Delivered in XIV. Sermons,

By I. B. Master in Arts and Preacher of GODS Word at Broughton in Northampton Shire.


LONDON, Printed by GEORGE MILLER, dwelling in the Black-Friers. 1636.

TO THE VERTVOVS AND NOBLE GENTLEMEN, Mr. EDWARD MOVNTAGVE, Mr. WILLIAM MOVNTAGVE, Mr. CHRISTOPHER MOVNTAGVE, and to the vertuous and noble Gentlewoman, Mrs. MANNERS, Children of the right honourable EDWARD Lord MOVN­TAGVE of Boughton, in the County of NORTH­HAMPTON. Grace and peace.

I Formerly considering (wor­thy and honourable) what a bountifull Patrone your honourable father hath beene (and still is) to me; not onely in giving me freely a presentation to the place where I now am, when I had little or no re­lation to his Honour; nor yet desiring any such fa­vour from his Lordship: But also by a continuall supply of his many bounties and favours to me, and mine; consulted with my selfe to testifie my grati­tude to him, as Elisha with his servant to the boun­tifull Shunamite, 2 King. 4. 13. And finding my selfe as unable to pleasure him by speaking, &c. As that is needlesse, he dwelling among his owne [Page] people, being knowne and honoured, in Court and Countrey. Yet considering that something was to be done for him, as Elisha for her, Ver. 14. I re­solved to shew my thankfulnesse to him (as Elisha to the Shunamite in a child) in you his children, by fore-warning you of, and fore-arming you a­gainst the Sirenian and sinfull inchauntments of Sathans instruments, to draw awry your young and flexible yeares into wayes uneven, and unequall. For this cause I gave you in writing, an Epistle perswa­ding you to imitate your vertuous Parents in their many pious and praise-worthy practices: to which I adjoyned this Discourse of Spirituall Goodfel­lowship; not then intending any further publicati­on: Yet now I have presumed to publish the same (be­ing perswaded and incouraged thereunto by many Divines, especially two Batchelours in Divinitie; (M. Robert Boulton, and M. Nicolas Estwicke) Lecturers at Kettering, who heard the Sermons preached, and perused my Booke. They being knowne in the Vniversities where they have beene Students and Fellowes of Colledges; in the Countrey where they live, and elsewhere; to be grave, reverend. god­ly, and judicious Divines) under your patronage, and protection. Perswading my selfe, that I adven­turing to divulge this little Treatise in an age so [Page] learned and judicious, shalbe questioned like the Wise mans poore man, What fellow is this, &c? And Christ Iesus my Lord and Master is not this, &c. that disgracefull disesteeme of good things by mean men, of which Iesus the son of Sirach speaketh, Ecclesiasticus 13. 23. saying, When a rich man speaketh, every man holdeth his tongue, and looke what he saith, they extoll it to the clouds; but if the poore man speake, they say what fellow is this? And Iesus the Sonne of God found verified in himselfe, of whom they said, Is not this the Carpenter, the sonne of Mary?—whence hath he such wisdome, &c? Marke 6. 3. Being more now then heretofore. As for mine Epi­stle which I gave you to be as a glasse whereby you may more easily take notice of, and as a booke of re­cords to further your remembrances of the many worthy examples of your renowned Parents, al­though I have kept it (though unwillingly, it being fitted for this Tractate, opening somethings in the same, and perswading by practice and examples, as this by Doctrine and Precept: it having had the ap­probation of my betters by farre to accompany the same (being accommodated thereunto) aswell in pub­lique as in private) from publique view. Yet my hope and earnest desire is, that you (right noble [Page] and vertuous) will profitably peruse both that and this to practice both, assuring you, that by walking in those wayes trac'd out by your religious Parents, and describ'd in this Discourse, you shalbe sure to please God, glad the good, put to silence the contrary minded, declare your reverent esteeme of your godly Parents, in not degenerating from their Christian courses, and manifest your selves to be true and li­ving members of this incomparable goodfellow­ship with all true beleevers, the Father, and his Sonne Iesus Christ. Thus desiring you, and all good Christian Readers to give God the glory, and me your prayers. I leave them, and you, to read for your direction this following Discourse in few houres, which I have painfully collected for the good of Gods Church, not without great labour, and much time; beseeching the Lord Iehovah, blessed for ever, to grace my honourable Lord, his vertuous Lady, and all his noble Children with all spirituall blessings, untill he bring them to glory, the perfection of grace.

Servant to you all for the salvation of your soules, IOSEPH BENTHAM.

To the Reader.

Christian Reader,

IT is the glory of true vertue to appeare as she is, and to be seene in her owne proper colours: wherein she hath a glorious triumph over vice, which, though audacious and impudent, yet is she ashamed of her owne face, and seekes to cover it with the vaile of vertue. In­stance Idolatry, which puts on the maske of Piety, Su­perstition of Religion, Hypocrisie of Sincerity, Covetousnesse of Thrif­tinesse, Prodigality of Liberality, Lewd fellowship of Good-fellow­ship. Hereupon the lewdest companions that can be, such as feare nor God nor man, such as take libertie to all loosenesse and licentiousnesse, committing all manner of sinne with greedinesse, Carders, Dicers, Swea­rers, Swaggerers, Gluttons, Drunkards, and others like them, very beasts in humane shapes, Swine, Dogs, Toads, Aspes, yea Devils in­carnate, take upon them the name of Good-fellowes, and entitle their abominable and execrable communion Good-fellowship. Herein they have prevailed as farre as Papists in their undue and uniust usurpation of the title Catholicke: entituling their Apostaticall and Antichristian Church the Catholick Church: and to make their blindnesse (or rather madnesse) the more manifest to the whole world, they ioyne these two contradictory titles together, Romish-Catholick [...]. Yet herein they have so farre prevailed, as not onely themselves assume, but others also give them that title Catholicke. But how? Surely in way of scorne and deri­sion: as the Holy Ghost giveth the stile of Gods to Idols. As Papists, so other lewd companions have so farre prevailed by usurping to them­selves this stile Good-fellowes, and to their society this title Good fellowship, as others also that are not of that fraternity give them and their divelish society this stile and title. Wherefore to pull away these stollen feathers from that blacke crow, that foule crew, this Treatise is penned: where­in is declared, who are the onely true Good-fellowes, and what is the only true Good-fellowship, namely the Saints and their Societie. In handling which point thou hast (good Reader) set before thee as the particulars whereof that Good-fellowship consisteth, so the sweetnesse and amiable­nesse, the dignity, and excellency thereof, and many other allurements to draw thee thereto; together with directions how to obtaine a free­dome in that fellowship, and how to carie thy selfe worthy thereof, an­swerable thereto. Be more diligent inviewing and well observing the matter of this Treatise, then in enquiring after the Author thereof Expede [Page] Herculem. By this small parcell of his paines, thou maist iudge what the man is. Yea by a studious reading of this Booke thou maist know thy selfe, and understand of what company thou art. Thou maist hereby iudge of companies, and know which is the best. In this Trea­tise thou shalt finde that the true Good-fellowes here described have a sweet communion one with another, yea and with the Father, and his Sonne. What high prerogatives and excellent priviledges these be, what cordials are thence ministred to poore distressed soules, what thereupon to be avoided, what to be endeavoured after, are distinctly and suc­cinctly set out in this Discourse. Such apt and iust consequences are di­ducted from the principall Points, as most, if not all the heads of our Christian Religion are explaned. Brevity and Perspicuity are here ioy­ned together. Read, and marke, and thou shalt find such varietie of matter as will minister delight with profit. Thus much I thought good to give thee notice of, not simply to commend the worke, but rather to incite thee to seeke after the treasure which is hid therein, that so thou maist shew thy selfe like the wise Merchant, who having heard of a Pearle of great price, and of a rich treasure, could not be quiet till he had got them, as the Lord noteth among his Parables. Farewell in the Lord.

Thine in the Lord, G. M.

The Contents.

  • SHewing the occasion and drift of this Discourse, pag. 1. 2. All Saints have fellowship together. Ten Reasons proving the Point: The Saints have like grace and glory, and how: Sixe Objections (against this fellowship) pro­pounded and answered. pag. 3. &c.
  • Saints must not communicate with the wicked: Reasons why not: Disswasions from their communion: how we may, how we may not communicate with the wicked: and with whom­we may not. pag 6. &c.
  • Saints must love each other entirely, and why: how we may, and why we must love all men, even the wicked, and how we may not: we must especially love good men: five motives perswa­ding: five objections answered, and how to love the Saints. pag. 9. &c.
  • Saints must communicate gifts and graces each to other: 4. rea­sons why: and 6. motives perswading to relieve: 2. reasons why rich men should give, 6. Lets removed: the poore must give, their objections answered: how much we must give, 3. reasons why we must give much: when we must give, 5. reasons why it is not good putting off till death: of what a man must give: after what manner, and to what end. p. 12. &c.
  • Grace must be communicated, it is the best work of mercy, though sleighted by some, derided by others. 6. motives to communi­cate grace from Saints examples: Gods glory: the nature of grace: the practice of the wicked: our brothers gaine, and our owne. pag. 18. &c.
  • Saints frrailties are to be concealed: not that they are such of­fendours as the world deemes them: sc. they are not covetous [Page] because they are painefull, why they are painefull; neither because they are not wastfull, why they are frugall; neither because they are not alwaies open handed to clamorous beg­gers, why they relieve beggers: Dissemblers not here justifi­ed, but condemned, slandering the Saint. 2. motives perswa­ding to conceale the frailties of the Saints: what Puritanes are naught, who are here pleaded for: 5. answers to the worlds objection, some Professours are naught, therefore all are naught. pag. 23. &c.
  • Saints must reprove, and be reproved: how we must reprove, a man faulty may reprove: 4. cavils against reproving, confu­ted. 3. motives perswading to reprove. pag. 32. &c.
  • Saints must be peaceable: what peace such have: others dis­cord should not dissever Saints, what we must yeeld to for this peace. pag. 34. &c.
  • Saints must forgive: yet Magistrates may punish: Men may sue at law, and how: How men may forgive, who must forgive, whom, when, what, and how: the envious, wrath­full, and revenger no rule for us: 7. motives perswading to forgive: and objections answered. pag. 37. &c.

II. Booke.

  • GOD is the Saints Father: he is their Father, all, or most of those wayes whereby man is father to man: He begets, feeds, clothes, corrects, provides inheritance for, and marieth them. pag. 41. &c.
  • Saints must love God: Few love God truly, and who they be. 4. motives perswading to love God. pag. 46. &c.
  • Saints must shunne sinne: They are not without sinne, contrary­minded confuted: selfe conceipted Pharisees censured, who are such: a sixe-fold difference betwixt the sinnes of good and bad men: a threefold incouragement of sinners to sinne, answered. sc. Gods mercifulnesse. 2. Hope of late repentance. 3. Saints sinning. Motives disswading from sinne. pag. 53. &c.
  • Saints must depend upon Gods providence: Covetousnesse cen­sured, who are covetous: Depopulatours censured, pious [Page] poore encouraged to depend on God; meanes must be used, and may without coveteousnesse: Puritanes, how covetous, how not. 4. motives to depend upon God. pag. 65. &c.
  • Saints must honour God, how God is honoured with soule and body, and why: why with the tongue, and how. sc. by talking reverently of the Word. 4. abuses, disswasives from each. 2. By talking reverently of Gods titles. 3. Abuses, disswasives from each. 3. By speaking reverently of divine Attributes, how God is just, how mercifull, who dishonour him in both. 4. By speak­ing reverently of Gods workes, how of creation, and redempti­on. 5. By a right use of anoath. 2. Reasons against Anabap­tists. 4. kinds of wicked swearing. 4. disswasives from super­stitious oaths. 6. from causelesse, and 4. objections answered: How to honour God in our lives. 6. Motives to honour God. pag. 72. &c.
  • Saints must do Gods will: Selfe-deceivers: Gods will must be done wholly, faithfully, timely, and continually: Motives to do Gods will, and directions how. pag. 88. &c.
  • Saints must be content with Gods allowance: depopulation, usu­rie, covetousnesse, and pride from discontent, censured. 3. reasons why we should be content: Honest labour not for­bidden: Nor prayer for temporall things, why, and how pray for them: Nor providence: Nor begging allowed: 8. motives to contentment: what food should content, what raiment, calling; a poore estate, and why: with afflictions, and why. pag. 98. &c.

III. Booke.

  • OBjections against the fellowship of Saints answered. pag. 113. &c.
  • Saints have fellowship with the Father, the Point proved, and confirmed by foure reasons. pag. 115. &c.
  • Comforting the Saints against Bellarmines uncomfortable do­ctrine of falling from grace, and the Devils temptations to this purpose: against enemies, poverty, infamie, exile, death, sinne, and other terrours. pag. 118. &c.
  • [Page]Reprehending wicked men: their danger presuming to harme the Saints: their folly in not laying hold of this societie. pag. 12 [...]. &c.
  • Perswading by a threefold motive to this communion. p. 129. &c.
  • They who have or desire this fellowship, must shunne sinne, because it is darkenesse, death, it angers God, crucifies Christ, grieves the Holy Ghost, makes men monsters, it's the proper object of hatred, it's against God, and from the Devill. pag. 130. &c.
  • They who have or desire to have fellowship with God, must avoid the society of sinners. 4. disswasives, whose children, what beasts, and filthy persons they be. They are dirt, chaffe, dust, smoake, and scumme. pag. 13 [...]. &c.
  • They must labour to be like God, wherein, and why. p. 138. &c.
  • They must pray to God: Prayerlesse persons wofull: what faults hinder prayer: How to pray aright. pag. 140. &c.
  • They must heare Gods Word: Lets removed: Motives to heare: Directions how to heare to obtaine fellowshippe with God. pag. 142. &c.
  • They must seeke the Lord: what it is to seeke; how; by what meanes, and why we should seeke the Lord. pag. 146. &c.
  • They must sanctifie the Lords Day: the name of the Day: the judgement of diverse Divines of the Sabbath: whether workes then lawfull, what workes meant, disswasives: whether sports lawfull, reasons, disswasives, objections answered: whe­ther worldly words, 4. reasons: whether worldly thoughts, 3. reasons. Meditation of Gods Workes, Word, and why: conference for the Lords Day: workes for the Lords Day: sc. reading, singing, and how; prayer, deeds of mercy, their kinds, and manner of doing them: Recreation for the Lords Day; foure motives to practice. pag. 149. &c.
  • They must choose the thing which pleaseth God: diverse choo­sers, which are the best. pag. 177. &c.
  • They must take hold of Gods Covenant: the foundation, and frame of this Covenant: how the same to the justified Iewes formerly, as to the justified Christians now, and how not: we must enter into, and keepe this Covenant outwardly, and how, inwardly, and how: how the Law binds, how not against An­tinomists. [Page] 6. motives to keepe covenant with God. p. 178. &c.
  • They must cleave to the Lord, what it is to cleave to God, man­ner, meanes, and motives. pag. 189. &c.
  • They must serve God: what it is to serve God: How we are free from the Law, how not, against Antinomists, and others: we must serve God with feare, objections answered: disswa­sives from serving foure evill masters: the excellencie and manner of Gods service. pag. 191. &c.

IIII. Booke.

  • ALL Saints have fellowship with Christ, because they are his fellowes, spouse, branches, building, members, and linkt to him in the nearest ties. pag. 202. &c.
  • Reprehending those who harme them. pag. 209. &c.
  • Disswading from hurting the Saints; why the world is enrag'd against them: who are their greatest enemies, how holily they live, how neare and deare they are to Christ. pag. 211. &c.
  • Perswading all to joyne in fellowship with Christ: This is the sweetest, most honourable, the firmest, richest, the most joyfull and peacefull society. pag. 217. &c.
  • Comforting those who have fellowship with Christ, from Christs names, against feare: Christ loves such with all loves: such are justified, what justification is, its causes. How faith justi­fieth, how not: sixe notes of happinesse, all in the justified. Such are sanctified, and how: difference betwixt justification, and sanctification: how sanctified persons are cleane: how once justified, alwaies justified. pag. 228 &c.
  • They have Christian liberty: a fourefold false liberty disclai­med; Christian liberty frees not from obedience of the Morall Law: what conscience is, what binds conscience, the Law binds the conscience to obedience: wherein this liberty con­sists; its excellencie, a threefold use from this liberty. pag. 242. &c.
  • Exhorting and directing to this society: Scripture, truths trier: sinnes of former times as bad as now, why they seeme worse now. pag. 253. &c.
  • [Page]They who have fellowship with Christ, do, and ought to imitate Christ: wherein we must imitate Christ actively, passively, and why: prophane livers, fashion followers, and followers of men censured: how men may be imitated, how not: what we must doe if we imitate Christ. 3. motives to imitate Christ. pag. 256. &c.
  • They have, and must have faith: and what faith; its excellen­cie: three sorts faulty concerning faith: our duty concerning faith. pag. 265. &c.
  • They have Gods Spirit abiding in them: its necessity, who faul­ty: our duty to examine our selves: who have, who want Gods Spirit: duties of such who have Gods Spirit, and of such who want the same. pag. 269. &c.
  • They who have fellowship with Christ, be, and must be his sheepe, braunches, spouse, members, building: their duties hence. pag. 276. &c.
  • The Conclusion, shewing the drift of all. pag. 278. &c.

Courteous Reader, pardon I pray smaller faults escaped in prin­ting, and amend these greater as following.

Page 13. line 5. for comsorts, reade consorts. p. 21. l. 1. correcting, 1. converting p. 31. l. 28. openly, r. onely. p. 38. l. 19. of, r. as. p. 49. l. 28. leading, r. loading. p. 64. l. 33. stayng, r. staining. p. 70. l. 16. alike, r. alive. p. 80. l. 12. it, r. in. P. 100. l. 4. where, r. whence. Ibid. l. 5. Bubus, r Subus. p 108. l 33. money, r. many. p. 178. l. 19. feele, r. seeke p. 183 l 17. Iudai­call, r. iudiciall. p. 227. l. 17. we and all, r. woe and alas, p. 245 coniunction, r. conviction. p. 225. l. 33 dissoluble, r. indissoluble.

Marginall faults.

Pag. 13. for tunica quem, r. quam. p. 23. bonum, r horum. p. 100. comitatu, r. comitatum. Ibid contratius, r. contraria. p. 110. it appeareth, r in apparell, p. 245 exemple. r Epist p. 253. virtutis. r. veritatis. p. 154. [...], r. [...]. p. 256. limices, r. limites.

Information for the meanest Reader.

Where you shall find these following, this is their signification. e. g. For example.

to wit.
  • viz.
  • sc.
that is.
  • i. e.
  • i.

Ibid. there, or in the same place.

  • [Page]1. True good fellowes have fellowshippe with,
    • 1. All Saints, pag. 3 &c. Therefore they must
      • 1. Avoid wicked mens society. pag. 6. &c.
      • 2. Love all, especially the Saints, and all those. pag. 9 &c.
      • 3. Relieve each other. pag. 12. &c.
      • 4. Communicate gifts and graces. pag. 18. &c.
      • 5. Conceale each others frailties. pg. 23. &c.
      • 6. Reprove one another. pag. 32 &c.
      • 7. Strive for the peace of the Saints. pag. 34. &c.
      • 8. Forgive each other. pag 37 &c.
    • 2. The Lord, or God the Fa­ther. pag. 115. &c. Therefore.
      • 1. Themselves are comforted. pag. 118. &c.
      • 2. They who wrong them, and neglect this commu­nion are reproved. pag. 125. &c.
      • 3. All are perswaded to this communion. p. 129 &c. To this end they must
      • 1. Shunne sinne. pag 130. &c.
      • 2. Shunne society of sinners. pag. 135. &c.
      • 3. Imitate God. pag. 138. &c.
      • 4. Pray to God rightly. pag 140. &c.
      • 5. Heare Gods Word delightfully. pag. 142 &c.
      • 6. Seeke the Lord. pag. 146 &c.
      • 7. Sanctifie the Lords Day. pag. 14. 9 &c.
      • 8 Choose that which pleaseth God. pag 177 &c.
      • 9. Keepe Covenant with God. pag 178 &c.
      • 10. Cleave to God. pag 189. &c.
      • 11. Serve God. Pag 101. &c.
    • 3. Christ Iesus, or Gods Son. p. 202 Therefore,
      • 1. They hurt themselves who harme them. pag. 209. &c.
      • 2. All should be disswaded from wronging them. pag 126. &c.
      • 3. All are perswaded to joyne in this communi­on pag 129 &c.
      • 4. They who have fellowship with Christ are comforted. pag. 224. &c.
      • 5. And perswaded to
      • 1. To imitate Christ. pag 257. &c.
      • 2. Have true faith. pag. 265. &c.
      • 3. Have Gods Spirit. pag 269. &c.
      • 4. Be Christs sheepe. pag. 276.
      • 5. Be branches grafted into Christ pag. 276.
      • 6. Be Christs spouse. pag. 276.
      • 7. Members joyned to him. pag. 276.
      • 8. And stones built on him. pag. 276.
  • 2. These goodfellowes have God to be their Father pag. 41 &c. Therefore they ought to
    • 1. Love God. pag. 46. &c.
    • 2. Shunne sinne. pag. 53 &c.
    • 3. Depend upon the Lord. pag. 65. &c.
    • 4. Honour the Lord. pag 72. &c.
    • 5. Doe Gods will. pag 88 &c.
    • 6. Be content with Gods allowance. pag. 98 &c.


CHAP. I. Shewing the Summe and Occasion of this Discourse.

1 IOHN 1. 3.‘That you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Sonne Iesus Christ.’

GOodfellowship the times favorite, is so generally applauded, that most men are almost enchaunted with its clamo­rous bruite; Insomuch, that many am­ple patrimonies, and great reuenewes by goodfellowship are wholly exhau­sted: many extravagant enormities are sleighted over, because committed not by some simple sot, or rude ru­sticke, but by some goodfellow. Yea, it is esteem'd a sufficient protection (with many) against reprehensions, and condigne [Page 2] punishments for blaspheming the names of God so sacred: excessive drinking, more then brutish: rotten communica­tion so contagious: scurrulous jests, so offensiue: mis spen­ding time so precious: scandalizing the wayes of men better then themselves, so holy: and for many like execrable abo­minations to plead goodfellowship. Goodfellowes I doe inti­mately love, and with such intirenesse affect goodfellowship, that I deeme my selfe too too unfit to decipher such an hea­uenly association. Yet perceiving slavish Hagard mineering over princely Sarah; hellish vice jet about, varnished over with the title of vertue: impiety that disguised anticke, to dis-franchise true society of its due renowne, endeavouring to make it ridiculous with satyricall mocks, cynicall girds, and hellish reproaches: and striving to soare higher then is meet for such ignoble and illegitimate counterfeits. I cannot but desire curiosity to curbe this copped monster, yet with no wrongfull obtrectations; and adorne true goodfellowship, not with any Hyperbolicall praises; a naked tale most truly set­ting forth the naked truth; it shining most bright when it is in the least bravery. Neither with any borrowed pain­tings, painting being more meet for ragged wals, then preci­ous marble. But with its owne ineffable beauty, and inestima­ble splendour: faire countenances needing no colours. To this end I have chosen our Apostles words, which snew vs an excellent fraternity, and endeauour to agglutinate vs into that so sweet Societie, which is with the Saints, with the Father, and with his Sonne Iesus Christ: which is the true goodfel­lowship; yea such, that whosoever is in this, is a goodfellow in­deed. Whosoever is not in this Society, is in truth no good­fellow. Yea, so precious is this, that we all should labour to have fellowship with the Saints, the Father, and his Sonne Iesus Christ.

This fellowship or communion is threefold. 1. Of the members amongst themselves: You with us. 2. Of the chil­dren with the Father: Truly our fellowship is with the Fa­ther. 3. Of the members with the Head: And with his Sonne Iesus Christ.

CHAP. II. Saints have fellowship together.

Doct. 1 FRom the first observe this generall ground or Doctrine. All the Saints and Servants of God have fellowship one with another: although never so farre distant in place, diffe­rent in condition, or aliens by nation. The scattred Apostles, and dispersed Christians. The pious Prince, and upright pea­sant. The beleeving Iew, and converted Gentile have all communion each with other [you with us.] 1 Cor. 10. 17. Wee: that is, all true Christians, are one bread: shewing the union, and Society of the Saints partaking in one bread. 1 Cor. 12. 12, 13, 20, 27. Now you are the body of Christ, and members in particular, Eph. 4 4. There is one body, 5. 23. Col. 1. 18. Heb. 13. 3. Being your selves also in the body, Zach. 3. 8. Thou and thy fellowes.

Reason 1 1. All members of one and the selfesame body have mutuall Society.

But all the Saints, although distant, different, &c. are mem­bers of one and the selfe same body, Ephes. 3. 6. The Gentiles fellow heires, and of the same body. Therefore, &c.

2 2. All stones of the same building have communion one with another.

All the Saints &c. are stones of the same building, Ephes. 2. 20, 21, 22. 1 Pet. 2. 4, 5.

3 3. All branches of the same vine have fellowship one with another.

But all Saints are branches of the same vine, Ioh. 15. 15: of which vine Christs Godhead is the root, his manhood the stock, his graces the sappe, his servants the branches, and good works the grapes.

4 4. All such who are children of the same parents have fel­lowship each with other.

But all the Saints are children of the same parents, having all one Father, Rom. 8. 14. Eph. 4. 6. One Mother, Gal. 4. 26. [Page 4] One elder Brother Christ Iesus, Heb. 2. 11. All being begotten by the same immortall seed, 1 Pet. 1. 23. And nourished by the same milke, 1 Pet. 2. 2.

5 5. All those who are heires of the same kingdome, have fellowship one with another.

But all the Saints are heires of the same kingdome. All being Heires of promise, Heb. 6. 17. Of an eternall inheritance, Heb. 9. 15. Of Gods kingdome, Iam. 2. 5. And same kingdome, Mat. 25. 24.

6 6. All such who are souldiers of the same band, have fel­lowship one with another.

But all Saints are souldiers of the same combate, against the same enemies, Eph. 6. 12. With the same weapons, Eph. 6. 12, 13. Vnder the same Captaine Christ Iesus, 2. Tim. 2. 3. For the same Crowne and Conquest.

7 7. All those who are the one, and onely spouse of Christ, have fellowship one with another.

But all the Saints are the one, and onely spouse of Christ, Rev. 19. 7.

8 8. All sheep of the same flock and fold have fellowship one with another.

But all Gods Saints are sheepe of the same flocke and fold, Luke 12. 32. Ioh. 10. 4. 16.

9 9. Those amongst whom is unity in Religion, unanimity in affection, and mutuall charity, have fellowship one with another.

But Gods Saints are such amongst whom is unity in Reli­gion, Eph. 4 4, 5, 6. Sympathy in affection, Rom. 12. 15, 16, 10. And mutuall charity, Rom. 12. 13.

10. Those who have the selfe same grace and glory, have10. fellowship one with another.

But all the Saints have the selfe same grace and glory.

1. They have the same grace of faith, or like faith, 2 Pet. 1. 1. Faith in like in regard of property and power: each saving faith having this property and power, that it doth receive Christ who is the common object of faith (although not in e­qualitie [...]r measure, one more, another lesse, according to the [Page 5] proportion of faith.) By the which like faith all Saints enjoy the same grace of adoption, Ioh. 1. 12. The same grace of justifi­cation▪ Rom. 5. 1. 3. The same grace of sanctification, Act. 15. 9. The same grace of patience, Heb. 11. The same grace of perse­verance, 2 Cor. 1. 24. The same victory over the world, 1 Ioh. 5. 4. The same conquest over Sathan, Eph. 6. 16. And the same hope of glorification, Rom. 5. 2.

2. All Gods Saints have like glory, 2 Cor. 5. 1. Heb. 11. 39, 40. Degrees and differences of glory I verily thinke there are, Matth. 20. 23. To sit on Christs right hand, signifying (as I conceave) the chiefest glory and blessednesse in Gods king­dome. Vpon these grounds I may safely averre; That all the Saints and servants of God, although never so farre distant in place, different in condition, or aliens by nation, have fellow­ship together. First, can any fellowship be more compact, then of stones in one edifice, limbes of the same body, and twigs of the same root? Secondly, what fraternity more intimate­ly indeerd each to other, then of Co-heires? Co-partners in grace and glory? Co-workers in the same labours? Co-enjoy­ers of the same husband? Thirdly, what communion more firmly cemented then that twixt brethren of the same parents, sheepe of the same flocke?

1 True it is, some are Iewes, some Gentiles. But God is not the God of the Iewes only, but of the Gentiles also, Rom. 2. 29. Gal. 5. 6. and 6. 15. But some are honourable, some ignoble. True: 2 So in a body there are feet aswell as higher members, yet all one body. God is no respecter of persons, his choyce is not like mans, 2 Cor. 1. 27. But some live in Europe, some in Asia. 3 Yet are all in the same fold and family. 4 They are many mem­bers, yet but one body, 1 Cor. 12. 27. They are severall branches. 5 Yet but one vine, Ioh. 15. They are diverse stones. 6 Yet but one building.

CHAP. III. First Ʋse of the Point. Society with sinners to be avoided.

Ʋse 1 IF there be so neare association (as there is) betwixt Gods [...] pag. 71. &c. Saints? then every associat in this goodfellowship should aban­don Society with the men of Belial, Eph. 5. 11. have no fellow­ship, &c. By consequence, not with unfruitful workers of dark­nes. For what communion hath light with darknesse? What con­cord hath Christ with Belial? What part have beleevers with infidels? 2 Cor. 6. 14, 15, 16. Doe not these Scriptures, Psal. 6. 8. Depart from me you workers of iniquity. Psal. 119. 115. De­part from me you evill doers. Psal. 120. 5. Woe is me that I dwell in Mesech. 2 Pet. 2. 7. Lot vexed with the conversation of the wicked, teach us, that good men which are true goodfel­lowes loath society with the wicked? 1 Can there be greater enmity then betweene lambes and wolves, the seed of the wo­man and the serpent, Gen. 3. 15. 2 Can there be greater antipa­thy then betwixt Gods Saints, and Sathans slaves? Gods dar­lings, and Sathans drosse? All are men. Ob. An. 1 True: so the stink­ing puddle, and pleasant streame are both water: the tart crab, and sweet apple both fruit. All are of the same lumpe. Ob. An. 2 True: yet not cast in the same mould: some are vessels of ho­nour, some of dishonour. Dissw. 1 Are there not contrary natures in them; grace working in one, sinne in another, then which no qualities more repugnant? 2 Are there not contrary maisters guiding and governing them, and in them, God in the good, Sathan in the wicked; then which no substances more oppo­site? 3 Can there be greater repugnancy then is in their desires, endeavours, studies, and thoughts? the one desiring and en­deavouring to please God, glorisie his Name, do his will, &c. The other to fulfill the sensuall lusts of the flesh, serve sinne, the world, and the Divell? 4 Can there be wayes more oppo­site then theirs; the one going towards heaven, the other to­wards hell? As it is altogether impossible for these to walke together; so is it extreame perillous to be sociable with [Page 7] wicked men, their society being dangerous and infectious. Custome with the evill is the food of wickednesse, Heathen say. [...] A gap. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lumpe, the Apostle saith, Galat. 5. 9. And our proverbe tels us, that one scabbed sheepe infects a whole stocke. These Syrens will bewitch us if we li­sten to them. A man cannot take this fire in his bosome and not Prov 6. 28. be burnt: handle this pitch without defilement: neither walk with these byars and remaine whole. Psal. 106. 35. They were mingled amongst the Heathen, and learned their workes. Tempted they were, and tainted by this coupling.

What wise man would willingly converse with cruell andDissw. 1. savage beasts? But such are wicked men in Gods esteeme: in their practises, and delights, Psal. 22. 13. 16. Isa. 11. 6.

2 Are not wicked men in Scripture called Spiders, Cockatrices Isa 59. 5. Vipers, Mat. 12. 24. and Scorpions, Ezek. 2, 6? And will any man in his right wits company with the poysonous Spider, eye-killing Cockatrice and venemous Viper?

3 These men are briars, Ezek. 2. 6. And thornes, Isa. 27. 4. What prudent man would delight himselfe amidst such in­commodious consorts?

4 Are men insociable because they will not inter-meddle with wicked men, who as smoake suffocate and smoother grace in the good? Psal 68. 2.

5 Is it not a point of folly for Gods Saints who are clad with the precious robes of Christs righteousnesse, and adopted into Gods family, to soyle themselves with such steri­lous dust, and contaminous dirt, Psal. 18. 42. Is it conveni­ent for Gods wheate unnecessarily to intermingle with such chaffe, Psal. 1. 4. Light in weight, in worth, conversati­on, and condition? Can it any wayes benefite Gods gold and precious jewels to commixe with wicked drosse, Psal. 119. 119. Labouring to darken, corrupt, and defile the righte­ous, as drosse doth gold?

Seeing therefore O you Saints of God, you have commu­nion with Abraham, and all his children: Do not you exer­cise intimate passages of love with the limbs of Sathan. It is lawfull for Gods Saints to be in company and conversant [Page 8] with the wicked by divine precept, sc. when they are of the same family, as parents and children, husbands and wives, masters and servants; these may lawfully converse together, though one amongst them be impious, 1 Cor. 7. 10. 12. 21. 1 Tim. 6. 1. 1. Pet. 2. [...]8. And when by plantation and co-ha­bitation they be of the same particular Church and Congrega­tion, as godly and wicked Parishioners and Pastors: these may lawfully communicate, the godly with the wicked. 2. By divine providence, when it is not desired or sought for, but offred in curtesie, Luc. 14. 15. or enforced by authoritie, as in civill Services, Commissions, Syses, Sessions, Imprison­ments, &c. Or occasioned by necessity, as in bargaines, buy­ings, &c. I thinke it not unlawfull simply for a true goodfel­low to have community with the wicked, there being a ne­cessary and inevitable Society, sc. 1. By divine precept, of a good subject with a wicked Prince, David with Saul: A good Minister with a bad people: A good wife with a wicked husband, 1 Cor. 7. &c. 2. By Gods providence, mee­ting together in the way, market, feast, &c. aswell as a vo­luntary and free. Neither is every voluntary unlawfull; for a good man may freely converse with the corrigible, so that he desireth, endeavoureth, and hath hope to winne him. It is the voluntary Society with the incorrigible sinner which is so sin­full, Pro. 1. 10 & 14. 7. 2 Cor. 6. 14. and so dangerous, Prov. 13. 20. Ezra 9. 14. Namely, if it be causelesse, carelesse, comfor­table, and continuall. Disacquaint therefore your selves (you true goodfellowes) from the intimate fellowship of Idolaters, Deu. 7. 2, 3. Scorners of Gods Word, and good counsell, Psal. 1. 1. Dissemblers, Psal. 26. 4. Adulterers, Psal. 50. 18. Apostates, Psa. 101. 3. Slanderers, ib. 5. Proud persons, ib. Cruell men, Psa. 139. 19. Drunkards & gluttons, Pro. 23. 20. These, and such like persons are noted out by the Spirit of God, as unfit for Gods Saints to communicate their sweet passages of Christian love, and sanctified affection. Neither in truth can they finde any more consolation in their company, then delight in grapes of gall, Deut. 32. 32. Contentment in drinking downe filthy dregges, Zeph. 1. 12. Or odoriferous sent in the vomiting of a [Page 9] dogge, 2. Pet. 2. 22. Neither can they reape any more comfort in their communion, then sweetnesse in the apples of Sodome, or strength in a rotten sticke; for with them they shall never have their tongues exercised, nor their eares acquainted with any christian discourse; and by that meanes in time will grow dull, and heartlesse in holy duties. I will conclude this passage with some correspondent sayings of Saint Chrysostome: Hoc enim Iudaeis fuit causa interi­tus, quod versarc [...]. tur cum impro­bis. Quocirca legem quoque acceperunt, & lege superabātur ab ijs, & inbebātur eorum vitare con­iugia, quocirca lex appellabatur, sepes, quod tot undique circundaret & eo­rum consuetudinē cum malis coerce­ret. Chap. in 138. Psal. pag. 821. Non est autem hic parvus gradus ad incrementum vir­tutis fugere & re­silire ab eiusmodi hominum congres­sionibus. Chrys. in Psal. 138. pag. 82 [...]. Non enim parvum aut leve quid est ad securitatem, li­bertatem & omnē voluptatem liberari a tali hominum caetu, & perlongissim [...] ab improborū consuetudine versari immo vero magna est foelicitas. Idem in Psal. 139. p. 823. For this (saith he) was the cause of ruine to the Iewes, that they were conversant with the wicked, therefore also they received the law, and were seperated by the law from them, and were com­manded to shun their marriages; therefore the law was called a hedge, because it did environ them round about, and did re­straine their familiar conversation with the wicked: For it is not a small step to the increase of vertue to avoid, and skip backe from such mens company. And it is not a small, or light helpe to safety, liberty, and all pleasure to be freed from such an assem­bly of men, and to be conversant as farre as may be from the com­pany of wicked men, yea truly it is a great happinesse?

CHAP. IIII. Vse. 2. Saints must loue, especially all Saints.

Ʋse 2 THere being such a combination of Saints, They ought en­tirely to love each other, yea with such earnest ardency, that time by peecemeale may not empayre, fancy dissolve, nor suspition enfringe. Very needfull it is for all such who are joyned in this goodfellowship, to love one another. Reason 1 For 1. Hath God commanded us to serve one another in love, Gal. 5. 13. and shall not we obey? 2 Did God so love this society? that for it he sent his one and onely sonne, 1 Ioh. 4. 10. 3 Doth Christ teach us, that love is a note of his Disciples, Ioh. 13. 14. 4 Doth his beloved Disciple make love to the good an infallible demonstration of Gods cohabitation, 1. Iohn 4. 12. Is it not meete and fit for brethren mutually to love? But we are bre­thren. 5 Doe not we love our basest members? But we all are [Page 10] members of the same body: And shall not we love one ano­ther? Love we therefore. But whom should we love?

1. Al men, for they are al brethren partaking with us in com­mon nature. The workmanship of our Creator, whose good pleasure is that we should love them, Math. 5. 44. Love therefore all men; for he who hates a man loves not his ma­ker. But David hated such who hated God, Psal. 139. 22. True, he loved not the vice for the persons sake, nor hated the persons for the vices sake. To hate the sinne, and love theSciēter odisse opor­tet. August. in Psal. 139. person, is a charitable Christian hatred: We ought to hate knowingly loving the person, loathing his evill properties: loving the substance, hating the naughty qualities: loving the creature, detesting the corruption: the former being of God, the latter from the divell. Shew therefore (thou true good fellow) such tokens of love to a sonne of Belial which may be beneficiall unto him, and not hurtfull to thy selfe; advising, counselling, admonishing, reproving, correcting, relieving him in his distresse, and praying for his amendment; That his wolvish nature may be turned into a lamblike disposition: Persecuting Saul may become a preaching Paul. But do not ioyne with him in intimate friendship: do not countenance, commend, nor justifie him in his lewd conversation. For these tokens of love cannot be afforded without prejudice to thy selfe, and hurt to the other.

2. Are wee to love our enemies, how much more our friends and fellow servants, &c. Let the men of this world love any but these goodfellowes, let them say such men are ho­nest men, and we could love them, were they not so precise. Let them love sinners more then Saints: yet all you which are incorporated into this society. Do you love men for their wisdome; although such love men for wealth. Doe you love men for their new birth; although such love men for their rich birth. Doe you love men for their holinesse; although others love men for their honour. Do you love men for their graces, not for their greatnesse. Love grace in any, love it in all. Reason thus with your selves. Mot. 1 Is not hee worthy my love who hath the Lords? 2 Did Christ redeeme him; die [Page 11] for him; make him his flesh: and shall not I love the redee­med members of my Saviour? 3 Hath God given him his sanctifying spirit, saving graces, assurance of glory, and shall I deny him my love? 4 Is not grace and goodnesse as lovely in one, as in another? Doubtlesse it is, and therefore if I love any one because he is is indued with saving grace; because he is the child of God; because he is a member of Christ: I cannot but love all who are indued with saving grace, &c. 5 Can there be any thing vpon earth more amiable then those of this as­sembly. 1. If birth may allure; who more noble? Gods Sons, Christs Spouse, a heavenly of-spring. 2. If vertue; who more wise then these who are wise unto salvation? who more coura­gious then these that overcome the world, mortifie the flesh, and quell the fierie darts of Sathan. 3. If alliance; who more neerely allyed then children of the same parents? 4. If beauty; who more amiable? Insomuch that although the glo­rious sunne euer shining with such radiant splendour: al­though the pompe and glory of the whole world could not allure the Sonne of God, yet the inward beauty of the Saints: Christs Spouse doth strike as it were his heart with a vehe­ment affection & passion of love, Cant. 4. 9. Thou art faire, &c. 1. 14. all glorious within, Psal. 45. 13. Love therefore all those of this fraternity. Ob. An. 1 Be it that they are of another nation; yet all are one in Christ. 2 Be it they are poore, ignoble, and thou ho­nourable: God loves them not the lesse for their basenesse. But he hath beene vngratefull to me. 3 Thou also hast bene more unthankfull to God, and yet thou wouldst have him love thee. But he hath many frailties: 4 So hast thou, and yet thou lovest thy selfe, and desirest the love of the Saints. These proceed not from the spirit, but the flesh. Canst thou beare with faults in thy selfe, beare with some in thy brother. Let not hatred of his sinne hinder thy love to him: hate the sinne, yet love thy brother: God hateth thy sinnes, yet loveth thee. But he is mine enemy: then endeavour to make him thy friend: Vice is taken away by vertue; hatred by love. 5 Love: But how? Indeed and in truth, 1. Ioh. 3. 18. Without dissimulation, Rom. 12. 9. So as to lay downe our lives for the [Page 12] brethren, 1, Ioh. 3. 16. Thus renowned Hester 4. 16. If I pe­rish, &c. Thus a Bishop answered a judge commanding himFirmus Pagastensis episcopus Mentiri nes [...], prodere nolo. Aug. de mend. pag 19. Au bros de vir­gin. lib. 2. p. 81 82. to disclose his fellow Christians, I know not how to lie, I will not betray. Thus Didymus to save the chastity of Theodora condemned to the stewes changed apparell: safely dismissed her, died for her, and with her. And greater cause have we thus to doe then had Pylades for Orestes: or those Pythago­rean Philosophers, Damon and Pythias.

CHAP. V. Ʋse 3. Saints must relieve others.

Ʋse 3 WEe having fellowship each with other, ought to See M. Boulton walking with God. pag. 257. &c. communicate such gifts and graces God hath given us to the benefiting one of another. In a body all members have not the same vigour, neither are the same gifts granted to all in the mysticall body: Bodily members intrude not in­to each others office: neither in the mysticall body should they thrust themselues into one anothers calling. All the mem­bers of the body doe whatsoever they doe to the common good, or profit: So likewise should Christians referre all their actions to the utilitie of the whole body. 1. The Church.

We should therfore relieve one another, as members of the same body. This duty is so perspicuous that it needs no large discourse to procure credence: for not onely diverse undenia­ble confirmations which might be drawne from Gods sacred truth, and many unanswerable reasons declare its necessity: but even experience (the mistresse of more wisedome then folly) teacheth us that stones in a building support each other: That branches of a tree doe so draw nourishment from the stocke, that each hath sufficient sappe, and proportionable to its necessity. That members of our bodies are not onely carefull of themselves, but of their fellowes. Insomuch that the eye is busie to adorne the body, yet not it selfe: the hands to cover the whole, themselves remaining naked. That faith­full [Page 13] friends are in prosperitie a pleasure, a solace in adversitie, and in griefe a comfort, yea such who account a mans mis­hap their misery, the pricking of our finger the piercing of their heart. And this Doctrine I have now in hand doth tell us that all comforts of this goodfellowship are stones of the same building, then which there cannot be a more firme con­nexion. Branches of the same vine: then which there can­not be a more inherent inoculation. Members of the same body, in the which there is a most sweet concordance. Are all in an inviolable league of friendship, in which fellowship there ought to be no falshood: where simpathy of manners should make conjunction of minds, and therfore those of this conso­ciation cannot but relieve the distresses each of other. Instead therefore of proving the point which is undeniable, let me perswade you to practise the duty so tragicall to many men. To this end consider, that 1. by relieving our fellow-mem­bers we become creditours to the worlds Creatour, Prov. 19. 17. 2. By succouring Gods Saints we take the way to en­rich our selues, Prov. 11. 25. 3. And we do a worke accepta­ble to God, Heb. 13. 16. 4. Which shall be rewarded, Eccl. 12. 1. Psal. 41. 1. Mat. 25. 35. If we come short in this duty, God will not heare us, Prov. 21. 13. Dives could not get a drop of cold water to coole his tongue. 6. The poore Saints haue right to our substance: We say not give me my bread, but give us our dayly bread. And therefore one of the FathersFamelici panis est quem tu tenes: nu­di tunica quem in conclavi conser­vas: discalceati calceus qui apud te marcescit: indi­gentis argentum quod possidemus in­humatum. Eslote vos divites primi in conferen­do qui estu primi in discernendo, estote primi in lar­guate rerum, Salv. lib. 5. pag. 153. saith, It is the starvelings bread which thou dost keepe back: it is the garment of the naked which thou lockest up: it is the shooe of the unshod which corrupts by thee: it is the mony of the needy which we possesse unburied with us. Give therefore.

1. But who should give? All of this society. Be you rich men (saith holy Salvian) first, in giving, who are the chiefe in judging; be you the chiefe in bountifulnesse of substance, which are chiefe in liberalitie of words. You who have this worlds good, 2 Tim. 6. 17. For you are best able: David sent there­fore to Nabal for succour. Lazarus lay at the rich mans gate. 2. You have received most from the boundlesse sea of Gods [Page 14] mercy, and therefore by distributing to the poore you must send backe most againe, Eccl. 1. 7. Be not you therefore like those rich usurers, Neh. 5. Nor those rich oppressours, Iam. 2. 6. most cruell, least compassionate. Ob. An. 1 What though worldly Do humanitati non homini. I give to the man, not as a wicked man, but because he is a man of mine own nature. rich men say (as Negandi causa auaro unsquam desicit M [...] p. 67. cause of denying is never wanting to a covetous man, saith a Heathen) with Nabal, 1 Sam. 25. 10. There are many idle, &c. and because there are many such will send a­way good David comfortlesse by weeping crosse. Yet do you relieve many who are unworthy, rather then send away one David without succour. 2 Let them say there are so many large contributions, that mine is needlesse. Yet do you give. For what though much is given, yet not enough. Much may be given, yet the poore defrauded of it. What is it to us what others give, if we give nothing? 3 Let them say they have no need, yet do you give. Extreame needy perhaps they are not, having something; yet in great need they may be, not having sufficient. 4 What though many rich men care not how much they spend upon their backs and bellies, how little upon the poore: yet do you so attire your backes, and feed your bellies, that Christ may have a share in his members. 5 Let them thinke nothing too deare if it be the fashion; too costly if it be dainty: Yet do you thinke nothing too deare for your Saviour, and thinke all too costly which disables from relieving Christ in his members. 6 What though many regard dogs more then Christians, these being warmed at the fire when those starve with cold: these being fed whiles those famish. Yet all you rich men of this society do you esteeme them as they are indeed your owne, and Christ his members: For we have fellowship one with another.

2. But must none but rich men give? Doubtlesse yes. He who laboureth for his living must give, Eph. 4. 28. The poore Macedonians did give, 2 Cor. 8. 2. Christ Iesus who recei­ved of others, Luc. 8. 3. Gave to the poore, Ioh. 13. 29. Ob. An. 1 Say not therefore I am poore and have but little, how should I give? Art thou more needy then that widow, who giving two mites gave all, Luc. 21. 4? Art thou more penurious then the widow of Sarepta, 1 Reg. 17. 12. Yet she gave. Art thou [Page 15] so poore that thou canst not give a cup of cold water, Matth. Non curat De [...] quantum sed ex quanto, satis enim obtulit, qui parum sibi reliquit. 10. 41? Of a little give a little, and the gift is great. God re­gardeth not how much, but of how much, hee gives abundantly who leaves but little to himselfe. The widowes mite with a willing mind is accepted. 2 Say not I shall want my selfe. Sa­lomon saith the contrary, Prov. 28. 27. 3 Say not I shall lose what I give, the Lord telling thee, that thou shalt find it. Eccl. 11. 1. Say not I must save for my children. 4 The Lord saith, they shall be fed, Psal. 37. 25. Give therefore.

3. But how much should I give? Giving of almes is com­pared to sowing of seed, 2 Cor. 9. 6. From which comparison I collect, that first as the husbandman of the increase of his corne reserveth part for seed againe, so the Christian man ought of his increase to bestow part upon charitable uses, Lev. 19. 10. Eccl. 10. 1, 2, 6. Secondly, as the husbandman if he have ground and seed soweth much. So the Christian man if he have plowed ground whereon to sow this seed, waters whereon to cast his bread, and seed also, he ought to sow plen­tifully. Thirdly, as the husbandman rather then he will want seed, spares from his backe and belly. So should the godly man rather then not have seed of mercy to sow, spare from his owne belly. Fourthly, as the husbandman sowes of his best, so we should not give of our worst. Almes are sacri­fices, Phil. 4. 18. But God most be sacrificed to of the best. A cup of water is accepted where there is no better. The wi­dowes mite regarded because she had no more. But he who gives crummes having abundance, sowes rotten seed which will prove fruitlesse. Fiftly, as the husbandman casts one handfull after another, so the Christian husbandman should sow not once onely in his life, or once by the yeare, but onceWhy we must give much. and againe, Eccl. 11. 6. Remitting due debts in case of ex­treme poverty, Exod. 22. 26. 27. Lending freely to the nee­dy, Deut. 13. 8. Luc. 6. 35. Giving bountifully of our goods, Exod. 22. 25. In a word therefore, we must be liberall in good workes, 1 Tim. 6. 18. It is not enough for a rich man to give, except he gives liberally, Deut. 15. 8. Thou shalt open thy hand wide. First, much is required of him to whom much is given, [Page 16] Luc. 12. 48. Secondly, the necessities of the needy being great, there should be a proportion twixt giving and their need. Thirdly, the more men give the better it is for them­selves, 2 Cor. 9. 6. According to our seed we shall reape in harvest. He who sowes short of his ability, shall receive short of his expectation. Yet must we not so give as to leave nothing for our selves; our fountaine must be dispersed abroad, yet must we not give away fountaine and all, Pro, 15. 16, 17. We must reserve one coats to our selves, Luc. 3. 11. except in case of great necessitie, when there is no other way to relieve those who are to be succoured, but by giving be­yond our power, 2 Cor. 8. 2, 3. and so giving as to sell all, Luc. 12. 35. Acts 4. 34.

4. But when should we give? Seed is not sowne in har­vest, but whiles seed-time lasteth: sow therefore whiles our seed time lasteth. Be alwayes ready. 1 Tim. 6. 18. Titus 3. 1. Be not like many men who are never ready to give while they livel reserving all to the last, this course being first a­gainst Religion, which would have us alwayes ready. Se­condly, against reason, for is it a time to sow in harvest? O you preposterous benefactours, who put off all works of mercy vntill you die. Consider, 1. Death may surprise you sud­denly, how then will you give? 2. Riches may leave you, although they now cleave to you in abundance: give there­fore while you have time. 3. That the necessities of the nee­dy and poore are present: and the light of nature tels us, that he gives a benefit to the needy twice who giveth quickly. What [...] his dat, qui dat ce­sertter. Publ. p. [...]9. good had it beene for Dives to have comforted Lazarus thus. Be content thou forlorne man to endure this extremi­tie vntill I die, and then I will bequeathe thee somewhat: whereas Lazarus might starve before that legacie could re­lieve him. 4. He who gives whiles he lives is partaker of the poore mans prayers: he who puts off all till death, tempts the poore and needy to wish his ending, and so occasioneth him to be accessary to his death. He that would have the poore mans prayers while he lives, and teares when he is dead, let him give his lift time. 5. The unfaithfulnesse of [Page 17] men put in trust is such, that it is good for men to be their owne executors in giuing to the needy m [...]ns relieve. The husbandman knowing the ground to want seed, sowes al­though it sayes nothing. Iob if he saw the poore without clothing, clothed him. He that seeth his brother haue need, and shuts up, &c. 1. Ioh. 3. 17. Pure religion, and undefiled is to vi­sit the fatherl [...]sse, Iam. 1. 27. not to suffer them to visit by beg­ging which is a disorder in a commonwealth. Inquire wee therefore such who dare not for shame, or cannot for sicknes aske, and bestow our almes vpon them.

Give. But of what? Of a mans owne. Give in justice, goods truly gotten, Isa. 5. 8. 8. 3. 58. 7. not goods of oppres­sion,Restitutio est actus redditur quod abla­tum vel acceptum est. Tolet. inst. Sac. lib. 5. c. 16. p. 715. Hom. of resur. To [...]. 2. p. 212. dare rem deo, se d [...]mon [...]. vsury, &c. such are for restitution [without restitution (which is an act of justice by which that is repayed to every man which is taken from him) God accepteth not your confession, nor yet your repentance] not distribution. Those who give goods wrongfully gotten, to the poore: doe give their sub­stance to God, themselves to the divell. Worthy is the saying of Solimus the ninth of the Ottoman race, who being perswaded by Pyrrhus to do some good workes with wealthM. Knols, Trak. histor. he had wrongfully taken from certaine merchants answered. Wouldst thou Pyrrhus that I should bestow other mens goods wrongfully taken from them, upon workes of charity, and devoti­on for mine owne vaine glory, and praise? assuredly I will never Third part of H [...]. against perill of Idol pag 72. Nih [...]l est enim li­berale quod non idem [...]t ius [...]um. Tull off c [...]6. Wherefore L. Si [...]las, &c. C [...]sa [...] conveying of goods from the just owners unto strangers▪ o [...]ght not to be thought liberality, for no­thing is liberall whih is not just said a heathen. doe it: nay see they be restored to their right owners, which was done accordingly. L. Sillas, and Caesars conveying of goods from the just owners unto strangers ought not to be thought li­beralitie, for nothing is liberall which is not just, saith Cicero. And remarkable is the doctrine of the Church of England, which saith, money so wickedly gotten is most meet to be put to so wicked an vse. God hates spoyle, and ravine offered in sacrifice, and alledgeth Plato, who saith, such men who suppose God doth pardon wicked men if they give part of their spoyles and ravine to him, take him to be like a dogge that would be intreated, and hired with part of the prey to suffer wolves to werry the sheepe.

How, or with what mind shold we give alms? with a loving [Page 18] mind, 1. Cor. 13. 3. with a tender and pitifull heart, Isa. 58. 10. In simplicity, singlenesse, and sincerity, Rom. 12. 8. Mat. 6. 3. like the husbandman, who covers the seeds when he hath sowen it with cheerefulnesse, 2. Cor. 8. 4. 12. 9. 7. In faith, our persons not accepted, neither will our worke. With a bountifull and liberall heart, Deut. 15. 11. 2. Cor. 9. 6. To right ends, s [...]. 1. To Gods glory, 2. Cor. 8. 19. To declare our thankfulnesse for Gods favours, 2 Cor. 8. To refresh Christ in his members: To provoke others to bountiful­nesse, 2. Cor. 9. 1. [...]. To procure a good opinion of our profession, Mat. 5. 16. And to testifie our faith, and other graces.

CHAP. VI. Ʋse 4. Graces must be communicated.

MVch more ought we to impart such spirituall graces we have each to other: for if we must give bread, much more grace. It being peerlesse better then life, Psal. 63. 3. More comfortable to its enioyer then the increase of corne, wine, and oyle unto their owners, Psal. 4. 7. It being peculiar to the household of God. The fountaine of other fa­vours, Psal. 84. 11. A step to the crowne of glory: And kee­ping from destruction, Lam. 3. 22.

Let therfore the men of Belial deride with hellish geering at this, as too too unnecessary precisenesse. Let them with virulent tongues slander this as a matter of unwarranted sin­gularity. Let Sathans revellers endeavour to pervert, and impoyson the hearts of all they can with detestable impiety, and prophanenesse. Let luke-warme Christians carelesly sleight over this so important duty: Yet all you who are en­tred into this so sweet society of Saints, doe not you eate your spirituall morsels alone: doe not you hide your talents in a napkin, but employ them to your Master glory, com­municating grace to your fellow members. To this end.

[Page 19]1. Behold the holy ones of God whom you ought to fol­lowMot. 1. Saints example. as they followed Christ, Eph. 5. 1. Then will you ac­knowledge this to be avowable. Thus did the children of the Church, Isa. 2. 3. Thus did Philip of Bethsaida, Ioh. 1. 45. Thus did the woman of Samaria, Ioh. 4. 28. 29. Thus did that Seraphicall Preacher Saint Paul, As 26. 29.

2. Consider that glory of God is end of our Crea­tion, 2. Gods glory the end of our Crea­tion. Rev. 4. 11. Predestination, Eph. 1. 6. Ought to be the end of all our actions, 1 Cor. 10. 21. It is of such great esteeme with the Lord that he would rather part with an onely Sonne then with his glory; and therefore ought to be the end of all ends, 1 Tim. 1. 17. 1 Pet. 4. 11. And that you can no wayes glorifie God more then by lessening Satans side, and increa­sing the number of Gods subjects, A Kings honor (as saith the Lord, Prov. 14. 28.) consisting in the multitude of subjects.

3. If you are defective herein, it is an infallible argument3. Grace and graci­ous men are wor­king. that you your selves are empty of grace and goodnesse. If fire having combustible matter leave off to combure, and turne in­to fire whatsoever it can; if a candle once throughly ligh­ted can cease to spend it selfe for the enlightening and benefi­ting of others, then may the graces of Gods Spirit having fit matter to worke upon lye idle. Then may the Saints and ho­ly ones of God who are the Lights of the world, Eph. 5. 8. Matth. 5. 16. cease to give light to others by their godly conversations, and Christian perswasions. As the former, so the latter is altogether impossible. It is the property of men senselesse and unseene in the wayes of God: not to labour the good of other. It is the quality of incarnate Divels to hin­der and discorage beginners, crying out; come let us go to the ale house, &c. in stead of, come let us go to the house of God. But it is an inseperable condition of godly men to draw o­thers to amendment, to covert their brethren, and commu­nicateBon [...] s [...]i diffus [...] ­v [...]m. their graces to them. For grace is of a spreading na­ture, Ioh. 7. 38.

4. Shall wicked men who are obsequious to base Lords,4. Wicked men strive to make others bad. serve with all dutifull observance, first the world, whose ser­vice is vaine, Eccl. 2. 10. Hard, bringing carking cares, Eccl. [Page 20] 1. 14. Dangerous, unfitting for the service of God, 1 Ioh. 2. 16 Deceitfull, offering with Iabin, milke with the one hand, a naile with the other: exchanging for advantage copper for gold. Secondly, sinne, whose service is base, it being baser then the most fastidious creatures, and exceeding tyrannicall, recompencing its best and most dutifull observants with e­verlasting death, Rom. 6. 23. Thirdly, Sathan, a grand ene­mie to mankind; powerfull onely to punish, promising li­berty, yet in hellish bondage, joying at their destruction. Shall these strive with tooth and naile, and imploy their utmost en­devors to hale and drag, and use all fraudulent guiles and faw­ning glozes to win others to their pernicious and damnable society, although hereby they aggravte their owne damna­tion? And shall not we who serve the Lord of life, whose service is as unlike to theirs as light to darknesse, heaven to hell, glory to shame. Whose service is first most honourable, in regard of our Lord, who is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, of whose kingdome there is no end? In regard of our fellow-servants, who are not the risse rabble of wicked men, but those renowned Patriarchs, as Abraham: heroi­call Kings, as David: magnanimous Prophets, as Eliah: blessed Apostles, as Paul: and all the company of glorious Angels and happy Saints in heaven triumphant, and on earth militant. Secondly, most pleasant and delectable, in regard of our Lord and Master, who is no churlish Nabal, oppressing Pharaoh, or hard-dealing Laban. But such whose words are full of delectation, he calling us not onely servants, but sonnes, Exod. 4. 22, 23. and friends, and his deeds correspondent. In regard of our taske, his commandements being pleasant, and not grievous. And most gainefull, bringing advantage by life, and death: sicknesse, and health: here, and hereafter. Shall not we (I say) imploy our utmost indeavours to conglutinate others into t [...]s so sweet society▪ Seeing that by this means we do not diminish our own store as by parting with wordly sub­stance, nor keep our own without impai [...]ing or augmenting it. But hereby we increase graces here, and glory hereafter.

5 5. There is no meanes possible whereby we can benefit [Page 21] one another so much, as by correcting our brethren: as byImparting grace to others, the best benefit to them. inlightening them with our knowledge: imparting Gods graces to them: and working grace in them. For could we by our endeavours raise them to the highest pitch of honour: mount them aloft into Hamans place of fauour and command. So that their smiling countenances might make glad so [...]e: their angry frownes strike dread into the hearts of others. Could we ascertaine them of the full fruition of all the golden mountaines, and fruitfull Ilands under the whole heavens. Could we procure for the satisfying of their appetites, the greatest satiety of all mellifluous Nectars, and delicious ali­ments that earth, ayre, and water can affoord: of all exquisite and resplendent garments, curiously wrought and embroide­red by the art of man: finely perfum'd with the most odori­ferous Myrrhe, Aloes and Cassia; and garnished with varie­tie of gemmes and belliments, so that they are clothed in pur­ple and fine linnen, and fare deliciously every day. Yet all these without grace are but so many silken manicles, and gol­den fetters of a miserable wretch haled to wofull execution. On the contrary. Let a man be furnished with the last measure of those heavenly endowments of saving grace▪ although he be the drunkards song, a by-word to foole [...], the anvile of all dunghill scorne and disdaine, a monster amidst men, Psal. 71. 3. Zach. 3. 8. such an object of commiseration that may melt an Adamantine heart into pitifull compassion of his extrea­mest miseries. Yet in this man the beloved of the Lord, his rich inheritance, peculiar portion, rich jewell, apple of his eye, an heire of heaven, a judge of the world, Christs beauti­full spouse: never wanting a sweet comforter, a never-failing friend, who will not leave him untill it hath set an eternall crowne of glory upon his head, Psal. 84. 10. Poise these in an even ballance, and we shall see grace as farre surmounting all these golden vanities, as heaven doth earth: the peerelesse Sunne a pinking candle: and a golden mountaine a heape of dust. 1. Grace is peculiar to the soule. Its not the backe or belley, but mans immortall soule. which is the place wherein grace is resident. 2. Grace is proper to the Saints. Those [Page 22] who walke in the cursed wayes of damnation are strangers to Gods graces. But those other thing [...] are common both to good and bad: Absolon of an amiable beauty aswell as Io­seph: Goliah matchlesse in power and prowesse aswell as Sampson: Haman a Kings greatest favourite as well as Mor­deca [...]: Dives abounding in wealth aswell as Abraham. 3. Grace of as long continuance as heaven it selfe, and those crownes of immortality. In regard of it selfe, as love, joy, peace which shall extend even to eternity, never ending. Or in regard of its fruits, the fruits of faith, hope, patience, pray­er, &c. being endlesse. Those other are of so limber, and brittle nature that there can be no assurance of their continu­ance. Riches often mount aloft on Eagles wings, leaving their owners in extreame scarcenesse. Beauty is oft blasted by cares, sorrowes, discontents, sicknesse, and made disdainefull. Strength many times is enfeebled by inlenesse, gluttony, drun­kenesse, adultery, diseases, &c. Honourable advancement is often turned into scornefull contempt, and hatefull obloquie. Howsoever, at the bed of death, they must shake hands for ever. 4. Grace is a most sweet refreshing comforter in all extremities. This did revive David in his distresse. This made Iob blesse God for taking away. This made the Apo­stles rejoyce in afflictions. And the Martyrs to contemne the utmost rage of hellish persecutors. Those other have no more power to comfort in the needfull time of dread, then con­geal'd ice to give warmth to a starveling body: tart vinegar to supple a smarting wound: or smoothering smoke to com­fort a tender eye. Witnesse Achitophel, who for all his great esteeme hangs himselfe. Ahab, who being but denied Na­boths vineyard, is sicke with griefe.

6. Lastly, considering that gaine is of such efficacy that it makes the martiall man to abandon all fearefull cowardise: forsake the delight of his eyes, and his tender children: dis­regard his owne life, and with heroicall prowesse encounter his formidable bloud-thirsty enemy. What drives the ven­trous mariner through so many perillous hazards, and dange­rous pericliations, save onely hope of gaine? Yea, what doth [Page 23] edge the keene appetites of cursed and cruell inclosers, op­pressing landlords, hellish usurers to grinde the faces of the poore, purchase Gods displeasure and damne their soules, save onely gaine? This therefore being so prevalent, let me use it as a spurre to pricke you forward to this so sacred duty. By improving thy gifts and graces to the benefiting of others. 1. Thou shalt not onely gaine glory to God, (and that is gaine enough, for those who honour God, the Lord will ho­nour them:) 2. Nor onely gaine thy brothers soule out of the jewes of Sathan, which is no small advantage. 3. But her­by thou shalt increase thine owne graces. Grace not being like these dunghill vanities below, which minish by distribu­tion: nor like our candles, which keepe the same light though a thousand are lighted by them. But like the 2 Reg. 4. wi­dowes oyle, which multiplied by powring out. And those ta­lents which doubled by imployment, Math. 25. Excellently saith S. Chrysostome. For in sensible riches those who pay their mo­ney, Nam in sensibilibus ij qui denumerant pecuniā suam, im­minu [...]nt substanti­am, & locupletiores fiunt qui recip [...]nt: hi autem nonsi [...]: sed & is qui denu­merat suas faculta­tes magis auget, & recipientium divi­tijs multum add [...]t. Chrys Hom. 15. Gen. Porro quanto plus profundimus fluen­torum bohum spiri­ [...], tanto nobis & fluenta sunt auctiora. Non enim in hac causa contingit sicut in pecunijs: illic enin [...] quidinu­morant vicino, imminuunt suam substantiam: & quanto plus expendit, tanto minu [...] possidet pecuniae: Hic autem pla­n [...] sec [...] agitur. Chrys. Hom. 8. in Gen. pag. 37. do diminish their substance, and they who receive are made richer: but these not so, but both he who numbreth doth more in­crease his substance, and doth adde much to the riches of the re­ceivers. Againe. Furthermore, how much more we poure out of these flowing spirituall things, by so much those spreading in a­bundance are greater to us. For in this cause it doth not hap­pen as in money, for there they who tell out to their neighbour di­minish their owne substance, and by how much the more he spen­deth, by so much the lesse money he possesseth: but here it is done quite otherwise.

CHAP. VII. Ʋse 5. Saints frailties to be concealed.

Ʋse 5 THerfore we ought to conceale the nakednesses, frailties, infirmities, and deformities one of another, laboring and endeuouring withall to heale them. What man except bedlam [Page 24] mad, sottishly foolish, and depriued of vnderstanding, wit,Product [...], [...] t [...]men ante [...]ndore, [...]. po­ [...] [...]ato c [...]men [...] ato lib. 3. de Mo [...]b. and reason, would disclose to his preiudice and disparage­ment, a loathsome sore (although cleauing to some baser member) except to a faithfull friend, for aduice and counsell; or to some well skil'd Chyrurgion for health and recouery? How much more doggedly franticke are such, who sport themselues with the frailties of the Saints, and discouer their fallings to the dishonour of their great God Iehouah: the scandalizing of his glorious Gospell, the wounding of their conscience, losse of good name, grieuing of their brethren, and to the ioy and reioycing of none, saue Sathan and his cursed reuellers.

1. My meaning is not to make Gods children such offen­dors as the raging world doth, for then (woe, and alas) none so proud; covetous, hypocriticall, deceitfull. These judging of Gods children, as drunkards do of solid substances; deeming them to whirle about, deceived by the vertigiousnesse of their owne braine: or as dazling eyes pronounce things sin­gle to be double. So these notorious censurers (although they cannot accuse them for any usurous compacts, extorting convenants, selling of time, defrauding, bribery, uncharitable­nesse, withholding the least dues from any man, &c.) blush not peremptorily to pronounce Gods children to be of all men most avariticus. And why thinke you? Is it because they grinde the faces of the poore? &c. no such matter. But because 1. They are so painefull and laborious in their seve­rall1. Why good men are painefull. callings, which diligence springs not from the roote of avarice. But from a desire: 1. To shew themselves obedi­ent to Gods commandement. 2. To avoid idlenesse the bane of vertue: nurse of vices, and Sathans pillow. These not im­moderately desiring the dunghill vanities of this life, their hea­venly minds soaring aloft after more durable treasure. Nor distrusting Gods providing for them, they being well assured that he who is unchangeable, and hath promised that such as feare him shall want nothing, cannot but provide for them. They well knowing that he who feeds ravens, and cloathes the grasse will not suffer his owne children to want. [Page 25] He having given them his Sonne, they are confident that he cannot deny them any thing. 2. Or they are covetous, be­cause2. Why they are not wastfull. they be so sparing, they do not lavish out their allow­ance in new-fangled attyre, or in goodfellow-meetings as they are called: whereas this parsimony of theirs proceeds not from any cursed desire of, or love unto riches, which they know is damn'd idolatry. But from 1. A godly respect­fulnesse to wife, children, and such as depend upon them. 2. The tendernesse of their conscience, not suffering them to adde one mite by wrongfull dealings unto their estate: so dis­abling them from profuse expences. 3. A serious considera­tion of the strict account they are to make and render to their Lord, as for other things, so for the imployment of their out­ward substance. 3. Or els they are covetous, because they3. Why they are not bountifull to beg­gers. do not give pharisaically to every clamorous beggar and un­worthy spend-thrift so much as the impudency of the one de­mands: and the vaine-glorious example of some pharisaicall braggard (otherwise perhaps and in secret a divellish inclo­ser, damn'd usurer, grinder of the faces of the poore, seller of time, defrauder of others, &c.) doth incite him to. And that not because they are as hard as flint, as greedy as hell, as worldlings are ready to say. But either, 1. Because they would not incourage them in their villanous courses of idle­nesse, drunkennesse, &c. And therefore (although by their will none shall go from their doores empty handed without reliefe according to their ability, yea although they knowWhy they relieve beggers. many to be unworthy. 1. Because they would take away all occasion of scandall from Gods children, and their profession. 2. Because they cannot but commiserate even unworthy ones, and relieve the creatures of God. 3. Because they see those wholsome lawes which take order for their provision and punishment, to be but sleeping statutes in the execution) are not easily drawne to open their hands, and purses wide ac­cording to their desires. These wel knowing it to be fit fewel to fire their soules by swinish drunkennesse. 2. Or because they having but little (it being the condition of many of Gods people not to flow in wealth) and knowing they cannot give [Page 26] away much. Vpon mature deliberation they resolve with their pittance of meale and oyle to relieve good Elisha; and to cast their few mites into the treasury of the Lord. 1. They desire to glad the hearts, strengthen the hands, and refresh the distressed members of Christ in secret. And therefore will not vaine-gloriously cast away their right to every swi­nish beast, clamorous beggar, and unworthy one. In a word, should we give our consure according to the worlds esteeme, David, Ieremy, Iob, yea, our Saviour Christ himselfe had been the vilest of men. Which once to thinke is prodigi­ous blasphemy.

2. Neither do I intend to perswade men to hide the horri­ble impieties of disguised miscreants. I earnestly desire that their masking robes, and sheeps-clothing might be puld from off their faces: that their roguish condition, and wolvish dis­position might be conspicuous to all men. That their leprous, maungy, and stinking insides might be manifest, by uncloath­ing them of those golden robes of Christian profession: and taking away their painted bravery. That so (if it were possi­ble) they might repent of their damn'd seeming without substance, and that all men might know the better how to a­void them. Men they are like the bird Piralis which takes the colour of any cloth where she sits: turning like Polypus into the likenesse of their consorts: or the fish Scolopidus in Araris as white as snow at the waxing, as blacke as a coale at the wane of the Moone. These, these I say are the men who [...] [...]3. publ. make Religion a cloake to cover their horrid villanies. These will be usurers, grinde the faces of the poore, defraud their brethren, oppresse the helplesse, withhold the labourers hire, enrich themselves by lying, bribery, oppression, seiling of time, (I meane not charitable for bearance, which is no o­ther then free and favourable lending; but rigorous and ra­vening extorting from others, forcing them to pay for their owne cost, care, paines and industrie, Gods blessing, and time) or any manner of meanes, and cloake all with a man­tle of profession. These are those for whose sake Religion is ridiculous; profession is laught to scorne. Gods children [Page 27] are nick-nam'd, the Gospell scandalized, and God dishonou­red. And therefore as they are odious unto God and Angels: so I wish they were so apparantly knowne, that they might be abominated of all men. Of these I say as Saint Augustine Nolite mihi colli­gere professores no­min [...] Christiani, nec professionis s [...]e­vim aut setente [...]ant [...]es. Nolite consectari turbas imperitorū, qui vel in ipsa vera religio­ne superstiti [...]s [...] sunt vel itaa libid [...]bus dediti & obliti sint quicquid Deo pro­miserunt. Tom 1. p. 774. August. de moribus [...]ccl. cap. 34. Nunc vos illud ad­moneo, ut aliquan do Ecclesiae Catholi­cae malc [...]cere de [...]i natis, v [...]tuperan do mores hominum, quos & ipsa con­demnat, quis quoti­diè tanquam malo filios corrigere [...] de [...]. ibid. said of the like: Do not collect unto me such professours, &c.

3. But my purpose is to move the Saints of God to con­ceale, and hide (and yet with the precious Balme of godly re­proofe to heale) the slips and frailties of true-hearted Natha­niels, men of this society, from the eyes and eares of worldly men, the onely censurers and condemners of Gods children, and their sincerity. Cursed Chams sporting at the nakednesse of upright Noahs. Railing Rabshakes ever belching and brea­thing out blasphemies against Gods precious ones. As I need not straine my doctrine, or ground to build these two uses up­on it (for if we haue such fellowship and neare society, we should without doubt cover and cure each others deformi­ties) so without wresting one whit, the undeniable truth of Gods word doth set downe these two duties. For the first of these two, the fourth in order we may see that heroicall Preacher Salomon making it a note of true Love, Prov. 10. 12. to cover all sinnes. And Saint Peter guided by the same Spirit sets downe in a manner the same words, 1 Pet. 4. 8. Love covereth the multitude of sinnes. se. Doth conceale, keep close or secret, and doth not tell abroad the sinnes of their brethren. Let dogges Doëgs thirsting after, and delighting in the over­throw of innocency, discover the errours of Gods annointed ones with Satanicall aggravations. Let covetous Zibaes by presents and false suggestions dispoyle honest Mephibosheths of reputation and favour. Let perjur'd varlets, men of Belial witnesse falshoods against pious Naboths. Let Rehum and the nations lay disloyalty to the charge of Gods people. Let ido­latrous Chaldaeans accuse Ananias and his brethren (men no­bly resolute for Gods cause) of rebellion. Let unworthy great ones of meere spight and envy picke quarrels against Daniel, faithfull to his God and Soveraigne. Let vaine-glorious A­maziah peremptorily (although untruly) affirme Amos hath conspired against the King. Yea let Sathan the grand captaine [Page 28] of this traine calumniate Iob. Yet let every one who is ali­ving member of this body: a polished stone in this building: a fruitfull branch in this Society of Saints, keepe secret the infirmities of his fellow-brethren, souldiers, &c. What though professed enemies to godlinesse out of the implacable enmit, twixt their two opposite sides invent and forge incre­dible falshoods, and aggravate truths, making of molehils mountaines, to distaine the glory of the Saints. What though false brethren under hypocriticall pretences of being sorry do straine themselves to the utmost to besmeare the sonnes of God, hoping to beautifie themselves by their staine [...] and spots. Yet I desire to perswade you of this society with bles­sed Shem and Iaphet to hide the aberrations of your fellowes from the censorious eye of every worldling. 1. Because ifMot. 1. ever any heire of heaven by the violence of some temptation, and neglecting his Christian watch hath committed any no­torious evill (which I thinke he may do as well as Noah, Da­vid, Peter, and Paul) and this be told in Gath and published in Askalon, a generation of men delighting in evill: he is sure to have (instead of teares and prayers which is the practice of good men in that case) such exaggerating trumpetters, and swift dromedaries of ale-bench haunters. That be his fault like a ball of snow, so small that with facilitie a babe may rowle it: yet by their tossing and trumbling it amidst their drunken consorts: and by their additions forged in hell, and hammered in their divellish hearts, it shall be made intollera­ble. Witnesse Abimelechs case, 1 Sam. 22. He relieved Da­vid in simplicity of heart, not knowing of any disa­greeing twixt David and his Soveraigne: and there­fore at the worst was onely a fault of errour. Yet see it is so stretched by the false tongue of Doeg, that it cost the heart bloud of fourescore and five Priests. 2. Because if any evill fact committed by a good man bee caried by the wing of fame amongst the Serpents brood, It shall ever after be the badge and character of all Gods chil­dren. If any through want of wit, Christian consideration, and mature advice have wronged his neighbour in ciuill com­merce, [Page 29] although he hath made restitution to the wronged party; made his peace with his God, and taken revenge up­on himselfe for his oversight: yet this is presently made the common marks of all professours. The world hence resolutelyAugust. Epist. 137. concludes: All these professours and puritans are starke naught. None so cruell, none so unconscionable as they; whereas no men breathing have more tender consciences: yea such that they dread as much to adde riches of iniquity: unto their substance, as to cast wild fire amidst their thac [...]e. Mistake me not I pray. I do not by naming puritans apolo­gize for that damned hereticall sect, (denying repentance to such as fell, although through infirmity: condemning secondAugust. Tom. 6. lib ad quod vult deum. Heres. 38. pag. 18. marriages; glorying in their workes; and deeming them­selves without sinne) which sprung up in the third hundreth yeare after Christ. Neither do I justifie fanaticall Separatists.So were the Al­bigentes called 55. Christopher Sibthorp. pag. 340. Nor pleade for factious fellowes, whose aime is contention, not sanctification. But by puritans, I meane practising Pro­testants; such men, who daily reade the Scriptures, pray with their families, teach them the way to heaven, eschue lying, swearing, vsury, oppression, time-selling, defrauding, and all knowne sinnes: spend the Lords daies holily in hea­ring Gods Word, prayer, meditation, conference, singing of Psalmes, meditation of the creatures, are mercifull to the poore, deligent in their particular Callings, frame their lives according to Gods will revealed in his Word, &c. And what Protestant will condemne any of these actions, although many doe, the men tearming them Saints on Sunday, divels all the weeke after. Saint-seeming, bible-bearing, hypocriti­call puritans. Seeing therefore by spreading abroad any fault, of any of Gods children, thou wrongest thy selfe, and all thy fellowes, be intreated to practise this so vrgent duty. And give not the world the least occasion to blaspheme the sweet society of Saints: but shew thy selfe a friend (whose property (as one saith well) is to carry his heart on the backe of his hand to disclose his mind: his tongue in the palme to close-his mouth) to true good fellowes. Before I leave this duty, give me leave to digresse a little to examine, and an­swer [Page 30] the worldlings argument, which sillogistically must runne thus.

Some professours are cruell, covetous, hypocriticall, starke naught, &c.

But all such fellowes are some professours.

Therefore they all are covetous, cruell, hypocriticall, starke naught.

Answ. 1 This is in substance your common kind of reasoning, O you worldlings, against the people of God.

1. Take notice of your fond arguing from particulars in the like: Something which glisters is brasse, copper, tinne, and such sordid metall. But all gold is something which doth glister. Therefore all gold is brasse, copper, &c. Some­thing which shines is called foolish fire, a vanishing meteor. But the Sunne, Moone, and Starres are some things which do shine. Therefore they are foolish fire, and vanishing me­teors.

2 2. O you censorious judges, how dare you take upon you Gods royall Prerogative, to enter into the secrets of mens hearts, in accusing them of hypocrisie, covetousnesse, and such like; for no other cause, but because some who make profes­sion as they doe, are so, and so? In thus doing, you exceed the wickednesse of your forefathers the Pharisees; they not burdening Peter, and the rest with Iudas his treason; nor the Disciples with Ananias his sacriledge; nor Saint Paul with Demas his earthly-mindednesse.

3 3. Learne hence forward to argue from generals as thus. Whosoever are unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdome of heaven, they so continuing, 1. Cor. 6. 9, 10. But I that am a fornicator, adulter [...]r, effeminate person, a theefe, covetous, drunkard, &c. am an unrighteous person, 1. Cor. 6. 9, 10. Ther­fore I so continuing cannot inherit the Kingdome of heaven. Or thus: Whosoever wants holinesse shall not see God, Heb. 12. 14. But I who am onely a civill honest man, at the best want holinesse. Therefore I shall not see God. Or thus: Who­soever goes to heaven, must be a doer of Gods will, Mat. 7. 22. But I who live in swearing, lying, scorning of goodnesse, &c. [Page 31] am not a doer of the will God. Therefore I shall not goe to heaven.

4 4. If your reasoning be good, see into what a gulfe of misery inevitably it would throw you. Some who are no professors are common drunkards, whoremongers, swearers, yea die impenitent persons, and are damned. But all such who are not of this society as yet, are some persons who are no profes­sours. Therefore all such are common swearers, &c. die im­penitently, and are damned. This kind of reasoning is false, and uncharitable.

5 5. Whosoever professe themselves not to be Pagans, Pa­pists, &c. To forsake the divell and all his workes, therefore swearing, lying, drunkennesse, and all other damnable deeds of darknesse. To beleeve in God, and serve him, consequently to repent, obey his will, pray, and performe other such servi­ces he doth enioyne. To heare Sermons, and call upon others to do the same, to follow the example of our Saviour Christ, and to be made like unto him in all things, to die from sinne, and rise a­gaine to righteousnesse, to mortifie continually all their evill and carnall affections to proceed daily in all vertue and godlinesse of living, to confesse the faith of Christ crucified, and manfully to fight under his banner, against sinne, the world, and the divell, and continue Christs faithfull souldiers and servants to their lives end, professe as much as the forwardest professour in England.

But all these blattering beasts, and brawling Belials who bawle, and bark against professours, and profession, professe all this, is is evident not openly by their owne confident confes­sion, but also by the latter end of the rubricke of Baptisme. Baptisme doth represent unto us our profession, which is, &c.

From which premises, I may soundly and certainely in­ferre.

1. Therefore if all who make profession of Religion are naught, themselves so doing are likewise naught.

2. Therefore profession and shew of Religion, are onely col [...]urable, and pretended, practise of that which themselves professe, to practise the prime, and principall, if not the sole [Page 32] cause of their implacable and inveterate hatred, and of their immoderate and impetuous bitter taunts, and reprochfull rai­lings against professours, and profession.

CHAP. VIII. Vse 6. The Saints must reprove, and be reproved.

Ʋse 6 COnceale not onely, but with the heavenly balme of Chri­stian reproofe, bind up the sores of thy f [...]llow members. In performing of this important duty, be carefull 1. To be­ginne at home, Mat. 7. 3. Bee not like Lamia, eagle ey'd abroad, starke blind at home; least it be said to thee, out of thine owne mouth will I condemne thee, Rom. 2. 21. least like fullers earth thou purge others, and be a cast-away thy selfe. Zeale is best which begins at home. Be thine owne physiti­onA man faulty may reprove. first, least thou quench fire upon other mens houses, and suffer thine owne to perish. I do not thinke that a man may not reprove another, himselfe being faulty. For if none should reprove but those who themselves are in-offensive, none must reprove, Iam. 5. 17. But if that a man be faulty, by not reproving, he addes other mens sinnes unto his owne by assenting. A good mans reproofe smites backward, and forward: he never reprooves another, but withall himselfe, if faulty. 2. Reproove with the spirit of meekenesse, Gal. 6. 1. 2. Cor. 2. 4. In the application of a playster to a wounded part: what sighes from the heart, teares from the eyes, trem­bling in the ioynts, sympathy in the members, and tender­nesse in the hands? And shall any in this Society with domi­neering insolency, impetuous rage, and implacable malice, launch the smarting sores of his enfeebled brother? Deale therefore as Physitians with patients, who wrap their bitter pills in sweet sugar: Or mothers who cover bitter worme­seed under pleasant raysings. Pricke not therefore the heart which asks a playster. 3. Salve his sicke soule with Christi­an counsell, and godly reprehension, with as much secrecy as thou canst possibly tell it betwixt thee and him: naturally [Page 33] man abhorres disgraces, and therefore easier allured by secret advertisements, then open disgraces. 4. And let it be appa­rent to his understanding that God is the reprover, man only an instrument.

Let therefore Laodicean Gospellers suffer our glorious God, and his divine truth to be blasphemed: so sitting them­selves to be spued out of Gods mouth, Revel. 3. 16. Because they neither leave Religion, nor defend it. Let them say they love God well, but they love not to be brawlers: and yet they will be moved for their owne causes. Let them argue after this or the like manner. If I reprove a friend, I offer him great discurtesie. If a stranger, I shall be too insolent. If an Atheist, I lose mine endeavour. If an enemy, I incurre in­evitable danger. Therefore I see not why I should reprove a­ny. For these reasons want validity. They should consider against the danger of an enemie, that it is a greater danger to fall into the hands of the Lord by dishonouring him. That it is not vaine to reprove an Atheist: Gods word will have its savour, it will not be in vaine: we should do our dutie, and leave the successe to God. Neither is it a matter of insolency to reprove a stranger, being subject to Gods Law as well as we. If a stranger wrong us in our good name, if he cut a purse, ro bo [...]r neighbour, we think it no insolency to reprove him. And to pleasure a friend by silence is most abominable. He is a friend. Be it so: and is not God a dearer friend? Must we not preferre him before father, mother, friend? He is a friend. And doest thou become his enemy in suffering sinne upon him? If this be thy dealing towards thy friends, God preserve me from such friends. He is thy friend. Deale there­fore friendly with him. Its not a friendly part to suffer a man to runne headlong to destruction, but to restraine from ruine. I desire such friends who may be as glasses whereby to see my staines. What though many do much hurt by unseasonable and unworthy reproofes, shall we therfore neglect them? Be­cause some come to markets to cut purses, lye, cousen. Shall not therefore honest men frequent such places for their com­modities? Because some who heare Sermons are naught, [Page 34] shall not Gods children therefore desire the sincere mi [...]ke of the Word? Let these short inducements following perswade you to this Christian duty. 1. The expresse c [...]mmand of Mot. 1 ou [...] gracious God, Lev. [...]9. [...]7. Gal. 6. 1. 2 2. The profit ac­cru [...]g [...]hence. It is a meanes to prevent a double sinne, Lev. [...]9 [...]. To winne a brother. To save soules, Iud [...] 2 [...]. And to procure love, Prov. 9. 8. Although brutish persons, Prov. 12. [...]. and s [...]rners hate reproofe, Prov. 9. 1. Yet such who are wise, a [...] lov [...]rs of knowledge, will love you better. 3 3. The hu [...]t which followes [...]lence in this kind is hid [...]o [...]s and dread­full, man hereb [...] [...]ting his brother, Lev. 19, 17. thereby mur­dering, 1 Ioh. [...]. [...]5. and haling upon himselfe the others of­fences in the judg [...]ment, not only of Divine but of meere mo­ [...]all men, ou [...] whereof saith, If you do not admonish your friend of h [...] faults, you make them your owne: and as it argues ha­tr [...], so it cauleth another to sinne, Lev. 19. 17. It of­t [...]. sla [...]es two soules, Ezek. 3. 17. And causeth to erre, Proverb. 10. 17.

CHAP. IX. Ʋse 7. Saints must he peaceable.

Ʋse 7 IMploy our utmost endeavours for the peace of this more then Angelicall societie. There is no jarring on the body betwixt fellow-members; no disagreement betweene braunches of the same tree. There should be none amongst brethren of the same family, and souldiers of the same band. And sure I am, as there is unity in religion, Eph. 4. 4, 5, 6. So there should be sympathy in affection, Rom. 12. 10, 15. 16. Neither indeed can there be contrary judgements amongst us in [...] p [...]t [...]rat [...] Spirit [...] Cvp. ad teph. de Mattino A [...]elaten­se pag. 238. whom there is one spirit, saith St. Cyprian. Labour we there­fore for that perfect peace (perfect in regard of its author, proc [...]rer, perswader, possessour, parts, continuance and reach) the royall prerogative of this heavenly company, pro­mised by the Lord, Isa. 26. 3. Performed by Christs merits, perswaded by his Spirit, and preached by his Ministers. [Page 35] Whereby we have peace with the blessed Trinity, Rom. 5. 1. glorious Angels: good men: our owne consciences; yea with sinne in regard of the strength, though not the staine: with Sathan in regard of his deadly blowes, although not his buffetings: with death in regard of the sting, though not the strokes: with the g [...]ue in regard of the chaines, though not the chop [...]. Strive we therefore mightily for the peace of Sion, the com [...]ion of Saints. For thus doing we do no more then what is our duty; God commanding us by the mouth of the P [...]a [...]mist, Psal. 122. To pray for the peace of Ieru­salem. By Saint Paul, to pray for Kings that under them we may lead a pea [...]eable life, 1 Tim. 2. 2. Yea we being urged hereunto by the practise of Gods servants: Peace be within thy wals, was the Psalmists prayer, Psal. 122. 7. What though wicked wights by their impieties hinder their owne and others peace, there being no peace to the wicked as saith my God, Isa. 57. 22. For what peace so long as their wickednesse remaines, 2 Reg. 9. 22. What though Antichristian papisme, un-christian paganisme, and false-christian prophanesse will admit of peace with none but such as fit their own humor. So that whosoever will have peace with them must looke for such usage as the travellers found at the hands of Scyron and Procrustes, famous robbers in Attica: who by cutting shor­ter the taller, and stretching out the lesser, brought all to an even length with their bed of brasse. What though all peace and unity is not good: there being great peace betwixt the wicked, Exod. 32. 4. Betwixt Herod and Pilate. What though there may be discord in Gods Church aswell as be­tweene the Apostle of the Iewes and Gentiles: betweene Paul and Barnabas for small matters: aswell as amongst Pri­mitive Christians, whose dissentions were such, that Christi­anity was publikely derided: and so great, that they con­demned one another of heresie? Yet I earnestly desire, that those who are strong woul [...] beare with the weake: that the weake would not contemne the strong: yea, that all both strong and weake would live in peace, we all having fellow­ship one with another. 1. In things simply good we must [Page 36] have peace. 2. In things indifferent we should have peace: these being neither good nor bad in their owne nature. They differ from necessaries diverse wayes: sc. 1. The least o­mission of a necessary good wounds the conscience: so not of an indifferent. 2. In necessaries we may sinne in the doing, not doing, and in the manner of doing. In indifferents onely in the manner, e. g. If without knowledge of its indifferency and use, Rom. 14. 14. If without faith, Rom. 14. 23. If we u [...]e them in hatred, and not in love. If we destroy our brother by our meate, &c. 3 We may yeeld to some things inconvenient for the peace of this society, if we follow the advice of the Trent Historian, saying, It is, &c. Or of learned lunius in his [...] 60. [...]. necessary [...] to veeld to the im effecti­ [...] of others, and for p [...]ty to accom­modate to that which in rigour is not due, yet in e­quity convenient. Histor. Trent. p. 62. parallels where comparing Gen. 11. 11, 12. In which place there is no Cainan in the Originall (although the S [...]ptuagints have one) with Luke 3. 35, 36. In which Genealogy there is a Cainan, saith he allowes of the answer of Beda, who affir­ming that Cainan is neither in Genesis, nor in the Chronicles, saith St. Luke tooke it from the S [...]ptuagints, yeelding to the received opinion amongst the people, lest by crossing it he should hinder the peace of the Church, and hazard Scriptures authority. Then he answereth diverse objections. sc. St. Luke knew it was false. A Yet he knew it was such a falshood which did not hinder the truth of a Christian fa [...]th, although of a particular History. St. Luke hereby confirmes a fault. A. No, he doth not make a private errour publike, neither doth he nourish a private errour: he onely tolerates a pub­like errour to prevent a greater evill. What evill did he pre­vent hereby? A. Ques [...]ioning the authority of Scriptures: troubling the building of the Church in her minority. This was worldly wisdome. A. This was wisdome of the Spirit. Then he concludes that the Seventy did evill in wronging Scripture, that the Evangelist did well. And addeth a prayer that God would grant unto men of God such modesty in en­during errours in others to their edifying and publike peace: so that they be such which may be undergone with peace of conscience. And me thinks our Saviour Christs paying of tri­bute, St. Pauls shaving of his head, and circumcising of [Page 37] Timothy, doe shew that even some inconveniences are to be tolerated for the peace of this Society.

CHAP. X. Ʋse 8. Saints must forgive each other.

Ʋse 8 LAstly, are we all of one so neare Society, then ought weIgnosias alijs mul­ [...] n [...]hil tibi C [...]co. bul. 46. to forgive each other. Should the foot kicke the opposite legge, that doth not repay like for like. If the tongue, lippe, or finger are bitten by the teeth, they seeke no revenge: When the feete by their slips throwe the body upon the ground, it onely grieves for such failings, and all is well; par­don many things to others, nothing to your selfe, saith a hea­then.

1. I intend no prejudice to the scate of justice, as if Ma­gistrates might not punish offendors: For they may both pu­nish, and forgive. They are Gods Ministers, and being in his stead, they may, and must correct offendors. The offences which they punish, are not against them as private persons, but the common-wealth: and Therefore they must inflict punishments.

2. Neither is it my purpose to hinder the course of justice, and law for the remedying of wrongs, and redeeming a mans right. It being possible for a man to sue his brother at the law, and yet forgive. There is a forgivenesse of revenge, not requiting evill for evill; of private punishment, of judge­ment, a man judging an injury to be none of satisfaction. A man must forgive the revenge; and may pardon the offence, punishment, yet exact satisfaction by suing at the law: He having vsed all other lawfull meanes first, as helpe of brethren to arbitrate, &c. Not distrusting God, and depending upon the meanes. Retaining love to the party: Giving no offence to God, nor his glorious gospell, 1. Cor. 6. 17. Not being con­tentious in suing for trifles.

3. Neither would I perswade men that they can forgive sinnes; God onely pardoning sinne. Truely, he neither de­ceiving [Page 38] nor being deceived. And properly hee taking away with the punishment the guilt. 1. Ministers have power to forgive onely ministerially, by declaring whose sinnes are forgiven, whose not. As the priests under the law cleansed the lepers, pronouncing the cleane to be cleane, not making him to be so; so Ministers of the Gospell have received power to remit where God remits, but no where else. 2. Magi­strates have power to forgive, not sinne, but private injuries as private mens offences, in publique by mitigation of punish­ments. 3. Private persons have power to forgive the dam­mage arising from a sinfull act, not the act it selfe being onely [...] against God, Psal. 51. 3. 4. David stan [...]d onely against God, yet this sinfull act brought detriment to Ʋriahs bed, and life: pardon they may the guerdon but not the guilt; the an­noyance, but not the offence. But my drift shall be to ex­hort all good fellowes to forgive, and pardon the wrong done, like Ioseph, Gen. 50. 17. 21. The punishment due to that wrong, like David, 2. Sam. 19. 32. The restitution and sa­tisfaction of the creditor, (in some cases) the debtour, Luke 7. 42. To put away all anger for the trespasse, like Iepthah, and Mephibosheth Forgive therefore. 1. But who must for­give? [...]. All of this [...]ociety, all which looke for remission of sinnes, Mar. 11. 25. 26. 2. But whom must we forgive? Any [...]. one, enemies, persecutors, the obstinate, much more thy pe­nitent brother. 3. But when? Whensoever, or as oft as you [...] pray, 70 times 7. times a day, sc. 490. times in one day. 4. But1 [...]. 2 [...]. 3 [...] 4 [...]. what must I forgive? Any thing, i. e. any quarrell or grudge, &c. any injustice, or wrong, 1. Cor. 6. 7. Any contumelious vsage, Gen. 50. 15. Any losse, Gen. 31. 39. Any defrauding, Iames 5. 4. 5. But with what mind, with what affection? Freely of our owne accord, fully remitting all, sincerely from the heart, Mar. 11. 25. What though the malitious man hatch, and harbour within his bosome, Envi [...], the scumme of imperfections, forbidden by God. 1. Pet. 2. 1. A worke of Sathan, Gen. 2. 1. Of the Gentiles, Rom. 1. 29. Of darknesse, Rom. 13. 13. Of the flesh, Gal. 5. 21. Opposite to charity, [...]. Cor. 13. 4. And abdicated by holy men, Titus 3. 3. Let him feed, [Page 39] and foster this selfe-tormenting (envy (saith holy Salvian)Invidia sola autho­rem persequitl [...]r: Sa v. de Gub. Dei, lib 3. pag 7 [...]. doth onely persecute the author) viper by selfe-love, impati­ence, and selfe-conceitednesse: making himselfe a foole, Pro. 10. 18. An unprofitable hearer, 1 Pet. 2. 1. Rotting his owne bones. Prov. 14. [...]0. And slaying himselfe, Iob. 5. 2. Like the Mountaine Aetna, scorching himselfe with his owne [...]mes. What though the wrathfull man fl [...]sh [...]th himselfe in bloudy and barbarous cruelties, acting that which is Sathans proper worke, doing contrary to Gods nature, he being mild and mercifull: precept, and practice. Quid siulti propri­ [...]m non posse & ve [...]e nocere. [...]as 49.

What and if the furious irefull revenger proceed in his un­charitable and unwarrantable wayes, thereby exasperating to more hurt, doubling his owne griefe, losi [...]g tranquillity and peace of conscience, good will with men, and favour with God, by usurping his regall right, and robbing him of his au­thority. Yet let every member of this concrete communion freely, fully, soundly, and sincerely forgive each other.

Mot. 1 To this end consider: The Divine precept of our great God, Math. 5. 39. His sacred practise. Gracious promise, Math. 6. 4. And dreadfull judgements against all such who will not forgive, Mat. 7. 1, 2. & 6. 15. Iam. 2. 13. Secondly, 2 our owne pronesse to offend (Gal. 5. 17. Our flesh lusting a­gainst the Spirit) Either against the same person which we should forgive: some other: and God himselfe. But we of­fending would willingly have forgivenesse. Thirdly, 3 that the person offending did it either ignorantly, unawares, by some inducements, or through the violence of some prevailing temptation. It was not the man therefore, but his weakenesse which did offend. Lastly, 4 consider the commodious advan­tages we shall reape by forgiving are many and great. 1. We shall hereby become like to God, Math 5. 44, 45. We shall gaine comfort, which while the boisterous s [...]rges of angry passions tempestuously trouble our cholericke nature, we are senslesse of, yet afterwards we shall find to our more then or­dinary consolation, witnesse 2 Sam. 25. 31. [...]3. We may with a hopefull assurance sue unto God for a full remission of all our enormities: and with a blessed confidence graspe, and [Page 40] hold fast a firme perswasion, that our sinnes are done away, grounding upon Gods unchangeable promise, Mat. 6. 14. By freely forgiving we shall make our foe our friend, Rom. 12. 20. heape coales of fire on his head. 1. He will repent, and embrace us friendly; or else if he continue in his ma­lice, he shall be fired with his owne conscience, and consumed with the wrath of God. And hereby we are made fitter for all pious duties, 1 Pet. 2. 1. Ob. An. 1 Say not therefore I can­not forgive because the matter is so great. Thou hast offended the Lord farre more, yet he is willing to forgive thee. But he ought not to have dealt thus and thus with me. 2 Neither ough­test thou to have wronged God. But I meant him no harme. 3 Neither did the Lord thinke thee any harme, yet hast thou offended him. But thou art his superiour. God is thine. 4 He is thy inferiour. Thou art Gods. 5 But thou carest not for his fa­vour, thou livest not by his friendship. The Lord our God needs none of thy helpe, thou livest by him, not he by thee, yet he is willing to remit thee thine offences. Be not we rigorous for a hundred pence, lest we be bound to pay upon paine of ever­lastingMath. 18. damnation a thousand talents. Let not us provoke the Lord to mete out to us condemnation by our not forgiving. Let not us send up Ʋriahs letter in our prayer, forgive not us because we will not forgive. But let us freely forgive each o­ther, seeing we all have fellowship one with another.

Now before I enter upon the second braunch of our Socie­ty, I intend to speake somwhat of the word Father, not in the largest extent thereof, as how he is Father to all creatures, men, Angels, &c. But onely how is the Father of these good­fellowes: afterwards I purpose to shew how he and we have fellowship each with other.


CHAP. I. GOD is the Saints Father.

Doct. 2 THE LORD of heaven and earth is not onely Father to men, Angels, creatures, but also of all goodfellowes; or the Saints after a speciall manner [with the Father] Iohn 1. 12. Rom. 8. 14, 15. 1 Thes. 1. 5. And a cloud of witnesses of Scriptures testifie this truth. To the confirmation where­of I will use onely two Reasons, it being as apparant, and generally assented to, as that the Sunne doth shine at noone day.

Reason 1 He who is Father to the Saints, any, some, or all those wayes whereby one man is father to another: he is the father of these goodfellowes.

But the Lord of heaven and earth is Father to the Saints, all, some, or most of those wayes whereby one man is father to another.

Therefore the Lord of heaven and earth is the Father of these goodfellowes.

He who is Father to the Saints in regard of direction, pa­ternall procuration, instruction, imitation, image, and adopti­on, is Father to the Saints most of those wayes whereby one man is father to another.

But the Lord of heaven and earth is Father to the Saints in those regards, viz.

1. Man is father unto man by direction, Gen. 45. 8. Thus God is Father to the Saints, directing them by his Word, which is a light to their feet, and a lanterne to their paths. And his Spirit leading them thereby, Rom. 8. 14. so that they walk after the Spirit.

2. Man by paternall procuration is father to man: thus Iob was a father to the poore, Iob 29. 16. And so is God a father of our society, defending us from cursed calamities, plucking us out of the jawes of the Lion, and providing for us necessaries at the least, so that we have Sufficient for our good, if not sati­ety to give us contentment.

3. Man is father to man in regard of instruction or doctrine. 1 Cor. 4. 15. Gal. 4. 19. Thus is God much more, pouring grace by his Spirit into the heart: for Paul may plant, Apollo water, but God onely gives the increase.

4. Man in regard of invention is father unto man; who in regard of imitation is his sonne, Gen. 4. 20. Iabal the fa­ther of such as dwell in tents. The Divell thus is the father of all wicked ones, Ioh. 8. 44. Thus is Abraham father of all godly persons who walke in the holy steps of Abraham, Rom. 4. 12. Thus is God our Father, we being followers of him as deare chil­dren, Math. 4. 45. Eph. 5. 1.

5. Man is father to man in regard of image, Gen. 5. 3. Some images represent the shape, thus pictures are images of men. Some agree with the thing in nature, so children are images of fathers having the same specificall essence. Some the very in­dividuum. So Christ is onely the image of the Father. Christ Iesus is onely the perfect and consubstantiall image of God, Col. 1. 15. Heb. 1. 3. The godly are the imperfect image of God, Eph. 4. 24. Col. 3. 10. We having a resemblance of his nature, may be called his image: for although this is daily corrupted by sinne, yet it is againe renewed by Christ Iesus, Col. 3. 10.

6. Man is father to man in regard of adoption. Moyses thus the sonne of Pharaohs daughter. Mordecas thus a father to [Page 43] Ester, Est. 2. 7. Thus is the Lord our Father, Rom. 8. 14, 15, 16. & 9. 16 Gal. 3. 26. & 4. 5. &c. Therefore he is a Father to the Saints or these goodfellowes all or most of those wayes whereby man is father unto man.

He who performeth more freely and willingly then all o­ther, all offices and duties of a father to these goodfellowes, must needs be their Father.

But the Lord of heaven and earth performeth more freely and willingly then all other fathers, all offices and duties of a father to these goodfellowes. Therefore he is their Father.

The latter proposition I thus prove.

He who doth beget, feed, cloth, correct, provide inheri­tance, and mariage for these goodfellowes more freely, &c. doth performe all offices and duties of a father, &c.

But the Lord of heaven and earth doth thus, viz. passing by temporall respects.

1. The Lord doth beget us spiritually by his Word, 1 Pet. 1.The Lord Begets. 23. Raising us when we were dead in sinnes and trespasses, Eph. 2. 1, 2. Therefore we are said to have Gods seed abiding in us, and to be borne of God, 1 Ioh. 3. 9.

2. Parents do not onely beget, but provide for the susten­tationFeeds. of their child begotten. Should parents forsake their children begotten and borne, birth which is the greatest good they receive in the world, would prove a great evill, yea such, that better were it not to be, then being to want meanes whereby this being may be preserved. The Lord in this re­spect is a Father feeding the soule he hath begotten so. That were it possible to extract the carefull providence of all the most tender parents under the Fabrick of the heavens, and re­plant it in one man: were it possible for this more then ordi­nary man to provide for his so tenderly affected children the greatest varieties of all mellifluous aliments that earth, aire, and water could affoord: Could be feed them, with the mar­row, fatnesse, and quintessence of the most delicious cates of natures simples, or mixtures of skilfull artists: could he sa­tisfie their thirst, and delight their appetites with the fained Nectars and Ambrosia's of those forged gods, yet all this, and [Page 44] a thousand times more (if so much could be) is as nothing in comparison of the Lords fatherly care in providing for his children. What are these in regard of his sacred Word, that sweet refreshing milke, 1 Pet. 2. 1. 2. Free from all mixture of errour, heresie, or tradition, therefore called sincere. That substantiall bread of the soule, preserving its life, health, and strength, Iob 23. 13. That purest wheate, Ier. 23. 28. That strong refreshing meate Heb. 5. 13. Sweeter then honey and the hony combe, Psal. 19. 10. Those green pastures and wa­ters of comfort, Psalme 23. 2. That heavenly refreshing wine, Can. 2. 4. Which Pellican calleth hony, milke, Nectar, Am­brosia, In Ezek 34. 14. the food of justice and truth, alwayes fatting the soules of the faithfull. What are these to the grace of Gods Spirit, that necessary milke to an heavenly life, Isa. 55. 1. And that sweet delightfull wine? What are these to that celestiall and spirituall bread Christ Iesus which came downe from heaven, Iohn 6. 50. That food truly effectuall to the faithfull soule, our blessed Saviour who is meate indeed, Ioh. 6. 55. That rejoy­cing wine the bloud of the immaculate Lambe slaine from the beginning, Mat. 26. 28.

3. Parents also cloath their naked children; and in this re­spect3. Cloaths. the Lords care farre surpasseth all fathers, he clothing us with the robes of Christ his righteousnesse, which is such a ve­sture that who so wanteth, is farre more, (yea, without all comparison) polluted, subject to evill, and unlovely then any new borne babe, naked and unwasht, and in the bloud. And of such worth is this garment, that were it possible, the cunning of all skilfull Artists could concurre to the fashioning of some one garment made of the excellencies of silks, precious stones, resplendent pearles, and costly gold: Could they convey the quintessence of all odoriserous perfumes into the same.Were it possible tobe clad more excellently then the Lillies of the field, farre surpassing Salomon in all his glory. Yea, imagine a man to be as richly trim'd as that glorious runner in the fir­mament comming out of his Tabernacle to run his race, Psal. 19. Or as that transcendent canopy of the heavens deckt with innumerable varieties of resplendent stars. Yet all these are as [Page 45] nothing in comparison of the rich robes of Christs righteous­nesse wherewith the Lord doth cloath his children. Which is a garment whereby the nakednesse of the soule is covered, 2. Cor. 5. 2, 3. Rev. 3. 18. is comforted, and kept warme, defended from the fiery darts of sinne, and Sathan, Ephes. 6. 11. deck'd, beautified, and adorned, Isa. 61. 10. This gar­ment being pleasant, sweete, and dainty, perfum'd with odori­ferous powders of Mirrh, Alloes, and Cassia, Psal. 45. 8. pre­tious and costly, ver. 9. resembled to the gold of Ophir: Cu­rious and costly, compared to the needle-worke of a skil­full embroyderer, ver. 14. This garment ravishing the heart of Christ Iesus, Cant. 4. 9. the smell of these oint­ments, farre surpassing the savour of all spices, ver. 10. and the smell of this garment being like that of Lebanon, ver. 11.

4. Parents correct their children for their amendment:4. Correct. So the Lord chasteneth his Saints, Heb. 12. 7. yet in love, verse 6. more tenderly then the fathers of our flesh, ver. 9. and more profitably, they many times for their pleasure; he to make us partaker of his holinesse, ver. 10. to prevent sinne, 2 Cor. 12. to renne decaying grace, Hos. 5. 15. to weane from the world; and to trie our graces, yea and with such fatherly compassion, that he is grieved as it were when he smiles; Oh Ierusa­lem, &c. Oh that there had been such an heart in my people, &c.

5. Parents provide inheritance for children. The Lords5. Inheritance. provident care in tis, is imparaleld. For were it possible for a father to bequeath to his child Europe, Asia, Affricke, the in­cognitameta, and Antarticks portion. Could he leave him the full fruition of all the populous cities, fertile countries, earthly paradises, golden mines, yea all the wealth within the circle of the sphericall Zones. Could he not onely wish for with Alexander, but also obtaine other worlds, as an immeasurable addition to his former inheritance; yet is there no more comparison betwixt this onely imagined soveraignty, and the reall inheritance of Gods children; then there is betwixt corruption, and incorruption; pollution, and perfit purity; lasting eternity, and a fading moment; heavenly treasure, and earthly trash, 1. Pet. 1. 4. To an inheritance incorrup­tible, [Page 46] undefiled, that fadeth not away, reserved in the hea­vens.

6. Parents provide marriages for theit children. Even so6. Marriage. the Lord of heaven hath provided such an husbād for his chil­dren. That if all the renowned excellencies of all mankind, from Adam to the dreadfull day of judgement; and of all angelicall beings which are and have bene, were confer'd up­on on men. His comely feature should be hatefull deformi­ty; his amiable beauty loathsome ilfavourdnesse; his quick­witted understanding, blockish ignorance; his angeliall elo­quence, rude barbarisme; and his other perfections meere frailties, in respect of those extraordinary transcendencies of Christ Iesus the husband of Gods children, Rev. 19. 7, 8, 9.

CHAP. II. Duty 1. Saints must love God.

IF God he our father, we ought to love him. Not onelyDuty. 1. doth Religion command children to love their parents, but also nature it selfe requireth this duty: some therefore de­rivePilius of [...]. the word signifying a sonne, of a greeke word which sig­nifieth a lover; And I verily thinke (this being so much tal­ked off, and practised in conceipted ostentation) few which heare me this day, thinke, I need tell them they ought to love God, nor perswade them to put the same in practise. The simplest here present beeing ready to say: though they come to the Church for fashion sake, as their neighbours doe; al­though they are not very bookish; although they give little eare to the Word of God preached, yet they know as much as the best preacher can tell them: they knowing that they must love God above all, and their neighbour as themselves, and this they doe, or else it is pittie they should live. Loath I am to have you spend time to no purpose; much lesse at a Sermon, for if all words should be gracious, much more of a Minister, in publique to a congregation, as from God. And therefore [Page 47] did I not thinke it more then needfull to perswade you to love God. Did I not heare painted sepulchers, satanicall lyars, and other cursed impes of that damned Apostata say, theylove God. Did I see him lou'd in deed, as well as in word, in truth, as in tongue, in practise, as in profession; I would willingly have spent my paines about some filiall duty lesse thought upon, then on this so much talked of, yet little pra­ctised. For if we but inquire at the oracle of this our father, we shall find recorded in indelible characters, that such who truly love God,Hate that which is evill, Psal. 97. 10. Signes 1. 2. Keepe Gods commandements, Exod. 20. 6. Ioh. 15. 10. sc. sincerely although imperfectly desiring, and endeavouring to performe things commanded. 3 Behave themselves conscionably in their calling, Ioh. 21. 15. 4 Conforme themselves to God, 1. Ioh. 4. 17. being followers of him as deare children, Love not the world, 1. Ioh. 2. 15. Love truely Gods children, 1. Ioh. 4. 20. 5. 6. Often thinke upon God, as their chiefest trea­sure, Mat. 6. 21. 7 And love Christs appearing, or comming to judgement, 2. Tim 4. 8. Iam. 1. 12. 8 And then having sur­veyed-with a carefull inquisitive view the carriages and con­ditions of most men. I much feare after a diligent scrutiny. 1. We having compared such who detest sinne, because its a breach of Gods law, and therefore eschue, and flie from it, as from a serpent. With those who thirst after impiety, as greedily as the chased deare after the water brookes, or the gaping earth after the dew of heaven; and solace themselues with as great delectation in silthinesse, and superfluity of naughtinesse as Leviathan in the restlesse Ocean. 2. Such who keepe Gods commandements with sincerity of heart, they to the vtmost of their power leaving undone all evill forbidden; and doing all good duties commanded, not for any sinister aime, or by-respect, but for the Lords sake, be­cause he hath commanded these, and forbidden those: and being universall in this their obedience, neither appliable like the starre Mercury to every adjacent, nor the turning wea­ther cocke, hurried about with every blast of contrary winde, remaining the same in all companies, places, and at all times, [Page 48] like the greene ivi [...], keeping the same colour in the sharpest winter, that it hath in the pleasant summer. With those who no whit regard those sacred lawes written with the finger of the worlds creator: and those who unequally and unjustly share their obedience betwixt the Lord, and his grand enemie the devill; & such who have their changeable suites sometimes seeming to observe Gods commandements for sinister re­spects, otherwhiles, namely in secret, and amidst their villa­nous complices, no whit regarding those divine, and more then angelicall direction. 3. Compare we those who walke conscionably in their callings, being carefull to have the soules of their children, and servants deck'd with the invaluable robes of Christs Righteousnesse; nourished and strengthe­ned with the food of eternall life: With that carelesse compa­ny which regard no more, so that they be of comely feature, neately trimd, finely fedde, of liberall education, and richly provided for: and those vilest of men who by their wicked examples staine their purest times with the blackest dye of hellish impieties, Sathans cognisance, feeding their immor­tall soules with the damned art of swearing, lying, cursing, and such like venome and poyson of Aspes. 4. Those who conforme themselves to the glorious example of our hea­venly father, doing their vtmost devoir that they may be ho­ly, pure, perfect, and mercifull as their father in heaven is. With that degenerating company of men which will doe the lusts of the divell. Could we segregate those which are cru­cified to the world, and have it crucified to them; and al­though they love the good creatures and gifts of God, yet it is neither preposterously, irreligiously, nor unequally but in order, sc. first God, then godlinesse, then good men, enemies, then profit, then pleasure. 6 Those whose hearts are fast glued to the Lord Iehouah, and his crownes of immortality as their only treasure. 7. Those who love with all entirenesse of affection the sonnes of God. And Those who love the ap­pearing of our blessed Saviour, having a comfortable assurance of his love, and a sincere care to please him in all things. From those which love the world servilely, sensually, pre­posterously, [Page 49] immoderatly, disorderly, and undiscreetly. Those whose chiefest treasure is on earth. Those who are inraged with implacable malice against the children of God and their sincerity. And from such who love the Lords appearing no more then villanous malefactours the comming of a just and righteous Iudge. And it will manifestly appeare (I much feare) that few onely, love God (I speake comparatively) in­deed and in truth, although all love him with the tongue and lips. Give me leave therefore to use these following motives to perswade you to love God.

The first drawne from God himselfe, and they are these.Mot. 1. The Divine Precept of our gracious God: he requires, wils, and commands us to love him, Deut. 6. 5. & 10. 12. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. The rich promises of the Lord to all those who truly love him, Exod. 20. 6. Shew mercie unto thousands, &c. Psal. 145. 20. The Lord preserveth, &c. His pronenesse to heare our prayers, Psal. 116. 2. He bids us aske, and we shall have, seeke and we shall find, knocke, and it shall be opened unto us, Math. 7. 7. Yea, he oftentimes prevents us, graunting before we desire. His practice proceeding from love. Do not Heathen, Publicans, yea savage beasts love those which love them, and shall not we love him? What creature in whom is the breath of life, but it may perceive Gods love to it in its creation, preservation, gubernation, di­rection, and continually receiving good things from him, Psal. 145. 16? All the severall sorts of blessings, the multitude, measure, and continuance of the same comming from his love, Psal. 68. 19. He daily leading us with his benefits. What godly man but may discerne his unspeakable love to him inWhy God adop­ted us. his onely Sonne, Ioh. 3. 16. to die for him, when an enemy, Rom. 5. 8. To raise when dead in trespasses, Eph. 2. 5. In chu­sing and taking him to be his sonne when he was the child of the Divell, and that not because he wanted children, he having a naturall Sonne Iesus Christ the righteous: Nor because he needed an heire, he living and raigning for ever: Neither be­cause his naturall Sonne is unfit to inherit, he being as fit as his Father. But onely because he loved him. No love like theNo love like Gods [Page 50] love of God to us wards; his thoughts are thoughts of love, Ier. 29. 11. His affections are affections of love, Ier. 31. 3. His words are words of love, Ier. 2. 2. And his deeds are correspon­dent, Deut. [...]2. 10. No love so great as the love of God to his children. Not of carefull at her. Mat 7. 11. How much more your Father. Not of tender compassionate m [...]t [...]ers, Isa. 4 [...]. 15. Y [...]t will not I. He loving [...] Hreatly, [...]ph. 2. 4. Ten­derly▪ Za [...]h. 2. 8. E [...]erla [...]ingly, Ier. 31 3. 4. Freely, with [...]ut [...] desert [...]: which is [...] if we consider his [...], and ou [...]. 1. [...] [...] we were not Eph. 1. 4. 5. 9. 11. W [...], re naught, [...]ph. 2. 2. 5. When w [...] [...]re [...]n [...]m [...]s, [...]om. [...]. 8. [...]m, 1 [...]o [...]. 4. 10. [...]. 19. And secondly, Our love to him [...] and defective, 1 Cor. 1 [...]. 11. De [...]iled. Isa. 64. 6. O [...] d [...]t, [...]17. 10. And un [...]quall [...] Gods love, Eph. 3. 18, 19. And last [...], the g [...] God, he [...] worthy [...] love be [...]ore, and a­ [...]ove al other things. Of [...]omthing, and there i [...] thing in the world so [...]y of [...]ur [...]is. [...] and what is there in the [...] w [...] [...]o doe us that go [...]d the Lord doth? A [...] such de [...]ight? [...] regardfull of our love [...] To which we are so indebted as [...]nt [...] God: Wherein [...]d such delight and comfort as in the love of G [...]d? [...] us with thy selfe O man, and say, Shall the Lord of heaven and [...]th [...]n [...]oyne me by his authority, then which [...] W [...]e and allure me by his [...] more amp;e? To love himself, a [...] hear our pray [...] &, himself the only o [...]?

The s [...]d [...]tive d [...] Great and m [...]y are the pro [...]table [...] love G [...]d. They shall [...] [...]g 5. 31. They [...]d, Psal. 14 [...]. [...]. They are [...] 1. 12. 2. [...] o [...]. 1. [...] [Page 51] behold, more may his searching [...]are heare, but his inquisitive [...]eart d [...]lv [...] into the heart and bowels of the earth, dives be­low the s [...]ting r [...]stlesse waves of the raging Ocean, mounts up alo [...]t by transcendent speculations peeping beyond those starry bodies. So that he can talke of the ear [...]s center and circumference; of the number, greatnesse, and dignities of those heavenly lights. Yet this eye hath never seene, eare [...]rd, [...]ther hath it entred into the heart of man to conceive the things which God hath prepared for those that love him, 1 Cor. 2. 9. 2. Such is the variable condition of mankind, that he [...] not long in one stay: joye [...] and griefes successive­ly accompanying each other as day & night. In this intermin­gled intercourse of such contrarieties what can possibly pro­duce better effect [...] then love to God? This making all things worke together for th [...] best, Rom. 8. 28. Do we desire to have the successefull proceedings of all things? Would we have the fiery dre [...]dfull assaults of that old Serpent, the truc [...]lent and villanous behaviour of that viperine brood. e. [...]. Their [...] lyes and falsehoods, their tongue-killing slaunders, and backbitings: their scurrulous satyricall scoffings, and their utmost rage stowing from their malicious envenomed h [...]art [...] In a word, would we have all things, both sinnes, and su [...]rings, our owne and others turned by Gods providence to our good? The way to accomplish our desires is truly to love God, Rom. 8. 28. 3. Consider the perillous condition of such who love not God, Exod. 20. 5. Visiting the iniquity of them that hate me. Deut. 7. 10. Repayeth them that hate [...]m, &c. 1 Cor. 1. 6. 22. If any man love not the Lord Iesus, l [...]t him be▪ Anathema, Maranatha. Wouldst thou not therefore [...] have the Lord visit, i. e. fulfill his threatned judgements upon thee and thy posteritie? Wouldst not thou have him repay, i. mete out to thee as he doth to sinners their owne [...] [...] (to repay, being to pay backe, or to pay a man with [...] ow [...]e in [...]y Wouldst not thou be Anathema, Maranatha, [...] f [...]r ever and a [...]ay, or with eternall execration: be [...]s [...]aded truly and practically to love God. 4. The perfection of true love to God should animate us to put the same in [Page 52] practice. Love to God is called the first command [...]ment, because it is first to be done, we must preferre the love and glory of God▪ before the love and safety of men and creatures. And the great commandement, it concerning a great person, being of great weight and importance, requiring great know­ledge to understand it, and being very difficult to observe.

3 Do we as we would be done unto? We our selves earnest­ly desire the love of our children. We thinke our selves ex­traordinarily wrong'd if we want their love. And what re­spect have we to their greatest obedience if it proceed not out of love? Go therefore, and do we likewise in loving God our heavenly Father. Secondly, we except we are stocks and stones, uncapable of sense, or bruit beasts, devoid of under­danding, desire extraordinarily the love of God our Father: without which better had it beene not to have being, or if a­ny, the subsistance of some baser creature. Instance we in what we can. Be it for proportion ilfavoured beyond all ima­gination, be it more pestiferous then the eye-slaying Basilisk, and hideous Gorgon. Let it have all the concurring ingredi­ents of misery and contempt, being the subject of extreame wretchednesse, and an object of hatred to men and other crea­tures. Yet man not beloved of God is beyond all comparison more wretched, death being a period to its calamities, and an entrance to the others unsufferable, and never ending tor­ments. But let a man be beloved of God, although he be ta­ble talke for hypocriticall mockers at feasts: a by-word to men vil [...]r then the earth, the drunkards song, and trampled under foot by every stigmaticall varl [...]t, yet is he as honoura­ble as an heire of heaven, a member of Christ, and a child of God. Do we then (as we do if we are in our right wits) de­sire God to love us, and shall not we love him againe? Reason therefore thus with thy selfe O man. Are there so many pro­fitable advantages accom [...]dating true love to God, and shall I neglect them? Hath true love to God such beneficiall effects, and wilt thou despise them? The want thereof such dange­rous execrations, and wilt thou incurre them? Is love to God that great and first commandement, and wilt thou transgresse [Page 53] it? Dost thou thinke to have the love of God (without which thou art most miserable) and thou not loving him? Is it fit for children not to love their father No no, if other men will hate, yet I am resolved henceforth to love God. Yea, and expresse the same by hating what is evill. Obedience to Gods commandements. A conscionable discharge of the du­ties of my calling. Conformity to God. Not loving the world. Entirely loving the Saints. Often thinking on God as my chiefest treasure. And loving the comming of Christ to judgement?

CHAP. III. Duty 2. Saints must shunne sinne.

IS God our Father? Then ought we to consider advisedlyDuty 2. of our noble parentage, and with all circumspect considera­tion take heed we disgrace it not, nor distaine our Fathers houshold. And imploy our endeavours to the utmost to ho­nour and glorifie our Father, and grace his faithfull family by our vertuous conversations. It is not seemly for a Kings son to defile himselfe with contaminating dung, and such like sordid filth; it's not for them to consort with fellowes of base, inor­dinate, and immorigerous ranks. How much more unfit is it for Gods sonnes (children to a King truly, really, whose kingdome is of such large extension, that heaven, hell, earth, and all places are within his royall government: and of such commanding power, that all created beings, whether ruling Kings or potent Emperours, whether Coelestiall Angels or infernall Divels, stand his subjects to do him homage and that not for a moment, or some small time of continuance, but through all eternity) to pollute themselves with sinne, and impiety more loathsome then any thing whatsoever. e. g. Be it that a man from top to toe is soyled with the most noysome excrements that are imaginable to be upon the face of the earth: yet with a small quantity of water, and a little industry of man it's easy to have him cleansed. Suppose a man to be as it [Page 54] were clad with boyles and botches from the sole of the foot to the crowne of the head; yet it is possible that good diet, wholsome ayre, the helpe of skilfull Phisitians should restore him to perfect sanity. But all the water in Abana, Parphar, Iordan, nor the whole O [...]ean is of force to wash off, nor the most excellent diet, wholsome ayre, drugges and pearles of price, hornes of V [...]icornes, stones of Bezar ordered by the exactest skill of men and Angels is availeable to purge away sinne. It is onely the bloud of Christ which cleanseth from sin, 1 Ioh. 1. 7. What made those for [...]orne Apostate fiends of glo­rious Angels to become damned Divels, detested of God, An­gels, and men? Sure I am, not their Creation, it being excel­lent, but their depravation, their sinne. Whence is it that the Lord doth hate his owne Ordinances, New Moones, Sab­baths, and prayers, Isa. 1. 15? What occasioneth the Lord to turne a fruitfull land into barrennes [...]e, save the iniquity of those that dwell therein, Psal. 107. 37. Why did the Lord drowne the whole world with an overflowing deluge, over­turne those pleasant and fertile cities (even as the Garden of God, Gen. 13. 10.) with fire and brimstone, save onely be­cause of their sinnes? By which particulars it is most perspi­cuous, that nothing whatsoever so filthily polluteth as sinne: and therefore such persons whose father is the great King, ought not to pollute themselves therewith. What els meane those Scriptures, 2 Tim. 2. 19. Let every one who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 1 Ioh. 3. 8. He who com­mits sinne is of the Divell. Ver. 9. Whosoever is borne of God sinneth not. And againe, Hee cannot sinne because hee is borne of God. 1 Ioh. 2. 1. These things have I written that you sinne not.

1. Mistake me not I pray. I intend not the least allowance of Donatists, Pelagians, Catharists, and Familists, who glory of perfect purity, yea, to be as pure as Christ in heaven: of freedome from all sinne, the Scriptures telling me, that in ma­ny things we offend all, Iam. 3. 2. I seeing the Publican whose prayer was accepted, saying, God be mercifull to me a sinner, Luke 18. 13. Saint Paul complaining to be of sinners the [Page 55] chiefe, 1 Tim. 1. 15. And our Saviours owne Apostles com­manded to pray forgive us our trespasses: not for modesty sake, as Pellagians affirme: but of consciousnesse of humane fr [...]ilty, as saith Saint Hierome. He who commanded to sinne no more, Ioh. 5. 14. Commanded also to pray daily for for­givenesse. He who said, whosoever is borne of God sinneth not, 1 Ioh. [...]. 6. Said also, If we say we have no sinne we deceive our selves, and the truth i [...] not in us, 1 Ioh. 1. 8. We make God a lyar, and his word is not in us, verse 10. Although we know God heareth not sinners, Ioh. 9. 31. Yet we know also that Christ came to call sinners to repentance. The same God who directed Balaams tongue to say God hath beheld no iniquity in Iacob, nor seene perversenesse in Israel, Num. 23. 21. Directed the tong [...]e of Moyses the man of God to say, Thou settest our sins before thee, our secret sinnes in the light of thy countenance, Psal. [...]0. 8. What then? is there contradiction in the Scripture? No such matter: both the one and the other are the undenia­ble sacred truths of God. God seeth no sinne in his people, sc. with a revenging eye, as to condemne his people for their sinnes. That mandate sinne no more, is a comparative speech, whereby the cured is exhorted to strive that his sinnes be not such, nor so many as they had beene, but that their force might be weakned, their number lessened, and occasions avoided. God heareth not sinners, i. such who make a trade of sinning, suffering it to raigne and rage in them. Whosoever is b [...]r [...]e of God sinneth not, cannot sinne: He doth not sinne, i. not ch [...]rish it, and suffer it to raigne, but endeavoureth to cleanse himselfe from sinne, following holinesse of life. He cannot sin, [...]. [...]to death, as he is borne of God, as he hath Gods Spirit, and graces, although as he is man, as he is flesh he doth: He cannot indeavour to sinne, &c.

2 Neither intend I the least justifying of such abominable i [...]po [...]rit [...]s (painted pollution covered with pretended reli­gion is worthy double punishment, yea double damnation) which living i [...] loathsome imp [...]ties, boastingly reject their neighbours, [...]stand by thy selfe, come not neare to me, for I am holier th [...] thou, Isa. 65. 5. I am not as other men are, [Page 56] &c. Luke 18. 11. I fast, pay tithes, although they omitted the weightier matters of the Law, judgement, mercy, and faith, Mat. 23 23. within full of extortion and excesse, 25. of hypocrisie, and iniquity, 28. These righteous persons Christ came not to call, Math. 9 13. These being a generation which are cleane in their owne eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthinesse, Prov. 30. 12. I leave such dotages as the proper characters of spirituall fooles, whose wayes (though naught) are righteous in their owne eyes, and yet are not washed from their filthinesse, Pro. 30. 12. Of unsanctified persons, Prov. 30. 13. Of L [...]wd compa­nions, Isaiah 65. 3, 4. Of formall Christians, Math. 7. 22. Of Civill honest men, Math. 19. 20. and of proud Pharisees, Luk. 18. 11. Which were a people eagerly thirsting after vaine­glorious ostentation, doing all to be seene of men: the grea­test enemies (as it's ever the property of outside Christians) to Christ and his Disciples: the most dogged censurers of mens a [...]tions better then themselves causelessely. A lively pi­ct [...]re of whom we shall sind pourtrayd in most ignorant sots, goodfellow-drunkards (Papists, hypocrites, familists) and meere civill honest men: whose actions (although in many particulars they come short of those painted sepulchres) run paralled with theirs, Math. 6. The Pharisee gave, prayed, fa­sted to be seene of men, Math. 19. 20. Luke 18. 11. And boasts of exact obedience▪ Vpon which ground I suppose e­very one of indifferent understanding will ingeniously con­fesse that these forenamed who seldome give except vaine­gloriously to some clamorous beggers, seldome or never pray in secret, or in their families, onely in publique to be seene of men. By consequence avouch themselves to keepe the Law of God perfectly. for although they are sinners as they say, yet they have kept the 1, 2, 3, 4 commandement, &c. And not in those who are called Puritanes by worldlings, because they will not be prophane, 1 Pet. 4. 4. Because they endea­vour in all things to live honestly, and to keepe a good consci­ence. These (not onely giving sometimes in the view of o­thers) carefully relieving the distressed members of Christ in secret: praying conscionably, and constantly to their father [Page 57] in secret: and although they justifie themselves in regard of some speciall kind of sinne onely, or some degree, or some cir­cumstance, as David cleares himselfe, Psal. 7. & 27. And Saint Paul himselfe from soule-murther, Acts 20. 26. Yet in re­gard of their common corruptions, and particular frailties condemne themselves more deeply then any others, Psal. 51. Rom. 7. 16. 1 Tim. 1. 15.

But sith it is evident without contradiction, that not onely all men, but also all regenerate persons who are borne of God are sinners, and yet such are exhorted not to sinne, yea are said not to sinne, 1 Ioh. 3. 9. Give me leave briefly to point at (un­der correction of the learned) the differences betwixt Gods children, and wicked men: and then to perswade all such who professe themselves the children of this Father (although they cannot but sinne) not so to sinne as wicked and ungodly ones do, which is the second Vse of this Point.

The godly man imployes his utmost endeavours to shunDifferen. 1. Godly shunne se­cret sinnes. envy and anger aswell as murther, lust as adultery, infidelity, hypocrisie, pride, earthly-mindednesse, and all secret and hidden sinnes aswell as outward impieties. He desiring to approve his heart unto God. He well considering, 1. That the secrets of the heart are as transparent to the omniscient thought-searching Iehovah, as the most audible words, and publique actions. 2. That God will judge for secret sinnes aswell as for outward, Rom. 2. 16. The wicked man so be, he can demeane himselfe so smoothly and plausibly that man can­not accuse him of outward villany: thinkes all is well, al­though his heart is farc't brim full of privy pride, secret hy­pocrisie, shamefull ignorance, wanton obscoenities, base earthly-mindednesse, canckred envy, unadvised anger, &c. Deeming either his thoughts to be free, or doing all to be seen of men.

2 The Godly man (albeit he may fall into some grosser impi­ety) doth carefully eschew, and with as much loathing dete­station, the smallest sinnes as those of the grosser order, andSmall sinnes. that, 1. Because he knoweth that the smallest is sinne. 2. Committed against an infinite God. 3. A trespasse against [Page 58] the most holy Law. 4. Able to deprive of the greatest good, sc. Gods favour. 5. Able to bring the greatest misery. 6. Not washed away with any thing save the [...]val [...]able price of the bl [...]nd of the immac [...]late Lambe Christ [...]. The wicked man makes of mountaines molehils, makes no scru­pl [...] of p [...]tty oathes, Racha, foole, wanton dalliance, merry and off [...]s [...], hurtfu [...]l jests, &c. Yea, he is ready not onely to ext [...]te, but to plead that they are small. Wheras no sinne is sm [...]ll compared with▪ the Law, the punishment, person offen­ded, and price of redemption.

The child of God doth not onely take heed of the top, and [...] height of sinne, but of the first and least degree of sinne. He advisedly considering the insinuating, spreading, and incroch­ing nature of sinne, one drawing on another: he therefore di­ligently withstands the first degree, he crusheth the egge l [...]st it prove a S [...]rpent, quencheth the sparkles, least they fire all, Iam. 1. 19. The wicked no whit regardeth concupiscence, the root and beginning of sinne, but deales with it as Milo with his calfe, carried it a calfe, and an oxe likewise: cu­stome comes upon him which hardeneth his heart, Ier. 13.

The godly man sinneth not with full c [...]nsent of heart, The 4. [...] Spirit strives against the flesh, Gal. 5 17. His sinne is as bitter and burdensome to him as death, Rom. 7. 24. Yea he is so ir­ [...]d with the remainder of old Adam, and with his particu­lar slips and wants in well-doing, that he lamentably com­plaines, O wretched man, ver. 24. Not despairing of salvati­on, as the next words and last verses of the next Chapter de­clare, but bewailing his present mis [...]rable condition so sub­ject to sinne, as one groaning under a heavy burden. And therefore doth earnestly strive against the sinne and temptati­on, [...]ting the spirituall warfare, with the two edged sword of the Word, and ardent prayer.

The wicked sinneth with unanimous consent of heart and mind [...] headlong into it as the enraged horse into the [...]attell, draw [...]s iniquity with cords of v [...]n [...]ty, Isa. 5. 18. Drinks it downe with as thirsting appetite, and delighting pleasant­nesse as fishes do water. And therefore (although he is oft [Page 59] times curbed by the feare of punishment, and dread of shame (whereas the rich furniture of Gods peerlesse graces, his en­tire love to God, tendernesse of conscience restraines the good) from many foule enormites) seeketh diligently oc­casion to commit sinne, and rejoyceth greatly, finding oppor­tunity thereunto.

The oftner a Godly man sinneth (although his vse is not5. By sinning, learne more carefully to avoid▪ sin. to sinne willingly, neither doth oft fall into the same sinne) the greater is his sorrow; Contrition, humiliation, strife, &c. Witnesse David, Peter, and the incestuous person. A good traveller minding his way, is made more watchfull of his footsteps by his many slips, and fallings. An approved soul­dier disdaining base cowardise, and miserable slavery; and thirsting after wished conquest, doth rouse up, and vivifie his dismayed spirits with addition of new supplies of vigour: gu [...]rdeth himselfe with more heedfull watchfulnesse; buckles his neglected armour faster to his body; yea doubles his di­ligence in all particulars after the receipt of some shamefull foiles from the hand of his formidable foe. The wicked is more obdurate by often sinning; growes worse, and worse: seekes it more greedily every day then other, Prov. 23. His custome in sinning takes away the sense of sin: his ordinary fee­ding upon those grapes of gall, and swallowing downe such deadly poyson, makes it as welcome to his appetite as his dai­ly repast, and as luscious to his palate as the sweetest Ambro­sia: his long grounded acquaintance with those hellish brats, links him with such indeerd intimatenesse to those infernall fiends, that its as possible to unspotte the party-coloured Leopard, and whiten the tawny Negro, as to disjoyne his fast glued affections by accustoming to doe evill from his sinne, Ier. 13. 23.

The godly man advisedly considering what he hath done6. Riseth by repen­tance. after falling into sinne, flyes with all speed to the Lord Iesus, his soules physitian; uncovers his wound to the bottome, humbly s [...]ing to have his si [...]ke soule bathed in, and balmed with the bloud of the Lambe. Hee fals downe at the throne of grace, accusing, judging, condemning himselfe, and sending [Page 60] forth flouds of tears from his wounded heart, or grieving that he can grieve no more for his shamefull faylings. He beggeth pardon for his iniquity with as much earnestnes as a condem­ned malefactor: He loaths his sin now more then ever, for dis­quieting his soule, and hindering his peace with his God. He becomes more nobly resolute against sin, and its devilish occa­sions then he was before, so raising himself by true repentance. The wicked although sometimes consideration of the righte­ous judge, the dreadfull day of judgement, & those unutterable torments prepared for the damned, works in them some me­lancholy fits of dumpishnes, yet they never rise by true repen­tance: for eyther they are sick not perceiving it, rushing upon the wrath of God like blind Balaā [...]or although they leave some evil waies, they take other as bad, only exchanging sin for sin: or if they do confes their sins, its not intire & universal; wanting either sorrowfull contrition, or true faith, or a godly purpos'd resolution to joyne with confession, the confusion of their sins.

Thus I hope it is as cleare as the shining of the sunne in aM. Yates, 16. ad c [...] pag 97. summers day: that although all men are sinners; yet there are apparent differences betwixt the good and bad in sinning. A good divine saith well: Their sinnes are not the same in pur­pose, which may be the same in performance. Is there not great disagreement twixt grieving Gods spirit, and despighting the same? Is there not great difference betwixt touching sinne, and tumbling in it? sipping of it, and swallowing it up? twixt suddaine fallings into sinne, and carelesly lying in it? sure I am there is a manifest dissimilitude betweene a mad mans, drunkards, and swines willing, greedy and delightfull wallowing in the myre, and the falling of a man in his right wits. And I verily thinke all men will acknowledge, that its one thing to pursue with all greedinesse and overtake sinne: another to flee amaine from it, as from a serpent, and unwil­lingly be overtaken. 1. Let all such who hate to be reformed animate themselves, and encourage others to persist in all dissolute and disorbitant courses. Because the boundlesse sea of Gods mercy is bottomelesse and infinite; little conside­ring, that although Psal 10 [...]. 17. Gods mercie is everlasting. Exod. 20. 6. Great. Exod. 33 15. Free. [Page 61] Psal. 109. 2. Sweet: yet it is appropriated only to such who Deut. 5 10. observe Gods commandements. Deut. 5. 3. Love God. Psal. 102. 18. Keepe his Covenant. Prov. 28. 13. Confesse, and forsake their sins. Ier. 3. 12. Returne to God. Amos [...]. 15. Hate evill, do good, esta­blish judgement, &c. Gal. [...]. 15. 16. and such who are new creatures. And not to such who make it a packhorse to cary their hellish enormi­ties. Or 2. Because they may repent at the last aswell as the pe­nitent theefe upon the Crosse, & many other of their own fra­ternity, who although they ran riot with them in their pros­perity, yet dyed like lambes calling upon God. Little conside­ring that they (for ought I know) might aswel neglect al means to provide food, and raiment, because God fed, & cloathed the Israelites; his ancient people in a barren wildernesse so many yeares miraculously. Smite their dumbe beasts to make them speake, because God once did wondrously open the mouth of Balaams Asse to reprove the madnesse of the Prophet. Cast away all care, and expect flesh, and bread to be brought from heaven extraordinarily by ravens, because Eliah was once so strangely preserved. Presume to live forty daies without bread, or water, because Moses and Eliah fasted so miracu­lously: As well as thinke to repent at their last gaspe, because once one thiefe did so miraculously. And as for the repentance of their owne boone companions, its probable that it is not sound but counterfet: For can we imagine that those who will not heare Moses, and the Prophets, so as to be drawne to repentance, and amendment (it being the meanes the Lord hath sanctified to mans conversion) will be drawne to sound and sincere repentance, and a through reformation of their lives by a fit of sicknesse? And doth not daily experience de­monstrateFicta citò ad na­turam red [...]er [...]nt suam. Simulata non di [...] durans. pab. pag. 64. to the eyes of all such who will open them to the truth, that such people if God spareth them vsually like Pha­roah and Ieroboam, runne greedily with the dogge to their old vomit? A learned Knight saith, What shall we call a mocking of Sir Wal [...]er Ra­leigh in his Ep [...] stle. God, if those doe not mocke him, that thinke it inough for God to aske him forgivenesse at leisure, with the last drawing of a mali­tious breath? these finde out a new God, make one, a leaden one, like Lewis the 11, &c. Afterwards he saith, Let us not flatter 1. Booke, 2 Chap. 3. Sect. pag. 28. our immortall soules, for to neglect God all our lives, and know [Page 62] that we neglect him, casting our hopes upon the peace we trust to make at parting, is no other then a rebellious presumption, and a contemptuous laughing to scorne, and d [...]iding [...]f God, his [...] lawes; and precepts. That learned Prelate, Bishop [...], [...]it [...]s Saint Augustine, thus speaking; If any one being in the last [...] ­tremity of his sicknes [...]e, is willing to receive pennance, and doth receive it, and presently is reconciled, and departeth hence. I con­fesse unto you, we do not denie vnto him that which he asketh, but we do [...] not presume that he goeth well from hence. I doe not pre­sume: I deceive y [...]u not. I doe not presume, he who putteth off his r [...]pentance till the last, and is reconciled: whether he goeth hen [...]e [...]cure, I am not secure, pennance I can give him, security I cannot give him. Doe I say he shall be damned? I say not so; but do [...] I say also he shall be freed? no: What d [...]st thou then say unto me? I know not, I presume not, I promise not. Wilt thou free thy selfe of the doubt? Wilt thou escape that which is uncer­tain? Doe thy pennance while thou art in health. The pen­nance which is asked for by the infirme, is infirme. The pennance which is asked for onely by him which is a dying, I feare least it [...] also die. Agreeable whereunto is the saying of Mr. Dike, re­pentance at death is seldome sound; and Saint Chrysostome doth rhet [...]rically reprove such protracting procrastinatours. But thou saist, God hath granted to many space to repent of their sins in old age: Art thou sure God will grant the same to thee? Thou saist peradventure he wil: what saist thou peradventure, & sometimes and oftentimes, bethinke thy selfe that the businesse thou hast in [...]and con [...]er [...]es thy soule. Therefore suppose the contrary, and thinke with thy selfe, what if God should not grant me? When thou goest to warre thou dost not say I need not make any will, peradventure I shall returne againe, &c. 3. Let them [...] them­selves asleepe in the pleasant crad [...]e of security, promising to themselves those heavenly habitations ass [...]o [...]e, or b [...]fore the best of the precis [...]r sort. For what and if they have their faults, so had all the glorified Saints when they breathed in this sub [...]ary world, and so they hope the most resined of them have (Although thus doing they with [...]ut a [...]y dissembling, shew themselves to be a serpentine seede, feeding onely upon [Page 63] the drossy dusty part of the fruitfull earth wholly slighting, and neglecting the many fragrant flowers, pleasant plants, and nourishing fruits: and spider-like, sucking onely poyson from the sweetest flowers in Gods garden.) Whereas had they but halfe an eye truly open, they might as clearely per­ceive as they see the most glistering starres in a faire night, shining in the open firmament. That the sinnes of Gods children are not recorded for incouragement to sinne, but to terrifie from sinning: for let any man behold how they smar­ted, as well as how they sinned. Looke upon Noah, derided of his wretched sonne, cursing his posterity: Moses and Aaron denyed entrance into Canaan: Sampson slavishly grinding in the mill. Davids child dying, his sonne climbing into his bed, driving him from his regall governement. Let him consider the hardnesse of recovering their former peace, joy, &c. How oft they watered their couch with their teares: how bitterly they wept: how long they lay groaning, and cry­ing, create in me a new heart, &c. Psal. 51. And I thinke hee will not (except he be possest with a more braine-sick phren­sie, then a madded Bediam willingly wound himselfe, because such and such being wounded, obtained perfect recovery, the wound being so tart, and smarting, and the cure so difficult; but rather conclude: If the devill hath foyled such tall Ce­dars, and valiant champions, then I so weake, so fraile▪ have n [...]ed with all circumspect watchfulnesse to shunne idlenesse Davids wounder: take heed of wine overcomming righteous Noah, strive against presumption occasioning Peter so oft with such fearefull imprecations to deny his master: yet let every one who hath the seed of Gods spirit abiding in him, take heed that he doth not sin in the Scripture phrase, sc. so as to commit sinne, wittingly, willingly, unrepentantly. To this end let him advisedly consider.

1. That sinne is the onely thing which his heavenly fatherDissw. 1. hath forbidden him: will not Ioseph meddle with his masters wife, because she was the onely thing in his masters house, he was not to meddle withall: and wilt thou shew thy selfe so unthankfull to a father so liberall, and bountifull to thee, as [Page 64] to commit that one thing he hath forbidden?

2 It is most opposite to God his heavenly father. God is light, It is darknesse in regard of its author, fountaine, its na­ture, and effects plunging into Gehenna, a place of vtter dark­nesse. God is life, It is death deserving, disabling, destroying, and causing death. It is death in regard of the due desert which is double death: Of the effects disabling to do good: of the nature and property, which is to destroy: of the paine­fulnesse, bitternesse, noysomenesse, and loathsomnesse, and of the power none can withstand it. God is good, sinne is evill; for it is 1. The most loathsome, and irkesome thing in the world. Compare we it with the most offall, and refuse things, and we shall find it most noysome, and excrementitious. Is it not resembled to thornes, briars, pitch, then which what more averse to the touch of man? To dregs, gall, worme­wood, then which nothing more distastfull. Is it not tearmed stinke, dung, carrion? then which there cannot be any thing more disliked of the smell. Is it not stiled mire, dogs vomit, menstrous clouts? on which particulars the sight doth loath to looke. 2. It is the shamefullest thing in the world. Not onely are Gods children ashamed of it, Rom. 6. 21. but even the grand seigniours in Sathans band. Its a rare thing (I thinke) to finde a quassing drunkard, filthy whooremon­ger, hypocriticall glozer, grating vsurer, or any other of those higher formes in Sathans schoole, of such a whoorish fore­head, as to professe himselfe a trader in such disordered cour­ses. Nay, will they not disclaime all acquaintance with them? will not the cut throate vsurer say he is no vsurer, but a cha­ritable benefactour to the needie man? the glozing dissem­bler glory of his uprightnesse? or can a man draw from drun­kards, or strumpets an acknowledgement of their villanies? 3. It is of all evils the most depriving of good, bringing ste­rility upon the fruitfullest countries; stay [...]ng the most pious actions with a tincture of such a displeasing die, that sacrifices by this meanes are made abominable: new moones, and Sabbaths hatefull, and prayers not sufferable.

3 It is most unlike Gods workes. Sinne is a worke of the [Page 65] flesh, Gal. 5. 19. His of the Spirit. Sinne is a worke of Sathan, 1 Iohn 3. 8. Sinne is a worke of the body, Rom. 8. 13. His of the Spirit.

4 It is that which Christ Iesus his Heavenly Husband, soules Saviour, by whose meanes it is that the Lord is become his gracious Father, came to destroy, 1 Ioh. 1. 7. 22. &. 3. 5. And that upon good grounds: It being against his Fathers glory: the salvation of his Elect: it being contrary to his Fathers works, and advancement of his kingdome.

CHAP. IIII. Duty 3. Saints must depend on Gods providence.

IF God be our Father, we ought to cast our care upon him,Duty 3. depending upon his fatherly providence for food, rayment and the supply of all outward things. This truth being a max­ime surely confirmed in those sacred lines written by the hea­venly Majesty, and generally assented unto by all men. I sup­posing there is not a man to be found either so unexperienced or brainlesse as not to consent that childrens sole dependance is on parents wise and carefull providence. I shall not need long to insist in the confirmation of this Thesis. In a word, David, Psal. 55. 22. hath these words, Cast thy burden upon the Lord, q. d. If there be any thing which troubleth thee, or that thou thy selfe standest in need of, commit the care thereof into Gods hand, staying thy selfe altogether up­on his providence, He shall sustaine thee. i. God will play the part of a good Father. St. Peter, 1 Pet. 5. 7. Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you. Let it be the badge and character of all gold-sicke Mammonists and earthly-minded worldlings (in whose catalogue I include not onely greedy in­closers, cut-throat usurers, unjust getters: but also swil-bel­lyed drunkards, lascivious wantons, riotous spend-thrifts, &c. For although these in their owne apprehensions, and the worlds conceipt are free from avarice. Yet it's evident that they are notable Mammonists as thus:

[Page 66]1. Those are truly covetous whose desire of other mens goods is such, that for the obtaining thereof, they sticke not to use meanes indirect and unlawfull, Eph. 5. 5. But these ri­otous [...] frau­dater, alioni avi­d [...] avar [...]. Eph. 5. 5. roisters for the generall have desires enlarged as bell af­ter their neighbours goods: little regarding how they get, so they may have to spend upon their lusts, hence it is that they'le be usurers, make no scruple of oaths, lyes, or any such like sinister means to minister fewell to the consuming fire of their insatiable and ravenous lusts.

2. Those who desire worldly things before and above any [...] Col. 3. 5 [...]. thing, are covetous persons, Col. 3. 5. But these jolly follows desire wordly things before & above any thing. For they pur­sue with such enraged thirsting appetites carthy drosse, that they will not refraine upon the Lords Day from plodding and pratling about their adored God. They cannot spare the Lord a fragment of their time to pray with their families, or in pri­vate. They cannot when God by his judgements, soveraigne authority, by commandement, the necessities of their bre­thren, and their owne duty, in joynes sanctity, dayes of humili­ation and fasting, least they should be undone.

3. They who are lovers of mony, are covetous persons, as ap­pears [...]. by cōparing He. 13. 5. 1 Tim. 6. 10. In both which places the word is the same, and translated in the one, love of mony, in the other covetousnesse. But these men are lovers of mo­ney, preferring it before the glory of God, their soules health, and their poore brother. And therefore although they stick not bravingly to defray large expences at some drunken sit­ting, and lash out in trimmer attyre perhaps then their neigh­bours, yet are not to be excluded the lists of covetous per­sons. Let it be (I say) the note of such, to distrust Gods graci­ous providing for them: From which mistrustfull diffidence,Insoelicissimi p [...]u­peres sic sunt, quasi inter concertantes procellas in medio mori posit [...]: nunc istcrum [...], nunc all num sti­ctibus [...]bruuntur. Salv. lib. 5 pag. 514. their in humane depopulations, unnaturall usuryes, purloy­nings, lying, defrauding, and an innumbred swarme of such unconscionable kinds of gettings, whereby they teare in pie­ces their poore brethren, contrary to the lawes of grace, na­ture, and charity, doe streame forth. But let not the least thought of diffident distrustfulnesse seaze upon the innobled [Page 67] soule of any in Gods family. No, not of such whose drooping soules are ready to saint and sinke under the pressures of po­verty and scantnesse.

1. For be it that inregard, 1. Of the inhumane practicesThe poore mans hurters of madded and irreligious depopulatours, an order of men more worthy banishment from our English Coasts (in my apprehension) then the jesters, juglers, loyterers, vagabonds and fooles, which Marcus the Emperour shipped from Rome: these being in my conceipt the greatest bane to our Common-wealth, robbing, 1. Our Dread Soveraigne of many able subsidy men, so of maintenance. Of many able fighting men, so of safety. Lessening the number of his sub­jects, so of honour. 2. Our country of its native commodi­ties, corne and cattell, the towne in tillage maintaining farre more cattell then the same inclosed. And of the fruitfull en­deavours of many able bodies: there being a necessary depen­dance of the greatest number of trades upon the tilled towne: and the tilled towne besides the many benefits other wayes, affoords imployment to as many if not more shepheards then the same inclosed.

2. And in regard of the never satisfied thirsting appetites of greedy gripes of this world, whose hunger after golden vanities cannot be satisfied with any additions to their for­mer sufficiencies. Which unquenchable humour causeth them to get into their hands as much as possibly they can (little considering that the Common-wealth is benefited most by distribution of its imployments into as many families as is possible) and to ingrosse in these scarcer times more corne then is fitting, to turne the staffe of bread excessively into a drunken commodity for their owne inrichment (no price be­ing ever great enough to satiate their greedy appetite) to be wasted by the sons of Belial upon their quaffingale-benches: 1626 whose vicious humour is so patronized. That what with Of­ficers unwillingnesse to displease their drunken neighbours: nothing regarding God, King, conscience, and the present ca­lamity. What with the many proctours such have in private and publique, some in pulpit daring to exclaime against those [Page 68] who disease these drunken Divels: Except Iustice deales wisely and resolutely, it wilbe as great a waster as I know any. Be it I say in regard of these two evils, it is a matter of great difficulty (if not of impossibility) to have befitting subsistence for the greatest part of the poorer sort of people. The former depriving them of imployment. The latter of livelyhood, pulling it almost wholly out of their reach. Yet all you who are not onely poore, but Gods poore also, (there are poore, and Gods poore, Psal. 72. 2. judge thy poore: such are Gods poore, who are godly and poore, religiously worshipping God, committing themselves wholly to his protection, and which are poore in spirit, Math. 5. 2.) and so have him to be your Father. Be you perswaded (for it being a harder matter to depend upon God when outward meanes are wanting, then when they are enjoyed. I therefore direct the drift of this exhortation (although to all Gods children in generall) especially to you) notwithstanding these maine obstacles, to have a firme dependance upon the gracious providence of your heavenly Father. But do not thinke that I intend to dis­swade you from prayer for daily bread, Christian providence, and painefull industry in your lawfull callings. Do not imagine that I advise you profusely to spend that God may send, ac­cording to that wicked proverbe. Or to have you through your negligence lose the worst of your substance. For a godly man must pray, labour, provide, shunne wastfulnesse, and pre­serve from losse the meanest of his substance: and may do all these things, and yet be neither covetous, nor distrustfull. Al­though for these causes Gods children are esteem'd of all men most avaricious: Yet for a man I hope, 1. To labour in a lawfull calling painefully and diligently is not covetousnesse: If it be done in obedience to Gods commandement, without the least inordinate desire unto, or love of money: and for a supply of present necessities. For this did St. Paul, yet was not covetous, yea he proves by thus doing that he was not so, Acts 20. 33, 34. 2. To provide carefully for a mans family is not covetousnesse: so it be not immoderate, neglecting the poore, and distrusting the providence of God, for thus did [Page 69] Iacob, and Saint Paul, and warrantably, 1. Tim. 5. 8. 3. To save from losse the basest of a mans substance is not covetous­nesse, except we will taxe our Saviour Christ Iesus for saving of fragments. 4. Neither is every desire of wordly things covetousnesse, no more then every desire of drinke is drunkennesse, of meate gluttony, for then sowing, wee could not safely desire a harvest. It is an inordinate desire of meate which makes a glutton; of drinke which makes a drunkard, so of money which makes a covetous man; scil. desire of more then needfull, then that which will do a man good; we may safely aske bread, and desire what we labour for. The world therefore doth good men a great deale of wrong; taxing them for these particulars with co­vetousnesse. They desiring not the least mite of other mens goods, defrauding no man of a pinne, not desiring wealth a­bove, or before all things, but Gods kingdome, grace, &c. not loving money, for did they, how could they sanctifie Sabbaths, dayes of humiliation, and fasting, and their families daily by christian exercises. But in Saint Pauls sense1. Cor. 12. 31. they are, I confesse of all men exceeding covetous. They ear­nestly desiring, and greedily thirsting after spirituall blessings, and heavenly glory. Now give me leave to vse foure motives to perswade you to rely upon your heavenly father, to live by faith.

Art thou a father having children few, or many? then beMot. 1. thine owne judge, if thou deem'st not thy selfe disparaged, if thy children misdoubt thy want of willingnes to provide for them to the vtmost of thine ability? nay, doe they not solely depend on thee, and seeke for foode, raiment, and such like necessaries at thy hands? And dar'st thou having the blessed testimony of Gods spirit? Rom. 8. 16. the spirit of prayer, Rom. 8. 15. being a follower of God as a deare childe, being borne of God, and so having a comfortable assurance that thou art Gods childe by adoption, dishonour thy heavenly father, distrusting provision? Doth he not beare as tender af­fectionatenesse towards his children as thou dost towards thine? God forbid that any such villanous thought should [Page 70] seaze upon thy heart. He loving his children greatly, Ephes. 2. 4. everlastingly, Ier. 31. 3. tenderly, Zach. 2. 8. more then any mortall father, Mat. 7. 11. or the most pitifull mother her sucking infant, Isa. 49. 15. Is he not as able to sustaine his children as thou art to maintaine thine? Who; and what is he who dares suffer his heart to nourish any such hellish blas­phemy: The earth being the Lords, and the fulnesse thereof, every beast of the forrest being his, the cattell upon a thousand hills, the foules of the mountaines, and the wild beasts of the field?

2 Cast thine eye upon such comfortable promises recorded in the sacred Scriptures, Psal. 34. 9. there is no want to them that feare him, ver. 10. the lyons do lack, & suffer hunger; but they that feare the Lord shall want no good thing, Mat. 6. 33. all these shall be added to you, Psal. 33. 19. He will deliver their soule from death, & keepe them alike in the time of famine. Sure I am, the promises of God as they are sweet, and pretious, so they are yea, and Amen, 2 Cor. 1. 20. Rom. 4. 16. for he cannot lie. Numb. 23. 19. Ioh. 1. 2. and the Lord is unchangeable. If therefore thou fearest God, first seeke his kingdome, and the righte­ousnesse thereof, and if the enjoyment of these things be for thy good, misdoubt not the fruition of them.

3 Consider seriously that thy heavenly father hath graciously provided for his charge of children in their greatest extremi­ties, and oft times unlook'd for provision, Gen. 42. 1. Why looke you, &c. the Lord made sufficient provision for them. He gave them bread in a desolate wildernesse, Exod. 16. 15. 35. He gives Sampson water out of Lehi, Iudg. 15. 19. He feedeth Eliah by a widow, and ravens, 1. King. 17. 4. 9. with a cake, and cruse of water, 19. 5. 6. an hundred Prophets by the boun­tifullSaints extremities are Gods oppor­tunities. hand of a good courtier, 1. King. 18. 13. David speakes nobly to this purpose, Psal. 37. 25. I have bene young,—ne­ver saw the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. And I verily think (although the number of beggars doth daily increase) let a man diligently view over a whole country, and he shall hardly finde one whom the world cals puritanes, so forsaken of God, as to begge his bread, but either the Lord [Page 71] doth stirre up the hearts of some good Obadiahs to relieve them in secret: or doth contrary to all expectation sustaine them: or makes their little as effectuall (like the widowes meale, 1 King. 19.) or as if they had great abundance; and more available then great revenews of wicked men, ps. 37. 16

4 Take notice of the extraordinary bountifulnesse of thy Fa­ther, Giving food to all flesh, Psal. 136. 25. Satisfying the de­sire of every living thing, Psal. 145. 16. Filling all with his good, Psal. 104. 28. (hence it is that the eyes of all waite upon him, Psal. 145. 16. and the Lyons seeke their meate of God, Psal. 104. 21.) and thou must of necessity confesse: That all sustenance is his gift. That all are meere gratuities. That he doth continually supply the wants of all creatures. And that he is a liberall giver, feeding millions of millons every day. And then rouse up, and animate thy drooping and dismayed Spirits, as Christ did comfort his distrustfull Disciples, Math. 6. 26. &c. Doe all the innumbred swarmes and troupes of birds, beasts, and fishes depend upon my Father? Doth he afford them such sufficient supplyes and contented satisfacti­ons, that although they have nothing beforehand to glut and satiate the eye, they chirp and sing, leape and skippe, and shall I distrust who am a man, a child by adoption? God forbid. will not the Lord much more provide for me, who am better then they? Doubtlesse he will. Be it therefore that I am poore, yet my Father hath more then enough to supply my wants. Be it that I see no meanes in humane reason how to live, yet will I depend on him who can preserve me with, or by small meanes. Be it that my charge is great, yet will not I distrust: I see the little Wren, a poore and weake bird, having her nest stored with a multitude of little helplesse creatures, to skippe as livelily, to live as merrily, and sing as pleasantly as at other times. I have nothing beforehand; no more hath she. I have a great charge. She as great. I have small meanes to get. She hath lesse. It is my gracious Father who provides for her and hers. He will also for me and mine. To this I may fitly adde the saying of a devout Writer: Thy children are thy riches, children are not a trouble, Fil [...] tui divitiae tue sunt, silij non labor, sed requies paren­tunt sunt & leva­men laborum, ac omna fortunae so latium si boni sunt: si mali, non de nu­mero sed de mori­bus querela est. Qua pascet omnes? Qui pis [...]es maru pascit, quadrupedes &c. Quis vestet? qui agros herbis ac floribus vestit, at (que) frondibus silvas. A­drian. Ca [...]th pag. 126 [Page 72] but an ease of parents, a solace of calamities, and a consolation of every estate, if they be good: if they be evill, the complaint is not of their number, but their vices. Who shall feed them all? He that feedeth the fishes of the sea, the foure footed beasts, &c. Who shall cloath them? He who doth cloath the fields with herbs and flowers, and the woods with leaves.

CHAP. V. Duty 4. Saints must honour God.

FOurthly, we are to honour our Heavenly Father, Mal. 1. 6.Duty 4. A sonne honoureth his Father. If I be a Father where is mine honour? Our Father—hallowed be thy Name, is the continuall cry of Gods children, and it's a necessary inference. If we ought to honor our fathers by nature, precedency of time, age, and office, much more the Lord our Heavenly Father. In prosecuting this filiall duty, I intend to have the judgement rightly informed how God must be honoured, and to per­swade by certaine motives the affections to practice this fourth siliall duty.

God may be honoured or despised many wayes, but these three especially.

1. In himselfe or his owne person, diverse wayes. 1. By obeying him and submitting our selves to him. 2. Beleeving in him and trusting to him. 3. By calling upon him, and praying to him. 4. In loving him above all. 5. In fearing him above all. 6. In confessing of his truth. 7. In confessing of our sinnes.

2. In his servants: either Prophets or people, Ministers or members of Christ: when they are honoured for his sake, or his gifts and graces are honoured in them. God is honoured in his Ministers, when those branches of honour are given to them which the Word of God requires. As: 1. Re­verence in thought, word, and gesture. 2. Obedience to [Page 73] their Doctrine. 3. Imitation of their good example. 4. Main­tenance.

3. In his sacred and holy Ordinances: Word, Sacraments, prayer, or other parts of his Service, when they are reverently & rightly used. So men may dishonor God by the same means or after the same manner, sc. when any of the aforesaid duties are denied or wanting, he is dishonoured in regard of him­selfe or servants: and in regard of his Ordinances, when any of them are refused or abused.

Wee are to honour our Heavenly Father with soule and body both, for he created them both, Eccl. 12. 1. Re­member thy Creatour, Ver. 9. Spirit to God who gave it. Hee redeemed them both, 1 Cor. 6. 20. He sanctifieth them both, 1 Thess. 5. 23. He preserves them both, Psal. 97. 10. And he will glorifie both, 1 Cor. 15. 49. But first with the soule, Psal. 103. 1, 2. Blesse the Lord O my soule. And that: 1. Because the Lord requires it most, Deut. 6. 4. Ioh. 4. 24. 2. Because it is the seat of sanctification, the beginning and efficient cause of every action, Math. 12. 35. Prov. 4. 23. 3. Because the Lord observeth, tryeth, and searcheth it most, 1 Ioh. 3. 19, 20. 21. 4. Because the Lord regards it most. And 5. Because if the soule once truly honour God, it will draw the whole body. Let hollow-hearted dissemblers and tombe-like Phari­sees (as Alexander in another case scattred in India at his de­parture speares, shields, swords, and other warlike furni­ture, fitter for men of gyant-like then ordinary stature, that he and his might be thought to be men of extraordinary greatnesse) seeme to glorifie God more then other men, be­ing in the meane time as full of dregs and filth as a loathsome caske, and as empty of worth as a drumme, having in it no­thing but windy ayre, although its sound is great and clamo­rous. Yet let every adopted child of the Lords be exhorted to honour our heavenly Father:

1. Inwardly: and that first in his understanding. 1. By an effectuall, spirituall, distinct, speciall, lively, experimentall, and consequently, saving knowledge of God, the want there­of causing a denyall of honour to the Lord, Exod. 5. 1. I know [Page 72] not God &c. Rom. 1. 21. 2. By a true faith, unbeliefe hin­dring from sanctifying the glorious name of God, Num. 20. 12. Secondly, in his affections. 1. By a spirituall child like or siliall feare, whose fruit and force is to restraine from vice, and constraine to well-doing for desire to glorifie God. 2. By a Christian love a fruit and signe of a justified perion, cau­sing us to delight in God for his goodnesse sake, and in our neighbour for Gods sake.

2. With our tongues, given us by our sole Creatour for this end, Iam. 3. 9. Therewith blesse we God, even the Father, Phil. 2. 11. that every tong should confesse to the glory of God the Father. Psal. 51. 15. And my mouth shall shew forth thy praise. We are to honour our heavenly Father in word by speaking reverently of all those things whereby God and his holy will is made better knowne unto us, e. g.

1. By talking reverently of the unmatchable sacred, sancti­fying Word of God a necessary duty imposed upon all Gods children, booke-learned or illiterate, Deut. 6. 7. These words shalbe in thy heart,—and thou shalt talk of them. Yea, it's im­possible the Word of God should be in the heart (as it dwel­leth richly in the heart of Gods children) and not in the mouth, Psal. 37. 30. 31, The mouth of the righteous—the Law of God is in his heart. Abus. 1 Oh that I could disswade all that heare me this day from all vaine and fruitlesse conferences of the Word of God: such I meane which tend neither to the glory of God, nor edification of mankind: which that I may doe, I will propound these following particulars to be advisedly considered. Dissw. 1 1. This Word of God is a most medicinable plaister of the soule, Psal. 107. 20. Therefore to be applied to heale. 2 2. It is leaven, Mat. 13. 33. Therefore to be imploy­ed to alter the nature of man, turning his heart first, then his members, that he may lead a new life. 3 3. It is bread, the soules bread, Prov, 10. 21. Amos 8. 11. Not onely vivifying the same, but also preserving its health and sanity, making it lively and full of vigour. 4 4. Its water, yea a transcendent water, for pleasure, profit and necessity. It is water drawne out of the Wels of salvation, Isa. 12. 3. Still refreshing waters, [Page 73] Psal. 23. 2. And as the sweet distilling raine, dewing downe abundance of fatnesse upon the thirsty ground, Isa. 55. 10, 11. It is water to mundifie the putrified sores of a wounded soule. To coole the scorching heat of fiery trials and hellish temptations To animate with all refreshing comforts the un­wearied soule pressing forward with an ardent earnestnesse in the race of Christianity, and fighting with an invincible courage, and undaunted resolution under the Lord Iesus. To fructifie the soule naturally b [...]ren of goodnesse, that it may be as a field fruitfull in good works. 5 5. Its a treasure unmatch­able and peerelesse, Mat 13. 44. To be desired most earnestly, esteemed most highly, kept most carefully, and lost most un­willingly. 6 6. Its the excellent heritage of the Lords inheritance Psal. 119. 11. Surmounting farre in worth or value the most refined silver, and purest gold of Ophir, Psal. 19 10. 119. 72. All manner of desired riches, 14. And the richest spoiles taken after a wished conquest, Ver. 162. Is it so, as so it is, and shall we then use it fruitlesly? God forbid. Abus. 2 Secondly, from fra­ming or reciting jests of the Word of God. What, and if Iu­lianian A postasie scoffes at those Heavenly Oracles, saying, turne the other cheeke (after blowes given to Christians) ac­cording to your Masters Precept. What though godlesse A­theisme sports it selfe with such sacred phrases, yet my bre­thren do not you. Dissw. 1 It is not good jesting with the mighty hand, and powerfull arme of the worlds Creatour, Isa. 49. 22. 53. 1. The rod of Gods mouth, 11. 4. The rod of his power, Psa. 110. 2. 2 A sharpe two edged sword piercing to the dividing asun­der of the soule and spirits. Abus. 3 It is not safe dallying with such a devouring fire, Ierem 5. 14. & 2 [...]. 29. Thirdly, from abu­sive usage of it in countenancing vice, or disheartening ver­tue. Let none of us dare to wrest these sacred lines, and wring the Lords sword as it were out of his owne hand. Dissw. 1 It is an axe keene and sharpe, Luke 1. 9. To destroy sinne not grace. It is a sword double edg'd, and cutting, Psal 45. 4. 2 Neither to of­fend vertue, nor defend iniquity. It is a hammer, able to3. [...] breake and bruise to powder the Adamantine stony hardnesse of mans heart, Ier. 23. 29. To batter downe Sathan and all [Page 76] his complices, not to hurt the Lords Annointed. 4 It is a goad sharpe and piercing, Eccl. 12. 11. To stirre up the good being sloathfull to discharge their duty: to gall onely the wicked and ungodly. Abus. 4 Fourthly, from talking of it charmingly, of all inchauntments those are most dishonourable to God, most accep­table to Sathan, and most hurtfull to the charmer which are Disc. of Witch. Dissw. 1. made of the Scriptures, saith Mr. Perkins. It is the peculiar heritage of the righteous, Psal. 119. 11. What have you to doOb. 1. An. with it therefore you sonnes of Belial? It's a medicine. True: to draw out and dry up sinne being rightly applyed, not to cure the bodily sicknesse of men or beasts. It's a pearle, Mat. 1 13. 45, 46. True: to inrich and garnish the innobled soule of Gods children, and therefore with all diligence to be laid up in the heart as a peerelesse gemme, but not to be hang'd about the neck to drive away Divels.

2. By talking reverently of the titles of God we honour our Father. By speaking of these vainely we dishonour him. Abus. 1 Either by vaine admiration, cursed imprecation, or abusive benedictions. I earnestly desire and wish that the vaine ad­mirer who upon every unwonted accident breakes out into such like speeches, O Lord, O Iesus, &c. Would seriously consider: Dissw. 1 1. That he hath not the least warrant for this his folly in any parcell of Gods Bookes. 2 2. That he is Iehovah, a being of greatest Majesty and power, who can consume him in a moment with the breath of his nostrils, whose glorious titles he so fondly abuseth. 3 3. That he dareth not so idly intermingle the sacred Names of his consecrated SoveraigneHumana sort red­lit aqualis. Salv. [...]. Gub. lib. 3. pag. 75. in his ordinary communication. Abus. 2 Dissw. 1 Yet is he but a man, the son of a woman, as subject to death and judgement as himselfe. Secondly, that the cursed imprecatour and rash petitioner (whose mouth is wont to belch out most hellish language, wishing things evill and execrable to befall others, or him­selfe either absolutely or conditionally) would be instructed that he hath no ground from the imprecations of those re­nowned Saints, Paul and David. These did imprecate o­thers, Psal. 109. 2 Tim. 4. 14. True. These were men of Ob. 1 extraordinary gifts, being inabled to discerne the persons [Page 77] against whom they prayed to be incurable; and they did im­precate out of a pure zeale to Gods honour, and of his glory. David did imprecate himselfe although conditionally, 2 Psal. 7. 4, 5. True. But the matter was weighty, and there was no other meanes to manifest the truth: i. e. his innocency, in that wherewith he was charged, and therefore no warrant for such like horride, and blasphemous speeches, I would I was hang'd, I would I was damn'd, the divell take me, &c. 2 And be advised, premeditately to ponder in what a pitifull plight he was in, should the Lord deale with him according to his wish. Abus. 3 And thirdly, that the abusive blessers who thanke God for their unconscionable gettings and other execrable impieties, like Micahs mother, Iudg. 17. 2. and Saul, 1. Sam. 23. 21. making God the author of such their impieties, Dissw. 1 would abandon those blasphemous benedictions, considering that God is the only, and chiefe good, goodnesse it selfe, the author of all good, & from whom nothing but good. 2 And as for evill he doth prohibit the doing, detests the act, and punisheth the agent which he would not do: was it his owne worke. 3 That God is wisedome, sin is folly. How can wisedome produce folly? God is justice, sinne injustice. How can justice produce injustice? God is mercy, sinne is misery whose beginning is dolefull, continuance toilesome, and end shamefull, and there­fore, that God cannot be the cause or author of their sinnes.

3. By speaking reverently of his divine attributes as justice, mercy, wisdome, &c. That mighty Lord on whose hand the King of Israel leaned, dishonoured the Lord in doubting of, or questioning the plēty promised, 2 king. 7. 2. So Moses by short­ning the Lords hand, Num. 11. 21, 22, 23. & diverse do no lesse, daily complaining of their ill lucke, & bad fortune I wil for this time summarily, and succinctly give a tast only in two; justice, and mercy. For the first, we honour the Lord, declaring him to be as indeed he is most just: and that 1. Simply and absolutely,1. Iustice. as hee is of himselfe infinitely and perfectly righteous in himselfe, and of himselfe. 2. Respectively and relatively, in regard of his office, he being the most righteous judge of men, and angels. For 1. Knowledge and understanding of [Page 78] things, and persons to be judged. 2. Care of equity. 3. Right­full authority to determine, and decide. 4. Power and ability to punish offendours, and free the harmelesse innocent which are in God infinitely, and transcendently. Abus. 1 Surcease therfore O you sonnes of men, to taxe God of injustice: either Because he punisheth finite sinnes with infinite punishments: for what though sinne as it is a transient action is finite and tem­porary: yet in regard of the object against whom it is committed: of the subject wherein it is resident, mind of the sinner, and law whereof it is a breach, it is infi­nite. 2 Or because he loved Iacob, and hated Esau be­fore they had done good or euill. Who art thou that da­rest reply against God? Hath the potter power over the clay of the same lumpe to make one vessell to ho­nour, another to dishonour, and hath not God? May he not do with his owne what he will, Rom. 9. 20. 21. 3 Or third­ly, by your overbold, and saucy presumptiousnesse in sinning; sealing to your soules a generall acquitt all from all those un­utterable & insufferable tortures, the just judge of heaven and earth hath threatned against impenitents, because he is mer­cifull, so wholy dispoyling that glorious majesty of this divine attribute Iustice. A good divine saith thus, let fond presumption M. Yates, I [...] Ca [...]r: hope for parden without payment, disjoyne mercy, and justice in him to whom both are alike essentiall, and say, although I go on in sinne yet God is abundantly mercifull: go on, presume, and perish. Mercy. 2 For the second, we honour our heavenly father, when wee rightly ascribe mercy to him. The Lord is most mer­cifull, his mercy being of such large, and endlesse extent that in regard of continuance it doth equalize eternity, Psal. 103. 17. In regard of reach, and compasse, it extends it selfe to the highest hills, clouds, and heavenly habitations, Psal. 36. 5. to all persons, yea created beings, yet restraining it selfe in respect of spirituall and celestiall benefits, to such as care­fully observe the commandements of God, Deut. 7. 9. Truely, and intirely love him, Ibid. Confesse their sinnes, and forsake them, Prov. 28. 13. And turne from their transgressions, le. 18. 8. To God, Ier. 3. 12. Two sorts of people, therefore [Page 79] as much as in them lies, robbe our heavenly father of his due honour: namely such; Abus. 1 1. Who make him lesse mercifull then he is, and that 1. By rushing headlong upon that dreadfull rocke of desperation, falsifying Gods promises, Cayn-like, crying out their sinnes are greater then can be pardoned: Whereas could they but repent truly, and savingly, their most deepe died scarlet-like sinnes should be blotted out of Gods remembrance. 2. By comparing Gods unparaleld mercy with mortall mans. The Lords being everlasting, constant, free and rich. Mens being momentany, mutable, mercenary, and poore. 3. By an overweening conceipt of their owne worth: promising to themselves undeniably those blissefull joyes for their merits sake, deeming their owne worthfull actions to be sufficient to purchase that matchlesse crowne of glory if not superabundant and superrogatory. 2 Secondly, who make him more mercifull then he is, casting the innumbred swarmes of intollerable prodigious oathes, beastly drunken­nesses, and other their obstinate hellish enormities upon the mercy of God, as if it was a common packhorse, whereon to unload their willfull, and unsupportable evils, causing the creatures to groane, and the earth to mourne, and reele to and fro, tottering and staggering like a drunken man; little considering, that as he is mercifull, so is he just: and those who will sinne because God is mercifull, shall surely be pla­gued because he is just.

By speaking reverently of the unspeakeable workes of God, both Immanent in himselfe, acknowledging with the Apostle the depth of the riches both of the wisedome and knowledge of God; and that his judgements are unsearch­able, and his waies past finding out: and Transeunt as his wonderfull workes of creation, redemption, and particular workes of mercy, Exod. 15. and justice, 1. Sam. 3. 18. Iob 1. 21. Let these short instances in few words now suffice. We honour the Lord by talking of the works of Creation, after this or the like manner. Who created? The Lord of hostes, What he made? All that is made. How he did it? With his Word. To what end? His honour and glory. And heere I [Page 80] cannot omit to reprove a most vile (although vsuall) kind of dishonouring the Lord, in laughing to scorne persons in body deformed, or in minde defective. The renowned maker of the world, and not the workemanship, being (in my shallow apprehension) derided. Suppose a man for instance comming into the workhouse of some skilfull artist; and there behol­ding some piece of worke lesse curiously wrought then other, should therewith sport himselfe with scoffing derision wee could not but conclude; That the artificer, and not the arti­fice is reproached. Secondly, we may honour the Lord by speaking reverently of the worke of the worlds redemption, it declaring. Who redeemed? The ever blessed Sonne of God. From what? The curse of the Law, the wrath to come, the divell, the hands of our enemies. Wherewith? His owne pretious bloud. Whom? his pasture sheepe. And why: his owne honour, and glory. We may honour God with our tongues by the right vse of an oath: sc. The person rightly qualifyed; having a warrantable calling thereunto; the mat­ter being true, just, and of great importance: the manner, time, and causes rightly obserued, Deut. 6. 13. & 10. 20. For here­by we make the Lord a witnesse, judge, and revenger. Two sorts of people I desire to advise, deserving greatly to be taxed concerning this particular: they greatly, dishonouring the Lord about an oath. Abus. 1 1. Fantasticall, anaba [...]tisticall dreamers, who condemne all swearing as unlawfull, and would you thinke why? Mat. 5. 34. Ob. 1 Sweare not at all saith our Savi­our. Cons. 1 A weake ground for their worthlesse tenet. Scripture is never repugnant to it selfe, there being a most mellodious harmony, and sweete concordance in all those sacred lines: But other Scriptures warrant a rightfull swearing: 1 by pre­cept: 2 examples of the Lord himselfe, his annointed one, the glorious angels and blessed Saints: 3 and by a necessary vse thereof, Heb. 6. 16. An end of all strife: 2 And Christ Ie­sus in that forenamed place, gives not a new law, but onely sheweth the meaning of the old. His intent is not to over­throw, but to rectifie the law, being shamefully corrupted by those false pharisaicall glosing glossers. Our Saviour onely [Page 81] qualifies but condemneth not an oath. He debars not from a necessary confirmation of truth by an oath, but onely cor­rects the evill custome and vse of swearing, which was such that they thought it a matter of no moment to sweare in fa­miliar talke by heaven, head, earth, &c. Abus. 2 Secondly, all wicked swearers who dishonour God by swearing; 1. Falsely, they affirming by oath that they know or thinke to be false. These perjur'd persons as they maintaine lyes: call God to witnesse them: and pray for a curse upon themselves: so they shall certainely smart for it, as you may clearely see, Zach. 5. 3. Mal. 3. 5. 2. Or pestiferously binding themselves by oath to doe mischiefe, like cursed Iesabel, 1 Kings 19. 2. Cruell Herod, Mark. 6. 23, 26, 27. And those bloudy Iewes, Acts 23. 12, 13. 3. Or superstitiously swearing by that which is not God, Ier. 5. 7. 12. 16. Amos 8. 14. Math. 5. 35. 36. 23. 20, 21, 22, Or by the Lord, and some thing els, Zeph. 1. 5. Dissw. 1 I earnestly desire you all hereafter to forbeare swearing by creatures, as by bread, drinke, light, faith, or such like. Con­sidering, 1. That God himselfe is hereby dishonoured: He requiring this duty to be given to him alone. 2 2. Man here­by dishonoureth himselfe, making the creature being worse then himselfe, his better, an oath is taken of the better, Heb. 6. 16. 3 3. I cannot see but swearing by the rood, masse, &c. is forbidden, where swearing by Malcham. And the sinne ofIurare per creatu­ras est illicitum, O­rigen. lib. ult. contra Celsum fol 239. 6. Quidam ex secta Pythagorea maluit tria talenta perde­re quam jurare. I­dem. Hom. 24. Fol. 58. Jurantes per crea­turam ideò peccare dicuntur quia ig­norato aut neglecto opifice religionem operibus & creatu­ru impertiuntur. Hilar. Can 4 in Math. fol 76. 6. Samaria is prohibited because the former are, as the latter were idols, and that Math. 5. 34, 35, 36. Forbidding to sweare by heaven, earth, Ierusalem, &c. Forbiddeth also in my conceipt swearing by light, bread, silver, drinke, faith, and such like, these being, but creatures aswell as those. 4. Great is also the perill of such like swearing, the Lord saith such forsake him, Ier. 5. 7. threatneth not to spare, ibid. to o­verthrow them, Ier. 12. 16, 17. And condemnation, Iam. 5. 12. 4. Or fourthly, by swearing causelesly or rashly in their ordinary communication, deeming it a matter of manhood to tosse and tumble in their blasphemous mouths the sacred Name of the Lord of glory. Or if they abstaine from such a height of prodigious villany, conceipt themselves that a now [Page 82] and then intermingling of oaths of a lesser ranke to be a gar­nishing Rhetoricall flower to adorne and beautifie their com­munication. Say not, O my brethren, Ob. An. 1 It is truth which you confirme by oath. For neither may we sweare to the truth, but when we have a calling thereunto. Neither may we con­firme all truths by oath. For when then must we use yea, yea, nay, nay? And usuall swearing to truths is a ready way to sweare falsely. Say not it is your infirmity. 2 For swearing is a presumptuous sinne proceeding from evill, Mat. 5. 37. 1. From an evill heart, or evill continued custome, or that evill one. Say not you are urged so to doe. 3 For sure I am, nei­ther God, nor grace, nor godly men do compell any to wic­ked swearing. The drunkard is urged to his more then brui­tish evill by his cursed appetite, and ungodly pot-mates yet is his sin damnable. The filthy adulterer is urged by his hellish lusts to commit villany: yet is he inexcusable. So be it that the swearer is urged, yet it is by the Divell whom he should resist, his wicked heart which he should maister, and ungodly associates whom he ought to avoid. Say not you cannot bee credited except you bind your sayings by oath. For, whether is it better that you should be discredited, or God dishonoured? 2 2. Are you not ashamed so to live that you cannot be credited without swearing? 3. Do you not know that this is a ready way to make you never credi­ted? Will not wise men (thinke you) reason thus? He who makes no conscience of swearing, makes none of lying. But such men make no conscience of swearing, therefore none of lying. But rather reason thus with your selves, and say: Do evill words corrupt good manners, 1 Cor. 15. 33? Dissw. 1 Then surely needlesse oaths, for they are evill. 2 Cannot many words be without sinne? Proverbes 10. 19. Certainely many oathes much lesse. Must we give account for idle words? 3 Math. 12. 36. Much more for idle oaths. 4 Are idle oaths Symp­tomes (Christ being Iudge, Math. 5. 37.) of an evill heart, and a wicked custome? 5 Doe such (according to Saint Iames 5. 12.) endanger a mans salvation? 6 Doth our blessed Saviour the best expounder of his Fathers will, the sole Saviour of all [Page 83] Gods Elect people precisely prohibite all additions of conte­station, protestation, or execration, in our ordinary commu­nications: and enjoyne us strictly to have our communicati­on yea yea, nay, nay? 7 Doth that Divine Pen-man of the Ho­ly Ghost Saint Iames the servant of the Lord, Iames 5. 12. Peremptorily enjoyne us neither to sweare by heaven, &c. Nor by any other oth, but to have our communication yea and nay least we fall into condemnation, and shall we presume to sweare idly, or unnecessarily? We will not do it.

3. Lastly we are to honour our Father by beautifying our Religion with a godly life and upright conversation, Math. 5. 16. Let your light so shine before men that, &c. 1 Pet. 2. 11. Having your conversation, &c. And the contrary is a disho­nouring of the Lord, as it's evidently apparent in that foule and filthy fact of David, 2 Sam. 12. 14. The carriage of the Iewes, Ezek. 36. 22. And of those prophane Preachers, Rom. 2. 23, 24. That we may thus honour the Lord, we must con­scionably decline from all evill, and endeavour with our ut­most abilities to practice what is good. What though many prophane persons pacifie their guilty consciences justly gal­led for their wretched and irreligious actions like those wic­ked justiciaries, Math. 7. 23. Who perswaded themselves (but they were deceived, being rejected for their workes of iniquity, Verse 23.) that by their prophecyings and such o­ther good duties they should make amends for their foule e­normities, and procure for themselves an easie passage into the blissefull possession of the Lord of glory. What and if di­verse others deeme themselves, and are so esteem'd by their neighbours the onely men under the Sunne, because they do no hurt: which alas is a poore commendation for a Christian man. (Yet happy would it be with our Kingdome if all Christians might be said justly to do no hurt, for then it would be empty of all cut-throat usurers, mercilesse depopu­latours, and an innumbred swarme of such like devourers) for was this a sufficient commendation? Why was the unprofi­table servant cast into utter darknesse? Why was the fruit­lesse fig-tree withered? Might not they have pleaded aswell [Page 84] destroy us not, we do no hurt? Might not those cursed goates Mat. 25. reply aswell although we did thee no good by relie­ving thy distressed members, yet we did thee no hurt by im­poverishing, afflicting, grieving oppressing? Yet sure I am, it is the property of Gods children to depart from evill and do good, Psal. 34. 14. Psal. 1. 1, 2. Iob 1. 8. Zach. 7. 9. He be­ing a converted man. He being of God. He labouring for heaven. Conforming himselfe to the precept of God and godly men. Follow we therefore these shining Lamps in de­clining all evill, and endeavouring to practise all good duties (there being no mediocrity betweene well doing, and evill doing. For he who doth not good, doth evil, committing a sin of omission) that so doing we may glorifie and honour our Father this other way: sc. in our conversations. I having thus briefly and concisely declared how we are to honour our father. I will now propound sixe inducements to per­swade you to give our Heavenly Father his due and deserved honour both with your thoughts, words and actions.

You will (as you ought to render to all their dues: tribute Mot. 1. Honour due to God. to whom tribute is due, custome to whom custome, feare to whom feare, honour to whom honour, Rom. 12. 7.) give to every one their right, will you not? Will you give unto Caesar the things which are Caesars, and not to God the things which are Gods? Shall Maisters, servants, husbands, wives, neigh­bours, and strangers have that which is their due, and shall not God? Yea shall the Divell have his due (for that I take it is no unwonted proverbe) and must the Lord onely be patchingly dealt withall? God forbid. Glory and honour are the Lords through all eternity, Rom. 11. 36. 1 Tim. 1. 17. Could you declare the glory of God not onely like those glit­tering heavens dockt with innumerable varieties of resplen­dent stars, or that canopy-like firmament reaching all the world over, and every where to be seen, continuing from the creation without wearing, fretting, renting or tearing. Or that swiftest runner, whose Tabernacle is in the heavens of such [...]. swift celerity that in one day and night he whirles about the whole world, 240000. Germane miles in one houre: and [Page 85] whose glorious brightnesse is such, that nothing can hide it from the heate thereof. But with those foure beasts, Rev 4. 8, 9. (whether the Angels of God which is most likely, or such Ecclesiasticall persons the servants of God who have faithful­ly laboured to deliver to the Church the truth of Doctrine, I will not stand to dispute) also continually give glory and honour to him that sitteth on the Throne who liveth for ever and ever: Yet could you not give to God more then his due, for all honour and glory is due to him through all e­ternitie.

For what cause (thinke you) do you enjoy abundance of2. We made to ho­nour God. unspeakable mercies from the bountifull hands of your mer­cifull Father? Doe you imagine that you might spend your time in sportfull vanities, seemingly delightfull, as if you were placed upon the earth as Leviathan in the waters, to play therein? Deeme you the end of your noble creation to be to congregate heapes of dro [...]ie, dunghill, and transitorie trash of earthly treasures? No such matter. Or doe you think you are sent into this world to devoure your poore brethren by cursed and cruell inclosure, cut-throat usury, or ravenous extortion? Nothing lesse. For the end of your creation, yea, of all created beings, whether glorified Angels or infernall Di­vels: whether magnificent starrie bodies, or contemptible terrestriall wormes: whether indued with reason or deprived of sense is the honour and glory of God. The Lord hath made all things for himselfe, Prov. 16. 4. I have created him for my glory, Ezek. 43. 7. Thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory, and honour, and power, for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created, Rev. 4. 9. 10. Must those splendent ornaments of the world, Sunne, Moone, and Stars of light because he commanded, and they were created, Psal. 148. 3. 5. Must hideous Dragons a terrour to men and other creatures inhabiting solitarie desarts. Must fire, haile, stormy wind, sNow and vapours. Must mountaines and hils, fruitfull trees, and all Cedars. Must beasts and cattell, creeping things and slying fowles praise and honour God for their creation? Much more ought mankind, whether Kings [Page 86] of the earth or people, Princes or Iudges of the earth, whe­ther yong men or maidens, old men or childrē, Ps. 148. 11, 12. For imagine we a creature compos'd of the very excellency of all creatures, graunt it the best qualities of the rarest beasts, and birds which excell in feature, strength, gesture, swiftnesse, voice, or otherwise. Give it the quintessence of the earths fe­cundity, as the chiefest vertues of plants, trees, flowers, and herbes good for meat and medicine: the worth and value of pearles and precious stones: the richnes of all the refined'st gold and chiefest treasure. Infuse into the same the most odo­riserous smell of all the sweetest perfumes, decke it with the glory and brightnesse of the starres, yet wanting an humane soule, it would come farre short of the meanest reasonable creature. It having a soule capable of those peerelesse graces of Gods Spirit, interest in those unvaluable merits of the im­maculate Lambe Christ Iesus, and those immortall crownes of unspeakable glory. Reason therefore thus. Shall all the creatures inferiour and serviceable to me honour the Lord? Am I made a creature so noble and excellent for this end? Then surely I will honour the Lord my mercifull maker.

The glory of God is the end of your redemption, 1 Cor. 6.3. Redeemed to honour God. 20. For you are bought with a price, therefore glorifie God in your body and in your spirit which are Gods. Have you any in­terest in that painefull and unconceiveable redemption of Gods Elect (which I hope you have) then stirre up your selves after this or the like manner. Had I more then all o­ther imaginable excellent qualities and dignities? Did I ex­cell in wisdome, and understanding not onely those renowned Heathen Philosophers, but even their fained Apollo: and our Divine Salomon. Had I the tongue of Angels, and a body as beautifull as the Sunne. Had I a Soveraigne command over men and all other inferiour creatures. Could I enjoy the sweetest contentments of the most mellodious musicke, rich­est robes, costly cates. Had I the full fruition of all the rich­est treasures in the whole world: yet without Christ Iesus, without redemption I had nothing. Am I therefore [Page 87] partaker of that comfortable worke of redemption where ju­stice and mercy met together, whereby I am saved from the curse of the law, the power of darknesse, the divell, the wrath to come, the guilt, guerdon, due desert, and punish­ment of sinne. Was I redeemed, not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the pretious bloud of Christ, as of a lambe without blemish, and without spot. Was I redeemed? that I might serve him in holinesse, &c. Luke 1. 74. 75. that I should honour him. Then surely I will not be so unmind­full of such a mercy; nor unthankfull to such a benefa­ctour, but will honour him, who hath thus honoured mee.

Gods honour ought to be the end of all our actions, 1. Pet. 4. The end of all. 4. 11. If any man speake—if any man minister, that God in all things may bee glorified, 1. Cor. 10. 31. whether you eate, or drinke, or whatsoever you doe, &c. doe all to the glorie of God.

Doe we desire our owne advancement, and benefit. The5. A meanes to be honoured way is not turke, and popishlike, like cruell Abimelech to build, our deemed safeties upon the ruines and bloud of others; or like faire tongu'd Absaloms by insinuating flatteries: or like couzening Zeba [...]s by lies, and falsehoods, or by any such like Machivelian policies. For could we; such hopes, such happinesses would proove like spiders webs. But the onely meanes is by honouring the Lord, 1. Sam. 2. 30. those that ho­nour me, will I honour saith the Lord.

If none of these will prevaile, yet let feare of punishment due to such which dishonour, and deny honour to the Lord6. Want dangerous? perswade. Why was Pharoah scourged with a tenfold plague? was it not for dishonouring God? Why was Herod eaten with wormes, save because he gave not God his glory, Acts 11. 23. Yea, why was an entrance denyed to Moses, and Aaron into the land of promise: was it not because they sanctified him not in the midst of the children of Israel, Deut. 32. 51. Wherefore did the Lord smite Davids childe with death, save for dishonouring him. 2. Sam. 12. 14. Were your strength as sinewes of iron; your wisedome, and policy, as exact as [Page 88] is possibly attaineable by mortall men; your friends and fauo­rites many and mighty. Had you the swaying of earthly scepters; yet neither these, nor any such like can possibly se­cure you from the irefull revenging hand of God, if you ei­ther dishonour or deny him honour. Witnesse these forena­med, who were kings, or as kings. Witnesse that saying of the Prophet to Ely, 1. Sam. 2. 30. Those that honour mee—those that despise me will I despise, (or shall be lightly estee­med) i. e. accounted vile in Gods sight. Doe not thinke to avoid the judgement if you will not be perswaded. To deny the truth of Scripture, is blasphemy. To thinke he will not doe what he hath said (he being faithfull) and so to make him a lyar: or that he cannot punish, although hee hath threatned hee being omnipotent is much more blasphe­mous.

CHAP. VI. Duty. 5. Saints must doe Gods will.

IF God is our Father, we ought to doe his will. The do­ingDuty 5. whereof allieth men to Christ Iesus, Mat. 12. 50. Makes men like Christ, Ioh 6. 38. Is a meanes for man to prosper, Ioh. 9. 31. Is the direct rode and pathway to heaven, and hap­pinesse, 1. Ioh. 2. 17. Many men alas looke for heaven, who never shall enjoy it. Ignorant men, because they meane no harme, although the Lord will come in flaming fire against such, 2. Thess. 1. 8. Civill honest men, because they doe no hurt, and render to all their dues, although they want holinesse, without which none can see God, Heb. 12. 14. Pharisees, because in diverse things they excell other men, although they want the pith and marrow of Christianity. These & such like hope for heaven. But they being asleepe in sinne dreame of ful­nesse; but will arise empty, of plenty; awake poore, of hea­ven finde nothing lesse. Heaven is promised; but not to all, 1. Ioh. 2. 25. It is reserved; but not for all, 1. Pet. 1. 4. There is a broad way leading to death, traced by the most. There [Page 89] is a straight and narrow way, leading to heaven not knowne of all, and found onely by few, Mat. 7. 13. 14. even of those who doe the will of God, Mat. 7. 21. would we know who shall goe to heaven. Aske not the ignorant man, his cloudy and darke understanding cannot tell; he onely hopes well, that's the vtmost of his skill. Aske not the carnall man, he is not able to discerne such things, 1. Cor. 1. 14. no more then the blinde can judge of colours. Aske not the civill man, he walkes in a way which seemes good to himselfe, but it is not right enough to bring him to heaven. Aske not the Pharisee, his golden shewes are too too weake, our righteousnesse must exceed his. But aske of Christ, who is the Truth, and cannot deceive us: the Light, void of ignorance: and the Way it selfe, leading to heaven by his example, by his merits, and by his doctrine; and he will tell us, we must doe the will of his father which is in heaven, Mat. 7. 21. Thinke not O thou painted sepulchre with thy lording tongue, and divelish heart. Thinke not O thou carnall christian with thy Lord Lord, living in iniquity, to have the prerogatives of Gods sonnes; but shew thy faith by thy workes, thy profession by thy practise. Ioyne with Lord Lord, doing of Gods will; so shalt thou declare thy selfe to be the childe of God, so shalt thou obtaine the proper priviledge of Gods children, the kingdome of heaven.

1. Let the worldling doe the will of his god Mammon, therefore as moles blinded in the earth, or as the horse with­out understanding, who knowes no greater felicity then plen­ty of hay and provender, onely tune this note, who will shew us any good: whereas all his wished contentments bring him no true content, being never able to satiate his soule, witnesse Ahab, 1. King. 21. 5. he had a kingdome; yet still hee needs something, a garden of hearbes, witnesse the rich man, Luke 12. 17. who had so much, that he could not tell what to doe; yet still hee is in a pecke of troubles, for having plenty hee wants roome, he knowes not what to do: yet for these unpro­fitable things which cannot add a minute to his time, nor a cu­bit to his stature, he makes Esaus bargaine exchanging, a birth­right [Page 90] for pottage: or Glaucus exchange, gold for copper, all his paines having beene as to breake a wormeaten nut which filleth his mouth with myry dirt; and for these his gettings, which are but like Sodomes fruit he neglecteth to do the will of God, which is, that he should seeke Gods kingdome with his chiefest desires and endeavours: whereas he regards it not at all, or too sleightly: Which is, that he should instruct his family, after the examples of Abraham, Iosuah, and David. Deut. 6. whereas he as if all soule care lay upon the Pastor (yet the Iewes having Priests, Prophets, and Levites, were enjoyned this, Deut. 6.) thinkes he hath done his duty, if he feedes and cloaths his family; little considering that if hee doth no more, he doth not so much for his children, bone of his bones, and servants members of his oiconomicall body, as for his cattell to which he gives fodder and lodging. For these having such things have all things to them necessarie; and whereof they are capable. Whereas those having food, rayment, and lodging, have not all necessaries (saving grace being needfull to them) nor whereof they are capable, they being capable of grace, and glory, of which those bruitish creatures are not.

2. Let the wretched sinner do the will of sinne, crouching downe and becomming servile to such base commanders, Rom. 6. 12. more loathsome then a toad, worse then the di­vell, it making him of a glorious angell to become an apostate divell.

3. Let all the heires of wrath, and children of the divell, doe the will of Sathan the god of this world, as one saith of the Irish, they will be Irish like Iupiters cat; so these, theyM. Morison Irish hist. will be wicked; yet let every one who wisheth well to his soule, who desireth to be saved, who longeth for the king­dome of heaven, and would be esteem'd the childe of God doe the will of God our father, and that;

1. In all things after the example of David, who had re­spect to all Gods commandements, Psal. 119. 6. after the exam­ple of Christ, who fulfilled all righteousnesse, Mat. 3. 15. and of Zachary and Elizabeth, who walked in all the ordinances of [Page 91] the Lord, Luke 1. 6. Thinke not O foolish Herodians, that your doing somethings is sufficient you shun drunkennes, but care not whom you devoure: Idolatry, yet live in filthy adultery, &c. Saul did in part; Herod somethings, neither sufficient, Thinke not O you unjust sharers who divide twixt God and the divell (not much unlike the traveller, who offered to his Apollo the shels, but ate himselfe the kernels: giving to God your bodies in the temple, your hearts. to Sathan; for you'l doe Gods worke with your tongues, the devils in your lives; professing piety, you practise iniquity) that God is well pleas'd with such unjust divisions. God will not part with him who is his foe: he will not be content with part all being his due. What and if the wanton worldling, pleaseth himselfe with his windy words, and thoughts so free; pleading for them as Lot for Zoar, that they are but little ones; or as the Pharisee, not so bad as other men, yet shall hee know, they are not free from Gods tribunall seat: where his lust will be found adultery, anger, murder, and his little ones in­finite. What and if the ungodly Papist perswades his seduced disciples, that some sinnes are pretergressions not transgres­sions: not against, onely beside the law and will of God, no waies offending God, for which God cannot in justice pu­nish with hell fire everlastingly: yet let all such who would be esteem'd the children of God, doe the whole will of our fa­ther. 1. Omitting no good duty hee hath commanded, wee being faulty by omission as well as by commission: Saul for not killing, as Ioab for murder; Dives for not giving as the Iewes, for oppressing. 2. Committing no one thing forbid­den: 1. Shunne those little ones, many sands are as weigh­ty as some great stones, many moates as blemishing as one beame, little lice, and flies destroyed the Egyptians. These egges will prove devouring and empoysoning Cockatrices. These twigs will prove thorny bushes, except they are time­ly stubbed. 2. Avoid all Dalilahs, pleasant sinnes, those de­lightfull eyes, and profitable hands, for Are they not loath­some, and incurable? Did they not cost Christs bloud to re­deeme from them, 1. Pet. 1. 18? Will you doe that so unwor­thy [Page 92] your calling? Dare you draw such burdens upon your soules? What though they please you, they displease God? Thinkest thou O man, that they will not be bitternesse in the end? These are Dalilahs of those hellish Philistimes to de­stroy. These are sweet but deadly poyson. These like the Scorpions, Rev. 9 7. 10. have amiable countenances, yet stings in their tailes. They have lovely embracings, yet sting like Serpents, Rom. 6. 23. These make the sinner jolly, and plea­sant as the hearbe Sardonia the eater, who eating dies. Dash [...]isus Sardonius moritur & ridet. Sal [...]de gub. de lib. 7. pag. 217. therefore these little ones against the stones, crush these Ser­pents egges, especially leave off, and slee from them more then from a Serpent: those great and crying evils; Oh forsake all vsury, too uncharitable, unnaturall & gainefull to be good. There is nothing more filthy, nothing more cruell, then the pre­sent Ni [...] [...]nim pre­sent [...]a [...]rpius, [...], si­quidem [...]smodi [...]nerator negotia­tur aliena di [...]ri­mina [...]cres ut putat quisi [...] de a [...]ius in [...]l [...]ita­te cons [...]quitio [...] quisipic [...]a­tis me [...] repo­se [...], velut metu­en [...] ne imm [...]s [...] ­ricor [...]forte videa­tur: cum p [...]cto [...], [...]aiorem misero [...]oveam crude [...]ta­ti [...]. Chrys. Tom. 2. Hom. 6. in Matth. 2. vsury, because a lender of this sort doth gaine other mens perils, and as he thinketh, doth purchase more plentifull gaines by the adversitie of another: and moreover he doth demand of duty, and with authority as if it were the hire of piety, fearing least he should seeme unmercifull: whereas truely he hath digged out a great pitfall to the miserable man, under the colour of pit­tying, and bringing helpe, saith Saint Chrysostome. Drun­kennesse too fordid for Saints. I perswading you thus to doe, exhort you to no more then what is just, and equall. If you consider 1. That God hath not abridged you of any action, onely of the naughty manner of doing, he doth not forbid to get goods, onely by unlawfull meanes: He prohibiteth not drinking, onely drunkennesse or excesse. 2. That all Gods commandements whether negative or affirmative, are di­vine, holy, just, heavenly and perfect, binding the conscience, tending to life or death. 3. That if servants must doe the will of their masters in all things, Tit. 2. 9. sc. which are law­full, and not gainsaid by higher authority, how much more then are we bound to doe the will of God in all things, hee being our Creator, Redeemer, King, &c.

2. Faithfully, he who serves God with seeming devoti­on, must looke for a seeming heaven: as the cooke who ex­acted of a poore man money for being refreshed by the smell [Page 93] of his meates, was awarded to heare the chinking of silver in a bason for payment. Man cannot abide unfaithfull dissem­blers: much lesse can the searcher of all hearts. Sincerity is commanded, 1 Tim. 1. 5. And highly commended. He who doth Gods will for by-respects, offereth beautifull sinnes. He Splendida peccata. who doth any thing to satisfie his own will, serves himselfe. He who doth any thing commanded by God dissemblingly, offereth hypocriticall and damn'd obedience. His rich almes not worth the widowes two mites. His Pharisaicall prayers not comparable to one publicans groane. This is but a live­lesse carcasse, or a breathlesse painted picture. Be not there­fore dissembling hypocrites in doing the will of God, like ro­guish Players, who oft are Kings in countenance, knaves in condition. Or like painted Idols, which looke like men, be­ing but senselesse wood or stone. Dissembling hypocrites by their jugling tricks of dissembling professe themselves Gods servants, yet are the Divels factours: serving the world and Sathan in Gods stead, and therefore an hypocrite is altogether a seemer of that he is not, seeming to have grace which he wants, not to have vice which he hath. But do the will of God faithfully and sincerely, and declare the same: 1. By do­ing all you do for Gods sake, sc. because he hath commanded them, and doth approve them: avoiding evill for the Lords sake, because he hath forbidden it, and detests it: not for by-respects, or sinister aimes. 2. By being universall in your obedience. In regard of matter, doing all good commanded, shunning all evill forbidden. In regard of time, not altering with the times. In regard of company and place, remaining the same in all societies, like Ioseph in Aegypt, Daniel in Babylon, and Paul in bands: and in all places, at home as abroad, in private as in publique.

3. Timely: so Salomon commands, Eccl. 12. 1. And this you shall find needfull if you ponder advisedly, That 1. God requires the nonage aswell as the dotage: the wine of our time aswell as the lees, as we may see tipified to us in the first fruits which were dedicated to the Lord, Exod. 13. 2. & 22. 29. And good reason, for if the Prophet must be served be­fore [Page 94] the widow (although her owne) 1 Kings, 17. 13. Then it must needs be fit and reasonable to serve the Lord before even our selves: we, our time, and what we have being all his. 2. Sinne by continuance will disable from doing Gods will, Iob 11. 20. His bones are full of the sinne of his youth, which shall lie downe with him in the dust, Ierem. 13. 23. Can a Leopard change his spots? Spots are deeper rooted by continuance. Wooll once throughly blacke is capable of noQuo semel est im­but: recent serva­bit odorem Testa diù, Hot. Ep. 2. ad Lolium lib. 11, other colour. 3. Timely is profitable, Prov. 22. 6. Traine up a child, &c. Lam. 3. 27. Good to beare—from youth, Marc. 10. 21. Christ loved him. 4. The contrary is hurtfull. For, 1. Meanes now injoyed may be missing. 2. And how can such looke for love from God? Can a husband embrace that wife in old age, who all her young time hath followed strangers? Will a master at night give daily pay to him who all the day hath serv'd his enemy? If we reserve the dregs of our dayes for him, how can we but expect that he should reserve the drogs of the cup of his wrath for us? 3. Sin may prevent it, growing stronger & deeper rooted by continuance; and more lovely and sweet by customary acquaintance. 4. And death may prevent you. You are resolved to do Gods wil before you die: doe it therefore to day, for you may die before tomor­row. You are now alive, and lives like: but what know you how neare death is to you? Perhaps you shall not live till Isa­acs age, untill your eyes waxe dimbe through yeares, for you may die in your young time aswell as the young man in the Gospell: the children of David and Ieroboam. Perhaps you shall not die upon your beds like old Iacob, calling your friends about you. For you may die in the field aswell as good Abel. In the Temple aswell as great Senacherib. Vpon your seates aswell as old Ely. Delay not therefore. And why would you reserve such old, lame, and sicke sacrifices for God? Your old Seuen instituere est mortuum cur are. Diog. An age I man is but a moving Anatonne, or a li­ving mortuarie. age onely which is not teachable. Your old age when you shalbe men, and no men: having eyes, yet scarce seeing: eares, yet scarce hearing: feet, yet scarce able to go? Is it because young Saints prove old Divels, soone ripe, soone rot­ten, too hote, cannot continue? If these occasion you thus to [Page 95] doe, they deceive you. Young seeming Saints onely prove old Divels. And it is absurdity to desire temperance of medio­crity M. Nath. Brent Hist Trent. pag. 667. in the best things, which are so much the better by how much the bigger, saith a learned Writer.

4. Continually thus we are commanded, counselled, and to this we are incouraged in holy Scripture, Mat. 24. 13. Ioh. 8. 31. Ro. 2. 7. 2 Tim. 4. 7, 16. Rev. 2. 10. What dost thou meane thou wretched Apostate, who hast beene, but now art not a doer of Gods will. Thy good beginnings not being continued, be­nefit not, Math. 10. 22. Sathan was an Angell of light, Saul, Demas, Iudas, and Iulian began well. And thou hast lost all thy former labour, Ezek. 18. And made thine estate worse then if thou hadst never knowne the way of righteousnesse, 1 Pet. 2. 21. Heb. 8. 9. & 10. Math. 12. 45. What dost thou meane thou time-server, whose goodnesse, Religion, and worship of God is pin'd upon other mens backs. Like the Israelites, whose piety depended upon their Elders Iudg. 2. Or young King Ioash? whose devotion was much led by good Iehojada, 2 Kings 12. 2. These Elders and this Iehojada dy­ing, the Religion of the forenamed much decayed. So thou wilt seeme good with the good, be bad with the bad, an A­theistSi sueris Roma. Romano vivito more, Si sueris alibi vi­vito more loct. Aug. Ep 86. with Atheists, a Papist with Papists, religious with the religious.

Like the Starre Mercury, applying it selfe to the Planet next it. Or like a tree which is reported to open and spread its leaves when any comes to it; and shut them at their de­parture from it. Thou mutable Camelion, and turning wea­ther-cocke, certaine in nothing but uncertainty: Little dost thou consider that such aguish fits betoken a sicke soule: these flashes are notes of a darke heart: backwards and forwards, up and downe will never get to thine intended journeyes end. To be driven about with contrary winds will not obtaine a safe arrivall at the wished haven. But ô you holy ones, the children of our Father, doe you avoid such Apostacie and inconstancy: be not you like Nebuchadnezzars image, whose head was gold, breast and armes silver, belly and thighes brasse, legs of iron, feet iron and clay, Dan. 2. 32, 33. Do not you [Page 96] turne backe againe into Egypt. Have the noble resolution ofM Knols. Turk. Hist. an Earle of Sarisbury who being environed by Turks and Sa­racens, and advised to flee, said,God forbid that my Fathers sonne should flee from the face of a Saracen. Neither do you prove cowards you sonnes of God: an armour you have, and that of proofe, yea invincible, yet not one piece for the backe parts. Be you like those kine, 1 Sam. 6. Going forward un­till you come to your Coelestiall Bethshemesh, the house of the Sonne of God. Be you like those trees, Psal. 92. 13, 14. Which are most fruitfull in old age. Be you like the naturall motions which move fastest as they come nearer their center, as stones throwne upward move faster as they come nearer the earth. Be we like those righteous persons who shine more and more towards the perfect day, Prov. 4. 18. Doe the will of God, and continue doing of it unto the end: for what will it availe you to begin if you hold not out to the end of the race? Behold the constancy of the Lords Worthies in greatest calamities,Psalme 44. Heare what sententi­ous Tertullum saith, None is truly a Christian, but he who per­severeth Nemo autem Chri [...] [...] & per [...]. Verde haeress pag. 96. unto the end. And consider that the crowne of im­mortall glory is promised to those who continue, 2 Tim. 4. 7, 8. Rev. 7. 10. Be we therefore perswaded to do Gods will according to his will.

Will pleasure prevaile with us? Mot. 1 To do Gods will is very de­lightsome, Psal. 119. 97. 1 Ioh. 5. 3. Will profit? 2 We en­deavouring to do Gods will, labour for our owne glory, 1 Pet 2. 15. Sanctification, 1 Thes. 4. 3. And salvation. Will examples? 3 Behold one which is unparalled, Christ Iesus esteem'd i [...] his meate and drinke to do his Fathers will, Iohn 6. 38. 4 Would the Centurions servant go, and come, and do at his bidding? 5 Would Balaams asse at Gods commande­ment open his mouth, and reprove the madnesse of his ma­ster. Rauens feed Eliah at Gods appointment. Frogs and lice execute judgements upon Pharaoh at Gods bid­ding? Did the earth open? rocks rend? stars fight? seas re­cule backward? wildernesses tremble? &c. Do things by nature light ascend, heavy descend, yea and often crosse the [Page 97] course and current of nature, and shall not we, not senselesse creatures, not bruit beasts, not Gentiles, but Christians who stile our selves the sonnes of God, not do the will of our Fa­ther? God forbid. As we excell these in dignity, let us excell them in duty, and do the will of our Father. Which that we may do:

1. Pray earnestly, Our Father—thy will be done. In whichS. Cyp. de Orat. Dom. place we do not pray that God would do what he will, but that we might do according unto his will.

2. Take heed of selfe-will, our will is commonly contrary to Gods will, Ioh. 1. 13. Paul would not be buffeted, and the Disciples would have fire in revenge from heaven. Submit we therefore our wills which are so corrupt to that most holy will of God.

3. Shunne ignorance of Gods will: for how can he doe the will of God who knowes it not, Luke 12. 48? Let some in the Church of Rome teach that ignorance is the mother of devotion. Let the simple soule promise to it selfe an excuse by its ignorance, and perswade it selfe that good meaning shall save. Let the enemies of all goodnesse raile against know­ledge, saying it puffeth up and is fruitlesse. Yet O thou Chri­stian soule which desirest to approve thy wayes to God thy Father. 1. Believe not thost Popish instructours, for they are deceivers. Can that be the mother of devotion of which Sathan is the Father, 2 Cor. 4. 4? Is Psal 95. 10. errour: is Acts 17. superstiti­on: is Isa. 44, 19. idolatry: is Exod. 5. 1. contempt of God good devotion? These, these I say are the daughters, brats, spawnes, and of­sping of this mother 2. Follow not that blind mans guiding who cannot perceive heavenly things. For as a penny in the water seemes bigger then a Starre in the Firmament: so hea­venly graces (although they infinitely surpasse these dunghill vanities, are not at all or so little knowne to him that they are little or no whit regarded by him. Will that excuse which oc­casioneth all kind of iniquitie, Eph. 4. 18, 19, 20. Will that save which makes men accursed, Iohn 7. 40? Is vengeance inflicted in flaming fire, safety, 2 Thess. 1. 8? That reverend Bishop Dr. Ʋsher saith, some invincible ignorance is damnable. Pag. 51. [Page 98]If a patient and Physitian were both ignorant of an onely re­medie to recover a sicke man fro his disease, the sicke must pe­rish aswell not knowing, as if knowing he refused it. 3. Regard not those witlesse and worthlesse arguments. What though braine-knowledge pusseth up, saving knowledge humbleth. What though knowledge is fruitlesse in many, ignorance must needs be fruitlesse in all. How can man do that he knoweth not? How can man do Gods will being ignorant thereof? Be wise therefore and understand the will of God, Eph. 5. 17. That ye may do the same.

CHAP. VII. Duty 6. Saints must be content with Gods allowance.

LAstly, if God be our Father, learne we to put in practiceDuty 6. St. Pauls Lesson, one of our fellow brethren, Phil. 4. 11. To be content with our Heavenly Fathers allowance. The want of which Christian vertue is the cause of many mon­strous evils, and domineering transgressions. What mooveth the insatiable inhumane depopulatours lesle mercifull then the raging Ocean (as a reverend Bishop saith in these words. Re­member Bishop Babing [...]m, Gen. 1. Ver. 9. p. 5. with your selves the rich cormorants of this world, who like flouds and streams of strength too much overflow and drowne their brethren, their poore and weake brethren in this world, not leaving any place for them to dwellin, or to inhabit neare them, &c.) Like the hideous Gorgon, suffering none or very few to live in her sight. To dash themselves against those keene and fearefull judgements of God, Isa. 5. 8. Woe be to him, &c. For so saith my forenamed learned Author, of whom saith he, is that woe denounced, Isa. 5. 8, 9. A fearefull thing that men for denying others place by them shall lose their owne. To plunge themselves so deepe into Gods displeasure, that Gods judgements pursue them so fast. That if a man make diligent enquiry and search in a little after succeding ages (oftentimes in their owne) for these monsters of men: dis­peoplers of townes: ruiners of common-wealths so farre as [Page 99] in them lyeth: occasions of beggars, and beggery: and prey of usurers. Instead of spacious and splendent houses, he shall finde rumous heapes: instead of good house-keepers, poore shepheards: instead of Christian men, filly beasts: in­stead or predecessours never dying same teir remembrance stinking: instead of Lords and owners of townes, lands, and great possessions, men either languishing with need and pe­nury: or succoured by friends bountifull hands: or relieved in some charitable hospitall (I could wish that every open hearted Iob, and bountifull Cornelius would for ever exclude out of their foresaid hospitals (as unworthy the least reliefe) such cruell inclosers, their Adamantine hearts no whit regar­ding the cries of so many-distressed ones)? Only want of con­tentment. If I have any of these here to learne them to be content, I advise them to listen to that forenamed famous Divine in the forenamed place. How much better were it (saith he) even of these waters to learn to containe our selves in one place appointed, and to leave roome for others without drowning and overflowing them with our greedy minds, till the wrath of God overflow us also, and give unto others all our gatherings. And to hearken to S. Ambrose, long sine speaking thus to their cruellNon igitur unus Ahab natus est, sed quod pejus est quoti­diè Ahab nascitur & nunquam huic secuolo moritur,—Quous (que) exten ditis divites insa­nas cupiditates? Nunquid soli habi tabitis superterram? Cur ejicitis consor­tem naturae, & vindicatis possessio­nem naturae? In commune omnibus divitibus at (que) pau­peribus terra fun­data est, our vobis jus propriū soli diuites arrogatus? Am. 1. 4. lib de Nebu: cap. 1. pag. 772. Hie ager quem tu dissusis includis possessionibus quantos populos a lere potesti Ibid. cap 3. Fugiunt cohabitare hominibus, & ideò excluduus vicinos—Avu avibus se associat—Pecui pecori adjungitur, piscis piscibut: nec damnum ducunt sed commercium vivendi, cum plurimum comitatis copessunt, & quoddam munimentum solatio frequenuoris societatis affectant. Solus tis homo consortem excludu, includis feras, struu habitacula bestiarum, de­strus hominum. Inducis mare intra praedia tua, ne desint bellue, producis fines teriae, ne possis habere sinitimum. Amb. 1. 4. lib. de Hab. cap 3 275. fore-fathers. Therefore one Ahab is not borne, but which is worse, Ahab is daily borne, and never dieth hence—How farre O you rich men do you inlarge your raging desires? whether will you dwell onely upon the earth? Wherefore do you thrust out a partaker of nature, and maintaine the possession of nature? The earth was established in common to all, poore and rich, why there­fore do you rich men onely claime the proper right to your selves? This field which thou dost inclose inlarge possessions, how much people can it maintaine? They refuse to dwell with men, and therefore they shut out neighbours—A bird joynes it selfe to birds, a beast is associated in friendship to beasts, a fish to fishes: Neither do they bring losse, but they receive for the most part communication of living by fellowship; and they covet earnestly fortification by the consent of a more frequent society. Onely thou man dost shut nout thy companion, and dost include beasts, thou buildest dwellings of beasts, destroyest the dwellings of men, [Page 100] thou inducest the sea within thy possessions, that beasts may not be wanting. Thou stretchest out the ends of the earth that thou maist not have a borderer.

2. Where is it that the ravenous extorting usurer (like theƲsura est contra­rius naturae, Tolet lib. 5 Iust [...]t Sa­ce [...]d. cap. 37. p. 781. devouring Bubus, who with golden outsides beguileth and destroyeth the simple fishes flocking about him with admira­tion) doth please himselfe with such a kind and course of life which is against nature, equity, good manners, and the utility of common-wealths: Doth live in no calling (for if it be a calling which is lawfull why do all lawes forbid it? As learned Bishop Iewell saith, why doe good men abhorre it? Why are they 1 Thes 7. 6. Pag 78, 79, 80. &c. ashamed to be called usurers? Why doth God prohibite it? What ground hath it in Scripture? What benefit is it to man­kind?) Doth hazard the ruine of his soule, and the losse of heaven, save onely because he is not content? I will leave these griping usurers to be dealt withal by some reverend and grave Fathers. For although light may shine from a wood­den candlesticke, and meate may nourish out of an earthen dish aswell as out of gold: yet your experience, gravity, and profound learning will procure greater respect to the truth. Be intreated therefore to un-maske these monsters, and drive them from their shifting holes. It is time to deale roundly with them: It not being now as in the time of Agis when all usurers bonds were burnt, which made the clearest fire that ever Agesilaus saw in Athens. It not being now as when the Heathen punished usurers as much more as theeves. It ceasing now to be as when they were denyed Christian buriall, and theCent. 1. lib. 11. cap. 7. ex Pet. Cant. sacred Communion. It ceasing to be now as it was 1200. yeares after our Saviour, when usury was so detested, that an usurers house was called the Divels house, his substance the Di­vels substance, none would f [...]tch fire at his house, or have any com­merce with him. (Yet the Doctrine of the Church of Eng­landThird part of Hom. against perill of Idol pag. 7 [...] saith, a goods gotten by usury are unjustly gotten, and [Page 101] Part. of Hom. for rog. weeke. pag. 242. So many as increase themselves by vsury, &c. they have their goods of the divels guift—they kneele downe to the divell at his bidding, and worship him.) For now they mul­tiply, they are deemed by some, the Saints of our time: yea this sinne Vsura est pecea­tum mortale & oppositum asserere, est haereticunt. Tolet. lib. 5. c. 28. creepes I feare into our Clergy, and many forward Professors. But woe to such professors, who make Religion to cloake their impiety, whose profession and practise are so contrary. If any vsurers are now my hearers, I would not have them thinke that I wish them any hurt. Oh no; I wish to them as to mine owne soule, even salvation. I wish that with Zacheus they would make restitution of their evill gotten goods, and not keepe in store the matter of their sinne to wit­nesse against them, reserving the treasures of wickednesse still in their houses, Micah 6. 10. it being better for them withIam 5. 3. M. Samson pre­face to Bradf. Ser. of Rep. Mr. Bradford, to forgoe all their patrimony on earth for re­stitution, then to reserve it for their private enrichment here, and eternall beggery and endlesse misery hereafter; that they would forsake that cursed kind of life, imbrace some ho­nest calling, and so come in the end vnto salvation.

3. From what roote growes that forbid sinne of Cove­tousnesse: loathsome to Heathen men, as appeares by such like sayings of theirs. Who is rich? He that covets nothing. Who Quis dives? qui nil cupiat. Quis pauper avarus. Bias 48. Avaro quid mali optes insi ut diu vivat pub. 54. Inopiae parva de­sunt, avaritiae om­nia. Idem 70. Avarus ipse mise­riae causa est suae. 53. is poore, the covetous man. The covetous man himselfe is cause of his owne miserie: small things are wanting to poverty, all things to covetousnesse: accusing God of injustice, and want of providence: which is against nature, christianity, and salvation; making man injurious to God, his neighbour, him­selfe, and substance, but onely from his unsatiable desire, which like the leane kine ever hungred; like the vast ocean receiving all waters, yet never full; like the earth the horse­leach, barren wombe, and hell never satisfied; surely from want of contentment.

4. In a word, is not want of contentation it which occa­sioneth our apish fantastique fashion followers, so often to me­tamorphise themselves, sometimes being men, sometimes onely like men? It is therefore seasonable at all times, befit­ting all estates, and profitable for all persons, to learne in all [Page 102] estates therewith to be content. Saint Paul had well learned this lesson, Acts 20. 23. Phil. 4. 11. and perswadeth all Gods people to learne the same, Heb. 13. 5. 1. Tim. 6. 6. 8. And if we well consider, we shall finde convenient, and fitting for us to be content with our fathers allowance. (Contentation is when the mind of man is pleased with such things as God hath thought fit, and meete for a man, so that he is ready to undergoe [...]. a more hard, and meane estate if God will, ever judging his pre­sent condition best for him.)

Reason 1 For without contentation of mind, if a man hath never so much he hath gained nothing: A man can find no gaine, no not in godlinesse (if it were possible to have godlinesse with­out contentment) without contentment, 1. Tim. 6. 6.

2 The Saints, those holy ones of God which are to us as glo­rious lights to conduct us in the holy way, whom we ought to follow as they followed Christ, were content with, and thankfull for food, and rayment. O happie ones, who prefer­red your soules before your bodies, heaven before earth, and were so content with necessaries; yea ofttimes to wander in sheepskins, and goateskins being destitute, and afflicted. We commend, and admire Abraham leaving his country: Mo­ses forsaking an earthly paradise, Iob, Paul, and such; and shall wee not imitate them, as in other graces so in this?

3 It is meete for us to be content with any estate: Because whatsoever our estate is, it is better then we deserve. Have we food and rayment, we deserve not so much: Have wee not food to eat, and cloathes to put on, we deserve more woe, misery, and calamity. 2. Be our estate what it will, it is as good as we brought into this world: for how came we hither? Naked, weeping, poore, and shiftlesse. Why did God make man the principall creature of the world to be so borne, whereas other creatures can make some shift for them­selves, but onely to teach us contentednesse? All we have, we found in the world. Have we food? wee brought none. Have we cloathing? we came naked. Have we any comfort? we came weeping. Have we any waies to helpe our selves? we came shiftlesse: be we therefore content. 3. And wee [Page 103] have more then we can carry away, Iob 1. 21. naked shall I re­turne,M Knols. Turk. Hist. 1. Tim. 6. 7. we shall carry nothing away. Saladine Conquerour of the East of all the greatnesse and riches he had in his life, carried not with him after his death, any thing more then his shirt, said a Priest at his appointment, it being all the funerall pompe he would have being dead.

1. This contentation doth no whit impeach honest labour, and industry in a sanctified calling. The same God who com­mands contentmēt enjoyning us to labour in some lawfull cal­ling, sc. such as is founded upon Gods Word? profitable to mankind for soule or body, this life or that to come, 2. Thess. 3. 10. Adam must get his bread, &c. Gen. 3. 19.

2. This doth not forbid us to pray unto God for tempo­rall things, for although we must be content if we have not bread, yet may we lawfully pray for terrestriall supplements; 1. We being commanded to pray for daily bread. 2. We ha­ving a gracious promise to incourage us, Mat. 7. 11. 3. And Saints examples warranting us, Gen. 28. 20. Prov. 30. 7. 4. God being hereby glorified, we acknowledging the re­ceipt of temporall things, yea every pittance and morsell of bread to come from him. 5. And these being so necessarie, that without them we cannot live. sc. 1. This prayer being in faith, assuring us we are Gods children, and that we have right to them in Christ. 2 Not with an immoderate care, but to sustaine present necessities. 3. Not simply, but conditionally praying for them so farre forth as they tend to Gods glory, the good of his Church, and our owne salvatin. 4. Not to that end we might be rich, but to enjoy necessaries; not that which corrupted nature thinkes necessarie, for had it millions of gold it would thinke more necessarie, but ne­cessaries truely in regard of nature, and a mans particular calling.

3. This condemneth not godly providence for time to come. A wise, provident, foreseeing consideration, being allowed by the practise of Ioseph, Gen. 41. 48 and the Apostles, Acts 11. 29. By Gods precept, Prov. 6. 6. And by the end of Gods guifts, Deut. 8. 18. God gives providence for its pro­per [Page 104] and peculiar end. We are forbidden to care for to morrow, sc. with carking care distrusting Gods providence. And wee are allowed to lay up, sc. if without covetousnesse, made onely in reverence to Gods gifts, to lawfull ends, not trusting in any store, not robbing our selves or others.

4. This doth nothing priviledge our idle wandering beg­gars, although they say they are content, and that they sleepe as contentedly as we in our beds. This kind of living 1. Be­ing a disorder in a common-wealth, that being hereby robbed of the labours of many able bodies. 2. A shame to Magistra­cy not redressing it. 3. A disgrace to rich men, proclaiming them irreligious and unmercifull, St. Iames telling us, that pure Religion is to visit, &c. Not to be visited, &c. Iames 1. 25. 4. And forbidden by God. But this condemneth such who are discontent with Gods allowance, and commands us all, walking honestly in our lawfull callings, tobe content with whatsoever God in his wisdome shall give unto us. Which that we may be, let us consider:

Mot. 1 That all we have, comes from God, Iob 1. 21. He gives, he takes. What we have are meere gratuities, onely at the will of our Father. He gives food to all flesh, Psal. 136. 25. He gives meate in due season, Psal. 145. 16. Have we much? It is Gods gift. Little or nothing? It is his goind, and shall we be discontent with God? Shall our children be content with what we give them, and not we with what our Father allot­teth us? Shall God undertake to provide for us, and we distrust?

2 God gives us whatsoever is best for us. Those who feare the Lord shall want nothing, Psal. 34. 9. sc. which is good for them, Verse 10. We thinke we should be bountifull had we riches as many men have: we would do justice were we in authority, &c. Alas poore discontented man thou holdst thy garments fast in boysterous winds, which thou throw'st off in a sunny day. Thou wouldst be better. How know'st thou that? Aeneas Silvius contradicted that truth being Pope, Fascic. tempo. which before he defended. It is recorded that a certaine lear­ned man preaching vehemently against non-residency, had his [Page 105] mind presently altered by preferments from the Pope. A learned Father writes thus to one, To the zealous Monke, Monacho fervido, Abbati repido, E­piscopo frigido, Archiepistopo dis­soluto. Lukewarme Abbot, cold Bishop, and dissolute Archbishop. God may in love keepe from thee that, thou so earnestly thirsts af­ter, least it hurt thee. Thy corruptions may like snakes in cold adversity be stupifyed and benum'd, which by warmth of abundance may become vigorous and full of strength, to o­vermatch thee. Pious and learned Salvian saith, Pedissequa etiam plaru (que) novi hono­ru est arrogantia. Sal. Epis. Eucherio pag. 278. Arrogancie Quotus enim quis (que) sapientium est quem secunda non mutent, cui non crescai cum prospe­ritate vitiositas. Sal. lib. 7. de Gub. Dei, pag. 250. for the most part is the waiting maid of new promotion. Else­where he saith, For how many wise men are there whom pros­peritie cannot change to whom corruption doth not increase with prosperitie. Deeme therefore thy present estate the best, and be content.

3 Reflect thine eye from beholding what is wanting, to see what favours thou dostenjoy. Thou canst not but behold suf­ficient cause to give thee contentment when thou seriously considerest what thou hast. Thou art a man: God might have made thee a beast. Thou art a Christian: thou might'st have been a Pagan. Thou art a sanctified Saint: thou migh­test have still beene dead in trespasse and sinnes. Grudge not therefore for what is wanting, but give thanks for what thou hast, and be content.

4 Looke downeward where thou shalt see many come short of thee, yea perhaps such who in Gods esteeme are thy bet­ters. Stay sirs said the wise Hare in the Fable, Let our estate content us, for as we run from some, so you see others stee from our presence. When thou shalt behold how many go before thee, thinke also how many come after thee, and this will make thee thankfull and content.

5 Ponder in thy mind the brevity and shortnesse of thy life. It's but of a dayes continuance, like Aristoles Ephemera, hast thou enough for to day? Be content; perhaps thou shalt need nothing tomorrow.

6 Let the uncertainty of all worldly pelfe teach us content­ment. They take them wings and they are gone, Prov. 23. 5. And they have the name of uncertaine riches, 1 Tim. 6. 17. Riches certainty is meere uncertainty. All earthly things are [Page 106] sickle and fugitive, meere shadowes and vanishing shewes, reeling and tottering without foundation, forsaking us living, or we them dying. Iob tarried, his riches left him. Dives went, his riches staid behind him. And then doth no man know to whom he shall leave them. See the brittle conditi­on and tottering stay in worldly things by Adonibezeek, Iud. 1. 6, 8. Who having caused seventy Kings as dogges to ga­ther meate under his table, himselfe is afterwards so abased. And by Bajazet the first, the fourth of the Ottoman race, the first brother-killer, who being taken by Tamerlane, was put into an iron cage, led in a chaine, made Tamerlanes footstoole, and as a dogge to gather meate under Tamerlanes table. Where the Historian noteth that a shepheard was more happy then Bajazet, and that worldly blisse consisteth not so much in possessing of much, subject unto danger, as in enjoying a little with contentment devoid of feare. Neither are they onely un­certaine, but also vanity and vexation of spirit, never satia­ting the soule of man no more then piling on wood nor pow­ring on oyle upon a raging flame can coole, or quench its vio­lent and ardent heate, Eccl. 5. 10. He shall never be satisfied with silver. Let Alexander conquer a world, yet he thirsts af­ter another. Let Ahab have a kingdome, yet he wants Na­boths vineyard, 1 Kings 21. 5. Let the richman have super­abundant increase, yet something is wanting, which makes him not know what to do, Luke 12. 17. And their largest terme is life, then like the sp [...]ers web they are all swept downe, whether riches of iniquity, or Gods good bles­sings.

7 Discontent cannot adde what is wanting, a pound of care will not pay a pennie-worth of debt. Man disquieteth himselfe in vaine, Psal. 39. 6. Labour in vaine, Psal. 127. 1. All a mans discontent cannot adde a mite to his substance, moment to his life, or haire breadth unto his stature.

8 Godlinesse requires a contented mind to grow in, 1 Tim. 6. 6. Thornes choake good seed Math. 13. 7. Discontent is a throne, carking cares are thornes, weed them out therefore, and be content. Let therefore ambitious Haman gall and fret [Page 107] himselfe with torturing discontent, because every knee doth not bend to him, Est. 3. 5, 6. Let such who have made gold their hope, Iob 31. 24. Yea, let all worldly minded men tire out themselves in labouring to get, exeruciate themsElves in carking to keepe, and languish through feare of losing these dung hill commodities: and so never find any solace or con­tentment in them, they being the same men in plenty as in penury, being in both tormented with the racke of discon­tent. Yet let us who have given our names to Christ Iesus, seeing God by his speciall providence allotteth to every child his proper portion; seeing he giveth what is best for us: and what he with-holds it is in love. Let not our eye be evill, be­cause God is good. Let us not repine at other mens large por­tion, nor grudge because we have no more, but be con­tent.

1. Hast thou food convenient? Be with it content. What and if thou canst not heape dish upon dish, and course upon course? What though thou wantest dainties to provoke lust and wantonnesse? Yet be content with thy share and proper allowance. If it be but food convenient, Prov. 30. 8. If it be but food to eate, Gen. 28. 20. If it be but a dinner of herbes, Ne (que) beatior est qui magnu op [...]bur praeditus est, to qui diurnum habet vic­tum. Solon. Herod. Clio pag. 38. Prov. 15. 17. It is not excessive dainties, but Gods blessing that nourisheth a mans body, witnesse the litle meale and oyle, 1 King. 17. 14. Witnesse Daniels pulse, Dan 1. 15. Christs five barley loaves feeding five thousand, Iohn 6. 9. Witnesse the Israelites Quailes which choaked, and their loathed Manna which strengthened them. Hast thou there­fore but parched pease with Booz and Ruth: pulse with Da­niel; or barley loaves with our Saviour Christ, be therewithS. W. R lib. 1. cap. 7 Turks care not Sect. 3. pag.: 34. how little they be stow in Private buildings, saying their meane cot­tages are good e­nough for their short pilgrimage: though sumptu­ous in their Churches. M Knol. content. Milke and fruit were the banqueting dishes of our fore-fathers.

2. Hast thou cloaths to put on with Iacob, Gen. 28. A house to lie in, and cloathes to keepe thee warme, be therewith con­tent. Thou hast cloathing. What though it is of skinnes? A­dam the sole Monarch of the world had no better, Gen. 3. 21. What though it is of haire? Iohn Baptist that Seraphicall An­gelicall Teacher had no better, Math. 3. 4. But thou wouldst [Page 108] be a little gayish and trimme: yet take heed of excesse, seeke not gorgeous apparell, seeke not n [...]w-fangled fashions, carry not all thine ability upon thy backe, seeke not to have asmuch in a ruffe as would wholly cloath thee: but having conveni­ent covering fitting thy calling, be content. Say not thy gor­geous attire is thine owne: so are thine eares and eyes, yet neither to be abused. Content thy selfe to weare what is fit­ting. It is not fit for Christians to fashion themselves unto this world, Rom. 12. 2. It is not fit for subjects to weare a crowne, nor servants to be as their Masters. But I weare mins owne. And may not a man offend with his own [...] apparell? doubtlesse yes. sc. In regard of the occasion, if thou wearest it not for necessity or decency, but because it is the fashion, Rom. 12. 1. In regard of its maintenance, sc. when to main­taine thy jollity thou robbest either Magistrate, Minister, Hireling or other. In regard of the effects, when thine appa­rell doth justly grieve the good, give occasion of scandall to the bad, or hinder good exercises. And when thine apparell is 1. Immodest, 1 Tim. 2. 9. Not agreeable to thy calling, hats are for heads, not for hands, gloves for the hands, not for the feet. 3. Not agreeable to thy condition, and meanes of maintenance, gold upon a hatband or shoe-strings, none or little in the purse is very ridiculous. 4. Not respecting the cry of the needy: it is not fit to garnish one part of the body with gems, billiments and brooches, and the rest go naked and bare. Be content therefore with fitting attyre. It is bet­ter to have a gracious mind in a leather doublet, then a base fantasticall mind in golden apparell. In labouring to be like a gentleman in apparell, yet none in truth, thou provest thy selfe a brainelesse man. Seeke for enough, carke for no more: superfluity makes a man neither warmer nor honester. But it is some credit to be gay and fine. But with whom? With wise men? No money in homely garments can take up more on trust, then diverse others who are so greatly finish. With God? No, he more esteemes of a leatherne, yea a naked, yea a La­zar Saint, then of a velvet Devill, Luke 16.

3. Hast thou an honest calling or trade of life? Be therwith [Page 109] content. Be not like the discontented owles of our times, who looking with malitious eies upon that others have, grieving at their owne, supposing their callings too too base for their he­roicall & magnificent spirits, in discontent thinking to amend them by exchanging, overturne all, forsaking that kind of life wherto they were apted and made fit by parents choice; their owne experience, and masters instruction: they puzzle and weary themselves in their new-found vocations untill they can live in neither. Is thy kind of life unlawfull? Art thou an usurer, &c? Then leave it. Is it an honest calling? Walke in it with contentment.

4 Art thou a poore man, yet be content with thine estate, for consider: If thou had'st riches so much desired, God can make them barren like Hannah so much beloved, 1. Sam. 1. 5.Infa [...]tem nudum cum te natura creavit. Paupertatis o [...]us patienter ferre me­mento. Cato lib. 1, 21. and thy poore estate fruitfull like hated Peninnah. 2. They are like puddles fayling most in time of greatest need. 3. They make a man no better in Gods sight. The Lord may give them as Iael gave drinke to Siscra, Iudg. 4. 21. or Ehud gave Eglon a present, Iudg. 3. 21. as Hester gave Haman a banquet, Ester 7. or as the butcher gives the slaughter cattell a good pasture. The mountaines which are full of golden mines are not usually cloathed with corne, nor loaden with grasse. 4. They are not as they seem [...] to be, and are esteemed. They seeme treasure, as if they were for ever. They are deemed substance, as if with­out them men were but shadowes. They are called goods, as if they made men good, so much worth, of such ability, ac­count, and reckoning. But alas these are stolne names, for they are thornes, Mat. 13. 22. deceitfull, Mar. 4. 19. and often gol­denƲirtuti modicum, vitio nil satis. Adrian carth. pag. 98. fetters. 5. Thou hast but a very little. Be it so, nature is content with little, grace with lesse, it's onely corruption of nature which is not content. One saith well, a very little contenteth vertue, nothing satisfieth vice.

5. Art thou in captivity, famine, reproches, &c. yet here­withall be thou content.

1. Why O thou Son of God should'st thou be discontent with exile for thy fathers sake, since thou canst not be exil'd out of thy fathers country, the earth being the Lords. Since [Page 110] the passage to heaven is open, and easy from one country as from another. The Lord being graciously present with his inEzek. 11. 16 their captivities as with Ioseph, Daniel, &c.

2. What if God for ends best knowne to himselfe, layes upon thee famine, nakednesse, and such like calamities, be therewith content, and seeke not by wicked purloyning to relieve thy necessities: heare what a heathen man could say, [...] I judge thee miserable, because thou wast never troubled, thou hast passed over thy life without an adversary. Ʋertue is greedy of danger, military men glory in th [...]ir wounds; thou maist know a governour in a tempest, a souldier in battell, how can I know, how much courage thou hast against poverty, if thou flowest with wealth? Whence can I, &c. Moreover, consider 1. That these extremities can onely hurt the body, discontent soule and body. 2. That God hath promised sufficient, either there­fore he will give cloathing to cover the body, or enable it as well as the hands and face to need none; heare what our Homilie saith: We are never contented, and therefore we Hom. against [...] pag. 1 [...]4. prosper not, he that ruffleth in his sables, in his fine furred gowne, corke slippers, trimne buskins, and warme mittens, is more ready to chil for cold, then the poore labouring man, which can abide in the field all the day long when the north wind blowes, with a few beggerly clouts about him. 3. Els the Lord will supply these defects with patience, and spirituall endowments.

3. What if reproches, disgraces, and infamous indignities comming from a viperine generation of virulent enemies of Gods people, and from the serpentine tongues of all d [...]boist stigmaticall fellowes pursue thee, yet be thou therewith con­tent (if th [...] be an honest hearted Nathaniel, and a true Isra­elite, and hast all those rusticall taunts, scurrilous girds, and h [...]llish obtrectations for pieties sake) considering 1. That it hath beene, and will be the peculiar portion of Gods Saints to be stung by the serpents seed. Thou art made a by word: so wa [...] Iob 30 9. the drunkards song: so was David, Psal. 69. 12. an object of many forged calumniations, so was David, our blessed Saviour, &c. Doe they stile thee heretike? so did they Saint Paul, Acts 24. 5. 14. Blasphemer? so did they [Page 111] Christ Iesus, Mat. 9. [...]. glutton, and drunkard? so did they, our Saviour, Matth. 11. 19. Divell? so did they, the Sonne of God, Matth. 10. a deceiver of the people? so did they, the worlds judge. Since therefore the most generous and blessed ones have drunke deeper in this cup of disgrace, and infamy for pieties sake, bee thou content to pledge them. 2. That these carping wranglers, geering Ishmaels, and tongue­smiters of godlinesse and goodmen, are but bruit beasts in Gods estimation, in their delights, practises, and end: Wee can contentedly passe by a snarling dogge barking at vs, and why then should wee not bee content, although these dogs of hell grin, and gnash their teeth against us. 3. That these shall be soundly scourged for their bold attempts against Gods Kings, and Priests, the Lords jewels, and the apple of his eye. Witnesse scoffing Ishmael, cursing Shimei, rayling Rabshakeh, and those mocking children which were rent by beares (I doe discard, and casheere hence as none of those to whom I speake in this passage) such disguised miscreants, whose profession and practise agree like harpe, and harrow; Iudasses, amongst Apostles; Demasses among Christians; of men the vilest; from heaven the farthest.

Ought we to bee content having nothing with poverty, captivity, &c. what cause of contentation, therefore have we all. Blessed be God the father of mercies. We sit quietly un­der our owne vines; We have food convenient, a fruitfullThe greatest op­p [...]e [...]o [...] and most under [...]roden wretches, are all sub [...]ect to one high power. go­verning all alike with absolute command. S. W. R: lib. 5. cap. 6. p. 773. land, the glorious Gospell of Christ a light to our feete, and a lanthorne to our paths: We have no leading into captivity: We see no Saint murtherers, haling and dragging our sincere Nathaniels to fire, and faggot: why should we not therefore be thankfull, and content, Have we not overplus? yet if wee follow nature or grace as our guide, we have that inough which may give us content: you therefore whose onerous penury seemes to overcharge you, bee you content with your fathers allowance. And you great, and mighty ones of the earth, you came naked as well as others, you shall goe empty as well as they; you have large endowments, the Lord hath allowed you nec [...]ssaries, and delicacie [...]; be you therefore [Page 112] thankfull to this bountifull benefactour, be you content with your so large allowance, and doe not grinde the faces of the poore, nor chop them in peeces as for the pot, by excessive rents, and exactions, be you pleased to let men gather up your fragments, and with the sweat of their browes to gleane a living out of the earth: In a word, let us all whose father is the Lord, be content with his allowance.


CHAP. I. Answering objections against this communion.

Object. OVr Apostle having perswaded to fellowship of the Saints; he now prevents those secret Objections which might bee framed after this, or the like manner. What cause is there, why we or any should strive to agglu­tinate our selves into your Society? Is there any advantage or profit, contentment or pleasure, in likely­hood to accrue from your consociation? Alas by your owne confession, you are grievously perplexed, troubled on every side, cast downe, 2. Cor. 4. 8, 9. If wee looke upon your doctrine, it is counted schismaticall, Acts 21. 28. and hereticall, Acts 24. 14. If we behold your actions, they are deemed rebellious, seditious, profane, Acts 24. 5, 6. If we consider your esteeme in the world, we shall have small incouragements, not onely are you despised, and defamed, but made a spectacle to men, and Angels to the whole world, 1. Cor. 4. 13. you are as mon­sters or men wondred at, Zach. 3. 8. you are made as the filth of the world, and of-scouring of all things, 1. Cor. 4. 13. Happily some few wise, mighty, and noble, may favour you; yet not many such will imbrace your doctrine, 1. Cor. 1. 26. Happily a few despised ones may ioyne in your society, but what are [Page 114] they to others? What are such simple ones compared with the learned Scribes? What are such beggerly fellowes in regard of the rich ones of the world, or your so little handfull to the whole world? Your societie alas is a little flocke, per­secuted people, and despised company.

Answ. Let these things be granted, yet it is advantageous to com­municate with us. What though we are troubled, yet not di­stressed; perplexed, yet not in despaire; persecuted, yet not for­saken, 2. Cor. 4. 8, 9. Our doctrine is counted hereticall, and apocalypticall frensies: yet after that way they call heresie, we worship the God of our fathers. Our chiefest pillars, such as Saint Paul, are counted pestilent fellowes, moovers of sedition, ringleaders of secta ies, prophaners of temples, Acts 24. 5. 6. fooles, 1. Cor 4. 19. although they have had as liberall edu­cation at Gamaliels feete, as blacke mouth'd Tertullus; the filth and of scouring of all things, we yeeld all this, and more. We are poore, yet making many rich; having nothing we pos­sesse all things, 2 Cor. 6. 10. We are as sheepe appointed to the slaughter, &c. yet for all this our fellowship is desireable, for though it is base in the eye of the world, it is most honourable. Though it seemes ignominious, it is most glorious. Though it's poore to mans view, yet it is vnspeakably rich. Thinke not worse of it for worldlings censure. What wise man will re­ject sweet smels, because men sentles regard them not? dis­esteeme of those heavenly lights, because blinde men doe not behold their beauty? abominate, sweet sounding melody, because deafe persons receive no contentment by it? who of any indifferent ingenuous education will vilifie true nobility, because fooles despise it? trample under foot pretious pearles, because swine so use them? or dis-esteeme of the glo­rious communion of Saints, because bedlam beasts, hood­wink'd, yea starke blinded by the god of this world, dead in sinnes and trespasses so basely regard it? Our fellowship is not onely with crosses, although we endure them; with po­vertie, although we feele it; with scornes, although we suffer them. But with rejoycing, which is our priviledge; with ri­ches, which are our right; and with honour, which alwaies [Page 115] accompanieth us. For truly our fellowship is with the father, and with his Sonne Iesus Christ.

CHAP. II. Doct. 3. Saints have fellowship with the Father.

Doct. 3 AS the Saints have fellowship one with another, so have they also communion with the Lord of glory, or with the father [our fellowship with the Father] Ioh. 14. 23. We will make our abode with him, 1 Cor. 14. 25. That God is in you, 1 Ioh 4. 12. 13. If we—God dwelleth in us—we dwell in him, and he in us, ver. 16. dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Reason 1 Those who are link'd unto the Lord in the nearest, and most intimate ties, and bonds of society, have fellowship with the Lord of glory, or the Father.

But all the Saints of God are link'd unto the Lord, in the nearest, and most intimate ties of society. Therefore; The lat­ter proposition I make evident thus.

Those who are link'd unto the Lord in the ties of ser­vants, which are the greatest favourites: of friends who are best beloved, are link'd to the Lord in the most intimate ties of society.

But al the saints of God are link'd unto the Lord in the tie of

1. Servants, which are the greatest favourites. The Lord is pleased to grace them with this title of being his servants, Isa. 44. 1, 2. Iacob my servant, Iob 1. 8 my servant Iob, Num. 12. 7. my servant Moses is not so. Let none object and say, Is it any honour to be a servant? for it's a title of the greatest dig­nity to be stiled Gods servant. Or if so, is there sociall com­munion betwixt Master and Servant? For there is intimate society betwixt Masters, and beloved favourites though ser­vants. Witnesse the sociable association of Ionathan and Da­vid, 1. Sam. 20. yet was David his servant, ver. 7 8. Witnesse the friendly fellowship twixt David and Hushai, [...]. Sam. 15. 37. & 16 17. yet was he his servant, 15. [...]4 & 16. 19. and Witnesse these servants of God, who are his greatest favo­rites, [Page 116] Exod. 4. 23. Let my sonne goe that he may serve mee, yea so deare, and tender in his sight are they that he would not have the least hurt or violence offered to them, Psal. 105. 15. touch not mine annointed, esteeming them his speciall treasure, iewels, Mal. 3. 17. and the apple of his eye, Zach. 2. 8.

2. Friends, Isa. 47. 8. the seed of Abraham my friend, 2. Chron. 20. 7. and gav'st it to the seed of Abraham thy friend, Cant. 5. 1. Eate O friends, drinke, yea drinke abundantly O belo­ved, Iam 2. 23. called the friend of God. Can any fellowship be more firmely cemented or intimately indeerd then that ofViservet animae dunidium meae. lib. 1, Od [...]. 3. friends? surely no. The Poet Horace wishing a prosperous journey for his friend Ʋirgill, calleth him halfe his soule. Saint Augustine bewailing the death of his friend Hebridius, saith he, thought his soule, and the soule of his friend had bene [...] ego sensi ani­ [...], [...] ani­mam [...] in da [...]bu [...] corpori­b [...], &c. lib. 4. Cons. cap. 6. but one. For I thought that my soule, and the soule of my friend had beene but one soule in two bodies: he therefore being dead, life was dreadfull to me, because I desired to live no longer, yet therefore I feared to die least he should wholly die. And the sa­cred Scripture affirmeth, that a friend is as a mans owne soule, Deut. 13. 6. that he loves at all times, Prov. 17. 17. and stickes closer then a brother, Prov. 18 24. If all the love of Pylades and Orestes, Damon and Pythias, Pyramus and Thisbe, Scipio and Lelius, and of all other renowned heathen friends, unheard of or recorded. If the most melting affectionatenes [...]e of Ionathan and David, David and Hushai, Augustine and Hebriaius, and all other the dearest friends prophane and pious, could possibly inhabit within any two created beings; yet might there not be so much as any comparison betwixt such an ima­gined friendship, and this reall of Gods to his Saints. For for these his friends sakes it is, that there is a continued course of summer & winter; that the world enioyes the comfortable as­pect of all his excellent creatures; that the world is not who­ly consumed in the twinckling of an eye, 2. Cor. 10 6. yea for them he gave his owne Sonne to suffer a shamefull death, to them he gives his sanctifying Spirit, and for them he reserves an everlasting crowne of glory.

Reason 2 He who takes that as done to himselfe which is done to the Saints, hath fellowship with them. But the Lord of hea­ven and earth takes that as done to himselfe which is done to the Saints. Witnesse that sweet straine in the heavenly hymne of Moses the man of God, Deut. 32. 10. He kept him as the apple of his eye. Witnesse that faithfull petition of Israels sweet singer, Psal. 17. 8. Keepe me as the apple of thine eye. Witnesse the Prophets reason of Gods heavy judgement upon the nati­ons which spoiled his Church, Zach. 2. 8. For he that touch­eth you, toucheth the apple of his eye. Witnesse that consolatory saying of our Saviour, Math. 10. 40. He that receiveth you, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. Witnesse that heavenly speech of Christ Iesus to that enraged persecutor of Gods people, Why persecutest thou me? Acts 9. 4. And witnesse that irreversible and irrevocable sen­tence of the most upright Iudge of men and Angels at the last and dreadfull day of judgement. Math. 25. 40. 45. You did it to me: You did it not to me. Therefore they have fellow­ship, &c.

3. Those who are joyned to the Lord with an undissolu­ble bond of an everlasting love, which can never be broken, have fellowship with God: But the Saints are joyned to the Lord with an indissoluble bond of an everlasting love, which can never be broken, Ieremiah 31. 3. I have loved thee with an euerlasting love, hence is it, that the gates of hell shall not prevaile against them, Math. 16. 18. So he loveth them, that nothing can separate them from the love of God, Rom. 8. 39. So that they are sealed with the Spirit of God unto the day of redemption, Eph. 1. 13. 4. 30 So that he hath purposed with an unchangeable decree to have them saved.

4. Those who dwell each in other, have fellowshippe one with another: But the Lord of heaven and earth, and the Saints dwell each in other, 1 Ioh. 4. 12. 13. 15. 16. 1 Ioh. 3. 24. Ioh. 14. 23.

CHAP. III. Ʋse 1. Comforting the Saints from this fellowship.

Ʋse 1 THis inestimable transcendent consociation affoordeth copious matter of consolation to every true-hearted Na­thaniel.

1. Against Bellarmines unsound and uncomfortable do­ctrineConsol. [...]. Tom. 4. de ustifi­cat. lib 3. cap. 14. pag. 897. &c. of finall and totall falling from grace, the love and fa­vour of God. It's possible (I know) for these goodfellowes to fall in part, and for a time from some graces, some measure of grace, and from former signes, and sense of Gods favour. Of graces some are principall, and absolutely necessary to salvation, as faith, hope, love, these may be lessened, decayed, and covered in regard of operation, Psal. 51. 10. Create in me a new heart. Some are lesse principall, yet requisite, and very profitable, as the feeling of Gods favour, chearefulnesse in prayer, joy in the Holy Ghost; which lesser graces may be quite lost for a time. Me thinkes such like considerations as these following may sufficiently incourage all of this society against feare of not continuing in the love and favour of God. 1. Such are the gifts of God the Father to his onely Sonne Christ Iesus: Which Donatives he will not lose, Iohn. 6. 39. Neither shall any take them out of his hands, 10. 28. 2. Such are the precious purchase of the invaluable bloud of the im­maculate Lambe, the Sonne of God, more worth then milli­ons of worlds, Acts 20. 28. Things dearely bought are deare­ly beloved, dearely beloved are carefully kept, and not wil­lingly lost. 3. Such have Christ Iesus praying for them, Luke [...]. 32. That their faith faile not, Iohn 17. 9. That his Father would keepe them, Verse 11. from the evill one Verse 24. Heb. 7. 25. That they may be with Christ. 4. Such are kept by the invincible power of God, through faith unto sal­vation, 1 Pet. 1. 5. 5. To such the Lord hath promised (and his promises are yea and Amen, 2 Cor. 1. 20.) eternall life, 1 Iohn 2. 24. 6. Such are sealed by the Spirit of God to the [Page 119] day of redemption, Eph. 4. 30. Therefore it is as possible, 1. For Iesus Christ, that invincible Lion of the Tribe of Iuda, victoriously conquering sinne, Sathan, death and damnation. 2. For the Lord of Hosts, whose hosts and armies are all crea­tures, from the most contemptible flyes and lice, to the migh­tiest Angels: whose omnipotencie is such, that he effecteth what he will, all things being alike possible to him: It's as possible (I say) for the Sonne and Father to be overcome, as for the Saints, being kept and preserved by them both. 3. It's as possible for Gods decree to suffer mutation and change, and so for that Lambes Booke of Life (for so is the Decree of Gods Election called) continually to be mutilate, subject al­wayes to defacing by having the names of some of Gods Elect blotted out of the same; and yet there is no variablenesse with the Lord, nor the least shadow of changing, Iam. 1. 17. 4. For the ingraven seale of Gods sanctifying Spirit to be blotted out, and so to be more uncertaine then those of the Medes and Persians. 5. For the inestimable bloud of the immaculate Lambe Christ Iesus to be as water spilt upon the earth. 6. For the purest and most prevailing prayers that ever ascended to the Lord of Sabbaths, the meritorious petitions of Gods owne Sonne to be of no force (and yet the Prayers of one righteous man availeth, if it be fervent, Iames 5. 17.) 7. For Gods promise to be unfaithfull, as for those who have fellow­ship with the Father, to fall from grace finally, totally: But the one, therefore the other are altogether impossible. I know the Prophet (Ezek. 18. 24.) saith, when the righteous, Ob. &c. But as Mr. Yates and others say well: Those words are a commination or warning to keepe the elect from falling, to make the reprobate inexcusable. 2. The words are generally spoken to all in the Church; therefore the worser part may fall away. [...]his ad Casarem. pag 110. Zanch. Tom. 7. page 340, 341. Contra Rem. in Collat. Hagien. Thes. 5. 3. They are conditionall, like Rom. 8. 13. Luke 19. 40. Scrip­tures and reasons against this are learnedly answered by Mr. Bernard in his Rhens against Rome. When therefore that roaring Lyon who seekes by all meanes to devoure, shall use such like temptations against the assurance of thy perseve­rance as these following. O thou who hast fellowship with [Page 120] the Lord, and so furnished with true saving faith, thou art mutable, fraile and weake. 2. Thou art uncertaine of thy sal­vation. 3. Thy first parents in Paradise could not stand. 4. Their strongest Children have fallen, witnesse David, Sa­lomon, Paul, Peter, &c. and dost thou thinke to continue? Thine enemies are not few, but many: not meane, but migh­ty: not malecontent alone, but also malicious: not tractable, but truculent: not lither, but laborious: not simple, but sub­tile: not negligent, but vigilant; and dost thou dreame of perseverance? Enliven thy selfe after this or the like manner. I confesse mine owne imbecillitie, the fall of my first parents in Paradise in their innocency, and their posteritie; neither am I ignorant of the number, nature, and properties of mine enemies. What then? Must I therefore of necessitie fall a­way? No such matter. 1. I am weake and seeble. True. But I doe not rest upon my selfe, but upon the Lord, who keeps me, who is greater then all, neither is any able to pluck me out of my Fathers hands, Iohn 10. 29. 2. I am uncer­taine. But how? In regard of my selfe; but God hath esta­blished me in Christ, 2 Cor. 1. 21. 3. Neither did Adam stand in innocency, nor Sathan in glory. True; they stood by their owne strength; so do not I: by Christ I stand, and am kept by the power of God to salvation. 4. The strongest of Adams posterity have fallen: yet not finally; Peter was winnowed, Paul buffeted: But they rose againe, their faith did not faile, Gods grace was sufficient for them. Winnow­ed I may be, buffeted I may be, overcome can I not be: for my life is hid with Christ in God. 5. Mine enemies are ma­ny: yet more with me, then against mee, 2 Reg. 6. 6. They are malicious: But God is mercifull. They are not so strong, but God is more strong; and although they are watchfull, yet I know to my comfort that he that keepeth Israel doth neither slumber nor sleepe, and therefore I shall continue. Moreover: 1. Since it is Gods will to save me, Iohn 6. 39. 2. And Gods will shalbe done, Psal. 115. 3. For he can do what he will, although he will not doe all he can. 4. Since the faithfull formerly beleeved this, 2 Tim. 1. 12. For I am [Page 121] perswaded that he is able to keepe that which I have committed to him against that day, 4. [...]8. Will preserve me, &c. 5. And warrantably. The Apostles and Prophets preaching it, 2 Tim. 2. 10. The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seale, the Lord knoweth who are his. 6. Since, the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, Rom. 11. 29. And so the graces of God are irrevocable in regard of the seed, sub­stance, and habite of them; although not in regard of the actions, fruits, feeling, measure and degrees, Psal. 51. 9, 10 11, 12, 1 [...]. 7. Since the Lord will finish and perfect his workes of grace once begun, Phil. 1. 6. 8. Since (in a word) I have fellowship with the Father, and so intimate, that he vouchsafeth to dwell in me by his graces and Spirit, (and therefore his presence is effectuall and mighty to possesse and governe me, hath dominion over me, inwardly enlightening me to know: and powerfully guiding me to do this knowne will of God. 2. Continuall, not as of a guest who lodgeth for a night in an Inne, and is gone next day, nor as a sojour­ner that flitteth, but as an owner and possessour to abide for e­ver) and graciously admits me to dwell in him, so as to be joyned constantly unto him by faith, as by an instrument; of which society, my love to God, and my brethren is a wit­nesse, 1 Iohn 4. 16. I should not onely infinitely wrong mine owne soule (which I estimate more then the world, for all that would advantage me no whit if it were lost) bereaving it of its comfortable assurance of Gods infinite love and favor: But also the Lord himselfe questioning the immutability of his unchangeable decree: the power of his omnipotent al­mightinesse: and the certainty of his promises, which are yea and Amen, confirmed with the hand, seales, and oath of truth it selfe; if I did not ascertaine my selfe of my continu­ance to the end. Perswaded therefore I wilbe that I having fellowshippe with the Father, shall not fall finally or to­tally.

The consideration of our society with the Father is an un­moveable proppe and pillar to uphold our wavering faith: a sure anker to sustaine us in the most boysterous stormes in [Page 122] this raging sea of misery, when the most hideous billowes of fiery trials, infernall temptations, ignominious reproaches, or any other disasterous waves of storming calamities, disquiet our passage towards the haven of endlesse happinesse. Have we fellowship with the Father, then with God; and what is he? A Lord of armies, having all the hosts in heaven, every one of those ministring Angels, one whereof destroyed 185. thou­sand in one night, 2 Reg. 19. 35. The innumerable multi­tudes of Sunne, Moone, and Starres of light, lud. 5. 20. Eve­ry one of those Elementary Bodies, or Meteors ingendred of vapours in the aire above, as wind, raine, haile, storme, tem­pest, thunder, and lightning, having the sole soveraignty o­ver, and the onely guidance of all the variable and number­l [...]sse armies of all earthly artillery. Witnesse the sea swallow­ing up the pursuing Aegyptians, and sheltering Gods pe­culiar people: Witnesse the earth ingurgitating, or greedi­ly devouring up those rebels in the wildernesse: Witnesse the Hornets driving out the Canaanites; Lice, flyes, and Frogs taming the haughty Aegyptians: Witnesse those ver­mine, whose contemptible intrals were the sepulchres of proud King Herod: Witnesse the swords of enemies piercing through the bodies of their fellowes, Iudg. 7. 23. 2. Chron. 20. 22. Yea, sheathing themselves in their owners bowels, 1 Sam. 31. 4. Therefore omnipotent to defend us. Although therefore we be few, and naked, neither furniture of horses, chariots, Captaines, or souldiers can hurt us, if he be for us. 2. Let Captains of enemies be as Cyrus amongst the Persians; Hannibal amongst the Carthaginians; Marcellus, Scipio, and Pompey amongst the Romanes; Pyrrhus amongst the Epi­rots; Scanderbeg against the Turkes 2. Let their soldiers be as painfull as Pismires, as fierce as Tygers, as swift as Eagles, as strong as Lions, as obedient as Scipioes. 3. Let them have all things fit for warre, plenty of money, corne, and other provision, fitnesse of place, helpe of friends and allies. 4. Let their wals be like Babilons, Forts like Niniv [...]hs. 5. Let them have Tamberlanes troupe of 400000. horse, and 600000. foot: yet need we not feare having fellowship with God, who is able to defendus.

Have we fellowship with the Father; then with God who is good and mercifull to bestow all the treasure of grace upon us. 2. With the Father, who is just to protect us against Sa­thans cavils, Rom. 8. 33. 3. With the Father, who is wis­dome it selfe, to direct us by his Spirit in the darknesse of this world. 4. With the Father, who is rich to reward us in mercy.

1. How should we be cast downe with poverty who have fellowship with him who is most rich, whose is the earth, and the fulnesse thereof, who openeth his bounteous hand, and filleth all with his good blessing, Psal. 145. Who giveth to the cattell their food, and to the young Ravens when they crie, Psal. 14. True it is, that many of these goodfellowes have need, and may want bodily food. But this want is supplied, 1. with strength of body to beare the want thereof, as in Moses and Elias forty dayes. 2. With Gods rich blessings upon poore meanes of maintenance, and nourishment, as in Christs mira­culous feeding of many thousands with a few loaves and Fishes, in the widowes meale, and oyle, 1 Reg. 17. 14. 2 Reg. 4. 6. And in Daniels pulse. 3. With contentation of mind with little as well as with much, Phil. 4. 8. 11. 12. Or, 4 With counterblessings of another kind, as spirituall for cor­porall, eternall for temporall, 2 Cor. 6. 10. Poore and yet ma­king many rich, Iames 2. 5. Poore and rich in faith, Rev. 2. 9. True it is, they may want; but they cannot want any thing that is good for them, Psal. 84. 11. Psal. 34. 10. God denies them; not because he is not able, or willing to give; but because such is his wisdome and love, that he knowes and gives things most needfull for them, as a carefull mother, nurse, and Physitian. If the want of them be medicinable and profitable for us, we need not regard the lacke of them. Will the Lord give to ravens, and lyons, and not to men? Will he give to wicked men, sonnes of Belial, and not to his owne? Will he give them his Sonne, his Spirit, his graces, his king­dome, himselfe, and deny them baser matters? No, he cannot, he will not, if the enjoyment of them be for our good.

2. How should we be terrified with infamy of this world, [Page 124] having fellowship with the Lord of glory. For what? And ifS. Augustine fea­red the praise of the good, detested that of the evill. S. W. [...]. p. [...]. none are lesse gracious then the godly men: Yet, 1. They are gracious with some, although not with all. 2. They are in some favour, although not in great. 3. They are some­times in favour, though not alwayes. 4. They are gracious with God, although not with men. True it is, none are, or ever were more base and vile then the godly men; yet never in the eyes of all men, onely of the wicked. 2. Not altoge­ther, but in part. 3. When they were most base and vile in mens eyes, they were most glorious in Gods: For, they have fellowship with the Father.

3. How should we feare exile, who have a countrey in heaven, we having fellowship with him, whose is the earth, out of whose country we can never be banished?

4. How should we feare death, who have our life hid inM [...]rs time as, qui ad [...]undam [...] [...] [...]hic merte [...]. [...]yprian de Mo [...] pag 53. [...] in t [...] ­mere. qui ad Chri­ [...] tre. Ib. pag. 49. Christ with God? Let him feare death (saith St. Cyprian) who will passe from this death to the second death.

It is his part or duty to feare death who will not go to Christ, saith the same Father.

I desire to be dissolved, saith the blessed Apostle, Phil. 1. 23. Blessed are the dead, saith the Spirit, Rev. 14. 13. Come Lord Iesus, saith the Bride, Rev. 22. Whence springs this desire? What is the ground of this blessednesse? And whence flow those earnest longings? save from the sweet society with the Father?

5. How should we feare sinne, having fellowship with him who justifieth? Rom. 8. 33. Death, having fellowship with life? Or Sathan, having fellowship with God? True it is, we living here on earth are subject, 1. To sinne; scil. the staine; yet free from the dominion, and due desert of sinne. 2. To death, scil. its stroke, it being decreed for all men once to die yet free from the fling of death. 3. We are lia­ble to Sathans bitter buffetings, yet that evill one cannot touch us with his deadly blowes, Iohn 5. 18. 4. We are not exemp­ted from the grave; It must have us, but it may not hold us for ever.

6. How should we feare any thing, having fellowship with God, who hath all things?

To conclude therefore: For our comfort we may ascer­taine our selves, that having fellowship with the Father, wee shall have no good thing with-holden totally, fi­nally, without a supply if it be good for us. 1. Have we fel­lowship with the Father? Then shall we be invested with his Spirit, enriched with his graces, rewarded with his king­dome. 2. Have we fellowship with the Father? We need not feare either want of sufficiencies: want of counsell in di­stresse: want of comfort in cur extremities: want of grace in this life, or glory in that which is to come. 3. Have we fellowship with the Father? We have him therefore to be our friend, his Sonne our Spouse, his Spirit our comforter, his Angels our guard, his Saints our companions, and his crea­tures our servants. And doth not this minister (my bre­thren) superabundant consolation to all such, who have fel­lowship with the Father? All matter of comfort is included in this fellowship. Is an happy, an honourable, a pleasant, or profitable condition, matter of solace and rejoycing? Behold, here are all; for who more happy, who more honourable, who more pleasant or rich, then such who have fellowshippe with the Father?

CHAP. IIII. Ʋse 2. Reprehending wicked men.

Ʋse 2 WHy boast you so, you bragging Belials, terming your selves, and such who are birds of the same feather with you the onely goodfellowes? Whereas, were it possible to take away your dunghill scurrilities, quassing com­plements, ridiculous girings, obscoene ribauldries, irreligious tongue-smitings of men better then your selves, blasphemous oathes, and such like hellish stuffe, your time is irksome, and your mirth is marred. Why vaunt you so of your society, it being with Sathan and his cursed workes of darknesse? Here is a fellowship, which is truly good, because with God. Yours brings shame, this honour: Yours perils, this safety: Yours [Page 126] losse of time, of wealth, of wit, of credit, of soule, of heaven; this great gaine, interesting into earthly things, giving a full enjoyment of a sufficiencie of saving graces, and an assurance of immortall Glory: yours no sound comfort, this joy solid and substantiall; for it is with the father. In stead therefore of glorying in your sinne, take notice of your danger, folly, and duty.

1. Have the Saints fellowship with the Father, then in what a lamentable case are all such, who dare presume to abuse, and wrong those who a [...] so nearely indeared to the Lord? It was and will be the use and practise of Sathan, and his serpen­tine brood to esteeme of Gods Saints, as of the refuse and of­scouring of all things, 1. Cor. 4. 9. 13. to repute them monsters, Isa. 8. 18. Zach. 3. 8. Psal. 71. 7. To make them their songs, and byword, Iob 30. 9. in their ale-bench meetings, Psal. 69. 12. To accuse them falsely, lay to their charge things which they never knew, or some waies or other to tongue-smite the spotlesse innocency of the Lords owne jewels; and then with domineering insulations to laugh amaine, that they had a dexterity to conceive, give birth unto, or greater growth to the fabulous fictions of their base brotherhood against the Saints of God. But were such men well verst in the booke of God, they should finde that mocking Ishmaels, rayling Rab­shakehs, reviling Shimeies, scoffing Children, back biting Do­egs, slandering Tertullus, and all the Kennell of those doggish barkers against Gods Children, either for naturall infirmi­ties, 2. King. 2. 23. Or for pieties sake, Gen. 21. 19. Gal. 4. 19. Or for envie, Acts 21. 24. 28. escaped not the sharpe, and smarting punishments of the Lord? Witnesse those 42. chil­dren eaten by 2. beares, 2 King. 2. 24. Witnesse the sonne of the bondwoman cast out of the Church of God. Witnesse old Shimei, cruell Doeg. Witnesse 2. Chron. 36. 16. Ier. 18. 21. And doe you who treade in the same trace with that rayling rabble thinke to escape? Ioabs souldiour, if he might have re­ceived a thousand shekels of silver in his hand, yet would not put forth his hand against Absolom, 2. Sam. 18. 12. for had he, he should have wrought falsehood against his owne life. Haman [Page 127] for all his greatnesse dares not but honour Mordecai, al­though he hated him to the death, Ester 6. 11. because he was a man the King delighted to honour: Meane men feare to hurt, or harme the dearely beloved of great persons, dreading their displeasure. The children, yea the favourites, yea the servants of mortall Princes, deeme themselves greatly privi­ledg'd from danger, and disgrace: And dare you abase, and abuse, not a Mord [...]cai, not the sonnes, or favorites of mortall Princes; but such who have fellowship with the father? These are the Lords iewels, Mal. 3. 17. 1. Yea such, that he purcha­sed with his sonnes owne bloud, Ephes. 1. 14. the purchased possession. Men may give much for Iewels, but no man I think would give the life of a sonne, of an onely sonne, of such a one in whom he was well pleased, for any Iewell: the rich merchant sels all to buy a precious pearle, but not the life of an onely sonne: but these are such iewels that the Lord did buy at so deare a rate. 2. Yea such that he doth carefully keepe giving his angels charge over them, who pitch their tents about them, Psal. [...]4. 7. yea himselfe doth alwaies watch over them by his carefull providence, Psal. 121. 5. Are they so amiable, and lovely, so deare, and precious, so honou­rable, and glorious, so carefully kept, and defended with, and by the Lord: and dare you offer violence unto them? 2. These are the apple of Gods owne eye; doe you not tremble to strike at God himselfe, yea, at his eye, yea, at the apple of his eye, the tenderest part? 3. These are his peculiar people; his annointed ones, whom you may not touch so as to hurt, or offer the least violence vnto them, Psal. 105. 15. and pre­sume you to confront this divine sentence by wronging them what you can? 4. These are the Lords owne temples, 2. Cor. 6. 16. you are the temples of the living God, wherein the Word dwells plentifully, Col. 3. 16. yea the spirit of God, 2. Cor. 13. 5. yea the Lord himselfe, Ioh. 14. 23. And will you account them, and reproch them as the filth, and of-scouring of all things? 5. These are they, whom the Lord imbraceth with the most amiable amplexures, for he is in them, and they in him; and guardeth with the safest defence of a guard of Millions of [Page 128] Angels, and his owne watchfull providence. 6. These are they, who have alwaies free accesse into the courts of the King of heaven; where their Prayers, ayded, and framed by Gods Spirit, perfum'd, and offered by Christ Iesus, are sure to prevaile. 7. To conc [...]ude, these are they, who are all in all (with reverence be it spoken, and heard) with God, having fellowship with the Father. And darest thou, a man, whose breath is in thy nostrils, wrong them in heart, with thy tongue, or hand? Or if thy foole-hardy audacity dares doe so much (as impiety is adventurous) dost thou thinke to escape? No, no, in persecuting them, thou persecutest God; in tou­ching them, thou touch [...]st the apple of his eye, and in injuring them thou wrongest those who have fellowship with the Fa­ther.

2. Behold your excessive folly, and madnesse O you sonnes of Belial: well may you be called fooles, Psal. 14. 1. 73. 3. Prov. 8. 5. Nay are you not more foolish then all fooles, ea­gerly pursuing shadowes in stead of the substance; preferring drosse before gold, nisles, and trifles before treasure? Is not he a foole of all fooles, who preferres bondage before perfect freedome, the most abject condition before the noblest; are not you therefore Idiots in the highest degree; there being a fellowship affording honour unspeakeable, and unconceava­ble, abounding with variety of the greatest contentments, wanting no manner of consolation, more safe then heart can wish; overflowing with all good things, in which society there is perfect freedome, and more ineffable, and inestima­ble excellencies, then hearts or tongues of men and Angels are able to conceave▪ or vtt [...]r; for it is with the father. And yet you (shall I say like childish babyes? that's too too little, like naturall Idiots? that's not enough: like the beast that pe­risheth? surely worse: like madded Bedl [...]ms? that's not all: with Davids foole, say in your hearts there is no God, no such fellowship: or like Salomons foole, Pro. 13. 19. to whom it is an abomination to depart from evill, lay open your folly in preferring the cursed and irkesome by-waies of sinne, and impiety, and so the forbidden fellowship with the unfruitfull [Page 129] workes of darknesse, Eph. 5. 11. The society of spirituall fooles, whose companions shalbe destroyed, Prov. 13. 20. And therefore the society of Sathan before this excellent fel­lowship, which is with the Saints, and with the Father. You are ready to say and affirme, that Gods children are fooles, because they run not headlong with you to the same excesse of riot: But they know that you are fooles, in not associating your selves to their society, which is with the Father.

CHAP. V. Ʋse 3. Perswading to this Society of Saints.

Ʋse 3 IS there such a fellowship? Learne we all therefore to get, if we want; declare it, if we have fellowship with the Fa­ther. Could I direct you how to grow rich, how to get ho­nour how to live delicately, how to wallow in all worldly contentments; I doubt not but that ye would be all advised, some for one thing, some for another. Behold I have that here which will fit you all.

1. You merrie-men of the world, get you to be consorts in this society; and then although you shall part with worldly, wanton, wicked, sinfull, sensuall, and shamefull delights, yet shall you be sure to have superabounding joy, such, which is, 1. Great, Luc. 2. 10. 2. Exceeding, though in temptations, Iames 1. 2. Ʋnspeakable, 1 Pet. 1. 8. Ʋnconceiveable, 1 Cor. 2. 9 As at a conquest, as in harvest, Isai. 9. 3. As at a conti­nuall feast. In a word, fulnesse of joy, Ioh. 16. 11. Which shalbe everlasting, Isa. 61. 7.

2. You covetous persons; hitherto you have endeavoured to quench your extreame thirst by drinking such brinish wa­ters, which increase it more; do you henceforwards covet after the best things, 1 Cor. 12. 31. Desire spirituall blessings, and heavenly glory? Get to have this goodfellowship, then all are yours, 1 Cor. 3. 21. Whether Paul,—or the world, &c. Verse [...]2.

3. You climbing ambitious spirits, who beat about how to [Page 130] nest your selves alost; get you to be of this goodfellowship, then are you mounted higher then you imagine. Is the being of a Kings favourite the pitch and period of your desires? Or is a kingdome that which you so thirst after? Is the being sonnes unto Kings the utmost of your wish? Neither these, nor any other honours can be wanting to you, if you have fel­lowship with the Father. Seeke we therefore first, and princi­pally the kingdome of heaven, this excellent fellowship, then shall we have honours, ric [...]es, delights, and all other things whatsoever desireable. Be perswaded therefore, for I per­swade, but for your good.

CHAP. VI. Shewing th [...] first meanes to, and duty of this Society.

TO abandon, and abominate sinne, and iniquity, to have1. Meanes. Duty. no fellowship with the fruitlesse workes of darknesse. God is righteous, sinne is unrighteousnesse, and these two have no fellowship; God is light, sinne is darknesse, and these have no communion, 2 Corinth. 6. 14. When Io­seph was to come out of the dungeon to stand before Pharaoh, he shaved himselfe, and changed his raiment, Gen. 41. 14. How much more, when we desire to come, not before Pha­raoh, but Pharaohs God: not to stand before him, but to have fellowship with him, ought we to strip our selves of our prison rags, the filthy and nasty weeds of corruption, and fil­thinesse. Considering, that if We say we have fellowship with him, and walke in darknesse, we lie, and do not the truth, 1 Ioh. 1. 6. What, and if such men, who sit in darknesse, and sha­dow of death, remaining and abiding secure in the estate of sinne and wretchednesse, Luc. 1. 79. What and if those who are lovers of darknesse, taking full pleasure and delight in un­beliefe and sinne, Iohn [...]. 9. What and if even they who walk in darknesse, 1 Ioh. 1. 6. Leading a sinfull life, yea such a kind of life as they do, which shun and flie the light of the Word. What if those, who are under the power of darknesse, Col. 1. [Page 131] 13. The dominion and sway which sinne and Sathan doe beare over unregenerate persons. What and if the whole in­fernall rabble of that hellish rout who are under Sathan the ring-leader of all wicked men, therefore called the Prince of darknesse, Eph. 6. 12. are very obstreperous, exclaiming with the loudest out-cries against all such who question their society with God; they having ever in a readinesse, Lord, Lord. At what time soever, &c. They are men of good mea­ning, although they are not bookish▪ They have a sure beliefe in God: They love God above all▪ and their neighbour as them­selves: God they hope did not make them to damne them; all men are sinners as well as themselves: They hope to be saved be­fore, or as soone as the strictest Saint-seeming Puritanes of them all. These and such like traditionary conceipts being in their shallow apprehensions sufficient to quiet their guilty consci­ences from ever accusing them; to put to silence and make mute those cutting conclusions, and peremptory propositi­ons of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 6. 9. 10. Neither fornicators, &c. Gal. 5. 19, 20, 21. An Antidote sufficient to counterpoyse a­gainst the poysonfull venome of their infectious impieties. A paime [...]t equivalent to countervaile the numberlesse debts of their hainous enormities. And graces availeable to equalize them with the Saints, and annexe them firmely to this Divine Society, which is with the Father. Yet I humbly intreate and beseech, yea I charge and command in the name of the Lord Iehouah all you who either hope for, have, or hunger af­ter this Coelestiall Society, to have no fellowship with the fruitlesse works of darknesse, to forsake and flee from sinne and iniquity.

Sinne is darknesse. Rom. 13. 12. Cast off the workes of Mot. 1. darknesse. Eph. 5. 11. Fruitlesse workes of darknesse. 1 Thes. 5. 4. Not in darknesse. Darknesse it is, in respect of its author who is the Prince of darknesse. 2. Of its fountaine, the darke heart of man. 3. Of the nature of the nature of its au­thor, he hates the light. 4. Of the time wherein done, the night: 1 Thes. 5. 7. Of its fruits, eternall darknesse. Wicked men are walkers in darknesse, 1 Ioh. 1. 6. Yea, such wayes of [Page 132] darknesse, that I am altogether ignorant whereunto to resem­ble it. Should I paralell it with Cimerean darknesse, that no whit comparable, it being occasioned by the farre distance of the Sunne from that place and people; and so but naturall, an absence of light naturall; this by the absence of the splendent rayes of the rich, and radiant graces of the Sunne of righte­ousnesse, therefore a spirituall darknesse, containing the fearefull estate of unbeleevers in this world. Or with that Aegyptian plague of darknesse which was palpable? There is no comparison; by that their bodily eyes were blinded, by this of the soule, 2 Cor. 4. 4. That was but for a short time of continuance, this otherwise. That kept them from moo­ving, this hoodwinks and infatuates them so, that although they go, yet whither, they know not, 1 Ioh. 2. 11. But in God is no darknesse at all, 1 Ioh. 1. 5.

2 Sinne is death. Math. 8. 22. Let the dead burie their dead. Eph. 2. 12. Dead in trespasses and sinnes. 5. 14. Arise from the dead. 1 Tim 5. 6. Dead while she lives. 1 Ioh. 3. 14. Passed from death. Well may sinne be called death. 1. It deser­ving death. 2. Causing death, Rom. 5. 12. 3. Being odious to a living soule, as death to a living man. 4. Bitter as death. 5. It disabling the soule from well-doing. And 6. destroying as death. But God is life, 1 Ioh. 1. 2. Is it a grounded axi­ome.Omne dissimile est in sociabile. That every dissimilitude is insociable? Do we all know that light and darknesse can never accord; but the one is ever a privation of the other? Doth experience daily declare unto us, that there is not the least society betwixt living and dead bodies, although of the most intimate confederates? Al­though the one a most compassionate mother, the other an en­tirely affected child. Yea, although of the lovingest mates that ever were linked in the sacred bonds of conjugall socie­ty: But the living, as disjoyned from the dead, parts them away by a speedy interring them in the earth. And is it pos­sible (think for God and sin (twixt whom there is the greatest repugnancy) to accord? Can any so much as dreame of (yet dreames are but dreames) having fellowship with those fruitlesse workes of darknesse, which are dead works, [Page 133] yea, death it selfe; and with the Lord of light and life?

3 Sinne doth inkindle the wrathfull indignation of the ire­full sinne-revenging God, making him so sore displeased, that he threw downe Angels from his heavenly habitations into that infernall lake of endlesse woe; exil'd our first parents out of Eden, that Paradise of God; brake up the fountaines of the great deepe, and opened the floud-gates of heaven, and de­stroyed all flesh wherein was the breath of life, those few ex­cepted which were in the Arke. Destroyed utterly Sodome, The Lake So­dome 180 fur­longs which is 22. miles of ours in length. [...]50, in bredth which is 18. of our miles as some say, some more, Ios Weissen­big. It hath no out-let or disburdening Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim with fire and brimstone from heaven. In a word, sinne is that which provokes the Lord to send upon a people or person his numberlesse and insupporta­ble plagues and punishments: hence come noysome beasts, hence dolefull captivities, hence destroying pestilences, hence famine so tragicall, yea all other greater or lesser temporall tortures: Hence blindnesse of mind, hardnesse of heart, perti­nacious obstinacy, finall impenitency, yea all those endlesse, easelesse, hopelesse, helplesse torments of eternall damnation, where their worme never dyeth, and their fire is not quench­ed, of which those other are but vaunt-courers or fore-run­ners. And can we have fellowship with God, except we aban­don iniquity thinke we?

4 Sinne is that traiterous Iudas, corrupt Pilate, perfidious perjurers, bloud-thirsty Iewes, and torturing executioners; yea, as the thornes, whips, nailes, mockings, buffettings, spit­tings, and speare, wherewith the head, backe, and cheekes so tender, and lovely were bloudily and barbarously gored; the harmelesse innocency derided and calumniated; yea, the hearts bloud of the Sonne of God more worth then millions of worlds spilt upon the earth. This is that which grieves, despights, and quencheth the Spirit of God. And can we per­swade our selves of having fellowship with the Father, if we de­light in sinne, which crucifies the Sonne, and grieves, if not wholly quencheth, and despighteth the Holy Ghost.

5 Sinne transformes men into monsters, making them Scor­pions, Ezek. 2. 6. Vipers, Math. 3. 7. Cokatrices and Spiders, Isa. 59. 5. Dogges, swine, and such like foule and filthy crea­tures. [Page 134] Ignatius saith, I sight valiantly with beasts in Assyria e­ven [...] to Rome, not that I am devoured by bruit beasts. For these as you know, God willing [...]ared Daniel. But of beasts bearing [...], in whom that cruell beast doth [...], which doth daily sting and wound me. St. Chrysostome saith, Sometimes he calleth them [...] for their saw [...]inesse and violence: sometimes horses, for their lust: sometimes asses for their sottishnesse and ignorance: sometimes lions and libards, for their ravening end covetousnesse of having: sometimes also aspes, for their guile: oftentimes serpents and v [...]pers, for their secret poison and ma­lice. The way therefore to have fellowship with the Fath [...]r, cannot b [...]y delighting in that which Metamorphoseth men into such monstrous shapes.

6 It is the pr [...]per object of the Lords, and ought to be the [...] object of mans hatred, Psal. 5. 5. Thou hatest all workers (much more the workes) of iniquity, 45. 7. T [...] hatest wic­ [...], Rev. 2. 6. That hatest,— [...] I also hate; yea, with such an utter [...], that it makes him [...] his owne creatures excellent by creation, as Devils and wicked men; his owne Ordina [...]ces, as New Moones and Sabbaths, Isa. 1. 15. And prayer [...]. If therefore we desire fellowship with the [...], we must [...] and avoid it.

7 It's directly [...] to the honour and glory of God, his will and workes, being a transgression of his most holy Lawes.

8 In fine, Who is the Father of it? Sathan, Ioh. 8. 41. Math. 13. 28. The workes of your father you will do. What is the mo­ther to conceive and bring it fort [...]? Mans corrupt soule. What is the fruit of it? Separation from God. What is the reward? Eternall death, R [...]m. [...]. 2 [...]. And can we imagine to enjoy f [...]llowship with the Father, and iniquity? Such who thinke so, are deceived, those who say so, lye, and the truth is not in them, 1 Ioh. 1. 6. If we say, &c. Let us therefore who desire fellowship with the Father, [...]ave no fellowship with the [Page 135] fruitlesse workes of darknesse, Ephes. 5. 11. and cast we off the unprofitable workes of darknesse, Rom. 13. 12.

CHAP. VII. The second meanes and duty, Sinners Societie to bee shunned.

HAve we or desire we fellowship with the Father; then2. Meanes, Duty. avoid society with Gods enemies. The blessed man (consequently those of this association) walke not in the way,—sit not,—stand not, &c. Psal. 1. 1. The Citizen of Sion who is directly one of these consorts, may and must thinke vilely of the vile person, and with his eyes, counte­nance, and gesture declare it, Psal. 15. 4. affording no more then civill courtesie, and that with some dislike, declared to­wards equalls, honouring authority, vilely esteeming of the persons of superiours if the sonnes of Belial; for these have two persons: 1 their owne, 2 anothers, scil. the Lords as they are his deputies. Godly David hated such, who hated God (such are all wicked men, Exod. 20. 5. Rom. 1. 30. either openly or secretly) Psal. 139. 21. yea with perfect hatred, accounting them his enemies, being enemies to his God. And King Iehosaphat was sharply reprooved by the Prophet Iehu, and severely punished by the Lord for helping the un­godly, loving them which hated God, 2. Chron. 19. 2. scil. for ioyning in fellowship with wicked Ahab; so that he would be as he was, his people as Ahabs, and would be with him in the warre, 1. King. 18. 3.

Is it needfull (O you blissefull goodfellowes) to disswade youDissw. 1. from intimate society with wicked men? I perswade my selfe, you know full well their pestiferous pedigree; what, and whence it is, you being well acquainted in the Word of life, cannot be ignorant that they are, 1. Children of this world, Luk. 16. 8. and the friendship of this world is emnity with God, Iam. 4. 4. 2. Children of disobedience, Ephes. 2. 2. therefore distastfull. 3. Children of Belial, 1. Sam. 2. 12. therefore lo [...]th­some. [Page 136] 4. Children of the divell▪ Iohn 8. 44. therefore hate­full to God. 5. Children of wrath, therefore abhorred of the Lord. 6. Children of hell, Matth. 23. 13. therefore fitter for fellowship with damned Divels, then the associates of the Lord of Glory.

Yet view them well in the spotlesse Christalline glasse of Gods Word, and there you shall see clearely deciphered in lively colours, the loathsomnesse of those base compani­ons.

1. Would you see what beasts they be? Scripture calls them 2 Tim 4. 17. Lyons, and they are savage: Isa. 11 7. Beares, and they are cruell: Ezek 29. 3. Dragons, and they are hideous: Mat. 10. 16. Dogs, and they are bloody: Mat. 10. 16. Wolves, and they are truculent.

2. Desire you a sight of their venemous serpentine nature? have you ever heard of the sevenfeeted tormenting tayle-kil­ling Scorpion? such are they, Rev. 9. 3. 5. 10. or the damme destroying Ʋipers? such are they, Mat. 3. 7. Have you ever heard of the dreadfull Basiliske, killing man and beast with its breath and sight? these are no lesse, Isai 11. 8. 59. 5. Or of the poysonfull venemous Aspe? these are such. I need not tell you of the poysonous nature of the Spider, its knowne to all; and these likewise are such, Isa. 59. 5.

3. Consider that the Word of truth stiles them. 1. Thorns, and 2. Briars, Isa. 10. 17. 27. 4. 55. 13. Ezek. 2. 6. Micah. 7. 4. 3. Thistles, Matth. 7. 6. 4. Brambles, Iudg. 9. 14. 5. Stubble, Iob 21. 18. 6. Evill trees, Matth. 12. 33.

4. No marvaile though such holy men as Vpon Psal. 6. Mun [...] excre [...]enta Bucer, called them the excrements of the world, Scripture terming them.

1. Sordid, dirt of the streete, Psal. 18. 42. and no marvaile: for,

1. As dirt, the more it is stirred the more it stinketh; so these.

2. As dirt is neither good for manure, nor morter field, nor towne; so these are neither good for God, nor men, Church, nor Common-wealth.

[Page 137]3. As dirt is hurtfull, and noysome to man, and beast; so these to all about them, who fare the worse for their sakes.

2. Vnprofitable Chaffe, blowne away with the winde, Psal. 1. 4. and to be burnt with unquenchable fire, Matth. 3. 12. For as Chaffe is light, so are 1 These in weight, Dan. 5. 27. found too light: 2 In worth; for they are little, yea, no­thing worth: 3 In conversation, their mind, will, deeds, words being inconstant: 4 In condition, for all their honour, and pleasure, &c. is but vaine.

3. Noysome dust swept away with the besome of Gods judgements, Psal. 18. 42. as the dust before the winde, being 1 Vnstable, and light: 2 Barren of good workes: 3 Dry, de­void of grace, and the sweet distilling dew of Gods Spirit, as dust is light, dry, and barren.

4. Contagious drosse, Ezek. 22. 18, 19. become drosse, Psal. 119. 117. and not undeservedly: they 1. Labouring to darken, and obscure the righteous, as drosse doth gold. 2. Striving to corrupt, and infect them by mixing them­selves with them. 3. Falling from them in the fiery tri­all. 4. Cast away into perdition, when severed from them.

5. Stinking smoake, Psal. 68. 2. Isa. 65. 5. Hos. 13. 3. and justly too: for 1. They endeavour, to climbe, and mount aloft as smoake doth. 2. They are soonest gone when they get to the highest, as smoake is. 3. They seeke to choake, smoother, and stifle the righteous, as smoake, &c.

6. Should I say they are as the loathsome excrementiti­ous scumme, I have my warrant in sacred writ, Ezek. 24. 6.

Imagine wee a man compos'd of the naughtinesse of all hurtfull creatures; give him the bloud-thirsty nature of a Ly­on, Beare, Dog, and Dragon; give him the tormenting taile of a stinging Scorpion; the venemous teeth of a gnawing Vi­per; the virulent breath, and dreadfull sight of an eye killing Cockatrice; farce his bowels with the poyson of Aspes, and the venime of Spiders: go to an hedge of thornes, briars and [Page 138] brambles, and a bed of thistles, and thence extract the hurtfull properties of these evill plants, and adde them to this mon­ster; heape on the stinking, loathsome, and vnprofitable con­ditions of the most loathsome scumme, canker-eaten drosse, suffocating smoake, sterilous dust, and contaminating dirt. The wicked man is this compacted monster; and therefore an unmeete associate for a Saint, for such a one who hath, or de­sireth fellowship with the Father.

CHAP. VIII. The third meanes and duty, We must be like God.

WOuld we communicate in this community; we must3. Meanes. Duty. endeavour to be like the Lord. Similitude is a fa­stening linke to conglutinate Societies, which all delight in, such who are most like themselves: hence it is, that birds of a [...] f [...]ather flie together; like master like man. If thou wilt mar­ry, marry thy like, saith the Poet, and that friendship is the plea­santest which likenesse of conditions hath linked together, saith the hear [...]en Oratour; and Saint Iohn tells us expressely, there must be a congruence in this consociety, 1 Iohn 1. 7. If we walke in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with an [...]ther. Be we therefore followers of God as deare Children, Ephes. 5. 1.

1. In holinesse, 1. Pet. 1. 15. as he which hath called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation, ver. 16. Because it is written, be you holy as I am holy. True it is, God only is ho­ly, i. e. infinitely pure, and righteous; yet the Saints are holy al­so, i. e. separate from sinne, and corruption, unperfectly here, most perfectly hereafter in heaven.

2. In a godly remuneration, rendering love for hatred, be­nedictions for execrations, good turnes for bad, prayers for persecutions, Matth. 5. 44, 45. That we may be Children of our father, for he makes his sunne, &c.

3. In a pitifull compassionatenesse, easily mooved to grieve at the miseries of others, and to succour them, Luke 6. 6. Be [Page 139] you therefore mercifull, as your heavenly father is mercifull, Col. 3. 12. put you on as the &c.

4. In perfection, Matth. 5. 48. Be you therefore perfect as your father in heaven is perfect; not as if we could be without sinne, as doting fantasticke Familists averre; or keepe the whole law as superstitious Antichristian Papists avowe. For Scripture, and each mans enlightened conscience witnesse the contrary. But 1. Comparatively in regard of the weake and wicked. 2. In regard of parts being sanctified in every part, and power of soule and body, to every duty concerning them in some measure; So that there is an upright judgement in the minde, an honest heart, a sincere, and good consci­ence.

5. In walking in the light, 1. Iohn 1. 7. If we walke in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another; and this we may doe by following Gods Word, as our guide in our travaile to eternall blessednesse. Let Sathans hellish brood doe the workes of their father the divell, walke foot by foot in those cursed paths which Sathan hath traced out unto them: viz. in the darke, and damned waies of swea­ring, lying, cursing, &c. and so demonstrate to the whole world, that themselves have fellowship with the divell. Let cavelling carpers deeme these sayings hard and harsh Pa­radoxes, peremptorily concluding it to bee altogether im­possible for any man to be holy, mercifull, perfect, &c. as the father in heaven is. Yet let all such, who already have, or de­sire to enjoy fellowship with the Father, conforme them­selves unto him in the Scripture sense, which speakes not of equality, but similitude, endeavouring to bee holy, loving, mercifull, and perfect; as a staggering childe may imitate a mighty man: This sanctity, perfection, and such like excel­lencies of all the glorified Saints that are, or shall be, being no more in comparison of this unparalel'd holinesse, and perfecti­on of God, then the dimme, and duskish light of a pinking candle, compared with the splendent lustre of the radiant sun, enlightned moone, and glistering starres.

CHAP. IX. The fourth meanes and duty, is prayer to God.

HAve we or desire we fellowship with the father; delight4. Meanes. Duty. we then to speake to him in prayer, and rejoyce to heare him speake to us in the ministery of the Word. What so­ciety where intercourse of speech is wanting? every col­league in each community will acknowledge society, and mu­tuall exchange of speech to be inseperable; and that it is one way to connexe men firmely in a friendly fellowship. A word of each.

1. Should I say, prayerlesse persons are gracelesse, I have my warrant, Zach. 12. 10. the spirit of grace, and prayer being joynt companions.

2. Should I terme them godlesse Atheists, who can justly contradict me? not to pray, being one of those markes, where­with men foolish, and without God are branded out, Psal. 14. 4.

3. May I not confidently affirme such to have cast off the feare of the Lord, restraining prayers before God, Iob 15. 8.

4. May I not pronounce peremptorily, prayerlesse persons to be destitute of the spirit of adoption: Saint Paul testifying that the Saints have received the spirit of adoption, whereby they cry Abba father, Rom. 8. 15. And can a prayerlesse person (he wanting gods grace, his feare, the true God and his blessed Spirit) have fellowship with the Father?

Moreover, doe many people pray to no purpose, asking and not receiving, because they aske amisse, Iam. 4. 3. their prayers being pinnioned that they cannot mount aloft into the eares of the Lord of Sabbaths. 1. By grosse pollutions, Isa. 1. 15. I will not heare because your hands are full of bloud. 2. By disobedience to the voice of God in the ministery of his Word, Zach, 7. 13. therefore—as he cryed and they would not heare, so they cryed and I would not heare saith the Lord of [Page 141] hoasts. 3. By impenitency, Iob. 9. 31. God heareth not sinners. 4. By regarding iniquity in their hearts, Psal. 66. 18. 5. By [...], Prov. 23. 13. He that stops his eares at the crie of the poore, shall crie himselfe and not be heard. 6. By crueltie, Micah 3. 4. Then shall crie, &c. 7. By painted hy­pocrisie, Math. 6. 5. 8. By faithlesse infidelity, Iam. 1. 6. 7. 9. By pharisaicall selfe-conceitednesse, Luke 18. 11. 14. 10. By blind ignorance, Mat. 20. 22. You aske you, &c. 11. By malicious envy, Math. 6. 15. If you forgive not. 12. By pray­ing for those things which are impious, unjust, hurtfull, im­possible, needlesse, or otherwise not to be prayed for. It stands us in hand therefore, if we either have, or desire to have fellowship with the Father, not onely to pray, but so to pray as we are directed in the Word of truth. viz.

1. With a fore-thinking premeditation of the weighti­nesse of that important duty we are going about, our owne weaknesse and worthinesse, and the dreadfull Majesty of the Lord to whom we pray: thus we are commanded to take words and turne to the Lord, Hos. 14. 3. Thus dealt the peni­tent prodigall, Luke 15. 17. 8. I will go to my father, and say, father, I have sinned, &c.

2. With a sincere purity of heart, Heb. 10. 22. Let us draw neare, &c. I know it is impossible for man to be pure, save on­ly, 1. In regard of former times of unregeneration. 2. In re­gard of their desires and endeavours. 3. In regard of other men, scil. sonnes of Belial.

3. With a lowly and submisse humility: thus did the fa­ther of the faithfull pray, stiling himselfe dust and ashes, Gen. 18 27. That prevailing Canaanitish woman petitioner, Math. 15. 27. Truth Lord, yet the dogges; &c. Luc. 18. 11, 12. God be mercifull to me a sinner, Thus are we all commanded, Psal. 95. 6. Let us bowe, &c.

4. With knowledge and understanding, 1 Cor. 14. 14, 15. I will pray with understanding.

5. With a faithfull assurance that our prayers shalbe gran­ted. What els meaneth the Apostle St. Iames, 1. 6. 7. Let him aske in faith. Saint Paul, 1 Tim. 2. 8. Without doubting. And [Page 142] our Saviour Christ, Math. 21. 22. All things whatsoever you aske in Prayer, believing.

6. With zealous earnestnesse, Iames 5. 16. Cold prayers lose their fruit and force.

7. With hearts reconciled to God by true repentance, Isa. 1. 16.

8. With hearts reconciled to our brethren by brotherly love, and condonation, Math. 6. 14.

9. With an unwearied constancy, Crying day and night, Luc. 10. 7. Holding him fast till he blesse us, Gen. 32. 28. And never giving over untill we prevaile, Math. 15. 22, 23. & 28.

10. In the name and mediation of Christ Iesus, the sole Sa­viour of mankind, and the alone Mediator between God and man, 1 Tim. 2. 5. Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name, &c. Iohn 16. 23.

11. For things agreeable to Gods will, 1 Iohn 5. 14. viz. For things which are good, holy, lawfull, possible, profitable, and needfull.

Prayer thus qualified is good and acceptable in the sight of God, 1 Tim. 2. 3. Is an extraordinary (yea beyond imagina­tion) prevailer with the Lord in the courts of heaven: bring­ing such who effectually use it, to salvation, Rom. 10. 13, 14. And therefore to an happy enjoyment of fellowship with the Father.

CHAP. X. The fift Meanes and Duty is hearing of Gods Word.

DEsire we with the most earnest longings, strive we a­maine5. Meanes, Duty. with our utmost endeavours to heare the Lord speake to us in his Word, and delight we extraordinarily in such desires and endeavours.

This is the word of Gods grace, Acts 20. 32. 1. CommingMot. 1. from Gods grace. 2. Shewing Gods grace. 3. Working grace in those who believe and obey it.

2 2. This is the Word of faith, Rom. 10. 8. 1. Requiring faith to believe it. 2. Teaching what faith is. 3. Begetting and strengthening the same. Rom. 10. 17.

3 3. This is the Word of life. Iohn 6. 68. Thou hast the Word of eternall life. 1. Begetting a Spirituall life, 1 Pet. 1. 23. 2. Nourishing and strengthening our Spirituall life, 1 Pet. 2. 2. And 3. Offering eternall life, Iohn 5. 35.

4 4. This is the Word of salvation, Acts 13. 26. In regard of its fruits and effects, declaring to us the way of salvation.

5 5. This is the Word of reconciliation, 2 Cor. 5. 19. 1. Shew­ing how men are reconciled to God. 2. Instrumentally wor­king the same reconciliation betwixt God offended, and man offending. And therefore a speciall meanes to obtaine fel­lowship with the Father. Let not the examples of the world, whose desires after the enjoying of transitory delights, and momentany treasures are boundles, and their endeavors end­lesse, no whit at all, or very litle regarding this heavenly voice of the Lord of glory; neither let the strange and preposterous practice of diverse greater persons (whose use was ordinary to have Thursday meetings for bowling; but not Friday for hearing; thus sleighting, if not contemning the Divine Or­dinance of God) alienate or estrange your longing desires from this saving and reconciling Word of God.

1. Say not you (my beloved brethren) you could heare with all reverence and diligence, might it please the Lord himselfe to speake to us. For 1. should the Lord himselfe speake from heaven, you durst not heare, Exod. 20. 19. Could not they? And can you? 2. For the Lord doth speake by us his Ministers, as Kings by Ambassadours, 2 Cor. 5. 20.

2. Say not with your selves, I could willingly heare, was the Messenger this or that famous man; but such, and such are meane and base fellowes in mens esteeme. For were not the Prophets and Apostles so accounted of? Yet they were to be heard: and we see it is the good pleasure of God to save them that believe by the foolishnesse of preaching, 1 Cor. 10. 21. Foolishnesse, not in regard of it selfe, but in the opinion of worldly men; Yet is it the savour of death unto death, or of [Page 144] life unto life, 2 Cor. 2. 16. But be it they are meane, yet they being Gods mouth, heare them. Is gold or silver of greater weight or worth out of a parse of velvet deckt with curious imbroiderings, then out of a plaine or homely pouch of lea­ther? May not meat be as pleasing to the palate, as whol­some in the stomack, and as nourishing to the body of an hun­gry man out of a clean earthen or woodden platter, as out of a plate of silver? Doth not a candle shine as bright and profitably from of a plain woodden candlestick, as from of another made of the purest gold, and framed after the most curious forme the exactest skill of the cunningest artificer could invent? And shall the Lords Word, better then thousands of gold or silver; the most nourishing meate of each sanctified soule: a light to the feet, and a lanterne to the paths of godly men, suffer losse or diminution of its peerlesse valuation; be disabled from nourishing the new-borne Christian babes that they may grow thereby; Or have its more then sun-like light (for that cannot guide to heaven) ecclipsed by the meannesse of the messenger?

3. Say not (my brethren) I cannot heare such or such, they being reputed naughty men. It was, we know, the portion of Eliah, Ieremie, Paul, Iohn Baptist, and our Saviour Christ, (that man without sin, the best Preacher that ever spake up­on earth) to be accounted pestilent fellowes, troublers of states, ring▪ leaders of Sectaries, deceivers of the people, and therefore not to be heard. No marvell therefore though the envious man still strives to ecclipse the brightest lights, and to darken their bright shining rayes of sincere Doctrine, and soundnesse of life, by some hellish exhalations of slanderous imputations, drawne out of the misting fogs of the dunghill dispositions of earthly worldlings by the heat of malice, pride, and passion; and to deface their blamelesse innocency, and the most up­right, and conscionable cariages in their callings with the stai­ning ti [...]cture of contentious faction, hellish maliciousnesse, base covetousnesse, opinionative pride, or some such like vile diffamations obnubilating, and obscuring these shining can­dles, to this end and purpose, that others might fall and never [Page 145] rise againe. But what, and if the messenger be a man of infa­mous rank (as alas there are too many such) yet let us regard his Doctrine which is of God: An authenticall Proclamation loseth nothing of its authority by the promulgation of a de­boist Officer. Eliahs food was acceptable to him although un­cleane ravens were his servitours: and I thinke none of us will refuse currant coine comming from the hands of sloven­ly or bad companions. And shall not we heare the Scribes and Pharisies sitting in Moises chaire, Math. 23. 1, 2, 3. Be­cause they say and do not. But argue thus with your selves. 1. Since no flesh can heare God and live, Exod. 20. 19. 2. Since it is impossible, and against the pleasure of Christ, that he should preach againe in his manhood. 3. Since it's no wayes warrantable to expect preaching by Angels, there be­ing no such precept or practice. 4. Since it's not only impos­sible, but unprofitable (for those who will not, &c. Neither will they believe though one come from the dead, Luc. 16. 31.) to have a teacher come from the dead. 5. Since (though it were to be wished that none but good men did preach the Word) we must regard, not so much who speakes, as what is spoken, we resolve to heare Gods voice in the ministery of the Word.

1. Not spider-like, striving to sucke poison from the swee­test flowers, Scribe-like seeking with poysoned hearts to en­trappe the preacher, as if we came to mend him, not our selves.

2. Not Athenian-like, itchingly desiring novelties, new texts, new Teachers, not seeking for grace, but newes to feed our vaine and fond curiosity.

3. Not unprofitably, like riven vessels, which receive plen­ty of water, yet leake out all.

4. Nor obstinately, like the pertinacious stiffe-necked Iewes who resolutely answered, they would not hearken, Ierem. 44. 10. But with a serious Christian preparation, dili­gent attention, post-consideration, and practice, the end of hearing. This word of God offering health to the sicke, liber­ty to the bond, life to the dead. It having whatsoever is de­sireable, [Page 146] whether profit, surpassing gold; or delight, sweeter then hony. And it being a word of reconciliation, so a meanes to obtaine fellowship with the Father where it is wanting, and a necessary duty for all such who have fellowship with the Father, delightfully to heare God speake to them in his Word.

CHAP. XI. The sixt Meanes and Duty is, Seeking the Lord.

HAve the Saints such a fellowship? Seeke we the Lord, that6. Meanes. Duty. we also may have fellowship with the Father. For, the Lord will not forsake them that seeke him, Psal. 9. 10. This is neither the last, nor the least meanes to obtaine society with the Lord. The Holy Ghost in many places frequently incul­cating this duty, stirring us up to seeke the Lord, directs, and guides us how, and presseth us forward to get communion with the Father. For what is it to seeke the Lord, save to seeke the love and favour, fellowshippe and fruition of the Lord? And how shall we get communion with the Lord, bet­ter, then by seeking the Lord? viz. Seeking to know him, seeking to obey him, that we may enjoy him? Sociall combinati­ons are not compacted til after former, fervent, and frequent seeking. Courtly dignities, country offices if of profit, meet mates for mariages, friendly companions, who sticke closer then brethren; arts, and sciences, health, liberty, wisedome wealth, yea, grace, and glory, therefore fellowship with the Father, if wanting, must be sought that they may be had. Seeke we therefore to pacifie, to please, that so we may pos­sesse the Lord, or have fellowship with the Father.

Man. 1 Oh, seeke him therefore, and that, 1. Sincerely and unfai­nedly, Deut. 4. 29. If thou seeke the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seeke him with all thy heart, and with all thy soule. 1 Chron. 22. 19. Set your heart, and your soule to seeke the Lord your God. Ier. 29. 13. Ye shall seeke me, and find me, when you shall seeke me with all your heart.

2 2. Fervently and earnestly, Isa. 26. 9. With my soule have I desired thee, with my spirit within me will I seeke thee,—with all thy heart and soule.

3 3. Humbly and submissively, Zeph. 2. 3. Seeke the Lord, ye meeke of the earth.

4 4. Timely and seasonably. Isa. 55. 6. Seeke the Lord while he may be found. Prov. 8. 17. Those who seeke me early, shall find me.

5 5. Constantly and painefully. Prov. 2. 4. Seeking him as silver, and searching for him as for hidden treasures. Seeke we therefore, and that;

Meanes 1 1. By godly meditation. Cant. 3. 1. By night on my bed I sought, &c.

2 2. By unfained faith. Heb. 11. 6. He that commeth to God must believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seeke him.

3 3. By true repentance. Acts 17. 27. Seeke the Lord,—30. ever,—repent.

4 4. By humility, Zeph. 2. 3. Seeke the Lord all ye meeke.

5 5. By searching the Scriptures. Iohn 5. 27. Search the Scriptures, &c.

6 6. By Christian conference. Cant. 6. 1. Whither,—that seeke, Zach. 8. 21.

If moving inducements will prevaile, behold

Mot. 1 1. The Soveraigne mandate of the Lord of Hosts. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts unto the house of Israel, seek you me, Isa. 55. 6. Acts 5. 4.

2 2. The Lords pronenesse and easinesse to be found, 2 Chron. 15. 4. 15. But when—and sought him, he was found of them.

3 3. The perill and danger depending upon the neglect here­of. Ier. 10. 21. The Pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord, therefore they shall not prosper, and their flocks shalbe scattered. Ezra 8. 22. His wrath is against them that for­sake him.

4 4. The superabundant promises which are made to those who seek him. Deu. 4. 29. Ier. 29. 12, 13, 14. You shall find me, &c.

5. The profitable advantages redounding to all those who rightly seeke the Lord are very large and many. As for example.

1. R [...]st on every side from enemies, 2 Chron. 14. 7. Be­cause, &c.

2. The hand of the Lord is with them for good who seeke him, Ezra 8. 22.

3. They shall never be forsaken who seeke God, Psal. 9. 10.

4. They shall want no good thing, Psal. 34. 10.

5. The Lord is good to the soule which seeketh him, Lam. 3. 23

6. They shall live that seek God, Amos. 5 6.

Instigate and stirre up your selves to seeke the Lord with these, or such like meditations as these foure following.

1. Shall the Centurions servant go, and come, do this and that, at his Masters bidding? Ought all servants to obey the injunctions of their Maisters in all things, scil. which are law­full, and not gainsaid by higher authority, and shall we refuse to obey the Divine and heavenly precept of the Lord, whose will the creatures readily fulfill, although it thwart and crosse the order of nature; fire ceasing to burne, lions laying aside their ravening disposition, waters becomming unpaflable, an asse speaking, ravens officiously serving a Prophet, and those swift runners in the firmament standing still, the one upon Gibeon, the other in the valley of Aijalon: and shall we dis­obey an edict so just and profitable, of a God so gracious and powerfull?

2. Will the adventurous Merchant seeke for pearles; the resolute souldier for honourable conquest, hardly, if ever at­tained? And shall we neglect to seeke the Lord so easily found, if rightly sought?

3. Are all such lyable to the dreadfull wrath of God, who neglect this duty? And shall we incurre such fearefull plagues?

4. Are the Lords gracious promises so ample and rich? His rewards graunted to such as seeke him unspeakable for number and valuation? And shall we refuse them? No, no, since the Lord hath commanded us by his authority (then which none more Soveraigne) to do a thing neither impos­sible, [Page 149] nor difficult, the neglect whereof being perillous; the performance whereof being very profitable; we resolve hereafter through the assistance of his grace (although world­ly men with desires insatiable as hell, seeke for either new­fangled toyes, as the fantastique fashion-monger; excessive dainties, as the gourmandising glutton; undeserved renowne, as the ambitiously insolent; earthly pelfe, as the dunghill Mammonist, or such like idle, and unprofitable, if not hurt­full things.) to seeke the saving knowledge of God, of absolute necessity, of excellent dignity, and unspeakable utility, to seeke the love, and favour of God, being both free, and great, tender, everlasting, and unparalel'd, by obeying him. So will we seeke that we may know him; that knowing we may obey him; that knowing and obeying, we may enjoy him. That thus seeking to please, to pacifie, and possesse, we may obtaine, and enjoy this fellowship with the Father.

CHAP. XII. The seventh Meanes and Duty is sanctifying the Lords Day.

HAve we, or desire we fellowship with the Father? If7. Meanes. Duty. we have, declare it; if we desire it, seeke it; By kee­ping Gods Sabbath; choosing the thing which pleaseth God; taking hold on his Covenant; serving the Lord, &c. That all these are markes and duties of such who have fellowship with the Father▪ and meanes for such to use, who desire to get or keepe communion with the Father; The Lord himselfe by the mouth of his servant Isaiah doth sufficiently declare, 56. 3. In which chapter is contained a pre-occupation, or re­moving of a secret objection or inward temptation made by the pious Proselites, and godly Eunuches against themselves; the former objecting separation from Gods people, the latter their miserable estate; the Law cursing the impotent, and childlesse. To which objection the Lord himselfe makes an­swer, in which he plainely doth prohibite such reasonings and disputings; and interdict such imaginations, and col­lections [Page 150] (let them not say) and promise better, and greater pre­rogatives then those which they wanted. So bee that these strangers, and Eunuchs were such who had joyned themselves to the Lord, ver. 3. and declared this conjunction by these pra­ctises of piety, ver. 4. & 6. and therefore I may safely and war­rantably adde to those former meanes, markes, and duties, these following.

The keeping therefore of the Lords Sabbath is a signe, and meanes of mans communion with God. Although then there were many Sabbaths of the Lord (called his, to shewJustin cals it the day of the sunne, because he writes to the Gentiles, saith Wallaus. Instinus diem solis appellat, quia ad Gentiles scribit, & Wal. cap. 7. p. 147. Qui dies solis a profanis, Domini­cus a Sanctu dice­bat [...]r. Beza in 1 Cor 16. 1. Qui oli [...] dies solis nunc dominicu [...] dicitur. Jdem. Iun. Trem. bib. who was the author of them, and to what end, and use ordai­ned, and to distinguish them from Idols Sabbaths, or feasts of false gods, or divels) viz. 1. Eternall, celestiall, and glori­ous. 2. Temporall, and typicall which were shaddowes of the other. Which temporall were some of yeares, some of weekes, and some of dayes: yet in regard that onely of daies (of the temporall) is now remaining, I purpose to confine my selfe to that. And passing over those ceremoniall, and Iewish Sacrifices which are wholly ceased; as 2 lambes of a yeare old without blemish; 2 tenth deales of fine floure mingled with oyle; and one drinke offering thereof, Numb. 28. 9, [...]0. I will onely point at some of these substantiall, and morall du­ties which God once commanded, and never since forbad. Call the day what you please (neither am I scrupulous, or con­tentious about words) 1. Either Sunday, which is an ordinaryName of the day. Dies Lu [...]. Di [...]s Ma [...]t [...]. name of the day, as Munday, &c. for the rest of the daies: Saint Luke calling a certaine hill in Athens, Mars hill, Acts 17. 19. 2. Or the first day of the weeke, as Saint Paul doth, 1. Cor. 16. 1. 3. Or the Lords day; because the Lord thenCannon 13. Tertul. lib de co­rona [...]ilitis. c. 3. Cyprian Epist. 36. ad Fidum de in­fan [...]ib: bab. p. 231. Pri [...]us & domini­cus. Propterea quod Do­minus a morte ad vitam redierit, do­minicus appellatur. T. 1. p. 105. 5. in Psal. 118. rose, as Saint Iohn, Rev. 1. 9. The Canons of our Church; our pious statutes made concerning this day, in the reigne of our gracious Soveraigne King CHARLES: This day was called the day of the sunne by the prophane, the Lords day of the Saints, saith Beza: It was in time past called the day of the sun, now it's called the Lords day, saith Beza, So Tertullian saith, Cyprian, and others, and the ancient Fathers; as Chrysostome, [because the Lord in it returned from death to life, it is called [Page 151] the Lords day.] 4. Or the Sabbath, which name is used and is not Iewish. 1. The name being morall, not ceremoniall. 2. It lively expressing the nature of the day. 3. The rest being per­petuall; therefore the name may, although our Lords day hath not that name in the new Testament. For 1. our Saviour could not speake of it at all, it not being till his Resurrection. And the Apostles called it the first day, the Lords day, for di­stinction sake the better to be understood, not abolishing it; therfore I hope, I taxing no man for calling it by the name of Sunday, none will fault me if I stile it the Lords day; I having Statute, Canon, and divine law to warrant me. And be in­treated to keepe the day holy, by doing such duties which re­maine to be performed of us under the Gospell. This kee­ping being a meanes of mans communion with God; In that it is an occasion, and meanes of hearing Gods Word, whereby faith commeth; and also of receiving the Sacra­ments, and using of Prayer, whereby we draw neere to God. I will onely, and that concisely point at some of the Lords daies duties; I handling them now onely by way of use to another doctrine. That we may keepe the Sabbath or the Lords day, we must observantly take notice, of the negative, and affirmative precepts. Negative, precisely prohibiting the doing of any manner of works: 1. Servile, wherein we serve our selves, not God; therefore all sinfull actions of body and soule; for although these are strictly forbidden euery day, yet it is a greater sin to do them upon this day, it offering fewer vr­ging, or alluring provocations, and affording more helps, andPer voce [...] [...]pus [...] seu [...] non intelligun­tur directè opera hominum vitiosa: quia ea nunquam conce­duntur: sed opera servilia, a [...] servir [...] per qua scilicet [...]squis (que) pro ratione vocatio­nis suae victum ex­ [...]rcet, &c. Wal­laeus de 4. precep. pag. 7. meanes against them. 2. All workes of minde or body need­lesse, or unnecessary. By the word Thou shalt doe no manner of worke, are not understood the vitious workes of men, because they are never permitted, but servile workes of [...] signifying to serve, by which every one by reason of his vocation doth pursue his li­ving, saith Wallaeus. But least I should wander in so wide and spacious a field, I will therefore shew you what others, which I have read, say, and then give mine answer onely to some questions.

Omnis Christi amator Do­minicum celebret Diem, Diem resurrectioni consecratum Do­minicae, Reginam & Princi­pem Dierum omnium, in quà,—& vita &c. Epist. 3. ad Magnefianos.

Die vero qui Dominicus vocatur, quem Hebraei pri­mum vocant, Graeci autem Soli distribuunt, & qui ante septimum est, sancivit, a ju­dicijs, alijs (que) causis universos habere vacationem, & in eo tantum orationibus occupari. Honorabat (sc. Constantinus) autem Dominicum Diem, qui­a in eo Christus resurrexit à mortuis. Sozomen. Histor. Eccl. Tripart. lib. 1. Cap. 10. pag. 275.

Dominicum ergò Diem A­postoli, & Apostolici viri ideò religiosâ solemnitate haben­dum sanxerunt, quià in eodem Redemptor noster à mortuis resurrexit: qui (que) ideò Domi­nicus appellatur, ut in eo à ter­renis operibus, vel mundi ille­cebris abstinentes; tantū Divi­ni [...] cultibus sErviamus; ipse est primus dies seculi, in ipso for­matasūt elementa mūdi; in ipso creati sunt Angeli; in ipso quo (que) resurrexit à mortuis Christus; [Page 153] &c. Serm. 251. d [...] tem­pore.

Ʋide [...]mus ne—sed di [...]i dominici sequestrati a rurali opere, & ab omni negotio, soli divin [...] cultui vacemus. Ibid.

Neque venatione se occupet, & diabolico mancipetur officio, cirumvagando campos, & syl­vas, clamorem & cachinnum ore exaltans. Ibid.

Tunc ipsi foris aut causas di­cere, aut diversis student ca­lumnijs impugnare, aut videli­cet in alea, vel in jocis inutili­bus insidiari—quatenus unus punctus di [...]i ad dei officium, & reliquum diurnum spatium cum nocte simul ad eorum de­putetur v [...]luptates. Idem. Ibid.

Melius vtique toto die fo­derent, quam toto die salta­rent. Con. 1. part. 1. in Psal. 32.

Melius enim arare, quam saltare in Sabbato—illi ab opere bono vacant, opere nuga­torio non vacant. in titul: Psal. 91.

Non hoc autem solum ra­tione aptum est tempus ad be­nignitatem, prompto & alacri animo exercendam; sed & quod habet quietem, & remis­sionem, immunitatem (que) & va­cationem a laboribus. Chrys. Tom. 4. pag. 545. in 1. Cor. Homil. 45.

Primo die qui—dominicus appellatur celebres Magistri ac doctores, Sancti patres nostri nobis canendum, & Psallendum centesimum decimum octa­num Psalmum tradiderunt. T. 1. Pag. 1055.

Ignatius that ancient Bishop of Antioch in his 3. Epistle which is none of his 5. coun­terfeit Epistles, saith, Let eve­ry one that loveth Christ keep the Lords Day,—which is the Queene of dayes, in which death is overcome, and life is sprung up in Christ.

Renowned Constantine or­dained as followeth. That day which is called the Lords Day, which the Hebrewes call the first day; which the Grecians attribute to the Sun; which is before the 7. day, he ordained that all should cease from suits and other busines­ses, and to be only occupied in prayers upon it: and in­deed hee did honour the Lords Day; because in it Christ rose from the dead.

St. Augustine saith, the Lords Day the Apostles and Apostolicall men have ordai­ned with religious holinesse to be kept: because in the same our Redeemer rose from the dead, and therefore is cal­led the Dominicall or Lords Day, that in it we may onely attend on the Divine Service; this is the first Day of the world, in it were created the elements and the Angels; up­on this Day Christ rose; [Page 153] and the holy Ghost was gi­ven; & Manna first descended from heaven upon this day.

And againe, Being seque­stred from all rusticall works, and businesse wee give our selves wholly to the worship of God.

Neither let him busie him­selfe in hunting, and enthrall himself in any devillish work, in wandering about the fields, and woods, making a loud noise and laughter, &c.

And in the same Sermon reprooving certaine disorders on the Lords day: hee saith, Then (scil. in the time of the publique worship of God) without doores they tel tales, or study to fight against o­thers by slanders; or to take great paines at dice, or other unprofitable sports:—as if one period of the day was set apart to the service of God, and the rest of the day and the night to their own pleasures.

The same father saith thus in one place; They might bet­ter digge all the day, then dance all the day.

And in another place; It is better to plow then to dance upon the Sabbath:—they rest from a good worke; rest not from a vaine and triffing work.

And S. Chrysostome spea­king of the fitnesse of this day for workes of mercy; saith, It is a fit time to practise libera­lity with a ready and willing mind; not only in this regard, but also because it hath rest, ceasing, freedome, and vacati­on from labours. And in ano­ther place he saith:

Our reverend teachers, and instructers, our holy fathers have given us the 118. Psalme to sing the first day, which is called the Lords day.

Leo the first, commanded Sunday to bee kept holy. And that all Christians should behave themselves godly, and vertuously all the day long in preaching, hearing, and remembring the Word of God, visiting the sicke, and poore, and comforting the comfort­lesse.

Leo the third. at a Counsell in Ments, decreed that Sun­daies should be kept holy with all reverence; and that all men should abstaine those daies from all servile worke, and worldy businesse; and that there should be no faires, markets, or any buying, or selling on the Sundaies.

I have read that in a Counsell at Nice, order was taken that those who either kept court, bought, or sold, or otherwise propha­ned the Sabbath, should be prohibited the Communion: becauseTo [...]o hoc die tan­tummodo vaca [...]dū, quia toto hoc die ma [...]u [...] d [...]o expan. d [...]dae. that whole day we ought onely to rest, and spread abroad our hands in prayer to God. The ancient Waldenses and Albi­genses who were Luthers, and our forerunners in a short Commentary upon the Commandements; say, They that will keepe the Sabbath, must bee carefull of foure things: 1. To cease from all worldly labours. 2. Not to sin. 3. Not to [Page 155] bee idle. 4. To doe things for the good, and benefit of the soule.

Our owne Canons enjoyne us to celebrate the Lords day ac­cording Can. 13. to Gods will, i. e. in hearing the Word of God read, and taught in private and publike prayers, in acknowledging our of­fences to God, and amendment of the same, in reconciling our selves charitably to our neighbours where displeasure hath bene: In oft receiving the Communion of the body, and bloud of Christ, in visiting the poore, and sicke, and using all godly and so­ber conversation, Thus saith our Canon.

1. An Act made in the first yeare of our gracious Soveraigne King CHARLES, saith thus: Keeping of the Lords day Anno C [...]roli. is a principall part of the true service of God, which in very many places of this Realme hath bene and now is prophaned, and neg­lected by a disorderly sort of people, in exercising, and frequenting Bearbaiting, Bulbayting, E [...]terludes, Common playes, &c. Ʋp­on the Lords day.

There shall be no meetings—of people out of their owne Pa­rishes Another S [...]tute. 1628. on the Lords day for any sports, or pastimes whatsoe­ver; nor any Bearebayting, Bulbayting, E [...]terludes, Common playes, or other unlawfull exercises, or pastimes used by any per­son within their owne Parish. The mulct for every breach of this statute is 3 shillings 4 pence.

Our Homily concerning the first part of the place, andPage 138. time of prayer, saith, God hath given expresse charge to all men, that upon the Sabbath, which is our Sunday, they should cease from all weekely and work day labour,—even so Gods obe­dient people should use the Sunday holily, & rest from their com­mon and daily businesse, and give themselves wholly to heavenly Page 139. exercises of Gods true Religion, and service. In the same Homi­ly. It is lamentable to see the wicked boldnesse of those, who will be counted Gods people,—these are of two sorts. The one sort if they have any businesse to doe, though there be no extreme need, they must not spare for the Sunday; they must ride, and jour­ney on the Sunday; drive and carrie; rowe, and ferrey; buy, and sell on the Sunday.—The other sort is worse,—although they will not labour; yet will they not rest in holinesse, as God [Page 156] commandeth, but rest in ungodlinesse, and filthinesse, pransing in their pride, pranking, and pricking, pointing and painting, themselves to be gorgeous, and gay: they rest in excesse, and su­perfluity, in gluttony, and drunkennesse, like rats, and swine: they rest in brawling, and railing, in quarrelling, and fighting: they rest in wantonnesse and toyish talking, &c. So that God is more dishonoured, and the divell better served on the Sunday, then on all the daies of the weeke besides. And in the conclusion of the second part, thus. Come with an heart sifted, and clean­sed from worldly and carnall affection, and desires; shake off all vaine thoughts which may hinder thee from Gods true service; the bird, &c. Bishop Babington writing upon the fourthPage 319. verse of the 31. Chapter of Exodus, saith thus: A place ne­ver to be forgotten, touching the Lords commandement of the Sabbath; for he will not have his owne worke medled with on that day. Oh what can we thinke of our workes? His taberna­cle builder must be forbidden, and our buildings must goe on. Reade and feele that place in Ieremy 17. 25. with a tender heart. Then shall—gates, i. e. the government shall stand and flourish, ver. 27. Kindle a fire, i. e. the Lord will overturne all with great destruction. He is the same now he was then, and his glory is as deare to him. The same reverend Divine, in his 8Page 259. note upon the 16 Chapter of Exodus, saith thus: Forget not to marke the great care that God had of his Sabbath, that it might be kept holy;—May not a good soule thus reason. Good Lord, what doe I upon the Sabbath day? this people of his might not gather Manna; and may I goe to faires, and markets, to dan­cings, and drinkings, to wakes, and wantonnesse; to bearebai­tings, and bulbaitings, with such like wicked prophanations of the Lords day? May I bee absent from the Church,—walking about my closes, and grounds, sending my servants, and cattell to townes with corne, which I have sold before—are these workes for the Sabbath? Can I answer this to my God, that gives me sixe daies for my selfe, and takes but one to him­selfe? Of which I rob him also, &c. Bishop Bayly, in the Pra­cticePage 442. of Piety, saith, we are to cease from all civill workes, gene­rally from the least to the greatest; & instanceth in these seaven. [Page 157] 1. Works of our calling. 2. Carrying of burdens. 3. Keeping of Faires and Markets. 4. Studying any Bookes but Scrip­ture and Divinity. 5. All recreations and sports which at other times are lawfull. 6. Grosse feeding, and liberall drinking. 7. Talking about worldly things. I need not therefore say with learned Sir Walter Rauleigh. I rather chuse to indure the 1. Booke. 2. Chapter. wounds of those darts which envie casteth at noveltie, then to go on safely and sleepily in the easie waies of ancient mista­kings: seeing to bee learned in many errours, or to bee ig­norant in all things hath little diversitie. I having such a cloud of witnesses Neotericke and of hoare-headed antiquity which defend the same in substance (some in one thing, some in another) which I purpose to propound to your considerations. I hope therefore that none will taxe me of Sabbatarian paradoxes, Apocalipticall frensies, or Herte­rodoxe opinions, I being guided by the light of truth, and that light which Writers ancient and moderne have set up to lead me. In a word therefore consider (for I purpose to propound onely foure things to your considerations, not peremptorily concluding hegatively, or affirmatively.)

Whether it can be lawfull for us to do any bodily workes1. Consid. 1 Reg. 19. 8. upon the Lords Day, such onely except, which present neces­sity compels unto for preservation of life; thus Elijah by flight; the Macabees by fight did, and we may, and must preserve our lives; the recovery of health; convenient pre­servation of health, as the ordering of meate for the day; the Disciples plucked, and rubbed the eares of corne; for if we may water and fodder the beast, Luc. 13. 15. (which yet could live a day without) that so it might be a comfortable day to it; no doubt but we may dresse food for our owne comfort. Decency of the body, as clothing the same. Preser­vation of goods, by taking out of, or defending from dan­gers, Luc. 13. 15. And giving necessary provision to them, Luc. 14. 5. Yea to the fatling beast to feed him. 1. Because else he could not live so chearefully. 2. The labour is the same in giving much or little. 3. All creatures may then have the ordinary provision of the weeke at the least. 4. Else to [Page 158] the hurt of the creature, so losse of goods. Necessity is sancti­fied, and may stand for just excuse; when we cannot keepe the rest of the commandements without breach of one of the rest. e. g. I am bound to preserve life; a man or beast is in danger of death; I may breake the rest to save life; God will have mercy and not sacrifice: mercy is a worke of sanctifica­tion; sacrifice a meanes; we must leave the meanes, and do the worke. Tertullian saith, God forbad humane workes, not Tertul. lib. 2 con­tra Marcyonem, pag. 185. Nec Sabbatt in­spicis legem opera humana, non divi­na prohibintem,—Non facies—o­pus, Quod? Ʋt [...] (que) tuum.—Arcam vero circumserre, ne (que) quoti li enum opus vileri potest, ne (que) humanum, sed bonum & sacro­sinctum, & ex ipso Dei praecepto uti (que) divinum. Divine.—Thou shalt do no manner of worke. What manner of worke? What kind of worke? Namely thine owne.—But to car­ry about the Arke (sc. about the wals of Iericho) can neither seeme a daily worke, nor an humane, but a good and a holy work; and therefore from the very commandement of God Divine. Those therefore I meane which may be forborne without breach of charity sinning against nature, or hurt of the crea­tures. And therefore, 1. Whether those are not blame-wor­thy who trot about for gaine or pleasure, buy and sell grinde, and bake, patch, and mend, or do any other outward, or in­ward worke of man or woman, which may be done before, or stay till afterward. 2. And if it be not good for each man to reason thus, or after the like manner with his owne soule. 1. Is the fourth Commandement a precept which is morall, as it must needs be: For, 1. Else there would be but nine mo­rall Precepts. 2. It being delivered in mount Sinai, at theNec ejus observatio capit Lege data in Sinaised aute cele­brabatur, ut apparet ex Mannae pluvia, Exod. 16. Martyr in Gen. 2. Ex hoc loco proba­bilis conjectura eli­citur, Sabbathi sanctitatem suisse priorent le ge, & ceric quum aute narravit Mo­ses vetito [...] fuisse die septimo Man­na colligere vide­tur ex recepta noti­tiâ & usu sump­tum. Cal. in 4. Pre­cep. same time, by the same Law-giver, after the same manner, with more motives, and a speciall Memento. 3. Given in Paradise, observed from the beginning before any Ceremo­niall Law was given. Neither did the observation of the Sab­bath begin, when the Law was given in Sinai, but it was solem­nized before as appeares by the raine of Manna, Exod. 16. saith P. Martyr.

From this place a probable conjecture is fetched, that the san­ctification of the Sabbath was before the Law, and truly when Moses did shew before that they were forbidden to gather Man­na upon the seventh day, he seemes to conclude that it was taken from received knowledge and use, saith Mr. Calvin. 2. Did our Saviour Christ Iesus confirme the morality of it, com­ming [Page 159] to fulfill, not to breake one jot or title of the Morall Law. 3. And do the same reasons which bound the Iewes, oblige me to the performance of such duties, as in it are en­joyned, and restraine me as well as them; 1. God giving me sixe dayes as he gave them. 2. Being my God as he was theirs. 3. Proposing his example for my imitation. And, 4. I needing his blessing as much as they. And doth this com­mandement precisely inhibite the doing of any manner of worke; insomuch that those holy followers of Christ, Luc. 23. 5, 6. (and their puritannicall precisenesse is commended) abstained from so good a worke as to embalme the body of our Saviour, their spices and oyntments being already pre­pared; and shall I gad to faires and markets, shall I walke a­bout my closes or grounds (except it be to meditate or to praise God for his bounty towards me;) shall I send my ser­vants and cattell with corne, &c. Are these workes for the Lords Day? Is the day none of mine, and shall I spend it about mine owne affaires and profits? Dread I to rob men, and shall I presume to rob God, yea him who is my God, of his Day, of his Holy-Day? No, no, I will not; trouble me therefore no more, O rebellious flesh, with thy many idle, and godlesse pretences. Thy covetous carkings formerly have made me with those worldly minded to go and see my grounds which I had purchased; to prove mine oxen which I had bought, when the Lord did graciously and earnestly invite me to him. Thy mistrustfull diffidence hath pricked me forward with re­merarious rashnesse to do many un-needfull actions: thou ha­ving abashed me with a fearefull timidity of losse, of undoing, hast made me negligent to seeke principally the kingdome of heaven; and to care for the morrow, when it might sufficient­ly and time enough take care for it selfe. Thy savage cruelty heretofore hath made me unmercifully bloudy to my precious soule, servants, and beasts, fore-casting, and fore-providing something for them to do on the Lords day: Cease hence­forward to molest me with these temptations; I have now learned to be content with Gods allowance to me, and dea­ling towards me. I am now resolved to depend on him, and [Page 160] on his gracious providence: and by Gods helpe wilbe so mercifull to my selfe, servant, and beast, that we will not do any servile worke on Gods Day, wherein we serve our selves, and not God.

Whether sports and recreations, yea, such as at other2. Consid. Augustine. Batly. Babings, Homil. S [...]at. times may be lawfull, are not demonstrated to be unlawfull upon the Lords Day. By many of those I have named before, amongst whom S. Augustine is one, who in another place as I have read (not in him, but cited) speaking of some, who rested to sports, toyes, hunting, and nets, saith, It is to keepe a Qui vacabant nu­gu, lud [...]s, venatio. nibus, retibus, &c. Sabbath to the golden Calfe, the Idoll of Aegypt, not to the God of heaven. To which I will adde Gualter, who saith, There­fore they cast farre away the impure workes of the flesh, and the Proculergo abjici­unt impura carnis opera, & insanum studium voluptan dupeccant qui diem hunc superbiae, su­stus, aleae, poculu, & impuro voluptae. tum slu lio tribu­unt. Dies fellos Majestati Aleissi­mi dedicatos, nullu voluptanbus occu­part.—Nec huj [...]t religiosi diet otia relaxantes, obscre­nis qutbuslibet pati­mur voluptatibus detiners: nihil eo­dem die vindicet sibi scena theatralis, aut Circense certa men, tui serarum lachrymosa spectacula.-Iiaec olim Christiani Principes cu­rarunt. At hadiè esta vix Episcopis curae sunt. Gualte [...] in Hom 33. in Mar. 3 pag 33. Theodoslus, Valentinianis, Arcadius, Leo, Antonius, à quibus prohibitum est paenis, exhibere hoc die spectacula, aut voluptatibus dare operam. Wall. (ex Bucero) p. 74. Ʋt omnis profinitas & carnalis oblectatio ex eu exulet.—Deinde & hoc necessarium est, ne aut ejusmodi oblecta­menta usurpentur, quae fructum auditi Verbi, aut reliquorum pietatis extrcitiorum intercipiant, aut etiam mium­tat, sed potius ut eis inserviant, & ad ea majori cum vigore resumenda hominem disponam. Wallaeus pag. 133. peevish exercise of sporting.—They offend which apply this day to pride, disdaine, dice, cups, and impure studie of pleasures.—Neither do we suffer Festivall Dayes dedicated to the Maje­stie of the Highest, to be occupied to any pleasures,—either to be detained, refreshing the vacant time of a religious day in any filthy delights. Let the stage. play, or the Circensian exercise, or the lamentable spectacles of beasts challenge nothing to them­selves on that day, &c. (This was a Law of Leo and Anthemi­us Emperours) In times past Princes did see to these things, but now Bishops scarce regard them.

And Wallaeus, who saith, Theodosius, Valentinian, Leo, and Antonius, forbade by punishments to behold plaies on this Day.

Againe: That all profane and carnall delights be banished from them,—and then this is necessary either that such recrea­tions be not usurped which prevent or weaken the profit of the Word heard, or of other exercises of pietie; but rather that they may do service to them, and frame a man to begin againe the same with more livelinesse. 2. And whether they have not [Page 161] an absolute inhibition by that authority which is without contradiction, Isa. 58. 13. Not doing thy pleasure on my Ho­ly day. Mans pleasure signifying sometimes any manner of sinfull delight agreeable to our corrupt nature; as, 2 Tim. 4. 1. lovers of pleasures. Sometimes honest delights, serving for the solace and comfort of mans life, Gen. 49. 20. Giving pleasure for a King. 3. And by these reasons.

The first drawne from the greater to the lesser. I reason1. Rat. thus.

Where lawfull labours, and profitable workes are forbid­den as unlawfull, there lustfull and wanton actions of sports and delights much more. But lawfull labours, &c. are for­bidden upon the Lords Day as unlawfull. Therefore lustfull and wanton actions of sports, &c. much more.

The former Proposition (I take it) may be avowable thus.

1. Where such actions which are strictly commanded by the Lord in the generall course of mans life are forbidden, there those actions much more are forbidden, which are never so strictly commanded, onely sparingly permitted.

But where lawfull labours in mens callings are forbidden, there such actions are forbidden which are strictly comman­ded in the generall course of, &c.

Therefore much more sports which are never comman­ded, only sparingly permitted.

2. Where the more lawfull, and lesse distracting are for­bidden, there the lesse lawfull and more distracting are much more forbidden.

But where lawfull labours, &c. are forbidden, there the more lawfull, and lesse distracting are forbidden (works are more lawfull, because commanded by the Lord; lesse distra­cting, sports wholly possessing the mind with desire of maste­rie, &c. I thinke each mans experience will say, his mind is more free for heavenly things when he rides a journey, then when he rides in hunting; when he plowes, then when he wrestleth, rings, playeth at cudgels, &c.)

Therefore sports and delights lesse lawfull, and more di­stracting, &c.

3. Lawfull labours, and profitable workes as little, if not lesse breake the rest of the Lords Day by equall comparison, as sports and recreations. e. g. To ride in hunting breakes the rest of the Day as much (if not more) as to ride in travell, to labour at a bell, as to labour at the plough; to strike with a cudgell, as to strike with a flaile.

From the name of the Day, and duties commanded for the2. Rat. Sanctificare est ad usus sanctos appli­care. Wallaeus de Sob, pag. 105. Day (it is called Gods Holy Day, 1. Because separated by God, 2. Because a meanes of holinesse, we are enjoyned to remember to keepe it holy. i. Wholly to spend it in his ser­vice, i. in holinesse,) I reason thus.

Those things which are impediments and lets of holinesse cannot lawfully be done upon that day which is Gods Holy Day, and ought to be kept holy.

But sports and recreations are lets and impediments of ho­linesse (this is evident to every mans experience which will tell him, if he will permit it freedome of speech, that these inchaunting Syrens do so charme, and bewitch, these insatia­ble ingrossers of time do so extraordinarily distract, if not wholly possesse the mind, that it is wholly estranged, and ali­enated from holy duties; so that they seeme tedious and irk­some to it? Who knowes not how those make pensive the heart when they are called to these? Who knowes not how they exhilerate the heart, when these in publique are ended? Who knowes not how those (like vene mous weeds and choa­king thornes) suffocate and strangle these, intruding them­selves into the roome of, and shoulder out Divine contem­plations, heavenly communications, and godly and Christian actions?)

Therefore sports and recreations cannot lawfully be done upon the Lords Day. And therefore whether it is not need­full for us, whom it concernes, so farre as in us lyeth, to dis­swade, and draw people from such courses; and if it be not good to this end for every Christian soule, to reason after this or the like manner.

Are these things so? Yea, moreover, 1. Hath the Lord Dissw. 1. of his free favour and bounteous liberality allowed me sixe [Page 163] whole dayes for my pleasure and profit (some little part of each day except to sanctifie my self, family, and calling, in lieu whereof he allowes me back part of his Day for refreshing, works of charity, necessity and decency) and reserved only one Day for his service and worship, and shall I allow my selfe or mine, sports upon this Day which is the Lords, not mine nor theirs? 2. Hath the Lord provided me sweet recreations, heavenly refreshments for his Holy Day, and shall I preferre the huskie, drossie delights of un-needfull carnall sportings before those truly solacing melodious rejoycing? 3. Wold good S. Paul never eat any flesh while the world stood, rather then offend his weake brother, a man, a sinfull, and mortall man like himselfe; and shall I play and sport my selfe in needlesse exercises whiles the Lords Day lasteth, and so offend the Lord, a God so mercifull, a Father so loving, and a Iudge so feare­full? 4. Should the Lord come to judgement upon that Day (as some thinke) would it not be farre better for me to be then found serving him in spirituall exercises, then my selfe in carnall sports? Let other men do as they please, I am as yet fully resolved, that neither I will, nor mine shall (if I can re­medy it) sport and play upon the Lords Day: Surcease hence­forward O froward flesh, to hinder me with thine idle objecti­ons. Ob. 1 Tell me no more that the Lords Day wilbe a sad Day if I may not sport; this day bringing sweeter and sounder de­lights. Tell not me that many men must have recreations, therefore upon the Lords Day: 2 For, as my workes have toiled them, so my time shall refresh them, if such refreshing is needfull. I my selfe could not take it well to have another mans toiled servant sent to me for food, because he must have food, he having wrought hard. Tell me no more that many good Divines think them lawfull on the Lords Day: for if it be disputable, it's the safest course not to use them; 3 And what Divine will say it is not lawfull not to sport upon the Lords Day?

Consid. 3 Whether worldly words are not unlawfull upon the Lords Day?

1. Since the Lord Iehovah in expresse words by the mouth [Page 164] of his Prophet Isaiah 58. 13. saith thus, not speaking thine owne words.

2. And for these following causes.

1. Where the Lord hath commanded the whole man to rest from servile works, there he commands the hand to rest from working, the foot from walking, and the tongue from talking.

But in the fourth Commandement, Thou shalt doe no manner of worke, the Lord hath commanded the whole man, &c. Therefore, &c.

2. Those things which as lets hinder the duties of the Lords Day, are forbidden.

But worldly words as lets hinder the duties of the Lords Day, scil. holy conference: therefore, &c.

3. Where bodily workes are forbidden, there those things are forbidden which hinder the sanctifying of the Sab­bath, as much or more then bodily workes doe.

But bodily workes are forbidden: therefore worldly words, hindering more the sanctifying of the Sabbath. Be­cause a man may worke alone, but cannot talke without company.

4. That Commandement which ties the outward man from the deed done, ties the tongue from talking of the same. e. g. The sixt forbids murther and murtherous words. The seventh adultery and adulterous words. The eight theft and deceitfull words.

But the fourth Commandement ties the outward man from worldly workes: and therefore the tongue from worldly words.

And therefore whether many people are not much to blame, who make the Lords Day a reckoning day with work­men, a directing day what shalbe done the next weeke, a day of idle tattle about their pleasures, profits, gossips tales, and other mens matters.

Whether worldly thoughts are not unlawfull on the Lords4. Consid. Day, considering,

1. That each Commandement extends to the thought, [Page 165] binding it, e. g. the 6 from anger, the 7 from lust, the 8 from covetousnesse, &c.

2. That the Lord especially requireth the inward man, Luk. 10. 27.

3. That worldly thoughts hinder from heavenly, and therefore whether those are not blame-worthy, who busie their heads upon such daies in plodding about their worldly businesse, &c.

And lastly, if it be not a pious and profitable, a comforta­ble, and necessarie resolution for a man constantly to purpose to do as followeth:

Affirm. 1 Medit. Whereas many men so be they goe to the Church, per­swade themselves, they have done their devoyre to the vt­most, if not superabundantly promerited▪ although before, and after those solemne, sacred, and publique meetings, they let loose the reynes, permit their hearts licentiously to take liberty of wandring, and roming libertine-like into a world of businesses, and to plunge themselues into innumbred swarmes of plottings, and contrivements for the effecting of some dunghill delights, or worldly profits: yet I for my part, although I cannot as I would, will doe what I can to withdraw my meditations upon the Lords day from such like trashy, and fruitlesse wanderings, and bend them to thinke earnestly▪ and orderly upon

1. The workes of God generall, and speciall.

1. To the glory of God, beholding in their innumerable va­rieties and melodious harmony, the powerfull omnipoten­cy, and infinite wisdome of God.

2. To mine owne endlesse comfort, viewing in these the boundlesse, and bottomelesse depths of the Lords ample and gracious favours towards me giving me such a being, such senses, members, calling, substance; such variety of creatures to delight, feed and guard mee; such a Sauiour, such a Word, such excellent meanes to save me, &c that thus fee­ding my soule with such solacing considerations, I may edge and keene my dull desires to praise and magnifie a God so good, and gratious.

[Page 166]3. To the humiliation of my soule naturally prone to an overweaning conceipt of its owne nothingnesse, ponde­ring the grievous groanings, and massy burdens of di­stressefull miseries Gods justice hath inflicted upon the poore creatures for my sinnes: and finding my selfe to come short of them in obeying the will of God, I con­tinually fayling, they alwayes doing that for which they were made.

4. For mine owne instruction, these being a large, and faire booke written by the LORD IEHOƲAH in faire and capitall letters, wherein he that runnes if he have but eyes in his head, may reade his owne fickle, and fading condition, being like the withering grasse; the basenesse of himselfe, made of dust, and turning to it againe; the uncomfortable, irk some, and fastidious condition of death, & a spirituall dark­nesse, scil. sinne, and iniquity resembled to death and darknes naturall. Yea, the booke of the creatures is a library so full of learned literature, that contemptible Ants, and glorious An­gels; beautified stars, and basest vermine; yea, all beings crea­ted to swim, and play in the liquid streames and vast ocean; to flie about with out stretched wing in the thin, and perspicu­ous ayre; or to runne and range upon the sound and solid earth; by their contentation with, and thankfulnesse for their little pittance, and obedience to the Lord, their boun­tifull benefactour preach loudly to me contentment with, and thankfulnesse for my so large allowance and obedience to a fa­ther so beneficiall to me undeserving. That so, by the medi­tation of the workes of God, I may be stirred up to trust, love, feare, and obey God, pondering, and perusing his works of justice and mercy.

2 The Word of God, especially that meanes of my salvation I last of all enjoyed in the Word of God read, and prea­ched: for when I consider: 1. That this is a daily duty, Ios. Assidua meditatio memoriam efficit indel ebilem: Chrys. Hom. 35. in Gen. 1. 8. Psal. 1. 2, practised by the best men, as David, Psal. 119. 97. 99. and the Virgin Mary, Luk. 2. 19. 2. That as medita­tion without hearing is erroneous, so hearing without medi­tation is barren, and the dulnesse of my blunt, and obtuse, and [Page 167] Affirm. 2 the leaking property of my running out memory, I cannot but thinke it a fitting duty upon the Lords day thus to doe.

Conference. 2 Secondly, whereas many unguard the doores of their lips, and suffer those little unruly members to enflame each others, (ministring and taking occasions offered) extravagantly to wander into olden times, gladding themselues with their large discourses of their many madde, and merry meetings, their frolique frisques, and gambols, their infamous exploits, and deeds of darknesse: or idly to range about, from royall diademe to the penylesse cottage, from field to towne, from towne to houses, from houses to particular things and per­sons; yea, to their owne homes, and houses; taking thence many large, and deepe discourses of the number, and severall conditions of their sheepe, horses, &c. the unrulinesse of this; the faire conditions of that; the great penyworth they had in the one, the worth of the other; And anon ramble in their serious communication into their fields fallow, and seve­rall discoursing of their longitude, and latitude of their lands; the quantity and quality of their seed; their great and many businesses they have finished, or intended: and presently flie backe into the streets, and for want of other matter to fill up, the pretty lispings, and st [...]mmerings, the falls and stumblings, the unmannerly roguing, or whoring this man, that woman: the pretty pronunciation of this or that oath of their chil­dren shall not be forgotten; and then from these merrie Col­loquies rake into the dunghill puddles of the true, or fained miscarriages of their neighbours good, or bad, tossing, and tumbling these from tongue to tongue, as sharpe as speares, renting and tearing the good names of men better then themselves, fathering upon them that themselves never drea­med of, turning by their cunning art a hearsay, may be, suppo­sition, into a peremptory proposition that it was so; and then to mount it upon the wing of flying fame to passe swiftly and securely without stop, or controlement: and clothing all up­right-hearted Nathaniels with the darke, and divelish robes of censorious uncharitablenesse, Luciferean pride, and damned hipocrisie, because these truly befit many who are professors, [Page 168] and others in their conceipts; thus extracting matter of large discourses to please themselves, purchase admiration, and ap­plause for their great and deepe experience, and procure ma­ny farewell thanks for their good company. Yet I, although I formerly have bene, and still am too often, and futurely may be that way overtaken, so as to talke of such fruitlesse and unneedfull matters, resolve henceforward to have my communication of such things, whereby God may be glorifi­ed, my selfe, and others edified in the holy faith: not medling with other mens matters, but such as concerne my selfe, or those with whom I conferre, and principally those which ap­pertaine to our soules good, and amongst other things by name of the Word of God in generall, and such Scriptures as I have heard read, and expounded in particular, as wisely, peaceably, orderly, lovingly, honestly, and humbly as I can: I well con­sidering besides the necessity, and furtherance of such like conference.

Mot. 1 1. That these communications are more comfortable then those, they yeelding not the least glaunce, or glimmering of sound delight, or comfort when a man is going to his bed, falles into any affliction, or temptation, or comes to his bed of death: But instead thereof, many befoolings of himselfe for mispending so many precious houres, and golden opportuni­ties, about fruitlesse fome and froth: these abundantly chee­ring the heart, gladded with the consideration of the many benefits it hath gained, and fruits it hath reaped by such like talkings together.

2 2. This conference is more advantageous then that. Can you say, and speake truly that ever you gained any knowledge of God, your selves, the Word, the way to heaven? Can you say that ever you gained any grace, goodnesse, or any thing, save an addition of new sinnes to the catalogue of your old by such like Lords dayes chattings? Whereas I dare affirme this kind of Sabbath conference to increase saving knowledge, sound comfort, true Christian love, heavenly-mindednesse, and to warme, and vivifie the saving graces seated in the heart.

[Page 169]3. And more honourable; mee thinkes it's a poore com­mendation, or credit for a man to have a faculty with facili­ty to find out idle discourse to drive away a day; each new speaking, stammering child which can lispe out but halfe en­glish being able to tattle somewhat or other to that purpose. But for a man humbly, lovingly, and feelingly to conferre of the narrow way which leadeth to life, how to walke in it with comfort, declining the many by-paths of sinne: of the Christian combate, the number and nature of enemies, their sleights and subtilties, how to escape them, and to get the victory: this is a greater glorie to a Christian man.

Whereas many men, and women spend the Lords day inAffirm. 3. Deeds. sloathfull lithernes, sleeping, or doing certaine odd chares, which purposely they had appointed for that day: yet I de­termine resolutely to spend all spare time:

1. In reading Gods Word, and good bookes, and that with inward desire, and outward endeavour to profit.

2. In singing of Psalmes, Hymnes, and spirituall songs, Ephes. 5. 19. In which angelicall exercise I will doe what I can to sing.

1. With my heart, Ephes. 5. 19. i. e. with understanding, sense, and feeling.

2. To the Lord, Ibid. scil. 1. In his glorious powerfull, and gracious presence. 2. Vpon a holy remembrance of his bles­sings. 3. To his honour, and glory.

3. With Grace, Col. 3. 16. to exercise the graces of the heart, as holy joy, trust

4. In Gods mercy, &c. in singing, Teaching, and admoni­shing my selfe and others.

5. For mine owne and others consolation, Ephes. 5. 19. ma­king melody, &c. Iames 5. 13. I well considering this duty to be: 1. Gods owne ordinance, Ephes. 5. 19. 2. Binding all persons, Iames 5. 13. is any merry, let him sing. 3. To be per­formed publiquely, Ephes. 5. 19. 4. And privately, Psal. 101. 1, 2. 5. A speciall duty for the Lords day, Psal. 92. Title. [Page 170] 6. And a duty which is 1 Good, having in it no evill, being Gods ordinance: 2 Pleasant in it selfe, and to the hearers: 3 And comely to the user, Psal. 147.

3. In praying to God to sanctifie the day, and duties there­of to me; I being able to do nothing of my selfe.

4. In doing such like workes of mercy as these follow­ing: sc.

1. Visiting the sicke, and that,

1. To benefit mine owne soule, and that by,

1. Taking notice of mine owne mortality.

2. Sathans subtiltie striving to lull men asleepe in se­curity, or plunge them into desperation.

3. The difficultie, if not impossibility of repentance deferred till death, and sicknesse.

4. The excellencie of saving graces, a good conscience, &c. which will do men good when all worldly contentments forsake them.

2. To doe good to the sicke party, and that by perswa­ding him to a Christian carriage in sicknesse. sc.

1. A serious consideration causing sicknesse.

2. The profit, and advantage of sicknesse; trying grace, weaning from the world, provoking to prayer, and taming the flesh.

3. If men rightly behave themselves in sicknesse: 1. Not neglecting, nor depending too much upon the meanes. 2. Praying to God. 3. Giving good counsell. 4. Submitting themselves to Gods will, &c.

4. And make a good use thereof being made more compassionate to others in misery: hating sinne, the cause of the scourge. And not as the fashion of many is, who go to the sicke: but

1. To the hurt of themselves, being hardened in seeing the foolish virgins, or Nabal-like sicknesse, or death, of wic­ked men; and the violent death and sicknesse of many good men.

2. To the hurt of the sicke: 1 Viewing the weaknesse of the sicke, to sport themselves, and discredit their weake [Page 171] neighbour. 2. Hardening them what they can in their sinnes by securing them of longer life, flatterie, &c.

2. Relieving the distressed with a thankfull, loving, piti­full,1 Cor. 16. 1. single, cheerefull, liberall, just, and true heart.

3. Teaching the ignorant, drawing sinners to repentance, comforting the distressed, admonishing the unruly, encoura­ging the good, rebuking the bad, reconciling the disagreeing, stirring up the slothfull, &c.

Whereas many people deeme such like courses to savourAffirm. 4. of melancholike madnesse, and too much puritannicall auste­ritie, and thinke themselves undone, if they may not have free liberty to glut and satiate themselves with carnall de­lights, and vaine sportings: I am surely perswaded,

1. That there is no true, sound, and solid cause of delightRecreat. 1. in any vaine sportings, or worldly pleasures; especially in comparison of these Lords Dayes delightfull duties, if they may be poised in an even ballance. e. g. Ballance together the least measure of saving graces, and a world of voluptuous contentments, and gainefull profits, and I'le undertake that the former, the meanes of getting, and the helpes in keeping, it shalbe found more honourable, profitable, and delightfull, and so over-weigh by farre the latter. Or 2. Cast into one end of the scales the Word of God, into the other any world­ly contentment what you will; and let the Lord himselfe, (who is fittest and best able to decide the controversie) be judge, and it wilbe found farre to surpasse in worth, and valu­ation, all pearles of price and excelling treasures, Mat. 13. 44. 2. Surmounting in profit and advantage the most advanta­gious practices in or about the world; making those who read and heare it with open eyes, and hearing eares, happy, Rev. 1. 3. And those who meditate therein day and night, like trees planted by the waters side, &c. Psal. 1. 2, 3. Thirdly, to ravish the heart, truly sensible of Divine delights with un­satiable glee, and unmatchable gladnes, rejoycing that heart as much as if it had found great spoiles, Psal. 119. 162. Being more luscious then the sweetest hony, or the most melliflu­ous hony combe, Psal. 19. 9.

[Page 172]2. That there is sound and sufficient cause of joy and de­light in all such and other Sabbath Duties. Instance in some particulars. e. g.

1. In hearing and reading the Word of God, if we consi­der it in its names, and effects, declaring the nature there­of. e. g.

1. It is a transcendent pearle, and excelling treasure, Math. 13. 44, 45. More lovely then gold, or much fine gold, Psal. 119. 127. Better then thousands of gold and silver, Verse 72. And therefore cannot but fill, and farce the soule with con­solation in getting, possessing, and enjoying the same.

2. It is bread, water, wine, milke, and meate, to feast, and fatten the soule begotten by this immortall seed, and enlive­ned with Gods quickening Spirit: and therefore must needs make merry the same, feeding, and fatting it selfe with such heavenly cates.

3. It is a light to the feet, and a lanterne to the paths, Psal. 119. 105. Then which, what more needfull, profitable, or pleasing to the Christian travailer to direct him to the haven of endlesse happinesse?

4. Is there not extraordinary matter of joyfull delight in reading, and hearing read and preached:

1. The Word of grace, justly so called, shewing and work­ing grace in those which rightly heare it?

2. That Word which begets and increaseth faith, there­fore termed truly the Word of faith?

3. That Word which declares the way of salvation, there­fore stiled by the Holy Ghost a Word of salvation.

4. That Word which nourisheth and sustaineth a spirituall life, and offereth eternall life, ergo called a Word of life.

5. And the Word of reconciliation, as is before shewed.

2. In prayer, which sacred duty will appeare perspicu­ously to each enlightned soule, to be a true cause of gladnesse, when rightly performed, it seriously considering.

1. How acceptable it is with God; he being well pleased with such like sacrifices, 1 Tim. 2. 3.

2. Of what excellent dignity, put for the whole worship of God, Psal. 50. 15.

[Page 173]3. How commodious and gainefull. 1. Being a Sove­raigne salve for every sore. 2. Bringing salvation to the pi­ous petitioner, Rom. 10. 13. 3. Resisting that implacable e­nemy, Sathan, Eph. 6. 18. 4. Prevailing with God extraor­dinarily, beyond imagination.

3. If we ponder advisedly, that while here we live, we are in a strange countrey, being pilgrims, and strangers, having no continuing city, seeking one to come, scil. an heavenly; where our Father, our Head and Husband, our friends and fellowes, our crowne and inheritance are: It will necessarily follow, that as it is a gladding discourse to countrey-men, meeting in another nation, to talke of their owne country and common-wealth, their friends and families, and which way to take soone and surely to enjoy their wished company: so it must needs be a delightfull colloquie when two or more citizens of heaven, meeting in this their pilgrimage, conferre cordially of the way to heaven, of the pious and sweetned paths directly tending thither. Secondly, if we seriously con­sider that a godly and Christian communication is an excel­lent meanes to increase saving knowledge, enkindle godly zeale, nourish Christian love, cherish and warme all gracious beginnings, and edge and keene the longing appetite to hun­ger insatiably after the best things; We cannot but conclude that such like conference on the Lords Day must needs afford superabundant matter of pleasure and delectation.

4. To instance in the duty of Divine contemplation, which seemes to worldlings full of pensive sadnesse, and madding melancholy, this I say savouring seemingly so much of uncom­fortable sorrow, is no wise defective of recreating festivities; each particular holy meditation having its severall oblectati­on. For examples sake, let it be

1. Vpon the workes, and creatures of God; how do these make merry the godly soule after a serious musing of them; considering that as they were made for the glory of God, so for his particular good, some to guard, some to delight, some to feed, and refresh, and all to serve him after one manner or other.

[Page 174]2. Let it be upon the Word of God, what it hath beene, is, and wilbe to him, the many fruits and benefits he hath reaped from it.

3. Let it be upon Gods particular favours and mercies be­stowed upon a mans selfe (especially his soule) and generall benefits and blessings he hath bestowed, and promised to be­stow upon his Church and chosen.

4. Let it be upon the remission of sinnes, how, and by whom, wherein every sincere Christian may behold clearely the unparalel'd love of Christ Iesus, freeing him by his owne painefull passion from the guilt and guerdon, the due de­sert and dominion, the power and punishment of his sinnes.

5. Let it be upon the inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, not fading away, reserved in the heavens, &c. And I think it wilbe granted without contradiction that such like meditations make the godly soule to leape for joy.

6. Let it be upon dismall death, and mouldring mortality: even this will comfort the heavenly minded soule, loving the appearing of Christ; longing after the same with the Bride in the Revelation, certifying him that these miseries are but mo­mentany, and that this miserable mortality shalbe swallow­ed up of glorious immortality.

7. Let it be of the judgements of God denounced, or infli­cted upon others or upon himselfe; even these contemplati­ons want not matter of consolation to that soule which consi­dereth Gods infinite love, sending no greater, he deserving the extreamest; enabling him to make a good use of them, and to beare them christianly.

This I suppose is a commodious and profitable, necessary and warrantable, Christian (not Iewish) resolution, to ab­staine from those worldly and wanton words, workes, and thoughts: and to be wholly imployed, and that delightfully in those holy and heavenly contemplations, communications and actions. And that I may stirre you up to put in practice this so laudable, sweet, and profitable resolution: to those former reasons and motives I have intermingled in my for­mer [Page 175] passages, give me leave to adde these following reaso­nings, and pious arguings.

1. Is the Lords Day the queene of dayes, yea, the Lords market day for our soules, wherein we are to buy, Isa 55. 2. without money or mony worth, the heavenly and celestiall bread, water, wine, and milk of Gods sacred Word, and saving graces, the golden gifts and precious merits of Christ to inrich our faith, Rev. 3. 18. The eye-salve of true wisdome, and the Spirit of light to illuminate our spirituall blindnesse, and the white raiment of Christs righteousnesse, that we may be clo­thed, and that the shame of our nakednesse do not appeare; and shall we passe it away in wanton delights, in fruitlesse, and hurtfull discourses, in distrustfull, and distracting musings, or in needlesse and dunghill actions? And not rather spend this Day in buying such peerelesse traffique, not onely in the pub­lique assemblies, but also before and after the same, by Divine contemplations, heavenly communications, fervent, and faithfull prayer, and other such like pious Lords Dayes practices?

2. Is this the Lords Day, not mine, his Holy Day, no common or prophane one; therefore to be sanctified, there­fore to be kept holy; and shall we shew such intolerable ingra­titude, as to deny so small use of time to him, that gives to us so much and so large use of time?

3. Is it a matter of duty, and not of curtesie; of charge, and not of choice; of allegiance, and not of liberty; of necessity, and not of indifferency: not permitted, but commanded to sanctifie the Lords Day, and keepe it as holy as we can; and shall not wee use our utmost endeavour to doe the same?

4. Do those who conscionably sanctifie the Lords Day, imitate the prime and purest examples, walking in those paths which have beene traced out by David, Nehemiah, and such like ones; by Iesus Christ, such a Sonne, such a Savi­our; by the Lord Iehovah, who rested the seventh Day from his worke of creation, although as easie to him as to speake, and cause it to be created: And shall we be drawne into [Page 176] unwarranted courses, or omit necessary pious duties upon Gods Day; because many who are great Schollers, good Preachers, great men, the wealthiest in our parish, and many honest men make no bones of worldly discoursings, unneedful actions, nor are very forward in those other substantiall du­ties. Learning they may have, wisdome, greatnesse, yea, goodnesse, yet may their example be erroneous, no sufficient patterne for imitation: in many things we offend all; yea, and good St. Paul would be followed no otherwise then he followed Christ, 1 Cor. 11. 1. Be it they be wise or wealthy, honourable or honest, who give or take liberty; yet sure we are, we take the surest and safest course, yea, the most com­modious and comfortable, having Gods precept for our war­rant, and his example for our encouragement. Powerfull they may be, but he is omnipotent; wise they may be, but he is wisdome it selfe; honest they may be, he goodnesse it selfe.

5. Since the Lords Day is a blessed Day; so called, either, 1. Because it is instituted to Gods service. 2. Or because the Lord gave it a singular priviledge to be a Day of rest and holi­nesse, a Day of delight and heavenly feasting, to the world. 3. Or because the Lord doth blesse more effectually all such who conscionably keepe it holy, on that Day then any other: so that then they enjoy after an extraordinary manner this transcendently sweet, and lovely fellowship with the Father. We for our parts will alienate and estrange our soules, tongues and bodies, so farre forth as in us lieth, from such workes, such words and thoughts which withdraw the mind from God: and endeavour to spend those little parcels of time, which remaine to us exempt from the publique as­semblies of the Saints, and the doing of some few necessary actions, in Divine contemplations, Christian communicati­ons, such pious and holy actions, that so the Lord may suppe with us, and we with him, Rev. 3. 20. We feasting him with the fruit of our true repentance. 2. With our faith, belee­ving and applying the Word and promises of God. 3. By serving God faithfully, giving up our soules and bodies, holy [Page 177] and acceptable sacrifices to him: he feasting us in his Word and Sacraments. That so he may dwell in us, and we in him; and to conclude, that we may obtaine (if still we want) com­munion with God, or get (if already we have) a more per­fect, and full assurance of our fellowship with the Father.

CHAP. XIII. The eight Meanes and Duty, Chusing the things which please God: What those things be: Diverse chusers: Which are best.

HAve we, or desire we fellowship with the Father? Shew8. Meanes. Duty. it, and seeke it, by chusing the thing which pleaseth the Lord: This chusing being both a marke, and meanes of mans communion with the Father, Isa. 56. 4. Where and who is he that would not be a chuser, might the choice tend to his reall and seeming contentment? With what greedy graspings would some possesse mountaines of gold, silver, pearles, and precious stones, and worlds of wealth? With what enraged, bloudy, and implacable cruelty would some bathe their hands and glad their hearts in the last groanings, and effusion of the most warme and in most hearts bloud of their enemies? How would some ingrosse kingdome after kingdome, yea one world after another? How would some plunge themselves in­to a bottomlesse Ocean of voluptuous delights, and play and swimme therein like Leviathan in the sea? How would some glut their insatiable appetites, feeding themselves upon the extracted quintessence of all reall and imaginarie dainties, might each have free liberty of choice? Chusers you may be, chusors I desire you to be, not of such dunghill drosse, not of such barbarous revenge, not of such fading crownes, not of such frothy delights, not of such corruptible cates; But with David of the [...] truth, Psal. 119. 30. Or of Gods precepts, Verse 135. Of that which is good, Isa. 7. 15. Of that good part which Marie chose, Luc. 10. 42. And of that which pleaseth God. 1. Obedience pleaseth God, 1 Sam. 15. 22. [Page 178] 2. Sorrow for sinne pleaseth God, Psal. 51. 17. 3. A holy life, that pleaseth God. 4. Saving faith pleaseth God, Heb. 11. 6. 5. To do good and communicate please God, Heb. 13. 16. 6. And to frame our thoughts, words, and deeds to Gods will, pleaseth God, Col. 1. 10. These things chuse therefore, and I'le warrant you your choice shall not repent you. Enoch was not taken to heaven, because he was rich, roy­ally descended, the seventh from Adam, because he was lear­ned, had a comly and strong body; but because he pleased God, Heb. 11. 5. Chuse we therfore with Enoch, the pious Proselite, and godly Eunuch, the thing which pleaseth God; this choice being a signe of mans communion with God, and a meanes whereby a man is joyned to God; that so with these we may have fellowship with the Father.

CHAP. XIIII. The ninth Meanes and Duty, To take hold of Gods Covenant.

HAve we fellowship with the Father? Declare it. Doe9. Meanes. Duty. we want it? Feele it; by taking hold of Gods Cove­nant, this being a marke and meanes of mans communion with the Father, Isa. 56. 4. Ier. 50. 5. The foundation of which Covenant is Christ Iesus onely, Isa. 42. 6. He onely being the peace-maker, or Prince of peace. 2. The onely Angell of the Covenant, Mal. 3. 1. 3. The Mediatour of the New Testament. 4. The Father onely being well pleased in him. 5. By him onely man comes to God. And, 6. In re­gard that he onely ratified, and confirmed it with his owne Bloud, Heb. 7. 22. 8. 6. 9. 15. Secondly, the frame is by way of contract; in which are comprised, 1. Certaine Articles and Conditions on both parts. 1. The principall Party cove­nanting is God, who covenants to be our [...], and the God of our seed, Gen. 17. 7. i. To save us and ours, to give us righteousnesse, and eternall life in Christ. 2. The other is the godly man, who for his part promiseth to be the Lords [Page 179] people, Ios. 24. 15. And therefore binds himselfe to believe, and rest upon the promise of God. 2. Signes, and seales, bin­ding each party to the agreement or covenant made on Gods part. He hath given us his Word, Hand-writing, oath, (Heb. 6. 17.) as Seales. On our part, the ancient peo­ple of God have bound themselves by writing, Nehem. 9. 38. Seale, ibid. Imprecation, 10. 29. And Oath, ibid. Circumci­sion, Gen. 17. 13. &c. And the people of God now, perhaps by writing, perhaps by seale, perhaps by vow, surely by word, Baptisme, and the receiving of the Lords Supper. 3. Writings, containing the conditions on both sides, scil. the Word of God, the Old and New Testament called the Covenant, Ex. 24. 2. Booke of the Covenant, 34. 28. Words of the Covenant, Deut. 9. 11. 29. 1. Tables of the Covenant, Rom. 9. 4. The Covenants, because they shew what God will do to his people, and what we are to performe according to the tenour of the Covenant. This Covenant (or compact) made be­twixt God and man, 1. Touching reconciliation and life e­verlasting, is, 1. Legall, of workes, which is a league made touching salvation upon condition of perfect obedience set downe in the Morall Law, wherein eternall life is promised to such as perfectly fulfill the same, and eternall death threat­ned to such as transgresse the same. 2. Evangelicall, of grace, which is an agreement concerning men to be freely saved through faith in Christ. This Covenant God made with the justified Iewes before Christ, to whom he was a child borne, and a Sonne given, Isa. 9. 6. And the believing Iewes, andEundem spiritum & eandem fidem fuisse in Apostolis & Prophetis, evidentissimè probat Apostolus, 2 Cor. 4. Epiph contra er­rores Marcionis. Gentiles since; for although the Prophet Ieremy speakes of an old, and a new Covenant; yet himselfe shewes, that this old and new covenant for substance are one and the same, Verse 33. of Chapter 31. I will put my Law in their inward parts,—will be their God, and they shalbe my people. I will forgive their iniquity, 34. Which is the substance of the old and new Covenant. The old in shadowes prefigured Christ to come: The New apparantly shewes that Christ is come. The Apostle S. Paul (1 Cor. 10. 2, 3. saith, the anci­ent Iewes and we eate the same spirituall meat, and drinke the [Page 180] same spirituall drinke. Their Sacraments were more in num­ber then ours, differenced in rites and measure of significati­on from ours, yet the same Author, end, and signified thing, &c. S. Iohn speaking of love, calls it a a new commandement, and an old, 1 Ioh. 2. 7, 8. Old, in regard of the substance; new, it being newly approved and renewed by Christ, Ioh. 15. 12. So this Covenant of grace was the same when it was old to the sanctified Iewes, in regard of substance, as it is to us; to whom it is new; onely it differs in this, that now it is published more clearely, not in such darke shadowes, and more persons are renewed, more graces are bestowed.

Gods Covenant made with the justified Iewes, and us Gentiles, or the old and new Covenant
  • 1. Differ in the Circumstances, Adjuncts, Accessories, Oicono­mie, Administration, and Dis­pensation.
  • 2. Agree in the Substance:
Particularly, in the
  • 1. Principall efficient cause, Ier. 31. 31.
  • 2. Moving cause, Luc. 1. 54. 55. 72. 78.
  • 3. Meritorious cause, Gen. 3. 15. Ephes. 2. 12, 13.
  • 4. Materiall cause, 2 Cor. 5. 19. Reconciliati­on, &c.
  • 5. Instrumental, the Word
    • 1. Of Gods grace, Act. 20. 32
    • 2. Of reconciliation, 2 Cor. 5. 19.
    • 3. Of faith, Gal. 3. 8.
  • 6. Formall cause, or mutuall promise, Gods, which is free, & mans, which is due, Ro 3. 22
  • 7. Finall cause, to stirre up and confirme the hope of immortality, Heb. 11. 8, 9, 10.
  • 8. Effect, justification and regeneration, 1 Cor. 1. 30. & 6. 11.
  • 9. Subject persons, onely Gods Elect, true be­lievers, Rom. 3. 3. 26.
  • 10. Inward seale, sc. the holy Spirit, 2 Cor. 1. 22. Eph. 1. 13.

This Covenant we for our parts must make, Psal. 50. 5. Or enter into, Deut. 29. 12. Keepe, Psal. 103. 18. Or stand to the words thereof, so as to performe or accomplish, 2 Reg. 22. 3. That we may 1. please God, this being a thing plea­sing the Lord, Isa 56. 4. 2. Shew that we have communi­on with God, this being a signe of mans society with the Lord, ibid. 3. And demonstrate that we desire the same, this being a meanes of mans communion with God.

This Covenant is laid hold upon and kept.

1. Outwardly.

1. By hearing the Word of God (that Booke of the Co­venant containing the conditions and articles of the Cove­nant) with an open, Psal. 40. 6. Wakened, Isa. 50. 4. And hearing eare, Marke 4. 9. Such as joynes to hearing attenti­on, to it a desire to be changed, to it a care to believe, and con­science to obey.

2. By receiving aright the Sacraments which are signes of holy things, which are holy tokens, visible signes of invisible graces, where we see one thing, believe another, which are seales of the promises of God in Christ, whose use is to strengthen us in the promises of salvation, which God hath not onely made to us in word, but confirmed them by writing, and lest we should doubt, set to his seales accor­ding to the manner of men; that nothing should lacke that might increase and strengthen us. Signes they are not onely figuring, admonishing, and signifying what is promised; but also exhibiting that which is promised to the faithfull; yea, sealing, and confirming the exhibiting of them These are called by Master Calvin, Gen. 17. 18. Testimonies, Seales, and Pledges of Spirituall Graces, and benefits which spring thereof: the Gates of Heaven, &c. They are Signes to pre­sent, Seales to confirme, and Instruments to conveigh Christ and all his benefits to them that do believe in him: In the right use of these Ordinances the partakers have assu­rance of their being in the Covenant of grace. Saint Paul speaking of Circumcision which was a signe of the Covenant, Gen. 17. 11. Cals it the seale of the righteousnes of the faith, &c Rom. 4. 11.

[Page 182]3. By pious prayer, prevailing extraordinarily with God, Luke 11. 13. The Lord giving his Holy Ghost to those which aske him.

2. Inwardly, we take hold upon and keepe Covenant with God.

1. By Faith, believing the Promises. This shewes us the Lord, Heb. 11. 27. Brings us to God, Verse 6. Begets to God, Iohn 1. 12. This justifieth, Rom. 5. 1. Perswades of Gods peace, and assures us of joy, 5. 2. This purifieth the heart, Acts 15. 9. Overcommeth the Divell, 1 Pet. 5. 9. And the World, 1 Iohn 5. 4, 5. This is that which stayes us in grace, 2 Cor. 1. 20. Which is our seale, Iohn 3. 33. Which we set to, that God is true; and therefore a meanes whereby we take hold of, and keepe this Covenant inwardly.

2. By obeying the precepts of God; this is that which allyeth, and affianceth man to Christ, Ma. 12. 50. Crownes with eternall blisse, Math. 7. 21. Vpholds man, and sup­ports the world, 2 Corinth. 10. 6. Surmounteth farre sa­crifices, 1 Sam. 15. 22. This is the substance of mans cove­nant with God, Neh. 10. 29.

What intoxicated madnesse, or giddy vertigiousnesse hath possessed your-hearts and heads? What shall I tearme you? Cerdoniani, Cainitae, Marcionists, Apellitae, Severi­ani, Manichees, Architae, Patricij? You I meane who fence, and hedge out the regenerate from without the Old Testament, so farre forth as you may or can: For, prove unto you that God doth afflict his Children for their sinnes, that sorrow for sinne is necessary to the regenerate (points which you deny) the former by Davids suffering for his sinne with Bathsheba; the latter by his watering his couch with his teares: you reply, they were under the Law, in the time of the Old Testament. You I meane, who crie out against the Morall Law, as once the Baby­lonians did against Ierusalem, downe with it, downe with it even to the ground: away with the law, it be­longs not to the regenerate man. It binds not the consci­ence of him that is in Christ: You equivocating Pretteians, [Page 183] Antinomists, I doe not say you are Marcionists, Manichees, or the like in all particulars; but in this you walke cheeke by joale, hand in hand with those forenamed heretikes. They condemned the morall law, so doe you. They denied the re­surrection of the body, and I much suspect that this is one of those other deeper doctrines, you were promised to be in­doctrinated in. Had you knowne how learnedly, and ortho­doxallyProbemus extru­ctionem potius legis & prophetar [...]o in­veniri in Christo, quam destructio­nem. Lib. 1. Contra Marcionem. pag. 260. Magis extruens, quam destruens substantiam legis & prophetarum, Ibid pag. 228. Tertullian scourged your great Grandfather Marcion, shewing the law to be fulfilled and built up in Christ, not abo­lished by Christ. Onera legis us (que) ad Ioannem, non remedia: operum iuga reiecta sunt, non disciplinarum. De oratione. pag. 788. That we are freed from the burden of the law, not obedience. In hoc venturil ut legis, & pro­phetarum ordo ex­inde cessaret, per adimpletionem non per destructionem. Lib. 4. Contra Marcionem. pag. 273. Aug. qu. 69 Veter. & no [...] testam pag. 745. Non dissolvis aliquid, sed confirmavit—nunquid haec cessasse di­cenda sunt? absit. Contra Adimantum Manichai discipulum, contra faustum Manichaeum. Lib. 6. pag. 231. Non con­cupisces preceptum est agendae vitae. Circumcides omne viasculum octavo die preceptum est significanda vitae. Ep. 49. ad Deograt. That the law, and Prophets were till Iohn. So that they ceased by fulfilling not by destruction. Had you knowne the mind of Saint Augustine, that terrible ham­mer of heretiques, who tells you, that the ceremoniall law is wholly vanished as a shadow, because the body is exhibited; abo­lished as a tipe, because the truth Christ Iesus is come. The Iudaicall law is abrogated, so farre as peculiar to Iewish policie. But as the Covenant of Grace made betwixt God and man in Christ Iesus, was ever since the fall one and the same, in the dayes of Adam, Abraham, and of Christ and his Apostles, al­though the administration thereof was diverse according to the different estate of Gods children. So the Morall law of God was ever the rule of obedience for all duties of love to God and man, and shall so continue with the Gospell to the end of the world.

Had you consulted with Saint Chrysostome, who saith, Dei igitur iusti­tia & lex veritas est in aeternum. Tom. 1. Hom. in 118. Psal pag 1085 Legis non est tran­slatio, & transmu­tatio: etenim hic habemus legem. Legem destrui [...] per fidem? Absit; sed legē statuimus Tom. 4. Hom. in Heb. 6. pag. 148 [...] Therfore the justice & law of God is truth for ever. i. e. There is not removing, and change of the law for here we have the law. Do we destroy the law by faith: God forbid, but we establish the law. Had you bene acquainted with the doctrine of the Church of England, which saith, The law is immutable, an ordinance of God in no time or age to be altered, or of any persons of any nations or age to be disobeyed. Homily 1. of Idol. pag. [Page 184] 20. Had you considered how our Saviour Christ confirmes the Morall law, shewing that he came not to destroy it, Mat. 5. 17. pronouncing its perpetuity to continue till the heavens be no more, ver. 18. and denouncing a dreadfull judgement against such as shall teach men to breake one of the least of those commandements, ver. 19. and expounding strictly the 6. ver. 22. the 7. ver. 28. the 3. ver. 34. Had you taken advise of the Apostle Saint Paul, who tells us, that the law is holy, just, and good, Rom. 7. 12. that he served the law of God after the inward man, ver. 25. That the Commandements of the second Table are fulfilled in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy selfe, 13. 9. 10. That Children must obey their Parents, because it is right; which he shewes thus, Ho­nour, &c. Ephes. 6. 1. 2. Saint Iames if you had asked his ad­vice, would have told you, that if you fulfill the royall law of liberty, &c. 2. 8. Or Saint Iohn, he would have taught you: That hereby we know that we know him, if we keepe his comman­dements, 1. Iohn 2. 5. that sinne is the transgression of the law, 3. 4. that we love God, if we keepe his Commandements, 5. 3. Had you bene well advised, that obedience to Gods law, is a prime part of this Covenant on mans part. If you would not have yeelded any being to the Ceremoniall and Iudiciall law, as Sir Walter Raleigh doth, who saith, the former liveth in the Sir Walter Ral. lib. 2. cap. 45. pag. 277. things it foresignified; for the shadow is not destroyed, but per­fected, when the substance is represented to us: the latter in sub­stance, and equity; yet would you have said with him, the Morall law liveth still, is not taken away saving in the ability of condemning; for therein are we commanded to love God, and use charity one to another, which for ever shall be required. You would have acknowledged, that although there is no force in the law for our justification; yet it is of great use for edifi­cation, and sanctification. That it doth not cease to teach, exhort, and pricke forward the faithfull under the Gospell to that which is good. That although Christ accomplished, and abolished the Ceremoniall, so he accomplished, but abolished not the Morrall law. That although the law is abrogated in regard of iustification, malediction and rigour, God accepting [Page 185] the [...]cere will for the deed: yet the use of the law is establi­shed for the leading a godly and christian li [...]. That although Christians are not under the law as a rigorous exactour, and horrible avenger: yet they are under the law as a righteous commander, and holy conducter to leade in the way of holi­nesse. In a word: That the ten Commandements con­taine the expresse forme of Gods eternall will, the substance of all duties of piety to God in the first Table, of charity to man in the second: all which God required from the begin­ning before Moses: in the time of the law by Moses; after Moses by the Prophets; now to the end by Christ, and his Apostles; although darknesse in Ceremonies is dispelled, sense of prophecy is fulfilled, and hand-writing against us cancelled: And not so headily and rashly, upon the meere warrant of your one of a thousand have abrogated the Morall law, as not binding the conscience of the regenerate, the Lord at this day no lesse then in ancient times exacting as well at the hands of regenerate, as unregenerate, that they performe obedience to the law. But leaving such intoxicated drea­mers to solace themselves in their imaginary golden drea­ming fancies of no law, no repentance, no sorrow for sinne, no affliction for sinne. For wakened they will not be I feare out of their fooles Paradise. I returne to my propounded use, and will use a few Motives to stirre you up to take hold of Gods Covenant.

Motive 1 Had you rather enjoy Gods gracious favours, or feele his tart, and heavie judgements? I suppose I may take it for granted, you all infinitely desire the comfortable fruition of Gods benigne and bounteous favours concerning this life naturall, and that other spirituall farre more excellent; and that transcendently unspeakeable, & unparaleld, which is eternall: Neither would you willingly, feelingly, touch, or [...]ally taste of the tart and bitter punishments, the severe, and smarting penalties of the Lord. Keeping covenant with God gives right, and interest, to all Gods fauours & blessings, Lov. 26. 9. Isa. 54. 10. 56. 5. the contrary makes liable to all his curses, Lev. 26. 15. Deut. 29. 21. Consider therefore what you have to do.

2 Whether is it better, doe you thinke, to walke in the steps of pious Patriar [...]s, or prophane Pagans; of Gods people [...] or Satha [...]s slaves; of Saints, or sinners? I thinke I may answer, for you all, and say: Whom should we follow if not the Saints? To whom should we be agreeable or like, if not to them? With whom should we have a connecting congruity, save with such who are Gods chosen, and peculiar people? Take hold there­fore of Gods Covenant; for by entring into, and keeping co­venant with God we imitate the best; by the contrarie the vilest men, even villanous miscreants, heires of perdi­tion.

3 Peradventure you can alleadge causes sufficient why you may not, or will not take hold of Gods Covenant: Mu­ster them up; give them what force you can; let us view them in their best, and see what validitie they have.

1. Will you not take hold of Gods covenant, because you must then part with sin of all sorts, even with your darling corruptions, iniquity breaking covenant with God; and they are so sweete to your soule, that nothing else can afford a more pleasant relish then they; neither is any thing so advantage­ous as are they. If this be thy plea O man, thou art to be pit­tied: the more a foole, or mad man glads himselfe in tumbling in the myre, the more swinish, and sottish is he, and his estate more lamentable. Be it thy sinnes are sweet, yet dead­ly poyson. Be it they make thee merry; so doth a certaine herbe, the eater (as it is reported) who eating dyeth. Be it they seeme profitable, yet are they fruitlesse, Ephes. 5. 11.

2. Is it because Gods Commandements are grievous, which then thou must obey? Who saith so O man, besides Sathan, thy cursed flesh, and wicked men? Christ otherwise, Matth. 11. 30. My yoke is easie, and my burden light. Saint Iohn saith otherwise, 1. Iohn 5. 3. His commandements are not grievous.

3. Is it because Gods commandements cannot be kept? True; no beleever, or regenerate man by the assistance of [Page 187] Gods grace is able to observe all and every commandement of God, in every part, at all times, In thought, word, and deed perfectly as God in his law requireth of him (as PapistsBern. Rhens a­gainst Rome, pag. 269. say:) yet the true Christian is said to keepe the law of the Lord. 1. Imputatively in Christ, the commandement is repu­ted done, when it is forgiven, which is left undone. 2. In respect of his will, he having a desire which is accepted. 3. In regard of endeavour striving to frame his life according to the Comman­dements of God. 4. Comparatively in respect of others. 5. In regard of integrity of heart to one commandement, as to another, to all, and euery one, at all times, as saith Mr. Bernard. Be­sides, although they cannot fulfill any of them; yet they are carefull to follow all of them: though they cannot keepe them throughly; yet they desire and endeauour to keepe them tru­ly. Although they cannot attaine to the perfection of obedi­ence, yet they strive for some proportion and measure of obe­dience. And so they keepe the law of God. First, by impu­tation, 2. Cor. 5. 21. Secondly, by inchoation, Rom. 15. 14. Thirdly, by acceptation, 2. Cor. 8. 12. God accepting the de­sire for the deed, the will for the worke, the purpose for the performance, and part for the whole.

4. Is it because you can enter covenant elsewhere more for your advancement, and preferment? If so, where, and with whom? If you thinke with the world, you are pitifully deceaved, and mistaken: It's but vanity, therfore seeming that it is not, shewing that it hath not, soone passing away. It is but vanity, therefore light, unprofitable, deceitfull, and transi­tory. If with sinne; how are you deluded? it oppresseth, it damneth. If with Sathan, do you deale wisely? What good can he give you, who hath none himselfe? What favours will he bestow, who seekes your vtter ruine, and destruction? Relinquish therefore, and extirpate such diabolicall charmes: enter into covenant you cannot with any more honourable then our God: more powerfull to defend you then the Lord of Lords; more rich to reward you, mercifull to blesse, wife to direct you; and more just to performe all his promises. Those who keepe covenant with our God, shall be graciously [Page 188] Protected, comfortably directed, plentifully rewarded, tri­umphantly crowned, and immortally glorified.

4 Never did any man gaine by breaking, nor loose by kee­ping covenant with God: O [...]t did the ancient Israelites breake covenant with God; but their guerdon was not gratefull, Iudg. 2. 20. 2. King. 18. 11, 12. and no marvaile; for not to keepe covenant with God is disobedience, to breake it wilfully is rebellion, Psal. 78. 10. breach of cove­nant with man is a great offence, Rom. 1. 31. therefore with God a grand impiety. Abraham left his native countrey, and fathers house, he went with an intent to sacrifice his sonne upon mount Moriah. Moses left the courtly pleasures of Egypt. Matthew forsooke the receipt of Custome to fol­low Christ: they refused not Gods designement because of those many perillous obstacles, and dangerous difficulties they were to encounter with, and they were no loosers. It is no losse to leave a fathers house, for a kingdome: carnall kindred, to be father of the faithfull: the pleasures of a cor­rupt idolatrous court, to guide Gods people: the gathe­ring of tolle, or taxe, to gather Saints into Gods King­dome.

5 There is nothing better then to be in league with God: Had you such a comely proportion, starre-like beauty, matchlesse validity, undaunted valour, nimble agility, perfect sanity which is not attainable by nature: Could you dive into deeper profundities, and discourse more profoundly of mat­ters Ethicall, Politicall, Physicall, and Metaphysicall then all Philosophers that ever breathed: Had you worldly honours, wealth, and delight even to content, which is not possible; yet all those are but as drosse in respect of being in Covenant with God: For by vertue hereof 1. The Lord is our God, not onely by creation, and conservation as he is to all: But by election, redemption, covenant, possession, affection, and adoption. 2. And we are his people; not onely by vocati­on, and profession; but his peculiar people, holy nation, his people by election, conversion, perswasion, and practice. By vertue of which it is, that the Lord is our strength, shield, [Page 189] salvation, righteousnesse, King, Father, Redeemer, hope, helpe, fortresse, and Deliverer: Hence it is, that we have in­terest in earthly favours, remission of sinnes, imputation of righteousnesse, and donation of Gods Spirit: Hence it is that we shall have a joyfull resurrection, immortall glory, and consummation of blisse: Hence comes our spirituall power and authority; honour, and dignity; sonne▪ ship, and adop­tion, Isa. 56. 5. Hence comes our right and title to the use of the creatures, happy guard of Angels, beatificall, blissefull promises, and that unparalel'd matchlesse crowne of immor­tality. And to conclude, Hence it is that we have fellowship with the Father. Ioyne we therefore our selves in covenant with the Lord. 1. Inwardly, by faith and perswasion. 2. Out­wardly, by vocation and profession▪ 3. Both wayes joyntly; by perswasion, profession, and practice of piety and true god­linesse; that wanting, we may obtaine: having, we may declare that truly our fellowship is with the Father.

CHAP. XV. The tenth Meanes and Duty is, Cleaving to God.

HAve we fellowship with the Father? Cleave we then un­to 10. Meanes. Duty. the Lord: The prodigall a servant cleaved to his Ma­ster, Luke 15. 15. The conjugall knot makes leave father, &c. and cleave to his wife, Math. 19. 5. The friendly society tw [...]xt Ionathan and David knits the soule of Ionathan to Da­vid, 1 Sam. 18. 1. Where there is firme communion, thereTo cleave to the Lord is to be knit to him in heart without purpose of any [...]ration. ever is a cleaving together. Those therefore who have fel­lowship with the Father must cleave to him as a wife unto her husband, as a servant unto his Master, as a friend unto a friend, as a girdle to a mans loines, for so saith the Lord, Ier. 13. 11▪ For as a girdle cleaveth unto the loines of a man, so have I cau­sed to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, &c. Draw w [...] therefore neare to the Lord, walke with him, continue in the Lord, depend upon him, sticke fast to him; or in a word, cleave we to the Lord. 1. Vniversally, in all things, Deut. [Page 190] 11. 22. 2. Totally, in soule and body both, Ios. 22. 5. 3. Spi­ritually and sincerely, Acts 11. 23. 4. Vnseperably, and con­tinually, Ios. 23. 8. We cleave unto the Lord,

1. Inwardly.

1. By faith. Heb. 11. 6. He that draweth neare to God must, &c.

2. By feare. Deut. 10. 20. Feare the,—to cleave unto him.

3. By love, Ios. 23. 11, 12. Love unites it selfe asmuch as may be to the thing loved, it makes a man desire and seeke above all things this fellowship, when wanting. 1. In those meanes he hath appointed to communicate himselfe unto us. 2. Doth communicate it selfe to God in things, in which he wilbe loved of us. And, 3. It will make us accomplish the will of God. Cleave we therefore thus unto the Lord: For, why should we not? 1. Trust in him, who is both true, and faithfull, mighty, and able to helpe. 2. Feare him, who is both just, and terrible also, able to destroy both soule, and bo­dy. 3. And love him which is so mercifull, gracious, boun­tifull, and liberall.

2. We are to cleave unto th [...] Lord outwardly, and not only in our soules, but our bodies both, in the right and sanctified use of the Word, Sacraments, and Prayer; Thus let us cleave unto the Lord, and manifest we the same,

1. By cleaving to that which is good, Rom. 12. 9.

2. By cleaving to Gods Testimonies, Psal. 119. 31. His Word, Law, Gospell, Precepts, and Promises.

3. By walking in his wayes, Deut. 11. 22.

4. By keeping his commandements diligently, ibid.

5. By walking after the Lord, Deut. 13. 4.

6. By hearkening unto his voice, ibid.

Thus if we do, the Lord will uphold us in all distresse; andMot. 1. against all assaults of enemies, inward, and outward, with his right hand. i. His great might and power, Psal. 63. 8. What then can hurt us? Or who can harme us? True it is that ma­ny who cleave closest to God are soonest taken away and de­stroyed, as in time of fierie trials, and open persecutions. Yet, [Page 191] 1. God doth not destroy them; but Gods enemies, wicked persecutors. 2. They die not in Gods displeasure, but in his favour; their death is no shame, but an honour to them. 3. By the losse of a temporary life, they obtaine life eternall. Instead of a miserable life, a life most happy. 4. Outward blessings, as deliverance from bodily death, and dangers, are promised and performed conditionally, as they shall stand best with Gods glory, the good of his Church, and salvation of his Saints.

2 Thus to do is good for us, Psal. 73. 28. It is good for me to draw neare to God. It is good indeed to give, and joyne our selves most straightly to God so gracious and mercifull. It is good nearely to knit our selves, and closely to cleave to God: This cleaving being a meanes to obtaine, if we want: And to continue, if we have fellowshippe with the Father.

CHAP. XVI. The eleventh Meanes and Duty is, to serve God.

LAstly, have we or desire we fellowship with the Father? 11. Mea [...]es. Duty. We ought to serve him: David acknowledgeth him­selfe servant to Ionathan, although they were linked in such an intimate society, 1 Sam. 20. 7. 8. Hushai exempts not himselfe from serving so good a Soveraigne, who admitted him into the fellowship of a friendly favourite, 2 Sam. 15. 34. Wives, although their husbands companions, yoke-fel­lowes; yet being but the left side of the yoke, fellow-hel­pers, not fellow heads, owe a kind of service to them, 2 Pet. 3. 1. Likewise you wives, sc. as servants; i. with all feare, even to bad husbands, aswell as to good. Yea all such, who have fellowship with the Father, have the denomination of servants. Iacob my servant, Isa. 44. 1. Iob my servant, Iob 1. 8. Moses my servant. Num. 12. 7. And the pious Proselite who joyned himselfe to the Lord, is said to serve him,—to be his servant, Isa. 56. 6.

1. There is a seruice of man to man, and this is,

1. Nationall. 1. By the law of nature, which is liberall. 2. By the law of Armes, which is compulsive.

2. Domesticall. Which is, 1. For a time. 2. Perpetuall, as slaves for ever; these are civill services of man to man; who is said to serve man,

1. When he applies himselfe to do him all the good he can, Gal. 3. 14.

2. When he submits himselfe to such who are Lords over him, Exod. 21. 6.

2. There is a religious service, where man serves God;

1. Generally, yeelding to, and endeavouring to performe all the worship due to God, Ios. 24. 15.

2. Particularly:
  • 1. Religiously serving him in his pub­lique worship, Math. 4. 10.
  • 2. In his common vocation, as he is a Christian, doing the revealed will of God in the generall calling of Chri­stianity, Heb. 12. 28.
  • 3. In his particular function, Rom. 10. 9.

So then to serve God is to do all things in the publique wor­ship of God, in our common vocations, and particular cal­lings according to the will of God, therein earnestly desiring to glorifie God. They therefore are much deceived, who think a daily repeating over the Lords Prayer, ten Commande­ments, and the Beliefe, or such like, constant keeping of Church-times, &c. is a sufficient serving of God; to serve the Lord, being a doing of his will, and this is frequently ur­ged, and often inculcated in sacred Writ, Psal. 20. 11. 100. 2. Luc. 1. 75. This service is the end why we were redeemed, Luc. 1. 74, 75. Of all Gods mercies, Rom. 1. 12. And al­though our Saviour delivered us from bondage, yet not from service; when a man comes out of the bondage of sinne, heOb. Answ. must take another yoke, Math. 11. 28. But we are free; we have Christian liberty, Gal. 5. 1. Ans. True, we are free from the execution of perfect obedience, from the curse of the Law, not from the obedience of the Law, piety, and [Page 193] righteousnesse. Heare Irenaeus speake, who saith, Christ hath Christus tantùm nos liberavit à se [...] ­vitute, non ab obe­dientiâ legis, Ire­naeus lib. 5. cap. 27. Duplicia sunt Mo­sis Pracepta, notu­ralia & servilia: servilia per adven­tum Christi abro­gata sunt, naturali­a in suo vigore per­manserunt, & per Euangelium sunt consummata, Idem cap. 31. Dominus de [...]it to­tam legem & Pro­phetas pendere ex ipsis Praceptis, & ipse aliud majus hoc pracepto non detulit, sed hoc ip­sum renovavit suis Discipulis jubens eis diligere Deum ex toto corde, & ca­teros quemadmo­dum sc. Idem. lib. 4. cap. 25. onely freed us from the slaverie, not from the obedience of the Law. The Precepts given to Moses were twofold, naturall and servile: servile are abrogated by the comming of Christ: natu­rall have remained in their strength, and are fulfilled by the Gospell. Yea (saith he) the Lord Auxit, & dilatavit, hath aug­mented and inlarged them. The Lord declared all the Law and the prophets to depend upon these Precepts. And Christ him­selfe hath not shewed another greater then this Precept, but hath renewed this to his Disciples, commanding them to love God from their whole hearts, and others as themselves. True it is, that we have liberty, and are freed from the curse of the Law, Rom. 8. 1. Gal. 3. 13. Secondly, from the rigour of the Law, which said, do this, and live; this liberty also the justified Iewes before Christ had. Thirdly, from observation of the Ceremoniall Law, Col. 2. 16. 20. Thus the ancient Iewes before Christ were not. Oh that our Pretty Antinomists had but braines to conceive, and grace to imbrace the truth; then would they not so disquiet the consciences of many unsetled Christians, and scandalize the Gospell under pretence of law­lesse liberty. i. Although seduced Papists, ignorant Gospel­lers, civill honest men, vaine-glorious Pharisees, prophane people, and lawlesse Libertines, like the ancient Samaritanes, who knew not the manner of the God of Israel, therefore ser­ved the Lord, and their owne gods also, 2 Reg. 17. 26. So those fore-named, because ignorant of the right service of God. 1. The Papaline serves God in his images, pilgrima­ges, and abundance of Popish traditions. 2. The ignorant in his good meaning. 3. The civill man in his honest outward conversation. 4. The tombe like Pharisee in his golden and gracelesse shewes. 5. The prophane in his diabolicall conceit, that where sinne doth abound, grace will much more a­bound. 6. The lawlesse Libertine in his licentious freedome; he being bound to no Law, he doing all he doth in love, by way of thankfulnesse: therefore by consequent, 1. If he doth not that which we are commanded he doth not sinne; if he doth that we are forbidden, he doth not offend. 2. If he [Page 194] doth that which God commands us he doth more then his duty, because more then he is bound unto, and so doth there­fore merit at the hands of God.

Yet all you who either have or desire fellowship with the Father; Do you serve God as he hath commanded, without dimin [...]tion, or addition: Serve him therefore, 1. Sincerely. 2. Timely. 3. Continually. 4. In all things. Of which see pag. 92. &c.

5. We are to serve the Lord with gladnesse, Psal. 100. 2. The Lord desires to be served with a voluntary willingnesse, and chearefull alacrity, Exod. 35. 5. 1 Cor. 9. 17, 18. 2 Cor. 9. 7. A sonne-like service pleaseth God, not a slavish: ex­acted service is seldome sure, it is rather done upon us, then by us; and the more chearefull, and voluntary, the more ac­ceptable is our service to God. Serve therefore the Lord with gladnesse in love; yet so that our love may keepe it selfe to the Word and will of God: for things done without a word from God, are not done of love, which is a fulfilling of the Law, Gal. 5. 14.

6. Serve we the Lord with feare.

Object. 1. Let none object and say, the object of feare is evill; man [...]. feares that which will hurt him, which is evill. The Greeke word signifieth feare and flight: intimating that we feare such things we flee from, and avoid. For although the object of feare properly is evill, yet accidentally that which is good also; Man feares good, not the thing, because it is good; but least he be deprived thereof, and lose the same: thus a man oft feares his life, least he lose it. Secondly, we feare that which is good, least it procure some appearing evill; thus we also feare God, least he punish us; the punishment as from God is good, but unto us it seemeth to be evill.

2. Let no man say: the fearefull are excluded heaven, Rev, 21. 8. And Gods people are forbidden to feare, Gen. 15. 1. Luc. 12. 32. 1. 34. For these places are to be understood of carnall feare; when man feares man, or worldly wants too much; or God, onely in regard of punishment. M. Perk. of Re­ligion, pag. 704. That feare in which nothing is feared save punishment, is no service of God.

[Page 195]3. Let no cavilling wrangler say, there is no feare in love, for perfect love casteth out feare, 1 Iohn 4. 18. We are to love God: therefore not to feare him. Love casts out feare: but what feare? Not all but servile, or tormenting feare, not sonne-like, or filiall feare, this going hand in hand with per­fect love. Therefore doth a loyall sonne feare to offend his father, because he loves him. Wives are to feare their hus­bands, Eph. 5. 33. Children are to feare their parents, Lev. 19. 3. Subjects are to feare their Magistrates, Rom. 13. 7. No man hence will conclude they therefore neither may nor can love their husbands, parents, and Magistrates: this feare being an awfull reverence: such inferiours shew to Superi­ours for the Lords sake, making them carefull to obey, and loath to offend them. Tertullian rebukes Marcion thus: Stulte, quem Do­minum appellas, ne­gas timendum: cum hoc nomen potestatis sit etiam timendae: At quomodo dili­ges nisi timeas non diligere? Planè nec pater tuus est, in quem non compe­tat & amor propter pietatem, & timor propter potestatem: nec legitimus Do­minus, nisi & dili­gas propter huma­nitatem, & timeas propter discipli­nam. Advers Mar­cion. lib. 1. pag. 165 Thou foole, which saist he is not to be feared whom thou callest Lord: this name being a name of power; yea, of such as is to be feared: But how wilt thou love, except thou fearest not to love? Truly, neither is he thy father, towards whom love for piety, and feare for power doth not agree. Neither is he thy legitimate Lord, if thou dost not love him for his gentlenesse, and feare him in re­gard of Discipline. The same Tertullian checks the aforesaid hereticke thus: Qui Deum non times quosi bonum, quid non in om­nem libidinem e­bullis? Summum quod sciam fruc­tum vit [...] omnibus qut Deum non ti ment. Ibid. p. 165. Thou which dost not feare God because he is good, why dost thou not breake out into all sensuality? The principall fruits of life to my knowledge in all which feare not God. And againe he saith Ne (que) enim timo­rem alia res quam contumacia sub­vertit. De paeni­tenti [...]. pag. 480. that nothing doth destroy feare, save disobedience. And againe the same Tertullian saith, Timor autem ho­minis Dei honor est, Ibid pag. 482. the feare of man is the honour of God. True it is, that child-like feare may well stand with love, and certainty of salvation; this feare enduring for ever, Psal. 19. 9. This being commanded unto, and the commendation of good men, Iob 1. 1. Acts 10. 2. I know there is difference betwixt filiall and servile feare; filiall endures for ever, the other is violent, therefore is not permanent: servile feares evill of punishment, the other evill of sinne: filiall is onely in the Elect, servile may be in good and bad; being in the good as a needle to draw after it filiall as a threed; as a needle alone, so servile alone availeth not: yet by going before draweth after it filiall as the threed. [Page 196] The property of this feare is to make us in our hearts stand in awe of God; and to feare, hate, and eschew the offence of God, Prov. 8. 13. Exod. 20. 20. It being the greatest evill for the creature to offend the Creatour. We may and must therefore serve the Lord with feare: for that mans hope is vainely confident, who refuseth to feare God in his conversation saith * Mr. Burton. Truths triumph o­ver Trent, cap. 17. pag 351.

7. In newnesse of spirit, Rom. 7. 6. That is by living such a life which becomes them whom the Spirit hath renewed.

8. In righteousnesse and holinesse, Luc. 1. 74, 75. i. By just and upright dealing betweene man and man, in holinesse. i. performing all such duties as immediatly concerne God, and his worship.

Should I say no more, my Doctrine in hand (me thinkes) is inducement sufficient to perswade you thus to serve God: for if you have fellowship with the Father, then it's a necessary duty. Serve him also you must, if you desire this communi­on: it being a meanes to obtaine fellowshippe with the Father. Notwithstanding, because there be many bad ma­sters in this world, which wooe and intice all, allure and draw too many to forsake the Lord, and to serve them; I will in few words shew that of all the services in the world, this of the Lords is farre the best.

1. Mans owne flesh is oft his master, which he carefully doth serve. 1. By too much pampering of it. 2. By an over carking and caring for the things of the body. And, 3. By fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Saint Paul was of another mind; he kept under his body, and made it serve him, 1 Cor. 9. 27. And forbids us to make provision for the flesh, &c. Rom. 13, 14. As for this service, it is no whit for a mans ad­vantage; Their end is destruction, whose god is their belly, whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things, Phil. 3. 19.

2. Man serves man: First, having a more firme depen­dance upon man then God, regarding more the authority of man, then of God: Thus Papists serve man; with whom it matters not what God saith, so be they have the Popes [Page 197] approbation: and many other do so with whom the word of man is more authenticall then the Word of God. Secondly, reposing more confident affiance in the skill of man, Asa­like, 2. Chron. 16. 12. or power and valour, Isa. 31. 1. The contrary we see in David, Psal. 20. 7. Thirdly having mens persons in admiration, Iude 16. Thus parasiticall Prophets, like Ahabs 400. and soothing companions by flattering osten­tation, have men in admiration for their person, ri [...]hes, ho­nour, nobility, &c. without respect of the feare of God, or true vertue; honouring them onely because they be rich, or noble (by the way great men have this miserie, they are most admired, least admonished) Thus who in his right wits would serve man, considering: 1. How helplesse he is, Isa. 2. 22. Cease from man whose breath is in his nostrills; for wherein is he to be accounted of: these Masters cannot redeeme a bro­ther, nor give a ransome to God for him, Psal. 49. 6. 7. 2. How execrable, Isa. 31. 1. Ier. 17. 5. 3. How base and contemp­tible it is for man so to submit to man, made of the same ma­terials, workman, manner, and in that respect his equall, tur­ning to dust, and rottennesse as well as he.

3. Many men serve the world, viz. the ambitious by his inordinate desire of honour, and striving for preferment, serves honour, and an ambitious humour. The Covetous, by his love of riches, and obeying the avaritious desires thereof, serves Mammon: the voluptuous person, by being too much addicted to carnall delights, serves pleasure. These have a Master and a service; But such which makes them much to be pittied, not at all to be envied: for alas; First, they serve vanity, as Solomon concludes, who had a greater experiment of them all then any other, Eccl. 1. 2. the service of vanity must needs be vaine. Secondly, neither is it onely vaine, but hardly tormenting, Eccl. 1. 14. 2. 10. Vexation of spirit. How doth this service abound with excruciating cares, tormenting dis­contents, ignoble jealousies, disquieting feares, base flatteries, restlesse contrivements, and an innumbred swarme of such like anxious perplexities. Thirdly, neither is here all: this Master is a deceitfull cousener, not much unlike Iacobs Ma­ster [Page 198] Laban, giving a blearey'd Leah for a promised Rahel: her best servitours often faile of their expectations: or if not so; they prove like Sodomes apples, not worth the gathe­ring; or a wormeaten nut, not worth the cracking, filling the breakers mouth with filth, and rottenesse. Fourthly, but there is a worse matter in this service then all this. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him, 1. Iohn 2. 15. and no man can s [...]rve both God, and Mammon, Matth. 6. 24.

4. There is another Master which too many men serve; his name is sin, Iohn 8. 34. whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin. Whosoever of his own accord readily obeyeth the desires, and motions of sinne is the servant of sinne. Of such servants Saint Peter speakes, 2. Pet. 2. 19. serving their lusts. 1. Obey­ing the wicked motions thereof, consenting to them, or pra­ctising them, Titus 3. 3. S. Paul forbids us of this service, Rom. 6. 6. and acknowledgeth that once we were servants to this evill Master, Rom. 6. 17. 19. 20. This is a service strongly be­witching men with amiable enchantments, having abundance of obsequious observants. But doe they know whom and what they serve? I presume no; for did they, they could not but abandon with loathing detestation a Master. 1. So base, and vile, then which nothing more fastidious, or excre­mentitions. 2. So abounding with such multiplicity of vari­ous impieties, then which no service more tedious and trou­blesome, wherein a man serves, not two, but a multitude of Masters, serving sinne in the lusts thereof, Rom. 6. 12. 3. So cruell, then which none more tyrannicall, and bloudy; paying its best observants with as bad wages as may be; eternall death, Rom. 6. 23. Iam. 1. 15. These are services, but not like ours, although worldlings now as in Iobs time, say or thinke, What is the Almighty, that we should serve him; and in Ma­lachy 3. 17. it is in vaine to serve God: Yet we know this ser­vice to be of all other.

1. Most honourable: For, 1. Our Master is not some Kings greatest favourite, nor yet some potent Prince, nor yet a terrene Monarch, swaying the Soveraigne Scepter for his [Page 199] time of the whole world; But a Lord of Lords, and King of Kings, whose is the kingdome, the power, and glory; then which no Master more honourable. 2. Our fellow-servants are all the holy ones of God, as Abraham; and those pious Patriarches, such as Moses and Eliah, and those Divine Pro­phets: such as David, and those other godly Governours: the heavenly company of glorious Angels, Rev. 19. 10. Yea, our blessed Saviour, our fellow-servant, Phil. 2. 7. Then which no fellow-servants more honourable.

2. Most gainefull: these servants gaine Christ, Phil 3. 8. Pardon of sinnes, Gods favour, his blessed Spirit; yea, tem­porall favours, if commodious for them, shall moreover and above be added to them, Mat. 6. 33. If they have not riches, it is because they are not good for them. If they want health,Temporalia non sunt bona, nisi in quantum ordinan­tur in coelestia. it is because it is not good for them. If their life is cut short, they are taken away from the evill to come. Yea moreover, as this service gaines all things, 1 Cor. 3. 21. &c. And as a good friend loves at all times, Prov. 17. 7. So this service brings in gaines at all seasons, in sicknesse, and health, prospe­rity, and adversity, Rom. 8. 28. Yea, in life, and death, Phil. 1. 22. Another man dies, his gaines die with him, Psal. 49. 17. His treasure was laid up on earth, therefore leaving this world he parts with his treasure: the servant of God dies, his gaines follow him, Rev. 14. 13. His treasure was laid up in heaven, departing hence therefore he followes his trea­sure, goes to his gaine: Perhaps he forgoes a materiall buil­ding, and layes downe an earthly tabernacle; but he finds a building given of God, not made with hands, eternall in the heavens, 2 Cor. 5. 1. He leaves behind him some worldly substance; but gets in heaven a better and enduring substance, Heb. 10. 34. Peradventure he may part with some corrupti­ble inheritance, to take possession of an inheritance incorrup­tible, reserved in heaven, 1 Pet. 1. 4. Where he hath so much, that he is ever satisfied; and so much to come, that he is never glutted: where there is infinite abundance of all things, and yet infinite more to come.

3. Most delightfull: David had an honourable service, [Page 200] ascending from keeping sheepe to be sonne in law to a King. Iacob a gainefull, growing from alone man, and a staffe into a populous family, and certaine droves; but neither had much delight in his service. But as there is honour and profit in this service, so there is plenitude of delight, and consolation. For, 1. Our Master is no churlish Nabal, to whom a man could not speake, 1 Sam. 25. 17. No unkind Laban, but a God most mercifull and pitifull; gracious and favourable; patient and long suffering. He termes his ser­vants friends, Isa. 41. 8. Yea, sonnes, Exod. 4. 23. He layes upon us no burdensome yoke, but such which is easie and light, Math. 11. 28. Not grievous, 1 Ioh. 5. 3. But the re­joycing of our hearts, Psal. 119. 111. I need not go from my Point in hand to fetch this threefold cord which is not ea­sily broken. Those who truly serve the Lord, have fellowship with the Father, then which what more honourable, gainfull, or delightfull? Good servants 1. obey their Masters pre­cepts. 2. Spend the chiefe of their time in their Masters bu­sinesse. 3. Delight to please them. 4. Have no intimate society with their Masters professed enemies. 5. Cannot endure to see or heare them abused. 6. And feare to offend them. Be we such good servants. 1. Obeying the will and Word of God. 2. Spending the day of our time in his ser­vice, walking Enoch-like with God, Gen. 5. 24. 3. Ioy in pleasing our so good and gracious Master. 4. Avoiding inti­mate familiarity with his enemies. 5. Not enduring to heare or see him dishonoured. 6. And fearing to offend him. Thus let us serve him; this serving being a duty we owe, if we have, or meanes to obtaine if we want fellowship with the Father.


NOW I come to the fourth and last part of the true goodfellowship, consisting betwixt the Head and members: And with his Sonne Iesus Christ. This part of the true goodfel­lowship is not the least, although the last. For by fellowship with Christ, we have fellow­ship with the Saints, and without Christ Iesus there is no fel­lowship for man with God. I will now forbeare to speake of these three titles, his Sonne, Iesus, Christ: It only sufficeth for the present to tell you that Christ is Gods Sonne. 1. By Nature. According to his Divine nature he and he onely is the Sonne of God, being begotten of the same substance of the Father by an everlasting generation, Math. 17. 5. 2. By Grace of personall union, the manhood of Christ being unse­parably united to the person of the Sonne of God, Luke 1. 35. The Saints are Gods Sonnes by Adoption, Rom. 8. 17. Yea, all professours without practice are Gods Sonnes, al­though by profession onely, Gen. 6. 1. The creatures may be termed Gods Sonnes commonly. Saints are Gods Sonnes specially. But Christ is Gods Sonne singularly.

CHAP. I. The Saints have fellowship with Christ.

Doct. 4 ALL true believers, Saints, or faithfull Christians have societie, fellowship or communion with Iesus Christ the Sonne of God.

[With his Son Iesus Christ] Ioh. 15. 1, 2, 3, 4. I am the true vine, ye are the branches, 17. 23. 26. 21. I in them, &c. Eph. 3. 17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. Gal. 2. 20. I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me.

Reason 1 All those who are Christ his fellowes have fellowship with Iesus Christ the Sonne of God.

But all true believers, Saints, or faithfull Christians are Christ his fellowes (for Christ hath taken them into fellowship of himselfe, and his merits, Psal. 45. 7.) Therefore all true believers, Saints, &c. Have fellowship with Iesus Christ the Sonne of God.

That they are Christ his fellowes, I prove thus.

Those who are fellow-servants of the same Master, bre­thren of the same father; fellow-members of the same body, &c. are fellowes.

But all true believers, Saints, or faithfull Christians are,

1. Fellow-servants with Christ of the same Master, Phil. 2. 7.

2. Fellow-brethren of the same Father, Math. 12. 50. Heb. 2. 11.

3. Fellow-members of the same body, Eph. 4. 13. 15. 16.

4. Fellow-souldiers against Sathan, 2 Tim. 2. 3, 4.

5. Fellow-sufferers, Rom. 8. 17.

6. Fellow-Conquerours, Rom. 8. 17.

7. Fellow-Kings, Priests, and Prophets. Rev. 1. 5.

8. Fellow-heires of the same Kingdome, Rom. 8. 17.

Fellowes they are; not by nature, it is of grace: not by de­sert, it is of free gift or donation: not by excellency or aequa­lity, it is onely by estimation.

2 2. Those who are linkt and conglutinated in the firmest connexion of the Matrimoniall knot and conjugall yoke, have fellowship each with other.

But Christ Iesus and all true believers, Saints, or faithfull Christians are linkt and conglutinated in the firmest connexi­on of the Matrimoniall knot, and conjugall yoke: therefore have fellowship each with other.

The first Proposition is cleare: I prove the second or minor thus.

Those who are bride, and bridegroome; husband and wife, are linkt and conglutinated in the firmest connexion of the Matrimoniall knot, and Conjugall yoke.

But Christ Iesus is the Bridegroome or Husband; all true belieuers, Saints, &c. are the bride. Therefore Christ and Christians are linkt and conglutinated, &c.

That Christ is the Husband to true believers, I thus prove.

He who doth wooe, contract himselfe unto, consummate the match made with, and performe all duties of a husband to all true believers, Saints, or faithfull Christians is their husband.

But Christ Iesus doth all these to all true believers. As for example.

1. He wooeth, beseeching us by his Ministers, 2 Cor. 5. 20.

2. He contracts himselfe unto the Church by a firme and free promise of mariage with his Church with the consent of his Father.

3. He will consummate the mariage at the end of the world, Rev. 19. 7.

4. He promiseth all duties of a husband to all true belie­vers; For instance.

Husbands ought entirely to love their wives, Col. 3. 19. Eph. 5. 22. Love them they ought; for they are good things, Prov. 18. 22. For they are their companions, Mal. 2. 14. And their owne flesh, Eph. 5. 28. Christ Iesus loved his Church with such entire and ardent love, that he gave him­selfe [Page 204] for his Church. But because I will not stay upon conju­gall duties; in briefe I say; that no husband ever; nay if the excellency of all the most melting affectionatenesse, and other chiefe vertues could be drawne out of all mankind that have beene, are, or shalbe, and infused into some Angelicall body; yet could not this imagined excellent husband love with such a sincere, and perpetuall love, cleave so closely and com­pactedly unto; give such honor, or due benevolence unto, con­solate with such ravishing comforts, graunt more willingly the honest and reasonable requests, governe, guide, and direct more prudently a wife lovely beyond imagination, as Christ Iesus doth the Church, or true believers, Saints, or faithfull Christians his Spouse.

That all true believers are the Spouse of Christ is perspicu­ously transparent, Rev. 19. 7, 8. 21. 9. 22. 27. Iohn 3. 29. And in this that they owe the selfesame duties to Christ Ie­sus which wives do owe to their husbands. sc. Subjection, reverence, obedience, &c.

Therefore all true believers have fellowship with Iesus Christ, &c.

3 All those which are ingrafted and inoculated into Iesus Christ, have fellowshippe with Iesus Christ the Sonne of God.

But all true believers, Saints, or faithfull Christians are in­grafted or inoculated into Iesus Christ. Therefore all true believers, &c. have fellowship with Iesus Christ, the &c.

The latter Proposition I prove out of Ioh. 15. 1, 2.

1. There is a husbandman, who is the Father, justly cal­led the husbandman: for,

1. He hath a rightfull interest unto, and an absolute Sove­raigne authority over his spirituall vine, vineyard, and branches; his is the right, not by Law, but by nature; not from any superiour, but from himselfe, and he may do with it what he will.

2. In regard of affection, the affection that he beares to this vine, vineyard, and branches is transcendent; he loves them tenderly, and delights in them wonderfully.

[Page 205]3. In regard of his actions: for,

1. He doth plant, i. e. joyne the elect taken out of the rotten stocke of old Adam unto Christ and his Church by the spirit. Psal. 92. 13. Rom. 6. 5.

2. He doth water with the true doctrine of his Word, the holy spirit, and saving graces, Ezek 36. 15.

3. He doth expect as earnestly fruit from his vineyard, as the husbandman doth from his, Isa. 5. 2.

4. He doth prune and purge out blindnesse by the word of Knowledge, errour by the Word of Confutation, desperation, by the word of Consolation, &c. and he pre­serves, &c. and on the contrary he rejects the fruitlesse bran­ches, that so they may wither, and be burned, Iohn 15. 2. 4. 6.

2. There is also a Vine, and there are branches abiding in that vine, Iohn 15. 4. Christ is a vine giving life of grace to all his members, as a vine gives juyce and life to all its branches; he ministreth to Christians the sappe of his grace, and spirit, whereby they live, grow, and bring forth good workes; even as a vine doth minister to the branches moysture, sappe, and juyce, whereby they live, flourish, and beare fruit. In this vine the roote is Christ, his God-head the stemme, his Manhood, the s [...]ppe, his graces, the branches, true beleevers, and the grapes good workes. Neither is this contradicted, where the Church is called a vine, Psal. 80. 9. 14. Isa. 5. 1. 2. 3. A vine it is whose sense is Gods protection, whose prea­chers are its watchmen, their doctrines and exhortations as a winepresse to wring out good duties as sweet iuyce; and whose grapes are good workes as pleasant fruite. Nor where Christ is called a branch as he oftentimes is, Ier. 33. 15. Zach. 3. 8. 6. 12. for when Christ is a branch, his Church is the vine, himselfe the Head or chiefe branch, his Saints in­feriour twigs, his graces sappe, blossome, bud, and grapes. When the Church is a vine, Christ wholy is the roote, and stock; true beleevers the branches, whose obedience is the fruits, or pleasant grapes; which way soever they are ingraf­ted into Christ. Therefore have fellowship with Iesus Christ the Sonne of God.

4 Those who being knit together by the spirit, are laid as li­ving stones upon Christ the foundation, or head corner stone to be an habitation of God, have fellowship with Iesus Christ the Sonne of God; because they are stones of that building whereof he is the foundation.

But all true beleevers are built together, or laid upon Christ Iesus the foundation, &c. Ephes. 2. 20, 21, 22. 1. Pet. 2. 5. 6, 7. Therefore Christ Iesus is:

1 1. That stone in Daniel 2. 43. cut out of the mountaines without hands; being not set up by man, but sent by God. 2. A stone of offence, 1. Pet. 2. 8. to unbeleevers, and misbeleevers, they perishing by refusing to be laid upon this stone. 3. A pretious stone, 1. Pet. 2. 6. hee being of exceeding great value, more worth then millions of worlds. 4. A living stone, 1. Pet. 2. 4. preserving the faithfull in the life of grace to the life of glory. 5. A stone with seaven eyes, Zach. 4. 10. in regard Gods providence watcheth graciously over all such who are built upon this stone. 6. Yea the foundation of his Church, and chosen, 1. Cor. 3. 10, 11. Other foundation can no man lay, then that is layd, which is Iesus Christ, Ephes. 2. 20. Iesus Christ himselfe being the chiefe corner stone, 1. Pet. 2. 6.

True it is, that the decree of Gods election grounded upon his everlasting love is a foundation, 2. Tim. 2. 19. because the godly are stayed upon this, as a house upon the foundation. 2. Christian doctrine is a foundation also, Heb. 6. 1. It being a meanes to build men upon Christ the foundation. 3. Chri­stian princes, and Magistrates are thus stiled, Psal. 82. 5. be­cause the quiet of the Church doth rest upon them, as a house on the foundation. 4. The Apostles, and Prophets, Ephes. 2. 20. Not onely Peter (those who make Peter the foundation whereon the Church is built. 1. Falsifye the Text, which is, not Ʋpon thee Peter, but Ʋpon this Rocke. 2. Deale reproch­fully with Christ, lifting Peter into the roome of his Master. 3. Injuriously with the Church, building it upon so weake a rocke which so often failed) but the Apostles and Prophets all of them as well as he are foundations (viz. second, and [Page 207] subordinate) because by their doctrien they lay the elect upon Christ the true foundation: which is the true foundation of the Church in regard of his person, and office. 1. Hee being the corner stone, or firme foundation whereon his Church is built. 2. He supporting, and bearing it Vp, as a foundation, against the gates of hell, that they cannot prevaile against it.

2 As Christ is the foundation, so Gods faithfull Ministers are the builders, 1. Cor. 3. 10. laying the Elect upon Christ, as builders doe one stone upon another, and all upon the foun­dation.

3 And the Saints are the stones. 1. Called lively, 1. Pet. 2. 5. because they are quickened with the life of God by the do­ctrine of the gospell. 2. Stones made up into a spirituall house, Ephes. 2. 20, 21, 22. because they are founded on Christ the head stone. They are therefore called Gods building, 1. Cor. 3. 9. their soules being as the walls, the Word of God the Morter, cementing, and the hammer to fit, and fashion them for this building. Therefore all the Saints have neare so­ciety with Christ Iesus, being stones of the same buil­ding.

5 All members of a body have fellowship with the head of that body, whereof they are members. All true beleevers, Saints, or faithfull Christians are members of that body, whereof Christ Iesus is the head; Therfore they have fellow­ship with him.

The head is the seate of reason, memory, imagination, and senses; It gives life and motion to the members: From the head, the body by joynts and bands hath nourishment ministred, is knit together, and increaseth, Col. 2. 19. Therefore head, and members have society one with ano­ther.

All true beleevers are members, &c. Christ the head, &c. Ephes. 4. 12. edifying the body of Christ. 15. head even Christ, 5. 13. Christ is the head of the Church, 30. for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones, 1. 22. gave himselfe to bee head over all things to the Church, ver. 23. which is his body.

Therefore all true beleevers, Saints, or faithfull Christians have fellowship with Christ Iesus.

6 All those sweet mellodious resemblances twixt Christ and Christians recorded in sacred writ necessarily conclude that there is a society, betwixt Christ and true Christians; yea such, then which none more lovely, none more firme, none more inseperable; it being knit and tyed with the strong, and lasting ligaments of all societies.

1. Christ is the Shepheard, the Church is a Fold, and Christians are Sheepe, Iohn 10. 14, 15, 16.

2. Christ is the Vine, the Church is the Vineyard, and Christians are Branches, Iohn 15. 5.

3. Christ is the Captaine, the Church is the Field, and Christians are Souldiers, 2. Tim. 2. 3.

4. Christ is the Phisitian, the Church is his Shop, and Christians are Patients, Luk. 5. 31, 32. Rev. 3.

5. Christ is our elder Brother, the Church our Mother, and Christians are Brethren, Heb. 2. 11.

6. Christ is a Henne, the Church a Nest, and Christians are Chickens, Matth. 23. 37.

7. Christ is a Fisher, the Church is a Sea, and Christians are Fishes, Mar. 1. 17.

8. Christ is a Feast maker, the Church a Banqueting house, Christians are Ghests, Prov. 9. 1. 2. Math. 22. 1.

9. Christ is a Teacher, the Church a Schoole, Christians are Schollers.

10. Christ is a King, the Church is a Kingdome, Christians are Subjects.

11. Christ is a Bridegroome, the Church is a Wedding house, Christians the Bride.

12. Christ is the Foundation, the Church is the Building, and Christians are Stones.

13. Christ is the Head, the Church is a Body, and Chri­stians are Members.

CHAP. II. Ʋse 1. Reprehending those who harme the Saints.

HOw dare you, O you sonnes of Belial, harme, or hurt,Ʋse 1. Of Reprehension. disgracefully deride, or persecute with hand, heart, or tongue these who have fellowship with Christ? Whose Word so potent, that by it he created the universall world: by it he cast out Devils; stilled the raging waves of the im­petuous sea, healed incurable diseases, vanquished Sathan, and consumeth Antichrist, 2 Thes. 2. 8. With Christ I say: of whom what shall I say? He being wonderfull, Isa. 9. 5. In his conception, in his birth, in his speech, in his miracles, in his life, in his sufferings, in his death, in his rising, and in his actions. He fed multitudes with little; he wrought strange miracles; he overcame death, Sathan, and hell; he shall come to judge both quicke, and dead: yea, he is a mighty God; and do you not dread to lade with taunting quips, vil­lanous reproches, all hellish language and usage, such who have fellowship with him? Yea such who are, 1. The redeemed of this Redeemer. 2. The holy ones of this Sanctifier. 3. The clients of this preserver. 4. The souldiers of this Captaine. 5. The servants of this Lord. 6. The subjects of this King. 7. The brethren and sisters of this Brother. 8. The sheepe of this Shepheard. 9. The Bride of this husband. 10. The members of this head?

These are Christ his sheepe for whom he laid downe his life, Iohn 10. 15.

These are branches abiding in Christ, who shall have whatsoever they aske, Iohn 15. 7.

These are Christs souldiers quenching the fierie darts of the Devill, Eph. 6. 16. And overcomming the world, 1 Ioh. 5. 5.

These are Christ his patients which he heales with his owne bloud, 1 Ioh. 1. 7.

These are Christs subjects whom he rewards with king­domes.

These are Christs beloved Spouse, which he loved so en­tirely, as to give himselfe for them, Eph. 5. 25. And do you not dread to offend them?

These are they for whom Christ prayed so earnestly to his Father to keepe them, to sanctifie them, &c. And presume you to curse them?

These are they for whose sake he took upon him the forme of a servant, endured so much wearinesse, and labour, hunger, and thirst, buffetings, and scourgeings, despightfull spittings, contumelious crowning with thorns Iudas his trecherie, the soldiers barbarous inhumanity, the false witnes bearing of the perjur'd accusers, the frequent solliciting accusations of the Iewes, the unjust condemnation of Pilate, the cruelty of his executioners, the cursed death of the Crosse, the sweaty ago­ny of Bloud, the heavy Passion upon the Crosse, the temptati­ons of Sathan, Gods wrath, and the torments of hell: And will you wrong them? Them I say whom he hath bought at so deare a rate?

These are Christs Spouse, Iewels, peculiar People, Kings, Priests, Prophets; and are they the of-scouring of all things in your sight?

Do you not tremble to wish evill unto, much more to speake evill of, most of all to wrong actually those who are the pasture sheepe of such a Shepheard, branches of such a vine; souldiers of such a Captaine; the wife of such a hus­band, and members of Christ his body?

We who have fellowship with Christ Iesus know that it is our portion to be hated of all men for Christs sake: to be by words to fooles, as was Iob, Chap. 30. 7. Songs to drun­kards, as was David, Psal. 69. 12. To be falsly accused, rai­led upon: Christ our Head and Husband hath drunke deepe of this Cup to us, and we are content to pledge him, we knowing this to be our lot, and for our profit: We being more bright by such your filing, more purified by such try­ings, more odorif [...]rous by being pounded: we are the Lords vine, growing more fruitfull by pruning, his palmes flourish­ing most when under pressures: and his tillage whose hearts [Page 211] are more mollified, and softened, more apted for the seed of heavenly truth, and saving graces; made more fruitfull, and lesse weedy by such your plowing: We therefore with pati­ence, contentment, and gladnesse suffer all your hellish indig­nities, even when you plow upon our backes, and make long furrowes: our bettering by your scourgings comes not from you, aiming at nothing lesse, being helpers forward of our af­flictions when our Father was but a little displeased with us, Zach. 1. 15. But from our Fathers love and bounty, making all things worke together for our good, Rom. 8. 28. You shall therefore smart for grieving us; you being our Fathers rods, shalbe plagued with indignation, after by you he hath corre­cted us. Witnesse the hard-hearted Aegyptians, Ahab, Ieza­bel, the three Herods, the first butchering the harmlesse Inno­cents, the second beheading Iohn the Baptist, and the third Saint Iames. Witnesse cruell Nero, bloudy Domitian, Iohn de Roma, Minerius, stinking Gardiner; witnesse the forty two children mocking the Prophet, Ishmael scoffing at Isaac, cursing Shimei, railing Rabshakeh, and others: And do you thinke to escape who harme and hurt with your utmost abili­ties these sheepe which are of Christs fold; such members who have Christ their head; yea, such who so many wayes have such intimate and inseparable society with Iesus Christ, that what is done to these, is done to him, Math. 25. 40. And he who persecuteth them, persecuteth him, Acts 9. 4.

CHAP. III. Ʋse 2. Disswading from hurting the Saints.

PResume not O you sonnes of men to harme, or hurt thoseƲse [...] Of [...]. who have fellowship with Iesus Christ: Be it they are ge­nerally hated of all sorts and conditions: Be it that most mens mouthes are open against them, loading them with all manner of reprochfull nick-names: yet do not you therfore imagine that you are priviledg'd to inveigh against them: But consider in coole bloud advisedly,

[Page 212]1. For what cause the world is so extraordinarily incenst against them; and you shall find it to be because they runne not with the world to the same excesse of riot, 1 Pet. 4. 4. Because their workes are righteous, and worldlings wicked, 1 Ioh. 3. 12. Even as the ancient Paynims in Tertullians time [...]onus vir Caius, Seius, sed [...]al [...] tantum quod christianus, Tertul. Apol. pag. 810. could fault Caius Seius for nothing, save for being a Christi­an, which in their apprehensions was sufficient to make him an evill man: So the prophane ones of the world thinke it as great a crime as may be to be a professour, to whom we may say (as Tertullian to the forenamed Heathens: With you itApud vos quodv [...] C [...]ler [...] [...]us est pr [...]t [...]r Deum verum. Tertul. Apol. pag. 860. is lawfull to worship any God except the true God) with you it is lawfull to be a swearer, lyar, drunkard, any thing, except a sound and sincere professour.

2. Who they be which barke so bitterly against Profes­sours, Tertullian long since in his Apologeticall DiscourseQui fort [...] verè de Christia [...]rum ste­rilitate conqueri possunt, primi sunt le [...]o [...], producto­res, aquariols, sic ca­r [...]j, v [...]rij, Magi, &c Tertul. Apol. pag. 885. reasons thus. Who in very deed do complaine of the unfruitful­nesse of Christians? The chiefe are Bawds, Merchants for whores, Wittals, privy Murtherers, Poysoners Magicians, &c. Even so might I reason and say, who are they which are so enraged against the most upright-hearted Professours? The chiefe and principall are swinish Drunkards, cut-throat usurers, prodigious swearers, uncleane whore-mongers, &c.

3. Although I confesse you may find some Iudasses and Demasses amongst the Saints, (and why not aswell as a De­vill in Christs selected Twelve, a sacrilegious couple, and an Apostaticall worldling in the Apostles company?) Yet for the generall I dare say of Puritannicall Christians (what Puri­tanes I disclaime, what I apologize for, I have formerly shewed in briefe, such which will not be prophane, such who are professing, and practicing Protestants) as Tertullian of the Primitive (Quis illi [...] Si [...]ari­ [...]? quis manticula­rius? quis sacrile­gus, aut corrupt [...]r, aut lavantium pr [...]do? quis ex illis Christia [...] ascribi­tur? aut cum Chri­stiani f [...]o titul [...] [...]f­f [...]runtur, quis ex illis talis quales t [...]s n [...]ce [...]tes de vestris? [...] carcer semper, de vestris semper metalla suspirant, de vestris [...]esti [...] saginantur.—N [...]m [...] illic Chri­stia [...], nisi planè tantum Christia [...], aut si & aliud, jam nec Christianus. Tertul. Apol. pag 886. which of them is a privy murtherer? Who is a cut▪ purse? Who is a sacrilegious person, or a depraver or a robber of washers? who of them is counted a Christian, or when Christians are brought forth with their owne title, which of them is such as many guilty persons of yours? with which the prisons alwayes waxe hot, the mines do sigh with yours, with yours the beasts are [Page 213] fatted.—No Christian is there except for being a Christian, or if otherwise, then he is no Christian) which of them is a drun­kard, swearer, lyar? Which of them is a defrauder? Which of them is as many of yours? (O thou world) which yearely fill the prisons, make worke for the hang-man? Which of them live prophanely and wickedly?

4. How neare and deare they are to Christ Iesus. Such they are which are,

1. Given by the Lord Iehovah, to▪ his beloved Sonne Christ Iesus, Iohn 6. 37. As branches to be grafted into him; as Brides to be married to him; stones to be built upon him; as members to be nourished by him.

2. For whom Christ Iesus (Gal. 2. 20.) gave himselfe,—for me,—for us, Eph. 5. 2.

3. To whom Christ is given, Isa. 9. 6. Eph. 1. 22. Gave himselfe to the Church.

4. Such who give themselves to Christ as living sacrifi­ces, Rom. 12. 1. As sheepe to be fed, schollers to be taught, subjects to be ruled.

5. Such, whose union with Christ Iesus is the nearest and surest in the world, Cantic. 2. 16. My beloved is mine, and I am his; nearer then the body and branches of a tree, members of a naturall body, boards, or stones of the same building; then of man and wife; for they are but one flesh, whereas Christ and these are one flesh, Eph. 5. 30. And one spirit, 1 Cor. 6. 17.

1. Then reason and conclude thus. 1. Are those who are the principall laborious instruments to irritate and incense tu­multuous turbulent spirits to pursue with deadly hatred and all implacable, and impetuous despightfulnesse-sincere-hear­ted Nathaniels, informing them (although falsly) that such Scripture-men, Bible-bearers, Sermon▪ haunters, &c. are all notorious hypocrites, and vile dissemblers; and are all such which enragedly exclaime against the sincerest worshippers of God. 1. Either sottish ignorant lossels, speaking against those things which they know not, as currish dogges barke against the Moone, and at those they know not. 2. Or simple [Page 214] meaning men, misled by certaine usuall, yet untrue and Dia­bolicall maxumes commonly applauded and credited, sc. no men are so bad as Professours; they are all of them naught. 3. Or else the rude rabble of prodigious swearers, braine­sicke drunkards, and such like deboist ruffians, and stigmati­call varlets.

2. Yea, doth this malignant or misled company pursue with all contumelious disgracefull reproches and maledicti­ons the unblameable carriages of good men, for no other cause, but because their workes are righteous, and their owne wicked; for piety and profession sake, because they will not sweare and swagger, cogge and cousen, quaffe and carouse, drink and be damned with them.

3. Yea, are those maligned people a company of men ab­horring all manner of oathes, greater, and lesser? all lying, merry, officious, and pernicious, slanderous back-bitings; prophane jestings, quarellous contentions, quaffing, carou­sing and drunken healthings, oppression, usury, and all unjust gettings, wanton ribauldry? &c. Insomuch that Iudges, and Iusticers, Gaoles, and Iurers are not imployed about the dis­ordered cariages of these people. Do they labour diligently in their callings? Frequent Sermons? Sanctifie Sabbaths? Relieve the distressed? Instruct their families? &c. All which are necessary and excellent duties, if performed after a right manner, and to right ends: which they do for any thing the world knowes, God having reserved the act of rea­ding mens thoughts unto himselfe.

4. Yea, do many of the deboist Belials so approve of such people, that upon their beds of sicknesse, when they receive the sentence of death in themselves, they thinke themselves bettered by their company. They▪ wish and wish often that themselves had lived l [...]ke them, and bind themselves by pro­testations, and promises to walke in their steps, if the Lord will spare them but this time.

5. Yea, are they so indeer'd to Christ Iesus? that,

1. He is theirs. 1. By an everlasting covenant, Ezek. 32. 40. 2. By a firme and inseparable contract, Hos. 2. 19. 3. By [Page 215] vow. 4. By promise. 5. By oath, Eph. 16. 8. 6. By do­nation, given for them, and to them as a Head or Husband, Advocate, Peace-maker, Prince, Priest, and Prophet.

2. They are his,
  • 1. Creatures, as he is their Creatour.
  • 2. Redeemed, as he is their Redeemer.
  • 3. Holy ones, as he is their Sanctifier.
  • 4. Souldiers▪ as he is their Captaine.
  • 5. Servants, as he is their Lord.
  • 6. Subjects, as he is their King.
  • 7. Sheepe, as he is their Shepheard.
  • 8. Body, as he is their Head.
  • 9. Pupils, or clients, as he is their Pre­server.
  • 10. Daughter, as he is their Father.
  • 11. Sister, as he is their Brother.
  • 12. Bride, as he is their Husband.

3. That Christ receives of those that be his Saints, 1. their sinnes with the punishments, 2 Cor. 5. 21. 2. Their afflicti­ons and miseries, suffering with them, Acts 9.

4. And they receive of Christ Iesus, 1. Right of Adopti­on. 2. Right of Iustification, 1 Cor. 1. 30. Right of salva­tion, Col. [...]. 12, 13. And the Lord to be their portion, Psal. 16. 5. 73. 26. Mr. Burton saith: He partakes of our flesh,Truths triumph over Trent pag. 111. we of his Spirit: He of our nature, we of his grace: He of our infirmities, we of his perfections: He of our poverty, we of his riches: He of our sinnes, we of his righteous­nesse.

5. Yea, are they joyned, and compacted, not onely to the vi­sible Church by certaine bands which are visible and dissolu­ble, as namely the profession of Christ, his Doctrine, Partici­pation of the Sacraments, &c. But also compacted, and knit to the Lord Iesus by other [...]ies, and ligaments, which are in­ternall, invisible, and dissoluble, to wit, the band of their eter­nall election in Christ, whereby God the Father adopteth them, and the band of the Spirit of Christ, and so of faith in him. And shall I upon the malicious instigation of, or to give [Page 216] contentment to such a viperine pestiferous company, deride, disgrace, or any manner of way molest for piety sake those which (although being men they have their frailties) live as holily as is possible for mortall men; they being also so neare to the Lord Iesus? I will not doe it. Doe I dread to soile, or demolish the glittering Palaces of Princes, and Peeres? And shall I presume once to endeavour to ruinate or contaminate the Lords owne Temple, founded and built upon Christ Ie­sus? Am I affraid to harme, or hurt the sheepe, servants, children, brethren, consorts, or members of mortall Princes, whose breath is in their nostrils, who must turne to dust, and come to judgement aswell as I? and shall I adventure to de­fame, and perplexe the sheepe, servants, children, brethren, spouse, and members of the Lord Iesus? O you my feet, move not you the least motion against them: and you my hands, offer not the least injurious violence against them: and you my eyes, do not cast a malicious glaunce upon their pros­perous estate, nor coy or contemptuous looke upon their per­sons: and you mine eares, do not admit any false and forged calumniations against their spotlesse innocency: And thou my tongue, doe not tongue-smite, and traduce their pious profession: and thou my head, doe not invent intangling snares to inveigle their charitable and credu­lous simplicity: and thou my heart, doe not thou hatch or harbour the least sinister conceipt against their upright upright conversations. Be it they are blacke in regard of suf­ferings, and afflictions outwardly; in regard of their often frailties, and infirmities inwardly: yet are they amiable, and lovely in respect of their good order and government, pra­ctice of piety, and outward obedience to Gods Lawes out­wardly; of Christs righteousnesse and sanctification begun inwardly. Be it they are deformed in their owne eyes, and the eyes of Atheists, Hypocrites, &c. Yet are they lovely in the eyes of the Bridegroome Christ, Cantic. 1. 7. And the Bridegroomes friends, Cantic. 5. 9. 17. Be it they are not gracious with all, yet they are with some. Be it they are vile in the eyes of the wicked; yet they are not in the eyes of the [Page 217] good. Be it they are vile in the eyes of men, yet not in the eyes of God, for they have fellowshippe with his Sonne Iesus Christ.

CHAP. IIII. Ʋse 3. Of Perswasion.

BE perswaded, O you holy ones, to cleave more closelyƲse 3. Of Perswasion. Nemo proficient e­rubescit; h [...]bet & in Christo scientia ae­ta [...]es suas. Tertul. de pudicitia. pag. 745. unto, and fasten your selves more firmely in fellowship with Christ Iesus: No man growing better is ashamed; even the knowledge of Iesus Christ hath its growth and progresse. And you, yea you, who as yet are barking black-mouth'd Be­lials, barking like dogges against those you know not; ac­companying one another inconsiderately in those clamours; yea all you of the fiercer and milder temper of ungodly ones, be you all intreated to agglutinate your selves into this socie­ty with Christ Iesus the Sonne of God. We who are wash­ed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord Iesus, com­passionate your wretched condition: once some of us were such as you now are: formerly we wrought the will of the wicked, and walked in the lusts of the flesh, as you now doe.De v [...]stris fuimus, fiunt, non nascun­tur Christiani. Ter­tul. Apol. pag. 844. Acts 2 [...]. 29. Yours we were: Christians are made, not borne: so saith Ter­tullian. We being converted, earnestly desire, wish, and pray for your conversion; which being true, will alter both the condition, and conversation of you: and we do heartily wish that all who know us were both almost and altogether such as we are, except our frailties and afflictions. We would meet you more then halfe way to joyne our selves in intimate society with you, and give you the right hand of fellowship; could you be intreated to have no fellowship with the fruitlesse Eph. 5. 11. workes of darknesse, and to have fellowship with Gods Sonne Ie­sus Christ. I therefore an Ambassadour for Christ, as though 2 Cor. 5. 20. God did beseech you by me; I pray you in Christs stead be recon­ciled to God, and be joyned in fellowship with his Sonne Iesus Christ.

Me thinkes if you are but pliant or flexible, I should allureMotives. [Page 218] you to this unconceiveable conjunction; I supposing your former thwart detractions, unjust depravations, and unadvi­sed detestations of, and your not thirsting after, and endea­vouring to associate your selves to this m [...]st lovely society, to accrew from the misleading calumni [...]tions of malignant spirits, and your owne ignorant unacquaintednesse of the ra­diant resplendency, and re [...]ulgent royalty of this more then Angelicall conjunction. That I may therefore induce and draw you to a love and liking of, inflame and set on fire your never satisfied appetites after this incomparable and ineffable incorporation. I will propose sixe following Propositions to your considerations.

First, this fellowship with Christ Iesus, or the union be­twixt Christ and Christians is the sweetest, and most odori­ferous, Cantic. [...]. 16. My beloved is mine, and I am his: He se [...]deth among the Lillies. i. Christ Iesus is among those per­sons and places where his graces grow, which graces make those in whom they dwell Lilly-like. 1. In regard of their dignity and excellency compared with unbelievers. 2. In regard of their spirituall beauty; Christs purity, and Chri­stians piety compared with carnall Hypocrites, Epicures, and Atheists. 3. In regard of their sweet savour or smell, compared with lewd livers. Christ Iesus the Head of this Society, Cant. 2. 1. And all the body of this conjunction, 2. 2. are Lilly-like both in favour and smell; therefore most beautifull, lovely, and pleasant.

Myrrhe, Aloes, and Cassia are sweet incense and perfu­ming powders affoording pleasurefull delectation; all the garments of all this goodfellowship smell of Myrrhe, Aloes, and Cassia, Psal. 45. 8.

1. Christ Iesus the head of this society is a bunch, or bun­dle of myrrhe, or pleasant nosegay, continually refreshing those which are joyned to him with his delectable sweet­nesse, Cantic. 1. 13. Yea, his excellent sweetnesse to every Christian soule is like Calamus and Camphire, which be sweet and delightfull things, Cantic. 1. 14. 4. 1 [...]. Yea, all things in him are rich, and shining, beautifull and precious; [Page 219] his hands being as rings of gold set with the Chrysolite, Cant. 5. 14. yea his words are sweet, and delectable, his lips being like lillies dropping downe pure mirrh, 5. 13. And in regard of his spirituall fairenesse, comlinesse, and beautifull sweetnesse, he is called the rose of Sharon, Cant. 2. 1.

2. All this society is a garden inclosed, whose plants are an Orchard of Pomgranats: i. e. the faithfull members of Christ as plants beare all sweet delectable fruits, as Camphire, Spik­nard, and Saffron, &c. 4. 12, 13. Yea to whom the singing of birds is come: i. e. the time which followeth effectuall vo­cation, when the sharpe winter of an unregenerate estate be­ing over, the soule is refreshed with most comfortable gra­ces, Cant. 2. 12. yea so delightfull, that Christ Iesus saith of them, and to them, 7. 6. how faire and how pleasant art thou O love, for delights? And can there be a sweeter, or more lovely society then this?

2 Secondly, this is the most honourable and glorious com­munion, that is,

1. The builder of it is most glorious, for he is a King of glory, Psal. 24. 7. and Lord of glory, 1. Cor. 2. 8.

2. The foundations of it as glorious as may be, Isa. 54. 11. Sa­phires, Rev. 21. 19. Iasper, Saphir, Chalcedonye, Emerald, Sardo­nix, Sardius, Chrysolite, Beryl, Topaze, Chrysophrasus, Iacinth, Amethist. The decree of Election is one foundation, 2. Tim. 2. 10. The summe of Christian doctrine is another foundation, Heb. 6. 1. The doctrine of the Apostles, and Prophets, Ephes. 2. 20. Christ is the foundation of foundations, 1. Cor. 3. 11. of this society, glorious therefore are the foundations.

3. The gates are glorious, Isa. 54. 12. Carbuncles, Rev 21. 22. twelve gates, twelve pearles: the Ministery of the Word, and faith make entrance for Christ to come into the hearts of the Elect, and for them to flocke freely into the Lords as­semblie.

4. The wals are glorious, Isa. 26. 1. Salvation will God ap­point for wals, 60. 8. call thy wals salvation, Zach. 2. 5. I (saith the Lord) will be a wall of fire round about, and will be the glo­ry in the midst of her.

[Page 220]5. The persons are all of them exceeding glorious, which will cleerely appeare, if wee seriously consider and take notice:

1. What glorious ornaments they are invested withall, sc. the many rich, and costly, sweet, and comfortable graces of Christ Iesus called their garments, Psal. 45. 8. Because 1. the nakednesse of their soules is hereby covered, 2. they are com­forted, and kept warme, 3. defended from the fiery darts of sinne and Sathan: 4. decked, beautified, and ador­ned.

2. What glorious names and titles they have. Not onely is the Church of God nominated, the city of God, the mountaine of Gods holinesse, Psal. 48. 1. the joy of the whole earth; the city of the great King, the city of the Lord of hosts; the city of our God, the perfection of beauty, Psal. 50. 2. and the holy moun­taine, Zach. 8. 3. But also all the persons of this society are Christs brethren, sisters, and mothers, Marc. 2. 33. Kings, and Priests, Rev. 1. 6. a chosen generation, a royall priesthood, an ho­ly nation, a peculiar people, 1. Pet. 2. 9. the daughter and queene of Christ, Psal. 45. 9, 10. Saints, jewels, the Dove, and Spouse of Christ.

3. What glorious priviledges they have, viz.

1. They are guarded from the dominion of sinne, Satan, death and damnation by the good spirit, grace, and mercy, power and presence, word, truth, promise, and providence of God, and by the power of his sons death.

2. The Lord is a hearer of their prayers, Deut. 4. 8. which have free accesse into the Court of heaven.

3. They are cleansed from their sinnes by the bloud of Christ, 1. Iohn 1. 7. he having washed them from their sinnes in his owne bloud, Rev. 1. 5.

4. They have the saving knowledge of God, and his Son Christ Iesus, 1. Iohn 2. 20. which is life eternall, Ioh. 17. 3. and a true cause of glorifying.

5. They have the holy Ghost given them, Rom. 5. 5. where­by they cry Abba father, Rom. 8. 15. which beares witnesse with their spirits, that they are the children of God, where­by [Page 221] they are ascertained, that God dwels in them, and they in him, 1. Ioh. 4. 13.

6. They are in league, and amity with all the creatures, the numberlesse kinds whereof are all serviceable to, and ready prest to profit, and protect them; from the most contemp­tible vermine to the glorious Angels, which glorious crea­tures encampe round about them, Psal. 34.

7. They are invincible, being able to do all things through Christ which strengtheneth them, Philip. 4. 13. So that tri­bulation, distresse, persecution, famine, nakednesse, perill, sword, nor death, nor life, nor angels are able to seperate them from the love of God in Christ our Lord, Rom. 8. for in all these they are more then conquerours through him that loved them: Yea by Christ Iesus the world is crucified to them, and they unto the world, Gal. 6. 14. By their faith, and new birth they overcome the world, 1. Iohn 5. 4. they mor­tifie the flesh, with the affections, and lusts thereof; and va­liantly resist the divell, and victoriously vanquish the furious assaults, and fiery darts of Sathan.

8. They are assured from the most true, and faithfull word of the unchangeable IEHOVAH who cannot lie; that plen­ty and penury, solace, and sorrow, yea sinnes and sufferings, their owne, and others, yea all things else worke together for their good, they loving God, and being the called according to Gods purpose, Rom. 8. 28.

3 Thirdly, this is the nearest, and surest conjunction in the world; for the nearenesse you have heard how Christ is theirs, and they are his: for the inseperable firmenesse, we see our Saviour affirming that they cannot perish, and that no man can plucke them out of his hand, Iohn. 10. 27. He dwels in them and they in him, so that the gates of hell cannot prevaile against them, Mat. 16. 18. yea neither death, nor life, nor An­gels, nor Principalities, nor Powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature is able to separate them from the love of God which in Christ Iesus, Rom. 8. 38. 39.

4 This is the richest company in the world: Many rich and [Page 222] wealthy companies there are in the world; The East-Indian trading through many, and long during hazards for costly spi­ces; the West-Indian hazarding for gold and precious stones▪ some one way, some another: But all the factories in the world, if they were but one conjoyned company, is not com­parable for wealth and riches to this society; for whose sake Christ became poore to make them rich, 2. Cor. 8. 9. poore, not by violent robbery, or compulsive enforcement; not by profuse prodigality, or superfluous wasting; not by fraudulent guile, or craftie deceipt; not by due desert; he was neither driven by force, nor drawne by due desert to make himselfe poore; but of his owne accord, free fauour, and good will he became poore. First, in respect of his outward estate, which was ve­ry poore; for his parentage was poore, Luke 2. 7. his educa­tion poore, Luke 2. 5. his maintenance poore, Luke 9▪ 58. and his attendance poore, Matth. 4. 18. Secondly, in respect of his estimation in the world amongst men, Mark. 6. 2. is not this the Carpenter the Sonne of Mary, &c. Iohn 6. 42. is not this the Sonne of Ioseph, whose father and mother we know, Iohn 7. 18. have any of the rulers or Pharisees beleeved on him? Thus he became poore, to make those who have fellowship with him rich. 1. Both in earthly things, for through Christ they have a religious right to worldly wealth, and substance, being owners, whereas others have onely a civill; and 2. As also in heavenly things, by the same right and interest.

Which heavenly spirituall riches consist:

1. In the abundance of sound and saving knowledge, 1. Cor. 1. 5. being enriched in every thing by him in all utterance and in all knowledge.

2. In the full assurance of Gods favour, grace, and mercy, Col. 2. 2. their hearts—being knit together in love unto all ri­ches of the full assurance of understanding, Ephes. 2. 4. 7.

3. In the fruition of Christ his merits, and benefits, who of God is made to them wisedome, righteousnesse, sanctification, and red [...]mption, 1. Cor. 1. 30.

4. In the plentifull possession of saving graces, so that they are behind in no gift, 1. Cor. 1. 7. but abound in every thing, in [Page 223] faith, and utterance, and knowledge, 2. Pet. 1. 5. Adding to their faith, vertue, to vertue, knowledge, to knowledge, tempe­rance, &c.

1. These are rich in the feare of God; the feare of the Lord being their treasure, Isa. 33. 6. and this is treasure indeed; the true feare of God being a badge and character of a perfect and upright man, Iob 1. 8. having a protecting guard of glo­rious Angels, Psal. 34 7. and a large, and ample promise of the fruition of all good things, Psal. 34. 9, 10.

2. These are rich in heavenly wisedome consisting in true godlinesse, and this is unparalle [...]d wealth; length of daies being in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour, Prov. 3. 6.

3. These are rich in saving knowledge, they having an unction from the holy one and knowe all things, 1. Ioh. 2. 20. which knowledge is riches of such a nature, that it is the true cause of spirituall glorying, Ier. 9. 24. yea it is life eternall, Ioh. 17. 3. yea doubtlesse all things are to be counted but losse for the excellencie of the knowledge of Christ. Phil. 3. 8.

4. They are rich in faith, Iam. 2. 5. rich in faith; then which what greater riches? bringing to God, Heb. 11. 6. be­getting to God, Iohn 1. 12. justifying, Rom. 5. 1. sanctifying, Acts 15. 9. overcomming the world, 1. Ioh. 5. 4. and the divel, 1. Pet. 5. 9. making prayer powerfull, Iames 5. 17. and the en­joyer to continue in grace, 2. Cor. 1. 20.

5. They are rich in hope, Rom. 15. 13. they abounding in hope through the power of the holy Ghost. Then which what better wealth? 1. It being an helmet of salvation, where­with the vitall parts of a christian souldiour are protected from receiving any deadly wound in this their sharpe war­fare, Ephes. 6. 17. 2. This being an anchor of the soule, sure, and stedfast, Heb. 6. 19. wherewith the Saints sustaine them­selves in all the boysterous stormes of this turbulent, and un­quiet sea of misery. By this they rejoyce, Rom. 5. 2. By this they are kept from apostasie, and many unkindly feares. By this they are purified, 1. Iohn 3. 3. By this they have plenty of pa­tience and consolation.

[Page 224]6. They are rich in liberality, 2. Cor. 8. 2. the riches of their liberality, &c. i. e. good workes, 1. Tim. 6 13. then which what wealth more advantageous? By this they laying up in store a good foundation, 1. Tim. 6. 17, 18. This being a principall preservative against the contagious Gangrene Covetousnesse, the root of all evill. This being a plentifull seed, which will procure a superabundant harvest, 2. Cor. 9. 6. This having a gracious promise of a rich reward, Psal. 41. 1. And this being one of those good workes which accompany these to receive their reward when all the world forsakes them, Rev. 14. 17.

7. But what need more particular instances?

1. Can any be more rich then they, which are rich to God? but so are these, Luk 12. 21.

2. Is any more wealthy then such who partake of the unspeakeable riches of Christ: whose reproach, and sufferings is greater riches then the treasure of Egypt, Heb. 11. 26. but so are these, Ephes. 3. 8.

3. Who more abounding in substantiall treasure, then those who lay up for themselves in heaven treasures, where neither moth, nor rust doth corrupt, and where theeves doe not breake through nor steale, Matth. 6. 19, 20. But such are they, Heb. 10. 34. having in heaven a better and an enduring sub­stance.

4. Who may compare with those in wealth, and ri­ches who have a kingdome where they shall receive, and en­joy a crowne of righteousnesse, 2. Tim. 4. 8. a crowne of life, Iam. 1. 12. where they shall be heires of promise, Heb. 6. 17. of an eternall inheritance, 9. 15. of salvation, 1. 14. of Gods King­dome, Iam. 2. 5. of the grace of life, 1. Pet. 3. 7. of blessing, 3. 9. yea of an inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, not fading away reserved in the heavens, 1. Pet. 1. 4. But such are these, Luk. 12. 32.

5. This is the most joyfull, and gladsome society that is; none but these have any true mirthfull glee, or mirthfull glad­nesse. True it is, ambitious Hamans rejoyce in their honora­ble advancements; Covetous earthwormes in their plenti­full [Page 225] increase; belly good Epicures in their dainty dishes, and excessive devouring gourmandising; sluggards in their sleep; loiterers in their idlenesse; spightfull persons in other mens miseries, &c. But these and such like rejoycings are either worldly, the increasing of corne, wine, and oyle, Psal. 4. 7. Or wanton, Eccl. 11. 9. Rejoyce O yong man,—but know,—&c. Or most wicked, Isa. 22. 13. Behold joy and gladnesse. Ier. 11. 15. When thou didst evill then thou rejoycedst. These joyes are sensuall, Amos 6. 4, 5, 6. Chaunting to, &c. Drink­ing wine in bowles, &c. Not grieving for the afflictions of Io­seph. Or sinfull, 1 Cor. 5. 6. Your glorying is not good. Or shamefull, Rom. 1. 32. Having pleasure in those that do wick­edly. These and such like are but evill joyes, like a hurtfull hooke, covered over with a faire baite, or like a poysonousMala gaudia men­tis impia, sub dulci melle venena la­ten [...]. herbe, with a beautifull colour: Of such mirth spake Salo­mon when he said, laughter is madnesse, Eccl. 2. 2. Of such our Saviour spake when he said; Woe be to you that laugh now, for you shall mourne and weepe, Luke 6. 25. And of such spake S. Paul, saying, your rejoycing is not good. 2. In this socie­ty there is great joy, Luc. 2. 10. abounding, 2 Cor. 8. 2. exceeding, Iam. 1. 2. unspeakable, 1 Pet. 1. full, Ioh. 6. 22. unconceiveable, 1 Cor. 2. and everlasting, Isa. 60. 15. 9. 1. This joy hath for its object and matter Gods commandements, Psal. 112. 1. Gods favour, Psal. 4. 7. The Lord, Phil. 4. 4. And the hope of the glory of God, Rom. 5. 2. &c. 2. This joy for the mea­sure is greater then all worldlings joy; being like that at a con­quest, and in harvest, Isa 9. 3. Glorious and unspeakable, 1 Pet. 1. 8. Yea full, and perfect, 1 Ioh. 1. 4. First, in regard of its ob­ject, Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, &c. Secondly, In regard of worldlings joy, which is deceiveable and momentany. 3. As also in regard of the use, it being an universal consolation against all feares, griefes, and miseries. 3. The concomitants ofRom. 14. 17. 2 Cor. 1. 12. this joy are righteousnesse, peace, love, a good conscience, &c 4. And as it is hearty, chearefull, and unfained, like Ma­ries, whose spirit rejoyced in God her Saviour, Luke 1. 47. So it is constant and continuall, abiding in all conditions: so that afflictions for Christs sake cannot take it away. Acts 5. [Page 226] 41. They rejoyced, being counted worthy to suffer for Christ: Nor tribulations, Rom. 5. 3. Rejoycing in tribulations: Nor the losing of goods, Heb. 10. 34. Taking joyfully the spoiling of their goods: Nor sufferings, 1 Pet. 4. 13. Rejoycing in Christs suf­ferings: Nor temptations, Iam. 1. 2. Count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations.

6 This is the most peacefull society: As for the wicked, they have no peace, saith my God, Isa. 48. 22. 57. 21. 1. No peace? Not amongst themselves: Great is their unity, although it be in villany; with unanimous consent they once cried out against our Saviour, Crucifie him, &c. Against Saint Paul, Away with such a fellow, Acts 21. The Tabernacle of Edom, Ishmael, &c. once consulted with one consent to root out the name of Israel, Psal. 83. 4, 5, 6. And yet no peace? True it is, they have one common cause, and quarrell; and there­fore they conjoyne their forces together against Gods peculi­ar ones, being all souldiers under Sathan, and dogs of his ken­nell; even as dogs of different colours, disagreeing bignesse; dissenting kinds, and voice run with united forces, full crie, and open mouth concordantly after the poore hare; and yet at other times for bones, and scraps, yea out of their froward disposition, no occasion being offered, mangle, and rend each other with dogged spightfulnesse: Even so, although the sonnes of Belial, yea all the kennell and rabblement of Sathans helhounds pursue with bitter barkings, and inraged fury joyntly the harmlesse innocency of Gods people; yet are they differenced amongst themselves by dissonant disagreements, somtimes for trashie trifles, somtimes, no occasion being gi­ven, out of their doggish frowardnesse. So that they have no true peace amongst themselves, but acontinued desire to de­voure each other.

2. No peace? Not with Sathan, whose they are, and whom they serve? No, not with Sathan: for although he makes many golden, and glittering promises; yet he doth but gull them, requiting all, yea his best, and most dutifull ob­servants with eternall death.

3. No peace? What, not with themselves? No, not [Page 227] with themselves; They may have a quiet conscience for a time, whereby they goe on in sinne, neither regarding the blessings nor the curses of the Law, Deut. 29. 19. Where­by they multiply sin without sense, Eph. 4. 18. 19. Where­by they resolve to go on in their wicked courses. This the Apostle calleth a seared conscience, 1 Tim. 4. 2. And a conscience, past feeling. But they are farre from peace of conscience; for when the Lord awakeneth these frozen, secure, and sleeping consciences, so that these enraged gnawing wormes begin to bite, yea so much that no wisdome can counsell them, no elo­quence can perswade them, no power can overcome them, nor scepter affray them, when no physicke can cure, surgery salve, riches ransome, countenance beare out, or time weare away, or receive a new and fresh commission from the un­changeable Iehovah, to be eternall and unrecoverable execu­tioners of Divine Iustice. viz. Never dying, and ever tor­menting wormes, Isa. 66. last. Then we, and all they shall see they were but in a fooles paradise, and a deluding dreame.

4. No peace? No, not with Gods creatures, base or glo­rious; these being ready prest to harme and hurt them, if the Lord command, or permit; God being against them, who can have peace with them, Rom. 8. 31.

5. No peace? Much lesse with the Lord: For as Ieh [...] could have no peace with Ioram so long as the whoredomes, &c. 2 Reg. 9. 22. What peace can they have with God so long as their impieties are so many?

As out of this society there is no peace, so in this there is perfect peace, Isa. 26. 3. Peace they have with Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost, Rom. 5. 1. With glorious Angels, these be­ing their guard; with good men, Marc. 9. 50. Yea, oft with enemies, Prov. 16. 7. With heaven, earth, creatures, crosses, and their owne consciences. What though they have afflictions in the world, yet have they peace in Christ, Ioh. 16. 33. And be it they not onely have trouble without, but temp­tations within; yet are they free from the force, power, and poyson of them; which workes damnation in the wicked.

These things being so, me thinkes all of you should use your best and utmost endeavours to have part and interest in this goodfellowship, it being of all societies the sweetest, surest, most glorious, most rich, most joyfull and peacefull; so that we may say of this as the Psalmist doth of the City of God, Psal. 8 [...]. 3. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O blessed socie­ty. Yea, such glorious wealth, beauty, victories, prophesies, presence, promises, and performances, that (being advisedly apprehended) are of force to instigate and induce each soule enlivened by the Spirit of Grace to applaud with an holy ad­mirationPsal 84. 1. this blissefull association, and say; How amiable are thy Tabernacles, O Lord Christ Iesus. To desire with earnest ardency, wish for with unsatiable longings, and say, Psal. 84. 2. My soule longeth, yea even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God; and with the same sweet singing Psalmist magnifie the sumptuous magnificence of this assembly, saying, Blessed are they that dwell in this house, Verse 4. One day in these courts is better then a thousand. I had rather be a doorekeeper in this society, then to dwell in the tents of wickednesse, Ver. 10.

CHAP. V. Ʋse 4. Of Consolation to such who have fellowship with Christ.

ALL you who are stubborne, refractary, and inexorable bedlam Belials; who will not have this man raigneƲse 4. Consolation. over you; who will not be inoculated and inserted into this society of such ineffable glory, unspeakable beauty, and other inestimable transcendent excellencies: stand by, behold, and view with admiration the glory, and magnificence of this so­ciety; and as Titus when he had seene the remainder of the Sanctum Sanctorum, said, Now I well perceive that this is none other then the house of God, and the dwelling of the God of heaven; Neither was it for nought that the Iewes stood so ear­nestly in the defence thereof:—For great is the glory of this [Page 229] Temple. So when you have seene the splendent glory, and transcendent beatitudes of this unparalel'd society, do you speake out, and say, we well perceive that this connexion is no other then the communion with God, the dwelling of the God of heaven; neither is it for nought that such precise practising Protestants stand so earnestly in defence of it; for great is the glory of this conjunction. But do not presume to meddle with, or lay hold upon it, so as to apply it to your selves so long as you proceed in your exorbitant disorders. This holy thing is not to be given to dogs; these pearles are not to be cast before swine; neither must any Cananite enter into this fellowship with the Lord Iesus. But all you who al­ready are annexed to, and you who desire with unchangeable longings, and laborious endeavours to conglutinate your selves to the Lord Iesus, draw neare with attentive harken­ing. That I may edge and keene your obtuse and blunt endeavours to cleave more closely to, and pursue more eager­ly this desireable society: that I may hearten and incourage you against the many oppositions you are to encounter with in this your warring pilgrimage: that I may make gladsome your soules and spirits, I have words of comfort and consola­tion to speake unto you. We have fellowship with Gods Sonne Iesus Christ, and he is Wonderfull to save us, Counsellour to advise us, Mighty God to deliver us, Everlasting Father to care and provide for us, A Prince of peace to quiet our consci­ences, and Governour for our defence, Isa. 9. 6.

1. Be it you are infirme and weake; yet have you fellow­ship with Iesus Christ, such a Child, which will make you strong.

2. Be it you are servants; yet have you fellowship with Ie­sus Christ, a Sonne to make and keepe you free.

1. Are you confounded in conscience, beholding the grim and ghastly lookes of your many bloudy and crimson sinnes formerly acted or intended? Consolate your selves with this, you have fellowship with him who is wonderfull to qui­et all.

2. Are you at your wits end, being void of counsell? Be­hold [Page 230] how you have fellowship with Christ Iesus, a present Counsellour to advise and direct you.

3. Are you feeble, yea ready to despaire in regard of your inability and lack of strength to withstand the fierie darts, and fierce assaults of Sathan, that authour of evill; to undergo the many great and grievous pressures of disgracefull ignomini­ous reproches, slaunderous calumniations, and other malici­ous usages you meet with in this world; animate your droo­ping and dismaid spirits with this; you have fellowship with Christ a Mighty God, so that you shalbe able to do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you.

4. Are you fearefull of death, that dismall parter of soules and bodies? Comfort your selves with this; you have fel­lowship with Christ, an everlasting Father, who hath provi­ded so graciously for you, that your death is not a perishing, but a parting for a time; yea such, that although there be a painefull parting betweene your soules and bodies; yet there shalbe a most gladsome and joyfull meeting.

5. Are you afraid of Gods judgements? Behold your fel­lowship with Gods Sonne the Prince of peace.

6. Are you dismaid with any evill? Consider how you have fellowship with him, who is Governour of all for your defence. Feare not therefore. What? Not God, not his judgements, not man, not sinne? I say not so.

1. Gods judgements and threatnings are to be feared, 2 Cor. 5. 11. Knowing therefore the terrour of the Lord; such who feared Gods judgements were comforted, Isa. 66. 5. Yea the very Aegyptians who feared the threats escaped them, Exod. 9. 20. They are to be feared therefore, although not so as to think to be overwhelmed by them; or that God doth not love us.

2. Man is to be feared; although not simply for himselfe, yet respectively and for conscience sake towards God, as Magistrates, Parents, husbands, &c.

3. The Lord himselfe is to be feared; yea this is such a grace, that it characters out a righteous man, Acts 10. 2. Who shunnes evill, and doth good, Iob 1. 8. Who delighteth [Page 231] in Gods Commandements, Psal. 112. 1. Who succours the persecuted Saints, 1 Reg. 18. 3, 4. Who honoureth God, Mal. 3. 16. Is obedient to the Lord, Gen. 22. 12. And hath true faith, Heb. 11. 7.

1. Feare Gods judgements, so as to avoid them.

2. Feare we sinne, so as to flee from it.

3. Feare man for the Lords sake, so that we may be care­full to obey him, loath to offend him, Rom. 13. 7.

4. Feare we the Lord, so as to be loath to displease him by sinne, in respect of his great goodnesse and mercies, and for love we beare to righteousnesse, Psal. 130. 4.

But feare not the wickeds feare, Isa. 8. 12, 13. sc. their Idols and Devils with a distrustfull feare, withdrawing the heart from God, and his promises.

Feare not dangers, death, creatures, tyrants, want, &c.

Math. 10. 26. 28. 31. viz. Immoderately, faithlesly.

Feare not such a feare which troubleth the conscience, so as to hinder the operation of salvation, and worke of the Holy Ghost.

Feare not touching the pardon of your sinnes, for Christ hath satisfied for them.

Feare not death; for Christ hath plucked out its sting.

Feare not Sathan; for Christ hath vanquished him.

Feare not condemnation; for there is none to them which are in Christ.

Feare not you little flock, you having fellowship with Iesus Christ, the Sonne of God: but be you comforted, and encou­raged, you having interest in that society which affoords such plenty of consolations, and comfortable blessings that I need not say, behold I have shewed you by cleare demonstrations, and infallible proofes that this is the most beautifull, most ho­nourable, most sure, most rich, most joyfull, and the most peacefull society that is; what can I therefore say more for thee, O sweet communion? as Isaac said to Esau of Iacob, Behold I have given to him for servants all his brethren, with corne and wine have I sustained him; and what shall I now do [Page 232] to thee my sonne, Gen. 27. 37. Neither shall you need to que­stion (like Esau; Hast thou but one blessing O my Father? Ver. 38.) and say, hast thou but sixe blessings O lovely societie? there belonging to it such plentie of consolations, that could I live the age of Methuselah, had I a heart and head furnished with the wisdome and ingenie of all learned men; should I spend all that time, and those onely supposed endowments in finding out; and had I the tongue of men and Angels to ex­presse the numberlesse transcendent excellencies of this com­munion; yet could I not be able to delineate the incompara­ble and blissefull felicities thereof. Howbeit, give me leave to cheare and refresh your soules with some few of the many millions of gladsome rayes, which streame and flow from this Sunne of righteousnesse.

Are we in league and communion with Christ Iesus? Then he loves us with all those loves which are most ardent, and ex­celling;Consol. 1. he loves us with the love, 1. Of a Master, for we are servants. 2. The love of a King, for we are his subjects. 3. The love of a brother: for we are his brethren, Heb. 2. 11. and sisters, sc. By profession, and affection, Math. 12. 50. 4. The love of a friend; for we are his friends, Luke 12. 4. Iohn 3. 29. 15. 15. 5. The love of a childe, for wee are his mother, Marke 3. 75. Being neare and deare to him as mothers are to their children: bearing and con­ceiving Christ in our hearts as mothers do children in their wom [...]es, Gal. 4. 19. 6. The love of a father, for we are his children. 7. The love of a husband, for we are his spouse. 8. The love of himselfe; for we are his members. Then which what love more free, more tender, so great and du­ring? Then which what better honour? What greater happinesse then to have such love of such a Saviour? Who loving us so entirely, will surely pardon our many sinnes. 2. Passe by our frailties and infirmities. 3. Shelter us against the wrath of God. 4. Defend us safe against the malicious attempts of Sathan. 5. Provide all necessary good things. 6. And hereafter crowne us with immortall and unspeakable glory.

Have we fellowship with Christ Iesus? Then we are surelyConsol. 2. justified. Iustification being an action of the Father absol­ving a believing sinner from his sinnes, and from the whole curse due to his sinnes, and accounting him just in his sight, and accepting him to life everlasting, freely of his owne mer­cy through the perfect obedience and sufferings of Christ imputed to his faith; unto the everlasting praise and glory of the mercy, justice, and truth of God, Rom. 3. 24, 25. Be­ing justified freely of his grace, &c. Iustification is the office of Homil. of sal. D. 3. God onel [...] and is not a thing which we render to him; but which we receive of him: not which we give to him, but which we take of him. This is a benefit of benefits, whereupon our salvation doth depend: for whosoever shalbe saved must be justified. All graces are present in him that is justified, yet they Hom. sal. D. 1. justifie not altogether. Now as the finall cause of justification is Gods glory and our owne salvation: 2. The instrumentall is faith within, and the Gospell without. 3. The efficient is Gods free grace. 4. So the matter is Christ our Redeemer. 5. And the forme is, the imputation of our sinnes to him, and his justice to us. As our sinne being imputed to Christ made M Burton, pag. 66. him become sinne for us: even so are we made the righteousnesse of God in him: that is by imputation of his righteousnesse: which righteousnesse of Christ imputed to us, is no more inhaerent in us to our justification, thou our sinne imputed to Christ was inhae­rent in him to his condemnation. Therefore all Gods Elect be­ing joyned to Christ, and having an heavenly communion with him, being in themselves rebellious sinners, Gods ene­mies, and firebrands of hell, by meanes of Christ Iesus with whom they have fellowship must needs be accepted of the Lord as perfectly righteous before him, being justified by faith in him, Rom. 3. 28. Not that faith doth justifie in re­gard of it selfe, either because it is a grace; for although it is an excellent vertue, yet it is imperfect, and mixed with unbe­l [...]efe. 2. Nor in regard it is the worke of God in us, for then all graces might be meanes of justification as well as it. 3. Nor as it containes other graces in it, for then it should be the principall part of our justice: But in respect of the object [Page 234] thereof Christ Iesus, whom faith apprehends as he is set forth in the Word and Sacraments. We are justified by the act of M. Burton, Truths triumph &c. Cap. 5 pa 5. 60. faith relatively to the object Christ; not for the act of it. Faith justifieth, not by the act believing, but as the instrument in ap­plying the object,—which is Christ, as the hand is said to heale Ibid. pag. 80. onely by applying the medicine; or to enrich by receiving a trea­sure; or to feed by putting meate into the mouth; as we say a child, &c. It is Christ that is the Authour and matter of our justification; it is Christ who applyeth the same unto us; as for faith, it is but an instrument to apprehend, and a hand to receive Christs benefits for ours: Or as Paraeus briefly saith, Faith justifieth instrumentally, the blood of Christ meritoriously. Fe [...]es iustificat or­g [...]cè. sangu [...] Christi meritoriè. Pataus in Rom 3. faith doth not apprehend these by power from it selfe; but by vertue of the Lords covenant, so that Christ, and his merits are the believers, not simply because he believes; but because he believes upon precept and promise; the Lord pro­mising to impute the righteousnesse of his Sonne to us for our righteousnesse if we believe. This faith layes hold upon Christs painefull sufferings sufficient for all the sinnes of all men, and so freeth the believing sinner from the guilt, and pu­nishment of sin, and from eternall damnation. It layes hold up­on the perfect obedience of Christ in fulfilling the Law, here­by curing his owne actuall disobedience of the Law; and ap­plyeth the perfect holinesse of the humane nature of Christ, whereby he is accepted as perfectly righteous of God, and by this his originall corruption is healed.

1. Are they happy whose sinnes are pardoned? as indeed they are; for when sinne is pardoned; such debts and tres­passes are forgiven which we could never pay, nor any remit,Qui solus mundus est mundare praeva­let immunda. Greg. Papa in Iob 14. 4. Nee homo nec Angelus. Aug. Agricola non vi­tis efficlum: Ad so­lam Triuitatem pertinet, Idem Tom. 9 in Ioan. 15. pag. 444. save the omnipotent Iehovah, Isa. 43. 25. Nor any make sa­tisfaction for and purge out, except the Lord Iesus, and that with his owne bloud, 1 Ioh. 1. 7. When sinne is pardoned; such spots, and blemishes are forgiven which made us, and our best actions loath some unto God, Isa. 1. 14. 15. And guilty of eternall damnation, Rom. 6. 23. Is remission of sins such a favour, that it hath for its efficient cause, God only, and his beloved Sonne Christ Iesus, Isa. 43. 25. Rom. 6. 25. Its [Page 235] moving cause, the meere mercy, truth, and promise of God, Eph. 1. 7. Its meritorious cause, the death of Christ, 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19. And its finall, Gods glory, Ier. 33. 8, 9. And the sin­ners salvation: then they must needs be happy whose sinnes are forgiven, Psal. 32. 1, 2. Rom. 4. 7, 8.

2. Are they happy who being sinners, are notwithstan­ding accounted righteous by the righteousnesse of Christ im­puted? as they must needs be; for by this righteousnesse of Christ we are made the righteousnesse of God, 2 Cor. 5. 21. The whole obedience of Christ with the merit thereof eter­nall life is made ours; as if we had done the one, and deser­ved the other; yea, by this we have store of supplies for all our wants. We are poore, Christ is our riches; we are na­ked; Christ is our garments; we are blind, Christ is our eye-salve, Rev. 3. 18. We are deformed, Christ is our beau­ty, Rev. 19. 8.

3. Are they happy who being enemies to God by reason of sinne, are made friends to the Lord, they being reconciled to God by Christ, having their sinnes done away, and them­selves arayed with the perfect righteousnesse of Christ? as they needs must; for what greater misery then to be at en­mity with the Lord? And what greater felicity then to be in league with God? Rom. 8. 31. For if God be for us, who can be against us?

4. Is peace with God a great favour? as it is; it costing the bloud of Christ to make it, Col. 1. 20. It passing all un­derstanding, Phil. 4. 7. And being a fore-runner of that perfect rest and joy the Elect have in heaven, 2 Pet. 3. 14.

5. Is it a great favour to be Gods adopted children? as it is intruth; the Lord hereby taking us into his owne family, and accepting us as his owne children; not because he wan­ted an heire, he living and reigning for ever; not for want of children, for he had a naturall Sonne; not because this Sonne was unfit to inherit, he being as fit as his Father: But of his meere grace and bounty, we being by nature children of wrath, disobedience, and the Devill. This being such a bles­sing, that by vertue of this we are made Christs brethren, [Page 236] heires, Gal. 3. 18. Heires of God, joynt-heires with Christ, Rom. 8. 17. Of Gods kingdome, Iam. 2. 5. By vertue of this we are Lords over all creatures, save Angels; we have them to guard us, and all things working for our good. This is such a favour, then which God could not have bestowed upon us a greater. Plu [...] est cum Paulus ait heredes nos esse, & cohere­des Christs; quam si mille mundos, ne­dum coelum, & ter­ram cum omni­bi [...] bonu no [...] reipsa [...] at [...]r [...]um [...] ­si [...] os [...]sse. [...] in Rom. 8. 17. It is more when Paul saith, we are heires and co-heires with Christ, then if he had affirmed that we should in­deed enjoy for ever a thousand worlds, not onely heaven and earth, with all good things therein. If it was no small prefer­ment for David to be sonne in law to Saul, 1 Sam. 18. 23. Then what preferment is it to be the Lords adopted chil­dren? Quid [...] conserra po­test? An non excel­lentior Majesta [...] est esse [...] Dei [...] silium potentissina Mo­narchae [...] ter­ra? Ho [...] beneficio nihil [...] est, vel excellentius. [...]rentius in Isa. 38 What may be compared to such dignitie? Is it not a more excellent prerogative to be the Sonne of the God of heaven, then sonne of the most potent Monarch upon earth? There is no­thing more high, or surmounting this benefit. This is such a fa­vour, that a reverend Divine saith thus of it. M. Greeneham, Aphorismes. As farre as the spirit is above the flesh; God above men; heaven above earth: eternity above time: so farre is the new creation above the old. This is such a blessing, that Saint Iohn cals all to admire what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sonnes of God, 1 Ioh. 3. 1.

6. Is hope of the glory of God an extraordinary benefit? as it is; for by this with patience we looke for the accom­plishment of all good things. By this we undergoe afflictions with a contented mind. By this we being inwardly cheared and caused outwardly to confesse the same to the glory of God, encouragement of the Saints, amazement of wicked ones, and strengthening of our selves to continue against all discouragements; and by this wee are saved, Romanes 8. 24.

Then how unspeakably blest are those, who have union with Christ Iesus: for by meanes of this conjunction they are justified, Isa. 53. 11. By his knowledge shall my righteous ser­vant justifie many, for he shall beare their iniquities. 2 Cor. 5. 21. And by vertue of this justification they enjoy all those ample priviledges, and excelling prerogatives.

1. The justified man hath remission of sinnes, Rom. 4. 25. [Page 237] Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised for our justi­fication, 1 Ioh. 2. 1, 2. Rev. 1. 5.

2. The justified man hath Christs righteousnesse imputed to him: so that the Lord doth freely account the righteous­nesse of Christ to be his righteousnesse, It was imputed to him Rom. 4. 3, 4. for righteousnesse, Ver. 5. His faith is counted for righteous­nesse, Verse 6. Ʋnto whom God imputeth righteousnesse, Rom. 5. 18. By the righteousnesse of one the free gift came up­on all.

3. The justified person is reconciled to God by the death of his Sonne, Rom. 5. 10. God was in Christ reconciling the world, 2 Cor. 5. 19.

4. The justified person hath peace with God, Rom. 5. 1. Being justified by saith we have peace with God, Ephes. 2. 17, 18.

5, The justified man hath the favour to be Gods adopted Sonne, Galat. [...]. 26. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Iesus Christ, Gal. 4. 4, 5, 6.

6. The justified man hath also hope of the glory of God, Rom. 5. 1, 2. Iustified,—hope of the glory.

Have we fellowship with Christ Iesus: then we are andConsol. 3. shalbe more sanctified, and that,

1. Inwardly, in having our minds, wills, and affections freed from the bondage of sinne, and Sathan; and enabled by little and little through the Spirit of Christ to desire, and ap­prove that which is good, and walke in it.

2. Outwardly, in having the members of the body pre­served from being meanes to execute sinne, and made the in­struments of holinesse, Rom. 6. 19. This twofold sancti­fication is begun here, perfected hereafter in heaven.

1. It is in nature after justification, but not in order and time.

2. It is not perfect in this life, as justification is.

3. It is the renovatiō of nature, whereas justification consists in
  • 1. Remission of sinnes.
  • 2. Imputation of Christs righteousnesse.

4. It is an alteration of qualities from bad to good, [Page 238] whereas justification is an absolution of a sinner from the guilt of sinne and death.

Iustification and sanctification differ no more but as the root M. Burton. Truths triumph &c. cap. 3. pag 16. and the branch, the tree and the fruit.

This sanctification is by meanes of union with Christ; for he having taken our nature, and sanctified it by his Spirit, and we being made one with him do receive the selfesame Spirit to sanctifie us, or make us holy; we being in Christ he is made to us wisdome, righteousnesse, sanctification and redemp­tion, 1 Cor. 1. 30.

1. By vertue of this union with Christ Iesus, his death works in us (joyned to him) the death of all sinne, and pow­er to destroy all sinne, or the lusts of the old man, untill they be wholly taken away by death. Rom. 6. 6, 7. Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sinne might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sinne, &c. Thus cleansing our members, as from the guilt of sinne, that it shall not be imputed to us; so from the filthinesse of sinne, that it shall not prevaile against us, Ezek. 36. 25.

2. His resurrection sends a quickening power into these our members, making them rise from sinne to worke righte­ousnesse, and to live in holinesse of life, making them active to do the will of God in the workes of Christianity, and of our particular callings: so that now those who have union with Christ have a new heart, sc. in qualities, being framed anew after God in true holinesse, Ezek. 11. 19. They are a new lumpe, i. Renewed from the leaven of sinne, and corrupti­on, 1 Cor. 5. 7. And they are new creatures. i. Endued with new qualities of righteousnesse and holinesse, 2 Cor. 5. 17. He that is in Christ is a new creature, they having.

1. Their minds sanctified or enlightened with spirituall wisdome and understanding, Col. 1. 8.

2. Their memories sanctified to keepe and remember that which is good, and agreeable to Gods will, Psal. 119. 11.

3. Their wills so sanctified, that being by nature unable to will any good thing pleasing God, they are changed by grace, [Page 239] and freed in part from the bondage of sinne, so that they will, and chuse that which pleaseth God, and refuse evill, Rom. 7. 18, 19.

4. Their affections are sanctified, so that they,

1. Love God, 1 Ioh. 4. 19. His children, 3. 14. The place where his honour dwelleth, Psal. 86. 8. His comman­dements, Psal. 119. 127. And the appearing of Christ, 2 Tim. 4. 8.

2. Hate sinne because it is a breach of Gods Law, or be­cause it is sinne; especially their owne corruptions, Rom. 7. 15. 24.

3. Sorrow and grieve for offending such a mercifull Fa­ther by their sinnes, Psal. 38. 18. 2 Cor. 7. 10. 11. For the miseries of the Church, Rom. 12. 15. Lam. 3. 20. For the abounding of sinne in others, Ezek. 9. 1. Psal. 119. 136.

4. Rejoyce because their names are written in heaven, Luc. 10. 20. Rom. 5. 2. In being partakers of Christs suffe­rings, Acts 5. 41. In temptations, Iam. 1. 2. And in the losse of all things for Christ, Heb. 10. 34.

5. Their members of their bodies sanctified, being made instruments of holinesse; they formerly being meanes to ex­ecute sinne. e. g.

1. Their eyes, which formerly like the eyes of fooles were in the corners of the world, Prov. 17. 24. Gazing after unpro­fitable things, are now the eyes of wise men in their heads, Eccl. 2. 14. To espie that which is good to follow it, and that which is bad to eschew it; turned from beholding vani­ty, Iob 31. 1. Opened to behold the wondrous things out of Gods Law, Psal. 119. 18.

2. Their eares, which formerly were given to heare de­lightfully lascivious songs, idle tales, and worldly discourses, hearing Gods Word so as not to know and understand it, Ier. 5. 21. Math. 13. 19. Are now become open, and hearing eares, so hearing, that they willingly assent in mind to the word of God, and good counsell, with a firme purpose to obey it, Ioh. 8. 47.

3. Their tongues, which formerly were exercised in [Page 240] ribauldry, lying, slaundering, swearing, and dishonouring the Lord many wayes, are now exercised in Psalmes, Hymnes, and Spirituall Songs, in giving Christian counsell, in shewing forth the praises of the Lord, &c.

Thus all those who have fellowship with Christ by vertue of this union are sanctified. 1. Being freed from the tyran­ny of sinne into the liberty of holinesse, begun here, and daily to be increased. 2. Having a new quality of holinesse crea­ted in their soules, whereby they can in some measure truly hate their owne sinnes with firme purpose to leave them, and love Gods Law with resolution to do it in some measure. And this is matter of comfort and encouragement to all en­grafted members into Christ Iesus, considering that they are sanctified; and therefore,

1. Cleane in Christ, although not in themselves.

2. Cleane by imputation, although not by action.

3. Cleane by way of comparison, although not simply.

4. Cleane by proportion, although not by perfection.

5. Cleane in part, although not wholly, and altogether.

Whensoever in these bookes I have made mention of the Church Ʋtc un (que) in his libris commemora vt Ec­clesiam non haben­tem maculam aut rugam, non sic a ci­piendum est quas [...] jam s [...]t, sed quae praeparatur tit sit, quando apparebit etiam gloriosit. Nunc enim propter qu [...]sdam ignoran­tiat & infirmitates membrorum suo­rum, habet undè quoti [...]e toti dicat, [...] nob [...] debi­ [...] nostra. Aug. cap. 18. de Baptismo Tom. 1. pag, 46. not having spot or wrinkle; it is not so to be taken as if she were so now, but that she is prepared to be so when she shall appeare glori­ous: for now by reason of certaine ignorances and infirmities of her members, the whole Church hath cause to say every day for­give us our trespasses. August. Retract. Lib. 2. Cap. 18.

What comfort is it to consider that they are justified, and so are pardoned; sanctified, and so are purged▪ (although there can be no pardoning where there is no purging, yet that sinne may be fully pardoned, which is not wholly purged, 1 Ioh. 1. 9.) viz. 1. In time, although at once they cannot. 2. In part, although wholly they cannot. 3. By degrees, al­though altogether they cannot. 4. In death, although in life they cannot. 5. In, and by Christ, although in, and by themselves they cannot.

What consolation is it to such, when considering that al­though being once justified, they are not alwayes and altoge­ther justified: viz. 1. In their owne apprehension, yet they [Page 241] are in Gods estimation, and by imputation. 2. In their owne sight, yet they are in Gods. 3. In regard of their owne assurance, yet they are in regard of Gods acceptance. 4. In regard of the instrumentall, and adjuvant causes. i. Faith, re­pentance, prayer; nor yet of the outward meanes, Word, and Sacraments, &c. Yet they are in regard of the moving cause, Gods grace; materiall, Christs merits; efficient, God himselfe; and finall, Gods glory, and their owne salvation. 5. In regard of new sinnes, requiring new pardon, and new repentance, and prayer; whereof they cannot possibly be al­together wanting; yet they are in regard of old sinnes alrea­dy past, and repented for.

What encouragement is it to such, considering that by meanes of this union with Christ Iesus they have the Spirit of sanctification, whereby they are reformed and sanctified, although not all at once (for as seed cast into the ground doth root, sprout, grow, increase, and bring forth fruit in time, and by degrees; and as a tree is not at full growth the same day it is planted; and as the issue in the wombe is first con­ceived, then it feeleth, afterwards it hath the power of reason, though not the use; and at length is borne and brought up; and as we likewise are not learned at once, but first we con­ceive small matters, and then proceed to profounder: Even so our regeneration and sanctification is now begun; but must still grow in grace, go on from grace to grace, from ver­tue to vertue; untill we be growne to a perfect man in Christ, and that is hereafter in heaven:) yet by degrees; and although but begun here, yet perfectly in the life to come. Ho­ly men affirme that those who are cleane, are to be cleansed. Tom. 9. pag. 444. Mundi mundandi. Aug. in Ioan. 15. Quis in hâc vit [...] sic mundus, ut non sit magis magu (que) mundandus? Motus immundi reprimi possunt per grati­am, ejici non possunt nisi in morte. Bernardus Serm. 58 pag. 165. Vitia in nobis non mortua, sed com­pressa. Idem. SubJugari possunt, non exterminari Iebus [...]i. Idem. In munditiâ non potest esse [...]. Who in this life is so pure that he needs not to be more and more pure? Impure motions may be repressed by grace, but they can­not be cast out but in death. Vices are not dead, but suppressed in us. These Iebusites may be brought under, but not rooted out. There can be no end in puritie.

CHAP. VI. Consolation 4. Saints have Christian liberty.

HAve we fellowship with Christ Iesus? Then we are a peo­pleConsol. 4. set at liberty; or such a company, who through grace are made partakers of Christian liberty. 1 Pet. 2. 16. As free,—using your liberty. Gal. 5. [...]. Stand fast in the li­berty wherein Christ hath made us free. Ver. 13. Ye have been called unto liberty. 2 Cor. 3. 17. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Liberty I say, or freedome.

1. Not from the yoke of lawfull authority, Civill, or Ec­clesiasticall; this is an Anabaptisticall, no Christian liberty. The regenerate Christian being bound in conscience to obey all lawfull authority in performing their lawfull precepts, or un­dergoing their inflicted penalties, Rom. 13. 5. We must be subject,—and also for conscience sake.

2. Not to sinne, or continue in sinne that grace may a­bound, Rom. 6. 1. This is a wicked licentiousnesse, no Chri­stian liberty: the renewed Christian being bound in consci­ence to have no fellowship with the unfruitfull workes of darknesse, &c. Eph. 5. 11.

3. Not from sinne, so farre forth as to receive an absolute perfection of inherent grace in this life, so as to be free from all sin, and to be as perfect as Christ is in heaven, as fantasticall familists, and fanaticall fantasticks avow against the light of Scripture, and their owne conscience; for the most sanctified Christian who breathes in this sublunary world is perfect on­ly; 1. Comparatively in respect of others, viz. Weaklings, and wicked ones. 2. In regard of himselfe, he having re­ceived a greater measure of present profiting. Phil. 1. 5. Or else in regard of his upright sincerity, 2 Reg. 20. 3. He who saith he hath no sinne deceives himselfe,—and is a lyar, saith Saint Iohn, 1 Ioh. 1. 8. 10. Superbiam Va­lentinianorum imi­tantur qui se abs (que) peccato existimant, perfectos se vocantes, & semina electio­nis. Irenaeus lib. 7. cap. 1. They imitate the pride of the Valentinians who thinke themselves without sinne, calling them­selves perfect, and the seeds of election, saith Irenaeus.

Likewise both in the worst there is some good, and in the best Sic. & in pess [...] aliquid boni, & in optimis [...]thil pessimi, solus eni [...] Deus sine peccato, & solus homo sine peccato Christus. Tertul. Semper debemus not consiteri pecca­tores, nam quisquis se immaculatum & sine peccato di­cerit, aut superbus, aut stultus est. Cyp. de Elem. pag. 15. much exceeding naught, onely God is without sinne; and onely the man Christ is without sinne, because he is God and Christ, saith Tertullian.

We ought alwayes to confesse our selves sinners, for who so saith he is unspotted and without sinne, is either a proud person, or a foole: saith Cyprian.

And therefore say I, he who saith he is as perfect as Christ, and the glorified Saints in heaven, deceives himselfe, and is a lyar; except he speakes of likenesse in quality, and not in quantity; and so is the saying of M. Dod to be understood, which so often is urged: yea every upright Christian loves his neighbour as himselfe, Math. 22. 39. Is mercifull, as his Father is mercifull, &c. Hath the same graces of sanctity which were in Christ, Psal. 45. 7. viz. In regard of the quality, but not equality; we receiving of his fulnesse grace for grace, Iohn 1. 16. Christ being annointed aboue his fel­lowes.

4, Liberty or freedome, not from the doctrine and obedi­ence of the Morall Law; this is the liberty of equivocating Antinomists, tatling Philomenes, and their fantasticall frater­nity: but no Christian liberty: every regenerate Chri­stian being bound in conscience to obey the Morall Law of God.

Of this point heare the concordant confessions of Christi­an Churches.

Hactenus ita (que) ab­rogata est Lex Dei, quatenus nos am­plius non damnat, nec iram in nobis operatur, &c. Ana­men Legem ideó nonfastidientes re­jicimus, damna [...]s omnia qu [...] haeretici veteres & neoterici contra Legem Dei dederunt. Helveti­ca Confessio. Artic. 12. pag 38. Thus farre the Law of God is abrogated, insomuch as it doth not condemne us henceforth, neither doth work the wrath of God in us, &c. Notwithstanding we do not therefore disdaining re­ject the Law, we condemne all those things which heretiques old and new have taught against the Law, saith the Helvetian Church.

Credimus om­nes legis figu­ras adventu Christi subl [...]tas esse, quamvis earum veritas & substantia nobis in eo constet, inquo sunt omnes impletae, Legis tamen Do­ctrina & Prophetis utendum est: tum ad vitam nostram con­firmandam, tum ut eo magis in promis­sionthus Evangeli­c [...] confirmemur. Gail [...]ca Confessio Artic 23. pag. 106. We believe all the figures of the Law to be taken away by the comming of Christ, although the truth and substance of them doth continue to us in him, in whom they are all fulfilled, but the [Page 244] Doctrine of the Law is both used in them to confirme our life, and also that we may be confirmed more in the promises Evangelicall: saith the French Church.

Quimvis Lex à Deo data per Mo­sen quoad Ritus & Ceremontas Chri­istancs non astrin­gat, ne (que) tamen ab obedienti [...] Man­datorum, que Mo­ralia vocantur, nullus qu intumvis Christianus est so­lut [...]. Anglica Contessio. pag. 115. Although the Law given of God by Moses in regard of the Rites and Ceremonies doth not bind Christians, neither is any, although a Christian loosed from the obedience of the comman­dements, which are called Morall: saith the English Church.

Non [...] liberta­te donatos, quasi nullam legis obedientiam del camus. Contrarium enim antè con [...]ssi sumus. Scoticana. A. 15. pag. 147. We do not think that we are so freed by liberty, as if we owe no obedience to the Law, for we have confessed the contrary before: saith the Scottish Church.

Credimus om [...] ceremonias & sigis ras Legu, omnes deni (que) umbras ces­sasse Christi adven­ventu: interint ta­men [...] n [...]bis il­lorum veritas & substantia in Chrisio, ideo (que) Le­gis testimon [...]s ad hu [...] [...] ut nos­t [...] so [...] in Evangelij Doctrina confirmentus: & on [...]tes vitam nostram honestè ad gloriam Dei juxta ipsius voluntatem componamus. Bel­gica Confessio. Art. 25. pag 175. We believe that all the ceremonies and figures of the Law fi­nally all the shadowes to have ceased by the comming of Christ: but in the meane time the truth and substance of them doth re­maine to us in Christ, therefore we still use the testimonies of the Law that we may confirme our selves in the doctrine of the Gos­pell, and that we all may set in order our life honestly to the glory of God according to his will: saith the Belgick Church.

Lex enim Dei requirit ut Christianus, &c. Argentinensis Confessio. Cap. 12. De Monachatu. pag. 233. For the Law of God doth command that a Christian; &c. saith the Church of Strasburge.

Necesse est docere homines non solum quod Legi [...]he liendum sit, sed etiam quomodo placeat haec obedientia, placeat igitur haec obedientia, &c. Augustina Conf [...]ssio. Art. 6 pag. 12. It is needfull to teach men that they must not onely obey the Law, but also how this obedience pleaseth, therefore this obedi­ence pleaseth, &c. saith the August. Confession.

Agnoscima [...] Leg [...]m Dei, eujus Epitome est D [...]cal [...]gus, praecipere optima, justissima, & perfectissima opera, & hominum non solum o [...]ligatunt esse ad obediendum Moralibus Praeceptis Decalogi, &c. Wittenbergica Confessio. pag. 145. We acknowledge the Law of God, whose abridgement is the Decalogue to command the best, most just, and perfect workes, and man not onely to be bound to obey the Morall precepts of the Decalogue; saith the Church of Wirtenberge.

Nec Praecepta Legis quae continentur in Scriptis Apostolicis sunt nova Lex, sed sunt veteris Legis, &c. pag 148. Neither are those Precepts which are contained in the Apo­stolicall Writings, a new Law, but are of the old Law: saith the same.

In regard this will be erroneous, if not hereticall, if not blasphemous by many mis-led people. Some of them stiffe­ly, and with a refractorie obstinatenesse affirming that the law of God binds the regenerate Christian no otherwise then as he is a creature; which is as if they should say, it binds Christians no more then beasts, birds, and fishes; for that which binds man onely as a creature, binds man no otherwiseSpecies perfectae participant suo ge nere ex aeque; ita ut altera alteri genus non ferat acceptū; sed sui generis com­munione plane sunt unum. Kecker. Syst. log. lib. 1. pag. 62. then it doth all creatures; according to the rule in Logicke. Some againe of a middle temper distinguish the regenerate part from the unregenerate, and yeeld that the law doth binde the unregenerate part to obedience, but not the rege­nerate: Give me leave therefore to stay a while in opening and clearing the truth, if not to recall and reestablish thoseIt is a hard matter to make them see any thing, which before hād have resolved to close their eyes. Bishop Ʋsher. pag 32. wilfull in their unsound opinion, yet to stay and settle the weake, and wavering. They say the regenerate hath liberty by Christ, and that he ought to stand fast in that liberty wher­in Christ hath set him free, and so say we because it is Scrip­ture, Gal. 5. 1. They say there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ, and so say we because it is Scripture, Rom. 8. 1. They say that the law hath nothing to doe in the Conscience of the regenerate Christian, and that it doth not binde the Conscience of the regenerate to obedience; but this we denie, it being repugnant to sacred writ, and of evill con­sequence. The falsehood of whose schismaticall, and hereti­call opinion (Schismaticall I call it in regard of the rent, and breach it makes in the Church; hereticall I call it, it being anIncidere in falsae opinionis errorem priusquam vera cognoscat imperiti animi est, & simpli cis perseverare vero in eo postquam ag­noveris cotumacu. Salvian. exempla. A pro. & vero pag. 296. errour about a maine point of religion contrary to the cleare light of truth of holy Scripture soundly, and generally held by the Church of God, and being obstinately defended after con­junction, and lawfull admonition) will perspicuously appeare to all which will not wilfully close their eyes against the cleare light of divine truth. I having shewed what Consci­ence is; how this Conscience is bound, and that the law doth bind the Conscience of the regenerate to obedi­ence.

1. Conscience is an inward remembrance in our hearts, witnessing with us or against us, of all our thoughts, words, [Page 246] and workes. Conscience is a part of the understanding, which takes knowledge of, and beares witnesse of a mans thoughts, words, and workes, excusing them when they be good, accusing them when they be bad, Rom. 2. 15. The [...] & [...] of [...] of [...] & [...]. Conscientia Con. & scio. Greeke word is derived of a verbe, which is compounded of a verbe, which signifieth to see; and a Preposition which signifieth together; so that Conscience doth know with ano­ther, is privie to the things of another, by the signification of the greeke, and latine word.

This is Conscience.

Concerning bonds, and binding, the Word of God men­tioneth diuerse sorts, and calleth:

1. Sinne by the name of bonds, Acts 8. 23. because it binds, and holds the wicked fast in the bondage of Satan

2. Afflictions for Christ by the name of bonds, Heb. 13. 3. in which bonds, good Saint Paul was, Acts 26. 29.

3. Gods favours the bonds of love, Hos. 11. 4. the Lord by these binding his Saints unto him.

4. Gods lawes by the name of bonds, Psal. 2. 3. because they fasten us to God, and bind us to our duties.

Conscience is bound by vowes, and oathes lawfully made, and superiour powers, not properly in regard of themselves; but improperly, or in reference to Gods law, commanding a man, although he sweare to his owne hurt, not to change, Psal. 15. 4. Therefore the Princes of Israel durst not hurt the Gibeonites, because of their oath, Ios. 9. 9. To pay that which a man hath vowed, Eccl. 5. 4. To be subject to the higher powers, Rom. 13. 1. 5. And to obey our Pastours, and Tea­chers, Heb. 13. 17.

But the Lord himselfe is the proper binder of Conscience, he being the onely Lord of Conscience, he onely having pow­er to command Conscience, yea to save, or to destroy. He bindeth Conscience by his Word, giving it an absolute pow­er in it selfe to bind Conscience, and because it is the Word of him who can save, or destroy, for keeping or breaking this his Word. This Word so binding is both Law and Gospell. The Gospell binds the Conscience, not of those who never [Page 247] heard of Christ, Rom. 2. 12. but of those which have the meanes offered to beleeve, and obey, Rom. 2. 16. The Law binds the Conscience of all men, it being the law of nature, written in mans heart in mans Creation; and therefore of such who are regenerate Christians; not onely as they are men, but sanctified men: Which I shew thus.

Reason 1 That which doth cause the Conscience of the regenerate Christian to excuse, being observed, and to accuse being trans­gressed, doth bind the Conscience of the regenerate Chrisi­an to obedience. [For to bind the Conscience, is to cause it in every action to accuse for sinne, or excuse for well doing.] But the law of God doth cause the Conscience of the regene­rate Christian to excuse being observed, and to accuse being transgressed.

Therefore the law of God doth bind the Conscience of the regenerate Christian to obedience.

2 That which hath power to say to the Conscience of the re­generate Christian, this ought to be done, that ought not to be done, hath power to, and doth bind the Conscience of the re­generate Christian to obedience (for to bind is to say this may, that may not be done.) But the law of God hath power, and doth say to the Conscience of the regenerate Christian, this may, that may not be done.

Therefore the law of God doth binde the Conscience of the regenerate to obedience.

3 That which hath this priviledge that the breach thereof is a sinne, doth bind the Conscience of all, even of regenerate Christians to obedience: (for all even regenerate Christians are bound not to sin, 1. Ioh. 3. 4.

But the law of God hath this priviledge, that the breach thereof is sinne.

Therefore the law of God doth bind the Conscience of &c.

The breach of the ceremoniall law once was sinne, now is not; because once it bound the conscience, now it doth not. The breach of the morall law is still sinne, therefore it doth still bind.

4 If the law of God doth not bind the Conscience of the re­generate to obedience; then if the regenerate Christian doth any thing commanded in the Law, he doth more then his duty (for he is bound to doe his duty) and so by doing that doth either merit at the hands of God, or else is guilty of Will-worship, doing more then was enjoyed him, e. g. if a Christian under the Gospell was circumcised, did sacrifice bullockes, &c. he by thus doing did workes meritorious, and superogatory, or else was guilty of Will-worship; because he is not now bound to the doing of them.

But if the regenerate Christian could, and did do all things which the law enjoynes him, he is not guilty of Will-wor­ship, neither doth he merit at the hands of God, Luk. 17. 10. Therefore, &c.

5 That authority, which the Apostles used to vrge and presse regenerate Christians to do their duties, doth bind their Consciences to obedience.

But the Apostles have used the authority of the law to vrge, and presse regenerate Christians to do their duties, Ephes. 6. 1, 2. Iam. 2. 11.

Therefore the law doth bind the Conscience of regenerate Christians to obedience.

I having premised these things, abandoning the ungroun­ded, and unchristian liberty of Anabaptists, Epicures, Familists, and Antinomists, I come to shew and delineate your glori­ous liberty, (you blissefull goodfellowes.)

As in all freedomes, the freed person is exempt from many burdensome bondages, and grieuous yokes; and interessed to haue right, and part in many priuiledges, and prerogatives; even so in this your spirituall, supernaturall, and heavenly liberty.

1. By meanes of your justification you have freedome.

1. From sinne, Rom. 6. 7. 22. from sinne: i. e. the domi­nion, and reigne of sinne, ver. 14. the guilt of sin, 8. 33. and the condemnation, or punishment due unto it, Rom. 8. 1.

2. From the unsupportable yoke of the whole ceremo­niall law, Col. 2. 16, 17, &c.

[Page 249]3. From the thraldome of the divell, Luke 1. 71. 74. Col. 1. 13.

4 From the morall law, viz. in regard of 1 1. the curse it denounced, there being no condemnation to them that are in Christ, Rom. 8. 1. 2. the justification it proposeth, Rom. 3. 28. and 3. the rigour of obedience it requireth, so that you are not under the law, Rom. 6. 14. or the rigorous ex­action of the law: you are delivered from the law, 7. 6. or that perfect obedience the law in rigour requires to salva­tion.

2. By meanes of your sanctification, you have free­dome from the power and dominion of sinne, although not perfectly, and wholy; yet in part, and in all the powers, and faculties of your soules, senses, and members. So that your minds have freedome from the power of darknesse; your wills from the power of disobedience; your hearts from the power of deadnesse; your affections from the power of pol­lution, and corruption; and your bodies from that pow­er of sinne, whereby they were made weapons of unrighte­ousnesse, Rom. 8. 2.

2 You are priviledged by this your liberty.

1. To serve the Lord of glory in righteousnesse, and holi­nesse, Luk. 1. 74.

2. To use Gods creatures, these not being uncleane of themselves, Rom. 14. 14. and being pure to the pure, Titus 1. 15.

3. To use, or not to use things indifferent, keeping our selves within the bounds of charity, and edification, Rom. 14. 19.

4. To come to God by Christ in prayer, Rom. 5. 2. Ephes. 3. 12.

5 And you shall have a full and perfect deliverance from the very corruption of sinne, and of the grave too; and from all misery, Rom. 8. 21. Ephes. 1. 14. and a free entrance into those heavenly habitations when you die, Heb. 10. 19. This is that liberty which Christ Iesus procured you by his preci­ous merit, and the efficacie of his spirit.

This is a liberty of such extraordinarie worthinesse, that men, and Angels are unable to conceive, or expresse the transcendent dignity of the same: Are naturall, civill, and corporall liberties so much doted on, and desired that men will purchase them with long, and hard service, and bondage, yea with great summes of money, Acts 22. 28. and of such consequence, that they freed Paul from the whip, Acts 22. 29. exempt from diverse, and sundry taxations, and give right to many large, and rich immunities: Then how lovely, and amiable, how honourable, and unconceavably excellent is this Christian liberty, twixt which and that is no compari­son: For,

1. What is freedome from the tormenting stone, noysome plague, or destroying pestilence, in regard of freedome from sinne, of all sicknesses the most dangerous, because damnable if not cured: most infectious, polluting, and stayning soules: most odious to God, Angels, and good men: and most diffi­cult to cure, onely Christs bloud being of force to heale this malady.

2. What is freedome from the Turkish slavish bondage, the Spanish miserably oppressing gallies, and hellish tormen­ting inquisition; and the Egyptian house of bondage in re­gard of freedome from the divell, of all enemies the most cruell, his bondage most uncomfortable, and his tor­ments most dreadfull being extreame painefull, and horri­ble, altogether helplesse, and hopelesse, easelesse, and end­lesse.

3. What are the franchises of the most priviledg'd frater­nities, cities, and incorporations; the liberties of friends, and Favourites, of Kings and mighty Monarchs in comparison of this liberty of true Christians, they being priviledg'd to have free accesse into the courts of heaven, to the throne of grace, to use Gods creatures, to call God father, to bee his friends, and favourites, and to passe from this vale of teares into those everlasting mansions of blissefull felicities? Give me leave to suppose a poore forlorne contemned strumpet, borne of the most vile, and wretched parents in the whole [Page 251] world, having nothing lovely, or desireable in her: but o­dious, and abominable in all respects, having a soule full of darknesse, folly, and madnesse; a body altogether mis-sha­pen with blemishes and deformities; and tortured with all kind of sicknesses and diseases, from the sole of the foot to the crowne of the head: being to live all her time in the greatest bondage that may be imagined, worse then the Turkish, Spa­nish, or Aegyptian thraldome: and at the end of her life to be tormented with the most lingring and excruciating death, did not the onely Sonne of the worlds supreme Monarch res­cue and ransome her with the effusion of his owne hearts bloud; who of his free favour and bounty towards this ab­ject caitiffe without her desire, or desert condescended to cast off his Princely robes and ornaments, and vouchsafed to court and wooe this despised creature to joyne her selfe with him in the nearest tie of the matrimoniall knot; and he for her sake will confront, and confound all her enemies who so miserably oppresse her; heale all her maladies which so cruelly vexe her, with his owne bloud; and give her instead of her shame­full deformities, starre-like beauty; instead of her deformed nakednesse, Princely apparell; instead of her aches, dolours, tumours, and other dreadfull diseases, health and sanity; in­stead of her extreame beggery, the riches of the whole world; mirth instead of mourning; and instead of her bon­dage to tyrants, diseases, and direfull death, liberty and free­dome from all enemies, to come boldly to the Kings Court, and to solace her selfe in the enjoyment of all his honours, de­lights, and profits, yea to be married to the Kings Sonne and Heire, and to be interessed in himselfe, and whatsoever is his; would not all conclude, that the liberty of this imagi­ned wretch was unparalel'd and unspeakable? Behold more then I have imagined verified in all you who have fellowship with Christ Iesus: Once you were more forlorne then this supposed creature, being children of disobedience, Eph. 2. 2. And the Devill, Ioh. 8. 44, Having nothing in you save sinne and wickednesse; being dead in sinnes and trespasses, Eph. 2. [...]. Slaves and bondmen to the Devill, 2 Tim. 2. 16. Wearying [Page 252] your selves in his cruell and irksome service, to be repayed with eternall death, Rom. 6. 23. and everlasting torments: had not the onely Sonne of the worlds Creatour taken pitie upon you, who of his free favour and bounty left that hea­venly habitation, tooke upon him the forme of a servant, van­quished the Devill, death, and hell; delivered you from the dominion, and raigne of sinne, and the wrath of God due to your sinnes, and everlasting damnation, clothing your defor­med soules with the rich and lovely robes of his owne righ­teousnesse, healed your sicke soules with his owne bloud, and conjoyned you to himselfe in the fastest ligaments of the fir­mest societies: by meanes whereof the creatures are your servants, the Angels are your guard, Gods Word is your guide, his Spirit your Comforter, his Sonne your Head, and Husband, and himselfe your Father: by meanes whereof your wants, and wealth are sanctified, your blemishes are co­vered, your sinnes are pardoned, your soules are comforted, and your selves shalbe crowned; or in a word, enjoy the priviledges and liberties of the Sonnes of God, being liber­ties which are glorious, Rom. 8. 21. And purchased onely by Christ Iesus, Gal. 5. 1. And will not this Christian liberty, and all its gracious and glorious priviledges, freeing from the justification of the morall Law; the curse and condemnation of the Law; the rigour of the Law; exacting perfect obedience, and condemning all imper­fection; and from the observation of the Ceremoniall Law satisfie and content you, O you heedlesse and heady equi­vocating Antinomists; but you will incroach upon the for­bidden fruit, and exempt your selves from being bound to obey the Morall Law?

2. Have these goodfellowes such liberty, and will you not, O you sonnes of men, enfranchise your selves into their soci­ety? You'le ride, and runne; crave, and crouch; buy, and begge; toyle, and travaile for liberties of favoured Courti­ers, of free Denisons of famous Corporations, and other like of lesse availe; and will you neglect this liberty so amiable, so great and glorious, so unspeakable, and unparalel'd?

3. Have you such liberty, you purchased possession, and peculiar people of Christ Iesus, and shall crossing calamities, unsavoury afflictions, or any disasterous occurrents you meet withall in this your pilgrimage, dead, and dampen your joy­full performances of Christian duties? Or should not rather this your liberty and freedome animate, and encourage you to wade over, and passe through comfortably, and couragiously all distastfull lets, and difficult impediments objected, and set against you by the Devill, or his malicious complices?

CHAP. VII. Ʋse 5. Of Exhortation. Exhorting to this Societie.

Ʋse 5 GIve me leave in the last place to make some use for our instruction. There being such communion, it concernes us all to trie whether we are partners in this society; and what our duty is, we being planted in this goodfellowship. As in the former, so in this part of true goodfellowship I will cou­ple together the true trials, necessary duties, and infallible markes of those who have fellowship with Christ.

In handling which particulars I will keepe my selfe close to the sacred truth, it being the tryall of truth, and Cuneo virtutis omnis extruditur haeresis. Tertul. ad­versus Marcion. Lib. 1. pag. 160. the wedge wherewith all heresie is driven out: For as learned Tertullian once said: Ego meum dico verum, Marcion suum: Ego Marcio­nis affirmo adulte­ratum, Marcion meum. Lib. 4. pag. 225. Faciunt sav [...] & vespae, faciunt Ec­clesias & Marcio­nit [...]. pag 226. I say mine is the truth; Marcion his: I affirme Marcions doctrine to be corrupted, Marcion mine. Even Wasps make combs, and Marcionites make Churches: even so now we say ours is truth, others theirs; we affirme their Doctrine to be adulterate, they ours; and as Waspes have combes; even so have Papists, Anabaptists, Familists, and Antinomists Churches. We say Christ is ours, and we have fellowship with him; Papists affirme that Christ is theirs, and that we are Heretickes: and the giddy Antinomists that Christ is theirs, and that we are legall walkers, bewitched Galathians, a generation of men full of blindnesse, and ignorance, for say they times were never more blind, darke, and ignorant, then now; which speech cannot be true in their owne conceipt, [Page 254] except because there are so few of their fraternity. I do be­waile, but excuse no whit the sinnes of our times; yet I dare avow that sinne abounded in former ages as much as now it doth. In the dayes of upright Noah, Gen. 6. 5. Of faithfull Abraham, 13. 13. Of meek Moses, Exod. 36. 6, 7. Of the Iudges, Iud. 19. Ely, 1 Sam. 2. 12. 17. Of Eliah, 1 Reg. 19. 14. Of the Zealous Prophets, Isa. 1. 2, 3, 4. Ier. 2. 10, 11. Ezek. 16. 47, 48, 49. Of Hos. 4. 1, 2, 3. Ioel 3. 13. Amos 2. 4, 6, 7. Micah 3. 8. 11. 7. 1, 2, 3. Zephan. 3. 1, 2. Zach. 7. 11, 12. Mal. 2. 10, 11, 17. Of Iohn Baptist, Math. 3. 7. Of Christ Iesus, 11. 21, 22, 23. 12. 34. 15. 3. 21. 12, 13. 22. 5. 6. 27. 22. 25. Of Steven, Acts 6. 9. Amongst the Romanes 16. 17, 18. Corinthians 1. 3. 1. 5. 1. 6. 6. 8. 12. 11. 15. 12. 34. Galathians 3. 1. 3. 6. 12. Philippians 3. 18. Co­lossians 2. 20. Thessalonians 1. 2. 14. 15. Hebrewes 5. 12. The Asian Churches, Rev. 2. 3.

Descend we to Primitive times and there we shall find grosse corruptions.

[...] Ignatius ad Trall [...]anos. pag. 9. They are not Christians but covetous men, seeking gaines by all manner of meanes, saith Ignatius of many Christians in his dayes.

Saint Cyprian complaines of his time. R [...]rus [...]od [...] [...]i­nees, qui per [...]liat [...]mpudi [...]os F [...]rus Moses, qui occidat sa [...]rilego [...] Ra [...]s Samuel, qui [...]obe­d [...]ntes lug [...]t: [...] Iob, qui pro s [...] ­ [...]orum negligenti [...] sacrifi [...] [...] off [...]rat: Rarus A [...]on, qui [...]or [...]m Pha [...]one [...] Di­ [...]as edicat: Rarus No [...], qui his quibus immersio [...] Arca [...] bitumine litam provide [...]t: [...] Apostol [...], [...] [...]rr [...]na [...] Mag [...]tratus, quorum Deus venter est, qui in his quae dicere ne [...]s est, impudentes l [...]tantur, & gloriantur. &c Cyprian de [...]e [...]un. & Tentat. About 248. Lib. De Lapsis. pag. 82. 83. In these dayes Phi­nees is seldome seene who will gore through the unchast: A Mo­ses is rare, which will destroy the sacrilegious: A Samuel is rare, which will bewaile the disobedient: A Iob is rare, which will sacrifice for the negligence of his children: an Aron is rare, which will denounce Divine comminations before Pharaoh: A Noah is rare, which will provide an Arke for those to whom the floud doth threaten: I speake weeping with the Apostle; the Magistrates are enemies to the Crosse, savouring earthly things, whose God is their belly; who delight and glory in those things which are dishonest to name, &c. And in another place he no­minates diverse grosse, and grievous sinnes in the Church, whereof he complaines.

After him St. Ambrose. Sunt nonnulli inter vos, fratres, quorum licet vul­t [...] in Ecclesi [...] vi­deamu [...], cor tamen in agris esse cog­n [...]s [...]i [...]s; & prae­s [...]ntiam quidem eo­rum consideramus [...] pleb [...]; sed con­vers [...]tionem [...]orum inve­nimus in [...]ur [...]; de terrâ enim semper cogitant, de terrâ tractant, quae terre­na sunt sapiu [...]t. Amb de quadra­ges. S [...]r [...]9 de [...]e­junio. & Elemosy­nis. There are many, my brethen, About 370. among you, whose heart we know is in the fields, although we see their countenances in the Church: and by their presence we con­sider them in the multitude; but we find them by their conver­sation in the countrie: for they alwayes thinke of the earth, talke of the earth, and savour earthly things.

After him About 400. Aug 119. ad Ianu­a [...]m Saint Augustine complaines of his times often.

After him St. Chrysostome saith of his time: Aut tales, aut peiores f [...]cti sunt Christiani quales sunt heretici, aut Gentiles: adhuc autem & maior continentia apud illos invenitur quam vis in schis­mate sint, quam a­pud Christianos. Tom 2. Hom. 49. super Mat. p 859 About 500. Christians are now made such, or worse, as Heretickes, or Gentiles; as yet there is greater continence found amongst those, although they are in schisme, then amongst Christians.

Moderne Writers complaine of their times. Gualter saith: Adulteria hodiè vix peccati lo [...]o censentur, & [...] ple­r [...] (que) cum ris [...] exci­ [...]i solent Gu [...]lter in Hos. 7. Ver 4. Adulteries are scarce accounted sinnes in th [...]se dayes, and are made matter of laughter with many. The Church of God it self which in all ought to be a pacifier of God, what is it else save a griever of God? What other thing almost is all the Assembly of Christians, then a sinke of vices? You shall more easily find guilty of all evils, then of not all: more easily of all greater crimes, then of lesse.

And learned Bradwardine speaking of his times, saith: Salvianus who l [...] ­ved 480. saith of his times. Ipsa Dei Ecclesi [...] quae in omnibut ess [...] d [...]b [...]t pla [...]atrix D [...]i, quid est aliud quam exacerbatrix Dei▪ quid est aliud penè omnis coetus Christianorum, quam sentina v [...]tiorum? f [...]cilius [...]nven [...]as reo [...] maloru [...] omnium, qua [...] non omnium: sacilius matorum criminum quam minorum. &c. Lib. 3. de Gub. Dei pag. 8 [...]. [...] Tetus enim penè mundus post Pelagium abijt in errorem. Prafat. In Lib. de causa Dei. Almost all the world is gone after Pelagius into errour. Sinnes are not, onely they seeme worse in this age, then in former times to some. 1. By meanes of want of wisdome in them which so think and speake. 2. Ignorance, or forgetfulnesse of sinnes committed in former times. 3. By meanes of the light of these glorious noone▪ shine dayes compared with the darknesse and mistinesse of former ages. And, 4. The watchfull observation of mens evill actions under the Gospel, to scandalize the same, and its Professours.

But to returne. Since, as the harlots pleaded hard, 1 Reg. 1. 3. The living is mine, the dead thine. So these and all other Demychristians, Antichristians, and false Christians cry out, Christ is ours but none of yours. It is good therfore [Page 256] to resort for determination to the sacred Scriptures, which (although they are falsely urged by Hereticks, as Tertullian saith, De Carne Christi, pag. 25. Therefore the same learned man brings the Lord thus speaking. [...] & un de [...]? quid in meo agitu non mes? quo deni (que) ture Marcion silvan [...] meam [...] qua licentia Valentine fontes meos trans­vertu? qua potesta­te Apelles limtees meos commoves? mea est possessio, quid hic caeteri ad voluntatem vestra seminatis & pase [...] ­tu? Advers. haeres pag 109. How, and from whence doe you come? What do you which are not mine in mine? By what right O Marcion dost thou cut my wood? By what license O Valentinus dost thou turn away my fountains? By what autho­rity ô Apelles dost thou turn away my land-marks? The possession is mine: why do you O others at your pleasure sow and feed here?) are the rule to trie truth from falshood: Dei est Scriptura, Dei est Natura, Dei est Disciplina; qu [...]quid est [...] contrarium. Dei non est. Idem de veland Virgin. pag. 500. Scripture is of God; Nature is of God; Discipline is of God: Whatsoever is contrary to these, is not of God, said the same Tertullian. I appeale there­fore to this Heavenly Oracle for resolution and direction, that hence both I and you may know truly who have fellow­ship with Christ; and what they ought to doe, who desire to have, or already enjoy communion with the Sonne of God.

CHAP. VIII. The first Marke and Duty. Such must imitate Christ who have fellowship with him.

WHosoever hath, or desireth to have fellowship with1. Marke, Duty. Iesus Christ, must be a strict imitatour of Christ Ie­sus: 1 Ioh. 1. 7. If we walke in the light as he, &c. 2. 6. He that saith he abideth in him, ought himselfe also to walke even as he walked. He must frame his life according to his exam­ple. And Saint Paul charged the Corinthians to be followers of him as he was of Christ, 1 Cor. 11. 1. This imitation of Christ hath its appointed limitation, how farre it ex­tends: For in all things wee are not to imitate our Sa­uiour.

1. His Divine and miraculous actions; such as were his commanding the tempestuous winds, tumultuous waves and raging spirits: giving life to the dead, sight to the blind, health to the incurably sicke, with his word; forgiving [Page 257] sinnes, and giving heaven to the penitent petitioner upon the Crosse by his Soveraigne authority, are not recorded to this end, that we should endeavour to do the like. 1. We having no warrant hereunto from precept, or practice, or promise. 2. Neither is there any possibility for us to expresse them. 3. An endeavour to follow our Saviour in these is impious; He putting difference by such wondrous workes twixt him­selfe, and all other men.

2. His workes of Mediatour-ship, as he was God-man, or Man-god, making reconciliation and peace betwixt God, and Elect sinners, are not for our imitation. He alone is Me­diatour both of redemption and intercession. 1 Tim. 2. 4. One Mediatour betweene God and man. Verse 5. There is one God, and one Mediatour which is Christ alone: For he onely hath made peace for us, and doth perpetually maine­taine it.

3. But the Christian mans imitation of Christ is and ought to be,

First, Active, following his godly and pious actions done, not as God, or Man-god, but as man made under the Law; which Morall actions are these, and the like.

1. Obedience, Phil. 2. 5. Let the same mind be in you which was also in Christ Iesus;—7. Servant, &c. He obey­ed his heavenly and earthly parents, Luc. 2. 57.

2. Innocency, Isa. 52. 9. No deceipt found in his mouth. Which of you convinceth me of sinne, said our Saviour, Ioh. 8. 46. I find no fault in this man, said Pilate, Luke 23. 4. He hath done nothing amisse, said the pious thiefe, Luc. 23. 41. He a Lambe without spot and blemish, saith the Holy Ghost, 1 Pet. 1. 19. 20.

3. Humility, Math. 11. 29. Learne of me; for I am meek and lowly in spirit, Ioh. 13. 12, 13, 14, 15.

4. Love, Rom. 5. 8. He commended his love, in that when we were sinners he died for us: He forgave his mercilesse e­nemies: He made intercession for his bloudy persecutors, Luc. 23. 34. And did good to all, 1 Ioh. 3. 16. He, &c. And we ought, &c.

Imitation in these and such like vertues, is,

1. Of great necessity to all those which have, or desire to have fellowship with Christ Iesus.

1. For all of this blissefull communion being members of Christ Iesus, and led by his Spirit.

2. Gods image by this imitation being renewed, and augmen [...]ed.

3. The want of this being a character of withered branches, who have no abiding in the vine Christ, Iohn 13. 2. 6. This imitation cannot but be of absolute necessity.

2. Of great importance, many commodious advantages accruing hence.

1. This surely preserving against falling from grace.

2. This causing to edifie the Saints, and helping to glo­rifie God.

3. This giving tranquillity of mind, a good conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and increase of graces.

Secondly, passive. Taking up his Crosse, and following him, Math. 16. 24. Phil. 3. 10. For whosoever doth not beare his Crosse, and go after Christ, cannot be his Disciple, Luc. 14. 27. Not that we are to imitate Christ in the Crosse, in regard,

1. Either of the quantity: so many sorrowfull reproches, buffetings, so much painefull agony.

2. Or of the quality; such condemnation, sweatings, death, &c.

3. Nor of the end; to pacifie Gods wrath, to redeeme from vaine conversations sinfull men, to heale sinners, to cleanse away sinnes, &c.

But in regard of the manner; enduring the Crosse for Christ his sake, as he our patterne suffered it for our sakes. e. g.

1. As he was obedient unto death, even the death of the Crosse, Phil. 2. 8. Submitting his will to his heavenly Fa­thers, Math. 26. 39. Even so we like that valiant Champion S. Paul, should be ready, not only to be bound, but to die for the name of the Lord Iesus, Acts 21. 23.

As he did, so we ought to undergoe the Crosse with con­tentment and patience. Isa. 53. 7. He was oppressed, he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. 1 Pet. 2. 20. If when you do wel & suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

3. As he did, so should we offer up prayers, and supplicati­ons with strong crying, and tears unto him that is able to save from death, Heb. 5. 7. O my Father, if it be possible,—not as I will, but as thou wilt. Father forgive them. Acts 7. 59. They stoned Steven calling upon God, Lord Iesus—Lord lay not this sinne to their charge. Iam. 5. 13. Is any afflicted? let him pray.

4. As he did depend upon God, Psal. 22. 8. He trusted in God that he would deliver him. So should we depend on God for deliverance. Psal. 34. 19. Out of all, &c.

5. As he did, so should we endure the Crosse with con­stancy and continuance. Psal. 44. 17. All this yet, &c. Luc. 9. 24. Shall lose it, &c.

Thus to take up the Crosse, and follow Christ Iesus, is,

First, Of absolute necessity, if we consider,

1. That it is not a matter of curtesie, but commanded: not arbitrary, but strictly enjoyned, Luc. 11. 23. Let him take up his Crosse, &c.

2. That the condition of the Saints estate is to be as sheep among wolves, lillies among thornes, Math. 10. 16. To go through many afflictions into, &c. Acts 14. 22.

3. That the similitude of the Head and members requires so much, Ioh. 15. 20. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. Math. 10. 25. If they have called the Maister of the house Beel [...]zebub, how much more shall they call them of the houshold?

Secondly, of incomparable worth and valution: for,

1. Hereby the life of Iesus is made manifest in our mortall flesh, 2 Cor. 4. 10, 11.

2. If we suffer with him, we shall raigne with him, 2 Tim. 2. 12.

1. What and if many sonnes of Belial walke in quite con­trary paths to these which are traced out by our un-erring [Page 260] patterne; being abominable, disobedient, and to every good worke reprobate, Titus 1. 16. Full of Diabolicall subtiltie, Luciferian pride, delighting in the workes of the flesh, un­righteousnesse, and darknesse: wholly swarving from Christs example: for is this to follow Christ? He was obe­dient to God in all things, they truly in nothing: He was innocent, and unblameable, they guilefull, and abominable: He was humble, they proud, &c. Light, and darknesse, hea­ven, and hell have as great affinity and nearenesse, as these actions of theirs to those of Christ Iesus. Their filthy lyes, blasphemous oathes, uncharitable slaunders, devillish pride, hatefull envies, and their abominable actions are the workes of the Devill, which Christ came to destroy, 1 Ioh. 3. 8. They doing his workes are of their Father the Devill, Iohn 8. 44.

2. What and if many idle-headed fantastique fashion-mon­gers swimme downe swiftly the current of the times disor­ders; hunting after strange fashions greedily and delightful­ly; and apishly follow at the heeles all newfangled inventi­ons; little considering that this is one of the forbidden con­formities to the world, Rom. 12. 2. No part of this conformity to Christ, having a dreadfull commination threatned against it from the most just, powerfull, true, and unchangeable Ieho­vah, Zeph. 1. 8. You who are such; especially, if you be of those which out-strippe the common Christian in Profession: Do you thinke that this hunting after new-fangled toyes, and strange fashious is agreeable to that Divine Precept, 1 Ioh. 2. 15. Love not the world, nor the things of the world? Or that, Rom. 12. 2. Fashion not your selves unto this world? Or to this our heavenly patterne Christ Iesus? Was Christ a fashion follower?

But this, and that is the new fashion. And will you beOb. An. damned because it is the fashion of the most to go the broad way?

But pride is a quality of the heart. True; yet ScriptureOb. An. and experience tels that it shewes it selfe in mens words, countenances, gesture, and apparell. That there is pride, is a [Page 261] truth. That there is pride in apparell, is as true. That these fantastique imitatours are proud of their clothings, is (I feare) as certaine as either. That they offend the Divine Majesty, and make themselves liable to his dreadfull threatnings is asDa [...]. Calvine. Pisc [...]tor. Perk. of the right knowledge of CURIST [...]u cified, Pag▪ 631. undeniable as the verity of sacred Writ, Zeph. 1. 8. To which heavenly truth I will adde a saying of that reverend man of God, Mr. Perkins, which is this. And proud men, and women that are puffed by reason of their attire, which is the badge of their shame; and never cease hunting after strange fashions, consider not that Christ was not crucified in gay attire, but na­ked, that he might beare the whole shame: and curse of the Law for us. These and such like, whatsoever they say in word, if we respect the tenour of their lives, are flat enemies of the Crosse of Christ, and tread his precious bloud under their feet. And con­clude with the words of a reverend Prelate; Sumptuary B. Lake Serm. on 1 King. 8 37. Preached in Westminster before the Kings Majestie and Lords of the Par­liament. Pag. 216. Lawes therefore (saith he) are in these loose dayes most requisite to set bounds unto our backe and belly which are even mad with vanitie. Whole bookes might be written of our metamorphoses, both of diet, and apparell: And not to flatter you, we are the most infamous changelings that are in the world; prodigall, yea prodigious are the expences that our Nation is at, to make it selfe the by-word of other Nations.

3. What and if many ignorant, and unacquainted in the wayes of righteousnesse consider onely the cariages and con­versations of erring men, making their thwart, and crooked by-paths the rule and square of their imitation, deeming their condition safe enough, if they can warrant their wayes by the practises of men, especially of Preachers; thinking themselves to be as good Saints as need be, if they can but say such Preachers who are learned men are usurers, or drun­kards, or swearers, &c. aswell as we: they allow of this, and that (although so much abhorred of the preciser sort) and pra­ctice the same, and therefore we both may, and will. And will you be covetous cursers of Gods people because the Pro­phet Balaam was so? Will you be trecherous betrayers of the Sonne of God, and incarnate Devils, because the Apostle Iudas was so? Will you be Apostaticall worldings, because [Page 262] Demas a Preacher was so? Is this to imitate Christ? To be as he was in this world? To be followers of Paul as he was of Christ?

But all examples are written for our learning. True: YetOb. An. Ob. Answ. not for our observation and imitation. But are not the exam­ples of men to be imitated? I say not so. If pismires, if lo­custs, and such like creatures, much more is man for imita­tion: so be these examples are followed,

1. With choyce, selecting those of pious and godly men.

2. With judgement, imitating the holy ones of God. First, In their ordinary, not extraordinary actions: sc. such which were done either,

1. By singular commandement, as Abrahams offering his sonne, Gen. 22.

2. By extraordinary instinct, as Phinees, Num. 25. And Eliah, 2 Reg. 1. 10.

3. Or by miracle, as Peters walking upon the water.

4. Or by custome of countrey, as fashions in apparell, Zeph. 1. 8.

Secondly, in their vertues onely; not in their vices. We must be followers of Saint Paul, so of other the Saints of God, as they were of Christ, 1 Cor. 11. 1.

Thirdly, with limitation: sc. as this imitation may stand with our callings, and Gods commandements. Yet all you who already are ingrafted into this unparalel'd communion, and you which desire admittance into the same, do you imi­tate Christ Iesus punctually and precisely in those forenamed particulars, living godlily after the rule of Christ; suffering patiently after the example of Christ. Which if you do, you must of necessity resolve,

1. To abominate and abandon sinne: kill and crucifie the lusts of the flesh, and all carnall corruptions. 1. There being no agreement twixt light and darknesse. 2. God not abiding Sathans image upon his coine. 3. There being no possibilitie of serving such dissenting masters. 4. These all much disa­greeing from our glorious patterne, they being the workes [Page 263] of the Devill which hee came to destroy.

2. To make progresse in piety, and grow in grace. For, 1. Babes in Christ must grow, 1 Pet. 2. 2. Gods Spirit cannot be idle, but causeth the just like the shining light to shine more and more unto the perfect day, Prov. 4. 18. 3. Christianity is a race wherein they must run, 1 Cor. 9. 24. Wherein not to goe forward is to goe backward. AndNon progredi, est regred [...]. 4. Christ our patterne increased in wisdome, and stature, and in favour with God and man, Luc. 2. 52.

3. To endure confiscation of goods, like those; Heb. 10. 34. Defamation of your credit, like those, 1 Cor. 4. 9. 13. And the losse of life, like many thousand Martyrs for Christs sake; He endured them all for us; we must suffer them all for him, Luc. 14. 26, 27. And do not reply like the fleshly Caperna­ites, this is a hard saying, who can beare it? For to suffer the spoyling of these not long lasting transitorie trashy riches, to have in heaven a better and an induring substance is no losse, but extraordinary advantage. To be disgracefully derided, and shamefully reproched by men blinded by the God of this world, out of their wits, starke fooles, and of a brutish nature for the confession of Christ and his truth, and to have an ho­nourable esteeme from the worlds Creatour, the Elects Savi­our, the Saints Sanctifier, the glorious Guarders of Gods Iewels, and all Gods people, is not any disparagement, but great renowne. To endure Martyrdome, or to suffer death for the Faith of Christ, be it after the most ignominious, and opprobrious manner, and with the most hellish, and horrible tortures Sathans agents and himselfe can invent and inflict, is pronounced a blessing by the Spirit of Truth, Rev. 14. 13.

That I may perswade you to this imitation of Christ Iesus, I will propound some few, sc. three inducements, or allure­ments.

There is nothing more equall, just, or convenient, then forMot. 1. Christians to imitate Christ. He is our unerring King, Mai­ster, Head, and Husband; we his subjects, servants, mem­bers, and spouse; and can any thing better beseeme us then imitation? He our Captaine and Commander; we his [Page 264] souldiers; and is it not reasonable that we should follow him? Ioh. 10. 4. Such interest he hath in us that he may justly chal­lenge that of us all, which Abimelech commanded his soul­diers, Iudg. 9. 48. What you have seene me do, make hast, and do as I have done.

2 Other conformity is dangerous, and hurtfull. Be it to that cunning tempter, malicious accuser of the brethren, adver­sary, Devill, in any his workes.

Be it to sinne, the cause of Devils, hell, and all judgements, and the fore-runner of Damnation. Be it to those stigmaticall impes and agents of the Devill, who are of their Father Sa­than, and will do his workes. Be it to the world, it being enmity to God, and not to be beloved of the Saints, 1 Ioh. 2. 15. And conformity to it being forbidden, Rom. 12. 2. And I thinke most men will conclude that such conformity is dan­gerous, if not damnable. Be it to the Saints in such things wherein they have swerved from this heavenly patterne, and even this conformity is unallowable and abominable.

3 Nothing more commodious and gainefull then to imitate Christ.

1. How can they go astray, who follow Christ which ne­ver did amisse?

2. How can they walke in darknesse, who follow the true light? Ioh. 1. 8.

3. How can they be deceived, who follow Christ the truth?

4. How can they misse of heaven, who follow him which is the way? Ioh. 14. 8.

5. How can they wander, who follow Christ, the light to guide them, the way to conduct them, and the truth to di­rect them?

6. How can they displease God, who imitate his Sonne, in whom he is well pleased?

7. By this imitation we the members shall please our Head, we the subjects shall content our King, we the sheepe shall delight our shepheard.

8. By this conformity we are assured that we are predesti­nated, Rom. 8 29.

[Page 265]9. And ascertained that we shall be glorified: for if we beare the image of the earthly, we shall beare the image of the heavenly, 1 Cor. 15. 49.

10. Be we followers of Christ, who if we hunger, is our Celestiall bread; if we thirst, is the water of life. Be we as he was in this world; this imitation being a forcible meanes to obtaine; an infallible demonstration that we have; and a necessary duty which we owe for this lovely and desireable fellowship with Gods Sonne Iesus Christ.

CHAP. IX. The second Marke and Duty. Such must have faith who have fellowship with Christ.

DEsire we fellowship with Christ Iesus? We must have2. Marke, Duty. faith. Not the worldlings fancied faith, which he suckt from his mothers brest, believing ever since he was borne. Nor his painted fruitlesse faith, he believing as well as the best; yet abhorring, or not loving, or little or no whit re­garding the Word preached, prayer, and other sanctified meanes, whereby faith is begotten and increased. He belie­ving; yet living prophanely, or at the least onely civilly. Which is not a true faith: That faith which brings forth evill Hom. of sal. E. 1. workes, or no good workes, is not a right, pure, and lively faith; but a dead divellish, counterfeit, and fained faith. They that Ibid. E. 1. continue in evill living, have not true faith. Lively faith is not without hope and trust in God, nor without the love of God, and of our neighbors; nor without the feare of God, nor without desire to heare Gods Word, and to follow the same, in eschewing evill, Hom. of faith, A 1. and doing gladly all good works.

But the faith of our Lord Iesus Christ, Iam. 2. 1. The faith of the Elect, Titus 1. 1. That faith of which Salvian speakes,Quid est igitur Fides? opinor fide­liter hominem Christo credere. 1. fidelem esse, hoc est fideliter Dei mai [...] ­data servare. Salv. lib. 3. p. 60. saying, What is faith therfore? I think for a man faithfully to be­lieve in Christ, i. to be faithfull, i. to observe Gods Comman­dements faithfully. That faith,

1. Which is of a growing and thriving nature; from faith to faith, Rom. 1. 17.

[Page 266]2. That two-handed faith, which by confidence the one holdeth the Lord, and receiveth good; and by love the other imbraceth the brethren, and doth good, Gal. 5. 6.

3. That faith which yeelds obedience to Gods Comman­dements, even the most repugnant to flesh and bloud: by this Abraham left his country, and offered Isaac, Heb. 11.

4. That faith, which doth instrumentally justifie, Rom. 5. 1. And sanctifie, Acts 15. 9.

This is the faith we must have, if we would have interest in this happy association.

1. By this faith we are built upon the foundation, and cou­pled to the Corner-Stone Christ.

2. By this faith we are married to our Husband.

3. By this faith we are ingrafted into the Vine, Christ Ie­sus, Eph. [...]. 17. 4. 13. So that,

1. As by the mortar the stones cleave to the foundation, so by this faith which is like a strictive mortar we are cemented and united to Christ.

2. As by the nerves or sinewes the parts receive sense, mo­tion, yea and life from the head, so by this faith we receive quickening and vitality from Christ, as the members from the Head, Ioh. 1. 16. Gal. 2. 20.

3. As by the true love-knot the husband and wife are made one flesh: so by this faith we have spirituall familiarity with Christ, as the wife with the husband, Rom. 5. 1. Heb. 11. 6. Faith is the hand of the soule which applyeth the sacri­fice M. Burton. Truths triumph over Trent. cap 7. pag 99. of Christ for sinne, it is the hand which puts on the robes of the righteousnesse of Christ our elder Brother upon us. Faith is the ligament or sinew which fasteneth and uniteth every faithfull member to the Head Christ Iesus. Faith is the life of our lives, Pag. 100. and the strength of our soules.

1. This is that prevailing Champion which quencheth the fiery darts of Sathan, Eph. 6. 16. Overcommeth the world, 1 Ioh. 5. 4, 5. Prevaileth with God, and is overcome of no­thing; not by carnall sense, not by humane reasons; not by bitter tortures, Heb. 11. 35, 36, 37.

2. This is the mother and fountaine of all good gifts, the [Page 267] originall of justice, beginning of devotion, the head of sanctitie, Fidet est origo in­stitiae, sanctitates caput, devotionis principium, & Re­ligionis fundamen­tum. Chrysost. Ser. de fide. Tom. 4. pag. 574. A. M. Burton. pag. 198. cap. 12. Pag. 201. and foundation of Religion. Prayer is the proper worke of faith, Rom. 10. 14. Confession to salvation is the speech of faith, Rom. 10. 10. Good works of all sorts are the fruits of faith. Faith gives life and being to every grace; forasmuch as every grace is radically in faith: because where faith is, Christ is. Holy faith is the foundation whereon all graces are built, the ground whereon they grow.

3. This is that so necessary grace, that whosoever wants it, 1. Hath no spirituall life with Christ; the just living by faith, Rom. 1. 17. And by the faith of the Sonne of God, Gal. 2. 20. Neither is he a true Christian, he wanting that whereby Christ dwels in the heart, Eph. 3. 17. Neither can he do any good thing without this, all being sinne, Rom. 14. 23. And un­pleasing to God, Heb. 11. 6.

4. This is that which mounts and elevates a man into so high, and honourable, holy, and happy condition that he hath such heavenly priviledges, and transcendent prerogatives as to be Gods Sonne, Iob. 1. 12. Christs, and his Fathers friend; to be a free Denison of heaven: as to come to Christ, to go to God, to hasten to heaven, to be inseparably inserted, and indissolubly compacted into this incorporation with Ie­sus Christ of incomparable value, and ineffable excellencies. Is faith so preciously excellent?

1. Why O you sonnes of men, do you so much sleight it, and neglect it?

1. As not to labour at all for it.

2. Or lesse then for temporary fading favours; you'le ride, and run farre and neare; toyle and travaile early and late, for health and sanity of your bodies; for increase and augmen­tation of your substance, for food to eate, and clothes to put on: but so carelesly, and negligently for this, that were your endeavours no more earnest for bodily health, death so dis­mall would soone smite you: for food, and rayment; your tender backs and pampered bellies would quickly beshrow you: for worldly wealth, beggery so base would out of hand overtake you.

[Page 268]3. Or more regardlesly then for any thing of base esteem in regard of it: you take not cattell for your use at a venture, but after much searching and prying whether they be sound and sufficient: you receive not gold carelesly, but after tryall, whether it is currant coine and of sufficient weight: You take not silver hand over head, but you first see whether it is paya­ble money; you turne and tosse, rub, and ring each suspected piece, least you take brasse for lawfull silver. And deale you thus with your faith? Do you examine whether you are in the faith? Do you try by the touch-stone of the Word, whe­ther it is of the right kind, not that of Divels; not that of temporizers; not that of wicked ones, but that of the Elect, making them endeavour good, and shun sinne? I would you did.

2. Is faith thus excellent? Then you who wish well to your selves, prise, and use all sanctified meanes whereby it's gotten, kept, and increased. This is a pearle of price, the try­all whereof is better then gold, 1 Pet. 1. 7. The least degree whereof is better then a world of earthly contentments, be­nefiting the enjoyer, when all worldly vanities stand in no stead; not forsaking him till he hath received the end of his faith, the salvation of his soule, 1 Pet. 1. 9. This is a precious jewell in the esteeme of God, and godly men, in regard of the giver, worker, object, meanes, and use, 2 Pet. 1. 1. By this we are united unto, we receive vitality from, and have familiarity with the Lord Iesus. Or in a word, this is an astringent tye joyning us into this union, so neare, true, and admirable; this fellowship so celestiall, and inseparable, which is with Gods Sonne Iesus Christ.

CHAP. X. The third Marke and Duty. Such have Christs Spirit abiding in them.

HAve we, or desire we fellowship with Christ Iesus? We3. Marke, Duty. must have the Spirit of God inhabiting within us, Rom. 8. 9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you; now if any man have not the Spi­rit of Christ, he is none of his. If we have fellowship with Christ, we already have; if we desire communion with Christ, we must get to have the Spirit of God to dwell in us. To like purpose is that, 1 Cor. 3. 16. Know you not that you are the Temple of God, and that the Holy Ghost dwelleth in you. As 1 Cor. 6. 19. And 2 Tim. 1. 14. By the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in you.

Of such absolute necessity is the having of Christs SpiritMot. 1. abiding in us: That without it no saving faith, no sound hope, no true love, no happy peace, no solid joy, no new birth, no new life, no spirituall adoption, no reall ingrafting into Christ, no union or communion with him, these all be­ing graces, works and fruits of Gods Spirit. Those who have not the Spirit of Christ abiding in them are none of Christs.

1. Souldiers; therefore the Dragons, there being but two sides; and therefore shalbe overcome, Rev. 12. 9.

2. Servants; therefore slaves to sinne and Sathan; there­fore to be paid the wages of eternall death, Rom. 6. 23.

3. Subjects; therefore rebels and traitours against the king of heaven; therefore to be slaine, Luc. 19. 27.

4. Sheepe; therefore Goates whose end is to be accursed, Math. 25. 41.

5. Braunches abiding in him; therefore withered cast­awayes to be burned, Ioh 15. 6.

6. Acquaintance, friends, familiars, therefore strangers to heare that dolefull farewell depart, I know you not, Math. 7. 25.

[Page 270]7. Brethren; therefore bastards, children of this world, and the Devill: therefore no inheritours.

8. Brides; therefore harlots, and strumpets; therefore divorced, and cast out.

9. Members of his mysticall body; therefore limbes of the Devill to be consumed.

Therefore if we have not the Spirit of God abiding in us, there is no possibility of fellowship with Iesus Christ, while so we continue.

2 The unspeakable motions and operations of Gods Spirit manifest the truth of this abundantly.

1. Whence is our regeneration or new creation? From the Spirit, Ioh. 3. 5. Borne of the Spirit.

2. Whence is our justification? From the Spirit. 1 Cor. 6. 11. You are justified in the name of the Lord Iesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

3. Whence is our holinesse and sanctification? From the Spirit, Acts 15. 8, 9. Giving the Holy Ghost,—purify­ing, &c.

4. Whence is our Christian loue, whereby we love Christ for his owne sake, and Christians for his? From the Spirit, Rom. 5. 5. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given us.

5. Whence is our obsignation whereby we are ascertained that we are the Sonnes of God? From the Spirit, Rom. 8. 16. It beares witnesse with our spirits that we are the Sonnes of God. 2 Cor. 1. 22. Who hath sealed, &c.

6. Whence is our direction how to live? From the Spirit, Rom. 8. 14. Led by the Spirit.

7. Whence is our corroboration or spirituall strength? From the Spirit, Eph. 3. 16. Strongthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.

8. Whence our supplication, or ability to pray? From the Spirit, Rom. 8. 15. Whereby, &c.

9. Whence our consolation? From the Spirit, Acts 9. 31. Comfort of the Holy Ghost.

10. Whence our incorporation into, and inhabitation in [Page 271] Christ? From the Spirit, Eph. 2. 22. In whom you are buil­ded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Saint Chrysostome saith well: That Spirit doth make holy, sanctifie, Ergò iste Spiritus consecrat, sanctificat, benedicit, hono­rificat, guberuat, protegit, consola­tur, producit ad santam Ecclesiam 1. Expos. Symboli: Tom. 5 pag. 1147. blesse, honour, governe, protect, comfort, and doth bring to the holy Church. All those therefore who have these speciall and heavenly prerogatives of regeneration, justification, &c. and communion with Christ Iesus, they have necessarily the Spi­rit of God abiding in them.

1. Ponder with advisement and deliberation how lamen­tably dreadfull their condition is, who have not the Spirit of God abiding in them: for although the conversation of ma­ny of them is plausible, and to admiration, in regard of their upright civill carriage, yet wanting the Spirit of God they are none of Christs, and therefore have no interest in this communion.

2. Commiserate the Maniacque folly, and braine-sicke bedlam madnesse of all such scorners which scoffe at this, as if there were no cohabitation of Gods Spirit in the hearts of godly men. These blinded beetles thinke none see, because themselves do not; are perswaded none have Gods Spirit, be­cause they want it. The glorious Sun is in the firmament gi­ving comfortable light to all seeing creatures, although born­blind Moles never behold the least glimpse of its shining rayes. The blessed Spirit of God is dwelling and abiding in the holy ones of God, although such deriding scorners hood­winkt by the Devill with the scales of blockish ignorance and damned infidelity are altogether unexperienced, and un­acquainted in such Divine and heavenly enjoyments.

3. Looke O you sonnes of men whether this Spiritof God abide in you or not: For not onely Fantastique Fami­lists, Anabaptisticall dreamers, and such like factious sects, and Sectaries; but many other children of Beliall, who in truth are as yet habitations for the uncleane spirit, and the se­ven other spirits more wicked to dwell in, Math. 12. 43, 44. Boast and glory of the happy fruition of Gods Spirit, like the false Prophet Zedekiah, who notwithstanding was possessed with a lying spirit, 1 Reg. 22. 23, 24. Search therefore the [Page 272] Scriptures, for they testifie of these things, and from them you may learne what spirit you are of. The Scriptures tell us,

1. That where Gods Spirit abideth, there is the Spirit of Prayer, Rom. 8. 15. We have received the Spirit of adoption whereby we crie Abba Father. Verse 16. The Spirit maketh intercession for us.

2. Where Gods Spirit abideth, there is a new birth, rege­neration, a new creation, Ioh. 3. 4. Borne of the Spirit.

3. Where Gods Spirit abideth, there is holinesse and san­ctity, 1 Pet. 1. 2. Sanctification of the Spirit. Rom. 1. 4. Spi­rit of holinesse.

4. Where Gods Spirit is, there is knowledge of all things, sc. Necessary to salvation, 1 Ioh. 2. 20.

5. Where the Spirit of God abideth, there must needs be sincerity or uprightnesse.

6. Where the Spirit of God abideth, there is a testification to a mans owne spirit that he is the child of God, Rom. 8. 16. The Spirit beares witnesse with our Spirits that we are the chil­dren of God: From which grounded Maximes, and undenia­ble Theses drawne from the Word of truth, these following inferences must necessarily be concluded.

1. That the prayerlesse person, sc. such a one who prayes not at all; or not so, with such graces which Gods Spirit pre­scribes in the Word as necessary companions of pious prayer, viz. Knowledge, faith, sincerity, zeale, &c. in some mea­sure.

2. That the unregenerate not converted man, who is the same he was ever, no changeling, having the same mind, will, affections, &c. And he who is changed from one evill to another as bad or worse; neither of these being truly con­verted, so as to become new creatures, 2 Cor. 5. 17. New men, Eph. 4. 24. To have new hearts, Ezek. 11. 19. And new lives; yea, all things new, 2 Cor. 5. 17. sc. wils, lives, affections, sc. love, hatred, &c. New eyes, Eph. 1. 18. Eares, Psal. 40. 6. And tast, Rom. 8. 5.

3. That the meere civill honest man although he walke as [Page 273] inoffensively as did ever any Heathen Worthy, and as plausi­bly as those justiciary Pharisees, being no oppressour, paying every man to the mint, and anniseed. Much lesse therefore the prophane Belial which wallowes in all wickednesse, wholly regardlesse of piety of God, and righteousnesse to man.

4. That the man ignorant and unacquainted in those truths which are necessary to be knowne: and the man, who al­though he hath plenty of knowledge floting in the braine, and flowing from the tongue, yet wants the necessary pra­ctique knowledge: So that although he is able to discourse learnedly, and profoundly, yet doth he not believe that he knowes is to be believed; love that he knowes is to belo­ved; and do that he knowes is to be done, &c. in some mea­sure.

5. That the flourishing Formalist, performing those many excellent, and praise-worthy duties he doth onely outward­ly, for by-ends, without the pith, marrow, and substance of Christianity, uprightnesse of heart.

6. That the man wholly and altogether wanting the testi­mony of his owne conscience, grounded upon the testimony of Gods Spirit, that he is the child of God: and he who in stead of the testification of Gods Spirit, which ever agreeth to the Word, glads and contents himselfe with the wicked spirit of presumption, for his living willingly, constantly, and contentedly in those wicked wayes the Word of God con­demnes to hellish torments; argues an absence of the testimo­nie of Gods Spirit: for is it possible that Gods Spirit should peremptorily affirme in the Word, that no drunkard, cove­tous person, hypocrite, &c. shall inherite the kingdome of heaven; and yet testifie to the conscience of a drunkard, co­vetous person, hypocrite, &c. that he is Gods child, and shall go to heaven?

That none of these have the Spirit of Christ abiding in them; and therfore no fellowship with Iesus Christ, may safely, & must necessarily be inferred from the forenamed propositions.

First, all you of the former ranke which have the Spirit of [Page 274] prayer, true conversion, holinesse, saving knowledge, sinceri­ty of heart, and a warrantable assurance in your owne consci­ences that you are the children of God, consequently have the Spirit of God abiding in you; and therefore fellowship with the Lord Iesus.

1. Be perswaded highly to praise and glorifie the Lord so loving, and liberall, who hath bestowed such an inestimable treasure upon you, as is the Spirit of the Lord; the Spirit of wisdome and understanding to teach you; the Spirit of counsell to counsell and advise you; the Spirit of might to protect and defend you; the Spirit of knowledge to instruct you, Isa. 11. 2. The Spirit of the Lord inabling you to pray, and making your prayers acceptable, Rom. 8. 26. Bringing you to liberty, 2 Cor. 3. 17. Helping your infirmities, enlightening your understandings, rectifying your judgements, reviving your spirits, stirring your affections, sanctifying all inward gifts, and seasoning the use of all outward things unto you; assu­ring you of all the rich treasures in Iesus Christ. This being the gift of gifts, the head, the height, the depth, the bredth, and length of all good things.

2. Not to grieve this Holy Spirit of God whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption, Eph. 4. 30. By doing any thing contrary to the light which is set up in your conscien­ces by the Word of God, and this Spirit; least if you vexe him he turnes to be your enemie, Isa. 63. 10.

3. Not to quench the Spirit, 1 Thes. 5. 19. Doe not therefore by your security and negligence lose the fruits and effects of the Spirit, nor abate the working of grace. (To lose wholly the saving graces of the Spirit, which a man once had, as if a man should extinguish fire wholly, is not possible, the Spirit abiding with such for ever, Ioh. 14. 16. But to lose some fruits and effects of the Spirit, and to abate the working of grace, as if a man should slacke the heate, and lose the light of fire, doth oft befall the Saints, by meanes of their careles­nesse and security.

4. To walke after the Spirit, Rom. 8. 1. Which are in Christ walke after the Spirit. Gal. 5. 25. If you live in the Spi­rit, [Page 275] walke in the Spirit. i. By minding, liking, wishing, desiring, and affecting the things of the Spirit, Rom. 8. 5. And by endeavouring in the whole course of your lives and callings, to order your selves according to the will and Word of God; for that which is commanded in the Word, is en­joyned by the Spirit; and to leade a mans life according to the Word, is to walke after the Spirit.

Secondly, and you of the last sort, who have not the Spirit of Christ abiding in you; and therefore have no interest in this incorporation: forget not your miserable condition; and let me entice and allure you to remedie the same by endea­vouring to get this Spirit, which is most of all and first of all to be sought, Luc. 11. 13. How—give his Spirit. And is obtained:

1. By fervent and faithfull prayer unto God, Luc. 11. 13.

2. By carefull and conscionable hearing the Word of God, Gal. 3. 2. Received—faith preached? Acts 10. 44. While Peter—Holy Ghost fell, &c.

3. By true and unfained repentance, Acts 2. 38.

4. By pious and sincere obedience, Acts 5. 32.

Do you therefore renounce and abdicate those loathsome deeds of darknesse wherein you have hitherto walked. Do not rest contented in your hollow, livelesse, and spiritlesse performances of good actions and endeavour that by sincere and hearty prayer, hearing, repentance, and obedience you may have the Spirit of God abiding in you, that so you also may have fellowship with Gods Sonne Iesus Christ, which will give you, 1. More joy then children which barren women aske. 2. More comfort then health which sicke folke desire. 3. More benefit then strength desired of the weake. 4. More profit then sight which the blind desire.

CHAP. XI. Such who have fellowship with Christ, be, must be his sheepe, braunches, spouse, members, and stones built on him. Their duties from the particulars.

TO these I might have joyned many other necessary du­ties: certaine tokens of such which enjoy; and availea­ble meanes for such to use, who desire to enjoy this happy community, and discoursed largely of them: But purposing now to end; I will onely nominate some, without any large dilating upon them.

1. Christ is the Shepheard, these are the sheepe.

2. Christ is the Vine, these are the braunches.

3. Christ is the Husband, these are the spouse.

4. Christ is the Head, these are the members.

5. Christ is the Foundation, these are the stones.

Therefore such who partake of this Divine Society, as they owe of duty, so they testifie their incorporation into this connexion, and they which desire ingredience into this peerelesse communion must seeke the same, by endeavou­ring to paralell these resemblances so farre forth as sacred Writ doth enjoyne and warrant. e. g.

1. They are sheepe; therefore as sheepe are harmlesse, pro­fitable in regard of fleece, fell, carkasse, and dung very fruit­full, and increaseable, notwithstanding many are killed, and many die: So these are innocent, suffering wrongs, but re­compencing to none evill for evill: very commodious to all about them, Gen. 18. 10. And marvellous increaseable, al­though persecuted and abused. They are the sheepe of Christ; therefore they heare, they know, they believe, and follow him, Ioh. 10. 3, 4, 5. 26. 27.

2. They are braunches of Christ the Vine, Ioh. 15. 1, 2, 3. Therefore, as, 1. They grow exceedingly more then other trees. 2. Have plenty of sappe within, when they seeme wi­thered [Page 277] and drie. 3. Beare fruit which is sweet in it selfe, pleasant to the user, and profitable to the owner. 4. Yea such which are conjoyned, and well accord together both in the cluster, and in the wine. Even so these ought, and do grow in grace, from vertue to vertue, 2 Pet. 1. 5, 6. 2. Are reple­nished with the sappe of saving graces, even in affliction, when they seeme withered away, and dried up. 3. Have fruits and graces, comfortable to themselves, profitable to others, and pleasing to God. 4. Yea, and are conjoyned in Christ the Vine, and also among themselves one with another.

3. These are the spouse of Christ; therefore they ought to love, reverence, and feare him, heare his voice, and receive his instructions, obey his commandements, and be clad with his mariage garments, sc. the gifts and graces of his Spirit.

4. These are the members; therefore are knit to Christ the head, as his members by a lively faith, submitting them­selves to him their head, and assuring themselves that he as their head will care for their safety and well-being.

5. These are the stones built upon him the foundation; therefore submit themselves to the hammer of the Word and the Lords Builders, to be fitted for the Lords building: they are therefore knit together by the Spirit, and laid upon Christ the Head-Stone to be an habitation of God; and are supported by Christ Iesus their Foundation against the gates of hell.

CHAP. XII. The Conclusion, shewing the drift of all.

BY that which I have spoken at sundry times from this place concerning this subject of true goodfellowship, shew­ing from sacred Writ who and what goodfellowes are; wiping away many foule and filthy aspersions wherewith the world doth falsely blemish them; and declaring their duties and dignity.

First, I hope you see the errour and injustice of this erro­neous world, depriving Gods Saints of this their rightfull denomination; and conferring it upon the most stigmaticall sonnes of Belial. Is he a goodfellow truly, and onely who hath fellowship with the Saints, the Lord of heaven and earth, and his Sonne Iesus Christ; And are they which strive to imitate the Saints, endeavour to please God, and labour to have inter­est in Christ Iesus, base companions, insociable persons, and unworthy the name of goodfellowes, because they preferre this excellent communion before the beastly and Diabolicall society with the fruitlesse workes, and unhappy workers if darknesse? And shall such which make open profession of the Devills service, are at open defiance with all manner of goodnesse, be stiled and esteemed goodfellowes, because with shamelesse foreheads, and flinty hearts they wallow in all manner of wickednesse, because they sweare and swagger, roare, and revell, scorne and scoffe at good­nesse, and good men, consume wastfully their patrimo­nies and possessions in pipes and pots, in Tavernes and Tap­houses, in drunkennesse, and other damnable courses? Yet this is the usuall and common dealing of the most, although impious and ungodly; for what right have Sathans imps and agents to this holy title of goodfellow?

Heare our Church speake, which saith: If we lacke Iesus Christ: that is to say, the Saviour of our soules and bodies, we shall not finde him in the market place, or in the Guilde Hall, [Page 279] much lesse in the Ale-house or Taverne amongst goodfellowes, as they call them, &c. Hom. of right use of the Church, Fol. 6.

Let drunken beasts and pot-companions; Let infatuated prodigals, and riotous spend-thrifts; Let swashing swag­gerers, who sport themselves at the godly simplicity of honest men, and all other of the same kind assume to them­selves, and give to their companions their owne proper titles: sc. fooles, beasts, sonnes of Belial, &c. And not in­croach upon this title which is properly due to none but such who have fellowship with the Saints, the Father, and his Sonne Iesus Christ.

Secondly, I hope that you understand sufficiently by the foregoing discourses the admirable and unspeakable privi­ledges of all goodfellowes, or true believers: being combi­ned by the most astrictive ties in fellowship with the Lord of glory, his blessed Sonne, and gracious Saints, and Ser­vants. As also the wretched and miserable condition of all other associations, who have indeed a fellowship, but most abominable and base, with the fruitlesse works of darknesse, Ephes. 5. 11. As also most dangerous, and dreadfull, Prov. 13. 20. Acompanion of fooles shalbe destroyed.

Thirdly, I hope also that you of the wiser sort of those who as yet are without having any well-wishes unto your selves, are perswaded to flee amaine, seeking an hasty escape from all those unfruitfull fellowships with the deeds, and doers of darknesse; as Lot from Sodome so full of villany, so neare destruction; and to hasten speedily, as the creatures into Noahs Arke, to be firmely knit, and inseparably incor­porated into this society, abounding with such felicities, and contentments.

4. And I doubt not but that you which have already admit­tance into, and acquaintance in this goodfellowshippe, by the former particulars are animated, and encouraged to cleave more closely unto, and to proceed more comfortably and couragiously in the same; it abounding with such variety of excelling priviledges, and transcendent prerogatives, [Page 280] maugre Sathans subtill and hellish temptations, and the worlds despightfull usage, and injurious calumniations.

Of which hopes if I doe not faile, I have that I labour for. I having declared these things unto you, 1. That you also (which as yet are strangers from this heavenly communion) may have fellowshippe with us, which you need not either dread or shame; for truly our fellowshippe is with the Father, and his Sonne Iesus Christ. 2. And that you which are infranchised into this Society, may walke for­ward comfortably and couragiously through the many crossing oppositions you meet withall in he holy path. Or to end with the Apo­stles words, that your joy may be full.


An Alphabeticall Table.

  • ADmiration vaine, to be shun­ned, and why, 76.
  • Adoption, what, its excellen­cie, why God adopted us, 235.
  • Afflictions should not discontent. 42.
  • They are the lot of the righteous, 210.
  • They benefit them 211, Why God afflicteth them, and how, 45.
  • Christ is to be imitated in his sufferings, why, and how, 256.
  • Anabaptists confuted concerning swea­ring, 80.
  • Antinomists taxed and confuted, 182, &c 192, &c. 243. &c.
  • Apostasie dangerous, 95.
  • Apparell, what should content. 107 Pride in apparell, 260. &c. Christians best ap­parell, 44.
  • BEauty and lovelinesse of Christ, and Christians, 218, &c.
  • Beggers how to be relieved, how not, why, 25 their vilenesse, 104.
  • Body is to honor God, 73 Christ and Chri­stians one body, 207. 276
  • Brethren, all Christians are brethren, 3.
  • CAlling, what lawfull, 103. Changing of callings through discontent taxed, 189. Labour in the same. See la­bour.
  • Certaintie of salvation, 118, &c. Whence, 270, &c.
  • Charity See relieve.
  • Christ is Christians fellow, and how, 202. Husband, 203. Vine, 204. Foundation, 206. Head, 207. A stone, and what, 206. His power, 209. Love and nearenesse to Christians, 209, &c. Christs poverty, what, and why he was poore, 222.
  • Christians, Christs fellowes, 202. Spouse, 203. Duties therefore, 176. And branch­es, 204. Duties therefore, 277. Stones built on him 206. Duties therefore, 277. And members, 207. Duties therefore, 277. Resemblances betwixt Christ and Christians, and their nearenesse, 208, 214, &c.
  • Church, a Vine, 205. Its foundations, what, how many, 206. A fold, field, &c 208.
  • Choosers we should be, of what, and why, 177, &c.
  • Civill honest men, in what they are defe­ctive, 272, 273.
  • Cleane, how Saints are cleane how not, 240. See pure and perfect.
  • Cleaving to God, a necessary duty, what it is. How we cleave to God, motives ther­unto, 189, &c.
  • Conference (see tongue) for the Lords Day, 167, &c. How delightfull.
  • Conscience, what it is, how it is bound to obey the Morall Law, 245, &c. See Law. Conscience testimonie.
  • Consolation of Saints, see Ioy. Whence, 270
  • Contentation, what. Why we should be content, 98. &c. 106. With what, 107, &c. 118.
  • [Page]Continuance crowned, 95. Continuance of Saints. See certainty.
  • Corrections and crosses. See afflictions.
  • Covenant with God. Its foundation, frame, kinds, the same now with that of the iustified Iewes formerly. It must be kept. How, why, 178, &c.
  • Coveteousnesse, its root and fruit, 101. Pu­ritanes, how covetous, how not, 69. Ri­otous spend thrifts are covetous, 66.
  • Creation for Gods honour, 71. God is deri­ded in the derision of the creatures, 80. Man an excellent creature, 86.
  • DEath not to be feared, 124. Its medita­tion ioyfull to the Saints, 174.
  • Dependance on Gods providence, 65. Mo­tives thereto, 69, &c. 123.
  • Depopulatours hurtfull, 67, 98, 99.
  • Discontent fruitlesse, 106.
  • Disparity betwixt Saints and sinners 67.
  • Drunkennesse a vile sinne, 92. Hurtfull to the Commonwealth, 67.
  • ENemies not to be feared, 122.
  • Envy, a hateful and hurtfull sinne, 38.
  • Exercises for the Lords Day. See sports.
  • Exile should not discontent, 109. Not to be feared, 124.
  • FAlling from grace, how Saints may fall, how they cannot, 118, &c.
  • Family provided for without covetousnes, 68. Lesse regarded by some then beasts, 90.
  • Father God is to al, especially Saints. 41. His fatherly love, their filiall duties, 41, &c. Some fathers preferre their beasts before their children, 90.
  • Faith, how all is like, how not, 4. Honou­reth God, 74. Takes hold of Gods Cove­nant, 182. How it iustifieth, how not, 233. True faith described, its fruits and properties, who faulty concerning faith, 265, 266.
  • Fashion following reproved, 101, 108, 260.
  • Feare honoureth God, 74. Cleaves to God, 150. Its excellencie, 194, &c. What to be feared, what not, 124, 230. What feare is bad, what good. Obiections an­swered, 194.
  • Fellowship Saints have each with other. Duties thence, 3, &c. With the Father, 115. Motives, meanes, and duties, 129, &c. With Christ, 202. Its nearenesse, 213, &c. Motives to ioyne in it, 218. Who have fellowship with Christ, 253, 254. Obiections against the fellowship of Saints answered, 113, &c. Fellowship of wicked base, 125, 135, &c, To be shunned, and why, 6, &c. 125, &c. What wicked mens societie to be shunned, 8.
  • Food, what should content, 105. Spirituall the best, 43.
  • Fooles, who? sc. What fooles wicked men are, 128.
  • Forgivenesse of our brethren necessary. How Magistrates, Ministers, and private persons may and must forgive, 37, &c. Who must forgive: whom: when: what: how: and why. 38. Motives to forgive: Obiections answered, 39, &c.
  • Forgivenesse of sinnes, a great favour, to whom it belongs, 234. God onely for­gives sinne, 37.
  • Foundation of the Church, what, how ma­ny, 206.
  • Flesh, an evill master, disswasives from its service, 196.
  • GAine of Saints is great, 199.
  • Garments of Christs righteousnesse the best, 44. See apparell.
  • God the Saints Father, 41. How a Hus­bandman, [Page] 204, &c.
  • Good must be done, aswell as evill avoi­ded 82, 91.
  • Goodfellowship, what, 1, &c. Of wicked, naught. See fellowship. Wicked are falsely called goodfellowes, 278. Name goodfellow, to whom due, 278, 279.
  • Glory, how like, 5. Gods glory. See ho­nor. Glory of Saints fellowship, 219 &c.
  • Grace, how like, 4. Its spreading nature and excellencie, 19, &c, How it may be lost, how not, 118, &c. We must labour to worke it in others, and why, 19, &c. We must grow in grace, if we wilbe like Christ, 262, 263.
  • HAte sinners, and how, 10. Sinne, and why, 39
  • Hearing of Gods Word needfull and excel­lent, 142, &c. Obiections against it an­swered, 143 How to heare, and faulty hearers, 14 [...], &c. How we must heare, and why, 172. 181.
  • Heaven hoped for in vaine by many, 88.
  • Holinesse See sanctification. How the Saints are holy.
  • Honour due to God. How God is honou­red. Why with soule and body both. Why with the soule especially. How with the tongue and life, 72, &c. Mo­tives to honour God, 84, &c.
  • Honour of the Saints, 198. And of their communion. See glory.
  • Hope of Saints, its excellency, 236.
  • Hosts are Gods, 122.
  • Husbands duty, 203. Saints husband tran­scendent, 46, 203.
  • Hypocrites, how hurtfull, 26, 55.
  • IGnorance hurtfull: its fruits, 97, 273.
  • Inheritance of Saints unparalel'd, 45.
  • Inhabitation in Christ. See Christ. Whence it is, 270, 271.
  • Ingrossers of corne censured, 67.
  • Imitation of God, wherein, 138, &c. Of Christ, wherein and why, 257. Of men, wherein, 262.
  • Imprecations to be shunned, though Saints have imprecated, and why, 76.
  • Imputation of Christs righteousnesse, 235.
  • Ioy of the Saints, 129, 192, 224. Why they reioyce, 239.
  • Iustice of God, by whom abused. Obiecti­ons against it answered, 77.
  • Iustification handled with its causes, and fruits, 233, &c. Whence it is, how it dif­fers from sanctification, 237. How once iustified are alwayes, 240.
  • KNowledge saving honoureth God, 73.
  • It is needfull to do Gods will, 97. and necessary to enioy Gods Spirit, 272.
  • LAbour in lawfull callings commenda­ble, 24. When not to be taxed of co­vetousnesse, 68, 103. Labour on the Lords Day. See workes.
  • Lords Day, why so called, 150. Duties of the Lords Day. See Sabbath.
  • Law, how it is kept by the Saints, 187. It binds. How Christians are under the Law, how not, 184, 192. How free from the Law, 243, &c.
  • Liberalitie. See mercy. Its excellency, 224.
  • Liberty of Christians frees not them from Gods service, 192. Not from authority, gives not liberty to sinne. Frees not from sinne, 243. Not from the obedience of the Morall Law, 243, &c. Wherein Christian liberty consists, and its excel­lency, 248, &c.
  • Life godly honoureth God, 83.
  • Love of God to us, how great. Gods [Page] lovelinesse, 49, &c. We ought to love God. Who truly love him, 46, &c. Their paucity, 47, &c. Love to God greatly re­warded, the first and great commande­ment, and how, 49, &c. It honoureth God, 74. By it we cleave to God, 190: The rule of love, 194, &c. What the Saints do love, 239. Motives to love God, 49, &c. Love all men, why, and how: all Saints, and how, 9, &c. Love of Saints, whence.
  • MAn an excellent creature, 85. Serves himselfe sinfully: served sinfully how. Disswasives.
  • Meditation for the Lords Day, 165. De­lightfull meditations, 173. See thoughts.
  • Mercy of God, what, 79, 60. To whom it belongs, no incouragement to sinne, 60, 79. By whom it is abused, 79. Mercifull workes of diverse sorts. Their excellen­cy, 170, &c. Who must give, when, how much, of what, how, 13, &c.
  • NEw creatures. How Saints have all parts new, 238, &c.
  • OAths hādled by creatures, 81. Rashnes: Disswasives, 81. Excuses answered, 82. See swearing.
  • Obedience to Gods Law, part of the Co­venant of mans part, 182.
  • PEace of Saints excellent, with them ne­cessary, 34, &c. What we must yeeld to for peace, 36. Its excellency, 235. Wicked have no peace, 226, &c
  • Perfection, how Saints perfect, how not, 139, 242. Obiections answered, 55.
  • Persecutors of good men wofull, 126, &c. 209, &c.
  • Pharisees, what? who like them in these dayes, 56.
  • Piety a cause of persecution, 212.
  • Please God, what pleaseth God: that is to be chosen, 177.
  • Poore of two sorts, 68. They must depend upon God, 68. Be content, 109.
  • Poverty not to be feared, 123. Christs po­verty, 222.
  • Prayerlesse persons woefull, 140. What prayers are fruitlesse, 140. What kind of prayer is prevailing, 141. It is a duty for the Lords Day, 170. Yea delightfull, 172. It is part of the covenant, 182. Needfull, 272. Whence it is, 270. To pray for earthly things lawfull, 103.
  • Preachers are builders, 207. Their faults may not keepe us from hearing, 143, &c.
  • Priviledges of the Saints, 218, &c.
  • Prophanest people usually the greatest per­secutours, 212
  • Profession is good, though some Professors are bad, 29, &c.
  • Providence good and lawfull, 68, 103. See depend on Gods providence.
  • Pure, how Saints are pure, 141, 242.
  • Puritanes, what meant, 29, 212 No Pha­risees, 56. Not covetous, 69. Not of wic­ked life, 214. Scarce any of them begge, 70. Or come to the gallowes, 113.
  • REading Scripture, and good Bookes, a Sabbath duty, and how to read, 169.
  • Recreation for the Lords Day, 171. What is unlawfull, 160.
  • Redemption for Gods honour, 80, 86. Its excellency, 86.
  • Regeneration whence, 270. Its necessity [Page] Danger of its want, [...] 72.
  • Reliefe. See mercy.
  • Remission of sinnes a great favour, to whom it belongs, 224. See forgivenesse.
  • Repentance late very dangerous, 61, &c.
  • Reproofs, how to be used, who faulty. Why we should reprove, 32, &c.
  • Restitution, 17, 39.
  • Riotous persons usually covetous, 66.
  • Revenge a great sinne, 39.
  • Reproches for Christ should not discon­tent, 110. Not to be feared, 123.
  • Riches uncertainty, 105. Vanity, 106. Of the Saints, 222, &c.
  • SAbbath Day to be kept holy, the name is Morall, its many names, Motives to keep it holy, and what then lawfull and unlawfull, 149, &c.
  • Sacraments of the Iewes and ours, how the same, how differ. Excellency of ours, 181, &c.
  • Saints fellowship See fellowship. Their excellency, 127. Their portion to be af­flicted, 126, 210
  • Sanctification handled, with its fruits, how it differs from iustification, 237, &c. It is necessary, 272. Whence it is 270.
  • Sathan not to be feared, 124. His obiecti­ons against perseverance answered, 119.
  • Scripture (though alledged by Hereticks) decides controversies, 2 [...]6.
  • Seeking of God a needfull duty, what it is, manner and meanes of seeking, and mo­tives to seeke God, 146, &c.
  • Servants of God, who, who not. Services of God, and of others. How to serve God, and why, bad Masters hindering this ser­vice of God, 191, &c.
  • Sicke persons duty, 170 Visiting them a Sabbath duty, 170. How to visit, who faulty in visiting, 170.
  • Sincerity needfull, 92, 272. Its signes, 93.
  • [...], a Sabbath [...]ing [...]
  • Sinnes, [...] be concealed, 23. And why, 28. Sinne [...] shunned, 53. Yea secret sinnes, [...], 57, 9 [...]. Least de­grees of [...] all sinne, and why sweet sinner 9 [...] sins of Saints, and wicked men, 57, &c. How good men sinne, ibid. What they do having sinned, 59. How they are free from sinne, 124, 245. Their sinnes no in­couragements to sin, 62, &c. [...] en­couragements answered, 60, &c. Disswa­sives from sinne, 63, 136, &c. Sinne must be shunned if we imitate Christ, 262. How sinne is infinite, 78. God no author of sinne, 77. It is an evill master, by whom it is served, disswasives from ser­ving it, 198. Sinnes of former times [...]s great as now, 254, 255. Why seeme greater now, 255.
  • Sheepe of Christ, their duty, 276.
  • Sonnes of God, who, 201. Their duty. See Father.
  • Society. See fellowship.
  • Soule is to honour God, and first, 73.
  • Sparing, how commendable, 25.
  • Spirit of God dwels in Saints. Its fruits in them, their miserie who want and scorne this co-habitation, 270 271. Who falsly boast of the Spirit. Who have, who want the Spirit, 272, 273. Duties of both, 274. How the Spirit is grieved, how quenched, how gotten, how kept, 275.
  • Sports, whether lawfull on the Lords Day. Reasons, Disswasives, 160, &c.
  • Strength Spirituall, whence, 207.
  • Swearing now an honour to God, 80 A­nabaptists confuted. Disswasives from all evill kinds of swearing, 80, &c. Ex­cuses answered, 81, &c.
  • Sorrow of Saints, 239.
  • Sufferings See afflictions.
  • [Page]TOngue is to honour God, 74. Many wayes, 74, &c.
  • Thoughts unlawfull on Gods Day, 164.
  • Time-serving hurtfull, 93.
  • VIsiting the sicke a Sabbath duty. How? who faulty, 170,
  • Vsury a filthy sinne, 92, 100.
  • VVAnts temporall, how supplied to the Saints. 123.
  • Will of God must be done, 88. Its reward, 88. It must be done totally, 90 Faith­fully, 92. Timely, 93. Continually, 95. Meanes, motives, let removed, 96, &c. Mans will contrary to Gods, 97.
  • Word of God, a Word of faith, grace, sal­vation, reconciliation, life, 142. Its ex­cellency, 75, 172. It is to be talked of, 74. Not to be iested with, 75. No: to defend vice, nor dis [...]hearten vertue, 75. Not to be used in charmes, 76.
  • Words not fit for the Lords Day, 163. What then commendable, 167, &c.
  • Workes of God, for his glory, mans good, 165. Workes unlawfull for the Lords Day, with disswasives, 157.
  • World, by whom served, disswasives from serving it, 197.
  • Wrath a great sinne, 39.
  • Wicked men are fooles, 128. Their society to be shunned, and why, 6, &c. 135, &c.
  • YOung people should do Gods will, and why, 93.

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