• 1. The good Fight. Preached at the Funerall of Henry Sommaster of PENS-FORD in the County of Deuon, Esquire. Ian. 1606.
  • 2. The worth of the water of Life.
  • 3. Dauids Longing, and Dauids Loue.
Greg. in Ezech. Hom. 3.

The Preacher should be like the Smiths burning Iron, which not onely heateth those that are neere, but casteth sparkes farre off.




AT CAMBRIDGE Printed by IOHN LEGATE. Anno 1607.

❧To the right Worshipful, Sir WILLIAM STRODE of Newing­ham in the Countie of Deuon. Knight.

SIR, what, and how great my debt is to your Worship, it is very meet for me to remember, though it be not necessarie to acquaint the world with parti­culars. My desire hath bene, and is, to giue some testimonie of thankefulnesse. Rich presents, such as in this crauing and catching age, do (as the Wiseman saith,Pro. 18.16. Enlarge a man, and leade him before great men, as you need not, so (I know) you expect not: sure I am, I for my part am very vnable to bestow. But (as S. Peter said to the cripple at the tem­ple gate,Act. 3.6. Such as I haue I giue, euen a few blotted leaues; such perhaps, as in this itching-eared 2. Tim. 4.3. ge­neration, (wherin the most do more affect toyes then truth, and a flourish of words, rather then substance of matter) few will take notice of: yet such as I doubt not but you, out of your loue to me, but chiefly out of your affection to Gods holy truth, will vouchsafe kindly to accept. For me, to commend (as deceitfull hucksters do their wares) either to you or to others, that which I here make tender of, were to proclaime [Page] to the world mine owne vanitie. Let another man praise thee, and not thine ovvne mouth, saith the Scri­pture: Pro. 27.2. neither yet will I any way disparage it: for that might be thought a secret begging of commenda­tion. I submit it to triall, if either to your selfe, or to any other of the Israel of God, Gal. 6.16. it shall bring any li­tle encrease, either of sound knowledge, or sweet fee­ling in the mystery of Christ, Eph. 3.4. I haue my reward, and shall thinke my labour well bestowed. And so heartily, wishing the true good vnto your Worship, your good Ladie, your whole line and family, I take my leaue. Modbury in Deuon.

Your Worships respectiuely, SAM. HIERON.
2. TIM. 4.7.

I haue fought a good fight.

THE beginning of this chapterv. presents vnto vs a very graue and soleme charge giuen as in the name of God and his most glorious pre­sence by the Apostle vnto his Sonne ver. 5. Timotheus, The occasion of the words. that considering the euil­nes of the times, & the aptnes of men to turne their eares from the truth vnto Fables, he should shew forth an extraordinarie and vnwearied industry in the faithfull execution of his publique Ministry. The reason inducing Paul to be at this time especially so ve­hement in this kind of perswading, and which should also moue Timothie to be as apt to entertaine the aduise, was the neeere approching of the time of his finall dis­solution; I am now readie to be offered, &c. v. 6. as if he had said: I am vncertaine how soone the thred of my life may be cut eff, sure I am, it cannot be stretched out long, and there­fore, whilest I haue time, (and for ought I knowe this may be the last time (I cannot but advertise thee: And seeing that which I now speake, I speake as one readie to lay downe this Tabernacle, in the depth of my affection to thee, and in the sin­ceritie of my heart to God, (before whom I exspect hourely to appeare) thine cares ought with the greater greedines euen to drinke in these my last words, & they should so farre forth af­fect thee, that thou shouldst lay them vp, and hide Ps. 119.11. them, and keepe them in the midst of thy heart. Pro. 4.21.

Now the mentioning of death, albeit it worketh lit­tle with Euill men, vnlesse it bee either to the deading of their hearts, like Nabals (he was like a stone, 1. Sam. 25.37 saith the [Page 2] Text), or to the making of them more desperate secure, (Let vs eate and drink, for to morow we shall die, i. Cor. 15.32. yet in such a fleshy Ezech. 11.19. melting 2 Kin. 22.19. renewed Ps. 51.10. heart as Paules was, it could not chuse but leaue some impression. For how could it be, that Paul, knowing, that when man returneth to his earthPs. 146.4. his spirit is eftsoones either receiued into euerlasting Habitatiōs Luk. 16.9., or else dismissed to be reserued in chaines vnder darkenes, vnto the iudgement of the great day, Iud. 6. should not also cast with himselfe, which of these two should be the finall issue of his soule? Now then, beholding with the eies of his minde, the Glory that shal­be shewed hereafterRom. 8.18. on the one side, and the Burning Lake which is the second Death Reu. 21.8. on the other side, and knowing that each of them is by the ordinance of God, (as with a chaine of Adamant) tyed to the holynes or profanes of the former course, therefore for the securing of his owne soule, for the encouraging his pupill Timo­thy, and for a sauing and comfortable directiō to vs all, he ioyfully lookes back into his life by past, that from thence he may deriue a hopefull inference for the time to come: I haue fought a good fight &c, From hence­forth is laide vp for me &c. Thus with as much fide­lity and plainenes as I could, I haue let you see, the course, and order, and dependance of this Text. It is a notable and a pregnant proofe of the saying of the wise man, (Pro. 14.32.) The wicked shalbe cast away for his malice, but the Righteous hath hope in his death. That Pauls Hope was not in this life onely (Cor. 15.19.) appeareth by the folowing verse: what were the grounds of his hope, by which it be­came a Hope not making ashamed (Rom. 5.5.) is declared in this verse. It is borne vp with three supporters. 1. A Good fight well discharged: 2. a holy Course well finished. 3. a sound Faith well preserued. This is like Salomons threefold cord (Ecc. 4.12.) which is not easely broken. It may be compared to that Skarlet cord (Ios. 2.) by which Rahab let downe the spyes, and which shee left hanging in her window. For as that was the marke by which [Page 3] her house was knowne, and shee saued from the destru­ction of Iericho, so this holy Twine, is a pledge to that soule where the Lord hath tyed it, that it shal be freed from the wrath that is to come. Time will not giue leaue to vntwist euery specialty. I will proceed as I may, and beginne with the first, praying you all that inasmuch as the same dissolution of nature awaites vs all, which hath long since brought Paul to his ex­spected Rest, we would yeeld our selues to be so farre forth perswaded by that, which by Gods assistance I shall speake, that by seeking to imitate Pauls hope, we may at last partake the same happines which Paul doth.

Before I come to the more exact discouerie of the hidde Treasure of this my Text,Doctrine out of the or­der of the place. I must commend vnto you this generall obseruatiō, grounded vpon the course and order of this Place, namely, That the most solide com­fort to a Christian soule, beholding the greisly and ghastly countenance of approching Death, is the Testimony which the Heart beareth to it selfe, of the former steady care to walke in all good conscience before God. I would be loth to be charged with offering violence to my Text, therefore I will let you see how this doctrine ariseth kindly and vn-enforced from this scripture. Wee see first our Apo­stle, in a resolued expectation of his now very neere at hand departure: that is expresse, we see him also assu­ring himselfe of no smaller honour then a Crowne of Righteousnes: so much the verse following will not suf­fer vs to denie. If it be demaunded now, whence it was, that his thoughts of death were so full of comfort, and his hopes of happines so full of confidence, the truest answer is this, it came even from hence, that the witnes in his bosome, speaking the truth before the Witnes in heauen, Iob. 16.19. testified with him and for him, that in all his course from the very first instant of his conuersion, vnto this last conclusion and shutting vp of his daies, his whole drift was, in simplicity and godly purenes to haue his Conuersation [Page 4] in the World Cor. 1.12.. I haue fought a good fight. I haue finished my course, &c. So that, this considered, there is very sufficient footing for this doctrine, in this Text. Giue me leaue to shew you in an example or two, how others of Gods holy ones, being guided by the same spi­rit, haue in the like case, grounded their hopes vpon the like foundation. Note well the example of Hezekiah Is. 38.1. &c.. He knew generally by natures instinct, that he must die; but at this time (I now speake of) the prophet of the Lord, euen the prophet Isaiah came vnto him with this dolefull message. Put thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not liue. Whom would not these tidings haue stro­ken to the heart, and what could Hezakiah expect but present death? well then, all things threatning his end, the common condition of nature, the mortality of pre­sent sicknes (being, as it is thought, the plague) and aboue all, the doome come from the Lord by the hand of such a prophet, where was the staffe of Hezekiahs comfort, but euen as our Apostles was in the secret witnes of his owne soule, testifiing vnto him the sincerity and holines of his former course? O Lord remember now how I haue walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and haue done that which was good in thy fight. Who so compareth this of Paul, with that of Hezekiah, must needs say that they were both euen the very breathings of one and the same spirit. Thinke we that Eliïah, sitting vnder the Iu­niper tree 1. Kin. 19.4.10. could with any comfort haue desired the Lord, to take his soule, if he had not had his assurance written vpon the table of his heart Pro. 3.3. that he had bene al­waies very iealous for the Lord God of hosts? Could old Simeon with a glad spirit haue besought the Lord euen instantly to dismisse him, if his conscience had not told him, that all his life past had bene an intentiue awaiting for the Consolation of Israel Luc. But what should I search the scripture for more examples? Looke to Iesus the author and finisher of our Faith, Heb. 12·2. and see whether, when he a as man made sinne for vs 2. Cor. 5.21. was to drink that bitter Cup Mat. 26.39. and to taste death for vs allHeb. 2.9., his cōstant expectation of parta­king [Page 5] with his fathers glory, came not by the same de­grees vnto the due perfection? Examine that effectuall prayer composed by him the night before his suffrings, when he knew that his houre was come that he should depart out of this world vnto the Father Ioh. 13.1.. Read Ioh. 17.5.6. I haue glorified thee, now glorifie me, &c.

If you demaund a reason of this Doctrine,The reason of the Doct. you may thus conceiue it, and I pray you to marke it, least I should be mistaken and thought to place mans hope of comfort in himselfe. A man which iourneyeth, builds his assurance of safe arriuing at the place he aimeth at, vpon his dili­gence to enquire, and his care to keepe the right path leading thereunto. The place I intend, I knowe, the way I am well aduised of, in it I am sure I am, I haue traueiled in it as was fit, therefore I am sure I shall not faile in my intent. This is a kinde of reasoning which cannot deceiue. So is it in this case. The way to heauen is Christ. I am the way.Ioh. 14.6. by his bloud he hath tracked out for vs a new and liuing way Heb. 10. [...]0.: For the help of his chosen in this way, he hath giuen his word: He hath shewed thee, O man what is good, &c. Mic· 6.8.. to his word he hath annexed Ministers, as Guides Act. 8.31. for vnderstanding it: with the voice of his word he hath coupled the Teaching of his spirit: Thine eares shall heare a word behinde thee, saying. This is the way, &c. Is. 30.21.. He hath set marks also in the way, by which to know it; as namely, 1. Antiquity Stand in the waies and aske for the old way, which is the good way, &c. Ier. 6.16.. 2. Purity. There shalbe a path and a way, and the way shalbe called Holy, &c. Is. 35.8.. 3. Fruitfulnes. He hath ordained good works that we should walke in them Eph. 2.10.. 4. Straitnes, and the fewnes of passen­gers. The gate is strait and the way narrow which leadeth to life, and few there be that finde it Math. 7.14.. So then, the marke I haue alwaies aimed at is heauen, euen the Price of the high calling of God in Christ Phil. 3.14.: the way to it I haue sought, not in mine owne heart, nor in the guises and humors of the world, but in the Scripture: I haue found it to be Faith in Christ working by loueGal. 5.6. and making a man [Page 6] zealous of goodworks Tit. 2.14.: to this way my heart hath bene setDeu. 32.46., it hath bene my continuall and instant suite to be directed in this Path Ps. 119.36. and though with much weaknes, and limping Heb. 12.13., yea and falling Ps. 37.24. sometimes, yet to it I haue striuen Luc. 13.24. continually: How then without calling Gods truth and faithfulnes into Question, can I doubt of the End, when my conscience is witnes with me, that my steady respect Ps. 119.6. hath bene vnto the way guiding thereun­to? you see then the truth of the doctrine, and the rea­son of it, and withall that in it there is no building vp­on our selues, but a hopefull resting vpon the Lord, who hauing taught Ps. 119.33. me the way, and enclined my heart Ver. 36. vn­to it, and established me in itVer. 116., I know him to be so farre from denying himselfe 2. Tim. 2.13. that I cannot misse of the end of my course, the saluation 1. Pet. 1.9. of my soule. This the piety, the Purity, the sincerity of my former course, secureth me of the Glory to come, not because of any connexi­on betwixt worke and wages, which I trust vnto, but because the Lord, of his owne will Iam. 1.18. and free grace, hath vouchsafed the singlenes of my heart Eph. 6.5., purged from dead works by the blood of Christ Heb. 9.14. euen amidst many weaknesses to be the way to lead me vnto life. So that my title is the promiseGal. 3.18. of God, and not mine owne performance: the conscience of my former course, is the assurer, not the deseruer of my happines. Some great man out of his bounty giueth the an inheritance of some pounds by the yeare, thou must pay a pepper corne for thy Rent; when thou hast paid it, indeed thou maist claime the profits, yea and by lawe thou maist recouer them: but what wilt thou plead? what? that thou art worthy of it, that thou hast paid well for it? no: the bargaine is thy plea, the couenant is all which thou canst alleadge, for betwixt the rent and the revenue there is no proporti­on: so, for thy Graine of musterdseed Math. 17.20. thy Smooking Js 42.3. and scarse appearing Faith, thy scant Obedience, thy Cup of cold water Math. 10.42. thou maist challenge heauen, and God will not, God cannot denie it thee, yea he loueth to be [Page 7] so vrged: but yet thou canst not say, It is mine, I haue de­serued it: (for what is all this to that surpassing, exceeding, eternall weight of Glory 2. Cor. 4.17., but, O Lord it is mine, thou hast promised it. Thus you see how without any preiudicing, nay rather how with the enlarging of the Riches of Gods grace, the comfort of a dying Christian, depen­deth vpon the witnes of his conscience touching the sinceritie of his heart, and the vnblameable cariage of his life.

The vse of this doctrine is plaine and obuious to e­uery mans conceiuing, and it must needes be this,The vse. euen to warne vs all, as we tender our owne soules comfort at the instant of Natures dissolution, so to be very re­garding of our present course, that out of it we may raise our hopes, that when our earthly house of this ta­bernacle shalbe destroied, we shall haue a building giuen vs of God, eternall in the heauens 2. Cor. 5.1., that the conscience of our vnlawfull deedes and vncleanly conuersation 2 Pet. 2.7.8. may not fill our faces with shame and our hearts with horror, ma­king death to be vnto vs The King of feare Iob. 18.14. and the thought of Gods presence, (before whom we shall then vnderstand, that we are shortly to appeare) as a pream­ble vnto eternall misery. Certaine it is, that whatsoeuer we now in our securitie (through Satans bewitching) doe imagine blessing our selues secretly, and saying we shall haue peaceDeu. 29.19., yet as sure as God liueth, who hath said in his word, that the light of the wicked shall be quenched Iob. 18.5. and the hope of the vniust perish Pro. 11.7., so surely such as hath beene our course, such shalbe our end, if we haue liued without conscience, we shall surely die without comfort. And to set the better edge vpon this advertisement, giue me leaue to draw you a little into the consideration of that thing, as if it were now pre­sent, which ere long will indeede be present. We are met here togither at this time (by Gods prouidence) men of sundrie fashions and of diuers ranks, but (how­soeuer differing otherwise) all by profession, Christians [Page 8] and by condition, mortall. All our teeth are set on edge, with the fruite which Adam eate, and the law of death, is heauens decree and cannot be revoked. Well, put case we were instantly arrested with some killing sicknes, (the herauld of approaching death) and were to looke backe into that part of the wallet (as the prouerb saith) which is behinde, to see what hopes for future quiet, we are able to deriue out of our former conuersa­tion: let vs (I say) consider well and deale faithfully with our selues, whether our fashion of life by-past, be not more like to fill vs with discouragements, and to breed in vs a fearefull looking for of Iudgement Heb. 10.27. then to embolden vs with a holy resolution to exspect a grati­ous admittance into our Masters Ioy Math. 15.2 [...].. And indeede when men in the records of their owne consciences, shall read written in great letters, the profanesse, the A­theisme, the contempt of religion, the scorne of Gods word, the ignorance, the Monstrous oathes, the vicious speakings, the cruelties, the oppressions, the whore­domes, the abuse of Gods creatures, & the whole troupes of grosse sinnes, which haue beene in a manner the very busines of their daies, what can they exspect, but that their death, should be like the mans estate of whome the prophetAmos. 5.19. speaketh, who did flee from a Lion and a Beare met him, so should their dying also be, a discharge from a wretched world, but withall an entrance into a­nother woe, euen an endles, easles, hopeles misery? It is a sure Maxime in diuinitie, that the future, both happines and Miserie, are begun in this present world: sanctificati­on and holmes are the first fruites of the one: impietie and profanes the beginnings of the other. The Saints by election are Saintes by calling 1. Cor. 1.2.: their conuersation is now in heauen Phil. 3.20. whose future portion is in heauen. That which God hath coupled together let no man put asunder Math. 19.6.. you will plead against me, that so much abused exam­ple of the conuerted theife at the point of executionLuk. 23.39. I answer. First, he began to worke, as soone as he was [Page 9] called: he bewailed his sinnev. 4 [...]., he confessed Christvers. 41.42., he aduised his fellow Thiefever. 40.: secondly, the example was extraordinary (for the gracing of Christs then de­basement) shewing what God can doe, not what ordi­narily he will doe. I haue seene a pardon giuen to a man vpon the gallowes, but who so emboldeneth himselfe therevpon, perhaps the rope may be his hire: it is not good to put it vpon the Psalme of Miserere, and the neck-verse, for sometime he prooues no clark. God once made an Asse to speakeNumb. 23.28., but he that should therefore spurre his beast, till he spake also, all men would condemne him for vnwise. Let then this be the conclusion. The refreshing of Pauls spirit, when his departing approched, was the conscience of his well-run course: a Christian by calling, a Christian by conuer­sation, could not but haue a Christians inheritance. Goe & doe thou likewise Luk. 10.37.. Let the life of the religious be thy study, and the death of the righteous Num. 23.10. shalbe thy sure re­ward; where there hath beene the first resurrection there can be no second death Reu. 20.6.

Hitherto we haue cōsidered generally of the grounds of Pauls hope, his cariage past: now let vs examin it more particularly: and first, of the first supporter. I haue fought a good fight. What then (will some man say to me) was Paul a souldier, that he speakes here of fighting? yes, hee was a souldier, and the same no fresh-water, or white-liuered souldier, but a valiant, experienced, and beaten champion, one that had passed the hazard of many skir­mishes, and (as testimonies of his hardy courage,) was a­ble to shew the ska [...]res of many receiued wounds, I beare in my bodie the markes of the Lord Iesus Gal 6.17.. But as the things we now discourse of are spirituall things, so this fighting must be vnderstood in a spirituall sense. Paule a spirituall man 1. Cor. 2.16., his aduersaries spirituall, or for spirituall respects, his weapons spirituall2. Cor. 10.4., his victories spirituall. Let mee acquaint you with particulars, that so the vse of this Scrip­ture may be the more full.

Paules fights. Paul vndergoeth a double consideration: 1. either as a Christian, or secondly, as an Apostle and Minister of Christ Iesus: some of his fightings, more properly con­cerne his estate as a Christian: some againe he was more especially tryed in by vertue of his calling. As he was a Christian, I find in his owne writings the report of two e­speciall conflicts: the one Rom. 7. betwixt Nature and Grace, the Spirit and the flesh, the lawe of his members, and the lawe of God. Who so reades and examineth the place, shall see first the qualitie of the combatants, se­condly the grounds and termes of the quarell, thirdly, the hazard (as might seeme for the time) and doubtful­nesse of the euent, together with some foyles taken on either part, and lastly the certaintie and comfort of the victorie, I thanke God through Iesus Christ our Lord Ver. 25.. The second combate is, 2. Cor. 12. and that was more direct and immediat with Sathan, although he therein cunning­ly (as his vse is) wrought vpon the advantage of Paules corruption. In this, Paul was much tossed, and goared, and buffeted, and glad to flie once, and againe, and the third time for refuge to the Lord. Howbeit, though the assault was sharpe, yet the conquest was great. My grace shall be sufficient for thee Ver. 9., and Very gladly will I reioyce in mine infirmities.

Now his fightings (as an Apostle) were diuers, and the same not idle or causelesse, about needlesse Questions and strife of words 1. Tim. 6.4., for so fight I, saith he, not as one beating the ayre 1. Cor. 9.26.: but they were graue and weightie, euen for the successe of his ministerie, and the enlargement of the Gospell of Christ Iesus. They may (for teachings sake) be thus distinguished: to haue bene either against the op­positions and vnsound cavillings, or against the violences and cruelties of those which were aduersaries to the truth. Of the former sort, we haue his combate with Eli­mas at Paphus Act. 13., with the reuiuers of the legall ceremo­nies at Antioch Act. 15., with the Stoickes and Epicures at A­thens Act. 17., with those Beasts 1. Cor. 15.32, Demetrius and his faction at E­phesus [Page 11] Act. 19., with Hy [...]s and Philetus 2. Tim. 2.14, with Alexander the Smith2. Tim. 4.1. With all these, and with many besides these he combated, and ouer all these through the helpe of Christ Phil. 4.13., he had the victorie. For it may be truly said of them all, which himselfe speaketh of some, their madnesse was made euident vnto all man, and they preuayled not long. 2. Tim. 3.9. His figh­tings with the violences and cruelties of euill men, it were long to particularize. I referre you to his owne report2. Cor. 11.23. &c.. In all these he was more then Conqueror Rom. 8.37., and by none of these was either his comfort impeached, his ministerie and cause endammaged, or the Church of God damni­fied. Not his comfort impeached, for We faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed dayly 2. Cor. 1.16.. Not his ministerie and cause endammaged: for, albeit I suffer vnto bonds, yet the word of God is not bound 2. Tim. 2.9., and the things which haue come vnto me are turned to the fur­therance of the Gospell Phil. 1.12.; lastly, not the Church of God damnified, for, I suffer all things for the elects sake 2. Tim. 2.10, and many of the brethren are emboldened through my bands, and dare more frankely speake the word Phil. 1.14.. Thus I haue giuen you a briefe of Pauls fightings, and of Pauls victories; sharpe encounters, glorious conquests. These were they, the remembrance wherof made the face of death euen loue­ly vnto him, and confirmed his inward certaintie of the Recompence of reward Heb. 11.26., euen because he was able to say in truth of conscience, I haue fought a good fight.

This farre for the opening of the text, and the laying the grounds of that which I would say, I haue reported to you things done, I come now to speake of things to be done. For this clause (as all other holy Scripture) is for our learning Rom. 15.4., and is profitable to teach 2. Tim. 3.16. I will bound my whole speech within the compasse of these two points: first, I will shew that all Christians are called to the like fight: secondly, I will draw to an inquitie by way of application of the whole,Euery Chri­stian called to the like fight, that Paule fought. how farre foorth we haue fought this fight.

For proofe of the former, if men were (as they ought to be) experienced in the Scriptures, I need alledge no [Page 12] more then the Apostles exhortation to the Philippians, where he calleth them to the hauing of the same fight, which (saith he) you haue seene in me, and now heare to be in me Phil. 1.30.. But for the satisfaction of all, I will shew you the truth of it by points and parcels. First, touching the fight, in a mans owne bosome, euen in his owne heart, with his owne corruption. Paul deliuereth this generall rule cou­ching all Gods chosen, that in them the flesh lusteth a­gainst the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, &c. Gal. 5.17. And S. Peter accords, that the lusts of the flesh do fight against the soule 1. Pet. 2.11.. The gift of Regeneration (meant by spirit) and the corruption of nature (vnderstood by Flesh) are mixed togither (like the light and darkenes in the aire, in the dawning,Quod tu nec tenebras, nec possis di­cere lucem. O­uid. so throughout in all the powers of the soule,) and these two being in a direct line of opposition and contrariety ech to other, there must needs follow a con­tinuall combate, like the strugling which Rebecca felt in her wombeGen. 25.22. making a Christian crie in a kinde of asto­nishment as shee did, why am I thus? Happy he which feeles this combate, who is euer wrastling with his owne corruption, labouring and endeauouring himselfe to haue a cleere conscience toward God Act. 24.16.. The victory is certaine: For as it was said to Rebecca when vpon the striuing shee felt, shee asked of God, that the elder should serue the younger, so in this case we are ascertained that the old man, (our old naturall corruption) shalbe cast of and killed, and the new man (the grace wrought by Gods spirit) created in righteousnes and true holines Eph. 4.22.24. shal­be more and more established. Secondly touching the Fight with Sathan, the scripture is expresse. He hath de­sired you to win now you Iuc. 22.31. said Christ to Peter, and he walketh about seeking to deuoure, saith Peter to vs1. Pet. 5.8. well resist him we must: it is S. Iames his ruleCh. 4.7. and that cannot be with­out fighting: and it is not flesh and bloud, we wrastle with, saith our Apostle, but principalities and powers, &c. and we had need to prouide, that we may stand fast Eph. 6.12 13.. He is [Page 13] but a titular Christian, and hath but a shew of godlines 2. Tim. 3.5., who hath not had personall experience of the Strata­gemes of Sathan, now puffing vp to presumption, now pulling downe to despaire, one while working to secu­ritie, another while pressing to dismayednesse, some­times extenuating, and hiding, and painting sinne, that before it is committed it may beguile, sometimes ope­ning and aggrauating it, that when it is performed, it may affright: turning himselfe into many shapes, sometimes like an industrious agent to aduance our pro­fit, sometimes like a pleasant companion, to further our delight, sometimes like a true-hearted friend, to re­spect our good name, but alwaies a venimous aduersa­rie to empoyson our soule. These are no new things to the children of God: the mercie of God, and the ma­lice of Sathan, they know them well to be vndiuided companions. Neither is the Scripture wanting to assure vs of the conquest. It was said of old, that the serpent, his head being broken, could but bruise the heele Gen. 3.15., and it hath bene a fresh renewed, that Greater is he which is in vs, then he which is in the world 1. Job. 4.4., and we all, so many as are now in the lists against this assaylant haue this warrant, sealed (seeing it is a part of the new Testament) with the bloud of Christ, that the God of peace shall tread Sa­than vnder our feet shortly Rom. 16.20. The third fight is for the maintenance of the cause of Religion, against both the cunning of opposers, and the malice of persecutors. That euery Christian is to fight with a holy zeale for the purity of religion, S. Iude shall witnesse for me, It was needfull for me (saith he) to write vnto you, to exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith which was once giuen to the Saints Iude 3.. The kingdome of heauen (saith our Sauiour) suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force Mat. 11.12. There is force in getting the truth, there must be a kind of force also in maintaining it. Dauid chose religion for his heritage Isa. 119.111. He is not worthie to haue it, which will not striue to preserue it. Now for this kind of fight there [Page 14] are two things required: First, skill: and secondly, cou­rage. Skill, because euery corner is so full of cunning and subtill vnderminers of religion: Atheists, Iesuits, Semina­ries, Sectaries: these fight not with violence and profes­sed enmitie, but with plausible reasons, with smooth perswasions, and with all the glozing pretences which hell can deuise to entangle. What need haue men then of exercised wits Heb. 5.14., and vnderstanding hearts 1 King. 3.9., knowing how wisely to handle that same sword of the spirit Ephes. 6.17. to re­sist them? How requisite is it, that Christian souldiers should be daily practising the feates of spirituall armes, that they may know how to grapple with the aduersarie at euery kind of weapon, and to make their part good against euery encounter? As skill is required, so cou­rage and resolution also: for know you, what the Apo­stle said to the conuerted HebrewesHeb. 10.32., After ye receiued light, (that is, some sauing knowledge and feeling of the truth) ye endured a great fight of afflictions: Is not be [...] need of courage? what thinke we of the Mockings of Ismael Gen. 21.9., the disdaine of Herod Luk. 23.11., the scourgings of Pilate Mat. 27.26., of spoi­lings of goods, of being made a gazing stocke by reproches Heb. 10.33.34., nay, of resistance to bloud Heb. 12.4.? Do not these things require a resolution? were it not fitting that, we should be well prouided, who must go through all these bicke­rings, lest when we haue strooke a stroake or two, we should be wearied and faint in our mindsHeb. 12.3., and so be like the children of Ephraim, of whom the Psalme saithIs. 78.9., that being armed and shooting with the bowe, they turned backe in the day of battell?

As the necessitie of this kind of Eight for the Main­tenance of the cause of Religion, lieth vpon all, so vpon two degrees especially, Magistrates and Ministers. They are both called Leaders 1. Sam. 9.16. Vnges eum antecessorem. Hebr. 13.7. [...]. of the people, and therefore as of Leaders, whose experience must instruct, and whose valour must encourage and put heart into others, there is twise so much required. It is their office to stand in the breach Psa. 106.23., and to goe out and in 1. King. 3.7. before the people, [Page 15] and to beare the shock and brunt of the first grapling. If they be sound and sincere, instant and resolute in the cause of God, oh, what life and courage shall they put into the multitude which doe euen depend vpon their conduct? if they be cold and dastardly and giue ground in the day of battell, how will they make the hearts of the people euen to die within them, and what hope will Sathan haue to set vp his standard in the midst of Gods church? But as the egernes in this combate is re­quired of Magistrates and Ministers more then of others, so of vs who be Ministers most of all. In the old Law things in the sanctuarie were double to that which was common, the Shekell of the sanctuary twice so weightie as the common shekellEx. 30.13., the cubit of the san­ctuarie twice so long as the common cubitCompare 1 Kin. 7.15. with 2. Chro 3.15.. The Mini­ster had neede to wish as Elisha did of Eliah, his spirit 2. King. 2.9., that the spirit of vnderstanding and courage may be doubled and trebled vpon him. If he be the man, as he should be, Sathan oweth him a double spite, and in ma­ny combates with the Church of God, he seemeth to giue like charge to his Instruments, which the king of Aram gaue to his souldiers1. Kin. 22.31. Eight neither with small nor great, saue onely against the King of Israel: For he thinketh that if he can smite the shepheard, with a spirit either of Error, or of drowzines, or of ambition, or of avarice, the sheepe of the flock shall be quickly scattered Math. 26.31.. He knoweth by long experience, that from the Prophets of Ierusalem wickednes goeth forth into all the Land Ier. 23.15., and that if the Light which God hath set in his Church be darkenes, the darkenes cannot but exceedeMath. 6.23.. Thus I haue shewed you the particulars of Pauls Fightings, and the necessitie of the same Fight, in euery one of vs that would be (as we are called) Christians: nowe let vs come to the next points, the Inquirie how on our parts this Fight hath beene performed, viz. how we haue fought against Corruption, how we haue fought against Sathan, how we haue striuen and fought for the vphol­ding [Page 16] and maintenance of Gods Truth.

An enquiry how we haue fought this fight.And here, in the very first entry of my Meditations, when I did in my thoughts compare together those which doe Fight this good Fight vnder the banner of the Lord of Hostes, with those, who (whatsoeuer their profession is) doe indeede and intruth fight against him, it brought into my minde, that which the spirit of God reports touching the Israelitish troupes, and the armies of the Aramites their adversaries1. Kin. 20.27.. The children of Is­rael pitched before them, like two litle flocks of Kids, but the Aramites filled the Country: the very like compari­son may be truely made betwixt those which fight on the Lords part, and those which fight against him, or at the least, (which by our sauiours ruleLuk. 11.23. is all one) fight not with him: the one side (the better part I meane) are but even a handfull in respect, one of a citie, two of a Tribe Ier. 3.14., the other a numberlesse number, and may well be titled with the name of the possessedMarc. 5.9., Legion, for indeede they are Many. And therefore true will that be which was spoken of old by Isaiah Is. 10.21.22. and hath beene since renued by Paul Rom. 9.27., Though the number of the children of Israel (men professing Religion) were as the sand of the Sea, yet shall but a remnant be saued. It will not be inough to haue said thus, vnlesse it be confirmed also, I will therefore shew you how true it is by de­grees.

Touching fighting against mens owne personall cor­ruptions, there are (that out of many I may cull out the cheife) three things, which doe shew the number of such Fighters to be but small: The first is, the generall Ignorance of this point of holy doctrine, concerning the combating together of these two, Corruption and Ho­lines, nature and grace in euery true Christian. I am not so well acquainted with your spirituall estate that are here present, as to be able peremptorily to determine ought: yet perhaps) if a man should deale with the par­ticulars of this assembly by polle, and should examine [Page 17] them as straitly as the Gileadites did the Ephraiimites, touching shibboleth and sibboleth Iud. 12., demaunding of each this question, How fareth it with thee, touching the Re­bellion of thine owne heart, preuaileth it or yeeldeth it to the power of Gods spirit? How goeth on the quarell betwixt the lawe of sinne, and the law of God? perhaps (I say) this demaund would be quitted with such an answer, as was that of Pauls. to the lately conuerted disciples at Eph [...]sus Act 19.2. Haue ye receiued (saith he) the Holy Ghost since ye beleeued? And they said, Wee haue not so much as heard whether there be an Holy Ghost. So in this case, they would say; you make a straunge motion, we haue not so much as heard whether there be any such contention: And it may be also, such as haue some better vnderstanding then the multi­tude, if in this particular they were well pressed, would but make such a confused answer as Ahimaaz did to Dauid 2. Sam. 18.29., Is the young man Absalom safe, said Dauid? I sawe a great tumult, but I knewe not what, said Ahimaaz; so they would be forced to say, Truth is, I haue heard or read something of such a matter, but I doe not distinctly and expe­rimentally vnderstand it. Thus (as it wasMath. 26.73. said to Peter) mens very speech bewrayeth them, and their dumbnesse when they are asked the Word (as the souldiers call it) sheweth them to be but straglers and hangbies vpon the Lords campe, and no good Fighters: well, without iud­ging I leaue you, to to the accusing or excusing of your owne Thoughts Rom. 2.15.: Onely this I say, that he which is vn­acquainted with this point of doctrine, can no more be said to be a Fighter in the good Fight against corruption and sinne, then he can be reputed a partie in a case of dif­ference betwixt two, who hath not so much as heard of the quarel. The 2. proofe that the Fighters on this side a­gainst corruption are but few is the vniuersall yeelding of the most vnto corruption. When men come with bended knees, offring vp their weapons, yeelding themselues to be ordred by those whom they should withstand, there is no likelyhood that they haue an intent to Fight. So [Page 18] in this case, when men generally haue (as it were) boo­ked their names, and entred into pay, and euen (as a man would thinke) sworne their seruice to grosse sinnes, who will take them to be the Lords souldiers, or conceiue that there is any meaning in them to Fight against cor­ruption. And surely this is the common state. I remem­ber what Deborah in her songIud. 5.29.30. reports of the mother of Sisera, how that shee and her ladies in their expectation of Sisera and his followers their returne in triumph, said either to other (in their assurance of the victory) Haue they not gotten and diuided the spoile? I may say more truely (for that was spoken onely out of Imagination, either as they thought it was, or as they wished it might be) of these foule enormities, which the word of God hath branded with the hatefull name, that they are the works of darkenes Eph. 5.11. Haue they not gotten and diuided the spoile? Do they not lead captiue, I say not as they did of Sisera, a maide or two, or (as Paul doth of the wily workemen of his time) a few simple women 2. Tim. 3.6., but euen whole multi­tudes, of all rankes, of all callings, of all degrees? So often as I read those places of scripture. The earth was corrupt before God and filled with cruelty Gen. 6.11., The men of So­dom compassed the house round about from the young euen to the old, all the people from all quarters Gen. 19.4., They assembled themselues by companies into the harlots houses Ier. 5.7., From the least euen to the greatest of them, euery one is giuen to coue­teousnes Ier. 6.11., Then they stopped their eares, and ran vpon Ste­phen all at once Act. 7.57., Then arose a shout almost for the space of two houres of all men crying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians Act. 19.34., All seek their owne, and not that which is Iesus Christs Phil. 2.21., so often (I say) as I read these and the like places, in which mention is made of swarmes of people ban­ding themselues togither in euill, I cannot but reckon them as fore-tellings of these times, and these times as commentaries and expositions of those pla­ces. Those master-sinnes, Ignorance, Contempt of the word and godlines, Security, and want of awe vnto [Page 19] Gods maiestie, Neglect of the worship of God, swearing, abuse of the Sabaoth, Whoredome, Drunkeness, Op­pression, Pride, Cruelty, Contention, Malice. &c. marke how in euery towne in euery society, in euery family almost, they doe euen ride in a kind of Triumph: if there be any better disposed, labouring to be no lon­ger the slaues of sinne but to become the seruants of righteousnes Rom. 6.20., they are as Isaiah speaketh of himselfe and such as himselfeIs. 8.18 as signes and wonders among the peo­ple: and how the world entertaineth them it is knowne well inough: you know what Dauid saithPs. 35.15., the abiects assembled themselues, the false scoffers at banke [...]s [...]are me and ceased not; and againe, They that sate in the gate spake of me, and the drunkards sung of me Is. 69.12.. This is the kindnes of this generation to those who loue the Lord Iesus in sin­ceritie Eph. 6.24.. Thus the vniuersall yeelding to corruption, men obeying sinne in the Lusts thereof Rom. 6.12., and drawing it as with cartropes Isa. 5.18. argueth that they fight not against sinne. Euill raignes Rom. 6.12. in them and ouer them, they doe wil­lingly giue vp their membersver. 13. to folow it, and (as the A­postle speakes) they take thought Rom. 13.14. for it & study to fulfil it. The third proofe in this part is, the Fight which is in the world for corruption: men doe not onely not fight against it, but they doe fight and striue and labour to maintaine it. I remember what I read of Iehu 2. Kin. [...].31.32. the instrument of the Lords vengeance vpon Ahabs house; as he entred in at the gate of Izreel, and lifting vp his eyes to the window, saw that painted Iezebel the wife of Ahab, he cryed out, who is on my side, who? presently two or three of her attendants looked out, as it were offring their seruice. Cast her downe (saith he) and they did so: so also in the chapter following, when he sent to the guardians of Ahabs children, willing them, if they thought it good to create one of their masters sons King, and to stand vpon their guard, and they returned him answer, we are thy seruants and will doe all that thou shalt bid vs, what said Iehu? If yea be mine and will obey my voyce, take [Page 20]the heads of your masters sonnes, and come to me to Izreel by to morrow this time. After the same sort, we professing our selues, by our outward shewes to be on the Lords side, and to be ready to doe all that he shall bid, his charge is, that if we be his, we cast Iezebel out at the window, we renounce and disclaime, we cast of Eph. 4.22. and crucifie Gal. 5.24. our sweettest, our deerest, our profitablest our best-pleasing corruptions: Mortifie your members which are on earth Col. 3.5.. If we now shall not onely (contrary to commaund) pre­serue the life (which may be imputed to a kinde of nice­nes and pitie) but shall fight for the life and state of Ieza­bel, and shall set vp one of Ahabs sonnes, some grosse sinne to raigne ouer vs, professing our selues alwaies ready to defend it, how shall the Lord account vs to be his? And yet thus it fareth in these euill times. What sinne, what grosse corruption almost is there, which shall want a patrone to defend it, either that it is no sinne, or that it is but a litle sinne? This glauering and glozing age, which hath deuised an art to make defor­med faces seeme faire, old wrincled visages, to looke young and smooth, hath learned also to set a colour vpon naughtines, the diuell helping forward least sinne ap­pearing in it owne proper likenes should affright the conscience. Thus the adulterous woman, wipeth her mouth, and saith, I haue committed noe Iniquity Pro. 30.20.. Euery vice doth now goe armed; if you doe touch it neuer so gently, yet (like the nettle) it wil sting you; if you deale with it tho­roughly & directly, it swaggreth like the hebrew with Mo­ses, who made thee a man of Authority Exo. 2.14.? what? is this so great a matter? I trust, this and this is lawfull, or if not, what need you be aggreeued? Thus men sometimes like Saul 1. Sam. 15.13. are not ashamed to say they haue kept the commaundement of God, when they haue foulely broken it, sometimes like the stubborne IewesMal. 3.7.13. crie wherein shall we returne, where­in haue we trespassed, what haue we spoken against God, when the very stones in the street are ready to testifie a­gainst them, and the earth is weary in bearing their sinnes. And thus it appeareth by three vndeniable eui­dences, [Page 21] that if we be endited before the Lord, for not fighting that Good fight which Paul fought, and which e­uery Christian ought to fight against sinne and corrupti­on, we shall neuer be able to plead Not-guilty. I wish that which hath bene said may so conuict vs, that it may conuert vs, least going on in rebellion against God, that doome befall vs which is foretoldLuc. 19.27 Those mine enemies, which would not that I should raigne ouer them, bring them hither and slay them before me.

Now as touching our failing in the second fight which is against Sathan, considering what I haue alreadie said, I shall need to speake the lesse: for where corruption and sin are not withstood, there Sathan is not fought against: where they are entertained, there Sathan is serued: so that the proofe of the former point, is a confirmation of this also. Neuerthelesse, I will a litle insist vpon one specialtie, an apparant testimonie that there is litle thought or resolution amongst the most to fight against Sathan: and that is this, the neglect of one of the prin­cipall weapons whereby to encounter him. Thinke you that he meaneth to fight, who goeth vnarmed? nay, who when a weapon is tendred to him, casts it from him, or who seemeth not to care, though it were with the land, as it was once with the state of Israel vnder the Philistines1. Sam. 13.19.22., of which it is said, There was no Smith found throughout all the land, and, neither sword nor speare found in the hands of any of the people: he to whom this nakednesse were a pleasure, or a matter of in differencie, would you imagine him to meane well, or to be a friend to his coun­trey? I am sure you would not. Now Paul, speaking of the combate we are to haue with the diuell, and de­scribing by parcels, that holy armour wherewith he must be withstood, mentioneth among other things, the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God Ephes. 6.27.. This we see was our Sauiours weapon in that conflict which is storied in the GospellMat. 4.: with this two edged sword Reu. 1.16. of It is written, he cut asunder all those knots, wherewith Sathans purpose [Page 22] was to entangle him. Who so then shall despise this wea­pon, shall cast it behindPsal. 50.17. them, shall hate Prou. 1.22. the knowledge of it, shall say to God, as the wicked are reported to do, Depart from vs, for we desire not the knowledge of thy wayes Iob 21.14., shall thinke preaching to be (as was saidIer. 23.33. of old) The burden of the Lord, shall wish of it as the Gadarens did of ChristMat. 8.34., that it might depart out of their coasts: who so (I say) shall be thus affected, the charitablest censure, and the most fauourable verdict which can be giuen of them is this, that they are wilfull betrayers of their owne soules into the power of the diuell. Now it is no hard matter, to shew, how deseruedly, this Imputation may be laid vpon our times; I haue written vnto them (said the Lord, of old, to the Iewes) the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing Hos. 8.12.. I doe not see how it can be denied, but that God may iustly com­plaine so now, Great hath his kindnesse bene to these times, in enlarging and improuing the free vse of his word: and yet (alas) what a world of people is there amongst vs, to whom the Scripture re­maineth as a booke that is sealed vp Isa. 29.11., nay, (which is euen fearefull to thinke on) who seeme to be of that careles and neglecting humor, as though it were all one to them, though there had bene neuer any Bible written, nor any such booke by the speciall prouidence of God, preserued to his Church? Againe, although the Scrip­tures of God be entertained into some houses, as a kind of needfull implement, to fill vp some corner, which otherwise might lie void, yet with many they are vsed like their harnesse in these peacefull times, made a pray to the rust and dust, or laid vp like the sword of Go­liah which Dauid tooke from him1. Sam. 21.9., like a monument, that it may be said vpon occasion, There they be. Few there be that do make them their Councellers Psa. 119.24., or that do endeuour to host them in their best roome, euen to let them dwell plenteously Col. 3.16. in their hearts. Furthermore, for the opening and explaning thereof by those whom [Page 23] God hath deputed thereto, (which is, as it were, cer­taine rules and precepts of defence, teaching vs how to handle this weapon against our spirituall aduersa­rie) how is it reckoned of? Where it is had, it is little e­steemed; where it is wanting, it is lesse desired. Few doe reuerence it as Gods ordinance, few depend vpon it as vpon the arme Is. 53.1., and power of God vnto saluation Rom. 1.1 [...].. What fighting can there be against Sathan, when this sword of the spirit is in disgrace? what spoile of soules will the diuell make, when men are not thus armed to resist? Con­sider the storie of Sampson Iud. 16.. When the Philistines had taken him and put out his eyes, then they might do with him what they would, though he were a strong man, and a noble man, yet they bound him with fetters, and made him grind like a horse in a mill: and so when as the light of Gods holy ordinance is wanting, Sathan hath op­portunitie to worke his will: men may be drawne to any thing; no opinion so grosse, no worship of God so su­perstitious, no fashion of life so vile, but they will soone embrace it. So then if our consciences tell vs, that Gods word is not to vs, as it was to Ieremie Ier. 15.16., the ioy ioy and reioycing of our heart, that we are not like the Sa­maritans, of whom it is said, that when Philip came and preached among them, there was great ioy in the ci­tie Act. 8.8., nor like the man of Macedonia, which appeared to Paul in a vision, and because of the want of teaching which was there, prayed him to come to Macedonia and helpe Act. 16. [...]. them, certainly we are no enemies vnto Sathans kingdome, but friends vnto it rather, if we labour not by all good meanes for the enlargement and propa­gation of Gods truth.

The last part of the enquirie concerneth the Fight for the maintenance of the common cause of true reli­gion, both with skill against cunning and subtill vnder­miners, and with courage against the wrongs and indig­nities which the world offereth to sinceritie: I cannot now vse that largenesse in this point, which I could wish, [Page 24] and which (the times considered) were very fitting. I will onely in a word touch two common euils, which shall serue to iustifie this proposition, that the num­ber of those which fight that part of that goood fight here spoken of, which concernes the vpholding and defence of Gods truth, is but small and thin, euen like the Sommer gatherings, which the Prophet speaketh ofMic. 7.1.. The one euill, is the want of iudg­ment and soundnesse of knowledge in the doctrine of religion. This is an vniuersall and farre-spreading disease, according as euery Pastor can witnes with me, who according to the Wise mans counsellPro. 27.23., is diligent to know the estate of his flocke, and to vnderstand the particular conceipts and dispositions of the peo­ple. The multitude is wofully to seeke in matters of saluation, resting to this day vpon that old Po­pish rule, to follow the droane, and to beleeue as the Church beleeueth. I remember what is said of a meeting of the people at Ephesus by Demetrius his procurementAct. 19.32., The more part knew not wherefore they were come together: it may be truly said so of many assemblies for holy seruices, the more part know not wherefore they come: they will say in generall termes to serue God; but, what he is, who he is, how to be ser­ued, wherein to be serued, and in whome to be serued, I beleeue you shall finde them to be ignorant: So that the deuotions of many are like the Altar at Athens, To an vnknowne God Act. 17.23. many are of Gallio his religion, of whome it is said that he cared not for matters of that na­ture Act. 18.17.. If the bellie may be filled, and the back fitted, like the Epicure in the poetSiventri [...]e­ne, silateri &c. Hora., if with the fat-hearted Israe­lites, they may sit by the flesh-pots Exo. 16.3., and with those whom Dauid speaketh ofPs. 4.7. their wheat and their wine may abound, they are at a point for religion. Fewe there be whose Hearts are stablished Heb. 13.9. and which knowe Christs voice. from the voice of a straunger Ioh. 10.4.5.: whether Baal be God, or Iehouah be God 1. Kin. 18.21. their meaning is neuer to put it to en­quirie, [Page 25] How shall these stand to defend Religion, who know not what that is which we call Religion. When we shall see men caring and studying and taking paines to find out that which Luke calleth The Certenty Luc. 1.4. and not to be led by coniecturall suppositions, but (as he speaketh) to be fully perswaded v. 1., then there will be some hope, that the Lords part will encrease, in the meane time, while they make either the Times, or tra­dition, or their owne Humour to be the measure of their religiō, we may be sure, the cause of God shall from them receiue very small vpholding. The second Evil, is the co­wardize and faint-hartednes of the most Professours that I may folow the Phrase of my Text; they are like to some vnexperienced and lately-ptessed souldiers, who, while the training and muster is neere home vpon a faire greene, where they are neither scanted for vi­ctuals, nor straitened for lodging, nor in any hazard of life, march with some shew of resolution, a man would thinke they would euen eate vp the enemy, but when they come to behould the face of warre in his true pro­portion, the battaile pitched, and a furious enemie in fight euen now instantly to be charged; their hearts faile them, and the sound of the drumme is vnto them as their passing bell and they would giue a world to see the smoke of their country chimnies: Euen so, many professours of Religion, while the world applaudes their forwardnes, and when the people before, and they that folowMat. 21.9. crie Hosanna vnto Christ, who but they? a man would thinke (that I may vse Salomons phrase)can. 8.7 that much water could not quench their Loue, neither the Flouds drowne their zeale, but when it commeth to blowes, the world frownes, profit is abridged, pleasure is limi­ted, credit and fame is a litle eclipsed, their names put out as EuillLuk. 6.22., then they are nipt: like an ouerforward budde with an vntimely frost, then begin they to grow to a demurre, and in fine, either runne away in the plaine of field, or else (vnder a colour of discretion) fall [Page 26] backe into the rereward, the battell is sharpe, and it is not good to be too forward. Thus like as in Gedeons enterpriseIud. 7., of two and thirtie thousand which tooke armes, when proclamation was made in the campe (the assault approching) who so is timerous let him returne, at one clap, there went away two and twenty thou­sand; so of troupes of professors which at the first entrance giue in their names, when it commeth to tri­all, the greatest part will retire, and they wilbe but a fewe, that will stand vnto it to the end. Hereby you may see, that when we haue (as Ieremie saihIer. 5.) runne to and fro, through our streetes, and made enquiry, we shall finde but few, who if they were now to end their daies, and to looke backe into their course past to see how they haue demeaned themselues in this holy warfarre, are able to say, without an inward check, I haue fought that good fight, and now I exspect the crowne of righte­ousnes.

To conclude, we haue all heard what Paul did, he fought that good fight: how comfortable it was that he had done it, it emboldened him to expect a Crowne of Righteousnes: we haue seene our owne carelesnes, and what wilbe the issue if we continue it: the second death is prouided for the Fearfull Reu. 21.8., but such as ouercome, shall inherit all things v. 7.. If we desire comfort in death and happines after death, let vs henceforth arme our selues for this spirituall fight, against our owne Corruption, against Sathans temptation, against Sathans instruments which fight against Religion. This is the only warre, which is the way vnto eternall Peace.

Let God alone haue the Glory.

The end of the first Sermon.

The second Sermon. The worth of the water of Life.

IOH. 4.13.14.

Iesus answered and said vnto her, Whosoeuer drinketh of this water, shall thirst againe,

14. But whosoeuer drinketh of the water, that I shall giue him, shall neuer be more a thirst: but the water that I shall giue him, shall be in him a well of water, springing vp into euerlasting life.

THE storie of Christs conference with the woman of Samaria, can­not be vnknowne vnto any, which is of any ordinarie knowledge in the Scripture: yet partly to giue light vnto my Text, partly to helpe those which are not so carefull to search the booke of God, as they ought to be, it is expedient for me to repeate it.

It fell out, as our sauiour iournyed through Samaria into Galilee, that he, (being a man in allHeb. 4.13. things like vn­to vs, yet without sinne) was both hungry and weary. To relieue hunger, he sent his Disciples into the city to make prouision; to ease his wearied limmes, he sate him downe vpon a well side, in those times and in those Coasts ve­ry famous, in respect of the Author thereof, whose name it still caried, being called, Iacobs Well. He sitting there, out commeth me, a woman of the adioyning city Sichar, to drawe water from thence, for her houshold vses. Christ, partly to refresh his bodily thirst, but especially (as I [Page 28] take it) to satisfie that his neuer-ceasing desire to doe good, made a motion to her, to affoord him some of the water, that he might drinke. Shee, (being as appeareth by her aunswers something a shrewd-tongued woman) by and by cut him vp short; what, (quoth shee) you Iewes, be so fine and proud, that you scorne vs, the poore Inhabitants of Samaria: How is it then, that thou being a Iew, askest drinke of me, a forlorne and despi­sed Samaritane? Our sauiour (to giue vs an instance of the accomplishment of that auncient promise, that he would beIsa. 65.1. (found of them, that sought him not) doth neither forbeare to commune with her, nor yet (as the manner of the world is) doth frame an vntoward speach to her crosse aunswer; but seeming to pity her Ignorance, and blindenes, telleth her; Alas, good woman, if thou knew­est the great mercy of God toward thee, and the excel­lency of his person and office which requesteth thee, thou wouldest become a suter to him rather, and he would giue thee another manner of water then this, e­uen the water of life. The woman aunswereth him with a scoffe, well inough vnderstanding his meaning, but yet shee iestes it out, as though shee knew it not: what art thou (quoth shee) that talkest of the water of life? canst thou be better then our father Iacob who first founded this well? or can there be any better water, then this well affords? thou seemest therefore to me to bragge of more then thou art any way able to performe. Marke now Christes aunswer. Oh woman (saith he) thou art very ignorant, or very froward: I speake not to thee, of any visable water seruing for the bodies nourishment, but of a matter of farre more infinite worth, if thy heart were opened to apprehend it. I know the water of this well is excellent, and Iacob in his time, was a holy man; but behould here another fountaine, behould a greater then Iacob is here, euen the staffe of the hope of thy fa­ther Iacob. This streame here, relieueth the body for a time, but cannot affoord a perpetuall filling: the water [Page 29] which I haue to giue shall euerlastingly satisfie the thirst of the receiuers of it, and it shall be in their bowels, as a neuer-dryed fountaine, springing vp to euerlasting life. Thus haue you the course of the communication be­twixt Christ and the Samaritane thus farre. By which you may perceiue, that the maine scope of this Text, is, to shew the difference betwixt the things of this present life, and the things of a better life: the weaknesse of the one, and the worth of the other. The former is set downe, vers. 13. Whosoeuer drinketh of this water, &c. the latter, ver. 14. But whosoeuer drinketh of the water which, &c.

Concerning the former, I know, that Christ expresly and by name speaketh of water onely; yet considering the chiefe drift of the place is, to draw men from the things which are seene, to the things which are not seen,The doctrine. from things temporall, to things eternall, from the things which are on earth, to the things which are aboue: ther­fore we may safely from hence draw this doctrine: That nothing in this present world, is able to affoord any true satisfying, any filling as it were, vnto a mans soule. For that which Christ said here of the water of this well, whosoeuer drinketh thereof shall thirst againe, may truly be said of all things else whatsoeuer, which the men of this world do ayme at in their courses, viz. they do rather encrease then kill the desire, rather inflame then quench the appetite: they are all like to cold drinke taken by a man labouring of a hote Ague, which though it seeme to satisfie for the present, yet indeed it increaseth the former drought, and maketh both the need and the desire of moysture greater then before. It were no hard thing to shew this to be true, by the enumeration of particulars: but my meaning is, not to insist vpon this point, but only to vse it as a preparatiue to the rest. This is all I will say, (and I will therein craue no better witnesse, then each mans owne experience:) If a man, liuing here in the world, should do as Salomon did, namely, Whatsoeuer his Eccl. 2.10. eyes desire, should not withhold it from them, nor withdraw [Page 30] his heart from any ioy: but should euen studie, as it were, to glut himselfe with the things of this life, yet in the end, he should find his heart like the sea, of which the same Wise man saith, that thoughEccl. 1.7. All the riuers go into it, yet it is not full: so neither shall his eye be satisfied with seeing, nor his eare with hearing, nor his heart with enioying: but he shall be like to a man in a maze, wherein when he hath laboured long, yet at last, he is as farre from that which he sought for, as he was at the beginning. And the reason hereof is expresse: the mind is immortall, but all these things are transitorie: so that it is vnpossible for the mind to be filled with earthly things, as it is for a chest of wood to be filled with spirituall things. It is wit­tily said, and to good purpose, by those which reason from the forme of the world, and the fashion of the hart; the world is round, and the heart three cornered. As therefore it cannot be, that a round thing should fill that which is three squared, because the corners must needes remaine emptie: so neither can the things of this world, (which Iohn diuideth into three kindes,1. Ioh. 2.16. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, replenish a mans soule, but some one corner (as it were) or other thereof will remaine vnfilled. This briefe discourse serueth to shew the truth of this point: let vs as briefely make vse of it.

The vse.I remember the speach of the Prophet Isaiah, cap. 55. whereby solemne proclamation prouoking all men to come to Christ, that they may enioy that same gratious fauour which our Sauiour maketh offer in this place, he doth notably reprooue the folly of the greatest part of men in these Wordes, Is. 55.2. wherefore doe you lay out siluer and not for bread, and your Labour without being satisfied? as if he had said: what folly is this, or what madnesse is it, which pos­sesseth your hearts, O ye sonnes of Men, that you doe so busie your selues, and spend your best Endeauours, about such things which cannot satisfie? think you it is a possible Thing to be fedde with the Wind, or will you cast your affections vpon [Page 31] that which is Nothing? This is the effect of the Prophets reproofe: If he were aliue now, he would (as he well might) vse the same words. There is indeede much to doe in the world at this day much travailing, much plotting, much contending, & we do all bestir our selues as though the Dust of the earth were not sufficient for euery man to take a handfull: one man buyeth and pur­chaseth andIsa. 5.8. ioyneth House to House, and Field to Field, that he may be placed by himselfe, to be a litle King in his owne Territories: another couetsMic. 2.2. fieldes, and taketh them by Violence, & houses, & takes them away, & so oppresseth a man & his house, euen a man & his heritage: a third, heAm. 2.7. & ca. 3.10. gapeth ouer the Heades of the poore, and doth euen store vp violence. In a word each man almost hath enlarged his Desire as the Hell, and is as Death, & cannot be satisfi­ed, and is neuer well in his Conceipt, till he hath euen Hab. 2.5. laded himselfe with thicke Clay: and we are all trudging like this woman withv. 6. our pitchers in our neckes, to some one well or other, and if it be neuer so deepe, it shall goe very hard, but we will get it out. But (alas) fooles that we be, when we haue done all, we doe but euen weary our seluesv. 13, for very vanity: when we haue drunke of this Well againe and againe, yet in the End, our desire is as it was, rather stretched out to receiue more, then filled with that which it hath obtained: when we haue reached euen to the vtmost of our first desires, we are then but like theIs. 29.8. Hungry man, who dreameth, and behold he eateth, and when he awaketh his soule is empty: or like the thirstie man, who dreameth, and loe he is drinking, and when he awaketh behold he is faint, and his soule longeth: So it is but an imagination of comfort which commeth by all these things, and no true contentment. I beseech you, let this short and yet full discouery of our common folly, (who for the mpst part, doe nothing butHos. 8.7. sow the wind, and if we so continue shall reape no­thing but Corruption) make vs to say as Iohn Baptists hearers did, when they perceiued by his preaching they [Page 32] were cleane out of the wayLuk. 3.10., what shall we doe then? If hitherto we haue aimed at a wrong Marke in our desires, shew vs I pray you, how to reforme it: and let your hearts, I pray you say now to me, as Cornelius said to Peter Act. 10.33., We are all here present before God, to heare all things that are commaunded thee of God: which I doe wish so much the rather, because that which I am now next to speake of is that which Salomon in one place calleth Prov. 8.18. Durable Riches in anotherEcc. 12.13., the End of all; which Christ termeth theLuk. 10.42. One needfull Thing: for which the soule of Dauid panted; Ps. 42.1. in comparison whereof Paul Phil. 3.8. coun­ted all things but as Dung. Marke first the wordes, then see the order of them. But whosoeuer drinketh of this wa­ter, &c. The points to be in order opened in the handling of this verse are these: 1. What this water is: 2. that there is both power and will in Christ to be­stow it: 3. by what meanes he conferreth it: 4. to whom he giues it: 5. the Benefite of enioying it: 6. the meanes by which each man may know himselfe to haue receiued it. All these pointes as they are needefull, so in the se­uerall handling of them you shall finde them to arise directly from the Text.

what is meant by the water which Christ giueth.First, what is meant by the water here mentioned. It is a true saying, that the Scripture is the best interpre­ter of it selfe, and one place must be expounded by an­other. We see the Light by the Light, and we doe vn­derstand the true meaning of the scripture by the scrip­ture. We can therefore haue no better exposition vpon this place then Christs owne words els where, to which the Spirit of God hath annexed an explanation of the true meaningIoh. 7.38.39.. He that beleeueth in me, as saith the scrip­ture out of his belly shall flow riuers of water of life. This spake hee (saith Saint Iohn) of the Spirit which they that beleeued in him should receiue; so that by water here, are vnderstoode the gifts and graces of the spirit which the Lord is pleased to bestow vpon his children.

It is not inough for me to tell you thus much in ge­nerall [Page 33] Termes, but I must proceede a litle further, least I should leaue you vncertaine, in that which my cheife desire is to resolue you. This therefore I must tell you: that though it be true, that by water are here meant the gifts of the spirit, yet there are certaine gifts & gra­ces of the spirit, which a man may haue,Some gifts o [...] the spirit are common, some proper onely to Gods chil­dren. and yet be a Reprobate. So that you must learne to put a diffe­rence, betwixt the common gifts of the spirit, and those gifts which are proper onely to Gods children. The world is as it were Gods great House, in which there are both seruants and sonnes, the one (as Christ saith) Ioh. 8.35. to be cast out, the other to abide euer. Now in a family, we know, there be some cōmō fauours, which the seruāts & drudges doe enioy as well as the heire: & so some gra­ces there be, which euē the reprobate haue, which is meet we should know, least we be deceiued, and they are these. The first is,The common-gifts. the gift and dexterity of practizing a particular calling: For, whatsoeuer, men careleslly and profanely doe imagine that the skill and art which they haue in any knowledge, as husbandry, marchandize, &c. is from their owne industry, yet certaine it is, that the cunning which any man hath in any faculty whatsoeuer, is the sole and onely gift of Gods spirit: and therefore the power which Bez [...]aleel and Aholiab had to worke in blue silke and purple and carued worke, is called, a Exod. 31.3 fil­ling by the spirit of God. The second common gift, is the gift of enlightening, whereby a man being naturally ignorant in the things of God, is enabled to conceiue the will of God reuealed in the scripture, yea euen the sweetest points thereof, as of saluation and grace in Christ Iesus. A third common gift, is the power of prea­ching and expounding the scripture for the common good & behoofe of Gods Church. A fourth, is an ability to restraine and temper the affections, so that they shall not breake forth into outrage and notorious euils in the behauiour. A fift, is a power to heare the word with ioy, and to seeme to take some delight, and to finde some [Page 34] sweetnes in it. All these are gifts and graces of the spirit of God; but yet they are not those graces which Christ meaneth by water here in this place: because these be such as may befall those who notwithstanding shall ne­uer be saued. Many a reprobate is gifted with admirable skill in crafts and sciences. Demetrius seemed to be a cunning workeman, yet was he no small enemy to the preaching of the Gospell. Secondly, the Apostle see­meth to make it a thing possible, to be once enlightened, and toHeb. 6.4.5. haue tasted of the heauenly gift, yet so to fall away as to be past all hope of being renued againe by repentance. Thirdly, at the day of IudgementMath. 7.22.. Many will say to Christ, Lord, haue we not by thy name prophecied? yet it shal­be said to themver. 13., Depart from me. Fourthly, many wic­ked men haue power to conforme themselues and to bridle many sinnes, and to cary themselues in an out­ward ciuility: so Abimelech the heathenGen. 20.6. abstained from committing folly with Abrahams wife: and many a­among the gentiles excelled in morall vertues; and di­uers we see (whom we call ciuill men) demeane them­selues in the eies of the world vnblameably, who yet giue small hope of any true conuersion. Lastly, Christ in the parable sheweth, that many hearers for a time be­lieueMat. 13.21., but as soone as tribulation commeth because of the word, by and by they are offended.

Now there are besides these, other speciall graces of the spirit, which are proper onely to Gods children. Paul saith that1. Tim. 4.10. God is the sauiour of all men, specially of those that belieue: so it may be said, he giueth graces to all, but in speciall manner to elect. Christ is pleased, in scrip­ture to terme the church his loue, his spouse. The day of Iudgement, is the mariage day: and the time present, is the wooing time, in which he is as it were a suter to his church: and the ministers are appointed, to prepare the church for her husband 2. Cor. 11.2., and to present her as a pure virgin vnto Christ. Now he which is a suter to a woman, him­selfe being a man of worship and ability, howsoeuer, to [Page 35] testifie his bounty, and to make knowne his loue to his beloued, he will bestowe gifts vpon the seruants of the family, yet if he haue any [...]ewell of worth and price, that he reserueth for her, on whom his loue is fixed: so Christ Iesus conferreth common fauours, euen vpon the reprobate, to make knowne his riches, and withall, for the good of his chosen, but the speciall, and choise and selected graces, these he keepeth onely for the true mem­bers of his church. And these are the graces meant by christ in this place; & they are in order these which follow

1. The gift of regeneration, which is that, whereby a man of a Limme of Sathan, is made a member of Christ; of a childe of the diuell,The proper gifts. is become the sonne of God. That this is a worke of Gods spirit appeareth by Christ his words: Except a man be borne of water and of the spirit Ioh. 3.5., &c. And therefore fitly is the holy Ghost com­pared to Water, because as water doth moisten that which is hard: So the holy Ghost doth supple and sof­ten, and put the sappe of Grace into the drie and dead and rotten Heart of Man: So that where the spirit of God is, there the Heart is renued, the nature changed, the delight in sinne asswaged, and a loue of holines, and godlines, as it were a new iuyce begunne in the soule. This is the first proper gift.

2. The knowledge of a mans owne Reconciliation to God by the meanes of Christ Iesus. Hereof spea­keth the Apostle, The spirit beareth witnesse with our spirit that we are the Children of God. It is true,Rom. 8.16. the nature of man cannot attaine to this knowledge, But we 1. Cor. 2.12. haue re­ceiued the spirit which is of God. That we might know the things that are giuen to vs of God. And indeede it cannot be, but, that if God haue beene pleased of his goodnes to make any man or woman his Child, he will likewise make knowne the same fauour [...] him or her: espe­cially seing it is so greatly for our comfort. For as, on the one side it is the greatest miserie for a man, to be in continuall suspense, not knowing whether his sins are forgiuē him: so, what greater cōfort can there be to a man [Page 36] to be assured of Gods fauour toward him?

3. The gift of obedience: for, as a man that dwel­leth in a house as the owner of it, ordereth it, and gouer­neth it, at his pleasure: so the Holy Ghost, gouerneth all those in whome he abidethRom. 8.14.: they are all ledde by the spirit, which are the Lords. The spirit represseth all badde motions drawing vnto sinne, springing from the Cor­ruption of our Nature, suggested by Sathan and occasi­oned by the beguiling entisements, of this euill world, and withall it stirreth vp good desires & holy Thoughts, inclining to Pietie and godlines.

4. Praier: that is, a will and abilitie in some good measure, to haue recourse vnto the Lord by Praier vp­on all occasions, and to poure out a Mans wants and necessities before him. For this is a generall and a cer­taine rule, that as, naturally euery child, being pinched with want, acquainteth the Father, with his necessi­ties, building vpon his loue, and willingnes to doe him good: so he which is the child of God, hath alwaies this Property, to make Prayer vnto God his first meanes whereby to obtaine that which he doth desire, and to be freed from that wherewith he is oppressed. Now that which worketh this in vs is Gods spirit: For seeing wee of our selues doe neither know our necessities, nor knowing them can tell how to bemoane them, there­fore Gods spirit is giuen to helpe our Infirmities, to assist vs in the framing of our suites, that so our prayers may be pleasing vnto God and comfortable to our soules. And for this, the spirit of God is called the Zach. 12.10. spirit of supplications, because it furnisheth a man, both with will and knowledge also to powre out his soule vnfeinedly to the Lord.

5. Comfort in distresse. For whereas the children of God are subiect to manifold greeuances, partly in re­gard of inward conflicts with sinne and the terrors of their owne Conscience, partly in respect of outward an­noyances, the spirit of God is giuen vnto them, to re­leeue [Page 37] them, to minister comfort vnto them, to vphold them, to make them able with cheerfulnes to hold out in the midst of the greatest extreamities whatsoeuer. For this cause, the spirit is called theIoh. 15.26. Comforter, andPsal. 45.7. Oyle of gladnes, because he doth refresh and cheere the poore distressed soules of Gods children.

6. Strength. There are many things which the profe­ssion of Christianity requireth at the hands of a Christi­an, which a Christian of himselfe, is not able to performe: as for example, when a man seeeth the hideousnes of sinne, yet in the midst of this sight to lift vp the hand of his faith, and to lay hold vpon the mercy of God in Christ Iesu: when a man is tempted to sinne, to resist the Temptation; in persecution to endure; in penurie to trust vpon Gods Prouidence: these and such like are beyond the Reach of Mans power: yet the spirit of God ma­keth Gods children able to effect themPhil. 4.12., I am able to doe all Things (saith the Apostle) through the Helpe of Christ which strengtheneth me: and the spirit for this cause is termedIsay. 11.2. the spirit of strength.

These are the graces of the spirit peculiar to the elect, and signified by water in this place: briefly thus: 1. The gift of Regeneration to become Gods Child: 2. The gift of faith to beleeue Gods promses: 3. The gift of obedience to doe Gods will: 4. The gift of Prayer to seeke Gods Presence: 5. The gift of comfort, to en­dure Gods Trials: 6. The gift of strength to hold out and continue gods seruant.

How these things sauour with you I know not, how sweet they ought to be vnto you, I know wel. It is said of Christ, that to the eyes of the world,Is. 53.2. he had neither forme nor beautie, there seemed to be nothing in him, why men should desire him: yet all the chil­dren of God,Ioh. 1.14. saw his glorie, as the glorie of the onely begotten Sonne of God, full of grace and truth. So though these things happily do no whit affect those,Rom. 8.5. which are after the flesh, but do seeme euen vile in their [Page 38] eyes; yet they whose hearts God hath touched, to them they seeme exceeding precious, and I doubt not but they say in their hearts, as Mephibosheth did to Dauid after his returne from the battell, when Dauid bad him, and Ziba diuide the goods betwixt them, nay (saith he) to testifie his ioy for the Kings victorie,)2. Sa. 19.30.) Let him take all, seeing my Lord the King is come home in peace: so I say, all that feare God, say in the truth of their soules, comparing the base things of the world with these graces, Take all for me who will, so that my bar­ren soule may be replenished with these sweet graces of Gods spirit. Well, hoping the best (as in charitie it becommeth me) of you all, and that as you do prize these graces, this water of life, as it doth deserue, so you will be glad to know the meanes of obtaining them, I come now to the next point. Which is, that Christ hath both power and will to bestow them. He saith here,Christ is able and willing to giue this water he will giue them, it is meet therefore that we do enquire into his abilitie, whether it be in his power to make good that which he promiseth in this place.

Touching his power the Scripture is a plentifull wit­nesse:Is. 36.9. With thee saith Dauid) is the well of life. He is the Zach. 13.1. fountaine opened in the house of Dauid for sinne and for vncleanenesse. It hath pleased the Father, that Col. 1.19. in him all fulnesse should dwell: In him are hid all the treasures of wise­dome and knowledge Col. 2.3.: and it is ordained, thatIoh. 1.16. of his fulnes, we should receiue grace for grace. What better witnes would we of his power? His will is no lesse then his power,Math. 11.28. Come vnto me all ye that are wearie, &c. He made an open Proclamation, he stood and cryed, saying Ioh [...]7.37., If any man thirst, let him come to me and drinke: and he hath renued his offer,Reu. 22.17. Let him that is a thirst come, and let who­soeuer will, take of the water of life freely: nay,Is. 55.1. The vse without sil­uer and without money. What reason haue we (I pray you) but vpon his word to beleeue him?

Well then, what followeth vpon this? We that are Ministers of the Gospell, are appointed by him that hath [Page 39] sent vs, to do as Iohn Baptist, to point with the finger, and to say to you,Ioh. 1.3 [...]. Behold the Lambe of God: see the man that hath the treasures of all grace, runne ye to him, that as was prophecied of old, you may with ioy draw waters out of the Isa. 12.3. welles of saluation. Take heed you forsake not him who is theIere. 2.13. fountaine of liuing waters, to digge you pits, euen broken pits which can hold no water. Get you to Christ, seeke to him, if you wish to be releeued. This is the end of our preaching, this is the drift of all our Ser­mons. You will say vnto me, (perhaps) this is a needles exhortation: you talke of going to Christ, but where is he? If he were preaching in our Churches, and working miracles in our streets, you should see how we would flocke about him, how much we would make of him, and how we would runne to him: here be good words, I pray God the performance be according. Hearken therfore in the feare of God: I say to thee as Paule spake in a case not much vnlike,Rom. 10.6.7. Say not in thine heart, Where Christ, is to be found. who shall ascend into heauen, that is, to bring Christ from aboue, or who shall des­cend into the deepe, that is, to bring Christ againe from the dead? There is no such difficultie in the matter: for behold he is neere thee,Pro. 8.2. he standeth in the toppe of the high places, (saith Salomon.) Iohn saw him inReu. 1.13. the midst of the golden candlestickes. He is in the middle of his Church, he dwel­leth in the congregation of the faithfull:Math. 18.20 where two or three are gathered together in his name, there is he. It is no such hard matter to find Christ,Pro. 8.33. Watch daily at the gates of the Lords house, and giue attendance at the postes of his doores, there thou shalt find him. When Ioseph and Mary having bene lately at Ierusalem, had (as it were) lost him, Luc. 2.45.46. they went backe to the Temple, and there they found him. Go thou and do likewise: seeke him in his word, there thou shalt haue him: We (saith the Apostle, spea­king of himselfe and of his fellow Ministers) stand among you in Christs steade 2. Cor. 5.20., and God doth beseech you through vs. Thou wilt say vnto me, yet againe it may be, thou art litle the nearer, thou wilt yeeld that Christ is the Well [Page 40] of life, and that the congregation is the place where to find him, but thou wilt adde withall, as this woman did in scorne to Christ, the Well is deepe, and thou hast nothing to draw with. Marke therefore (I pray thee) the next point, namely, the meanes how Christ bestoweth these graces.

How Christ be­stoweth this water.There are three pipes or conduits, (as I may so call them) by which Christ Iesus the fountaine of life con­ueyeth the graces of his spirit into the hearts of his chil­dren. First, the preaching of the word; secondly, the Sa­craments: thirdly, prayer.

The vse.If thou wouldst drinke of this well of liuing water, I doe especially commend to thy godly care the Publique ministry of the word, not shutting out the other two, but chiefely vrging this, because I know that if thou be a carefull and conscionable hearer, the exercises of pray­er and communicating cannot but be delightfull vnto thee. Obserue this I pray thee, if thy heart be affected with these spirituall graces issuing out of the fountaine of grace, get thee to the word of grace, I meane, (to vse Pauls words and to cut of ambiguity)Rom. 10.8. the word of faith which we preach: open thy eares, that it may run downe to the refreshing of thy heart. If thou hast by the good­nes of God, a cisterne of thy owne, and a skilfull draw­er, that is (as Elihu speaketh)Iob. 33.23. an interpreter, who know­eth how to giue thee thyLuc. 12.42. portion of water in season, then I say to thee as Solomon dothPro. 5. [...]15.. Drinke of the riuers out of the midst of thine owne well: but if thou dwellest (as Dauid saith) in a barren and dry land where no water is, or hast cause to say as the citizens of Iericho did to Elisha 2. King. 2.19. The situation of thy dwelling is plesant, but the water is naught, why should I for any by respects betray thy soule, and spare to tell thee, that which I know to be the truth? what shouldst thou doe in such a case but seeke it where it is, and labour els where to supply thine owne necessi­ty. This is the meanes of Gods appointing, this is the ordinary conduit of saluation. The seeming wise men [Page 41] of this world, hearing this course commended to them, as it were a liuing streame flowing from the well of life Christ Iesus, thinke it incredible, and imagine it to be a base a meanes to beget grace in a mans heart. I will tell you to whom they are very like in this case: to Naamā the Sirian, who trauailing to the prophet Elisha to be clean­sed by him of his leprosie, when he had word sent him, to wash himselfe in Iordan seuen times, he was by and by in a rage, he looked for some greater matter.2 king. 5. Behold (saith he) I thought with my selfe, he will surely come out and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and put his hand in the place &c. This is a iest (thought he) am I come so farre to wash my selfe in Iordan, as though there were not as good waters of Damascus: Euen so, many, thinke scorne of this as of too meane a meanes, and imagine it to be but an idle thing, by hearing to be saued. But to all so minded, I say as the seruants of the same Naaman said to him Father (said they) if the pro­phet had commaunded thee a great thing, wouldest thou not haue done it, How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash and be cleane? So say I, If the Lord had imposed some greater thing vpon vs, of more charge, and of more difficulty, ought we not to haue done it? How much more now, when he saith vnto vs, Heare and be sa­ued. The weaker meanes, the greater is his glory: the easier it is, the more is our shame, and the deeper will our condemnation be if we despise it. To conclude this point then: The water of life which is originally in Christ is deriued to vs by preaching: Learne thou then to come by the streams of Preaching to the the fountaine of grace, the Lord Iesus. And though (it may be) thou haue depended vpon it many yeares, as long asIoh. 5. [...]. the lame man lay by the poole of Bethesda, and hast not yet gai­ned that full comfort which thou did expect, yet assure thy selfe that the good houre is comming, in which thou shalt find rest and peace vnto thy soule. So much for this point.

To whome Christ doth giue it.The next foloweth: viz. the Parties to whom Christ will giue this water. It is not expressed, but yet it is im­plied, For marke: He that drinkes of this water, shall neuer thirst againe, saith Christ: therefote before he receiued it he thirsted for it; So that it is plaine by the Text, that they to whome Christ will giue this water of life, are those which thirst after it, which long for it, which feele the want of it: and thereto agreeth the Scripture in ma­ny places: He Is. 55.1. (saith the prophet) come ye to the waters: but who, Euery one that thirsteth Math. 516.. Blessed are they which thirst for righteousnes. If any man thirst, Ioh. 7 37. let him come to me & drinke. IReu. 21.6. will giue to him that is a thirst of the well of the water of life freely: AndReu. 21.18. Let him that is a thirst, come. If there be no thirsting, there shall be no refreshing; if no longing, no enioying: God will giue his graces, where they shalbe esteemed, and esteemed they cannot be, till the want thereof be knowne, and he which feeleth the want of them cannot chuse but vnfainedly desire them.

The vse.The vse of this is very expedient. It teacheth vs how and in what manner we must be prepared to the recei­uing of the graces of Gods spirit: vntill our soules doe euen thirst after Christ, asPs. 42.1. the Hart after the riuers of Water so that we seeme to our selues the happiest men aliue if we might haue but one drop of Christs blood to refresh vs, vntill (I say) it be thus with vs, Christ can neuer be ours, he will neuer dwell in that soule that hath not euen panted after him, and cried out in the anguish thereof as Hezekiah didIs. 38.14., O Lod it hath afflicted me, com­fort me. And therefore it is no meruaile though there be every where so many emptie soules, because there be so fewe thirsting soules; no wonder though so many are without grace, seeing there be so fewe that long after grace. True it is, that by nature our selues are destitute of all goodnes, neither is there so much as a shadow of grace within vs: but yet all feele not this; [Page 43] among other graces which we want, this is not the least, that we doe not feele the want of grace. We are (the greatest part of vs) like those Laodiceans spoken of Reuel. 3. we say we are rich, and haue need of nothing, and know not how we are wretched and miserable and blinde and naked. This our supposed fulnes breeds in vs a lothing of Gods graces; they seeme vnto vs, when they are liberally offe­red not worth the entertaining. So that (me thinketh) I may not vnfitly compare the state of Gods heauen­ly graces, in respect of the cold entertainment that they haue with the most, vnto the case of a poore man, which hath libertie to goe through the church to gather euery mans deuotion for his reliefe. He cometh to one, and he maketh wise not to heare; to another, and he biddeth him come againe another time; to a third, and he saith he hath no mony about him; to a fourth, and he would giue if he had wherewith to exchaunge: to a fift, and he saith he is a poore man himselfe, and hath as much need to aske as he: And thus euery vnwilling minde fin­ding an excuse, he picketh out but a few poore pence out of a great and populous congregation. So it fareth with the graces of God offered to vs in the ordinarie Mi­nistrie of the word. They passe (as it were) from seate to seate, from pue to pue, from one end of the church vnto another, humbly suing and forcibly perswading, to be entertained: But (alas) there is such a generall be­nummednes, and frozen deadnes, possesseth the hearts of the greatest part, that (I know not how) Grace, the more kindly it is offered, the lesse it is esteemed, and though the water of life doe runne (as it were) tho­rough our streetes, yet men will scarsely stoope to receiue it. I am euen woe to thinke vpon it, how men and women, that now thinke all is well inough, and doe Cor. 7.1. receiue the grace of God in vaine, and Heb. 2.3. neglect so great saluation, shall one day with teares of blood be suters for one drop of grace, and yet shall not be able to obtaine it. Well then if we would drinke of the water which [Page 32] Christ hath to giue vs, let vs labour to thirst after it: you wil say vnto me,How to be brought to thirst for Christ. how shall we come to this spirituall thirst. I will shew you how. There be two things e­specially beget thirst: the one is Labour. I neede not prooue it, yoe know it well inough by experience: so then a spirituall labour will beget a spirituall thirst. But what is this spirituall Labour, It is this: a trauailing vnder the waite and burthen of a mans owne sinnes: If thou canst once say with Dauid, Ps. 38 4. My sinnes are like a sore bur­den too heauie for me to beare, thou wilt quickly thirst after the righteousnes of Christ Iesus. Another occasion of thirst is salt, you knowe that by experience also. Now marke what Christ saith, he telleth the Apostles and their successors, that in respect of their Ministry,Math. 5.13. they are the salt of the Earth. salt hath a kind of biting nature, so hath the word well applied; it is sharpe & eager, and he who is well exercised vnder it, and well schooled, by the vrging of the lawe vpon his conscience he will soone thirst after the saluatiō offered in Christ Iesus The Gospell will be glad tidings to him, andPro. 25.25. as cold waters to a weary soule. Take this course which I haue prescribed thee, learne to feele the waite of sinne, fre­quent the powerfull ministery of the word, and thou shall soone thirst for the water of life.

The next point is the benefit of enioying this water. He that drinketh of it shall neuer be more a thirst. And the reasō is, because the water shalbe in him, a wel of water sprin­ging vp into euerlasting life. This is warily to be vnderstood: for it is not so to be taken, as though the children of God being once seasoned with grace, were glutted (as it were) and had no more desire for the encrease of grace: for it is cleane otherwise; the more grace a man hath, the more he longeth to haue grace to be euen heaped (if it were possible) vpon his soule. But the meaning is this; that whereas this outward clement of water, which we dayly vse, is soone wasted and turned to nothing, and a man that hath vsed it, is within a while as new to [Page 33] seeke, as if he neuer had had thereof, this water of life is of another nature; being once receiued, it is neuer dryed vp againe, it is like to a liuing spring which shall perpetually streame, & as it were bubble out vnto eternal life: it is a fountaine that can neuer be drawne dry, an e­uerlasting stocke that can neuer be wasted, a store which can neuer be spent, as a lampe fed with oyle of immor­tality which can neuer be consumed. We learne an ex­cellent point from hence, and it is this: Doctrine. that the graces god once bestoweth on his childrē which are neuer taken from them: this is Christs true meaning: and it is a point easily proued by the scripture.Rom. 11.29. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance, that is, God neuer altereth his purpose touching the bringing of any man into the state of graceIoh. 13.. Whom he loueth, he loueth to the end, for a moment, Is. 54.8. I hide my face from thee for a litle season, but with euerlasting loue I had compassion on thee saith the Lord thy redeemer. Ier. 31.3. I haue loued thee with an euerlasting loue. Phil. 1.16. I am perswaded (saith Paul) that he that hath begun this worke in you will performe it. It is a generall rule; where God begin­neth a good worke of grace, he goeth one alwaies to fi­nish it. I giue vnto my sheepe eternall life, and they shall neuer perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. Ioh. 10.28. There is no point plainer in the scripture; Christ doth not bring vs into a good course, and then leaue vs to our selues, but he guides vs in it by his grace vnto the end; therefore he is called bothHeb. 12.2. The vse the author, and the finisher of our faith.

The vse is two-fold: first, to quicken and stirre vp our desires to make vs labour after these heauenly graces, see­ing they are the onely things of perpetuitie. All things else are subiect to vncertaintie, onely2. Tim. 2.19. the foundation of the Lord remaineth sure. Oh then, chuse theLuc. 10.42. better part which shall not be taken away from vs. Secondly, this is a point of infinite and vnspeakable comfort to all Gods children. For consider I pray you, is it not a com­fortable thing, when a man with great charge and in­dustrie hath gotten a commoditie, to be assured of the [Page 34] continuance, and to be freed from the feare of loosing it? what a ioy must it then needes be to a Christian soule, to consider that the Lord hauing begun, in some mea­sure to be gracious vnto him: will neuer alter his fa­uour, that grace being once bestowed, shall neuer bee withdrawne, that his soule hauing once bene moistened with the dew of heauen, shall neuer be wholy dryed vp againe. It is possible I know for the deare child of God, sometimes to seeme to himselfe and to others, emptie and barren of all goodnesse, and these graces may be thought for a time, vtterly to be consumed. So the sap lyeth hid in the roote of the tree the whole winter, and maketh no shew; and in a very drie and hotte Sommer, you shall see many springs as it were cleane gone, with­out any appearance of moisture: yet in Sommer the sap mounteth aloft into all the branches of the tree, and in a conuenient season, the veines of the earth are ope­ned, and the dryed spring returneth to his former strea­ming: so, though the children of God may seeme some­times vtterly to be fallen backe to their former hardnes, yet (as Saint Iohn saith)1. Ioh. 3.9. there is a certaine seed be­hind; there is a hidden moysture which at last breakes out, and sheweth it selfe in the fruites of righteousnesse as before. So then, if thou hast neuer so little grace, (as thou thinkest) though it be but as yet a desire of grace, a longing after faith, a thirsting after righteousnesse, yet make much of it, reioyce in it, thank God for it, take it as a pledge that the Lord hath some further worke to worke in thee: be sure, that he which hath begun it, will cherish it, yea and that in his time he will also en­crease it.

The signes of hauing this water.The last point remaineth, which is the life of all, that hath bene said, viz. how may I for my part know that I haue tasted of this water. Hearken a litle and I will tell thee: thou shalt know the certaintie of it by these signes. The first is, a cleare fight of thine owne soules estate. In a cleare well, a man shall see a peny in the bottome of it: so if a man haue the well of life in his heart, he shall be­hold [Page 35] in it the full proportion (as it were) of his owne soule. And assure thy selfe of this, that the more full sight thou hast of thine owne imperfections, of thine owne corruptions, of the rebellions of thy heart, of the crookednesse of thy nature, the greater portion thou hast of this grace. The second signe, is the cleanenesse of the heart: it is the nature of the water to cleanse and scoure: so is it the propertie of this heauenly water: no sope, no nitre, hath that scouring power that it hath.Ier. 17.9. The heart is wicked aboue all things: fraughted naturally with cor­ruption, ignorance, vnbeleefe, hardnesse, securitie, fro­wardnesse, vntovvardnesse to good seruices. Looke ther­fore hovv thy heart is cleansed, thy soule purged from this filthinesse. Thou vvilt say to me (perhaps) the Scrip­ture saith,Pro. 20.9. Who can say, I haue made my heart cleane: hovv shall I then thinke to find a cleane heart? I ansvver, cleane from all blemish I knovv thou shalt neuer find it, yet thou mustMath. 5.4 haue a pure heart, for else thou shalt neuer see God. A pure heart, is a heart purged from the bon­dage of sinne, a heartHeb. 9.14. cleansed from dead workes, to serue the liuing God: more plainely, a heartHeb. 13.18. which desireth in all things to liue honestly. If thou vvouldst therefore be sure of a cleane heart, looke for a cleane conuersation, such a conuersation as S. Paul speaketh of,Phil. 1.27. vvhich becommeth the Gospell, vvhich adorneth the doctrine of God our Saui­our in all things, vvhich maketh our enemies and the e­nemies of our professionTit. 2.10. vers. 8. ashamed when they haue no­thing concerning vs to speake euill of. The water of life doth alwayes bring forth such fruite: therefore a good man is said to bePsal. 1.3. as a tree planted by the riuers of water, that will bring forth her fruite in due season. And it is said againe,Ezek. 47.9. that euery thing shall liue, whither that liuing ri­uer, which floweth out of the Sanctuarie, commeth. Try thy selfe by this marke, see whether this water hath quenched the boyling heate of thine owne inordinate lusts, and hath begotten a new life, euen the life of righ­teousnesse within thee. The third signe, is encreasing in [Page 62] grace: water which is but a small streame at the well head, going further waxeth broader and deeper, and partes it selfe into many branches: so these waters that flowed out of the Sanctuarie, were firstEz. to the ancles, then to the knees, then to the loynes, then a riuer which could not be passed ouer. If there be a care to increase in grace, in knowledge, in feeling, in zeale, in obedience, the well of life is in that soule: if there be a resting satis­fied, as though all were well, and we had religion i­nough, that is a dry soule, the graces of Gods spirit are not in it. The fourth signe, is a care to do good to the soules of others: we know nothing is more free in vse then the water. Dauid saith,Ps. 104.10.11. God sendeth out springs in­to the valleys, to giue drinke to all the beasts of the field. And Christ saith,Ioh. 7.38. that out of his belly, which drinketh of this water, shall flow riuers of water of life, by which ma­ny shall be comforted. Hast thou a desire and a care to be helpefull to other mens soules? it is a signe, thy soule is watered, and shall be more bedewed: forPro. 11.25. he that wa­tereth shall haue raine: hast thou no such care, no disposi­tion to be a meanes of saluation vnto others? thou hast a barren heart, and a gracelesse spirit. These be plaine and familiar markes, and they be such as will not de­ceiue vs. The daily vse of water, may daily mind vs of them, let vs daily trye our selues how it fareth with vs in these things. If we be trauelling by the way, and it be told vs, that by such a tree, or gate, or village, we shall know our selues to be in the right course, we will carefully remember it, and heedfully obserue it as we iourney. If we see the markes we will be glad, if we see them not, we will be afraid we are out, and re­turne to make enquirie. Let vs do so in this case, by these tokens we shall vnderstand how it goeth with out soules, and in which way we are trauelling; let vs labour to remember them, let vs marke daily whether in our course and cariage we can find them. If we do, [Page 63] let vs blesse the name of God, and hold on our course with chearefulnesse; if we do not, let vs be [...]. Cor. 11.2 be iealous ouer our selues with a godly iealousie, let vs know it is not well with vs, let vs speedily enter into a new course, for feare of going on in theMat. 7. [...]3. broadway which leadeth to de­struction. And thus an end of this text.

The end of the second Sermon.

The third Sermon. Dauids Longing, and Dauids Loue.

PSAL. 119.174.

I haue longed for thy saluation, and thy Law is my de­light.

IT is truly said, that this 119 Psalme is the liuely representation of a regenerate man: in regard that it so fully, and so effectually maketh knowne what ought to be the me­ditations of his soule, the thoughts and affections of his heart, the cour­ses and exercises of his life. So that the liker, by view­ing the inward partes, a man shall find himselfe to be, to Dauid in this Psalme: the more he may assure himselfe, that he is a new creature; and the further he shall per­ceiue himselfe to come short of this patterne, the farther he is to thinke that he is, from newnesse of life. Of this worthie Psalme (the true image of a renewed soule) I haue chosen one almost of the lowest, but not of the basest branches to treate of vnto you: which, as for the generall meaning thereof, it is agreeing to the rest of the holy and heauenly matter of the Psalme, so in particu­lar,The diuision. it is an expresse witnesse vnto vs of two things: first, Dauids longing: secondly, Dauids loue. His longing was for saluation, O Lord I haue longed for thy saluation: his loue was the lawe, And thy law is my delight. Of these two in order.

In the former we are briefely to examine two things:The first part. first what is saluation: secondly what it is to long for saluation. By saluation is ment here no other thing, but that which in the Scripture is somtime calledMath. 19 29. life eternal, sometimes the Math. 5.3. kingdome of heauen, sometimesRom. 8.18. the glory which shalbe shewed hereafter, sometimesPsal 27.13. the goodnes of the Lord in the land of the liuing, sometimesPhil. 3.14. the price of the high calling of God in Christ Iesus, sometimes1. Pet. 1.4. an inheri­tance immortall and vndefiled which fadeth not, in a word, 1. Cor. 2.9. those vnspeakable, and not to be conceiued blessings, which God hath prepared for those that loue him. This was (as we say) the obiect, the marke of Dauids longing. This saluation he calleth the Lords (thy saluation) because as for vs, it is neither an inheritance which we are borne vnto, nor a purchase which by any desert we can com­passe, so it is the Lords euery way: it is he which hath1. Cor. 2.9. first prepared it: it is he which hath freely disposed it ac­cording to theMat. 11.26.1. God pleasure of his owne will: it is he which1. Pet. 1.4. reserueth it in heauen, for those, who areIud. 1. reserued vnto Iesus Christ. Now what it is to long, we doe all well inough conceiue, either by experience in our selues, or by obseruation in others, we know it to be the stret­ching of the desire vnto the highest straine; it affecteth the heart in that measure, that all delaies are euen a ve­ry killing to the soule, neither can there be any content­ment or true satisfaction, but onely in the fruition of that which is longed for. Dauid himselfe describeth this affection of his by very passionate and effectuall termes. Psal. 4.2. My soule thirsteth for God, as the Heart brayeth for the riuers of water, Ps. 84.2. My soule fainteth for the courts of the Lord Ps. 119. ver. 20.. My heart breaketh for the desire it hath: ver. 131. I opened my mouth and panted. He was as one who needes to gape for a new supply of breath, such was the heate and egernes of his perfult. These things shew, that Dauids longing was no slight desire, arising in some passion, which kinde of de­sire many times, is as soone quenched as kindled; but it was an ardent affection, springing from a deede appre­hension [Page 66] of the good of the thing desired, and being in a manner impatient of delaies, till the thing it selfe were enioyed. Adde hereto, that whereas there are in saluation two things; the one the possession of it in heauen, which S. Peter calleth,1. Pet. 1.9. the end of our faith, the other the assu­rance of it here on earth, which S. Paul termeth,Rom. 8.23. the first fruites of the spirit, Dauids longing was extended vn­to both: for (to vse Pauls phrase) he did euen2. Cor. 5.2. sigh in himselfe, desiring to be clothed with that house which is from heauen, and he longed also forEph. 1.13.14. the earnest of the spirit, to be a pledge to his soule of the future inheritance. Thus haue I briefely and truly opened to you the true sense of Dauids longing, the first part of my text. Let vs now come to see, what this is to vs that Dauids desire was so feruent for saluation.

The doctrine.It doth teach vs thus much, and this is the point which I will insist vpon: viz. That in the hearts of all that shal­be saued, there is a vehement desire, and an vnfained longing to be saued. I pray marke well this point, and be not ready to thinke it a slight obseruation, till you haue heard it well prooued and well pressed. First of all, touching the sense thereof, it must be vnderstood with this caution and limitation, namely that I doe not extend it to such infants and litle ones, which doe be­long vnto the election of grace, but onely to such as are of yeares of discretion, which are of power and ability to conceiue and vnderstand, and are come to haue the vse of these naturall powers of desiring and longing which are in all. For as touching the rest, as God hath his part in many such (Moth. 19.14. for of such is the kingdome of God) so his manner of drawing them into the state of grace, and of their apprehending it, is knowne onely to him­selfe. This is the meaning of the Doctrine. Now for proofe of it this one example of Dauid is a sufficient ground: for, seeing al Gods children are guided by one spirit, and like the children of one family, sprong of one father, and bred vp after one fashion, are of one dispo­sition [Page 67] in respect of spirituall things, it must needs folow that the longing after saluation which was in Dauid, is (though not happily in the same measure, yet for the ge­nerall nau [...]e thereof) in all that shall be saued, and they are able in the witnes of a good conscience to say as he did here, O Lord I haue longed for thy salvation. Yet, left ignorance in the course of holy Scripture, should make vs to behold Dauid in this moode, like a Pellicane in the wildernes, supposing him to be alone herein, and so should become negligent to frame our selues to so good a Paterne, let vs see whether the like af­fection be not to be found in others of gods saints. Begin first with Abraham the father of the faithfull, without likenes to whose faith there can be no saluation: what saith Christ of himIoh. 8.56.? your Father Abraham re­ioyced to see my day, & he saw it and was glad. We knowe what our Sauiour meaneth by (his Day) to wit, his comming in the flesh for the redemption of mankind. This day of Christ, Abraham Heb. 11.13. saw a farre off, and as he reioyced to be assured of it, so we may re­solue, that it was the principall desire of his soule, to be interressed into the saluation which was procured by it in due time. The more Abraham reioyced in it, the more he longed for it, and with the greater desire he expected it, with the greater gladnes of spirit he en­tertained it. Come downe a litle lower from him, to Iacob: that one voice of his vttered by him in greate vehemencie vpon his death-bed, while he was telling the future estate of his progenie, shall witnes the dispo­sition of his Heart in this caseGen. 49.19.: O Lord I haue waited for thy saluation. He saw by the spirit of prophecie ma­ny troubles and miseries like to come vpon his chil­dren, therefore as a man weaned from outward things by this meanes, and taught to rely only vpon the Lord he crieth out, O Lord I haue waited for thy saluation. Was it not the longing after Christ, which madeHeb. 11.26. Moses esteeme the rebuke of Christ greater riches then the trea­sures [Page 68] of Egipt? was not Hezekiah his heart full of lon­ging, and was he not euen readie to faint in his de­sires after the mercy of God, when he cried out in the Anguish of his soule,Is. 38.14. O Lord it hath oppressed me, Com­fort me? Was not Iobs desire earnest, when feeling him­selfe to be euen ouercome of sorow, he brast out into these words,Iob. 10.20. Let the Lord cease and leaue of from me, that I may take a litle comfort? In a word, let our sauiour, testimonie be sufficient for the longing of all the pro­phets and righteous men that liued in those elder times,Math. 13.17. I say vnto you that many Prophets and righteous men haue desired to see those things which you see, &c. If wee consider the times of Christs visible being on earth, and after, we shall see the spirit of God like himselfe, and bringing forth the same fruites, in o­thers of Gods children. Old Simeon a holy man, here is his stile,Luc. 2.25. He waited for the consolation of Israel, and he desired life but onely to satisfie this longing Ioseph an honourable counseller, yet here was his glory,Luc. 23.51. He waited (or longed) for the kingdome of God. Paul may stand insteede of many examples: what (thinke we) did he long for, when he vttered those words,Rom 7.24. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliuer me from this bodie of death: adde to this, hisRom. 8.23. sighing in himselfe, hisPhil. 1.23. desiring to be with Christ. The Iewes that heard Peter preach and were pricked by his stinging sermon, called to them,Act. 2.37. Men and brethren what shall wee doe? was not there lon­ging? The poore perplexed Iaylor which came to Paul and Silas with a crie, Sirs Act. 10.30. what must I doe to be saued, was not his desire feruent? I might bring in a cloud of witnesses, but these may suffice to shew the generall disposition and affection of all Gods Children; All their soules be hungry soules, all their hearts be longing hearts, the maine thing affected by them is saluation. If you will haue a reason for it, it is no heard matter to yeeld a very sufficient one. There are three things requi­red of a christian: 1. By a feeling of sinne to seeke Christ. 2. By a holy faith to finde Christ. 3. By newnes [Page 69] of life to dwell with Christ. The first of those three, is this same longing for saluation which I intreat of: and therefore, as in a ladder there is no comming to the vp­per steppe, but by the nethermost, so there is no dwel­ling with Christ which is the height of happines in this life but by finding him, found he cannot be but by see­king; to seeke him and to long for him are all one: no man seekes him but he which longs for him, and no man longs for him, but he will care to seeke him. Ta­king this point therefore for granted, because I see no reason why it should be denied, I will apply my selfe to the applying of it.

I pray you in the feare of God obserue it. There is nothing which concerneth a Christian more,The vse. if either we respect the strait charge giuen for it, or the great comfort rising out of it, then to seeke to assure his soule that he is in the number of those that shall be saued. What true comfort can a man take in any thing, who is vnresolued in a matter of this consequence? he may haue a kind of slight and deceitfull gladnes, but (as Iob saith, of the Ioy of Hipocrites)Iob. 20.7. it is but for a mo­ment, andPro. 11.7. when he dieth, his hope perisheth, andIob. 18.6. his candle shalbe put out with him. Well then, it being a matter of that behoofe to euery man, to make his fu­ture estate sure vnto his soule, know this of a truth (I speake it not as desiring to deceiue, but as labouring to resolue) that there is no more certaine course then this, to try thy selfe & to examine thy selfe by this wor­thy paterne, compounded of so many worthy examples; assure thy selfe the liker thou art to them in this Affection, the neerer art thou to life and happines, and the lesse thou art transformed into this Image, the more of the corrupt old man abideth in thee, and if thou hold on so, when the day commeth in which eternall life, shall be shared out vnto those for whome it is pre­pared, Christ shall dismisse thee with that comfortlesse speech which was sometime vsed to Simon Magus, Act. 8.21. thou hast no part nor fellowship in this busines. Let it not [Page 70] be greiuous vnto thee, that I aske thee a fewe Questi­ons, and be thou perswaded, that it is a matter that beho­ueth thee much, well to answere them: what is the prin­cipall desire of thy soule? what is the thing which thou most affectest; what is that which thou dost truly think thy selfe most happy if thou mightest once obtaine? what is it which hath most exercised thy thoughts, and for the procuring whereof thou hast bene most pensiue? what is it, the discourses and discoueries whereof, haue bene with the greatest appetite receiued by thee? what is it, for the thinking whereon, thy soule hath euen languished within thee? speake the truth in the presence of God who cannot be deluded: Is it the Saluation of thy soule? is it the forgiuenes of thy sinnes? is it the fauour of God in Christ Iesus? is it to be assured in thy soule that the Hand-writing which was against thee is cancelled, and that there is peace in heauen for thee, and a place prouided in that King­dome which cannot be shaken? is it that, when this earthly house of this Tabernacle shall be destroyed, thou maist be receiued into euerlasting habitations? How saist thou? Are these things strangers to thy thoughts, or doe they take vp a cheife roome in thy Affections? Are they deepely apprehended, or are they but slightly and cursorily entertained? Are thy medita­tions touching these, setled, and such as hold thee long or are they but like flying motions, which are as soone vanished as perceiued? Though thy tongue, if thou shouldst nowe speake for thy selfe, happily would dis­semble, yet I am sure that if thou talke earnestly with thy conscience, that will not fllatter thee. Howsoeuer it be, this I must tell thee, that such as thy desires are herein such is thy estate: dost thou long with Dauid? thou shalt be saued with Dauid. Is saluation (If thou wilt speake the Truth) lest in thy longing? then stand forth and heare thy Iudgment; thou shalt be called the lost in the Kingdome of God. The longing soule [Page 71] shalbe filled, the carelesse and full gorged spirits shalbe sent empty away. This is the true vse of this do­ctrine.

Howbeit, this be the generall vse of this point, yet becauseIer. 17.9. the heart of man is deceitfull aboue all things, and there is aPs. 32.2. spirituall Guile which cleaueth close vnto vs, so that thou mayest both make me beleeue by protesta­tions, and thy selfe thinke by idle perswasions, that thou truly longest for saluation, when there is no such mat­ter, therefore I pray thee to pardon my feare, and suffer me to be iealous euer with a godly iealousie, and to tell thee, which art so readie vpon the first hearing of this point, to answer for thy selfe, to tell thee I say, that I do much doubt, it is not so well with thee as thou dost suppose. If thou askest a reason of me, why I should be so hard of beleefe, as not to credit thee, when thou sayest and protestest, that thou longest for saluation, I aunswer thee, that I am suspicious, that the ground of true longing is altogether wanting in thee, I will tell thee what that is, and so leaue thee to be thine owne iudge. It is this; a liuely feeling of thine owne wret­chednesse and miserie through sinne. This is the thing which will make a man long to be saued, which wil make the message of the Gospell to be glad tidings: the feeling of sinne cannot chuse but bring forth a desire to haue the pardon of sinne. And indeed, in reason it must needes be so. For as a man which hath offended the law, and is appointed to death, (ordinarily, except he be a man desperate) would rather haue a pardon, then any thing in the world besides, because without it, he knowes he can haue ioy in nothing: so he which hath offended God, and findeth himselfe in the rigour of Gods iustice, to be the child of death, cannot chuse but more highly prize the fauour of God in the remission of his sinnes, then all the treasures and riches vnder heauen. When men are secure, and without feeling of sin, though the grace of God in Christ, be neuer so plentifully offered [Page 72] vnto them, yet they esteeme it not, it seemeth to them as a base thing, they regard it not; but if once a man feele the sting of sinne, then he would giue the world for one litle drop of Gods mercie. The prodigall sonne, when he liued at home with his father, and had meate and drinke enough, and knew no want, then he was weary of his abundance, and would needes aduenture further to try a better fortune: but when he had felt the smart of hunger, he would haue bene in the state of one of his fathers hired seruants,Luc. 15.19. Make me as one of thy hired seruants. Dauid being well humbled, would take it in good worth to be aPsal. 84.10. doore keeper in the house of the Lord: and the poore Canaanitish woman, when our Sauiour had well schooled her, was content euen withmat. 15.27. Crummes of mercie. Pro. 27.7. The person that is full, despiseth an hony combe (saith Salomon) but vnto the hungry soule euery bitter thing is sweet. Though a man haue formerly bene obstinate and stub­borne, andPsa. 50.17. hating to be reformed, hauingIs. 48.4. a necke as an iron sinew, and a brow as brasse, yet if he be once brought to see himselfe as it were at the brinke, and hell gaping to receiue him, and the eternall waight of Gods displeasure, readie to ceaze vpon him, then you shall find him tracta­ble, mourning like Ephraim, Ier. 31.18. O Lord conuert me, and I shall be conuerted, yeelding meekely with Paule, Act. 9.6. Lord what wilt thou that I do? running to the Minister like the people to Samuel, 1. Sam. 12.19. O pray to the Lord thy God that I dye not. And they which now count euery Sermon to be the burden of the Lord, and are readie to say to the Seers, See not, and to Prophets, prophecy not vnto vs, would then run about vs and hang vpon vs as they did of old vpon Mo­ses, when they saw the glory of Gods maiesty, talke Exod. 20.10. thou with vs and we will heare; they would importune vs, and call vpon vs, as the rulers of the Sinagogue did vpon Paul and Barnabas, Act. 13.15. that if we haue any word of exhortati­on, we would say on, These would be the fruites of this feeling, and all shewes of longing are but shewes, which fetch not their first beginning from this deepe apprehen­sion [Page 73] of the wofull and distressed estate of a mans own soule. So then, now thou seest, there is some cause that I should be suspicious of thy pretended longing. For if when I looke into thee, if when I conferre with thee, if when I obserue thy course, I see thee to be such an one as the greatest part, a manZeph. 1.12. Frozen in the dregs, one thatDeu. 29.19. blessest thy selfe in thy heart, one that knowest not how thou art poore and Ro [...]. 3.17. wretched and miserable, & blind, and naked, one who standest in no awe of Gods iustice, one whosePs. 119.120. flesh trembleth not for feare of God, neither art afraid of his iudgement, one that yet vnderstandest not what it is to be a sinner, and howHeb. 10.31. [...]. fearefull a thing it is to fall into the hands of the liuing God, one thatMal. 3.14. dee­mest it vaine to serue God, and a meere folly to be so religious as some would be: in a word, one2. Tim. 3.5 who con­tentest thy selfe with a shew of godlinesse, without any po­wer of religion. How should I suppose it possible for thee to long to be saued, when thou canst not tell out of thine owne feeling what it is to need saluati­on? Shall I thinke he longeth to be cured, who though it may be he is sicke, yet feeleth it not? Shall I imagine, he desireth to be rich, who though he be in want, yet per­ceiueth it not? Reason it selfe is cleane against it. I pray thee therefore learne this lesson, which though perhaps it may now be learned, yet it will find thee worke for thy life, though thou shouldest liue yet many yeares. All Gods children long vnfainedly for sal­uation, if thou haue not the same affection with them, thou canst not haue the same saluation with them: thou wilt say, I know, if thou be asked, O God forbid, I were a wretch if I did not long to be saued: I pray thee be not deceiued: A slight wish toNum. 2 [...].10. dye the death of the righ­teous, as Balaam had, thou maist haue and yet no longing. It is a matter longer in comming, then thou, which fee­lest it not, art yet aware of. Thy heart must first be softe­ned, before saluation can be longed for: and I tell thee, it is a hard thing to circumcise the heart, and to [Page 74] make it bleed, it hath a skinne growne ouer it, which is not easily remoued. Therefore pray the LordNum. 20. which made waters flow out of the rocke, to smite thy flin­tie heart, toEze. 11.19. take the stony heart out of thy bodie, to open thy heart as he didAct. 16.14. Lydiaes, to put a new spirit within thy bowels, to Reu. 3.18. annoynt thine eyes with eye-salue, that so thou mayest see and feele thy owne wretchednesse, and mayest feelingly acknowledge with Paul, that in thy Rom. 7.18. Flesh there dwelleth no goodnesse, with Dauid, Ps. 38.4. that thine iniquities are as a waightie burden, too heauie for thee, with Iacob. Gen. 32.10. that thou art lesse then the least of all Gods mercies, with Daniel, Dan 9.7. that open shame belongeth to thee, withIob. [...].3. Iob, that thou canst not answer him one thing of a thousand, that so thou mayest haue, if it be possible, but euen a glimpse of that wofull score which the Lord hath against thee, against the day of reckoning, and a tast of the horror of hell then, and neuer till then, wilt thou long to be saued; then, and neuer till then, will the mercie of God be sweet vnto thee: when thou feelest the intolerable burthen of aPro. 18 14. wounded spirit, thy soule willMath. 5.6. thirst after righteousnesse, and all things will be butPhil. 3.8. dung vnto thee, that thou mayest winne Christ, the ti [...]ngs of him will make thy very h [...]artLuc. 1.41. to leap with in thee, as the greeting of Mary did the babe in the wombe of Elizabeth, they will come downe vpon thy perplexed soule,Ps. 72.6. like the raine vpon the mowne grasse, and as the showers that water the earth. So much for the first part, Dauids longing.

The second parte.Now followeth the second part, Dauids loue. Thy law is my delight. Many words of like effect Dauid vseth in this Psalme, yet we may not account them any idle re­petitions, but rather repute them as testimonies of a­bundance of zeale, the heart of a religious man being like the fire which in the strength thereof breaketh forth into many sparcles, so that also, out of the inward abun­dance, bursteth out into many speaches. Touching the [Page 75] thing it selfe, the matter (you see) of Dauids loue it is the lawe. By which word he doth not here vnderstand that part of Gods reuealed will, which with a respect and reference had vnto the Gospell, is called the lawe, the vse whereof is (as Paul teacheth) to Rom. 4.15. cause wrath, to Rom. 3.19. stop euery mouth, that all may be culpable before God; but here it is taken in a larger sense, for the whole word of God, and for the entire body of the holy doctrine, which is 2. Tim. 3.16.17. giuen by inspiration of God; to make vs perfect, vnto all good workes. This was that which was Dauids delight, the ioy of his heart, and gladding of his soule, the very quickning and enliuing of his spirits. And it is by the way worthy to be obserued in Dauid, that still, looke what affection he professeth to carie to God himselfe, the same he also professeth to cary to his word: as he saith, hePs. 116.1. loueth God, so he saith also,Ps. 116.97. he loueth his lawe, ver. 120. as he feareth God, ver. 161. so his heart stood in awe of the word, as he said,ver. 57. O Lord that art my portion, so he saidver. 111. thy te­stimonies haue I taken as an heritage for euer, which is meet to be noted, both for the better illustration and manefe­station of Dauids heart, and for the discouery of the idle protestations, which many make, who if they be dealt with, concerning the true knowledge of God and the way of saluation, will answer, what tell you me of these things, say what you can, I am sure you can tell no more but this, that I must loue God aboue all things, &c. And I trust I shall alwaies loue God as well as you, or the best learned. But now here is their hipocrisie descried, in that they haue so small loue vnto the word. This by the way, though not vnprofitably. Doctrine To come neerer to the point, the thing which we learne hence out of Dauids ioyning these two together, I long for saluation, and thy lawe is my delight, is this, that it is not inough for a man to say, he longes and desires to be saued, vnlesse he make conscience to vse the appointed meanes to bring him thereunto. It had bene but hipocrisie in Dauid, to say he longed for saluation, if his conscience had not bene [Page 76] able to witnes with him that the lawe was his delight. It is meere mockery, for a man to say he longeth for bread, and prayeth to God euery day to giue him his dayly bread, if he yet either walke in no calling, or els seeke to get by fraud and rapine, not staying himselfe at all vpon Gods prouidence. Who will imagine that a man wish­eth for health, who either despiseth or neglecteth the meanes of his recouery. God hath in his wisedome ap­pointed a lawfull meanes for euery lawfull thing: this meanes, being obediently vsed, the comfortable ob­taining of the end, may be boldly looked for; the means being not obserued, to thinke to attaine to the end, is meere presumption. God would deliuer Noah from the floud, but Noah Heb. 11.7. must be moued with reuerence, and pre­pare the Arke, or els he could not haue escaped. He would saue Lot from Sodom, but yet Lot Gen. 19. must hye him out quickly, and not looke behinde him, till he haue recouered Zoan. Is. 38.21. He was pleased to cure Hezekiah of the plague, but yet Hezekiah must take a lumpe of drye figs, and lay it vpō his boile. He vouchsafed to preserue Paul and his com­pany at sea,Act. 27.31. yet the marriners must abide in the shippe, els yee cannot be safe, saith Paul. The Lord could haue done all these things otherwise, but he was not so pleased, and his power must not be ventured vpon, when his will, by appointing an honest and easie meanes, is apparant to the contrary. Now that Gods word is the ordinary and appointed outward meanes of saluation I hope we doubt it not. If it were not, why should it be called as it is,Ioh. 6.68. The word of life, Act. 20.32. the word of grace, Rom. 10.8. The word of Faith, 1. Pet. 1.23. The seed of Immortality, The Luc. 11.52. key of knowledge, Ps. 119.105. the Lanterne of Gods people,Gal. 3.24 the schoole-master of man kind, the Iam. 1.25. Glasse of our life,Ps. 2.9. the Scepter of Christs kingdome,Is 11.4. the Kingdome of Heauen, theMath 13. Conuerter of the soule, the Ps. 19.7.8. Enlightener of the Eies, 2. Tim. 3.15. the maker of men wise vnto Sal­uation. I commend yow to God (saith Paul Act. 20.32. in his fare well to those of Ephesus) and to the word of his grace: he puttes both together:1. Th. 5.19.20. Quench not the spirit, despise not prophe­cying: [Page 77] there is the meanes:2. Th. [...].15. standfast, and keepe the in­structions: that is the way to stand.Ioh. 15.20. Christ directing his disciples how to preserue their owne comfort, when he was gone from them; layeth this speciall charge vp­on them. Remember the word that I said to yow. No word, no comfort. O Ps. 119. [...]. (saith Dauid) take not the word of truth vtterly out of my mouth.

This is an excellent point,The vse. worthy to be taken notice of, because it discouereth to vs the cunning and sophi­stry of the diuell, which is this: In good things he seue­reth the meanes from the End, and in euill things he separateth the End from the meanes. As for example, in euill things he beareth men in hand that they may safely adventure to vse the meanes of damnation, and goe the way that leadeth to Hell, and yet for all that, they shall not be damned. He maketh a young man beleeue that he may reioyce in his youth, and walke in the waies of his heart, and yet for all that, escape that whichEccl. 11. [...]. Salomon saith must needes come after, namely, that for all these things God will bring him to iudgement. And yet the Lord hath so ioyned these togither, that neither the subtilty of youth, nor any wit of man, nor all the diuells in hell can not seuer them to wit, the Pleasures of sinne, and the Iudgements of God. Thus the Diuell beguiled our first parents. God hath cou­pled these two, Eating and dying with an Adamant chaine, he which did the one, must needes haue the o­ther,Gen. 3.4. yet he brought them into this conceipt, that they might Eate, and yet not Dy. Oh the world of soules which Sathan at this day deceiueth with this subtilty. Well, as in Euill he cutteth the End from the Meanes, he telleth thee, thou maist runne on in sinne, and yet be saued, so in good things he cutteth the meanes from the End; He perswadeth men, that they may be saints in heauē though they be deuils on earth, that they may haue the L. saluation, yet neuer delight in the L. lawe: that they may be citizens of the newe Ierusalem, and yet be no newe creatures, that they may for euer dwell with [Page 78] God, though his word doe neuer dwell with them. Hence is it, that many will professe to seeke Gods kingdome, but care not for the righteousnesse of his kingdome, will cry with Balaam Num. 23.10., Let me die the death of the righteous, but neuer say with Dauid Ps. 119.5., Oh that my waies were directed to keepe thy statutes. I beseech you let not the Deuill cozen vs any longer, if he haue thus hi­therto deluded vs. Let vs not thinke to be saued by o­ther meanes then Dauid was, his way to saluation was Gods lawe, if thou leaue this way, thou shalt neuer come to that marke. If the word of God be not sweete vnto thee, if it be not to thee, as Ieremie saithIer, 15.16. it was to him the ioy and reioycing of thy Heart, thou exercising thy soule therein, and framing thy heart and life thereto, know it for a certaintie, it is a matter of meere impos­sibilitie for thee to be saued.Eph. 4.18. Strangers from the life of God, through Ignorance, saith the Apostle. Art thou a stranger to the word, thou art a straunger to God; Hea­uen cannot be thy portion, except thou claime the word as an Heritage. That I may presse this point fur­ther, and with theIer. 23 29. Hammer of Gods blessed word driue home the naile of this exhortation euen to the Head. Paul saith that2. Tim. 3.13. euill men waxe worse and worse, deceiuing and being deceiued. Therefore least we should (as in deede without very great care we will) deceiue and beguile our selues, thinking that we doe both long to be saued, and also loue the word of saluation, giue me leaue to teach yow that, which the word of God hath taught me, namely how and by what signes it shall appeare, that we do indeed loue the Word, and that the Law is our delight. There is no body almost, but if he be asked, for shame he will say he loueth Gods word, and that he were a very wretch if he should not. But come to the vndeceiuable markes and vnseparable signes of this loue,The markes of Loue to the word of God. it will then appeare that Gods word hath but a very few friends.

The first signe of loue to the word of God, is, loue to [Page 79] the publique Ministry thereof in Gods church:The 1. marke the reason is plaine. He which loueth the word vnfain­edly, must needs loue the meanes by which the word shall become most profitable vnto him. It is an idle thing for a man to say he loueth the word, and yet not to care to vnderstand it, not to desire to know it, not to make conscience to apply it. The word of God is cal­led aMat. 13.44. Treasure, of which, if it be kept together in a Hord there is no vse. If thou feede thee, cloth thee, mi­nister to others with thy treasure, then it is vsed as it should be: take away this from it, what difference is betwixt it (setting aside the opinion of a wordly man,) and a thing of nothing? If thou then doe loue the treasure of the word, thou wilt loue the dispen­sing of it, the right diuiding of it, the sharing it out by Gods steward to euery mans necessitie. Thou dost heare Dauid here say the Law is his delight; in another place thou shalt heare him sayPsal. 26.8. & Ps. 27.4. that the Habitation of the Lords House is his delight, and protesting, that to dwell there and to behold the Beautie thereof is his cheife desire. And why (thinke we) were the Tabernacles of the Lord so deare vnto him? was accesse thither de­sired by him as an idle complement? or went he like a Time-seruer to escape lawe? or like an Athenian Act. 17.21. to heare newes? Or why went he? Sure his loue to the Lawe, drewe him to the place where they were, which could teach him the Lawe. It was with him, as it was with those whome himselfe speaketh of, who going to the Temple had thePs. 84.5. Waies of the Lord in their Heart, and as with those,Is. 2.3. which prouoke one another, Come let vs goe vp to the mountaine of the Lord, he will teach vs his waies. So then, thou which saist thou louest Gods word, let me trie thee by this rule: when I looke vpon thy profession, thou art prety and strait without, let me see now, whether thou be also sound within: thou liuest in a place where the word of God is diligently and soundly taught, God hath blessed the Congregation of [Page 78] [...] [Page 79] [...] [Page 80] which thou art a member, with a wise steward,Luc. 12.12. who knoweth how to giue euery one his portion of meate in season. How dost thou like this? doth it content thee or doth it burthē thee? dost thou thank for it, or will not thy froward Heart, suffer thee to repute it as a benefite? Is this Manna as grosse vnto thy Tast as Horse-bread or Ps. 119.103. is it more sweete then Hony to thy Mouth? If thou take no comfort in it, if like the Gaderens,Math. 8. [...]4. thou wouldst account it a commodity, if Christ were departed thy coastes, thou must giue me leaue to tell thee, thou neither louest the word, nor louest God, no nor yet truly louest thy owne soule. A gaine, dost thou liue in Iericho, where2. Kin. 2.19. the situation is pleasant but the water naught, that is, where there are good outward commo­dities, but the true Treasure cannot be had, where when thou commest to Church thou beholdest one, who hath got on Elias mantle, but thou maist say to him, where is the spirit of Elias? who is able to say nothing to thee to rouze thee vp, nothing to admonish thee, no­thing to cōfort thee: How doth this please thee? Art thou well inough satisfied herewith, doth thy Heart neuer mourne within thee to consider this? Art thou not a­fraid of Salomons Rule,Pro. 29.18. Where there is no vision there the people decay? or dost thou groane vnder this heauie burden, and doth thy soule pant after a better blessing? Looke vnto it, count not thy selfe a Freind to the Word, a Freind to God, a Freind to thy owne soule, if thou art not affected with this Miserie. This is the first signe.

The second signe of loue to the word, is the priuate vse of itPs. 119.97.: O how I loue thy Lawe, it is my Meditation con­tinually. The 2. marke. There is the Triall of his Loue. The reason is manifest; where we loue thither doth loue drawe our affections. The Rich man meditateth of gathering goods, naturall Louers of their loue, ambitious men of their preforments: so the man of God hauing no greater ri­ches nor glorie then in the word, cannot chuse but medi­tate [Page 81] in the word. It is but small pleasure, so long as we are in a gardē to be delighted with the smell of Hearbs vnlesse we carie of euery kinde some, that so we may haue some benefite of the garden when we be farre from it: So it is but a flattering Ioy, no longer to be affe­cted with the word then we are in the Church, there­fore something must be gathered here, which may worke on our affections when we be gone. He which heareth, and ioyneth not this, with his hearing, is but like a man coloured in the sunne, so he getteth some superficiall knowledge, but it is such as can afford him no cōfort. And this is the cause why there is so much prea­ched and so little practised, euen because there is so lit­tle priuate exercise. I know there are other priuate duties, as Prayer and conference, but I do specially stand vpon this, because this is, the most generall, and the most effectuall; All cannot read, all cannot haue opportunity to conferre, but euery man is, or ought to be, master of his thoughts, to apply to himselfe that which he heareth, and to vowe the obedience of it to the Lord. This is a needefull point to be stood vpon, either because it is not known, or it is not practised. Ma­ny may be said to be sermon-sicke, as there are some said to bee sea-sicke. They which are sea-sicke, as long as they are vpon the water, are of a very feeble stomacke, faint, and euen (as it were) readie to die; but comming once a land, and hauing paused some litle time, they beginne to forget the trouble, and to recouer their former strength: After the same maner many there are, who being at the sermon, are tossed to and fro by the power of the word, their hearts are sicke, their consciences melt, and they are much troubled, but when they are gone, and haue a little acquain­ted themselues with the Aire of the world, they forget what they heard and wherewith they were moued, and returne backe againe to their ill courses as before. Re­member this therefore, if thou wilt be thought to loue [Page 82] the word, to bestowe some priuate exercising of thine owne thoughts, in and about the word. If a man should be stinted to one meale a weeke, he would haue a pined body at the weekes end: what shall then become of our soules, if we thinke it inough, that they once a weeke, be fedde with the word of God, and doe not giue them some other priuate refreshing.

The third marke.The third signe of loue to the word, is loue to the obe­dience of the wordIoh. 14.25.. If yee loue me (saith Christ) keepe my commaundements: so if we loue the word, we cannot but make conscience to doe that which is commaunded by the word. The reason is this. He which truly loueth the word, must needes tender the credit of it, and labour by all meanes to maintaine it. Now it is the greatest honour to the word of God, that may be, when men which pro­fesse it, are ruled by it, and walke according to itPhil. 1.27.. Paul commendeth to the Philippians a conuersation which may become the Gospell. He vrgeth the like three times in one chapter;Tit. 2.5. sobriety in elder men and women, and subiecti­on and chastity in younger women, that the word of God be not euil spoken of: ver. 8. againe, grauity and integrity in yoūg men, chiefely in young ministers, that he which with stan­deth may be ashamed, hauing nothing to speake euill of ver. 10.. Thirdly, truth in seruants, that they may adorne the doctrine of God our sauiour in all things. Now the principall fruit of obedience standeth in two things. The one is, the labou­ring by often and diligent examination of a mans selfe, and earnest prayer vnto God, and by obseruing the checkes of conscience, to finde out what are his especiall sinnes, whereunto he is most enclined, and to crucifie them. This is,Math. 5.29.30. to plucke out the right eye, and to cut of the right hand; To renounce those sinnes, which we thinke it were some outward inconuenience vnto vs to forgoe. The other thing in which obedience chiefely standeth, is the making conscience of euery sinne, and not for by-respects of profit, or pleasure, or reputation, to retaine a secret determination of continuing in some one or more [Page 83] speciall euils. Sinne is such a canker, that it spreadeth secretly, and there is such a chaine of sinnes, that he which pulleth one, draweth with it a great many. Grant a litle one, and a great one will follow. Wherefore as it is good wisedome not onely to auoide the plague, but e­uen euery ragge that may seeme to carry the plague, so it is heauenly wisedome not only to auoide grosse sinnes, but all such shewes of sinne, as may beget other sinnes. This marke is meet to be vrged. First because there be so many hipocrites in the church, many like the Ephrai­mites, Iud. 8.1. who were much offended with Gedeon, because he called not them to the battell against Midian, they would haue had the credit of it: so many would haue the credit of religion, that doe not care to bring credit to religion, they would be thought to be some body, yet make no conscience of their life, or els they pinch with theAct. 5. Lord as Ananias, and reformeMar. 6.20. some things like Herod, but not all. Secondly, there are many profane ones, whose liues are a blemish and staine vnto the gos­pell, throughRom. 2.24. whom the name of God is blasphemed a­mong papists and enemies to the truth, as though the gospell did set open a window vnto carnall licentious­nes. Remember this therefore also, to try thy selfe by this signe, if the credit of the word be deare vnto thee, if thou professing it, labourest to adorne it, then indeed thou louest it, but if thy life be a scandal vnto the gospel, and a shame to religion, thou liuing more like to a hea­then then a Christian, be thy profession what it wilbe, thou art an enemy to the word.

The fourth signe of loue to the word,The fourth marke. is hatred of all false religion which is contrary to the word. IPs. 119.113. hate vaine inuentions (saith Dauid) and againe, I esteemever. 9.128. all thy precepts most iust, and hate all false waies. We must learne to beware of a fauourable and tolerable and remitting conceipt of erroneous do­ctrine, as of Popery, &c. It is iust with God, to turne a slacknes of zeale against falshood, into a professed en­mity [Page 84] against his truth: as Saul not punishing wicked Agag, grew after, to persecute holy & guiltlesse Dauid.

The fifth marke.The last signe of our loue to the word, is to loue it when the profession of it is most despised. This is noted as a speciall fruite of Dauids loue. Examine but this one Psalme.ver. 23. Princes did sit and speake against me, but thy ser­uant did meditate in thy statutes. ver. 51. The proud hath had me exceedingly in derision, yet haue I not declined from thy lawe. ver. 61. The bands of the wicked haue robbed me, but I haue not for­gotten thy law. ver. 69. The proud haue imagined a lye against me, but I will keepe thy precepts with my whole heart. ver. 110. The wicked haue layd a snare for me, but I swarued not from thy precepts. ver. 141. I am small and despised, yet do I not forget thy precepts. Here was loue. No iniuries could wearie him, no contempt discourage him, no slaunders daunt him, no subtill po­licies or daungers quaile him, no cunning allurements could draw him from the true worship of God, this was an infallible token, that vnfainedly he loued the lawe. It is a rare blessing, when Religion is generally hated, euen then to loue religion: when maners are euery where corrupted then to be of good conuersation: to liue vp­rightly with Noah, Gen. 6.9.2. when all flesh had corrupted his way, to liue iustly with Lot, in the midst of the filthy Sodomites, to keepe pure religion with Eliah, when none can be found that hath not bowed to Baal. Many can be con­tent with Iacobs vow,Gen. 28.20. the Lord shall be their God, if he will giue them bread to eate, and cloathes to put on, but are loath to endure any hardship for the Gospell.Gen. 25.22. Re­becca being barren desired children, but when she was conceiued, and the children stroue together within her, then was she troubled, and said, Why am I thus? So there be some, who wish to be religious, but when they feele some burthen to the flesh to go with it, eftsoones they are wearie. Well then, he that will aduenture his life, credit and reputation for the word, he loueth the word. These be the chiefe signes of loue. And so much touching Da­uids loue.


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