A SERMON LATELY PREACHED AT PLIM­MOVTH IN DEVON, By I. B. AND NOW PVBLISHED AT the request of some that then were Auditors.

PSALM. 4.6.

Who will shew vs any good?

MICAH. 6.8.

He hath shewed thee, O Man, what is good.

LONDON, Imprinted by F. K. for Nathanael Newbery, and are to be sold at his shop, vnder St. Peters Church in Corn­hill, and in Popes-head Alley, ouer against the signe of the white horse. 1618.

TO THE WOR­SHIPFVLL FRANCIS DRAKE, OF BVCKLAND­DRAKE IN DEVON, Esquire, I. B. wisheth all grace and glory.

I Am constrained (good Sir) to satisfie your desire in so small a request, as the publishing of those lines, whereunto some­times you in your owne person gaue attention; and after the deliuery, an acceptable appro­bation. Now if it be well done, you were the first mouer, and deserue the honour of the action: but if not, I cannot impute the fault to any, except my selfe. Well; howeuer it be, I haue but done your desire, and my owne duty: for I freely confesse, that your loue (many waies manifested to me) deserues aboue my abilitie to make equall requital, propor­tionable satisfaction. You are well acquainted with my familiar phrase, rude manner of speaking; therefore I cease to make any apology or defence in my owne behalfe: yet truth is truth, that as good [Page] cloath may haue the coursest colour; the most precious stone bee put in the vncleanest corner, and sometimes set too in the impurest mettall: so may matter of great worth bee couched vnder a meane stile, and come to view in a familiar and plaine habit. For as the siluer vessell, in which the meate is dished, doth not adde to the essence of the dyet, but comlinesse and content: no more doe choise words to the truth deliuered; only they may giue some outward glosse which may de­light, and thats all.

Might I speake my opinion, then it is this: I doe affect and commend Rhetorique and elegancie of speech with any, of any (for therein the wisedome of God shineth): But to haue queint phrase, and a neate stile amongst the vulgar, is, though lawfull, not expedient. Hee therefore that will benefit the rude people, must speake plainely, carry a low sayle, and descend to their capacities. Was not our Lord Christ Wisdome it selfe? did hee not notwithstanding, draw similitudes from the most familiar and common things; as the hiding of lea­uen, the loosing of a groat, and children playing in the market place?

Who wiser (except the first and second Adam) then Salomon? yet none plainer then hee in his Prouerbs: He telleth of wringing the nose; chur­ning of milke; and of a ring in a Swines snout: was this want of art, wisdome, or learning? Where­fore let him that can and will (amongst the sim­ple) grapple with his Greeke; flourish with his Fathers; bring foorth farre fetcht Etymologies, [Page] and obscure Hebraismes; but as for me, I either cannot, or will not. And thus I commend you, with all yours, vnto God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build further, and to giue you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Amen.

Your Worships in all dutie: IOHN BARLOVV.


REader, it is concluded (for our parts, whatsoeuer our aduersaries affirme), that there are but two ends for all men at the last; either life, or death; saluation, or condemnation. Then from this truth I collect this necessary position; that, All men are either tending to the one, or trudging to the other. If thou bee in the narrow path (which is comfortable), these few lines will yeeld thee some (though little) roome, ease and ability, to goe on with the more cheerfulnesse; the which to a wearie, and almost tyred traueller, cannot but giue good content: But, if thou be in the broad (which is fear­ful), they may, through the good hand of God, be of force to cause thee smite thy hand vpon thy thigh, and alter thy iourney: For the producing of either which effects, was the cause I first preached it; and now since (though requested) haue penned it. Who knoweth not the fro­wardnesse of mans will: how improne it is to run after the rule of Gods commands? And what mā, but vnder­standeth that Good or Euill be the proper obiects for to moue and allure it to turne the perfect way? Then this being truth, reade these (though ragged) lines; for they will giue thee to see into many mysteries, secret things, that be in the course of godlinesse; and declare vnto [Page] thee, what thing is profitable for all things; so that, if thou canst but obtaine one thing, thou shalt want nothing. Thou thinkest this a hard matter: Well, bee it so: yet reade on, and then consider, consult, and giue sentence.

Thine in the Lord Iesus, I. B.


Rom. 8.28.

And we know, that all things worke together for good, to them that loue God, and are called according to his purpose.

AMongst many, three things haue, and doe most molest the children of God: One is, The guilt of sinne; another, in­bred or originall corruption; the last is, troubles and affliction. Now the Apo­stle, being a skilfull Physition, prescri­beth a threefold remedie for his distempered patients; the which being truly vnderstood, and rightly applied, will expell the danger of the diseases; and restore them that be sicke thereof, vnto perfect soundnesse.

1 For the first: Hee that would escape the guilt of his sinnes, and be able to stand iust before God, must not re­lie vpon the merit of his owne workes; but by faith be­leeue in, and rest vpon Christ Iesus.Psal. 130.3. For if the Lord should marke what is done amisse, man were neuer able to abide it; neither the rigour of the Law, or the seuerity of his iu­stice: But he that beleeueth in the Sonne of God, and is by faith made one with him, becommeth truly and per­fectly righteous;1. Tim. 1.9. so that the law of God cannot condemne him, or the iustice of God lay hold vpon him: for hee hath in [Page 2] Christ, and by him a righteousnesse, that can, and will giue a full payment, and an absolute satisfaction, both to the Law, and the Author of it. Wherefore the Apostle maketh this peremptorie conclusion; that to such There is no condemnation, vers. 1. where by the way wee may learne a double lesson.

Vse 1 First, the vanity of the doctrine of the Papists, that re­lie vpon their owne workes and worthinesse for iustifica­tion before the Lord; when as Paul, though knowing no­thing by himselfe, 1. Cor. 4.4. yet confesseth ingeniously, hee was not thereby iustified.

Vse 2 Againe, this must direct vs what to doe, when the num­ber of our sinnes are too heauie for vs; viz. to labour to be found not hauing our owne righteousnesse, which will ne­uer answere the iustice of the law:Phil. 3 9. but the righteousnesse which is by faith in Christ Iesus.

2 For the second; Inward and originall corruption will cause the man of God to droope, to hang downe the wing like a Hawke that is weather-beaten; and to cry out, Miserable, or spoyled man that I am! who shall deliuer me from the body of this death? chap. 7.24. The remedie of this disease, is the powerfull operation of the Spirit, that destroyeth (by degrees) the cursed worke of Satan in vs; and perfecteth the good worke he hath begun within vs. Chap. 8. vers. 11. whence we are taught,

Vse 1 First, a reall difference betwixt him that is truly sancti­fied, and the man wholly in the state of full corruption. For the one striketh still to cut,1. Ioh. 3.3. and rend this euill tree vp at the roots; the other, onely to preuent and hinder the outward buds, and fruits that it produceth. Carnall men neuer looke to the fountaine from whence this bitter water springeth, bubleth.

Vse 2 And here we are instructed whither to runne for help, when we cannot stay the fountaine of originall sinne, on­ly to the Spirit of God: for as Christ had power to heale the woman of the bloody issue, which all the Physitians could not cure; so hath the holy Ghost, and no other, this [Page 3] power, priuiledge. It is a worke, that requires an infinite workeman to perfect. Pray then with the Prophet;Psal. 51.11. Lord take not thy holy spirit from me.

3 For the third and last euill, which is affliction and per­secution; the Apostle also giueth vs a helpe against it; and that is comprehended in the verse read vnto you: which is; though afflictions be not ioyous, but grieuous for the present; Heb. 12.11. yet they shall turne to our good at the latter ende.

In which words, for our better proceeding, wee may obserue two things: The one is, an affirmed proposition, We know that all things worke together for good: The other, to whom these contrary things doe worke for good; and they are described, first, by an effect, that they loue God: secondly, by an adiunct, that they are called: which cal­ling is closely argued, by the Author and chiefe efficient, God; by the maner or rule, according to his purpose. In the proposition note these particulars. First, things: secondly, that these things worke: thirdly, that they all worke: fourthly, that they all worke together: fifthly, that they all worke together for good: sixthly, and that we know, &c. This for the proposition: the limitation of its obiect, or fruit of its operation followeth. But before we come to the seuerall doctrines this verse affoordeth, wee will clearely and briefly open the meaning.

We] That is, I Paul, and other grounded and strong Christians, men and women; as well of the Laity, as Preachers of the Gospell.

Know] Knowledge is tooke often in Scripture for faith, because they are inseparable companions.Rom. 10.14. For how can they beleeue in him, of whom they haue not heard? And so it is taken where Iob saith, I know my Redeemer liueth, Ioh 19.25. Ioh. 17.3. that is, I beleeue: and, This is eternall life, to know thee; that is, to beleeue in God, and whom he hath sent Iesus Christ. And so may it be vnderstood here, We know, that is, we beleeue, &c.

Againe, Knowledge is either Notionall, or experimen­tall. [Page 4] Notionall is the bare apprehension of the truth of an Art,Ioh. 3.11. 2. Pet. 2.21. or rule in any science: but experimentall knowledge is, when we haue seene and felt the truth of a thing, verifi­ed either in our selues,Gen. 3.6.7. or others. And so Adam, after hee had eaten of the prohibited fruit, did know the nature of it in the effects,2 Chron. 33.13. by his owne experience. So Manasseh knew God; Rom. 1.16. and so Paul, the power of the Word. And in this place it may be tooke for a knowledge of experience, and not notionall onely. So that the full sense is this: Wee are assured by faith, that all shall worke for good; and wee know it too by experience in our selues. Onely marke this, that ex­perimentall knowledge looketh backward, faith for­ward; the one, which is faith, relieth on the truth of the promise to be; the other, that is, experimental knowledge, is grounded vpon the word and will of God accompli­shed.

That all] All, is tooke for all kinds, and all of all kindes, that is, collectiuely; excluding not any thing; or, for of each thing some, that is to say, distributiuely; excluding some things. For example: The Pharisies did tithe all hearbes: Luk. 11.42. 1. Tim. 2.4. that is, of all kinds of hearbs: God would haue all men to be saued, viz. of all sexes; men, women: and of all callings; superiours, inferiours: or of all nations; Iewes, Gentiles, Barbarians, Scythians: And in the largest sense it may be tooke in this place. For the Apostle seemes to answere a secret obiection. Some might say, What? shall affliction worke for good? the answere is, Yes: whatsoe­uer it be, good or bad.

Things] Things is any thing; from God to the least ens, entity and being: for sinne it selfe is called a thing; as, These things: Psal. 50.21. that is, these sinnes, hast thou done. So that by things here is meant, any thing that can be named or con­ceiued.

Heb. 12.11. Worke] To wit, Turne, or fall out in the end and euent, by Gods disposing.

Together] Not apart, or as they be simply to bee consi­dered in themselues: for separate affliction from grace, or [Page 5] Gods ouer-ruling and disposing hand, Gen. 50.20. it cannot worke but for euill. As simple poyson, by it selfe receiued, doth kill; but being mixed with other ingredients, cureth the sicke patient: so doth sinne.

For good] That is, for the good of grace here,Psal. 119.71. and glory hereafter: For we exclude naturall and ciuill goodnesse from this good, in this place mentioned: though in ano­ther respect, they may haue their prize and praise.

To them that loue God. Deut. 11.1. Mat. 10.37.] Loue is sometimes put for all the duties of religion. But Paul doth mention it heere, before any other thing, for two reasons. First, because without loue al our proceedings are vnacceptable to God:1. Cor. 13.1. &c. this is that spirituall salt, that seasoneth all our actions. Se­condly,2. Cor. 5.14. in regard that we cannot suffer any affliction for any person or thing, if we doe not loue it, and affect him: therefore Iacob serued seuen yeeres for Rahel, Gen. 29.20. and they see­med vnto him but a few daies, because he loued her.

And are called] Calling is manifold, either from the subiect place; so God called his people out of Egypt: or by the instrumentall causes;Psal. 19.3. so God calleth by his crea­tures, iudgements, word and actions: or to an office; so Iudas.

Againe, it is effectuall, or not effectuall,Mat. 22.14. Many are cal­led, but not truly, sauingly.

Now a man is said to be effectually called, in respect of the manner; ordinarily, or extraordinarily: ordinarily is,1. Cor. 1.2. by the Word and Spirit, co-operating in a mans conuersi­on: extraordinarily, when the Spirit immediately, with­out the Word read, or preached, speaketh to the heart of a sinner, saying; Arise, thou that art out of the way, Rom. 1.6. turne into the right path, and walke on in the gate that leadeth to glory. And this effectuall calling, is that, that is here by the Apostle nominated; whether ordinarily, or extraordina­rily effected, that skils not; for so a thing bee well done, it matters not, whether it bee effected by a common, or more speciall manner of proceeding; for that is not of the essence, but an adiunct to rhe thing.

Hebr. 8.5. According] In this word is a similitude of equall pro­portion.

To his] That is, Gods; they that referre it to man, are deceiued, and corrupt the Text: for God calleth not any for his foreseene faith,2. Tim 1 9. or workes; but of his owne good pleasure; and that, when man hath no purpose to bee cal­led at all.

Purpose] This word seemes to haue in it two things: the one, a rule by which a thing is done; the other, a set­led resolution to doe according to that rule: the first hath relation to the vnderstanding; the second, to the will; and we ascribe both to God. For hee effecteth nothing with­out knowledge, and all acts proceed from the will; the one guiding, and the other working, perfecting. Now both these, without offence to his Maiesty, may be ascri­bed vnto him.

And now will you heere the Metaphrase in order, as it is summarily in the verse contained? then thus it is, brief­ly, plainly: as if the Apostle had thus more amply reaso­ned, related:

I cannot denie, but that afflictions and persecutions are troublesome, and not easily vndergone by them that either preach, or professe the Gospell; yet notwithstanding, this may be a meanes to strengthen the weake and feeble mindes of the faithfull; for we that are the Disciples of Christ, doe know by experience, in respect of times past, and are by faith assured for the future daies; that, there is nothing whatsoeuer, as sinne, sorrow, death, or what can be named, or conceiued; but, to those that loue the Lord, and are effectually called of his good pleasure, it shall, in the euent and finall conclusion, by his wise disposing, turne for the bringing of them to the truth of grace here, and the eternall perfection of glory hereafter. And this I conceiue to be the very true and naturall sense of the verse wee haue in hand: so let vs now proceed to gather some particular Doctrines, for our better and fur­ther instruction: and this I take to bee one of the princi­pall, that

Doct. 1 All things worke together for good, vnto the children of God.

The Apostle in another place hath a speech something to the same purpose;1. Tim. 4.8. Bodily exercise (saith he) profiteth a very little, yet godlinesse is profitable for all things. But for the better prosecution of this point, we will make a foure­fold distribution. All things that are for our good, come either, first, from God; secondly, Satan; thirdly, others; fourthly and lastly, from our selues: for in these wee may comprehend the most, if not all things, whereof wee haue to speake.

I And concerning God, we will consider, either his attributes, or his acts. 1 For his attributes, though they bee many, yet foure onely shall bee mentioned. And because that Knowledge in God is most excellent (for Satan at the first vsed it as an argument to seduce our Parents,Genes. 3.5. Yee shall be as gods, knowing good and euill), we will declare how it worketh for the good of all his children.

1 First, by knowledge hee discerneth them from all repro­bated bastards, and is able to call them by name. Exod. 33.12. And is not this good for them? will it not comfort a child, in that his father knoweth him? By this hee also vnderstandeth not onely who we be, but where we be, what we be, and the things that be the best for vs. Ignorance was a cause why Isaac blessed Iacob in stead of Esau; for had he knowne it,Genes. 27.23. he would not haue done it. Ignorance was the ground, why some of the Princes of this world put to death the Lord of life; for had they knowne him, 1. Cor. 2.8. they would not haue crucifi­ed him. 1. Tim. 1.13. Ignorance caused Paul to persecute the seruants of God; and many more euils haue sprung from this blind­nesse. Wherefore God, that knoweth his, cannot passe by them, and giue his blessings vnto others. So that know­ledge in God is for his childrens good.

Was it not good vnto Hagar, Genes. 16. Matth. 2. that the Lord knew her in the wildernesse? for Iesus, when he was in Egypt? for Dauid, seeing the vprightnesse of his heart? and for Paul also, The Lord knoweth whether I loue you, or not? yea,2. Cor. 11.11. by [Page 8] this all-sufficient and seeing eye, he can collect the Elect from the foure ends of the world; single them out of the deformed multitude; gather together their very bones; num­ber their haires; make a re-union of the same soule and bo­dy; conuent them at the last day before him; and reward them according to their workes. Nay, the discerning of our thoughts is profitable for the elect, for thereby they shall not be hindred, but helped. And by his Omniscience hee discouereth the plots of the wicked, and knoweth there­by, how to frustrate and confound their close and cunning enterprises.

The sicke patient is comforted, when as the Phisitian vnderstandeth the nature and danger of his disease, and the best way and meanes that can cure him. It cannot but be a vexation of spirit to be in calamitie, and his best friends ignorant of his perplexitie: Hence haue these sor­rowfull speeches sprung; Little doth my father and friends vnderstand where I am, and my wofull condition: would to God they did: for then they would vse meanes to free mee, comfort me. Wherefore when men are imprisoned vnder the Turke, or any Enemie; the first thing they doe, is to let their friends by letters, or other waies, to haue know­ledge of it. Truly Gods knowledge is the very first ground of comfort to all the faithfull; for it maketh way, that euill may be remoued from them, and all that is good conferred vpon them; and the more wee thinke vpon Gods Omniscience, the more will it yeeld vs matter of mirth and great reioycing.

Dauid, when he would encourage his sonne Salomon to serue God,1. Chron. 28.9. vseth it for a strong inducement: for the Lord knoweth all hearts. Christ pricketh his people for to pray on the same ground;Matth 6.6. Your heauenly Father knoweth the things whereof ye stand in need. Paul thereby streng­theneth the feeble minded, in the apostacy of such as had made great profession;2. Tim. 2.19. The Lord knoweth who are his. Pe­ter, and others, perswadeth the children of God, to doe good and suffer affliction, producing it as a reason: for the [Page 9] eye of the Lord is ouer the righteous: He knoweth their works, 1. Pet. 3.12. Reuel. 2.19. and their dwelling place. So that we see, the Omniscience of God in all respects may, and shall worke for his chil­drens good.

2 And from Gods Omniscience wee will proceed to his Omnipotencie, and there wee shall perceiue, that it is also good for his children: for knowledge without power were to little purpose: but when these concurre in one person, what euill may not be preuented? what good pro­cured? This power is of great force to confirme our faith; for by it we beleeue,Heb. 11.3. that he was able to create the world of nothing: that he doth, and can preserue all things that they be not destroied,Psal. 114.5. &c. or the whole order thereof distur­bed, ouerturned: that God can procure foode and rai­ment, rather then we should want, extraordinarily; that he can curbe and bridle the rage and violence of men and diuels; raise vp the dead; and make a new heauen, Deut. 32.39.40. &c. Phil. 3.21. 2. Pet. 3.13. and a new earth, wherein shall dwell righteousnesse. And what is it that he wanteth power to doe, if it may make for his glory, and our good? for The Lord is in heauen, Psal. 115.3. and doth whatsoeuer he will.

Furthermore,Rom. 4.21. it will confirme our confidence in the ac­complishment of all his promises, though they be neuer so many or great, or seeme sometimes to exceede or crosse nature. Dauid would not feare, Psal. 27.1. when the strong hand of the Lord was with him. Abraham would willingly offer his sonne; for God had power to raise him to life againe. Heb. 11.17.19. In a word; if he be with vs, what mattereth it, Who, Rom. 8.31. or what is against vs? For by his Power he is able to preserue our essence from perishing; and to keepe and support vs, as a hand of strength for euer: Thus you may perceiue, that his power is good for his children.

3 Now from his Omnipotency, let vs descend to his Mer­cy, Psalm. 73.1. Lam. 3.22. and is not that the spring that comforteth the thirstie soule? the fountaine of all ioy in miserie? and that, that must support vs from horrour and despaire? This will make vs willing to come before him in life, bold in death, [Page 10] and full of ioy in the great day of his comming, and our appearing. Yea, it will worke in vs compassion to our brethren,Psal. 103.1. thankefulnesse for his benefits; and will not his bountifulnesse allure a good heart to true repentance? Rom. 2.4.5. But no man maketh doubt of this; therefore the more briefly we will touch it, and goe to the Attribute of his Iustice.

4 Iustice is a terrour to all wicked and vngodly men, they cannot endure to heare it; (but what will these persons doe, when they must vndergoe it?) they checke him that will preach it, vrge it; crying, as the people in times past, Ye take too much vpon you, Numb. 16.3. 1. Iohn 1.9. for all the Congregation is holy: yet is it exceeding comfortable and profitable to them that are effectually called, howeuer it worke with the wicked: for it wil moue them to cease from sinne, encourage them to doe good,2. Thes. strengthen them in faith, and worke in them patience, being by the prophane persecuted: for they know,Rom. 2.6.11. that sinne must not goe vnpunished, godlinesse vn­rewarded, and that there is no respect of persons with the Lord. In conclusion, it will make them carefull how to iudge the Lords proceedings,Rom. 9.14. not to accuse him as wick­ed, Psalm. 36.7. to deny their owne merits, tremble at his word, reue­rence his extraordinary acts of prouidence,Acts 16.30. and to seeke for a righteousnesse, to satisfie the iustice of his Law. And thus could I touch the rest of Gods Attributes, and de­clare, that as they are good in God, so to his children: But I omit them; and because this, of all other things, doth most deceiue many, I will a little further follow it.

We are to know, that the mercy and iustice of God are equall, as they be in him, and so be all his attributes; for whatsoeuer is in God, is God; and there is no difference betweene the essence and attributes of God, but in our apprehension: yet though they be equall amongst them­selues, it may be demanded.

Quest. Whither is the greater in respect of the externall ob­iect, about which they are exercised?

Ans. If we respect the latitude, the Iustice seemes to exceede his Mercy, and enlarge it selfe beyond it: for how many [Page 11] haue not the meanes of mercy, the Gospell of Christ? More want it, then they that enioy it. Againe,Mat. 13. of the foure kinds of grounds, one but receiued the good seed, which is meant of them that are in the Church visible. And Christ saith, that the way to heauen is narrow, and few find it; Mat. 7.13.14. but to hell broad, and many goe in thereat. Yet to speake, as I con­ceiue the truth is; if we regard the profunditie or depth of his mercy, then in that it hath the preheminence; and in foure things it will appeare: first, the Lord found out a way to saue man,Genes. 3.15. 1. Pet. 1.12. when Satan or the good Angels could not peepe into that secret. It went beyond the Serpents skill for all his subtilty, how a finite creature could make an in­finite satisfaction. Secondly,Iohn 3.16. in that God gaue his owne onely Sonne freely to take vpon him mans nature, that there might be a reconciliation. Thirdly, that he was conten­ted to receiue the debt from a suertie, and not at the deb­tors hands, for it was in his owne election and libertie.Rom. 5.8.9. &c. Fourthly, and herein is his mercy manifested wonderfully, that he hath sent his Word and Spirit to beare witnesse of this great worke to open mens blind eies,Rom. 8.15.16. that they might see into it; infuse faith into their vnbeleeuing hearts to credit it, and in particular to apply it: so that in these re­spects, they that vnderstand it, and are assured that they be partakers of this rich mercy, may say, that it is a depth past finding out. But first get vnder the act of his mercie,Rom. 11.33. taste of it, and then maist thou iustly, and with comfort commend it; otherwise, be it, as it is, infinite, it will profit thee nothing.

2 And now we will come to speake briefly of some acts or effects that proceed from God, and declare how they also doe worke for his childrens good.

1 First, his Decree is profitable for them; for though it exclude the reprobate from all true blessednesse,Matth. 24.24. yet it in­cludes the Elect within the booke of life and saluation. The Apostle compares it to a foundation, 2. Tim. 2.19. And so it is in three respects: First, because it comes from God, who is the originall and beginner of all things. Secondly, [Page 12] in regard that it is the basis and ground, on which all the worke of mans saluation stands. And thirdly, in respect of the firmenesse and surenesse of it; for it abideth con­stant and stedfast for euer: so that he who is builded vpon this rocke (as all the faithfull be), cannot fall from the cer­taintie of perfect blessednesse.

2 Againe, the worke of creation, and mans generation is good for his people; for that is the beginning of their actuall well-being, and a step to blessing; howbeit, it had been good for Iudas, Mat. 26.24. and the vnbeleeuers, they had neuer been borne.

3 And mans effectual Vocation is good too, whether it be sooner or latter: if the Lord call a man in his youth, why, is not this a rare priuiledge? and shall he not be better en­abled to resist all euill in the time of age? Suppose the Lord single a man out in his more ancient yeeres, yet it shall bee good for him also: for hee shall discerne more clearely, and that with admiration, the patience and long suffering of the Lord; perceiue his power the more, in tur­ning him from that long, and strong habit of wickednes: he will make the more haste to heauen, as the shaft to the marke that hath been long held in the bowe; worke the more willingly in the Lords vineyard so short a time; and he thereby will be the more hopefull of old sinners, lesse proane finally to censure any. And is not this also good for him?

4 Besides, let one depth of afflictions, like the waues of water, slow after another; yet shall they leade him from sinne, and draw him more close to the Law of God, make him more pitifull to his sick brother, and weane him from the loue of this world, exercise all grace in him to the vt­termost, and seale to his soule the more certaintie of his saluation.2. King. 22.20. What if death destroy his daies in youth? is he not tooke from the euill to come? and shall not a well-led life yeeld comfort at the day of death? doth he not the sooner take possession of his fathers inheritance, and rest from his labours? Reuel. 14.13. yea, and is not then the day of a good [Page 13] mans death, better then the day of his birth?

And if his life and daies be prolonged; why?Prou. 16 31. is not gray haires a crowne of glorie, being found in the way of righteous­nesse?

II Now from God, and his acts, come wee to Satan; and wee shall easily discerne, that his plots and malice shall worke for good.

1 He caused man to fall from his integritie at the first; but what lost he? first, is he not a member now of a more glo­rious head, Christ the Lord? Secondly, is not his standing more certaine, and he not subiect to change, and fall for e­uer? and this is the reason why Adam had a Sacrament in the Garden, of good and euill, to seale life or death; but we in Christ haue none, but such as seale vp our saluation. Thirdly, shall not our estate be more glorious, in respect of the place of our habitation? For if Adam had stood (probably as some thinke), we had neuer been translated from earth to heauen: for euery creature (say they) was to be blessed in that state and place, where the Lord at the first put them; as Angels in heauen, Fishes in the sea; and consequently, Man and Beast on the earth: and our ascen­sion comes by Christ; for from the Deitie, hauing more power to carry the humanitie to heauen, then the humani­tie any waies to moue the Deitie, springs our so great ex­altation. And Paul seemes to confirme this proposition, 1. Cor. 15.47. when he saith; that The first man was of the earth, earthly; the second from heauen, heauenly: endeauouring not only to proue the resurrection, but the ascension of the body al­so, by the merits of Christ Iesus. So that Satan did not hurt, but helpe vs, though not willingly; yet through the mercy of God, on his part freely; but on Satans by neces­sitie.

2 And what though he tempt vs still? why, we may learne wisdome of him; as for to get power against the day of e­uill; and it will assure a man that he is Christs sheepe, and in the path to heauen, when hee finds Satan so to tempt him, and resist him: for thus he disputeth; If I were not at [Page 14] liberty, why should the diuell thus trouble me, tempt me? Luther saith, that he learned much good (meaning in these former respects) from the aduersary of mankind; though the Papists, blind guides, scandalize him for it, and accuse him to haue been familiar with the diuell. And no doubt, but as a man learnes wit by going to Law with a cunning aduersarie; so the sonnes of God in our daies haue good by his tentations, in finding out his depths, and feeling Gods strong arme to plucke them out of his mouth: and he that neuer learned wisdome from Satan (though he in­tend not to teach him any), may be iustly suspected, not to be in the way to heauen, 2. Cor. 2.11.

III Thus from him, let vs step to mankind, the which bee our brethren in the flesh, or spirit; and we will begin with the wicked ones.

1 What if the Canaanites be still among the Israelites? is it not good for them? for first, if the sonne runne from his father, why let him fall into the hand of an vncircumcised Philistim, he will whip him home againe. Secondly, the prouidence of God ouer his, will the more appeare in their preseruation. Thirdly, it will make the faithfull to looke better to their footing, that they haue not cause to blaspheme the name of the Lord, or speake euill of his lawes: wee see Lot liued better in Sodom amongst sin­ners, then when hee came to Zoar from out of them. Fourthly, they preuent much sinne, that the righteous are subiect vnto: for suppose that a man would wrong the King of his impost and custome; sell away (as wee haue heard some doe) their powder, shot, and the like prouision: why, an honest man cannot, if hee would haue way for the wicked; for they lie at euery aduantage; and, like dogs, deuoure that carrion, that might choake and poison the godly. And doe we not see, that a flower growing amongst Onyons and Garlicke is sweeter, then if it were among more pleasant herbes? for the sower roote suckes the bad iuice, and leaues the better for the o­ther.

2 And it is out of all question, that one good man hath benefit by another: For first, they are partakers of one anothers prayers; and is not this a good thing? Second­ly, they haue a fellow-feeling of one anothers miseries; and is not this to be eased of part of their burthē? Third­ly, they will comfort thē, if they be feeble minded, and re­lieue them in necessity: and what better for such as bee in that condition? Fourthly, they all concurre, to make vp one compleat and perfect Temple, for Gods Spirit to dwell in; and by this relation, haue they not good, one by, and from another? what if they iarre now and then, as Paul and Marke were sometimes stirred amongst themselues? yet shall not the falling out of friends, bee a meanes to renew more firmely their former affection; like a bone, being knit, that hath been broken, is the fir­mer afterwards? yea, such shall be reconciled in due sea­son: for we reade,2. Tim. 4.11. that Paul willed Timothy to bring Marke with him; for he was profitable to minister. A rare spirit was this in Paul, and hard to bee found in these dayes; that would send from Rome to Troas for an assi­stant.

IV Finally, let vs now come to our selues; and if wee bee effectually called, all that is within vs, or that proceedeth from vs, shall turne to our benefit: not onely the good graces of Gods spirit, and all outward fauours, with our holy actions; but our Originall sinne and actuall trans­gressions. For first, this inbred corruption will humble vs to the earth, and make vs vile in our owne eyes. Second­ly cause vs to pray earnestly and often: and thirdly, will we, nill we, to denie our owne power and free-will: and fourthly, to seeke to God for mercy in Christ his Sonne. And our actuall sinnes will worke the same effects also: And is not he that is burthened, wounded, humbled; in the way to be eased, healed, exalted?

I could instance in particulars: Sampson (some thinke) sinned in matching with the Philistim;Iudg. 14. yet thereby God brought a great destruction vpon the Churches enemies; [Page 16] and made him a liuely type of our Lord. Isaac mist it, through circumstance,Gen. 26.8.9. insporting with Rebeccah; notwith­standing it was a meanes of his safe deliuery out of the Kings hands. Iacob may steale his brothers blessing, but cannot the Lord sanctifie it vnto him?1. Sam. 21. vlt. Dauids faining of himselfe madde, cannot well bee excused; what of that? God can so worke, that thereby he shall escape death and danger. And let this be obserued: that as a man hauing tumbled in the mire and mudde, by occasion whereof washeth off his clothes many lesser spots, then which hee before that fall neglected: so the faithfull, through the commission of some great and fowle offence, be brought by repentance to cleanse themselues of smaller sinnes, then which had not yet been reformed, except the other had befallen them. And these may serue to manifest the truth of the thing: that actuall sinne shall, as it hath, worke, by the good hand of God, for his childrens benefit, and great commodity. And now I come to render some gene­rall reasons of the generall Proposition.

Reason 1 And first of all, who can hinder the Lord from this action?Prou. 21.30. Is there any wisedome, counsell, or vnderstanding against him? cannot he tell that made all things of no­thing, brought light out of darknesse, how to turne all for the good of the godly? Who, or what is able to pre­uent it? no policy or inuention of man or Angell.

Reason 2 Againe, his power is proportionable to his vnderstan­ding; [...]ob 9.4. for as he is wise in heart, so is hee mighty in strength. He can confound the policy of Achitophel, breake the arme of Satan, and turne the fierie bullets of his foes, bark into their faces, to fight for him and his, and destroy the aduersaries; he can cause all the crooked wheeles of the wicked to runne straight, for the execution of his good pleasure. This he hath done; and this he can, and will ef­fect hereafter.

Reason 3 Moreouer, as he knoweth how to doe it, and hath po­wer to effect it: so hath he a will to execute it: and who is able to hinder that irresistable motion? [...]om. 9.19.22. will chaffe, cast on [Page 17] the violent streame, stay the current thereof from running? shall a feather hinder the turbulent wind from blowing? or the pismire moue the earth out of the worlds center? why then, may his will be preuented, frustrated?

Reason 4 And is it not for his owne glory, to effect this for the seed of the woman, and for the shame of the wicked, to bruise the head of that subtill Serpent? Yes doubtlesse: for if all his plots were not ouerthrowne, then Satan and his brood should haue somewhat to glory in, God to bee humbled for; but they shall neuer effect their willes; or the Lord be preuented of his.Isa. 59.5.6. They may weaue the webbe of the Spider; but a winde shall huffe it away: sit, and hatch the Cockatrice egges; but they shall breake forth into a Serpent, that shall eate out her owne and their bowels. And thus we come to make vse of the doctrine, which is profitable euery manner of way.

Vse 1 First, for confutation of the Papists, who maintaine, that, A man effectually called, iustified, and, in some measure sanctified, may fall totally and for euer. If the Popes posi­tion be a truth, then the Apostles is a falshood; for if one may fall from sauing grace, and vtterly perish, how can all things be said to worke together for good to such a person? And in my opinion, no one Text (though there bee many for that purpose) doth more make against our Aduersa­ries, then this we haue in hand. And what a comfortlesse doctrine is that, which they defend.

Vse 2 The next is for reprehension of those which say, It is in vaine to be religious;Iob 21.15. What profit is there in seruing the Almighty? What profit? why all profit: for all things shall worke together for their good, sinne, Satan, death, iudge­ment and hell. Yea, the worst thing that befalleth any of his children, shall doe them more good, then the best shall, that can befall the wicked.Heb. 11.25.26. It was better for Moses to suffer affliction with the faithfull, then to haue been called the sonne of Pharaohs daughter, and enioyed the pleasures of sinne for a season. Oh that the men of our age did consider but this one thing! then doubtlesse they would alter [Page 18] their minds, and speedily change their manners. For ma­ny fall into vtter desolation, because they doe not deepe­ly ponder this in their hearts.

Vse 3 And here it may teach the enemies of Gods children to learne a point of wisedome; and (if they will not shew themselues mad men) to amend.Psal. 2.2. Psal. 11.2. The Papist, and Atheist may band themselues against the Lords annointed; shoot at the vpright in heart; and make hast to the spoyle. But the righteous God shall cut their cords asunder. Why then doe the Heathen rage, Psal. 94.8. and the people murmure a vaine thing? O yee fooles, when will ye be wise? I haue often wondred, why they still perseuere in their mischiefe: But either they be­leeue not the truth;Psal. 14.1. for the foole hath said in his heart, there is no God: or else with some of the former Pharisies, and Alexander, they haue sinned vnto death, and that is a wic­kednesse implacable: and if not so; yet like Elymas the Sorcerer, Act. 5.3. and 13.10. they are full of the diuell, and pursue them of en­uie, or for lucre's sake; and haue their hearts so set vpon malice,Rom. 1.32. that though they are conuinced in iudgement, and know that they doe euill, and that God will reuenge; yet will they persist in their wicked practises. Doe wee not see some wrangling Clyants, that though their lear­ned Counsell tell them that their case is naught, and will not beare an action: yet they will to Law notwithstan­ding, and mispend their time, and waste their wealth? e­uen so Satans instruments will pursue of enuie, although they labour in vaine.

Vse 4 And this doctrine may teach vs many profitable in­structions.

First, we learne, that There is a particular prouidence of God in all things: for if not, how should affliction, sinne and euill worke for good? were it not a matter impossi­ble? some haue dreamed of fortune and chance; others conceited, that the inferiour creatures and their actions haue been gouerned by a generall course of Nature, to produce their effects; and that the Lord doth not di­stinctly guide and rule them. But by this point wee see, [Page 19] that they are all grosly deluded, deceiued.

Secondly, we may gather hence, that There is but one chiefe Monarchie nor gouernment in the world; because all things worke for that one end, to expresse that one soue­raigne power; for if there were more gouernours, then it could not be thus, therefore there is but one Monarchy, the most excellent gouernment.

Thirdly we hence may collect, that, In what condition soeuer a good man is, he is neuer miserable; for be it what it will, all is still in working for his present and future good.

Fourthly, that some good may bee drawne out of the worst thing; else all things could not turne and fall out for the profit of the Lords chosen.

Fifthly, againe, hence wee may learne how to direct our prayers; to aske outward and some inward fauours conditionally: for pouerty, sicknesse, bondage and terrour, may (by the ouer and al-ruling hand of God, bee as good for vs as prosperity, health, peace, and freedome. Therefore let vs pray with our Lord and Master, O Father, not mine, Mat. 26.39. but thy will be done: Doe with me as seemeth best in thine eyes.

Sixthly and lastly, let vs, seeing this is so, neuer except against the Lords manner of proceedings; wee cannot teach him wisedome;1. Cor. 1.25. for the foolishnesse of God is wiser then the wisedome of man: let the Lord vse what instru­ments he will: for clay and spittle, Diotrephes and the di­uell, will serue his turne well enough, and fit his purpose. If thy brethren sell thee; thy wife betray thee; or thy familiar friend lift vp his heele against thee: yet fret not, complaine not, but patiently expect the euent rather. And this is the principall dutie of euery Christian: dwell where God would haue thee; doe what hee commands thee; and wash in that water he directs thee; for this is the ex­cellency of the Saints. Let Shimei curse thee; Alexander resist thee; or an incarnate Diuell pursue thee; still lay thy hand vpon thy mouth, and with Iob say, Why,Iob 23.13.14. God is in one mind, and who can turne him? hee will bring to passe [Page 20] the thing hee hath decreed of mee.

Vse 5 Another generall vse may serue for consolation. Doe but meditate of this poynt, ponder it well in thy mind; and it will be a notable stay to support thy feeble and fainting spirit. Are thy crosses great and many? hast thou a long time beene exercised by them? what then? all this is for thy good. Isa. 28.16. He that beleeues this, will not, cannot make hast. Some mourne that they were conuerted no sooner; grieue, that they can finde comfort no speedier; sigh, that they can pray no better; droupe, that they are exalted no higher; and are tormented in heart, that they see not things in Church and Common-wealth in a more speciall manner to prosper: yet, though in some respects this may be tolerable, they may misse it in the extreame.

This vse is worthy to be engrauen with a pen of iron in stone; written with the point of a Diamond in the ta­bles of thy heart; for, next faith in Christ, it is the chiefe ground of all comfort here, and full felicity hereafter. Yea doubtlesse, this is an herbe, though one in number, yet, if thou be Gods, it will heale all thy diseases, bee they innu­merable; if so be thou remember it; and, in the time of need, by faith truly apply it. Wherefore let this point ne­uer slip out of thy mind.

Vse 6 Finally, if all worke for good, how should we be encou­raged, that haue begun well, to goe on; and those that haue not, now to begin? Hast thou liued a long time leaudly? followed the fashions of this euill world? obey­ed him in the very lusts of it? been ruled by the Prince that reigneth in the children of disobedience; and giuen vp thy members, as so many seruants to worke all wickednesse and vncleannesse? liuing in knowne sinnes, whereof thy conscience hath conuicted thee, and the Minister repro­ued thee? Yet now turne vnto God; repent for thy sinnes past, and amend; and all shall worke for thy good. Truly if men did giue credit to this, they could not but (I am sure they ought to) amend.

Who would not be willing to goe such a iourney or [Page 21] voyage, when as euery looke of the eye, motion of the hand, step with the foot, and word in the way should worke for good, and produce it profitable effect? Nay, when euery fall, wind, storme, or hurt, should bring great aduantage vnto the passenger? and this is the gaine of godlinesse: and thus shall he bee rewarded that will tra­uell to heauen. Wouldest thou then be wise? then know God, and serue him. Wouldest thou grow in wealth? why, set vpon all good actions. What if thou be preuen­ted of that end thou aimest at, and is first in thy intention? yet, how euer it fall out, the euent shall be good.

Who would not plant such trees in his Orchard, that will neuer be barren? sowe such seed in his close, whereof not one corne shall miscarry? and be master of such a vo­cation, in the which euery action would bring profit, great commoditie? Why, Godlinesse is such a tree, such a graine, and such a calling:Prou. 3.17. for all her waies are waies of pleasure, and all her paths prosperity. If this then will not moue thee to cease from euil, and learne to do good: I can say no more vnto thee, But the good Lord haue mercy vpō thee.

Wee haue heard the proofe and manifold vse of the point; yet because wicked men are prone to draw the worst conclusions out of the best propositions; a caution (and that not amisse) may be added to the doctrine.

Doe not sinne because grace doth abound, Caution. and in regard all things may worke for thy good; say not (as some haue from this very ground) Let vs do euill, Rom. 3.8, Iude 4. Rom. 2.4. that good may come thereof: for this is, to turne the grace of God into wantonnes, that should leade thee to true repentance, and the way, not to worke out thy saluation, but thy condemnation. Nay, let vs the rather by all meanes seeke, and turne all things to his glory, that bringeth so strange and wonderfull things to passe, for our good. I cannot tell what men will doe; but I am sure I know what they ought, and that from this consideration.

And now, out of many, I wil briefly collect and handle one other doctrine that my text affoords me, which is, that

Doct. 2 All things worke together for good, but to such as are cal­led effectually of God.

This proposition, I told you at first, had a limitation; for Paul doth not say, we know that all things worke to­gether for the good of all men; but for such as loue God, and are called according to the purpose of God: so that a man cannot be assured of the one, vntill he can proue himselfe to be of that number, and to haue the same things, that be in, and of the other. And these people, of whom the Apo­stle speaketh, were the called of God, Rom. 1.6. and the rea­son is,

Reason 1 First, because they that are called are elected; for God doth not effectually call any, whom hee hath not loued and chosen from eternity. Now this is the beginning of all blessednesse.

Reason 2 Againe, if they be effectually called, then are they iu­stified, made coheires with Christ, and shall assuredly bee saued: for if they haue the first, second and third linke of the chaine; they must needs haue the other, and the end also. And the Apostle himselfe, it seemes, giues the same reason of the doctrine, in the verses following. Now the maine vse of the point is this:

Vse. Let vs hence learne, to make our calling sure, otherwise we cannot haue any true ground of our Election, 2. Pet. 1.10. or iustifi­cation; and consequently, that any thing shall worke for our good, and glorification. For hee that is not called of God, though he may be in Gods decree, yet he is not actu­ally iustified; therefore can neuer, vntill that bee effected, make any comfortable vse of the doctrine. And for the true triall hereof, let these signes following be marked.

1 First of all, what power hast thou felt in the voice of the word preached? how hath it knocked at the doore, and sounded in the eare of thy soule? what hath the Lord said vnto thee? doest thou remember? Thou art to know, that the word of God is liuely, and mighty in operation, when it worketh sauingly in the soules of the hearers: it openeth the eare; smiteth and woundeth the spirit; pricketh and [Page 23] pierceth the heart, and maketh the face of man looke pale and wan. Hence it is compared to a hammer, Ier. 23.29. that beateth to dust and powder; a two-edged sword, Heb. 4.12. that deuideth and cutteth asunder the ioynts and the marrow; and to a consu­ming fier, that burneth and wasteth vp all chaffe, and mat­ter combustible; yea, that will either change, or make the very stones to flie in pieces. Why then, hath this Word broken thy hard and flinty heart? made a separation be­tweene thee and thy sinne? and caused thy zeale to burne within thee, and like a flame of fier to proceede out from thee? then it worketh naturally, and to the pur­pose.

2 Againe, How hast thou answered the Lord, when hee hath called vpon thee? What did hee command thee? and hast thou done it? If God call by his effe­ctuall voyce, hee will cause Dauid a King to replie;Psalm. 27.8. Lord I will seeke thy face: Moses to answere at the last; I will goe whither thou wilt: Paul to crie out;Acts 9.5. Who art thou that I persecute? and the stoutest heart, and most obstinate person, with the Iaylor, to fall at a poore Mini­sters feete, and burst foorth; Sir, Acts 16.30. what shall I doe to bee sa­ued? Well: search now thine owne soule; consider with thy selfe what the Lord spake, and thou hast done. Hee hath called vpon thee to be sober, 1. Pet. 1.13. Luke 6.35. and thou followest drunkennesse; to be liberall, and lend freely, and thou art become a biting and liuing Ʋsurer; 1. Thes. 5.22. to flee sinne aboue all things, and thou daily runnest after it. Is this to heare the Lords voice? and to be effectually called? No, no. But if thou repent that thou hast gone astray, smite thy hand vpon thy breast, resoluest hence-forward to o­bey his Word, and criest out, and often,Luke 18.13. Good Lord bee mercifull to mee a sinner; then bee of good comfort, thy sinnes are forgiuen thee: for God hath effectually cal­led thee.

3 In the third place; What loue hast thou to that Word, by which thou hast been called? How art thou affe­cted with it? and of what price doest thou value it? [Page 24] Canst thou say with Iob, Iob 23.12. I respect it aboue my daily and ap­pointed food? Ier. 15.16. Psalm. 19.10. with Ieremiah, It is the reioycing of my soule? with Dauid, It is sweeter to me, then the hony-combe? In a word, doest thou loue it aboue much fine gold? meditate in it day and night? 1. Thes. 1.6. delight to heare it? and, with the Thes­salonians, receiue it with great ioy in affliction? Why, no man dares deny, but that thou art singled out of the world, and brought into the liberty of Gods children: but if thou stop the eare at the Word, scoffe at the Word, and spit, and spue it out of thy mouth; thou art yet dead, and God by his voice hath not truly cal­led thee.

4 And in conclusion: What disposition doest thou find to call others, as thou art called? How art thou affected to call home labourers into the Lords haruest? Sure hee that is called, will call others, and that foure waies:

First, he wil cal vpon them to heare the word: for thinks hee, the Lord may call them, as hee hath done me. Thus did the poore woman of Samaria, running home, and cry­ing to her neighbours;Iohn 4.29. Come, see a man, that hath told me all that euer I did. And a good heart, when he heares the voyce of God powerfull in the Minister; Oh, thinkes hee, that such and such were here now! it might please the Lord to call them.

Secondly, they will call others by exhortation and instruction,2. Tim. 2.25. prouing if God at any time will giue them re­pentance, that they may come to amendment of life, out of the snares of the diuell. Thus did that good man call; Come vnto me, Psalm. 66.16. and I will tell you, what the Lord hath done for my soule: I will teach you the feare of the Lord. Psalm. 34.11.

Lastly, besides, they will seek to allure others into the way by a good and holy example; and (if it were possi­ble,1. Cor. 11.1. 1. Pet. 3.1. to win those thereby, that are without the vnderstan­ding of the word.

Fourthly, when all this will not preuaile, then they will giue themselues to prayer; the Father for his sonne: God [Page] perswade Iapheth to dwell in the tents of Shem: Steuen, for his enemies: Lord lay not this sinne to their charge. Act. 7.60. Luk. 23.34. And our Lord, for his crucifiers; Father, forgiue them, for they know not what they doe.

Now mayest thou try thy selfe, whether thou be called of God, or not: If these things bee in thee thou art; and all things shall worke together for thy good: but if not, thou art not called; and as yet, all things are working together for thy euill. The Lord open thine eyes. Amen.

Solisapienti Deo gloria.


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