EFFIGIES IOHANNIS PRESTONI VIRI CLARISSIMI SS THEOLOGIAE DOCTORIS.
How can this shaddow please thee: when thou know'st
The substance was but Dust at best, at most.
Goe rather view his Volume, and there finde
A picture farre more curious more refinde:
Pervse thou This, and yet neglect not That:
That tells thee, Who he was; the to ther, What.
What here thou see'st, salute, and passe it o're;
[...]

THE SAINTS QVALIFICATION: Or A TREATISE

  • I. Of HUMILIATION, in Tenne Sermons.
  • II. Of SANCTIFICATION, in nine Sermons:
  • WHEREVNTO IS ADDED A Treatise of Communion with Christ in the Sacrament, in three Sermons.

PREACHED, By the late faithfull and worthy Minister of IESVS CHRIST, IOHN PRESTON, Doctor in Divinitie, Chaplaine in Ordinary to his Majestie, Master of Emmanuel Colledge in Cambridge, and sometime Preacher of Lincolns INNE.

When men are cast downe, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up: and be shall save the humble person, Iob. 22.29.
Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby yee have transgressed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit: &c. Ezek. 18.13.
He that eats my flesh and drinkes my bloud, dwelleth in me and I in him, Ioh. 6.56.

LONDON, Printed by R. B. for NICOLAS BOURNE, and are to be sold at his shop at the Royall Exchange. 1633.

ILLVSTRISSIMO, NOBILISSIMO VIRO, PHILIPPO, PEMBROCHIAE ET MONTIS GOMERICI COMITI, BARONI HERBERT DE CARDIFFE ET SHERLAND, ORDINIS GARTERII EQVITI, REGIAE DOMVS CAMERARIO, REGIAE MAIESTATI A SECRETIORIBVS CONSILIIS, &c.

TRIPLICEM HVNC IOHANNES PRAESTONI, S.S. THEO­LOGIAE Dri. COLLEGII IMMANNUELIS NVPER MAGIST. ET REGIAE MAIEST. A SACRIS, TRACTATVM,

  • DE HUMILIATIONE,
  • DE NOVA CREATURA,
  • DE PRAEPARATIONE AD SACRAM
  • DE SYNAXIN.

INDEVOTISSIMAE, TAM AVTHORIS, QVAM IPSORVM OBSERVANTIAE TESTIMONIVM, L.M.D.D.D. RICHARDUS SIBS. IOHANNES DAVENPORT.

TO THE CHRISTIAN READER.

THE good acceptance, the Sermons of this worthy man have found amongst well disposed Christians, hath made us the willinger to give way to the publishing of these, as comming from the same Author. The good they may thus doe, prevailes more for the sending of them forth, than some imperfections (that usually accompany the ta­king of other mens speeches) may doe to suppresse them. Something may well be yeelded to publike good in things not altogether so as we wish. They are inforced upon none that shall except against them, they may either reade or refuse them at their pleasure. The argument of them is such as may draw the more regard, being of matters of nece­sarie and perpetuall use.

For Humiliation Treatise. wee never so deeply see into the grounds of it, (sinfulnesse of nature, and life) [Page] or so farre as we see, looke upon it with that eye of de­testation we should, and therefore a holy heart desi­reth still further light to be brought in, to discover whatsoever may hinder communion with God, and is glad when sin is made loathsome unto it, as being its greatest enemy that doth more hurt than all the world besides, and the only thing that divides betweene our chiefest good, and us. As this humiliation increaseth, so in the like proportion all other graces increase: for the more we are emptied of our selves, the more wee are filled with the fulnesse of God. The defects of this appeare, in the whole frame of a Christian life, which is so far unsound as wee retaine any thing of corrupted selfe, unhumbled for.

The foundation of Christianitie is layd verie low; and therefore the treatise of Humiliation is well pre­mised before that of the 2 Treatise. New Creature. God will build upon nothing in us. We must be nothing in our selves before we be raised up for a fit Temple for God to dwell in, whose course is to pull downe before hee build. Old things must be out of request, before all become new, and without this newnesse of the whole man from Vnion with Christ, no interest in the new heavens can be hoped for, whereinto no defiled thing shall enter as altogether unsutable to that condition and place. Nothing is in request with God but this New Creature, all things else are adjudged to the fire, and without this it had beene better be no Creature at all. By this we may judge of the usefulnesse of dis­courses tending this way. One thing more thou art to be advertised of (Courteous Reader) and that is, of the injurious dealing of such as for private gaine have [Page] published what they can get, howsoever taken, without any acquainting either of those friends of the Au­thors that resided in Cambridge (to whose care hee left the publishing of those things that were delivered there) or of us, to whom he committed the publishing of what should be thought fit for publike view, of that which was preached in London. Hereby not onely wrong is done to others but to the deceased likewise, by mangling and misshaping the birth of his braine, and therefore once againe we desire men to forbeare publi­shing of any thing, untill those that were intrusted have the review. And so we commit the treatise, and thee to Gods blessing.

  • RICHARD SIBS.
  • IOHN DAVEN-PORT.

A BRIEFE COLLECTION OF THE principall Heads in the ensuing Treatises.

Part 1.

Doct. 1.
HVmiliation must goe before Iustification:
Page 6
Two things in Humiliation:
8
Reas. 1.
In reference to Iustification:
13
Reas. 2.
In reference to Sanctification:
14
Vse 1.
To labour for Humiliation:
18
Five helpes to Humiliation:
26
Vse 2.
The best men should labour to be Humbled:
30
Doct. 2.
The nature of man is full of all Vnrighteousnesse, and Vngodli­nesse:
33
Mans nature evidenced to bee so by the Law:
34
Originall Sinne:
40
The corruption of the Vnderstan­ding, in five things:
43
The corruption of the Will in foure things:
48
The corruption of the Memory, in two things:
53
The corruption of the Conscience, in three acts of it:
54
The corruption of the Sensitive appetite:
58
The corruption of the Affections:
63
Actuall Sinnes:
68
Mans Nature shewed to be cor­rupt by the rule of the Gospell:
76
Vse 1.
The ignorance of those that know not the corruption of Nature:
78
Vse 2.
To Labour to prize CHRIST the more;
81
Vse 3.
Our Sinfulnesse should drive us to Christ:
82
Circumstances agravating Sinne:
89
Excuses of Sin:
101
Helpes against those Excuses:
108
Doct. 3.
There is a revelation of wrath a­gainst all Vnrighteousnesse of men:
111
Vse 1.
To teach us what Sin is:
118
Vse 2.
To labour for a Sense of GODS wrath:
119
Vse 3.
To make us goe to Christ:
121
Doct. 4.
All men before regeneration with hold the Truth in unrighteous­nesse:
126
The greatnesse of this Sin in three things:
136
Vse 1.
To Humble us:
931
Vse 2.
The miserie of men that are neare and not in the Kingdome of God, in three things:
143
How farre men Vnconverted may goe, shewed in five things:
151
How far they come short in five things:
153
Vse 3.
Most sin out of love to Sin:
163
Vse 4.
The danger of disobeying the Truth:
167
Vse 5.
To give the Truth leave to rule.
169
Doct. 5.
The Truth or Law of every mans judgement is made manifest by God:
180
Vse 1.
The greatnesse of mens sinne a­gainst this Truth:
184
Vse 2.
To be thankefull for the Truth:
192
Vse 3.
To doe nothing contrary to the Truth:
193
Vse 4.
To expect happinesse or miserie [Page] as wee observe or neglect this Truth:
215
Doct. 6.
God hath revealed so much to every man as makes him In­excusable:
219
Excuses that men frame to them­selves:
221
Vse 1.
To justifie God, and to blame our selves:
234
Vse 2.
To give God the glory of his long suffering:
237
The Contents of the Ser­mon before the Commons house of Parliament.
FAsting necessarie:
248
Fast defined:
248
Defects in Fasting:
249
Doct. 1.
God onely doth Good and Evill:
253
Foure Connections to demonstrate it:
255
Reas. 1.
Else God were not God:
261
Reas. 2.
Else the Creature should be God:
262
Vse 1
To labour to see God in his great­nesse:
265
Vse 2.
To looke to God in all our busi­nesse:
269
Vse 3.
To set Faith on worke to judge of these things:
270
Doct. 2.
Sinne causeth Wrath:
271
Gods Wrath a treasure, in three respects:
273
Vse
To see Sinne in the effects of it:
275
How to prevent Gods Wrath:
278
Doct. 3.
Zeale turnes away Wrath:
283
Vse 1.
Not to discourage those that bee Zealous:
286
Vse 2.
Foure convictions of our want of Zeale:
288
Doct. 4.
Want of Zeale makes GODS [Page] Ielousie grow hotter:
299
Doct. 5.
Iealousie for the most part shal pro­ceed to utter destruction:
301
Vse
To learne to Feare:
302

Part 2.

Doct.
Iustification and Sanctification are inseperable:
4
How Sanctification ariseth from Iustification:
5
Reas. 1.
None saved by the second Adam that are not borne of him:
18
Reas. 2.
It is the Will of God:
19
Reas. 3.
It is the end of our Ingraffing into Christ:
ibid
Reas. 4.
It is the end of Christs comming:
20
Reas. 5.
Christ is Prophet and King where he is a Priest
ibid
Reas. 6.
All the meanes of Grace tend this way:
21
Vse 1.
To pray for Sanctification:
22
Sixe incouragements to Pray for it:
ibid
Vse 2.
To esteeme Sanctification as high­ly as Iustification:
36
The excellencie of Grace:
37
Vse 2.
To take heed of ch [...]llenging Iu­stification without Sanctificati­on:
44
Foure signes of a New creature:
49
New Creature what:
61
The Heart new framed:
62
The Conversation changed:
66
A new qualitie of Holinesse infu­sed:
71
Old man what:
73
Mortification of the Old man:
83
Where God pardoneth he healeth Sinne:
88
First, it stands with Gods Honour:
89
Secondly, with our Comfort:
ibid
Thirdly, with Gods Service:
ibid
Doct.
Those that are in Christ have a­nother Nature:
95
Vse 1.
Not to Defer comming to God:
98
Vse 2.
Not to content our selves with­out a new Nature:
101
Vse 3.
To see that good Performances be naturall to us.
107
Vse 4.
To abhorre our Old Nature and labour for a change:
114
Vse 5.
Not to feare Falling away:
117
Vse 6.
Not to bee discouraged with the difficultie of any Dutie:
120
Vse 7.
Change of Nature a ground of comfort:
121
Doct.
We must be New Creatures:
122
Consect. 1.
We are redeemed from old cu­stomes.
Ibid.
Consect. 2.
Not to wonder that the World wonders at us.
124
Consect. 3.
To pull downe all that is old.
127
Consect. 4.
Not to wonder at unevennesse in mens lives.
131
Consect. 5.
To expect a combate.
137
Consect. 6.
Not to wonder at Aukednesse that wee finde in the waies of God.
140
Consect. 7.
To give God the praise of the changing of natures.
144
Doct.
The New Creature is Gods work:
149
Foure arguments to prove it:
ibid
Vse 1.
To shew our condition in Christ is better than in Adam:
154
Vse 2.
God setteth us not about an im­possible worke.
155
Vse 3.
To make us love Christ.
156
Vse 4.
Not to put off Christs call.
Ibid.
Vse 5.
To see with whom wee have to doe in hearing the Word.
156
Vse 6.
To give God the prayse of any good in us.
161
Vse 7.
Expect not that Ministers come [Page] with excellencie of Wisedome or words:
162
Vse 8.
Observe what the preaching of the Word works on our hearts:
164
Doct.
First, in Christ, and then New Crea­tures:
169
Doct.
To bee in Christ is the ground of all Salvation:
171
Vse 1.
First, to increase Vnion with Christ in those that have it:
176
Five helpes to doe it:
178
Secondly, to seeke it, if it be wan­ting:
185
Five motives to seeke this Vni­on:
186

Part. 3

Doct.
IN the sacrament there is a com­munication of the verie Body and bloud of Christ:
2
Arguments against Transubstanti­ation
First, there is no Necessitie of it:
3
Secondly, no Possibilitie of it:
8
Thirdly, it is against Sense:
10
Fourthly, against Reason:
11
Fifthly, against Scripture:
13
Sacrament of the Lords Supper what:
15
Condition of the Covenant on Gods part:
16
Vse 1.
To confirme our faith in the for­givenesse of sins:
19
Conditions of the Covenant re­quired on our part:
24
Papists objection out of Ioh. 6. of eating Christs Flesh answered:
33
Vse 2.
To see the greatnesse of Christs Love to us:
39
And to Love him againe and serve him:
41
Two things to move us to come in to Christ:
45
First, our Miserie out of him:
46
1 We are subject to Death:
47
2 To the feare of Death:
48
3 To Hell:
49
Secondly, our Happinesse by Christ
54
Benefit by Christ:
1 Wee shall have Life:
55
2 Our Debts shall be payd:
61
3 Wee shall have Rest:
68
4 Wee shall have a Kingdome which consisteth in:
72
Libertie:
73
Plentie:
74
Peace:
75
Glory:
76
Riches:
77
5 Wee shall have a Feast:
86
Properties, of spirituall Food:
88
6 Apparr [...]ll:
93
What this spirituall Cloathing is:
94
FINIS.
CERTAINE SERMONS VPO …

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON HVMILIATION.

ROMANS 1.18.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse of men, which with-hold the Truth in unrighte­ousnesse.

IT is true, wee that are the Ministers of the Gospell are to make it our chiefe businesse to preach Christ; indeed that is all in all. But we may preach Christ long enough to men, telling them of Remission of sinnes, and Iustification, but they will not hearken [Page 2] to us, because before they can come to Christ they must be humbled. It is true our end is Con­solation, for that is indeed the end of the Scrip­tures; I say, the end of the Scriptures is Consola­tion, that through them you might have hope: and so is it the end of this doctrine of Humiliation, as, though a purge or lancing are troublesome to the body, yet the end of the Physitian using them is health, and helpe; and without this course there is no helpe. And for that cause wee have fallen on this Text, that it may teach us to know our selves, and the need we stand in of Christ. You shall finde these three to be the three great parts of the Apostolicall Ambassage: First, to humble men, to make them know what need they stand in of Christ. Secondly, to raise them againe, to preach Remission of sinnes. Thirdly, to teach the doctrine of Sanctification. These three, Humilia­tion, Iustification, and Sanctification, are the three maine things wherein our condition to God consists. Therefore my Intent is to goe thorow these three. And we will do it briefly, beginning with this Text which wee have in hand. The oc­casion whereof is this.

Paul tels the Romans that his intent was To come to them: But what should he doe there? He would preach the Gospell: yea, but it was an ig­nominious thing to be a Christian, a thing that would expose him to much persecution and shame. It is no matter, saith he, I am not ashamed of the Gospell, for it is the power of God to salvation. But how doth hee prove that it is the power of [Page 3] God to salvation? Wee see that in the Gospell the righteousnesse of God is revealed, that is, there is no way in the world for men to be justified, to be counted righteous before God, but to have a righteousnesse revealed from heaven, even ano­ther kind of Righteousnesse than any man hath in himselfe; a righteousnesse of Christ, a righte­ousnesse that is to be imputed to men; and this, saith he, is revealed in the Gospell: and therefore the Gospell only is the power of God to salvati­on. But here comes the great question; Why is it needful that there should be a new kind of righ­teousnesse revealed, a righteousnesse wrought by another, and made ours only but by Imputation, saith he: It must be so, else no flesh can be saved: every man must needs be condemned, for all men are unrighteous, every man is full of all impiety and wickednesse, which he delivers in this verse; thence concluding that it is needfull to have the Gospell revealed, for that is it that reveales the righteousnesse of Christ. A righteousnesse of Christ, which is onely wrought by Christ, and will onely stand out before the Iudgement-seat of God.

So that the end of the words is to convince men, to shew unto them that they have no righ­teousnesse of their owne, to assure them, that if they stand in the condition, they are in by na­ture, they remaine in condemnation, for he that beleeves not, is condemned already: there needs no new condemnation,Iohn 3. ult. if he have not the Sonne, the wrath of God abides on him.

[Page 4] Doct. 1.So that the maine thing in these words is this assertion,Mans nature is full of ungod­linesse and un­righteous­nesse. That mans nature is full of ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse. Two things are charged upon mans nature. First, a fulnesse of all kind of sins against God. Secondly, of all injustice and unrighteousnesse to men; one touching the first Table, the other the second. Now when hee saith, All ungodlinesse, and all unrighteousnesse of men. The meaning is, That in mans nature there is all kind of ungodlinesse, and unrigh­teousnesse of all sorts. And againe, that is to be marked unrighteousnesse of men: he sets it down in generall, because he speakes it of all men, none excepted, so you must take both in; Every man (none excepted) is full of all unrighteousnesse, all impietie, all parts of impietie, all kinds of unrigh­teousnesse are found in him.

But how will this be proved? He proves it by two Arguments. First, because the wrath of God is revealed against every man▪ and God being a just Iudge, his wrath would not be kindled against men, except there were just cause; and that is one Argument. But how shall we know that God is angry with men? saith hee, It is revealed from heaven. Whence three things may be noted. For thence you may see the evidence of his wrath, It is revealed.

And secondly, the surenesse of it, it comes from heaven, and God will be as good as his word. And thirdly, the Terriblenesse of it, it is revealed from heaven. For when God is said to sit in heaven, and to laugh them to scorne. And [Page 5] 2 Cor. 6. to sit in heaven, it argues he doth things powerfully.

But you will aske, how is the wrath of God revealed from heaven? It is revealed by the light of nature. Every man hath so much light in him, as to know that hee deserves wrath, and judge­ment, and punishment.

And partly it is revealed by the Scripture, and partly by continuall experience, God is ever and anon executing his wrath and Iudge­ment on sinners. And that is the first Argu­ment.

The second argument to prove their unrighte­ousnesse, is, because they With-hold the truth in unrighteousnesse. And here is a secret objection answered. For it may be objected, There be ma­ny excellent things in men, as your morall Phi­losophers, had they not much light in their un­derstandings? much rectitude in their lives? Did they not practice many morall vertues? That is all one, it will but encrease their condemnation. It was Gods worke to put so much light, so ma­ny excellent things in them, which had they used as they should, and might, those Principles would have shed themselves into their whole soule and conversation, but they imprisoned them, shutting them up within the walls of their Conscience: men doe not use the light they have, nor improve it, they doe not bring it out in their lives and con­versations, but With-hold it in unrighteousnesse. So that in the words there are three points laid downe, all which will helpe exceedingly to hum­ble [Page 6] us. First, That mans Nature is full of all im­pietie and unrighteousnesse. The second is, The wrath of God will surely fall on men for this. If sinne went alone it would not so much amaze men, but when the wrath of God comes too, accompa­nied with the fruits of his wrath, men out of selfe-love will be moved therewith. The third, That all the good in a man before his regeneration serves only to helpe forward his condemnation.

But before I come to the handling of these points; one point we must needs observe out of the method of the Apostle. This that hee saith here in few words, is amplified to the middle of the third Chapter. All which time he spends in expressing particularly how mans nature is full of impietie, and unrighteousnesse: and when he hath done that, he urges Iustification by Christ; and after that he comes to Sanctification.

Wherein the Apostles method is very obser­vable: and therefore from his method (before we come to the maine) we will briefly deliver this point.Doct. That Humiliation must goe before Iusti­fication: You may observe it from the method used. Men must first be convinced of their im­pietie and unrighteousnesse, before they can be fit to receive the Gospell. As the Physitians have their method in curing, first to purge and cleanse the body, and then to give Cordials: so it is a rule in Divinitie, you must be humbled before you can be justified, or, Humiliation goes before Iustification. Which may be gathered not only from this, but likewise from many other places. [Page 7] You shall finde it is the course God takes every where with men, and it is a very necessary thing to be knowne; for by reason of the ignorance of this method, men doe not take the right course, they goe not the right way to worke. This is the cause many continue in the gall of bitternesse, and in the bond of iniquity, they know not the right way to come out. I say, you shall finde this in other places. Observe, Deut. 8.2, 3. you shall find there how God deales with his people, hee carries them thorow the wildernesse, and to what end? to humble them; And how doth he humble them? Two wayes; First, by shewing them the sinfulnesse of their hearts, letting them know their rebellions and startings aside, when he led them along, saith he, I have carried thee these forty yeares in the wildernesse to humble thee, and prove thee: All thy sinne and corruption was there before, but thou knowest it not. But that is not enough, for if men saw never so much sinne in themselves, yet if they have a bottome to stand on, if they have health, and strength, they regard it not: therefore he addes further, I humbled thee, I made thee hungry, and then I fed thee with Mannah; that thou mightest see thou had'st nothing without me. And this I did, that when I bring thee into the good Land, ye may know it was not for your owne righteousnesse, but for the Covenant I made with your Fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob. This is nothing but a resemblance of the same God doth now. Carrying men thorow this world, he first humbles them, he lets them fall into sin, [Page 8] that they may know themselves, and withall af­flicts them, suffering them to fall into other ne­cessities, that they may know what they are, that they may see their miserable condition, and that God brings them not to heaven for their righte­ousnesse, but for his Covenants sake, with Abraham and Isaac, that is, for his mercy sake in Christ. So Zechar. 12. and 13. Chap. You shall find first God powres on them the Spirit of compunction that they shall mourne for their sinnes, as a man mourneth for his only sonne; and when they are humbled, then (and not before) I will open a foun­taine to Iudah and Ierusalem for sinne and for un­cleannesse; that is, it is shut before they be hum­bled, but when that is done, the fountaine is ope­ned. So you shall see Paul when he had to doe with Felix (a place worth your marking) Act. 24.26. you shall finde that when Felix and his wife Drusilla, a Iewesse, called Paul before them, it is said, They heard him of the faith of Christ: But how began he? Hee began, saith the Text, with preaching of Temperance, Righteousnesse, and the Iudgement to come: He told Felix what Righte­ousnesse, and what Temperance the Law of God required, and likewise the Iudgement to come; for those two things must bee in Humiliation. An Endictment to shew how farre short we be of the Righteousnesse and Temperance that the Law of God requires, and withall a pronoun­cing of the Sentence, a declaration of the Iudge­ment to come. And this course made Felix to tremble.

[Page 9]So Iohn the Baptist, that came to prepare the way of the Lord, to make way for Christ: How did he make way? He came as with the Spirit and power of Elias; so with much Terrour cal­ling them a Generation of Vipers, told them of their miserable condition, as much as he could, to humble them. And that was the way to pre­pare them.

So when Christ went about to convert any, this was his Method, as in Ioh. 4. when he had that discourse with the woman of Samaria, meeting her by Accident; first hee tels her of her sinne; The man whom thou hast is not thy hus­band, thou hast committed adultery: whereby hee amazed her, and made her looke into her selfe; and then he tells her he was the Messiah, and, that in him there was hope. So he deales with Nichodemus, he tells him he was flesh, that all that was in him was nought, and not any thing good; and then he preaches the Gospell, tel­ling him, he must be borne againe. But of all pla­ces you shall find the clearest to be that in Ioh. 16. where Christ promises that he would send His Spirit into the world, and three great workes the Spirit should doe (which were wrought by the ministery of the Apostles) he should Con­vince the world of Sinne, and of Righteousnesse, and of Iudgement. First, he saith of Sinne, Because they have not beleeved in mee; marke that, there were many other sinnes that the Holy Ghost convinced them of, but the contempt of the Gospell, the not taking of Christ offered, that [Page 10] is the maine sinne. And the Holy Ghost shall convince men of this sinne. All the men of the world cannot doe it. Wee may tell you long enough of particular sinnes, you have done these and these sinnes, sworne such oaths, defi­led your selves with such abominations, and yet all will come to nothing; but when the Spirit sets in, and makes a man sensible of sin, that workes to purpose. Then it followes in the Method, He shall convince the world of righte­ousnesse, because I am risen againe and gone to the Father: he should teach that there is another Righteousnesse, in me, by which you must be justified, when you see no righteousnesse in your selves, then the Holy Ghost shall shew you the righteousnesse that I have wrought. But how will this appeare? In that I am dead and risen again, and gone to my Father, where­by it is declared that i am righteous, that I have overcome death, & satisfied my Fathers justice. And then when that is done, he shal convince the world of Iudgement, that is, of holinesse, for so the word is there used, that is, then the Prince of this world shall be judged. Satan reignes in the hearts of men, in the children of disobedi­ence, till they bee justified and engrafted into Christ; but when they be once justified, then Christ shall cast him out; you shall see him fall like lightning out of the hearts of men and this is that which was before prophesied, Hee shall bring forth Iudgement unto victory; that is, hee shall overcome the Prince of the world, take [Page 11] away sinne, and enable men to serve him in ho­linesse. And this is the method you must ob­serve in turning to God, labour to be convinced of Sinne, then of Righteousnesse, and then of Iudge­ment.

And to shew the necessitie of this, take that one place, Gal. 3.24. a place you all know, The Law must be a Schoole-master to bring us to Christ. No man living can come to Christ, till the Law be his Schoole-master. Now how is the Law a Schoole-master? It gives lessons that we cannot goe through with, thereby is such a Rectitude required, as we are not able to reach, like the Schoole-masters taske to the scholler, which he is not able to performe, and is there­fore faine to goe to another to doe his exercise for him. So the Lord tells men, you must be exactly holy, perfect righteousnesse must runne through the whole course of your life: when we see we cannot doe it, it makes us runne to Christ, to have his righteousnesse imputed to us; such a necessitie is there that men be hum­bled.

Now that you may a little better understand this point,Doct. 2. Two things keepe men from com­ming to Christ. you must know that there are but two things that keepe men off from comming to Christ. One is unbeleefe, when they do not beleeve that he is the Messiah, or that they are to be saved by him.Vnbeleefe. This was the great hinde­rance in the Apostles time, and that is the rea­son that you have faith in the Messiah pressed so much, to beleeve that that was he. But that [Page 12] is not the thing to be pressed so much in these Times. But, as you see in the Old Testament, when the Prophets spake to a Church to con­firme it in the truth, they do not presse so much to beleeve there is a God, and that hee is One God, and that a God of Truth, but to trust in God, and to make use of their knowledge. So must we doe. There is therefore another thing that hinders from Christ,Negligence, which is two-fold. and that is, Negli­gence: Men care not for Christ, they are not affected with him; and this is two-fold, To­tall, or Partiall:Totall. Totall is that which they were guiltie of that were bidden to the Feast, and ex­cused themselves, and had bought a yoke of oxen, another had married a wife, another had taken a farme, and therefore they could not come. They were perswaded there was a Feast of fatlings provided, but they minded other things, for they were not hungry, and there­fore cared not for it. And in this kind the grea­test part of men, of your common Protestants, neglect the Gospell: Tell them of Remission of sinnes and Iustification, they minde it not. Secondly,Partiall. there is a Partiall neglect: And so many professe Christ, do many things for him, but regard him not. And in this the second and third Ground failed: the second did much, but not so far regarded him, as to endure per­secution. The third did respect him more, but not so as to forgoe their lusts for him, this is a partiall neglect. And that that helpeth this double neglect is Humiliation.

[Page 13]Now to give a Reason or two of this point, and so we will make use of it, and come to the other which is the maine, and that I most in­tend. God will have it thus, for these two Rea­sons:

First,Two Reasons of it. with reference to our Iustification; he will justifie none till hee hath brought him to acknowledge both his Iustice and his Mercy,Reason 1. he will have men know what he doth to them,In reference to Iustification. before he justifies them, and receives them to favour: I say, he will have a man acknowledge his Iustice, that is, confesse himselfe to be a sin­ner, to be ashamed of his sins, to acknowledge himselfe worthy to be destroyed. As in Ezek. 36. there you shall find how God justifies men, and washes them with cleane water from their sinnes. Then when I doe this, whensoever I shall justi­fie any man, then you shall remember your deeds that were not good, and shall acknow­ledge your selves worthy to bee destroyed. God will have this honour given him, he will have men know that it is not done for any thing in themselves, he will have the glory of his Iustice and Righteousnesse; and that is the summe of the fourth verse of the one and fif­tieth Psalme, Against thee only have I sinned, &c. that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be cleare when thou judgest: that glory may bee given to God, and shame taken to himselfe. This God will have done. As in the worke of Redemption, his Iustice and Mercy are both satisfied; so in the application of it, in taking [Page 14] hold of this Redemption, God will have a worke wrought, wherein his Iustice shall bee acknowledged. Secondly, hee will have his Mercy acknowledged; as Princes, when they will make a condemned man bee sensible of their mercy, they will bring him to the utter­most, they will bring his necke to the blocke, then he will know that he was saved, he shall have more sense of his pardon. And so God in the worke of Humiliation, humbles a man exceedingly; and when that is done, then Hee is seene in the Mount. He is not seene till men be in extremitie, that is, he will have them on their knees, and so be sensible of that mercy of his, which otherwise they would not prize. The end of all is Christ, he will have Christ estee­med and knowne; and this men will never doe till they be throughly humbled.

Reason 2.Secondly, God will have it so with refe­rence to Sanctification,In reference to Sanctification. that is the second Rea­son, and that for these Causes.

1 First, because otherwise mens thoughts would never bee drawne inward, men would never withdraw themselves from Covetous­nesse, and from regarding vanity; but lusts of youth in them that be young, and businesse and correspondencie in matters of State, and one thing or other would take up the mindes of them that be old, and would so occupie their thoughts, that we might speake long enough, but mens mindes would goe after an hundred severall vanities; as the Psalmist saith, God is [Page 15] not in all the thoughts of a wicked man, before hee be humbled, that is, God is not there to any purpose,, nor the things belonging to the king­dome of God, but vanity is in their thoughts, and that raises such a Tumult and noise within, that they attend not to what we say, but locke up the doores of their heart, that what we say can have no entrance. We shall see it in 2 Chro. 33. when Manasses had corrupted himselfe with monstrous abominations there set down, the Lord spake to him, but hee regarded it not, till hee was humbled, but when being led into captivitie and bound in fetters, he was humbled, then hee besought God, who was intreated of him. In the fifteenth of Luke you shall find this phrase, The Prodigall sonne came to himselfe; It is Para­ble shewing every mans naturall condition, he was not himselfe before, hee was a drunken man, or a mad man; and that is the case of every man before hee be humbled, hee is as a drunken man; now come and speake to a drun­ken man, as long as you will, so long as he is in his drunkennesse and madnesse he heares not: it is only this Humiliation that brings a man to himselfe. In 2 Chron. 6.37. you shall finde this phrase, If they shall turne with all their hearts in their captivitie, and repent for their transgressions, then doe thou heare in heaven, &c. I name it for the phrase, if they shall turne with their heart, which they will not doe till they be humbled, till then they be busied about pleasures, or pro­fits, or something else, but they looke not in­to [Page 16] their hearts. The phrase imports so much: suppose a man be instant in some sport and re­creation, and one come and tell him in the midst of his sport, there is an officer without ready to take you and carry you to prison; such a message will turne to his heart, and make him consider what he hath done, and what a miserable condition he is in: so when the Law comes it humbles a man, making him to draw in his Thoughts, and to see his misery; and when he is wounded with the sense of his sins, and with the wrath of God, then, and not till then, the feet of them that bring glad Tidings of salvation are beautifull.

2 Likewise Humiliation is necessary for this cause, because except men be throughly hum­bled, they will never take the Kingdome of hea­ven by violence; and they must take it so, else they shall never have it: now by the Kingdom of heaven is meant the Gospell; you know it is called the Gospell of the Kingdome, that is, righ­teousnesse and grace therein revealed and offe­red. In Matth. 11. and Luke 16.16. you shall find that from the time of Iohn the Baptist, The kingdome of heaven suffered violence, and the vio­lence take it by force: The meaning is this, saith Christ to them, we preach the Gospell, so did Iohn, with him it began to be preached; but deceive not your selves, many thinke they take the kingdome of heaven, but you must know there be two kinds of taking; some are content to be saved, and to doe many things as Herod [Page 17] did, and as the second, and third ground did, but this is a false taking, and deceive not your selves thereby. There is another kinde of taking, when a man takes this kingdome violently, and in­deed none shall have it, but after this manner. Now, what is it to take it violently? When a man takes a thing violently, he doth it with all his might, he puts all his strength to it, he doth it not coldly, and slightly, and overly, but with all his might. So the meaning is this; The king­dom of heaven is as if one were to come within a narrow doore, which cannot be without diffi­culty, when hee puts to all his violence and strength to doe it. According to the phrase in Luke, Since the time of Iohn the Baptist, they presse into the kingdome of heaven, that is, with violence, as if God seemes to hold the kingdome of hea­ven in his hand, that unlesse you pull it, and ex­tort it from him, as it were, you shall never have it: Now will any man doe thus till he be humbled? It is impossible he should. When a man is brought into feare of his life, and is like to die, the feare of losse of naturall life wil make him worke any thing with violence, much more then when a man sees eternall death, that he shal die for ever, will he take the kingdome of hea­ven with violence, that is, he will not performe duties in a slight manner, as if God were behol­den to him, not with that laxity in his judge­ment of the truth, as he conceives, nor with that coldnesse in the duty. Those that will be saved, must take Salvation by force, which a man will [Page 18] never doe till he be humbled. There is much profession, and many kinds of taking Christ in the world, but the right taking is, when a man wil be at this cost, to part with all, to deny him­selfe perfectly, and every way, and take up his crosse, and every crosse, when his lusts are throughly mortified, and this cannot be till hee be humbled: For marke, nothing mortifies but joy and love, that doth properly and immedi­ately mortifie; for no man will part with his lusts, till he finde Christ sweeter than they, till then he will never part with them in good ear­nest; now Christ will never be sweet, till we have found the bitternesse of sin, till God hath so prest it on their consciences, that they feele the weight and burden of it. And so much for the reasons of it.

Vse 1.Now the vse of this is double: First, is this so necessary? Then labour to see your selfe humbled, if ever you looke to be saved and ju­stified; for though God offers Salvation to all (as it is true none is excepted) yet he lookes to none with a gracious eye to save him indeed, but him that is poore and contrite in heart, and trembles at his Word. And good reason, for none else will looke after him; the poore receive the Gospell and none else: When we preach the Gospell, it is like Cyrus his Proclamation, it was a generall proclamation, that all that would might go out of captivity and build the Tem­ple, but saith the Text, onely they went, whose heart the Lord stirred up to goe; other would no [...] [Page 19] goe: So when we preach, we offer Salvation to all men, that is our Commission, Marke 16. Goe and preach to all Nations, that is, offer Grace and Salvation to all men; but when it comes to the point that men must goe out of their capti­vitie, and build a Temple to God, they will not doe it, they will rather live in captivity still, be­cause they be not humble. To goe out of their sins wherein they have been captivated, a great while, and to build a Temple to Christ, that is, to make their hearts fit Temples for Christ, to purge themselves from all filthinesse of flesh and spirit, to labour to walke in his feare, to leave all, even the beloved sinnes, and to delight in the Lord, in the Inner man, they will not, what is the reason? they are not yet humbled, and therefore they cannot be saved. The Iubile among the Iewes may be a very fit resemblance hereof, and for ought I know, may be so inten­ded, to resemble the glorious Liberty in the times of the Gospell. Now the Iubile was this, All servants should then goe free, but if any would not, (as of them there were many) then he was to be bored in the eare, and to be a perpetuall servant. So when we preach the Gospell, this is the great Iubile, every man may be free, the Son comes to that end, and it is the end of the Truth to make men free: The Son comes to deliver eve­ry man out of the Gaole, if he will, but men will not be at liberty, they will be servants still, because they were never humbled, they never felt the heavinesse of Satans yoke, they were [Page 20] never wearied with sinne; for if they were so, this would be acceptable newes, but it is not so. Now marke this by the way, if a servant would not go free, he should not afterwards be at liber­tie to goe, and stay when hee list, but his eare shall be bored, and he should be a perpetual ser­vant. So if you deferre this, when you heare the Gospell preached, and thinke I will not alway live in this condition, I will repent and come out of it, know, that is not enough, God will not wait thy leasure, if thou wilt not come out, take heed lest God bore thee in the eare, that is, ne­ver give thee an heart to come out. Doe not say, If it be so necessary, I will doe it hereafter: take heed that thy opportunities be not wholly taken from thee, and know that Christ came in­to the world not only to take away sinne, for that was but a part of it: But what was his busi­nesse? he came like wise to purifie to himselfe a peculiar people zealous of good workes. Titus 2.14. If men might runne out their age in sinne, and Christ forgive them in the end, when they please to give over sinning, then he might have one of his ends made good, which is to take away thy sinnes, but thou couldst not be a people zealous of good workes, neither could he have any ser­vice of thee. But thou must know Christ hath hired thee for the whole day, that is, all the Time of thy life. When he went out in the morning to call in labourers into his Vineyard, they did not make answer. Well, we will come at noone, but when his pleasure is to call, whe­ther [Page 21] at one or two a clocke, that is his call, but if he call thee in the morning, that is, if thou have the Word preached, if he knocke at the doore of thy heart, and by his Spirit suggest many good motions in thee to come home, if his will be revealed to thee, it may bee thou mayest not have such an opportunity againe; that is his call: take heed that thou defer it not, lest so his wrath should be kindled against thee; and woe unto thee if his wrath be kindled but a little; this is a thing not considered. In Ezek. 24.13. Thou remainest in thy wickednesse; And why is that? He gives this reason for it, I would have purged thee, and thou wouldst not be purged, therefore thou shalt never be purged till my wrath light on thee. That is, when God makes an of­fer, when the powerfull Word sounds in our eares; when he cals, and wee cannot deny his knocking at our doores, and yet wee will not come in; because then, and there at that time, thou wouldest not be purged, therefore thou shalt never be purged, till Gods wrath light on thee; therefore deferre it not.

But you will say (and that is a thing that keepes men off) I have done it already,Object. and what need you to presse this? I hope I am not now to practise these principles and rudiments, I hope I have done this dutie of Humiliation long agoe.

It is well if thou hast,Answ. but take heed thou de­ceive not thy selfe in this case, than which there is not a greater evill in the world, even to thinke [Page 22] thou hast done it, when thou hast not. I will give thee one note of it: Is it such an humiliati­on as hath brought thee to Christ? To count him the chiefest good, to over-goe any thing rather than him, to stand out against all perse­cutions, rather than to forsake him; canst thou forsake all Syrens, all lusts and pleasures which allure thee? Art thou thus brought home to Christ, to esteeme him above all things, that come what will come, hadst thou an hundred lives to part with for him, all were nothing? Art thou thus brought home with Humiliation, that thou wilt not let Christ goe for any thing, neither losses, nor pleasures, for Temptations on the right and left hand, then thou art come home indeed; otherwise thou hast not taken him truely, neither art humble, for thou must know there is much counterfeit Humiliation, there be many light wounds that may trouble thee, but not bring thee to the Physitian. God awakens sinners, but what kinde of awakening is it? With such awakning that they fall asleepe againe. God may send many messengers of wrath to knocke at the doore of their hearts, which perhaps disquiets and troubles them a little, but they returne to their rest againe. And this God may not only doe outwardly, but he may cast many sparkes of his displeasure into their hearts, which may there lye glowing for a time, but they last not, they goe out in the end. And this is the condition of most men, therefore they make many profers, as if they [Page 23] would be saved, and come to Christ; and this they take for Humiliation. But this is not the Humiliation that is required. When God means to save a man, hee will goe thorow with the worke, and never give over till he hath brought him home, causing sorrow to abide on his heart. As it is Christs office to give repentance to men, and remission of sinnes; so it is his office, Luke 1.79. To guide mens feet into the way of Peace; Now when he will save a man, he will set it on so, that his heart shall never bee quiet till his feet be guided into the way of peace. Others may have much Humiliation at time of a Sa­crament, or under some great sicknesse or crosse, or in a good mood, or for apprehension of some Iudgement and wrath to come, but it is like a flash of lightning that quickly vanishes; but when Christ will humble a man, he sets a Pillar of fire before him, that leads him along from time to time, till he be brought home to Christ. A small thing, when God hath the setting of it on, shall worke, and never give over working, till our hearts be qualified aright, till we be­leeve in Christ, and embrace the Gospell. And such an Humiliation you must have, else it is no­thing: If it be a right Humiliation, I say, it will bring you home; for you must know this is the condition of every man, they cannot abide the net, no man will come in if he can chuse. Now the Gospell is a Net that catches men, and as in the taking of fishes, if they will take the Fish, they beat the sides of the River, and will not [Page 24] suffer them to rest in any corner, for if they can finde any place to rest in, they will not come in­to the Net: So man hath many starting holes, and faine would be quiet; God humbles him a little, but hee gets in a nooke, and there hides himselfe, that if God beat not the River tho­row-out, that is, if God doe not pursue a man, he will not be brought in. As it was with them that fled to the Citie of refuge; you know if one man killed another at unawares, if he could get into the City of Refuge he were safe; but were not he pursued by the Avenger of bloud, he would not fly thither: if God ever give over pursuing a man till he be just at the City, he wil step aside and not regard it; but when God shal charge sin upon the conscience, and pursue him, never giving him rest, this brings him to the Ci­ty of Refuge. This is exemplified in the Pro­digall sonne, so long as he had any thing to re­straine him, while his goods lasted hee never thought of going home to his Father: When he had spent his goods, so long as he could get worke, or had any thing to doe, though he hi­red himselfe in a very meane condition to keepe the Swine, yet he was well content; but in the end, when he came to have Huskes, his utmost shift, (and yet if he could have had huskes, he would not have come home) when he had no sustenance, but must needs perish, then he goes home. And indeed a man will never goe home till he have no bottome to stand on, nothing to hold by, to sustaine him; when a man is nothing, [Page 25] is cut off the Tree he grew on before, and sees that he must now perish eternally; this is true Humiliation. You that are to receive the Sa­crament, what doe we therein, but offer Christ to you? we preach Christ in the Sacrament, he is therein indeed offered more sensibly: Now what have you to doe with Christ, if you are not humble? Consider if this be not wrought in you; and remember this, that whosoever comes to the Sacrament without this Humilia­tion, that wants this brokennesse of heart, re­ceives it unworthily, and provokes God to wrath. The Passe-over was to be eaten with sowre herbes, and the maine businesse therein was to remember the condition they were set at liberty from, to remember their bondage in Ae­gypt, and their miseries endured there; for by that, they saw the greatnesse of Gods mercies. So one of the maine businesses you have to doe, is to consider your sinnes, and be humbled, to consider your miserable condition, and to think it not a light matter that you may omit it. Con­sider but that one place, Levit. 23.29 you shall finde there that in the day of Expiation, in the day of Atonement, when they came to offer sa­crifice, he that on that day did not afflict his soule, he was to be cut off from his people. You have it two or three times repeated, It is an ordi­nance, and this is still put in, Hee that comes to make an Atonement, to be reconciled, and offer a Sacrifice, remember this ordinance for ever, He shall afflict his soule, and hee that doth it not, [Page 26] shall be cut off from his people: Therefore you have occasion to make use of it that are to re­ceive, and not you only, for the Doctrine is ge­nerall, Whosoever doth not afflict his soule, he shall never bee reconciled, but shall bee cut off from his people.

Object.But, you will say, I should be willing to doe this, but how shall I be able to doe it? If God would humble me, and set it on, and convince me by his Spirit, it might be done, but how shal I doe it my selfe?

Answ.I answer; Thou art to goe about it thy selfe▪ It is not for nothing that those words are used in Ioel 2.13.Helps to hum­ble and afflict the soule for sinne. Rend your hearts and not your gar­ments: He sayes, rend your hearts. And Ier. 6.4. Plow up the fallow grounds of your hearts; that is, you shall afflict your soules: And Iames 4.9. Be afflicted, that is, suffer your selves to be aff [...]icted for your selves, sorrow and weepe, that is the way to cleanse you. Therefore a man should goe about the worke himselfe, that is, take this resolution, Well, I see I must be humbled, else I cannot on good grounds take Christ, for I shal not prise him, therefore I will not give over la­bouring of my heart till it be humbled. Suffer thy selfe to be afflicted, as if he should say, Men are not willing to suffer it; if they doe hang their heads for a day, they are quickly weary, outward businesse comes, or pleasure com­mands, and the worke growes tedious. There­fore is that in Ioel 2. Sanctifie a Fast, that yee may rend your hearts; that is, sequester your selves [Page 27] from all other businesses, from all other occa­sions, sanctifie a Fast, that ye may have leasure to doe it; if one Fast will not doe it, take ano­ther: Let a man goe alone and resolve never to give over till it be done, till he hath brought his heart to doe it.

When I have done this,Object. 2. what shal I then do?

Consider your sinnes,Answ. looke backe and consi­der how many oathes you have sworne, how oft you have broken the Sabbath, whether you have defiled your selves with sinnes of unclean­nesse, how often you have broken the Com­mandements; looke on your idlenesse, your omissions, your sinfull silence, your neglect of prayer and other duties. Goe over all particu­lar sinnes, and their multitude will amaze you: Remember the sinnes you have committed twenty yeares agoe, and take this rule withall, that these sinnes are the same now that they were, though not in thy apprehension, that is, the weaknesse of our nature; as it is the weak­nesse of our eye, we cannot discerne a thing that is a great distance from it, it is its weaknesse that it cannot see things as they are, but that will seeme little or nothing which in it selfe is big. So it is with the sinnes that we have committed many yeares agoe, we thinke them little, and past, but know that they are the same in them­selves, and, in Gods esteem, as they were before, for he sees them as they are: Therefore, I say consider them, lay them together, and see the multitude, and that will helpe to amaze thee.

[Page 28]And not that onely, but consider them with their circumstances: some, it may be, have been committed against light of conscience, and that aggravates sinne, it makes a small sinne out of measure sinfull: When it is committed against knowledge, it is not the same with the sinne against the Holy Ghost, but it is neare to it.

Againe, consider the hardnesse of thy heart, in sinning, the very sinne doth not hurt so much as that, when a man slights it, hee knowes hee hath sinned, yet goes about his businesse, and neglects it, and this God lookes at. When a man is injured, the injury is not so much to him, as it is to see the other to neglect it, he cares not for angering me. So you looke backe on your sins in a cold, regardlesse, and negligent manner.

Againe, consider your relapses and fals into the same sins, againe, and againe, though you have beene often admonished of it, yea, and have made a covenant and vow to God never to fall into it. And know this, that relapses and fallings into sin, often stand for so many sins as in numbers the second figure is in proportion to the first, which is ten times as much as the first, and the third an hundred times as much: So the addition of sins, by falling into them again and againe, and that carelesly too, that makes the sin a great deale more; consider this.

Object.And if you goe about to excuse our selves, It is true if God should marke all that is done amisse, who can stand, but I hope I shall be par­doned, my nature is violently carried, I am flesh [Page 29] and bloud, and I hope God will pity mee.

But this should humble you the more, that you are readie to fall into sin againe,Answ. and again, if it be thus in your actions, it is much more abundant in the heart. For put case there be a necessity, hast not thou caused it thy selfe? A­gaine, you must know actuall sins intend origi­nall corruption, and there is no man that is guil­ty of any prevalent lust, but he was the cause of it, for if he had not by committing it often, carelessely and negligently given so much strength to it, it had not so prevailed. Addition of sin in every act of sin varnishes over originall sin, it makes it more active, more efficacious in his life. A mans weight in the ballance weighes downe the scales, but if he put to his strength too, that is as much more as his weight. So if you have any strong sins, you have cause to be humbled for it, but when you put your strength to it, it intends that originall habit of sin: So that the necessity that lyes on thee, by reason of thy nature, it aggravates thy sinne. Ier. 13.23. The Prophet aggravates their sinne from their custome in it, they could choose not to sinne no more than the Black-moore could change his skin: The Prophet, I say, brings it in for this purpose to aggravate sin. See it in our owne case, when a man comes to be accused before a Iudge, if he plead he is accustomed to such a sin, to swearing or drinking, doth it not encrease his condemna­tion? So that though you say, I d [...]d slip through frailty, yet, I say, you have cause to be humbled for it.

[Page 30]I will but name the second use (for I have respect to the Time and Weather). Secondly, not only evill men,Vse 2. but good men within the Covenant should make this use of it, to humble themselves, for they have need of it. A man must know this, when he is once humbled and come into state of Grace, he hath not then done with Humiliation, it is to be practised still. For there is this difference between a wicked man and an­other. Many are like a land-floud, none more ready to be religious than they, (as your great land-flouds swell, though they have no spring to feed them) but with a godly man it is other­wise, Humiliation is in him as a Spring, he hath not done with it at his Conversion, but practi­seth it still.

And not only so, but he must labour to adde to the measure of it, and that will adde to his love, and to his faith, and drawes him nearer to Christ, the more his sin is discovered. It is said of the woman, she loved much, because much was forgiven her: Others had as much mercy as she, but shee had more sense of it, because shee was more humbled, the more you see and are sensi­ble of your sins, the more it addes to your love, it makes you to prise him, when you see you are so much beholden to him. Againe, it will adde to faith, I meane not only the act of beleeving, but the act of taking Christ. The more a man sees the need he stands in of Christ, the more he is convinced of sin, the more he takes Christ; for there be degrees of taking him. When a woman [Page 31] takes an husband, there be degrees in her will, there may be additions to her will, shee may be morefully contented in him, and more prise him. And so in taking of Christ for our Lord, and Husband, and Saviour. It is true, if we will take him in earnest, any measure of true faith will save us, but we may doe it more abundant­ly, for the more sense we have of sin, the more greedy shall we be of him. Againe, the more empty the soule is, the more a man is humbled, the more he sees into himselfe (as faith comes with an empty hand) the faster hold is laid on Christ. Therefore, adde still to Humiliation, let it be your exercise, the worser you be perswa­ded of your selves, and the better you conceit of God, it is the more for your advantage; the more you can hate and abhorre your selves, the more you are improved thereby, for the flesh in you must be abhorred, and it is our fault we doe it not enough; and againe, the more you appre­hend Christ, the nearer you draw to him. And take this withall, Humiliation doth not weaken assurance, but workes the contrary: Indeed, the lesse sincerity, and the lesse mourning for sin, and the lesse Humiliation, the lesse assurance. But reckoning up, and thinking on thy sinnes encrea­seth it. If I have so many sins, how can I be sa­ved? Yes, so much the rather, the more thou canst see and be humbled for them, the more thou addest to thy assurance, and so to thy love and faith. Therefore a man should make a daily practise of Humiliation, for it is to a mans great [Page 32] advantage, it is a thing too much omitted, we should take time for it. And thinke it your ad­vantage to be able to see what we have in our nature, how much guilt we have contra­cted by sinne, and how our sins may bee aggravated; for this will teach us to prise Christ. And so much for this point.

The end of the First Sermon.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON HVMILIATION. The second SERMON.

ROMANS 1.18.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse of men, which with-hold the Truth in unrighte­ousnesse.

WE come now to the matter of Hu­miliation, contained in these words which I have already opened and shew'd the points that may thence be drawn. The first wherof, which we will begin with, is this:

That the Nature of man is full of all unrighteous­nesse and ungodlinesse. Doctr. You know by that which [Page 34] you heard before, how it is gathered. It will be a vaine labour to goe about to prove it, you know how plentifull the Scripture is in it, and you are not so ignorant of the Grounds of Di­vinity, as not to confesse it. The businesse will be to shew wherein it consists, and how the Na­ture of man is corrupted, for by making this evident, we shall by the same labour, prove and confirme it to you.

Now the way to evidence this, that the Na­ture of man is full of all unrighteousnes and un­godlinesse, is to look to the rule. If you will find out the disorder and distemper that any thing is subject to, the way is to looke to the rule to amend it by. Now every Creature hath a law, the Fire, the Water, the Sea, yea, every Crea­ture sensible, and insensible hath a law given to it, which, as they observe, they continue in per­fection, and looke how farre they goe aside, that so farre they be imperfect. Now the Law gi­ven to man, is the Morall Law and the Gospell, and these two he is to observe. And if you will find out the truth of this, That the nature of man is full of all ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse, looke to these two. First, looke to the Law of God, and see if that doe not conclude all men under sin, looke therein to both the Tables. It is true, Hypocrites make a good shew of keeping the first Table, they seeme to be forward in the du­ties belonging to God; but looke to the second Table, and that discovers them. Civill men seeme to be exact in the second Table, in per­forming [Page 35] duties to man, but look to the first Ta­ble, what their carriage to God is, what little conscience they make of taking his Name in vaine, of sanctifying his Sabbath, of performing holy duties in an holy manner, of love, and feare. This discovers civility: (that is, when there is nothing else but civility.) Againe, looke to sins of all sorts, some grosse sins, Peccata va­stantia Conscientiam, crying sinnes, and smaller sinnes too, sinnes of lesse moment, the Law di­scovers all.

Now, by the Law you must not only under­stand the ten Commandements, but that recti­tude which runnes thorow the whole Booke of God expressed in the whole Scriptures. As in the Scripture, the Law and the Prophets are put together, as if the Prophets were but a Commentary on the Law; looke on the Scrip­tures, looke upon the straitnesse, the rectitude in the whole Booke of God.

Then when that is done, look on your owne Natures, your owne Errours, the secret win­dings, and turnings of the heart, your owne thoughts and affections, and see what a dispro­portion, a dislikenesse there is; see how far you are from that holinesse, that purity, and recti­tude described in this Booke of God, for that, I say, you are to understand by the Law. And when you have done that, you shall finde your sins to be exceeding great for their quantity, and exceeding many for their number, and that will amaze you. This amazed Paul, when hee [Page 36] once understood the Law, when he looked on all the parts of it, not only on grosser sins for­bidden, but on the rectitude, the holinesse which is required that amazed him, Rom. 7.9. That made sin alive, he was alive before, and sin was dead, but when the Law discovered Lust to be sin, then Sin was alive, and he died. So if wee could see the Law, the strictnesse of it, it would doe thus with us. And marke what is said of the Law, for we may presse the Law long enough, but many are remisse in attending to it. There­fore, to stirre you up (as I know it is but a small matter) I will name but one place, and let that stay in your memories, Matth. 5.11. Heaven and earth shall passe away, but one tittle, one jot of this Law shall not passe away: Marke that, not one jot of the Law shall perish. That is, looke thorow the whole Law of God, take all the Comman­dements there, you shall give account of every idle word, you must keepe the Sabbath exactly, you must not speake your owne words. Take any Commandement that you thinke the Na­ture of man is most ready to breake, and consi­der that saying of Christ, Not one jot of the Law shall perish; heaven and earth shall passe away, but the Law of God in the least part of it shall not perish: That is, there shall not be one of these small things, that the Law commands, but if you neglect it, by disobeying it, God will sure­ly require it; there is not the least thing, wherein you have gone aside this rectitude, and diso­beyed this Law, but it shall be required of you. [Page 37] And that is the meaning of that phrase, Thou shalt pay the uttermost farthing. Though we rec­kon them trifles, the uttermost farthing shall be paid, For this is our fault, though we presse the Law, and tell you of your sins, yet you thinke this is a small thing, and God may beare with me in this, for we be apt to judge of God, as of our selves: A small fault I can beare with in my servant, therefore God may in this dispense with me. We thinke of the Law of God, as of mans law; but we must not judge of God so, we must judge of him according to his owne rule, his Thoughts are not as our thoughts; he hath given a rule, and hath said, The least jot of it shall not passe, but be fulfilled, not the least breach of it, but it shall be requried. Consider this, and it will amaze us, and make us to trem­ble, when you know that the sins you have for­gotten, and the least breach of this Law shall be surely required to the uttermost.

But,Object. you will say, you talke of Impossibili­ties, which no man is able to performe?

It is true,Answ. it is a thing we are not able to per­forme: But therein is seene the Terrour of the Law, and that should humble you the more, for I cannot compare the Law to any thing better, than to the Taske-masters in Aegypt, the peo­ple had enough to doe, indeed more than they could performe, complaining of their sore bon­dage; what releefe had they? they are told, they shall give in the same number of Brickes that they did before, and yet shall have no [Page 38] straw; Now how should they do this? So it is with the Law, it commands, Doe this; you complaine, Alas, I know not how to doe it, I have no ability; you bid me make Bricke, but allow mee no straw; that is all one, the same Tale of Bricke shall be required of you, that is, the same measure of obedience that was requi­red of Adam, as if you had the same abilities re­maining in you.

And yet God is not unjust, he doth not reape where he did not sow before; he sowed it once in Adam, and consequently in his Posterity. And that no man may thinke this hard, looke to the first sin that Adam committed, and if wee be guilty of that sin, there is equity that the Law be required of us, though we have not ability to performe it. Now, why should it seeme un­reasonable that I should be liable to Adams ac­count? Even to the same exactnesse, though I want ability to performe it? It is true, Adam ran in debt, but doe not we pay many debts of our Grand-fathers and Fathers, which wee never drunke for? though we run not into them, yet we stand liable to the payment. In the Law, if a man had committed an offence, and was ad­judged to be a bond-slave, it was his particular offence, but were not al his children bond-slaves after him? and yet it was not their offence. So Adam forfeited his liberty, became a Bond-slave to sin and Satan, and the same is the con­dition of all his Posterity.

And besides the common reason, which is a [Page 39] true one, and a good one, that if in equity we should haue stood with him, therefore in equity we should fall with him, I will adde two con­siderations, and then you shall finde it very rea­sonable that we should fall with him, and that the same should be required of us, which was of him, though we have not the same ability.

One is, that the Angels (though we did not sin as they did, for they sinned every one in his owne person) are justly condemned, because every Angell sinned himselfe, he committed the sinne, he was the Author of it; and therefore it is reason they should be punished. But come to Adams Posterity, consider that they had a meanes given them, and that they that are con­demned (except children) of Adams Posterity, they are condemned for their owne sinnes, they might doe much more than they doe, they sin against the Law, they have, and so they are not only condemned for Adams sin, but for the sins committed in their owne persons. For God in­tended to give them a second Board after the great shipwrack in Adam, on which they might save themselves if they would, if the fault were not in themselves; for, it is true, they might doe more if they would, they might keepe the Law of Nature better than they doe, and for that they are condemned.

Againe, as we are condemned for Adams sin, though we did not commit it, so we are saved by the righteousnesse of Christ, though we did not performe it; and therefore there is an equity [Page 40] in that regard: Wee can see an equity for our Salvation, and is there not as much equity in the other? that we should stand guilty of it, though we never acted it: For as we are condemned by Adams sin, though not done by us, so are we sa­ved by Christs righteousnesse, though only im­puted to us. So that in equity the severe righte­ousnesse of the Law should be required of us, though we have not power to fulfill it.

Now that we may not stay in Generals only, telling you that the Law of God is holy, and pure, and you carnall, and contrary to it, we will come to particulars. And that we may helpe your memories, observe the breaches of this Law in the severall faculties of the minde. And we will begin first with the Generall: the gene­rall sore over-spreading all our nature, and that is it which the Divines call Originall sinne: first consider that, and see how your nature is full of all unrighteousnesse and ungodlinesse. First, I say, consider your originall sin, and the generall corruption of your nature thereby, Iohn 3.6. Whatsoever is borne of Flesh, is flesh. And Rom. 7.18. I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing. Marke that, he sayes no good thing. Wee thinke wee have something that is good, for all our generall corruption, but there is nothing good at all; As Gal. 3.22. The Scrip­ture hath concluded all under sinne: Not onely all men, but (for the word is in the neuter Gender) all things. Therefore in Gen. 6.5. he doth not only say, The frame of a mans heart is evill but it [Page 41] is only evill, and alway evill. In all actions, at all Times. This is a common Truth, but men con­sider not of it, they thinke there is some good­nesse in them, they will not be perswaded of this Truth in good earnest. And therefore when a man comes into the state of Grace, it is not mending two or three things that are amisse, it is not repairing of an old house, but all must be taken downe, and be built anew, you must be New Creatures. And therefore God promises, I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit: For all is out of order, and nothing good. And there is an equity in this; for, as in Psal. 49.12. Man being in honour abideth not, but is like the beasts that perish: That is, as God raised man above him­selfe, giving him supernaturall glory, in which he was created (for he was created in holinesse, and perfect righteousnesse) so man not keeping this condition, he was cast beneath himselfe. And in this there is equity, that being raised above himselfe, having an holinesse given him transcending common nature, he should now be made worse than himselfe, even as the beast that perisheth. Consider this corruption, and know it is a thing that makes you loathsome in Gods sight. For this, Tit. 1. ult. Men are called Abomi­nable: that is, men that God abhors, as you ab­horre the snuffe of a candle, or name any filthy thing your nature abhors; such is the nature of men to God. You know how we hate Toads and Serpents for their loathsome poisonfull na­ture, though they doe us no hurt. Now God [Page 42] lookes on the corruption of our nature, as we looke on Toads that are contrary to us, against which we have an Antipathie.

It is disputed by the Schoole-men, whether this be unum peccatum, one sin or moe, we may easily answer it: It is one in act, one in essence, but many in vertue, and power, and efficacie. As a seed is one individuall, but it is many, as many branches may arise from it: As Drunkennesse, (which will better expresse it) is but one fault, but it disorders the whole man, neither the head, nor the feet, nor the reason is excluded: So originall sin, though it be but one sin, yet it distempers the whole man, it sets the whol [...] soule out of order. And when the Instrument the heart, is out of tune, every sound, every acti­on is unsavoury, and sinfull, and thus should you looke upon your selves.

It is further disputed, whether this be priva­tive or positive, likewise I answer, It is only pri­vative, it is nothing but a meere want of righte­ousnesse: But seeing it fals upon an active sub­ject, as the soule of man is, which is never idle, but ever stirring; thence it comes that the ha­bites and fruits thereof are active and positive. It is true, the want of sight to guide, is enough to cause errour, but the vigour of nature is enough to make it positive. Therefore Divines say well, It is not only compared to Darknesse, which is a meere privation of light, but to sicknesse, where is not only want of health, but corrupt humours which are contrary to health. That is [Page 43] the first thing to be considered, even the corrup­tion of Nature which is in you, which will ex­ceedingly aggravate sin, as I have shewed here­tofore, and shall more largely hereafter have occasion to speake of it, Therefore I will say no more of it now, but so much shall serve for the generall Originall corruption that is in us.

And now we will come to the particular fa­culties,The corrupti­on of the Fa­culties. and will shew how they are corrupted, that we may know our selves, and the truth of this point, which I am to prove, that the nature of man is full of all impiety and wickednesse.

And first,The Vn­derstanding. we will begin with the Vnderstan­ding or minde of a man.

In this,The Vani­tie of it. marke first the Vanity of it, How rea­dy it is to attend to trifles; which was the dispo­sition that the Apostle found fault with in his Epistle to Timothy and others, That they gave themselves to Fables, and Genealogies, and this is in every man by nature. How full of questions were the Schoole-men? and so every man is ready to turne Religion into questions of curio­sities, which shewes a sicknesse in the understan­ding, it sets a man on worke to finde out what is propounded to it, that hee may not lose his labour. And thence come so many errors, this is the vanity of the mind. The Lord knoweth the thoughts of men (sayth the Psalmist) that they are vanitie. And this should humble us, that our minds are no more ready to attend the meanes of salvation. As the Schoole-men spent them­selves in idle speculations, so are we ready to at­tend [Page 44] to idle questions, but that which is whole­some and sound we neglect.

The blind­nesse of it.Secondly, consider the blindnesse of the minde, we are unwilling to learne, and so long must needs be in an Errour, and not come to the knowledge of the Lord. To other things we are forward enough, but to doe well we have no understanding. Therefore it is, that men con­tinue ignorant, notwithstanding so much prea­ching; when they learne other Arts, they are quick and dexterous, but in the things belonging to Salvation, how ignorant doe they continue? The Schoole-men give a good reason of it, and we may take it from them; because spirituall light is above us, it transcends us, we have not enough in us to see spirituall objects, for they be supernaturall, and above our reach, but other things are proportionable to us; Bats and Owles in the night can see well, because the glimmering light, and their weake eyes agree well together: So can we discerne vaine things, but things truly spirituall we doe not: 1 Cor. 2.14. Spirituall things must be discerned by spiri­tuall light, A naturall man cannot conceive of them; Why? They are spiritually discerned, that is, they are above him, and his nature is not able to reach them. Consider that blindnesse in the understanding, that unaptnesse, how quicke and ready men are to bring their owne ends to passe? How wise are they for other things? but they desire not to come to the knowledge of the Truth, and when they apply them­selves [Page 45] to it, they profit not by it.

Adde to this blindnesse the unteachablenesse of the understanding,The V [...] ­te [...]chablenesse of it. the resistance that is in it; for it is not a simple blindnesse, but a resistance of the Truth, and an unaptnesse to receive it. Now this is distinct from the second, which you may see by this comparison. The aire is darke, but it is fit to receive light, if the Sun cast light into it; but the understanding of a man is not so, it is not fit to receive light, but resists it. Philosophers were wont to say, that the Soule, the Minde of a man, is, Rasa Tabula, that having nothing written on it, it is a Table of wax to any thing that is evill, and will receive a quicke impression, but a Table of Flint, of Adamant, to any thing that is good. Therefore the migh­ty God must write his Law in our hearts, for we want that which is good, and are of our selves unteachable. And therefore this disadvantage we have that preach the Gospell, above others. If an Astronomer come and tell a Country­man, that a Starre were bigger than the earth, it would seeme a strange position at the first hea­ring, but if he might have liberty to deale with him, and to demonstrate his Grounds, he might make him to beleeve it, and to see reason for it: But we cannot doe so, we can only propound things to Faith, and there is not only a blind­nesse in men, but an unteachablenesse, and re­sistance against the Truth.

Adde to this the incredulity of the under­standing, how unapt it is to beleeve.The Incre­dulity of it. In other [Page 46] things it is too credulous, and apt to beleeve, and to be deceived with false tales and idle sto­ries; but come to the Scripture, doubts and questions arise. Therefore, this unaptnesse of the minde to beleeve, is to be considered. This I take to be the meaning of that, 2 Cor. 4.4. where it is said, The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which beleeve not: As if he had said, The light of the Gospell is cleare, you may as well see the light of it, as you see the light of the Sunne at noone-day, but the god of this world hath blinded your eyes, not by a pri­vative extinction of the light, for that is more than the Devill can doe, but by a positive blind­nesse, a positive ignorance, that is, the Devill tels you something against it, and that you be­leeve: And that is our nature, we are more rea­dy to beleeve the Devill than God. This may seeme strange, yet Eve you know did it, and that sinne is transmitted to all our natures, wee are ready to beleeve false suggestions against the Truth, which weaken faith rather than the sure Word of God.

The Enmi­tie of it.Last of all, adde to all this the Enmity of the understanding, which is more than all the rest. Rom. 8.7. The carnall minde is Enmitie against God: That is, the understanding is not onely vaine, ready to pitch on idle speculataions, and not onely blinde, ready to resist, and not onely slow and backward to beleeve, but it is an Ene­mie, and fights against the Truth; and the rea­son is in these words: It is Enmity, and why? It [Page 47] is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be; and therefore, it is an Enemy, that is, when the mind of a man lookes on the exactnesse, and strictnesse of holinesse and purenesse that God requires, he doth not meane to be subject to it; and seeing he will not be subject to it, he resists it, fights against it as an Enemy, lookes on it, as a thing contrary to him; did it give more liber­ty, he would be ready to embrace it, and thinke well of it; but because it is too strict, he breaks these cords, and casts them away, and fights against the Truth, and this is the nature of every man. Now when we say the wisdome of th [...] flesh is Enmity, we doe not say that men op­pose the Truth, for there is not any Truth in Divinity, but a man may fully embrace and as­sent to it, and yet be an Enemy to Holinesse, to the Image of God stamped therein, to the sa­ving knowledge, that is, the saving manner of knowing the Truths he assents to. Therefore the Apostle saith, Many know much, but nothing as they ought to know: So many may know these spirituall Truths, and confesse them to be good in themselves, and yet may have a reluctance against them, a distaste of them, they savour not the things they understand. Tit. 1. ult. They are to every good work reprobate; which I take not to be meant passively, but actively, that is, men that cannot judge aright of any work, that looke not on it with a right eye, as a thing lovely, and imitable, as right and good, but in this regard they strive against it. Therefore, the Apostle [Page 48] speakes of some that exalt themselves against the knowledge of the truth; that is, that fight and de­fend themselves against it, that speake evill of the things they know, (for they know them, else they would never speake of them) but they know them not so, as to love them, and delight in them; therefore they resist, and fortifie them­selves against the wayes of God, against the strictnesse and holinesse that God requires, and perswade themselves to thinke amisse of them, that they need not to be so exact: This is the nature of every man, and the Enmity of the un­derstanding.

And now my brethren, if the understanding be thus bad, thinke it is no small matter, if the light that is in thee be darknesse, how great is that darknesse? The understanding is that that must guide thee, and when the stearne is out of order, when the Auriga, the Waggoner is blind, or amisse, and sees not the right way, think what a case you are in. But you will say this is Ig­norance. But is not this of great Consequence? When a man is blinde he knowes not whither he goes, he is altogether a stranger from the life of God: Therefore first let this humble you, la­bour to see how your mindes are full of wic­kednesse, and unrighteousnesse.

The Depra­vednesse of the Will▪Secondly, let us come to the will, and you shall finde that to be no lesse corrupt than the understanding; for the will takes every thing as the understanding presents it; and if the under­standing, the minde of a man be thus corrupted, [Page 49] the will must needs be corrupted. As a man that lookes thorow a coloured glasse, every thing he sees is coloured; or as a man that hath his Pallate possest with a vicious humour, every thing seemes bitter according to the humour: so the will of man sees every thing thorow the understanding, as we see thorow a glasse, but (Seeing) is not so proper a word to expresse it: the understanding tastes things, it is as the pal­late is to the stomacke, when it is out of order, it perverts the wayes of God, it sees no such beau­tie, nor excellencie in them; and the will dispo­ses of it selfe accordingly. Now you shall finde that the understanding reckons the wayes of God both Enmity and folly, and godly men to be partly fooles, and partly Enemies, and con­trary to them. Therefore you shall finde a di­sposition, an affection, a frame of the will to an­swer that, mingled partly of hatred, and part­ly of contempt, and a man partly hates, and partly contemnes, and thinks light of holinesse: And this is the disposition of the will of every man before Regeneration, I say, the holinesse described in the pure Word of God, and ex­pressed in the lives of the Saints, he partly hates as a thing contrary to him, and partly contemns it as folly. But we will shew you the particu­lars of the will, as we did of the understanding.

Therefore,Of the Con­trariety of the will to God. first consider the Contrariety of the will, it is contrary to God in all things; looke what Gods will is in any thing, you shall finde your will contradicting it, and going a contrary [Page 50] way: It is said of the Iewes, as a thing that ex­ceedingly aggravated their sin, and the misera­ble Condition they were in, they were contrary to all men; and if it be so much to be contrary to men, what is it to be contrary to God, to re­sist him, to goe against him? and yet what hee will have done, that we will not doe; and what he will not have done, that we doe, that is the disposition of our will.

The Pride of the will.Secondly, consider the Pride of the will, how ready it is to exalt it selfe above its measure, for the will of man should be a dependant will, a subject will, waiting on God, as the servant waits on the master, or as the hand-maid waits on her mistresse, that is, a mans will should be disposed in every thing as God pleases. If hee will have him to be poore, in disgrace, or in a lower place and condition, the will should be subject, for we must remember, GOD is the Creator, we are creatures, and must be subject to the will of the Creator; but our Will will not stoope to Gods Will: As Adam would be in another condition than God had placed him in; so we exalt our selves aboue measure, we are not content to be disposed of, to be carried from condition to condition, to have our af­faires ordered as God pleases, wee will have plots and projects of our owne, we will shape out our owne Condition, else we murmure and are discontent, and that is the pride of the will.

The Incon­stancie of it.Thirdly, consider the Inconstancie of the will, the weaknesse of it in good things, and its per­emptorinesse [Page 51] in evill; in good things our resolu­tions are weake and inconstant, and as bubles come to nothing; but in evill things we are stiffe and peremptory, and will doe what we list. Our tongues are our owne, we will use them, Who is Lord over us? This is the nature of men, they sweare and breake the Sabbath, they doe it, and will doe it, though they say it not in words, yet God lookes on it, and sees it; many purposes they have, they will change their courses; but what come they to? It is but by accident, when the wind is in that corner, when the weather­cocke stands that way, so that there is no con­stancie in our wils.

Againe,The Diso­bedience of it. marke the Disobedience of our will, and that is not a small thing, that is the great and proper fault of the will, that it is disobedient to God, that is, when God commands a thing, and sayes, this I will have done, for the will to be disobedient to it, negligent of it, is a great and fearefull sin, the eating of the forbidden fruit was unlawfull, because God commanded A­dam the contrary; If Gods command be on the least thing, the neglect of it makes it a disobedi­ence; when God came to Adam, saith he, Hast thou eaten of the Tree concerning which I have said, thou shalt not eat of it? That is, hast thou beene disobedient? Hast thou broken my Comman­dement? You see what followed on it. So Saul, when God bade him destroy the Amalekites, you would not reckon it a great sinne to save a few Cattell alive; but because God commanded [Page 52] the contrary, the fault was great. So the Pro­phet, 1 King. 13. One would not thinke it to be a great matter for him to goe that way or the other: yet because he went that way, God sent a Lion that devoured him. The sin of Disobedience you may thinke a small thing, no man thinks it so grosse a sin as Idolatry, Adultery, and Mur­ther; but see how God judgeth of it, 1 Sam. 15. 23. Rebellion is as the sinne of witchcraft, and stub­bornenesse is as Iniquity and Idolatry, that is, thou thinkest it no great matter to save as few cattell, and to keep the King alive, though thou destroyest all the rest: thou thinkest it a small thing, but it is not so, looke what thou thinkest of the sinne of Witchcraft and Idolatry, such is Disobedience. Now let men apply this to them­selves, looke what is revealed to you to be a sin, I know this is a sin, I know it is Gods command not to commit it; if thou fall into it, it is now a Disobedience, as Adams was, and as Sauls was, and as the Prophets was, and consider how God will take it; you see how he dealt with them. Come to particulars, doe you not know, it is his Command you should not sweare, not only grea­ter, but lesser oaths? To keepe the Sabbath, to keepe your vessels pure, your bodies cleane, for they are the Temples of God, and therefore that you ought not to defile them with any uncleannesse, Drun­kennesse, or Gluttony: Doe not you know, he commands that you should be constant in prayer, that you performe it constantly, and earnestly, and fervently? Now consider what Disobedience [Page 53] is; Remember that speech, Hast thou eaten of the Tree concerning which I commanded, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it? This is the Disobedience of mans will, labour to see this, how apt thy will is to breake the Commandements of God, and how in this respect thy nature is full of all un­righteousnesse, and ungodlinesse.

Next we will come to the Memory,The cor­ruption of the Memory. and you shall finde that out of order likewise, that the things God commands us to remember, those we are exceeding ready to forget, and the things we should forget, we are too ready to remem­ber, wherein I will be briefe.

First,In the things we are com­manded to Re­member. for the things he commands us, he doth command, Remember thy Creator in the dayes of thy youth. In your youth you shall serve me, and yet how apt is youth to forget God? And for the Sabbath he bids us Remember to keepe holy the Sabbath day: How apt are we to neglect it, to disobey it? it is out of our minds. So Psal. 78.11. He would have his wondrous workes, and the great Acts he did for the children of Israel, Remem­bred, but they remembred not (saith hee) his wonders in Aegypt. And so we may go through any thing else, Hebr. 12. You have forgot the Con­solations, &c.

Againe, In things we are com­manded to Forget. wee are ready to remember what God bids us to forget. We are apt to remember Injuries, yea, one Injury will be thought on more than many yeares good service, or many good turnes. We should not do thus, but should remember the benefits from God and man for [Page 54] the encrease of love. So Idle tales we are ready to remember, but good things, though they be accompanied with the motion, and quickening of the spirit goe out like sparkes in wet tinder, they goe out againe quickly, as if they had not beene. So for hearing the Word, Iam. 1. we are called forgetfull hearers, when we are about that duty, if a tale be told us in a Sermon that we can remember, but what is profitable and wholesome, that we forget. Our minds are like strainers, all the milke passes thorow them; that that we should grow by, that which is whole­some, and necessary for nourishment runs tho­row, but the drosse remaines: Trifles and vaine things we can remember, and carry away with us, and this is the sinfulnesse of our memories. You may call it weaknesse of memory, and may thinke that it is not so great a matter. No, it is not the infirmity of thy memory, but the cor­ruption of thy nature, if we forget other things as much, it were another case, but because holy things are spirituall, and the frame of the heart is nought, our corrupt ill disposition makes us ready to forget them; and more than that, there is a carelesnesse in our minds, we regard not the things of God, but every vanity we regard, and our minde is instant thereon, and that is the rea­son we remember it, but forget the things that concerne God, and our Salvation.

The cor­ruption of the Conscience.Come we from the Memory to the Consci­ence. The Conscience of a man is that which should have life; It should be like Iobs last mes­sengers, [Page 55] to bring us word that all the rest is dead: There should be a remaining light of Consci­ence to tell us that all the rest of our faculties are dead, disordered, and corrupted, but looke upon the Conscience, you shall see how short it is in that which belongs to it, and it is a great matter to have that out of order.

There be but three Acts of the Conscience,In three Acts. and it is disordered in them all.

The first Act of the Conscience is to be a Remembrancer, As it is a R [...]membran­cer. to be a faithfull Register, to set all downe, and to present it to us, but it is a false Register; like the Steward in Luke, that when there were hundreds, set downe fifties: So the Con­science sets downe things by halfes, it thinkes not what is done, it recals them not; if it were as it should be, it would recall our sins, and their Circumstances, in another manner than they doe: And so is in that regard corrupt.

The second Act or office of Conscience,As it is an Instigatour to good, or a Re­strainer from evill. Wherein three Vertues are re­quired. is, to instigate to good, and to restraine from evill, but in this you shall finde it exceedingly corrupted.

In this Act there be three Vertues which should be in the Conscience.

The first is Clearnesse; the Conscience should be so cleare as to see all things that are amisse,Clearenesse. but in this it sailes exceedingly, Tit. 1. It is said, Their minde and Conscience are defiled, marke that; looke as in a Glasse, which is in it selfe cleare, when it shall be covered with dust, it showes nothing, it presents not things clearely, for it is defiled, so the Conscience of man should be [Page 56] cleare as a bright looking-glasse, that should present every thing that is amisse in a mans heart or life, but it is defiled, and you can see nothing by it.

Sensible­nesse.The second vertue in this Act of Conscience is, as to see sins clearely, so to feele them, to be sensible of them: like a fine flesh which is sensible of the least prick, or like the eye that is sensible of the least mote. Now in this it failes more than in the other; there is a brawninesse growne over the Conscience, and in some it hath lost all sense, and therein you may see the Corruption of it. If you looke to the Glasse, and there finde swearing to be a sin, you are not sensible of it, you feele it not.

Active­nesse.But there is a third Vertue wherein it failes more than in these two. It should stir us up, and give us no rest, till it had constrained us to doe the good thing God commands, and restrained us from the Evill he forbids, it should awaken us, but it being dull and sleepie, stirres up some­times good purposes, thereby awaking us, but it lets us fall asleepe againe; we can rest in sin, we can sin, and our minds be quiet in it, and can put off our turning to God. This is a great Cor­ruption of the Conscience which should amaze us: This is the sinfulnesse of it, which should perswade us that our natures are full of all un­righteousnesse and ungodlinesse.

As it is an Accuser, or Ex­cuser.Last of all, the third office or Act of the Con­science, is, to accuse aright, and excuse, and in this we shall see it failes as much as, or more than in [Page 57] any of the other. But you will say, the Con­science is ready enough to accuse; it is true, but the light it hath, by which it is able to see sin, and to accuse us for sin, it abuses, and perverts to a wrong end, for this you shall finde in the Conscience when we preach the Law, and the Conscience should joyne with us to accuse, then it excuses, making every thing seeme small and little. And againe, when we preach the Gospel, and the Conscience should excuse, then it accu­ses; my sins are so great and many, that there is no mercy for me. And this perverting of the light, this excusing, when it should accuse; and this accusing, when it should excuse, causeth us, Declinare Ictum, to scape the blow of Law and Gospell, and we are robbed of the fruit of both, because the Conscience doth not his part aright. And so you may see how farre off you are from a good Conscience.

But,Object. you will say, I doe many things in se­cret out of Conscience, and I hope it is not so much corrupted?

I will adde this then to that I said before,Answ. you must know it is not a good Conscience which only suppresseth and restraineth from evill. The matter is, in what termes it stands with God; If it looke on God, as a chast loving wife lookes on her husband, or a son on the father, that out of reverent loving respects, feares to offend him, because they prize their favour more, than any mans favour in the world, and after this manner restraines, it is a good Conscience; but if it re­straine [Page 58] us, as a servant is restrained under an hard master, or as a theefe under the Iudge, trembling at his word, at his Iudgement, this is not a good Conscience. Your Conscience may restraine you from many things; nay, you may doe ma­ny things in secret between you and God alone, and yet for all this have no good, but an evill Conscience. So you see the corruption of man in the Vnderstanding, Will, Memory, and Con­science. I will adde another, and that is the sen­suall Appetite.

The corrup­tion of the sen­sitive Appe­tite.And this you shall finde exceedingly out of order above all these faculties I have named, it is ready to run over, and beyond all measure. By this I understand, that appetite in a man, by which he taketh pleasure in sensible things, such as are conveyed by the eyes, the eares, or the taste; set any object before it, it is ready to run out quickly, by inordinate affections, as to wo­men, to meat and drinke, to any kinde of sport, or recreation, or sensible thing. How corrupt is this sensuall Appetite? How prone to evill? How ready to run out? to breake over the Pale, to goe aside the rule? If any delightfull object be propounded, how ready is it to embrace it?

Object.But, you will say, (and indeed it is Bellarmines quarrelling.) The rebellion of the sensuall Ap­petite is but naturall, the same that is in beasts, because, before originall sin was committed, he was in the same constitution, there was such re­bellion between the sensual appetite and reason, as there is now, and therefore being naturall, it is not sinfull.

[Page 59]But this is his Errour, though every man be hereby ready to excuse himselfe,Answ. thinking the rebellion of the sensuall Appetite not to be so great a matter. But to take his owne words, he saith, the same as it is in Beasts; It is true, if it were with us, as it is with beasts, it were no sin, and so not a thing which gives us cause to be so much humbled: for in beasts the sensual Appe­tite hath no superiour governour, but is su­preme. To expresse it to you, Take an horse in a pasture that is loose, and free, if he run up and downe and play, we finde no fault with him, for he is loose; but if he doth this under the bridle, when the rider is on his back, will you not now reckon him a stiffe-necked horse, and count it a fault in him, for there is a rider on his backe. So for this sensuall Appetite in beasts, where there is liberty, and no superiour command to keepe them in order, the beasts are not to be blamed. But take a man where God hath set reason a­bove the sensuall Appetite, and grace above reason to guide it; in him this sensuall Appetite rebels against reason, which it should obey, and this shewes it to be a great sinne in men, conside­ring that reason should be the rule to guide, and keepe in the sensuall Appetite, for God hath gi­v [...]n it for that purpose. Indeed some desires are naturall; Christ desired life, which was lawful, and a right object of desire; but take this with­all, it was perfectly subjugated and brought un­der, and made obedient to the will of God, as his will was holy and sanctified: So we may [Page 60] desire meat and drinke, but many times the Law of God may forbid it, as in many cases it doth, for it may differ from the will of God, as it is holy, and yet in it selfe it may be right. Here is no more but subordination required. But when this runnes out amisse, affecting of things inordinately, though you doe suppresse it, yet that affection is sinfull, and you must be hum­bled for it; God sees it in you, and it is hatefull, and abominable to him.

These things I should make use of, But I am lesse carefull of that, because all these points are immediately usefull. Why? It is to make you know your selves, and to be acquainted with the corruption of your nature. And doe not you thinke it to be enough, that this be as an hand in the margent, pointing to the corruption of your hearts, or that you may content your selves with the contemplative knowledge of these things, so to cause a new light to shine in your under­standing. Our end is to make you examine the corruption of your natures, your disobedience, your rebellions, to see how you have behaved your selves, to be acquainted with your owne particular sins, your owne particular failings, and to labour to bee humbled for them. O­therwise you may have a knowledge of these Truths, but not a saving knowledge, and such as wil be profitable: But this you shal see when I come to make use of them. And now for the Sacrament these things be of speciall use, be­cause, as you heard before out of Levit. 23. On [Page 61] the day of reconciliation, when an atonement was to be made, he that afflicted not his soule, was to be cut off from his people. When we come to the Sa­crament, there is a reconciliation, an atonement to be made in a speciall manner; What must you do then? Afflict your soules, consider your sins, see what debts you have run into, see what corrupt natures you have, and likewise know what you have in Christ, and rejoyce there­in, (for those must goe together) an humbling of the soule for sin, and rejoycing in CHRIST for your Deliverance from it.

The end of the Second Sermon.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON HVMILIATION. The third SERMON.

ROMANS 1.18.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse of men, which with-hold the Truth in unrighte­ousnesse.

THe last faculty,The cor­ruption of the Affections. is, The Affections, and here you shall find exceeding great cause to say that they are full of unrighteousnesse and ungod­linesse, for they come like a migh­tie Tempest, like a turbulent wind that carries us away, even then, when we are well set. The disorder of them exceeds the disorder of all the [Page 64] rest, for they are quickly moved, nothing soo­ner, and when they are moved, they are excee­ding apt to exceed, to transcend their limits, for such is the fullennesse, the awkednesse and way­wardnesse of our affections, either they are not active, not placed where they should be, or if they be placed as they ought to be, they are ready to run over, to over-love, and over-grieve, and over-joy. I say, where we may love law­fully, and rejoyce lawfully, they are readie to exceed.

If I should come to particulars, you should finde how exceedingly they are out of order. Come to love and hatred; we little thinke we hate what is good, and love sin; come and tell any man so much, hee will not beleeve it, but examine it a little. Doe not you hate holinesse in others? You will say, No, we hate no man for his Goodnesse: But consider, the nature of man doth so, every unregenerate man doth so. David was hated for that cause. And Cain hated his brother, because his workes were good. And Gen. 3. The Enmity betweene the seed of the Woman, and the seed of the Serpent: Whence comes it, but from the holinesse of the one, and the wicked­nesse of the other? Looke to our actions, and you shall finde we doe not hate sin, we doe not hate our lusts, for if we did, we should not be angry with them, that speake evill of them; if we hated these things, we should like them that speak against them, but we be Enemies to those that be Enemies to them, and Friends to those [Page 65] that be Friends to them. Doe we not lodge them? Doe we not feed them with the things they desire? They can aske nothing, but they have it. Godly men hate their sins, though they be carried away with present objects, but a wic­ked man loves the lust it selfe; he can say, I could wish I were free from this lust, from the vexati­on it puts me to, but for all this he is not angry; hee may indeed be angry with it, as with a friend, when he hath done some unkinde Turne, but he hates it not, for if he hated it, he would not be at peace with it againe, for hatred is im­placable. Againe, if a man hates, he hates all the kinde: But why doest thou love one more than another? If thou didst hate any one, be­cause it is a sinne, because it is a rebellion against God, thou wouldest love none: As the Lambe hates all Wolves. Againe, if thou hatest them, why wilt not thou labour to have them utterly destroyed? Why wilt thou cherish them a lit­tle? Where hatred is, it will have the thing ha­ted utterly taken away, as if there were no such thing; and that shall be laboured for, not re­missely, but we will put our strength to it, and doe it with all our might, and in good earnest. But seeing we doe not thus, it appeares we hate goodnesse, and love sin. It is true, we are ready to lay it on other things, and to say, The Infir­mities of the Saints, which we see, we hate, but their goodnesse wee love, if it be every way right. But let me aske you a question; Didst thou love them for their holinesse, wouldest not [Page 66] thou rather labour to cover their Infirmities, grieving for them? Do you not so out of love? then your hearts are deceived, when you thinke you hate the Infirmities, and not the goodnesse in them, you hate the goodnesse it selfe; and this is the nature of every man before Regenera­tion.

Besides these of Love and Hatred, looke to your Delight, and see if that be not turned up­side downe. The wheele turnes the quite con­trary way. We delight in things we should not delight in; you know we delight in vain things, in sinfull things, in things that are sutable to our lusts and humours. Againe, we delight in the fals and sufferings of others; as 1 Cor. 5. They were puft up when others fell, and they stood. It should no be so, we should be humbled at the fals of others, and be grieved for them, that they being members of the same body with us, should bee any way blemished. Againe, the things we should delight in, are they not tedious to us? are they not grievous? The Sabbath should be kept with delight, but how burthen­some is it to give God his whole time, to keepe it holy, and not to rob him of any part of it? That is, not to pollute it with unholy actions. And so holy company should be our delight, wee should thinke our selves in our Element among them, and so the hearing of the Word; how tedious are these to our natures. But I can­not stand on this.

Come we to Feare. Doe not we feare men? [Page 67] Doe not we feare the Creature, and this and that particular evill? But God we feare not. Take it in that one sin of lying: A man will lye to a man, to keepe his credit with him; but he cares not to lose it with God. This is a signe you doe not sanctifie God in your hearts, that is, not reverence him, not value him.

Come to Sorrow, how ready are we to ex­ceed in worldly sorrow? Let us be told of an Injury in our names, losse in our estate, of trou­bles and calamities any way, it affects us much, but sin we make nothing of; we thinke it is but a passion, a trifle, and it is not so great a matter to be in passion. Yes, my beloved, it is a great matter to have passion; these passions shall condemne us, if they be not mortified, if you kill them not, they will be your death: Whoso­ever is in Christ, hath crucified these.

Againe, consider that affections are the Prin­ciples of Actions, therefore it is not so light a matter to erre in your affections, for they will cause errour in your actions.

Consider that your estimation is taken by your affections, according to them you are said to be good or evill. Therefore, an holy man is described to be one that loves God, feares God, delights in his Commandements, so as it is no slight matter to be distempered in your affecti­ons; and know this, if it be no more than lust, you know what Christ saith of that; Hee that looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery already with her in his heart. Now if lust [Page 68] breakes the match in the mariage of men, these inordinate affections, these whorish affections, these adulterous affections will breake the mar­riage betweene God and us. Affections are pla­ced in us for this purpose, to draw nearer to God, but we misplacing them, and setting them on the Creature, they draw us further from God.

Againe, when they be thus distempered, they grow hinderances: As the Israelites could not pray for the anguish of their hearts; and Peters feare made him to deny Christ. So that this di­stemper of our Affections, as well as the disor­der of the rest of the faculties doth shew the Truth of this point; That the nature of man is full of all unrighteousnesse and ungodlinesse. And so much shall serve to shew the corruption of Na­ture by the faculties.

Actuall Sinnes.Now this is not all; there are besides these actuall sins, whereby likewise this Truth will be made manifest. And these are of three sorts, that is, in Thought, in Word, in Action; for they be all actuall sinnes, though inwardly they be the Acts of the minde.

First, let us see it by the Thoughts, and you shall see in them this great corruption of Na­ture, and the great cause you have to be hum­bled, and it is that that should amaze us, wee shall finde in us abundance of idle Thoughts, and wicked thoughts, which like a shower of raine, you cannot number for multitude.

In ThoughtsIf a man should write down all the Thoughts [Page 69] that passe thorow his minde in one day, and ob­serve their little dependence one up another, so vaine are they, and so foolish, when he comes to reade them at night, he will thinke he was half out of his wits, and be amazed at himselfe.

And thinke not this a small matter, for 1 Thoughts are the first contrivers,The impor­tance of thoughts. the first plot­ters of good, and evill, and therefore are of more moment than that which immediately acts it.

Againe, are not they things which we should 2 entertaine God with? Hee comes and dwels with us, he sups with us, we are Temples where God inhabits. Now if we are to entertaine a great Prince, if we never speak to him, but spend our time with idle Companions, will not hee thinke himselfe much injuried? And will not God thinke so, when we bestow the Thoughts in vaine things, which should be occupied a­bout him?

Againe, consider, Thoughts are other things 3 than men reckon them, for it may be said of every Christian, he is a Garden wherein God walks, wherein he eats his honey with his milk. God would have fruit of the Trees which he hath planted in us; now our Thoughts are the fruit of the best Tree, even of the Vnderstan­ding: You know Christ was angry with the Tree that bare no fruit: And when he comes to the understanding of a man, that should be full of good thoughts, and finding nothing b [...] loose, nothing but empty and frothie thoughts, what [Page 70] [...] [Page 71] [...] [Page 72] [...] [Page 73] [...] [Page 74] [...] [Page 75] [...] [Page 70] will he thinke of it? Wee doe not give a due esteeme to Thoughts, and that's the reason we give such liberty to them, that we are not more humbled for them; for Thoughts are the wa­ter wherwith is driven the wheele of businesses, and why doe we let so much water run beside the Mill? that is, they are the things we should occupy in every thing we doe, they are preci­ous. And as Esay saith of a cluster of Grapes, De­stroy it not, for there is a blessing in it: So your Thoughts, which you so little account of, have a blessing in them; then why doe you make such waste of them, as if they were of little worth?

4 Consider, it is no small thing to anger God with your Thoughts, they being the same to God, that words and actions (the interpreters of Thoughts) are to men; God sees them with­out any Interpreter, as men heare and see words and actions. Therefore, it was said to Simon Magus, Pray to God, if perhaps the Thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee. If thou seest a Chri­stian in poverty, and despisest him for it, God sees it, and it is a sinne in Thought.

In our Words.The second actuall sinne is our words; And here likewise you shall finde the Truth of this, that our natures are full of impiety and wicked­nesse, and exceeding proane to evill. The tongue of man is very slippery, nothing being so cheape as breath, it is ready at hand to doe any evill. If a thing be to be acted, there is time required to prepare for it, but a word is quickly out: So [Page 71] the frequencie of offending with our tongue should humble us.

And againe,The impor­tance of our words. as our offences herein are fre­quent, so it is a matter of much moment, which we haue cause to marke, because we do esteeme 1 not so of them. Iam. chap. 2, 3. vers. 4. you shall finde three Similitudes, by which the Tongue is expressed, and there you shall finde what it is to offend in words. It is compared to a Bit, which will keep in the wildest horse; and to a Rudder, which (though it be exceeding great) will turne the Ship. And thirdly, to a fire, what a great matter will a little fire kindle? Men thinke it a small thing to offend in speeches, but God will have them know it is another kinde of matter. Therefore, consider this, you that suffer your tongues to walke up and downe at randome, from morning till night, and thinke it a small thing. I will aske you these questions out of these Similitudes. Is it a small matter to neglect the Rudder of the Ship? will it not quickely runne to the Sands? Suppose a man ride on an unruly horse, Is it a small thing not to keepe the hand on the bridle, to neglect it? To have a tongue without a bridle, is as an unruly horse in a dangerous place, or on a narrow bridge, the neglect is not small. Therefore consider it, and if you have not yet learned the meaning of that place, learne now to understand it.

Secondly, you shall give account for every 2 idle word; It will be thought, that to speake a few words is not so much, but a few sparks will [Page 72] set a great City on fire; you see what the tongue did in Arrius for evill, and in Luther for good. There is no Element so active as fire, and no­thing so efficacious as your tongue, which you so lightly esteeme of. Againe, fire flies about, so doth the tongue, it hath wings. Fire likewise assimulates, turning things quickly into its own nature; so the tongue assimulates the hearts of men, to whom we speake, it changes them, and now consider if it be a light thing to neglect it. You are wont to say, Take heed to the fire, for you know not what a sparke may doe, and is it a small matter to neglect your tongues? speci­ally where there be thatched-houses and com­bustible matter neare? And are not the hearts of men, to whom we speake, as Tinder, ready to take fire at the least sparke, if you heed it not? And is it then so small a matter to neglect words? Gather this out of all these Similitudes to humble you. If the tongue be as a Bridle, as the Rudder, and as Fire, then it is of much effi­cacie; that cannot be denied, for to prove that, it is the only end of these Similitudes. And if it be so, then learne hence to know what the ill­nesse of your speech is; for the more efficacious any thing is, if it lye idle, the greater is the sin; looke what good you have done with your tongues, the more that is, the more is on your reckoning. Againe, if you have imployed them amisse, a little rudder turnes the whole ship, the meaning is, it is very effectuall: and therefore, I say, if there be such efficacie in them, consider [Page 73] of how great moment they are, when you use your tongues amisse, to corrupt speaking, to ly­ing, dissembling, slandering, back-biting, thinke it not a matter of small moment, it is a fire, and if the State provides death for them that set barnes, and houses on fire, what punishment shall they be worthy of, that set the soules of men on fire, the Temples where God dwels? And this the tongues of men doe; Ignem in ore gestamus, we carry fire in our mouthes. Take heed lest we kindle such a fire in the brests of o­thers, as we shall never live to quench againe, and so kindle the fire of Gods wrath, which shall smoake to our destruction. Thus by your words, learne to know the sinfulnesse of your natures.

Lastly,In our A­ctions. see it by your Actions. Now sinnes in actions are of two sorts, either sinnes of Com­mission, and here you are to goe backe and con­sider what sinnes you have committed, whether drunkennesse, uncleannesse, inordinate affections, or injuries to men, what provocations or rebel­lions against God, and when you see them, look on the number of them, and on the greatnesse of them: Consider their circumstances, and among the rest, the frequencie of them, your relapses into them; and that will make you with David, Psal. 19. to cry out, Lord, who can understand his faults? But we will not stand on this, because i [...] is obvious, every one knowes that actions are sinnes: we will come to the second sort:

And that is sins of Omission,Si [...]es of Omission. 1. Of [...]. which we are [Page 74] ready to slight and forget as no great matters; but they are other things than wee take them to bee, nothing hath more cause to humble us than they; I say, the sinnes of Omission, the barrennesse and unfruitfulnesse of our lives may humble us, as well as the rebellions and sinful­nesse of them.

We will run thorow them. As first to be idle on the Sabbath-day, is a sin of Omission, and provokes God to anger, as well as polluting it, and breaking it with positive Acts. So the re­straining of Prayer, to neglect it, to omit it, or to performe it slightly (for God takes prayers by weight, and not by number,) this is not a small thing. Againe, to neglect the hearing of the Word, to neglect the Sacraments (a fault we have much cause to be blamed for in this place) and thing you have often beene admonished to, I beseech you learne by our Admonitions, for they are the Admonitions of God; let them, I say, learne that are guilty of it. So Communi­on of Saints is a thing we thinke not of: But Heb. 10.25. You shall see what a matter it was to neglect that Ordinance: So Fasting and Prayer we thinke are not required at our hands, and if nothing but the neglect of that were laid to our charge, it were nothing. But see what that is, when the time is that God cals for it, I say, the very omission of that when God cals for it, is a sin, saith the Prophet, which shall ne­ver be purged away by sacrifice, but shall re­maine to death.

[Page 75]Besides these omissions of Acts, come to the omission of Graces,Of Graces. I meane the want of them, as the want of Love to Iesus Christ. Yet who confesses this want of love, although 1 Cor. 16.22. Hee is pronounced accursed that loves not the Lord Iesus, let him be had in execration to the death. So the want of Delight in God, who thinkes of it?

Come to our Callings,Of time. and see our negli­gence and idlenesse in them; shall we give ac­count for every idle word we speake, and not for every idle houre wee spend? Let young Gentlemen looke to this, that passe from vani­ty to vanity, spending their time idly, and un­profitably trifling out their Seed-time. Consi­der what this sin of Omission is. And so for growing in spirituall graces and knowledge, that we gather not more knowledge, it being the key of heaven; that wee grow not in good workes, but are poore in them, omitting our times and opportunities. Againe, our sinfull si­lence not speaking when we should, either out of sluggishnesse, or feare of men, or by-respects, this is no small thing, God will call thee to an account for it.

Consider whether you have let goe occasi­ons of doing good;Of Occasi­ons. denying of meat and drinke kils a man as well as poison, so the neglecting of duties, the omission of what tends to salvati­on shall be death, as well as actuall sinnes, by which you provoke the eyes of Gods glory to vengeance. Therefore in that sentence of Christ, [Page 76] he doth not tell them what they have done, but what they have not done; You have not clothed me, you have not visited me: Learne therefore to judge aright of these sinnes of omission, that they may helpe to amaze us, and so much for actuall sins. And so much for the Law, the first part of our rule, wherein we have runne thorow the corruption of the Faculties, and so have discovered our habituall sins, and now thorow the three kinds of actuall sinnes, in Thought, in Word, and in Action.

Rule, the Gospell.The second rule, which I told you we are to observe, is the Gospell. And here you thinke you shall scape well enough, for the Gospell brings damnation to no body.

Sinnes against the Gospell.But if you consider of it right, you shall finde that the Gospell is much more terrible in this case than the Law, that it will humble us more, and that the sins against the Gospell are much greater than those against the Law.

Vnwilling­nesse to take Christ.Marke this in briefe: The refusing of Iesus Christ when God offers him, and remission of sins by him, that you may have him when you will, if you will have him on such consequent conditions as are required, which is to deny your selves, to take up your crosse and follow him; this wee preach continually: I say, this contempt of the Gospell, your unwillingnesse to take Christ is a great sin, and that that should humble you above all the rest.The greatnesse of this Sinne.

And that you may know that I have reason 1 to say so, consider Christs speech, It shall be more [Page 77] easie for Sodome and Gomorrah, than for such a peo­ple, for such a City, as when the Gospell of the Kingdome was preached to them, neglected it, so that the sin of Sodome is not so great a sin as the refusing of Christ. You know the greatnesse of that sin, the punishment shewes it, yet it is not so great as this.

Againe, it is said of Moses and Christ, being 2 compared together, That if they that sin against Moses Law are condemned, how much sorer punish­ment shall they be worthy of, that breake the Law of Christ, that beleeve not the Gospell? It exceeds the sinne against the other.

Againe, consider, is it a small thing to cause 3 the bloud of Iesus Christ to be shed in vaine, to trample it under foot, and to count it a common thing? But so doth every man that neglects it, that hearkens not to it, that is, not ready to re­ceive it, that is, not poore in spirit, and so doth not hunger and thirst after Christ.

Againe, consider, It is the chiefe Command,4 and the breach of the chiefe Command must needs be the greatest sinne. When the Disciples asked Christ what was the great Commande­ment, he said, This is the greatest of all, To be­leeve on him whom the Father had sent. So 1 Ioh. 3.23. This is his Commandement, that we should be­leeve in the name of Iesus Christ.

Againe, the Gospell is the uttermost, the Law 5 makes way for the Gospell, therefore the sen­tence, and condemnation of the Gospell is per­emptory, and terrible, and nothing beyond it.

[Page 78]Againe, consider, God was angry for the contempt of this, you shall not finde in all the 6 Scriptures any thing that angers him so much; with them that were invited, and would not come hee was angry, and commanded them to be slaine. So Psalm. 2. ult. Kisse the Sonne, lest he be angrie: The contemning of this condemnes a man most of all to wrath.

7 Last of all, consider, that when you neglect IESUS CHRIST, and sinne against the Gospell, and are not ready to receive it, you take his Name in vaine in the highest degree, and he will not hold him guiltlesse that taketh his Name in vaine, at all. Now Gods Name be­ing in his Sonne most revealed, take heed of ta­king it in vaine, 2 Cor. 6.1. I beseech you take not the Grace of God in vaine: It is a greater matter than you thinke it to be, that when God shall offer Christ, shall profound to marry his Sonne to you, you should refuse him; consider the sinne, and be humbled. And by this is seene the corruption of our nature, and this should hum­ble us more than any sinne committed against the Law

And thus much shall serve to make plaine the point in all the parts of it, that the Nature of man is full of all unrighteousnesse, and un­godlinesse.

Vse 1.Now to make use of it. And first, if this be the Condition of all men by nature, then hee that sees not this, he that is not perswaded of it, he is deceived, he is an unskilfull, an ignorant [Page 79] man, he hath not yet his wit exercised to discerne betweene good and evill. And let him so reckon of himselfe. If this be the Condition of eve­ry man by nature, and yet God hath not ope­ned the window for him to see it, and to stand amazed at it; he is, I say, an unskilfull man, he is not yet enlightned, the true light hath not yet shined into him. For when God enlightens a man truely, it workes such an alteration as was in them, in Act. 2. that were pricked at their hearts and were amazed, at that, which before, being as other men, they saw not.

So that you may observe a double disposi­tion in men; one is a complaining, a selfe-accu­sing disposition, when a man is apt to com­plaine of himselfe, and can never find too much fault with himselfe, delights in the exactnesse of other mens conversations, loves that doctrine which is selfe-separating, wonders at his owne corruption; so that no man can say so much against him, but he can say much more against himselfe. This is a good signe, and such a Con­dition was in Iesiah, when his heart melted, and in Paul, Rom. 7. where you may see how he complaines of the abundance of his Corruption.

But there is another excusing disposition, when a man sees nothing amisse in himselfe, that will not have any such doubts made be­tweene man and man, and that for his owne part, he will not be shut out of the number, but answereth for his owne righteousnesse, that he is rich, and increased in goods, when indeed he [Page 80] is naked, and poore, and miserable: I say, this is an ill signe that thou hast not yet received the Holy Ghost, that thou art not yet partaker of the righteousnesse of CHRIST, for the Holy Ghost will first convince thee of sinne, and if thou art not so convinced, it is a signe thou hast not yet received that righteousnesse; and know this, that in all the Saints, in all to whom God hath revealed himselfe, you shall finde this di­sposition to complaine of themselves. How abundant was it in David? He was ever complai­ning that his sinnes were more than the haires of his head. As in Psal. 19. who can understand his faults. And, my sinnes are too heavie for me, and they are gone over my head; hee is still complaining of himselfe. And what is the reason? It was be­cause a veine of cleare light shone into his heart. Others have but a common Illumina­tion, and there is great difference betweene a bright beame that shewes the smallest mote, and common light. Another may have light to see great deformities, but not to see motes; thou mayest have a common light, and mayest carry it to hell, for it is no better than darknesse. Therefore know that if thou hast not in some measure beene perswaded of all these Truthes, the righteousnesse of Christ is not yet revealed to thee; for this is Gods method, first hee re­veales his wrath against unrighteousnesse of men, and then discovers the righteousnesse of Christ by faith. And if this be not done, if thou art not throughly humbled, so that God [Page 81] hath opened a crevise of light to see this cor­ruption of Nature, so as to abhorre it in thy selfe, and to be vile in thine owne eyes, to be much humbled for it, not to hang downe thine head for a day, but to take it to heart in another manner, I conclude, thou art not a man en­lightned, thou art an unskilfull, an ignorant man, and you know what condition that puts a man into.

Secondly,Vse 2. if mens natures bee thus full of Corruption, even the Saints themselves, then godly men may make this use of it, to learne to prise Iesus Christ: Doe you make this use of the Table wee have drawne for you to looke into, and to see the multitude of your sinnes, and the Corruptions of your natures, to learne to prise IESUS CHRIST? For you must take this for a rule, no man will ever know the length, and breadth, and depth of GODS mercy in IESUS CHRIST, and his love therein, unlesse hee first know the length, and breadth, and depth of his sinne, and this use you must make of all these explications. To see the greatnesse of sinne is of much use to the Saints, that they may know how much they are beholden to GOD; you will never see how GODS Grace hath abounded towards you, if you doe not see how your sinnes hath abounded towards GOD: Labour to see it, that you may love much, because much is for­given you, that you may prise CHRIST much, and bee brought much more into love [Page 82] with him. That use the Saints should make of it, and it will be profitable. And they that receive the Sacrament should specially consi­der of it.

When they came to the Passeover, one of the chiefe things they were directed to doe in that Ceremony, was to remember their bon­dage.

Againe, looke on the Concomitants of the Passeover; their sowre hearbes, their going in haste, their staffe in their hand. Againe, the Passeover it selfe; their sprinkling of bloud on the doore-postes, all was to put them in minde of their misery, and their deliverance, which was the onely way to magnifie his mercie.

So in this spirituall freedome, remember your bondage, the Sinnes you have commit­ted, your Condition by nature, that you may learne to magnifie your freedome by Christ, and give God the praise of it, to magnifie and love him with all your heart, and strength: The more you doe this, the more it will enlarge your hearts, to know the love of CHRIST, which passeth knowledge. Of many wayes to know which, this is one, and a principall One, even to know the greatnesse of your sins.

Vse 3.The third and chiefe use of all the rest is this: This Corruption of Nature, this abun­dance of Corruption which hath beene shewed to you, should drive us to Christ.

[Page 83]And that is our end, wee doe not preach damnation, our end is Salvation. Therefore wee would have men to know their conditi­on, to know that they bee in state of death. For that that keepes men from comming to CHRIST; and the reason that so few are saved, that so few take the Gospell, is, they are not poore in spirit.

And why are they not so?Object.

Because they see not their sins.Answ.

And for this cause wee have beene thus long in opening this point, that you may know your selves. And this I dare say, If you did know your selves, if GOD had kindled a light within, whereby to see your Corruptions, you would not stand cheapning the Kingdome of Heaven as you doe; you come now in a lame, and remisse manner, but you would then come, and give all that you have for it, and goe away rejoycing, and thinke you have a good bar­gaine.

God should not then deny you, you would wrestle with him, as Iacob did, and give him no rest till you have obtained a blessing. This would awaken men out of their dead sleepe of security, as that is the condition of every man by nature, as he is sinfull, so he is secure, he considers not his sins.

Therefore, to all that I have said, you must adde something of your owne; what I have said, is no more able to shew you the sinnes you are subject to, than a little Mappe is to [Page 84] shew you the whole world, it doth but point to the sinnes you are subject to, as a point in the margent: The way to make it profitable, is to goe home to your owne hearts, to con­sider these things particularly, to see how your minde, your Conscience, Will, and Memo­rie is out of order, to consider how you have offended in thoughts, in words, and in acti­ons, by sinnes of Omission, and of Commis­sion; and by that meanes you shall reade your Natures in your hearts, and make what I have said profitable to you. And doe not thinke you may goe too farre. Doe not thinke we wrong your nature, in saying it is more guiltie than it is; for wee doe not so, I may boldly say this, Take that man that thinkes worst of himselfe, hee is worse than he thinkes him­selfe to bee; and that I may not speake with­out Ground, looke upon the first Epistle of Saint Iohn, the third Chapter, and the twentieth verse, If our Conscience condemne us, God is grea­ter than our Conscience, and knowes all things: That is, the Conscience of man hath some light, but what is it to the eye of GOD? to the light that is in him? And so much as his light is greater than ours, so much more hee sees what is amisse in us. The heart, saith Ie­remie is deceitfull aboue all things, who can know it? There is a depth of evill in the heart, which no man can search, it is deceitfull, and puts false glosses on things, to hide them from our eyes.

[Page 85]Therefore doe not thinke thou canst exceed, but labour for thy Humiliation, to see all these things in a greater measure in thy selfe, than as they bee here described, and that not nakedly, but with all Circumstances.

The end of the Third Sermon.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON HVMILIATION. The Fourth SERMON.

ROMANS 1.18.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse of men, which with-hold the Truth in unrighte­ousnesse.

AND this is a thing wee are very unwilling to do, for the Medicine shews the Disease. The Apostles taking of so much pains to perswade men that they shall not be saved by their own righteousnesse, is an argument, that it is an hard matter to per­swade [Page 88] them. It is the hardest thing in the Word to perswade a civill man that he must not sticke to his owne righteousnesse, till God himselfe puts his hand to the worke, for it is not in any mans power to convince him of his sinne, or of the deficiencie of his righteousnesse. There­fore that use wee should make of all that hath beene said, to see the necessity that lyes on us to goe to Christ, and that there is no salvation without him.

To quicken our desires af­ter Christ.Now to make this Doctrine more effectuall, to awaken you the more, to rouze men out of that sleepe, wherein they are by nature, we will handle these two points:

  • First, that the aggravations of sin are more than the sins themselves.
  • Consider.
    Secondly, we will take away all excuses, that so every mouth may bee stopped, and when these two are done, you will have much adoe to finde any starting-hole to keepe you from comming to Christ. For that is our End; And these are very necessary: For though you doe consider in your selves all the sins formerly na­med, if it be done negligently, without the Cir­cumstances; sin is a sword without an edge, the Circumstance is that that gives it an edge, that sharpens sin, that makes it fit to wound us: And secondly, if the sword be never so keene, and sharpe, and yet we be forced to keepe it off, it will not wound us: Therefore we will, I say, in the second place, take away the excuses, by which men fence themselves, and decline the [Page 89] stroke of truth, decline this wound of the Law: And so we will conclude this point, and hasten to the rest.

For the first,The Cir­cumstances that doe ag­gravate sinne. to make all you have heard be­fore effectuall, we will adde the Circumstances, which is a thing necessary, for it is a true rule the Schoole-men have, that in moral things, the circumstance is more than the thing it selfe. Ma­ny times in natural things, accidents are nothing in comparison of the forme; but, In moralibus (as they say) Circumstantia plus valet quàm for­ma: For it is the Circumstance by which an action lookes, if you looke round about it, and see all that borders on it, it will aggravate, and make sin out of measure sinfull. To run thorow them briefly.

First,The Ma­jesty offended. Consider this Circumstance in sinnes committed (I speake of the corrupt nature of man) that every sin committed against God, is not only an offence committed against so great a Majesty (for I will not stand to enlarge that Circumstance,The affecti­on wherewith it is commit­ted. that the sin is greater, as the per­son is greater, against whom it is committed) but consider the affection with which you com­mit it, and you shall finde all this in a sin com­mitted by a naturall man.

First,Hatred of God. an hatred of God in the sin. They thinke they love God; but if it be so, what is the rea­son that word is put in, Rom. 1.30. where the Apostle speaking of the rebellion of mankinde, he reckons up particularly, that which here he puts up in the grosse, in the generall, Haters of [Page 90] God. You will say you doe not hate God; but let me aske you this question, Wouldest thou not live at liberty? Wouldest thou not have that removed which restraines thee? Couldest thou not wish that there were no such strict law, as Gods Law is? Couldest thou not wish that there were not any Iudge to call thee to ac­count? Every naturall man had rather be at li­berty, hee wishes with all his heart that there were no such God, no such Iudge. Now if thou wishest God were not, certainely thou hatest God; when we wish a man not to be, to be ta­ken out of the nature of things, out of the sub­sistence of being, this man we properly hate; and thus every man hates God. Therefore, Rom. 5.10. the Apostle speaking generally of mankind, sayes, When you were Enemies. It is the condition of every man, hee is an Enemie to God, and sins out of Enmity, and what obedi­ence he performes is out of a false servile feare, that is the first.

Deniall of God.Secondly, that is not all, but he denies God, dethrones him, and sets up another god; natu­rall men little thinke they doe so; when they follow their Covetousnesse, Lusts, Honours, Ambitions, they little thinke they doe it; But they doe, Tit. 1. ult. They professe that they know God, but in their workes they deny him. When they are charged with this, that they thinke there is no God, and told of the greatnesse of the fault, as it is the greatest Treason to deny the King to be the King, this Atheisme every man is ready [Page 91] to disclaime, he thinkes it is not so with him: But I beseech you consider there be two kindes of Thoughts in a mans heart, some we call re­flex thoughts, when a man thinkes a thing, and knowes that he thinkes it; other we call direct thoughts, which are in the heart, but a man knowes it not; and these must be found out by the Actions, for they are discovered by the fruits. But God that knowes the meaning of the spirit, knowes likewise the meaning of the flesh: Now, saith the Text, they professe they know him, but in deeds they deny him, that is, in truth they deny God, there bee certaine direct thoughts which have not such reflection in the heart of every naturall man, by which he de­nies God, for he honours not God as he ought, hee denies the Power, the Omni-presence, the Iustice, and Omni-science of God, and if you can see this in his workes you may say, there be such thoughts in him, because he lives as if there were no God.

But you will object;Object. every man thinks there is a God?

It is true,Answ. there is naturally some light in them; but where there be two different Princi­ples, there be two different conclusions, there is some light planted in them that teaches that there is a God, but take the darknesse that is in their heart, set aside from this light, there is no­thing but Atheisme, he sets God aside, and puts up something else in stead of him: some make pleasures their god, some make their riches their [Page 92] god, some make their belly their god, &c. But we cannot stand on this.

Despising of God.Thirdly, they despise God in the Commis­sion of sin; see it in the sin of lying, wherein a man respects man more than God, and so despi­ses God; he cares not though God knowes it, and is a witnesse to it, and so it is an injury to God, a contending with God. We little thinke it is so, but see that place, 1 Cor. 10.22. the A­postle speaking there of one particular sin, that is, of eating meat offered to Idols, saith, Will you continue to doe it? Will you provoke God to jealousie? Are you stronger than he? It is as if you set your selves against him of purpose, to doe him an Injury. And these affections are in the sin of every naturall man. And that is the first Circumstance.

That it is against Know­ledge.A second Circumstance to aggravate sin, is, when it is committed against Knowledge, and indeed no Circumstance does it more than this, that a man sins against the light he hath, when he knowes it to be a sin, and (it may be) bethinks himselfe of it, and yet commits it. You know how it is with men; An offence committed, an Injury offered to a King, after Proclamation, comes to be a rebellion, because his will was made knowne. And so it is with God, when he hath revealed a Truth to mee, that I know this to be a sin, and am convinced of it, and yet goe on in it, this alters the nature of a sin, it is not now a bare Transgression of the Law, but a Re­bellion, and so God is provoked in an high de­gree; [Page 93] for in a sinne against Knowledge, there is more harme, more disobedience, more pre­sumption: If a Prince be in a place where he is not knowne, and findes not respect sutable to his worth, hee matters it not, hee wi [...]l not take it amisse, for he is not knowne, but if h [...] be known, and taken notice of, and yet neglected, it is great dis-respect, and taken for a great offence. So when men sin against light given, it aggravates sin exceedingly. As in the one and twentieth verse of this Chapter, this that the Apostle laid to the charge of the Romans, aggravated their sin; they knew God, but they glorified him not as God, as if he had said, If you had not knowne him it were another case; but to know God, and not to practise according to know­ledge, to know God, and not to glorifie him as God; this God will not take in good part, it shewes you are sinners, and in a condition of death. Therefore in Acts 17. saith dthe Apostle, The times of Ignorance God regarded not, but now he admonishes every one to repent, that is, when the Gentiles walked in their owne wayes, before the Gospell came, before God published and made knowne his will, he wincked at it, but now regards it, not a yeare nor a day shall now passe without an account for it; the axe is now laid to the root of the Tree, he will deferre no longer, he will take it no more as he did here­tofore. Therefore the Apostle Paul, 1 Tim. 1. 13. saith, I was a persecutour, and blasphemer, but am received to mercy, because I did it ignorantly. [Page 94] Why doth he adde that? Because if he had had knowledge, and so had done it wittingly, and willingly, his sin had beene out of measure sin­full, and exceedingly aggravated it. Therefore Daniel tels Balthazar (as an addition to his sins) Thou knowest all this, and yet hast not hum­bled thy selfe; if thou hadst not knowne it, if thou hadst not had an example, if it had not bin revealed to thee, thy sin had beene so much the lesse, and perhaps God would have suffred thee to live, but thou knowest all this, and yet didst not humble thy selfe. But of all places, take that in Rom. 7.13. Was that then which was good, made death unto me? God forbid: But sin, that it might appeare sinne, working death in me by that which is good: that sinne by the Commandement might become exceeding sinfull. The meaning is this, When a man knowes that the Law of God discovers this and that to be a sin, if he commits it, his knowledge makes it out of measure sin­full. The same Irregularity may be in others, the same sinne may in it selfe be as great in ano­ther that knowes not the Commandement, but the knowledge of it, makes it to exceed in great­nesse; for when a man knowes the will of God, and yet sinnes against it, it is a resisting of the Holy Ghost, and such sinnes offend God more, than the sinnes against the Father and the Son, for the HOLY GHOST enlightens, and when one is once enlightned, there is a great con­tempt against the whole Trinity; and therefore when a sin is fully against the Holy Ghost, it is [Page 95] never forgiven. Take heed of this resisting of the Spirit, of this tempting of the Holy Ghost, for so it is called, Act. 5.9. As any man hath more knowledge, hath beene more instructed, so it addes the more to his sinne. Rom. 2.9. Tribulation and anguish to the Iew first, and then to the Greeke; for the knowledge of the Iew was greater than the knowledge of the Greeke: So that as any man hath more light, he hath so much more condemnation, his sinne is so much the more out of measure sinfull: they that sin only against light of nature, their sin is so much the lesse, because they had but that one Law, and so not so much light. The Iewes that had another light above the light of Nature, are sunke deeper into sin than the meere Natura­list, and so are in a more miserable condition; but we that live under the Gospell, sin against both the former Lawes, and against the Gospel too, which makes our sins the greater. And this is a Circumstance that should much humble us, as for generall sins, so for particular sins, when they are committed against knowledge.

A third Circumstance,When it is done without Temptation, or with small Temptation. is, when sinnes are committed without Temptation, or with lesse Temptation, but when they proceed meerely out of the perversnesse of the will, for when the Temptation is lesse, the sin is greater; Quantò major facilitas non peccandi, tantò majus peccatum; When the fault is only in the wils being amisse, it is a sinne that exceeds: and that is the case of many naturall men. As for example, suppose [Page 92] [...] [Page 93] [...] [Page 94] [...] [Page 95] [...] [Page 96] the will be right, and the affections be well or­dered, and the understanding onely be ignorant, this we call a sinne of Ignorance; and that is a Circumstance which rather lessens a sin simply considered. Secondly, suppose the understan­ding be right, and the will well disposed, but passion transports a man, this is a sin of Infirmi­ty: But when the understanding shall informe, such a sin is a sin, and no violent passion be stir­red up to transport the soule, but the will never­thelesse chuses it, this I call a sin without Temp­tation, and this Circumstance aggravates sin, because there is more will in it, and it is much to have the will stirring in a sin: Therefore, Hebr. 10.26. you shall finde this expression, If we sinne wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the Truth, there remaines no more Sacrifice for sinne. It is true, he speakes there of the sin of Apostacie, but marke that word, If we sinne wilfully, that is, if the will have much to doe in it, when the other faculties are rightly informed, and wel set, when there is no Temptation, no resistance, it is an ill signe that the sin is out of choice. It is true, a man may have his minde set the right way, and yet a gust of wind may come, and car­ry him out of the way; but when the wind is still, and the Sea calme, and there is nothing to trouble him, and yet he turnes the Rudder the wrong way, and aims at a wrong haven, he now sins out of will and perversenesse. There are many sins of this nature, as swearing, when there is no Temptation, when the Vnderstanding [Page 97] knowes it to be a sin, and no great affection is stirred up, but men will doe it, because they will doe it. So ordinary neglect of the Sabbath, which can have no violent Temptation to car­ry a man to it. So neglect of hearing the Word, and Prayer (I speake not of fals through infir­mity.) So the favouring of sin in others, as also scornefull and corrupt speeches, tending to the disgrace of holinesse and purity of Conversa­tion. These be sins out of choice, which a man is not transported to, not carried to through any violence of passion: It is one thing for a man to sell himselfe to sin, as Ahab did, and another thing to be sold under sin, as Paul, it is one thing to goe into Captivity, another thing to be led thither with a kinde of over-ruling violence, for in such a case the most upright-hearted man may be miscarried, when sin shall get on the hill of passion, when it shall have the wind of him, and stand on the higher ground, he may be foiled; but when a man shall be on even termes with sin, when it shall have no such ad­vantage, but a man is every way himselfe, and yet then sin against God, this aggravates it ex­ [...]eedingly, for he doth it not out of passion, but [...]n cold bloud, and out of choice; and when he [...]hooses to sin, it is a fearefull thing. When it [...]s with him, as Augustine speakes of himselfe, [...]ho when he had Apples enough, yet out of [...]elight in the action, he would goe to another Orchard and rob that, without Temptation, be­ [...]ause he would doe it. So that there is difference [Page 98] betweene a man that is over-ruled, and over-come out of violence and passion, and a man that seekes Company and occasions, and incen­tives to whet and quicken his lusts, that so he may have more pleasure and delight in it. Let those that are guilty consider this▪ Circum­stance.

What it is done against Vowes and Covenants.Fourthly, sinning against Vowes and Cove­nants made with God, aggravates sin; for God hath said he will require our Vowes, if a man have covenanted, God wil either have the thing done, or else he will surely punish the party for breaking it, it is a thing he will not omit. Now besides particular Vowes and Covenants, con­sider the generall Vowes we entred into at Bap­tisme, besides those which we have renewed at the Sacrament of the Lords Supper: Gal. 5.3. When a man is once Circumcised, he is bound to keepe the whole Law: So he that receives this Sacra­ment, binds himselfe in a solemne bond to keep the whole Law: now it is usuall, that after men have received the Sacrament, we see no altera­tion in their carriage; if they were given to swearing before, they sweare still; if they were given to ill company, to vaine and idle courses, they continue the same still, and thinke the sin the same; but they are deceived in that, for sin after Covenant is greater than it was before. Ezek. 16.32. Sin is there aggravated from this reason, saith the Prophet, Thou hast beene an har­lot, as a wife that commits adultery, that taketh strangers in stead of her husband. As if hee had [Page 99] said, Thou art married to me in holinesse and righteousnesse, and so thou plaist the harlot as a wife, and that makes the sin out of measure sin­full. And it is true of particular vowes, that you may judge aright of sin, and know the great­nesse of it.

Lastly,When it is done against much meanes. sin is aggravated from the meanes you have to resist sin, consider how many means we enjoy, and yet profit not by them. The mer­cies of God should draw us to him, God ex­pects a returne of that fruit at our hands; and yet (as the Prophet complaines, Ier. 5.22.) You have not said in your hearts, Let us feare that God who gives us the first and later raine, and keepes for us the appointed times of harvest. As if he had said, God expects this at your hands, hee gives the first and later raine for this end, that you may remember him, and thinke of him, and when we say not in our hearts, Let us feare that God that doth this and that for us, God takes it a­misse, for his bountifulnesse should lead us to repentance; and therefore the despising of it must aggravate sin. So after Corrections (as no man can say he hath had no correction) a sin is much aggravated. Therefore, Ierem. 5.3. it is complained of, I have strucken you, and you have not sorrowed; I have wounded you, but you have re­fused to receive correction. As if he had said, This is it God takes exceeding ill at your hands, and it showes that your rebellion is come to a great height; he hath smitten you, and you have not sorrowed, that is, you have not taken the sin to [Page 100] heart, that hath caused this smiting. Therefore he is angry, as Hos. 4.14. I will visit your daugh­ters no more, &c. because they have not profited by what I have done already: that is the meaning of the place. But chiefly, and of all the rest of his mercies, he will not beare the contempt of his Word. I will name but one place, 2 Chron. 36.15. saith the Prophet there, I rose early, and sent my messengers, but how did you carry your selfe to­wards them? You mocked my messengers, and despi­sed my Word, till my wrath rose against you, and there was no remedy. As if he had said, When a man once comes to this, that when God shall once speake in his Word, shall declare his truth, shall make knowne sin, and call him home by the Gospell, but he shall neglect it, take no good by it, not suffer it to worke on him: Now there is no remedy. What then? the wrath of God rises against him, and then comes destruction, so that it rises not the second time; so that as God hath shewed you more mercy, so are your sins more. Doe but think what an unreasonable unequall thing it is, that you should take so ma­ny mercies, health and wealth, from his imme­diate hand, and yet never so much as thinke of him, never worship him, nor feare him, nor take his mercies to heart: How many taste of his goodnesse, and yet continue to despise him, and not to bring forth fruit by his Word? which is no small thing.

And so much shall serve for the aggravati­ons of sin.

[Page 101]Now wee will come to take away the Ex­cuses. And first, Every man is ready to say, Though I faile in many things,To quicken our desires af­ter Christ, take away the Ex­cuses of sinne. yet I hope my meaning is good, I have as good an heart as an­other man, though I make not such a show.

But I will aske thee this briefe question.Excuse. Whence come thy evill words?Good mea­nings. &c. are they not fruits and buds that proceed from a sappe within?Quest. When sparkes fly out of the Chimney top, shall we not say, there is fire in the house? If we see evill words and actions, shall not we say the corruption is greater in the root, than in the branches.

Thou wilt excuse it,Excuse. It is my nature, and I hope I shall be excused,Badnesse of na­ture. and that God will not deale so hardly with me, he knowes I am flesh and bloud, and the strength of my nature.

Well, I will adde something to that I have formerly said, it being a point hard for us to be­leeve, and to make use of.

I say,Answ. the badnesse of thy nature is so farre from excusing thy sin, that it exceedingly ag­gravates it. I have shewed many reasons, and will now adde these foure, and then it will be evident to you.

First, whereas you thinke your sin is excusa­ble,1 because of your natures, you must know it is most strong, and violent, and stirring there; for I will aske you, whence come your sins? It is answered, Matth. 15.19. Out of the heart comes Adulteries, Fornications, &c. And if out of the heart, is it not thence as from the cause, the [Page 102] Principle? Are they not minted there? And is not every thing strongest in the Cause? If the Dough be sowre, how sowre was the Leaven? If so much ill be in the fruit, there is much more in the Parents of that fruit.

2 Secondly, as it is strong in the heart, so it is much more abundant there, that phrase expres­ses it sufficiently, Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh: As if our Saviour had said, There is some evill in the tongue, but it is abun­dant in the heart: so that, take any sinfull acti­on, it is a dish of water taken out of the Sea, or like a drop taken out of the fountaine, for there is an abundance, a sea of corruption within.

3 Thirdly, consider that sin in the heart is a spring, and therefore an actuall sin, that is ex­ceeding hainous, is not so much in Gods sight, as a sinfull lust that is in the heart, because it is a Spring, and therefore is vertually more than a great Pond: I say, vertually more, for it doth more. Take a great vast sin, it is a broad Pond that vanishes away as every action doth, but a lust within, is fruitfull, it is a spring of sin, and therefore is in efficacie more.

4 Fourthly, the last consideration is neare this, and that is, sin in the heart is permanent, the poi­son of Corruption remaines, the action passes, but the sinfull disposition continues in a man, that when God lookes on him, he sees him as an hatefull person, he lookes on him, as we doe on Toads and Serpents, for his very nature is bad, and that continues, and in this regard exceeds [Page 103] sin in action. This I say that you may make this use of it. When you meet with any particular sin which appeares hainous, let it be as a River to lead you to the Sea. When you see a sin of covetousnesse, of vanity, of wrath, of unclean­nesse, let that lead you to the heart, and con­clude, that you have an uncleane heart, a con­tentious heart, a covetous heart, a rebellious heart. This use David made of his murder, and upon that occasion he was brought to conceive aright of originall sin, which, perhaps, he never so considered before. Psal. 51.4. In sinne hath my mother conceived mee; the greatnesse of his sin made him breake forth in that manner, A­gainst thee have I sinned, that amazed him, it made him to know what Originall sinne was, wherof this was but a fruit, and being the spring it must needs have more efficacie. If a man finde any pride in his actions, let him looke to his heart, it may be God hath left him to such fals that he may see what is within; as it was with Hezekiah, 2 Chron. 32.31. For this cause God left him to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart, that it might be discovered to him what an heart he had. The Apostle spea­keth, Rom. 9.22.23. (a place very considerable, for it may helpe to humble us) of vessels prepa­red for honour, and of vessels prepared for wrath, and destruction: the vessels be of two sorts; those for honour, they have a fashion peculiar to them, which when you see, you may say, this is made for such a purpose, and in other vessels [Page 104] you shall see another fashion and may say, This is not a vessell of honour, but of dishonour. So looke on thy heart, see how it is framed, and when thou seest the fashion of it thou maist say, for ought I see my heart is framed, and fashio­ned to destruction. This use we should make of our nature, it should be so farre from excusing sin, that it should aggravate it.

The times are times of the Gospell, not of the law.The third Excuse is; But we live in times of the Gospell, and God is full of mercy, and will not deale with us now, as he did with them in the time of the Law.

Object.Will you make God all Iustice?

Answ.I answer, and shew that there is a great de­ceit in this, out of that place, Matth. 5.20. Ex­cept your righteousnesse exceed the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisees, you cannot enter into the Kingdome of God. This is spoken to them that were under the Gospell, for he saith, I say unto you, &c. The meaning is this, The Pharisees did many things, they kept the Law in a great mea­sure, and thought to be saved by it; but except you doe more than that, you shall never be sa­ved. As for example, in the sequele of this chap­ter he names foure particulars: The Pharisees say, Thou shalt not kill; but that is not enough: I say, Thou shalt not be angry unadvisedly. Againe, they say, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say, If thou cherishest any lust, though thou never commest to act it, thou committest adultery. Againe, the Pharisees say, Forsweare not: But I say, Sweare not at all, but let your yea, be yea, and your [Page 105] nay, nay, for whatsoever is more than that, is evill. Let them that sweare, By Faith and Troth, con­sider this. Againe, the Pharisees say, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say, You shall doe good to them that hurt you, and blesse them that curse you, and except you doe this, (which is more than the Pharisees doe) you cannot enter into the Kingdome of God. You that thinke your con­dition so good, because you have a new Priest­hood, a new Iubile, a time of liberty, I tell you, except you yeeld an Evangelicall obedience to all I have now named (which are but some of many more) at all times, and in every particu­lar, although you live under the Gospell, you cannot be saved, for otherwise the Publicans and Pharisees can doe as much as you, and you must doe more than men can do by nature, you must doe something that is singular, and above the reach of Nature, you must strive to perfecti­on, labouring to be like your heavenly Father. So much for that.

The fourth Excuse is.Object. But wee doe many things that will ballance our sins,Excuse. The good things we doe, will ballance the evill. although we doe some things amisse, yet we doe many things well, we give Almes, receive the Sacrament, it may be, wee come to Church diligently; and these things, in their conceits, ballance their sins; and though they sin, yet they aske God for­givenesse morning and evening, and their sins are not so hainous, as if they had done no good at all, and for this they thinke God may deale better with them.

[Page 106]But it is true in this, as in your Law, Stop­page is no payment. When a man does some­things that God commands,Answ. and leaves other­some undone; let him know God requires a per­fect obedience to every Commandement, Iam. 2.10. He that keepes the whole Law, and failes but in one, that is, omits one duty, he is guilty of all. If that be so, then every bush can stop but one gap, you have no more than was your duty. If you could doe something superfluous, and more than God requires at your hands, it were some satisfaction. But if there be other sins wherein you spare your selfe, and would have a little more liberty, you would not bee so strait la­ced in this; seeing, I say, God requires an exact obedience to all, all that you doe is nothing. It matters not how much you doe, if you faile in one, though you be carefull to doe all the du­ties of new obedience, so that there is no Com­mandement but thou endevourest to performe it to the full, yet if there be one thing wherein thou takest liberty, it is enough to condemne thee.

Object.Againe: But I hope I am not so bad as others; I am free from many sins,Excuse Others are worse. wherewith others are tainted; and I have many good things in mee, that they want. To this I answer briefly,Answ. and so will passe from it: First, thou maist deceive thy selfe much, in thinking thou art not so bad as others. Art not thou cut out of the same peece, and made of the same masse, the same clay? Hast not thou the same nature that other [Page 107] men have? And what is the reason thou runnest not into the same Outrages that others doe? Not because thy nature is better, but because thou art more restrained. A Wolfe that is tyed up, is the same with the Wolfe that doth all the mischiefe. This therefore know, that every na­turall man is restrained by by-respects. That rule is generall, Rom. 3.18. They have not the feare of God before their eyes, when he would have a reason why the nature of man is so bad, having spent the former part of the Chapter in reckoning up the sins to which it is inclined, he gives this reason, They have not the feare of God before their eyes; all are alike in this, one is not more restrained than the other. The diffe­rence of restraint is in regard of outward acti­ons, there is no new spring of Grace in them, as is in the Saints. Againe, for thy Vertues, take heed thou deceive not thy selfe, for thou must know there be natural vertues that imitate those which be true, and are very like them; as the Bristow stone is very like the Diamond, yet there is great difference, one is a Pearle, the other is only a shining stone: So I say, naturall vertues may be very like true, but in Gods sight there is a great deale of difference. For example, two men may come to die,; One man is not afraid out of a stupidity of spirit, and on false grounds may be as secure as another, that hath peace on the best grounds, and this imitates true faith: So a man that is naturally meeke, may carry it better than one that hath true meeknesse, there­fore [Page 108] it is hard to finde the difference; But if you looke to the principles whence they come, the masters whom they serve, you shall finde, they may be good all the way, but not at the jour­neyes end, they have an ill scope, they ayme at a wrong marke: Let them have what they will, Circumcision, nor Vncircumcision, availes no­thing, unlesse they be New Creatures, else God regards them not. And so much shall serve for Excuses.

Means to arme us against these Excuses.Now adde this to the rest, labour to aggra­vate your sin by removing the Excuses which the nature of man is witty to invent; use the or­dinance of God which hee hath appointed to humble you, and to worke these things on your hearts, and that is his Word,The Word. Ier. 23.29. Is not my Word as fire, and as the hammer that breaketh the stones. The scope of the place is to shew the power of preaching the Word purely; what is the chaffe to the Wheat? you shall know my Word, and distinguish it from the word of men, my Word when it is right, is as a fire which melts and thawes the hearts of men, and as an hammer to break their strong and stony hearts: Come to the Word powerfully preached, as it is in its owne nature, delivered in the Evidence of the Spirit as it should bee, and it will bee a meanes to soften the heart, and breake thy stub­borne spirit, as an hammer and fire, not suffering thee to be at rest, untill thou commest under the power of it.

The Spirit of bondage.And if with this thou art not satisfied, goe [Page 109] one step further to the Spirit of God, thou must have a spirit of Bondage, else thou canst expect no power. All that we have said in drawing this mappe of sin, in adding these aggravations, and removing these excuses, is nothing, if God give not a spirit of Bondage to cause you to feare, for it is that that makes the Law effectu­all, as the Spirit of Adoption makes the Gospel, no man without it can see sin with a saving, and feeling sight.

But how doth it worke this effect in a mans heart?How it wor­keth this in a man? Not by making him feare God as a slave, for that the Holy Ghost will not doe; therefore that is not an Act we can attribute to him, but my meaning is, The Holy Ghost by the spirit of bondage enlightens a man to see his sin, and the sentence of the Law against it, and to judge of his estate with a righteous Iudge­ment, and when he sees things as they are, hee knowes and feeles the bondage he was in be­fore, though before he felt it not.

I say, the Holy Ghost enlightens us, which enlightning discovers to us, and convinceth us of sin; and then we looke on the Law, and there finde, Cursed is hee that continues not in all these Commandements to doe them. Then observing our hearts, and seeing how farre wee are from that rectitude the Law requires, our spirits begin to feare, like a man in bondage, that is shut up in prison, and in danger of his life: therefore, as for the Word, so labour for this Spirit; the Word is a sharp sword, but how can it wound us with­out [Page 110] an Arme to handle it? And when you have done that, you will easily doe the thing I have exhorted you to do, that is, you will then come to Christ, you will not stand to cheapen the Kingdome of God, but you will buy it, though you give all you have for it, and yet will thinke you have a good bargaine; you will not seeke the Kingdome of God in such a lazie, and laxe, and remisse manner as you were wont to doe, but will take it violently. And if you come to God after this manner, if you be driven out of your selves, and see what your owne righteous­nesse is, that it will not serve your turne, and therefore seeke for a righteousnesse at his hands, you may be sure he will not deny you. You may see what Paul saith, Galat. 3.8. That you may be assured, that seeking you shall obtaine, saith he, If an Angell from heaven preach another Gospell, or if I my selfe should doe it, beleeve not the Angell, and let me accurst: As if he had said, I have made this Truth knowne, that you shall be justified by meere Grace, without workes, that you are to come to Christ with an empty hand, bringing nothing with you. If any man now should que­stion this Gospell, and thinke to bring some­thing of his owne, and will not sticke to this cleare promise; nay, if an Angell come from heaven and contradict it, let him be accursed.

This is the true Gospell, and you may be­leeve it. If you can therefore doe as Paul did, Philip. 3.9. That reckoned all as drosse and dung, that he might be found in Christ, not having his own [Page 111] righteousnesse of the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ. That when you came to see your condition, you desire the righteousnesse of Christ with that earnestnesse that he did, when he reckoned all as drosse and dung, even his own righteousnesse, which he knew would not serve the turne. If, I say, thou canst thus goe to Christ, knowing that no antecedent condition is requi­red, but onely thirsting for him, being fully perswaded that thine owne righteousnesse is unsufficient, and having a saving and firme knowledge That mans nature is full of all unrigh­teousnesse and ungodlinesse. Christ cannot deny thee, he will receive the to mercy.

We will now briefly come to the next point, and that is this: There is a revelation of wrath against all unrigh­teousnesse of men. Doct. 2. There is a Re­velation of wrath against all unrighte­ousnesse of men.

And that is another thing that will humble us, for there must be two things to doe it; one is to see our sins, to know that there is no worth, no excellencie, no worthinesse at all in us: And the second is, to have an apprehension of wrath due for sin, and so his misery under the same. Though a man be never so miserable, yet if he have a bottome to stand on, he will not goe to Christ; but when hee sees his owne nothing­nesse, and withall, that the wrath of God hangs over him, so that he must sinke utterly, and that there is no way to helpe him, when both these concurre, a man is humbled. Men may have one without the other; As the Scribes and Pha­risees [Page 112] (O yee Generation of vipers, who hath war­ned you to flie from the wrath to come,) they were sensible of wrath, and had so much to hum­ble them, but they did not see that viperous serpentine evill disposition that was in them­selves.

Againe, many men may see their sins, and acknowledge the insufficiencie of all they have, but they are not sensible of wrath, God hath not charged sin upon their consciences, nor re­vealed his wrath; and therefore they goe on in a senselesse manner, and are no more moved with the other than stockes and stones.

Now the scope of all this being to bring us to Christ. I will run over a few things, which may from hence be observed.Things to be observed. I say, There is a revelation of wrath from heaven against all unrigh­teousnesse. Wherein marke two things.

The certain­tie of this wrath.First, the certainety of this wrath, It shall come on all that are unrighteous: And second­ly, what this wrath is; I will but briefly name the heads, and dispatch the point.

Proofes of it.First, I say, there is a certainty in it, for God 1 hath revealed it from heaven, Rom. 2.15. They had Thoughts accusing and excusing them, the light of Nature told them that they de­served wrath, Iudgement strucke them with feare.

2 Secondly, It appears by experience, there bee many steppes, many prints and Vestigia of the wrath of GOD in the world continu­ally.

[Page 113]Lastly, by the Scriptures, Cursed bee every one that continues not in the whole Law to doe it. And as the Law, so the Gospell reveales it,3 CHRIST shall come to judge the secrets of mens hearts according to my Gospell. Nay, it is an old Truth delivered before the Scriptures, As in Iudes Epistle, Enoch preached, Behold, the Lord shall come with ten thousands of Angels, &c. And if this will not perswade, wee will rea­son with you a little, for it is not needlesse to strengthen these common truths with reason, because we are not convinced of them enough, which is the cause men live without God in the world.

Therefore consider, if there be a God, he is 4 not a negligent, an idle, or unactive God, for should hee be such a God, hee must either be dead or asleepe. But God is a living God, and if so then the administration of the things of this world is in his hands, now in that the maine businesse is to punish and restraine them that bee evill, and to reward them that bee good.

Againe, if there be a God, he will be feared 5 and worshipped by men; but if hee would not punish men for sinne, if his wrath could not bee kindled against them, for their provocations of him, he should doe neither good nor hurt: and it is naturall to men to condemne that that can neither hurt nor profit them; and so hee should not be feared.

Againe, if there be any God, hee must needs 6 [Page 114] be delighted in goodnesse, he must needs have a certaine inclination to that which is holy and right; and if so, then he must needs hate that, that is evill. If he love light, he must needs hate darknesse, if he loves life, he must needs hate death, and indeed love of goodnesse proceeds from hatred of evill, and hatred of evill arises from love of goodnesse; and if it be so, why should not hatred be active, as well as love? Therefore, it is certaine there shall wrath come against all ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse of men.

What this Wrath is. Three things observable.Secondly, what kinde of wrath is this? In this Wrath you shall observe three things.

First, there is a treasure of this Wrath, Rom. 2.5.It is a Trea­sure. Thou according to the hardnesse of thy heart, that cannot repent, treasurest up wrath.

Now in a Treasure you shall finde three things:

  • First, it is an heape, and there is still an addi­tion thereto, a man growes richer, and richer, saving shillings and pence, and they still adde to the heape. So GOD addes to the heape of his wrath, as men adde sins, he addes drops to his Violl, and when the measure of our sins is full, then the Violl of his wrath is full, it is still in­creasing. Let not a man thinke, that when he is over the shooes, he can goe no further, for wrath receives addition.
  • Secondly, Treasures are close, and covered, there being no use of them for the present. It is therefore said, Wrath is [...]owne for the wicked, [Page 115] as joy is sowen for the righteous, it lyes under the ground for a time: Therefore, doe not say God is slacke, because you finde not his wrath presently powred forth. It is not slacknesse, but patience: And if you doe of negligence sin, and God markes it not, but is patient towards you, and suffers you, know that hee will not suffer that patience of his to be abused, but for every houre that you spend after the commission of a sin, without returning to God, you shall fare the worse. Revel. 2.20. I gave her space to repent, and shee did not; What then? Therefore I will cast her into great Tribulation. So that as God is angry, and as his wrath encreases, so it lyes hid for a time.
  • Thirdly, there is an expence of Treasures, in time of need they bring them forth, and use them; so doth God partly in this life, when he shall smite a man with destruction, that shall quite sweepe him away, as he did Saul and Iu­das, partly and specially in the life to come, which is called the declaration of the just judgement of God, that shall then be declared, which is now for a time hid.

Secondly,The power of it. as there is a Treasure of his wrath, so there is a power of his wrath, Psal. 90.11. Who knowes the power of thine anger? That is, it is not a wrath like the wrath of men, but a wrath that hath much power it it; so that looke how much God is stronger than man, so much doth his wrath exceed the wrath of men. God shewes all his power in executing his Iustice on [Page 116] the wicked: Therefore, it is said, Rom. 9.22. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power knowne, endure with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction? That is, he will shew his mighty power in punishing them, as he shewes the great riches of the glory of his mercy on the Saints. God is knowne by executing Iudgement, and the greatnesse of God is knowne by the greatnesse of the punish­ment inflicted, and you shall know him to be an Almighty God aswell in punishment as in mer­cy; there is a transcendent power exercised in one aswell as in the other: Therefore it is said, Who knowes the power of his wrath? You know the wrath of a King is great, because hee is powerfull; and how much the power of God exceeds the power of a King, so much his wrath exceeds the wrath of a King. It is therefore compared to a consuming fire that devoures all, to the wind that breakes the rock in sunder, and to an over-flowing River that carries all away with it. Consider God therefore in the greatnesse of his power, for such is hee in his wrath.

The sudden­nesse of it.Thirdly, consider the suddennesse of it, it comes suddenly on men, and that makes it the more fearefull: If God gave warning, it were another case, but he surprizes men before they be aware. It is true that Damnation sleepes not, but travels as fast as thy selfe, and will meet with thee at thy journeyes end, but men know it not. Therefore, when you see this to [Page 117] be your case: What makes you secure? you feele it not, you have no sense of evill, you live by sense, and not by faith. But consider, wrath comes suddenly, which is enough to awake a man out of his sleepe of security; for let him thus reason, If GOD meant to save mee, hee would give mee no rest in sinne, for whom he intends to save, hee afflicts before-hand, that they may not perish with the world, but those that will goe with the world he suffers to goe. That is a terrible saying in the first Booke of Samuel, the third Chapter and eleventh verse, speaking of Hophni and Phinees, saith GOD, When I begin, I will make an end, and this is the sentence of all the wicked. It is small comfort that you are free, it being with you, as with them that be seldome sicke, that when they be sicke, for the most part die for it. When all things goe well with the wicked, then the wrath of GOD comes like an Earth-quake, which by reason of the winds being inclosed in the bowels of the earth, hath a calme prece­ding it; and so there is a calme in mens spirits, before the Earth-quake of Gods wrath comes, and then it is as a theefe in the night, who comes when they be in a dead sleepe, and least looke for him: After this manner, comes the wrath of God on the wicked, as it is threatned, Prov. 1.27. There shall come on them sudden desolation, and destruction shall over-take them as a whirle­wind, it shall surprize them on a sudden; and this may make men to tremble, when they con­sider [Page 118] that sinne is attended with destruction; when they sinne, either GOD punishes them presently, and then there is small cause of joy, for the bitternesse is more then the pleasure, or else he lets them alone, and there is nothing in the world worse than to thrive in sin, for then destruction will come suddenly.

Vse 1.The use then you are to make of it, is, First, to teach you to see what sinne is,See what Sinne is. in that it hath the wrath of God for its Concomitant. Wee are apt to make a mocke of sinne, we are ready to slight sin, and to lay it in the light ballance of Common opinion, and not in the ballance of the Sanctuary, and so we come to be decei­ved: Therefore this word, Revealed, must bee marked, it intimates that we are backward to take notice of it; except the LORD reveales his wrath from heaven, and take us in hand to convince us of sin, to shew us our corruption in its owne colours, for we look on these things by a false light.

Thinke with your selves therefore, what that must be which God punishes with eternall punishment. See what it is in the punishment of CHRIT our Surety, thinke what that is that brought CHRIST from heaven, what that is that cast those Angels into hell, to bee bound in chaines of everlasting darknesse.

Againe, see it as you use to see it in the day of Death, for then men are commonly awake, see how it is then presented, if it be not then ter­rible.

[Page 119]Againe, judge of sin as men enlightned doe look to holy men how they judge of sin; And, which is without exception, see how the Scrip­ture presents sinne with this Concomitant, the wrath of God, as an evill, and bitter thing. See the Prophet Ieremie, the second Chapter, and it is certaine that the judgement of the Scrip­ture is right. And let all this humble you.

Secondly,Vse 2. make this use of it, learne to adde this to your humiliation.Labour for a Sense of the wrath of God. As you must labour to see your state, to have that corruption of na­ture, which is in you, discovered: So you must labour for a sense of the wrath of God, which if you get not, you will never be humbled: Labour to see God himselfe in his wrath, looke not nakedly on an affliction, but see God in it. If a man hath a sight of him, the Creator, it will wholly amaze, and humble the Creature. Eliah was not moved with the wind that tare the rockes, nor with the Earthquake, though terrible, but when God came (though in a soft voice, yet) the presence of GOD humbled him, that made him cover his face with his Mantle.

There be two kindes of Affliction, one is that which the Creature is able to beare, the other sort is, when GODS hand is in it, when they are mingled with his wrath. These bee like Arrowes dipped in venome, that make a deeper wound, and such an one as is incurable: when you feele the wrath God in any afflicti­on, let it be but a light apprehension in it selfe, [Page 120] yet when the LORD shall set it on, and min­gle it with his wrath, it will grow insuppor­table.

Iudas before his Treason thought thirtie peeces of silver to be a great matter, and that he had got much by it, but when God did ma­nifest himselfe, and revealed his wrath a little, so that he saw God, and had a feeling of him, (as every man shall have sooner or later) you see what a condition he was in.

So it was with Belshazzer, It was his feare of GOD when hee saw the Hand, it was not the hand, but the apprehension of GODS wrath that raised his thoughts, and loosed his loynes, and made his knees knocke one against the other.

So Paul, when he heard the Word of GOD by false Samuel, it cast him on his face, he ca­red not for any thing that men did to him, (you know how David described his valour,) but when GOD comes to him, that humbles him.

Consider what it is to have the mighty GOD of Heaven and Earth to be thine Ene­mie, who hath all things at his Command, and if hee bee thine Enemie, all things shall worke together for thine hurt, as every thing shall be for thy good, if thou be in favour, and covenant with him.

If thou say, But I feele nothing for the pre­sent; Remember, though thou feelest it not for the present, yet there is wrath laid up for thee, [Page 121] God hath it in store: Remember Gods dea­ling with them that sinned against him; Shimei had committed a sinne that in Gods sight de­served Death; so did Adonijah; so did Saul and his seven sonnes, that were hanged for breaking their oath with the Gibeonites: You see how long these lay, as if God had forgot­ten them, but at length he brings them all to death.

Hee doth not powre out his wrath on the sudden, perhaps thou shalt feele nothing of a long time, but thou art condemned, and when the Gaole-delivery comes thou shalt be execu­ted, for God remembers thy sins. Cains sin lay at his doore, though he saw it not, it was not taken away, but continued, and it not one­ly continued, and kept awake, but it cried day and night unto him, untill the crie entered in­to the eares of the Lord.

The crie of sinne is like the crie of an Hire­ling, to whom the just Master, when the day is finished, payes such wages as hee deserves: So a sinner, when his time comes, is remem­bred before God; though wrath hath beene restrained for a time, yet now it shall seize on him.

Wee should learne by this to humble our selves.

And lastly, if wee finde the wrath of God,Vse 3. and no way to scape it,Goe to Christ. then goe to Christ for these two things we must doe:

  • First, Wee must have our mouthes stop­ped, [Page 122] that so all men may bee culpable before him.
  • Secondly, Wee must bee shut up in pri­son, hee shuts up all under sinne, that the pro­mise might bee to them that beleeve; when a man is shut up under the wrath of GOD, so that there is no evasion, this will bring him in.

Indeed, if the minde of a man can finde any way to get out, hee will never come in to CHRIST.

But when hee shall not tell how to scape the wrath of GOD, if hee sinne against man, man shall judge him; but who shall, when hee sinnes against GOD? If hee consider the Terrour of GODS wrath, if hee shut up, and his mouth stopped, and hee left inex­cusable, and shall see himselfe a miserable man; I say, this will make him goe home to CHRIST.

And that is the use you should make of it, and bee sure hee will receive you, if you goe to him.

Sinne is like the firy Serpent, and the Wrath of GOD like the Sting, when you are woun­ded therewith, then know there is no way to bee healed, but to looke up unto IESUS CHRIST, the Brazen Serpent, (and if a man bee not wounded, hee will not looke up) GODS promises are generall, he hath bound himselfe in his Word, Goe and preach the Go­spell to every Creature, none excepted, and let [Page 123] him that is a thirst come, and take the waters of life freely. Let these drive thee to the LORD CHRIST, and thou shalt certainly be accepted. And so much shall serve for that point

The end of the Fourth Sermon.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON HVMILIATION. The Fifth SERMON.

ROMANS 1.18.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse of men, which with-hold the Truth in unrighte­ousnesse.

AND now wee have almost gone thorow these words;Of with-hol­ding the Truth in unrighte­ousnesse. the last part of them remains, that is, which with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse.

Wherein, after the Apo­stle had declared the corrup­tion of mans Nature in generall, he now pitches [Page 126] on one particular, especially, that is, such as with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse; against whom the wrath of God is revealed.

Three things considerable.In these words, marke these three things: First, that there is a truth which God hath writ­ten in the hearts of naturall men. Secondly, that this truth is with-holden by them. The word in the Originall, [...], signifies keeping it in Prison, it is kept downe, not suffered to rise up, and shew it selfe in practice and action. Thirdly, the cause of it is, out of love to un­righteousnesse, or delight therein, that is, of un­righteous lusts. But we will put all these into this one Proposition.

Doctr.It is the condition of the best men before Re­generation, to with-hold the Truth in unrighteous­nesse. That is the point. Paul speakes not of the condition of some few, but of the condition of men in generall. And these be the men against whom the wrath of God is chiefely revealed, these be the men that of all other thinke them­selves the free, civill men, that carry themselves soberly, deale justly with men, that doe well in many things, that indeed know much, but pra­ctise not according to knowledge: these, I say, be the men against whom the wrath, &c.

Object.It may bee you will object here, That is strange, that the more truth is revealed to men, the more knowledge they have, the more mo­rall vertues they practise, the worser it shall be with them?

Answ.For answer to this, you must know, that the [Page 127] having of this Truth, the bestowing of any of these common graces, puts no man into a bet­ter condition. It is Gods worke, and put upon his reckoning only. Indeed the using or abusing of them is his owne worke, and put upon his owne reckoning. And therefore in regard hee may abuse them, they may doe him hurt. And those that have much of these Truthes, but use them not, or that if they doe use some of them, yet doe it for their owne Ends, and not simply for Gods glory, are as abominable to God, as those that run into the greatest outrages. Men that are more civill, are like Wolves tyed up, others are like Wolves at liberty. It is true, other men do more mischiefe, that is, they com­mit more sinfull actions, and consequently run into more guilt, and their Condemnation shall be greater; but those that are tyed up, that by civility have their lusts restrained, are no lesse abominable in Gods sight than others: a wolfe tied up is as hatefull to a sheepe, as one that is at large; and so it is with these men, for it is the condition of the best men, before Regenerati­on, to with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse.

Now in this point wee will handle three things: First, what this truth is. Secondly, how it is with-holden. Thirdly, the greatnesse of the sinne of with-holding the Truth, &c.

For the first, what this Truth is,What this Truth is. A three-fold Truth. you must know there is a three-fold kinde of Truth:

  • First, a naturall Truth written in the hearts of men, to whom the Scripture was never revealed.1
  • [Page 128]Secondly, a common Truth, or common knowledge, such as they have that live in the 2 Church, but are not sanctified.
  • 3 Thirdly, a spirituall knowledge, which san­ctifies the heart of them in whom it is; the two first whereof, natural knowledge and com­mon knowledge, naturall men may have. Now the thing we have to doe, is to shew you what this knowledge here meant is, because the diffe­rence is not very apparant. Now as to under­stand what an accident is, you consider the sub­ject, the author, and efficient, and the extent thereof; so consider you these three things, and then you shall know what this Truth is.

The subject of this Truth.First, where this Truth is: now there is a Truth placed in the speculative part of the mind, or understanding, which is that, by which we know and judge aright concerning God and morall vertues, what is good, and what is bad, what is just, and what is unjust; whereby many men can discourse learnedly and clearely, as Se­neca, and Tully, and others of the Heathen, in whom we finde many glimmerings and sparkles of true light. As wee may finde Flowers in the waste, though the proper place be the Garden. The Church is the Garden of God, as in Canti­cles, My Sister, my Spouse is as a Garden inclosed: and it is true, these Flowers properly grow there, and if you will have them, you must seeke them in the Scriptures, in the Church of God: but we may likewise finde them abroad.

Secondly, this Truth is placed in the practi­call [Page 129] part of the understanding, and that is when we judge of good things to be done, and of ill things not to be done; and that as having refe­rence to God that judges or rewards: And this is it Divines call Conscience, and it differs from the other in this, that that judgeth simply, whe­ther it be good or bad, but this gives lawes, and rules, and edicts of life, it tels us, this must be done, and this must not be done: so there is a Treasure first of speculative, then of practicall Truth. But besides them, there is in the third place, another thing issuing from both these, which shoots it selfe into the wil and affections. And that is it which the Schoole-men call Syn­teresis, that is, a certaine Inclination to that which is good, and a reluctance to the contra­ [...]y. There is in naturall men not onely a light to know that this is good, or not good, and a Conscience to dictate; this you must doe, or not doe, but there is even an Inclination in the will and affections, whereby men are provoked to doe good, and to oppose the Evill. And therefore the proposition is true, that naturall men have some truths, because they have this Inclination remaining, even in the worst of them. As the aire though it be darke in the night, yet there is a little light (though it be very little) by which we can discerne something. So that thus farre men may go, to know the Truths of God, to have a practicall knowledge of them, to have an inclination to that which is good, and a dis­like to that which is evill.

[Page 130]Secondly, whence comes this knowledge: It comes from IESUS CHRIST, the second Person in the Trinity,The Author of it. Ioh. 1. Iohn was not the Light, but he was the true Light, which enlight [...]neth every man that comes into the world: It is he that infuses light into the heart of every man, as he is the true good, that makes good; and as it is true fire that begets fire, so it is true light that enlightens. Iohn was not that Light, neither is any Minister of the Gospell, for they enlighten onely by way of propounding the object, but Christ opens the understanding, and puts light within, therefore he is the true Light.

The extent of it.Now thirdly, for the Extent of this, to know how farre it reaches; It enlightens every man that comes into the world, none is excepted, every man hath a part in this Light. And if that be questioned, hath every man such light, such Truths revealed to him, by which he knowes what he ought to doe, in a great measure, and what he ought not to doe, the Apostle proves it by foure Arguments in this Epistle (to goe no further for proofe:) First, they must needs know much, for they have meanes to know it. The invisible things of God are made knowne by the things they see. The heavens are the worke of his hands, and they declare it, and eve­ry man understands their language. If we should preach in Greeke or Latine, every man, haply, could not understand us, but their language eve­ry man understands.

Secondly, Every man hath thoughts excu­sing [Page 131] or accusing him, saith the Apostle, Rom. 2.14. which shewes that he hath this Light, for that proceeds from Conscience and light, shew­ing what is evill, and what is good; there is a secret remorse of Conscience in the worst.

Thirdly, They doe the things contained in the Law, therefore they shew the effect of the Law written in their hearts; they doe many mo­rall things, which shewes that they have the Morall Law.

And last of all, they judge other men, they are able to finde fault with the best, to spie out what is amisse in the most holy man, and be rea­dy to blame him for it, Rom. 2.1. Thou which judgest another, doest not thou condemne thy selfe? All this makes the point evident, that every man is enlightned. And so you see what this Truth is, where it is placed, whence it comes, and how farre it extends.

And now we come to the second particular,How this Truth is with­holden. to shew how it is with-holden. It is with-holden, saith the Apostle, out of unrighteousnesse, that is, after this manner: When men know that such things are true, and that they ought to doe them, yet out of their love to, and delight in their unrighteous lusts, they practice not accor­ding to knowledge, they have some light in them, but their darknesse will not suffer that light to shoot forth it selfe into their actions, in­to their whole Conversation: As it is excellent­ly expressed in Iohn 5. a place worth your con­sidering; The light shone in darknesse, but the dark­nesse [Page 132] comprehended it not; or, the darknesse recei­ved it not. The meaning is this, When Christ shines in the hearts and Consciences of men, there the light stayes, it goes no further, it is shut up within the wals of their Consciences, within the compasse of that one faculty, it doth not shed it selfe into all the rest of the soule; therfore it doth not enlighten the soule, though there be some light, yet it doth not turne the darknesse to light, and thence it is, that it is im­prisoned, for it is shut up, and cannot put it selfe forth.

Thus the light in a naturall man is shut up: As for example, Take the light of a Starre in a darke night, and compare it with the light of the Sunne, the Starre will shew it selfe, and no more, it cannot turne the darknesse to light, but the light of the Sunne, though never so little, look in what measure it appeares, it scatters the darknesse from East to West: So there is light in the mindes of men, which is but as a Starre in a darke night, which doth not take away the darknesse; but if it be a sanctifying light, it is like the light of the Sunne, not shut within a nar­row compasse, but spreading it selfe into all the parts of the soule: Or, as if a candle be brought into a roome, it lightens all the house, but if it be a sparke of fire, it shewes it selfe, and glowes, and does no more, it doth not enlighten the house.

It is so in carnall men before Regeneration, all the light they have doth but glow in their [Page 133] brest, shewing it selfe there, and making it evi­dent that they have such knowledge, but it is not a Candle that enlightens all the roome, that enlightens all the corners of the soule. There­fore in Matth. 6. Christ speakes of a single eye, when the eye is right, it makes the whole body full of light, that is, when the knowledge is right indeed, when the knowledge a man hath is sanctifying, and powerfull, then it enlightens a man round about, that he may see which way to goe, but if it be a common light, which he termes a double eye, it will not sufficiently di­rect. Like those holy men that the Apostle speakes of, Philip. 2.15. that shine as lights in the world, that is, men see them, they looke on them, but they doe not change their darknesse into light; or like that light spoken of by Peter, 2 Pet. 1.19. that shineth in a darke place.

If you will know what is the reason that there should be a light in the Conscience,Quest. and the minde of a man, which neverthelesse wor­keth not on the will and affections, but is shut up there.

I answer,Answ. There is a double reason: The first is that spoken of in 2 Thess. 2.10. They received the Truth, but not the love of the Truth, and therefore they hate it: Now what a man hates he keeps off as much as he can, it must not come neare him, for he counts it his enemy, and there­fore will not suffer it to diffuse it selfe into the rest of the faculties of the soule.

Another reason, which goes hand in hand [Page 134] with this, is, they love darknesse rather than light and therefore they are not every way en­lightned, for what a man loves, he desires to preserve, to hedge about, and to keepe safe: thus men cannot abide to have darknesse taken away by any Information or Admonition, for they desire to preserve it, Rom. 1.21. Their foolish heart was full of darknesse, they knew God, but they glorified him not as God: Though there was light, yet their heart was ful of darknesse, and because they loved this darknesse, therefore they would not have it expelled. As a man commits a fil­thy act, or unseemly thing, he desires to have the light put out, because it is contrary to that which should cover and cloake his action: thus men imprison and shut up the light,, not suffe­ring it to disperse it selfe into their soule.

Foure wayes of imprisoning the Light.But in this imprisoning of this light, you must know all goe not the same way to worke, for there be these foure different wayes of do­ing it.

1 First, some there are which imprison this light meerely by laying it aside, meerely by forgetting it, by suffering it to lye still, and not awaking it; when men remember not what they have to doe, they are so busied about other things, so transported with pleasures and lusts, so occupied in cares, and things of the world, that this comes not into their mindes, they con­sider it not.

2 Secondly, Others with-hold it out of per­versnesse of opinion, their judgements are not [Page 135] right, they doe not think that such things ought to be done, they are not perswaded that such an exact strictnesse of holinesse is required, they thinke men may live after another manner; and thus they doe imprison the light; so doe all he­retikes that beleeve lyes, and so with-hold the Truth.

Thirdly, There be some that faile in neither 3 of these, they remember the Truth wel enough, and they have no false opinions concerning it, but they resist the Truth, as Stephen, Act. 7.51. speakes of some that resisted the Holy Ghost, that is, when their opinion's right, and they remem­bred it too, but they suppresse it, they keepe it downe, they suffer it not to come forth, out of their love to unrighteousnesse, to some lust wherein they are resolved to please them­selves.

Lastly, there bee some that imprison the 4 Truth, not out of any of these three respects, but because they mis-apply it, men that know it, that have no perverse hereticall opinions, that likewise doe not resist it, that make not warre against it, that doe not rise in rebellion against it, but yet when they come to the point out of false distinctions and evasions which they have iuvented, they wrest the rule of Truth, they bend it too much to their owne particular affe­ctions, and practise, though they know the Truth in generall, yet in particulars they seeke to evade it, and faile in applying it. As for ex­ample, Men doe not thinke Sabbath-breaking [Page 136] good, but now the question is, whether the acti­on I doe at such a time be Sabbath-breaking or no? here they finde a distinction to put it off; so vaine Company I know is to be avoided, but whether this be ill Company is all the questi­on. All these wayes men are said to imprison the Truth. And so much for the second par­ticular.

3 The third thing we propounded, was to shew how great a sin it is to with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse,How great a sinne it is to with-hold the Truth in un­righteousnesse. and that will appeare from hence.

It is that which brings the greatest Condem­nation 1 of any thing else; This is the condemnati­on, Ioh. 3. that light is come into the world, and men loved darknesse better than light: As if he had said, there be other things for which God will pu­nish men, but this above all the rest deserves condemnation, it brings great, and swift Con­demnation, that light is come into the world, but men &c. that is, when men shall be infor­med, when God shall reveale his Truth, so that his light glares in their eyes, and they cannot but see it, and yet they love darknesse more than light, this puts men into farre worse condi­tion, than if they were altogether ignorant of the Truth. Else why should Peter say, It had beene better they had never knowne the way of righ­teousnesse? They shall perish that be ignorant of these Truths, and of the degree of them, but at the day of Iudgement it shall be a great deale harder with them that know and do not practise [Page 137] them: As Ier. 5.4. Surely, sayes the Prophet, they are a poore and foolish people, they know not the wayes of the Lord, nor the Iudgement of their God: They shall therefore perish; but then there is another Generation that know God: I will get me to the great men that have knowne the wayes of God, but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds: That is, these be the men with whom God is most angry, upon whom this condemnation shall fall heavie, that know the Iudgement of their God, and yet breake his bonds, that know, and doe not practice.

Secondly, (to go no further than this place)2 The wrath of God is revealed from heaven, but against whom? against them that with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse: That for which God is angry, for which his wrath is revealed against men, in a speciall manner must be a sinne. It is true he will punish other sins, but these words are not here used in vaine, for they that doe thus, sin out of contempt, and amongst men, a sin out of contempt kindles wrath; so they that know Gods will, but practise not according to know­ledge, provoke Gods wrath against them. An excellent place for this, is Heb. 3. you shall finde this the case of the people, when they knew not God at all, or but a little number of them, God blessed them all that time, but when he had re­vealed himselfe fully to them, and had endured them forty yeares, when they tempted him proved him, and saw his workes, then he sware in his wrath that they should not enter into his rest. His wrath [Page 138] was then kindled, and that in such a measure, that he entred into such an oath. Now when God takes an oath the decree is peremptory, and never to be reversed; and that is the Con­dition of them that with-hold the Truth in un­righteousnesse, The wrath of God abides on them, Ioh. 3. ult. God may be angry with his owne children, as a father is with his sonne, but his wrath abides not on them, he takes them to fa­vour againe; but they are in a miserable Con­dition, on whom the wrath of God remaines. And consider what his wrath is, The violence of a Lion is terrible, the wrath of a King is great, but who knowes the power of Gods wrath? And therefore since the wrath of God shall in such a manner be revealed against such as with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse: You need no other Argument to shew that the sin is great.

3 Againe, One Evidence more is in this very Chapter, that is, from the kinde of punishment, for punishments, you know, where the Iudge is just, are according to the measure of the sinne. Now marke, God punishes this with giving them up to a reprobate sense; For this cause (saith the Apostle, Rom. 1.26.) God gave them up unto vile affections: And afterwards in the eight and twentieth verse, As they regarded not to know God, even so, or therefore, God delivered them up to a reprobate minde: that is, a minde without know­ledge, an injudicious minde, that cannot judge of things. And looke in all the booke of God, among all the Armies of sorrow, there is not [Page 139] any like this, to be given up to vile affections, to lusts, to an injudicious mind, in matters of God, and things belonging to their Salvation. This punishment shewes the greatnesse of the sin, but men slight this, as it is the greatest judgement, so it is the least felt; men lye at rest, they are cast into a dead sleepe, but it is like the sleepe of them that have crazie braines, they wake in a frenzie, so these shall wake in an horrible asto­nishment, their sleepe is such a calme, as will end in a tempest, and such a tempest as shall ne­ver be blowne over. Therefore, let no man blesse himselfe in this, I feele none of these things, for thou hast the greatest judgement on thee when thou feelest it least. And so much for the three things I propounded to you, what this Truth is, how it is with-holden, and the great­nesse of the sin: now wee will come to make use of it.

And the first use we are to make of it,Vse 1. is that which is the maine scope of the Apostle here, and that for which we pitched on these words, and that is to humble us, to learne to know our selves, to know in what Condition we are, for the Truth is revealed to us, but we with-hold it in unrighteousnesse. This Truth that should rule in the hearts of men, that should be as the su­preme governour in the soule, of which it may be said, as it is said of the Peace of God, let it rule in your soules, that where by men should be acted, is by men imprisoned. Therefore, Rom. 2.9. the Apostle denounceth Tribulation and an­guish [Page 140] upon every one that disobeyes the Truth: Inti­mating that Truth is our King, that should go­verne and rule in our hearts; now when men dis­obey it, nay, goe further, imprison this Truth, it is as when men imprison their lawfull King, or servants their Master, and they run riot, and at liberty in the meane time. And this is our case; we doe with it, as children doe with their Masters, we desire to be rid of it, because it wat­ches over us, and so we grow enemies to it. And this is no small sinne, for if we consider whence this comes, who puts it into our hearts, it will appeare hainous; by the Law of man it is death to kill children that are begot by man, but this Truth is begot by the Holy Ghost, it is put in by the Spirit of God, and to extinguish this Truth, not to suffer it to live, not to nourish it, not to bring it forth, is the great sin of all. Even the Heathen shall rise in judgement against Christians for this, who maintained the Vestall fire, because they conceived it to come from heaven, they for that cause never suffered it to go out. But this Truth is a fire which came from heaven, a sparke put into the brests of men to guide their feet into the way of Peace; when men shall extinguish this Truth, let it goe out, and not maintaine it, the Heathen shall rise a­gainst them in judgement; as the men of Niniveh should rise up against the men of that Generati­on among whom Christ lived. We were wont to take care of precious things, consider the pre­ciousnesse of this Truth; what is precious we wil [Page 141] not be willing to destroy, as the Prophet said of the bunch of Grapes, Destroy it not, for there is a blessing in it. And what doe you thinke of this Truth? is it not a precious thing? Yea, it is the chiefe thing in a man. In a ship a wise man will have an eye to the rudder, for that turnes all the rest of the body of the ship. Of all things in our selves wee looke to our eye, the guide of the body; so we should learne to watch, and be ten­der over this Truth as over our eye, for the one is the light but of this life, the other is the light of the soule to eternall life. In Micah 3.5. It is threatned as a great Iudgement, when God shal turne their Visions into night, and their Divina­tions into darknesse, when the Sunne shall goe downe on their Prophets, and the day shall be darke on them, and will you bring this Iudge­ment on your selves? They that are guilty of this, that have not used this Truth, but impri­soned it, and laboured as much as they can to cause the Sun to goe downe, and rise no more, to turne the day into night, let them consider what the sin is; when you reade the story of the Kings, and heare them saying to the Prophets, prophesie not, imprisoning them, as Ahab did Mi­caiah, and slaying them, as Ioash did Zecharial, you will little thinke you are guilty of the same sinne, but when this Truth comes as a Prophet from God, and tels you, such and such things ought to be done, and such and such evils ought to be abstained from, and you shall desire it to be silent, and shall say, Prophesie not, when you [Page 142] shall not suffer it to speake freely, I say, your sins shall be as great as theirs; therefore learne to consider of it, and be humbled for it: men are wont to thinke their Condition better, because they know more than others, but it is quite con­trary, for nothing aggravates sin more than that. It is an extreme folly in men when they cannot deny the fact, they slight the fault, and will not acknowledge it. It was Adams fault, when God came towards him, he fled, and hides his sinne; and it is the fault of all Adams posterity. But let men know, that the quite contrary way is the way to Salvation. It is not with God, as it is with men, among whom confession makes way for condemnation, for with God confessi­on is the way to salvation. Therefore be not un­willing to examine your selves, consider how much you have knowne, what truths have been revealed to you. Do this with one eye; with an­other eye looke on your lives, and see how short your practise hath beene of your knowledge, come willingly, and if you confesse, you shal be forgiven. This wil drive you out of your selves, it will be your Schoole-master to bring you to Christ. They that carry this light in a darke Lanthorne, that rake these sparkes in the ashes, that as they would not have others see what they doe, so neither would they have their own Consciences take notice of it that will sinne, let men say what they will, that live loosely, that either heare not, or regard not what they heare, let them consider it, for they doe in a speciall [Page 143] manner imprison the Truth, they with-hold it in unrighteousnesse, labour to know the sinne, your miserable condition, and learne to be hum­bled under it.

A second use we may make of this,Vse 2. is from hence to discerne the condition of those men which are miserable,Sheweth the misery of th [...]se men that are neare the king­dome of God, but not in it. but see not their miserie that are neare the kingdome of God, but not in it: Men that are meerly civill, that heare much, and doe much, and goe far, keeping their lights burning till the very point of the Bridegroomes comming, and for want of a little more oyle are excluded; as Ananias for a little reservation lost all; and the young man in the Gospel, that kept all the Commandements of the Lord from his youth up, that came within a step, but never in­to the mountaine of the Lord. This is a race many misse of, as the Apostle, 1 Cor. 9 speaking of many running in a race, sayes, Many run, but all obtaine not, that is, there is a company of men run in the wayes of God, as well as the Saints, both run, both doe very much, if you looke on the wayes they goe, you shall scarce finde dif­ference in any outward action that they do, yet, many obtaine not; and why? they either runne not as they ought, or else they hold not out to the end: Amaziah and Ioash ran long, almost to the end of the race, but because they continued not faithfull to the death, they received not the Crowne of life, these bee the men that come neare the kingdome of heaven, but never enter into it. And the scope of the Text serves to dis­cover [Page 144] these men; when we heare therefore that there is such a Generation, it concernes every man to desire to know his Condition, lest hee should be of that number; for that cause we will spend this use in discovering these three things:Their misery is in three things. First, that the good things that these men have in them doe them no good. Secondly, that they doe them much hurt. Thirdly, I will set downe how far they goe, and yet how far short they be of that which is proper to the godly.

The good things, that they have, doe them no good.First, I say, the good things in them do them no good, for they are the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and shall be found to the praise of the 1 Holy Ghost, and not to their owne advantage at all, they are not their owne, but the workes of the Spirit within them. Hebr. 6. the Apostle speakes of men enlightned, and that have tasted of the gift of the Holy Ghost, that is, there be gifts that the Holy Ghost puts into their heart, as we lay flowers in the window, which doe not grow there, or as some Out-landish fruit which is brought over, but it will not grow in our Coun­trey, except the soile be altered, and changed, it will not thrive there, nor bring forth fruit to any purpose: So though these things be in them, yet they are not theirs, neither shall they be to their owne praise, and advantage.

2 Againe, they cannot doe them good, because they doe not make them good; they doe not as Divines say, redundare in personam, they make not any mans person better, though a man, not yet truly regenerate, have never so many excel­lent [Page 145] things in him, yet his person is never the better for them. As we say of godly and rege­nerate men, though they commit evill, yet their persons are good in Gods sight. God sees their evill, but he scowres them by affliction, and he hates the evill, but loves the person, which shewes that the person is not accounted evill, for if the person were evill, he must needs hate it: On the other side, they that have received com­mon Graces, though they have gone farre, yet their persons are not the better, but the same: And there is good reason for it, for it is not the person that doth the good thing: But, as Paul sayes of [...]in, It is no more I that doe it, but sin that dwels in me; so they may say, It is not I that doe it, but the good that is in me: therefore it is rea­son it should not doe them good, when it makes not their persons good, but leaves them the same notwithstanding. So that it may be said of the good things in them, as is said of beauty in an evill woman, or as of a pearle in a swines snout, the things be good and precious, the pearle is a pearle indeed, yet notwithstanding they may be evill women, in whom beauty, and swine in whom the pearle is found. So you see the first, that though a man have excellent things in him before regeneration, yet they shall doe him no good.

Secondly,They do [...] them much hurt. which may make every man look about him, and to consider with feare and trem­bling, if it be not his owne case: If a man shall have these Truths revealed, but he shall either [Page 146] let them lye still, and rust, or if he bring them to action, shall checke and curbe them, and not use them as he should, they shall increase his Con­demnation.

1 And that may be made evident from hence, the sinnes such men commit are augmented and aggravated, from hence they are committed against more light, and the more their light is than others, the greater their sin is than others. Therefore that is to be marked, Rom. 2.9. Tri­bulation and anguish on every soule that doth evill, to whom? To the Iew first, and then to the Grecian: Marke it, They that doe evill are of two sorts, Iewes or Grecians. Iewes were they that knew and were acquainted with the Law, and the Grecians were ignorant of it; therefore Tribu­lation shall be first, and in greatest measure on the Iew; so that their knowledge aggravates their sin, it had beene better for them that they had not had the Truth, that they had never heard of the Gospell of Christ, nor beene ac­quainted with the wayes of God, because when they have light, and sin against it, the more light they have, the more resistance there is, and so the more inexcusable they are, and the more in­excusable they be, the greater is their sin.

2 Againe, these men of all other are most apt to resist God, to resist Christ and his righteous­nesse, and that doth exceedingly encrease their sin, because they crosse God in his chiefest end, and that must needs make their sin great; and that they doe more than others, for Gods chiefe [Page 147] end is to have Christs righteousnesse revealed, but these men having a Conceit of their owne righteousnesse, regard it not, and so resist God. What else is the reason of that in Luke 15.1. There resorted to him (saith the Evangelist) Pub­licans and sinners, but the Pharisees murmure at him. What is the meaning of that? It is as if he had said; They that were righteous more than others, that were in all their Conversation un­blameable, that did more good, and abstained from more ill than others, these men did not come to Christ, for they thought themselves in a reasonable good condition already. But the Publicans and sinners resorted to him. So these men that have many good things in them, we have most adoe to drive them out of them­selves, and to bring them to Christ; so that they that resist Christs righteousnesse, which is Gods chiefe end, must needs do themselves most hurt.

Againe, they in whom Gods Iustice doth most 3 appeare, their condition must needs be most mi­serable; but so it is with these men, they that are acquainted with his will, and doe it not, in them at the day of Iudgement his Iustice shall most appeare: Otherwise, to what end did God send the Prophets? Why sent he Isaiah, and E­zekiel, &c. it was not onely to convert men, to win their soules, to bring them to Salvation. What then? To cleare his Iustice, and to in­crease their condemnation. How was that done? by making knowne these Truths, that knowing them, and not practising them, their Condem­nation [Page 148] might be greater. So we Ministers come not only to convert the soules of men, not only to build, but also to plucke downe, not only to open the hearts of men to beleeve the Truth, but to harden mens hearts to hate the Truth; not but that we long for the salvation of men, and that the proper end of the Word is to save men, but the use they make of it serves to encrease their condemnation: So that the more Truth is revealed, if it be not practised accordingly, the greater is the sinne.

4 Againe, these men are of all others farthest both from Iustification and Sanctification, this Truth puts them farther off both: I say, the more knowledge is revealed, the more they are acquainted with the mysteries of Salvation, if they precisely answer it not in their life, they are further than other men from Iustification, be­cause, as I said before, they thinke not them­selves to be as other men; as the Pharisee said, I am not as other men, or as this Publican: There­fore, sayes Christ, The Publican went to his house justified rather than the other.

Againe, they be further from Sanctification than others, for they be wise in their owne eyes, and will carve out their owne wayes, they are not willing to resigne themselves to God, they chose wayes of their owne, thinking the Word to be foolish, and common, for the more the knowledge, the stronger is the resistance, and therefore they are said to contend with the Truth, Rom. 2.8. To them that are contentious, and [Page 149] obey not the Truth. The meaning is, Men that know much, that are much enlightned, but not truly sanctified, they quarrell with the Truth, they except against it, they have many things to alleage against the wayes of God, the resi­stance is stronger in them than in others, they are contentious men, that is, not men that contend with men, nor simply with God, but they con­tend with the Truth, not onely in will and affe­ctions, but in their understandings also, men rea­son against it, and therefore are apt to disobey the Truth, and so of all others furthest off from Sanctification, they will goe their owne course, and will not be taught. So you see the se­cond thing, That the good things that are in these men doe them much hurt.

The end of the Fifth Sermon.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON HVMILIATION. The Sixth SERMON.

ROMANS 1.18.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse of men, which with-hold the Truth in unrighte­ousnesse.

NOw to come to that which remaines,How farre they goe, and yet how farre they fall short of that which is proper to the godly. which is the third thing, that is, to set downe how far these men may goe, and yet how farre they fall short of that which is proper to the Saints that shall be sa­ved. And thus farre they may goe.

[Page 152]First, they may be enlightned to understand all the truths of God; there is no Truth we de­liver to you,In inlightning. but an unregenerate man may un­derstand it wholly, and distinctly, and may come to some measure of approbation, he may be wel acquainted with the mysteries of Fa [...]th and Re­pentance, so as he may discourse thereof better than many that have the things indeed.

In their Con­science.Secondly, not only so, but hee may have a Conscience that shall doe its duty in many things, hee may make a Conscience of many duties, as you shall finde of divers in Scrip­ture, who notwithstanding were not sanctified. When God sent Rohoboam that message, not to goe to warre against Ieroboam, knowing it was Gods command, he made Conscience of obey-it, and likewise for some yeares he served the Lord. So when the Lord would have Amaziah send backe the Israelites, hee durst not disobey the voice of the Lord, although if he had loo­ked on all probabilities it might have ruined him. So Abimelech durst not meddle with A­brahams wife, when God had given a charge to the contrary. So Balaam in many things restrai­ned himselfe, and would not doe but as the Lord commanded him: So that an unregenerate man may keepe a good Conscience in secret, when no man sees it or knowes it.

Thirdly,In common gifts. he may not only have his judge­ment enlightned, and his Conscience enabled to do its duty in many things, but likewise he may have many common gifts planted in his will [Page 153] and affections, many excellent morall vertues of Iustice, and Temperance, and Patience, and in these he may many times exceed the godly, as many times Blazing-starres goe beyond true Starres for light; so may these exceed the god­ly in outward appearance.

Fourthly,In their actions. there is not only all this wrought within them, but they doe many times expresse it in their actions. Come to their lives, they are able to doe many things; as it is said of Herod, he heard Iohn gladly, and did many things: So the second and third ground, as they knew something, so they practised according to their knowledge. In their performances they may not come short of any of the godly, and may for a long time have as faire, specious, and pro­bable showes of goodnesse as any.

Fifthly and lastly,In their Con­flicts. they may goe thus farre, they may have two men in them, aswell as re­generate men, one that contendes for the Truth, the other that resists it. And what stronger signe is there in regenerate men, to evidence their re­generation, than this Contention betweene the flesh and the spirit? yet this may be found in them, there may be strong Inclinations to that which is good, and a resistance of it. This Truth may lye in their brest, as a fire that would rise, and breake out, but much quench-cole, and wet stuffe within may keepe it downe; so that there may be, and are two men in the Civill man, as well as in the Regenerate.

Now to shew how farre they fall short ofHow farre they fall short▪ [Page 154] them that be truely sanctified. First, in matter of light and understanding that they have, you shall finde a double difference.In light and understanding. In two things.

First, though in the Truths they know they goe exceeding farre, as I have shewed you, yet 1 in this they fall short, that they understand not the secrets of God. There be certaine secrets which God reveales to none but to them that feare him: There is something in these Truthes that civill men doe not understand. Consider that speech spoken by our Saviour to Ierusalem, O Ierusalem, that thou hadst knowne the things be­longing to thy peace, but now they are hid from thine eyes! What was hid from them? not the things themselves simply considered, for they were fully revealed, Christ himselfe Preached there, there wanted no light to shine to them; yet it was hid from their eyes, that is, there was a cer­taine secret, which, if God had revealed, it would have perswaded them to have turned to him effectually, but that was hid from their eyes, and so they were strangers from the life of God. So the life of holinesse and religion these men understand not, there is something spiritu­all which they cannot comprehend. There light goes as farre as it may; when a man hath a na­turall, a common light, it will apprehend com­mon objects, such as are sutable to it, it appre­hends; but that which is spirituall, it cannot reach unto. 1 Cor. 2.14. A naturall man under­standeth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are spiritually discerned, that is, the very thing [Page 155] wherein the Image of God consists, wherein true holinesse expresseth it selfe, they do not un­derstand. Therefore it seemes a strange thing to them (as in 1 Pet. 4.4.) that others runne not into the same excesse of ryot. It seemes strange, (now marke that word) nothing seemes strange but when a man is ignorant of its cause, is not acquainted with it, and therefore he is still fin­ding fault with it. Therefore, unholy men have a light that reaches to common Iustice, and to a common care of serving God, to common mo­rall vertues, and to an upright behaviour to men, but further they cannot goe, they know not what it is to be exact, and strict in all things, and that is the first difference, they know not the secret of God, they may goe thorow the whole course of Divinity, and be acquainted with all the mysteries of Salvation, but that se­cret of his they understand not.

Secondly, there is this difference in the things 2 they doe know, they know them indeed, (I speake of them they doe know, that are within their owne sphere, their owne compasse) but they have not the savour of what they know, that is it which the Scripture cals [...], the savour of these Truthes they want, and there­fore they receive the Truth, but not the love of the Truth; they doe not relish it, they apprehend it not aright, and for that cause they practise it not. You have them excellently set downe in Iude 14. they speake evill (sayes the Apostle) of the things they know not. You see there be some [Page 156] things they know not, and therefore they speake evill of them: And what things they doe know, as be [...]sts without reason in them, they corrupt themselves, that is, they doe not practice according to their knowledge, though they are acquainted with the wayes of God in that measure, that they know they ought to abstaine from these and these sins, yet in these things that they know natural­ly they are corrupt: So you see the difference betweene them and the truly regenerate in mat­ter of understanding.

In their Con­science.Secondly (to keepe the same method I did in the other) for matter of Conscience, you shal finde this difference, and in this they fall short. Though they doe make Conscience of many things, notwithstanding they have not a good Conscience; for, Conscience is good in two re­spects; either because it witnesses good to us, and so wee commonly use it, or as it is subje­ctively good, and so the love of God, is good, and the feare of God is good, and in this they have not a good Conscience, for it is required that the Conscience be inherently and subje­ctively good, that a man make Conscience not out of slavish feare, but out of willingnesse, as a chaste wife desires to please her husband, be­cause shee loves him, shee is loth to displease him, will not lose his favour for any thing, and therefore shee observes him exactly, and will not offend him, when the Conscience stands in this reference to God, it is a good Conscience. On the other side, let a man make Conscience [Page 157] of never so many things, yet if it be out of feare, as a servant feares his Master, or as the Theefe feares the Iudge, his Conscience is not good. So that the civil men cannot be said to have a good Conscience in the things they abstaine from out of Conscience,Note. because they doe it not willing­ly, but as of necessity. Now all God lookes to is to have what is done, done willingly, and therefore it is no wonder that Divines give this as a sure rule that Desire is a signe sure enough of Grace: If a man hath a true desire to please God, it cannot deceive him, for the de­sire is more than the deed, as Saint Paul saith in 2 Cor. 8. In matter of giving, You have not onely beene ready to doe, but to will, and to be forward; as if the will were more than the deed; and so it is indeed. A man may performe many actions of Religion, abstaine from many sins, reforme his life in many things, but it is another matter to desire to please God, according to that of Nehemiah 1.11. Let thine eare be attentive to the prayer of thy servants that desire to feare thy Name: there is none but the servants of God that desire to feare him. If others be asked whether they could not be content there were no law to re­straine them, that no necessity of holinesse lay on them; they will answer, they could desire that there were none, that they were at liberty; and therefore when they make Conscience of any thing, it is not out of willingnesse, but out of a slavish feare, though it be out of Con­science, yet the Conscience is not good, and [Page 158] in this respect they fall short.

Thirdly, for matter of morall vertues, they may have many excellent vertues planted in their hearts,Morall Ver­tues. which are the gifts of the Holy Ghost, for the Holy Ghost doth not only en­lighten the understandings of some that shall ne­ver be saved, but also places many gifts in their will and affections. But this defect they have, they neither come from a right Principle, nor tend to a right end, they come from no higher a Well-head than Nature, they be common to them that be only naturall; and therefore it can­not be proper to them that shall be saved. I say, Nature is able to bring forth these vertues, even as the earth (for that similitude will expresse it) is able to bring forth two things, Weeds, and Grasse: You know weeds are unprofitable, and many of them hurtfull, but grasse is good and usefull: But corne and flowers of the chiefest sort the earth cannot bring forth without plow­ing and sowing; so it is with mans nature. Take it as secluded from Grace, it is able to doe two things, to bring forth Sinne and Lust, which comes from the corruption of it, and likewise many excellent vertues which proceed from common nature, which is in a man unregene­rate, as well as sinfull nature. These things be good and very commendable, but this is their fault, they goe no further, there is no more than nature in them, they are very like true Grace, as false Iewels are like true ones, and as your wilde corne is like true corne, there is a great simili­tude [Page 159] betweene them, but yet there is a great deale of difference, if you looke on them with a curious eye, and judge of them with a righteous judgement.

Fourthly, for matter of Actions, it is true they doe many things,In Actions In two re­spects. but they fall short in these two respects:

First, they doe not all, they are alway wan­thing 1 in something. It is not said Herod did all, but many things, He heard Iohn gladly, and did much; this rule will not faile, they are not ge­neral in their obedience, there is not a generall change: Now the effect cannot goe beyond the cause, but it is true of the regenerate. They are New Creatures every way, and therefore there is a generall observation of the Law of God, I speake of an Evangelicall observation compe­tent to the Saints, I say, they have a respect to all the Commandements; the other have not, because their hearts are not fully, not generally changed, they have light, but it is shut up with­in the compasse of one faculty, it turnes not the soule into light, and therefore they know many things, and doe many things, yet because the worke is not generall, they have still some ex­ception, something there is wherein they favour themselves, some duty there is that they omit, and that constantly from time to time.

Againe, as they doe not doe all, so what they 2 doe, they doe not in sincerity, they doe it not to the Lord, but for other respects, for themselves, for credit or applause, to winne love and good [Page 160] will among men, or to avoid shame, or they doe it to escape judgement, and to attaine that safe­ty which Nature it selfe may desire, or else to satisfie naturall Conscience: many other re­spects there be, but they doe it not in sincerity to the Lord.

Object.But, it may be objected, when they do things in secret, doe they not doe them to the Lord?

Answ.It is true, they doe it to him as to a naturall good, as a Iudge that punishes and rewards, as a Dispencer of good and evill; so they doe it to the Lord, but not to him as a Father, as holy and pure, as abstracted from all punishment, and reward, they doe not fix their eye on the Per­son of God, to love him, to desire favour and Communion with him; after this manner they desire him not, and so they faile in the good actions they doe.

In their Con­flict, in foure things.Fifthly and lastly, there are two men in Ci­vill men before Regeneration, that is, an insti­gation to that which is good, and a reluctancie to it, a renitencie against it, something contrary thereto, as well as in the Regenerate; but you shall finde them to fall short of the Saints in these foure regards.

1 First, this Combate in them differs from that in the Saints, in respects of the subject, it being betweene the Conscience, and all the rest of the Soule. The Conscience sayes, such things must be done, but the rest of the faculties rise in re­bellion against it, because (as I told you) the light is shut up there, and all the Soule is not [Page 161] enlightned, but in the Saints the Controversie is between every faculty and it selfe, between the understanding and it selfe, betweene the whole Soule, as it is compared with it selfe, there is something good in every part of it, and some­thing ill, and these two con [...]end.

Secondly, as it differs in the subject, so like­wise 2 in the object, the contention is about diffe­rent things. A civill man (that is one that hath many excellent and good things in him, but yet is unregenerate, for that I meane by a civill man) may have a controversie with himselfe about many things belonging to honesty, ver­tue, sins of the greatest extent, such as he is able to see (as in a darke night we see the Starres of a greater magnitude, but the other are hid from us) but there is something spirituall, things that belong to the Image of God to the life of Grace, which he makes not Conscience of, can­not contend about, for he understands them not. He may be troubled about many evils, and if he fall into grosse sins, there may be a Contention in him after he hath committed them as well as before, but the spirituall perfomance of du­ties which belong to godlinesse and true holi­nesse, is not controverted, and so they differ in the object.

Thirdly, it differs in regard of the effect and 3 issue of the Combate. In a naturall man where there is a strife you shall finde this the issue, the better is the loser, and the worse is the gainer, as it was the speech of Medea, Deteriora sequor; but [Page 162] it is not so with the Saints, for in their Com­bate ordinarily they have the better; as Paul, when this combate and strife was within him, he was still so sustained by the Grace of God that he had the victory, and that I take to be the meaning of that in 2 Cor. 12.9. when there was that strife in him about the thorne in the flesh, that is, some strong lust that Satan had sharp­ned against him, The Grace of God was sufficient for him, and in the issue thereof he did Me­liora sequi, but the other goes away with the worst.

4 Fourthly and lastly, there is a difference in regard of the Continuance, and durance of this Combate in carnall men, it continues not to the end, but they give over; and this you shall also finde, they stand not at a stay, but grow worse and worse, for that is a generall Truth, Evill men shal wax worse and worse, there may be a contention for a time, the two men may for a Time be in an Aequilibrio, the ballance may hang equall for a while, but at last they give the raine to their lust, they are weary of conten­ding; but the Spirit in the Saints growes stron­ger and stronger, as it was said of the house of Saul, it waxed weaker and weaker, but the house of David grew stronger and stronger. And as it was said of Peter, When he should be old, he should be carried whither he would not; shewing by what death he should glorifie God, that is, this strife should continue til he was old, till the latter end of his dayes, yea, and about that which is har­dest [Page 163] of all, that is, to resist the desire of life, to be content to die for CHRIST. So you see how farre they may goe, and yet how farre they fall short.

And now have I done with those three things, that the good things, that carnall men have, doe them no good. Secondly, that they doe them hurt. Thirdly, that they may goe farre, and yet, (that you may not be deceived, in apprehending what men they are, and what Condition we speake of) that they fall short of that which is proper to the Saints, and so much for the second use.

Thirdly,Vse 3. if this be the Condition of men to with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse;Men sinne not out of want of information, but out of love of unrighte­ousnesse. then this will likewise follow, that commonly men sin not out of mistake, not out of want of Infor­mation and conviction, but out of the very love of unrighteousnesse: And this serves to take away the Common excuse whereby men doe usually mitigate, and extenuate their sins, as if they were committed by accident, out of in­cogitation, or want of due consideration; you see it is not so, but that is the case of every man out of the state of Regeneration to commit sin out of love to unrighteousnesse. And this is a point that needs much to bee urged, because men are not humbled; you know the scope of this Text is to humble men, to convince them of their sins, to shew them the Circumstances by which their sins are justly to be aggravated; now because men will pretend they sin out of [Page 164] Infirmity, and their meaning is good, and they intend not to doe such and such evils, or if they doe them it is not with an ill minde; I advise you, take heed you deceive not your selves, you know it was Ionas his case, when he had no minde to goe to Niniveh, he pretends faire rea­sons. God that searches the heart, knowes your hearts, howsoever you defend and dispute for your sins, and there is a Truth within that tels you such and such things ought not to be done. Therefore, learne from hence to know your sins, and the quality of them. And, if you ob­ject, we doe not resist this Truth, we obey it in many things? Let me aske you, Doe you obey it in those things that crosse that particular un­righteousnesse wherein you are delighted? (for there is the proofe) there be some personall sins to which a mans nature is most enclined, exa­mine if out of love to them you doe not with­hold the Truth, for it fares commonly with Truth in this case, as it did with Iohn Baptist, all the while he preached Herod heard him willing­ly, yea, gladly, but when he came to touch up­on Herodias, then he tooke away his head; and as he dealt with Iohn, so doe we with Truth, so long as it suggests nothing to us that crosses our desires, we are willing to obey it in all things that it shall dictate to us, but when it tels us of sins that we are unwilling to heare of, we first imprison it, and then extinguish it, as there be degrees in restraining of it, first in one degree, then in a greater degree, and at last we put it [Page 165] quite out: Therefore take heed to it, labour to know your sins, to see those which are most na­turall to you,How the Truth is with-held in unrigh­teousnesse. whether in these you doe not with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse; which is done after this manner: When a man shall have his heart set upon any particular thing which he is not willing to part with, and the Truth shal tell him something that is contrary thereto, now let him trie himselfe. Pilate (the Text saith) knew that the Pharisees had delivered CHRIST for Envie, this he knew, but yet to content the people, sayes one Evangelist, and out of feare of Caesar, sayes the other, he delive­red him to them. Out of those two respects, be­cause he would not part with his love of the people, nor with the good-will of Caesar, he would part with CHRIST. Now here is the Triall, Suppose thou esteemest credit, and applause with men, the Truth comes and tels thee thou art to doe a thing that crosses this, marke what thou art ready to doe in this case; you shall see an instance in Iohn 12.42. There were many among the chiefe Rulers which belee­ved on CHRIST, but for feare lest the Phari­sees should cast them out of the Synagogue, they durst not confesse him, for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. They beleeved on him, the Truth did its part, they were there­by informed well enough what they were to doe, but because they loved the praise of men, they resisted this Truth out of love to unrighte­ousnesse. So put case thy minde be set upon [Page 166] wealth, and in that thou wilt not be crost, This truth tels thee, thou must doe one thing, but it will crosse thee in matter of thy estate, as the Young-man had that Triall put on him, Goe and sell all thou hast, and thou shalt have Treasure in heaven: Compare thine owne with the Young-mans behaviour, hee went away sorrowfull. Whence we may gather that he was enlightned to see the Truth, he knew it was best to follow CHRIST, the Truth was thus farre revealed to him, for otherwise why should he goe away sorrowfull? If he had not beleeved him to be the Messiah, he needed not to have sorrowed, but in that sorrow was left in his heart, it manife­sted what his minde was set upon. Is it thus with thee? Learne hence to humble your selves, to judge aright of your sins, and of your Condition by them.

And if all this will not perswade you, take this one instance which I will give you. Take a view of thy selfe as thou art affected at some apprehension of Death, in some dangerous sick­nesse, in some good mood, after some quick­ning of the Spirit in thee, after some great trou­ble into which thou art cast, and see what thou wilt doe in such a case: See what libertie this Truth hath at such a time, how ready thou art to obey it in all things, how ready will the Truth be to informe thee, these and these things thou oughtest not to doe, and thou hast negle­cted these and these duties; how imminent this Truth is, to dictate to thee what thou oughtest [Page 167] to doe. Consider againe what thy behaviour is in time of health and strength, in time of Peace, when thou livest in abundance of all things. See how farre short thou art of performing what in those times thou wouldest doe, and in the same measure thou with-holdest the Truth in unrighte­ousnesse; in such measure thou imprisonest it, for that declares what light is in thee.

Take a survey of one or two dayes, goe through the actions that passe by thee in the same, see what evill thou hast done, and what good thou hast omitted, and say thus, Might not I have forborne this evill, if I would have set my selfe to doe it? Might not I have per­formed this duty, if I would have gone about it? and let this humble thee. For this cause I have chosen this Text, that you might be driven out of your selves; and why should you be backward in it, seeing it is the first step to Sal­vation? And so much shall serve for this third use.

Fourthly,Vse 4. if this be the case and miserable Condition wherein every man is before Rege­neration,Consider the danger of dis­obeying the Truth. to with-hold the Truth in unrighteous­nesse: Then take heed of putting thy selfe into that Condition, consider the danger of disobey­ing this Truth, of offending it, of doing any thing contrary to it, of restraining and curbing it, for it is of that nature, that if thou offendest it, it will offend thee. It is a Truth that God hath set in thy heart, and appointed it to rule there, if thou oppose it, and set up usurpers, he [Page 168] will doe as Iehojada did, that set up the right King, he will even set up this Truth at the day of death to accuse thee, and to raigne over thee as a Tyrant. It sits in thy Conscience, it markes what is done amisse, and will be assuredly re­venged, for every rebellion, and offence com­mitted against it, as it is said of Truth in gene­rall, Magna est veritas & praevalet, if thou be for the Truth, it will be for thee, and if thou be against it, it will be against thee, and it hath God on its side, it is attended with the wrath of the Almighty, who will be ready to execute upon thee whatsoever this Truth shall alleage against thee, though he doth it not presently, yet all the while thou art in the way to Dam­nation, as it was with Iudas and Achitophel. Therefore be sure to keepe this Truth well, that thou offend it not; as thou art tender over thy weake stomacke, to give what contents it, to avoid what may offend it, and then it shall be as a continuall feast to thee, otherwise it shall be as a sicke stomacke to thee, that doe what thou wilt, yet whether walking or sitting still, it will trouble thee: So this Truth thou wilt not be able to deceive, it will see what is amisse, whether thou wilt or no: 2 Cor. 4.2. saith the Apostle, Wee commend our selves to every mans Conscience in the sight of God, by manifestation of the Truth: That is, the Conscience within will see thee thorow, doe what thou canst, there will be an agreement betweene it, and the Truth that is presented to it, it cannot but observe all the [Page 169] obliquities of thy life, all thy errours, thou canst not deceive it, nor long shake it off.

But,Object. it may be objected, May not a man ob­serve this Truth too much,May not a man be too scrupu­lous. may he not be too scrupulous, too carefull in regarding it?

I answer,Answ. the Conscience may mistake, and give that charge that it ought not; but as wee say of Thistles, they are a bad weed, but it is a signe of a good ground where they grow; so though scrupulousnesse be not good, yet it is a signe of a good heart where it is. If a man be to goe thorow a narrow passage, or over a nar­row bridge, it is good to goe in the midst; so it is good not to be scrupulous, and yet not to give it offence, for if thou dost with-hold it, impri­son it, or restraine it, thou shalt finde it will be revenged on thee, for it is attended with the wrath of God.

Fifthly,Vse 5. if this be the miserable Condition of all unregenerate men,Give the Truth leave to rule. thus to with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse. As there have beene words of Humiliation and reproofe, so let mee shut up with a word of exhortation. Be exhor­ted therefore from hence to give this Truth leave to rule and governe in thy heart, and life; doe not make a bancke against it, or an hedge about it, restraine it not, fetter it not, but suffer it to walke freely in every part of thy conver­sation, to rectifie and reforme every facultie, speech, and action, for so it ought to doe; and, as I said before, thou shalt finde it a dangerous thing to restraine it.

[Page 170]Among men, he that imprisons one whom he should not,The danger of restraining it. runs into a Praemunire, and forfeits all he hath. Commonly we faile both these wayes, we give Lusts liberty, which should be restrained; and imprison Truth, which should be at liberty, therefore our judgement shall be accordingly. For letting thy lusts goe at liber­ty, take heed lest God say to thee, as he did to Ahab for letting King Benhadad goe, Thy life shall be for his life: lest on the other side by impriso­ning the Truth you forfeit all things, and God take advantage of your forfeiture. Since the fall of Adam, man doth turne all things upside downe, according to that which is complained of those Prophets, They did slay the soules of them that should live, and gave life to the soules that should die. So doe men, the Truth that should live they slay, and the lust that should die, they give life unto: But you know what Gods judgement was on them, Ezek. 13. He would destroy both the dawber and the wall of untempered morter. God re­quires at thy hands that thou give account of the Authority committed to thee, and take heed of abusing it. If the King send a Privie Coun­cellour, or a great man about him to reveale his will, to expresse his commandement in this or that particular, that so men may know it, and be free from the danger of the Law; if a man, in stead of obeying it, imprison him, how will the King take it at his hands? What then will God doe in this case? He hath put his Truth into the hearts of men, he hath sent his messengers to [Page 171] shew his will, that this he will have done: If thou imprison this Truth, be assured, God will not hold thee guiltlesse, therefore let it have li­berty, let it rule and raigne in thy heart, let it doe what it will.

This benefit thou shalt have,The benefit of setting it at liberty. Thou sets it at liberty, and it shall set thee at liberty, Ioh. 8.32. If you continue in my words, &c. the Truth shall 1 make you free. From what? or what great be­nefit hath a man by this freedome? a benefit unspeakable, thou shalt be free from the feare of Death, from the hands of all thine Enemies, to serve God in holinesse and righteousnesse, from the feare of Iudgement, from the feare of hell, from the guilt, and punishment of sin, from the rule and tyranny of sin, and is not this to be desired?

Againe, if thou set this at liberty, if thou wilt 2 practice and use it, thou shalt finde more bene­fit and sweetnesse from it, than from the meere contemplation of it; we are deceived in thin­king that the knowledge of it is pleasant, but the practice hard. Indeed, that that keeps the world from practice, is, because it is accompanied with persecution, whereas bare knowledge cros­ses not at all; and therefore most men are wil­ling to heare, and know, but in practice they fall short. But in this they are deceived, for this Truth brings more pleasure in the practice and use of it, than in the knowledge and contempla­tion of it. Instance in Faith, suppose thou know all the doctrine of Faith, the knowledge is plea­sant, [Page 172] much more the practise, if thou wilt let it goe at liberty, if it may pacifie, and purifie thy heart, if thou be much in contemplating thy priviledges in Christ, thou shalt finde the sweet of it. And so I may say of love, and patience, and every grace: Knowledge of things is like W [...]ne or Cordials standing on the table, thou canst view them, and looke on them then, and have them presented to thee, but if thou feed on them by practise, how doe they warme thy spi­rits, and quicken thee, and put life into thee, if they be digested, and distributed into all the parts, into all the faculties, (for that is digesture) till they turne to flesh and bloud, and spirits, as it were, then thou shalt finde their sweetnesse, even more than any man can expresse, who him­selfe hath not felt it.

Object.But now all the question is, how shall a man be able to doe this? It may be many will be ready to say, I could be content to doe it, but I am not able; I have many good purposes and desires, and am willing to practice what I know, but I am weake in performance.

Answ.I will onely point to the heads, by these meanes thou shalt doe it.Means how to set the Truth at liberty.

First, thou must seeke to God, beseech him 1 to set this Truth at liberty, be convinced of thine owne disability,Prayer. in thy selfe, that if thou goe about it by thine owne strength, thou shalt lose thy labour: In his owne strength no man shall be strong, it is Gods power must doe it, Psal. 119.22. I will run the way of thy Commande­ments, [Page 173] when thou shalt enlarge my heart. David had this Truth, but it was not in his power to set it at liberty; therefore he goes to God, acknow­ledg [...]s his owne insufficiencie, desires God to enlarge his heart, and when he hath set it at li­berty, the harshnesse will be taken off, and thou wilt run freely the way of Gods Commande­ments. The like is in 2 Cor. 10.4. The weapons of our warfare are mighty▪ but how? Through God to bring downe the strong holds, in our hearts, these be strong holds in men, certaine reasons in the understanding, certaine lusts in the will and affections, and these cannot be beaten downe by all the wit in the world, and all understanding that thou canst learne out of any Morall Wri­ter, or the Scriptures themselves; but there is a power through God to doe it, to bring downe these strong holds, to bring all into subjection; therefore goe to God, beg it earnestly, and let him give thee no deniall.

Secondly,Practice the Truth. as thou must goe to him, so thou must do something thy selfe, thou must practise thy selfe, and the more thou dost so, the more thou shalt be set at liberty; the more thou set­test thy selfe to worke, the more ground thou shalt get, the more Truth will be enlarged; as it is in marble, the more you rub it, the more it will shine; so the more this Truth is used, the brighter it will be in our actions; the more thou puttest it in practice, the more power shalt thou have in thy life, as Christ sayes, If ye beleeve my sayings, yee shall understand my words, Therefore, [Page 174] if you will have this power, be doing, have a good Conscience, for that is the seale of this Truth. How did Paul doe to give this Truth li­berty to rule in his life? Why, saith he, I exer­cise my selfe to keepe a good Conscience, that is, If I knew any thing that was to be done, I set my selfe about it; and as the Musitian by often pra­ctising his lesson, or as one that writes, by pra­ctising his hand doth increase his skill: So in these Truths, the more thou dost, the more thou mayest doe, letting them lye still extinguishes them, and for that God often gives men up to a reprobate sense, On the other side, if thou dost use them, doubt not but God will delight to en­large them. As in other Talents, labouring to improve them, is the way to encrease them.

Communi­on Saints.Againe, adde this to it: The Communion of Saints you shall finde a great meanes to enlarge this Truth, and to set it at liberty; by walking with the wise, you will be more wise, and what is said of Wisdome, may be said of Truth, for they are the same: Saul, when he was among the Prophets, had a sparke of the Spirit of Pro­phecie, which though it was but a common action in a wicked man, yet this sparke of a na­turall and common gift of the Spirit, Saul had when he came among the Prophets. It is the Apostles direction, Provoke one another to love and good workes: As one souldier encourageth another, and a fast goer stirres up one that is slow; so good Company whets Graces. On the other side, ill Company imprisons the [Page 175] Truth: If thou wilt keepe company with them that are not good, thou must correspond with them, and this will cause thee to choake this Truth, for many times thou canst not doe duties without shame, because thou canst not hold in with them, and with dutie too. It is not for no­thing that David uses that phrase, Psal. 119.115. Away from me yee evill doers, for I will keepe the Commandements of my God: As if he had said, When I goe about to keepe the Commande­ments of God, if I have Company about mee that is not good, they will be a barre unto me, and as fetters to my soule; so that it is true both wayes: the company of Saints enlarges Truth, the other straitens it. Saint Paul and others were good men, yet when they were mistaken in that, you shall see what a fetter it was: When Saint Paul was to goe to Ierusalem to preach the Gospell of CHRIST,Act. 21.13. they at Cesarea wept, and wailed, desiring to stay him; But, sayes he, What doe you breaking mine heart? You may see by that speech they were a great Impediment to him: And as CHRIST said to Saint Peter, Get thee behind me Satan: And as David said to the sonnes of Zerviah, 2 Sam. 16.10. What have I to doe with you yee sonnes of Zerviah, when they advised him to take off Shemei his head: So if you would have the Truth to have liberty, take heed of ill company. As Iames saith of refrai­ning the Tongue, I am. 1.26. He that refraineth not his tongue, his Religion is in vaine: So we may say of Company, Hee that lookes not to his [Page 176] Company, his Religion is in vaine, hee shall finde it so, for this Truth will never be at libertie, except it be among them, among whom it will have its libertie.

The end of the Sixth Sermon.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON HVMILIATION. The Seventh SERMON.

ROMANS 1.19, 20.

Forasmuch as that which may be knowne of God, is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him, that is, his eternall power and God-head are clearly seene by the creation of the world, being considered in his workes, to the intent that they should be without excuse.

WE have purposed still to goe on in this point of Humiliation, and then, God willing, we will pro­ceed to that of Iustification, which we promised to handle.

These words doe second the former, which [Page 178] we have gone thorow, The wrath of God is revea­led from heaven, &c. The Apostle having set this downe, hath two things to prove: First, that there is such a Truth revealed. Secondly, That they with-hold it in unrighteousnesse: Both which he proves in the sequele of this Chapter.That there is such a Truth, proved foure wayes.

First, there is such a Truth revealed to men, for (saith he) That that may be knowne of God is 1 manifest in them; that is, there is a certaine por­tion of Truth, a certaine measure of knowledge which God hath made-knowne to every man; indeed there be different measures, but to every one some measure is given, set forth by the Au­thor thereof, God (saith he) hath shewed it to them. Secondly, it is set forth more particularly by the thing that is revealed: And thirdly, by the meanes whereby it is revealed: Fourthly, by the end.

2 Secondly, the thing that is reavealed, as if he had said; if you will know more particularly what this knowledge is, it is the knowledge of 3 Gods eternall Power and God-head.

Thirdly, will you know the meanes how it is revealed? It is revealed by his workes, and chiefly by the creation of the world.Object.

But, you will object, his eternall power and God-head are invisible, shut up from the view of men, how shall men doe to see and under­stand these things,Answ. seeing they are so remote?

(Saith he) They are knowne by the things that are seene: You may see the world, you may see the workes of his providence; these things run [Page 179] into the senses, and by these they are knowne: As the soule of a man is a thing in it selfe invisi­ble, but yet you may see it by the motions of the body, the effects of the soule in the bodie, this the senses are capable of; so the invisible things of God are knowne by the things that are seene.4

Last of all, this is set out by the end, where­fore GOD hath done this, the end is, that they may be without excuse: And so far he proves the first part, that there is a Truth revealed to men.

In the next words he comes to prove,That they with-hold the Truth in un­righteousnesse. That they with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse; For they knew God, but they glorified him not as God, and not negatively only, but affirmatively also, Their foolish hearts are full of darknesse, they be­came vaine in their imaginations.

But,Object. they were wise men, Grecians, Atheni­ans, men excelling in wisdome all other, how did they detaine it, one would thinke they did enlarge it? It is true, they were wise in their owne conceit; but thinking themselves wise, they became fooles, how doth that appeare? They turned the glory of the incorruptible God, into the image of corruptible man, &c. So much for the scope of the words.

Wee will not runne to every particular, be­cause this is a place of Scripture on which wee meane not to dwell, but these three points we intend to handle out of these two verses. In the handling of which, you shall see all these parti­culars will be brought in:

  • [Page 180]The first is, That that Law, or Truth, or Know­ledge, by which every man shall be judged, is made manifest by God himselfe.
  • Secondly, The workes of God, or the Creation, are the meanes by which he hath made it knowne.
  • Thirdly, They are so much made knowne to eve­ry man, as will make him inexcusable.

Doct. 1.To begin with the first, I say, That truth, or that Law, That Truth or Law, or know­ledge, by which every man shall be judged, is made manifest by God him­selfe. or that knowledge, by which every man shall be judged at the last day, is made evident to him by God himselfe. In this proportion you must marke three things:

First, what it is that is made knowne; It is that Law or Truth,What this Truth is. [...]. by which every man shall be judged, the word in the original [...], is, [...], That which may be knowne of God, that is, there is a certaine measure and portion of Truth, which God disposes and reveales to men, to some one measure, to some another measure, and accor­ding to the measure of Truth he must conforme himselfe, and for breaking that rule onely, hee shall be condemned at the last day: The Gen­tiles have one measure of Truth, the Iewes have a greater measure, but Christians, to whom the Gospell is revealed, have the greatest measure of Truth given them: Againe, some Christians that live under better Ministeries, they whose education is better, they have more Truth than others: Now seeing he saith it is made mani­fest, the meaning is, every man hath a mea­sure, and that is to be made manifest; as light when it comes into a roome, it showes all the [Page 181] glory, all the beauty and deformity round about, it showes the right way and the wrong way, if you come to the light, all things are made manifest now, which were covered, when you were in darknesse: thus God enlightens men, he kindles a certaine light in their minde (for so the word signifies) he puts a light into their hearts, by which they are able to judge of that which is good and evill, of that which is agree­able to his will, and contrary to his will; of that which is the way to happinesse, and that which is not; and this is made knowne.

The second thing to be marked in this pro­position,How it is made knowne. is, to shew, how it is made knowne; you see that the thing is made knowne to us: Not it is made knowne to us these foure wayes:Foure wayes.

  • First,
    By the light of Nature.
    it is made knowne to us by the light of Nature, God hath written the Law in their hearts, Rom. 2.15. They show the effects of the Law, which Law is written in their hearts, that is, God hath implanted it there, God hath written it there, he hath fastned it there, he hath revealed to men some Truths: but the question will be how it shall be knowne that God hath done so; why (saith he) you shall know it by the effects, every man, even Heathens, though they have not come to the knowledge of the Scripture, ye [...] they have the Law written in their hearts, fo [...] they doe the things contained in the Law, their actions show it, they could not doe these things, if they had not the Law written in their hearts. [Page 182] Againe, their consciences accuse and excuse. A­gaine, it is seene by their judging of others, for in judging of others, they judge themselves, and make it evident, that they doe know, though they doe not practice, and so it is revealed by the Law of Nature.
  • By Gods workes.
    Secondly, God makes it knowne by his works, specially, by the creation of the world, by his workes of Providence, which be ordina­ry, and extraordinary, as miracles, that is, when a man lookes on the great volume of the world, there those things which God will have known, are written in capitall letters, and such letters as every one may understand and reade; so as that which the Papists say of Images, they are Lay­mens bookes, and ignorant mens bookes; so (and in a much better sense) this Booke of the world is the Heathen mans booke, wherein he may see there is a God, and his eternall power, and wherein all men may see what they ought to doe to this God.
  • By the Scrip­tures.
    Thirdly, it is manifest by the Scriptures, Ioh. 5.39. saith Christ, Search the Scriptures, for there­in you thinke to have eternall life, and they testifie of me: This is out of question, that the Scriptures testifie of GOD, they make GOD knowne to men.
  • By the Saints.
    Lastly, it is made knowne by the Saints, as in the same Chapter, Ioh. 5. Iohn bare witnesse of me, and what is said of Iohn, may be said of o­thers, the Saints beare witnesse of God. There­fore in the second to the Philippians, they are said [Page 183] to shine as lights in the world, that is, they make God knowne to men: So by these foure wayes God makes it knowne, namely by the Law of Nature: Secondly, by his workes. Thirdly, by the Scriptures. Fourthly, by the faithfull that live in the world. The two first make it knowne to the Heathen; the two last to them within the Church, that is, the faithfull, and these be the meanes by which it is evident.

Now the third thing to be observed,It is God that maketh this Truth evident. is, That it is God that maketh this Truth evident; This is enough to prove that it is God, because it is universally done, goe to all Nations, to savage men, that seeme to be most remote from the light, that come not neare any meanes of the knowledge of the Truth, yet these men beleeve there [...]s a God, every man, without exception, doth so; now where there is an universall effect, it must needs come from an universall cause; therefore from God himselfe.

Now this is not added in vaine,Hence these Consectaries may be dedu­ced. but this you may observe in that it comes from God.

First, if it come from God, it is not a deceive­able rule, it is not a fancie, but a firme Truth 1 which you may build on.

Againe, if God make it knowne, it is not done 2 sleightly; whatsoever God doth, if he make it knowne, it is done to purpose, and effectually, if he have blessed any, he shall be blest, so farre as it is his will to reveale, so farre it is to pur­pose, and this makes men more without ex­cuse.

[Page 184]Againe, if God have made it knowne, then it is a thing you must take heed to, you must not 3 neglect it, because it is God that is the Author of it; if it had beene made knowne to us by ac­cident, or any creatur [...] you might have given the lesse heed to it, bu [...] God having made it knowne, it is of speciall moment, you must in a speciall manner attend to it.

4 Lastly, in that God hath made it knowne, then you may know it is the rule of perfection that is given to every man, in observing of which he shall finde happinesse, in breaking of which consists his destruction and ruine; when God gives a rule, in the keeping of it man shall be made happie, as in the breaking of it he shall be made miserable; so you see these three things: First, what is made knowne, A certaine measure of Truth divided according to Gods will. Se­condly, how it is made knowne by nature, by his works, by Scripture, by the faithfull. Third­ly, it is God that makes it knowne, therefore not a deceiveable truth, not a fancie, or dreame, but to purpose, therefore you must not neglect it, in observing of it is happinesse, and in breaking of it, you shall finde there will come ruine, and destruction, and misery upon you.

Vse 1.Now we will come to make use of it: First, if there be such a Truth made knowne to men by God himselfe;To shew the hainousnesse of mens sinnes against this Truth. then learne hence to aggra­vate your sinnes, to know the greatnesse of the guilt of your sinnes: Hence we may learne to know, that the loosenesse and licentiousnesse [Page 185] men take to themselves against this Truth is more desperate, and hainous, and inexcusable: for God himselfe hath made it known to them: For every precept of men is of more or lesse moment, according to the quality of the Au­thor, the Law is to be valued according to the person that gives the Law, therefore mens Lawes are of some moment, but Gods Lawes are of more moment: This Truth is most pres­sed in Scripture, when CHRIST preacheth the Word, he saith, every sin is encreased that is committed against this Word: When Ionas came to Niniveh, it had beene a great sin if they had not repented, God would have visited them for neglecting the word of Ionas, but a greater than Ionas is here, saith Christ: So the Queen of the South came to heare the wisdome of Salomon, but a greater than Salomon is here: That is, every sin committed against this Truth, is out of measurable sinfull. Therefore, if they that breake Moses Law shall die under two or three witnesses, how shall they escape that neglect so great Salvation, which began to be preached by the Lord himselfe? He hath made it knowne; therefore it is a fearefull thing to neglect it. Therefore you may see what an Emphasis God puts on that, Hast thou eaten of the tree, of which I bade thou shouldest not eat? As if he had said, the thing is a small matter in it selfe, yet it being the Commandement of the great GOD, I have commanded it, and thou didst neglect it, there­fore thou shalt die the death.

[Page 186]And there is good reason for it, if we consi­der it, if God giveth the Law it is his; now 1 Gods name is taken in vaine, when his Law is now observed; fro though the disobedience be immediately against the Law, yet it is termi­nately against God himselfe; for whatsoever is done against the Scripture, is done against God himselfe: Therefore, saith God to Saul, In that thou hast cast me away, I will cast thee away. And so siath Christ to his Disciples, Whatsoever is done against you, is done against me; it is terminated in me: Therefore, thinke when you shall come to die, or to any case of extremity, and God shall speake to your consciences and tell you, Thou hast broken the Law I gave thee, thou hast rebelled against me, thou hast given thy members as weapons of unrighteousnesse a­gainst me, now I will be avenged of thee, thou shalt know I am Iust, thou shalt know who it is that thou hast offended, this is no small matter. If we Ministers come and tell you, you must not sweare, but your yea, must be yea, and your nay, nay, and whatsoever more is evill; you must sweare no kinde of oathes, if we tell you, you must not dissemble, not lye, not keepe vaine company, not mispend your Talents, not re­strain prayer from the Almighty, if we tell you this, it is no small matter to neglect it, it being the Commandement of God; doe not say of sinne as you were wont, Indeed it is a fault, and I would I could doe otherwise, but seeing they be sinnes against God, know what it is to sinne [Page 187] against the Iudge of all the world, this wil make thee thinke of sinne in another manner. There­fore in your sinnes labour to fix your eyes on God, and it will aggravate sinne. As David in the one and fiftieth Psalme saith, Against thee, against thee onely have I sinned, repeating it twice in that place; he composed that Psalme to set forth his sin, but that which wounded his con­science, that made him see the hainousnesse of his sinne was this, Against thee I have sinned: So the Prodigall sonne, this is the circumstance by which he aggravates his sin, Against heaven and against thee I have offended: So learne to know that your sinnes are against god, and therefore to presse this Truth a little more.

Consider well with your selves, what is the 2 reason that God hath required such a vast pu­nishment against sinne, that is, eternall death; thinke what eternity is, it is that which swal­lowes up your thoughts, it is a punishment, the length, and depth, and breadth whereof you cannto comprehend. Thinke why God hath appointed such a vast punishment, and you shall find, it is because you sinne against an Immense, a great and Almighty God, the length, and breadth, and depth of whose greatnesse you cannot comprehend.

Againe, what is the reason God should ap­point 3 such a Mediatour to take away the sins of the world, that the Son of God must needs take flesh, which the Angels themselves wonder at; it is such a wonderfull action, that they cannot [Page 188] but admire, and in heaven we shall stand amazed at it; which evidences the greatnesse of sinne: Learne to know this, put al these foure together, and see how these doe hold correspondencie one with another, and you shall finde out the nature of your sinne.

First, consider the greatnesse of God his in­finitenesse, the greatnesse of his Authority, the wonderfull vast Soveraignty he hath over all creatures; from this greatnesse of God, comes the second, the greatnesse of sinne, I have made knowne this Truth, but thou hast with-holden it, thence it comes that sinne is so great, that the least sinne which thou makest nothing of, is a thing of so great moment. That is the second, which followes on the greatnesse of God.

Thirdly, upon the greatnesse of sinne, you see the greatnesse of the punishment; if such an one as Aristotle, or a stranger from the Truth should heare of this punishment (the greatnesse whereof appeares herein, that the worme dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,) how would he wonder at it? but knitting these together it will not seeme strange.

Last of all, the greatnesse of the punishment causeth the greatnesse of such a Mediatour, to take away this punishment and sin: So there is a correspondencie in them, come from God to sin, from sinne to the punishment, from punish­ment to the Mediation or redemption, by which this sinne is taken away. Learne therefore to know what sin is, I know not a truth of greater [Page 189] moment. And to all adde that, 1 Cor. 15.56. The sting of death is sinne: If you look on death, it is the most terrible thing in the world: You know what the Philosopher said of it, of all ter­rible things, it is the most terrible, the most fear­full, but sin is the sting of death: As if he had said, Death is a small thing in comparison of sin; let a man want sin, and death is nothing, it is but sleepe, it is nothing to have the body and soule separated. Againe, suppose there were no death, but let body and soule remaine together, yet sin is a terrible thing, it is above all the Ter­rours in the world, as in Iudas, see his Terrours, though there was no death on him; see Adam when he was not in Hell, but in Paradise, yet how was he Tormented with his sin. Therefore weigh not sin in a wrong ballance, looke not on it with a wrong light, take heed of being decei­ved, for in this of all other things men are most apt to be deceived: That is the corruption of Nature, that strange darknesse is brought on men by Adam, that in the thing that most con­cerneth him, which is sin, in that he is most ig­norant, most apt to be deceived: Therefore when the Apostle speaks of sin, he comes in still with this caution, Be not deceived, 1 Cor. 6.9. Be not deceived, neither Fornicatour, nor Idolaters, nor adulterers, &c. shall inherit the kingdome of God; as if men in that were most apt to be deceived: So Ephes. 5.6. Be not deceived, for, for such things the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedi­ence: And observe when Christ goeth about to [Page 190] show to any man, or to any Church what their sins are, or what their danger is, he addes this, Let him that hath an eare heare, what the Spirit saith to the Churches, his end being to tell them of their sin, still that comes in, He that hath an eare to heare, let him heare: As if he had said, when I come to speake of matter of sin, there be many here that can tell what I say, that can un­derstand me well, but few have eares to under­stand indeed. As when the Prophet came to Ie­roboam, he heard the Prophet so as it anger'd him, he knew what his sin was, but he heard it not to purpose: So when Christ pronounceth a woe to the Scribes and Pharisees, they heard it well enough, but they had not an eare to heare it to purpose: Men may heare what flesh and common reason, and common men say of sin, but not what the Spirit saith of it, there is ano­ther kinde of sinfulnesse in sin, which is the spi­rituall evill of sin, and what the Spirit saith of this they doe not heare: Therefore you must even be brought to Christ, as the deafe man was, who being both deafe and dumbe, was brought to Christ, that he might lay his hands on him, now Christ put his finger into his eares and saith, Ephata, be thou opened, and then the man heard and spake; so of all men that heare this Word, there is not a man but he is deafe, according to this inward kinde of hearing: therefore you must be brought to Christ, and beseech him to give you eares to heare; for few hath eares to heare what the Spirit saith unto [Page 191] the Churches, when it discovers their sin and mi­sery: Therefore, let not this Doctrine be in vain to you, but learne from hence to humble your selves, to come to God, and say to him, Lord, I am now amazed and confounded, I thought be­fore losses and crosses were great matters, but now I see they are but flea-bitings to sin, I was heretofore troubled at a small crosse, but little or nothing at sin; Lord, I confesse, this was my case, but I see now sinne is another thing: Thus we should learne to humble our selves before God.

But, if any object;Object. This is the way to discou­rage men, to make them desperate, to make them fly from Religion by telling them sin is so terrible?

I answer,Answ. it is not the way to discourage men from comming to Christ, but to encourage them and drive them to him; This is the way to Salvation: Indeed, if there were no remedy for sin, it were a desperate case, but there is a reme­dy, if you will but see this sinne of yours, and mourne for it, for all that mourne in Sion, and are broken hearted, shall be comforted: There­fore you must know, there is a passive sorrow for sin, when God shall affright a man with the Terrour of his wrath, and that is a flash of hell fire: if our end were only to kindle these sparks, it were indeed to breed Torture in the soule; but there is an active humiliation, when a man labours to be convinced of his sin, to know all hee can against himselfe, and this is it which [Page 192] leads to life; for this is the end of our preach­ing, the end of our discovering of sin. And this use you may make of the hainousnesse of sinne; and so much shall serve for the first use.

Vse 2.Secondly, if there be such a truth, such a knowledge made evident by God himselfe,Be thankfull for the Truth. then men should learne hence to be thankful to God for it: for whereas all men might have perished as the Devils did, as the Angels that fell did, yet God hath shewed this mercy to mankinde, he hath given them Secundam Tabulam post naufra­gium, and that is this light, which is the thing which you have cause to be thankfull for; for this light is worth all the world beside, nothing is so precious, because it shewes the way to escape Hell and damnation; therfore you ought to be thankfull to God for it: You specially that live under the Sun-shine of the Gospell; you must thinke you might have beene borne in other ages, when darknesse covered the world, or in another Nation, and not in Goshen, where the light shines; and if in the Church, you might have been ignorant, as many of our Countrey people are, even almost as ignorant as Turkes and Iewes, but when God hath discovered light in great measure, and hath given a great portion thereof to you; you must know all this is not come to passe by accident, but by Gods provi­dence; you are to take notice of it, and learne to be thankfull, not in show only, but indeed and in truth, that is, by practising according to the knowledge you have, for it is a thing most pre­cious, [Page 193] Mat. 7.6. An Admonition is compared to a pearle, whereas the admonition is but one part of this light, and what is said of a part, may be said of the whole. Salomon could not finde a fit thing to compare this Wisdome to: It is more precious than pearles, nay all that can be named or desired cannot be compared with it: There­fore seeing it is a precious thing, trample not these pearles under your feet: know that God hath put a price into thine hand, and that is thy light, and it is a price that will buy heaven, it will bring thee to salvation; but if thou wantest an heart (as the foole hath a price, but he wants an heart) it will do thee no good: take heed thou doe not neglect it, doe not abuse it, take not the grace of God in vain, but see thou use this light; When the great promise of Christ his comming was made, what was it but this, that they should have a new light, that the people that sate in darknesse and in the shadow of death, should see a light they never saw before: you that live in this light, that enjoy that which was so many yeares ago promised to the Gentiles, and is now fulfilled; take heed of abusing it, use it to the purpose for which it is given, that is, to guide your feet into the way of peace.

Againe,Vse 3. thirdly, to joyne that with it: As you must be thankful,Doe nothing contrary to the Truth. so in the third place, you must take heed of doing any thing contrary to this Truth, it is a very dangerous thing to neglect it. There is not a sparke of it, not a beame of this light, which is conveyed to you by the mini­stery [Page 194] of the Gospell, which shall be in vaine, Though you doe not prize it, it shall set you a steppe nearer heaven or hell, even every sparke and beame of this; and this is it which may make men afraid, and looke about them, seeing that when this light is made knowne, it is so dangerous to neglect it: Therefore thinke this, when God hath sent a right Ministery, Con­sider who hath sent this light; God hath done it, and will GOD send a vaine m [...]ssage? A wise man will not doe so; if then God send it not in vaine, it is to some purpose, to doe either good or hurt; Now suppose that this light have done you no good, that you have lived long under this light, but have attained no good, you have knowne much, but practised little, then know this shall exceedingly encrease your condemnation. Paul saith, We thanke God that he hath caused us to triumph in IESUS CHRIST, in making manifest the savour of his knowledge in every place. What is the reason he should rejoyce that this was made manifest, seeing to some it did no good? Yes (saith he) it shall encrease their condemnation, it shall be the sweet savour of God in them that are sa­ved, and in them that perish. So when wee preach, if the light doe you no good, it doth you hurt: As Isaiah his Commission was, Goe, preach to this people, and shut their eyes, lest they should see with their eyes, and heare with their eares; If we are not sent to enlighten men, we are sent to make their hearts fat, and their eares heavie, [Page 195] Thou shalt doe no good by thy ministery, yet I have sent thee, that they may know there was a Prophet among them. Therefore take heed, you to whom this is sent, that it be not sent onely to this end, that it may be knowne there hath beene a Pro­phet among you: Those to whom God hath revealed much, let them know it shall not be in vaine; If the King send a Message, and men will obey it, so it is, if not, if they make his autho­rity worth nothing, he will elevate his Autho­rity, and will inflict a Penalty: So God sends not in vaine, if you will not obey him, God will not suffer any to sleight his Authority, but he will be surely revenged. Therefore take heed how you detaine this Truth in unrighteousnesse, that when GOD hath discovered this know­ledge, you doe not practice it.

But,Object. every man will be apt to say, (and in­deed they that are most guilty) but I hope we doe practise it, and not detaine it?

Therefore I will set downe (though not all,Answ. yet) many of the Cases wherein they detaine this Truth and with-hold it in unrighteous­nesse,Seven Cases, wherein men detaine this Truth in un­righteousnesse. wherein they doe not practise according to this knowledge, and these are seven in number.

First,In the Com­mission of knowne sins. in the Commission of all knowne sins, there you detaine this Truth, there you impri­son it, whensoever you finde this to be your Case that you commit any knowne sinne, there­in you are a detainer of the Truth, an impriso­ner of it. As for example, when a man shall [Page 196] know that these duties ought to bee done, I ought to pray fervently, and frequently, I ought to sanctifie the Lords Sabbath, but out of an unlistinesse to it, out of love to ease and plea­sure, that carries him another way, he neglects it, and so the dutie lyes undone: This is the Commission of a knowne sinne: So againe, I know I ought not to remember an injury, I ought to forgive mine Enemy, yet thou invitest him to doe thee a new injury, when this is knowne and not practised, in this case men com­mit a knowne sinne; so againe, dost thou not know that thou oughtest not to use any dalli­ance, any touch of uncleannesse, any chambe­ring or wantonnesse? if a man know this, and yet will commit it, because his lusts intend his minde to such a sinne, and it is a thing to which he is strongly inclined, this is a knowne sinne; so in many other things, in cases of election, or in doing of businesses this man ought to be cho­sen, and businesses ought to be carried thus, but yet out of some by-respects, a man will have it carried otherwise, this is committing of a knowne sinne; so in case of Envie, this mans preferment may be profitable, but because his eminencie may be hurtfull to me, I cannot af­fect him, this is a knowne sinne; so in Case of the Sacrament, doe you not know you ought to receive often, and not to neglect it in the Con­gregation where you are? Are you not bound to that? You thinke it a sinne not to heare the Word, and is it not so, not to receive the Sa­crament? [Page 197] If he shall be cut off that came not to the Passeover; shall not he be cut off that comes not to the Sacrament? So you know you must renew your repentance; are not these Truthes knowne? and yet will you commit these sins? Goe thorow any knowne sin, and in this Case you doe with-hold the Truth in unrighteous­nesse. But what is it to commit a knowne sin, because it may be I am not convinced sufficient­ly of that? By this thou mayest know it if thou finde thy Conscience to give a secret intimation that it is naught, it is a signe it is a knowne sin, though thou hast got many Arguments for it, and canst dispute for it; for thy Conscience shall witnesse against thee: as in case of Vsury and inordinate gaine, and matters of the Sab­bath, many of which things be in question; see what thy Conscience saith, and take heed of dis­obeying the secret intimations of thy Consci­ence, whatsoever thou hast to say for thy sin before men: Men think a sin not to be a knowne sin, because they are not willing to search it out: Now if thou finde this to be thy Case, that thou art not willing to search it out, to see all that can be said for it, or against it, thou shalt finde it a knowne sin: And this is a notable dif­ference betweene the faithfull and others. A godly man whose heart is set to serve God with a perfect heart in all things; there is nothing that comes under the name of a sin, nothing that hath the shadow of a sin, but he is willing to search it out, to examine it to the full, he is wil­ling [Page 198] to let all say, what they can against it, and when all is done, he desires God to try him: Another is not willing to search, because he is willing to lye in some sin, or because he will not have his Conscience troubled with it, This is a signe of a false heart, though they doe not know that this is a sin, yet it having the shadow of a sin, and they being unwilling to examine it to the full, it shewes it is no lesse.

Case 2.Secondly, the second Case wherein a man with-holds this knowledge,In unwilling­nesse to in­crease a mans Knowledge. and detaines this Truth which God hath made manifest, is when he is not willing to enlarge it; a man that hath already some knowledge (as every man hath some) and is not willing to adde to this know­ledge, to encrease it, that man properly with-holds the Truth in unrighteousnesse: For he that with-holds fewell, puts out the fire, as wel as he that casts water on it, and he that takes away food from a living Creature, kils it, as well as he that takes away its life with violence; so if thou dost not feed this with fewell, with that which may make it grow and encrease, if thou dost not labour to inlarge it, thou dost extin­guish it.

Two sorts of those.And of these men there be two sorts.

First, such as doe not care for any know­ledge 1 at all, or if they doe come to heare, yet they recall it not, meditate not upon it, and so as good never a whit, as never the better, some things they must doe for fashion sake; but if they doe heare, they doe it in a negligent man­ner, [Page 199] they be ever learning, and never come to the knowledge of the truth: These be the first sort of men.

But there is a second sort, and that is those 2 which have knowne much, have heard much, have gone very farre in the knowledge of this Truth, yet will not goe to the uttermost. I may resemble them by Felix (he went not farre, but I use it as a resemblance) when Paul preached, and began to know some measure of this Truth, when some of these sparks began to be revived and stirred up in him, he bade him goe away, and said, he would call for him another time, but he was not so good as his word; so when a man is loth to be brought to that strictnesse and exactnesse that is required as our duty, when he is not willing to be strait laced, that lives at li­berty, and thinkes he will doe it before he dies, but puts it off, this man imprisons the Truth; when the Truth is brought to their doores, to such an high degreee that it is almost loose, yet they let it lye there still; when they shall come to Agrippa's Case, to be almost a Christian, this is to with-hold it, the uttermost end and finishing of the worke is all, and that is the reason men are so shie of it: So when we care not for ad­monition to live exactly and perfectly in all things, when there shall be little reservation, when we wil have a little liberty in this or that▪ I say, the not admitting of this, the not going through with the work, is an imprisoning of the Truth: When men shall come to be unwilling [Page 200] to be called on, it is as if a man shut the doore, and draw the curtens about him, it showes that he delights to sleepe, that he meanes to sleepe, and to continue so; when a man puts off the Truth, and will not be brought to the utter­most, this is the second way of imprisoning the Truth, when he is not willing to adde fewell, to give that which may strengthen and encrease it.

Thirdly, I will name but the third, and that is when a man is past this degree,Case 3. and is come to be willing to know all Truths,In not acting and practising the Truth, by the use of meanes. doth not desire to have any concealed from him, doth not say to the Prophets, prophecie not, but is willing to be informed to the full, yet when he hath it he acts it not, he doth not exercise, nor practice this Truth: That is another degree of with-hol­ding it. And this is a frequent Case; for a man may know and be informed in all Truths, yet they may lye there unused, and unacted, they may lye there idle: Now when a man is not willing to practice the meanes by which these Truths are used, he doth properly with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse: As for example, the way to act the Truths we have to stirre them up, to blow up these coales, to bring them to pre­sent memory, so as they may be brought to pre­sent practise, is the Communion of Saints, the company of holy men, that when a man hath forgot, godly company may bring to minde againe; so frequent reading and hearing these doe act the Truth; for the end of our ministery is not onely to make you to know these things, [Page 201] but to bring those things to minde which you have forgot; if we will not use, but neglect the meanes of acting the Truth, then we with-hold it. So for private prayer, whereas a man should bring his heart to God every day, should doe it throughly, should call himselfe to a reckoning for every sin, for all sorts, of Omissions, or of Commissions, this is a meanes to act this Truth, this good purpose and inclination, this sparke which God hath kindled, were it not for this, they would be raked up in the ashes againe; now performing prayer in a devout and fervent man­ner, doth liven them, whereas to doe things for fashion, or to satisfie naturall conscience, and not throughly, is to neglect them; so that when a man doth not practice, not exercise the Truths hee hath (as the very exercise quickens them againe) when he doth neglect any of the means by which these coales are blowne up, by which these Truths are to be stirred up, he properly imprisons the Truth.

Let no man say,Object. But when a man imprisons a thing, he barres the doore, but to let the Truth lye is a matter of negligence, how is it then an imprisoning?

Yes,Answ. it is an imprisoning, a surprising of it, as it is with fire, if it have not a vent, though you cast no water upon it, yet you put it out; as on the contrary side, if you give it vent, you en­crease it; so you are guilty in this Case of mur­dering the Truth, of putting it out: As in any Art that a man learnes, if he let his Art or Trade [Page 202] lye still and unused, he forgets it, so these Truths are extinguished, when a man is not diligent in using all meanes of grace. The receiving of the Sacrament is a meanes to quicken and Act these Truths; fasting and prayer, when God cals for it, is a meanes to quicken them; goe through all meanes which God hath ordained to put us in minde of these Truths, and so farre as you neglect the meanes, so farre you detaine these Truths in unrigh­teousnesse.

The end of the Seventh Sermon.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON HVMILIATION. The Eighth SERMON.

ROMANS 1.19, 20.

Forasmuch as that which may be knowne of God, is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him, that is, his eternall power and God-head are clearly seene by the creation of the world, being considered in his workes, to the intent that they should be without excuse.

THe fourth Case wherein we with­hold this truth in unrighteous­nesse,Case 4. In suffocating, and suppressing it. and imprison it, is, when we directly suppresse it, when we doe indeed suffocate it, when we doe this of purpose, this is an evident Case, when a [Page 202] [...] [Page 203] [...] [Page 204] man not only withdrawes fewell, when he doth not only not act it, neglecting the meanes, but 1 doth purposely suppresse it:Two wayes. As for example, when God shall kindle a good sparke in any mans heart, and put in a good motion, not only reveales, but stirres up some Truths which con­cerne his salvation, and hee doth endeavour to put it out, to quench it, and labours to lay that truth asleepe, and is glad when by any meanes he can forget it, lest it should trouble him, this is a great suppessing of the Truth, and by this we not only suppresse this Truth, but we doe har­den our owne hearts exceedingly; as in iron, when we quench it, we doe not only put out the fire, but harden the Iron: so when God stirs up many Truths (as it is in hearing the Word, in apprehension of death, in suffering some cala­mity in a good mood) the putting out of these doth harden the heart. Therefore, when a man shall have good purposes, and thinke with him­selfe, I will now begin to be another man, and to change my courses, and yet shall goe into ill company, such as it may be he hath kept be­fore; this is an evident suffocating of the Truth, a thing often spoken of, and blame me not that I speake of it againe; for it is the great quench-coale of Religion, a man cannot prosper there­in, if he looke not to his company, because it is as a continuall dropping on a fire-brand, which will be sure to put out the light, and life and grace which one hath. Chrysostome compares ill company to putting in of swine, when a man [Page 205] hath planted an Orchard with tender Plants, when he hath sowed it, and the corne, or what­soever it is, appeares, leave the hedge open, and let the swine come in, and they will overturne all by the roots: So when we Ministers have sowed the Seed, and it begins to grow, a little to put forth, when ill company come in they spoile all, they marre all, they pull up all by the roots, so that we have lost our labour, it is in­deed so effectuall to keepe downe the Seed, and to make us imprison the Truth.

Againe, custome in sin, giving your selves li­berty 2 in any sin, that keepes downe the Truth, and nothing more. Therefore, of all other things, you must know, nothing suppresses that Truth, that knowledge, those beginnings of Grace, those good motions in us so much as actuall sin, because it is quite contrary to it: Fire is not quenched so much with any thing as with water, being quite contrary thereto; and light is not hid so much in any thing as in darknesse. Take heed then that you be not led away with the deceitfulnesse of sin; you may thinke you shall be able to leave this sin afterwards, but it is not in your power to do so, for sin takes away the sense, and a great sinne weakens the faculty that should resist, it puts out the Truth, because it is so directly contrary unto it.

And herein you must observe a notable dif­ference betweene men that live godly, and o­thers; the godly when they fall into sin, it is so farre from putting out this Truth, that it helps [Page 206] it forward, for their fals doe but discover such sins, and so it causes them to search themselves, by which meanes they finde out that to be in them, which they never knew of before, it may be it is Covetousnesse, or it may be Envy, one thing or other is discovered, and when it is dis­covered, there is a winnowing of themselves, they see there is drosse, and when they see it, they labour to purge it by repentance: It is quite contrary with the other the more they fall into sin, the more they suffocate the Truth, their fal­ling into sin, gives sin more ground, it makes them more in love with sin, it is the more pre­valent against them, the more they delight in it; so that every sin is like the Sea, getting ground of the Land, which they know not how to reco­ver: So this is the fourth way by frequent quen­ching of good motions, by ill company, and falling into sin, they doe harden their hearts, and so suffocate and quench this Truth.

Case 5.The fifth way is, when we doe not remove the impediments,In removing impediments. which if they were taken away, the Truth would rise and shew it selfe, for that is it, that keepes downe the Truth; God hath written it plaine enough on mens hearts, but when we let dust and soile lye on it, we can­not reade it: This Idlenesse and Lazinesse suffe­ring these impediments to lye on you, to cover the Truth in you, is to with-hold the Truth. Therefore, Seneca hath a notion in this Case, though he was an Heathen; the soule of man, were it free from passions and distractions, and [Page 207] were quiet, Truth should be seene clearely, as you see a penny, or a stone in a cleare river, so Truth would appeare: Doe but remove the im­pediments that commonly rise from us, and which Satan injects, and this Truth will shew it selfe: for these words (they with-hold the Truth) shew that the Truth is ready enough of it selfe to come forth.

Now there be certaine impediments which we remove not, and they are these two; either businesse, and from thence proceeds feare, and care, and griefe, or else recreations, and the pleasures and joyes that come from them, one of these two are alway the impediments.

First, for businesse, when a man takes too much on him, even more than hee is able to weald, or doth give himselfe to too much feare, and care, and griefe, which are contrary to this Truth, as Luke 1. it is the promise that wee should serve him in holinesse and righteousnesse all our dayes without feare: But let a man be filled with carnall feare, it suppresseth the Truth, and keepes it downe. So for Care, Philip. 4. Cast your care on God, for he careth for you; and the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keepe your hearts and mindes in Christ Iesus: The mea­ning is, if you will care for your owne matters, pester your selves with Cares and perplexities, it will interrupt your Communion with Christ Iesus, it will interrupt your peace, and if your peace, then your Communion with Christ; therefore he exhorts them to cast their care on [Page 208] Christ. So for Griefe, it is a great hinderance, the Israelites could not hearken to Moses for the anguish of their hearts, and he that minds things too much, pierceth himselfe thorow with sor­rowes, this was the thing that suffocated the third ground, they were kept downe, partly with care, and partly with divers lusts: Martha was troubled with many things: Therefore take heed of too much businesse, or intending it too much, or inordinately.

Secondly, Sports, Pleasures, and Recreati­ons, things wherein men delight too much, these are impediments to the Truth, if any of these get predominancie in your mindes, they hinder this Truth, if you will set it at liberty, remove this impediment; divers lusts keepe it downe, as cares, as we may see in the third ground: And Esay 1. Woe be to you that laugh; If there were not something in this inordinate mirth and jol­lity that keepes downe the Truth, why should that be added? and the removall of these Im­pediments is of great consequence. For there may be many hundreds of men which, perhaps, have not so ill meanings with them, yet are car­ried away with the tract of vanity, that are not so opposite to the Truth, as forgetfull of it, that doe not so much resist it, as neglect it, that yet keepe downe the truth. These men partly bu­sied with cares, partly intent on pleasures, death shall come upon them as a theefe in the night, and shall lead them captive to hell, because they held this Truth captive, which had they set at [Page 209] liberty, it would have set them at liberty, free from death and condemnation: That is the fifth Case.

The sixth Case wherein they with-hold this Truth in unrighteousnesse, Case 6. is, when they have it, and doe not use it, and communicate it to the good of others, and herein many faile: As first, Ministers that have their charge, yet doe either Non residere, or segniter residere; but that con­cernes not this Auditory: Therefore I will not meddle with it; but it concernes not only them, but common Christians likewise: When men are converted, a charge lyes on them to ende­vour to convert their brethren, they should la­bour to use this Truth, to kindle it in others, the neglect thereof is a suppressing of it; for there is a charge laid upon them, that according to their measure, in their sphere, according to their callings, they should endevour as much as they can to enlarge this Truth: So likewise masters of families are bound to doe it, shall hee bee worse than an Infidell, that provides not food for his family, and shall it not be a greater sin in him that provides not spirituall food? doth it not concerne him in private, as well as the Mi­nister in publike? Was it not that which God tooke speciall notice of in Abraham, I will not hide it from Abraham, for hee will instruct his family, and his sonnes, and they shall know the wayes of the LORD: Therefore, when they neglect this Charge, they with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse: So Patrons of livings, if they [Page 210] doe not their part to bring faithfull labourers into the Vineyard, and uphold them when they are there, they with-hold the Truth in unrighte­ousnesse; for they hinder it, though it bee not their calling properly to bring forth fruit (for that is the Ministers) yet it is their part to up­hold them: It is the Vine that brings forth the Grapes, but the Proppe is to hold it up: So it is the office of Patrons to sustaine Ministers in the Lords Vineyard: Likewise Lawyers and Ad­vocates have a charge to minister the Truth, not to cloake it: It is the office of Iustice, to rectifie the Truth, and not to adulterate it, but to informe rightly, and properly, when they doe not discover the Truth, they doe with-hold the Truth, if they should not labour to doe that, it were a hurtfull calling; but there is no calling that is not for the benefit of men, but if it be thus used to conceale the Truth, it were hurtfull, and not usefull: so likewise they that be Governours, Iustices of Peace in the Coun­trey, they with-hold this Truth, if they per­forme not their duties diligently for this Truth: As it is committed to us Ministers to preach it, so it is committed to you, that are Governours, to bring men into the obedience of it, you are to goe your way by the Sword, and by your Authority, for it is committed to your kee­ping, as it is said of the great Magistrate, he is Custos utriusque tabulae; you must looke that Truth have his progresse, as well as that the Common-wealth suffers no detriment: There­fore [Page 211] let not your Authority lye as a Sword in a scabbard, but let it be kept sharpe, to cut downe Popery, and whatsoever is an Impedi­ment to this Truth, and thinke it no small thing to neglect it; for whatsoever sinnes are com­mitted, which you have Authority to restraine, these sinnes are put on your reckoning: Looke on the first Epistle of Timothy, the fifth Chap­ter, and the two and twentieth verse, Lay hands on no man suddenly (saith the Apostle) and be not partakers of another mans sinnes: If any be un­der thee whom thou hast to doe with, if thou doest not bring him in, and restraine him, thou art partaker of his sinnes; you know what was said to Ahab, Thy life shall goe for his life; and you know that not to strike the Nocent, is as abominable in Gods sight, as to strike the In­nocent: Therefore take heed of neglecting it, whether it be out of feare, (as that is one Im­pediment) or out of negligence, Rom. 12.8. Let them that rule doe it diligently; let them that give Almes doe it cheerefully: As if that were a thing wherein givers are too blame, that they doe it not cheerefully and diligently: Therefore be you diligent in your places, to set the Truth at liberty, to bring men into subjection to it, so farre as may be: And so much shall serve for this, being the sixth Case.

Now the seventh and last case,Case 7. is, when we know these Truths of God, and doe not pro­fesse them, when God kindled a light, and you put it under a bushell: When God worketh [Page 212] Grace in any mans heart, his Intent is, it should shine forth to the eyes of others, you must not shut up the windowes, that no body may see; if you doe, whatsoever your respects be; you with-hold the Truth in unrighteousnesse: He that shall know the Truth, and out of feare shall not professe it openly, this feare is a sinne, and hee that with-holds it out of that respect, with-holds it in unrighteousnesse; It is that which GOD requires of necessity, With the heart wee beleeve, and with the mouth we confesse to Salvation, GOD requires the one as well as the other; this is that, that shut out the Pharisees, the chiefe men among the Rulers that beleeved, they durst not confesse him for feare of the Pharisees, you shall see a brand set on them, they lost their soules for it. There­fore doe not say a man may keepe Religion to himselfe, may have a good minde, and bee devout in secret, and that to bring it to view is hypocrisie, it is not so, it is a false opinion; In doing so, you robbe GOD of his glory, and your selves of salvation: It it the bearing wit­nesse to the Truth, which you are bound unto, and you cannot have this Truth in you, but it will appeare, Grace cannot bee concealed, it cannot be hidde; and if it could, yet you must know that the very concealing of this Truth, puts an imputation on it; for wee conceale no­thing but what wee are ashamed of, and shame implyes (you know) that there is something amisse; so that though you little thinke of it, [Page 213] this concealing of the Truth, this hiding of it, is a degree to blasphemie, it layes an imputa­tion on the HOLY GHOST, for it doth on the Light and Truth which is an effect of the HOLY GHOST: Therefore know GOD desires both, hee will have the inside cleane, and the outside too; Indeed, if the inside be cleane, the outside will bee so also, but it is not true on the contrary; A man may have a cleane outside, as in Matthew the three and twentieth Chapter, Make the inside cleane, that the outside may bee cleane also: The meaning is, If a man have a cleane inside, it is not possible but a cleane outside will fol­low: It is true, there may bee leaves, and no fruit, but there can bee no fruit, but there will beleaves; many counterfeit peeces may looke yellow, but there is no Gold but it lookes yellow: Doe not say then it is hypocrisie, in them that professe Religion, for they would not take the profession of these things to them­selves, but that they see a beauty, and excel­lencie in them.

Therefore consider it, and know there lyes a necessity on you; do you think it unequall that God should be ashamed of you, and will you be ashamed of him? Is he such a Father that his children should bee ashamed of him? or such a Master as we should be ashamed to weare his Livery? Doe this to earthly Masters, and see how they will take it: Indeed if there were not some losse to men in undertaking this pro­fession, [Page 214] wee need not spend so much time to presse men to it, but there is a losse in professing the Truth; you may lose many friends, and procure many enemies, undergoe many cros­ses, lose many benefits and preferments, which you might have had, this CHRIST tells you before-hand, but if you love him, you must deny your selves in these. They breed an em­nity in men, instance that place of Ahab, Hast thou found mee, Oh mine enemie? And am I your enemie, because I tell you the Truth? All men shall hate you for my Names sake: And the more the Truth appeares, the greater is the hatred, because the object of hatred is greater.

Object.But, if you object what is the reason Peter saith, 1 Pet. 3.13. Will any man deny to follow that which is good?

Answ.I answer, There is a double good, and that is profitable to man, as to be Iust, Meeke, Gen­tle, Patient, ready to doe good; in a word, all goodnesse of this kinde men will love you for; but there is another thing in Religion, and that is practice of true Righteousnesse, and Holi­nesse, and that crosses men: Therefore Saint Peter addes, Blessed are yee, if yee suffer for righ­teousnesse sake: As if he had said, though for your goodnesse men love you, yet for your righte­ousnesse you must suffer persecution; therefore that must be made account of before-hand and you must be ready to beare it: So much shall serve to set downe the Cases, Wherewith men with-hold this Truth in unrighteousnesse.

[Page 215]Fourthly, if there bee such a Truth made knowne to us by God himselfe, then in the observing of this Truth,Vse 4. looke for happinesse, in the transgressing of it expect misery, ruine and destruction: If God that is the Governour, the Summum bonum, shall appoint the Truth, and set man a Law, whatsoever that Law is, in observing of that Law, there is happinesse: It is so with every creature, he hath given every creature a Law, and so long as he keeps to that, he is in a good condition and state: Now the Law given to us is this Truth, in observing it thou shalt keepe thy life, thy happinesse; take heed, therefore, of departing from it, whenso­ever a man departs from it he is deceived, and no man will willingly be deceived.

But,Object. you will say, a man is not deceived in sin, for I know it is a sin.

Yes,Answ. in this thou art deceived, no man com­mits a sinne, but at that time he thinkes it better that he commit it, and worse that he abstaine from it, and in this thou art deceived: Goe thorow all the Scripture, and finde any one sinne there recorded, and see if the party bee not a loser: Goe to Ieroboam, did hee not lose his Kingdome by that, by which he thought to save it: Goe to Iudas, to Gehezi, was it not his ruine▪ I say, every man is deceived; as it was said of Eve, Eve was deceived; so it may b [...] said of all the sons of Adam, when they commi [...] a sin they are deceived.

But if you object,Object. Adam was not deceived▪ [Page 216] 1 Tim. 2. The woman was deceived, but the man was not.

Answ.I answer, the meaning is, there is an imme­diate deceiving, when a man is meerely cooze­ned, because there is a fault in his reason, and for that mistakes a thing, and so was Eve onely de­ceived, shee being the weaker: But there is a se­cond kinde, when a man is not immediately de­ceived, but transported by a lust, and that was Adams Case; and that lust arises from deceit: Suppose it be a lust of envie that transports a man to a sinne, although that doth not imme­diately deceive, yet this (as all sinnes) arises from Errour. Therefore when any tempta­tion comes, see if it be a sinne, if it be a sinne, be sure thou art deceived, and though thou canst not find out the deceit, yet remember it is there, Ephes. 4. you shall finde these put together, The old man is corrupt through lusts proceeding from deceit, and be renewed in the spirit of your mindes after the Image of God in holinesse and righteous­nesse, which comes from the Spirit of Truth, you shall finde there is not a lust but it comes from deceit, and not any holinesse, but it comes from a rectifying of the Apprehension and from Truth; for in these two things (marke it) the Image of God and Satan consist: The Image of God consists not onely in holinesse, but in truth; therefore the Image of God is re­newed in holinesse proceeding from Truth: As on the contrary side the old man doth not only stand in lusts, but in deceit, from whence the lust [Page 217] comes. Therefore take heed of that deceit, and know this, when any sinne is committed, it is contrary to Truth, to the Law, to this know­ledge, and let that be an Argument against it. I cannot stand to presse it more: So much shall serve for this point.

The end of the Eighth Sermon.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON HVMILIATION. The Ninth SERMON.

ROMANS 1.19, 20.

Forasmuch as that which may be knowne of God, is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him, that is, his eternall power and God-head are clearly seene by the creation of the world, being considered in his workes, to the intent that they should be without excuse.

THe third point then which now re­mains to be handled,Point 3. is this, There is so much revealed to every man,There is so much revealed to every man as will make him inexcu­sable. as will make him inexcusable, we see the words are cleare, GOD hath made it knowne to them by the Creation, by his [Page 220] workes, to the intent they should be without excuse; or if you will translate it, so that they are without excuse, the words will beare either. There is so much revealed then, as will make every man in­excusable: For the manifestation of this Truth, goe no further than this Chapter.

First, consider, God hath made himselfe knowne to every man by his workes of Crea­tion, this is the booke every man may reade, this is exposed to every mans eye, it is a lan­guage which every man understands.

Secondly, you shall see what they doe, they did not glorifie him as GOD, neither were thankfull, but became vaine in their imagina­tions, and their foolish hearts were full of dark­nesse, that is their carriage towards God.

Thirdly, when God doth behold this car­riage in them, he gives them up to a reprobate sense, to vile affections, to their hearts lusts, till they be full of all unrighteousnesse, as it is ex­pressed in the latter end of the Chapter, because they regarded not to know God, he delivered them up to a reprobate minde, to doe things un­comely, being full of all unrighteousnesse. And if you marke this prophecie, you shall see how God is excused, and how all the world is inex­cusable:

First, God did that which was sufficient on his part, he made himselfe knowne.

Secondly, they did wilfully and stubbornely despise this knowledge, they regarded not to know God, nor practised according to know­ledge, [Page 221] but provoked him with their sinnes, and became vaine, making no conscience of offen­ding him: Then comes in this in the third place, they are delivered up to a reprobate sense, so as they cannot heale themselves, they are brought to an irrecoverable state, as a man in quicke sands that goes deeper and deeper, and knowes not how to get out, they are given up to vile af­fections, so as they cannot loose themselves out of the bands of the Devill, but marke the pro­gresse: First, God reveales himselfe, then they provoke him by precedent sinnes, then he gave them up to these affections. But to open the point at large, and to shew the excuses men have, and their weaknesse, and how they are ta­ken away, and then it will be evident that all men are inexcusable.The Excuses; whereby men endevour to purge them­selves.

The first pretence men have, is that they know not God, they are not acquainted with him,Excuse 1. they are ignorant of his wayes: That is easily answered,Tha [...] they know not God. that they that know him least, yet have so much knowledge as will make them inexcusable:Answ. They that have onely beene ac­quainted with the Creation of the world, sal­vage men that never heard the Word, that were never acquainted with the Scripture, yet these know God, for God hath manifested himselfe to them. This I proved at large in the former point, so that no man can deny but he knowes God, that is, that there is a God, and this very thing, if no more, is enough to make them in­excusable, for they knew God, but glorified him [Page 222] not as God: when such a man knowes there is an almighty power, by his naturall wit, hee is able to deduce, if there be a God, I must be­have my selfe well towards him, I must feare him as God, I must be affected to him as God, I must worship him with all reverence as God; but the most ignorant man confesses there is a God, no Nation denyes it, but how farre are they from glorifying him as God? from car­rying themselves towards him, as it becomes men to carry themselves towards an Almightie God maker of heaven and earth.

But secondly,Excuse 2. the second pretence is, but God requires more of mee than that,God requires more know­ledge than men have of him. if that were enough to know God, that there is an invisible God, to acknowledge the Deity and eternall Power, it were well, but God requires more.

Answ.To this I answer, God requires no more of any man than either he doth know, or might have knowne; goe thorow the whole Vniverse, all men of the world that are or have beene, and I say, God requires of no man more than either he doth know, or might have knowne: I put that in, because there be many men that might know more than they doe, spoken of 2 Pet. 3.5. Some there are that are willingly ignorant: He mea­neth men that are willingly ignorant of some things, but it is all one as if they knew them. And this makes men of this Nation inexcusa­ble,The inexcusa­blenesse of ig­norant Coun­trey people. as your ignorant Countrey-people, who though they know nothing, yet because they might have knowne, they are as inexcusable as [Page 223] if they had knowne as much as any; for though every Parish have not a preaching Minister, (which is a thing much to be wished) yet there is no Countrey but some light is set up in it, whither they may resort if they will, and this will make them inexcusable: So they that live under much meanes, that are ever learning, and never come to the knowledge of the Truth, and so have brought a sottishnesse on themselves, they are inexcusable, because themselves are the cause of their not profiting, as a man that is drunke, though he is not able to understand the commands of his Master, yet because he was the first Author of the drunkennesse, (which caused such sottishnesse) he is inexcusa­ble; so they that neglect the Word, or when the Word enters not into the heart, because men delight not in it, (as you shall finde these put together, Prov. 2.10. When wisdome enters into thy soule, and knowledge delights thee) when the cause that men profit not, is because they de­light in other things, the streame runnes another way; and so as the Sunne puts out fire, and the outward heat extinguisheth the inward heat, so they doe drive out the Word by divers lusts, when they might have abstained from those other delights, and have attended to the Word with more diligence, they are inexcusable: So that God requires no more of any man,Pretence 3. than either he doth know,We h [...]ve no ability to per­forme the things we know. or might have knowne.

The third pretence is, and that is greater than the other two, I but wee have no ability to [Page 224] performe the things wee doe know.

Quest.That every man is ready to say, Who is able to practice according to his knowledge?

Answ.To this I answer, It is false, there is ability in every man to do according to that he knows; for so farre as light goes, so farre there is abili­ty in the will and affections to follow that light; there is a common light in men that are in state of unregeneration (indeed sanctifying light they have not) and they are able to goe as farre as their light goes, and I will appeale to any mans experience, let him looke backe to the course of his life, and examine himselfe, was there ever any particular action in all thy life, from which thou wast so hindered, that thou canst say thou couldest not doe it? was there ever any parti­cular sinne, of which thou couldst say, this sinne I could not abstaine from? And howsoever we may make it a matter of dispute in the Schools; yet the worst man, one in whom we may thinke corruption of nature to be most strong, when he comes to die, he doth not excuse himselfe, but acknowledge he is guilty. If you consider the nature of liberty, there a spontaneity in beasts, by which they are carried to that which their appetite desires, but that is not Liberum, though Spontaneum: But when a reasonable creature lookes on a thing as Elegibile or non E­legibile, and not only so, but is able to reason on both sides, is able to see arguments for both, that makes it differ from Spontaneity, when there is no outer impediment, when you may take or [Page 225] refuse it, when you have Arguments to reason, and see the commodity and discommodity of it, your will is now free, so that I may truly af­firme every man hath a free-will to doe that, for the not doing of which he is condemned; marke it.

But you will object,Object. I but a man is condem­ned for not beleeving, for not turning to God, for not having his heart changed, for not being a new Creature, but these no man hath power to doe; therefore a man is condemned for some­thing which he is not able to doe.

To this I answer,Answ. It is true, a man hath not power to performe these, but yet withall, I say, he hath power to doe those things, upon the neglect of which, God denyes him ability to beleeve and repent: So that, it is true, though a man cannot beleeve and repent, and neverthe­lesse for this is condemned; yet withall take this with you, there be many precedent Acts, which a man hath in his liberty to doe, or not to doe, by which he tyes God, and deserves this Iustly, that God should leave him to himselfe, and deny him ability of beleeving and repenting, which as a necessary duty lyes on him: So that though a man hath no ability to doe this, yet he hath ability to abstaine from the things, by the which he provoks God to anger, and by which he deserves this at his hands, not to be able to beleeve, &c. For proofe goe to this Chapter, They knew God, but they glorified him not as God, therefore (they having not done the precedent [Page 226] Acts which they should have done) saith the Text, God gave them up to their lusts: He tooke away all ability to repent, he deprived them of all the sparkles of common grace and know­ledge which before they had, but this is a thing which they themselves deserved first. So much for the Third, when we come to the use we will be more large.

Pretence 4.Fourthly, men excuse themselves from this, their natures are corrupt,From the cor­ruption of na­ture, which they cannot resist. and they have strong inclinations, strong lusts inclining them to this or that sinne which they cannot resist, therefore are excusable.

Answ. 1.To this I answer, It is not so, none hath so strong an inclination to any sin, but he is able to resist it. This is the Argument; Let a man have hell and death set before him, nay, let some tem­porall shame or punishment be set before him, which hee shall immediately undergoe, when such a sin is committed, and see if this will not restraine him, when the lust is most impetuous. Therfore it is not, because he cannot restraine it, but because he will not.

Answ. 2.Secondly, hast not thou brought on thy selfe that strong Inclination, that strange power of sinne? Art not thou the cause of it? For though there be originall sin in us, yet we may intend that originall sinne by frequencie in any actuall sin: As Varnish intends colours, it puts on no new colours, but intends it, makes it more bright; if there was a glimmering light be­fore, addition of light makes the former light [Page 227] greater, so frequencie of sin, makes sinne more active, more efficacious, more vigorous, as hu­mours being accustomed to a place, are ready to breake forth there; so a sin wherein you have had an issue, wherin you have given your selves liberty, there sin gets greater victory over you; therefore consider if you be not guilty of the power of sin, of the impetuity of your lusts.

Lastly,Answ. 3. consider if you have not deserved that God should give you up to these lusts; many are taken in sin, as the fish on the hooke, which cannot get off, it seizes as an Apoplexie on a man that cannot be cured: When the sinne gets ground, it is like the sea, getting ground on the land, which cannot be recovered. I confesse this is the Case of many hundred men, but con­sider if you have not made way for this; for as the lower stayres lead up to the higher; so there be lesser sins which make way for greater, not by way of efficacie, as Acts beget an habite, but by way of merit, God may Iustly give them over to this strength of sin: Therefore though their lusts bee strong and impetuous, yet this doth not make them inexcusable.

Fifthly,Pretence 5. when none of this will serve the turne,From Temp­tations of com­pany, businesse, &c. then they are readie to lay it on their temptations: How can a man doe otherwise when it stands in such circumstances, that is, sub­ject to such company, to such occasions, such businesses, and so many things to draw him away: When that within will not excuse him, he comes to that without.

[Page 228]To this I answer, when a man is drawne to a­ny thing without, it is the concupiscence within that doth it;Answ. 1. put fire to that which is not com­bustible, it will not burne, it is the corruption within that doth all. Therefore, observe that in Act. 5. It is Peters speech to Ananias and Saphira, Why hath Satan filled thy heart? As if he had said, It is true, Satan hath put this into thy heart, he hath tempted thee to the sin, to lye to the Holy Ghost, but know, thou wast the cause of it, thou hadst the keyes of thy heart, if thou hadst not suffered Satan to have entred, he could not have done it.

Answ. 2.And besides, consider if thou hast not put thy selfe into this Temptation; It is one thing for God to lead into temptation, and another thing to lead our selves into it. You know what is said of Ahaziah 2 King. 8.27. He walked in the wayes of the Kings of Israel, and did as the house of Ahab had done, because he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: As if he had said, It is true, it was Ahabs daughter that led him into those sins, but he led himselfe into the temptation, he should not have married Ahabs daughters: Consider whether thou hast not put thy selfe into this circum­stance, and led thy selfe into this temptation.

Pretence 6.Last of all, another Pretence and Excuse is, as I have the temptation that others want,From the want of meanes. so I want the means others have; If I had the means others have, I should doe well enough.

Answ.I answer, first consider if thou hadst not meanes, and didst not profit by them, consider [Page 229] how many meanes God affoorded thee, from whence thou receivedst not that fruit and pro­fit, which thou mightest have done: And if thou didst not, and God deprived thee of the meanes, know thou art the cause of it thy selfe: for when men neglect the meanes, when God shall set up a light, and men will not worke by that light, he doth, as Masters doe with their servants, when they set them a candle, and they play by it, and will not use it as they should, they take it away in anger; so God removes away the light, he takes away the Gospell, he sends a famine of the Word, when we neglect it, or as parents doe, when their children play with their meat, they take it from them: When men will not use their Talents, God takes them away, and this Talent of the Word above all other, when it shall be abused, and not used to Gods glory.

If all this will not serve to excuse them in generall,Other particu­lar Excuses. then are they ready to excuse them­selves, in particular: First, by denying the fact; or, Secondly, by slighting the fault.

First,First, by deny­ing the Fact. by denying the Fact, they deny that they are guilty of a thousand sins of which they are guilty; this disposition you shall finde in them in Malach. 1. You have despised me, and you say, Wherein have we despised thee? And you have robbed me, and spoiled me, and you say, Wherein have we robbed thee? And you reckon it a wearinesse to serve the Lord, and you say, wherein are we weary? So it is the nature of man to deny the Fact, if it [Page 230] be possible: See Gods answer, when they have asked these questions, You have offered the lame and blinde in sacrifice. Consider what you doe? doe you not despise God in the prayers that you make, doe not you performe them in a sleight and perfunctory manner? Doe you not offer to God of the worst? There be men that Salomon speakes of, that despise their way, that is, some things they neglect, which they thinke are not worth looking after, some things they reckon as trifles, which they will not care for, this is to despise God.

Secondly,Secondly, By sleighting the Fault. If they cannot deny the Fact, they sleight the Fault, and one of these they say, ei­ther the sinne is small which they commit, and hope that will excuse them; or if they be grea­ter sins, they fall into them by humane frailty, and infirmity, and are sorry for what they have done, so extenuating what they doe, and ma­king it a matter of nothing.

Ob. It is a smal sinne.But to answer first for small sins, sins are not to be measured by the bulke, but by the circum­stances with which they are committed,Answ. though thou thinkest it a small sin in it selfe, yet consi­dering it with the circumstances it may bee great: A sin committed against light of consci­ence, and with deliberation, is a great sin, as the Prophet that turned another way, it was a small thing for him to doe it, yet having the sure Word of God for a rule not to doe it, you see God punished him, not, as for a small sinne, and he being just, we may argue from the great­nesse [Page 231] of the punishment, that the sin was great; so Adams eating of the forbidden fruit, to eat an Apple was a small matter, but there being the Almighty God's Command to the contrary, the punishment shews what the sin was: So men thinke that to sweare a small oath, is no great matter, but Christ saith, Let your yea, be yea, and your nay, nay; and when God hath commanded a thing, though it be never so smal, yet that makes it great: so it was a small thing for Saul to sacri­fice before Samuel came, but you see what it cost him, God for that cast him away for ever? So in the things you reckon small, take heed you be not deceived, be the thing never so small, yet for that you may be contemned, as well as for the greatest sin, for he that is unfaithfull in the least, will not be faithfull in much: And take the least sin, there is the same reason of sinful­nesse in that, that is in the greatest, as a drop is water, aswell as the Ocean: If thou abstaine from sin, because there is an Antipathy between sin and thee, as it is with every man after rege­neration, thou wilt abstaine from all sins. You know a Pigeon wil not meddle with any feather of an Hauke, because there is an Antipathy be­tween them, and the sheepe hates every Wolfe, and men hate every Toad, his stomacke rises at a little Toad; so a right gracious heart abhors every thing that is evill, and cleaves to every thing that is good, indeed he failes much in per­formance, but his heart is sound.

Againe, there is no small sinne, but it makes [Page 232] way for a greater, as playing at small games, makes us afterward to play at greater: There­fore the littlenesse of the sinne excuses not; for one sin admitted is of great consequence, be­cause it drawes on many that are great.

Ob. I fell into by infirmity.Now for the second, some they say are small, some are great, and for them that be great, they commit them by Accident, out of infirmity, and are sorry for what they have done.

Answ. 1.You must know this, if they were committed by infirmity, the Excuse were good, for even the faithfull themselves fall into divers sins out of infirmity; but take heed of deceiving thy selfe.

If thou findest this thy Case, that thy heart is renewed, that thou wagest a continuall warre against thy sins, resolvest never to make peace or truce with them, usest all meanes thou canst againts them, admittest of no occasion to lead thee to sin, and yet fallest into it against purpose, and sincere desire of heart, it is a sin of infirmi­ty, and God will so Iudge of it, but put case thou holdst not a continuall war with thy selfe, but sayest, I see it is a sin which I am strongly inclined to, I shall be weary with resisting, there­fore I must give out, I cannot choose; now if thou leave striving, and lay downe thy wasters, this is not a sin of infirmity.

2 Againe, if thou keepest company that leads to that sin, of dost venture on that occasion, be­holding such objects walking on the brinke and comming neere the sin. It is a false pretence that [Page 233] thou fallest into it by infirmity, or by accident, for thou allowest thy selfe in it, thou lyest and continuest in it.

So againe, hast thou used thy uttermost 3 power, hast thou prayed hard against it, nay, hast thou fasted and prayed against it, for some devils cannot be cast out without both: Indeed if a man use all his strength to resist it, he shall fall into it seldome, and it is to be excused thus, but if otherwise, it is no sin of infirmity.

But they say,Ob. But I am sorry that I so sinned. I am sorry for what I have done; Take heed thou be not deceived in that. Is it not a false sorrow?Answ. 1. art not thou more sorry for the effect of sin, than for the evill of sin, for the burning of the coale, than for the blacknesse of the coale? There is much present evill in sin, that may make thee repent it afterward.

Againe,Answ. 2. if it be not so, is it not a slight sor­row? not proportionable to thy sin: Is it a sor­row that continues on thy heart? Is it a sorrow effectuall to worke any change in thee, to pre­vent sin for the time to come? Otherwise, if thou say thou art sorry for it, and yet fallest in­to it againe and again, it is no true sorrow: Goe to thy Neighbour and say, I have done thee an Injury, and am sorry for it, and yet fall into the same againe and againe, it will seeme that it was but a false sorrow: So if thou dost pretend sor­row for thy sins, and yet relapsest into them againe, it is a slight sorrow that God regards not. So much shall serve to take away the Ex­cuses, learne to lay this to heart, and consider it, [Page 234] and see how you be inexcusable: Now to make use of it.

The first Vse is to justifie God,Vse 1. learne to lay the blame where it is, that is, on our selves; thinke not that God condemnes any without cause, for every man is inexcusable. And here this point is specially to be marked: I doe not say, men are inexcusable only, in regard of A­dams sin (that being a Truth we all assent unto, that in regard of Adams sin, the ability we had, we lost in him) but I will goe further, men are inexcusable in regard of their present condition, and their actuall sins, marke it well. The reason whereupon he inferres that they are inexcusa­ble, is; God hath made himselfe knowne to them, namely by his workes and creation, he goes not to Adams sin, but they had knowledge enough; this knowledge they practised not, and in regard of the present actuall evils which they committed, they are inexcusable. There­fore, that God may be glorified and justified, that he may be true, and every man a lyer, know that God condemneth not for any more than he hath revealed, as some have onely the Law of Nature, so they are condemned onely for breaking that Law, they are not condemned for not worshipping God according to the Law of Moses or the Gospell, but simply and onely for breaking the Law of Nature; They that have sinned without the Law, shall be condemned without the Law, Rom. 2.12. That is, at the last day there shall no more be laid to their charge, this you [Page 235] knew, and this you broke: So againe, they that onely knew the Law of Moses, yea, at this day, if there be any Iew in the world, which never heard of Christ, which never had meanes to know him, he shall not be condemned for not beleeving in Christ, but for the breach of the Law of Na­ture, and the Law of Moses, and the reason is good, for by the same reason that the Gentiles shall not be condemned for breaking the Law of Moses, by the same equity and ground, they that have not the knowledge of the Gospell, shall not be condemned for breaking the Law of the Gospell: So that if wee consider this, There is no man (goe thorow all) but God shall lay this to his charge at the day of Iudgement; Doe not say, I bound thee to impossible things, that I laid on thee a Law, thou couldst not keep, thou shalt not have this excuse left thee, I gave thee ability to doe much, but thou didst not doe that thou wert able to doe, for that is the con­dition of every man, he is able to doe more than he doth, and if any man perish, it is for not doing the things he was able to doe.

But you will say,Object. God might have revealed more.

I answer,Answ. God doth lead along, but men doe Ponere obices, lay blocks in his way; God deales not only in Iustice, but in much mercy with any vessell of wrath: Indeed he loves the godly in a speciall manner, but mercy he shewes to every man, and the reason why he is not brought to more light, is, because he layes blockes, and [Page 236] when God reveales still, he layes more, till at length there be an end of his patience and long-suffering.

To give an instance in Saul and David; God led Saul along, but he sins still, God leads him on, till at length hee went his way, and God leaves him quite; but in David you shall finde as many frailties as in Saul; if you looke on Da­vids nature, the strong temptations to which he was subject, he was ready to lay blockes too; but because God had a peculiar love to David, he removed them all; yet God dealt with Saul in much mercy, he shewed much patience, and long-suffering; but David he loved with a pe­culiar love, therefore he carried him thorow all: So it is with all the faithfull, I will put my feare in thine heart, that thou shalt never depart from me, saith God.

Object.But, you will say, this is to preach Free-will, and if men have free-will and be condemned for not doing what they might doe, what is the dif­ference betweene the Doctrine of the Papists and this?

Answ.I answer, Though there be a free-wil to doe that, for the not doing of which they shall be condemned; so as you cannot come to any par­ticular that these men cannot doe, yet God hath kept it in his power to draw whom he will, to sanctifie whom he will, for God keepes these two together, he keepes men within compasse of common grace, so that they may doe much of themselves, and the changing of mens hearts, [Page 237] the enabling of them to beleeve effectually, or repent, the drawing of them to God, that is, proper to God: So that these may well stand together, this freedome they have, yet it is not in any mans power to beleeve, to repent effe­ctually.

The second use we should make of it,Vse 2. is for pra­ctice; learne hence then to justifie God, and to condemne our selves, to thinke well of him, and ill of our selves, to give him the glory of his mercy, and patience, and long-suffering; and to take shame to our selves, lay the blame where the blame ought to be laid: for let a man have committed never so great, never so many sins, if he hath something to say for himselfe, he will never be humble; labour to come to this, to see that thou hast nothing to say for thy selfe, to see that thy sin is out of measure sinfull, as indeed it is; and this will put a necessity on thee, and teach thee to love much, because much is for­given thee, and till this thou canst not be a man fit to come to Christ: Therefore you shall finde these two expressions, Rom. 3. All are under sinne: And the like is in Galath. 3.22. He hath shut up all under sin, that the promise by the faith of IESUS CHRIST might be given to them that beleeve, that every mouth may be stopped. That is, before God will shew mercy, he will bring them to see that they are inexcusable, that their mouths may be every way stopped, that they may have nothing to say for themselves, that they may have no excuse, no Postica, no back-doore when a [Page 238] man is shut up in sin, when there is no evasion, nothing to extenuate sin withall, then his soule is humble, and begins to sin [...]e before God; then he sees the necessity of comming to Christ, and is brought into the case they were in, in the se­cond Chapter of the Acts, Men and brethren, what shall we doe to be saved? As if they should say, before we thought we were in a good con­dition, at least we had something to hold by in our apprehension, but when Peter shewes them their guiltinesse, then, men and brethren what shall we doe to be saved: This is it the Scripture cals, Afflict your selves, Iam. 3. Now the Greek word for Affliction, is, [...], that is, when sorrow stands round about a man, when there is no way to get out, when one is hedged in on every side, for when there is any scape, it is not pro­perly an Affliction, because there is an evasion, a way to helpe out, but that makes it an Afflicti­on, when it compasses us round, when we have nothing to say, when all objections are remo­ved, so that we are througly convinced of sin, this stirres up present apprehension of danger, present sorrow for sin, and when any Affliction is present, it will have present ease. There be many excuses, but when the Holy Ghost re­moves all these, then men are driven to Christ, indeed; before they clave to sinne, as to their Center, still departing, and loath to depart, for men come out of the state of unregeneration, as Lot did come out of Sodome, who was so loath to come out, that the Angell was faine to draw [Page 239] him out; so till we be all nothing, till there be no twigge to hang by, till there be no Fibrae to nourish us on our owne bottome, we will never come to Christ: as Ioab, if he could have esca­ped Salomon, he would not have flowne to the hornes of the Altar, but when he saw no hopes, then he laid hold on them, and said, If he will kill me, he shall kill me here: So if we can subsist in our naturall condition wherein we are, we will love it, we will cleave to it; but when God hath ferited us out of all our turnings, that there is no hope left, then we goe to Christ, then we take hold on the hornes of the Altar; as when a man hath a cord let downe to him into the sea, you need not bid him hold fast: So when God takes away all excuses, takes a man quite from his owne bottome, cuts him from the root of Nature on which hee grew, this makes him come to Christ. When we tell men of their sins, that they are accursed, that doe not keepe every part of the Law, they deale with us as the Aegyptians did, when it was told them, that in every house the first borne should die, except the destroying Angell saw their doore­posts sprinkled with bloud, they regarded it not, they minded it not, till the very day, and then where the bloud was not found, they died for it: So we may tell you of sin, of the danger you are in, we may tell you, that you shall die, yet you beleeve it not, only a few, whose hearts are sprinkled with the bloud of the Lambe, they indeed defer it not, for they doe not know how [Page 240] soone the destroying Angell may come. There­fore labour to be convinced, this is to know what a Mediatour is, and not to have it in spe­culation only. And here it were good to consi­der, what that is that holds men on their roots; there is an Anchor under water, though men see it not, that keepes them in their old condition, if we could hit on it.

Means where­by men are kept in their old condition. First, Inconsi­deration.And it is either Inconsideration, men consider not what they have to doe, they look not about them, according to that in Deut. 29. You have seene all what the Lord did to Pharaoh, but the Lord hath not given you hearts to consider it to this day: Now if you aske what Consideration is; I an­swer, Consideration is nothing else but an Act superadded to Knowledge, when a man not on­ly knowes, but returnes and reflects on what he knowes, when he stayes and abides on it, when he lookes round about a businesse, not on a cor­ner of it, but fully and weighes every circum­stance: Therefore we are said to ponder our wayes, when wee doe not onely looke to that which is present, but to the time past and to come, when all things are taken in: Now when a man shall lay all together, when he shall con­sider, that is, thinke seriously, and remember that he hath but a little time to live here, and that there is another place where he shall live for all eternity, that he hath an immortall soule, and that his state is dangerous, that his sins are great, and the wrath of God is as a consuming fire; when these are laid together, when he con­siders [Page 241] them, and stayes on them, by these means he comes to see with his eyes, and understand with his heart, and to be converted and healed; but because men doe consider, thence it is that they grow on their roote still, and are not brought to this inexcusablenesse, nor have all Arguments taken away.

Or another reason is, some Lust,Some Lust. there is world credit, riches, pleasures, or something which they are loath to part with, the rich man will not part with his possessions, they in the twelfth of Iohn will not part with their credit with the Pharisees, Ieroboam will not part with his Kingdome, till these Arguments shall be answered, and God shall cut off those snares, for so they are termed, 2 Tim. 2.25. Waiting if God will give them repentance, to know the truth, and to come out of the snare of the Devill, who taketh them at his will: The meaning is, every man, be­fore he be regenerate, is holden by some snare, the snare is some lust, the root of it is some false reasoning; now when men come to know the truth, and to be delivered out of the snare of the Devill, when God convinceth a man, and opens that truth, undoes that false reasoning on which that lust is founded, he cuts the snare asunder, and then they are set at liberty: Every man saith, I cannot live without credit, without my state, without my kingdome, (as every man hath a kingdom of his owne) when God teach­eth that this is vanity, and if we will be happy, the best way is to serve God with a perfect [Page 242] heart, when God teacheth the contrary Truth, then he is out of the snare of the Devill, when he hath awaked his conscience, that he is sicke of sin, that he feeles his rebellions, then the thing he magnified before, is nothing now; As when a man is sicke, the houses and orchards he magnified before, are now not regarded, his dainty fare, and gorgeous apparell, he hath no pleasure in them, for he is sicke: So it is with the Soule when God chargeth sin on the Con­science.

Againe, when God shewes better things than these, as Heb. 10.34. They had in heaven a better, and an enduring substance, and therefore cared for nothing: They cared not for parting with their goods, when they had another righ­teousnesse to trust to: So when God opened the heavens and shewed himselfe to Paul, He reckons all as dung and drosse, he doth not magni­fie what he did before. And thus are men freed from the snare of the Devill: Therefore when a man shall deferre and thinke I am ready to come, but I will not yet: I say, these must be taken away, for they are false reasonings by which we are built on our root: Now when a man shall be perswaded of the danger of put­ting the evill day farre from him, when the Holy Ghost shall give him wisdome to num­ber his dayes, then he will take to himselfe new thoughts. Every man naturally feares death, but because it is farre off, no man regards it; and so because we put the evill day farre from [Page 243] us, we turne not to God; now when God shall convince a man of the Truth, and teach him to number his dayes: Wel, thou art now in healt [...] and strength, but when thou commest to num [...]ber the dayes that remain, they are very small. Put case a man had an hundred dishes of meat before him, if one come and sayes, Take heed what you doe, for one of these dishes is poison, he will not taste of any of them, except he have taken an Antidote before: So when the Holy Ghost teacheth, it is true, In one of these dayes is death, thou shalt finde poison that shall take away thy life; whether first or last it is uncer­taine, if thou were wise to consider thy latter end, that is, if thou hadst the wisdome, which God must teach, thou wouldst see little reason, why to venture thy soule on one of these daies, if thou hast not made thy Election sure; for this is as to eat of one of those dishes when there is poison in it.

Therefore consider (beloved) what uncer­tainty of life there is, what it is to venture the soule, and what eternity is: When God shall each this, and stirre up present affections of feare, and apprehension of wrath, it will teach a man not to deferre, but to come home spee­dily.

Againe, when this place of Scripture, and the like, shall be seriously considered, That if the Good-man of the house knew at what time the Theefe would come, he would have an eye to him; That Christ hath threatned all before hand [Page 244] that doe not watch, And I will come at a time thou thinkest not of me: If thou didst consider this when thou art most secure and furthest off from God, in the midst of thy jollity, and fast asleepe, I will come at a time when thou lookest not for me: And didst thou thinke this threatning in vaine? Didst thou beleeve this Scripture and lay it to heart? thou wouldest not deferre thy Turning to God.

Againe, consider, put case thou hast liberty, if sicknesse come and give thee warning, alas how farre art thou from being able to repent? Are the times in thine hand? Must not the Ho­ly Ghost change thine heart? If thou dost now take resolution to amend, hast not thou cause to suspect that it proceeds from selfe-love? For if it had beene not of love to God, wouldest thou not have turned sooner? And if it be out of selfe-love, God accepts it not. All this while wee have spent in shewing the Disease, and now wee must shew the Remedy.

FINIS.

A SERMON PREACHED AT A GENERALL FAST BEFORE THE COM­mons-House of Parlia­ment: the second of Iuly, 1625. In the time of the Plague. By the late faithfull and worthy Minister of IESUS CHRIST, IOHN PRESTON, D. in Divinity, Chaplaine in ordinary to his Majestie, Master of Emmanuel Colledge in Cambridge, and sometimes Preacher of Lincolns INNE.

LONDON, Printed by R. B. for NICHOLAS BOURNE, and are to be sold at his shop at the Royall Exchange. 1633.

A SERMON PREACHED AT A Generall Fast, before the Commmons-house of Parlia­ment, Iuly 2. 1625.

NUMBERS 25.10, 11.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

Phinehas the sonne of Eleazar the son of Aaron the Priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, (while he was zealous for my sake among them) that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousie.

WE are met together, you know, to sanctifie a Fast to the Lord. I will therefore speake a word, or two, of that Dutie, before I come to the Text, which I have read to you: But I will doe it briefly, the Common [Page 248] place thereof, being too large a subject at this time to enter into.

Fastiug is no Arbitrary du­tie.And first, wee will say thus much to you; That this duty is a necessary, not an arbitrary thing, which wee may doe, or leave undone at our pleasures: You know there be many exam­ples of it, many commands for it in Scripture; but of them wee will onely repeate two: The first is that in Ioel 2.15.Which is pro­ved by [...]ex [...]s of Scripture. (a place you wel know) Sanctifie to me a Fast, call a solemne Assembly. When the Lord began to send Iudgement on the Land, he straitly enjoyned the performance of this dutie, which showes that it may not be left undone at pleasure.

To which I will adde that in Esay 22.12, 13, 14. The Lord called in that day to weeping, and mourning; but because at that time they fell to rejoycing: It was revealed by the Lord of hoasts, that that sinne should not be purged away till their death. When there is a time for Fasting, and when there are Iust occasions for mourning and humiliation, the Lord doth then so require it, that if you doe it not, but will doe the contra­ry, the Lord will never forgive it; it is a sinne that shall not be purged away till you die.

The definition of a Fast.You will say then, What is a Fast? In a word, a Fast is nothing else but the sanctifying or setting apart of a day for humiliation, reconcilia­tion, and reformation. I say, it is to sanctifie a Day; because the day of a Fast must be equall to the Sabbath; the very word used in that place of Ioel, Sanctifie to me a Fast, shewes as [Page 249] much. In that day you may doe no servile worke, but must keepe it holy to the Lord.

That you have to doe in that day is first to humble your selves, as in that place of Ioel, Turne to me with fasting, mourning, and weeping. Se­condly, it is for Reconciliation, Lev. 23.27. it is called a day of Atonement. Lastly, it is for Re­formation, and therefore in the day of fasting, the whole people entred into covenant with God; as in Nehem ▪ the ninth chapter, and the beginning of the tenth verse, you shall see the Princes, and peo­ple came altogether, and seale a Covenant to the Lord, to reforme their sinne of taking strange wives, and entered into a curse, and an oath to walke in Gods law.

I will say no more of that,The defects which we are subject to in performing that duty. but will onely tell you, what are the failings which we are most sub­ject to in this businesse; for wee may know the disease by the medicine: if God takes great care to prevent our falling into a sinne, it argues that we are apt to fall into it. And first,To rest in the work done we are very ready to rest in the worke done, in opere operato, to thinke that the very action will please GOD. Therefore it is carefully added in Ioel 2. Rend not your clothes, but your hearts: that is, when you come to sanctifie a Fast, doe not thinke that the very outward performance of the duty moves mee: It is the heart that I looke to, therefore you must take care that at this time, your greatest businesse be with your hearts. Lev. 23.29. He who in that day (meaning the day of the annuall Fast, which was then instituted) doth not afflict his soule (for so [Page 250] the word is to be translated) shall be cut off from his people. The outward performance is not the thing that God respects, or accepts; he doth not regard that, (for hee is a Spirit, and beholds the behaviour of the spirit;) he considers how we are affected in secret before him.

To doe it for a fit.A second thing werein we are apt to faile, is, to thinke that One day is enough, and when that is done, there is an end of the businesse: but it is not so, that is but the beginning of it. Esay 58.5. Is this a Fast, to hang downe your head for a day? Is it to bow it downe as a Bulrush? Bulrushes you know in a storme hang downe their heads, but when faire weather comes they lift them up a­gaine. So when affliction is upon us, we are apt to humble our soules for a time, for a fit; but when a little peace or prosperity comes, we for­get to be longer humbled: whereas the end of a Fast, is so to begin the worke of Humiliation, that we may the better continue it afterwards.

Not to re­forme upon the doing of it.A third defect is this; we are perhaps content to doe the duty, and with some affection too, but there followes no reformation of life. Therefore in the same Chapter, see how carefully that is put in; Is this an acceptable day to the Lord? Will I ac­cept such a Fast as this? When you finde pleasure, and continue in strife and debate? That is, the Lord regards not the bare performance of the duty, un­lesse the end of it be attaynd; now the end of it is nothing else, but that every man in particular re­forme the evils he is subject to; yea, his particu­lar weaknesses, and personall infirmities, the men­ding [Page 251] of which, is carefully to bee endeavoured when we sanctifie a Fast to the Lord; else we as­semble together for Wine and for Oile, Hos. 7.14. As if hee should say, you have not sought Mee when you howled upon your beds; but your Wine and your Oile: That is, men are affected with the Iudgements of the Lord, they desire to have them removed, they wish for ease and pro­sperity, and for that they assemble themselves; but to Me, saith he, ye returne not. A beast will doe as much when it feeles any evill oppressing it; and therefore God cals it, howling on their beds, an action proper to beasts: but the Lord lookes, that you seeke him in sincerity, and that you la­bour to make your hearts perfect in him.

In a word;There is a double per­formance of duties. to conclude this, remember, That there is a double performance of every holy du­ty; one is, when we doe the worke as a taske, and are glad when it is over; when we doe it as ser­vants that doe eye-service to their masters:When they be performed as Fasts. ano­ther is, when not onely the thing is done, but your hearts also are wrought upon; for that is the end of the outward performance, and the worke is so farre accepted as it hath an operation on our hearts and affections.When its affections are wrought upon in the duty. It is so in every du­ty; as in Prayer, when you call on God in pri­vate, doth God regard the words of a prayer? No, but 'its working on your hearts, 'its hum­bling of them, 'its bringing of them into frame, and making them perfect with God every day, by a thorow renewing of your repentance, and this is the doing of the thing. Amongst your [Page 252] selves, if a servant doth onely make a show of do­ing a thing, it is not regarded; but hee that brings the thing to passe is accepted of you: and that is it, which the Lord requires and accepts in our performances. Now we shall see that this Text will helpe us to all that is required in a Fast, as will appeare in the particulars.

Ver. 1.2. Phineas the sonne of Eleazar, &c.] In the for­mer part of the Chapter the disease is set downe,The Analysis of the Text. The Israelites disease Sin. The conse­quent of sin is wrath. and that is Sinne, (which is indeed the onely dis­ease of the soule) illustrated from two conse­quents. First, from the wrath of God, who (as the Text saith) was very angry with Israel, for they had committed whoredome and joyned with Ba­al-Peor. Ver. 3. That was the disease, the sin, for which they had brought on them Gods wrath.The effect of Gods wrath. the Plague. And se­condly from an effect of that wrath, the Plague; (God struck them with pestilence, that is the pu­nishment.

The remedy was the turning away of Gods wrath.In this verse is set downe the remedy, and that is the turning away of Gods wrath. For as the Physitian sayes, Morbi curantur contrarijs, so it is true in Divinity: as the wrath of God was the cause of the Plague, so the turning away thereof is the remedy.

This turning away of his wrath, is set forth by the cause of its turning away;Which was done by zeale. And that for two reasons. and that was the zeale of Phineas, while hee was zealous for my sake; and that is made good by two reasons. One is in the latter end of my Text; therefore have I not consumed them in my jealousie. As if hee had said, If Phineas had not beene zealous, my jealou [...] [Page 253] should have burned more and more, and the jealousie of that should have beene utter destru­ction. The second is Gods owne Testimony, set downe before my Text. The Lord himselfe said unto Moses, that his wrath was turned away.

I will say no more for opening the words; but in them you shall see these five points lye evi­dently before you.Five generall points raised out of the text.

First, in that the removall of the Plague is at­tributed to God, and to the turning away of his anger, this is clearely deduced: That it is God on­ly that doth good and evill; for you see his anger brought the Plague on them, and the turning a­way of his anger healed them againe.

Secondly, it is sin that causes Gods anger: an­ger in God hath alway relation to sinne, for sinne is the cause of it.

Thirdly, the way to turne away the Lords an­ger, is zeale, for his sake.

Fourthly, if there be want of this zeale among us, his jealousie shall grow hotter and hotter, it shall encrease upon us more and more.

Fifthly, and lastly, the issue of this jealousie of his, will be utter destruction.

Wee will begin with the first,Generall point. which is, That it is God onely,God only doth good and evill. that doth good and evill to eve­ry Nation, to every Church and Kingdome, yea to every particular person. As you see here; it was not the corruption of the Aire that brought the Plague, nor the clearing of it with f [...]ost and wind, that turned it away; but the cloud of the Lords wrath shed this storme on them; and [Page 254] when he was appeased with them there followed health and peace: The Lord wounds, and the Lord heales. For what is the Plague but a sword in the hand of an Angell, who drawes it out, and puts it into its sheath againe, at his Masters appoint­ment? And is not there the same reason of all other evils? Warre you know is a terrible thing, when Enemies come as Bees on a Land; but doth not the Lord hisse for them? And againe, they are driven away as with a breath at his ap­pointment. Famine is a leane devouring evill, which causes the Land to eate up the inhabitants thereof; but is not the Lord the onely cause of it? Doth not he make the Heaven as Brasse, and the Earth as Iron? Doth not he when he will, open the windowes of Heaven, and unstop the bottels of the clouds, and powre outraine unseasonably? And is not hee the cause of death, which is the journeys end of both the former? To which, eve­ry one of us is subject, yet wee consider it not. Though we see men fall from the Tree of Life every moment yet wee regard it not. This the Lord takes onely to himselfe,Psal. 68.20. To the Lord belong the issues from death: and there­fore let us give to the Lord, this great Preroga­tive of his; That he onely doth good and evill, and let no man question it.

You will say, who doth question it? It is ve­ry true; we doe not question it in words, but if we question it in our deeds, it is an argument that our hearts make a doubt of it, though our tongues doe not question it. Therefore let us examine the matter.

[Page 255]If wee thinke the Lord onely doth good and evill,Certaine con­victions for demonstrati­ons of the point. why then will not we obey him and serve him, and please him in all things? But provoke him to anger, by our words, and by our workes, as the Prophet speakes. Perhaps you will say to me,Conviction; The frequency of our sinning. as Saul answered Samuel, when he came from the warre of the Amalekites; Oh thou blessed of the Lord, I have fully kept the Commandement of the Lord; but saith Samuel, If thou hast done so, What meanes the bleating of the Sheepe, and the lowing of the Oxen: So I say to you, if you obey the Lord, what meanes so many sinnes amongst us? What meanes Fornication and Whoredome which is so frequent? What meane those Oathes amongst us, for which the Land mournes? Not onely greater oathes, but smaller oathes, which exceed the greater for frequency, though the greater exceed them, in that they take the Name of God in vaine. Againe, what meanes the brea­ches of the Sabbath? Of which I will speake a word by the way: and that you may know that I doe not blame you for that as a sinne, which is no sinne, I will make this digression. Doe you not think that Sabbaths are to be kept,A digression touching the Sabbath, pro­ving that it ought to be sanctified. and to be kept holy? I will name but two reasons to make it good; you shall finde them in Esay 57.30. It is My Holy Day. First, it is a Holy Day, and if it be holy, you may doe nothing thereon that is com­mon. A Vessell that is sanctified and made ho­ly,Because it is a Holy Day. may not bee imployed to take up common water, or used in common services, for it is holy. So the time of the Sabbath is holy, therefore [Page 256] you must not spend it about common actions, for if you doe, you prophane that which is holy.

It is Gods day.Seeondly it is My Day, and if it be My Day, rob mee not of it: every houre of that day that you spend in common speeches and actions, you rob the Lord of that houre, for all the day is his.

It is further convinced. And doe not thinke that men were tied to this observance onely, under the Old Testament; but know that it continues still:From the hazard of Re­ligion by lea­ving man at li­berty. for doe but consider with your selves, if the Lord should have left it meerely in the power of the Church to appoint a Sabbath day, it might have been brought from a week to a moneth, and from a moneth to a yeare, and so if of meeting together had bin no necessity put upon us by God himse [...]fe, where would reli­gion have bin? And do you think God would not have provided for his Church better than so.

From the Antiquity of its celebration.Besides, why should it be questioned, when it is transmitted to us from the most ancient times. Iustin Martyr sayes, that on the day which we call Sunday, the Christians met together to worship God; and the people came out of the Countrey for that end, and it was a Solemne day.

Tertullian in his Apologie saith as much: and therefore because they spent that day in worship­ing God, all the Heathen called it Sunday. And in all ancient times it was never controverted, ne­ver called into question.

From the usefulnesse of a Sabbath.Againe, doe we not need such a day? There­fore the Lord saith, Sabbath was made for man; as if hee had said, I could have spared the Sabbath. It is not for my owne sake and for my worship [Page 257] sake, but for mans sake, that is, lest he should forget God, and bee a stranger to him, which would redound to our own hurt. And therefore shall not wee be willing to keepe it, when it was for our owne sakes that the Lord appointed it? What gainers might wee be in grace and holi­nesse, if wee would sanctifie every Sabbath as we should? Should we be losers by it: but this is a digression, and I speake it by the way. But marke it, I say, if you keepe the Commande­ments of God, What meanes this bleating of the sheepe? These acts of disobedience on his owne Day?

We will goe on in the examination.Conviction is our neglecting of dutie. If in­deed we thinke that it is the Lord that doth good and evill; why are we so inobservant and negligent of him? why do we reckon it a wea­rinesse to serve him? why turne wee Religion into formalitie, posting over holy duties in a carelesse and negligent maner, when we should be carefull and fervent in the same? Why is there so little growth in religion, so much bar­rennesse in good workes, the price whereof is more than gold and silver? In a word, Why doe we turne the maine into the by, and the by into the maine? That is, why goe we about all other businesse as our maine and chiefe scope, and take in holy duties by the way, more to stop the mouth of naturall Conscience (as car­nall men may doe) than for any delight we [...] have in them? If we thinke God to be the Au­thor of good and evill, why are these things so? [Page 258] Every man is ready to professe his faith in the Truth hereof, but if wee did beleeve it, wee should be more carefull to please the LORD in all things.

Conviction is our not fearing and trusting him alone.Againe, if we thinke that God only doth good and evill, why have not wee our eyes on him altogether? why doe wee not feare him, and nothing els, trust in him and in nothing be­sides, depend on him, and upon no other? In all our calamities and dangers, why doe not wee seeke to him, as to one that onely can helpe us, and heale us?

Quest.You will say, we doe depend on God, wee trust in God, and none but him?

Answ. It is very well if you doe; but consider, that to trust in God,Discovering the Nature of trusting in God, which is to be content with God alone. is to part with all for his sake, and to have an eye only unto the recompence of reward, to be willing to deny our selves in our profits, and credits, and pleasures, to be con­tent to have him alone. Thus Saint Paul ex­presses it, 2 Tim. 1.13. Therefore, saith he, have we suffered these things, for we know whom wee have trusted. As if he had said, we have parted with all, we are content to be led from prison to prison, we are content with God alone, for wee know the power and faithfulnesse of him whom we have trusted.

To rely upon him in Exi­gents.Againe, to trust in God, is then to rest on him, when the case is such (marke it) that if we faile we are undone, then to build on him as a sure rocke; that is the nature of true holinesse, and exact walking, when God puts us into an [Page 259] exigent, removes from us friends, takes away worldly helpes, yet in this case to trust him. Thus Hester trusted God,Which is in­stanced in Hester. when she undertooke that dangerous enterprize, If I perish, I perish, when if the Lord had failed her, shee had lost her life. So Daniel trusted God,And Daniel. when he would put himselfe upon him, being in such danger for the open profession of his Religion, which by death they would have forced him to deny. Thus Asa trusted God, when hee went with a small number against a great multitude, the Text saith of him, That he trusted in God. Now doe we thus trust him? Surely we doe not: but when faith and sense come into competition, when they meet together on a narrow bridge; we are readie to byas our conscience the wrong way, to goe aside, and decline the blow, that is, we are ready in such a case, though with breach of a good conscience, so to trust in God, that withall we will keepe a sure foot on some out­ward, probable, sensible meanes, that if God failes us, yet, wee may know what to trust to. The truth is, we doe not leane to the Lord. For what [...] it to leane to him? You know a man is then [...]id to leane, when hee stands not on his own [...] [...]eet, but so rests the bu [...]ke of his body on a ra [...]e, or staffe, or the like, that if it faile him, he fals downe: To rest on God in this manner, is to leane to him; and did wee thinke that hee had all power to doe good and hurt to the Creature we should thus trust in him; but in that we doe it so little, and so seldome, it it an argu­ment [Page 260] that whatsoever wee professe we doe not indeed beleeve it.Conviction, or not walking perfectly with the Lord. Last of all (to make an end of this examination) if we think indeed, that the Lord only is able to doe good and evill, why do we not that which is a necessary consequent th [...]r [...]of, which you shall finde in Gen. 17.1. it is Gods speech to Abraham, I am God all-suffi­cient, therefore walke before mee and bee perfect. Marke that, when any man thinkes God to be Al-sufficient, that he hath all power in his hands, that he is Almighty (for so the word signifies) that which will necessarily follow on this be­liefe, is this; he will be perfect with the Lord. You will say, I hope we are perfect with God: But if we be, why are our actions so dissonant? why doe wee serve God so by halfes, and by fits? why are we so unequall and uneven in our wayes? we are zealous for a fit, and in some particulars, but grow cold againe, as if we ne­ver had beene the men. Wee goe on in a good course, till wee meete with some crosse, and then wee baulke it; till wee meet with some advantage and preferment, and then we step out of the way to take it: Is this to be perfect with God? But if wee thought the Lord to be All-sufficient and Almighty, we would walke perfectly before him. For what is the reason that any man steps out from God? It is because he findes something in the Creature, which he sees not in God; therefore saith God, I am Al-sufficient, that is, let a man looke round about him, and consider whatsoever it is that he can [Page 261] desire or need, he shall have it in the Lord, for he is All-sufficient. Why then should not you be perfect with him? why will you start from him at any time, or upon any occasion? And this shall suffice to make it evident, that it is a very hard thing to beleeve this indeed, that God only is able to doe good and evill.

Indeed wee care for the favour of Princes, and think that they can hurt us, or doe us good; and therefore wee are so intent about them, so busily occupied about them, but this would not worke on us so much if we did beleeve that which I have now delivered unto you that God onely is the Authour of good and evill.

Therefore will wee reason with you,Reason 2. To prove the point. and see if wee can plant this principle in you, and strengthen your beliefe thereof. For it is cer­taine that all the errours and obliquities wee finde in the lives of men, come from this, that these common Principles are not throughly beleeved, but by halfes, and of them we faile in none more than in this; for if we did beleeve that God is the cause of all, wee should serve him with willing hearts and ready minds in all things. It is true, we thinke God hath a chiefe hand in good and evill; yet we think the Crea­ture can doe somewhat too, but consider this one reason.

If the Creature were able to doe you good or hurt,Reason 1. If the creatures could do good or evill, God were not God. I will be bold to say to you, that God were not God, and you might bee absolved from worshipping him: For this is a principle [Page 262] planted in every mans nature, by the Author of Nature, that we regard or neglect every Crea­ture more or lesse, as they are more or lesse able to doe us hurt: now if the Creature could but in part doe us good or hurt, wee need not then care to worship the Lord onely, for hee onely could not benefit or hurt us, but God onely is to bee worshipped; therefore hee onely hath power to doe good or hurt. For on this ground we worship him alone; that he onely is able to doe good or hurt, otherwise hee were not a compleat adequate God to the worship that is required.

Reason 2. The Creature should be God.Againe, if the Creature could doe any thing, it might chalenge part in the Deity, but it is im­possible there should be any more Gods than one: Therefore it is the Lord onely that doth good and evill. Thus Amos concludes it in his third Chapter, Is there any evill in the City that he hath not done? And so we may say, Is there any good that he hath not done; where marke the generalitie, Is there any evill that he hath not done? Therefore glorifie him in thy life, and in all thy wayes:Dan. 5.23. For, as Daniel told Belshaz­zar, In his hands are all our wayes. That is, we take not the least step to prosperitie or adversi­tie through the whole course of our life, but it is the Lord that guides our steps. Therefore in 2 Cor. 1.3. Paul cals him the God of all comfort exclusively, so that no Creature is able to joyne with him in giving the least comfort.

Object. 1.But you will say to me, Is this so? Doe not [Page 263] we finde by experience,From the ope­ration of se­cond causes. that riches, and friends, and credit, and wisdome and the like doe com­fort us? And that the want and absence of these doth us hurt.

Yes, but I may give you this double answer:Answ. 1. First,The Lord workes by them. these things are at Gods disposing and command, therefore it is not they that doe any thing, but the Lord by them. It is the hand that brings to passe a thing, yet it is not vertually in the hand, but in the will of the man that com­mands it.

But secondly,Reason 1. Which is illu­strate by some comparisons. I answer, It is not these things that do you good or hurt, but the Lord by them. You know when water heates the hand, you doe not say, the water doth it, but the heat that is by the fire in the water. When you take a medi­cine in Beere or Wine, it is not the Beere or Wine that cures, but the medicine that is taken in that Beere or Wiine: So it is the Lord that re­freshes and comforts, hee wounds and he heales by the creature, but the creature doth neither.

But you will say, this ability is borne and bred with the creature, and is never separated from it.

I answer, it is very true, the Creature hath a fit­nesse in it to do us good or hurt; but it is not able to put forth that fitnesse, or that strength, till it be acted by God; that is, till it be set a worke to doe it, by his blessing or cursing: For example, The bread hath a fitnesse to nourish, but if God sayes not to the bread, nourish such an one, it shall not be able to do it; for we live not by bread, but by the word of God, by his blessing of it, and [Page 264] commanding the Creature to do it. On the other side; take a disease, or any Creature that is fit to do us hurt, it shall not hurt, unlesse the Lord say, goe and strike such a wretch, bee an instru­ment of mine to punish him. Let an Axe be ne­ver so sharpe and keene, till the Worke-man take it in his hand and apply it to the worke, it shall doe nothing: So Gods blessing and cursing doth all; for Gods blessing is nothing else, but his bid­ding of the Creature to doe such an one good; and his cursing is nothing else, but his bidding of a Creature afflict such an one:By their diffe­rent effects. and therfore some­times men are cheered by the Creature, some­times againe they want that cheering; sometimes they have contentment therein, and sometimes againe they have not And hence it is, that there may be abundance of all things, and yet bee no more than as the huske without the graine, as the shell without the kernell, affording nothing but emptinesse. Againe, you may have a hundred-fold with persecution, that is, God can give you more comfort in persecution, and the want of every thing, than you had in prosperity, when you had every thing supplied: therefore in Ier. 9.23.By places of Scripture. see how the Lord reasons, Let not the strong man rejoyce in his strength, nor the wiseman in his wisdome, and why? For it is I the Lord which ex­ercise loving kindenesse, and judgement, and righte­ousnesse in the earth. As if hee had said, if these things were able to doe you good or hurt, you might rejoyce in them, but it is I the Lord that show justice and judgement, and am onely able to [Page 265] doe all. So in Psal. 62.10. If riches encrease, set not your heart on them, and why? For power belon­geth unto God. But they might object, The Lord useth the meanes; that is answered in the last ver. It is true, but GOD rewards according to our workes, and not according to our meanes. And so much for the clearing of this: and now wee will apply it.

First,Vse 1. if the Lord be able to doe all good, and evill,To labour to see God in his greatnesse. then learn we hence to see God in his great­nesse: the Lord is forgotten in the world, we doe not see him in his greatnesse and Majestie, and Almighty power; if we did, it would draw all our thoughts and affections to him, which are now occupied about so many severall fancies:Which would draw our affe­ctions to God. I say, they would be all pitched upon him, where­as seeing they are conversant about pouerty and riches and friends and disgrace, as able to doe good or evill: it is an argument, we attribute that to the creature which belongs to God,The want of it carries us to the Creature, and brings us upon the dan­ger of Idolatry. which is no better than Idolatry: as in Colos. 3.5. Mortifie your earthly members, fornication, uncleannesse, and covetousnesse which is idolatry; marke that. Now Idolatry is of two sorts, either when you wor­ship the true God in a wrong manner, or else when you make the creature God: and that you doe either when you conceive the creature under the notion of God as the heathen did the Sunne and Moone: and as the Papists doe the bread, (for if there be Idolatry in the world, that is Ido­latry) or else when you attribute to the Creature that which is proper to God, that is, when you [Page 266] place your comfort and safety in the creature, and so place your joy and delight in him. And thus wee doe when wee thinke riches or poverty by their presence or absence can do us good or hurt. Esay 41.23. you shall see there, the Prophet useth two arguments to prove that Idols were not gods: First, They tell us, not things to come: Se­condly, They doe neither good nor evill. As if hee had said, if they could doe good or hurt, they were gods: yet there is a secret opinion that lodgeth in our breasts though we observe it not,By advancing the creatures in our opini­ons. that these things can doe us good or hurt; and therefore, because our affections follow our opi [...]nion, we lust after them inordinately; and thence it is that they steale away our hearts, as as Abso­lom was said to steale away the hearts of the people: that is, hee who was not the owner tooke them. And secondly, he did it secretly, and so deale the creatures with us, when we have a secret opinion of them. The rich man in Luke having much wealth about him concludes, Now soule take thy ease. And when Davids Mountaine was made strong, he sayes, therefore I shall not be moved; and have not wee the same thoughts in us? Are not wee ready to thinke, if I had such an advantage, such a friend, I should do well? But I say to you, that if you had all these, you should not bee a jot the better, nor in the want of all these are you a jot the worse; for it is God onely that creates peace and commands comforts; that you may set downe for a conclusion. That is his Prerogative Royall, and thence it is that we must love him [Page 267] with all our hearts, and withall our soules; thence it is, that we are not to regard the creature at all, because he onely can make our lives comfortable or not comfortable.

If this were beleeved, how would it change our joyes into teares? What an alteration would it make in our lives? If we did beleeve it indeed, should wee bee so taken up in seeking of wealth, and outward excellencies, and not rather in growing rich in faith and good-workes? If it were well planted in our hearts, we should minde nothing but grace and sin: for you know grace onely findes acceptance with God, and sin onely provokes him to anger. And indeed what in the world else is worthy our intentions: you may joy in these things, but still remember the Apo­stles rule, Buy as if you bought not, and grieve as if you grieved not, &c. Why so? Because these things can doe you neither hurt nor good, if they could, they might have your intentions, but they can­not. Therefore doe as Moses did, Heb. 11.27. He endured, for he saw him that was invisible. What then? Therefore he forsooke Aegypt not fearing the wrath of Pharaoh. When hee saw God in his greatnesse, when hee saw him that was invisible, that is, when he saw him as if hee had beene vi­sible, it removed all feare of the creature. When a man sees the Sun, what is a Candle or torch to him? And so will all these things seeme to thee, if thou couldst see God in his might. If God only doth good and evill, why then doe you hasten after outward things and weary your selves in [Page 268] vaine for that which will not profit? Therefore the Schoole-men call sin Aversio a Deo and Con­versio ad Creaturam, a turning from God, and a turning to the Creature.

Question con­cerning the use of the Crea­tures.But you will say, to what end then are the creatures? And what will you have us to doe?

Answ.I answer, you may make use of these things (I deny you not that liberty) onely use them with a dependant affection,They are to be used with a subordinate af­fection. so as still you have an eye on God; you may take water out of the streame so as you have an eye to the Fountaine; you may take light from the Aire, so as your eye be on the Sunne. So that if the glory of the Sunne set, you account all your light to bee gone though you have the Aire still: that is, you may enjoy all these outward comforts, you may use your wealth and friends, and have wife and children, &c. but your comfort shall not be more nor lesse, nor your prosperity longer nor shorter, than as God is pleased more or lesse to shine on you, by the enjoyment or want of whose favour, you may be happy in the want of all, and abundantly miserable in the having of them all. Therefore saith the Prophet, You have forsaken God the foun­taine of living waters, and digged to your selves Ci­sternes that will hold no water. What is that? It is as if the Lord said, what doe you meane? It is the Lord that doth all; he is the Fountaine, and the creatures are but Cisternes, and all their com­fort is but borrowed. Againe, you have in God living waters, that is, comforts of a better na­ture; but the water that you finde in these pits is [Page 269] but muddy water. Againe, he is a fountaine that is never drawne dry, but these are broken pits that hold no water.

Againe,To looke to God in all our businesse. if God onely doe all good, and evill, then let us consider that what businesse so ever wee have in the world, what outward imploy­ment soever wee exercise our selves in, yet our maine businesse is in heaven; we be ready on all occasions to look to the face of the Ruler, of the Physition of men, and creatures: but we forget that the swaying of the ballance this way, or that way, is from the Lord, When Iacob had prayed earnestly to be delivered from Esau, God answers him, thou hast prevailed with God, and thou shalt prevaile with men; so whatsoever businesse you have on earth, if you will bring your enterprize to passe, prevaile with God, and you shall be sure to prevaile with men; turne him, and all is turned with him, for all depends upon him. Whatsoe­ver is done on earth, is first done in heaven, and concluded there,He doth in­stance in par­ticulars. and then we feele and taste the fruit of it here. From this generall we may de­scend to particulars; and from hence you may learne, That it is not our Army by Land, nor our Navy at Sea that shall secure us at home, or prevaile abroad, though it bee well that these things bee done, and therefore you doe well in contributing cheerefully to his Majesty, for the maintenance thereof, for the common good: yet still remember that all your businesse is in hea­ven; and that you must trust more to your faith­full prayers, then to your preparations for suc­cesse in all enterprises.

[Page 270]It is not our woodden wals that will guard us, it is not the Sea wherewith you are invironed, nor our policy, counsell, and strength that will se­cure us, and defend us, but it is turning to the Lord, and cleansing the Land from the sinnes wherewith he is provoked that will doe the deed. Turne to him and then he will turne to you, that shall bee a blessing on us and all our enterprises. This is to see God in all things, this is to sancti­fie and exalt him for God, in our hearts; and without this all is nothing.

Vse 3.I will end this point with this briefe direction: you know there is in every man (I speake now of every man that is holy,Set Faith and the Spirit on work to judge of these things. and not of others who are strangers from God) the flesh, and the spirit; there is faith and sense: and one of these two eve­ry man sets on worke to take a view of the things that are before them. If you set faith and the spi­rit on worke to looke on things, they will tell you, it matters not what outward things are, what the Creature is, for it is God that doth all: set the flesh on worke, set sense and carnall reason on worke, and they will bring quite contrary newes; like the wicked Spies that were sent into the Land of Canaan, who when they did but cast their eye on the state of things there, they were first discouraged themselves, and then discoura­ged the hearts of the people; Oh there bee Gyants, and wals reaching up to heaven! Whereas the good Spies that looked on things with another eye, brought another kinde of message. Iust thus it is with us, in sending out our Spies to looke upon [Page 271] the state of things before us, if we send forth the Flesh, Sense and Reason, they bring report of terrible Wals, and cruel Giants, their power is so great, their forces so strong, that there is no medling with them; but send Faith, and the Spirit, and the Will, like good Spies looke on things with a right Iudgement, and indeed that is all the difference betweene an holy man, and another; the one lookes on things with another eye, hee sees a vanity in the Creature, which the other doth not, he sees an All-sufficiencie in God, which the other cannot. And there­fore he hath onely an eye to the Lord, all his care is to serve him, and please him in all things. So he hath no ill newes from heaven, he cares for nothing on earth. The other cares not how matters stand betwixt God and him; so all things bee well below, so his Moun­taine stands strong; and therefore that we may judge of things with a righteous judgement, we must be carefull to see them in their true na­ture, which onely Faith, and the Spirit will present. And so much shall serve for that point.

You see then,Two generall points. Sinne c [...]uses Wrath. that it is the wrath of God that doth all hurt, and the favour of the Lord that doth all the good. We come now to the second point, which will come in well upon the former: That it is sinne that causes wrath; sin and wrath are knit together, they are insepara­ble. So that as Elisha said,Which he illu­strates by a Compa [...]n. when Iehoram sent a messenger unto him to take away his life, when [Page 272] he was sitting in the house with the rest of the Elders, Shut the doore upon him, and hold him fast, for is not the sound of his Masters feet behind him? So I say to every man, If sinne and wrath come together, then first shut the doore of sin, which is the Messenger, suffer it not to come in, give it no entertainment, for is not the sound of his Masters feet behinde him? Doth not the wrath of God follow? And shall not that wrath take away our head, as Elisha said? Therefore, if you will keepe out GODS anger, keepe out sinne.

Object.But you will say, I feele no such thing. I have committed sinne,From the in­sensiblenesse of wrath. and yet have no experience of his wrath following so close upon it?

Answ.I answer, you must know this, that as disea­ses must have a time of ripening,Containing in it the proofes of the Do­ctrine. so must sinne. You know the poison of a disease enters not in­to the heart at first: Sin hath certaine Vestigia, which are set downe, Iames 1.14. When Lust is conceived, it brings forth sinne, and when sinne is ripened and perfected, it brings forth death. The reason why it brings not death presently, is, be­cause it is not perfect, because it is not ripe. The sinnes of the Amorites, saith God, are not yet full. Ahab had committed a sinne, he had got the Vineyard, and slaine Naboth, and yet heard no­thing of it; but when he had killed, and taken possession too, then came the Messenger of wrath, and execution followed. God let Iu­das goe on, till he had made the match, taken recompence, and betrayed his Master, but than [Page 273] wrath came in upon him. God stayed a great while, till the sinne of Pharaoh was perfected, till his hardnesse of heart was come to a ripe­nesse, and then he was drown'd in the Red-sea.

Therefore, in the second to the Romans it is said, There is a Treasure of wrath.

Now in a Treasure there are three things:Gods wrath is a Treasure. First, when a man is once able to treasure up any thing,Because our sinnes adde to his wrath. he is still adding to it, and by degrees it growes: and in that sense the Lord hath a Treasure of wrath, as we adde sinnes, he addes drops to the viall of his wrath, till it be full.

Secondly,Because it lies still for a time. it is a Treasure for a Time, it lies still a while, for else it were not Treasure.

And thirdly,Because in time it is ex­pended. when the time of expence comes, then it is opened: And so it is with the wrath of the Lord, it is gathered by little and little, as you heape up sinne by little and little, then it lies covered for a Time, but in due Sea­son there shall be an expence of it; if you sow to the flesh, the seed must lye covered a time, and then it must have a Time of ripening, but at length comes reaping. Therefore be not de­ceived in this, though you feele not the wrath presently, yet thinke not that it will not fol­low. No, be assured this linke betweene sinne and wrath cannot be dissolved. You shall finde a phrase in 2 Pet. 2.3. Whose damnation sleepeth not; What is the meaning of that? That is, they bring on themselves swift Destruction, though they thinke Damnation sleepes, yet it doth not so, it goes as fast as we, and will be sure to meet [Page 274] us in the journeyes end. So Moses useth this phrase, Your sinne shall finde you out: And David in the Psalme saith, Evill shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him, that is, Sinne when it is committed, is like a Bloud-hound, which, though a man be got far from the place where a thing is acted, yet followes the Tract, he pursues, and gives not over till he hath found: So God sets sinne upon the Sent, as it were, and it will be sure to finde us out. And for the most part when we thinke our selves safest, it destroyes us suddenliest. Doe not thinke therefore, that these two linkes of sinne and wrath can be se­vered. That which deceives us is this, we see all is quiet, and heare no more of sinne, but you must know that all that while sinne is sending its cries to heaven for vengeance, which are like unto the Vapours in the middle Region,Sinne is like a stormie cloud. that are sent up insensibly, we see them not, we heare them not, but they come downe in a Storme. As God said to David, Thou offendedst in secret, but thy punishment shall be before this Sunne. Simile. We thinke sinne a small thing: A great body, when we are past a mile or two from it, we thinke very little, which proceeds from the weaknesse of the eye. The same imbesillity is in our mindes, when sinne is past a great while since, wee looke not on it as the same thing, whereas the sinne is the same in it selfe, the same in Gods Account, and shall have the same punishment.

Object. 2.But you will say, Is this the case of eve­ry [Page 275] man,From the ge­nerality of sin. who then shall bee saved?

I answer,Answ. there is a difference in sins. Sinne doth not alway bring the same thing to passe in all,Yet all sin not alike. though in some cases it may; both godly men and evill men doe sin, Pearles and Pibbles may both fal into the mire, but one is a Pearle, the other a Pibble.And therefore are differently punished. And there is this difference in the punishment, if a sonne offend, his father will chastise and admonish him, but not cast him off, the father will spare his son in whom he delighteth, but if a servant offends him, he turnes him out of doores, and will no more have to doe with him; if you be servants of sinne, eternall wrath shall come on you, hee will turne you out of doores, and utterly cast you off.

We will apply this.Vse 1. And first, it showes you, that if sinne still drawes on wrath,Of the Point. To see sinne in its effects. then if you cannot see sin in it selfe, yet see it in its Effects, in its Concomitants, as it is attended on by the wrath of God; though you care not for the blacknesse of the cole, yet care for the burning of the cole; though you care not for the foule­nesse of sinne, which holinesse should teach you to regard, yet let the fire that is in it move you, specially considering it is the wrath of God,Which is ur­ged from the Terrour of Gods wrath. which feare and selfe-love should perswade you to decline: Psa. 90.11. saith the Psalmist there, Who knowes the power of his wrath? As if he had said, no man knowes it, but those that have felt it. I say, it is a thing we doe not know: Rom. 9.22. saith the Apostle there, What if God [Page 276] to show his wrath, and to make his power knowne, suffer with much patience the vessels of wrath fit­ted to Destruction? Marke it; the meaning is, when the Lord comes to execute his wrath, he will show his Almightie Power therein: As hee showes the Riches of his glory in his mercy to others, so his very Power, yea the transcendent greatnesse of his Power shall be declared in his Wrath. But, alas, wherefore doe I goe about to enlarge my expressions of this Wrath? The Truth is, you will never understand it by the speaking of others, it must bee the LORDS worke.

If hee will manifest himselfe to you, that is, if hee will open a crevise to let in to your soule the least Glimpse of him in his wrath and anger, it will amaze and confound the stoutest hearted of you all. Saul was a stout man, Achi­tophel was a wise man; but when God manife­sted himselfe to them, as he did to Saul the day before hee died, when GOD would not an­swer him, when hee apprehended God in his wrath, hee fell downe to the ground. If God bee set against us, let but an imagination, an apprehension, yea, the least thing, come as a Messenger of his displeasure, as an Arrow dip­ped in the venome of his wrath, it shall be in­supportable.

Object.But you will say, I never felt it to be so ter­rible.

From the not present feeling of Wrath.I, but if once the Lord shall mingle the least troublesome thought with his wrath, Answ. so that you [Page 277] shall see him in it;It is not felt, because it is not apprehen­ded. I say, that will amaze and confound you, as the hand-writing did Belshaz­zar: It was not the hand-writing that did so distemper him, but the apprehension of an an­gry God, that was able to take away his life from him. When God came to Elijah, 1 King. 19.11. he first of all sent a wind that broke the Mountaines, and rent the Rockes; then he sent an Earthquake, and then a Fire, to let him know what a God he is: And thus shall every man finde him, that meets him not by repentance. Therefore doe not trust to this, that the sinnes you committed are long agoe past.

I will for that purpose commend unto your remembrance Ioabs case;Sinne remains on Record. and Shimei's case: Ioab had committed a sinne long agoe, but he was never a whit the better for that, his pardon being not sued out, God so ordered it in his providence, that his Gray-haires should bee brought to the grave in bloud. So Shimei see­med to be quiet a great while, but at last the Lord met with him. I may also tell you of Sauls sinne in wronging the Gibeonites, though it rested a while, yet it was brought home to him at the end.

But,And at length God will strike once for all. you will say I feele nothing? But let not that deceive you; remember that terrible saying in 1 Sam. 3. Samuel threatned from God a great judgement on the house of Ely; but the house of Ely flourished still: It is no matter for that, sayes Samuel, I would have you know this, that when the Lord begins, he will also make [Page 278] an end, that is the greatest terrour of all others. When a man observes this to be his case, to lye in sinne, and goe on in sinne, and thinke there is no Iudgement, nor greater terrour, it is an ar­gument that when God begins, hee will also make an end. As when one that is seldome sicke, is seized upon by sicknesse, hee is as one that is left by the Physitians, there remains no­thing but death.

Object.But you will say to me, If this wrath of God be so terrible,The remedy prescribed, is to meet the Lord. and it be sinne that brings this wrath, what shall we doe?

Answ.I answer, It is your wisdome then to meet the Lord: Amos 4.12. Therefore, saith God, will I doe thus unto theee, and because I will doe thus, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. When the Israelites had sinned, sayes Moses to Aaron, Be­hold his wrath is gone forth, runne quickly with Incense, and stand betwixt the living and the dead. It is our case, Wrath is gone out, the Plague is begunne amongst us; therefore let every one looke to his owne privates, and know that the way to prevent further Iudgement, is to meet the Lord.

But what is it to meet the Lord? It stands in two things: First, in Humiliation of our hearts; Secondly, in Reformation of our lives.

Which con­sists, first, in Humiliation.First, there must bee Humiliation, and indeed till then, no man will goe in to God. We preach Reconciliation in the Gospell, but men regard it not because they be not humbled; men will on­ly cheapen the Kingdome of GOD, but they [Page 279] will not buy it; they will goe through for it, till they know the bitternesse of sinne. Men doe in this case, as the Israelites of whom when Cyrus made a Proclamation, that every one that would might goe out of Captivity, onely they went, whose hearts the Lord stirred up; and what should stirre up our hearts to goe out of the bon­dage of sinne? Surely nothing but this sense of sinne, Humiliation for, and Apprehension of the wrath of God. In the Iubile, every man would not goe out of servitude, some would continue servants still; and why? They felt not the yoke, for if they had they would have gone out. So I say, this very Gospell that we preach is a gene­rall Iubile, every one may goe out from under the yoke of Satan if he will; but till men feele the bitternesse of sinne, the heavinesse of his yoke, till men be humbled they will not goe out, but con­tinue servants still. And therefore Humiliation is first required; for as long as a man hath any thing to trust to, he will not come in. It was the case of the Prodigall Sonne, as long as his goods lasted, he thought not of returning home, when they were spent, he hired himselfe forth, and if that could have afforded him a living, he would not have come home, nay, if hee could have got huskes to maintaine life, hee would still have stayed abroad; but when all meanes of comfort failed him, when he had nothing to support him, then saith hee, I will goe home to my fathers house. And so till we be humbled throughout, so that we can see no meanes of longer subsistance that [Page 280] our hearts bee throughly touched with the sense of sin, we will never come in to God; and that is the first thing we must doe.

In Reforma­tion▪Secondly, this is not enough, but that you may meet the Lord there is required reforma­tion likewise. And herein I will say this briefly, you must remember that this reformation be ge­nerall, of greater sinnes, and of smaller too.

Object.You will say, I hope there is some difference, and every small sinne is not such a matter.The smalnesse of sinne. I will show the danger even of small sinnes,Answ. and so will end this point.The least sinne is disobedience against God. Instance of the example of Saul. You shall see what a small sinne is by that speech of Samuel, 1 Sam. 15.23. when the Lord had bidden Saul to goe and slay the Amale­kites, and destroy them and theirs utterly, but Saul did not so, for hee spared the best of the flocks and Agag their King: Samuel gives him this an­swer in effect; Saul, saith he, be the thing never so small, yet thy not doing of it is disobedience, yea, it is stubbornnesse and rebellion. And so I say to every one, be the sinne never so small, in­stance in what you will, is it not disobedience? Suppose it bee the least Oath, yea, but a vaine speech; suppose it bee carelesse performance of holy duties be they what they will, yet is it not disobedience? Is it not repugnant to what the Lord hath commanded?The example of Adam. As the Lord said to Adam, the matter was not the action of eating of the Tree, but hast thou eaten of the Tree of which I said Thou shalt not eate. And if it bee disobedi­ence, whether it be in greater or smaller matters; see what Samuel judgeth of that, Disobedience and [Page 281] rebellion is as the sinne of witchcraft, thou hast cast the Lord away by doing it. The meaning is this, When a man comes under the Lords govern­ment, hee applies himselfe to him as the Soul­dier doth to his Generall, alwayes to follow him, and in all things to obey him; now he that disobeyes his Generall, hee casts his Generall away and leaves him. And thus Saul was said to cast the Lord away, because in that particular he would not follow him.

Againe,Every sinne is the setting up of another God. why doe you cease to follow the LORD, but that you set up some other god to follow? And therefore Samuel addes, stuborn­nesse and disobedience is as Idolatry; that is, you never disobey God, but you take another god to you, therefore it is no small sin, because every sinne is disobedience. And since God commands exactnesse, since hee hath commanded mee to keepe the Sabbath, to pray, and to be fervent, and frequent in it: consider it, shall I neglect what the Lord hath commanded me? If there be a com­mand to this or that duty, am not I bound to en­deavour to keepe it? And if I goe aside, ought I not to returne againe, for else it is disobedience.

It is true,A difference betwixt a god­ly and a wic­ked man in re­gard of sinnes. the best of the Saints are not able to doe all this; that we doe not deny, yet this they doe, they endeavour to doe it, they carry a con­stant purpose of heart to doe it, they desire to doe it, they never come to give over striving to doe it; they never say, I must give liberty to my selfe in this, I cannot choose but faile in this, and so lay aside their wasters: they have continuall [Page 282] warre with Amalek, they never make peace with Sinne; and that's the difference betwixt spiritu­all men and others, they are as a Spring: for if an uncleane thing fall into a Spring, the Spring is not uncleane, because the Spring workes it out againe: Indeed if it fall into a Pond or Pit of wa­ter, that shall be uncleane because it lies there, it cannot worke it out. So it is with every godly man; in every regenerate heart there is a Spring of grace, though hee may sometimes fall into foule sinnes, yet hee will worke them out, and cleare himselfe againe: whereas another man when hee is fallen into sinne, continues in it, the guilt and power of it remaines upon his soule, and he excuses himselfe with the smalnesse of it.

No sinne is small, for it is committed against an ex­act Law. Mat. 5.18.This is a common fault, and therefore I will presse it the more. Consider that which Christ saith, Heaven and earth shall passe, but the least jot of this Law shall not passe: What is the meaning of that? It is as if he had said, somethings in the Law of God you may thinke small, which are but ïotas, though other things be greater; but take you heed that you keepe every particular, for there is not a jot of it, but the Lord will have all his servants regard it exactly; they shall have re­spect to every Commandement, and to every part of that Commandement, the least particu­lar in his Law shall not passe away. For consi­der, if it were not so, it would bee a prejudice to the Lords wisdome, for there would bee some­thing that hee commands which wee might slight. But the Lord that hath commanded all, [Page 283] both great and small, knowes that it is best that all shall bee kept, and therefore though heaven and earth shall passe, yet the least jot of that Law shall not passe; that this is the meaning of the place you may see by Christs exposition of the Law.

The Pharisies said, Adultery must not be com­mitted, but I say (saith CHRIST,) He that lusts hath committed adultery in his heart: They said, You must not sweare by the Temple, but I say, Sweare [...]ot at all: they said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, but I say, You must forgive your bre­thren. Thus we must labour to resist sin in every, even the least particular, and reforme our selves in the omission of the least particle of the Law. And so much likewise for the second point.

Thirdly,The third ge­nerall point, Zeale turnes away wrath. we come now to consider what it is that turnes away his wrath, and that is Zeale. Phi­neas hath turned away my wrath, while hee was zea­lous for my sake; so that Zeale turnes away the Lords wrath.

You shall see it exemplefied in Elijah's answer to the Lords demand,Proved by Scripture and instances. 1 Kings 19.4. What dost thou here Elijah? 1 Elijah. As if he had said, what hast thou done abroad in the world? Sayes hee, I have beene zealous for the Lord of Hosts, because the children of Israel have broke thy covenants, throwne downe thine Altars, and killed thy Pro­phets, and I onely am escaped. As if he had said, I have done the most I could for the safety of the Church, I have beene zealous for the Lord, and therefore hee prevailed with God for his owne [Page 284] deliverance. You may see it likewise in Iehu, who being zealous not in word onely, but in deed al­so, turned away the wrath of the Lord.The truth of it appeares from the danger of luke-warme­nesse.

And you may know it by the contrary, that it is zeale that turnes away the Lords wrath, be­cause it is coldnesse and luke-warmenesse that brings on his wrath. Rev. 3.16. consider there, what is the reason why the Lord will spue out the Church of Laodicea, and cast it away? Be­cause it was luke-warme, and therefore the meanes to continue or procure his favour, is it not heate and zeale? Againe, Rev. 2.4. The Church of Ephesus fell from her first love, what then? There­fore I will come against thee shortly and remove thy Candlestick. Then to abound in love, so that our workes may be more at last, than at first; to bee zealous for the LORD, is the way to stay the Lord among us, and to continue his Gospell of peace.

Coldnesse pro­vokes as much sinne.Therefore (by the way) it is not only the great sinnes of the Land that are causes of Gods wrath, but the coldnesse of them that are otherwise good, that causeth the Lord to remove the Can­dlesticke. The very coldnesse of the Church of Ephesus, in falling from her first love; the luke-warmenesse of the Laodiceans, the LORD would not endure in them.

Let every man consider this; is his zeale now as much as it hath beene, if not, let us know that it is reckoned coldnesse, and luke-warme­nesse: the falling from our first love, is the cause of bringing Gods judgements on a Nation.

[Page 258]But what is this zeale? Zeale is nothing else but the intention of all holy affections and acti­ons. I will goe no further than this Text to shew the nature of it.

Phineas was zealous,Which is a stirring up of affection. that is, he not onely did the thing, but his heart burned within him with zeale for GOD. So as, First, there must be a stirring up of affection;For the Lord. Secondly, it must be ho­ly, it must bee for the Lord; and this is it that discovers true zeale, to looke onely to the Lord, to have no by-respects, as there may be zeale that makes a great deale of hea [...]e, and yet it comes from the earth, although it makes as great a show as the best.

Againe,There must be with it intenti­on of action. there must bee intention, not on­ly of affections, but also of action. Therefore it is said, while hee was zealous for my sake among them: as if he had said, this zeale of Phineas was not kept smothered in his owne brest, but it brak [...] forth into action; hee did something for the Lord.

And indeed, it is action that glorifies GOD, and that benefits men, onely actions stand on our reckoning: for you know God judgeth every man according to his workes. It is action that doth our selves good, that makes us usefull, and serviceable to men; and the Church, that makes us instruments of Gods glory. Therefore adde action to affection, and know that zeale stands in both, for it is the intention of holy actions and affections. I will adde no more in the explica­tion, but will briefly apply it.

[Page 286] Vse 1.And first, if it bee zeale that turnes away the Lords wrath,Not to discou­rage those that be zealous. then why should wee discourage zeale; by it I dare bee bold to say the Citie stands.

Why doe wicked men cry downe all religi­on and zeale under the name of precisenesse,The frequency of such discou­ragements. and overmuch strictnesse of life, walking bouldly in the streets, and reckoning it their glory to wound God through the sides of men? So that they make those that beare the name of Christ,The ill effects. ready to reckon that their shame which is their glory; to hang downe the wing, and to seeke corners to hide their heads in: whence it is, that the servants of Christ follow their Master a far off, as if they were halfe ashamed of his service, when as they should weare his Livery in open view, as accounting that their greatest honour. It were well, if some meanes were used to prevent this. If it be zeale that turnes away the wrath of God, wee should doe well then to nourish and cherish them that are zealous.

Are not religion and zeale the two which hold all up?Zeale and Re­ligion, the pil­lars of Church and Common­wealth. Are they not the pillars that beare up the Church and Common-wealth? Are not they the rescues that deliver the Citie? Yet doe not wicked men with them, as those that to lop the Tree are still hacking at the boughes? But the Lord still holds them up, and the world for their sakes. For why is this heape of chaffe preserv'd from burning? Is it not because there is some Corne some Wheate mixed therewith? If the Corne be once out, will not the Lord (as [Page 287] men use to doe after winnowing) set the chaffe on fire? As women with childe are grieved to be delivered, so the Lord stayes till the world be delivered, as it were, of all his Elect ones, of all the Saints, of all his holy and zealous ones, and then shall be brought forth the Iudgement of the great day.

The World may cast out these men,They are Gods Pearls, though cast out in the world. as the Sea doth Pearles, among mire and dirt, but they are Pearles notwithstanding; God knowes them to be so, and wise-men know them to be so, yea, Pearles excelling other men, as much as Iewels doe common stones, as much as Li­lies and Roses doe Thornes and Bryers, among which they grow. What's the reason that Eli­jah is called the Chariot of Israel, and the Horse­men thereof, but because hee was an holy man, that did much for Gods glory, that did more advantage the State at home, and did more pre­vaile abroad, than all the Chariots and Horse­men. And may not we apply this to the zea­lous among us: Therefore, when we injury any of them, doe not wee cut off the haire from Sampsons head, wherein the strength of every Countrey and Nation, and every Citie and Towne consists? Yea, the cutting off of them, is like the cutting off of his lockes, which the more the grow, the more strength a Kingdome hath. I say no more, but commend it to every man in his place, wishing that you would let it be your generall care to encourage true Religi­on and Zeale, the omitting whereof, I am per­swaded, [Page 288] is one of those things which causeth the Lords hand to be stretched forth against us.

Vse 1.Secondly, if it be Zeale that turnes away the LORDS wrath,Containing many Convi­ctions of our want of Zeale. 1. From the formality of the Times. then where is the Zeale that should be among us?

Are wee not rather fallen into those later times the Apostle speakes of, which should have a forme of Religion without the Zeale, and Power and Life of it? And if Zeale turnes away Gods wrath, certainly then this formali­tie, this overlinesse of Religion, this coldnesse without Zeale and Power, is it that brings on his wrath. It is true, and we cannot deny but knowledge abounds amongst us, as the waters in the Sea: But where is the Salt? That is, where is that Zeale, and holinesse that should season all our knowledge? Where is the Fire that should adde practice to our knowledge, and make it an acceptable sacrifice to GOD? Wee have the light of former Times, but not their heat: As he complaines, Ignis qui in Pa­rentibus fuit calidus, in nobis lucidus; The Fire which in ancient Times was hot, is now onely light. We thinke it enough to goe to Church, to receive the Sacrament, and so to keepe a round, as it were, to doe as most doe, being carried about with the generall course of the World, as the Planets are with the rest of the Spheres, contrary to that which should bee their proper motion. But, I beseech you, con­sider it. Is this Religion? Is this the Power of Godlinesse; is this to be Baptized with the [Page 289] Holy Ghost, which is as Fire? Surely, Reli­gion stands not in these outward formalities, but in changing the heart, in making us New Creatures, in mortifying our Lusts, and tho­rowly purging out the love of every corrup­tion. Therefore, if you will turne away Gods wrath, turne your formality into Zeale, that is, content not your selves with the performance of the duties of Religion externally, but get that wherein the power of godlinesse con­sists, else the outside of Duties will not divert Wrath.

Againe,Conviction. From our want of affection for the Lord. did Zeale turne away the wrath of the Lord, then where are our zealous affecti­ons? Why are we not zealous for the Lord, and zealous against sinne? You know Christ died for this end, that hee might purifie unto himselfe a peculiar people zealous of good workes. Titus 2.14. Men doe good actions as a Taske, they are glad when they be over; but doe you them with much intention, much f [...]r­vencie, much desire, be you a people zealous of good workes. Therefore in Rom. 12.11. They are put together, be fervent in spirit, and ser­ving the Lord; implying that the Lord respects no service, but as it is joyned with fervencie: Therefore know, that it is not enough to serve the Lord in an ordinary Tract, you must mend your pace to heaven; it is not enough to goe, but you must runne the way of Gods Com­mandements.

And as you must be zealous for him,Against sin. so you [Page 290] must be zealous against evill: For you must know this (and marke it well) it is not enough to abstaine from sinne, it is not that alone that God will accept, but he lookes that you should hate sinne. As it is said of Lot, his righteous soule was vexed with the uncleane conversa­tion of the Sodomites, that is, his heart rose against them, there was an inward distaste a­gainst them; the like you shall see in David and Moses.

Differences be­twixt Hatred and Anger.You will say, I hope I detest sinne, and am angry with it.

Hatred is constant.It may be so; perhaps you are angry with sinne, but Zeale you know is an intention of the affection of hatred, and it is required that you hate sinne: Revel. 2.6. This thou hast, that thou hatest the worke of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

You will say, How doe they differ? You shall know hatred by this.

First, it is a constant affection, it abides with us; Anger goes away as all passions doe, it is but for a fit, for a flash, on some occasion.

It sets against the whole Spe­cies.Againe, hatred is alwayes of generals; the sheepe hates all Wolves, we hate all Toads, all Serpents. I say, wheresoever there is hatred, it turnes to the whole Species. Now doe you hate all sinne, all kindes of sinne, one as well as an­other? Doe you not only abstaine from them, but also hate them, of what sort soever they bee.

Lastly, Hatred seekes the utter destruction [Page 291] of the thing hated.It [...]ests not but in utt [...]r de­ [...]t [...]uction. Iudge of our Anger by these [...]arkes. Anger would have but a proportion of Iustice, as Aristotle sayes. Now is it so with you? Doe you seeke the utter de­struction of sinne, abstaining not onely from grosse sinnes, but from all dalliances, from the least touch of sinne, cleansing your selves from all pollusions of the flesh and spirit? If you will be zealous for the Lord, then know that this is required, that you not onely doe things, but that you doe them zealously, that you not onely abstaine from sinne, but that you hate it.

Againe,Conviction. From our want of courage for the truth. if it be Zeale that turnes away the wrath of the Lord, then where is our bold­nesse, our courage, our forwardnesse for the Truth? Why are we so fearefull and shie of doing the thing that otherwise we thinke meet to bee done? For Zeale hath that pr [...]pertie among the rest, it makes men bold; the Zeale of the Apostles was knowne by their bold­nesse.

But you will say,Object. A man may be too bold

It is very true;From the dan­ger of too much bold­nesse. when the horse runnes up and downe, and is at libertie, the more mettle the worse, but under the bridle, and in the way there cannot be too much;Answ. keepe the streame within the bankes,Danger of Ex­cesse must be prevented by a well regular [...] [...]g our boldnesse. and let it runne in a right Channell, and then the stronger the better. It is good therefore in this case to come to a dis­junction, which is the thing that Elijah advi­sed, If Baal be God, follow him; but if God be God, follow him; and follow him to purpose. And [Page 292] as Luther wrote to Melancthon, when he began to faint; Why, Melancthon, if this be the Cause of God, why should we be discouraged? why should we goe coldly about it? If it be not the Cause of God, why doe not wee desist altoge­ther? This Disjunction put life into him.

The Objecti­on is prosecu­ted. And more ful­ly answered.I, but discretion and moderation must bee used. It is true, but doth this crosse your zeale? Doth one Grace crosse another? Prudence doth not abate diligence, but guides it in its worke. It teaches not to do lesse, but to doe better. There­fore, as for Moderation, you must know it stands in avoiding the Rock, in declining the extreme, but Moderation in a right course, is not mode­ration, but lukewarmenesse, and coldnesse.

Conviction. From our want of Zeale for the Church. Last of all, to conclude this point, and only to name the rest. If Zeale turne away the wrath of God, then where is our zeale for the Church of God? Why doe not we take its case to heart? why have not we the bowels of compassion to lament over its condition, as if it were our own? It was a most commendable thing in old Ely, when he heard the newes that the battell was lost, that his sons were slaine, that moved him not so much; but when he heard that the Arke of God was taken, that amazed him, so that hee fell from his seat and brake his necke. Consider this, and know, that it is required that you be zealous for the Church. Let our Gallants con­sider this, that care not how things goe, And those that will have the Church negligently re­garded, let them cōsider that a curse abides him [Page 293] Who doth the worke of the Lord negligen [...]ly.Ze [...]le for the Church is ac­ceptable to God, even when he is an­gry with her. And know, that though the Lord be angry with his Church, as many times he is, yet your zeal [...] on its behalfe, your prayers for it, your cost up­on it, your labour about if, yea, whatsoever you doe, for it is acceptable to God even then when he is angry with it, when he afflicts i. David was angry with Absolom, Ioab makes a suit to [...]i [...] to call home his banished, though David was an­gry with Absolom, yet Ioabs suite to David was very acceptable, he could not have come of a better message. So you cannot doe a more ac­ceptable worke, than to seeke for the Churches good, and to pray for its prosperity. It is true indeed, the Lord will take care of his Church, and they that, be enemies to it shall not be gai­ners; as Zach. 12.6.It is dangerous to wrong the Church. They that seeke to hurt the Church of God, shall be as a company of sheaves that goe about to suppresse a cole of fire, which shall consume them all. And they that goe about to de­voure the Church, shal be like a man that thinks to devoure a cup of poison, but by it is killed himselfe, or like a man that goes about to throw up a stone that is too heavie for him, which fals backe, and crushes him to powder. All these expressions there be in that Chapter. It is true, he will not cast away the care of his Church, he will defend it against them that op­pose it; but in the meane time, if you doe not your part, you shall lose your glory, nay, you shall be guilty of Negligence, which will bring a Curse with it upon you.

[Page 294] Direction what wee must doe for the Church. But you will say, What would you have us to doe for it?

I answer, Wee must consider the Church abroad, and at home.

Abroad.For the Churches abroad we will not pre­scribe unto you any particular direction, only wee will commend to you this generall, That you seeke their safety and preservation, and the propagation of Religion among them, with all care and intention, as you shall see occasions and circumstances to require.

At home.But for the Church at home, you see the Lord hath begunne to make a breach upon us. And as it is in Ezek. 22.30. Hee seekes for a man among us that may stand in the Gappe.

It is well done that you have gone so farre, as you have, but remember that it is a thing that the Lord desires. And know withall, that the Lord markes what every man doth for his Church, he observes who is zealous, and who sits still, hee takes notice who doth nothing, who doth somthing, and how much every man doth: As in Malach. 3.16. The Lord harkened, and heard, and a Booke of Remembrance was writ­ten. The Lord harkens and heares what every man speakes, what every man doth, yea, to what end, with what heart; how his Church is thought upon.Concerning the Church at home three things are [...]mmended to [...]onsideration. Consider this therefore, that you may be stirred up to doe more.

You will say, What would you have us to doe more? I will commend these three things unto you, and so conclude this point:

[Page 295]First,Execution of Iudgement. doe as Phineas is in the Text said to doe, the thing he did to turne away the wrath of the Lord was, executing of judgement in the pu­nishment of Z [...]mri and Cosby that had committed that grea [...] si [...]ne. And marke this, when Phi­neas began to stirre, the Lord ceased to strive. And know, that the Lord regards not so much what the particular sins of a Nation or Church are, as what the action, the behaviour, the cari­age of the S [...]ate tow [...]s them is. Doubtlesse the action of both th [...] Houses of Parliament de­claring th [...]ir zeal both [...]w and heretofore, hath [...]ne a great mea [...]es of turning away the Lords wrath, and will [...]e more and more, if you doe so more and more. This is a thing I can­not b [...]lke seeing the Text casts me on it; that this zeale of Phineas, this act of his in punish­ing sinne turnd away the Lords wrath.

You will say,Specially a­gainst three things: what things should we punish?

Three things, First, Whoredome: you see here [...]he people committed whoredome as it is plainely mentioned by the Apostle.Whoredome Be not yee fornicators as some of them were, and fell in one day so many thousands.

Another sin was Idolatry,Idolatry. they joynd them­selves with Baal-peor.

And there is a third sinne,Injustice. not mentioned here, but is as frequently mentioned by the Prophets, to have a hand in common judgements as any other, and that is Injustice; when righteousness [...] is turned into Hemlocke, and judgement into worme-wood; that is a thing that must bee re­membred [Page 296] among the rest. Indeed there may be mistakes in the administration of Iustice, which through ignorance and the not perfect know­ledge of a cause may be fallen into; but the In­justice, that turnes righteousnesse into worme­wood, as I said before, must be remembred, and that is, either Briberie, or that respecting of per­sons in Iudgement, which is equivalent thereun­to, and will come in among the rest. These bee sinnes, the punishment whereof turnes away the wrath of the Lord. Therefore remember these in particular, and consider what it is to spare in this case; Saul was lost by sparing Agag: and remember what Elijah gained, and Iehu gained by being zealous. The manner we will wholly leave to you, onely, be zealous for the Lord.

Contention for the Faith.The second thing you must doe for the Church, to turne away the Lords wrath, is, to contend for that which maintaines the Church, I meane, Faith; maintaine that which maintaines you, preserve that which preservs you, the whole Church and Kingdome. Wee will therefore commend to you, that of Iudges, I exhort you, saith he, that you contend for the faith which was once given to the Saints: Marke it, you are to con­tend earnestly, for so much the word implies, herein we are to be contentious men. The very example of our adversaries may teach us to con­tend for th [...] Truth, if we consider, how they con­tend f [...]r the contrary;To which we should be pro­voked by the practise of her enemies. if we observe what unity there is among them, what joynt consent in op­posing the truth. Againe, remember what you [Page 297] are to contend for, it is for Faith, for the whole doctrine of Faith, every jot whereof is precious, and it is the faith that was once given to the Saints. As if hee had said, looke to it, if you lose it, it shall be recovered no more. Christ will not come againe from heaven to deliver this point of doctrine. And againe, it was once de­livered to the Saints, for what? Certainly to be kept as we keepe Pearles and Iewels, that it may not suffer the least detriment.

And let no man say he hath nothing to do with this, for it is the common faith which every man hath to doe with: you know in common things wherein every man hath interest, every man is ready to maintaine his right. Consider this, and stand for the whole Faith, for all the doctrine of Faith, and know, that these are matters of ex­ceeding great moment; all that we have said be­fore of the punishment of Injustice, Whoredome, Idolatry, and Superstition, &c. is not so much as this; for a man may turne aside to these sins, and yet have a right judgement, but so long as the judgement is perverted, the soule is irreco­verable.

Againe, these are of exceeding great conse­quence, for what Elisha did with the Syrians, who when they thought they were led to the man whom they sought to take, were brought in­to Samaria to be taken; the same falls out where there is an errour of faith: that which men think builds them up unto the Kingdome of GOD, leads them to that which will bee their destru­ction. [Page 286] Therefore contend for the Faith, for the whole doctrine of Faith, for every point of Faith, and remember to contend for it ear­nestly.

Advancement of the Mini­stery.The third and last action that wee will com­mend unto you, is this, Labour to doe that most which will most glorifie God, that is, endevour to set up a learned Ministery in the Land and Church: you know it is a great complaint, My people perish for want of knowledge; and who are they that perish? Acts 20.28. Even the flocke that God hath purchased with his owne bloud.

And at whose hands must it be required? It is true, we are the Vines that beare the Grapes, but you are the Elmes that must hold up the Vines. It is true, wee are the Shepheards to defend the flock, but it must bee your care to see that every flocke have a Shepheard. Is it not a lamentable thing to see how many perish for want of knowledge in Wales, in the Nor­therne Countries,By setting a Candle in eve­ry candlesticke. and in many places besides. Is it not your part to take care and labour as farre as you may, that every Candlestick may have a Candle set in it to give light? That every P [...] ­rish have an able Preaching Minister. It is true, every Parish cannot be provided for alike; Starres are of different magnitudes, some Stars are greater, some are lesser, some Starres shine not at all, some againe shine in another Hemi­sphere, and not in our owne, some shine like Me­teors for a little time, and then disappeare a­gaine: let it be your care, that all S [...]rres that are [Page 299] in the firmament of the Church, I meane those that are to dispence the mysteries of salvation, may (though weakely yet) like true Starres shine. These things wee must commend to your care, onely remember this, you know the wrong that is done to the flock,By keeping out dogs that will devoure. if dogges be suffered among them, therefore let them be removed; I meane those that endeavour to put out the light, that so they may the better prevaile, and teach their doctrines of darkenesse. As when the day is done, the beast wanders abroad; and doe not we finde it so amongst us? For where doth Po­pery abound so much, as in the darke places of the Kingdome? I beseech you consider this and be zealous. I should have added more, but so much shall serve for the third point.Generall point If we be not zealous, Gods jealousie grows hotter.

The other I will but name; and indeed I will the rather name them, though I doe no more, be­cause they follow so one upon another. You have heard that GODS anger brings all evill, that sinne is the cause of that anger, that it is zeale that turnes away that anger.

Now Fourthly it followes, that if you be not zealous, his jealousie shall grow hotter, it shall encrease more and more. The very word Iea­lousie hath something in it; when the Lord looks on a Church or Nation, the losse of their affe­ction breeds a jealousie, which is intended more and more if there be not care to prevent it.

Therefore when the Lord is jealous, he sends some tokens of his jealousie; as when a man strikes, we know he is angry; so when the Lord [Page 300] sends a plague among us, we may conclude he is angry. When a messenger comes, the sooner he hat [...] his answer the sooner hee is gone, but hee will stay till hee hath his answer:And his mes­senger must have an answer and will the Lord send this messenger in vaine? Doth hee not send it for an answer? And what is the an­swer the Lord lookes for? That you fast and pray, and humble your selves, and turne from your evill wayes, and bee zealous for his sake. What else is the end of all his judgements? Are they not as medicines, or plaisters to heale a Church, or a Nation or a particular person? They will stick on till the sore be healed, but when it is healed they will fall off: so you shall finde these judgements of the Lord, as long as wee remaine unreformed they will stick by us, till we bee hea­led the playster wil continue. Therefore are those phrases in Scripture, his hand is stretched out still and still; as in Deut. 28. Till wee be healed, hee will not make an end of correcting: he is now as it were engaged; and you know when a man is engaged to proceed in a thing, hee must goe on till hee hath brought it to an issue, else it will be counted rashnesse; and doe you thinke the LORD will turne from his wrath now it is begun, unlesse we give him an expected issue? It cannot be.

Meanes to stop his wrath is to stand in the gap.What shall we then doe? The way to stop his wrath is to stand in the gap: when a breach is made in the Sea, or in a River, as long as the breach continues, the waters come in upon the Land; the way to prevent further inundation, is to make up the breach. This plague is but a [Page 301] gap, a few may yet stand in the gap and stop it: you see what Phineas did here alone, and it is much what one man may doe; therefore let every man for his owne part humble himselfe for his owne sinnes, let him turne from them, and be zealous with God by prayer, by stri­ving and contending with him; for there bee but two wayes to stand in the gap,Which consists in faithfull prayer. one is faith­full and fervent Prayer, the other is Zeale a­gainst sinne, and in defence of that which is good. I will say no more of this (for I doe but name the point) onely remember, that ex­cept you doe thus, this jealousie of GOD shall goe on, grow upon us, and wax hotter and hotter.

Now the last point of all is this,Generall point Iealousie for the most part shall proceed to utter destru­ction. that the ef­fect of this jealousie (if it goes on) shall bee ut­ter destruction; therefore sayes the Text, That I consumed them not in my jealousie: as if hee had said, else my jealousie should have gone on, and that jealousie should have beene confusion. It is yet but a plague, the Land is yet safe (wherein you may see the Lords great patience, and long-suffering;) but if something be not done, if this jealousie of his bee suffered to goe on, if nothing bee done to prevent its further progresse, his wrath will end in utter destruction; you know I need not tell you, how neare we were to this de­struction in Eighty eight,Two great de­liverances we have had. Beware the third time. the Gunpowder-trea­son we were brought much nearer; the Ax was then laid to the root: this was twice. I will [Page 302] say thus much unto you, take heed of the third time. The Lord sayes, well, let the Tree stand yet a while longer, let no more blowes bee yet given it, that I may see if it will bring forth any more fruit: but as I said (and remember it) take heed of the third time; the Lord hath appointed sinne to destruction, and hee expects your execution of it. I will put you in remembrance of the story of Ahab and Benhadad, It were good that you would reade the whole story,The story of Ahab is consi­derable to this purpose. 1 Kings 20.26. you know what was Benhadads behaviour to him; the LORD delivered him into his hand, hee offered him what hee would have, hee en­tred into Covenant with him, spared him, and sent him away; but you shall see what message was sent afterwards, Because thou hast spared him that was appointed for destructi­on, therefore shall thy life goe for his life. Sin is now in your hands, let it not escape execution; I doe not speake particularly of punishment, that I leave to you, to doe according to your wisdome, and according to justice, according to discretion and observance of all circum­stances. Onely I say this to you, be zea­lous, and remember, yea, let it remaine with you as an irreversable truth, that this jealousie of GODS, if it goes on, will bee destru­ction.

Therefore, learne hence to feare; Securitie is like a Calme before an Earthquake: you [Page 303] know it is said of Laish, it was a secure people, and you know how they fared: They were so secure, that when an enemie came against them, it was like the shaking of a Fig-tree that hath ripe Figges on it, which being shaken, the Figges fall into their mouth:There is a double feare: Be not secure, but feare,A feare that puts us upon indirect means. which is both a signe, and a meanes of safetie.

It is true, there is a double feare: One kinde of feare indeed brings evill on us, and that wee shall finde was the feare of Ieroboam, who be­ing afraid, that by occasion of the peoples go­ing to Ierusalem, the Kingdome would returne to the House of David; therefore hee falls to indirect policie, and out of that feare, caused Golden-calves to be set up in Dan and Bethel. Indeed, a feare that sets us on wrong meanes is unlawfull, as that very thing was the destructi­on of him, and of his House, for it lost them the Kingdome. So Saul had a feare, but that feare was his undoing, because it set him a worke to use ill meanes, for when hee was a­fraid, hee went to the Witch of Endor, which was his ruine,A feare that sets us to work on good meanes. whereas it may bee, if hee had sought to the LORD, hee might have obtai­ned helpe.

But then there is the good feare that I com­mend to you, which is opposite to security, that is, such a feare as sets you on worke to use good meanes: You see David, when Zig [...]ag was burnt with fire; and his men were readie [Page 304] to stone him, what his feare set him on worke to doe, to pray, to encourage himselfe in the Lord, and this feare turn'd away the evill. Such a feare was Iehosaphats, when hee feared, hee humbled himselfe before the LORD by fasting and prayer. Let this bee your feare, and let it have such an effect among you, to use such meanes as shall turne away the Lords wrath.

And, in a word, to conclude, and it shall be the last word I will speake to you, marke it well, and harken to it as newes from Heaven, as a message from God.2 Chro. 15.2. When Asa came home with that great Victory, the Spirit of God came upon Azariah; And hee met Asa, and said unto him: Oh Asa, and all Iudah and Benjamin heare mee: If you bee with the Lord, the Lord will bee with you, but if you forsake the Lord, the Lord shall also forsake you. And this I say to you all; If you will be with the Lord, the Lord shall be with you, and if you forsake the Lord, he will reject you.

But you will say, what great newes is there in this? Marke it; We are apt to thinke, that to bee with the LORD is not enough, but wee must have other meanes, and proppes, and helpes. No, saith hee, it is enough for you to sticke close to the Lord, and to take no other care, for the Lord will be with you, who is Almightie, and able to defend you.

Againe, we are apt to thinke, that though [Page 305] we forsake the Lord, yet hee will not forsake us: else why are wee so bold in sinne? Why are not wee more zealous against sinne? Why mourne we not for the abominations that are amongst us? But the Prophet answers us for that; If you doe forsake the Lord, the Lord will also forsake, and depart from you. Consider it, and the Lord give you understan­ding.

FINIS.
THE NEW CREATVRE: Or …

THE NEW CREATVRE: Or A TRATISE OF SANCTIFICATION. Delivered in Nine Sermons, upon 2 Cor. 5.17. By the late faithfull and worthy Minister of IESUS CHRIST, IOHN PRESTON, Doctor in Divinitie, Chaplaine in Ordinary to his Majestie, Master of Emmanuel Colledge in Cambridge, and sometime Preacher of Lincolns INNE.

ROMANS 12.2. Be not conformed to this world, but be yee transformed by the renewing of your minde.
GALATH. 6.15. For in Christ Iesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncir­cumcision, but a new creature.

LONDON, Printed by R. B. for NICOLAS BOURNE, and are to be sold at his shop at the Royall Exchange. 1633.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON THE NEW CREATVRE.

2 COR. 5.17.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, let him be a new Creature.

WE have propounded to our selves this method.

First, to shew what we are out of Christ, and there our worke was to humble men.

Secondly, to shew what we have by Christ, and how we are made partakers of him, and that is done by faith.

[Page 2]The third is to shew what we should doe for Christ, and here begins the worke of Sanctifi­cation: for (as I told you) these were the three parts of the Apostles Ambassage: To preach the Law first, that it might be a Schoole-ma­ster to bring us to Christ: And then to preach Iustification by Christ: Thirdly, to preach Sanctification.

Now we have chosen this Text as a ground for the last, having finished the two former.

We will shew you in a word how it depends upon what goes before, that you may see the scope of the Apostle in these words.

In the thirteenth and fourteenth verses of this Chapter, the Apostle tells them that hee was ill used by them; Some of you (saith hee) thinke we are no better than out of our wits. It is no matter, whether we are in our wits, or out of our wits, yet we must goe through the worke of the Ministery, of the Gospell committed to us for Christs sake, that is, wee looke not to you, It is the love of Christ that constraineth us, we can doe no otherwise. When he had said this, hee gives the reason, why the love of Christ carried him along to doe his duty, whether he had wages or not, whether he had good report or not yet for the love of Christ he did it: For (saith he) we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead, that they that live should not hence­forth live to themselves, but to him that died for them: As if hee had said, Is there not reason that wee should thus neglect our selves for [Page 3] Christ, seeing hee died for this end, that wee should no longer live to our selves, but to him, that is, he hath bought us at a deare rate; there­fore we should no longer make our selves our end, but we must live to him, wee must thinke what Christ would have us doe, what worke he will set us about.

Now when he had said this, hee insisteth in one particular, wherein he shewed that he did not live to himselfe, but to Christ: Wherefore, henceforth we know no man after the flesh; no not Christ himselfe, that is, we doe not regard any man for any outward respects, we do not mag­nifie any man for any outward honour and ex­cellencie that he hath.

Againe, we doe not vilifie any man for the want of any outward excellencies, but we mag­nifie every man as hee excels in grace: yea, Christ himselfe, though hee had outward ex­cellencies, as other men, yet we love him now only in spirituall respects, as he is our Media­tour; we behold now every thing according to the Spirit. Now, when he had gone thus farre, he drawes this conclusion.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, let him bee a new Creature.: As if he should say, this is a con­sequence that must needs follow. If this bee true that Christ died, that every man that lives should live to him; then if any man will have part in Christ, if any man thinke he have any interest in him to be justified by him, he must be another man than he was before, he must be a [Page 4] new Creature, hee must know no man nor thing after the flesh, he must live to the Lord, and not to himselfe, in all things. So that now hee drawes it from himselfe, and raiseth it to a more high and generall conclusion: It is requi­red, saith he, of every man living, that, if he be in Christ, hee must be a new Creature, that is, hee must put off himselfe altogether, he must be no more the same man he was, hee must lay aside himselfe, and put on Christ Iesus, he must be made like him.

We will not stand longer to open the words, because wee shall doe that in the handling of the severall points that shall be delivered to you out of them. And first wee will take this plaine point that the words afford us.

Doct. That Sanctification must needs follow Iustification. Or,Iustification, and Sanctifica­tion are insepa­rable. if you will, take it in the words that are laid downe in the Text, Whosoever is in Christ, that is, whosoever will be justified by Christ, must have a new Nature created in him by God, for that is the meaning of it, whosoever is in Christ, must be made a new man, he must have another Nature, which is created in him by GOD, that is, intimated by this word Creature.

Now in the handling of this point, we will doe these two things:

  • First, we will shew how Sanctification ari­seth from Iustification, because that is the main scope for which we chose this Text.
  • Secondly, wee will shew you the reasons [Page 5] why they are inseparable, why the one must needs follow the other, and then further open this doctrine to you, that whosoever is in Christ, must have a new Nature created in him by God.

The first thing that we have to do is to shew you how Sanctification ariseth from Iustifica­tion,How Sanctifi­cation ariseth from Iustifica­tion. and it hath a double rise.

The one is from the Spirit that is infused in­to us presently after we are justified, or at the same time, only there is a difference in the or­der of Nature.

Secondly, it ariseth from some actions wrought in the minde, whereby a man comes to this conclusion; If Christ have accepted me for his, if he be mine, and will justifie me, and free me from my sinnes, then I will serve him in all things.

For the first,By the worke of the Spirit. as soone as any man hath taken Christ, and received that Righteousnesse of his by faith, there is an union betweene Christ and him, and upon this union the Spirit of Christ is shed into him, Gal. 4.6. Because you are sonnes, God hath set the Spirit of his Sonne into you; that is, as soone as you receive him, you have the same Spirit sent into your hearts that dwells in Christ: and so Gal. 5.2. Received you the Spirit by the workes of the Law, or by the hearing of faith prea­ched; that is, by hearing the doctrine of faith: I say as soone as a man is justified, he receives the Spirit. So likewise, Rom. 8.9. You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, &c. and he that hath not [Page 6] the Spirit of Christ is none of his, that is, as soone as we are justified, God sends the Spirit of his Sonne into us, and if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is not yet justified. And the like you have Rom. 6.2. when some had made this objection, If grace abound, why doe we not sinne the more, that grace may more abound? The Apostle saith, It is impossi­ble that those that are dead to sinne, should live any longer therein; as if he should say, Set aside all your carnall reasonings, it is impossible for him that is dead to sinne, to live yet therein; how can he? as if he should say, Whosoever is in Christ, the Spirit of Christ is sent into his heart, that mortifies sin so, that he cannot live any more in it, there is such a change wrought in him, hee is a new Creature, if hee be once in Christ; that is the first rise, as soone as we are justified the Spirit of Christ is sent into our hearts.

Objects.But is not the Spirit sent into our hearts be­fore, when he workes faith?

Answ.It is true, but the meaning is, when wee are once in Christ, the Spirit of Sanctification is shed more plentifully, and in a greater degree than before, for there is a certaine work of the Spirit that begetteth faith, and the same worke of the Spirit, in its time, begetteth the degrees of Sanctification.

But now, that this may not be in notion on­ly, we will shew you, how the Spirit workes this, that you may not think these to be things [Page 7] carried in clouds, and to have place only in our understandings, but that you may know it in the experience, that every man finds in him­selfe, that after hee hath taken Christ, there is indeed such a Spirit shed into his heart that changeth him. For the understanding of this, know, that when wee come to invite men to come into Christ (as it is all our businesse to in­vite men to the marriage) all the world stands out, and every man gives that answer that they did in the Gospell, they have bought farmes, and married wives; every man is so set on these outward things that his carnall heart carrieth him to, that they will not hearken to us, so that we may preach in vaine: you see to how many Christ himselfe preached in vaine, and the A­postles had preached in vaine, if there had been no more than their owne preaching.

So likewise, now the Spirit is sent into the hearts of men, that when wee come and invite men to come into Christ, the Spirit also secret­ly compels them to come in. Wee are indeed bidden to compell men to come in, but unlesse there bee another compeller, that is, except there be the Spirit within to doe it, the worke is not done, unlesse there be two compellers at the same time, the Holy Ghost within prea­ching to your hearts, when we preach to your eares; except there be two callers, that when wee call men, the Lord send his Spirit to call you too, it is in vaine: And that you may un­derstand this, you must know that it is as hard a [Page 8] thing to move a man to leave his pleasures, and divers lusts, and his vaine conversation, as to turne the whole course of nature (which I call the instinct that God hath put into every crea­ture, to move that way that it goeth, as the wa­ter to move downward, and the fire to goe up­ward:) Thinke with your selves now, whether there must not be an Almighty Power to turne the course of nature; because the heart of man naturally goes downward to sinne, it descends downward with the same propensity, it hath the same [...], as we call it, the same forward­nesse and pronenesse to evill that any naturall thing hath to goe the course, that is naturall to it.

Now unlesse there be an Almighty Power to turne this course of Nature, no man will ever come to Christ. As for example, That re­ctitude of Gods Image, that is expressed in the Word, come to experience, and looke upon every mans heart living, and see whether it be not quite contrary to it in all things, even as contrary as the motion of the stone is from ascending towards the heavens, but when the Spirit commeth he turneth this course of Na­ture. Now when wee come to doe this, doe you thinke that any man in the world is able to worke it in the hearts of men? It is true, a man may goe thus farre; It is possible for a King, or for a man in authority, to set prefer­ments on the one side, and punishments on the other, to make a man to doe much, or to suffer [Page 9] much, but all this while here is but a turning of the actions of men, but to turne the inclina­tions of mans heart, it is proper only to God, man is not able to doe it in any particular: If a mans heart be set upon covetousnesse, Christ saith it is impossible all the men in the world can change his heart: But put the case a man could doe it (as no man can) if he could turne a mans heart, it would be but in a particular or two, but to turne the whole frame of the heart, to make a generall change, to make him ano­ther man, another Creature: It is impossible for any man in the world to doe it.

Or, put the case he could doe so, it must be after long reasoning, but to do it upon the sud­den, and at one Sermon, as the Spirit some­times doth, to take one word, and by it to change the heart of man, it must needs be the worke of an Almighty Power.

Therefore in the 2 Cor. 3. Chap. and the last verse, when the Apostle speakes of this great change, he saith, when we reade or heare the Word, we see there the Image of God, as one seeth his face in a glasse, and are changed into it from glory to glory, that is, from one glorious degree to another: But how is this done? It is done, saith he, by the Spirit of the Lord. As if he should say, It is impossible for a man to be tur­ned into the glorious Image of God, and not by the Spirit of God. A man may as well say, I will make a clod of earth a shining Starre, as to say he can make the carnall and dead heart [Page 10] of man to be like the Image of God: It must be the Spirit of God himselfe that must doe it, it is a work above Nature: It is therefore done by the Spirit, which doth so enlighten the un­derstanding, and so bow the will, that whereas before there was in man such a strong appetite, such a strong propensity to ill, such a strong in­clination that would over-weigh all the rea­sons that could be brought to the contrary, when the Spirit hath wrought this work, there is such a contrary inclination, such a propens­nesse to God, and to that which is good, that it over-ballanceth all the temptations that the world, the flesh, and the Devill can lay a­gainst it.

Is not this a mighty Power that must doe this, that whereas there was in a man before such a strong inclination to sin, there is a dispo­sition so contrary now, such a desire wrought in him, such a strong impression that carries him to God, to Christ, and to holinesse, that let all the reasons in the world be brought to the contrary, they cannot keepe him off.

Quest.But, you will say these things that you speak are wonderfull things, how shall we have this wrought in us?

Answ.By being in Christ this wonder is wrought in us, when a man is once ingrafted into Christ, when hee hath once received him, this great worke is wrought in him in his heart, hee is made a new Creature.

But if you adde to this the second way of [Page 11] raising this Sanctification from our Iustificati­on, then you will understand it yet more fully and distinctly.

There are certaine actions wrought in our soules, by which this Sanctification followes Iustification, and those are these.

First,By certaine actions in the minde and heart, which are the effects of the Spirit in him. when a man seeth great reason for it, for when a man is once convinced of a thing, that it is best for him to doe it, and takes a re­solution to him to performe it. Now when a man hath beene humbled, and knoweth what sinne is,Vpon the un­derstanding. when he hath had his heart prepared, when he comes in once to take Christ, that is, when he seeth his owne basenesse, and Christs excellencie; what he was without Christ, and what he hath by Christ, that when he expected nothing but death, then the Gospell came and said, Thou shalt live: when he seeth that Christ deales with him after this manner, then hee thinkes surely, It is good reason that I should serve him, before indeed we thinke his service to be an hard service, and we doe with him, as people that are under a tyrannous King, they refuse to obey such an one; so doth all the world with Iesus Christ; they thinke his Law to be an hard Law written with bloud, and they thinke him to be an hard Governour, such a King as they know not how to be subject unto: But when a man is once convinced by the Spi­rit, when he sees reason for it, when he is per­swaded that Christ will governe him for his wealth, that Christ hath suffered for him, and [Page 12] freed him from the wrath of God, then hee thinkes thus; There is reason that I should suf­fer him to rule over me, and when a man seeth reason for it, he comes then willingly to sub­mit himselfe to Christ. This is the worke of the Spirit, whereby he perswades a man that there is reason for it, and it is attributed to the Spirit. Iohn 16 The Spirit convinceth of Sinne, of Righteousnesse, and of Iudgement; that is, it shewes us that we are sinfull, and that there is a Righ­teousnesse in Christ to heale that.

And thirdly, it convinceth us that there is reason for it, why we should serve God in San­ctification and Iudgement. The meaning of the word, He shall convince, is that the Spirit shewes us reason why we should embrace Sanctifica­tion, and serve the Lord in all things: Now when the heart of man is brought to this, to see reason and equity in this, then a man takes resolution to cleave to Christ, to serve him.

Vpon the affections.Secondly, as he deales with the reason, so he doth likewise with the affections, for he begets love in us, which love sanctifieth us, it sets us on worke, and turnes the whole heart, as the Rudder turnes the Ship, for it sits in the sterne of a mans Soule, and the reason (that when we are justified we love Christ) is, because when as before a man magnified himselfe, setting him­selfe at an high rate, like a virgin that is coy and curious, thinking no man good enough for her: now the Law comming and convincing him of the need he stands in of CHRIST, and [Page 13] shewing him what he is in himselfe, he is here­upon content to marry with the Lord Christ: Nay further, the Spirit of God not only shews him the need that hee stands in of an husband, he being not under covert, and deepely in debt, the whole weight of his debt lying on him­selfe, but it goes further, and shewes him the beautie of Christ, as Ioh. 14.21. To him that loves me I will manifest my selfe; that is, I will declare my beauty, and when the Spirit shewes Christ to the Soule, it makes it in love with him.

We may shew him to you an hundred times over, and yet beget not this affection in you, but the Spirits shewing is effectuall to that end, and when you love him, you must needs please him in all things, it being the care of the mar­ried wife to please the husband.

So that when the heart is prepared by hu­miliation, and takes Christ, love is wrought in the Soule, and love sanctifies; for Sanctifica­tion is nothing else but a setting our selves a­part from common uses, and keeping of the heart close to God, making it peculiar to him, and this love makes us to doe: when the wife loves the husband, shee will be his altogether, she will be only to him, she will be divorced from all Adulterers, and have nothing to doe with them; and thus the Lord deales with the affections.

Thirdly, there is wrought not only a love to the Lord,Selfe-love is sanctified. but a perswasion that it is good for our selves to serve him in holinesse: Indeed [Page 14] many times, to satisfie our affections, we love a thing too much, though wee doe not thinke our selves gainers thereby, but in this matter the Lord perswades us, that it is best for our selves to sanctifie him in all things, to draw neere unto him, to sanctifie his Name in our hearts; so that now not only love to Christ, but even selfe-love also is set on worke to the making us New Creatures; for the wayes of God are propounded as good and profitable, and pleasing things, and when the heart lookes on them, it sees them as good for it selfe, so that the heart turnes towards them (as it can­not but doe to every thing that it apprehends to be good and profitable to it.

So that when the Holy Ghost shall per­swade a man that it is best for himselfe, that he shall best provide for himselfe every way, by taking Christ, hee cannot choose but come in, when hee shall see it is best for him to goe to the Citie of refuge, that he cannot live else, and that if he comes there he shall have life, and not only life, but a kingdome too, and that the way that leads thereto is grace and holinesse; hee will goe, and goe fast enough. When a man is perswaded, Christ is the Citie of Refuge, to whom I must go, else I cannot be safe, and that the way to him is to be a new Creature; this makes him to goe on, and willingly too, for it is out of selfe-love.

Ingenuitie is wrought.Againe, when a man is justified and hath ta­ken Christ, there is bred in him an holy Inge­nuitie [Page 15] which makes him so thankfull to Christ, that hee is ashamed to joyne Christ with any sinne: As Rom. 6.21. What profit had yee in those things whereof yee are now ashamed; you are now ashamed to commit them any more.

A man will thinke it now an unreasonable thing, that Christ should doe so much for him, be crucified for him, and so give him life, being before dead men, that he should take flesh for the remission of his sins, and that he, in recom­pence of this kindnesse, should serve his lusts. Therefore he reasons, as Ioseph did with his Mi­stresse; Shall I doe this, and so sinne against God, and my Master, he hath committed all to me; hee hath done thus much for me, and shall I thus requite him? And as Nathan taught David to reason, Hath the Lord made thee King over Israel, and done thus and thus for thee, and wilt thou serve him thus? So that I say there is an holy Ingenuity bred in us, whereby out of thankfulnesse wee will shun whatsoever may offend him.

Besides this,Noblenesse of Spirit. we are taught that we sustaine another person, and every man desires to main­taine the dignity of the person hee sustaines. When a man is once in Christ, he thinkes not the courses he lived in before, to be sutable to the condition he is now in. Therefore the A­postle reasons, 1 Pet. 1.14. Fashion your selves no longer after the lusts of your former Ignorance, but be holy, as he is holy; that is, if you take your selves to be in Christ, and that you be come unto God, admit not any more those lusts, [Page 16] which though they suted with your former (yet not with this condition) he reasons as Ne­hemiah did, Shall such a man as I doe this?

A strong incli­nation.Lastly, which is the chiefest reason of all, As soone as a man hath taken Christ, and is justified, there is a strong impression made up­on his Soule, by which he is caused to cleave unto him, and to long after him, as the Iron doth after the Load-stone, that cannot bee at rest untill it hath attained it. A man shall set himselfe in the wayes of God, though it were but to give satisfaction to the desires of his Soule. And indeed, were it not for this, wee should not serve the Lord; this makes us New Creatures: I say, there is a strong inclination in every man that is justified, that he can doe no lesse than serve the LORD even to satis­fie that.

For example, when Eliah had called Elishah, hee could not choose but follow him, all the reasons in the world could not keep him back: At the time when he cast his mantle on him, there was an impression made on him; as when Christ said to Levi, and Peter, and Andrew, and the rest, follow me, their profits, and nets, and fathers were nothing, they needed no more perswasion, for there was a secret impression made upon their hearts together with Christs Word, and to satisfie that they must needs fol­low him. Such an impression as this, was made on the heart of Ruth to follow Naomi, you know how she put her to it, but Ruth would not goe [Page 17] backe for she loved her, and therefore nothing but death should separate them. And the same was in Iacob to Rachel, seven yeeres, and seven yeeres service, the length of time and hardnesse of labour could not keep him from his Vncles house, nor drive him off, such a strong desire was planted in his heart towards her: and such a desire is planted in the heart of every Christi­an that is justified, a strong Instinct (as I may call it) a strong affection after Iesus Christ, and he must needs goe on in the wayes of Sanctifi­cation, seeing there is no other way to satisfie himselfe.

So that putting all this together, when a man shall see such reason for holinesse, when he shall have affections of delight therein, of love thereto, when he shall see it best for him, and that it is impossible hee should have the Lord Iesus Christ (whom he so much desires) if he serve him not in the duties of Sanctification, he must needs come to a fixed resolution, I will be another man, and runne another course, I will change my life altogether, I will serve him in holinesse, and in the duties of new obedience. And after this manner doth Sanctification arise from Iustification? first from a worke of the Spirit, and then by all these passages that goe thorow the minde of a man, which though they be not marked distinctly, yet are truely in the heart. And so much for the first point.Sanctification and Iustificati­on are inse [...]

Now we will come to the second, which is, That Iustification and Sanctification are inse­parable, [Page 18] they cannot bee disjoyned.

But you will say, this is a point that needs no proving, I would (my Brethren) it did not, I would that men were perswaded of the truth of it, but we may see by the lives of men that they are not perswaded of it, for their lives be loose, and they thinke, that if they can call on Christ in the day of death, and cry for pardon, it will be enough, and that without such strict­nesse a man may be saved.

Reason 1.Therefore, to make it cleare to you, you must remember this as a ground: No man can be saved by the second Adam, except hee bee borne of the second Adam: As no man could be condemned by the first Adam, that was not borne of the first Adam; for the reason why all mens natures are corrupted is, because all are borne of him. If a man were created and did not descend by generation from him, he should be free from Sinne, and so could not be con­demned, but comming out of his loynes, puts us into a condition of condemnation: And so on the other side, except you be borne of the second Adam, you shall not be saved; What is that? You must be made New Creatures, Ioh. 1.12. As many as received him he made the sonnes of God: What is that a meere title? No, verse the thirteenth, They are borne not of bloud, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God. that is, they are borne of the second Adam: and Ioh. 3.5. Whosoever is not borne of the Spirit, shall not enter into the Kingdome of God.

[Page 19]Now as our nature was corrupted in the first Adam, there being a compact and covenant betweene God and him, that if Adam stood, all his seed should stand with him; but if he fell, then that all that were borne of him should by vertue of that covenant, compact, or agree­ment have his sinne imputed to them, and so should be corrupted, as hee was, and die the death. So there was a second covenant be­tweene us and the second Adam, which is the new Testament spoken of in Ier 31 and in Heb. 8. I will make a new Covenant, saith God: And what is that? I will put may Law in your minde, and write it in your inward parts: that is, by ver­tue of the compact and agreement, which is the new Testament following upon the former, all that shall be saved by Christ, shall be borne of him, they must be new men; whosoever shall be justified by him must be a new Creature.

Secondly,Reason 2. because it is the will of God; It is true, God might have saved us without it, if it had beene his pleasure, it had beene no more but calling men at the houre of death; but is otherwise, 1 Thess. 4.3▪ This is the will of God even your Sanctification. And if there were no other reason but Gods will, that those that be justi­fied shall be sanctified, it is enough: God hath called you to holinesse; he hath appointed it, hee wills it, and his will is sufficient to enforce it.

Againe, consider when we are ingrafted in­to Christ,Reason 3. it it not simply an ingrafting, but wee are ingrafted into the similitude of his death and re­surrection, [Page 20] Rom. 8. that is, no man is ingrafted into Christ, but sinne is crucified in him, hee is dead thereto, that is, he is a dead man in regard of the life of sin, and is alive to God, as Christ rose from the dead, so he is raised to newnesse of life. If it had beene simple ingrafting into Christ, there had needed no further Relation, but we are ingrafted into the similitude of his Death and Resurrection.

Reason 4.Again, it was the end of the Lords comming; If hee had come only to save men, there had beene no need of being New Creatures, but he came also to purifie unto himselfe a peculiar people, zealous of good workes, and to destroy out of man the workes of the Devill, and to purchase to himselfe an holy Generation, and Royall Priest hood. Now whatsoever the Lords end is, he never failes of.

Reason 5.Againe, you must consider, that to whom­soever Christ is a Priest, hee is also to them a Prophet and a King, he is annointed to all these Offices: And therefore if you will be saved by him, by the vertue of his Priest-hood, you must take him as a Prophet, that is, you must take his counsell in all things, and not only so, but he must also be your King; you must not only learne his way, but you must also be per­fectly subject and obedient to him, to walke therein. Indeed as a Priest, he reconciles God unto us, but not us to God, except hee come with his other two Offices, for man stands out and will not know the way; and therefore as a Prophet, Hee is to guide our feet into the way of [Page 21] peace: and that is not all, therefore because our hearts are stubborne, and will not come in, he exercises his Kingly Office, And brings into sub­jection every thought to the obedience of his will.

Againe, looke to all the meanes, as first to Faith, the same Faith that justifieth, doth also purifie the heart; Having their hearts purified by faith, Act. 15. And as many as are sanctified by faith that is in me, Act. 26.28.

And likewise the bloud of Christ not only covers, but also heales, Hebr. 9.14. How much more shall the bloud of Christ, who through his eter­nall Spirit offered himselfe to purge your Consci­ences from dead workes, &c. It hath not onely vertue to take away the guilt of Sin, but it is effectuall also to purge the conscience from the power of sinne.

Againe, the Gospell wee preach doth not only offer Christ, but likewise cleanseth, You are cleane through my Word, Ioh. 15. And in the hundred and nineteenth Psalme, and the ninth verse, Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy Word.

The Spirit as it is a Spirit of Adoption, so is it of Sanctification, making clean the roome where it dwelleth, and making it a fit Temple for the Lord. Consider the Sacraments, Bap­tisme doth not only wash from the guilt of sin▪ but from the filth of sin also, from the blot and deformity of sinne. And so I have done with these two points, how Sanctification rises from Iustification, and that they cannot be separated.

[Page 22]Before we proceed to other Observations, we will, by way of Vse from the inseparability of Iustification and Sanctification,Vse 1. draw this con­sequent, that,Pray that see­ing God hath justified us, he would also san­ctifie us. if they be inseparable, we should goe to God and beseech him, that having gi­ven us the first, that he would grant us the se­cond also. If you have any assurance that your sins are forgiven you,Encourage­ments to pray for Sanctifica­tion. let him not deny you this to make you new Creatures, they be insepara­ble, and therefore you have just cause to pray him not to separate them,Gods pro­mise in the Covenant. therefore you may claime them both as your due, seeing you have his promise for both, and you must urge him on his promise; we desire Iustificatio [...] [...]or our owne sake, but Sanctification that we may glo­rifie God: and therefore, when you come to God with this request, Lord make mee a new Creature, that I may bring glory to thy Name, that I may serve thee, and do good in the place wherein I live, he will not deny thee. Consi­der but this very Sacrament which we are now going to receive;The Cove­nant sealed in the Sacrament. you must know that the Sa­crament seales the whole Covenant of God, as 1 Cor. 11.1 Cor. 11.25. opened. This is the New Testament in my bloud, that is, this Cup is a signe and seale of the new Covenant which I have made with man, and which is confirmed with my bloud. Now what is that Covenant? You shall see it it, E­zek. 36.26. and it containes three parts, all which are sealed by this Sacrament. First, hee promiseth to wash them from their filthinesse, that is, from the guilt of their sins, which is the [Page 23] first part. Secondly, A new heart will I give you, and a new Spirit I will put into you, that is, I will make you new Creatures, which is the se­cond part of the Covenant. Thirdly, I will call for the Corne and will encrease it, and will lay no famine upon you, &c. that is, hee will give all outward comforts, you shall inherit he Earth, and be heires of the world, and of [...]ll in the world, for the world is yours; 1 Cor. 3. All, and all in it is yours.

This is the whole Covenant of God, and this hee seales to every one of you, when you come to receive the Sacrament, If you receive it worthily, for it is the New Testament in his bloud.

And therefore, seeing hee seales it to you, that he will give you a new heart, and a new Spirit, and make you new Creatures, you should go to him and claime it of him, for you may sue him of his own bond written and sea­led, and he cannot deny it; therefore begge it, and you cannot misse of it.

This is a very comfortable doctrine, if it be well considered. For what is that that keepes a man from comming to Christ, but his discou­ragements? He thinkes it so hard a thing to be a new Creature, that he cannot attaine it, that he cannot leave such a course of life, and there­fore he stands off, and though he will come in, yet he will not as yet, because it is a bondage intollerable.

But you do not consider what it is to have a [Page 24] new Nature: If it were to have a new life and an old heart, it were otherwise; but the Lord will give a new heart, and if he will not deny you, but make you new Creatures, you may be encouraged to goe to him: If there be any Re­bellion in your heart, any untowardnesse in your nature; if you goe to him for the remo­vall of it, it is impossible he should deny you, having made you a sure promise, and confir­med it with a oath.

The Cove­nant confir­med with an oath.What the Lord sweares to, he is sure to per­forme. In all the Booke of God, you shall not finde that he sware unto the first Covenant, but there is an oath put to both parts of the se­cond, Heb. 6.13. Because he could not sweare by a greater, he sware by himselfe, that wee might have strong consolation and assurance of forgivenesse of sinnes. And so the first part is confirmed.

And for the second, Luke 1.73. The oath which he sware unto our Fathers that he would give us, that we being delivered from our Enemies, should walke before him in holinesse all the dayes of our life. Why then will you not beleeve it? Why will not you urge the Lord with this, and by prayer desire the accomplishment of it? As indeed though he gives holinesse of life, yet you must pray for it, as well as you must pray for the forgivenesse of sinnes.

It was Ananias his speech to Paul, Act. 22.13. Rise Paul and wash away thy sinnes, calling on the name of the LORD; though his sinnes were forgiven, yet hee could not have assurance of [Page 25] it, without calling upon the Name of the LROD.

Christ promised to baptize us with the Ho­ly Ghost and with fire, that is, to sanctifie us in greater measure, yet wee must call and call againe: So Luke 11.5, 6, 7, 8. You must knock as at a mans doore that is a sleepe with his chil­dren and loath to rise, but if you knocke long, and weary the Lord out, and not suffer him to rest, then he will give the Holy Ghost. There­fore, have you prayed, and yet finde not your selves New Creatures? You have your old hearts, and old lusts prevailing; yet you must at length wash away your sinnes by calling on the Name of the Lord.

And hereto you may be stirred by the Sa­crament,The end whereunto the S [...]crament is appointed. which is not onely to give assurance that your sinnes are forgiven, but likewise to draw more vertue from Christ, to make up the breaches of our hearts, and to get more grace, and to be made New Creatures in a greater measure.

So that when a man comes hither, he must consider wherein he is faultie, what breaches there are in his heart and life, what imperfecti­on there is in grace, and then hee must goe to Christ to repaire them.

And as you bring more faith with you, so you shall carry more strength and comfort from the Sacrament.

So that thus much I can assure you of, let any man come with a strong desire to receive [Page 26] Christ, and to be a New Creature, and let him bring faith in the promises of Sanctification, and it cannot bee but hee shall be filled: The LORD will send his Spirit into his heart, and make him a New Creature: Wheresoever God hath a mouth to speake, Faith hath an eare to heare, and an h [...]nd to take: Men for­got this, they thinke that Faith is onely occu­pied about promises of pardon and forgive­nesse; but it is not so, you must set your faith on worke, on the promises of Sanctification, and when you come to receive the Sacrament, you must know that you come to a table where you have fatlings, where you have new Wines.

And thus you must feed on CHRIST, not onely taking to your selves the promises of pardon, but likewise of Sanctification, that you may be filled with the Spirit, which is as wine to quicken you, and to strengthen you in the Inner man, as well as the outward E­lements of Bread and Wine strengthen thine outward man.

So that thou mayest not thinke thou recei­vest the Sacrament as thou oughtest, when thou goest away as weake as when thou com­mest, when there is no strength, no vigour in the Inner man.

And so in all thy daily services, when thou commest to Christ, thou must eat the flesh of the Sonne of man, and drinke his bloud, as the Israelites did every day feed on the Mannah.

[Page 27]You must remember his Covenant, not on­ly to pardon, but to sanctifie you, and then you shall live thereby, and every day grow stronger and stron­ger.

The end of the first Sermon.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON THE NEW CREATVRE.

2 COR. 5.17.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, let him be a new Creature.

THE Woman of Canaan, though shee had no counte­tenance from Christ,The successe that others have had by Prayer. though he seemed not to heare her a long time, though hee gave her crosse answers, yet hee commends her faith in an extraordinary manner at the last. She had ne­ver had that commendations, if shee had not [Page 30] beene put to that difficulty a little: therefore, when you presse God, when you doe stand it out, and are not discouraged, in the end you shall have it in a greater measure, and it will be a greater commendations of your faith.

And so it was with Iacob, if he had not wrest­led as hee did, hee had never had that great re­ward which he had; he never had a greater re­ward for any thing that ever he did in his life, than for his contending with God, when God refused (as it were) when he strove with him, when he would not doe it, when he seemed to be of a contrary mind; yet when he held out, and did not give over till he had gotten it, hee never got so much at Gods hands.

And so I say to every one of you; if you finde it an hard taske to get this change, to bee made New Creatures, you pray and have sought, and yet you have not gotten it, yet be encouraged, doe it still, never give over, you shall have a greater measure as your prayers are stronger: for this you must know, that when you make requests to God, according to Gods will, that then it is the voice of his Spirit; there­fore when you desire to be made New Crea­tures, doe you thinke it is possible for God to deny you? No, because this desire comes from his Spirit. Now it is true, a man may desire to be made a New Creature, he may desire grace, and yet doe it in a carnall manner, that is, hee may desire it, because he sees that he cannot be saved without it, he may desire it as a thing of [Page 31] necessity, that will make him safe and whole, as a thing, without which he shall perish: Na­ture may goe thus far, but to desire to be made a New Creature, out of the beauty and taste of it, out of a desire to please God, and to glorifie him, whose Name is called upon you, out of a desire to please the Spirit that dwels in you, this is proper to the Saints, it is the voyce of the Spirit, and therefore goe on boldly, God hath promised to heare you, hee cannot de­ny you.

See how Christ did when he was upon the earth, those that were lame and blinde, when they came and cried after him, and would not give him over, he did not refuse to heale every one; there was not a man that was importunate with him, but, howsoever his Disciples slighted them, Christ respected them. Now do but think with your selves; doe you thinke he lesse pities the diseases of the Soule, than he did the disea­ses of the Body? Doe you thinke that he hath lesse compassion now he is in Heaven, than hee had when he was on Earth? Or doe you think that His Arme is shortned, that he cannot doe as much now to heale the running sores that are on thy soule, as he did on earth to heale bodi­ly diseases? My Brethren, if you doe but seeke to him, if you can get but a word from him, if he say but to you, Be whole, if hee doe but re­buke thy sinfull lusts, as he rebuked the Feaver, it shall presently obey him: Hee that was able to calme the sea, and that hath the strong winds [Page 32] in his power, is he not able to dissolve a strong inordinate apprehension, a strong lust, a strong unruly affection, and so set them at liberty? certainly he is able.

You know, the woman that had spent so many yeares, and all that she had upon Physi­tians, and could doe her selfe no good by all, yet when shee comes to Christ once, you see it was done in an instant. So, I say, a strong lust, an old lust, which is contrary to this New Creature, which, it may be, thou hast been con­tending with many yeares, and cannot get the victory over it; yet if thou canst come in this manner to him, and contend with him, and knocke at the doore, and never give over till thou hast awaked him, certainly hee will give thee the holy Ghost, he will change and renue thy heart, he will set thee at full libertie.

This he hath confirmed with an oath, and whatsoever God hath sworn, he will performe it without all reservation (where hee is said to doe a thing without an oath, there may be a re­servation left, therefore we never finde an oath to the old Covenant) but he hath sworne to per­forme the new Covenant, and you know this is a great part of the new Covenant, to give a new heart, to make a man a new Creature; there­fore, where the new Covenant is made, there this is repeated in Ier. 31. and Heb. 8. I will make a covenant with my people, and what is that? I will put my Law into their minds, and in their hearts will I write them (that is) I will make them New Creatures.

[Page 33]Therefore, I say, this is a matter of much use to you, If you goe to Christ, and labour to have this done.The great importance of it to us. My Brethren, there is nothing left for us to be assured, nor any other experi­ment that wee need have that there is another life, that Iesus Christ hath done these great things for us, and that the Gospel is true, I say, there is nothing else left for us, no other expe­riment in comparison of this, that we see wee are made New Creatures: This is all the mi­racles that we have; nay, I dare be bold to say more, It was the greatest miracle that they had in that time, when all the miracles were wrought.

And therefore you shall find that Paul gives this as the maine argument, among the rest, That they shall be raised againe at the last day, that they were in Christ, that the Gospel is real and true. For, saith he, We have received the Spirit: we have had the Spirit, which is the earnest, the pledge, the annointing, you shall finde it every where scattered in his Epistles, the recei­ving of the Spirit is the maine ground that hee builds on, as in the 2 Cor. 1.23. Hee hath established us together with you, and hath annoin­ted us, and sealed us, by giving the Spirit as an earnest into our hearts: As if he should say, this is the Argument we have, that we shall be sa­ved; not, for all the miracles so much as this, that we have received the Spirit; for that is the true annointing wee feele it in our selves, that sealeth and confirmeth us, wee cannot doubt, [Page 34] having had experience of such a mighty worke in us, that is, the earnest and the pledge we have; and therefore, Ephes. 1.19. He prayes that they might see the exceeding greatnesse of his power wor­king in those that beleeve; as if that would bee a great confirmation to them, if once they should finde an experiment of the greatnesse of his power: And so, Phil. 3.10. I care not for all the world, on this condition, that I might know him, and the vertue of his resurrection (that is) that I might know him by the power of his Spirit, changing my heart, killing my sinnes, raising me againe, and, in a word, making me a New Creature, that I might know this experiment; I looke upon all the world as drosse and dung, as things not to be named. So, I say, seeing there is nothing else left in comparison of this, and when mira­cles were wrought, there was nothing like this, that wee might have this experiment in our selves, we should goe to God, and not give him over, till the worke be wrought in us, that we might be made New Creatures.

That which keepes men off from religious courses, for the most part is discouragement, they think they shall not be able to go thorow it, when they heare they must bee made new men in all things, that there must be nothing that is old left, but all the old leaven must bee purged out, it discourageth men, because they thinke they shall never bee able to reach it, whereas this is an assurance to thee, that if you go about it, you shall not faile of your purpose, [Page 35] but you shall certainly bring it to passe, because if you seeke it at Gods hands, he cannot deny you, only I told you, you must pray.

It may be for this purpose God will not heale thee altogether, but suffer many lusts to grapple and to contend with thee, that thou mayest be taught to doe this duty: and there­fore wee should learne to goe to Christ, wee should feed on him every day, and by that meanes we shall be renewed, we shall get new strength; otherwise what is the meaning of that, In this mount hee will make a feast of fined wines, and of fatlings, of fat things full of marrow, of wines fined and purified? Esay 25.6.Esay 25.6. opened. The mea­ning is this; when you come to Christ to re­nue your Communion and your Covenant with him, which is done through faith and prayer, you draw neerer to him, and that strengthneth the soule, as Mannah strengthned them in the wildernesse, that you live by it; for every day there growes new distances betweene Christ and us, we let goe our hold, as it were, in some measure, and begin to fall off from him a little; therefore, every day we should renue this Co­venant, especially when we come to the Sacra­ment: As Ionathan and David, they renued the Covenant of God againe that was between them, as if there were a new Solemnity of marriage, if it were often to be renued, to make the par­ties joyned more united: make no question of it, we should renue our match with Christ, we should come neerer to him, that we may streng­then [Page 36] our soules, because we recover our Com­munion with him. For what is Sanctification, but a drawing neere to the Lord? And then we draw neere, when we renue our Communion, and our Covenant with him, when the match is renewed between us; and if we doe so, we shall goe from him every day, as men refreshed at a banquet, like men that have fed on fat things full of marrow, as men full of wine. Be you fil­led, not with wine, Ephes. 5.18. opened. wherein is excesse, but with the Spirit: What is the meaning of that Antithesis, but to shew that the Spirit is like wine, it streng­thens, and how receive we the Spirit? Is there not the same meanes of renuing of it from day to day, Is not the same meanes of renuing it, as there is of receiving of it at the first? Didst not thou get it first by going to Christ, and shall not thou still regaine and repaire thy strength by that meanes? I cannot stand to presse this farther.

Vse 2.Secondly, in that they are put together thus, Iustification and Sanctification,Set Sanctifica­tion as high in our esteeme as Iustifi [...]a [...]on. hence wee should be stirred up to prise it, to set it at the same rate as wee doe Remission of sinnes, be­cause we see the Holy Ghost doth so. For see­ing this thing is promised, seeing it is chosen out among the great benefits wee have by CHRIST, that we shall be renued, we should learne so to judge of it, to set it at an high rate, in our conceits, to conforme our Iudgement to the Iudgement of the Scriptures.

Every man would bee content to be saved, [Page 37] but to be made a New Creature, men are so farre from reckoning it a priviledge, that they rec­kon it a bondage: you would fain be free from Hell, you would faine goe to Heaven without such a necessity put upon you; this is the com­mon fashion of men; but, marke, the Holy Ghost puts this among the great benefits wee have by Christ. You know the comming of the Messias, how it was magnified by the Iewes, what great things they should have when Christ should come. What were those great things? One of the chiefe was, to make them New Creatures, to set them at libertie from their spirituall enemies, That they should be taught of God, that they should have his law written in their hearts, and have their hearts circumcised to love him, that they should have new hearts and new Spirits given them; this is that great benefit that hath beene so much magnified so many yeares before the comming of Christ. It is that, which the Apostles, when they came to preach the Gospell, set out as so great a Privi­ledge; learne we to prise it, for certainly there is nothing in the world so precious a grace, whereby we are made New Creatures. It is a true saying, because indeed there is no excellen­cie that is like it, if you would rectifie your judgments, and teach them to apprehend things as they are; therefore let us reason with you a little for that old man,The excellen­cie of the New Creature. those lusts that you prise so much,Above old Lusts. that you will not part with, that you cherish and nourish in your selves, and you are [Page 38] Enemies to those that are Enemies to them, I say, consider what you doe, this old man, is it not the sicknesse of the soule? is it not the filth, and the foulenesse of the soule? is it not the slavery and bondage of the soule? And the new man, is it not the contrary? doth it not excell it? Therefore as much as health exceeds sicknesse, as much as cleanenesse exceeds impu­ritie, foulenesse and filthinesse, as much as li­liberty exceeds slavery and bondage; so much and more doth the New man excell the Old man.

Above all worldly excel­lencies.Besides, if you looke to other things, take all other things which the world hath, all the profits, all the pleasures, all the learning and knowledge whatsoever it is, that in the world is precious, yet to be made a New Creature goes beyond all, because, indeed, it puts you into the same condition that Adam had in innocencie: you will say, to be made like Adam againe, to be restored to that happinesse, it is beyond all that the world can afford: Now to be made a New Creature, it puts you into that estate.

Object.But, you will say, that is not so, Adam was in Paradice, he had outward contentments in abundance, but to be made a New Creature is not so?

Answ.It is true, there were two Conditions that Adam had;Two conditi­ons of Adam. one was his outward Conditi­on, being placed in Paradice; the other was his happinesse, to be a New Creature: this was incomparably beyond the other, as wee shall [Page 39] easily make that plaine to you. Put case there were a man that had faire Pallaces, and Gar­dens, and Orchards, and all things that his heart could desire to have, but all this while he hath not health; would he regard all this? On the other side; suppose he had health, put him into a Cottage, if he have strength, would hee not beare it well enough? That is our case. When Adam had all that, yet when he had lost Gods Image, when hee had lost being a New Creature, he was like a man that was fallen into a great sicknesse, he was fallen into terrour and horrour of conscience, what good could all that doe. A man that is out of Paradise, that lives as wee doe among men, that hath Gods Image renued on him (which hee lost) that is, made a New Creature, he is happie, when Adam was miserable. Let us consider a little; What was it, thinke you, that made Adam happy in Paradise? Was it the being in a Garden full of pleasant things? No, it was not that, but his Communion with God that made him happy. Therefore you see wherein his misery consi­sted, it consisted not in the losse of Paradise, for there he was still, he had all that he had be­fore for outward things, but he felt shame and horrour of conscience, he felt inward trouble and anguish of spirit, when he heard the voice of God walking in the Garden: therefore it stands not in that, but to be made a New Creature, is to be put into the inward condition that Adam was in, and therefore you have reason to [Page 40] seeke it. If any thing in the world be worth the seeking, it is this, to be made a New Creature. All other things are not: the proper excellen­cie of a man, you know the Angels and the Saints want them, and the Beasts enjoy them, but the excellencie of man is to be made accor­ding to the first Rule, to be squared according to the Image of God, after which he was first created, and hee is never well till he come to that. As no Creature is well till it have that ex­cellencie belonging to the kinde of it: this is an excellencie peculiar to man, therefore seeke happinesse as long as you will in other things, you shall never finde it, but in being made New Creatures, in having Gods Image repaired, in being sanctified in Body, and Soule, and Spirit, this puts you into an happy condition.

Object.But, you will say, these are but Notions, imaginary Assertions, we feele not such things, give me that man that hath the sense of this, that feeles more sweetnesse in this, than Adam did in all his outward Paradise which he had?

Answ.To this we answer:

1 First, that there is a sense of it, though spiri­tuall Grace be a thing that is not exposed to the senses, yet there is as true and as quicke a sense, as there is of outward and corporall delights; because, when you are made New Creatures, you have a new life, and that hath new senses in it; It hath a taste, hunger and thirst, it hath as quicke a sight, it hath eve­ry thing that the other hath; you know, the [Page 41] apprehension of all the comforts wee have, is not that which stands in the outward senses, that is not worthy the name, but the apprehen­sion that the will and understanding hath of things; it is every mans minde, that makes a man to live happie or miserable, that is, his ap­prehension of things, when thou livest a new life, and thy apprehension is altered and chan­ged, thou hast as quicke a sense of those spiritu­all priviledges in Christ, of peace of Conscience, of joy in the Holy Ghost; of all the benefits that rise from his Passion, thou wilt have as quicke a sense, as ever thou hadst of outward delights.

Againe, if thou wouldest have such a sense,2 let me say this to thee, the time is not yet come thou shalt have it, and have it in abundance, but as yet (as it is said) We are the sonnes of God, 1 Iohn 3.2. but it appeares not what wee shall bee: It is true on both sides, those worldly men that bragge so much of their present sense that they have, and that others want, it appeares not yet what ei­ther shall be, but you are mingled together, and there is one common condition to all, because this is the time of trial. Mark the wise General, he doth not like of a Souldier at the first, but when he hath tried him, and hath suffered both to runne out their course, the valiant man, and those that are cowards; when their course is finished, and when the battell is done, that is the time of conferring of honours. The wise Master doth not reward his servants at the first, but hee lets them alone, the good servant and [Page 42] the bad, till their time be out, till the time of their wages come, that is, the time when hee makes the difference. So doth the Lord, for this time the Battell is not to the strong, that is, men have not their reward here for the present time. Even as it is upon a Stage, both are let alone till they have acted their part, there is no alteration, but when they come off from the Stage, that is the time, when the one is com­mended, and the other is discommended. So it is with the Sonnes of God, and the Sonnes of men, God lets you both alone for the time, till you be gone off the Stage, that is the time that you must looke for the difference; therefore be not preposterous in your expectation, be not discouraged, because you have not such out­ward contentments, because you are not above, but below, for the present life, the time is not yet come; for God doth not yet rule the world, as he will do; he hath, as it were, left the world to be ruled by others, he hath left men to rule: now errour comes from the face of the Ruler (as the Wise-man saith) that is,Eccles. 10.5. there is that obliquity in the hearts of men, those that are in place of government generally, That Servants ride on Horse-backe, and Princes and Wise-men goe as Ser­vants on foot. The Reason is, because men rule the world; For errour (saith Salomon) is from the face of the Ruler. But now when God shall take all the government into his owne hands, when he shall be absolute King in the exercise of his dominion, then he will set all straight, and not [Page 43] before: then Servants shall goe on foot, and Princes and Wise-men shall ride on Horse-backe; therefore expect not thou it yet, the time is not yet come that thou shouldest be on Horse-backe, thou must be content to goe on foot yet. And therefore, though you have not the present sense, goe on notwithstanding, hold out thy expectation a while, though it appeare not yet what thou shalt be, yet it will come when thou shalt have the sense of it in abun­dance.

Thirdly, and lastly, though thou have it not 3 fully, though the time be deferred till the day of the declaration of the wrath of God on the one hand, and of his favour to the Saints on the other, yet by being New Creatures, you shall have outward comforts in great abundance, you shall not fare the worse, but much the bet­ter for it; for the Promise is sure to those that feare the Lord:Prov. 22.4. To humility and the feare of God, to them is promised Riches, and Honour, and Life: And God performes it in this life, though the full harvest bee kept for afterwards: though you have but the first fruits of the reward, as well as you have but the first fruits of the Spi­rit; yet, in this life, as you walke more perfect­ly with him, so he will with you; and the lesse you walke with him, the lesse hee will walke with you (that is) such an evennesse you shall finde in the wayes of God to you, such a mea­sure of Iudgement and mercy, as there is even­nesse or unevennesse of your hearts, as there is [Page 44] so much new, or so much old. Let us labour to make our wayes more perfect, and we shall be more perfect in our outward estate, we shall be better in our wealth, we shall be blessed better in our name, thou shalt bee more cheerefull in thy Spirit, thou shalt be blessed in thy wife, and in thy children, at thy going out, and at thy comming in, in every thing: so that the present wages that you shall have, set aside that which is deferred for the future, it is exceeding large to the New Creature; there is comfort enough in the thing, holinesse is reward enough to it selfe, if you should have no more. If a man be in strength and in health, what if you put him into a Cottage, what if he be put into prison? he can beare it well enough: If there were no more but to be made a New Creature, it were enough to make your hearts to desire that con­dition; but besides that, it brings outward com­forts in abundance; or, if you have not abun­dance, it will make a little instead to you of a great deale.

So much for this, because I have other things to deliver.

Vse 3.Thirdly, are they inseparable? Then take heed of challenging the one without the other;Take heed of challenging Iustification without San­ctification. doe not thinke that you are in Christ, if you finde not that New Creature: And this Do­ctrine is of much moment, for this is that, that we shall all be tried by at the last day, and it is that peremptory Sentence that can never be re­voked, because it is the Sentence of the Gospel, [Page 45] therefore you must know this, that al the judge­ments that are pronounced in the Gospel, they are without all reservation, there is no more re­voking of them, therefore Paul saith, Rom. 2.16. He shall judge the secrets of mens hearts according to my Gospell: So that you must know that the Gospell hath a judgement, and a terrible judge­ment as wel as the Law. (There is a judging by the Law, that is,) men that have lived without the knowing of Christ, they shall be judged by the Law, but when we come to Christ, to live under the Gospell, (as we all doe) wee shall be judged by the Gospell; What is that? those that receive not Christ shall be damned: that is one part of the Gospell you know; therefore you see that there is a judgement there; He that beleeves shall be saved, but he that beleeves not shall be damned. Well, as it is true concerning the point of Iustification, hee that beleeves not and takes not Christ, shall bee damned for it: So it is as true in the point of Sanctificati­on, he that is not a New Creature, hee that is not borne againe, he shall not enter into the Kingdome of God, Iohn 3.3. There is a peremptory judge­ment: therefore consider with thy selfe, when thou commest to die, what thou wilt say then, Satan will then come and lay thy sinnes to thy charge, thou must then thinke what thou hast to answer, thou hast nothing to say but I am in Christ: well, but how dost thou prove that, he will aske thee that question, Art thou a New Creature? If thou doe finde that thou art not a [Page 46] New Creature, thou art not in Christ, and thou needest not a new condem [...]ation, but thou art condemned already.Iohn 3.18. For Christ found all the world in a state of condemnation, and if thou be not in him, thou art in the same estate: and therefore if you should but heare these words, if wee should bee silent, and should but reade these words, Whosoever is in Christ, let him be a New Creature: it may make a man tremble, and looke about him, and consider his state, and take heed of disjoyning these things that the Lord hath joyned together: if being in Christ, and being a New Creature be inseparable, think not that thou canst take Christ divided, that thou canst take him halfe, and leave the other part, that thou canst take him as a Saviour, and not take him as a Prophet, and a King; thinke not to have Iustification, and to want Sanctifi­cation: and therefore, you see, when the Go­spell was preached, this was the maine thing that was urged, Marke 6.13. when the seventie were sent out (saith the Text) this was their preaching, it sets downe the summe, that men should amend their lives. When Christ him­selfe was to preach, Matth. 4.17. this was the summe of his Doctrine, Amend your lives, for the Kingdome of Heaven is at hand. Paul, when he would tell them what was the summe of his preaching, Act. 20.21. saith hee, Wee goe about preaching, witnessing to Iewes and Grecians repen­tance towards God, and faith towards Christ. So that this Repentance that makes a man a New [Page 47] Creature, it was pressed as a thing of absolute necessity, as well as the taking of Christ. You know, when Iohn Baptist came, what he called for,Matth. 3.8. Fruits worthy of amendment of life. Deceive not your selves, apply not the promises of the Gospell, except you finde this Symptome of being in CHRIST, that you are made New Creatures.

This distinguisheth betweene a Temporary Beleever, and another; both goe thus far, both have an insition into the Root, but the Tempo­rary Beleever partakes not of the fatnesse of the Root ▪ he receives not life from the Root: It may be thou hast taken Christ in thy sense, but hast thou tasted of the fatnesse of the Root, hast thou drawne life from him, art thou made a New Creature, as a graft that is put into a new stocke: when wee are ingrafted into Christ, there is an inversion of the order, there the stocke changeth the graft; in the other, the graft changeth the stocke into its Nature. A­gaine, when thou takest Christ without this, it is as putting stones one upon another, when there is nothing to sement them, and to glew them together: whosoever is in Christ, is built upon him, as upon the corner-stone; now an Hypocrite may be built on him, as well as a true Professour; but here is the difference, they are living stones, their Nature is altered, they differ as much from themselves what they were before, as living things differ from dead stones; so, it may be, thou hast had an adhesion [Page 48] to the Body of Christ, thou hast stucke to it, as it were; but, if thou be a true member, then thou art knit to it by ligaments and sinewes, thou hast communion with the head, there is an influence of bloud and spirits into thee: therefore consider that with thy selfe; it may be, thou livest in the Church, and art such a member of it, as a glasse-eye is of the body: but hast thou communion with the head, art thou made a New Creature by being in Christ? Is thy heart changed and sanctified by being in him? If it be so; then conclude, thou art in Christ; For, if any be in Christ, he is a New Crea­ture. Examine thy selfe in this, deceive not thy selfe, to whomsoever he is made Righteousnesse, he is made Sanctification. It is impossible they should be disjoyned, (as I told you in the mor­ning,) his bloud hath not onely a vertue to cleanse thee from the guilt of thy sinnes, but a power to purge thy conscience from dead workes, to serve the living God, Hebr. 9.14.

And wheresoever it is a plaister to cover thy sinnes, it doth likewise heale and cure them: therefore thinke not that thou art in Christ, ex­cept thou finde this to be thy condition.

Object.Yea, but you will say, Is there such a con­dition in the world? who is it that findes him­selfe such a New Creature? this I find that my old lusts returne, the same Inclinations I had, I finde them still, and this experiment of being all new, that all old things are passed away, I have not yet had; what shall we say to this?

[Page 49]Wee will answer it very briefely:

Though thou hast it not already, yet thou must not bee discouraged,Answ. thou must not say, there is nothing done, because al is not done: for motions are denominated from the termes they tend to, not from that they are already: when a thing is a little white, though it bee not per­fectly white, we say, it is white: when the Lord begins new qualities, if it be in sincerity, it is properly said to be a New Creature, for in time it will come to that, that will be the issue of it: therefore that which stands you in hand, is to consider, whether you be so or no; for indeed it is a difficult thing to discerne, and needfull for you to consider it: therefore I will briefely shew you how you shall discerne it.

First,Signos of a new Creature. you must know you shall have a pre­sent Sense of it,A Sense of it. you shall feele it in your selves, you shall know that such a change is wrought in you: for this is the difference betweene the Soule of a Man, and the soule of a Beast; a Beast cannot returne upon his action, to know whether he have done such a thing or no, but the Soule of a Man is able to doe it, it is capa­ble of reflect Acts, as we say, it can recoile and returne upon it selfe, and can consider what is done with it: therefore examine thy selfe by this, thou mayest know, whether such a change be wrought in thy heart or no. See it in other things, thou canst tell what thou delightest in, thou canst tell what thine inclination is; for a mans inclination is of a quick sense, it puts him [Page 50] forward, it carries him to that which he desires: therefore thou mayest see the scope of this, thou mayest deceive another, thou canst not de­ceive thine owne heart, especially in judging this, whether thou be a New Creature. If thou judge strictly of thy selfe, if thou have a right rule to examine it by, the present sense of it may be an assurance that thou art made a New Creature: for to be a New Creature is nothing else, but to be turned upside downe, when a man changeth his course (as it were, from East to West) when hee sailes to a quite contrary point of the Compasse, when the Rudder of his life is turned: therefore Paul saith, he came to preach, [...]ct. 26.18. To turne men from darknesse to light, from the power of Satan of God: Therefore there is a contrary course, it is a turning, it is true, if the New Creature were but a buckling, but a bowing of the course, it would be hardly di­scerned, but when it is from contrary to con­trary, such a thing is easily found.

I know such a thing as I hated, now I love it; I know such a duty that was tedious, now it is delightfull; such a thing I could not doe, now I can performe it; go thorow all the parts of thy life thou mayest have [...] present sense.

Wonder not at this Doctrine, for if it were not thus, no man could have assurance at the first conversion of his heart to God, if it were not that you might judge your selves by a pre­sent sense you have, by that alteration, by that reflect act of the Soule; for when I say sense, I [Page 51] meane that inclination of thy Soule; If wee could not judge our selves by that, no man at his first comming to CHRIST could judge of himselfe, till he had staied some time; and then at what time shall we set limits, shall we stay at a day, or a weeke, or at a moneth, or a yeare, or seven yeare: therefore a man may have assu­rance from the inclination of his Soule, that there is a change in him, or else we should ne­ver be able to comfort men in an exigent: For, except they had had triall, except they had a long time to live, except they might come to converse, and be put upon it by temptation and triall, no man could comfort himselfe: there­fore that is one thing to try it, you shall finde a change wrought, you shall finde the inclination of the Soule turned another way: Goe thorow all the particulars, looke thorow the whole re­ctitude of the Image of God, expressed in all the graces of that whole line, and look to your heart what it was before, and thou shalt finde in every thing an alteration, that is one thing to judge it by.

Secondly,The Vniversa­litie of it. you shall judge something by the universality of it; Whosoever is in Christ is a New Creature: The meaning is not, that the sub­stance of a man is changed, but the order and frame of his Soule is altered, there are the same strings, as it were, but there is a new tune put to them; there is the same Soule, the same facul­ties, but there is a new order there. Marke, as it is in all things that consist in order, there you [Page 52] must have the whole, or none at all, the har­mony that hath not every string set right, in some measure, it is no harmony, but the har­mony is dissolved. Beauty that consists in a conformity of all the parts, except there bee a concurrence of all, the Beauty is dissolved, it is nothing; so in all things else: therefore consi­der with thy selfe, art thou made all new? for thou must know that God workes not by halves; no man ever had an heart halfe new and old; in the worke of Redemption and re-crea­ting, and repairing of mankind, there is not a worke of the Lord but it is perfect. It is true, it is not ripe yet, there is a time for the maturity of it, it shall grow to full ripenesse; but yet the Lord lookes on it, and it must be very good, that is, there must be all of it: therefore consi­der with thy selfe, Art thou all new? Is there not some exempted place in thy heart and life that is yet old, as old as it was? If there be, certainely thou art not yet made a New Creature.

Take Iudas for example, you shall finde this, he had old still, his covetousnes yet remained in him that was not renued: thence it was, that in the Passeover, there was such a strait charge, that all the leaven should be purged out; you see how it is repeated, not a jot of leaven shall be left. So, saith the Apostle, All must be new and unleavened,1 Cor. 5.7. because Christ our Passeover is offered for us.

Object.But the naturall man will say, this is impos­sible; [Page 53] for then wee shall have no sinne?

My Brethren, that is not the meaning of it; the meaning is,Answ. that thou must be purged from all the old leaven, that is, thou must allow none, thou must strive against all, thou must hate all, thou must doe thy best to cleanse it out, and not suffer any to be there willingly, as to take pos­session in thy heart; it may be there as a theefe, (as it were, as a Creeper in) but otherwise it is not to be there: therefore consider that, Let them looke to this, that thinke stoppage is pai­ment, that take liberty in some things, and think to recompence it by a more strict care in other things: for when a man comes to this, to super-errogate in some things, and to be negligent in others, It is an evill signe, it is a signe thou art not a New Creature, for then all would bee new; I say, it is an ill signe, that there is no life there, it is a signe that all that thou doest other­wise is but counterfeit: therefore it is worth your observation, that when any man serves the Lord, when he doth it not with his whole heart, it is reckoned as counterfeit, if there bee but one old place in the heart, if there bee but one old lust living there, God takes all as fai­ned, Ier. 3.10. You did not turne to me with your whole heart, but fainedly: As if he should say, If it be not done with the whole heart, it is fai­ned, it is a signe there is no life there, if a man abound in duties never so much; let him be ex­cellent in prayer, excellent in almes-deeds, in doing justice, let him come to Church, let him [Page 54] doe what he will, if there be any thing old, yet it is a signe he wants life, for where there is life, there is augmentation of parts; a man that is living encreaseth in all. If thou find some part of thy soule, of thy life, to be augmented, and not the rest, thou art dead, a dead thing may be capable of it, you may encrease one part of Wheat, or of Silver, or Gold, but the other part continues as it was, but all increase in li­ving Creatures, it is a generall encrease, there is nothing stands at a stay; if thou finde a reser­vation in some things wherein thou takest li­berty, and standest at a stay, thou art not yet a New Creature.

Looking upon every thing with a new eye.Thirdly, thou shalt know, if thou be new by this, thou lookest upon every thing with a new eye, every thing is presented to thee in a new manner: this I take from this very Chap­ter, the Apostle saith,2 Cor. 5.16. We know no man after the flesh, therefore whosoever is in Christ let him bee a New Creature: As if he should say, I am a New Creature, or else I could not be in Christ; as I, so every man else must be▪ for that instance he gives of living to the Lord, of being a New Creature, he knew no man after the flesh. Look to thy selfe in this, dost thou looke upon every thing in the world with a new eye, (that is) up­on all the particulars; thou lookest upon sinne in another fashion than thou did'st before, thou seest more in it, than ever thou did'st? Thou lookest upon spirituall Grace in another m [...]n­ner, thou seest more excellencie in it than thou [Page 55] diddest; thou look'st upon the world in another manner, than when thou didst magnifie it, and the things of it, the dignity, the honour and the wealth; thou art now able to say as Paul, They are as drosse, as a withering flower: thou loo­kest upon good and ill men after another man­ner, a vile person will be despised in thine eyes, let him have all outward excellencies, and hee that feares the Lord, thou wilt honour him, let him be never so base: thou lookest on thy selfe after another manner, thou doest no more be­hold thy selfe as thou didst, to thinke thy selfe perfected, by adding to thy outward condition, to thy outward comforts and conveniences, though that be a thing that is not to be despi­sed, yet a mans selfe lyes not in that, but him­selfe is the inward man, the Regenerate man; thou wilt not care to have thy outward man perish, thou wilt not care what loser thou be in any thing else, thou wilt reckon that thy selfe, therefore thou wilt deny those things, because thou reckonest not them thy selfe; for it is im­possible that a man should deny that which is himselfe, but thy judgement is altered, thou lookest with another eye upon another selfe, than thou didst before, and therefore thou de­niest that which before thou tookest for thy selfe, and nourished'st for thy selfe. Now a man lookes upon God with another eye, now hee sees his beauty, and his excellency, he sees there i [...] nothing in the world to be desired in compa­ [...]son of him; before hee was shie of him, and [Page 56] ranne away from him, as Adam did. It is the state of every carnall man, he presents God ter­rible, he hath no delight in God, he lookes up­on him, as upon a Iudge, as one he serves of ne­cessity; but I say then, you will know the Lord, Ier. 31. when you are taught of mee, then you shall know the Lord; when you are made New Creatures, then you shall know me, that is, yo [...] shall see mee in another fashion than ever you did, you shall looke on me with another eye, you shall know me then, as to love me, to de­sire me, to long after nothing so much as Com­munion with mee. I might run thorow more instances, but the time calls mee away. Thou wilt looke upon every thing with another eye, they will be presented with another shape, for there will be a new Heaven, and a new Earth to thee, I say, all will be new to thee: for marke the newnesse of any sense, or of any facultie, when it is renewed by any infused quality, it is not so much discerned by it selfe, as by the ob­ject; as, if a man have a new taste, and a new savour, a new taste in health, How shall hee know it? Give him meat, and drinke, and what you will, in all the objects of the taste, you shall finde a new rellish.

So if you would know of your heart, if it be new, goe to the objects that thy heart is con­versant about, see if thou lookest upon them in another fashion, if thou have a new taste, and a new rellish in thee: for if there be a new heart in thee, thou mayest see it outwardly; thou [Page 57] wilt say as Paul said, I know no man, or any thing after the flesh, after the outward condition; this note will try it, if you apply it to your selves, after once the change is wrought, that you are made New Creatures, there is nothing that is presented to you after the same manner as it was, every thing is changed with you, as if you were brought into a new world, you will see them to be other things than you did before; but I cannot stand to presse this further.

Againe,New workes. if you would know whether this bee in you or no, then consider, whether your workes be altered: for we have a rule in Philo­sophy and a true one, and we will apply it here; As a thing is in being, so it is in working: If there be a new disposition in thee, if there bee ano­ther Nature, there will be a new kind of work, for all things in the world worke according to their being, and there is nothing that hath an essence and a being, but the operations and acts of it are sutable to it: therefore, if thou woul­dest know, looke to what thou doest; It is not therefore thy good purposes or thy good mea­nings, but thy doing: therefore examine thy selfe, Hast thou left any old courses? Hast thou given over thy drinking, thy gaming, thy sinne of uncleannesse, thy breaking of the Sabbath? Wilt thou say that thou hast a new heart, and yet keepest thy old company still? That thou hast a new heart, and yet usest thy old speeches still? That thou hast a new heart, and yet plod­dest in the same old tract that thou didst? [Page 58] Looke what thou wast wont to doe, thou doest still; thou wast wont to spend the Sabbath thus and thus, and thou doest so still; thou wast wont to neglect prayer, to performe it in a remisse manner; thou wast wont to be a negligent hea­rer, without recalling it, and working it upon thine owne heart, without growing in know­ledge, and thou art so still; thou wast wont to have secret by-wayes, that thy heart knowes were not good, and thou holdest them still: wilt thou say thou art a New Creature? It is im­possible. If we be New Creatures, there will bee an alteration certainly in our lives: And therefore to you that say, I purpose to doe bet­ter, and I intend it, my meaning is good, I say to you,2 Cor. 4.20. the Kingdome of God stands not in word, and in purpose, and in meaning, but in power. Thou art made a New Creature, that is, the in­ward frame of thy heart is altered, and, if that be altered, there is an ability followes it, that inables thee to do the duties of new obedience, and to abstaine from the contrary: therefore examine thy selfe by thy actions, and say not now, though I doe not live strictly and precise­ly, for shew, as others doe, yet I doe as much in substance; for if thou be a New Creature, thou wilt be as much in shew too, the operati­on and action will follow, if the in-side be cleane, Mat. 23. the out-side will be so, though it be true, we oft finde the out-side cleane, when the in-side is not.

Therefore, it is no strange marke that I give, [Page 59] that examining your selves by the out-side should bee a meanes to know if you bee New Creatures; for, though we cannot say that be­cause the out-side is good, the inside is so too; yet wee may conclude, if the out-side be not good, certainly thou art not a New Crea­ture yet.

Therefore, let none say they have a good intention although their workes be bad. For al­though this bee not a good Affirmative Argu­ment▪ if the out-side be good, the inside will be so also; yet it is a good Negative Argument, if the out-side be not cleane, the in-side cannot be cleane: As in Ier. 3.4, 5. Will you not from this time crie unto me, Thou art my Father, and the guide of my youth? &c. All this is well spoken. But behold, thou hast spoken and done evill things as thou couldest. So that good professions will not serve the turne when wee doe evill; God judgeth not by our intenti­ons, but according to our workes.

The end of the Second Sermon.

CERTAINE SERMONS VPON THE NEW CREATVRE.

2 COR. 5.17.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, let him be a new Creature.

OVR businesse now shall be to shew what a New Creature is, and to apply it as we go along, that you may know upon good grounds whether you be New Creatures or no, that so you may have comfort if you be, or else that you may seeke it, if you be not.A New Crea­ture, what.

To be a New Creature is nothing else but to have a heart new moulded by the infusion [Page 62] of a new quality of grace, and by the destructi­on of the old. There are three things to be marked:Three things in it.

  • First, the heart must be new moulded.
  • Secondly, it must be done by the infusion of a new quality.
  • And thirdly, there must be a mortification of the old man. Let us goe thorow these three distinctly, and apply them as we goe.

The heart must be new moulded, or cast into a new frame.First, the heart must be new moulded, or cast into a new frame. You may see this by com­paring it with the old man, wee shall know the one by the other: You shall finde that when Adams nature was corrupted, there was a dis­order in all the faculties. As for example, in the Ruine of a Palace, there are the materials left still, onely the order is taken away; so in the corruption of nature, there are the same na­turall operations, but all is disordered and tur­ned up-side downe; thus was the confusion of man after the fall. But the New Creature doth worke the contrary, it sets up the house againe, and restores us unto our first state in Adam. When a man is made a New Creature, his Soule is put in joynt againe, so that the face of every faculty looks towards God, whereas be­fore it looked towards the World, Sinne and Hell, the Soule is quite altered, as a man that turnes his face from East to West, whereas a man before had his backe, now he hath his face turned to heaven; therefore it is called Turning to the Lord. Observe here two things:

[Page 63]First, when we say, you must be cast into a new frame, it is not enough to have the actions of the Soule changed, but the whole bent of the Soule.

In a regenerate man,Principally, his inclination is changed. the turning of the acti­ons is nothing, for even when hee doth that which is evill, the bent or positure of his Soule stands to God, although it be transported to doe evill, and it is true on the other-side, al­though an evill man doth good actions, yet the bent of his Soule looks another way, for there­in stands the alteration of the New Creature, even in the bent of the faculties, which is to turne us from Satan unto God.

Aristotle hath an observation; It is one thing, saith he, to doe an Act of Art, and ano­ther thing to do it like an Artist; It is one thing to doe an Act of musike, and another thing to doe it Artist-like: If one doth a thing, and have no Art in the doing of it, he deserves no com­mendation; so there is a great difference be­tween doing any Act of goodnesse, and having the actions of the Soule well habited; for when you only doe the act without the bent of your Soules, that way, God regards it not at your hands, but when the inward frame of the heart is set right, whereas it was contrary before, it is a signe of a New Creature: Apply this to your selves.

But how shall we know whether the frame of our Soules be thus altered or no?Quest.

You shall know it by this:Answ. If there be such [Page 64] an alteration of the inward faculties, you shall finde your selves ready to every good worke. When a man hath no naturall inclination unto goodnesse,How this alte­ration of the inclination may bee knowne. without forcing himselfe, it doth undoe the action, but when a mans heart is san­ctified 1 and made new, he presently falls upon good workes, He is ready to every good worke, for every good worke, and stands ready for it; hee doth what he doth readily, without much adoe; for when the heart is changed in a man that is a New Creature, hee is like a Conduit, doe but turne the cock, and there needs no forcing of the water out; so when a man is become a New Creature, he is ready to every good worke (like a good wife that is ready to bring forth fruits unto her husband) whereas before he brought forth fruit unto sinne and death.

2 Againe, you shall finde that you doe good things with facility and delight, and that is a signe that thy heart is turned another way. It is the property of a good man to delight in the Lord his God; and what he delights in, he makes his owne, what he doth, he doth with facility; The Commandements of God are not burthensome to him, the yoke of Christ is easie: therefore, if thou art new, thou art easie in thy obedience, where­as another man that hath no such change wrought in him, doth delight in nothing but to doe evill, to doe well he hath no pleasure, Gods Commandements are burthensome to him; therfore the Laws of God are too strait for him, that he cannot march in them, as David could [Page 65] not march in Sauls Armour, for it was too hea­vie for him. A man that is a New Creature doth things with facility and delight.

But this is not all; If thy Soule be fashioned 3 and cast into a new mould, thou wilt not onely doe good things readily, but well and hand­somely (to use our common terme) when as o­ther men bungle at good workes, and know not how to turne their hand unto them: They doe them indeed, but as the Wiseman saith, Prov. 26.7. As the legs of the lame are not equall, so is a Parable in a fooles mouth: When they come to doe any good Actions, it is like a Parable in a fooles mouth, the Parable is not fit for his mouth; as when a man hath one legge longer than another, he is lame▪ so a Parable in a fools mouth is not equall to his mouth, the action may be good, yet he do [...]h it but lamely, it is be­yond his reach, hee doth not doe actions as hee should, but an holy man doth them as a worke­man. I speake not of doing of them before men, but before God, who judgeth righteously, when he comes to performe an holy duty, hee doth it as it is meet, hee prayes fervently, and conse­crates himselfe unto the Lord with delight, Hee shewes mercy with cheerefulnesse, and every grace hath his peculiar property, wherein the good­nesse of it consists, as Faith, Love, and Hope, are the concomitants of his actions, wherein their excellencie consists, whereas other men doe the same duties, but not with that affection that they should, and they doe it but with a dead heart, [Page 66] they are workes of vertue, and have the linea­ments of true ones, but they are dead workes, because life is not in them.

Therefore consider how thou doest things; the matter is not so much what thou doest, as how thou doest them.

4 Againe, if thou bee a New Creature, thou shalt know it, by thy doing of good constantly, as a man that doth it naturally. In Nature, you know, the habites and inclinations are close and neere unto us, and growing in us; therefore, if thou doe good in thy constant practice, it is a signe thy heart is changed. This is the first thing, there is a new frame, all the bent of the faculties are changed, and by this you may know it, if you doe good readily with facillity and delight, and constantly.

This change is in his whole Conversation.One thing more observe in this new Frame, there is not onely a bending of the Soule to a contrary point (as it were) but moreover all must be changed; as for example, Cast any thing into a new mould, there is not only one part al­tered, but all; so, if you be New Creatures, you must finde this in your selves, that you doe not make choice in the duties of godlinesse, but take all, and omit nothing; You must bee holy in all manner of conversation; those words are added, in all manner of conversation, and they are much to be observed, that is, in all the turnings of a mans life: As, if he be a Magistrate, hee must be exact in hearing of Causes, neither to feare any mans face, nor to be moved by any mans [Page 67] favour: if hee be an husband, his speeches and actions must be holy, his speeches must be gra­tious: If thou be a Subject in reverence to the King, and respective to others, thou must bee holy in all manner of conversation, otherwise the frame is not altered, this must be of necessi­ty; for that which God requires of us, is the keep [...]ng of the whole Law, as Iames saith, Iam. 2.20. where hee speakes of keeping the Law Evangelically, For whosoever shall keepe the whole Law, and yet faile in one point, he is guilty of all.

Goe thorow the whole Latitude of our obe­dience; if in one part thou wilt favour thy selfe, thou art guilty of all. In the same Epistle, Iam. 1.26. If any man among you seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceives his owne heart, that mans Religion is in vaine. That which is here said of the tongue, may be said of any thing else: Doest thou doe thus and thus, doest thou sanctifie the Sabbath, doest thou goe to God in prayer, goe to all particular duties, I know not what to name unto you, and yet in a­ny of these dost faile; consider that the Apostle might as well have said unto thee, for that thy Religion is in vaine (hee speakes of keeping the Law in an Evangelicall manner) a man must set himselfe to keepe every Commandement, and if he doe but take liberty in any, he is guilty of the whole.

Take this for a sure rule, what God requires of us in the Gospell, he gives us strength to per­forme, but if our hear [...]s were not altogether new [Page 68] moulded, the worke would be more than our strength; therefore, of necessity, the heart must be altogether new moulded. Therefore the A­postle saith, (and what he saith is common to all the Saints) I can doe all things through Christ that strengthneth mee. Every man that hath this new frame wrought in him may say so: If thou be in Christ, thou hast a new frame in thy heart, which makes thee able to doe all things through Christ.

Vse.Consider of this, and apply it to your selves, for it is a matter of much moment, (as the A­postle saith) We are not ashamed to write unto you of these things againe, and againe: So it is a point we have touched before, (yet we will speake of it againe and again.) Consider with thy selfe, whether there be such a generall change in thee or no: for the goodnesse of a thing consists in the order, else the whole is dissolved; as in beauty there are two things wherein it consists, the frame and order of it, that we say is beau­tifull, when the frame is good, and no part is to bee admired above the rest; so it is the frame and order of the Soule wherein its beau­ty consists, when the whole frame is right, and thou art inabled to doe the whole duties of new obedience.

Observe Gods dealing in this case; when Saul had failed in one thing, God cast him off.

But, you will say, this was an heard judge­ment, did not David faile many times as well as he?

[Page 69]It is true, but here is the difference, Saul had a naturall heart to doe evill, although his pro­fession was good;Answ. yet when he was put to the triall, whether he would take the fat sheepe and the oxen, he did it; yet, you must know, it was not for that, [...] new [...]itie of [...]odlinesse. that God cast him off, but because the frame of his heart was not good; for hee would have done it againe and againe, an hun­dred times over; I say, the disposition of his heart was evill. Balaams eye unto the wages of ini­quitie marred all, though he kept himselfe aloft and carried the matter fairly, but like the Eagle hee had his eye upon the prey; this secret eye marres all. Doe not thinke that this is but a no­tion, doe not say, who is it but doth sinne? and we may goe to heaven although we be not so exact, as the Preacher saith we should be. No, it is more than so, we may see good reason for it, if we observe it well: It is a good argument which we have in Philosophie, A cup or a dish that is boared thorow is no dish, yet there is but one hole in it, because it is now of no use, which makes it none, because it is as good as none. Take a dish boared thorow, powre wa­ter into it,The new qua­ [...]tie, what. it will hold none: so take a mans heart, (for the reason will hold good in that) and let there be but some secret leake in it, or some secret evill disposition, although Saul doth well in every thing else, yet if he harbour any sinne; or although Balaam doth well in all things else, yet if there be respect unto the wages of Iniquity, they are both but like a dish with an [Page 66] [...] [Page 67] [...] [Page 68] [...] [Page 69] [...] [Page 70] hole boared thorow, that take up any thing, there will be an issuing out.

Therefore deceive not thy selfe, thou art no New Creature, except thy heart be perfect in all things: This which wee deliver unto you, take it no otherwise than what with reason you shall finde grounded upon a sure word in Ier. 2. They sought mee not with their whole heart, but fai­nedly: When a man seekes God, but not with his whole heart, God reckons it but a counter­feit seeking of him.

Therefore, I beseech you, looke unto your selves, see, whether you be holy in all manner of conversation, I cannot goe thorow particu­lars, but I must leave this to every mans brest, who must reflect upon his owne heart. Consi­der with thy selfe, if sometimes thou givest li­bertie to thy selfe in ill, or in the duties of new obedience to performe them slightly, as good never a whit, as never the better: if thou doest any duty, which thou knowest to be a duty, and not truly, know it is not accepted: If you con­tinue in sinne, and will not know it to be a sin, as in your inordinate gaming, and the vanity of your speeches, although thou thinkest them small, yet they are able to kill thee; the biting of a Viper is as small a thing, yet it will bring death with it: so if any sin be allowed in thee, thou art not a New Creature, thou wantest this new moulding, thou art not yet cast into a new frame. So much for the First part.

The second thing which we observed in this [Page 71] description of a New Creature, is that, A man must be cast into a new mould, by the infusion of a new quality of Grace.

A mans heart is not put into a new frame by the transient Acts of the Holy Ghost (as in buil­ding of an house,It must be done by infu­sion of a new qualitie of godlinesse. there is no more for a man to doe, but with his hands to joyne one thing with another) but it is done by the infusion of a new quality.

As in Adam there was not onely a defect of weaknesse, but of wickednesse, so there must be a new quality infused into thy heart, else thou art no New Creature. In all things in the world that have actions, there is a quality; as the fire moves upward, and there is a quality of heat in it; as our Saviour Christ saith of the tree, it must be good before it can bring forth good fruit, and as in the Heb. 12.28. Wherefore seeing we re­ceive a Kingdome that cannot be shaken, let us have grace whereby wee may so serve God, that wee may please him with reverence and feare; that is, there must bee a new quality wrought in the heart, whereby we may be enabled to serve the Lord with reverence and feare.

The question,The new qua­litie, what. you will aske me, will be, what is that new quality? Not to stand upon generals, for it is not that which profits, but to pitch up­on it, I will shew you what it is by two places of Scripture, Gal. 6.15. For in Christ Iesus nei­ther Circumcision availeth any thing, nor Vncircum­cision; but a New Creature: Compare this with Gal. 5.6. For in Christ Iesus neither Circumcision [Page 72] availeth any thing, nor Vncircumcision, but Faith which worketh by love: Would you know what this new quality which is infused, is? It is faith and love, that is, when this is once wrought in thy heart, that thy heart is humble and broken, which makes thee to know what sin is, and what the wrath of God is for sinne, and thou desirest Christ, and thou hast thy heart calmed againe through beleeving; thou doest beleeve that God offers his Son unto thee, and thou art wil­ling to take him, not as a Saviour only, but as a Lord also to obey him, not as a Priest only, but as a King to bee subject to him, not as a friend only, but as an husband, if this be done, it is pro­perly faith.

Againe, consider whether it be done out of love or out of fear, lest thy Creditours should come upon thee, and cast thee into that eternall prison, where thou shalt pay every farthing, this is not out of love.

Againe, doest thou take him for his kingdom and his wealth only? That is the disposition of an harlot, who takes her husband for his wealth, and not because shee loves him, but thou must take him for love; The Virgins love thee, Cant. 1.2. The harlots doe not so, but the Virgins love thy goodly person.

Againe, thou must not take him in a good mood, but till death doe part you, thou must love him for ever: No man loves a man truely, but he is rooted and grounded in his love; when thou doest find thy heart so humbled, that thou [Page 73] doest reckon sinne the greatest evill, and doest hunger after Christ, and doest keepe him as thy life, when thou doest all this from a love unto him, thou art a New Creatures, when thou takest Christ with love, and such an one as is a wor­king love, now be assured that thou art a New Creature, for this is that wherein it consists.

I observe this by the way, for those that thinke they never have beene humbled enough; the New Creature, consists not in that, but in faith and love: Hast thou faith and love? Then thou hast the thing it selfe, and if thou hast that, thou hast the preparation. That is the first expressi­on. Another is in Ephes. 4.22, 23, 24. That yee cast off, concerning the conversation in times past, the old man which is corrupt through deceiveable lusts, and be renued in the Spirit of your minde, and put on the new man, which after God is created in Righte­ousnesse and holinesse proceeding from truth.

There you have the thing named, what it is to be a New Creature, and what it is to be the old man still.

To be the old Creature, or the old man, is nothing else but to bee guided by lust, which comes from errour in judgement and understan­ding. But wherein consists the new man? The new man consists in holinesse wrought in the will, which proceeds from truth revealed unto the understanding; so when the understanding and the judgement is rectified, thou art made a New Creature. Againe, when the will is corrupt by lusts, proceeding from errour in [Page 74] the understanding, thou art in state of an old Creature. The old man stands properly in lusts; therefore, saith Peter, 2 Pet. 1.4. Fly the corruption which is in the world through lust: All the corruption of mankind stands in these inor­dinate lusts. Others wee may looke on as the fruit, but this as the Root. What are those lusts? Iohn shewes them by three heads, 1 Ioh. 2.16. The lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, and the pride of life. The old man stands in these three. Take the first Lust, even the lust of the Eye. A man lookes upon wealth to make him happie in this life, (I meane no otherwise) and looking upon this, he lusts after it: Doe but rectifie his judgement, and let wealth be pre­sented to him (as it is in it selfe, and hee will come to be affected with it, as Paul was, who accounted all but drosse and dung, hee will say then, why should I set my heart upon that which is nothing but vanity? I say, when the understanding is rectified, you will looke upon wealth aright, and as you shall see it at the day of death; for then wee are as a man awakened out of a dreame, we will looke on it then, as it is Iam. 1.10. Let the Rich-man rejoyce that hee is made low, for as a flower of the grasse so shall he va­nish: The meaning of this is, when a man is made a New Creature, he is brought downe in his conceit, whereas before hee thought him­selfe a great man, because of his wealth: Now Religion comes, and that makes him low, and let him be glad of it; Why? What reason [Page 75] hath a man to be glad of it? Indeed if wealth were a thing of moment, it were another mat­ter, but he was deceived. Riches are but as the flower of grasse. A wise man lookes on Ri­ches as flowers of the Garden with children, and the weakest doe much magnifie. Indeed, if they were of great moment, he lost by it, but, as Iames saith, They are but as flowers of the grasse worth little?

For the Lust of the flesh; that is, another thing whereby this old man is seene. A man lookes on outward pleasures or delights, as able to give satisfaction, and as the greatest de­lights in the world, let his Iudgement be recti­fied, he looks upon them as Enemies that fight against the Soule, as the workes of darknesse which he abhorres, and so he comes to Lots di­sposition, Whose righteous Soule was vexed to see the filthinesse of the Sodomites: When his Iudge­ment is right, hee lookes on them as base and vile things, as Enemies unto his Soule, that will be his destructio [...].

For the Pride of life: Man lookes on out­ward things as the onely excellencies, which makes him admire them so, but when his Iudgement is once rectified, hee lookes upon them as the Apostle doth, who accounted them but empty things, as bubbles blowne up by Boyes.

To conclude, when the Iudgement is recti­fied, in stead of Errour and Deceit, which is the Root of the old man, whence comes these [Page 76] three great Lusts (which are the maine, and from which all the rest will follow) then the lusts are dissolved, and the new man comes from truth, as the other is corrupted, and comes from deceit. So you see; what it is to have this new quality, to have the Iudgement rectified, and the lust dissolved.

And not so onely, but there must be new de­sires wrought in thee. A carnall man over-va­lues carnall things, and in spirituall things hee comes farre too short, like a man that lookes upon a banquet when his belly is full, he hath no appetite unto it: So a carnall man lookes upon Sinne and forgivenesse. But when a man hath his Iudgement rectified, he comes to have many holy desires, and in this stands the New Creature.

Againe, it comes from knowledge of the Spirit.

Object.But, you will say, we have knowledge, and, if that would doe it, then they that know most are best men?

Answ.But you must know what kinde of know­ledge this is; The new man must be renued in know­ledge: This is such a knowledge of holinesse, as the Holy Ghost reveales unto us, and except this knowledge be revealed unto you, our re­vealing is nothing; We preach Wisdome, which the Princes of the world know not, neither can know.

Take Aristotle or others which are the Prin­ces of the world for wisdome; they know not these things, nay, if they were taught them, [Page 77] they could not learne them, for they are revea­led by the Spirit; and if wee preach unto you never so oft, if the Spirit doe not reveale them unto you it is nothing: We see that by experi­ience, that a man that can reason against these and these sinnes, can speake of the vanity of these things, can give twenty better reasons against them than another man, yet hee seekes after them as much as any: The wise-men and strongest wits which can say most against them, yet have not their lusts dissolved, when a poore man that is truly sanctified, although he cannot say the hundreth part against sinne, as another man, yet he doth hunger after Iesus Christ.

Therefore it must be the worke of the Spi­rit, 2 Cor. 3. ult. But, we all behold as in a mirrour the glory of the Lord with open face, and are chan­ged into the same Image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord: that is, when wee looke into the Word wee see the Image of God, so may another man too, but he doth not see the glory of it, he doth not looke on it as a desira­ble thing, as a thing he is in love withall. God shewes Moses his glory; hee never shewed his glory but to the Saints: The greatest request that Moses desired, was to see the glory of the Lord; I will shew thee my glory, saith God, that is, thou shalt see as much as shall be needfull for thee to see in this life. God shewes himselfe unto us in his Word, and when hee will shew a man his glory, he makes him to have a love to it, and then hee is transformed into his Image. [Page 78] Another sees it, but he is not transformed into such a knowledge as convinceth the minde of sinne: when wee teach knowledge, it is as the Sparkes in a darke roome, or as the Starres in a darke night, the roome is darke still; so it is with all knowledge, till the Holy Ghost doth teach it: wee may beget a thousand sparkes in you, but they will not turne the darknesse in­to light. But when the Holy Ghost comes, it doth not onely appeare there, but it changeth us from darknesse into light.

You must know that when we preach only, it is as when the light shines, the windowes be­ing shut against it, there is none shines into the house; so when men thinke they understand most, yet they want this light to shine into the house, Luke 24.45. Then opened he their under­standings, that they might understand the Scriptures. They had heard Christ before, but they un­derstood not his Word; like those which sowed seed on ill ground, and therefore recei­ved not the fruit of it, but when the Holy Ghost comes into thy heart, that will convince thee of evill: it will expell darknesse, and set right thy Iudgement: otherwise, though you heard Paul preach, yea, Christ himselfe, were your Iudgements never so good, yet it would not be done till the Holy Ghost teacheth you, you will never know him, never see him aright in his glory, never see him so, as to delight and long after him, so as to desire nothing in the world so much as communion with him.

[Page 79]Thus it is when his Image is renewed in Knowledge and Truth, and where this Knowledge and Truth is, Holinesse instantly followes.

There are many that know and practice not; and there are many which neither know nor practice, but where this Image is, what ever they know they practice.

Well, let us apply this unto our selves briefly.

If to bee a New Creature,Vse. there is re­quired of us this Faith and Love, Truth and Holinesse, Knowledge and Righteousnesse; then let us learne not to bee deceived, to re­gard nothing else in comparison of this. Doe as the Apostle, Gal. 6.15. For in CHRIST IESVS neither Circumcision availeth any thing, nor Vncircumcision, but a New Creature: that is, it is no matter for any thing in a man, Cir­cumcision is no better than Vncircumcision: Goe thorow all the duties of Religion, you shall finde them nothing till you bee made a New Creature. I know many doe many things, they come to Church, and give almes; well saith the Apostle, Circumcision and Vncir­cumcision is all one; so say I, Prayer and no Prayer is all one; doing justly and unjustly, it is all one, untill a man bee a New Creature: Therefore, saith Paul, 1 Cor. 13.3. Though I give all my goods to the poore (which is a glorious action; nay, though I could be content to bee a Martyr) though I give my body to bee burned, [Page 80] [...] [Page 81] [...] [Page] [...] [Page 83] [...] [Page 84] [...] [Page 85] [...] [Page 80] and have not love, it profiteth nothing: So ex­cept you be New Creatures, your labour is lost, for Nature may doe much with the know­ledge of the Gospel. As the Earth brings forth grasse of it selfe, and some flowers of the lowest sort, but to bring forth a crop, and flow­ers of the finest sort, it must be tilled, and there must bee seed put in; Nature, I say, may doe much, but this New Creature must come from an Immortall seed sowen in the heart, by God himselfe.

Therefore, looke whether thou hast that wrought in thee or no. For this is all the comfort we have, when the body is decayed and waxen old; yet, let us not be discouraged, though this outward man decay and perish, there is a new youth springing up.

This is all the comfort we have, that when the old house is going downe, we have a new house setting up in stead of it. Every man is glad to see an old house pulled downe, and a new set up in stead of it; but to see an old house going downe, and no new one to bee set up, the ruine of it is a most miserable Spe­ctacle.

Take an Husband-man, who hath taken great pains in plowing and sowing his ground, when he sees his corne is rotten, he is glad of it, because he knowes new will come up in stead of it; so when we see the body decaying, and our day drawing towards evening, when the Sunne of life is ready to bee set upon us, when [Page 81] we shall grow no more: this presents nothing but confusion, yet here is hope for us; There is light Sowen unto the righteous: All the con­solation and all the comfort wee have in these dayes of our vanity, is, that we have a New Crea­ture, that is not sub­ject to vanitie.

The end of the Third Sermon.

THE FOVRTH SERMON VPON THE NEW CREATVRE.

2 COR. 5.17.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, let him be a new Creature.

NOw we come to the last thing to be observed in the New Creature;There must be a mortifica­tion of the old man which is, that there is not only an infusion of a new Quality, but a weakning of the old: There­fore we put that into the de­scription. A man is a New Creature when his heart is cast into another mould, by the in­fusion [Page 84] of a new quality of grace, and by a de­stroying of the old.

And this is specially to be observed, because there bee two parts of the New Creature, a mortification of sinne, as well as a vivification. For, Common Nature is like a Bowle between two byasses, Corruption is the wrong byas, carrying us out of the way; and Grace the good byas, carrying us into the way: So you must knocke off the old byas, as well as put on a new one, that is, Common Nature lyes as an indif­ferent thing betweene Grace and Sin, the Flesh and the Spirit, Corruption and Holinesse; so that as the body is betweene health and sick­nesse, so is Common Nature between originall sinne, which is as the sicknesse or death of the Soule, and Holinesse, which is the health of it. Now it is not only required that there be an in­fusion of the new Quality, but likewise a weak­ning of this old, both cannot stand together, so farre as you strengthen one, the other is weak­ned, it is alwayes so where is contrariety, where there is no contrariety two may stand toge­ther; but when things be opposite, the com­ming in of the one, is the weakning of the other, the comming of heat is a weakning of cold, this is of speciall use.

Vse.And this use we are to make of it; that hence then you see this will follow, that, if you finde much newnesse in your selves (according to your owne opinion) you finde you can doe ma­ny things, you could never doe before; you are [Page 85] able to doe these and these duties of new obe­dience: well, suppose it, yet except there be a mortification of the old lusts; if thou find that there be any lusts continue in thee, in strength, that, in that regard, thou art the same man still, whatsoever addition there be, it is no matter, it is certaine thou art not yet a New Creature: for a New Creature consists not in superindu­ction of the new Quality, the old remaining; but in a weakning of the old too. It is not only a superaddition of the new, but the death of the old also: Therefore, if thou findest any corrup­tions continuing in the fulnesse of their first strength, not weakned at all; though thou hast all signes of grace, all parts of a New Crea­ture, to thy seeming, yet thou art deceived; be­cause if thou wert new, there would be a mor­tification of the old lusts.

So againe, it is true on the other side: Put case thou finde a great change in thy selfe, such lusts as have been vigorous and lively, thou fin­dest to be now dead, except it be by the ingresse of this New Creature, thou hast little cause to comfort thy selfe; for those lusts are but cove­red and laid asleepe for a time, and will wake and rise againe: as Sampson, when hee was tied with cords, rose againe, and was as strong as ever he was, when the opportunity came, And it was told him, The Philistims are upon thee, Samp­son: So lusts are laid asleepe, till the opportu­nity comes, when all the threed of good purpo­ses breaks, and they rise again in their strength: [Page 86] therefore, if there bee not a New Creature brought within thy soule, thy lusts are but laid asleepe, they will rise againe: Or put case they be dead, and rise no more; yet, except it be by the ingredience of this New Creature, they are but dead of themselves, and so long as they die of themselves, God regards not that death: for that which is required of us in Rom. 12.1. is, that we sacrifice our selves: Now two things are required in the Sacrifice; one, that it be slaine, that it die not of it selfe, for that is not a Sacri­fice. Secondly, that it be offered to God, and not to any other god. Now this we oft finde, that lusts die of themselves, change of age, ex­perience, operation of circumstances, time, place, and many things may alter the desires: for, you must know, The world passeth away, and the lusts of it: that is, they are of a transitory Nature. A man doth not desire that, this yeare, which he did the last. Doe wee not see, many have beene riotous and prodigall in youth, yet there is a great change in them, not for grace, but age, and use, and experience, and many things, make alteration: These are not slaine to the Lord, but they die of themselves, so God would not accept them.

Againe, they may be slaine, but not to the LORD, thou mayest offer them to thy selfe, which is the same, as if thou offeredst them to another god, that is, a man may finde much evill and inconvenience, much bitternesse in them, it may be, they have brought shame and misery on thee.

[Page 87]Againe, thou mayst feare Gods judgements; and therefore mayest restraine thy selfe. In a word, If thy selfe be thy end, in abstaining from any sin what ever it be, there is a Sacrifice, thou hast slaine it, but not offered it to the Lord, it is not done to him, It is not because thou lovest the Lord Iesus: therefore it is not a fruit of the New Creature, for till then, every man makes himselfe his end in all he doth, but when hee is made a New Creature, hee makes the LORD his end.

This therefore is the use of this: there must be two parts of this New Creature, Vivificati­on, and Mortification, an infusion of the new Quality, and a weakning of the old. Because this is a point of much moment, I will presse it a little further, and deliver this Rule, I say, this other Consectary may be gathered: If it be so, then thou must finde in thy selfe these two things:

Thou must find in thy selfe something more than Nature,Vse or Consectary. and againe, thou must finde in thy selfe something lesse than Nature: Thou must have lesse than what thy corrupt nature had in it, and more than common nature hath in it, or else thou wantest this third part of the New Creature, this third thing wherein it consists, the induction of a new Quality, and a weakning of the old: We will urge this a little.

There must be something les [...]e than corrupt nature.First, there must be a lessening and a weake­ning of that was there before: for, you must know every man hath some personall infir­mities, [Page 88] some sinnes more peculiar to his Nature than others, something wherein hee is weake, every man hath it,Where [...]od forgiveth, hee healeth; where he pardoneth, he purifieth. one of one sort, another of another sort; every man hath a more inclinati­on to this or that sinne, which is bred and borne with him. If thou findest that this continues with thee still, that thou hast the same running-sore on thee, that thou hadst, that thou findest no alteration in that, that there is no lessening, no weakning, no destroying and mortifying of that, then thou art not a New Creature, and consequently, thy sins are not forgiven, for Iu­stification and Sanctification are inseparable. It thy sins were pardoned, they would be healed, that is the thing you must consider. It is cer­taine therefore, if you doe not find them healed, you are not yet in Christ; for if thou wert in Christ truly, there would a vertue come out of him that would heale thy bloudy-issue; for the vertue of his death is never disjoyned from the merit of his death, where ever he forgives sin, he cures sinne: therefore if thou findest that hee hath not cured any sin, know it is not forgiven. You may see it every where; Mary Magdalen, as much was forgiven her, so she had a great cure wrought in her, shee was changed, she be­came another woman, you see how exceeding holy she was; when Christ said, Thy sinnes are forgiven, she went away with another heart: So it was with Paul, when once his sins were forgi­ven, when God sent word by Ananias that hee was a chosen vessell, withall he was made a glorious [Page 89] Professour of a raging Persecutour, there was a healing of sin, as well as forgiving of it. So David, when his sinne was forgiven, when God told him by Nathan so much, his sin was cured, hee did not commit adultery againe: therfore in the one and fiftieth Psalme, the cure stands on record, that all the world may know, that where God forgiveth, he healeth likewise. So Peter, when God had forgiven him that sin of denying his Master, he cured it too.

To adde a little more,Reason 1. I say, Sinne must be healed, if it bee forgiven; for it cannot bee o­therwise, if God take any man to beare his Name, and his sins bee not healed, his Name should be blasphemed, it would redound to his dishonour.

Againe,Reason 2. if he should forgive and not heale us, we should have no comfort from him, nor he no service from us: we should have no com­fort from him, because of the rage and vexati­on of ruling lusts.

Againe,Reason 3. he should have no service from us; for how can we serve him when we are not healed? Can a sicke man doe any service? Hee must be healed, and restored to health first. Now doe you thinke, God will put his children in a con­dition, that neither they shall have comfort from him, nor he service from them; therefore it is of necessity, wheresoever sin is forgiven, it is healed: Therefore in Hosea 14. When I take away your iniquities, I will heale your rebellions▪ So in Deut. 30.6. when he will have mercy upon [Page 90] them, saith hee, I will also circumcise your hearts, and the hearts of your seed, that you shall love mee with all your soule, and with all your strength: Hee never pardons, but he likewise circumciseth. So in Ier. 24.7. I will set mine eye upon you for good: that is, I will pardon you, and receive you to mercy, and also will give you an heart to know mee, so that you shall be my people, and I will be your God: For you shall turne to mee with all your heart. In a word, they are never disjoyned; take it for a sure rule, as Ezek. 26. I will wash thee from thy Idols, that is, from thy lusts and idolatry, and will give thee a new heart and a new Spirit, he ne­ver doth one without the other; therefore ap­ply it. It may be there be many particular sins which thou thinkest are forgiven, Sabbath-breaking, Swearing, Vncleannesse, goe thorow any particular sin▪ if they be not healed, they be not forgiven, and so thou art in a miserable con­dition. Therefore, doe not say, though I sinne againe and againe, yet God is mercifull, and, I hope, ready to forgive. It is very true; but thou must know, that he is never merciful to forgive, but he is as ready to heale and cure thy sins like­wise; therefore deceive not yourselves in that.

Caution.Only before I passe from this point, mistake me not, my meaning is not, that it is so healed, that there is not the least vigour left in it, that it is so dead and buried, that thou shalt never heare of it againe, that the Spring of originall corrup­tion is dried up, that none of it is left; but the meaning is, it is healed, that is, Sinne is pulled [Page 91] downe from his Regency, it may assault thee, as a Rebell, but it comes no more as a Lord, as a King;Note. it is put out of possession, it may creepe in as a Theefe, but it comes no more as the owner of the house; for that is resigned up to grace and the New Creature. Sin creepes in, as it were, but there is another Master of the house, so that now thou mayest say, I doe it not, but sinne that dwelleth in me, that is, that creepes in; thy denomination is from that, that beares rule in thy heart; for that is all that is done in Regeneration; Sin is put out of possession, and Grace is now the Ruler, the Lord of the heart; therefore we may say, it is healed, that is, it is so shut out, that thou hast dominion over it, it may assault thee now and then, it may overcome thee now and then, but it dwels not in thee, thou never entertainest as a guest, thou never biddest it welcome, thou never makest peace with it, thou hast perpetuall warre with it, as there was with the Amalekites.

Againe,As there must be lesse than corrupt Na­ture; so there must be more than meere Nature. corrupt nature must bee lessened, weakned, and mortified; so there must be more than nature in thee; that is, thou must be able to doe more than any natural man in the world can doe, or then thou wast ever able to doe be­fore this change was wrought in thee; for, you must know, Grace doth not onely mortifie and heale Sin, but it goes beyond the power of Na­ture; as we say, Physicke helpes where Nature failes, and Art helpes where Nature fals short: Such a thing is Grace where Nature failes, [Page 92] there is use of Grace, indeed else what were the efficacie of the Word, and the vertue of the Spirit, and the power of Christ? If they did not enable a man to do more than Nature doth. Grace comes from an higher Well-head than Nature, therefore it raiseth a man to an higher pitch than Nature can ascend to. Therefore consider, if thou hast that which goes beyond Nature; Sampson had a strength beyond Na­ture, he could doe what a common man could not doe, but God being with him, he had more than the strength of Nature. How do we know that? He was able to carry away the gates of the Citie, &c. which none else could do; there­fore there was in him strength above Nature: Now examine, canst thou doe that which no man else can doe that is a meere naturall man? Thou must have a strength put into thee, which none can reach to, that hath nothing but Na­ture in him, that is, canst thou love the Lord Iesus and the Saints? An Hypocrite can coun­terfeit many things, but not love. Againe, canst thou delight in the Law of God, in the Inner man, I aske not if thou canst approve of it, but canst thou delight in it, counting it as meat and drinke to doe the will of thy Father? This is a thing which cannot be counterfeit. So, canst thou deny thy selfe? I aske not, if thou canst deny this or that particular sinne, but the whole body of sin, if thou favourest the things of the Spirit, if thou canst mortifie the deeds of the Body, and walke according to that Spirit. In a word, [Page 93] whatsoever it is, if thou art a New Creature, thou must find thy selfe able to doe that which no naturall man can doe, and which thy selfe could'st never doe before; for, otherwise what wilt thou have to answer for thy selfe, when the Destroying Angell shall come, if hee finde not in thee more than Nature, the Destruction shall passe on thee, as it was in the Passeover, ex­cept there was found bloud on the door-posts, they died for it: Now the bloud that this De­stroying Angell must see; when hee shall passe over the world, is that which is, more than Na­ture. You must know the bloud of Christ leaves an impression, Their garments were made white in the bloud of the Lambe; that is, not onely the guilt of sin is taken away, but a new vertue is put on them, a new efficacie is put into them, and if thou hast not the vertue of the bloud of Christ, as well to purge thy conscience from dead workes, as to take away the guilt of sin; all is nothing, you must know all the old world shall be destroyed, and the workes of it, and whatsoever is in it, whatsoever is old shall be destroyed; the Lord will spare nothing but what is new, he makes a new Heaven, and a new Earth; and what is new shall be spared, when he comes to take an examination of men, and findes nothing but old in thee, thou art sure to be destroyed; if thou be new he will spare thee, there is a blessing there, this is the marke in the forhead, this is that new Name, this is that certain watch-word, which, if a man know not, hee is [Page 94] counted as an enemie: you have a fashion some­times to give markes, if they have that marke, that token in their hand, they are knowne to be of them that are allowed. So there is a certaine sealing of men to life, God gives a new name, a white st [...]ne with a new name written on it, which none can reade but God and thy selfe: I say, except thou art a New Creature (for that is the new name) the Destroying Angell shall not spare thee, but thy sinnes shall be cast on thy consci­ence, as usually hee doth when thou are on thy death-bed; he never binds the burthen till then, you have it before, but you never feele it till then, but when God shall charge it on thy con­science, what wilt thou say? if thou findest not these two things, a weakning of this old nature, an healing of sin, and something morethan Na­ture, thou canst not apply the comfort of Iusti­fication, thou art not in Christ, for thou art not a New Creature,, which consists of these two parts, Vivification and Mortification. So much for this point; So we have done with this, that Iustification and Sanctification are inseparable: all this is drawne from the conjuction, Whoso­ever is in Christ is a New Creature,] they are not disjoyned, if you have one, you have the o­ther.

Observ. 2.Now this is further to be observed, If hee must be a New Creature, then hee must have a new Nature; He must have another Nature, for he is made another man, that is, he is so altered, as if he were another man, as if another Soule came [Page 95] to dwell in that body; therefore, there must be another Nature.

Againe,Observ. 3. it must be a New Creatures: there­fore wee must observe something from that word New.

And fourthly,Observ. 4. wee will observe something from this, that it is a Creature, and so is created by God, no man is able to doe it.

And last of all,Observ. 5. the order; first in Christ, and then a New Creature. These be the foure things we have to doe.

First,Observ. 1. there must be in thee another Nature, that is,Those that are in Christ have another Na­ture. it is not enough to be altered in this and that particular, but thou must have another Nature; for you shall finde, that when any man is in Christ, the whole nature is changed, Lions be turned into Lambes, that is, the very Nature is altered. A Lion doth not carry himselfe like a Lambe, and remaines a Lion still; nor a Ser­pent like a Dove, and remaine a Serpent still; but the Lion is turned into a Lambe, that is, there is another Nature given; 2 Pet. 1.4. Wee are made partakers of the Divine Nature: there is the very word used, that is, we have another nature gi­ven like the Nature of God, and it hath in it all the properties of Nature. As how will you know when a thing is naturall? You may know 1 it by this that is naturall,When a thing is said to be Naturall. not which is begotten by precedent action, but when the faculty is in­fused, and then we exercise the operations of it. So it is in all the faculties of Nature, you have first a sense of seeing given you before you see: [Page 96] In the things that are not naturall, there the actions goe before the thing, before the faculty or habite; as, when a man learnes any thing, that is not naturall, as to play on a Lute, or any other Art, hee doth many actions, and then hee hath got the habit; and when he hath got it, he doth it easily, for what is naturall is planted in a man; so is this, it is planted in the heart, as the senses are, it is infused into the Soule, and then we exercise the operations of it; so that it is an­other nature, it is just as the thing that is na­turall.

2 Againe, Nature is that which wee receive from our Parents, and whereby we are made like to our Parents. As the Sonne is taken from the Father, and is made like him; so this New Creature is wrought by God, and by it, wee are made like him. Therefore, Christ is said to be formed in us; I travell in birth till Christ bee for­med in you: that is, till the Holy Ghost doe change the whole Soule into another Creature; so as it is made like Christ in every thing, as the Son is like the Father; only the difference is in the degrees,Caution. as the Sonne differeth from the Fa­ther in degrees, yet he hath all the lineaments of the Father, so you are borne of Christ, and are like him; Borne, not of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of the will of God, if you be New Creatures.

3 Againe, that is Nature, which is common to the whole Species, to the whole kinde; what is not naturall, one man hath, and another man [Page 97] wants, and this we find in the New Creature, the whole kinde, that is, all the Saints that are living in all places, they have the same Nature in them, that is, they have the same Spirit in them, though they be a thousand miles asunder, though they never saw one another, yet they may know one anothers minds, for one minde dwels in them, when one mind dwels in divers, they be of the same disposition, so this Nature is common to them all.

Againe, what is Nature it cannot be altered 4 againe, for that is the property of Nature, it still stickes by us, and will not be changed, but, as Aristotle observes, throw a stone up a thou­sand times, it will returne againe, because it is the nature of it to returne; so what is the nature of a man, put him from it an hundred times and an hundred times againe over, yet he returnes to it againe, because it is naturall to him: So it is with this New Creature, when the heart is once framed aright, though the Saints are sometimes transported, though sometimes they are not like themselves, though sometimes strong lusts lead them captives, yet they returne againe, though it were an hundred times done; for Na­ture will not be put off, you cannot lay it aside againe.

Last of all, Nature is a thing that cannot be 5 taught, no more can this New Creature, no man can teach you to be New Creatures. Arts may be taught, and things not naturall may be taught, but this no man can teach you. Wee [Page 98] may shew what it is to be a New Creature, we may declare it to you, but God must doe it. In­deed he calls it Teaching, but it is such a teach­ing (as I told you) he teacheth Bees and Ants to doe after their kinde, he teacheth the Storke and other creatures to doe thus and thus, that is, he puts into them an instinct to doe so: In this sense he teacheth thee to be a New Creature, he puts an instinct into thee. All these properties are in Nature; therefore wee may conclude, whosoever is in Christ must have another Na­ture. We will now make use of it.

Vse 1.There bee many things profitable arising from this,Not to deferre comming to God. that there must be another Nature.

First, then learne hence, not to deferre com­ming to God, because if Repentance were no­thing else, but an abstinence from the acts of sin, a resolution to change your courses, and a seconding of it with some sutable endevours, you might goe farre, and it may be, come in hereafter, when you will your selves: But if it be another Nature that is required, take heed of refusing, when God will come and make an of­fer to thee, because another nature is required. What wilt thou doe? Put case thou hadst ne­ver so much warning before thou diest, if thou hadst Ezekiahs warning, if thou hadst fifteene yeeres given thee, art thou able to change thy nature? why then art thou bold on? why dost thou defer to turne to God? When ever God calls for thee, there must be beauty in thee, thou must have (as I may say) a countenance well [Page 99] favoured in some degree; now if thy face bee but besmeared with dirt, thou mayest wash it off, but if it be the changing of a Black-moores skin, how wilt thou doe that? Can the Black-moore change his skinne. Therefore, seeing it is a change of Nature, bee not too secure: Thinke not thus (for it is the onely thing that keepes men from comming to God) I will come in, but it shall be hereafter, I will goe yet a little further; this is a very dangerous case, because it is a changing of Nature that is required, and no Creature in Heaven and Earth is able to doe this. Therefore, when thou commest to die, or when any crosse comes, thou mayest be willing to change, and thou mayest take purposes to thy selfe; but doe we not see, by experience, in such cases, the Nature is not altered, doe not all returne to their byas, there is not one of a thou­sand but doth it, because it is a forced action. Now a stone forced upward returnes againe, so there be many forced actions in times of Temp­tation, and the houre of death, but still the na­ture is the same, therefore men returne againe. Therefore know this very heart of thine, the very nature of it must bee altered, it must bee changed into a light ayrie vapour, that may ascend, else it will not hold out, and thou shalt have no comfort from it, and when it is turned into an ayrie vapour, it must be done by a light and heat that comes from heaven: So must thy heart, it is the Holy Ghost that must doe it, it is onely the Author of Nature that can change [Page 100] Nature, hee that made it can renue it. And as only fire begets fire, so onely the Spirit begets the qualities called the Spirit; the Holy Ghost must breathe this breath of life in thee. This is a thing not considered, therefore you are bold to put it off, if the Holy Ghost, were at thy command, if hee would breathe when thou listest, it were another case, but hee breathes when and where he listeth, nothing is so free as the wil of the Spirit, he breathes where he lists: That it is no more in thee to alter him than the winds, when they blow to the East, canst thou cause it to blow to the West, no more canst thou alter the will of the Spirit: Therefore take heed of refusing the offer, when the Lord will offer, it is a dangerous thing to refuse.

What the Lord bade them in the Gospell to doe, he is ready to doe himselfe; When you come into a Citie, offer peace, if they will receive it, so it [...], let it come on them, but if they will not, stay not there, let them goe, shake off the dust off your feet against them; such a people shall perish. Consider that, and see if the Lord be not ready to doe it him­selfe. If hee make an offer, as hee did, when hee gave his Disciples this command; take heed that he goe not away in anger, he knocks at thy heart againe and againe, take heed that hee goe not away in wrath. It is the Lords manner, no man knowes the time of his offer, sometimes at the third, sometimes at the fifth, and sometimes at the last houre; the time is not in thy hand, but whensoever he offers take heed off refusing, for [Page 101] if he growes angry, he returnes no more, When he shall sweare in his wrath, &c. Psal. 95. ult. that is a place worth considering.

The Apostle perswades them not to deferre Repentance, but to come while it is to day, put it not off; and he gives them two reasons, Lest you be hardned through the deceitfulnesse of sinne, that is, you will not be able to come in, sin will har­den you againe, lest the Lord sweare in his wrath, as he did to the Israelites. Now, you must marke, they offended him, once, twice, and thrice, still the Lord bore with them, they were rebellious at the Red-sea, and presently after, yet this the Lord bore with, but there was a time, when the Lord will beare with them no longer, yet they lived many yeares after, then he sware in his wrath, and then they were de­stroyed. It is true, the Lord is not so angry for every refusing and sin, which thou committest, but when he comes to sweare, there is no retra­cting of it then, wheresoever you finde an oath in the Scripture, there is no reservation, when he sware, he never returned againe. Therefore take heed of angring the Lord Iesus, though he be the Saviour of the world, yet kisse the Son lest hee bee angry. Take heed of deferring, for a change of Nature is required, which is a thing that thou canst not doe, but the LORD must doe it.

Againe,Vse 2. if it be a change of Nature,Content not your selves with any thing if this be wan­ting. I will but urge this a little.

Then we may learne hence to know, that all [Page 102] the desires that come from Nature are nothing, for that is not to have another Nature: they are Flowers, All the desires that come from Nature are nothing. that have a beautie in them, but they are the Flowers of the grasse, subject to corruption, as well as the stalke on which they grow, therefore GOD accepts them not.

Morall Ver­tues.Againe, it is not Morall Vertues, for that is not changing of Nature, for they may bee got and lost againe.

Transient acts of Holinesse.Againe, it is not the Transient acts of Ho­linesse which the Holy Ghost workes in the heart, when hee comes as a Passenger for a night, or as a Sojourner for a moneth or two, but he must come to be an Inhabitant, and so as the Soule is in the body, to make the Nature another Nature.

Good Intenti­ons and Pur­poses.Last of all, it is not any good Intentions, any good Desires, any good Purposes, but another Nature.

Therefore, take heed that you doe not de­ceive your selves, and that is a thing we are ex­ceeding apt to be deceived in, because we have other purposes wee thinke all is well: this wee must looke to, for there be many times when men are very prodigall of good purposes, as when they come to receive the Sacrament, or in time of apprehension of death, or it may bee you will purpose to leave sinne, when you have smarted for some sinne you have committed; you then meane to alter all, and you thinke you are well, because you have other desires and [Page 103] purposes in you, but it is not so, there must bee another Nature, that is, these purposes God re­gards as nothing, for indeed they are worth no­thing, when there are new purposes, and the old Nature continues still, they come to the birth, and when they have done so, There is no strength to bring forth, that is, when the purposes are new, and the nature old, they are not able to dwell there, but it is like a new peece in an old garment, that is, old nature is not able to sute with new purposes, but the peece breaks forth, and the rent is greater than it was. So usually it is, when we have the old nature, and take new purposes, there is not a sutablenesse, and the rent is made greater than it was. A man re­turnes againe to sin and is worse than hee was; but when there is another Nature, as well as other purposes, then the purposes live there, as Creatures live in their owne Element, and as branches live and grow on their owne roots, but when purposes are holy and good, and the nature bad, they are as Plants planted in a soile not proper to them, where they will not grow nor prosper, because the soile is not sutable to them: therefore let us not content our selves with these good Purposes and Transient Acts, there must bee another Nature. For these good purposes, what are they but as blossomes nipt with untimely frosts? they may make a faire shew, and come to nothing, as a tree that promiseth largely, hath blossomes very faire, but you shall finde no fruit on it; so it is when [Page 104] Nature is not good: There is so much in Na­ture, that is in a man not sanctified, that hee hath thefe two things:

  • First, hee may approve of the Law of GOD.
  • And secondly, have a desire to be saved.

Put these two together, Approbation of the Law of GOD, and Desire to bee saved; they will bring forth a purpose of change of life, they are able to doe that, but now the heart is not changed: As in Deutronomie the fifth chapter, and the nine and twentieth verse, you shall finde an expression of it there, when Moses told the people, that GOD would speake to them by a man like themselves; they made a faire promise that they would doe all that the LORD commanded them; Moses answered them, You have said well; But, O that there were an heart in this people to keepe GODS Commandements, and to doe them, that it may goe well with them and their children. As if he had said, I know you speake no more than you thinke, I know that you are resolved to doe what the LORD will appoint, but you have your old hearts still: O that there were an heart there.

So they that take new Purposes to them­selves, it is well: but wee may say, Oh that there were in them an heart! For it fares with men in this case, as with them spoken of in Scripture; One said, hee would goe into the Vine­yard, and did not.

[Page 105]It is a frequent case, when men say, they will goe into GODS Vineyard, they doe not, because they are not able, till they have another Nature: It is an intent above their strength; therefore con­tent not your selves with Purposes.

The end of the Fourth Sermon.
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THE FIFTH SERMON VPON THE NEW CREATVRE.

2 COR. 5.17.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, let him be a new Creature.

THirdly,Vse 3. if this be required of every man,Looke that good perfor­mances be na­turall to you. that he have an­other Nature, then we must lead you a step further than we did before, you must not only, not content your selves with good purposes and de­sires, bu [...] more than that with good and holy act [...]ons: It is not enough that you doe the acti­ons [Page 108] that are holy and good, that your lives bee holy and good in great measure, or for a fit, but the Nature must bee altered, that is, it is not enough that thou exercisest meeknesse and tem­perance, gentlenesse and humility, but thou must be an humble man, and a meeke man, a man lowly in spirit, of a sober and temperate dispo­sition, thy very nature must be turned into this; that is, these Graces must be so incorporated in­to thee, as if they were con-naturall to thee: therefore it is said of David, not onely that hee did what was good, and Gods will, but he had an heart after Gods heart: so it must be true of all the Saints, for God delights not but in the heart: Therefore in Psal. 51.6. Thou lovest truth in the inner parts, therefore hast thou taught me wis­dome in the secret of my heart: that is, though the outward performances be good in themselves, yet thou delightest not in them, that which thou delightest in, is to have another Nature, to have truth in the inward parts; that is, when the inward frame of the heart is altered, when that is set right, therefore thou hast taught me wis­dome in my hidden parts, in my heart, thou hast not only given me wisdome to behave my selfe well abroad in my actions and carriage, but thou hast made mee wise in the secret of my heart.

It is said of Ioshua, he had another Spirit, else he had not come into that Land: therefore see if thou hast such a change in thy heart, that thou doest not only doe good things, but that [Page 109] thou doest them in that manner, that thou doest naturall actions, that is, in such a manner, that thou canst not but doe them, as 1 Iohn 3.9. They cannot sinne, for they are borne of God. They have another Nature, what followes on that? there­fore they cannot sin, as a man cannot do against Nature; they cannot doe any thing against the truth.

Againe, on the other side, they cannot chuse but doe good, as a man cannot chuse but doe that which is naturall to him.

Doe not say, This Rule is strict, who can heare it?

Do we make it straiter than the Holy Ghost doth? What else is the meaning of it, Whoso­ever is in Christ is a New Creature? that is, hath another Nature; all wee doe, must come from another Principle, which is the same to thee now, which Nature was before, all must be al­tered; as wee say of Creatures, that which is dogs-meat, is a sheepes poyson; so it is true of men, when the Nature is changed, there is not onely an alteration of acts, but what was his meat before, is now his poyson; and what was poyson to him before, is now his delight, it is that he feeds on.

But,Quest. you will say, How shall I know when my Nature is altered? It is a matter of great moment, no man can be saved without it, and it is nothing to have holy purposes, desires, and actions, but, the Nature must be altered; there­fore it stands us in hand to know it.

[Page 110]You shall know it briefly by this: First, what you doe naturally, you doe it constantly, you 1 do it ordinarily:Answ. for Nature is a constant thing. In things not naturall, there may bee much in­equality, they may continue for a time, and be laid aside againe, as a peece gilded over, long wearing will weare off the gilt; but what if the lead or silver be turned into gold? then it will be still the same: so it is with the man, whose nature is changed, he will be constant, the same nature will hold out and continue. A Wolfe that puts on a Sheepes cloathing, may be like a Sheepe, but is not turned into a Sheepe: wee are turned into Sheepe, as Christ turned Lions into Lambes, Serpents into doves, that is, hee alters the very Nature, when that is done, then a man is alway like himselfe, indeed he doth it by degrees, as you shall heare hereafter, but he is still the same. Therefore, consider what con­stancy, what evennesse, what equality is in your Nature; for if there be another Nature given you, if you be other men, you doe not act ano­ther person, for then you may be ready to put it off, and lay it aside, but your Nature is alte­red, and so your carriage will be constant.

2 Againe, what is naturall to thee, is pleasant, because indeed all pleasure is nothing else, but a sutablenesse to our Nature. Let the nature bee what it will be; any thing sutable to, it will bee pleasant: Therefore it is a conclusion the Phi­losophers had, that, that light which is Conve­nientissima Naturae, is the pleasantest light. Now [Page 111] if thou have another nature, all the wayes of God will be pleasant to thee, It will be meat and drinke to thee to doe his will.

Againe, if it be naturall, thou wilt not bee 3 subject to wearinesse. Another man is still go­ing up the hill, when hee is about holy duties, and growes weary and sits downe, and is not able to continue; but what wee doe naturally, we are not weary of; The eye is not weary with seeing, nor the eare with hearing, because it is na­turall: The assiduity of holy duties, wearieth out any man that hath another nature; but let the Nature be altered, and he holds out, they be so farre from wearying him, that they abilitate him, they make him more able, the burthen growes lighter, and the way more easie, when to another man it is hard, and he casts it off.

Againe, if it be naturall, it will out-grow the contrary, it will weary it out; for Nature is 4 neerer to us, than that which is adventitious. Sin is put out of possession, a mans selfe is altered, sinne doth not dwel there, but it comes in there. Now there is another Nature which weares it out,Simile, as a Spring doth mud, let mud fall into a Spring, it will worke it out, for it is a living wa­ter, still working. So if a mans nature be chan­ged, if a man fall to sinne, yet there is a Spring, and that Nature will returne againe and againe, and worke it out, if not to day, it will to mor­row, because there is a Spring there. Againe, where there is not a New Creature, it will never leave setling till it have corrupted the whole.

[Page 112]But an Objection will come in, I cannot find this change of Nature, I find that the sins I de­lighted in before,Object. I delight in still, those evill inclinations which I had before, I have them still, I find not such an inward alteration, I find that I can suppresse them, and restraine them, but the change of Nature I find not.

This is a great Objection, and needs an­swering.

Answ.To this therefore I answer, two things thou shalt find in thy selfe, if thy nature be changed, if thou have another nature in thee, hough there be something in thee, that doth like the objects of thine owne lusts, yet there is some­thing in thee that abhorres them, though there bee an inclination that carries thee towards them, yet there is a contrary inclination that resists them, so there is something still that con­tradicts and opposeth them.

And that is not all, there is, b [...]sides this, a weakning of the vigour which before they had, there is not that strength in them that was be­fore. So that there are two things in every man that hath a new Nature: First, though there be much of the old there, yet it is excee­dingly weakned and mortified. And secondly, there is much new that was not there before. In every faculty there is something new, that puts a good tincture, a beauty, and glosse on every action thou doest; so as though thou doe much of the old, yet not so much as thou didst before, and thou doest much that thou couldst not doe [Page 113] before. Therefore be not discouraged, though there bee some Inclinations left still, yet the streame is weakned, the vigour is abated: and againe, there is a contrary streame that oppo­seth, resisteth, and overcommeth it. It may be at the first, thou mayest find it more difficult, but in continuance thou shalt find it more evi­dent. I cannot better resemble it to you, than by a man newly recovered out of sicknesse;Simile. take a man that is newly recovered, as soone as his disease begins to lose his strength, and health begins to enter, the health is exceeding little at the first, but you shall finde this in such a man, that health is in every part, and you shall finde it will grow still and get ground. And againe, although a man be exceeding weake, not able to goe out of his chamber; not able, it may be, to goe out of his bed, yet the sicknesse is gone and subdued, and health hath got the victory; so the sicknesse growes weaker and weaker, and health stronger and stronger: so Sincerity is the least of all Graces at the first, and growes to be the greatest at the end: therefore, though there be the same Inclinations in thee still, yet it is like a sicknesse when a man is upon point of re­covery, when the health begins to enter in, there is a great weaknesse remaines, but the health over-ballanceth it.

Therefore, be not discouraged for that, one­ly, be sure that thou find those Inclinations die in thee more and more, and that health growes more and more; for lusts are said to be morti­fied, [Page 114] not because they are actually dead already, but because they are dying, a wound is given them, and they will be dead. And a man is said to have a new life, because hee is growing to­wards it; so a man is a New Creature, not be­cause he i [...] perfectly new, but that is the end he lookes to.

Vse 4.Fourthly, if we must have another Nature, then surely,To abhor the old nature, and to [...]ke to have it chan­ [...]ed. the Nature we had before the old Nature, must needs be very bad, for nothing is to be changed, but you change it for the con­trary. Now if this bee required as good, the other must bee abhorred as evill: therefore learne▪ not to excuse your owne Nature, or your sinne from it, but abhorre it; this is a point of great use, and directly flowing from the words: If another Nature be required, the old nature is bad, and must be hated, abhorred, and emptied forth: now because men are exceeding apt to excuse themselves from their nature; they think their sinne is so much lesse, because they have a strong inclination to it. They are deceived in this, for the sinne is so much the greater; if the Sparke be so much, what is the fornace within? If the Branches be so bitter, what is the Root? Ther [...]fore make this use of the actuall sinnes which you commit, they should be as Rivers to lead you to the Sea of corruption within you? You shall see, the Saints made this use of thei [...] inward corruptions.Rom. [...] Paul, seeing the rebellio [...] of his flesh, it led him to the body of sin, ama [...]zed him, he complained before, but when he [Page 115] came to that, hee grew to an extremity of com­plaint, as if that were worse than all the Bran­ches. So David, considering his murther, &c. made him to know what it was to be conceived in sinne, for at that time he comes to that com­plaint in the one and fiftieth Psalme, I was con­ceived in sinne, and in iniquity hath my mother brought me forth: I say, these particular sinnes should lead us to know our Nature. So did Iob when hee saw what his failings had beene, hee lookes to himselfe and abhorres himselfe. It may be, this hath beene taught you, you are to be humbled for your sinnes, and for the evill actions that you have done; and this you ought to doe, but we must lead you further, you must be humbled for your Nature, and indeed this humbles a man, a man is never humble till then; for a man may thinke his actions bad and con­fesse them, yet he may thinke his Nature is not bad; but when he sees that his Nature is bad, he abhors himselfe; now, humiliation is like that: when a man comes to abhorre himselfe, it is a greater degree, than for a man to abhorre his actions; as it is said of Iob, hee abhorred him­selfe; so thou must learne to abhorre thy selfe, to abhorre that nature that is in thee. We are very backward in this, every man is ready to excuse himselfe, though I did this and that, it is my na­ture, but thou must know that the corruption within, is more than the sinne without.

Now this humiliation must not rest meerely in this, to abhorre thy selfe, but it must lead thee [Page 116] further, to have it renued, as thou wilt never seek to have another Nature till thou bee humble; when thou commest to abhorre thy selfe, thou wilt labour for another selfe, and not before, thou wilt then be content, yea desirous that that old heart of thine may be broken in peeces, and that thou be made new.

Quest.But, you will say, What shall I doe to have this old Nature made new?

Answ.Goe to Christ, the same actions hee used when hee raised Lazarus, the same actions hee doth, when he raiseth any to life; therefore the same course must bee taken, that was taken to raise Lazarus from the dead: What was that? To beleeve in him. You have in Iohn 11. it is said, This is befallen him, that the glory of the Son of man may be seene: that is, that Christ may be glorified. So the blinde man was said to bee blinde for the glory of God: So it may be said of the old Nature in man, of the death that hath gone over all mankind; therefore it is that God may be glorified, that is, may shew his power in renuing it: Therefore, as Christ said to Mary, Did not I say to thee beleeve? Beleeve only, and thou shalt see the power and glory of God: So say I to every one of you; only beleeve, that is, goe to God, beseech him, and give not over, and be­leeve that he is able and willing to doe it, and he will not deny thee, hee will raise thee from the dead, h [...]e will change that old nature of thine, and know it is no small matter to beleeve, he can doe it; Lord, saith he, If thou wilt, thou canst make [Page 117] mee cleane. It was a great matter to say so: Exa­mine thy selfe, and see if it be so with thee, canst thou say to Christ, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst heale this nature and disposition of mine? Men are discouraged when they see sinne hath got ground of them, they have had a long com­b [...]te with it, and cannot overcome it. It is an hard thing to goe to Christ and say, Lord, thou ca [...]st make me whole; but thou must beleeve, for he can doe it, and doth it daily, therefore goe to him, beg earnestly of him, and he will change this nature of thine, and make thee a New Creature.

Againe,Vse 5. Feare not fal­ling away. fifthly, if we have another nature, then doe not feare falling away, for when a man is made a New Creature once, he hath an­other nature, if Grace were nothing but a thing infused, an adventitious qualitie, that did onely adhere to us, wee might lose it againe, but ha­ving another nature, never feare that thou canst be changed to the contrary, for thou hast ano­ther Nature. Indeed you may goe thus farre, you may lose Florem (as we say) but not Radi­cem [...] actum, but not Potentiam, you may lose the Flower, the Branches may be cut downe, but life remaines in the Root; you may lose the Act, but not the power, you may lose the de­grees; you may lose it Gradualiter, not Totaliter. And lastly, you may lose the sense, you may have Gratiam sine sensu gratiae, you may lose the sense of it, but not the thing; you may lose the use, the Roo [...] and s [...]bstance you cannot; you [Page 118] may lose the degree, not the whole: that is, when you are once a member of Christ, there may be a benumming, that may hinder the in­fluence of bloud and spirits, but so as it shall ne­ver be gangred, it shall never die againe; there may be a cloud on you, but the Sunne shall ne­ver set on you.

Object.But, you will object, Grace of it selfe is of a mutable nature; for that which is subject to decay in part, is subject to decay in the whole. Againe, it is a Creature, and every Creature is subject to perish. Againe, we see that the An­gels and Adam in Paradise had grace as true as we, yet they fell from it?

Answ.I answer, It is true; Grace of it selfe may perish, it is possible, it may die, for it is a Crea­ture, and may perish as well as any other, con­sidered in it selfe, but if we consider it as united and joyned to CHRIST IESVS, so it can­not faile you; for, you must know, Grace in eve­ry mans heart, is like light in the aire, and like water in the Cisterne: Now it is true, if the Sun set, the light will vanish, and if the Spring should drie up the water, the River would drie up too: but seeing the Sunne never sets, that is, Christ never departs from you, when hee hath taken you to himselfe, and seeing the Spring never dries up, though Grace of it selfe be of a muta­ble nature, yet by reason of that conjunction with him, it can never be altered, and thence it is that you cannot fall off. It is true, if we were cut off from Christ, Grace should wither, as the [Page 119] Branch being cut off from the Root, but being knit to him, the Sap must be in the Branches, because it is in the Root, and life will be in the members, because it is in the Head: therefore, we say, no man can fall from Grace, because he cannot be cut off, once on, and never off, once his, and never separated againe, as Rom. 8. The Apostle goes through variety of things, that may seeme to bee able to separate us, but no­thing can, and seeing nothing can separate you, you shall have alway Sap, that is, Grace, it shall never be taken from you, when once you have it. So that, if a member may be cut off from Christs body, it might perish and die, but as Christ dies no more, so every one in Christ dies no more; Rom. 6.9. Christ dies no more, so every one in him dies no more: that is, he lives as Christ lives: Therefore, if there can be no disjunction from Christ, thou mayest comfort thy selfe, thou shalt have grace for ever. Therefore com­fort your selves, my Brethren, with these words, Doe you regard an Inheritance above a Lease, because an Inheritance is a constant thing? Doe you regard Pearles above Flowers, because they will not wither? Why then doe you not get Grace, which is so constant a thing. Be not discouraged, give not over your fight; for, see­ing Grace shall never have an end in you, you shall be sure to overcome, you may have many an hard bickering, but you are sure to hold out. Discouragement is a great meanes to make a man sit still; I shall never get victory over my [Page 120] sinnes, and then I shall be cut off. No, it is im­possible, when it is once planted, it shall grow, thou shalt have the victory.

Vse 6.Sixthly, if comming to Christ, we shall have another nature,Be not discou­raged with the difficultie of any duty. then be not discouraged to set upon so holy a worke. Indeed, if this necessity were laid on thee, to serve God in newnesse of life with an old heart, it were an hard taske, and very intollerable, thou hadst reason to sit down and never attempt it. But this is for comfort, Thou shalt have another nature. All difficultie ariseth from disproportion, betweene the facul­tie and the object, or the thing to be done. As for a man of a shallow understanding, to be put to study an hard thing, the difficulty is, there is no proportion betweene his understanding and the burthen of the thing: lay a great burthen on a childe, and he cannot beare it, but were he as strong as the burthen, it were nothing. If God should impose on thee newnesse of life, and suf­fer thee to keepe thy old nature, it were an hard taske, and thou wilt never performe it, thou wilt find that difficulty in it by reason of the dispro­portion betweene thy nature and the duty; but seeing thou shalt have another nature, be not discouraged, goe on with comfort, and remem­ber that the best nature in the world, if God change it not, will not serve the turne. And the worse nature, if thou thinkest thou hast a worse nature than others, if hee will change it, hee is able to do it, with readinesse and facility, there­fore be not discouraged

[Page 121]Againe, if thy nature be changed, thou must be comforted: Comfort your selves in this, that you have another nature (and so wee will end this point) for it is a very great comfort,Vse 7. A change of nature is a ground of comfort. a comfort beyond that which perhaps you ima­gine, for the Saints are too slow, too backward to consider their consolations, their priviledges, the glorious condition they are in: therefore glory in that, comfort thy selfe in that, that thou hast another nature given thee.

But,Quest. you will say, what benefit have I by that?

I will not stand on it,Answ. but name one place, Iames 1.18. He hath begot us againe with the Word of truth, that we should be a kinde of first fruits of his Creatures: that is, he hath given us another Nature: And what doe wee get by that? By this meanes you are made Primitiae, the first fruits of his Creatures.

There are two things in that, when wee are said to be first fruits, we are the creame and the prime of all his Creatures, as the first fruits were the creame of all the field, the top of all the Creatures of God; and is not that a glori­ous condition that Nature puts us into, that be changed, that it will make you the highest in that kinde, this is a great priviledge: there is a wonderfull difference between Angels and De­vils, one is the top, and the other is the bottom, all the difference is only this, New Nature: there­fore, when thou hast a New Nature, thou art put into an high and glorious condition, and [Page 122] this is the first sense, that wee are New Crea­tures.

Then there is another, by being the first fruits, you sanctifie the whole field; all the world fares the better for you; for the first fruits are, not only the best, but they sanctifie all the rest, that is, all mankind receives good from you.

When Lot was out of Sodome, it was set on fire, when the Israelites were once out of the Red-sea, the waters returned and drowned Pha­raoh: So Gods children sanctifie the whole lumpe: therefore you have a great priviledge by being New Creatures: So much for this, that you must have another Nature.

Observ. 3.Now the next point is, there must be a New­nesse, Whosoever is in Christ, It must be a new Creature. Consectaries thence. let him bee a New Creature: From thence many things are to bee gathered; As first, if wee must be New Crea­tures, then are we redeemed from old customes,That we are redeemed from old Cu­stomes. there is a lingring in our nature after that wee have beene long accustomed to doe, old haunts are very prevalent. Custome is as an Iron chain, to tye us to the things that are evill. Now thou must be a New Creature, Old Customes are such as Christ died to redeeme thee from, Even from the vaine conversation you have received from your Fathers. Therefore, you that are held in any by-wayes, remember that you are bound to be New Creatures, and take heed that custome prevaile not with you; for it is exceeding pre­valent, because it is pleasant, as what a man is [Page 123] long accustomed to, is very pleasant, for cu­stome breeds another nature, and what is so su­table to us, as things connaturall with us, and what are so, are very pleasant?

A man will be loath to come out of a thing which he hath much been accustomed to;Custome hath many advanta­ges against us. First, it wins off our Iudgements,It gaines up­on our judge­ments. off our opinions, and that is the reason why young men are not able to judge, and other men that are accustomed to evill courses have judged already, and will not judge againe; and by this meanes custome pre­vailes exceedingly, for it is not onely pleasant, but it wins off our Iudgement.

Againe,It is trou­blesome to al­ter it. it is exceeding troublesome to change, when a man is accustomed in a thing, it is easie to continue in that course, but to goe out is troublesome.

And againe,We plead for it. wee thinke it a disparagement, what have wee lived thus long, thus many yeares together in this tract, and shall I now change it?

And which is worse than all the rest:It breeds Senselesnesse. Cu­stome breeds a senselesnesse; Take heed that you be not hardned through the deceitfulnesse of sinne: that Custome takes not away all sense; Consue­tudo peccandi tollit sensum peccati; It is not an easie thing to leave an old custome; but remember, that if you be in Christ, you must be New Creatures: He shed his bloud to redeeme you from sinne, that is, hee hath paid a deare price to redeeme you from the bondage of customes, from your old Conversation; therefore doe not say you have [Page 124] long done it, and will doe it still, Ant [...]qua consue­tudo, is nothing else but vetustas erroris: Men doe excuse their evill actions from their custome in them, but know it is no good excuse, to excuse second errours with a former.

Doest thou thinke it a good excuse to say, I have done it thus long, and therefore will doe it still? Yeeld not to it, but know, thou oughtest to be changed, have this still in thy minde, thou must have a new Nature, thou art redeemed from thy old customes: And this I speake not only to the old, but to the young. I call it old, not because men have long continued in it, but because it is sutable to the old nature. You should therefore rather make a contrary use of it, and be ready to say, seeing I have continued in such a course so long, it is time for me to al­ter; it is enough and too much that I have spent so much time amisse, I have suffered Christ to want, and knocke till his head be wet with the dew, he shall wait no longer, I will now open to him; for therefore are we New Creatures, that wee may bee redeemed and freed from these old customes.

Consect. 2.Secondly, if thou must be New, then let it not seeme strange to thee,Wonder not that the world wonders at thee. that the world won­ders at thee; for any thing that is new, wee are apt to wonder at, as at new Stars that have not appeared before, and at new fashions. This is the condition of all Saints to be wondred at, I and the children whom thou hast given mee, are as signes and wonders in Israel. If it were among [Page 125] Turkes it were another matter, but it is so in Israel.

Be not discouraged for this, make account of it, the world will wonder at New Creatures, and let it not seeme strange; for when thou knowest that all the world lyes in wickednesse, as in the 1 Ioh. 5.19. And knowest that thou art a New Creature, why wilt thou be discouraged? Let the Mathematitian be working according to his Art, he drawes lines according to his Rule, if a Country-man laugh at him, will he give over, and be discouraged? He will not doe so, for he knowes it is the mans ignorance: so if thou ap­provest thy selfe to God, if thou keepest a good conscience in all things, towards God, and towards men, the world will wonder at it, yet thou goest by Rule, it is their ignorance, it seemes strange to them, and therefore they speake evill; It is the multitude that doth it, and the multitude doth alway cast shame on that, which shames them: know it is the fashion of the world to do so, the life of the Saints is a secret censure, now there is no way for the world to helpe them­selves, but to blemish that which shames them, to cast shame on that, to blemish that as much as can be.

Therefore the old world doth put away all, that may discover them: As the Painter when he had pictured a Cocke very ill, commands his Boy to drive away all true Cockes from the picture; for, saith he, if they come neere it, all men will see what a bungler I am, but if [Page 126] no true Cockes come neere, it may passe well enough: After this manner doth the world, As long as no New Creature comes neere, their oldnesse is not seene, it is not taken notice of, they doe well enough, but if there be one in a Countrey or Towne, or one of a Societie, whose course is of another fashion, that hath another life, that is, a New Creature, when he stands by, the old will appeare, and they will have it driven away: I would the times were not such as that I need presse this.

Indeed it is a great weaknesse to be discoura­ged in the wayes of God, and to be ashamed of that which should be our glory. It hath alway beene the manner of the world, and that may comfort thee; for the world is as the Sea that casts out Pearles, but this is thy comfort, some will gather them up, some know them to bee Pearles, and prize them so, though the world casts them out as mud, yet the Lord knowes what thou art, The world loves her own, but what is not like themselves, the world cannot love; as the Aethiopians picture Angels blacke and Devils white; so doth the old world, what is blacke like themselves, they reckon beautifull, but they that have the true beauty they ho­nour not, because they are not like them.

Therefore, if thou findest ill entertainment in the world, thou must know, every New Creature shall have it: And let me say this of the old world, that are ready to cast shame on the New Creatures, you say you doe it not to [Page 127] the New Creatures, not to them that are reli­gious, but you doe it to Hypocrites: Let me say thus much to you before I passe this point. Those men whom of all others you may thinke not to be New Creatures, may be the best men; as a Philosopher answered, and it was a wise an­swer, when an ignorant man asked him, who was an happy man, whereas men reckon Kings and Princes happy men? He answered, Hee that of all others, thou thinkest most happy, may bee most unhappy; and hee whom thou thinkest most unhappy, may be most happy: So those that be disliked for the most part, are these New Creatures, and those men spoke well of, are of another stocke, like themselves.

Thirdly,Consect. 3. if we must be New Creatures, then pull downe all that is old;Pull downe all that is old. for whatsoever is old must be rejected, a man must in every thing be another man than hee was: So as thou mayest say, I had such a lust, such a disposition, my de­light was in such things, such men, such compa­ny; now I am changed, all is made new. So that thy businesse is to pull downe now, and to build up, that is the businesse of every man to be still plucking downe the old building, whatso­ever is old, whatsoever is in thy selfe, in thy old selfe, thou must be emptied off, and thou must be new, that is, Thou must purge out the old leaven, 1 Cor. 5.7. Purge out the old leaven, for Christ your Passeover is offered: If that was to be done for the shadow, must it not bee done for the substance. The Apostle presseth it so, Purge out all the old [Page 128] leaven, all must be purged, all old things must bee taken away; there was a strait charge that they must search their houses, yea, every cor­ner of their cup-boord, not any place should be left unsearched, and it was to be done exact­ly, that in the least corner there should be no lea­ven left: So thou must search all the corners of thy heart, all the turnings of thy conversation, the old leaven must be purged out of all, out of thy understanding, out of thy tongue, there must be no more thy old speech and language, out of thine eyes, there must be no more wantonnesse; out of thine eares, every part of the old man, of the old leaven, must be purged out of the whole Soule, there is no question of that, and of thy body too; all the manner of conversation must be holy; all old leaven must be purged out, be­cause it is old leaven; and you must keepe the Passeover with that which is new, with new dough, with the New Creature.

For Sinne is like old leaven, now leaven when it is old is the worst, as every thing gets strength from their age, and it is of that nature, that if they doe not purge it out, it will leaven the whole lumpe: If there be any jot of leaven left, it shall sower all thy heart. Sinne is like a fretting le­prosie that will runne over all; So leaven is strong, it sowres quickly and speedily.

Object.But, you will say, How shall I doe that, then I shall be free from all sinne?

Answ.The meaning is, thou must dislike all, Sinne must be put out of possession, it must be emptied [Page 129] forth, thou must be in warre with it all, that is, thou must resist all, if any be not purged out, that thou sufferest it to lye quietly without re­sisting, it will leaven the whole, therefore purge all out.

But must all the old building bee pulled downe;Quest. Is there nothing to be left there? what shall we doe with our naturall dispositions?

You must know,Answ. that only the oldnesse is to be taken away, but the nature it selfe is to conti­nue, there is much use of nature, only you must know, grace takes away the obliquity, the old­nesse, the sowrenesse of it, and puts a sweetnesse into it. As a ship under saile, the wind is pro­fitable to drive the ship, else it will not goe, all the matter is in the Rudder, that it be turned the right way. So Nature, the strength of nature, affections, or whatsoever they be, are like the wind to drive the ship, thou mayst retaine them, only godlinesse must sit at the Sterne, the obli­quity must be taken away, the nature must be left, thou must so pull downe the old building, that the same materials may be used againe, the naturall affections may continue in thee still, but there must be another Auriga, another to drive them, and that is this Newnesse.

For example, a man is naturally sad, he may continue this, the oldnes of that is, that it spends it selfe in earthly sorrow and worldly discon­tent, when grace comes, when the new man comes, it powres it selfe forth in Prayer, Is any man sad? Let him pray.

[Page 130]So it may be thou art naturally merry, grace takes not away this disposition, but whereas be­fore it was spent in vanity; now he that is merry sings Psalmes; Let him that is merry sing Psalmes; that is, a mans merrinesse is turned to an holy cheerefulnesse, the dissolutenesse is taken away, but the disposition continues still: Religio est lae­ta; though not, dissoluta. So it may be thou art of a facile nature, before it was to evill, thou wast ready to be drawne away by evill, when grace comes, thou must be facile to good. It may be thou hast a sturdy disposition, full of metall, and courage, whereas before it was to attempt evill things with much violence, now it is set on good enterprizes with as much zeale, so there is nothing to be pulled downe, onely the oldnesse must be taken away▪

The end of the Fifth Sermon.

THE SIXTH SERMON VPON THE NEW CREATVRE.

2 COR. 5.17.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, let him be a new Creature.

AGaine,Consect 4. if wee must be New Creatures,Wonder not at the uneven­n [...]sse which is found in the lives of the b [...]st men. if that must be the condition of every man to have another new man be­gun in him; then wonder not at the unevennesse which is found in the lives of the best of the Saints. For, if there be something new, and something old, (as there is) there must [Page 132] needs be an unevennesse, as where there be two contrary Principles, moving two contrary wayes, the body must needs bee moved with some unevennesse, and unequality: therefore be not discouraged, for that you are not perfect in all things, you have something new in you, and something old; only take heed you be not mi­staken in it. For there is a great difference be­tweene the unevennesse befalling the Saints, which are New Creatures, and the unevennesse in the wayes of the wicked, there is a great dif­ference betweene the failings that they are sub­ject to, who are upright hearted, and betweene the failings of them that are rotten and not sound at heart.

Object.You will aske, how I shall know the dif­ference?

Answ.This is the difference:

Difference be­tween uneven­nesse in the Saints, and in the wicked.There be some men whom Saint Iames com­plaines of in his first Chapter, that are unstable in all their wayes, and in the sixt Chapter of Saint Matthew, that have not a single eye: If the eye be single, all the body is light; but if the eye bee double, all the body is full of darknesse: That is, there are causes why men walke unevenly, one is because they are as in bivio, hey know not which way to choose, they are yet in doubt what to pitch on; as a man standing betweene two objects, and not knowing which way to choose, but sometimes will be with one, some­times with the other, according as his different temper guides him, he will not pitch resolutely [Page 133] on either: So it is a double eye, because of the objects; it looks on two objects, now on one, and now on another; now it is carried this way, now that way. This is a thing every where condem­ned in the Scripture; but there is difference be­tweene this and a single eye, that hath one ob­ject, that hath chosen God for his God, but followes him with much weaknesse, with much imperfectnesse; this man hath a single eye, and hath pitched on God; another hath two things in his eye, One thing I doe desire, saith David, and one thing will I seeke for, &c. And I have chosen to runne the way of thy Commandements. So all the Saints, one thing they desire which they pitch on, they have resolved to serve God with a perfect heart; another man is unresolved and knowes not which to choose, therefore is to and fro, off and on, now very forward, and then backward, religious in a good mood, and then off againe. This you must take heed of, for here you ought to be discouraged, this is not our meaning when we say you must not be discouraged for your unevennesse.

But how shall I know it,Object. a little further?

By this,Answ. if your eye be single, that you have chosen that one way, that you have pitched on it, that you bee more than in Aequilibrio, where the ballances hang even, you shall know it by this, the fa [...]lings of the Saints are never in that degree that theirs are, that have not sound hearts, that is, such a man though he serve God for a fit, yet when he is off again, he is like a man [Page 134] in a maske, he is no more the same man he was, but there is a broad alteration betweene what he was before, and what he is now. The Saints in their worst state have a tincture of holinesse, a threed of skarlet runs thorow their whole lives, after they are once changed, they never fall in that degree, they have a seed in them that will never let them goe so farre.

Object.But, you will say, this is a notion, how shall we see it by experience?

Answ.Thus they never lye so long when they fall into a sinne, they are not well, and they shew it by resisting againe, they cannot continue in it: for there is a certaine reluctance against it, that raises them againe, they fall sometimes into ill company, sometimes into wayes of wicked­nesse, sometimes into deadnesse of spirit; but they are not content with this, they are like men out of their owne element. Another man for the fits of his religion is out of his element, and is never well till he be setled in his owne Cen­ter againe: you see it by Saul, Saul had very good fits when he persecuted David, surely he was in good earnest when he said, he would do it no more, and David was more righteous than he, he wept, and his heart melted, but he was sicke of it, he was out of his element. The Saints have certaine fits, but they are sicke of sinne, the other are sicke of the goodnesse and godlinesse which they have, and are never well, till they bee set at liberty againe, that they may walke againe in their old wayes, so [Page 135] there is great difference in their degrees.

Againe, such a man, saith Saint Iames, is unsta­ble in all his wayes, that is, a man whose heart is upright, there is some inequability to be found in his life, some unevennesse, yet it is but now and then, and by accident as it were, because the graces hee hath bee true, and good, and though sometimes he falls, it is but by accident. Take a true drugge, and a false and counterfeit drugge; when ever you will put a false drug to triall, it will not worke. Take a drugge that the Apothecary gives you, it may have the colour and smell of a true one, it may be you cannot tell how to find it out, but in working you may, if it be false it workes not: So take a Bow that is rotten, draw an arrow to the head, and it is sure to breake; this similitude the Scripture useth, They started aside like a broken Bow, that is, when I put you to triall, you fly backe, for you are rotten: So those that are not sound, it is not their stability that makes them goe on in the wayes of God for a time, but want of tempta­tion to put them to it. Put Iudas to it, put Saul to it, and you shall quickly find them: But take a true drugge, ordinarily it workes well, but by accident it may not worke: A good Bow may be broken, by accident; so a grace that is true and right, may sometimes faile of working. I cannot better expresse it, than by this simili­tude: Take a ship bound to a certaine Haven, it pitches there, the Compasse is set the right way, but it may bee carried away by crosse [Page 136] winds, yet there is a certaine Haven which it tends to: So there is a certaine Haven, which all the Saints of God goe to, howsoever they are transported by temptations and lusts, yet the Compasse stands the right way: Another is carried aside by uncertaine winds, (for that is a Scripture similitude) that is, there is the wind of a good mood carrying them towards God, let them bee turned, they goe another way, they are not bound to a certaine Haven, they are not pitcht, the others are carried aside by accident, sometimes they mistake the way, sometimes they fall, and slip in the way, but that is their journey they travell to heaven.

Last of all, those that are uneven; out of falsenesse of heart, and not weaknesse of grace, they never bring forth fruit. I finde that to be the Scriptures Rule in the eight Chapter of Saint Luke, in the Parable of the Seed, you shall see, it is said of the three grounds, which went furthest of the three, that it brought not forth fruit; for the thornes grew up, that is, the world and the pleasures of divers lusts, and choaked it; so these men bring not forth fruit.

Object.But, you will say, they doe bring forth fruit, doe they not do many actions in good moods? may not an hypocrite goe farre? may he not have many blossomes?

Answ.Yes, but they are but blossomes, there is something greene, but they are but blades, the corne never comes to earing, that is, they are never ripe: now a thing must be ripe before it [Page 137] can be called good fruit, they never bring forth ripe fruit, that is, fruit indeed; they bring forth sowre grapes, Esay 5. I did thus and thus to my Vineyard, and it brought forth wilde grapes; it may be, to mens seeming they be as good as any, they may looke as well as the best, but taste them and they are sowrest, there is not any fruit, that is only the property of the last ground, to bring forth fruit with patience. Now it is true of all the Saints, though they bee weake, yet they bring forth fruit, and true, and ripe, and pleasant fruit, such as God delights to eat of; Come let us walke in the Garden, and ga­ther some fruit, as in Cant. The other bring not forth fruit. Take the best action they doe, be­ing rightly examined, it is not good, there is something there that marres it; and God sees this, they may be very faire in the eye of man, but they are abominable in Gods sight. There­fore, if thou have a New nature, be not discou­raged for thy unevennesse, which the best of the Saints are liable to.

Againe,Consect. 5. this is another Consectary from this point,Expect a com­bate. and we may put these two together, because they are two Branches comming from the same Root: If there be another new Na­ture put into us, then expect a combate; for certainly new and old will not agree together; you cannot put two contraries together, but there must needs be a fighting, there must be a contention: therefore expect that, and know you are not right; there is no new Nature there, [Page 138] except you finde such a controversie within.

But, you will say, this is not so sure a signe, for before this I found many a combate;Object. and doe not Heathen men expresse what reluctance they have had? Have not civill men, carnall men, and men ignorant of the wayes of God, a great conflict many times, betweene the consci­ence checking them within, and the actions they doe?

Answ.I answer, It is true, but there is a great diffe­rence betweene the Combate,Differences betweene the combate in the New Creature, and that fight that seemes to be in naturall men. that is, betweene the New Nature, and the remainders of the old, and betweene the naturall conscience, those glimmerings, those sparkes, those good desires which even they may have that are not sanctified, for you shall finde all these dif­ferences.

1 First, in them that are sound, there is alia se­des belli, there is another seat of the warre: for where before it was in the conscience, it is now throughout the whole soule, there is a difference in the Subject, every faculty is set against it selfe; because before, the light was shut up within the walls of conscience, but it was not shed into the whole soule, it lay glowing as a Sparke there, but it was imprisoned, you im­prisoned the truth, and would let it goe no fur­ther; but now it sheeds into the soule, what the understanding knowes, is infused into the will, and all the affections; so there is a generall change, and when the change is generall, the combate must needs be generall; the combate [Page 139] must now be in every part, whereas before it was but in one.

Againe, there is a difference in successe, for 2 in the contention betweene the conscience and the rest of the soule, the conscience still loses, and the other gets the victory: But in the other, alwayes the new man prevailes; The House of David prevailes against the House of Saul: There must needs be warres betweene two contraries, but the House of David growes stronger: So, by which our Divines use to resembe this, Iacob got the better in the end: So there is a different successe, the new man out-wrestles the flesh. Sometimes a man is foiled, but we doe not say a man hath lost the battell because he hath a wound, or a foile, or hath beene beaten backe a little, he hath got the victory that wins it in the end, and that is the case of all the Saints.

Thirdly, there is difference in the object 3 about which the controversie is. The common nature hath but a common light, therefore sees but grosse sinnes, as our eyes see only starres of a greater magnitude, when a man hath a glim­mering light, things that be great and conspi­cuous he discernes, that is all he doth. A natu­rall mans contention is about sinnes of a great nature, because light goes no further; but in them that be sanctified, a cleare light come in­to the house, and shines as thorow a glasse in a cleare day, where you doe not onely see the great heapes of dirt and dust, but the smallest mote; the others doe not see the moathes, be­cause [Page 140] they have not that peculiar light, therefore they are never troubled about motes: So the contention differs in the object; the Saints con­tention is about small things, about the very manner of doing holy duties, about the inward turnings of the affections, about the sanctified­nesse of them about ill thoughts, they have a pe­culiar light; this doth not put out common light, but makes you see more than you did be­fore; there be many hundred sinnes now, which you never saw to be sinnes before. Had not Paul a new light? Before, he had not considered that lust was sinne, but afterwards he knew it: In the Saints, the affections wherewith they performe holy duties, yea, their affection to their ill affe­ctions, the controversie is about that.

4 Last of all, there is difference in the continu­ance; this contention of the naturall conscience lasts, but for a time, but it being betweene the old Nature, and new, it continues to the end, it is never given over, others may be in controver­sie for a fit, but hold not out, because the cause of controversie continues not, it is worne out and overcome, but in a new Nature, when it be­gins it lasts for ever, there is no end: So you see there is difference. If then you have new Na­tures, expect a combate; yea, so as if you have it not,Consect. 6. Thinke it not strange that you finde some aukednesse in the wayes of God at first. be sure there is no new Nature there.

The sixth Consectary, that I will deliver to you, is, that if you must be New, then let it not seeme strange to you, though you finde a little aukednesse in the waies of godlinesse at the first; [Page 141] for new things are a little troublesome, sudden changes are so, when the thing is New. Be not discouraged, it is that you must expect, and re­member that custome will make it pleasant, when you are used to it a little. Therefore com­plaine not, lay not aside the Armour of God, because it is a little heavie and ungainsome at the first; as David, who would not goe in Sauls armour, because he was not accustomed to it; lay it not aside when thou art accustomed to it, thou wilt beare it well enough. Custome makes the worst things, even grievous things pleasant, how much more, when one fals on that which is good indeed? Therefore you must know, this is the nature of the burthen of Christs Com­mandements which he calls a burthen, the more you beare it, the lighter it is, and there is good reason for it, because indeed it is not a burthen to the new man, but a delight, though to the flesh it is a burthen, the longer you beare it, the better it is: If you reckon it a burthen, as it seemes to be at the beginning; yet remember it is, as Physike is, a burthen to a sicke man; you know a sicke man reckons it a burthen to take physike, and eat wholsome meats, but it is that that takes away the disease: So is godlinesse, it is a burthen as Physike is, and as wholesome diet is, but it partly heales, and partly streng­thens: therefore the longer you goe in his wayes, the lesse burthensome they will be, the disease will be taken away: As the more phy­sike and wholesome meat, the more the disease [Page 142] is weakned, and the man strengthned. This de­ceives us (and take heed of being deceived) we think we must be tied from drinke, and have the dropsie still, and have our feaver stil, we thinke, we must eat wholesome meats, and be sick still, it is impossible it should be so, you must know therefore, that the dropsie is healed, and then what if abstinence be commanded? you must know that sicknesse is cured, and health is come in the roome; then what matter is it, if you are bound to these duties? they are burthensome before, they will not be now. Therefore be not discouraged, the insolence, the uncouthnesse, the unaccustomednesse of a thing makes it usually burthensome. It is not so with the wayes of wickednesse, they are pleasant in the beginning, but bitternesse in the latter end: but the wayes of godlinesse, though they are a little auke and hard at the first, yet they are pleasant in the end, and you must be content to endure a little pains (as we say) Qui fugit molam, fugit farinam: If you will not take paines at the mill, you shall not have any meale; if you will not take a little paines at the beginning, you shall want the fruit of it: therefore be content with it, that you may have the fruit. A man doth not say, because a new sute, or a new paire of shooes is hard at first putting on; therefore I will goe in ragges, but he saith, the new is better than the old, and after I have worne it a while, it will be more easie. So be sure the wayes of God will be as easie as pleasing, yea, more pleasing than any [Page 143] thing, for they are jucunda per se, pleasing in their owne nature, others are pleasing to this or that humour, to this or that case: now this is a true rule, whatsoever is so, per se, is alwayes so. So thou shalt finde this new man more easie and pleasant, for thou shalt finde it to be so at all times, it is a continuall feast pleasing in all con­ditions. Take all other things that please thy nature, it is but when thou hast such a lust, such an humour in such a time, it is not so at all times, it is not a continuall feast.

But,Object. you will say, I find it not so, I find that since I began this new course, I have more trou­ble and perplexity of mind than I had before, I was quiet before, and all at rest?

I answer,Answ. it may be so, but stay a while till the Sonne of Grace hath got higher, till it hath got more strength, and thou shalt find it able to disperse those vapours, and to scatter all those clouds. It is true at the beginning, there is but strength enough to move them, to raise them a little; but when it hath more strength, they are scattered and dispersed: therefore though there be a little hardnesse at the first, yet goe on, and thou shalt finde it pleasant. The Heathen man could say, Elige vitam optimam, & consuetudo fa­ciet jucundam: Chuse the good way, and though it be hard at the first, afterwards it will be the more easie. If we appointed you a new worke without a new heart, it were another case, but you must know what we said before, you shall have a new Nature, and being so, it will be [Page 144] pleasant, because the wayes of God will be su­table to it. So much likewise for this.

Consect. 7. Give God the praise of chan­ting thy Na­ture.Last of all, if we must be made New Crea­tures, then give God the praise of that great worke, of changing old men into new men; I say, give him the praise of it, for he lookes for that at your hands. Will you magnifie him for healing a lame man, a blind man (for they were true maladies, and he was worthy of praise for them) and is he not worthy to be magnified for changing the whole Nature, for altering the whole frame of it? Are the cures of the soule lesse than the cures of the body? What if Christ should now make the lame to walke, the blinde to see, to take away the blindnesse of the mind, to heale the sicknesse of the soule, to make a man a New Creature: Is not this a worke of an higher Nature? When the Centurion saw the Veile of the Temple rent, he said, Surely this was the Sonne of God: So when thou shalt see the Course of Nature turned, that old Nature of thine rent to peeces, be ready to say, Surely this was the Sonne of God: Shall we say Christ was God for turning water into w [...]ne, and shall we not give him the praise of his power, when we see him turne one Creature into another? ma­king Lions Lambes, making you New Crea­tures? This is a turning of the course of Na­ture, is not your Nature carried as violently to sinne, as the Sunne in his course? And to turne it, is as much as to stay the Sunne in his course; It is no lesse to make you New Creatures: No [Page 145] man considers it, therefore let me put you in minde what it is, for this is a thing you should marke.

Therefore Iohn Baptist gives this signe of Christ, by which he might be distinguished from himselfe, and all men, I baptize you with water, but when he comes, he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire, that is, when that is done, be assured that the Sonne of God is come in the flesh. This is the great miracle that Iohn will have them attend unto; and is not this dai­ly done? Doth not Christ baptize us with fire and with the Holy Ghost? Therefore you shall see what answer he gives to Iohn Bapt. when he would know, Art thou he, or looke we for another? Goe and tell Iohn the blinde see, the lame walke, and the poore receive the Gospell, that is, I have made them New Creatures: This is put with the other miracles of healing the blinde and lame. It is true we that live, see not this done, the blind to see, or the lame to goe, yet we see men receive the Gospell, that is, are regenerate by the Go­spell, are made New Creatures: This is a thing we should hearken to; as it was a great sinne in them in Christs time, to neglect the miracles he did; so it is with us when wee neglect this. Therefore Christ takes up Nichodemus, when he tells him that men must be made New Crea­tures; he wondering at it, saith, what dost thou meane by that? Christ saith, what wilt thou doe, when I tell thee of things in heaven, if thou wilt not beleeve, when I tell thee of earthly [Page 146] things: The meaning is this, Regeneration is a thing done on earth (that is the meaning of the place) this you see before your eyes, this you have experience of, if you will not beleeve this, how will you beleeve things that are remote from your eyes? that are shut up from you, which you have no experience of, but only that I tell you, and therefore you ought to beleeve me? Therefore, when you see New Creatures, argue thus with your selves, Certainly there is a renewing God, and a renewing Spirit, that is, there is a Redeemer; for as by the common creatures, which you see, you know there is a Creator (as, opus monstrat efficientem) if you see a creature, then you know there is a Creator, then why should not that renewing of Christ, his exercising that act of renewing among the sonnes of men, put you in minde of glorifying Go [...] and of giving you the praise of it? When C [...] [...]t wrought miracles, you shall finde what different successe they had, saith the Text in more places than one, (therefore I need not quote it) some of the people glorified God, when they saw such a thing done, others envied, some glorified God, others went and told the Phari­sies. You shall see when Lazarus was raised from the dead, some beleeved and glorified God, others went to the Pharisies: Now, I say, when you see this done, (for this is the greatest miracle, and all the miracles that is now left) that men are made New Creatures, and it is done before your eyes, if you will see it; (as [Page 147] Christ said) Hee that hath eares, let him heare. Take heed how you looke on it, consider with what eye, God never makes a New Creature, but when men looke on it, there is a different judgement; some there are that magnifie it, and desire to be made so likewise, that make this use of it, and so you ought to doe, surely there is vertue in the Spirit, a vertue in Grace, an effi­cacie in the Word; surely these be the ministers and servants of the most high God. This you ought to doe; but on the other side, how many hundreds and thousands are there that doe as they did, when they saw the miracles, they en­vied? Yea, as they did with Lazarus, When the Iewes saw that, for Lazarus sake, many went away, and beleeved on him, they consulted how to put La­zarus to death: That is the fashion of the world, when they see New Creatures, men regenerate, that holinesse and purity of godlinesse shines forth in their lives, and when that causes others to goe away, and that, for that they will be­leeve on Christ, they will doe as they did with Lazarus, they will have him put to death, that is, they will have him removed out of the way, they will have him taken, ex rerum natura. Take heed of this.

But,Object. you will say, If we knew they were New Creatures, we would not doe so?

It is very true,Answ. but doe you thinke, when they would have killed Iesus and Lazarus, they knew them to be so? They did not know Christ to be the Lord of life, the Scripture saith so. A­gaine, [Page 148] they thought Lazarus to be an Impostor, it is likely they did, but it is taken for a persecu­tion of Christ. The Iewes that killed the Pro­phets, doe you thinke, they thought them to be Prophets when they slew them? Take heed of that, you know the danger of it, when IESUS CHRIST wrought miracles by the power of the Holy Ghost: No, say they, he doth it by Belzebub: Christ tells them, in this they bla­sphemed the Holy Ghost. When thou shalt see a man made a New Creature, when thou shalt see a man Regenerate, take heed of saying, this is guile, and cunning, and imposture, for it is done by the Spirit; take heed of blaspheming the Holy Ghost. It is a dangerous case: I say, when such things be done, wee should praise God, and glorifie GOD for it, labouring to come in our selves, and not looke on it with an eye of envie, and hatred, and distate. The dif­ferent effects Christs miracles had, such hath this: Our scope is, that you may glorifie God, and give him the praise of it, that when he hath done such a worke, you may say, this is the power of Grace, and the vertue of the Spirit. So much for this point, that you must be New Creatures, and so we have gone thorow three things, which were observed out of the words:

  • First, the inseparability betweene Iustifica­tion and Sanctification.
  • Secondly, the having of another Nature.
  • Thirdly, it must be New.

Observ. 4.Now the fourth is, it is a Creature wrought [Page 149] by God, for that Word is not in vaine, Whoso­ever is in Christ, let him be a New Creature: The New Creature is Gods worke.] The meaning is this; we are New Creatures, that is, it is God that worketh it in us, for Creation is proper to him, no Angell nor Creature under the Sunne can knit those things together, which have an infinite distance, as something, and no­thing; therefore it is proper to him, it is he that maketh us New Creatures, not that himselfe is the beginner, and something else perfects it, as some say, but Deus est causa totius entis, He is the beginner and ender, he makes us New.

And there is much reason,This is proved by foure Argu­ments for it cannot be otherwise, for if it were in our power, of our selves to come in:

First,Arg. 1. it will follow that the Saints in heaven should be no more beholding to God, than those that are condemned in hell: For, if God did give every man sufficient meanes of salvati­on, and I have taken it, and another refused it, whom may I thanke when I am in heaven, and another in hell, not God (for he gave the means equally) but my selfe, I tooke it, and another did not and so the love God shewes, it should be as much to the damned, as to the Saints, if he hath done on his part equally to both.

Againe,Arg. 2. it should not be God that makes the difference, but man, and so you may stand up and contradict what Paul saith, Who art thou that boastest, who hath put the difference? If man hath free will to take Grace, or refuse it, and if God hath given to all sufficient meanes, then, thou [Page 150] hast made the difference, God hath not.

Againe, if this were so, we must take away all Election and Reprobation;Arg. 3. for what is Ele­ction? Election is nothing else but this, God hath taken some to life, and makes them holy, as godlinesse is an effect of his Election, and the wickednesse of men is a fruit of their rejection: But now here would bee no Election, but a meere prejudication of a reward to the thing done only; but therefore God is said to have chosen us, because he makes us good; now by this you take that quite away.

Object.But, you will object, Why should there be those different kinds of working? We see in all other things, if there be an end propounded and sufficient motives, it is enough: and why should God give different objects? therefore they say, it is but as propounding of the bough to the sheepe, and the sheepe will follow: If God pro­pounds congruous objects to the faculties of the soule of man, he will come in.

Answ.But I answer it briefly, if he will come in for this congruity of objects, because a bough is propounded to him:

1 First, he must be a sheepe, before he will fol­low the bough: Now thou art a Wolfe by na­ture, first, therefore he must turne thy nature, God must turne thy voluntatem Lupinam into Agninam; therefore thou must have another na­ture before thou canst follow the bough.

2 Againe, thou must have an eye to see that bough, but we are blind by nature, and till God [Page 151] opens our eyes and inlightens us, we cannot see the excellencies of the waies of God, and there­fore we shall not follow it.

Againe, there must be strength to follow,3 but except God give thee strength, though thou shouldest see it, and see beauty in it too, thou wilt never follow it, to purpose, thou will never follow it to the end. Saul looked on it for a time, but not to the end, there must be a power of God to carry a man through all objects, all impediments to the end; therefore, No man can come to me (saith Christ) except my Father draw him: Not some men, but no man, though he have great meanes; he doth not say, will come, but can come; he doth not say, ex­cept my Father allure him with congruous ob­jects, but except my Father change his Nature; for drawing signifies a reluctance, and back­wardnesse in us.Arg. 4.

Goe to experience, you shall find it so; when we speake to men, it is true, we say, they be dead in sins and trespasses: Doe not men heare us as dead men? No man stirres up himselfe, they goe away as they came, and till God put life into them, they will not hearken to us.

Againe, how perverse are judgements of men? they see no excellencies in the wayes of God; therefore are apt to quarell and speake against them.

Againe, doe we not find our desires so pit­ched on present things, and our lusts so set upon them, that without an Almighty Power they [Page 152] cannot be loosed? Therefore Christ saith, It is impossible for a rich man, that is, one that sets his heart on riches, to enter into the kingdome of heaven. That place is as strong as any place in all the Booke of God, to shew that there is no freedome of will; It is impossible for a rich man; for a man that hath this one lust, (he might have said of any other lust) whose heart is set on ga­ming, on any other sinne, it is as impossible as for a Cable-rope to goe thorow the eye of a needle: But then (saith Peter) No man shall be saved: and indeed no man shall be saved, if there be no more than his owne strength, but God will put to his Almighty Power, to change his nature, to mortifie these lusts. Therefore, this we finde by experience, it is not a notion that men are not able to come in.

Object. 1.But, you will say, this is a discouraging do­ctrine, if God must doe all, what shall we doe? it teacheth every man to sit still?

Answ. 1.I answer, No, it will not teach men to sit still, because there is no man ever went about it, that ever found any impediment: Therefore he must know,Impediments of two sorts. what is an Impediment. Impedi­ments (when a man cannot doe a thing) are of two sorts: One is, when I see such a thing as I desire, but there is a doore lockt on me, and I cannot come at it, or I am fettered, and cannot goe to it, or it is in another mans hand, and I cannot get it out of his hand; here a man may complaine. The second Impediment is, when the thing lyes before thee, thou mayest have it, [Page 153] if thou wilt; every thing lyes ready, and simply it is because thou wilt not. Here now no man can complaine, saying, Why is there such an Impediment? Why may not I come in? Was there ever any man resolved with himselfe, I will live a godly life, if I can? No, it is not that, all the extrinsecal impediments are taken away, and all the matter is in thy will, thou refusest to come in, and wilt not walke in that way. Here ly­eth the Impediment.

Againe,Answ. 2. it is not a doctrine of discourage­ment; for, you must know, though God doth it by his Almighty Power, yet he workes in us, In modo intelligentium, He uses us in the worke, and he useth us after the manner of men; for every man doth Actus agere; he workes in us by propounding reasons, and arguments to move with all; thou understandest them, and knowest them: therefore it is as much as thou canst doe in the beginning to thinke, what reasons there are to move thee to goe in, to betake thy selfe to a godly course, and to change the old haunts thou hast lived in before.

Againe,Answ. 3. thou must keepe from the Impedi­ments, thou must keepe out of ill company, that destroyes this. Thou hast many good sparkes in thee, thou must blow them up, thou must lay thy selfe by the people, till the Angell comes, and moves the waters; there be many things thou must doe, and though the candle cannot light it selfe, yet, when it is lighted, it is but put­ting oyle to it, and wee may maintaine the [Page 154] flame: though thou canst not begin thy life, though thou canst not make thy selfe a living man, when thou art dead, yet, when there is life, thou mayest stirre, and move thy selfe, thou mayst eat and drink in strength of that life; when the fire is kindled we may maintaine it.

I say, we preach Free-will to the Regene­rate; for certainly, so much grace as they have, so much Free-will they have, for Free-will fol­lowes Grace, as the Shadow doth the Body; so farre as we are restored to Adams condition, so farre we have Adams Free-will.

Therefore we maintaine Free-will in the Re­generate, and as farre as thou art Regenerate, thou hast Free-will, thou mayest doe more than thou doest.

Therefore doe not sit downe and say, I can­not doe it, for thou mayest doe it; and if thou hast but a little strength, thou mayest improve and husband it, as well as any other talent, and it shall increase and grow in thee.

Object. 2.Last of all, you will say, But what use is there of this doctrine,To what use serveth this doctrine? to tell us that we are New Creatures, and God must make us New Crea­tures, and he must beget us by the Word of Truth?Answ.

To foure uses.What use is there of it?

Vse 1. To let us see that our con­dition in Christ is bet­ter than in Adam.Very great use. One great use of it is this, if we doe not thus hold with God, that we are dependant upon him, and know that it is he that wrought that worke, we should be but in the state of Adam. Now this is the great advantage [Page 155] we have by the Gospell, we have not a stocke in our owne hands, but are kept by the power of God to salvation. Otherwise, if it were true that we take Grace, and refuse it, according to liber­tie of will; you must know, this will conse­quently follow on it; if thou canst take it out of liberty of will, thou mayest let it goe againe: never any man holds one, but he holds the o­ther also; I say, thou may'st fall from it againe. Now, if thou mayest take it, and fall from it againe, thou art as Adam was; how miserable then is thy condition? But by this doctrine that we are in Christ, that Christ hath made us New Creatures, that the worke hath beene be­gun by him, and we are now committed to his keeping, we are in another condition than we had in Adam.

Againe,Vse 2. That it may appeare that God setteth us now about a worke, which he doth not in­able us to per­forme. there is this end of this doctrine: if this doctrine were not preached, thou wouldest goe about a worke, which thou wouldest never be able to performe; for, if thou hast this opini­on, I may doe it out of liberty of wil, thou wilt goe about a worke without strength, thou wilt goe about to leape over a great ditch with a short staffe. Now when a man will not seeke to God, the worke lyes undone: he that will not be strong by Gods strength, shal not be strong: when thou art taught, it is God that doth it, it will teach thee to goe to God and Christ, and pray them to doe it, and so the worke will be done to thine hand, which before could never have beene done.

[Page 156]Againe, if thou couldest take Christ, and come in, thou wouldest be lesse beholding to Christ,Vse 3. To make us love Christ the better, see­ing how much we are behol­ding to him. and so love thy selfe and be lesse hum­ble. On the other side, when thou seest thou hast nothing, thou wilt doe as wives, who, see­ing they have nothing, no beauty, they love their husbands better all the dayes of their life: Why doth Christ presse it so, I have loved you, and you have not loved me, I have taken you, and you have not taken me? It is a great matter when the wife saith, I have tooke you, I have chosen you, I loved you: we cannot ar­gue thus with CHRIST, for CHRISTS Memento is ever and anon, I have loved you, and not you me.

Vse 4. To make us take heed of putting off the worke when Christ cals.Last of all, this use you may make of it, learne to depend on Christ with much feare, to take heed of putting off the worke, when hee calls, take heed of denying him, if the other doctrine were true, you might be bold to put off your Repentance, but take heed of that, when it is God that workes in you, when God must doe it, and he doth when he lists, when it is the Spirit that doth it, and it breathes when and where it lists; this may make you feare and tremble.Vse 1. See what the businesse of Preachers is, and with whom you have to doe, when you heare the Word. So you may see there is an end of this doctrine: now we will make a little use of it, and so end.

First, if it be Christs worke, if it be he that must begin it, (for it is a creature) then you see what businesse we have in hand, that are Prea­chers of the Gospell, our businesse is to make [Page 157] men other Creatures, which is a transcendent worke, it is the worke of God, and not of man: this is the errand we are sent about, and the work we are taught to doe every Sabbath; and every Sermon which we preach to you, to turne Lions into Lambes, to transforme the heart of man, and to make you New Creatures. This I speake of, not for our sakes, but for yours, that you may make use of it: you must learne to know, when you heare the Word, what action you have in hand, and whom you have to doe with, that is, with the Almighty God, and not with man; for, alas, my Brethren, what are we able to doe? Ephes. 2.10. You are Gods workmanship in Iesus Christ, created to good workes, that you should walke in them: It is true, we are the Instruments, but ye are Gods workmanship. Take the best Instrument wherewith we make any artificiall thing, an Axe or a Chisell, or whatsoever it is, you know, if there be not an influence from the Artificer, it will make no artificiall thing, it will strike when you use it, but it will not make any artificiall thing, if there be not an influence from the Artificer: So we are Instruments, and the Word is an Instrument, but if there be not an in­fluence from God, the worke will not be done, you will never be made New Creatures. There­fore you are Gods workmanship created to good workes; he doth it, and remember you have to doe with him: You have an elegant ex­pression of it in 2 Cor. 3.2. You are Christs Epi­stle administred by us, and written not with Inke, but [Page 158] with the Spirit of the living God: That is, the Law of God is written in your hearts. You know, Regeneration is in many other places of Scrip­ture, A writing the Law of God in their hearts; then there is a writing, and in this sense the Saints are called an Epistle, but they are Christs Epistle, we are the pen, and he is the Writer, he handles the pen, and what shal the pen do, when there is paper and no Inke? will there be any Epistle written? Now what is that, you are Christs Epistle not written with Inke, but by the Spirit of God? We doe but apply the pen to the paper; but if God put not Inke into the pen, that is, the Spirit of the living God, no­thing will be written in your hearts. There­fore, remember what you have to doe, and with whom; not with us, for we are able to doe no­thing: not Paul or Apollo mighty in Scriptures, We are the Ministers by whom you beleeve. It is God that doth it, we are but those by whom you beleeve: Peter, if that ever any man was able so to doe it, he was, that had his tongue set on fire by the Holy Ghost, yet he was not able to doe it, Galath. 2.8. He that was mightie by Pe­ter over the Circumcision, God was mighty by Peter: but the work was none of his; we are the Rams hornes, but who throwes downe the walls of Iericho? Are we able to doe it? No, my Bre­thren, no more than Peter was able to open the Iron-gates. It is true, when Peter came to them, they opened, and not before, but it was the Angell that did it. So when we preach the [Page 159] Gospell, there be everlasting doores; can we open the Iron-gates? No more than any man can open Iron-doores. Therefore Lidia's heart was opened, else Paul might have preached long enough in vaine; in Luke the last Chapter, He opened their understandings, that they might un­derstand the Scriptures. If he had not opened their understandings, as he was God, he had done them no good, when he preached to them as man: Therefore it is God that doth it.

But,Learne hence. you will say,To come to heare the Word with re­verence and feare. of what use is this to us, that God doth it?

It is of much use: therefore, when you come to this place every Sabbath day to heare the Word, when you see you have to doe with the mighty God (we are the Pen, it is God that doth it) learne to come with reverence and feare; learne to say of this place, as Iacob did, when he saw God, when he saw the Ladder, and Angels ascending, and descending, Surely this is a feare­full place, and no other than the gate of Hea­ven, and the House of God; it may be, you thought of it before: You come to heare Ser­mons, as Lectures and Declamations, to have your understanding bettered, but you doe not remember that it is the gate of Heaven, and the House of God: you see not God standing over us, you should over-looke us, it is the gate of Heaven, that is, you shall never come to Hea­ven ordinarily, if you goe not thorow this gate, it is the House of God: And indeed when you come hither, your eye must be upon him more [Page 160] than upon us; expect and wait what God will doe on you hearts, in such a time, if you come and heare; and God hath done nothing, ob­serve that, and say, it is because God hath with-holden his hand, therefore my heart is not quickned at this Sermon; if any thing hath been done, know, it is a Sparkle kindled from Hea­ven, therefore cherish it, looke well to it, for it is a sparke kindled from heaven: therefore, doe as they did in the Law, see what David did on the Altar which he built on Mount Moriah, when the Altar was built, they laid the wood and Sacrifice, and looked to God, when hee would send fire from heaven: So we are the wood, looke to God for fire, if you can get a Sparke, be sure to maintaine it; for that was the manner of the Priests, when they had a little fire from heaven, they alway gave fewell, they never let it goe out againe. Looke to it diligent­ly, if you have got a sparke from heaven, let it not goe out againe, (as it is the case of many thousands to doe) there may be sparkes, and you may heat your selves by them, and it may be but fire from earht: When a Sacrifice was kindled by common fire, God accepted it not, though it burnt as other fire, yet it was no sa­crifice to God. Morall reason and naturall wis­dome may kindle a fire, that may be very like true fire, but it is not from heaven: Therefore come with much feare to this place, like men that have your eyes on GOD, seeke him not for fashion, and know it is to no purpose, if [Page 161] God send not his Spirit from heaven.

Againe, you will say, what use is there of this, that it is God that doth it and not man.

I say therefore,To give the praise of any good you re­ceive by the preaching of the Word, to God onely. give the praise and glory of it to God, give it not to us, but to him, this is not a light notion, but of great moment, for it will make thee love the Lord Iesus: Saint Paul puts this among the greatest mercies; He hath beene mercifull to mee with faith and love: 1 Tim. 1. that amazed him, that he could never be thankfull enough for it, that is, he hath wrought in me faith and love, therefore gives him the praise. It is God that doth it, wee are but the instru­ments; we praise not the Trumpet, but the Trumpetter, we praise not the Pensill, but the Painter. It is God that doth the worke, give him therefore the whole praise of it, this is a matter of much use to you. For when there is a Minister of God, that hath beene an instru­ment of bringing you to heaven, you will love this man, prize him, and magnifie him in your thoughts, and you doe well; but remember, that you take nothing from Christ; alas! what is the Pen to him that writes the Epistle? What are we, my Brethren? give not to us what be­longs unto him; nothing unto us, saith Paul, we have done thus and thus, but it is nothing, it is Christ that hath done all, and let him have all: as the servants of Christ, we must be wary, that we rob not our Master of mens affections, for we are but spokes-men to present you to Christ: therefore be exceeding wary, give your affecti­ons [Page 162] to the Lord, to whom they belong: If ever you receive any good by any Sermon, if you be ever quickned, if ever a little enlivened by the powerfull preaching of the Word, give glo­ry to Christ, and say he hath done it, let him have the praise of it, love him so much the more, for of all graces, nothing is like that to worke grace in your hearts.

Againe, if you will say, what use is there of it? That it is not the Minister, but GOD that doth it.

expect not that the Mini­ster should come with ex­cellency of wis­dome, or of words.Then doe not expect from us, that we should come with excellency of wisdome, or of words, that we should come with wit, and eloquence, and learning. Will this make a New Creature? No, it will not doe it; for it is God, that makes men New Creatures, and, if it be so, he will doe it by his owne Instruments, that is, by his owne Word: Thus Paul reasons, 1 Cor. 2. Wee preach the Gospell, not with excellencie of words; for then the death of Christ would be of no effect; that is, no man will be a New Creature, and Christ would die in vaine: therefore we preach the Gospel in the evidence of the Spirit and Power, these go together, evidence of Spirit and power. What then is this preaching in evidence of the Spirit? Certainely, it is never evident that the Spirit speakes, but when you know the Word speake: therefore, when any man knowes, that this is the Word we preach, there is an evidence, it is a speech of the Spirit, and when the Spiri [...] speakes to the heart, there is Power, and that [Page 163] was the reason that Christ did so much good? He taught with authority, and not as the Scribes. What is that to come with authority? As when a Constable comes in the name of the King, he shewes his evidence, he hath that which makes evident to him, with whom he hath to deale, that he comes from the King: We preach with authority, then onely when wee speake from God to the consciences of men; this consisteth not in excellencie of words, but so much as there is of God, so much authority. Therefore come not with affectation of excellencie of words and wisdome: If we had al the wit in the world to set Word of God in it, it is better than that in which it is set; as the Diamond is better than the Gold in which it is set. If you were to chuse a Minister, chuse not such an one, desire it not, expect it not, the foolishnesse of preaching is wiser than men, it will doe more than all the wisdome of man, though it is but foolishnesse to some; We speake wisdome to them that are per­fect, saith Paul, they, that be perfect, will re­count it wisdome, it is foolishnesse to them that are children and unable to discerne.

Againe, though it be but foolishnesse on the out-side, yet there be treasures within, and God hath hid these treasures under base out-sides, that men may stumble at them, as men that hide treasure under straw, the foolishnesse of preaching saves the soules of men; therefore seeing it is God that doth it, he will use his own Instruments, God workes by it. Can words, [Page 164] can all morall wit make a New Creature? No, it is God; then why doe we make a que­stion? The more the Word is discovered and brought home, the better it is; because, indeed, when we preach any thing else, you doe but see a Creature, and you thinke you have to doe with a Creature; for you can answer wit with wit, and learning with learning; and when you see you have to doe with men, though never so excellent, yet they are men: But when Christ speakes to the conscience, now the heart is brought downe, when it seeth it hath to doe with God, that only hath to doe with the con­sciences of men; therefore expect not the con­trary, and remember that God is the doer of it, it is he that writes the Epistle, though we be the Ministers. It is therefore not without use that we preach this doctrine to you.

Observ. 4. What workes you finde upon your owne hearts, in the preaching of the Word.And to all that I have said adde this one more: Therefore if you find there hath not been a mighty work of God wrought in your hearts at any time, when you have heard the Word, know you have heard in vaine, for the labour is lost, if there be no more than the worke of a man. Therefore you must know there be two Preachers at the same time, one that speakes to the heart powerfully, that makes you New Creatures, that baptizeth you with the Holy Ghost and with fire, and then there is a prea­ching to the eares: And there are two hearings, one is when you can repeat, and recall the Word to memory, but there is another saving [Page 165] hearing, that is, when is it ingrafted? And when it is ingrafted? even then when it maketh you New Creatures, as a graft is then grafted, when it changes all the Stocke. Therefore con­sider whether you doe so heare, or no, that it hath bred such a change in you, and know, o­therwise you have heard it in vaine. For what doe we do when we preach the Word? we doe as Gehezi did, hee came running with Elisha's staffe to raise the childe, but he could not doe it, for though he had Elisha's staffe, he had not E­lisha's spirit: So we come with the staffe, but not with the Spirit; therefore thou art not raised to life, for there is the staffe without the Spirit: therefore doe not thinke thou hast heard to any purpose, if the Stocke be not turned, if thou fin­dest not the Spirit there. What doe we, when we dresse up a Sermon never so well? it is but the rigging of the sailes, and what will all this doe without wind? Is not the Spirit the wind? What are Organs without breath? there is no musike made: And what is all our preaching, when the Spirit is absent? That is all in all, in­deed it is the sword of the Spirit, but what is it without the Almighty hand of God? It is said of one, who hearing that Scanderbegs sword had done such and such strange workes, would needs see it, and sent for the sword; when he saw the sword, he said, he saw no such matter in it; Is this the sword that hath done all this? Scanderbeg sent him word again, I have sent the sword, but not the Arme that handled it. So the [Page 166] Word we preach to you, is but the Sword of God, God lends you the Sword many times, when he keepes the Arme to himselfe: It may be you have not seene so great things done by it as we tell you of, That it is the Power of God to salvation, that it is that Word of Truth that be­gets men againe; the reason is, because God re­serves the Arme to himselfe: Therefore, when you come to heare, as you have the Sword, pray earnestly that the Arme may goe together with the Sword, that God will make it lively and mighty in operation, to cut downe your lusts, to pierce as a two-edged sword, dividing betweene the bones and the marrow, the joynts and the spirit; that is, that you may know your selves better than you did before: And all this use you may make of this, that you are Creatures, and no man can make you New Creatures: It is God must doe it.

The end of the Sixth Sermon.

THE SEVENTH SERMON VPON THE NEW CREATVRE.

2 Cor. 5.17.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, let him be a new Creature.

BVt,Object. you will object, GOD workes in us the deed, even every deed, so that a man hath not Free-will after he is Regenerate.Answ. In what sense he would be understood, when hee affir­meth the wil [...] of Regenerate persons to be free.

To this we answer, that so farre as his grace, and the strength he hath, goes, so far he is able to keepe the Commandements of God, by vertue of a [Page 168] generall concourse: It is not denied that a man cannot move his hand, nor doe any action with­out the generall concourse of God; but that God never denyes, but as he gives the Creature ability, so he vouchsafes a generall concourse to it. As it is true in that, so in all actions of grace, a man cannot doe any thing without a concourse: But when a man hath grace, there be two things wherein a man hath need of spe­ciall supervenient helpe from God: First, when he is called to doe a worke, which is above the strength he hath received; here must be more strength, there must be a new addition, for the worke goes beyond the strength: As a childe may goe on plaine ground, but if you will have him goe up a paire of staires, you must lend him your helpe: So a Christian may doe acti­ons proportionable to the grace he hath recei­ved; yet being called to somewhat above that pitch, he must have a new helpe from God. Secondly, when a man is assaulted by a tempta­tion, beyond the strength he hath received, here needs strength beyond his owne to hold him up: A childe may stand alone, but if one thrusts him, you must hold him up, else he fals; so the Lord must put under his hand, and we must have helpe above that we have received, but otherwise the position is true, so farre as we are regenerate, so farre we have Free-will, which followes grace: So much life as we have, so farre we may move and stirre our selves. And in these cases it is true, that we need more helpe [Page 169] from God beyond the grace wee have received.

The fifth thing to be observed is the order, first in Christ,Observ. 5. The order; first in Christ, and then New Creatures. and then a New Creature; out of which we are briefly to observe this.

Let no man looke for Sanctification, before he is justified,Hence learne. that is, Let no man be discoura­ged from comming to Christ,Not to be discouraged from going to Christ for any defect, or im­perfection that is in us. because he finds not in himselfe that godly sorrow for sinne, that ability to repent, that disposition of heart, which he desires to have: for a New Creature followes it; we must first be in Christ before we can be New Creatures. And this is a com­mon fault among us, we will faine have some­thing before we come, we thinke Gods pardons are not free, but we must bring something in our hand: You know the Proclamation runs thus, Buy without money, that is, come without any ex­cellencie at all, because we are commanded to come and take the water of life freely: There­fore, doe not say, I have a sinfull disposition, and an hard heart, and cannot mourne for sinne as I should, therefore I will stay till that be done; it is all one as if thou should'st say, I must go to the Physitian, but I will have my wounds well, and my disease healed first; and when that is done, I will goe to the Physitian. What is thy end of going to him, but to have thy dis [...]se healed? Doest thou thinke to have thy disease healed before? I say it is the same folly: The end of going to Christ is, that this very hard­nesse of thy heart may be taken away, that this very deadnesse of spirit may be removed, that [Page 170] thou mayest be enlivened, and quickned, and healed, that thou mayest hate sinne; for he is thy Physitian, looke not for it before-hand, thou must first be in Christ, before thou canst be a New Creature.

Reason 2. From your union with Christ, to per­swade you to good workes.Againe, if we must first be in Christ, before we can be New Creatures, if that be the order, if that be the motive and the thing that carries us on, then let us be content to use the motive that God useth. The Papists propound other motives to good workes; they tell them, they shall have heaven and escape damnation for them. Is this a good reason to move men to good workes? But the course of Scripture is otherwise: Thou art in Christ, he is thine, there­fore be a New Creature, consider what he hath done for thee; therefore labour to turne to him againe. Consider what thou hadst beene with­out him, what thou hast by him, and, by that, stirre up thy selfe to doe for him, what he re­quires. Therefore the Apostle comming to answer that question, If grace abound, why doth not sinne abound? why doth not a man sinne more? He doth not say, you shall have these and these motives to draw you from sin, but he tels them, whosoever is in Christ, is dead to sinne, and if you be dead to it, how shall you live therein? If you be in Christ, you will be New Creatures, there needs no other motive to make you so. And so much for this, because we will hasten to the point, we intend to handle at this time.

[Page 171] If any man be in Christ, let him be a New Crea­ture.]

The last point wee are to observe in this Text, is:

That to be in Christ is the ground of all Salva [...]tion: Doctr. That is,To bee in Christ, is the ground of all Salvation. of all the priviledges we have, and of all the graces we have (for in those two things doth the Kingdome of God consist) it is the ground of all the priviledges we have; we have them therefore, because we be in Christ; It is the ground of all the graces we have, be­cause we are in Christ, therefore wee are New Creatures; therefore wee have the Image of God repaired in us, which is nothing but the bundle of all graces, as the old man is the bun­dle and heape of all corruption and sinne.

Now we will shew what it is to be in Christ,What it is to be in Christ. and of what moment it is; then we will make use of it: The two first are so neere conjoyned, that we will handle them together, what it is to be in Christ, and of what moment it is to be in Christ, that is, to be united to Christ. A man then is said to be united to him, when he may truly say that which is in the Canticles, My Beloved is mine, and I am his: When a man can say Christ is mine, and I am Christs, then we are in Christ, for then we are his. Now that this may be done, there must be a mutuall act of gi­ving and receiving, that is, it is God that gives his Sonne, and Christ that gives himselfe, as the Apostle speakes, He loved me, and gave himselfe for me. When this is done on Gods part, and [Page 172] we have taken him, that makes Christ ours; So there must be a giving and taking to unite us un­to Christ; there must be a giving, that is, the Fa­ther must give Christ:What giving is. now giving is nothing else but Quod meum est, efficere tuum, nullo jure cogente. This definition the Civill Lawyers give of it, and it is a true one: So the Lord gives Christ to us, he makes him ours, nothing compels him to it, for if it were by law, it were not by gift, but by debt: I say, he gives Christ, and freely, and to give him, is nothing else, but to make him ours. But to give him is nothing, it is not enough except we take him likewise, for giving and ta­king are Relatives, remove one, and the other is taken away. Though God give his Sonne free­ly, yet except we take him, that gift is no gift; therefore there must be a taking on our part, and when these two are done, when God hath given Christ, and we have taken him, then we are united to Christ, and we are in Christ, and he in us; as in marriage, the husband gives him­selfe to the wife, and she takes him; againe, the wife gives her selfe to the husband, and he takes her; and when this is once done, and done real­ly, they are united together. And such a match is made betweene Christ and us, there is a mu­tuall giving and taking on both sides; and when this match is made, Christ is said properly to be in us, and we in him: Yea, to goe a little further, Marriage is a neere union, yet but a Re­lative union; but there is something more in this, Christ hath taken our Nature, He is bone of [Page 173] our bone, and flesh of our f [...]esh: And againe, he hath given us his Spirit, that the very same Spi­rit dwels in us, as doth in him, that we may be said to be spirit of his Spirit. This is more than is in marriage, this is a neerer union; therefore the Scripture useth a neerer expression, we are as members of the same Body, he the Head, we the members, we have the same Spirit that he hath, we are flesh of the same flesh, and bone of the same bone, so neere an union there is be­tweene us. So then, there is more than a Rela­tion, in our being in Christ, he indeed comes in to us, as the Sun is said to come into the house: You know, the Sunne is in the heaven, but when the light comes in, we say the Sun comes into the house; for there comes a reall light, which is an effect of the Sunne: So the Sonne of God IESUS CHRIST, though he be in hea­ven, yet he comes into the heart, by his Spirit, as the Sunne doth, by the light which revives us, and quickens us, and workes a change in us. Againe, we grow into Christ, as the branches grow into the Vine, into the Root, into the Stocke, so that we are one in another, and we grow one in another, as the branches grow in the Vine, and the Vine groweth in the bran­ches: Such a mutual union there is between us.

And thence comes all the benefits,Of what mo­ment this uni­on is. (which is the second thing I will shew you, that is, of what moment it is;) I say, hence come all the benefits we have by him, in that we are united to him after this manner, that we are in him▪ as [Page 174] the branches in the Vine; thence it is, that we are made New Creatures, that is, there is a new Sap shed into the branches, which weares out the old Sap, the old man, originall sinne which was there before, and changeth it by the ingre­dience of the new Sap. So doth Christ: There­fore we are said to be ingrafted into the simili­tude of his Death and Resurrection, that is, the old nature in us is worne out by the comming in of the new: now as Christ did die, but revi­ved againe; so we put on another nature, so we have this benefit by this union, we are made New Creatures. Besides this, we have an hun­dred others, when we are in Christ we are un­der covert, he hath interest in all our debts, and we have interest in all his riches, as the husband is bound to pay all the debts of the wife, when he hath married her, she is under covert, she hath interest in all her husbands riches; So we have interest in all the wealth of Christ, and that is a very large wealth, as you have it expressed in 1 Cor. the last Chapter, Paul and Apollo, &c. and the world is yours, it is a wealth beyond all that men can give you. The world is yours, no man in the world can goe so farre, Princes may reach thorow their owne Kingdomes, but the World is yours, that is, Christ who hath the command of it, causeth every thing there to serve your turne, even every Creature that man cannot command; the wind and the seas obey him for your good; for you have interest in all his riches, there is nothing in the world but is [Page 175] yours, Things present and things to come, are ours. If men can helpe you to things present, yet things to come, are beyond their reach. If the things of this life be theirs, yet death is not theirs; but herein Christ likewise furnisheth you. In a word, you have interest in all his wealth, looke how farre he can goe beyond a man, so farre are you advantaged by him, and have interest in all his riches, he hath interest in all your debts, you are under covert, and no­thing can hurt you, the gates of Hell, Men, De­vils, Sinne, and all the Creatures in heaven and earth are not able to hurt you, because you are in him, you are as Coneyes in their Burrowes, he covers you, he keepes you safe. If our eyes were opened to see this, as the Apostle Pauls were, we should magnifie it, and stand amazed at it, when he comes to expresse what we have by Christ, he knowes not how to expresse it; In him are all the treasures of wisdome and know­ledge, and they are ours; he hath a Kingdome that is ours: He is a Sonne, so are we; he is an Heire, so are we, nothing can hurt us, but it hurts him. Therefore make use of this, when any thing is objected that is terrible and grie­vous, answer it with this, I am in Christ? When thou wantest any thing, know thou canst not be denied, for thou art in CHRIST. Set all your though [...]s on worke, to looke to all the things mans nature is capable of, that you desire to make you happy, we have them all in him. O the length, and height, and depth of his mercy! In­deed [Page 176] it is such a depth that we cannot fadome, and a height we cannot reach, and a length we cannot measure; all this we have by Christ: If we had but Pauls spirit to apprehend it, and a little crevise of light opened to us, as there was to him, that we might see into this unsearcha­ble riches of Christ, we would stand amazed. I cannot stand to inlarge it any further, you see what it is to be united to Christ, and of what moment. Now we will come to make some use of it.

If it be so glorious a condition to be united to Christ, it should inflame us then with a desire to be in him, with a desire to be in this conditi­on; for, if you have the Sonne, you have life, 1 Iohn 5.12. He that hath the Sonne, hath life, and all things else pertaining to life, godlinesse, and happi­nesse; He that hath not the Sonne, hath not life; that is, he is yet in death and condemnation; have Christ, and have all things; therefore it is an happy and glorious condition.

Vse 1. Exhortation two-fold.Therefore let those, that have it, desire to inlarge it more and more, and those that want it, let them seeke to get it.

Those that have this uni­on with Christ let them seeke to enlarge it more.First, I say, those that have it, let them la­bour to inlarge it.

You will say, If a man be in Christ, how can he be more? If he be united, if he be married to him, how can he be more? Iustification admits of no degrees: Therefore this is a point worth your consideration, That you may bee more in Christ.

[Page 177]It is true; Iustification, in this sense, admits of no degrees,In what sense this is to be understood. but it is indivisible, either you are married, or not married; either you are in him, or not in him; so farre, indeed, it admits of no degrees: But now when a Spouse takes an Hus­band, shee hath so much will as to resolve to make such an one her husband, yet there may be degrees of willingnesse, she may will it more, there may be more desire of it, there may be a greater approbation of it; so, though it be true, that every man that is justified in Christ, is with­in the Covenant, within the doore; yet he may goe in further, or lesse farre when he is within: So I say, you may be within the Covenant, but this taking of Christ, this being in Christ, this receiving of him, admits of degrees, because, though one be married to an husband, that there is so much will, as to resolve to take him, rather than refuse him, yet this very wil of taking may be stronger, as her affections to him are more, the reasons are stronger and larger that invite her to take him: So the union with Christ may be neerer, yet, the knot may be yet straiter, and, as that increaseth, so all the effects, and conse­quences of it increase: Therefore the thing we would exhort you to, is to be more in Christ, to get yet neerer to him.

You will say,Object. How shall that be done?

Consider what it was that drawed you to him,Answ. How it may be done. and to labour to intend all that, that when you have taken him, you may yet make the uni­on neerer and better than it was.

[Page 178]And these five things will doe it:

First, consider your misery without him, you did consider it before,Five helpes to doe it. which caused you to take him for your Husband,Consider your misery with­out him. when you saw you could not live without him, but when you finde that misery to be yet more, your resolutions wil be stronger, you will more approve your action of taking him, you will prize him more: There­fore, if you will be yet neerer Christ, reflect of­ten on your selves, on your owne condition, and see what you are without him. Consider what your sinnes are, how you should have perished, if you had not taken him; how miserable you are still, how unable to helpe your selves; and the more humble you are, the poorer in spirit, and the more greedily you will receive him, the more degrees will be added to the taking of the Lord Iesus. For that is one great meanes, to teach us to prize Christ, even to know our mi­sery. The Prodigall sonne was taught to prize his being in his fathers house by the extremity of want he was in, the more he felt the want of it, the more he prized it. Labour therefore to know what you are, out of Christ, to feele the want of it, to know that you cannot subsist, you cannot be without him.

Labour more to know the Vertues and excellencies of Christ.Againe, secondly, labour more to know the vertues and the excellencies of your husband; for as they are more explicated and discovered to you, so you will love him more. As one that is married, the more she sees in her husband, the more she desires him, the more glad she is that [Page 179] the match is made, there is the greater degree of will to take her husband. Labour to see this beauty in Christ, to see what he hath done for you; Was he not crucified for you? Hee loved me, saith Paul, and gave himselfe for me, he died for me: Consider all that he hath done, consider the great dowry, the riches he brings with him, all the benefits and priviledges he brings with him, and you have by him, looke well upon him, consider the number of them, and the waight of them; thinke of all the advantages you get by him, the more you see this, the more those vertues and excellencies of Christ are ex­plicated, and unfolded, and made manifest unto you, the more you will love him, and the nea­rer is the union betweene you.

Thirdly,Be perswaded of his love to you. be perswaded of his love to you, the more you are perswaded of your husbands love, the nearer your hearts grow to him. Think what it was that made Paul love the Lord Iesus so much, it was the strength of his faith, he knew the Lord loved him, and that Christ had received him. If wee could but once get into Pauls condition, that we could see the unsearcha­ble riches of Christ, the beauties of our husband, the advantages we have by him, if we had Pauls faith to beleeve his love, we should be able to doe as he did, to reckon all as drosse and dung, wee should prize nothing but CHRIST, and we should draw nearer to him: Therefore, labour to strengthen your faith. So did Mo­ses, it was the strengh of his faith that made [Page 180] him cleave so fast to GOD, as he did.

Fourthly, get experience of him; for it was Pauls experience that united him nearer to Christ,Get experience of him. the experience that he had of Christ in the mortification of his lusts, in all the courses of his ministery, in all the distresses and troubles that he passed thorow, he still had experience of him, and the more experience you have of the Lord Iesus, the nearer you come to converse with him, and the more you will love him, and joyne to him: Strangenesse disjoynes affections, we say there is strangenesse when men salute not, when there is not a neare conversing: Strangenesse doth dis-joyne the heart. Againe, nearenesse of conversing and walking with him from day to day, drawes us nearer to him, and intends the will of desiring him to be our Hus­band.

Pray that the Holy Ghost may draw thee to Christ.Last of all, there is a certain impression made in the spirit of man by the Holy Ghost, which causeth him to draw neare to Christ, that makes him prize him more. As there is in the Iron a certaine naturall quality to follow the Load-stone; so there is in the Saints towards Christ: And if we seeke a reason why Paul and the rest of the Saints that excelled so, were able to prize Christ above all things, and to count all things losse in respect of him, the true reason is, it was the impression made upon their spirits by the Holy Ghost; there is a certaine attractive vertue put into them, enabling them to prize Christ above all, and to draw neare to him; [Page 181] therefore you must know, it is the gift of the Holy Ghost to inable us to prize him. There­fore to all the rest adde that, seeke to the Lord that he would worke it in your hearts, that you may learne to magnifie him. Thus you must seeke to encrease the union, to adde degrees to the will, by which you are content and resolve to match with Christ, and to be made one with him: And this is the thing that you are to be ex­horted to, not only to know this, but to exercise it: when Paul had once tasted the sweetnesse in Christ, he could relish nothing else, he counts all other things as drosse: So should we, if we had once experience of it.

Therefore we should learne to renue this uni­on from day to day, and, as I said before, Wee should eat his flesh, and drinke his bloud every day: that is, every time we renue the covenant with God, we renue the match, as it were, betweene us, we eat Christs flesh, and drinke his bloud, He is that Bread that came downe from heaven; they ate Mannah in the wildernesse and died, but hee that feedeth on me, shall have life everlasting: There­fore eat my flesh and drinke my bloud, that is, take me, come to me, for eating of his flesh is nothing but to come to him, to take him, to re­ceive him: Now, saith he, the very act of taking me is your duty, as you renue that every day, so you take me anew, as it were, and so there will come new strength to you, as from bread or Manna, when you eat it, or from flesh and wine, when you eat and drinke it, so doth there from [Page 182] from me, when you renue your eating of my flesh, and drinking of my bloud, that is, when you renue your act of taking and receiving me, there comes new strength to you, that is, you shall have new comforts and consolations, you shall be encouraged the more, herein you draw nearer to me than before: For, as your union with Christ at the first, doth make way for the Spirit, and causeth it to be shed in your hearts, so the more this union is encreased, the more you are filled with the Holy Ghost: So you get new strength from day to day, as this union is more confirmed: It is like a new eating and drinking, your Peace is more abundant, and your strength is more enlarged, you are more full of joy in the Holy Ghost; every grace is more encreased and strengthned in you, therefore exercise this uni­on, eat his flesh, and drinke his bloud every day.

Object.But, you will say, what needs that, when we have once done, is it not enough?

Answ.No, it is not enough; for there growes a di­stance betweene Christ and you from day to day, a little neglect, the very omission of duties, yea, though it were no sinfull omission may cause it. As the body is subject to waste, and needs eating and drinking that it may be repai­red; So doth the soule and inner man, there is a continuall wasting of strength, and you must eat his flesh and drinke his bloud every day to repaire it, that is, you must renue the union, that grace may be strengthned and renued in your hearts, that those spirits may be repaired, that [Page 183] you spend every day, that your very strength may be renued; you shall find this true by ex­perience, the more you doe this, more neare you get to Christ, the more you renue that match and make a new marriage with him, you shall and new strength comming to you, you shall find your hearts draw nearer to him, and further from sinne, you shall finde your selves made more spirituall, more heavenly minded, you shal find your selves more strengthned, you wil be ashamed to sinne, when you stand in such neare termes with him, there will be a secret in­fluence of the Spirit in your hearts.

Therefore exercise this union, and, as you must exercise it from day to day, so know the comfort of it, and improve and husband it well. If I have Christ for my husband, shall he be my husband in vaine? Shall I have him, and not make use of him? No, you must learne to make use of him, learne to use him, as he is a Prophet, a Priest, and a King: If you would be more enlightned, goe to him as a Prophet, be­seech him to enlighten thee, to give thee wis­dome, to give thee the Spirit of Revelation, and he cannot deny thee. If thou hast committed a sinne, use him as a Mediatour, as a Priest; for he is thy Husband, thou hast him for that purpose, forget not that Christ is a Mediatour: We fall into sinne from day to day; but, if we knew re­ally what it is to have Christ an Intercessour, to have him our Priest, to make an attonement for our sinnes every day, we should learne to prize [Page 184] him more, we should be full of comfort, we should doe in another manner than we doe: If there be any strong lust which thou canst not subdue, know that it must be done by him, as a King, he must bring it into subjection, he must circumcise thy heart: Therefore, know what is in Christ, for all that is in him is thine, and he is full of treasure: When thou hast the field, what shouldest thou doe but digge the treasure, to know what is there; when thou knowest thou hast such a treasure in him, that he is full of all grace; Wilt thou goe poore, and miserable, and naked, and in rags? having such a full ward­robe there, why dost not thou goe and sute thy selfe from top to toe? Why doest not thou get grace of all sorts to adorne and beautifie thy selfe withall? For all treasures are in him. Why doest thou go starved, hungry and thirsty, droo­ping all the day? If thou hast him, he hath fat­lings, and fined wines, he bids thee to a Feast, that is, there is abundance of comfort in him, there be Priviledges there, if you consider of them, if you will feed on them, as a man doth on meat, you shall be comforted with them, as a man refreshed with wine. Consider what is in Christ, and make use of it, and know there is not only plenty in him, but bounty too; in him is all fulnesse, and why is it in him? not for his sake, but for ours, he hath filled himselfe for us, and he is not only full, but bountifull, he hath an even hand to dispence that goodnesse; there­fore make use of it.

[Page 185]Now the second part of this exhortation, I told you, belongs to them that yet are not in him,Those that want this Vni­on, let them seeke to get it. that they would be content to take the Lord Iesus for their husband; for, if the being in him be the ground of all salvation, it is mo­tive enough to bring you in: Now you must know that the Lord offers him to you, he is ex­posed to you, if you will but take him.

You will say,In what this taking consists. In two Acts. in what consists this taking?

It consists in these two Acts; one is a perswa­sion, that the Lord is willing to come to thee to be thy Husband, to be thine: The second is a resolution, on thy part, to be his, if thou canst be content to give thy selfe up to him, to serve him, to love him, to live no more to thy selfe, but to him altogether. Now, when we exhort men to come into Christ, it may be, for the first Act, you will be content to be perswaded of it, that he is willing to take you; though there be a difficulty in that, yet, it may be, you will goe so farre; but when you come to the second, to resolve to give up your selves to him, to be his for ever, and to serve him in newnesse of life: here every man is at a stand, here men deale with God, as they, that were invited to the Marriage, they made light of it, and went their way, one to his Farme, another to his Oxen, &c. So is it here with us, for the most part, they make light when we offer Christ, they goe about their bu­sinesse, one about this vanity, another about that, they will not come in, and take him; and what shall we say to perswade men, to come in­to [Page 186] Christ? Indeed it is a dangerous thing to re­fuse to come in. You are the men that are invi­ted, and we are messengers sent to invite you; every man must apply this to himselfe, he must thinke, I am the man invited; therefore I must consider what answer to give; for you shall find, of them that were invited and did not come, not a man of them shall taste of the Supper, not a man of them that was invited must com. There were many thousands that were never bidden, yea, many hundreds that live in the Church were never bidden to the Feast; that is, Christ was never clearely offered to them; but when Christ is propounded to you, (as you know he hath oft beene) this is the very bidding of you to the Supper. Take you heed of refusing; It may be, many others there are that were never bidden, but when you have beene bidden, take heed; not a man of them that have been bidden and refused, shall [...]aste of the Supper. Now, you know, wee are bid while wee are in this life, this is the time of grace, but yet when a man refuseth this bidding at this time, or at any other time, take heed lest he bid you no more; he sent no more to them that refused, Let them alone, and they shall be slaine before me: But how­soever, our businesse is to compell you to come in, that is, by strong arguments, by reasoning with you, by perswading you effectuall to come in.Motives.

Mot. 1. You shall finde rest.Therefore, consider these Motives:

First, you shall find rest to your soules, Come [Page 187] unto me all yee that are weary and heavie laden, and you shall finde rest, Matth. 11.28, 29. Rest is that which every man would have: For Sinne is a wearinesse to the Soule, it wearies you with the guilt of it, with the taint and corruption of it, You shall find rest unto your soules, that is, if you were in me once, you should have your sinnes forgiven you. Which David magnified in Psal. 32.1. Blessed is he whose sinne is covered.

But you will say,Object. this is a small mercy, you shall have your sinnes forgiven, will this move men to come in? who cares for forgivenesse of sinnes; if we should come and make offer to men, that they should be free from crosses and troubles, that they shall have present benefit, and honours, and riches, that were a motive in­deed to bring men to Christ?

Thou foole,Answ. if thy sins be forgiven thee, shall not all misery be taken away?Forgivenesse of sinne makes a man blessed foure wayes. Is not sinne the first linke of the chaine? the first wheele that drawes on all thy miseries; If thy sinnes be for­given, all thy miseries shall bee scattered,In taking away that which is the cause of all mi­series. all those clouds shall be dispersed: Therefore the Scripture compares Sin to a Cloud: What hin­ders good things from thee but sinne? When a mans sins be forgiven him, he shall have them in abundance; Be of good comfort, saith he, Thy sinnes be forgiven thee: Till then, a mans heart is never filled with comfort; but, as I said, it is clouded with many discomforts, sorrowes and perplexities; therefore they are compared to clouds, because they shal be dispersed as clouds: [Page 188] when thy sinnes are forgiven thee, all thy life after is as a Sun-shine day, when all the clouds are scattered: Therefore, Be of good comfort.

In giving boldnesse.Againe, thou hast boldnesse by it; The Inno­cent is bold as a Lion: thou art bold with God, For thou commest with boldnesse unto the Throne of Grace: and thou hast boldnesse, when thou hast to doe with men, when trouble and persecution comes, then art thou as bold as a Lion, when thy sinnes are forgiven thee.

In taking the sting out of affliction.Againe, when thou commest to beare any affliction, it is nothing when sinne is forgiven; for sinne is the sting of affliction, and what is the Serpent when the sting is gone? Afflicti­on is nothing, death is nothing; you see what they were to Saint Paul, imprisonment and death were nothing to him, because the sting was taken away. In a word, thou art a bles­sed man, if thy sinnes bee once taken away: David saith, Blessed is hee whose sinnes are for­given. When David looked round about, and considered who was blessed, he pitched on this, Blessed is the man whose sinne is forgiven. If some other had looked about him, hee would have said, Blessed is a rich man, a man in ho­nour and dignity, in credit, and that hath health, he is a blessed man.

No, saith David, but hee is a blessed man whose sinnes are forgiven, whose iniquities are co­vered, because such a man GOD sets himselfe to make blessed; for blessednesse is the heape of all good things. Now, who can give that [Page 189] but God, who hath the command of all things? Can any but he cause all things worke toge­ther for thy good? And if any thing be wan­ting, thou art not blessed.

Againe,In making God ours. when thy sinnes be forgiven thee, God is made thine, he is reconciled to thee, for thy sinne is taken away; and when GOD is thine, thou art a blessed man; for he brings all good things, and hee is the Buckler that keepes off all evill, he is the Master of the Crea­tures. Now, you know, the Master is he, who can rate the dogge when he fals on a Guest or a stranger, and it is onely the Master that can doe it. It is he that can rate any evill and sup­presse it, thou hast him; therefore thou art a blessed man, and thou hast him by having thy sinnes forgiven thee; that is the great promise, that he should save his People from their sinnes, he needs say no more;Matth. 1.21. when he saith, Hee shall save his People from their sinnes; for then he saves them from all trouble and misery in the world. Therefore, this may be a great motive, it was CHRISTS owne motive, when hee would invite men to come to him, he saith, Come un­to mee all yee that are weary and heavie laden, and I will ease you: That is, thy sinnes, that are as an heavie burthen, shall be taken off of thee.

But,Object. you will say, I feele no burthen of it?

No,Answ. but thou shalt finde it a burthen, when GOD shall set every man to beare his [Page 190] burthen, when GOD shall charge it on thy conscience, and it is thy wisdome to have it taken off,Sinne is a bur­then in two re­spects. though thou finde it not a burthen. I say, guilt is a great burthen, which will binde thee over to damnation.As it brings a man under guilt. It is a great burthen when conscience is awaked.

As it is a sicknesse or disease of the soule.Againe, Corruption is a great burthen, for it wearies a man. Sicknesse is a weari­nesse to the bodie; and Sinne is the same to the Soule, that Sicknesse is to the body. A sicke man is weary of every thing, weary of his bed, of his chamber, of his dyet, he is weary of sitting, of standing, for hee is sicke. So it is with every man that hath not his sinnes forgiven him, hee is weary not on­ly of the guilt, but hee is weary of every thing. Put him in the best condition, he findes no rest, and in that hee is weary of every thing. That which they say of Folly, it may bee more truely said of every wicked man, that every condition is miserable to him, he is weary of himselfe, he is weary of every thing, he hath no rest.

Further, when thou art in CHRIST, he will give rest to thy soule, that is, he will take away the power, as well as the guilt of sinne, hee will heale thy sicknesse, and then the worst condition will bee pleasant to thee, thou wilt finde rest in a Prison, thou wilt finde rest in sicknesse, thou wilt finde rest in death, every condition, yea, the worst, will bee sweet unto thee; before, in the best [Page 191] thou foundest none, for there was a restles­nesse within, but when thy sinnes bee forgiven thee, thou shalt finde rest to thy soule.

The end of the Seventh Sermon.

THE EIGHTH SERMON VPON THE NEW CREATVRE.

2 COR. 5.17.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, let him be a new Creature.

GOD hath planted in every man selfe-love,Mot. 2. If you be uni­ted with him, you shall be free from all evill, and enjoy all good. every man seekes his owne happinesse.

Two things every man would have, they would be freed from all evill, and en­joy all good things; if they could finde these in Christ, men would be per­swaded to come in. Now we can assure you [Page 194] that both these you shall finde in Christ, you shall by him be freed from all evil, and be com­passed about with mercy on every side: First, I say, you shall be freed from all evill, for what Christ saith to all his Disciples, Luke 10. You shall tread on Serpents and Scorpions, and all the power of the Enemie, and nothing shall hurt you, may be applied to all the Saints, though there be many hurtfull things in the world, yet nothing shall hurt them. It is true indeed, they may have to doe with Serpents and Scorpions, that is, evill things may fall upon them, as well as upon others; you see the same condition fals to all, yet it shall not hurt them; according to that in Luke 1.74. That we being delivered from our enemies, is that, we may serve him without feare: Mark that, you shall be delivered from all your enemies, if you will come in, that is, there shall not an enemie in the world be able to doe you hurt, and you shall live without feare, that is, the great advantage you shall have, as if he should say, other men feare a thousand things, they feare death, they feare sicknesse, they feare losse of friends and good name; but when a man is one in Christ, he shal be delivered from all his Enemies, he shall serve the Lord with­out feare, because nothing is able to hurt him; for what could hurt him? Either it must be the Devill or men, or some other Creature, but none of these can hurt him. Is not God the Go­vernour of the house; Is he not the Master, Is not he able to rate the Mastives from flying in [Page 195] the face of any of his friends that come to him, yea, he is able to doe it, and none but the Master of the house is able to do it: None can keep the Creatures from hurting of you, but he that hath the command of all the Creatures, therefore if you will come in, nothing shall hurt you, he is a Buckler and a Shield to compasse you round about: He will be your strong fortresse, into which no Creature shall be able to shoot an arrow.

But besides this, you shall have all things else that you can desire, The Lord himselfe shall bee your habitation, from generation to generation, Psal. 90.1. That is, you shall dwell in the Lord, and you shall not dwell in him for a fit, as we doe in our houses of clay, but for ever, and looke what an house doth, that doth he, he will keepe you safe, and defend you from evill, he is an house that it shall not raine thorow, and such an house he is, as will goe with you whithersoever you goe, he is our habitation from generation to generation; yea, an house as will not onely defend you, but refresh you with all manner of comforts, for houses are made for delight, as well as for defence. Whatsoever you want, he will helpe you to; If you be sicke, he is able to heale you; if you be weake, he is able to strengthen you; if hungry, to satisfie you; what­soever condition you are in, he is able to furnish you; if you need any service from any Crea­ture in heaven or earth, he will give command to all the Creatures to wait on you: In a word, every man that comes to Christ shall be like a [Page 196] Spouse, whom her husband hath placed in a [...] house well stored with abundance of all things that her heart can wish, and all this you shall have if you will come in.

But because Generals move not so much, we will come a little to Particulars,In particular, consider. and will insist upon these two, as the only things that can move us to come in.

Mans mise­ry out of Christ.First, the miseries, hurts, and inconveniences you are exposed to, out of him.

Mans hap­pinesse by be­ing in Christ.And secondly, the happinesse you shall have by being ingrafted in him, and married to him. If you were to perswade a woman to marry such a man, you know these are the two Argu­ments which must winne her. If you marry no [...] you will bee undone, you know you are in debt, and the debts bee debts which you are not able to pay; and, if you cannot pay them, you are sure to be cast into Prison, and to lye in that Prison till you have paid the utmost far­thing, this is your condition if you will refuse. Againe, on the other side if you will take him, you shall have a husband that shall make you rich, that will pay all your debts for you, and make you honourable, you shall want nothing. If you will take an husband whom you may love, take Christ, for whatsoever is amiable is in him. These two serious considerations will make her come in, and be willing to marry and to take him for her husband. And so it is with us, if we consider what we are out of Christ, and what we shall have by him, it will move us to [Page 197] take him. You know, it moved the Prodigall sonne, he saw that if he lived out from his Fa­thers house, he must needs perish, hee could not get huskes to live by. Againe, if he would goe home, there was bread enough, his fathers ser­vants living there in plenty, and these two mo­ved him to resolve to come home.

You will say,Object. what are those evils in particu­lars that we must needs fall into, if we come not in to Christ, and what good shall wee get by him?

To this end,Answ. I will name such arguments as are used in Scripture for this purpose, for you know that the businesse of Christ himselfe, and his Apostles was onely to bring men unto him, and therefore we will open such arguments as we finde there, as briefly as we can.

And first,If you beleeve, you shall be sa­ved; if not, you shall be dam­ned. you have this for one maine mo­tive to bring men in, Marke 16 16. If you will beleeve and be baptized, you shall be saved, if you will not beleeve, you shall be damned: Goe, saith Christ, into all the world, preach the Gospell to every Crea­ture. What shall we say when thou hast given us commission? saith he, no more but this, Goe to all the world, Tell them if they will come in and be united to mee, if they will take me for their husband Lore, they shall be saved, use that for a motive on the one side, and on the other side tell them, if they will not come in, they shall be damned: And this you shall finde was practised, Matth. 3. Iohn tels them, If you will come in and repent, you shall have the Kingdome: [Page 198] That is, if you will leave your sinnes, if you will be married to the Lord, if you will be di­vorced from all other husbands, and turne from all your evill wayes, you shall have a kingdom, that is, you shall be saved; but if you will not, what then? The Axe is laid to the root of the tree, and you shall be cut downe. So, we see, when the Apostle Paul came to do this businesse with Felix, to have brought him to Christ, if he could, what course takes he? he tels him of his miseries out of Christ, Reasoning of Temperance, Righteousnesse, and Iudgement to come; he told him what Sobriety, and Righteousnesse, and Temperance was, in another manner than ever any Morallist had done: Now the Endictment being not enough without the Sentence, hee addes the Iudgement to come. And it is, as if he had said; Thou seest how short thou art of that Temperance and Righteousnesse, that even naturall conscience requires of every man, and thou must know, there is a Iudgement to come, though thou perhaps feelest it not for the pre­sent, yet there is a damnation and wrath reser­ved for thee; thereby shewing the misery he was in, if he came not home to Christ; and that is partly set downe, and is probable, the other was not omitted, though it be not expressed there. And so Peter dealt with them, Act. 2. He shewed them their misery; and so the Lord dealt with the Gaoler, he teacheth him to see what case he was in, and upon the sight of tha [...] to enquire after salvation. As indeed the thing [Page 199] that brings men into Christ, is to make them sensible of salvation and damnation, and when the Gaoler came to this, to thinke of salvation, Sirs, what shall I doe to be saved? That was it that made him willing to doe any thing, whatsoever Paul appointed him to doe; for now he had a sense of the wrath of God, a sense of those ter­rours, he began to see the Almighty Power of God, he began to have his heart smitten with the apprehension of Iudgement, and when he was smitten with that he began to enquire after salvation, and his heart thus prepared with these two motives, the feare of salvation and damna­tion, he was fit to come in, then saith the Apo­stle, Beleeve and thou shalt be saved: So I say, that is one motive, if you will not come in, you shall be damned, if you will, you shall be saved.

But now we have another businesse to make men regard these. One would thinke that men should not need much perswasion to tell them of damnation, that great evill, and of salvation, to be a thing that much concernes them, but there is that deadnesse in the heart of man, that it regards neither. Therefore, let me say a word or two, to shew that these two bee matters of great moment:Salvation and Damnation, are matters of great moment. First, this Salvation and Damnation chiefly concernes you all, other things are but trifles in comparison thereof, be­cause Salvation and Damnation belong to the Soule.They be­long to the soule. It is the Soule that is to be saved, or to be damned. Now the Soule of man is a mans owne selfe; other things are but the out-side, as [Page 200] it were, and that is the reason that Christ saith, What matters, it if you win the whole world, and lose your owne soule: As if he should have said, Thy Soule is thy selfe; therefore to win other things and to lose that, it is great folly; what is it to save the ship, and lose the fraught? To save the shooe, and lose the foot, to save the cloaths, and to have the body destroyed? So, what is it to thee, to have thy body, thy estate, and name, and all outward conveniences right, and such as thou wouldest have them to be, and thy Soule that dwels within, thy Soule which is thy selfe, for those doe but cloath the Soule and wait on it, when this is lost, what are all these? Therefore, if there be any wisdome in the world, it is wisdome certainely to regard that, and if there be any folly in the world, it is to neglect that, because that is all in all to a man. If newes come to a man, your friends are lost, your goods are lost, you are wronged in your name; Suppose he had as many messengers of ill tidings, as Iob had, yet when a man considers seriously, this is but a rending of the cloaths, but the tearing of the sheath, but the breaking downe of the house, as it were, but the man is whole and safe, as long as the soule is safe, as long as salvation is sure, as long as a man is free from damnation, all is nothing: Therefore to a wise-man, that will consider things seriously, there is no motive to this, if you will not come into Christ, you shall be damned, if you will, you shall be saved.

[Page 201]But let me adde this more, Salvation and Damnation continues for ever: Take all other things,They con­tinue for ever. even the best, and worst things in the world, they are soone blowne over, and, as you know, of no continuance; but Salvation is a thing that abides for ever. And this is a thing you regard much in smaller matters; take any good thing, if it will last but a day or two, you regard it not, but as things are of more durance, so you set a greater price on them. Why will you not minde this then? If you come in to Christ, you shall be saved, you shall have eter­nall life. But, now comes in the other, If you will not, you shall be damned, and that remains for ever: Remember, saith the Wise-man, the daies of darknesse, for they are many, that is, infinite; and this should worke on a man that damnation shall be perpetuall. Take a man now, when hee is fallen into any misery, and see what it is that comforts him, you shall finde nothing comforts a man in misery but hope; for, if there be no hope (as we say) the heart would breake: But, now come to this, of damnation there will be no end, there is no hope there; when a man is in misery, hee lookes about him, and begins to thinke, Is there any evasion? If he finde there is none, he begins then to think, yea, but is there any comfort to mingle with it? No. But what kind of misery is it? It may be by one misery I shall be freed from another, this doth moderate it, but if all kind of miseries come, that a man hath no way in the world to evade them, not [Page 202] any thing to mitigate them; this is that, that swallowes up the Soule, and this over-whelmes it with griefe; and this is the condition of a man subject to damnation. Now, I say, this briefe argument we are to use; If you will not come in, you shall be damned, if you will come in, you shall be saved. Well, perhaps all this will not worke upon you, then we have this to say to you, Our commission extends no further; if this will not move you, you are not to be wrought on by us, but we must leave you to your selves, and to your owne wayes, to goe on and perish, and receive your Portion with those that are hardned through unbeliefe, whose end is dam­nation, and your bloud shall be upon your own heads, for that is all our Commission to pro­pound these two to you. It must be Gods work to make your hearts sensible of these things, we can but propound Objects: And so much for the first, Hee that comes in shall bee saved, hee that doth not shall be damned.

Mot. 3. Your thirst shall be satis­fied and hea­led.The third Motive, I take from Iohn 4.10. when the Lord had that converse with the wo­man of Samaria, what saith he to cause her to come in? Woman, if thou hadst asked of me, I would have given thee the water of life: He that drinkes of this water shall thirst againe, but he that drinkes of the water that I shall give him, shal thirst no more, but it shall be in him a Well springing up to everla­sting life: So that is the Argument, if you will come in to Christ, you shall thirst no more, but you shall have your thirst satisfied, and you shall [Page 203] have water given you, which will be water of life.

What is that?Quest.

That is,Answ. If you will come in to Christ, two things you shall have by it: First, your thirst that you had before, that disease of thirst, that every man living is subject to, untill hee be in Christ, that shall be healed; that is, every man hath many things he thirsts after; as take every naturall man, he thirsts after credite, and wealth, and honour, and life, after a thousand things, which the nature of man is sensible of: Well, saith Christ, this thirst shall be healed in you, if you come in to me.

How shall it be healed?Quest.

By breeding in you a right thirst,Answ. by bringing the soule into health, as it were; It is, as if he had said, I will reveale things to you, which you shall prize above all these, when you shall see their preciousnesse, and the need you stand in of them: for these two things make thirst, then the other, Christ heales it in you: As, take every man that is regenerate, to whom God hath re­vealed better things, Even such as the eye hath not seene, nor the eare heard, neither hath entred into the heart of any naturall man. I say, the heart sets so by these things, it so magnifies them, that they take up his heart altogether, that he no more thirsts after other things, but his desires grow remisse in them, though they were all taken away, he could be content, he hath better things, there is a true thirst come in, which hath cured [Page 204] the false thirst, as the true Serpents devoured the false.

Object.But, you will say, we finde not this experi­ence, doe not regenerate men thirst after these things as well as others.

Answ.I cannot deny it, they thirst after them too much, but yet this thirst is healed, for now they do not thirst after them, as things wherein their happinesse consists, their hear [...]s are in a good measure taken off them, they look on them with a right eye, and so their thirst is said to be a hea­led, not because the worke is perfect, but be­cause it is in the way to be healed, and will be perfected. And so we must supply all the rest. Lusts are said to be mortified, not because they are fully dead, but because they are in the way of death, and will die perfectly; therefore we apply the name of mortification to them: So it is in other things, we say water is hot, though it have but little heat, and a thing is white, though it doe but begin to be white; and so we say a thing is healed, though it be but begun, and be not perfectly healed: Even so, in this case, every man that comes to Christ, his thirst is healed, he thirsts no more, because his soule is put into health: As if you should say to a drop­sie man (for when his thirst is healed, his disease is cured) you shall have the thirst of an health­full man, but this diseased thirst you shall have no more. So if you will come in to Christ, this may invite you, you shall thirst no more, you shall be put into that happy condition, that your [Page 205] strong lusts that were your thirst before, shall be healed in you.

And besides, another thing is, you shall not die; It is water of life that Christ gives, as if he had said, you may drinke this Well-water and thirst againe, and drinke againe, and thirst again, and then you die; this water will not give life; therefore he addes that word, Water of life; This water that I give you, shall make you live for ever, it shall give you eternall life. I am the living Bread that came downe from heaven, Iohn 6. he that eats of me shall not hunger, and he that beleeves in me shall not thirst, but shall live for ever. But this I prest in the other, and therefore I will not stand longer on it.

We will name a fourth Motive,Mot. 4. If you be uni­ted with Christ, all things shall worke toge­ther for your good, if not, for your hurt. that you find ordinarily in Scripture. If you come not in to Christ, all things shall worke together for your hurt, and if you take him, All shall worke to­gether for your good: I say, if you doe not, all things shall worke together for your hurt. This is the misery of every man out of Christ, let him be in what condition he will, every thing owes him an ill turne, and will doe it one time or other: Prosperity is bad for him, that stayes him, and his afflictions come for hurt to him, they are like the lopping of a tree out of season, which tends to the destruction of the tree; but it is quite otherwise with the godly, they have afflictions, but they are in season, which makes the Tree grow better. Take the best things in the world, the very Word that is preached, the enlightnings and good motions they have [Page 206] from the Spirit, they all tend to the hurt of the wicked, for they encrease their comdemnation, every thing works together for their hurt what­soever they enjoy: On the other side, if you wil come in, all things shal work together for your good, that is, they shall joyne together for your advantage, one thing shall be ready to helpe an­other, and nothing shall befall you, but it shall worke for your good, because when all is sum­med up, as whatsoever befals the wicked, puts them further from God: Againe, whatsoever befals a good man, it drives him nearer to God, and that is a sure rule, nothing doth good, but that which drawes us nearer to the fountaine of all good, and nothing doth hurt but that which drives us from God. Now, whatsoever befals a good man, it drawes him nearer to God: Sin, which of all other seemeth to doe him most hurt, yet it drives him nearer to God, because it makes him to empty himselfe, of himselfe more, it makes him see his owne misery more, and to prize IESUS CHRIST more, though they be in themselves poison, yet God turnes them into medicines, every thing workes for his good,1 Cor. 3.18. that is the meaning of that, All things are yours, Paul and Cephas, that is, every thing in the world (doe but serve God) life and death are for your advantage, that is, whatsoever is in life, life and all that belongs to it, is for your advan­tage, that you may grow rich in good workes, the longer you live the better: Againe, when death comes, with all the harbingers of it, it is [Page 207] for your good; Sicknesses, which are degrees thereof, they being but the staires by which we descend downe to the chambers of death, death and all the precedents of death, even all these petty deaths are for your advantage, yea, what­soever is in the world is for your good; Things present, and things to come, are yours: Even as in the field, we say, every thing is for the Wheat, the stalke, the eare, the chaffe, the sowing, the plowing, the threshing, the winnowing, the barne and granary, every thing is for the wheat: So the Wheat that growes in this great field of the World, are only the Saints, and every thing in the World is for their advantage, Summer and Winter, Frost and Snow, wet and drie, that is, weale and woe, good and evill, affliction and prosperity, all is for the advantage of the Saints, their winnowings and temptations, all their threshings worke together for their good. And this you shall have by Christ, if you will come in to him, every thing shall owe you a good turne, you shall looke on nothing, but it is for you; All men, yea, the best of them, Paul and Apollo, and Cephas, are for your service, whatso­ever gifts they have, they are all given for your use. Let this move you to come in; if you will not, how ever you may live in this world, and enjoy some sweetnesse with them, that have their Portion in this life, yet they shall doe you hurt, and in the latter end so you shall find it.

The end of the Eighth Sermon.

THE NINTH SERMON VPON THE NEW CREATVRE.

2 Cor. 5.17.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, let him be a new Creature.

THere is one motive that remaines,Mot. 5. If you be out of Christ, you are poore, and naked, and mi­serable. and that is this, which you shall finde, Revel. 3.17. For thou sayest, I am rich and encreased in goods, and hast need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poore, and blinde, and naked. Because we are moved much with sensible things, it pleaseth the Holy Ghost to expresse our spiritual misery, by that misery, [Page 210] which we are sensible of, which is outward; If you be out of Christ, you are poore, and naked, and miserable; If you come in to him, you shall have the contrary; we will pitch therefore upon these three particulars:

Poore.First, if you be out of Christ, you are poore.

What that po­verty is.What is that poverty?

It is the want of whatsoever may make the soule rich; for, you know, there is a double ri­ches; Charge those that are rich in this world. where there is an intimation, that there are men that are rich in another world: And so Luke 12. So is he that is rich in this world, and is not rich towards God. And Revel. 2. I know thy poverty, but thou art rich: that is, thou art rich in grace, and in good works, though thou art poore otherwise, and therefore there is a poverty that concernes the soule, a spirituall poverty which is found in eve­ry man out of Christ. Poverty, you know, it is a thing that every man shuns, he would not be poore, and you shall find, that looke what rea­sons there are, why a man should not be poore in his outward estate, here is the same reason, why they should not be poore in their spirituall estate. For to what end serve riches? Riches serve but for this purpose, to procure things needfull for us, if we want bread, or wine, or houses, or any thing riches will procure them, and therefore we prize riches: And so likewise there are spirituall riches, that will procure things needfull for our soules, and, if we want them, we shall want that, that is profitable for [Page 211] us, we shall want that, that is necessary for our salvation. For riches doe but set men a worke, to doe us service; riches can doe no more, than men can doe: but these spirituall riches set God a worke, to doe us good; they are beyond the other, as much as the help of God goes beyond the helpe of man, when you need any thing. If you be rich in Christ, if you be rich in grace, if you be rich in good workes, it is but putting up your request, and you shall have it at the hand of God, if you want them, you shall have what­soever he is able to doe for you: Now if you be out of Christ, saith the Text, you are poore, (that is) you want these spirituall riches, you have no ground to goe, and to make your suit to goe for any thing.

Againe, riches stand us in stead in the time of need; for, why doe men lay up treasures? that when dearth comes, when there comes a time of need, the riches that they have laid up, may serve their turne, they may have those ready for their use, when other men want them. Are not these riches for the same purpose? Will there not come a day of need, will there not come a time of spending, when there will be no leasure to gather at the day of death? Then all the seed sowen to the spirit, all the good workes that we have laid up, will be as a treasure, and at that time will do us good: And that is the difference between the death of a godly man, and another: when a wicked man comes to the time of need, he hath nothing to sustaine him, he hath no oile [Page 212] left in his lampe, he hath nothing to helpe him up; but the godly man hath a treasure, that he hath gathered, all his life was to lay up a trea­sure: And this, my Brethren, you shall finde to be a great comfort at that time, that when you come to die, all the faithfull prayers that you have made, all the good workes that you have done, all the sincerity that you have shewed in denying your selves, in passing by the things that worldly men catch at, in doing things, that it may be, hath brought trouble, and slander, and disgrace, and persecution on you, you shall then find it a treasure. Take two men, when they come to that day, the one rich in this world, an­other rich in good workes, and consider which of these two conditions you would choose; and therefore it is not a small matter to be rich: Now when you are in Christ, you are rich; out of him, you are poore, and have nothing to stand you in stead in the time of need.

Againe, this a man hath by riches, that he is independant, he needs not to serve others, and therefore you know the proverbe is, that a rich man, he can live by others, and without others, and that is it, they boast of: So it is with all the Saints, they may say to all the world, they can live without it, because they have God to be theirs, they have all his treasures open to them, they have enough in him, for he is all-sufficient, though they have but him alone for their porti­on, yet he is enough, as he saith to Abraham, I am all-sufficient; and why? there are but two things [Page 213] that a man can desire, to be free from evill, and to enjoy good, saith hee, I am thy Buckler, to keepe thee from evill, and thy exceeding great reward to give good to thee: that is, thou shalt have enough, if thou enjoy me. Now, if you be out of Christ, you shall be poore, that is, you shall want these riches, you want the riches of grace, and of good workes, that should stand you in stead in the time of need, which will fetch any thing in for you, when you want it, which will make you more independant, and stand upon your owne bottomes, which is that that every man desires.

Againe,Naked. Nakednesse, what. if you be out of Christ, you are na­ked. Nakednesse is a want of that which should adorne us, which should beautifie us, and that is the case of every man out of Christ, there is no beauty in him. It is the Lord only that cloaths us with beauty. As it is said of Saul, Weepe for Saul, yee Daughters of Ierusalem, for hee clothed you with Scarlet, and did hang ornaments of gold up­on your apparell. It may be truly said of Christ, that he cloaths us with scarlet, and hangs orna­ments of gold on our apparell, that is, it is he that makes us Priests to his Father: Now the Priests in the old Law, were but a type of us, we are the true Priests indeed; you know, they had Iewels, and embroidered garments; and so all the Saints have the shining graces of the Spirit, which adorne and beautifie them: when a man becomes so beautified, then his sight is comely, his voice is pleasant, and his prayers are accep­table. [Page 214] This benefit we have by being in Christ, that it makes us comely in the sight of the Lord, we shall be made beautifull; Indeed Salomon in all his Royalty was not so beautifull as one of the Saints. It is said, the Lilies are much better cloathed than he: And why? Because that was a cloathing of Gods own work; this is the clo­thing of Nature; but the cloathing of Grace goes beyond the clothing of Nature; If the clo­thing of Nature, be beyond that of Salomon, (as indeed it is for naturall excellencie) surely the cloathing of Grace goes beyond that, this you shall have by Christ: when you come to him, you come to a rich Wardrobe, where you may sute your selves from top to tooe, that you need want nothing; and by the way, that use you may make of it, when you come to him, where there are garments of all sorts, where there is change of rayment, why should you suffer your soules to be naked in any part, I know you reckon it undecent for a man to be unevenly cloathed, to have some garments rich and precious, and to have some v [...]le and base; and why will you suf­fer your soules then to goe so unequally clad? It may be, you have graces in one kind, but you want others, if you come in to him, it is he that cloaths you, you are naked without him, this be­nefit you shall have by him, you shall be cloa­thed and be made beautifull, you shall have that glorious attire, that will make you glorious within, which will make you comely in the sight of God, if not, you shall be naked, and [Page 215] therefore you shall be rejected, you shall want that beauty which God only accepts.

Againe,Hungry. if you be out of Christ, you shall be hungry, you shall be wretched and miserable, for I pitch on that generall one, because that is one of the outward miseries, when a man is hungry, when he is starved, when he wants that which should strengthen him, and refresh him, and maintaine his life. This is the case of every man out of Christ, he wants that which should feed him, that which should strengthen him, for you must know, that the soule hath a meat as well as the body; otherwise, why doth Christ say, I have a meat to eat that you know not of? They won­dred to see him neglect his dinner, when hee stood talking with the woman of Samaria, Iohn 4. Why, saith he, I have another meat to eat. And why doth David say, Thy Law is sweeter to mee than the honey, if there were not somewhat that his soule did feed on? And so, why is it said that Manna was Angels food? You know Man­na was a materiall thing, such as a spirituall sub­stance cannot feed on, but because by that Man­na Christ was represented? You know he is said to be the true Manna, The true Bread that came down from heaven; the Angels they feed on this, and in that respect, it is called Angels food, they feed on the same spirituall meat, 1 Cor. 10. Your Fathers did eat that spirituall meat, that is, the cor­porall meat did typifie the spiritual meat, which is Angels food; therefore there is a food, th [...]t the soule feeds on, out of Christ, there is none of [Page 216] this, but your soules are starved, are miserable and wretched. For what is it that food doth? It maintains life in a man, take away food, and you die for it. Now it is Christ that gives that, His flesh is meat indeed, and his bloud is drinke indeed: that is, Whosoever beleeves not in him, whosoever partakes not of him, he dies for ever.

Againe, meat strengthneth, and so doth the Lord when we come to him, he gives spirituall strength, Without him we are able to doe nothing: As you have it, Ioh. 15. Without me you are able to bring forth no fruit: But as the Apostle speakes, Phil. 4. Through Christ I am able to do every thing: It is the Lord that giveth strength: If you will come in, you shall have strength given you, which is the property of meat.

Againe, meat refresheth and revives the spi­rits, so doth the Lord by his graces, by the joy of the Holy Ghost, by peace of conscience, by those things that he puts into the heart of every beleever, I say, they refresh the soule, more than flaggons of wine, and there is as evident refresh­ing: and therefore you know that metaphor is used often in Esay 26. I will make a feast of fined wines, and of fat things: And in Mat. 22. he cals them to come in, for his fatlings were prepared, and all things were ready.

What is the reason that the Lord resembleth spirituall things by a Feast, because they doe the same things as a Feast doth; a Feast is a re­freshing to a man, a continuall feast is a conti­nuall comfort, and this you shall have; if you [Page 217] will come in to the Lord: if you will not come in, you shall be starved, you shall be wretched and miserable. This you shall have by the Lord Iesus. Let this move you to come in.

But now a man will be ready to object,Object. 1. you tell us of these things, and indeed these are good­ly things, if they were present, if they were reall, if they were not Imaginary things onely, that consisted in notion, and in speculation; if they were things that were sensible, but they are not so; these things are future things, they are remote things, they are things but in Imagination, they are things that we have no feeling of, they are things that if we looke after them, we shall lose other things in this life?

This objection all the world makes against such motives as these;Answ. and therefore I will an­swer these briefly, and proceed:

First, whereas men say, they are things that 1 are farre off, (and indeed such things move not much:) I say, they are already present, they are a great part present, we have the first fruits pre­sent, though the harvest be deferred, and wee may boldly say to you, that those very glea­nings, for the present, are beyond the vintage that the children of this world enjoy, the peace of conscience, the joy of the Spirit, boldnesse in death, security and freedome from all deaths, and dangers, familiarity and acquaintance with God, to enjoy his favour with all that hee can doe, the grace the prevent us, the blessing that followes us in all our actions, the comforts of [Page 218] the Saints, whose hearts are made glad with the light of Gods countenance; these things, I say, are beyond the wine and oile, beyond the dain­ties and honours which they have, who have their portion in this life; therefore you have something for the present: indeed the outside of these things are but base, but the inside is preci­ous. This is the difference betweene heavenly things and earthly; in heavenly the worst is first, the best is last: In outward things it is true, the beginning is sweet, but the latter end is bitterest: but let that be one answer to it, that you have much of it for the present.

2 And besides this, remember though you have it not present, yet you shall have it after; and what great matter is it to want a little, to enjoy more for the future? Are we not content to buy great reversions with the losse of a little money for the present, for we say it will come in? Are we not content to endure an Apprentiship of se­ven or eight yeares, for our greater advantage? Doe not men willingly serve a Master, or a Mi­stresse, a long time, for hopes hereafter? Now what folly, yea, what Atheisme, and unbeliefe is it for a man in things that concerne salvation, not to be content to want a little for the present, to enjoy happinesse for ever? If a man should be put to his choise, whether he would have five shillings to day, or many thousands to morrow, a man, no question would have it to morrow. You know, this life is not so much to eternitie, as to day is to the next day; why should we not [Page 219] be content to want a little, that we may have the more afterwards.

And besides, if you consider what men are,3 men are reasonable, and to what end is reason given you, but to looke on things past and fu­ture? That is the part of a Beast only to look on present things, you should doe more than the Beasts doe, you should looke to things that are future, and should order your lives according to that; And what have you faith for? For faith is that which distinguisheth a Christian from another man, as reason distinguisheth a man from a beast, surely this should teach you to goe beyond reason, reason teacheth you to goe be­yond that which is present, and faith carries you beyond that, and therefore you should have an eye to things future, to things to come, and not be occupied in things present; and therefore, though you have not those things for the pre­sent, you shal have them, and you should be con­tent to want a little, that you may enioy the more for the future, you should consider things future and not present, if reason teacheth you to doe so, much more will faith.

But it will be objected againe,Object. 2. It is true; but these things that you tell us of, they are not reall things, they are things that consist but in notion and speculation?

It is not so,Answ. you must know that these spiritu­all Priviledges are reall; All that are in Christ, are as truely Kings and Priests, they are as truly Sonnes and Heires apparant, and have all the [Page 220] promises of God intailed upon them and theirs, (as any Princes in this world) and there is no regenerate man that knowes this, that will change that glory that is reserved for him in heaven, for any earthly kingdome.

Object. 3.But we have no feeling of these things?

Answ.We answer againe, that there is a sense of them, as quicke a sense and apprehension of them, as there is of any other; for what is it that makes men sensible of these outward riches, and kingdomes, and honours? nothing but this, be­cause the understanding magnifieth such things, and the affection loves and desires such things, when you enjoy them, then you are refreshed with them; for pleasure is nothing else, but the suting of a mans desires whatsoever they be: No man would take pleasure in any outward things, but because, first he desire; them, and the satisfying of that, is that that breeds a pleasure: now when you come home to Christ, you must know that you shall have other desires, as you have it in this Text, You shall be made New Crea­tures, you shall have other affections than you had before, and when these are satisfied, you shal have as true Pleasure and rejoycing, as ever you had in the other; for, if that be a true definition of Peasure and rejoycing,Pleasure, what. that it is a satisfying of the desire, a satisfying of the appetite, what­soever it is, when that is changed; Why should you doubt, that you shall not have as much sense, and as quicke an apprehension, yea, why may we not say, you shall have more? For this [Page 221] I will be bold to affirme, that the object is grea­ter, and the faculty is more capacious and ap­prehensive.

The object is greater, for it is durable riches, it is durable honour, a durable kingdome, grea­ter than any kingdome upon the earth. Looke on all things that God propounds to the sons of men, and they are far beyond the things that are here below: To be the son of God is more than to be the son of any King, to be an heire of hea­ven, to be an heire of all things, is more than to be an heire apparant to a Crowne; whatsoever is propounded, I say it is beyond it, therefore the object is greater. Then come to the facul­ties, they are more capacious, they have a more quicke and lively sense and apprehension, as the rationall faculties, the understanding, and the will, their apprehensions are deeper than those of phansie, of sense, or sensuall appetite; and therefore you see the griefe of the reasonable part is more than that of the senses, and hence it is, that the misery of those that are in hell, goes beyond the miseries of any in this life; and so the joyes of those that are in heaven, is beyond the joy of any in this life: Man, as he is more happy, so he is more miserable than the Beast, and why so? because the faculty is larger, and therefore a man that is heavenly minded, a man that lives by faith, that is, in Christ, hee hath greater things to enjoy, than a worldly man hath, or can have.

Againe, the thoughts, the faculties that are [Page 222] taken up about them, they are of a larger appre­hension, and have a more deepe and quick sense than the others have; and therefore in matter of sense, we cannot yeeld that these things are not sensible, For it is Peace of Conscience that passeth all understanding, it is joy unspeakable and glorious. It is said so of no outward thing, and therefore these are farre beyond them; that shall serve to an­swer that objection.

And so we have gone thorow three of them, that they are things absent, that they are things that are not reall, that consist in notion and spe­culation, that they are things not sensible.

Object. 4.Now there is a fourth objection, but I must lose present things for them; if we might have him and enjoy our pleasures, if we could have him, and enjoy riches and honour, we would be content, but we must be at a losse?

Answ.But to this we answer, that you shall be no losers, no not for this life, you shall but make an exchange, and change for the better; What is it that Christ requires of you? it is but to do some thing for his sake, and to suffer something; if you doe, it is but seed sowen to the Spirit, and as in other seeds, every seed bringeth forth more abundantly, it riseth with a greater plenty; so every good worke you doe, it wil doe you good at one time or other, you shall be sure to have present wages for it, and for that you suffer, Mark. 10. You shal have an hundred fold in this life, and set aside eternall life, for every thing that you lose for Christs sake, you shal have an hun­dred [Page 223] fold: Many particulars there he reckons up, if you lose friends or goods, whatsoever you lose, you shall have an hundred fold in this life with persecution; for there is the objection.

O but we see they are persecuted, they are beneath and not above, they are trampled on, they are miserable.

Why though they be, yet with persecution you shall have an hundred fold, that is, you shall have an hundred fold more comfort: As, I will give you but this instance.

Take Paul, he was persecuted and afflicted, had not he an hundred fold? Take a man that lives in abundance, and in plenty of all things, com­pare his condition with that Apostles, and see whether he have not more joy of heart, more comfort in those afflictions, when he went from Prison to Prison, from affliction to affliction, than Nero had in his Palace, or that men have that enjoy outward things in abundance, for they are not outward things that will comfort us, them a man may have in plenty, and yet want the comfort of them, as many thousands have had. So much shall serve for the answe­ring of these objections. Therefore, since there are so many motives to move you to come into Christ, the impediments which you finde in the way, the objections of the flesh, and the objecti­ons that come from Satan are but delusions. Why should you not come in? He is the ground of all comfort; have him, and have all; want him, and want all things: 1 Iohn 5. He that hath [Page 224] the Son hath life, he that hath not the Son, the wrath of God abides upon him: That is, he that hath the Son, hath life, and all things that pertaine to life; that is it that makes a man happie, as you know every thing is said then to be happie, when it hath that which is agreeable to that being, agreeable to that life that it leads. A man that leads the life of nature, is happie for this world, according to his condition, when he hath every thing that belongs to this life, when hee hath wealth, when he hath houses, when he hath all conveniences. Now, when a man hath the Son, he hath spirituall life, and all things pertaining to it, there is nothing wanting to make him hap­pie; when he hath not that, The wrath of God abides on him; that is, the Lord is his Enemie, that is the Governour of the world, and he is not his enemie for a fit, but the wrath of God abides on him for ever. And therefore, since the Lord is the cause of all our comfort he is the ground of all Salvation, both of all the graces, and of all the Priviledges that follow upon it, this should move us to come in, and to take him; those two arguments, I say, the misery that you are in out of him, and the happi­nesse you shall have by him, but I will urge this no further, so much shall serve for this Text.

FINIS.
THE CVPPE OF BLESSIN …

THE CVPPE OF BLESSING: DELIVERED IN three Sermons, upon 1 COR. 10.16. By the late faithfull and worthy Minister of IESUS CHRIST, IOHN PRESTON, D. in Divinity, Chaplaine in ordinary to his Majestie, Master of Emmanuel Colledge in Cambridge, and sometimes Preacher of Lincolns INNE.

LONDON, Printed by R. B. for NICHOLAS BOURNE, and are to be sold at his shop at the Royall Exchange. 1633.

[...] draw nearest to him, as we doe in this holy Sa­crament of the Lords Supper. And therefore, nothing concernes us more than that we doe not receive it unworthily, because the Lord will be sanctified in those that draw nearest un­to him, that is, either in the holinesse of their hearts, or in executing his just judgement upon them: And therefore that at this time, and o­thers also, you may not come unprepared to the holy Sacrament, we have purposely pit­ched on these words: ‘The Cup of blessing that we blesse] &c.

In which ye shall finde these three parts:

  • First, that in this Sacrament there is a true communicating of the body and bloud of Christ.
  • Secondly, the meanes whereby this com­munication is made to us, it is the breaking of the bread, and by powring out the wine: Is not the bread that we breake the Communion of the body of Christ? &c.
  • And thirdly, the setting apart, or the bles­sing, or sanctifying of these elements to such a purpose; The Cup of blessing which we blesse, is it not the Communion of the bloud of Christ?

Now for the first of these, I say, in the Sa­crament there is a communication of the very body and bloud of Christ: The Papists affirme the same; but all the question is, in what man­ner there is this communicating of his body and bloud, they say, corporally that there is. Transubstantiation there; we say the thing is [Page 3] really done, but it is done spiritually, it is done mystically, it is done sacramentally.

The reason of our difference, is, because of these words of our Saviour, This is my body. And the Popish indeed is so strange an opinion that I would not waste time in confuting of it, but that I know there are divers amongst our selves that doe willingly leave the Papists in other points, yet they are held with some scru­ple with this, they know not how to contra­dict such plaine words, This is my body, and therefore they cannot be perswaded but that there is somewhat in it more than our Divines affirme; and therefore it shall not be needlesse to spend a little time in shewing you the false­nesse of this opinion:

First, I would aske this question, whether there be necessity or no, that there should be such a Transubstantiation; for surely, if there be not necessity, if that be but an arbitrary thing, wee may as well deny it, as they af­firme it.

Againe, such a monstrous conceit as this, compounded of so many ingrediences, of so many strange miracles, the least of which goes beyond the highest in all the Scriptures, I say, is not to be put upon us without necessity; themselves grant, that, unlesse there be a neces­sity, we have no reason to receive it at their hands: And therefore we will enquire first, and see what necessity there is.

First, I say, there is no such necessity that [Page 4] there should be any such Transubstantiation, any such corporall presence of Christ in the Sacrament, neither in regard of the thing, nor in regard of the words, This is my body.

I say, it is not necessary in regard of the thing, looke to all the ends of the Sacrament, you shall finde that you may have all without such a Transubstantiation.

First, if the end of the Sacrament bee to bring Christ to our remembrance, as himselfe saith, that it was his end, Doe this, (saith he) as often as you doe it, in remembrance of me: certain­ly, it is not necessary that there should be a change of bread into his body for that pur­pose, because the Sacrament it selfe with those words instituted are enough for his remem­brance: And besides this, the very word, Re­member, shewes that he is rather absent than present, for we remember not things present, but remembrance is of things absent: Besides, the other Sacrament represents Christ, and cals him to remembrance, where there is no such Transubstantiation: and therefore it is not for remembrance that it is needfull that Christ should be corporally present.

Or secondly, is it needfull for this, the shew­ing forth the Lords death till he come? Surely, for this it is not needfull neither, for in preach­ing we shew forth the Lords death, as the Apo­stle saith to the Galathians, Christ was so plainly preached, that hee was as good as crucified a­mongst them: And therefore it is not needfull [Page 5] for the shewing forth of the Lords death till he come: Besides, there is a particle put in there, that may helpe us a little, till he come, which presupposeth that he is not yet here, and therefore it is not necessary for that end.

But againe, is it necessary for our union with Christ, for that is another end of the Sacra­ment, that we may be united to him; surely if the union were corporall, then indeed there might seeme some necessity of it, if we were so united to Christ, as when two boards are clapt [...]ogether, where one toucheth another: but you know there is no such corporall union, it is spi­rituall, and not corporall, it is by faith, and not by sense? What is the union betweene Christ and us? Partly relative, as the union betweene the husband and the wife, and you know if the husband and the wife be a thousand miles asun­der there might be such an union: And partly it is reall, a true reall unity, when Christs Spi­rit dwels in us, which may be done without the corporall presence of Christ: And therefore certainly it is not needfull for the uniting of us to Christ, because this union is spirituall, it is done by faith, by communicating the Spirit of Christ in us; and therefore in this regard it is not necessary that there should be a corporall presence in the Sacrament.

Last of all, is it necessary to encrease our faith, for that likewise is one end of the Sacra­ment that our faith may be strengthned: Why surely, it is not needfull for this purpose, no, I [Page 6] say, it cannot strengthen faith, because the meanes, you know, is subordinate to the end, it is lesse than the end, whereas the faith that is required to beleeve Transubstantiation, is far beyond the highest pitch of faith expressed in all Scripture: I say, it cannot be that, that should be made a meanes to helpe faith, that is beyond the thing that is to be beleeved (marke it) consider what it is we are to beleeve, we are to beleeve that Christ tooke mans nature on him for us, that his sufferings and crucifying belong unto us, &c. Is it not much easier to beleeve this, than to beleeve that a peece of bread is turned into the body of CHRIST? Though you see nothing, though you taste no­thing but bread, I say, it is much easier: Now, as we say, we must not blow a sparke too much for putting it out, now to have such meanes as these to helpe faith, that cherisheth not the sparke of faith, but blowes it out, it doth not helpe faith, but over-whelmes faith, when the meanes used to strengthen are such as are be­yond the thing to be strengthned: Therefore in regard of the thing there is no necessity, that there should bee any corporall presence of Christ in the Sacrament. But let us consider whether there be any necessity in regard of the words, This is my body: Surely, there is not any necessity here, for the words may have another meaning, This is my body, that is, this is the fi­gure of my body, or this is the Sacrament of my body, and therefore it is not necessary, spe­cially [Page 7] seeing it is so frequent with Scripture to use metaphors in this kinde, I need not name them to you, you know Christ is called a Rock, he is said to be a Lambe, to be a Lion, and in an­other case Iudas is said to be a Devill, the Seed is said to be the Word, nothing more frequent, Christ is said to be a Vine: I need not give you more instances: Herod, Christ cals him Fox: The meaning of all this is, that they are types and signes, like such and such things. But yet it is the manner of the Scriptures speech, and therefore it is not of necessity that those words should be so taken, for words are like cloaths that may fit more backes than the owners; the words may agree to somewhat else, there is not a word here, but it may agree to divers things: Body, it signifies divers bodies: the word, This, signifies as many things as you point to: and therefore there is no necessity that they should signifie a corporall presence of Christ.

But you will object, I, but in a matter of this moment, as the Sacrament, the Lord speakes distinctly and expresly, there he useth no meta­phor, though in other cases he doe.

To this I answer briefly, it is so farre from being true, that he useth them not in the Sacra­ment, that there are none of all the Sacraments, but it is used. In the Sacrament of Circumci­sion, This the Covenant, &c. In the Sacrament of the Passeover (which were the Sacraments of the old Law) the Lambe is the Passeover, in this very Sacrament: To goe no further for in­stances, [Page 8] take but the second part of it, This is the Cup of the new Testament in my bloud, where you shall finde two types and figures, this Cup, taken for this Wine; This is the Cup of the new Testament, that is, the Sacrament of the new Testament: And therefore we see, there is no necessity in regard of the words: And there is no necessity since with a little buckling and swarving, This is my body, that is, this is the fi­gure of my body, we may have a convenient sense, why should we faine such a monstrous thing that bread is turned into the very body of Christ, and the wine into the very bloud? What needs such a monstrous fetch as this, to helpe the words to a meaning? What need or necessity is there that they should be so inter­preted? And therefore we see in the first place that there is no necessity, and if there be no ne­cessity, it is not to be put upon us, for if that be an arbitrary thing, we may aswell deny it.

Secondly, as there is not necessitie, so there is not possibilitie, (though it were possible) they would not get much, for there are many things that are possible that are not done: But it is not possible, if it were possible, then it must stand with the power of God: But the power of God is not used, but where the glory and wisdome of God goe before, for it is the har­binger of his glory and wisdome. The power of God is not used, but if it be for his honour, therefore it is said, God cannot lye, because it is not for his honour, and he cannot deny him­selfe, [Page 9] because it is not for his wisdome and his glory: Now I say since this is not for the glory of God (for it is against his glory that there should be such a conversion of the bread into the body of Christ, and it is against his wise­dome: And if it be against these, then certain­ly, the power of God must not be called to it: Now, I say, it is against his glory, because whensoever the Lord appeared, he appeared alway in glory, though sometimes he appeared as a man, yet there was such a majestie that caused them to tremble that beheld him: Shall we see God and live? You see when he appea­red to Elias, what majestie he came in? what harbengers he sent before him, the Wind that rent the Rockes, and a Fire, &c.

But, you will say Christ humbled himselfe to death as a man, therefore he doth not al­wayes appeare in glory.

It is true, and that was the lowest degree of Humiliation; and yet when he appeared as man, there was some sparke of his Divinitie appea­red there: But that Christ should appeare in the likenesse of a peece of bread that thou mayest put in thine owne mouth, surely this is a mon­strous thing, it is against the glory of God. Doe you thinke, if Christ should come downe upon the earth, after his Ascention, and exhi­bite himselfe to be worshipped amongst us, that he would present himselfe in the forme of a peece of bread? It is impossible, it is not for his glory, and if it be not for his glory, then [Page 10] certainely the power of God must not bee brought downe for the working of it. And as it is against his glory, so it is against his wis­dome, for the Lord doth nothing to no pur­pose, hee doth nothing in vaine, hee never wrought miracles when they might be spared, where the thing might be done without a mi­racle. Since this might be done without a mi­racle, all that we have by Christ, all that is re­presented in the Sacrament, what necessity is there? and if there be no necessity, it beseemes not the wisedome of God to doe it: Againe, would not the smallest miracle, really and vi­sibly exposed to sense, helpe more than such a miracle as this: Besides all this, I say, it is not possible (make your owne senses judges) you see nothing but bread; now this is a sure rule, that of all demonstrations of reason that we have to prove things, nothing is so firme as that which is taken from sense: to prove the fire is hot, we feele it hot, or honey to be sweet, when we taste it to be sweet: There is no rea­son in the world makes it so firme as sense: As it is true in these cases, so it is an undoubted truth in Divinity, that in all matters of sense, sense is a competent judge: Indeed, if it be a matter of reason, there sense is not able to judge, the eye is able to judge of his owne sense, of sounds it cannot judge; but, I say, objects pro­per to sense, peculiar to sense, in these sense is a competent judge: And therefore Christ him­selfe, in this very businesse, when he would [Page 11] prove that he had a true bodie, he sends them to their senses, A spirit hath not flesh and bloud as you see me have: And Thomas he bids, Put thy hand into my side and feele, &c. He sends them to their senses: Looke thorow the Scriptures, and see if there be one miracle there, if sense be not a competent judge according to that part of the miracle that concernes the sense; would you not thinke it strange, if Christ should have come to the master of the feast, when he wrought the miracle, and have said, Sir, you must beleeve that this is wine, though you see nothing, though you taste nothing but water, yet you must beleeve that it is turned into wine; And if GOD should have said unto Moses, Though you see nothing but a Rod, thou must beleeve it is turned into a Serpent: If there had beene no change indeed, and such as sense might see, we would think it a ridiculous thing, and next doore to an Imposture: And therefore certainly in matters of sense, sense is a compe­tent judge; and therefore when all the senses tell us that it is bread when we taste, when the eye and the touch, when every thing makes it evident that it is bread, why should wee say there is any thing else but bread.

Besides, if we will adde to sense, reason; it is against reason, as well as against sense: It is against reason that Christ should be in heaven, and yet have ten thousand bodies on earth, and yet Christ hath but one body, and a body can be but in one place: And againe, this body [Page 12] must be without all circumscription and quali­ties and properties of a bodie: And again, that the bread that we see should be no bread, say they, there is the whitenesse of bread, there is the taste of bread, there is the quantitie of bread, and that is all: I would but aske them one thing, when this bread is eaten, since there is nothing there, but these accidents, there is nothing but the meere quantity, and the like: I would aske whether it nourish the body or no; they must needs answer no, if they follow their principles, because the body of Christ is not there, they say it is removed as soone as the bread is destroyed, when it begins to turne into flesh, it loseth these accidents; well, the bread returnes not againe, there is nothing but accidents of the bread, and yet certainly it doth nourish; for it is reported by credible Authors, that some have beene so holy, that they would feed upon nothing else but the Eucharist, for a Priest may consecrate a Cellar of wine, and as much bread as he will, and may feed upon this, and with these he may be nourished, and yet there is nothing but accidents of bread: In a word, the Schooles that traverse this so accute­ly, are not satisfied at all in this, but they leave it as a wonder, as a thing that cannot be ex­plained: So it is against reason, as it is against sense.

But, you will say, faith is beyond sense and reason, it is true, it is beyond both, but it is not contrary to both; faith teacheth nothing con­trary [Page 13] to reason, for sense and reason are Gods workes as well as grace, now one worke of God doth not destroy another, if they should, there must be an imperfection in the worke­man, and therefore grace and faith contrary not sense and reason; indeed it elevateth reason, and makes it higher, it makes it see further than reason could, it is contrary indeed to corrupt reason, but to reason that is right reason, it is not contrary, only it raiseth it higher: And therefore faith teacheth nothing contrary to sense and reason.

But besides these, if we shew them Scripture too, what will they have then to say? when we say it is against sense and reason, say they, the Scriptures affirme it, if it do we will yeeld. Let us examine the words if the Scripture af­firme it: Yes, say they, the Scripture saith, This is my body, they are Christs words; but if the Scriptures say so, yet the Scripture saith no where, that that bread is turned into the bo­die, that no where saith, that there is such a Transubstantiation, onely those words used, which, as you heard, may have a metaphori­call, tropicall, figurative sense: But besides this, what if the Scripture say the contrary; you shall finde this in the next Chapter five times called Bread, and after it is consecrated too, as the Apostle saith, The Cup of Blessing that we blesse, and the bread that we breake: After he had blessed the bread, then he tooke it, and after hee had tooke it, then hee brake it, hee [Page 14] thus tooke that which is called Bread.

Againe, they say the body of Christ is not broken, but that is broken, which is alwayes after the words of Consecration, but it is the bread that we breake.

Againe, if it could be understood other­wise, you see what a Tautologie would be in the words, The Bread that wee breake, it is the Communion of the body of Christ; if the meaning was, that it is the body, here the words must be thus rendred; The body that we breake, is it not the communion of the body? But, I say, five times you shall finde it in this next Chap­ter, that it is Bread after the words of Conse­cration; and you know it is said to be Wine: Christ saith, he will not drinke of the fruit of the Vine; by which he meanes the very wine which was before in the Sacrament: and therefore certainly they finde nothing that affirmes it.

Besides, if it were the meaning of Christ, This is my body, what is the reason the Disciples never asked any question about it? What is the reason the Fathers, that followed in the first times, spake not of such a thing: I need not trouble you with that. Now you shall finde all along from the first, that the Fathers make no such mention of that; but not to stand to presse this further, because I see the time passeth, and this thing I intend not to stand on: You see therefore the falsenesse of this opinion, that this Communion of the bloud of Christ, and of the body of Christ, should be through any [Page 15] reall corporall Transubstantiation. But what is it then? We are to distinguish betweene the inward and the outward action, there need no more but that with the outward action, with the mouth of the body, we take the bread and wine; and with the inward action, that is, by faith wee take the very body and bloud of Christ; these we distinguish, these they con­found: But, I say, we agree in the thing, we say Christ is communicated to us in the Sacra­ment, as truly and really as they, only there is difference in the manner, we say it is spiritual­ly, they say it is corporally.

For what is the Sacrament? (to open it to you) and so I will come to make some use to you.

This Sacrament is nothing else, but the Seale of the Gospell of the new Covenant; and it is indeed nothing else, but a visible Go­spell; for what is the Gospell? the Gospell is but an offer of Christ, to all that will take him, for remission of sinnes; now the same thing which the Gospell preacheth to the eare, the same the Sacrament preacheth to the eye, that is, in the Sacrament there is an offer of Christ to us, Take and eat, that is, take Christ, whose body was broken, and whose bloud was shed for you, take him for remission of sinnes: I say the same is done, only the Gospell presents it to us un­der audible words, and the Sacrament presents it to us under visible signes: this is all the dif­ference: If we would know what the Sacra­ment [Page 16] is, consider what the Gospell is, and the Covenant, and you shall know what this is, for it is but a Scale, but a memoriall of the Gospell; now what is this Gospell? It is nothing but this, when God looked on mankinde, as fallen in Adam, he tooke a resolution in himselfe to recover them againe, by giving his Sonne to them: Now this must be manifested to men, therefore he sends his messengers to declare to the sonnes of men, to let them know their estate by nature, and to tell them that he hath given them his Sonne to save them from their [...]innes, and to reconcile them to himselfe, to give them title to the kingdome, from the hope of which they were fallen: this is one part of the Gospell, this promise which he hath made, which, I say, is nothing else but a meere office of Christ.

But there is another part wch is the conditi­on required on our part, when Christ is thus gi­ven, you must serve him, and love him, and o­bey him, and turne from all your evill wayes, you must be his, as he is yours: now when this covenant and agreement is made betweene us, he puts his Seale to it, this Sacrament of the Lords Supper: As Iacob and Laban, when they had made an agreement one with another, that they should not hurt one another, they pitched stones upon an heape, This shall be a witnesse be­tweene us, that is, if either of us breake the bar­gaine, let this heape witnesse that there was such a covenant made: And as God himselfe [Page 17] did, when he made a covenant with Noah, that the waters should no more overflow the earth, he set his bow in the clouds, and that was a witnesse, that when I see the Bow in the cloud, if I goe about to drowne the earth againe with water, let this witnesse against me: So in the Passeover, when he made a promise that the destroying Angell should spare them, he com­mands them that they should sprinkle the doore-cheekes with bloud, that when he sees the bloud, that witnesse might secure them, that the Lord would remember what he had promised when hee had seene that: And as among men, when a man conveyes either lands or money, to another man, they use to con­firme the bargaine with seales or with some signe or memoriall, that when they forget the bargaine, or deny it, or goe about to breake it, it may be said to them, This is your hand and seale, the thing is done, you have past it, it can­not be recalled; if you doe, this will witnesse against you: So the Lord here, when he hath made his Covenant with us, I will give you my Sonne: And you againe shall give your selves up to him, he puts his hand and seale to it, as it were, he addes this Sacrament that will be a witnesse against him, if he should go about to breake his covenant, as it is a witnesse against us, if we breake the Covenant of faith and re­pentance, that is required on our part: You see therefore what the Sacrament is, it is nothing but the Seale of the Gospell, presenting that to [Page 18] the eye, which the Gospell presents to the eare, for it presents God, as it were, he comes with Christ in his hand, saying this to us, This is my Son, his body is broken for you, and his bloud shed for you, take Him, let Him be yours, only remember that you serve him, that you love him, that you obey him againe, and let this Sacra­ment be a signe and a witnesse betweene us: so that as the Gospell hath two parts, one is a re­lation of all that Christ hath done; and an­other is the giving and offering Christ to us, so in this Sacrament there is a representing of Christ, he was crucified, his body was broken, his bloud was shed, and a deed of gift is delive­red of Christ to us, Take and eat: And there­fore know that it is not a bare signe, but it is a signe of the Covenant; and there is a difference betweene those two, to say the Sacrament is a signe of Christ, and a signe of the Covenant, even as there is a great difference betweene the wax that only bears the impression of an image stamped upon it, and betweene that which is a seale to a Deed; that is a signe of the covenant, or bargaine, and agreement, for that gives in­terest into the thing, that gives Title to the thing, that conveyes the thing to us, that binds the owner perpetually to the performance of the thing; so the Sacrament is not a naked signe, representing this act of Christ, but it gives us interest, not only into some benefits, no, he saith not, you shall have remission of sinnes, or you shall have adoption, but he saith, [Page 19] Take, this is my body: By body is meant whole Christ, by a Synecdoche, we have Christ and all things else.

What use are we to make of this? Surely it is of great use many wayes: First, we must make this use of it, which is the maine end of the Sacrament, to confirme our faith in the as­surance of the forgivenesse of our sinnes, as like­wise to renew our Covenant, and the Conditi­on required on our part, when God hath said he is willing to pardon our sinnes, if he had but barely said it, it had beene enough, God cannot lye: But lest it should not be enough, he hath not only said it, but he hath sworne it, Hebr. 6. He hath sworne by himselfe, that by two immutable things we might have strong consolation: Being willing, saith the Apostle, to shew to the heires of Promise the stablenesse of his Councell, he bound himselfe with an oath, but yet lest that should not be enough, he hath added seales to it, he hath given the inward seale of the Spirit, and the outward seale of the Sacrament; as if he should say, I have promised to forgive you your sinnes, let the Sacrament witnesse against me, if I performe it not: Here by the way ob­serve, how difficult a thing it is for us to be­leeve, you may thinke it an easie thing when you are in health, when you are well; but when death comes, when temptation comes, when trouble of conscience comes, I say, you shall finde it a difficult thing, you shall finde a need of all these helpes; for certainly God sweares [Page 20] not in vaine, he would not have bound himselfe with an oath, to be ready to forgive sinnes, if there were not exceeding need of such helpes to confirme us; and therefore you have need to set your selves more diligently about it, make this use of the Sacrament, labour to con­firme your selves in this assurance: So that as the Apostle saith, You may have strong consolati­on, that is, when the temptations of Satan shall assault you with objections to the contrary, you may be strong, and not shaken: And why should you be doubtfull (if we should a little reason with you) that you may receive the fruit of this, for why should you feare it? For first, the Lord professeth, I would not the death of a sinner as I live: And why will you die, oh you house of Israel: What is the meaning of this? but to shew that the Lord hath an exceeding great desire, earnestly longs to save the soules of men. Indeed he saith not that he will give eve­ry one grace to come in, but if he doe, As I live, saith the Lord, I will not his death, that is, I am ready to forgive him: Besides this, consider what a man is ready to doe, consider how ten­der-hearted fathers and mothers are to their children; if we finde so much mercy there, con­sider how much there is in God; that mercy that is in us, is but a drop to the Ocean, it is but a beame, to the fulnesse that is in him: If you that are evill can give good things to your children, Luke▪ how much more shall your heavenly Father doe it? Againe, consider if the Lord were not ready to [Page 21] shew mercy to you, that Christ should not be of none effect, that is, the bloud of Christ should be shed in vaine. And doe you thinke the Lord would send his Sonne to suffer death, and to suffer it in vaine? and that should be in vaine, if he should not be ready to receive men to mer­cie, when they come to seeke it at his hands; besides, if the Lord should not doe this, no flesh should be saved: Psal. 130.1. saith the Psalmist there, If thou Lord shouldest marke all that is done amisse, who could stand? The meaning is this, if the Lord should not be ready to doe this, which he hath given to the Sacrament to confirme, namely to forgive sinnes, if he should not be ready to doe it, if he should mark straitly what is done amisse, who could stand, that is, who should be saved? Now certainly the Lord hath made man for that purpose, many shall be sa­ved, none were made for damnation: Besides, there is another argument, There is mercy with thee, that thou mightest be feared: Feare is taken for the worship of God, that is, if the Lord should not receive men, none would worship him, none would serve him; when there is no hope, take away all hope, take away all endea­vour. If this will not perswade you, consider what the Lord hath done for others; how ma­ny thousands of others have had their sinnes forgiven, and then thinke, had he mercy for such and such, and hath he not mercy enough for me? Hath not Christ taken thy nature as well as theirs? If all this will not perswade [Page 22] you, consider how mercifull Christ was in the dayes of his flesh, he was exceeding gentle, easie to be entreated, you shall never finde that there was any that asked at his hands, but he granted it: And thinke you that he is lesse pitifull now to mens soules, than he was to their bodies? Doe you thinke that now he is in heaven, he hath laid aside his mercifull disposition? No, Hebr. 4. We have a mercifull high Priest that is touched with our infirmities, that is ready to for­give: Oh, but my sinnes are exceeding great, what though they be, is not the Lords mercy exceeding, is it not like the mighty Sea, that drownes mountaines aswell as mole-hils: My sins are of divers sorts, what if they be, in the Lord there is multitudes of mercies, as many as thou hast sinnes: I, but they have oft beene re­peated, I have oft fallen into them againe and againe: What if thou hast? Is not his mercies renewed every morning: And, Zachary 15.1. There is a fountaine opened for the house of Iudah and Ierusalem to wash in: Not a cisterne, but a fountaine, that is, as there is a spring of sinne in us, so there is a spring of mercy in God, there is no end of his mercy, therefore doubt not in regard of that.

But againe, I am unfit, if I were fit and ready for this, I might receive fruit from the Sacra­ment, but I am unfit? Why? If thou thought's thy selfe fit, thou shouldest not have it; even therefore, because thou feelest thy selfe unfit, the rather thou shalt be received to mercy: the [Page 23] Lord lookes for this a [...] thy hands, that we find and feele such [...]fi [...]resse in our selves, the more we are humbled, the lesse we find in our selves, the more ready the Lord is to receive us to mercy: Besides, this very unfitnesse, I would aske thee, but what i [...] is; Is it not sinne? If all sinnes be forgiven, if the pardon be generall, then it is contained among the rest, and shall not be any impediment: And therefore make this use when you come to the Sacrament, thinke not that God is backward to forgive, that he will not be as good as his word, cer­tainly he will; and know this, that what he hath said, and sworne, he will performe, Hea­ven and earth shall passe away, but his Word shall not passe. This indeed is our chiefest consolati­on, that our saith is not built upon perswasions and imaginations of our owne; that our sinnes shall be forgiven, but it is built upon the sure Word of God: And as Saint Paul saith, Gal. 1. If any Angell from heaven should preach any other Gospell, you should not receive it from him. So when you have this sure Word that God hath given you a generall pardon, Come unto mee all yee that are weary, and heavie laden, &c. You may build upon this sure Word: Now when you put all these together, that the Lord hath said it, and put his seale to it, if he should not doe it, the death of Christ should be of none effect, no flesh should be saved, no man would worship God. Againe, there is nothing can be an impediment to us, not of greatnesse, and [Page 24] multitude of our sinnes, nor our relapse into sin, not our unfitnesse; Why should we doubt? But now this is the Condition on Gods part.

Then see the Condition required on our part; What is that?

First, it is required that we take the Lord Iesus Christ, for though the Lord give him in the Sacrament, though he offer him in the Go­spell, except we take him he is not ours. If we beleeve that one will give us a thousand pound, that makes not a man rich, if he be ready to give it, it is the taking that makes us rich: If we beleeve that there is such a soveraigne Electua­ry that is able to heale, that beleeving doth not heale, it is the taking of it, if it be not taken, it heales not: And therefore, there is required a taking of Christ; So many as received him, Ioh. 1. he gave power to be, &c. So many as received him. If a Virgin beleeve that such a Suitour is willing to take her for his wife, except she take him for her husband it is no match. And so to beleeve that Christ is ready to forgive and par­don our sinnes, to beleeve that God the Father will give Christ to you as he hath; To us a Son is given, Esay 9.6. To beleeve this, except we take him, doth not profit, he is not ours till then: This taking is that which the Scripture cals Faith, this is a beleeving in him: If you would know what this taking is, it is nothing else but the very accepting of Christ for our King, for our Lord and Husband: So that look what it is among men, if you would aske what [Page 25] it is for a spouse to take such an one for her husband, for a servant to take such an one for his master, for a subject to take such an one for his King, it is no more, but this, the very act of the will, whereby they consent, and accept such an one for their Husband, for their Master or King; it is the taking of him, and this is the ta­king of Iesus Christ; I say, when we shall ac­cept him, when we see God hath given him to us, and that he hath given himselfe, when we take him for our Lord and Master, that is the very act of the will, whereby we resolve to make him ours, and resolve to give up our selves to him, as he is given to us: That is the first condition that is required, we must take him; and this the Scripture cals faith. Is this all? No, there is somewhat else required, you must take him in deed, aswell as in will, that is, you must so take him, as to serve him, and only him, to turne from all evill wayes, and there­fore the pardon runnes so, though it be a ge­nerall pardon; as there is a generall proclama­tion; whatsoever your rebellions be, it is no matter, for all kinde of rebellions, there is nei­ther any sinne, nor any person excepted, but then this condition runnes along with it, you must take him for your King: Is that all? No, you must lay downe your armes of rebellion, you must renounce the Colours and Tents of the Enemie, and come in and be subject to him, you must live by his Lawes: And therefore, besides taking of him, there is required that we [Page 26] be ready to obey Christ in deed, and not to take Christ onely as a Saviour: Every man is ready to take him as a Priest to save them from their sinnes, but to take him as a King and a Lord, so as to be subject unto him, here all the world is at a stand; as the young man when he came to Christ, and he tels him what he must doe, Goe sell all, &c. He would not take him with this condition; here every man is ready to refuse him: We are willing to follow Christ thorow faire way, but not thorow foule and rough way; we are willing to take him with a Crowne of glory, but not with a Crowne of thornes; we are willing to take the sweet, but not the sowre: But we must know, if we will take Christ, we must likewise obey him, and take him as an Husband, our will must be sub­ject to his will; we must take him as a Lord, we must be subject to him in all things, we must keepe his Commandements; and therefore he hath so exprest it, If you will suffer with him, you shall reigne with him, not else; If you will obey me, and keepe my Commandements, then you shall be my Disciples, if you will follow me, and deny your selves, and take up your crosse, &c. Take up my crosse daily.

Therefore a second Condition is this, which the Scripture cals sometimes repentance and conversion to God, sometime obedience.

But is this all? No, there is one more re­quired that we doe all this out of love, for when a man is in extremity, when he is driven [Page 27] to an exigent, now to take Christ, and to keepe his Commandements; perhaps he will be wil­ling to doe, to expedite himselfe out of such a strait: but will the Lord regard this? Surely no▪ except it be from love; therefore, Gal. 5.5. you shall finde them all three put together, Neither Circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcisi­on, but faith that worketh by love: there you have the first Condition, which is faith. The second which worketh, it is not an idle faith, but it is a faith that sets you a worke; and then you have the third, they are workes that come from love. A man will be ready to doe any thing to save his life; you know a Merchant when he is on the sea, casts away his goods, when he is in extreme danger, not because he and his goods are fallen out, but to save his life he will doe it; Take a covetous man, let him be on the racke, he will be ready to doe any thing, but yet the man is the same: And so for a man to do much for Christ, to doe as we are ready to doe in the time of extremity, when death comes, when sicknesse comes, when we are under some great crosse that is upon us, when conscience is trou­bled, I say, in these cases to doe it, the Lord re­gards it not: This therefore is the Condition that is required to be done out of love; it is a rule in the Civill-law, Contractus qui fit per mi­nas, nullus est; The contracts that are gotten by threatnings, are no contracts at all; but if a Virgin consent, when she is free, when it is done without compulsion, that makes the match: So [Page 28] it is betweene Christ and us, for us to take him and keepe his Commandements, and to doe it out of feare and other respects, this Christ re­gards not, it is love that makes the match: If we take him out of love, if all we doe, be done out of love, then there is a match betweene us, otherwise not. And there is good reason for that, because feare is of a fleeting nature, it soone passes and vanishes away, but when it is rooted and grounded in love, when that which we doe, comes from this principle, then we hold out and cleave to Christ, without separa­ting againe; when that proceeds from feare, we doe it not with delight, we doe it not with propensenesse, with proclivity of minde, with an inward willingnesse. Now the Lord so loves a chearefull giver, a chearefull servant, and a chearefull performer, that he loves no other: And therefore that Condition is required, to Delight in the Law, in the inward man, that we doe not only keepe his Commandements, but that they be not grievous to us, that what we doe, be done out of love; and therefore it is re­quired, when we doe this, that we love the Lord Iesus Christ; I will be bold to say, a man may pray day and night as earnestly as Hannah did, he may keep the Commandements of God without reproofe, as Zachary and Elizabeth did for the outward act, he may abound in the worke of the Lord, but whatsoever he doth, if he doe it not out of love, God looks upon such workes, as upon a dead carkase; so they are [Page 29] called, Hebr. 9. Dead workes, that is, workes that are good for substance, and for circum­stance too, but yet they are dead, because they come not from love, there is no life in them: Therefore, in 1 Cor. 16.22. Whosoever loves not the Lord Iesus, saith the Apostle, let him be ac­cursed. Whosoever loves not the Lord Iesus, that is, whatsoever a man doth besides, let him pro­fesse what he will, and performe what he will, if he love not the Lord Iesus, he is accursed: And that I speake not this without ground, looke 1 Cor. 13. Take the most glorious actions that a man can performe, if a man give his body to be burnt, that is, to be a Martyr, if he gives his goods to the poore, which is an high action for a man to part with all he hath; if he doe that which Christ required of the young man, to deny himselfe: If a man were able to preach the Gospell, if he had gifts as an Angell, as the Apostle speakes, If he were able to speake with the tongue of men and Angels, and if it were without love, God regards it not: Love is a distinguishing Character, an Hypocrite may goe very far, but love he cannot; it is love therefore that sets an high price upon all that we doe: And therefore you shall finde from the beginning of Genesis, to the end of the Revelation, the Promise is made still to the Affection, and it is the Affe­ction that makes a man a good man; he that feares the Lord, and he that loves the Lord, and he that delights in the Commandements of God, &c. And therefore it is not enough that [Page 30] we take Christ, and that we beleeve in him, that we doe the workes that he commands us, but that we doe them out of love: And this is the Condition that is required on our part. So you see now what the Gospell is, what the summe of it is, that is sealed in the holy Sacra­ment, it is this Covenant on Gods part, that he is ready to forgive us; wherein you must streng­then your faith, when you draw neare to him. And againe, this condition on your part, Faith and obedience out of love, as you have heard: This is the first use that you are to make. I should proceed.

The end of the First Sermon.

THE CUPPE OF BLESSING: DELIVERED IN THREE Sermons, upon 1 Cor. 10.16. The Second SERMON.

1 CORINTH. 10.16.

The Cup of blessing, that we blesse, is it not the Communion of the bloud of Christ? &c.

SEEING we have the same oc­casion for which I tooke this Text, being to receive the Sa­crament againe the next Sab­bath, and so along; I thought it better to continue it, than to divert to an­other: When we handled it the last time, we [Page 32] told you there were these three parts in the words:

  • First, there is a true Communion of the bo­dy and bloud of Christ.
  • Secondly, the meanes by which it is con­veyed to us, the bread and wine, the outward elements which God hath Sanctified to that purpose.
  • The third is the adopting or fitting these elements for such an end; and that is by sancti­fying them, by blessing them by setting them apart; The Cup of Blessing which we blesse, &c.

The point we delivered was this, [...]hat in the Sacrament there is a reall and true Commu­nion of the body and bloud of Christ to every Receiver.

We told you the difference betweene the Papists and us, we both agree that Christ is really in the Sacrament, they say it is corpo­rally, we say it is only done by faith. But to use an expression of Augustine, which he hath upon the very Text, saith he, Iohn Baptist said he was not Elias, and yet Christ saith, Iohn was Elias; Why, saith hee, how shall wee reconcile these two? they are thus reconciled; Iohn speakes properly, and Christ spake figuratively, and there­fore they crosse not one another (he gives this ve­ry instance) so saith he, when Christ saith, This is my body, and we say it is not his body, but bread, they are Augustines owne words) saith he, the meaning is this, It is the body, if we take it figuratively, and it is not his body, if we [Page 33] speake properly; so that as it was with the Temple of his body, when he spake of it, I will destroy this Temple, and build it in three dayes; they understood it of the materiall Temple: and, saith the Text, They were reckoned as false witnesses against Christ: So when Christ speaks thus of his body, This is my body, when they un­derstood it materially and corporally, when it is a thing so frequent and usuall with him to speake Metaphorically, I say, they shall be found false witnesses against him, in applying this to his materiall and corporall body, that he understands of his mysticall body, which is received by faith. I will not stand to repeat more of that I delivered then, lest the time pre­vent us in that which remaines.

Onely one thing which I then omitted, and that is a great objection of the Papists, out of the sixth Chapter of Saint Iohn, where Christ speakes so much of eating his flesh, and drin­king his bloud, which, say they, must needs be understood of a corporall manducation, of eat­ing his body and drinking his bloud in the Sa­crament; we will speake one word of this.

First, that this cannot be the meaning of that clause, is evident, because the Supper of the Lord was not then instituted; and therefore it could not be he should have relation to that, because Christ spake to those that might un­derstand him, the words were intelligible at the least: Now it was impossible that those that heard him, should understand him of the Sacra­ment [Page 34] of the Lords Supper, because it was a thing that was not; and if they say that was their dulnesse: I answer, it is not dulnesse not to conceive that which simply could not be knowne: This that had no being, could not be knowne; and therefore this is certaine he had not relation to that.

Besides that, if you marke the course of the words, you shall finde he saith there, that ra­ther the flesh is turned into bread, than the bread to flesh, saith he, I am the true bread that came downe from heaven, he repeats that often in the Chapter, vers. 51. I am the living bread, and my flesh is bread, and I give life to the world: So that you shall finde more reason, if you reade that Chapter, why the flesh should be turned to bread, than the bread into flesh.

But besides that, the eating of Christs flesh, and the drinking of his bloud, is alwayes taken in a good sense, and it is alwayes peculiar to the Saints: And therefore, verse 53, 54. you shall finde both expressed: Except a man eat his flesh, and drinke his bloud, he hath no life in him: A­gaine, Whosoever, (without exception) eats his flesh and drinkes his bloud, he hath eternall life, and Christ will raise him up at the last day: So if you take the words generally as Christ expresseth them, and so they must needs be understood. Then it is impossible that his flesh should be eaten in the Sacrament, and his bloud drunke, because many that should eat his flesh there, in a corporall manner shall not be saved, which [Page 35] you know themselves grant. Besides, there are many that never eat his flesh, nor drinke his bloud in the Sacrament, that are saved, and have life in them, as you know the Theefe on the Crosse, went immediately to Paradice, though he never eat the flesh of Christ in the Sacrament, nor dranke his bloud: All the Pa­triarkes before Christ, Did not they drinke the same spirituall drinke, did they not eat the same spi­rituall meat, as we doe? but they never eat it in the Sacrament: Mary Magdalene, when she had never tasted of the Sacrament, saith CHRIST, Goe thy way, thy sinnes are forgiven thee: What need I give you instances of children that die; It is the opinion of the Councell of Trent, they set it downe in plaine termes, That children, that are baptized, though they eat not the Sa­crament, and drinke of the bloud of Christ, and eat his flesh, are saved: And therefore Christs owne words must be meant in this sense, and cannot be understood of a corporall eating of his flesh, and drinking of his bloud. But be­cause those words, Vnlesse yee eat my flesh, and drinke my bloud, yee cannot have life; are a place which the Papists doe much urge, as if it were impossible to be answered, and appeale herein to the Fathers. We will shew you briefly, that it was so interpreted by the Fathers that lived neare the Apostles times, as by us now, before there were any Popish Doctors to corrupt the Glosse, as Origen (that was very ancient) upon the fifth of Matthew, saith this, That if it could [Page 36] be that he that remaines an ill man, could eat the flesh of Christ, and drinke his bloud, then it could never be said, Iohn 6. Whosoever eats my flesh and drinkes my bloud, hath eternall life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Againe, also, Augustine in his 26. Tract, upon the Gospell of Saint Iohn, saith this, Whosoever is not a member of Christ, he eats not his flesh, he drinkes not his bloud, though visibly and corporally hee crush with his teeth the Sacrament of the body and bloud of Christ. Marke the words, The Sacrament of the body and bloud of Christ: But it is vaine for me to insist upon the particular saying of Augustine, because those that are acquainted with his sayings, if they deale ingenuously, they know they are every where scattered, that he is very cleare and evident: But I will name one that is exceeding perspicuous, in his third booke, De Doctrina Christiana, cap. 13. he gives us this rule for the interpreting of Scripture; If we finde that com­manded that is flagitious, and hurtfull, and evill, we must not interpret Scripture so, that such a thing is to be done: As for example, he gives this in­stance, Iohn 6. Christ speakes of eating his flesh and drinking his bloud, saith he, this is a flagiti­ous, an evill, and an hainous thing, that a man abhors when he thinkes of it; and therefore the words are not so to be understood, but you must understand them spiritually, and figura­tively; you must, when you heare those words, remember that Christs flesh was crucified for you, and that his bloud was shed; and so the words are [Page 37] to be interpreted. Ambrose upon the 118. Psal. having occasion to speake of the Sacrament, hath reference to this, Ioh. 6. saith he, Christ is the bread of life, he that eats life cannot die, for how shall he (saith he) die, Christ is the bread of life, he that eats him, therefore, cannot die, there­fore (saith hee) none are said to eath the flesh of Christ, and drinke his bloud, but they must needs live for ever, for he eats that which is life. Atha­nasius hath speeches as plaine a