¶The Minde of the FRONT.

THis CONSTANT compleat Souldier doth oppose
The Failing World, the Infecting Flesh, the Diuell
In Iesuited. Angel-shape: Three foes
Deadly, [...] tempting men to Euill.
Christ comforts with his own name-ensign'd Ensigne;
And crowneth his owne victory in fine.
Back-sliding IVLIAN is at peace with Hell;
Conflicts with heauen; the knowne truth doth despight;
Whom Christs victorious Banner doth compell
To yeeld the glorious Conqueror his right.
Snares, Swords, Fire, Brimstone, are his fearefull lot;
He now feeles him, whom earst he feared not.
Selfe-strangling Iudas, and selfe-stabbing Saul,
Stand euerlasting Pillars of Despaire,
To warne Succession of their dreadfull fall,
Neuer to be repair'd by faithfull Prayer:
Yet Heau'ns three yeeres and six month congeal'd f [...]st
Elias feruent prayer thaw'd at last.

THE Whole Armour of GOD. OR A Christians Spirituall Furniture, to keep him safe frō all the assaults of Satan.

The second Edition corrected & inlar­ged: whereunto is added a Treatise of the Sin against the Holy Ghost.

By William Gouge.

Resist ye Diuell and hee will flee frō thee. Iam. 4. 7.

Imprinted at London by Iohn Beale. 1619.

The reward of the righteous A CHRISTIAN ARMED In this victory

The reward of the wicked AN APOSTAT CONFOVNDED By This confusion

Of Salvation Of the Spirit Of Righteousne [...] Truth Of the Preparatio [...] Of the Gospel Of Faith CONSTANTINE

Thou hast overcome a Galilean New Testament IVLIAN

The power of prayer De­ceiveth Fail­eth Infect­eth Desparation

To the right Honourable, Sr SEBASTIAN HARVY Knight, Lord Maior of the Honourable Citie of London, and to the right Worshipfull Aldermen and Sheriffes his Brethren, and to the right Worshipfull Mr Recorder, together with the whole estate of the said City, all true happinesse.

Right Honourable, Right Worshipfull;

YOur Honour and Worships being (by the good guiding prouidence of GOD) the Generall, Cap­taines, and Liefetenants of this Metropolis, this chiefe City & Castle of the Kingdome, wherein (by the same Prouidence) I am (thogh one of the meanest, yet) one of the Watchmen; To whom ought I rather to present these fruits of my Watchmans function, then vnto your Honour and Worships? As duty in regard of your pla­ces, so gratefulnesse also in regard of your kindnesses, re­quires as much. My Father, Grandfather, and other Prede­cessors, haue of old from time to time beene beholding to this Honourable City: the kindnesse which they formerly receiued, is still continued to mee. Which as I doe with all humble thankfulnesse acknowledge, so from my heart I desire the Almighty to remember your Honor and Worships, together with the whole estate of this Honourable City, in goodnesse, and not to wipe out the kindnesse which is shewed to the Ministers of his Word, and to poore distressed people. Long hath the Gospell beene purely, powerfully, plentifully preached in this honourable City, and great countenance and maintenance hath by many therein beene giuen thereunto. Good orders haue within these later yeeres beene taken for the better sanctifying of the Lords Sabbath. Much reliefe is from time to time giuen to the poore. These and such like workes of Piety and Charity, are the beauty, honour, strength, and wealth of this City. I denie not, but that in the outward[Page] politicke gouernment of this great Corporation, and the many seuerall Companies therein, London may be accounted the glo­rie of the earth. But the things which make it exceed in glory, are, the faire houses of Prayer and preaching the Word; the great Assemblies of Gods people frequenting the same to worship God: the spacious Hospitals and places of Charity, together with the liberall prouision therein made for reliefe of poore children and orphants, of aged and impotent men and women, of lame and maimed souldiers, and of many other like succourlesse persons; the thrones of Iustice and Iudge­ment, with the like, wherein London may be compared to Sion the City of God, whereof great and excellent things are spo­ken. Right Honourable and Right Worshipfull, goe on this way, (which is the onely right way) to procure the peace and pros­perity of your City. Let the Ministry of Gods Word be more and more promoted: Let the Lords Sabbaths haue their due obseruations, let the poore be releeued, and the oppressed be succoured; let profane persons and all euill doers (the enemies of Christian Policies) be punished: In a word, let Gods Ordi­nances be aduanced, and right iudgement executed, and so shall London be accounted the City of the great King, where he will delight to dwell, and bestow his blessing. For in these things is God highly honoured: Now God who can and will performe it,1 Sam. 2. 30. hath said it; Them that honour me, will I honour. It lieth much in the power of Magistrates to procure or hinder the blessing of God in those Cities & places ouer which they are set. For they being publike persons, their good deeds are by the wise God publikely rewarded, and their euill deedes publikely reuenged. Right Honourable and Right Worshipfull, accept, I pray you, the duty, and pardon the boldnes of your Watchman. And, O Lord of Lords, doe good to this City of thine, continue the peace and prosperity thereof: so prayeth

Your Honours and Worships in all duty for euer bounden WILLIAM GOVGE.

TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE, RJGHT WORSHIPFVLL, AND OTHER my beloued Parishioners, Inhabitants of the precinct of Blacke-fryers London, Grace in Christ.

Right Honourable, Right Worshipfull, Beloued;

AMong the many great blessings which the Lord hath beene pleased to bestow on me, his poore ser­uant, vnworthy of the least, I account this to be an high Fauour, that he hath put me in his Ser­uice, and appointed me to be one of the Ministers of his Word. Basely is this calling accounted of by the greater, and vulgar sort of people: but my conscience beareth me wit­nesse that I receiue such contentment therein, and hold my selfe so honoured thereby, as I preferre it to all other callings, and am prouoked thereby to giue some euidence of my thankefull accep­tance thereof: which better I know not how to doe, then by im­ploying and improuing to my poore power, the Talent which my Master hath committed to my charge. I am not ignorant how insufficient I am thereunto, [...]. and that not onely in regard of the greatnesse of the worke (whereunto who is sufficient?) but also in comparison of other Ministers, 2 Cor. 2. 16. whom God in great number hath raised vp in these our dayes. Yet withall I know that the great Master accepted the imployment of two talents as well as of fine: Mat. 25. 23. yea, if he that receiued but one talent, had imployed it, euen he also should haue beene accepted: for God, the[Page] righteous Iudge, 2 Tim. 4. 8. neither exacteth, nor expecteth more then he giueth. If there be a willing mind, it is accepted accor­ding to that which a man hath, 2 Cor. 8. 12. and not according to that which he hath not. This is it which moueth me, as by Prea­ching, so also by publishing some part of my labours in Print, to seeke the edification of Gods Church. I account Preaching the most principall part of my function: for this is Christs charge,Mar. 16. 15. Goe preach the Gospell; and this is that Ordinance wherein and whereby God doth ordinarily, and most especially manifest his owne power, and bestow his blessing. This is it therefore which hitherto I haue most attended vpon, and in­tend so to continue as long as God shall affoord mee ability and liberty. Yet I doubt not but Gods people doe also receiue much benefit by sundry Treatises in diuers kinds published in print. For as Preaching is of power especiallie to worke vpon the affe­ctions, so Printing may be one especiall meanes to informe the iudgement.Vox audita pe­rit, littera scripta manet. For that which is Printed lieth by a man, and may againe and againe be read, and throughly pondered, till a man come to conceiue the very depth of that he readeth. Besides, here­in is a great benefit of printing, that the gifts and paines of Gods seruants are made much more common then otherwise they could be: hereby wee partake of the labours of those who haue li­ued in former times, or in other Countries, and whom we could neuer haue heard speake. Now a good thing,Bonum quo communius eo melius. the more common it is, the better it is. It cannot be denied but that knowledge and learning haue wonderfully encreased by the benefit of Printing. Whereas there is a cōmon complaint against multitude of Books, it is for the most part against idle & euill Bookes, or else an vn­iust cōplaint. If it be said, that there can nothing be written, but what hath beene written before, I answer, that though it should be true in regard of the summe and substance of matters, yet in regard of a more full opening, a more perspicuous deliuering, a more euident prouing, a more powerfull vrging and pressing of[Page] points,Aliquid novus ad [...]cit Author. a more fit applying of them to present occasions more and more may be, and daily is added by sundry Authors, whereby the Church of God is much edified. But may not the same argu­ment be alleadged against Preaching? and doe not many al­leadge it? Howsoeuer some, too enuiously minded, censure the meanes which God in mercy hath affoorded for the building vp of the body of Christ Iesus, my desire is euery way to doe what good I can; and therefore I haue beene bold to commit to your eies and reading, some part of that which I haue heretofore com­mended to your eares and hearing. I doe now make a triall of my paines in this kind: if I shall obserue that Gods Church reapeath any benefit thereby, I shall be encouraged to take the more paines hereafter, as I shall find any leasure. I am the seruant of Christ, and of his Church; so long as my life, health, strength, liberty, or any ability is by the good prouidence of God preserued vnto me, my desire is to spend it in the seruice of Christ, and of his Church. Among others I especially entreat you (my beloued Pa­rishioners and Auditors, of what rancke or degree soeuer ye be) in the best part to interpret, and with the best mind to accept these my endeauours; whereby, though I haue aimed at a more generall good, then I could by preaching (hoping that many whom I neuer knew, nor saw, may reape some benefit by my paines) yet especially I intend your good, whose proper and peculiar Minister I am, and for whose soules I watch, as hee that must giue an account. In this triall which I make of pub­lishing some of my meditations, I beginne with the last part of my labors, because they are freshest in your memories that heard them preached, and containe points more largely discussed, and, as I take it, of greater vse then any other, which throughout the course of my Ministry I haue handled. For the time of our life being a time of warre, a time wherein our spirituall enemies (who are many, mighty, malitious, sedulous, and subtile) put forth their strength, and bestir themselues to the vttermost that[Page] possibly they can,1 Pet. 5. 8. Seeking whom to deuoure, what can bee more behoueful, then to discouer their cunning stratagems and wyles, to declare wherein their strength lieth, to furnish Christs Souldiers with compleat armour and sufficient defence, and to shew how our enemies may bee disappointed of their hopes, and we stand fast against all their assaults? This is the scope of this Treatise. The Analysis and Tables which I haue caused to be set before and after the Booke, doe point out the seuerall and di­stinct points contained therein, so as I neede not here make any repetition of them. I haue laboured to bee as perspicuous and briefe as I could, in handling so weighty matters. I haue in ma­ny places deliuered no more then the heads of such points as I largely handled in deliuering them out of the Pulpit: which any may well coniecture to be so, that shall know that the substance of almost an hundred seuerall Sermons is contained in this Treatise. My desire of breuity moued me to referre the quota­tion of most places of Scripture vnto the margent, and to leaue the Text to be searched out by the Reader, which I wish thee to doe as thy leasure will permit thee. To conclude, I com­mend this Treatise to your diligent reading, and fauourable ac­ceptance, my selfe to your Christian prayers, and all of vs to the good grace of God,Church-court in Black-friers London, De­cember 31. 1618. and rest

Your seruant in the Lords worke, WILLIAM GOVGE.

AN ADVERTISEMENT to the Reader.

CHRISTIAN READER,

THE good entertainment which this Treatise of The whole Armour of God, hath found a­mong Gods people, emboldeneth me againe to publish the same. The same it is for sub­stance which thou haddest before: for I find no iust cause to alter any part of the substance thereof. One­ly here and there something hath beene added, to make such points as seemed too concise and obscure, more perspicuous.

Some there were, that finding the head of Fasting in the Table, looked for a distinct and larger discourse of that point, which when they found not (for I did but briefly by the way touch it, as an helpe to Prayer) they entreated mee to take a little more paines thereabout. To their good motion I haue yeelded, and according to my poore abilitie, and little lea­sure, I haue more copiously handled that very-needfull, but too-much-neglected dutie of Fasting.

I was further informed that the point of not praying for them that sinne against the Holy Ghost, would much trouble the consciences of some, if they were not informed in the nature of that sin; and thereupon I haue beene mooued to annex a Treatise concerning that sinne: in handling whereof, lest Sa [...]tan should take aduantage vpon weake consciences, from the[Page] fearefull issue thereof, to exclude themselues or others (who haue not fallen into that sinne) from all hope of pardon. I haue (treading in the steps, and following the path wherein Iesus Christ hath gone before mee) with the seuerity of Gods Iustice in affording no pardon to that sinne, mixed the riches of his Mercy, in offering pardon to all other sinnes: so as this Treatise affordeth more matter of hope and comfort, then of feare and despaire.

In this Edition there are for thy helpe more distinctions of seuerall points then were before. For that which before was set forth as one Treatise, is now diuided into three seuerall Treatises, and the Treatise of the Sinne against the Holy Ghost, added thereto, maketh a fourth.

These seuerall Treatises are also diuided into their distinct Parts: and againe subdiuided into sundry Sections: ouer eue­ry of which the summe and head of the matter therein hand­led, is set. Thus both great light is giuen for better vnderstan­ding, and also a ready way is made for finding out the seuerall points contained in this Booke.

A Table of all these Diuisions, aud of the distinct heads of euery of them is set before the Booke, that if it please thee, thou mayest at once take a briefe view of all.

That which I especially haue aymed at for thee, is thy spi­rituall edification. That which I earnestly desire of thee, is the helpe of thy faithfull prayers.Church­court in Black­friers London, Decem­ber 31. 1618. Pray for me

The seruant of Christ, and of his Church, W. G.

An Analysis or Resolution of a Direction laid downe by St Paul, in the sixt Chapter to the Ephesians, from the beginning of vers. 10. to the end of vers. 20.

The scope of this Direction is to keepe vs safe against all the assaults of our spirituall enemies.
  • JN this di­rection note,
    • 1 The Manner, whereby is declared the
      • 1 Necessitie of the point, Finally
      • 2 Affection of the Apostle, where by i [...] intimated his
        • Mildenesse,
        • Humilitie,
          • My Brethren.
    • 3 Matter, wherein is required
      • 1 To be couragious, heere note,
        • 1 The dutie it selfe, Be strong.
        • 2 The ground thereof, Jn the Lord.
        • 3 The motiue thereto, In the power of his might.
    • 2. To bee well prepa­red, Here note,
      • 1 The dutie.
        • 1 Generally set downe.
          • Once, vers. 12 Heere note
            • 1 The Action Put on.
            • 2 The Obiect, Armour. Described by
              • 1 The kind of it,
                • Armour of God.
              • 2 Sufficiency of it,
                • Whole Armor.
            • 3 End. Here is decla­red the
              • Benefit of Armour▪
                • Able to stand.
              • 2 Enemy against whom to be vsed, described by his
                • Name, Diuell.
                • Tēptations, Wyle [...]: Amplified by the generality, All.
          • Againe, vers. 13. Where note,
            • 1 The action, Take to you.
            • 2 The obiect, Whole armour of God.
            • 3 The End,
              • 1 To withstād.
              • 2 To stand.
                • Amplifi­ed by the time
                  • 1 Of Com­bate, In the e [...]ll day.
                  • 2 Of Con­quest, hauing done all.
        • 2, Particularly exemplified, (A)
      • 2 Motiue (vers. 12) which is drawne from a Christian combate, Wherein note,
        • 1 The kinde of Combate,
          • Wrestle.
        • 2 Combatants.
          • 1 Defendants, Wee.
          • 2. Cha­lengers or As­saulters descri­bed,
            • 1 Nega­tiuely,
              • Not flesh and blood.
            • 2 Affirmatiuely, by their
              • 1 Gouernment. Here note,
                • 1 The kind of it,
                  • Principa­lities.
                • 2 Their king­dome,
                  • World­ly Go­uernors.
                • 3 Their vassals,
                  • Darkenesse of this world.
                • 2 Power, Powers.
                • 3 Nature, Spirits.
                • 4 Qualitie, Wickednesse.
                • 5 Cause of fight, Heauenly things.
    • 3 The Meanes whereby it may be the better performed. vers. 18. (B)
  • [Page](A) In the particular exemplification note.
    • 2 The duetie, Sta [...]d.
    • 2 The man­ner of per­forming it. Here are to six peeces of armour re­sembled six graces
      • To
        • 1 A Girdle,
          • Veritie.
      • 2 A Brest-pl [...],
      • Righteousnesse.
      • 3 Shooes,
        • Preparation of the Gospell of peace.
      • 4 A Shield Faith.
        • Heere is de­clared the benefit of Faith.
          • Whereby [...]ee shall be able to quench.
            • This is amplifi­ed by the obiect, Dares, described by the
              • 1 Generality, All.
              • 2 Quality, Fierie.
              • 3 Author, Diuell.
      • 5 An Helmer,
        • Ho [...].
      • 6 A Sword,
        • Word of God
  • (B) The meanes is Prayer▪ amplified by
    • 1 The kindes set downe,
      • 1 Generally, A [...].
      • 2 Particularly,
        • Prayer.
        • Supplicat [...]
    • 2 The time, Abwayes.
    • 3 The ground, The Spirit.
    • 4 The helpe thereto, Watchfulnesse.
    • 5 The continuance, All perseuerance▪
    • 6 The per­sons for whom, set downe,
      • 1 Generally, All Saints.
      • 2 Particu­larly▪ Mee. Here note
        • 1 The matter to be craued, Vtterance.
          • This is amplifi­ed by the
            • 1 Manner
              • Opening the mouth.
              • Boldnesse.
          • 2 End. Here note,
            • 1 The action, To make know [...].
            • 2 The obiect, The Gospell.
            • 3 The qualitie, Mysteri [...].
      • 2 Motiue, taken from
        • 1 His function, Ambassadour.
        • 2 His condition. In a Chaine.
          • Both ampli­fied by
            • 1 The end, That I may preach boldly.
            • 2 The maner As J ought, to speake.

A TABLE OF THE HEADS OF SVCH POINTS AS ARE HANDLED in the seuerall Treatises of this Booke, as they lye in Order.

THE FIRST TREATISE. Of arming a Christian Souldier.

THE FIRST PART. Of the fountaine of Christian courage.

  • §. 1. THE Summe and seueral heads. Page 1
  • 2 The necessity of the point. 3
  • 3 The Apostles affection. 3
  • 4 The need of Christian cou­rage. 6
  • 5 All strength from God. 9
  • 6 Gods power most mightie. 12
  • 7 The benefit of confidence in God. 15

THE SECOND PART. The meanes of standing sure.

  • §. 1. THe heads of those meanes. pag. 16
  • 2 Christians are souldiers. 16
  • 3 The vse of spirituall graces. 19
  • 4 Christians armour spirituall. 20
  • 5 Christians armour compleate. 22
  • 6 The armour of God to be vsed. 24
  • 7 Euery grace to be vsed. 26
  • 8 Mans endeauour to bee added to Gods assi­stance. 29
  • 8 The end and benefit of Christian armour. 32
  • 9 Who are without armour, can haue no hope to stand. 33
  • 10 Who wel vse their armor are sure to stand. 35
  • 11 Satan our aduersarie. 37
  • 12 Satan a terrible enemie. 37
  • 13 The diuels wiles. 39

THE THIRD PART. The reason why we must be well armed.

  • §. 1 THe coherence. pag. 44
  • 2 Danger maketh watchfull. 45
  • 3 Against presumption. 46
  • 4 Against despaire. 47
  • 5 Exposition of the words. 48
  • 6 The danger of a Christians combate. 49
  • 7 None exempted from fight. 51
  • 8 Exposition of words. 53
  • 9 How our spirituall enemies exceed flesh and blood. 54
  • 10 The diuel hath his hand in euery temptation. 56
  • 11 Who cannot stand against flesh and blood, can much lesse stand against principalities and powers. 57
  • 12 Exposition of words. 58
  • 13 Of Satans dominion. 61
  • 14 Of Satans power. 64
  • 15 Of the restraint of Satans power. 66
  • 16 Of Satans power in miracles. 66
  • 17 Of Satans power ouer mans will. 68
  • 18 Of Satans power ouer mans heart. 68
  • 19 Of Satans power in fore [...]telling things to come. 69
  • 20 Of the extent of Satans power. 70
  • [Page] 21 Of the power of euill Angels compared to good. 71
  • 22 Of the restraint of Satans power. 72
  • 23 Of the place where Satan ruleth. 75
  • 24 Of the parties ouer whom Satan ruleth. 76
  • 25 Of the nature of diuels. 79
  • 26 Of the aduantage which Satan hath. 81
  • 27 Of the helpe we haue against Satans aduan­tages. 83
  • 28 Of Satans euill qualitie. [...]3
  • 29 Of the number of diuels. 86
  • 30 Of Satans abode in the ayre. 89
  • 31 Of the cause of Satans quarrell. 90

THE FOVRTH PART. A repetition of the meanes.

  • §. 1 OF repeating one and the same thing. pag. 95
  • 2 Danger must make watchfull. 98
  • 3 A resolution of the verse. 98
  • 4 Whence our defence commeth. 99
  • 5 Of the reparre of grace 100
  • 6 Why the whole Armour is to be vsed. 102
  • 7 Of manfull standing. 102
  • 8 Of the euill day. 104
  • 9 Of Satans being loose. 104
  • 10 Of preparation against triall. 106
  • 11 Of the multitude of trials. 107
  • 12 Of holding out. 109
  • 13 Of the issue of constancie. 110

THE SECOND TREATISE. Of the particular peeces of Armour.

THE FIRST PART. The dutie of such as haue those peeces.

  • §. 1 OF the coherence. pag. 112
  • 2 Of souldiers standing. 113
  • 3 Of Christian valour. 114
  • 4 Of keeping our ranke. 114
  • 5 Of watchfulnesse. 116
  • 6 Of perseuerance. 116

THE SECOND PART. The kinds of the peeces of armor prescribed.

  • §. 1 OF the seuerall peeces of the Armour of God in generall. pag. 117
  • 2 Of defending our selues. 117
  • 3 Of resisting. 119
  • 4 Of standing at defiance. 119
  • 5 Of the sufficiencie of our Armour. 120

THE THIRD PART. Girdle of Truth.

  • §. 1. OF diuers kinds of Truth. pag. 121
  • 2 What kind of truth is here meant. 122
  • 3 What kinde of Girdle is heere meant. 124
  • 4 Wherein a girdle is resembled to truth. 125
  • 5 Of getting truth. 127
  • 6 How triall of truth may be made. 127
  • 7 Directions for triall of truth in speech and action. 129
  • 8 Of buying truth. 130
  • 9 Motiues to buy truth. 131
  • 10 Meanes to get truth. 132
  • 11 Of keeping truth. 134
  • 12 How truth of doctrine is assaulted 134
  • 13 How sinceritie is assaulted. 135
  • 14 Of the necessitie of truth in religion. 136
  • 15 Of the pretended danger in maintaining truth. 137
  • 16 Of the pretended trouble of the conscience, which sinceritie is said to cause. 138
  • 17 Of the pretēded wearisomnes of sincerity. 139
  • 18 Of the pretēded iudgmēts on the vpright. 139
  • 19 Of others opinion concerning a mans since­ritie. 139
  • 20 Pretended hindrances of plain-dealing. 140
  • 21 Pretēded incōueniences of plain dealing. 141
  • 22 Of holding truth more stedfastly for oppo­sition. 141

THE FOVRTH PART. Brest-plate of righteousnesse.

  • §. 1. OF righteousnesse in generall. pag. 143
  • 2 Of the kindes of righteousnesse. 144
  • [Page] 3 Of that righteousnes which is here meant. 145
  • 4 Of resēbling righteousnes to a brest-plate. 146
  • 5 Of putting on the brest-plate of righteousnesse. 147
  • 6 Of the benefit of righteousnesse. 148
  • 7 Whether mas righteous [...]es be meritorious. 149
  • 8 Of the vse of righteousnesse. 151
  • 9 Of the issue of righteousnesse. 153
  • 10 Of the comfort of righteousnesse. 155
  • 11 Of all the parts of righteousnes vnited. 156
  • 12 Of the danger of deferring repentance. 157
  • 13 Of being ouer iust. 158
  • 14 A direction for the vse of righteousnesse. 159

THE FIFT PART. Shooes of the preparation of the Gos­pell of peace.

  • §. 1. OF the grace heere meant. pag. 160
  • 2 Of the resemblance of patience to Shooes. 163
  • 3 Of the ground of patience. 164
  • 4 Of the Gospell. 165
  • 5 Of that peace which the Gospell causeth. 166
  • 6 Why it is called the Gospell of peace. 167
  • 7 Of the ground of true patience. 168
  • 8 Of the means wherby patiēce is wrought. 170
  • 9 Of the false grounds of patience. 172
  • 10 Of the maner of working true patience. 173
  • 11 Of the necessity of true patience. 174
  • 12 Of the troubles wherunto we are subiect. 175
  • 13 Of the authors of our troubles. 177
  • 14 Of the necessitie of patience. 178
  • 15 Of the benefit of patience. 178
  • 16 Of the perfect worke of patience. 179
  • 17 Of the kinds of crosses. 180
  • 18 Of too light regard of crosses. 181
  • 19 Of despising Gods corrections. 183
  • 20 Of fainting vnder the crosse. 183
  • 21 Directions to keepe men from despising the crosse. 184
  • 22 Directions to keepe men from fainting. 185
  • 23 Answere to Satans suggestion against the need of patience. 186
  • 24 Answere to Satans suggestion against the be­nefit of patience. 187
  • 25 Answere to Satans suggestion against Gods loue in correcting. 189
  • 26 Answere to Satans suggestion of the many troubles which Gods loue causeth. 190
  • 28 Of the nature of the Saints afflictions. 192
  • 29 Of Gods assisting his children in afflictiō 194
  • 30 Of Gods deliuering his children out of all af­flictions. 194

THE SIXTH PART. The Shield of Faith.

  • §. 1. OF the Apostles manner of pressing the point of faith. pag. 195
  • 2 Of vrging matters of moment. 196
  • 3 Of giuing heed to weighty matters. 196
  • 4 The resolution of the text. 197
  • 5 Of the preheminence of faith aboue other gra­ces. 198
  • 6 Of the pressing the doctrine of faith. 199
  • 7 Of the honor which faith doth vnto God. 200
  • 8 Of the good which faith brings vnto man. 202
  • 9 Of the high account which we ought to make of faith. 205
  • 10 Of the Papists cauill against faith. 206
  • 11 Of faith in generall. 207
  • 12 Of the kinds of faith. 208
  • 13 Of the titles giuen to true faith. 210
  • 14 Of the definition of iustifying faith. 210
  • 15 Of the resemblance betwixt faith and a shield. 214
  • 16 Of the meaning of the word (Take) 215
  • 17 Of the Author of faith. 216
  • 18 OF the motiue and end why God worketh faith. 217
  • 19 Of the meanes of working faith. 218
  • 20 Of the Lawes worke towards faith. 220
  • 21 Of the Gospels worke in faith. 221
  • 22 Of griefe going before faith. 22 [...]
  • 23 Of desire going before faith. 223
  • 24 Of mans endeauour to get faith. 223
  • 25 Of Gods offering Christ. 224
  • 26 Of Gods power to make his offer good. 225
  • 27 Of Gods truth in making good his offer. 226
  • 28 Of Gods free offer. 227
  • 29 Of the riches of Gods mercy. 227
  • [Page] 29 Of the extent of Gods offer of Christ. 228
  • 30 That the offer of Christ, is a sufficient ground to receiue Christ. 230
  • 31 That a mans vnworthinesse ought not to keep him from beleeuing. 231
  • 32 Of long waiting. 232
  • 33 Of mans sinne in not beleeuing. 233
  • 34 Of the hainousnesse of incredulitie. 234
  • 35 Of prouing faith. 235
  • 36 Whether faith may be knowne or noe. 235
  • 37 Whether ordinary persons may know they haue faith. 236
  • 38 Of the difference betwixt those who seeme to haue faith, and those who indeed haue it. 236
  • 39 Whether faith and doubting may stand toge­ther. 238
  • 40 Of trying faith both by the causes, and by the effects. 238
  • 41 Of that illuminatiō which causeth faith. 239
  • 42 That griefe goeth before faith. 240
  • 43 How grief which works faith is wrought. 242
  • 44 Of the effects which that griefe that causeth faith, bringeth forth. 243
  • 45 Of that desire which causeth faith. 243
  • 46 Of ioyning the effects with the causes of faith, in the triall thereof. 245
  • 47 Of the fruits of faith. 247
  • 48 Of a quiet cōsciēce proceeding frō faith. 247
  • 49 Of the difference betwixt a quiet conscience and not-troubling conscience. 248
  • 50 Of the difference betwixt conscience excu­sing, and not-accusing. 248
  • 51 Of security arising frō a quiet cōscience. 249
  • 51 Of ioy arising from a quiet conscience 250
  • 52 Of the difference betwixt the ioy of the vp­right, and hypocrite. 250
  • 53 Of faith, whē the fruits of it appeare not. 251
  • 54 Of a clear cōsciēce proceeding frō faith. 252
  • 55 Of loue arising from faith. 253
  • 56 Of a pure hea [...] arising from faith. 255
  • 57 Of keeping a good cōscience in al things. 256
  • 58 Of the continuance of a good c [...]science. 257
  • 59 Of the issue of ouer-much holdnesse. 258
  • 60 Of losing faith. 259
  • 61 Of the grounds of Scripture against secure boldnesse. 260
  • 62 Of the assurance of faith. 261
  • 63 Of the groūds of Script. for perseuerāce. 262
  • 64 Of preseruing and encreasing faith. 263
  • 65 Of vsing the Word for encrease of faith. 264
  • 66 Of vsing the S [...]cr. for encrease of faith. 265
  • 67 Of prayer for encrease of faith. 266
  • 68 Of well vsing faith. 266
  • 69 Of the vse of faith in prosperitie. 267
  • 70 Of the vse of faith in aduersitie. 268
  • 71 Of oft calling to minde Gods promises. 268
  • 72 Of well applying Gods promises. 270
  • 73 Of applying generall promises. 270
  • 74 Of applying particular promises. 271
  • 75 Of applying absolute promises. 273
  • 76 Of applying conditionall promises. 274
  • 77 Of applying implicit promises. 276
  • 78 Of the true heires of Gods promises. 277
  • 79 Of applying Gods promises to the right per­sons. 278
  • 80 Of the meaning of the metaphor. 279
  • 81 Of Satans darts heere meant. 280
  • 82 Of the vertue of faith against Satans darts. 281
  • 83 Of Satans fiery darts. 282
  • 84 Of the vertue of faith against Satans fiery darts. 283
  • 85 Of striuing against despaire. 284
  • 85 Of the need and benefit of faith. 284
  • 86 Of spirituall recouery. 285
  • 87 Of Satans assaulting our faith. 286
  • 88 Answere to Satans suggestion, that it is pre­sumption to beleeue. 287
  • 89 Answere to Satans suggestion of the difficul­tie of getting faith. 289
  • 90 Answere to Satans suggestion of the small need and vse of faith. 290
  • 90 Answere to Satans suggestion of the damage arising from faith. 291
  • 91 Answere to Satans suggestion of mans vn­worthinesse. 291
  • 92 Answere to Satans suggestion of mans im­perfection. 292
  • 93 Answere to Satans suggestion of trusting to meanes. 292
  • 94 Answer to Satans suggestion of apostacy. 293
  • 95 Direction against Satans stormes. 293

THE SEVENTH PART. The Helmet of Hope.

  • §. 1. OF the difficulty of a Christian souldiers estate. Page 294
  • 2 Of the spirituall grace here meant. 295
  • 3 Of the definition of Hope. 296
  • 4 Of assurance and patience of Hope. 297
  • 5 Of the agreement betwixt faith & hope. 298
  • 6 Of the difference betwixt Faith & Hope. 299
  • 7 Of the resemblance betwixt Hope and an Hel­met. 300
  • 8 Of the vse of Hope. 301
  • 9 Of the need of Hope in regard of the vncer­taine and long date of Gods promises. 301
  • 10 Of the need of hope in regard of troubles. 303
  • 11 Of the neede of Hope in regard of the scoffes of the wicked. 304
  • 12 Of the neede of Hope in regard of our owne weakenesse. 304
  • 13 Of getting and preseruing of Hope. 305
  • 14 Of experience nourishing Hope. 306
  • 15 Of meditating on the end of Hope. 307
  • 16 Of the resemblance betwixt Hope and an Anchor. 308
  • 17 Answer to Satans suggestion against a sure ground of a Hope. 309
  • 17 Answer to Satans suggestion of false grounds of Hope. 310
  • 18 Answer to Satans suggestion of licentious trusting on mercy. 311
  • 19 Of Satans seeking to depriue vs of the vse of Hope. 312

THE EIGHT PART. The Sword of the Spirit.

  • §. 1. OF adding a sword to other peeces of Ar­mour. Page 313
  • 2 Of the true Word of God. 316
  • 3 Of the meanes to find out the true sence of the Scripture. 317
  • 4 Of the resemblance betwixt the Word of God and a Sword. 319
  • 5 Why the Word is called a Sword of the Spirit. 320
  • 6 Of the meanes of well vsing the Word. [...]21
  • 7 Of the meanes to attaine knowledge by the Word. 321
  • 8 Of wisdome in applying the Word. 322
  • 9 Of Faith in Gods Word. 323
  • 10 Of yeelding obedience to the Word. 323
  • 11 Of the manifold vse of Gods Word. 324
  • 12 Of the wrong which Papists doe in detai­ning the Word. 326
  • 13 Of neglecting Gods Word. 326
  • 14 Answer to Satans suggestion, that the Scrip­ture is not Gods Word. 318
  • 15 Answer to Satans suggestion of the imperfe­ction of Gods Word. 330
  • 16 Of heretikes falsifying the Word. 331
  • 17 Of the sharpenesse of Gods Word. 332
  • 18 Answer to Satans suggestion of the difficulty of Gods Word. 333
  • 19 Of the respects wherein the Scripture is dif­ficult. 333
  • 20 Of the reasons why the Scripture is in some respects difficult. 335
  • 21 Of the perspicu [...]ty of the Scripture. 336
  • 22 Answer to Satans suggestion of the danger of suffering all sorts to reade the Scriptures. 336
  • 23 Answer to Satans suggestion of the hurt of much knowledge. 337
  • 24 Of ignorance, how hainous a sinne it is. 338
  • 25 Answer to Satans suggestion of the non-pro­ficiency of many bearers. 339

THE THIRD TREATISE. Of the meanes to vse spirituall Armour aright.

THE FIRST PART. Of Prayer in generall.

  • §. 1. OF the ioyning of Prayer with the whole Armour of God. Page 340
  • 2 Of the meane betwixt presuming and tempting God. 342
  • 3 Of diuiding the Word aright. 343
  • 4 Of the points to be handled in Prayer. 344
  • 4 Of the definition of Prayer. 345
  • [Page] 5 Of the obiect of Prayer, God onely. 346
  • 6 Of the reasons why our desire is to be made knowne to God. 347
  • 7 Of the things which are requisite to the right manner of Prayer. 348
  • 8 Of praying in the mediation of Christ. 349
  • 9 Of inward reuerence in prayer. 350
  • 10 Of words befitting prayer. 350
  • 11 Of gesture in prayer. 350
  • 12 Of faith in prayer. 351
  • 12 Of lowlines of mind in him that prayeth. 351
  • 13 Of holinesse in him that prayeth. 352
  • 13 Of praying with vnderstanding. 352
  • 14 Of our desire in prayer. 353
  • 15 Of the first motiue to prayer, Gods com­mand. 353
  • 16 Of the second motiue, Gods worship. 354
  • 17 Of the third motiue, God honour. 354
  • 18 Of the fourth motiue, the necessity of prayer. 355
  • 19 Of the things which men receiue without calling vpon God. 356
  • 20 Of the fifth motiue, the profit of prayer 356
  • 21 Of the respects wherein ones prayer is not heard. 359
  • 22 Of the sixt motiue, the efficacy of prayer. 360
  • 23 In what respects men are said to preuaile with God by prayer. 362
  • 24 Of extraordinary effects of prayer. 362
  • 25 Of the vse which we may make of the effica­cy of extraordinary prayers. 363
  • 26 Of the seauenth motiue, the honour of pray­ing. 364
  • 27 A collection of the motiues to prayer. 365

THE SECOND PART. The kinds of Prayer.

  • §. 28. OF the generall heads whereunto the particular kinds of Prayer are re­ferred. Page 365
  • 29 Of the things to be asked in prayer. 367
  • 30 Of the summe of the Lords Prayer. 368
  • 31 Of the diuers manner of asking things abso­lutely and conditionally promised. 369
  • 32 Of the euils to be prayed against. 370
  • 33 Of praying against sinne. 371
  • 34 Of the manner of praying against the guilt, and power of sin, and temptations therto. 372
  • 35 Of praying against punishments of sinne. 373
  • 36 Of praying for others. 374
  • 37 Of those that pray not for others. 375
  • 38 Of the persons for whom we must pray. 376
  • 39 Of praying for the dead. 377
  • 40 Of Purgatory. 378
  • 41 Of vaine wishes for the dead. 380
  • 42 Of not praying for such as sinne against the Holy Ghost. 381
  • 43 Of not praying for those who are apparantly reiected. 382
  • 44 Of iudging the sinne against the Holy Ghost. 382
  • 45 Of the persons who are to be prayed for. 383
  • 46 Of the order of praying for others. 385
  • 47 Of praying for Saints. 386
  • 48 Of praying for Magistrates. 387
  • 49 Of praying for friends. 387
  • 50 Of praying for strangers. 388
  • 51 Of praying for enemies. 389
  • 52 Of mens failing in prayer for others. 389
  • 53 Of the things which we are to pray for in the behalfe of others. 392
  • 54 That Gods will not knowne, is no sufficient cause to hinder prayer for others. 393
  • 55 Of imprecations against ones selfe. 394
  • 56 Of the persons against whom imprecations may be made 396
  • 57 Of the vnlawfulnesse of vsuall imprecati­ons. 397
  • 58 Of the Popes manner of cursing. 398
  • 59 Of Thanksgiuing. 399
  • 60 Of the person to whom all thankes is due. 400
  • 61 Of the difference of thankes giuen to God and men. 400
  • 62 Of the Mediator, in whose name thankes is to be giuen. 401
  • 63 Of the matter of Thankesgiuing. 402
  • 64 Of the spirituall blessings, for which thankes is to be giuen. 403
  • 65 Of the temporall blessings, for which thankes is to be giuen. 404
  • [Page] 66 Of giuing thankes for remouing euils. 405
  • 67 Of giuing thankes for crosses. 406
  • 68 Of the proofes of Scripture applied to parti­cular occasions of thanksgiuing. 407
  • 69 Of the abundant matter of thankesgiuing. 409
  • 70 Of their blindnesse who can see no matter of thankesgiuing. 415
  • 71 Of mens failing in the extent of thankesgi­uing. 416
  • 72 Of the time of giuing thankes. 418
  • 73 Directions for thankesgiuing. 418
  • 74 Of mentall prayer. 421
  • 75 Of vocall prayer. 422
  • 76 Of sudden prayer. 423
  • 77 Of composed prayer. 424
  • 78 Of preparation before prayer. 424
  • 79 Of conceiued prayer. 426
  • 80 Of prescribed prayer. 427
  • 81 Direction to conceiue a prayer. 429
  • 82 Of publike prayer, and of the Ministers fun­ction therein. 429
  • 83 Of the peoples consent in publike prayer. 431
  • 84 Of the place of publike prayer. 431
  • 85 Of vnanimitie in publike prayer. 433
  • 86 Of vttering publike prayer with an audible voice. 433
  • 87 Of praying in a knowne tongue. 434
  • 88 Of the aberrations contrary to praying with vnderstanding. 434
  • 90 Of vniformitie in publike prayer. 435
  • 91 Of motiues to publike prayer. 436
  • 92 Of priuate prayer. 437
  • 93 Of prayer in a family. 437
  • 94 Of secret prayer. 438
  • 95 Of extraordinary prayer. 440
  • 96 Of the signes of extraordinary ardencie. 441
  • 97 Of teares in prayer. 442
  • 98 Of extraordinary continuance in praier. 443
  • 99 Of the occasions of extraordinarie prayer. 445
  • 100 Of the sundry kinds of Fasts. 446
  • 101 Of the difference betwixt a religious Fast, and other Fasts. 448
  • 102 Of forbearing to eate and drinke in the time of a Fast. 449
  • 103 Of forbearing other things beside food in a Fast. 451
  • 104 Of the occasions of a Fast. 454
  • 105 Of set times of Past. 455
  • 106 Of the continuance of a Fast. 456
  • 107 Of Supplication, the most principall end of a religious Fast. 459
  • 108 Of examination, another end of Fasting. 460
  • 109 Of Humiliation, a third end of Fasting. 461
  • 110 Of Mortification, a fourth end of Fasting. 462
  • 111 Of Fasting now vnder the New Testament. 463
  • 112 Of Vowes. 464
  • 113 Of the things which concurre to the ma­king of a lawfull Vow. 466
  • 114 Of publike and priuate Fastes and Vowes. 467
  • 115 Of motiues to extraordinary prayer. 469
  • 116 Of the neglect of extraordinary prayer. 470

THE THIRD PART. The time of Prayer.

  • §. 117 OF praying alwayes. pag. 471
  • 118 Of praying euery day. 473
  • 119 Of the fittest times for daily prayer. 474
  • 120 Of constant keeping our set times of prayer. 475
  • 121 Of Canonicall houres. 476
  • 122 Of neglecting times of Prayer. 477
  • 123 Of praying in all affaires. 478
  • 124 Of continuall Eiaculations. 479
  • 125 Of giuing thankes alwayes. 480

THE FOVRTH PART. The ground of Prayer.

  • §. 126 OF the meaning of this phrase (in the Spirit). pag. 481
  • 127 Of the work of the Spirit in prayer. 482
  • [Page] 128 Of the meanes to pray aright in the Spirit. 485
  • 129 Of prayer comming from the spirit of a man. 486
  • 130 Of discerning whē we pray in the spirit. 486

THE FIFT PART.
The helpe of prayer.

  • §. 131 OF watching vnto prayer. pag. 488
  • 131 Of Popish Night-vigils. 489
  • 132 Of superstitious watching for Christs com­ming. 490
  • 133 Of watching both in body and in spirit. 491
  • 134 Of the causes of drowsinesse. 492
  • 135 Of going drowsily to prayer. 493
  • 136 Directions for watchfulnesse. 494

THE SIXTH PART.
The meanes of preuailing by prayer.

  • §. 1 37 OF perseuerance. pag. 496
  • 138 Of the things which we are to aske with all perseuerance. 497
  • 139 Of the difference betwixt praying alwaies and with all perseuerance. 498
  • 140 Of the difference betwixt perseuering, and much babbling in prayer. 499
  • 141 Of holding out in prayer. 500
  • 142 Of the reasons of perseuerance. 501
  • 143 Of the damage of not perseuering, and ad­uantage of perseuering. 502

THE SEVENTH PART.
The persons for whom prayer is to be made.

  • §. 144 OF desiring the help of others prayers. pag. 503
  • 145 Of motiues to desire others prayers. 504
  • 146 Of the difference betwixt desiring other mens prayers, & making them Mediators. 505
  • 147 Of those who vse, or refuse to aske the help of others prayers. 505
  • 148 That none is too good to seeke the helpe of anothers prayer. 506
  • 149 Of praying to the liuing onely. 507
  • 150 Of the Papists arguments for praying to the dead. 508
  • 151 Of praying for Ministers. 509
  • 152 Of motiues to pray for Ministers. 510
  • 153 Of the things which are to be prayed for in the behalfe of Ministers. 513
  • 154 Of Ministers inability in themselues. 513
  • 155 Of praying for ability in Ministers. 514
  • 156 Of vtterāce, what is here meant therby. 516
  • 157 Of a Ministers ability to vtter what he con­ceiueth. 517
  • 158 Of Pauls gift of vtterance. 518
  • 159 Of praying for gifts bestowed. 519
  • 160 Of opening the mouth. 520
  • 161 Of deliuering the Word distinctly and au­dibly. 521
  • 162 Of a Ministers boldnesse in preaching. 522
  • 163 Of the things wherein boldnesse is to bee shewed. 524
  • 164 Of ioying courage & wisdom together. 529
  • 165 Of Ministers seeking to edify the Church. 525
  • 166 Of making knowne what we know. 526
  • 167 Of preaching the Gospell. 528
  • 168 Of the mystery of the Gospell. 528
  • 169 Of searching into the depth of the Gospell. 530
  • 170 Of the meanes of vnderstanding the mystery of the Gospell. 531
  • 171 Of the cause of errors about the Gospel. 531
  • 172 Of mans preferring other mysteries before the Gospell. 532
  • 173 Of well discharging a mans office. 533
  • 174 Of Ambassadors of the Word. 535
  • 175 Of the dignitie of the Ministery. 537
  • 176 Of the respect of due to Ministers. 537
  • 177 Of despising Ministers. 538
  • 178 Of the incouragement of Ministers against their despisers. 539
  • 179 Of Ministers walking worthy their place. 539
  • 180 Of Ministers faith fulnesse. 540
  • 181 Of holding close to Gods message. 540
  • 182 Of declaring Gods whole will. 541
  • 183 Of the maner of deliuering Gods Word. 541
  • 184 Of the end of a Ministers high calling. 543
  • 185 How mans weaknesse is succoured by the[Page] ministery of man. 544
  • 186 How Faith is supported by the ministery of ma [...]. 544
  • 187 Of receiuing Gods message by the ministery of man. 545
  • 188 Of the manner of Pauls being chained. 546
  • 189 Of the hard vsage of Ministers. 547
  • 190 Of Pauls holy glorying in his chaine. 548
  • 191 Of the cause that maketh persecution a mat­ter of reioycing. 549
  • 192 Of the things for which men may suffer with comfort. 550
  • 193 Of the worlds vile handling of Christs Am­bassadors. 551
  • 194 Of the causes why Christs Ambassadors are hardly vsed. 552
  • 195 Of Ministers vsing their libertie. 553
  • 196 Of Ministers forbearing to preach, being in­hibited. 554
  • 197 Of Ministers needlesse forbearing to preach. 555
  • 198 Of praying for Ministers restrained. 556
  • 199 Of the need of boldnesse. 556
  • 200 Of Pauls iealousie ouer himselfe. 557
  • 201 Of Pauls desire well to performe his fun­ction. 558
  • 202 Of Pauls constant resolution. 558
  • 203 Of Pauls stedfast faith. 558
  • 204 Of the excellencie of the foure foren amed vertues. 559
  • 205 How most mens disposition is contrarie to Pauls. 560
  • 206 Of the necessitie of preaching boldly. 561
  • 207 Of preaching after a right manner. 561
  • 208 Of a Ministers carrying himselfe according to his present estate. 562

THE FOVRTH TREATISE Of the sin against the Holy Ghost.

THE FIRST PART.
Of Gods Mercie.

  • §. 1. OF the occasion that Christ tooke to declare the sinne against the Holy Ghost. pag 565
  • 2 Of the inference of Christs censure vpon the slander of the Scribes and Pharisies. 567
  • 3 Of the resolution and seuerall heads of the text. 569
  • 4 Of the truth and weight of the points deliue­red. 570
  • 5 Of Gods mercy in forgiuing sinnes. 571
  • 6 Of the extent of Gods mercy in pardoning all sinnes. 574
  • 7 Of blasphemie, how hainous a sinne it is. 576
  • 8 Of Gods mercy in forgiuing blasphemie 583
  • 9 Of the principall obiect of Gods mercy, Man. 584
  • 10 Of Gods impartiality in offering mercy with­out respect of persons. 587
  • 11 Of the title Son of Man. giuen to Christ. 588
  • 12 Of the particular respect wherein this title (Sonne of Man) is heere vsed. 591
  • 13 Of Gods goodnesse ouercomming mans vn­gratefulnesse. 593

THE SECOND PART.
Of Gods Iustice.

  • §. 14. OF abusing Gods mercy. pag. 595
  • 15 Of the obiect of the vnpardona­ble sin. The Holy Ghost. 596
  • 16 Of the qualitie of the sinne against the Holy Ghost. 598
  • 17 Of the definition of the sinne against the Ho­ly Ghost. 598
  • 18 Of the difference betwixt the fin against the Holy Ghost; and other sinnes. 603
  • 19 Of the persons that may fall into the sinne a­gainst the Holy Ghost. 605
  • 20 Of the meaning of these words, SHALL & SHALL NEVER be forgiuē. 607
  • 21 Of the errors which Papists gather from this phrase, Nor in the world to come. 609
  • 22 Of the true meaning of this phrase, Nor in this world, nor in the world to come. 610
  • 23 Of the many answeres that may bee giuen a­gainst the Papists collection, concerning for­giuenesse of sinnes in the world to come. 611
  • 24 Of the reasons why this phrase (Nor in this world, nor in the world to come)is vsed. 613
  • [Page] 25 Of seeking pardon for sin in this life. 614
  • 26 Of the sence wherein it is said that the sin a­gainst the Holy Ghost shal not be pardoned. 614
  • 27 Of the reasons why the sinne against the Holy Ghost is vnpardonable. 615
  • 28 Of the certaintie of his damnation who sin­neth against the Holy Ghost. 617
  • 29 Of the eternity of damnation. 618
  • 30 Of the answeres to the Chiliasts obiection, ta­ken from Gods mercy 619
  • 31 Of the answeres to the Chiliasts obiection, ta­ken from Gods iustice. 620
  • 32 Of the necessitie of being pardoned or dam­ned. 621
  • 33 Of preuenting the sinne against the Holy Ghost. 622
  • 34 Of the persons that cannot fall into the sinne against the Holy Ghost. 625
The end of the Table.

Faults escaped, thus to be amended.

PAge 9. line 6. reade Luke 14. 31. p 40. l. 6. r. and long experienced. p. 41. l. 25. r. much trouble, p. 62. l. 26. r. earth hath. p. 66. l. 25. r. seruants of God. p. 99. l. 2. r. imply. p. 112. The marginall note should be in the last line. p. 114. l. 27. r double. p. 122. l. 22. r. §. 2. p. 123. l. 16. r. is in the law. p. 133. l. 26. r. many to be. p. 138. l. 25. r. entred. p. 153. l. 21. r. many wayes. p. 170. l. 20. r. and crosses. p. 172. l. 14. r. ouer our selues, ibid. l. 28. r. no sach matter. p. 176. l. 18. r. Ismaeliticall. p. 193. l. 30 r. thanketh him. p. 198. l. 12. r. what is. p. 203. l. 5. r. Heb. 11. 6. p. 221. l. 23. r. very God. p. 231. l. 29. r. after a peculiar. p. 244. l. 1. r. at our. ibid. l. 2. [...]. from breeding faith. p. 251. l. 4. r. a contrary affection. p. 267. l. 31. r. I will not therefore. p. 268. l. 13, r. what to doe. p 281. l. 18 r. where they light. p. 284. l. 3 : r. of striuing. p. 354. l. 19 r. Gods worship. p. 381. l. 23. r. an ordinary. p 389. l. 20. r. to this. p. 392. l. 16. r. they were. p. 447. l. 13. r. respectiuely. p. 452. l. 32. r. for recreation p. 457 l. 3. r the issue. p. 458. l. 33. r. As for. p. 460 l. 20. r. are subordinate. p. 461. l. 4, r from among. p. 464. l. 17. r. extraordinary. ibid. l. 29. r. other helpe. p. 482. l. 8. r. the gift. p. 485 l. 26. r, good. p. 490. l. 23. r. ought. p 490. l 25 r. synecdochically. p. 492. l. 19. 20. r. Disciples. p. 522 l. 4 r. their lungs. p. 529. l. 7. r. spoken of. p. 530. l. 7. r. abst [...]use. p. 532. l. 2. r. Marcionites. ibid. l. 28. r Enth [...]asiasts. p. 537. l. 31. put out the parenthesis. p. 540 l. 14. r. procureth, preserueth safely. p. 547. l. 22. r. iust offence. p. 566. l. 16. r. he tha [...] casteth. p. 583. l. 15. r. of his sinne. p. 587. l. 15. r. mourne. p. 589. l. 14. r. in his complaint. p. 595. l. 30. l. 30. r. obiect of his iustice, p. 600. l. 5 r. what is it to. p. 606. l. 22. r. haue gone. p. 613. l. 21. r. giuing no raines. p. 614. l. 6. r. spectacle. p. 615. l. 22. r. the Kings of. p. 620. l. 5. r. courts of men.

Faults in the margine.

Page 8. Deut. 20. 8. p. 10. Pro [...]. 27. 7. p. 11. or in any. p. 332. Heb. 4. 12. p. 500. e Luk. 18. 7. p. 523. d Mar. 1. 22.

Errata Hebr. Graec. Lat. in marg.

Pag. 3. [...]. p. 32. [...] p. 40. quasi [...] p. 60. [...] p. 65. [...] p. 68. [...] p 132. in monte. p. 146. fiunt. p. 207. emolumenti. p. 255. sine charitate. p. 268. oculos luos. p. 378. illi vitae. p. 389. flagellamut. p. 431. tonitrui. p. 494. vigil ales. p. 509. cosdem. p. 529. [...] p. 532. S. S. Trid. p. 577. [...]

Multa alia per inscitiam & incuriam typographi occurrunt errata, praesertim in Graecarum voccum tonis, & Hebr. characteribus: quaeeùm eruditus lactor facilè possit deprehendere, singulis recensendis immorarti non eft necesse.

THE Whole Armour of GOD.

THE FIRST TREATISE.
Of Arming a Christian Souldier.

THE FIRST PART.
The Fountaine of Christian Courage.

Ephes. 6. 10.‘Finally my Brethren be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.’

§. 1. The Summe and seuerall Heads.

SAint PAVL hauing deliuered such Chap. 1, & 2, & 3. doctrines of faith, andChap. 4, 5, & 6. precepts of maners (bothFrom Chap. 4 vers. 1. to Chap. 5. ver. 22. generall concerning all Christians, andFrom Chap. 5. vers. 22. to Chap. 6. v. 10. particular con­cerning the distinct degrees of se­uerall persons in a family) as hee thought most meete, in the closing vp of his Epistle, giueth a worthy direction for the bet­ter performing of them all; which is, to bee couragious and well furnished against all those difficulties and dangers, The suns. [Page 2] wherewith they are like to meete in their Christian course. Wel knew the Apostle that the best Christians while here they liue in this world, are both prone to faint by reason of their own weaknesse, and also in hazard to be foiled by reason of their enemies power; therefore he taketh vpon him the person of a wise, vigilant, and valiant Captaine; and in souldier-like termes animateth the Lords Soul­diers, that they neither faint in themselues, nor be daun­ted with their enemies.

This Direction is continued from verse 10. to 21.

The parts of it are two:The Reso­lution.

  • 1. That wee bee couragious, verse 10.
  • 2. That we be well prepared: v. 11. &c.

In the former note

  • 1. The manner
  • 2. The matter

of the Apostles exhortation.

The manner is in these words, Finally my brethren.

The matter in these, Be strong in the Lord, &c.

In the lat­ter note

  • 1. The Meanes, how
  • 2. The Motiue, why

wee must be well prepared.

The meanes is to bee well armed, which point is first in generall laid downe: and then in particular exemplified.

ThePut on the whole Ar­mor of God. generall is once declared, vers. 11. and againe, (because of the necessitie thereof) repeated vers. 13. and in both places amplified by theThat yee may be able to stand, &c. end.

Vers. 14, 15, 16, 17. In the particular exemplification there are sixe spiri­tuall graces, fitly resembled to sixe pecces of Armour.

Now because of our selues we are as children, and no better able to weild this Armour of God, then1 Sam. 17. 39 Dauid the armor of Saul, the Apostle addeth that heauenly exercise ofVers. 18. &c. prayer, teaching them how to pray for themselues and others: especially for him who was one of their chiefe guides.

[Page 3] The Motiue is taken from the danger, in which wee are by reason of our spirituall enemies, whom he describeth vers. 12. Euery word almost in this Direction is of weight, and worthy to be searched into.

§. 2. The necessitie of the point.

THe first point in order is the Manner of the Apostles exhortation,

Which set­teth forth,

  • 1. The necessitie of the thing vrged, Finally.
  • 2. The affection of him that vrgeth it, my Brethren.

The original world translated finally, [...] signifieth, a remain­der,Obser. 1. and implieth that yet remained one necessity point to be deliuered before he made an end, The necessary of this Dire­ction. as if with more co­pie of words he had thus said; Though I haue sufficiently instructed you in doctrines of faith, and precepts of manners, yet there is one needfull point behinde, which being deliuered, I may conclude all: there is yet (I say) a remainder, and the on­ly remainder of all, by which yee may make good vse of all that hath beene hitherto deliuered, without which, all will bee in vaine.

Vse Is this Direction so needful a point? a point which may not be omitted? a point worthy of the last place, as most of all to be remembred? thenHebr. 21. ought we to giue the more earnest heed thereunto, lest at any time we should let it slip. In hearing we must well heede it: after we haue heard it, wee must well keepe it, and [...] not let it slip like water put into a colinder or riuen dish.

§. 3. The Apostles affection.

TO vrge this point yet somewhat the more forcibly, the Apostle in the next place manifesteth his affection[Page 4] in these words, My brethren, which declare both the hu­militie of his minde, and the gentlenesse of his spirit.

Brother is a word of equalitie:Obser. 2. in calling them Brethren, he maketh himselfe equall vnto them,The Apostles humilitie. though he himselfe were one of the principall members of Christs body, one of the eyes thereof, a Minister of the Word, an extraordi­narie Minister, an Apostle, a spirituall Father of many soules, a planter of many famous Churches, yea the plan­ter of this Church at Ephesus: and though many of them to whom he wrote, were poore meane men, handicrafts men, such asChap 4. v. 28 laboured with their hands for their liuing: and many alsoVers. 5. 8. seruants, and bond-men; yet without exception of any, he termeth and counteth them all his brethren, and soRom. 12. 16. maketh himself euall to them of the lower sort. Behold his humilitie: For if to affect titles of supe­rioritie, as Rabbi, Doctor, Father, bee a note of arrogan­cie (as it is,Mat. 23. 7, &c. and therefore Christ in that respect taxeth the Scribes and Pharises) then to take and giue titles of equallitie, is a note of humilitie. The like notes of hu­militie may be oft noted both in other Epistles of this A­postle, and in the Epistles of other Apostles; yea and in all the Prophets also.

Well they knew,Reason. that notwithstanding there were di­uers offices, places, and outward degrees, among Christi­ans: yet theyMal. 2. 10. Ephes. 4. 6. all had one Father, and were fellow mem­bers of1 Cor. 12. 12. One and the same bodie, and in regard of their spirituall estateGal. 3. 28. all one in Christ Iesus.

Vse Take my Brethren the Prophets, take the Apostles, yea take Christ himselfe for an example of humilitie.Account all Brethren. For Christ, though he were Lord of all, yet for as much asHeb. 2. 11, 14. he tooke part with vs, and so all were of one, hee was not ashamed to call vs Brethren. Who then can disdaine to call any Saint Brother? This point of humilitie and meekenesse[Page 5] Christ willeth vs after an especiall manner toMatth. 11. 29▪ learne of him. It is a grace which will highly grace vs before God and man. It maketh vs amiable in Gods eyes, whoProu. 3. 34. Gi­ueth grace to the lowly: and it maketh our company very acceptable to men. An humble minded man who ma­keth himselfe equall to them of the lower sort, & accoun­teth all his brethren, will be sociable and willing to con­uerse with any for their mutual good. But proud and am­bitious spirits are full of scorne and disdaine, so as men cannot well endure their company, and1 Pet. 5. 5. God will resist them. Wherefore, to conclude this point, whatsoeuer your parts of nature, or gifts of Gods Spirit be, whatsoeuer your place or calling bee, whatsoeuer excellencie or emi­nencie you haue aboue others, remember that all Saints haue one Father, all are of one body, all are one in Christ, therefore all account one another Brethren. Let Magi strates, Ministers, and all of all sorts apply this.

Vse 2 As for such prophane persons, who deride the Saints for giuing this title Brethren one to another,This title bro­ther, not to be [...]corned. doe they not thorow those Saints sides strike the Prophets, the Apo­stles, yea and Christ himselfe?

Note further the gentle and milde spirit of the Apo­stle; Brethren, Obser. 3. The Apostles mildnesse. is a title of kindnesse and loue: My, an at­tribute which addeth emphasis thereunto. In other pla­ces he vseth other attributes, which adde greater empha­sis, as1 Cor. 15. 58. My beloued brethren, Phil. 4. 1. My brethren beloued and lon­ged for. So like wise other phrases which imply as great meekenesse and gentlenesse, asGal. 4. 19. My little children, 1 Cor. 4. 1 [...]. My beloued children, &c.

It was not want of authority to command that made him thus gently exhort, but rather an earnest desire that he had to perswade, and euen prouoke them to doe that which was their bounden duty and tended to their good.[Page 6] Marke how he dealeth with Philemon, vers 9, 10, 20, by this meekenesse he insinuateth himselfe into them, and shew­eth that hee seeketh not himselfe, and his owne good, so much as them and their good.

Vse Learne Ministers, Masters, Parents, and all Christians how to enforce your exhortations and perswasions:Inforce ex­hor tations with euidence of loue. euen with euidences of loue, with all mildnesse and gentlenes. (2 Tim. 2. 24. The seruants of the Lord must not striue, but bee gentle to­ward all men.) Thus shall you giue them a pleasant sauour and sweete rellish, yea though the things whereunto yee exhort be vnpleasing to mens naturall taste, and carnall appetite.Simil. When ful some potions or bitter pills are sweet­ned with sugar, they will the sooner be swallowed, and better digested: so exhottations seasoned with termes of mildnesse and gentlenesse.

Thus much for the manner of the Apostles direction.

§. 4. The need of Christian courage.

THe matter followeth, the first part whereof is in these words, Bee strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might: wherenote, first, what is required, secondly, how that which is required may be performed.

The thing required is to be strong, the Apostle heere speaketh of an inward spirituall strength, the strength of the inward and new man, and his meaning is that wee should bee valorous and couragious in the performance of those Christian duties which we take in hand.

Christian valour and spirituall courage is a needfull grace. Doct. 1. Note with what varietie of phrase the Apostle doth ex­hort hereunto,Spirituall valour needfull. 1. Cor. 16. 13. Stand fast, quit you like men, be strong: hereuntoIos. 1. 6. 7. God perswadeth his seruant Ioshuah, and1 Chr. 18. 10. Dauid, his sonne Salomon. 1 Sam. 17. 45 Dauid had in him this holy valour and courage, when hee went against Goliah, [Page 7] andActs 21. 13. Paul when he was going to Ierusalem. But most va­lorous and strong did Christ our Captaine shew himself, when he was going vp to Ierusalem to suffer,Luke 9. 51. The Euan­gelist saith, he stedfastly set his face, he setled himselfe fully to go: though it were to drink a most bitter cup, he would not be drawne from it. Because Peter labored to disswade him,Mat. 16. 23. he sharpely rebuked him, and called him Satan.

The reasons why this spirituall valour is so needfull, are specially two.

First,Reason 1. because of our owne indisposition, timerousnes, dulnesse, and back wardnesse to all holy and good duties. What Christian findeth not this by woefull experience in himselfe? when he would pray, heare Gods word, par­take of the Sacraments, sanctifie the Sabbath, or performe any other like Christian dutie, there is I know not what fearefulnesse in him, his flesh hangeth backe, as a Beare when he is drawne to the stake.Rom. 7. 18. [...] &c. This the holy Apostle found in himselfe: so that for the rowsing vp of our own dulnesse we haue need of valour.

Secondly,Reason 2. because of those many oppositions which we are like to meet withal. We heard before how the flesh would hang back, and so labour to hinder vs. The world wil like wise do what it can, either by vaine inticements to seduce vs (as it drew away Demas,) or else by reproach, trouble, and persecution, to terrifie vs, (as those who for­sooke Paul) But aboue all the Diuell will be readie to re­sist vs, (asZach. 3. 1. hee resisted Iehoshuah) and to hinder vs (1 Thes. 2. 18. as hee hindred Paul) yea to buffet vs (as2. Cor. 12. 7. hee buffeted the same Paul.) To omit other instances, most liuely is this set foorth in our Head and Generall Christ Iesus. So soone as hee was set apart to his publike Ministerie,Matth. 4. 1. the Tempter came to him: after he began to execute it, Satan stirred vp the Rulers, Priests, Scribes, Pharises, and many[Page 8] other to hinder him; yea he moouedMat. 16. 22. Peter to disswade him, and when Christ was about to offer vp himselfe a sa­crifice, then againJohn 14. 30. came the Prince of this world to discou­rage him. The like oppositions are all Christs members to looke for; so as there is no hope, no possibilitie of hol­ding out and enduring to the end without this Christian valour and magnanimitie heere spoken of.

Vse 1 Iustly may they be taxed, who either too timerously, or too securely and careiesly enter into a Christian course,Timerousnes taxed. and vndertake such Christian duties as are requi­red at their hands. Hence it commeth to passe that many duties are cleane omitted of them, other intermitted and broken off before they are halfe done: and as for those which are done, so vntowardly are they done, that little or no comfort can be found in doing of them. Lamenta­ble experience sheweth how small matters doe discou­rage many who know the right way, and are oft in con­science moued to walke therein.

Such as want this Christian courage, were better not giue vp their names to bee Christs Souldiers, or professe that they intend to fight the Lords battailes: for by their timerousnesse and cowardlinesse they discourage other Souldiers of the Lord, and hearten the enemie. The Lord would not suffer any that wereDeut 21. 8. Judges 7. 3. fearefull and faint hearted to fight his battailes on earth against earthly enemies, lest they made others faint like themselues. Can wee thinke that he will entertaine faint hearted souldiers in his spiri­tuall battailes against spirituall enemies, in which com­bates his owne honor, and his childrens saluation are so deepely ingaged?

As for the Enemie he is like a Wolfe, if strongly he be resisted,Iames 4. 7. he will flie; if timerously he be yeelded vnto, he will more eagerly pursue and insult.

Vse 2 [Page 9] Indeauour we therefore to get vnto our selues an holy courage and spirituall valour, shaking off our naturall fearefulnesse,Phil. 1. 28. that in nothing we feare our aduersaries, but (as Christ our General did)Heb. 12. 2. endure the crosse, and despise the shame.) We that will be Christs souldiers must duely consider the aduice which our Lord giueth, Luke 14 13. which is, to obserue what kinde of enemies, how many, how mightie, we are to encounter withall. We shalOn verse 12. here­after heare how hard a battaile we are to vndertake, how many, mightie, malicious, subtill our enemies be: if not­withstanding al this we be minded to fight vnder Christs banner, then be we strong and couragious, bold asProu. 30. 30. Li­ons; so are theProu. 28. 1. righteous.

§. 5. All strength from God.

BVt alasse,Obiect. what are we weake flesh and bloud? What strength can there bee in vs to fight against such ene­mies as will set on vs?

For remouing this scruple,Answere. the Apostle addeth this clause, in the Lord, &c. whereby he sheweth how we come to be strong, not by any strength in our selues, but by see­king strength in the Lord, casting our selues wholly and onely on him, and on his power.

The strength and valour whereby wee are enabled to fight the Lords battaile,Doct. 2. Our strength is in the Lord. is hid in the Lord, and to be had from him. For 2 Cor. 3. 5. all our sufficiencie is of God,Iohn. 15. 5. without Christ we can doe nothing. Hence is it that Dauid saith vnto God, Psal. 18. 1, 2. I loue thee dearely, O Lord my strength: The Lord is my rock and fortresse, &c.

It is more euident then needs be proued, that this our Apostle was a strong and valiant champion of the Lord; but whence had he this strength?Phil. 4. 13. I am able (saith he) to doe all things through the helpe of Christ which strengtheneth[Page 10] mee. That which in particular he saith of himselfe, he al­so affirmeth of other Saints, whoCol. 1. 11. were strengthned with all might through Gods glorious power.

The Lord hath thus reserued all strength in himselfe,Reasons. and would haue vs strong in him: partly for his owne glo­rie, and partly for our comfort.

1 For his glory, that in time of need we might flye vnto him,2. Cor. 12. 9. and in all streights cast our selues on him: and being preserued and deliuered, acknowledge him our Sauiour, and accordingly giue him the whole praise.

2 For our comfort, that in all distresses wee might bee the more confident. Much more bold may wee bee in the Lord, then in our selues. Gods power being infinite, it is impossible that it should bee mated by any aduerse power, which at the greatest is finite: were our strength in our selues, though for a time it might seeme somewhat sufficient, yet would there be feare of decay: but being in God, we rest vpon an omnipotencie, and so haue a farre surer proppe vnto our faith, as we shall heare in the next Doctrine.

Vse 1 Learne wee to renounce all confidence in our selues, and to acknowledge our owne inabilitie and weaknesse.Renounce all confidence in the selfe. Thus shall wee bee brought to seeke for helpe out of our selues. They who ouer weene themselues, and conceit that they are sufficiently able to helpe themselues, will bee so farre from seeking strength, that they will foully scorne it, when it is offered vnto them Marke what is said of the wicked man, who is proud in his owne conceit,Psal. 10. 3. He con­temneth the Lord: asProu. 27. 7. he that is full despiseth an hony combe, so he that is confident in his owne strength, despiseth help from any other.

Vse 2 Hauing seene our owne weaknesse, and thereupon re­nounced all confidence in our selues,Rest on a sure ground. our care must be to[Page 11] flye to a sure ground, and rest thereon: so shall we be safe and sure, yea so may wee bee quiet and secure. This sure ground, and safe rocke is onely the Lord: strong he is in himselfe, and can both strengthen vs, and weaken our e­nemies. In this confidence did1 Sam. 17. 45 Dauid come against Go­liah, and preuailed Thus may wee be sure of victorie: Rom. 8. 37. Through God we are more then conquerours.

Vse 3 But vaine is the confidence of such as trusting to themselues and their owne strength, defie all their ene­mies. Proud crakers they are,It is vaine to trust in ones selfe. whose pride at length shall haue a fall. Such in regard of outward power were1 Sam. 17. 8. Go­liah, andIsa. 36. & 37 Senache [...]ib. Intollerable is this presumption, e­uen in outward strength: note their end, 1. Sam. 17. 50. & Isa. 37. 36, 37, 38. But more then most intollerable in spiri­tuall strength, whereof we haue not one dramme in our selues, but in that respect are as2 Sam. 14. 14 water spilt vpon the ground. Mat. 26. 35. Peter was too confident therein: had hee not seene his presumption after he began to be puffed vp, and speedily humbled himselfe, fearefull had beene the issue thereof: for nothing more prouoketh God then spirituall Iames 4. 6. Or in any o­ther creature. pride, because nothing is more derogatory to his glory.

Vaine also is their confidence who goe from weake to weake, from themselues to other creatures; like theIsa. 30. 2, 3. Is­raelites, who went to the Egyptians for helpe. Fitly doth theEzec. 29. 6. 7 Gregory 7. sur­named Helde­brand (a very brand of h [...]) a Necroman­cer & a bloo­die tyrant. Prophet compare them to a reede, whereupon if one leane,Boniface 7. & 8. cruell op­pressors, and sacrilegious robbers. it breaketh and renteth his arme. Such are the si [...]ly Papists, among whom some thinke to bee strong in Pope Gregorie, Alexander 6. compa [...]ed with the di­uel [...] to bee Pope, an in­cestuous, vn­ [...]aciable adul­terer. Pope Boniface, Pope Alexander, and such others, whom without breach of charitie wee may thinke to bee very feenes in hell: other in Saint George, Saint Christopher, and such other who neuer were: the Histories of them are meere fictions: other (who thinke they haue a far surer ground of confidence) in Saint Peter [Page 12] and Saint Paul, and such like holy and worthy Saints: but the best Saints that euer were, had no strength to helpe o­thers; they only had a sufficiencie for themselues. Thus it commeth to passe, that in their greatest need, when they seeke and looke for best help, they are all like thoseIer. 14. 3. who came to the wels and found no water: they returned with their vessels emptie: they were ashamed, and confounded, and coue­red their heads.

§. 6. Gods power most mightie.

THat wee may bee the rather mooued to renounce all vaine confidence in our selues or other creatures, and be bold, valiant, and strong in the Lord, casting our whole confidence in him alone, the Apostle addeth these next words (in the power of his might) which are a very forceable amplificatiō of this former point. Some distinguish these two words, power and might, as the cause and effect, attri­buting might to God, and power to the Saints, & so make Gods might the cause of their power, as if hee had said, bee strong in that power which yee receiue from the might of God. But I take this distinction heere to bee, First too curious, and without good ground. Secondly, impertinent, because that which the Apostle aimeth at, is to raise vp our faith to God, and to settle it firme in him, and therefore he set­teth foorth the power of God, as it is in God himselfe. Thirdly, not agreeable to the phrase, which is the same in this clause as in the former, in the Lord, & in the power, &c. which implieth that the power heere spoken of, is a power in the Lord, and that as the Lord himselfe is without vs, and aboue vs, so is this power. The phrase therfore which the Apostle heere vseth, I take to be an Hebraisme, which some for perspicuitie sake translate thus, in his mightie power, and not vnfitly. This very phrase is vsedChap. 1. vers. 19. before,[Page 13] and by most translated his mightie power: this Hebraisme power of might, addeth great emphasis, and implieth, that might by an excellencie and propriety belongeth to Gods power onely; and that all other power in comparison of it, is meere weaknesse.

The point hence to be noted is this, that

The power of God whereunto wee are to trust, Doct. 3. Gods power is a most mightie power. is a most mighty and strong power, a power able to protect vs against the might of al aduerse power whatsoeuer. In this respect the Apostle calleth Gods power, [...]Chap. 1. [...]. 19. an exceeding greatnesse of power. Hee searcheth after rare and high phrases to set foorth this power of God, [...]. because of the infinite great­nesse thereof, which cannot by ordinary and vsuall phra­ses be expressed.

According to Gods greatnesse is his power,Reason. infinite, incomprehensible, inutterable, vnconceiueable: as a mighty winde which driueth all before it: as a swift and strong streame against which none can swimme: as a bur­ning flaming fire which consumeth and deuoureth all; so is Gods power. Whatsoeuer standeth before it, and is opposed against it, is but as chaffe before a strong winde, or bulrushes before a swift current, or stubble before a flaming fire; for all aduerse power, though to our weak­nesse it seeme neuer so mightie, yet can it be but finite, being the power of creatures, and so a limited power, yea, a dependant power, subordinate to this power of might, of his might, who is Almightie, and so no propor­tion betwixt them.

Vse 1 A strong prop is this vnto our faith, Gods mighty power a prop to faith. and a good motiue to make vs1 Pet. 1. 13. perfectly trust vnto the power of God with­out wauering or doubting, notwithstanding our owne weaknes, or our aduersaries power: though2 Chr. 20. 12. there bee no strength in vs, yet is there power in God: though wee bee[Page 14] on euery side enuironed with strong and fierce enemies, our flesh and the violent lusts thereof, as headstrong re­bels and traytors within vs; the furious world, with the potent and raging persecutors thereof, on one side; that fierce Lion and cruell Dragon the Diuell, with all his hel­lish hoast, on the otherside; yea all these banding their forces together continually in armes against vs, yet is there in God a power of might, in comparison whereof all the power of all our aduersaries is but weaknesse. When we know not what to doe, then may wee, then must wee with faithfull Iehosaphat turne our eyes to God,2 Chron. 20. 12. and to the power of his might. When we see potent enemies against vs, and no outward meanes to defend vs against them, we are ready to crie,2. King 6. 15. Alas how shall we do? and with thePsal. 78. 19, 20. Is­raelites to doubt of the power of God, and say, Can God helpe in such straits? can hee support such weaklings as we are? can he subdue such and such enemies as assault vs? Against such doubts we are to meditate of this mightie power of God. Gods power being a power of might, he nee­deth nothing to helpe him. The weaker we are, the more is his power manifested: for it is2 Cor. 12. 9. made perfect in weake­nesse: neither can Gods power be weakned or hindred by any aduerse power.1 Sam. 14. 6. Many and mighty enemies are to him a few and weake ones:2 Chr. 34. 11. so that the more mightie his enemies be,Iudges 7. 2, &c. the more honor redoundeth to him in sub­duing them. Wherefore for strengthning our faith, that we may be strong in the Lord, pray wee that2 King 6. 17. God would o­pen our eyes, that we mayChap. 1. v. 19. see what is the exceeding greatnes of his power to vs-ward who beleeue: so shal we neither feare because of our enemies power, nor faint because of our owne weaknesse, butExod. 14. 13. stand still and behold the saluation of God.

Vse 2 It is no matter of presumption to be sure of victory, be­ing[Page 15] strong in this mightie power. It is no pre­sumption to be confident in Gods mightie power. Indeed, if the ground of our assurance rested in, and on our selues, it might iustly be counted presumption; but the Lord, and the power of his might being the ground thereof, they either know not what is the might of his power, or else too too lightly e­steeme it, who account assured confidence thereon, pre­sumption. No doubt but many so deemed of Dauids cō ­fidence, when he vndertooke the combate with Goliah: yea it is manifest that1 Sam. 17. 28. 33. his eldest brother Eliah, and also Saul so iudged: but Dauids eye was lifted vp to God, hee was strong in the power of Gods might, 1 Sam. 17. 37. which made him so bold and confident. Thus wee with like confidence and assurance may trust vnto the same mighty power, though all the world count vs presumptuous for it. The truth is that our aduersaries might well obiect this against vs, if our confidence were in our owne power, or rather weak­nesse: but being in the power of Gods might, vniustly they slander vs, and most iniuriously impeach Gods mightie power.

§. 7. The benefit of confidence in God.

TO conclude this first general point of Christian cou­rage and confidence in the Lord,The benefit of trusting to Gods power. and in the power of his might, great is the benefit thereof, and that in three respects especially;

1. It will remooue causelesse feare,Neh. 6. 11. as in Nehemiah. Prou. 22. 13. Salomon saith, that a slothfull timerous man is loath to step out of doores, fearing that there is a Lion without, when he hath no cause so to feare: and thatProu. 28. 1. The wicked flie when none pursue. But he that is strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, will make the vttermost triall.

2. It will make bold in apparent danger. Instance the[Page 16] example ofPsal. 3. 6. Dauid. In this respectProu. 28. 1. are the righteous resembled to a Lion.

3. It will recouer a mans spirit, though hee should by any occasion be wounded, strucken downe and foiled, so as at first hee preuaile not, yet it will make him rise vp a­gaine and renew the battaile, like to theIos. [...]. 3. &c. Israelites:

Thus at length shall we come to be Conquerours.Judg 20. 30.

THE SECOND PART.
The meanes of standing sure.

Ephes. 6. 11.‘Put on the whole armour of God, that yee may be able to stand against all the wiles of the Diuell.’

§. 1. The heads of those meanes.

THE second part of the Apostles Direction now followeth, which declareth how wee may be well prepared against all danger.

Wherin first we are to consider the means whereby we may be prepared.

In the setting downe whereof, the Apostle declareth

  • 1. What the meanes be.
  • 2. How to be vsed.

The means are expressed vnder this metaphor, Armor.

And further described,

  • 1. By the kind thereof, Armour of God.
  • 2. By the sufficiencie of it, whole armour.

§. 2. Christians are Souldiers.

FOr the metaphor, it is taken from Souldiers, who in time of warre, when they enter the field against their enemies, are subiect to much danger and many annoy­ances[Page 17] of swords, speares, darts, arrowes, bullets, and such like weapons of their enemies, and therefore for their bet­ter safegard vse to be well prouided & fenced with good armour. In that the Apostle exhorteth Christians to put on armour, he giueth vs to vnderstand, that,

A Christians course of life is a warfare: Doct. 1. Our life a warfare. for armour, espe­cially the vse of armour, is a token of warre: armour is not giuen to a man to sit with it at a fire, or to lye lazing on a bed, or wantonly to dance vp and downe, or follow pastimes and pleasures in it, but to fight: to this purpose many like metaphors are vsed. Christians themselues are called2 Tim. 2. 3. Souldiers; their course of life1 Tim. 1. 18. a fight; they which oppose against themLuke 1. 71. enemies; the temptations wherwith they are annoyed1 Pet. 2. 11. assaults; in a word, this is a difference betwixt the Church in Heauen and in earth, that this is militant, that triumphant.

Thus hath God in wisedome disposed our estate on earth for weightie reasons.Reasons.

1. The more to manifest his pittie, power, proui­dence and truth in keeping promise: the straits whereun­to in this world we are brought, the promises which God hath made to deliuer vs, and the many deliuerances which we haue, shew that God pittieth vs in our distresses, that he is prouident and carefull for our good, and wise in dis­posing euill to good, that hee is able to deliuer vs, and faithfull in doing it. For this cause didExod. 14. 17. 18. God suffer the Israelites to goe into Egypt, to be there kept in hard bon­dage, to be brought into many dangers, and set vpon by many enemies.

2. To make proofe of the gifts hee bestoweth on his children. A souldiers valour is not knowne but in warre: in time of peace what difference is seene betwixt a valou­rous man, and timerous coward? by that sore combate[Page 18] wheruntoIob 1. 12. Iob was brought, were the graces which God had bestowed on him euidently made knowne.

3. To weine them the better from this world: for so long as all things are quiet in the world, without trou­bles, oppositions, and assaults, we are exceedingly prone to delight in it, and to say,Mat. 17. 4. It is good to bee heere. Much prosperity maketh many to be like thatLuke 12. 19. foole that bid his soule liue at ease, &c.

4. To make Heauen the more longed for while wee are on earth, and the more acceptable when we come to possesse it. How earnestly doth the souldier in tedious and dangerous combates desire victorie? How welcome is triumph after warre? As a safe hauen to Marriners tos­sed vp and downe in troublesome seas, is most welcome; so Heauen to Christians, whose life in this world is a war­fare, a sea-fare.

Vse 1 Is our Christian estate a souldier-like estate, a warfare?Be like soul­diers. 2 Tim. 2. 3: [...]. Indure hard­nesse. accordingly let vs carry our selues; a little sleepe, a lit­tle food is enough for a souldier, hee lyeth not on beds of downe, he pampereth not his body with delicate cheare: but he watcheth much, hee fareth hard, and lyeth hard. Thus Christians may not suffer themselues to be ouerta­ken with the vaine delights and pleasures of this world. Note what the Apostle saith of a Christian souldier,2 Tim. 2. 4. No man that warreth intangleth himselfe with the affaires of this life, that hee may please him who hath chosen him to be a soul­dier. Who hauing this armour thinke to take their ease, follow their pleasures, embrace the world, they peruert the maine end of it: for it is giuen to stand, and to resist; which if they doe not, vnworthy they are of armour, and shall be cashired. Ease and rest is not heere to be looked for, but rather temptations and assaults which wee must watch against, and when one conflict is past, looke for an­other,[Page 19] and resist all as they come: of all things wee must take heed of security, and prouide that at any time wee be not vnfurnished: reade theIudges 18. 10. 27. historie of the people of Laish, and make a spirituall application thereof.

Thus much for the Metaphor.

§. 3. The vse of spirituall graces.

COnsider we now what is meant thereby. It is eui­dent by theVerse 14, 15, 16, 17. Apostles exemplification hereof, that such spirituall sanctifying graces, as God indueth his Saints withall, are the armour heere meant. In that these are compared to armour, obserue that

The graces of Gods Spirit are for safegard and defence. Doct. 2. Spiritual gra­ces for de­fence. This is the maine and principall end of armour, as the A­postle himselfe in this, and in the 13. verse, plainely shew­eth: for in both places expresly hee saith, that wee must put on and take to vs the whole armour of God for this very end, to stand against, and to resist our enemies. Thus is righteousnesse as a brest-plate, hope as an helmet, faith as a shield, al for defence, as we shal after more distinctly shew: in the meane while let this general obseruation be noted, both of such as yet haue none of those graces, and also of such as haue them, or at least thinke they haue them.

Vse 1 For the first sort, with what care and diligence are they to desire and seeke after them,Who want them seeke them. being so needfull and ne­cessary? what rest can they giue vnto their soules, till they haue obtained them? would we not count him a madde man, or at least weary of his life, who should rush naked without any armor into the field among his deadly ene­mies? what then may we iudge of those that liue in this world, among the mortall enemies of their soules, vtterly destitute of all sauing graces? how many thousands thus liue, as it were, weary of their soules, andActs 13. 46. iudge themselues vnworthy of eternall life?

Vse 2 [Page 20] For the other sort which haue these grace, they are to vse them for their defence, as armour is vsed, and not for ostentation.Who haue them, vse them for de­fence. Armour is not giuen to iet vp and downe in it, and be proud of it, as many are of apparell. Let those who haue no better gifts then such as are called parts of nature, as wit, strength, bewtie, and the like, boast in them, if they list: these are like light, sleight, gay stuffes, which make children and fooles bragge. Gods graces are of a more sound and solide substance, and therefore to be vsed accordingly, and not made a matter of shew & ostentati­on. Let this be noted of such as are ouer conceited, and so proud of their knowledge, faith, patience, & other graces.

§. 4. Christians armour spirituall.

THus hauing handled the Metaphor,Why armour of God. and the mea­ning thereof, come wee to the amplification. The first point whereof is the kinde of armour heere set forth. It is called armour of God, and that in foure especiall: re­spects,

  • 1. It is
    Jam. 8. 17.
    made of God, euen in heauen.
  • 2. It is
    Psal. 119. 98.
    prescribed of God, euen in his Word.
  • 3. It is
    1 Cor. 1 4.
    giuen of God, euen by his Spirit.
  • 4. It is
    Heb. 13. 21.
    agreeable to God, euen to his will.

All these doe shew that,

The armour wherewith Christians are fenced, Doct. 3. The Christi­ans armour is spirituall. is diuine, and spirituall. In this respect, saith the Apostle,2. Cor. 10. 4. The wea­pons of our warfare are not carnall: by denying one contra­rie, he affirmeth the other: not carnall, that is, spirituall. The seuerall peeces after mentioned do euidently proue this point.

Our enemies are spirituall,Reason and their assaults spiritu­all: must not then our armour needs be spirituall? What other armour can stand vs in stead against such enemies,[Page 21] such assaults? as good haue a sheete of paper on our na­ked brests to keepe off a musket shot, as vse any other ar­mour then spirituall, against the spirituall assaults of spiri­tuall enemies.

Vse 1 Hereby is discouered the egregious folly of many in fencing themselues against spirituall enemies: Mans folly in fencing him­selfe. as

1. Of Coniurers, Sorcerers, and such like, who ima­gine that the Diuell may be driuen away by charmes, and they kept safe from him by spels, circles, &c.

2. Of superstitious Papists,Bellar. de cult. Sanct. li. 3. cap. 7. vtimur aqua, olqo, &c. ad fugandos dae­mones. who thinke to driue the Diuell away with Holy-water, Holy-oyle, Crosses, Cru­cifixes, Agnis Dei, &c.

3. Of sottish worldlings, who seeke to arme them­selues against the spirituall assaults of Satan by outward meanes, as against griefe of minde and terrour of consci­ence, by1 Sam. 16. 16 musicke, company, gaming, &c. the truth is, that by these meanes great aduantage many times is gi­uen to the Diuell: for thus hee getteth a surer possession in them▪

Not much vnlike to these are they, who think by phy­sicke to purge away trouble of conscience: as soone may an Ague bee purged away by drinking cold water. All these are very childish and ridiculous toyes, meere scar­crowes, which the Diuell laugheth at.

Vse 2 For our parts, seeing there is an armour of God, let vs be wise in distinguishing betwixt this and all counterfeit ar­mour:Learne to di­scerne right armour. for this end obserue wee diligently Gods word which describeth it, and that so plainly as wee may easily discerne it: we haue no warrant to vse any other: neither can we safely trust to any other. Hauing therefore found which is the armor of God, seek we itJames 1. 17. from aboue of the Fa­ther of lights, from whom it commeth downe, andVerse 5. it shall be giuen. Hauing receiued it, giue we the praise and glorie[Page 22] thereof to him that hath giuen it, and vse it according to his will, so may we confidently trust vnto it.

§. 5. Christians armour compleate.

THe next point is the sufficiencie of this armour, ter­med whole armour. The [...]. Greek word is a compound word, and signifieth both all manner of armour that is needfull, and also such compleate armour as couereth all the bodie, and leaueth no part naked or vnfenced. This is thus set downe both to commend vnto vs this armour, and alsoSee Doct. 6. to instruct vs how to vse it. In the first respect I obserue, that

The armour of God is a compleate armour, Doct. 4. The armour of God is compleate. euery way suf­ficient: sufficient to defend vs in euery part, and sufficient to keepe off and thrust backe euery assault, and euery dart of our spirituall enemies. For the first, if wee well note the particular peeces of this armour hereafter described, we shall finde the Christian souldier armed from top to toe: For the last,Vers. 16. the Apostle saith of one peece, that by it all the fiery darts of the wicked may be quenched: if by one peece, much more by euery peece ioyntly together, may all assaults be repelled. Hence it is that the2 Tim. 3. 17. Scrip­ture which prescribeth this armour, is able to make the man of God absolute.

This armor being of God,Reason. it must needs be compleate, or else question might be made of his power, as if he were not able to prouide sufficient armour; or of his proui­dence, as if he cared not to haue his souldiers well armed; or of his goodnesse, as if hee were not moued with the wounds and foyles of his seruants, which for want of good armour they must needs receiue: but Gods power, prouidence and goodnesse being without all defect, wee may conclude that this armour of God is compleate.

[Page 23] Neuer were any of the Saints so sufficiently armed:Obiect. 1. for the Diuell hath still found some part or other vnfenced, euen in the best; and thereby wounded them. Instance, Gen. 9. 21. Noah, & 19. 33. Lot, & 16 4. Abraham, 2 Sam. 11. 4. Dauid, Mat. 26. 70. Peter, &c.

Ans. The fault was not in the insufficiencie of their armour, but in the negligent and carelesse vse thereof, as if a souldier which hath very good armour of proofe, eue­rie way compleat, should either not at all, or very loosely put on his head-peece, or brest-plate, or any other peece: and this is euident, because in such parts where some were wounded, other were well fenced. Noah and some other failed in the vse of their brest-plate of righteousnes: Peter failed in holding out his shield of faith. If the fault were in the armour, either in the weaknesse or want of this or that peece, then would the Diuell without faile foile euery Christian in one and the same part.

Vse 1 This sufficiencie of Gods armour ought to incite vs diligently and carefully to seeke after it. A souldier which is to go into a dangerous fight,Get this com­pleat armour. if at leaft he haue any care of his limbes and life, will not bee quiet till hee hath got good and compleate armour of proofe. How carefull was Saul well to furnish Dauid when he was to enter com­bate with Goliah? rather then he should want,1 Sam. 17. 38. Saul was ready to haue afforded him his owne, if it had beene fit. Loe heere is the compleate armour of God, sufficient to keepe vs safe: let vs first labour to get it.

Vse 2 Hauing got it, let vs bee bold and confident in this ar­mour of God,Be confident in it. because it is of proofe, and compleate. It was this armour that made Dauid so confident against 1 Sam. 17. 45 Goliah, though he had no outward armor on him. They who are well armed, and yet faint hearted, dishonor him that gaue them their armour, abuse the gift it selfe, and make themselues ridiculous to all that see or know them.

§. 6. The armour of God to be vsed.

HItherto haue we handled the meanes appointed for our safetie: now we are to declare how this armour is to be vsed. Put on the whole armour.

Heere are two points to be noted,

  • 1. That we put on armour.
  • 2. That we put on whole armour.

This word put on, is a word of practise, by which the Apostle followeth his former metaphor, taken from soul­diers which are in the field: they doe not as housholders in the time of peace, let their armour hang on the walles without vse of it, till it rust, but they make vse of it by put­ting it on, wearing it, and putting it to the proofe; so

Christians ought to be well furnished alwayes, Doct. 5. The graces of God to be imployed. and well pre­pared with the graces of Gods Spirit: they must euer haue them in readinesse at hand to vse them, and make proofe of them. In this sence is thisRom. 13. 12. phrase of putting on oft v­sed, andCol. 3. 12. 1 Thes. 5. 8. applied to many particular graces, yea to Rom. 13. 14. Christ himselfe, whereby is implied, that we should ap­ply Christ vnto our selues, and so make vse of him, and of all his actions and sufferings: yea also of all those graces, which he conueyeth into vs. Other Metaphors are also vsed to set forth the same point:2 Tim. 1. 6. [...]. stirre vp the gift of God which is in thee (saith the Apostle.) The Metaphor is ta­ken from a fire, which is of little vse when it is couered o­uer and smothered vp with ashes, but stirred and blowne vp, it is of great vse. Againe, our Lord vseth another Me­taphor to the same purpose,Mat. 12. 35. A good man (saith hee) bringeth forth good things. As a wise man that hath store of treasure will not let it lye rusting and cankering in his chest, (this is a note of a couetous miser, who were as good be without treasure as haue abundance, for he wan­teth in his greatest abundance, because hee vseth not that[Page 25] he hath) but bringeth forth and imployeth it for his own and others good: so doth a good man with the treasure of grace which God hath bestowed on him. Excellent Metaphors to illustrate and vrge this point.

All the benefit and good of a thing commeth from the vse of it:Reason. as armour rusting by the walls side, as fire smothered with ashes, as money cankering in chests, so are the graces of Gods Spirit, if they be not imployed: though in themselues they be neuer so excellent, yet to vs and others they are fruitlesse and vnprofitable, without a right vse of them. This Dauid, no doubt, well knew, and thereforePsal. 40. 10. hid not Gods righteousnesse in his heart.

Vse 1 Farre short come they of this Apostolicall direction, who vpon conceit that they haue as good armour as the best,A deceit to thinke a man may haue ar­mour, and yet none seene vpon him. please themselues therein, and yet shew forth no pra­ctise thereof: knowledge they haue, and well are they a­ble to discourse of the kindes of graces, and of the diffe­rences betwixt current and counterfeit grace, as also of the many wiles of Satan, and of the meanes to auoid them, and yet no proofe doe they giue of the soundnesse of any grace in themselues. For example, many imagine that they haue very good and sound faith, and yet liue al­together by sence: for while all things goe well, according to their desire, they can beleeue and depend vpon God: but when any crosse falleth vpon them, then their shield of faith is to seeke, euery dart pierceth them to the very heart. Other conceit they haue a good brest-plate of righ­teousnes, and yet no practise of pietie, none of charitie, to be obserued in them. They are like those of whom Saint Iames Iam. 2. 16. speaketh, that can say to such as are naked and de­stitute of daily food, bee you warmed and filled, notwith­standing they giue them not those things which are need­full for the body.

Vse 2 [Page 26] Let vs for our parts make proofe of the graces wee haue: what armour wee seeme to haue, let it bee seene on our backes.Make proofe of what thou hast. Thinke we that we haue the shield of faith? Let vs liue by our faith,Heb. 11. as the Patriarches did: or the brest-plate of righteousnesse?Job 29. 14. Let it couer vs as a robe: let vs be so conscionable in practising the seuerall duties thereof, that with the testimony of a good conscience we may say to God as Nehemiah did,Neh. 5. 19. Remember me, O my God, in goodnesse for all that I haue done for thy people. Or the girdle of verity? let vs so vprightly and sincerely behaue our selues, as we may with comfort say with honest He­zechiah, Isa. 38. 3. Lord remember how I haue walked before thee in truth. Thus may the generall doctrine be applied in all the particular branches of this Christian armour: which that we may the rather doe, note what is further requi­red: that the whole armour be put on.

§. 7. Euery grace to be vsed.

AS this particle, whole, is annexed to armour, to com­mend vnto vs the sufficiencie of the armour of God, whereof we haue heard before: so this compound word, whole armour, is inferred vpon that action of putting on, to teach vs, that it is not sufficient to put on some parts and peeces thereof, but euery part and peece, the whole armour must be put on. From the true scope of the Apo­stles meaning, I gather that,

The power of euery sanctifying grace must be manifest in the life of a Christian. Doct. 6. Euery grace to be manife­sted. This was it whereunto he exhorted before, saying,Ephes. 4. 15. expounded. Let vs in all things grow vp, &c. There he vseth a Metaphor taken from the members of a naturall body, implying that spirituall graces are to the spirit, as fleshly members to a body; now if the body grow in some parts only, and not in euery part proportionably, (as if it[Page 27] should grow all in the head, and not answerably in the legs, or all in the shoulders, and not at all in the thighes) it would bee but a monstrous body: or if it abound with noisome humors, which make it swel in some parts, those humors wil be so far from preseruing the body, that they will rather impaire the health, and shorten the life of it. So if a Christian shall be hot in faith, and cold in loue; or haue great knowledge, and shew little obedience: or bee full of deuotion, and empty of discretion, surely hee is a monstrous Christian: the want of some graces make the other to bee of no vse. Such professors are a shame and dishonor to others; they are full of noysome and distem­pered humors, which will destroy that shew of spirituall life which they seeme to haue. Fitly may they be compa­red toDan. 2. 32. &c. Nebuchadnezzars Image, whose head was of gold, but his feet of yron and clay: what was the end of that I­mage? the feet therof were smitten, and so all broken toge­ther. Such is like to be the end of al monstrous Christians.

But is it possible that any one Christian should haue all sanctifying graces?Question.

Yea verily,Answere. it is not onely possible, but also necessarie that not onely any one, but euery one be endued with e­uery kinde of sanctifying grace, which appertaineth to the essentiall being of a Christian. For regeneration is as perfect in the kinde thereof, as our naturall birth.

Men ordinarily are borne with all the parts and mem­bers of a man: if not, they are eyther monsters, or at least imperfect: but in the spirituall birth, which is [...]. Iohn. 3. 3. from aboue, euen& 1. 13. of God, there is no imperfection of parts, there are no monsters: all that are borne of the Spirit, haue all the essential parts of the Spirit; & thus are al alike, though not in measure, yet in number of graces. For as the flesh hath corrupted euery power of the soule & part of the body,[Page 28] so doth the Spirit renew euery power and part of both. The Apostle testifieth of the Corinthians, that1. Cor. 1. 5, 7. in all things they were made rich, and not destitute of any gift.

Forceable and weightie motiues there are to vrge this point,Reasons. as

1 1. God maketh nothing in vaine. Now then God ha­uing made this whole armor,God maketh nothing in vaine. whole armour must be put on. If a carefull and wise Captaine should prouide suffi­cient armour for all his souldiers, and some of them bee carelesse in putting on euery peece thereof, might hee not bee offended with them, and that iustly? Much more should we prouoke God, by neglecting any thing which he in his good prouidence hath prouided for vs.

2 2. Wee stand in great need of euery peece of this ar­mour: for vnlesse we put on euery peece,Euery grace needfull. we lye open to our enemies, euen as if we had put on neuer a peece: for they are very subtil, they narrowly view vs on euery side, and soone can espie if any part be naked. What if a soul­dier haue an helmet and want a brest-plate, if a dart light vpon his brest, and pierce to his heart, what good getteth he by his head-peece? Or if hee haue a brest-plate, and want a girdle to knit it close, or tassets and cushes to co­uer his belly? Thus if faith, or hope, or righteousnesse, or veritie, or any other part of the Christian armour bee wanting, the Diuell can thereby take his aduantage to de­stroy the soule: so as not onely duetie to God, but safety of our selues may moue vs to put on the whole armour.

3 3. True triall of the truth of those graces, which wee seeme to haue,Who haue not euery grace, haue neuer a grace. is made by the concurrence & meeting of al together. Single graces, that is, graces which stād alone, are counterfeit graces. Faith without righteousnes is pre­sumption: righteousnes without truth is hypocrisie, & so in the rest. Al come from the same fountaine: he that hath not all, hath none at all.

[Page 29] How needful is it that we follow the counsel of2 Pet. 1. 5, 6, &c. Saint Peter, Vse 1 which is, to giue all diligence to ioyne one grace vn­to another,Adde grace to grace. to knowledge faith, to faith hope, to hope righteousnesse, to righteousnesse truth, to truth patience, and so in the rest? Thus will it not repent the Lord to haue prouided whole armor for vs, when we shall vse all. Thus shall we giue no aduantage to our spirituall enemies; thus shall we haue euident proofe of the Spirits abode in vs, and be assured that indeed we are borne anew.

§. 8. Mans endeauour to be added to Gods assistance.

THe two generall parts of the Apostles direction haue hitherto beene distinctly handled: now let vs consi­der them ioyntly together. The first part is that wee bee strong in the Lord. The second, that wee vse those meanes which God hath appointed for our safetie. Whence ob­serue, that

Gods assistance and mans endeauour concurre together: Doct. 7. they may not be seuered.Gods assi­stance and mans endea­uour are ioy­ned together. Without Gods mighty power man can doe nothing: vnlesse man put on the whole armour of God, God will doe nothing. This the Church knew right well,Cant. 1. 3. and therefore both prayeth vnto God to bee enabled by him (draw me) and also promiseth to doe her vttermost endeauour, and follow his direction (wee will runne after thee.) The like we reade ofPsal. 119. 31. Dauid: but most clearely is this point laid downe byIoh. 6. 44, 45. Christ, who hauing said, No man can come to mee, except the Father draw him, (wherby he sheweth that God must enable man to come to him) addeth, Euery man that hath learned of the Father commeth to mee, (whereby he sheweth, that man enabled of God, addeth his owne endeauour.)

Why Gods powerfull worke is necessary,Reasons. hath beene shewed before on vers. 10. namely, because of our owne[Page 30] vtter inabilitie to doe any thing of our selues.Ephes. 2. 5. Before God quickeneth vs, we are dead in sinnes, no more able to doe any spirituall function, then a dead corpse to doe any naturall function: yea, after we are quickned, we are 1. Cor. 15. 10. still supported by Gods grace, which worketh in vs: yet being quickned wee must do our endeauour, because of that order which the Lord hath in wisdome appointed to bring vs to glory.

For this end doth God worke in vs both to will, and to doe, that we should worke out our owne saluation, Phil. 2. 12. 13. Non sicut in lapidibus inse [...] ­satis, &c. Deus salutem nostram opera­tur. Aug. cont. Pel de pec. rem. lib. 2. cap. 5. God worketh not vpon vs, as vpon stockes or stones, but giueth to vs life and abilitie, as when hee raised the Widdowes sonne, the Rulers daughter, and Lazarus, he put life into them, and inabled them to mooue, rise vp, walke, eate, and doe other functions of the liuing.

Vse 1 By this is discouered the error of proud presumptuous Papists on the one side, and of secure carelesse Libertines on the other.Papists attri­bute too much to mans will. The Papists to establish their owne power and strength, hold and teach, that after the first motion and stirting of the heart, which they acknowledge to bee of God only,Bell, de grat. l. 5. c. 29. potest homo absolute per liberum ar­bitrium benefa­cere sivelit. a man absolutely by his free will may doe well if hee will. But Christ saith of the branches which were in the vine, whose hearts were stirred vp,Iohn 15. 5. Without me yee can doe nothing.

The care which the Apostle hath to direct them vnto the fountaine of strength, the Lord, euen then when espe­cially hee vrgeth them to arme themselues, argueth that without continuall strength supplied vnto them from the Lord, they are not able to stand of themselues against the assaults of their enemies.

Libertines fall into another extreame,Libertines too carelesse in doing what they ought. they, to pamper their flesh, and pursue their carnall delights, so referre all to the worke and power of God, that they are altogether[Page 31] carelesse in vsing any meanes themselues, vpon conceit that God is able of himselfe to saue them, and that when God pleaseth he wil saue them, do they in the meane time what they list. But fondly they argue from Gods power, who neglect the meanes which God hath appointed and reuealed, wherein and wherby he wil manifest his power. Deut. 29. 29. His reuealed will is the ground of our faith and obedi­ence: if we follow the direction of it, then may we safely trust vnto the power of God; otherwise in attributing all to the grace of God, we abuse it, andJude vers. 4. turne it into want on­nesse. Were it not necessary for vs to doe what God ena­bleth vs to do, as wel as trust to the power of Gods might, the Apostle needed not haue been thus careful in stirring vs vp to arme our selues.

Vse 2 As wee presume not in trusting to our owne strength, left we prouoke God to resist vs, so neither tempt we God in neglect of the meanes which he hath appointed, lest we cause God to forsake vs: but as wee looke for helpe and strength from God, so must we be carefull in well vsing all those meanes which God hath ordained for our helpe and safety. To this purpose tend all the exhortations in the Scripture, whereby any duety is required at our hands. Note the complaint of our Lord against Ierusa­lem; Mat. 23. 37. Totum ex Deo, non tamen qua­si dormientes, non quasi vt non conemur, &c. sine volun­tate tua non e­rit in te iustitia Dei, &c. qui fe­cit te fine te, non te iustificat sine te, &c. Aug. de verb. Apo. serm. 15. How often would I haue gathered thy children together, and yee would not? Be we not like to them, lest wee be re­iected as they were: Know we this for certaine, that God wil not with cart-ropes by force and violence, against our wills draw vs to Heauen.

To this end doth God take out of vs that stonie and inflexible heart which is in vs by nature, and giueth vs an heart of flesh which is flexible, that it being made pliable by Gods Spirit, should apply it selfe to Gods worke, as Dauid did, Psal. 119. 112. The truth is, that many Chri­stians[Page 32] are wonderfully wounded and foiled by the Ene­mie, because of their owne idlenesse and securitie, in that they are backward in putting forth themselues, and neg­ligent in endeuouring to do what God inableth them to doe.

Loe here is compleate armour of God prouided for our defence and safetie; be we careful in putting it on and well vsing it.

Thus much for the meanes to be vsed.

§. 8. The end and benefit of Christian armour.

THe end why this meanes is to bee vsed, followeth in these words; That yee may be able to stand, &c. In setting downe this end, hee declareth the benefit of the fore na­med armour, [...]. which is an abilitie to stand, amplified by the enemie against whom we stand, the Diuell, and his subtil­tie, in this word, wyles.

The Apostle still followeth and continueth his Meta­phor taken from Souldiers, who being euery way well fenced and prepared against their enemies, stand stoutly against them, neither fall downe, flye away, nor giue ground. [...]. Wherefore this word stand, is a word of safetie and freedome from danger; yea, of victory and conquest, implying, that they which are well prepared with the ar­mour of God, so long as they well vse it, can neither bee slaine, nor taken captiues, nor beaten downe, nor made to flye, nor yet foiled or put backe, and forced to giue ground, but stand fast and safe vpon their ground, yea stand fast in the field when their enemies are driuen a­way, and so remaine Conquerors, as we shalVerse 13. after heare. And this is all the conquest which in this world wee can looke for, to keepe our selues safe, that we be not conque­red or foiled, and that we giue no aduantage to our ene­mies.[Page 33] As for the vtter subduing of the Diuel and his host, that belongeth to Christ our Captaine and Champion.

This safe standing being laid downe as the end why this armour of God is giuen, and declaring the benefite which followeth vpon the well vsing of the armour, these two Doctrines naturally flow from thence,

1. There is no hope,Doct. 8. no possibilitie of remaining safe with­out spirituall armour.

2. They who well put on the armour of God, Doct. 9. and vse it as they ought, are safe and sure, and so may be secure.

§. 9. Who are without armour, can haue no hope to stand.

FOr the first,No safetie without ar­mour. that which the Prophet saith of one peece of this armour, the shield of faith, I may well apply to the whole armour, if yee haue it not on you,Isa. 7. 9. Surely yee shall not be established, yee cannot stand.

Without this armour wee are naked,Reason 1. and lye open to euery dart and shot of our spirituall enemies: and are no more able to free our selues from the power of the Diuel, then a poore silly Lambe or Kid from a roaring Lion or rauenous Beare. If being vnfenced, we stand safe, it must be either by reason of the goodnesse of the Diuell, that he pittieth vs, and cannot finde in his heart to take any ad­uantage against vs; or of his carelesnesse and blindnesse, that he prieth not about vs, or obserueth when, & where we are fenced or naked; or of his weaknesse, that he is not able to pierce and wound vs, though wee be naked: but such is his malice, his subtiltie, and sedulitie; such also his power (as wee shall after heare) that none can imagine there should be any such goodnesse, carelesnesse, blind­nesse, or weaknesse in him.

Besides,Reason 2. by neglecting to vse this armour prouided[Page 34] of God, wee prouoke God to cast vs into the power of our enemies, and to giue them power ouer vs,1 King. 22. 20, 21, &c. as he dealt with Ahab.

Vse 1 How egregiously doe they deceiue themselues, who conceiue that though they haue no part or peece of this armour of God,Many ouer­bold. they can be as safe and sure, and may be as secure as they who haue the whole armour on them; much like to the seuen sonnes of Sceua, who ouerboldly ventured to adiure an euill spirit (Acts 19. 14, 15, 16.) but what was the issue? being vnarmed they could not stand, they were ouercome and forced to flye.

Many thinke there needeth no such care about faith, righteousnesse, sinceritie, &c. as some doe take:

For ought they see,Obiect. they are most assaulted and most foiled, who are most busie and diligent in putting on this armour, and fitting it to them.

To grant that they which put on this whole armour of God are most assaulted,Answer. because the Diuell without any great assaulting, preuailes against such as haue it not on; I vtterly deny that they are most foyled: for they who are without it are cleane vanquished, and in the power of the Diuell, which the other neuer shall be.

Yea but say they,Obiect. 2. we find and feele no such matter, we are very quiet, no way molested.

I easily beleeue it:Answere. but what is the reason? because the Diuell hath them in his power, hee needeth not eagerly pursue them.

Miserable is that rest and quiet which they haue:Simil. euen like to that which the poore Kid hath, when it is brought into the Lions den, or the Mouse when it is in the Cats mouth, the Cat can play with the Mouse when shee hath once caught it: and the Lion can let the Kid lye quiet in his den, while he rangeth and roreth after that prey which[Page 35] is out of his clutches. But what security of life haue these that are so taken? their securitie is, that they are sure to be gnawed to peeces and deuoured. This is the case of those who being destitute of the armour of God, yet thinke themselues quiet and well. They are fast bound with the chaines of sinne, and wholy in the Diuels power, where he ceaseth to molest them for a while, but rather dallieth with them, while he eagerly pursues such as haue on this armour, and are out of his power, and stand manfully a­gainst him. Against these he casteth all the darts hee can, but all in vaine, as the next Doctrine sheweth.

§. 10. Who well vse their armour are sure to stand.

THey who well put on the armour of God, Doct. 9. and vse it as they ought, They are safe who well vse the armour of God. are safe and sure, and may bee secure. Saint Peter exhorting Christians to seeke after such graces as may be comprised vnder this armour, expresly saith,2 Pet. 1. 10. If yee doe these things, yee shall neuer fall. Saint Iohn saith of one peece of this armour, namely faith, that1 Iohn 5. 4. it is the victory which ouercommeth the world. What then may bee said of this whole armour, of euery peece of it together? Saint Paul goeth yet further, and saith of himselfe, and of other Christians like himselfe, who haue put on this armour, Rom. 8. 37. We are more then Conquerers.

The points which haue bin before deliuered,Reasons. that this is compleate armour, the compleate and whole armour of God, doe sufficiently confirme this point.

Vse A strong motiue this is to perswade vs to put on the whole armour of God. This is the maine end which the A­postle aimeth at in laying downe this end,Be perswaded to vse this ar­mour. to shew that as this is armour of proofe in it selfe, so it will sufficiently defend vs, and keepe vs harmelesse. If at any time wee be foiled, the fault is our owne, wee can blame none but[Page 36] our selues, because the Lord giueth such meanes where­by wee may be able to stand. Is it a benefit to stand fast and safe? Is it a matter to bee desired to bee kept free from spirituall wounds and hurts, yea from eternall bondage and slauerie vnder sinne, Satan, and other mortall ene­mies of our soules? and from euerlasting torment and torture that followeth thereupon? (how blinde are they which see it not! how foolish are they which regard it not!) If this (I say) bee a benefit, then take notice of the meanes whereby wee may bee inabled to stand fast in that libertie which Christ hath purchased for vs, and made free from the forenamed slauerie: and withall make conscience, and giue all diligence to vse the means aright. It is a point of notorious folly to be desirous of a thing, and carelesse in doing that whereby our desire may bee accomplished. Yea, it is a cunning wile of the Diuell in good things to make men separate the meanes from the end, but in euill the end from the meane; as to make men desire and looke for the good and happie end of righteousnesse, and yet bee backward in walking in that way that leadeth thereto: and contrariwise, eagerly and swiftly to runne in the way of sinne, and yet not feare the wages of sinne, and the Issue of that course. In the first kinde Balaam was deceiued.Numb. 23. 10. In the second Euah was deluded. Balaam desired to dye the death of the righteous; but carelesse hee was in leading such a life as brought foorth such a death.Gen. 3. 4. Euah was perswaded shee should not dye, and yet feared not to eate of that fruite,Gen. 2. 17. a­gainst which death was denounced. Let the fearefull end of both these make vs wise against these wiles. World­ly men are wise enough herein, if they obserue a good benefit to bee had, they will seeke how it may be obtai­ned, and do with all diligence that whereby it may be ob­tained.[Page 37] This maketh them to passe ouer Sea and Land to get such commodities as their owne Land affordeth not: this maketh them when they feare enemies, to haue all warlike prouision readie; oft to muster their men, to keep continuall watch and ward at their chiefe port-townes, with the like.To stand. Now this end heere laid downe, being a matter of so great consequence (for if we stand not fast, but suffer our selues to be foiled and ouercome, no lesse da­mage and danger followeth thereof, then losse of eternall happinesse on the one side, and vtter destruction on the o­ther.) Why should we be more foolish in spirituall mat­ters, then worldlings are in temporall? They indeede are more sensible of temporall things, whether good, or euill. Let vs therefore in spirituall matters giue the better heed to the direction of Gods word: that faith may make vs as wise, as sence maketh them.

§. 11. Satan our aduersarie.

THe necessitie and benefit of this armour will be better manifested, if we shall duely weigh who is our enemy, and1 pt. 5. 8. what his assaults be?

The enemie, Doct. 10. The Diuell ou [...] enemie. against whom we are made able by the whole armour of God to stand, is the Diuell. Thus is he called our 1 Pet. 5. 8. Aduersarie, Mat. 13. 39. Enemie, Matth. 4. 3. Tempter, Iohn 8. 44. Murtherer &c. Much might be spoken of the creation, nature, fall, and many other points of the Diuell: but I will content my selfe with such points as may most serue for our present pur­pose, which is to shew how fearefull and terrible an ene­mie he is.

§. 12. Satan a terrible enemie.

FOr the better vnderstanding whereof,What Diuels were by crea­tion. know, that the Diuels by creation were good Angels, as powerfull,[Page 38] wise, quicke, speedie, inuisible, immortall, &c. as any o­ther Angels: equall in euery respect, but inferiour in no respect to the very best Angels.

When they fell they lost not their naturall substance,What they lost by their fall. and essentiall properties thereof, no more then man lost his when he fell: for as man remained to be not only flesh and bloud, but also a liuing, yea and a reasonable creature after his fall, so the Diuell remaineth to bee a spirit, in­uisible, immortall, quicke, speedie, &c. as before: onely the qualitie of his nature and properties is altered from good to euill: as powerfull as he was before to good, so powerfull is he now to euill; inuisible and quicke hee is, wonderfull close and speedie in working mischiefe, hee was not more desirous of good before his fall, then since he is mischieuous, and euen set vpon euill.

There are foure especiall things which make the Di­uell very fearefull;What makes them terrible

First, his power. Secondly, his malice. Thirdly, his subtiltie. Fourthly, his sedulitie and speede.

Who feareth not a powerfull enemie? This made 1 Sam. 17. 11. Goliah seeme so terrible. If an enemie bee malicious, euen for his malice hee is feared as1 Sam. 22. 22 Doeg: or if hee bee craftie and subtill, for which2 Sam. 15. 31 Achitophel was feared: yea also the enemies of Israel were accounted fearefull in regard of their swiftnesse,Isa. 5. 26. That they came hastily with speede. How terrible will all these make an enemie, when they all meete together? It may bee thought that if an enemie bee malicious, and wanteth power, hee may con­sume himselfe with malice, and doe little hurt to others: or if hee bee powerfull and malicious, but want witte, crafte, and subtiltie, hee may like an vnbridled Horse runne on head-long in his powerfull malice to his owne ruine and destruction: or though to his power and ma­lice,[Page 39] subtiltie bee also added, yet if hee bee slow and care­lesse, hee is the lesse feared, in hope that hee may be pre­uented in all his enterprises. But where malice is strength­ned by might, might whetted on by malice; both ma­lice and power guided by craft, craft and all stirred vp by diligence, sedulitie, and speed, who can stand against such an enemie?

Now all these do in a very high degree concurre in the Diuell, as1 Pet. 5. 8. Expounded. Saint Peter doth notably set them downe in this description of the Diuell; Your aduersarie the Diuell like a roaring Lion walketh about, seeking whom to deuour. His name [...] Diuell, and that which he seeketh for, to de­uoure, sheweth his malice. The beast whereunto he is re­sembled, Lyon, sheweth his power and craft, and the attri­bute, roaring, addeth terror thereunto: lastly, his walking vp and downe, sheweth his sedulitie. Of his power, malice and sedulitie, I shal haue occasion more distinctly to speak on the 12. verse.

§. 13. The Diuels wiles.

SAtans subtiltie is heere particularly expressed vnder this word,Satans sub­tiltie. wyles. The Greeke word signifieth artifici­all, crafty, [...] &c. Chrysost. cunning conueyances of matters, windings vp and downe, and turning euery way to get the greatest ad­uantage. Fitly is this word vsed by the Apostle, for his temptations and assaults are very cunning, full of much deceit, of many windings, which make him so mightily preuaile against the greatest sort of the world, euen a­gainst all that are not strong in the Lord, and wise in well vsing the whole armour of God.

The titles which in Scripture are giuen to the Diuell, doe euidently imply his great craft. He is termed a Dra­gon, and a Serpent, which of al other beasts are counted the[Page 40] craftiest, andGen. 3. 1. Mat. 10. 16. wisest: yea to shew that he hath had long time of experience to make him the more subtill and craf­ty: he is called anReu. 12. 3, 9. [...] quasi [...] guarus, peritus. Plat. in Crat. old Serpent, a great red Dragon. There are names in Greek which we ordinarily translate Diuell, that yet further signifie his great subtilty, for they note out his great knowledge and vnexperienced skill.

As his names are, so is his practise, full of many win­dings, full of much craft. It is an infinite taske, a matter of impossibility to discouer all his cunning straragems and subtill deuices. He hath old trickes, which long hee hath vsed, because by long continued experience, he hath found that silly men are soone deceiued with them, and that the harme of some cannot warne others: and yet doth he daily inuent new vpon new, euer shifting from one to another: if one will not serue, he hath another pre­sently in a readinesse. For diuers persons, diuers conditi­ons, and dispositions, he hath diuers temptations. Some­times hee playeth the part of a roaring rauenous Lion: somtimes of a craftie fawning Fox: sometimes appearing in his owne shape, sometimes changing himselfe into an Angell of light, doing any thing for his aduantage. Be­cause the Apostle holdeth himself close to the metaphor taken from warre, I will also follow it, and vnder it disco­uer some few particular stratagems, leauing it to the par­ticular meditation of others to finde out other.

1. He can well tell how to marshall and set his armie in array;Satans shifts. he well knoweth how to order his temptations: For first he vseth to make the on-set with light skirmishes and to begin with small temptation; and then by degrees to follow with greater and mightier forces. Thus came he toGen 3. 1. Eue; first onely he made a question whether God had forbidden them any of the trees: and then by de­grees he cameGen. 3. 4. directly to contradict the expresse word[Page 41] of God. So when he tempted Christ,Mat. 4. 3. 9. he began with a doubt whether Christ were the Sonne of God or no, and lastly tempted him to monstrous idolatry.

Thus he maketh men carelesse at the first, and his temp­tation lightly to be regarded, till he haue gotten some ad­uantage; which when he hath gotten, he will follow with all the might and maine that possibly he can.

2 If thus he preuaile not, but at first he be put backe, he can change his ranckes and weapons: he can alter his temptations, and beginne with fierce and violent assaults. Thus he set onJob 1. 13. &c. & 2. 7. Iob. If hee cannot seduce men by mo­uing them to make light account of sin, he will perswade them that euery sinne is most hainous, that their sins are vnpardonable. If hee cannot make them superstitious, he will striue to make them prophane: and thus help one temptation with another.

3. If he obserue the forces of the Lords Souldiers to be strong and well ordered and fortified, then his endea­uour will be pollitikely to allure some out of their rancks, and so make a breach; it seemeth that thus he preuailed much, and got great aduantage in the Church of Corinth. For thus hee bred1 Cor. 1 11. Schismes and contentions among them. Whereupon the Apostle exhortethIbid. 7. 20. euery man to abide in the same vocation wherein he was called. Thus in these our dayes hath hee caused must trouble in Gods Churches by the inordinate walking of many persons; who leauing their owne places, haue caused diuisions, sects, and separations from the Church.

4. If hee obserue some prouident Captaine, watch­full ouer the Lords armies, and carefull to keepe his soul­diers in good order, animating and incouraging them, then will the Diuell vse the1 King. 22. 31 King of Arams stratagem: all his forces shall be bent against that Captaine. Thus hee[Page 42] fiercely set vpon our chiefe CaptaineMatth. [...]. in the wildernesse, and throughout the whole course of his life; but especi­ally Mat. 26. 37. in the Garden, and& 27. 46. on the Crosse. Thus did he de­sire toLuke 22. 31. winow the Apostles: Thus doth he sorely tempt Magistrates, Ministers, & such as haue charge ouer others.

5. If he preuaile not against them, rather then faile, he will set vpon the weakest. Thus dealt he by the ministery of Heretikes, who2 Tim. 3. 6. led captiue simple weomen. And thus in our dayes dealeth he by the ministery of Papists, Ana­baptists, Separatists, and all other Sectaries.

6. If by none of these meanes hee can accomplish his plots, as hee desireth, face to face, or force against force, then will he lay some secret ambushments or other, to set on the Lords souldiers vnawares behinde their back, like to that stratagem ofJos 8. 4. Ioshuah, and ofIudg. 20. 29. the Israelites: as when he suffers Christians to goe on in doing the worke of the Lord, and performing such dueties as belong vnto them, but will come behinde, and cast into their hearts some conceits of merit and pride. Thus he gaue2 Cor. 12. 7. Paul a backe-blow. Thus he ouercommeth the Papists, and ma­ny ignorant persons among vs. Sometimes also hee will cast lustfull and worldly thoughts and cares into them, and soMat. 13. 22. choake all.

7. If the Lords souldiers be so circumspect, as neither by force nor fraud hee can preuaile, hee will not sticke to change his flag: and seeme to fight vnder the Lords ban­ner, asEz 4. 4. Neh. 6. 2. Tobiah, Sanballat, and other deadly enemies of the Iewes endeauoured to doe. In this respect the Apo­stle saith, that's2 Cor. 11. 13, 14, 15. Satan transformeth himselfe into an Angell of light, and his Ministers into the Apostles of Christ. Thus oftentimes hee preuaileth with such as are of tender con­sciences to make many needlesse scruples, by accounting such things to bee sinne, which Gods word neuer made[Page 43] sinne, and by thinking many things to be necessary due­ties, which belong not at all vnto them.

Thus haue we a taste of some of his wiles, I will not further range foorth into this spacious field, lest I bee too tedious.

Vse Hauing such an enemie as the Diuell is, had wee not need to bee strong in the Lord,See Doct. 3. of vers. 10. and in the power of his might? this enemy hauing so many wyles, had wee not need be alwaies prepared with the whole arm or of God? assuredly if we be not strong in the power of Gods might, there is no standing against the Diuell. If at any time we be without the whole armour of God, doubtlesse we shal soone be ouertaken with some of his wiles.

Vse 2 How doth this which hath beene said of the Diuell and his wyles, commend vnto vs the prouident care of God o­uer vs, who keepeth vs safe from such an enemy, and from such wiles? and how doth it set foorth the excellencie of the fore-named whole armour of God? Very excellent must needs that armour be, which is able to keepe vs safe from so potent and malicious an enemie, who hath so many wiles to deceiue vs. This sheweth it to be very compleate and euery way sufficient, for while we haue it on, well fit­ted to vs, all the craft of the Diuell cannot finde a naked place where to wound vs, his strength is not able to pierce it; no though his craft and strength be both whetted on with malice. Is there not now great reason we should put it on and alwaies keepe it on? that we neither wake, nor sleepe, be alone, or in company without it?

Vse 3 Labour to haue our eyes enlightned (that we may dis­ctie those wiles of the Diuel) and to be filled with spiritu­al prudence and wisdome, that we escape these snares. Let vs preserue in vs an holy iealousy ouer our selues, & suspi­tion of the Diuel and his wiles, fearing left he should find[Page 44] vs somewhere vnarmed, and sometime vnprepared (for otherwise we are safe.) Gods word is able to afford vnto vs wisdome enough to auoid his wiles. ForPsal. 119. 98 Dauid there­by was made wiser then his enemies. Let vs therein ex­ercise our selues, and withall pray with2 Sam. 15. 31 Dauid, that God would turne the wiles and counsels of the Diuell into foolishnesse: For1 Cor. 3. 19. God catcheth the wise in their owne craf­tinesse.

THE THIRD PART.
The reason why we must be well armed.

Ephes. 6. 12.‘For wee wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against Principalities, against Powers, against worldly Gouernours, Princes of the dark­nesse of this world, against spirituall wickednesse in heauenly things.

§. 1. The coherence.

IN this verse is laid downe the motiue which the Apostle vseth, to vrge the fore-named di­rection. It may haue a double reference First, generall to the former exhortation, Be strong, &c. yea, and put on the whole armour, &c. because we haue such enemies as are heere described. Secondly, particular to the last clause of the former verse, where he shewed that we were to stand against the Diuell, so it serues as an amplification of them: for if the question be asked, what[Page 45] is the Diuell, that we should be so prepared against him? these words set him forth; not flesh and blood, but principa­lities, &c. The first particle [...]n. for, being a causall particle, which intimateth a reason, implieth the first reference: the immediat connexion of this verse vpon the last clause of the former verse, implieth the second. Both may well stand together: for both import one and the same thing: namely, that because wee haue so dreadfull and deadly enemies, wee ought to bee well prepared against them.

§. 2. Danger maketh watchfull.

FRom the inference then of this verse, and from the force of the Apostles argument, I collect, that The greater danger we are subiect vnto, Doct. 1. the more watchfull and carefull we must be for our safety. The more danger we are in, the more watchfull we must be. When Christ obser­ued what a sore agony he was to enter into, he did not on­ly watch and pray himselfe, but called vpon his Disciples toMat. 26. 38, 40, 41. watch and pray: and because they did not, he rebuked them for their sluggishnesse. Saint1 Pet. 5. 8. Peter vrgeth this du­tie of watchfulnesse vpon a like reason; namely, because we haue so feareful an enemy▪ Ios. 9. 12, &c. & 10. 1, 2, &c. Outward temporal dan­gers make naturall men watchfull and carefull for their temporal estates and liues, as the histories of all times and ages shew. Seeing then that spirituall dangers are much more fearfull, ought we not to be much more carefull?

If we be,Reason we doe not only shew that we haue regard of our soules, and seeke the good of them, but also we shall procure much good vnto them, and preuent and keepe away much mischiefe from them.

Vse What false consequences doe most make of that spi­rituall danger, whereunto they vnderstand that they are subiect by reason of their spirituall enemies? Euen[Page 46] cleane contrary to this inference of the Apostle, and the wisdome thereby taught vs; and that in two extreames: one of presumption, the other of despaire: for some, when they heare of such enemies as are heere described, they doe too vainely, carelesly, and proudly contemne them, likeIudges 9. 28. Gaal: other too meanely, basely, and slauishly dread them, likeIsa. 7. 2. Ahaz.

§. 3. Against presumption.

THe former extreame,Presumption ariseth from which is presumption, ariseth partly from too great a conceit of our selues, and of our owne strength; and partly from too light credence and be­leefe of that which is recorded of the Diuell.

That selfe-conceit maketh vs fondly imagine that wee are well able to resist all temptations of the Diuell,1. Selfe con­ceit. or any of his instruments: whereupon many are ready to lay (when they are exhorted to take heed of the Diuell, and of his strong temptations) I defie the Diuell and all his wic­ked crue, he can doe no hurt to me: I can (I thanke God) easily auoid his temptations the gates of hell cannot preuaile against mee; and yet proud silly fooles, they are ouertaken and ouercome with euery slight temptation.Luke 22. 33. 56. 57. Peter (though otherwise a man of good gifts) was somewhat too con­ceited of himselfe, and too much inclined to this ex­treame, and yet when he was to stand to it, a silly wench daunted him.

Light credence maketh vs thinke the Diuell cannot be so terrible,2. Incredulity as he is set forth to be; but that the things which are written and said of him and his wiles, are but as scar­crowes and bugbeares to make men afraid, like to olde tales of the walking of spirits, of fairies, hobgoblins, &c. This incredulitie much hindereth the power of such exhortations, directions, admonitions and rebukes, which are gi­uen[Page 47] vs for our good. Both Peter and the other Disciples were somewhat tainted here with: for whenMat. 26. 31. &c. Christ told them all,Ioh. 13. 36, &c. that all of them should be offended by him, and that Peter in particular should deny him, none of them would beleeue it: Peter saith, Though all should, yet he would neuer: and againe, though he should die, yet would he not de­ny Christ: and so said all the Disciples.

§. 4. Against Despaire.

THe latter extreame which is Despaire, Whence ari­se [...]h despaire. ariseth partly from too deepe an apprehension of the power of the Di­uell (as if his power were infinite, and he were able to do whatsoeuer his malice led him vnto, and so could doe what hee would: or vnlimited, God letting the raines loose vnto him, and holding him in no further then he list himselfe, and so he might doe what he could, like an vn­tamed horse that is not curbed and bridled in) and partly from too light an esteeme of that power which is to be had in God, and of the great helpe and benefite which the whole armour of God affordeth, as if God were not able to make vs strong enough, nor that whole armour suffici­ent to make vs safe.

These two causes of despaire made the Israelites often times vtter most desperat speeches against God: for when Num. 13. 29. 33 34. they heard that in Canaan (the Land which was giuen them for inheritance) the people were strong that there were men of great stature, & 14. 3 4. &c euen Grants therein, that the Cities were walled, and exceeding great, they desperately expostulated with the Lord, why he brought them into that Land to fall by the sword, and in despaire of euer possessing Cana­an, whou [...]d n [...]eds returne againe into Egypt: and another time they plainly made doubt of Gods power, saying, Psal. 78. 19, 20. Can God prepare a table in the wildernesse? Can he giue[Page 48] bread? As these Israelites murmured against God, and made question of his power and truth in performing his promises, in regard of their temporall enemies, whom they iudged to bee too strong for them: so doe many in regard of their spirituall enemies. Thus wee see how prone wee are to peruert those things to our destruction, which the Lord hath set forth for our instruction. Heere the Apostle layeth downe both the meanes for our de­fence; and also the danger to which wee are subiect, that we should be the more carefull in arming our selues: we either presumptuously defie our enemies, and care not to vse any meanes of safegard; or else are too timerously daunted with our enemies, and thinke the Lords defence can doe vs no good.

Wherefore that in hearing the great danger wherein we are by reason of our enemies heere described, we take not occasion thereby to fall into any of these extreames, but rather the more carefully auoide them, and keepe in the middle way, which is, so much the more earnestly to flye vnto the power of Gods might, and so much the more carefully to keep fast on the whole armour of God; I thought good before-hand to deliuer this instruction, which naturally ariseth from the force of the Apostles reasons.

Now come wee more distinctly to handle the words them­selues.

§. 5. Exposition of the words.

IN this verse is a Description of a Christian combate. Verse 12. Summe.

The parts are two. In the first is noted the kinde of combate, wrestle.

In the second are set forth the Combatants, or the Per­sons, which on either side maintaine the combate. These[Page 49] are on the one side Defendants; on the other side Assaul­ters, which are largely described; & that both negatiuely, not flesh and blood, and affirmatiuely, but principalities, &c.

The first point in order to be handled, is the kinde of combate, implied vnder this word wrestle. In the originall it is thus set downe word for word, [...]. There is a wrestling. Wee may not thinke that hereby is meant a matter of sport, as our English word, wrestling, may seeme to im­ply: for though the [...]. Greek word, as well as the English, be sometimes attributed to a strife of sport, yet is it also v­sed for a serious and fierce fight and combate. The Greek word according to the proper [...] dicitur quia corpus [...] i, qua­titur. notation of it, signifieth such a strife as maketh the body of him that striueth to shake againe.

It implieth then that the combate heere spoken of, is not a light skirmish, with enemies aloofe off, but a grap­ling with them hand to hand; & in that respect the more fierce and dangerous. If they were far off from vs, and a­loofe should shoote or throw their weapons against vs, we might thinke to espie their darts before they fall on vs, or that they might misse of their ayme: But the combate being, as it were, a grapling hand to hand, all such hopes are taken away: for they are neere vs to espie where to annoy vs, and so may assault vs the more fiercely.

§. 6. The danger of a Christians combate.

OVr spirituall war is a sore, fierce and dangerous war. Doct. 2. It is a kinde of combate which will trie our prowesse and courage,The Christi­ans werre a fierce warre. wherby proofe will soone be made whether our armor be armor of proofe or not, or whether we haue put on this whole armour.Mat. 4. 4. &c. The truth of this was manifested in Christ our head, whom the diuel hurried from wilder­nes to pinacle, from pinacle to mountain: what the diuell[Page 50] did to Christ outwardly, and visibly, he vseth to doe to others inwardly and secretly. The estate and condition of Christ while hee liued on earth, is a liuely representation of the estate and condition of his Church in this world. Luke 22. 31. Peter felt such a wrestling, so did2 Cor. 12. 7. Paul, so doe all that slauishly yeeld not themselues to the power of the Diuel.

Thus God ordereth our estate,Reasons. 1. The more to ma­nifest and magnifie the power of his might, and the suf­ficiencie of his armour. For the sorer the fight is, and the more dangerous,2 Cor. 12. 9. the greater doth that strength appeare to be, and the more excellent the meanes whereby we are supported.

2. To make vs with greater and stronger confi­dence to depend and relye vpon him, as1 Sam. 30. 6. Dauid, and 2 Chr. 20. 12. Iehosaphat.

3. To vse the meanes appointed more carefully, as theNeh. 4. 16. 17 Iewes who while they were working, were prepared against their enemies.

Vse 1 This may serue as a meanes to make triall of our estate: if all be quiet within vs,Triall. that there bee no wrestling, no fighting; or if any, now and then a light skirmish, it is to be feared that our enemies haue gotten possession of vs, and we slauishly haue yeelded to them, and so madeIsa. 28. 15. a couenant with them. Fierce combates doe giue vs more assurance that the Lord is still our God, and we his soul­diers, then light or no assaults: for if the Diuell bee our Lord, he can let vs be quiet; but if our enemie, assuredly we shall feele his hand.

Vse 2 This sheweth the reason why so many faint, and are foiled:The cause of fainting. for it were no great matter to endure light and ea­sie combates: but when wee come to bee shaken indeed, then to stand fast is a token of extraordinary courage: this was it which proued theIob 2. 3. patience and courage of Iob.

Vse 3 [Page 51] Thinke not that we haue done enough, when we haue passed ouer some light trials,Prepare for great conflicts but prepare for greater; we must come to a wrestling. Marke what the Apostle saith of them which hadHeb. 10. 32, 36. endured a great fight, Yee haue neede of patience; and againe,& 12. 4. Ye haue not yet resisted vnto blood.

Vse 4 For our comfort, note, that though wrestling imply a sore combate, yet it implieth not a conquest ouer vs: of this there is no feare: for Christ our head hath ouercome our enemie, andHeb. 2. 14. 15 destroyed him that had the power of death, that he might deliuer all them, which for feare of death were all their life time subiect to bondage: hee Ephes 4. 8. hath led captiuitie captiue, and Col. 1. 13. deliuered vs from the power of darknesse, that we might be free from being ouercome, though not from wrestling.

§. 7. None exempted from fight.

THe Defendants who maintain this wrestling are com­prised vnder this particle we, [...]. which includes himselfe and all like to himselfe, together with them to whom hee wrote, and all like vnto them: so that

All of all sorts are to wrestle and fight this spirituall com­bate. Doct. 3. Neither Ministers,All must fight nor people, poore nor rich, male nor female, newly planted, nor old grown, none of what­soeuer rancke, condition, estate, age, qualitie, &c. exemp­ted. Gen. 3. 15. Whosoeuer is of the seed of the woman, must looke to haue his heele bruised. There is enmitie betwixt the two seeds; theGen. 3. 1. Diuell spared not the woman which was the weaker vessell, andMatth. 4. 3. hee feared not the head, Christ him­selfe, who was the strongest of all. Who may thinke to be spared? who can imagine that Satan will feare to wre­stle with him?

God will haue all of all sorts to be tried:Reasons. and the Di­uell beareth a like hatred against all:1 Pet. 5. 8. hee seeketh whom to[Page 52] deuoure: so he may deuour them, he careth not who they be: as a Wolfe spareth none of the flocke, ramme, sheepe or lambe that he can come by.

Vse 1 Let all, Ministers and people, strong and weake, all of al sorts apply all the exhortations & directions here deliue­red vnto themselues.All must ap­ply the dire­ctions of the word. Let not the weaker sort put them off vpon conceit that fierce combats belong to strong Chri­stians; Satan hauing greatest hope to preuaile against the weakest, will not faile to set on them: nor yet let the stron­ger put them off, vpon conceit that the diuell dareth not meddle with them: for though there may be some diffe­rence betwixt them and the weaker Christians, yet the strength of the strongest is nothing in comparison of the diuels might, if they come in confidence of it, and not of the Lords strength, Besides, Satan, knowing that their fall will proue a discouragement to others, will make the greatest assaults against them.

Vse 2 Let Ministers know that the precepts they giue others, belong to themselues,Ministers preach to themselues. which the Apostle heere implieth: for though his direction were in the second person (be yee strong, put yee on) yet hee layeth downe the motiue in the first person (we) to shew that he was in as great danger as they, that he stood in as great need of helpe as they; and that therefore the forenamed directions belonged to him as well as to them.Acts 14. 15. Ministers are men as well as others, sub­iect to like passions as others. If they preach not to them­selues, what means of edification, of direction and incou­ragemēt belongeth vnto them? Wherfore as people may not imagine that these matters of spiritual warfare belong only to Ministers, as if they onely were the Lords souldi­ers, so neither may Ministers put them off from them­selues to the people, as if they were only to look on, & the people to fight; but euery one apply them to themselues.

§. 8. Exposition of words.

VVE haue heard of the Defendants: Who are the challengers and assaulters? they are set downe negatiuely, not flesh and blood. For this particle not, hath reference to this latter clause, as if there were a comma betwixt wrestle and not, thus, we wrestle, not with flesh, &c.

By flesh and blood, Who are flesh and blood. are here meant such creatures as haue a bodily substance which consisteth of flesh and blood: in which respect man is termedGen. 6. 3. flesh, and Christ is said to be madeIohn 1. 14. flesh, because he had a corporall substance: herein aLuke 24. 39. difference is made betwixt a Spirit, and a bodie.

Haue we not then any enemies that haue bodily sub­stances in this spirituall combate?Quest. 1. are spirits onely our enemies?

Rom. 7. 23, 24. Our owne flesh is an enemie vnto vs.Answere. Other men al­so are enemies: there are many aduersaries, as infidels, ido­laters, heretiques,1 Cor. 16. 9. & 15. 32. worldlings, all sorts of persecutors, yea and false brethren.

Why then is flesh and blood heere excluded?Quest. 2.

They are not excluded,Answer. for this negatiue clause is not to be taken simply, [...]. but

1 Comparatiuely, [...]. not so much with flesh and blood as with principalities. With these especially wee wrestle. Thus the Apostle forbiddeth seruants toVers. 7. serue men. Or not onely with flesh and blood, but also with spirits: so saith Christ,Luke 14. 12. call not thy friends to dinner, that is, not them a­lone, but the poore also. Or not with flesh and blood alone, as it is in it selfe, weake and fraile, but set on worke, assisted and guided by spirits. As if some English souldiers were in pay vnder the Turke or Spaniard, against whom wee[Page 54] maintaine warre, though they be in battaile against vs, yet it might be said, we fight not with English men.

2. By way of exposition, not with such as are weake, fraile, foolish, visible and mortal, as flesh and blood, Thus the horses of the Egyptians are calledIsai. 31. 3. flesh, that is, weak, opposed to Spirit: so as this phrase not flesh and bloud, im­plieth more, or other then flesh and blood.

§. 9. How our spirituall enemies exceed flesh and bloud.

OVr most mortall enemies are more then flesh and blood, Doct. 4. more in number,Our enemies more then flesh and blood. greater in power, craftier in their wiles, of longer continuance, more enuious, malicious, furious, cruell, not so open and visible, but inuisible, close and secret, and in many other respects more fearefull and dangerous.

1. Among flesh and bloud, none so mightie but may be confronted: asDan. 7. 3. &c. Daniels visions of the beasts sheweth. The great Monarchs of the world haue bin destroyed one of another, but no flesh & blood can confront the Diuell.

2. Among flesh and blood none so politike, but they meete with some that at length match, yea and out-reach them. Achitophel 2 Sam. 16. 23 whose counsell was counted as an ora­cle, & 17. 14. was ouer-matched by Hushai: But all the wit of all the world cannot match the subtiltie of the Diuell.

3. Suppose that among flesh and blood some bee so mightie, as none mightier then they, so subtill as none can goe beyond them, yet are they flexible, and may by faire means be perswaded and intreated to allay their fu­rie, as1 Sam. 25. 33 Dauid by wise Abigail; yea, & wicked& 24. 17. Saul by Da­uids humbling of himselfe, & pleading his innocency: but there is no such flexibility in the Diuel, his malice wil not suffer him to be moued, vnlesse for greater aduantage.

4. Grant that some among men were implacable, yet[Page 55] their fury might bee auoided by flying from them, as 1 Sam. 21. 10 Dauid auoided Sauls furie,1 Kings 19. 3 Eliah Iezabels, Matth. 2. 14. Ioseph and Mary, Herods: From the Diuels we cannot flye, they are euery where, they can soone ouertake vs.

5. But what if no meanes of escape could bee gotten, but that needs we must be subiect to the rage of flesh and blood, yet in their greatest pride, power and rage, they may be cleane taken away by death, asExod. 14. 28. &c. Pharaoh and his host were drowned:Mat. 2. 20. Herod the great died, andActs 12. 23. the o­ther Herod who persecuted the Apostles: but our spiri­tuall enemies are not subiect to death. I might in many o­ther respects make comparison betwixt flesh and blood on the one side, and Spirits on the other, and shew how there is no comparison betwixt them, that these are not flesh and blood, but much more fearefull.

Vse 1 This doth much aggrauate the terror of our spirituall enemies: for ifProu. 19. 12. the wrath of a King (a King that is but flesh and blood) be like the roaring of a Lion: Spirituall e­nemies are terrible. if a man migh­tie in his owne strength, as1 Sam. 17. 11. Goltah, be fearefull: if a sub­till man, as2 Sam. 15 31. Achitophel, cause doubt and dread: if a ma­licious man, as1 Sam. 22. 9. Doeg, bee mischieuous: if an host of 2 Kings 6. 15 flesh and blood bee terrible; how much more these ene­mies which are not flesh and blood?

Vse 2 It is no easie matter to preuaile against them, or to a­uoid their assaults:No outward prowesse can daunt them. it is not outward prowesse and cou­rage, not strength of body, dint of sword, troopes of ar­med men, it is not state-policie, or war-like subtiltie that can annoy them, or keepe vs safe from them. To oppose wit or power of flesh and blood against such as are not flesh and blood, is to set drye straw against flaming fire. 2 Cor. 10. 4. The weapons of our warfare must not be carnall, but spiritu­all, and so mightie towards God, to keepe vs safe from these enemies. For seeing our enemies are not flesh and blood, [Page 56] in vaine is such armour as can protect vs onely from flesh and blood.

§. 10. The Diuell hath his hand in euery temptation.

IN combates euen with flesh and blood wee haue especially to doe with Satan: Doct. 5. Satan the principall in all conflicts. Flesh and blood is but Satans instru­ment, he is the Generall, he the Captaine, he setteth flesh and blood on worke, he assisteth flesh and blood, so as he is the author and finisher of the euil which they doe: they being but his vassals, though they seeke to annoy vs; yet wee wrestle not with them, but with an higher power. Gen. 3. 1. When the Serpent tempted Euah, shee had to doe with the Diuell; and therefore theJohn 8. 44. Diuell is said to be a mur­therer from the beginning. The Sabeans and Chaldeans robbed Iob, yetJob. 1. 12. is the deed attributed to Satan. Though a mayde and a man brought Peter to deny his Master, yet thereinLuke 22. 31. Satan winowed him.Mat. 16. 23. Christ saith to Peter who tempted him, Goe behind me Satan. The persecuting Iewes hindred Paul from comming to the Thessalonians, yet he saith1. Thes. 2. 18. Satan hindred him. Reu. 2. 10. Satan is said to cast some of the Smyrnians into prison, yet men-persecutors did it. In this respect he is called2 Cor. 4. 4. the god of this world, Iohn. 8. 44. the father of murtherers, Ephes. 2. 2. aspirit that worketh in the children of diso­bedience: and false Apostles are called2. Cor. 11. 15 ministers of Sa­tan, That which is said of flesh and blood, in regard of o­thers soliciting vs to sinne, or hindering vs from good, may be applied to our selues in regard of our corruption and euill lusts, which prouoke vs to euill: Satan hath an hand in them; yea hee is the author and finisher of the mischief which they do, so as in those temptations which arise from our flesh, we haue to doe with Satan. There­fore the Apostle dehorting vs from anger saith,Ephes. 4. 27. Giue no place to the Diuell. When couetousnesse moued Ananias [Page 57] to lye against his conscience, Saint Peter said,Acts 5. 3. Why hath Satan filled thine heart? When pride mooued Dauid to number the people, it is said1 Chr. 21. 1. Satan prouoked him: for as the spirit of God stirreth vs vp to euery good thing, so the spirit of the Diuell suggesteth vnto vs euery euill thing.

Vse Learne wisdome of the men of Aram. In all combates whether against our owne corruptions,Fight princi­pally against the Diuell. or against euill men, as persecutors, seducers, and the like, striue to driue the Diuell away, and that by spirituall armour;1 Kings 22. 31. yea, pray to God to rebuke him. Assuredly flesh and blood cannot much annoy vs, if Satan be resisted and withstood. Ob­serue in all histories of all ages, the records of battels, and yee shall finde that if the Generals and Captaines haue beene conquered, the common souldiers haue soone yeelded, or beene put to flight.

It is the Diuell which bloweth vp in vs the fire of lust, pride, couetousnesse, and all other vices: he layeth before vs euill baits, agreeable to our nature, and so seduceth vs: he inrageth persecutors, hee blindeth idolaters, he sedu­ceth heretikes, &c. If this were well weighed it would make vs pitie flesh and blood when it fighteth against vs, ra­ther then enuie it: it would keepe vs from snarling like a dogge at the stone which is flong.

Vse 2 I might heere lay forth the wretched estate of all that fight against Christians, and shew how they fight vnder Satans colours, and shall receiue their wages of him, Rom. 6. 23. which is death: but hereof I shall haue fit occasion to speake hereafter on this word, worldly-gouernours.

§. 11. Who cannot stand against flesh and blood, can much lesse stand against principalities and powers.

THe affirmatiue part of the description of our assaul­ters followeth, which is ioyned to the other part with[Page 58] an aduersatiue particle but: [...]. not with flesh and blood, but with principalities: whereby is further confirmed that which we haueDoct 4. before proued, and shall yet more eui­dently be demonstrated in handling the particular bran­ches of this description,Doct. 6. that our enemies, with whom wee are to wrestle, are much more terrible then flesh and blood. I will not stand to prooue the Doctrine againe in this place, onely heere obserue one vse.

Vse 1 They who are qualed with that which flesh and blood can doe, can neuer be able to stand against these spirituall enemies.Who are qualed by flesh and blood cannot stand against principalli­ties. He that is terrified with the barking of a little whelpe, will be much more with the roaring of a Lion: he that in faith cannot say,Psal. 118. 6. I will not feare what man can doe, can neuer say, I will not feare what Principalities can doe. Let this be noted of those who are turned out of the wayes of righteousnesse, and made to flie by mans threat­nings, reprochings, and euill intreatings, let them neuer looke to ouercome and reigne with Christ. The Sabeans, Chaldeans, and all that flesh and blood could do, preuai­led not against Iob. Wherefore when flesh and blood ma­keth any assault, let vs thus reason with ourselues, There are sorer enemies then these, with whom we must wrestle: if we shrinke from these, how shall we stand against them? Let the consideration hereof make vs the more bold and con­fident against all that flesh and blood can doe.

§. 12. Exposition of words.

NOw consider we the particular branches of this de­scription of our enemies. There are foure distinct branches distinguished by this particle against. [...]. Much ambiguitie and obscuritie is in this description. I will therefore as plainely as I can cleare the meaning of the words.

[Page 59] From these seuerall branches many collect diuers and distinct orders of Diuells, one subordinate to another: as among men there be diuers orders, some Kings, some Dukes, Earles, Barons, &c. Thus they make the Di­uell, mentionedVers. 11. before, the head and Monarch of all the rest: Principallities vnder him: powers vnder them, and so in the rest. For my part, I thinke these distincti­ons in this place ouer-curious: I deny not an order to be amongst Diuels, euen as amongst theeues, pirats, conny­catchers, &c. There is an head andMat. 9. 34. Prince of them. For mention is made of theMat. 25. 41. Diuell and his angels. There may bee also distinct and seuerall offices among them (as a­mong the forenamed pirats) as some to tempt, some to accuse, some to execute vengeance, &c. For if all should doe the same thing, how should the other things bee done? but that certaine bee alwayes tyed to one place, person and function, is both vncertaine and vnlikely. Further, that heere in this place there should be so many orders and ranckes of Diuels, as are distinct branches, is also vncertaine; neither can any such thing by any iust consequence be collected.

I rather take these titles to bee vsed by the Apostle, to set forth their conditions and effects.

The first title is Principallities, or gouernments: so ter­med, because they haue great rule, power, and dominion, not so much ouer other Diuells, as ouer wicked men.

The second is powers, to shew that their principallitie is not a meere titular matter, but is armeed with power, so as with their powerfull gouernment, they are able to doe great matters.

These two titles, principallities and powers, areIn abstracto. thus set downe, rather thenIn concreto. powerfull gouernours, to amplifie both the one, and the other.

[Page 60] The third is worldly Gouernors. This I take to be added as an exposition of the first, or rather as a limitation there­of, shewing ouer whom the Diuels are gouernours: not ouer the chosen and called of God; but ouer the world (ForJohn 17. 9. [...]. Christ maketh a direct opposition betwixt these:) therefore the Apostle vseth a compound word, which ex­presseth not onely their gouernement, but also their subiects.

But theIohn 3. 16. elect also are counted to be of the world while heere they liue,Obiect. because in the world they were bred, brought forth, brought vp, and ended their dayes.

They are in the world,Answer. but not of the world,Ioh. 17. 6, 16. [...]. after that they are effectually called: therefore for more per­spi [...]uitie sake, the Apostle addeth this clause, of the darke­nesse of this world, whereby particularly he sheweth whom the Diuels gouerne in this world; namely; such as are darknesse: here againe for emphasis sake, he rather vseth this wordIn abstracto. darknesse thenIn concreto. darke: and hee vnderstandeth the darknesse of ignorance and wickednesse: so that in plaine termes they are the ignorant and wicked men of the world, ouer whom the Diuels reigne.

The fourth is spirituall wickednesse. This declareth their nature, that they are spirits, and their condition, that they are euill, and malicious. The phrase which the Apostle v­seth is somewhat strange, word for word it is this, [...]. Spiri­tuals of wickednesse, or spirits of wickednesse, that is, most monstrous wicked spirits.

Lastly, is added a phrase somewhat ambiguous, be­cause that whereunto it hath reference, is not expressed: it is this, word for word, [...]. in heauenlies. Heere some to make vp the sence adde places, whereby is implied that these euill spirits are ouer vs in the ayre: for there are three places in Scripture termed Heauen.Mat. 6. 26. First the ayre where[Page 61] fowles are.Gen. 22. 17. Secondly, the firmament where the [...]tarres are. Thirdly, that place of glory, which is called Gods Throne,Matth. 6. 9. where Christ in his body, and the soules of the iust and perfect men departed are. This is called the third Heauen,2. Cor. 12. 2. the highest Heauen.

Now if the place of spirits be heere meant, by heauen­ly places must needs be meant the ayre, which is the low­est heauen: forReu. 12. 8, 9, 10, & 21. 27. out of the highest heauen they are ex­cluded. Other adde things, whereby is implied the cause of this combate, which is not any light, fading earthly trash, but heauenly and spirituall treasure. Of the diffe­rence of these expositions, I shall speake more fully, when I come more distinctly to handle this clause.

Of these foure fore-named branches; two, namely the first and the third doe in the generall scope set foorth one and the same point; namely the dominion of the Diuels▪ the fourth containeth three distinct points. First, the na­ture of Diuels. Secondly, their qualitie. Thirdly, the place, or cause of the combate.

Our enemies then are in this affirmatiue part described by fiue arguments; 1. Their gouernment: 2 Their power: 3. Their nature: 4. Their qualitie: 5. Their place of abode, or cause of fight.

§. 13. Of Satans dominion.

FOr the first, this word principallit [...]es, being meant of Diuels, sheweth that

Our spirituall enemies haue a dominion, Doct. 7. a rule, a gouern­ment:The Diuels haue a domi­nion. For this titleTitus 3. 1. principallities, is giuen to men that are in authoritie, and in this very respect, because they haue rule and gouernment. As for the Diuels, they are expresly called gouernours in this verse, and in other pla­ces, the Diuell is calledChap 2. v. 2. a prince, 2. Co [...]. 4. 4. a god.

[Page 62] Quest. How came the Diuels to haue a regiment? is their gouernment from God? ordained of him?

Answ. I may to this question in some sort apply the answere which Christ gaue to Pilat, John 19. 11. they could haue no power at all,Reason 1. except it were giuen them from aboue. So that their dominion is by Gods permission,Gods per­mission. who in iust iudgement for2 Thes. 2. 11. punishment of the wicked, hath giuen li­bertie to the Diuel to exercise iurisdiction ouer them. For asDeut. 28 48. God gaue the rebellious Israelites into the power of cruell tyrants and vsurpers,Judges 3. 8. so hee giueth the world into the power of the Diuell.

Yet haue they no true right and title to their gouern­ment, as if it were properly deputed vnto them of God, as the gouernment of lawfull Kings and Magistrates on earth is. For as the Kings of forraine Nations which in­uaded Israel, and for a while ruled ouer them, were but oppressors and vsurpers, (thoughEsay 10. 5. God in iustice made them a rod to punish the people) and thereforeIudges 3. 9. when Israel repented, the Lord deliuered them, and cast the rodde into the fire: so the Diuels. Other reasons there­fore there bee of the Diuels dominion, and that partly in regard of themselues, and partly in regard of their vassals.

For themselues they haue vsurped dominion,Reason 2. Satans vsur­pation. they haue by tyrannie taken principallitie vnto themselues, e­uen as one of their chiefest instruments on earth haue done (I meane that man of sinne,2 Thes. 2. 4. Who exalteth himselfe aboue all that is called god, or worshipped, shewing himselfe that he is God, euen that Whore of Babylon, whoReu. 18. 7. glorified her selfe.) Thus haue these Principallities heere spoken of, exalted and glorified themselues. In regard of this ambitious tyrannicall vsurpation; the Diuell hauing shewed Christ all the Kingdomes of the world, and the[Page 63] glory of them, saidLuke 4. 6. This is deliuered to me, and to whomso­euer I will, I giue it.

For the Diuels vassals (which are all the wicked of the world) they slauishly and willingly yeeld themselues to his gouernment and tyrannie,Reason 2. making themselues sub­iect to these principallities, Mans subie­ction. whereby the rather these Diuels haue taken dominion ouer them:Iudges 9. 6. as the men of Shechem subiecting themselues to Abimelech, hee became their King:2 Sam. 15. 13 as the hearts of Israel turned after Absolom, and he became their King: and1 King. 12. 20. after that to Ieroboam, and hee became their King; and to many others who be­came their Kings: in which respect God said,Hos. 8. 4. They haue set vp a King, but not by me; they haue made Princes, and I knew it not. That the wicked doe willingly and slauish­ly subiect themselues to the Diuell is without question: for it is writtenReu. 13. 4. The whole world worshipped the Dragon which is the Diuell.

Vse 1 Take heedeEphes. 4. 27. how we giue any place to the Diuell, or yeeld vnto him any whit at all. Where hee getteth any entrance,Giue no place to the Diuell. there will he set his throne, asIer. 43. 10. Nebuchadnez­zar did; he is exceeding ambitious, and tyrannicall: hee will be a King, or no body: if he get an inch, hee will take an ell: if any make themselues in any thing subiect vnto him, he will soone take a principallitie ouer them. Now cōsider in how woful an estate they liue, who haue earth­ly I yrants to rule ouer them, & withall consider how far the Diuell exceedeth all the Tyrants of this world in malice and mischiefe, and from thence gather in what misery they lie, who are vnder the principallity of Satan.

Vse 2 How besotted are they, who thinke that the Diuell is their seruant,His seruice is to rule. at their command, which is the conceit of Witches, Coniurers, Sorcerers and the like, yea also of many prophane and wicked worldlings. Indeed he may,[Page 64] and doth often pretend and make shew of seruice, but it is like the seruice of him who stileth himselfe,Dominus Papa▪ servus seruorum. A seruant of seruants: onely a meanes the more to insi­nuate himselfe into them, and to get the more soue­raigne principallitie and rule ouer them. They know not the Diuell nor themselues, who thinke to rule ouer him.

Vse 3 Learne we to subiect our selues to the Lord Christ, as to our King, that he may maintain our cause against these principallities.Subiect thy selfe to Christ One King cannot brooke that another should haue principallitie ouer his subiects. If Christ be our Lord and King, he will not suffer other Lords, especi­ally such as are his enemies, to rule and reigne ouer vs. But otherwise, if we be like those who said,Luke 19. 14. Wee will not haue this man to reigne ouer vs: Psal. 2. 3. Let vs breake his bands, and cast his cords from vs; then in iust iudgement will Christ giue vs ouer to the tyrannie of Satan For there is no mid­dle monarchie or regiment betwixt these: whosoeuer are not Christs subiects, are Satans vassals.Reuel. 13. 8. All that dwell on the earth shall worship the Diuell, whose names are not written in the booke of life. Note what was threatened against Is­rael, Deut. 28. 47. 48, &c. Because thou seruedst not the Lord thy God, &c. There­fore thou shalt serue thine enemies, &c. This will bee iust with the Lord to giue them ouer to Satans power, who rebell against him; that so by their hard bondage vnder him, they might the better see their folly, and if they haue so much grace, bewaile it, and become wiser.

§. 14. Of Satans power.

THe second argument whereby the Diuels are descri­bed, is their power: this sheweth, that

As our spirituall enemies haue a dominion, Doct. 8. so they haue[Page 65] power to exercise the same: Diuels able to exercile their dominō. [...]. a power whereby they are able to keepe their vassals and captiues vnder them in subie­ction. In this respect Satan is calledChap 2 v. 2. a Prince of power. Many titles in Scripture giuen vnto him doe argue as much, asLuk. 11. 21. strong man armed, 1 Pet. 5. 8. roaring Lyon, Reu. 12. 3. great red Dragon, 2 Cor. 4. 4. god of this world. Consider how hee dealt with Iob, and it will appeare that hee is indeed a Prince of power.

The Lord suffereth him to bee a Prince of such power,Reasons.

1 That his owne diuine power might bee the more manifested, in subduing such a powerfull Prince.

2 That there might be made a greater triall of the cou­rage of his Saints and children. Thus was Iobs courage and strength manifested.

3 That hee might execute the sorer vengeance vpon the wicked.

This generall point, that the Diuell is a powerfull and mighty Prince, being thus cleared, for the better vnder­standing of Satans power; I will as plainely as I can re­solue their particular questions.

1 Whether the Diuels bee able to doe what they will?

2 If not what they will, then whether they be able to doe any thing aboue the course of nature?

3 If not aboue nature, wherein consisteth their extra­ordinary power?

4 Whether their power bee any whit lessened since their fall?

5 Whether they haue alwaies liberty to doe what they are able?

§. 15. Of the restraint of Satans power.

1 FOr the first,The Diuell cannot doe what he will. The Diuell is not able to do what­soeuer he will; for this is proper onely to God, whose power is infinite. Were hee able to doe what hee would, God should haue no command of him, no power ouer him: but hee himselfe is a creature, his power is a created power: and therefore limited within the bounds of a creature.

2 For the second,Nor doe any thing against nature. He is not able to doe any thing sim­ply aboue, or directly against that course which the Lord hath ordained vnto his creatures, which is commonly called, the course of nature. For God hath tied all his crea­tures thereunto; and hath reserued onely vnto himselfe, who is the sole Lord of nature, power to alter it as plea­seth him. Which being so, by necessary consequence, it followeth that the Diuell, 1. Cannot worke miracles, 2. Nor force the will of man, 3. Nor know the secrets of mans heart, 4. Nor foretell things to come: for all these are eyther aboue, or against the course of nature.

§. 16. Of Satans power in miracles.

1 COncerning miracles, Nor worke miracles. the Diuell cannot worke any. For Christ by the miracles which hee wrought, manifested himselfe to be the Son of God, in­dued with diuine power. The Prophets and Apostles were declared to bee the seruants God, and assisted with diuine power; yea God was manifested to worke in and by them, by the miracles which they wrought. If the Di­uell had power to worke miracles, miracles had not been so euident a demonstration of the power of God. The[Page 67] very Sorcerers could say of the miracles which were wrought by the ministery of Moses, Exod. 8. 19. This is the finger of God.

Obiect. Those Sorcer [...]rs wrought some of the mira­cles which Moses did.

Ans. The workes done by the Sorcerers in Egypt were counterfeit. Though there were some outward likenesse and resemblance betwixt some of those things which Moses and the Sorcerers did, as turning rods into Serpents, wa­ter into blood, and bringing abundance of frogs; yet in truth there was a very great and maine difference betwixt them. There is no doubt but the things which Moses did, were truly and properly miracles: as for the things which the Sorcerers did, either they might be done by naturall meanes, as the Diuell might secretly conueigh Serpents, and blood, and frogs from other places to Egypt: or else the things which they did might be meere illusions, onely appearances of things which were not so: and so the E­gyptians made to thinke they saw Serpents, blood, and frogs, when in truth there were no such things: this latter is the more likely, as may be gathered by the circumstan­ces noted in those histories. First for the Serpents, it is said thatExod. 7. 12. Aarons rod deuoured their rods: Euident therefore it is, that Aarons rod was turned into a true liuing Serpent, and likely that the Sorcerers roddes were not so, because they made no resistance, but were deuoured.

2 For the waters, it is noted, thatExod. 7. 20. 24. 25. all the water that was in their riuer was turned into blood, and so continued seuen dayes, and that they could not drinke of that water. But no such thing written of the waters which the Sorcerers see­med to turne into blood; neither is it likely these waters were so: for the waters which they seemed to turne must needs be in Goshen, (which was free from all the plagues) in Egypt all was blood.

[Page 68] 3 For the frogges, those which Moses broughtExod. 8. 14. were gathered on heapes, and made the Land stinke. But what be­came of those which the Sorcerers brought?

Obiection. Why then went they no further? could they not as easily haue made shew of lice?

Answer. God would not suffer them any longer to delude the Aegyptians.

Fitly may I apply that2 Thes. 2. 9. title which the holy Ghost at­tributeth to the pretended miracles of Antichrist, vnto all the pretended miracles of Satan, and call them lying won­ders.

§. 17. Of Satans power ouer Mans will.

2. COncerning Mans will, Nor force mans will▪ Diabolus ad malum cogere non potest. Crys. in Mat 4. hō. 5 the Diuell cannot sim­ply and directly force it to yeeld to any thing: for this is against that nature which God hath giuen to the will. Take away freedome from the will, and ye cleane destroy the will it selfe. Therefore God in conuerting a sinner forceth not his will, but worketh in him toPhil. 2. 13. [...]. will.

Obiect. Satan bringeth the will of naturall Men to his bent.

Answ. This he doth partly by faire allurements, and partly by fearefull terrors; by some externall meanes or other, hee moueth the will to yeeld vnto him. All at all times yeeld not vnto him. If hee could force the will, hee would draw all to his bent.

§. 18. Of Satans power ouer Mans heart.

3. COncerning Mans heart, Nor search mans heart. it is as a bottomelesse pit, of an vnsearchable depth,Ier. 17. 9. deceitfull aboue all things: to search it, and simply to know the secret[Page 69] is aboue the reach of nature:Ier. 17. 10. it is one of Gods in­communicable properties to bee a searcher of the heart. Acts 1. 24. HerebyJohn 1 47, 48, 49. N [...]thanael gathered that Christ was the Sonne of God.

Obiect. Most of the Diuels temptations be framed ac­cording to the inward disposition and secret intents of mens hearts.

Answ. Though certainly he know them not,Diabolus non rimatur cordis occulta, sed ex corporis habitu & gestibus ae­stimat quid versemus in­trinsecus. Hie­ron. in Mat. 15. yet very shrewdly can be gesse at them, and that not only by their outward speech, behauiour and carriage, (which he espi­eth more narrowly then all the men in the world can) but also by the inward humors, temperature and disposition of the body, which (being a spirit) he discemeth as easily as the outward behauiour.

§. 19. Of Satans power in foretelling things to come.

4. COncerning things to come, Nor foretell things to come. a simple foretelling of them, without any helpe at all from natu­rall causes, signes, effects, and the like, is also aboue na­ture: GodIsai. [...]1. 23. & 48. 5. prooueth himselfe to bee the true Iehouah hereby.Ier. 28. 9. Hereby he gaue testimony to his Prophets to be sent of him, and guided by his Spirit. Satan cannot do this.

Obiect. Satan and his instruments haue foretold many things to come,1 Sam. 28. 19 as when hee appeared to Saul; andActs 16. 16. the diuining Mayde; yeaDeut. 13. 1, 2 God implieth that they may.

Answ. Such things they may foretell, as by naturall causes or signes may bee collected, or coniectured: or which by God haue any way beene reuealed. The Diuell is admirably and extraordinarily skilfull, and experien­ced[Page 70] in all the causes of nature, and can draw one conse­quence vpon another:Simil. As if one linck of a long chaine be­ing in a deepe well, appeare but a little aboue water, by it he can draw vp linck after linck, and so at length the buc­ket it selfe out of the water, which otherwise could not haue bin seene. Also he diligently marketh all the secrets which God reuealeth, euen so soone as they are reuealed, and so may seeme to foretell of himselfe inch things as God foretold. There was very great probabilitie of that which the Diuell told to Saul: the things which the diui­ning Maide & such other foretold, might be such as were gathered by some vnknowne natural causes. That which God implieth of false Prophets, may be meant of meere coniectures, or of some such instances as are heere named.

§. 20. Of the extent of Satans power.

3 FOr the third,Wherein Sa­tans extraor­dinary power consisteth. the extraordinary power of the Diuel consisteth in this, that he can do any thing whatsoeuer is in the compasse of nature, and may be effe­cted by naturall meanes. For example,Iob 1. 16. 19. he can violently moue the ayre, and cause tempests and stormes:Ibid. he can inflame the ayre, and cause thunder and lightning; yea, and extraordinary fire to fall downe: he can exceedingly trouble the Seas, and cause such waues and billowes to a­rise, as shall swallow vp ships and men: he can cause wa­ters to swell ouer the bancks, and so make great breaches. On earth he can cause earth-quakes, he can throw downe the strongest buildings, and roote vp the best setled trees, and mooue all things: hee can carry and hurry vp and downe euen in the ayreMat 4. 5. 8. the bodies of men and beastes: yea,Mat. 8. 32. hee can enter into them, and make them with vio­lence rush and runne headlong hither and thither:Mat. 17. 15. hee[Page 71] can cast them into the fire and water,Mat. 15. 22 grieuously vexe and torment them, andIob 2. 7. inflict sore diseases vpon them; he canMarke 9. 17, &c. possesse them, make them lunatick, dumb, deafe, blinde; make them foame and roare out, and all to rent them; he can stirre vpEphes. 4. 27. wrath, pride, couetousnesse, lust, and the like passions in men; he can know the disposition of men, and accordingly lay baites for them, or bring them vnto baits; hee can2. Cor. 4. 4. darken mens vnderstanding, andMat. 27. 3, &c. cause much trouble and anguish in their soule and conscience; yea, so much as they cannot endure it, but are brought to make away themselues; hee can incense man against man, Kingdome against Kingdome, Subiects a­gainst Princes, Princes against subiects, and so cause quar­rels, warres, treasons rebellions, oppressions, murthers, &c. Many more strange mischiefes can he worke, which for kinde are extraordinarily wonderfull, and for number innumerable.

§. 21. Of the power of euill Angels compa­red to good.

4 FOr the fourth,Whether Sa­tans powe [...] be dimini­shed by his fall. if comparison be made betwixt the Diuels and the good Angels, (to whom at their first creation they were equal in power) it is euident that their power is somewhat lessened by their fall. For Reu. [...]2. 7. whensoeuer there was any opposition betwixt good and euill Angels, the euill were alwayes foiled, they could not stand against the good. But in comparison to other creatures, they still retaine so much power ouer them, as their power cannot appeare to bee any whit diminished by their fall: but that still they remaine to be as powerfull to doe mischiefe, as they were before to doe good: for all other creatures (except the good Angels) are not able to withstand their might and fury.

§. 22. Of the restraint of Satans power.

5. FOr the fift,Satan cannot as he lift doe what he is able. though the word heere attributed to the Diuels doe properly signifie [...]. a libertie to doe as one list, yet it may not, nor cannot be denied, that that power which is giuen them is so limited and restrai­ned by an higher and superiour power, euen the power of God, that they cannot as they list themselues exercise the vttermost of their power, and doe what they are able to doe, if they were not held in. Fitly may I apply that to the Diuell, which is said of the Sea,Job. 38. 10, 11. that God hath set barres and doores before him, and said, Hither to shall hee come, and no further. In this respect they are said2. Pet. 2. 4. to bee deliuered into chains, and Iude vers. 6. reserued in euerlasting chaines: By which phrases is implied that the Lord dealeth with Di­uels,Simil. as men vse to doe with curst madde ban-dogges, which will flye at the throate of euery one with whom they meete, they tye and chaine them vp for feare of do­ing hurt. For proofe hereof, note what God said to the Diuell vnder the Serpent, e Thou shalt bruise his heele: by which phrase is implied a restraint, namely, that he should not come so high as the Saints head to crush it, he should onely snarle at his heele, and bite it; that is, he should not bee able vtterly to destroy their soules, but onely annoy them with smaller temptations.

But more cleerely is this laid downe by many particu­lar instances.Exod. 8. 18. Satans power in the Sorcerers of Egypt was restrained; the1. Sam. 16. 14 euill spirit could not enter into Saul, till God permitted him: for it is said, God sent him.1 Kings▪ 22. 22. The like is noted of the lying spirit that seduced Ahab. Zach. 3. 1, 2. Satan stood at Iehoshuahs right hand to resist him, but the Lord reproued him.Luke 22. 31, 32. He desired to wi [...]ow Peter, and the o­ther[Page 73] Apostles, (so as without leaue he could not doe it) and yet he preuailed not as he desired. Many other par­ticular instances might be alledged; but the most famous of all is that which is noted in the history of Iob, Job 1. 11, 12 & 2. 5, 6. where hee could doe nothing against Iob till hee had leaue, and when he had leaue, he could doe no more then was per­mitted. Lastly, as an argument from the lesse to the grea­ter, and so a more forceable argument, noteMat. 8. 31. how hee could not enter into swine without permission; much lesse can be doe any thing against man without leaue.Mat. 6. 26. Are not men much better then swine?

Obiect. But nowReu. 20. 7. Satan is loosed, and hath libertie to doe what he can.

Answ. That is spoken comparatiuely, in regard of former restraint:Simil. as when a dogge hath sometime beene tied very close, and afterwards his chaine is let out further, he may be said to be loosed.

The Lord thus limiteth his power,Reasons. Why God re­straineth Sa­tans power. both in regard of himselfe, and also in regard of man, who is made after Gods Image.

For himselfe: 1. That hee might manifest a diffe­rence betwixt his owne power, which is infinite, with­out limits and bounds; and the power of his enemies who oppose themselues against him. Therefore is his power calledVerse 10. a power of might, as if no other power were mightie but his. 2. That hee might shew himselfe to bee an absolute Lord and Commander ouer all crea­tures, not only those who voluntarily subiect themselues to him, but also thoseMarke 1. 27 who obstinately oppose against him.

For man, left the Diuell should soone deuour all man­kinde, for that hee1. Pet. 5. 8. seeketh. If hee were not restrained, no creature could resist him, and stand before him. As[Page 74] the Sea,Simil. if it had not bounds, would soone ouerwhelme the whole world, so would the Diuell soone turne all topsie turuie, quickely destroy all liuing creatures, and bring all to the very depth of hell, where himselfe is. Therefore though the Lord for iust reasons hath giuen him a very great and mightie power, yet in wisdome and goodnesse hath hee also restrained his power, and set bounds vnto it:

Thus wee haue heard of the extent, and of the re­straint of the Diuels power, both which are well to bee noted.

The one,Vses. that we should not make too light account of him.Make not a tush at Satan. The other, that wee should not dread him too much.

Is the Diuell a Prince of such power? Bee neither ar­rogant nor secure; but know that all the meanes which wee can vse, are little enough to keepe vs safe from him. Yea, [...] Chi. 20. 12. let vs seeke for greater power and strength then is in our selues,Postquam dixit fortem, postea estendit ligat [...] vt si te audita fortitudo ter­ruerit, ligari [...] eius nunciata consortet. Chrys, in Mat. remembring the exhortation in the tenth verse, and the direction in the eluenth.

Yet because hee is neyther able to doe what hee will, nor hath libertie alwayes to doe what hee is able, but hath his power restained and limitted by God, bee not faint­hearted, nor despaire. Though hee may s [...]rely assaile vs, yet assuredly shall he neuer preuaile against vs: remember Iobs conflict,12. Hom. 29. andIam. 5. 11. the end thereof. As we cast one eye on the extent of the Diuels power, to keepe vs from secu­ritie: so cast another on the restraint thereof, to keepe vs from despaire.

§. 23. Of the place where Satan ruleth.

THe next point sheweth yet a further restraint of the Diuells power. For it declareth the parties ouer whom especially he exerciseth his power: who are first implied vnder this compound word [...]. worldly gouernours, and then more expressely handled in the next ensuing words.

From the generall I collect that,Doct. 9. Satans rule onely in this world. The gouernment of Di­uels is onely in this world, and ouer the men thereof. It can no further extend then to the compasse of this inferiour world vnder heauen; neither can it longer last then the time of this world. Thus theChap. 2. v. 2. diuels dominion is re­strained to the ayre, and expresly is he termed the2. Cor. 4. 4. god of this world. 1. Cor. 15. 24. At the end of this world shall Christ put downe his authoritie and power.

It hath pleased the Lord to appoint this world,Reason▪ and the continuance thereof, the place and time of probation, wherein he will make triall who are fit for his Kingdom, who vnworthy of it [...] and for the more thorough triall of good and bad, to giue Satan dominion and power in this world.

Vse This is a good ground of incouragement vnto vs, to mooue vs patiently and constantly to endure all those brunts, whereunto thorough the malice and power of the Diuell, wee shall be brought in this world: without the circuit of this world they cannot reach: when wee passe from it, then passe wee out of their iurisdiction, to the place where with Christ our head wee shall triumph ouer these principallities: For in Heauen where Christ in his bodie is contained, where are the spirits of iust and perfect men, and the glorious company of good Angels,[Page 76] the diuels haue nothing to doe:Reu 12. 8. &c. they are thence cast out. As Christ (who in this world was sorely assaulted by Satan)Ephes. 4. 8. when hee ascended vp on high, led captiuitiecap­tiue, and triumphed ouer them: so2 Tom. 2. 11. If we suffer, we shall also reigne with him. Death, whereby a passage is made from this war-faring world, to that world of triumph, is the last enemie; the pangs thereof the last assaults; so as this being well thought of, cannot but moue vs with pa­tience toHeb. 12. 4. resist vnto blood and death.

§. 24. Of the parties ouer whom Satan ruleth.

YEt more distinctly are the parties ouer whom Satan ruleth, expressed in these words, Darkenesse of this world, whereby are meant such ignorant and wicked men as haue no light of spirituall vnderstanding, no life of grace in them, and therefore deseruedly called darke­nesse.

The Di [...]els rule and dominion is properly, Doct. and principally o­uer ignorant and euill men: 10. Ignorant and euill men Sa­tans vassals. euen such as are described, Chap. 4. vers. 18. 19. and before that calledChap. 2. v. 2. children of disobedi­ence, or of vnbeleefe, for the [...] originall word will beare both. For ignorant men, the Diuell is said to be the2 Cor. 4. 4. god of them that are blinded. For wicked,1. Ioh 3. 8. they which commit sinne, are said to be of the Diuell.

These resist him not,Reason 1. but yeeld vnto him: for ignorant persons know not his power,These resist not. malice, subtiltie, sedulitie, mischieuous enterprises, with the like: no maruell there­fore that they suffer themselues to be guided and gouer­ned by Satan.2. Kings 6. 19. &c. When the men of Ara [...] were strucken with blindnesse, they were easily without any resistance, led into the middest of the chiefest and strongest Citie of their enemies,Simil. for they saw not whither they went. So ig­norant[Page 77] men not seeing in whose power they are, suffer themselues there to be.

Wicked persons beleeue not that the Diuell is so cruell a tyrant as he is reported to be: They thinke him to bee the best Lord, because he suffereth them to doe as they list, and his temptations are agreeable to their corrupt humours and carnall desires: they take most delight in doing the worke of the Diuell; yea, as ChristIohn 8. 44. saith, they will doe the lusts of their father the Diuell. Virtus Diaboli est quod hom­nes mali sunt. Chrys. in Mat. 22. hom. 42. Is it then any mar­uell that the Diuell is their gouernour?

Neither ignorant nor wicked persons will subiect themselues to the Lords gouernement:Reason 2. They are not subiect to Christ. not ignorant, because they know not the benefit of it: not wicked, be­cause they thinke it too strait, too much crossing their li­centious humor. Therefore in iustice God giueth them ouer to the rule of the Diuell.

Hereby may triall be made whether wee be vnder the rule and power of the Diuell or no.Vse 1. Trial if vnder Satans power or no. John 3. 19. If we loue darknesse more then light, if weChap. 5 v. 11. haue fellowship with the vnfruit­full workes of darkenesse, wee are in the power of the Prince of darkenesse. Hearken to this O ignorant per­sons, ye that are neglecters and despisers of the light of Gods Word, that cry out against so much preaching: if at least your eares be better then your eyes, and you can beleeue that which by others is declared vnto you. Hear­ken to this also, O ye wicked persons, who pursue so ea­gerly the euill desires of your hearts, and the foolish cu­stomes of the vaine World▪ if at least your euill hearts will let you yeeld to any thing that may turne to your good. Oh, if it were possible, for these two sorts of per­sons, to see in what a miserable plight they are by those gouernours vnder whom they liue, then would the ig­norant learne knowledge, and sinners enter into a new[Page 78] course. Fondly they think they liue in great libertie, wher­as in truth, they liue in most slauish bondage. I may iustly in this case take vp the complaint of Wisdome, and say,Prou 1. 22. O yee foolish, how long will yee loue foolishnesse, &c.

Vse 2 Hereby also men may learne how to come out of Sa­tans power; namely,Acts 26. 18. by comming out of darknesse into light.How a man may come out of Satans power. So long as we liue and lye in darknesse, there is no hope, no possibilitie of freeing our selues from the tyran­nie of Satan.Col. 1. 13. God first deliuereth vs from the power of darknesse, and then translateth vs into the Kingdome of his Sonne.

This vse affoordeth a good direction to Magistrates, to Ministers, to all that haue charge of others, and to pri­uate persons.

To Magistrates, that they take order to establish the Ministerie of the Word in such places as are vnder their rule.

To Ministers, that they be diligent and faithfull in preaching it.

To all that haue charge, that they bring such as are vn­der them to the Word.

To priuate persons, that they be willing to heare, and carefull to practise what they heare.

Note what Christ saith of the issue and power of the Word preached by his Disciples,Luke 10. 18. Hee saw Satan fall downe like lightning: for by it mens minds are inlightned, and their hearts conuerted, so as Satan cannot beare such sway ouer them, as hee doth ouer ignorant and wicked persons▪

That which is in generall said of freeing men from the tyrannie of Satan, may particularly bee applied to those who are in bondage vnder his great Vice-roy on earth,How Papists may be aban­doned. euen Antichrist, which deceiueth the greatest part[Page 79] of the world. His kingdome is a kingdome of darknesse: where the light of the Gospell shineth forth, the clouds and mistes of that darkenesse vanish away. Experience sheweth, that where the preaching of the Word is rare, there is greatest number of Antichrists vassals. God grant this may be duely considered by them, who for the safety of the Kingdome, and the furtherance of Religion, doe treate of meanes whereby the number of Papists may be diminished.

For our selues, let vs first labour for the light of know­ledge to inlighten vs, and then for the light of grace to re­new vs; so shall we be freed from the kingdome of darke­nesse. For the attaining hereunto, we must diligently at­tend to the light of Gods word, and also pray for the Chap. 1. v. 17. spirit of reuelation and sanctification.

They who haue sure euidence that they areChap. 5. v. 8. light in the Lord,Vse 3. Comfort to such as are light. may from hence reape comfort, in that therby they may be assured, that though they liue in the world, yet they are not vnder the rule of the god of this world: he is Prince only of the darknes of this world. Liue there­fore as children of light, as the Lords freemen: haue no fellowship with vnfruitful works of darknesse. For2. Cor. 6. 14. what communion hath light with darkenesse?

§. 25. Of the nature of Diuels.

THe third argument whereby the Diuels are descri­bed, is their nature: they are heere termed [...]. spirituall things, so that

The enemies of our soules are of a spirituall substance. Doct. 11. Our enemies are spirits. Oft in Scripture are they expresly called spirits, and that both in the old and new Testament.

They were created spirits, and spirits they still remaine[Page 80] to be. Their fall hath not altered their substance: for then could not that nature and substance which transgressed be punished.

Vse 1 Grosly doe they erre in the nature of Diuels, who thinke,Diuels are not qualities. and teach that they be nothing but bad qualities and euill affections, which arise from our flesh. The Apo­stle expresly denieth them to be flesh, and implieth that they are much more then flesh: how then should they be thought to bee affections arising from the flesh? If be­cause they are spirituall things they should be no substan­ces, but onely qualities, then neither should theEccles. 12. 7. soules of men,Heb. 5. 14. nor good Angels, norIohn 4. 14. God himselfe be a sub­stance: for all these in Scripture are termed Spirits. But spirituall things may be as truly and properly substan­ces as bodily things, if not more: it is not any outward property of a body that simply maketh a substance: Things may be sensible, and yet be no substances, as co­lours, sounds, smels, &c. But for the Diuels, the actions which they performe, the places where they abide, and from whence they goe vp and downe, the power where­with they are indued, the torments and paines which they endure, with many other like arguments, which out of the Scripture may be collected concerning them, eui­dently shew that they are truly and properly substances. The contrary opinion, as it is erronious, so it is very dan­gerous, in that it doth much extenuate those fearefull things which haue beene deliuered concerning Diuels, yea, it maketh them to be but fables. Therefore this er­ror is so much the rather to be taken heede of.

§. 26 Of the aduantage which Satan hath.

THe spirituall nature of Diuels doth many waies ag­grauate their terror.Vse 2. Spirits very terrible. For they being spirits,Spirits very terrible. it fol­loweth that they are

1 Inuisible: though they see vs in euery place, and on euery side within and without, yet they cannot be seene of vs. And as their nature is, so are their assaults, such as by the eyes of flesh and blood cannot be seene. Consider what aduantage one that seeth hath against a blind man. Gen. 19. 9. 11 The Sodomites who so fiercely assaulted Lots house, being strucken with blindnesse could doe no hurt.2 Kin. 6. 19. Elisha himselfe alone led an Army of his enemies (being made blinde) whither he list. We to spirits are as blinde men: we can neither see them, nor their assaults. I speake of men as they are flesh and blood, naturall men. God giueth to them that are borne of the Spirit, spirituall eyes to dis­cerne them and auoide them.

2 Priuy to whatsoeuer we doe or speake, whether wee bee in company or alone, in light or in darkenesse: scarce a thought can passe from vs, but they can shrewdly gesse at it: soone can they espie out all our deuices against them. 2 Kin. 6. 11. The King of Aram found it to be a great disaduantage, that his enemy had one who could disclose the words that he spake in his priuy chamber; and his heart was troubled for this thing. What great aduantage haue these spirituall enemies against vs, who are flesh and blood?

3 Not hindered by any bodily impediments: no sensible substance can any whit stay their course, or slacken their enterprise; they can either passe thorough, or passe ouer all such things as would stop and hinder vs; as armies of men, stone walles, iron gates, woods, waters, yea, Seas,[Page 82] and Oceans, with the like. They need not such space of time to passe from place to place, as wee doe; but can on the sudden be in diuers places, which are many millions of miles asunder. For they haue no corporall grauity to hinder them, neither can they be let by any bodily obsta­cle. The Sunne is not swifter then they: the sight of a mans eye, the lightning from Heauen is not more quicke or speedy.Deut. 28. 49 This also is a very great aduantage.

4 Not subiect to any fainting, Diabolus quā ­tum ad s nu­quam cessaret tentans, nec [...] habet alium actū, non man­ducat, no bibit, no dormit, &c. propterea infa­tigabilis e [...]t in malo. Chrys. in Mat. 4. hom 5. to wearisomnesse, to fai­ling or decaying, and the like, as bodies are: for they are simple substances, not framed of any externall matter, or contrary qualities, which cause fainting, decaying, &c. Hence it is, that after they haue done many thousand great exploits, they are as fresh and ready to doe many more, as they were at first. They need no resting time, but continually night and day are assaulting men with­out intermission, and without ceasing: some comfort it is to them who are sorely assaulted by bodily enemies, that the night commeth on,2 Sam. 2. 14. &c. which vsually causeth some stay. But in the combate with spirituall enemies, there is no hope of any such matter. No, they are not subiect to death:Gen. 3. 15. from the beginning of the World they haue as­saulted man; and to the end of the World shall they con­tinue: whereby they must needs gather much experience, which is a great disaduantage.

I might further proceed in setting downe other parti­cular points of aduantage which they haue against vs, in this respect that they are spirituall things. But these may suffice, and surely these may bee enough to discourage many, and make them say;

§. 27. Of the helpe we haue against Satans aduantages.

IF our enemies haue such aduantages, to what pur­pose doe we resist and maintaine fight against them?Obiect.

Answ. Though they be spirits, yet God (in the power of whose might we are strong) is a Spirit of spirits, the highest spirit, euery way infinite. God is inuisible euen to them, and they as blind as beetles to God: they cannot know the counsell of God, yet God knoweth all their de­uices; God is euery where present, much lesse subiect to decay then they. Yea, God giueth to his souldiers his Spirit to open their eyes, that they may see the Diuels temptations: hee discouereth all the purposes of the wic­ked one, andLuk. 11. 22. trusteth him out of his hold: he keepeth vs from fainting: and for our further incouragementPsal. 91. 11. gi­ueth his hosts of good Angels a charge to guard vs, and keepe vs in all our waies.

Vse 3 This point concerning the spirituall nature of our enemies, is a strong motiue to vrge those exhortations which we haue heard before of flying to God, and rely­ing vpon his power, and likewise of vsing spirituall ar­mour.

§. 28. Of Satans euill quality.

THe fourth argument whereby the Diuels are de­scribed is their quality, which is wickednesse.

Some restraine this to their malice in particular. Their maliceVerse 11. hath beene in part laide forth by discouering their manifold wiles, and shall further be declared on the last clause of this verse. Here I will speake of their wic­kednesse in generall, for so I take the extent of this word in this place.

[Page 84] The Diuels are extreamely euill: they are wholly and one­ly set vpon mischiefe and wickednesse:Doct. 12. Diuels ex­treamely euil. Therefore as by a kind of exaggeration they are here called spirits of wic­kednesse, so elsewhere Satan is termed by a kind of propri­etie Mat. 13. 19. that wicked one. Many attributes in Scripture are gi­uen to them, to set forth their wickednesse, asMar. 1. 23. vncleane, Luk. 8. 2. euill, foule spirits, with the like.

In many respects may the Diuell be accounted most monstrously wicked.Reasons.

1 Because he was the first author of wickednesse:Ioh. 8. 44. that which Christ saith of one particular branch of wicked­nesse, may be applied to the generall, he is the father of wic­kednesse, and in that respect is said to be a murtherer from the beginning.

2 Because by nature hee is most impure: no iot, no dramme of goodnesse in him. If that be true of a naturall man,Gen. 6. 5. That all the imaginations of the thoughts of his heart are onely euill continually, much more is it true of the Diuel.

3 Because hee is most willing and forward vnto euill, taking delight therein. Not vnfitly may I apply the words of the Psalmist to him,Psal. 52. 3. He loueth euill more then good, and lies more then to speake truth. He is of himselfe so set on mischiefe, that hee needeth none to egge him for­ward: neither doth it euer repent him of any euill that he doth.

4 Because euill is his continuall practice: what good hee can hee hindreth, and draweth as many as he can to euill: all his temptations are to wickednesse. First hee tempted man to sinne, and euer since ceaseth hee not more and more to stirre him vp thereunto, and that not onely by himselfe, but also by his instruments the flesh, the world, persecutors, idolaters, heretikes, profane men, &c.

Vse 1 [Page 85] Heereby may wee take notice of the Diuels medling with vs, when he preuaileth against vs:How to know when the Di­uell hath to doe with vs. Whensoeuer we are solicited to any wickednesse, then is the Diuell at our elbow; when we commit any wicked­nesse, then hath the Diuell beguiled vs, and preuailed a­gainst vs. As by our disposition to righteousnesse, and the fruits of holinesse, we may know the powerful worke of the Spirit on vs, so we may know the rule of Satan in vs by the workes of wickednesse.Ioh. 8. 44. Christ proueth that the Iewes were of their father the Diuell, because they did the lusts of their father the Diuell. For1 Ioh. 3. 8. he that commit­teth sinne is of the Diuell, Chap. 2. v. 2. who worketh in the children of dis­obedience.

This also may serue as a strong motiue to disswade vs from all wickednesse,Vse 2. Wickednesse a diabolicall quality. because it is a diabolicall quality: therein wee are like not onely to filthy swine, but euen to the infernall spirits. By committing wickednes we make our selues the Diuels instruments, yea, his imps and lims, and we beare his Image. If it be a good motiue (as needs it must be a good motiue, for oft it is vrged by the holy Ghost) to stirre vs vp to holinesse and righteousnesse, Leu. 19. 2. because the Lord God is holy,Cha. 4 v. 24. because that is his I­mage, 1 Pet. 1. 14. that beseemeth his children; then by the conse­quence of contraries, it is also a g [...]od motiue to keepe vs from wickednesse, because the Diuell is a most wicked spirit.

Note this all profane men, all impious despisers of God and of his holy Ordinances, all cursed swearers and blasphemers, all cruell, malicious, rebellious, riotous, las­ciuious, beastly persons: in a word all wicked persons note this; as here you carry the Diuels image, so assured­ly shall ye in hel partake of his punishment and torment, if ye repent not.

[Page 86] They who will haue nothing to doe with these spirits of wickednesse, must haue nothing to doe with wicked­nesse it selfe. Whosoeuer let wickednesse reigne in them, let the Diuell reigne ouer them. Satan entereth not into vs but by wickednesse.

§. 29 Of the number of Diuels.

AS a generall amplification of all the forenamed argu­ments, in this description of our spirituall enemies, note how euery branch is set down in the plural number, Principallities, Powers, Worldly Gouernours, Spirits, where­by is implied, that

The Diuels are many. Doct. 13. Many Diuels. If the question be asked how ma­ny they be, I answere that it is a needlesse, a curious, and doubtfull question: there is no ground in Scripture for resolution of it. If the holy Scripture decide not this question, what Booke can decide it? yea, what neede is there that it should be decided? too curious and too bold they hane been, who haue gone about to diuide them in­to nine orders, opposite to their conceited nine orders of good Angels, and in euery order to place certaine milli­ons.

But to let passe these vncertainties, certaine it is that there are a very great number of hellish spirits: forReu. 12, 7. they made an Host to fight against Michael and his Angels: yea, we reade that there were not onely seauenLuk. 8. 2. 30. Diuels, but an whole legion in one Man: now a legion is compu­ted to containe aboutHesychi [...]s. 6666. If at once in one Man there were so many, how many were there in all the World besides: for wee may suppose that no man is free at any time, but hath Diuels attending on him to solicit him to euill; so that it is euident, that though their iust number[Page 87] cannot be reckoned vp, yet that there is a very great number, yea (as the Apostle saith of good Angels)Heb. 12. 22. An innumerable company.

Quest. Seeing there be so many Diuels, how is it that oftentimes there is mention made but ofVers. 11. one whom we are to resist,1 Pet 5. 8. and stand against?Iam. 4. 7.

Answere. This sheweth that they haue an head a­mongst them;Omnes damo­nes de Satanae veneno malitiae virtutem acci­piunt, & sunt vnum in eo. Chrys. in Mat. 12. hom. 29. and that he and they concurre in the same minde, and all aime at the same end: their forces are so vnited and combined together, as if they were all but one Diuell. Besides, this word Diuell is a collectiue word, which compriseth many vnder it: as Turke, Spaniard, &c. Thus we say, all Christendome together raised an army against the Turke: or England sent forth an army against the Spaniard. Whether therefore we vse these words Sa­tan, Diuell, &c. in the singular number, or Principallities, Powers, &c. in the plurall number, all is one. Vnder one many are comprised, and by many an vnited power is meant.

Vse This their number aggrauateth all the former points: If it be a fearefull and terrible thing to be vnder the bon­dage of one earthly Tyrant,The number of Diuels ma­keth them the more terrible what is it to be slaues to an innumerable company of Principallities, who haue such power, are so malicious and mischieuous, and are all spi­rits, and Diuels? One Diuell is able to foile many armies of flesh and blood: what then is one poore man consisting of flesh, to legions of Diuels? who haue no other hope but in flesh and blood, haue no hope of safety at all, but are in a most miserable plight. This hellish Host (if it were seen) could not but be much more terrible to such, then the Host of the Syrians was to him that cried out;2 Kin. 6. 15. Alasse master, Comfort a­gainst the multitude of Diuels. how shall we doe? But to vs that fight vnder Christs banner, there are two strong props. One, thatIbid. v. 16. they which[Page 88] are with vs, are more then they which are with them. The o­ther, that1. Sam. 14. 6. there is no restraint to the Lord to saue by many or by few. 2. Chro. 14. 11. 1. More good Angels then euill. That there are more with vs then against vs, is ap­parent: for all the good Angels are with vs, watch ouer vs, and fight for vs. Now it is out of doubt that there are more good Angels then euill: for the Scripture speaketh much more of the number of those, then of these. As the Diuell had an host of euill Angels with him, so hadReu. 72. 7. Mi­chael an host of good Angels with him. Mention is made of one legion of Diuels in one man, butMat. 26. 53. Christ could haue had more then 12. legions of good Angels to guard him (which amount to about 80000.)Dan. 7. 10. Daniel mentio­neth a farre greater number, as thousand thousands, yea, ten thousand thousands: yea, yet further, to shew that all the set numbers which wee can set, come short of their number, the Apostle termeth them,Heb. 12. 22. A company of innu­merable Angels: surely then there are more with vs then against vs: for the good AngelsHeb. 1. 14. are all ministring spirits, sent forth to minister for their sakes, which shall bee heires of saluation.

The consideration of this is sufficient to vphold vs,2. God able to saue a­gainst many. notwithstanding the multitude of Diuels. But the other prop for our faith is much stronger and surer; which is Gods infinite power, whereby he is able to saue as well against many as few. For when we consider that thousand thousands are as one to him, what neede the number of millions astonish vs, more then one? So that although the Diuels bee many wayes fearefull to them that are out of the guard of good Angels, and protection of God, yet not to be feared of such as belong to Christ.

§. 30 Of Satans abode in the Aire.

THe fift and last argument whereby our enemies are described is in the last clause of this verse, which of all the rest is most doubtfull. Most Interpreters so ex­pound it, as if the place of the Diuels were here set down,The aduan­tage of di [...]els in regard of their place. namely, the Aire, which is oft called Heauen; which be­ing so, hereby is implied, that they haue very great ad­uantage against vs, by reason of the place where they are. For the Diuels being in the Aire,

1 They are aboue vs,1. They are a­boue vs. ouer our heads, euery where round about vs, and so still ready to annoy vs: this a­mong men is counted a very great aduantage: a few men on a hill, or on high walles and Towers are able to doe much mischiefe to a great Army in a low valley be­neath them.

2 They can espy all things that we doe:2. They ouer­looke vs. so that in this respect wee are to bee the more circumspect ouer our selues, and vigilant against them. They which haue enui­ous, malicious enemies, which ouerlooke them, and so can see whatsoeuer they doe, will be carefull that they doe nothing whereby those espiers may take aduantage to accuse them, or to worke any mischiefe against them.

3 They are in their owne Kingdome:3. They fight in their owne Kingdome. for the Diuell isChap. 2. v. 2. a Prince that ruleth in the Aire: Now amongst men, they which are in their owne Dominion, where they haue all at command, where they may haue still new sup­ply, haue a great aduantage. And they which warre in their enemies Dominions, had need bee backed with a farre greater power then their enemies haue: but wee of our selues are far weaker, and lesse in power then our spi­rituall enemies, and we fight with them in the aire, which[Page 90] is their Kingdome, where they haue all at command: haue they not then in this respect a great aduantage? haue not we need to be backed with a far greater power?

These and such like obseruations may be drawne from this circumstance of the place: which I haue the rather noted because most doe so interpret this clause.

§. 31 Of the cause of Satans quarrell.

BVt yet freely and ingenuously to make known my owne iudgement (with submission to better iudge­ments) I rather thinke that the Apostle here meaneth the cause or prize of this combate, for which it is maintained, as if it were thus translated, In heauenly things. My reasons are these.

1 In the originall, places are not exprest, but indefinite­ly the Apostle saith, [...]. In heauenlies. Now when an adie­ctiue is so set alone, most vsually the substantiue vnder­stood, is thing or things.

2 In other places being thus indefinitely set downe, it is taken for heauenly things, and so translated, as Heb. 8. 5. [...]. They serue vnto the example and shadow of heauenly things.

3 This word, being oft vsed in the new Testament, at least twenty seuerall times, is neuer vsed in any mans opi­nion (this place onely excepted) of any aeriall place, or thing, but of those things which are truely heauenly and spirituall: [...]. the word it selfe according to the proper nota­tion thereof, signifieth the vpper heauenlies: so as most im­properly it is taken for the lowest Heauens, the aire.

4 It is not a matter of so great weight and moment for spirits to bee in high places ouer vs, for they can as much annoy vs being beside vs, within vs, beneath vs, as aboue vs: high places may be an helpe to men who are clogged with flesh and blood, to spirits they can be small aduantages.

[Page 91] 5 The words being expounded of heauenly things, this last clause addeth as great weight to the discription of our enemies as any of the former, as wee shall see when we handle the Doctrine.

6 Both ancient and later Diuines,Chrysost, Muscul. Perkins on Gal. 2. 11. and those of good learning and iudgement, haue thus expounded this clause; so as it is no new or priuate conceite of mine.

Obiection. This very word is oft indefinitely vsed, as here; and yet it signifieth Places, as Chap. 1. Vers. 3. 20. & 2. 6. &c.

Answere. Though it signifie heauenly places, yet not such as are in the lowest heauen the aire, but the highest, which is not the place of Diuels; thither because the Di­uell cannot come, I expound it Heauenly things.

Obiect. 2. The phrase will not beare this exposition: for the preposition in, is neuer put for the cause.

Answ. Illud in coe­lestib. est pro eo quod est pro coelestib. Crys. One of the Greeke Fathers, who was very skilfull in the propriety of that tongue, so expoundeth it. Besides, this particle is so vsed in other places of the new Testament: twice in one verse, namely Mat. 10. 32. Whosoeuer shall confesse me, I will confesse him, &c: word for word, in me, in him. c [...]. Here the preposition in sig­nifieth the cause, as if he had said; he that shall make con­fession before men for my sake, I will make confession be­fore my Father for his sake. So againe, Mat. 11. 6. Blessed is he whosoeuer shall not be offended [...]. in me, that is, for my sake: and Mat. 26. 31. All ye shall be offended [...]. in me. The Kings Translators turne it, because of me. So in this my Text, this last clause hauing reference to the princi­pall verbe, may be thus translated; Wee wrestle because of heauenly things.

The Doctrine then which hence I gather is this:

The maine things for which the Diuels fight against vs are Doct. 14. [Page 92] heauenly matters. Diuels fight to strip vs of heauenlie matters. Before I proceede further to proue, or apply this point, I will a little more fully explaine it.

1 By heauenly matters, I meane such as principally respect Gods glory (for God being himselfe Heauenly, whatsoeuer tendeth to his Honour, is in that respect Hea­uenly,) and then such as respect our soules saluation: for as the things which concerne the temporall good of our body are earthly, so the things which concerne the eternall good of our soules are Heauenly: for to Heauen they a­spire, and in Heauen shall they enioy their happinesse.

2 Where (I say) the Diuels fight for heauenly matters,Non vt ipsi victoriam a­depti aliquod consequantur, sed vt nos pri­uent. Chrysost. matters, my meaning is, not that they desire to get them, but that they endeauour to spoile vs of them: so that in this com­bate the prize propounded to vs is heauenly; namely, whether we will serue our Heauenly Father, or the hel­lish feene: whether we will let goe, or fast hold that hea­uenly treasure which Christ hath purchased for vs, all those heauenly things whereby God is honoured, and our soules are saued.

For proofe that they be heauenly things which Satan especially aimes at, obserue those seuerall temptations re­corded in the Scripture: I will giue a taste of some. Gen. 3. 1: &c. What aimed he at in tempting Adam and Eue? was it not to deface Gods Image in them, and to strip them of that happinesse wherein God had created them? The issue sheweth as much. What sought hee in tempting Christ?Mat. 4. 3. 9. was it not to make him doubt whether he were the Sonne of God or no? yea, and vtterly renounce God, and worship the Diuell?Luk. 22. 31. 32. Was it not Peters faith that he sought to winow? Doth he not blind mens eyes,2 Cor. 4. 4. that the light of the glorious Gospell of Christ, which is the Image of God, should not shine vnto them? As for earthly things he maketh not much account of them, hee can be well con­tent[Page 93] to let men enioy them, he casts them to men as baits: wee reade howMat. 4. 8, 9. hee offered to Christ all the kingdomes of the world, and the glory of them, if Christ would haue wor­shipped him.

Obiect. Iob 1. He depriued Iob of his temporall estate.

Answ. It was an higher matter which Satan aimed at, namely, to bring him to denie God, and blaspheme him to his face;Iob 1. 11. as may bee gathered by Satans answere to God.

He would make all like to himselfe. Thorow his pride hee is fallen from Heauen, and vtterly spoiled and de­priued of all heauenly goodnesse and happinesse; where­fore he seekes also to depriue man of the like.

Behold here the malice of the Diuell:Vse. The Diuels malice. it is no good that hee seeketh for himselfe by this fierce and long conflict which he maintaineth, but our woe and misery.1 Pet. 5. 8. Hee see­keth whom to deuoure. Malice first moued him to assault man, and malice still whets him on to continue his fight against mankinde. Durst he euer haue ventred on Christ Iesus the Sonne of God, but that malice wholly posses­sed him? Not vnfitly therefore are many titles giuen vn­to him in Scripture to set forth his malice, asZac. 3. 1. Satan, which signifieth an aduersary; [...]. Reu. 12. 9. 10. Diuell, an accuser,Mat. 4. 3. & Temp­ter, 13. 19. Euill one, 25. Enemie, Ioh. 8. 44. Murtherer, and Father of lies. If the reasons of all these names (which are not hard to gather) be duly weighed,Vse 2. Wee fight for no small mat­ter. they will shew that hee is euen made of malice.

Among other motiues to stirre vs vp to arme our selues well,Vide quomodo vires inimici nos excitant eo quod scimus de rebus magnis esse periculum. Chrysost. and constantly to stand and fight against the Diuell, this is none of the least. It is no small matter that we fight for, but a matter of the greatest weight and con­sequence that can be. Satan could say (Iob 2. 4.) All that a man hath will he giue for his life: yet is life but a temporall[Page 94] and earthly matter. If all for his life, what for his soule, and the saluation thereof, which is an heauenly matter? so as there is no comparison betwixt them.Mat. 16. 26. What then shall it profit a man, though hee should win the whole World, if he lose his owne soule? or what shall a man giue for recompence of his soule? Simil. When wise Captaines see that a sore and fierce battaile is to bee fought, which with the very rumor thereof may dishearten their souldiers, they vse to hear­ten and encourage them by bringing to their mind, and setting before them the prize, or cause of their fight: some will say, Loe, ye fight for whole Townes, and Cities, and Kingdomes: others, Yee fight not to get that which is other mens, but to keepe that which is your owne; yee fight for your Countrey, your lands and inheritances, your wiues and children: others, It is not honour and conquest, they are not goods and lands that ye fight for, but liberty and life: stand to it therefore, if the day be lost, ye are either dead men, or slaues.

Note how the Philistims encouraged one another,1 Sam. 4. 9. Be strong and play the men, O Philistims, that ye be not seruants to the Hebrews. Now all these are but earthly matters; but I may say to the Lords souldiers, It is the Lord of Hea­uen whose battels ye fight, his honour is ingaged therein; it is your soules saluation, and heauenly happinesse, which is in hazard: your enemies seeke to spoile you of the pre­cious graces of Gods sanctifying Spirit, and to depriue you of that rich & glorious inheritance, which Christ by no lesse price then his owne blood hath purchased for you: if ye yeeld to your enemies, all these yee lose, and become vassals vnto your mortall and malicious enemie the Diuell, ye are euen fire-brands of Hell. Be strong therefore, and of a valiant courage: feare not, but fight and stand it out to the vttermost; so shall ye be more then conquerers.

[Page 95] The things which especially we ought to looke vnto,Vse 3. Looke especi­ally to th [...]se things which Satan most seeketh to spoile thee of. to be watchfull ouer, and to labour to keepe safe, are the forenamed heauenly things: and that not onely in regard of the excellency and worth of them, but also in regard of Satans maine opposition against them. What hee in malice doth most assault, wee in wisdome must most de­fend, and set foote to foote against him: if an enemy bring all his forces against the chiefest Tower of a City, wise Citizens will thither bring their best munition, and strongest defence: if thus wee deale with Satan, wee shall oppose godly wisedome to his wicked subtilty, and so keepe our selues safe from all his assaults. This is the wisdome which the Apostle here teacheth vs by those seuerall peeces of Armour, which follow to be handled: for they are all concerning heauenly things, and tend to the saluation of the soule.

THE FOVRTH PART.
A repetition of the meanes.

Ephes. 6. 13.‘For this cause take vnto you the whole Armour of God, that ye may be able to with­stand in the euill day, and hauing done all, to stand.’

§. 1. Of repeating one and the same thing.

HEre the Apostle returneth againe to the second part of his former direction, and repeateth in effect the very same things which he deliuered in the 11. verse: namely, how we may keepe[Page 96] our selues safe against the forenamed enemies.

We may not thinke that this his repetition is vaine and idle:Why wee are againe and againe called vpon to put on armour. for he was guided by Gods holy Spirit, who doth nothing in vaine. Note what Ioseph saith of the iteration of one and the same thing to Pharaoh in two dreames, Gen. 41. 32. The dreame was doubled the second time, because the thing is established by God, and God hasteth to performe it. Many good reasons may bee giuen why here the Apostle thus repeateth his direction, as, to shew,

1 That what before he had deliuered, was vpon very good aduice deliuered: not rashly, so as he doubted whe­ther he might stand to it or no, but so as he dares auouch it againe and againe, as being an infallible truth, which he also knew to be a truth.Gal. 1. 8. 9. Like to that thundering denun­ciation of a curse against all that should preach another Gospell, which he laieth downe twice together.

2 That it was a needefull, behoouefull, and profitable truth: a most soueraigne and necessary meanes to keepe vs safe: necessary for vs, in regard of our owne inabilitie to stand fast without it; soueraigne in regard of the suffi­ciency of the meanes, which can and will (being rightly vsed) keepe vs safe.Phil. 3. 1. Marke the reason why it was not greeuous to the Apostle to write the same things, euen because to them to whom he wrote, it was safe.

3 That naturally wee are backward and sluggish in vsing this armour: therefore hee thought it not enough once to vrge the point, but againe presseth it. ThusPro. 2. 1, &c. & 3. 1, &c. Sa­lomon oft repeateth diuers exhortations. So Captaines when they see their souldiers loath to arme when there is great need they should arme, will call vpon them again and againe to arme.Vse 1. Weighty points oft to be vrged.

Ministers may here learne, as iust occasion is giuen, to call their people to the remembrance of weighty points,[Page 97] especially such as they obserue their people most backe­ward vnto. It is not sufficient once to haue deliuered such a point, but againe, and if neede be, againe it is to be vrged. The Apostle hauing propounded Christ a pat­terne of patience to the Hebrewes, because he was a most worthy and perfect patterne,Heb. 12. 3. he calleth them [...]. againe to consider him. Thus shall Ministers shew that they make a difference betwixt points of lesse or greater need; and that they haue respect to the good of their people.

Obiection. Many will say that Ministers want mat­ter, and therefore repeate the same things.

Answer. The very same may be obiected against the repetitions vsed by the Prophets, by Christ himselfe, by his Apostles, and other faithfull and able Ministers. But let Ministers see that they doe it not vpon idlenesse, but iust cause, and then need they not feare such cauils.

People must heere learne patience, not to snuffe,Vse. 2. Patiently heare the same things oft. or be discontent if they heare the same thing againe, which be­fore they heard. This impatiency argueth an2. Tim. 4. 3. itching eare, which cannot endure a repetition of any thing, and if sheweth that they haue more respect vnto the eare, thē to the heart:Num. 11. 6. like the Israelites, which had more respect to their outward taste, then to their inward nourish­ment, and thereupon loathed Manna because they had so often tasted of it. This maketh people get them an heape of Teachers. 2. Tim. 4. 3.

In particular concerning the present point in hand,Vse. 3. This point of the Armour of God a weighty point perswade we our selues, that it is a point worthy to be at­tended vnto with all diligence, and to be obserued with good conscience; that so we may giue the more ear­nest heed thereunto, and not let it slip. Haue we also an holy iealousie and suspition ouer our selues, fearing lest wee should bee too carelesse in vsing these meanes for[Page 98] our safety, yea, too incredulous in beleeuing the good vse and benefit of them. Therefore rouze we vp our selues: for where the Spirit is most earnest in vrging a point, we must be most heedefull in marking it.

§. 2. Danger must make watchfull.

BEfore wee come to the particular branches of this verse, note the inference of it vpon the former, which is plainely implied in these words, [...] For this cause, that is, because yee haue such terrible enemies as haue beene de­scribed vnto you, Take the whole Armour, &c. By this in­ference the Apostle giueth vs to vnderstand, that,

The more dreadfull and dangerous our enemies be, Doct. The more dreadfull our enemies, the more watch­full we. the more carefull ought we to be to stand vpon our guard, and to looke to our defence. This is in effect the same that was deliuered in the beginning of the 12. verse, wee will therefore no longer insist vpon it.

§. 3. A resolution of the verse.

THis verse may be diuided and branched forth as the 11. verse was.

The Summe of it is a Direction to instruct vs how to defend and keepe our selues safe against the Diuell.

The parts are two. The first sheweth what are the meanes of safety. The second declareth the end why these meanes are to be vsed.

In the first he declareth, 1. What the meanes be. 2. How to be vsed.

The meanes are the very same which were deliuered in the 11. verse, namely, The whole Armour of God. I shall neede to speake no more thereof.

For vsing the meanes, the Apostle setteth downe an[Page 99] other word then before: there he said; Put on: Here take vnto you. Both words in generall imploy one and the same thing. This latter word is a compound word, and signifieth sometimes, [...] To take vp, or to take vnto your selues: Sometimes to take againe, or recouer. We are said to take vp vnto our selues such things as we haue not of our selues, and to take againe or recouer that which wee haue lost or let goe. Both significations may be here applied.

§. 4. Whence our defence commeth.

FRom the first I gather, that,

The graces whereby we are armed, Doct. 1. Our defeece is not from our selues. are no vertues or quali­ties which arise from our selues: for then it were improperly said; Take vnto you. These graces are some of those espe­ciall gifts whichIam. 1. 17. come from aboue, which we1. Cor. 4. 7. receiue.

By nature we are borne in our soules as naked and de­stitute of spirituall Armour,Reason. as in ourIob. 1. 21. bodies of out­ward cloathing. Reade Ezec. 16. 4. 5. &c.

Vse If we find our selues destitute of this Armour, we must seeke it, not in our selues, but out of our selues, euen where it is to be had; and that is in the Lord: for euery perfect gift commeth from the Father of lights. Iam. 1.5. He giueth it to such as seeke it by faithfull prayer in the meanes ap­pointed by him, which are his holy word and Sacra­ments. When there is newes of the enemies comming to inuade our Land, and thereupon Proclamations and Edicts sent forth to charge all to arme themselues: then euery one that either regardeth his owne safety, or his Soueraignes charge, seeketh out armour: and to the Ar­mories doe they which haue none, resort. We haue the same motiues to stirre vs vp to seeke spirituall armour.

§. 5. Of the repaire of Grace.

FRom the second I gather that,

The graces which are decayed in vs, Doct. 2. Grace decay ed, may be re­paired. or seeme to be lost, may be resumed and recouered. Thus much intimateth Christ vnto Peter, saying,Luke 22. 31. When thou art conuerted, &c. This cannot be meant of his first conuersion, which long before was wrought in him, but of his recouery. The Prophets oft call vpon Gods people, who had made themselues naked, and fallen off from their Lord and Captaine the Lord God, to returne againe vnto him. Very expresse and direct for this purpose is theReu. 2 5. charge of Christ to Ephesus, Remember from whence thou art fal­len, and repent, and doe the first workes. Psal. 51. 10. 12. Was it not the re­couery of grace which Dauid so earnestly prayed for? In faith he prayed, and was heard.

Two strong props there be to strengthen our faith in the recouery of grace.Reasons. One without vs, which is the Au­thor of grace. The other within vs, which is the seed of grace.

1. It is God who is the author of grace,1. God is the Author of Grace. who as in his nature, so likewise in his properties, is vnchangeable: so that the same cause which moued God for to bestow the graces of his Spirit on a man,Iam. 1. 17. still remaineth in him to make him renew his Spirit, and that is his mercy and goodnes, which can no more be turned from his children then the Sunne be pulled out of Heauen.Simil. A cloud may hinder the bright beames of the Sunne, yet stil it shineth, and will at length breake forth: so the beames of Gods kindnesse by the cloudes of our infirmities may be kept from vs, but still there remaineth mercy in GOD, which will at length breake through those Cloudes. For[Page 101] whom God once loueth1 Ioh. 13. 1. hee loueth vnto the end: and in this respect the graces of his holy Spirit are termed [...] gifts without repentance.

2 The seed of grace is not1 Pet. 1. 23. corruptible, 2. The seed of grace is in­corruptible. but incorrupti­ble. 1 Ioh. 3 9. The Apostle calleth it the seed of God: this seed is the holy sanctifying Spirit of God, whichIoh. 7. 38, 39 & 4. 14. Christ very fitly compareth to a springing well, out of which flow riuers of water of life, whereby supply & repaire of grace, if it faile, may be made. Now1 Ioh. 3. 9. this seed remaining in them who are borne of God, who can doubt but that which is de­caied or impaired in them thorow negligence, securitie, pride, or any infirmity, may be repentance bee renewed and recouered?

This highly commendeth the riches of Gods mercy,Vse 1. The riches of Gods mercy. who contenteth not himselfe that once hee hath well ar­med and prepared his souldiers against their enemies, but is still ready to make repaire of that which is battered, shattered, or lost thorow the violent assaults of the ene­mie, or thorow their owne negligence. One would think it sufficient that once hee bestowed on vs whole Armour, euen such as is sufficient to keepe vs safe, if our selues be not in fault. But when thorow our default any of the pee­ces thereof are faulty or missing, to make it all vp whole againe, much amplifieth his goodnesse.

This also sheweth a maine difference betwixt the Law and the Gospell. A difference betwixt the Law and the Gospell. 'For the Law leaueth no place to repen­tance, nor affordeth any meanes to resume that which is lost, or recouer that which is decaied, but vtterly con­demneth a man for that which is lost or decaied: for it saith; Cursed is euery one that continueth not in all things which are written in the Booke of the Law to doe them. Gal. 3. 10: But the voice of the Gospell isMat. 3. 2. & 4. 17. Repent, Ioh. 5. 14. & 8. 11. sinne no more, Ezec. 33. 11. Turne you, turne you from your wicked wai [...]s; for why[Page 102] will yee die? I may in this respect resemble the Law to 1 Sam. 26. 8. &c. Abishai, the Gospell to Dauid: Both of them found their enemie: Abishai would presently haue smote him starke dead: but Dauid waketh him, telleth him in what danger hee was, admonisheth him to looke better to him­selfe. Thus the Law setteth forth the rigour of Gods iu­stice, the Gospell the riches of his mercy.

§. 6. Why the whole Armour is to be vsed.

THe ende why this whole Armour is to bee vsed, now followeth. It consisteth of two branches, [...] First to withstand, which implieth a fight. Secondly, to stand fast, which implieth the issue of the fight, victory, and conquest: both of them amplified with a circumstance of time, but in a differing manner. The first hath respect to the time present (in the euill day.) The second to the time past (hauing done all.) In setting downe the end, hee also declareth the benefit of this Armour (that ye may be able) whereof we haue spoken on the 1. [...] verse.

The word whereby the end in the first branch is ex­pressed, is not altogether the same that was vsed in the 11. verse. The word there vsed was simple [...] to stand. Here it is compound [...] to withstand, or stand against. This is a word of defiance and combate, and it also implieth the manner of fight, which is face to face, hand to hand, foote to foote, not yeelding an haires breadth to the enemy.

§. 7. Of manfull standing.

HEere then are two duties to bee obserued of all such as haue taken vnto them the whole Armour o [...] God.

[Page 103] 1 That stoutly they stand against their enemies, Doct. 3. Stand stoutly. and bid them defiance: Hereof wee shall speake more on the first word of the next verse.

2 That they giue no place vnto them. Doct. 4. Giue no place to the enemy. This is a duty which theChap. 4. v 27 Apostle in expresse words commandeth.Iam. 4. 7. Oft it is implied vnder this word that is here vsed.Mat. 4 3. &c. A worthy patterne wee haue hereof in the example of our Lord and Generall,1 Pet. 5. 9. Christ Iesus, who still withstood Satan in euery assault, and would not yeeld any whit at all in any of his temptations.

Our arch-enemy is both crafty as a Fox,Reason. and cruell as a Lyon: his craft will make him soone espie and take an ad­uantage: his cruelty will make him follow it to the vtter­most.

Great is their follie who first yeeld a little,Vse Great folly to yeeld a little. and then thinke well enough to acquit themselues: they much de­ceiue themselues: for after they haue once yeelded, they haue neither will nor power to stand, as they had before. For as Satan is subtill, so isHeb. 3. 13. sinne deceitfull: who once hath tasted of it, will scarce content himselfe with a taste, but will still more and more hunger after it. Thousands are deceiued therewith, and by small yeeldings at first, at length cleane ouerthrowne. An especiall point of wis­dome it is duly to consider our owne folly and weake­nesse together with the Diuels craft and power, how in our selues (without this Armour) there is no comparison betwixt vs and our enemies: yea, also to consider the na­ture of sinne, and our pronenesse thereunto; that so we may resolutely set our selues against all temptations, not yeelding any whit at all to any. Who almost findeth not by wofull experience that a little yeelding hath caused a great ouerthrow?

§. 8. Of the euill day.

THe time against which the forenamed Armour is pre­pared is next to bee handled. It is here termed [...] the euill day. By euill is meant not so much sinne as trouble: and day is put for any continuance of time. Some take euill day for the whole time of a mans life, yea for the con­tinuance of this World, all which time Satan assaulteth vs, but no longer.

This I take to be too large an extent of this phrase, for in the originall there is to each word adioined an article, that day, that euill day, which implieth some set and distinct time; wherefore other restraine it to the day of a mans death: but that I take to be too strict a restraint: there are many other daies and times wherein vse is to be made of Armour. Wherefore in the meane betwixt both, I ex­pound the euill day to bee that time wherein Satan shall any way set vpon vs and assault vs, whether by outward afflictions, or otherwise. All his temptations tend to euil; and therefore the time wherein he assaulteth vs may well be termed an euill day.

Quest. When commeth that day?

Answer. It is no more knowne before hand then the day of death, or the day of iudgement. Whensoeuer the Lord letteth loose the raines to Satan, then is that euill day. That time wherein the Diuell depriued Iob of all he had, smote his body with sore boiles, vexed him by his wife and friends, were euill daies to Iob.

§. 9. Of Satans being loose.

IN that the Apostle telleth vs of an euil day, hee im­plieth

[Page 105] There hee times appointed wherein the Diuell shall bee let loose, Doct. 5. There are times where in the Diue [...]l shall bee let loose. and haue liberty to assault vs. This the Apostle ex­presly foretold, saying,2 Tim. 3. 1. There shall come perillous times. Marke the answere that was made to the soules vnder the Altar,Reu. 6. 10. 11. That they should rest till their brethren which should be killed as they were, were fulfilled. Thereby is decla­red, that as they which were dead had their euill daies, so the liuing should haue their euill daies. TheActs 14. 22. Apostle maketh a necessity hereof, and putteth a must vnto it, say­ing; Wee must thorow many afflictions enter into the King­dome of God. As there are common times of triall for whole Churches, so for particular persons. There is small reason for any to doubt hereof, but it is a point of good wisdome for all to looke for it. For who is there that hath not felt some experience hereof, and by his owne experi­ence can verifie the truth of this point?

The Lord will haue all his tried:Reasons. for so is his owne power, mercy, and wisdome the more manifested in his Saints; and so are his enemies the more confounded. Be­sides, the Lord will heereby make a difference betwixt his Church here on earth, and in Heauen.

Be not secure, as if no euill day could or would come:Vse. Be not secure. this is a most dangerous conceit, whereby the Diuell get­teth great aduantage, for thus he suddenly surpriseth ma­ny: and yet it is the conceit of too too many; In their peace and prosperity they thinke there shall be no altera­tion, they shall neuer be moued: not onelyPsal. 10. 6. carelesse worldlings, but oftentimes Gods children fall into this conceit, asPsal. 30, 6. Dauid. Take we heede hereof, though for a while wee thinke all well, yet alwaies it shall not bee so: the euill day commeth sooner vpon some; later vpon others; longer it tarrieth with some, shorter with o­thers, yet it comes vpon all: though it bee vncertaine[Page 106] when it commeth, and how long it tarrieth, yet most cer­taine it is that it will come.

§. 10. Of preparation against triall.

AS another vse of this, marke the next point, for in re­gard hereof the Apostle counselleth vs to prepare a­gainst it: yea, he maketh mention of the euill day, as of a motiue to make vs watchfull and carefull to arme our selues against it. Now then in that he biddeth vs take ar­mour, that wee may stand in the euill day, his counsell is, that

Preparation must be made before hand, Doct. 6. Preparation to be made a­gainst time of triall. against the time of triall. Iob 1. 5. The care which Iob had for his children before hand, must wee haue for our selues. It should seeme that hee himselfe looked for the euill daies that came vpon him: for hee saith; The thing which I greatly feared is come vpon me, d Iob 3. 25. &c. And this was it which made himIam. 5. 11. so well endure so sore assaults. Very carefull was Christ in prepa­ring the Disciples against his departure, because he knew there were euill daies comming vpon them. The last pe­tition of the Lords prayer tendeth to this purpose.

If preparation be not before hand made,Reason. we may sud­denly bee surprised and ouercome,Iudg. 18. like the people of Lat [...]h. But if wee be well prepared, we may well be the more secure.

What is like to bee the issue of them who put the euill day farre away from them,Vse. Bee not care­lesse. and neuer thinke of resisting the euill one till hee set vpon them? Many thus plunge themselues into much misery. The children of this world are in this respect wiser then many Christians: for they vse in time of peace to haue their trainings, musterings, tiltings, and many other martiall exercises, that thus[Page 107] they may bee beforehand prepared for warre.

Let vs in the time of our greatest tranquillity meditate of the euill to come:Vse 2. In time of peace medi­tate of the euill day. and for our helpe herein, obserue what euill falleth vpon others, and consider the like or worse might haue fallen, or may afterwards fall vpon vs: and therefore thorowly examine our selues, and search what faith, what hope, what righteousnesse, what since­rity, what other good and needfull graces we haue in vs, that wee be not to seeke of our Armour when the Diuell commeth to assault vs.

Hitherto of the first branch, concerning the End of ar­ming our selues.

§. 11. Of the multitude of trials.

THe second followeth, wherein the circumstance of Time is first laid downe, and first to be handled: It is in these words, hauing done all things; that is, hauing well passed ouer all those brunts, whereunto yee shall bee brought, and well acquitted your selues.

Here first the Apostle implieth, that

Many trials are to bee vndergone, Doct. 7. Many trials to bee passed thorow. many assaults to bee withstood, before we can looke to be free and safe.Acts 14, 22. Tho­row many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdome of God. Psal. 34. 19. Many are the troubles of the righteous. This was presen­ted vnto vs in Christ our head, and in all his faithfull members in all ages, in Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, &c.

The ancient Iewes were an especiall type hereof. Ca­naan, a place of rest and quiet was promised vnto them; but before they entered into it, they went into Aegypt, and were there bondmen; from thence they came into the Wildernesse, where they were brought to many straites and difficulties; and lastly, many sore battels[Page 108] fought, before they could haue rest in Canaan.

This partly ariseth from Gods good and wise ordering matters to his owne glory,Reasons. See the reasō of Doct. 1. on verse 11. and his childres good: and partly from Satans insatiable cruelty, who neuer thinkes he hath assaulted enough, so long as a Christian souldier standeth: It was a sore blow he gaue Iob when he depri­ued him of all his goods, and children; a blow that might haue strucken another cleane downe, yea, starke dead: but because he stood stoutly, hee lent him another blow, which was much sorer; yea, still hee laid on with all his might, till God would suffer him to strike no longer. The like vnsatiablenesse is manifested in his instruments: In­stance Sauls pursuing of Dauid, and the Pharises persecu­ting of Christ: they were neuer satisfied.

Thinke not the Christian combate ended when some few battels are fought,Vse 1. A few skirmi­shes finish not the Christi­ans combat: and that thou art now out of all danger, because thorow Gods mercy and power thou hast hitherto beene deliuered; rather expect and prepare for more. No doubt but Peter thought himselfe safe e­nough, when one maide which would haue betraied him was gone away: butMat. 26. 69. &c. wee reade that a second came to him, yea others also. Wherefore so long as Satan hath li­berty, (which will be so long as wee, or any other man li­ueth in this World) let vs be watchfull, and still prepa­red for many assaults one after another. Many stout vi­ctorious Monarchs haue beene ouerthrowne, because af­ter a conquest they feared no fresh assault, and so haue beene suddenly surprised. It should seeme that Belshaz­zar was so ouertaken,Dan. 5. 1. 30. because the same day that hee made his royall feast, himselfe was slaine, and his king­dome taken by Darius.

Vse 2 Many thinke, that by reason of those many assaults which the Diuell maketh against them, and the many[Page 109] tryals whereunto they are brought,Many are oft assaulted, who are not forsa­ken. God hath vtterly forsaken them, and giuen them ouer to the power of their enemies; this then may serue for their comfort, and as a prop to vphold them, that God doth thus order the e­state of his children, that many things must be done and finished before we can looke for rest.

§. 12. Of holding out.

THe word which the Apostle vseth to set downe the time of conquest, [...] is a word of perfection, and impli­eth a full and finall ending of a matter: to it hee addeth a very generall particle all: [...] whereby he teacheth vs that,

It is not sufficient well to begin the fight, Doct. 8. All assaults must be held out. and make a good onset, nor yet to hold out the brunt of some assaults, but all how many soeuer, and of what kind soeuer must be held out, all must be finished before we can looke for victory. Hee that saith all, excepteth not any at all.Heb. 10, 32, 33, &c. This perfect fini­shing of all, is it whereunto the Apostle so earnestly ex­horteth the Hebrewes, and plainely telleth them, that yet longer they were to endure, becauseHeb. 12. 4. they had not resisted vnto blood, and therefore not finished all. In this respect saith Saint Iames, Iam 1. 4. Let patience haue her perfect worke. This was Christs care,Joh 4. 34. to finish all: therefore when hee was going to his tryumph, he said,& 17. 4. I haue finished the work, &c. and againe,& 19. 30. It is finished. So the Apostle (1. Cor. 11. 1. who would haue vs follow him, as he followed Christ)2. Tim. 4. 7. I haue fought a good fight, and haue finished my course.

The promises of reward are restrained to this conditi­on,Reasons. Mat. 10. 22. He that endureth to the end shall be saued. Reu. 2. 10. Bethou faithfull vnto the death▪ and I will giue thee the crowne of life. To all those seuen Churches of Asia, to which Christ wrote, he promised a reward, but with a prouiso ofReu. 2. 7. 11. 17 26, & 3. 5, 1 [...], 21. o­uercomming He that preuaileth in some conflicts, and is[Page 110] at length ouerthrowne, cannot properly be said to ouer­come: so thatGal. 3. 4. all which is done, is in vaine, if all be not done: For marke what the Lord saith;Heb. 10. 38. If any man draw back, my soule shall haue no pleasure in him. Saul fought many of the Lords battels valiantly; but he withdrew himselfe, and the Lord forsooke him, so as at length hee was ouer­throwne. Was not the glory of all the former victories vtterly dasht hereby? did not the Philistims as much (if not so much the more) insult ouer him? So will the Di­uell.

Be carefull to adde constancy vnto courage,Vse. Constancy. if thou de­sire the crowne of conquest; and though thou hast done many things, yet giue not ouer so long as there remai­neth any thing to be done. Doe not so much consider what conflicts haue beene endured, as how many are yet still to be endured. Regard what is to come, rather then what is past.Phil. 3. 13. This was Saint Pauls mind. Many in all a­ges, who haue done many things, haue lost the crowne of glory, because they haue not done all. I would the times and ages wherein we liue, did not affoord so many exam­ples of back-sliding, as they doe. Many haue fallen, more are like to fall: the times are euill, men are weake, all of vs prone to faint.

§. 13. Of the issue of constancy.

YEt for our encouragement, note the last word of this verse, to stand, wherein the second branch of the end here propounded, is laid downe. To stand, in this place is a note of victory: it implieth that Satan notwithstanding all his power, malice, subtilty, fury, sedulity, with the like, cannot ouerthrow them that are well armed; but as Con­querers, when all the conflicts are ended, they shall stand safe & sure, euen the last in the field. It is here added as the[Page 111] issue of the former point, as if he should haue said; If man­fully ye withstand your enemies, at length ye shall stand as con­querers ouer them. Doct. 9. Constancy getteth con­quest. The point here to be noted is this, that Courage and constancy bringeth assured conquest and victo­rie. TheIn the rea­sons of Doct. promises before mentioned intimate as much. ThatIam. 4. 7. which Saint Iames laieth downe as the issue of re­sisting the Diuell, is in effect the very same which is here laid downe. There it is said; the Diuel will flie; here, we shall be able to stand: The Diuels flight & our standing do both imply a conquest. This was theIam. 5. 11. end which we know the Lord made at the end of Iohs patience. Hence it is that the Apostle&v 12. counteth the man blessed that endureth tentation.

Gods honour is otherwise impeached,Reasons. if they which fi­nish all be not crowned as cōquerers:1 Cor. 15. 19. of all men Christs souldiers are otherwise the most miserable. Where then is the priuiledge of enduring? wherein lieth the difference betwixt those which fight vnder Christs banner, and o­thers, if not in preuailing? For the time Christs souldiers are cōmonly much more sorely assaulted. But herein con­sisteth the difference,Heb. 13 5. that they are neuer forsaken,1 Cor. 10 13 that the Lord wil giue a good issue; that thogh they are broght vnto temptation, yet they are neuer cast into it:Psal. 125 3. For the rodde of the wicked shall not rest on the lot of the righteous.

In all conflicts haue an eye to this end;Vse. Looke to the issue. though your enemies be many and fierce, yet feare not, ye shall stand when they shall flie. Patiently waite, and faint not.Isa. 28. 16. Hee that beleeueth shall not make haste: for God who alone can end the fight, standeth by: he ordereth all the assaults, for number, measure, kinde, continuance, and euery other circumstance; and knoweth when and how to de­termine all. Therefore couragiously withstand your e­nemies, that ye may victoriously stand. ForVicisse est aduersari [...]s non cessisse. Hier. in Eph. 3. to giue no place to the diuell is to ouercome the diuell.

THE SECOND TREATISE
Of the particular peeces of Armour.

THE FIRST PART.
The duty of such as haue those peeces.

Ephes. 6. 14.‘Stand therefore hauing your loynes girt, &c.’

§. 1. Of the Coherence.

VNto the forenamed generall direction the Apostle addeth a particular exemplification of the same, distinctly setting downe cer­taine speciall graces, whereby as with pee­ces of Armour we may stand fast. This ex­exemplification is set forth in forme of an exhortation, wherein note,

1. The duty whereunto he exhorteth.

2. The meanes and manner how it is to be perfor­med.

The duty is in this word [...] stand. Though this word be the same with that which immediatly before is set down, yet is it not of the same mood,That was of the infini­ [...]ue mood, & implyed an honour and dignity. nor of the same tence. That was a standing after the battell is ended, and so a word of conquest: this is a standing in the battaile, and so a word of conflict: this is of the imperatiue mood, and implyet [...] [Page 113] a duty; and not one duty onely, but many duties: for it is a metaphoricall word taken from souldiers: and accor­ding to the diuers acceptation of the metaphor, it impli­eth diuers duties.

§. 2. Of a Souldiers standing.

1. A Souldier-like courage: for as white-liuered, fresh-water, faint-hearted souldiers are ready vpon euery brunt to yeeld and run away: so valiant cou­ragious souldiers stand stoutly against euery brunt; and will rather stand and die, then stirre and yeeld.

2 A setled abiding in ones proper place, or standing in his rancke, neither stragling abroad, nor going into any others place. Experienced souldiers well know what a safegard it is to haue the rancks well kept, and therefore will not step aside.

3 A watchfulnesse opposed to luskishnesse and slug­gishnesse: an heauy headed, idle, luskish souldier, is euer ready to lie downe, like a tired Oxe or Horse; but a wise watchfull souldier standeth to receiue his enemy when­soeuer he maketh any assault.

4 Perseuerance with armour still on the backe: faint-hearted weake souldiers being loth long to beare the bur­den of their armour, will oft put it on and off: when a skirmish is past, off goes the armour, and so is laid aside till they be forced againe to put it on: but old well expe­rienced souldiers stand still with their armour, looking for a fresh assault, and for more conflicts.

§. 3. Of Christian valour.

1: VVE must be of a valorous couragious mind against all our enemies,Duty 1. Stand stoutly standing stoutly a­gainst them, and bidding defiance to them all, euen as 1 Sam. 17. 45 Dauid stood against Goliah. How needfull this is in war against flesh and blood, appeareth byIos. 1. 6. 7. 9. Gods earnest vr­ging of it to Ioshuah: But much more needfull it is in war against Spirits.

For they, though bold enough,Reasons. yet are daunted with the stout standing of Christs souldiers; but heartned with timorousnesse. Besides, the courage of some valourous souldiers addeth spirits to all their fellowes.

That we may with courage stand against our enemies,Grounds of encourage­ment. obserue these and such like grounds of encouragement.

1 ThatIos. 1. 5 the Lord is with vs, and will not faile vs.

2 That1 Sam. 17. 45 we fight in his name and power, but our ene­mies in their owne.

3 ThatIudg. 11. 27. 29. out battell is most iust, and we fight in a iust cause.

4 That wee fight withCol. 2. 15. enemies spoiled, whose wea­pons are blunted,Heb. 2. 14. whose power is limited.

5 That we haue1 Cor. 10. 13 promise of victory, and so are sure not to be ouercome.

§. 4. Of keeping our ranke.

2.Duty 2. Abide in thy place. VVE must be careful to1 Cor. 7. 20. abide in the place where our Lord hath set vs. For this know, that we haue a doubling calling, one generall, as we are Christians. The other particular, as we are distin­guished in Church,Ephe. 4. 1. Common-wealth, or Family. Accor­dingly these two points are to be obserued.

[Page 115] 1 That we remaine stedfast in the true Church where the Lords banner is displaied: that we retaine our profes­sion, and start not from it for gaine as2 Tim. 4. 10. Demas, or per­secution, as16. they which forsooke Paul. Stragling soul­diers lose the succour of their Captaine, and helpe of their fellow souldiers. Such straglers from Christs armies are separatists, heretikes, time-seruers, and all reuolters.

2 That wee be conscionable and diligent in the seue­rall functions of our particular callings: as in the Com­mon-wealth, Kings, Iudges, Iustices, all Magistrates, all Subiects also, all of any Office, Trade, &c. In the Church, Ministers, other Church Officers, and people. In the Fa­mily, Masters and Seruants, Husbands and Wiues, Pa­rents and Children. For this ende are particular duties prescribed to particular functions in Gods word. Many weighty reasons there be to vrge this.

11 Cor. 7. 17: God hath appointed to euery one his distinct place.Reasons. Now it was the commendation of Christ, and of Moses, that they wereHeb. 3. 2. faithfull to him that appointed them.

2 Euery one shall bee called to account for those du­ties which belong to his particular calling; according to that which was said to the Steward, Giue an account of thy stewardship. Luke. 16. 2.

3 The order wherein euery one is set, is the very beau­tie of the Church, and of the body of Christ: as the seue­rall places of seuerall members, are the grace of a naturall body; Yea, this order is the strength of the Church, as in an army: in this respect the Apostle saith, that the body of Christ isCha. 4. v. 16. [...] fitly ioined together, and firmly compacted.

4 The graces which God bestoweth on vs, as faith, loue, obedience, patience, wisdome, &c: are best exercised, and manifested in our particular callings.

5 In our proper distinct places, wee hauePsal. 91. 11. the Lords[Page 116] promise of protection, but not out of them. Many iudge­ments hath God executed on busi bodies, that entred vp­pon others places; instanceNum. 16. 12, &c. Corah and his conspiracy, 2 Sam. 15. 2, &c. Absolom, 2 Chr 26. 16 Vzziah, &c.

Wherefore wee are to take good notice of our particu­lar places, and of the particular duties belonging vnto them, and both pray and labour for skill and ability to performe them.Prou. 14. 8. It is the wisdome of the prudent to vnder­stand his way.

§. 5. Of watchfulnesse.

3. VVEe must be1 Pet. 5. 8 warchfull, and stand vpon our defence against our enemy; heeMat 24. 43. as a thiefe will suddenly set vpon vs; comming when we are not aware of him.Duty [...]. Stand on thy guard. For the better performance of this duty, we mustLuk. 21. 3 [...]. take heed of such things as may breed in vs a spirituall slumbering and drowsinesse, as are earthly delights and pleasures, worldly cares, &c. They which will watch, 1 Pet. 5. 8. must be sober.

§. 6. Of perseuerance.

4.Perseuere: Duty 4. VVE must perseuere and continue in well im­ploying the graces of Gods Spirit to our defence: thus may we better stand in the spirituall com­bate, then in our outward bodily fight: for our bodies haue need to haue the armour put off, for their ease and refreshing: but our soules haue no such need. The armour of God isMat. 11. 30. not burdensome to the spirit. Of this duty I spake more fully in the 12. §. of the fourth part.

Thus much for the duties which this first word stand implieth.

THE SECOND PART.
The kinds of the peeces of Armour prescribed.

§. 1. Of the seuerall peeces of the Armour of God in generall.

THe next point is, concerning the meanes or manner of standing, in the words following, hauing your loynes girt, &c.

In the 14. 15. 16. and 17. verses, there are sixe seuerall graces of the Spirit, compared to sixe seuerall peeces of Armour, which are especiall meanes to make vs stand fast. They are these,

1 Verity.Compa­red to1 a Girdle.
2 Righteousnes.2 a Brestplate.
3 Patience.3 Shooes.
4 Faith.4 a Shield.
5 Hope.5 an Helmet.
6 Word of God.6 a Sword.

Out of this particular enumeration of these seuerall graces and peeces of Armour, I will deliuer three or foure generall obseruations, and then distinctly handle them one by one, as they lye in order.

§. 2. Of defending our selues.

MOst of these seuerall peeces,Obs. 1. euen all of them but one, are defensiue; that one which is offensiue,[Page 118] namely the word of God,The most part of a Christi­ans Armour is defensiue. compared to a sword, is also defensiue, as well as the rest: whereby it is intimated that,

Vse Wee that are Christians must rather seeke to defend our selues, then annoy others. This was represented in that com­bate which our Lord fought with the diuell: ForMat. 4. 1. &c. Christ was led aside of the Spirit into the wildernesse, and being there, the tempter came first vnto him, and first set vpon him: here we see that there was a necessity to moue Christ to fight, and that in a double respect. First, in that he was brought into the lists. Secōdly, that being there, he was assaulted. In this fight Christ especially aimed to defend himselfe, and to repel his aduersaries weapons. Therfore all his answers are framed directly according to Satans obiections. The like we may obserue in his conflicts with the instruments of Satan, the Scribes, Pharises, He­rodians, &c. as also in those conflicts, which his Prophets Apostles, and other Saints haue had with Satan, and his instruments.

Hereby we see that we fight in a iust quarrell:Reason Our quarrell is iust. for what iuster cause can there be, then for a man to defend him­selfe, and his owne right?

Obiect. But defendants are oft in the greatest blame.

Answ. True, when they keepe men from their owne right, and make them recouer it by force. But we keepe nothing from Satan which is his due: he seeketh to get those from Christ, whom Christ hath dearely bought, e­uen with the price of his owne blood. It is therefore a Diabolical property to raise vniust quarrels, and by force to seeke to wring from any that which he hath no right [...] vnto. If we be thus set vpon, lawfully we may defend [...] our selues, and with confidence call for Gods aide, yea al­so in faith depend vpon him,

§. 3. Of resisting.

ONe offensiue weapon, the word of God,2 Obs. Repell the enemy. which is a Sword, is put into our hands, so that iust occasion be­ing offered, we may and ought to do our best to repell and driue away the diuell, and his instruments. Hereof I shall speake more largely on the beginning of the 17. ver.

§. 4. Of standing at defiance.

EVery part and peece of this Armour,3 Obs. No safety in flying. is for the fore­part of a man, neuer a peece for his backe, or hind­parts. What doth this imply, but that we should alwayes stand against our enemies face to face, and neuer shew them our backs, neuer flie from them? but haueNeh. 6. 11. N [...]hemias ho­ly resolution, and say, should such as we flie? Oft we are stir­red vp to fight, wrestle, stand, resist, &c. neuer perswaded in the whole book of God to flie, that is, to yeeld the vic­tory vnto Satan. We may wisely auoid his temptations, and not yeeld to them, when by them he seekes to draw vs from the seruice of our Lord, to his slauery; and thus 1 Cor. 10. 14. we are commanded to to flie from idolatrie, to 2 Tim. 2. 22. flie from the lusts of youth, &c. But timorously to ceasse from resi­sting temptations, and withstanding the Diuell, is dange­rous to our selues, and dishonourable to God: it maketh Satan euen insult ouer God himselfe,Diabolus non opus aliquod a­liud operatur, nisivt subuer­tat: hic est cibus illius, hi [...] honor, hoc & gaudium, Chry­sost in Mat. 4. hom. 5. whose souldiers we are, and get great aduantage against vs; for flying from God whom haue we to flie vnto? being out of Gods protection the Diuell will soone make a prey of vs. Let vs not thinke, that if we yeeld the field, the Diuell will be contented: It is not the glory of conquest that hee see­keth, so much as our destruction:1. Pet. 5, 8. He seeketh whom to deuou [...]e

§. 5. Of the sufficiency of our Armour.

IN this particular enumeration of these seuerall pee­ces,Obs. 4. Euery part fenced. I find a Christian souldier armed from top to toe: for here is an Helmet for his head and face: a Brestplate, together with the tassets and cushes, from necke to mid­dle, and from thence to the knees: a Girdle to knit them together; greaues from knees to the soles of the feet; a Sword for the right hand, and a Shield for the left. Well therefore might the Apostle terme it whole Ar­mour.

Vse 1 So whole and compleate is this Armour, as we need seek for no other to adde to it, or to couer it ouer: As it is madnesse to reiect this, and trust to the clout and paper armour of Papists and wordlings: so it is childishnesse and meere folly to couer this whole Armour ouer with a­ny other, and so needlesly clog the soule: yea it is dero­gatory to Gods honour and wisedome, and a degree of presumption. Such are they as acknowledge and be­leeue that the word of God is perfect, and yet thinke it no harme to haue humane traditions added thereto: or that Christ onely is able to saue, and yet the helpe of Saints to doe no harme: or that faith onely is sufficient for iustification, and yet no hurt to ioyne workes also with faith, in the office of iustifying a sinner, &c.

Vse 2 Let our care be to be armed with this whole Armour, and euery peece of it, and so we may well content our selues therewith, boldly may we defie our enemies ha­uing it on, and not feare what they can do vnto vs. These vses haue bene largely handled, so as I need not now fur­ther insist vpon them.

THE THIRD PART.
Girdle of Truth.

Ephes: 6. 14.‘Hauing your loynes girt about with Truth.’

§. 1. Of the diuers kinds of Truth.

THe first peece of spirituall Armour heere in order set downe by the Apostle, is Truth. In handling whereof I will shew, first what Truth is heere meant. Secondly, how fitly it is compared to a Girdle: Thirdly, what account is to be made thereof. Fourthly, what wyles the diuell hath to wrest it from vs:

For the first, There is in man a foure-fold truth.

1. Of iudgment.Foure kinds of truth. Truth of iudgement. 2. Of heart. 3. Of speech. 4. Of action.

Truth of iudgement is, when a mans iudgement agree­eth with Gods word, which is the touch-stone of Truth: so as the principles of that Religion which he professeth, and his opinion concerning the same, are grounded ther­on, and may be warranted thereby. When the vnderstan­ding of man, being enlightned by Gods Spirit, and infor­med by his word, remaineth setled and established in that doctrine which the word of God teacheth, then is there Truth in his iudgement: this Truth was it for which2. Pet. 1. 12. Saint Peter commended the distressed Iewes to whom he wrote, and whichchap. 4. v. 15 Saint Paul exhorteth the E­phesians to follow. This is opposed to errour.

Truth of heart is the singlenesse and sincerity thereof,2. Truth of heart. [Page 122] whereby a man seeketh to approue himselfe vnto God the searcher of all hearts, and to be accepted of him:Psal. 51. 6. this is that truth in the inward affection which God loueth, and Isai. 38. 3. wherewith Hezekiah comforted himselfe, yea which he pleaded before the Lord, when he had receiued a sen­tence of death. This is opposed to hypocrisie.

Truth of speech is an agreement of the word of a mans mouth both with his mind,3 Truth of speech. and also with the mat­ter which he vttereth. This is it, whereunto we are exhor­ted, Ephes. 4. vers. 25. speake the truth. AndRom. 9. 1. which the A­postle oft affirmeth of himselfe. This is opposed to lying, 1 Tam. 2. 7. when a man speaketh against his mind and conscience: and to falshood, when a man speaketh contrary to the thing it selfe.

Truth of action,4 Truth of action. is a plaine, faithfull, and honest dea­ling in all things, whether wee haue to doe with God, or man; when men neither make shew of doing that which indeed they doe not, or of doing it otherwise then they doe:Ioh. 1. 47. [...] this truth was in Nathaniel, in which respect Christ called him an Israelites in truth. This is oppo­sed to dissimulation and deceit.

§. 5. What kind of Truth is here meant.

SOme apply the Truth here mentioned, to doctrine and religion, as if only the soundnes of it were meant: others restraine it to the vprightnesse and sincerity of our hearts and affections: others vnderstand it of the truth of our words and speeches: and others expound it of the purity and innocency of our practise and carriage.

But whosoeuer exclude any of these forenamed bran­ches of truth, come (as I take it) short of the Apostles meaning; all of them must concurre to make vp the[Page 123] strength and beauty of this Girdle. For truth is a generall propertie,Truth as salt. which as salt seasoneth euery thing, and ma­keth it sauory to God and man: the whole lumpe must be leauened with it, I meane the whole man throughout, his opinion, his affection, his communication, his con­uersation.

1 Truth of iudgement is the ground of all the rest:Truth in iudgement the foundati­on to the rest. for though our hearts be neuer so sincere, our speeches neuer so true, our actions neuer so plaine, yet if in iudge­ment we be misled, all is but as straw and stubble, which when it commeth to the fire of tryall, will soone be con­sumed. It seemeth that before Paul was instructed in the truth of the Gospel, he had a kind of truth in his heart, for heAct. 22. 3. was zealous towards God; yea also in his spee­ches and actions, forPhil. 3. 6. he was vnrebukeable concerning the righteousnesse which is the Law: yea,Act. 26. 9. he thought in him­selfe he ought to doe what he did: he had not a double heart, a double tongue; he pretended not what he neuer intended; yet because he wanted truth in iudgement, all was butPhil. 3. 8. drosse, and losse vnto him.

2 To truth of iudgment,To truth of iudgement, adde truth of heart. must truth of heart be added, or els notwithstanding the soundnesse of doctrine which we professe, we make our selues odious and abominable to God: for God gaue man but one single simple heart: if any hauePsal. 12. 2. [...] an heart, and an heart, the Diuell hath giuen him a double heart, it is no part of Gods Image, God will not acknowledge it. Iudas knew the truth of Religion, and preached it as wel as the other disciples, but wanting truth in his other parts, what good got he thereby, but the witnesse of his conscience against himselfe?

3 But what if a man which professeth the true Re­ligion,Where truth of heart is, there is truth of speech and action. thinke he hath a single heart, and yet bee giuen to lying, and to deale deceitfully? Surely hee disgraceth[Page 124] his profession, and giueth iust cause of suspition, that hee hath no honest heart: for the heart is as a fountaine. Out of the abundance of the heart, proceed a mans words and actions: yea the heart is as a Queene, and hath a command of a mans tongue, and of al his outward parts: so that if there be truth in it, there will be truth in all the other parts: sincerity in the heart will keepe the tongue from lying, and the whole carriage of a man from dissi­mulation and deceit. We see then that of necessity all these foure branches of truth must be ioyned together to make vp this girdle.

§. 3. What kind of Girdle is here meant.

Point 11 THe next point is, how fitly Truth is com­pared to a Girdle. concerning the metaphor, and the fit application of this grace of truth. This speech of [...] girding the loynes, is in Scripture taken in a double sence: one for trussing vp a mans garments, the other for close and fast tying his harnesse together: in the for­mer sence the metaphor is taken from trauellers or run­ners: for in those countries they were wont to weare long aside garments, which if they were not tucked vp, they would hang dangling about the heels of such as trauel­led or runne a race, and so be a great hinderance vnto them. In this sence this metaphor is1 King. 18. 46 oft vsed,2 King 4, 29. and therby Gods people were taughtExod. 12. 11. to remoue all impedi­ments in their Christian course and iourney,Luke 12. 35. and to be as well prepared as they could be to performe the worke of the Lord. In the latter sence the metaphor is taken from souldiers, who are wont to knit their Armour close and fast vnto them, and so tye their loynes hard, partly to keepe their Armour from loosing and shaking, and part­ly to keepe their body steddy. Iob. 38, 3. & 40. 2.In this sence the Lord[Page 125] said to Iob; Iob 38. 3. & 40. 2. Gird vp thy loines like a man: That last phrase Like a man, sheweth that hee speaketh to him as vnto a souldier, whom hee would haue to stand stedfast, and to hearken vnto him.

Here it is to be taken in this latter sence, and signifieth a souldier-like girding of the loines: for which purpose, they who weare armour, vse to haue a strong faire girdle, commonly called a belt, whereby they knit fast together▪ and close vnto their middle the vpper and lower peeces of their armour, as their brest-plate, and their tassets and cushes. These belts as they were strong, so they were set with studdes, being faire and large. There is a double vse of them: one to keepe the seuerall peeces of armour fast and close together, and to hold the loines of a man firme, and steddy, that he might be able to stand the surer, and hold out the longer. The other to couer the ioints of the armour, that they might not be seene. The first vse was for strength: the second for ornament.

§. 4. Wherein a girdle is resembled to truth.

THus truth is both an ornament to a Christian soul­dier,Quid speciosi­us ips averitate ad quam omnis spectator per­uenire se cupe­re confitetur, &c. Aug. de ver. Rel. cap. [...]9 and also an excellent meanes of strength to vp­hold him. For it doth both grace and honour him be­fore God and man; and also fast holdeth together other graces of Gods Spirit, especially in temptation, when they are most shaken, and so vpholdeth him. This will more euidently appeare by the particular branches of truth before mentioned.

1 What greater ornament and beauty to religion,Truth the best grace to religion. then soundnesse and euidence of truth? This is the very glo­rie and crowne thereof: all other vaine glosses, as antiqui [...]e, vniuersality, vnity, vniformity, succession, consent, multi­tude, pompe, reuenues, &c: being separated from truth, a [...] [Page 126] but as so many pearles in a blind eye,Simil. which make it so much the more deformed: for, the more ancient, vniuer­sall, vniforme, and pompous superstition, idolatry, or any false religion is, the more odious, and detestable it is; but the more true and sound it is, the more excellent and glo­rious it is.

So for strength,And the grea­test strength. Simil. what can better settle and establish the iudgement of a man then truth? Great is truth, and pre­uaileth. It is like a sharpe sword in a weake mans hand, which is able to pierce deepe though there bee but small strength to thrust it.Veritas vinci non potest, mul­titudine hostiū non terretur. Hicron. Truth cannot be ouercome, neither is daunted with the multitude of enemies. This is it which hath made Martyrs in all ages to stand to their profession vnto death, and to seale it with their blood, ra­ther then start from it; yea, though many of them were il­literate men and weake weomen.

The like may be said of the other branches of truth:Truth is a come lines in euery thing. an vpright and sincere heart maketh a man amiable before God himselfe.1 Kin 15. 3. 4. 5. Dauid being a man of a single heart, is termed,Acts 13. 22. A man after Gods owne heart. AndGen. 6. 8, 9. Noach being an vpright man, found grace in the eyes of God.

No eloquence or learning can so grace and commend a mans speech as truth: for lying and falshood, are parts of thatCha. 4. v. 29. foule and filthy communication, which the A­postle condemneth.Pro. 6. 17. The Lord hateth a lying tongue: & 12. 22. it is an abomination vnto him.

No outward comelinesse of body can so commend a man, as plaine, faithfull, and honest dealing.1 Ioh. 1. 47. This made Nathaniel so gracious in Christs eyes: but none more odi­ous and detestable to God and man, then dissembling, and deceitfull persons: the conscience of such maketh them to shun the light, and be afraid of Gods presence,Truth doth much streng­then men. asGen 3. 8. Adam. So likewise, truth in all these, doth very much[Page 127] strengthen and vphold a man in time of triall, and kee­peth him from fainting.Iob 27 5, 6, & 31. 5. This was the ground of Iobs courage and constancy.Isa. 38. 3. This added an edge to Heze­k [...]ahs prayers.Psal. 26. 1. This made Dauid bold to referre himselfe to Gods triall & examination.1 Cor. 4. 4. This vpheld Paul against all that could be laid against him.

§. 5. Of getting truth.

Point 3 THe account which wee are to make of this spirituall belt is declared byPro. 22, 23. expounded. Solomon, what account is to bee made of truth. who exhorteth to buy the truth, and not sell it. This aduice concerneth two sorts of men, 1. Such as haue it not: they must labour to get it: 2. Such as haue it, they must hold it fast. That this dire­ction may bee the better applied, wee are well to search whether we haue this girdle of verity or no. Fitly may I apply that to truth, which2 Cor. 13. 5. the Apostle speaketh of faith; Examine your selues whether yee haue truth, proue your selues. There is no grace which maketh a more sensible difference betwixt the children of God and of the Diuel, then truth. In this examination we must proceed in order.

§. 6. How triall of truth may be made.

1. TRiall is to bee made of the truth of our iudge­ment:1. Search what truth in iudge­ment. whether the religion which we professe, and all the principles thereof be assuredly sound and true. To this tendeth1 Thes. 5. 21 that exhortation of Saint Paul, Trie all things; and1 Ioh 4. 1. that of Saint Iohn, Trie the spirits. For this end, the direction giuen by Christ (Ioh. 5. 39. Search the Scriptures) is to be obserued and followed,Acts 17. 11. as it was by the men of Berea: for the Scriptures areIam. 1. 18. the word of truth, and2 Tim. 3. 16. the voice of God, the highest and chiefest Iudge: a most per­fect, sufficient, impartiall Iudge. They who make any o­ther Iudge may soone be deceiued.

[Page 128] Here see what wrong Popish guides doe to their fol­lowers, in keeping from them this touch-stone of truth. See what ideots they bee who thinke it sufficient to be­leeue as the Church doth. Such are they among vs, whose onely ground of faith is the common receiued Doctrine, be it true or false. No maruell they be soone shaken and remoued: they want this girdle of truth, which should strengthen them.

2 If wee find truth seated in our vnderstanding,2 Search what truth in heart. then are we further to obserue whether like the ointment pow­red on Aarons head;Psal. 133. 2, 3. and the dew that fell on the moun­taines of Sion, it descend from the head to the heart: whe­ther the heart be vpright before God or no. It appeareth that Dauid thorowly searched his heart for the truth thereof,Psal. 26. 1. or else durst he not with such boldnesse and con­fidence haue referred it to Gods triall:Ier. 17. 9. the like I might in­stance in Iob, Hezechiah, Paul, and many others. Great neede there is of thorow trying the heart: for it is deceit­full aboue all things, and that not onely to others who can­not discerne the secrets thereof, but also to men them­selues, if at least they diue not into the bottom of it. Some be such grosse hypocrites, that they cannot but in their hearts condemne themselues, asActs 5. 3. 9. Ananias and Saphira: others so simple as they beguile themselues,Mat. 26. 33. like Peter and the other Disciples. In all ages many haue thought better of the integrity of their heart, then by proofe and euent it hath fallen out to be. The best triall of our heart will bee by our disposition when wee are alone, or when wee can conceale our thoughts and cogitations from all men, yea, euen from the very suspition and coniecture of men: if then they be vpright, and therefore vpright, be­cause we desire to approue our selues to God,Gen. 39. 9. as Ioseph, then may we be assured there is truth in them.

[Page 129] 3 From the heart which is a fountaine,3. Search what truth in speech and action. we are to pro­ceede to the streames thereof, our speeches and actions; and search whether from this cleare spring there flow forth cleare waters, and so see what correspondency there is betwixt them. Now here we are not onely to obserue whether our speeches doe agree with our knowledge of the thing we vtter, and with euidence of the thing it selfe, or whether our actions be plaine, or fraudulent and de­ceitfull; but also whether that true and good communi­cation which we vtter, and those true and honest actions which we performe, doe comeLuk. 6. 45. from the good treasure of a true heart. For our helpe in this triall, note these few di­rections.

§. 7. Directions for triall of truth in speech and action.

1. VVHat is the ground of truth in our words and actions?1. The ground of truth. what moueth vs thereun­to? whether popular applause (Mat. 23. 5. as the Sribes and Pha­rises, who did all to be seene of men, Ioh. 12. 43. for they loued the praise of men more then of God) or credit and estimation (as1 Sam. 15. 30 Saul) or profit (asGen. 34. 23. the Schechemites) or respect to some men (as2 Chr. 24. 2. 17. Ioash and his people) or desire of quiet and auoiding trouble, (asEst. 8. 17. they which became Iewes in Mordecaies time) or company and example of others, (asActs 5▪ 1. Ananias and Saphira) or intent to worke some mischiefe, (as1 Kin. 21 9. Ie­zabel, andIer. 41. 6. Ishmael. These and such other by-respects being the ground and cause of our actions, doe plainely ar­gue that there is no sound truth in them.

2 What is the extent of that truth we make shew of?2. The extent of truth. whe­ther it be in all things. Heb. 13. 18. This was the proofe of the Apostles good conscience: for truth is a leuen1 Cor. 5. 6. which seasoneth[Page 130] the whole lumpe. So as they which at sometimes, and in some things are watchfull ouer their words and actions, but carelesse at other times in other things, want this le­uen of truth, asMas. 6. 20. Herod.

3 What the things are wherein wee are most strictt?3. The obiect of truth. whether they be matters of greatest weight and moment? They who pretend much truth in smal and light matters, and are carelesse and dissolute in great and weighty mat­ters, haue no sound truth in them.Mat. 23. 23. Such were the Scribes and Pharises.

4 What order we obserue?4. The order of shewing truth. whether first we beginne with our selues, and looke to our owne speeches and ac­tions. Mat. 23. 4. Many will be more forward and zealous in stir­ring vp others to all manner of truth, then themselues: yea, they will checke others for failing in such things wherein themselues are most faulty: surely there is no sound truth in such.Mat. 7. 3. Christ maketh this a note of hypo­crisie.

§. 8. Of buying truth.

THus are wee to search our selues thorowout, and if vpon this search wee cannot find that wee haue this girdle of verity, then we must obserue the first part of the Wisemans aduice,How to buy truth. Buy the truth, that is, vse all the meanes which possibly we can, for attaining vnto, and possessing it: yea, though it be with a departing from, and forsaking of many things which seemed profitable and pleasant vn­to vs, because they and truth could not well stand toge­ther. The Metaphor of buying implieth a letting goe of some things, for the attaining of other things. Excellent­lie is this set forth vnto vs by twoMat. 13. 44, 45. parables which Christ vttered, one of a man that bought a treasure, and another of a Merchant that bought a pearle. Truth is a[Page 131] rich treasure, and a precious pearle: if the worth of it, and the need which we haue of it, were well knowne, I doubt not but easily wee should bee perswaded to part with much for the getting of it.Veritas prop­ter seipsam di­ligenda est, Aug. in Gal. So excellent it is, that for it selfe it is to be loued.

§. 9. Motiues to buy Truth.

I Will therefore first lay downe some motiues to stirre vp in vs a desire of truth, and then some directions, to instruct vs how to get it.

For the first, note the excellency: 2. The necessity: 3. The benefits of truth.

1 Excellent must that needs be,The excellē ­cy of truth. which maketh vs like to God: but nothing can make vs more like to him then truth: for he is thePsal. 31. 5 Lord God of truth, Ioh. 14. 6. his Sonne is truth, Ioh. 14. 17 his holy Spirit the Spirit of truth, Iam. 1. 18. his word, the word of truth; Psal. 11. 9. his promises, commandements, iudgements, waies, workes, all truth. Herein doe the glorious Angels and Saints resemble God,Mat. 6. 10. whom to imitate is an excel­lent thing:Ioh. 8. 4. most contrary is the Diuell, and all that beare his image.

Besides, Truth is a kind of perfection in all Christian graces; yea, [...]. the greatest perfection that we can attaine vn­to in this life,Gen. 6. 9. & 17. 1. one and the same word in Hebrew, signifi­eth both integrity or vprightnesse and perfection, so as some translate it vpright, some perfect. In regard of this quality,Psal. 26. 1. we may appeale to Gods iudgement, but not in any other kind of perfection, [...]sa. 38. 3. whether of degrees, parts, measure, or the like, so that in this respect it hath an excel­lency aboue all other graces.

2 So needfull it is and necessary,2. The neces­sity of truth. as without it no o­ther grace can be of any vse. Faith, hope, loue, & all other graces, are as corrupt and putrified meate without it▪ [Page 132] Therefore the Scripture commendeth2 Tim. 1. 5. faith vnfained, Rom. 12. 9. loue without dissimulation, Iam. 3. 17. wisedome without hypocrisie, &c. Yea, also lippes vnfained, innocent hands, &c.

No knowledge,Mat. 5. 20. & 6. 2. & 23. 14. no righteousnesse, no good thing can stand an hypocrite in any steed. What good got Saul, Iu­das, Ananias and Saphira, Simon Magus, and such other hypocrites,Hypocritae ab inspectore cor­dis Deo merce­dem non capi­unt, nisi falla­ciae supplicium. August. de serm. Dom. in morte. lib. 2. by all those seeming excellent gifts, which they made shew of? all they did was odious before God: Therefore notwithstanding the Pharises prayed oft, gaue much almes, fasted oft, duly payed their tithes, with the like; yet Christ denounceth many woes against them, Mat. 23. Hypocrites receiue no reward of God the sear­cher of hearts, but the punishment of deceit.

3 Such is the benefit of truth,3. The benefit of truth. that the least measure of grace seasoned with it is acceptable to God, and in that respect very profitable to vs. It is noted of those which in Hezechias time came out of Ephraim, and other tribes of Israel, vnto Ierusalem to keep the Passeouer,2 Chr. 30. 18, 19, 20. that they had not clen [...]ed themselues according to the Law, where­by they prouoked the Lord to inflict some iudgement vpon them: but Hezekiah putting the Lord in mind how they came with their whole heart to seeke the God of their Fa­thers, the Lord healed them. Well mightPsal. 119. 1. Dauid pro­nounce the vpright blessed, for asPsal. 51. 6. God loueth truth, so Prou. 11. 20. the vpright are his delight, andPsal. 84. 11. hee hath promised to withhold no good thing from them.

Thus we see what good reason we haue to buy truth. Obserue now how it may be gotten.

§: 10. Meanes to get truth.

FOr truth of iudgement,How truth in iudgement is gotten. wee must resort to the place where it may be had, that is the true Church,1 Tim. 3. 15. the pillas[Page 133] and ground of Truth. In it is the fountaine of Truth, the holy Scriptures: in it flow forth the streames of Truth, by the Ministery of the Word. Be thou one of the mem­bers of the true Church, so shalt thou haue a right there­unto: Search the Scripture, frequent the Ministery of the Word, so shalt thou find Truth. Rather then goe without it, let goe honour, wealth, pleasures, ease, and all thy naturall and carnall lusts: let goe all. Baul had surely a good mind to buy the Truth forPhil. 3. 8. he counted all things losse for the excellent knowledge of Christ.

For truth in heart,How truth in heart, speech and carriage is gotten. speech and carriage, remember that thou standest alwayes in the presence of God, and that thou hast to doe with him whether thou art alone, or in company, doing any duty that appertaineth to God or man; and in respect hereof, let thy care bee to approue thy selfe to God: Thus shalt thou get Truth. For marke the charge which God himselfe gaue to Abraham, Gen. 17. 1. Walke before me, and be vpright. The former part of this charge, is a cause of the latter: the latter a fruit and euidence of the former,Gen. 39. 9 Ioseph had well acquainted himselfe with Gods presence, which made him so honest and vp­right.

This is it which maketh men such dissemblers in their words and actions, that either they know not Gods pre­sence in euery place, or beleeue it not, or thinke not of it, or regard it not. Mans presence maketh many be faith­full, iust, honest, &c. Surely Gods presence must needs worke much more, if it were duely weighed, or else men haue Atheisticall hearts. Let vs set God alwayes before vs, and depart with any thing rather then offend him, and thus shall we come to be vpright.

§. 11. Of keeping Truth.

AFter that Truth is gotten,Sell not truth. our next care must bee fast to hold it, and thereby manifest that great ac­count which we make of it. Sell it not (saith the Wise man) by no meanes vpon any condition, for any respect let it go: for then2 Pet. 2. 20, &c. it had bin better for vs neuer to haue had it. All the good we reape by verity and integrity, after it is lost, is this, that another day it will rise vp in iudgement, and be an heauy witnesse against vs. Some men make such account of some Iewels they haue, that no preferment, no fauour, no wealth, no office, nothing can purchase them; and yet it may bee that their iewels are not worth the price which is offred for them. Should not we much more esteeme of Truth, for which no suffi­cient price can be giuen? The holy Confessors and Mar­tyrs in all ages haue well knowne the value of this iewell, and in that respect preferred it before their liuings and liues: they would not let go Truth of doctrine:Gen. 39. 9. Ioseph would not let goe Truth of heart and action, for loue nor feare.

§. 12. How truth of doctrine is assaulted.

THis latter point of fast-holding and safe keeping Truth, IIII. Point. Satans wyles to wrest truth from vs. is the rather to be regarded, because the Di­uell and his instruments (not ignorant, that if this Girdle be wanting, all other peeces of Armour will stand vs in no stead) haue beene in all former ages, and still are busie to get it away frō vs, sometimes by faire enticements & allurements to draw vs from truth of doctrine: on the one side are brought many plausible arguments, agreea­ble[Page 135] to the naturall humour and reason of man, (such are most of theargumēts which Papists vse;) on the other side much trouble & great persecution is raised. If they c [...]not cleane ouerthrow Truth, yet they will do what they can to adulterate it: witnesse the Prophets and Apostles times, and euery age euer since: I would our age and Countrey were free from it. Behold how busie Popish Iesuites, Priests and Fryers are: what would they not giue? what would they not doe, to dispossesse vs of the Truth of Religion?

§. 13. How sincerity is assaulted.

SO likewise for sincerity, how doe profane worldlings seeke to wrest it from vs? endeuouring to make vs o­dious to all, because we will not yeeld to them. These are as spitefully bent against vs for sincerity, Truth and honesty in our heart, words and actions, as Papists are for verity and soundnesse of doctrine. For some hate those that are honest and vpright (as1 Kin. 22. 8. Ahab hated Mi­caiah;) some scoffe at them (asGen. 21. 9. Ismael at Isaac,) saying, plaine dealing is a iewell, A cursed pro­uerbe. and he that vseth it will die a begger. Yea they will not sticke to brand them with the odious termes of hypocrisie and dissimulation, though of all sort of people they are farthest from it: especially, if God suffer any affliction to fall on them, (asIob 2. 6, & 9. on his seruant Iob) then with e Iobs wife and friends, they will be ready to vpbraid vnto them their integrity and vprightnesse, as if all had beene onely in shew to bleare mens eyes. But if any that indeed with an hollow heart haue made pro­fession, doe fall away, and so bee discouered (as Iudas, A­nanias, Demas, and such other) their examples shall bee cast in the teeth of the most vpright.

[Page 136] And if, notwithstanding all this, they shall remaine constant (as Iob did) and not suffer their innocency and integrity to bee outfaced,Iob 27. 5. then will they obiect against them the censure of other men, and say of them, How soe­uer ye thinke of your selues, yet others, and those good men too, thinke not so well of you: if ye were wise, you would giue more credit to other mens iudgement, then to your owne: for men are blind and partiall in iudging themselues.

Many by these and such like discouragements haue beene moued to make no account of Truth, but to leaue it to such as better esteeme it them they: Others, to cast it away, and to yeeld to the times, both for Religion and conuersation, shewing themselues as superstitious or profane as the worst. I will therefore as an antidote a­gainst those poysonous obiections, discouer the vanitie of them, and shew how these wyles may be auoided.

§. 14. Of the necessity of Truth in Religion.

1▪ AGainst fast holding Truth in iudgement, two things are especially obiected. One, that it is not necessary: The other, that it is dangerous.

Obiect. 1. They say it is not necessary,Whether a man may be saued in any Religion. because a man may be saued in any Religion.

Answ. This is a mo [...]t salse and impious position, the very bane of true Religion. The Apostle expresly saith, there isChap. 4. v. 5. one faith. In that Christ termes himselfeIoh. 14. 6. the Way, the Truth, the Life, doth he not imply that hee is the onely true way that leadeth to life?Gal. 1. 8. That curse which the Apostle thundreth out against all that preached any otherwise then he had preached, ought to terrifie vs from yeelding to any thing but the Truth.2 Thes. 2. 12 He pronounceth them damned which beleeue not the Truth.

§. 15. Of the pretended danger in maintai­ning Truth.

Obiect. 2. THe danger which they alledge, is either in regard of conspiracies, treasons and insur­rections which Princes and Gouernous are subiect vnto, if they be too stiffe in maintaining truth of Religion: or persecutions which subiects are like to fall into, if they be too resolute in professing the Truth.

Answ. For the danger of Princes and Magistrates,God protec­teth defen­ders of truth. they need not to feare [...] because they haue God to watch o­uer them, and to bee their protector, so long as they maintaine the Truth. Not to search after examples of other ages and places, consider how miraculously God preserued Queene Elizabeth (of blessed memory) both from inuasions of enemies abroad, and also from many conspiracies of Traitors at home. After 44. yeeres, and 4. moneths prosperous Reigne, in peace she ended her dayes, notwithstanding all dangers whatsoeuer. Many Treasons, close, cruell Treasons, such, as the like in all for­mer ages haue not beene heard of, haue also beene inten­ded against our present royall Soueraigne: what hath bene the issue? They which laid the snares were caught themselues, and he yet remaineth safe, (and long may he remaine safe.) Surely God hath respect to the Truth, which hath bin, and still is maintained in this land.Henry the French King. Our neighbour King thought to auoide danger by letting go [...]he Truth, and yeelding to idolatry: but thereby he cast himselfe out of the protection of the God of truth. What followed thereupon?To be perse­cuted for truth a mat­ter of ioy. One sorry villaine slue him in the midst of his guard.

As for the persecution which is raised against others,Mat. 5. 10, 11▪ it is a note of blessednesse,Luke 6. 13. a matter of reioycing: and[Page 138] in this respect a strong motiue to perswade vs fast to hold Truth.

§. 16. Of the pretended trouble of conscience, which sincerity is said to cause.

2 AGainst truth of heart, and remaining stedfast therein, are obiected, 1. Vexation of mind. 2. Wearisomnesse. 3. Outward troubles. 4. The iudge­ment of other men.

Obiect. 1. The Diuell suggesteth to many, that it is im­possible alwayes to keepe the heart vpright: and that if there be a little failing, the conscience is so troubled, as it can hardly (if at all) be quieted: and thereupon infer­reth, that it is best not at all to regard truth of heart.

Answ. Truth kee­peth from despaire. There can be no better, no more soueraigne a preseruatiue against trouble of conscience then truth of heart.Iob 27. 5, 6. This kept Iob from despaire: this made He­zekiah bold.Isai. 38. 3. Truth of heart is a strong prop to a man in the middest of his manifold infirmities: for it is impos­sible to keepe the heart free from all corruption, but yet there may be truth in heart. Euery corruption, though it argue imperfection, yet it argues not hypocrisie, if it steale into the heart against our honest purpose, and a­gainst our earnest desire, and being discerned, causeth godly sorrow, and Christian watchfulnesse, both in pur­ging the heart of that which is intred in, and also in kee­ping it that the like enter not in againe. But where there is no truth of heart, it is vtterly impossible that there should bee any sound comfort. If such a mans consci­ence be euer troubled, it will be ouerwhelmed and drow­ned in despaire.

§. 17. Of the pretended wearisomnesse of Sincerity.

Obiect. 2. AGaine, he suggesteth that it is a weari­some thing to keep the Girdle of Truth alwayes close vnto vs. None can hold out, the most vp­right haue fallen away, as Demas and others.

Answ. Truth is easie and sweet. It seemeth wearisome onely to those who ne­uer felt it, neuer knew it. I may say of it, asMat. 11. 30. Christ of his yoke, It is easie and light. Yea, it is sweet and pleasant to him that indeed tasted of it. As for those which haue fallen, they neuer had a graine of Truth in their hearts: all the shew they made, was only a shew:Mat. 13. 21. They fell be­cause they had no Truth in them. Had they beene vp­right,1 Toh. 2. 19. they would haue continued so,Psal. 37. 37. for marke the vp right man: the end of that man is peace.

§. 18. Of the pretended iudgements on the vpright.

Obiesct. 3. FVrther, he inferreth that the vprightest are plagued as much, if not more then others. How then can their vprightnesse be pleasing to God?

Answ. Gods correc­tions no to­kens of his wrath. Corections are not takens of Gods wrath, Heb. 12. 5, 6. but of his loue, when they are laid vpon his children. The vpright haue many iudgements inflicted on them for proofe of their vprightnesse, (asIob 1. 11, 12. Iob) and therefore for their good, and for their glory, yea also for the glory of God.

§. 19. Of others opinions concerning a mans sincerity.

Obiect. Esides hee laboureth to perswade men that they deceiue themselues, in thinking[Page 140] they haue truth of heart, when they haue none, because other men iudge not so well of them, as they themselues.

Answ. Truth best discouered by a mans owne heart. No other man can so well discerne the Truth of heart, as a mans owne selfe:1 Cor. 2. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, saue the spirit of a man which is in him? As other men may iudge an hypocrite to bee vpright, when the hypocrite in his own conscience knoweth him­selfe to be so: so they may iudge an vpright man to be an hypocrite. But another mans iudgement cannot make the hypocrite to be vpright: why then should it make an vpright man an hypocrite? the hypocrites con­science condemneth him, though all the world acquite him: and the vpright mans conscience will vphold him, as Iobs did, though all the world condemne him.1 Ioh. 3. 11. Bele­ued, if our heart condemne vs not, then haue we boldnesse to­wards God. ForRom. 14. 4. euery one standeth or falleth to his owne master.

§. 20. Pretended hinderances of plaine-dealing.

3 AGainst Truth in words and deeds are obie­cted, I know not what hinderances and in­conueniences.

Obiect. 1. Truth is an hinderance, in that it keepeth men from much gaine: for some say, there is no liuing without lying, and vsing the common secrets of Trades.

Answ. Gaine gotby deceit is no gaine. It were much better to want gaine, then to get it by any deceit of word or deed.Pro. 20. 17. The bread of deceit is sweet to a man, but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with grauell: & 28. 22. A curse remaineth vpon that gaine which is deceitfully gotten.

But this pretext of hinderance is a meere pretext,Truth the best meanes of gaines vt­terly false: for there is not a more sure meanes of gaine[Page 141] then truth in word and deed: and that in a double respect.

1.Omnes vehe­menter ne fal­lantur inuigi­lant. Aug. de ver. [...] c. 29. Because most men desire to deale with such: so as they shall haue the best custome: no man is willing to be deceiued, but all desire that others should truly and plainely deale with them, howsoeuer they deale with others.

2 BecausePsal. 1. 12. 1, 2 &c. Gods blessing (which bringeth gaine, andProu. 10. 22. maketh rich) goeth with the vpright.

§. 21. Pretended inconueniences of plaine dealing.

Obiect. 2. THe inconueniences are, thatIob 12 4. the vpright are laughed to scorne: they are a by-word in euery mans mouth, yea, they are trodden vnder euery ones feete,d they are made a prey.

Answ. All these wee may put as flowers into our gar­land of glory, and reioice in them, as we heard of persecution: forLuk. 6. 22. Christ maketh them kinds of persecution.

Thus we see that Truth notwithstanding all that can be obiected against it,Veritas multis impugnantibus suscitatur, & crescit. Chryso. hom. 4. de laud Pauli. is worth the keeping: all the cauils of the Diuell and his instrument are of no force to make vs little regard this girdle of verity, or lightly to let it goe: yea, such is the vertue of Truth, that like the Palme tree, the more it is pressed downe, the more it groweth.

§. 22. Of holding truth more stedfastly for opposition.

LEt vs doe with this and other peeces of spirituall Ar­mour, as men doe with their cloakes which couer their bodies: if the wind blow hard against them, they will so much the faster and closer hold their cloakes. Euen so, the more Satan striueth to depriue vs of our spirituall robes, the more carefull and stedfast ought wee to be in keeping them.

[Page 142] In particular for this girdle of verity, it is so much the more highly to be accounted of by vs, who are the Lords faithfull souldiers, by how much the lesse reckoning is made thereof by the greater number of people.

In these daies all is for shew,What little regard of truth most haue. little or nothing in truth. As building, wares, apparell, and the like, are all of the sleightest stuffe, but with the fairest glosse and shew that may be; so our religion and all things else. That religion which outwardly is most glorious and pompous, is of most imbraced, as being the best; whereby it commeth to passe that Popery hath gotten such liking of many. Who almost is carefull to set himselfe alwaies in Gods presence, and asGen. 5. 22 Enoch to walke with him? Many who seeme very deuout at Church, seldome or neuer haue a­ny religious exercise at home in their Family, much lesse in their closets before God. For their words, they shall be as faire as may be before a mans face, but full of false­hood, yea, most bitter and virulent behind a mans backe. And for actions, all are to bleare the purblind eyes of men. All the care is to keepe credit with men: wherein while men thinke to deceiue others, they doe most of all deceiue themselues, and their owne poore soules, which shall another day answere for this deceit.

THE FOVRTH PART.
Brest-plate of Righteousnesse.

Ephes. 6. 14.‘And hauing on the brest-plate of righ­teousnesse.’

§. 1. Of Righteousnesse m generall.

THe second peece of our Spirituall Armour is Righteousnesse, Veritas vbiq, mater est san­ctitatis, Chrylo. hom. 19. in Psa. 118. compared to a brest-plate. Fitly is this inferred vpon the former: for truth is the mother of righteousnesse, they cannot be seuered. In handling this point, I will shew, first, what righteousnesse is. Secondly, how fitly it is compared to a brest-plate. Thirdly, how this brest-plate is put and kept on. Fourthly, what is the be­nefit of it Fiftly, what are the wiles of the Diuell to keepe vs from it.

Point 1 Righteousnesse is our conformity vnto Gods Law, what righteousnes is. an holy quality wrought in vs by Gods Spirit, whereby we endeauour to square and frame all our thoughts, words, and actions, vnto the righteous rule of the Law of God. It is that which wee commonly call [...]. Iustitia est vir­tus qua sua cui­que tribuun­tur, Aug. de lib, arb. lib. 1. Iustice, a vertue whereby is giuen to euery one their due, whether it be to God or man. Righteousnesse is often restrained to that part of iustice, which respecteth man, and so is the summe of the second Table; but then either some other word is ioined with it, which hath reference to God, as Holinesse, Luke 1. 75: or else some circumstance of the place restrai­neth it to man, as Deut. 24. 13. But otherwise, when there[Page 144] is no other word or circumstance which restraineth it, then it extendeth it selfe to the whole Law, as here.

The Law of God is a right and perfect rule, and decla­reth what is due to God and man, so that a conformity thereunto, is righteousnesse.

§. 2. Of the kinds of Righteousnesse.

Obiect. THis is such a peece of armour, as none in this life can attaine vnto, but Christ Iesus the true naturall Sonne of God, who by an excellency and propriety, is called [...]. Acts 22. 14. That iust one. Of him it is pro­perly said;Isa. 59. 17. That hee put on righteousnesse as a brest plate. Indeed at first,Eccle. 7. 31. God made man righteous, and in Heauen the Saints shall bee allHeb. 12. 13. iust and perfect: but on earth Rom. 3. 10 there is none righteous, no not one.

Answer. Legall righ­teousnesse. There is a double righteousnesse mentioned in the Scripture, one legall, framed according to the exact rule, and strict rigour of the Law. The other E [...]angelicall, accepted according to the gracious fauour and limitati­on of the Gospell. The Law requireth two things. First, an absolute perfection in euery part, point, and degree thereof. Secondly, this perfection in that very party who is iustified thereby.Rom. 10. 5. For Moses thus describeth the righte­ousnesse which is of the Law, that the man, (euen the man himselfe, in and by himselfe) which doth those things (euen all those things which are written in the Law, according to the vttermost extent of them) shall liue thereby: but Gal. 3. 10. cursed is euery man that continueth not in all things, &c.

By the Gospell both those are limited, and the rigour of them mitigated.Euangelicall righteousnes. For there are two parts of Euangeli­call righteousnesse, oneRom. 10. 6 of Faith, the other ofHeb. 13. 18 a good con­science.

[Page 145] The righteousnesse of faith is Christ himselfe,Righteousnes of faith. with his righteousnes imputed to vs, and by faith receiued of vs▪ in which respectRom. 10. 4. expounded. Christ is said to be the end of the Law for righteousnesse to euery one that beleeueth. The end of the Law is to iustifie and saue those which fulfill it. Now we, by reason of the flesh dwelling in vs, cannot fulfill it. Christ therefore subiected himselfe thereto, he perfectly fulfilled it. To them which beleeue, his perfect righteous­nesse is imputed; so as they are iustified and saued there­by. Thus is Christ the end of the Law, and that, which by the Law was exacted of our owne persons, by the Gospell is accepted for vs in Christ, who performed it. This Righteousnesse of Faith is comprised vnder the fourth peece of Spirituall Armour, verse 16. Here there­fore is especially ment the righteousnes of a good conscience. Righteousnes of a good conscience.

§. 3. Of that Righteousnesse which is here meant.

THis Righteousnesse is a powerfull worke of Gods Spirit in the regenerate, whereby they endeauour to approue them­selues vnto God and man, by performing what Gods Law re­quireth to be performed vnto both.

I terme it, First, A worke of Gods Spirit, because it is the Rom. [...] ▪ 11. Spirit which quickeneth, and enableth vs to doe what we doe.

2 Powerfull, because we are by natureEphes. 2. 1. Dead in sins, and 2 Cor. 3. 5. not able of our selues so much as to think a good thoght

3 In the regenerate, forIoh. 3. 6. that onely which is borne of the Spirit, is spirit.

4Acts 24. 16. Indeauour, for this being true and earnest with the very vttermost of our power,Heb. 13. 18. is the greatest perfection which in this World we can attaine vnto.

5 To approue to God and man, becauseMat. 22. 37, 39. duties are requi­red towards both.

[Page 146] 6 What Gods Law requireth, because that sheweth what God doth approue, and what man should approue. Luk. 1. 6. This was that righteousnesse for which Zac [...]ary and Eli­zabeth were commended.

This consisteth of two branches, First, to abstaine from euill. Secondly, to doe good.Psal 119. 3. Dauid describing a righte­ous man, saith; Surely he doth none iniquity, but walketh in the way of God. Psal. 34. 14. Oft doth the Scripture ioine those two together,Isa. 1. 16, 17. as two essentiall parts of righteousnesse: except these two doe concurre, the brest-plate is not sound.

§. 4. Of resembling Righteousnesse to a brest-plate.

Point 2 THe second point is concerning the fit resemblance of Righteousnesse to a brest-plate. Righ­teousnes fitly resembled to a brest-plate. [...]. The originall word translated brest-plate, properly signifieth that part of the body, wherein the vitall parts, as the heart, lungs, liuer, and the like doe lie: the whole vpper part of a mans body before, euen from the necke to the thighes, is comprised vnder this title. Hence is it, that that peece of armour which couereth this part of the body, hath the same name. The vse of this peece is to keepe safe the vitall parts, and preserue a man from being mortally woun­ded, or killed downe-right.

Thus doth righteousnesse keepe the Christian soul­dier safe and sure,Leo. in retia saepe lapsus ca­pitur, sanctive­rò cum ligan­tur, fortiores siunt. Chrys ad popul [...]m hom 4 that the Diuell with all his assaults can­not pierce his soule, and so vtterly destroy him. A Lyon which is strong among beasts, (Prou. 30. 30.) may be taken and destroied (1 Sam. 17. 3. 6.) but so cannot the righte­ous. This vse of righteousnesse will yet more euidently appeare,Nothing but sin can wound the soule. if wee consider what it is that doth indeed mor­tally wound the soule, and draw [...]forth the vitall blood and very life of it. It is sin, and nothing but sin, that can destroy the soule. By it did Satan first wound and kil our[Page 147] first Parents. By it hath he from time to time preuailed in the World. For sinne first prouoked Gods wrath; procu­red the curse of the Law; brought death and all the con­comitances thereof:1 Cor. 15 56 The very sting of death is sinne. Sinne first kindled hell fire, and still continueth to blow vp and inflame the same.

Where the brest-plate of righteousnesse is well put on, there sinne hath no power. Righteousnesse is as contrary to sinne, as water to fire, and it will soone quench the heate of sinne.

§. 5. Of putting on the brest-plate of Righteousnesse.

Point 3 THis brest-plate of Righteousnesse is put on by the right practice of true repentance, How Righteousnes is put on. which, according to the proper notation, and true meaning of the [...]. word, is a change of the minde, namely, such a change as bringeth forth a reformed life. This true alteration of the minde and heart, first causeth a thorow detestation of our for­mer wicked course, together with an vtter abiuration, and renouncing of the same: and then an holy resolute pur­pose to leade another kind of life, and insteed of former sinnes to practise contrary duties: as if a man in former times haue beene profane, to bee so much the more reli­gious for the time to come: if a blasphemer before, more carefull to honour the Name of God; if riotous, so much the more sober, &c. These areMat. 3. 8. fruits worthy of repentance. So long as these two fruits of repentance, First, an vtter detestation of all former wickednesse, Secondly, a con­stant resolution, and faithfull endeauour, to performe new obedience, remaine in our hearts, the Diuell cannot easily, if at all preuaile against vs. But if the minde bee not altered, and a thorow change wrought therein, though there should bee some meanes to restraine[Page 148] vs from sinne, and prouoke vs to doe many good things, yet would the Diuell soone get aduantage against vs. Heb. 3. 13. Sinne is deceitfull;1 Pet. 5 8. Satan is subtill and busie; if there­fore wee bee not altered in our hearts, the meanes of re­straint being remoued, soone shall wee be brought to re­turne vnto our old wicked course, like the2 Pet. 2. 23. dogge to his vomit, and the sow to the mire: for though the sow be outwardly washed neuer so cleane, yet because her swi­nish nature is not altered, so soone as shee commeth at mud, shee besmeeres her selfe againe by wallowing in the mire.

§. 6. Of the benefits of Righteousnesse.

Point 4 THe benefits of putting and keeping on this holy and spirituall brest-plate, The benefit of righteousnes. are many and great.

1 It keepeth vs from being mortally wounded, as we heard before: for so long as we retaine a true purpose, and faithfull endeauour answearable thereto, wee shall neuer giue our selues ouer to commit sinne.

Obiect. They who haue had the most holy resolution haue beene wounded, and that very deepely: witnesse ma­ny of the best Saints, as Neah, Lot, Dauid, Peter, & others.

Answer. 1. At such times as they fell so fouly, they forgot their resolution; their brest-plate was laid aside. 2. Though the sinnes of such seemed grosse and mortall in the kind or outward act, yet were they not so in their manner of performing them: they did them not with a full swinge & sway of will; their soule was not (to speake properly) mortally wounded: for all their wounds (though they seemed very sore and deepe) were cured; yea, many times their slips and fals were like vnto the breaking of a mans arme, or leg; which being well set a­gaine, is the stronger.

[Page 149] 2 It bringeth great assurance of our effectual calling, and spirituall vnion with Christ, yea euen of our eternall election, and saluation. ForChap. 1. 4. God hauing chosen vs that we should be holy, they that indeede are holy, may bee sure they are chosen of God, and borne of God. To this pur­pose saithIoh. 2. 29. Saint Iohn, If ye know that he is Righteous, ye know that euery one which doth Righteousnesse, is borne of him. Being sure of these, how can wee bee mortally wounded?

3 It procureth a2 Cor. 8. 18. good name in Gods Church while we liue, andProu. 10. 7. a blessed memory after we are dead,1 Pet. 3. 16. if any speake euill of vs, they shall be ashamed. Thus this Brest-plate keepeth them from many skars and scratches.

4 It confirmeth the truth of Religion, and so it may be a meanes1 Pet. 3. 1. to win such as are without,1 Thes. 1. 6, 7 to strengthen those that stand, and2 Cor. 9. 2. to stirre vp all to an holy emulati­on.

5 It doth highly honour our Lord and captaine, whose souldiers we are.Mat. 5. 16. This motiue doth Christ vse to stirre vs vp to put on the Brest-plate of Righteousnesse.

§. 7. Whether mans Righteousnesse be meritorious.

MAny and sundry are the wyles which the diuel hath against this Brest-plate,V. Pomt. Satans wyles against righ­teousnesse. and those either to make it of no vse, or to make vs either not regard it, or to waxe weary of it.

He draweth on some to cracke and breake this Brest-plate of Righteousnesse,1. Suggest. that righte­ousnesse is meritorious. by beating it out further then the mettall thereof will beare it, that is, (to speake plaine­ly) by making Righteousnesse to be meritorious. Heere­with he beguiled the Scribes and Pharisees, and such as imbraced their doctrine, and egregiously hath he besot­ted the Papists herewith.

[Page 150] For auoiding this decent, we are duly to consider what things are required to cause merit,Answer. What things are required to merit. and how farre short our righteousnesse commeth thereof.

Merit respecteth both the parties that giue and receiue the reward, and also the worke for which the reward is giuen.

He that vpon merit rewardeth, must receiue somthing for that he giueth, and in that respect is bound in Iustice, to giue the recompence which he giueth.

He that meriteth, must

1 Be free, and not bound by duty to doe that which he doth.

2 Be able of himselfe, and by himselfe, euen by his owne power to doe it.

3 Doe nothing afterwards whereby he forfeiteth that which once he hath merited.

The worke must both be perfect euery way, so as no iust fault can be found with it, and also worth the reward that is giuen for it.

Our righteousnesse can attaine to the height and pitch of none of these.Mans righte­ousnesse can­not be meri­torious. For

1 It is God who giueth the reward. ButIob 22. 3. is it any thing to the Almighty that thou art righteous? or is it profi­table to him that thou makest thy wayes vpright? & 35. 7. if thou bee righteous, what giuest thou to him, or what receiueth he at thine hands? If God receiue [...] nothing by our righteousnesse, what is the bond whereby he is indebted and obliged to vs?Mat. 20. 15. Cum Deus co­ronat merit a nostra, aibil a­liud coronat quam munera sua. [...]ug Epi [...]t. 105. Marke the answer of the Lord himselfe, Is it not law­full for me to doe what I will with mine owne? Whatsoeuer the Lord giueth, vpon meere mercy and fauor he giueth, and in rewarding our righteousnesse, he rewardeth his owne worke.

2 It is man who worketh righteousnesse: butLuk. 17. 10. man[Page 151] is a seruant vnto God, many wayes bound to performe all the seruice that hee can: yet is hee not2. Cor. 3. 5. sufficient of himselfe to thinke any thing as of himselfe: but his suf­ficiency is of God,Phil. 2. 13. It is God who worketh in him both to will, and to doe. Besides, if it were granted that a man had at any time of himselfe, through his owne power done a­ny thing, whereunto he were not bound, yet in other things hath he sinned, (forRom. 3. 23. all haue sinned) and there­by made forfeiture of his former merit.

3Isai. 64 6. All our righteousnesse being as filthy clouts, what shew of perfection can there be: if otherwise it were per­fect, yet this conceit of merit would make it vnperfect: for this is not the end why it was commanded. If Adam in his innocency, had had any conceit of merit, hee had thereby stained his obedience: this conceit doth so de face the best worke, that it maketh it most odious: for it is directly contrary to the free grace and All sufficient merit of Christ Iesus. But if notwithstanding all this it were perfect, yet such is the glory which God g [...]ueth, that our righteousnesseRom. 8. 18. can no way be worthy of it.2 Cor. 4. 17. [...] It is a farre most excellent and an eternall weight of glory.

If these points be seriously weighed, and if withall wee daily take a view of our righteousnesse, and compare it with the rule of Gods Law, and bee truely humbled for the defects and imperfections thereof this erronious and arrogant conceit of merit will not easily [...]eaze vpon vs.

§. 8. Of the vse of Righteousnesse.

IF Satan preuaile not that way,2 Suggest. that righte­ousnesse is needlesse. hee will labour to per­swade men that this Brest-plate of Righteousnesse is needlesse, because Christ hath wrought a full and perfect redemption, and left nothing for them to doe: by his[Page 152] Righteousnesse they shall be iustified and saued: so as they which haue the shield of Faith, need not this Brest-plate. By this wyle did Satan beguile many Christians in the Apostles time, taking aduantage by Saint Pauls sound and orthodoxall doctrine of iustification by faith without workes: for the redresse whereof Saint I ames, and Saint Iude were moued to write their Epistles. Here▪ by also hath he beguiled many in these our daies, who haue beene deliuered from the darkenesse of Popery.

For auoiding this,Answer. Righteousnes is needfull to saluation. we are duely to weigh what is the end and vse of Righteousnesse. Though it be not a meritorious cause of saluation, yet is it a meanes of attai­ning to saluation, the way appointed of God for vs to walke in thereunto; so that although we bee not saued for our Righteousnesse, yet we cannot be saued without it;1 Cor. 6. 9. The vnrighteous shal not inherite the Kingdome of God, Heb. 12. 14. Without holinesse no man shall see God. ForEphes. 1. 4. God hath cho­sen vs that we should be holy: andLuke 1. 75. Christ hath redeemed vs that we should serue him in holinesse and Righteousnesse. For this end appeared the grace of God, which bringeth sal­uation vnto all men,Tit. 2. 11, 12. that we should liue righteously. 1 Thes. 4. 7. Vnto holinesse God hath called vs: andEphes. 2. 10. we are created vnto good workes. Thus we see how false a suggestion it is, that Righ­teousnesse should be needlesse; It is cleane contrary to the expresse charge of the Apostle,Tit 3. 14. that we should learne to shew forth good workes for necessary vses.

Whereas it is pretended,Faith and righteousnes haue their distinct vses. that the shield of Faith is suf­ficient, we are to hold it for a ruled case, that God maketh nothing in vaine,Mat. 19. 6. Those things which God hath ioyned toge­ther, let no man put asunder. Wherefore though we saw no diuerse and distinct ends of Faith and Righteousnesse, yet God hauing appointed both, both must be vsed. But there are diuers vses, apparent to all that will obserue[Page 153] them. Righteousnesse is needfull to testifie our obedi­ence and thankfulnesse to God, to profit our brethren, to proue our faith, to giue euidence of our election, vocati­on, and iustification, and to maintaine our cause against the cauils of profanesse, impiety, wickednesse, &c. Faith is needfull to apply Christs Righteousnes, to support vs against the imperfections, and defects of our Righteous­nesse, and for many other good vses, whereof wee shall heare on the 16. verse.

§. 9. Of the issue of Righteousnesse.

A Third sleight that the diuell hath,3. Suggest. that Righte­ousnes is like­some. is to perswade men that this Brest-plate of Righteousnesse is very combersome and toilesome, and it wil make vs weary; for it is against our naturall disposition, and wil be an hin­derance of honour, wealth, ease, pleasure, &c. Herewith he beguiledHeb. 12. [...]6. Esau, 2 Tim. 4. 10. Demas, and many other. I may too truely say it, that herewith he beguileth most which pro­fesse the truth of Religion. Some cast away this Brest-plate for promotion sake, not caring how they bribe, flat­ter, please and fawne vpon great men: others for wealth, oppressing, defrauding, and may wayes wronging their neighbours: others for their pleasures, profaning the Sabbath, swearing, eating & drinking, vnto gluttony and drunkennesse, vsing vnlawfull games, immoderately pursuing lawfull pastimes, attyring themselues in strange apparrell aboue their estate, vnbeseeming their place, &c. Others to auoid outward reproch, for feare, di­rectly against their heart and conscience (I speake it with great horror of heart) are profane and vnrighte­ous,Answere. An eye must behad to the issue of Righ­teousnesse. because it is counted a disgrace to be Righteous.

For auoiding this, we must haue more respect to the assured issue of Righteousnesse, then to some present[Page 154] seeming inconueniences thereof. We know that the Ar­mour which souldiers weare on their bodies, is for the time combersome and heauy: yet for safety they refuse not to weare it: they consider that it is much better to endure a smal burthen for a while, then to endanger their liues, and lose the victory. Now such is the blessed fruit and issue of Righteousnesse, that all the honour, profit, and pleasure that can be lost, or all the reproch or shame that can be endured for it, are not worthy of the Crowne of Righteousnesse, which the Lord the righteous Iudge will giue vnto his righteous seruants. It were almost an infinite taske to declare what the Scripture, the word of Truth hath deliuered concerning the issue of Righteous­nesse. Generally it saith,Psal. 11. 7. The Lord loueth Righteousnesse. Psal. 58. 11. Verily there is a reward for the Righteous: Pro. 10. 6. Blessings are on the head of the Righteous, &c. Particularly for the righte­ous person himselfe in this life, it is said, thatPsal. 34. 15. The eyes of the Lord are vpon the Righteous. Pro. 10. 24. God will grant the desire of the Righteous Psal. 34. 19. The Lord deliuereth the Righteous out of all trouble. [...]sal. 27. 25. The Righteous shall neuer be forsaken. Psal 68. 3. The Righteous shall be glad. Psal 92. 12. The Righteous shall flourish like a Palme tree. Pro. 28 1. The Righteous are hold as a Lyon. Pro. 4. 18. The way of the Righteous shineth as the light, &c. For his death, Pro. 14. 32. The Righteous hath hope in his death. Isa. 57. 1. The Righteous are taken away from the euill to come. After death,Pro. 10. 7. The memortall of the Righteous shall be blessed. Psal. 112. 6. The Righte­ous shall be had in euerlasting remembrance. At the resur­rection, Mat. 25. 46. The Righteous shall goe into life eternall. Mat. 13. 43. The Righteous shall shine as the Sunne in the Kingdome of their Father. For their posterity,Psal. 112. 2. The generation of the Righ­teous shall bee blessed. & 37. 25. Their seed shall not begge their bread, &c.

Heere we see matter enough to answere all the discom­modities[Page 155] that may be obiected against Righteousnesse. Moses hauing an eye to the recompence of the reward,Heb. 11. 24. &c. forsooke the honours, pleasures, and riches of Aegypt: three such baits as all the world most greedily snap at. Christ for the ioy which was set before him, endured the crosse, and despised the shame. Heb. 12. 2. Thus if we set the end and issue of Righteousnesse before vs,O quanta sanc­torum virtus! omnia ipsorum sunt venerabi­lia. Chrys [...]st. ad pop. hom. [...]. it will make vs to let goe all earthly matters to hold it fast: for our soules find much ease through the burthen that the flesh feeleth hereby. In a word, great is the dignity, and admirable are the priuiledges of the Righteous.

§. 10. Of the Comfort of Righteousnesse.

OVt of the answer to his first suggestion,4 Suggest. that righte­ousnesse is nothing worth. (if the di­uell preuaile by none of the former) he will seeke to perswade vs that this Brest-plate of Righteousnesse can stand vs in no steed: becauseIsa. 64. 6. All our Righteousnesse is as a menstruous cloath: all is butPhil. 3. 8. dung and losse. Thus hee beguileth many weake Christians, and often bringeth them to vtter despaire.

Answ. Righteousnes acceptable vnto God. For auoiding this, we are to be informed that though our Righteousnesse, considered in it selfe, and compared with the perfect rule of the law, be exceeding defectiue; or opposed to the Righteousnesse of Christ, be dung and losse; yet as it is a worke of Gods holy Spi­rit in vs, proceeding from an heart purified by faith, all the imperfections therof being couered with the perfect Righteousnesse of Christ, it is acceptable vnto God, and such a thing as we may receiue much comfort in. There­fore though our Righteousnesse in it selfe, affoord no matter of boasting, yet in regard of Gods gracious acceptation, it is a thing much to be laboured after; yea also to be reioyced in.

§. 11. Of all the parts of Righteousnesse vnited.

IF the diuell cannot by any meanes bring vs wholly to reiect all Righteousnesse,5. Suggest. that partiall righteou [...]nes is sufficient. he will endeuour to make vs carelesse in some parts thereof, or at least negligent in ta­king the present opportunity: as if it were sufficient only in somethings to be righteous, becausePsal. 103. 3. God is merciful to forgiue vs all our defaults: or vpon our death-beds to turne from our vnrighteousnesse, becauseEzek. 18. 27. When the wicked turneth away from his wickednesse, hee shall saue his soule aliue. Herewith in all ages he hath beguiled many thousands.

Against the first part of this suggestion,Answer. The parts of righteousnes may not be seuered. we are to know that the seuerall parts and branches of Righteousnesse, are so firmly and inseparably knit together, that the parts cannot be seuered without the destruction of the whole. For Righteousnesse is as a chaine of many links,Qui vnam iu­stitiam fecerit cunctas virtu­tes implesse di­catur, quae in­uicē se sequun­tur, & sibi hae­ren: [...]ita vt qui vnam ha­buerit omnes habeat & qui vna caru­crit cunctis ca­reat. Hier. in Isa. 56. the seue­ral links of this chaine, are those seuerall duties which the law requireth to be performed to God & mā: let any one of the links be takē away, the chain is broke; if the chain be brokē, that which did hāg by it must needs fal down. To this purpose saith the Apostle.Iam. 2. 10. Whosoeuer shall keep the whole Law, and yet faileth in one point is guilty of all. Righ­teousnesse is compared to aIob. 29. 14. garment, as well as to a Brest-plate. A garment must couer vs all ouer: yea our Righteousnesse must be likeIoh. 19. 23, 24 Christs coate that may not be diuided: If it be cut in the middle, it cannot but make vs ashamed, as2 Sam. 10. 4, 5. Dauids seruants were when their coats were cut.

Obiect. If this were so, who should be saued? forIam. 3, 2. in many things we sinne all.

Answ. Indeed all sinne in many things: but all sin[Page 157] not after the same manner. The righteous when they sinne, are drawne into sinne either through their owne weakenesse, or thorow the violence of some temptation: they take not liberty wittingly and willingly to nourish any sinne, or omit any duty: in which respect they are said 1 Ioh. 3 9. not to commit sinne: and it is noted as a property of the righteous to2 Kin. 23. 25. Luk. 1. 6. walke in all the Commandements of God. When a righteous man is thus carefull and watchfull in auoiding sinne, and doing his duty, then will the Lord be mercifull to pardon him his infirmities: but if any wil­fully continue in any sinne, what remaineth but a feare­full looking for of iudgement?

§. 12. Of the danger of deferring repentance.

AGainst the second part of the suggestion,Man cannot when hee list repent. wee are to know that although whensoeuer an vnrighteous man truly repenteth, he shall be pardoned, yet he cannot truly repent whensoeuer hee will. Hee that refuseth to turne when God calleth him, prouoketh God to giue him ouer to the hardnesse of his heart. As for such as thinke to repent at their death, how know they what warning they shall haue of their death? May they not suddenly bee taken away asDan. 5. 30. Belshazzar, andLuk. 12. 20. the rich foole? But what if some sicknesse come before as Deaths haruinger? Surely there is little hope that such as before haue not, should then turne vnto God: For then com­monly is the body weake, the spirits faint, the heart dull, the mind troubled, and the Diuell most busie about vs: and God hath giuen no promise to the vnrighteous to succour him at that time, but ratherProu. 1. 27. &c. the contrary.

Obiection. Luk. 23. 43. Christ was mercifull to a theefe at the time of his death.

[Page 158] Answer. 1. That one example of that kind is recorded, that none should vtterly despaire: 2. Onely that one, that none should presume: 3. It cannot be proued that pur­posely he put off his repentance to that day▪ 4. It is not safe to make an extraordinary action (as this was) a patterne: for Christ did then miraculously worke on that theefe, to giue in that moment of his humiliation an euidence of his diuine power.

§. 13. Of being ouer-iust.

LAstly,6. Suggest. That a man may be ouer­iust. hee beguileth many by suggesting that they may beEccl. 7. 18. ouer-iust, and so maketh them the lesse care­full in putting on the brest-plate of righteousnesse.

Answer. Answer. For auoiding this, know for an vndoubted truth,Who are o­uer-iust. that in true righteousnesse a man cannot be ouer­iust: that is, too strict in auoiding any sinne, or too consci­onable in performing any bounden duty. For why? Rom. 6. 23. Euery sinne is mortall. And of euery duty an account is to be giuen: for they are the Talents which God hath committed to our charge.

But for a man to make a righteousnesse vnto himselfe which is not grounded on Gods word,Si quem ̄ ad omnia fra­trum peccata cōspexeris, hunc scito plus esse iustum, quam iustū est. Hi [...]r. and therein to be strict, is to be ouer-iust. To count such things to be sinne, which by Gods Law are not made sinne, is to bee ouer-iust: to be a busie-body, is to be ouer-iust: to bee censo­rious without iust ground, is to be ouer-iust, &c. But goe along by Gods word, which is the rule of righteousnesse, hold close to it, and thou canst not be ouer-iust.

Thus wee see how Gods word is able to make vs wise against all the wiles of the Diuell. Let our care be to make good vse of that wisdome.

§. 14. A direction for the vse of Righteousnesse.

1. LEarne we what is true Righteousnesse, that we trust not to a counterfeit brest-plate, and bee pierced thorow while we thinke our selues safe.

2 Acquaint wee our selues with the vse, end, beauty, benefit, and necessity of Righteousnesse, that we may be the more desirous to get it if we haue it not: or if we haue it, the more carefull in keeping it fast on, and close to vs.

3 Let a daily examination bee made of our life past, that of all our former vnrighteousnesse wee may truly and soundly repent: and with the true euidences of our former righteousnesse, our consciences may be comfor­ted in the day of triall.Acts 23. 1. & 24. 16. The Apostle comforted himselfe in the middest of his troubles with the testimony of his good conscience.Heb. 13. 18.

4 Let there be an holy resolution for the time to come to walke on in the way of righteousnesse,Deut. 5. 32. without tur­ning to the right hand or to the left. BeholdPsa. 119. 106 Dauids re­solution, andPhi. 3. 13, 1 [...] Pauls practise.

For the better performance of this most holy resolu­tion,

1 Put on Righteousnesse with all the parts thereof.

2 Remoue all impediments at the first, and giue no place to the Diuell.

3 Waxe not weary, but bee constant.

THE FIFTH PART.
Shooes of the preparation of the Gospell of Peace.

Ephes. 6. 15.‘And your feete shod with the prepara­tion of the Gospell of peace.’

§. 1. Of the Grace here meant.

THe third peece of Spirituall Armour is not so plainely and distinctly laid downe as the former. It will be needfull 1. To search out what is that particular grace which is her [...] meant. 2. How fitly it is compared to that part of harnesse which is here implied. 3. How the grace here meant is gotten. 4. How needfull and profitable it is. 5. How it hath her perfect worke. 6. What are the ex­treames contrary to it. 7. What wiles the Diuell vseth to depriue vs of it.

1. Because the phrase which the Apostle vseth is some­what doubtfull and ambiguous, there are many discre­pant opinions about that which is meant thereby.

Among those many, there are two which come neerest to the point, and are implied vnder the description of this grace, though neither of them (as I take it) be the grace it selfe. One is Knowledge of[Page 161] the Gospell, the other is Peace of Conscience. The former is implied vnder this word Gospell, (for without know­ledge of the Gospell the soule cannot be setled. The Gospell vnto him which knowes it not, is no Gospel, of no vse at all.) The other is implied vnder this word Peace, whereby is meant that Peace of Conscience, which by the knowledge of the Gospell is wrought in vs. But the Preparation here spoken of, is another grace distinct from both these; euen an effect which followeth from them both. Wherefore as the causes of a thing are not the thing it selfe, so neither of those gra­ces seuerally considered in it selfe, is the distinct peece of Armour here meant. The Syriach Translator well cleareth the meaning of the Apostle, who thus turneth it; Calceate in pedibus vestris praeparationem Euangelij pa­cis. T [...]em. in­terp. Put as shooes on your feete the preparation of the Gospell of Peace. Vnder this word Preparation then (according to the literall and Grammaticall construction, which is the best and surest) is the grace it selfe comprised: for it implieth a furniture which the Gospell of Peace procureth and pre­pareth: or an heart setled, resolued, and prepared by the Gospell of Peace, to goe on to God thorow all difficulties. Now the very grace it selfe which thus setleth the soule, I take to bee Patience: for it is without all doubt, the drift

1. Some take the preparation of the Gospell to bee a readinesse to preach the Gospell, thinking that the Apostle alludeth to that pro­phesie of Jsaiah; How beautifull are the feete of him that declareth peace. Isa. 52. 7.

Answ. Thus this peece of armour should appertaine onely to Mini­sters,

whereas it is cleere that the Apostle prescribeth the whole Ar­mour to all Christians.

2. Other, to bee a promptnesse to professe the Gospell, agreeable to Saint Peters counsell, Be ready (or prepared) to giue an answere; &c. 1. Pet. 3. 15.

Answer. This promptnesse and readinesse, is rather an effect of the grace here meant, then the grace it selfe, as we shall after heare.

3. Other, to bee an Euangelicall obedience.

Answer. Thus would it bee con­founded with the former grace. For Righteousnesse is an obedience to Gods word.

4. Other, to bee the Gospell it selfe, alluding to that of Dauid, Thy word is a lampe vnto my feet. Psal. 119. 105.

Answer. The phrase which the A­postle here vseth, sheweth that not so much the Gospell it selfe, as som­thing wrought thereby, is heere meant.

[Page 162] and scope of the Apostle,In horum cal­ce [...]mentorum fig [...] am▪ & illa calceamenta in Exodo praeces­serunt, quae ha­bere [...]ascha vescentibus im­peratur, & his qui ad facien­dumpiter paca­ti sunt. Signū s [...]quidem prae­parationis est, calceatis pedi­bus comedere, vt corroborati paschali cibo, sa­tam & horribi­lem possint ere­mum pertran­sire. Hier. in hunc locum. to arme the Christian souldier against trouble and affliction, by this particular peece of spirituall Armour here meant: but what grace so fit there­vnto as patience? This was it wherewith Iob, to vse Christs phrase (Luke 21. 19.) did euen possesse his soule. And this is it which Saint Iames prescribeth as a meanes to arme vs against trouble, Iam. 1. 3, 4, &c. For patience is a gift of God, whereby wee are enabled to beare those crosses which God laieth vpon vs. Many were the troubles which the Chri­stian Hebrewes endured for profession of the Gospell: to enable them to endure all those troubles, the Apostle saith;Heb. 10. 36. They had need of patience. Vnder this word Patience I comprise all those first graces of the Spirit, whereby the Gospell teacheth that men are prepared to goe with Christ into the field; as the deniall of ones selfe, that taking vp of ones crosse, with resolution to follow Christ. It is here cal­led [...]. a preparation, because by it a man is fitted, prepared, and made ready to goe on in his course, notwithstanding all dangers and distresses whatsoeuer meet with him in the way to hinder him. It is said to bee the preparation of the Gospell, because it is the Gospell which teacheth it, and is the cause thereof: nothing but the Gospell can prepare a mans heart against trouble. Lastly, this epithete Peace, is added to shew what the Gospell bringeth vnto vs, and worketh in vs, namely, peace to God, as wee shall after more fully heare. To conclude this first point, in briefe note, that it is the knowledge of the glad tidings of reconcilia­tion, which pacify [...]ng our conscience, prepareth our hearts, and worketh in them true sound Christian patience, whereby we are ready to march on in our course against all annoyances.

§. 2. Of the resemblance of Patience to shooes.

Point 2 II THe peece of harnesse whereunto patience is here resembled, How fit the Apost [...]es me­taphor is. is that whereby a souldiers feet or legs are couered: for [...]. feete are here expressed, and the meta­phor of [...]. being shod, implieth as much. By feet he meanes legs also: the peeces of armour that are proper to this pur­pose, are called greaues, or leg-harnesse, they are also called souldiers shooes, and bootes. The metaphor may ei­ther be generally taken of all shooes, or particularly of greaues. For the generall, wee all know that the vse of shooes is to keepe our feete from sharpe stones, hard clods, with the like: for our feete are naturally tender, in­somuch that if we goe abroad barefoot, euery hard stone hurteth them, euery sharpe sticke and pricking thorne pierceth them: therefore wee vse not to venter abroade bare [...]foote: If any be so foole-hardy as to venter, soone will he waxe weary, and either sit downe and goe no fur­ther, or else turne backe againe. But if wee haue good bootes or shooes on, then wee thinke our selues well fen­ced, and so with boldnesse and courage goe on, whatsoe­uer the way be.

To apply this.Application of the meta­phor. Stones, stickes, thornes, and the like, are not more greeuous to our bare feete, then troubles, cros­ses, and afflictions are to our naked heart and soule. Now then this world thorow which we must passe to Heauen, being a very hard and rough way, stony and thorny, full of all sorts of afflictions; if our soules be naked and bare, not fenced with patience, and so fitted and prepared well to endure all crosses, we shall either neuer venter to enter into this hard way, or at least not endure to hold out ther­in. But if our soules be thorowly possest with sound and[Page 164] true patience, then shall we with vndanted courage, passe thorow all the troubles of this World.

For the particular (which is the rather to be conside­red,The vse of greaues in warre. because the Apostles whole direction is taken from warre) the vse of greaues and leg-harnesse, were to keepe the legs and feet from hurts and wounds, because if they were wounded or broken, a man could no longer stand, but was ouerthrowen. Such souldiers as stand in the front of the battell, or single themselues out alone as1 Sam. 17. 6 Goliah, most commonly haue their legs fenced with these. Be­sides, it being a stratagem which enemies oft vse,Caes. Comment. to sticke the way by which they know that the aduerse parties must needes passe, with short stubs and pikes, ends of speares, and such like, of purpose to gall their feete and legs, and make them weary of going on; souldiers vse to weare bootes, and greaues, to preuent such mischiefes. Surely the Diuell vseth such a stratagem against Christi­an souldiers: for knowing in what way they are to walke to Heauen, hee sets many prickes and crosses therein, as reproaches, disgraces, troubles, vexations, persecutions, by losse of goods, liberties, and liues; yea, many times grieuous torments and tortures: now if our soules be not fenced with the preparation of the Gospell of Peace, what hope, yea, what possibility is there of going on, and hol­ding out in that way?

§. 3. Of the ground of Patience.

Point 3 THe Apostle himselfe in the last words of this verse sheweth how this Preparation, how patience is gotten. this fence and furni­ture of the soule, namely patience may be gotten, euen by the Gospell of Peace: for it is such a preparation as the Gos­pell of peace teacheth and worketh, whence it followeth,[Page 165] that the Gospel of Peace, is the onely true ground of this peece of Armour.

For the better clearing of this point, I will distinctly shew,

1 What the Gospel is.

2 What Peace is here meant.

3 Why Peace is thus attributed to the Gospel.

4 How the Gospel of Peace effecteth this prepara­tion.

§. 4. Of the Gospel.

GOspel,1 What the Gospel is. according to the proper notation of the [...]. ori­ginall word, signifieth a good message, or glad tidings: so it is sometimes translated, as Rom. 10. 15. How beautifull are the feet of them which [...]. bring glad tidings? &c. The same notation may our English word Gospel admit: for spell in ancient time signified speech: Gospel then is a good speech. Lat Fren. [...]tal. Span. &c The most elegant and learned languages retaine the Greeke word.

The good and glad tidings which this word implieth, is, that Christ Iesus the Sonne of God, is giuen vnto the sonnes of men. AnLuk. 2. 10, 11. Angel from heauen thus expounded this word; for hauing said, [...]. I bring you gla [...] tidings, he addeth, that vnto you is borne a Sauiour which is Christ the Lord. Therefore the Histories which purposely write of Christ Iesus, declaring his Diety and humanity, his conception and birth, his life and death, words and deedes, humili­ation and exaltation, &c. are by an excellency and pro­priety termed Gospels, or to speake as the Scots doe, Euan­giles, and the penne-men of them Euangelists. If it bee duely considered into what a woe-full estate man by sin had implunged himselfe, how no creature in Heauen or earth was able to succour him, what full redemption[Page 166] Christ hath wrought and vnto how excellent an estate he hath redeemed vs,Euangelium est mare in qu [...] diuinae gratiae plenitudo est. Amb. Hexam. lib. 5. cap. 7. it will appeare, that neuer the like glad tidings was or could be brought to man-kind then this, that Christ a Sauiour was giuen vnto them; so that this message may well be called a Gospel or Euangile. In it is the very fulnesse of Gods fauour manifested.

§. 5. Of that Peace which the Gospel causeth.

THe Peace heere spoken of,2 What peace is here meant is our reconciliation with God. In the beginning God made man after his owne Image, by vertue whereof, there was a sweet har­mony and concord betwixt God and man; God hauing reuealed vnto man what was his good will, pleasing and acceptable vnto him; man being both able, and also wil­ling to doe that which was acceptable to God. But long this Peace did not last: it was soone broken, and that wholly, and onely through mans default. For man wit­tingly sinned against his Creator, and thereby iustly pro­uoked his wrath: thus came enmity betwixt God and man. Such a breach was made by mans rebellion, that all creatures in Heauen and earth were not able to make it vp. Christ therefore, the eternall, true, naturall, proper, onely begotten Sonne of God, tooke vpon him to be a Mediator betwixt God and man. Hee satisfied his Fathers Iustice, pacified his wrath, procured his fauour towards man, whereby God was moued to offer recon­ciliation vnto man;Deus appella­tur pacis quia per Christum ei reconciliati sumus, qui est pax nostra, Hi­eron. Hedib. quaest. 12. withall he gaue vnto man his sanctifi­ing Spirit, to breed faith in him, that thereby man might receiue and embrace this reconciliation. In this respect God is called the God of Peace (Rom. 16. 20.) and Christ our Peace, (chap. 2. 14.) Prince of Peace (Isa. 9. 6.) And God is said in Christ to reconcile the world vnto himselfe, [Page 167] (2 Cor. 5. 19.) Thus through the mediation of Christ, God offering, and man accepting reconciliation, a most perfect and inuiolable peace is made betwixt them, and this is the peace here meant. As fruits of this peace there flow from it remission of sinnes, quietnesse and comfort of conscience, ioy of heart, willingnesse and ability to doe that which is pleasing vnto God, freedome from the do­minion of sinne, from the power of the Diuell, from the euill of all crosses, from the sting of death, and of the graue, and from the feare and fire of Hell.

§. 6. Why it is called the Gospel of Peace.

THis Peace is so appropriated to the Gospel,3 How Peace is appropria­ted to the Gospel. that it is called the Gospel of Peace, and that in a double respect, First, of the matter. Secondly, of the effect.

1 The subiect matter of this glad tidings, is the fore­named Peace and reconciliation betwixt God and man. The Gospel first declared, and still continueth to publish the same: neither the Law, nor any humane writings can doe this: therefore so soone asLuk. 2. 10, 11 one Angel had declared this glad tidings, an whole troope of heauenly souldiers cryed out14. Peace on earth. It was the Gospel which de­clared peace toGen. 3. 15. Adam, & 7. 1. Noah, & 12. 3. Abram, and the rest of the Saints in al ages, before and since Christs time.Isa. 52. 7. They therefore which preach the Gospel, are said to publish Peace.

2 It is a powerfull effect of this Gospel, to worke Peace in them that heare it, and beleeue it. ForGal. 3. 2. in and by the Ministery of the Gospel, the Spirit of Christ is conueyed into our hearts: in which respect it is called 2 Cor. 3. 8. the ministration of the Spirit. This Spirit first moueth vs to embrace reconciliation offered in the Gospel, and[Page 168] then it quieteth our conscience, and so worketh Peace therein.

How admirably doth this commend vnto vs the loue of God,Vse 1. Gods loue. and of his Sonne our Sauiour? he thought it not enough, that at first he made al in peace, though he might iustly haue reiected man for euer, as he did the Diuels, be­cause man willingly and rebelliously broake this Peace; yet to magnifie his mercy towards man, he spared not his Sonne, but gaue him to be our Peace, who, (to vse the Scripture phrase)Cha. 2. v. 16. slue hatred, and made Peace: yea not so onely, but also gaue his Gospel, thereby making open proclamation of Peace, and inuiting men to imbrace it. Excellently is this set forth in theMat. 22. 2. &c. parable of the Kings sonnes wedding;Luk. 14. 16. &c. if we doe as they who were inuited thereunto, how iustly doe we deserue to be depriued of this Peace?

What a blessing is it to haue the Gospel preached a­mong vs:Vse 2. A blessing to haue the Gospel. the Gospel of Peace, such aPhil. 4. 7. Peace as passeth vnderstanding? Is it not an heauy curse to want this Gospel? this should be a strong motiue to stirre vp Mi­nisters, diligently and faithfully to preach the Gospel, and to stirre vp people earnestly to giue heed and credence thereunto, euen as they tender their Peace.

§. 7. Of the ground of true Patience.

FRom that which hath beene deliuered of the Gospel of Peace,4 The Gos­pel of peace prepareth a mans heart against trou­ble. that maine point which we haue in hand, by necessary consequence followeth, that the onely meanes of preparing our soules patiently to beare all crosses, and constant­ly to goe through all troubles in our Christian course, is a right knowledge of the glad tidings of our reconciliation with God. Gen. 12. 2, 3, It was this Gospel of Peace wherewith God encoura­ged[Page 169] Abraham to come out of his owne countrey, and with a patient and prepared heart to passe ouer all these difficulties whereunto he should be brought. This was that glad tidings which the Lord brought toExod. 3. 6, 7 Moses, to Ios. 1. 5. Ioshua, toIud. 6. 12. Gedeon, and many others for that very end. I might instance this in many thousand examples, and shew how the courage and patience of the Saints, which hath beene admirable to the world, hath beene groun­ded on this sure foundation the Gospel of Peace. For the truth is, that all the Prophets all the Apostles, all the true Christian confessors, and Martyrs in all ages, who haue endured more then flesh and blood could possibly with patience beare, haue had their feete shod, that is, their hearts armed and prepared with assurance of their recon­ciliation with God: but hauing such a cloude of wit­nesses, I will content my selfe with naming two or three.

Many and sundry were the troubles, inward and out­ward, by open enemies, and deceitfull friends, on Sea and land, which Saint Paul went thorow, and that with an in­uincible courage and resolution: the cause of all is eui­dent to be thatRom. 8 31, 32, &c. knowledge which he had of Gods loue to him, and of his reconciliation with God. On this ground of confidence he did after an holy manner insult ouer all aduerse power.Iam. 5. 11. But Iob yet suffered much more, and his patience was so admirable, that the holy Ghost maketh choice of him aboue all other, as a marke to be­hold, and a patterne to follow. What was the ground of his patience? surely many of those diuine speeches which he vttered to his wife and friends, euidently shew, that the knowledge of his reconciliation with God, was it which made him so confident and patient. There is yet another who farre exceeded these and all other[Page 170] Saints both in suffering and patient bearing, namely Christ: the assurance of his Fathers loue was the ground of his patience, as appeareth both by thatIoh 17. 24. profession which he made thereof, a little before his suffering (say­ing vnto his Father, Thou louedst me before the foundation of the world,) and also by those titles which in his most bit­ter agony he gaue vnto God, as in the Garden▪ Mat. 26. 39. O my Fa­ther, &c. On the Crosse,Mat. 27. 46. My God, my God.

§. 8. Of the meanes whereby Patience is wrought.

THus we see the truth of this point sufficiently pro­ued;The Gospel prepareth our hearts by declaring. that the Gospel of Peace, is the ground of Patience: now further consider how it doth prepare the soule of man to endure. This it doth by perswading mans mind, and resoluing his heart of these two principles.

1 That nothing shall hurt him.

2 That all things shall turne to his good.

For the first,1 That no­thing can hurt vs. most sure it is that nothing can make vs miserable, but onely sinne: Sinne is the very sting of all troubles aed crosses: sinne is it which maketh them to be heauy burdens: this maketh trouble of conscience to be intollerable: death and the graue to be most terrible: the diuell which hath the power of death to bee so horrible: yea, the Law of God, and God himselfe to bee so full of dread and terrour. Let sinne be remoued, and our con­science assured thereof; then may we, then will we com­fort our selues in all troubles: for then shall we appeare before the Throne of God, as before the mercy-seat of a gracious Father, and take his Law, as a direction to teach vs how to please him. Then shall wee esteeme all crosses as corrections of the Lord for our profit, yea, as[Page 171] his physicke to purge out our corruptions, & as proofes of his graces in vs. Then will our conscience rest quiet and well contented: then shall we thinke of death, as of a gate to heauen, and of the graue, as of a sweet bed to rest in, till the day of the consummation of our eternall blisse in body and soule: yea, then shall wee not need to feare the diuell, because he can haue no power ouer vs, much lesse hell and the torment thereof. Therefore doth Psal. 32. 1, 2 Dauid annexe blessednesse to remission of sin: so that Mat. 9. 2. vpon this ground might Christ well say to the man sicke of the palsie, Sonne, be of good comfort.

This being so, the Gospel of Peace which assureth vs of our reconciliation with God, and of the remission of our sinne, assureth vs also that nothing can hurt vs, be­cause the sting of euery thing, which is sinne, is pulled out. If the forked tongue of an adder, the poysonous teeth of a snake, the sharpe sting of a waspe be pulled out, what hurt can they doe?

For the second,2 That all things shall make to our good. by the Gospelc We know that all things worke together for good, vnto them that loue God. For the Gospel assuring vs of reconciliation with God, how can we but be assured that he tendereth vs as his children, and with a fatherly affection seeketh our good in all things which by his good prouidence he bringeth vpon vs.Psal. 112. The prosperity of those with whom God is recon­ciled is a blessing:& 119. 71. afflictions are for their good: so is Reu. 14. 23. death and the graue:Mir [...] quodam modo etiam ip­sum peccatum iufto in iustitiā cooperatur. Ber. in Psal. 91. serm. 2. yea, I may truly say that the sins of those who are accepted of God, do turn to their good: not that sinne is any way good in it selfe, being in it selfe the greatest euill that is or can be, and the cause of all e­uill of punishment; but that God through his infinite power and wisedome (who can bring good out of euill, [...]s at first he caused light to shine out of darkenesse) doth[Page 172] so order it: like vnto a skilfull Apothecary, who can so order and temper ranke poison, as it shall proue very me­dicinable.

Quest. What is that good can come from sinne?

Answ. 1 In regard ofExod. 32. 3 [...] & 34. 6, 7. God, whose mercy and grace is manifested and magnified in forgiuing sinne: for Rom. 5 20. Where sinne abounded, there did grace much more abound.

2 In regard of sinners,Nonne coope ratur nobis ille casus in bonū vnde & humi­liores efficimur & cautiores? Bern. ibid. (I meane repentant sinners, for of their sinnes I speake) it worketh in them godly sor­row (a sorrow not to be repented of, because of the ex­cellent fruits thereof▪ noted 2. Cor. 7. 10, 11.) It worketh also an high esteeme of Gods free grace and rich mercy, a longing desire after Christs righteousnesse, a diligent watchfulnes our our selues for the time to come, a Chri­stian readinesse to beare with the slips and infirmities of other, with the like.

These are two such grounds of Patience, as all the wri­tings of all the men in the world cannot affoord the like▪ It is the Gospel, and the Gospel alone, which hath made them knowne, and not onely so, but also instrumentally worketh faith in our hearts: whereby we giue credence vnto the truth of them, and with strong confidence, rest and stay our selues thereupon.

§. 9. Of the false grounds of Patience.

HEnce learne,Vse 1. Counterfeit patience. that all the pretended patience of heathen men, and others which knew not this Gos­pel of Peace, was but a meere shadow of patience: for what were the grounds therof? surely no much matter [...] as by the Gospel is reuealed, but such as mans natural [...] reason inuented, as these,

[Page 173] 1 It is no part of manhood, but meere childishnesse and cowardlinesse to be impatient.

2 Sorrow, mourning, all impatiency, and the like, may much aggrauate our troubles, but can no way ease them or take them away.

3 Others are subiect to troubles: it is a common con­dition of mankinde.

4 There is an ineuitable necessity, or (to vse the words and phrase) a fatall destiny, they cannot be auoided.

5 They are not for euer to endure, but will haue an end, if by no other meanes, yet by death. These and such like may make men bold and hardy, or stupid and bloc­kish. I may resemble them to Opium, and such like medi­cines which stupifie mens senses, and make them the lesse impatiently beare their paines, but they bring no true ease.

The Gospell of peace breedeth not a sencelesnesse, but Rom. 5. 3. such a patience as is seasoned with comfort and ioy.

§. 10. Of the manner of working true Patience.

AS wee desire true patience,Vse 2. How patience may be right­ly grounded in vs. so labour wee that it bee rightly grounded in vs. For this end wee must ac­quaint our selues with this Gospell of peace, and labour for true, sauing, sanctifying knowledge thereof: for the attaining whereunto,

1 The promises of God in his word are to bee obser­ued, especially such as concerne our reconciliation with God, and his fauour towards vs; asPsa. 119. 49. 50. Dauid did. Without knowledge of Gods promise there can be no sound con­fidence: all the shew that we may seeme to make thereof will proue but meere presumption.

2 The cause of those promises is to bee well noted,[Page 174] which is GODS free grace and meere mercie.

3 The parties to whom they are made, are to be mar­ked, All that shall beleeue.

4 The properties of such as beleeue, are also to be no­ted. Of these we shall speake on verse 16.

When wee come to any that are sicke,Vse 3. How men may be per­swaded vnto true patience or in any other distresse, and desire to perswade them vnto true patience; wee must bring them to knowledge of the Gospell of peace, that they hauing assurance thereof, may bee the more quiet vnder Gods correcting hand: bring them to beleeue that their sinnes are forgiuen, and then maist thou well bid themMat. 9. 2 Be of good comfort, and patient.

§. 11. Of the necessity of true Patience.

Point 4 THe fourth generall point to be considered, The necessity of patience. is the ne­cessity of this peece of Spirituall Armour. Though it be compared to legge-harnesse, which may seeme to be least necessary,Simil. yet indeed it is no whit lesse necessary then any of the rest: we know that if a man be not well fenced on his legges, he may receiue such a blow vpon them, as will cleane ouerthrow him, notwithstanding the other peeces of armour? but if the way be rough and thorny, and the man bare-footed and bare-legged, and in that re­spect dareth not marche on, what benefit reapes he by the furniture of the other parts? To let the metaphor passe; the gift and grace it selfe which now wee speake of, Patience, is so absolutely necessary, as without it there can be no hope of attaining to victory, glory, and rest, where Christ our chiefe Captaine is.Heb. 10. 36. The Apostle expresly saith, that patience is needfull: to shew that he speaketh of an absolute necessity, hee implieth that the promise (meaning eternall life promised) cannot bee receiued[Page 175] without it: for he had shewedV. 6. 12. before, that the Saints in former times thorow faith and patience inherited the promise, and in that respect both that Apostle, and also Iam. 5. 10. Saint Iames exhort Christians to follow them.

§. 12. Of the troubles whereunto we are subiect.

MAny troubles and crosses must bee vndergone in this World,Reason. Many trou­bles to be vn­dergone. before wee can come to enioy rest and happinesse in Heauen. Note Ioh. 16. 33. Luk. 14. 27. Acts 14. 22. 2 Tim. 3. 12. Heb. 12. 6, 7. These places shew how rough, and full of pricks the way to Heauen is.

Experience of all ages doth verifie the truth of those Scriptures:Quis Sancto­rum sine certa­mine coronatus est? Abel iustus occiditur, &c. quaere & inue­nies singulos aduersa perpes­sos. Hier. ad Eustoch. consider the Histories of Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaack, Iacob, their posterity in Aegypt, in the Wilder­nesse, in Canaan; vnder Iudges, vnder Kings, and in their captiuities: consider the liues of Christ, of the Prophets, Apostles, and other Saints; the estate of Christs Church in the Apostles time, after their time, and euer since euen vnto these our dayes: it were infinite to reckon vp all the persecutions, troubles, afflictions, and sundry kinds of crosses which Gods people from time to time haue been brought vnto. In a word, it is as possible for sheepe to [...]iue quiet among wolues without hurt, as for the Church in this world without trouble and persecution.

Obiect. All ages and times haue not beene times of per­secution: The Church in Solomons dayes, and vnder the reigne of many other good Kings had great peace and quiet: yea, it is written that in the Apostles times, (which were most troublesome times)Acts 9. 31. the Churches had rest: so in Constantines times, and in the time of other good[Page 176] Christian Emperours: likewise here in this Land vnder the reigne of King Edward the sixth, Queene Elizabeth, and King Iames, who now liueth.

Answ. Troubles in most peacable times. Though the Church and children of God be somewhile, for a time freed from outward publicke per­secutions of the Magistrate, or from open inuasions of the enemy, yet not from all manner of troubles. Many are the troubles of the righteous, euen in the most halci­on and peaceable dayes that euer were. For in the bosome of the Church (while the Church remaineth on Earth) there haue beene alwayes, still are, and euer will be some borne after the flesh, as well as some borne after the spirit, which being so,Gal. 4. 29. persecution there will be, if not with fire and sword, banishment and imprisonment, outward torture and torment; yet with that which goeth as neere to the heart, and pierceth thorwo the soule as deepely, namely, ignominy, reproach, disgrace, and such likeGen. 21. 9. Is­maeticall persecution.

In the most quiet times of the Church,Isa. 59. 15. He that refrai­neth from euill maketh himselfe a prey. Manifold iniubies doe the true Saints receiue of their wicked neighbours; they are disgraced and oppressed of the greater sort, reuiled and wronged of the meaner sort: if they should haue peace abroade, yetMat. 10. 35. 36. at home, euen in their Families shall they find troubles enough, arising from their Parents, Husbands, or Wiues, Children, Seruants, Friends, Kin­red, and the like. We reade of, heare and see the crosses of others: euery one feeleth his owne, and so best know­eth them. Shew me the man (let it be he that hath seemed to himselfe and others the most happy) that in truth can say; his life hath beene euery way so free from all troubles and crosses, that in his owne experience he knoweth no [...] what they meane: If any should so say, I might mor [...] [Page 177] truly say to his face, that either hee is of a most stupid, blockish, and sencelesse disposition; or else that plainely hee lieth. But suppose for the time, that it were possible for a man to be freed from all outward troubles, hath he none within? Is all quiet in his soule and conscience? Had he neuer any griefe of mind, anguish of spirit, vexation of heart, trouble of conscience? then neuer had he any sinne, or at least neuer any sence and feeling of sinne.

§. 13. Of the Authours of our troubles.

THis is thus brought to passe, partly by the good gui­ding prouidence of God, and partly by the malice of the Diuell: God both aiming at, and also bringing forth good thereby: the Diuell aiming at euill, but crossed in his purpose.

That troubles and crosses fall not on vs without God,Troubles fall not out with­out God. is euident by many expresse testimonies of Scripture, as Isa 45. 7.The good which com­m [...]th from troubles. Amo. 3. 6. Iob 1. 21. 2 Sam. 16. 11. Eze. 20. 3 [...]. Heb. 12. 6, 7. The good which God aimeth at, and effecteth by those troubles he inflicteth on his children, is manifold: as,

12 Cor. 12. 7. The preuenting of some great mischiefe and euill

22 Chr. 3 [...] 12 The purging out of some festering poysonsome sinne.Luk 5. 17.

3Heb. 12. 10. 11. The vpholding and keeping vs safe and stedfast in the right way.

41 Pet. 4. 1 [...]. The proofe and triall of such gifts and graces as he hath bestowed on his children.

That the Diuell also hath his hand in afflicting Gods children,Satan hath his hand in afflicting S [...]ints. is cleare by these (among many other) Scrip­tures, Iob 1. 9. 10. & 2. 5. 1 Chro 21. 1. Zac. 3. 1. Luk. 22. 31.

[Page 178] 2 Cor. 12. 7. Re [...]el. 2. 10. That which the Diuell aimeth at herein, is toIob. 1. 10. discourage vs, and to turne vs out of the right way,1 Thes. 2. 18 to hinder the progresse of the Gospell, and in a word1 Pet. 5. 8. to deuoure vs. The Diuell well knoweth how weake and feeble our nature is, how soone our flesh is quailed, how irkesome troubles are to vs by nature: this way therefore hee laboureth by all the meanes he can, se­cretly and openly, by himselfe, and instruments to an­noy vs.

§. 14. Of the necessity of Patience.

THe point then being so cleare,T [...]lerantia mo­lestiarum om­nibusc in ha [...] vita subeunda est, tendentibus ad arborem vi­tae. Aug. de Gen. l. 2. that of necessity many troubles must be passed thorow, before wee come to our heauenly rest, it necessarily followeth, that of necessi­ty we must be shod and fenced with patience. The want of this grace hath beene the cause that many, who for a while haue made an hot onset in the Christian battell, at length (when they felt the hard and rough way wherein they marched, and when they found themselues galled and pricked with the troubles which they haue met with­all) haue fallen away, and refused to goe on any further in their Christian course:2 Tim. 4. 16. as they which forsooke Saint Paul.

§. 15. Of the benefit of Patience.

AS this grace is necessary, so also is the benefit thereof exceeding great: for if we be well shod therewith, no trouble will dismay vs, or hinder vs in our Christian course: it maketh such burdens as seeme very heauy to flesh and blood, to be but light and easie to be borne; and such things tollerable, which naturall men thinke intol­lerable,[Page 179] and vnsupportable; yea, it keepeth vs from being foiled and ouercome.Iam. 5. [...]0. This made Iob passe ouer such grieuous assaults as neuer any, that we reade of, euer en­dured the like.

When the holy Ghost speaketh of the victory which the Sainis haue gotten, he saith;Reu. 13. 10. & 14. 12. Here is the patience of the Saints, implying, that thorow their patience they ouer­came all their troubles.

§. 16: Of the perfect worke of Patience.

Point 5 V THe counsell therefore of Saint Iames (Chap. 1. verse 5.) is worthy to be noted; it is this, How patience hath her perfect worke. Let pa­tience haue her perfect worke. The worke of pa­tience is said to be perfect in respect, First, of the condi­tion. Secondly of the extent. Thirdly of the continuance.

1 For the condition it must be true,1 It must bee sound. hearty and sound, not fained and counterfeit. As integrity and vprightnesse is a kinde of perfection in all Christian graces, so also in patience.

2 For the extent it must reach to all manner of cros­ses,2 It must reach to all crosses. heauy and light, inward and outward, home and a­broad, whether they come from the Diuell, or any of his wicked instruments; or from God himselfe, and his owne hand, of what kinde, quality, quantity soeuer they be: in this respect, said the Apostle;2 Cor. 6. 4 We approue our selues in much patience.

3 For the continuance,3 It must en­dure to the end. it must endure vnto the end, so much doth the [...]. notation of the word, which the Apo­stle vseth, imply. To the end I say, not onely of that pre­sent affliction which lieth vpon vs, but also to the end of our life: so as wee must both patiently beare the pre­sent, and also prepare our selues for future crosses. In[Page 180] this respect Christ [...]aith; [...]. Hee that hath patience to the end shall be saued. Mat. 10. 2 [...]. Iobs patience

Among other Saints, Iobs patience had her perfect wo [...]ke in all these respects: Had it not beene vpright and sound, he could not haue so stood against his friends, who suspecting his vprightnesse, thorowly sifted him. The many trials whereunto he was brought, and his patient enduring all (for hee was ouercome by none) manifesteth the extent of his patience: neuer any (Christ excepted) endured more, neuer any (the same excepted) more pati­ently endured all. The History it selfe,Iob. 13. 15. his owne testi­mony, and& 42, 7. Gods also, and theIam. 5. 11. The necessity of the perfect woike of pa­tience. witnesse of his Apostle, doe all verifie the continuance of his patience to the end.

§. 17. Of the kinds of crosses.

THat wee may the better apply this Apostolicall dire­ction, as before in generall wee shewed the necessity of patience, so here in particular we will shew how neces­sary it is that patience haue this perfect worke.

This will appeare by the kinds of crosses whereunto we are subiect.

1 They are not scar-crowes, troubles in shew and appearance onely, but such as pierce both body and soule, and make the stourest to stoupe and shrinke. Therefore counterfeite patience will stand vs in no steed.

2 The number of trials whereunto wee shall bee brought, is vncertaine: one calamity vpon another (as waues) may fall vpon vs:Iob. 1. 16, 17. 18. that which is written of Iob, how one messenger followed another, all bringing dole­full newes, sheweth what may befall any of vs. Now suppose wee should as patiently beare some, as Iob, but[Page 181] yet taint vnder the burden of others; where is the bene­fit of that former patience? Some that haue endured im­prisonment, banishment, and such like trials, yea who haue beene ready to endure sword and fire in time of persecution, haue beene discouraged and turned out of their good course by reproch, and disgrace, in time of peace: other that can patiently passe ouer publicke trou­bles, are so disquieted with priuate losses, and crosses at home in their families, that they are made vnfit to per­forme any Christian duty to God, or man. Other that can well endure paine of body, sickenesse and such like crosses, cannot beare vexation of mind, or disturbance of their passion.

3 It is also vncertaine how long we shall be subiect to tryals, because the continuance of our life is vncer­taine. This world is the field of the Lords battell, so long as we are in the field, the enemies will assault vs: now to yeeld before the battell be ended, is worse then neuer to haue endured any at all: the glory of all our former patience is not onely lost, but also turned into shame and ignominy, andHeb. 10. 38. God prouoked vtterly to giue vs ouer.

This last point is the rather to be regarded, because most faile therin: for many can endure an heauy burden, and a sore brunt for a while, but if long it lie vpon them, then they faint. This was it wherin the Hebrewes failed, Heb. 10. 35. & 12. 3. for the redressing wherof, the Apostle is very earnest.

§. 18. Of too light regard of Crosses.

TWo extreames (whereunto we are very prone to runne,VI Point two [...]xtreams con [...]ry to pati­e [...]ce. the Preacher, and which much hinder this perfect work of patience) are noted byPro. 3. 11. and byHeb. 12. 5. the A [...]postle:[Page 182] one is, too light regard, the other is, too great feare of such crosses as God layeth on men: for some despise them, as matters not much to be regarded (so much the notation of the originall [...]. words imply:) other faint and sinke vnder the burthen of them, as if they were vnsupportable, not to be endured (so much also the no­tation of the [...]. other originall words imply:) They looke not to God who smiteth: these fixe their eyes too fast vpon his Iustice and wrath. It is commonly stupidity of mind, or stubbornesse of will, that maketh men fall into the former.Sunt nonnulli qui molestiam quidem susti­nent, caeterum fructu priuan­tur Ch [...]ys. de Laz. con. 3. They, who are by nature stupide and bloc­kish, haue not a spirituall sence of crosses, but are like to men dead drunke, (Pro. 23. 33.) they endure many trou­bles, but receiue no good by any trouble. Such were those Israelites of whomI [...]r 53. Ieremiah complaineth: and Exod 5 2. Pharaoh was such an one. They who are of a stubborne disposition, despise Gods corrections, asPro. 27. 22. the foole whose foolishnesse will not depart from him, though thou shouldest bray him in a morter, &c. Such were those Israelites of whomIsa. 1. 5 Isaiah complaineth: and2. Chr. 28. 22. Ahaz was such an one▪ These are two dangerous rockes, at which many suffer shipwracke: two such stumbling blockes, as cause many to fall, and pitch into hell. YetStoicks. many count the first of these, (namely, so to stand out all crosses, as not to be mo­ued therewith) a vertue: answerable to this heathenish opinion is the practise of many, who professe themselues to be Christians. Let publike iudgements fall on the land where they liue, as famine, plague, sword, &c. or on cities and townes in that land, as inundations of waters, fires, sicknesses, &c. or on their owne houses, their wiues, and children: are little moued, no though it fal vpon their owne pates. If they may be freed from them, or deliue­red out of them, they thinke it well: if not, they thinke it[Page 183] destiny, they must beare it, and so like beasts, or rather like blockes lye vnder their burthen: thus many lye on their death beds, without remorse, like1 Sam. 25. 37. Naball, whose heart dyed within him, and he was like a stone.

§. 19. Of despising Gods corrections.

THe other sort, that through a rebellious will, despise Gods corrections, are the worser sort: they prouoke God to shew himselfe a God of vengeance, euen a con­suming fire: forPsal. 18. 26. With the froward, he will shew himselfe froward. Reade what God threatneth, (Leu 26. 18, 21, 24, 28.) and how he executed those threats (Amo. 4. 6. &c.) That in these our dayes, men carry themselues stoutly a­gainst God, is too euident, both by Gods dealings and mens. For God is very mercifull, slow to anger. What is the cause then that he hath of late sent so may iudge­ments one after another vnto this land? wee may truely say with Ieremiah vnto God,Lam. 3. 12. We haue sinned and rebelled, therefore thou hast not spared. For man, who is bettered by the Lords correcting hand? what sinne is left? oh belo­ued, let vs take heed we prouoke not God to lay his tod aside, and to take vp a staffe, or if that make vs not stoop, to vnsheath his sword, and cleane cut vs off,

§. 20. Of fainting vnder the Crosse.

THis extreame the wickeder sortfall into, into the o­ther fall the weaker sort, but the better, yea many the deare Saints of God.Psal. 6. 6. Dauid seemeth, by his owne confession, to haue fainted in his mourning: for such is the feeblenesse of our nature, such our forgetfulnesse of Gods power and promises, that we oft let go from vs[Page 184] those stayes and props, which the Lord hath afforded vn­to vs, to vphold. The Apostle implyeth, that euen Gods children, without great watchfulnesse, and continuall obseruation, are very ready to waxe faint. Experience, as of all other times, so of ours also, doth verifie as much. For how is it that there should be such slackenesse in ma­ny, who haue beene heeretofore very forward & zealous, and that mens after proceedings should bee so vnlike to their former good beginnings, but that they faint by rea­son of that hard way, and those manifold troubles, by which wee must passe vnto heauen? Great is the danger and damage of this fainting: it makes men weary of well doing, it causeth them to repent of the good which is done, and to turne backe into an easier course (as they suppose) and so to lose all the glory of that good which hath beene done: yea, it oft causeth fearefull doubting, and despaire, and so maketh all the help which the Scrip­ture affordeth to be in vaine.

§. 21. Directions to keepe men from despising the Crosse.

VVE ought therfore to be watchfull against both these extreames,How wee may be kept from de [...]pising Gods corre­ctions. that we fall not into the for­mer, obserue these few directions.

1 In all afflictions looke (as2 Sam. 16. 11. Dauid did) vnto him who smiteth, and know that they come not by chance, but by Gods wise disposing prouidence: and that pur­posely to breed in vs true remorse.

Know also that the Lord can adde crosse vnto crosse, till he pull downe our stout stomacks, or breake our proud backes, and bring vs to vtter confusion. Yea, know that his wrath is as his greatnesse, infinite, vnsupportable:[Page 185] on whomsoeuer it lighteth, it crusheth him down to hell: so that though a man might thinke he could beare all outward crosses, yet Gods wrath can presse him much more heauily.

2 Take notice of the iudgements which other men by despising the Lord, bring vpon themselues: this may worke vpon thine hard heart. It is an especiall point of wisedome to be warned by other mens harmes. This was the wisedome of the third captaine which was sent to E­liah. 2 King. 1. 13. &c. Note the issue.

3 Make vse of the least crosses, and begin speedily to humble thy selfe. If thy heart begin to be touched, suffer it not presently to be hardned againe, but more and more humble thy selfe. Thus will the Lord repent of the iudg­ment he intended, and turne from his wrath, as he did in the time of Hezekiah. Ier. 26. 18, 19.

§. 22. Directions to keepe men from fainting.

THat we fall not into the latter extreme,How we may be kept from fain [...]ing vnder the crosse. obserue these directions.

1 Cast not both eyes on our selues, and our owne weaknesse, and the weight of the crosses that lie vpon vs, but lift vp one vnto God, & vnto his goodnes [...] and con­sider how ready he is to succour in all time of need.

2 Call to mind his manifold promises: both those which respect his gracious assistance of vs in the tryall, and his mighty deliuerance of vs out of it.

3 Remember examples of former times, how he ne­uer oppressed thē that patiently endured his corrections.

These two extreames are directly contrary to the two branches of this verse, namely to the preparation heere[Page 186] spoken of, and to the ground thereof, the Gospel of Peace. If we be prepared, we shall not despise Gods cor­rections: if prepared by the Gospel of Peace, we shall ne­uer faint: that will vphold vs, or nothing.

§. 23. Answer to Satans suggestion against the need of patience.

THe last point remaining to be handled,VII. Point. Satans wyles to vnfurnish our soules. is, to discouer the cunning deuices of the diuell, whereby the labo­reth to keepe vs vnfurnished and vnprepared against troubles: they are many; I will discouer onely foure of the principall, by which all the rest may be discerned.

Two of these foure are against the furniture it selfe: the other two against the ground thereof, The Gospel of Peace.

Against the furniture he suggesteth,

1 That there is no need of it.

2 That if there should be need of it, yet it would stand a man in no steed.

The first he suggesteth before troubles come, to make them feare none, but be carelesse.

The second when they are come, to make them des­paire and sinke vnder the burden. First therefore to this effect he obiecteth.

Suggestion 1. If ye be Gods children, what needeth such adoe about preparation?What need of patience. Doe you thinke that God will not more tender and respect his then to suffer them to fall into trobles? you may well enough be secure and feare nothing. Thus the diuell tempteth many in their peace and prosperity: it appeareth thatPsal. 30. 6. Dauid was in this manner assaulted.

Answ. Very great need. Experience of all men in all ages doth suffici­ently[Page 187] confute the substance of this suggestion, and plain­ly discouer the falsehood of it (as§. 12. I shewed before.) Dauid, who was a while beguiled with this vaine conceit, quickly found out by wofull experience the deceit of it, and thereupon saith vnto God,Psal. 30. 7. Thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled. It is very likely that then the Diuell beguiled him when his2 Sam. 7. 1. kingdome was fully established, & he had rest from all his enemies: obserue the history of his troubles, which came vpon him after that, and ye shal find it to be a very vaine and false conceit.

As for the ground whereupon the suggestion is built,God in loue and wisdome correcteth. namely the good respect which God beareth to his chil­dren, know, that God is euen thereby moued to lay ma­ny crosses vpon them: for as he is a louing Father, so he is a wise God: in wisdome he seeth that it is needfull his children should be corrected: his veryHeb. 12. 6. loue therefore moueth him to correct them.

That we may oppose godly wisedome against the wic­ked policy of our enemy,In peace be prepared against trou­ble. let vs haue this furniture in a readines, euen in the time of our greatest peace and pros­perity, and so prepare our selues against trouble. To pre­pare for troubles in time of prosperity before they come, is an especiall meanes to make vs well beare them in time of aduersity when they come. We know that death is most fearefull and terrible to them that least looke for it: so are all afflictions whatsoeuer.

§. 24. Answer to Satans suggestion against the benefit of Patience.

Suggest. 2. ALl the patience in the world can nei­ther preuent,In what steed can patience stand vs? nor remoue the least crosse that falleth on man. In what steed then wil this fur­niture stand him?

[Page 188] Answ. In very great steed. Though it were granted that patience could neither preuent, nor remoue any crosse, yet will it stand vs in very great steed.1 lt enableth [...]s to bea [...]e al crosses. For (to follow the metaphor) we know that though shooes and greaues make not the way plaine without stones, stubs and thornes; yet they make a man better able to treade on them, and passe thorow, or ouer them, and keepe his legs or feet from being galled or pricked. So patience enableth vs well to beare al [...] troubles, and with some quietnesse to passe them ouer, and it keepeth the soule from being pierced:2 It maketh many crosses seeme lighter. Yea, it ma­keth great and heauy burdens seeme much lighter then otherwise they would.Horat Leui­us fit patientia quicquid corri­gere est nefas. The heathen who were guided onely by the light of nature, obserued thus much. I haue my selfe obserued two seuerall persons lying vnder the same crosse. What could make such a difference, but this preparation of the Gospel of peace?Pro. 18. 14. The spirit of a man will sustaine his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can beare?

Further I adde,3 It preuen­teth and re­moueth ma­ny. that this preparation doth preuent and remoue many sore troubles; as anguish of soule, vexati­on of spirit, disquietnesse of mind, distemper in affecti­ons, with the like: which though they oft rise from out­ward crosses, yet they oft proue more heauy burdens then those same from whence they did arise. For exam­ple, a couetous man hauing a small losse which he might well beare, if he were shod with this furniture, by his dis­quietnesse of mind, and impaciency for that losse bring­eth a much heauier crosse vpon him. So in sicken [...]sse, in outward disgrace banishment, imprisonment, &c. the anguish of soule which proceedeth from an impatient heart,Peior est [...]ello timor ipse bel­li. Senec. often times proueth to be the greatest crosse. So the feare of troubles is oft worse the trouble it selfe: and fretting against the malice of an enemy doth a man more[Page 189] hurt then the enemy himselfe can. Now this furniture of the soule may both preuent, and also remoue these great and greeuous crosses, as anguish of mind and spirit, need­lesse feares, fretfulnesse, enuy, murmuring, with the like.

§. 25. Answer to Satans suggestion against Gods loue in corecting.

AGainst the ground of this preparation, which is the Gospell of Peace, Satan obiecteth one while that there is no reason to relie on it: another while, that it pro­cureth more troubles to them that rest on it.

Suggest. Can there be peace with God while God scour­geth. 3. Troubles are fruits of Gods wrath: to con­ceit any peace with God while troubles lie on vs, is to call darkenesse light, and hatred loue. To build patience on as­surance of reconciliation with God, is to cast anchor vp­pon quicke-sands, or in a bottomelesse Sea. A man may better hope for life when the tokens of the plague ap­peare vpon his skinne, then hope for reconciliation with God, while troubles, the tokens of Gods wrath, lie vpon him. The assaults of Iobs wife and friends tended much to this purpose.

Answer. God in loue correcteth. The ground of this suggestion being appli­ed to the Saints, is directly false, and contrary to the current of the Scripture, which oft testifieth thatProu. 3. 12. Heb. 12. 6. whom the Lord loueth he chasteneth. The ends which God aimeth at in correcting his children, and the fruits which answera­bly issue from thence (whereof we haue heard§. 13. before) euidently demonstrate, that the troubles of the righteous are no fruits of Gods wrath, but rather of his loue. Yet a wonder it is to see how many are deceiued with this di­abolicall suggestion; and they not onely profane and wic­ked[Page 190] men, but euen deare Saints of God, while the crosse lieth vpon them, asPsal 79. 5 Dauid. The reason is, because at that time Sence worketh more then Faith. Wherefore for the auoiding of this assault, we must let faith haue the predo­minancy and highest rule in vs, euen aboue reason and sence: we must2. Cor. 5. 7 walke by faith, and not by sight. Faith resteth on Gods word, and beleeueth what it saith, though sence contradict it neuer so much. Now the word of God affir­ming that God correcteth whom hee loueth; if faith beare sway in vs, it will perswade vs that in our greatest trou­bles God loueth vs, and in loue bringeth those troubles vpon vs. Wherefore for the strengthening of our faith, let vs oft meditate ofHeb. 12. 5 the consolations of the Scripture.

§. 26. Answer to Satans suggestion of the many troubles which Gods loue causeth.

Suggest. Is not the want of the Gospell the best way to bee free from trouble? THe Diuell to shew that he careth not which way he preuaileth, so he preuaile any way, hath a contrary fetch. Hee will grant indeed that God scourgeth euery sonne whom he loueth; but with all ad­deth, that the more God loueth any, [...]he more troubles he bringeth vpon them; and therefore inferreth, that the Gospell of peace is so farre from being a meanes to de­fend vs from trouble, that it is the cause of much trou­ble; and therefore the best way to be free from trouble, is to bee without the Gospell of peace. Thus wasPsa 73. 13. 14 Dauid tempted: yea, thus were theIer. 44. 18. Israelites hearts hardened against God in Iere [...]ahs time.

Answ. No verily. It is false that the more God loueth any, the more he scourgeth them: For as Gods wisdome moueth him to correct his children, so his loue moueth him to moderate his correction. Besides, the inference, that ther­fore reconciliation with God is no good remedy against[Page 191] troubles, is vnsound and absurd: for, assurance of our re­conciliation with God, sweetneth all troubles. But for a more full answere to this suggestion, note these foure points concerning the benefit of our peace with God in the case of afflictions.

1▪ That it keepeth many iudgements from vs which fall vpon the wicked: yea, which otherwise would fall on vs.

2▪ That it alters the nature of all troubles which befall vs.

3. That by it wee are assisted and supported in all.

4. That by reason thereof we shall be deliuered and freed from all.

These 4 cōfortable points I wil distinctly proue, because by them al the euil suggestiōs of Satan may be answered.

1 For the first, obserue the threatnings in Gods word,1 Peace with God keepeth many iudge­ments away. and ye shall find them made against such as [...]. hate God, and are hated of him. Reade the 26. chap. of Leuit. and the 28 of Deut. There Gods curses are denounced against the wicked, but his blessings promised to the righteous: reade the 91 Psal. where Dauid expresly confirmeth this point, and sheweth how they which trust vnder the shadow of the Almighty, and so haue peace with him, are deliuered from many troubles. Note the Histories of the Iewes vn­deridolatrous and wicked Kings, and vnder religious and good Kings; God being forsaken by them, brought many calamities vpon them: but being loued of these, deliuered them from many which their enemies intended against them: Yea, when generall iudgements were brought vppon the Land,Ezec. 9. 4 God sent forth one to marke those whom hee loued, that they might bee spared in the iudge­ment. The reason is cleare: for it is sinne which cau­seth the most grieuous iudgements: Now the Gos­pell of peace being a meanes to mooue God to for giue vs the sinnes which wee haue committed, and to[Page 192] moue vs to forsake our sinnes, and to seeke to please him, it must needs be a meanes to keepe vs from many iudge­ments, which otherwise would fall vpon vs. Besides, it keepeth vs from a reprobate sence, (whereunto theRom. 1. 28. hea­then were giuen, and theActs 28. 29. Iewes after they had lost their peace with God:) from despaire, whereuntoMat. 27. 5. Iudas fell; and from hell fire, whichMat. 25. 46. shall torment wicked men. These of all are the most wofull iudgements, and from these doth the Gospell of peace wholy free men.

Here note what an egregious point of folly it is to feare to please God, for feare of troubles; as if a man should feare to put on shooes, left his shooes should cause stones to lie in his way: yet many feare to be at peace with God, because it maketh men to hate, reuile, reproach, scorne, wrong, and persecute them: not considering that Gods wrath is infinitely greater then mans. Are they not like the fish that leapeth out of the warme water, into the fla­ming fire? Or rather like selfe-murtherers, who to free themselues from some momentany anguish in this world, cast themselues into hell torments, which is end­lesse, and easelesse?

§. 28. Of the nature of the Saints affliction.

2 FOr the second;2. It altereth the nature of all crosses. [...]. the afflictions which befall the righ­teous, are called chastisements, and corrections, euen such as tender Parents lay vpon their deare children; to shew that the nature of them is altered, the sting is pul­led out, the curse is remoued; so that although the origi­nall ground of all afflictions was sinne, and they first i [...] vengeance executed for sinne, yet now inflicted on th [...] Saints, they are not vindict [...]ue for reuenge, but rathe [...] medicinable for Physicke: for Christ hath paid the ful [...] [Page 193] price and ransome for all our sinnes, he hath endured the full punishment for them, and left nothing to be by way of expiation endured of vs.

Obiect. 2 Sam. 12. 14 Gods manner of punishing his childeren. The Saints are punished for sinne, as Dauid.

Answer. True it is that God taketh occasion from sinne, to punish his children, but not in vengeance for the sinne committed which is past, but for a warning to make them the more carefull and watchfull ouer them­selues for the time to come. And herein lieth a maine dif­ference betwixt the punishment of a Iudge and a Father: a Iudge respecteth the fact past; if it be against the Law, though the delinquent partie be neuer so penitent, and though there bee neuer so great hope of his amendment, yet hee denounceth the sentence of Law against the Ma­lefactor: but if a father be verily perswaded that his child will neuer commit the like trespasse againe, which he hath committed, assuredly hee would remit the punishment: but when hee correcteth, it is to preuent the like in the time to come.

God carrieth himselfe as a Iudge to the wicked, but as a Father to the Saints: his corrections are for their instru­ction, not for their destruction. AsHeb. 12. 10. God aimeth at his childrens good and profit in correcting them, so also hee giueth them a sweete taste of the good they receiue there­by, which maketh themPsal. 119. 71. 75. acknowledge as much, and he thankefull for it; and so carry themselues towards God, as a good patient towards his Physitian, who hath pre­scribed bitter pils vnto him: for the time he digests them willingly, and after he hath felt a kindly worke of them, he thanketh them.

§. 29. Of Gods assisting his children in affliction.

3 FOr the third,3. By it, assi­stance in all troubles is obtained. 1 Cor. 10. 13 Heb. 13. 5. many faithfull promises hath God made to stand by his children, to be with them, and assist them in their seuerall afflictions, and neuer to for­sake them. Hence is it that the Saints, to the great admi­ration of others, haue patiently endured such crosses, as many haue thought they would haue beene vtterly pres­sed downe with the heauy burden of them, euen as the Barbarians looked when Paul should haue fallen downe dead.Acts 28. 6.

§. 30. Of Gods deliuering his Children out of all afflictions.

4 For the last,4. And at length full freedome from all cros­ [...]es. Psal. 34. 19. many faithfull promises hath God likewise made to deliuer his Children out of all their troubles. Saint Iames setteth before vs the issue of Iobs triall, as an euidence of this point, (saying, Yee haue seene the end of the Lord; and withall hee rendreth a good reason thereof,Prou 118. The Lord is very pittifull and mercifull, (Iam. 5. 11.)1 Cor. 10. 13.

Obiect. Some lie all their life time vnder the crosse.

Answ. Yet at the end of life, by death shall they be deliuered; in which respect the diuine Oracle pronoun­ceth them Blessed that die in the Lord, Reu. 14. 13. for they rest from the [...] labours.

Obiect. So are the wicked deliuered by death.

Answ. Nothing so: they fall from one misery to ano­ther, from a lighter to a greater, from an earthly, to an hel­lish woe: so that herein lieth a maine difference, betwix [...] the death of the wicked, and of the Saints. Death thrusteth the wicked from temporall troubles into eternall to [...] ­ments:[Page 195] but it deliuereth the Saints from all trouble, and bringeth them to euerlasting glory:Breuis est mo­lestia, aterna erit beatitudo, Aug. in Psal. 36. their misery shall soone haue an end, their felicity shall neuer haue end.

Thus then wee see patience grounded vpon the Gos­pell of peace, to bee much profitable euery manner of way.

THE SIXTH PART.
The shield of Faith.

Ephes. 6. 16.‘Aboue all, taking the shield of Faith, wherewith yee shall bee able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.’

§. 1. Of the Apostles manner of pressing the point of Faith.

THe fourth peece of Spirituall Armour is more largely set forth, and more forcibly vr­ged then any of the rest. For the Apostle contenteth not himselfe with a bare exhor­tation, to stir vs vp to vse it, but with weigh­ty reasons presseth his exhortation, and that on both sides, before and behind: Before, comparatiuely, prefer­ring it to all other graces (aboue all.) Behind, simply, de­claring the vertue and efficacy of it, (whereby yee shall bee able to quench, &c.) By the first he maketh way to his ex­hortation; by the last he knocketh it downe fast, euen to the head, as we speake.

§. 2. Of vrging matters of moment:

HEre by the way wee may learne a good instruction both for Ministers and people.

For Ministers,Matters of weight to bee pressed of Mi­nisters. that they obserue what points bee of greatest weight and by some speciall item and memento, to raise vp their peoples attention thereunto, yea, and with some speciall euidence of reason and argument to in­force the same. Thus because the obseruation of the fourth Commandement, is an especiall meanes to bring men to keepe all the other Commandements, the Lord prefixed a memento (Remember the Sabbath day) and with­all vseth many strong reasons, the more to stirre vs vp to keepe it.

Thus is an expectation wrought in the hearers,Reasons. of some point of moment; which will be an especiall meanes to moue them the better to obserue it, and to ponder it.

§. 3. Of giuing heed to weighty matters.

For people, that when they obserue any one point a­boue other to be vrged & pressed, they giue the more diligent heed thereto:Heb. 2. 1. [...]. for if euery duty laide downe in Gods word be stedfast, that is, firme, sure, and inuiolable; so as the transgressors thereof shall reape a iust recom­pence of reward, how shal they escape who neglect those maine and principall duties, which aboue others are most earnestly vrged? Let that therefore which is most pressed by the Spirit and Ministers of God, be best regarded by the people of God.

Obiect. This especiall heed of one point will make men carelesse of other.

[Page 197] Answ. Nothing lesse: for the end thereof is not to make vs slothfull in any point, but to quicken vs vp, and make vs extraordinarily carefull in that which is so vr­ged. Suppose a master send his seruant of a message, and giue him many things in charge to do,Simil. but giueth him an especiall item for one, and vseth many reasons to make him carefull of it, doth he giue his seruant any occasion to neglect the other? or wil a good seruant take any oc­casion from thence, to neglect them? Such collections are made onely by mans sloathfull flesh; they which gather them, abuse the wisdom & care of God to help our weak­nes; they who are guided by Gods Spirit, will be other­wise minded, knowing that an extraordinary vrging of one point, is to make vs extraordinarily carefull of that, but carelesse and negligent of none.

§. 4. The Resolution of the Text.

TWo points are to be noted in this verse. First, the transition, whereby the Apostle passeth from other points to this. Secondly, his exhortation vnto the grace heere mentioned.

In his exhortation note

  • 1 The matter thereof.
  • 2 The motiue thereto:

That layeth downe a duty to be performed (Take the shield of Faith.)

This declareth the benefit of performing that duty in the last words, that ye may be able to quench, &c.

In the duty obserue, the action required, (take,) and the obiect thereof: which is both plainly expressed (Faith) and also illustrated by a metaphor (shield.)

The motiue declareth the power, vertue and efficacy of Faith; which is, to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. [Page 198] Touching this grace thus set downe, I will deliuer these points.

First in generall by way of preface and preparation, I will first shew how excellent a grace it is: and then more particularly and distinctly declare,

2 What Faith is.

3 How fitly it is resembled to a shield.

4 How it is wrought.

5 How it must be proued.

6 How it may be preserued.

7 How it is to be vsed.

8 What it is the benefit, and power of it.

9 What are the wiles of the diuell to keepe vs from it, and how they may be auoided.

§. 5. Of the preheminency of Faith aboue other graces.

I.I. Point. The excellen­cy and neces­sity of Faith. THe excellency, yea and necessity also of Faith is implyed in this translation (aboue all.) The [...]. ori­ginall phrase is diuersly translated, as thusHieron. in omnibus. ad omnia. in all, as if he had saide, in all things whatsoeuer yee doe, vse the shield of Faith: and thus, to all, as if he had said, to all other gra­ces, adde this: and thusBeza. insu­per, inprimis. moreouer, or especially, or (as we translate it)Eras. super omnia. aboue all. All these in effect imply one and the same thing, onely this latter is somewhat more em­phaticall, and as proper as any of the rest. This is some­what like toPro. 4. 23. [...] that Hebrew phrase, which Solomon vseth, Keep thine heart aboue all keepings, implying thereby, that the heart of all other parts is most narrowly to be wat­ched ouer, most carefully and diligently to be looked vn­to, so is Faith aboue all to be regarded.

Quest. Is Faith simply more excellent and necessary, then other sauing graces?

[Page 199] Answer. All sauing graces are in their kind very ex­cellent and necessary, as hath before bene shewed of veri­ty, righteousnesse and patience: neither can a Christian wel spare, and be without any of them: for they are as seue­rall linkes of one chaine, whereby a Christian is held out of hell; if but one linke breake, the chaine is broken, and downe falleth he that was held thereby: yet some linkes in a chaine may be put to greatest stresse, and so be of greatest vse. Faith serues to beare the greatest brunts, and in that respect may be counted most excellent, and most necessary; euen as the shield of all other parts of ar­mour is the most needfull, as we shall after heare.

§. 6. Of pressing the doctrine of Faith.

THe Apostle vseth this phrase (aboue all) in the be­ginning of his exhortation, to set an edge vpon it, and to make it the sharper, that so it may pierce the dee­per into vs: as if a captaine should giue diuers directions to his souldiers, to instruct them to arme, and fence them­selues, and among those seuerall directions, set some spe­ciall item on one of them, and say, Aboue all remember this, would not this item make him the more to regard it? As Gal. 6. 10. where the Apostle saith, Doe good to all, especially to them who are of the houshold of Faith: doth it not make a Chri­stian so much the more to be moued with compassion, when hee seeth any of the faithfull stand in need of his helpe? Hence then I obserue that,

Among, Obs. Faith especi­ally to be taught and learned. and aboue other po [...]nts and principles of Christian Religion, and mysteries of godlinesse the doctrine of Faith is es­pecially to be opened and vrged by Gods Ministers, and to bee learned and obserued by Gods people. What point thorow­out the whole Scripture is more vrged? all the rites and[Page 200] types of the Law, set forth the doctrine of faith,Rom. 10. 8. Moses, and theAct. [...]0. 43. Prophets preached it, so did theAct. 19. 4. fore-runner of Christ,Mar. 1. 15. Christ himselfe, and hisRom. 10 8. Apostles. For some especiall instances of this point, reade and obserue Ioh. 3. 14. &c. Christs conference with Nicodemus, and Pauls Epistles to Rom. and Gal.

No other doctrine more setteth forth the glory of God,Reasons. and more maketh to the good of his Church & children.

§. 7. Of the honour which Faith doth vnto God.

GOd is then honoured,Faith most of all setteth forth Gods glory by ac­knowledging when he is acknowledged to be as he is, namely, most holy, wise, true, powerfull, mercifull, iust, &c. But the beleeuer, and the beleeuer onely so acknowledgeth him.

1 For God holinesse, 1 Gods holi­nesse. how approacheth the beleeuer before God? surely in an vtter ab [...]egation of himselfe, and in the mediation of Christ Iesus: for well he know­eth, that himselfe is all ouer defiled with sinne, and that Iesus Christ the Iust, is an aduocate with the Father, who by his blood purgeth vs from our sinnes, and with his righteousnesse couereth vs. This manner of appearing before God, sheweth, that the beleeuer acknowledgeth God to be so perfectly holy, as he cannot endure the sight of any vncleane thing.

2 For Gods wisedome: 2 Gods wise­dome. who are they that subiect them­selues to God in all estates of prosperity and aduersity? Beleeuers onely. Why then? their faith perswadeth them that God is wisest, and best knoweth what estate is fittest for them, and so euen against their owne sence and naturall reason, faith maketh them wholly resigne them­selues to Gods wise prouidence, and in that respect to be thankefull in all things.

[Page 201] 3 For Gods truth: 3 Gods truth he that beleeueth,Ioh. 3. 33. hath sealed that God is true: for what maketh men beleeue, but that they iudge him who hath promised that which they beleeue, to be faithfull and true? Faith then is an acknowledge­ment, and a confirmation of Gods truth, which is an high honour giuen to God, for God maketh great rec­koning and account of his truth.

4 For Gods power: 4 Gods pow­er. many of the promises which God maketh to his children, are of things which seeme impos­sible: yet faith giueth assent thereunto, and thereby testi­fieth that God is Almighty, that nothing is impossible to him. ThusRom. 4. 20, 21. Abram by his faith did magnifie Gods pow­er, and so did2 Chr. 20.12. Iehosaphat also.

5 For Gods mercy: 5 Gods mer­cie. that is the especiall and most pro­per obiect of Faith. If the poore sinner were not perswa­ded that God were rich, yea euen infinitely rich in mer­cy, he could neuer beleeue the pardon of his sinnes: faith then is it which aboue all commendeth Gods mercy.

6 For Gods Iustice: 6 Gods Iu­stice. what maketh beleeuers so strong­ly trust vnto, and wholly rely vpon the sacrifice of Christ? Because on the one side they beleeue God to be so per­fectly iust, that without expiation and satisfaction for sin, there can be no hope of mercy: and on the other side, the sacrifice of Christ being of such infinite value, as to make full satisfaction to Gods Iustice, they beleeue that God will not exact that of them, for which Christ hath satisfied, but will manifest fauour to them, because Christ hath purchased fauour for them. These are points of Iu­stice, to require satisfaction, to remit that for which satis­faction is made, to bestow that which is merited and pur­chased. But Faith acknowledgeth all these, and so com­mendeth Gods Iustice; for it hath respect to Gods Iu­stice, as well as to his mercy.

[Page 202] Obiect. Sinners (repentant and beleeuing sinners) vse to appeale from the barre of Gods Iustice, to his mercy-seate: what respect then hath Faith to Gods Iustice?

Answer. In regard of themselues,How faith resteth on Gods Iustice. and their owne ma­nifold pollutions and imperfections, euen in their best workes, they dare not stand to the tryall of Gods Iustice, but cry for mercy and pardon: but yet in confidence of the All-sufficient sacrifice of Christ Iesus, they may ap­peale to Gods Iustice: for God is not vniust to require a debt that is paid.

In these and other like respects, it is said ofRom 4. 20. Abrah [...], That he was strengthened in the Faith, and gaue glory to God. So doth euery beleeuer in some measure: the stronger faith is, the more glory is giuen to God. But on the con­trary, no sinne is more dishonourable to God then infi­delity: for that which is said of one particular,1 Iohn 5. 10. He that beleeueth not, maketh God a lyar, may be applyed to the rest, he maketh God vnwise, impotent, mercilesse, vn­iust, &c.

§. 8. Of the good which Faith bringeth vnto man.

IN regard of mans good, Faith of all other graces is the most necessary, profitable, and comfortable.

It is the first of all sauing graces wrought in the soule of a Christian, as the heart is the first member framed in the body. Yea, it is a mother-grace, which breedeth and bringeth forth other graces, as the heart being quickned, sendeth forth life into all the other parts.Faith the first grace.

That it is the first,Fides est prima quae subiugat animam Deo. Aug. de agon. Chr. cap. 12. is euident: for Christ is that fountaine in whom all fulnesse dwelleth, (Col. 1. 19.) of whose fulnesse al [...] receiue, (Ioh. 1. 16.) without whom we can doe nothing, (Ioh. 15. 5.) Now it is Faith whereby wee touch Christ: By[Page 203] Faith, Christ dwelleth in our hearts, (Ephes. 3. 17.) The spi­rituall life which we liue, we liue by Faith in the Sonne of God, (Gal. 2. 20.) therefore till by Faith we be ingraffed in­to Christ, no true, sauing grace can be in a man. Without Faith, it is impossible to please God, (Heb. 11. 1.)

That also it is a mother grace is cleare,Faith a Mo­ther grace. for from Faith springeth repentance, loue, new obedience, &c. Repen­tance is a change of the heart, as the [...] notation of the Greeke word implyeth. Now what is it that changeth the heart of a sinner? Is it not the apprehension of Gods infinite loue and rich mercy? a perswasion that a mans sinnes are pardoned? The apprehension of Gods wrath, and feare of hell fire, may worke some sorrow for sinne committed; yea also it may restraine a man from com­mitting many sinnes, at least for a time: but that which altereth the naturall disposition of the heart, which chan­geth and reformeth it, is Faith in the remission of sinne: Act. 15. 9. Loue a fruit of Faith. By Faith God purifieth the hearts of men.

True Christian loue also is a reflection of Gods loue to man: till a man feele Gods loue to warme his heart, and to set it on fire, he can loue neither God nor man. He that loueth his brother aright, must loue him in and for the Lord, and so must loue God before: but it is not pos­sible for any to loue God, except he beleeue that God lo­ueth him. Can a peece of yron giue heat and burne, ex­cept it be first heated by the fire? But our hearts are na­turally more destitute of loue to God, then any yron of heat: they must therefore be set on fire by Gods loue, and a sweet apprehension thereof, before they can loue God:1 Ioh. 4. 19. We loue God, because he loued vs first: It isGal. 5. 6. Faith which worketh by loue. Thus I might further shew how all other sanctifying graces spring from Faith. But what followeth from thence? surely this, that if any sanctify­ing[Page 204] and sauing grace be needfull, then is Faith especially, which is the Mother of all; without it, no grace at all, no life at all: for the iust shall liue by his Faith, Fides est vitis, virtus palmes: siquidem nec palmes abs (que) vi­te, nec virtus. sine fide aliquid est. Ber [...]. sup. Cant. serm. 30. (Hab. 2. 4.) From faith commeth the spirituall life of a Christian in this world. (Gal. 2. 20.) and eternall life in the world to come (Ioh. 3. 16, &c.) Yea, no benefit from Christ without Faith: though ChristIoh. 3. 34. receiued the spirit without measure, andCol. 1. 19. it pleased the Father that in him should all fulnesse dwel: yet to such as haue no faith, he is asIoh. 4 11. Faith profita­ble. a deepe well, out of which no water of life can be had.

But when a man hath faith, what is the profit and be­nefit thereof? Much euery way.Ephes. 3. 17. By faith Christ dwelleth in our hearts, and so we are vnited to him.Rom. 1. 17. By Faith wee liue: by Faith we are& 3 25. reconciled,& 28. iustified,Act. 15. 9. sanctified, Ephes. 2. 8. saued. It were infinite to reckon vp all the benefits of Faith. In regard of profit and benefit to ourselues, it far surpasseth all other graces. By other graces, as loue, mer­cy, kindnesse, wisedome, and the like, we may be profita­ble to others: but Faith is it which draweth and bring­eth in to our selues, bodies and soules, all the profit.

It is also a grace of admirable comfort:Faith comfor­table. this is it which bringethRom. 5. 1. peace of conscience,Phil. 4 [...]7. That peace of God which passeth all vnderstanding: this vpholdeth in all troubles, and that many times aboue and against sence and rea­son. All comfort without Faith is in vaine: when all other comforts faile, then may faith vphold vs. Thus faith vpheldIob 13. 15. Iob, 1 Sam 30. 6. Dauid, 2 Chr. 20. 12 Iehosaphat. When other graces, and the testimony of our conscience faile, Faith may support vs: for the conscience hath respect to the man himselfe, to his disposition and carriage, which is subiect to many temptations, and many alterati­ons: but Faith hath respect to GOD and his promi­ses, to Christ and his sacrifice, which are props, or rather[Page 205] rockes that neuer faile. In this respect is Faith fitly com­pared to a shield: for as a souldier who hath a good shield, and is able well to vse it, will not vtterly be discouraged, but stand out in the battell, though his head-peece bee crackt, his brest-plate battered, his girdle loose, &c: So when verity, righteousnesse, patience, and other like gra­ces seeme to faile, he that hath sound faith will not vtterly be quailed and confounded.

Faith being so excellent a grace, as that whereby God is most honoured, so necessary, profitable, and comforta­ble a grace as hath beene shewed; what point of Christian Religion is rather to be made knowne, is more to be pres­sed, oftner to be inculcated? about what can a Minister of Gods word better spend his time, study, and paines? For Faith is the most proper and principall obiect of the Gospell, which is therefore called,Rom. 10. 8. The Word of Faith, Gal. 3. 2. The preaching of Faith, yea,1 Tim. 1. 19. Faith it selfe.

§. 9. Of the high account which wee ought to make of Faith.

AS Ministers are most to preach this Doctrine, so are people to learne it aboue all, to be very well instruc­ted in it, that they may know what true faith is: yea, to examine themselues whether they haue in them this grace or no: if not, to enquire how it may be gotten, how discerned and proued: if they haue it, to labour well to preserue, increase, and vse it: for Faith is a capitall grace. We must therefore in this respect learne wisdome of the Serpent, who hath an especiall care of his head: if hee be assaulted and cannot flie, hee will couer his head with the rest of his body, and suffer it to be strucken and woun­ded rather then his head. Wee ought to bee the more carefull of this Head Vertue, because Satan (who[Page 206] well knoweth the worth of it) seeketh most to assault it. Is it not good wisdome to looke to that most of all, which hee most of all si [...]teth? Of these points I shall more di­stinctly speake afterwards. This I thought good to pre­mise by way of preparation vnto the discourse following, taking occasion from the Apostles Preface, aboue all.

§. 10. Of the Papists c [...]uill against Faith.

IF any popishly minded shall thinke,Obiect. or say, that so much preaching and learning of Faith, is an hinde­rance to good workes, and maketh men carelesse of all piety and charity.

I answer,Answer. The doctrine of Faith no hinderance to good workes. that if any be so minded, they are2 Cor. 4▪ 3. Opera sunt exfide, non ex o­peribus fides. Aug. de gr. & lib. [...]rb. cap. 7. blinded by the god of this world, that the light of the glorious Gospell should not shine vnto them. The truth is, that no other do­ctrine can make men more conscionable in performing all duty to God and man, then the doctrine of faith. From Faith proceed all good workes: For it is faith in Gods loue which moueth a man to loue God againe, and loue to God is it which moueth a man to loue his brother, which is made after Gods Image, and standeth in Gods roome and steed. Now there can be no stronger motiue to stirre vp a man to any duty then loue: A louing childe will much more seeke to please his father, then a seruile bond-slaue: and a louing friend will doe much more kindnesse for a friend, then a stranger, though he be hired thereunto. He that indeed beleeueth that God so loued him, as he spared not his onely begotten Sonne, but gaue him a price of redemption; that in his Sonne God hath vouchsafed to bee reconciled to him, to giue him pardon of all his sinnes, freedome from hell and damnation, and to bestow on him all things pertaining to life and[Page 207] happinesse▪ hee that is thus perswaded of GODS loue to him, cannot but haue his hearten arged to doe what may be pleasing and acceptable to God: no hope of re­ward, no feare of reuenge can so prouoke a man to all good workes, as loue which Faith worketh. Besides, Rom. 13. 3. Heb. 11. 6. whatsoeuer is performed without Faith and loue, is no whit acceptable to God: God accepteth a cup of cold water giuen in Faith and loue, infinitly much more then thousands of rammes, or ten thousand Riuers of Oyle giuen in way of presumptuous merit, or else of slauish feare.

The obiection therefore of our aduersaries against the Doctrine of Faith, Quid fides cō ­feret emolume­ti si vita since­ra non fuerit, & pura [...] Chrys. aduer. vit. mon. lib. 1. is a meere cauill and slander. They who take liberty thereby, either to commit any euill, or to omit any good, turne the grace of our God into wanton­ [...]esse, (Iude 4.) and peruert it to their owne destruction. (2. Pet, 3. 16.)

§. 11. Of Faith in generall.

THus much concerning the Transition. The Exhorta­tion followeth: wherein we are first to consider the thing simply set downe, and to shew what faith is.

Point 2 Faith in generall is a beleeuing of a thing to be true. ; what faith is. Our English word Faith seemeth to be taken from the Lattin fides, which according to the notation thereof is as much asCic. offic. lib. 1 fi [...]t dictum, be it so as is spoken. [...] The notati­on of the Greeke word implyeth as much: so also of the [...] Hebrew, in which language one and the same word sig­nifieth Truth & Faith, from whence is deriued that com­mon Hebrew word which is vsually vttered at the end of our prayers, Amen; which signifieth an assent of the mind to that which is spoken, as to truth.

§. 12. Of the kindes of Faith.

THis assent may be either to the word of the Cre [...], or of the creature. The faith of which now we speake, hath reference to the Creator and his word, and may in generall be defined a beleefe of the truth of God. Faith thus taken, is either common to al, or proper to the elect. That common faith is extraordinary, or ordinary.

Mat. 17. 22. Extraordinary Faith, Miraculous faith. is a beleefe that some extraordi­nary and miraculous thing shall fall out. This is groun­ded either vpon some especiall promise, or extraordinary reuelation made to the party in whom it is: and it is gi­uen but at some speciall times, to some speciall persons, on some speciall occasions:Ioh. 11. 10. 51 by it things to come may be foretold, or otherMat. 7. 22. great workes done: It is a gift of the Spirit, but one of those which are giuen, rather for the good of others, then of that party which hath it;1 Cor. 12. 9, 10. so as it may bee in a wicked reprobate,Mat. 7. 22. as in those who shall pleade it at Christs Iudgement Seate, but in vaine. This is that which commonly is called a Miraculo [...] Faith.

Ordinary Faith, Historicall faith. is either that which resteth onely in the minde of a man, or else draweth the will also. The former of these is that Faith whereby an assent is giuen to the truth of Gods word. This is commonly called as historicall Faith: because thereby credence is yeelded to the History of Gods word, that is, all things which are written in Gods word, are beleeued to be true. This may one doe which is not any whit the better affected [...] Gods word, either to loue God, or feare him, or trust in him the more for this faith. For thus the veryIam. 2. 19. Di [...]el [...] are said to beleeue.

[Page 209] The latter kind of ordinary faith common to all sorts,Temporary faith. as well reprobate as elect, is that faith whereby such an assent of the mind is giuen to the Gospell, and to the gra­cious promises thereof, as the heart is affected with them, and reioyceth in them for a season.Acts 8. 13. This was in Simon Magus, who in regard thereof yeelded to be baptized: and in those Iewes who were willing for a season to re­ioyce inIoh. 5. 35. Iohns light. This is commonly called a temporary Faith, because it lasteth not for euer, but cleane fadeth a­way, and that for the most part while a man liueth here in this World, especially if hee be brought to any triall. Lu. 8. 13. Christ fitly compareth this faith to corne sowen in sto­ny ground. I deny not but that it may continue so long as a man liueth, but then with his life it endeth without any fruite, as smoake that cleane vanisheth away to nothing: in which respectPro. 11. 7. Hypocriticall Faith. The hope of a wicked man is said to perish when he dieth. This faith is also called an hypocriticall faith, not because hee that hath it doth onely make an outward flourish in shew, purposely to deceiue men; for then could not the heart be affected, nor the man reioyce therein: but because it is not sound, but appeareth both to the party himselfe,Two kinds of hypocrisie. and also to others, to be better and sounder then indeed it is: for there is a double hypocrisie, one whereby men purposely seeke to deceiue others, as theMat. 23. 14, 25. Pharises: another whereby they deceiue themselues, asActs 26. 9. Phil. 3. 6. Paul. That former ariseth from vaine-glory, couetousnesse, and such by respects: this latter from ignorance, simplicity, sloth­fulnesse, carelesnesse, security, and the like, which keepe men from trying that grace which appeareth to bee in [...]hem, whether it be sound or no. This faith is called hy­pocriticall, in opposition to an attribute proper to true [...]auing faith, namely1 Tim. 1. 5. & 2 Tim. 1, 5. [...] vnfained.

§. 13. Of the titles giuen to true Faith.

THe faith which is here meant by the Apostle,Iustifying faith. is a farre more precious Faith then any of these: it is pro­per to the Elect, and by a propriety called,Tit. 1. 1. The faith of Gods Elect: for none but the Elect haue it, and all the E­lect haue it at one time or another: when once they haue it, they neuer vtterly or totally lose it, but it continueth with them till it hath brought them to the purchased in­heritance, euen to the possession & fruition of that which they beleeued, at which time they shall haue no more need of it. It is therefore called sauing Faith, becauseEph. 2. 8. it bringeth vs vnto saluation; and iustifying Faith, because it is that meanes or instrument which Gods Spirit wor­keth in vs, whereby we apply vnto our selues Christ Ie­sus, in and by whomRom. 3. 28. wee are iustified: and sanctifying Faith, becauseActs 15. 9. by it God purifieth our hearts.

§. 14. Of the definition of iustifying Faith.

THis true,Definitio. sound,There are many definitions of true faith giuen by learned and godly men, which though they differ in some words and phrases, yet if they be well exa­mined, they will bee found to agree all in substance: some may bee more copious, some more succinct, yet in effect all the same: The Scripture it selfe (which was all giuen by inspi­ration of God) doth oft va [...]e the phrase, in setting downe this true faith whereof we now speake: as to beleeue God. Rom. 4. 3. (Credere Deo.) To beleeue in God. Iob. 14. 1. (credere in Deu [...]) or in the Lord Iesus. Acts. 16. 31. To beleeue in the name of God. Ioh. 1. 12. To beleeue the Gos­pell, &c. Mar. 1. 15. Neither is there any more cause why men should stumble and bee offended with the diuers phra­ses and words wherewith faith is defined by seuerall men, then with the diuers manner of set­ting downe the same Histories of Christ by the seuerall Euan­gelists. vnfained, iustifying, sanctifying, sa­uing Faith, whereof wee now speake; I say, this Faith is a be­liefe of the Gospel, whereby Christ and all his benefits offered there­in, are receiued.

In this definition note the two vsuall parts of a definiti­on, 1.Genus. The common matter of it, (A beliefe of the Gospell) 2.F [...]m [...]. The particular forme, or[Page 211] difference (whereby Christ, &c.) The former sheweth wherein true iustifying faith agreeth with other kinds of faith: the latter wherein it differeth from them.

1 It is a beleefe) this it hath common with all kindes of faith;Genus remo­tum. where there is no beleefe, no credence, no assent giuen,Many leaue out this common genus (a beleefe of the Gospell) and in steed of it pu. in genus re­motius, viz. a worke of Gods Spi­rit. But they who leaue out ei­ther of these, suppose them to be necessarily vnderstood. O­ther in the forme expresse Christ alone, and not his benefits: yet they vnderstand Christ with all his benefites. Some make this the forme of faith, To be perswa­ded that Christ is his: some this, To apprehend or lay hold on Christ; some this, To apply Christ vnto himselfe. These and other like phrases, doe in effect imply no other thing then to receiue Christ which word I haue the rather v­sed, because it is the very word and phrase of the holy Ghost. (Ioh. 1. 12. Heb. 11. 17.) and as proper, pertinent, and perspi­cuous as any of the rest: for there is a receiuing on the soules part, as well as on the bodies. there is no faith at all.

2 Of the Gospell) though the whole word of God bee the generall obiect of iustify­ing Faith,Genus proxi­mum. yet the Gospell is the speciall obiect thereof: by it is the heart of a beleeuer espe­cially moued, and affected; and this is it which iustifying faith hath common with that kinde of faith that commeth nearest vnto it, and is hardly distinguished from it, namely a temporary faith. What the Gospell is wee haue shewed Treat. 2. Part 5. §. 4. before. The summe of it is plainely and fully laide downe by Christ himselfe, in these words,Ioh. 3. 16. God so loued the World, that hee gaue his onely begotten Sonne, Thus in all this variety we see there is no contrariety at all: no discrepancy in substance of matter, but onely in circum­stance of phrase. that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.

[Page 212] 3 Whereby Christ and all his benefits offered therein.)Againe, where some define faith to be a resting on God, the diffe­rence betwixt them and other, is onely in order; for they make a perswasion of Gods mercy in Christ, to follow vpon a mans re­sting on God: these make resting on God (which is confidence) to follow vpon the fore-named per­swasion: this difference therefore implieth no contradiction, or con­trariety in matter. This I thought good to note, both to preuent the cauils of aduersaries, and also re­moue a stumbling blocke from the weake. Christ Iesus is the subiect matter,Certum propri­umque fidei fu [...] damentum Christus est, Aug. Enchir. cap. 5. and very substance of the Gospel, and so the proper and peculiar obiect of iustify­ing faith. Christ I say, not barely and nakedly conside­red in himselfe (for then were he no Sauiour) but accompa­nied with all those benefits, which as our Mediator and Redeemer he wrought and purchased for vs. The Apo­stle setteth downe foure of those benefits,1 Cor. 1. 30. Wisdome, Righ­teousnesse, Sanctification, Redemption: vnder which the other may bee comprised. These are said to bee offered in the Gospell.

1 Because of the necessary relation betwixt receiuing and offering: for receiuing presupposeth an offe­ring.

2 To shew the ground of our receiuing, which is Gods free offer.

3 To shew that all they who receiue not Christ, plain­ly reiect him: and so are iustly condemned for reiecting him.

4 Are receiued) In the act of receiuing, the nature of iustifying faith especially consisteth, for thereby is Christ made a mans owne: in this the best temporary faith that may be, commeth short of iustifying faith: for all that ioy which temporary beleeuers conceiue, ariseth not from any true possession of Christ, but onely from some ap­prehension of those great and excellent things, which in the Gospell are promised. Iustifying faith is as it[Page 213] it were the hand of the soule, a spirituall instrument fra­med in our hearts by the Spirit of God, whereby we lay hold on Christ, and apply or take vnto our selues, and re­ceiue those things which God in the Gospel offereth vn­to vs.Ioh. 6. 53, 54. This word of receiuing, fitly answereth that meta­phor of eating and drinking, Mat. 26. 26, 27 so oft vsed in the Scripture to set forth the nature of Faith. Ye know that all the benefit we receiue by food, cometh from our eating & drinking it: though there be set before a man great plenty of dain­ty and wholesom cheare, yet if it be not eaten, where is the benefit of it? so in vaine is Christ with all his bene­fits offered, if he be not receiued.

Fitly also doth it answer another excellent metaphor,Ephe. 5. 32. 2 Cor. 11. 2. (namely of marriage) which is oft vsed in the holy Scripture, to set forth that neere vnion which is betwixt Christ and the faithfull. God maketh offer of his Sonne in marriage to mankinde: Christ came downe from hea­uen to be a suter, and to bee espoused: Ministers his friends, intreat vs in Christs steed, to accept him; when in our hearts we accept this offer, and receiue this Sonne of God to be our husband, then in truth and indeed wee beleeue, and not before.

Thus haue I opened this definition of Faith in the seuerall parts thereof: out of it two especiall points are to be noted.

1 That euery faithfull soule,In Faith there is an assent of mind. euery true beleeuer gi­ueth a full assent in his mind to the truth of the Gospel, thatIoh. 3. 16. God so loued the world, that he gaue his onely begotten Sonne, that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life: so as heere is excluded,Iam. 1. 6. a wauering opinion (for beliefe is a strong perswasion;) and also a presumptuous conceit, (for the Gospel isEph. 1. 13. the Word of Truth, which cannot deceiue.)

[Page 214] 2 That with the assent of the mind,2 A consent of will. there goeth a consent of the will: soas what the beleeuer conceiueth in his vnderstanding to be true, he embraceth in his will to be good, and so in his heart ioyfully receiueth that fa [...]r which God freely offereth vnto him, namely, Christ Ie­ Iesus, and in, & with him all things needfull to saluation.

Thus by Gods offer of his Sonne in the Gospel, and our receiuing of him by Faith, we come to be espoused to Christ,Cant 2. 16. as a Bride to her Bridegroome: to be in graffed into him,Rom. 11. 24. as sciences into a stocke:1 Cor. 12. 12. to be of one body with him, he the head, we the members, and so he and we to make one Christ. By the Faith here spoken of,Eph. 3. 17. Christ dwelleth in our hearts, he is ours, and we are his. This, and nothing but this is it wherewith we shalbe able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

§. 15. Of the resemblance betwixt Faith and a Shield.

NOw further marke how fitly this Faith is compared to a Shield. III. Point. Faith fitly compared to a shield.

A Shield is a generall fence for the whole body, especi­ally for the principall parts, the head and heart. There are sundry kindes of shields, bucklers, and targets vsed in warre: some round and small, some square, some like an halfe moone, some after one fashion, some after ano­ther, and accordingly they haue diuers names. [...] The Greeke word which heere the Apostle vseth, is taken from [...] a doore or gate: so as it signifieth, a long, broad, large shield, wherewith the whole body was couered. The vse of it is both to auoide handy blowes,The vse of a Shield. strokes, foines, pushes and the like, made with Sword, Halberd, Sp [...]are, and such like weapons; and also to keepe off Darts, Arrowes, Bullets, Stones, and such annoyances[Page 215] as were shot, and flung afarre off: so as it is a common de­fence against all sorts of weapons, all kinds of assaults.

Of this vse is Faith, Application of the meta­phor. able to defend the whole man from al sorts of temptations cast against him by any of his spi­rituall enemies, the flesh, world, or diuell. By Faith the beleeuer holdeth out Christ himselfe, and the power and efficacy of his obedience and suffering, against all spiritu­all assaults: if this defend him not from all, what can? This will keepe vs safe from temptations, taken from the corruption of our nature, imperfection of our obedi­ence, innumerable number, and infinite weight of our sinnes, from prosperity, aduersity, or the like, if at least it be well vsed. Of the well vsing of it, we shall§. 68. &c. afterwards heare.

§. 16. Of the meaning of the word Take.

THe next point to be handled, is the Action whereun­to we are exhorted in this word [...]. Take, which is the very same that he vsed before, verse 13. it is heere vsed in as large a sence, both to take vp, or to take vnto one, and also to take againe and recouer a thing. Souldiers let not their Shield lie on the ground, but take it vp in their hands, hold it our against their enemies, mouing it vp and downe euery way where the enemy strikes at them; if the enemy continue to fight, or renew the fight, they still hold it out againe and againe: yea, if by their owne weakenesse, or thorow the violence of any blow, they let it fall, or slip, they presently seeke to recouer it, and take it vp againe.

Thus must we take vp and hold forth this spirituall Shield of Faith against all the temptations of Satan: and if thorow our owne infirmity, or our enemies fiercenesse[Page 216] we suffer it to faile and fall away, then recouer it againe, and continue to defend our selues with it, so long as wee shall haue enemies to assault vs.

This point of taking the Shield of Faith, respecteth di­uerse sorts of people:

1 Them who haue it not; they must labour to get it.

2 Them who doubt whether they haue it, or no: they must proue it.

3 Them who feare they may lose it; they must seeke to preserue it.

4 Them who are established therein; they must well vse it.

I wil therefore in order shew how faith may bee

  • 1 Gotten.
    IIII. Point. How Faith is gotten.
  • 2 Proued.
  • 3 Preserued.
  • 4 Well vsed.

§. 17. Of the Author of Faith.

FOr the first, note first the Author of Faith. Second­ly, the meanes whereby it is wrought.

1 The Author of Faith is,God the Au­thor of Faith. euenIam. 1. 17. he from whom euery good giuing, and euery perfect gift commeth. Ephe. 2. 8. Faith is the gift of God. Ioh. 6. 29. This is the worke of God that yee beleeue &c. Now because this is one of those workes of God, which are said to bead extra. without towards the creature, it is in Scrip­ture attributed to all the three persons, and to euery of them. To the first, where Christ saith,Ioh. 6. 44. No man con [...]me vnto me (i) beleeue) except the Father draw him. To the second, where the Apostle callethHeb. 12. 2. Iesus the Author and finisher of our Faith. To the third, where the Apostle▪ Gal. 5. 22. rec­koneth Faith among the fruits of the Spirit.

§. 18. Of the motiue and end why God worketh Faith.

IN declaring why God worketh Faith, obserue,

  • 1 What moueth him thereto.
  • 2 What hee aimeth at therein.

Nothing out of God can moue God to worke this precious gift in man:Phil. 2. 13. It is his meere good will that mo­ueth him, asMat. 11. 26. Christ expresly declareth in his thanksgi­uing to God, saying, It is so, O Father, because thy good plea­sure is such.

The end which God aimeth at in working this grace is principally in respect of himselfe,Ephes. 1. 6. the setting forth of his owne glory, as we shewed before: but secondarily the Ioh. 3. 16. & 20. 31. saluation of mankind. Therefore Saint Peter termeth 1 Pet. 1. 9. saluation the end of our Faith.

Vse These points I thought good thus briefly to note,

1 To commend vnto you this precious gift of Faith. For how much the more excellent the Author of any thing is, and the end which he aimeth at therein, so much more excellent is the thing it selfe.

2 To take away all matter of boasting from them who haue this gift: though it be a most precious grace, yet1 Cor. 4. 7. it affordeth no matter of glorying to vs in our selues, because we haue it not of our selues.

3 To stirre vs vp to giue all the praise and glory there­of to God: vpon this very ground doth the Apostle giue Rom. 11. 33. glory to God, because of him, and through him, and for him are all things.

4 To shew that it is not in mans power to haue it when he will; that so ye may be the more carefull in v­sing the meanes which God affoordeth and appointeth[Page 218] for the attaining thereto. Is it not a point of egregious folly to be carelesse in vsing, or negligently to put off those meanes of obtaining any excellent thing, which he who onely can worke and bestow that thing, hath ap­pointed for the obtaining thereof?

§. 19. Of the meanes of working Faith.

IN laying downe the meanes which our wise God hath appointed to worke Faith,

I will shew,

  • 1 What God himselfe doth.
  • 2 What he requireth man to doe.

In considering what meanes God vseth, let vs all note what order he obserueth in making the means effectuall.

The meanes are,

  • Outward.
  • Inward.

The outward meanes are either such as both worke and strengthen Faith,The meanes of getting Faith. as the word of God: or onely strengthen it, as the Sacraments. Hereof I shall speake §. 65, 66. heereafter.

Concerning the Word,Gods word the outward meanes. Accenditur fi­dei lampas ig­ne diuini ver­bi. Chrys. in Mat. 25. the Apostle saith, r How shall they beleeue in him of whom they haue not heard? and there­vpon thus concludeth, Faith commeth by hearing, and hea­ring by the word of God, (Rom. 10. 14, 17.) Of Gods word there be two parts, the Law, and the Gospel. Both these haue an especiall worke for the working of Faith. The law to prepare a mans heart for Faith, in which respect it is calledGal. 3 24. our schoole-master to bring vs to Christ, that wee may be iustified by Faith. The Gospell to worke further vpon the heart so prepared, and to accomplish this worke of Faith: whereupon he termeth the Gospel by a propriety,Rom. 10. 8. The Gospel of Faith: and saith of the Ephesians,Eph. 1. 13. that they be­leeued after that they heard the Gospel.

Quest. Whether is the Word preached onely, or the[Page 219] Word read also a meanes of working Faith?

Answ. It may not be denyed but that the holy Scrip­tures themselues,Preaching the Word is the most pro­per meanes of working faith. and good Commentaries on them, and printed Sermons, or other bookes, laying forth the true doctrine of the Scripture, being read and vnderstood, may be the blessing of God worke Faith: but the espe­ciall ordinary meanes, and most powerfull vsual meanes, is the word preached: this is it which the Scripture lay­eth downeRom. 10. 14. How shall they bele [...]ue in him, of whom they haue not heard? how shall they heare without a Preacher? 1 Cor. 1. 21 It pleased God by preaching to saue, &c. Gal. 3. 2. Yee receiued the Spirit by the hearing of Faith.

Thus we see that preaching is Gods ordinance, where­vnto especially without question he wil giue his blessing. Besides, it is an especiall meanes to make people to em­brace the promises of the Gospel, when Gods Ministers 2 Cor. 5. 16, 20. to whom is committed the word of reconciliation, and who stand in Christs steed, as though God did beseech vs, shall pray vs to be reconciled to God, and make offer and tender vnto vs of all the promises of God.

The inward meanes (or rather cause) is the sanctify­ing Spirit of God,Gods Spirit the inward cause. who softneth, quickneth, openeth our hearts, and maketh them as good ground, so as the good seed of Gods word being cast into them, taketh deepe rooting, & bringeth forth the blessed fruit of Faith. The 1 Cor. 2. 4, 5 Apostle saith, that his preaching was in demonstration of the spirit, that their Faith might be in the power of God. It is noted thatAct. 16, 14. the Lord (namely by his Spirit) opened the heart of Lydia, that she attended vnto the things which Paule spake. In respect hereof the Apostle termeth the preaching of the Gospel,2 Cor. 3. 8. a ministration of the spirit: yea, he vseth this phrase,& 4. 13. the spirit of Faith, because Faith is wrought in­wardly by the Spirit.

§. 20. Of the Lawes worke towards Faith.

THe order which God vseth is this,The order of working faith First, hee worketh on the vnderstanding, and then on the will.

The vnderstanding he inlighteneth by his Word,1 The vnder­standing en­lightened. as in all fundamentall necessary points of Christian Religion, so in two especially: First, in the misery of a naturall man, Secondly, in the remedy thereof. That the Law discoue­reth. This the Gospell reuealeth.

Touching mans misery, Gods Spirit by the Law infor­meth a mans iudgement both of his wretchednesse tho­row sinne, and of his cursednesse thorow the punishment of sinne.Mans misery made knowne by the Law. Perlegem fit cognitio pec [...]a­ti & expraeu [...] ­ricatione legis abundantia peccati, Aug. epist. 9 5. The Law discouereth such an infinite multitude of sinnes, as otherwise man could not possibly find out. It discouereth not onely notorious sinnes of commissi­on, but many other transgressions which naturall men count no sinnes; many sinnes of omission, many sinnes of thought and heart, yea, the very seed of all sinne, the contagion and corruption of our nature. Saint Paule ex­presly saith;Rom. 7. 7. I knew not sinne but by the Law: for I had not knowne lust, except the Law had said, thou shalt not lust. The Law also maketh knowne the hainousnesse, and gree­uousnesse of sinne, how it is out of measure, yea, infinite­ly sinfull, because it is committed against an infinite Ma­iesty, and that also against his expresse will reuealed in the Law; so as sinne being directly contrary to the pure, holy, and blessed will of God, cannot but make vs more odi­ous and abhominable before God then any venimous Toade, Adder, or any other poysonous creature is in our sight.

Further the Law manifesteth the punishment of sin, which is Gods infinite wrath for the least breach of any[Page 221] one branch of the commandements: for it saith,Deut. 27. 26. Cur­sed be he that confirmeth not all the words of the Law. Now the fruits of Gods wrath are all plagues and iudgements in this world, both outward in our estates, and on our bodies; and inward in our conscience and soule; in the and death, which is exceeding terrible to a naturall man: and after all, the torment of hell fire, which is intollerable and euerlasting: neither doth it reueale vnto vs any re­medy of helpe, but rather sheweth that we are vtterly vn­able to helpe our selues, and that no creature in heauen or earth, is able to afford vs helpe or succour; but vile wo­full wretches as we are, so shall we continually remaine.

Thus the Law sheweth vs to be such creatures, as it had been better for vs neuer to haue beene borne, or if borne, then to haue bene any other then such as we are, wretched cursed men.

§. 21. Of the Gospels worke in Faith.

BVt yet by the preaching of the Gospel,The remedy reuealed by the Gospel. the Spirit further enlighteneth our vnderstanding in a remedie which God in the riches of his mercy hath afforded vnto vs, and in the benefit thereof. For the Gospel reuealeth Christ Iesus, who being the true eternall Sonne of God, euen euery God, and so able to beare the infinite wrath of his Father, and procure his fauour, tooke vpon him, into the vnity of his person mans nature, wherein he sub­iected himselfe to the Law and both fulfilled the righte­ousnesse, and also vnderwent the curse thereof.

This is the remedy. The benefit hereof is, that God is reconciled to the world, his wrath being pacified, his fauour procured: that remission of sinnes, and deliue­rance from the punishment thereof, both in this world[Page 222] and in the world to come, are obtained: that all needfull blessings for this temporall life, all needfull graces for a spirituall life, and eternal life and happinesse in the world to come, are purchased.

Without knowledge of these points concerning the forenamed misery, and remedy, it is impossible for any man to haue Faith: and yet may men haue, and many haue this knowledge who neuer attaine vnto Faith: so as this is not sufficient: Wherefore the Spirit proceedeth further to worke vpon the will of man.

§. 22. Of Griefe going before faith.

TWo especiall workes are wrought vpon the will:2 Mans will wrought vpō. one in regard of mans misery, the other in regard of the remedy,

The first is to be pricked in heart,Griefe for sin. grieued in soule, wounded in conscience, and brought, in regard of any hope in our selues, or any other creature, euen to dispaire: yea, and to tremble againe within and without, in soule and body for our sinnes, and the punishment due to them. Thus wereActs 2. 37. the Iewes pricked in their hearts, and & 16. 29. the Iaylor so terrified with Gods iudgements that hee trembled againe, and thereby their hearts were prepared vnto Faith.

For the measure of griefe it is not alike in all, in some it is greater, in some smaller: yet in all there must be, as a sight of sin, and of the misery thereof, so a particular sence of that wretchednesse wherein we lie by reason of it, an vtter despaire in our selues, true griefe of soule, and compunction of heart for it.

§. 23. Of Desire going before Faith.

THe second worke is to desire aboue all things in the World,Desire of mer­cie. one drop of the infinite mercy of God, and to be willing to giue all that a man hath for Christ, accoun­ting him more worth then all things beside in heauen and earth, as theMat. 13. 46. Merchant in the Gospell esteemed the pearle which he found.

This earnest desire is in Scripture set forth byLuk. 1. 53. hunge­ring, Isa. 55. 1.thirsting, panting, longing, &c. All which imply a very vehement and vnsatiable desire; so as they which haue this desire wrought in them, will giue no rest to their soules, till they haue some sweet feeling of Gods loue to them in Christ, and some assurance that Christ is theirs: whereupon God who hath offered to satisfie the hungry and thirsty, and to satisfie the desire of such as pant and long after him, by his Spirit worketh in such as are so prepared, such an inward assent of minde, and credence vnto the promises of the Gospell, that particularly they apply them vnto themselues, and gladly accept the free offer of God, and so receiue Christ with all his benefits. This is that onely ordinary meanes, and the order there­of, which God for his part hath set downe to worke faith in man.

§. 24. Of mans endeauour to get Faith.

THe meanes required on mans part, are next to be de­clared. Here I will shew what man must doe that he may beleeue: and what motiues there be to stirre him vp to beleeue.

Two things are to be done of man: one that to his vt­termost[Page 224] power he vse and well imploy that ability,What man must doe to beleeue. what­soeuer it be, that he hath by nature or speciall gift.

Because God in wisedome hath appointed the prea­ching of his word, to be the meanes of working Faith, man must diligently vse that meanes, and constantly at­tend thereupon, not giuing ouer till hee find the blessed worke of Faith wrought in him. A naturall man may goe to Church, and with his outward eare hearken to the Word, and wait vpon it. And because prayer is a meanes to moue God to giue his Spirit, and thereby to open mans heart to receiue the Word into it, and to make his word powerfull and effectuall, he must also as well as he can, pray to God for his Spirit, and for his bles­sing on his Word. For a naturall man may pray, though not in Faith; and God doth oft heare the desire of such, as he hearethIob 39. 3. the yong Rauens when they cry for want of their meat.

The other,Act. 7. 1. that we resist not any motion of Gods Spi­rit, like the rebellious Iewes, nor putte off from vs the promises of the Gospel, as if they belonged not vnto vs, and thinke our selues vnworthy of eternall life.

§. 25. Of Gods offering Christ.

FOr motiues to make a man bold to apply vnto him­selfe the promises of the Gospel,Motiues to beleeue. there are none at all in himselfe; he must cleane goe out of himselfe, and duely weigh these three points,

  • 1 The author of the promises of the Gospel.
  • 2 The cause of the promises of the Gospel.
  • 3 The extent of the promises of the Gospel.

For the first:1 It is God that made the promise of the Gospel. It is God that made the promises: he it is that maketh offer of Christ Iesus, and in him of all[Page 225] things belonging to life and happinesse.Ioh. 3. 16. GOD so loued the World that he gaue his onely begotten Sonne, &c. With what face may the creature refuse to receiue that which his Creator offereth? Now that we may not doubt, but be assured that he will make his word good, we are espe­cially to consider two properties of God. 1. His Power, 2. His Truth.

The one sheweth, that hee is able to doe what he hath promised.

The other, that he will not faile to doe it.

§. 26. Of Gods Power to make his offer good.

NO question can iustly bee made of Gods almighty Power:2. God is able to performe his word. Nemo de Deo optimè existi­mat, qui non eū omnipotentem, atque ex nulla parte commu­nicabilem cre­dit. Aug. de lib. arb. l. 1 for the Scripture expresly saith; With God shall nothing be impossible. (Luk. 1. 37.) All things are possi­ble to him. (Mar. 10. 27.) Which is to be noted against our deadnesse, dulnesse, and vntowardnesse to beleeue, in re­gard whereof wee may thinke that a man naturally dead, may as easily eate and drinke as we beleeue: but when we consider the Power of Gods might, howMa [...] 3. 9. hee is able of stones to raise vp children vnto Abraham; wee may well thinkeEze. 36. 26. that hee is able to take away our stony heart, and giue vs an heart of flesh. Abraham looked to Gods power, and thereby was moued to beleeue that God would per­forme his promise, though I saacke in whom the promise was made, were to be sacrificed;Rom. 4 Heb. 11. He did not doubt of the promise, being fully assured that he which had promised, was also able to doe it.

This motiue taken from Gods almighty Power, is in Scripture oft vsed to stirre vp men & woemen to beleeue the promises of God. It was vsed toGen. 18. 14. Sarah, to theLuke 1. 37. Virgin Mary, toIer. 32. 27. Ieremiah, & to theMar. 10. 27. Disciples of Christ. And it is the rather to be thought of, because we are very prone by[Page 226] nature to make doubt thereof: for albeit in our iudge­ments wee are well perswaded of Gods Omnipotency, and with our mouthes can professe as much; yet when we are in great straits, brought to a pinch, and see no or­dinary meanes for the effecting the thing which wee de­sire, then we thinke that God himselfe is not able to doe it: like2 Kin. 7. 2. the incredulous Prince; and not he onely, but the Psal. 78. 19. 20. vnbeleeuing Israelites also, though they had beene long nurtured vnder Gods speciall gouernement, and seene many of his maruellous workes; yea,Num. 11. 12. 22. Moses himselfe was subiect hereunto.

§. 27. Of Gods truth in making good his offer.

NO more question can be made of Gods truth, then of his power:3 God is true, and will per­form his pro­mises. for he isPsal. 31. 5. the Lord God of truth, Iam. 1. 17. with him is no variablenesse, nor shadow of turning: Ti [...]us 1. 2. Hee cannot lie, Heb. 6. 18. it is impossible that he should: for1 Thes. 5. 24. faithfull is hee which promiseth; the Gospell in which his promises are made, [...] Ephe. 1. 13. the word of truth: his Sonne who declareth them,Reu. 3. 14. [...] faithfull and true witnesse: His Spirit which sealeth them vp,Ioh. 14. 17. a Spirit of Truth.

This truth of God is to be meditated of, in regard of the greatnesse of Gods promises: for when man heareth of Christ, and all his benefits offered in the Gospell, hee will be ready to thinke and say; Oh here are sweete and excellent promises, but they are too good to be true, I feare they are too great to be performed. But if that man remember how faithful and true God is that made them, it will make him thinke againe, and say; though they were much greater, yet God who is able, assuredly wil not faile to performe what he hath promised.

§. 28. Of Gods free offer.

[...] FOr the cause whereby God is moued to offer Christ and all his benefits,4 Gods good­nesse moued him to make his promises to man. it was his owne good­nesse, and nothing else. Now there are two things which doe highly commend Gods goodnesse. First, the freenesse of his grace. Secondly, the riches of his mercy.

Gods grace is euery way so free,5 Gods grace is free. that the goodnesse which he sheweth to his creature is altogether of himselfe & from himselfe.Ioh. 3. 16. God so loued the world, that he gaue, &c. Rom. 5. 10. When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God. Gen. 3. 15. When there was none to mediate for vs, God offered grace, and gaue his Sonne to be a Mediator.

This is to be noted against mans vnworthinesse, for he is ready to looke downe vpon himselfe, and say; Ah, I am too too vnworthy to partake of Christ: what can there be in me to moue God to beftow his Sonne on me? and thus keepe himselfe from beleeuing. But if we consi­der that God respecteth his owne goodnesse, and not ours in giuing vs his Sonne; and that his grace is euery way free, that conceit of our vnworthinesse, can be no iust impediment to Faith.

§. 29. Of the Riches of Gods Mercy.

AS for the Riches of Gods Mercy,6 Gods mer­cy is abun­dant. they are vnuttera­ble, vnconceiuable: I may well crie out, and say; Oh the deepenesse of them! how vnsearchable are they, and past finding out? According to Gods greatnesse, so is his mer­cie, it is infinite, and Psal. 108. 4. reacheth aboue the Heauens: so as God may well be saidEphe. 2. 4. to be rich in mercy, andExo. 34. 6. abun­dant in goodnesse.

[Page 226] [...] [Page 227] [...] [Page 228] This is to be noted against the multitude, and haynous­nesse of our sinnes; which because they are innumerable and infinite, keepe many men from beleeuing the pardon of them. But the consideration of the infinitenesse of Gods mercy, which is as an Ocean, sufficient to swallow them all vp, though they were more, and greater then they are, will vphold vs against that temptation: for no sinne can be greater then Gods mercy:Mat. 12. 31, 32. The sinne against the Holy Ghost, is not therefore vnpardonable, because it is greater then Gods mercy;Gen. 4. 13. Greater then can be pardo­ned, as Cain desperately thought of his sinne; but because the heart of him who committeth it, is vncapable of mer­cie: as if a ventlesse vessell be cast into the Sea,Simil. it cannot take in one drop of water, not because there is not water enough in the Sea to fill it, but because it hath neuer a vent to receiue water.

§. 29. Of the extent of Gods offer of Christ.

3 FOr the extent of the offer of Christ,7 Gods pro­mises are of­fered to all. it is so large, so generall, as no person can haue any iust cause to thinke himselfe exempted. The Angell that brought this glad tidings from Heauen, said; That it was forLuk. 2. 10. all peo­ple. Ioh. 1. 6. 7 The man that was sent from God for a witnesse, bare witnesse of the light, that all men thorow him might beleeue. When Christ sent his Apostles forth to preach the Gos­pell, he bid themMat 28. 19. Goe, and teach all Nations: And to shew that no particular man in any Nation was excepted, but euery mothers child included,Mar. 16. 15. Saint Marke setting down the same commission, expresseth euery creature; meaning euery reasonable creature.

I will not here stand to discusse this question, whether[Page 229] the sound of the Gospel hath been heard in euery corner of the world, or no: it is sufficient for our present purpose to know, that whersoeuer the sound therof cōeth, there by the ministery of it, tender and offer is made to euery soule, of Christ and all his benefits, euen as when theNum. 21. 8. bra­sen serpent was lift vp, a remedy was afforded to all that looked vpon it.Ioh. 3. 14, 15 Christ resembleth this brasen serpent to himselfe, and maketh this very application thereof. God herein dealeth with the world, as a King (against whom his whole kingdome, euen all his subiects haue ri­sen vp, and rebelled) who causeth a generall pardon to be proclaimed to all, and euery one that will lay downe their weapons, and accept pardon.

This vniuersall offer of Christ,The generall offer of Christ a meanes to draw all to receiue Christ is an especiall meanes to draw a poore sinner to receiue Christ: and it is to bee noted against the last barre, wherewith men vse to keepe their hearts close shut from entertaining Christ: for when they be brought to acknowledge that God is able to performe all his promises; that he is faithfull, and will performe them: that it is not mans vnworthinesse that keepeth him from shewing fauour vnto man, but that his owne goodnesse moueth him thereunto, yea that the number and weight of many sinnes cannot damme vp, and keepe backe the euer-flowing streames of his mercy, they will obiect and say,

Wee know not whether we are any of those persons to whom the promises of the Gospel are intended,Obiect. and for whom Christ indeed dyed. But for answere here­unto,

1 I exhort such to learne of God by hearing him,Answer. and vsing his meanes how to know

§. 30. That the offer of Christ, is asufficient ground to receiue Christ.

2 OF such I would demand what further ground they would haue to receiue Christ, then this, that God offereth Christ vnto them? wouldest thou (whoso­euer thou art that disputest against God, and against thine owne soule) wouldest thou climbe vp into Heauen, and enter into Gods secret closet, where his records are, to set whether thy name be written in the booke of life or not and then if it be, beleeue? what a preposterous conc [...] is this, directly thwarting the vnsearchable wisedome of God? God hath reserued his eternall counsell, concer­ning the election of men, as a secret vnto himselfe; yet hath he ordained and reuealed meanes vnto the sons of men, by the right vsing whereof, they may come to2 Pet. 1. 10. make their election sure: God hath also said,Deut 29. 29. that Secret things belong vnto himselfe, reuealed things to vs. Now marke the preposterous course of these men; curious they are, and ouer-curious in that which is secret, but ouer-carelesse in that which is reuealed. If this be not to oppose mās shal­low braine to the bottomles depth of Gods wisdome, I know not what is. Had it not been notorious folly for any of the Israelites to haue lien burning with the [...] of the fiery serpents till they had dyed, refusing to looke on the brazen serpent, and said, when I know that the ser­pent was lifted vp for mee, I will looke vpon it? Did not the very lifting vp of the serpent shew that it [...] Gods will they should looke on it, and looking be cured so God causing Christ to be lift vp by preaching of the Gospel before thee, sheweth that he would thou should deft beleeue, and beleeuing haue life euerlasting.

§. 31. That a mans vnworthinesse ought not to keepe him from beleeuing.

SAy not therefore, I can see nothing in my selfe why Christ should belong to me.Obiect.

I told thee before, that thou must cleane goe out of thy selfe, and looke vpon God.Answer.

But for thy further satisfaction herein, let me demand two things of thee.

First, whether any man before he beleeued, saw any thing in himselfe why Christ should rather belong to him then to any other.Quest. 1. The Scripture saith,Rom. 3. 33. There is no difference, for all haue sinned, and are depriued of the glory of God. What then? Wouldest thou be singular, and haue a ground of Faith proper and peculiar to thy selfe? Is not this a spice of vaine-glory? wouldst thou not haue some­thing to boast in?

Secondly, whether thou seest any thing in thy selfe why thou shouldest not beleeue?Quest. 2. The offer of Christ is v­niuersall to all. Who separateth thee? Obiect not thine vnworthinesse: for who is worthy? nor the multitude and grieuousnesse of thy sinnes: for he that hath fewest and least, hath burden enough to presse him downe to the lowest pit of hell, if God be not mercifull vnto him. But tell me, is the number and weight of thy sinnes an heauy burden vnto thee? doe they grieue and vexe thy soule? art thou pressed downe with them? Loe here is a motiue to make thee beleeue. This is an euidence that thou art one of those to whom Christ is giuen: for Christ after peculiar manner inuiteth such to come vnto him, saying,Mat. 11. 28. Come vnto me all ye that are laden and weary, and I will ease you. ForLuk. 5. 32. he came to call sinners and thereup­on the Apostle with a vehement asseueration auerreth[Page 232] this point,Tim. 1. 15. This is a faithfull saying, and worthy of all accep­tation, that Christ Iesus came into the world to saue sinners.

§. 32. Of long waiting.

Obiect. BVt many with heauy hearts haue long wai­ted vpon the meanes, and diligently attended to the Word, and yet find no faith wrought in them.

Answ. We may not prescribe any time to God: as he worketh on whom he will, so hee worketh when hee will:Hab. 2. 3. Though he tarry, waite: Heb. 10. 37. for yet a very little while, and he that shall come, Est animi ge­nerosi perdura­re quo ad Deus misereatur no­stri. Crys. par­ad Theod. will come, and will not tarry. God ne­uer failed any that continued to waite on him, At length he satisfied their longing. RememberIoh. 5. 5. &c. the history of that poore diseased man that lay so long at the poole of Bethesda: at length his desire was effected, hee was cured.

Let me therefore (in the name of Christ Iesus) pro­uoke euery one before whom Christ is lift vp in the Mi­nistery of the Word, and administration of the Sacra­ments, to looke vpon him, and to perswade themselues that he belongeth vnto them, and so receiue him into their hearts, and beleeue.

Neither let them say,Obiect. that if Christ should not belong to them,Answere. they sinne in beleeuing: for boldly I say againe if any vpon the forenamed grounds beleeue,None sinne in beleeuing. they finne not: no man can sinne in beleeuing (in presuming, hee may sinne, but there is a great difference betwixt Faith and presumption, as we shall§. 88. hereafter shew)Ioh 3. 18. He that beleeueth shall not bee condemned, 1 Ioh. 5. 10. Hee hath the witnesse [...] himselfe: So that in beleeuing he sinneth not. But who­soeuer beleeueth not, refuseth and reiecteth Christ, [...] theyMat. 22. 3, 5, 6. who were inuited to the mariage of the Kings for and did not come.

§. 33. Of mans sinne in not beleeuing.

Obiect. FAith is not in mans power. How then can a man sinne in not beleeuing?

Answ. How man sin­neth in not beleeuing. 1 God gaue ability to man (when he created him after his owne image) to lay hold on any promise that at any time God should make vnto him: so as God gaue him power to beleeue. But man thorow his owne default disabled himselfe. May not God iustly exact what he gaue?

2 No vnbeleeuer doth what lieth in him to beleeue: but faileth in some thing that he might doe. To omit those among whom the sound of the Gospell came not, (because now we haue not to doe with them:)Mat. 22. 6. Some persecute orActs. 2. 13. scoffe at the Ministery of the Gospel: Acts 13. 45. 1 Cor: 1: 23. some speake against the meanes it selfe, counting it foo­lishnesse: Luke 14. 18. some are carelesse in comming to it, preten­ding many vaine excuses:Mat. 3. 7. some come for company, or other by-respects:& 13. 19, some attend not though they come: 21, some soone let slippe what they heare:22. some let the things of this world choake that which they heare: in something or other all they which beleeue not come short of that which they might haue done, for attaining vnto this precious gift of Faith. And that is it for which another day they shall be condemned.

3 Vnbeleefe is in a mans power: who distrust and gaine-say the promises of the Gospel, doe it of their free will: they wittingly and wilfully refuse and reiect the gracious offer of Christ Iesus. Marke what Christ saith of Ierusalem, Mat. 23. 37: How oft would I haue gathered thy children together, and ye would not?

§. 34. Of the heinousnesse of Incredulity.

THus we see that no vnbeleeuers can haue iust excuse for themselues:Incredulity a grieuous sinne. their Incredulity is truly and pro­perly a sinne; yea, it is a most grieuous sinne: heinous against God, and dangerous vnto man.

As Faith of all graces doth most honour God,1 Dis [...]honou­rable to God. so this of all vices doth most dishonour him. It impeacheth the forenamed properties of God, namelyPsal. 78. 19, 20. his power, as if God were not able to make good his promise:1 Ioh. 5. 10. his truth, as if God were vnfaithfull, yea, a plaine lyer, as the Apo­stle speaketh:Gen. 4. 13. his mercy, as if it were dryed vp with the heat of mens sinnes, and hisPsal. 10 4, 5. presence in euery place, as if he were not euer by vs. It maketh a man flie from God asGen. 3. 8. Adam did, and contemne his gracious offer of pardon, as desperate rebels and debtors: it maketh Christ to haue dyed in vaine: yea it is accompanied with a kind of ob­stinacy, as in Thomas who said,Ioh. 20. 25. I will not beleeue it.

In regard of men,2 Dangerous to men. no sinne so deadly and dangerous; it stoppeth the current of Gods mercy, it barreth vp hea­uen gates against men,Filios Diaholi infide litas fa­cit. quod pecca­tum proprium vocatur, quasi solum sit, &c. Aug. cont. ep. Pelag. lib. 3. c. 3 and openeth the mouth of hell for them, and maketh them Satans vassals. Whereas Faith bringeth an absolution for all sinnes, this layeth all our sinnes open to the wrath of God. The truth is,Ion. 3. 18. He that beleeueth not is condemned already: and why? because he beleeueth not in the Sonne of God. God hath made offer of his Sonne, but he will not receiue him. Is not this to reiect Christ, and to iudge ones selfeAct. 13. 46. vnworthy of eternall life? Wherefore to conclude this point, seeing there is so good ground to beleeue, & that not to beleeue is so hey­nous a sinne, let none dare to distrust, or to put off from him the promises of the Gospel: we may haue a godly iea­iealousie[Page 235] ouer our selues, and vse a conscionable care in trying the truth of our Faith, (as after I will shew;) but to reiect the offer which God maketh of Christ, wee may not dare: if we feele not Faith wrought in vs, wee must waite till we feele it.

§. 35. Of prouing Faith.

THus we see how Faith may be gotten:V. Point. The tryall of Faith. the next point is to shew how it may be prooued. Wee haue heard how pretious a thing Faith is: it doth therefore greatly behoue vs throughly to try our Faith, whether it be sound or no.Simil. If a man goe to buy a gold chaine, hee will not be deceiued with a faire glittering shew, but hee will haue it toucht with the touchstone againe and a­gaine: but1 Pet. 1. 7. Faith is much more precious then gold that pe­risheth.

§. 36. Whether Faith may be knowne or no.

BEfore I shew how Faith may bee proued,Faith may be knowne. it will bee needful by way of preparation and preuention, to de­clare whether a Christian can know if he haue sound true Faith or no: for, many conceit that it is sufficient to haue a good hope (as they speake,) imagining that no man can say certainly he hath a true Faith. If this were so, in vaine it were to seeke how it may be proued, who will labour to proue that which cannot be found out? But against that conceit I auouch, that The true beleeuer may know that he hath a true and found Faith. For the Saints haue pro­fessed as much:Psal. 116. 10 I beleeued saith Dauid. Ioh. 6. 69. We beleeue and know, say the disciples: and2. Tim. 1. 12. S. Paul saith, I know whom I haue beleeued.

§. 37. Whether ordinary persons may know they haue Faith.

Obiect. THose were extraordinary persons, and had this knowledge of their Faith, by extraordi­nary reuelation.

Answ. TheAct. 8. 37. Eunuch, and theIoh. 9. 38. blind man knew as much, and yet were no extraordinary persons. But to shew that this knowledge came not of any extraordina­ry reuelation, proper to extraordinary persons, the Apo­stle speaking of that spirit which Dauid had, saith,2 Cor. 4. 13. Wee haue the same spirit of Faith, &c. Paul had the same spirit that Dauid had, and other Christians the same that hee, whereby they might discerne their Faith, and therefore he vseth the plural number, We haue the same spirit, &c. yet more expresly he saith,1 Cor. 2. 12. We haue receiued the spirit that is of God, that we may know the things which are giuen vs of God. Is not Faith one of those things? yea, it is one of the most principall of them? Vpon this ground the A­postle exhorteth vs,2 Cor. 13. 5. to proue our selues whether we are in the Faith, &c. In vaine were this exhortation, if Faith could not be discerned and proued.

§. 38. Of the difference betwixt those who seeme to haue Faith, and those who indeed haue it.

1 Obiect. THe heart of man is deceitfull aboue all things, who can know it? Ier. 17. 9. how then can the truth of any grace be discerned?

Answ. In naturall and wicked men, there is aPsal. 12. 2. double heart, wherby it cometh to be deceitful: but the faithfull haueIsa. 38. 3. a single, simple, honest, vpright, perfect heart.

2 Obiect. Many presume of what they haue not: yea, very hypocrites goe so farre, as they can hardly, if[Page 237] at all be discerned. Many of them doe more resemble the faithfull, then counterfeit coine doth current mo­ney: for herein the Diuell helpeth mans wit. Iudas was not discerned by the Disciples, till Christ discouered him.Though they which haue no faith, may be deceiued, yet they which indeed haue it, may discerne it.

Answer. If that which is counterfeit coine be thorow­ly tried, if it be brought to the touch-stone, if clipped tho­row, if melted, it will be discerned: so hypocriticall Faith. But suppose some be so (I know not what to say) cunning or simple, that they deceiue others and themselues; yet thereupon it followeth not, that he which indeed hath faith, should be deceiued, because he which hath it not, is: A man which dreameth that he eateth and drinketh,Isa. 29 8. Simil. may for the time strongly be conceited that he doth so, and yet be deceiued: Can not he therefore which is awake, and in deed eateth and drinketh, know that he doth so? Hee that wanteth a thing, groundeth his conceit vpon meere shewes and shadowes: but he that hath that which he is perswaded he hath, groundeth his perswasion on sure, sound, reall euidences.

Obiect. 3. Many which indeede haue faith, make a great doubt and question of it, yea, they thinke and say, They haue no faith at all. How then can Faith bee knowne?

Answer. That is thorow mens owne weakenesse,Though in a temptation a man doubt, yet out of it hee may haue assurance. or thorow the violence of some temptation. When they are strengthned, and the temptation remoued, that doub­ting will be dispelled. But it followeth not, because at some times, some persons are so exceeding weake, and so violent­ly assaulted, that therefore they should neuer know that they haue faith; or that other which are not so weake, nor so assaulted, should not bee able to know their owne[Page 238] faith.Simil. In naturall matters there may be some, who thorow long sicknesse, or some wound, blow, or bruise on their head, know not what they doe: Can not therefore heal­thy, sound men know? After Dauid had giuen many eui­dences of his assurance of faith, thorow some temptati­ons hee doubted.

§. 39. Whether Faith and doubting may stand together.

Quest. CAn then true Faith stand with doubting?True Faith may stand with doub­ting.

Answ. Yea, it can: for what the Apostle saith of knowledge, may we apply to other Christian graces, euen to the mother of them all, Faith; 1 Cor. 13. 9. we beleeue in part: The man that said,Mar. 9. 24. Lord I beleeue, yet doubted: for he added, helpe my vnbeleefe. This doubting is not of the nature of Faith, but rather contrary vnto it, arising from the flesh which remaineth in vs, so long as wee remaine in the World:Fidei praecipua virtus in eo est, vt non ambigas Chrys. in Tit. hom. 3. therefore the more strength Faith getteth, the more is doubting driuen away. Yet as the Spirit in truth may be where the flesh is, so in truth may Faith be where doubting is: but as we must striue to subdue the flesh, so also must we striue to dispell doubting.

§. 40. Of trying Faith both by the causes, and by the effects:

NOw come we to the maine point, How Faith may be proued and knowne.

For the true triall of Faith,How faith may be pro­ued. we must consider both the causes, and also the effects of Faith: how it was wrought, and how it worketh; and compare these together. Most doe send men onely to the effects of Faith, by them to[Page 239] make triall of the truth of them: but there is an hypocri­ticall Faith, which bringeth forth many fruits so like true Faith; and true Faith is oft so couered with the cloudes of temptations, that if respect be had onely to the effects, counterfeit Faith may be taken for true Faith; and true Faith may be counted no Faith. The birth therefore and the growth of Faith must be considered iointly together, and one compared with another, that they may both of them giue mutuall euidence one to another, and so both of them giue a ioint and sure euidence to a mans soule and conscience that he is not deceiued.

§. 41. Of that illumination which causeth Faith.

VVE are first to begin with the birth of Faith:Note that many diffe­rences may be discerned in the causes of Faith af­ter Faith is wrought, which cannot be found be­fore faith. of the meanes and order of working Faith, I haue spo­ken before: for the proofe of Faith in this respect, we must apply the seuerall points before deliuered to our owne Faith, & examine whether it were accordingly wrought: namely, whether it were grounded on a true illumination of the minde, in regard of mans misery, and the remedy appointed by God: and of a right disposition of the heart, both in regard of true griefe for sinne, and true desire af­ter Christ.

For Illumination, Causes of Faith. it is not sufficient that we haue a ge­nerall knowledge of the fore-named misery and remedy,1. Illuminati­on. that such and such are all men by nature, that this is the remedy afforded vnto them; but we must haue an expe­rimentall knowledge of our owne wofull estate, as Saint Paul had,Rom 7. 7, &c when he set forth his own person as a patterne of a miserable man,1 Tim. 1. 13. and in particular reckoned vp his owne particular greeuous sinnes: this is it which will driue a man to Christ: if at least we also vnderstand that[Page 240] the remedy is such an one as may bring redemption vnto our selues.

It is more cleare then needs be proued, that what Faith soeuer ignorant men, men that liue in neglect, and con­tempt of Gods Word, make shew of, hath not so much as a shew of sound Faith, but is palpably counterfeit: therefore this first point may not be left out in the triall of Faith.

§. 42: That Griefe goeth before Faith.

FOr the disposition of the heart,2 Compuncti­on and griefe of heart. vnlesse first it haue beene touched with a sence of mans wretchednesse, and grieued thereat, it is to be feared that the pretence of Faith which is made, is but a meere pretence: for God healeth none but such as are first wounded.Mat. 9. 12. The whole neede not a Physitian, but they that are sicke. Luke 4. 18 Christ was an­nointed to preach the Gospell to the poore, to heale the brok [...] hearted, &c.

Obiect. Many haue beleeued that neuer grieued for their misery, asActs 16. 14 Lydia, Heb. 11. 31 Rahab, Luke 23. 42 the theefe on the crosse, and others, of whom no griefe is recorded.

Answer. Who can tell that these grieued not? It fol­loweth not that they had no griefe, because none is recor­ded: All particular actions and circumstances of actions are not recorded; it is enough that the griefe of some, as ofActs 2. 37 the Iewes, of& 16. 29 the Iaylor, ofLuke 7. 38 the woman that washed Christs feete with her teares, and of others is recorded.

But the griefe of the theefe is implied both by repro­uing his fellow, and also by acknowledging his owne guil­tinesse, Rahab saith,Ios. 2. 11 That their hearts melted.

Obiect. That which is said of Rahab, is said of others also, who beleeued not.

[Page 241] Answ. Though the same affection be iointly attribu­ted to all, yet it was very different in the kinde, manner, and end thereof. The heart of others melted for feare of a temporall destruction: it was a worldly sorrow; but hers a godly sorrow, because shee was an aliant from the com­mon wealth of Israel, and out of the Church of God, and therefore so earnestly desired to be one of them.

Lydia might bee prepared before shee heard Paul, for sheeActs 16. 13, 14. accompanied them which went out to pray, and shee worshipped God: or else her heart might bee then touched when shee heard Paul preach. The like may be said ofActs 10 44. 45. those which heard Peter when hee preached to Cornelius, and of others. Certaine it is that a man must both see and feele his wretchednesse, and bee wounded in soule for it, before Faith can be wrought in him. Yet I denie not but there may bee great difference in the man­ner & measure of greeuing. Some1 Sam. 7. 6, draw water, and poure it out before the Lord: Luke 7. 38. Their heart poureth out abundance of teares.Acts 16. 29 Other tremble and quake againe with horror. Other long continue in their griefe. Other are so deepely wounded within, that they cannot expresse it by out­ward tears, but are euen astonished, as with a wound that bleedeth inwardly. Other see in what a wretched and cursed estate they lie, and are greeued, and euen confoun­ded that they can greeue no more: yet it pleaseth God af­ter hee hath shewed to some their woefull estate thorow sinne, and touched their heart therewith, (bringing them thereby to loath their owne naturall estate, to despaire in themselues, and to condemne themselues, vtterly re­nouncing all confidence in themselues) presently to stirre vp their hearts to desire and embrace the sweete promi­ses and consolations of the Gospell.

Faith therefore is not to be iudged by the measure, but[Page 242] by the truth of griefe, which may be knowne by the cau­ses and fruits thereof.

§. 43. How Griefe which worketh Faith is wrought.

FOr the causes,Causes of true griefe. 1 Gods word worketh it. true griefe which worketh Faith, ari­seth,

1Acts 2. 37. From the word of God, whereby sinne and Gods wrath for the same is discouered.

Obiect. The& 16. 26, &c. Iaylor was humbled with an extraor­dinary iudgement.

Answer. No doubt but he had heard the word of God before: for Paul had beene sometime in that City, so as that iudgement was but as an hammer to driue into his heart the nailes of Gods word: for it is the proper vse of Gods iudgements to beate downe the hard and stoute heart of man, and so to make him sensibly apprehend▪ Gods wrath denounced in his Word against sinners. So▪ was2 Chr. 33. 10, 12: Manasseh brought to apply the threatnings of Gods word to himselfe by a great iudgement.

2 From despaire of all helpe in our selues, or any other creature:2 It ariseth from despaire in our selues. This made the Iewes and Iaylor say;Acts 2. 37, & 16. 30 What shall we doe? So long as man retaineth any conceit of helpe in himselfe, all his misery, and griefe for it, will neuer bring him to Christ.

3.And from sence of Gods disp [...]easure. From our wretchednesse and vildnesse by reason of sinne, whereby God is offended, and his wrath prouo­ked; as well as from our cursednesse by reason of the pu­nishment and fearefull issue of sinne: Thus was the pro­digall childe grieued, because he hadLuke 15. 18. sinned against his Father.

§. 44. Of the effects which that Griefe that cau­seth Faith, bringeth forth.

GRiefe thus wrought, bringeth forth these and such like effects.Effects of true griefe.

1Ier. 31. 19 Shame for the euill which hath beene done.

2 A true and thorow resolution to enter into a new course: Surely they which came to Iohn and said,Lu. 3. 10, 12, 14. What shall we doe? were thus minded.Rom. 6. 21.

3 A renewing of griefe,Vbi dolor fini­tur deficit poe­nitentia. Aug. de ver. pen. c. 13. so oft as occasion is offered. True spirituall griefe which worketh Faith, is neuer cleane dried vp, because sinne, the cause of it, is neuer cleane ta­ken away: Thus the griefe which breedeth Faith conti­nueth after Faith is wrought, though not in the same manner and measure: for before Faith it cannot be mixed with any true ioy, and sound comfort, as it may be after Faith is wrought.

Many who haue no better then a temporary Faith, are at first much grieued, and wounded in conscience; but af­ter they receiue some comfort by the promises of the Gospell, are so iocund and ioyfull, that they grow secure againe, and neuer after let griefe seize vpon them; no, though they fall into such grieuous sinnes as might iust­ly renew their griefe: they put off all with this, That once they grieued. Dauid, Paul, and many other faithfull Saints of God were otherwise affected, as is euident by those Psal. 6, 2, 3, & 32, 3, & 51, 1, &c. many grieuous groanes, sighes, and exclamations which are recorded of them.Rom. 7. 24

§. 45. Of that Desire which causeth Faith.

THe second thing to be examined in the disposition of a mans heart for the proofe of Faith,3 Desire of Christ. is the Desire [Page 244] of it after Christ: greefe at our misery without desire of the remedy, is so farre from being Faith, that it causeth desperation.

That true desire which worketh Faith may be knowne,Proofes of true desire. 1. By the Cause, 2. By the Order, 3. By the Quality, 4. By the Fruits, 5. By the Continuance of it.

1 It is the Gospell,1. The Cause. and nothing but it, that can worke in mans heart a true desire after Christ: because by it alone is Christ reuealed and offered.

2 It followeth vpon the fore-named griefe for sinne,2 The Order. and despaire of succour in our selues or others.Acts 4. 12. The Apostle vseth this as a motiue to stirre vp men to beleeue in Christ, that there is not saluation in any other.

3 It is both an hearty and true desire,3 The Quali­ty. and also a vehe­ment and earnest desire. For the first of these, it is not one­ly an outward desire of the tongue, but an inward desire of the soule:Psal. 42. 1. 2. My soule panteth, my soule their steth for God, saith Dauid. This inward hearty desire is best knowne to a mans owne selfe:1 Cor. 2. 11. for what man knoweth the things of a man saue the spirit of a man which is in him?

For the second, it is a greater desire then the desire of any other thing can be. No man so desireth any earth­lie thing, as the poore sinner desireth Christ, if it be a true desire: therefore the Scripture vseth such meta­phors to set it forth, as imply greatest ardency, as hun­gring, thirsting, &c. wherof wee haue heard§. 23. before,Num. 23. 10. Ba­laams slight wish could be no cause or signe of Faith.

4.4. The Fruits. It maketh a man carefull and conscionable inMat. 13. 44. v­sing the meanes which God hath appointed to breede faith, yea, and earnest in calling vpon God to blesse those meanes, and to be merciful vnto him,Luke 18. 10. 13. as the poore Pub­lican did.

5 It still raiseth vp and preserueth an appetite after5. Continu­ance. [Page 245] Christ,Longe aberit a siti satietas, longe a saetie­tate fastidium, quia sitientes saturabimur, & satiati sitie­mus. Aug. de Spec. c. 29. euen after we haue tasted him. Desire after Christ before we beleeue ariseth from that sence we haue of the want of Christ: but after we beleeue, partly from the sweet taste we haue felt of him, and partly from the want we still feele of him, so as we can neuer be satisfied. Here­by is the couetous mans true desire of mony manifested, because he can neuer be filled, but the more he hath, the more he desireth An vnsatiable desire of Christ is a good couetousnesse.1 Pet. 2. 2. The Apostle exhorteth to desire the sin­cere milke of the Word, to grow thereby: not once onely to taste of it. If euer a man be satisfied with Christ, and be­gin to loath him, he neuer truely beleeued in him. For first, Christ is not like corporall meates, which with abun­dance may cloy the stomach: the more he is tasted, the better and greater will our appetite be. Secondly; no man in this world can receiue such a measure as to be filled thereby. If therefore a man desire Faith, and fall away, that seeming desire which he had, neuer bred Faith in him.

§. 46. Of ioyning the effects with the causes of Faith, in the tryall thereof.

IF vpon that fore-named illumination of the mind, and disposition of the heart, the Spirit of God hath drawne vs to accept of Christ Iesus tendred in the Gospel, then hath Faith been kindly wrought, and by this manner of breeding Faith, a man may haue good euidence of the truth of it, especially if he also finde that his Faith doth kindely worke, and bring forth the proper fruits thereof. For Faith is operatiue, Faith is ope­ratiue as fi [...]e euen as fire. Where fire is, there will be heat, the more fire the greater heat: if but a little[Page 246] heate, there is a small fire, if no heate at all, surely no fire. I deny not but fire may be so couered ouer with ashes, that the heat will not sensibly appeare, but yet heate there is within, so as if the ashes be remoued, the heat will soon be felt: so surely, where true and sound Faith is, there will be some holy heate, some blessed fruits thereof: it may for a time, through the violence of some temptation, be so smothered, and suppressed, as it cannot be discerned, but when the temptation is ouer, it will soone shew it selfe: if not, I dare boldly say, there is no true, liuing, iustifying Faith, but a meere dead Faith. I haue my warrant from an holy Apostle,Absit vt sen­tiret vas electi­onis iustificari bominem per fidem etiamsi male vivat, & opera bona non habeat, Aug. [...]de gr. & lib. arb. cap. 7. so to say, (Iam. 2. 20, 26.) It is a wor­king Faith, which is the true iustifying Faith; and this is the constant doctrine of our Church, taught in our Vni­uersities, preached in pulpits, published in print by all that treat of Faith. That which our aduersaries obiect a­gainst the orthodoxall and comfortable doctrine of Iu­stification by Faith alone, (that we make iustifying Faith to be a naked dead Faith, without all good workes) is a meere cauill, and a most malicious slander: for though we teach that in the very act of iustification,Ephe. 2. 8, 9, Faith one­ly hath his worke without workes: yet we teach not that this Faith is destitute of all workes, but that it is a Faith Act. 15. 9. which purifieth the heart, and Gal. 5. 6. worketh by loue. Thus in regard of the office of Faith, we teach as wee are taught byRom. 3. 28. Saint Paul, that a man is iustified by Faith without works: and in regard of the quality of Faith we teach, as wee are taught byIam, 2. 24. Saint Iames, that of workes a man is iustified (tha [...] is, declared so to be) and not of Faith onely. Wherefor [...] for the sound proofe of Faith, we must haue also re­course to the fruits of it.

§. 47. Of the fruits of Faith.

IT were an infinite taske to reckon vp all the fruits of Faith. For all the seurall and distinct branches of pie­ty and charity, if they be rightly performed, are fruits of Faith. Faith is the mother of all sanctifying graces: for by it we are ingraffed into Christ, and so liue the life of God. Euery sanctifying grace therefore is an euident signe of Faith. But that I may keepe my selfe within compasse, I will draw the principal effects of Faith, wher­by it may be best proued, vnto two heads. First, a quiet: conscience. Secondly, a cleare conscience. This hath res­pect to that benefit which we receiue by Faith: That to the author thereof.

§. 48. Of a quiet conscience proceeding from Faith.

A Quiet conscience is that which excuseth a man be­fore God:What is a quiet consci­ence. so farre it is from accusing, that it excu­seth; whence ariseth an admirable tranquility of minde,Nihil eft quod ita volupta­tem afferre solet, atque pu­ra conscientia. Chrys [...]n. 2 Cor. ho [...]. 12. which the Apostle calleth,Phil. 4. 7. The peace of God which passeth all vnderstanding. It is euident that Faith breedeth this: Rom. 5. 1. for being iustified by Faith, we haue peace toward God. So soone as a sinner truely beleeueth, he hath some peace of conscience: the more his Faith increaseth, and the stron­ger it groweth, the more peace he hath in his soule. From Faith then ariseth this peace,A quiet con­science ari [...] ­seth from Faith. and from nothing else. For it cannot possibly come from any perfection in man. In­deed Adams conscience in his integrity did excuse him before God, because there was nothing in him blame­worthy: but so could no mans since his fall: for besides those palpable euill deeds whereunto euery mans con­science[Page 248] is priny, whose conscience can excuse him in the best workes that euer he did?Isa. 64. 6. Is not all our righteousnesse as filthy clouts? this Dauid well knew, when he thus pray­ed, Psal. 143. 2. Enter not into iudgement, &c. but Faith (assuring the conscience, that1 Ioh, 2. 1, 2 We haue an aduocate with the Father, Ie­sus Christ the Righteous, that he is the propitiation for our sins, purging our soules with his owne most precious blood) pacifieth it: so that where this peace of conscience is, there must be a true iustifying Faith.

§. 49. Of the difference betwixt a quiet consci­ence, and a not-troubling conscience.

Obiect. THe conscience of many wicked men lyeth quiet, and troubleth them not.

Answ. No wicked ma [...] consci [...] ­ence can be quiet. Their conscience is improperly said to be quiet: it is either a slumbring cōscience, which though for a time it seeme to lie quiet, yet when it is awaked & roused vp, it will rage and raue like a fierce, cruel, wilde beast,Mar. 27. 5. as Iu­das his conscience did: or else (which is worse) a seared and dead conscience, which will drowne men in perditi­on and destructiou, before they be aware of it.1 Tim. 4. 2. Such a seared conscience had the ancient Heretiques. Now these two maine differences there are betwixt these not­troubling consciences, and that quiet conscience. First, they onely accuse not: this also excuseth. Secondly, they lie still onely for a time, at the vttermost for the time of this life:: this is quiet for euer, euen at the barre of Christs iudgement Seate.

§. 50. Of the difference betwixt conscience ex­cusing, and not-accusing.

2 Obiect. MAny wicked men in doing euill,Acts 26. 9: haue thought they ought to doe so: yea that[Page 249] Ioh. 16. 2. they did God good seruice therein: their conscience therefore must needs excuse them.

Answ. Nothing so: for, because they had no sure warrant out of Gods Word for that which they did, their consci­ence could not excuse them: onely it accused them not, and that by reason of the blindnesse of their iudgement. It remaineth therefore to be a proper worke of Faith, gounded on the Gospel, the word of Truth, to cause a quiet conscience.

§. 51. Of Security arising from a quiet conscience.

FRom this quiet conscience proceed two blessed fruits, which are likewise effects of Faith, & sure tokens ther­of. First, an holy security of mind. Secondly, a spirituall ioy of heart.

For the first;Holy security. a beleeuer hauing in his conscience, peace with God, resteth secure for saluation, and for all things that make thereunto, so as withPsal. 4 8. Dauid he may say, I will both lay me downe in peace, and sleepe, &c. This security is [...]in regard of the issue, not of the meanes. For herein lyeth the difference betwixt the godly and worldly securi­ty: to be secure and carelesse in vsing the meanes of sal­uation, which God in wisedome hath appointed, is a car­nall, sinfull security: but to rest on God for a blessing on the meanes, and to be secure for the euent, is an admira­ble worke of Faith. This is that1 Pet. 5. 7. casting of our care and Psal. 55. 22. burden on God, and& 37. 5. resting vpon him, which the holy Ghost oft vrgeth: they onely who by Faith haue recei­ued Christ, and haue their consciences quieted through his blood, can thus securely cast themselues vpon God: well and fitly therefore said Ieho [...]aphat, 2 Chr. 20. 20. Beleeue in the Lord [...]our God, so shall ye be established.

§. 51. Of ioy arising from a quiet conscience.

FOr the second,Spirituall ioy. that spirituall ioy is an effect of Faith following vpon peace of conscience, the Apostle shew­eth: for he ioyneth them together, and saith,Rom, 5. 1, 2. Being iusti­fied by Faith, we haue peace toward God, &c. and reioyce. It is noted of the Eunuch, that after he beleeued, and in te­stimony thereof was baptized,Act. 8. 39. he went away reioycing: and of the Gaoler that& 16. 34. he reioyced, that he with all his hous­hold beleeued in God: and of the faithfull Iewes, that1 Pet. 1. 8. they beleeued and reioyced with ioy vnspeakeable and glorious. This ioy ariseth from Faith, in regard of that benefit which Faith bringeth with it, which is no lesse then Christ him­selfe, and in, and with him, all things needfull vnto full and compleate happinesse: so that we may wel conclude, where true spirituall ioy is, there is true iustifying Faith.

§. 52. Of the difference betwixt the ioy of the vp­right, and hypocrite.

Obiect. MAnyLuk. 8. 13 Ioh. 5. 35. that haue no better then a tempora­ry Faith, haue great ioy wrought thereby in their hearts.

Answ. The ioy of hypocrites not sound. Their ioy is no true, sound, solid ioy, but a meere shadow and shew thereof, which is euident both by the birth, and also by the death of it. The birth is too sudden to be sound: that which suddenly sprouteth vp, can haue no deep rooting:Mat. 13. 20. Christ fitly compareth such ioy to corne sowen in stony ground.

The death of it is irreconerable, it cleane drieth vp, and vtterly vanisheth away, which, if it had substance, it would neuer doe: thereforeIob 20. 5. Mat. 13. 21 the Scripture maketh it a property of an hypocrites ioy to be but for a moment: as[Page 251] dew vanisheth away by the Sunne, so may their ioy by persecution.

True spiritual ioy which ariseth from Faith,Notes of spi­rituall ioy. is wrought by degrees:Fidelis etst ti­met a iudice, sperat a salua­tore, cum iam in animo eius timor & loeti­tia obequitent & obuient sibi. Bern in reg. Nat Dom. se [...]m. for it followeth after a continuall affection, namely sorrow; they that mourne shall be comforted, (Mat. 5. 4.) As sorrow is lessened by Faith, so is ioy en­creased: but yet alwayes there remaineth a mixture of griefe and ioy, because there still remaineth in man cause of mourning and reioycing, namely, the flesh and the spirit.

Yet this ioy is so fast rooted on a sure ground, which is Christ apprehended by a true and liuely Faith, that it continueth for euer, and neuer vtterly vanisheth away. It may be obscured by temptation, as the shining of the Sunne by a cloude: but as light can neuer be taken from the Sunne, so ioy neuer vtterly seuered from Faith: hee that can and will performe it, hath said it,Ioh. 16. 22. Your ioy shall no man take away from you. Such is the power of Faith which breedeth this ioy, that the heate of afflictions cannot dry it vp, but oft times it causeth it to grow and increase: for Rom. 5. 3. we reioyce in tribulations. Acts 5. 41 The Apostles reioyced be­cause they were counted worthy to suffer rebuke for Christs Name. TheHeb. 10. 34 Hebrewes suffered with ioy the spoiling of their goods. This hath in all ages been verified in many Martyrs.

§. 53. Of Faith when the fruits of it appeare not.

Quest. VVHat if a man cannot find in him these effects of Faith, as peace of conscience, security of minde, ioy of heart, hath he then no true Faith at all?

Answ. I dare not so pronounce: for true beleeuers[Page 252] may be much troubled in their minde,Faith some­times as a tree in winter. fearefull of their estate, full of griefe and mourning, and seeme to be, farre from those fore-named signes, both in the beginning, while Faith is as it were in the bud, and also in the time of temptation, as it were in winter time. But yet there may be obserued in such persons, an inward panting and brea­thing (which are signes of life▪) namely, a groning & gree­uing that they want those fruits of Faith, and an earnest desire of them.

Such weake ones are to haue recourse to the causes of their Faith, and thereby to support themselues till the winter season be passed ouer, and till it please the Lord to vouchsafe vnto them a pleasant spring, wherein their Faith, may send forth the fore-named fruits: yet in the meane while let them obserue such fruits of Faith as vsu­ally are in the weakest, namely, loue of God, and Gods children, desire and endeauour to please God, and feare to offend him, with the like, which are branches of a cleare conscience.

§. 54. Of a cleere conscience proceeding from Faith.

BY a cleere conscience I meaneActs 24. 16. Heb. 13. 18. a faithfull endeauor to approue our selues vnto God:What is a cleare con­science. and that on the one side by doing that which is pleasing and acceptable vnto him: and on the other by auoyding that which is offen­siue to his excellent Maiesty, & greeueth his good Spirit.

This proceedeth from Faith, and that in a double re­spect.

1 Because Faith is the instrument wherby we draw all that vertue and grace from Christ our head, which ena­bleth vs to keepe a good conscience: I liue (saith the Apo­stle, meaning a spiritual life) By the Faith of the Son of God.

[Page 253] 2 Because it assureth vs of Gods loue and kindnesse to vs, and thereby perswadeth and euen prouoketh vs in all good conscience to serue him: the Apostle therefore who said, I liue by the Faith of the Sonne of God, addeth, who loued me, &c. wherby he implieth that the loue of Christ made knowne to him, moued him to liue that spirituall life: for when a sinner once beleeueth that God hath indeed so loued him, as to giue his onely begotten Sonne for him, his heart is so affected, asPsal. 116. 10, 11. Dauids was, thinking what to render vnto God; but finding nothing to giue, he seeketh what may please God, and setteth himselfe in way of thankefulnesse to doe that, (as faithfullHeb. 11. 5. Enoch who had this testimony that he pleased God,) being very fearefull to offend him, (as faithfullGen. 39. 9. Ioseph, who being tempted to doe euill, said, How shall I doe this and sinne a­gainst God?) This cleare conscience being a proper worke and fruit of Faith, must needs be a sure note and euidence thereof:1 Tim. 1. 5. which the Apostle implieth by ioyning them together. They who indeed haue a good conscience, haue a sweete, sensible and powerfull proofe of the truth of their Faith. I will therefore a little longer insist vpon this point, and distinctly shew,

1 What is the groud or fountaine of a cleare consci­ence.

2 What the inseparable properties thereof are.

3 What the extent of it is.

These points I will the rather note out, because they are further euidences and proofes of Faith.

§. 55. Of loue arising from Faith.

THe ground-worke of a cleare conscience is loue:Loue the ground of a cleare consci­ence. for Faith giueth assurance of Gods loue: a sence of Gods[Page 254] loue worketh loue to God: as fire causeth heate, so loue causeth loue,1 Ioh. 4. 19. We loue God, because he loued vs first. And this loue stirreth vs vp to endeauour to haue a cleare con­science before God. I may not vnfitly resemble Faith, loue, and a cleare conscience, to the sappe, bud, and fruit of a tree:Ioh. 15. 5. the tree is Christ, the seuerall branches are particu­lar Christians: the sap which runneth thorow all the se­uerall branches, and is the veryHab. 2. 4. Gal. 2, 20. life of them, is the Spi­rit: that which receiueth and conueyeth the sappe into euery branch is Faith: the budde which first sprouteth out, isGal. 5. 6. Loue: the fruit which commeth out of that bud, and manifesteth all the rest, is that cleare conscience which now we speake of: both fruite and budde spring out of the sappe; yet the fruit commeth immediatly out of the bud: so both loue and a cleare conscience come from Faith, but a cleare conscience immediatly from loue. Our loue to God is it which maketh vs carefull to please him, fearefull to offend him. Wherefore first make tryall of Faith by loue: for marke what Christ said of the poore penitent sinner,Luke 7. 47. Many sinnes are forgiuen her, for she loued much. What? was her loue the cause of the for­giuenesse of her sinnes? No: it was a fruit, a signe, a proofe thereof: her sinnes being forgiuen, and the par­don of them reuealed to her heart & conscience, she loued Christ, and in testimony of her loue washed, wiped and kissed his feete.1 Ioh 4. 19. We loue God because we are first loued: yea because theRom. 5. 5. loue of God is first shed abroad in our hearts by the holy Ghost, whereby we haue a sence of Gods loue to vs. Now because God who cannot be seene, hath left vs a visible image of himselfe, euen our brother, whom he hath set in his owne steed, therefore our loue to God mo­ueth vs also to loue our brother, and soAct. 24. 16. endeauour to keep a cleare conscience before God and men. 1 Ioh. 3. 17. & 4. 20. Saint Iohn doth[Page 255] much presse the loue of our brother, as an euident fruite and signe of our loue to God.Loue of our brother, a note of the weakest faith. Among other notes of true Faith, this especially is to be obserued, as a tryall of the weakest Faith: when other notes faile, this may stand a poore Christian in great steed. The Faith of many is so weake, that it doth not pacifi [...] their conscience, nor breed any ioy in them, yet it worketh loue: for aske one who is a weake, yet a true Christian, and findeth not in him­selfe a quiet conscience, spirituall ioy, and such like eui­dent testimonies (whereof I haue before spoken,Pia fides fine charitate esse non vult. Aug. epist. 83. which argues a strong Faith,) aske him if he loue God, hee will not deny it, but say, Oh, I loue God with all my heart. If hee doe deny it, further aske, if he be not greeued for displea­sing God, if his desire and endeauor be not to please him: or yet further aske if he loue not such as he is perswaded loue God. Few that are indeed true Christians, and not ouerwhelmed with some violent temptations, will deny these. Now these argue a loue to God in them, which must needs proue that they haue Gods loue in some measure reuealed to them, and that they beleeue God lo­ueth them, though sensibly they discerne it not.

§. 56. Of a pure heart arising from Faith.

2 THe next thing which argueth a cleare conscience to be a fruit of Faith,A cleare conscience is al­wayes accom­panied with a pure heart. is an inseparable property thereof, namely a pure heart. 1 Tim. 1. 1. 5 These two doth the Apostle [...]oyne, and that together with Faith and loue: [...]ea,2 Cor. 1. 12. hee [...]placeth the testimony of a good conscience in simplicity [...]and godly purenesse. NowAct. 15. 9. from Faith commeth purity of heart: for Faith hath immediate respect to God alone, who1 Sam. 16. 7. seeth not as man seeth, butIer. 17. 10. searcheth the heart, and tryeth the reines, & in that respect causeth a man to walk[Page 256] before him in truth, and with a perfect heart: therefore is true Faith called vnfained faith: so as hee that in truth dares say,Psal. 26. 1. Iudge me, O Lord, for I haue walked in mine inte­grity, hath a good euidence of Faith.

§. 57. Of keeping a good conscience in all things

3 THe last point is concerning the Extent of a cleare conscience, which is without restraint, and that in a double respect,

1 Of theHeb. 13. 18. matter, in all things.

2 Of the continuance,Act. 24. 16. alwayes.

The generality of the matter hath reference to the rule of a good conscience,A cleare con­science ex­tendeth it selfe vnto all things. which is his reuealed will, to whom I desire to approue my self, & that is Gods word. Because I desire to please God, therefore whatsoeuer I know to be his will, I endeauour to doe. Thus did1 King. 15 5 Da­uid, 2 Kin. 23. 25. Ioseph, Luk. 1. 6. Zacharie and Elizabeth, Heb. 13. 18. Paul, and many o­ther testifie their good conscience to Gods word, and therby gaue proofe of their true Faith.

This extent of a good conscience respecteth rather the integrity of the heart, then the perfection of the work: for perfection of the worke is a full and perfect fulfilling of all the commandements of God, whereunto none can attaine in this world.

Integrity of heart is a true and equall endeauour to performe them all, and that though they seeme neuer so contrary to our corrupt humor: for herein lyeth a maine difference betwixt Faith vnfeined and hypocriticall. The lusts of an hypocrite rule him, & preuaile ouer his Faith: Mar. 6. 17, &c. in such things as crosse not his lusts, he can be content to obey, but no further: loath he is to try himselfe: he en­dureth not that any other should try him.

[Page 257] But vnfeined Faith controuleth all naturall conceits and worldly desires: it maketh both reason and will to yeeld to Gods word and will: and so maketh a man ready to doe whatsoeuer hee knoweth to be Gods will: yea, it breedeth an holy iealousie of himselfe (asIob 1. 5. Iob had of his children,) so as he is very carefull in examining his heart and wayes, and willing that others should trie him, yea, desirous that God would sift him, and discouer such hid­den sinnes and corruptions as himselfe cannot find out. Hence it followeth, that

1 For sinnes past, which by his owne, or other mens, or the Lords meanes are found out and discouered, he is truly humbled, and giueth no rest to his soule till he haue some assurance of pardon, as2 Sam. 12. 13. Dauid.

2 For the time present,Psal. 51 because he findeth the flesh still remaining in him, he maintaineth a strife & fight against sinne, asRom. 7. 15 &c. Paul.

3 For future times he is watchfull, that he be not ouer­taken as in former times; asPsal. 119. 11. Dauid.

To this integrity of heart, a faithfull man may attaine. It is that which wee daily pray for in the third Petition: it is all that God exacteth: where it is found, it is a good euidence of Faith. And it is the rather to be noted, be­cause it is both an encouragement for a Christian to en­deauour to doe what he can, knowing that his honest will shall be accepted: and also a comfort against his manifold infirmities and imperfections, keeping a man from de­spaire.

§. 58. Of the Continuance of a good Conscience.

FOr the Continuance, A cleare con­science endureth to the end. a cleare Conscience which procee­deth from a sound Faith, neuer decaieth, nor yet stan­deth[Page 258] at a stay: but rather groweth and increaseth: as Reu. 2. 19. Christ said to the Church at Thyatira, I know thy loue, ser­uice, faith, patience, and workes, that they are more at the last then at the first. ThePhil. 3. 13. &c. Apostle saith of himselfe, That hee endeauoured to that which was before, and followed hard to­ward the marke: and thereupon exhorteth others to be so minded. This must needs be a good euidence of Faith, because Faith is that which receiueth, and conueigheth in and from Christ such supply of grace, as maketh the be­leeuer grow vp thereby,Iohn 7. 38. Hee that beleeueth in me (saith Christ) out of his belly shall flow riuers of water of life. By their continuance are many which had onely a tempora­ry and hypocriticall Faith discouered, who otherwise be­fore they fell away, would hardly, if at all, haue beene dis­cerned.

That conscience which is thus grounded on Loue, ac­companied with sincerity, and extendeth it selfe to all things which are pleasing to God alwayes, is that good and cleere conscience which is so much commended in the holy Scripture: he that is assured thereof (as the Apo­stle was, Heb. 13. 18.) hath a sensible euidence of true Faith.

Thus wee haue heard how Faith may bee gotten, and proued.

§. 59: Of the issue of ouer-much boldnesse.

THe third point is how it may be preserued: which point is the rather to be deliuered to preuent two ex­treames,Two extreams whereinto many are ready to fail. The one is ouer-secure boldnesse: 1 Ouer-secure boldnesse. the other, ouer-childish fearefulnesse. For when men haue gotten and proued their Faith, some thorow the pride of flesh are proane to be insolent, and too much to boast of it: other thorow their weakenesse[Page 259] (which also ariseth of the flesh) to feare the decay and losse of it.

The ground of the former extreame is,Obiect. that Faith is an immortall seede, which shall neuer cleane vtterly decay, and cleane fall away. This they know, and are able to proue by testimony of Scripture, and euidence of reason.

But though this ground be very sound and orthodox­all,Answer. yet the collection which is made from thence is vn­sound, and impious: for it crosseth Gods wisdome, who hath ordained and reuealed meanes for the preseruing and cherishing of that which hee hath appointed to con­tinue to the end: wherefore wee are exhortedPhil. 2. 12. to worke out our saluation (though it be1 Pet. 1. 4. in Heauen reserued for vs) withfeare and trembling. But, to preuent that illusion, let it be noted, that a man if hee make not the better proofe of his Faith, may be deceiued, and take counterfeit for current; a temporary Faith for iustifying Faith: which if he doe, then his ground faileth: for a temporary Faith may cleane drie away,Luke 8. 13. as the Corne sowen in stony ground: witnesseActs 8. 13. Simon Magus, 2 Tim. 4. 10. Demas, andIohn 2. 23. many that beleeued in Christ. It is likely that they which are ouer­bold, neuer thorowly tried the truth of their Faith: for one note of true Faith is an holy iealousie, lest Faith should decay.

§. 60. Of losing Faith.

2 THogh true Faith cannot totally & finally fall away,How farre the sence of faith may be lost. yet it may to their feeling be so farre gone, as it will make them with heauy harts to repent their proud bold­nesse, and carelesse security. For,

1 It may be so couered ouer and smothered, as it can­not be discerned: they can for the time haue no assurance of it.

[Page 260] 2 All the ioy and comfort of it (wherewith they were formerly vpheld) may be cleane taken away, and they euen faint for want of it.

3 No fruits thereof may appeare, but they be as trees in winter: little conscience of any duty, dull in hearing Gods word, cold in prayer, nothing remaining but a for­mall profession, if that.

4 Their consciences may proue a very racke, a gree­uous torture and torment vnto them.

5 It is not like to be recouered with a wet finger, with a light sigh, and a groane: but they may call, cry, and roare againe and againe, before they be heard.

6 When they recouer it, it may be they shall neuer at­taine to that measure which once they had: if to that measure of the thing it selfe, yet not of the ioy and com­fort of it: they may carry the griefe of this their folly to their graues.

§. 61. Of the grounds of Scripture against secure boldnesse.

FOr preuenting these fearefull effects, they who are tempted to this extreame, must be very watchfull ouer themselues, and seriously meditate of those premoniti­ons which tend to this purpose, as1 Cor. 10. 12. Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall. Rom. 11. 20 Thou standest by Faith, be not high minded, but feare. Heb. 12. 15 Take heed that no man fall away from the grace of God. & 3. 12. Take heed lest at any time there be in any of you an euill heart of vnbeleefe in departing from the li­uing God. & 4. 1. Let vs feare lest at any time by forsaking the pro­mise, any of you should seeme to be depriued. Mat. 26. 41. Watch and prau that ye enter not into temptation. Heb. 10. 38. If any withdraw himselfe my soule shall haue no pleasure in him. Not without iust cause[Page 261] are these and such like premonitions much vrged and pressed by the Holy Ghost: for well hee knoweth how prone we are to fall away from grace. Lead, iron, stone, or any other earthy heauy thing, is not more prone to fall downeward, if it be not continually drawne and held vp by some meanes or other; nor water more subiect to waxe cold if fire be not kept vnder it, then we are to de­cay in grace, if wee bee not watchfull ouer our selues, and carefull to vse all good meanes for nourishing and in­creasing thereof. Besides, we are subiect to many temp­tations, which are as water to fire; they will soone quench the Spirit, if we be not the more watchfull and carefull to stirre it vp. Yea, if once we waxe secure, selfe-conceited, and ouer-bold, wee prouoke God to giue vs ouer to Sa­tan, and our owne lusts,2 Sam. 11. 2. as for a time he gaue Dauid ouer.

§. 62. Of the assurance of Faith.

THe ground of the latter extreame is,2 Ouer-chil­dish feareful­nesse. that they feele the flesh in them, they are very weake and prone to fall away; and many in all times haue fallen away.

Answer. Assurance in Christ. These that are thus tempted, must know that the cause of our assurance is not in our selues, but in Christ our head; as we lay hold of him, so he fast holdeth vs: for there is a double bond whereby we are knit vnto Christ, one on Christs part, the other on ours. That, is the Spirit of Christ:1 Iohn 4. 13 Hereby wee know that wee dwell in him, and he in vs, because he hath giuen vs of his Spirit. This, is our Faith: forEph. 3. 17. Christ dwelleth in our hearts by Faith: Now though our Faith should let goe her hold, yet Christs Spi­rit wōld not let go his hold. This ground of assurance the Scripture expresly declareth: for saith Christ, Ioh. 10. 27. 28. I know my sheepe, I giue vnto them eternallife, and they shall neuer perish: [Page 262] now marke the reason, There shall not any plucke them out of my hand: My Father which gaue them me is greater then all, and none is able to take them out of my Fathers hand. Where­fore the Diuell and all his adherents can doe no more, to put out the light of Faith, and plucke vs from Christ, then all Creatures on Earth can to extinguish the light of the Sunne. For why? The Sun from whence this light com­meth, is farre aboue all, they cannot come at it: So Christ on whom our Faith is founded, is farre aboue all our ene­mies. Christ must be plucked out of Heauen, if true Faith vtterly fall away.

2 Let the fore-named weake ones consider,The power of Christs Spirit n the weakest that as the flesh is in them to make them weake, so also the power of Christs Spirit is in them to make them strong. Though the spirit suffer the flesh sometimes to preuaile; it is not because the flesh is stronger then the spirit, or the spirit weaker then the flesh; but because the Spirit in wis­dome will haue vs see our weakenesse, see in what need we stand of the power of God, flie to God, depend vpon him: and at length the Spirit will preuaile, and get full conquest:

3 As for the fals of other, wee know not what they were in truth.

§. 63. Of the grounds of Scripture for perseuerance.

TO be freed from this last temptation, they which are subiect thereunto, must seriously ponder those scrip­tures which set forth the certainty and perseuerance of Faith; which are such as these,Iohn 5. 24. He that beleeueth, hath euer­lasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death vnto life. & 4. 14. He that drinketh of the water that I shal giue him, shall neuer thirst: but the water that I shall giue him,[Page 263] shal be in him a well of water springing vp into euerlasting life. 1 Iohn 5. 4. This is the victory that ouercommeth the World, euen our Faith. 1 Pet. 2. 6 Hee that beleeueth on Christ shall not be confounded. Psal. 125. 1. They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be remoued, but abideth for euer. The grounds of this stability of Faith are in the Scripture noted to be these,

1 The constancy of Gods loue, mercy, truth, couenant, calling, gifts, and the like; which is set forth by these, and such like promises as these be: Ier. 31. 3. I haue loued thee with an euerlasting loue.Isa. 54. 8. With euerlasting kindnesse will I haue mercy on thee.2 Sam. 7. 15 My mercy shall not depart away from him.Psal. 132. 11 The Lord hath sworne in truth, hee will not turne from it.Ier. 32. 40. I will make an euerlasting couenant with them.Rom 11. 29. The calling and gifts of God are without repentance.

2 The perpetuall efficacy of Christs intercession, ma­nifested in one particular example, which is to be applied to all his Elect: for what he said to Peter, (Luke 22. 32. I haue praied that they Faith faile not) he performeth for all.

3 The continuall assistance of the Holy Ghost: in which respect it is said, ThatIohn 14. 16. hee shall abide with vs for euer, and thatPhil. 1. 6. hee which hath begunne a good worke, will fi­nish it. If well we weigh and apply these and such like te­stimonies of Scripture, though we worke out our saluati­on with feare and trembling, yet shall we not be fearefull and doubtfull of the issue.

§. 64. Of preseruing and encreasing Faith.

AS a preseruatiue against those two poysonous po­tions, and as a meanes to keepe vs in the right way from falling into any of the two extreames, diligent care must bee vsed to preserue and encrease this precious gift of Faith: for if Faith be kept aliue, so as it may beare sway in vs, it will keepe vs both from boasting and doubting.

[Page 264] Two especiall points there be which make to this pur­pose.VI. Point. How Faith may be pre­serued and in­creased.

1 A conscionable and constant vse of the meanes which God to this end hath appointed.

2 Faithfull and hearty prayer for Gods blessing on those meanes.

The meanes are two. First, the ministery of Gods Word. Secondly, the administration of the Sacraments.

§. 65. Of vsing the word for increase of Faith.

VVEe haue heard before how Faith was bred by the word;1. By the word now the word is like to a kind na­tural mother, which giueth sucke to the child which shee hath brought forth: whereupon saith the Apostle, As new borne babes desire the sincere milke of the word, [...] 1 Pet. 2. 2 that yee may grow thereby. He had said before, That we were& 1. 23. borne a­new by the word of God: Here hee sheweth that the Word hath a further vse; namely, to make vs grow. For by the Word the promises of God (which at first were made known vnto vs, and whereby Faith was bred) are againe and againe brought to our remembrance, the tender and offer of them oft renewed; so as thereby our Faith (which otherwise might languish away thorow our own weake­nesse, and Satans temptations) is not onely preserued, but exceedingly quickened, strengthened, and increased.

Vse Our care therefore must be diligently to frequent the publike ministery of the Word; for by it Christ is lift vp in the Church, as the brasen Serpent was in the Wilder­nesse. Yea, also to reade and search the Scriptures in Fa­milies, and with our selues alone. We heard§. 24. before that we must attend on the Word, till we find Faith wrought in vs.

[Page 265] Here we further learne neuer to giue ouer, but so long as our Faith hath neede to be confirmed and increased (which will be so long as we liue in this world,) to vse the Word. Wee may not therefore thinke it sufficient that we haue had this benefit of the Word to beleeue: we must labour for a further benefit, to be established and confirmed thereby more and more in our most holy Faith.

§. 66. Of vsing the Sacraments for increase of Faith.

THe Sacraments are purposely added for this end,2 By the Sa­craments. to strengthen our Faith, which they doe two wayes. First, they are GodsRom. 4. 11. seales added vnto his word, that by two immutable things (Gods promise, and Gods seale) wherein it is impossible that God should lie) wee might haue strong confidence. Secondly, they doe as it were visibly set before our eyes the sacrifice of Christ (which is the ground-worke of our Faith) so as in, and by them Iesus Christ is euenGal. 3 1. crucified among vs.Rom. 4. 11. The Apostle noteth, that Abram after he beleeued, receiued the signe of circumcision: & withal rendreth the reason because it was a seale of the righteousnesse of the Faith which he had: there­fore it serued to the confirmation and preseruation of his Faith. To this endActs 8. 37. Philip baptized the Eunuch after he beleeued.

Vse God in wisedome hauing ordained these meanes to cherish our Faith, we ought to bee conscionable in a fre­quent vse of them, otherwise shall we shew our selues re­bellious against GOD, and iniurious to our owne soules.

§. 67. Of prayer for increase of Faith.

2 PRayer is that meanes which God hath appointed to obtaine all grace,3 By prayer. all strength of grace, yea and a blessing vpon all his ordinances (as I willTreat. 3. part. 1. §. 20. after shew) so that it must needs in that respect be a notable preser­uatiue of Faith. Besides, by prayer wee make our selues after an holy manner familiar with God, and so haue more and more euidence of Gods loue and fauour to vs, whereby our Faith must needs be much strengthe­ned. When Satan desired to winnow the Apostles, what meanes did Christ vse to preserue Peters Faith:Luk. [...]2. 32. I haue prayed (saith he to Peter) for thee that thy Faith faile not. Thereby Christ also teacheth vs what we must do to pre­serue our Faith. After that once Faith is bred in vs, in Faith we may pray that it faile not, but we cannot so pray to get Faith. A man that heareth the sweet promises of the Gospel, and withall heareth that Faith is that meanes whereby the benefit of them is receiued, may earnestly wish for Faith, and desire God to giue it him: but in Faith (which yet he hath not) he cannot pray for Faith, as af­ter he hath it, he may for the preseruation of it: therefore faithfull prayer is a proper meanes to cherish, keepe, strengthen and increase Faith.

§. 68. Of well vsing Faith.

THe last point obserued out of this exhortation is,VII. Point. How faith may bee well vsed; How Faith may be well vsed.

The Apostle doth not simply say, Take Faith, but ad­deth this resemblance shield, saying, Take the shield of faith: teaching vs thereby that we must vse Faith as souldiers[Page 267] vse their shield. I shewed before how souldiers vse to hold out their shields against all the assaults and weapons of their enemies: to keepe themselues safe, they vse to lie vnder their shields, and so couer and defend their bodies: thus must we shelter our soules by Faith, holding it out against all spirituall assaults, and (as I may so speake) lie euen vnder it.Faith is vsed as a shield by resting on gods promises This in general is done by resting on Gods promises, which are the ground-worke and rocke of our Faith. For by true Faith we doe not onely giue credence to the truth of Gods promises, but also trust to them, and build vpon them, assuring our selues that they shall be effected to our good, and2 Chro. 20. 20 so remaine secure whatso­euer fall out.

This vse is to be made of Faith, both in prosperity, and in aduersitie.

§. 69. Of the vse of Faith in prosperity.

IN prosperity Faith hath a double vse.

1 It maketh vs acknowledge that it is the Lord which hath so disposed our estate,Two vses of faith in pro­sperity. 1 King. 8. 20. 24. as Salomon did, say­ing, The Lord hath made good his word, &c.

For Faith hauing an eye to the promises of God, and exercising it selfe about them, when any good thing fal­leth out, it attributeth and applyeth it to such and such a promise, and so acknowledgeth it to be brought to passe by the word and prouidence of God.

2 Faith maketh vs rest vpon God for the time to come, that all shall goe well with vs,Psal. 16. 5. &c. as Dauid did. For it maketh a man thus to reason: God hath made many faith­full promises neuer to faile or forsake them that trust in him. He hath hitherto made good his word to me. He still remai­neth the same God, true and faithfull. I will therefore trou­ble[Page 268] my selfe with vndue feares. I feare no euill; but beleeue that it shall euer go well with me. Hereupon also faithfull pa­rents exhort their children to trust in God: yea quietly they commend their owne soules into Gods hands, and commend their children to Gods prouidence, and that vpon this ground, exhorting them also to depend on God, as Dauid did, 1 Chr 22. 11. and 28. 9.) ForHabet fides o culo▪ suos quibus quodammodo videt verum esse quod non­dum videt. Aug. epist. 85. faith hath eyes whereby it doth after a maner see that to be true, which yet it seeth not.

§. 70. Of the vse of Faith in aduersity.

IN aduersity it hath also a double vse.

1 It vpholdeth vs in the present distresse, when else we know not what doe: instance Dauid (1 Sam. 30. 6.) and Iehosaphat (2 Chr. 20. 12.)

2 It moueth vs patiently toOse. 6. 1, 2. waite for deliuerance: for God hauing promised to giue a good issue, Faith re­steth vpon it, euen as if it were now accomplished.

Thus in generall we see how Faith hath his vse alwaies in all estates.

§. 71. Of oft calling to minde Gods promises.

I Will furthermore particularly shew how we come to shelter our soules vnder Faith.Two helpes of Faith. For this, two especiall things are requisite.

1 A faithfull remembrance of Gods promises.

2 A wise and right application of them.

For the first, Dauid h hid Gods promises in his heart: thus it came to passe that thoseRemem­brance of p [...]omises. promises vpheld him in his trouble,Psal. 119. 11. [...]50. and he receiued admirable comfort by them. Assuredly if the beleeuer doe call to mind Gods promise[Page 269] of succour and redresse in his distresse, it will quiet him for the time, and make him rest in hope till he enioy the accomplishment of that promise.It is dange­rous to forget Gods promi­ses. While a beleeuer well remembreth, and duely considereth what great and ex­cellent promises are made, how mighty, faithful and mer­cifull he is that made them, hee thinketh that the world may be as soone ouerthrowne, as his Faith. But the let­ting of Gods promises slip out of his memory, is that which maketh him faint. The Apostle hauingHeb. 12. 3, 5. secretly intimated vnto the Hebrewes their fainting, declareth the cause thereof,Sicut lucerna nisi ei submini­straueris oleum extinguetur, sic fides nisi as­siduis nutria­tur meditatio­nibus scriptu­rarum. Chrys. in Mat. 25. by telling them they forgat the consolation: for that which is not remembred, is as not knowne. Now Gods promises being the ground and very life of Faith, what vse of Faith can there be, if Gods promises be vn­knowne, or (which for the time is all one,) not remem­bred? As a lamp wil soon be out, if oyle be not continual­ly supplyed: so Faith, if it be not nourished with conti­nuall meditation of Gods promises, will soone faile.

Vse By way of exhortation let vs be stirred vp to search Gods word, where his promises are treasured vp: and note what promises are there made for our comfort and encouragement: yea let vs vse the helpe of others, espe­cially of those to whomIsa. 50. 4. God hath giuen the tongue of the learned: yea (among and aboue all others) of them whom God hath placed in his steed, to whom2 Cor. 5. 19, 20. he hath commit­ted the word of reconciliation: let vs vse their helpe for the finding out of Gods promises, and hauing knowledge of them, oft meditate and thinke on them, that so they may be the more firmely imprinted in our memories, as in a good treasury and store house, and the more ready to be brought forth for our vse; like thatMat. 13. 52. good housholder which bringeth forth out of his treasure, things both new and old. As we vse our memories, so shal we find them ready to help[Page 270] vs in time of need:Num. 15. 38. Deut. 6, 7. &c. God therefore prescribed vnto his people diuers helpes for their memories.

§. 72. Of well applying Gods promises.

IN the second particular helpe (which is wise and right application of Gods promises) consisteth the greatest vse of Faith,2 Right appli­cation. for which we haue need of the Spirit of wise­dome and reuelation.

The promises of the Word are declarations of Gods fauour towards man, and of his prouidence ouer him for his good: for it pleased God as to take care of man, and to prouide for him all things needfull, so before [...] hand to make faithfull promises to him thereof, to vphold him till the time of the accomplishment of them.

Now for the better application of them, wee are to consider both the promises themselues, and the persons to whom they are made.

In the promises three things are to be obserued. First, the matter contained in them. Secondly, the kinde or quality of them. Thirdly, the manner of propounding them.

The matter of Gods promises,Generall pro­mises. is either generall, concer­ning supply of all good things, and deliuerance from all euill: or particular, concerning the seuerall particular e­states, and needs of men.

§. 73. Of applying generall promises.

THat first promise which God made to man after his fall (Gen. 3. 15. He shall breake thine head,) was a generall pro­mise: for by it is promise made of Christ Iesus, and of that full redemption which Christ should make of man. So that promise which God made to Abram (Gen. 22. 18. In thy[Page 271] seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed:) Heere is all happines in Christ promised to all the faithfull. And that which the Apostle setteth downe,Rom. 8. 28. All things shall worke together for the good of them that loue God, &c. And again, 1 Cor. 3. 22. All things are yours: that is, all things tend to your good, and helpe forward your happinesse and saluation. Many other like generall promises there be in the Scrip­ture,Why general promises are to be obser­ued. which are the rather to be remembred, because they extend themselues to all estates, to all conditions, and to all kinde of distresses whatsoeuer; so that if we cannot call to mind particular promises, fit for our present estate, we may vphold our selues with these generall promises. For example,Gen. 3. 15. when the diuell or any of that serpentine brood shall assault vs, remember we that all that they can doe, is but to nibble at our heeles, he shall neuer be able to crush our head, to destroy our soule: yet his head shall be crushed, he vtterly vanquished. If we be in any mise­ry, remember we that blessednesse is promised vnto vs,Gen. 22. 18. and blessed shall we be. If any thing seeme to make a­gainst vs,Rom. 8. 28. this is promised to be the issue, that all shal turn to our good.

§. 74. Of applying particular promises.

PArticular promises fit for our particular estates and needs are added to the general,Why particu­lar promises [...]dfull. because we are weake and subiect to slip, and cannot well apply, and rest vpon the generall promises. These are very many, I will endea­uor to draw them to some distinct heads.

They concerne this life, or the life to come. Those for this life are of temporal, or spirituall blessings. For the life to come, heauenly and glorious things are promised.

Promises of tempo­ [...]all things are to supply things needfull. remoue things hurtfull.

[Page 272] For supply of things needfull, it is said,Psal. 34. 9. Nothing shall be wanting. Mat. 6. 33. All things shall be ministred. Phil. 4. 19. God shall ful­fill all your necessitie, &c. Besides, there are other particu­lar promises fitted to our seuerall necessities: to such as want meat, drinke or apparell, Christ hath said,Mat. 6. 25. 32▪ Bee not carefull for your life, what ye shall eate, or what ye shall drinke, nor yet for your body what ye shall put on, &c. your heauenly Father knoweth that ye haue need of all these things. They which desire to haue yet more particulars, let them reade Leu. 26. 4, 5. &c. and Deat 28. 3, 4. &c.

In the Scripture are further to be found particular pro­mises for Orphans, Widowes, Captiues, &c. likewise for time of warre, famine, sicknesse, &c.

If now we want any needfull thing, the vse of Faith is to make vs rest vpon these and such like promises: for if they be rightly beleeued, they will make vs cast our care on God that careth for vs, and moderate our immeasura­ble carking aftet them; mouing vs patiently to waite for the accomplishment of our desire, or contentedly to want what God denyeth.

For remouing things hurtfull, and deliuering vs out of troubles, God hath expresly said, Psal. 50. 15. I will deliuer thee. & 91. 10, 11, 12▪ There shall none euill come vnto thee: The Angels ha [...] charge ouer thee, to keepe thee in all thy wayes, le [...]t thou dash th [...] foote, &c.

Here then the vse of Faith is this, that if we be in any trouble, these and such like promises make vs rest quiet▪ patiently expecting the issue that God will giue, and th [...] without prefixing any time (forIsa▪ 28. 16. He that beleeueth make [...] not haste,) or prescribing any meanes to him, (as faithful Moses when he said,Exod. 14. 13. Stand still, and see the faluation of th [...] Lord, &c.)

For spirituall matters, we haue many most comforta­ble[Page 273] promises, as thatIer. 31. 33. &c. God will be our God, wee shall be his people, we shall all know him: he will forgiue our iniquities: he will write his Law in our heart: Luke 11. 13▪ he will giue the Holy Ghost to them that desire him, &c. So there are many particular promises for particular graces, as for Faith, Hope, Loue, &c. And for growth and increase in these.

The vse of Faith here is to vphold vs against our ma­nifold defects, infirmities, and imperfections. For first it giueth euidence to our soules, that the graces wee haue are the gifts of God, because God promiseth them. Se­condly, it maketh vs rest on God for perfecting of that good worke which he hath so graciously begun;2 Tim. 1. 11▪ I know whom I haue beleeued (saith Saint Paul) and I am perswaded that he is able to keep that which I haue committed to him, &c.

For promises of heauenly things, the Scripture is eue­rie where plentifull: thatLuke 23. 43 the soule shall at the dissolution of the body goe immediately to Heauen, that1 Cor. 15. 22 the body shall rise againe, andPhil. 3. 21. be made like to the glorious body of Christ: and weMat. 25. 34. enioy euerlasting happinesse, with the like.

The vse of Faith in regard of these, is to vphold vs with the expectation of that heauenly happinesse which is promised, yea, though wee bee here destitute of worldly things, and in many troubles and tribulations.

§. 75. Of applying absolute promises.

2 FOr the kinds of Gods promises,The kinds of Gods promi­ses▪ 1. Absolute promises. some are absolute which God hath simply and absolutely determined to accomplish euen as they are propounded: as before Christ was manifested in the flesh,Isa. 7▪ 14. the promise of the Messiah, and& 2. 1▪ of calling the Gentiles: since that time the Rom. 11▪ 26 promise of calling the Iewes, and ofMat. 24. 30 Christs second[Page 274] comming in glory.1 Cor. 1. 5. All sauing, sanctifying graces, being absolutely necessary to saluation, are thus promised to all Gods children: and8. the continuance and perseuerance of them vnto the end; and also the end and issue of all, Iohn 10. 28. eternall life.

The vse of Faith in these, is to vphold vs against all feare and doubt, euen when we haue not a sensible feeling of them: for God (who is able to performe whatsoeuer he hath promised; and true and faithfull in all his promises) hauing absolutely promised such & such things, though all things in Heauen and Earth should seeme to make a­gainst them, yet would Faith beleeue them.

§. 76. Of applying conditionall promises.

OTher promises are conditionall,2 Conditio­nall promises. which are no fur­ther promised then God in wisdome seeth to be most meete for his owne glory, and his childrens good. Thus are promised,

1 All temporall blessings,Luk. 16. 20. which Lazarus an holy Saint wanted.

2 Freedome from all crosses and troubles. What Saint hath not had his part in some of them? who hath been freed from all?

3 Freedome from all temptations. As our head was tempted, so haue his members from time to time.

4 Lesse principall graces, which are called restraining graces, being giuen rather for the good of others, then of them who haue them.1 Cor. 12. 8, &c. These the Spirit distributeth se­uerally, not all to euery one, but some to one, some to a­nother.

5 The measure of sanctifying graces: for though eue­ry Saint hath euery sauing grace in him, yet hath he not[Page 275] a like measure: some haue a greater, and some a lesse.

Admirable is the vse of Faith in these conditionall promises:The vse of Faith in con­ditionall pro­mises. for it maketh vs so to trust to Gods power, as we subiect our selues vnto his will; asMar. 1. 40. the Leaper, who said; If thou wilt thou canst make me cleane; andDan. 3. 17, 18 those three constant seruants of God, who said; Our God is able to de­liuer vs from the hot fiery Furnace, and hee will deliuer vs out of thine hand O King. But if not, be it knowne to thee O King, that wee will not serue thy gods, &c. For Faith perswadeth vs that God is wiser then our selues, and that he better knoweth what is good for vs then we our selues doe, and so moueth vs to resigne vp our selues wholly to Gods good pleasure.

This is the generall vse of Faith in respect of these con­ditionall promises, it hath also other particular vses, as

1 For temporall things, so to rest on Gods promise, as we beleeue God will either supply our wants, or inable vs to beare them: as God had taught Paul Phil. 4. 1 [...]. how to want.

2 For crosses, so to beare them, as being assured that God will either free vs from them, as he deliueredIoh. 42. 10. Iob: or1 Cor. 10. [...]3 assist vs and inable vs to beare them,Heb. 12. 1 [...] and turne them to our good.

31 Cor. 10. 1 [...] For temptations that God will stand by vs, and giue a good issue.

4 For restraining and common graces so to content our selues, as we doubt not but also to haue such sanctifying as shall be needfull to our saluation; which also is to be applied to the measure of sanctifying graces, according to that answere of God to Saint Paul, 2 Cor. 12. 9. My grace is sufficient for thee.

§. 77. Of applying implicit promises.

FOr the manner of propounding Gods promises,The diuers māner of set­ting downe Gods promi­ses. they are either expresly declared, or else by conse­quence implied. Expresse promises are either generally propounded to all: of these we haue heard before; or else particularly applied to some particular persons. Some of these are such as are not proper to him alone to whom in particular they are directed; but for the good of others also. If we find such needfull for vs, it is the vse of Faith to apply them to our selues with as strong confidence as if they had beene directed to vs. ThisHeb. 13. 5. the Apostle tea­cheth vs to doe: for where God made a promise to Io­shuah, (Ios. 1. 9. I will not faile thee, &c.) the Apostle applieth it to all Christians. The ground of this application is ta­ken from Gods vnchangeable and impartiall manner of dealing: the same God that he is to one faithfull man, the same he is to all. If therefore he would not faile I [...]shuah, neither will he faile any.

By consequence promises are implied, either in the ex­amples, or prayers of faithfull Saints.

In their examples, by those blessings which they haue enioyed. For that which God bestoweth on one, he is ready to bestow on euery one to whom it is needfull: Gods giuing it to one, is a promising of it to all. So as we may with as strong confidence depend vpon God for such needfull things, as if God had expresly promised them. Thus dothIam. 5. 11. Saint Iames vrge that end which God gaue to Iobs troubles, as a ground of our Faith, to make vs waite for a like deliuerance in our troubles.

In their prayers, by those things which they haue praied for in Faith and obtained. Their faithfull calling vpon[Page 277] God, and Gods gracious hearing of them, are as much as a promise, that God in such and such things will heare vs calling vpon him: thus did Dauid make this a ground of his faith. Psal. 22. 5.

The vse of Faith in these implicit promises is to per­swade our hearts that God will deale with vs as hee hath in former times dealt with his faithfull children.

§. 78. Of the true Heires of Gods promises.

THe last point to be noted for the right application of Gods promises, is the persons to whom they belong. Here note two points.

1 Who are the righteous heires and children of Gods promises.The persons to whō Gods promises be­long.

2 How these heires are qualified.

1 For the first, Christ Iesus the true naturall Sonne of God, as hee was Emanuel, God with vs, our Head and our Redeemer, is properly the heire of all Gods promises, 2 Cor. 1. 20. In him they are, yea, and Amen. That is to say; In him they are propounded, ratified, and accomplished. This is euident by those generall promises which are the founda­tion of all the rest.Gen. 3. 15. He, (that is, Christ) shall breake thine head. & 22. 18. In thy seede (Gal. 3. 16. that is, Christ) shall all the Nations of the Earth [...]e blessed. Now how is Christ the heire of Gods promises? as a priuate person? onely in himselfe? No ve­rily: but as a publike person, as the head of a body: for Ie­sus together with all the Saints, which were giuen him of his Father, make but one mysticall body,1 Cor. 12. 12 which is Christ: so as all the faithfull together with Christ are heires of the promises; they, and they alone haue a right vnto them: so as what the Apostle saith of godlinesse. I may fitly apply to Faith, which is the Mother of all Godlines,[Page 278] 1 Tim. 4. 8. Faith is profitable vnto all things, which hath the promise of the life present, and of that which is to come. Both generall and particular promises, promises of earthly, spirituall, and heauenly things; conditionall, and absolute promi­ses: all promises belong to the faithfull.

§. 79. Of applying Gods promises to the right persons.

2 FOr the second, the seuerall conditions and qualities of the persons to whom seuerall promises are made, are exceeding many. Sometimes they are made to Faith, sometimes to obedience, sometimes to vprightnesse, to cheerefulnesse, to constancy, to loue, to feare; to such as mourne, hunger, are heauy laden; to such as pray, heare Gods Word, keepe his Commandements; to the father­lesse, widowes, captiues, poore, sicke, &c. It is not possible, neither yet is it needfull that I should reckon vp all: they are here and there to be found throughout the Scripture.

The vses of Faith in respect of the persons to whom the promises are made, are these.

1 To assure vs that we are they to whom they apper­taine.

2 To make vs apply them to those seuerall qualities which we find in our selues, as if we hunger, to beleeue we shall be satisfied; if we mourne, that we shall be comfor­ted, and so in the rest.

To make vs expect the accomplishment of them, ac­cording to our seuerall needs: as when we are in any trou­ble, to expect deliuerance; when tempted, assistance; when in want, releefe, &c.

Thus (as distinctly as I can) haue I shewed how the shield of Faith may be vsed.

Hitherto of the manner of the Apostles exhortation.

§. 80. Of the meaning of the Metaphor.

THe motiue whereby hee inforceth his exhortation,8. Point. The benefit and power of Faith. followeth: wherein is contained the eight generall point to be deliuered in this Treatise of Faith, which is the benefit and power of Faith, in these words;

‘Wherewith yee shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the Diuell.’

THe Apostle here vseth another Metaphor. His man­ner of phrase may at first sight seeme to bee impro­per, That a man should take a shield to quench fire: A shield is rather to keepe off a blow. But if we well note the drift of the Apostle, and also the manner of framing his speech, wee may find that it is not so improper as it is ta­ken to be. For first, he saith not, By the shield ye quench; but [...]. by it ye shall be able to quench. Againe, he saith not simply, whereby ye shall be able to quench darts, that had beene im­proper, but he addeth fiery. Thus because Satans tempta­tions are as darts, and as fiery darts, he vseth the metaphor of a shield, in opposition to the one, and the metaphor of quenching in opposition to the other. Thus wee see that the Apostles speech is proper enough, answearing two metaphors in their seuerall kindes: A shield in relation to d [...]rts: quenching in relation to fiery.

Besides,A double be­nefit of Faith. hereby hee declareth a double benefit of Faith: one to protect vs from Satans temptations, that they annoy vs not: the other, (if they doe pierce and wound our soules,) to cure the hurt which they haue done.

To amplifie this benefit of Faith, the Apostle descri­beth[Page 280] our enemy by his malicious and mischieuous nature (the wicked) (or, [...]. as the originall with an emphasis setteth it downe, that wicked one) and his temptations, by the kind of them vnder this metaphor Darts.

Of the nature of this wicked one, I haue spoken before on verse 12.

For the metaphor, a Dart is a kinde of weapon that is flung, slung, or shot at a man farre off, which if it hit him, will deepely pierce him, and sorely gall him. I shewed be­fore how we were oft forced to wrestle with Satan, and to grapple with him hand to hand. Here is shewed that he hath also Darts to shoote at vs a▪ farre off, so as hee can pierce and wound vs when wee see him not: he can send at vs, though he come not to vs. As whenReu. 12. 15. the Dragon could not come at the Woman, he cast waters after her. This Woman is the Church; the red Dragon, Satan; Waters, his manifold temptations or darts.

Thus we see that

The Diuell can euery way annoy vs, Obser. Satan can e­uery way an­noy vs. both at hand and a­farre off: when he is suffered to come to vs, and when he is restrained and kept from vs.

Vse How can wee now at any time be secure? Doth it not stand vs in hand to watch alwaies, alwaies to bee well ar­med, and haue this shield of Faith?

That the benefit and power of Faith may be the bet­ter discerned, I will shew more distinctly,

  • 1 What these Darts are.
  • 2 How they are kept off.
  • 3 Why they are called f [...]y.
  • 4 How they are quenched.

§. 81. Of Satans Darts here meant.

SOme take afflictions to be meant by Darts.What are Sa­tans darts.

Answer. There is another proper peece of armo [...] [Page 281] to defend vs from the hurt of them, namely, The prepara­tion of the Gospel of Peace.

Other take all sinnes and all prouocations to sinne, to be heere meant.

Answ. This must needs be too generall: for thus should the seuerall peeces of Armour, and their distinct vses be confounded. The Brest-plate of Righteousnesse is the proper fence against such temptations.

I take the Darts here spoken of to be those seueral and sundry temptations which the Diuell vseth to draw vs to doubt of that helpe wee haue in GOD,Diabolus in va­rias desper ati­onis cogitatio­nes nos immit­tit, quo exclu­dat in Deum expectationem. Chrys. paren. ad Theod. and to despaire: for oft he casteth sundry thoughts of despaire into vs, that he might shut out all hope in God, and so draw into perdition. Thus afflictions, so farre forth as the Diuell vseth them as meanes to disquiet and vexe the soule, may be here vnderstood: and likewise all sinnes and prouocations to sinne, as they tend hereunto. These temptations were they light and fasten, pierce deepe. Sa­tan let store of these flie against Iob, they fell on him as thicke as haile-stones: despaire was it which Satan sought to bring Iob vnto by depriuing him of his cattell, goods, children, & all that he had: by striking his body all ouer with sore botches & boiles. The contradicting speeches of Iobs wife and friends (the instruments of Satan herein) tended to this. These darts also he let flie at Dauid, as ap­peareth by the many complaints of Dauid: yea, he flung some of these at Christ in theMat 4. 3. wildernesse, in the& 26. 37, &c gar­den, and on the& 27. 46. crosse. No darts so wound the body, as these wound the soule where they fasten.

§. 82. Of the vertue of Faith against Satans Darts.

2 THese darts are onely kept off by Faith: Faith onely keepeth off the darts of Satan. for Faith alone giueth vs assurance of Gods loue: by it wee[Page 282] so rest and repose our selues on the fauour of God in Christ, as nothing can make vs doubt of it, or se­parate vs from it.Iob 13. 15. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him, saith Iob. Reade Psal. 3. & 91. & Rom. 8. 38, 39. The stronger our Faith is, the better are we fenced against these temptations: the weaker our Faith is, the deeper doe they pierce: yea if they preuaile against vs, it is be­cause we want this shield, or at least haue let it fall, and so for the time want the vse of it. Therefore1 P [...]t. 5. 9. Saint Peter exhorteth to be stedfast in the Faith, while wee resist the diuell; as if he had said, Looke to your shield, keepe it safe, hold it out manfully against all the darts of the diuell.

§. 83. Of Satans fiery darts.

3 THey who by these Darts vnderstand afflictions,What are Sa­tans fiery darts. say, they are called fierie, because afflictions are greeuous to the flesh; they who vnderstand sins, because as fire they kindle one another and so increase.

Answ. But there is an higher matter here meant; for the metaphor is taken from malicious mischieuous ene­mies who poison the heads of darts, and arrowes, & bul­lets which they shoot at men: these poisoned things be­ing of a fiery nature, if they pierce into a mans flesh, lie burning, and tormenting the body, and continue to in­flame it more and more, till they haue soaked out the ve­ry life of a man, if in time they be not cured. Thus the forenamed temptations of Satan, tending to doubt and despaire, (if they fasten) vexe, grieue and torment the soule, burning and festring therein, till they bring a man to vtter destruction, if the fire and heat of them bee not slaked and taken away. It must needs bee great burning, great anguish and vexation that made Dauid cry out and[Page 283] say,Psal. 6. 1, 3, 6 O Lord rebuke me not in thy wrath, &c. My bones are vexed: my soule is also sore vexed, &c. I fainted in my mour­ning, &c▪ & 31. 9, 10. & 32. 3, 4. I am in trouble, mine eye, my soule and my belly are consumed with griefe, &c. I roared all the day. Iob 3. 3. &c. & 6. 2, &c. Much more bitter exclamations did Iob send forth, and yet what men were these? what excellent Worthies of the Lord? If the fiery venome, and burning poison of Satans darts so tormented such men, men of admirable Faith, how doe they torment men of weake Faith, yea men of no Faith?Mat. 27. 5. Iudas was so tormented therby, that his life was an vnsupportable burden vnto him, he could not endure it, but made away himselfe, as many other haue done in all ages.

§. 84. Of the vertue of Faith against Satans fiery Darts.

4 THe onely meanes to coole this scorching heare,By Faith one­ly the fiery darts of Sa­tan are quen­ched. & to asswage this burning, is the blood of Christ: and Faith onely is the meanes to apply the efficacy of Christs blood to our soules: by Faith therefore, and by nothing else, may these fiery Darts be quenched. As bal­som, & such other medicinable oyles which Chirurgiōs haue for that purpose, being applied to that part of mans body which is in flamed with the forenamed poisonous weapons, asswage the heate, driue out the poison, and cure the flesh: so Faith, which applieth the vertue of Christs Sacrifice to a perplexed and troubled soule, dis­pelleth the inward anguish thereof, pacifieth and quie­teth it, and so cureth the wounds thereof. The Faith of Dauid did thus cheere vp and refresh his soule after it had been perplexed; in which respect he saith vnto his soule, Psal. 42. 5. Why art thou cast downe and vnquiet? Wait [...] on God, &c. Thus11. & againe,43. 5. and againe he cheereth vp his soule: this[Page 284] also drew the fiery poison out of Iobs soule, as that speech implieth,Iob 13. 15. Though he s [...]lay me, yet will I trust in him.

§. 85. Of stirring against despaire.

ARe temptations to despaire,Vse. 1. Yeeld not to despaire. piercing Darts? fiery Darts? Keepe them off as much as possibly may be. As we feare to drinke poison, let vs feare to despaire. It will be a fiery burning poison in our soule, that wil yeeld vs no rest; as we see in such as are ouercome thereby. Let vs not dare to yeeld vnto it; but though God should seeme to be so angry with vs as to kill vs, yet with Iob, to trust in him. For this end we must suffer Faith to haue the vpper place in vs, euen aboue sence and reason too. And for this end looke vnto God,Qui diffidit, summi b [...]ni bo­nitatem maio­rem sua nequi­tia non sentit. Aug. de ver. poen, cap. 5. and duly weigh both what he promiseth, and why hee maketh such gracious promises to vs: and looke not to our selues and our own deseruings, but rather know that Gods mercy is as an o­cean in comparison of the drops of our sinnes: they that despaire, little consider how much greater Gods good­nesse is, then their sinne.

§. 85. Of the need and benefit of Faith.

IN how wretched a condition doe they liue,Vse 2. Wretched are they who want Faith. who are destitute of Faith! they lie open to all the fiery, bur­ning, tormenting temptations of the diuell; they haue no meanes to preuent them, none to quench them when they are wounded in conscience. This fire must needs either stupifie all their spirituall sences, dry vp all the life of the soule, and take away all feeling: or else torment[Page 285] them intollerably without all hope of redresse, as Caine, Saul, Iudas, and such like were tormented. It were much better for a man not to bee, then not to be­leeue.

What an admirable vertue is Faith?Vse 3. The vertue of Faith. what vertue hath it in it selfe? What benefit doth it bring vnto vs? What Christian souldier (that is wise, and feareth these fiery darts,) dares enter into the battaile without this balsom? The maine and principall ende, for which the Apostle here setteth downe these benefits of Faith, that which es­pecially he aymeth at, is, to commend vnto vs this preci­ous gift, so as it may be a strong motiue to vrge all the forenamed points concerning Faith, whereof wee haue spoken before, and to stirre vs vp diligently to labour and vse all the meanes we can, First to know what true Faith is, Secondly, to get it, Thirdly, to proue it, Fourth­ly, to preserue and increase it, Fiftly, well and wisely to vse it.

§. 86. Of spirituall recouery.

BEhold here a sure ground of much comfort and great encouragement,Vse. 4. Spirituall wounds may be cured. euen to such as are weake, and by reason of their weakenesse, or else through the violence of some temptation, haue let fall their shield, so as Satans fiery Darts haue touched their conscience, and pierced their soule. Let them not thereupon vtterly despaire, and yeeld thēselues ouer to Satans power, but know that yet their Faith may stand them in steed, that yet there is a fur­ther vse of it, not onely as a shield to keepe off, but as balsome to drawe out the fire, to quench it, and cure the wound. [...]. The word which the Apostle here vseth, implieth (as wee haue shewed) a recouering,[Page 286] resuming, and taking vp againe our shield. Let not there­fore our faintings, failings, and spirituall wounds put vs out of all hope, as if death and destruction, without all remedy and recouery, must needes follow thereupon: But rather let vs with all speed haue recourse to Gods promises, and to Christ Iesus the true heire of them, and so renew our Faith, asLuk. 22. 61. Peter renewed his, when he loo­ked vpon Christ.

§. 87. Of Satans assaulting our Faith.

THe last point yet remaineth,IX. Point. Satans wyles against Faith. which is, to discouer the manifold wiles which the Diuell vseth against this heauenly gift, and to shew how they may bee auoyded. We haue heard before how he laboureth to spoile vs of the Girdle of Truth,Satan most of all assaul­teth our faith. Brestplate of Righteousnesse, and Shooes of Patience; but his best wit and greatest force is bent against the Shield of Faith. The first assault made against Eue, was in regard of her Faith,Gen. 3. 1. Hath God indeede said, &c: so against Christ, (Mat. 4▪ 3. If thou bee the Sonne of God, &c.) Herein did he oft tempt thePsal. 78. 22. 31. Israelites, yea & Moses Num. 20. 12 also in the wildernesse.Luk. 22. 32. This was it for which he desired to winnow Peter; and for whichThess. 3. 5. Paul feared lest hee had tempted the Thessalonians. Lamentable ex­perience sheweth how mightily hee preuaileth by this temptation: in time of persecution he bringeth men here­by to renounce their profession: and hereby at all times he bringeth many to the very pit of despaire.

That which hath been before deliuered concerning the excellency,Reason. necessity, vse and benefit of Faith, decla­reth the reason, why the Diuell so assaulteth it: for hee, being our Aduersary walking about, and seeking whom to de­uoure, espieth that Faith is it which especially preserueth[Page 287] vs safe from being deuoured; that this is the victory which ouercommeth both1 Pet. 5. 9. himselfe and his chiefe agent and instrument the1 Ioh. 5. 4. world; and therefore with all might and maine endeauoureth to spoile vs of this shield. It is therefore needfull we should know what are his wyles, and how they may be auoyded.

His sundry kindes of wyles may be drawne to two heads, namely those wherby he laboureth either to keep men from Faith, or else to wrest Faith from them. I will in order discouer some of the principall in both kinds, which are these.

§. 88. Answer to Satans Suggestion, that it is presumption to beleeue.

1. Suggest. FIrst, it is altogether impossible to attaine vnto any such gift as Faith is. Secondly, can any man be assured that Christ is his? Thirdly, who­soeuer hath any such conceit, presumeth. Fourthly, to inforce this temptation the further, he also suggesteth, that the ground of Faith (Gods word) is vncertaine. And fiftly, though that Scripture were the certain Word of God, yet the Ministery of it by man, is too weake a meanes to worke so great a worke as Faith is thought to be this Suggestion hath preuailed much with Papists.

Answ. First, that which hath been before deliuered concerning the getting of Faith, sheweth that this is a ly­ing Suggestion. Secondly, it hath been expresly proued that a man may know he hath Faith. Thirdly, the diffe­rences betwixt Faith and presumption shew, that assu­rance of Faith is no presumption.

1 Faith driueth a man out of himselfe:Differences betwixt faith and presump­tion. because the beleeuer can find no ground of confidence in himselfe,[Page 288] therefore hee casteth himselfe wholly vpon CHRIST.

Presumption findeth something in the man himselfe to make him boast.

2 Faith resteth on a sure ground, which is Gods Word, that both commandeth vs to beleeue, and promi­seth to performe that which we doe beleeue.

Presumption relyeth onely on a mans surmize and meere coniecture.

3 Faith is ioyned with the vse of the means: both of those meanes whereby it was first bred, and also of those which God hath appointed for the nourishing of it.

Presumption not onely carelesly neglecteth, but arro­gantly contemneth all meanes.

4 Faith is wrought by degrees: first by knowledge, then by griefe, after by desire, as we heard§. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24▪ & §. 41, 42, 43, 44, 44. before.

Presumption is a sudden apprehension of the mind.

5 Faith maketh a man worke out his saluation with an holy iealousie, yea with feare and trembling: oft cal­ling vpon God, and depending on him.

Presumption is ouer-bold.

6 Faith maketh a man depart from all iniquity, and keepe a cleere conscience.

Presumption is accompanied with much pollution, at least inward.

7 Faith is most sure in time of tryall, then is the strength of it most manifested.

Presumption like a Bragadocha then maketh greatest florish when there is least danger.

8 Faith continueth vnto the end, and neuer falleth away.

Presumption is subiect to decay totally and finally.

4 Of the certainty of Gods word we shal after speak:

5 For mans Ministery it is Gods ordinance; & thence[Page 289] it hath that mighty power to worke Faith: for God who at first brought light out of darkenesse, can by weake meanes worke great matters: Besides,2 Cor. 4. 7 We haue this trea­sure in earthly vessels, that the excellency of that power might be of God, and not of vs.

§. 89. Answer to Satans suggestion of the difficulty of getting Faith.

2 Suggest. IF it be not impossible to get Faith, yet it is so difficult and hard a matter, that not one of a thousand who seeke it, obtaine it. Herein Satan pre­uaileth with idle, slothfull persons,Pro. 22. 13 & 26. 13. who in all things which they should enterprise, pretend more dangers and difficulties then needes, of purpose to find a pretence to their idlenesse.

Answer. Though it bee hard to the carnall carelesse man,Faith not hard to the willing. yet (as Salomon saith of knowledge, Pro. 14. 6.) Faith is easie to him that will beleeue; not that it is simply in mans power, but that Gods Spirit so openeth his vnderstan­ding in the mysteries of godlinesse, so worketh on his hard and stony heart, making the one capable, and the other pliable, as thereby the man is brought like softe­ned waxe easily to receiue the impression of Gods seale. Though man in himselfe be dead in sin, yet Gods word is as powerfull to quicken him, as Christs was to raise La­zarus. Indeed many seeke, and find not, aske, and haue not: but why?Iam. 4. 3 Saint Iames giueth one reason, They aske, and seeke amisse. They seeke Faith in themselues, and from themselues: they seeke it by carnall and fleshly deuices: they seeke it by their owne wit and reason. Saint Paul ren­dreth another reason,2 Cor. 4. 4. The God of this world hath blinded[Page 290] their minds, that the glorious light of the Gospell should not shine vnto them. Because they oppose against Gods truth so farre as it is made knowne vnto them, or wittingly winke at it, or turne from it, God giueth them ouer in iust iudgement to the power of Satan, who blindeth their minds. But if we repaire to the Author who giueth Faith, and to the spring whence it floweth; if we rightly vse the right meanes of attaining it, and waite at the doore of Wisedome till shee open vnto vs, vndoubtedly we shall find Faith and not misse of it.

§. 90. Answer to Satans suggestion of the small need and vse of Faith.

3 Suggest. FAith is a needlesse thing. This conceit the Diuell putteth into the mind of two sorts of people: first of proud Pharisaicall Iusticiaries, who trust to their owne righteousnesse: these thinke that the brest-plate of righteousnesse is armour enough: Second­ly, of secure, carnall Gospellers, who imagine that a good hope (as they call it) is sufficient, there needeth not assu­rance of Faith.

Answer. God maketh and ordaineth nothing in vaine: as for the proud Iusticiary,Great neede of Faith. let him first know, that righ­teousnes seuered from Faith, is no righteousnesse: though righteousnesse ioyned with Faith be of good vse, yet se­uered from Faith, it is of no vse at all. Secondly, that the Brest-plate of righteousnesse, which the best men euer in this World had, was full of crackes and holes, full of ma­ny defects and imperfections, through which Satan would soone haue wounded them euen to death, if they had not had this shield.

As for the secure Protestant, if euer hee feele the fire[Page 291] of Satans darts, he will find that all the assurance which possibly he can attaine vnto, is little enough. That poore man which said;Mar. 9. 24. I beleeue, Lord helpe my vnbeliefe: And the Disciples which said,Luke 17. 5. Lord increase our faith, saw that a good hope was not enough.

As a preseruatiue against this poysonous temptation, wee must labour for all the assurance of Faith that wee can.

§. 90. Answer to Satans suggestion of the damage arising from Faith.

4 Suggest. FAith is hurtfull to a mans credit, honour, profit, pleasure, &c. Herein Satan preuai­leth with worldlings, whose hearts are onely on things here below.

Answer. First, the price of Faith,Great is the worth of Faith. yea of one graine of Faith, is of more worth then all the treasure in the world: this that goodMat. 13. 44. Merchant well knew, who sold all to buy it.

Secondly, they who are wounded with Satans fiery darts, would willingly forgoe all credit, wealth, and plea­sure that the World possibly can giue, for a dramme of Faith.

Thirdly there can be no true credit, honour, &c. with­out Faith: all are sanctified by Faith, otherwise they are meere shadowes and shewes.

§. 91. Answer to Satans suggestion of Mans vnworthinesse.

5 Suggest. FAith is too good and precious a thing for poore wretched sinners to haue: herein[Page 292] hee preuaileth with distressed fearefull Christians.

Answer. Mans vnwor­thinesse no hinderance of Faith. For remouing of this, wee must remember what was§. 28. 29. before deliuered of Gods free grace, and rich bounty, which is not restrained by our vn worthinesse.

If the Diuell by these, or such like meanes cannot keepe vs from getting faith, he hath other wiles to wrest it from vs, which follow.

§. 92. Answer to Satans suggestion of mans im­perfection.

6 Suggest. THy Faith is not sound, but counterfeit: for it is mixed with many imperfections, transgressions, weakenesses, doubtings; there is no growth or increase of it: many weake Christians are brought hereby to stagger.

Answer. Imperfect Faith may be true & sound. Oft proue thy Faith, especially by the cau­ses, and by thy loue, andHeb. 13. 18. true desire to liue honestly: Know that euery thing here is imperfect, yet that truth and imperfection may stand together: striue against these imperfections, and vse the meanes for encrease of Faith.

§. 93. Answer to Satans suggestion of trusting to meanes.

7 Suggest. THere are meete helps afforded for all di­stresses: why may not men trust to them? Is it not good to seeke to the Physician in sicknesse? to trust vnto number and prowesse of men in warre? and to friends in time of need? Thus he maketh many to cast a­way the shield of Faith, their confidence in God, and to trust vnto outward meanes, as2 Ch [...]. 16 12 Asa.

Answer. All meanes are subordinate to Gods Proui­dence,[Page 293] and guided thereby:Subordinate meanes take not away the vse of Faith. therefore in the vse of them wee must looke vnto God, and depend on him, and call vpon him for a blessing: neither supply of meet meanes, nor want of them, must any whit lessen our trust in God, but to God must all the glory be giuen, whatsoeuer the meanes be.

§. 94. Answer to Satans suggestion of apostacy.

8 Suggest. THou canst neuer hold out: thy Faith will not onely be in vaine, but thy latter end is like to be worse then the beginning: How many haue fallen away in all ages, and daily doe fall away?

Answer. Faith falleth not cleane a­way. There are meanes to preserue and increase Faith, as well as to get it: let them be well vsed, and thy Faith shall neuer faile:Luke 22. 32. Remember Christs prayer for Pe­ters Faith: as for others, wee cannot so well know the [...]oundnesse of their Faith as of our owne.

§. 95. Direction against Satans stormes.

IF he preuaile not by any of these, or such like subtill suggestions, he will try by all the stormes and troubles he can, to shake and ouerthrow our Faith.

We must therefore be like sound Oaken Trees, which the more they are shaken, the deeper roote they get in the earth; and know for our comfort, the Diuel can raise no greater stormes then God in wisedome permitteth him.Virtus fidei in­per [...]cutis secura est. Chrys. in Mat. 20. hom. 37. God in the end will turne all to our good, as he dealt with Iob, (Iob 42. 10. &c.) so that if we beleeue, we shall surely be established. Faith maketh men secure in perils.

THE SEAVENTH PART.
The Helmet of Hope.

Ephesians 6. 17.‘And take the Helmet of Salua­tion.’

§. 1. Of the difficulty of a Christian Soul­diers Estate.

EXcellent meanes of defence are those whereof we haue heard, espe­cially the last of them: yet the Apo­stle thinketh them not sufficient, but proceedeth to set forth other peeces of armour, saying, [...] Obseru. from the inference. No easie mat­ter to bee a Christian Souldier. And take, &c. Whence wee may well gather, that

It is no easie matter to be a Christian Souldier, and sted­fastly to stand vnto the end against all assaults. Many graces are needfull to be added one to another for that purpose. One might haue though that when hee had named the shield of Faith, he need haue added no more: but God who knoweth both our weakenesse and pronenesse to faint, and also the power and subtilty of our aduersaries better then our selues, seeth it needfull that an helmet be vsed as well as a shield: our care therefore must be to vse this also.

§. 2. Of the Spirituall Grace here meant.

THis fift peace of Spirituall Armour (though it bee not plainely expressed)Some referre these two meta­phors, Helmet, Sword, vnto the Word of God, and say that two vses of the word are set downe vnder two metaphors: one to be defensiue as an Helmet: the other to be offensiue as a sword. is necessari­ly implied to be Hope; Hope the fifth pe [...]ce of armour. for1 Thes. 5. 3. in another place where hee vseth this metaphor,Answer. The sword alone of it selfe implieth both these v­ses, for it is an especiall meanes of defence as well as of offence: these two metaphors being as distinctly set downe as any of the former, there is no reason why they should be referred to one and the same thing. hee expresseth Hope, Put on (saith he) for an Hel­met the hope of Saluation. What could more plainely be spoken? and what better interpreter of the Apostles minde could wee haue then the Apostle him­selfe?Other say that Christ himselfe is here meant by this meta­phor Helmet, because he is Sal­uation, and because the very word here vsed ( [...]) is in other places attributed to Christ, as Luke 2. 30. & 3. 6.

Saluation is thus applied to Hope, because

1 Saluation is the maine end of our Hope,Why it is cal­led the hope of saluation. that which aboue all toher things wee waite for:Answer. It is not properly at­tributed to Christ, but tropi­cally, because he is the Author and finisher of our saluation. It is more proper to take it for the thing it selfe which Christ hath purchased, eternall life. when we come to the possession of it, then hath Hope her end, and period.

2 It is an especiall meanes of attaining vnto Saluation,2 Thogh Christ be here meant by this word Saluation, yet can­not Christ with any fit congrui­ty be comprised vnder this me­taphor Helmet: for if we reade the words plainely, Take the Helmet of Christ, what else can be meant but the helmet which Christ vsed, or which he giueth or prescribeth to vs, as the Ar­mour of God? Thus it will be the same thing which we meane, namely, Hope: for as Christ is the author and finisher of our Faith, so also of our Hope. (Rom. 8. 24. We are saued by Hope.) This is that coard whereby wee hold fast to Gods promises till they bee all accomplished, which will not bee vntill wee enioy saluati­on.

[Page 296] 3 Herein lieth a maine difference betwixt the hope of worldlings, and Saints: their hope reacheth no further then to the things of this life; thereforePro. 11. 7. when they die their hope perisheth, but these1 Pet. 1. 3, 4. hope for an inheritance immortall, &c. ThereforePro. 14. 32. they haue hope in their death: for1 Cor. 15. 19 if in this life onely wee haue hope in Christ, wee are of all men the most miserable.

Thus hauing shewed what this Helmet of Saluation is, I will distinctly shew, 1. What Hope is. 2 How it differeth from Faith. 3 How fitly it is compared to an Helmet. 4 How necessary it is. 5 How it is gotten, preserued, and vsed. 6 What are Satans wiles against it.

§. 3. Of the definition of Hope.

HOpe is an expectation of such good things to come,1. Point. What hope is. as God hath promised, and Faith beleeued.

1 In expectation especially consisteth the very nature of Hope; Rom. 8. 25. [...]. If we hope, &c. Psal. 37. 7. We waite. Dauid ioyneth ho­ping and waiting together, as implying one and the same thing;Psal. 37. 7. Waite vpon the Lord, and hope in him.

2 Good things are the proper obiect of Hope: Spes non nisi bonarum re­rum est, nec nisi faturarum. Aug. Enchir. cap. 8. herein it differeth from Feare: We feare things euill and hurtfull. I looked, that is, hoped for good (saith Iob:) The thing (name­ly) that euill thing which I feared, is come vpon me? Iob 3. 25 & 30. 26.)

3 These good things are to come: not past, nor present, which either are or haue beene seene:Rom. 8. 24. Hope which is seene, is no hope: for how can a man hope for that which he seeth?

4 They are also such as God hath promised. For the ground of our Hope is the promise of God, who is faith­full and true: we may well waite for that which he hath promised, whatsoeuer it be. In this respect this true Hope[Page 297] is termedCol. 1. 23. The Hope of the Gospel: that is, an Hope which waiteth for those things which in the Gospel are promi­sed. Luke 3. 26. This was the ground of Simeons Hope. These promises are of all needfull things in this world, both Spirituall and Temporall; of assistance vnder all crosses, and of deliuerance from them: and at length of eternall glory and happinesse in heauen, which (because it is fur­thest off, and includeth in it an accomplishment of all o­ther promises,) is the most proper obiect of Hope. In which respect the Scripture doth thus entitle it,1 Thes. 5. 8. Hope of Saluation, Tit. 3. 7. Hope of eternall life, Rom. 5. 2. Hope of glory, &c.

5 The things we hope for, are also such as Faith belee­ued. For there is such a relation betwixt Faith and Hope, as is betwixt a mother and a daughter: Faith is the mo­ther that bringeth forth Hope; and Hope is a blessed daughter which nourisheth Faith.Heb. 11. 1. Faith is the ground of things hoped for. Till a thing be beleeued, a man will ne­uer hope for it:Gal. 5. 5. By Faith we waite: that is, Faith causeth vs to waite. Againe, except a man hope, and waite for that which he beleeueth, his Faith will soone decay.

§. 4. Of assurance and patience of Hope.

THus in generall we see what Hope is.Two proper­ties of Hope. There are two especiall properties which the Scripture doth oft an­nexe to Hope,

  • 1 Assurance.
  • 2 Patience.

For Assurance, expresly saith the Apostle,1 Assurance. Heb. 6. 11. Shew dili­gence to the full Assurance of Hope. In regard of this pro­perty it is said,Rom. 5. 5. Hope maketh not ashamed, that is, disap­pointeth not him that hopeth, of the thing which he wai­teth for, so as he need not be ashamed of his Hope. Fitly therefore is it termed,Heb. 6. 19. An Anchor of the soule, both sure[Page 298] and stedfast. According to the quality and quantity of Faith, is the quality and quantity of Hope. What a man beleeueth, that he hopeth for: as he beleeueth, so he ho­peth for it: but true Faith doth assuredly beleeue the truth of Gods promises: therefore true Hope doth cer­tainely expect them, for there are the same props to vp­hold our Hope, as are for our Faith, to wit, the goodnesse, power, truth, and other like attributes of God: Hope a­riseth not from mans promises, nor is nourished by mans merits.

Our aduersaries make vncertainty a property of Hope, Vncertainty no property of Hope. and ground it vpon coniectures and probabilities: wher­by they take away one main difference betwixt the hope of sound Christians, and carnall Libertines: and cleane ouerthrow the nature of sauing Hope: for though, by reason of the flesh, the best may sometimes wauer in their Hope, as well as in their Faith: yet is not this wauering of the nature of Hope, but the more Hope encreaseth, the more is doubting dispelled.

For Patience, 1 Thes. 1. 3. [...] Rom. 8. 25. that also is expresly attributed to Hope: If we hope for that we see not, we doe with patience waite for it: How needfull it is that our Hope bee accompanied with patience, we shall see hereafter.

§. 5. Of the agreement betwixt Faith and Hope.

HOpe agreeth with Faith in many things:II. Point. Wherin Hope and Faith a­gree. for exam­ple in these.

1 1 In the Au­thor.In the Author and worker of them both, which is Gods holy Spirit, asGal. 5. 22. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit, soRom. 15. 13. we a­bound in Hope thorow the power of the holy Ghost.

2 2 In the mat­ter.In the common matter, for both are sauing and sancti­fying graces, asEph. 2. 8. We are saued by Faith, Rom. 8. 25. so also by Hope: [Page 299] and asAct. 15. 9. By Faith the heart is purified, so1 Ioh. 3. 3. he that hath Hope purgeth himselfe.

3 3 In the ground.In the Ground of them, both of them are grounded on Gods promises as we haue heard.

4 4 In the pro­perties.In the fore-named properties Assurance and Pati­ence. The same Apostle that made mention ofHeb. 6. 11. Assu­rance of Hope, mentioneth also& 10. 21. Assurance of Faith, and as Rom. 8. 25. he that hopeth waiteth with patience, soIsa. 28. 16. he which beleeueth maketh not haste.

5 5 In the con­tinuance.In continuance, which is onely til they haue brought vs to the possession of the inheritance promised: in which respect Loue, which continueth euen in Heauen, is pre­ferred both to Faith and Hope.

6 6 In the ef­fects.In many excellent effects: as are a cleare and quiet conscience: an vtter denyall of a mans selfe: a casting of himselfe wholly on Gods grace: a patient bearing of all crosses, perseuerance vnto the end, &c.

§. 6. Of the difference betwixt Faith and Hope.

THey differ in these things especially.Wherein they differ.

1 In their order: Faith is first, for it bringeth forth Hope:Heb. 11. 1. Faith is the ground of things hoped for.

2 In the kind of Obiect: Faith is also of thingsHeb. 11. 3. past, andIoh. 20. 29. present: hope onely of things to come.

Obiect. Faith is also of things to come: for we beleeue eternall life.

Answ. Faith giueth [...]. Heb. 11. 1. a subsistence, and present being, to such things as are to come; by it we beleeue those good things which are promised to be ours, though the posses­sion of them be to come.

3 In their nature: Faith beleeueth the very truth of[Page 300] Gods promises, andIoh. 3. 33. sealeth that God is true: Hope wai­teth till God manifest and accomplish his truth.

Thus we see that Hope is a different and distinct grace frō Faith: yea so, as it may be of vse when faith faileth: and it serueth to cherish and vphold Faith: needfull it is ther­fore that vnto Faith it be added.

§. 7. Of the resemblance betwixt Hope and an Helmet.

FItly is Hope resembled to an Helmet, III. Point. How fitly Hope is re­sembled to an Helmet. which, according to the notation of the [...]. Greeke word, couereth the head all ouer, so as vnder it may be comprised the Beuer, and whatsoeuer couereth the face. The vse of this Hel­met is to keep and fence the head safe from Arrowes, Darts, Bullets, Swords and other weapons, whereby it might otherwise be sorely wounded, and the man be kil­led downe-right.

He that hath his head and face well and safely coue­red, will be bold and couragious without feare, lifting vp his head, and looking his enemy in the face, and so bold­ly goe on forward, not fearing Arrowes, Darts, or any such things that shall be shot, or throwne at him. Euen so he whose soule is established with Hope, waiting for Saluation in the end, will with an holy resolution goe on in his course to God, not fearing the manifold assaults of his spirituall enemies, being assured that they shall not pierce his soule, but that at length he shall remaine a Vi­ctorer, when the Diuell and his instruments haue shot all their Arrowes against him. Hope of Saluation maketh a man rouse vp his soule and spirit in the midst of tempta­tions: thus much the notation of that [...]. Rom. 8. 19. word, whereby the Apostle setteth forth the Hope and earnest expecta­tion of the creature, implieth. Dauid alludeth heereun­to,[Page 301] saying,Vide Beza. an­notat. Vnto thee, O Lord, lift I vp my soule: And againe, I will lift vp mine eyes to the mountaine, Psal. 25. 1. & 121. 1. from whence my helpe commeth.

Out of all that hath beene said, may easily be gathered what is the vse of hope, and how needfull and profitable a peece of Armour it is.

§. 8. Of the vse of Hope.

THe vse of it is to keepe vs from fainting, that we be not confounded through any assaults of our ene­mies: forRom. 5. 5: Hope maketh not ashamed, but maketh bold and confident:Psal. 27. 13. 14. Dauid implieth that he had fainted, but for his hope, and thereupon exhorteth others to Hope in the Lord. In this respect,Heb. 6. 19. the Apostle vseth another meta­phor, and resembleth Hope to an Anchor. Sicut anchora iactata de naui non permittit cam circūferri, licet venticom­moueant, sed firmam facit, ficet spes. Chry. in Heb. hom. 11 When Mari­ners haue a good sound Anchor fast tyed to the ship with a strong Cable, and fast fixed on firme ground, they dare sleepe quietly therein, though stormes and tempests arise: for the Anchor will keepe the ship safe and sure, so as it cannot be carried away of winds, nor beaten against rocks, nor swallowed of gulfes. Thus doth Hope after an holy maner make vs secure, and that though afflicti­ons and temptations like stormes, be raised against vs. Psal. 23. 4. Though I should walke through the valley of the shadow of death, I will feare no euill, saith Dauid; whereby he mani­festeth his holy security, which also he doth by many o­ther like speeches in his Psalmes.

§. 9. Of the need of Hope, in regard of the vncertaine and long date of Gods promises.

THis being the vse of Hope,IIII. Point. Hope neces­sary in foure respects. it is very needfull, yea ne­cessary, and that in foure respects.

[Page 302] 1 In regard of the time which God hath set downe for the accomplishment of his promises,1 Time vn­certaine. which time is oft both vnknowne, and long dated, though the time be of God certainly determined, so as it cannot be preuen­ted, (Ioh. 7. 30.) nor shall be ouerpassed, (Hab. 2. 3.) yet Mar. 13. 32. Act. 1. 7. it is not alwayes made knowne vnto vs. It is therefore needfull that we waite for the time of the accomplish­ment of them. Such a collection doth Christ himselfe inferre vpon such a ground:Mar. 13. 33. Take heede, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. And excellently doth he exemplifie it by theLuke 12. 36, &c. parable of the seruants that waited while their Master returned from the wedding.

In wisedome also it pleaseth God many times to set a long date to the accomplishment of his promises. WhenGen. 12. 7. Abraham came out of Haran, then God promi­sed seed vnto him, and a blessing vpon his seed, yet was & 21. 5. Abraham an hundred yeeres old before he had a childe of Sarah: so there passed at least twenty fiue yeeres be­twixt the making and performing of this promise, (com­pare Gen. 12. 4. & 21: 5.) yetRom. 4. 18. aboue Hope, vnder Hope, did he wait for it.Luk. 2. 25, &c. The promise which was made to Simeon was not accomplished till he was an old man, ready to die; yet he continued to wait. There passed almost foure thousand yeeres betwixt that time.Gen. 3. 15. wherein the blessed seed of the woman was first promised, andLuk. 2. 1. &c. wherein he was exhibited. There haue passed aboue fiue thousand yeeres sinceIude v. 14. the time that the glorious comming of Christ vnto iudgement was promised, and yet is not ac­complished, and God knoweth when it shall be. The date of many promises, are much longer then the Saints thought of: and they are kept longer in suspence then they looked for. In this respect there is great need of Hope, yea of patient Hope. Note the answer giuen to[Page 303] the soules vnder the Altar, which was,Reu. 6. 10. 11 Dei promissis credere debe­mus etiamsi multum tempo­ris interfluat. Chrys. in Gen. hom. 39. That they should rest till their fellow seruants, and their brethren that should be kil­led euen as they were, were fulfilled.

The office of Hope, is to make vs waite, and still to waite, and that with patience, though God tarry neuer so long, Though it tarry, waite, (Hab. 2. 3.) Dauid waited though his soule fainted. (Psal. 119. 81.)

§. 10. Of the need of Hope in regard of troubles.

2 IN regard of those many troubles and perplexities which doe fall out betwixt the making and accom­plishing of Gods promises,2 Troubles many. we haue a great need of Hope.Exod. 5. 7. After that God had promised Canaan to Israel, Israel was in miserable bondage before he possessed Ca­naan: yea, after God had sent Moses to tell them that the promised time of their deliuerance was come, they were more cruelly oppressed, before they could get out; and when they were got out, what and how many streights were they brought vnto at the red sea, and in the wilder­nesse before they entred into Canaan? euen such and so many, as of all the men which came out of Aegypt, onely two (which patiently waited to the end,) entred into it. Dauid was promised to haue the Kingdome of Israel: but how was he persecuted, and made to fly the Countrey before he was crowned? How oft were the people of God made a prey to their enemies, and scorned among the nations before the promised Messiah was exhibited? What desolations hath the Church been brought vnto (it hath been like the Moone in the deepest waine) and yet Christ not come?

Thus doth the Lord in wisdome dispose of his Church while it is here warfaring on earth; as for many other iust[Page 304] and weighty reasons, so to try if we can waite, patiently waite, and thatRom. 4. 18. vnder Hope, though it be aboue Hope. In regard of these troubles, therefore is Hope very need­full, asHeb. 10. 35. &c. the Apostle implieth, who earnestly exhorteth the Hebrewes, euen in this respect to waite. It is the of­fice of Hope, to make vs waite and abide til God remoue the crosse.

§. II. Of the need of Hope in regard of the scoffes of the wicked.

3 HOpe is needfull in regard of the scoffes and re­proaches of the wicked:3 Wicked scoffe. for if Gods promises be not speedily accomplished,2 Pet. 3. 4. they are ready to vpbraide Gods children, and say, Where are his promises? If afflicti­ons befall them,Psal. 42. 10. Where is their God? If afflictions be gree­uous, & 3. 2. There is no helpe for him in God. Is not then Hope necessary to vphold vs against these? Dauid hereby vp­held himselfe: for when the wicked said, Where is their God, he said to his Soule, & 42. 11. Waite on God.

It is the office of Hope to make vs looke so much the more stedfastly vpon God, and the faster to cleaue vnto him, by how much the more wicked men doe seeke to draw vs from the Lord.

§. 12. Of the neede of Hope in regard of our owne weakenesse.

4 VVE haue need of Hope,4 we weake. in regard of our own weakenesse, for we are very prone by na­ture to thinke that God forgetteth vs, and remembreth not his promises made to vs, if at least it be a long time before he accomplish them; or if he bring vs to any[Page 305] streights, and seeme to hide his face from vs. Dauid was herewith sorely tempted, it made him cry out, and say, Psal. 13. 1. How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord, for euer? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? But what vpheld him? himselfe sheweth that it was his hope▪ For in the same Psalme he saith,Psal. 13. 5. I trust in thy mercy.

It is the office of Hope in this respect, to make vs hope aboue hope, asRom. 4. 8. Abraham; and against sence, asIob 13. 15. Iob.

Thus we see that hope is so needfull, as there is no li­uing in this world without it: herein is the prouerbe ve­rified, If it were not for hope the heart would breake.

§. 13. Of getting and preseruing Hope.

LEt vs therefore in the next place obserue how it may be,V. Point. How hope is gotten. first, gotten, secondly, preserued, thirdly, wel vsed.

1 It is gotten by the same meanes that faith is: for it is the daughter of Faith.See Treat. 2. part. 6. &. 17. &c. The meanes which beget faith, do immediatly hereupon beget hope.

2 It is preserued by two meanes especially.2. Hovv pre­serued.

1. By a due consideration and ful perswasion of Gods properties; which make vs patiently abide for the accom­plishment of his promises.

2 By a faithful remēbrance of Gods former dealings.

Foure speciall properties of God are for this purpose to be obserued. 1. His free grace. 2. His infinite power. 3. His infallible truth. 4. His vnsearchable wisdome.

For being in our hearts perswaded by faith.1. Faith in Gods promi­ses vpholdeth hope. First, That the same grace which mooued God to make a­ny gracious promise, will further mooue him to ac­complish it. And secondly, That hee is able to doe it. And thirdly, So faithfull, that not a word which he hath said shall fall to the ground: Yea, and fourthly, That he is most wise in appointing the fittest times and seasons for[Page 306] all things, so as may most make to his owne glory, and his childrens good; we are thus brought to waite, and to continue waiting on God (without prescribing any time to him) till he hath actually performed what he faithfully promised.

§. 14. Of Experience nourishing Hope.

GODS former dealings both with others,2 Experience vpholdeth Hope. and also with our selues being faithfully remembred, worke such anRom. 5. 4. experience as cannot but bring forth Hope: For this experience doth euidently demonstrate what God is willing and able to doe.Psal. 22. 4. & 34. 6. & 143. 5. Hereby was Dauids Hope much cherished and strengthened.Iam. 5. 11. This meanes doth St Iames vse to strengthen the hope of Christian Iewes, bringing to their memories Gods dealing with Iob.

For this end, we must acquaint our selues with the Hi­stories of former times, especially such as are recorded in the holy Scriptures: forRom. 15. 4. Whatsoeuer things are written a­fore time (namely in those Scriptures) are written for our learning, that wee thorow patience and comfort of the Scrip­tures might haue Hope. It is also good to be acquainted with other Ecclesiasticall Histories: but especially to ob­serue Gods dealings in our owne times.

TheRom. 5. 4. experience which most of all bringeth forth Hope, is that which we haue of Gods dealing with our selues, whereof we haue two notable examples, one of Iacob, (Ge [...]. 32. 10.) The other of Dauid, (1 Sam. 17. 37.)

For this end we are well to obserue and remember all those gracious fauours which God from time to time vouchsafeth to vs, and not carelesly let them slip at the time present, nor negligently forget them in the time past. The Israelites in the wildernesse failed in both these:[Page 307] Psal. 106. 7. They vnderstood not Gods wonders, while God was doing them; neither afterwards did they remember the multitude of Gods mercies. This was the cause that they could not waite till the time appointed for their entring into Ca­naan was come: but fainted, and fell in the Wilder­nesse.

§. 15. Of meditating on the end of Hope.

TO these may be added as a further meanes to vphold and cherish Hope,Oft meditate of the end of Hope. a serious and frequent meditation of the end of our Hope,Si vis sustinere laborem, atten­de mercedem. Aug. in Psal. 36 namely, that rich and glorious inheritance which Christ hath purchased for his Saints, and God hath promised vnto them. Much might be saide to amplifie this point, but I will referre it to the priuate meditation of the Reader: and let it the rather be medita­ted of, because we see the hopes of worldly men to be su­stained with matters which are no way comparable here­vnto. Obserue what their hope is in earthly things, which are very vncertaine:Iam. 5. 7. The husbandman waiteth for the fruite of the earth, and hath long patience for it, vntill hee receiue the former and the latter raine. As the Husband-man, so the Souldier, the Marriner, the Merchant, who not? Their hopes make them vnter much, and send themselues forth to great dangers, & yet oft they faile of their hopes. Shall Christians of all others cast away their Hope, the end whereof is more excellent then all things in Sea and Land, which also they are sure to receiue, if they faint not? Heb. 10. 35. Cast not away your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

§. 16. Of the resemblance betwixt Hope and an Anchor.

3 THe vse of hope may fi [...]ly be set forth by that other metaphor whereunto Hope is resembled,3. How hope is well vsed. namely, an Anchor. (Heb. 6. 19.)

1 It must be cast vpon a sure ground. 1 Cast the an­chor of hope on a sure ground. If an anchor becast into a bottomlesse sea, where is no ground, or on quick sands, which are no sure ground, it is of no vse, the shippe may be tossed vp and downe, and suffer wracke for all that. The onely sure ground of hope is Gods pro­mise reuealed in his Word. That this is a most firme ground cannot bee doubted of, vnlesse the goodnesse, power and faithfulnesse of God be called into question. For as God himselfe is, so is his▪ Word, faithfull and true, sure and certaine: nothing more firme and stable:Matth. 5. 18. Till heauen and earth perish, one iot or title of Gods word shall not scape, till all things be fulfilled. Psal. 119. 19. Dauid cast the anchor of his hope vpon this ground. We are therefore to acquaint our selues with Gods manifold promises.

2 It must be fast fixed on that sure ground.2, Fast fixe it on that ground. If an an­chor onely lie vpon the ground, and be not fixed on it, as good be without ground.

Then is hope fast fixed on Gods promise, when his promise is stedfastly beleeued: Faith maketh a way and entrance for hope.Rom. 4. 18, &c. Abraham first beleeued Gods pro­mise, and then waited for it.

First therfore labour for true and sound faith in Gods promises, then will thy hope be sure and stedfast.

3 It must oft be setled and fixed anew.3. Of [...] renew, the hold. If an Anchor loose and slacken after it hath once been fastned, a storme may cartie the shippe away: where then is the bene­fit of the former fastening? Our hope in regard of our[Page 309] owne weakenesse, and the violence of Satans manifold stormes, is much subiect to loosening, to wauering. It must therefore oft be renewed:Isa. 40. 31. They that waite on the Lord shall renew their strength. These words may be taken both as a promise of God, shewing what he will doe; and as a duty on our part, shewing what we ought to doe.

For this end, againe and againe meditate on those pro­mises which we haue once knowne and beleeued, and oft call to minde Gods former benefits and performance of his promises: (these were Dauids vsuall practises.) For these being meanes to raise vp Hope in vs at first, the re­calling of them to our mindes againe, must needes be meanes to renew our hope.

§. 17. Answer to Satans suggestion against a sure ground of Hope.

IN the last place,VI. Point. Satans wiles. Satan hath many waies to spoile vs of this peece of Armour also, and that either by labouring to keepe it from vs, that we neuer haue it, or to wrest it from vs after we haue it.

Because there is a mutuall relation betwixt Faith and Hope, so as without Faith there can be no Hope, he bends what forces he can against Faith to keepe vs from it, or depriue vs of it. To auoide this, the former Treatise of Faith is to be obserued.

His Suggestions more proper against this grace, are such as these.

Suggest. 1 There needeth no such adoe to find out a sure ground; if thou hope well, it is well enough. Thus he preuaileth with the greater sort of our people, espe­cially with the more ignorant and ruder sort, who doe not onely in their hearts conceiue, but with their tongues[Page 310] also are ready to vtter such conceits as these, I hope well, yea, I hope to be saued as well as the best. Here is their anchor cast out. But aske them, what is the ground of their Hope, all the answer they can giue, is, They Hope well. Many that know not the fundamental points of Christian Religion, nor the first grounds of Saluation, (being much worse then theHeb. 5. 12. Hebrewes, of whom the Apostle complaineth that they had need be taught which are the first principles of the Oracles of God) will yet say, I hope well.

Answer. To auoid this, all ignorant persons, though they be growne in yeeres, must be willing to be instructed and euen catechised. [...]. Luke 1. 4. Theophilus a Nobleman was so in­structed. Ministers must vse to catechise and teach funda­mentall grounds. Ignorance of people is a shame and dishonour to the Gospell; it maketh them a prey to Sa­tan, andOse. 4. 1. 2 Thes. 1. 8. bringeth them to the very pit and gulfe of de­struction.

§. 17. Answer to Satans suggestion of false grounds of Hope.

Suggest. 2. THe best grounds of Hope are, 1. A mans owne merits. 2. The meritorious workes of others, euen their workes of supererogation, 3. A [...] mans owne honest dealing and good meaning: 4. A man [...] prosperous estate. Thus hee deceiueth men with fal [...] grounds. In the first of these, he preuaileth with the prou [...] ­der sort of Papists, who trust to their owne merits. In th [...] second, with the more silly and foolish sort, who trust t [...] the merits of others: In the third, with many among [...] counted ciuill, honest men, men of their words, iust i [...] their dealings, &c. but sauour of little piety to Go [...] wards: as also in many of the poorer sort, who thinke an [...] [Page 311] say. They doe no man any wrong. In the fourth, with sottish worldlings; who make Earth their Heauen.

Answer. All these are like quicke-sands, which bring more danger then safety to a ship.

For the first, see the answer to the first suggestion a­gainst righteousnesse. §. 7.

For the second, see the 3. vse of the 2. Doctrine, on verse 10. §. 5.

For the third, remember

1 That all the honest dealing in the World, without Faith, is nothing acceptable to God, (Heb. 11. 6.)

2 That good meanings and intentions may stand with most abhominable impieties and iniquities. For proofe whereof, reade Iohn 16. 2. and Acts 26. 9.

3 That it more beseemeth fooles then wise men to build all their hopes vpon coniectures.

For the fourth, know that outward prosperity, wealth, health, honour, credit, [...]auour of friends, and the like, are butMat. 5. 45. common gifts which God indifferently bestoweth on all sorts of people: they oft proue the Diuels baits to allure men vnto him, and his hookes to hold them fast, and drowne them in perdition.

§. 18. Answer to Satans suggestion of licentious trusting on Mercy.

3. Suggest. STill trust to Gods Mercy, and Hope there­in; and in confidence thereof, take liberty [...]othy selfe to doe what seemeth good in thine owne eies. Thus hee maketh carnall Gospellers, Libertines, hypo­ [...]rites, and the like, (Iude; v. 5. Who turne the grace of God into wan­ [...]nnesse) to let their anchor of Hope lie loose vpon the [...]re ground of Gods mercy.

[Page 312] Answer. When Gods mercy is wilfully and wittingly abused, his iustice is prouoked to take vengeance: Gods grace giueth liberty to no sinne,Tit. 2. 11. 12. The grace of God which bringeth saluation vnto all men, teacheth vs to denie vngodli­nesse and worldly lusts, and to liue soberly, righteously, godly, &c: This is the end of grace, and this also will be the power and efficacy thereof in all to whom it belongeth: for they who partake of the merite of Christs sacrifice to haue their sinnes pardoned, partake also of the efficacy thereof, to haue the power of sinne subdued.

§. 19. Of Satans seeking to depriue vs of the vse of Hope.

IF thus the Diuell cannot keepe vs from attaining true Hope, then will he labour to quaile our Hope, and so spoile vs of it, and that by these and such like meanes.

1 By making vs too carelesse, and too secure, wherein he somewhat preuailed with Lot, Dauid, Peter, and such other.

For auoiding this, we must duly consider our owne weakenesse, and the many fierce temptations whereunto we are subiect, and thereby be stirred vp to watch and pray, asMat. 26. 41. Christ vpon this ground exhorteth his disciples.

2 By mouing vs to despaire, by reason of our vnwor­thinesse: and here he will obiect what we are by nature, what by the multitude and greeuousnesse of our actuall transgressions, and in these respects how vnworthy of the saluation which we waite for.

For auoiding this, we must remoue our eyes from off our selues, and cast them vpon the free grace, and rich mercy of God, and vpon the all-sufficient merit of Christ, and remember that the saluation which God hath promi­sed, he will giue for his owne Names sake.

[Page 313] 3 By calling into question the truth of Gods promi­ses, especially when he seemeth long to delay the accom­plishment of them, or when troubles arise.

For auoyding this, we must be perswaded, that God is wisest, and best knoweth the fittest times and meanes for accomplishing his promises.

THE EIGHTH PART.
The Sword of the Spirit.

Ephes. 6. 17.‘And the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.’

§. 1. Of adding a Sword to other peeces of Armour.

THe sixt and last peece of Armour, is not on­ly defensiue as all the former, but offensiue also, like a Sword. [...]. Note this copulatiue particle AND, and the Sword; that is, take the Sword also as well as other peeces of Ar­mour: Whence obserue that

It is not enough to keep off our enemies assaults, Doct. Driue away thy spirituall enemies. from annoy­ing vs, but our care and endeauor must be to driue them away, and destroy them. Iam. 4. 7. Resist the Diuell (saith the Apostle) and he shall flie. Resist, is a word not onely of defence, but also of offence. This phrase, he shall flie, sheweth that our endeauour must be to driue him away, and put him to flight. It implyeth both a promise and a duty. To this[Page 314] purpose tend those phrases in Scripture of [...]. Col. 3. 5. killing our members on earth, [...]. Rom. 8. 13. mortifying the deeds of the body, Gal. 5. 24. crucifying the flesh and the world,Rom. 6. 6. destroying the body of sinne,1 Cor. 9. 27. beating downe the body, and keeping it in subie­ction. We haue a notable example hereof in our Head and Generall Christ,Mat. 4. 10. who put the Diuell to flight: like­wise in one of his Captaines, S. Paul, 1 Cor. 9. 27. who brought his body into subiection, &Gal. 6. 14. to who the world was crucified.

If we stand onely vpon defence, we embolden & hear­ten our enemies,Reason. wh [...] will neuer leaue assaulting vs, till they haue preauiled against vs, except they be destroyed; as Saul neuer left persecuting Dauid, till he himselfe was destroyed.

Vse 1 Heere is a good direction for Magistrates that haue a charge ouer people committed vnto them, that they content not themselues with defending such as are vnder their gouernment from idolaters,Magistrates must cut off the enemies of the church heretiques, atheists, worldlings, and the like enemies, but that they cut off and destroy those dangerous and mischieuous enemies. For this purpose the sword of God is committed into their hands: andRom. 13. 4. They are the Ministers of God, to take venge­ance on such as doe euill. 2 Kin. 23. 20. Thus did that good King Iosiah, and other good Kings.

Obiect. This is done by the temporall sword, but what is that to the Sword of the Spirit here meant?

Answ. 1 It may fitly be applyed by way of allusion.

2 It followeth by iust and necessary consequence: for euery one must doe his best to profligate spirituall ene­mies: and seeing God hath afforded to Magistrates not onely the spiritual Sword which is common to all Chri­stians, but also a temporall Sword which is proper to thē, they must vse both.

3 The vse of the temporall Sword is a great helpe to[Page 315] the spirituall,The vse of the temporall sword an help to the spiritu­all. and much good may be done thereby: for howsoeuer Satan himselfe, being a Spirit, is no whit dan­ted with the temporall Sword: yet idolaters, heretiques, profane men, and other like instruments of the diuell, in, and by whom the diuell much annoyeth the Church of God, are danted, and may be destroyed thereby, and so Satan put to flight. It is the ouerthrow & ruine of many Churches, that the ciuill Gouernours suffer the enemies therof to get head, & assault the church & people of God.

Vse 2 Here is a direction also for Ministers. They must not only teach the truth,2 Ministers must resute error, and re­proue vice. instruct in good maners, encourage the vpright, but also refute errors, cut downe sin, and en­deauour to destroy whatsoeuer maketh against the glo­rious Gospel of Christ. Note what the Apostle saith in this case,2 Cor. 10. 4, 5, 6. The weapons of our warfare are mighty thorow God to cast down holds, casting down the imaginations, & eue­ry high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, &c. and hauing vengeance ready against all disobedience. That we may not thinke that this was proper to his Apostolicall function,Tit. 1. 9. he saith in generall of a Bishop, that as he must be able to exhort with wholesome doctrine, so to improue them that say against it. There is a two edged Sword put in­to the mouths of ministers, they must accordingly vse it, to defend by teaching sound doctrine, and instructing in good maners: to offend by confuting errors, & repro­uing sins. Many errors in iudgement, and much corrup­tion in life creepeth into the Church for want hereof.

Vse 3 As for priuate persons euery one hath a charge ouer his own soule, for their own soules safety they must resist Sa­tan,3 Priuate Christians must subdue their enemies oppose against the world, subdue their flesh, strike & fight: it is a foolish pitty to spare the enemy, & destroy a mans selfe. If Satan tempt, with an holy indignation, bid him auoid: if the world allure, defie it: if the flesh lust, sub due it.

[Page 316] Thus much for the connexion of this Weapon with the former peeces of Armor. I will now distinctly handle it, and shew

1 What this Weapon is.

2 How fitly resembled to a Sword, and why called the Sword of the Spirit.

3 How it may be taken and vsed.

4 What is the benefit of well vsing it.

5 What are the sleights of Satan to depriue vs of it.

§. 2. Of the true Word of God.

THe Weapon here prescribed,1. Point. What is the Word of God is expresly termed the Word of God, which is that part of Gods will which in the holy Scripture he caused to be recorded. It is cal­led [...]. Word, because by it Gods will is manifested and made knowen, euen as a man maketh knowne his minde and will by his words.

It is also said to be the Word of God in regard,

1 Of the Author, which is2 Tim. 3. 16. God himselfe.

2 Of the matter, which isEphe. 1. 9. Gods will.

3 Of the end, which is Gods& 3. 10. glory.

4 Of the efficacy, which is GodsRom. 1. 16. power.

This word is properly and truely the right sence and meaning of the Scripture:Not the letter but the sence is Gods word. for except that bee found out, in many words there may seeme to be matter of fals­hood, (as thatMar. 13. 32. the Sonne knoweth not the day of iudge­ment,) of heresie (as that the Father is greater then the Son) and contradiction,Ioh. 14. 28. [...] as betwixt that which Christ said (my Father is greater then I,) and that which the Apostle said, (thatPhil. 2. 6. Christ Iesus thought it no robbery to be equall with God.)

The letter of Scripture may be alledged, and yet the[Page 317] word of God missed, as by all her etiques. And a man may swarue from the letter, and yet alledge the true word of God, as the Euangelists and Apostles did many times.

Compare

  • Mic. 5. 2
  • Psal. 40. 6.
    • with
      • Mat. 2. 6.
      • Heb. 10. 5.

So may diuerse translaters differ in some words and phrases▪ and Preachers in alledging testimonies of the Scripture may misse of the iust letters, and yet all retaine the true word of God, which is the true sence rightly con­ceiued, and rightly applyed.

This therefore is it which we must labour after,Vse. Search out the sence of Scripture. [...]. and that with care and diligence, as Christ implieth, where he commandeth toIoh. 5. 39. search the Scriptures. The word which he vseth, is metaphorical, taken from such as vse to search in Mines for siluer and gold: they will dig deep, they will breake the seuerall clots of earth all to peeces, to find out the golden Oare.Singuli sermo­nes, syllabae, a­pices, puncta in diuinis scriptu­risplena sunt sensibus Hier. in Eph. 3. Thus must we deale with the Scrip­tures, as we are exhorted by Christ, (Ioh. 5. 39.) and by Solomon (Pro. 2. 4.) and so much the rather because e­uery sentence, syllable, letter and tittle in holy Scripture is of moment. Otherwise if we doe not thus search the Scriptures, insteed of Gods word wee may alleadge our owne conceits.

§. 3. Of the meanes to finde out the true sence of the Scripture.

FOr our helpe in finding out the true sence of Scrip­ture, there are diuers profitable meanes, as

1 Vnderstanding of the originall tongues: Vide Aug▪ de doct. Chr. l. 3. c. 24, 25. &c. diuerse errors & heresies haue been drawn from translations. It is likely that the first thing that moued Papi