A CHRISTIAN ENCHIRIDION: Wherein are briefly handled these three points following;

  • 1. That aboue all things in the world, man should bee most carefull of his saluation.
  • 2. That in this life a man bee assured of his saluation.
  • 3. The way how, or meanes whereby a man may come to bee assured of his saluation.

By THOMAS HOVVES Preacher of the word at Kings-Linne in Norfolke.

Bernard. in Cantic.

Ea prius ampli­us (que) curanda, quae sunt viciniora saluti.

Printed by C. L. And are to be sold by WILLIAM WELBIE in Pauls Church yard at the signe of the Swan. 1615.

❧To the right Worsh. M. Doct. BRANTHVVAIT, Master of Goneuill and Caius Colledge in Cam­bridge: And to the Fellowes and Stu­dents in the same: Grace, mercy, peace, and abundance of all blessings accompanying sal­uation.

SIR, It pleased God by his prouidence to drawe me to preach at Stepney nigh London in Easter tearme 1613. where Sir Antho­ny Cope beeing one of my auditors, a man to whom I was vnknowne, af­ter the ending of that businesse sent for me, and entreated that I would enlarge the two last pointes of this tractate, beeing part of my sermon at that time, and to send them vnto him; which at my returne I speedily vnder­tooke: and hauing added as herein is expres­sed, I endeauoured two seueral times to haue cōmunicated thē vnto him, but I fayled of my [Page] purpose, and hee stood disappointed of my la­bours. Now as I am enformed, he is gone the way of all flesh: a man in his life time well commended for his pietie and zeale, with whom I am not willing to burie that which he for his priuate comfort desired, but to com­mend it to the Church, leauing the blessing of it to him that is the God of all grace and fa­ther of all mercies. And for that it hath plea­sed God of his great mercie to make me both scholler and fellow of your Colledge, where through the Lords goodnesse I obtained that small portion of learning I haue: And in as­much as since that time I haue found you ve­ry kind and willing to yeeld such fauours vnto me in preferring such as I desired, I haue al­waies, and now must ingeniously confesse, that I stand in these respects greatly obliged vnto you; and not hauing wherewith to make any recompence for so great benefit, I haue pre­sumed to offer vnto your iudicious view this poore Tractate, and to publish it vnder your protection, as a testimonie of my thankefull heart; humbly praying you to accept these my first fruites with that affection with which I commend them. And thus commending you to him that is able to keepe you that you fall not, and to present you faultlesse before the [Page] presence of his glorie with ioy, I humbly take my leaue.

Your Worships to bee

¶ A friendly prouocation to the Author of this worke, that hee would publish it.

SIR, as my leasure would permit, I haue perused your Enchiridi­on: The subiect is diuine, and considering our Sauiours precept, Matth. 6.33. the work is seasonable; why should you then suppresse it? Say not, the me­thode is preposterous, the best affected looke more to the truth deliuered, then manner of deliuery: Or that it is too plaine, where men onely desire, that that which is shut, may be opened; what good doth the golden key, if it will not open? or what hurt doth the wooden key, if it do open? Or that it euer stood with your nature to be more obscure: the lawes of God and nature say, we are not our owne, but what we are, we are it to God and to his Church. Should I then in way of approbation speake of the author? I must say as Seneca, non quis, sed quid: or of the worke, because priuy to my selfe how insufficient all my sufficiencie is, no more but this; vino vendibili suspensa hae­dera, [Page] nihil est opus. And for your selfe, let Momus mutter; and such as neuer learned to speak wel, speake what themselues are wont; I wil conclude with that of Persius,

Non si quid turbida Roma,
Persius l. 1. Satyr. 1.
Eleuet accedas, examenue improbum in illa,
Castiget trutina, nec te quaesineris extra.
Your louing Friend,

¶ Another letter to the Author.

MY reuerend and beloued freind, I haue perused this your neces­sary and comfortable treatise: And if I might be bold to say what I conceiue thereof, you haue herein made chose of the best part, which as most willingly you would impart vnto others, so shall it neuer be taken from your selfe: It is such a gratious point, be­ing rightly thought of, as will easily af­foard [Page] vnto any of Gods children all con­tent, though it comes alone: it is that which we are borne for, and dye vnto: howsoeuer there be many, which are rea­die to goe out of the world, before they either know, or are once desirous to learn to what end they came into the world. Some such as these may by Gods proui­dence light vpon this, and finding by Gods mercy, the comfortable fruit there­of, may blesse his sacred Maiestie for you, and for this Christian paines of yours, so happily vndertaken for the further buil­ding vp, and setled comfort of his Saints. And thus humbly praying, that the Church of God may receiue as great a benefit in reading this heauenly directi­on, as vpon my knowledge, you often wished, & aimed at in the publishing it, I take my leaue, and heartily commend you and it to the gratious prouidence of God all-sufficient in Christ Iesus.

Yours in the Lord euer assured,

The contents and order of this Treatise.

The first principall point; viz.
  • THat aboue all things in the world, man should be most carefull of his saluati­on: is set downe, pag. 1. 2. 3.
  • In this carefullnesse, that the euent may fall out to haue successe; it is necessarie that the right way be discerned & made choise of, to walke in it: pag. 4.
  • In walking the right way, 2. things are to be practised: 1. That we vse all meanes of goodnes, not one but all, not neglecting the meanes of our saluation, pag. 5. 6.
  • 2. That we vse this world, and all things therein, as though we vsed them not, pag. 7. 8. 9.
  • That our care and desire of saluation be not weakened, and so we faint in the mid-way, 3. things there are we must take heed of.
    • 1. That we turne not backe againe. pag. 10.
    • 2. That we turne neither to the right hand nor to the left. pag. 12.
    • 3. That we stand not still in the way, but goe [Page] forward. pag. 13. 14. 15.
  • To set an edge vpon our desires, and make men lust after the life, that endureth for euer, there is commended a twofold consi­deration. pag. 16.
    • 1. The former respecting mans misery and wofull estate by nature. pag. 17. 18.
    • 2. The other respecting that happines, which shalbe enioyed in the world to come. pag. 19
  • Concerning this happines, the time of enioy­ing it, is not all wholly at once, but 1. be­gunne at the day of our separation. pag. 20. 2. Consummate and perfected at the last day of iudgement. pag. 21.
  • The greatnes of this blessing amplified. pag. 22. 23. 24.
  • The wonderfull madnes of the world in ouer lightly valuing it, bewayled. pag. 25. 26. 27.
  • To know whether, as it becometh Christians, this care of our saluation aboue all things in the world possesseth our hearts, yea or no, respect must be had to those worthie fruits, which through the whole course of a mans life in that case will manifest themselues. p. 28.
  • Of such worthie fruits there are expresly [Page] mentioned in number, p. 29.
    • 1. A moderation of the eager cares of this life. p. 29.
    • 2. A making of the mind to rest content with any present condition. p. 30.
    • 3. A strengthning of the heart in the indu­ring of chastisements & corrections. p. 31.
    • 4. A deniall of a mans owne selfe. p. 32. 33. 34.
The second principall point; viz.
  • The Protestants position, and doctrine of the reformed churches, agreable to the word of God is; That a man mry be assured of his saluation p. 35.
  • What manner of assurance this is, how sha­ken it may be with many difficulties, yet an assurance: That faith is the guide of it, and that it is either greater or lesse, accor­ding as our faith is either greater or lesse. p. 36.
  • Against the doctrine of popery, see this assu­rance freed from the imputation of vaine presumption. p. 39.
  • Both by Testimonies and Phrases, or the manner of speaking in the word of God, it is proued at large, that a man may be assu­red of his saluation, a pag. 40. ad pag. 48.
  • [Page]The popish assertion disabled, their outcry answered, and the same our assurance shewed to bee, (if presumption) certainely not damnable, but a commendable pre­sumption. p. 48.
  • Dangerous temptations tending to the ouer­throwe of this our assurance, there are e­specially two: The one suggested by Satan; the other proceeding from our owne cor­ruption. p. 50.
  • The former temptation proceeding from Sa­than, what it is, and how it may be repel­led. p. 51.
  • The other temptation proceeding from our owne corruption, how it stands, and how it may be repelled. p. 53. ad 66.
The third principall point; viz.
  • How a man may come to bee assured of his saluation in Christ. p. 66.
  • By signes and testimonies in himselfe a man may be assured of his owne saluation. p. 66
  • These testimonies in our selues are two: viz. The testimonie of 1. Gods spirit. 2. our spirit. p. 66.
  • That the testimonie which the spirit of God giueth is true and infallible, is prooued two waies.
  • [Page]First, from this that all the conditions requi­red in a true witnesse, as 1. knowledge, 2. truth, 3. faithfulnesse, doe therein con­curre and meete together, in the highest degree. p. 67.
  • Secondly, the same is also prooued from the ende of the holy Ghosts comming into the hearts of the children of God. p. 68.
  • How the spirit of God giueth testimonie, and therein are these three points. p. 68.
    • 1. That he doth testifie in the heart and con­science of euerie beleeuer that hee is the sonne of God. p. 69.
    • 2. That the spirit of God doth not only giue this bare testimonie, but further also doth fully perswade vs hereof, as beeing a thing most certaine and without question. p. 70.
    • 3. That more then so, he further also confir­meth the same vnto the children of God, in regard whereof the spirit is sometimes tearmed a seale, sometimes an earnest. p. 77.
  • Touching the testimonie of Gods spirit, three questions are mooued. p. 79.
    • 1. Whether a man may bee assured hee hath Gods spirit. p. 79.
    • 2. How a man may discerne betweene the illusion of the deuill, and the testimonie of [Page] the spirit of God. p. 84.
    • 3. By what meanes the spirit of God giueth a particular testimonie in a mans owne conscience of his adoption. p. 95.
  • Concerning the meanes whereby the spirit of God giueth a particular testimony in a mans owne conscience of his adoption, they are three:
    • 1. The word of God. p. 96.
    • 2. The Sacraments. p. 105.
    • 3. The fruites of the spirit. p. 109.
    Thus farre concerning the testimonie of the spirit of God, and how there by a man may be assured of his saluation.
  • The other testimonie, viz. of our owne spirit followeth. p. 116.
  • The testimonie of our spirit is the testimonie of the heart and conscience purified and sanctified in the blood of Christ. p. 116.
  • Now this heart of ours testifieth two waies, partly by inward tokens in it selfe, partly by outward fruits. p. 116.
  • Inward tokens what they are is declared, and also that they be of two sorts, viz. either as they respect, 1. Our sinnes past, present, to come: 2. Gods mercies in Christ. p. 116.
  • I. And first in respect of sinnes past, a godly sorrow for sinne is declared to be such an [Page] inward token. p. 116. And it is further shewed that the same diuersly bewrayes it selfe. p. 117.
  • In feeling of this godly sorrow for sinne, two things are to be remembred. p. 120.
  • Sorrow for sinne, 1. Legall and worldly. 2. E­uangelicall and godly: and both these di­stinguished. p. 121. 122. 123.
  • Signes by which this godly sorrowe may bee discerned. p. 123. 124. 125.
  • The danger of wanting this godly sorrow, & on the contrarie the profit of hauing it, as also what an acceptable thing it is to al­mightie God. p. 126. 127.
  • Helpes of getting this holy affection of sorrow into our hearts, are numbred sixe. p. 128. to p. 136.
  • II. In respect of sinnes present. The combate betweene the flesh and the spirit is declared to be a second inward token: for the better vnderstanding whereof foure points are handled. p. 137.
  • 1. The first is concerning the parties between whom the combate is, viz. the flesh and the spirit. p. 137. What these two words, Flesh and Spirit doe signifie. p. 138. 139.
  • The spirit so signifying, is shewed to haue cer­taine obseruable properties, of which are [Page] expressely mentioned fiue. p. 139. 140. 141
  • Concerning the operation of the spirit in this sense vnderstood, three things are to bee knowne, set downe, p. 142.
  • 2. The second point handled in this combate betweene the flesh and the spirit, is the means whereby this combate is made, viz. by the meanes of a twofold concupiscence. p. 143.
  • 3. The third point is the cause of this com­bate, which is the contrarictie of the flesh and the spirit. p. 144.
  • The fourth point is, that this combate shewes it selfe in all the actions of men regenerate. p. 145.
  • Here be inserted 2. great conflicts. 1. be­weene faith and reason. 2. hope and de­spaire. p. 148.
  • But in the midst of this combate and fight is declared how the Christian may gather to himselfe sound comfort and certaine assu­rance, and that fowre manner of waies, p. 135. &c. whereupon ariseth this conclu­sion, that who doth not so fight, is none of Christs soldiour. p. 153. 154. 155. 156.
  • III. In respect of sinne to come: A care to preuent sinne, is shewed to be an inward to­ken, by the which our spirit testifieth the [Page] same assurance. p. 157.
  • This care to preuent sinne is maintained in the practise of these three things, 1. watch­fulnesse: 2. Sobrietie: 3. Prayer. p. 158.
    • 1. Concerning such manner of watchfulnes. p. 158. That this watchfulnesse standeth in two points: and which they bee. p. 159. as also the meanes to make men watchful, which are fowre in number. p. 160.
    • 2. Concerning sobrietie, it standeth in things outward and inward. p. 162.
  • In the inward gifts of the mind, and so it tea­cheth a man, 1. To know himselfe: 2. Not to despise another. p. 162.
  • Touching the knowledge of a mans selfe, two things are taught. p. 162. 163.
  • Touching the not despising of others. See p. 163.
  • Againe, sobrietie in outward things, is a mo­deratour in outward things, as may ap­peare in things concerning a mans calling, p. 164. estate, 165. pleasures and delights, p. 166. and last of all concerning things indifferent. p. 166.
  • The practise of sobrietie as it is a moderatour in outward things, is shewed to bee a fruit of our redemption, and consequently the neglect thereof in these our dayes so much [Page] the more lamentable. p. 167.
    • 3. Concerning prayer, the practise whereof is a third meanes to maintaine a care to preuent sinne. see p. 169.
  • Inward tokens in respect of Gods mercies in Christ, are especially two: 1. a spirituall hungring after Christ: 2. our speciall va­lewing and louing of Christ aboue all things. p. 171.
    • 1. Concerning our spirituall hungring after Christ, is shewed, what it is: and the same seconded with inducements and motiues thereunto. p. 171.
  • Meanes to be vsed for the obtaining of this spiritual appetite, are numbred fiue. p. 175
    • 2. Concerning our valuing and louing of Christ aboue all things, followeth. p. 188.
  • Signes by the which a man may come to dis­cerne this speciall valuing and louing of Christ aboue all things, are in number sixe. p. 193.
    • 1. The first signe is loue to the members of Christ: The benefits of this loue are two.
  • The vndoubted signes of Christian charitie are two: 1. Giuing to those that want. 2. Forgiuing those that offend.
  • Hereunto that a man deceiue not himselfe in his loue vnto his brethren are added three [Page] rules for triall. p. 195.
    • 2. The second signe is loue to the Ministers of Christ. p. 198.
    • 3. The third signe is the keeping of Gods commandements. p. 203.
    • 4. The fourth signe is to hate all things wher­by God is openly dishonoured. p. 205.
    • 5. The fift signe is willingly to be drawne in­to the field for the defence of his Maiesty. p. 206.
    • 6. The last signe is to haue an earnest desire that Christ should come to iudgement. p. 207.
  • Thus farre concerning inward tokens by the which our spirit witnesseth to vs the assurance of our salua­tion.
  • Outward fruites be the last testimonie of our spirit.
  • Outward fruites, whereby our spirit witnes­seth the assurance of our saluation, are comprehended vnder the title of new obe­dience: whereof see pag. 212.
  • That this assurance of our saluation procee­deth not from euerie kind of holinesse or o­bedience, but only from that which is true: where see rehearsed a catologue of holines­ses, none of all which can assure a man of [Page] his saluation. p. 215.
  • What this newe obedience must bee. pag. 217.
  • That it may be rightly qualified, there are 3. things required. 1. That it bee performed vnto all Gods precepts. 2. That it proceed from the whole man. 3. That it be perpe­tuall. p. 218. &c.

SECT. I. Our principall care to be saued.

THERE is nothing in this present euill world, wherin we are strangers and pilgrimes, (1. Chr. 29.15.) walking in it as it were in a wildernesse, that we ought so to af­fect and desire, as to haue our soules sa­ued in the day of iudgement. It is said, that when Iohn Baptist first preached, Matth. 11.12. that the kingdome of heauen suffered violence, and the vio­lent tooke it by force; that is, there was such forwardnesse and zeale in them that heard Iohn preach, to procure themselues the kingdome of heauen, that they stroue most earnestly to get in. And this affecti­on [Page 2] our Sauiour requireth, when he saith, Luk. 13.24. Sriue to enter in at the straite gate. Some men set their affections vpon honours, and will put their liues in their hands to obtaine them, as did Absolom, and his brother Adoniah. And some men hunt after pleasures, and the fulfilling of their beastly lusts most eagerly: So the drunkard riseth early to follow drunken­nes, Isa. 5.11. So the vncleane person go­eth to the whoore-house in the twilight, in the euening, when the night begins to be blacke and darke, Prou. 7.9. So there is one alone, and there is not a second, which hath neither sonne nor brother, yet there is no ende of all his trauell; neither can his eie be satisfied with riches, neither doth he thinke, for whome doe I trauell and defraud my soule of pleasure? Eccles. 4.8. If these men take such paines, and are carried with so violent a streame to effect their carnall desires; how ought we to in­force our affections to waite with Iacob, Gen. 49.18. for the saluation of the Lord; and to desire with Dauid, Psal. 35.3. that God would say vnto vs, that he is our sal­uation? The looking of Daniel out of the captiuitie of Babylon towards Ierusalem, [Page 3] Dan. 6.10. may admonish vs, that we be­ing set in this world, as in the captiuitie of Babel, should cast our eyes toward the heauenly Ierusalem. Paradise is our coun­trey, which Adam lost by transgression, and wee are here as men banished: if wee haue the naturall affection which euery man ought to haue to his owne countrey, then let vs looke for the citie hauing a foundation, Heb. 11.10. whose builder and maker is God. Dauid the man after Gods owne heart, sware vnto the Lord, and vowed vnto the Almightie God of Iacob, saying, Psal. 132.23. I will not en­ter into the tabernacle of my house, nor suffer my eyes to sleepe, nor my eye-lids to slumber, vntill I find out a place for the Lord, &c. In like manner let vs make a so­lemne vow, that we will giue no rest vn­to our selues, nor be quiet in our mindes, vntill we haue gotten some comfortable assurance of that immortall and vndefiled inheritance, which fadeth not away, but is reserued in heauen for vs, 1. Pet. 1.4. If we loose the life of our body, we may find it again, Mat. 16.25. but the losse of the soule is irrecouerable, Luk. 16.26. He that hath ears to heare let him heare: Mat. 19.9. In [Page 4] going to our countrey, we must as the Is­raelites did, goe through a wildernesse wherein are many wayes, but they may be reduced to two; Matth. 7.13.14. The one is the broad way, that leadeth to destru­ction; the other is the narrowe way that leadeth vnto life: and these may fitly bee called the wayes of life and of death, Ier. 21.8. Now the first of these wayes, is the right way, whereof Dauid speaketh, Psal. 119.32. I will runne the way of thy com­mandements. This way is called the olde way, and the good way, wherein if we walke, wee shall finde rest for our soules, Ier. 6.16. and euerie man of God ought to teach vs this good and right way, 1. Sam. 12.23. for this way the Lord approo­ueth, Psal. 1.6. being the way of the righ­teous. The other way, is the way of our owne hearts, Eccles. 11.9. If we minde to come to paradise, we must leaue this way, Ier. 18.11. beeing the way of sinners, Psa. 1.1. which is the way of darkenesse, Prou. 2.13. And this way will lead vs vnto iudgement, Eccl. 11.9. for the way of the wicked shall perish, Psal. 1.6. In walking in the right way, it behooueth vs to pra­ctise two things.

First, we must vse all meanes of good­nesse: 1 not one or two of the meanes, but euerie one of them in their places. For o­therwise, if we refuse all of them, or any of them, it is a righteous iudgement of God, that wee should liue and die in our sinnes. If a man say, hee desireth heauen, and yet will neuer frequent sermons, nor good companie, where he may be instru­cted, nor vse any priuate or publike exer­cises of religion, whereby he may be edi­fied; he is no more to be regarded, then a sluggard, that pretendeth that he meanes to haue a crop, and yet will neither plowe nor fowe the ground, but when others are labouring, he is sleeping: as no man will euer looke that the one should haue a plentifull haruest of corne; so will no wise man beleeue, that hee should obtaine a plentifull croppe, either of grace here, or of glorie hereafter. For it is as possible for men to make staires to climbe vp vnto the skie, as for vs without these meanes, to as­cend vnto heauen by any deuise of our owne framings. Therefore let vs with great care and conscience heare the Gos­pel preached, frequent sermons, receiue the holy Sacraments, performe all religi­ous [Page 6] exercises, and resort to Gods house; that as the poore creeple at the poole Be­thesda waited for the moouing of the wa­ter by the Angel, that his impotencie might be cured, Ioh. 5.7. so ought we to wait for the first moouing of the spirituall waters of life, that our spirituall impoten­cie may be helped. For the ministerie of the Gospel is the golden pipe, whereby and where-through, the water of life, all the sweetnesse of Christ, and all heauenly graces whatsoeuer, are deriued vnto vs. Therefore if we desire to be saued, we may not neglect the meanes of saluation.

And here two things are to be known. 1 First, that the word of God is that light that shineth in darkenesse, to shew vs the way, and lighten our eyes to walke in the path that leadeth to life, 2. Pet. 1.19. Psal. 119.105. To the law and the testimony: if men speake not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them, Isa. 8.20. In stead of this light wee haue a false light, that is, the thought of our owne hearts: now the thoughts of our owne hearts are said to bee the deuils souldiers, and to warre against the soule, 1. Pet. 2.11 they follow their captaine, and we follow [Page 7] them, & in so doing, we may easily know whether we go. Secondly, that the guide 2 gone before vs is Christ Iesus, vpon whom we must looke, and whom we are to followe, Hebr. 12.2. looking saith the spirit, vnto Iesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the ioy that was set before him, endured the crosse, and despi­sed the shame, and is set at the right hand of the throne of God. And as touching the holy Fathers, Prophets, and Martyrs, which through faith and patience inhe­rite the promises, we are exhorted, Heb. 6.12. to bee followers of them, as they were of God, 1. Cor. 11.1. In stead of these there bee false guides, that is, the steps and wayes of our forefathers, which we say we will follow, Ier. 44.17. but God faith no, Ezech. 20.18. forbidding to walke in the ordinances of the fathers, and to obserue their manners; and straitly charging to walke in his statutes, and to keepe his iudgements.

The other thing to be practised of vs in 2 walking in the right way, is that wee vse this world and all things therein, as not a­busing them, 1. Cor. 7.31. and herein we are to resemble a pilgrime, who so long [Page 8] as his staffe is an helpe and stay for him in his iourney, he is content to carrie it in his hand, but so soon as it beginneth to trou­ble him, hee casteth it away: So all Gods Saints that are gone before vs, in compa­rison of heauenly things, haue contemned the worldly vanities: for no sooner were they made partakers of the gifts & graces of Gods holy spirit, & had but some little tast of the heauenly happinesse, but pre­sently they contemned the world, and the vanities thereof: they were ready to leaue all, and to follow Christ, and euen to lay down their liues for the profession of the Gospel. Abraham at Gods commande­ment, left his owne countrie, and con­temned all the profits, pleasures, and pre­ferments, which it might haue yeelded vnto him, in comparison of the land of promise, though hee dwelt there but as a stranger, and had little ioy and comfort in it, but only as it was a type of the hea­uenly Canaan, Heb. 11.9.10. So Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaohs daughter, and chose rather to suffer ad­uersitie with the people of God, then to enioy the pleasures of sinne for a season, esteeming the rebuke of Christ, greater ri­ches [Page 9] then the treasures of Egypt; for hee had respect vnto the recompence of the reward: Chap. 11.23.24. And if it were a sufficient reason to mooue Iacob, Gen. 45.20. to neglect his stuffe in the land of Canaan, because King Pharaoh promi­sed him the best things of Egypt when he came into his kingdom, how much more should it bee auaileable to perswade vs vnto the contempt of these worldly and worthlesse vanities, seeing wee haue the assured promise of God himselfe, that we shall enioy the best things of his heauen­ly kingdome, when wee come vnto him. But alas, these earthly things, (though they be small and contemptible) doe hide these superexceeding ioies of gods king­dome, from the eyes of those who spend their thoughts vpon their worldly af­faires. For as a small dish beeing held neere the eyes, hideth from our sight a great mountaine; so these earthly trifles beeing placed neere our sight, doe so sha­dow and ouercloud these great and shi­ning excellencies, that wee cannot truely behold them, not rightly iudge of their greatnesse: Therefore let vs remooue them further from vs, and then they will [Page 10] seeme small, and smally to be regarded, in comparison of the incomparable ioyes in heauen.

Furthermore, that our care and desire after saluation be not weakened, and wee faint in the mid way, wee must beware of three points.

First, 1 that wee turne not backe againe by offending of God, and transgressing his Commandements: for as in walking after his word in his feare, we goe to God and euerlasting life; so by sinning, in stead of going forward, wee slippe backe and draw toward death: we cannot therefore turne back, but with danger to fall into e­uerlasting perdition. Much like vnto him, who flying from his enemies, that pursue him, in stead of sauing himselfe in some towne, turneth backe towards them, and so putteth himselfe into their hands. We are not without many and mighty ene­mies, that pursue vs, and labour to make vs turne backe by offending God, and these must wee fight against, 1. Pet. 2.11. These enemies fight not against our goods, to rob vs of them, nor against our bodies, to depriue them of life, but against our soules, to induce them to offend God, [Page 11] and so to draw them into euerlasting damnation: An example in Iob, Cap. 1.1. who was a iust man, &c. and so walked in the way to heauen: but Sathan would withstand him, and therefore commenced warre against his soule: hee seemes as if hee would haue fought against his goods, in causing them to be taken away, against his children, in procuring their death, and against his bodie in vexing it most cruel­ly; yet was it properly the soule, that hee assaulted. Iob. And he fought against it, seeking by outward tribulation to induce the same, by blaspheming to offend God. If wee consider our owne weakenes to withstand our mighty ene­mies, it may breed some cause of feare in vs; but as God in old time commaunded Ioshua, cap. 1.9. that hee should not feare the Canaanites, and assured him that hee would be with him, and that by ouer­comming them, he would bring his peo­ple into the land of promise; so likewise let vs giue care vnto God, that calleth vs to this battell, with assurance that he will stand with vs, and for vs, to the ende that couragiously fighting vnder his banner against our enemies, we may by his grace [Page 12] and power obtaine perfect victorie, and consequently the possession of our ce­lestiall countrie.

Secondly, 2 that wee turne neither to the right hand, nor to the left. By those that turne to the right hand, wee vnder­stand such as seeme to keepe Gods com­mandements; yet, not to glorifie him, but either to glorifie themselues, or to merit. Prayer to God, almes, fasting, and other like works are commendable, and ordai­ned of God, to the end by them to walke towards heauen; but such as doe them, that they may be seene, and praised of men, doe turne to the right hand, and de­priue themselues of all reward in heauen, because they receiue it vpon earth afore­hand, Math. It is also astraying to the right hand, when hauing receiued gifts of speaking the tongues, of prophe­cying, of knowing all secrets, of faith, &c. 1. Cor. 13. the receiuers doe not vse them in loue. Such likewise, as in the old time among the Iewes, did obserue the lawes and ordinances of God, to the ende to merit, did also stray to the right hand, and turned out of the way of salua­tion, Rom. 10.2. By those that turne to [Page 13] the left hand, wee vnderstand such as doe thinke to come to heauen by the path of mens traditions, and seruices, or volunta­rie deuotions, not commaunded by God, Coloss. 2.21. as touch not, tast not, han­dle not, &c. And this Christ obiected to the Scribes and Pharises, Matth. 15.8.9. Therefore because God hath taught vs the way wherein wee should walke to heauen, let vs beware we turne not either to the right hand, or to the left.

Thirdly, that we stand not still in the 3 way, but goe forward, and fructifie in good workes: for such is the way to hea­uen, that hee that goeth not forward, sli­deth backward. We nurse little children, to the end they may grow great, and wax strong; and it were a wonder to see a little child continue as little and weake as at the birth: euen so if we, (who being members of the Church of Christ, and consequently entred into the path that leadeth to heauen, and daily doe receiue the food of Gods word and sacraments) should not increase in faith, working by loue, and amendement of life, it were great ingratitude and vnexcusable obsti­nacy, which should not escape vnpunish­ed; [Page 14] to stand stil in the way & not to go for­ward. The Apostle Paul although be had proceeded very far in this way, thought it not his duty to surcease, but the nea­rer he came to the marke, the more he striueth towards it, forgetting those things which be behind, Phil. 3.14.15. And therevpon inferreth, whosoeuer are perfect, let them be thus minded. Must those that are perfect be of this minde? how much more behoueth it vs, who are but of small growth in comparison, to giue all diligence, that we may increase and grow vp in grace, 1. Thess. 4.1. be­ing prouoked also thereto by that exhor­tation of Saint Peter, grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saui­our Iesus Christ, 2. Pet. 3.18.

If we rest contented with a little quanti­ty of faith, & neuer labour after increase, it is a shrewd presumption, that such a faith is false and counterfeit. For assoon as the seed of true faith is sowen in vs, and hath taken roote, it sprowteth vp vntill it come to full ripenes; in which respect Christ compareth it to a graine of mu­stard seed, which though it be one of the least seedes of the garden, yet it groweth [Page 15] to a great tree, Matth. 13.31.32. It is not possible that any, who haue tasted of true faith, and of those inestimable benefits which it assureth vs of, should content themselues with a small pittance, and ne­uer labour after more. For who is it that hauing tasted and eaten a little bit of some delicious meates, doth not with an hun­gring appetite desire more, till he be filled and satisfied? or who is it that hauing a­ny weake title and assurance of some goodly inheritance, doth not earnestly desire, and vse all good and lawfull means, whereby his title may be strengthened, and his assurance confirmed? So if any haue truly tasted of faith, and the excellent be­nefits that accompany it, (which are assu­rance of Gods loue, remission of sinnes, peace of conscience, and ioy in the holy Ghost) they cannot content themselues with a little modicum, and neuer hunger af­ter more: for can we imagin, that we haue any finall title or true assurance of those vnspeakable ioyes of Gods kingdome, if we neuer vse meanes to confirme our title and strengthen our assurance? surely it is impossible.

To conclude, Satan if he cannot make vs [Page 16] worse, will labour to make vs not to be better, nor to go forward in religion. Hast thou not more zeale now then thou hadst when the gospel was first brought thee? then feare, least the spirit be much quen­ched: wherefore as Sathan endeuoreth to make thee stand at a stay in christianity, so let the spirit of God in thee striue for the contrary, that he that is righteous, may be more righteous, Apoc. 22.11. For we may not be worse then the ground, which by the raine is made more fruitfull; nor then the hearbes, which by the sunne are made more flourishing.

Hauing thus far (Christian Reader) per­swaded thee to desire aboue all things the kingdome of heauen, and the happines of the life to come; now to quicken and to spurre on thy affection, let me propound vnto thee some grounds & motiues wher­with we cannot but be whetted on, and haue a sharpe edge set on our desires. And albeit many things here might be deliue­red, yet I will only rest contented to haue commended vnto thee these two;

First, mans misery, & secondly the happi­nes promised by the Lord in the Gospel. If neither of these can preuaile with men, [Page 17] to make them lust after the life that endu­reth for euer, I must conclude they are no better then dead persons, whose end is to be burned in vnquenchable fire.

Touching mans misery, we are to consi­der 1 that men naturally are the children of wrath, Eph. 2.3. vnder the curse and ma­lediction of God, Galat. 3.10. subiect to horrible vexation and terrors of consci­ence, Isa 57.20.21. like to the raging sea, that cannot rest: And all their life long they liue in feare of death, and of such iudgements as are forerunners of death, Heb. 2.14. Their prosperity, and aduersi­ty, their callings and their afflictions, are accursed, nothing maketh them better, but euery thing a great deale worse, all beeing infected and poysoned vnto them by their owne sinnes, and Gods fearefull vengeance vpon the same. If they liue, it is to the increase of their owne damnation; if they die, they goe to take present pos­session of eternall destruction; if they re­fuse to eate or drinke for the preseruing of life, they are murtherers of themselues; if they doe eate and drinke, they are vsur­pers of that which is none of their owne; if they come not to the word and sacra­ments, [Page 18] they are contemners of Gods or­dinances; if they doe come, they are pro­faners of the same, and so shal be further hardned to their finall perdition. In a word, vnto them that are defiled, and vn­beleeuing, is nothing pure, but euen their mindes and consciences are defiled, Tit. 1.15.

Here the Apostle setteth out the misera­ble state of a wicked man thus; 1. he is one that is vncleane, 2. an vnbeleeuer, 3. one to whom nothing is pure, 4. his mind, 5. his conscience is polluted. In all which re­spects he is a most odious person, in whō is nothing but filthines of flesh and spirit, 2. Cor. 7.1. the which the pure eies of the Lord cannot abide, Abac. 1.13. If the wicked man be thus vncleane, then hate his company; Psal. 119.115. the vile per­son is to be contemned, Psal. 15.4. come not neere him, Psal. 26.4.5. touch him and thou wilt be defiled, he is filthie within and without, and with the Leper must be thrust out of the camp for feare of infecti­on, Leuit. 13.14.

And is not this a wretched case if then we consider our misery, and the wofull fruit of our sinne, which hath debarred vs [Page 19] from all comfort in heauen and earth, from God, or any of his creatures; and if we remember that sinne hath wrapped vs vnder condemnation; hath set God and his creatures, as hosts and armies against vs; hath made nothing ours but hell and damnation; euen the sole representati­on of this miserie is sufficiently able to rauish a man with an insatiable desire to be freed from this grieuous estate, and to be possessed of euerlasting happines.

Touching the happines, which shal be 2 enioyed in the world to come, it is such as the eye hath not seene, not the eare hath heard, nor euer entred into mans heart, 1. Cor. 2.9. If Salomons kingdome was so esteemed, because of the wisdome which was in Salomon, & of the same and renowne that he had throughout all the world, and because of the good order & policie which was in his gouernement, that he amazed the minde and vnderstan­ding of the Queene of Saba, and because of the great abundance of gold and siluer and of all sorts of riches and goods, and of the rest & quietnes which was among the people of Israel at that time; let vs thinke what is the excellencie and mag­nificence [Page 20] of Gods kingdome, in which Iesus Christ (that great Salomon) raig­neth, which is the wisdome of God, and he in whome all the treasures of know­ledge and wisdome, and of all the bles­sings of God are hidden, for to bestow them to his subiects, and to make them all partakers of them; in as much as that kingdome of Salomons was not but the figure and shadow of our true Salomons kingdome, the true peace, who hath made peace between God and vs, and hath de­liuered vs from all our enemies.

Now this happines we shall enioy, at the last day of our separation, and at the last iudgement.

The first of these hath two parts.

First, 1 it containeth an absolute immu­nitie and freedome from all infirmities of bodie and soule, as it is saide Apoc. 21.4. God shall wipe away all teares from our eies: for the bodie shall be free from all labour, care, &c. which is expressed in the word, rest, Psal. 15.1. And the soule shall be free from all the suggestions of Satan to euill, and all other corruptions where­with the best and choisest of Gods ser­uants in this life are wonderfully assolted.

Secondly, the body sleeping in the 2 earth, the soule shall absolutely bee freed from sinne, and liue in the fauour of God, so as there shall bee added vnto vs a pre­sent entrance into the Lords ioy, Mat. 25.21. which is called the entrance into the Lords Paradise, Luk. 23.43. and into the bosome of Abraham, Luk. 16.22.

But the glorie of the last day is farre greater, and resteth in three 2 things.

First, in the resurrection, and waking 1 of the bodie, at what time it shall be made conformable to the bodie of Christ: Phil. 3.21. who shall change our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like to his glo­rious bodie: which is to bee vnderstood, not of changing the substance, forme, or fashion, or the members of our bodies, but of deliuering of them from those qua­lities, whereto they are subiect by the meanes of same, and by beautifying them with the contrarie: as 1. Cor. 15.52. wee shall be changed, for this corruption must put on incorruption, and this mortall must put on immortalitie: at which time they shall need no naturall prouision nor maintenance, Apoc. 7.16. but shall shine as the sunne, Dan. 12.3.

Secondly, 2 there shall be a new heauen, and a newe earth, wherein the Saints of God shall dwell, and all things shall bee restored to their first maiestie, Isa. 65.17. 2. Pet. 3.15. Apoc. 21.1.

Thirdly, 3 (which is the greatest of all) wee shall then haue the beholding of the verie face of God, 1. Ioh. 3.2. and there shall be no marks set to keep vs from the mount where the Lord dwelleth, as was Exod. 19.12. but as S. Paul saith, 1. Cor. 13.12. then shall we see face to face, and knowe euen as wee are knowne. And in this presence of God, Psa. 16.11. is fulnes of ioy, and at his right hand there are pleasures for euermore.

Much more might be spoken of the ex­cellencie of this estate, and yet when all hath beene said that can be, it is nothing in comparison of that which the thing is in it selfe, and we shall find it to be, when we shall lay downe this bodie of corrup­tion, and bee cloathed vpon with perfect glory.

Learne therefore what a wonderfull blessing we haue obtained by Christ. By nature we are wrapped in the guilt of sin, subiect to the stipend of sinne, subdued [Page 23] vnder the curse of the lawe, and lie right vnder the whole wrath and displeasure of God. Our sinnes proclaimed vs Rebels to God through heauen and earth, banished vs out of our countrey, set hell gates o­pen for vs, and gaue vs into the hands of Sathan, as an hangman to execute Gods sentence of eternall death passed against vs, yea further, hopeles wee were in this wofull condition; for Gods displeasure was so kindled against vs, as men and an­gels could not reconcile him; the law was so transgressed, that all men and angels could neuer satisfie, nor make vp the breach; the sentence was so seuere, as all men and angels could neuer haue stood vnder i [...] the execution so certen, as the verie gybbet was euer standing in our sight; in the horrors of our soules, and ter­rors of our accusing consciences, wee see­med to walke and bee left in the midst of ten thousand deaths but nowe, when no meanes was left to pacifie God offended, to satisfie the lawe transgressed to remake the sentence denounced, the Sonne of God must come from the bosome of his father, and become obedient both to the performing of the whole will of his Fa­ther, [Page 24] as also to the ignominious death of the crosse; that so becomming a curse for vs, (as that execrable kind of death beto­kened) wee might haue God well pleased with vs, as he is with him; we might pre­sent him his lawe perfectly fulfilled, not in our persons, but in our nature, and in his owne person for vs; we might pleade the paiment of all our debts, and by this our surety, sue out our full discharge, (be­cause the vtmost farthing is fully paid;) haue our right in the tree of life, and might enter in thorough the gates into the citie, Apoc. 22.14. This blessed tree is in the middest of the Paradise of God, the leaues of the tree, are not onely for sha­dowe, but also to heale the nations with, and it hath both leaues, and fruites to sa­tisfie our hunger, and twelue manner of fruits euerie moneth brought forth to sa­tisfie our pleasure, and it groweth by a ri­uer side, cleare as chrystall, proceeding out of the throne of God, so that it cannot possibly wither, Apoc. 22. Let vs beseech God, who hath planted is with his owne right hand, that we may liue to [...], how wholesome and pleasant that t [...] is. And considering that we looke for life euerla­sting [Page 25] after this life, let vs not deceiue our selues, lingring and deferring the time to the last gaspe, but let vs lay the foundati­on of life eternall in our selues in this world, and haue the earnest thereof laid vp in our hearts?

Now this is done, if we repent vs hear­tily of all our sinnes, and seeke to be assu­red in conscience, that God the father of Christ is our father, God the sonne our redeemer, and God the holy Ghost our comforter: Ioh. 17.3. this is eternall life, that they know thee to be the onely God, and whom thou hast sent Iesus Christ: yea let vs proceed further yet, endeauouring to say with Paul, Gal. 2.20. Thus I liue, yes not I now, but Christ liueth in mee; and in that I nowe liue in the flesh, I liue by the faith in the sonne of God, who hath loued me, & hath giuen himselfe for me: when we can thus say in truth of heart, wee haue in vs the verie seede of eternall life.

Lastly, here we may consider the won­derfull madnes of worldly men, who only haue regard to the state of this life, & cast all their care on the world, and neuer so much as life up their hearts and thoughts [Page 26] vnto heauen. The ende of Christ com­ming in the flesh was principally for our soules, by taking away the sinnes of the world, and after for our bodies, by remoo­uing corporall infirmities, Matth. 9.2.6. but it is not thus with the sonnes of men now: they neglect the care of their soules, but they make prouision for the lusts of the flesh with all possible diligence. As the prodigall sonne forsooke his fathers house for a strange countrey, his fathers fauour and inheritance for a bagge of mo­ney; father, kinred, and friends, for vnho­nest and vncourteous harlots, and the bread in his fathers house, for the huskes of beanes, which the swine abroad fed vp­on, and his soule desired; So the world­lings forsake God for this present world, heauen for earth, euerlasting pleasure at Gods right hand, for the pleasures of sin for a season. It is a iust iudgement that earthly riches do deceiue our hearts, when heauenly riches do not delight vs; that the outward things should carie vs away, whē heauenly things cannot so much preuaile with vs. If a man hauing two houses, the one but an homely cottage, and the other a princely pallace, should leaue the better, [Page 27] and take all the care for the dressing and beautifying of the first, would not euerie man say he were a madde man: now God hath prepared for vs two houses, the one is this our bodie, which wee beare about vs, which is an house of clay, Iob. 4.19. the other house is the third heauen, Iob. 14.2. which is the dwelling place of the holy Saints and Angels: therefore what spiritu­all madnesse is it, to employ all our cares for the maintenance of this house of clay, which is but dust, and to haue no regard of the blessed estate of the second house, which is prepared for vs in heauen? The three Apostles, when they had seene some part of the glory of Christ in his transfigu­ration vpon the mount Tabor, were so mooued, that they said, Matth. 17.4. Ma­ster, it is good for vs to bee here: What then would we do, if we should conuerse in heauen, and there behold the Maiestie of God, and the glorie of Christ? would not euen the apprehension thereof allure vs, to wish to dwell there, and to forget and despise the earth? But our earthly talk and communication, our worldly course of life, and the corruptions of the flesh; that beare so much sway in vs, due mani­festly [Page 28] shew how little wee are conuersant in heauen, and consequently doe testifie, that we are burgesses of earth, and not of heauen.

All faithful beleeuers do know and are assured that at the seperation of the soule and the body, the soule shalbe exalted to heauen with Christ: now as this seperati­on daily doth by death draw nearer and nearer to the faithfull, so doth the king­dome also come vpon them. Therefore how carefull should we be to amend our liues, to despise these earthly vanityes, and to prepare ourselues to make our entry into heauen.

Now in that we haue bin sufficiently stirred and prouoked to desire, and long after that inheritance which is immortall, vndefiled; and fadeth not away, but is re­serued in the heauens for vs it should not be a fruitles labour, to shew how we may trie the soundnes of this our desire after the paradise of God, a place of all delite and pleasure, yea where the Saints enioy fulnes of pleasures at Gods right hand. To which end be assured, that if this desire to be in the Lords ioy, with filled thy heart, these worthy fruites of it will mani­fest [Page 29] themselues through thy life.

It will moderate the eager cares of this 1 life, and will not suffer men to become drudges or slaues to the earth: for he that taketh himselfe to be an heire of heauen, Rom. 8.17. is well enough prouided and cared for alreadie till his patrimony fall. We know that great heires in their mino­rity are well and honestly maintained, their fathers being rich and kind, will not suffer them to want things fit for them; and if they be any way scanted for the present, they shall afterward find it with much aduantage. In any want (thou being thy fathers heire) mayst boldly repaire to thy father with good hope to speed in a­ny request which he seeth fit for thee, and making for thy good; and he will bee so far from sending thee away empty, that it wilbe his ioy that thou canst and wilt make request for things good for thee: yea if thy beleeuing soule do bin once con­ceiue of Christ, it will be a most effectuall reason to draw thee from minding earth­ly things, as Paul teacheth, Phil. 3.20. for exhorting them not to set their hearts vp­on the things of this world, he noteth this as a most effectuall argument, because [Page 30] from heauen they looked for a Sauiour, who would change their vile body, and make it like his owne glorious body.

It 2 will content the mind with any pre­sent condition. Thus was Abraham con­tented, Isaac, and Iacob, with their conti­nuall pilgrimage vpon earth, because they looked for a better citie, Heb. 11.8.9. when as once this tooke vp their hearts, they could cheerefully set themselues downe in their Tents, they could dwell in strange countries contentedly, they could receiue the promise a far off thank­fully, they could goe on in obedience to God, what way soeuer he called readily; and in all this they did not (for the pre­sent) desire a better outward condition; but thought it the best portion which their heauenly father alotted out vnto them: so we see men expecting reuersions, are content for the time to liue barely and goe neere the wind, and swallow vp their present wants, in hope of that to which they are heires: they thinke the time for their further enlargment is not far off, and this helpeth wel to put off the present condition: yea it doth not only giue con­tentment of minde, because we shall haue [Page 31] an inheritance, but rather in this that we cannot loose this inheritance. Thou maist loose thy libertie, thy friends, thy life, but thine inheritance is reserued in the hea­uens: when others by death loose all, thou shalt by it, be in thy full estate. This expe­ctation of a durable substance, caused the Saints to endure the spoyling of their goods with ioy, Heb. 10.34.

Thirdly, it will strengthen the heart 3 in enduring chastisements and correcti­ons vnder Gods hand, or from mans: as Moses esteemed highly of the rebuke of Christ, for he had respect vnto the recom­pence of reward, Heb. 11.26. the faithfull know they are heires indeed, but as yet in their minoritie, and for the time must be put vnder tutors, and the rod, as well as others: but the time commeth which will bring their landes into their owne hands, and then they shalbe at their owne com­maund, and haue libertie enough: and herewith may the children of God raise their hearts from vnder the heauiest affli­ctions that are. The Apostle counted that the afflictions of this present time, are not worthie of the glory which shalbe shew­ed vnto vs, Rom. 8.18. for our light affli­ction, [Page 32] which is but for a moment, causeth vnto vs a far more excellent, and an eter­nall weight of glory, 2. Cor. 4.17. In the enduring therfore of affliction, comfort thy selfe herein: thy father may frowne, chide, buffer, and scourge thee, but he wil neuer disinherite thee: other fathers som­times out of their owne displeasure, and sometimes out of their sonnes misdemea­nours, do disinherite their heires; but the Lord cannot grow into such displeasure with his children, as euer to cast them out whom in his Christ he hath once admit­ted into his house. If his sonnes sin against him, he will visit their sinnes, and scourge them with the rods of men, but his mer­cie and truth will he neuer take from them. Psal. 89.32.33.

Lastly, 4 this desire of eternall life once wrought in our heart, easily bringeth men to the deniall of themselues, in stripping themselues of pleasures profits, aduance­ments, friends, father, wife, libertie, yea life it selfe. Set this treasure before the eies of the wise merchant, he will fell all for it, Mat. 13.44. Tel a man of an earthly king­dome, and let him throughly digest the conceit of obtaining it, it will bee such a [Page 33] commander, as he willingly both vnder­taketh, and deuoureth any trauell for it. To Iacob it was a sufficient reason to neglect his stuffe in the land of Canaan, because king Pharaoh promised him the best things of Egypt, Gen. 45.20. So let the beleeuing heart once bee possessed with assurance of raigning with Christ, it will easily bee brought to hate father and mother, and wife and children, brethren and sisters, yea and his owne life, Luk. 14.26. The disciples desirous to know what recompence their Lord would make them for leauing all to follow him, Christ pre­sently telleth them of twelue seates, on which they shall fit, and iudge the twelue tribes of Israel, at the appearance of the Sonne of man: well knowing, that if this promise were once wel digested, it would so feede their hearts, as they should not after thinke themselues, as ouershot in lea­uing all things for his sake, Matth. 19.28.

So then, set thy heart vpon this inheri­tance; A man that hath any possibilitie to befall him, cannot keepe his minde, but it will be running after it; in so much as ma­ny wicked children, in regard of their pa­trimony, will enquire into their fathers [Page 34] yeares, and grow sicke of their Mothers; and it is ordinary that such as looke for windefals by decease of others, will bee feeding their hearts with vnnaturall hopes: so should it be with vs, who may without iniurie to our father, long after our inheritance in heauen. And as we see men take no content in any part of the earth, no nor in the whole, comparable to that peice or portion, which is their owne; euen so should we not suffer our hearts so to wander after earth or earthly things, as that wee should settle our con­tentment any where, but where our owne inheritance and treasure is; beeing assured that there is laid vp for vs the crowne of righteousnesse, which the Lord the righ­teous Iudge shall giue vs at that day; and not to vs onely, but vnto all them also, which loue his appearing. Beware of pro­fane Esaus speach; what is this birth-right to me? Gen. 25.32. No, rather take vp Naboths answer to king Ahab, who would haue gone beyond him for his pa­trimonie; God forbid, that I should sell the inheritance of my fathers, 1. Kin. 21.3. God forbid, that I should for this or that sinnefull pleasure, this or that messe of [Page 35] pottage, or trifling commoditie, or what­soeuer coine hauing Sathans superscripti­on vpon it, sell mine inheritance.

And thus much shal suffice to haue per­swaded to expect and long after the bles­sing of eternall life. Now to the assurance of the same life.

SECT. II. Assurance of Saluation.

WE teach and professe, that a Chri­stian man may bee assured of his saluation, which assurance is not such, as whereby a man is meerely secure, and made free from all doubting at any time; but such as many times is assaulted, and shaken with many difficulties, feares, and doubts, which oftentimes doe much per­plex the soules of such as bee faithfull; as Psal. 22.1. Dauid complaineth, saying, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And Ionas, Ion. 2.4. I am cast out of thy sight.

Now these feares and doubts arise not from the nature of faith, but from the frail­tie and corruption of our euill nature, and from the weakenes of our faith. In nature it selfe, is a voluntarie shrinking and re­linquishing of the comfort of faith, tho­rough the seedes of vnbeleefe, that origi­nally are sowne in vs, so that the ground of our owne hearts is euer and anon ca­sting obiections and questions. The ef­fects of grace doe not alwaies appeare the same, yea sometimes they seem to be quite ouerwhelmed with contrarie effects. By these occasions it commeth to passe, that the dayas of faith, are like the dayes of the yeare, whereof some are faire, some foule; so faith seemeth one while cast downe as it were to hell, an other while to bee as it were in the courts of heauen. Neither doth this sildome fall out, but euen daily is there a change by turnes. And this God doth, to the intent that beeing in some sort for the time put from him, wee may take the faster hold when wee returne a­gaine, that the tast of his loue may be the sweeter, and our ioy thereof the greater, when out of the floods of temptations we ariue vnto it.

But the true and proper worke of faith is, to giue to the beleeuer a stedfast and vn­mooueable assurance of the loue of God, that he may fully enioy the comfort ther­of without interruption and let. Therefore it is not the office of faith to cherish and maintaine such feares and doubts, but to resist them, to fight against them, and so much as is possible to expell them, and to driue them out. And as a child afrighted runneth to the father, looking for defence and helpe from him; euen so, in the midst of all feares and temptation, faith is still running vnto God, still importuning of him, calling vpon him, casting it selfe vp­on him, depending vpon his aide, and ex­pecting from him, that things become o­therwise then presently they are, and sil­dome going so farre, but that it seeth a glimpse (at least) of light in darkenesse, of hope in despaire, of comfort in distresse, of life in death; or if it loose the sight there­of, it recouereth it soone againe. Of all which wee see pregnant examples in the distresses and temptations of the Saints, which for our instruction and comfort are recommended vnto vs in the word of God, whereof many shall be set downe [Page 38] in the sequele of this discourse.

So then, it is now manifest what man­ner of certaintie and assurance it is wee hold and teach; that it is the propertie of true faith to guide this assurance, and that our assurance is the greater, by how much our faith is greater, and the weakenes of our assurance, the weaknes of our faith, at the feeling whereof we must be humbled with sorrow to repentance, and yet with confidence pray as the Apostles did, Luk. 17.5.9. Lord increase our faith: which faith that it may be strong, must haue grace and meanes to grow; yet happily it may seem weake to vs, when it is strong to God.

The Papists are of an other minde, tea­ching that no man can haue any certainty of his saluation, without some speciall re­uelation from God, as they affirme of S. Paul, Rom. 8.38. where they style our a­surance, a most damnable false illusion, & presumption; Rhem. in Rom. 8. sect. 9. And elsewhere teach, that the heretiks vnhap­py security, presumption, and faithles per­swasion of their saluation, (for so they de­ride our assurance,) is not the faith of the Apostles, but the faith of deuills; Rhem. in 1. Cor. 9. sect. 9.

But our securitie of saluation is no vain presumption, but an assurance grounded vpon the word and promise of God, that thorough faith in Gods promises manife­sted by walking in the way that God hath appointed vs, we shall vndoubtedly come to eternall life: which certenly dependeth not vpon our will or workes, as the Rhe­mists would haue it, 2. Cor. 3. sect. but vp­on the promise of God confirmed to vs in Christ: therefore we shall not misse of the performance of his promises, which hee will vndoubtedly performe vnto all that truely beleeue in him: for to doubt of sal­uation in respect of the promiser, is indeed to denie that he is true in all his sayings. And therfore though the godly be assaul­ted of their owne concupiscences, and of Sathans temptations, to doubt oftentimes of their saluation, yet they must oppose the infalibilitie of Gods truth, against such assaults, and holding fast the promises of God, assure themselues of the effect of them.

So then, euery Christian man, which is endued with faith and hope, may and ought to be constantly assured, that being iustified, he shall be saued, because the [Page 40] word of God, and his promise (to all that beleeue in him, and in faith cal vpon him) cannot faile, but must be most certainely fulfilled.

When the disciples of Christ returned from preaching, wherto he had sent thē, and declared what wonders they had done, the text saith, they reioyced greatly: but Christ said vnto them, Luk. 10.20. re­ioyce not, that the spirits are subdued vn­to you; but reioyce in this, that your names are written in heauen: whereby our Saui­our signifieth, that they beleeued that their names were written in heauen: why else should he bid them therein reioyce, seeing none can reioyce in any felicitie who doth not enioy it, or vndoubtedly beleeue it: and we cannot, neither do we reioyce in things either vnknowne, vnbe­leeued, or vncertaine: and if there be ioy­ing and glorying, it must therefore arise from certainty and assurance: Rom. 5.2. we reioyce, or glory, vnder the hope of the glory of God: because the hope of the things to come, is as sure and certaine as the things already giuen, Chrysost. in Rom. homil. 9. Paul doth not teach vs so to re­ioyce, as if there were no further dan­gers [Page 41] to be feared, no further opposition to be expected, no further temptation to be endured, no further enemies to be re­sisted; but importeth, that there is much fighting and wrastling, much care and sorrow, many perplexities and troubles yet to be forecast and looked for: we may not then be secure, as if there were no­thing any more to trouble vs, but we may be secure and without doubt of an happy issue and deliuerance from all troubles: and this is the hope that we reioyce in. Therfore Saint Augustine saith vpon Psal. 37. Ioy that thou art redeemed, but yet not in reall effect; as touching hope, bee secure: 2. Pet. 1.10. here the Apostle gi­ueth vs counsell rather to giue diligence to make our calling and election sure by good workes; but it were idle and vaine to vse diligence, if the assurance of our e­lection and vocation could not be attai­ned vnto, without any extraordinary re­uelation. And this place sheweth, that the election of God (which is most cer­taine in him, and in it selfe) is made known and certaine to vs by good works, wher­vnto God hath appointed vs; not that it is grounded vpon our will or workes [Page 42] (which are good,) but vpon his gracious decree, by which before the world was made, he chose vs and in time called vs, and hath giuen his spirit, by which we are made not onely willing, but most thankefully to embrace his grace, and to know his fatherly loue towards vs: for if by his spirit we know that God is our fa­ther as Paul teacheth, (Rom. 8.15.16.) we know also that we are predestinate to his inheritance in Christ: which knowledge is confirmed by the works of obedience, which are the fruites of the spirit of adop­tion. But if we cannot know it (as the Pa­pists say,) but onely hope with such hope as is vncertaine and may be confounded, in vaine should the Apostle exhort vs to make our election sure by good works. 2. Cor. 13.5. proue your selues, whether you are in the faith, examine your selues: knowe you not your owne selues, how that Iesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? here the Apostle takes it for graunted, that he which hath faith, may know that he hath faith, and sheweth, that to prooue a mans selfe whether he be in the faith, is to prooue whether Christ be in him, because the faith of [Page 43] which he speaketh, is that liuely faith wherby Christ dwelleth in our hearts. And if Christ be in you (saith Paul, Rom. 8.10) the body is dead as touching sinne, but the spirit is life for righteousnes sake; which cannot be without repentance, hope, charity, & such other spirituall gra­ces, wherewith the spirit of Christ endu­eth them in whom Christ doth dwell. He therefore that knoweth himselfe to be in the faith, as the Apostle meaneth it, knoweth Christ to be in himselfe: he knoweth himselfe to be dead to sin, and aliue to righteousnes, and that he is not without repentance, hope, charitie, and other vertues, wrought in him by the spi­rit of Christ; and consequently he know­eth and is assured of his election and sal­uation: for faith is the faith of Gods elect, Tit. 1.1. and Act. 13.48. so many beleeued as were ordained to saluation. Rom. 8.38. I am perswaded, that neither death not life: &c. therefore the Apostle was fully perswaded of his saluation in Christ; o­therwise, to speake as if the Apostle were in doubt, is a blasphemous vntruth: for in many places he protesteth his assured hope and confidence; as Philip. 1.23. de­siring [Page 44] to be loosed, and to be with Christ: here he doubteth not but after his disso­lution to be with Christ. We haue the like confidēce notably expressed, 2. Tim. 4.8. Henceforth is laid vp for mee the crowne of righteousnesse, which the Lord the righteous iudge shal giue me at that day, &c. this particle (for me) is the speech and language of faith. So the Virgin Mary doth call Christ her Sauiour, Luk. 1.47. and the theefe vpon the crosse said, Lord remember mee, &c. Cap. 23.43. The like also Paul saith, Gal. 2.20. that Christ gaue himselfe for me: and in that it is repeated againe, it sheweth the strength of his con­fidence. Neither is this any singular priui­ledge and prerogatiue in Paul, but it is the common confidence of all the faith­ful: Eph. 3.12. by whom we haue boldnes, and entrance with confidence by faith in him; here the Apostle speaketh not on­ly as a teacher of the Church, as an Apo­stle, as a man of experience, in which re­spect we ought to giue him credit; but he ioyneth himselfe with many others; as if he should say, we haue boldnes, (mea­ning the rest of the Apostles, the Mini­sters, [Page 45] and all the faithful.) When a word is confirmed by the mouth of two or three witnesses, we ought to giue credit; but hauing here so great a cloud of witnesses, we ought to beleeue it without all gaine-saying, that a man may be assured of his saluation: for entranae with boldnes is a fruit of iustification, Rom. 5.1.2. 1. Ioh. 3.14. We know we are translated from death to life, that is to say, we are free from death, the wrath of God, sinne and damnation; translated vnto the fauour of God, righteousnes, and eternall life. The certaine, vnfallible, and vndoubted assu­rance thereof is expressed by the verbe of the tense fully past; for he doth not say, we know that we shal passe, but that we haue passed from death to life. The like place is Ioh. 5.24. shall not come into condemna­tion, but hath passed from death to life: and againe, Eph. 2.6. hath raised vs vp to­gether, and made vs sit together in the heauenly places, in Christ Iesus. 1. Ioh. 5.19. we know that we are of God; there­fore we may be assured of the fauour of God, and that we are in the state of grace. The Apostle speaketh not in the third or second person, but in the first person (wee [Page 46] know) putting himselfe in the number; now the Apostle was sure hee had the spi­rit of God, for if the Apostles Paul and Iohn could pronounce certainely of o­thers, 1. Ioh. 2.14. that they knew the Fa­ther, that they were strong, and the word of God did abide in them, and that they had ouercome the wicked: and blessed Paul, 1. Thes. 4.8. of the Thessalonians, that God had giuen vnto them his holy spirit, as also 2. Thess. 2.13. that God had chosen them to saluation; much more were they certaine of themselues: 1. Ioh. 5.10. he that beleeueth in the sonne of God hath the witnes in himselfe.

Saint Iohn penned his first Epistle, that he might shew vnto the Church of God a way, how they might ordinarily and fully be assured of the loue of God, & of eter­nal life; and therefore he affoards vs many pregnant testimonies for this purpose. Ioh. 2.3. Hereby wee know that we haue knowne him, if we keepe his commande­ments, v. 5. he that hath his word, in him is the loue of God perfect indeed; hereby we know that we are in him, 1. Ioh. 3.10. in this are the children of God knowne, and the children of the deuill, whosoeuer [Page 47] doth not righteousnesse, is not of God, neither he that loueth not his brother, c. 4.13. hereby we knowe that we dwell in him, and he in vs, because he hath giuen vs of his spirit, Cap. 5.1. whosoeuer belee­ueth that Iesus is the Christ, is borne of God. Now this knowledge here spoken of, is not coniecturall, but infallible, as 1. Ioh. 1.4. these things write we vnto you, that your ioy may be full; now it is but an vncertaine ioy that riseth vpon coniectu­rall knowledge. Againe, this knowledge brings forth confidence and boldnesse e­uen before God; 1. Ioh. 3.21. If our heart condemne vs not, then haue we boldnesse toward God; and therefore it cannot but include an infallible knowledge: as fur­ther appeareth, Cap. 4.16. where the A­postle saith, We haue knowne and belee­ued the loue that God hath in vs. If I bee demaunded, whether I know how long I may be assured? I must tell you that my assured trust and confidence is, that God will neuer forsake the worke which hee hath begun, because he hath said, Rom. 9.33. that he that beleeueth in Christ, shall neuer be confounded or ashamed; that is, his hope shal not be deceiued. And Christ [Page 48] hath taught me, Ioh. 10.28. that his sheep which heare his voice (of which I am one) shall neuer perish, but that he will giue vnto them eternall life. And howsoeuer I know that the wickednesse and the cor­ [...]tion of mine owne heart is such, that beeing left vnto my selfe, I should soone fall away from God, yet I looke vnto that promise, that God hath made to all his faithfull seruants; Ier. 3 [...] I will put my feare into their hearts, [...]y shall not depart from me: resting my [...]e not only in this, that I haue apprehended Christ, Phil. 3.12. but much more in that, that he hath apprehended me; not onely in this that I know God, but much more in this, that I am knowne of God, Gal. 4.9. And because the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, Rom. 11.29. there­fore I rest vndoubted, that if I liue, I shall liue vnto the Lord; and if I die, I shall die vnto the Lord: and whether I liue or die, I am the Lords: Rom. 14.8. neither shall any thing seperate mee from the loue of God, which is in Christ Iesus our Lord, cap. 8.39.

Lastly, to answer that Popish out-crie, wherein they charge vs, that our assurance [Page 49] of saluation, grounded vpon the promise of God, is a vaine and faithlesse presump­tion. We say, that to hope for saluation (as they doe) by vertue of our owne do­ings, is a wicked and damnable presump­tion; but our presumption, which groweth of faith, is a commendable presumption: as Amb. de Sacr. lib. 5. c. 4. saith, It is a good presumption, to presume not vpon thine owne worke [...] vpon the grace of Christ.

Such a [...]tion, August. in Psal. 88. teacheth; saying, Whatsoeuer there is a­bout thee, or in thee to presume of, cast it from thee, and let God be thy whole pre­sumption, or presume wholly vpon God: namely, in that sort Ambr. teacheth by occasion of Dauids words, Psal. 119.116. Receiue me according to thy word: It were a matter of intollerable presumption (saith he) to say to God, Receiue me, but that hee addeth the promise of God, as if he should say, thou hast caused vs to pre­sume, we chalenge thee vpon thine owne bond.

This is the presumption of true faith, whereby we withdraw our eies from our selues, and cast them wholly vpon God, [Page 50] assuredly beleeuing that we shall receiue, because we beleeue in him that promiseth. Wherefore Greg. magn. in Ezeck. homil. 22. saith, by presuming of grace and life, the righteous sing of that iudgement, which all the vnrighteous are afraid of.

So then there is a godly presumption of saluation and of eternall life, which be­cause it cannot arise of any sufficiencie of our workes, must necessarily be grounded vpon faith alone; wh [...] yet notwith­standing faith receiueth comfort and strength by the good fruites and effects of grace; in the feare and loue of God, in faithfull care and conscience of dutie to­wards God and men: because albeit of themselues they cannot be presumed of, yet beeing fruites of faith, euen in their beginnings and imperfections, they are tokens of Gods secret election, and fore­shewings of future happines; as saith Ber­nard, lib. de gra. & libero arbitrio. Occultae predestinationis indicia futurae foelicitatis praesagia.

Here we are to meete with two great and dangerous temptations, the one sug­gested by Sathan, the other proceeding from our owne corruption.

The first temptation.

Sathan will say that wee haue no faith, 1 and therefore that we haue no interest in Christ, and consequently can haue no as­rance of saluation. To whom we may an­swer, that our beleeuing dependeth not vpon his testimonie: it is enough that we our selues do know and feele by the grace of God, that we do beleeue: though some men falsly perswade themselues that they beleeue, yet hee that hath true faith in­deede, knowes that hee hath true faith, e­uen as certenly as hee that vnderstands, knowes that he vnderstandeth: as 2. Cor. 13.5. Know ye not your own selues, how that Iesus Christ is in you, except yee bee reprobates or vnapprooueable? where the Apostle giueth them to vnderstand, that all which beleeue, haue the spirit of discerning, to know certenly that they doe beleeue. So Paul speakes of himselfe; 2. Tim. 1.12. I know whome I haue be­leeued: and to like purpose is that, 1. Ioh. 3.24. By this wee knowe that hee dwells in vs, euen by the spirit which he hath gi­uen vs: where he maketh no question of it but that hee which hath the spirit, know­eth that he hath the same. So then such as [Page 52] haue receiued the gift of true faith, haue also an other gift of discerning, whereby they see and know their owne faith. But as for the deuill, wee doe the rather per­swade our selues of faith, because he saith we beleeue not; knowing, Ioh. 8.44. that he is a lyar, and the father thereof. Now he that was neither ashamed nor afraid to charge God himselfe with vntruth, Gen. 3.4. will make lesse scruple to deale falsly with men; and that therefore we vtterly reiect his witnesse, as the witnesse of a notorious and treacherous deceiuer, vn­worthy all credit, and whom wee cannot beleeue, though he speake truth, without danger. For which cause he was so often­times silenced by Christ and his Apostles, euen then, when after his deceiueable manner, he bare witnesse vnto the truth, as Mark. 1.24.25. when the deuill said to Christ, I know thee what thou art, euen that holy one of God; Iesus rebuked him, saying, hold thy peace: And when the spirit said, Act. 16.17.18. these are the seruants of the most high God, &c. Paul beeing greiued, said to the spirit, I com­mand thee in the name of Iesus Christ, that thou come out of her.

The second temption.

I cannot feele in my selfe any good 2 thing, or discerne any sparke of grace, but I plainly perceiue want of faith, doubting, and infidelitie, want of the loue of God, hatred and rebellion, want of zeale, cold­nesse, drousie dulnesse; how then can I receiue comfort that I haue faith, and consequently be assured of my saluation?

Answ. When the question is of our 1 faith in Christ, whether we beleeue in him or not, we must beware that we seeke not here perfection of knowledge, which in the most learned diuines is vnperfect; nor rest vpon the perfection of perswasion, which in al Christian men is mingled with imperfection: it is enough for our present comfort, and to the silencing of our ad­uersary, that we haue a true knowledge of the mystery of our redemption by Christ, not only an implicite vnderstāding which Satan hath planted in the kingdom of An­tichrist. For perswasion also we acknow­ledge, that partly by the corruption of na­ture, and partly by Sathans assaults, the same is oftentimes assayled and shaken; yet by the grace of God it is such, as it faileth not vtterly, nor quite falleth vnto [Page 54] the ground.

It 2 is plaine by many examples of Gods children, from time to time, though they haue beene endued with a great measure of faith, and in a high degree of fauour and loue with God, sometimes in their owne sence, they haue felt in themselues, in stead of faith, nothing but doubting, diffidence, and incredulity; and in stead of Gods loue and fauour, they haue apprehended no­thing in their present feeling, but the wrathfull anger of God, and his grieuous displeasure. As Dauid, a man according to Gods owne heart, sheweth that some­times he had no sense nor feeling of the graces of Gods spirit in him, as when hee desired the Lord, Psal. 51.10. to renewe a right spirit in him; and v. 12. to restore to him the ioy of his saluation. And some­times he apprehended in his present sense, in stead of Gods loue and fauour, nothing but his wrath and displeasure: whereupon he complaineth, that God had forgotten him, Psal. 13.1. hath forsaken him, Psal. 22.1, 2. withdrawn his mercie and fauour from him, Psal 77.8, 9. Ieremie beeing grieuously afflicted both in bodie and minde, was for a time depriued of the [Page 55] sense of Gods loue and fauour, apprehen­ding nothing but present miserie; and in stead of faith and affiance in God, hee be­wraieth his doubting, diffidence, and im­patience, cursing the day of his birth, &c. Ier. 20.14, 15. Christ Iesus (though hee were the Sonne of God, in whom the Fa­ther was welpleased, Matth. 3.17.) yet in his owne sense and feeling, he apprehen­ded Gods wrath, & greiuous displeasure, and lamentably complaineth, as a man a­bandoned, and cast out of all loue and fa­uour, Matth. 27.48. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? which words shewe both Christs affiance in God, and his pre­sent apprehension in his sense and feeling: for in respect of his affiance and trust in God, he calleth him still his God, but in respect of his sense and feeling, hee com­plaineth that he is forsaken. It is therefore manifest that a man may be dearely belo­ued of God, and yet for a time deepely apprehend his wrath and displeasure to­wards him.

It is an vncomfortable and vnsound 3 manner of reasoning to inferre, because we doe not sensibly feele and discern that we haue faith, therefore we are destitute [Page 56] thereof.

We must distinguish betweene Gods spirit, and his graces; for his spirit may liue in vs, when hee (for our good) doth not worke in vs, nor communicate our former sauing comfort: for euen in many diseases of the bodie, it is so with men, that they seeme little better then dead corpses, and yet then is life in them, which hidden for a time, after is recouered, and raised vp againe; so it is many times with the children of God, that beeing distres­sed and ouerborne with extremitie of af­fliction and temptation, they seeme for a time, both to themselues and to others, to haue lost the life which they once en­ioyed: But whē the tempest is ouerblown, and the gracious countenance of the Lord again beginneth to shine vpon them, then the faith which was as then hid for the time, taketh life and sheweth foorth it selfe. As the trees when they bud in the spring time, and bring forth their fruit, were not dead as they seemed to be in the winter; so the faith of Gods children, springing afresh after the stormy winter of temptation, declareth manifestly that it was not dead, when it seemed so to be, [Page 57] but was onely dulled or respited for the time, that afterward it might bring forth more fruit. The sunne shineth not in the night season, nor whē it is obscured with clouds; shall we say therefore that there is no sunne, or that it hath vttterly no ope­ration? The Sunne and Moone doe not perish in their eclipses, nor loose their light for euer; so in this eclipse which happeneth (for a time) vnto our faith, the same shal not perish or loose his vertue for euer, but shal in good time be restored to her former vigor and strength againe, vn­to our further and more assured comfort.

Againe, true faith doth not rest it selfe vpon our sense and feeling; for Heb. 11.1. Faith is the ground of things (not pre­sently enioyed, but) which are hoped for: and the euidence or demonstration of things, (not which are subiect to the sen­ses, and sensibly discerned, but) which are not seene: we beleeue such ioyes are pre­pared vs, as neither eye hath seen, nor eare hath heard, neither can enter into mans heart. It is a kind of infidelitie to beleeue only those things which are subiect to our senses and vnderstandings; and therefore when Thomas would not beleeue, that [Page 58] Christ was risen, Ioh. 20.25. before it was made manifest to his senses, he is reproo­ued for infidelitie; bee not, saith Christ, ver. 27. and 29 faithles, but faithfull.

The most excellent faith sheweth not it selfe most glorious, when we haue sense or feeling, but rather when we feele and discerne the contrarie. Holy Iob when he apprehended nothing but Gods wrath and displeasure, euen then shewed a most victorious faith, (Chap. 13.15.) Loe though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. The son of God appearing in the forme of a mortall man, did wrastle with Iacob, (Gen. 32.24.) shewing himselfe as an ad­versarie to him: where we may coniecture what a fearefull conflict, Iacob endured both in body and soule: whereto also the circumstance of the time, doth sensibly lead vs, this conflict being in the night: Now the terrors of the night are descri­bed to be most fearefull, (Ps. 91.5.) which the deuills the princes of darknes, (Ephe. 6.12.) doe (by Gods permission) especi­ally in the night strike into vs: now in this grieuous and tedious conflict (it continu­ing all night) Iacob shewed a most victo­rious faith, saying, I will not let thee go, [Page 59] except thou blesse me, Gen. 32.26.

Another worthie example, is the wo­man of Canaan, who (though she) recei­ued diuers rep [...] and earnest denialls, yet continued her suite, Matth. 15.28. and is commended for her faith by the au­thor and finisher of our faith, Heb. 12.2.

To this effect maketh excellently that worthie speach of Christ, Matth. 11.12. saying, that the violent take the kingdom of heauen by force, that is, the true Israe­lites, though they endure bitter conflicts, yet by faith hold fast God, apprehēded in his word, and through the same faith and patience obtaine the promises, Heb. 6.12.

To conclude therefore, we are not to build our assurance vpon our owne sense and feeling, but vpon Gods vnchangable and gratious promises made vnto vs in Christ Iesus. And if at any time our sense and feeling telleth one thing, that is that God hath withdrawen his loue from vs, Ps. and forsaken vs, Esa. 54.7. and the word of God assure vs of an o­ther thing, that is, that God will neuer forsake vs, Heb. 13.5. but continue his loue vnto vs vnto the end, Esa. 49.8. wee are not to trust our owne feeling, but vn­to [Page 60] Gods promise; for otherwise what doe wee else, but preferre our deceiuing sense before Gods infallible truth, and make God a lier, because we beleeue not the truth of his written promise? 1. Ioh. 5.10.

After that we haue attained to faith, and haue felt some effectuall working of Gods spirit in vs, commonly in many of Gods children succeede (not long after) some deadnes and dulnes, and they think in themselues that they haue lost the spirit of God, as we haue before shewed,

Here 1 we are to search the cause, whe­ther it be for some sinne committed, or for some present duty not practised, for leauing and neglecting the meanes of our saluation, or for for some sinne not repen­ted of, or for not vsing the meanes of sal­uation vprightly.

To which purpose the Lord comman­deth vs to take knowledge of our sinnes, (Ier. 3.13.) and to remember from whence we are fallen, Apoc. 2.5. The meanes to attaine to a sight of sinne, is a diligent examination of a mans own selfe, Lament. 3.40. and Dauid giueth the same counsell to Sauls courtiers, Psal. 4.4. ex­amine your hearts. This examination must [Page 61] be made principally by the law of God, and namely by the ten Commandements, which ransaketh the heart to the very quick, Rom. 3.20. for by the law commeth the knowledge of sin; this was the meanes of Pauls better knowledge of himselfe, Rom. 7.7. I knew not sinne but by the law. And as this comparing the life with the law of God made the vnbeleeuer, 1. Cor. 14.24.25. to fall downe on his face, and to worship God; and the Psalmist, be­ing a man after Gods owne heart, to say, Psal. 130.3. if thou O Lord straitly mar­kest iniquities, who shall stand? and there­fore to begge of God, saying, Psal. 143.2. O Lord enter not into iudgement with thy seruant, for in thy sight shall none that liue be iustified: So will it be the meanes to worke in vs a sight of our sin, and to repent of the same: as we haue ex­ample, Acts. 2.37. who vpon Peters ser­mon, being pricked in their hearts, said, Men and brethren, what shal we doe? To whom Peter prescribed the remedie, ver. 38. requiring them to amend their liues. Thus by his repentance did Dauid reco­uer, Psal. 52.5. and thus Peter recouered weeping bitterly after the Lord looked [Page 62] vpon him, Luk. 22.61.62. for if we repent, God will forgiue, Ier. 18.8. who after he hath spoyled vs will heale vs, and hauing wounded vs will bind vs vp. Heb. 6.1. for he came to seeke and to saue that which was lost, Luc. 19.10. and he came not to call the righteous, but the sinners vnto re­pentance, Math. 9.13. to whom he pro­miseth ease and comfort, Cap. 11.28. To him therfore let vs pray and say, Hos. 14.3. Take away all iniquity, and receiue vs graciously, so will we render the calues of our lippes.

Another 2 remedie to recouer and stay vs in this distresse, that we sinke not into the gulfe of destruction, is in calling to our remembrance the times past, in which we haue enioyed the loue, mercie, and goodnes of God, and in which we (in token of thankfullnes) haue glorified God, by a iust, holy, and sober conuersa­tion.

Dauid being grieuously afflicted, could not receiue in his soule any true comfort, Psal. 77.3.4. for howsoeuer he did thinke vpon the Lord, yet he was still troubled: what helpe did he then finde in this his present distresse? he tells vs (ver. 5.6.) [Page 63] that he considered the dayes of old, and the yeares of auncient times, he commu­ned with his owne heart, and his spirit searched diligently, he remembred the workes of the Lord, and his wonders of old.

Iob apprehending and conceuing of God as of his enemy, in respect of his pre­sent sense, and feeling, and being moued by his freinds to doubt of his grace which he had receiued, and also to condemne himselfe for an hypocrite, comforteth himselfe, and strengtheneth his faith in the midst of all these greiuous temptati­ons, by calling to his remembrance his fruits of faith & works of sanctification, which he had discerned in himselfe in­former times, Iob. 31.1. &c.

Thus we see that the faithfull feare for a time, but they gather their spirits againe, and recouer warm'th at the sun-shine of Gods mercies: their feete were almost gone, Psal. 73.2. but not altogether: they went into the sanctuary of the Lord, (ver. 17.) (a proppe to keep them vp) at length they confesse against themselues, This is my infirmitie; they reprooue themselues for their diffidence: and howsoeuer they [Page 64] say in their hast that all men are liars, and perhaps God himselfe not true; yet by leasure they repent it, and remembring Gods mercies receiue comfort, Psal. 119.52. The Apostle doth pithily expresse my meaning, 2. Cor. 4.8. Staggering, but not wholy sticking: Ionah was a prisoner in a strange dungeon, without light, without companie, without comfort, in a whales belly, where he accounteth himselfe as cast out of Gods sight, Ion. 2.4. saying, I am cast away out of thy sight; but be­hold presently hee giueth the checke to himselfe, hee recouereth in the instant, when hee was in the pits mouth readie to sinke eternally, and said, that he would looke againe towards the Lords holy Temple.

This then is the fruit of beleeuing and calling to remembrance the sweete mer­cies of our Sauiour; that in the day of so­rest triall, it is able to keepe vs vpright, who else should fall down groueling vn­to death. This dulnesse, and deadnes, and doubtfulnesse is commonly incident vnto Gods children, beeing at the same time in the estate of grace, and is a part of that inbred corruption, and fleshly old man, [Page 65] which before our calling, wholly posses­sed and ouerruled vs, and after also bea­reth some sway in vs, euen when wee are regenerate, till with all other corruptions we lay this aside also by death.

But worldly and carnall men do neuer discerne how dull and drowsie they are in Gods seruice, nor feele the huge masse of inbred corruption; but fondly flatter thē ­selues, imagining that they are in excee­ding good case, and verie deuout in Gods seruice, which indeede (as they performe it) is meere formall, customable, but not conscionable. Now then when the Lord by the ministerie of his word, made effe­ctuall by the inward operation of his spi­rit, doth pull off the thicke skinne of car­nall securitie, from off the hearts of Gods children, & cause the scales of ignorance to fall from their eies, so as they plainely discerne and feele this their dulnes, drou­sinesse, &c. let them not be dismaied, nor debarre their soules of that consolation, which of right belongeth vnto them: for flesh and blood doth not reueale this their corruption, deadnesse, and dulnesse in Gods seruice, but the spirit of God, which hath begunne alreadie to worke in them, [Page 66] shewing them their corruptions, and moouing them to an vnfained dislike of them; and therfore they may assure them­selues, that he who hath begun this good worke in them, will also bring it (in his good time) to perfection, Phil. 6. onely (as the Psalmist exhorteth) let them carrie the Lords leasure, waite vpon, and trust in him, and he shall comfort their hearts.

Senondly, how a man may be assured of his Saluation.

A man may gather the knowledge of his owne faith and election, and stand as­sured of his saluation, by signes and testi­monies in himselfe.

These testimonies are two, the testimo­nie of Gods spirit, and the testimonie of our spirit, Rom. 8.16.

First, the testimonie of Gods spirit.

1. Gods spirit beareth witnesse to our spirit that wee are the children of God, Rom. 8.16. But the testimonie of the spirit is most certaine, for the spirit cannot bee deceiued, neither deceiue any; for Rom. 8.15. the spirit of adoption expelleth all feare; and where no feare is, there loue is perfect, 1. Ioh. 4.18. and where no feare [Page 67] is, there is no painfulnesse, and therefore neither doubtfulnesse nor mistrust.

Againe, what more certaine truth can be imagined, then that which the Spirit of God witnesseth to our spirit, seeing all the conditions required as true witnesse, do concurre in him in the highest degree, which are knowledge, truth, and faith­fulnesse.

Touching knowledge, he is a God of knowledge, 1. Sam. 2.3. who knoweth all things, euen the eternall counsell and de­cree of God concerning our election: 1. Cor. 2.10. The spirit searcheth all things, euen the deepe things of God. And this spirit doe we receiue, v. 12. that wee may knowe the things that are giuen to vs of God, as our election, iustification, adop­tion, &c.

2. Touching truth, he is most true, yea truth it selfe; and in regard hereof hee is called the spirit of truth, which leadeth vs into all truth, Ioh. 16.13. as therefore touching his knowledge he cannot be de­ceiued, so in respect of his truth he can­not deceiue.

3. Touching faithfulnesse, hee is most faithfull, 1. Cor. 1.9. God, saith the Apo­stle, [Page 68] is faithfull, by whom you are called: 1. Thess. 5.24. Faithfull is hee which hath called you, especially in his word: Psal. 19.7. for his testimonie is sure, and therefore he cannot erre; neither will hee conceale the truth for any respect of persons: and therefore whatsoeuer this al-knowing, true, and faithfull witnesse testifieth, wee are vndoubtely to beleeeue, as beeing most sure and certaine.

The ende why the holy Ghost comes into the heart as a witnesse of adoption, is that the truth in this case hidden, and therefore doubtfull, might be cleared, and made manifest. Now if God himselfe haue appointed, that a doubtfull truth among men shall bee confirmed and put out of doubt, by the mouth of two or three wit­nesses; it is absurd to thinke, that the te­stimonie of God himselfe, knowing all things, and taking vpon him to be a wit­nesse, should be doubtfull and coniectu­rall.

Hauing thus prooued, that the testi­monie which the spirit giueth is true and infallible, next we are to speake, that the spirit giueth testimony, where three points are to be taught.

[Page 69]1. First, that hee doth testifie in the hearts and consciences of euery beleeuer, that he is the Sonne of God: as is proued, Rom. 8.15.16. Gal. 4.6. Here first he ex­cludeth the spirit of bondage, which like the Papists faith, causeth vs to feare and doubt of our election and saluation: and Rom. 8.16. hee telleth vs, that the spirit beareth witnesse to our spirits, &c. Now wee haue receiued not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we might know the things which are gi­uen to vs of God, 1. Cor. 2.12. that is, not onely his spirituall graces in this life, as e­lection, faith, iustification, &c. but also those excellent ioyes in Gods kingdome in the life to come, of which also we haue some knowledge and tast, by the illumi­nation of the same spirit, Rom. 5.2. and Cap. 14.17.

Extraordinarie Reuelations are ceased, and yet the holy Ghost in & by the word, reueales some things vnto men: for which cause he is called truely, the spirit of reue­lation, Eph. 3.5. Againe, the holy Ghost giues testimonie, by applying the promi­ses of the remission of sinnes, & life euer­lasting by Christ, particularly to the heart [Page 70] of man, when the same is generally pro­pounded in the ministerie of the word.

2. Secondly, the spirit of God doth not onely giue this bare testimonie, that wee are elected, and adopted, and shall bee sa­ued; but also doth fully perswade vs here­of, as beeing a thing most certaine and without question: 1. Ioh. 3.24. Hereby we know that hee abideth in vs, euen by the spirit which he hath giuen vs. And bles­sed Paul, by the spirit of God, was so sted­fastly assured of Gods loue, that hee was firmely perswaded, that nothing could se­parate him from it, Rom. 8.38.39. and prayed for the Ephesians, Eph. 1.17.18. that God would giue them the spirit of wisedome and reuelation, that the eies of their vnderstanding might be lightened, that they might know what the hope is of his calling, and what the riches of his glo­rious inheritance is in the Saints. Gods spirit then doth throughly perswade the faithfull that they are elected, and shall be saued, but it doth not this at all times. For when wee are like newe borne babes in Christ, the motions of the spirit are but weake in vs, and we are not as yet skilfull to discerne the heauenly language of the [Page 71] spirit: Such as these are not said to haue no faith, but to bee of little faith, Matth. 8.27.

All men (in this naturall life) haue their degrees to proceede in, which they neuer change. As first they bee children, then afterward grow to a more vnderstanding, which was euen true of Christ in this flesh, Luk. 2.52. who is said, to haue in­creased in wisedome and stature: Euen so the spirituall birth is not perfect the first day, but it hath as it were a childhood, and we are babes to be fed with milke, 1. Pet. 2.2. and then afterward we growe from faith to faith, and from one degree of grace to another: 2. Pet. 3.18. growe in grace and knowledge, saith the Apostle.

Now as Paul saith, 1. Cor. 13.11. when he was a child, he vnderstood as a child: but when he became a man, hee put away childish things: so when we were young in Christ, then wee did vnderstand and discerne the testimonie of the spirit, as children, that is, in great weaknesse. A weake faith is, when a man of an humble heart, doth not yet feele the assurance of the forgiuenesse of his owne sinnes, and yet he is perswaded they are pardonable, [Page 72] desiring that they might be pardoned, and therefore praieth to God that hee would pardon them, and giue him strength to leaue them.

Now 1 this faith is weake, either when a man failes in the knowledge of the go­spel; Rom. 14.1. him that is weake in faith receiue vnto you, &c. here the Apostle calleth him weake in faith, who is verie meanely endued with the knowledge of the Gospel, who is not sufficiently taught and perswaded of Christian liberty, as be­ing ignorant that the ceremonies of the Law are abrogated by the comming of Christ; of such weake knowledge speakes the Apostle, Heb. 5.12.

Or 2 when he is weake in applying vnto himselfe the sweet promises of grace and saluation; we may resolue our selues, that the true child of God may haue an hun­gring desire in his heart after reconciliati­on with God in Christ for all his sinnes, with care to keepe a good conscience, and yet be weake sometimes in the apprehen­sion of Gods mercie, and the assurance of the remission of his owne sinnes.

Dauid hauing a long time continued in his two great sinnes, 2. Sam. 12.7. was ad­monished [Page 73] thereof by Nathan, and beeing admonished he confessed his sinnes, and straightway Nathan declared vnto him from the Lord, the forgiuenesse of them: yet afterward Dauid humbled himselfe, Psal. 51.1. &c. prayeth most earnestly for the forgiuenesse of those, and all other his sinnes, euen as though it had not beene true that they were forgiuen already, as Nathan told him. The reason is, because he was not so fully perswaded of pardon, as his heart desired to be, nor so resolued thereof as God requireth those to bee, who depend vpon him and his promises by faith.

SECT. III. Markes of saluation.

AS the corne which is cast into the ground, is for a time couered, and af­ter springeth vp the blade, and then the eare; so faith beeing sowne in our hearts (which first are broken vp with the [Page 74] threatnings of the lawe, and apprehension of Gods anger due vnto our sinnes) doth in the time of our humiliation and contri­tion lie couered, so as we cannot discerne it, till being more and more watred with the water of the spirit, and the heauenly promises of the Gospel offred in the prea­ching thereof, it sendeth forth an holy de­sire, and earnest endeauour to serue God.

But it is otherwise, when we are in Christ; as in Abraham, Rom. 4.20. and yet euen old men, and that are of tall sta­ture in the faith, cannot alwaies heare the testimonie of the spirit, and sensibly see the same in themselues: for if they waxe proud, grow secure, and fal into sinne, the graces and gifts of the spirit will decay in them, their cleare vnderstanding, their feeling, their affection, and all may be so darkened, that in their owne iudgement, and in the iudgement of others, it may seeme that they haue quenched the spirit.

The Galatians were truly called and effectually regenerated by the spirit, as may appeare by this, that for the words sake they reuerenced the Apostle, as the Angel of God, Gal. 4.9. and in that the Apostle calleth them the sonnes of God [Page 75] by faith in Christ, (Cap. 3.26.) yet they were snared with false doctrine, and sell very dangerously, to the choaking and quenching of the graces of Gods spirit in them. The spirit was not taken from thē, nay Christ did stil continue in their harts; but yet for want of godly graces, he was as it were without forme and fashion: so that the Apostle did as it were trauell a­gaine, vntill Christ was fashioned a new in them, Gal. 4.19.

Dauid also, after the committing of his sinne, was brought into the like case, therfore he praieth, Psal. 51.10. that God would create in him a cleane heart; what? was the spirit quite gone? no for hee prayeth, v. 11. that God would not take away his holy spirit. But howe can these two stand together? first to pray that God would create in him a cleane spirit, ver. 10. and then to pray, ver. 11. that the spirit might not be taken from him: Surely the spirit it selfe was still in him, amd therefore he prayeth that it may not be taken from him, but the cleannesse of his heart was defiled with his vncleane thoughts, and therefore hee praieth that they may be cleansed and re­newed [Page 76] in him.

A mother that loueth her child most tenderly sets it downe in the floore, lets it stand and fall, and breake the face, and all this while she hides her selfe, not be­cause her purpose is to leaue her child quite; but that when she taketh it vp a­gaine, it may loue her the better, and hold her more fast; so dealeth the holy Ghost with men, to make the see their own frail­ties, he hides himselfe as it were in some corner of the heart for a season, that they may more earnestly hunger after grace, the want wherof they felt: Sathan endea­uoureth to quench the spirit by this, if we wil not be worse, he wil make vs to be no better, nor to goe forward in religion, but to stand at a stay: so let the spirit of God in vs striue for the contrarie, that he that is righteous may be more righteous, (A­poc. 22.11.) for we may not be worse then the ground, which by the raine is made more fruitfull, nor then the herbes, which by the sun are made more flourish­ing.

To conclude then, as it fareth with wo­men with child, so it happeneth to Gods children: we know that a woman with [Page 77] childe feeleth no life nor motion of the child diuerse monthes together; and after the time of her conception, and after she hath felt it striue and mooue, oftentimes there is an intermission wherein she fee­leth not the motion thereof a good space together: so the child of god, after that by the word, faith is begotten and conceiued in his heart, feeles no life, motion, nor vn­doubted signe of the spirit a long while, that is, of the pardon of his sinnes, and of reconciliation vnto God: and when after­ward he hath a feeling of faith, and other spirituall graces, by their motions and fruits, oft-times he is againe depriued of it, either because he hath wounded his consciēce by falling into some known sin, as Dauid did, (2. Sam. 12.) or for that the Lord will exercise his faith and manifest his power in his weaknesse, Deut. 8.2. 2. Cor. 12.9.

Thirdly, the spirit of God doth not 3 onely giue testimonie, and perswade men of their adoption, but also confirmeth the same vnto them, as Ephes. 4.30. Cap. 1.13. 2. Cor. 1.22. Cap. 5.5. These testimo­nies do minister vnto euery faithfull man no small consolation, if they bee rightly [Page 78] waighed.

First, the spirit is called a seale, Ephes. 1.13. Cap. 4.30. As writings which passe to and fro among men, when the seale is put to them, are made out of question: so the promises of God propounded gene­rally to all, are said by the spirit of God to be sealed in the heart of euery particular beleeuer, which signifies, that he giueth vnto them euident assurance that the promise of life belongs vnto them. Se­condly, the spirit is called an earnest, or pledge, 2. Cor. 1.22. Cap. 5.5. for as in a bargaine, when part of the price is pay­ed in earnest, then assurance is made that men wil pay the whole: so when the child of God hath receiued thus much from the holy Ghost, to be perswaded that he is adopted and chosen in Christ, he is put in good hope, and is alreadie put in good assurance fully to enioy eternall life. God doth neuer take his earnest backe againe, because it is so the earnest of our inheri­tance, (Eph. 1.13.) vntill the redemption of possession, as that it is an earnest also that in the meane time God stablisheth vs in Christ: (2. Cor. 1.21.22. and that he hath created vs euen for this thing, [Page 79] namely to cloth vs with immortality and eternall life at the last.

So then, let not the tempter draw vs to wauer and doubt, but let vs boldly with the Apostle say, 2. Tim. 1.12. we know whom wee haue beleeued.

Touching the testimonie of the spirit, three questions may be demanded.

First, whether a man may be assured 1 that he hath Gods spirit.

Secondly, how a man may discerne be­tweene 2 the illusion of the deuill, and the testimonie of the spirit.

Thirdly, by what meanes the spirit of 3 God giueth a particular testimonie in a mans conscience of his adoption.

First, whether a man may be assured that he hath the spirit of God.

This point is already glaunced at in the words immediatly going before, and now for the better satisfaction of our hearts, shalbe through Gods gracious as­sistance further declared; namely, that a man hauing the spirit of God, may know that he hath it.

1. Thes. 8.19. Quench not the spirit.

Here the Apostle giueth vs to vnder­stand, that the spirit in some respect is like [Page 80] vnto fire, it will burne vp and consume 1 things that may bee burned and consu­med, as stubble, straw, stickes, &c.

Secondly, 2 it doth purge and purifie those things which can abide to be purg­ged.

Thirdly, 3 it giueth light euen in the most dimme and darke places.

Fourthly, 4 it giueth heat, and doth as it were put life into those things, which are capable of life: For whilst a man is frozen and starued with cold, he is maimed and as it were without life; but being brought to the fire, he is hot, reuiued, cheered, and then becommeth actiue & nimble: these are the properties of fire, and these doe in some manner resemble and shadow out vnto vs the workes and effects of the spi­rit.

When 1 the spirit of God feazeth vpon a man, and entreth into his soule, then it beginneth to burne and consume in him euill affections, noysome lusts, and such other stubble as is in man.

Secondly, 2 it doth purge vs from grosse sinnes, and daily more and more doth purifie vs, that we may be cleane and holy vessels and temples for him to rest and [Page 81] dwell in.

Thirdly, it is a shining light euer bur­ning, 3 and giueth light to vs in that way which we haue to walke in.

Fourthly, it doth set vs on heat, and in­flameth 4 vs with a zeale of Gods glorie, a care of our duty, and with a loue of all mankind; yea withall it putteth life and lust into vs, to walke in that good way, in which it doth lead vs; and to doe all those good works, which may glorifie God, or be commodious vnto men.

Now as truly and as certainly as wee may say that there is fire, when we see straw and such like things consumed, or gold or siluer finely purged out, or great light in darke places, or great heat in bo­dies that were benummed before: euen so truly and certainly, we may say and per­swade our selues, that the spirit of God is in vs, when wee see our corruption consumed, our soules purged from the drosse of sinne, our hearts enlightened and made hotte in walking and working according to that light.

So then, if the spirit of God be a fire that inflameth our cold frozen hearts with a zeale of Gods glorie, and loue of [Page 82] our brethren, Matth. 3.11. Act. 2.3. how can the fire that is caried in our breasts be hidden from vs? The spirit of God is an earnest, 2. Cor. 1.22. and who recei­uing an earnest, cannot know whether he hath receiued it or no? for otherwise how can it assure vs of our bargain, if of it selfe wee haue no assurance? it is a pledge of Gods loue and of our saluation, and who hauing a pawne in his custodie, cannot know that he possesseth it?

It is a heauenly light, (Eph. 1.17.18.) which doth illuminate our vnderstan­dings, which were blind and ignorant in the knowledge of Gods truth, and who cannot discerne betweene blindnes and sight, light and darknes.

It is water, which purgeth vs from our corruptions, Isa. 44.3. Ezech. 26.9. and who that is thus washed and clensed, can doubt that this water hath touched him? It is a precious oyle, (1. Ioh. 2.20.27.) which mollifieth our hard stonie hearts, and maketh them pliable to Gods will, which before were so stiffe & obdurate, that they would rather haue broken, then bowed to obedience: it suppleth also our stiffe ioynts, and maketh them actiue and [Page 83] nimble in the works of holines and righ­teousnes; and who finding these strange alterations in himselfe, may not be assured that he is anoynted with this oyle? And thus it is manifest that we may be assured that we haue Gods spirit.

But if through frailty we haue fallen, (for who is he that falleth not) how may we know then, that we still retaine the spirit of God?

To this end let vs search our hearts and try them by these Rules; namely,

First, by our liking and misliking of sin: 1 for if after our fall, we hold our former ha­tred of sinne, and the oftner we fall, the more through and deadly hatred we con­ceiue against sin, vndoubtedly that frailty hath not as yet depriued vs of the spirit.

Seccondly, by our sorrow; for so long 2 as our sorrow increaseth for our sinnes, it cannot be thought that sin and the flesh haue ouercome, and vtterly quenched the spirit in vs.

Thirdly, by our care; for if we grow in 3 a godly care; both how we may be able to wage battel against sinne in the plaine, and how we may preuent sinne in all his pollices, we haue a further assurance that [Page 84] sinne, although it be great, hath not he­thereto preuailed against those few and small graces, which the good spirit of God hath bestowed vpon vs. Againe by our care; If thou be carefull to redeeme that which by thy fall thou hast lost, and hast a care to run so much faster forward, by how much more thou hast beene let­ted by thy fall; then it doth appeare that the spirit is in thee, yea it is liuely and mightie in operation.

Secondly, how a man may discerne betweene the illusion of the deuil, and the testimonie of the Spirit.

Whereas presumption and the illusion of Sathan will as well tell a man that he is the child of God, as the true testimonie of the spirit, the way to put difference be­tweene them is this, as followeth.

First, 1 we are to know, that the prea­ching of the Gospel is the ministery of the spirit, whereby we are sealed in the assurance of our saluation, (2. Cor. 3.6.) and hence it is, that the preachers of the Gospel are called the ministers by whom men beleeue, (1. Cor. 3.5.) and the words [Page 85] of the Gospel are called by Christ, spirit and life, Ioh. 6.63. because it is the mi­nistery of the spirit which quickneth vs. And (Gal. 3.2.) the Apostle saith, that wee haue receiued the spirit by the hea­ring of faith, that is, by the doctrin of faith preached in the ministery of the Gospel. If therefore the testimonie of saluation in the minde of the faithfull, be conceiued by the preaching of the Gospel, applied vnto them by faith: then it is most certain­ly the testimonie of Gods spirit, which sealeth in vs the full assurance of that we beleeue, (Eph. 1.13.) for the inward te­stimonie of Gods spirit is not different from the outward testimony of the word: and therefore it doth beare no witnesse, nor giue any assurance, that they are sa­ued, whome Gods word pronounceth to be in the state of damnation.

Now if this perswasion of theirs be not grounded vpon Gods word, who per­swade themselues that they are elected, a­dopted, and shall be saued, notwithstan­ding that they liue in their sinnes without repentance, making no conscience of their waies, nor endeauoring to serue the Lord in vprightnes of life; then it is not [Page 86] the testimonie of Gods spirit, but a pre­sumptuous phantasie, and a secure and carnall imagination.

Those 2 who haue the testimony of the spirit, haue an earnest desire after the out­ward meanes of our saluation (as the hea­ring and reading of the word, the recei­uing of the Sacraments, & other holy du­ties of Gods seruice) and are carefull to enioy them, not onely when they come good cheap, that is, in the daies of peace; but also when they be verie chargeable, that is, in the day of trouble and aduer­sity.

That this earnest desire is a note of Gods children, and a testimony of the spi­rit, appeareth by these testimonies fol­lowing; Ioh. 10.27. my sheepe heare my voice; Cap. 8.47. he that is of God hea­reth Gods word; 1. Ioh. 4.6. he that knoweth God heareth vs; Ier. 15.16. thy words were found by me, and I did eate them, and thy word was vnto me the ioy and reioycing of my heart. Chrys. homil. 4. in Genes. Sicut esurire, &c. as to hunger after meate is a token of bodily health, so to haue our hearts to braye after the word of God, (Psal. 119.20.) is a signe [Page 87] of spirituall health: for Salomon saith, Pro. 18.1. that for the desire therof a man will separate himselfe to seeke it: so as neither oxen, nor farmes, nor wife, shall stop the way against him, Luk. 14.8. A true mem­ber of Christ is therefore well compared to a wise merchant, Matth. 13.45. who ra­ther then he would want the pretious pearle of Gods word, selleth all he hath to buy it.

Whosoeuer therfore laboureth to pur­chase this precious pearle; whosoeuer hungreth after this heauenly Manna, as well in time of aduersitie, as in time of prosperity; and carefully, diligently, and attentiuely heare it, may to their comfort assure themselues, that they haue an vn­doubted signe of their election. But yet it may be that sometimes we find no heart in the word, but that it is irksome to vs; which if we feele at any time, let vs not exclude our selues from hearing; for of­tentimes a stomacke is gotten by eating. As in generall diseases of the body (as in an ague) all parts are weak, but principally the stomacke, yet it receiueth a medicine, and the disease it selfe prouoketh vs to that: so if Sathan haue weakened thy sto­macke [Page 88] so much that thou hast no list to heare the word, let this dulnes be so farre from discouraging thee, as it make thee to lust and desire the more after it: For as a mans desire to any thing groweth or de­creaseth, so doth his endeauour and la­bour for the meanes: if thy desire be strong, then shall not light occasions withdraw thee from the meanes, but it must be a violent occasion and let, that shall stoppe the passage of thine en­deauour, and seeking after the meanes. This is a worthy rule to examine our loue to Gods word by.

Therefore let vs remember with what desire and affection we haue heard the word of God, how precious it hath it bin vnto vs, aboue gold, euen the fine gold, how sweete and comfortable, euen a­boue the honie and the honie combe: and remember further with what fruit of knowledge in the will of God, increase of faith in his promises, purpose and en­deauour of amendment of life, we haue oftentimes heard the same: and in the truth of these things we may comfort our selues.

But presumption ariseth not from the [Page 89] vse of these meanes, but from carnall se­curitie: for the lesse that the presumptu­ous man heareth the word, and perfor­meth the duties of Gods seruice, the more confidently doth he boast of his faith and full assurance.

Therfore they who had rather be with­out the meanes of saluation, then enioy them, who will bee at no cost to obtaine them, nor forgoe any pleasure or commo­dity, that they may haue them, nor when they heare, are affected with any delight, these can haue no assurance of their ele­ction and saluation.

Thirdly, the testimonie of the spirit is 3 much assaulted with doubting in all Gods children, against which we must striue by faith, till this mortall flesh be swallowed vp of immortalitie.

Christ reprehended Peter for his doubting, Matth. 14.31. the virgin Mary doubted, Luk. 1.34. how can this thing be? This is the lot of all the members of Christ, they totter and reele in their soules. Looke vpon Abraham the father of the faithful, distrusting the prouidence of God, as vnwilling to defend him and his wife from Pharaoh and Abimelech, [Page 90] vnlesse shee would follow that way that seemed best to him; namely to call him brother, and her selfe sister, (Gen. 12.20.) Looke vpon Moses also when he was cal­led to goe to Pharaoh, Exod. 3.11. &c. who am I that should goe vnto Pharaoh, &c. And Samuel when he was willed to a­noynt Dauid, feared the malice of Saul, 1. Sam. 16.2.

Vndoubtedly he that neuer doubted, neuer beleeued; for whosoeuer in truth beleeueth, feeleth sometimes doubtings and wauerings of his faith. Euen as the sound body feeleth oftentimes the grud­gings of a feauer and distemperature of the body, which if he had not health, he could neuer find and feele: so the faithfull soule feeleth often-times sundry doub­tings, which if his faith were not found, he could not discerne: for we feele not corruption by corruption, because when the strong man possesseth the house, all things are in peace, Luk. 11.21.22. but we perceiue corruption in vs by a contra­rie grace of Gods spirit.

But yet though our faith be assaulted with doubtings, it may be certaine. The fun alwaies shineth in the firmament, [Page 91] though the clouds haue couered it, and the light appeare not: the tree hath life in it, though it be not in winter discerned; so faith hath some assurance and perswa­sion, though it bee shaken with doub­tings, and assaulted with temptations.

And when we feele those doubtings and imperfections, let vs set against them the certainty of Gods truth, and the vn­changeablenes of Gods promises; let vs drawe neere to the holy Sacraments, and thereby seeke strength and increase of faith.

But presumption is confident, and ne­uer doubteth nor maketh any question of his election and saluation, but saith with the proud Pharisie, Luk. 18.11. I was ne­uer troubled (I thanke God) as touching my election and saluation, as many are, but alwaies haue had a strong beleife that I am in Gods loue, and shall vndoubtedly be saued. This is the voyce of presumpti­on, and not that testimonie of Gods spi­rit.

Fourthly, those who haue the testimo­ny 4 of the spirit of God, haue the spirit of praier & supplication; which is so called, Zach. 12.10. because it stirreth vp the [Page 92] heart and maketh it fit to pray, Rom. 8.26. For imploring God grace, and mer­cie, is a notable fruit of Gods spirit wor­king in vs: as is further declared (Rom. 8.16. in that hee saith) that the spirit ma­keth vs crie Abba, father; vnto whom we pray so earnestly with groans and sighes, as though a man would euen fill heauen and earth with the cry, not of his lipps, but of his heart, touched with sense and feeling of his manifold sinnes and offen­ces.

Obiect. Bellarmine saith, there be ma­ny that cal God their father, as the Iewes, Iob. 8.41. and many say in the Lords prayer, O our father, who are not assured that they are the sonnes of God.

Ans. Touching the calling of God fa­ther, we must vnderstand, that the Apostle speaketh not of crying with the mouth, but of a crying in the heart, Gal. 4.6. for though all vtter the same voyce, yet it is not the same crying. The vncleane spirit made the same confession of Christ out­wardly, Mat. 5.7. acknowledging him to be the sonne of God, which Peter did make, Math. 16.16. yet were not both one kind of confession; the beleife in the [Page 93] heart which was in Peter, did discerne their confessions, and distinguish them ei­ther from other.

Supplication and prayer is an ordinary worke of the holy Ghost in all that be­leeue, Rom. 10.14. and he that would know whether he hath the spirit truly dwelling in his heart, shall know it by this: Rom. 10.13. whosoeuer calleth vp­on the name of the Lord shall be saued. But this praier must be the praier of faith, Iam. 1.5. Matth. 21.22. and must be per­formed in spirit and in truth, 1. Ioh. 4.24. and not with deceitfull lippes: for it is to no purpose to draw neare vnto God with our mouthes, if our hearts be farre from him, Isa. 29.13.

But presumption is in them that vse not to call vpon the name of God, which is a signe of a worker of iniquirie, Psal. 14.4. Psal. 53.4. who happily I denie not to speake prayers, but doe not pray in­deed: whose speaking prayers God an­swereth with silence, Isa. 1.15.

Fiftly, that which maketh the last diffe­rence 5 betweene the testimonie of the spi­rit, and the illusion of Sathan, is the affe­ction of a dutifull child of God: a most [Page 94] louing father, and his affection makes a man stand in feare of the Maiesty of God wheresoeuer hee is, and to make consci­ence of euery euill way.

The wise man saith, Pro. 28.14. that blessed is the man, that feareth alwaies; where hee doth not vnderstand a doubt­ful feare of our election, but a feare to sin, and a conscionable care to avoide those things which are displeasing to Gods sight: Phil. 2.12. make an ende of your owne saluation with feare and trembling: here also the Apostle would not haue vs feare, least we should be reiected and damned, after we are truly commited vn­to God, but least we fall into sinne, and neglect that duty, which we owe to our heauenly father.

There 1 is a twofold feare mentioned in Scripture: the first is a seruile feare, pro­ceeding from incredulity, whereby men feare God as an angry iudge, who is rea­dy to inflict vpon them these punish­mēts which by their sins they haue deser­ued. 2 The other is a sonne-like feare, which is a fruite of faith, whereby we doe not feare God, as an angry iudge, but as a gra­tious father, whose displeasure we would [Page 95] by no meanes incurre; not because wee feare so much his wrath, as because we would not do any thing which might cause him to looke vpon vs with a frow­ning countenance. And this sonne-like feare is commended vnto vs in the Scrip­tures, as being a part of the honour and seruice which we owe vnto God; Mal. 1.6. If I be a Master, where is my feare? Psal. 2.11. serue the Lord in feare: 1. Pet. 1.17. passe the time of your dwelling here in feare: Psal. 112.1. blessed is the man that feareth the Lord. But presumption feareth not to displease God: Pro. 28.14. he that hardneth his heart shall fall into euill; here feare is opposed to carnall se­curity, and hardnes of heart: for he that hardneth his heart and continueth in car­nall security, runneth headlong into the euill of sinne, and consequently of euer­lasting damnation.

Thirdly, by what meanes the Spirit 3 giueth testimonie.

The means by which the spirit of God giueth a particular testimonie to a mans conscience of his adoption, comes now to be considered.

The meanes are three, 1. the word: 2. the Sacraments: 3. the fruits of the spirit.

1. First, the word of God.

As touching the word of God, the spi­rit of God perswadeth vs of our adoption and saluation, with arguments grounded vpon Gods word. To which purpose here is required a double worke; the first of the Minister, the second of the hearer.

The Minister is to make particuler ap­plication of the word generally preached to the speciall vse of the hearer: As Na­than to Dauid, 2. Sam. 12.7. thou art the man; as Peter to the Iewes, Act. 2.23. him haue you taken by the hands of the wick­ed, &c. And as all the prophets to their seuerall peoples, to whom they were sent.

The Minister speaketh not to euery man particularly one by one, but speak­ing to the assembly, he laboureth to make euery man conceiue of that, that is spoken as particularly spoken to himselfe: for the word of God being as a proclamation in writing common to all, the Minister is as the voice of the crier, to giue notice to that congregation, that the matter of the proclamation concerneth them and e­uery of them, saying in effect, Act. 13.26. [Page 97] Ye men and brethren children of the ge­neration of Abraham, and whosoeuer a­mong you feareth God, to you is this word of saluation sent: Act. 3.26. First, vnto you hath God raised vp his sonne Iesus, and him he hath sent to blesse you, in turning euery one of you from your in­iquities. Now as euery man conceiueth the proclamation (according to the mat­ter of it,) no lesse to concerne him, then as if it had beene spoken in particular to him alone: so doth the Minister leaue e­uery man a like interessed in the message of saluation; what he saith to all in gene­rall, that be saith in part to euery man; what to beleeuers, to euery beleeuer; what to sinners, to euery sinner. Therfore sometimes he speaketh in the singular number, as to one, that it may be known that he speaketh to any or euery one: E­phes. 5.14. Awake thou that sleepest, and stand vp from the dead, and Christ shall giue thee light: Rom. 10.9. If thou shalt confesse with thy mouth the Lord Iesus, and shalt beleeue in thine heart that God raised him vp from the dead, thou shalt be saued, euen thou, or thou, or whosoe­uer it be amongst you.

Thus God gaue his law to all Israel, speaking to all as if he had spoken namely and particularly to euery one: Exod. 20.34.7. thou shalt haue no other Gods be­fore me, &c. euery man was therein to conceiue that he himselfe was spoken to.

Againe, the Minister sometimes hath occasion to speake to some one man a­lone, and then he himselfe out of the ge­nerall, deduceth a particular to that one man: as Paul doth to the Iaylor, Act. 16.31. beleeue thou in the Lord Iesus Christ, and thou shalt be saued: for by what au­thority Paul spake this to the Iaylor, by the same authoritie doth the Minister in like case, speake the same to any other man in particular. Thus much of the Mi­nisters application: The next is the work of the hearer, who is to apply the word of God, heard by him, to himselfe.

A man duely hearing the word of God, and receiuing it not as the word of the Minister, 1. Thes. 2.13. not as the word of man, but as it is in deed, the word of God, and accordingly beleeuing in it as from God: for that which he beleeueth generally, frameth a conclusion to be be­leeued particularly as touching himselfe. [Page 99] The Minister saith, Luk. 13.3. except you repent, you shal perish; this he beleeueth, and therfore concludes as touching him­selfe; except I repent, I shall perish. The Minister saith, Mar. 1.15. Cap. 16.15.16. Repent and beleeue the Gospel, and you shalbe saued; this he beleeueth, and there­fore concludes also of himselfe, if I repent and beleeue the Gospel, I shall be saued. This whether spoken publikely or priuat­ly, the conscience of the hearer appre­hendeth this, he beleeueth it, and therein beleeueth not onely the Minister, but the word of Christ; and because he beleeueth in Iesus Christ, and that by the word of Christ, that whosoeuer beleeueth in him shalbe saued, therefore he beleeueth that himselfe shalbe saued.

Thus then, both the Minister maketh such application to the hearer, & the hea­rer againe doth applie the same to him­selfe, as hath bin shewed, and then the ho­ly Ghost openeth our deafe eares, Psal. 40.6. inlighteneth our blind vnderstan­dings, Luk. 24.45. and powerfully incli­neth our will, Psal. 119.36. so that we may attentiuely heare, truly vnderstand, and be fully assured of the truth, which is [Page 100] deliuered, not onely in respect of the whole Church, but also in respect of our selues particularly; so as we may say, I be­leeue that these promises of God are true, and that they belong to all the faithfull, and consequently vnto me, who do be­leeue, and am assured of them: 1. Tim. 1.15. so did Paul say, that Iesus Christ was come into the world to saue sinners, whereof I am cheife.

But yet when we haue the word prea­ched, the holy Ghost doth not alwaies presently beget faith and repentance in Gods children; for howsoeuer Paul plant, and Apollos water, yet God alone gi­ueth the increase, 1. Cor. 3.6. so that the word may long sound in our eares, before it peirce the heart, and beget faith in vs, vnlesse the Lord open our hearts and make the seed of his word fruitfull. And though we doe after not long hearing of, the word, feele this assurāce of Gods loue and our election; yet let vs not giue ouer the hearing of the word, but expect Gods blessing vpon it, and waite his pleasure, with prayer for his grace, assuring our selues that in the end he wil make this his owne ordinance effectuall; whereas those [Page 101] who neglect and contemne Gods word, haue no such assurance, because it is the meanes and instrument, which is ordai­ned of God for this purpose, without which the spirit of God doth not ordina­rily beget faith, or any sauing grace in vs. So then, the principall agent and begin­ner hereof is the holy Ghost, enlightning the minde and conscience with spirituall and diuine light: but the instrument to this action is the ministery of the Gospel; whereby the word of life is applied in the name of God, to the person of euery be­leeuer.

And this is done and conceiued in a forme of reasoning, framed in the minde by the holy Ghost, applying the promises of the Gospel in this manner;

Euery one that beleeueth in Christ, is the child of God, Rom. 8.30. and inheri­tour of the kingdome of heauen. This proposition is made by the minister of the word in the publike congregation, and it is nothing else, but the promise of eter­nall life applyed to the particular hearer: now while the hearers of Gods word giue themselues to meditate, and consi­der of the same promise, comes the spirit [Page 102] of God, and enlightens the eyes, and o­peneth the heart, and giueth them power both to will to beleeue, and to beleeue indeede; so as a man shall with freedome of spirit make an assumption, saying, but I beleeue in Christ, I renounce my selfe, and all my ioy & comfort is in him; (flesh and blood cannot say this, Matth. 16.17. it is the operation of the holy Ghost) cap. 11.25. hence ariseth this blessed conclu­sion, which is the testimonie of the spirit, Therefore I am the child of God.

Thus doth Paul conclude, 1. Tim. 1.15. This is a true saying, and by all means worthy to be receiued, that Iesus Christ came into the world to saue sinners, whereof I am cheife: and propoundeth himselfe herein an example, ver. 16. to all that shall in time to come beleeue vnto e­ternall life. Thus when God saith, Psal. 27.8. Seeke my face, the faithfull soule an­swereth, Thy face will I seeke: when God saith, Zach. 13.9. Thou art my peo­ple; the answer is againe, Thou art the Lord my God: when Christ saith, Mar. 9.22. If thou beleeue, all things are possible to him that beleeueth; the answer is, I be­leeue, Lord helpe my vnbeleefe.

Thus therefore to apply the word of the Gospel, is the fruit and effect of the spirit of adoption, which beareth witnesse to our spirits that we are the sonnes of God, Rom. 8.16. our owne heart could not mi­nister such comfort vnto vs, but God gi­ueth vs an heart to hearken to the voice of Christ, deliuered by the minister out of the Gospel. Seeing then the spirit of God doth witnesse by the word vnto vs, our adoption and saluation, wee may learne from hence, that it is a work of a man out of Christ, not to beleeue and assent vnto the word, but rather to stand out in rea­soning against the euidence of it. For so soone as a man is become the sheepe of Christ, he cannot but presently heare his voiyce; Ioh. 10.27. and hence Christ himselfe prooueth the carping Pharisies not to be of God, because they could not abide to here his sayings, Ioh. 8.43. and who be they to whom the Gospel is hid? euen they that perish, 2. Cor. 4.3. If wee would haue a more euident marke to know them by, it is added, that they bee such, as the eies of whose minds the God of the world hath blinded; wherein is im­plied a wilfull ioyning with Sathan to [Page 104] blind themselues further by their malice, then they were by corrupted nature.

And if we would looke to our congre­gations, we shall finde many such of whō we may pronounce that which Steuen did of the Iewes, that they were resisters of the holy Ghost, Act. 7.51. For whose words be these to the Almightie, Iob 21.14. Depart from vs, wee will not the knowledge of thy wayes; and who is the Almightie that we should serue him? For how many of vs that heare the word, re­ceiue the Sacraments, and goe for Chri­stians, resolue yet not to leaue our sinnes, till they leaue vs? nay the obstinate pur­pose of our hearts, is to practise them stil; and what is this els, but with the seruants in the parable, Luk. 19.14. to send word into a farre countrie after the king, that we will not haue him to rule ouer vs, but our owne lusts shall still prescribe lawes vnto vs?

Againe, when wee call the people as God did his, Ier. 6.16. to walke in the old way, that they may finde rest to their soules: they answer vs with them, we will not walke in that way; the sound of the thing, if not of the voyce, speaketh: for [Page 105] we call from swearing, lying, couetousnes which is idolatrie, from Sabboth-brea­king, intemperance, drinkings, vncleane­nesse, but mens hearts speake by their liues, we will sweare, we will drinke to drunkennesse, the waies of God are too straight and vnequall, a man had as good be in prison, as in these bonds.

By these instances wee may see as in a glasse, that many are tainted (amongst vs) with this fearefull sinne of rising vp, and reasoning against that light which shi­neth out in the word.

Secondly, the Sacraments.

The second meanes, whereby the spi­rit giueth vs assurance of our saluation, is in the frequent vse of the sacraments, which are added to the couenant of grace as seales, not to confirme Gods promises in themselues, which are so vndoubtedly true that they need no confirmation; but to strengthen our faith in this assurance, that they belong particularly vnto vs. For whereas in the word the promises of life and saluation are generally propoun­ded to all beleeuers, in the vse of the Sa­craments, they are particularly applied [Page 106] to euery worthy receiuer, to the end, that doubting being remoued, they may be certainely assured, that all the promises of the Gospel doe belong particularly to themselues. To this end, the Sacrament of circumcision is called the seale of the righteousnes of faith, Rom. 4.11. because thereby, as by a seale, Abraham was con­firmed in the truth of Gods promises, and assured that the righteousnes of faith, that is, the righteousnes of Christ, did belong vnto him.

And answerable to this Sacrament is Baptisme; wherein Christ and all the gratious promises of life, and saluation, made in him, are particularly applied to the party baptized; Gal. 3.27. all that are baptised into Christ haue put on Christ. The Apostle here compareth Christ to a garment, which by the hand of faith is put on by euery particular beleeuer.

So in the administration of the Lords supper, the bread and wine is particularly deliuered vnto all the communicants, to signifie vnto them, that euery one who stretcheth forth the hand of faith, doth receiue Christ and all his benefits, where­by his soule is nourished vnto euerla­sting [Page 107] life.

Whosoeuer therefore hath faith, he may be assured, that he receiueth Christ, he may be assured of his election and sal­uation, Ioh. 1.12. (for to as many as re­ceiued him, he giueth power to be the sonnes of God.) And who are these? euen those that beleeue in his name, Ioh. 6.54. and whosoeuer eats his flesh, and drinks his blood, hath eternall life.

Now if we would know how we feed vpon him, it is by the mouth of faith, Ioh. 6.47. The spirit of God properly (as the efficient cause) doth seale, (Eph. 4.30.) because it doth confirme and stablish in our hearts the assurance of euerlasting life and saluation by his testimony: but it doth it by the ministery of the word and sacraments: so that in one blessing of God, we may consider three things: 1. that by his word God teacheth vs: 2. by his sacraments be confirmeth vs: 3. by the holy Ghost he illuminateth our minds, that the word and sacraments may ob­taine their proper end and vse.

When God giues any blessing to man, it is to be receiued by man, as God gi­ueth it; now God giueth Christ, or at the [Page 108] least offreth him, not generally to man­kind, but to the seuerall and particular members of the church. In the Lords sup­per (as in euery sacrament,) there is a re­lation or analogie betweene the outward signes, and the thing signified. The acti­on of the Minister giuing the bread and wine, representing Gods action, in giuing Christ with his benefits to the particular communicants: Againe, the action of re­ceiuing the bread and the wine seuerally, representeth another spirituall action of the beleeuing heart, which applieth Christ vnto it selfe for the pardon of sin, and life euerlasting.

So then, thus speaketh the spirit to the soule; as sure as the water doth wash away the filth of thy body, so doth the blood of Christ sprinkled vpon thy soule by the hand of faith, and by the holy Ghost, wash thee from all thy sinnes, Ioh. 1.7. And as the bread and wine receiued into into thy body, becommeth wholly thine, so thy beleeuing soule receiueth withall Iesus Christ, with his death and righte­ousnes, to the sealing vp of thy euerla­sting saluation. For 1. Cor. 1.30. Christ is made of God vnto vs wisedome, righte­ousnes, [Page 109] &c. 2. Cor. 5.21. aad he was made sinne, that knew no sinne, that we should be made the righteousnes of God in him.

And thus we haue heard the testimony of the spirit in the vse of the sacraments.

Thirdly, the fruits of the spirit.

A third meanes wherby we may be as­sured that Gods spirit witnesseth vnto vs our election and saluation, are the fruits and effects of the spirit: for the effects ar­gue the cause, as the cause the effects; and that not onely in natuaall things, but also in those which are supernaturall and spirituall: neither are these fruits bare signes onely of our election and saluati­on, but also manifest seales, which by their plaine impression doe euidently assure vs thereof.

First, God knoweth vs, Ioh. 10.27. and 1 then by the light of this knowledge communicated vnto vs, he enlig [...]neth our hearts with the true knowledge of him­selfe: as the sunne first lightneth the eyes, and by this light we see the sunne it selfe. And this Christ sheweth, Ioh. 10.14. where first he saith, he knows his sheepe; [Page 110] and then he addeth, that he is also known of them: As if he should say, whilst I know and acknowledge them for my sheepe, hereby I bring to passe that they in like manner, by the participation of this my light and knowledge, doe ac­knowledge me for their true pastor: If therefore we know and acknowledge God for our gracious God, and louing father in Christ, (Ioh. 6.69. wee know and beleeue, saith Peter, &c.) it is a most certaine signe that he also by his fore­knowledge doth know and acknowledg vs for his children; but if we remaine in our ignorance, without the knowledge of God, and his sonne Christ, we can ga­ther no assurance of our election and sal­uation: Ioh. 17.3. For this is eternall life, to knowe thee to be the true God, and him whom thou hast sent Iesus Christ.

Secondly, 2 God hath eternally loued vs in Christ: (Thou hast loued them, Ier. 31. 3. with an euerlasting loue,) and hath ex­pressed this his loue, by sending his son, and giuing him to death for vs, Ioh. 3.16. 1. Ioh. 4.9. Now this loue of God hath descended vpon vs, whereby we loue him again; and this is plainly shewed, 1. Ioh. 4. [Page 111] 19. where it is said, we loue God, because he loued vs first: and hence it is, that the Apostle saith, ver. 7. that loue commeth of God, because we can neither loue God nor our neighbour aright, till his loue to­wards vs, hauing shined vpon vs, hath in­flamed our hearts. So also S. Paul saith, Rom. 5.5. that the loue of God is shed a­broad in our hearts, by the holy Ghost, which is giuen vnto vs; whereby loue to­wards God is begotten in vs. If therfore the loue of God be in our hearts, we may be assured, that it is made by the seale of his loue towards vs.

And thus we haue heard of a second ef­fect of the spirit, which may put vs out of all doubt of Gods loue towards vs: But for our further satisfaction, let vs consi­der the speciall fruits of the spirit: as he best knoweth that he hath life, which fee­leth it in himselfe; so he best knoweth that he hath the spirit of God, that fee­leth the spirit working in him.

Now the fruits of the spirit are set downe, Gal. 5.22.23. as followeth,

First, loue respecteth both God and 1 man. And the loue which respecteth God sheweth it selfe in two things: First, when [Page 112] a mans heart is set and disposed to seeke the honour and glory of God in all things: Secondly, when a man by all meanes endeauours himselfe to please God in euery thing, counting it a most miserable estate to liue in the displeasure of God: by these two signes, a man may know whether he loue God or no.

Our loue to man is a fruite of this loue to God; for God is to be loued for him­selfe, and man is loued for God. This loue must be in deed and in truth, 1. Ioh. 3.18. and is shewed in giuing and forgiuing, as afterward shall more appeare.

Secondly, 2 ioy, which is, when a man is glad at the good of his neighbour, as at his owne good; and this is an especiall worke of the holy Ghost: Rom. 12.15. Reioyce with them that reioyce. This was the the practise of the neighbours of Zacharias and Elizabeth when Iohn Bap­tist was borne, Luk. 1.58. And thus did the faithfull for the conuersion of the Gentiles, Act. 11.18.

Thirdly, 3 peace, which is nothing else but concord, which must be kept in an holy manner withall men, both good and bad, so farre foorth as can be, Rom. 12. [Page 113] 18. The prophet Esay speaking of the Gospel saith, c. 11.6. that the wolfe shall dwell with the lambe, and the Leopard shalbe with the kidde, &c. shewing here­by that in the estate of grace, Christians (howsoeuer by nature cruell) shall be­come gentle, and liue peaceable with all men, yea with those that hate peace, so farre forth as may stand with a good con­science, Psal. 120.7.

Fourthly, long suffering, whose pro­pertie is to keep the affection of anger in moderation and compasse. It standeth in two points: first, when a man deferreth his anger; and is hardly brought to it: se­condly, when beeing angrie, hee stayeth the whotnesse of that affection, Colos. 3.12.13.

Fiftly, gentlenesse, whereby a man be­haueth and sheweth himselfe friendly and courteous to euerie man: Tit. 3.2. Sof [...], shewing all meekenesse to all men. This gentlenesse stands in three points: first, to speake to euerie man friendly and louing­ly: secondly, to salute friendly and cour­teously: thirdly, to be readie vpon any oc­casion to giue reuerence, and honour to euery man in his place.

Sixtly, 6 goodnesse; which is when a man is ready to doe good, and become seruiceable in his calling to all men, at all times, vpon all occasions; as Iob 29.15.16. I was the eyes to the blind, I was the feete to the lame, I was a father vnto the weake, &c. Thus did Paul, 1. Cor. 9.22. To the weake I became as weake, that I may winne the weak; I am made all things to all men, &c. The godly are trees of righteousnesse, Isa. 61.3. bearing fruite not for themselues, but for others; and therefore Paul saith, By loue serue one an other.

Seuenthly, 7 faith or fidelity; which stan­deth in these two duties; first, to make conscience of a lie, and to speake euerie thing whereof we speake, as we thinke it is, and not to speake one thing, and think an other: secondly, to keep and performe the promise which thou hast made, beeing lawfull and good.

Eightly, 8 meekenesse; which is a nota­ble grace of God, when a man prouoked by iniuries, doth neither intend not en­terprize the requitall of the same. This meekenesse was in Dauid, who when hee was cast out of his kingdome, and scour­ged [Page 115] with the rayling of Shemei, was not mooued vnto wrath, but did Christianly beare his reuilings, and did forbid any to hurt him, 2. Sam. 16.10. The same vertue was in Moses, Numb. 12.3. of whom it is recorded, that he was a verie meeke man, aboue all the men that were vpon the earth. And the like grace was in Paul, Rom. 9.3. who notwithstanding the Iewes sought to kill him, yet he wished to be separated from Christ for them.

Ninthly, temperance; whereby a man brideleth his appetite or lust, in meate, drinke, or apparell, 2. Pet. 1.6. this is a fruit of faith, and Dan. 1.8.11. practised by Daniel. Now to conclude, where these fruites of the spirit are to be found, there is also the spirit of God: for as certainely as we knowe that there is fire, because it easteth forth heate, and the sunne by ca­sting foorth his bright beames, whereby the world is lightened; and that a tree is good by the good fruits it bringeth forth; so also may we as certenly be assured, that we haue the spirit of God, when we find in our selues these effects and vndoubted fruites of the spirit.

Secondly, the Testimonie of our spirit.

Now wee are to speake of the testimo­nie of our spirit, which is the testimony of the heart and conscience, purified and sanctified in the blood of Christ.

This heart of ours testifieth two waies, 1. by inward tokens in it selfe: 2. by out­ward fruits.

Inward tokens are certaine special gra­ces of God, imprinted in the spirit, wher­by a man may certainely be assured of his adoption. These tokens are of two sorts, which respect either our sinnes past, pre­sent, or to come; or else, Gods mercies in Christ.

First, godly sorrowe for sinne.

The first signe in our spirit which con­cerneth sins past, is godly sorrow; which is a paine and pricking in the heart, ari­sing from the displeasure of God, from the acknowledgement and sense of sinne, and feare of the iust damnation which fol­loweth after the same; as is expressed in those conuerts, Act. 2.27. whose hearts were pricked. So Dauid complaineth, Psal. 119.28. that his soule melted with [Page 117] heauinesse: and the Prophet Habacuk, cap. 3.16. when hee heard Gods iudge­ments, his belly trembled.

This inward sorrow is expressed, some­times in the consumption of the bodie; Iob. 30.30. my bones are burnt with heat. Dauid complaineth, that his raynes are full of burning, Psal. 38.7. that his moy­sture is turned into the drought of sum­mer, Psal. 32.4. As in the heat of summer all things are parcht and dried, so our na­turall moisture, which should moisten and cheere the bodie, is consumed by the an­ger of God: Iob. 6.4. The arrowes of the Almightie were in him, and the venome of them did drinke vp his spirit: Prouerb. 17.22. a sorrowfull spirit drieth vp the bones.

Now this inward consumption is be­wrayed: 1. In the decay of strength, Psal. 38.8. I am weakened, and sore broken: Iob. 6.13. my strength is taken from me: Psal. 22.14. All my bones are out of ioint, my strength is dried vp like a potsheard. 2. In the hollownesse and dimnesse of the sight of the eyes: Psal. 38.10. The light of mine eies, euen they are not mine owne; that is, my sight faileth me for ve­rie [Page 118] sorrowe: for as the eyes of a man that reioyceth doe more peircingly behold the light, because the spirits are then more pure; so darkenes doth as it were dazle the eyes of a sorrowfull man, and darkeneth them, because the spirits are then more grosse and feeble.

Secondly, sometimes in teares: Matth. 26.75. Peter wept bitterly: the sinner washed Christs feet with her teares, Luk. 7.37. the Church, Lament. 2.11. saith, her eyes failed with teares.

Thirdly, sometimes in a heauie and sad gesture, with apparell answerable: Psal. 38.6. I goe mourning all the day long. The Publican, Luk. 18.13. would not lift vp so much as his eyes to heauen: in this condition, men cloathed themselues with sackecloth, and couered their heads with ashes: So did Ahab in his counterfeit re­pentance, 1. Kin. 21.27. and so did the Nineuites, Ion. 3.5. and this custome is not misliked by Christ, Matth. 11.21. who saith, that if the great works which were done in Corazin and Bethsaida, had beene done in Tyrus and Sidon, they had repented long agoe in sackecloth and ashes.

Fourthly, sometimes they grone grie­uously, and crie vehemently, desiring a­boue all things reconciliation with God in Christ, for the pardon of their sinnes: Psal. 38.8. I roare for the verie griefe of my heart: v. 9. and sigh: Psal. 32.3. I roa­red all the day long.

Quest. Whether haue all men that are humbled, the like measure of sorrow?

Answ. No; but some more, some lesse: Iob (c. 6.2.3.) felt the hand of God in ex­ceeding great measure, when he cried, O that my griefe were well waighed, &c. the same did Hezekias, when on his sicke bed he said, Isa. 38.13, 14. O Lord, it hath oppressed mee; comfort me. Contrari­wise the theife vpon the crosse, Luk. 23.40. and Lydia, Act. 16.14. in their con­uersions, neuer felt any such measure of griefe: and of Lydia it is said, that presen­ly vpon the Lords opening her heart, she entertained Paul and Silas cheerefully in­to her house; which shee could not haue done, if shee had beene pressed downe with any great measure of sorrow. Nei­ther are we to dislike our selues, because wee are not so much humbled as we see some others; for God in his great wise­dome [Page 120] giueth to euery one which are to be saued, that which is conuenient for their estate: and it is often seene in a fe­stred sore, that the corruption is let out, as well with the pricking of a small pin, as with the wide launce of a rasor: for re­mission of sinnes depends not vpon the greatnesse, sufficiencie, and worth of our sorrowe; but vpon the obedience and sa­tisfaction of Christ, apprehended by faith.

Further, vpon feeling of this sorrowe, two things are to be obserued;

First, all men must look that it be sound­ly and seriously wrought in their hearts: for as men vse to breake hard stones into many small peices, and not into dust; so must the feeling of Gods anger for sinne, breake the heart of a poore sinner. This sorrowe must not be felt for a brunt, but verie often before the ende of a mans life. Dauid from his youth, Psal. 88.15.16. Ia­cob wrastled, and halted vpon his thigh, Gen. 32.25.31. The Paschal lambe must be eaten with sowre herbes, Exod. 12.8. to signifie, that they which will bee free from the wrath of God by Iesus Christ, must feele continually the smart of their [Page 121] owne sinnes.

Secondly, all men must take heed, least 2 when they are touched for their sinnes, they besnare not their owne consciences, for if their sorrowe bee somewhat ouer-sharpe, they shall see themselues euen brought to the gates of hell, and feele the pangs of death; and when they are in this perplexitie, they shall find it a most hard matter to bee freed from it, without the marueilous power of Christ: for many haue neuer escaped that haue beene thus plunged in distresse, as Cain, Saul, Iudas, Achitophel. And Pauls counsell is to bee followed for the moderating of this sor­row; that is, that such are to be comfor­ted, 2. Cor. 2.6, 7. and further he giueth a sufficient reason, v. 11. least Sathan should circumuent vs.

There is a twofold sorrow for sinne: 1. Legall and worldly: 2. Euangelicall and godly.

First, a legall sorrow for sinne, is in re­spect of the punishment, & it is wrought by the law.

Secondly, Euangelicall sorrow is sor­row for sinne, because it is sinne; this in­deed is a grace of God, but it is not [Page 122] wrought by the lawe, but by the preach­ing of mercy and reconciliation, and it followes in vs vpon the apprehension of Gods mercie by faith. Now the nature of this sorrow may bee better conceiued, if we compare it with worldly sorrowe.

1. First, worldly sorrow springs of sinne, and it is nothing else but the horrour of conscience, & apprehension of the wrath of God for the same: Now godly sorrow indeed may be occasioned by our sinnes, but it springs properly of the apprehensi­on of the grace and goodnesse of God in Christ Iesus.

2. Worldly sorrow is a griefe for sinne onely in respect of the punishment; but godly sorrow is a liuely touch, and griefe of heart for sinne, because it is sin, though there were no punishment for it.

3. This is godly sorrowe, when wee loue the man that rebuketh vs; Act. 2.37. and reuerence the word the more, beeing by it reprooued in our conscience; but this is worldly sorrowe, when we hate him that reprooueth in the gate.

4. If our sorrow doe driue vs to pray­er, or to seeke comfort in the word of God, it is good: but when men to put a­way [Page 123] sorrowe, will go sleepe, will go play, will goe sport themselues, get to merry companie, and passe away the time, and so as they tearme it, will purge and driue a­way the rage of melancholie: neuer go to preacher, neuer respect praier, nor seeke comfort in the word of God: this sorrow is not good.

To conclude, S. Paul hath set downe seuen signes whereby this godly sorrow may be discerned, 2. Cor. 7.10.11. which when a man doth find in himselfe, he hath no doubt godly sorrow in him.

Signes of godly sorrowe.

A care to avoide euill past, and not to 1 sinne againe: Ioh. 5.14. Sinne no more, least a worse thing come vnto thee: And this care is signified by watching and waking, Apoc. 2.2.3.

A confession of our sinnes to God, and 2 comdemning our selues for them. Thus the prophet taught the people, Hos. 14.2. to say, Take away all iniquitie, &c. and holy Daniel, the man beloued of God, did practise this rule, Dan. 9.18.19. O God incline thine eare, open thine eyes, and behold, &c. Prou. 28.13. he that confesseth his sinnes, and forsaketh them, [Page 124] shall haue mercie.

A 3 holy and inward anger against our selues, for our carelesnes in looking to our owne wayes: Iob. 42.6. I abhorre my selfe. So when Ephraim repented, this was the effect of her repentance, Ier. 31.19. She smote vpon her thigh.

A 4 feare not so much of Gods iudge­ments, as least we fall into the same sinnes againe, and so offend our mercifull father: Psal. 130.4. with thee is mercie, that thou mayst be feared: Pro. 28.14. blessed is the man that feareth alwaies.

A 5 desire euer after to please God with all our hearts; This was in Dauid, Psal. 119.11. I haue hid thy promise in my heart, that I might not sinne against thee: ver. 60. I made hast, and delayed not to keepe thy commandements: ver. 106. I haue sworne and will performe it, that I will keepe thy righteous iudgements: ver. 5. O that my waies were directed to keepe thy statutes!

A 6 zeale for Gods glorie and worship, with sorrow for the defect in himselfe and others: Apoc. 3.19. zeale and repen­tance are coupled as the cause and effect. This zeale was in Dauid, Psal. 119.139. [Page 125] my zeale hath euen cōsumed me: ver. 135. I saw the transgressors, and was greiued, because they kept nor thy word: ver. 136. mine eyes gush out with riuers of water, because they keepe not thy law.

A reuenge, or punishing of our selues, 7 for our offences committed against God: which is, when we denie some things vn­to our selues, to free vs thereby from sin, which otherwise we might vse lawfully for our comfort. Thus Dauid would not drinke, 1. Chro. 11.18.19. of the water of Bethelem: and thus hauing offended in gluttony and drunkenesse, let vs reuenge our selues by fasting and abstinence.

Now hast thou found these worthie fruites in thy selfe? then certtainly, as they said vnto Peter, Math. 26.73. that his speach bewrayed him to be a Galilean; so these gratious signes will assure thee, that thou hast sorrowed with a godly sorrow for thy sinnes.

Vnto these things I may adde the iudgement of that reuerend Diuine Mr. Grenham, whose speach was, that the oft­ner sinne, and the lesse greife, is a note of the childe of the deuill: but contrariwise, the oftner sinne, and the more greife, is [Page 126] a note of the child of God. If a man be not troubled for sinne here, it is the way to hell: if he troubled here, it is the way to heauen. And as they which haue not beene troubled, hauing had a little ioy shall haue eternall paine: so they which here haue had a little paine, shall after­ward haue euerlasting ioy, Luk. 16.25. They that are corrected here, and profi­ted by it, are afflicted of the Lord in mer­cie; but they that be vexed and amend not, receiue a token of Gods further wrath. Therefore we must not looke to feele comfort in the remission of our sins, vnlesse we also haue sorrow for commit­ing of out sinnes. For neuer were any of Gods children comforted throughly, but they were first humbled for their sinnes; Deut. 32.39. I kill and giue life, I wound and make whole, saith the Lord. For shal Christ haue his heart pricked with a speare? and shall not we haue ours pric­ked with sorrow? we can neuer without the knowledge and feeling of sorrow for our sinnes heartily long for Christ. In all their sacrifices of the law, wherein Christ was perfigured, was also manifested vn­der darke signes the contrition of the [Page 127] heart, and acknowledgement of their vn­worthines: Psal. 4.5. Tremble and sinne not, saith Dauid: where he sheweth that this is an effectuall thing to true repen­tance, to quake and tremble for feare of Gods iudgements. Therefore we must feare and humble our selues, because be­fore terror and quakeing at the iudge­ments of God, we will neuer be brought to offer our selues to Christ alone. Dauid, Psal. 32. (intituled, a Psalme of instru­ction concerning the free remission of sinnes) teacheth how we shall find the same; where he sheweth, vntill trouble of minde did driue him to God, he found no comfort. Manasses, 2. Chron. 33.12.13. which did eate the bread of sorrow, and drinke the water of griefe, vntill he had lamented and sorrowed, felt no rest nor peace in his soule. This godly sorrow is well pleasing to God: Psal. 51.18.19. the sacrifices of God are a contrite spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not dispise. Isa. 66.2. To him will I looke, euen to him that is poore, and of a contrite spirit. Matth. 9.13. I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repen­tance: not euery sinner, but that sinner [Page 128] which condemneth sinne in himselfe, and is weary and laden with his sinnes, Mal. 11.28. Christ preferreth the harlotts and publicanes, before the Pharises, Matth. 21.32. for they being pricked for their sinnes, and convicted, did sorrow. So then, Christ giueth righteousnesse to them that feele themselues sinners, ease to them which are burthened, light to them which are in darkenes, life to them which are dead, and saluation to them that condemne themselues.

To conclude, that we may the better get this holy affection of sorrow into our hearts, wee must vse all helps needfull for this purpose.

And 1 first of all, we must be carefull and conscionable hearers of the word of God, because by the power of Gods word this godly sorrow is wrought in our hearts: Heb. 4.12. for the word of God is liuely and mightie in operation, and sharper then any two edged sword. Mens affections are cold, neither are they touched and displeased with their sinnes, so long as they be in ignorance; but when the word of God peirceth into the dee­pest bottome of their heart, and telleth [Page 129] them, that they haue to doe with the Lord, then they are touched with sorrow and begin to feare, and to come to the knowledge and feeling of that, whereof before they were ignorant. Ioh. 16.8. For he reproueth the world of sinne: that is, the spirit of God by the word awaketh our consciences, that those sinnes which before were hid, should be made mani­fest. It was a good while before Dauid o­penly confessed his cruell sinnes to Na­than, or to God, neither did he find com­fort of conscience vntill he had thus con­fessed, 2. Sam. 12. Iosephs brethren were thirteene yeares, and neuer remembred their sinne, vntill after such time as the Lord laide it out before them, Gen. 42.21. The woman of Samaria was pleasant, and iested with our Sauiour Christ, vntill her sinnes were opened, and then she be­ganne to answere with more reuerence: for vntill she was willed to call her hus­band, she thought all was safe; but after she was told she had played the Adultres, she acknowledged him that he was a pro­phet. The Iewes cared not for the Apo­stles, nor made any conscience of their sinnes; but after they had heard Peter [Page 130] preaching against their sinnes, then they left off mocking, & were pricked in their hearts, Act. 2.37. Paul, 1. Cor. 14.24.25. saith, If all doe prophesie, and there come in one that beleeueth not, or one vnlearned, he is rebuked of all men, and is iudged of all men, and so are the se­crets of the heart made manifest, and so will he fall downe on his face, and wor­ship God, and say plainely, that God is in you in deed; where he sheweth, that the word of God citeth and sommoneth our consciences before the tribunall of God, and woundeth vs with a liuely fee­ling of Gods iudgements and sense of our sinnes.

Because 2 it is a supernaturall worke, we must intreate the Lord according to his promise, Zach. 12.10. to put his spirit in­to vs, and thereby to mollifie our stony hearts, as he hath couenanted, Ezech. 36.26. Otherwise we may toile out our selues in vaine, and after a long and tedi­ous strife, be as farre, nay further from a tender and sorrowful heart then we were at the beginning. The Apostle, Iam. 4. re­quireth vs to draw neare vnto God, (to witte, by the ministerie of the word, by [Page 131] partaking of the holy Sacraments, and by faithfull and feruent praier,) and then he saith that God will draw neare vnto vs, namely in his mercie and goodnes, and in all the fruits and effects thereof. Now ver. 9. marke what the Apostle addeth: Afflict your selues; sorrow and weepe, &c. The griefe signifieth that heauines which is ioyned with a certaine shamefastnesse, as appeareth in the countenance: And if we thus begin to cast downe our selues be­fore the Lord, he will assuredly raise vs vp, ver. 10.

We must aggrauate our sinnes, by cal­ling 3 to our minds our many and great of­fences against his Maiestie, and by laying before our eyes in as particular manner as we can, our corruptions both originall and actuall, before, and since our callings: here consider how grieuous they haue beene, many of them being committed a­gainst our knowledge and consciences, yea against those promises and couenants that we haue made vnto the Lord, for the resisting and forsaking of them. Further, we are to thinke with our selues of how long continuance they haue beene, how offensiue, how pernitious and infectious [Page 132] to others: how many we haue poysoned by them, of whose recouery we are alto­gether vncertaine, some of them (for ought we know to the contrarie) being alreadie in torments in hell fire, for the sinnes whereinto we haue drawne them: and others (perchance) likely enough to goe the same way after them, if the Lord doe not in mercie preuent them by his grace. These and the like meditations, will cause our hearts (if they be not past sense and feeling) somewhat to relent.

Thus Nehemiah aggrauateth their sins that liued in his time, Neh. 6.7. &c. And so did Dauid his owne corruptions, en­deauouring in many words to make them odious in his owne eyes, Psal. 51.5. ac­knowledging that he was conceiued in sinne, (which was the fountaine of all) and brought forth in iniquitie: that God required truth in the inward parts, ver. 9. but he had beene hypocriticall, and false-hearted: that God had taught him wisedome in the secret of his heart, but he had put that out of his consideration, and cast it behind his backe, when it should haue restrained him from all those ill courses that he tooke. Thus holy Da­uid [Page 133] labours to set out the haniousnes of his offenses, that his owne soule might abhorre them, and all the world might see his vtter detestation of them.

We must not onely with patience en­dure, 4 but with earnestnes entertaine the admonitions, and reproofes of those which haue beene and are acquainted with our behauiour. For we are so full of selfe loue, that others may easily discerne more euill in vs, then we can espie in our selues: and those of all other are the best and most faithfull freinds, that will mer­cifully and wisely (though sharply and roundly) tell vs of our faults: as Nathan dealt with Dauid, when his heart had bin withdrawne by lying in sinnes, vnrepen­ted of, 2. Sam. 12. which priuate admo­nition of his (as we may obserue) was then a more effectuall meanes for his rowzing out of that dead slumber, then the publike ordinances of God: which is not spoken, as if this priuate dealing were to be preferred before Gods publike or­dinances, but that we may haue each of them in due estimation.

When we by our owne searching and 5 examination, and by the plaine and faith­full [Page 134] admonitions of others, haue found out our manifold corruptions and sinnes; then in the next place let vs inwardly and seriously meditate vpon the infinit mercy of God, in giuing vs his Sonne, and also consider the incomparable loue of the Sonne, in submitting himselfe to become a ransome for vs, 1. Ioh. 4.10. Rom. 5.8. when as we neuer intreated or desired it on our part; nay euen then when wee were children of wrath, Ephes. 2.3. and his mortall enemies, Rom. 5.10. This was the thing that caused the Iewes (Zach. 12.10.) so to mourne and lament, be­cause they considered what Christ had suffered in their behalfe. And this should breake and bruise our hearts (as it did o­thers) that we wounded and pearced Christ our Sauiour by our transgressions. For the chastisment of our peace was vp­on him, and by his stripes we were hea­led, Isa. 53.5. Looke as the blood follow­ed the nailes, that were stricken through the blessed hands and feet of Christ; so should the meditation of the crosse and passion of our Redeemer, be as it were nailes and speares to peirce vs, that our hearts might bleed for our sinnes: and we [Page 135] are not to think more hardly of the Iewes for crucifying him, then of our selues, be­cause our sinnes also crucified him. For the losse of a little worldly pelfe, how are we greeued? but seeing our transgressions are the weapons whereby the Sonne of God was crucified, let vs learne to bee greeued for them aboue all things. Thus then the meditations of the manifold suf­ferings of Christ, should cause our hearts to be dissolued into teares.

We must (as oft as fit occasion is offe­red) goe vnto the house o mourning, where we may be put in mind of our wo­ful estate, by reason of our wicked nature, and sinfull cariage in violating the Lords holy commandements. And this is com­mended as the part of a godly wise man, Eccles. 7.6. where it is said, The heart of wisemen is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. And the reason why this is a part of wise­dome is rendred, ver. 4. It is better to go into the house of mourning, then to the house of feasting; because this is the end of all men, and the liuing shall lay it to his heart.

And if others chastisments should af­fect [Page 136] vs, much more should Gods corre­cting hand moue vs; and when he smiteth vs, we should ioyne with him and take his part, and rend our owne hearts, Ioel. 2.13. and then if Gods stroaks on others, or on our selues, doe make vs greeue for our wickednesse, happie are we: for so saith Dauid, Psal. 94.12. blessed is the man, O Lord, whom thou chastisest, and teachest in thy law: and our blessed Saui­our also saith, Matth. 5.4. blessed are those that mourne, &c. Therefore when we find our selues enclined to heauines, in respect of any outward rodde that lieth on vs, or on our friends, let vs take hold of the occasion, and turne the course of our griefe an other way: which if we can performe, so making our sinnes our grea­test sorrow, Christ Iesus shalbe our grea­test ioy, and we being mourners in Sion, shalbe comforted in due season, Matth. 11.28. our iniquities shalbe couered, and not imputed, Psal. 32.1. scattered as a mist, taken a way as a cloud, Isa. 44.22. and we receiued into euerlasting happines.

Secondly, the combate betweene the flesh and the spirit.

The second token which is in regard [Page 137] of sinne present, is the combate betweene the flesh and the spirit, proper to them which are regenerate, who are partly flesh, and partly spirit. For the better conceiuing of this point, foure things must be handled.

First, the parties here by whome the 1 combate is made, are the flesh and the spi­rit. The flesh signifieth the corruption of the whole nature of man, Rom. 8.3. Col. 2.11. here called the sinnefull bodie of the flesh: Rom. 7.18. I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: Gal. 5.19. the works of the flesh are manifest; as adulterie, &c. Here we must make a distinction of three things: 1. mans nature: 2. the faculties of nature: 3. the corruption of both: which corrup­tion hath two parts, 1. the losse of the i­mage of God: 2. a pronesse to all wic­kednesse. So that we may truly say, that the nature and the powers of the soule of man are corrupted; & this is called the old man, Eph. 4.22. and the bodie of sinne, Rom. 6.6. As poison put into a cuppe of wine doth make it deadly, dispersing it selfe into the same; in like manner origi­nall sinne and concupiscence (which is by [Page 138] the first sinne of Adam, is spread ouer his posteritie) doth poison his whole nature, so that no sound part is found in him, from the crowne of the head to the sole of his foote. Isa. 1.6.

In this corrupt flesh are two things: Affections, and Lusts, Gal. 5.24.

First, 1 by affections, vnderstand inordi­nate affections, which shew themselues, and beare sway in carnall men; as anger in Caine, Gen. 4.5. loue of pleasure more then of God in the last times, 2. Tim. 3.3. immoderate sorrow in Ahab, when he could not obtaine Naboths vinyard, 1. King. 21.4.

Secondly, 2 lusts are inordinate and in­satiable desires after the things of this world; as riches, honours, and pleasures, &c. of this sort are couetousnes, pride, gluttonie, the lust of the flesh, &c.

By this we see what a carnall man is, namely one that is carried a way with som inordinate affection, or some inordi­nate lust. Herod did many things at the motion of Iohn Baptist, yet was he a car­nall man: for he was possessed with an in­ordinate loue of his brothers wife, Mar. 6.20. Iudas a disciple of Christ, yet he a car­nall [Page 139] man, caried a way with the inordinate desire of mony, Ioh. 12.6.

The spirit is the gift of regeneration, 2 lost by Adam, restored by Christ. The spirit I tearme a gift; and this gift is tear­med by the name of the spirit, because the spirit worketh it immediatly in vs, comming to doe so from the Father and the Son. Againe, I say it is a gift of rege­neration, to make distinction between it and ciuill vertue. For there is a gift of re­generation which mortifies corruption, and a gift of nature which serues onely to keepe in corruption; of this second kind are all ciuill vertues in naturall and hea­then men, and not the first. Iosephs chasti­tie is a part of regeneration, and pro­ceeds from the spirit here mentioned: but the chastity of Scipio is not so, proceeding onely from nature, and the generall pro­uidence of God, and not from the spirit of sanctification.

More plainely, the spirit is a diuine na­ture, quality, or conditiō, 2. Pet. 1.4. wher­by we are made conformable to Christ in righteousnes and holines. And this spirit hath certaine properties.

First, that it is a rich & liberall grace of 1 [Page 140] God: for it containes in it the seed of all vertues, and all necessarie graces of God, because it comes in the name of originall sinne, which containes in it the seeds of all vices and sinnes.

The second, 2 is the largnes of it: for this spirit is in all the powers of them that are regenerate, that is, in the minde, consci­ence, will, affections, and in the sensuall appetite: 1. Thes. 5.23. the very God of peace sanctifie you throughout, &c. ther­fore he that is sanctified in one part, may in time be sanctified in all.

The third, 3 is sincerity; for the grace of God is without false-hood or guile, Psal. 32.1. Hence ariseth the difference be­tweene the godly man, and the hypo­crite; betweene the works of nature, and the workes of grace. There are men that in distresse, desire the assistance and fa­uour of God, and they do it without the spirit of God; for they doe it deceitfully, desiring Gods fauour, not for it selfe; but in respect of some euill from which they would be deliuered: as the mariners, Ion. 1.5. and Pharaoh, Exod. 9 28. Againe, there are men which mourne for their sinnes without the spirit of God: for there [Page 141] is much falsehood in their mourning; be­cause they mourne for sinne, onely in re­spect of the punishment thereof. Lastly, there are that pretend a loue to God, and yet want the spirit; for they loue God onely in respect of his benefits; as Saul loued God for a kingdome: such loue is mercenarie, and a worke of nature: whereas the loue which is from the spi­rit, makes vs loue God for himselfe, and for his honour.

The fourth, is excellencie: for the spirit 4 of grace in Christians is more excellent then the grace of creatiō in two respects. 1. In respect of the beginning thereof: for the spirit is from Christ the second Adam both God and man; the grace of creation should haue bin convayed vnto vs from the first Adam, but a meere man, if he had stood. 2. In respect of constancie: for God gaue the will to Adam to perseuere if he would: he giueth further to beleeuers, both the will to perseuere, and the deed.

The fift, is liuelines, whereby the spi­rit 5 is effectuall in operation; Iob. 32.18.19. Elihu saith, that the spirit compelled him, and was in him as a vessell of new wine, which must haue a vent. Now for [Page 142] the operation of the spirit, three things are to be knowne.

First, 1 that the spirit workes in and by the word of God; which therefore is cal­led the ministerie of the spirit, 2. Cor. 3.6.

Secondly, 2 that the spirit worketh by certaine degrees: The first degree, and the very first beginning of his diuine operati­on, is to illuminate our minds, and make vs feele what great neede we haue of Christ, and to desire to be reconciled and turned vnto God: this is the first motion of the spirit in vs, and they which want this, haue nothing as yet of the spirituall graces of God in them.

Thirdly, 3 that the whole worke of the spirit may bee reduced to three actions. The first is, to cast downe euery thing in vs, that exalts it selfe against God, 2. Cor. 10.5. and namely to beate downe erroni­ous reason, and rebellious affection; and to put a man out of heart with his chiefe delights, and with his owne selfe. The second, is to kindle in our hearts a care and desire of reconciliation with God in Christ: hence the spirit is called the spirit of grace and supplication, Zach. 12.10. The third, is to write the Lawe in our [Page 143] hearts, Ier. 31.33. and that is done by put­ting a newe light of knowledge into the minde, and new inclinations into the will and affections.

Secondly, the meanes whereby this 2 combate is made, is a twofold concupi­scence; as Gal. 5.17. the flesh lusteth a­gainst the spirit, &c. First, the lust of the flesh sheweth it selfe in two Actions: first, to defile and represse the good motions of the spirit; in which respect Paul saith, Rom. 7.21. When I would doe good, euil is present: v. 23. The law of my flesh re­bells against the law of my minde: hereup­on the flesh is fitly resembled by the dis­ease called the Mare, in which men in their slumber thinke they feele a thing as heauy as a mountaine lying on their breasts, which they can no way remooue. Se­condly, to bring forth and to fill the mind with wicked cogitations, and rebellious inclinations: Matth. 15.19. Out of the heart commeth euill thoughts, murders, adulteries, &c. Cap. 12.34.35. How can you speake good things, when ye are e­uill? &c. In this respect concupiscence is said to tempt, intice, and drawe away the minde of man, Iam. 1.14. Secondly, the [Page 144] lust of the spirit hath two actions: first, to curbe and restraine the flesh. Thus S. Iohn saith, That the seed of grace keeps the regenerate that they cannot sinne, 1. Ioh. 3.9. Secondly, to ingender inclina­tions agreeable to the will of God. Thus Dauid saith, that his reynes did teach him in the night season, Psal. 16.7. and the Prophet saith, Isa. 30.21. Thine eare shall heare a voice behind thee, saying, This is the way, walke in it. This voice no doubt is not onely the voice of such as be teach­ers, but also the inward voice of the spirit of God in vs. And thus by the concur­rance of those contrarie actions in one and the same man, is this combate made.

Thirdly, 3 the cause which maketh this combate, is the contrarietie of the flesh and the spirit: and the contrariety is verie great, for the spirit is the gift of righte­ousnesse: and the flesh standeth in a dou­ble opposition to it: 1. In a want of righ­teousnesse: 2. In a pronenesse to all vn­righteousnesse; that is to say, not in a sin­gle, but a double priuation or want of the grace or gift of God.

Quest. It may be demanded how these twaine (beeing but qualities) can fight [Page 145] together?

Answ. The flesh and the spirit are in the whole man regenerate, and all the powers of the foule of man; fire and wa­ter are said to be in compound bodies; light and darkenesse are in the aire at the dawning of the day; In a vessell of luke­warme water, heate and cold are in it; we cannot say that the water is in one part hot, and in an other cold; but the whole quantitie of water is hot in part, and cold in part: euen so the man regenerate, is not in one part flesh, and in an other part spi­rit; but the whole mind is partly flesh, and partly spirit, and so are the will and affe­ctions throughout, partly spirituall and partly carnall. Now vpon this it commeth to passe, that the powers of the soule are carried and disposed diuers wayes, and hereupon followes the combate.

Fourthly, this combate shewes it selfe 4 in al the actions of men regenerate, which Paul signifies, Rom. 4.19. I doe not the things I would. For example, in prayer sometimes we feele feruent desires, and sometimes againe deadnesse of spirit; sometimes faith, sometimes doubting.

This combate as it is in all the actions [Page 146] of the godly, so especially in good acti­ons: thus much Paul teacheth, Rom. 7.21. When I would doe good, euill is pre­sent with me: v. 19. for I do not the thing which I would, but the euill which I would not, that doe I. This combate of the flesh and the spirit, is when the minde is carried against it selfe, and the affecti­ons against themselues, by reason that they are partly spirituall, and partly car­nall; because our regeneration is in part, therefore it is opposed by the contrarie corruption, which we haue by nature; so that what the spirit loueth, the flesh ha­teth; what the spirit imbraceth, the flesh abhorreth; what the spirit would haue vs to doe, the flesh would haue vs to leaue vndone; whatsoeuer the spirit is deligh­ted, with that the flesh is vexed and dis­pleased. Sathan doth not fight against the flesh, nor the flesh against Sathan, nor either of them against themselues: for so their kingdome being diuided, could not possibly stand, Matth. 12.25.26. And therefore it must needes bee some other force, which causeth this opposition, which can proceed from nothing els, but from this spirituall fight.

Consider therefore the contrarie affe­ctions and actions, which plainely shew themselues in this battell: for we find our faith assaulted with doubting, and infide­litie, and these also againe beaten backe. after they haue gotten some ground, and subdued with the spirit of faith: we dis­cerne also our affiance in God, shewed by shaken with diffidence and distrust, and afterwards this distrust vanquished a­gaine by affiance, so as after we haue vtte­red through the violence of temptation diffident and impacient speeches, yet at length we grow to Iobs resolution, Iob. 13.15. Loe, though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. We may also discerne our zeale, sometime so hot in Gods seruice, that it expelleth coldnes and the fruite thereof, dullnes and drowzines of spirit, and sometimes by them it is cooled, and in outward appearance quenched. The like may be said of all other fruits of the flesh and the spirit. This conflict Christ noted in Peter, Ioh. 21.18. when thou wast young, thou girdest thy selfe, and walkest whether thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thine hands, and another shall gird [Page 148] thee, and lead thee whether thou woul­dest not. Out of doubt Peter was lead to death willingly in the spirit, but in the flesh against his wll; he would and he would not dye: The spirit was willing, but the flesh would not, for death was neuer welcome to the flesh.

In one and the selfe same man conuer­ted to God so long as he liueth here, ther is the old and the new man; the spirit is the new man, he to be put on, this to be put off, Eph. 4.22.24. betweene these two there can be no peace; what peace saith Iehu, 2. King. 9.22. so here what peace? because their wills are diuerse, their desires and endeauours diuerse, and their purpose diuerse.

Here wee may insert two great con­flicts, 1. betweene faith and reason. 2. be­tweene hope and despaire.

First, 1 this combate betweene faith and reason, is touching the doctrine of the Church; faith stayeth it selfe vpon Gods word, but reason vpon the wisedome of the world; faith beleeueth Gods promi­ses, reason respects the order of nature; faith depends vpon Gods power, reason regardeth the strength of nature: Exod. [Page 149] 14.11. Hast thou brought vs to die in the wildernesse, saith reason: ver. 13. feare ye not, stand still, and behold the saluation of the Lord, saith faith: Numb. 11.21.22. Sixe hundred thousand men are there of the people among whom I am, and thou saiest I will giue them flesh that they may eat a moneth long, shall the sheep and the beeues be slaine for them to find them, &c. saith reason: ver. 23. is the Lords hand shortened, saith faith: 2. Kin. 7.3. Though the Lord would make win­dowes in heauen, could this thing come to passe, saith reason: behold thou shalt see it with thine eyes, saith faith. The like places to this effect be these, Hest. Dan. 3.14.1. Cor. 1.13.24.

Secondly, this combate betweene 2 hope and despaire is most gricuous, in the which the strife is for the crowne of hap­pines after this life: For the obtaining whereof hope waiteth, but despaire fain­teth vtterly. In this conflict, faith and the spirit ioyne their assistance with hope, but the flesh and the conscience takes part with despaire. For as despaire by the per­swasion of the flesh and conscience, ob­iecteth against hope, the greatnes, multi­tude, [Page 150] and filthines of our sinnes, so hope by the counsell and aduise of the spirit and faith obiecteth vnto despaire the greatnes and multitude of Gods mercies, and the price of Christs sacrifice, where­by we are purged from the filthines of our sinnes, and sanctified by the spirit: Psal. 42.11. why art thou cast downe my soule, and why art thou disquieted within me? waite on God. Rom. 7.24.25. O wretched man that I am, who shall deli­uer me from the body of this death? I thanke God through Iesus Christ, &c. To this effect are these testimonies, Psal. Psal. 130.3.4. Ioh. 2.4.7. Now whence doth all this opposition and contrariety proceede? shal I say from the flesh? nay it is against all reason: for as Saint Iames disputeth, Iam. 3.11. doth a fountaine send forth at one place sweet water and bitter; or rather as Christ Iesus reasoneth, Matth. 7.16. doe men gather grapes of thornes, or figges of thi­stles? so may I demaund, can the flesh in the which (as Saint Paul affirmeth, Rom. 7.8.) dwelleth no good thing, bring forth the fruits of the spirit, which are quite contrarie to the nature thereof? [Page 151] namely, sorrow for sinne, hatred of it selfe and the corruptions thereof, and an ear­nest desire of sanctification? it is im­possible.

So long as we are destitute of the spi­rit, and a liuely faith, we are wholly ouer­swaied with the flesh; and Sathan like a mighty Tyrant holdeth vs captiue peace­ably, and without any resistance.

There is a combate I confesse in the naturall man, but it is betweene the na­turall conscience and the rebellious affe­ctions, which is incident to all men, that haue in them any conscience or light of reason; but this is the checke of consci­ence which all men find in themselues both good and badde, so oft as they of­fend God: But this combate whereof we speake, is a fighting and a striuing of the mind, will, and affections with them­selues, whereby so far forth as they are renewed, they cary the man one way, and as they still remaine uncorrupt, they cary him flatte contrarie.

So then the persons in whō this com­bate is to be found are the beleeuers, and they onely. Hieron. Statim vt oues, &c. As soone as euer the deuill shall see his [Page 152] sheep to be willing to forsake his flocke, he is angry and rageth, esteeming that he hath lost whatsoeuer Christ hath gained. Greg. Mag. Hostes noster, &c. Our enemie by how much the more he seeth we re­bell against him, by so much the more he stirreth to preuaile: for he neglecteth whom he quietly possesseth: Luk. 22.31. Simon, Simon, Sathan hath desired to winnow you as wheate: Apoc. 12.17. The dragon was wrath with the woman, and went and made warre with the rem­nant of her seed which keept the com­maundements of God. The blind man, (Ioh. 9.) so long as he continued in his blindnes, was neuer called in question, but so soone as his eyes were opened, not onely himselfe, but also his parents were presently conuented: The Pirates while they know the shippe to bee emptie, let it quietly passe, but when it returneth loaden with rich marchandise, their man­ner is to assault it with violence. So saith Chrysost: in Gen. homil: 31. while men are void of vertue, the deuil letteth not their voyage; but when grace is giuen once, then he striueth to robbe vs of that grace.

The Apostle in the first three chapters [Page 153] of the Epistle to the Ephesians, shew­eth the misterie of our saluation, and the causes thereof, for the confirmation of our faith. And in the next three chapters, he sets downe diuers duties, both gene­rally belonging to all Christians, and also particulary appertaining to men of sun­drie conditions, that hee might mooue them to repentance: But in the next place cap. 6.10.11. he doth giue warning of the approach of mighty enemies, willing vs to arme our selues in our owne defence: where further obserue, that Paul enrol­leth himselfe in the number of Christian soldiers: Therefore it hence followeth, that when we haue receiued the spirit of God, and haue faith wrought in our hearts, and endeauour to serue the Lord in a Christian life, then beginneth a fierce battell, which neuer endeth till by death our spirituall enemies get a finall ouer­throwe.

Now though this fight be exceeding sharp, and most troublesome to the poore Christian, yet he may thereby gather vn­to himselfe a certaine assurance, that he is endued with the spirit of God, and a liue­ly faith: for when he discerneth that hee [Page 154] is assaulted with Sathan and his own cor­rupt flesh, he may bee assured that Sathan is diseased of his quiet possession, by a su­periour power, which is no other but the power of Gods spirit.

Secondly, by his assaulting, it manifest­ly appeareth, that hee findeth some resi­stance, so that hee cannot peaceably re-enter.

Thirdly, that howsoeuer our faith see­meth vnto vs neuer so weake, yet it is so strengthened continually by vertue of Gods spirit, that Sathan and all the power of hell, cannot preuaile against it, Matth. 16.18. and 2. Cor. 12.9. Christ saith, My power is made perfect through weaknes; for otherwise how should such weaknes, withstand such might?

Lastly, beeing assured that it is the spi­rit of God which assisteth and enableth vs to withstand Sathan, we may also bee assured, that in the ende we shall obtaine victorie: 1. Ioh. 4.4. Little children, ye are of God, and haue ouercome them: for greater is he that is within you, then hee that is in the world. In vs is Christ, in the world is the deuill: Luk. 11.21.22 When the strong man armed keepeth his palace, the [Page 155] things that he possesseth are in peace; but when a stronger then hee commeth vpon him, and ouercommeth him, hee taketh from him his armour; for as fire when it wrastleth with the water throwne vpon it, ceaseth not til it hath ouercome; so the resistance of the spirit against the flesh, wil not cease til the full victorie be obtained, and Satan himselfe troden vnder our feet, Rom. 16.20.

Here then is consolation for Gods chil­dren, who feeling the burthen of their sinnes, and beeing vexed with the conti­nuall assaults of their spirituall enemies, may comfort themselues with assurance that they are the members of the Church militant, into which none but soldiers are intertained; and that now they become to be Gods seruants and Saints, when as Sathan opposeth himselfe against them.

Here also is instruction, to teach that who doth not fight, is none of Christs souldier: thou art not seruant of Iesus Christ, because to be his seruant is to bee his souldier.

Therefore if thou art not skilled in this spirituall battel, if thou be not daily exer­cised to resist the deuill, and to resist sin, [Page 156] if there be not in thee a daily controlling of thine owne wayes, and checking of thine heart, a resisting of thine owne de­sires, a subduing of thy owne affections, that thou maiest bring euery thought to the obedience of Christ; if all be at peace within thee, and thou find no diuision, no contradiction between the flesh and the spirit, betwixt the old man and the newe man, what doest thou in the Lords tents? Many there are that say they are Christs, and take his name in their mouthes, who yet neuer drew sword, nor gaue stroake in Christs behalfe, who defie the deuill with their mouths, but wrastle not against his workes; who haue renounced the world, and yet liue in league with the world, and continue deepely entangled in the corruptions therof. They would faine liue with Christ in heauen, but yet would liue in themselues here on earth; they would bee blessed in the world to come, but yet would not be crossed in the plea­sures of this world: but this cannot be, for he that hath called vs to eternall life, hath told vs that we must striue, Luk. 13.24. he that hath set before vs an incorruptible crowne, hath withall warned vs that wee [Page 157] must fight for it, 2. Cor. 9.25.26. 2. Tim. 2.5.

Thirdly, a care to preuent sinne.

The third token that respects sinne to come, is a care to preuent it: 1. Cor. 9.27. I beare downe my bodie, and bring it in subiection, least by any meanes after that I haue preached vnto others, I my selfe be reprooued. This care was in Dauid, Psal. 39.1. I thought I will take heede to my waies, that I sin not with my tongue: and Psal. 119.11. I haue hid thy promise in my heart, that I might not sinne against thee. Of this care Ioseph is a notable pat­terne, Gen. 39.12. in that he left his gar­ment, and fled from his Mistresse.

This care sheweth it selfe not onely in ordering the outward actions, but euen in the verie thoughts of the heart: for where the Gospel is, of force it brings e­uerie thought into captiuitie, 2. Cor. 10.5. and the Apostles Rule is to bee follow­ed, Phil. 4.8. Whatsoeuer things are true, &c. if there be any vertue, or if there be a­ny praise, thinke on these things.

This care must bee maintained in the [Page 158] practise of three things, 1. watchfulnesse: 2. sobrietie: 3. prayer.

First, of Watchfulnesse.

Here first is required watchfulnesse: where there is no feare of danger, as in heauen, there needeth no watchfulnesse, but there we may liue in great securitie; but where there is nothing but snares laid, and nets pitched to take vs, where there may bee many enemies gaping after our ruine, there must not be carelesnesse, but circumspect vigilance: Mat. 26.41. Watch and pray, that you enter not into tempta­tion: Luk. 31.36. Watch therefore and pray continually, that ye may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shal come to passe.

As valiant and careful soldiers, who are still in danger to be assaulted by their e­nemies, will be verie watchful to preuent dangers, so must we bee; because beeing assured that Sathan knowing his time is but short, will redouble his forces to worke our destruction: 1. Pet. 5.8. as a roaring lyon, seeking whom hee may de­uoure: Apoc. 12.22. Woe to the inhabi­tants of the earth, and of the sea; for the [Page 159] deuill is come downe, which hath great wrath, knowing that his time is but short: Euen as souldiers wil most fiercely assault a towne, when they cannot lie long at the siege, either by reason of winter drawing on, or the approaching of new forces to releife the towne or raise the siege.

To bee watchfull is a most excellent and Christian dutie: Apoc. 3.2. Be awake, saith Christ, to the Angel of the Church of Sardi. It is not bodily but spirituall, and it is practised, when a man hath a circum­spect care in respect of the saluation of his soule. Now this dutie of watchfulnesse concerneth sinne, which watchfulnesse against sinne, standeth in two points.

First, a man must daily and continually bethink himselfe beforehand of all sinnes and vices, into which he may happily fall. And for the doing of this, he must consi­der in himselfe two things: 1. his nature; 2. his calling. Touching his nature, hee must consider, that in him remaines the seedes and roote of all sinne, and therfore that he may fall into any sinne whatsoe­uer. Againe, a man considering his na­ture, shall finde himselfe more enclined to some sinnes then to others; and those hee [Page 160] must specially marke and obserue.

Touching his calling, a man must mark the sinnes thereof: for since the fall of man, euerie calling hath his speciall sins, whereto men that walke therein are more incident. The Magistrate his sinnes, the Minister his, the Lawyer his, the Physiti­an his, and the tradesman his. And as tou­ching these, 1. A man must consider into what vices and abuses men are most sub­iect that walke in that calling wherein he liueth, and so shall he haue a foresight of the sinnes, that he may fall into. Second­ly, after this foresight of sinne, hee must watch in his heart with all diligence, that though it be tempted and assaulted, yet it be not tainted with any one sinne; as the wise man councelleth, Prou. 4.21. Keepe thy heart with all diligence, that so the fountaine of all thy actions may bee kept holy and pure. The meanes to make vs circumspect and watchfull be these,

First, 1 to imagine that we alwaies stand and walke in the presence of some man of great goodnes and authoritie: So Paul, 1. Cor. 11.10. vrgeth the presence of the Angels.

Secondly, 2 to thinke that this is the last [Page 161] day of our life, and therfore that we do all things no otherwise, then if that day or night following we were to stand before the tribunall of Christ, to render an ac­count of our life.

Thirdly, to know our selues to bee al­waies in Gods presence, as a witnesse and iudge of our actions: Act. 10.33. we are all, saith Cornelius, here in Gods presence, &c.

Fourthly, to remember what a multi­tude of enemies seeke our confusion: E­phes. 12. we wrastle against powers, &c.

To conclude then, consider with what great care a man beareth any vessell brim full of any precious liquor or oyle, least it should be spilled; consider also with what great care a man goeth ouer any narrow peice of timber, or some ruinous bridge, vnder which a verie swift and deepe riuer runneth, least he should fall into it and be drowned: consider also what great wari­nesse they vse that goe vpon ropes, least they declining to this hand or that fall downe: with the same care and warinesse ought wee to walke in our thoughts, words, and actions. This care is commen­ded, Deut. 4.9. Take heed to thy selfe, and keepe thy selfe diligently.

Secondly, Sobrietie.

The proper worke of sobrietie, is to moderate the minde, and containe it in due compasse, both in all the affections of the soule, and the actions of life, which it turneth it selfe vnto.

This sobrietie is in things, 1. inward: 2. outward.

First, in the inward gifts of the minde, it teacheth a man, 1. to knowe himselfe: 2. not to despise another.

Touching the knowledge of a mans selfe: first, it teacheth a man to be wise vnto sobrietie, and not to presume a­boue that which is written, Rom. 12.3. The secret things belong to God, Deut. 29.29. Be not carefull in the night (saith Elihu) how he destroies the people out of their place, Iob. 36.20. That is, be not curious in seeking the cause of Gods iudgements when hee destroyeth any. Mary Magdalen is forbidden to touch Christ after his resurrection, Ioh. 20.17. by which we are restrained from curiosi­ty. It is a learned ignorance not to know that which God would haue vs be igno­rant of, but it is a pernicious cōtempt, not to be willing to know that which God [Page 163] would teach vs. True wisedome and mo­destie in the children of God, consisteth in opening the eares to learne, when Christ openeth his mouth to teach, and in not desiring to learne that which he is vnwilling to reueale vnto vs. The holy scripture is the schoole of the holy ghost, wherein as there is nothing omitted, that is necessarie to saluation, so is there no­thing taught but what is requisite for vs to know.

Secondly, it teacheth man to containe and content himselfe within the limits of his owne measure of gifts, with thankful­nesse to acknowledge them, and not to arrogate that which he hath not.

Of this sobrietie we haue a singular president in the Apostles themselues, 2. Cor. 10.13.14. we reioyce not in things without our measure; nor stretch our selues beyond our measure, nor boast of things without our measure.

Touching other men, Sobrietie tea­cheth not to despise an other, although, he hath receiued not the like measure of gifts; it swelleth not against another, see­ing it selfe hath nothing, but what it hath receiued, 1. Cor. 4.7. It was Ioshua his [Page 164] fault to enuie that Eldad and Medad prophecied, Numb. 11.27. &c. And Sauls sinne to be Dauids enemie, because the Lord was with him, 1. Sam. 18.28.29. but sobriety hath not an euil eye, because of the gifts which other haue. The chur­ches of Iudea glorified God that Paul which had persecuted, now preached the Gospel, Gal. 2.22.23. And the beleeuing Iewes glorified God who had giuen re­pentance vnto life vnto the Gentiles, Act. 11.18. so that then it is the practise of sobrietie, to reioyce with them that re­ioyce, Rom. 12.15.

Secondly, sobrietie in outward things is a moderator, as may appeare in things concerning, 1. A mans calling, estate, pleasure, and delights: 2. Things indiffe­rent.

First, it forceth man to abide in his cal­ling, but not as a drudge vnto it. It was Vzzia his pride to passe the bonds of his calling, by vsurping the Preists office, 2. Chr. 26.16. but Christs sobriety to keepe him to his calling, Luk. 12.14. Pauls rule therefore is to be followed, 1. Cor. 7.20. let euery man abide in the same vocation wherein he is called; by which precept, [Page 165] the Apostle meaneth not so to tye a man to his vocation, as not at any time to change it: for it were very hard if a mer­chant might not become a husbandman, nor a Taylor a marchant, &c. This is not then the Apostles meaning, but rather to correct that vnaduised and rash desire, that some haue to change their condition of life, hauing no iust cause to do it.

Secondly, it setleth a man in a quiet contentment in his estate. Iacob desired but bread to eate, and clothes to put on, Gen. 28.20. And Paul willeth vs, hauing food and raiment, there with to be con­tent, 1. Tim. 6.8. Salomon praied, Pro. 30.7. to bee fed but with conuenient food for him. There is a man that maketh him­selfe rich that hath nothing, Pro. 13.7. And this is the sober man, who with Paul, Phil. 4.11.12. hath learned to want, and to a bound, and hath the benefit of contentation in all estates. So that if want come, he that was rich can reioyce in be­ing made low, as well as the brother of low degree in that he is exalted, Iam. 9.10. Againe, if a prosperous estate befall him, his prosperity puffeth him not vp; but he can vse the world as not vsing it, 1. Cor. [Page 166] 7.31. And if the Lord keepe Manna sweete but for the day, he is wel conten­ted, yea heartily thankfull.

Thirdly, 3 it moderateth the pleasures and delights of this life, wherein a num­ber are become as filthily drunke, as o­thers in beastly quaffing. So Salomon in that he speaketh to his heart and biddeth it take pleasure in pleasant things, Eccles. 2.1. sheweth with what great desire hee gaue himselfe to pleasure, like that wretch Luk. 12.19. that said to his soule, liue at ease, eate and drinke, and take thy pa­stime: but this grace still leadeth the heart in wisedome, that proue it with ioy and bidde it take pleasure in pleasing things, it can say of laughter, thou art madnes; & to ioy, what doest thou? It suffereth not a man to powre out his heart vnto plea­sures, more then to God.

Lastly, in things indifferent, as meate, drinke, apparell, sleepe, buildings, mari­age, &c. it keepeth within compasse, it putteth the knife to the throate, Pro. 23.2. it taketh heed least at any time the heart be oppressed with surfetting and drunkenes, Luk. 31.34. It walketh ho­nestly as in the day, not with drunkennes [Page 167] and gluttonie, Rom. 13.14. Gods chil­dren haue beene alwaies in the way of re­straining: 1. Kin. 19.6. Elias did so eate and drinke, as the Angel was sent to bid him eare more: Timothie abstained from wine, 1. Tim. 5.23. Daniel durst not ad­venture on the Kings fare, but put vp a supplication to eate nothing but gruell, Dan. 1.8. we must walke soberly in all things, that by fulnes of bread (which was the sinne of Sodome, Ezech. 16.49.) we neither benumme our senses, nor dis­able the members of our body from their speciall duties. And thus in the other things we are to moderate our selues, and to liue within compasse.

Now the practise of this vertue is a fruit of our redemption, 1. Pet. 1.13.14. &c. to the which seeing the Gospel cal­leth vs, how ought we to open our cares and hearts to entertaine this voyce? The sonnes of Ionadab the sonne of Rechab obeyed their father when he called them to sobrietie, they neither dranke wine, nor built houses, nor planted vinyards, but obeyed their father in these streight commandements; and for that the Lord blessed them exceedingly. Now the Lord [Page 168] commeth not with such a strait charge, not such a one as strippes vs from these comforts of our liues, but onely restoreth the right and comfortable vse of them vnto vs: and may he not much more say vnto vs as he did to the Iewes, Ier. 35.13. should you not here my word also? If they obeyed their earthly father, depri­uing them of the things themselues, ought not we much more to obey our heauenly father, who prohibiteth not the things, but onely the abuse of them? Alas the grosse and vngratefull abuse of Gods creatures in our daies, more raigneth then it hath done in former ages. I confesse, the Israelites, Isa. 22.13. reuelled and ca­rowzed, slaying oxen, killing sheepe, ea­ting flesh, and drinking wine, eating and drinking: yea and in the time of the Pro­phet Amos, cap. they did eat and drinke without all feare of God, or pittie to his afflicted members. Iude v. 12. cal­leth such rockes in their feasts of charity; that is, such as behaued themselues impu­dently, without reuerence to God or man, like vnreasonable creatures, giuing themselues to all sensualitie, and so were as rockes of offence. But our men of these [Page 169] times, are vnmeasurably addicted to this vice, spending the greatest part of their time in carouzing, as though they did not drinke to liue, but liued to drinke; or as if from men they were transformed into flies, which liue wholly by sucking: they drinke not onely for thirst, but also for company; they drawe one another to ex­cessiue quaffing by making challenges, who can expresse most loue to their ab­sent friends by largest drinking. To this purpose they vse all sorts of salt meats, and also Tobacco, that by drunkennesse they may expell drunkennes. So that this vice which in this land (in my remembrance) durst not shew it face for shame, and lur­ked in secret corners, is now growne to impudent boldnesse, so as it dare stagger abroad at noon daies in the open streets. It is therefore high time that the Magi­strates with the word, and the Ministers with the word, ioyne together to beate downe this sinne.

Thirdly, Prayer.

Here lastly is required earnest Prayer: 1. Pet. 4.7. Be watching in praier: Phil. 4.6. In all things let your requests be shew­ed [Page 170] vnto God in prayer: Matth. 26.41. Watch and pray, saith our Sauiour Christ. Many are the temptations and spirituall inuasions which in this life doe befall vs, while the enemie of mankind doth often assayle vs, by himselfe and by the world, and by the flesh that domesticall foe: now the readiest help in Gods children against these enemies, is earnest and hearty prai­er, Matth. 17.21. Eph. 6.18. here prayer is made a principall peice of armor against our enemies.

Where praier wanteth, the action of sinne is as ready as the temptation; we may account it as one of our sinnes, that when inward and outward sorrowe oftentimes doe lay hold vpon vs, we doe not vse this remedie; we goe on like vnsensible men, and franticke ones, beeing most sicke, and yet we vnderstand it note and if we finde that we need helpe, we coast of all require it by prayer; and hee who should first be thought of, that is, God the iudge of all, doth come last in the reckoning. Da­niel the man beloued of God, would not forbeare praier thirty dayes, but vsed to pray euery day, though it had cost him his life, Dan. 6.10.

Men now are not terrified from praier, but encouraged to pray, yet I am afraid, that many passe daies, weeks, & months, and neuer humble themselues in priuate prayer vnto God: is it then any maruell that many are barren in grace, when as they are barren in prayer? we cannot bee drie in the grace of God, so long as wee resort to Christ by praier, who hath the seuen vialls of gold, full of seuenfold mer­cies. Therefore let vs aske, seeke, and knocke, that we may haue and find mercy to helpe in the time of neede, Matth. 7.7.

To conclude, this care of preuenting sinne, practised in watchfulnes, sobriety, and praier, is a speciall marke of Gods children: 1. Ioh. 5.18. he that is borne of God, sinneth not: for the regenerate part sinneth not, but his corrupt flesh that is in him.

Secondly, Gods mercies.

The tokens which concerne Gods mercies are especially two: First, spiritu­all hungring after Christ: Secondly, a spe­ciall valuing and louing of Christ aboue all things.

First, Spirituall hungring after Christ.

When a man feeles himselfe distressed with the burden of his sinnes, Psal. 38.4. or when he apprehends the heauie dis­pleasure of God in his conscience for them, Psal. 32.3. then further to feele how he stands in neede of Christ being vtterly lost in regard of himselfe, Luk. 9.10. and withall heartily to desire, yea to hunger and thirst after reconciliation with God in the merite of Christ, and that aboue all other things in the world, is not onely a beginning of grace, but e­uen grace it selfe, by which we may be assured of our adoption and saluation. This was in Paul, Rom. 7.24. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliuer me from the bodie of this death! Euen as Iacob when as he and his family were pinched with famine, was glad to send and to goe into Egypt for food to releeue him and his: so will those that are spiritually hun­grie and thirstie, be at any paines, and breake through any difficulties, for the satisfying and refreshing of their fainting soules.

This desire of grace (I say) is not only [Page 173] the beginning of grace, for how can we desire it, till in some measure it bee wrought in vs; but also our desire of grace, as of faith and repentance, are the graces themselues which wee desire of God, who accepteth the wil for the deed, where there is no power or habilitie to doe the deede; and our affections for the actions, according to that wee haue, not according to that we haue not, 2. Cor. 8.12. And therefore if we earnestly desire to repent and beleeue, it is accepted in Gods sight, 2. Cor. 8.12. So then our hun­gring desire after grace, is not onely to be made partakers of Gods mercies, and Christs merits and righteousnesse, (by which we are iustified, reconciled to god, and receiue the pardon of our sinnes) but also our desire is after the meanes and in­strumentall causes, whereby the assurance of Gods mercie and Christs merits is de­riued vnto vs, namely true faith, and af­ter vnfained repentance, and the rest of the graces of Gods sanctifying spirit. This desire in the Scriptures is resembled to hunger and thirst: Psal. 42.1. Isa. 51.1. Psal. 143.6. Psal. 63.1. noteth two things vnto vs; First, a sense of our want: and se­condly, [Page 174] an appetite or earnest desire to be satisfied, and haue our want supplied. And in these spirituall things, first we feel the want of Gods graces & Christs righ­teousnesse, and then we earnestly desire, that we may be filled and satisfied there­with.

So that to hunger and thirst after the grace of God and righteousnes of Christ, and to be wearie and heauie laden, Math. 11.28. are much alike, and both are bles­sed of the Lord: for as those that hunger and thirst after righteousnesse are blessed, because that they shal be satisfied, Matth. 5.6. so they are blessed who are weary & heauy laden with the burden of their sins: for such Christ calleth vnto him, and hath promised to ease them, that is, to giue vn­to them the remission of their sinnes, and to release them of this burthen, by taking it vpon his owne shoulders.

Further, to this earnest desire of grace, the Lord hath made the like gracious promises, which he hath to those, who do find themselues plentifully endued with the graces themselues, Luk. 1.53. And calleth vnto him such as thus hunger and thirst, promising that he wil satisfie them, [Page 175] Ioh. 7.37. Apoc. 21.6. Cap. 22.17.

Lastly, whosouer findeth and feeleth this desire in himselfe, ioyned with a carefull and continuall vse of the meanes of saluation, whereby his desire may be satisfied, he may assure himselfe that the Lord who hath wrought in him the will to desire, will also in his good time work in him the graces which he so earnestly desires: Psal. 145.19. he will fullfill the desire of them that feare him, &c. And therefore if in the middest of our afflicti­ons and greuious temptations, we can cry out with Dauid, Psal. 38.9. Lord I pow­red out my whole desire before thee, we may be assured how miserable soeuer we are in out owne sense and feeling, that we are in the state of grace, and shal haue our desires satisfied, Phil. 16. yea whosoeuer hungreth and thirsteth after the grace of God, and righteousnesse of Christ; who­soeuer is wearie and heauy laden, that is, whosoeuer hath a true sense and feeling of his sinnes, and is vexed and grieued with the burden thereof, and with all his heart desireth to bee cased of his load, though he thinke himselfe in a most mise­rable estate; yet if hee come vnto Christ, [Page 176] and with blind Bartimeus crie out, O Son of Dauid haue mercie on me; I may an­swer him as it was said vnto this blind man, Be of good comfort, for Christ cal­leth thee, Mark. 10.46, 47. and if Christ calleth vs, he will giue vs to drinke of the water of life, whereof whosoeuer drin­keth shall neuer bee more a thirst, Ioh. 4.14. but it shall be in him a well of water, springing vp vnto euerlasting life.

When Dauid would perswade God to bring him againe to the assemblie of the Saints, where he might enioy the meanes of comfort and saluation, he vseth this as a forcible argument; Psal. 42.2. My soule thirsteth for God, euen for the liuing God: when shall I come and appeare be­fore the presence of God? Psal. 48.2. My soule longeth, yea and fainteth for the Courts of the Lord. As none are bidden guests to feast with Christ, but such as haue thirstie soules, Isa. 55.1. so euerie one that thirsteth come ye to the waters; Apo. 22.17. Let him that is a thirst come; so none else haue any promise of speeding well if they should come: for thus goeth the promise, Isa. 43.3. I wil powre waters vpon the thirstie, and floods vpon the [Page 175] drie ground: Ioh. 7.37.38. If any man thirst, let him come vnto me and drinke.

So then if wee once come with a lon­ging heart, that doth as it were gape and enlarge it selfe to take in the raine of grace, as the drie ground doth to receiue the showers that fall vpon it; through we be neuer so thirstie, we shall be fully satis­fied: 1. Pet. 2.2. As new borne babes de­sire the sincere milke of the word of God, that you may grow thereby; that is, if you be as sharp set for the food of your soules, as little children are for their mothers milke, you shall get inward growth of grace thereby, and still increase in the in­ward man, as children do in the outward, and finde a progresse in grace as they doe in nature.

Now to the end we may haue this spi­rituall appetite, let vs vse all good means for the obtaining of it; which are as fol­loweth:

First, for as much as sinne doth annoy 1 our stomake, and kill our appetite, wee must put away the practise of it, and the allowance of all infirmities both great and small.

This wee are taught, 1. Pet. 2.12. [Page 176] Wherefore laying aside all maliciousnes, and all guile, and dissimulation, and en­uie and euill speaking, as new borne babes, desire the sincere milke of the word of God, &c. Whence obserue, how we are required to put a way a bitter and enuious minde against our brethren, a dessembling heart towards God, and not to suffer our euill affections to break forth into euill speeches.

And in the next place, followes a de­sire, and an hungry appetite after grace to be embraced of vs: Isa. 55.1. Come, buy and eate: come I say, buy milke and wine, without siluer, and without monie. 1. Here are two things signified: 1. As in bargaines betwixt man and man, he that buyeth a thing of another, must part with something that formerly was his owne; so must we in this purchase of ours. And what is that we must part withall? with nothing but our own sinnes (which will doe vs no good, but infinite hurt if we retaine them still.) To this purpose it is said, Matth. 13.44. That the kingdome of heauen is like vnto a Treasure hidden in the feild, which when a man findeth, hee hideth it, and for ioy thereof depar­teth, [Page 177] and selleth all that he hath: meaning all that he hath from his owne corrupt nature, and renounceth all his carnall af­fections: so that as the price we paie for any thing is altogether alienated from vs, so must sinne be, though neuer so much esteemed and beloued beforetime: And thus are the words to be expounded, Isa. 55.7. Let the wicked forsake his waies, & the vnrighteous his own imaginations, &c. Many forsake some euill wayes, but not their owne; or if they doe leaue their old waies and works, yet they doe not forsake their owne imaginations; but we must forsake the one and the other.

Now in the second place, we must 2 haue a feruent and ardent desire after the thing we would buy: for as they that haue great store of meat, and variety of choice wines set before them, and haue no appe­tite; all that prouision will doe them no good, but rather vexe and trouble them, so if we loath all spirituall foode, what will the abundance thereof profit vs? Now when we find in our selues this dul­nes and deadnes, let vs conclude for a certainty, that we stand in neede of phy­sicke for the purging of our soules: for [Page 178] sinne worketh on our hearts, as ill humors do in our stomacks, it maketh vs to loath all spirituall foode, and all meanes of re­freshing. And take this for an vndoubted truth, which though our mouthes will not confesse, yet our hearts must needs acknowledge; when we haue no desire to heare the word preached, or to receiue the sacraments when it is to be admini­stred, there is some sinne or other not throughly repented of, which so cloyeth the soule, that it cannot delight in those holy exercises: And as our harts are more purged by godly sorrowe for sin, so will our hunger and thirst after righteousnes and the meanes thereof, be still increased in vs.

Secondly, 2 we must endeauour to know our misery, what we are by nature, and by desert, in regard of our great and gree­uous offences: that so being poore in spi­rit we may sigh and cry for grace, where­as those that are proud in spirit care not for it.

This course was euen taken by those, who laboured to induce and bring offen­ders to repentance, to set before their eies, and to make them see the condition [Page 179] wherein they were.

So Christ dealt with the Church of Laodicea, to the end he might make her seeke for reconciliation with God; he la­boured to make her see that she was wretched and miserable, and blind, and poore, and naked, Apoc. 3.17. This also Ephraim speaking of her selfe, sheweth that it was the cause of her running to the throne of grace: Ier. 31.19. when I was instructed, I repented, that is, when my eyes were open, that I saw mine owne condition and estate, then I repented. Pe­ter in his first Sermon after the ascention of Christ, endeauored to make the Iewes (his Auditors) to see their sinnes in cru­cifying the Lord of life, and their wret­ched estate for that fact, that he might (as the successe was) draw them to repen­tance, Act. 2.36.

When nothing is more irkesome vnto vs, nor more feared of vs then sinne, then nothing is more desirable with vs, nor more desired of vs then grace. For as those who are oppressed with a heauy burden, desire aboue al things to be freed from it: and as those that feele greiuous and dangerous diseases and distempera­tures [Page 180] in their bodie, desire nothing more then the helpe of the physitian, that so their sicknes may be cured: In like man­ner those who feele the waight of sinne pressing them downe, and are weary and tired in bearing of it, and deserying the loathsome noisome corruptions where­with their soules are infected and indan­gered, will earnestly desire to be eased of this intollerable burden, and will ne­uer be at rest, till they be healed of their sinnes.

So then, let vs haue recourse vnto God by earnest and seruent praier, entrea­ting that he will annoynt the blind eyes of our vnderstanding, with the precious eye-salue of his holy spirit, Apoc. 3.17.18. that we may know, and well vnder­stand our miserable condition. For it is Gods spirit that detecteth the thoughts of many hearts, Luk. 2.25. Againe, to this ende let vs oftentimes set the law as a glasse before vs, by which we may see our deformities, and examine our liues, as it were by a rule and square. Thus did the holy ones in times past attaine vnto the sight of their woefull condition, and so were driuen to seeke after Christ and his [Page 181] saluation.

Thirdly, we must labour to haue a liue­ly sense and feeling of our sinnes, and of our miserable wretched estate, in which we are by reason of them; yea we must be weary in bearing this heauy burden, be­ing most greeuous vnto vs: and this is an other meanes to make vs hunger and thirst after saluation, and the meanes ther­of.

To this end let vs vpon all iust occasi­ons, with good Iosias, haue our hearts melt within vs, 2. Kin. 21.19. and rend them with true compunction, Ioel. 2.13. and be pricked with the Iewes, Act. 2.37. And all this not so much in regard of the punishment we haue deserued, as that by our sins we haue displeased our good God: And haue caused our Sauiour Christ who is the Lord of life, to be put to shamefull and painefull death, Zach. 12.10. Christ onely calleth such as be we ary and heauie laden with the burden of sin, Matth. 11.28. and God onely hearkneth vnto those, who from their hearts cry out with Dauid, Psal. 38.4. That their iniqui­ties are gone ouer their head, and as a waightie burden too heauy for them to [Page 182] beare; yea the Lord respecteth those who are of a broken heart, and contrite spirit, Isa. 66.2. To these Christ preached the glad tidings of the Gospel; to these he wil giue liberty, and true comfort, Isa. 61.1. If therefore we be lost in our selues, we shalbe found in Christ, who comforts none but the abiects, seeks none but the lost, makes wise none but fooles, iustifies none but sinners: so as vnlesse we find these wantes in our selues, the Gospel was neuer preached to our comfort.

First, 1 some there be, that are not wea­ry of their owne righteousnesse, but de­sire to apply the plaister of their owne works to cure the wound.

Secondly, 2 othersome there bee pro­phane sensuall men that will neuer be weary of the pleasures of this life; of such S. Paul speaketh, Phil. 3.19. that make their belly their God.

Thirdly, 3 some there be that be onely cast downe with som heard exigent in the world: for many be weary of the world, that are not weary of themselues and of their sinnes, wishing onely to be deliue­red from the burden of their distresse, and not (which Paul) from the body of their [Page 183] sinne, Rom. 7.24. Now, none of these sorts can thirst and hunger for any bene­fit to their soules, to bee giuen them out of the treasure of Christs saluation.

Fourthly, and lastly, wicked and pro­phane 4 men may see their sinnes (for what can hide them from their eyes being so innumerable in multitude, so grieuous, and haynous in respect of their quantity and quality) but yet they feele not their weight, neither are troubled with them. For it is a pastime to a foole to do wick­edly, Pro. 10.23. Yea, there are some so delighted with all prophanesse, that they draw iniquitie with cordes of vanity, and sin with cartropes, Isa. 5.18. And though the iniquitie of sinners be so heauy that the earth cannot beare it, but reeleth to and fro like a drunken man, and is remo­ued like a tent, Isa. 24.10. though it make all the creatures groane and trauell in­paine together, Rom. 8.22. yea though it wearieth euen God himselfe with suffe­ring and bearing with it, Isa. 43.24. yet doe they walke bolt vpright, and with stretched out necks, not so much as stou­ping vnder the vnsupportable burden, till at last it groweth so heauie, that it ouer­whelmeth [Page 184] them, and presseth them down to the bottome of hell, as it did Caine, Iu­das, and the rest.

The reason hereof is, because they are wholly plunged, yea drowned and dead in their sinnes: and therfore as those who being diued to the bottome of some deep water, doe not feele the waight of that which is all on them, whereas if they were pulled out of the waters they would be ouerwhelmed with the burden of one tunne; so those who are deeply plunged into the gulfe of sinne, doe not feele the waight of this vntollerable burthen, but if once they come out of their sinnes by vnfained repentance, the waight of some few of them would presse them downe vnto the gates of hell, if they be not sup­ported, and freed from this burthen by Christ.

Fourthly, to make a man truly hunger and thirst after Christ, &c. is the know­ledge of a mans owne inability, either to free himselfe from sinne, or from the pu­nishment due vnto it.

First, 1 touching freedome from sinne: it is farre from our power to free our selues of it: Ier. 13.23. Can the Blackemore [Page 185] change his skinne, or the Leopard his spotts? then may you also doe good, that are accustomed to doe euill: Cap. 4.22. we are wise to doe euill, but to doe well we haue no knowledge: we may by the gratious power of Christ represse the rage of our corruption, and mortifie our members which are on earth, as forni­cation, and vncleanes, &c. Col. 3.5. yet the roote and the whole bodie will re­maine still in our hearts and soules, and will as occasion is offered, breake forth: This was it that made holy Dauid to pray so earnestly to the Lord, to purge him, Psal. 51.27. Wherein he acknowledgeth that there is no power in vs to free our selues from sinne, either actuall, or origi­nall, but it is a supernaturall, nay and a di­uine worke of Christ Iesus, to cleanse vs from all our sinnes.

Secondly, touching freedome from 2 the punishment of sinne, man is as weake in this respect as in the former: from this consideration flowed these speeches, Act. 2.37. Men and brethren, what shall we doe? Act. 16.30. Sirs what must I doe to be saued? Psal. 143.2. Dauid beggeth at Gods hands, that he would not enter [Page 186] into iudgement with him.

So then, seeing there is no helpe in our selues to be found, neither doe we know what to doe, our eyes must be towards Christ Iesus, who is the mightie God and our blessed Sauiour, who gaue himselfe for vs, that he might redeeme vs from all iniquitie.

The waight of one sinne would presse vs downe into hell, but Christ is able to beare the burden of our sinnes, nay he hath already borne them in his body on the tree, that we might be deliuered from them, 1. Pet. 2.14.

To whom therfore should we go in this our sicknesse, but to this our heauenly physitian? whose helpe should we seeke for the curing of our wounds, but the helpe of this our blessed surgeon, who cureth all with the balme of his pretious blood?

For Esa. 53.8. he was wounded for our transgressions, he was broken for our ini­quities, the chastisement of our peace was vpon him, and with his stripes we are healed. There is no saluation in any other, neither any other name giuen vnder hea­uen, whereby we must be saued, Act. 4. [Page 187] 12. To this Iesus therefore who is able to do exceeding aboundantly aboue all that we aske or thinke, be praise in the church throughout all generations, Eph. 3.20, 21.

Lastly, there is no one thing that can 5 set so sharpe an edge on our affections, and stirre vp a more vehement appetite after grace and saluation, then to medi­tate and consider the excellencie of the saluation prepared for vs from before the beginning: which is such as the eye hath not seene, nor the eare heard, neither haue entred into the heart of man.

For this saluation bringeth with it free­dome from all euill, both from the guilt of sinne, and from the power and punish­ment of sinne: And withall the enioy­ment of all blessings needfull for body or soule, for this life and that which is to come. Now that mens affections and de­sires are so weake, cold, and dull, it is be­cause they haue not tasted how good the Lords is.

On the otherside, if we haue neuer so exquisite a sight and sense of our sinnes, yet if they seeme vnto vs a sweet burthen which we are content still to beare with­out any great wearines, nay with pleasure [Page 188] and delight, then Christ doth not pro­nounce ease to such, Matth. 9.13. herein we resemble the rich miser, who though his backe should be almost broken with the waight of his owne gold, yet doth he not thinke it any trouble, but rather is well contented, because his burden plea­seth him: so if we feeling that our sinnes are a massie burden, are neuerthelesse not troubled nor wearie by bearing them, but rather esteeme this burden sweete and delightfull we may assure our selues we are not in the number of those who Christ calleth: and therefore nothing re­maineth for vs, but a fearefull expectati­on of wrath and vengeance to be powred out vpon vs in full measure.

And thus much may suffice to haue bin spoken of the meanes of getting a spiri­tituall hunger after Christ.

The loue of Christ.

The Second is a diuine affection wrought in the hart by the spirit of God, whereby a man doth so esteeme and va­lew, and as it were set so high a price of Christ and his righteousnes, that he ac­counts euen the most pretious things [Page 189] that are, to be but as dunge in regard thereof.

This affection was notably in Paul, Phil. 3.8. who did thinke all things but losse for the excellent knowledge fake of Christ Iesus, &c. And the same we reade to haue beene in Moses; Heb. 11.24.25. who refused to bee called the sonne of Pharaohs daughter, and chose rather to suffer aduersitie with the people of God, &c. Christ commendeth this affection to all that shall in time to come beleeue in him: Luk. 14.26. If any man come to me and hate not his father and mother, wife and children, &c. that is, doth not pre­ferre me before father and mother, &c. he cannot bee my disciple. Which affe­ction also is significantly expressed in the parable of the precious pearle, Matth. 13.45. &c. which when a man hath found, he selleth all that hee hath to buy it: what faith Christ Iesus to Martha, Luk. 10.41.42. Martha, Martha, thou art cumbred a­bout many things, but this one thing is needefull; Marie hath chosen the good part, which shall neuer bee taken away from her: so the men of this world are in­tangled with many things, but this one [Page 190] thing is needfull aboue all things, Matth. 6.33. seeke first the kingdome of God and his righteousnes.

The loue of Gods children to Christ is so firmely rooted in their hearts, as that it is Cant. 8.6. strong as death, which ouer­commeth all things; deepe as the graue, which swalloweth all things: yea such as we wil not depart with for any mony; and such and so great, as it is true that no­thing can separate vs from the loue of God in Christ, Rom. 8.38.39. Let vs then so loue Christ, that it may bee as hot as the flame, that whole floods of waters may not quench it; and so strong, that neither terrors in persecution, nor plea­sures in life, nor the anguish of death, may make vs forsake our anchor Christ Iesus; but that we may hold our confidence in a hope sure and stedfast, which shall at the last giue vs entrance into the vaile, whe­ther Christ our forerunner is for vs entred in, Heb. 9.20. Now euerie man will say of himselfe, that he is thus affected to Christ, and that he more highly esteems the least droppe of his blood, then all things in the world: when as in truth, such and so vehe­ment are their naturall and earthly affe­ctions, [Page 191] and so great their greedines to in­ioy the pleasures and profits of this life, that the marriage of a wife, or the triall of a yoake of oxen, shall easily keepe them from Christ, Matt. 22.5. Luk. 14.17. And are herein like the Israelites, who liked better the onions & flesh-pots of Egypt, then the blessings of God in the land of promise. Therefore that no man may de­ceiue himselfe, this affecton may bee dis­cerned by these signes.

1. To loue and like a Christian man, be­cause he is a Christian: for he that doth a­right esteeme of Christ, doth in like man­ner esteeme of the members of Christ, to loue them as beeing Christs friends, 1. Ioh. 3.14. & such as are his members, be­cause they are so; for this commandement haue we of God, that he that loueth God should loue his brother also, 1. Ioh. 4.21. he which loueth him which begat, loueth him which is begotten, 1. Ioh. 5.1. And Christ setteth downe a plentifull reward for a cup of cold water giuen to a distres­sed brother, Matth. 10.41.42. Cap. 25.34. now who these brethren bee, Christ sheweth to be such, as doe the will of his father, Matth. 12.50. so as it is not the af­finitie [Page 192] in the flesh, but the bond of the spirit that must vnite vs. If we loue good men because they are so, it is a good signe wee doe much more loue God who is goodnes it selfe: as if the father loue the schoolemaster for the sonnes sake, it is a signe he loueth his sonne much more: 1. Ioh. 3.10. He that loueth not his brother is not of God; therefore he that loueth his brother is of God, 1, Ioh. 3.18. Here is a double loue; the one idle, which con­sisteth onely in word, and is proper to hy­pocrites and flatterers: the other is actiue, which sheweth it selfe in the affection, and the worke, and is proper to the god­ly. Therefore the perfectest loue consi­steth in the affection of the heart, purifi­ed by faith, in the testification of the tongue, and in the performance of the worke. And ver. 19. there bee set downe two benefits of loue; one, that thereby we know that we are of the truth, that is, that we are no counterfeit Christians: the other, that herehence we shall perswade our hearts, that is, shall make our hearts secure of our adoption by faith.

Therefore to conclude, 1. Ioh. 4.7. Belo­ued, let vs loue one another, for loue com­meth [Page 193] of God, and euery one that loueth is borne of God, and knoweth God.

Now the vndoubted signes of Christi­an charitie are two. First, giuing to those that want. Secondly, forgiuing those that offend.

1. First, it is the propertie of loue to be bountifull; 1. Cor. 13.4. as to all, so es­pecially to those that are of the houshold of faith, Gal. 6.10. On the other side, hee that hath this worldly goods, 1. Ioh. 3.17 and seeth his brother haue need, & shut­teth vp his compassion from him, how dwelleth the loue of God in him? and consequently the loue of his brethren; which is but a streame issuing from this fountaine.

To doe good, and to distribute is a sa­crifice wherewith God is well pleased: Heb. 13.16. and the high way and beaten path to heauen: 1. Tim. 6.18.19. for they that do good, and be rich in good works, and are readie to distribute and commu­nicate, doe lay vp in store for themselues a good foundation against the time to come, that they may obtaine euerlasting life.

The Apostle also would this way trie [Page 194] and make experience of the naturalnesse of the loue of the Corinths in their boun­tie and liberalitie towards the Saints in want, 2. Cor. 8.8.

2. Secondly, it is the propertie also of true loue to forgiue, that is, when we are readie for Gods sake, and in obedience to his commandement, to remit and pardon those iniuries which are offred vs; for loue is not prouoked to anger, 1. Cor. 13. much lesse therefore to reuenge. 1. Cor. 13.7. Loue suffereth all things, it endu­reth all things; nay it doth not onely not render euill for euill, but it ouercommeth euill with goodnesse, Rom. 12.19.21. lea­uing the reuenge vnto God, and to his deputies & vicegerents, the Magistrates, as we see in the examples of Christ, Luk. 23.34. and of Steuen, Act. 7.60. who prai­ed for their persecutors; whose example we are to imitate, as Paul exhorteth, Rom. 12.14. Blesse I say, and curse not.

Naturally we are wolues, lyons, leo­pards, &c. Isa. like bruite beasts willing to offer all iniuries, but impatient to suffer any, as the Prouerb goeth, wee will doe no right, nor suffer no wrong; and therefore when our sauage crueltie is [Page 195] turned into charitie, and wee become as meeke and harmelesse as the lambe, calfe, or little child, it is a manifest signe, that wee are borne anew, and quickened by Gods spirit, and are elected vnto salua­tion.

So also hereby wee are assured of the forgiuenesse of our sinnes, when we finde our selues readie and willing to forgiue our neighbours, Matth. 6.12. For this fa­cilitie and kindnesse wherewith we are mooued to pardon those that haue hurt vs in word or deede, is an argument that we are the sonnes of God. For whereas by nature we are violently caried with desire of reuenge, it commeth to passe we neuer doe forgiue iniuries receiued, except Gods spirit doe correct the corruptions of our nature, extinguish in vs the heate of reuenge, and kindle in vs the feruent heate of charitie: and in whome this is done, it is certaine they are guided by the spirit of God, & are the children of God, and consequently do loue their brethren. Moreouer, that a man deceiue not him­selfe in the loue of his brother, S. Iohn giueth three Rules:

1. First, that christian brotherly loue [Page 196] should not bee for outward respects or considerations, but principally because they are the sonnes of God, and members of Christ, 1. Ioh. 5.1.

2. Secondly, that it must not be out­ward in shewe onely, but inward in the heart; 1. Ioh. 3.18. Let vs not loue in word or in tongue onely, but in deed and in truth.

3. Thirdly, that it be not onely in time of prosperitie, but when he stands in most neede of our loue: 1. Ioh. 3.18. For who­soeuer hath this worlds good, and seeth his brother haue neede, and shutteth vp the bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the loue of God in him?

By triall of this that hath beene said, both young and old may see, how farre they are from soundnes in this grace, con­tenting themselues with a shadow of it. For the most of mens loue is growne dead either vpon receit or hope of benefit, or vpon flesh or fleshly respects, and is not begunne in nor for God, nor knit by the spirit of God: the least part of it is set vp­on the Saints that are vpon earth excel­ling in vertue: it generally determineth it selfe in selfe-louing and selfe-seeking, not [Page 197] seeking the things of others, as well as their owne, or not louing the soules of men as well as their bodies; or respecting persons, and not embracing the poore as well as the rich; or not blessing their ene­mies as well as their freinds. The loue of men for the most part is a lip-loue, a coun­terfeit and fruitlesse loue, diuorced from inward heartie affection: or else a vanish­ing and flitting loue, flinching in aduersi­tie when most neede is, and readie vpon the least occasion to be ouercome with e­uil, and changed into bitter hatred.

This crazy loue euery where argueth a riuen and crackt faith: such counterfeit loue is the daughter of counterfeit faith; and vnsoundnes of loue is a sure token of vnsoundnes of faith. Furthermore we shal be to them, that wrong by word or deed, or writing, the least of Gods little ones, who are so deare to the Lord as the ap­ple of his eye, Zach. 2.8.

Let the scorners and enemies of good men remember, Ier. 2.3. that Israel is as a thing hallowed to the Lord, all they that eate it shall offend; euill shall come vpon them, saith the Lord: men may dip their tongues in venome, and their pennes [Page 198] in poison, and keepe the garments of such as stone Steuen, but the Lord wil avenge the cause of his poore ones, he will not alwayes hold his peace, nor hide his face.

Secondly, 2 to loue Gods Ministers, not onely because they are Christians, but also because they are sent of God to exe­cute those holy functions, for the gathe­ring together of Gods elect, Eph. 4.12. And this Iesus Christ declareth when he saith, Matth. 10.41. that he that receiueth a Prophet in the name of a Prophet, shall receiue a Prophets reward, that is, euer­lasting ioy and vnspeakable happines in Gods kingdome. And least the pouertie of some, might herein worke in them some doubtfulnes of their estate in grace, the Lord telleth the poore, that their Christian affection may be shewed euen in giuing a cup of cold water, Matth. 10.43. for the widowes mite was accepted, Mar. 12.44. And S. Paul saith, 2. Cor. 8.12. that not according to that a man hath not, but according to that a man hath, he shalbe accepted: if there be first a willing minde when we vnfainedly loue Gods Ministers, that we thinke nothing too [Page 199] deare for them, as the Galathians did loue Paul, Gal. 4.15. it is because by them the blind eyes of our vnderstanding are enlightened with the knowledge of God and Christ, we are reconciled vnto God and haue peace of conscience, and so con­sequently are assured of our adoption. And this is it that S. Paul presseth the Thessalonians withall, that they haue the Ministers (which turne men from darke­nes to light, and from the power of Sa­than to God, Act. 26.18.) in singular loue for their worke sake, 1. Thes. 5.12.13. And the very approching of such Mini­sters vnto vs seemeth beautifull and de­lightfull, from whom we haue receiued the glad tidings of peace to our great comfort, Rom.

If any Embassadour were sent from a mightie Prince who was our enemie in times past, and able at his pleasure to de­stroy vs, not onely to conclude a peace, but to offer vs the free vse of all the com­modities of his kingdome; who being hereof assured and perswaded, would not receiue him with ioy, and giue him roy­all entertainment? but this is our case, our sinnes had made our heauenly King our [Page 200] enemy, who is able in a moment, with the very breath of his nostrils, to destroy vs. Now it hath pleased him to send his Embassadors, not only to offer peace, but to beseech vs that we would be reconci­led to him, 2. Cor. 5.20. and vpon this reconciliation to assure vs of the riches of his kingdome: who therefore would not loue those Embassadours, that bring these glad tidings, and shew some token of thankfulnes to them?

Of this loue we haue a singular exam­ple in Lidia the purple seller, who as soon as the Lord had opened her heart, and that she was baptised, did presently invite the Apostles to her house, Act. 16.14.15. wherein she bewrayed her faith, burning with loue vnfained to Gods Ministers, whose loue shineth in this, that she is de­sirous to giue them entertainment, who had giuen the doctrine of saluation to her. The like example to the like purpose we haue in the conuerted Iaylor, ver. 32.33.34. But the great and generall con­tempt of the Ministery is a manifest signe that there be few, in this respect, which can assure themselues of the spirit of a­doption: The number is exceeding small [Page 201] who loue and respect the Lords Mini­sters, in regard of their message and Mini­sterie: nay the most (euen for their Mini­sterie sake) doe contemne them, so that their diuine calling (which aboue all things should commend them) doth a­boue all things make them base and con­temptible.

And can such thinke that they are spi­rit and not flesh; that they are the chil­dren of God, and not the children of Be­lial; when the things of God seeme foo­lishnes vnto them, and the preachers of peace fooles?

But let such know, that God hath hid heauenly mysteries from the wise and men of vnderstanding, and hath opened them vnto babes, Math. 11.25. and hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise, 1. Cor. 1.27. let them further know, that this their con­tempt, or at least small regard of Gods Ministers, is a most manifest signe that they neuer receiued good by their Mini­sterie. For if they had receiued spirituall things from them, they would neuer grudge to bestowe on them their carnall things, Rom. 15.27. 1. Cor. 9.11. which [Page 202] in the true Christians estimation are not to be compared with them, and much lesse would they (against their own con­science) defraud them of their own right, which by the lawes of God and man is due vnto them. It cannot be but a great sinne, to despise the Ministers sent of God.

First, 1 for that the Lord who would by himselfe worke the saluation of man, yet is pleased to vse as his helpers herein weake and base men, whom he assumeth into fellowship with himselfe, to become coworkers with him, although not in the act of conuersion, yet in the Ministery of it, 2. Cor. 3.9. who dare despise such whom the Lord so farre honoureth? And therefore calleth them his white horses, Apoc. 6.1. horses, in that he vseth them in his battailes against sinne, Sathan, the world, and wicked ones: and white, for the purity of their doctrine and integritie of their liues: yea his Angels, Apoc. 1.20. namely such as by whom he reuealeth his good pleasure vnto vs; and his owne voyce, by whom he beseecheth men to be reconciled.

Secondly, 2 how carefull is the Lord to [Page 203] preserue his Ministers from contempt, when he affirmeth that such as despise them, despise himselfe that sent them, Luk. 10.16. In which sense we read that the posterity of Cain, contemning the preaching of Noah, despised and contem­ped against Gods spirit, Gen. 6.3. so Is­rael murmuring against Moses and Aa­ron, Exod. 16.7. Moses saith, he hath heard your grudgings against the Lord, & what are we that you haue murmured against vs? your murmurings are not a­gainst vs, but against the Lord.

Thirdly, how vnnaturall a part were it 3 for children to despise their parents, and what seuerity hath the Lord shewed a­gainst it in his law? but godly Ministers are the Fathers of their people: 1. Cor. 4. I am your Father, saith Paul: And Onesi­mus, Phile. 1. yea and Titus, Cap. 1. who were begotten by him vnto the faith, he calleth his sonnes. Therefore let no cur­sed Cham presume to scorne them, which is not so hurtfull to them as dangerous to themselues, being the next way to bring themselues vnder the curse.

Thirdly, to haue care to keep Gods 3 commaundements; for such is the Rule [Page 204] of Christ: Ioh. 14.15. if thou loue me, keep my commaundements; ver. 21. for he that keepeth my commaundements loueth me, &c. Now this we must doe so much the rather, because the Lord hath giuen and forgiuen vs much, hauing made vs of enemies friends, as Abraham was tearmed to be the friend of God, 2. Chron. 20.7. hauing brought vs home when we wandered in the wildernes of sinne, as he did the lost sonne, Luk. 15.24. hauing fedde vs when we wanted, and had no meanes to succout vs, as he did Eliah, 1. Kin. 17.6. hauing clearly set off the debt which we did owe, and cancel­led the hand-writing, which was against vs.

If we should not performe obedience to such a God, and weare his commaun­dements, as a frontlet before our eies, our condemnation could neuer be too heauy, nor our stripes too many: howbeit euery blasphemer lieth against his owne soule that dare say (euen in the height of his wickednes) he loueth God. For can a wo­man prostitute her body to a varlot, and mingle her flesh with his strange flesh, and yet truly say, she loues her husband? [Page 205] it is not possibe. No more can any man truly call himselfe the child of Abraham, if he doe and performe the works of the deuill, Ioh. 8.44. but of this point more shalbe said afterward.

Fourthly, to hate all things whereby 4 God is openly dishonoured. This was it that so feircely inflamed the wrath of Moses, Exod. 32.19. that when he saw Idolatrie set vp by the peoples dancing before the calfe, he broke the Tables of the law, and burned the calfe, & strewed the powder of it on the waters, and in de­testation of their superstition, made the children of Israel drinke thereof: hereof commeth that, Ezech. 9.4. they that haue the marke in their forheads (that is, such as are sealed vp to saluation) do mourne and cry for the iniquity of the times. And such was the affection of Dauid, who said, Psal. 119.136. mine eyes gush out with teares, because men keepe not thy law, O Lord. And, Psal. 139.21. he pro­testeth, that he doth hate them with a perfect hatred, that loue not the Lord. And, Psal. 101.7.8. and that no notori­ous and incorrigible sinner should dwell with him.

But here note, we must hate none in respect of his creation, but in respect he peruerteth the vse of his creation; for they beare the image of God, which is louely, but they deface and scratch it out to their owne damnation: So that we must hate not virum, but vitium, that is, the wicked­nes of the man, and not the wicked as he is a man.

Fiftly, 5 to be willingly drawne into the feild for the defence of his Maiestie, Act. 21.13. for by this shall the Master know his seruant loueth him, if he cannot digest to heare him euill spoken of; yea, by this shall it be knowne, whether our way be to Canaan or no, if we aske where it lieth in the wildernes, and if our blood rise to heare Ierusalem euill spoken of, and to heare the Lord (who is the keeper of that Citie) reuiled on and blasphemed. Such were the spirits of Eliakim, and Ioah, 2. Kin. 18.37. that they rent their cloathes, when they heard Rabsaketh raile vpō the liuing God: And Ezechiah also when he heard it, was greiued at it, and spread himselfe before the Lord, to call for a holy reuenge of that furie. And so must e­uery true hearted Christian esteeme the [Page 205] name and credite of God, farre more ten­der then his owne; and learne of Moses, to be meeke in ouer looking an iniury done to our selues, but to be zealous in recompencing seuenfold to them that teare in peices the glorious name of our Lord Iesus.

This sinne of abusing Gods glorious name, is now growne to be most com­mon, euery second word beeing an oath, and he no gentleman that cannot sweare and pollute Gods name by his blasphe­mies. It is capitall among the Turkes to blaspheme Christ, (Beza in Pa. homil. 31.) but not regarded among Christians. The Israelites (who were notorious Ido­laters) proclaimed a fast, to shew how they detested the blasphemy which was obiected to Naboth, 1. Kin. 21. but we that hate Idolatrie, doe not hate blasphe­my, nay rather we glory in our abusing the holy name of our God. Iam. 2.19. The deuills feare and tremble. Pilate when he heard that Christ was the sonne of God, Ioh. 19.8. was afraid: but many are worse then Pilate, nay worse then the deuills themselues, customably and securely without all feare and regard of Gods [Page 206] Maiestie, blaspheme and reuile the liuing God.

The land mourneth because of oathes, Ier. 23.10. but many laugh it out, and make but a pastime to take the name of God in vaine: If a mortall man be held deare vnto vs, we take not his name in vaine, we will not endure that any make a scorne of him, and when a matter of play and mockerie is proposed, we cannot suffer with patience that he be brought in as on the stage; for we take this to be his infamie and discredit: And shall he haue greater priuiledge then the liuing God, whose name commeth in our mouthes in our bargaines and pastimes? &c.

It is a vice which ill beseemeth those that make profession of christianitie: for a Christians speech should bee powdered with salt, Col. 4.6. and not with blasphe­mies; it should minister grace to the hea­rers, Ephes. 4.29. and not be as a conta­gious leptosie to infect the weake, nor like thornes and swords to vexe and grieue the strong, Psal. 55.21. for how­soeuer euill men make nothing of it to here Gods name dishonoured, yet if those who truely feared the Lord, and be [Page 207] zealous of his glorie, heare these blasphe­mies, their heart quaketh, their ioynts tremble, and their haire standeth vp an ende, Ecclus. 27.14. Salomon, Eccles. 9.2. maketh it a true note of a faithfull man, to haue a reuerent respect of an oath: so he pinneth it as a badge vpon a wicked mans sleeue, that hee maketh no consci­ence of customable swearing.

Sixtly, to haue an earnest desire that 6 Christ should come to iudgement: Apoc. 22.20. the Church faith, Euen so, come Lord Iesus: and Christ in his prayer, hath taught vs to haue this affection when wee pray, Matth. 6.10. Lord let thy kingdom come. Now that this is a note of them that are elected to saluation appeareth, 2. Tim. 4.8. where it is said, that a crowne of righteousnesse is laid vp for all them that loue his appearing: Rom. 8.23. They who haue the first fruites of the spirit, do euen sigh in themselues, waiting for the adoption, euen the redemption of their bodies, when as their corruption shal put on incorruption, &c. 1. Cor. 15.53.

Christ hath told vs, that his children at his comming shall looke vp and lift vp their heads, Luk. 21.28. And on the other [Page 208] side, that the kingdomes of the earth shal mourne, Matth. 24.30. and that the pro­phane worldlings shall say to the moun­taines, Fall on vs, and hide vs from the presence of him that sitteth vpon the throne, and from the wrath of the lambe, Apoc. 6.16.

Naturally we abhorre to thinke of this fearefull daie, and tremble with feare when mention is made thereof, as Felix did, Act. 24.26. because by our sinnes we haue deserued euerlasting death, Rom. 6.23. but when the spirit of God by the ministerie of the word, hath begotten faith in vs, whereby we apply vnto our selues Christ with all his merits, by whom we are reconciled vnto God; then do we earnestly desire the comming of Christ our Sauiour to iudgement, 1. Thess. 1.9. You knowe, saith blessed Paul, what en­tring wee had, and how we turned you from idols vnto God, and to looke for his sonne from heauen: no sooner were they turned to God, but they waited for his sonne. Hereby the faithfull are mar­ked as by their propertie, euen such as with the good seruants expect their Ma­sters comming, Matth. 24.45. such as [Page 209] looke for him, Heb. 9.28. such as loue his appearing, 2. Tim. 4.8. such as beeing wise virgins and louing spouses, prepare themselues and euerie thing needefull for the bridegromes comming, Matth. 25.4. and such as beeing strangers and pilgrims vpon earth, haue their eies still toward their countrey: who while they liue on earth, yet haue their conuersation in hea­uen, from whence they looke for a Saui­our, Philip. 3.20.

The sonnes of the Church begotten by the Gospel, cannot but waite for the adoption of sonnes, Rom. 8.19.23. The Church is sicke of loue after him whome her soule loueth, Can. 2.5. The common voice of the spouse is Amen, vnto the promise of Christs comming, Apoc. 22.21. The bride saith come, and doubleth her desire and ardencie, saying, Amen, A­men.

Neuer thinke then that the heart is right affected, vntill thou finde in it this desire and breathing after Christ thy life: for this is a speciall note of discerning be­tweene the godly and the wicked, the one hath the spirit which saith, Come; the o­ther shake at the mention of his com­ming: [Page 210] the one longeth that these sha­dowes flie away, and that day breake on them, Cant. 2.17. the other can no more desire his comming, then the guiltie fel­lon can desire the comming and presence of the Iudge.

Some there are that beleeue not, nor wait not for the day of Christ, but deale as the Israelites did with Caleb and Io­sua, Numb. 14.7 concerning the promi­sed land: who when they told the people that it was a good and a fat land, and that if the Lord loued them, he would giue it them, and seat them in it, they rebellious­ly bad stone them with stones; but be­hold presently Gods sentence passed vp­on them, that they should neuer see that land, ver. 23. Such liue like the Sadduces, who said that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, Acts. 23.8.

Such was that Cardinall of Burbon, who professed that he would not giue his part in Paris, for his part in Paradise. Such was that Pope, who all his life could not be perswaded whether there was an heauen or hell; and therefore at his death blasphemously vttered these words, Now shall I know whether there be a God, a [...] [Page 211] hell, or any immortalitie of the soule; and shortly after knew it to his cost.

Others are fallen asleepe with the euill seruant while their master maketh stay of his comming, and in one dead sleepe of sinne or other (out of which they will not be awakened) wast out their dayes, as though their soules should for euer sleep after death.

Others call on the Lord Iesus to come, but neuer till they be cast on their death bed, their hearts nor mouthes neuer har­bour such requests in their life time, and therefore in all likelihood they are vn­sound.

Therefore call to minde the comman­dement of God, Luk. 12.36. Be ye like men that waite for their master, when he will returne from the wedding: herein is put a difference betweene the godly and the wicked.

It was euer a marke of good men to wait for Christs appearance. The ancient beleeuers of the old Testament did waite for his comming in the flesh in humilitie. So Simeon, Luk. 2.25. Anna, v. 38. Ioseph of Arimathea, Mar. 15.43. And how much more should we waite for this glo­rious [Page 212] appearance of this mighty God and of our Sauiour Iesus Christ, which brin­geth not onely grace with it, but fulnesse of glorie.

On the contrarie, the vngodly person is described to bee such an one, as whose master commeth in an howre when he looketh not, and in a day when he think­eth not, Luk. 12.46. The danger of those whome this day shall oppresse vnawares shall be verie great, Matth. 24.51. For such seruants shall bee cut in peices, and haue their portions with vnbeleeuers and hypocrites: cap. 25.10.12. Such foolish virgins shall haue the gate of the marriage chamber shut against them; for Christ ap­peareth not the second time to the saluati­on of any, but of such as as waite for him. The Lord guide our hearts, 2. Thes. 3.5. to the waiting for of Christ, that is, to en­dure in waiting for Christ. And hereunto we haue neede of patience, Heb. 10.36. that after wee haue fulfilled the will of God, wee may obtaine the promise. So be it.

New Obedience.

Hauing thus declared the inward spe­ciall graces of God imprinted in the spi­rit, [Page 213] whereby a man may be certainely as­sured of his adoption: Now it followeth in the last place, to speake of the outward token of adoption, which is new obedi­ence, whereby a man endeauours to obey Gods commandements in his life and conuersation: 1. Ioh. 2.3. Hereby we are sure to know him, if we keepe his com­mandements: ver. 29. And if yee knowe that he is righteous, know ye that he that doth righteousnesse is borne of him: 1. Ioh. 3.10. In this are the children of God knowne, and the children of the deuill: whosoeuer doth not righteousnes is not of God, neither hee that loueth not his brother: 2. Pet. 1.10. Giue rather dili­gence to make your calling and election sure: Ioh. 14.21. He that hath my com­mandements and keepeth them, is hee that loueth me.

Hereby then we may certainely know whether we be the children of God or no: for if we be separated from the world, then doe wee not set our minds vpon worldly things, but haue our conuersati­on in heauen: Phil. 3.20. If we bee in­grafed into the bodie of Christ, who is the true Vine, then do we bring forth the [Page 214] sweete grapes of holines and righteous­nesse in our conuersations: Ioh. 15.5. If we haue by a true faith the assurance of the remission of our sinnes, then we will loue God, who hath forgiuen vs so great a debt: Luk. 7.47. If we bee not holy, nor make conscience of seruing the Lord in the duties of pietie and christianitie, wee haue no assurance that we are the sonnes of God. For though the foundation of God remaine sure on Gods part, beeing sealed and confirmed in his eternall coun­sell, yet it is not assured on our parts, nor sealed in our hearts, vntil we depart from iniquitie, 2. Tim. 2.19. for without holi­nesse no man shall euer see God, Heb. 12.14. If then we walke not after the flesh, but after the spirit, we may be assured that we are in Christ Iesus, and therefore no condemnation belongs vnto vs, Rom. 8.1. And if wee bring forth the fruits of good life, we may be assured that we are righteous trees, Isa. 61.3. and good trees of Gods owne planting, Matth. 7.17. Now that that we may not deceiue our selues with a counterfeit holines in stead of true sanctification, we are to knowe that the assurance of saluation doth not [Page 215] proceede from euery kind of holines, but from that which is true and vnfained.

First, there is a holines of the tongue se­uered 1 frō the holines of the heart; holines in shew, but not in deed, in profession but not in practise. They were thus holy whom the Prophet reproueth, Isa. 29.13. that drewe neare vnto God with their mouth and lips, but remoued their hearts farre from him: and touching whom Paul prophesieth, 2. Tim. 3.5. that they should haue a shew of godlines, but denie the power thereof: and this kind of holines is verie common in these times.

Secondly, there is a holines in perfor­ming 2 of outward duties of Gods seruice, seuered from righteousnes towards our brethren, as the Prophet noteth, Isa. 58.2. that some would seeke the Lord and know his waies, but yet smite with the fist of wickednes; and Ezech. 33.30. that some would heare the Prophets words, but yet their hearts went after their co­uetousnes. How the Lord alloweth of this kind of holines, appeareth, Isa. 1.15. when he saith, that though they make many prayers, he will not heare, because their hands are full of blood.

Thirdly, 3 there is an holines in doing many things required by the word prea­ched, though in the receiuer it falleth but into stony ground. This was Herods ho­lines, who heard Iohn gladly, and did ma­ny things, yet could not abide to leaue his incest. Mar. 6.20. &c. And such is their holines, that can be content to doe many good things for the time, so that they may continue in one grosse sin or other, as drunkennesse, &c.

Fourthly, 4 there is an holines of those, who are earnest in the maintenance of ceremonies and traditions, but careles of duties which most concerne Gods glory, and their neighbours good, Math. 23.4. Luk. 13.15. Matth. 27.6.

Fiftly, 5 there is an holines which con­sisteth in the pharisaicall censuring of poore Publicanes, and in extolling our owne vertues, Luk. 18.13.14.

But none of those, nor yet all these ioyned together, will euer giue vnto vs any sound assurance of our adoption; but it is the true sanctification in deed, which beginneth not in the mouth, but in the heart, and sanctifieth our will and affecti­ons, making vs to loue and embrace to [Page 217] our vttermost power vertue and god­lines, and to abhorre and flie from sinne and iniquitie. And this new obedience is a signe of the child of God, and the neg­lect thereof a marke of the child of dark­nes, 1. Ioh. 3.10. But yet this new obedi­ence must not be iudged by the rigour of the morall law, which requireth exact o­bedience: for then it can be no token of grace, but rather a meanes of damnation: but it is to be vnderstood of an Euange­licall obedience, which consisteth in an holy desire and earnest endeauour in kee­ping all Gods commaundements, (Psal. 119.60.) with which the children of God are so wholly possessed, that after their true cōuersion, it is neuer or seldom seene that they should fall into any knowne sinne, with full consent of will, and with their whole hearts: & this is the obedience which the Gospel requireth: and thus we neuer sin, but keepe all Gods commaundements so farre as our frayltie doth permit, 1. Ioh. 2.5.

This righteousnes must be esteemed and considered, as it is in the acceptation of God, who spareth vs as he spareth his sonnes whom he tenderly loueth, Mal. 3.17. [Page 218] and therefore measureth our obedi­ence not onely according to our actions, but according to our affections, and ac­cepteth of the will according to that we haue, 2. Cor. 8.9. But least any man may be deceiued, here we must know, that the obedience which is an infallible marke of the child of God, must be thus qualifi­ed.

First, 1 it must be done vnto all Gods commaundements so farre as the measure of grace inableth. This was Dauids desire, (Psal. 119.5.) O that my wayes were made so direct, that I might keep thy commaundements: we haue the practise in Zacharias and Elizabeth, who, (Luk. 1.6.) walked in all the commandements of the Lord without reproofe: Christ Ie­sus saith, keep the commandements, Mat. 19.17. for he that keepeth the whole law, and yet faileth in one point, is guilty of all, Iam. 2.10. The deuill was well plea­sed that Iudas should become a Disciple of Christ, learne of Christ, and follow Christ, that so couetousnes might pos­sesse him, as that he would sell his Master for mony. So then one sinne nourished and maintained, is sufficient to keep pos­session [Page 219] for Sathan. I doe not speake of in­firmities, but of presumptuous and crying sinnes, that we doe not blesse our soules in any such sinne; for if we doe, it is Sa­thans ladder to climbe vp againe by, and it will open a doore to let in more, when we are tempted vnto them; as we may see in the examples of Iudas and Herod: He­rod harbouring incest, and Iudas coue­tousnes.

Secondly, it must proceed from the 2 whole man: we must not share our selues between God and the world, giuing one the tongue, and the other the heart; one our outward actions, the other our in­ward affections; but wee must performe our obedience with our whole hearts, yea with the whole man, body, and soule, and spirit: 1. Thess 5.23. for though wee be regenerated and sanctified but in part, yet is there no part of the whole man vn­regenerate and vnsanctified: howsoeuer the flesh and the corruption of nature be spread likewise, and mixed therewith throughout the whole body and soule. And therefore though all our obedience sauour of the flesh, and is mingled with [...]anifold imperfections, yet it doth pro­ceede [Page 220] from the whole man, body & soule, because regeneration from which it pro­ceedeth, is not of any part alone, but of the whole man, 1. Cor. 6.10. and of eue­ry part in their seueral measure. For as it is to no purpose for Citizens (beeing besei­ged) to fortifie one place of the wall, and leaue an other part vnfortified; or to keep straight watch at some of the gates, and to leaue others open; so it doeth not a­uaile to fortifie some parts against the power of sinne, and to leaue others weake and naked; but we must looke to euery part and facultie of our body and soules.

Thirdly, 3 it must be perpetuall, conti­nuing in a constant course, from the time of our conuersion to the end of our liues: Luk. 1.74.75. All the daies of our life: 1. Pet. 1.17. the time of our dwelling here: for we are not to iudge of our selues or of others, by one or two, or many actions, whether they be good or euill; but by the whole tenour and course of our liues: so that he who in this respect is holy and righteous, he is so accepted before God, notwithstanding his many faults & great infirmities: hee that in the whole course of his life is wicked and prophane, is [...] [Page 221] esteemed of God, although hee seeme to himselfe and others religious by fits, and performeth many excellent duties and good workes.

It is not sufficient that we beginne in the spirit and end in the flesh, Gal. 3.3. to professe and practise godlines in our youth, if we breake off in our age: Col. 3.12. put on the bowels of mercie, &c. when thou hast put on this Christian rai­ment, thou mayst not put it off againe, as thou wilt doe with thy coate at night when thou goest to bedde, which thou wilt cast off, and on the morrow put it on againe; but thou must goe in this clo­thing, walke in it, lie down with it, & rise with it. Psal. 15.2. It is to be noted that the holy Ghost speaketh in the present tense, (he that walketh vprightly) there­by signifying a continuall act: he doth not say who hath wrought, but he which worketh: for it is not one action that ma­keth a vertuous man, but it behoueth a man in his whole life to keep a constant course of wel-doing. Godlines is a iour­ney, there must be no fainting in it: it is not enough if we enter into the christian [...] runne well in the beginning, if [Page 222] we stand still in the middest, or before we come to the goale: Math. 24.13. he that endureth vnto the end, he shalbe saued: Luk. 9.62. but he that puteth his hand vnto the plough, and looketh backe, is not apt for the kingdome of God.

Therefore we must not iudge of our obedience by some particular actions, but by the whole tenour of a mans life.

And thus we haue heard the testimo­nies and tokens whereby a man may be certified in his conscience, that he is the adopted child of God, and an inheritour of the kingdome of heauen. Now the God of peace that brought againe from the dead our Lord Iesus the great shep­heard of the sheep, through the blood of his euerlasting couenant, sanctifie vs throughout both in body, and soule, and spirit; make vs perfect in all good works, to doe his will, working in vs that which is pleasant in his sight, through Iesus Christ: to whom be praise in the Chur­ches throughout all generations for euer. Amen.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.