THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. A Sermon preached at Botter­wike in Holland, neere Boston, in Lincolnshire. By THOMAS GRANGER, Preacher of Gods word there.

IOHN 95.
As long as I am in the World, I am the light of the World.

LONDON: Printed by T. S. for Thomas Pauier, and are to be sold at his shop in Yuie lane. 1616.

TO THE RIGHT VVorshipfull Mr. THOMAS LEVENTHORPE Esquire, Sonne and heyre to the renowned Knight, Sir IOHN LEVENTHORPE, T. G. wisheth all happinesse, and eternall blessednesse.

RIGHT Worshipfull. The speciall af­fection that I beare to that louely Oliue, wherof you are a special branch, and the duty, wherein I euer remaine obliged vnto it, hauing heretofore re­ceiued pleasant nutriture from thence, and delightfull refreshing in the shade thereof, haue of­ten solicited me by one meanes or other, to shew and te­stifie my thankefull minde to the same, and to your selfe in particuler. Siluer and gold haue I none, nor any costly present, but such as I haue freely receiued, I freely offer vnto you. The water is a common element; yet when one Synaeta hauing nothing to offer to Artaxerxes passing by, he tooke water out of the riuer Cyrus, with both his hands, and offered it to the king, who accepted it as a speciall gift, (as Aelianus recordeth) first, be­cause water is the best element. Secondly, because it [Page] was taken out of Cyrus. So the Ayre & the Light are common, and I not hauing any gift to present you with­all, am glad to offer the Light vnto you, which I hope shal finde special acceptance with you. First, because that of many lights this is the best light, giuing light to all other lights of the naturall soule, without which they are vtter darkenesse, euen as the lesser lights of the fir­mament are but darke and dead bodies without the light, and vitall influence of the Sun. Secondly, because this light ariseth, and shineth out of another world then is either the Macrocosme or Microcosme, to wit, the spirituall world, which is the word and Church of God: But though this light be common, because it is offered to all, and shineth vnto all, yet it is receiued of few, because darke earthy bodies cannot receiue the light: in which respect it becommeth a proper and speciall light, and I make no doubt, but that you are one of those few, who delight in this light: and therefore I trust will also ac­cept this as a speciall gift, which is pretious and speciall in it selfe, though it be not specially, but vulgarly set forth by me, to whom the exhibiting, and shewing there­of to the world is also committed. The Lord protect and conduct you in the way euerlasting.

Your worships to command euer in the Lord THOMAS GRANGER.


IOHN 8. 12.‘Then spake IESVS againe to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me, shall not walke in darknesse, but shall haue the light of life.’

THESE words containe a Sermon of our Sauiour Christ, preached to the Iewes in the Temple: Wherein two things are principally to be conside­red, the Preface and the principall Scope. The Preface is in the former words [Then spake Iesus to them &c.] Wherein consider these circumstances: First, The person spea­king [Iesus spake:] his speaking is amplified by a note of sedulitie and oftennesse in speaking [Spake againe.] Se­condly, The persons to whom he spake, [to them] viz. the people of the Iewes, flocking together about him, not to the Pharisies. Thirdly, The time when, [then] [Page 2] that is, either after this time when the Pharises had temp­ted him, vpon occasion of a woman taken in adulterie, or else in the great and last day of the feast of Taberna­cles, as some thinke; but whether, it mattereth not much.

Whereas it is said, that he spake to them againe, hence we obserue, and learne that Christ was most diligent, la­borious, and painefull in his calling, being in all things answerable to the commandement and will of his father. He was often weary, hungry, thirstie with trauailing, and preaching; neither fainting, nor failing therein through want of earthly reward (as the maner of earthly men is) nor discouraged therefrom with the feare of his ene­mies In the Chapter aforegoing the Iewes seeking to kill him, he trauailed into Galilee, and from thence a­bout the middle of the Feast to Ierusalem againe, where he taught continually in the Temple till the end of the last day of the Feast, then he went into the mount Oli­uet to rest and refresh himselfe, and earely in the mor­ning he came againe into the Temple to preach. By which History, and many other places, it is apparent, that Christ was continually employed in the actions of his calling. Hereupon it is that Iohn saith, Cap. 21. 25. If all Iohn 21. 25. things were written that Iesus spake, and did, I suppose the world could hardly containe the bookes, that should be written of him: which words he vttered out of the consideration, and reuiew of Christs great and daylie pains in teaching, preaching, & working miracles, which he thought could not more fitly be expressed than by such an hyperbolicall kinde of speaking. Likewise, Ioh. 4 34. Christ was wearied with trauaile, and thirstie, ha­uing neither drunke, nor eaten any thing since the mor­ning, it being now mid-day, therefore his Disciples Iohn 4. 3 4.prayed him to eate; but he answered, I haue meate to eate that yee know not of: My meate is, that I may doe the will of him that sent mee, and finish his worke. As if he [Page 3] had said, though meate be now necessarie for me, I ha­uing fasted thus long, yet is the doing of my fathers wil, and finishing of his worke more necessarie; therefore occasion of preaching, by the comming of the Samari­tans, at this instant, being offered, I must forget bodily hunger, I must not now regard bodily meate, but I must redeeme the present occasion, with neglect of my body and bodily sustenance. Likewise, Math. 26. 55. I sate dayly Math. 26. 55. teaching in the Temple among you, &c.

Hereby the Ministers of Christ, are taught by his example to be laborious and painfull in the faithfull dis­charge of their office, in the distruction of the king­dome of sinne and Satan, and in gathering and building vp the Church and kingdome of Christ, seeing that he hath sent them in like manner as his father sent him, as himselfe saith. In Ioh. 4. 35. Christ exhorteth his Disci­ples to performe the duties of faithfull labourers in the Lords haruest, to be carefull in reaping his fruits; his argument is drawn from the comparison of earthly har­uest-labour. Say yee not, there are yet foure months, and Ioh. 4. 35. then commeth the haruest? &c. As if he should say, you are so carefull for this earthly haruest, that you count the moneths, the weekes, and dayes till haruest come, so hungarly doe you looke for it, and painefully labour in it; but the Lords haruest, for which you ought to be as careful, is euen now at hand, for yee may see the regions already white to the haruest, therefore you must not now be so carefull for bodily meate, as to labour in the Lords haruest, and to delight your soules in his worke doing, euen in reaping and gathering soules into his barne, redeeming all times and occasions with losse of your meate, drinke, rest, sleepe, pleasures, &c. euen as earthly men do in the reaping and ining of their fruits. Furthermore he inforceth this exhortation by an argu­ment drawne from the effect; namely, the reward of the haruest-labour, verse 36. He that reapeth receiueth wages, [Page 4] and gathereth fruit to eternall life. The wages is eternall Dan. 12., and the beleeuing soules are eternall, Dan. 12. 3. They that turne many to righteousnesse, shall shine as the Iohn 15. 16. starres, for euer and euer. Ioh. 15. 16. I haue chosen you, and ordained you, that ye goe and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit remaine, i. to eternall life. Hence it is, that Paul saith, 1. Thes 2. 19.1 Thes. 2. 19. What is our hope, or ioy, or crowne of reioycing, are not you euen it, in the presence of our Lord Iesus Christ at his comming? yes, you are our glory and ioy. The Lord inioyneth Ieremie this duty, with denunciation of venge­ance Ier. 1. 17.annexed, if he fayled therein. Ier. 1. 17. Trusse vp thy loyns, & arise and speake vnto them all that I command thee, be not afraid of their faces, least I destroy thee before them. 1. Cor. 9. 16.The consideration hereof is a spur to Paul, exciting him to the serious performance of this dutie. 1 Cor. 9. 16. Ne­cessitie is layd vpon me, and woe is vnto me, if I preach not the Gospell: And heereupon is it, that he so straightly 2. Tim. 4. 1. 2.chargeth Timothie, 2 Tim. 4. 1. 2. I charge thee before God, and before the Lord Iesus Christ, which shall iudge the quick and the dead at his appearing, and in his Kingdome: Preach the word, be instant, in season and out of season, &c. These considerations of the reward on the one side, and of the punishment on the other, stirred vp the Apostles to preach the Gospell with all boldnesse and constancie. Act. 3. 14. 15. Act 4 13. 19. 20. Act. 5. 29. 30. Act▪ 7. 51. 52. Yea, ioyfully to suffer afflictions, Act. 5 41. They reioyced that they were counted worthy to suffer rebuke for the name of Christ. 2 Cor. 11. 23. to 29.

Secondly, this teacheth euery man to labour in his calling carefully and conscionably, approuing himselfe in all things to God, to a good conscience▪ and to good men, Rom. 12. 6. 7. 8. Ephes. 4. 28. 2 Thess. 3. 10. Gen. 3. 19. Gen. 31. 6.

Furthermore, whereas it is said that he spake to them, it is to be vnderstood of the multitude, though the Pha­rises in the next verse make replie. For Christ preached [Page 5] not to the Pharisees, but by accident, some of them euer being amongst the people that came to heare him, as spies, to watch him, and to catch some thing from his mouth, that they might haue whereof to accuse him, Luc. 11 54. Therefore, because they were but dogs, and Luc. 11. 54.swine, i. contemners, and persecuters of the Word, vt­terly forsaken of God, and left to themselues, he casts not the holy things of God, the pearles of the Gospell, before them, Math. 7. 6. but in all places where he hath Math. 7. 6▪to deale with them, he either conuinceth them, or con­futeth them, or reprooueth them, or curseth them, nei­ther instructing, exhorting, nor dehorting them, which had beene in vaine, and to no purpose. Thus much of the Preface.

Concerning the Scope, It is an exhortation, which is not simply propounded, but implyed in the reason thereof. The exhortation is [follow me:] It is enforced by two reasons, the first negatiue, [He that followeth mee shall not walke in darkenesse.] The second affirmatiue [but shall haue the light of life:] These reasons are confirmed by their principle or ground, [I am the Light of the World.] Of these foure things in order as they lie in the text.

I. I am the Light of the World.

It is an vsuall thing in the Scriptures to represent spirituall and heauenly things, by bodily and earthly things, that therein, as in glasses, we may behold heauen­ly things, although obscurely, which notwithstanding wee cannot otherwise perceiue, and see immediately, being too glorious, and vehement obiects for vs. Ther­fore as we cannot behold the light of the Sun in the Sun, but by reflexion thereof in the Moone, in the stars, in the water, or other bright body, or else by refraction thereof in the mistie ayre: so the soule, while it is in the body, heareth, seeth, vnderstandeth, imagineth, [Page 6] with the body, and in a bodily manner; and therefore is not capable of such hearing, seeing, vnderstanding, imagining, as it shalbe when it is seperate from the body. 1. Cor. 13. 12.Hence it is that Paul saith, 1 Cor. 13. 12. Wee now see through a glasse, darkely: We conceiue of Heauen by a Citie, whose walls, pauements and mansions are of gold, pearle, chry­stal, Reu. 21. emerald, &c. Reu. 21▪ We conceiue of Hel by a darke dun­geon, a stinging serpent, a gnawing worme, a burning riuer Esay 30. 33. of brimstone, Esay 30. 33. So heere the wisedome, loue, mercy, and goodnesse of God in sauing his elect, reuea­led by, and in Iesus Christ to the world, is cal ed Light.

And because light and darkenesse are much vsed in the Scriptures, I will speake a little of this materiall, and bodily light; because it giueth light, and vnderstanding not onely to that, whatsoeuer may be spoken of in this text, but to many other places of Scripture.

The Light is in substance cleane, pure, beautifull, sub­tile, simple, vniforme, voide of all mixture, free from outward pollution, and may more fitly be compared to the substance of the highest Heauen, which is the taber­nacle, or Sanctum Sanctorum of God, and his Angels, than to any earthly thing. Such is the glory of the light, that the eye cannot behold it, being in a subiect of na­ture like it selfe, as the Sunne is.

Againe, the light is pleasant, delightfull, cheerefull, comfortable, ioyfull, hopefull. For the light is the life of the world, and of euery liuing creature, and the absence of light is the destruction of euery creature. It is the life of the world in a double respect: first, in respect of the vitall vertue: secondly, in respect of the shining.

1. The vitall power of the light is dispersed throughout all nature, from the highest Heauen, to the center of the earth, comprehending, and contayning all things in it. And though it giueth not light to the eye in all things, yet it shineth inuisibly in euery thing▪ whose vertue sus­taineth, [Page 7] inuisibly, sence, motion, and life in all creatures, and without which the vertues, and operations of the starres aboue, and elements below, are fruitlesse, liue­lesse and dead: so that Light being a materiall creature August. it selfe, is the common life, and forme of euery crea­ture. And this is the light that God created the first day.

II. The light is the life of the World, in respect of the shining▪ for if there were no light, all things should be hid in darkenesse, and inuisible, and therefore could no­thing mooue without stumbling, and falling, neither know whether to goe, Ioh. 12. 35. And what could be Ioh. 12. 35.looked for but sudaine death? Againe, without light we should haue no knowledge of any thing: the firmament, and elements, with all their creatures should be inuisible to vs, there should be nothing but blindnesse, ignorance, feare, horror, sorrow, despaire, we should be farre worse than the prisoner that lies in the bottome of a nastie dungeon: Yea, if the light of the Sunne were not, the World should be a very picture, and resemblance of Hell, a confusion of beasts, foules, and men, euery one treading other vnder foote, yea all things should be min­gled together into one Chaos, or masse: there should be nothing but hunger, thirst, cold, nakednesse, feares, ter­rours, mourning, and wailing, continuall dying, one thing deuouring another. Consider therefore what is the necessitie, excellencie, glory and felicitie of the light, which is the life of the World. Hence it is that light is vsed in the Scripture to signifie good, and darkenesse euill. Light signifieth the glory of Heauen, the essence, and holinesse of God, the sonne of God, the doctrine of the Gospell, naturall vnderstanding, knowledge, and wisedome in the minde, the knowledge of the glory and wisedome of God in the saluation of the elect, ho­linesse of life, Christians, felicitie, and prosperitie, life. Contrarily, darkenesse signifieth Hell, the paines and [Page 8] of Hell, sinne and wickednesse, the blindnesse and ignorance of man since the fall, sinfull and lustfull liuing, the Gentiles that know not God, calamitie, and miserie, death. These things are generally signified by Light and Darkenesse.

But for the clearing of this perticular place, the light hath foure speciall significations. First, It signifieth God, that is, the Trinitie in the Vnitie. Secondly, It signifieth the Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost, that is the Vnitie in the Trinitie. Thirdly, it signifieth the Doctrine of the Gospell. Fourthly, it signifieth Christians, and Chri­stian life.

1 Ioh. 1. 5. Concerning the first signification; It is sayd, 1 Ioh. 1. 5. God is Light, and in him is no darkenesse. As if he should say, God is holy. This holinesse of the Diuine nature standeth: First, in the life, and incomprehensible essence, or being of God: Secondly, in his other essentiall pro­perties, as his power, wisedome, iustice, mercy, goodnesses Thirdly, in his vnspeakeable, complete, celestiall ioy, blessednesse, and felicitie. And as God is all light, so there is no light without him, for all that is without him, is ignorance, darkenesse, and impuritie.

Concerning the second signification. I. God the father is the light of the world, but this light in him is inuisible 1 Tim. 6. 16. to the world, and to Angels, 1 Tim. 6. 16. Who onely hath immortalitie, and dwelleth in the Light, which none can at­taine Ioh. 1. 18. Wis. 9. 13.vnto. Ioh. 1. 18. No man hath seene God at any time. Wis. 9. 13. What man is he, that can know the Counsell of God; or who can thinke what the will of God is? Also, No man knoweth the father but the sonne, &c. Therefore this light of the world in the person of the father is hid & inuisible.

II. God the Sonne is the light of the world, by com­munication from the father, and in him is the light, and life of the world manifest, and visible, which was hid in God from euerlasting. Ioh. 5. 36. As the father hath life in himselfe, so hath he giuen to the Sonne to haue life in him­selfe. [Page 9] For this cause is he called the image of the inuisible God, and brightnesse of his glory, whose glorious na­ture, wisedome, and goodnesse shineth in the sonne, who with the father, is one and the same God. Heb. 1. 3. Hence it is, that he is called the wisdome of the father, because he perfectly knoweth all secrets hidden in the father. And he is in speciall manner called the Word, because he reuealeth these secrets, and this light to the Nazian in orat. de filio Dei. Basil. in praefat. ante euang. Ioh.World, in mans nature, and by mans voice. Ioh. 1. 18. No man hath seene God at any time: the sonne which is in the bosome of the father, he hath declared him.

The Sonne therefore is the light, and life of men in a double respect. I. Christ is the light and life of man in the worke of creation: for by participation of his life, and light, he receiued life, motion, sence, and knowledge. Ioh. 1. 4. In it was life, and the life was the light of men. Ioh. 1. 4.

II. He is the life, and light of man in the worke of redemption: in which respect, here he calls himselfe the light of the World. The former naturall life, and light, which we receiued from him in the creation, is turned into darkenesse and death, through the enuy of the Deuill, and sinne. So that naturally we are without God, without light, without life, lying in the darkenesse of ignorance, and the pollution of sinne. Ezech. 16. 4. Rom. 1. 18. Now therefore, seeing that we are darknesse and not light, death and not life, euen dead in trespasses and sinnes. Ephes. 2. 1. God out of the hidden treasures Ephes. 2. 1.of his wisedome, goodnesse, and mercy, hath quick­ned, reuiued, and begotten vs againe, by application of his liuely light, communicated from before the beginning of the world to the son, & participated to vs by, & through the son in the world. The son therefore is the light▪ and life of the world: he is the wisedome and word of the fa­ther reuealing, declaring, and applying life and light to the world, and for this purpose the word was made flesh, and dwelt among vs, 1 Ioh. 1. 1. That which was from the 1 Ioh. 1. 1. [Page 10] beginning (euen Christ, God eternall) which we haue heard (euen the same Christ made man) which we haue seene with our eies, which we haue looked vpon, and our hands haue handled, of the word of life declare wee vnto you. The Sonne therefore i [...] our life, light, and felicitie: he alone of God is made vnto vs, wisedome, righteous­nesse, 1 Cor. 1. 30.sanctification and redemption, 1 Cor. 1. 30. This place is a plaine exposition of these words, [I am the light of the World;] for heere the Apostle excludeth a man wholly from himselfe, as nothing but darkenesse and death, and setteth forth our spirituall, and liuely be­ing, and manner of being in Christ. I. Hee is our wise­dome: All sauing and true wisedome is in Christ, for God hath fully reueiled himselfe in Christ, and by him to vs, Colos. 2. 3.and by no other meanes, Colos. 2. 3. In him are hid all the treasures of Wisedome and knowledge, and if all be in him, then without him is nothing, II. He is made our righteous­nesse, that is to say, by him, and in him, alone we are ac­cepted and beloued of God▪ For, first he alone by him­selfe hath purged our sinnes: Secondly, his obedience alone is imputed to vs for righteousnesse. In which two things standeth the righteousnesse of faith, by which God is our God, and we are his people. III. He is our san­ctification: By nature we are profane, without God in the world, a masse of filthinesse, and impuritie, Gen. 8. 21. Esay 64. 6. Iob. 14. 4. but by the spirit of Christ, wee are mortified, and renewed in affections▪ will, & euen in the spirits of our mindes▪ Rom. 8. 10. Ephes. 4. 22. 23. 24. IIII. He is our redemption: As if he should say, by him alone wee are redeemed both from the bondage of sinne, and miserie that commeth by sinne. This redemption is be­gun in this life, being deliuered from the bondage of corruption, and accusation of an euill conscience, and perfected in the end of this life, when the soule is sepe­rate from the burthen of the flesh; but consumate, and finished in the resurrection of the last day, when body [Page 11] and soule being revnited and ioyned together, shall re­maine for euer with Christ in his kingdome of glory.

Now, that which the Apostle saith there, that Christ is our wisedome, righteousnesse, sanctification and re­demption, is all one with that, which Christ saith heere, I am the light of the world: Therefore if any man desire to know more wisdome, or other wisedome, more righ­teousnesse, or other righteousnesse, more redemption, or other, in whole, or in the least part, let him heare the Apostle, Colos. 2. 8▪ 9. Beware least there be any man, that Colos. 2. 8. 9. spoile you through philosophies and vaine deceit through the traditions of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ: for in him dwelleth all the fulnesse of the god-head, bodily.

III. The holy Ghost is the light of the world, Though God the Sonne be the wisedome and word of the father, giuing light and life to the spirituall world, that is, the companie of the regenerate, euen as the Sun giueth light and life to the materiall world: yet the world, that is the vnregenerate, liuing in the darkenesse of igno­rance and sinne, doe not comprehend, nor receiue this light of life, no more then the dead eye, or body is beau­tified by the light of the Sun to see and liue therewith. Ioh. 1. 5. the light shineth in the darkenesse, and the darke­nesse Ioh. 1. 5. comprehended it not. 11. He came vnto his owne, and Esay 53. 1. his owne receiued him not. Esay 53. 1. Who will beleeue our Ioh. 12. 37. report, and to whom is the arme of the Lord reueiled? Ioh. 12. 37. Though he did many miracles before them, yet they beleeued not in him. So that the father is the fountaine of light, the Sonne is light begotten of the Light, and tooke flesh on him to manifest, and participate this light to vs, & the holy Ghost is light proceeding from both, being sent of the Father and the Sonne to enlighten vs. But the Son is the light of the World in a more peculiar maner, because he is Emanuell, and in, and by him, is the worke of our redemption wrought, but yet with the co­operation [Page 12] of the father, and the holy Ghost, as if three men should weaue a coate, and the third weare it. So that the Trinitie in the Vnitie, and the Vnitie in the Trinitie, is the light of the World.

Concerning the third signification. The Doctrine of the Gospell, is the light of the World. There be sundry Doctrines, and arts in the World, which are lights also; but they are naturall lights, not lights of life; there is no vertue in these lights to quicken the mortall body, or to reuiue the dead soule: the Doctrine of the Gospell is on­ly Ioh. 6. 63.the light of life. Ioh. 6. 63. The words that I speake to you, are spirit and life. Ioh. 17. 3. Psal. 119. 105. Ioh. 24. 13.

Concerning the fourth signification: Christians, and Christian life are the light of the World, and especially 2 Cor. 4. 6. the Ministers of the Word. 2 Cor. 4. 6. God that com­manded the light to shine out of darkenesse, is hee which hath shined in our hearts, to giue the light of the know­ledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Iesus. Math. 5. 14. Ephes. 5. 8.Math. 5. 14. Yee are the light of the World. Ephes. 5. 8. Yee were once darkenesse, but now are yee light in the Lord, that is, you are now enlightened by the word of truth, Phil. 2. 15. let your conuersation be according to the truth, Phil. 2. 15. Be blamelesse and pure, and the sonnes of God, without reproofe in the middest of a naughtie and crooked nation, a­mong Pro. 4. 18.whom yee shine, as lights in the world▪ Prou. 4. 18. The way of the righteous shineth as the light, more and more vnto the perfect day. Hereupon the workes of the regenerate, Rom. 13. 12. are called the workes of light. Rom. 13. 12. Put on the ar­mour of light, i. honest behauiour.

Notwithstanding all that hath beene said, we must know, that although Christ, the Gospell, and Christian life, be the light of the world, yet the world, namely the vnregenerate, comprehend not, nor see this light, because they take darkenesse to be light, and light to be darke­nesse.

Know therefore, that as Christ was reputed in the [Page 13] world, so were the Prophets before him, and the Apo­stles after him, and in such sort are the true Ministers, and true beleeuers esteemed in the world. Marke what Esay saith of Christ▪ chap. 8. 18. I and the children which thou hast giuen me, are as signes and wonders in Israel, i. as monsters. As Dauid saith, Behold I am become a monster vnto many. And Iohn saith of him, Ioh. 1. 10. He was in the Ioh. 1. 10. world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. Iohn 9. 29. Christ himselfe saith, Mat. 11. 19. Mat. 11. 19. The sonne of man is counted a glutton, a drinker of wine, a companion of Publicans and sinners. Mat. 27. 63. He is coun­ted a deceiuer. Mat. 9. 34. A sorcerer. Ioh. 8. 48. A Samari­tane, and to haue the diuell. Mark. 3. 21. His kinsfolkes lay Ioh. 9. 24. hold on him, supposing him to be beside himselfe. Ioh. 9. 24, The Pharisies know him to be a sinner. If Christ was thus reputed of, who neuer sinned, and in whose person, words and works, the Maiesty, power, and glory of God appea­red, yea through which, as through a chrystall, his diui­nity shined forth to the world; how much more then the children of God that are clogged with infirmities? No maruell is it, though they be counted the vilest, and most contemptible persons of all other. See the cause hereof. Wisd. 2. 22, They doe not vnderstand the mysteries of God, nor can discerne the honour of the soules, that are faultlesse. The cause of this ignorance and going astray is, vers. 21. Their Ioh. 3. 19. owne wickednesse hath blinded them. Ioh. 3. 19. This is the condemnation of the world, that light is come into the world, and men loued darknesse more then light, because their deeds were euill. The wicked hate the light because it discouers sinne, which they loue; againe the righteous loue the light, because it discouers sinne, which they hate, and ma­nifesteth the right way vnto them, into which they de­sire to enter, and wherein they delight to walke.

The world knew not the Prophets that were before Christ. But what part or people of the world? The Pha­risies, Amorites, Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites? No [Page 14] maruell if these knew them not. But the Church of God, the Israelites knew them not: yea, they were worse then the Aliants. For the Niniuites persecuted not Ionas, but Ionas 3. 4. 5. &c.beleeued God. Ionas. 3▪ 4 5. &c. But the Israelites persecu­ted al the Prophets with derision, contempt, imprison­ment, death. Act. 7. 52. Which of the Prophets haue not your Acts 7. 52. fathers persecuted, and they haue slaine them that shewed be­fore of the comming of that iust, &c. Which were the slaughter-houses of the Prophets, and Saints, before Christ? euen Samaria and Ierusalem, Mat. 23. 37. Euen Ierusalem, where was the Temple and worship of God, Ezech. 16. 46.where aboue all places in the world, Gods name was called vpon. Ezec. 16. 46. Thy eldest sister is Samaria, thy younger sister is Sodome.

Acts 5. 28. Againe, the world, knew not the Apostles, that were after Christ. In Acts 5. 28. the preaching of the Gospell is counted sedition, and rebellion. In verse 38. 39. Gamaliel a Doctor of the Law doubteth whether it be of God, or of men, comparing the Apostles to Theudas and Iudas of Galile, that made insurrection in the dayes of tribute. Acts 24. 5.In Acts 24. 5. Paul is counted a pestilent fellow, a moouer of sedition, a maintainer of the sect of the Nazarites, In the vers. 14. his doctrine is called Heresie, chap. 26. 44. Mad­nesse. 1 Cor. 4. 13.1. Cor. 4. 13. We are counted the of-scourings of al things. And Iohn the Baptist, that came in the way of righteous­nesse, is said to haue the diuell.

In the primitiue Church what euills soeuer happened to the City, or prouinces of Rome, whether famine, pesti­lence, earth-quakes, warres, vnseasonable weather, the Christians were thought to be the causes thereof: where­upon rose great persecutions; whereas indeed they them­selues were the causes thereof, which by reason of their vnbeliefe, and malice, brought these iudgements of God vpon thei owne heads. And herein note the condition of this blinde world, it alwayes hath beene and is suspiti­ous [Page 15] of the truth, and the true profession thereof, fea­ring and dreading the same, as an enemy to their peace, and safety. Worldly peace, rest, safety, liberty, prosperity is all that the carnall man seeketh for, or careth for, ma­king the end of their owne doings and Gods doings also, the rest, ease, and pleasures of their bodies, and the pompous gloryfying of their persons.

Whatsoeuer is aboue this, and for God, they take to be against them, because they are against God, though not in outward shew, yet in spirit, yea, making themselues their owne Idols, Ioh. 11. 48. If we let him alone, all men Ioh. 11. 48. will beleeue in him, and the Romanes will come and take away both our place, and the Nation. These worldly Politicians, whose policy was not guided nor seasoned with grace, are afraid of Christ and Christian profession. If we let him thus alone, say they▪ all men will beleeue him to be the Prophet and Messias that should come, and so make him King: which when Caesar heareth, he will come with an inuincible host against vs, and vtterly destroy this City, and the whole nation: Therefore our safest course is, by some meanes to plot his death: which plot and which meanes was the cause of the same destruction that they feared: for the Romane Emperour came, and tooke away their place and nation, because they slew the sonne of God, and persecuted the Gospell. These wicked wret­ches neuer feared that their infidelity, pride, couetousnes oppression, hypocrisie, should be the causes of their ruine, but they feared the Gospell, and godly life. Againe, Acts 5. 24. Act 5. 24. The chiefe Priest & Saduces had put the Apo­stles in prison, but an Angel deliuered them in the night, and commanded them to preach in the Temple the next day. Now the chiefe Priest and the Captaine of the Tem­ple and the high Priests, hearing what was done, doubted of them whereunto this would grow. These carnall and gracelesse politicians regarding only the establishing of their place, and of themselues, and of all things for them­selues, [Page 16] feared an alteration, & doubted whether it would in the end proue to be with them or against them. And because indeed that it could not but be against them (for the preaching of Iesus to be the sonne of God, the Prince and Sauiour of the world must needs conuince them of rebellion and murther, to their vtter disgrace, shame, and confusion, among all the people) therefore they labou­red by all meanes to murther the Apostles, & to quench the light of the Gospell. In like sort very many in these times, hanging between Popery and protestancy, doubt, and haue long doubted what this geare will grow to in the end: In the meane time not regarding at all what their vnbeleefe, pride, oppression, couetousnesse, epicu­risme, and mocking will grow to.

Furthermore, as the world in all times and ages here­tofore hath not knowne the straight paths of God; so in these present dayes of ours the true and right profession of Christianity is counted of many puritanisme, and pre­cisenesse, phantasticalnesse, affectation of singularity, and hypocrisie. True it is indeed, that as there are true Prea­chers, and true beleeuers, so Satan stirs vp counterfeits, that haue an outward shew and resemblance of them, but are not purged from their inward filthinesse: These are they that worldlings stumble at, concluding thus, euen so are they all, therefore their profession is but a kind of sect; and to follow the common course, and practise of the world, is the surest and safest way. Here Satan hath his desire. Againe if any godly man that hath alwayes made conscience of his wayes, shall offend, though of meere infirmity, or occasioned by some strong temptati­on, but yet so as he may iustly be taxed, why then the mat­ter is now out of all doubt; both he and all of his rancke are hypocrites, and none else: such is the blindnes of the world, and their praeiudicate opinion of the children of God. But now to conclude this first part, let me leaue this as a bone for the world to gnaw on, that stumbling [Page 17] blockes shall euer be cast before the feet of the wicked, yet shall the lanterne of Gods word shine vnto them, to guide them without stumbling or erring; notwith­standing stumble they will, and fall downe, euen to the breaking of their necke; for their owne wickednesse blindeth them, yea and they doe wilfully out of tbe hard­nesse of their hearts close their eyes against the wayes of truth, because the waies of errour, death, & destruction are more pleasant vnto them. Thus much of the princi­ple or ground of the reasons enforcing the exhortati­on, which followeth next in order to be spoken of.

II. He that followeth me.

There are sundry sorts of followers. I. Yong gentle­men, that are trained vp for education sake vnder great personages, and for experience, countenance, and pre­ferment sake in the world, are called their followers. II. They that hold on some sect of the Philosophers schooles, are called their followers. III. They that fashi­on and conforme themselues to the example of any man that excelleth in any faculty, are called his followers, but these are secular followers, and not pertinent to this place.

When Christ the light and life of the world preached the Gospell of saluation to the world, in the outward forme and appearance of the Prophets that were before him, and of his Apostles and ministers after him, confir­ming his doctrine with miracles, he had diuers followers. I. Some followed him to be cured of their diseases, and infirmities, Mat. 15. 30. Great multitudes came, hauing Mat. 15. 30. with them the halt, blind, dumbe, maimed, &c. Thus the ten leapers followed him, and especially the nine, that re­turned not to giue God praise. Luke 17. 17. II. Some▪ follo­wed Luke 17. 17. him to gaze on him and his miracles, and for this pur­pose Herod was glad when Pilate had sent him to him, [Page 18] hauing been desirous of a long season to see him, because he had heard many things of him, & trusted to see some Luke 23. 8.signe done by him. Luk. 23. 8. III. Some followed him for their bellies sake, as many doe in these dayes. Thus Iudas followed him; not because he loued him, and embraced his doctrine in sincerity, but because he was a theefe, and Mat. 8. 19.had the bag, and bare that which was giuen. Iohn 12. 6. Thus the Scribe followed him. Mat. 8. 19. Master I will follow thee whither soeuer thou goest. He imagined in his earthly heart, as did Iudas and the people of the Iewes, that Christ should in the end be crowned King of the Iewes, and that he would prefer and aduance his follow­ers, as earthly Princes vse to doe. Therefore Christ shapes him an answer accordingly, verse 20. The foxes haue holes and the birds of the heauen haue nests, but the Sonne of Man hath not where to rest his head; consequently he hath no­thing at all wherewith to gratifie his followers and wel­willers. Thus also a great multitude followed him ouer Ioh. 6. 26.the sea of Tiberias, and from thence backe to Capernaum, Iohn 6. 26. Verily, verily, I say vnto you, you seeke me not be­cause of the miracles, but because of the loaues that ye ate, and were filled. Fourthly, some followed him of enuy to entangle him, in his speechs, as did the Pharisies, Scribes, Sadduces, Lawyers, and the Herodians, which thought that Herod was the Christ. These are carnall and hy­pocriticall followers, which neither are meant of here in this place.

The true following of Christ, which here he speaketh of, is expressed by diuers similitudes in the Scripture. Ioh. 10. 21. Iohn 10. 21. My sheepe here my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, &c. where hearing signifieth Faith, and fol­lowing Obedience. In other countries the shepheards driue not their sheepe, but they call them and they follow them. Euery flocke knoweth the voice of their owne shepheard, by often hearing him, & they follow him, but after a strange voice they will not follow: Euen so Christs [Page 19] sheep, the elect, heare his word, they know it and acknow­ledge it, and are obedient to it, that is, they suffer them­selues to be ruled, and gouerned by their chiefe shep­heard Iesus Christ, speaking to them and calling them to him in his word, yea clocking them together as the hen doth her chickens. Mat. 23. 31. But mark the cause why they heare & obey him, in these words (And I know them.) This knowing is not onely vnderstood of Gods fore­knowledge, whereby he knew who were his from before all times, but of his knowing of them effectually in time. I call it effectuall knowledge when the elect are possessed of this knowing or acknowledging them, by the inward calling of his spirit. And this assurance of Gods know­ing them, acknowledging and owning them, is the cause why they know and acknowledge him, and are deligh­ted with his word.

Againe, this true following of Christ is farther expres­sed in Ephes. 5. 1. Therefore be ye followers of God, as deare Ephes. 5. 1. children. This verse is a conclusion of an exhortation of the last end of the verse afore going, forgiue ye one ano­ther, euen as God for Christs sake hath forgiuen you: There­fore be ye followers, &c. Children wee know doe imitate their parents, not onely in deeds and words, but euen in the affections of their hearts, and imaginations of their minds, resembling them inwardly, as they doe outward­ly; so that a man may say, this is right the fathers child, or the father will neuer be dead whiles the child liueth. Now the reason hereof is, because he hath receiued the spirit of generation from the father, which frameth, fa­shioneth, and worketh him into the image, similitude, identity or selfenesse (as I may say) of his father: And this is a deare childe, because the father doth not onely loue his child, but himselfe also in the child; and the child not onely loueth his father, but himselfe in the fa­ther; so that the one cannot hate the other, vnlesse he hate himselfe; and neuer man hated his owne flesh▪ Ther­fore [Page 20] this vnion is most firme, and perpetuall: euen so the children of God doe carry the resemblance and likenesse of God in the inner man, in holinesse by obe­dience to the first Table, and righteousnesse, by obedi­ence to the second Table of the Commandments, which both proceed from Loue, and Loue from Faith.

Therefore as God is holy, so are his children holy. Leu. 11. 44. Leu. 11. 44. I am the Lord your God, be sanctified and be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. As God is righteous, 1 Ioh. 3. are they righteous. 1 Ioh. 3. 7. He that doth righteous­nesse is righteous, euen as he is righteous. As God is merci­full euen so are they mercifull. Luke 6. 36. As God is loue, so walke they in loue. Ephes. 5. 2. Walke in loue, euen as Christ 1 Ioh. 3. 14. hath loued vs. 1 Ioh. 3. 14. We know we are translated from death to life, because we loue the brethren. As God is true and iust in all his words and works, so are they without hypocrisie, and doubting, both in respect of God their father, and in respect of their brethren. For the first, it is Ios. 24. 14. 1 Sam. 12. 24.commanded Ios. 24. 14. Feare the Lord and serue him in vprightnesse and truth, 1 Sam. 12. 24. Feare the Lord and serue him in truth with all thy heart. For the second, it is Ephes. 4. 25.commanded, Ephes. 4. 25. Cast away lying and speake euery one truth to his neighbour. The reason of the commande­ment is in the words following, drawne from the con­iunction of our members (for we are one anothers mem­bers) but whose members are we? that the 15. verse de­clareth, of Christ our head, into whom we grow, and by whose spirit we are knit together. Therefore if we be the true members we follow Christ our head: Contrarily, if we be not true members, but false, counterfeit, and dead limmes, we are cut off from him, separate to the world, and bodily lusts: or at least if we be not apparantly sepa­rate from him, but doe still outwardly professe him, yet doe we draw no vertue from him, leauing no feeling thereof in vs, either mortifying sinne in vs, or quickning vs to newnesse of life; but are as the dead branches grow­ing [Page 21] in the tree, but drawing no sucke or iuyce of life out of the tree. Secondly, if we be false and dead limbs, then are we separate from the other members, hauing no hearty fellowship with them.

I need not to amplifie this following, whereby Gods children follow him, by any more specialls; for as they follow him in holinesse, righteousnesse, mercifulnesse, loue, truth, vprightnesse, so also in all other things. 1 Pet. 1 Pet. 1. 15. 1. 15. As he which hath called you is holy, even so be ye holy in all manner of conuersation. Mat. 5. 48. Be you perfect as your father which is in heauen, is perfect, 1 Pet. 2. 9. Ye are a chosen generation, a royall Priesthood, an holy nation, a pecu­liar people, that ye should shew forth the vertues of him that hath called you out of darknesse into his maruellous light. To this purpose also Christ saith, Mat. 5. 16. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good workes, and glorifie your Father which is in heauen. Yea, this is the end of your election, redemption, and calling, euen our sanctification. 1 Pet. 2. 2. 1 Pet. 1. 2.

Now the cause why the children of God doe so re­semble him in true wisedome, righteousnesse, and holi­nesse, is because they haue receiued from him the spirit of regeneration. Ioh. 3. 4. Except a man be borne of water Ioh. 3. 4. and the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdome of God; that is, neither into the kingdome of grace, nor into the kingdome of glory. He is called the spirit of adoption, Rom. 8. 15. You haue not receiued the spirit of bondage Rom. 8. feare againe, but the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, or call God father. Whatsoeuer we are, how morally good soeuer we be, we are but children of wrath, quite cut off from God, hauing no part at all in him; wild Oliues, Rom. 11. 24. Bastards and runnagates, Rom. 11. Cain and Cham, vntill God adopt vs into his family, giuing vs the spirit of sonnes, of his owne free mercy, and grace, Tit. 3. 5. 6 Ezech. 36. 26. 17. Because this politicall terme of adoption is vsed often in the Epistles, I will [Page 22] briefly declare the meaning thereof.

Generation or begetting of children is naturall or le­gall: legall generation is a politicall act maintaining na­ture, ordained for their comfort, which haue no chidren, the law prouiding children for them, whom nature hath failed. And thus may a man be said to beget children legally.

Legall generation is also twofold, Adrogation and adoption. Adrogation is when he that is a free man, and vnder no mans power, authority or command, viz. nei­ther of father, or master, is receiued into the place of a sonne, by an other, which thus by law becommeth his father. And if he that is thus adrogate haue children, they are also vnder his power, as Nephewes, that is, his sons children.

Adoption is when he that is vnder the power of an other, whether father or master, is taken by another man to be his sonne and heire. And if he haue sonnes that is thus adopted, they are the nephewes of the adoptour. And although the adoptour cannot giue the spirit of a sonne vnto him (which only the naturall father can do) yet is the adopted so obliged & bound to him for those so great benefits both of freedome and inheritance, as that he cannot but for euer be most thankfull to him, yea alwayes ready and desirous to testifie the same by his loue, dutifulnesse, obedience, and all meanes towards his adoptour, euen as he were his owne sonne, and he his naturall father.

To apply this. We, euen the best that euer was, were vnder the power of others, to wit, in the bondage, and vnder the tyranny of the diuell, and sinne, who had ab­solute power and command ouer vs: and we misera­ble wretches yeelded our selues willingly, yea with de­light, into subiection, and homage vnto them, being destitute of the knowledge of God and godlines. Now God of his owne free loue, mercy, and grace, redeemed [Page 23] vs out of the thraldome of those tyrants with the bloodshed and death of his owne sonne: which wil­lingly submitted himself in obedience to his father here­in; for by no other price, nor other meanes could this purchase be made. Who because he was not only per­fect man, but perfect God also, did by the spirit of san­ctification free himselfe from the graue, the punishment, and imputation of our sinnes; and by the power of the same raised himselfe from death vnto life, corruption, and death hauing no power ouer him. This sanctifying spirit of the sonne hath the Father giuen vs, that by the power thereof our bond-mens minds, wills, affections, might be mortified and crucified; and that sonne-like and spirituall minds, wills, affections, might be put into vs, daily renuing vs into the nature of ingenuous, and freeborne sonnes. This is more then the legall father or adoptour can doe. For he can doe no more but binde his adopted sonne to thankfulnesse for his benefits of bodily freedome, and earthly inheritance; but God hath giuen vs the spirit of his sonne, whereby we are made and transformed into naturall sonnes, and therefore affectio­ned towards him, as the child is towards his naturall fa­thel. Much more thankfull therefore, louing, dutifull and obedient ought we to be (if we be true sonnes) to God our father, and Christ our redeemer, that hath so dearely bought vs out of the power of sinne, death, and damnation, and brought vs into the glorious liber­ty of sonnes, and hope of euerlasting inheritance toge­ther with his owne sonne.

Therefore it is apparant, that it is the spirit which quickneth, begetteth, fashioneth, and conformeth the children of God into the similitude and likenes of God their father, wherein at the first they were created, and into which they are renewed by the holy Ghost, by the Gospell of faith. This begetting and quickning spi­rit is called immortall seede. 1. Pet. 1. 23. Being borne [Page 24] a new, not of mortall seede, but of immortall, by the 1 Ioh. 3. 9.word of God, &c. 1 Ioh. 3. 9. Whosoeuer is borne of God sinneth not, because his seede remaineth in him, &c. This seede is not the essence of the holy Ghost, but the pow­er thereof, begetting faith of the Gospell in vs, crucify­ing the body of sinne in vs, and renuing vs into the Rom. 1. 13.image of God. Rom. 1. 13. 14. If ye mortifie the deeds of the flesh by the spirit, ye shall liue; for as many as are led by the spi­rit of God, are the sonnes of God. Tit. 3 4. We are saued by the washing of the new birth, and renuing of the holy Ghost.

To conclude this point then: As the child doth imi­tate the father by the vnion and identity of the spirit communicated vnto him from the father: euen so the child of God doth imitate and follow Christ by the vni­on of the spirit of God and Christ, which the Apostle 2 Pet. 1. 4.calls participation of the diuine nature. 2 Pet. 1. 4. Wher­by most great and pretious promises are giuen vnto vs, that by them ye should be partakers of the godly nature, in that ye flee the corruption which is in the world through lust.

Quest Hereupon it may be demanded, how we are partakers of the godly nature, and how we are said pro­perly to be the children of God.

Answ. We are partakers of the godly nature two wayes. First, in respect of the effect, vertues, and gifts of the holy Ghost working in vs, and by vs; as, first, enlight­ning our minds with the true knowledge of Christ: se­condly, begetting faith in vs, and incorporating vs into Christ: thirdly, purging out the leauen of naturall cor­ruption in vs: fourthly, fashioning vs into new obedi­ence: fiftly, applying Christ with his gifts, and treasures vnto vs: sixtly, leading vs into all truth: seuenthly, com­forting vs in afflictions: eightly, sealing the certainty of our inheritance in our hearts by his testimony, as a Ephes. 1. 14.pledge or earnest of the promises of God. Ephes. 1. 14. Hence it is that he is called The spirit of wisedome, and vnderstanding, the spirit of counsell, and strength, the spirit of [Page 25] knowledge, and feare of the Lord, Esay. 11. 2. Because hee Esay 11. 2.begetteth, worketh, and increaseth those vertues and gra­ces in vs. Likewise the spirit of meeknesse, Galat. 6. 1. The spirit of faith. 2 Cor. 4. 13. The spirit of loue. 2 Tim. 1. 7. Moreouer the Apostles were partakers of the diuine na­ture in respect of those extraordinary gifts wherewith they were endued for the execution of their Apostolicall office.

Secondly, we are partakers of the godly nature, in respect of the essence of God: not that Gods essence is any part of vs; but as he is God euery where filling hea­uen and earth with his essence, so is he in speciall man­ner with, and in his children, and by his presence is effe­ctuall in them. Whereupon Paul saith, Rom. 8. 11. The Rom. 8. 11. spirit of him which hath raised vp Iesus dwelleth in you. Ioh. 14. 23. Ioh. 14. 23. If any one loue me he will keep my word, and my Father will loue him, and we will come and dwell with him. God is present with the wicked also, but it is in such sort as the Iudge is present with the malefactors.

Thirdly, in this place the following of Christ is com­pared to the following of light, or to a lanterne that gi­ueth light to trauellers to goe the right way without error, falling or stumbling. Such a comparison the Psal­mist maketh, Psal. 119. 105. Thy word is a lanterne to my Psal. 119. 105. feet, that I might not stumble, nor erre. The word then, both sheweth the right way for a Christian to walke in, and guideth him in the right way to walke without offence. So that to follow the light is to haue our conuersation in this world according to the word of God, which by his sonne he hath sent and reuealed to vs, and is effectuall in them that are saued, bringing them out of the dark­nesse of this world into the glorious light and sunshine of his kingdome and grace. Thus much of the exhorta­tion. It followeth now to speake of the negatiue reason inforcing the same.

III. Shall not walke in darknesse.

What it is to walke or liue in darknesse, the Apostle plainly declareth, Ephes. 4. 17. 18. 19. the 17 verse is a dehortation, Walke not as other Gentiles doe in the vanity of their minds. Vanity of mind is a priuation or want of true wisedome and knowledge, whereupon the imagi­nations of the minde, the affections of the heart, and a­ctions of life, are not according to true wisedome and knowledge, but vaine, that is, foolish, fruitlesse, vnprofi­table, Rom. 6. no end. Rom. 6. 21. What fruit had you then in these things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of these things is death.

In the two verses following, he farther expresseth this vaine and foolish life of the Gentiles, shewing and declaring it by the causes thereof, which are two. The first is in the 18. verse, namely the corruption of the mind. The second is in the 19, verse, and that is remorce­lesnesse of conscience.

The corruption of the minde stands in two things. First, in the presence of euill (hauing their cogitation dark­ned.) Secondly, in the absence of good (Being strangers from the life of God.)

Concerning the darknesse of the minde, I thus ex­presse it. Man was created in the image of God, that is, Col. 3. the true knowledge of God. Col. 3. 10. And haue put on the new man, which is renued in knowledge, after the image of him that hath created him, and in true righteousnesse and Ephes. 5. 24. holinesse. Ephes. 5. 24. Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousnesse and true holinesse. This know­ledge was as a pure and eleare light in the minde of man; but after that by the fall man was separated from God, this light was darkned, that is, this knowledge was cor­rupted with ignorance as a punishment of the fall, so that there remained onely some small notions, glim­mering, or remainders of light or knowledge in him. [Page 27] Then againe, this light or remainder of knowledge is farther corrupted by the frowardnesse of the affections and will. Now this small remnant being taken away, there succeedeth meere darknesse, and brutish igno­rance. Mat. 6. 23. If the light that is in thee be darknes, how Mat. 6. 23. great is that darknesse? As if he had said, if thy naturall reason be darkned through the malice of thy heart, there is nothing but meere darknesse.

Secondly, the corruption of the mind standeth in the absence of good (strangers from the life of God.) Life is naturall, or spirituall; the former we haue by genera­tion from Adam, and it is the function of the soule in motion, sense, and reason.

Spirituall life is that which we haue by regeneration or new birth, which is the action of the holy Ghost be­getting faith in vs, by the power whereof we destroy the body of sinne, and are renued into the image of God, which is here called the life of God. This life of God Paul doth plainly declare, Gal. 2. 19. 20. That I Gal. 2. 19. 20. might liue to God I am crucified with Christ (as touching the old man) 20. Thus I liue, yet not I now, but Christ liueth in me (his spirit worketh new obedience in me.) In the words following he defineth this dying to sinne, and new­nesse of life by the cause (And in that I now liue in the flesh, I liue by the faith of the sonne of God.) The Gentiles and prophane persons are far from this godly life.

Furthermore this their strangenesse from the life of God is declared by the cause thereof, that is, their ig­norance: their ignorance is declared by the cause also, to wit, the hardnesse of their heart, which is the peruerse­nesse of the will and of the affections in the heart. And because froward and peruerse men doe resist, and seeke to quench the small light that is in them, there­fore God giueth them vp into a reprobate minde voide Rom. 1. 28.of all iudgement. Rom, 1. 28. This is the first cause of vaine, foolish, and fruitlesse liuing.

[Page 28] The second cause is remorcelesnesse of conscience, verse 19. Which being past feeling, haue giuen themselues to wantonnesse. Custome in sinne hardneth the heart, and the heart being hardned rebelleth against the mind, and putteth out the light of reason, which bringeth a curse vpon the conscience, and taketh away all remorse of sinne, which is a token of reprobation. The Apostle 1 Tim. 4. 2.calleth it a seared conscience that cannot bleed. 1▪ Tim. 4. 2. Thus haue I shewed what it is to walke in darknesse which is to liue, not according to the knowledge of God, and his waves, but according to the imaginations and corrupt affections of our owne hearts. And thus doe all men naturally liue, though neuer so wise, learned, ci­uill, and great in the world; their whole life is foolish, fruitlesse, vnprofitable, and their end is eternall death.

For the further clearing of this point, I will shew in what particulars the vaine and foolish life of the ig­norant is compared to darknesse.

First, darknesse is a priuation and want of light: so spirituall darknesse, that is, the ignorance, and blindnesse of the heart is a priuation, and want of the light or know­ledge of God.

Secondly, in darknesse all things are inuisible, one thing cannot be discerned from another: Blacke, and white, good and euill, hurtfull things and profitable things are not discerned So in spirituall darknesse, men call good euill, and euill good; sinne is delightfull and sweet to them, yea they coun tit abhomination todepart 1 Pet▪ 4. 4.from euill. 1 Pet. 4. 4. Wherein it seemeth strange vnto them, that yee run not with them to the same excesse of riot, there­fore speake they euill of you.

Thirdly, in darknesse a man knowes not the right way, though he be neuer so quickesighted, and although he be set in it, yet will he soone goe astray, running into by-paths and dangerous wayes, like a blind man: so in [Page 25] So in spirituall darknesse, ignorance of God in his word, a man knowes not the way of life: this narrow way he can not finde, & though he be neuer so subtill, politicke, wise, and learned, well may he grope for the streight gate, as the men of Sodome did for Lots dore, but he shall ne­uer be able to finde it; and though he daily looke on it, yet shall he not discerne it: All his wayes are the wayes of death, and the good and right way seemeth to him to be the worst way.

Fourthly, if this light of the sunne were not, the earth should be a very picture and resemblance of hell, a con­fused masse, or heape of beasts, foules, and men, one thing treading other vnder foot, nothing but hunger, thirst, cold, nakednesse, feare, terrours, sorrow, despaire, mourning, and wailing, continuall dying, one thing de­uouring another: Euen so in spirituall darknesse, where the knowledge of Gods word is not, there is a resem­blance of hell, and men are like diuels: there is nothing but disorder and confusion, no dueties towards God, nor towards man put in practise. Where this glorious light of the Gospell shineth not in the hearts of men, they are like to beasts and Serpents, yea, they degene­rate into the natures of all noisome and venemous beasts. First, they hatch cockatrice egges, that is, what­soeuer Esay 59. 5. Psal. 14. 5.commeth from them is deadly poyson. Esay 59. 5. The poison of Aspes is vnder their lippes. Psal. 14. 5. De­struction and vnhappines is in their waies, verse 7. Second­ly, they are vipers, children deuouring parents, and pa­rents their children. Mat. 3. 7. Thirdly, They are as fed Ier. 5. 8. horses, of vnbrideled and adulterous lusts, Ier. 5. 8. Fourthly, Reioycing and neighing in the victory and downfall of their neighbours, like to strong horses. Ier. 50. 11. Fiftly, destroy­ing Ier. 50. 11.their Prophets, teachers, instructors, and the poore, like to Lyons. Ier. 2. 30. Psal. 10. 9. & 22. 13. Sixtly, sub­tile and wilely to deceiue, like Foxes. Luke 13. 32. Se­uenthly, Luk▪ 11. 32. [Page 30] Girning and running about like dogges, if they be not satisfied in their vnsatiable desires. Psal. 59. 14. Esay 56. 11. Eightly, rauenous and greedy of the prey, full of cruelty, and without all mercy, like to wolues, Mat. 7. 15. Where the light of the Gospell shineth not in the hearts and mindes of men what can there be but pride, vaineglory, drunkennesse, excessiue drink­ings, oppression, deceiuing one another, and being de­ceiued, euery Superiour treading his Inferiour vnder foote; politicke and craftie circumuenting one another, wily intrapping and insnaring one another; cousenage, fraudulent dealing, dissembling and lying in bargaining, bloodsucking by cruell oppression hatefull and heathe­nish rent-racking, vaine and prodigall spending, volup­tuous liuing, and licentious gaming, murthers, enuy, ill will, contention▪ and trouble, whoredomes, adulte­teries, and wantonnesse? These and such like, are the workes of darknesse, euen of them that are aliue in body, and dead in soule. But Christ is the light of the world: they that follow him shall not liue in such darknesse, but shall haue the light of life. Thus much of the negatiue reason: the affirmatiue fol­loweth.

IIII. But shall haue the light of life.

There be two lights of life, or liuely lights. First the knowledge of God in righteousnesse and holinesse, participated by the sonne of God to Adam in the crea­tion, is called liuely light: I say, the naturall knowledge of God in Adam before the fall, was the light of naturall life, which life stood in absolute holinesse, which was his perfect obedience to the first Table, and absolute righteousnesse, which was his obedience to the second. [Page 31] But this liuely light by the fall was extinguished, yet not wholly, but so buried in ignorance and impurity, as it is of no force to bring forth in vs any pure worship of God, or holinesse of life, but serueth rather to bridle and restraine vs from outragious sinne, and to giue vs some light to discerne our ignorance and malice, to our owne accusation and condemnation, so that it is a dead­ly and not a liuely light.

The second light is a new knowledge, that is, the knowledge of God in Christ. Of God in Christ recon­ciling the world to himselfe: of God in Christ our mer­cifull and louing father: of God in Christ redeeming and purchasing vs againe, when by sinne we were vtterly lost: of God in Christ restoring vs to sight, that were vt­terly blinde, and ignorant: of God in Christ abolishing the body of sinne, and corruption in vs: of God in Christ renuing vs into his owne image and likenes, from which by Adams transgression we fell: of God in Christ, tur­ning the curse of the earth, with all afflictions and trou­bles, into blessings and meanes to eternall blisse: of God in Christ, preparing a kingdome and heauenly Citty for vs, whose pauements, walles, and buildings are of Golde, Pearle, Emeraldes, Chrysolites, Car­buncles, and all costly ornaments, a thousand times excelling the Sanctum Sanctorum of Salomons Temple in glory.

He that followeth Christ hath this liuely light in him▪ he that followeth him not, hath no light in him, but is shut vp in ignorance and darknesse. Hee I say that denying carnall wisedome, and fleshly lusts, doth follow him, is enlightned to see and behold the glory of God in sauing the elect▪ by and through Christ, which the Gospell setteth forth: And by vertue of this light and sauing knowledge is he made partaker of the diuine nature, that is quickned to liue the life of God, which [Page 32] stands in new obedience. He therefore that followeth Christ hath the light of life.

What it is to haue the light of life, or to walke in the light, is plainely expressed. Ioh. 12. 35. 36. Yet a little Ioh. 12. 35. 36. while the light is with you; walke while yee haue light, least the darknesse come vpon you, &c. Christ exhor­teth heere to walke in the light, which signifieth two things.

First, to beleeue in him, as it is in the verse following, while yee haue light, beleeue in the light, &c. first, I say, to walke in the light signifieth to beleeue in Christ, our wisedome, righteousnesse, sanctification, redemp­tion.

Secondly, it signifieth the performance of all duties worthy of a Christian, which is to haue our conuersation according to our faith in him. For as the light of the day is giuen to vs to walke, and labour in our callings; euen so this spirituall light or day, shining in the Gospel, is giuen to vs to walke, to labour, and to liue therein. And he that walketh not in the light of the Gospell, walketh in darknesse, euen after the imagination of his owne corrupt heart, in the craftinesse and deceiueable­nesse of fleshly lusts. For the further clearing of this point▪ I will shew in what particulars this liuely & sauing knowledge of God in Christ, reuealed in the Gospell, and applied to the elect by the spirit, is called Light.

First, the light is so glorious a creature, that no fleshly eye can behold it, being in a subiect of nature, like it selfe, as the Sunne is: euen so the light of the Gospell is so glorious, that the eye of mans reason and vnderstanding cannot in the least measure appre­hend it.

Secondly, the light is pleasant, delightfull, cheerfull, comfortable, ioyfull, and hopefull; but in the absence [Page 33] of light there is heauinesse, sadnesse, sleepinesse, pensiue­nesse, sorrowfulnesse, dispairfulnesse, fearefulnesse: euen so, this sauing knowledge placeth the soule in much more happinesse, and felicity, affording true and euer­lasting pleasures, true delights, true cheerfulnesse, true comforts, true ioyes, true hope, which the miseries and afflictions of this life cannot abolish or corrupt, seeing that they are the rayes and beames of the Sunne of righteousnesse, shining in vs. How inuincible, and vnquenchable is this sauing knowledge, the light of life?

Thirdly, the visible light is the life of the materiall world, maintaining life, motion, sense, in all creatures in the firmament aboue, and elements below, euen so this sauing knowledge is the life of the spirituall world, that is, the companie of Gods elect, kindling spirituall life in them, giuing spirituall wisedome, vnder­standing, reason, sense, motion, vnto them, whereby they differ from other men, more then other men differ from beasts.

Fourthly, as by the shining light all things are visi­ble to vs, and euery thing is discerned and knowne: euen so by this sauing knowledge are all things made mani­fest to the eyes of our minds. For by vertue hereof, we discerne betweene good and euill, betweene holinesse and prophanenesse, betweene true wisedome and world­ly craftinesse, betweene the true worship of God, and idolatrie, or false-worshippe, betweene sincerity and hypocrisie, between the workes of light and darknesse, betweene Christ, and Antichrist; between God and the Diuell, who can transforme himselfe into an Angell of light, to blinde the eyes of Infidels, that they that want this knowledge discerne little or nothing at all between the one and the other, yea they altogether take the one for the other, like to the blind man that goeth confi­dently [Page 34] the contrary way.

Fiftly, as the light doth enlighten the bodily eyes, whereby we see to walke in the right way, and that without stumbling or falling: euen so this sauing knowledge sheweth the right way to eter­nall blisse, and guideth vs without falling into the pitfalls of Satan, and this wicked world.


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