumpet of his holy word, of his law, and shew thee 
that thou art a traitorous rebel, and there is an execution 
gone out against thee, body and goods : when God sounds 
thus to a deaf ear of a carnal man, then cometh the spirit 
of bondage of necessity on him, which shews that we have 
a time of need. The law must have this operation before 
thou comest to the throne of grace. None will fly to the 
city of refuge, tiU the revenger of blood be hard at his 
heels : nor any to Christ till he sees his want : thus the 
Lord makes us know our need by turning the edge of 
his axe towards us. Ofl^enders, when they are brought 
to the bar at Westminster for treason, have the edge of 
the axe turned from them ; but when they have received 
the sentence of condemnation, and are carried back to 
the tower, the edge of the axe is turned towards them. 
Thus is it here ; the law turns the edge of God's axe to- 
wards us ; and therefore it is said of St. Peter's hearers : 
" That' they were pricked to the heart." The law puts 
the point of God's sword to our very breasts as it were, 
and brings us to see that we stand in great need of a 
pardon. ' This is the first preparative ; when God en- 
lightens our minds to see our dangerous estate ; and then 
there must of necessity follow fear, and desire to be rid 
of this condition ; for the will and affections always follow 
the temper of the mind : and hence, when a man hath a 
false persuasion that he is in a good case, that he is safe 
and well, what works it but pride, presumption, confi- 
dence and security ? So on the contrary, when this per- 
suasion appears to be delusion, contrary effects must 
foUow. If a man be in health and jollity, and on a sudden 
be proclaimed a traitor, that he must lose his life and 
goods, is it possible it should be thus, and he not w"rought 
on, nor have any alteration ? So when news comes from the 

^ Isaiah diap. 58. ver. 1. ' Act5, chap. 2. ver. 38. 


law, that thou art a dead man, and everlastingly must 
perish, the law then works wrath, that is, it manifests 
unto us the wrath of God. When it is thus, there fol- 
lows a shaking and trembling, and it is impossible but 
with Moses thou shouldest " exceedingly quake and 

2. For all this, there is a throne of grace erected; 
God hath not forgotten to be merciful, though thy sins be 
never so great: this is the next preparative for faith, 
namely, the discovery and acknowledgment of the Gospel 
of Christ Jesus. We see in Ezra : " We™ have trespassed 
against our God, and have taken strange wives of the peo- 
ple of the land; yet now there is hope in Israel concerning 
this thing ; we have trespassed ;" what then ? must we be 
the subjects of God's wrath ? No : yet notwithstanding 
though we have committed this great offence, " there is 
hope in Israel^concerning this thing." What, though we 
have provoked God to indignation, must we be the matter 
of his wrath to work on 1 No : there is balm in Gi- 
lead. " Is" there no balm in Gilead ? Is there no physi- 
cian there? Why then is not the health of the daughter 
of my people recovered ?" What though then we are sick 
to death.'' yet there is an help in time of need. And 
this knowledge of the people, that there is a throne of 
grace, is the first comfort comes to a miserable and sinful 
soul. A man- that hath a deadly disease, though the 
physician do him no good which he hath made use of, 
yet this he comforts himself in, when he sees a phy- 
sician that hath cured the same disease, he sees then 
there is some hope. Thus it is with a sinful soul. 
When the welcome news of the Gospel comes, after the 
law hath discovered his disease, and says, Be not discour- 
aged, there is a throne of grace prepared for thee : God 
hath a seat of justice to deal with rebels and open trai- 
tors ; but if thou art weary of thy estate, if thou wilt sub- 
mit to God, take Christ for thy King, and cast down all 
thy weapons, if thou wilt live like a subject, he hath pre- 

■» Ezra, chap. 10. ver. 2. " Jer. chap. 8. ver. 22. 


pared a throne of grace for thee. Christ is thy attorney 
in the court to plead for thee ; he is not as the papists 
made him, so stout, and one that takes such state on him, 
as that a man may not come near him. This is the 
highest injury that can be olFered to Christ, to think that 
any creature hath more mercy and pity than he hath : it 
is to rob Christ of the fairest flower in his garden, when 
we rob him of his mercy and pity. Mark that place, that 
we may not think him austere: " We" have not an high 
priest that cannot be touched with our infirmities, with 
the feeling of our infirmities." 

Christ is no hard hearted man : when you were his enemies 
he loved you, insomuch that he humbled himself, and suf- 
fered death, even the death of the cross for you. And he 
hath the selfsame bowels in heaven that he had on earth ; he 
wept over Jerusalem, and the selfsame weeping heart car- 
ried he to heaven with him, the selfsame weeping eyes : be- 
lieve not then the papists, that he is so hard hearted, or so 
stately, and that his mother is more ready to speak for us ; 
fie on it. This is to pervert the Gospel, and make Christ no 
Christ. " WeP have not an high priest that cannot be 
touched with the feeling of our infirmities. In all things 
it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that 
he might be a merciful and faithful high priest." Alas, 
poor soul, saith Christ, what the malice of the Devil is, 
I know by mine own experience in the flesh ; for " Christ 
was tempted in all things according to us, sin only ex- 
cepted." I know what the temptations of the world are ; 
but whereas we have three enemies, the Devil, the world, 
and the flesh, only the two former were his. Christ 
had the temptations of the world and the Devil, not of 
the corrupt flesh ; for he had no corrupt flesh : a man 
that hath been himself in terrible tempests on the sea, 
when he sees a storm, out of his own experience he pities 
those that are in it; whereas others are not a jot moved: 
for he hath seen that consternation of mind, which 
on every side appeared ; that plurima mortis imago . 
whereas others, having not been there, lay not their 

' Heb. chap. 4. ver. 15. n Ileb. chap. 2. vei. 17. 


miseries to heart. Christ having fostered himself, and 
heing teropted as it were, is sensible of our miseries ; and 
therefore never count it boldness to come boldly to him, 
that gives thee this encouragement ; " Come boldly to the 
throne of grace." We must understand that all this is 
before faith, we must 

1. Know that we have a need. 

2. That there is a throne of grace, when God en- 
lightens my conscience, and encourages me to come. And 
thus having spoken of the preparatives, I come to the 
work, the main thing itself. Now this is, 

2. The act, coming; this coming is believing; as the 
feet which carry a man to the place he would be in ; his 
feet carry him nearer and nearer. If a man cannot be 
cured but by the bath, his feet must carry him thi- 
ther. Now faith is the legs of the soul, the feet that 
carry us unto Christ : whereas we are afar off, and draw 
back as all unbehevers ; now by believing we draw near. 
Now as unbelievers draw back, so behevers draw for- 
ward ; and therefore, to come to Christ and to believe in 
him are the self-same thing : " HeP that cometh to me 
shall never liimger, and he that beheveth on me shall 
never thirst." Coming is there made an act of faith, and 
the same thing with it : the one is the explication of the 
other; thy coming to Christ is thy believing in him. 
When thou hearest of a throne of grace, and seest the 
Lord of glory stretching out his golden sceptre, come 
and touch it, take the benefit of the king's pardon. If a 
man know there is such a throne of grace, he must come 
imto it ; and now begins faith to work. 

And that thou mayest understand it the better, know 
that faith then begins first to work, when thou settest 
the first step towards the throne of grace. And this 
is the hour in which salvation is come unto thy house. 
" None' can come to me," saith Christ, " except my Father 
draw him." If thou seest a virtue to come from Christ, 

P John, chap. 1. ver. 12, anil chap. 6. ver. 35. 
1 Luke, chap. 19. ver. 9. 


and to draw thee as an adamant, and thou feelest that 
loadstone working on thee, then begins faith: it makes 
thee draw near to Christ, whereas before thou wert a 
stranger : till then thou art like thy grandfather Adam, 
thou runnest away, and thinkest thyself most secure, when 
thou wast farthest from God; but now thou seest no 
comfort, unless thou draw nigh unto him ; as the apostle 
saith : " It is he that worketh in us the will and the deed ;" 
this must be wrought in us by God. 

First, a will, then the deed ; and then it is not only, I 
would do such a thing, but I do it : God works not only 
the will of coming, but the deed of coming ; and all his 
acts are acts of faith, and have a promise ; God makes no 
promise, till we be in Christ ; till we have faith, we are no 
heirs of the promise ; when a man sets his face towards 
Jerusalem, and begins to set himself to go to Christ, all 
he doth then hath the promise ; not a tear now that he 
sheds but is precious, God puts it into his bottle ; not a 
cup of cold water, that now he gives, but shall have a 
great reward ; this is a blessed thing, when every thing we 
do hath a promise annexed to it, when every step we step 
hath a promise made to it. Now when the wUl is the first 
thing that is wrought in us ; this is that which makes the 
act of faith, that is, I have a will, a resolution to do this : 
and the apostle makes it more than the very deed itself, 
as I may so say : "For' this is expedient for you, who have 
begun before not only to do, but to be forward." So we 
translate it, but look in the margin, and it is rendered to 
be willing, to OeXhv, as the Greek hath it ; as if the will 
were more than the deed itself; for a man to come unwil- 
lingly, it is nothing worth; the ground work is the will, 
which is a greater matter than the deed. Nothing more 
separates a man from Christ, than to say, " I' will not 
have this man to reign over me." But if thou canst frame 
thy will that it shall go perpendicularly on the object, and 
accept Christ on the terms offered, that is faith ; and that 
hath the promise. And therefore the Scripture compares 

■■ Philipp. chap. 2. ver. )8. ' 2 Cor, chap. 8. ver. 10. 

' Luke, ch»p. 19. ver. 14. 

218 ' SERMONS. 

it to conjunction with Christ. And as in the sacrament, 
we spiritually eat his flesh and drink his blood ; the con- 
junction is between Christ and his Church. And there- 
fore the Scripture compares our conjunction by faith to 
the mystery of wedlock. What makes a marriage ? it is 
consent. Wilt thou have this man to be thy husband? 
she answers, I will ; that expression makes the marriage. 
The knot is knit by this mutual pledging of troth, all 
other things are but subsequents of it. So God saith. 
Wilt thou have my Son? Thou shalt have with him all 
his wealth, though for a time thou must go bare, and fare 
hard ; yet thou shalt have a kingdom : when a man consi- 
ders deliberately, here is the loss, I must deny myself, and 
obey him, but I shall have a kingdom, God's blessing, and 
peace of conscience ; all things considered, casting the 
best with the worst, then the resolution is, "this is a true 
saying, worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus 
came into the world to save sinners." I will take him on 
any terms, be they never so hard, for I shall be a saver in 
the end : when we take Christ, as it were, with all his 
faults ; such his cross, and the afflictions of the Gospel 
seem to our carnal apprehensions : though to St. Paul 
these were the chief, indeed the only matter of his boast- 
ing : " God" forbid that I should glory, save in the cross 
of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

When, I say, we can thus take, Christ, this is the will 
which God requires. There is another comparison in 
Scripture, it is compared to hunger'' and thirst. Be- 
lieving was expressed by coming. Believing is expressed 
by hungering and thirsting. So when I see such a 
will and desire after Christ, that I hunger and thirst 
after him, that a hungry man longeth not, more for bread, 
nor the hart thirsteth more for the water-brooks, than 
my soul doth for Christ; why then there is a promise 
made unto us ; and a promise is never made unto us, till 
we be in Christ^'. We find promises in them all ; " Blessed^ 

" Galat. chap. 6. ver. 14. ^ John, chap. 6. ver. 35. 

V Matt. chap. 5. ver. 6. Rev. chap. 22. ver. 17. Isaiah, chap. 55. ver. 1. 

^ Matt. chap. 5. ver. 6. 


are they which hunger and thirst after righteousness ; for 
theirs is the kingdom of heaven, they shall be filled." 
Consider here what the nature of hunger and thirst is ; 
"they shall be filled," whichimphes they were empty before, 
but now they shall be filled. Suppose now I am not filled 
with Christ, what, am I without him ? No, I want him ; 
yet there is a blessing to the hungry and thirsty, and there 
is no blessing without faith. If we be not heirs of the 
faith, we cannot be heirs of the blessing. Dost thou find 
in thyself an hungering and thirsting after Christ ? Thou 
art blessed, this faith will save thee. Now faith will say, 
I am wonderfully pained, faint, and even starved, that I 
cannot be filled with Christ ; yet be content man, thou 
shalt be filled with him ; in the mean while thou hast him, 
and hast blessedness with him, and shalt be blessed. It is 
said : " These^ things have I written unto you that believe 
in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that 
you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the 
name of the Son of God." Mark how the apostle distin- 
guishes these two things ; thou believest on the name of 
Christ, yet sayest thou, though I believe, I am not sure of 
my salvation, I do not know it. Why, let not that much 
trouble thee, that is a consequent of it, and that assurance 
will follow after; therefore you should not confound it 
with believing : " These things have I written unto you 
that ye might know :" then there is a conclusion to be 
deduced from the premisses, so that a man may have full 
hold of Christ, and yet not be fully assured of his salvation. 
So then here is the will, which is the first thing. 

But the Lord works the deed also. And whereas it is 
said that God takes the will for the deed, the place had 
need be well understood : when we say God takes the 
will for the deed, it is not always true, unless it be thus 
understood. When a man hath done to the utmost of his 
power what he is able, hath endeavoured by all means, 
then God will take the will for the deed ; but if there be 
ability in me, and I do not as much as I am able, I do not 

" 1 John, chap. 3. ver. 13. 


my utmost endeavour, then God will not take it ; but now 
God works the will and the deed ; when a man comes to 
the throne of grace, and sets forward in his journey tow- 
ards God, the first thing he doth is to come to the throne 
of grace with Christ in his arms, and then having fast hold 
on Christ, he hastens and delays not, having hold as Joab 
on the horns of the altar". He hastens, he sees it is no 
time to delay, he sees it is now a time of need ; and need, 
ag the old proverb is, makes the old wife trot. Is it not 
need to make haste (when the pursuer of blood follows) to 
the city of refuge ? who would make delays and demurs, 
and not run as fast as his legs would carry him ? As soon 
as I apprehend my need, and see the golden sceptre 
stretched out, then I come with might and main with 
Christ in my arms, and present him to the Father, and this 
is the approaching and drawing near in the text, to the 
throne of grace. 

But now when I am come thither, what do I say there ? 
What, shall I come and say nothing ? The prodigal son 
resolved to go to his father, and say, " I will up and go," 
there is the will ; " and say," there is his speech. The be- 
liever is not like to the son that said to his father, I will go, 
but went not ; and when his father bids him come, he will 
come; he will not only say so, but will draw near, and 
then he hath a promise : " He"^ that cometh to me, I will 
in no wise cast out." But when we come thither, what 
must we do ? why we must take unto ourselves words, ac- 
cording to the prophet's expression: "Take* unto you 
words, and go unto the Lord, and say. Take away all our 
iniquities, and receive us graciously, so will we render the 
calves of our lips." When he comes to the throne of 
grace, the thing that he doth, is, he presents unto the Fa- 
ther Christ, bleeding, gasping, dying, buried, and con- 
quering death ; and when he presents Christ to him, he 
opens his case, and confesses his sin to the full, and says. 
Lord, this is my case : as a beggar when he comes to ask 

b 1 Kings, chap. 2. ver. 28. ° John, chap. 6. ver. 37. 

^ Hos. chap, 14. ver. 2. 


an alms of you, he will make a preface, and tell you his 
extremity ; Sir, I am in great want, I have not tasted 
a bit of bread in so many days, and unless you help me 
by your charity, I am utterly undone. Now when these 
two concur, that there is true need in the beggar, and li- 
berality in him, of whom he begs, it encourages the beg- 
gar to be importunate, and he prevails ; you may know 
when the beggar hath need by his tone, accent or lan- 
guage : the needy beggar's tone and accent is different 
from the sturdy beggar's that hath no need ; but yet, 
though the beggar be in great misery, if he see a churlish 
Nabal go by him, he hath no heart to beg, and follows him 
not, nor begs so hard, because he hath but litttle hope to 
attain any thing from him. But I say, let both these meet 
together ; first, that the beggar is in great need, then, that 
he of whom he begs is very liberal, it makes him beg 
hard ; but now cannot he pray without book ? Think not 
that I speak against praying by the book ; you are de- 
ceived if you think so; but there must be words taken to 
us besides, which perhaps a book will not yield us. A 
beggar's need will make him speak, and he will not hide 
his sores ; but if he hath any sore more ugly or worse than 
another, he vidll uncover it ; Good sir, behold my woful and 
distressed case, he lays all open to provoke pity. So, when 
thou comest before God in confession, canst thou not find 
out words to open thyself to Almighty God, not one word 
whereby thou mayest unlap thy sores, and beseech him to 
look on thee with an eye of pity ? I must not mince my 
sins, but amplify and aggravate them, that God may be 
moved to pardon me ; till we do thus, we cannot expect 
that God should forgive us. A great ado there is about 
auricular confession, but it is a mere babble ; it were better 
to cry out our sins at the high cross, than to confess in a 
priest's ear. Thou whisperest in the priest's ear ; what if 
he never teU it, or if he do, art thou the better ? Come 
and pour out thy heart and soul before Almighty God, 
confess thyself to him as David did, for that hath a pro- 
mise made to it : "Against'' thee, thee only have I sinned, 

' Psalm 51. ver. 4. 


and done this evil in thy sight, that thou mayest be justified 
when thou speakest, and clear when thou judgest." Why 
so ? Why, one main cause why we should confess sin, is 
to justify God. When a sinner confesses, I am a child of 
wrath, and of death ; if thou easiest me into hell, as justly 
thou mayest, I have received but my due ; when a man 
does thus (as the king's attorney may frame a bill of in- 
dictment against himself) he justifies Almighty God. He 
gives God the honour of that justice, which at the pre- 
sent he executes in pouring horror into the conscience of 
the sinner, and hath farther in store in providing the lake 
of fire and brimstone for the impenitent. Thus did Da- 
vid : " Against thee, against thee," &c. Now when we 
have thus aggravated our misery, comes the other part of 
begging, to cry for mercy with earnestness, and here is 
the power of the Spirit. It is one thing for a man to pray, 
and another thing for a man to say a prayer, but to pray 
and cry for mercy, as David did, in good earnest, to wres- 
tle with God, to say. Lord, my life lies in it, I will never 
give thee over, I will not go with a denial ; this is termed 
(TvvayuviZ^adai, this is the work of God's Spirit. I 
named you a place where the apostle exhorts, " but^ ye, 
beloved, build up yourselves in your most holy faith, pray- 
ing in the Holy Ghost ;" there is the prayer of the faith- 
ful, to pray in the Holy Ghost. And in the Ephesians we 
read of an armour provided for all the parts of a man's 
body, yet will not serve the turn, unless prayer come in as 
the chief: " Praying^ always with all prayer and supplica- 
tion in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perse- 
verance." This is the prayer of faith, that procures for- 
giveness of sins ; we must pray in faith, and in the Spirit ; 
that is the language, which God understands. He know- 
eth the meaning of the Spirit, and knoweth none else but 
that : many men are wonderously deceived in that which 
they call the spirit of prayer. One thinks it is a faculty 
to set out one's desires in fair words, shewing earnestness, 

f Jude, ver. 20. E Ephes. chap. 6. ver. 18. 


and speaking much in an extemporary prayer. This we 
think commendable, yet this is not the spirit of prayer. 
One that shall never come to heaven, may be more ready 
in this, than the child of God ; for it is a matter of skill 
and exercise; the spirit of prayer is another thing. 
" The'' Spirit helpeth our infirmities, for we know not 
what we should pray for as we ought ; the Spirit itself 
makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be 
uttered." What shall we think then, that the Holy Ghost 
groans or speaks in prayer ? No : but it makes us groan, and 
though we speak not a word, yet it so enlarges our hearts, 
as that we send up a volleyof sighs and groans which reach 
the throne of grace. And this is the spirit of prayer, when 
with these sighs and groans I beg, as it were, for my life. 
This is that ardent affection the Scripture speaks of. A 
cold prayer will never get forgiveness of sins ; it is the 
prayer of faith which prevails. The prayer of the people 
availeth much, if it be hpyov/iivr), fervent. In the an- 
cient churches those that were possessed with an evil spi- 
rit, were called Ivipyovfitvoi, because that caught them 
up, and made them do actions not suitable to their na- 
ture ; prayer is a fire from heaven, which if thou hast it, 
will carry all heaven before it ; there is nothing in the 
world so strong as a Christian thus praying : prayers that 
are kindled with such a zeal, are compared to Jacob's 
wrestling with the angel', whereby he had power over the 
angel. The prophet expounds what this wrestling was, 
" he wept and made supplication unto him ; he found him 
in Bethel, and there he spake with him." This is the 
wrestling with God, when thou fillest heaven with thy 
sighs and sobs, and bedewest thy couch with thy tears as 
David did ; and hast thy resolution with Jacob, " I will 
not let thee go except thou bless me." God loves this kind 
of boldness in a beggar, that he will not go away 
without an answer. As the poor widow in the parable 
that would not give over her suit, so that the judge, though 

'• Rom. chap. 8. ver. 26. ' Hos. chap. 12, ver. 4. 


he feared not God, nor cared for man, by reason of her 
importunity, granted hei; desire. Mark the other thing in 
the apostle, he bids us pray with the Spirit, and with per- 
severance ; and he that cometh thus hath a promise made to 
it : " He that calleth on the name of the Lord shall be 
saved. Call on me in the day of trouble, and I will hear 
thee ;" it is set down fully : " Ask and you shall have, 
seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto 
you ; for every one that asketh receiveth, and he that 
seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be 
opened." One would think this were idem per idem, but 
it is not so. He bids us " ask and it shall be given, seek 
and you shall find." There is a promise annexed to 
asking, seeking and knocking, but it is also proved by 
universal experience ; for every one that asketh, &c. It 
is every man's case, never any man did it yet, that hath 
lost his labour, in not attaining what he asked. If thou 
hast it not yet, thou shalt have it in the end ; it is so fair a 
petition to ask, to have thy sins pardoned, that God would 
be friends with thee, and that Christ would make thee 
love him : and that God would be thy God, that God de- 
lights in it. This is the point then ; suppose God answer 
not presently, yet knock still, seek still ; that is perseve- 
rance, the thing whereby it is distinguished from tempo- 
rary asking. The hypocrite will pray in a time of need 
and adversity, but his prayer is not constant : " Will' the 
hypocrite always call upon God ?" If they come and seek 
God, and he will not answer, as Saul did, they will try 
the Devil. God would not answer Saul, and he presently 
goes to the Devil. It is not so with God's children ; they 
pray, and pray, and wait still ; they pray with the Spirit, 
and with perseverance ; God deals not always alike with 
his children, but differently, sometimes he makes them 
wait his leisure. " I"' said I would confess my sins," says 
David, " and my transgressions, and thou forgavest the 
iniquity of my sin." So Daniel, chap. IX. ver. 21. " When 
he set himself to seek God, even while he was speaking 

'' Matth. chap. 6. ver. 7. ' ' Job, chap. 27. ver. 10. 

°> Psalm 32. ver. 5. 


and praying, the man Gabriel appeared unto him, and 
touched him about the time of the evening oblation." Be- 
fore the word was out of his mouth God was at his heart, 
and presently sends him a dispatch. The like we see in 
Isaiah, chap. LXV. ver. 24. mark what a promise there 
is ; "It shall come to pass that before they call I will an- 
swer ; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." This 
is a great encouragement ; but it may be God will not al- 
ways do this, and what is the reason? Vvhy, he hatli a 
wonderful great delight to be wrestled withal, and to hear 
the words of his own Spirit ; nothing is more dehghtful to 
him than this, when the Spirit is earnest, and will not 
give over. " I" will not let thee go, unless thou bless me." 
It is said in the Canticles, "honey" is under the lips of the 
Church." Why so? it is because there is no honey sweeter 
to the palate, than spiritual prayer to God. And there- 
fore God delays to answer thee, because he would have 
more of it. If the musicians come and play at our doors, 
or windows, if we delight not in their music, we throw 
them out money presently, that they may be gone ; but if 
the music please us, we forbear to give them money, be- 
cause we would keep them longer, for we like the music. 
So the Lord loves and delights in the sweet words of his 
children : and therefore puts them off, and answers them 
not presently: but God's children, let him deny them ne- 
ver so long, yet they will never leave knocking and beg- 
ging ; they will pray, and they will wait still, till they re- 
ceive an answer. Many will pray to God, as prayer is a 
duty, but few use it as a means to attain a blessing. Those 
who come to God in the use of it as a means to attain what 
they would have, they will pray, and not give over ; they 
will expect an answer, and never give over petitioning till 
they receive it. 

" Gen. chap. 32. ver. 26. ° Cant. chap. 4. ver. 11. 





Hoif. CHAP. V. vz?.. !. 

Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Clirist. 

Having declared unto you the nature of faith, and that 
point which concerns the practice of it in our near ap- 
proach unto God ; I am now come to show unto you the 
fruits and benefits Christians receive from this mother- 
grace ; and that the apostle sets down in these words. 

He sets down, 

1. The mother-grace itself, together with its principal 
benefit, justification, or reconciliation with God : that 
whereas we were afar off, we are made near ; and of ene- 
mies, made friends of God. Then, 

2. There are the daughters or handmaids of this grace. 
For when we are justified by faith, then, 

1. We have peace with God ; the peace of conscience, 
which passeth all understanding ; then, 

2. We have free access by faith unto the throne of grace, 
so that we need not look for any other mediators. Christ 
hath made way for us to God, so that we may go boldly 
to the throne of grace, and find help at any time of need. 

S. There follows a joyful hope, that a Christian hath by 
it, a taste of heaven, before he come to enjoy it. "We re- 
joice in hope," saith the apostle ; hope being as firm a 
thing as faith, faith makes things absent as present ; hope 
hath patience with it, and would have us wait. We shall 
be sure of it, but yet we must wait patiently. 

4. Not only rejoicing in hope, but even in that which 
spoils a natural man's joy, as in crosses, troubles, afflictions ; 


for even these are made the matter of this man's joy, not 
delectable objects only. Not in time to come after afflic- 
tions, but in afflictions ; so as that which spoils the joy of 
a natural man, is fuel to kindle this man's joy. 

Now concerning justification by faith ; though it be an 
ordinary point, yet there is nothing more needs explica- 
tion, than to know how a man shall be justified by faith. 
It is easily spoken, hardly explicated ; therefore in this 
mother-grace, I shall shew you, 

1. What faith is, that doth justify. And, 

2. What this justification is. For it is not so easy a 
matter neither. 

1. Concerning the nature of faith, I have spoken suffi- 
ciently already wherein it consists ; but yet notwithstand- 
ing, there is a certain thing as hke this faith as may be, 
and yet comes short of it. Many there are who are like 
the foolish virgins, that thought they were well enough, 
and thought they should come time enough. So many 
think verily that they have faith ; yea, and perchance go 
with such a persuasion to their very graves, and think they 
have grace, and that they labour after Christ, and lay hold 
on him, and are free from worldly pollutions, so as that 
they have a taste and relish of the joy of the world to 
come, and yet are carried all this while in a fool's para- 
dise, and think there is no fear of their safety ; never 
knowing that they are castaways, till they come to the 
gates of hell, and find themselves by woful experience 
shut out of heaven. And their case is woful, that are 
thus deceived. Know then, that it is not every faith that 
justifies a man ; a man may have faith, and yet not be jus- 
tified. The faith that justifies, is the faith of God's elect". 
There is a faith that may belong to them that are not 
God's elect, but that faith does not justify. In the epistle 
of Timothy, that faith which justifies must be a faith un- 
feigned''. Now here is the skill of a Christian to try what 
that faith is, which justifies him. Now this justifying faith is 

Tit. chap. 1. ver. 1. 

1 Tim. cliap. 1. ver. 5. 2 Tim. chap. I. ver. 5. 



not every work of God's Spirit in a man's heart : for there 
are supernatural operations of the Spirit in a man's heart, 
that are but temporary, that carry him not thorough, 
and therefore are ineffectual : but the " end"^ of this faith 
is the salvation of our souls." We read in the Scripture 
of apostacy, and falhng back. Now they cannot be apos- 
tates, that were never in the way of truth. This being 
an accident, we must have a subject for it ; now there is 
a certain kind of people that have supernatural workings ; 
some that are drawn up and down with every wind of doc- 
trine ; these are they that have this cold and temporary 
faith ; temporary, because in the end it discovers itself to 
be a thing not constant and permanent. We read in 
John, chap. XI. ver. 26. that " they that are born of 
God," that is, that live and believe in Christ, " never see 
death," shall never perish eternally ; but yet we must 
know withal, that there may be conceptions that will ne- 
ver come to the birth, to a right and perfect delivery. And 
thus it may be in the soul of a man, there may be con- 
ceptions that will never come to a ripe birth ; but let a 
man be born of God, and come to perfection of birth, and 
the case is clear, he shall never see death. " He that liv- 
eth and believeth in me, shall not see death." And this 
is made a point of faith : believest thou this ? 

There is another thing called conception, and that is, 
certain dispositions to a birth, that come not to full perfec- 
tion. True, a child that is born and liveth, is as perfectly 
alive as he that liveth an hundred years : yet I say, there 
are conceptions that come not to a birth. Now, the faith 
that justifies, is a living faith : there is a certain kind of 
dead faith; this is a feigned, that an unfeigned faith; 
" The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith 
of the Son of God." Dost thou think a dead faith can make 
a living soul 1 It is against reason. A man cannot live by a 
dead thing, not by a dead faith. Now a dead faith there is. 
A faith that doth not work is a dead faith*. " Seest thou 
how faith wrought with his works and by his works was 

<^ 1 Pet. chap. 1. ver. 9. >> James, cliap. 2. ver. 22. 



faith made perfect?" for verse 26. " As the body without 
the spirit is dead," or without breath is dead, " so faith 
without works is dead also." See how the apostle com- 
pares it, " as the body without the spu-it is dead, so faith 
without works is dead also." The apostle makes not 
works the form of faith, as the soul is the form of the man : 
but as the body without the spirit is dead, so that faith, 
that worketh not, that hath no tokens of life, is dead ; but 
then doth not the other word strike home? Faith wrought 
with his works. It seems here is, as the papists say, Jides 
informis, and works make it up as the ivTiXi-)(iia of it. 
But compare this with the other places of the Scripture 
and the difficulty will be cleared, for instance weigh that 
place, 2 Cor. chap. XII. ver. 9. where the apostle prayed 
to God, that the messenger of Satan might be removed 
from him ; and he said unto him, " My grace is sufficient for 
thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." What ? 
Does our weakness make God's strength more perfect, to 
which nothing can be added ? No, it is, my strength and 
the perfection of it, is made known in the weakness of the 
means that I made use of for the delivery of man's soul from 
death. So here the excellency and perfection of our faith 
is made known by works ; when I see that it is not an idle, 
but a working faith, then I say it is made perfect by the 
work : when it is a dead faith, that puts not a man on work, 
never believe that will make a living soul. In St. Jude's 
epistle, ver. 20. it hath another epithet, viz. " the most 
holy faith :" not holy only, but most holy. That faith which 
must bring a man to know God the holy of holies, must be 
mostholy. Itis said, that " God' dwells in our hearts by 
faith." Now God and faith dwelling in a heart together, that 
heart must needs be pure and clean. Faith makes the heart 
pure : it were a most dishonourable thing to entertain God 
in a sty, a filthy and unclean heart : but if faith dwell there, 
it makes a fit house for the habitation of the King of Saints, 
therefore it purifieth the heart. Well then, dost thou think 
thy sins are forgiven thee : and that thou hast a strong 

^ Ephes. chap. 3. ver. 17. 


faith, and yet art as profane, and as filthy as ever ? 
How can it be ? It is a most holy faith that justifieth, it is 
not a faith that will suffer a man to lie on a dunghill, or in 
the gutter with the hog. There may be a faith, which 
is somewhat like this, but it is hut temporary, and cometh 
short of it. 

But now there is another thing which distinguishes it : 
it is the peculiar work of faith. " Ins Jesus Christ neither 
circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but 
the new creature ;" and again : " Neither*" circumcision nor 
uncircumcision availeth any thing, but faith which work- 
eth by love." It is twice set down. Now what is a new 
creature ? Why, he that hath such a faith, as works by 
love : not a dead faith, but a faith that works ; but how 
does it work? it not only abstains from evil, and does 
some good acts, which a temporary may do, but it is 
such a faith as works by love. The love of God constrains 
him', and he so loveth God, as that he hates evil for God's 
sake ; the other does it not out of love to God : all the 
love he hath, is self-love : he serves his own turn on God 
rather than hath any true love to serve him. 

Now that we may the better distinguish between these 
two, I shall endeavour to shew you how far one may go 
farther, than the other. I know not a more difficult point 
than this, nor a case more to be cut by a thread, than this ; 
it being a point of conscience ; therefore, first, I declared 
unto you the nature of faith ; how God first works the 
will and the deed, and that there is a hungering and thirst- 
ing after Christ. First, I say, there is a will and desire to 
be made partaker of Christ and his righteousness ; then 
there is the deed too. We are not only wishers and 
woulders, but do actually approach unto the throne of 
grace, and there lay hold on Christ, touch the golden scep- 
tre, which he holdeth out unto us ; but, 

Obj. Now you will ask. Is there not an earnest and 
good desire in a temporary faith, a desire unfeigned? 

Sol. Yes, there may be for a time, a greater and more 

E Gal. chap. 6. ver. 15. ^ Ibid. chap. 5. ver. 6. 

' 2 Cor. chap. 5. ver. 14. 


vehement desire in a temporary, than in a true beUever, 
than in the elect themselves, all their life. 

Obj. Where is the difference then ? I thought all had 
been well with me, when I had such a desire, as I could 
scarce be at rest, till it were accomplished. 

Sol. I answer, beloved, it is a hard matter to tell you 
the difference : but you must consider, 

1. From whence this desire flows; whether it come 
from an accidental cause ; as if by accident my heart is 
made more soft, and I more sensible of my condition, or 
whether my nature be changed ; to give you an instance 
in iron : when iron is put into the forge it is softened, and 
as soon as it is taken forth, we say it is time to strike while 
the iron is hot ; the fire hath made a change in it, it is 
malleable, the hammer is able to work on it ; but let the 
fire be gone, and it is as hard as before ; nay, we say steel 
is harder, so that there is no change in the nature of iron, 
it is hard still, redit ad ingenium, it goes back into its own 
estate. If it be softened, it is by an accidental cause ; so 
here, as long as the temporary faith is in the furnace of af- 
flictions, when God shall let loose the cord of his con- 
science, and makes him see that there is no way for salva- 
tion but by Christ, then the sense of his torture will make 
him desire with all the veins in his heart to have Christ. 
See a singular example of this temporary desire in Psalm 
LXXVIII. ver. 34. " When he slew them, then they 
sought him, and returned and inquired early after God." 
So Proverbs, chap. I. ver. 27. " When their fear was on 
them as desolation, and their destruction as a whirlwind : 
when distress and anguish cometh upon you, then shall 
they call upon me," not with a feigned desire, but in 
truth and reality they desire relief; "they remembered 
then that God was their rock, and the high God their Re- 
deemer ;" they saw a redeemer when he was slaying of 
them, and they believed that God would free them, though 
it was but temporary : " nevertheless they flattered him 
with their mouths, and lied unto him with their tongues ; 
for their heart was not right with him, neither were they 
steadfast in his covenant." Observe then this was but a 


temporary case, a temporary change ; there was no new 
creature, no new nature wrought : but being in the furnace 
of affliction, as long as the fire was hot they were pliable ; 
they were not steadfast in his covenant. Let this be an 
admonition to them that think they never can have true 
faith, till God slay them. I am not of that opinion. God 
sometimes useth this means, but it is not so necessary, as 
that it cannot be otherwise ; and to speak truly, I had ra- 
ther have faith that comes another way : the difference is 
this, the temporary believers will have Christ while God is 
slaying of them, whilst they are in the furnace of afflic- 
tions : but the other in cold blood, when God's hand is not 
on them. The true believer is sick of love, and when he 
hath no affliction, nor God's hand on him, with the apos- 
tle, " he'' accounts all things dung and dross for the ex- 
cellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus." There is an 
ardent desire, when this external cause draws not. If 
when thou art out of the forge, thou hast thy heart sof- 
tened, and findest this work of grace and faith to drive 
thee to Christ, thou hast a faith unfeigned, and so the 
faith of God's elect. 

Again, there is not only this desire in him who hath a 
temporary faith ; but having understood the word, he so 
desires it, that when he knows there is no having Christ, 
nor happiness or salvation by him, unless he deny himself, 
and part from his evil ways, being persuaded of this, out of 
self-love he would have Christ ; and seeing these be the 
terms, that he must turn a new leaf, and lead a new life, 
or go to hell, therefore he will do this too ; this is much : 
yet I say, he doth this too ; but how shall this be proved ? 
most evidently in 2 Peter, chap. II. ver. 20. " For if after 
they bave escaped the pollutions of the world, through the 
knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are 
again entangled and overcome, the latter end with them is 
worse than the beginning." Here is that apostacy, and 
here is the subject of the temporary faith. " It had been 
better for them not to have known the way of righteous- 

k Philipp. chap. 3. ver. 8. 


ness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy 
commandment dehvered unto them ;" this was a temporary- 
conversion, as " Ephraim', hke a broken bow, turned back 
in the day of battle." Observe what they did ; they were 
like the foolish virgins, they kept their maiden-heads in re- 
spect of the pollutions of the world ; they lived very 
civilly, they escaped the pollutions of the world, and no 
man could challenge them of any filthy act : they knew 
that Christ was King of saints, and had the knowledge 
of him : they knew that it was not fit that the King of glory 
and holiness should be attended on by the black guard, 
that they must have sanctity that will follow him ; and 
therefore they laboured to be fit to attend him : they 
escaped the pollutions of the world, but yet it continues 
not : Why so ? " For it happened to them according to the 
true proverb, the dog is returned to his vomit, and the sow 
that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire." Mark, 
the dog turns again to his own vomit. This proceeds from 
some pang in his stomach, that enforceth that filthy beast 
to disgorge itself, that it may have some ease ; but he 
quickly gathers it up again, as soon as the pang is over. 
Some there are, that would be content to hide their ini- 
quity under their tongues, as Job speaks™, but there 
comes a pang sometimes, a pang in their consciences, 
which forceth them to vomit up their sweet bits again .- 
but well, the fit is gone ; and being gone, they, like the 
filthy dog, return to their vomit again, considering the 
pleasure which they took in that filthy thing : that they did 
disgorge themselves, was but from that pang and present 
pinch, not from the loathing or hatred of the thing, and 
therefore they return again unto it. 

By the way then take notice of the filthiness of sin ; how 
filthy is it, that the Lord compares it to the vomit of a dog ? 
Then there follows another comparison of it : it is as the 
sow that is washed, and returns to her wallowing in the 
mire : see another loathsome resemblance of this tempo- 
rary faith ; the sow was washed, but how ? her swinish 

' Psalm 78. ver. 9. •" Chap. 20. verse 12 


nature was not washed from her ; as long as the sow is 
kept from the mire, in a fair meadow with the sheep, she 
looks as sleek and clean as they : she was washed ; there 
is an external change, but her nature remained: bring 
the sow and the sheep to a puddle, the sheep will not go 
in, because it hath no swinish nature ; but the other, 
retaining its swinish nature, though before in outward 
appearance, as clean as the sheep was, yet she goes 
again to her wallowing in the mire. There may be 
the casting away of a man's sins, and yet no new creature 
wrought in him. That I may show this to you, take this 
example. A man known to be as covetous a man as liveth, 
he loveth his money as well as his God ; yet perchance this 
man is brought in danger of the law, and must be hanged 
for some misdemeanour committed ; this man, to save his 
life, will part with all he hath : what, is his disposition 
changed ? no, not a whit ; he is as covetous as before, he 
is the same man, he doth it to save his life, and to this end 
he is content to part with his money. The same mind 
had those in the Acts of the apostles, who in a storm cast 
their wares into the sea with their own hands", Ikoiv oe- 
KovTL j£ OviMdj)' willingly, and yet half unwillingly ; for the 
saving of their lives they would part with these things, yet 
it was with a great deal of repining and reluctancy. As 
we read of Phaltiel, when his wife was taken from him, he 
followed behind weeping", till they bid him be gone, and 
return back. So these men forsake their sins, and hate 
them, but it is but imperfectly ; they part with them, but 
they part weeping. Well, at this parting there may be 
a great deal of joy ; it may taste not only the sweetness of 
the word of God, but because they are in a disposition and 
way to salvation, they may have some kind of feeling of 
the joys, and taste of the powers of the world to come ; as 
the apostle speaks : " Its is impossible for those who were 
once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, 
and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost," &c. There 
is a supernatural work wrought in them, and they have 

" Acts, chap. 27. » 2 Sam. chap. 3. ver. 16. 

P Heb. chap. ,6. ver. 4. 


tasted the good word of the Lord ; they begin to have 
some hope, and rejoice in the glory of the world to come. 
What is the difference then ? here is a tasting ; but as it is in 
John"!, it is not said, he that tastes my flesh, and tastes my 
blood ; but " he that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, 
hath eternal life." There is a difference betwixt tasting and 
drinking, there may be a tasting without drinking ; and 
the texf saith, when they gave Christ vinegar, he tasted 
thereof, but would not drink. He that can take a full 
draught of Christ crucified, he shall never thirst, but 
shall be as a springing fountain that springeth up to ever- 
lasting life ; but it shall not be so with him that doth but 
taste. The vintner goes round the cellar, and tastes every 
vessel ; he takes it into his mouth, and spits it out again, 
and yet knows by the tasting, whether it be good or bad ; 
the wine goeth but to his palate, it reaches not the sto- 
mach. So a temporary believer tastes and feels what an 
excellent thing it is to have communion with Christ, and 
to be made partaker of his glory ; but he does but taste 
it. Look in Hosea, chap. V. ver. 15. where we have 
another instance of this temporary believer : ye would 
think they sought in a good sort, and in as good 
a manner as one could desire : well, but how did they 
seek him ? It was only upon occasion, in time of af- 
fliction : " I will go and return to my place until they ac- 
knowledge their offence, and seek my face ; in their afflic- 
tion they will seek me early ;" and again% the Lord com- 
plains of them notwithstanding : " They will in their af- 
fliction seek me early." Was not this a fair returning? 
" Come," say they, " let us return unto the Lord, for he 
hath torn, and he will heal us.'' What a deal of com- 
fort did they seem to gather from the ways of the Lord ! 
But see what follows : " O' Ephraim, saith the Lord, what 
shall I do unto thee ? O Judah what shall I do unto thee ? 
For your goodness is as the morning cloud, and as the 
early dew it goeth away :" that is, it is but a temporary 

1 John, chap. 6. ver. 54. ' Matth. chap. 27. ver. 34. 

^ Hosea, chap. 6. ver. 4. * Ibid. 


thing, wrought by affliction, which will not abide. As 
when a wicked man on his death bed desires that God 
would spare him and restore him to his health, and that 
he would become a new man, all this comes but from the 
terrors of death ; for it oft proves, that if God restores him 
he becomes as bad, if not worse, than ever he was before. 
But that I may not hold you too long ; 

2. Take this for another difference: that God's chil- 
dren can as earnestly desire grace as mercy ; the tempo- 
rary desire mercy, but never desire grace. The believer 
desires grace to have his nature healed, to hate his former 
conversation. The temporary never had, nor never will 
have this desire ; should one come to the temporary be- 
liever, and tell him God will be merciful unto him, you may 
go on, and take your fill of sin, you shall be sure of mercy ; 
he would like this well, and think it the welcomest news as 
could be, because he only fears damnation, and self-love 
makes him only desire freedom from that; but now the 
child of God hates sin, though there were no hell, judge 
nor tormentor ; he begs as hard of God for grace, as for 
mercy, and would do so, were there no punishment. His 
nature being changed, he desireth grace, as well as mercy, 
which the temporary never does. 

3. The last mark is from the words of the apostle : " Nei- 
ther circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, 
but faith which worketh by love." Love and the new 
creature puts God's children on work ; their hearts are 
first altered, and changed by being made new creatures. 
As the Scripture saith, his flesh is circumcised, he is a 
dead man ; dead, not, as formerly, in trespasses and sins, 
but dead imto them"^- Deadness argueth impotency of 
doing those things which a living man doth ; he cannot 
walk, &c. The temporary will not sin for fear of after- 
claps, but this man cannot sin, his heart is changed, he is 
dead to sin; we see how both abstain from sin, but the 
temper and disposition is not alike. The temporary be- 
liever perchance commits not the sin, but he could find in 

" Ephes. chap. 2. ver. 1. and Rom. chap. 6. Ter. 11. 

SERMONS. . 237 

his heart to do it; he saith not with Joseph, " How can 
I do this great wickedness and sin against my God?" The 
other saith, I could do this evil well enough, but I will not. 
" Thou canst not bear those that are evil," saith Christ in 
his epistle to the church of Ephesus. This was her great 
commendation''. Now he that is born of God cannot 
sin, there is that seed, that spring in him, that for his 
life he cannot sin, but it turns his heart from it; for 
his life he cannot tell how to swear, lie, or join with 
others in wickedness ; but this must be understood of the 
constant course of their lives ; I speak not what they may 
do in temptations, when they are surprised, but in the 
course of their lives, they commit sin, as if they knew not 
how to do it ; the other doth it skilfully ; these cobblingly, 
and bunglingly, they do it ill-favouredly ; thus it is with a 
wicked man in doing a good work, he cobbles it up. This 
is intimated unto us in the very phrase of the apostle : 
" Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin :" it is 
not the same thing to sin, in St. John's acceptation, and to 
commit sin ; committing sin is the action of the artist, and 
practitioner in the trade ; from^' this the seed of God, 
which abideth in the regenerate, secureth him. Thy 
faith then must be a faith that worketh by love : canst 
thou do those good works thou doest out of love? then, 
my soul for thine, thou art saved. Get me any temporary 
that loves God, I shall say something to you. Hast thou 
then a faith that causeth thee to love God, a working 
faith, and a faith that will not suffer thee to do any thing 
displeasing to him? if thou hast such a faith, thou art jus- 
tified before God. 

2. And so I come now to the point of justification, the 
greatest of all blessings : " Blessed is he," saith David, 
" whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is co- 
vered ; blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not 
iniquity." It is the most blessed condition that can be; it 

" Rev. chap. 2. ver. 2. 

r 1 John, chap. 3. ver. 9. Psalm 32. ver. 12. 



is set down by way of exclamation. " O, the blessedness 
of the man, to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity !" or, 
as the original imports ; " O, the blessedness of the man 
discharged from sin." Here are many blessings conceived 
in our justification from sin. For justification, see what it 
is ; the Scripture in St. Paul's epistles, speaks of justifica- 
tion by faith ; and in St. James, of justification by works. 
Now it will be useful to us in this point to know whence 
justification comes ; it comes from justice, tsedeclc, as 
the original hath it, and hitsdiq, to justify ; so that justi- 
fication and righteousness depend one upon the other ; 
for what is justification but the manifestation of the righ- 
teousness that is in a man ? And therefore in Galatians, 
chap. III. ver. 21. they are put for one and the same 
thing : " For if there had been a law given which could 
have given life, verily righteousness had been by the law ;" 
that is, justification had been by the law. Again, " IP 
righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in 
vain," that is, also, if justification had been by the law, &c. 
Justification is a manifestation of righteousness ; and as 
many ways as righteousness is taken so many ways is jus- 
tification, which is a declaration of righteousness ; so that 
if there be a double righteousness, there must be also 
a double justification. Beloved, I bring you no new 
doctrine ; be not afraid of that ; but I shew you how 
to reconcile places of Scripture against the Church of 
Rome, and those things which the papists bring against 
us in this point. It stands by reason, seeing justifi- 
cation is a declaration of righteousness, that there must 
be so many sorts of justification, as there be of righteous- 

Now there is a double sort of righteousness. " That'' 
the righteousness of the law may be fulfilled in us ;" see 
then there is a double righteousness; there is a righteous- 
ness fulfilled in us, and a righteousness fulfilled by us, that 
is, walking in the Spirit. The righteousness fulfilled in 
us, is fulfilled by another, and is made ours by imputa- 

^ Gal. chap. 2. " Rom. chap. 8. ver. i. 


tioh ; so we have a righteousness without us, and a righ- 
teousness inherent in us : the righteousness without us, is 
forgiveness of sins, and pardon of them, which is a gra- 
cious act of God, letting fall all actions against me, and 
accounting of me, as if I had never sinned against him all 
my life time ; then there is a righteousness within me, an 
inherent righteousness. And if a righteousness, then justi- 
fication ; for that is but a declaration of righteousness. 
And so that which the fathers call justification, is taken 
generally for sanctification ; thatwhich we call justification, 
they call forgiveness of sins ; that which we call sanctifica- 
tion, they call justification : so that the difference is only 
in the terms. Justification, we must know, is not taken 
only as opposed to condemnation, which is the first kind 
of righteousness. "He'' that is dead, is freed from sin ;" 
if you look to the Greek, or to the margin, it is, " he that 
is dead, is justified from sin :" this is not took in the first 
sense as opposed to condemnation, but in the other sense 
as it hath relation to final grace. The perfection of sanc- 
tification is wrought in me ; for where there is final grace, 
there is a supersedeas from all sin ; " Lef^ him that is 
righteous, be righteous still ;" the Greek is, " let him that 
is righteous, be justified still." See then the difference be- 
tween St. Paul, and St. James. St. Paul speaks of that 
which consists in remission of sins, as in comparing the 
apostle with David will appear ; " Blessed is the man 
whose sins are forgiven." St. James speaks of justification 
in the second acceptation. You need not fly to that distinc- 
tion of justification before God, and justification before 
men: think not that St. James speaks only of justifica- 
tion before men ; " Was not Abraham our father justified 
by works, when he offered up Isaac on the altar ?" What, 
justified by killing his son ? this was a proper work indeed 
to justify him before man, to be a parricide ; to kill his 
son, though it were not so before God. So Psalm CVI. 
we read how God accounted the act of Phineas for righ- 
teousness : thus you see how works are accounted righ- 

*' Rom. chap. 6. ver. 7. ■= Rev. chap. 22. ver. 11. 

24i0 SERMONS. 

teousness in the second kind of righteousness. In the for- 
mer righteousness we are justified by faith, for in righ- 
teousness inherent there is a goodly chain of virtues; 
" Add to your faith, virtue," add one grace to another; 
add " to virtue, knowledge :" faith is but one part of the 
crown. Now this justification in the first sense, whereby 
my sins are forgiven, is called the righteousness of God, 
because of Christ which is God, because it is wrought by 
Christ"*, he is called "an everlasting righteousness," which 
continueth for ever, world without end ; for do not think 
the saints in heaven have only the second kind of righ- 
teousness, for they have the same covering by justification 
by Christ in heaven, that they had before. God covers 
their sins, not here only, but there also ; justification fol- 
lows them for ever. 

Quest. But now, what parts hath justification in it? we 
are wont to say that there are two parts ; one imputation 
of righteousness, the other forgiveness of sins. 

Sol. I answer ; for my own part I think justification is 
one simple act of God, and that it is improperly distin- 
guished as parts ; but rather as terminus a quo is distinct 
from terminus ad quern. And this I shall shew unto you 
both by reason and authority, that faith is but one act. 

Let none say that I take away the imputation of the 
righteousness of Christ : no ; the bringing in of light, and 
the expulsion of darkness is not two acts, but one ; but 
there is terminus a quo, and terminus ad quern. We are 
accounted righteouss, and that is, we have our sins for- 
given. And the reason is this ; if sin were a positive thing, 
and had a being in itself, then the forgiveness of sin must 
be a thing distinct from the imputation of righteousness. 
Scholars know the difference between adversa andprivan- 
tia, white and black are both existent, but darkness and 
light are not, but only a privation one of another. Dark- 
ness is nothing of itself, but the absence of light ; the 
bringing in of light is the suppression of it : you must un- 
derstand sin hath no being, no entity ; it is only an absence 

^ Dan. chap. 9. 


of righteousness, that want of that Hght which should be 
in the subject : which want is either in our nature, and 
then it is called original ; or in our person and actions, 
and then it is called actual transgression. Sin is an ab- 
sence of that positive being, which is, as I said, either in 
our nature, or works. Then thus I will resolve you in ano- 
ther point, viz. If sin were a positive thing, all the world 
cannot avoid it, but God must be the author of it ; for there 
is nothing can have a being, but it must derive its being 
from the first being, God. Now, how can we avoid God's 
being the author of sin ? Why thus ; it is nothing. 

But what, is sin nothing? Will God damn a man, and 
send him to hell for nothing ? 

I answer, it is not such a nothing as you make it ; a man 
is not damned for nothing. It is a nothing privative, an 
absence of that should be, and that a man ought to have. 
As when a scholar is whipped for not saying his lesson, 
is he whipped, think you, for nothing ? Indeed he hath 
nothing, he cannot say a word of his lesson, and therefore 
it is he is whipped ; it is for a thing he ought to have, and 
hath not. Well, if you will say there are two parts of 
justification, do if you please ; but this I take to be the 
more proper and genuine explanation. 

Besides, it appears by testimony of the apostle. " As" 
David describeth the blessedness of the man, to whom 
Godimputeth righteousness without works, saying, blessed 
are they, whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins 
are covered." The apostle cites the prophet David'. 
Mark the apostle's conclusion, and how he proves it. His 
conclusion is, "That man is blessed, unto whom the 
Lord imputeth righteousnness without works." His ar- 
gument then must needs be thus framed. 

He whom God forgives, is blessed ; 

But him, to whom God imputeth righteousness with- 
out works, God forgives ; 

Therefore he is blessed. 

' Rom. chap. 4. -ver. 6. ' Psalm 32. 



Now, how could this assumption hold, if imputation of 
righteousness, and remission of sins were two distinct acts? 
for, not imputing righteousness, is, not to bring in a light 
which keeps out darkness. But observe, the apostle to 
the Colossians and Ephesians, makes this forgiveness of 
sins the whole work, nay, foundation of our redemption. 
But here remember, I deny not the imputation of righ- 
teousness ; for that is the foundation of the other ; here is 
the point. How is Christ's righteousness imputed to me ? 
that positive thing, which expels the other ? Not so, as 
if Christ's righteousness were in me subjectively ; for it 
was wrought by his passion as well as his action. The 
apostle calls it faith in his blood ; by faith in Christ, 
Christ's passive obedience is imputed to me. What do 
you think the meaning is, that God doth esteem me, as if 
I had hanged on the cross, and as if I had my side 
pierced? No, that would not stead me, or do me any 
good ; that which was meritorious and singular in him, did 
reach to us : so that the meaning is this, as it is in the ar- 
ticles of the Church of England, that " we are accounted 
righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our own works 
and deservings ;" that is, for the merits of Jesus Christ, 
God is well pleased with the obedience of his Son, both 
active and passive : he is so far satisfied, as that he takes 
us to be in that state for his sake, as if we had fulfilled all 
his laws, and never broken them at any time, and as if we 
owed him not a farthing : this is imputative righteousness, 
however the papists may scoff at it. And this kind of 
justification must of necessity be by imputation : Why ? 
because, when a man hath committed a sin, it cannot be 
undone again : God, by his absolute power, cannot make 
a thing done, undone ; for it implies a contradiction. The 
act past cannot be revoked, nor the nature thereof 
changed : murder will be murder still, &c. How then can 
I be justified, the sin being past, and the nature of it still 
remaining? I say, how can I be justified, in the first 
sense any other way than by imputation? It is said. 

SERMONS. 24>3 

" God^ was, in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, 
not imputing their trespasses unto them." This kind 
of justification, which consists in remission of sins, can- 
not be imputative ; sin cannot be changed, nor the thing 
done, undone. 

But now Cometh a greater question : if by justification 
our sins be forgiven us, what sins are forgiven, I pray? 
sins past, or sins to come ? we are taught by some, that in 
the instant of justification, all our sins past and to come 
are remitted ; which is in my mind an unsound doctrine : 
for if we look narrowly into it, we shall find that in pro- 
priety of speech, remission of sins hath relation to that 
which is past : it is said therefore : " Whom'' God hath 
set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, 
to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that 
are past, through the forbearance of God." And remis- 
sion of sins hath relation to those that are past, as appears 
by inevitable reason ; for what is remission of sins, but sin 
covered ? Now can a thing be covered before it be ? 
" blot' out mine iniquities," saith David; can a thing 
be blotted out, before it is written ? this is the thing makes 
the pope so ridiculous, that he will forgive sins for the 
time before they are committed ; but what, do we get no- 
thing for the time to come ? yes, yes, when the sin is past, 
by faith we have a new access unto God ; and having 
risen by repentance, we get a new act, not of universal 
justification, but of a particular justification from this 
and that particular sin. 

But if there be forgiveness of sins past already, and I 
know that I am justified, and my sin remitted ; may I now 
pray for forgiveness of sins past ? The papists say it is 
active infidelity, and as absurd to pray to God to create 
the world anew, or incarnate his Son again. 

But there is no remission where there is no praying ; 
and there is need of praying for the remission of sins past, 
and against sin for the time to come, as I shall shew next 

s 2 Cor. chap. 5. ver. 19. '' Rom. chap. 3. ver. 25. 

' Psalm 51. ver. 1. 


244) SERMONS. 

time ; as also, consider whether there be any interruption 
of the act of justification by falling into great sins. There 
is no man hath a mind more against quirks and quillets 
than I ; yet for the opening of these things, and staying 
and settling the mind, and clearing the understanding, give 
me leave the next time to clear these things unto you. 



Rom. chap. V. ver. 1. 

Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

In this chapter, especially in the beginning thereof, I 
shewed unto you that the apostle sets down unto us those 
special comforts, that a man receives after God hath 
wrought that supernatural grace of faith in his heart ; so 
that here is set down the mother grace, justification by 
faith; and then the blessed issues or daughters thereof; 
and those are, a free access to God, a joyful hope of the 
glory to come, and not only a patient, but a joyful suffer- 
ing of all afflictions that shall befall us in this life. 

Concerning justification by faith, I laboured to open it 
unto you the last day; three things may well be considered 

1. What that faith is whereby we are justified. 

2. What that justification is, we have by faith. 

3. What relation the one of these hath to the other. 
Concerning the first of these I told you, that it was 

not every faith that justifieth, nor every kind of faith that 
a man can live by. There is a dead faith, and a man can- 
not live by a dead thing : and there is a living faith, and 
that is called a faith unfeigned. And though it be in 
Scripture called the faith, yet it is with some restriction ; 
it is the faith of God's elect ; and common to none besides. 
There is a faith also which is but temporary ; that being 
touched with the sense of sin, and seeing there is no deli- 
verance from the curse due to sin, but by Christ ; and that 
there is no part to be had in Christ, but by renouncing all 
corruptions ; the consideration of the desperateness of his 


case without Christ, makes him long after him ; and since 
he cannot have Christ without leaving sin, he will resolve 
on that too ; he will make towards Christ, and perhaps he 
comes to taste of the sweetness of Christ, and feels the 
power of the world to come ; he forsakes sin, and thereby 
comes so near the true believer, that a man must, as it were, 
cut a hair to divide between them. And this is a thing 
very necessary to be considered of. 

And I shewed unto you also that these are not moral 
things ; not a faith that is wrought by the power of men, 
but by a work of God's Spirit ; for it humbles a man for 
sin, and makes him make toward Christ, and seek him above 
all things, and having laid some hold on him, he escapes the 
pollutions of the world, and yet this faith is but temporary ; 
a thing supernatural it is, yet it is without root. Now 
as I noted unto you, this is not different in the circum- 
stance of time ; for time alters not the thing. A child that 
liveth but half an hour,, doth as properly and truly live, as 
one that liveth a hundred years. But it is called tempo- 
rary, not that therein stands the difference, but therein it 
is shewn, and that proves the man to have something 
wanting. Our being united to Christ, and being nigh un- 
to him, is as a graft or scion put into a tree ; there are 
two grafts put into one stock, and each of them have all 
the several things necessary done unto them, as cutting, 
binding, &c. yet time discovers that the one thrives, and 
the other withers ; so that there was a fault unseen ; though 
he that put in the grafts never saw it, yet time discovers 
it. Now the difference is not in the time, but in the foun- 
dation of the thing itself. Now what the difference is be- 
tween these, I laboured to declare unto you the last day. 

The use of it is in brief, this faith (I mean the sound faith) 
is not in all these. All have not faith, the faith, I say, of 
God's elect, yet some come so near, and have faith so like 
it, that it will trouble a vrise man to make the distinction. 
These are like the foolish virgins, that lived very civilly, 
and kept their maiden-heads in regard of the world ; none 
could accuse them for any evil they had done ; yet they are 
at length shut out. Many think themselves in a good way. 


and a safe condition, yea, and go out of the world in this 
conceit, and they are entering into the gate of heaven, till 
they in a moment are cast down to hell : try we therefore, 
search and sift ourselves ; if this grace were as grass that 
grows in every field, it were something ; but it is a pre- 
cious flower, which, if we have not, Christ profiteth us no- 
thing. This is the means of Christ's being applied unto 
thee; how doth it therefore behove every one of us to 
look to it, and not to slubber over the matter slightly, but 
to search and try, and examine ourselves. And in the 
marks I shewed before that it was such a thing as may be 
likened to a conception which never comes to the birth ; 
such a thing is this temporary faith. 

Among others let me add the tokens of love ; it is twice 
set down in the Galatians, " neither circumcision nor un- 
circumcision," but " faith which worketh by love ;" and 
again, "neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision," but "a 
new creature." They that have a temporary faith want no- 
thing but the new creature ; what is that ? it is " faith 
that worketh by love." They that love God, it is a sure 
token that God hath loved them first, and God never 
giveth this love to any but they have faith unfeigiied. 

The next thing is, he is ever careful to try himself, to 
prove himself. The temporary cannot endure to be 
brought to the touch or trial. He accounts every begin- 
ning of grace in himself very great ; every mole-hill to be a 
mountain. Now God's children know that they may be 
deceived with counterfeits, and therefore they try them- 

Mark the speech of the apostle : " Examine'' yourselves, 
prove your own selves ; know you not your own selves, 
how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be repro- 
bates ?" Let us understand the words ; first, we see 
then it is a thing that is possible to be known, whether we 
are in the faith, or no ; and this is flat against the papists, 
for they think that a man can have but a conjectural 
knowledge that he hath grace and faith. It may be pro- 

* 1 Cor. chap. 16. ver. 5. 


bable, they say, but it cannot be certainly known ; but 
does not the apostle say, " Examine yourselves, prove 
yourselves, knovr you not yourselves." No papist can 
know it, yet it is possible to be known. Prove and try, 
you shall not lose your labour. If you take pains in it, 
you shall attain it in this world. " Make*" your calling 
and election sure," saith the apostle, on God's part it is 
sure enough, " for'^the foundation of God standeth sure," 
but make it sure unto yourselves, in respect of your 
own knowledge. " Know you not your own selves, 
that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates." 
It is a thing may well be made sure of; therefore " search, 
try, examine." Others are content with bare begin- 
nings that never come to any maturity ; but those that 
have true faith, are ever bringing themselves to the trial 
and touchstone. 

But may some say, I have tried and examined myself, 
and I do not find that Christ is in me ; what, am I a repro- 
bate therefore ? 

No, God forbid : I say not the man is a reprobate that 
cannot discern that Christ is in him ; see what that is that 
will explain this : " For* there must be heresies among 
you, that they which are approved might be made 
known ;" there must be " SoKifioi, men that are approved," 
such as have endured the dint and shot of the musquet ; 
such as have put themselves to the trial, and come off well : 
those are the Soki/ioi, and are opposed to those aS6Ktfj.oi, 
who are such men, as taking things hand over head, do 
not search, and try, and examine, and put themselves 
to the proof; it is a sign these have not true faith ; for 
what, is the having of Christ so slight or poor a thing, as 
that they will take no pains for him, or care not for 
knowing whether they have him or no? what, neglect 
Christ so much, as not to adventure on the trial ? these 
are those aSoKifioi. But he which has this saving faith, 
he is ever putting himself to the trial. Again, God's 

" 2 Pet. chap. 2. ver. 10. « 2 Tim. chap. 2. ver. 19. 

I" 1 Cor. chap. 11. ver. 19. 


child not only useth the means in himself to try himself, 
but he prayeth for the aid of God also ; he knoweth that 
his own heart is deceitful, and may cozen him, but that 
" God is greater than his heart, and knoweth all things." 
And therefore he cryeth unto God to try him : " Try' me, 

God, and know my heart ; prove me, and know my 
thoughts; look, look well whether there be any way of 
wickedness in me, and lead me in the way everlasting ;" - 
there is an everlasting righteousness, and an everlasting 
way that leads unto it, about which these are not content 
to try themselves only, but they desire God to try them 
also ; and to make them know the uprightness of their 
own hearts, and not to suffer them to be deceived thereby. 
Now that I have done with. 

Consider now what that justification is, that is obtained by 
this " true lively faith ;" I shewed unto you that justifica- 
tion is ordinarily taken for an acquittance from a debt. 
It is derived from justice or righteousness; therefore I 
shewed that justification and righteousness are taken for 
one and the self same thing ; " for if there had been a 
law given which could have given life, verily righteousness 
should have been by the law ;" that is, justification had 
been by the law. Now as there is a double righteous- 
ness, so there is also a double justification. Not that 

1 hold there is any other justification, as it compre- 
hends remission of sins, but only one, but other ways, as 
many righteousnesses as there are, so many justifications 
there are. Now there is a double kind of righteousness, 
the one imputed, and the other inherent ; the one is the 
righteousness of Christ, an act transient from another, 
which cannot be made mine but by imputation. Besides 
this, there is another which is inherent, a righteousness in 
us. St. James speaks of the one, and St. Paul of the 
other. One is opposed to condemnation, and the other to 
hypocrisy. The soundness of the heart is respected of God 
for righteousness, in respect of the graces inherent in us. 

Now to give you a touch of the difference between the 
one and the other, and therein to declare the difference 

" Psalm 139. ver. 23. 


between us and Rome : know then, that the question be- 
tween us and Rome, is not whether justification be by 
faith or no ; but whether there be any such thing as 
justification or no. The doctrine of the Church of Rome 
is, that there is no such grace as this. 

But concerning the first of these, that justification 
which is by the imputation of Christ's righteousness, I 
showed unto you that imputation in this case is, as when 
a man comes to hold, up his hand at God's bar, as it were, 
and it is demanded of him what he hath to say for him- 
self, why he should not die ; and then this justification 
by Christ's righteousness is opposed to condemnation. 
Then justification by faith is, that when I come to stand 
before God, though conscience say I am guilty of a thou- 
sand sins, yet I may go boldly and plead my pardon, 
which will acquit me, as if I had never sinned at any time. 
" God was thus in Christ reconciling us (the world) unto 
himself, not imputing their sins unto them." Now sin is a 
thing past, which being done, cannot be made undone, 
the sin remains still : murder is murder still ; and adultery 
is adultery still ; it cannot be undone again. Now how 
shall this man that is guilty of murder and adultery be 
made just ? it cannot possibly be but by not imputing his 
sin unto him, so that God should account it to him, as if 
it had not been done at all by him; he puts it upon 
Christ's account ; account : the word is used in the epis- 
tle to Philemon, ver. 18. where St. Paul saith: " If he 
hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine 
account." A man's sins being thus put upon Christ's 
account, he is accepted of God as freely as if he had never 
owed him any thing, or as if he had never off'ended him. 
Now this is done by transferring the debt from one person 
to another ; so that we see this imputation of sin to Christ, 
and of Christ's righteousness to us is most necessary. It 
must be so : and if there were no testimony for it in the 
Scripture, yet reason sheweth that there can be no 
righteousness, but by God's acceptation of us in Christ, as 
if we had never sinned ; there is the diff'erence then : 
" To him that worketh not, but believeth in him that jus- 


ifieth the ungodly, his faith is accounted to him for 

But doth God justify the ungodly? that is a hard 
speech; we read in the Proverbs, chap. XVII. ver. 15. 
" He that justifieth the wicked, and condemneth the just, 
even they both are abomination to the Lord." 

But here we must understand this as we do some other 
Scriptures ; we read in St. Luke, chap. VII. ver. 22. that 
" the blind see, the lame walk, the dumb speak." It is 
impossible for a man to be blind and see, to be dumb and 
speak, all at once ; yet take the chief of sinners, suppose 
Paul, and he was so on his own account ; but the act of 
justification alters him. God justifies the ungodly, that 
is, him that was even now so ; but by the imputation of 
Christ's righteousness he is made righteous, that is, 
righteous in God's account. And indeed, justification in 
St. Paul's acception, importing the remission of sins, 
the person justified must of necessity be supposed to have 
been a sinner ; otherwise remission of sins would no more 
concern him, than repentance doth the holy angels which 
never offended. 

But in proceeding in this point I did reflect a little 
back. God finds a man with a number of sins, full of sin, 
and forgives these sins ; now I demanded this ; how far 
doth this justification and forgiveness extend ? to sins past 
alone, or to sins and to come? And I answered that 
we must consider this matter two ways. 

First, to justify a man's person simply ; and then to jus- 
tify a man from this or that particular act : the phrase is 
used in Scripture : " And^ by him all that believe, are jus- 
tified from all things, from which ye could not be justi- 
fied by the law of Moses." There is justification from this 
or that thing : there is first, justification of a man's per- 
son ; he that was an enemy, is now made a friend ; he is 
now no longer a stranger at home, but is in the list of 
God's household. Now this we say, no sooner doth a 
man receive it, but the selfsame hour that he receiveth it, 

f Acts, chap. !3. ver. 39. 


the bond is cancelled, the evidence is torn, and fastened 
to the cross of Christ, and hangs up among the records, 
whereas before it was an evidence against us, and would 
have lain heavy on us at the bar ; but now it is fastened 
to the cross, as a cancelled record, the bond is become 

Secondly, but now when we consider justification from 
this or that particular act ; I declared that so a man is only 
justified from sins past ; for it is contrary to reason and 
Scripture, that a man should be justified from sins to 
come : for Scripture, the apostle hath it : " Whom^ God 
hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his 
blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of 
sins that are past, through the forbearance of God ;" and 
it is clear also from the nature of the thing. A thing can- 
not be remitted before it be committed, nor covered before 
it had an existence, nor blotted out before it be written. 
Therefore justification from such or such a fault, must 
have relation to that which is past; but for justification 
for the time to come, I will speak anon; there I left the 
last time. 

I have now faith, and I believe in Christ ; I have now 
relation to him, and remission of sins past. By why then 
do I pray for it ? to what end is that ? Bellarmine objects 
that it is an act of infidelity to pray for it afterwards ; but 
we do it, and we ought to do it ; see Psalm LI. David 
made that Psalm after the prophet Nathan had told him 
his sin was pardoned ; see the title of it, (and we must 
know that the title is a part of God's word as well as the 
rest) A psalm of David when Nathan came unto him, after 
he had gone in unto Bathsheba : Nathan told him that 
God had took away his sin : yet he crieth here throughout 
the whole psalm, to have his sin pardoned and blotted 
out ; so that though there were faith and assurance, yet 
he still prays for it. Now Bellarmine saith, this cannot 
be ; but doth he dispute against our opinion ? no, he dis- 
putes against the Holy Ghost ; for David having received 

s Kom. chap. 3. ver. 25. 


a message of forgiveness, yet prays. Therefore if the 
Jesuit had grace, he would join with us to salve the 
matter, rather than through our sides to strike at God. 

But it is a fallacy to join these two together; for a man 
to pray for a thing past, it is an act of infidelity ; as to 
pray that God would create the world, and incarnate his 

I answer, there is difference between an act done, 
and an act continued; when the world was made by 
God, God had finished that work. And when Christ 
took our flesh upon him, the act was done; but th^ 
forgiveness of sin is a continued act, which holds to- 
day and to-morrow, and world without end. God is 
pleased not to impute thy sins, but cover them ; now this 
covering is no constant act, but upon a supposition of 
constant indulgence, which ought to be solicited by con- 
stant prayer. I may cover a thing now, and uncover it 
again ; now forgiveness of sin being an act not complete, 
but continued, and continued world without end, and 
therefore we say the saints in heaven are justified by im- 
putative righteousness, God's continuance of his act of 
mercy. The point then is this ; as long as we continue 
in the world, and by contrary acts of disobedience con- 
tinue to provoke God to discontinue his former acts of 
mercy, and our sins being but covered, therefore so long 
must we pray for forgiveness. When the servant had 
humbled himself before his lord, it is said; "The'' lord of 
that servant loosed him, and forgave him the debt." But 
though he forgave him, yet he did another act that caused 
his lord to discontinue his pardon: " Shouldst' not thou, 
also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, as I had 
pity on thee ?" He had pity on him ; yet since he doth 
another act, which turns his lord's heart against him, 
therefore " he is now cast into prison, and he must not 
come out thence till he hath paid the utmost farthing." 
He had forgave him to-day and to-morrow, and would 
have continued his forgiveness, if he had not thus pro- 

" Matth. chap. 18. ver. 27. • Ibid. ver. 33. 


voked him ; we must pray to God to continue his acts of 
mercy, because we continually provoke him by new acts 
of rebellion. Add to this, the king grants pardon to a 
man ; in all patents of pardon there is a clause that the 
man Inust renew his patent. If forgiveness may be re- 
newed, then those things are to be renewed again, by 
which the renovation of my remission may be wrought. 
God would have me renew my acts of faith ; and if of faith, 
why not of repentance, and of prayer? There is a sin- 
gular place in Ezek. chap. XXXVI. ver. 29. 35. 37. that 
makes it plain, that though God intends to do the thing, 
yet he appoints this to be the means : " Thus saith the 
Lord God, I will yet for this be inquired of by the house 
of Israel, to do it for them ;" that is, though I have done it, 
and intend to it, yet will I do it by the means of prayer. 
Howsoever that God had promised Elijah, " that rain 
should come upon the face of the earth ;" yet he goes 
upon the mount, and saw no show of a cloud. The text 
saith not what he did ; but " he put his head between his 
knees." St. James saith, " he prayed, and he opened 
heaven, and brought down rain." It was an humble 
secret gesture. A man may be more free in private than 
in public. " He prayed, and the heavens opened." God 
had promised it, and would do it, but yet he would be 
sought to. So we see the mediate cause is prayer ; so, 
though the Lord will do this, yet for all this he will be 
inquired of: it is not with God as with men ; men, who 
have promised, would be loth to be sued to, not to break 
their promise; they account that a dishonour to them, 
but it is not so with God; God hath promised, yet thou 
shalt have no benefit of it, until thou sue to him for it ; 
therefore thou must go to God and say, " Lord fulfil thy 
promise to thy servant, wherein thou hast caused me to 
trust." God loves to have his bond sued out. Lord, 
make good this word, perform that good word that thou 
hast spoken. God would have his bond thus sued out. 
And as- thy faith, repentance, prayer is renewed, so is thy 
pardon renewed. When God will make a man possess 
the sins of his youth ; when a man is careless this way, it 


pleaseth God to awaken him. " Thou'' writest bitter things 
against me, and makest me to possess the iniquity of my 
youth." When a man forgetteth the iniquities of his 
youth, and reneweth not his repentance, and hath not 
new acts of faith and petition, then God maketh him to 
" possess the iniquities of his youth ;" he makes his sins 
stand up and cry out against him, and by this means his 
old evidences are obliterated. When a man hath a par- 
don, and it is almost obliterated, the letters almost worn 
out, that they cannot be read, he would be glad to have it 
renewed, to have a new exemplification. Every sin it 
puts a great blur upon thine old evidences that thou canst 
not read them. They may be firm in heaven, and yet 
perhaps be so blurred that thou canst not read them, and 
therefore if thou wouldst get them cleared again, thou 
must go to God by prayer, and renew them again ; so that 
whether our evidences be blurred, or whether it be that 
God will make us possess the iniquities of our youth, 
it is necessary to pray for the forgiveness of those sins, 
which have been before forgiven. , 

But now you will say, when I have sinned afterward, 
how come I then to be justified? Then a man would think 
repentance only doth it, and without repentance a man 
cannot be justified. 

But you must understand, repentance is not an instru- 
ment at all; faith only is the instrument, faith justifieth 
me from sin hereafter, as well as before. The case is this, 
faith brings life. " The righteous shall live by his faith," 
as the prophet Habakkuk' speaks. 

What do then new sins do ? 

There are two sorts of sins ; one of ordinary incursion, 
which cannot be avoided ; these break no friendship be- 
twixt God and us ; these only weaken our faith, and make 
us worse at ease. But there are other sins which waste a 
man's conscience; a man that hath committed murder, 
adultery, and lives in covetousness, which (in the apostles) 
is idolatry ; as long as a man is in this case, he cannot 

•= Job, chap. 13. ver. 26. ' Chap. 2. ver. 4. 


exercise the acts of faith ; we must know faith justifieth 
not as an habit, but as an act applying Christ to the 
comfort of the soul. Now a wasting sin it stops the pas- 
sage of faith, it cannot act till it be opened by repentance ; 
physicians give instances for it. Those that have apo- 
plexies, epilepsies, and the falhng sickness, are thought 
to be dead for the time, as it was with Eutychus, yet saith 
St. Paul, " his"" spirit was in him." Every one thought 
him dead, yet his spirit is in him ; however in regard of 
the operation of his senses it did appear he was dead. So, 
if thou art a careless man and lookest not to thy watch, 
and to thy guard, but art overtaken in some gross and 
grievous sin, thou art taken for dead. I say not, a man 
can lose his life that once hath it ; but yet in the appre- 
hension of others, and of himself to, he may appear to be 
dead. As in epilepsies, the nerves are hindered by obstruc- 
tions ; so sin obstructs the nerves of the soul, that there 
cannot be that life and working till these sins be removed. 
Now what is repentance? why, it clears the passages, 
that though faith could not act before, yet now it gives 
him dispositions unto it. As a man in a swoon cannot do 
the acts of a living man, till he be refreshed again ; so 
here it is repentance which clears the spirits, and makes 
the life of faith pass throughout. Now when repeiltance 
clears the passages, then faith acts, and now there is a new 
act of faith, faith justifies me from my new sins ; faith at 
first and at last, is that whereby I am justified from my 
sins, which I commit afterwards. 

But this forgiveness of sins, what doth it free us from ? 

In sin, we must consider two things ; the fault and the 
punishment. Now consider sin as it is in itself, and as in 
itself, and as it respects the sinner, as acted by him, as re- 
pecting the fault of the sinner, it is avofiia, a transgression 
of the law ; the punishment is death ; as it respects the 
sinner, it is guilt. The sin is not guilt, but the guilt the 
sinner's. For instance, a man hath told a lie, or sworn an 
oath, the act is past, but a thing remains, which we call 

" Acts, chap. 20. ver. 13. 


the guilt. As if a man commit murder, or adultery, the 
act is past, but yet if he sleep, or walk, or wake, the guilt 
follows him; and nothing can take away the murder, or 
adultery from the soul, but the blood of Christ applied by 

First, God takes away the punishment. " There" is 
now," saith the apostle, " no condemnation to them that 
are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but 
after the Spirit ;" what, nothing in them worthy of con- 
demnation? God knows we are worthy of a thousand 
condemnations. There are two judges ; there is a dou- 
ble guilt; when a man is brought to the bar, first, the 
jury judge the fact, and then the judge that sits on the 
bench, he judgeth the punishment ; one saith. Guilty, or not 
guilty ? The other saith. Guilty, then he judgeth him. 
Now when we are justified, we are freed from both these 
guilts ; "sin° when it is accomplished, bringeth forth 
death :" you know the natural work of sin, cnroKvet, it la- 
bours with death; now God will stop the acts of it, that it 
shall not do that, which it is apt to do, which is as good 
as if the sin were taken away ; when there were wild 
gourds sliced in the pot, it is said, the prophet^ took that 
venomous herb away ; that is, though the thing were 
there, yet it is as if it were not there, it shall do no manner 
of hurt : " Bring now and pour out, and there was no evil 
thing." So in respect of us, though there be an evil thing 
in punishment, and what, if we had our due, would bring 
condemnation, yet when we are sprinkled with the blood 
of Christ, it can do us no evil, no hurt ; it is said in the 
Scripture, that the stars fell from heaven to the earth ; but 
they are said to fall, when they give not their light, and 
do not that, for which they were put there ; so, though I 
have committed sin, yet when God is pleased for Christ's 
sake to pardon it, it is as if it were not there at all. 

This is a great matter, but I tell you there is more ; we 
are not only freed from the guilt of punishment, but which 

" Rom. chap. 8. ver. 1. ° James, chap. 1. ver. 15. 

P S Kings, chap. 4. ver. 41. 



is higher, we are freed from the guilt of the fact. I am 
now no more a murderer, no more a Har ; when I have re- 
ceived a pardon from the blood of Christ, he frees me 
from that charge, the world is changed with me now. 
" Who'' shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect ?" 
If the Devil lay any thing to thee thou mayest deny it- 
Such a one I was, but I am justified, but I am sancti- 
fied. A man hath committed high treason against the 
king, and the king gives him a pardon for the treason ; if 
I call him a traitor, he can have no remedy against me, 
for he is one ; the pardon takes not away the guilt : but if 
his blood be restored unto him, by act of parliament, then 
if I shall call him traitor, he may remedy against me, be- 
cause he is restored fully, and is not liable to that disgrace. 
This is our case, " though^ our sins be as red as scarlet," 
yet the die shall be changed ; it shall not be so bloody : 
thou hast the grace of justification, and this doth not only 
clear thee from the punishment, but from the fault itself : see 
in Jeremiah, chap. XX. ver. 20. the place is worth gold : 
" In those days, and in that time saith the Lord, the ini- 
quity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be 
rione ; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be 
found : For I will pardon them whom I reserve." What 
is the matter ? What, a sinful man, and no sin ? What 
then, there is search made for sin in such a man, shall it 
not be found ? You will say this is meant of the grace of 
justification ; no : " I will pardon them ;'' that pardoning of 
sin makes the sin not to be found. What a wonderful 
comfort is this ? When I shall come at the day of judg- 
ment, and have the benefit of my justification, the last ab- 
solution, such sins shall not be charged on me, my sins 
and iniquities shall not be remembered. "I will remem- 
ber their sins no more," saith God ; it is a wonderful thing, 
and a strange mistake in many men, especially the Papists ; 
did they ever write comfortably of the day of judgment? 
Never ; they make that a terrible day. Alas poor souls, 

' Ram. chap, 8. ver. 33. ' Isai. chap. 1. ver. IS. 


they knew not that justification is that, that makes sins 
that they shall never be remembered : mark, it is said, 
thou shalt hear of all thy good deeds for thy honour and 
thy praise ; but for thy sins, there shall search be made, 
and they shall not be found, when God forgives sins, he 
doth it fully, it shall never be cast in thy teeth again : but 
thou shalt hear of all thy good deeds, not of thy bad. 
Then " lift' up your heads, for your redemption draweth 
near :" here is the blessed grace of justification, that we 
being justified by faith, have not only no condemnation, 
but no guilt ; whereas all the sins of the wicked man shall 
be set before his face, and he shall stand quaking and 
trembling by reason thereof: " not" one good thing that 
he hath done shall be remembered, but in the iniquity 
that he hath committed, in that shall he die ;" and so I 
have said somewhat of that point. 

You may remember that I said (a word perhaps that 
some think much of) that the question betwixt us and 
Rome, is not whether we be justified by faith or no ? But 
whether we be justified at all ; I will make it good. There 
are two graces, righteousness imputed, which implies for- 
giveness of sins ; and righteousness inherent, which is the 
grace of sanctification begun. They utterly deny that 
there is any righteousness, but righteousness inherent. 
They say forgiveness of sins is nothing but sanctification. 
A new doctrine never heard of in the Church of God, till 
those last days, till the spawn of the Jesuits devised it. 
Forgiveness of sin is this, that God will never charge me 
with it again. They say, that forgiveness of sin is an 
abolishing of sin in the subject, where is true remission ; 
as much as to say, there is no justification distinct from 
sanctification : whereas the apostle distinguisheth them, 
when he saith : " The'' Son of God is made unto us wis- 
dom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." He 
is made unto us " of God." By the way let me ex- 
pound it unto you. Christ hath three offices ; a prophe- 

' Luke, chap. 21. ver. 28. " Ezek. chap. 18. ver. 24. 

" 1 Cor. chap. 1. ver. 28. 

s 2 


tical, regal, and sacerdotical office. He exerciseth his 
prophetical office to illuminate our understanding. He 
exerciseth his kingly office to work on our will and affec- 
tions : there are two branches of it, the kingdom of grace, 
and the kingdom of glory. How am I made partaker of 
Christ's prophetical office : he is made unto me wisdom, 
before I was a fool, but now, by it, I am made wise. First, 
he enlightens me, and so he is made unto me wisdom : 
well, he is my priest ; how so ? He is made an expiation 
for my sin ; he is said to be iXao-juoc in St. John, " a pro- 
pitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the 
sins of the world." There is a difference between avyy- 
vw/iri and iXacTfibg, that is a bare pardon, but this is such 
a propitiation, as the party offended is well pleased with 
Christ, being made a ransom ; he is made unto us iXacrfiog, 
by the oblation offered unto his father. He is righteous- 
ness imputed to us. And as a king, he rules me in the 
kingdom of grace, and in the kingdom of glory ; in the 
kingdom of grace he is made unto me sanctification, and 
in the kingdom of glory he is made unto me redemption ; 
it is called by the apostle, the redemption of our bodies ; 
these two are thus clearly distinguished. The work of 
Christ's priestly office is to be a propitiation for our sins ; 
sanctification proceeds from the sceptre of his kingdom : 
the one is without me, the other within me, the one re- 
ceives degrees, the other not. As a man that is holy, 
may be more holy ; but imputed righteousness doth not 
more forgive one man than another. Imputation is with- 
out augmentation or diminution. Those things which 
have divers contraries, cannot be one and the same thing. 
Justification and sanctification have divers contraries. 
The contrary to justification is condemnation ; but the con- 
trary to sanctification is wickedness, and false dealing, &c. 
Aristotle distinguisheth homonymous words, and bids you 
consider their contraries : thus you see the difference be- 
tween these two. 

I should now come and descend unto the dependance 
one hath on the other ; that is, in what respect doth faith 



justify? Is faith an instrument to work justification, or to 
receive it only ? 

The answer is clear, it justifieth in regard of the object. 
If you remember the two places I bid you compare : 
" Whomy God hath set forth to be a propitiation through 
faith in his blood;" is that all? compare this place with, 
" Much^ more then, being now sanctified by his blood, 
we shall be saved from wrath through him;" we are justi- 
fied by his blood, and by faith in his blood : here are two 
acts which signify the same thing. It is no more than to 
say, I was cured by the bath, or by going to the bath, so 
that faith is the legs of the soul, that brmgs a man to 
Christ. And so my faith is an instrument, not to procure 
my justification, but to receive it; so that, seeing faith is 
an instrument, to receive justification, and to procure it, 
then the weakest faith carryeth away as much forgiveness 
as the strongest. A strong faith rids a great deal of work, 
because it is an active instrument. The stronger faith 
worketh the greater work ; but in the point of justifica- 
tion, it is an instrument whereby my justification is 
wrought, an instrument whereby Christ is received. And 
the weakest hand may receive a piece of gold as well as 
the strongest ; we must know that in the point of receiving 
we live on God's alms. All our justification is his free 
gift, and faith is that palsy hand which receives all our 
comfort. It is not, then a strong faith that justifieth, but 
faith ; it is called by Peter, " a* like precious faith." 
" Simon Peter a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ to 
them that have obtained like precious faith with us, 
through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus 
Christ.'' It is ofiortfiog, in the meanest Christian that 
hath a trembling hand to pitch on that, and draw virtue 
from him ; it is a like precious faith in them, as in the 
most great apostle Peter, and all the rest. 

' Rom. chap. 3. ver. 25. ' Rom, chap. 5. ver. 9. 

" 2 Pet. chap. 1. ver. 1. 



Rom. chap. V. ver. 1. 

Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ, 

I HAVE heretofore declared unto you, that in these 
words, and the words following, there are set down the 
great graces and great blessings which you have in Christ, 
in the kingdom of grace, before you come to the kingdom 
of glory. 

First, here is set down the mother and radical grace 
of all the rest, and that is justification by faith; and 
then followeth the blessed fruit that issueth from thence. 

1 . Peace with God. 

2. A gracious access into his presence. 

3. A joyful hope arising from that great glory that we 
shall enjoy for the time to come. 

4. In the worst of our troubles, and midst of our afflic- 
tions, this joy is so great, that it cannot be abated by any 
of them ; yea, it is so far from being abated by them, that 
they are as fuel to kindle it : we rejoice in affliction, saith 
the apostle, that which would undo the joy of a carnal 
man, is made the matter of this man's joy. 

Concerning the first of these, I shewed you that justifi- 
cation is the ground or foundation of all the rest : " being 
justified by faith;" that is the root and ground, without 
which there is no fruit, no peace, no joy, no hope, much 
less any kind of rejoicing in tribulation. Faith is that 
which seasoneth all ; we must be justified by faith, 
before we have any other comforts ; for that is the first 
ground, the first rudiment for a Christian in the school of 


Therefore I proposed unto you three things for the 
understanding of it. 

1. What that faith is that justifieth. 

2. What that justification is that is obtained by faith. 
3.. What relation the one of these hath to the other. 
Concerning the first of these I shewed you that it is 

not every faith that justifieth. I shewed you that there is 
a dead faith, whereupon the apostle saith : " The" life 
that I now live, I hve by the faith of the Son of God." 
A dead thing cannot make a living man ; it must be, and 
I shewed you how, a Uving faith. 

Again, I shewed that beside the true faith, there was a 
temporary faith, which is active too, and comes near the 
other. It had the operations of the Spirit, but it wanted 
root. It had supernatural works, but it wanted the new 
creature. There was a conception, that was but an abor- 
tive kind of birth, it came not to maturity, not to a full 
growth, it did not continue. And I shewed unto you 
how a man might discern one of these from the other ; 
for herein lieth the wisdom of a Christian, not to content 
himself, or be deceived with flashes ; therefore the apos- 
tle exhorts us " to*" prove, and try, and examine our- 
selves." It is an easy matter to be deceived, and therefore 
God's people should be careful to examine themselves, to 
have their senses exercised herein, that however others 
may slight and slubber over the matter, they may be 
careful in it ; and then they will not only do it themselves, 
but they will crave the aid of God also : " Prove'' me, O 
my God, try me." 

Then for the second thing, concerning that justifica- 
tion that is obtained by faith. I shewed you that the 
word justification was derived from justice or righteous- 
ness ; and as many ways as justice and righteousness may 
be taken, so many ways may justification be taken : some- 
times for justification of righteousness in a man, and 
sometimes it is opposed to condemnation; so it is taken 

» Gal. chap. 2. ver. 2. ''2 Cor. chap. 13. Tcr. 5. 

■■ Psalm 139. vcr. 23. 


in St. Paul, and it is taken as an acquittal ; sometimes it 
is opposed to hypocrisy and pollution in a man's soul; so 
it signifies sanctification, whereby God not only covers 
our sins past, but heals our natures. The first is perfect, 
but imputed: the second inherent, but imperfect. When 
the time cometh that God will finish his cure, he will then 
make a perfect cure ; when final grace cometh, we shall 
not need to think of a popish purgatory. Death is the 
Loi'd's refining pot ; then there is not a jot of sin shall be 
left in a Christian, Now, when God hath taken away 
our dross, then to think we shall be put in a refining fire ; 
that an entire soul that hath no blot, that one that hath 
no spot, should be purged after final grace hath made 
him clear and whole, that is against reason and common 
sense. They might have learned better of their own 
Thomas ; all the fire in the world will never put away 
sin without the infusion of grace. This by the way con- 
cerning them. 

I shewed besides, that these two being both righte- 
ousnesses, the Church of Rome confounds them both 
together : St. James his justification with St. Paul's. 
They confound inherent righteousness which is begun, 
and shall be perfected in final grace with the other ; so 
that the point is not between us and Rome, whether 
faith justifieth by works or no? but, whether it justifieth 
at all ? In truth that is the state of it : the question is 
this, whether there be such a grace as justification that is 
distinguished from sanctification, or whether there be 
another grace of sanctification? Do not think that we 
are such blockheads as to deny faith and sanctification ; 
yet faith is but a piece or part of that train of virtues. 
There justification is taken for sanctification; we acknow- 
ledge a man is justified by faith and works : but the ques- 
tion is between us and them, whether there be any justifi- 
cation besides sanctification? that is, whether there be 
any justification at all or no? we say sanctification is 
wrought by the kingly office of Christ ; he is a king that 
rules in our hearts, subdues our corruptions, governs us 
by the sceptre of his word and Spirit ; but it is the fruit 


of his priestly office which the Church of Rome strikes 
at : "that is, whether Christ hath reserved another righte- 
ousness for us, besides that which as a king, he works in 
our hearts, whether he hath wrought forgiveness of sins 
for us ? we say he hath, and so saith all the Church, till 
the new spawn of Jesuits arose. They distinguish not 
remission of sins from sanctification. Bellarmine saith, 
" remission of sins is the extinguishing of sin in the soul ;" 
as water, though it be cold, yet the bringing in of heat 
extinguishes the cold; and so remission of sins is the 
bringing in of inherent righteousness, which extinguisheth 
all sin which was before. A strange thing, and were it 
not that the Scripture does speak of " a'^ cup in the hand 
of the harlot of Rome, whereby she makes drunk the in- 
habitants of the earth with the wine of her fornication," 
except the men of her communion were drunk, it were 
impossible that a learned man should thus shake out an 
article of our and their creed, which hath ever been 
believed by all the churches. When the Scripture speaks 
of forgiveness of sins, see how it expresseth it: " Be® ye 
kind one to another, brethren, tender hearted, forgiving 
one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven 

Observe in the Lord's prayer, we pray that the " Lord 
would forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that 
trespass against us." Let him that hath common under- 
standing judge : do we forgive our neighbour by extin- 
guishing sin in the subject ? I forgive you ; that is, I 
take away the ill office you did me : doth he forgive 
thus? alas, no! forgiveness is without a man. I have an 
action against you, perhaps an action at law ; I will let 
fall my suit, my charges I will forgive ; this is forgiveness. 
" God justifieth, who shall condemn?" Though God has 
just cause to proceed against me as a rebel, yet he is con- 
tent to let fall his action, to fasten it upon the cross of 
his Son; there to fix the chirographum, " the' liand- 

'' Rev. chap. 17. viv. 4. and chap. 18. vcr. 3. 

" Ephes. chap. 4. ver. 32. f Coloss. chap. 2. ver. 14. 


writing against us." He will let fall that which was the 
ground of a suit against us, all that he could say against 

That you may understand the thing the better, there 
are two things, two kinds of righteousness ; the one of 
justification, the other of sanctification. The Holy Ghost 
distinguisheth them by several terms : " Of^ him are ye in 
Christ Jesus, who is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, 
sanctification, and redemption." You see here are two 
distinct graces, righteousness and sanctification; they 
make them but one, sanctification and remission of sins. 
" Moreover'', whom he did predestinate, them he also 
called; and whom he called, them he also justified ; and 
whom he justified, them he also glorified." Here justifi- 
cation and glorification are nothing else but justification 
and sanctification. St. Paul speaks of a thing past, not 
of the glory to come ; them he glorified, not shall glorify : 
he means sanctification, which is inchoate glory. For 
what is the glory we shall have in heaven, but the enlarge- 
ment of those inherent graces God begins in this world ? 
Here is the seed, there is the crop : here thou hast a little 
knowledge, but there it shall be enlarged ; now thou hast 
a little joy, there thou shalt enter into thy master's joy ; 
here some knowledge, but there thou shalt have a full 
knowledge, and a full measure. Here glory dwelleth in 
our land, but there we " shall' with open face behold as 
in a glass the glory of the Lord, and be changed into the 
same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of 
the Lord ;" that is, we are more and more conformed to the 
image of Almighty God, by obedience and holy qualities in- 
fused into us, that we grow from one degree of sanctifi- 
cation unto another. And so you see how these are dis- 
tinguished by their terms. Justification and glorification, 
justification and sanctification. There is another place in 
St. John, an hard place ; but yet as I take it, these two righ- 
teousnesses, that have the same name for justification and 

E 1 Cor. chap. 1. ver. 30. •■ Rom. chap. 8. ver. 30. 

' 2 Cor. chap. 3. ver. 18. 


sanctification, are righteousnesses both of them, to be 
distinct in their terms; in that place it is said, that 
" when" the Spirit shall come, he shall reprove ;" or, as we 
should translate it, and as you read it in the margin, " he 
shall convince the world concerning sin, righteousness 
and judgment." Thus I say it should be translated, for 
it is of no sense to say that God should reprove the world 
of righteousness ; on what occasion this was spoken, we 
must not stand to speak : but righteousness and judgment 
is justification and sanctification. And the drift of the 
place is this ; when the Spirit shall come, how ? not upon 
me or thee ; but the Spirit here spoken of is that Spirit 
that should come upon the apostles, it shall begin at the 
day of Pentecost ; and these, first, should set forth like 
twelve champions to conquer the world, and to bring them 
unto the sceptre of Christ. He shall convince the world ; 
that is, when the Spirit shall come on you, and your 
tongues be tipped with that spiritual fire, which shall be ac- 
tive ; it shall convince the world of three particulars, " of sin, 
righteousness and judgment :" of the point of humiliation 
for sins, the point of justification by righteousness impu- 
tative : and the glory of sanctification in judgment, and 
righteousness inherent. This method St. Paul useth in 
the Romans to stop every man's mouth. First, he con- 
vinceth the gentile, which was easy to be done ; after, he 
convinceth the Jew, that there is righteousness to be had 
in another, though none in myself. " He shall convince 
the world :" As if he should say, to be shut up under 
unbelief is to be convinced of all sins. Now consider 
what is the nature of unbelief ; it is to fasten all sins upon 
a man : and when I have faith, all my sins are put out of 
possession, they are as if they were not; but if we are 
shut up under unbelief, we are dead. The second work 
of God's Spirit, is the ministry of his word ; he shall 
convince the world that there is righteousness to be had 
by a communion with another ; though we are guilty in 
ourselves, yet he will set us free ; and the reason is, 

^ John, chap. 16. vcr. 8. 


" because I go to my Father." As if he should say, 
though you be convinced of your sins, that you are wholly 
dead in trespasses and sins, and have no means in the 
virorld to put that away ; yet notwithstanding, the second 
work of God's Spirit is to convince of righteousness ; 
that there is a righteousness to be had in Christ, because 
he was our surety, arrested for debt ; he was committed 
to prison, where he could not come out, till he had paid 
the utmost farthing. There is a justification to be had in 
me ; I go to the creditor, I have made no escape ; not 
like one that brake the prison, and ran away, but I am now 
a free man. I have not made an escape before the debt 
is paid, then I might be brought back again ; but the debt 
is discharged, and therefore " I go to my Father," to 
maintain my place and standing. I was " given unto 
death for your sins, but I am risen again for your justifi- 
cation," and I now sit at my Father's right hand : this is 
the second thing. But is there not a third thing that the 
woi-k of the ministry must do ? Yes, " to convince the 
world that there is a judgment or righteousness inherent." 
There is a hard place, I shall speak of it ; it is usual in 
Scripture to join righteousness and judgment together. 
The words of the Lord are " righteousness and judgment." 
And the integrity of a man's heart which is opposed tp 
hypocrisy, is called judgment; " as' God liveth who hath 
taken away my judgment." How did God take away his 
judgment? is it meant that he had taken away his wits? 
No, but he hath put his heavy hand on me, that hath put 
a conceit in the mind of my friends that I am an hypo- 
crite; though, to confront the error of his misjudging 
friends, he was resolved to persist in his integrity; " My™ 
righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go ; my heart 
shall not reproach me so long as I live." His "judgment 
was taken away," that is, the opinion they had of his in- 
tegrity: and this will expound another place in Matth. 
chap. XII. ver. 20. " A bruised reed shall he not break, 
and smoking flax shall he not quench, until he send forth 

' Job, chap. 27. vcr. 2. " Verse 8. 


judgment unto victory ?" What is that, " until he send 
forth judgment?" This judgment signifies nothing but 
those inherent graces, those infused quaUties, that God 
sends into the heart of a Christian; which being pro- 
duced in the children of God by the spirit of judgment, 
through which they are enabled to judge what is right 
and acceptable to God in Christ, who is their wisdom, 
are themselves called judgment. You read therefore of 
washing away the filth of the daughters of Sion, and pur- 
ging the blood of Jerusalem, which is the sanctification 
of the Church, by the spirit of judgment". In a man's 
first conversion there are but beginnings of grace : what is 
faith, hope, patience and fear? it is like a smoking flax, 
that is, like the smoking wick of a candle made of flax : 
as when a candle burns in the socket, it is now up, now 
down, you know not whether it be alive or dead ; so in 
the first conversion of a Christian, infidelity and faith, 
hope and despair mount up and down. There is a con- 
flict in the beginning of conversion, but he will not give it 
over until he bring forth judgment, until he get the victory 
of all opposition from the flesh. And what is the reason ? 
" Because the Prince of this world is judged." He shall 
convince the world of an inherent righteousness in spite of 
the Devil's teeth, because he is condemned. He that 
before worked in the children of disobedience is now cast 
down. The strong man is cast out, and therefore, upon 
that ground you have the third point. Besides the grace 
of justification following upon Christ's death, there is ano- 
ther ; the grace, I mean, of sanctification, through which 
the Devil shall be dispossessed ; the Devil is strong where 
he doth wicked things, but he shall be disarmed, he shall 
not touch thee, the wicked one shall not hurt thee, thou 
shalt overcome him. 

I now go forward. 

The third thing I noted besides faith and justification, 
was, that we must observe what relation one hath to 
the other ; and how it comes to pass that justification is 

° Isaiah, chap. 4. ver. 4. 


attributed to faith, there being more noble graces in us, 
than faith. 

I answer; the reason is, because faith is brought as 
the only instrument whereby we receive our justifica- 
tion, purchased by the merits of Christ's death. When 
we say faith is an instrument, we must understand it right 
well; we say not, faith is an instrument to work my justi- 
fication, Christ alone must do that ; it is no act of ours, 
nothing is in us ; faith is said to be an instrument, whereby 
we get our justification in respect of the object, it is a 
nearing us to Christ ; it is the instrument of application, 
the only instrument whereby we apply the medicine, and 
the plaster of Christ's blood ; whereby we that were 
strangers, and afar off, are made near ; faith is the only 
hand which receiveth Christ ; when the hand layeth hold 
on a thing, it layeth hold on a thing without itself; so is 
faith a naked hand, not as a hand that gets a man's living, 
but like a beggar's hand that receives a free alms given 
by the donor, as the apostle speaks : " For" if by one 
man's offence death reigned by one, much more they which 
receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteous- 
ness, shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ." There is 
abundance of grace, and a gift of righteousness ; faith is 
the only means whereby we receive this gift : whereupon 
I inferred this, which was of so great consequence, seeing 
faith did justify, not as an active instrument, but as it did 
receive the gift of grace, it did follow, that the weakest 
faith that was did get as much justification as the strongest 
faith of any whatsoever; because faith justifieth not as a 
work, but as it did receive a gift ; therefore our Saviour 
saith, " 0°, ye of little faith!" yet, as little as it was, it 
was builded upon the rock ; and though Satan desired to 
winnow them, and sift them as wheat, yet they remained 
firm ; as our Saviour saith of the faith of miracles : " IfP 
ye had faith as much as a grain of mustard seed, ye 
should say to this mountain, be removed, and it would 

* Rom. chap. 5. ver. 17. » Matth. chap. 8. ver. 26. 

P Mark, chap. 11. ver. 23. 


obey you." So for common faith, which the apostle call- 
eth so, because it is " common^ to all the elect :" if thou 
hast so much faith, thou shalt be able to remove moun- 
tains of corruptions ; suppose thou hast a trembhng 
hand scarce able to hold, yet have the persuasion of the 
woman in the Gospel, " If I may but touch him, I shall 
be whole :" I shall be saved, healed, if I can but touch 
him : and mark our Saviour ; " The people thronged 
about him," and he saith, " Who is it that toucheth me ?" 
A wonder that he, when they crowded him, should ask such 
a question ; but Christ knew that somebody touched him, 
beside the touch of the multitude: indeed that woman 
touched him more than the crowd that pressed him, as 
St. Augustine saith : " Ilia mulier quse fimbriam tetegit, 
magis tetegit, quam turba qu^ pressit ;" it is said in the 
text, " The"^ poor woman came trembling, and told him 
all the truth. And he said, be of good comfort ;" though 
thou hast a paralytic, and palsy-sick hand, yet the touch 
is enough, the least faith brings as much as the greatest. 

Obj. But then, what need a man look for a great 

Sol. Yes, by all means; for though thou hast much 
comfort by a little weak faith, yet the more faith, the 
more comfort ; and therefore it is to very much purpose 
to labour after a strong faith. " Abraham^" it is said, 
" staggered not through unbeUef;" if thou hast a strong 
faith, thou wilt have a strong consolation : thou mayest by 
thy weak faith be healed of thy disease, yet by the weak- 
ness of thy faith, mayest want much of the strength of thy 
comfort ; therefore thou must " go' from faith to faith ;" 
but know this, that a new born child apTiyiwnTov (ipt^og, 
is not yet so strong as a man, yet he is as much alive, as 
the strongest and tallest man ; so that again thus, thou 
art yet but a new-born babe, not so strong or so lively as 
one more grown, but yet thou hast all the lineaments of 
the new creature in thee, though thou art not so strong 
and lively as another may be. 

n Tit. chap. 1. ver. 4. *■ Luke, chap. 8. ver. 47. 

" Rom. chap. 4, ver. 20. ' Rom. chap. 1. ver. 17. 



Obj. Did not you tell me that it was not every faith 
that did justify, but a working faith? how then doth faith 
alone justify? 

Sol. I answer, when faith justifieth, there is one thing 
said of another ; the subject and the predicate are, faith 
justifies. Justification is attributed unto faith ; look on 
the word only, whether it doth determine the subject or 
, the predicate ; doth faith which is alone severed from 
good works, justify? so the proportion is false. First, 
that faith which is alone, separated from love and the 
fruits of good works, doth not justify; but let the alone 
be put to the predicate ; faith justifieth alone ; that is, faith 
is the only virtue in the soul whereby a man is justified, 
that is true : as if a man should say, the eye alone seeth, 
it is true ; if we put it thus, the eye, severed from the mem- 
bers of the body, seeth, it is false. If the eye were taken 
out of the head, it would neither see alone, nor at all; but 
the meaning is this, the living eye is the organ whereby a 
man discerns a visible object; so faith, though joined with 
other graces, yet takes not other with it for helps for justi- 

Obj. But why should God select this virtue among 
others, that are more noble ? 

Sol. I say as before, God had " respect to the low estate 
of his hand-maid," it was reason that God should choose 
the lowest and the meanest : God selected this poor beg- 
gar's hand for two reasons. 

First, in respect of God. 

I say, first, "Therefore^ it is of faith, that it might be by 
grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed ; 
not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which 
is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all ;" 
so that here are two strong reasons ; one in respect of 
God, that God, by so mean a thing as a beggar's hand, 
should bring a man to justification ; and the other in re- 
spect of faith itself, that it might be grace, for when thou 
bringest nothing but a bare hand ready to receive a par- 

' Rom, chap. 4. ver. 16. 


don, this must needs be of grace. If God say, thou must 
love me, this were an exchange, not a free gift. I lay 
down something, and I take up something for it. Faith is 
that naked hand which fills itself with Christ, it layeth fast 
hold on Christ crucified with all his merits. 

As if a man were ready to be drowned, there is a cable 
cast to him to lay hold on, and he laying hold on it, is 
safe to the land ; but a man when he lays hold on the ca- 
ble, must let go all his other holds which he laid hold on 
before. Thus must a man let go all other holds, and lay 
fast hold on Jesus Christ. 

Faith hath two faculties:!, it opens itself to let fall 
all other things : and then 2. when it is a naked hand, it 
layeth hold on Christ, and then it is filled with Christ, 
when the behever esteems all dross in comparison of Christ ; 
it hath fullness by grace: "Where* is then rejoicing and 
boasting? it is excluded; by what law ? of works? nay, 
but by the law of faith." And then, " For" if Abraham 
were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but 
not before God ;'" faith taketh away all boasting. " Let 
him that glorieth, glory in the Lord. Therefore it is 
of faith that it might be by grace." This is the reason in 
respect of God. 

2. In respect ©f ourselves ; " to the end the promise 
might be sure to the seed ;" what is the reason why 
people doubt and think nothing sure ; it is because they 
come not with a naked hand ; we must have such a mea- 
sure of humiliation, of patience, all to bring somewhat 
with us ; whereas if we look on these things, we shall ne- 
ver be heard. If the bare acceptation of Christ, with a 
trembling hand, will not make thee sure, thou under- 
standest not the excellency of that very treasure whereof 
thou art possessed ; what canst thou have more than the 
bare receiving of such a gift by faith? The reason why 
we are not more sure, is because we come not with a naked 

' Rom. chap. 3. ver. 27. " Chap. 4. vev. 2. 

VOL. xiir. 


By the way there are many means, some a priori, others 
a posteriori. 

1. For the first ; they are those things by which faith 
is wrought, though they are not so evident, yet they are 
most sure ; when I consider God calls me in my blood, 
having nothing in me, and will be friends with me, bids me 
take his Son, and I do not, bids me take his kingdom and 
glory with him, and I refuse it, though this be a matter 
not so evident, yet it is most sure. 

2. Then there are other arguments which come from 
the fruits of faith a posteriori ; they are more evident, but 
not so sure. And thus have I declared unto you the first 
point of justification by faith, it is so sweet a string, that I 
cannot tell how to leave it, and therefore harp so long 
upon it. 

Now let us come from the mother to the daughter ; the 
eldest daughter is peace with God, then this is the first 
birth ; and we are at peace with God. 

In this peace we will consider these three particulars. 

1. What is that peace which we have. 

2. With whom have we it. 

3. By whom, and by whose means we have peace with 
God : It is procured by Jesus Christ. 

What we have ; peace. 

With whom ; God. 

By whose means ? Our Lord Jesus Christ. " Therefore 
being justified by faith, we have peace with God through 
our Lord Jesus Christ." 

1. What this peace is. You know the point of 
peace is a great matter; it is the apostolical benedic- 
tion: grace and peace in all the epistles; " Grace"^ and 
peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus 
Christ ;" and " Now'^ the Lord of peace himself give 
you peace by all means always." This is a thing by all 
means to be desired, you must labour to get it ; this was 
the angels' song when Christ was born, " Glory^ be to 
God on high, on earth peace, good will towards men." 

" 2 Thess. chap. 1. vev. 2. * Chap. 3, ver. 16. 

y Luke, chap. 2. ver. 14. 


This peace is a thing by all means to be sought after, and 
what it is, you may know by the contrary ; you know what 
a miserable thing war is ; God grant you may not know it 
too soon ; you know what it is to have an enemy among 
us. This is our case, till we be justified, we are at dag- 
gers drawing, at point of hostility with God. It is a 
foohsh conceit for a man to think that by reason of God's 
predestination he is justified before he was; this is a 
foolish conceit ; until thou art justified by faith, thou art 
not justified at all. God's predestination doth not make 
a change in the subject; if I intend to enrich a beggar, he 
is in rags still, for all my intention, till my intention be put 
in execution. Paul was elected before the foundation of 
the world ; but till he was converted, he was an enemy, 
and " a persecutor, the chief of sinners," as he speaks of 
himself, so the Scripture speaks in that point : " If ^^ when 
we were enemies, we were reconciled unto God by the 
death of his Son, much more being reconciled, we shall 
be saved by his life." Before the time of peace came, 
we were unbelievers, enemies, in the state of enmity, 
when as before God was thy enemy, as soon as thou hast 
touched Christ by a Uvely faith, presently all the actions 
he had against thee are let fall ; God is friends with thee ; 
this is a high and a deep peace, and this comprehends all 
kind of blessings ; Amasa, one of the valiantest captains 
that David had, speaks there of peace ; one would think 
it not so proper, it belongs not to them to talk of peace, 
but because peace comprehends all kinds of blessing, it is 
said : " Then^ the Spirit of the Lord came upon Amasa, 
who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, 
David, and on thy side thou son of Jesse ; peace, peace 
be unto thee, and peace be unto thy helpers, for thy God 
helpeth thee." This is a speech from a soldier to a sol- 
dier, and this is done in a military way ; peace is welcome 
though coming from a warrior, because it comprehends all 
manner of blessings, it is said, that "when" Uriah came 

' Rom. chap. 5. ver. 10. » 1 Chron. chap. 12. ver. IS. 

' 2 Sam. chap. 11. ver. 7. 




unto David, David demanded of him how Joab did, and 
how the people did, and how the war prospered." Look 
unto the margin according to the original, and it is, " He 
demanded of the peace of Joab, and the people, and of 
the peace of the war." A man would think it a contradic- 
tion that he should demand of the peace of the war ; so 
then this peace which we have with Almighty God, after 
we are justified by faith, is the comprehension of all man- 
ner of good. This having peace with God is the fruit of 
the Spirit. 

But with whom is this peace ? with God ; it is not per- 
adventure so with thyself: thou may est have a turbulent 
conscience, insomuch that thou wouldst give all the world 
to have it quiet, to be assured that there is peace between 
God and thee ; that is not the point : the thing thou get- 
est by faith is peace with God : when thou art troubled 
with thyself, and hast but a weak act of faith, yet if thou 
believest, thou art more afraid than htirt ; thou art cock- 
sure, and shalt be calm and quiet in God's good time. 

Obj, But why should Christians be so foolish, so trou- 
bled? what is the reason the children of God do disquiet 
themselves ? 

Sol. Because they are fools, they stand in their own 
light, are straitened in their own bowels. God is liberal 
and free, but there is some hope of worthiness in us, and 
we do things we should not do. We are always poring 
on ourselves, and do not bring a naked hand ; and this is 
the reason we are so full of distractions : for he that seeks 
justification (I mean remission of sins) by his own perfor- 
mance, will never attain it. Observe what the apostle 
speaketh upon this point : " IsraeP which followed after 
the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law 
of righteousness. Wherefore ? because they sought it 
not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.'' This 
was their stumbling stone, as he there saith. 

Again, it is the nature of many peevish people amongst 
us, that they will not be comforted ; when news was 
brought to Jacob that Joseph was slain and lost, it is said : 

•> Eom. chap. 9. ver. 31, 32. 


" All"^ his sons and daughters rose up to coiafort him, but 
he refused to be comforted ; and he said, For I will go 
down into the grave unto my son, mourning." They have 
a kind of pettishness, and peevishness, and wilfulness ; 
they will not be comforted, and it may be there is some 
kind of pride in it too ; they would perhaps be thought to 
be the only mourners of Israel, of the kingdom. " As* 
Rachel mourned for her children, and would not be com- 
forted;" they shut up their eyes against all comforts; God 
commands them to be comforted, and they will not ; it is 
no marvel then that they eat the fruit of their own hands ; 
it is a part of our office to bring comfort, we have an in- 
junction to it; " Comfort'' ye, comfort ye my people, saith 
the Lord ; we bring the tidings of peace, and our feet 
should be beautiful," we bring good news, all is well ; as 
Noah's dove coming with an olive branch in her mouth. 
Comfort ye, comfort ye, cry aloud, spare not. If you stop 
your ears, who can help it ? the Lord is gracious and 
chargeth us to comfort you : and can there be any better 
news than to say, all is peace, all your sins are done away. 
"I have blotted as a thick cloud thy transgressions:" aa 
who should say, it is the tidings of such good things, as all 
within thee is too little to praise the Lord, and therefore 
it is not a thing to be slighted over ; " blessed' is the man 
whose sins are forgiven," which is no noun adjective, nor 
of the singular number neither ; it signifieth the blessed- 
nesses, as it were an heap of blessings. They commonly 
call it the eight beatitudes, it is but varied upon divers 
subjects ; were there eighty-eight, that were all one : to 
have thy sins forgiven thee, is the comprising of all happi- 
ness ; and he whose iniquity is covered, hath interest in 
them all. 

Again, when a man sets his eyes too much upon his sins ; 
more upon his sins than upon the mercies of God freely 
offered in Christ, this is a wonderful hinderance of the 
peace ; thou lookest on the wrong object, looking too 

<: Gen. chap. 37. ver. 35. '' Matth. chap. 2. ver. 18. 

•^ Rom. chap. 10. ver. 15. ' Psalm 32. 


much on thy sins, when thou shouliist look on Christ, 
that brazen serpent oiFered unto thee ; then it is no won- 
der that thou seest not Christ though he be near thee : 
Mary Magdalen complains and weeps (as she thought) to 
the gardener, that they had taken away her Lord, and 
she knew not where they had laid him, when as he stood 
at her elbow ; her eyes were so full of tears that she 
could not behold her Saviour. Now therefore stand not 
in thine own light, but look upon Christ as well as upon 
thy sins ; observe, though there be a peace and a calm, yet 
presently all turmoils will not cease after humiliation. 
When there is a great storm at sea which lasts perhaps 
twenty-four hours, and then ceaseth, what, are the waves 
presently quiet, as soon as the storm is over ? no, there 
will be tossing and rolling many hours afterwards, because 
there must be a time of settling: and so though there 
be peace between God and thee, and the storm over, 
yet there must be a time of settling. 

I should now show you the difference between the peace 
that wicked men have and this other peace : theirs is not 
peace : there is no peace to the wicked : it is a truce only, 
and we must make a great difference between a truce and 
a peace. A truce when it is expired, commonly ends in 
more bitter war. With them there is a cessation of trou- 
ble, their consciences do not accuse them, but when the 
time limited is over, and conscience again breaks loose, 
it will be more unquiet and unsettled than ever before ; it 
will be at open war against them. 




Rom. chap. V. ver. 1. 

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein 
we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 

Having out of these words declared unto you the 
mother-grace, justification by faith, I proceed to the 
consideration of her daughters, those fruits or graces 
which spring from a true justifying faith. So that here 
we have the great charter and privilege that a justified 
man is endowed withal. First, he hath peace with God. 
Secondly, free access unto him. Thirdly, unspeak- 
able joy, and that joy not only in respect of that de- 
lectable object, the hope of the glory of God in heaven 
hereafter; but here also, that which spoils the joy of a 
natural man, (afflictions, &c.) are made the matter of this 
man's joy. 

Now concerning " peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ," the first of these, I considered three parts 
in it. 

1. What the peace was which the justified man enjoy- 

2. The parties between whom this peace was made. 

3. Who was the peace maker. 

Concerning the peace I declared unto you what it was, 
that it was an unconceivable thing, " The peace of God 
that passeth all understanding ;" a thing which our shal- 
low understandings cannot reach unto, we cannot appre- 
hend the excellency of this grace : consider its excellency 
by the contrary ; there is no misery in the world like that, 



as when a man stands at enmity with God : " Do^ we pro- 
voke the Lord ? Are we stronger than he ?" " If" a man 
sin against a man," saith Eh, " the judge shall judge him; 
another man may take up the quarrel, but if a man sin 
against God, if the controversy be between God and us, 
who shall intercede for us ?" Were it not for this our Peace- 
maker Christ Jesus, we should be in a woful condition, 
unless he put to his hand, aind took up the matter. 

Now it is a great matter to come to the fruit of peace ; 
" the'' fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that 
make peace." We have this fruit of peace from righteous- 
ness, we do not sow fruit but seed, the fruit comes after- 
wards. It is not so with a Christian, he is as sure, as 
if the thing were in hand, he soweth not only the seed, but 
the fruit of peace in righteousness, to his justification ; as 
soon as he is justified, at that instant he -hath the fruit of 

So we have peace, but with whom is it? it is between 
God and us. God, and a justified man is at peace 
through Jesus Christ ; at the very same instant that a man 
is justified, he is at peace with God. This peace as I de- 
clared unto you, is a gift of an high nature, which belongs 
not to every man, but to the justified man only ; he who 
is justified by faith, he only hath peace. In the Ephe- 
sians and Isaiah there are general proclamations of peace; 
" Peace be unto them that are near, and unto them that are 
afar oiF:" and Isaiah, chap. LVII. ver. 19. The word the 
apostle useth in the Ephesians, hath allusion to this in 
Isaiah : " I create the fruit of the lips, peace, peace to them 
that are afar off and to them that are nigh, saith the Lord, 
and I will heal them ; but the wicked are like a troubled sea, 
that cannot rest. There is no peace, saith my God, to the 
wicked." Though the proclamation be never so general 
to Jews and Gentiles, yet it belongs only to those who 
have peaceable minds towards God, those who will not 
stand on terms of rebellion against him : what madness is 
it to think, that if I stand in point of rebellion against God, 

» 1 Cor. chap. 10. ver. 22. ' 1 Sam. chap. 2. ver. 25. 

"^ James, cnap. 3. ver, 18. 


I should have peace with him ? But I must cast down my 
arms, renounce my treasons, and I must come with a sub- 
ject's mind, then there will be peace, otherwise no peace. 
When Jehu came to revenge the quarrel of God, Joram 
asked him, " Is it peace, Jehu ?" he answers, " What'' 
peace so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel, and 
her witchcrafts are so many !" As long as thou continu- 
est in a course of rebellion, what hast thou to do to talk 
of peace ? Why thinkest thou on peace, when thou art 
the chief rebel ? As long as wickedness continues in thy 
heart, thou hast no peace of God by Jesus Christ. 

Now it may fall out that there may be a kind of quiet- 
ness in the conscience of a wicked man ; but we must 
make a great difference between a peace and a truce ; a 
truce is but a cessation of war, for such a time ; and many 
times when the truce is over, it ends in greater war, be- 
cause they have the more time to gather strength, and in- 
crease their forces : so there may be a peace or a truce be- 
tween God and wicked men, but it is the highest judgment 
that can be upon a wicked man to be thus let alone ; but 
it is not so with godly men ; God breaks their peace, and 
hedges up their way with thorns, and many times tor- 
ments their conscience, and breaks their peace ; but when 
God suffers a sinner to thrive in sin, when he suffers him 
to go on so long, that his own honour is almost touched ; " I ' 
held my peace," saith God, " then thou thoughtest me to 
be such a one as thyself." God holds his peace, then the 
sinner saith, God doth not heed. However the preacher 
amplifies these things, God is not so terrible as they make 
him: well, but though God hold his peace long, yet at 
last he will speak ; " Oh, consider this, ye that forget 
God, lest he tear you in pieces, and there be none to de- 
liver you." When the time of the truce is out, then the 
conscience is like a fierce mastiff; the longer he is tied, 
the more fierce he is when he is let loose : so conscience, 
when he hath been long quiet and tied up, when God lets 
loose the cords thereof, it will be more fierce than ever be- 

■^ 2 Kings, chap. 9. ver. 22. ' Psalm 50. ver. 21. 


fore, it will then fly like a mastiff in thy face, and as it 
were tear thy throat ; and then there will he in thee the 
very flashings of hell. 

Now there is a great difference between the peace of 
God's children, and this little cessation of war in the con- 
sciences of wicked men : " When^ the strong man armed, 
keeps the house, the goods that he possesseth are in 
peace." When Satan is the master, and thou dost his 
will, and he hath thee at command, he doth not trouble 
thee ; when he keeps the house, the goods are in peace ; 
but when a stronger than he comes, and puts him out of 
possession, then comes the strife and debate. Look there- 
fore to thy peace ; is it such a peace as thou hast never 
found any conflict, any stirring, striving betwixt the strong 
man and the weak ? suspect that peace ; that is not the 
peace of a justified man, but of such a one who is held by 
the prince of darkness. 

2. Again, how comes this peace to wicked men ? they 
consider not the wrath of God, nor the danger of sin ; they 
consider not that " Tophet'' is prepared of old," if they did 
but consider this, it would spoil their sport, and break 
their peace : but now a justified man, he knows what sin 
is, and what hell is ; and at that very time, when he is 
thinking of his sins, and of damnation, when he knoweth 
that this is the reward of God's enemies, he hath peace 
even then. This proceedeth from the sense of God's frank 
and free remission in Christ, with which the children of 
God are much affected. St. Augustine cries out : " Quid' 
retribuam Domino, quod recolit haec memoria mea, et ani- 
ma mea non metuit ! inde diligam te Domine, et gratias 
agam, &c. What shall I render unto the Lord, that I recol- 
lect these impurities and monsters of sin, and yet am not 
overwhelmed with consternation in the recognition of them ! 
I will love thee, O Lord, and give thee thanks, and confess 
to thy name." The other, the wicked, they shut their 
eyes that they may not see their danger ; and because 

s Luke, chap. 11. ver. 21. >< Isaiah, chap. 30. ver. 33. 

> Confess. 2. 7. 


they discern it not, therefore they are at peace. A man 
in a dark night going over a dangerous bridge, that if he 
miss but a step he is drowned, yet he passeth over secure- 
ly, and is not afraid, because he wanteth Hght to discover 
the danger ; but bring him the next day, and show him 
what a danger he escaped, and the thoughts of it will make 
him quake and tremble, though the danger be past : so 
these men, being in darkness, see not their danger, and 
therefore do not fear ; but God's child having his eyes in 
his head, discerns the danger, and sees also how he is de- 
livered by Jesus Christ : he is at peace, not because he 
seeth not the danger of the way, but because he knows 
that God made the way broad by Jesus Christ, and so is 
freed from sin and death. 

Now to speak something to them that have this true 
and sound peace, this peace is with God ; I showed you 
the last time that this peace is not always in their own 
conscience, but is such on God's part, which is the safe 
part ; many reasons there are, why God doth not show it 
unto them ; though all be quiet betwixt God and them, 
yet they have not an apprehension of it in their con- 

I showed that this is " many times their own fault," be- 
cause they will not be comforted ; all their thoughts are 
bent upon their sins, and their provocations of God, and 
they have not an eye open, to look upon the mercies of 
Christ ; they put it off, and will not be comforted : and if 
they put it off from themselves, no marvel if they have not 
peace in their consciences. 

This may come by reason of the great conflict before 
in the conscience : God raiseth a great storm, and when 
he intends to bring a man to some great work, or to a 
great deal of joy, he first humblethhim; the Prince of our 
salvation was consecrated by afflictions, and we must be 
conformable unto Christ our Head ; when the storms are 
past, the sea will continue raging for a while ; and when 
you have turned the wheel round, if you take away your 
hand, it will go round itself for a time : so when you are 
justified by faith, the storm is over, yet the roaring of the 


waves will continue ; it will be so with the children of God ; 
though there be a calm, yet there will be some remainders 
of a storm. 

Again, they are in travail, and that is a painful thing : 
" My'' little children with whom I travail." They have 
the pangs of the new birth, and it is a good while be- 
fore they can find that quietness their heart doth long 

Again, God purposely doth, though he be friends 
with them, take away from them the sense of peace, be- 
cause he takes delight to find / that strength of faith : 
Faith is manifest that way, faith is most strong when there 
is least sense. " My' God, my God, why hast thou for- 
saken me ?" the less sense, the faster the hold ; and God 
loves this at life, that when he spurns and frowns, he will 
not let go, nor be put off; let him kill me, he shall kill me 
with Christ in my arms, I will not let go my hold ; God 
cannot fail, he hath given me his word, and therefore I will 
not let go. Such a strong faith had Abraham, contrary 
to reason; God's word is true, he gives me his word, 
and I will trust him : so a child of God will not be put off; 
though God write bitter things against him, he will not 
forego him. We have an excellent example in the woman 
of Canaan; the end of it is, " O™ woman, great is thy 
faith." But how doth the greatness of it appear ? " Lord, 
have mercy upon me, my daughter is grievously afflicted :" 
Why not rather. Lord, have mercy on my daughter? 
the reason is because she was afflicted in her daugh- 
ter's affliction. By the way, we may hereby understand 
the meaning of the commandment, where it is said, " he 
will visit the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, 
unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate 
him." But why to the third and fourth generation? be- 
cause, I may see the third and fourth generation, and 
may see the judgment of God on them, and may remem- 

'' Gal. chap. 4. ver. 19. ' Psalm 22. ver. 1. 

" Matth. chap. 15. vei', 28. 


ber my sin, for which they are plagued ; the case is mine, 
and not theirs only : " Lord have mercy upon me, for my 
daughter is diseased :" I see my own sin is punished by 
the judgment on her in my sight. Poor woman, Christ 
will not hear her ; she might have been dashed out of 
countenance, the disciples were weary of her clamorous 
cries, and say, " Send her away, for she troubleth us :" 
What, saith Christ? "Is it fit to take the children's 
bread, and cast it unto dogs ?" This was enough to dash 
her quite ; before she was discouraged by silence, but to 
be called dog, it were enough quite to discourage her : 
but see the fruit of faith ; she seeks comfort of that which 
would have undone another : What, am I a dog under the 
table ? there I shall get a crumb ; others of the children 
that are better, let them have the loaves : I account my- 
self happy if I may but get a crumb ; " O woman, great 
is thy faith :" this is great faith when it goes contrary to 
all sense ; that when God calls me dog, when he spurns 
at me, and frowns on me, I will not be put off. Faith is 
of the nature of the vine, if it have but the least hold 
on the wall, it makes use of it, and climbs higher and 
higher: so out of the least thing that drops from her 
Saviour's mouth, she raiseth her faith higher : so, though 
we have this peace with God, yet oft times he withholds 
the notification of it to us. 

3. The last thing is to note the difference between the 
pea'ce of a carnal and a spiritual man ; carnal peace is 
mixed with a great deal of presumption and pride ; but 
the more spiritual peace thou hast, the more thou art de- 
jected in thyself, the more cast down : see it in Ezekiel : 
" I" will establish with thee an everlasting covenant ; then 
shalt thou remember thy ways, and be ashamed when 
thou shalt receive thy sisters, thy elder and thy younger ; 
and I will give them unto thee for daughters, but not by 
thy covenant : and I will establish my covenant with thee, 
and thou shalt know that I am the Lord, that thou mayest 
remember and be confounded, and never open thy mouth 

° Ezek, chap. 16. Ter. 60, 61, 62, 63. 



any more, because of thy shame, when I am pacified to- 
wards thee, for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord." 
When God is pacified, yet they hold down their heads, 
and are ashamed ; when a man knoweth that God hath 
pardoned his sins, he is ashamed that he hath carried him- 
self so wickedly against God, of whose mercy he hath now 
such experience: when God is pacified, a man remembers 
his former sins, and is confounded ; as it is in Ezekiel : 
" Then" shall you remember your own evil ways, and your 
doings that were not good ; and shall loath yourselves in 
your own sight for your iniquities, and for your abomina- 
tions in that time when I am pacified toward you." That 
which would work in a carnal man security and pride, 
(for he never thinks himself better than when there is 
peace within) will work in the child of God the grace of 
humiliation. In the last chapter of Job, God had mani- 
fested himself wonderfully to Job ; and however before 
he had very sharp afflictions, his sufferings in soul were 
next to the sufferings of Christ. I beheve never any man 
suffered so much as Job did, insomuch that " the*^ ar- 
rows of the Almighty stuck in him, the poison whereof," 
saith he, " drinketh up my spirit." This was the case of 
Job, and he stood upon terms of justification; he wished 
that God would dispute with him, that God would either 
be the opponent or the answerer. If God would answer, 
he would oppose ; or if God would oppose, he would an- 
swer. God comes as he would have him, and Job is not 
at that point that he was before ; when God draws nigh 
unto him, he saith : " V^ have heard of thee by the hearing 
of the ear, but now my eye seeth thee." Well, this may 
make thee a proud man, and elevate thee : no, saith he, 
" now I abhor myself in dust and ashes." The nearer 
God draws unto us, and the more merciful he is unto us, 
by that light we the more discern our own abominations. 
That which would make another man proud, brings Job to 
the knowledge of his vileness. " Therefore I abhor myself, 
and repent in dust and ashes." 

" Ezek. chap. 3C. ver. 31. P Job, chap. 6. vev. 4. 

1 Job, chap. 42. ver. 5. 


3. Now another thing is, who is this peace-maker? 
This I shall but touch : " we have peace with God :" but 
how? " through our Lord Jesus Christ ;" he is our peace- 
maker, and interposeth between his Father's wrath and us, 
" For"^ he is our peace ; who hath made both one, and hath 
broken down that partition wall between us ;" we have not 
only peace with God through Christ, but Christ is the very 
peace ; not only the peace-maker, but the peace. There 
was a middle wall of partition between the Jews, and the 
Gentiles ; and between God, and us ; Christ breaks it 
down ; sin shall no longer be a wall of partition. " Having 
abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of com- 
mandments contained in ordinances, for to make himself 
of twain one new man, so making peace, and that he might 
reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross." There 
was hatred between God and us. Christ hath crucified 
that hatred with the nails wherewith he was fastened to 
the cross ; he hath killed it by his crucifixion, and now 
enmity being slain, peace must needs be alive ; there is 
peace and reconciliation made. " You^ are come," saith the 
apostle, " to the blood of sprinkling ;" whereas the blood 
of Abel cried for vengeance against Cain the murderer : 
this blood cries for peace, it outcries all our sins ; sin hath 
a voice ; it is said, " the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah went 
up into the ears of the Lord ;" every sin thou committest 
hath a voice to cry, but the blood of Christ hath a shriller 
voice, and outcries the cry of thy sins ; it is so preeminent, 
it speaks for peace, and doth outcry the voice of our sins ; 
the high priest was a type of Christ ; " He' must have on 
his frontlet Holiness to the Lord ;" as one which bears the 
iniquity of the holy things of the children of Israel repre- 
senting the Holy One of the Lord and standing in the per- 
son of Christ ; Moses saith (when there was wrath gone 
out from the Lord) unto Aaron, " Take" a censer and put 
fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go 
quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for 

"■ Ephes. chap. 2. ver. 14. ^ Heb. chap. 12. ver. 24. 

' Numbers, chap. 16. " Ibid. ver. 46. 


them, for there is wrath gone out, the plague is begun ;" 
so when the wrath is gone out, the high priest comes and 
offers up himself a sweet incense acceptable unto God. 
" And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and came into 
the midst of the congregation, and behold the plague was 
begun among the people, and he put incense and made an 
atonement for the people." When wrath is come out from 
the Almighty, and his army is sent out for to destroy the 
rebels, now our high priest stands between the living and 
the dead, and offers up himself an oblation to Almighty 
God to make peace : look to the case of Balaam ; when 
the people had committed fornication, Phinehas executed 
judgment; wherefore the Lord saith, "Phinehas^ hath 
turned away my wrath from the people ;" and if that one 
act of Phinehas, his zeal for the Lord in killing the fornica- 
tors before the congregation, if this, I say, appeased God's 
wrath for the whole congregation ; how much more doth 
our Phinehas, who hath fulfilled all righteousness, whom 
the zeal of God's house had eaten up ? He is nothing 
but zeal itself, and all that he doth in our name imto his 
Father, is for our good. How much more shall Christ pa- 
cify God's wrath, who hath received the gash of God's 
sword upon his own body, and would not have himself 
spared, that he might do it ? " As'" Jonah was three days 
and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of 
man be in the heart of the earth." There is a mighty 
storm, and Jonah is cast out into the sea, presently the 
storm ceaseth ; so Christ having suffered for us, there is 
peace, the storm is over. 

Now follows in the next place in the text ; " By whom 
we have access by faith into this grace, wherein we stand, 
and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." These are 
the two privileges that a justified man hath ; he hath a 
gracious access unto God ; suppose he be in fault, (as who 
is not ?) "if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Fa- 
ther, Jesus Christ the righteous. " These things have I 
written," saith the apostle, " that you sin not ; but if any 
man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father." 

" Numbers, chap. 25. ver, 12. » Matth. chap. 12. ver. 40 




This is the state of a justified man ; though he do by 
his relapses provoke God, yet he is in the state of a sub- 
ject; though he be a disobedient subject, yet a subject, 
not a foreigner as before ; but now ye " thaf were not a 
people, are become the children of the living God." A 
child of God in the midst of rebellion no sooner repenteth, 
but he is sub misericordia ; as soon as he is in the state of 
grace, he is under God's protection, he is no stranger : and 
as soon as he converteth unto his heavenly Father, though 
he hath his blood about his ears, and is in his rags, yet he 
may with an humble boldness come to God ; " By^ Jesus 
Christ he may come boldly to the throne of grace, that 
he may find help in time of need." The apostle sets 
down twice the great privileges Christians have; "For" 
through him we both have an access by one Spirit unto the 
Father :" it is Christ which makes the way. To have a 
friend at the court is a great matter, especially when a man 
hath need of him ; Christ is gone before us, and he " lives 
for ever to make intercession for us,'' and we need no other 
mediator : thus he bespeaks his Father ; Father, this is 
one of mine that I shed my blood for, one of those that 
thou gavest me ; I beseech thee have pity upon him, and 
I beseech thee give him audience : " By him*"," that is, 
through Christ, " we have access by one Spirit unto the 
Father, in whom we have boldness by the faith of him, and 
access with confidence." I go not now doubting unto 
God, I prefer my suit with boldness. Mark the apostle 
St. James ; " If any man want wisdom, or any other thing, 
let him ask it of God that gives to all men liberally, and 
upbraideth not." It is otherwise with men ; when one hath 
done a great man wi'ong, and comes to desire a favour at 
his hands : Oh Sir ! saith he, do you not remember how 
you used me at such a time, or in such a place? that he is 
presently upbraided with, it is cast in his dish : but it is 
not so with God ; he gives liberally, and upbraids no man : 
so there is a free and a bold access with faith and confi- 
dence, by whom we have boldness and access : let him not 

T Rom. chap. 9. ver. 26. ' Heb. chap. 4. ver. 16. 

» Ephes. chap. 2. ver. 18. '' Ibid. chap. 3. ver. 12. 



doubt or waver ; that is a notable place ; here is bold ac- 
cess by faith unto God, and by that we may be assured of 
whatever we ask ; if it be forgiveness of sins, we may be 
sure they are forgiven ; if we ask in faith we may be assured. 
By the way, take notice of the folly of the Papists, who 
think that a man can have no confidence or assurance that 
his sins are forgiven. " This is our confidence, that if 
we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us." 
Now, is it not according to his will to ask forgiveness 
of our sins? Doth not he enjoin us to do it? Therefore 
what infidelity is it, not to be assured of it ? And what 
impudency is it in them, to go about to cut off that which 
is the whole comfort of a Christian ? The assurance of his 
salvation. Thus it is indeed with those that have no 
feeling nor confidence, as those who are in hell think 
there is no heaven ; and they who teach such uncomfort- 
able doctrine can receive no comfort farther than the 
priest giveth it them. It is true, there is no true as- 
surance, but in the true Church ; but there it may be 

And as I began with " sowing in tears," so I would end 
with " reaping in joy :" that is the next thing in the text, 
for which I pass over the other part of it. I begin with 
humiliation, but end with joy ; and not only that joy 
which we shall have in the kingdom of heaven, but on 
earth, while we have these things but in hope and expec- 
tation. A man that would reckon up his estate, doth not 
only value what he hath for the present, but he reckons 
his reversions also ; what he shall have after such a time, 
what will come to him or his heirs. God's children, they 
have a brave reversion ; glory and honour, and a king- 
dom : " It° is your Father's good pleasure to give you a 
kingdom." " We'^ are all the children of God, but it doth 
not appear what we shall be : when he appears, we shall 
be like him; for we shall see him as he is. He shall 
change our vile bodies, and make them like his glorious 

■= Luke, chap. 12. ver. 32. <^ 1 John, chap. 3. ver. 2. 


body." We are here sons, but yet, but in a strange country, 
no body knoweth what he is, and therefore he meets with 
many affronts. The king when he was in France, went 
for an attendant on the duke, and is he troubled at it ? 
No, he knew that the world knew it not, they knew not 
what he was ; and therefore he is not troubled at it ? So 
is it with the children of God ; but when they shall ap- 
pear, they shall be advanced, and their enemies ashamed. 
By the way, let not the people of God be discouraged by 
the taunts, jeers and reproaches of wicked men ; they 
know not what you are, and therefore make light of you, 
as they did of Christ himself. Well, besides what we 
have in reversion, the very present hope of it works won- 
derful joy in the heart of a Christian. David did not live 
to see the glory of Solomon's temple ; but he made provi- 
sion for it, and cast the model of it, and he took much 
delight in the contemplation of what it would be. The 
consideration of these hopes " makes" my flesh rest in 
hope, and my heart rejoice." The consideration of the 
resurrection made David's heart rejoice : the considera- 
tion of that which is to come should bring abundance of 
joy unto a Christian : these are strange things, not like the 
joy of a natural man ; for " his' heart is sad in the midst 
of laughter," but " these^ rejoice with a joy unspeakable, 
and full of glory." Here are some sparks, some begin- 
nings of the glory of heaven, and of that great joy which 
we shall have hereafter; but I cannot speak of these 
things in an hour. 

But, forasmuch as the Devil " transforms himself into 
an angel of light," there is no work of God's Spirit in the 
hearts of his children, but Satan, like an ape, labours to 
imitate in the hearts of wicked men, to make them secure : 
we must know that there are joys in some who are not 
regenerate : " They that receive the word on the rock, 
received it with joy." The word, if it be apprehended, 
and hath but the least footing, brings joy with it. 

" Psalm 16. ver. 9. ' Prov. chap. 34. ver. 13. 

' 1 Peter, chap. 1. ver. 8. 



But now to know how I may get this joy, how benefi- 
cial a thing is it to have suCh a comfort on earth, as to 
know that I have this true joy ! and to be able to distin- 
guish this joy from the false joy, from the flashes, those 
fleeting joys of the wicked, which are but " as'' the crackling 
of thorns under a pot," for theirs is but as a blaze that 
suddenly goeth out. Now if thou wouldst know thy joy 
aright, and whether it difi^er from that counterfeit joy 
which flesh and blood, and the Devil suggests : look to 
the things that go before, and produce this joy. 

1. The first thing that goeth before true joy, and pro- 
duceth it, is an opening unto Christ when he knocks 
at the door of thy heart : as in that famous place : " Be- 
hold', I stand at the door and knock ; if any man hear my 
voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup 
with him, and he with me." There is, if thou open, a 
sweet and familiar communication between Christ and 
thee; he communicates himself at dinner and supper. 
A man comes not melancholy to meals ; Christ will come, 
and make merry with thee, he will sup with thee famili- 
arly. But how is it with thee ? hath Christ knocked, 
and thou hast given him a sleeveless answer, and hast 
thou joy? it is a false joy. But when Christ knocks at 
the door of thy heart, there must be an opening the door 
on thy part, when he knocks by his word and Spirit : 
and dost thou give such an answer as the spouse in the 
Canticles: "P am come into my garden, my sister, my 
spouse, I have gathered my myrrh with my spice, I have 
eaten my honey-comb with my honey." Now Christ 
coming to supper, knocked at the door, and would bring 
in a great deal of joy : " I sleep," saith the spouse, " but 
my heart waketh ; it is the voice of my well-beloved that 
knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, 
my undefiled." When God comes and woos us, and de- 
sires to communicate himself unto us, and desires us to 
put off our cloths, dost thou look for comfort if thou 

' Eccles. chap. 7. ver. 6. ' Rev. chap. 3. ver. 20. 

' Cant. chap. 5. ver. 1. 

sp:rmons, 293 

openest not? '• At' last I opened to my beloved; but he 
had withdrawn himself, and was gone; my soul failed 
when he spake : I sought him, but I could not find him ; I 
called him, but he gave me no answer." When thou 
givest not Christ entertainment when he comes, thou 
mayest seek, and not meet with him. It is observed that 
" the keepers of the wall" are the greatest strikers: those 
whom God hath set to be watchmen, instead of comfort- 
ing, they smite ; " The" watchmen that went about the 
city they found me, they smote me, they wounded me, 
they took my veil from me :" she gets raps from them who 
should protect her, because she did not entertain Christ : 
if thou findest any comfort after Christ hath knocked, and 
thou hast opened unto him ; then it is true joy, and thou 
mayest make much of it. 

2. If it be true joy, " there goeth faith before it ; for 
being justified by faith, we have peace with God through 
our Lord Jesus Christ." So that the exercising of the 
acts of faith, is a spiritual means to raise comforts in our 
souls ; I had need to speak of this, for there is want of 
the exercises of faith : is it enough, think you, to have 
faith once exercised ? " He" that eateth my flesh, and 
drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him :" it is 
not enough to eat once a year, A man will not be in 
good liking that eats but once a year, but a man must eat 
once a day at least. A Christian should feed on Christ 
every day, make him his ordinary food, renewing every 
day the acts of faith, receive Christ crucified, by faith, 
every day. If a Christian would consider that God oflters 
Christ unto him every day, and thou renewest thy faith, 
and claspest him every day, it would be a special way 
whereby joy should be raised in the soul. It is said 
" We" rejoice in the hope of the glory of God : Now the 
God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, 
that ye may abound in hope through the power of the 
Holy Ghost."^Thus when thou hast exercised the acts 

' Cant. chap. 5. vei'se 6. ^ Ibid, irerse 7. 

» John, chap. 6. ver. 56. " Jiom. chap. 15. v;r. IJ. 


of faith in believing, and then upon that rejoicest, then it 
is seasonable and true joy, and not the counterfeit joy of 
the wicked: when it arises and springs from believing, 
when that procureth it, it likewise distinguishes it from all 
false joys. The apostle tells us : " Having? this confi- 
dence, I know that I shall continue with you all, for your 
furtherance and joy of faith." It is called " the joy of 
faith," because it springs from that principle of rejoicing, 
from that mother-grace, that your rejoicing may be the 
more abundant. 

The preaching of the word whereby faith is wrought, 
brings abundance of joy. That place of St. Peter is re- 
markable: " Whom'' having not seen, ye love; in whom, 
though now you see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with 
joy unspeakable, and full of glory :" yet believing, that is, 
exercising the acts of faith, which we too much neglect. 
If we did exercise these acts every day, we should have 
our charter of joy renewed every day ; " yet believing, ye 

3. Pray and be thankful ; praise and thanksgiving 
are those fruits which fulfil all our joy. When thou 
prayest, thou conversest with God, thou speakest with 
him face to face, as Moses did. He who can pray spiri- 
tually, and pray hard unto God, as Moses' face shined 
when he talked with God, so will thy soul thrive, pray- 
ing hard, and being thankful : there is no greater means 
than this to get this joy : " Rejoice'^ in the Lord, O ye 
righteous, for praising is comely for the upright." Upon 
this hangs all our comfort ; praise always brings rejoicing, 
the one begets the other. In Isaiah, the comfort there 
that God's children receive, is the changing of raiment : 
" Christ^ preaching the acceptable year of the Lord to 
appoint imto them that mourn in Zion, to give to them 
beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the gar- 
ments of praise for the spirit of heaviness." The ground 
of praise is joy ; one follows the other : observe, God 

1' Philipp. chap. 1. ver. 24. i 1 Peter, chap. 1. ver. 8. 

' Psalm 33. ver. I. ~ ' Isaiah, cha^. 61. ver. 3. 


will give us the oil of joy: " Christ was anointed with 
this oil above his fellows:'' Christ hath fullness of joy ; 
this oil doth not come on his head alone, but it trickles 
down unto the lowermost hem of his garment, even upon 
all the lively members of his mystical body. 

I will add in the last place, when a man considers the 
great things which are given to him by God, and what an 
estate we get by Christ. I have forgiveness of sins ; and 
" blessed' is the man whose sins are forgiven." Christ's 
blood is mine, and my name is written in the book of life. 
" Do" not rejoice," saith our Saviour, "because the devils 
are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your 
names are written in heaven." When I consider that I 
am not in the black roll, and it is my faith which strength- 
ens me, which makes me reckon Christ my chiefest 
wealth ; this makes me rejoice in mine inheritance, and in 
hope of the glory of God. When I consider the great 
reward in the world to come, this is a great cause of re- 
joicing ; and therefore God's children long for the coming 
of Christ : it is made a mark of those that shall be saved : 
" that" they long for the appearance of Jesus Christ, 
looking for, and hastening unto the blessed hope, and the 
glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour 
Jesus Christ." And " looking^ for, and hastening unto 
the coming of the day of God." A longing expectation 
there is in all the creatures after the second coming of 
Christ ; " they wait," saith the apostle, " for the manifes- 
tation of the Sons of God :" and presently he adds : " not^ 
only they, but we also that have the first fruits of the 
Spirit, groan and long for the coming of that day." And 
therefore the last breath of the Scripture is breathed out 
in the confirmation of this hope : " He^ that testifieth 
these things, saith. Surely, I come quickly ; Amen, even 
so be it, come Lord Jesus." There is a sweet allegory to 

Psalm 32. ver. 1. " Luke, chap. 10. ver. 2«. 

' Tit. chap. 2. ver. 13. 11 Peter, chap. 3. ver. 12. 

■ Rom. chap. 8. ver. 19. 23. , » Rev. chap. 22. ver. 20. 


express this : " Make" haste, my beloved, and be Uke the 
hind and hke the roe ; come. Lord Jesus, come quickly ; 
and come as the hind, and as the roe, and as a hart 
upon the mountain of spices :" make haste, and come 
quickly ; be swift, and do not tarry : and in a better place 
I cannot end. 

'' Cant. chap. 8. ver. 14. 







Rom. CHAP. VIII. ver. 14. 
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God. 




Romans, chap. VIII. ver. 15, 16. 

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear : but ye have re- 
ceived the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father. 

The same Spirit beareth vritness with our spirit, that we are the children of 

Ihe apostle sets down in this epistle a platform of 
Christian doctrine, whereupon all persons and churches 
might safely build themselves ; showing therein a sure 
way, how those might come to the Lord Jesus Christ 
who are to obtain salvation by him, which he delivers in 
three heads, showing, 

1. First, how God will convince the world of sin. 

2. Secondly, he discovereth to them vrhat that righte- 
ousness is, which without themselves is imputed to them. 

3. Thirdly, he setteth forth that righteousness inherent, 
and created in us by sanctification of the spirit with the 
effects thereof, and motives, and helps thereunto. 

Answering that threefold work of the Spirit in John, 
chap. XVI. where Christ promiseth that when the Com- 
forter should come he should reprove the world of sin, of 
righteousness, of judgment; 



First, he shows the Comforter shall work a conviction 
of sin, a making of a man as vile, empty and naked as 
may be ; not a bare confession of sin only, which a man 
may have and yet go to hell, but such a conviction as 
stops a man's mouth that he hath not a word to speak, 
but sees a sink of sin and abomination in himself, such as 
the apostle had : " For^ I know that in me (that is, in my 
flesh) dwelleth no good thing." To attain to this sight 
and measure of humiliation, there must be a work of the 
Spirit. First therefore in the first chapter the apostle 
begins with the Gentiles, who failing grossly in the du- 
ties of the first table, God had given over also to err in 
the breach of all the duties of the second table. Then 
the next chapter, and the most of the third he spends 
on the Jews : they bragged of many excellent privileges 
they had above the Gentiles, as to have the law, cir- 
cumcision, to be leaders of others, to have God among 
them, and therefore despised the Gentiles. The apos- 
tle reproves them, shewing that in condemning the Gen- 
tiles, they condemned themselves, they having a greater 
light of knowledge than the Gentiles, which should have 
led them to the true and sincere practice of what they 
were instructed in. Then he goes on and shows all na- 
turally to be out of the way*, and so concludes them to be 
under sin, that every mouth may be stopped, and all 
the world become guilty before God. This is the end of 
the first part. 

This being done, in the latter end of the chapter he 
proceeds to speak of the second work of the Comforter. 
To convince the world of righteousness ; but on what 
grounds? " Because I go to my Father, and ye see me no 
more ;" that is, he shall assure the conscience that now 
there is a righteousness of better things purchased for 
us : that Christ was wounded, arraigned and condemned 
for us ; that he was imprisoned, but now he is free, who 
was our surety ; yea, and that he is not free, as one 
escaped, who hath broken prison and run away, (for then 
he could not have stayed in heaven no more than Adam 

» Rom. chap. 7. ver. 18. '' Ibid. ver. 19. 


could stay in paradise after his fall) but now that Christ 
remains in heaven perfectly, and for ever reconciled with 
the Father : this is a sure sign to us that the debt is 
paid, and everlasting peace and righteousness brought in 
for our salvation. This the apostle enlargeth and shews 
this to be that righteousness which Adam had, and which 
we must trust all unto. And this he doth unto the sixth 

From whence the apostle goes on to the third point, 
convincing the world of judgment and of righteousness, 
unto the ninth chapter, which are two words signifying 
one and the same thing ; but because he had named 
righteousness before which was the righteousness of jus- 
tification, without a man, in Christ Jesus; he calls the 
third judgment, which is that integrity which is inherent, 
bred and created in us, to wit, sanctification, as we may 
see in Isaiah, chap. XLII. ver. 3. where it is said oi 
Christ : " A bruised reed shall he not break, and the 
smoking flax shall he not quench, till he bring forth 
judgment unto victory." Where he shows judgment to 
be a beginning of righteousness in sanctification, even 
such a one as can never be extinguished. So the word is 
taken where Job expostulateth the matter : " as" the 
Lord liveth who hath taken away my judgment,'' all 
the while my breath is in me, and the Spirit of God is 
in my nostrils, my lips shall not speak wickedness, nor 
my tongue deceit. God forbid that I should justify you, 
till I die I will not remove my integrity from me, my 
righteousness I will hold fast, and I will not let it go." 
Here you see by judgment is meant integrity, and that 
righteousness which is created and inherent in us; so 
that the substance of that place in Isaiah is, that God 
will never give over so to advance and make effectual that 
weak righteousness and sanctification begun in us, uutil it 
shall prevail against and master all our sins and corrup- 
tions, making it in the end a victorious sanctification. 
And the ground hereof is, " for the prince of this world is 
judged ;" he is like one manacled, whose strength and 

' Job, chap. 27. yer. 2 — 6. 


power is limited : so that now, though he be strong, yet 
he is cast out by a stronger than he ; so that he cannot, 
nor shall he ever rule again as in times past. 

This strain of doctrine the apostle follows in this epis- 
tle, shewing that as the righteousness of justification by 
the blood of Christ is a thing without us, so the righte- 
ousness of sanctification is a thing created and inherent 
in us, and the ground of the witness of our spirits, as we 
shall shew in its own place. So that the blood of Christ 
doth two things unto us; in justification it covers our 
sins, and in sanctification it heals our sins and sores ; that 
if there be any proud or dead flesh, it eateth it out, and 
then heals the wound. Therefore the apostle says, " You 
are not under the law, but under grace." He that sees the 
law is satisfied by another, and all to be of free grace, he vrill 
notmuch stand on any thing in himself for his justification; 
but as a poor beggar, be content all should be of mere grace : 
therefore he concludes, " sin shall not have dominion 
over you ; for ye are not under the law, but under grace." 

After this the apostle goes on to other particulars, 
shewing divers things, especially the twelfth verse of this 
chapter, where he drives unto the point of sanctification, 
as though he should say, you are freed from the law in- 
deed, as it is a judge of life and death, but yet the law 
must be your counsellors ; you are debtors of thankful- 
ness, seeing whence you are escaped, that you may not 
live after the flesh ; and then he proceeds to show them 
how they should walk, that seeing they had received the 
spirit, they should walk after the spirit; now that they 
had received that which should subdue and mortify the 
flesh and the lusts thereof, they should be no more as 
dead men, but quick and lively in operation, by hving af- 
ter the spirit, otherwise they could not be the sons of God, 
and he comes to the words that I have now read : " For* 
ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, 
but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we 
cry Abba Father : for the Spirit itselTbeareth witness with 
our spirits, that we are the children of God." 

■I Verse 16. 


Where the apostle shows the ground of our union and 
communion with Christ, because having his Spirit we are 
of necessity his, as St. John speaks : " Hereby' we know 
that he abideth in us by the Spirit which he hath given 
us." What ties together, and makes one, things far 
asunder, but the same Spirit and Ufe in both ? so that 
Spirit which is in Christ a full running over fountain de- 
scending down, and being also infused into us, unites us 
unto him ; yea, that Spirit communicated unto me in some 
measure, which is in him in such fullness, that Spirit doth 
tie me as fast unto Christ as any joint ties member to 
member, and so makes Christ to dwell in my heart ; as 
the apostle speaks to this purpose^. That thus by one 
Spirit we are built up and made the temple of God, and 
come to be the habitation of God through the Spirit; so 
that by this means we are inseparably knit and united 
unto him ; for what is it makes one member to be a mem- 
ber to another? not the nearness of joining or lying one 
to, or upon another, but the same quickening spirit and 
life which is in both, and which causeth a like motion : 
for otherwise if the same life were not in that member it 
would be dead, and of no use to the other ; so that it is 
the same spirit and life in the things conjoined, which 
unites them together ; yet to explain this more, as I have 
often in the like case said, imagine a man were as high as 
heaven, the same spirit and life being diffused into all his 
parts, what is it now that can cause his toe to stir, there 
being such a huge distance betwixt the head and it? 
Even that selfsame life which is in the head being in it ; 
no sooner doth the head will the toe to stir, but it moves. 
So is it with us ; that very Spirit which is in Christ being 
in us, thereby we are united unto him, grow in him, live 
in him, and he in us ; rejoice in him, and so are kept 
and preserved to be glorified with him. He is the se- 
cond Adam, from whom we receive the influence of all 
good things, showering down and distilling the graces of 
his Spirit upon the least of all his members. That, as 

' 1 John, chap. 3. vev. 24. ' Ephes. chap. 2. ver. 21. 

304' SERMONS. 

it was said of Aaron, who was a type of the second 
Adam, and of that holy oil, representing the graces of 
his Spirit, " whichs did not only run down his head and 
beard, but the skirts of his garment also, and all his rich 
attire about." So when I see the oil of Christ's graces 
and Spirit not only rest upon the head, but also descend 
and run down upon the lowest of his members ; making 
me now, as one of them, in some sort another man than I 
was, or my natural state could make me ; by the same 
spirit I know I am united unto Christ. To this purpose 
is that which Christ so stands upon unto the Jews ; where 
speaking of the " eating'^ of his flesh, and that bread of 
life which came down from heaven," lest they should be 
mistaken, he adds : " It is the spirit that quickeneth, the 
flesh profiteth nothing : the words that I speak unto you, 
they are spirit, and they are life :" so that we see it is 
the spirit that gives a being to a thing. And therefore 
the apostle proceeds to show, " As' many as are led by 
the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." That as 
Christ is the true natural Son of God, so we as truly, by 
conveyance of the same Spirit into us, are his sons by 
adoption, and so heirs with God, yea, and joint heirs with 
Christ; this he begins to show, verse 13. So that being in this 
excellent estate, they were not only servants and friends, 
a most high prerogative, but they were now the sons of 
God, having the spirit of adoption, whereby they might 
boldly call God, Father. In which verse the apostle ,op- 
poseth the spirit of bondage, which doth make a man fear 
again, unto the spirit of adoption, which frees a man from 

Now two things may be observed hence: 1. The order 
the Spirit of God keeps e'er it comforts ; it shakes, and makes 
us fear. This the apostle speaks in Hebrews where he shows, 
that the end of Christ's coming was, " that' because the 
children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself 
took part of the same ; that through death, he might destroy 

• Pialm 133. ver. 2, *• John, chap. 6. 

' Rom. chap. 8. ver. 13. ' Heb. chap. 2. ver. 14. 


him that had the power of death; that is, the Devil : and 
deliver them, who through fear of death, were all their 
lifetime subject unto bondage." The first work then of 
the Comforter is, to put a man in fear. 2. Here is showed, 
that until the Spirit doth work this fear, the heart will not 
stoop. The obstinacy is great ; yea, so great, that if hell 
gates were open, ready to swallow up a man, he would 
not yield until the Spirit set in to convince the heart. 
Therefore St. John tells us, that " when™ the Spirit is 
come, he will reprove the world of sin;" that is, he will 
convince and show a man that he is but a bondman : and 
so from this sight he makes us to fear. No man must 
think this strange, that God deals with men at first after 
this harsh manner ; to kill them, as it were, before he make 
them alive : nor be discouraged, as if God had now cast 
them off as none of his : for this bondage and spirit of 
fear is a work of God's Spirit, and a preparative to the 
rest, yet it is but a common work of the Spirit ; and such 
a one, that unless more follow, it can afFoi'd us no com- 

But why then doth God suffer his children to be first 
terrified with his fear ? 

I answer, that in two respects this is the best and 
wisest course to deal with us ; or else many would put off 
the matter, and never attain a sense of mercy. 

First, in respect of God's glory. 

Secondly, in regard of our good. 

First in respect of God's glory ; and that first because, 
as in the work of creation, so in the work of redemption, 
God will have the praise of all his attributes : for as in 
the work of creation there appeared the infinite wisdom, 
goodness, power, justice, mercy of God, and the like ; 
so will he in the work of our redemption have all these 
appear in their strength and brightness : and when we see 
and acknowledge these things to be in God in the highest 
perfection, hereby we honour him ; as on the contrary, 
when we will not see and acknowledge the excellency of 

■" John, chap, 16. 


God's infinite attributes, we dishonour him : yea, and I 
may safely add, that the work of redemption was a greater 
work than the work of creation ; for therein appeared all 
the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in the conveying 
of it unto the Church. Herein appeared first, infinite 
wisdom, in ordering the matter so as to find out such a 
way for the redemption of mankind, as no created under- 
standing could possibly imagine or think of. And se- 
condly, for the mercy of God ; there could be none com- 
parable to this, in not sparing his own Son, the Son of his 
love, that so he might spare us who had so grievously 
provoked him. And thirdly, there could not be so much 
justice seen in any thing as in sparing us not to spare his 
Son, in laying his Son's head, as it were, upon the block, 
and chopping it off: indeed the death unto which he gave 
his Son, was not only more vile than the loss of his head, 
but far more painful and terrible to nature, the death on 
the cross ; in rending and tearing that blessed body of his ; 
even as the veil of the temple was rent, which was a type 
of him, so was he rent and tore, and broke for us, when 
he made his soul an offering for sin. This was the per- 
fection of justice. And thus was he just, as the apostle 
speaks, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. 
God would have justice and mercy meet and kiss each 
other; and that for two reasons, for the magnif)dng of his 
justice, and the magnifying of his mercy. 

First, for the magnifying of his justice. The spirit 
must first become a spirit of bondage and fear for the 
magnifying of God's justice : thus the prophet David 
having sinned, was driven to this practice : " Against" 
thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy 
sight, that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, 
and be clear when thou judgest." Thus he, a holy man, 
was brought to confess his sin, to give God the glory of 
his justice. And so to this end, that a man might pass 
through or by, as it were, the gates of heU unto heaven, 
the Lord will have his justice extended to the full ; for 

» Psalm 51. ver. 4. 


which cause lessening, or altogether, for a time, abstract- 
ing all sight of mercy, he turns the law loose to have its 
course. And thus, as in the work of redemption, he 
would have the height of justice appear ; so would ha 
have it appear in the application of our redemption, that 
justice should not be swallowed up of mercy. But even 
as that woman, " who" had nothing to pay, was threat- 
ened by her creditors to take away her two sons, to put 
them in prison." So though we have nothing to pay, the 
law is let loose upon us, to threaten imprisonment and 
damnation, to affright and terrify us : and all for the 
magnifying of God's justice, which also we satisfy not 
by what we suffer, yet it is meet we should acknow- 
ledge and learn thereby more highly to value the suf- 
fering of our Saviour. But farther, God hath set forth 
many terrible threatenings in his word against sin- 
ners ; shall all these be to no purpose ? The wicked, they 
are insensible of them; must they therefore be in vain? 
Some people there must be, on whom they shall work : 
" ShallP a lion roar," saith the prophet, " and we not be 
afraid?" Since then those who should, will not, some 
there be who must tremble, and those even of God's own 
dear children. This the prophet excellently sets forth, in 
Isaiahj where the Lord showeth who he will regard : " But' 
to this man will I look, even to him that is of a contrite 
spirit, and trembleth at my word." So that you see, even 
some of his own must tremble, and be thus humbled of 
necessity : and that it is not without a just cause, that 
God doth deal with his own children after this manner, 
though it be sharp in the experience. We must fear, 
tremble and be humbled, and then we shall receive a spirit 
not to fear again. That vain courage which some brag 
they have, so as not to fear death, is not it which is meant 
here; for alas such braggers, out of ignorance of the 
thing, and desire to be out of misery in this life, may 
embrace death unwillingly, hoping it may put an end to 
their sorrows. But this spirit, not to fear again, is such 

° 2 Kings, chap. 4. P Amos, chap. 3. ver. 8. 

1 Isaiah, chap. 66. ver. 2. 



a spirit that assures me of the forgiveness of all my sins, 
showing me my freedom by Christ Jesus from hell and 
eternal damnation ; making me live a holy life, and from 
hence not to fear, and so sealing me up unto the day 
of redemption ; as you shall hear more, when we come 
to speak of the witness of the Spirit. This now is for the 
glory of God's justice. 

Secondly, it is requisite that the Comforter should first 
work in men a fear, for the glory of God's mercy ; which 
would never be so sweet, relish so well, nor be so highly 
esteemed of by us, if the awful terror of justice had not 
formerly made us smart : as we may see in that parable 
(whereunto our Saviour likeneth the kingdom of heaven) 
of the man that owed ten thousand talents unto the king 
his master; he shows him mercy, and forgives him all ; but 
what did he first ? Why first he requires the whole debt 
of him; and because he had nothing to pay, he commands 
him, his wife and children, and all that he had to be sold, 
that payment might he made ; first he would have him 
pinched throughly, that he might know how much he was 
indebted, and, in that case, how great that favour was 
which he received in having all that he owed forgiven him. 
Thus a king many times casts men into prison, suffers the 
sentence of condemnation to pass on them, and perhaps 
orders them to be brought to the place of execution, be- 
fore he pardons them, and then mercy is mercy indeed, 
and so God deals with us many times, he puts his children 
m fear ; shows them how much they owe him, how unable 
they are to pay, casts them into prison and threatens con- 
demnation in hell for ever, after which when mercy comes 
to the soul, then it appears to be wonderful mercy indeed, 
even the riches of exceeding mercy. Why do so many 
find no savour in the Gospel? Is it because there is no 
sweetness, or matter of delight in it ? No, it is because 
such have had no taste of the law, and of the spirit of bon- 
dage, they have not smarted, nor found a sense of the bit- 
terness of sin, nor of that just punishment that is due imto 
the same. Even as the king will suffer the law to pass on 
some grievous malefactor for high treason, bring him to 


the jilace of execution, and lay his head on the block, be- 
fore a pardon be produced ; as we have had experience in 
the country of a man who otherwise would not cry or shed 
a tear for any thing ; despising death, and not afraid to 
meet an host of men. Such a one having now at an in- 
stant a pardon brought from the king, how wonderfully 
doth it work upon him, causing softness of heart and tears 
to flow from his eyes when nothing else could ; whilst the 
wonder of this mercy, which now appeareth so sweet and 
seasonable, is beheld and admired, he is so struck that he 
knows not what to say : for this cause therefore God 
shews us first a spirit of bondage to prepare us to relish 
mercy, and then he gives a spirit of adoption not to fear 
again : and thus by this order the one is magnified and 
highly esteemed by the foregoing sense of the other. 

If therefore this terror and fear be hard and trouble- 
some unto us, yet if it be for God's glory, let us endure : 
if he will give me over to a wounded terrified conscience, 
to fears, tremblings, astonishments, yea or to draw me into 
the fire itself, or any other punishment, so we see he dealt 
with his Church of old, he brought her through the fire 
and water before she came into a wealthy place^ Since 
it is for his glory, I must be contented. But what do I 
say ? He gets nothing by us of all that we do, all is for 
ourselves ; our acknowledgments of him make him no 
stronger, wiser, juster, or better than he is, but in glorify- 
ing of him we do glorify ourselves, and so pass from glory 
to glory, until we come to be fully transformed into his 
image. And herein consists our happiness in acknowledg- 
ing of his wonderful attributes, that by the reflex and 
knowledge of them, we grow up in them as much as may 
be. God was as glorious, powerful, wise, just, happy and 
good before the world was made as now, and if the case 
be put concerning glorifying of him, the three persons of 
the Trinity were only fit and worthy of so great honour, 
not we ; as we may read in Proverbs, chap. VIII. verse 
30. There, Wisdom shews how it was with the Father, be- 

' Psalm 66. ver. 12. 



fore all time, and that they did mutually solace themselves 
in the contemplations of one another's glory. Then, says 
Wisdom, " I was by him as one brought up with him, 
and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;" 
and in John, chap. XVII. There we read the same thing 
in effect, where Christ prays : " And now, O Father, glo- 
rify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I 
had with thee before the world was." So that the ad- 
miring, beholding and magnifying of God's glory (as much 
as may be) labouring to be like him, is our glory ; and thus 
much of the glory of God in beginning of this work in us 
by fear. 

The second thing was to prove that this course was for 
our good, and this appears two ways. 1. In our justifica- 
tion. 2. In our sanctification. 

For the first, we are such strangers unto God, that we 
will never come unto him till we see there is no other re- 
medy, being at the pit's brink ready to starve, hopeless of 
all other helps, being frozen in the dregs of sin, delighting 
in our ways ; as we see in the parable of the prodigal son, 
who would never think of any return to his father till all 
other helps failed him, money, friends, acquaintance, and 
all sorts of food ; nay if he might but have fed upon husks 
with the swine, he would not have thought of returning 
any more unto his father : but this being denied him, the 
text says, he then came to himself, which shows us that, 
whilst men run on in sinful courses, they are mad mfen of 
themselves, even as we see those in Bedlam are beaten 
and kept under, and comforts denied them, till they come 
to themselves. And then what says he ? " P will arise and 
go to my father," confessing that he had sinned, " and I will 
say, Father, I have sinned." So is it with us ; until 
the Lord humble us, and bring us low in our own eyes, 
showing us our misery and sinful poverty, and that in us 
there is no good thing, that we be stripped of all help in 
and without ourselves, and must perish for ever unless we 
beg his mercy, we will not come unto him. As we see it 

' Luke, chap. Ij. 



was with the woman that Christ healed of her bloody is- 
sue*. How long it was before she came to Christ ; she had 
been sick twelve years, she had spent all her substance 
upon physicians, and no body could help her, and this ex- 
tremity brings her to Christ. So that this is the means to 
bring us unto Christ, to drive us on our knees, hopeless 
as may be, to show us where help only is to be found ; and 
make us run unto it. Thus therefore, when men have no 
mind to come to Christ, he sends, as it were, fiery serpents 
to sting them, that they might look up unto the brazen 
serpent, or rather unto Christ Jesus , of which it was a type, 
for help ; so unto others, being strangers unto him, he sends 
variety of great and sore aiflictions to make them come to 
him that he may be acquainted with them ; as Absalom 
set Joab's corn on fire because he would not come at him, 
being twice sent for. So God deals with us before our 
conversion many times, as with iron whips lashes us home, 
turning loose the avenger of blood after us, and then for 
our life we run and make haste to the city of refuge. 
Thus God shoots off as it were his great ordnance against 
us to make us run unto him. Thus John the Baptist 
came preaching of repentance, in attire, speech and diet, 
all being strong and harsh, cloathed with a camel's hair 
and with a girdle of skin about his loins, his meat locusts 
and wild honey, the place was in the wilderness, his speech 
harsh and uncomfortable, thundering with his voice, call- 
ing them a generation of vipers, and telling them that now 
also was the ax laid to the root of the tree, that every tree 
that brought not forth good fruit was hewn down and cast 
into the fire. As also we know in this manner the Lord 
came to Elijah"- First " a great strong wind rent the 
mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord, 
but the Lord was not in the wind, and after that went an 
earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake ; and 
after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the 
fire :" these were a peal of gr-sat ordnance, shot off to pre- 

' Luke, chap. 8. ver. 43. " 1 Kings, chap. 19. ver. 11. 


pare the way, showing the King was a coming ; and after 
the fire a still small voice, and there the Lord was. So 
the Lord rends, tears, and shakes our consciences and 
rocky hearts, many times to prepare the way for him, and 
then he comes to us in the still and soft voice of consola- 

Secondly, for our sanctification, it is good for us that the 
Comforter's first work be to work fear in us, for we are na- 
turally so frozen in our dregs, that no fire in a manner will 
warm and thaw us. We wallow in our blood, and stick 
fast in the mire of sin, that we cannot stir ; so that this 
fear is but to pull us from our corruptions and make us 
more holy. As we see if a man have a gangrene begin- 
ning in his hand or foot which may spread farther, and be 
his death if it continue so, he is easily persuaded to cut it 
ofi^, lest it should go farther. So doth God deal by us 
with this fear of bondage, that we might be clothed anew 
with his image in holiness and righteousness. Now to ef- 
fect this, the sharpest things are best, such as are the law, 
the threatenings of condemnation, the opening of hell, the 
racking of the conscience, and a sense of wrath present and 
to come. So hard hearted are we by nature, being as 
children of the bondwoman, unto whom violence must be 
used. Even as we see a man riding a wild and young 
horse, to tame him, he will run him against a wall, that 
this may make him afraid, ride him in deep and tough 
lands, or if this will not do, take him up into the top of 
some high rock, when bringing him to the brink thereof he 
threatens to throw him headlong, make him shake and 
quake, whereby at last he is tamed. So deals the Lord by 
us, he gives us a sight of sin, and the punishment due there- 
unto, a sense of wrath, sets the conscience on fire, fills the 
heart with fears, horrors, and disquietness, opens hell to 
the soul, brings a man as it were to the gates thereof, and 
threatens to throw him in, and all this to make a man more 
holy, and to hate sin the more. So that you see there 
must be a strong mortifying and subduing of us by a 
strong hand to bring us unto Christ for our sanctification, 
nothing but a fiery furnace can melt away that dross and 


tin which cleaves unto such corrupt metal as we are. See 
this method excellently set forth in the prophet. " Be- 
cause" ye are all become dross, behold I will gather you in- 
to the midst of Jerusalem, as they gather brass, and iron, 
and lead, and tin into the midst of the furnace to blow the 
fire upon it to melt it, so will I gather you in mine an- 
ger and in my fury, and I will leave you there and melt 


Before I proceed farther, give me leave to answer an 
objection of a troubled soul which may arise hence, O, may 
a soul say, what comfort then may I have of the first work 
of the Spirit in me ? For as yet I have found none of 
these things ; I have not been thus humbled, nor terrified, 
nor had such experience as you speak of in that state un- 
der the spirit of bondage. 

I answer, though this be a work of the Spirit, yet it is 
not the principal justifying and saving work of the Spirit : 
yea the children of the Devil may come to have a greater 
measure of this than God's own dear children, whom, for 
the most part, he will not affright nor afflict in that terri- 
ble manner as he doth some of them, but the consequence 
of this is more to be accounted of, than the measure, to 
see whither that measure I have, whatever it be, leads me. 
For if the measure were never so absolutely necessary to 
salvation, then all God's children should have enough of 
it. But I make a difference still between humiliation and 
humility, which is a grace of itself, and leads me along 
with comfort and life. Thus therefore I think of humilia- 
tion, if I have so much of it as will bring me to see my 
danger and cause me to run to the medicine, and city of 
refuge for help, to hate sin for time to come, and to set 
myself constantly in the ways and practice of holiness, it is 
enough. And so I say in the case of repentance, if a man 
have a sight of sin past, and a heart firmly set against all 
sin for the time to come, the greater and firmer this were, 
the lesser measure of sorrow might suffice for sins fore- 

=■ Ezek. chap. 22. ver. 19, 20. 



past. As we see a wise father would never beat his child 
for faults that are past, but for the prevention of that 
which is to come, for we see in time of correction, the 
child cries out, O I will never do so any more. So God 
deals with us, because our resolutions and promises are 
faint and fail, and that without much mourning, humilia- 
tion and stripes, we attain not this hatred of sins past, and 
strength against them for time to come, therefore it is 
that our humiliation and sorrow must be proportionable 
to that work which is to be done, othervnse any mea- 
sure of it were sufficient which fits us for the time to 

But I will add, there are indeed divers measures of it, 
according unto which the conscience is wounded or eased ; 
when there is a tough melancholy humour that the powers 
of the soul are distracted, good duties omitted, and the 
heart so much the more hardened : when upon this the 
Lord lets loose the band of the conscience, oppressing the 
same with exceeding fears and terrors, this the Lord uses 
as a wedge to cleave in sunder a hard piece of wood. God 
then doth show us, because we would not plough ourselves 
we shall be ploughed. If we would judge ourselves, 
saith the apostle, we should not be judged, and therefore 
the Church confesses and complains, that " the'' ploughers 
ploughed upon her back and made deep furrows." Why ? 
How came this, she did not plough up her own fallow 
ground, wherefore the Lord sent her other strangers 
and harsh ploughers, that ploughed her soundly indeed. 
Wherefore doth God thus deal with his children ? because 
he is the great and most wise husbandman, who will not 
sow amongst thorns. Therefore when he is about to sow 
the seed of eternal Ufe in the soul, which must take deep 
root and grow for ever, he will have the ground throughly 

The way then to avoid these things, that are so harsh 
and displeasing to flesh and blood, is to take the rod be- 
times and beat ourselves, for when we are slow and secure, 

y Psalm 129. ver. 2.' 


and omit this, God doth do the work himself: but yet 
God makes a difference of good education in those who 
have kept themselves from the common pollutions, and 
gross sins of the times, it pleaseth God, faith comes into 
them, they know not how, nor the time, grace drops in by 
little and little, now a little and then a little by degrees, 
sin is more and more hated, and the heart inflamed with a 
desire of good things in a conscionable life. But in a 
measure, I say, such must have had, have, or shall have 
fears and terrors ; so much as may keep them from sin, 
and quicken them to go on constantly in the ways of 
holiness ; or when they fly out of the way they shall smart 
for it and be whipped home again ; yet for the main they 
find themselves as it were in heaven they know not how. 
But if a man have stuck deep and long in sin, he must 
look for a greater measure of humiliation and fear, and a 
more certain time of his calling, there must be haling and 
pulling such a man out of the fire with violence ; and he 
must not look to obtain peace and comfort with ease, God 
will thunder and lighten in such a man's conscience in 
Mount Sinai, before he speak peace unto him in Mount 

A second time there is also, of a great measure of humi- 
liation ; which is, though a man may be free from great, 
gross sins, and worldly pollutions, when the Lord intends 
to show the feeling of his mercy and the sense thereof to 
any in an extraordinary measure, or fit them for some high 
services, then they shall be much humbled before, as we 
see St. Paul was : God^ did thunder upon him, and beat 
him down in the highway to the ground, being stricken 
with blindness for three days after. 

Thus much shall suffice to have been spoken of the fif- 
teenth verse, touching the spirit of bondage, and the spi- 
rit of adoption. The apostle tells them, they may thank 
God the spirit of fear thus came, that hereafter they might 
partake of the spirit of adoption to fear no more ; he stirs 

^ Acts, chap. 8. ver. 9. 


them up, as it were, to be thankful, because now they 
had obtained a better state : why, what estate ? A very 
high one : " The* Spirit itself beareth witness with our 
spirits, that we are the children of God." 

' Verse 16. 



Romans, chap. VIII. ver. 16. 

The same Spirit beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of 


Having spoken concerning the spirit of bondage and 
the spirit of adoption in the former verse, the apostle, in 
these words that I have now read, doth, as it were, stir up 
those unto thankfulness ; to whom he writes, because they 
had now attained to a better state ; the Spirit itself bear- 
ing witness with their spirits, that they are the children of 

The thing then is, to know ourselves to be the children 
of God, there must be found evidences ; here then are 
two set down, whose testimony we cannot deny. I will 
touch them as briefly as I can, and so will make an end. 

First, the witness of our spirit. 

Secondly, the witness of God's Spirit with our spirits. 

These are two evidences, not single, but compounded ; 
wherein you see there may be some work of our spirit. 

But some may say, our spirit is deceitful ; how then can 
our own spirit work in this manner to testify ? 

I answer, in this place, our spirit is as it were an evi- 
dence of God from heaven, as a loud token given, assur- 
ing me upon good grounds, that I have not misapplied the 
promises ; but though God do write bitter things against 
me, yet that I love him still, and cleave unto him, that 
for all this I know that I still hunger and thirst after 
righteousness; that I will not be beaten off, nor receive 
an ill report of my Lord and Saviour ; that I rest, wait, 
fear and trust in him still. When thus our valour and 



faith is tried, then comes the same Spirit, and seals with 
our spirit, that we are the children"of God : when our seal 
is first put, then God seals with our spirit, the same thing 
hy his Spirit. To this eiFect is that in 1 John, chap. III. 
ver. 8. we read three witnesses are set down, the spirit, the 
water, and the blood; and these three agree in one. 
These three witness that we have everlasting life, and 
that our names are written in heaven. How do these 
three agree with these two witnesses? very well: St. 
John, he ranks them according to the order of their 
clearest evidence; first the spirit, then the water, then 
the blood : the apostle here, he ranks them according to 
their natural being; first, our spirit in justification and 
sanctification, and then God's Spirit. For the Spirit, of 
all other, this is the clearest evidence ; and when this is 
bright and manifest, there needs no more, the thing is 
sealed. So the testimony of water is a clear evidence, 
whereby is meant sanctification, this is put next unto the 
spirit ; for when the spirit is silent, yet this may speak : 
for though I have many wants and imperfections in me, 
yet if my spirit can testify unto me that I have a desire to 
please God in all things, that I resolve upon and set up 
his service as the pitch of all my utmost endeavours, that 
with allowance I willingly cherish no corruption, but set 
myself against all sin ; this water will comfort and hold 
up a man from sinking ; as we see in all the sore trials of 
Job". Still he stood upon the integrity of his own spirit, 
and would not let that go, though he were sore beaten of 
the Almighty, and slandered for a wicked person. But 
the water may be muddy, and the struggling of the flesh 
and spirit so strong, that we happily shall not be able 
to judge which is master : what then .*' Then faith lays 
hold of the blood in justification, which, though it be the 
darkest testimony, yet is as sure as any of the other. 
Now in comparing of these witnesses together in St. John 
and in my text, I rank the water and the blood with the 
testimony of our spirit. And the spirit mentioned in 

" Job, chap. 28. ver. 2. 


St. John and in my text, to be all one ; not as though we 
wrought them, but we believe them to be so. If a man 
ask how I know that I am sanctified, the answer must be, 
I believe and know it to be so : the work of producing 
these things in me comes of God ; but for the work of 
discerning, this is certain, how our affections stand in 
this case ; it comes of us : yet to come nearer the matter. 
The testimony of our spirit I conceive to be, when a 
man hath taken a survey of those excellent things belong- 
ing unto justification and sanctification, when according 
to the substantial truths which I know in the word, I 
observe and follow as fast as I can what is there com- 
manded ; when I take the candle and the word, and with 
that bright burning lamp search into the word, what is 
there to be done, and so bring it home to myself, thereby 
mortifying my corruptions ; this is the groundwork of the 
witness of our spirit. First, as in the blood, with my 
spirit I must see what is needful to be done in order unto 
justification, what free promises of invitation belong there- 
unto ; I must see how God justifies a sinner, what con- 
ditions on our part are required in justification ; I must 
see what footings and grounds for life, and what way of 
hope there is for a graceless man to be saved ; yea, even 
for the worst person that may be. In this case a man must 
not look for any thing in himself as a cause, Christ must 
not be had by exchange, but received as a free gift ; as 
the apostle speaks : " Therefore'' it is of faith, that it may 
be by grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all 
the seed." I must there bring unto the receiving of Christ 
a bare hand. It must be of grace : God for this cause 
will make us let fall every thing before we shall take hold 
of him. Though qualified with humiliations, I must let 
all fall ; not trusting unto it, as to make me the worthier 
to receive Christ, as some think. When thus, at first for 
my justification I received Christ, I must let any thing I 
have fall, to lay hold of him; that then he may find us 
thus naked as it were, in our blood ; and in this sort God 

'' Rom. chap. 4. ver. 16. 



doth take us, that all may be of mere grace. Another thing 
the apostle adds, and that is, that the promise may be 
sure : if any thing in us might be as a cause or help to 
our justification, a man should never be sure ; therefore it 
is all of that grace, that the promise might be sure. As 
though God should say, I care for nothing else ; bring 
me my Son, and show me him, and then all is well. And 
in this case you see he doth not name hope, or love, or 
any other grace, but faith ; for the nature of faith is to 
let fall all things in laying hold on Christ: in justification, 
faith is a sufferer only ; but in sanctification, it works and 
purgeth the whole man ; and so witnesses the certainty 
and truth of our sanctification, and so the assurance of 

Hence, from the nature hereof in this work, the apostle 
writes to them " who'= had obtained like precious faith:" 
in this case it is alike to all in virtue in this work, whatso- 
ever the measure be. And I may liken it thus ; St. Paul, 
you know, writes : " With these hands I get my living." 
Now, though strong hands may work more than weak 
hands, and so earn a great deal more ; yet a beggar who 
holds out his hand, may receive more than he or any 
other could earn. So faith justifies only receiving, not 
working ; as we may see : " Buf* to as many as received 
him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God ; 
even to them that believe in his name." Receive him ; 
that is, believe in him ; how? Come and take him : How? 
as it is in Rev. chap. XXII. " And let him that is athirst 
come ; and whosoever will, let him come, and take of the 
water of life freely." Now, when I see that God keeps 
open house, come who will, without denying entertain- 
ment to any, and when God's Spirit hath wrought the will 
in me, what lets me now to receive Christ ? Now, when 
the Spirit hath wrought this will in me, and I come, and 
take God at his word, and believe in Christ ; laying hold 
by degrees on the other promises of life, winding and 
wrapping myself in them as I am able, it is faith : but 

" 2 Peter, chap. 1. ver. 1. ■• John, chap. I. ver. 12. 


that persuasion only which many have, that they shall go 
to heaven, is not faith, hut rather a consequent hereof. 
The promise is made unto those that believe in Christ : 
" For in him," says the apostle, " all the promises are 
yea, and amen." If a man weep much and beg hard for 
the remission of sins, he may weep and be without com- 
fort unto the end of his life, unless he have received 
Christ, and applied his virtues home unto his trembling 
soul. A man must first receive Christ, and thea he hath 
a warrant to interest himself in all the promises. So that 
now this being done, if such a man were asked, hast thou 
a warrant to receive Christ ? Yes, I have a warrant, says the 
soul, for he keeps open house unto all that come, welcom- 
ing all, and I have a will to come, this is a good and suffi- 
cient warrant for me to come, if I have a will wrought in 
me, and then if I do come, this is the first thing to be ob- 
served in the witness of our spirit. 

Now if a man do stagger for all the King keeps open 
house, so ashewill not, or does not come, then in the second 
place comes invitation, because we are slow to believe, there- 
fore God invites us, " Come'' unto me all ye that labour and 
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Many object, O, 
I am not worthy to come, but you see hei*e is an invitation to 
encourage me to come, yea the sorer and heavier my load 
is, I should come so much the rather : so that in this case, if 
the question should be asked of such a one, Friend how 
came you hither? What warrant had you to be so bold? 
Then he shows forth his ticket, as if he should say. 
Lord thou gavest me a word of comfort, a warrant of thy 
invitation, in obedience to thy word, and faith in thy pro- 
mise, I come hither. Now this invitation is directed to 
them who as yet have no goodness in them, when then my 
spirit warrants this much unto me, that upon this word 
of promise and invitation I have come in for relief and 
ease of many miseries unto Christ Jesus, the great physi- 
cian, relying on him for cure, and lying as it were at his 
feet for mercy, this is the testimony of my spirit that 

,• Matt. chap. 11. ver.28. 



I do believe, and a ground for me to rest on, that now I 
am in the way of life, and justified by his grace. 

Thirdly, sometimes Christ meets with a dull and slow 
heart, lazy and careless, in a manner, what becomes of it, 
not knowing or weighing the dangerous state it is in, 
making excuses ; here Christ may justly leave us, (for is 
it not much that the King should invite us for our good ?) 
as he did those in the Gospel, who for refusing to come 
to his supper were excluded from ever tasting thereof, 
strangers being fetched in in their places. God might 
so deal with us, but you see God sends an embassage to 
intreat us, erects, as it were, a new office for our sakes, 
saith he : " Now^ then we are ambassadors for Christ, as 
though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in 
Christ's stead, be ye reconciled unto God." This may 
seem to be needless, we being weaker than he. Ambas- 
sadors for the most part are sent unto those that are 
stronger. The apostle reasons the matter, are we stronger 
than he, do we provoke the Lord to anger ? But here 
we see and may admire his infinite rich goodness, that he 
comes and sues to us to be reconciled, as we see it is a 
kind of indignity for a great monarch to sue for peace to 
them that are far below him and his inferiors. This dis- 
honour God is willing to put up at our hands, and sues 
unto us first, when it rather became us upon our knees to 
beg and sue first unto him. The effect of the embassy is, 
that we would be friends with him, and receive that 
which is so highly for our advancement ; when therefore 
I see that this quickens in my heart, so that, as St. James 
speaks of the ingrafted word that is able to save our 
souls, I can bring it home, having some sweet relish, and 
high estimation of it in my heart, that it begins to be the 
square and rule of my life, then I am safe. If this or any 
of these fasten upon the soul, and thereupon I yield and 
come in, it is enough to show that I am a justified person. 
And from hence our spirit may witness, and that truly : 
this is a third thing in the witness of our spirit. 

« 2 Corinth, chap. 5. vet. 20. 


Fourthly, if none of all this will do, then comes a farther 
degree, a command from the Highest, you shall do it : " And^ 
this is his comm3,ndment that we should believe on his Son 
Jesus Christ, and love one another as he gave us command- 
ment." In the parliament of grace there is a law of faith, 
which binds me as strictly to believe, as to keep any of the 
commandments : says the apostle, "Where^is boasting then? 
it is excluded ; by what law ? of works ? nay, but by the law 
of faith." So that if I will not beheve on the Lord Jesus, 
who eases me of the vigour of the law, and so is my righte- 
ousness, I must perish for ever. What? may one object, must 
I needs believe ? Yes, thou art as strictly bound to believe, 
as not to murder, or not to be an idolater, not to steal or 
commit adultery : nay, I will add more, that thy infidelity 
and contempt of that gracious offer, thy disobedience to 
the law of faith is greater than thy breach and disobedi- 
ence to the law of works, when thou dost fling God's 
grace in his face again, and, as it were, trample under 
foot the blood of the covenant : see for this John, chap. 
XVI. ver. 9. What is that great sin which Christ came to 
reprove? even this infidelity, saith he, " because they 
believe not in me:" which in two respects is a great sin. 
First, because it is a sin against God's mercy. Secondly, 
because it is a chain which links and binds all sins toge- 
ther. Thus our faith is sure when it relies on the word, 
otherwise all other thoughts are but presumption, and 
will fail a man in the time of need ; for what is faith but 
my assent to believe every word of God he hath com- 
manded me to believe, and so endeavour the practice 
of it. 

Fifthly, if none of these prevail, there comes threaten- 
ing ; then God swears, that such as refuse shall never 
enter into his rest. If a prince should sue unto a beggar's 
daughter for marriage, and she should refuse and contemn 
him, do you think he would be well pleased ? So it is 
with us, when the King of Heaven's Son sends unto us, 

' 1 John, chap. 3. ver. 23, t Rom. chap. 3. ver. 27. 



Will you be married to me ? if we refuse, the Son takes it 
wonderfully ill. Therefore he says ; " Kiss^ the Son, lest 
he be angry, and ye perish in the way, when his wrath is 
kindled but a little ; blessed are all those that put ;their 
trust in him." So in the Hebrews, God swore, that be- 
cause of infidelity, those unbelieving Jews should never 
enter into his rest. All the rest of the threatenings of 
the law were not backed with an oath, there was some 
secret reservation of mercy unto them upon the satisfac- 
tion of divine justice ; but here there is no reservation, 
God hath sworn such shall never come into heaven. Look 
not for a third thing in God, now as a mitigation of his 
oath, it cannot be, he hath sworn that an unbeliever shall 
never enter into his rest. 

These five things are the grounds of faith, even unto 
the worst and unworthiest persons that may be, and by 
all or some of them he creates faith in us, which once 
wrought in the heart by the spirit of God secretly, and 
we discerning the same, this is the witness of our spirit. 

Now our spirit having viewed all these things, and the 
promises upon which they are grounded : thus it wit- 
nesseth, as if one should demand of a man, Are these 
things presented to thy view, true ? Yes, will he say, 
true as the Gospel: then the next thing is, is all good 
and profitable? O yes, says he, all is very good and 
desirable ; then the upshot is. But is this good for 
thee ? If your soul answer now, Yes, very good to me ; 
if then thou accept of this, and wrap and fold thyself in 
the promises, thou canst not wind thyself out of comfort 
and assurance to be in Christ Jesus ; for pray, what 
makes up a match but the consent of two agreeing ? so 
the consent of two parties agreeing, upon this message, 
makes up the match betwixt us and Christ, uniting and 
knitting us unto him. There are also, being now in- 
corporated, other means to make us grow up in him, by 
which time discovers what manner of ingrafting we have 
had in him : for we see four or five scions are ingrafted 

s Psalm 2. ver. 12. 

SERMONS. 325' 

into a stock, yet some of them may not be incorporated 
with the stock, but wither. So many are by the word 
and sacraments admitted as retainers and behevers of the 
promises, who shrink and hold not out, because they 
never were throughly incorporated into Christ, but im- 
perfectly joined unto him. But howsoever all that come 
to life must pass this way, if they look for sound comfort. 
And thus much shall suffice for the witness of our spirit 
in justification. 

But the testimony of our spirit goes further, wherein I 
might show how in sanctification our spirit saith, Lord, 
prove me, if there be any evil in me, and lead me in the 
way everlasting : he loves the brethren, and desires to fear 
God, as Nehemiah pleads : " Be'' attentive to the prayer 
of thy servant, and of thy servants, who desire to fear thy 
name." This is the warrant that I am partaker of that in- 
ward true washing, and not of that outward only of the 
hog, which being kept clean and in good company will be 
clean, till there be an occasion offered of wallowing in the 
mire again. But when I find that though there were nei- 
ther heaven to reward me, nor hell to punish me, if op- 
portunity were offered, yet my heart riseth against sin, be- 
cause of him who hath forbidden it ; this is a sure evi- 
dence, and testifies that I am a child of God. This is for 
the first thing in bringing of a man in, to survey the pro- 
mises belonging to justification and sanctification, wherein 
our spirit seeing itself to have interest, doth truly and on 
sound judgment witness the assurance of our salvation. 
Secondly, when I find Christ drawing me and changing my 
nature, that upon the former reasonings, view, and laying 
hold of Christ, making me now have supernatural thoughts 
and delights, (for this a man may have,) then certainly my 
spirit may conclude that I am blessed : for, saith the 
Scripture, " Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and 
causest to approach unto thee." But some like dreamers do 
dream of this only, I know not on what grounds, but do I 
this waking with my whole soul 1 doth my spirit testify it 

^ Nehem. chap. 1. ver. 11. 



upon good grounds, why then I may rest upon it, it is as 
sure as may be. Thus much is the testimony of our spirit. 
Now it is clear how faith is wrought, briefly two ways, 
which the Lord useth to bring a man to the survey of 
those grounds upon which our spirit doth witness. 

First, he works upon the understanding. 

Secondly, on the will and affections. 

It is a strange thing to consider how this work is begun 
and finished ? so that we may say hereof, as the Lord po- 
seth Job, " Who* hath put wisdom in the inward parts ? 
Or who hath given understanding to the heart?" And in 
another place, " Where is the way where light dwelleth, 
and as for darkness where is the place thereof. 

First, God enlightens the understanding with the thun- 
derings of the law, when he shews a man such a sight as 
he could not have believed, and convinceth them in gene- 
ral, that his estate is not good, that without mercy hell 
attends him ; this is a flash of lightning from Mount Sinai. 
Secondly, comes a thunder clap, laying all down, laying 
flat the will and afi^ections, dejecting a man ; so that this 
first secret work of faith is a captivating of the understand- 
ing, will and affections. Now the act both of the under- 
standing and the will is set forth in this case : " These'^ all 
died in faith, not having received the promises, but having 
seen them afar off", were persuaded of them, and embraced 
them." In this Scripture is set down the two hands 
and arms of faith. First, believing Christ out of sight. 
Secondly, laying hold and embracing the promises. They 
in the old Testament did not receive Christ in the flesh, 
and so are said to look afar ofl^: as the apostle speaks : 
" Whom' having not seen ye love, in whom though now 
ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice." But the apos- 
tle adds they were persuaded of the promises, and em- 
braced them. This is the work of the Spirit upon the un- 
derstanding, convincing the soul of sin, shewing there is a 
remedy, telHng the soul all is marvellous true that God 

' Job, chap. 38. ver. 37. k Hebr. chap. 11. ver. 13. 

I IPet. chap. 1. ver. S. 


hath revealed in his word ; and then drawing to this con- 
clusion, Christ came to save sinners, whereof I am chief; 
therefore he came to save me. 

Yet all this while the will may be stubborn and rebel- 
hous, and the affections disordered ; therefore here comes 
in the second arm of faith, not only being persuaded of 
the word as a word of truth, but as a good promise of 
good things to me : so that here is another degree of the 
working of the Spirit to compel the will and affections, so 
sweetly grace having removed that perverseness and dis- 
order which governed them before. Now this gentle en- 
forcing and often beating upon the will again and again 
what the understanding hath rightly conceived, this at last 
works upon the will, and moves it ; for we see the wick- 
edest man in the world lays hold on the worst things as 
good and profitable unto him : so vv^hen the best thing is 
presented to the will as the best thing, and the necessity 
thereof urged by dangers ensuing inevitably if I will not, 
then it apprehends that, and says of it, as Peter at the 
transfiguration ; " It is good for us to be here, and let us 
build tabernacles." Hence you see what faith is in this 
working, an act of the understanding forcing in that way 
of conviction which we mentioned, the will and affections. 
And thus when the understanding is captivated, and the 
will brought to be willing, then the first act of faith is 
past. From whence we proceed to the second, which is 
the running to the city of refuge, the application and believ- 
ing of the promises, and so to the apprehending of Christ, 
surveying of the promises belonging to justification and 
sanctification, and bringing them home to the soul, from 
whence comes the witness of our spirit. 

Before we come yet to speak of God's Spirit witnessing 
with our spirit, because betwixt this work there may be 
many times, and is, an interposing trial, ere the Spirit of 
God witness with our spirit, we will first touch that. When 
our spirit hath thus witnessed in justification and sanctifi- 
cation, God may now write bitter things against me, seem 
to cast me off, and wound me with the wounds of an 
enemy, remove the sense of the light of his countenance 

«>~0 SERMONS. 

from me ; what then is to be done ? why, yet I will trusC 
in him though he kill me, sure I am : "I have loved and 
esteemed the words of his mouth more than mine ap- 
pointed food," as Job speaks ; I have laid hold of Christ 
Jesus by the promises, and believe them : I have desired, 
and do desire to fear him, and yield obedience to all his 
commandments : if I must needs die, I will yet wait on 
him and die at his feet. Look, here is the strength of 
faith, Christ had faith without feehng, when he cried out, 
" My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" When 
sense is marvellous low, then faith is at the strongest. 
Here we must walk and live by faith, we shall have sense 
and sight enough in another world. The apostle tells us, 
" Now we walk by faith, and not by sight, and by faith 
we stand." As we may see a pattern of the woman of 
Canaan™. First she was repulsed as a stranger, yet she 
goes on, then she was called a dog, she might now have 
been discouraged so as to have given over her suit ; but 
see this is the nature of faith, to pick comfort out of dis- 
couragements ; to see out of a very small hole those things 
v/hich raise and bring consolation : she catches at this 
quickly, Am I a dog ? why yet it is well, for the dogs eat 
the crumbs that fall from their master's table. Thus faith 
grew stronger in her, and when this trial was past, Christ 
says unto her, " O woman," not O dog, now, " great is 
thy faith, be it unto thee even as thou wilt." And thus 
have I done with the testimony of our spirit. 

Then from our believing of God in general, believing 
and applying the promises, and valorous trustings of 
God, and restings upon God, taking him at his word, 
comes the testimony of " God's Spirit witnessing with 
our spirit that we are the children of God." 

I say, this being done, and God having let us see what 
his strength in us is, he will not let us stand long in this 
uncomfortable state, but will come again and speak peace 
to us, that we may live in his sight, as if he should say, 
"What, hast thou believed me so on my bare word ? Hast 

■» Matth. chap. 15. ver. 22. 


thou honoured me so as to lay the blame and fault of all 
my trials on thyself for thy sins, clearing my justice in all 
things ? hast thou honoured me so as to magnify mercy to 
wait and hope on it for all this ? hast thou trusted 
me so as to remain faithful in all thy miseries? Then 
the Lord puts unto the witness of our spirit the seal 
ot his Spirit, as we may read, says the apostle : " In" 
whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of 
truth, the Gospel of your salvation : in whom also after 
that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit 
of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance." 
Here is the difference betwixt faith and sense, faith takes 
hold of general promises, draws them down to particulars, 
applies them, and makes them her own, lives and walks 
by them, squaring the whole life by them in all things. 
But sense is another thing; even that which is mentioned 
when there is a full report made to the soul of its assured 
happiness, " Say" unto my soul, I am thy salvation." 
When a man hath thus been gathered home by glorifying 
him, and believing his truth, then comes a special evi- 
dence to the soul with an unwonted joy, and saith, " I am 
thy salvation," which in effect is that which Christ in 
another place speaks, " HeP that loveth me, shall be loved 
of my Father, and I will love him, and manifest myself 
unto him." And as it is in the Canticles, chap. I. ver. 2. 
" Then he will kiss us with the kisses of his mouth," so 
as we shall be able to say, " My beloved is mine, and I 
am his." When God hath heard us cry awhile till we be 
thoroughly humbled, then he takes us up into his arms, 
and dandles us. 

So that a meditation of the word being past, a man 
having viewed his charter and the promises, surveying 
heaven, the privileges of believers, and the glory that is to 
come ; then comes in the Spirit and makes up a third, 
with which comes joy unspeakable and glorious in such a 
measure, that for the present we can neither wish nor 

» Ephes. chap. 1. ver. 13. " Psalm 35. yer. 3. 

P John, chap. 14. ver. 21. 


desire any thing else, the soul resting wonderfully ra- 
vished and contented. This cannot, nor shall not always 
continue, but at sometimes we shall have it, yet it remains 
always so, as it can never be finally taken away, as our 
Saviour's promise is : " And' ye now therefore have sor- 
row, but I will see you again ; and your heart shall re- 
joice, and your joy shall no man take from you." This is 
the root of all consolation, that God will not forsake for 
ever : but will at last come again, and have compassion on 
us, according to the multitude of his mercies. 

But here some may object: What? doth the Spirit 
never seal but upon some such hard trials after the witness 
of our spirit ? 

I answer, the sealing of God's Spirit with our spirit is 
not always tied to hard foregoing trials immediately, for a 
man may be surveying heaven and the glory to come, or 
praying earnestly with a tender and melting heart, apply- 
ing the promises, and wrestling with God, and at the 
same time God's seal many times may be and is put unto 
the same. For as the wind bloweth where it listeth, and 
no man discerneth the coming thereof: so may the Spirit 
seal at divers times, and upon divers occasions ; yea and 
why may it not seal in time of some great suffering for the 
truth, as we read of the apostles, " Who' went away from 
the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to 
suffer shame for his name." 

Lastly for trial we must now see how to distinguish this 
testimony of the true Spirit, from the counterfeit illumi- 
nation of the Anabaptists and some friars who will have 
strange sudden joys, the Devil no question then trans- 
forming himself into an angel of light unto them. This 
trial therefore is made by three things going before, and 
three things following after. For the things that go 
before : 

First, see that the ground work be true. If a man be 
in the faith, and do believe the word, if upon believing 
and meditation, there be an opening unto the knock of 

1 John, chap, 16. ver. 22. ' Acts, chap. 5. ver. 41. 


Christ at the first, and not a delaying him Uke the lazy 
spouse in the Canticles, if in this case the Spirit come and 
fill the heart with joy, then all is sure and well, it comes 
with a promise, for then Christ promised to enter; hut if 
a man have a dull dead delaying ear, and therewith great 
fantastic joys, he may assure himself the right spirit hath 
not wrought them, they are but idle speculations, but if 
this joy comes upon the surveying of our charter and evi- 
dences, it is sure we may build upon it. 

Secondly, a man must consider, if he hath as yet over- 
come strong passions and temptations, and passed through 
much hazard and peril for Christ, having been buffeted 
with divers temptations of which he hath obtained, mas- 
tery ; for the seal of God's Spirit with our spirit comes 
as reward of service done, as you may see : " To'* him 
that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, 
and I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new 
name written, which no man knoweth saving he that re- 
ceiveth it." 

Whereby he means he will give a secret love token to the 
soul, whereby it rests assured of the unspeakable love of 
God, and freedom from condemnation. Now what was 
this white stone? The Athenians had a custom, when 
malefactors were accused and arraigned, to have black and 
white stones by them, and so according to the sentence 
given, those condemned had a black, and the acquit- 
ted had a white stone given them, unto this the Holy 
Ghost here alludes, that this stone, this seal shall assure 
them of absolute acquittance from condemnation, and 
so free them of the cause of fear. Again he tells us, 
Christ will give a man a new name, that is, write his ab- 
solution in fair letters in the white stone, with a clear 
evidence : as if he should say (when Christ hath seen a 
man overcoming, and how he hath conflicted with tempta- 
tions, and yet holds out, pressing for the crown unto the 
end of the race ;) Christ will come in then and stroke him 
on the head, easing him of all his pains and sores with 

' Rev. chap, 2. ver. 17. 


such a sweet refreshing as is unspeakable. When a man 
hath won it, he shows he then shall wear it. 

Thirdly, if the Spirit seal after meditation on the word, 
it is right, the apostle says, " in whom after that ye 
believed ye were sealed." Examine the root of this joy. 
Spirit gives no comfort but by the word. If a man do 
meditate on the promises, and thereupon have a flame 
of love kindled, this is sure a man may say, the word did 
stir it up : if it be God's comfort, God will have his word 
to make way unto it ; some there are who find no sweet- 
ness in the word, what is the cause thereof? because 
they chew not the word to imprint it on their memories 
and in their heart. If comfort come whilst a man medi- 
tating on the promises doth wedge it home upon his 
heart ; it is of God, otherwise it is counterfeit and false. 
These are the forerunners to this seal. 

In the next place, there are three things that follow 
after this sealing which the Spirit leaves behind it. As, 

First, humility, as in his knowledge, so in his sense, it 
makes a man more humble. There is naturally in all a 
certain pride, which must be overcome : says the apostle, 
" What hast thou that thou hast not received ?" But by 
the contrary, the nearer a man comes unto the glory of 
God, he finds so much the more rottenness in his bones, 
as we see in Job : " I have heard of thee," says he unto 
God, "by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth 
thee," his inference is, " therefore I abhor myself and re- 
pent in dust and ashes." 

Secondly, another thing the Spirit leaves behind it, if it 
seals rightly, is a prevention of security for time to come. 
In this case we must look for a new encounter, a false 
persuasion makes a man to fall into security, because Satan 
is then most malicious and busy, a man must stand faster 
than ever. The Devil hates them most that are most en- 
dued with God's image, whom, because he cannot reach, 
he persecutes in his members. And therefore in this case 
it must be with us as it was with Ehas*. After such an 

' 1 Kings, chap. 10. ver. 8. 


enlightening a man must now think that he hath a great 
journey to go, and so walk on in the strength of that a long 
time. The Devil we see watcheth a man, and when he is 
at the best, then endeavours to overcome him. As we may 
see in Adam and Eve, no sooner were they placed in that 
estate of innocency but he tempts them ; how much more 
a man having a sweeter taste of the Spirit, and less strength 
now, may he look to be set upon. And therefore in these 
feasting days he had need to be more on his watch and 
pray more : for we have more given us than Adam had, 
we have a new name given us, a secret love token : further 
we see Christ says, " Behold", I stand at the door and 
knock, if any man will open unto me, I will come in and 
sup with him and he with me." Now in this case if we be 
such persons who let our hearts fly open to let him in, we 
are safe ; as if he should say, if you would be sure of re- 
conciliation, to be at peace with me, sup with me and I will 
stip with you : for we know if men who were enemies be 
once brought to keep company together, and to eat and 
drink one with another, we use to say all is done and 
wrapped up in the table cloth, all old reckonings are taken 
away, now they are certainly become friends. But if, like 
the spouse in the Canticles, " we let him stand knocking 
and will not let him in," we also may have great and sound 
knocks and blows ourselves before we find him again ; as 
we read it befel the Church there, whom the watch- 
men found, beat and took away her veil, as she was seek- 
ing Christ. If we would have comfort therefore, let us 
mark the knocking of the Spirit, and not grieve him by 
withstanding holy motions ; and then we shall find him 
sealing up our salvation, " witnessing with our spirits that 
we are the children of God." Men you see wait for the 
wind, and not the wind for them, otherwise they may wait 
long enough before they reach home : so must we watch 
the knockings of Christ, and let him in, that his Spirit may 
seal us up to the day of redemption. 
Thirdly, another thing the true witness of the Spirit 

" Rev. chap. 3. 


leaves behind it is love. It makes a man more inflamed 
with love to God. If a man do not love God more after 
such an enlightening, it is false and counterfeit : " P will 
love thee dearly, O Lord, my God, because thou hast 
heard my voice." And says the apostle, " The^ love of 
Christ constraineth me." And therefore if we be obe- 
dient sons, we will show it in loving and honouring our 
Father more and more, as the prophet speaks : " A^ son 
honoureth his father, and a servant his master, if then I 
be a father, where is mine honour ?" These are the trials 
before and after a true illumination to try it from the 
counterfeit, which that we may always find and observe in 
ourselves let us pray, O Lord our God, &c. 

Psalm 116. ver. 1. > 2 Cor. chap. 5. ver. 14. 

Malach. chap. 6. 






SUNDAY, JUNE 25, 1627. 




Sic. &c. 

1 Cor. chap. XIV. ver. 33. 

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the 

The holy apostle in the words going before doth set 
down a course for ordering of the exercises of prophesying 
in the Church ; a thing not being well ordered brings all to 
confusion in the Church; therefore the apostle, though he 
commends prophesying, yet he would have it done in or- 
der ; and therefore saith in verse 29. " Let the prophets 
speak two or three, and let the other judge." Though 
they have liberty to deliver that doctrine they may learn 
out of the word, yet they may not challenge to themselves 
such a power as they may not be censured for, but let 
others judge ; but how? the answer is in verse 32. " Let the 
spirits of the prophets be subject to the prophets." First, 
let the fewer be content to submit themselves to be ordered 
by the greater company of prophets ; for, saith my text, 
" God is not the author of confusion, but of peace :" for if 



every man may teach what he list, and men shall not sub- 
mit to one another, there must needs be confusion, but 
God is the author of peace. 

I will begin with the latter part first; " God is the author 
of peace." From whence observe; 

DocT. All sound peace hath its rise and ground from 
hea;ven, from above. 

In the Scripture, therefore, God is called the God of 
peace; " The^ God of peace shall be with you:" "The" 
God of peace shall tread down Satan under your feet 
shortly:" " The" very God of peace sanctify you wholly." 
So for his power; "His'' name is the Prince of peace." 
Therefore those two types of Christ, Melchisedeck and 
Solomon bore the name of peace ; Melchisedeck^ is called 
king of Salem ; that is, the king of peace. And there- 
fore, when the Lord brings his first begotten Son into 
the world, this is one part of the angels' adoration ; " Glo- 
ry*^ be to God on high, and on earth peace." Peace, it was 
the song of heaven. And when our Lord was to depart 
out of the world, he takes his leave thus ; "Peace^ I leave 
with you, my peace I give unto you :" this was the last le- 
gacy he bequeaths unto his disciples. And so his king- 
dom, it is a kingdom of peace, in Rom. chap. XIV. ver. 
17. " The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace:" 
and in Isaiah, chap. IX. ver. 7. " Of the increase of his 
government and peace there shall be no end." Other 
kings, the more their kingdoms are enlarged, the more ado 
they have to maintain peace : his way is a way of peace : 
" To'^ guide our feet into the way of peace." So that the 
way to the kingdom of Christ is not a troublesome, conten- 
tious and bitter way ; but the way of peace. His Gospel 
is the Gospel of peace ; " How' beautiful are the feet of 
them that preach the Gospel of peace." His officers, they 

■' Pliilipp. chap. 4. ver. 9. >> Rom. chap. 15. ver. 33. 

" 1 Thess. chap. 5. ver. 23. ^ Isaiah, chap. 5. ver. 6. 

« Heb. chap. 7. ver. 2. f Luke, chap. 2. ver. 14. 

« John, chap. 14. ver. 23. >■ Luke, chap. 1. ver. 74. 
* Rom. chap. 10. ver. 15. 


are ministers of peace; " Into'' whatsoever house ye enter, 
say peace be to that house." His subjects, they are the 
subjects of peace; "If the children of peace be in it, .let 
your peace rest upon it :" so that the one, his ministers, 
they are the preachers of peace ; the other, his subjects, 
they are the children of peace : and in Ephesians, chap. 
IV. ver. 3, they are both joined together? "keeping the 
unity of the spirit in the bond of peace." 

The subjects of Christ are joined together in order and 
peace ; for he who is the God of peace, and the author of 
peace, knits all his children together in the bond of 

But how are they knit together ? How doth the Lord 
knit these together ? What cords are they, of which this 
bond may be said to be twisted ? 

I answer, God doth make men the children of peace by 
infusing certain heavenly graces into them, whereby they 
are disposed to a peaceable temper: for there must be 
something within to keep a man quiet, before he can keep 
a good correspondency with those that are without him ; 
" Have"" salt in yourselves, and peace one with another;" 
The neglect of this makes unquietness ; a man must have 
a spirit well seasoned within, he must have this salt, this 
seasoning virtue within himself, else it is impossible he 
should ever hold good quarter with them without. Now 
there are three principal grains of this spiritual salt that 
must season a man ; wisdom, love, and humility ; these 
are those spiritual graces whereof this spiritual salt is com- 
posed, whereby a man is disposed for the maintenance of 
the peace of the Church. First, wisdom ; this is the 
ground of it, "Who" is a wise man, and endued with wis- 
dom? let him show, out of an unblameable conversation, 
his works in meekness of wisdom :" because wisdom is al- 
ways joined with a meek and gentle spirit ; "The" wisdom 
that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and 

'' Luke, chap. 10. ver. 5. ' Ibid. ver. 6. 

"" Mark, chap. 9. ver. 50. " James, chap. 3. tcv. J ;;. 

" James, chap. .'i. ver. 17. 


easy to be entreated." The quality of the wisdom that is 
from above is first to be pure, then peaceable : it is the 
nature of wisdom not to take things hand over head, but 
to be able by the use of discretion, to discern betwixt pure 
and impure ; it is a point of wisdom to sever the precious 
from the vile ; and to try all things, and choose that which 
is good. But as wisdom is first pure, so in the second place 
it is always peaceable. Suppose that another hath as much 
wisdom and strength of judgment as I have, and hath made 
choice of what I did not ; it may be an impure thing pleas- 
eth him best ; then the next thing is, it must be peaceable. 
If you say. But what if the party have made the worst 
choice? what if he oppose the truth? what shall I do 
then ? what shall wisdom teach me in this case ? Answer, 
Do not break the bond of peace by anymeans: " The? 
servant of God must not strive, but be gentle to all men, 
patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose them- 
selves." Here is the property of God's servant, he that is 
the true minister of God : " If a man lust to be contentious, 
we have no such custom:" the servants of God are not the 
ministers of contention : what if men oppose themselves, 
instruct them with meekness ; we must not fret and rush 
against them as an enemy, but we must instruct them 
with meekness: but what are the grounds? why, "if 
peradventure," saith the apostle, " the Lord will give 
them repentance, to the acknowledgment of the truth." 
But if any should say, Do you think it is an easy mat- 
ter to discern betwixt good and bad, truth and error? 
I answer, no ; it is the gift of God, that one is able to dis- 
cern more than another ; therefore, it coming from God, 
why shouldst thou be so far against him to whom God 
hath not revealed so much as to thee. This is the first 
grace that seasoneth and fitteth for this peace, spiritual 
wisdom. There remaineth love and humility, which the 
, apostle joineth together in Ephesians, chap. IV. ver. 2. 
■" With all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering ; 

«• 2 Tim, chap. 2. ver. 24, 25. 


forbearing one another in love." If any ask, how shall 1 
endeavour to keep peace ? the answer is, love and long- 
suffering knits this bond fast. What the properties of 
love are, the apostle tells us : " It' is not suspicious, it co- 
vers all things, beheves all things," &c. " Fulfil' ye my 
joy," says the apostle, " that you be like minded, having 
the same love." If there be an heart full of love, it will be 
easy to be entreated : the means to keep peace is to have 
love ; and these two go together hand in hand, lowliness 
of mind, and a peaceable heart. Let nothing be done in 
high mindedness, but have a lowly heart; it is pride and 
want of love from whence this doth spring; " Let* the 
same mind be in you," says the apostle, "that was in 
Christ," who saith, " learn' of me, for I am lowly in mind." 
Now by these means God enableth his children to be 

Now, what will follow from hence by way of applica- 
tion ? Certainly, thus much ; that all those, whose hearts 
can testify to themselves, that they are the children of 
peace, and are inclinable to peace ; it is an argument to 
them that God is with them, and that they are the chil- 
dren of God, and then they are blessed ; for so saith 
Christ himself; " Blessed" are the peace-makers, for they 
shall be called the children of God." If God be the au- 
thor of peace, he then that followeth peace is God's child, 
and God will be with him. ." Live'' in peace," says the 
apostle, " and the God of peace shall be with you." So 
then, unless we will banish God out of our hearts, let us 
receive this apostolical injunction ; " Be of one mind, live 
in peace, and then the God of love and peace shall be with 
us." And farther, you have also blessings promised unto 
such : for " blessed are the peace-makers." But what bless- 
ings are these ? Why, in Psalm CXXXIII. we have them 
set down ; it is a short, but yet it is a sweet Psalm : " Be- 
hold, how good and how pleasant a thing it is, for breth/- 

1 1 Cor. chap. 13. ■■ Philipp. chap. 2. ver. 2, 3. 

" PhUipp. chap. 2. ver. 29. ' Matth. chap. 11. ver. 29. 

" Matt. chap. 5. ver. 9. »^ 2 Cor. chap. 13. ver. 11. 


ren to dwell together in unity :" how good and pleasant it 
is, the Psalmist speaks fully : " It is like," says he, " the 
precious ointment that was poured upon the head of 
Aaron, and did run down to his beard, and to the skirts of 
his garments :" no perfume so pleasant and good; " it is 
as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended 
upon the mountains of Zion." And St. James tells us : 
" The'' fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that 
make peace." And in the last words of that Psalm, says 
the psalmist ; " The Lord commanded the blessing, 
even life for evermore." What, are such as these blessed ? 
Wonder not at it, for the Lord hath commanded : he that 
is the Lord of hosts, and hath blessings in store at his 
command; where he seeth brethren to live together in 
unity, there he commandeth the blessing. And of what 
nature are these blessings? Even life for evermore. So 
that the exhortation here comes in right and just; "If" 
any man love life, and desire to see good days, let him 
eschew evil, and do good ; let him follow peace, and ensue 
it :" the one is grounded upon the other. God command- 
eth the blessing, even life for evermore. Dost thou look 
for life and good days ? as it is necessary to eschew evil 
and do good, so necessary is it to follow peace. But what 
if I cannot overtake it ? Why, ensue it. But what if 
when we seek peace, others prepare themselves for war? 
Then it implies that it is such a thing, as that when it 
is flying away, we must pursue it. This is the first 

Secondly, is God the author of peace, he will not then 
own confusions, that is, tumultuousness and unquietness, 
this is not from God. " If '' there be bitter envyings and 
strife amongst you, boast not, neither lie against the truth, 
this wisdom cometh not from above, but it is earthly, sen- 
sual and devilish." God will not own it, this is not from 
above : peradventure it may be counted a great part of 
wisdom and policy, to set persons together by the ears ; hut 

' James, chap. 3. ver. IS. » 1 Peter, chap. 3. ver. 10, 11. 

'' James, chap. 3. ver. 14, 15. 


what kind of wisdom is ? it it is not from above, it is not 
heavenly wisdom; whence is it then, it is earthly says 
the apostle, there is the world ; it is sensual, there is 
the flesh ; it is devihsh, there is the Devil. God is not 
the author of it, who then ? why the world the flesh and 
the Devil, the apostle joins them together, this wis- 
dom is not from above, but it is earthly, sensual and 
devilish. This wisdom is counted zeal now adays, but 
says the apostle, if there be envyings and bitterness, be- 
lieve it, this wisdom is not from above, this zeal is bitter 
and it argues bitterness of spirit, it is a counterfeit zeal, it 
is not that which comes from above. If we do truly de- 
rive the pedigree of this disorder, it is a sufficient confuta- 
tion of it. It is therefore first earthly ; if a man examine it 
well, it is grounded upon worldly respects, and though pre- 
tence be made of religion, yet thou shalt find there be 
strange ends lie under it. " P beseech you, brethi'en, mark 
those that cause dissensions and divisions amongst you 
contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and 
avoid them, for they that are such serve not the Lord Je- 
sus Christ but their own belly." It is worldliness, notwith- 
standing they pretend religion and the maintenance of the 
truths of the Gospel. So the apostle, " supposing* that 
gain is godliness," that is the root, thence it proceeds, 
there is their godliness ; that they may have gain and pre- 
ferment. Those that have raised seditions in the Church, 
it is for worldly respects ; there are some that hold men's 
persons in admiration for advantage, therefore what side 
they are of, others will be, be it what it will be. Cast your 
eyes to the Netherlands, whence came those disputes, v/as 
it a matter only in the schools that the scholars only had 
a hand in it, were there not politic respects in it ? And 
the schism in Israel was a pretence of religion not to go so 
far as Jerusalem to worship, therefore they set up two 
calves, one at Dan and another at Bethel. This is one 
father of this evil brat, the world, this contentious wis- 
dom is earthly. 

<^ Rom. chap. 10. ver. 17, IS. ^ 1 Tim. chap. 6. ver. d, 5. 



But that is not all, for it is sensual also, saith the apos- 
tle, as the world hath her part in it, so the flesh hath its 
part in it ; those that are the authors of these envyings, 
strifes and contentions, they are such as have dissensions 
within themselves : a tumult within, a war in the flesh, 
before there be a tumult without, and this is the cause of 
unquietness and dissensions without. As in the earth, let 
the wind blow never so strong upon it, it moves it not, 
but when it is within the earth, it makes it to quake and 
tremble ; so if there be a man that hath not these tempests 
of lusts within himself, all the winds and blasts that are 
without him are not able to shake him ; but hence it comes 
because there are wars within : it is a fruit of the flesh 
and they are carnal that follow it. Let us now see in what 
parts of the corruption of man's natm'e this is, from 
whence this ariseth. I answer briefly it is from want of 
wisdom in the understanding, from want of integrity in 
the heart, and from want of a due temper in the affections. 
First it ariseth from want of wisdom in the understanding, 
for as Solomon speaketh concerning wrath, that is a con- 
tinual companion of dissension, that it resteth in the 
bosom of fools. And you shall never see men given to 
dissension, but you shall desire more wisdom in them than 
they show. A hasty contentious troublesome man the 
more earnest he is, the more highly doth he exalt his own 
folly, there is little understanding in him. " A" fool's lips 
enter into contention," it is for want of wit, it is an easy 
matter to enter into it; but how to stop a man's self when 
he is in it, he hath not wit to know how to do it : " Every' 
fool," says the wise man, " will be meddling." It is an 
argument of extreme folly to desire to fish in troubled 
waters. Suppose a wise man and a fool meet together, in 
this case there must always be confusion and restlessness ; 
so that this is one corruption from whence these dissen- 
sions and confusions come. Secondly, a worse is from 
want of integrity in the heart; when the heart corrupts 

• Proverbs, chap, 18. ver. 6. '' Ibid. chap. 20. ver. 3. 


the understanding, and that is out of order, all is nought. 
As in the natural body, the head hath a sympathy with 
the stomach, and pains in the head rise from the stomach ; 
so in spiritual matters there is a kind of correspondency 
between the brain and the heart, that if a man be of a 
corrupt heart, it is a just judgment of God that his head 
should be infected, and that he should be given to this 
vein of contention. " The^ end of the commandment is 
love," says the apostle ; " from which some having 
swerved, they have turned aside to vain janglings." "When 
men take no pains to look to their own corrupt hearts, 
but depart from a good conscience, and profess them- 
selves enemies to all goodness ; then have they swerved 
from the commandment, and turned aside to vain jang- - 
ling. In 2 Tim. chap. III. ver. 1, 2. the apostle sets down 
the perils of the last days and times ; and one peril is, 
" that men shall be lovers of themselves :" they make 
themselves the idol, unto which all things must bend ; 
they love themselves more than they love peace, the 
Church and commonwealth, or any thing else. These men 
ate like Jannes and Jambres, who withstood Moses : but 
how comes it to pass ? do you not think that Moses was 
the best scholar of the three ? They were Pharaoh's ma- 
gicians ; they would not give way to Moses, though they 
were convicted. What was the ground of it ; because 
they were better scholars? No, but they were men of 
corrupt minds, and therefore fierce and evil men. There 
is no curing of the head before the heart ; if evil, they will 
wax worse and worse, use what means you can, the cause 
is in the heart. Thirdly, there is a distemper in the af- 
fections, as love and hatred, or envy ; and the mis-tem- 
pering or misplacing of affections is a great ground to 
move unto this contention. But what, is love the mother 
of contention ? Yes, love misplaced is. In Acts, chap. 
XV. there is a memorable story between two good men, 
Paul and Barnabas: every one knows that Paul was 
a good man, and so we read that Barnabas was also ; but 

*' 1 Tim. chap. 1. ver. 5, 6. 


yet that contention grew so sharp between them, that they 
broke company : what was the reason of it ? the question 
ariseth concerning Mark : Barnabas would have Mark to 
go in company with them : " No," says Paul, " he left us 
at Pamphilia." Was not Paul in the right ? Yes : but 
for all this, Barnabas would not yield ; but why would he 
stand against Paul, he being a good man ? the reason is, 
Mark'' was Barnabas's sister's son, and he would not have 
him to be disgraced ; there was his natural affection to 
him. Natural love, though it be an excellent affection, 
yet it may cause much disturbance and discord ; " It is 
told me," says the apostle to the Corinthians, " that there 
are dissensions among you." What is the reason ? Why, 
some say, " I' am of Paul, and I of Apollo, and I of Ce- 
phas :" that is, men will cast their affections to this or 
that person, and he shall be their oracle ; this is a ground 
of dissension, having some men's persons in admiration. And 
if love be the cause of contention, much more hatred : for 
of hatred cometh contention, as also of pride. Thus you 
see this wisdom, let it be covered with never so much show 
of wisdom, it is earthly, hath worldly respects, and is sen- 
sual. But yet there is another thing in it, for it is devilish 
also : make no small matter therefore, of contention in the 
Church and commonwealth ; for thou shalt see the Devil 
also in it. Lord bless us, that men should be the instru- 
ments of the Devil ; that a man should be in so base an 
office, as to be his bailiff, and to serve him in his work ; in 
Judges, chap. IX. ver. 23. you read that " God sent an 
evil spirit between Abimelech and the house of Sechem :" 
there were great contentions between the king and the 
people ; whence came it ? there was an evil spirit, not to 
be seen, but the Devil had an oar in that boat. This 
contentious wisdom, examine it (veil, and you will find it is 
not only carnal and earthly, but devilish ; there is an evil 
spirit in it. He that put God and man at variance at the 
beginning, and puts brethren at variance now, he is of that 

'■ Coloss. chap. 4. ver. 10. ' 1 Cor. chap. 1. ver. 11, 12. 


evil one, as St. John saith. Know, that they that are of 
this contentious disposition, and labour to nourish factions, 
they do that service to a master, they would be loth to do 
it if they knew it. So that you see God is not the author 
of dissension ; but the world, the flesh, and the Devil. 
What now may be looked for from contention if it come 
from such a root, but a bad issue : therefore, as the apos- 
tle saith, " If' you bite and devour one another, take 
heed you be not consumed one of another." Destruction 
and desolation must follow these divisions. Do we live 
among Christ's sheep, or among wolves and bears, to de- 
vour one another ; that one shall not see the face of a 
man, but some cruel beast will bite him? But take heed 
you do not consume one another, take heed the God of 
peace doth not withdraw himself from those that do not 
know the way of peace. It is a peremptory speech of 
Christ : " Every^ kingdom divided against itself cannot 
stand, and every house or city divided against itself cannot 
stand." These are the speeches of the wisest that ever 
was upon earth. Beloved, doth not this nearly concern 
us to consider of, when the question is, whether our state 
shall be dissolved or no? howsoever you may think to 
prevent it by your secret wisdom and policy, yet give me 
leave to believe my Saviour before all the politicians in the 
world. Certainly let dissension in a kingdom, in a city, 
or in a house go forward, let not those that are wise be- 
guile themselves ; for certainly all the policy in the world 
cannot make that kingdom, city or house stand, but it 
mvist be dissolved. You will say, it may be it may be so in 
time, when it comes to the height of contention. But you 
read of a holy proverb that Solomon maketh use of, and 
it is this ; " The™ beginning of strife," says he, " is as the 
opening of the waters ;" what then, " therefore leave off 
contention before it be meddled with." The beginning of 
contention thou thinkest is but a small matter ; why, so it 
is but a small matter to open a dam ; but if they should do 

k Gal. chap. 5. ver. 15. ' Matt. chap. 12. ver. 25. 

"' Prov. chap. 17. ver. 14. 


SO in the low countries, all the wit they have will not stop it 
again. So is the beginning of contention, before it be med- 
dled with ; therefore, leave it off, now it lies in your power 
to stop it. A child may be able to fire an house, but it will 
trouble and pose the wits of a thousand to quench it again 
when it hath gotten head. Now, to what end is all this ? 
would we had not all cause to speak, but we have all cause 
to speak, but we have all cause to pray that God would 
be merciful to us ; we see the ruins of the kingdom, the 
destruction of the state and Church : if we will persuade 
ourselves that all things will be ^ell, beloved, let us con- 
sider this may not be : far be it from me to intrude upon 
that which belongs not unto me ; but among the churches 
of the saints, then I am in my own element. Do not we 
see the churches of the saints abroad are in destruction, 
and the same flame did begin in our neighbours' countries, 
first by the disputations in the schools, and then in the 
state ; afterwards there was a supplication of peace, that 
it might be no breach of peace; at last it came to perfec- 
tion, and many would not join with them, but they must 
have congregations of their own, else they would not con- 
tribute to the wars. I beseech God, we in this nation 
may not try conclusions with God in this case, to see how 
far such a thing may go before it be stopped. But you 
may say, how shall this be ? I answer and profess be- 
fore God to give nothing as studious of parts, but of 

I advise that all opprobrious terms be suppressed. I 
see that those that will not yield to that new doctrine 
which hath disturbed the low countries, there is an odious 
name cast upon them, and they are counted puritans, 
which is a thing tending to dissension ; we know who are 
esteemed by Christ, and were it not a vile thing to term 
him a puritan ? And king James maintained the same ; 
and shall those be counted so, who confess the points 
which he maintained? Do not think I speak any thing 
as being hired on any side ; but I foresee that the fore- 
casting of that name upon those that maintain the doc- 
trine, as hath been published by the pen of our sove- 

SERMONS. 34.9 

reign, will prove a means for the disturbing of our 

Secondly, the spirit of the prophets must be subject to 
the prophets. Whence come these troubles ? I remem- 
ber St. Jerome, writing upon those words, saith ; " I have 
read, and read, but could never find but that the Church 
was divided by those that are appointed to be priests." It 
was among the prophets, that the apostle tells them: " Of" 
your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, 
and drawing disciples after them." But what shall we do 
with these prophets ? I answer, far be it from me to give 
counsel not fitting for peace ; let therefore the prophets 
be subject to the prophets : let no meeting of laymen 
think it appertaineth to them ; they must be subject to 
some, else every one would be a pope : but what, to some 
of their own rank and coat ? No, but to those that are 
enabled by their calling and study, to enter into the deep 
consideration of these points. So wisdom will tell us, 
that the prophets should be subject to their censure, and 
not to those that cannot understand the state of the ques- 
tion, much less enter into the bowels of it. But yet they 
must be subject. Observe the innovation; I do stand 
upon it, whether the point be true or false, but to see how 
the peace of the Church may be preserved. When con- 
tentions break forth in the Church, consider we were quiet 
in such a time, what is the cause the Church is now dis- 
turbed ? Why, there be such and such that see the cause 
of it: what, are they brethren? are they of the prophets? 
if we see that the greatest number of the prophets go the 
other way, what can be the meaning of the apostle 
here, " but let the spirits of the fewer be subject to the 
rest?" All men know our counsels are founded upon this 
text ; so that this is not a means in policy, but by God 
appointed. Those that bring in a new doctrine, be it 
true or false, God hath appointed this order, that the 
fewer should be subject to the greater number. But sup- 
pose they have the truth on their side ? I say, if they 

" Acts, chap. 20. ver. 30. 


have the truth, it is all one in this case : for there are cer- 
tain truths that concern not the foundation of faith : and 
that which a man holds, if an error, unless he make it 
worse by his evil carriage, it is that he may go to heaven 
with for all that. But when there is no danger in the 
earth, if a man do profess the contrary, why do you dis- 
turb the peace of the Church ? But you will say that this 
is an advice that comes from one that is partial. I will 
not deny, but confess, that in those five points that dis- 
turb the Low Countries, I am in the mind of my sove- 
reign ; I am not ashamed to confess it, nor never will be. 
But now the thing we look for, is not so much the dis- 
cerning of truth and falsehood, but it is for the preserva- 
tion of peace. Therefore this is my profession, and I do 
here profess before God, that if I were an Arminian, and 
did hold those five points that have caused those troubles 
in the Low Countries, and is like to cause them here 
among us ; the case standing as it doth, that the greatest 
number of the prophets blow their horns another way, I 
hold, I were bound in conscience to hold my peace, and 
keep my knowledge to myself, rather than by my un- 
seasonable uttering of it, to disturb the peace of the 

But is not this a prevaricating of God's cause ? No, it 
is the order God himself hath set down : there is a time 
when knowledge may be uttered, but not always : a fool 
uttereth all at once. It is not possible that all men in the 
Church should agree in all things, but it is possible that 
the peace should be preserved : " If any man think other- 
wise, God shall reveal the same." As if the apostle should 
have said, there are a number of matters wherein you may 
disagree, and go to heaven. And do your brethren, say 
they, see more than you? Why, if they be otherwise 
minded, peradventure the Lord will reveal the same unto 
you. Truth is the daughter of time; wait therefore. 
This is the last time I shall be called to this place, there- 
fore I will leave this advice ; which if it be neglected, per- 

° Phillipp. chap. 3. ver. 15. 


adventure it will be too late easily to stop things. Perad- 
venture it is not so wise counsel as some do give, who ad- 
vise that both sides should be silent : but do you think it so 
easy a matter to silence all those who have moved the 
troubles ? 














&c. &c. 

Gen. chap. XLIX. vek. 3. 
Reuben, thou art my first born, my might, and the beginning of my strength. 

X HIS is the beginning of Jacob's blessing his children, 
which was an act, and a principal act, of his faith, as it is 
in Heb. chap. XI. ver. 20. 

And in this we may see a difference betwixt the death 
of Jacob and his father's. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, 
were famous in their generations : God is not ashamed to 
be called their God. And if we consider their lives and 
deaths, we shall find this diiFerence. Abraham in his 
life was most glorious, his faith famous, witness his offer- 
ing his only son to God with that strength of faith, that, 
although he verily believed that " in Jacob all the nations 
of the earth should be blessed," yet was his faith so strong 
as to be content to offer him up, being persuaded that God 
was able to raise him from the dead. 

Now although his life was thus glorious, when ye come 
to his death, this is all that is said of him : " Then 
Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, 
and was gathered unto his fathers." 

A a2 



Commonly great things are expected from holy men 
at their death, yet ye see Abraham was but ordinary in 
his death. 

Concerning Isaac's life the Scripture saith but little, and 
the self same words are used of him at his death, as was 
at the death of Abraham. 

Jacob as ordinary in his life as ye shall meet withal ; 
but his death was a prophecy of Christ's coming into the 
world. He begins with Reuben, to whom, though he had 
no mind at all to bless him, he gives his due ; shows him 
that the right of primogeniture belonged unto him, if he 
had not forfeited it : " Thou art my first born, my might, 
and the beginning of my strength." For this reason God 
commands, that the first born should have a double por- 
tion. And so Reuben should have received, but that he 
forfeited it ; therefore, saith he, because thou art unstable 
as water, thy excellency is departed from thee : and so he 
gave it to Joseph. In repeating the genealogy of Jacob's 
sons, " Now%" saith the text, " the sons of Reuben, the 
first-born of Israel," for he was the first-born, but foras- 
much as he defiled his father's bed, his birth-right was 
given unto the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel, and the 
genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birth-right. 

Ye see, though he had forfeited his birth-right, he could 
not forfeit his primogeniture, but there was an escheat 
thereof to Joseph. AH the rest had a single tribe set out 
to them, but Joseph had two tribes, and so the right that 
should have gone to Reuben fell to Joseph. Besides this, 
had not Reuben forfeited his birth-right, he should have 
had more than his double portion, for there was a promise 
made, that "kings should proceed from him." Now as 
in the former Joseph succeeded him, so in this of eminency 
and power, it fell to Judah ; for so it follows in 1 Chron. 
chap. V, before named. 

Now to explicate this. 

The regal power which comes by descent is described 

* 1 Chvon. chap. 5. vev. 1, 2. 


by a double eminency: the excellency of dignity, and 
the excellency of power. By dignity you understand 
all outward glory ; by power, all dominion, and these are 
the two branches of majesty. 

The Greeks do therefore express it in the abstract. In 
respect of dignity, the supreme magistrate is called glory ; 
in respect of sovereignty, he is called lordship. 

The king is not only glorious, but glory ; not only 
powerful, but power. " Let every soul be subject to the 
higher powers." Both are joined in the epistle to Jude ; 
and in the eighth verse there is a wicked sort described, 
that " despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." 
They despise dominion that make no conscience " to 
blaspheme the footsteps of the Lord's anointed." These 
men dare do what Michael durst not do*", he durst not bring 
against the devil " a railing accusation," but these dare 
" speak evil of dignities." And what is their censure ? " To° 
whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." 
We use to say, that those that have God's tokens upon 
them are past hopes of like. Here ye may plainly see 
God's tokens upon these men : " They are reserved to 
everlasting damnation." 

Well, let us now come to unfold these two parts of 
majesty, dignity and dominion : the excellency of dig- 
nity, and the excellency of power. 

By dignity is meant the outward pomp and glory an- 
nexed to the sceptre. For, it is God's ordinance that there 
should be an extraordinary splendour in majesty more 
than in any other. And therefore the Scripture doth 
often describe the courts of princes, their splendour 
at home, and their progress abroad, with dignity and 
state. When'^ king Agrippa and Bernice went to hear 
Paul, the text saith, " They removed with great pomp." 
It was a thing beseemed the regal power so to do. The'' 
queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem to see Solomon with a 
great train : but she came to a far greater court than her 

'' Verse 9. <= Verse 13. 

■i Acts, chap. 25. ver. 23. ' 1 Kings, chap. 10. vcr. 2. 



own. And this state in courts is not pride, but it is 
a thing allowed by God's ordinance, as Christ saith : 
" Those that wear soft raiment are in kings' courts." 
And speaking of the lilies of the field : " I say to you," 
saith he, " that Solomon in all his glory was not like one 
of these." 

If you see a man, though in russet, attended upon by 
others in rich clothes, you will conclude that man, though 
in russet, to be some great personage. The queen of 
Sheba was astonished at what she saw in Solomon's 
court; for, when she beheld the meat of his table (he 
must not be served as other men) the sitting of his ser- 
vants, the attendance of his ministers, and his cup-bearer, 
&c. the text saith, " There was no more spirit in her." 
She was, as a man may say, beside herself to see this 
state. And so stately it was, that' it is brought in as an 
allegorical description of the glory of Christ and his 
Church. I need not go to foreign princes to prove this, 
the Scripture doth sufficiently evidence it. In Esther, 
chap. I. there is a description of Ahasuerus and his feast, 
the like to which you will not read of in any other story, 
it lasted one hundred and fourscore days, which was a full 
half year, and with the greatest glory that could be^. 
When he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom, and 
the honour of his excellent majesty, &c. 

So then, this is the first part of majesty, namely, out- 
ward splendour, which is lawful and requisite to maintain 
the dignity of a prince. And as the prince ought to have 
this in his own person, and his attendants, so all dignity 
and glory rests in him as in the fountain, and all titles of 
dignity are in him also. Even as ye see in the firmament : 
" There'' is one glory of the sun, another of the moon, 
and one star exceUeth another in glory.'' 

In the commonwealth there are some knights, some 
lords, some earls, &c. but all these differences come from 
one sun, one head, the prince. There is no light in the 

' Psalm 45. E Ver. 4. 

■i 1 Cor. chap. 15. 


moon, but what is derived from the sun even here is bor- 
rowed ; the stars' light is borrowed also, and when the 
sun appears, they cease to shine. The stars at this time 
shine as much as at midnight, but that the light of 
the sun doth darken them. Even so in the presence 
of majesty, those other excellent dignities do not shine 
at all. 

2. To come to the eminency of power ; for a king to 
have great state and to have no power, he were then but 
a poor king. 

A duke of Venice is served in as great state as can be, 
but he hath no power at all. 

There is a subordination of power in all government, 
which because it cannot go ad infinitum, it must needs 
rest somewhere, and that is in the king. " Let every soul 
he subject to the higher powers." And the apostle dis- 
tinguisheth, " whether*" it be to the king, as supreme, 
or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by God, 
for the punishment of evil doers ;" and he adds, " that 
by so doings the ignorance of foolish men may be put to 

If any professor of religion do rebel against the king, 
this is a scandal to religion. 

Now the apostle did foresee that such there would be, 
and therefore commands that they be put in mind to be 
subject, &c. But if any that profess religion do rebel, 
as I said before, it is the fault of the professor, and not of 
the profession ; for the Church of England doth teach the 

But when men shall not only practise, but teach rebel- 
lion (for " by their fruits ye shall know them,") this 
amounts to a very high crime indeed. 

" The king," as St. Peter saith, " hath the excellency 
of power, as sent by God." 

But, what need I say any more? We all swear that 
" the king is the only supreme governor in his dominions." 
A man would think, that that word only might be spared, 

•■ 1 Petif, chap. 2. ver. 13. 


since nothing can be above supreme, but it is put there by 
way of eminency. 

There can be no dominion in the world, unless there be 
an eminency of power in some one or other. If a man be 
wronged in any court, he may lawfully appeal higher ; but 
then, appeals must not be infinite, there must be a supre- 
macy of power somewhere to rest in. 

The philosopher saith, it must be either in one, or in 
all. Where the eminency of power is in one, it is called 
a monarchy. The king must only have the supreme 
power, for if any be joined with him, then it is no mo- 

If the power be in a certain number, it is called an 

If the power be in all, a democracy ; and all power 
then is derived from the body of the people, and where 
you say so, you destroy the monarchy, and erect a de- 

The duke of Venice hath, as I said before, a marvel- 
lous great state, and yet the state of Venice is no mo- 
narchy, because the supremacy of power is not in him. 
He cannot receive a letter, nor make an edict without the 
state's allowance ; nay, he may be called to account by 

I read in Josephus, that Herod having offended Cleo- 
patra, she besought Antony, who did not use to deny 
her any thing, to call him to account; but Antony re- 
fused so to do : " Then," saith he, " he will be no king." 

Look upon the commonwealth of Lacedemon, they had 
kings lineally descended from the race of Hercules ; but 
sh^ll we say they had regal power? nothing less, be- 
cause there were Ephori in that state, a certain power 
in the people to call their kings to account: the supre- 
macy of power there was not in the prince. 

In Switzerland there is a democracy, and the only de- 
mocratical government I know of. They have their ma- 
gistrates that govern the people. And yet though there 
be many magistrates that govern in those cantons, this is no 
aristocracy, for all the magistrates in Switzerland are ac- 


couBtable to the people, and all their power is limited by 
them. The supremacy of power is in the people there, 
and thence it comes to be a democracy. 

Eminency of power. " In' the word of a king there is 
power," saith the preacher. It was wont to be so, and 
by the word of God you see it ought to be so. But I will 
not enlarge upon this. It may be, some ears will not en- 
dure sound doctrine. 

But the king, we see, must be acknowledged to be su- 
preme, and no superior to the king. 

Far be it from me, being in God's place, to flatter any 
man, I thank God I fear no flesh, but to deliver the 

Having now spoken of the two branches of majesty, 
dignity and power, we shall speak of a birth-right that 
descends to kings. It should have been Reuben's right 
here, if God had not taken it from him for a fault. 

This day is the birth-day of our sovereign lord. Birth- 
days of kings have been usually celebrated with great 
solemnity in former times. Herod's birth-day was cele- 
brated many years after his death : and the Herodians, 
for the many mighty works that Herod did, believed him 
to be the Messiah. 

It pleaseth God that this day begins the forty-ninth year 
of his life, and let me call it the year of jubilee to his 

The Jews had a custom that in the forty-ninth year of 
any man's life, he should be at liberty, whatever his suf- 
ferings were before. It must be the desire and prayer of 
every loyal heart, that the king may have a jubilee indeed. 
This is that which loyalty bids us do. 

I will not stand too much upon this particular. But 
this I will say, O that we knew our happiness ; to have a 
king that is the son of nobles ! A king that is not a child. 
A king that is at full age to govern, by wisdom, and pru- 
dence. And truly as God gives us this blessing, so he 
expects we should acknowledge it thankfully. " Woe'' be 

' Eccles. chap. 8. ver. 4. i* Ibid. chap. 10. ver. 16. 


to thee, O land," eaith the preacher, " when thy king is 
a child :" and, " Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king 
is the son of nobles:" that hath his breeding answer- 

To have him, when his experience hath rivetted in him 
sound judgment, and ability to govern. The Lord threat- 
ened Jerusalem : " F will give children to be their princes, 
and babes shall rule over them." Those that would have 
their own wills, could, I warrant you, be content that the 
youngest should reign. 

To have a base man exalted, is one of the things that 
the earth cannot bear. But some body must have the go- 
vernment, it doth not belong to all. You see here is, by 
birth, one that hath a right unto it. 

When Jehosaphat distributed his estate™, he gave gifts 
to his other sons, but the kingdom unto Jehoram, because 
he was his first born, A kingdom is not a thing divi- 

So the king of Edom", though he took and offered his 
eldest son, that should have reigned in his stead, as an 
offering : yet in the prophecy of Amos, he is called the 
king of Edom, because he had it in view. 

Now to come to Christians ; we are kings in our sort, 
we are primogeniti, we are the Israel of God. When 
God sent Moses to deliver his people, he bids him delivei 
this message to Pharaoh : " Thou" shalt say to Pharaohj 
Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first- 
born." Here is our privilege, though God hath many 
sons, yet, being found in Christ, we are all first-born. 
And so the children of God are called, " The^ congrega- 
tion of the first-born." Every one that is a member of 
Christ hath the privilege of a first-born. They are all 
heirs. In the same relation that Christ is by nature, we 
are by grace and adoption: and being so, we have the 
excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power, 

' Isaiah, chap. 3. ver. 4. "2 Chron. chap. 21. 

" 2 Kings, chap. 3. ver. 27. » Exod. chap. 4. ver. 22. 

P Heb. chap, 12. 


We do not speak of the power of this world : Christ 
said, " My kingdom is not of this world." 

They that preach, " The saints shall reign upon the 
earth," did not learn it from God ; " For our kingdom is 
not of this world." 

There is not that excellency to be found in any of the 
sons of men, as is to be found in one poor child of God. 

Will you see David a king? when he comes with a pious 
eye, see who are there the most worshipful persons. " In'' 
whose eyes a vile person is contemned, but honours them 
that fear the Lord." When he sees God's image in any 
soul, he honours him, and if he be a wicked man, a child 
of the Devil, he is a vile person in his eyes. A sinner, 
though otherwise never so noble, is a very vile person : 
" My' goodness," saith David, " doth not extend to thee, 
but unto the saints upon the earth." 

The apostle St. John, " Behold%" saith he, " what 
manner of love the Father bestowed upon us, that we 
should be called the sons of God, and therefore the world 
doth not know us." 

But if they be so excellent, how come they to be so 
despised in the world ? the reason is, because the world 
doth not know them to be such. The world doth not 
know Christ's children more than they know Christ 

I have often thought, that when his Majesty was in 
France, where he was not known, a neglect put upon him 
there, would not have been in any proportion so bad, as 
the like must needs be amongst his own subjects. And so 
it is with us. We are spiritual kings, a royal priesthood. 
If the world did know us to be such, they would deal with 
us otherwise than they do ; " but our life is hid with 
Christ in God," and one day it shall appear, and then 
shall the righteous shine in the kingdom of their Father. 

Beloved, hereupon it is that the children of God have 
their guard of angels. 

•! Psalm 15. ver. 4. ' Psalm 16. 

' 1 John, chap. 3. 

364^ SERMONS. 

The king hath a choice guard to attend him, but if ye 
did see what attendance the children of God have, you 
would admire. The angels of God do pitch their tents 
about them. 

In the Canticles, the state of Solomon's bed is described 
with three score valiant men about it for a guard. What 
is this but a type of the angels of God guarding his own 
people, the militia of heaven? 

But I perceive the time is past, therefore will end 




John, chap. VIII. ver. 31, 32. 

Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed on him, if ye continue in my 
word then are ye my disciples indeed. 

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 

Jln the words before our Saviour justifies the doctrine he 
had delivered to the Jevs^s, declaring' that what he had de- 
livered unto them was not his own only, but also proceed- 
ing from and agreeing with his Father ; because that he 
came from the Father, yea from the bosom of the Father. 
So that no man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to 
whom the Son will reveal him. Christ here proves the 
truth of his kingly and prophetical office ; that he took not 
this honor to himself, but was sent doing those things which 
were pleasing unto him. Now many were ready to carp 
and snatch at his sermon, upon whom he saw admonitions 
prevailed not. Therefore he turns him to those believing 
Jews on whom his speech had effect, and tells them that 
they had made a fair beginning, to be contented patiently 
to hear him, not finding knots in rushes, and cavilling at 
every small matter, as those other Jews did. He entreats 
them therefore to continue in his word, and they should be 
his disciples indeed ; not to be as those who come for a sea- 
son, and then run away. Therefore he tells them, if you 
would be sure to have any good by my word, ye must conti- 
nue in my word. He shows there be two sorts of hearers. 

1. Such as commend the word only, and so let it pass 
without any more good by it. 



2. Such who not only commend it, but also lay it up in 
practice, to live accordingly. Unto this first sort of hearers 
he shows, the word shall do them no good, unless they con- 
tinue in his truth. And then, if they do continue in his 
word, and cleave to his truth, he shows them it shall not be 
labour lost, or time ill spent, for thereby they shall know 
the truth, and the truth shall make them free. 

I will not stand on any curious division to touch many 
things. The text is plain. It contains matter of practice, 
upon which I will insist. 

I. Observe in general — surely the knowledge of the 
truth is a most excellent and precious thing, and to be 
exceedingly desired of us. 

This seems a common point, yet our freedom stands upon 
it ; nothing can make us free from bondage, but this : most 
men think not so ; but certainly we shall find the point true. 
That the knowledge of the truth is the most excellent thing 
that may be. There be many proofs of this point, but we need 
not stand upon many. The wise man saith, " Gef wisdom, 
get understanding, forget it not, neither decline from the 
words of my mouth ; forsake her not, and she shall preserve 
thee ; love her and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the prin- 
cipal thing, therefore getwisdom, and with all thy gettingget 
understanding.'' Some you see, to obtain some gettings think 
their adventuring to the East Indies, and such like places, no- 
thing. How comes it then that we have not this wisdom, 
which is of all other things the most precious ? The truth is, 
we prize it not, we are fools, not knowing, or not valuing the 
richest commodities as we should. This the wise man con- 
firms, " My*" fruit is better than gold, yea than fine gold ; 
and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the_.way of 
righteousness, and in the midst of the paths of judgment." 
It is valued" above all things, yea and all precious stones, 
with all the riches of the world, so that nothing is like this : 
you see with those who have understanding to value things, 
unto such this high treasure is esteemed above all. 

^ Prov. chap. 4. ver. 5. >> Prov. chap. 8. ver. 19. 

" Job. chap. 28. ver. 15. 


The reason hereof is, other things may pass, and I may 
lack them ; but on the knowledge of this my life stands. 
If a man were certainly persuaded of this, he would by all 
means, with all his getting obtain this. Tell unto a man 
in the state of death, who is condemned to die, of great 
earthly matters ; he takes no heed, nor cares what you say ; 
he values life more than all. And, if a natural life be so 
much esteemed ; how much ought we more to esteem of a 
spiritual life ? This knowledge is beyond all things to be 
sought after. You know Christ saith, " This* is life eternal 
to know thee to be the only very God ; and Jesus Christ, 
whom thou hast sent." See, my life stands upon it. So 
Moses bids the people, " Set'' your hearts unto all the words 
which I testify amongst you this day, for it is your life." 
He shows it is no vain word (too slightly thought of by 
them), but that on which so near and dear a thing as our 
life stands upon, and on which all our joy depends. So 
think you that the knowledge of the truth is an ordinary 
thing, such as a man may have with a song (as they say). 
No. It is that on which your everlasting life doth depend. 
See what the Wiseman saith to this purpose, ' ' Take' fast hold 
of instruction ; let her not go ; keep her, for she is thy life." 
In this case we must do even as a man who, being cast into 
a main sea, having a cable let down to him to take hold of, 
he holds it fast, and will not let it go, because he knows 
his life depends upon it ; a man needs not to bid him hold. 
So this knowledge of the truth is a cable cast down from 
heaven unto us, who are in the raging and roaring seas of 
this world, compassed with sin and death, and we must lay 
hold for our life, for thereby we attain life. " For^ whoso 
findeth me findeth life ; and shall obtain favour of the Lord ; 
but he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul. All 
they that hate me love death." I speak now unto you that 
have learned and known the truth. It is not to be attained 
as other things, with ease, it is an high and supernatural 
thing, and discovered from heaven by his Spirit, illightning 
and working upon our spirits. 

<^ John, chap. 17. ver. 3. ' Deut. chap. 32. ver. 46. 

' Prov. chap. 4. ver. 13. ^ Prov. chap. 8. ver. 35. 




I. To show the miserable and distressed state of those 
who have not yet the knowledge of the truth : this being a 
thing of so great importance ; and not only a shameful, 
but also a miserable estate. The apostle imputes the brab- 
ling of the Corinthians to want of knowledge and piety ; 
and therefore he tells them, " 1' say this to your shame; 
is there not one that is a wise man among you ? not one 
that shall be able to judge betwixt his brethren ?" We see 
also to this purpose, how Christ takes up Philip for his ig- 
norance. When Philip had said, " Lord*^ show us the Fa- 
ther, and it sufEceth us," Christ answers him, " Have I 
been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known 
me Philip ?" He is reproved, that in so long habita- 
tion, and being with our Saviour, he continues yet so igno- 
rant. And so may we not now say the like of ourselves, 
when we shall be brought before God at that last day ? 
What can we plead for our ignorance and disobedience, 
who have had God, and the means so powerfully, and so 
long a time with us ? may we not now tremble and quake 
to think of our backwardness this way ? Look, against 
whom will the Lord Jesus come at that day ? saith the 
apostle, " he' shall come in flaming fire, rendering ven- 
geance on them, that know not God, and obey not the Gos- 
pel of our Lord Jesus Christ." See what a fearful thing 
this is: the not knowing of Christ may be a means to put 
us, at that great day, on his left hand, to be tormented with 
Tthe devil and his angels for ever. This is a cursed igno- 
rance, which produceth such woful effects ; to live thus is a 
continual (as it were) stabbing of the soul. For this cause 
also the prophet complains, " my people perish for want of 
knowledge." Look where you will, and you shall find many 
places to confirm this. Some object, O God is full of 
mercy; I will fly unto that — I grant; but what is that to 
thee ? Dost thou think he will be prodigal of his blood for 
thy good, who esteemest of him no more (nay not so much) 

' 1 Cor. chap. 6. ver. 5. '^ John, chap. 14. ver. 8, 9. 

' 2 Thess, 1. yer. 8. 


as of the basest thing of the world ? It is a shameful thing 
to be ignorant now in so great a light. 

II. This is against another sort of men, who bless them- 
selves in their formality not to be grossly ignorant. Yet 
they value not the truth at an high rate, they will not 
bestow one hour in a day, in searching of it, to leave any 
worldly thing undone for this ; yea (which is more lamenta- 
ble) they not only make the search of this truth their least 
care ; but also think all that time lost, which is spent that 
way. What shall I say ? Thus to prefer the world before 
heaven, and set up the search of earthly things so in our 
hearts (which will bring but dolor, grief, and main sorrows 
in the end) ; is not this to proclaim thyself another Esau, to 
prefer thy present lusts before this truth ? for this is most 
certain, and look unto it. So far as we prefer the search of 
the truth before all things, with purpose of heart to live ac- 
cordingly, so far are we brought into the liberty of God's 
children, which shall make us free if we continue in the 
truth. But if a man give Christ no entertainment, but hand 
over head go on, and put all to the last, that man is in a 
woful state, without hope of freedom if he continues so. 
You shall have some, if they may have Christ with ease, 
they could be content to have him ; or if he would so work 
upon them, that they might go about the work of repentance 
with ease, why then they would go about it. But yet they 
will not take Mary's part™ so seriously to put that in the 
first place, without which all is nothing, being with Martha 
troubled about many things. They dare not trust God in 
temporal things, as though godliness had not the promise 
above earthly things, yea and of all things with Christ. 
But howsoever it is clear, the knowledge of the truth is a 
most excellent thing, and the ignorance thereof is damned: 
it is heinous, and a bad sign in a professor to prefer any- 
thing before it. Yea it is the glory of a Christian to 
increase in this knowledge every day, " Thus" saith the 
Lord, let not the wise man glory in his wisdom ; neither 
let the mighty man glory in his might; neither let the 
rich man glory in his riches ; but let him that glorieth 

" Luke, chap. 10. ver. 42. " Jer. chap. 9. ver. 23. 

B b2 


glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me." As 
in riches a man is not content to have no more than to 
keep a man from starving ; but also he desires to have for 
bounty and liberality for others, so much more must we in 
spiritual things desire and strive to be rich in them ; as 
the apostle exhorts us, " Let" the word of God dwell in 
you richly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one 
another." We must not seek (as some sluggards do for 
their ease) the least measure of the knowledge of Christ, 
which may save a man ; this is to be poor in Christ always. 
But if a man desire Christ truly, he will be more covetous 
of the riches of this knowledge than any earthly minded 
man can be of the things of this world. Now I come to 
the second point. 

When and how this knowledge is attained. 
It is not gotten so soon as a man (upon hearing the word 
preached) hath a flash of remorse at a sermon, upon which 
he doth fall out in commendation of the preacher, and ser- 
mon, admiring the power of the word ; but then (as Christ's 
speech is), when we continue in his word, are we his disci- 
ples indeed, and shall know the truth. They knew his 
word before, and were instructed in some generals ; and yet 
were far short of practice, and of that which they were to 
have. Therefore he shows them the waj' to come by it is, 
by continuing in his word. Whence we observe, there is a 
kind of knowledge which is not attained by our first hearing 
of the word ; but by adhering and sticking close unto it, so 
as it may dwell in us, and we continue therein. It is not 
enough to assent at first, and approve goodness. This 
knowledge is attained with much industry, pains, time, and 
labour, when a man hath, as it were riveted this knowledge 
in himself (as one will drive in a nail fast), and sure to re- 
main, being transformed into the image thereof. This is the 
next point, if a man would have this knowledge, which is so 
precious, which shall make him a freeman ; he must (as St. 
James speaketh), " receiver with meekness the ingrafted 
word, which is able to save our souls." It is not every 

" Col. chap. 3. ver. 16. P James, chap. 1. ver. 21. 


knowledge, nor every word will do it, but this ingrafted 
word. In which the apostle shows them, as though he had 
said, if you will conform yourselves to what I exhort you, 
and lay away lets, which hinder you from obedience, you 
shall attain to such a knowledge as the worldlings think is 
not in the world. Thus you see, a man must continue and 
stick unto it, if he would be freed by this knowledge. For 
this, see what the Wiseman saith : " My"" son, if thou wilt 
receive my words and hide my commandments with thee, 
so that thou incline thy ear to wisdom, and apply thy heart 
unto understanding ; yea if thou criest after knowledge, 
and liftest up thy voice for understanding ; if thou seekest 
her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures ; then 
shall thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the 
knowledge of God." As though he should say, you see 
understanding is not a thing may be had every where. No, 
God keeps it in his own hands, till we beg for it, as St. 
James tells us : " IF any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of 
God who giveth unto all men liberally, and upbraideth not; 
and it shall be given him." Thus you see, a man must seek 
for it. At first, when with ease we attain to know many 
things, then one would think we had knowledge. But I 
say no, as in the Proverbs you have heard. It is a treasure, 
and men must dig and sweat to find out a treasure ; a man 
must seek and dig deep to find it out, and then seek again. 
When a man hath received the word and hid it, then he 
must do more ; sell all that he hath to purchase it ; let all 
fall that he may have it. So that this true knowledge in 
the first receiving it puts a man on to search further into 
those depths of knowledge, which ravish the soul. It stands 
not in the brain ; you shall have many wonderful curious 
to know much, and converse with the learned, they never can 
be satisfied. But let me tell thee, unless thou practise that 
it descend into thy heart. It shall but increase thy condem- 
nation, that thou, who knowest so much of thy Master's 
will, and doest so little, mayest be beat with many stripes. 

9 Prov. chap. 2. ver. 1. ' James, chap. 1. ver. 5. 



But I go on. You see what our Saviour saith, " If^ any 
man will do his will he shall know of the doctrine." A man 
must know the will of God or he shall never do it. It is 
not the despiser, nor the curious disputer, that shall come 
unto the knowledge of this truth, but the submitter. A 
man must captivate his reason and understanding, and give, 
as it were, a blind obedience unto the word ; and then a 
man shall come to know it. To know the word a man must 
first yield unto it, to be ruled by it ; the first knowledge of 
the truth is, to bring a man on, and lead him further and 
further still, until he be in truth, yea truth in him, and he 
transformed into the image thereof; so continuing and going 
on therein, still reaching for that which is before; thus 
continuing in his word, we shall know the truth (as our 
Saviour speaks), and the truth shall make us free. 

The reason hereof is, because, as in human sciences, it 
is not the discourse of one in ordering a battle, that will 
make wise men trust a man the more to order it ; but they 
will put the business to men of skill, who have adventured 
their lives in the choake of a battle, and have had experience 
trained up in the war. So there is an introductory kind of 
knowledge by learning, which will not serve the turn ; 
which though a man have, yet he is but a novice all the 
while. But when a man continues therein, it comes to be 
an experimental knowledge ; as that of a general in order- 
ing of a battle, whose experience doth it. So this is a 
matter of practice, as we see, " Behold' the fear of the 
Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is under- 
standing." This fear of God is not a discursive know- 
ledge, but it is the well ordering of all. So saith the 
prophet : " The'' fear of the Lord is the beginning of wis- 
dom ; a good understanding have all they that do his 
commandments ; his praise endureth for ever." Mark, hath 
not a man a good knowledge who is able to repeat a 
sermon well, and speak well ? Ko, if there be no more ; a 
good understanding have all they that do his command- 

' John, chap. 7. ver. 17. ' Job, chap. 28. ver. 28. 

" Psalm 111. ver. 10. 


ments. When a man doth practise his knowledge, this is 
the thing. Compare Proverbs, chap. 2. ver. 6. with 
Proverbs, chap. 2. ver. 10. Observe, as this a thing which 
comes from God particularly, so he useth not to give it to 
those who care not for him. He saith there, " When 
wisdom entereth into thy heart, and knowledge is plea- 
sant to thy soul, discretion shall preserve thee." So saith 
the prophet : " What'' man is he that feareth the Lord? 
him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose." To 
whom will God, think you, give this knowledge ? Not to 
profane persons, blasphemers, idle persons, who will not 
labour for it. Will he give, and convert these precious things 
to such ? But what man is he that feareth the Lord ? him 
shall he teach in the way, that he shall choose ? And so 
he saith, " The^ secret of the Lord is with them that fear 
him, and he will show them his covenant." Mark ; there 
are certain secrets in regeneration, not communicated unto 
all, but unto such as fear him. Therefore the prophet 
David prays unto the Lord% to open his eyes, that he 
might behold wondrous things out of his law. Many there 
be who find not these wondrous things in the word ; yea, 
and many wise men there are, who will not believe that 
they can be assured of salvation, or that any man can be 
assured thereof. These never tasted what wonderful things 
are revealed in the word, unto those that fear God ; for to 
be assured to be in Christ, and to be with Christ for ever, 
it is not to every one. His secret is with, and revealed 
unto, them that fear him. I believe easily such men can- 
not believe this. So you see there is a knowledge which 
leads a man unto this freedom, which must be sealed by a 
long tract of time, when a man must wait and knock at 
the gates of wisdom for entrance. 

The use hereof is, 

1 . First : men must not marvel that the greatest clerks 
are not the soundest divines ; such who think themselves 
princely and stately fellows. It is not for want of wit, but 

y Psalm 25. ver. 12. » Ibid, verse 14. 

» Psalm 119. ver. 18. 



of grace in the heart, that such do not profit the people. 
" They run, saith the Lord, but I have not sent them ; 
therefore they profit not my people." A man must first 
put ofi" all his own conceits, and cry unto God for it, or he 
cannot profit himself or others. If a man turn a little 
learning into practice, God will give more, and teach a 
man strange things beyond his imagination. But if a man 
go on in knowledge and learning, and is not transformed 
into the image thereof, God doth justly to give that man 
no more. Yea (which is worse) to give a man over to a 
lying spirit, to be led by vanity, and so fall into that dan- 
gerous disease of hardness of heart, which is worse than 
the plagues of Egypt, as we may see*. There is showed 
the cause of the inundation of Popery ; because they walked 
not according to the knowledge, God gave them over unto 
blindness and hardness of heart. Mark ; some there are 
■who have such a belief of the truth which sanctifieth them ; 
others have pleasure in unrighteousness, not continuing in 
his word ; it is just with God to give such a man over to 
be damned ; to cast him off" from the knowledge of the 
truth, and to let him believe lies ; because he received not 
the love of the truth, that he might be saved, "therefore 
such a one shall take pleasure in unrighteousness, and be 
damned." If I did see a Papist showing himself a noto- 
rious wicked man, I would not begin to convert that man 
by dissuading him from Popery ; but I would set myself to 
reprove his sin, and for to convince him of that ; for when 
a man sets himself against God's word, it is a hard matter 
to reclaim such a man. There are precepts not to murder, 
lie, commit adultery, steal, and the like; for a man now to 
set himself against God in these, it is a wicked thing. The 
apostle compares such men to " Jannes"^ and Jambres, who 
do resist the truth, men of corrupt minds, reprobate con- 
cerning the faith." These men were great magicians then, 
who did resist Moses. Moses was leameder than they in 
all the learning of the Egyptians ; Moses did convince 
them, and beat them at their own weapons. Why was 

k 2 Tbess. chap. 2. ver. 11. '2 Tim. chap. 3. ver. 8. 


their rage set against him ? They were men of corrupt 
hearts and minds. It is not possible that such should turn 
to God, unless they might be persuaded to leave their sin. 
And* the apostle sets out seducers, and shows such men 
should come in the latter days, false teachers, who should 
bring in damnable heresies, by whom the way of truth 
shall be evil spoken of. Such he describes to have eyes 
full of adultery, who cannot cease from sin, beguiling 
unstable souls, having an heart exercised with covetous 
practices ; cursed children. And then he adds'=, that whilst 
they promise men liberty, they themselves are the servants 
of corruption. As though the apostle should have said, 
there will come false prophets among you, saying they can 
untie you from your sins ; believe them not ; such men are 
very rake-hells, such men, who rebel against the truth, 
will you have them to be your guides, who will guide you 
and themselves into destruction ? So the apostle Jude 
saith, " These*' speak evil of those things they know not ; 
but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those 
they corrupt themselves." You shall have a Papist speak 
the most bitter things against the truth; why? They 
speak evil of those things they know not. They know not 
what they do. They did not walk and glorify God ac- 
cording unto their knowledge ; but had pleasure in unrigh- 
teousness ; and therefore they now are barred of the truth, 
this being the way to bring men to speak evil of those 
things they know not. A man must continue and abide in 
a lesser known truth, ere he can attain to know a greater 
and more excellent truth. 

2. Secondly ; hence learn we the necessity of this point. 
A man must continue in this word, or else he shall get 
nothing by it. There is a coming to the word not com- 
mon, which makes one still to abide in the truth. As 
" The? elder unto the elect lady, whom I love in the 
truth, and not I only, but also all they that have known 
the truth ; For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, 
and shall be with us for ever." There is a truth which is 

^ 2 Pet. chap. 2. ver. 14. . "■ Ibid, verse 19. 

' Jude, ver. 10. 8 2 John, chap. 2. 


rooted in one, that one would part with a hundred lives 
ere they let it go. This he speaks of here, " for the truth's 
sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever." 
This is such a truth so rooted, that bring all tortures, or a 
thousand deaths, a man will not part with it. We must all 
labour therefore, not to despise the truth, or to sit down 
contented with a small measure thereof; but strive to at- 
tain to this higher strain, to be transformed into it, that we 
may shine forth as lights unto others. Till a man come to 
this pitch, I may say truly he knows nothing as he ought 
to know. For this see 1 John, chap. 2. ver. 3. "And hereby 
know we, that we know him, if we keep his command- 
ments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his 
commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." So 
the apostleS bids them add to their faith virtue, and to their 
virtue knowledge, and to their knowledge temperance, and 
to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to 
godliness brotherly-kindness, and to brotherly-kindness 
charity : for, if these things be in you, and abound, they 
will make you, that you shall neither be barren nor unfruit- 
ful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.'' Mark ; 
there is a barren knowledge, like the heath in the wilderness, 
which is good for nothing, scarce for the fire, which is in 
the brain only. Then there is a fruitful knowledge, which 
abounds in piety, in the brain, heart, and whole powers of 
the soul. He saith ; if you shall go on and increase, you 
shall be more and more sanctified. A fruitless faith and 
knowledge doth but help a man on unto damnation, and 
maketh his reckoning so much the heavier at that great 
day. But saith the apostle, " He*" that lacketh these 
things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgot- 
ten that he was purged from his old sins." 

Now what this knowledge is, which brings forth such 
excellent things, you have seen. I should now come to 
show the effects thereof: which is here set down. The 
truth shall make them free. They bragged they were 
Abraham's children, and never in bondage unto any man. 

' 2 Pet. chap. 1 . ver, 5. ■> Ibid. ver. 9. 


He who thinks himself freest, many times is the greatest 
bondslave. I should also have showed how, before a man 
be in Christ, he is in the greatest bondage may be. For 
if a man did undergo a great burden, whereof he were 
sensible, (like the children of Israel in Egypt,) he might 
come to cry out of his miserable estate, and seek for liberty j 
but otherwise such are bound, like unto the Jews here, and 
know it not. Cursed be this liberty which binds a man more 
and more. This should have been stood upon ; of our mi- 
serable thraldom till we be in Christ, having this excellent 
knowledge, and how the truth doth make us free ; for 
hereby comes our only true freedom, as our Saviour tells 
them, " Whosoever'' committeth sin is the servant of sin," 
and so a slave to sin. There is no servitude like to this, 
when a base affection doth lead a man on, and rule in him, 
so that he is led captive therewith. On the other side, our 
Saviour tells us the sum of all freedom, what it is, " Verily", 
verily, if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death." 
Christ shows, if it were no more but to be, a bond slave, the 
state of nature were somewhat tolerable ; but (which is 
more) this delivers a man over to the first and second 
death ; for which cause'', the devil is said to have the 
power of death. And Christ is said for this cause to have 
■ come into the world, that he might loose the works of the 
devil. If a man could see sin uncovered, what a vile and 
ugly thing it were, and how every sin, like the stab of a 
dagger, strikes a man to the heart, and binds him faster 
and faster to the devil, he would fly it by all means. Why 
dare our gallants of this age be so bold to venture and rush 
on sin as they do, but because they know not the state of 
nature and end of sin ? Want of consideration marreth all. 
They durst not, for all the world, go on so in sin, if they 
knew what they did. But I cannot go on, at this time, 
any further, because of the time. Now let us pray. O Lord 
our God, &c. 

I" John, chap. 8. ver. 34. ' Ibid, verse 51. 

I" Heb. chap. 2. ver. 14. 



John, chap. VIII. ver. 32. 
•• And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 

These words, as lately I delivered in another place, are 
a particular encouragement given by our Saviour Christ 
unto those believing Jews, his hearers ; as they had now 
made a fair beginning, so he wills them to continue in his 
truth, that they might know the truth. In handling where- 
of I told you, there was a certain excellent knowledge of 
the truth, which could not be attained at our first hearing 
or liking of the word, but by continuing therein : for which 
cause, by the apostle James (I told you) it is called the 
engrafted word, which is able to save our souls, and by 
which a man must be judged at the last day. When a man 
attends to the word, to rivet it in ; when a man is trans- 
formed with the image thereof, so as to be one with it, it 
remaining one in him, and he in it ; then the truth doth 
make us free. Therefore our Saviour here wills them not 
to be contented with having a flash of the truth, but to 
continue in his word, that they might know the truth, and 
the truth might make them free. From that, he shows 
them, shall another knowledge come, which shall make a 
man to see more excellent things. But to know Christ's 
meaning, consider, 

1 . What is truth ? 

2. What our liberty here promised is ? 

Truth is a g^eat word, of large extent, often used by our 
Saviour Christ, and St. John uses it much. A matter it 
is worth the looking after; for our Saviour affirms, " For" 

» John, chap. 18. ver. 37. 


this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the 

world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every 

one that is of the truth heareth my voice." When he had 

thus said unto Pilate, then he asks at our Saviour, " What 

is truth?" The princes of this world knew it not. It is 

not an easy matter to tell what truth is. But howsoever 

the meaning be, Christ himself is principally meant. Look 

at verse 45. There Christ saith to the Jews, " Because" I 

tell you the truth, you believe me not." He himself is 

chiefly the truth, as we may see, " P am the way, the 

truth, and the life." But truth is diversely taken in other 

places; as here, verse 45. of this chapter, where my text 

is : " Because'' I tell you the truth, you believe me not." 

1. Truth is there opposed unto falsehood, when there are 

tricks and dissimulation in the business. 2. So in that 

place it signifies an integrity in the whole man ; from which 

(it is set down verse 44.) the devil fell, and stood not. It 

is written, " He continued not in the truth ;" to wit, in 

that former state of integrity wherein he was placed at 

first. Now, the reason why integrity is called truth is, 

because it is as a girdle to fasten all our spiritual armour, 

and tie it close about us : as we see our clothes hang loose 

about us, till they be girded on ; and then they are close 

and more handsome. So long as a man's graces are not 

girded with this girdle, all are nothing ; integrity fastens 

and makes all sure. 3. All the state of the gospel is there 

called the truth : " The'= elder unto the elect lady and her 

children, whom I love in the truth. For the truth's sake, 

which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever." 

4. By truth, in another place, is meant the word of God ; 

as it is where Christ prays, " Sanctify' them through thy 

truth; thy word is truth." 5. Lastly ; by truth is meant 

Christ himself. Saith he, " Is am the way, the truth, and 

the life." And thus Christ tells the Jews, the truth shall 

make you free. That is, as if he should have said, I being 

believed in, apprehended, and applied as true in all my 

'' John, chap. 8. ver. 45. ' Ibid. chap. 14. ver. 6. 

^ John, chap. 8. ver. 45. '^ 2 John, ver, 1. 

' John, chap. 17. ver. 17. * Ibid. chap. 14. ver. 6. 


words by you, being obeyed and esteemed as that sove- 
reign and universal good, so long since looked for and 
promised ; this shall make you free. Which is proved 
verse 36. If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, then 
shall you be free indeed. The truth makes us free, when 
the Son makes us free. We must not separate the word 
from the ground and substance thereof. And for this you 
see what is written Psal. * * * * 

And so of our Saviour Christ, it is said, " That*^ God 
hath exalted him highly, and given him a name above 
every name." But yet we see he hath engaged his truth 
and his word above all his name. By his word also we 
know him, and thereby see what he hath done for us. 
" Yea', by his knowledge (saitli the Lord) shall my righ- 
teous servant justify many ; for he shall bear their iniqui- 
ties." That is, by those instructions from his word, be- 
lieving therein, they shall come to have assurance of their 
freedom from condemnation. 

Now, ere I come to the main matter of this text, I will 
observe one thing, and so pass on to the rest. Our Saviour 
here showeth himself to be the true witness ; he is the truth. 
For by truth here (I have showed you) is meant Christ 
and his word. Thou mayest trust him in whatsoever he 
saith; heaven and earth shall pass away, rather than his 
word fail. I say the point is : the Son who shall make 
us free, whatsoever he promiseth us, we may build upon 
it. It is certain and sure, and shall be done. It must be 
so, for he is the truth itself. See to this purpose, what 
the Spirit speaketh of Christ, after his resurrection. 
" These'' things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, 
the beginning of the creation of God." This is the chief 
name, Amen, the faithful and true witness. 

The inference from hence is ; as he is, so is his word. 
And therefore it is, that this truth of God and of his word 
is so much stood upon by our Saviour, and by all the pro- 
phets and apostles ; that we might have confidence and 

t Phil. chap. 2. ver. 9. ' Isa. chap. 53. ver. 2. 

!■ Rev. chap. 3. ver. 14. 


trust therein. For the promises are of great things, such 
as without this we durst not reacli at ; to make us the sons 
of God ; of bondslaves, freemen ; to make us heirs, yea, 
co-heirs with Christ ; and give us a kingdom in eternal 
life. And in this life also the promises are great : to be 
with us in all temptations and dangers, to overrule all 
crosses and afflictions so, as in the end all shall make for 
our good, notwithstanding Satan and all his malice ; and 
in death to bring us that way to life. In all which, if we 
rest not on the truth of the promiser, we shall stagger ; as 
we see Christians (like unto David) are ready to fly out 
upon every little cross to distrust, as if he had left them, 
unless this truth be looked upon. When David was greatly 
afflicted, he said in his haste, " All" men are liars." Thus 
began his distrust, when he began to doubt of the truth of 
all men. But afterwards he fell into more distrust, when 
he said in his heart, " I" shall now perish one day by the 
hand of Saul ; there is nothing better for me, than that 
I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines, 
and Saul shall despair of me." And so, in another place, 
for fear of Achish, we read, " He° feigned himself mad 
in their hands, and scrabled on the doors of the gate, 
and let his spittle fall down by his beard." So it is with 
us : we do never play the fools, till we begin to distrust 
God, and leave trusting in him ; then we come to show 
ourselves madmen, to scratch on the wall, and to be full of 
distempers and vile passions ; then are we foolish indeed, 
and much woe and misery befalls us in this estate. 

The servants of God for this cause are plentiful (as I have 
showed) to set forth the truth of God unto us ; as, to in- 
stance oneP, after he had brought them into the land of 
Canaan, as the Lord had promised, thus he speaks unto 
them before his death : " And behold this day I am going 
the way of all the earth ; and ye know in all your hearts, 
that in all the good things which the Lord your God spake 
concerning you, all are come to pass unto you, and not one 

■" Psalm 116. ver. 10, 11. "1 Sam. chap. 27. ver. 1. 

» 1 Sam. chap. 21. ver. 13. P Joshua, chap. 23. ver. 14. 


thing hath failed thereof." The bringing them into the 
land of Canaan then was but a type of our bringing into 
the celestial Canaan now, by our true Jesus. We know 
while they were in the way, how they did murmur, and dis- 
trust the promises. When they looked on at it first, they 
were afraid, when they saw great cities with strong walls, 
chariots of iron, and strong and stout people, greater and 
mightier than they. As if they should have said, how im- 
possible is this to be done, which is enjoined unto us ? Shall 
we cast out seven nations, taller and mightier than we ; 
having such fenced cities, defended with men like giants, 
under whom we appear like grasshoppers ? Such servile 
people would rather have returned again to slavery and 
bondmen, than to rely on God's promises. Such slothful, 
distrustful people are we now in our journey unto heaven ; 
every little cross or affliction is like to make us turn back" 
unto Egypt. We object and say, oh, if we wrestled with 
flesh and blood it were somewhat ; or if these and these 
crosses were not so sharp and so heavy, 1 could rejoice. 
But we wrestle with principalities and powers, with strong 
and potent enemies, invisible, subtle, powerful, &c. What 
of all this ? Were the enemies never so strong, powerful, 
and many, God hath promised to cast them all out, that 
there shall not a man stand before us, as we see the Lord 
performed unto Joshua, beating all down before him. So 
it is the Lord that fights for us, and in us, and we overcome 
by his strength, and the power of his might. 

Let us not then provoke the Lord unto anger, and perish 
as such have done. See with whom was he angry, and 
who were they who provoked him to wrath"!. Whose car- 
cases fell in the wilderness ? Even such who believed not 
his words. He was grieved with a faithless people, who 
forgot all his wonders, and longed rather to return again 
to Egypt, than believe in God. If you look', you shall find 
what their sin was : they murmured against Moses, and 
chode with him ; whence the place was named Massah and 
Meribah, that is, temptation and chiding. Mark their sin 

1 Heb. chap. 3. ver. 17. ' Exod. chap. 17. ver. 7. 


how foul and detestable it was. When for a little season 
they had not meat and drink (a thing profane men delight 
most in) in outward things, they then begin to doubt, and 
make question, saying, is God among us, or not ? This 
sin is not only peculiar to them, but even so it is with our- 
selves ; we sin deeply this way. If God dandle us on his 
lap, give us plenty of outward things, freedom from crosses, 
health, &c., we can rejoice and trust in God ; but if once 
the sunshine of his face be but a little eclipsed, that he 
withdraw his hand, pinch us a little, and make us feel the 
rod ; then, like unto them we are ready to question God's 
love, and to say, is God among us or not ? doth he love 
me ? did he ever love me, &c. Let the conclusion of all 
this be ; since God is truth ; since his word is truth, and 
since he hath promised to be with us, and help us in all 
estates; let us wait and trust in him, and lay claim unto his 
promises, as the Prophet David did, " Remember' the word 
unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope." 
So we must put God in mind of his word, of his truth, and 
of our waiting in expectation thereof 

Now I come to the second part : What this liberty is ? 

This Hberty by our Saviour Christ is expounded to be 
spiritual. The Jews we see, were carnal, and so wrested all 
Christ's sayings unto the outward sense of the letter ; as 
when Christ did instruct Nicodemus in the mystery of rege- 
neration, he understood it grossly, and so replied, " How' can 
a man be born, when he is old ? Can he enter the second 
time into his mother's womb, and be born ?" And so when 
he told them, " Except" ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man 
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." And when he 
showed them, that he was that living bread which came 
down from heaven, they strove among themselves, saying, 
" How can this man give us his flesh to eat ?" And here, 
when he speaks to them of the truth, telling them that the 
truth should make them free, they mistake him, and dream- 
ing far wide of the matter, make him this reply ; "we are 

■ Psalm 119. ver. 49. * John, chap. 3. ver. 4. 

" John, chap. 6. ver. 52. 53. 



Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage unto any man, 
how sayest thou, ye shall be made free ?" We know for all 
this, they had often been formerly in bondage unto other 
nations, and were at this time in thraldom under the Romans, 
and yet they brag of their freedom. You shall ever have 
the most slavish and proudest men brag most. Now, Christ 
shows them, that whosoever commits sin, is the servant 
of sin. This is their servitude ; and that their freedom, 
when the truth shall make them free. 2. They bragged 
much of their father Abraham. He tells them, they are 
of their father the Devil. Here is a natural man's descent, 
let them brag, and say of themselves what they will. After 
all this he shows the extent of their freedom. " Verily% ve- 
rily I say unto you, if a man keep my saying, he shall 
never see death." So he shows what our liberty is, and that 
thereby he means a spiritual freedom purchased unto us, out 
of bondage ; yea out of death the last of bondages, by our 
Saviour Christ, to walk in the light of life. First then let 
us see their bondage, who have not this truth remaining in 
them. Whence we observe, until the Son do make us free, 
we remain in bondage and spiritual thraldom. 

The apostle to Galatians, in setting down both covenants 
and states, doth clear this, both which are set down by an 
allegory. " The one from Mount Sinai, which gendereth 
unto bondage, which is Agar ; for this Agar is Mount Sinai 
in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem, which now is ; and 
is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem, which is 
above, is free, which is the mother of us all." So that, be- 
fore a man be the child of the heavenly Jerusalem, to wit, a 
member of Christ's body, new born, a child of Mount Zion, 
&c. ; Hagar is in bondage with her children ; and such are 
bondslaves till they be freed by the son. He that is not 
born again, and hath [not]'' a new life infused into him, he 
, [not] being in Christ [nor] Christ in him, he is in bondage, 
like Hagar and her children ; yea as yet, fast tied in the 
chains and fetters of miserable servitude. Many think this 
to be a paradox, but we have Christ's word for it, " He who 

" John, chap. 8. ver. 51. y The bracketed words are not in MS. 


sins is the servant of sin." The worldlings think this to 
be the only freedom, when a man may run out in riot and 
excess, to do what he will ; and a man who fears, and dares 
do nothing without a warrant, him they think to be in bon- 
dage and thraldom. And therefore they say, as it is Psal. 2, 
" Let^us break their bonds asunder and cast away their cords 
from us." They consider not that Christ's service is the 
only freedom. Yet for all this, they are but bondmen all this 
while. " His^ own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, 
and he shall be holden with the cords of his sin." If nothing 
else should, yet every new sin is as a cord to bind a man. 
That even as Nebuchadnezzar commands the mightiest men 
in his army, to bind the three children'' ; so sins fetter us as 
fast as may be, every sin being a new rope to bind men, and 
cast them into hell-fire. To this effect the Church" hath power 
to bind and loose sin ; how ? By telling them that their 
sins are loosed, being freemen in the state of grace, which 
shows, that formerly such were bound, though they think 
not so, nor see it. And he saith, " Know'' you not that to 
whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants 
ye are, whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of 
obedience unto righteousness ?" So that here the apostle 
shows, there is no bondage beyond the forcible bondage of 
sin, no thraldom comparable to that. It is as though the 
apostle had said. Have you no understanding to see what 
bondage and liberty is ? Is there any question to be made, 
but if a man obey sin, and the lusts thereof, he is kept in 
bondage thereof? You may read to this eifect, what the 
apostle Peter writes of such men, " that" while they pro- 
mise others liberty, they themselves are the servants of sin ; 
for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought 
in bondage." So that man who is overcome with every 
sin, he is not free, but a slave bound in the chains of sin ; 
every sin is as a chain, or a bond, to tie him faster and faster. 
That I may go further. These men perhaps care not to 

>■ Psalm 2. ver. 3. » Prov. chap. 5. ver. 22. 

■i Daniel, chap. 3. ver. 20. ■= Matt. chap. 18. ver. 18. 

^ Rom. chap. 6. ver. 16. '2 Pet. chap. 2, ver. 19. 

c c 2 



be slaves of sin, but scorn one should think these bonds 
unto them. But in the second place, such, who thus are 
slaves to sin, become thereby slaves to the Devil. I am 
persuaded, if men did know whose work they were a doing, 
they would be ashamed to be rowing in the Devil's galleys ; 
that they would repine against such a master. Wicked 
men in their actions, are doing the Devil service ; Satan doth 
tie them, and imprison them ; as it is written, " Behold' the 
Devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be 
tried." Doth the Devil cast ministers in prison ? Why, 
what doth Satan ? he appears not ? Yes, he casts them in 
prison : Satan doth it, when men do follow the stream of 
their own wicked passions and lusts for revenge, or any 
other cause. They do the Devil's work, he maketh them 
his drudges, to do whatsoever it pleaseth him. This is 
woful, to be a slave to the worst of all tyrants, who de- 
lights to overthrow his servants, yea aU the creatures of 
God, if he might. 

Is this all ? No ; for as his service is, so is his reward. 
He is a murderer from the beginnings. As he said to Eve 
at the beginning, " Fear not, you shall not die ;" so he deals 
with Christians now. First he draws them on unto sin, 
saying, what fear you ? these men are too strict, and precise, 
whom you desire to imitate ; there is not so much ado for 
heaven as you think ; God is merciful. And then, when 
men are thus deceived, he turns a tormentor, and murderer 
unto them ; which is the reward of his service. Then he 
shows them (as the apostle speaks) " That^ the wages of 
sin is death." And will not sin have his wages paid him? 
The apostle James shows, how the hire of the labourers, who 
had reaped down their fields, kept back of them by fraud', 
crieth, and the cries of them which had reaped, are entered 
into the ears of the Lord of Saboth. So I may say, sin, 
it cries for wages, and this cry, like the blood of Abel, cries 
for vengeance ; so that if there be not a cry which is 
stronger than this, which speaks better things than the 

' Revel, chap. 2. ver. 10. ! John, chap. 8. ver. 44. 

l" Rom. chap. 6. ver. 23. ' James, chap. 5. ver. 4, 


blood of Abel, vengeance must come upon thee. But unto 
us, who are in Christ, we have a cry which outcries this cry ; 
and speaks better things for our peace, which is our happi- 
ness. But as for such men, they are strangers from Christ, 
and so most miserable. And so at the last, when all the 
world shall be on a flame, and Christ sitting on the bench, 
he shall say, as for these men, who would not have me 
rule over them, bring them forth, bind them hand and foot, 
and cast them into hell-fire for ever, with the Devil and 
his angels. Is not this a fair reward for service done the 
Devil ? to be cast out into such a furnace, for evermore ? 

I will not stand upon the use but touch it in a word, be- 
cause 1 make haste to the rest. Apply to yourselves ; there 
is no dallying with an Almighty God. Pray then unto 
him to reveal unto you the misery of this woful estate of 
nature, more than I or any man are able to express, that so 
we may run unto the city of refuge. 

Now I come to show what is the freedom promised by 
believing his word, and trusting in him. 

As he shows' this freedom is a powerful delivery of us 
from our spiritual enemies, by Christ ; wherein he sanctifies 
us by his truth, to assure us, he will deliver and free us from 
all our enemies, and settle us in a quiet and sweet secure 
rest at last. To which effect, he was called Jesus. For 
(saith the text) " he'' shall save his people from their sins." 
And so the apostle speaking of Christ, and how he had set 
him out unto them in preaching, thus describes him : " Even' 
Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." The 
like in sum we have " Unto" you first (saith Peter) God 
having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless, in turning 
away every one of you from his iniquities." And so, there 
this freedom is further expressed what it is ; " To" open 
their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and 
from the power of Satan to God ; that they might receive 
forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them, that 

' Ephes. chap. 2. k Matt. chap. 1. ver. 21. 

' 1 Thess. chap. 1. ver. !0. '" Acts, chap. 3. ver. 26, 

" Acts, chap. 26. ver. 18. 



are sanctified by faith in his name." Where all was bound 
before, he doth now loose, and free us from the bonds of the 
strong man. As " the° Spirit is upon me, because the 
Lord hath anointed me, to preach good tidings to the meek, 
he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim 
liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to 
them, that are bound." This, as it is cited, in the Gospel, 
■was Christ's first sermon in his country. So that you see 
what this liberty is. The publishing of the Gospel is a pro- 
clamation of a perpetual jubilee, a gaol delivery, wherein 
all captives are set at liberty. This is the general. But 
more particularly, wherein consists this freedom ? In two 
things, for these two include all. 

1. In the grace of justification. 

2. In the grace of sanctification. 

For the former ; 1. There is a liberty proclaimed from 
our sins thus far, that, whereas for one sin I deserved ever- 
lasting death, and servitude for ever, I am freed now from 
this condemning power of sin. And whereas (though there 
were no actual sin committed) for original sin he might 
have condemned me ; yet now I am freed from all. Sanc- 
tification is another thing ; to have grace and strength not 
to fall, and to fight against sin. But for this freedom of 
justification, let us inquire, how may this be done. Our jus- 
tification must stand in imputation. Nothing else can do 
it. Why ? When sin is once done, it is impossible to be 
undone again. With a holy reverence be it spoken, that 
■which is once done, and ill done, God cannot make it be 
undone again ; being evil done, it always continues so, an 
evil act. But this is the freedom ; it shall not be imputed, 
it shall not be in the account. The papists laugh at this, 
that we should be justified in this manner, by another, with- 
out ourselves, or own merits ; but it is certainly true, as the 
apostle to this purpose writes, " God? was in Christ, recon- 
ciling the ■world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses 
unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of re- 
conciliation." Hence, therefore, comes our freedom, that 

" Isa. chap. 61. ver. I. P 2 Cor. chap. 5. ver. 19. 


though that, which is done, and ill done, cannot be undone ; 
yet that that, which did deserve death and everlasting con- 
demnation, God will pass by, and not impute it. That is, 
give unto us a righteousness without ourselves, which brings 
us to a wonderful liberty : yea (I may affirm) working here- 
by a perpetual miracle for us ; which is wonderful indeed ; 
that though our house be continually a fire, yet it burns us 
not; though poison be in our pottage, yet that it should 
not work upon us unto death. Even as, amongst other mi- 
racles, this was one Christ promiseth the disciples should 
do, "And*) if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not 
hurt them." So we all drink deadly things; and here is 
the miracle, that they kill us not ; so that look how Paul 
shook off that viperfrom his hand into the fire without harm', 
which the barbarians looked should have killed him. Even 
so it is with us. Though' (as the apostle saith) sin sticks 
so fast unto us, yet it doth not work unto death. Sin na- 
turally doth work out death, being finished. But here is 
our comfort by justification. Being in Christ, our sins shall 
be so covered, that they shall not be found; as Jeremy most 
excellently speaks. " In' those days, and at that time, saith 
the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and 
there shall be none ; and the sins of Judah, and they shall 
not be found ; for I will pardon them whom I reserve." So 
that here is the point of our freedom ; in that Christ hath 
taken away the ground of our accusation, and plea which was 
against us, causing the suit to cease ; yea, and cancelling 
the bill so as there remains no record against us. As we 
read in the Revelation of stars, which fell from heaven; so 
it is in this thing I speak of. What, did the stars fall then? 
no ; but they are said to fall, when they lose their light, 
and work not as formerly. So it is with us, when sin doth 
lose its light, that it cannot work and shine, as formerly, to 
bind, imprison and condemn us ; then it is said to be done 
away, when it cannot murder us, and hath lost its wonted 
force. And thus in justification the truth frees us from the 
condemnation of sin. 

5 Mark, chap. 16. ver. 18. ■■ Acts, chap. 28. ver. 5. 

• James, chap. 1. ver. 15. ' Jer. chap. 50. ver. 20. 


Yea, (in the second place, which is a great benefit,) we 
are delivered also from the guilt of sin : to wit, from the 
condemning power of sin ; to bind and imprison us, in re- 
spect of that affection, we carry naturally unto it ; and the 
guilt and the shame of the fault committed ; that, howso- 
ever this only were sufficient to make us miserable ; yet 
herein is our freedom also. We have heard how every sin 
binds a man, as it were, with strong cords ; yet thus only 
we are bound being in Christ; that, as Sampson", being 
bound with new ropes, when the enemies were upon him, 
he brake them off his arms like thread, and escaped. So 
it is with us now. Our sins hold us fast, bind us sure ; 
but when our enemies do think us fastest bound; in our 
danger, our cords vanish and burst as the flax, when it 
smells the tire ; so that our sins have no power to keep us 

How is this done ? 

By the grace of faith laying hold immediately on Christ 
Jesus, which makes the soul (as it were) in a sudden fit 
leap out of itself, in this oppressing danger, and fly unto 
the place of refuge, making haste to array itself with the 
righteousness of Christ Jesus. For we must understand, 
there is no more required of us, in this act, but the laying 
hold of Christ, with a bare and empty hand, so to take out 
the acquittance, where the debt is fully paid. God would 
not have this clogged with any thing of ours. It is a free 
gift, as freely given as ever any thing in this world can be. 
The argument therefore to plead for justification is this ; 
as though the party should say : Lord, thou hast freely 
offered and given Christ unto me, and with him all things 
in him and with him ; and I have taken thee at thy word, 
and received him, which I know to be true : because 1 
have set myself to yield obedience unto him in all things. 
If I have received Christ, then I have life. 

Many are scrupulous and say : May 1 lay hold of Christ, 
being so miserable and sinful ? Never think of sanctifica- 
tion, if thou do not think of this first, how the guilt of sin 

" Judges, cliap. 16. ver. 12. 


is taken away by Christ, as well as the condemning power 
of it, the binding power of it also : and thou must know 
this, and believe it. There is a law of faith^. Faith is 
not a thing arbitrary at our pleasure. You may say as 
well, may I pray ? may I do any good work ? I tell thee 
thou must, and thou sinnest else. So it is, in the receiving 
of Christ : God hath commanded thee, to come and believe, 
to receive Christ. It is the law of faith : for faith doth 
thus present itself before God : Lord, thou hast com- 
manded me to receive Christ, and to do it with a bare, and 
empty hand, looking for all things in him : now make me 
feel the fruit of it, since at thy commandment it is done. 
As Rom. chap. 4. ver. 16. It must be so (saith the apostle) 
that the promise may be sure. First he shows : Therefore 
it is of faith, that it might be of grace. Otherwise it might 
seem to us to be by purchase or exchange. Thou must 
believe : therefore it is a law of faith : thou hast a warrant ; 
abridge not his liberty. It stands thee on thy life and sal- 
vation to believe. See for this, John, chap. 1 ver. 12. 
" But as many as received him, to them gave he power to 
become the sons of God, even to them, that believe on his 

The second thing (saith the apostle) is, that the promise 
might be sure. If any thing else, on our part, were mingled 
with justification, save the bare receiving of Christ with an 
empty hand, the promises would never be sure. There 
could nothing come from us so perfect, but the Devil would 
pick a hole in it. Therefore hold this, thy sins are done 
away by him, in whom the Devil could find nothing : and 
he received, apprehended, and believed in, is thy life ; for 
then thou art become a member of his, and canst not 
perish. The ignorance of many on this point is the cause 
why the Devil keeps men so long in sorrow, because they 
clog the matter of faith in justification with their own 
inventions, to be worthy, to be fitted first with such and 
such measures of humiliation : when indeed our greatest 
worthiness is, to see ourselves altogether unworthy, and so 

^ Roin. chap. 3. ver. 27. 


come. Faith conies to God with an empty hand, and 
leaves all : and therefore when we come to Christ, faith 
are the feet we go with, and the mouth we speak with, the 
weapons we fight with. Then a man comes to the throne 
of grace with confidence and great boldness, and lays hold 
on life, assured to receive : as a man cometh with confi- 
dence to take in his bond, when his surety hath paid the 
debt. If a man bring not Christ with him, there is no 
name or promise else to take hold of, whereby he may be 
saved. " In^ him (saith the apostle) all the promises are 
yea and amen." "If^ any man hath the Son, he shall have 
life." All good things, all high and low things, must be 
let fall in this case. If it were humiliation itself, we have 
not Christ for this : I must receive freely with an empty 
hand, that all may be of grace. 

Thus the truth makes us free in justification. By free- 
ing us from the condemning power and guilt of sin : which 
being done, and sueing God on his bond, then we come to 
have interest in all the promises. 

Gain we nothing else by being thus freed by the truth ? 

Secondly — In sanctification, 
The truth doth make us free. 

It is written : " God'' having raised up his Son Jesus, 
sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you 
from his iniquities :" that is sanctify us ; which is such a 
high privilege, that for the excellency thereof, it is by the 
apostle called glorification : " And*" whom he justified, them 
he also glorified." Sanctification is nothing else but im- 
perfect glory. 

Here one may object. If it be thus, what a miserable 
creature am I not to be freed all this while : I am fettered 
and chained with my corruptions, which lie heavy upon 
me, and assail me often. I find not this freedom. Sure I 
am in a miserable estate. 

But for this I say, beloved, mistake not the matter. See 

y 2 Cor. chap. 1. ver. 20. ^ 1 John, chap. 5. ver, 12. 

» Acts, chap. 3. ver. 26. '■ Eom. chap. 8. ver. 30. 


what our freedom here is. Our liberty in this life is like 
that of the children of Israel in the wilderness, marching 
towards Canaan ; like soldiers giving and receiving wounds. 
We were at first in Satan's dungeon, fast bound in chains 
under lock and key, full of bolts and fetters. Now here is 
our liberty ; Christ he comes, breaks up the prison doors, 
knocks off our bolts and fetters, brings us out of prison, 
and then puts weapons into our hands, to fight for our- 
selves. We must not expect our freedom here in the 
Church militant, to be like that of the triumphant above. 
We are the Lord's soldiers ; we must fight, and quit us 
like men, and scorn to yield ourselves prisoners unto sin 
and Satan. Here is our freedom — to cast the gauntlet unto 
sin, resolving perpetual war with Amalek, never to yield. 
Yea, and though we be weak, yet to be of good courage, 
crying unto God to help, who is the God of peace, and 
hath promised shortly to tread down Satan under our feet, 
and that the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's 
head, and tread down all at last ; though we find not this 
quite done now, yet it shall be hereafter. 

But then what kind of liberty have we ? 

It stands not so much in the measure as in the truth of 
grace : to see if a man in his heart hate all sin truly, and 
love God and goodness, with a resolution to have no 
covenant or league with sin, and to strive for every grace. 
If thou canst not bring thyself to yield to wickedness, but 
art always on thy guard, thou art free, when thou dost re- 
solve never to yield, though thoube taken with blood about 
thy heels ; yet, if thou struggle and fight, resolving not to 
stand still, but to escape for thy life, and though sin come 
again and again, yet that thou wilt shake it ofi", as soon 
as may be ; thou art a freeman, when thou art still on 
thy guard. As we see the States are free, because they 
are still standing on their guard. 

Some say ; Oh, I have wounds, such as a freeman can- 
not have : and some think they have not this liberty, be- 
cause they have so little grace, nothing like (as they say) 
unto others of God's children. 

But I say unto thee, how small soever thy spark be, 


see it be true in all graces, in truth, and then thou art 
free. What if thy God will have his honour and glory- 
seen so much the more ? (like the widow's oil) to make a 
little go far, and carry thee along with a little grace ? To 
this purpose, see what the Spirit of God saith unto the 
church of Philadelphia: " I' know thy works: Behold, I 
have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it ; 
for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and 
hast not denied my name :" he makes it as little as may be, 
and yet he saith, such kept his word. It is God, that makes a 
little go far. Alas ! (may some say) had I had so much grace 
and strength as such and such a one, I had not thus fallen. 
Thou mistakest thyself. It is not by the strength of our 
grace we stand, but by the blessing on a little and on 
much. I hinder thee not to labour for a great measure, and 
to use all means for it. But withal, remember this, a little 
strength in God's service (if thou be not a dastard) will go 
far, and make thee go on unto the end. It is but courage, 
resolution, and endeavour, which we want, to set that little 
a work. If one will go on with a little, it shall increase, 
and the truth will make him free. 

Now consider in the next place, why doth God enable 
us, and free us ? Not to return to the Devil's service : but 
to serve God in holiness and righteousness. But here is 
all the matter, may some say, how shall this be done ? 

The helps leading us unto freedom of sanctification, are 
divers. 1 will only touch them, because of the time. 


I. The first is, " The'' oath which he sware to our fa- 
ther Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being 
delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve 
him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before 
him, all the days of our life." God hath sworn to sanctify 
as well as justify us. Many believe their justification, 
but not which is right of sanctification. They can come 
to ask remission of sins, because Christ hath paid the 

<: Rev, chap. 3. ver. 8. <• Luke, chap. I. vev. 73. 


debt, and they trust and believe in the all-sufficiency of 
his merits. But they are colder in begging sanctification. 
But, beloved, God hath as surely promised to sanctify us, 
as to justify. It is the nature of faith, and faith will lay 
hold on all promises tending to both. What then shall we 
do ? God hath sworn that he will subdue our iniquities, 
and sanctify us ; and God will have us to believe this. If 
one then were troubled with a great sin, that he could not 
master, the way is not by our own strength and industry 
to think to overcome it. But this were the way to break 
the neck of it, if one should come unto the Lord, and say : 
Lord, thou hast sworn, when thou dost forgive the sin, 
and justify the sinner, to heal the wretchedness of nature, 
and sanctify it also, to yield obedience to thy command- 
ments : good Lord, thou hast sworn, those who are justified, 
shall serve thee for ever, in holiness and righteousness : 
Therefore, since without thee we can do nothing of our- 
selves, not so much as to think a good thought, or speak a 
good word, and that thou workest all our works for us, and 
hast promised to subdue our iniquities : good Lord, therefore 
make thy promise good, for thy Christ's sake, and subdue 
this sin, which so vexes me every day. If a man would 
thus come unto God, and claim and lay fast hold of the 
promises, he might have sanctification as well as justifica- 
tion, if a man would plead for it, as for his life. 


II. Further, for this a man must look upon Christ, in a 
threefold manner : upon his, 

1. Life, 

2. Death, and, 

3. Resurrection ; 

and apply them home unto himself upon all occasions. 

I. First consider (as the apostle speaks'^), him that en- 
dured such contradiction of sinners. Consider him in his 
sufferings, and then consider him as a pattern of our imita- 
tion. This the apostle points us to do, who, when he hath 
exhorted us to run on with patience, unto the race that is 

• Heb. chap. 12. ver. 3. 


set before us, he tells us how this should be done : " Look- 
ing'' unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith : who, 
for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, des- 
pising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of 
God." In all troubles, sorrows, and afflictions, look unto 
him. Here is one means. Perhaps they call thee hypo- 
crite, rail on thee, as a profane person, because thou run- 
nest not with them unto the same excess of riot. How 
shouldest thou free thyself here ? Look on him : they did 
call Christ a Devil, and a Samaritan : look on him : he puts 
no more for thee to taste of, than he did himself deeply 
drink of : and now thy comfort is, that he hath taken the 
strength of the temptations and blows upon himself, the 
glancing blow only comes on thee. And therefore, as 
Abimelech said unto his men, " Whate ye have seen me 
do, make haste, and do as I have done." What did they 
do ? In imitation of him, every one cut down his bough, 
and put them to the tower of Shechem ; and so firing them 
out, chased away all the enemies : so do thou : look what 
Christ hath done, and what his carriage was in all the 
crosses of this life, and thus fire out thy spiritual enemies : 
so shalt thou attain this freedom. 

2. Another thing in his life is, we must consider him 
as a pattern. If we find him rightly, we shall in him 
find a full overflowing fountain of virtues. Now this do, 
if thou findest in thyself this and that passion and vile 
affection strong in thee, meditate, and find thou out the 
contrary virtue in Christ to thy passion. As imagine it 
be anger, cast thy eye upon those treasures of goodness in 
him ; look on his patience and meekness, who was dumb, 
and " led"^ like a sheep to the slaughter, yet opened not his 
mouth :" look on him, who endured such contradiction of 
sinners, and then pray : 

Lord, thou hast given unto me Christ Jesus, with all 
those treasures of goodness in him. I find in him a fulness 
of this so excellent a virtue, the contrary whereof reigns so 
in me. Good Lord, therefore let me be partaker of this 

' Heb. chap. ]2.ver. 2. " Judges, chap. 9. ver. 48, 

*■ Isaiah, chap. 53. ver. 7. 


rare grace so abundant in him. Thus if we would plead 
and beg heartily, \ye should have it. So in the Lord's 
Supper, if I find deadness and dulness to oppress me, 
Christ is the life quickening all things ; there I must beg 
more spiritual life, and a sense of a sweeter and nearer 
union and communion with him. And thus in other things 
we must do the like. 

Secondly. Look on Christ in his death. There is no 
better means to bring one to detestation of sin, than to look 
upon him in his greatest agony. If thou canst not master 
a sin, arraign it before the passion of Christ, and there 
consider of him in a blojody sweat, with clods of blood about 
him, trickling down to the ground, with hands, feet, and 
side pierced, the ground imbrued with blood, and he crying 
out on the cross, " my God, my God, why hast thou forsa- 
ken me ?" Imagine also, that thou seest for this, all the 
world hung with black hangings, in mourning weeds, and 
darkness ; bring thy sin unto this sight, and it will go near 
to move and terrify thee. This is an excellent means. The 
prophet in effect foretelleth thus much ; " And' they shall 
look upon me, whom they have pierced, and they shall 
mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall 
be in bitterness for him, as one is in bitterness for his first 
born." This sight must make us mourn, and never rest 
till we crucify it. When thou hast brought thy sin hi- 
ther, then say unto it : art thou that, that hast caused all 
this to fall on my blessed Saviour ? hast thou caused all 
this wo, all these deaths, which now we are subject unto ? 
Certainly thou shalt die the death. Now, as this will stir 
up hatred in us against the sin, so have I a promise that 
his death shall help me to subdue and mortify my corrup- 
tions, by virtue of his death. " Knowing'' this" (saith the 
apostle) " that our old man is crucified with him : that the 
body of sin might be destroyed ; that henceforth we should 
not serve sin." 

So thirdly, look at him in his resurrection, that we may 
rise with him to newness of hfe. The apostle joins both 

' Zach. chap. 12. ver. 10. '' Rom. chap. 7. ver. 6. 



together. " Therefore' we are buried with him by bap- 
tism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the 
dead, by the glory of the Father ; even so we also should 
walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted to- 
gether in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the 
likeness of his resurrection." Whatsoever was in him, it 
was for me. There is no act of Christ, he did, or suffered, 
nor no virtue in him, but, being in him, thou hast a part of 
all. Is he dead ? He died that thou mightest die unto 
sin. Is he buried ? It is, that thy sins might be buried 
with him in his grave. Or is he risen again ? It is, that 
thou mightest rise with him now unto newness of life, and 
at last unto eternal glory for ever. Thus a man must go 
along with him, in his life, his death, and unto his resurrec- 
tion, rising with him, as the apostle speaks, " If^ ye then be 
risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where 
Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." 


Then all this seen, thirdly, I would have a man spend a 
meditation, how foul a thing sin is, as Psal. 36. ver.l. See 
there what the degrees of sin are. 

1. That there is no fear of God before a sinful man's 

2. Then that he flattereth himself in his own eyes, till his 
iniquity be found worthy to be hated. 

3. So next, he shows : the words of his mouth are ini- 
quity and deceit ; he hath left off to be wise and to do good; 
he deviseth mischief upon his bed ; he setteth himself in a 
way that is not good ; he abhorreth not evil. 

A man will say, this and that sin is evil. But if a man 
would abhor sin indeed, this is the way to get out of it, to 
aggravate all the circumstances of sin to the full. Even as 
at the King's Bench, or some other court of justice, the 
King's attorney aggravates to the utmost all the faults of 
the offender, for the King. So shouldest thou be in this 
case, for the King of heaven against thy self. And as he 

' Rom. chap. 6. ver. 4. "• Col. chap. 3. ver. 1. 


doth so to search all the records, that may make against 
thyself, justifying thy God so, as being thus humbled in 
his sight he may raise thee up again in due time. 

I would have this to be the recreation of a Christian, to 
search out and aggravate his corruptions to humble him. 
There is no recreation like this, if we would use it ; there is 
no gallant would delight so much in hunting, as we would in 
this. We are almost undone, for want of meditation and se- 
rious consideration of these things. Try thou out then all 
the secret corners of thy heart, even that secret sin thou 
affectest, and which would hide itself: that sin which thou 
either mincest or hidest in prayer : bring that forth in his 
colours, repent, lay load, and make this as odious as may be. 
This is a special means to bring a man unto this liberty of 
sanctification, and to be assured that the son hath made 
him free. 


Is, not immediately to strike against the branches, but 
against the root, and to fire sin out of his den. Look to the 
degrees. When a man is overtaken to commit the same sin 
again, it is because he looked upon the sin, but not upon the 
cause. Thus a man may pray long and never the better. 
As to instance in one for all. Imagine a man be troubled 
with covetousness, and this man sees it, and prays against 
it, but prevails not in his suit, yea rather becomes more 
covetous and careful. Why hath he no help in prayer ? He 
looks upon the sin, but not upon the cause. He hath a 
great charge and many children, and he fears what may 
come ; this makes him care, cark, scrape, and distrust God. 
What then is the root of his sin ? Infidelity. How should 
we cure such a man ? Why thus : strike at the root, by 
applying and propounding the promises, and strength- 
ening a man in them : show such a man hath not God 
promised, and entered into covenant to be our God, and 
the God of our seed? And thus helping a covetous 
man against infidelity, the sin falls down of itself. So 
again in passion, a man excuseth it and saith, God for- 
give me, it is my hasty nature. But look to the root, 



and you shall find it to be pride : as Solomon speaks, " Only 
by pride cometh contention." What is the cure? Labour 
to show such a person the excellency and glory of humility, 
to beat down his pride. Tell him that a great many far 
better than he are much worse used, and that he deserves a 
great deal of harder measure than he hath : in word, bring 
him to be humble. Look upon the cause, and not upon the 
sin only ; and in sum, do as physicians, who, finding proud 
blood, open a vein, and turn the stream another way. 


The last help is, to look into thy heart first of all. It is 
a quagmire, and a sink of sin. It is a pond, that will still 
gather moss and dirt. There will be a sink of filth in us 
still, so long as we live. What shall we do then ? Make 
a passage : pump out every day, cleanse and mortify thy 
sinful affections and lusts : let sin have no quiet possession : 
purge it away by little and little : now a leg and then an 
arm, and a hand must be cut off. This is the way. Now 
this is not enough for a man to purge out the evil, to weed 
out the weeds : but he must also labour to plant it with 
good things : let no place of thy heart be untilled. Get 
faith, hope, love, humility, patience, temperance, sobriety, 
and put these in thy heart : fulness of these will hold out 
the other. Saith the apostle, " Walk" in the Spirit, and ye 
shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." Yea, and further be 
sure to put Christ, yea to plant the fulness of him in thy 
heart. And, for upshot of all, when by praying, striving, 
and all holy desires, thouhast gotten these graces in thy heart, 
trust not to faith, or any other grace, but let thy relying and 
confidence be in Christ alone. You see what the prophet 
David's resolution is, " I will not trust in my sword, nor 
in my bow. But my trust is in the Lord my God : he is 
my shield, buckler, and defence and strong tower." Nay, 
we must not trust, not in our spiritual weapons, we have : 
for all graces are creatures, and we must not rely, but on 
the Creator, from whence those graces come. If a man do 

" Gal. chap. 5, ver. 16. 


these things, then he shall be free. So as in the evil day, 
when calamity comes upon others, he shall laugh at destruc- 
tion, when their fears are great and many. God will make 
thee stand : but how ? Perhaps he will never give thee 
that measure thou lookest for of this freedom in sanctifica- 
tion. But he will give thee so much as shall make thee 
stand fast, never to be removed. So much as neither all 
Satan's temptations, nor thy own frailties shall ever hinder 
thy everlasting salvation. This is our freedom. Now let 
us pray, O Lord our God, &c. 

D d2 



Psalm XXXII. ver. 10. 

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked : but he that trusteth in the Lord, 
mercy shall compass him. 

This Psalm, as you have often heard, is a psalm of 
instruction, wherein the prophet David, after he had 
showed wherein true blessedness did consist, even in the 
free forgiveness of sins, by not imputing them, which he 
afterwards affirmeth by his own experience in the three fol- 
lowing verses, where he first showeth the miserable and woful 
estate of a man who hath not attained to the forgiveness of 
his sins, by his own woful estate, who being silent, and not 
confessing his sins, he found his bones consumed, no in- 
ward rest, yea, though he roared all the day, yet the hand 
of God (he confesseth) was heavy upon him, both day and 
night, so that his moisture was turned into the drought of 
summer : every thing in him was towards a confusion. 
Thereafter he showeth% that when he had found the cause 
of his misery, his hardness of heart ; then he resolveth to 
acknowledge and confess, yea that he confessed them, after 
which his repentance, he showeth God's infinite mercy, 
that presently his iniquities were forgiven, and he received 
into mercy. Which done, he proceedeth by his own ex- 
perience, to invite all the faithful to a due consideration of 
these mercies, with assurance upon the like humiliation to 
have the like forgiveness*". From whence*^ he showeth (by 
his own experience) the great felicity of the faithful after 
forgiveness of sins, that then the Lord is unto them, a 

» Psalm 32. ver. 5. '' Ibid. ver. 6. 

• Psalm. 32. ver. 7. 


most secret and most sure place of refuge, whereunto in 
all extremities they have recourse, not only being freed 
from all trouble ; but also compassed about with a joyful 
deliverance. Then"*, knowing our frailty to go astray from 
this way of life, he showeth by his example, the duty of a 
good teacher, not only to give them a general warning of 
these things, but also to guide them with his eye, even to 
pierce into their private actions, to reform them also. But 
after this application (because of a brutish humour in every 
one by nature, which hindereth the practice of good 
things), he proceedeth'' to the reprehension and exhorta- 
tion itself, by two arguments ; first showing a man to be 
a beast, who withstandeth correction, and instruction : 
secondly', he telleth such, that if, notwithstanding all these 
excellent instructions, by his own experience, leading unto 
true happiness, they would still continue like brute beasts : 
he now summeth up that which before he had threatened 
in the latter end of the ninth verse, that "Many sorrows 
shall be unto the wicked." The effect of which threatening, 
and reprehension, is briefly summed up by the wise man, 
" Untos the horse belongeth a whip, unto the ass a bridle ; 
and a rod unto the fool's back." Whosoever will not be 
tamed by wholesome instructions, the Lord will put a 
snaffle, a bit, and a bridle in their mouths and turn them 
by force ; they shall have many sorrows. 

Let all of us then learn for use hereof to labour to see 
this judgment betimes, which hangeth over our heads, and 
not to be thus blockish, like horses, and mules, who must 
be bound with bit and bridle. A wonderful thing it is that 
we who are reasonable creatures, should be thus beastly, 
but we see here, until we be instructed in the way of true 
happiness, we are worse than beasts, when if being taught, 
we refuse instruction, then shall we be used like beasts, 
bound with bit and bridle, his hook put into our nostrils, 
we shall have many sorrows. The wicked live all safe and 
think of nothing ; they dream not of these sorrows ; they 

■1 Psalm 32. ver. 8. ' Ibid. ver. 9. 

' Psalm 32. ver. 10. s Prov. cliap. 26. ver. 3. 


of all others ought to trouble and fear ; yet they of all 
others live most carelessly. The godly again, none ought 
so to rejoice, as they, being freed from these sorrows, and 
yet they most of all mourn, but if the wicked knew these 
many sorrows, they would not for all the world rejoice as 
they do. The children of God, for all this, although they 
mourn continually, yet have they not so much cause to 
sorrow as they think; for although (I confess), they wan- 
der, and walk through a valley of tears, finding no rest, 
environed with afflictions and crosses of all sorts, yet ought 
they to rejoice : for as the apostle to the Corinthians 
speaketh*", when they are judged they are chastened of the 
Lord, because they should not be condemned with the 
world, because they should in the world to come be freed 
from these many sorrows. 

Now we must understand that all sorts of sinners come 
not within the compass of these many sorrows, but wilful 
sinners, who refuse instruction, and will none of these 
wholesome instructions, but despise them all ; to these 
many sorrows shall come, first because the God of consola- 
tion is their enemy ; and he, being our enemy, oh ! then 
whither shall we flee from his presence ? It is a terrible 
thing to fall into the hands of a consuming fire. Again, 
because their conscience is their enemy, they shall have 
many sorrows, for they are lulled asleep, and fear nothing, 
until the judgment cometh suddenly; and when the con- 
science thus sleepeth in security, then is it a most cruel, yea, 
a great deal worse than a terrible conscience, for a terrible 
conscience, being awaked, although it be a most grievous 
tormentor, yet knowing the danger, there is some hope, 
that at the last, after so great a storm, a calm may ensue ; 
but the seared conscience, it sleepeth, until it be tumbled 
headlong into hell. So that I say the wicked they have 
terrors, they have many sorrows attending them. And 
now lastly to increase these sorrows, death cometh bringing 
innumerable, unspeakable sorrows, yea, bringing unto 
eternal destruction itself for evermore. Aye, but what of all 

'' 1 Cor. chap. 1 1. ver. 32. 


this, is death the greatest sorrow the wicked shall have ? 
oh no ! it shall be but the beginning of these many sor- 
rows. They shall with the same be cast into fire and 
brimstone, which shall be unto them a continual death, 
wherein they shall be tormented (saith the apostle to the 
Thessalonians') in flaming fire, striving continually like one 
in cruel pangs of torments, yet finding no issue, they shall 
be punished with everlasting perdition from the presence 
of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. So saith 
our Saviour Christ, to the goats on his left hand, at the 
day of judgment, " Depart'' from me ye cursed, into ever- 
lasting fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels :" 
there shall be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. 
There shall the wicked be sealed with the eternal stamp of 
God's wrath, which shall be upon them for ever, as a curse 
of his indignation. Yea there shall Balaam, that false 
prophet, who both cursed and blessed in his life, be, and 
all such wicked wilful sinners. If we be mules in this life, 
with seared consciences, all our peace shall at the length 
prove vain, and deceitful ; it shall but lead us to this eter- 
nal fire, to be accursed for ever. But now let us further 

Wherein this curse standeth. 

I. In want of all comforts to help. 

First, if the loss of all earthly things in this life do 
so grieve us, if the want of them do so vex us here, 
what a curse will it be in the life to come, to be quite 
deprived of all kinds of comforts, when they shall not have 
so much as a cup of cold water to cool them withal. Oh ! 
saith the rich man to Abraham, "have' mercy on me, 
and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in 
water, and cool my tongue : for I am tormented in this 
flame." But for all this content thyself, lazy rich man ; 
enjoy now many sorrows for thy former pleasures, thy 
tongue shall not be cooled with one drop of cold water, 
and no more shall any the like sinners have, who as it is 

' 2 Thess. chap. 1. ver. 8. k Malt, cap. 25. ver. 41. 

' Luke, cap. IG. ver. 24. 


in the last of Daniel, because they in this life were mules, 
and did wickedly, having no understanding, therefore shall 
they live in shame and perpetual contempt, they shall have 
many sorrows. 

Let, therefore, the gallants of these days think now of 
these things, who mock and spurn at the ministers of the 
word and the professors thereof, vi^ho refuse to be instructed, 
casting his words behind them, running on in their lewd 
courses, for if they thus continue, they shall have a bit 
and a bridle to curb them : they shall at the last have many 

Secondly, the aggravation of this curse shall be much 
the greater when the wicked shall consider how that then 
they are deprived from all hope of recovery to escape those 
torments. I say it shall increase their sorrow, when they 
shall remember, what mules they were in this hfe, how 
often the message of peace was brought unto them, yet 
would they not be reconciled. The bitter gnawing remem- 
brance of these things shall also continually torture and 
rack them with continual sorrow. 

Thirdly, they shall be for ever frustrate from the pre- 
sence of God, they shall never more see his face. If to be 
banished from the presence of a prince it causeth so great 
sorrow, and many times death, what sorrows and how many 
deaths shall it be then, to be banished from the presence 
of the King and Prince of Glory ? There shall be (saith 
our Saviour Christ) weeping, and wailing, and gnashing 
of teeth, when you shall see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and 
all the prophets, in the kingdom of Heaven, and yourselves 
shut out of doors. The felicity of the faithful shall also 
help to increase this curse, they being no partakers hereof; 
as it is in the last of the Revelations, " For™ without shall 
be dogs, enchanters, whoremongers, murderers, and idola- 
ters, and whosoever loveth or maketh lies." What a grief 
shall this be, to be excluded from the presence of God, and 
the society of his saints. And if Absalom", I pray you, 

'" Rev. chap. 22. ver. 15. "2 Sam. chap. 14. vev. 32. 


did take it so grievously to be excluded from the presence 
of a king, that he choosed rather to die than not to see his 
face; "Oh!" saith- he to Joab, "let me see the king's 
face, and if there be any trespass in me, let him kill me." 
If to be banished, Absalom was so loth from the king's 
face, that he had rather die than so remain, how many 
hundred thousand deaths shall the wicked endure, being 
banished from the presence and face of God for ever? 
What increase of all kinds of torments shall it be ? And 
therefore the wicked, they shall not see the presence of 
God, but because, as David confesseth, " in" his presence is 
the fulness of joy, and at his right hand pleasures for ever- 
more," therefore they shall be removed from beholding of 
this joy ; not (as the apostle to the Hebrews speakethP) 
unto the city of the living God, the celestial Jerusalem, to 
the company of innumerable angels, to the congregations 
which are first born, which are written in heaven, and to 
God the judge of all, unto the spirits of just and perfect 
men, and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Testament : 
but unto the spirits of unjust and cruel men, banished 
from God in eternal, unspeakable torments, in the com- 
pany of innumerable devils. Oh ! what sorrow shall it be 
to want this presence of God. If the children of Israel, 
after they had committed idolatry with the golden calf's, 
(for which the Lord refusing to go along with them by his 
presence, although he had promised to send an angel) did 
put off all their best clothes, and did nothing but mourn, 
Moses himself saying unto God, " If' thy presence go not 
with us, carry us not hence ;" if this little absence of the 
presence of God was so grievous unto them, although they 
might have had a mighty angel to conduct them, how 
many sorrows shall it be unto the wicked ; what grievous 
mournings to be banished for ever from this presence, 
having the torturing evil angels continually to torment 

Fourthly, they shall be excluded and banished to an eter- 

Psalm 16. ver. 11. p Heb. chap. 12. ver. 22. 

1 Exod. chap. 33. ver. 6. •■ Ibid. ver. 15. 


nal prison, where no ransom (if they were able to pay any) 
can redeem them ; yea unto a cruel dark prison, where shall 
be no freedom. The apostle Peter saith^ that Christ by his 
Spirit shined, and went and preached liberty unto the spirits 
that were in prison, in the days of Noah. But no such 
thing shall ever befall these woful prisoners, but to be shut 
up for ever into a dungeon of darkness ; where they shall 
have like for like. Oh wretched creatures, shall they say, 
we loved darkness more than light, we loved blindness, we 
hated the light, the God of the world blinded our eyes, 
when we were upon earth ; and therefore now do we justly 
dwell in torments, in darkness, in prison, because we would 
not be freed when we might. Oh beloved, that we had 
hearts to think upon these things betimes, before the evil 
day come. In this life, here, we fly a place haunted or 
frequented with spirits, or devils, we will not be hired for 
a world to lie a night therein, and yet, for the most part, 
our lives show it, we are posting to dwell with devils for ever : 
yea those who find not Christ in this life, shall dwell with 
legions of devils for ever. When David (as it is in the second 
of Samuel) had sinned in numbering the people, the choice 
of three plagues being oft'ered unto him, by no means he 
would not fall into the hands of his enemies, but into the 
hands of God. " Oh !" saith he unto the prophet Gad, " 1st' 
us now fall into the hands of God (for his mercies are great) 
and not into the hands of man." How much more terrible 
will it be for the wicked to be delivered up unto their cruel 
enemy the Devil for ever, who will show them no mercy. 
The complaint of the woman of Canaan to our blessed Sa- 
viour was most grievous. " Have'^ mercy on me, O Lord, 
thou Son of David : my daughter is grievously vexed with a 
devil." If one devil in this life, where his power is restrained, 
be so cruel, what and how many sorrows, what cruel ene- 
mies, will an infinite number of devils prove unto the wicked, 
when they shall be delivered unto the full power of the 
Devil without exception. When the Lord gave Satan 

» 1 Peter, chap. 3. ver. 10. ' 2 Sam. chap. 2-1. ver. M. 

" Malt. chap. 15. ver. 22. 


power over Job, he said, Aye but spare his life. But no such 
exception shall the wicked have, but the Devil shall have 
full power to torment soul and body for ever, where shall 
be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, they shall have 
many sorrows. And they shall not only be deprived of all 
outward comforts, but also they shall be tormented. 

II. In the highest degree of torments in bodily pains. 

1. By his power. 

As, Luke 16 th we read that the rich man crieth unto 
Abraham, that he was tormented in that flame, even in 
most cruel torments ; for what, I pray you, is hell, but God's 
slaughter-house, where his mighty power doth revenge 
itself upon the wicked in choice of torments, such (as the 
apostle to the Thessalonians speaketh) shall be punished 
with everlasting damnation from the presence of the Lord, 
and the glory of his power ? but the revenging anger of his 
might shall oppress them with many furies without end, his 
mighty power shall show itself in tormenting them. Yea he 
shall come upon them with such exceeding power, like one 
armed with a mighty bow of brass or a target of steel. So 
God in the power of his might will come upon the wicked 
in fury and give a strong blow at them, which shall seem 
to shiver in pieces. For this (as the apostle to the Romans 
speaketh) hath the Lord prepared for the wicked (as he 
speaketh-'^ of Pharaoh), to show his power in their destruc- 
tion ; and a little after, what and if (saith he) God would 
to show his wrath, and to make his power known, suffer 
with long patience, the vessels of wrath appointed to dam- 
nation, that he might declare the riches of his glory upon 
the vessels of mercy : and of the strength of his mighty 
power, which shall confound the wicked, the prophet Da- 
vid speaketh with acclamation. " Who^ knoweth the power 
of thine anger ? even according to thy fear so is thy wrath." 
It is unspeakable, no tongue can express it. This Job seem- 
eth to confirm, where fearing the power of God, when 
he wisheth to reason v.'ith him, he saith, " Will^ he plead 

^ Rom. chap. 9. ver. 17. 22. 5" P!^. 00. ver. 11. 

^ Jub, ciwp. 23. ver. 0. 


against me with his great power? No, hut he would put 
strength in me." This is a mighty power then, which 
shall overthrow and torment the wicked. Oh ! who knoweth 
his might in tormenting them ? But besides all this, 
2. His justice. 

Shall be also set on work for their further torment, as 
the Lord by Moses speaketh that the fury of his justice is 
being joined to his power. " If^ (saith he) I whet my glit- 
tering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment, I will 
execute vengeance on mine enemies, and 1 will reward them 
that hate me, 1 will make mine arrows drunken with blood, 
and my sword shall eat flesh, for the blood of the slain and 
the captives, when I begin to take vengeance on the enemy." 
And " For'' fire is kindled in my wrath, and shall burn 
unto the bottom of hell, and shall consume the earth with 
her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the moun- 
tains : 1 will spend plagues upon them, I will bestow 
mine arrows upon them, they shall be burned with hunger, 
and consumed with heat and with bitter destruction : I will 
also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the venom of 
serpents creeping in the dust, the sword shall kill them 
without, and in their chambers fear. Oh, if his justice 
and power be so great in punishments in this life, what will 
it be in the life to come, when a violent looking for of fire 
shall devour the adversaries (as the apostle to the Hebrews 
speaketh). Consider, I pray you, that it is a fearful thing 
to fall into the hands of the living God, when his justice 
shall set his wrath on fire, for their destruction stirring up 
the same. 

For conclusion then of this point let us all diligently 
weigh betimes, what this mighty power can do, that the 
same be never tried upon us. It is well expressed, " The" 
Lord is slow to anger, but great in power, and will not 
surely clear the wicked. The Lord hath his way in the 
whirlwind, and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of 
his feet ; he rebuketh the sea and drieth it, and he drieth 
up all the rivers. The mountains tremble for him, and 

" Deut. cliap. 32. ver. 41, 42. '' Deut. ver. 22. 

<■ Nahum. chap. 1. vev. 3, 4, ."i, (i. 


the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his sight, yea the 
world and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before 
his wrath ? or who can abide in the fierceness of his wrath ? 
His wrath is poured out like a fire, and the rocks are broken 
by him." The prophet here meeteth an objection concern- 
ing God's great mercy, telling them that although the 
Lord be slow, yet is he true in anger. He will come at 
the last and pay soundly for all together, where he also 
compareth these great judgments unto fire, because it is the 
cruellest torment in this life, whose fury universally seizeth 
upon all the parts of the body, even unto the joints, bones, 
and marrow, bringing and oifering violence unto the whole 
body at one time, within and without. If a man in this 
life were bound for every oath he sweareth, to put his fin- 
ger into the fire, he would quickly leave swearing, and 
think this a great torment. So every wretched sinner, for 
all sins that he committeth without repentance, although 
in this life they escape this burning, yet it abideth for them, 
they shall have it all scored up unto their last torments. 
For if Nebuchadnezzar'' to show his wrath (being an earthly 
king) gave commandment to heat the oven seven times 
hotter than usual, what will the King of kings do ? who 
hath all power in the tormenting of his enemies ? he will 
not only heat the fiery furnace of hell seven times, but se- 
venty times seven times, to torment them in the cruelry of 
his wrath for ever. They shall have many sorrows. 

Let us therefore now, who hear these things, pretend no ig- 
norance, but pray unto G od to have our eyes opened betimes, 
that by a holy life we may lay hold on Christ Jesus, escap- 
ing these torments. It is not possible to express them. If 
we should see a man in this life tormented with a headach, 
toothach, stone, stranguary, cholic, gout, burning fever, 
convulsions, together with a number of other diseases upon 
one man all together, what a wretched miserable creature 
would he seem to be ? And this misery by the thousand 
part is not yet comparable to the woful estate of the damned, 
whom the Lord shall tread down in the wine-press of his 

•> Dan. chap. 3. vef. 10. 



■wrath, coming and returning upon them like a thunderbolt, 
as it were to strike and dash them in pieces immediately, 
making them whole again, that his fury may return upon 
them with redoubled force more than ever. But yet here 
is not all. As the wicked shall be deprived of all outward 
comforts and be tormented in body, 

3. They shall be also tormented in soul. 
They shall have many sorrows. But oh ! how shall 1 
show forth the sorrows of a wounded forsaken soul? For 
saith the wise man, a wounded spirit who is able to endure? 
Job of all others may be a fit pattern, who complaineth thaf^ 
the arrows of the Almighty are in him, that the venom 
thereof drinketh up his spirit. That' the terrors of God 
fight against him, destroyed with a tempest, his^ soul cut 
off alive, God's plagues renewed against him, yea with 
changes and armies of sorrows taking his flesh in his teeth 
and his soul in his handle, poureth his gall upon the ground' 
running on him like a giant, his face withered with weep- 
ing'', the thoughts of his heart broken, the day being his 
night, and the night his day; by violence crying out, yet 
not being heard, destroyed on every side', God's wrath 
being kindled against him, counted as God's enemy, his 
armies coming together upon him, his soul pursued as the 
wind, being poured out upon himself", his bones being 
pierced in the nights, his sinews taking no rest, God cruelly 
turned against him with the strength of his hand being 
caused to ride upon the wind, his bowels boiling without 
rest, mourning without any sun, a brother unto dragons, a 
companion to ostriches, his bones burned, and what not ? 
This is a taste of a forsaken soul, when confusion of under- 
standing, blindness of light, corruption and obstinacy of 
will, and terror of conscience shall altogether oppress the 
ungodly. And this fearful estate of a forsaken soul, is yet 
further enlarged by Moses, where he threateneth the peo- 

" Job, chap. 6. ver. 4. ' Job, chap. 9. ver. 17. 

« Job. chap. 10. ver. 1. '■ Ibid. chap. 13. ver. 14. 

' Job. chap. 16. ver. 13, 14. k Ibid. chap. 17. ver. 11. 

' Job. chap. 19. ver. 10, 11. 

■n Job. chap. 30. ver. 15, 16, 17, 28, 29, 30. 


pie, that if they be rebellious, then amongst these nations 
their neighbours, they should have no rest, "Neither" (saith 
he) shall the soul of thy foot have any rest, for the Lord 
shall give thee there a trembling heart, and looking to re- 
turn till thine eyes fall out, and a sorrowful mind, and thy 
life shall hang before thee, and thou shalt fear both' night 
and day, and shalt have none assurance of thy life. In 
the morning thou shalt say, would God it were night ! 
and at the evening, thou shalt say, would God it were 
morning ! for the fear of thine heart, and the sight of thine 
eyes which thou shalt see." This, beloved, is a miserable es- 
tate, but yet all these things are nothing to these sorrows 
of hell, " weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth," from 
a chilling most miserable cold, to a terrible not-consuming 
heat, and to no end torments, with variety of endless pains, 
which no heart can sufficiently think of. 

Lastly, there shall be no relaxation of these torments, 
but eternal perpetuity. And who would be so mad, as for 
one day's play to have eternity of torments. 

All this life is but as a day to eternity ; nay not so much 
in God's sight. But what should I speak of this eternity ? I 
dare not enter into the same. The very speaking and thoughts 
thereof do drown and swallow up my meditations in admira- 
tion. The best is, that as it is in the Gospel, we all apply 
ourselves to believe" and live in the Son of God; that freed by 
him, we may possess eternal life, which is the joy and crown 
of our labours, rather than to be cast into hell- fire for ever, 
where (as it is in the 9th of the Revelation) men shall seek 
death?, and shall not find it, and shall desire to die, and 
death shall fly from them, in place of their desired ease, the 
Lord's cannons, darts, and preparations of war, all being 
bent against them, to give them ten thousand deaths in one. 
All these things and a great many worse, passing our ima- 
gination to think of, shall come upon us, if we continue 
mules and rebellious, hard-hearted creatures. Ease, saith 
the wise man, killeth the foolish, and the prosperity of fools 

" Deut. chap. 28. ver. 65, 66, 67. " John, chap. 3. ver. 13. 
P Rev. chap. 9. ver. 6, 



is deceitful. We must not think to go sleeping to heaven, 
but we must toil and work hard for the same. Of all others, 
then, righteous men, who wage battle with the enemies of 
their salvation, ought to rejoice because they see these 
things, and labour by all means to eschew them betimes. 
But what should I speak of the great ones, and rich men of 
this world ? The apostle James pronounceth their doom. 
" Go"! to now ye rich men, weep and howl, for your mise- 
ries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupt, 
and your garments are moth-eaten : your gold and silver is 
cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against 
you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have lived 
on the earth in wantonness and pleasure, ye have nou- 
rished your hearts as in a day of slaughter ; ye have con- 
demned and killed the just, and he hath not resisted you." 
But yet ye vain worldlings, your persuasions are false, 
and shall deceive you. But what shall we do in the mean 
time ? A day cometh shall pay for all. Be patient, there- 
fore, (saith he,) brethren, until the coming of the Lord. 
Then, shall be a time of full payment : they shall have 
many sorrows. 

But now let us come to the uses. First, these terrors of 
the Lord, these many sorrows of the wicked which they 
shall endure, being banished from the presence of God for 
ever serveth to teach us as a most effectual means to drive 
us from ourselves, and to fly, and stick fast unto Christ. 
" For' (as the prophet Amos speaketh) since the Lion hath 
roared, who will not now be afraid," w ho would not now but 
tremble to hear of these things ? Should not all the beasts 
of the field tremble ? So now when the Lord hath laid 
these sorrows to our hearts for our meditation, let us consider 
truly whether we be not worse than reprobates if we think 
lightly of them, and so sufier them to perish from remem- 
brance. It is written of Felix the governor, who though he 
were a profane reprobate, yet when he heard^ Paul dispute 
of righteousness, of temperance, and of the judgment to 

1 James, chap. 5. ver. 1. ^ Amos. chap. 3. ver. 8. 

' Acts, chap. 24. ver. 26. 


come, the text saith he trembled. Shall profane Felix 
tremble and shall not we also, to hear of these many sor- 
rows, be now driven to prayer, to a more earnest begging 
of mercy at God's hands? to a more settled assurance of 
salvation than ever ? 

It is written of wicked Haman, the enemy of God's peo- 
ple, that" when he saw the danger, the king's wrath being 
incensate against him, that he fell presently a begging for 
mercy. And shall wicked Haman, fearing the wrath of a 
mortal man, when he saw the danger seek to avoid the 
same ? I say and shall not we, who are Christians, be much 
more afraid and seek how to avoid the terrible displeasure 
of the King of kings. Let us then in the name of * * * since 
we see the danger, fall a praying more earnestly than ever, 
and never give God rest until by a comfortable answer 
from the throne of grace, we receive assurance in our souls, 
that we by Christ Jesus are freed from these many sorrows. 
And seeing in the sorrows of the children of God in this 
life, the Lord's intention is to drive us from ourselves, to 
let us see what miserable wretches we are by nature, to 
drive us to lay sure hold on Christ and his blood, the means 
of our salvation : let us therefore be humbled in time. Of 
all means, this humiliation is best, to pray often and ear- 
nestly. But yet the meditation of the passion of Christ 
availeth most of all to move devotion. " Who" (as the apos- 
tle to the Hebrews speaketh) in the days of his flesh did 
offer up prayers and supplications with strong crying and 
tears, unto him that was able to save him from death." 
If Christ then, to save us, did offer up prayers with strong 
cries and tears, oh ! how senseless, and ungrateful to God, 
and ourselves are we, if we do not work out our salvation 
(which he now hath already purchased) with fear and trem- 
bling, with strong cries, with prayers and tears, as he 

Yet the special use of this doctrine is first more particu- 
lar unto God's children, who are daily affrighted with the 

" Esther, chap. 7. ver. 7. " Heb. chap. 5. ver. 7. 



many combats, and triumphing of the flesh over the spirit, 
wherein they fear to be left comfortless. But for all this I 
say unto such, fear not for these combats, be they never so 
strong and many, nor for these triumphings of the flesh 
over the spirit, seem they never so terrible. It is a blessed 
thing to be thus tossed ; yea it is just with God to let us 
many times see hell, as it were, wide open, bringing us to 
the brink thereof. And in this all of us are to be blamed, 
that when the Lord doth chasten us somewhat sharply, and 
letteth us to see hell open, we forget his former mercies, 
we fall into distrust, we think he has turned our enemy, we 
think that the sun will never shine again, because, as we 
think, it remaineth too long eclipsed, because we are igno- 
rant of the necessity and causes of these afilictions. As 
the skilful rider, having a stubborn and an unruly horse to 
master, first trieth fair means, riding him gently, and if it 
will not help, then breaketh he him in the deepest furrow 
grounds ; which if it master him not, then bringeth he him 
to the top of some huge steep rock, from the edge whereof 
causing him to look down, and oiFering to thrust him over, 
thus affrighting him, they tame his courage, and bring him 
in subjection. So the Lord at the first causeth us to walk 
gently in the means which tameth gentle children, which if 
they prevail not, then he haudleth us more roughly, and 
bringeth us unto the furrows of gteat afflictions ; after all 
which, if the flesh will yet be unruly and not tamed, what 
then ? Then the Lord (as a sovereign remedy) setteth 
hell open, bringeth his children to the brink thereof, causeth 
them to look down, threateneth to throw them down, 
bringeth them to the gates thereof, showeth them these 
many sorrows, giving them a taste of some to sweeten their 
deliverance : until their corruptions be subdued, their lusts 
overruled, they being soundly affrighted from sin, do under- 
take a stricter and a more resolute course of Christianity 
than ever : thanking God for their deliverance from these 
many sorrows. Neither ought God's children to be thus 
dismayed in their fears, seeing Christ Jesus, the Lord of 
heaven and earth (who is able to cast us all into hell-fire), 
feared and yet had deliverance ; being heard in that which 


he feared^. So God's children may many times fear, and be 
brought to see hell, yet having a joyM deliverance at last 
by these fears, attaining a securer peace than ever. 

Secondly, it is exceeding comfort to God's children, and 
ought to be, to hear and know how that these unspeakable 
torments, and those grievous pains, which caused Felix to 
tremble, are now removed from them, that they can hear of 
them with comfort to their souls. 

Thirdly, this doctrine availeth unto God's children also 
for others, that if we think of these things seriously our- 
selves, we also strive to imprint them into others by all 
means (as Jude speaketh), having compassion of some by 
putting of difference, and other some of fear, pulling them 
out of the fire. If we did see a madman running into the 
Thames to drown himself, would we not run to save him ? 
Nay, would we not think it a deed of charity ? So all sin- 
ners are madmen running to drown themselves, not in a, 
river of water ; but in the eternal burning lake of hell-fire for 
ever. Oh, let us then stay and win as many as is possible, 
showing them these dangers of many sorrows : and St. James 
(for our encouragement) telleth us what shall be the issue 
of reward. " Brethren^, if any of you do err from the truth 
and one convert him ; let him know, that he which con- 
verteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a 
soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." 

Secondly, it serveth to show the opposition betwixt the 
godly and the wicked, wherein they differ, and how far the 
wicked may proceed, what they are able to attain, where 
they cannot come. They can never come to lay hold of 
this mercy, whatsoever else they do. It is then a sure ar- 
gument unto thee, that thou art freed from hell, and deli- 
vered from those many sorrows, if thou canst lay hold of 
God's mercy, if when thou hast no sense nor feeling, yet 
thou canst wait for his mercy, who hath hidden his face 
from Jacob (as the prophet speaketh) if thou canst once 
settle this assurance, and hang on his mereies, then be 
cheerful, how miserable soever thou art in thine own eyes. 

y Heb. chap. 5. ver. 7. ^ James, chap. 5. vev. 19, 20. 

E E 2 


For although perhaps you think this a cold comfort to rely 
and trust upon his mercy, who appeareth to be thine enemy, 
yet I say, as thou lovest thy life, hold fast a persuasion of 
his infinite mercies, and rely firmly upon the same; for thus 
far, be thou sure, the wicked cannot go, he cannot for his 
life rely upon God's mercies. What although the Lord 
many times stay long, yet thou hast many promises that 
he will not forsake for ever. So saith the prophet in 
the Lamentations, " that* his compassions fail not, that 
though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion, ac- 
cording to the multitude of his mercies." And the Church 
in Micah, she resolveth* to bear the wrath of the Lord 
for awhile, assuring herself at last to be brought forth 
unto the light, to see his righteousness. And for con- 
clusion, the Apostle to the Romans, after he hath made 
a catalogue (as it were) of all the afflictions which befal- 
leth the children of God in this life, at last he showeth 
that the issue is always joyful : concluding triumphantly 
over all the sorrows of this life. Nevertheless " in'' all these 
things we are more than conquerors, through him that 
loved us ; for I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, 
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things pre- 
sent, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any 
other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of 
God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." To whom with 
the Father and his blessed Spirit, be all glory and power, 
&c., now and evermore. Amen. 

» Lam. chap. 3. ver. 22., 32. '' Micah, chap. 7. ver. 9. 

" Romans, chap. 8. ver. 37, 38. 



Psalm. XXXII. ver. 10. 

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy 
shall compass him. 

The prophet David in this verse, you see, singeth both 
of mercies and judgments ; of many sorrows to the wicked, 
and of infinite mercies to the children of God. All, there- 
fore, must begin betimes to try their estates, whether they 
be such to whom these mercies, or sorrows belong, whether 
they be heirs of heaven or of hell ; for there is no third es- 
tate. All creatures must come within the compass of one 
of these two estates ; either to be vessels of honour, or disho- 
nour, mercy, or wrath. All such (I have already told you) 
who do refuse wholesome instructions, who, though the 
voice of the ministry, other admonitions, and checks of con- 
science, do still give them warnings, yet remain obstinate 
and hard-hearted. Such be mules. To such the prophet 
threateneth those sorrows, yea many sorrows, so many and 
so great as the angry justice, stirring up the power of a 
mighty and infinite God, is able to inflict. Again, those 
who can be content to forsake dear pleasures for the glory 
to come, who will cross their affections, subdue their pas- 
sions, and master their corruptions, striving against sin 
unto the blood, offering up their bodies a living and accep- 
table sacrifice unto God : to these he pronounceth mercy, 
an infinite store of consolation, a compassing with mercy ; 
to these finally (in whatsoever state of seeming misery), a 
most safe and secure estate, free from those many sorrows, 
which shall come upon the wicked. These faithful souls, 
(he telleth them) shall be compassed with mercy, shall be 



in a blessed estate, when the wicked (as the apostle to the 
Thessalonians showeth) shall" be punished with everlasting 
perdition from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory 
of his power. Then shall he be glorified in his saints, and 
be made marvellous in all them that believe, &c. And as he 
shall be glorified and made marvellous in his saints ; so shall 
the greatness of his mighty po'wer be marvellous in the de- 
struction of his enemies. Let us, therefore, pray earnestly, 
and constantly, that it would please God to touch our hearts 
with a true sense and feeling of our miseries, that we may 
run unto Him to be compassed with mercy, and take sure 
hold of the horns of the altar (that immaculate Lamb, his 
Son Christ Jesus), there to find peace, and be freed from 
these many sorrows. Hereafter shall be no time, if we la- 
bour not hard now. Our blessed Saviour telleth us, the 
day being omitted, " the'' night cometh, when no man can 
work." Again, let us cry, and seek earnestly to be armed 
with faith, whereby we may be enabled to fly afar ofi", to fly 
from ourselves, and beyond all these earthly things, with 
Moses, to see things which are invisible. The wicked they 
run on their wicked courses, because they are as blind as 
beetles, they do not look upon the joys of God's children ; 
a moment of whose joy is worth all their pleasures. Some 
will not, and some are so blinded that they cannot. For 
indeed the best of us all, if we have not spiritual eyes, to 
discern afar off, that faith may (as it were) pierce within the 
veil, beholding things believed, if we overlook not all these 
earthly things, beholding in a manner the joys of God's 
children, the best of us all will quickly faint in our journey, 
for to behold the wicked, who do spurn and spit in the face 
of God, who blaspheme, and do nothing but anger God by 
all means, yet to see them prosper and lack nothing, to have 
the world at will, to tyrannize over the faithful, when, by 
the contrary, they must suffer all injuries, all reproaches ; 
they serve God, strive to do all his will, and yet they have 
a world of afflictions mingled even with their best joys. If 
we have not spiritual eyes and thoughts to see into the joys 

» 2 Thess. chap. 1. ver. 9, 10. i" John, chap. 9. ver. 4. 


of God's children, is it any wonder we faint and be asto- 
nished ? Strong David was so overtaken with the prospe- 
rity of the wicked, that after that he had reckoned up their 
great prosperity by many circumstances, at the last, as 
it were in admiration, he concludeth, Lo° these are the 
wicked, yet prosper they always, and increase in riches (and 
not looking upon the joys which remain for God's children) 
it followeth, certainly, I have cleansed my heart in vain, 
and washed my hands in innocency ; for daily have I been 
punished, and chastened every morning. These troubles 
were grievous unto him, until he began to look upon the 
joys prepared for God's children, until by spiritual eyes 
he saw a life after this, a recompense of reward to the faith- 
ful, and sorrows to the wicked, far beyond all earthly plea- 
sures or pains suffered here, until he went to the sanctuary, 
the house of God, being there armed with faith to behold 
things before unseen, then he beholdeth their estates to be 
most miserable, being attended with horrible destruction. 
Then he could confess. Thou'' hast set them in slippery 
places, and casteth them down into desolation. How sudden- 
ly are they destroyed, perished and horribly consumed. 
And also the whole stream of the 37th Psalm tendeth to this 
purpose, to show the miserable estate of the wicked, and 
felicity of the faithful in respect of this their woful estate. 
David at the first sunk, because he did not consider at first, 
the exceeding glorious inheritance of God's children. If 
he sunk, surely without his helps, we must not think to 

Therefore must we pray, and strive by all means to have 
eyes given unto us, such eyes, as may overlook all these 
earthly things, beholding things to come, that we may 
have a glimmering glimpse of the infinite glory, the joys 
whereof may so transport us, that thereby we may despise 
this vain world, and all the vain pleasures thereof, in re- 
spect of that glory to come. And then shall we be so far 
from envying their estate, that we shall rather pity them, 
and pray in their miseries. So Job he asketh, " Where- 

« Psalm 73. ver. 12. ■" Ibid. ver. IS. 



fore* do the wicked live ?" &c. who after he had also 
looked upon their prosperity with this spiritual sight unto 
things to come, he at the last seeth' that their wealth is 
not in their hand ; demanding how often their candle should 
be out (as though it should for ever be put out) their lives 
being divided in his wrath, being as stubble and chaff 
before the wind ; concluding all at last with this cruel sen- 
tences, that they are kept unto the day of destruction, 
and they shall be brought forth in the day of wrath. Let 
us not then so much look unto their pleasures, as unto 
their miserable destruction, and our joys : for their joys 
here are nothing unto those sorrows they shall have : and 
our sorrows are nothing to the joys we shall possess. So 
saith the apostle to the Romans'^, that the afflictions of this 
present time, are not worthy of the glory which shall be 
revealed ; and again, more fully, in the second to the Co- 
rinthians', that our light affliction, which is but for a mo- 
ment, causeth unto us a far more excellent, and an eternal 
weight of glory, whilst we look not on the things which 
are seen, but on the things which are not seen. Thus 
our afflictions, be they never so great, in respect of the 
glory to come, be they never so heavy, are but accounted 
light, and be they never so long in continuance, yet is it 
counted but a moment, nay, not so much unto eternity. 
It is not thus with the wicked ; for besides all the sorrows, 
which attend them eternally in the life to come, they shall 
have also miseries in this earth. And it is most just (as 
Job speaketh) that seeing in this life they will none of the 
Almighty, that God in the life to come do send them 
many sorrows. " They''" (saith he) " say unto God, De- 
part from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. 
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him ? And 
what profit should we have, if we pray unto him." But 
whatsoever their knowledge is, it is, sure, an accursed 
knowledge, which refuseth to know God, and must have 

« Job, chap. 21. ver. 7. ' Ibid. ver. 16. 

« Job, ver. 30. l> Rom. chap. 8. ver. 18. 

' 2 Cor. chap. 4. ver. 18. i" Job, chap. 21. ver. H. 


present payment, or no service. Yet, doth Job like of 
their counsel ? No ! their counsel and wealth is not in 
their hand ; therefore far (saith he) be their counsel from 
me, and far be it also from us. God is their enemy. How 
crafty and politic soever their consultations seem, they 
must come to confusion at length, all turneth unto many 
sorrows. Let us now then make an addition to what hath 
been said, seeing 

1. To whom mercy is given. 

Mercy, although it be not given unto any desert of 
ours, nor by any desert in us for our merits ; yet it is most 
certain, that to whomsoever the Lord is merciful, to such 
he also giveth an heart to trust and rely in him, an heart 
with affiance to trust confidently in God : from whence 
against all wicked men, I ground this doctrine for our in- 
struction, that that man who purposeth to live in sin, it is 
in vain for him to hope for mercy. Some man I know 
may here object, But what, will you restrain mercy within 
so narrow limits ? I answer. No ; no more than God doth. 
God's mercy is offered to the wickedest alive, freely ten- 
dered : yet when this mercy (as the efiiects show) is con- 
temned and refused, we dare not bless where he curseth, 
we dare not, without our warrant, offer mercy to such. 

Now that this is true that mercy is restrained from the 
wicked. In no place more than in Psalm 103. are the 
mercies of God extolled. " He^" (saith the prophet) 
will not always chide, neither will he keep his anger for 
ever, he hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded 
us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high 
above the earth, so great is his mercy (but because there 
is a generation, who live according to the lusts of the 
flesh, who scorn piety, mock at religion, and the professors 
thereof, who will none of this mercy, at the least, will use 
no means whereby it may be attained : therefore at last the 
prophet addeth this clause) towards them that fear him ;" 
showing thus much unto the wicked, that how great soever 
the ocean of his mercy be, yet it shall avail nothing unto 

I Fsalm 103. ver. 11. 


them ; for it is reserved to those that fear him. If, there- 
fore, we would be sharers in this mercy, let us be sure that 
we truly fear God. For we must not imagine that God's 
mercies come to make us rebels. No, but if thou wilt not 
fear him, and walk in his ways, thou shalt have no part in 
this mercy, be it never so great. As also™ it is said that 
the loving kindness of the Lord endureth for ever and ever: 
yet he restraineth only these mercies unto such as fear him, 
being covenant and commandment keepers ; not to every 
profane wretch, who dare take mercy presumptuously unto 
them. Therefore I affirm, deceive thyself with as false an 
opinion as thou wilt, yet sure it is, so long as a sinner's 
heart is set in rebellion, there is no mercy for him. Aye, but, 
may some object. In the second commandment, there is 
no such severity mentioned as you speak of, for in that 
commandment chiefly there is mention made of worship- 
ing of images, and for this breach there is a cruel threat- 
ening, but it is to the haters of God, without any certain 
number, and yet mercy followeth in a larger extent, 
naming of thousands. But, I answer profane wretches, it 
is not for every one to throw themselves in amongst these 
thousands. There followeth a restraint (excluding all sorts 
of wicked men) " to them that love me and keep my com- 
mandments." Can a wicked man love God ? Can he keep 
his commandments ? He cannot. Then must he needs 
be excluded from this mercy, so long as he is rebellious. 

Let us therefore, beloved, examine our hearts, whether 
or not any of us have taken hold of this mercy, without 
sure grounds. If thou love not God with that perfection 
whereby a Christian in this life may : or at least if thou 
endeavour not with all thy might thereunto, if thou strive 
not to keep his commandments, to keep all of them, so 
long as thou continuest thus, thou hast nothing to do with 
mercy ; assure thyself there is no mercy for thee. 

But, may some say, what, dare you thus bind up mercy? 
What power have you to restrain it thus ? No ; 1 do not 
bind up mercy, only I affirm, that to whom the Lord is 

"' Psalm 103. ver. 17. 


merciful, to vphom mercy is given, to those he giveth also 
a new heart, to rely upon him, to love him, to keep his 
commandments, to fear him, to walk in his ways. So that 
if there be no change in thee by new birth, it is a sure 
sign, as yet mercy belongeth not unto thee. Yet some 
may still object, But what if I come unto Christ, and lay 
hold on him, I hope then there is mercy for me, if I come 
from myself unto Christ. I answer to this, that as many 
times we have a wrong estimation of the nature of the 
Father : so do we also err in the nature of the Son. As 
therefore we have seen the Father must be honoured, feared, 
loved, and obeyed, so must the Son also ; for he is a Judge, 
yea. Judge of all, and his wrath must be appeased, we 
must likewise fear him, love him, obey him, and keep his 
commandments. This shall be our assurance, that the 
hold we take of him is true, and not counterfeit. " Kiss" 
the Son" (saith the prophet) " lest ye perish from the way, 
when his wrath is kindled but a little, blessed are all they 
that put their trust in him." Oar kissing of theSon, must not 
be an imaginary fantastical relying upon the Son, but such a 
kissing which must manifest itself in an holy life, in obe- 
dience unto his commandments. 

If therefore we call him Lord, we must obey his will. 
As another prophet (to this purpose speaketh in the person 
of God) "A° son honoreth his father, and a servant his 
master. If then I be a father, where is mine honour ? if I 
be a master, where is my fear?" Thus whosoever will say 
that they take hold of Christ, and yet keep not his com- 
mandments, if they will call him Lord, and yet not love 
him, nor obey his will, such make but a mock lord of him. 
But a day will come, in which he will bring forth these 
enemies of his, (as himself in the Gospel speakethi") who 
would not that he should reign over them, that he may slay 
them in his wrath. We see then " noti every one, which 
can say Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven, 

" Psalm 2. ver. 12. " Mai. chap. I. ver. 6. 

P Luke, chap. 19. ver. 27. i Matt. chap. 7. ver. 21. 



but he" (as our blessed Saviour speaketh) who doth the will 
of my Father, who is in Heaven," his Father and he being 
one. Therefore, now to conclude this point of diversity be- 
twixt the godly and the wicked, in showing to whom this 
mercy belongeth, he lastly, and no other, who will come 
unto Christ, to be a partaker of this mercy, must be a sub- 
ject of Christ's kingdom, must be ruled by him, must be 
content to be one of his sheep, to receive Christ for his shep- 
herd, to be gathered by him into his sheepfold, to feed 
and take part with the rest of the sheep' ; to be obedient, 
and hear his voice^ And' for upshot of all, they must be 
content, that he shall be their leader, their true and only 
Joshua, who shall lead them unto the land of promise. I 
say they must never leave off, but follow and stick close 
unto this their true Joshua, that he at length may conduct 
them to the land of rest, even to the fulness and store- 
house of all mercy. Meanwhile, until we come thither, 
let us now briefly behold, 

2. What this mercy is. 

Mercy, although it be but a small word, of few syllables, 
yet doth it contain in it wonderful and unspeakable conso- 
lation to God's children, in that this mercy shall gird them 
about, it shall compass them about in a most full and 
plentiful measure, we shall be filled with mercy full of 
comfort. God's children, indeed, many times have but a 
small measure of this comfort ; but their weak faith is the 
cause of this want. The cause why they find so little 
mercy, is because they wax dull and negligent in the means 
which should preserve a full measure of mercy. We are 
not diligent, and earnest in the begging of mercy. There- 
fore no wonder though we have small store of mercy, 
because we seek it not earnestly, with a vehement thirst 
after it. We are provoked, (as though he should blame 
our faint prayers,) " Open" thy mouth wide, and I will 
fill it." We open our mouths, many of us, some for one 

' John, chap. 8. ver. 3. • John, chap. 8. vcr. 11. 

' John, chap. 10. ver. 4. " Psalm, 81. ver. 10. 


cause, and some for another ; but in opening for mercy, if 
we have but a little, it is because we open not our mouths 
wide to ask for it, because we are ignorant of the value of 
it, not begging earnestly for the same, as a man in danger 
would do for his life. If thus we beg, with wide mouths, 
with inflamed fervent aifections for mercy, the Lord, who 
cannot lie, hath promised, we shall be full of it, and mercy 
shall compass us. The doctrine, then, from hence for our 
instruction is, that God hath appointed mercy for all who 
believe and will receive the same, yea even a full measure 
of mercy, not by parcels, or certain times, but even at all 
times. So speaketh Jeremy in his Lamentations. " It" is 
the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his 
compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great 
is thy faithfulness." There you see no end of these mer- 
cies, his compassion never failing, and his mercies ever re- 

This then is the most blessed estate of a faithful soul. 
First in reconciliation, for we are reconciled unto God, 
(as the apostle to the Romans speaketh,) " For^ if, when we 
were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of 
his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by 
his life." This is a great mercy then, even this reconcilia- 
tion. If Christ then hath done so much for us, how ready 
should we be to embrace and love so merciful and so loving 
a God, following the counsel of our blessed Saviour. For 
which of you being about to meet a great man would not 
prepare every thing fitting to entertain and give him con- 
tentment ? How much more then should we prepare to 
meet and make every thing in readiness to please him, who 
is King of kings ? But here is the wonder of this mercy, 
that what we omitted, not being able to come unto Christ, 
he, preventing us with his loving kindness, hath sent Christ 
unto us, clothing him with our flesh, as our elder brother. 
Secondly, he not only reconcileth his children unto him, 
but which is further, he entertaineth them in service also, 

* Jerem, Lament, chap. 3. ver. 22, 23. 
y Rom. chap. 5. ver. 10, 


which is a great mercy and favour : for if we account the 
service of a liing to be so honourable in this life, what ex- 
ceeding honour and favour hath he, who is admitted to be 
a servant to the Lord of glory. Surely we are most dull and 
senseless, that we prize not this service more highly than we 
do. If we did seriously think that there is such a thing, 
and believe the same, we durst not, for all the world, do as 
we do. Yet here is more mercy. We read% that though 
Achish, King of Gath, did entertain David into his service; 
yet, when it came to the main matter, to the choice matter 
of trust, to be trusted in secrets andmatters of war, the princes 
of the Philistines did expel him. But with God it is not so, 
for here are two parts of mercy. 1 . He admitteth them as 
servants into his household. 2. They have his secrets, he 
trusteth them even with most admired love. The prophet 
David declareth, " the'' secret of the Lord is with them 
that fear him." So the Lord was gracious unto Abra- 
ham. " And*" the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham 
that thing which I do ?" Abraham, being one of the faith- 
ful, must needs be of God's counsel. This is a wonderful 
mercy which the faithful enjoy, that before a judgment they 
have still some warning thereof, although the Lord visibly 
(as at other times of old) do not appear unto them, yet some 
secret instinct doth always presage the same. And the 
prophet saith, " Surely'^ the Lord will do nothing, but he 
revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." So 
that this also is a wonder of his mercy. Again, not only 
are they reconciled servants, admitted to his secrets, but 
they are also friends unto God. What stricter bond can 
there be, than that of friends in this life ? This, if it be surely 
tied with the right links of Christian love, passeth all other 
sorts of love, when our soul is (as it were) poured into ano- 
ther ; or rather two souls made one, nothing being con- 
cealed on either part, but having, as it were, one heart. 
And yet, so highly doth God honour his servants with so 
infinite mercy, that he vouchsafeth to make and call them 

» 1 Sam. chap. 29. ver. 4. " Psalm 25. ver. 14. 

^ Gen. chap. 18. ver. 17. "^ Amos. chap. 3. ver. 7. 


his friends. As we read in the prayer of Jehosaphat : 
" Art* not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants 
of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed 
of Abraham thy friend, for ever?" And our blessed Sa- 
viour, we know, speaking of dead Lazarus, saith, " Our" 
friend Lazarus sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him." 
This also is further ampHfied, where our blessed Saviour saith, 
" Ye^ are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 
Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth 
not what his master doeth ; but I have called you friends ; 
for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made 
known unto you." What can be said more ? or what can the 
heart of man desire more? 1 know nothing else to be 
wished for beyond so excellent privileges, which he vouch- 
safeth unto his children. 

The Canaan, therefore, which the children of Israel en- 
joyed (although it flowed with milk and honey) yet is it 
nothing unto our Canaan, which we expect, wherein these 
infinite mercies shall be bestowed upon us. For whatso- 
ever our troubles are in this life, Christ Jesus, our friend 
(who is of infinite power) he taketh us by the hand, and 
leadeth us through all miseries, like unto the true Joshua, 
unto the land of our heavenly Canaan, our eternal habita- 
tion. Only let us with assured confidence believe, and 
trust in him, and then it is not possible, that ever we 
should be disappointed of our hope. The further we read 
in this bottomless gulf of mercy, there is still more admira- 
ble compassions showed, which may swallow up our senses 
in admiration. There is yet more and more new mercies. 
The Lord saith unto Abraham, " Fears not Abraham, for 
I am thy buckler, and thy exceeding great reward." Here 
is a wonderful mercy which the Lord bestoweth not only 
upon Abraham, but also upon all his faithful seed for ever. 
He willeth first not to fear. And why ? The reason is 
added. First, because he is a buckler, and keepeth off all 
sorts of troubles from finally overwhelming the faithful, 

<■ 2 Chi-on. chap. 20. ver. 7. = John, chap. II. ver. 11. 

' John, chap. 15. ver. 14, 15. e Gen. chap. 15. ver. 1. 



giving still, though after a combat, a joyful victory. Again 
he saith, I am not only thy buckler, but thy exceeding 
great reward, an exceeding great reward indeed ; for here is 
such an infinite store of mercy that the heart of man is no 
way capable of. Here the Lord promiseth more than if he 
had promised heaven and earth and all unto him. What, 
I pray you, can he lack that is possessed of God ? Hath 
not he the whole Trinity ? Have we not also all things in 
heaven and earth at our command, having God for our re- 
ward. Do we not, as the apostle to the Ephesians speaketh, 
in a manner even now sit with him in the heavenly places, 
possessing a wonderful measure of happiness, being'^, living, 
and now moving in him. " Oh', therefore, that the eyes of 
our understanding were enlightened, that we might know 
what the riches of the glory of his inheritance is in the 
saints ; and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to 
us ward, who believe." All and a great deal more is in- 
cluded in this, " I am thy buckler, and thy exceeding great 
reward ;" for from hence is the great fountain of mercy and 
grace set open, by which, as it is in the Revelations, we 
inherit all things. For then, in the comparison of the fol- 
lowing mercies, the former seem nothing. Oftentimes to 
be made friends with God and reconciled ; to be admitted 
as servants, to be of God's counsel, privy to his secrets, and 
be called friends. But here followeth the exceeding riches, 
of his great and infinite mercy. First (as St. John speaketh 
from hence) to be called sons. "Behold'^what manner of love 
the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called 
the sons of God." Here is a wonderful comfort for God's 
children, that they are admitted to be the sons of God. I 
say it is an infinite mercy to be admitted as children, being 
(as it is in another place) of the generation of God. Al- 
though the world, then, scoff and mock at us, yet it is no 
matter ; we are in an happier estate, being the sons of God 
we need not be afraid of anything, so long as Christ Jesus, 
our elder brother (to whom all power in heaven and in 

>' Acts, chap. 17. ver. 28. ■ Eph. chap. 1. ver. 20. 

•* 1 John, chap. 3. ver. 1. ' Acts, chap. 17. ver. 29, 


earth is given) being the Son of God, is not ashamed to call 
us brethren. He will still be our defence, and our strong 
tower of refuge, we shall still be the children of God. This 
the author to the Hebrews confirmeth, where he saith, 
"Forasmuch™ then as the children are partakers of flesh 
and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same, 
that through death he might destroy him that had the power 
of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them, who through 
fear of death were all their life-time subject in bondage." 
This is our freedom. 

This mercy is yet further amplified, Romans, chap. 8. 
where from this dignity of being sons, he proceedeth to an 
higher degree of mercy, showing that we are also heirs, 
and yet higher, even heirs annexed with Christ ; many are 
children, who are no heirs ; but this is the mercy of our 
God, that to whom he hath given himself for an exceeding 
great reward, admitting them as children, they are all heirs. 
" If" children (saith the apostle) then heirs, heirs of God 
and joint heirs with Christ. If so be that we suffer with 
him, that we may be also glorified with him." All are 
heirs, even heirs annexed with Christ, to reign with him 
in glory. What can we wish for more ? Nay, but yet here 
is a greater degree of his mercy, saith the Spirit of God in 
the Revelation, " To him that overcometh, will I grant to 
sit with me in my throne ; even as I also overcame, and am 
set down with my Father in his throne." Are not here won- 
derful mercies ? To be of enemies, reconciled unto God 
to be admitted his servants: to be of his Privy Council 
to be called friends : to be possessed of God for our buckler 
and our exceeding great reward : to be the sons of God 
to be heirs, even heirs annexed with Christ : to sit with him 
in his throne, as he overcame and sitteth with his Father in 
his throne. This is a marvellous mercy, which produceth 
so many mercies, which hereafter we shall enjoy fully. We 
must then be content to go on patiently, walking in this 
narrow way, through a valley of tears. We must be con- 
tent, I say, to shed a few tears for a while, until the time of 

■" Heb. chap. 2. ver. 14. " Rom. chap. 8. ver. 17. 




the perfection of our joys appear, though in the meantime 
we suffer many tentations, yet are they all but arguments 
unto us of God's fatherly kindness, winnowing us from the 
pleasures of this world. But unto the wicked it is far other- 
wise, for all their afflictions in this life come from another 
court ; they are but as it were a part or earnest of a greater 
sorrow, a part in payment, a blow to show a greater which 
shall follow. Therefore are we counselled, by the apostle to 
the Corinthians, to judge ourselves betimes. " For° if we 
would judge ourselves (saith he) we should not be judged. 
But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, 
that we should not be condemned with the world." The 
most part of us, it is our fault that we love to judge others 
and not ourselves ; but we must learn to judge ourselves 
first, remembering that the end of all our sufferings here, 
is but to preserve us from greater in the world to come, that 
we should not be condemned with the world. Such is also 
St. James's counsel. " My brethren'', count it all joy, when 
ye fall into divers temptations, knowing this, that the try- 
ing of your faith worketh patience. And let patience have 
her perfect work." For be thou sure that wheresoever 
the Lord bestoweth any gifts, he will have them put to a 
trial of patience. Patience must have her perfect work. 
He armeth us with courage to endure, that we may know 
what is in ourselves, and whether we be such, to whom the 
promises belong or not, by our patience causing us to pos- 
sess our souls (as our blessed Saviour in Luke speakethi). 
And lastly, the author to the Hebrews affirmeth, " That' 
whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every 
son whom he receiveth;'' adding, that if we receive not chas- 
tening (whereof all are partakers) then are we bastards, and 
not sons. But as for the wicked he letteth them alone 
until another day ; for he knoweth when to meet with them, 
when they shall have many sorrows. But is here all ? Doth 
this mercy us no more good ? Doth it end here ? No ve- 

° 1 Cor. chap. 11. ver. 31, 32. P James, chap. I. ver. 2. 

1 Luke, chap. 21. ver. 19. ' Heb. chap. 12. ver. 6. 


rily ; for this mercy doth compass us about in our greatest 
sorrows ; even 

3. In sin and death mercy is seen. 

He compasseth us about with his mercy in sin and death. 
Our sins he malceth us occasions to come unto him, to cry 
for help at his hands maintaining our acquaintance anew. 
For it is our nature, it is natural unto us to fly from God, 
to delight in vanities. So that when once we have begun 
to taste of his favour, obtaining thereby some peace, then 
we begin to give back, our familiarity with God decayeth, 
the world and other enticements, by degrees (if not all) yet 
steal away a great part of our hearts, we begin to be secure, 
and though we pray, yet is it faintly and coldly, not pro- 
ceeding from fervent feeling of want, but carnally, for fa- 
shion's sake. In this estate the longer we continue, the 
worse we are. What then ? The Lord he seeing us thus 
secure, he suSereth us to fall into the fire, to teach us to 
beware hereafter. And, therefore, as Absalom" did first 
send for Joab to come at him again and again, but seeing 
he would not come, caused Joab's corn therefore to be set 
on fire ; which at the last brought him to come. Even so 
the Lord, when he seeth us slow, backsliders from him, he 
sendeth for us again and again, by his servants the prophets, 
public and private admonitions, checks of conscience, and 
the like. Which if they avail not, then doth he suffer us to 
fall into some grievous sins, wherein perhaps we lie mourn- 
ing for a great while. Then sendeth he fiery trials, burn- 
ing up our corn, until at last we come unto him to renew 
our obedience. I say he sendeth sins as serpents to sting 
us, that we may come to be healed. The wicked, it is their 
property to fly still from God, whatsoever messengers the 
Lord sendeth for them. But the child of God, he cometh 
running unto God with the blood about his heels. So it 
is said, " When' he slew them, then they sought him, and 
they returned and enquired early after God." 

2. In mercy. 

He useth our sins as means of humiliation, to keep us 

2 Sam. chap. 14. ver. 30. ' Psalm 78. ver. 34. 

F f2 



under. We are of a proud wanton nature, which if it were 
not tamed, warring continually with some sins would quickly 
run out in offending God, and therefore our God of his in- 
finite mercy sendeth, yea keepeth his children under the 
perpetual yoke of some sins and corruptions of divers sorts, 
according to his great wisdom. Groaning under which 
burden he giveth them experience of his love, trial of ten- 
tations, experience of infirmities, a view of their misery, 
assurance of mercy, purging their corruptions, exercising 
and strengthening their faith and hope, teaching them pa- 
tience, and the true practice of repentance. So that chosen 
vessel, St. Paul (although he was so beloved of God, as to 
be wrapped up into the third heavens), yet we see" he 
confesseth that lest he should be exalted above measure, 
through the abundance of revelations, there was given 
unto him a prick in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to 
buffet him, because he should not be exalted out of mea- 
sure. For this he besought the Lord thrice to have it re- 
moved. But it would not be. The Lord did not see it 
fitting. His answer was, it is enough Paul, that my power 
shall be made perfect in thy weakness. Thou demandest 
that which is not expedient for thee. This thy seeming 
enemy shall do thee best service. This infirmity by my 
mercy shall keep thee, as a watch over thy ways, until thy 
course be finished. In the mean time, my power shall be 
made perfect in thy weakness. My mercy therein shall 
compass thee. Thy sins shall turn to thy good, keeping 
thee prepared for the fulness of glory. 

Again ; death also is turned into mercy to God's children. 
They triumph over it (as the apostle to the Corinthians 
speaketh) " O death, where is thy sting ? grave, where is 
thy victory?" Death is swallowed up in victory, and we have 
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore the child 
of God he feareth not death. Now sin and death are sub- 
dued upon their own dunghill. Death by Christ is overcome, 
even in the den of death. Whatsoever force it had before, 
now it hath short horns, it is captived. Death now to us being 

■J 2 Cor. chap. 12, 


in Christ, shall do us good service, how cruel soever it ap- 
pear in show. It captives the law of sin, and freeeth us that 
we shall never sin any more, nor anger so gracious a God. 
It shall free us from all sorrows and cares : and being in 
show our deadliest enemy, shall yet do us the best service. 
It shall free us from all corruption, from all kind of our 
now cruel fears. It shall be unto us that most cunning 
physician, which shall at one instant ease all our infirmi- 
ties, and give unto us perfect health. It shall bring us 
from this valley of tears into the glorious liberty of the 
sons of God. It shall possess us of our ardent desires, it 
shall bring us into the presence of God, the unspeakable 
joys of heaven, to the society of saints, since the beginning 
of the vrorld, to the company of all our dear friends de- 
parted, and lastly, to eternal life more than all. There- 
fore the prophet David", being encouraged with this com- 
fortable help and presence of God in so infinite joys to 
come, confesseth, that though he walked through the val- 
ley of the shadow of death, yet would he fear none evil ; 
God's rod and stalF still comforting him, though hell were 
in his way, yet, he saith, he would fly through the same 
unto heaven. This is that violent affection in God's 
children, which causeth them with all forcible means to 
assail this kingdom, contemning all things which oppose 
against them, for the prize of that eternal weight of glory 
to come. 

So should all of us resolve, that though we walk through 
the valley of the shadow of death, yet to fear none evil, 
because our God is with us ; his rod and his staff shall 
comfort us. All things shall turn to the best unto those 
who fear him, even in death itself also mercy shall compass 
us. O infinite unspeakable mercy ! But now let us pray, 
that for Christ Jesus his sake, we may still be com- 
passed with this mercy. To whom with the Father and 
his Blessed Spirit, be all honour, glory, praise, power, now 
and evermore. Amen. 

Psalm 23. 



Psalm XXXII. ver. 10. 

Many sorrows shall be to the wicked ; but he that trustelh In the Lord, mercy 
shall compass him. 

The drift of the prophet in this verse (as you have heard) 
is an exhortation to obedience and submission, following 
upon the former verse, where the prophet, knowing the va- 
nity of our crooked nature, how stubborn and wayward we 
are, still seeking rather by other means, than those which 
lead unto true happiness, to attain our desires, he at the last 
exhorteth us unto submission to the will of God, which is 
the way of true happiness ; because he saw there was a sort 
of brutish and hard-hearted men, like mules and horses, 
who would by no means be subdued unto God's will. 
Therefore now chiefly, he would have the wicked to cast 
oiF the stubbornness of nature, which resisted God, and not 
to be like horses and mules, who have no understanding, 
and must be bound with bit and bridle''. Such wicked men 
lay all the blame upon the ministers of the word ; their 
burdens, they cry out, are intolerable. Therefore, say they, 
let us break their bonds, and cast their cords from us ; we 
will none of their yoke. When yet this their fury is against 
God ; but it is hard for them to kick against the pricks ; it 
shall be hard for them to withstand God; they shall be 
curbed with bit and bridle, they (he telleth them in this 
verse) shall have many sorrows. Again, because there is a 
generation of the just whose souls are continually ready to 
seelt the face of God, rejoicing in nothing so much, as in 
his loving kindness, to these he assureth mercy, yea an in- 

» Psalm 32. ver. 9. 


finite store of all mercy. Mercy shall compass them, in 
whatsoever estate ; yea, though they should walk even 
through the valley of the shadow of death, yet even here 
also shall his mercy show itself for their salvation. His 
love to them shall be even then as a strong target to shield 
the whole body from destruction ; he will be their buckler, 
and their exceeding great reward. And yet more than all 
this, that which seemeth to be the very overthrow of his 
children, that, as a wonder of his mercy, he converteth unto 
their most good ; in life and death is he advantage unto 
them, this is an infinite mercy. When the devil desired to 
winnow the apostle Peter, then the help and mercy of our 
God interposeth itself. " But*" I have prayed for thee (saith 
our blessed Saviour) that thy faith fail not." Did he only 
pray for Peter ? No verily, but for all the rest of the 
children of God also. So St. Paul'' also in his infirmity and 
prick in the flesh desired some ease ; but there was no re- 
medy. We must needs suffer awhile ; the time of delive- 
rance was not yet come. But yet he saith, courage Paul, 
thou shalt not be overwhelmed, although thou beest trou- 
bled ; this thy greatest sorrow shall I convert by mine ex- 
ceeding mercy to thy greatest good ; thou shalt see my 
great mercy even in this cross, to keep thee humble and 
low, lest thou shouldst be exalted through the abundance 
of my favour, and be lifted up out of measure. 

Yea also God's mercy cometh betwixt death and us ; it is 
the gate of our felicity to bring us unto heaven, it endeth all 
our cares and sorrows. The sum of all briefly is, that we 
may consider the excellency of our estates, to be the chil- 
dren of God, it is an advantage unto us against all miseries 
whatsoever ; Christ he shall be advantage unto us. We 
see, therefore, mercy shall not be showed unto all, there is 
a sort of men that, let the Lord preach what he will, and 
give what warning he will, yet they will receive no instruc- 
tion, they will still continue mules, but unto such the Lord 
will show no mercy, if they continue thus. For although 

'' Luke, chap. 22. ver. 31, 32. ' 2 Cor. chap. 12. ver. 8. 



the Lord find a man miserable, yet he never leaveth him 
miserable. Therefore, if we be mules, it is a sign of no 
mercy as yet belonging to us ; the Lord as yet he hath not 
found us, we remaining thus have no portion in him. But 
here may some man demand. What ? How shall I be as - 
sured that I enjoy this mercy ? I tell thee how. Look if 
thou find a change in thy soul and body, in all the powers 
and faculties thereof, look if thou beest now more ready 
and cheerful in the serving of God than formerly thou wert 
in serving of the devil. Look if thou hast repented thee of 
all thy sins to thy remembrance without exception, if thou 
hast craved pardon for those thou canst not remember, if 
from henceforth thou resolvest, and to thy power strivest 
against all sin, unto the blood resisting. If thou, for the 
glory to come, canst forego thy dear pleasures, endeavour- 
ing finally to love God, and keep all his commandments to 
thy power ; then assure thyself of mercy ; this mercy then 
doth and shall compass thee. A great many set all upon 
the venture of mercy. God, say they, is merciful, although 
we be sinners, yet we hope well, that he will not be so se- 
vere as those preachers make us believe. But let such re- 
member what Moses in the name of God telleth unto all 
such rebels. If any " when* he heareth the words of this 
curse, bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, 
though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add 
drunkenness to thirst, the Lord will not spare him, but 
then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke 
against that man, and all the curses that are written in 
this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out 
his name from under heaven." But dost thou find this 
mercy work by newness of Ufe, and repentance ? Then 
settle thyself in the persuasion of this mercy ; it is good. 
Yet, by the contrary, if thou findest not these, and the like 
fruits of mercy, thou mayest well doubt of thy persuasion, 
it is but counterfeit ; for, as I said before, although the Lord 
find us miserable, yet is it most certain that he never 

" Deut. chap. 29. ver. 19. 

SERMON*. 441 

leaveth us so, but with his mercy he enableth us to bring 
forth the fruits of mercy. If we dream of mercy without 
a warrant, what do we else, but set up an idol in our 
hearts instead of mercy, and how dangerous it is to set up 
an idol in our hearts, you may all know, that it is the high- 
way to destruction. Therefore if we would be assured of 
mercy, we must try what effects mercy hath wrought in 
the heart, what effects of holiness, what unfeigned deeds of 
mercy. Neither do I here oppose, or thrust any from 
mercy. Only I show that of necessity the tree being good 
it will bring forth good fruits also. 

Now, to come to the matter in hand and the next oppo- 
sition betwixt the godly and the wicked, we must know, 
that every wicked man is not here meant which committeth 
sin. But he is a wicked man, who unto all his other sins 
addeth impenitency, not trusting in the promises of mercy. 
And my reason is, because there is no sin so great, but 
there is mercy for it, if we repent. Yea if it were the sin 
against the Holy Ghost, yet were it pardonable, if it were 
possible to repent us of the same ; because there is no com- 
parison betwixt our sins (how great soever) and his infinite 
mercies. For when we want mercy it is our own fault, who 
are ignorant, and will not lay hold on the promises, nor 
trust in them. Only he then who will not trust in God, 
nor rely upon the promises, he is here said to be a wicked 
man, to him many sorrows. First, because if we will trust 
an earthly prince upon his word, how much more reasona- 
ble is it, I pray you, that we should trust God upon his 
free promises ? Not to trust God is to give him the lie. 
" He'' (saith St. John) who belie veth not God hath made him 
a liar." And Psalm 2, it is written, " Blessed' are all those 
who trust him," if his wrath once burn, if Christ be never so 
angry, yet if we trust in him, there is no other voice to sa- 
lute us, but, " Come ye blessed of my Father." " Come unto 
me all ye that are weary and laden, and I will ease you." A 

" 1 John, chap. 5. ver. 10. ' Psalm 2. ver. 12. 



blessed thing it is then to rest upon Christ. Son he is said 
to be blessed who trusteth in the Lord. And"^, the special 
property of a blessed man is said to be an heart trusting in 
God ; he is described that he doth not walk in the counsel 
of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the 
seat of the scornful. But above all this is his chief praise, that 
his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law he doth 
meditate day and night, he hath an heart to search, believe, 
and trust in the promises. To this agreeth that of Jeremy 
" Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose 
hope the Lord is." The ground then of all blessedness is 
to have an heart to trust in God, to anchor assuredly upon 
him in all tempests whatsoever. 

The use hereof is comfort to God's children, that God 
in mercy looketh for nothing at their hands, for nothing in 
us good or bad, save an heart to trust in his promises, lay- 
ing hold on life freely offered unto us without any kind of 
condition on our part, but accept and lay hold. So that I 
may truly say, this trusting in God is the strong fortress 
of a Christian, which maketh him still trust, and drawing 
nearer and nearer, lay so much the faster hold upon the 
promises, the more he is beaten back. This trusting in 
God is even our shield which keepeth off the blows of God. 

But, may some man say, how shall I know when I am 
worthy enough to trust? I tell thee, God respecteth no- 
thing of ours in this act, because his mercy is the object of 
our trust. As, therefore, he himself is wonderful, so are 
also his mercies in the pardoning of sinners. So the 
prophet David prayeth, " Show' thy marvellous mercies, 
thou that art the Saviour of them that trust in thee." 
Where he, for the object of this trust, calleth them marvel- 
lous mercies, as indeed they are. The point then is, that 
we must all of us examine whether or not we have a heart 
to trust God, if we dare trust him. The apostle to Timo- 
thy is a fit pattern for us. Look if thou canst say with 
him, " P know whom I have believed, and am persuaded 

8 Piov. chap. 16. ver. 20. '< Psalm l.ver. 1. 

' Psalm 17. v»r. 7. « 2 Tim. chap. 1. ver. 12. 


that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto 
him against that day." We must thus trust constantly with 
the apostle, not only for our final deliverance, but also for 
all other mercies, we see the grounds of consolation, where- 
upon the apostle's comfort is settled, is this his trusting in 
God, which he anchoreth upon, and so must we. This 
trusting in God must be our only stay. 

Neither may any now object that our sureties, whom we 
put in trust, are insufficient. For I say, that how misera- 
ble soever we now appear, yet are we in a safer and better 
estate than was Adam in his innocency. He indeed had a 
more inherent sanctity than we by nature. But now we 
will not change estates with Adam, for all that he had, we 
know he was put in trust with it himself, he was his own 
keeper, and so what came of it, we see he quickly lost it all. 
But for us, it is our exceeding comfort that we are not our 
own, but Christ's, we are sheep of his fold, are in his cus- 
tody, have put him in trust with our life and all. And here we 
rest. We see here then, what is our stay, even this putting 
of God in trust freely with all. For if wise fathers upon 
earth, being about to make sure their lands and estates, 
choose others, whom they put in trust with all, yea some- 
times they put one in trust, why may not we also put our 
God in trust ; if mortal men trust mortal men, why should 
not we rather put Christ in trust ? How full of infidelity 
are we, if then we dare not trust God. But to those who 
believe Christ is our trust, with whom our life is hid (as 
the apostle to the Colossians speaketh), and putting him in 
trust for our life and salvation to come, and that eternal in- 
heritance we expect in the heavens, we now also dare and 
do put him in trust for all these momentaine and earthly 
things. The apostle Peter groundeth also the certainty 
of our salvation upon a trust, even' a lively hope in the 
abundant mercies of our God. This lively hope he maketh 
to be unto him the full assurance of that inheritance im- 
mortal, which fadeth not away, but is undefiled, and re- 
served in the heavens. But, may some say, what is this 

' 1 Pet. chap. 1. ver. 3, 4. 


to me ? I am far from the crown. If it be in the heavens 
how shall 1 attain unto it ? It is afar reach thither. But 
I say unto thee, yet by thy trusting in God it is most sure 
that it is in heaven for thee, and thou art kept safe by the 
power of God, through faith unto salvation, which, after 
thy patience, is prepared to be showed unto thee in the last 
times. It is sure enough, if thou trust in God : but thou 
must trust perfectly and attend the time. 

Faith is the instrument by which we keep our hold of 
Christ ; but this power of God, whereby we are kept from 
falling away, and by which we are assured to be enabled 
so to live as we may at the last possess this crown, is the 
chief stay of our trust. It is a fault in all of us, that, for 
the most part, we seek comfort from ourselves, and in our 
goodness, or from some inherent holiness and good works ; 
we would gladly gather matter of this trust from ourselves. 
Yet, if we would be assured of true comfort, we must go 
out of ourselves, relying only upon the free mercies, and 
free promises of life in Christ. Then shall we indeed 
obtain sound and perfect comfort, for so long as we rely 
upon any thing in us, we are miserably deceived. Let our 
sanctity be never so great, let our holiness and pure life 
seem never so strict, yet if we rely thereupon, grounding 
on it our trust, the devil shall pick a number of holes, in 
the hour of tentation, even in our purest actions, to the 
least of which we shall not be able to answer; our own 
evidence shall rather serve to overthrow us, and bring us 
to confusion, not being able to answer one of a thousand. 
If yet, leaving ourselves we fly unto Christ, seeing our own 
imperfections and wickedness, laying hold of his righteous- 
ness and perfections, as our only stay, making this the 
ground of our assurance and trust, this indeed shall be a 
strong rock unto us against all Satan's tentations, and a 
shield which all the force of Satan shall never be able to 
pierce. This trusting in God must be that sure anchor, 
which must uphold us in all tempests whatsoever. As 
therefore", when Paul and all his company were tossed to 

" Acts, chap. 27. vcr. 29. 


and fro in the Adriatic Sea, being in danger of their lives, 
in the night time, yet they did cast forth anchors in the 
dark out of the stern, wishing for the day ; so must all of 
us who would be assured of any settled comfort, whereupon 
to rely, we must learn to trust so in God betimes, that we 
may cast forth an anchor in the dark, waiting for the 
morning as they did. We must, when all other comforts 
fail, hold fast this trust. 

If, therefore, when the comfort of the Spirit seemeth to 
have left thee, if, when thou art tossed up and down in 
raging waves of divers adversities, which come tumbling 
upon thee, as one wave upon another, yet thou knowest 
not whither to turn thee : nay, if when God seemeth to be 
thine enemy, and in thine own thinking to have forgotten 
to be merciful, thou walking in the shadow of death, here 
is the trial of thy trust. If then thou canst pick some com- 
fort from these alarms, if then thou canst meditate on the 
nature of God, trust in his promises, and throw out an 
anchor in the dark, expecting the morning of deliverance, 
thou art in an happy and blessed estate, it is not possible 
that thou shouldest perish. Now our hope to us is a most 
sure anchor, if (as the apostle to the Hebrews speaketh) 
we pitch it upwards within the veil, into the holy of holies. 
Then are we in a safe estate, come life, or death, when by 
a lively faith, which hath burst through a world of tenta- 
tions, by many combats, and strong cries, in assurance of 
the nature of God, we have once laid so sure hold of 
Christ, that we have now made him our own, that we 
have bound him perpetually to be ours, with the bonds of 
his own free promises, and cords of his preventing love, 
that unless he would now forfeit his bonds, and deny him- 
self (which is impossible'') we are sure of his love. Be- 
loved, thus must our hope be pitched upwards within the 
veil, if we would attain to this trusting in God by degrees, 
(as Abraham crept, by little and little, nearer and nearer 
unto God in begging mercy for the Sodomites,) so must 
we by all means encroach and creep nearer and nearer unto 

n 2 Tim. chap. 2. ver. 13. 


Christ, until at last, by pitching our anchor within the 
veil, we have learned in all extremities to trust in Christ. 
The wicked, they cast their anchors downwards, and 
therefore they in their troubles are like the raging waves 
of the sea tossed higher and higher, without any peace. 
But let us, who have not thus learned Christ, cast our an- 
chors upwards within the veil. This must help us in the dark, 
when the testimonies of the spirit will fail us ; and what 
shall we then do, if we have not learned to trust in God. 

A further benefit also shall come unto us by our trust- 
ing in God. For by the same, we shall be marked and 
discerned from hypocrites. 

For, first, if our trust in God be true and not feigned, 
we will not dare to dissemble with him; we will freely 
pour out our complaints unto him as our only refuge ; yea, 
we will lay all open unto him in the foulest manner, and 
make the worst of every thing ; because we know that he 
is faithful and just who hath promised, that if we acknow- 
ledge and confess our sins, he will cleanse us from all 
iniquities". This is a true mark of our trust, not to dis- 
semble with God, but to run unto him, unloading all our 
cares in his bosom ; when thou art all alone, when no eye 
seeth thee but the Almighty's, then to fall down before 
him, to mourn and cry, and to make a true confession, 
making them as ugly as may be, particularly naming them, 
this is a sure sign that thou trustest in God. Contrary- 
wise the hypocrite ; he cannot for his life make a true 
confession : let him make what flourish he will at some- 
times, yet when he is alone, and no creature present, 
there is no such matter ; these things trouble not him. Or 
if he pray, yet he never cometh near to the cutting of the 
throat of his many corruptions, and darling sins ; because 
he cannot trust so in God as the godly, who, resisting 
unto the blood, strive to keep all his commandments, being 
sure thereby that their portion is in all the free promises of 

The second note of this trust, whereby God's children 

" 1 John, chap. 1. ver. 9. 


are discerned from hypocrites, is to try how outward things 
work upon them, what estimation they have of them. 
1. To see what trust they have in riches, how they are 
affected in tlie loss of these outward things ; for if thy 
treasure be in heaven, thou wilt not pass what cometh, so 
that thou mayest win Christ, thy riches being with him, 
where neither the moth can come to consume, nor the thief 
to steal. And let this be a sure rule to discern of this 
trust, that the trust which is truly reposed upon God is 
mingled with nothing else. So it is said, " Thef rich man's 
wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own 
conceit." But, quite contrary, to the godly he saith, 
" The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous 
runneth unto it, and is safe." If the faithful soul can but 
enjoy Christ, it is enough unto it, it cleaveth unto him, 
runneth unto him, trusteth in him, and nothing which 
can come dismayeth it, so long as it possesseth this strong 
tower. The young rich man, we know'' he had good be- 
ginnings, had gone a great way in Christianity ; yet, 
hearing that he must now forego his idol wherein he 
trusted, now only to trust in God, this soundeth but harsh- 
ly in his ears, his many possessions and riches made him 
go away sorrowful. By riches he lost this goodly inheri- 
tance of the saints. 

Let our anchor therefore now be to try ourselves, and 
our estates, how we stand affected, and trust in these out- 
ward, perishing things ; what trust we have in riches, how 
we are affected in losses. For if our anchor be pitched 
within the veil, these things will not so much as move us 
to any distrustful care, when the wicked (who are wedded 
to the god of this world) for every little cross and loss are 
ready to go out of their wits. To such worldlings, what- 
soever they are, the Holy Ghost to Timothy, warneth 
them to forsake these riches, trusting in God. " Charge"' 
them," saith he, " that are rich in this world, that they be 
not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the 
living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy." 

f Prov. chap. 18. ver. 10, 11. 'i Matt. chap. 19. ver. 21. 

' 1 Tim. chap. 6. ver. 17. 


Let us then strive to settle our trust from these earthly 
things upon the living God, and we shall then obtain a 
most blessed estate. 

Thirdly, a sure mark of this trust is, to try how we are 
affected with outward dangers, whether then we will rely 
upon God, or run unto other helps. This is a sound trial, 
if in outward dangers we can fly unto God as unto our 
stronghold, trusting in him ; but if again we will forsake 
him, and trust in any earthly helps, the Lord taketh it as 
an high indignity unto him. Example of both we have in 
king Asa" : for when Zerah, king of Ethiopia, with ten 
hundred thousand men, came out against him, yet (the text 
saith) he fainted not. But what doth he ? " Then Asa 
cried unto the Lord his God, and said. Lord, it is nothing 
with thee, to help whether with many or with them that 
have no power. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest 
on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. 
O Lord, thou art our God ; let not man prevail against 
thee." Thus Asa, trusting in God, found wonderful de- 
liverance ; for saith the text, " The Lord smote the Ethio- 
pians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians 
fled." So certainly shall all our enemies, if we trust in 
him, they shall all fly before us; only, let us trust in 
God with all our hearts, and then certainly these enemies, 
who already are begun to fall before us, even all the ene- 
mies of our salvation, shall at length be overthrown, be- 
cause if we trust in God he fighteth for us. But like unto 
many of us, who begin well, but fainting by the way, this 
good king doth not continue constant. In place of this 
former trust, he now again distrusteth the Lord. When 
Baasha, king of Israel, not so potent an enemy, came 
against him a little after, then he sendeth the treasures of 
the house of God unto Benhadad, king of Aram, for a 
present, that he might come to his aid' ; he now trusteth 
the king of Aram in place of God. Well, what followed 
this ? Hanani the seer cometh unto him from God, say- 
ing, " Because thou hast rested upon the king of Aram, 

■ 2 Chron. chap. 14. ver. 11. ' 2 Chron. chap. 16. ver. 1. 


and not relied on the Lord thy God, therefore is the 
host of the king- of Aram escaped out of thine hand. The 
Ethiopians and the Lubims, were they not a strong host, 
with chariots and horsemen exceeding many, yet because 
thou didst rest upon the Lord, he delivered them into thine 
hand. For the eyes of the Lord behold all the earth, to 
show himself strong unto all them who are of perfect heart 
towards him : thou hast then done foolishly in this : from 
henceforth thou shalt have wars." Beloved, we see that if 
we rely in any thing else, save in God, if we trust in any 
thing else, what do we but forsake God, setting up an idol 
in our hearts in place of him? Nay, nay ; as thou trustest 
in God, so must thou rely only upon him, and nothing 
else. As his must be all the glory of our deliverance, so 
must he be the sole object of our trust, it must be mingled 
with nothinar else. 

A fourth and further sure mark of this trust is, to see 
whether in the course of our life we can rely upon God's 
providence, to see if now that we have trusted him for 
ourselves, we can also trust his providence in things to 
come. Canst thou trust his providence for thy wife and 
children ; canst thou rest assured that thy God will pro- 
vide for all their necessities ; canst thou give them freely 
over unto his providence ? Canst thou be content not to 
care for to-morrow, but let it care for itself, and so forth in 
all other things, dost thou trust in his providence ? O 
this is a blessed estate ; it is a sure sign thy trusting is 

But, may some say. What, must we then leave off all 
caring, and only trust ? I say no. Thou must not leave 
to use the means, but thou must shake off this distrustful 
care, being assured, that God in thy honest endeavours 
will bless the means. Thou must trust that he will bring 
it to pass, committing thy way unto him. Therefore 
although thou use the means, yet must he only be trusted 
with the blessing and issue of the same : thou must trust 
him in all things. He who trusteth him not in all things, 
trusteth not God at all. The true child of God, therefore, 
who must trust God in higher matters of eternity, salva- 




tion, and the life to come, he must much more rely upon 
him for the small things of this earth. We are taught by 
our Saviour Christ, to trust in God and pray for our daily 
bread. Now, he who will not trust God in this, that man 
trusteth not in God at all. For, trust thou God for one 
thing, thou must as certainly rely upon him for all. The 
like argument is in the love of our brother. If we trust in 
God, and love him, we must also love the brethren. If 
we say we trust in him, and yet love not them, there is no 
truth in us. He who loveth the brethren, must needs 
trust and love God ; for unless he trusted in God, it were 
not possible for him to love the brethren. By this love of 
God's children, we are assured, that " we abide in the 
light," yea, " that' we are transported from death to life." 
And this is our joy, that, as it is in the third epistle, " We^ 
walk altogether in verity." Some may object, that such 
are most contemned, who thus trust and rely upon God ; 
they in the eyes of men are most contemned. But no 
matter what they do or say, we know that the whole world 
lieth in blindness, unless with us they find Christ, and 
trust in him. We know that if we rely upon him, he hath 
commanded us to be of good comfort, for he hath overcome 
the world ; and^ in him shall we be more than conquerors 
in all these things. 

Let us therefore trust perfectly in that grace which is 
brought unto us, when all comforts seem to^be absent, 
assuring ourselves that so long as Christ vouchsafeth to 
call us brethren, so long are we in a most blessed estate. 
So long as he taketh us by the hand, presenting us without 
spot and blameless (by his righteousness made perfect) unto 
the Father, saying, Behold", here am I, and the children 
which thou hast given me, so long let us fear nothing. 
Let us go on constantly in this trust, " stLH* looking unto 
Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the glory 
which was set before him, endured the cross, and despised 
the shame, and is set at the right hand of God, in the 

» 1 John, chap. 3. ver. 14. ! 3 John, ver. 3. 

* Rom. chap. 8. ver. 37. * Heb. chap. 2. ver. 13. 

J- Heb. chap. 12. ver. 2. 



throne of God." If we be constant in this trusting in God, 
he hath promised that if we overcome, so shall we sit with 
him in his throne, as he overcame, and sitteth with the 
Father in his throne. Which that we may all do, let 
us now earnestly call upon God, for his own and our 
Christ's sake, that we may attain to this high degree of 
Christianity, to trust in God with all our hearts, that so 
mercy may compass us. To whom with the Father and 
his blessed Spirit, be all honour, glory, power, might, ma- 
jesty and dominion, now and evermore. Amen. 

G G 2 




Psalm XXXII. ver. 11. 

Be glad, ye righteous, and rejoice in the Loid, and be joyful (or shout for joy) 
all ye that are upright of heart. 

I HAVE formerly declared unto you the end and scope of 
this psalm, that it was a psalm of instruction, wherein the 
whole drift of the prophet is, to show how a man in this 
life might attain to perfect blessedness ; so that he pro- 
poundeth, for a most infallible ground thereof, a blessed 
man only to be he who hath his sins forgiven unto him, 
sealed, as it were, with the great seal of heaven, having 
obtained (although with much strife) peace with God. 
Therefore I show unto you how the prophet having laid 
this general ground, proceedeth to the application thereof, 
where knowing that he had to meet with two sorts of men ; 
the wicked first, who are always froward, and negligent in 
the ways of God ; whom he compareth to horses and mules 
for their hardness of heart ; — the godly next, who have 
tender hearts, striving to love and trust in God ; those he 
comforteth with assurance that mercy shall compass them, 
though the wicked would have many sorrows ; where I 
show you that the prophet telleth them, that if they would 
follow the example of his experience, he would guide them 
in the right way, even in all their actions, if to learn at 
him, they should make use of God's mercies. But the 
prophet thereafter (as I show you) changeth his style, 
knowing, that for the most part mercies are preached in 
vain unto the wicked. First*" (to make them inexcusable) 
having forewarned them not to be as horses and mules, 

» Psalm 32. ver. 8. >> Ibid. ver. 9. 


hard-hearted creatures, lest the Lord at length should curb 
and bind them with bit and bridle, showing his mighty 
power in taming their rebellion ; if, notwithstanding all 
these instructions, they would still continue as horses and 
mules, next he proceedeth to threaten them with many 
sorrows. 1 showed you here how exceeding cross it was 
for flesh and blood to overcome so many lets as seemed to 
be in their way ; to overcome and master affections, crucify 
darling sins, and being altogether poor and empty of any 
feeling in ourselves, to rely upon God, and sue unto the 
throne of grace, as it were in forma pauperis. For we are 
all of that nature, that we delight rather to run into any 
other wandering by-paths, than to have recourse unto God 
in the time of tentations. 

Yet must we learn not to strive against God, but rather 
to hang upon him by faith, forcing acquaintance upon him. 
Otherwise, if we will not, 1 showed you how in the tenth 
verse the prophet threateneth unto them many sorrows, 
wherein he comprehendeth all manner of sorrows, both in 
this life, and that to come, in soul and body, in the depri- 
vation of so infinite eternal joys, and the fruition of so many 
and so infinite torments in hell-fire for ever, where the jus- 
tice of God should set his mighty power on fire for their 
eternal torments, being glorified in their destruction. And 
therefore, although the wicked in this life of all men seem 
to have fewest sorrows, having the abundance of all earthly 
things, as though they were the only men who had cause 
to rejoice. Yet let none of you be discouraged, although 
the wicked flourish like a palm tree : for if thou couldest 
but look unto the fearful hearts of most of them, and see 
how many sorrows do incessantly gnaw and torture their 
fearful consciences, and their miserable estate, who without 
the Lord's infinite mercy, are but like oxen fed for the 
devil, hast thou, I pray thee, any cause to envy their es- 
tate ? Nay, rather look unto thine own most happy and 
blessed estate, which the prophet (having threatened them) 
comforteth thee withal ; that mercy" shall compass thee. 

<= Psalm 32. ver. S. 



Which (as I showed you) although it be but a short word 
of few syllables, yet it comprehendeth all manner of mer- 
cies, that are possible to be imagined, both in this life, and 
in that to come, being freed from all evils, and kept for the 
abundance of all mercies, even all which so wonderful and 
so loving a God, is able to give unto thee. 

O consider, if this be no small mercy to be thus com- 
passed, when the wicked shall have many sorrows, with 
infinite and unspeakable torments ; when the Lord shall like 
a mighty giant so often break, bruise and tear them in pieces 
every moment, yet as it were healing them again, that his 
wrath may but increase upon them with more fury than ever. 

But it may be, that thou reply, I am fearful and weak, 
and full of infirmities, I cannot go and find these assurances 
of God's mercies in myself, nor that I am thus compassed 
with mercy. Yet, I say, fear not, what thou wantest thou 
shalt have. Only wait, trusting in him, and remember 
what the Lord answered St. Paul, " My* power is made 
perfect in weakness.'' Therefore, although thou canst not 
see how this work is wrought, yet trust thou in God ; he 
hath said it is so ; others have found it so ; and thou at the 
length, if thou be patient, shalt also find the same. 

In the meantime, seeing thou art not altogether over- 
thrown of the devil, but hast some power to resist, assure 
thyself, that this mercy of thy God doth compass thee ; and 
think this a marvellous mercy, that thy God is thus a 
shield to keep thee. Nay, what speak 1 of this mercy ? 
It is further amplified for the comfort of God's children by 
the prophet. " Yet'', therefore, will the Lord wait, that he 
may have mercy upon you, and therefore will he be ex- 
alted, that he may have compassion upon you." Here is a 
marvellous and wonderful mercy, that the Lord will attend 
and wait upon his children, being near to help in their 
greatest miseries, like unto one watching an opportunity or 
fit time, when to do his friend a kindness. So that now we 
need not to fear his absence, if we trust in him, for behold 
he waiteth but to have a fit time to show mercies unto his 

■' 2 Cor. chap. 12. vcr. 9. « Isa. chap. 30. ver. 18. 


children. As a most bountiful King, accounting it greatly 
to his honour to reward such richly, who trust and rely 
only in him. 

From hence I proceeded to show to whom this mercy 
belongeth, even only unto such who forsaking and going 
out of themselves, when there appeareth no sense of love or 
mercy, could yet, wholly forsaking themselves, by faith 
lay hold upon Christ, casting and fastening the anchor of 
their hope within the vail, even in the Holy of holies, so 
relying upon him ; from whence I grounded this point of 
doctrine. That only he was a wicked man, not he who did 
sin and live like unto other wicked men : but he who unto 
all his other sins addeth impenitency, refusing to trust in 
God, or lay hold of the free promises of mercy in Christ. 
For the Lord, of all other sins, taketh this for a most hei- 
nous oifence, not to trust in him ; the reason whereof is, 
because this trusting in God is that plaister which the Lord 
useth, and hath appointed to cure and bind up our chiefest 
sores, and heal them. No marvel then, when this sove- 
reign balm of Gilead is gone, that then our diseases and 
wounds prove deadly. 

The use whereof I told you was to examine ourselves, 
whether or not we had hearts to trust in God, to rely upon 
his promises, and then howsoever we be clothed with many 
imperfections, yet such might assure themselves that they 
were no wicked men. Again to the godly, that howsoever 
now they were full of sorrow, sowing their seed in tears, 
yet not to be discouraged, but to look upon the end, which 
should be joyful, not being so much turmoiled with the 
present state of things. 

Now to proceed in my text, now read. The prophet 
having a little before denounced God's judgments unto the 
wicked ; who because they do seldom profit by the same 
(howsoever they are made inexcusable thereby), leaving 
them, therefore, going on now in this eleventh verse, in 
comforting those who indeed are most ready to make use of 
his instructions and all God's mercies. Who because in the 
former verse he showed were compassed with God's mercies, 
he now wakeneth up in this verse, with a double alarum. 



Be glad, rejoice ; adding yet again a third charge to awaken 
them thoroughly. Be joyful (or as it is in the original) shout 
for joy all ye that are upright of heart. 

Surely the Holy Ghost well knew here the dulness of 
our hearts, and that it is not an easy thing to rejoice here 
in this valley of tears, when to awaken us thoroughly to 
this rejoicing he soundeth thrice the alarum, with a shout 
at last. For God's children, howsoever they are assured, 
and know, and look for a day wherein all tears shall be 
wiped from their eyes, whereby they shall be freed from all 
miseries, being received into infinite joys, yet being hereto 
encountered with all the enemies of their salvation, the 
world, the flesh, and the devil (their greatest enemies being 
within themselves), their feeling and sense of God's love 
many times being removed, and those comforts which they 
expect long delayed ; it is not, I say, so easy a thing (as 
some think it) to rejoice. Yet what must they do ? Still 
they must trust in God ; feed upon the promises, and the 
fidelity of the promiser in patience. And then at length 
for all their sorrows, they shall have abundance of joy in 
the midst thereof; " mercy shall compass them." And how- 
soever the wicked think the life of God's children full of 
heaviness, and uncomfortable, yet indeed their life, of all 
other, is most cheerful, wherein they ought to rejoice. 
Which point the prophet here groundeth as an infallible 
doctrine. That it is the privilege and sole property of the 
children of God, who trust in him alone, not only to have 
the only true joy, but also the abundance and height of joy, 
rejoicing in the midst of afflictions, and therefore he willeth 
them to rejoice, and rejoice again and again. Wherein we 
may perceive that he directly crosseth the common opinion, 
that the life of Christianity is such a tedious task, and un- 
comfortable life full of sorrows, a narrow way, with a num- 
ber of other imputations of the like sort ; by the contrary 
proving, that none can truly rejoice, but he who is a godly 
man, who is compassed with mercy, who hath obtained 
peace of conscience by a quietus est from heaven, viz., a 
free discharge and acquittance of all former debts; this man 
only hath true joy and sound cause of rejoicing, so that he 


now triumpheth over all afflictions. This St. Paul in the 
6th of the Romans well proveth. Who, although he begin 
the Epistle with terror in the first and second chapters, yet 
having in the third and fourth chapters brought us from 
ourselves, without any merit in us, to rely wholly by faith 
on Christ ; in the beginning of the fifth chapter he saith, 
so then being justified by faith, that is, without any merits 
or worthiness in ourselves, having by faith apprehended and 
laid hold of Christ and his righteousness. I confess there 
is a marvellous strife in this action, when the strong man is 
to be cast out, he rageth, and keepeth much ado, when 
these passions and desires of ours must be subdued by faith : 
yet what of all this ? So much the more should we strive 
to overcome, looking upon this which ensueth. And what 
is that? " Being justified (saith the Apostle) by faith, we 
have peace towards God through our Lord Jesus Christ." 
Howsoever before we were tossed in piteous storms, and 
were afraid that we should make a final shipwreck of our 
salvation (as commonly God's children do when they part 
from this world) howsoever now, whilst the devil is to be 
thrust out, and the strong man dispossessed, there is much 
ado and much strife within a man, yet when a stronger than 
he Cometh, having bound him, there is such peace with God 
as passeth all understanding. So, what followeth this our 
strife, we have peace, even a marvellous peace in Christ. 
O how should this peace be desired, which being once 
settled, there followeth abundance of joy. But what more? 
Here is a further matter. After this peace (saith he) through 
Christ is once settled, there is matter of abundance of joy. 
" By whom we have access through faith into this grace." 
So that faith, having once apprehended Christ, whereupon 
his peace is settled, then is there unto the faithful soul 
granted this third thing, even an access through Christ 
with boldness unto the throne of grace. And then (mark 
the degrees) " wherein we stand, and rejoice under the hope 
of the glory of God." 

Behold how, now in the fourth place, it is (saith he) even 
this free access by faith, whereby we stand, grounded on 
the former peace and apprehension of Christ, after which 


(saith he) we come to rejoice under the hope of the glory 
of God. Behold, I say, how now in the fourth place, 
cometh this rejoicing under the hope of the glory of God. 
Here is matter of true joy, for now hope, being thus 
grounded, casteth her anchor within the vail, into the Holy 
of holies, there laying so sure hold upon Christ, that nei- 
ther height nor depth, principalities, nor powers, things pre- 
sent, nor things to come, is able to make it finally loose that 
hold again. Then, I say, in this, there is again and again 
rejoice. Yet our apostle mounteth higher, and as the most 
exceeding excellency of Christian joy, he saith, " Neither 
do we so only, but also we rejoice in tribulations." Here is 
both the wonder and the excellency of the joy, to rejoice in 
trouble. This joy no wicked man can have, nor yet any 
true access unto God, because they are strangers unto him, 
and therefore have no acquaintance or familiarity with God. 
But his children not only rejoice under the hope of the 
glory, but also in tribulations, and crosses. But the joy 
of the wicked, although it make a fair show for a while, yet 
is it quickly gone, being builded upon a false foundation. 
For this peace and rejoicing, which we speak of, and which 
the prophet and apostle mentioneth, none can attain unto, 
but he who hath cast (by hoping and trusting in God) his 
anchor in heaven, within the Holy of holies, those can and 
do rejoice this true and great joy, even in tribulations. For 
as wood and timber do serve to augment the flame, so these 
tribulations and crosses unto them are but the fuel to in- 
crease the flame of their joy, considering what wonderful 
experiences of God's love they have by their continual de- 
liverances, and hope of the glory to come, as St. James tell- 
eth us, " Blessed' is the man who endureth temptation, for 
when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life." There- 
fore let us remember in any fiery trial, what the Lord's in- 
tention is therein ; for he never bestoweth any grace upon 
any of his children, but at one time or other he putteth it 
to a sound trial. 

In such extremities, therefore, we must not be dismayed, 

' James, chap. 1. ver. 12. 


as though the Lord had forsaken us, but rather to think that 
the Lord is causing us then to repeat our lessons, that we 
might rejoice so much the more in knowing of ourselves, as 
St. James speaketh, " Mys brethren count it exceeding joy 
when you fall into exceeding temptations, knowing that the 
trial of your faith bringeth forth patience." Thus our faith 
being tried bringeth wonderful comfort to the soul of a man ; 
when we have experience of it, it ministers great comfort 
unto us. The joy of God's children is so great and firm, 
that the greatest tribulation that can befal them in this 
world (ianuot put it away, but is a means to increase the 
same; which thing the apostle Peter further confirmeth, 
saying, that'' they are " begotten again unto a lively hope, 
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an in- 
heritance immortal and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, 
reserved in the heavens for you which are kept by the power 
of God through faith unto salvation ; which is prepared to 
be showed in the last time." The ground that the apostle 
aimeth at is, that although we are tossed up and down in 
our own eyes, by many tentfitions and trials, yet that we 
should rest assuredly in hope not to be overcome of them ; 
seeing there is an eternal crown of glory reserved for us in 
heaven, and that we also are reserved for it, by the power 
of God, so that now we are not our own keepers, as 
Adam was, but are reserved and kept unto this life, by the 
mighty power of God, with whom our life is hid in Christ ; 
the one is as sure and sound as the other, that we may now 
say, it dependeth not upon my power or watchfulness, not 
upon my weak arm, for the Lord's power is engaged in it, 
and by him I stand. Do I sin and fall ? Why then I 
know there is a stronger hand to uphold me. The power 
of God shall keep me to salvation. Here is a sure ground 
of comfort. 

Therefore when we see this sin, or these and these sins to 
leave us, falling unto the ground before us, rest then as- 
sured, that it is this mighty power of God, whereby it is 
done; therefore, rejoicing in God, assuring yourselves, that 

s James, chap. 1. ver. 2. '' I Pet. chap. 1. ver. 3, 4, 5. 



both your salvation is sure (although it be locked up in the 
heavens), and you are as surely reserved until the last time 
for it by the mighty power of God ; so that unless any be 
able to bereave God of his power, and pull him from hea- 
ven, none is able to bereave you of this salvation. From 
whence this foundation being laid, that God's children are 
in the state of grace, and shall continue unto the end ; the 
apostle proceedeth, wherein' (saith he) we rejoice. But 
because this joy cometh with many troubles in this world, 
although it be so, yet shall they not hinder it, wherein ye 
rejoice (saith the apostle) though now for a season (if need 
require) you are in heaviness, through manifold tentations. 
Where let us mark the difference of the estate of God's chil- 
dren, being compared with the wicked man's joy : let the 
wicked man be at the merriest, yet, as the wiseman speak- 
eth, " even'' in laughing his heart is sorrowful, and the end 
of that mirth is heaviness ;" so that they can never certainly 
have any true joy, but one thing or other abateth it. And 
it is further said, " That' which the wicked feareth, it shall 
come upon him." So that whatsoever fair show he make, 
yet is he full of fears, all his joys are mingled with gall, 
yea full thereof. No™ peace (saith my God) to the wicked. 
But the joy which is in God's children, that is far more ex- 
cellent, their greatest sorrows have some portion of joy, 
contrary to the wicked. Because" (saith the apostle) " that 
the trial of your faith might be made much more precious 
than gold that perisheth, and might be found to your praise." 
Why should then the tribulations of this world hinder their 
joy and glory, whereas they come for their good ? And 
therefore it foUoweth in the next verse, "whom" ye have not 
seen, and yet love him, in whom now though you see him 
not, yet do ye believe, and rejoice with joy unspeakable 
and glorious ; receiving the end of your faith, even the sal- 
vation of your souls." Mark here is a wonderful point, and 
certainly if thou canst find it in thine heart, blessed is thine 

' 1 Pet. chap. 1. ver. 6. '' Pfov. chap. 14. ver. 13. 

' Prov. chap. 10. ver. 24. "' Isai. chap. 48. ver. 22. 

n 1 Pet, chap. 1. ver. 7. ° Ibid. ver. 8. 


estate, there is Jesus Christ, a man whom I find I never 
saw, and yet 1 find that I love him notwithstanding won- 
derfully. We say commonly that sight is the original of 
love, and out of sight, far from affection. But when faith 
Cometh into the heart of a man, though he himself never 
beheld Christ, who is now ascended into heaven, yet he 
loveth him, and what love is this ? Why a love which 
filleth our hearts full of unspeakable joy. Whom you have 
not seen, and yet love him, rejoicing with joy unspeaka- 
ble and glorious. And indeed here is the end of all our 
Gospel, to bring unto many this fulness of joy. This joy 
is only proper to the godly (although I confess mingled 
with sorrows) yet have they still so much joy, which at 
last swalloweth up all their sorrows, in endless joys, having 
the fulness of joy. So St. John speaketh, " These^ things 
write I unto you that your joy may be full." Yea this is 
(as I have said) the end of our Gospel, of all our preaching, 
the message of angels, which we have heard from the be- 
ginning, that we might have this fulness of joy. This joy 
cometh by apprehending of Christ by a true and lively faith 
constantly. So that now the point being proved of this 
point of doctrine, that it is only the proper estate of God's 
children to rejoice and have true joy in this life. " Be glad 
then ye righteous, and rejoice in the Lord, and shout for 
joy all ye that are upright of heart." 

This serveth to reprove the gross blockish hardhearted- 
ness, and error of most part of the worldlings, who will 
believe no more than they are able to see and conceive. 
Say they, What is this he telleth me of these and these joys 
in another world to come ? To pursue a flying shadow, 
must I enter into so strict a course of life ? Must I let go 
all my pleasures in this life for hopes only ? Shall I forego 
a bird in the hand for one in the bush ? I will not. O 
fool, stay but a litile, and thou shalt see a great change. 
Thou lookest indeed upon the present state of things ; but 
I tell thee, but one minute of the joys of the godly is 
worth all the pleasures a wicked man enjoyeth. O miserable 

P John, chap. 1. ver. 4. 



man, have but a little faith, and I dare presume that (if 
thou follow this narrow way) thou shalt have a true joy in 
place of the shadow. They think this worldly joy is the 
only joy indeed, yet are they deceived. And therefore, if 
a man would have true joy, let him labour to obtain the 
mercy of God, to be found in Christ ; let him labour to 
have his heart fixed upon him, and he shall then have a 
comfortable passage out of this life, and shall be joyful 
indeed, if you have peace with God. 

You see the Apostle Peter's exhortation, " Ifi any man 
long after life and to see good days, let him refrain his 
tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile; 
let him pursue peace and follow after it, eschew evil and do 
good." He knew, that many men would desire to see 
long days ; which is the cause that so many do cark and 
care, toil and labour, spend themselves and break their 
sleep. Well therefore (saith the apostle) if ye would see 
good days in good earnest, eschew evil and seek after that 
which is good. Let them labour for a true sanctified heart ; 
for only such can have true joy. Be glad ye righteous, 
shout for joy all ye that are upright of heart. Labour then 
to have thy heart upright, to be friends and at peace with 
God, and then thou shalt have good days and follow after 
peace. O but, say many of God's children, indeed perhaps 
I would be brought to rejoice in God, but this joy doth 
not abide with me long ; I meet with the sons of Anak in 
my way, many crosses, mocks, disgraces, afflictions, the 
which hinder and interrupt this joy, that I cannot attain to 
this rejoicing, but still one cross is attended with another, 
and when I think to rejoice, it flieth from me. Yet we see 
the apostle he propoundeth it, as a thing that is running 
away ; therefore, if peace be running away, see that thou 
follow hard after it, follow it close at the heels, for there- 
fore it flieth, that thou mayest follow after it, that thou 
mayest pursue it. Then follow and pursue thou close after 
it, and at last thou shalt find that all these supposed lets 
shall but settle, and be in the end the procurers and keep- 
ers of this peace and joy, 

1 1 Pet. chap. 3. ver. 10. 


Now, to have this peace and joy it shall be an espe- 
cial thing to consider, how to discern the joy and peace 
of God's children from that of worldlings, which is but 
an image of joy. This may be seen by the ground of 
this joy. Be glad, and rejoice ye righteous. In whom? 
Why in the Lord. That is the point whereby a man 
must examine himself, whether the ground of his joy be 
fixed merely upon Almighty God ; and not so much upon 
the gift of God, not so much for the gift as for God 
himself. God bestoweth riches upon his children, and I 
deny not but that they may rejoice in them, yet not so 
much for the gift as because they are the gift of God, in 
that respect, because they love any thing which cometh 
from his hand who is so loving a Father, because they are 
given of such a one as he is. So that now put the case of 
a righteous man's and a worldling's rejoicing together: 
then observe, the one rejoiceth only in God, the other in 
the gift. For example, the wicked he rejoiceth ; but doth he 
rejoice in the Lord? No. For let God take away that 
which was the cause of his joy, and his joy perisheth. Is 
there a man who rejoiceth in his riches and promotion, 
howsoever he adjudgeth it to be the gift of God, yet doth 
he rejoice in the gift alone, and not in God. It may be 
thus tried ; for take away that man's riches and preferment, 
and then away goeth his joy ; but it is otherwise with 
God's children. The righteous rejoice, not only when 
they have good things, but also when they are taken 
away. And consider for a second point, to try the truth of 
this joy, that as a man may discern a difference of this joy 
in outward things ; so secondly. 

For the trial of this joy, 

Let him compare his joy in outward things with his 
inward rejoicing, and let him put both in the scales, 
weighing the one with the other. There are some who 
when wealth flows unto them, may by their countenance 
be discerned, that they have many joys, are well pleased, 
and the like. Consider now then hath God lifted up the 
light of his countenance upon thee, and canst thou esteem 



more of his favour than of a kingdom ? If thou rejoicest 
in the favour and loving countenance of God, and his 
kindness, this is an argument, that thou hast that true 
comfort which cannot be taken from thee. For proof where- 
of, look Psalm 4. There is a man who saith, " Who'' will 
show us any good ?" Every man doth wish good things, 
and what a great estate would I have ? Well, suppose 
thou wert put to thy choice. What then ? I know thou 
wilt say, I desire riches. But David saith. If I might 
have my wish, I would say, " Lord, lift thou up the light of 
thy countenance upon me." 

Here we may try whether our joy be sound. That if it 
were put to our hearts' desires and choice, whether we 
would have all the wealth in the world come upon us, our 
barns and wine-presses filled with corn, wine, and oil ; or 
the Lord to kiss us with the kisses of his mouth, to have 
his gracious countenance to look upon us, preferring his 
favour before a world of wealth ; if we choose rather to 
have the light of his countenance to shine upon us, than 
the troublesome abundance of the wicked, this is an argu- 
ment, that our joy is sound and good. Thus you see, if 
the streams of grace, the narrow way, the house of mourn- 
ing, the love of God, be the cause and ground of our joy, 
preferring it before all things, then assure thyself to be 
in good estate, and thy rejoicing to be true joy. And 
thus, when we find our joy to be good, we must likewise 

How to keep this joy. 

For certainly there are many of God's children, who 
although they have cause to rejoice, yet many times they 
grieve and sit in sorrow, because they keep not that great 
treasure committed to them. Well then, what is the ground 
of this joy? Trust in God: rejoice ye righteous. Now 
when God's children forget the ground of true joy, their 
resting upon God, when they repose not themselves upon 
him, it is no marvel, it is no marvel, if they forget and 
lose their joy for a time ; for look, in what moment of time 

' Psalm 4. ver. 6. 



thou diminishest the least part of thy trust, so also pe- 
risheth thy joy ; and as thy trust in God increaseth, so 
shall thy joy. Some object and say, What is the cause 
that God's children mourn so, and will not be comforted ? 
I answer, sure it is, when they look for comfort in them- 
selves, they cannot choose but then miss thereof. When 
we shall say, I am a miserable and wretched man, I find 
nothing in myself answerable to that perfect obedience, 
sanctification, and holiness of life, which the Lord requir- 
eth, and therefore fear, lest the Lord should not be merci- 
ful unto me. Now when as men make the perfection of 
their own goodness, or the virtues within themselves, to be 
the motives which move God to be merciful unto them, no 
marvel, if they take away for the time true joy. For the 
foundation of true joy is, when without anything in our- 
selves, we repose and trust ourselves in Almighty God. 
Therefore so long as, like importunate beggars, we will 
not be beaten back, nor take our nay say, but the rather, 
the more miserable we are ourselves, will take so much the 
faster hold on Christ, apprehending the several parts of his 
precious redemption unto our sick souls, and apply the 
same, following him along from his birth to his second 
coming ; so long as we can (losing good manners) thrust 
in boldly, thirsting after the water of life, so long shall we 
be sure, whatsoever our feeling be, to keep joy, and no 
longer, so soon as a man slacks in this, so soon goes away 
his joy. And so much the rather ought we to trust in 
God thus to maintain our joy, because God is the founder 
of this banquet, he makes this feast for us. Well, we must 
then labour to be thankful and respective to the Benefac- 
tor, we must labour to please God ; for as it is a property 
in his children to trust in him, so also is it a property in 
them to please him, that he may take delight in the show-