THREE TREATISES OF

  • The Uanity of the Creature.
  • The Sinfulnesse of Sinne.
  • The Life of Christ.

BEING THE SVB­STANCE OF SEVERALL SERMONS PREACHED AT LINCOLNS INNE:

BY EDWARD REYNOLDES, PREACHER to that Honourable Society, and late Fellow of Merton Colledge in Oxford.

GAL. 2. 20.
Not I, but Christ liveth in me.

LONDON, Imprinted by Felix Kyngston for Robert Bostocke, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church­yard at the signe of the Kings Head. 1631.

HONORATIS­SIMO ET CELEBER­RIMO DOCTISSIMORVM Iurisprudentium Collegio, Hospitij Lincolniensis Magistris Uenerabilibus, Socijsque universis, Auditoribus suis faventissimis,

EDWARDVS REYNOLDES EIDEM HETAERIAE A SACRIS CONCIONIBVS; Tres hosce Tracta­tus:

  • De Rerum Secularium vanitate.
  • De Peccato supra modum peccante.
  • De Christi in Renatis vitâ ac vigore:

MINISTERII IBIDEM SVI [...] quaedam, Exile quidem & per­exiguum, perpetuae tamen observan­tiae, Summae (que) in Christo Dilectionis pignus, Humiliter & Devotè D. D. D.

A TABLE OF THE CONTENTS.

The first Treatise. The Vanity of the Creature. ECCLES. 1. 14.
  • PRoportion and Proprietie the grounds of satisfaction to the soule. Pag. 3
  • The Creature insufficient to satisfie the Desires of the soule. 4
  • The Ground hereof▪ The vast disproportion betweene the soule and the Creature. 7
  • The Creature vaine, 1. in its nature and worth. 9
  • Therefore wee should not trust in it, nor swell with it. 11
  • The Creature vaine, 2. in its deadnesse and ineffica­cie. 15
  • Therefore we should not relie on it, nor attribute sufficiency to it. 19
  • How to use the Creature as a dead Creature:
    • 1. Consider its dependence and subordination to Gods power. 22
    • 2. Sanctifie and reduce it to its primitive goodnesse. 24
      • How the Creature is sanctified by the word and pray­er. 26
    • 3. Love it in its owne order. 34
  • The Creature vaine, 3 in its duration. 36
  • The Rootes of Corruption in the Creature. 38
  • Corrupt mindes are apt to conceive an immortalitie in [Page] earthly things. 46
  • The proceedings of Gods providence in the dispensation of earthlie things wise and iust. 48
  • Correctives to be observed in the use of the Creature.
    • 1. Keepe the intellectuals sound and untainted. 52
    • 2. By faith looke through and above them. 55
    • 3. Convert them to holy uses. 58
  • Great disproportion betweene the soule and the Creature. It is vexation of spirit. 59
  • Caresare Thornes, because, first, they wound the spirit, se­condly, they choak and overgrow the heart, thirdly, they deceive, fourthly, they vanish. 59
  • Degrees of this vexation:
    • 1. In the procuring of them. 62
    • 2. In the multiplying of them, 64
    • 3. In the use of them. Discovered, 67
      • 1. In knowledge, naturall and civill. 68
      • 2. In Pleasures. 70
      • 3. In Riches. 72
    • 4. In the Review of them. 74
    • 5. In the disposing of them. 75
  • The Grounds of this vexation:
    • 1. Gods Curse. 76
    • 2. The Corruption of nature. 78
    • 3. The deceitfulnesse of the Creature. 80
  • It is lawfull to labour and pray for the Creature, though it vex the spirit. 84
  • We should be humbled in the sight of sinne which hath defa­ced the Creation. 86
  • Wee should be wise to prevent those cares which the Crea­tures are apt to breed. 89
  • Irregular cares are both superfluous, and sinnefull. 90
  • How to take away or prevent Vexation:
    • 1. Pray for that which is convenient to thy abilities and occasions. 94
    • 2. Take nothing without Christ. 95
    • [Page]3. Throw out every execrable thing. 97
    • 4. Keepe the spirit untouched, and uncorrupted. 98
  • What it is to set the heart on the Creature. 99
  • The spirit is the most tender and delicate part of man. 100
  • A heart set on the world is without strength [...] Passive or A­ctive:
    • 1. Vnable to beare temptations:
      • 1. Because Satan proportioneth temptations to our lusts. 101
      • 2. Because temptations are edg'd, with promises and threatnings. 105
      • 3. God oftē gives wicked mē over to belieue lies. 107
    • 2. Vnable to beare afflictions. 108
    • 3. Vnable to performe any active obedience with strength 110
  • How to use the Creature as a vexing Creature. 113
The second Treatise. The sinfulnesse of Sinne.ROM. 7. 9.
  • NAturall light not sufficient to understand the Scrip­tures. 118
  • How the Commandement came to Saint Paul, and how hee was formerly without it. 119
  • A man may have the Law in the Letter, and be without it in the Power and Spirit. 121
  • Ignorance doth naturally beget blind zeale, and strong mis­perswasions. 122
  • Saving knowledge is not of our owne fetching in. The Spirit by the Commandement convinceth a man to be in the state of sinne. 123
  • Nature teacheth some things, but it cannot thorowly con­vince. 125
  • The Spirit convinceth: first, by opening the Rule, which is [Page] the Law. 129
  • The strength of sinne twofold to
    • Condemne us.
    • Operate or stirre in us.
  • It hath the strength of a
    • Lord. 129
    • Husband. 129
  • How sinne hath its life and strength from the Law by the
    • Obligation. of it. 130
    • Irritation. of it. 130
    • Conviction. of it. 130
  • The Spirit by the Commandement convinceth us,
    • 1. Of Originall sinne; either imputed, as Adams sin. 134
      • Or inherent, as the corruption of Nature. 135
  • In naturall corruption consider,
    • 1. The universalitie of it in
      • Times. 136
      • Persons. 136
      • Parts. 136
      • Corruption of
        • the Minde. 139
        • the Conscience and Heart. 140
        • the Will. 141
        • the Memory and whole man. 142
    • 2. The closenesse and adherency of it to nature. 143
      • How the body of sinne is destroyed in this life. 144
      • Why God suffereth the remainders of corruption in us. 147
    • 3. The contagion of it on our best workes. 149
      • 4. The fruitfulnesse of it bringing fruit
        • suddenly. 151
        • continually. 151
        • desperately. 151
        • unexpectedly. 151
      • 5. The temptations of it. 155
      • 6. The warre and rebellion of it. 157
      • 7. The wisedome and policies of it. 161
      • 8. The strength and power of it. 164
      • 9. The madnesse of it, and that twofold:
        • 1. Fiercenesse and rage. 167
        • [Page]2. Inconsideratenesse and inconsistency of reason. 184
      • 10. The indefatigablenesse of it. 185
        • Being naturall and 186
          • Unsatisfiable. 188
      • 11. The propagation of it. 193
    • The great error of those who either mitigate▪ or denie ori­ginall sinne. 199
    • In our humiliations for sinne we should begin with our evill nature. 212
    • We should be iealous of our selves and our evill hearts. 213
    • We should hold warre with our corruptions. 215
    • We should be patient under the weight of our concupiscence. 216
    • Wherein the strength of lust lies. 218
    • How to withstand concupiscence in all the wayes thereof. 221
    • The Spirit by the Commandement convinceth us,
      • 2. Of actuall sin, with the severall aggravations there­of. 226
    • The Spirit convinceth, 2. by discovering the condition of the state of sinne.
      • 1. It is an estate of extreme impotency to good, 233
      • because of our naturall
        • Impuritie. 234
        • Enmity. 234
        • Infidelitie. 234
        • Folly. 234
  • In the wicked there is a totall impotency. 237
  • Whether all the workes of naturall men are sinfull. 237
  • How God rewardeth the good workes of wicked men. 244
  • How the good workes of wicked men proceed from Gods Spirit. 245
  • Whether a wicked man ought to omit his almes, prayers, and religious services? 246
  • In the best there is a partiall impotency. 250
  • What a man should doe when he finds himselfe disabled and deaded in good workes. 253
    • [Page]2. It is an estate of extreme enmitie against God and his waies. 255
  • How the spirit by the Commandement doth convince men to be in the state of sinne. 258
    • The spirit by the commandement convinceth men to bee under the guilt of sinne. 260
  • There is a naturall conviction of the guilt of sinne: and 260
  • There is a spirituall and evangelicall conviction of the guilt of sinne. 261
  • What the guilt and Punishments of sinne are. 262
  • ROM. 6. 12.
    • Sinne will abide in the time of this mortall life in the most Holie. 273
    • Our death with Christ unto sinne is a strong argument a­gainst the raigne of it. 275
    • Difference betweene the regall and tyrannicall power of Sinne. 277
    • Whether a man belong unto Christ or sinne. 279
    • Sinne hath much strength
      • from it selfe. 282
      • from Satan and the world. 285
      • from us. 285
    • What it is to obey sinne in the lusts thereof. 286
    • Whether sinne may Raigne in a regenerate man? 288
    • How wicked men may be convinc'd, that sinne doth raigne in them.
      Two things make up the raigne of sinne.
      • 1. In sinne power. 290
      • 2. In the sinner a willing and vncon­troled subiection. 290
    • Three exceptions against the evidence of the raigne of sinne in the wicked. 291
      • 1. There may be a raigne of sinne when it is not discerned. 292
        • Whether small sinnes may raigne? 293
        • [Page]Whether secret sinnes may raigne? 294
        • Whether sins of ignorance may raigne? 295
        • Whether naturall concupiscence may raigne? 296
        • Whether sinnes of omission may raigne? 296
      • 2. Other causes besides the power of Christs Grace may worke a partiall abstinence from sinne, and conformi­tie in service:
        • 1. The power of restraining grace. 298
        Differences between restraining and renewing Grace:
        • 2. Affectation of the credit of godlinesse. 302
        • 3. The Power of pious education. 304
        • 4. The legall power of the word. 305
        • 5. The power of a naturall illightned Conscience. 305
        • 6. Selfe love and particular ends. 307
        • 7. The antipathy and contradiction of sinnes. 309
      • 3. Differences betweene the conflicts of a naturall and spirituall conscience:
        • 1. In the Principles of them. 310
        • 2. In their seates and stations. 313
        • 3. In the manner and qualities of the conflict. 314
        • 4. In their effects. 316
        • 5. In their ends. 317
    • Why every sinne doth not raigne in every wicked man. 317
  • 2. COR. 7. 1.
    • The Apostles reasons against Idolatrous communion. 321
    • The doctrine of the pollution of sinne. 322
    • The best workes of the best men mingled whith pollution. 325
    • The best workes of wicked men full of pollution. 237
    • What the pollution of sinne is. 328
    • The properties of the pollution of sinne:
      • 1. It is a deepe pollution. 329
      • 2. It is an universall Pollution. 330
      • [Page][Page] 3. It is a spreading Pollution. 330
      • 4. It is a mortall Pollution. 332
    • Why God requireth that of us which he worketh in us. 335
    • How promises tend to the dutie of cleansing ourselves:
      • 1. Promises containe the matter of rewards, and so pre­suppose services. 337
      • 2. Promises are efficient causes of purification:
        • 1. As tokens of Gods love. Love the ground of making, fidelity of performing Promises. 338
        • 2. As the grounds of our hope and expectations. 340
        • 3. As obiects of our faith. 342
        • 4. As the raies of Christ to whom they lead us. 345
        • 5. As exemplars, patterns, and seeds of puritie. 346
      • 3. Many promises are made of purification itselfe. 347
    • Rules directing how to use the Promises:
      • 1. Generall Promises are particularly, and particulars generally appliable. 350
      • 2. Promises are certaine, performances secret. 352
      • 3. Promises are subordinated, and are performed with dependence. 357
      • 4. Promises most usefull in extremities. 359
      • 5. Experience of God in some promises confirmeth faith in others. 360
      • 6. The same temporall blessing may belong to one man onely out of providence, to another out of promise. 361
      • 7. Gods promises to us must be the ground of our pray­ers to him. 364
  • ROM. 7. 13.
    • The Law is neither sinne nor death. 368
    • The Law was promulgated on Mount Sina by Moses onely with Evangelicall purposes. 371
    • God will doe more for the salvation, then for the damnation of men. 372
    • [Page]The Law is not given ex primaria intentione to condemne men. 385
    • The Law is not given to iustifie or save men. 386
    • The Law by accident doth irritate, and punish or curse sinne. 386
    • The Law by itselfe doth discover and restraine sinne. 387
    • Preaching of the Law necessary. 388
    • Acquaintance with the Law strengthens Humility, Faith, Comfort, Obedience. 392
The third Treatise. The Life of Christ. 1. IOH. 5. 12.
  • ALL a Christians excellencies are from Christ. 400
  • 1. From Christ wee have our life of righteous­nesse. 401
  • Three Offices of Christs mediatorship. His
    • Payment of our debt. 401
    • Purchase of our inhe­ritance. 401
    • Intercession. 401
  • Righteousnesse consisteth in remission and adoption. 402
  • By this Life of righteousnesse we are delivered from
    • 1. Sinne. 403
    • 2. Law, as a
      • Covenant of righteousnesse.
      • Law full of
        • Rigor.
        • Curses.
        • Bondage.
  • 2. From Christ we have our life of holinesse. 407
    • Discoveries of a vitall operation. 407
      • Christ is the Principle of our holinesse. 409
      • Christ is the patterne of holinesse. 410
      • Some workes of Christ imitable, others unimita­ble. 410
  • [Page]Holinesse beares conformity to Christs active obedience. 412
  • How we are said to be holy, as Christ is holy. 413
  • Holinesse consists in a conformitie unto Christ. Proved from
    • 1. The ends of Christs comming. 415
    • 2. The nature of holinesse. 416
    • 3. The quality of the mysticall body of Christ. 418
    • 4. The vnction of the Spirit. 418
    • 5. The summe of the Scriptures. 419
  • The proportions betweene our holinesse and Christs must be,
    • 1. In the seeds and principles. 419
    • 2. In the ends, Gods glory, the Churches good. 420
    • 3. In the parts.
    • 4. In the manner of it.
      • Selfe-deniall. 421
      • Obedience. 422
      • Proficiencie. 423
  • What Christ hath done to the Law for us. 423
  • We must take heed of will-holinesse, or being our owne Rule. 425
  • Christs life the Rule of ours. 427
  • 3. From Christ wee have our life of glorie. 429
  • The attributes or properties of our Life in Christ:
    • 1. It is a hidden life. 432
    • 2. It is an abounding life. 437
    • 3. It is an abiding life. 438
  • No forrsigne assult is too hard for the life of Christ▪ 439
  • Arguments to reestablish the heart of a repenting sinner a­gainst the terror of some great fall, from
    • 1. The strength of Faith. 442
    • 2. The love and free grace of God. 446
    • 3. Gods Promise and covenant. 448
    • 4. The obsignation of the spirit. 449
    • 5. The nature and effects of Faith. 449
THE VANITIE OF THE C …

THE VANITIE OF THE CREA­TVRE, AND VEXATI­ON OF THE SPIRIT:

By EDWARD REYNOLDS, Prea­cher to the Honourable Society of Lincolns Inne.

PAX OPVLENTIAM. SAPIENTIA PACEM.

FK

LONDON, Imprinted by Felix Kyngston for Robert Bostock. 1631.

Christian Reader, Importunitie of Friends hath over-rul'd me to this Publication; and importunitie of businesse crossing me in the put­ting of these pieces together, hath made the whole savour of my distra­ctions, and caused more escapes in the Print, then otherwise should have been. The principall I have here corrected; those which are smaller may in the reading be easily discerned.

Page 92. line 17. for Ieroboam, reade Iehosaphat▪ p. 122. l. 16. f. de­pendant, r. dependence. p. 130. l. 16▪ f. hastned, r. hartned. p. 134. l. 21. f. enticeth, r. entitleth. p. 140. l. 14. f. bow, r. bough. p. 148. l. 9. f. he, r me. p. 159. l. 33. f. honour in, r, honour of God in. p. 167. l. 6. blot out the. p. 212. l. 15. leave out these. p. 278. l. 20. f. rageing r. raigning. p. 295. l. 18. f. darkenes, r. darke. p. 299 l. 28. f. possessions, r. passions. p. 355. l. 16. f. we, r. hee. p. 401. l. 34. f. fulfill, r. fulfild. p. 405. l. 26. f. terrifire, r. testifies. p. 407. l. 27. f. discourses, r. discoveries. p. 434. l. 23. after, even as wee are knowne. adde, Secondly, in regard of accomplishment and con­summation. p. 440. l. 33. f. reiect, r. eiect. p. 442. l. 16. f. that faith, or made unable, r. faith, or made that unable. p. 464. l. 34. f. it, r. them. p. 484. l. 34. f. as, r. was. p. 485. l. 19. f. conviction. r. conclusion. p. 487. l. 26. f. were, r. weare. p. 501. l. 11. f. the, r. these.

THE VANITIE OF THE CREATVRE.

ECCLESIASTES 1. 14.‘I have seene all the workes that are done under the sunne, and Behold, All is Vanitie and Vexation of Spirit.’

TO have a selfe-sufficiencie in being and operation, and to bee unsubor­dinate to any further End above himselfe, as it is utterly repugnant to the Condition of a Creature, so a­mongst the rest to Man especially; who besides the limitednesse of his nature, as he is a Creature, hath contracted much defici­encie and deformitie as he is a Sinner. God never made him to be an End unto himselfe, to be the Center of his owne motions, or to be happy onely by reflection on his owne excellencies. Something still there is without him, unto which he moves, and from whence God hath ap­pointed that he should reape either preservation in, or advancement and perfection unto his nature. What that [Page 2] is upon which the desires of man ought to fixe as his Rest and End, is the maine discoverie that the Wise Man makes in this Booke. And he doth it by an historicall and penitentiall review of his former Enquiries; from whence he states the point in Two maine Conclusions. The first the Creatures Insufficiencie, in the beginning of the Booke, Vanitie of Vanities, All is vanity. The second Mans Duty to God, and Gods All-sufficiencie unto man, in the End of the Booke, Let us heare the Conclu­sion Eccles. 12. 13. of the whole matter, Feare God, and keepe his Comman­dements, for this is Totum hominis, the whole Duty, the whole End, the whole Happinesse of Man. The former of these two, namely the Insufficiency of the Creature to satiate the desires, and quiet the motions of the Soule of man, is the point I am now to speake of, out of these words.

For understanding whereof, wee must know that it was not God in the Creation, but sinne and the curse which attended it, that brought this Vanity and Vexa­tion upon the Creature. God made Every thing in it selfe very Good, and therefore very fit for the desires of man some way or other to take satisfaction from. As prickes, and quauers, and rests in musicke serue in their order to commend the cunning of the Artist, and to de­light the Eare of the hearer, as well as more perfect notes: so the meanest of the Creatures were at first fill'd with so much goodnesse, as did not onely declare the glory of God, but in their ranke likewise minister content to the minde of man. It was the sinne of man that fill'dRom. 8. 20, 22. the Creature with Vanitie, and it is the Vanitie of the Creature that fils the Soule of man with Vexation. AsRom. 3. 23. sinne makes man come short of Glory, which is the rest of the Soule in the fruition of God in himselfe; so doth it make him come short of Contentation too, which is the rest of the Soule in the fruition of God in his Crea­tures. Sinne tooke away Gods favour from the Soule, [Page 3] and his Blessing from the Creature. It put bitternesse in­to the Soule that it cannot relish the Creature, and it put Vanity into the Creature, that it cannot nourish nor sa­tisfie the Soule.

The Desires of the Soule can never be satisfied with any Good, till they finde in it these two qualities or re­lations, wherein indeed the formalitie of Goodnesse doth consist; namely Proportion and Proprietie. First nothing can satisfie the desires of the Soule till it beares conveni­ence and fitnesse thereunto; for it is with the minde as with the body, the richest attire that is if it be either too loose or too straite, however it may please a mans pride, must needs offend his body. Now nothing is Proporti­onable to the minde of man, but that which hath re­ference unto it as it is a spirituall Soule. For though a man have the same sensitive appetites about him which we finde in beasts; yet, in as much as that Appetite was in man created subordinate unto reason, and obedient to the spirit; the case is plaine, that it can never be fully sa­tisfied with its obiect, unlesse that likewise be subordi­nate and linked to the Obiect of the superior faculty, which is God. So then the Creature can never bee Pro­portionable to the Soule of Man, till it bring God along with it. So long as it is emptie of God, so long must it needs be full of Vanitie and Vexation.

But now it is not sufficient that there be Proportion, un­lesse withall there be Propriety. For God is a Proportiona­ble Good unto the nature of divels as well as of men or good angels, yet no good comes by that unto them, be­cause he is none of their God, they have no interest in him, they have no union unto him. Wealth is as commensurate unto the mind and occasions of a beggr as of a prince; yet the goodnesse and comfort of it extends not unto him, be­cause he hath no propriety unto any. Now sinne hath taken away the Proprietie which we have in Good, hath unlinked that golden chaine, whereby the Creature was [Page 4] joyned unto God, and God with the Creature came along unto the minde of man. So that till we can reco­ver this Vnion, and make up this breach againe, it is im­possible for the Soule of man to receive any satisfaction from the Creature alone. Though a man may have the possession of it, as a Naked Creature, yet not the fruiti­on of it, as a Good Creature. For Good the Creature is not unto any but by vertue of the Blessing and Word accom­panying it. And man naturally hath no right unto the Blessing of the Creature; for it is Godlinesse which hath the Promises, and by consequence the Blessing as well of this as of the other life. And God is not in his favour reconciled unto us, nor reunited by his Blessing unto the Creature, but onely in and through Christ. So then the minde of a man is fully and onely satisfied with the Crea­ture, when it findes God and Christ together in it: God making the Creature suteable to our inferior desires, and Christ making both God and the Creature Ours; God giving Proportion, and Christ giving Propriety.

These things thus explained, let us now consider the Insufficiencie of the Creature to conferre, and the Vnsa­tisfiablenesse of the flesh to receive any solid or reall sa­tisfaction from any of the workes which are done under the Sunne. Man is naturally a proud Creature, of high projects, of unbounded desires, ever framing to himselfe I know not what imaginarie and phantasticall felicities, which have no more proportion unto reall and true con­tentment, then a king on a stage to a king on a throne, then the houses which children make of cards, unto a princes palace. Ever since the fall of Adam he hath an itch in him to be a god within himselfe, the fountaine of his owne goodnesse, the contriver of his owne sufficien­cie; loth hee is to goe beyond himselfe, or what hee thinkes properly his owne, for that in which hee resol­veth to place his rest. But alas, after hee hath toil'd out his heart, and wasted his spirits, in the most exact inuen­tions [Page 5] that the Creature could minister unto him, Salomon here, the most experienc'd for enquirie, the most wise for contrivance, the most wealthy for compassing such earthly delights, hath, after many yeeres sitting out the finest flowre, and torturing nature to extract the most exquisite spirits, and purest quintessence, which the varie­ties of the Creatures could afford, at last pronounced of them all, That they are Vanitie and vexation of spirit: Like Thornes, in their gathering they pricke, that is their Uexation, and in their burning they suddenly blaze and waste away, that is their Uanitie. Vanitie in their du­ration, fraile and perishable things; and Vexation in their enjoyment, they nothing but molest and disquiet the heart. The eye, saith Salomon, is not satisfied with seeing, nor the eare with hearing. Notwithstanding they be the widest of all the senses, can take in more abundance with lesse satiety, and serue more immediately for the supplies of the reasonable Soule, yet a mans eye-strings may even cracke with vehemencie of poring, his eares may be filled with all the varietie of the most exquisite sounds and harmonies, and lectures in the world, and yet still his Soule within him be as greedy to see and heare more as it was at first. Who would have thought that the fa­vour of a prince, the adoration of the people, the most conspicuous honours of the court, the liberty of utterly destroying his most bitter adversaries, the sway of the sterne and universall negotiations of state, the concur­rency of all the happinesse, that wealth, or honour, or intimatenesse with the prince, or Deity with the people, or extremitie of luxurie could afford, would possibly have left any roome or nooke in the heart of Haman for discontent? and yet doe but observe, how the want of one Iewes knee (who dares not give divine worship to any but his Lord) blasts all his other glories, brings a damp upon all his other delights, makes his head hang downe, and his mirth wither: so little leaven was able to [Page 6] sowre all the Queenes banquet, and the Kings favour. Ahab was a king, in whom therefore wee may justly expect a confluence of all the happinesse which his do­minions could afford; a man that built whole cities, and dwelt in Ivorie palaces, and yet the want of one poore Vineyard of Naboth brings such a heavinesse of heart, such a deadnesse of countenance on so great a person, as seemed in the judgement of Iezabel farre unbeseeming the honour and distance of a prince. Nay Salomon, a man every way more a king both in the minde and in the state of a king then Ahab, a man that did not use the Creature with a sensuall, but with a criticall fruition, To finde out that good which God had given men under the sunne, and that in such abundance of all things, learning, honour, pleasure, peace, plenty, magnificence, fortaine supplies, roiall visits, noble confederacies, as that in him was the patterne of a compleat prince beyond all the plat-formes and Ideas of Plato and Zenophon; and yet even he was never able to repose his heart upon any or all these things together, till he brings in the feare of the Lord for the close of all. Lastly, looke on the people of Israel; God had delivered them from a bitter thral­dome, had divided the sea before them, and destroied their enemies behind them, had given them bread from heaven, and fed them with angels foode, had comman­ded the rocke to satisfie their thirst, and made the Cana­nites to melt before them; his mercies were magnified with the power of his miracles, and his miracles crow­ned with the sweetenesse of his mercies, besides the as­surance of great promises to bee performed in the holy land: and yet in the midst of all this wee finde nothing but murmuring and repining. God had given them meat for their faith, but they must have meate for their lust too; it was not enough that God shewed them mercies, unlesse his mercies were dressed up and fitted to their palate, They tempted God, and limited the holy one of Psal. 78. 41. [Page 7] Israel, saith the Prophet. So infinitely unsatisfiable is the fleshly heart of man either with mercies or miracles, that bring nothing but the Creatures to it.

The ground whereof is the Vast disproportion which is betweene the Creature and the soule of man, whereby it comes to passe, that it is absolutely impossible for one to fill up the other. The soule of man is a substance of unbounded desires: and that will easily appeare if wee consider him in any estate, either Created or Corrupted. In his Created estate he was made with a Soule capable of more glory, then the whole earth or all the frame of nature, though changed into one Paradise, could haue afforded him: for he was fitted unto so much honour as an infinite and everlasting Communion with God could bring along with it. And now God never in the Creati­on gave unto any Creature a propercapacitie of a thing, unto which hee did not withall implant such motions and desires in that Creature as should be some what sute­able to that capacitie, and which might (if they had beene preserved intire) haue brought man to the fruition of that Good which he desired. For notwithstanding it be true, That the glory of God cannot be attain'd unto, by the vertue of any action which man either can, or ever could haue performed: yet God was pleased out of Mercie, for the magnifying of his name, for the Com­municating of his glory, for the advancement of his Creature, to enter into Covenant with man, and for his naturall obedience to promise him a supernaturall re­ward. And this, I say, was even then out of Mercie; in as much as Adams legall obedience of workes could no more in any vertue of its owne, but onely in Gods mercifull contract and acceptance, merit everlasting life, then our Evangelicall Obedience of faith can now. On­ly the difference betweene the mercie of the first and se­cond Covenant (and it is a great difference) is this. God did out of mercie propose Salvation unto Adam as [...] [Page 6] [...] [Page 7] [Page 8] an Infinite Reward of such a finite Obedience, as Adam was able by his owne created abilities to have perfor­med. As if a man should give a Day-laborer a hundred pound for his daies worke, which performe indeed hee did by his owne strength, but yet did not merit the thou­sandth part of that wages which he receives: But Gods mercy untous is this, That he is pleased to bestow upon us not onely the reward, but the worke and merit which procured the reward, that he is pleased in vs to reward another mans worke, even the worke of Christ our head; as if when one onely Captaine had by his wise­dome discomfited and defeated an enemie, the prince notwithstanding should reward his alone seruice, with the advancement of the whole armie which he led. But this by the way. Certaine in the meane time it is, that God created man with such capacities and desires, as could not be limited with any or all the excellencies of his fellow and finite Creatures.

Nay looke even upon Corruptednature, and yet there we shall still discover this restlesnesse of the minde of man, though in an evill way, to promote it selfe: whence arise distractions of heart, thoughts for to morrow, ro­vings and inquisitions of the soule after infinite varieties of earthly things, swarmes of lusts, sparkles of endlesse thoughts, those secret flowings, and ebbes, and tempests, and Estuations of that sea of corruption in the heart of man, but because it can never finde any thing on which to rest, or that hath roome enough to entertaine so am­ple and so endlesse a guest? Let us then looke a little in­to the particulars of that great disproportion and Insuffi­ciencie of any or all the Creatures under the sun to make up an adequate and suteable Happinesse for the soule of man.

Salomon here expresseth it in Two words, Vanitie and Uexation. From the first of these wee may observe a threefold disproportion betweene the Soule and the [Page 9] Creatures. First in regard of their nature and worth, they are base in comparison of the Soule of man: When Da­vid would shew the infinite distance betweene God and man in power and strength, he expresseth the basenesse of man by his vanitie, To be laid in the ballance, they are altogether lighter then vanitie. Psal. 62. 9. And surely if we waigh the Soule of man and all the Creatures under the Sunne together, we shall finde them lighter then Va­nitie it selfe. All the Goodnesse and honour of the Crea­ture ariseth from one of these Two grounds: Either from mans coining or from Gods, either from Opinion imposed upon them by men, or from some Reall qualities, which they have in their nature. Many things there are which▪ have all that worth and estimation which they carry amongst men, not from their owne qualities, but from humane institution, or from some difficulties that attend them, or from some other outward Imposition. When a man gives monie for meate, we must not thinke there is any naturall proportion of worth betweene a piece of silver and a piece of flesh; for that worth which is in the meate is its owne, whereas that which is in the monie is by humane appointment. The like we may say for great titles of honour and secular degrees, though they bring authoritie, distance, reverence with them from other men, yet notwithstanding they doe not of themselves, by any proper vertue of their owne, put any solid and funda­mentall merit into the man himselfe. Honour is but the raising of the rate and value of a man, it carrie, nothing of substance necessarily along with it: as in raising the valuations of gold from twenty shillings, to twenty two, the matter is the same, only the estimation different. It is in the Power of the king to raise a man out of the prison like Ioseph, and give him the [...]xt place unto himselfe. Now this then is a plaine argument of the great base­nesse of any of these things incomparison of the Soule of man, and by consequence of their great disability to sa­tisfie [Page 10] the same: for can a man make any thing equall to himselfe? can a man advance a piece of gold or silver in­to a reasonable, a spirituall, an eternall substance? A man may make himselfe like these things, he may debase him­selfe into the vilenesse of an Idoll, They that make them are like unto them; hee may under-value and uncoyne himselfe, blot out Gods Image and Inscription, and write in the image and inscription of earth and Satan, he may turne himselfe into brasse and iron and reprobate silver, as the Prophet speakes; but never can any man raise the Creatures by all his estimations to the worth of a man: we cannot so much as change the color of a haire or adde a cubite to our stature, much lesse can we make any thing of equall worth with our whole selves. We read indeed of some which have sold the righteous, and that at no great rate neither, for a paire of shooes. Ioel 3. 6. Amos 2. 6. but we see there how much the Lord abhorr'd that de­testable fact, and recompenc'd it upon the necke of the oppressors. How many men are there still that set grea­ter rates upon their owne profits, or libertie, or prefer­ments, or secular accommodations, then on the Soules of men, whose perdition is oftentimes the price of their ad­vancements? but yet still Saint Pauls rule must hold, For meat [...] destroy not the worke of God, for money be­trayRom. 14. 15. 20. not the bloud of Christ, destroy not him with thy meate, with thy dignities, with thy preferments, for whom Christ died. We were not redeemed with silver and gold from our vaine Conversation, saith the Apostle 1. Pet. 1. 18. and therefore these things are of too base a nature to be put into the ballance with the soules of men; and that man infinitely undervalues the worke of God▪ the Image of God, the bloud of God, who for so base a purchase as monie, or preferment any earthly and vaine-glorious respect doth either hazard his owne, or betray the Soules of others commended to him.

And therefore this should reach all those upon whom [Page 11] the Lord hath bestow'd a greater portion of this Opinio­native felicitie, I meane, of money, honour, reputation, or the like; First not to Trust in uncertaine Riches, not to relie upon a foundation of their owne laying for matter of Satisfaction to their Soule, nor to boast in the multi­tude of their riches, as the Prophet speakes, Psal. 49. 6. (for that is certainely one great effect of the Deceitful­nesse of Riches, spoken of Matth. 13. 22. to perswade the Soule that there is more in them then indeed there is) and the Psalmist gives an excellent reason in the▪ same place, No man can by any meanes redeeme his brother, nor give to God a ransome for him, for the Redemption of their Soule is Pretious.

And secondly, it may teach them as not to Trust, so not to Swell with these things neither. It is an argument of their windinesse and emptinesse that they are apt to make men swell; whereas if they cannot change a haire of a mans head, nor adde an inch to his stature, they can much lesse make an accession of the least dramme of me­rit, or reall value to the owners of them. And surely if men could seriously consider, That they are still mem­bers of the same common bodie, and that of a twofold body, a civill and a mysticall body, and that though they haplie may bee the more honorable parts in one body, yet in the other they may be the lesse honorable; that the poore whom they despise may in Christs body have a higher roome then they (as the Apostle saith, Hath not God chosen the poore in this world, Rich in faith, Iam. 2. 5.) I say, if men could compare things rightly to­gether, and consider that they are but the greater letters in the same volume, and the poore the smaller, though they take up more roome, yet they put no more matter nor worth into the word which they compound, they would never suffer the tympanie and inflation of pride or superciliousnesse, of selfe-attributions, or contempt of their meaner brethren to prevaile within them. Wee see [Page 12] in the naturall body though the head have a Hat on of so many shillings price, and the foot a Shooe of not halfe so many pence, yet the head doth not therefore despise the foot, but is tender of it, and doth derive influence as well unto that as to any nobler part: and surely so should it be amongst men, though God have given thee an Emi­nent station in the body, cloath'd thee with purple and scarlet, and hath set thy poore neighbour in the lowest part of the body, and made him conversant in the dirt, and content to cover himselfe with leather, yet you are still members of the same common body, animated with the same spirit of Christ, moulded out of the same dirt, appointed for the same inheritance, borne out of the sameEx eodem utero ignorantiae. Tertul. wombe of natural blindnesse, partakers of the same great and pretious promises (there was not one price for the Soule of the poore man, and another for the rich, there is not one table for Christ's meaner guests, and another for his greater, but the faith is a Tit. 1. 4. Common faith, the salva­tion a Iud. verse 3. Common salvation, the Gal. 3. 16. Phil. 3. 16. rule a Common rule, the Ephes. 4 4. hope a Common hope, one Lord, and one Spirit, and one Baptisme, and one God and Father of all; and 1. Cor. 3. 11. One foundation, and Ephes 2. 19. Eph. 3. 15. 1. Tim. 3. 15. One house, and therefore wee ought to have 1. Cor. 12. 25. Care and Compassion one of another.

Secondly, consider that Goodnesse and value which is fix'd to the being of the Creature, implanted in it by God and the institution of nature, and even thus we shall finde them absolutely unable to satisfie the desires of the rea­sonable and spirituall soule. God is the Lord of all the Creatures, they are but as his severall monies, he coin'd them all. So much then of his Image as nay Creature hath in it, so much value and worth it carries. Now God hath more communicated himselfe unto man, then unto any other Creature; in his Creation we finde man made after the Gen. 1. 27. similitude of God, and in his restaurati­on we finde God made after the 1. Tim. 3. 16. Rom. 8. 3. similitude of man, and man once againe after the Ephes. 4. 24. Col. 3. 10. similitude of God. And now [Page 13] it is needlesse to search out the worth of the Creature, Our Saviour will decide the point, What shall a man gaine though he winne the whole Matth. 16. 26. World, and lose his owne soule, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soule? To which of the Creatures said God at any time, Let us cre­ate it after our image? of which of the Angels said He at any time, Let us restore them to our image againe? there is no Creature in heaven or earth, which is recom­pence enough for the losse of a Soule. Can a man carrie the world into hell with him to bribe the flames, or cor­rupt his tormentors? No saith the Psalmist, His glory shall not descend after him, Psal. 49. 17. but can hee buy out his pardon before he comes thither? no neither, the Redemption of a Soule is more pretious, vers. 8. we know the Apostle counts all things Dung, Phil. 3. 8. and will God take dung in exchange for a soule? Certainely, Beloved, when a man can sow grace in the furrowes of the field, when he can fill his barnes with glory, when he can get bagges full of salvation, when he can plow up heaven out of the earth and extract God out of the Creatures, then he may bee able to finde that in them which shall satisfie his desires. But till then, let a man have all the exquisitest Curiosities of nature heap'd into one vessell, let him be moulded out of the most delicate ingredients, and noblest principles that the world can contribute, let there be in his body a concurrency of all beauty and feature, in his nature an Eminence of all Sweetnesse and ingenuity, in his minde a conspiration of the politest, and most choice varieties of all kinde of learning, yet still the spirit of that man is no whit more valueable and pretious, no whit more proportionable to Eternall Happinesse, then the soule of a poore and illite­rate begger. Difference indeed there is, and that justly to bee made betweene them in the eyes of men, which difference is to expire within a few yeeres: and then af­ter the dust of the beautifull and deformed, of the lear­ned [Page 14] and ignorant, of the honorable and base are pro­miscuously intermingled, and death hath equall'd all, then at last there will come a day when all mankinde shall be summon'd naked, without difference of degrees before the same tribunall; when the Crownes of kings and the shackles of prisoners, when the robes of princes and the ragges of beggers, when the gallants braverie and the peasants russet, and the statists policie, and the Courtiers luxurie, and the schollers curiosity shall be all laid aside; when all men shall be reduc'd unto an equall plea, and without respect of persons shall bee doom'd according to their workes; when Nero the persecuting emperor shall be throwne to Hell, and Paul the perse­cuted Apostle shall shine in glory, when the learned Scribes and Pharises shall gnash their teeth, and the ig­norant, and as they terme them, cursed people shall see their Saviour: when the proud antichristian prelates, that dyed their robes in the bloud of the Saints, shall be hurried to damnation, and the poore despised martyrs whom they persecuted shall wash their feet in the bloud of their enemies; when those puntoes, and formalities, and cuts, and fashions, and distances, and complements, which are now the darling sinnes of the upper end of the world, shall be prov'd to have beene nothing else but well-acted vanities: when the pride, luxurie, riot, swaggering, interlarded and complementall oathes, nice and quaint lasciviousnesse, new invented courtings and adorations of beauty, the so much studied and admited sinnes of the gallantrie of the world, shall be pronounc'd out of the mouth of God himselfe to have beene nothing else but glittering abominations; when the adulterating of wares, the counterfeiting of lights, the double waight and false measures, the courteous equivocations of men greedy of gaine, which are now almost woven into the very arts of trading, shall be pronounced nothing else but mysteries of iniquitie and selfe-deceivings: when the [Page 15] curious subtilties of more choise wits, the knottie que­stions, and vaine strife of words, the disputes of reason, the variety of reading, the very circle of generall and se­cular learning pursued with so much eagernesse by the more ingenious spirits of the world, shall bee all pro­nounc'd but the thinne cobwebs, and vanishing delica­cies of a better temper'd prophanenesse; and lastly, when that poore despised profession of the power of Christia­nitie, a trembling at the Word of God, a scrupulous for­bearance not of oathes onely, but of idle words, a tender­nesse and aptnesse to bleed at the touch of any sinne, a boldnesse to withstand the corruptions of the times, a conscience of but the appearances of evill, a walking mournfully and humbly before God, a heroicall resolu­tion to be strict and circumspect, to walke in an exact and geometricall holinesse in the midst of a crooked and per­verse generation, the so much conclamated and scorned peevishnesse of a few silly, unpolitique, unregarded hy­pocrits as the world esteemes them, shall in good ear­nest from the mouth of God himselfe bee declared to have beene the true narrow way which leadeth to sal­vation, and the enemies there of shall, when it is too late, be driven to that desperate and shamefull confession, We fooles counted their life madnesse, and their end to have been without honour; how are they now reckoned amongst the Saints, and have their portion with the Almighty?

A second Branch of the disproportion between the soule of man and the Creatures, arising from the Vanitie there­of, is their Deadnesse, unprofitablenesse, inefficacie by anyIer. 16. 19. inward vertue of their owne to convey or preserue life in the Soule. Happinesse in the Scripture phrase is called Life, consisting in a Communion with God in his Holi­nesse and glory. Nothing then can truely bee a prop to hold up the Soule, which cannot either preserue that life which it hath, or convey unto it that which it hath not. Charge those, saith the Apostle, that are rich in this [Page 16] world, that they bee not high minded, neither trust in uncertaine Riches, but in the living God, 1. Tim. 6. 17▪ he opposeth the life of God to the vanitie and uncertaine­ty, the word is, to the Inevidence of Riches, whereby a man can never demonstrate to himselfe or others the certainety or happinesse of his life. The like opposition we shall finde excellently expressed in the Prophet Iere­mie, My people have committed two evils, they have for­saken me the fountaine of Living water, and have hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Ier. 2. 13. That is, my people are willing to attribute the blessings they enjoy, and to sue for more rather unto any cause then unto me the Lord. She did not know, saith the Lord else where, that I gave her her corne and her Hos. 2. 8. 12. wine, and multiplied her silver and gold, &c. but said of them, these are my rewards which my lovers have given me. But saith the Lord, so long as they trusted me, they rested upon a sure fountaine that would never faile them; with thee, saith the Psalmist, is the Fountaine of life: AndPsal. 36. 9. so saith the Apostle too, Let your conversation be without covetousnesse, that is, Doe not make an Idoll of the Crea­ture, doe not heape vessels full of monie together, and then thinke that you are all sure, the Creature hath no life in it, nay it hath no truth in it neither, there is deceit and cozenage in riches; but saith he, Let your conversa­tionMatth. 13. 22. be with contentment, consider that what you have is the dimensum, the portion which God hath allottedProv. 30. 8. you, that foode which he findeth most convenient for you; he knowes that more would but cloy you with a surfet of pride or worldlinesse, that you have not wise­dome, humility, faith, heavenly mindednesse enough to concoct a more plentifull estate; and therefore receive your portion from him, trust his wisedome and care over you, For he hath said, I will not faile thee nor forsake thee. Heb. 13. 5. Well then, saith the Lord, so long as they rested on me, they rested upon a sure supply (All his mercies are sure [Page 17] mercies) upon a Fountaine which would never faileAct. 13. 34. them: But when once they forsake mee, and will not trust their lives in my keeping, but with the prodigall will have their portion in their owne hands, their water in their owne Cisterns, their pits prove unto them but like lobs torrent, deepe and plentifull though they seemeIob 6. 18. for a time, yet at length they make those ashamed that relied upon them. And so I finde the Prophets assuring us, that Israel which put so much confidence in the car­nall1. King. 12. 26. policies of Ieroboam for preserving the kingdome of the ten tribes from any re-union with the house of Da­vid, was at last constrained to blush at their owneIer 48 13. Esai 30 3. Esai. 20. 5. wisedome, and to be ashamed of Bethel their confidence. Briefly then for that place, there are two excellent things intimated in those two words of Cisterns and Broken Cisterns. First the wealth and honour which men get not from the Lord, but by carnall dependencies, are but Cisterns at the best, and in that respect they have an evill quality in them, they are like dead water, apt to putrifie and corrupt; being cut of from the influence of God the Fountaine of life, they have no favour nor sweetnesse in them. Besides they are Broken Cisterns too, as they have much mud and rottennesse in them, so they are full of chinkes, at which whatever is cleere and sweet runnes away, and nothing but dregges remaine behinde. The worldly pleasures which men enjoy, their youth­full vigor that carried them with delight and furie to the pursuite of fleshly lusts, the content which they were wont to take in the formalities and complements of courtship and good fellowship, with a storme of sicke­nesse, or at farthest a winter of age blowes all away, and then when the fruite is gone, there remaines nothing but the diseases of it behinde, which there surfet had begot­ten, a conscience worme to torment the soule.

Thus the life which wee fetch from the Cisterne is a vanishing life, there is still, after the use of it, lesse left be­hinde [Page 18] then there was before: but the life which we fetch from the fountaine is a fixed, an Abiding life, as S. Iohn 1. Ioh. 3. 15. speakes, or, as our Saviour cals it, a Life that Abounds, likeIoh. 10. 10. the pumping of water out of a fountaine, the more it is drawne, the faster it comes.

We grant indeed that the Lord, being the Fountaine of life, doth allow the Creature in regard of life tempo­rall some subordinate operation and concurrencie in the worke of preserving life in us. But we must also remem­ber, That the Creatures are but Gods Instruments in that respect: and that not as servants are to their masters, Li­ving instruments, able to worke without concurrence of the superior cause; but Dead instruments, and therefore must never be separated from the Principall. Let God subduct from them that concourse of his owne which actuates and applies them to their severall services, and all the Creatures in the world are no more able to pre­serue the body or to comfort the mind, then an axe and a hammer and those other dead instruments are able by themselues alone to erect some stately edifice. It is not the corne or the flowre, but the staffe of bread which supports the life, and that is not any thing that comes out of the earth, but something which comes downe from heaven, even the blessing which sanctifies the Crea­ture▪ for man liveth not by bread alone, but by the word which proceedeth out of Gods mouth. The Creature cannot hold up it selfe, much lesse contribute to the sub­sistence of other things, unlesse God continue the influ­ence of his blessing upon it. As soone as Christ had cur­sed the figge-tree, it presently withered and dried up [...] Mark. 11. 20. fr [...]m the rootes; to shew that it was not the roote alone, but the blessing of Christ which did support the figge-tree. The Creatures of themselues are Indifferent to contrary operations, according as they have been by God severally applied. Fire preserved the three children in the furnace, and the same fire lick'd up the instruments [Page 19] of the persecution. Fire came downe from heaven to de­stroy Sodome, and fire came downe from heaven to ad­vance Elias; the same sea a Sanctuarie unto Israel and a grave unto Egypt; Ionah had been drown'd if he had not been devour'd, the latter destruction was a delive­rance from the former, and the ravine of the fish a refuge from the rage of the sea; pulse kept Daniel in good li­king, which the meat of the kings table could not doe in the other children: for indeed Life is not a thing meere­ly 1. Tim. 4. 8. 2. Tim. 1. 1. naturall, but of promise, as the Apostle speakes; Let the promise be removed, and however a wicked man lives as well as a righteous man, yet his life is indeed but a breathing death, onely the cramming of him to a day of slaughter: When the blessing of God is once subducted, though men labour in the v [...]ry fire, turne their vitall heateHabac. 2. 13. with extremity of paines into a very flame, yet the close of all their labour will prove nothing but Uanitie, as the Prophet speakes. We should therefore pray unto God that we may live not onely by the Creature, but by the word which sanctifieth the Creature, that wee may not leane upon our substance, but upon Gods promises, that we may not live by that which we have onely, but by that which we hope for, and may still finde God accom­panying his owne blessings unto our Soule.

But here the vanitie and wickednesse of many world­ly men is justly to be reproved, who Rest on the Creature as on the only staffe and comfort of their life, who count it their principall joy when their corne, and wine, andHabac. 1. 15. 16. Ephes. 5. 5. Col. 3. 5. oyle encreaseth, who magnifie their owne arts, sacrifice to their owne net and drag (which is the Idolatrie of Covetousnesse, so often spoken of by the Apostle, when all the trust, and hope, and glory, and rejoycing which men have is in the Creature, and not in God.) They boast, saith the Psalmist, in the multitude of their Riches.Psal. 49. 6. Nay so much sottishnesse there is in the nature of man, and so much sophistrie in the Creature, that the proud [Page 20] foole in the Gospell from the greatnesse of his wealth,Luk. 12. 19. concludes the length of his life, Thou hast much laid up for many yeeres, and the certainety of his mirth and plea­sure, Take thine ease, eate, drinke, and be merry. Their in­ward thought is that their houses shall endure for ever, and Psal. 49. 11. Psal. 10. 6. their dwelling places to all generations. And David him­selfe was over-taken with this folly, I said in my prospe­rity, I shall never be moved. Yea so much seed is there of pride in the heart of man, and so much heate (as I may so speake) & vigour in the Creature to quicken it, as that men are apt to Deifie themselves in the reflection on their owne greatnes, & to deifie any thing else which con­tributes to the enlargement of their ambitious purposes.Uid Brisson. de Regno Pers. lib. 1. pag. 8. 14. The greatnesse of the Persian Emperors made them all usurpe religious worship from their subiects. The like insolence we finde in the Babilonish monarchs, they ex­alted themselves above the height of the clouds, and made themselves equall to the most high, Esai. 14. 14. yea their pride made them forget any God save them­selves, I am, and there is none besides me, Esai. 47. 7. 8. ItZeph. 2. 15. was the blasphemous arrogance of Tyrus the rich citty, I am a God, I sit in the seate of God, I have a heart like the heart of God, Ezek. 28. 26. neither are these the sinnes of those times alone; the fountaine of them is in the nature, and the fruites of them in the lives of those, who dare not venture upon the words: For albeit men with their mouths professe God, there is yet a bitter roote of A­theismePsal. 9. 20. and of Polutheisme in the mindes of men by na­ture, which is mightily actuated by the abundance of earthly things. Where the treasure is there is the heart,Matth. 6. 21. where the heart there the happinesse, and where the happinesse there the God.

Now worldly men put their trust in their riches, set their heart upon them, make them their strong citty, andPsal. 49 6. Psal 62. 10. Prov. 10. 15. therefore no marvell if they be their Idoll too. What is the reason why oftentimes wee may obserue rich and [Page 21] mighty men in the world to bee more impatient of theIer. 43. 2. Obad. ver. 3. Word of God, more bitter scorners of the power of re­ligion, more fearefully given over to the pursuite of flesh­ly lusts and secular purposes, to vanity, vaine-glory, am­bition, revenge, fierce, implacable, bloudy passions, bra­sen and boasting abominations, then other men, but be­cause they have some secret opinion that there is not so great a distance betweene God and them, as betweene God and other men; but because the abundance ofPsal. 17. 10. Psal. 10. 4, 5. Iob 20. 7. 15. worldly things hath brawned their heart, and fatted their conscience, and thickned their eyes against any feare, or faith, or notice at all of that supreme dominion and im­partiall revenge which the most powerfull and just God doth beare over all sinners, and against all sinne? What is the reason why many ordinary men drudge and moile all the yeere long, thinke every houre in the Church so much time lost from their life, are not able to forbeare their covetous practises on Gods owne Day, count any time of their life, any worke of their hand, any sheaffe of their corne, any penny of their purse throwne quite away, even as so much bloud powr'd out of their veines, which is bestow'd on the worship of God, and on the service of the Altar; but because men thinke that there is indeed more life in their monie, and the fruits of their ground, then in their God or the promises of his Gospell? Else how could it possibly be, if men did not in their hearts make God a lier, as the Apostle speakes,1. Ioh. 5. 10. That the Lord should professe so plainely, from this day upward, since a stone hath beene layed of my house, sinceHag. 2. 15. 19. you have put your selves to any charges for my worship, I will surely blesse you, and againe, Bring all my tithes in­to my house, and prove me if I will not open the windowes of heaven, and powre a blessing upon you that there shall Mal. 3. 10. not be roome enough to hold it: and againe, He that hath pitty on the poore lendeth unto the Lord, and that which he Prov. 19. 17. hath given, will he pay him againe: and againe, If thou [Page 22] wilt hearken unto me, and obserue to doe all these things, Deut. 28. 2. 14. then all these blessings shall come on thee and over-take thee, blessings in the city and in the field, &c. If men did in good earnest personally, and hypothetically, beleeve and embrace these divine truths, How could it be, that men should grudge Almighty God and his worship e­very farthing which he requires from them of his owne gifts, that they should date let the service and house of God lie dumbe and naked, that they should shut up their bowels of compassion against their poore brethren,Matth. 25. 42. and in them venture to denie Christ himselfe a morsell of bread or a mite of monie, that they should neglect the obedience, prophane the name, word, and worship of God, use all base and unwarrantable arts of getting, and all this out of love of that life, and greedinesse of that gaine, which yet themselves, in their generall subscripti­on to Gods truth, have confessed, will either never be gotten, or at least never blessed, by such cursed courses? so prodigious a property is there in worldly things to obliterate all notions of God out of the heart of a man, and to harden him to any impudent abominations. I Ier. 22. 21. spake unto thee in thy prosperity, saith the Lord, but thou saidst, I will not heare. According to their pasture, so Hos. 13. 6. were they filled, they were filled and their heart was ex­alted, therefore have they forgotten me. Take heede, lest Deut. 6. 10, 11, 12. Deut. 8. 10. 18. Iam. 2. 5. Matth. 11. 5. 25 when thou hast eaten and art full, thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the Lord thy God. Therefore it is that we reade of the Poorerich in faith, and of the Gospell prea­ched to the Poore, and revealed unto babes; because greatnesse and abundance stops the eare, and hardens the heart, and makes men stand at defiance with the sim­plicitie of the Gospell.

Now then that we may be instructed how to use the Creature, as becommeth a dead and impotent thing, wee may make use of these few directions. First, have thine Eye ever upon the Power of God, which alone anima­teth [Page 23] and raiseth the Creature to that pitch of livelihood which is in it, and who alone hath infinite wayes to weaken the strongest, or to arme the weakest Creature against the stoutest sinner. Peradventure thou hast as much lands and possessions, as many sheepe and oxen as Iob or Nabal; yet thou hast not the lordship of the [...]. Chrysost. Hom. 2. ad pop. Antioch. clouds, God can harden the heavens over thee, hee can send the mildew and canker into thy corne, the rot and murren into thy cattell; though thy barnes bee full of corne, and thy fats overflow with new wine, yet he can breake the staffe of thy bread, that the flowre and theHos. 9. 2. winepresse shall not feed thee; though thou have a house full of silver and gold, he can put holes into every bagge, and chinkes into every Cisterne, that it shall all sinke away like a winter torrent. God can either denie thee aEccles. 6. 1, 2. power and will to enjoy it, and this is as sore a disease as poverty it selfe: or else hee can take away thy strengthQuantumlibet delectent jactan­tia divitiarum, & tumor hono­rum, & vorago popinarum, & bella theatrico­rum, &c. Aufert omnia ista una febricula, & ad­huc viventibus totam falsam beatitudinē sub­trahit; remanet inanis & saucia consciencia. Aug. de Cate­chiz. Rud. ca. 16. Gen. 4. 7. that thou shalt not relish any of thy choisest delicates; he can send a stone or a gowte that shall make thee willing to buy with all thy riches a poore and a dishonorable health; and, which is yet worst of all, he can open thy conscience, and let in upon thy Soule that lyon which lies at the dore, amaze thee with the sight of thine owne sinnes, the historie of thine evill life, the experience of his terrours, the glimpses and preoccupations of hell, the evident presumptions of irreconciliation with him; the frenzie of Cain, the despaire of Iudas, the madnesse of Achitophel, the trembling of Felix, which will damp all thy delights, and make all thy sweetest morsels as the white of an Egge; at which pinch, however now thou admire and adore thy thicke clay, thou wouldest count it the wisest bargaine thou did'st ever make, to give all thy goods to the poore, to goe bare-foote the whole day with the Prophet Esay, to dresse thy meate with the dung of a man, as the Lord commanded the Prophet Ezekiel, to feede with Micajah in a dungeon on bread [Page 24] of affliction and water of affliction for many yeeres toge­ther, that by these or any other meanes thou mightest purchase that inestimable peace, which the whole earth, though changed into a Globe of Gold, or Center of Diamond cannot procure. So uttterly unable are all the Creatures in the world to give life, as that they cannot preserue it intire from forraine or domestique assaults, nor remove those dumps and pressures which doe any way disquiet it.

Secondly, to remove this naturall deadnesse of the Creature, or rather to recompence it by the accession of a Blessing from God, use meanes to reduce it unto its pri­mitive Goodnesse. The Apostle shewes us the way. Every Creature of God is good, being sanctified by the 1. Tim. 4. 4. Word of God and by Prayer. In which place, because it is a text then which there are few places of Scripture that come more into dayly and generall use with all sorts of men, it will be needfull to unfold; 1. What it meant by the sanctification of the Creature. 2. How it is sanctifi­ed by the Word. 3. How wee are to sanctifie it to our selves by Prayer.

For the first, The Creature is then sanctified, when the curse and poison which sin brought upon it is remooved, when we can use the Creature with a cleane conscience, and with assurance of a renewed and comfortable estate in them. It is an Allusion to legall purifications and dif­ferences of meates, Levit. 11. No Creature is impure of it selfe, saith the Apostle, in its owne simple created na­ture:Rom. 14. 14. But in as much as the sinne of man forfeited all his interest in the Creature, because eo ipso a man is legally dead; and a condemn'd man is utterly depriu'd the right of any worldly goods (nothing is his ex jure, but onely ex largitate) and in as much as the sinne of man hath made him▪ though not a sacrilegious intruder, yet a pro­phane abuser of the good things which remaine, partly by inditect procuring them, partly by despising the au­thor [Page 25] of them, by mustering up Gods owne gifts against him in riot, luxurie, pride, uncleanenesse, earthly minded­nesse, hereby it comes to passe that to the uncleane all things are uncleane, because their mindes and conscien­ces Tit. 1. 15. are defiled. Now the whole Creation being thus by the sinne of man uncleane, and by consequence unfitted for humane use, as Saint Peter intimates, I never eate any Act. 10. 14. thing common or uncleane, it was therefore requisite that the Creature should have some Purification, before it was unto men allowed: Which was indeede legally done in the Ceremonie, but really in the substance and body of the Ceremonie by Christ, who hath now unto us in their use, and will at last for themselves in their owne being, deliver the Creatures from that vanity and malediction, unto which by reason of the sinne of man they were subjected, and fashion them unto the glorious Rom. 8. 20, 21. liberty of the Children of God, make them fit palaces for the saints to inhabit, or conferre upon them a glory which shall bee in the proportion of their natures a suteable advancement unto them, as the glory of the Children of God shall be unto them. The bloud of Christ doth not onely renew and purifie the soule and body of man, but washeth away the curse and dirt which adhereth toEph. 5. 26. every Creature that man useth; doth not only clense and sanctifie his church, but reneweth all the Creatures, Be­hold,Revel. 21. 5. saith he, I make All things New; and if any man be in Christ, not onely He is a New Creature, but saith2. Cor. 5. 17. the Apostle, All things are become New. Those men then who keepe themselves out of Christ, and are by consequence under the Curse, as their persons, so their possessions are still under the curse, as their consciences, so their estates are still uncleane; they eate their meate like Swine rol'd up in dirt, the dirt of their owne sinne, and of Gods malediction. So then the Creature is then sanctified, when the curse thereof is washed away by Christ.

[Page 26]Now secondly, let us see How the Creature is sanctifi­ed by the Word.

By Word wee are not to understand the Word of Creation, wherein God spake and all things were made Good and serviceable to the use of man. For sinne came after that Word, and defaced as well the goodnesse which God put into the Creature, as his Image which he put into man. But by Word I understand first in gene­rall Gods Command and Blessing which strengtheneth the Creature unto those operations for which they serue: in which sense our Saviour useth it, Matth. 4. 4. and else­where, If ye call those Gods unto whom the Word of God Ioh. 10. 35. 36. came, that is, who by Gods Authority and Commission are fitted for subordinate services of Gouernement under him, say ye of him whom the Father hath Heb. 5. 5. Ioh. 6. 27. 37. 40. Act. 4. 27. Ioh. 10. 18. sanctified, that is, to whom the Word of the Father and his Commission or Command came, to whom the Father hath given Au­thoritie by his Ioh. 5. 22. 27. 30. Matth. 28. 18. Power, and fitnesse by his Esai. 11. 2, 3, 4. Ioh. 3. 34, 35. Spirit to Iudge, and save the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Sonne of God? Secondly, by that Word I understand more particularly the Fountaine of that Blessing, which the Apostle cals in generall the Word of Truth, and more particularly, The Gospell of Salvation, Eph. 1. 13. and this word is a sanctifying Word; Sanctifie them by Ioh. 17. 17. thy truth, thy Word is Truth: and as it sanctifies us, so it sanctifies the Creatures too, it is the Fountaine not onely of Eternall, but of Temporall Blessings. And therefore we finde Christ did not onely say unto the sicke of the Palsie, Thy sinnes are forgiven thee, but also Arise and Matth. 9. 2, 6. walke, intimating, that Temporall Blessings come along with the Gospell, it hath the Promises as well of this life 1. Tim. 4. 8. Psal. 37. 25. Heb. 13. 5. as that to come. I never saw the righteous forsaken, saith the Prophet David (suteable to that of the Apostle, He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee) nor their seed begging their bread; That is, never so wholly by God forsaken, if they were the seed of the Righteous, [Page 27] inheritors of their fathers hope and profession, as to make a constant trade of begging their bread, and so to expose the promises of Christ, that they which seeke the king­domeMatth. 6. 33. of heaven shall have all other things added to them, unto reproach and imputation from wicked men. Or thus, I never saw the righteous forsaken, or their seede forsaken by God, though they beg'd their bread, but even in that extremitie God was present with them, to sanctifie to their use, and to give them a comfortable en­joyment of that very bread which the exigencie of their present condition had constrained them to begge. Thus we see in generall, That the Blessing or Command of God, and the fountaine of that blessing, the Gospell of Salva­tion, doe sanctifie the Creature.

But yet neither by the Blessing nor the Gospell is the Creature effectually sanctified unto us, till it be by us ap­prehended with the Word and Promise, and this is doneHeb. 4. 2. by Faith; for the Word, saith the Apostle, profited not those that heard it, because it was not mingled or temper'd [...]. in 1. Cor. homil. 2. Chrysost. with faith. For Faith hath this singular operation, to particularize and single out God and his Promises unto a mansselfe; So then the Creature is sanctified by the Word and Blessing beleeved and embraced, whereby we come to have a neerer right and peculiarity in the Creatures which we enjoy: for being by Faith united unto ChristEphes 3. 17. Gal. 2. 20. and made one with him (which is that noble effect of faith to incorporate Christ and a Christian together) we thereby share with him in the inheritance, not onely ofRom. 8. 17. Eternall life, but even of the common Creatures. Fellow Heires we are and Copartners with him; therefore in as much as God hath appointed him to be Heire of All Heb. 1. 2. things, as the Apostle speakes, we likewise, in the vertue of our fellowship with him, must in a subordinate sense1. Ioh. 1. 3. be Heires of all things too. All is yours, saith the Apo­stle,1. Cor. 3. 21, 23. Rom. 8. 32. Aug. epist. 89. and you are Christs, and Christ is Gods. Fidelibus totus mundus divitiarum est, The Saints, saith Saint [Page 28] Austin, have All the world for their possession. And if it be here demanded how this can be true, since wee finde the Saints of God often in great want, and it would doubtlesse bee sinne in them to usurpe another mans goods upon presumption of that promise that Christ is theirs, and with him all things: To this I answere, first in generall, As Christ though he were the Heire of All2. Cor. 8. 9. things, yet for our sakes became poore, that we by his poverty might be made rich: so God oftentimes plea­seth to make the faithfull partake not onely in the pri­viledges, but in the poverty of Christ, that even by that meanes they may be rich in faith and dependance upon God, as Saint Iames spake, Having nothing, and yet pos­sessing Iam. 2. 5. All things. Secondly, All is ours in regard of2. Cor. 6. 10. Christian liberty, though our hands are bound from the possession, yet our Consciences are not bound from the use of any. Thirdly, Though the faithfull have not in the right of their inheritance any monopolie or ingrosse­ment of the Creatures to themselves, yet still they have and shall have the service of them All. That is thus; If it were possible for any member of Christ to stand abso­lutely in neede of the use and service of the whole Crea­tion, All the Creatures in the world should undoubtedly waite upon him, and bee appropriated unto him. The Moone should stand still, the Sunne goe backe, the Lions should stop their mouths, the Fire should give over bur­ning, the Ravens should bring him meate, the Heavens should raine downe bread, the Rockes should gush out with water, all the Creatures should muster up them­selves to defend the Body of Christ. But though no such absolute necessity shall ever be, yet ordinarily we must learne to beleeve, That those things which God allowes us are best suteable to our particular estate, God know­ing us better then we doe our selves: that as lesse would haply make us repine, so more would make us full, and lift up our hearts against God, and set them on the world; [Page 29] so that All is ours, not absolutely, but subordinately, ser­viceably according to the exigence of our condition, to the proportion of our faith and furtherance of our Salua­tion.

The third particular inquire into was, How we doe by Prayer sanctifie the Creature to our selves? This is done in these three courses. 1. In procuring them. We ought not to set about any of our lawfull and just callings with­out a particular addressing our selves unto God in Pray­er. This was the practise of good Eleazer Abrahams servant, when he was emploi'd in finding out a wife for his masters sonne, Gen. 24. 12. O Lord God of my master Abraham I pray thee send me good speed this day: and this also was the practise of good Nehemiah in the distresses of his people, Nehem. [...]. 4. I prayed unto the God of heaven, and then I spake unto the king. And surely the very Heathen themselves shall in this point rise up in judgement against many pro­phane Christians, who looke oftner upon their gold then upon their God, as Salvian speakes. We reade often in their writings that in any generall Morbis gras­santibus vel pro­digijs nunciatis Pacem Deûm exposci moris e­rat, vide Brisson. de Formul. lib. 1. pa. 81. edit. 1592 Calamitie they did joyntly implore the peace and favour of their idolatrous gods; that in any Plin. Panegyr. Bene ac sapien­ter majores in­stituerunt ut rerum agenda­rum, ita dicendi ini [...]ium à Preca­tionibus capere, &c. Sueton. in Aug. cap. 35. vid. Brisson. de Form. lib. 1. pag. 42. Et Coqu [...] [...]ommen­taria in Aug. de Civit. Dei. lib. 2. cap. 8. num. 2. matter of consequence they made their entrie upon it by Prayer, commending the successe there­of to the power and providence of those deities which they beleeved. In so much that we read of Livius li [...]. 26. A. Gel. Noct. At­tic. lib▪ 7. cap. 1. C [...]s ab A [...] describitur [...] dedita, [...] Civit. Dei. lib. 3. . cap. 21. Pub. Scipio a great Romane, that he ever went to the Capitole be­fore to the Senate, and began all the businesses of the Common-wealth with Prayer. How much more the [...] ought we to doe it, who have not onely the Law and Dictate of nature to guide us, who have not deafe and impotent idols to direct our Prayers to, as their gods were; but have first The Law of Christ requiring it; [...]ph. 6. 18. 1. Thell. 5. 17. Phil. 4. 6. Pray Alwayes. Pray without ceasing. In every thing by Prayer and Supplication with Thankesgiving, let your requests be made knowne to God. Who have secondly the Example of Christ to enforce it, for not onely [Page 30] Marke 1 35. Morning and Matth 1 [...]. 23. Evening was it his Luk. 21. 39. Custome to Pray; but upon every other solemne occasion. Before his Mark 1. 3 [...]. 38. Prea­ching, before his Mark. 6. 41. Eating, before the Luk. 9. 12, 13. Election of his Disciples, before his Luk. 9. 28. Transfiguration in the mount, Matth. 26. 36. Ioh. 17. 1. be­fore and Heb▪ 5. 7. in his Passion; Who have thirdly from Christ That Legitimate, Ordinarie, Fundamentall Prayer, as [...] orat. cap. 9. Tertullian cals it, The Lords Prayer, as a Rule and Directorie by him framed to instruct us how to Pray, and to bound and confine our extravagant and vast de­sires; Who lastly have also the Altar of Christ to re­ceive, the Incense of Christ to perfume, the Name and In­tercession of Christ to present our Prayers unto God by, who have Christ sanctifying, and, as I may so speake, praying our prayers unto hi [...] Father for us; as we read of the Angell of the Covenant, who had a golden Censer Revel. 8. 3, 4. and much incense, to offer up the Prayers of the Saints, which was nothing else but the mediation of Christ bea­ring the iniquitie of our holy things, as Aaron was appoin­tedExod. 28. 38. to doe; nothing but his intercession for us at the rightRom. 8. 34. hand of his Father. I say, how much more reason [...]ave we, then any Gentile could have, to consecrate all our enterprises with Prayer unto God? Humbly to acknow­ledge how justly he might blast all o [...]r businesses, and make us labour in the fire; that unlesse he keepe the Ci­ty the watchman watcheth but in vaine; that unlesse hee build the house their labour is in vaine that build it; that unlesse he give the increase, the planting of Paul, and the watering of Apollo are but emptie breath; that it is onely his blessing on the diligent hand which maketh rich without any sorrow; that unlesse he be pleased to favour our attempts, neither the plotting of our heads, nor the solicitous [...]esse of our hearts, [...]or the drudgerie of our hands, nor the whole cōcurrence of our created strength, nor any accessorie assistances which we can procure will be able to bring to passe the otherwise most obvious and feasible Events: and therefore to implore his Direction [Page 31] in all our counsels, his concurrence with all our Actions, his blessing on all our undertakings, and his glory as the sole end of all that either we are or doe. For by this meanes we doe First acknowledge our dependencie on God as the first cause, and give him the glory of his sove­raigne Power and Dominion over all second agents, in ac­knowledging2. Chron. 20. 6. 2. Chron. 14. 11 Matth. 8. 2. that without him we can doe nothing, and the power of God is the Ground of Prayer. Secondly, by this meanes we put God in minde of his Promises, andEsai. 43. 76. so acknowledge not our dependence on his power only, but on his Truth and Goodnesse too: And the Promi­ses and Truth of God are the foundation of all our Prayers. That which encouraged Daniel to set his faceDan. 9 1, 2, 3. to seeke unto God in Prayer for the restitution of liber­tie out of Babylon was Gods Promise and Truth revea­led by Ieremie the Prophet, that hee would accomplish but s [...]ventie yeeres in the desolation of Ierusalem. That which encouraged Iehosaphat to seeke unto God against2 Chron. 20. 9. the multitude of Moabites which came up against him, was his Promise that he would heare and helpe those that did pray towards his house in their affliction. That which encouraged David to pray unto God for the sta­bility of his house, was the Covenant and Truth of God,2. Sam. 7. 27, 28, 29. Thou hast revealed to thy Servant, saying, I will build thee an house, therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this Prayer unto thee. And now, O Lord, thou art That God, that is, the same God in thy fidelity and mer­cy, as then thou wert, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodnesse to thy servant; therefore let it please thee to blesse the house of thy Servant, &c. Ex­cellent to this purpose is that which S. Austin obserues of his mother, who very often and earnestly prayed untoAug [...]. lib. [...]. cap. 9. God for h [...]r sonne when he was an Hereticke, Chirogra­pha tua ingerebat tibi, Lord, saith he, she urged thee with thine owne hand-writing, she challenged in an humble and fearefull confidence the performance of thine owne [Page 32] obligations. Thirdly and lastly, by this meanes wee ha­sten the performance of Gods decreed mercies; we retar­date, yea quite hinder his almost purposed and decreed Iudgements. The Lord had resolved to restore Israel to their wonted peace and honour, yet for all these things Ezek. 36. 37. will I be enquired vnto by the House of Israel to doe it for them, saith He in the Prophet. The Lord had threatned destruction against Israel for their Idolatry, had not Mo­ses Psal. 106. stood before him in the breach to turne away his wrath, as the Psalmist speakes. And we reade of the Primi­tiveIustin Martyr Apolog. Christians, that their prayers procured raine from heaven, when the Armies of the Emperours were evenTertul. Apol. c. 5. famished for want of water, and that their very persecu­tors have begg'd their prayers.

Secondly, as by prayer the Creature is sanctified in the procurement (for no man hath reason to beleeue that there is any blessing intended vnto him by God in any of the good things which doe not come in vnto him by prayer) so in the next place the Creature is by Prayer sanctified in the fruition thereof; because, to enjoy the portion allotted us, and to rejoyce in our labour, is the Gift of God, as Salomon speakes. The Creature of itEccles. 5. 19. selfe is not onely Dead, and therefore unable to minister life by it selfe alone, but, which is worse, by the meanes of mans sinne, it is Deadly too, and therefore apt to poyson the receivers of it without the corrective of Gods Grace. Pleasure is a thing in it selfe lawfull; but corruption of nature is apt to make a man a lover of pleasure, more2. Tim. 3. 4. then a lover of God, and then is that mans pleasure made unto him the metropolis of mischiefe, as Clemens Alex­and [...]inus speakes. A good name is better then sweetEccles. 7. 1. Pro [...]. 22. 1. oyntment, and more to be desired then much riches; but corruption is apt to put a flie of vaine-glory and selfe­affectation into this oyntment, to make a man foolishly feed upon his owne credit, and with the Pharisies to doe▪ Matth. 23. 5. Ioh. 5. 44. 12. 43. all for applause, and preferre the praise of men before the [Page 33] glory of God; and then our sweet oyntment is degene­rated into a curse; Woe bee unto you, when all men shall Luk. 6. 26. speake well of you. Riches of themselves are the good gifts and blessings of God, as Salomon saith, The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, but corruption is apt to breed by this meanes covetousnesse, pride, selfe-dependency, for­getfulnesse of God, scorne of the Gospell, and the like; and then these earthly blessings are turned into the curse of the earth, into Thornes and Briers, as the Apostle speakes, They that will be rich pierce themselves thorow 1. Tim. 6. 10. with many sorrowes. Learning in it selfe is an honou­rable and a noble endowment; it is recorded for the glory of Moses, that hee was learned in all the wise­domeAct. 7. 22. of the Egyptians: but corruption is apt to turne learning into leauen, to infect the heart with pride, which being arm'd and seconded with wit breakes forth into perverse disputes, and corrupts the minde. ThereforeCol. 2. 4. 8. Saint Paul advised the Christians of his time, to beware lest any man spoile them through Philosophy and begvile them with entising words. And the ancient Fathers counted the Tertul. de prae­script. cap. 7. de Idolatr. cap. 10. Hieron. contr. Luciser. cum praefat. Erasmi. vid. Pet. Erodi­um. Decret. lib. 1. Tit. 6. §. 2. Hook. l. 5. §. 3. Philosophers the Seminaries of heresie. Proofe whereof, to let passe the Antitrinitarians and Pe­lagians, and other ancient Here [...]ikes, who out of the nicenesse of a quaint wit perverted Gods truth to the pa­tronage of their lyes; and to passe by the Schoolemen and Iesuites of late Ages, who haue made the way to heaven a very labyrinth of crooked subtilties, and have weav'd Divinity into Cobwebs; wee may have abun­dantly in those Libertines and Cyrenians, who disputedSee Reynolds [...]. c. 2. diuis. 3 p [...]g. 72. Act 6. and 17. Eccles. 12. 12. Rom. 1. 22. 2. Tim. 3. 9. with Stephen, and those Stoicks that wrangled with Saint Paul about the resurrection. And now learning being thus corrupted is not onely turned into weari­nesse, but into very notorious and damnable folly, for thinking themselves wise, saith the Apostle, they became fooles, and their folly shall be made k [...]owne unto all men. To get wealth in an honest and painefull Calling is a [Page 34] great blessing▪ for the diligent hand maketh rich; but cor­ruption is apt to perswade unto cozenage, lying, equivo­cation, fals weights, ingrossements, monopolies and other Arts of cruelty and unjustice, and by this meanes ou [...] law full Callings are turned into abominations, mysteries ofDeut. 25. 14. 16. Prov. 20. 10. 23. Prov. 21. 6. iniquity, and a pursuit of death. Every creature of God is good in it selfe, and allowed both for necessitie and de­light; but corruption is apt to abuse the Creatures to luxury and excesse, to drunkennesse, gluttony and inordi­nate lusts, and by this meanes a mans table is turned into a Snare, as the Psalmist speakes. Now then since all the world is thus bespread with ginnes, it mainely concernes us alwayes to pray, that we may use the world as not a­busing it, that wee may enjoy the Creatures with such wisedome, temperance, sobriety, heavenly affections, as may make them so, many ascents to raise us neerer unto God, as so many glasses in which to contemplate the wisedome, providence, and care of God to men, as so many witnesses of his love, and of our duty. And thus doth prayer sanctifie the Creature in the use of it.

Lastly, and in one word, Prayer sanctifies the Crea­tures in the review and recognition of them. and Gods mercy in them, with thanksgiving and thoughts of praise, as Iacob, Gen. 32. 9. 10. and David, 2. Sam. 7. 18. 21. looked upon God in the blessings with which hee had blessed them. And now since Prayer doth thus sanctifie the Creatures unto us, wee should make friends of the unrighteous Mammon, that wee may by that meanes get the prayers of the poore Saints upon us and our estate, that the eye which seeth us may blesse us, and the care that heareth us may give witnesse to us; that the loynes and the mouthes, the backes and the bellies of the poore and fatherlesse may be as so many reall suppli­cations unto God for us.

The third and last direction which I shall give you to finde life in the Creature, shall bee to looke on it, and [Page 35] love it in its right order, with subordination to God and his promises; to love it after God, and for God, as the beame which conveyes the influences of life from him; as his instrument, moved and moderated by him to those ends for which it serves; to love it as the Cisterne, not as the fountaine of life; to make Christ the foundation, and all other things but as accessions unto him. Otherwise if wee love it either alone, or above Christ, however itIn cofundamen­tum non est Christꝰ cui cae [...]e­ra praeponuntur. Aug. de Civ. dei. lib. 21. cap. 26. Luk. 12. 25. may by Gods providence keepe our breath a while in our nostrils, and fatten us against the last day, yet impossible it is that it should ever minister the true and solid com­forts of life unto us, which consisteth not in the abundance of things which a man possesseth, as our Saviour speakes. Life goes not upward▪ but downeward, the inferiour de­rives it not on the superiour; therefore by placing the Creature in our estimation above Christ, we deny unto it any influence of livelihood from him, whom yet in words we professe to be the fountaine of life. But men will object and say, This is a needlesse caution not to pre­ferre the Creature before the Creator, as if any man were so impious and absurd. Surely Saint Paul tells us, that2. Thes. 3. 2. Multi no [...] a Christi vnitate sed a suis com­modis nolunt recedere. Aug. de Baptis. lib 4. c. 10. Mark 5. 17. Psal. 106. 24. Act. 7. 39. Mal. 1. 7. Zech. 11. 12. Uti volunt Deo vt fruantur mund [...]. Aug. de Civ. dei. lib. 15. cap. 7. men without faith are impious and absurd men, who doe in their affections and practises as undoubtedly underva­lue Christ, as the Gadarens that preferred their Swine before him. What else did Esau, when for a messe of pottage he sold away his birth-right, which was a privi­ledge that led to Christ? What else did the people in the Wildernesse, who despised the holy Land, which was the type of Christs Kingdome, and in their hearts turned backe to Egypt? What else did those wicked Israelites, who polluted the Table of the Lord, and made his Altar contemptible, which was a type of Christ? What else did Iudas and the Iewes, who sold and bought the Lord of glory for the price of a beast? What else doe daily those men, who make Religion serve turnes, and godli­nesse waite upon gaine? who creepe into houses with a [Page 36] forme of pietie, to seduce unstable foules, and plucke off their feathers to make themselves a neast? The Apostles Rule is generall, that sensuall and earthly-minded men are all the enemies of the Crosse of Christ, Phil. 3. 18. 19.

The third and last disproportion betweene the soule of Man and the Creature arising from the vanit [...]e there­of, is in regard of duration and continuance. Man is by nature a provident Creature, apt to lay up for the time to come, and that disposition should reach beyond the fore­cast of the Foole in the Gospell for many yeeres, even for immortalitie it selfe▪ For certainely there is no man who hath but the generall notions of corrupted reason alive within him, who hath not his conscience quite vitiated, and his minde putrified with noysome lusts, who is not wrapped up in the mud of thicke ignorance, and palpa­ble stupiditie, but must of necessitie have oftentimes the immediate representations of immortalitie before his eyes. Let him never so much smother and suppresse the truth, let him with all the Arte he can divert his conceits, and entangle his thoughts in secular cares, let him shut his eye-lids as close as his naile is to his flesh, yet the flashes of immortalitie are of so penetrative and searching a na­ture, that they will undoubtedly get through all the ob­stacles, which a minde not wholly over-dawb'd with worldlinesse and ignorance can put betweene. There­fore the Apostle useth that for a strong argument, why rich men should not trust in uncertaine riches, but in the living God, and should be rich in good workes, That so, saith he, they may lay up in store a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternall life, 1. Tim. 6. 17. 19. Wicked men indeed lay up in store, butAmos. 3. 10. lam. 5. 3. it is not riches, but wrath, even violence and oppression against the last day. But by trusting God, and doing good a man layes up durable Riches, as the wise ManProu. 8. 18. speakes; in which respect he presently addes, That the fruit of wisedome is better then Gold. For though Gold [Page 37] be of all Mettals the most solid, and therefore least sub­ject to decay, yet it is not immortall and durable riches; for the Apostle tels us, that silver and gold are corruptible 1. Pet 1. 18. Iam. 5. 2. things, and that there is a rust and canker which [...] up the gold and silver of wicked men. I confesse the hearts of many men are so glewed unto the world, espe­cially when they finde all things succeed prosperously with them that they are apt enough to set up their rest, and to conceite a kinde of stedfastnesse in the things they possesse. Because they haue no changes. saith the ProphetPsal. 55. 19. David, therefore they feare not God. But yet I say, where the Lord doth not wholly give a man over to heape up2. Pet. 3. 4. treasures unto the last day, to be eaten up with the canker of his owne wealth, the soule must of necess [...]y sometime or other happen upon such sad thoughts as these. What ailes my foolish heart thus to eate up it selfe with care, and to rob mine eyes of their beloved sleepe for such things, as to the which the time will come when I must bid an everlasting farewell? Am I not a poore mortall Creature, brother to the Wormes, sister to the Dus [...]? Doe I not carry about with mee a soule full of corruptions, a skinne full of diseases? Is not my breath in my nostrils, where there is roome enough for it to goe out, and possi­bility never to come in again? Is my flesh of brasse, or my bones of iron, that I should thinke to hold out, and with­out interruption to enjoy these earthly things? Or if they were, yet are not the Creatures themselves subject to period and mortalitie? Is there not a Moth in my richest garments, a Worme in my tallest Cedars, a Can­ker and rust in my fi [...]nest Gold to corrupt and eate it out? Or if not, will there not come a day, when the whole frame of Nature shall bee set on fire, and the Elements themselves shall melt with heate, when that universall flame shall devoure all the bagges, and lands, and offices, and honours, and treasures, and store▪houses of worldly men? When Heaven and Hell shall divide the World; [Page 38] Heaven, into which nothing can be admitted which is capable of Moth or rust to corrupt it, and Hel, into which if any such things could come, they would undoubtedly in one instant bee swallowed vp in those violent and un­extinguishable flames? And shall I be so foolish as to [...] my felicity in that which will faile me, when I shall stand in greatest neede, to heape up treasures into a broken bagge, to worke in the fire where all must perish? Cer­tainely the soule of a meere worldly man, who cannot finde God or Christ in the things hee enjoyes, must of necessity be so f [...]rre from reaping solid or constant com­fort from any of these perishable Creatures, that it can­not but ake and tremble, but be wholly surprized with dismall passions, with horrid preapprehensions of its owne wofull estate, upon the evidence of the Creatures mortalitie, and the unavoideable flashes and conviction of its owne everlastingnesse.

Now if we consider the various rootes of this corrup­tion in the Creature, it will then further appeare unto us, that they are not onely mortall, but even momentarie and vanishing:

First, by the Law of their Creation they were made subject to alterations, there was an enmitie and relu­ctancy in their entirest being.

Secondly, this hath been exceedingly improved by the s [...]ne of man, whose evill, being the lord of all Crea­tures, must needs redound to the misery and mortalitie of all his retinue. For it was in the greater World, as in the administration of a private family; the poverty of the Master is felt in the bowels of all the rest, his staine and dishonour runnes into all the members of that society. As it is in the naturall body some parts may be distempered and ill affected alone, others not without contagion on the rest; a man may have a dimme eye, or a withered arme, or a lame foot, or an impedite tongue without any danger to the parts adjoyning; but a lethargie in the [Page 39] head, or an obstruction in the liver, or a dyspepsie and indisposition in the stomake diffuseth universall maligni­ty through the body, because these are soveraigne and architectonicall parts of man: so likewise is it in the great and vast body of the Creation. However other Creatures might have kept their evill, if any had been in them, within their owne bounds, yet that evill which man, the Lord and head of the whole brought into the world, was a spreading and infectious evill, which con­uey'd poyson into the whole frame of nature, and plan­ted the seed of that universall dissolution which shall one day deface with darkenesse and horror the beauty of that glorious frame which wee now admire. It is said that when Corah, Dathan, and Abiram had provoked the Lord by their rebellion against his servants to inflict that fearefull destruction upon them, the earth opened herNumb. 16. 32. mouth & swallowed not only them up, but al the houses, and men, and goods that appertained to them. Now in like maner the heaven and earth and al inferior Creatures did at first appertaine to Adam: the Lord gave him the free use of them, & dominion over them: when therefore man had committed that notorious rebellion against his ma­ker, which was not only to aspire like Corah and his asso­ciates to the height and principality of some fellow Cre­ature, but even to the absolutenesse, wisdome, power and independency of God himselfe, no marvell if the wrath of God did together with him seize upon his house, and all the goods that belongd unto him, bringing in that cō ­fusion and disorder which we even now see doth breake asunder the bonds and ligaments of nature, doth unjoynt the confedera [...]ies and societies of the dumbe Creatures, and turneth the armies of the Almighty into mutinies and commotion, which in one word hath so fast manicled the world in the bondag [...] of corruption, as that it doth alrea­dyRom 8. 2 [...]. groane and linger with paine under the sinne of man and the curse of God, and will at last breake forth into [Page 40] that universall flame which will melt the very Ele­ments2. Pet. 3. 10. of Nature into their primitive confusion. Thus wee see besides the created limitednesse of the crea­ture, by which it was utterly unsuteable to the im­mortall desires of the soule of man, the sinne of man hath implanted in them a secret worme and rottennesse which doth▪ set forward their mortalitie, and by ad­ding to them confusion, enmity, disproportion, sedition, inequalitie (all the seeds of corruption) hath made them,Aristet. Polit. lib. 5. cap. 1. 10. not onely as before they were mortall, but which addes one mortalitie to another, even momentary and vanish­ing too. When any Creature loseth any of its native and created vigour, it is a manifest signe that there is some secret sentence of death gnawing upon it. The ex­cellency of the Heavens wee know is their light, their beauty, their influences upon the lower World, and even these hath the sinne of man defaced. Wee finde when the Lord pleaseth to reveale his wrath against men forRom. 1. 18. sinne in any terrible manner, hee doth it from Heaven; There shall be wonders in the Heauen, blood and fire, and Ioel 2. 30. pillars of smoake, the Sunne shall be turned into darkenesse, and the Moone into blood; and the day of the Lord is called a day of darknesse, and gloominesse, and thicke dark­nesse. Zeph. 1. 15. How often hath Gods heavy displeasure declared it selfe from Heaven in the confusion of nature? in stormes [...]sal. 11. 6. Psal. [...]8. 12. Ier. 4. 23. 28. Esay 13. 10. Euseb. H [...]st. l. 3. cap 8 & Ioseph. de Bello Iudaico lib. 7. cap. 12. and horrible tempests? in thick clouds and darke waters? in arrowes of lightning and coales of fire? in blacknesse and darkenesse? in brimstone on Sodome, in a flaming sword over Ierusalem, in that fearefull Starre of fire to the Christian World of late yeeres, which hath kindled those woful combustions, the flames whereof are still so great, as that wee our selves, if wee looke upon the merits and provocations of our sinnes, may have reason to feare, that not all the Sea betweene us and our neighbours can bee able to quench till it have scorched and singed us. Wee find likewise by plaine experience how languid the seeds [Page 41] of life, how faint the vigor either of heavenly influences, or of sublunary and inferiour agents are growne, when that life of men, which was wont to reach to almost a thousand yeeres, is esteemed even a miraculous age, if it be extended but to the tenth part of that duration. WeGen. 3. 17. 18. Hos. 10. 8. Esay 34. 13. need not examine the inferiour Creatures, which we find expressely cursed for the sinne of man with Thornes and Briers (the usuall expression of a curse in Scripture.) If we but open our eyes and looke about us, wee shall see what paines Husbandmen take to keepe the earth from giving up the Ghost, in opening the veines thereof, in ap­plying their Soile and Marle as so many Pills or Salves, as so many Cordials and preservatives to keepe it alive, in laying it asleepe, as it were, when it lyeth fallow every se­cond or third yeere, that by any meanes they may pre­serve in it that life, which they see plainely approching to its last gaspe.

Thus you see how besides the originall limitednesse of the Creature, there is in a second place a Moth or Can­ker by the infection of sinne begotten in them, which ha­stens their mortalitie, God ordering the second causes so amongst themselves, that they exercising enmitie one a­gainst another, may punish the sinne of man in their con­tentions, as the Lord stirred up the Babylonians againstIer. 43. 8, 13. the Egyptians to punish the sinnes of his owne people. And therefore wee finde, that the times of the Gospell, when holinesse was to bee more universall, are expressed by such figures, as restore perfection and peace to theEsay 30. 23. Creatures. The Earth shall be fat and plenteous, there shall be upon every high hill Rivers and Streames of water, the light of the Moone shall be as the light of the Sunne, and the light of the Sunne sevenfold, as the light of seven dayes. Esay 11. 6. 7. locl 3. 18. Amos 9. 13. And againe, the Wolfe shall dwell with the Lambe, and the leopard shall lye downe with the kid, and a Calfe, and a young Lion, and a fatling together, &c. Which places, though figuratively to be understood, have yet me thinks [Page 42] thus much of the letter in them, to assure us that what­ever blemish since the Creation any of those glorious heavenly bodies are either in themselves, or by interposi­tion of foggy vapours subject unto, what ever enmities and destructive qualities enrage one beast against ano­ther, they are all of them the consequents of that finne which nothing can remove but the Gospell of Christ. And this is that universall contagion which runneth through the whole frame of Nature into the bowels of every Creature.

But yet further in a third place there is a particular ground of this mortality to many men, namely the Parti­cular curse upon that place or creature which men enioy. For as a piece of oke besides the natural corruptiblenes of it, as it is a body compounded of contrary principles, whereby it would of it selfe at last returne to its dust a­gaine, may further have a worme like Ionah his Gourd eating out the heart of it, & by that meanes hastening its corruption; and yet further besides that may be present­ly put into the fire, which will make a more speedy rid­dance then either of the former: Or as in the body of a man, besides the generall consumption, which lingringly feedeth upon the whole, each particular mēber may have a particular disease, which may serve to hasten that cor­ruption to it self, which the other threatens to the whole: so may it be, and often is in the Creatures of God. BesidesQuodcun (que) nunc [...], mundi ipsius senectute degenerat, ut ne­mo mirari debea [...] singula in mun­do coepisse desi­cere, cum totus ipsetam mun­dus in defectione [...]. Cyprian. [...]. Dem. Hol. 5. 12. their naturall finitenes, and their generall bondage of cor­ruption, which by a hidden & insensible insinuation doth emasculate the vigor and strength of the Creatures, there may be a Particular Curse, which may serve speedily to hasten that decay, which, without any such concu [...]rence, would have made hast enough to leave the possessors of them in everlasting penurie. I will be unto Ephraim as a moth and to the house of Iuda as rottennes, saith the Lord. That is Gods first Instrument of mortality whereby he will certainely though indeed lingtingly consume a [Page 43] thing. But now if for all this when the Moth secretly consumes him, so that he seeth his sicknesse and feeleth his wound, he will yet trust in his owne counsels and confe­deracies, sacrifice to his owne net, goe to Assyria or King Iareb for succour, I will then be unto Ephraim as a Lyon, in a more sudden and swift destruction. As he dealeth thus with men, so with the things about them too, first he puts a Moth into them, rust in our gold, canker in our siluer, hartlessenesse in our earth, faintnesse in the influen­ces of heauen; and if notwithstanding all this men will still trust in the Cisterne, God will put holes into it too, which shall make it runne out as fast as they fill it; heeProv. 23. 5. will giue wings to their monie, encrease the occasions of expence: and if they clip their wings, that they fly not away, he will make holes in the bottome of their baggsEccles 5. 11. that they shall droppe away: he will not onely send a▪ Moth and rust which shall in time eate them out, but heeHag. 1. 6. will send a Thiefe upon them too, which shall suddenly breake through and carry them away. So many steps and gradations are there in the mortality of the creature, when God pleaseth to adde his curse unto them for sin. As for Ephr [...]im, saith the Lord, their Glory shall fly away Hos. 9. 11. like a Bird, from the birth, and from the wombe, and from the conception. Observe the gradations of mortality in the best blessings we enjoy, in our very glory, namely ourPsal. 127. 3. 5. children, which are called an Inheritance and reward to take away shame from their parents. They shall fly a­way like a bird, that notes the swiftnesse of the Iudge­ment, and that first from the birth; as soone as they are borne the murtherer shall destroy them: yea from the wombe; before they be borne they shall perish, nothing of them shall be enjoyd but the hope, and if that be too much, here is a degree as low as can be, from the very conception they shall miscarry and prove abortive. I Amos 3. 15. will smite the winter house and the summer house, the houses of Ivori [...], and the great houses shall have an end. If [Page 44] the Lord undertake to smite, if he send abroad the fire of his wrath, it shall seize on those palaces and great housesAmos 1. 4. Psal. 49. 11. which men thought should have endured unto all gene­rations. For that Flying role, importing Iudgement de­creed,Zach. 5. 4. and sudden, which was sent over the whole earth against the Thiefe and the swearer, did not onely smite the man, but his house, and like a leprosie consume the very timber and stones thereof. Therefore wee read inLevit. 14. 35. 55. the Leviticall law of leprosies not in men onely but in houses, and garments, intimating unto us, that sinne de­rives a contagion upon any thing that is about us, and like Ivie in a wall, or that wild Caprificus, wil get rooting in the very substance of the stone in the wall, and breake it asunder. What ever it is that men can finde out vnder the Sunne to fasten their hearts upon for Satisfaction and comfort, this leprosie will defile it, and eate it out. If sil­verIam. 5. 1. and gold, besides their secret rust and proper corrup­tion, the Lord can make the thiefe rise up suddenly, and bite the possessors, and so unlade them of their thickeHabak. 2. 6. 7. clay: If Reall substance and encrease, the Lord cast [...]th a­way, Prov. 10. 3. Iob 20. 28. saith the wise man, the substance of the wicked, a [...]d the increase of his house, saith Iob, shall depart and flow away. If greatnesse and high places, the Lord can put ice vnderPsal. 73. 18. 19. their feete, make their places slippery, and subject to a momentarie desolation: If a great name and glory, the Lord cannot onely suffer time and ignorance to draw out all the memorie of a man, but can presently rot hisProv. 10. 7. name from under heauen: If Corne and the fruits of the Earth, the Lord can kill it in the blade by with-holdingAmos 4. 7. raine three moneths before the Haruest: Hee can send a Thiefe, a Caterpiller, a Palmer worme to eate it up. If itVers. 9. hold out to come into the barne, euen there he can blow upon it and consume it like chaffe. However men thinke when they have their Corne in their houses, and their Wine in their C [...]llars they are sure and have no more to doe with God, yet he can take away the staffe and lif [...] of [Page 45] it in our very houses. Yea when it is in our mouthes andPsal. 78. 30. 31. bowels, he can send leanenesse and a curse after it. A­wake ye Drunkards, and howle ye drinkers of wine, saith the Prophet, because of the new wine, for it is cut off from Io [...]l. 1. 5. your mouths. The Lord could deferre the punishment of these men till the last day, when undoubtedly there will be nothing for them to drinke but that Cup of the Lords Habak. 2. 16. Isai. 51. 17. 22. Ezek. 23. 33. right hand as the Prophet calls it: a Cup of fury and trembling, a cup of sorrow, astonishment, and desolation; a Cup which shall make all that drinke thereof to beeIer. 25. 16. 27. moved and mad, to be drunken and fall, and spue, and rise up no more, even that fierce and bitter indignation, in the pouring out of which the Lord shall put to his rightEsai. 62. 8. 2. Thes. 1. 9. hand, his strong arme, not onely the terror of his presence, but the glory of his power: I say the Lord could let drunkards alone till at last they meet with this Cup, (which undoubtedly they shall doe, if there be either truth in Gods word, or power in his right hand, if there be either Iustice in heaven, or fire in hell) till with Bel­shazzar they meet with dregs and trembling in the bot­tome of all their Cups: but yet oftentimes the Lord smites them with a more sudden blow, snatcheth away the Cup from their very mouths, and so makes one Curse anticipate and preuent another. Though Haman and Achitophel should have liv'd out the whole thred of their life, yet at last their honor must have laine downe in the dust with them; Though Iudas could have liv'd a thou­sand yeares, and could have improv'd the reward of his Masters bloud to the best advantage that ever Vsurer did, yet the rust would at last have seiz'd upon his bags, and his monie must have perished with him: but now the Lord sets forward his Curse, and that which the moth would have been long in doing, the gallows dis­patcheth with a more swift destruction. Thus as the bo­dy of a man may have many summons and engage­ments unto one death, may labour at once under many [Page 46] desperate diseases, all which by a malignant con [...]unction must needs hasten a mans end (as Cesar was stabd with thirty wounds, each one whereof might have serv'd to let out his soule) so the Creatures of God labouring un­der a manifold corruption, doe as it were by so many wings post away from the Owners of them, and for that reason must needs be utterly disproportionable to the condition of an Immortall Soule.

Now to make some Application of this particular be­fore wee leave it, This doth first discover and shame the folly of wicked worldlings both in their opinions and af­fections to earthly things. Love is blinde and will easi­ly make men beleeve that of any thing which they could wish to bee in it: and therefore, because wicked men wish with all their hearts, for the love they beare to the Creatures, that they might continue together for ever, the Divell doth at last so deeply delude them as to thinke that they shall continue for ever. Indeed in these and in the generall, they must needs confesse that one generation commeth and another goeth: but in theirEccles. 1. 4. owne particular they can never assume with any fee­ling and experimentall assent the truth of that generall to their owne estates: And therefore what ever for shame of the world their outward professions may be, yet the Prophet David assures us, That their inward Psal. 49. 11. Thoughts, their owne retir'd contrivances and resolutions are, that their houses shall endure for ever, and their dwel­ling places to all generations; and upon this Immortality of stones and monuments they resolve to rest. But the psalmist concludes this to be but brutish and notorious folly, This their way is their folly, they like sheepe are laid downe in their graves, and death feeds upon them. And in­deed what a folly is it for men to build upon the sand, to erectan Imaginarie fabrick of I know not what Immor­tality, which hath not so much as a constant subsistence in the head that contrives it? What man will ever goe a­bout [Page 47] to build a house with much cost (and when he hath done, to inhabit it himself) of such rotten and inconsistent materials, as will undoubtedly within a yeere or two af­ter fall upon his head, and bury him in the ruines of his owne folly? Now then suppose a man were lord of all the World, and had his life coextended with it, were fur­nished with wisedome to manage and strength to runne through all the affaires incident to this vast frame, in as ample a measure as any one man for the governement of a private family: yet the Scripture would assure even such a man, that there will come a day in which the hea­vens shall passe away with a noise, and the elements shall2. Pet. 3. 7. 10. melt with heate, and the earth with the workes that are therein shall be burnt up, and that there is but one houre to come before all this shall be, Behold now is the last 1. Ioh. 2. 18. houre: And what man upon these termes would fix his heart and ground his hopes upon such a tottering bot­tome, as will within a little while crumble into dust, and leave the poore soule that rested upon it to sinke into hell? But now when we consider that none of us labour for any such inheritance, that the extremitie of any mans hopes can be but to purchase some little patch of earth, which to the whole World cannot beare so neere a pro­portion, as the smallest molehill to this whole habitable earth; that all we toyle for is but to have our loade of a little thicke clay, as the Prophet speakes, that when wee have gotten it, neither wee nor it shall continue till the universall dissolution, but in the midst of our dearest em­bracements we may suddenly be puld asunder, and come to a fearefull end, it must needs be more then brutish stu­pidityEsai. 59. 5. for a man to weave the Spiders webs, to wrappe himselfe up from the consumption determined against the whole earth in a covering, that is so infinitely tooEsai. 28. 20. short and too narrow for him. Wee will conclude this particular with the doome given by the Prophet Ieremy. As the Partridge sitteth on egges and hatcheth them not, Ier. 17. 11. [Page 48] (shee is either caught by the fowler, or her egges are bro­ken) so he that getteth riches and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his dayes, and in the end shall bee a foole.

Secondly, this serves to justifie the wisedome and providence of God in his proceedings with men: The wicked here provoke God, and cry aloud for vengeance on their owne head, and the Lord seemes to stop his eares at the cry of sinne, and still to loade them with his bles­sings, he maketh their way to prosper, they take roote, and Ier. 12. 2. grow and bring forth fruite: they shine like a blazing Co­met, and threaten ruine to all that looke upon them; they carry themselves like some Tyrant in a Tragedy, that scatters abroad death with the sparkles of his eyes, and darts out threats against the heaven aboue him; they are like Agag before Samuel, clothed very delicately, and presume that there is no bitternesse to come. And now the impatiency of man, that cannot resolve things into their proper issues, that cannot let iniquitie ripen, nor reconcile one day and a thousand yeeres together, begins to question Gods proceedings, and is afraid le [...]t the World be governed blindfold, and blessings and cur­ses throwne confusedly abroad for men as it were to scramble and to scuffie for them. But our God who kee­peth times and seasons in his owne power, who hath gi­ven to every Creature under the Sunne limits which it shall not exceed, hath set bounds unto sinne likewise wherein to ripen. The Starres howsoever they may bee sometimes ecclipsed, have yet a fixed and permanent subsistency in their Orbes; but these Comets though they rise with a greater traine and streame of light, yet at last vanish into ashes, and are seene no more: the Ty­rant though in two or three Acts or Scenes he revell it, and disturbe the whole businesse, yet at last hee will goe out in blood and shame▪ even so, though wickedmen flourish and oppresse, and provoke God every day, and [Page 49] rage like the Sea, yet the Lord hath set their bounds which they shall not passe, they have an appointed timePsal. 124. 5. to take their fill of the creature, and then when they have glutted and cloid themselves with excesse, when their hu­mours are growne to a full ripenesse, the Lord will tem­per them a potion of his wrath, which shall make themHabak. 2. 16. turne all up againe, and shamefull spuing shall be on their glory. Thus saith the Lord, For Three transgressions and Amos 1. 2. for foure I will not turne away the punishment of Damascus and those other Cities. So long as the wicked commit one or too iniquities, so long I forbeare, and expect their re­pentance; but when they proceed to three, and then adde a fourth, that is, when they are come to that mea­sure of sinne which my patience hath prefixed, then I will hasten my revenge, and not any longer turne away the punishment thereof. In the fourth generation, saith God to Abraham, thy posterity shall come out of the Land where they shall be strangers, and shall inherit this Land, for the iniquitie of the Amorites is not yet full. ThereGen. 15. 16. is a time when sinne growes ripe and full and then the sickle comes upon it. When the Prophet saw a basket of summer fruites, that were so ripe as that they were ga­theredAmos 8. 1, 2. off the tree, (which was a type of the sinnes of Gods people, which are sooner ripe then the sinnes of Heathen that knew him not, because they have the con­stant light and heate of his Word to hasten their matu­ritie) then, saith the Lord, The end is come upon my peo­ple, I will not passeby them any more, I will have no more patience towards them. Ieremy what seest thou? I see Ierem. 1. 11. [...]2. the rod of an Almond tree. Thou hast well seene, saith the Lord, for I will hasten my Word to performe it. When men hasten the maturity of sinne like the blossomes of an Almond tree, (which come soonest out) then saith the Lord will I hasten the Iudgements which I have pro­nounced.Zachar. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. We reade in the Prophet Zachary of an Ephah, a measure where into all the wickednesse of that people, [Page 50] figured by a woman, shall bee throwne together, and when this measure of sinnes is full to the brimme, then there is a masse of Lead importing the firmenesse, immu­tabilitie, and heavinesse of Gods Decree and counsell, which seales up the Ephah, never more to have any sinne put into it, and then come two women with winde in their wings, which are the executioners of Gods [...]wift and irreversible fury, & carry the Ephah betweene heaven and earth, intimating the publike declaration of the righteous Iudgements of God, into the Land of Shinar, to build it there an house, denoting the constant and perpetuall ha­bitation of the wicked in that place of bondage whither the wrath of God shall drive them (for building of hou­ses argues an abiding.) Put you in the sickle for the harvest Ioel 3. 13. is ripe; come get you downe, for the presse is full, the fats overflow, for the wickednesse is great. The revenge of sinne is here and elsewhere compared to reaping, and treadingMath. 13. 30. Esay 63. 3. Lament. 3. 15. the winepresse; and the greatnesse of sinne is here cald the ripenesse of the harvest, and the ouerflowing of the fatts, to shew unto us that there is a time and measure of sinne, beyond which the Lord will not deferre the execu­tion of his vengeance. There are dayes of visitation and recompence for sinne, which being come, Israel whichHos 9. 7. Esai. 26. 11. Esai. 42. 25. Deut. 32. 34. 35. Esai. 65. 6. Ier. 17. 1. Hos. 13. Ier. 2. 22. 24. Hag. 2. 18. would not know before shall know, that God keepes their sinnes in store sealed vp amongst his treasures, and that therefore their foot shall slip in due time, namely in the day of their calamity, or in their moneth, as the Pro­phet speakes. As Gods blessings have a punctuall time, from the foure and twentieth of the ninth moneth, from this day I will blesse you: so likewise have his Iudge­ments too. The dayes of Man shall bee a hundred and Gen 6 3. twenty yeeres, to the old World: nor are yeeres onely, but even moneths determined with him, Now shall a mo­neth Hos. 5. 7. devoure them with their portions, to idolatrous Is­rael. Nor moneths onely, but dayes and parts of dayes; In a morning shall the King of Israel be cut off, his destru­ctionHos. 10. 15. [Page 51] shall bee as sudden as it is certaine. The wicked plotteth against the [...], and goasheth upon him withPsal. 37. 17. his teeth: but though hee plot, hee shall not prosper, though hee gnash with his teeth, hee shall not bite with his teeth, for the Lord shall laugh at him▪ because hee seeth that His Day is comming. So much mischiefe as he can doe within the compasse of his chaine, the Lord per­mits him to doe; but when he is come to His Day, then all his thoughts and projects perish with him. Excellent­ly hath holy Iob stated the Point, with whom I meane to conclude, Their good▪ saith he, is not in their Hand. Riot itIob. 21. 16. indeed they doe, and take their fill of pleasure for a time, as the fish of the baite, when he hath some scope of line given him to play; but still their Good, their Time, their line is in Gods hand, they are not the Lords of their owne lives and delights. God layeth up his iniquitie for his children, that is, the Lord keepes an exact account of his sinnes, which haply he will r [...]pay upon the heads of his children, however hee himselfe shall have no more pleasure in his house after him, when once the number of his moneths is cut off in the midst; and in the meane time however he be full of strength, wholly at ease and quiet, yet saith he, The wicked is reserved to the day of destructi­ction; He is but like a prisoner, shackled peradventure in fetters of Gold, but he shall be brought forth to the day of wrath, and though he could rise out of the grave be­fore Christs tribunall, as Agag appeared before Samuel delicately clothed, yet the sword should cut him in pieces, and bitternesse should overtake him. Thus wee see how infinitely unable the Creature shall bee to shelter a man from the tribunall of Christ, and how wise, just, and wonderfull the Lord is in the administrati­on of the World in bearing with patience the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, and suffering them to muster up his owne blessings against himselfe.

Lastly, this must serue for a needfull Caution to us, to [Page 52] take heed of deifying the Creatures▪ and attributing that Immortality to them which they are not capable of. ButSolatia miscro­rum non gaudia beatorum. Aug. E [...]ist. 119. Imaginaria in seculo & [...] veri. Tertul. de coron. mil. ca. 13. in as much as they are onely for present refreshment in this vale of misery, and have no matter of reall and abi­ding happinesse in them, not to looke on them with an admiring or adoring eye, but to use them with such due correctives as become such mortall and meane things.

First in using the Creature, be sure thou keepe thine intellectuals untainted; for earthly things are apt to cast a filme over mens eyes, and to misguide them into cor­rupt apprehensions and presumptions of them. We find nothing more frequent in the Prophets then to upbraid the people with their strange cōfidences which they were wont to rest upon against all the judgements which were denounced against them, by objecting their wealth, greatnesse, strong confederacies, inexpugnable munitions, their nests in the clouds, and their houses amongst the starres: they could never be brought to repent for sinne, or to tremble at Gods voyce, till they were driven off from these holds. A man can never be brought to God till he forsake the Creature, a man will never forsake the Creature till he see vanitie in the Creature. Turne away mine eyes from beholding vanitie. David intimates that a man can never heartily pray against fixing his affections on earthly things, till he be really and experimentally convinc'd of the vanity of them. This rule Salomon ob­serues to withdraw the desires of yong men, who have strongest affections and smallest experience of the deceit of worldly things, Though thou rejoyce and cheere up thy selfe, and walke in the waies of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes, yet Know thou that for all these Eccles. 11 9. things God will bring thee to judgement, a time will come when thou shalt be stripp'd of all these, when they shall play the fugitives, and the yeeres of darkenesse shall draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in [Page 53] them: and then the Lord will revenge thy great ingra­titude in forgetting and despising him amidst all his blessings, in [...]dolizing his gifts, and bestowing the attri­butions of his glory, and the affections due unto him up­on a corruptible Creature. In the Romane TriumphsTertull. Apolog. cap. 33. Brisson. de Formul. lib. 4. Aug [...]stus n [...] ­cturno visu s [...]i­pem quota [...]is die cert [...] [...] à p [...]pulo cavam man [...]m asses [...]orr. genti­bus praebens. Sue [...]on. in Aug. cap 9 [...]. the Generall or Emperour, that rode in honour through the city with the principall of his enemies bound in chaines behinde his chariot, had alwaies a servant run­ning along by him with this Corrective of his glory, Re­sp [...]ce post te, hominem memento te. Looke behinde thee, and in the persons of thine enemies learne that thou thy selfe art a man subject to the same Casualties and disho­nors with others. Surely, if men who had nothing but the Creatures to trust to, being Aliens from the Cove­nant of promise, and without God in the world, had yet so much Care to keepe their judgements sound touching the vanity of their greatest honors, how much more ought Christians, who professe themselves heires of bet­ter and more abiding Promises. But especially arme thy selfe against those vanities which most easily beset and beguile thee; apply the authoritie of the Word to thine owne particular sickenesse and disease, treasure up all the experiences that meete thee in thine owne course, or are remarkeable in the lives of others, remember how a moment swallowed up such a pleasure, which will ne­ver returne againe, how an indirect purchase embitter'd such a preferment, and thou never didst feele that com­fort in it, which thy hopes and ambitions promised thee, how a frowne and disgrace at another time dash'd all thy contrivances for further advancement, how death seised upon such a friend, in whom thou. Hadst laid up much of thy dependance and assurances, how time hath not onely rob'd thee of the things, but even turn'd the edge of thy desires▪ and made thee loath thy wonted idoles, and looke upon thy old delights as Ammon upon Tamar with exceeding hatred. But above all addresse [Page 54] thy selfe to the throne of Grace, and beseech the Lord so to sanctifie his Creatures unto thee, as that they may not be either thieves against him to steale away his ho­nour, or snares to thee to entangle thy soule. We will conclude this first Direction with the words of the Apo­stle: The Time is short: It remaineth that both they that 1. Cor. 7. 29. have wives be as though they had none, and they that weepe as though they weep'd not, and they that rejoyce as though they rejoyced not, and they that buy as though they posses­sed not, and they that use this world as not abusing it, that is, as not to be drown'd and smother'd in the businesses of this life, as if there were any fundamentall and solid utility in them; for saith he, The fashion of this world passeth away. The Apostles exhortation is beset at both ends with the same enforcement from whence I have raised mine. First, The Time is short; The Apostle, as the learned conceive, useth a Metaphor from Sailes or Curtens, or Shepheards tents (as Ezekiah makes the com­parison)Esai. 38. 12. such things as may be gather'd up together into a narrow roome. Time is short, that is, That time which the Lord hath spread over all things like a saile, hath now this five thousand yeeres been roling up, and the end is now at hand, as S. Peter speakes; the day is approa­ching1. Pe [...]. 47. when time shall be no more. And so the words in the originall will well beare it, [...], The Remainder of time is short, or time is short for so much as yet remaineth of it to be folded up, and therefore we ought so to behave our selves as men that have more serious things to consider of, as men that are very neere to that everlasting haven, where there shall be no use of such sailes any more. And in the Apostles close the same reason is farther yet enforced: For the fashion of this world passeth away. [...] The figure, intimating that there is nothing of any firmenesse or solid consistencie in the Creature; it is but a surface, an outside, an empty pro­mise, all the beauty of it is but skinne-deepe; and then [Page 55] that little which is desireable and pretious in the eyes of men (which the Apostle cals, The lust of the world, 1. Ioh. 2. 17.) [...], It passeth away, and is quickely gone. The word, as the learned differently render it, hath three seve­rall Arguments in it to expresse the Apostles exhortation.

1. It deceives or coozens, and therefore use it as if you used it not; use it as a man in a serious businesse would use a false friend that profers his assistance, though his protestations be never so faire, yet so employ him as that the businesse may be done though he should faile thee.

2. Transversum agit, It carries a man headlong, the lusts of the world are so strong and impetuous, that they are apt to enflame the desires, and even violently to carry away the heart of a man; and for this cause likewise use it as if you used it not, engage your selfe as little upon it as you can, doe as Mariners in a mighty winde, h [...]ise up as few sailes, expose as few of thy affections to the rage of worldly lust as may be; beware of being carried where two seas meet, as the ship wherein Paul suffer'd shipwracke, I meane, of plunging thy selfe in a conflu­ence of many boisterous and conflicting businesses, least for thine inordinate prosecution of worldly things, the Lord either give thy Soule over to suffer shipwracke in them, or strip thee of all thy lading and tackling, breake thine estate all to pieces, and make thee glad to get to Heaven upon a broken planke.

3. The fashion of this world passeth over, it doth but goe along by thee and salute thee, and therefore use it as if thou used'st it not; doe to it as thou would'st doe to a stranger whom thou meetest in the way, he goes one way and thou another; salute him, stay so long in his companie till from him thou have received better instru­ctions touching the turnings and difficulties of thine owne way, but take heed thou turne not into the way of the Creature, least thou lose thine owne home.

Secondly, Get an Eye of Faith, to looke Through and [Page 56] Above the Creature. A man shall never get to looke of from the world, till he can looke beyond it. For the Soule will have hold-fast of something, and the reason why men cling so much to the earth is, because they have no assurance if they let goe that hold of having any sub­sistence else-where. Labour therefore to get an interest in Christ, to finde an everlasting footing in the stedfast­nesse of Gods Promises in him, and that will make thee willing to suffer the losse of all things, it will implant a kinde of hatred and disestimation of all the most pretious endearements which thy soule did feede upon before. Saint Peter saith of wicked men, that they are Purblinde, they cannot see a farre off; they can see nothing but that2. Pet 1. 9. which is next them, and therefore no marvell if their thoughts cannot reach unto the End of the Creature. There is in a dimme eye the same constant and habituall indisposition which sometimes happeneth unto a sound eye by reason of a thicke mist, though a man be wal­king in a very short lane, yet he sees no end of it; and so a naturall man cannot reach to the period of earthly [...]. Arist. Rhet. lib. 2. things, death and danger are still a great way out of his sight, whereas the eye of faith can looke upon them as already expiring, and through them looke upon him who therefore gives the Creatures unto us, that in them we might see his power and taste his goodnesse. And nature it selfe me thinkes may seeme to have intended some such thing as this in the very order of the Crea­tures. Downeward a mans eye hath something imme­diately to fixe on; All is shut up in darkenesse save the very surface, to note that we should have our desires shut up too from these earthly things which are put un­der our feete, and hid from our eye [...], and buried in their owne deformitie. All the beauty, and all the fruit of the earth is placed on the very outside of it, to shew how short and narrow our affections should be towards it. But upward the eye sindes scarce any thing to bound it, [Page 57] all is transparant and d [...]aphanous, to note how vast our affections should be towards God, how endlesse our thoughts and desires of his kingdome, how present to our faith the heavenly things should be even at the grea­test distance. The Apostle saith, That Faith is the Sub­stance Heb. 11. 1. of things hoped for, that it gives being and present subsistency to things farre distant from us, makes those things which in regard of naturall causes are very re­mote, in regard of Gods Promises to seeme hard at hand. And therefore though there were many hundred yeeres to come in the Apostles time, and, for ought we know, may yet be to the dissolution of the world, yet the Apo­stle tels us that even then it was the last houre, because faith being able distinctly to see the truth and promises of God, and the Endlesnesse of that life which is then presently to be revealed, the infinite excesse of vastnesse in that made that which was otherwise a great space seeme even as nothing, no more in comparison then the length of a Cane or Trunke, through which a man lookes on the heavens, or some vast countrey. And ever the greater magnitude and light there is in a body, the smaller will the medium or distance seeme from it; the reason why a perspective glasse drawes remote objects close to the eye, is because it multiplies the species. We then by faith apprehending an infinite and everlasting Glory, must needs conceive any thing through which we looke upon it to be but short & vanishing. And therfore though the promises were a farre off in regard of their owne ex­istence,Heb. 11. 13. yet the Patriarkes did not onely see, but embrace them; their faith seem'd to nullifie and swallow up all the distance. Abraham saw Christs day and was glad, he looked upon those many ages which were betweeneIoh. 8. him and his promised seed as upon small a [...]d unconside­rable distances in comparison of that endlesse glory into which they ran, they were but as a curten or piece of hangings, which divide one roome in a house from ano­ther▪ [Page 58] Labour therefore to get a distinct view of the height, and length, and breadth, and depth, and the unsearchable love of God in Christ, to find in thine own soule the truth of God in his promises, & that his word abideth forever, and that will make all the glory of other things to seemeEsai 40. 8. but as grasse.

Lastly, though the Creature be mortall in it selfe, yet in regard of man, as it is an Instrument serviceable to his purposes, and subordinate to the graces of God in him, it may bee made of use even for Immortality. To which purpose excellent is that speech of Holy Austin, If you Si desunt, non per mala opera quarantur in mundo, si ad­sunt, per bona opera serventur in coel [...]. Epi. 205. Luk. 16. 9. have not these earthly Goods, saith he, take heed how thou get them by evill workes here, and if thou have them, la­bour by good workes to hold them even when thou art gone to heaven. Make you friends, saith our Saviour, of the unrighteous [...], that when you faile, they may re­ceive you into everlasting habitations; a religious and mercifull use of earthly things makes way to Immortali­tie and Blessednesse. Cast thy bread upon the waters, and after many dayes thou shalt finde it. It is an allusion unto husbandmen. They doe not eate up and sell away all their corne, for then the world would quickely bee destitute, but the way they take to perpetuate the fruits of the earth, is to cast some of it backe againe into a fruit­full soile where the waters come, and then in due time they receive it with encrease: so should we doe with these worldly blessings, sow them in the bowels and backes of the poore members of Christ, and in the day of harvest we shall finde a great encrease. If then draw out thy soule to the righteous, and satisfie the afflicted soule, Esai. 58. 10, 11. then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkenesse be as the noone day, then thy waters shall not lye unto thee; that happinesse which it falsly promiseth unto other men, it shall performe unto thee. And so much be spo­ken touching the great disproportion between the Soule of man and the Creature, in regard of the Vanitie of it.

[Page 59]The next disproportion is in their Operation, They are vexing and molesting things. Rest is the satisfaction of every Creature, all the rovings and agitations of the Soule are but to find out something on which to rest; and there­fore where there is Vexation, there can be no proportion to the soule of man; and Salomon tels us, That All things Eccles. 1. 8. under the Sunne are full of labour, more then a man can utter. He was not used as an Instrument of the Holy Ghost to speake it onely, but to trie it too; the Lord was pleased for that very purpose to conferre on him a con­fluence of all outward happinesse, and inward abilities which his very heart could desire, that he at last might discover the utter insufficiency of all created Excellencies to quiet the Soule of man. But if we will not beleeve the Experience of Salomon, let us beleeve the authority of him that was greater then Salomon; who hath plainely compar'd the things and the cares of the earth to Thornes, Matth. 13 22. 1. Tim. 6. 10. which as the Apostle speakes, Pierce or bore a man tho­rough with many sorrowes.

First, They are Wounding Thornes; for that which is but a pricke in the flesh is a wound in the spirit: because the spirit is most tender of smart: and the wise man cals them Vexation of spirit. The Apostle tels us they beget many sorrowes, and those sorrowes bring death with2. Cor. 7. 10. them. If it were possible for a man to see in one view those oceans of bloud which have been let out of mens veines by this one Thorne; to heare in one noise all the groanes of those poore men, whose lives from the begin­ning of the world unto these dayes of blood wherein we live have been set at sale, and sacrificed to the unsatiable ambition of their bloody rulers; to see and heare the end­lesse remorse and bitter yellings of so many rich and mighty men as are now in hell, everlastingly cursing the deceite and murther of these earthly Creatures, it would easily make every man with pitty and amazement to be­leeve, that the Creatures of themselves without Christ to [Page 60] qualifie their venome and to blunt their edge, are in good earnest Wounding Thornes.

Secondly they are Choaking Thornes; they stifle and keepe downe all the gratious seeds of the word yea the very naturall sproutings of noblenesse, ingenuity, morali­ty in the dispositions of men. Seed requires emptinesse in the ground that there may be a free admission of the raine and influences of the heavens to cherish it: And so the Gospell requires nakednesse and poverty of minde, a sense of our owne utter insufficiencie to our selves for happinesse, in which sense it is said that the poore receive the Gospel. But now earthly things meeting with corrup­tion in the heart are very apt, First, To Fill it, and second­ly, To Swell it, both which are conditions contrary to the preparations of the Gospell.

They Fill the Heart. First, with Businesse Yokes of ox­en,Luk. 14. 18, 20. and farmes, and wives, and the like contentinents take up the studies and delights of men, that they cannot finde out any leisure to come to Christ.

Secondly, They Fill the Heart with Love, and the Love 1. Iohn 2. 15. of the world shuts out the Love of the father, as the Apo­stle speakes. When the Heart goes after covetousnesse, the power and obedience of the word is shut quite out.Ezeck. 33. 31. They will not do thy words, saith the Lord to the Prophet, for their heart goeth after their covetousnesse. A deare and superlative Love, such as the Gospell ever requires (for a man must love Christ upon such termes as to bee ready without consultation or demurre, not to forsake onely, but to hate father and mother, and wife, and any the choisest worldly endearments for his Gospels sake) I say such a Love admits of no Corrivalty or competition. And therfore the love of the world must needs extingvish the love of the word.

Lastly, they fill the heart with feare of forgoing them; and feare takes of the heart from any thoughts save those which looke upon the matter of our feare: [Page 61] when men who make Gold their Confidence heare that they must forsake all for Christ, and are sometimes hap­lie put upon a triall, they start aside, choose rather secure­ly to enjoy what they have present hold of, then venture the interuption of their carnall contentments for such things, the beauty where of the Prince of this world hath blinded their eyes that they should not see. For certain­ly till the minde be setled to beleeve that in God there is an ample recompence for any thing which wee may o­therwise forgoe for him, it is impossible that a man should soundly embrace the love of the truth, or re­nounce the love of the world.

Secondly, as They Fill, so they Swell the Heart too, and by that meanes worke in it a contempt and disesti­mation of the simplicity of the Gospell. We have both together in the Prophet, According to their pasture soHos. 13▪ 6. Psal. 10 4. were they Filled; they were filled, and their heart was Exalted, therefore have they forgotten me. Now the im­mediate child of Pride is selfe-dependence and a reflecti­on on our owne sufficiencie, and from thence the next is­sue is a contempt of the simplicity of that gospell which would drive us out of our selves. The Gentiles out of the pride of their owne wisedome counted the Gospell of1. Cor. [...]. 25. Christ foolishnesse, and mocked those that preached it unto them: and the Pharisees, who were the learnedAct. 17. 32. Ier. 43. 2. Doctors of Ierusalem, when they heard Christ preach a­gainst earthlie affections, out of their pride and covetous­nesse Derided him as the Evangelist speakes. Nay fur­therLuk. 16. 14. they stifle the seeds of all noblenesse, ingenuity, or common vertues in the lives of men; from whence come oppression, extortion, bribery, cruelty, rapine, fraud, iniuri­ous, treacherous, sordid, ignoble courses, a very dissoluti­on of the Lawes of nature amongst men, but from the a­doration of earthly things, from that Idol of covetous­nesse which is set up in the heart?

Thirdly, they are Deceitfull Thornes, as our Saviour ex­presseth [Page 62] it. Let a man in a tempest go to a thorne for shel­ter, and he shall light upon a thiefe in stead of a fence, which will teare his flesh in stead of succouring him, and doe him more injury then the evill which he fled from; and such are the Creatures of themselves, so farre are they from protecting, that indeed they tempt, and be­tray us. The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thouObad vers. 3. 4. Habak. 2. 9. 10. Ezek. 28. 17. Zeph. 2. 15. that dwellest in the Clefts of the Rockes, thou that sayest in thine heart, Who shall bring me downe? I will bring thee downe, saith the Lord to Edom.

Lastly, they are vanishing Thornes. nothing so apt,Psal. 58. 9. 118. 12. nothing so easie to catch fire, and be presently extingvish­ed. They are quenched like a fire of Thornes.

To consider yet more distinctly the vexation of the Creature, we will observe first the Degrees; secondly, the Grounds of it; and thirdly, the Vses which we should put it to.

Five Degrees we shall observe of this Vexation. First, the Creatures are apt to molest the spirit in the procuring of them, even as Thornes will certainely pricke in their gathering. They make all a mans dayes sorrow, and his Eccles. [...]. 22. 23. travell griefe, they suffer not his heart to take rest in the night, as the Wise man speakes. What paines will men take? what hazards will they runne to procure their de­sires? Paines of body, plotting of braine, conflicts of passions, biting of conscience, disreputation amongst men, scourge of tongues, any thing, every thing will men ad­venture, to obtaine at last that which it may bee is not a competent reward for the smallest of these vexations. How will men exchange their salvation, throw away their owne mercy, make themselves perpetuall drudges and servitors to the times, fawne, flatter, comply, couple in with the instruments or authors of their hopes, hazard their owne blood in desperate undertakings, and staine their consciences with the blood of others, to swimme through all to their adored haven. Ad [...]rare vulgus, [Page 63] iacere oscula, & omnia serviliter pro imperio. The Histo­rianTacit. Hist. lib. 1. spake it of Otho that Romane Absolom, he worship­ped the people, dispenced frequently his courtesies and plausibilities, crouched and accommodated himselfe to the basest routs, that thereby he might creepe into an usurped honour, and get himselfe a hated memory in af­ter ages. And that the like vexation is ordinary in the procurement of any earthly things will easily appeare, if wee but compare the disposition of the minde with the obstacles that meete us in the pursuite of them. Suppose we a man importunately set to travell unto some place where the certainty of some great profit or preferment attends his comming, the way through which he must goe is intricate, deepe, unpassable, the beast that carries him lame and tired, his acquaintance none, his instructi­ons few, what a heavie vexation must this needs bee to the soule of that man to be crossed with so many difficul­ties in so eager a desire? Iust this is the case with natu­rall men in the prosecution of earthly things. First, the desires of men are very violent (which the Scripture useth to expresse by making haste, greedy coveting, a purpose to Prov. 21. 5. 26. 1. Tim. 6. 9. be rich) Qui Dives fieri vult, & cit [...] vult fieri, they that will be rich, cannot be quiet till their desires are accom­plished: and therefore wee finde strong desires in the Scripture-phrase expressed by such things as give inti­mation of paine with them. The Apostle describes them by gro [...]ing and sighing; the Prophet David by panting Rom. 8. 23. 26. Psal. 42. 1. Cant. 2. 5. 2. Sam. 13. 2. 1. King. 21. 4. and gasping; the Spouse in the Canticles by sicknesse, I am sicke with love. Thus Ammon grew leane for the de­sire of his sister, and was vexed and sicke; thus Ahab waxed heavy, and laid him downe on his bed, and turned away his face, and would not eate because of Naboths Vineyard. So that very importunity of desires is full of vexation in itselfe. But besides, the meanes for fulfilling these desires are very difficult, the instruments very weake and impotent: peradventure a mans wits are not sutea­ble [Page 64] to his desires, or his strength not to his wits, or his stocke not to his strength, his friends few, his corrivals many, his businesses tough and intricate, his counsels un­certaine, his projects way-laid and prevented, his contri­vances dashed and disappointed, such a circumstance vn­seene, such a casualty starting suddenly out, such an occur­rence meeting the action hath made it unfeasible, and shipwrack'd the expectation. A man deales with the earth, he findes it weake and langvid, every foot of that must often times lye fallow, when his desires doe still plow; with men, hee findes their hearts hard, and their hands close; with servants, he findes them slow and un­faithfull; with trading hee findes the times hard, the World at a stand, every man too thrifty to deale much, and too crafty to be deceived; so that now that vexati­on which was at first begun with vehemency of desire, is mightily improued with impatiency of opposition, & lastly much encreased with the feare of utter disappointment at last. For according as the desires are either more urgent, or more difficult, so will the feares of their miscarriage grow; and it is a miserable thing for the minde to bee torne asunder betweene two such violent passions as De­sire and Feare.

The second Degree of vexation is in the multiplying of the Creature, that men may have it to looke upon with their eyes, and to worship it in their affections. And in this Case the more the heape growes, the more the heart is enlarged unto it; and impossible it is that that desire should be ever quieted, which growes by the frui­tion of the thing desired. A Wolfe that hath once tasted blood is more fierce in the desire of it then hee was be­fore, experience puts an edge upon the Appetite; and so it is in the desires of men, they grow more savage and raging in the second or third prosecution then in the first. It is a usuall selfe-deceit of the heart to say and thinke, If I had such an accession to mine estate, such [Page 65] a dignitie mingled with mine other preferments, could but leave such and such portions behind me, I should then rest satisfied and desire no more. This is a most notorious cheate of the fleshly heart of man; first thereby to beget a secret conceit, that since this be­ing gotten I should sit quietly downe, I may there­fore set my selfe with might and maine to procure it, and in the meane time neglect the state of my soule, and peradventure shipwracke my conscience upon in­direct and unwarrantable meanes for fulfilling so war­rantable and just a desire. And secondly thereby like­wise to inure and habituate the affections to the love of the world, to plunge the soule in earthly delights, and to distill a secret poyson of greedinesse into the heart. For it is with worldly love as with the Sea, let it have at the first never so little a gap at which to creepe in, and it will eate out a wider way, till at last it grow too strong for all the bulwarkes and overrun the soule. Omne peccatum habet in se mendacium: thereAug. de Civ. Dei. lib. 14. c. 4. is something of the lie in every sinne, but very much in this of worldlinesse, which gets upon a man with slender and modest pretences, till at last it gather im­pudence and violence by degrees; even as a man that runnes downe a steepe hill is at last carried not bare­ly by the impulsion of his owne will, but because at first hee engaged himselfe upon such a motion, as in the which it would prove impossible for him to stop at his pleasure. Wee reade in Saint Austens confessi­onsConfess. lib. 6. c. 8. of Alipius his Companion, who being by much importunity overcome to accompany a friend of his to those bloody Romane Games, wherein men kill'd one another to make sport for the people; and yet resolving though hee went with his body, to leave his heart behind him, and for that purpose to keepe his eyes shut, that he might not staine them with so un­godly a spectacle, yet at last upon a mighty shout at [Page 66] the fall of a man, he could not forbeare to see the occasi­on, and upon that grew to couple with the route, and to applaud the action as the rest did. In another place of the same booke wee reade of Monica, the mother of thatCoofess. lib. 9. c. [...]. holy man, that she had so often used to sip the wine that came to her fathers table, that from sipping shee grew to loving, and from thence to excessive drinking, which par­ticulars are by him reported, to shew the deceitfulnesse of sinne in growing upon the conscience, if it can but win the heart to consult, to deliberate, to indulge a little to it selfe at first: for it is in the case of sinne, as it is in treason, qui deliberant desciverunt, to entertaine any the modest­estTacit. termes of parley with Gods enemy is downe-right to forsake him. And if it bee so in any thing, then much more in the love of the World; for the Apostle tels us, [...] that is a Roote, and therefore we must expect, if ever1. Tim. 6. 10. it get [...] in us, partly by reason of its owne fruitfull qualitie, partly by reason of the fertile soyle wherein it is, the corrupt heart of man, partly by reason of Satans constant plying it with his husbandry and suggestions, that it will every day grow faster, settle deeper, & spread wider in our soules. By which meanes it must needs likewise create abundance of vexation to the spirits ofExod. 16. 20. men. For as Manna in the Wildernesse, when the peo­ple would not be content to have from God their daily bread, but would needs be hoarding and multiplying of it, bred wormes and stanke; so when men will needs heape up wealth and other earthly supplyes beyond stint or measure, they do but store up wormes to disquiet their minds, that which will rot and annoy the owners. They pant after the Dust of the Earth on the head of the Amos 2. 6, 7. poore, saith the Prophet of those cruell oppressors that sold the righteous for shooes; it notes how the fierce­nesse of a greedy and unsatiable desire will weare out the strength of a man, make him spend all his wits, and even gaspe out his spirits, in pursuing the poore unto the dust, [Page 67] sucking out their very livelihood and substance, till they are faine to lye downe in the dust. Woe unto him, saithHabak. 2. 6. the Prophet, that encreaseth that which is not his, enlar­ging his desires as Hell and death, that loadeth himselfe Amos 3. 10. Iames 5. 3. with thick clay, that is in other expressions, that storeth up violence and robbery, that heapeth treasures against the last day; the words shew us what the issue of vehement and indefatigable affections is, they doe but create vexa­tions to a mans owne soule, and all his wealth will at length lye upon his conscience like a load and moun­taine of heavy earth.

The third Degree of vexation is from the enioyment, or rather from the use of earthly things. For though a [...]. Chrysost. ad pop. Antioch. Hom. [...]. wicked man may be said to use the Creatures, yet in a strict sense he cannot be said to enjoy them. The Lord maketh his Sunne to shine upon them, giveth them a law­full interest, possession, and use of them; but all this doth not reach to a Fruition. For that imports a delightfull sweet orderly use of them, which things belong unto the blessings and promises of the Gospell. In which respect the Apostle saith, that God giveth unto us [...],1. Tim. 6. 17. All things richly to enioy. This is the maine sting and vexation of the Creature alone without Gods more espe­ciall blessing, that in it a man shall still taste a secret curse, which deprives him of that dearenesse and satisfaction which he lookes for from it. False joy like the crackling of Thornes he may find, but still there is some flie in the oyntment, some death in the pot, some madnesse in the laughter, which in the midst of all dampes and surprizeth the soule with horrour and sadnesse; there are still some secret suggestions and whisperings of a guilty conscience, that through all this Iordan of pleasure a man swimmes downe apace into a dead Sea, that all his delights do but carry him rhe faster unto a finall Iudgement, Ressevera Senec. ep. est verum gaudium: True joy, saith the Heathen Man, is not a perfunctory, a floating thing, it is serious and massy, [Page 68] it sinkes to the Center of the heart: As in Nature, the Heavens we know are alwayes calme, serene, uniforme, undisturbed; they are the clouds and lower regions that thunder and bluster; The Sunne and Starres rayse up no Fogges so high, as that they may imprint any reall blot upon the beauty of those purer bodies, or disquiet their constant and regular motions; but in the lower regions, by reason of their nearenesse to the earth, they frequent­ly raise up such Meteors as often breake forth into thun­ders and tempests; so the more heavenly the minde is, the more untainted doth it keepe it selfe from the cor­ruptions and temptations of worldly things, the more quiet and composed is it in all estates; but in mindes meerely sensuall the hotter Gods favours shine, and the faster his raine falles upon them, the more Fogges are rai­sed, the higher Thornes grow up, the more darkenesse, and distractions do shake the soule of such a man. As fire under water, the hotter it burnes, the sooner it is extingvi­shed by the over-running of the water: so earthly things raise up such tumultuary and disquiet thoughts in the minds of men, as doth at last quite extingvish all the heate and comfort which was expected from them.

Give me leave to explane this Vexation in some one or two of Salomons particulars, and to unfold his en­forcements thereof out of them. And first to begin with that with which he begins. The Knowledge of things, ei­ther naturall in this present text, or morall and civill. vers. 17. of both which he concludeth that they are Uanitie and vexation of spirit. The first argument he takes from the weakenesse of it either to restore or correct any thing that is amisse. That which is crooked cannot be made strait. Wee may understand it severall waies. First, All our knowledge by reason of mans corruption is but a croo­ked, ragged, impedite knowledge, and for that reason a vexation to the minde: for rectitude is full of beauty, and crookednesse of deformity. In mans Creation his under­standing [Page 69] should have walked in the strait path of truth, should have had a distinct view of causes and effects in their immediate successions; but now sinne hath ming­led such confusion with things, that the minde is faine to take many crooked and vast compasses for a little uncer­taine knowledge. Secondly, The weakenesse of all natu­rall knowledge is seene in this that it cannot any way ei­ther prevent or correct the naturall crookednesse of the smallest things, much lesse make a man solidly and sub­stantially happy. Thirdly, That which is crooked can­not be made straite. It is impossible for a man by the ex­actest knowledge of naturall things to make the nature of a man, which by sinne is departed from its primitive rectitude, strait againe, to repaire that Image of God which is so much distorted. When they knew God, they glo­rified Rom. 1. 22. him not as God, they became vaine in their imagina­tions and their foolish heart was darkned. It is the Apo­stles speech of the wisest heathen. Aristotle, the most ra­tionallEthic. lib. 7. c. 3. & 4. Vide de philoso­phis Impudicis & veritatem corrumpentibus. Tertul. Apolog. cap. 46. Tacit. An. lib. 13. Dio. Tacit. Annal. lib▪ 6. Aristotel. Po­lit. lib▪ 1. cap. 10. Uid. Rosin▪ An­tiq. lib. 8. cap. 20. heathen man that the world knowes of, in his Doctrine confesseth the disability of moral knowledge to rectifie the intemperance of nature, and made it good in his practice; for he used a common strumpet to satisfie his lust. Seneca likewise the exactest Stoick which wee meet with, then whom never any man writ more divinely for the contempt of the world, was yet the richest usurer that ever wee read of in ancient stories, though that were a sinne discovered and condemned by the heathen them­selves.

A second Ground of vexation from knowledge is The Defects and Imperfections of it. That which is wanting cannot be numbred. There are many thousand conclusi­ons in nature which the most inquisitiue Iudgement is not able to pierce into, nor resolve into their just princi­ples. Nay still the more a man knowes, the more disco­veries he makes of things which he knowes not.

Thirdly, in much wisdome is much griefe, and he that [Page 70] increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. In civill wisdome, the more able a man is the more service is cast upon him, the more businesses runne through him, the lesse can hee enjoy his time or liberty. His Eminence lodes him with envy, jealousies, observation, suspicions, forceth him often­times upon unwelcom compliancies, upon colours and in­ventions to palliate unjust counsels, and stop the clamors of a gainsaying Conscience, fills him with feares of mis­carriage and disgrace, with projects of honour and plau­sibility, with restlesse thoughts touching discoveries, pre­ventions, concealements, accommodations, and the like, in one word is very apt to make him a stranger to God and his owne soule. In other learning, let a man but consider, First, The confusion, uncertainty, involvednesse, perple­xities of causes and effects by mans sinne; Secondly, The paines of the body, the travell of the minde, the sweate of the braine, the tugging and plucking of the understan­ding, the very drudgery of the soule to breake through that confusion, and her owne difficulties; Thirdly, the many invincible doubts and errors which wil stil blemish our brightest notions; Fourthly, the great charges which the very instruments and furniture of learning wil put men to; Fifthly, the general disrespect which, when all is done, it findes in the world, great men scorning it as pedan­try, ordinary men unable to take notice of it, and great schollers faine to make up a theater amongst themselves; Sixthly, the Insufficiency thereof to perfect that which is amisse in our nature, the malignant property thereof to put sinne into armour, to contemne the simplicity and purity of Gods Word; And lastly, the neere approach thereof to its owne period, the same death that attendeth us being ready also to bury all our learning in the grave with us: these and infinite▪ the like considerations must needs mingle much sorrow with the choisest Lear­ning.

Secondly, let us take a view of pleasure. There is nothing [Page 71] doth so much disable in the survey of pleasure as the mix­ture either of folly or want. When a man hath wisdome to apprehend the exquisitnes of his delights, and variety to keepe out the su [...]fet of any one, hee is then fittest to examine what compasse of Goodnesse or satisfaction is in them. First then Salomon kept his wisedome, he pursu­ed such manly and noble delights as might not vitiate but rather improve his intellectuals. Chap. 2. vers. 1. 2. 3. Se­condly, his wisedome was furnish'd with variety of sub­jects to enquire into, he had magnificence and provisions suteable to the greatnesse of his royall minde. Sumptu­ous and delicate diet under the name of wine. vers. 3. stately Edifices. vers. 4. Vineyards and Orchards, yea ve­ry Paradises, as large as Woods. vers. 5. 6. Fish-ponds, and1. King. 4. & 10. great Waters, multitudes of attendants and retinue of all sexes. Mighty heards of Cattell of all kindes. vers. 7. Great treasures of silver and gold, all kinds of musick vo­call and instrumentall; Thirdly, Salomon exceedes in all these things all that ever went before him. vers. 9. Fourth­ly, As he had that most abundant, so likewise the most free, undisturbed, unabated enjoyment of them all, Hee with-held not his heart from any joy; there was no mixture of sicknesse, warre, or any intercurrent difficul­ties to corrupt their sweetnesse, or blunt the tast of them. Here are as great preparations as the heart of man can expect to make an universall survay of those delights which are in the Creature: and yet at last upon an im­partiall enquirie into all his most magnificent workes, the conclusion is, they were but vanity and vexation of spirit, vers. 11. Which vexation he further explanes. First, by the necessarie divorce which was to come betweene him and them, Hee was to leave them all. vers. 18. Secondly, by his disability so to dispose of them as that after him they might remaine in that manner as hee had ordered them. vers. 19. Thirdly, by the effects which these and the like considerations wrought in him; they were so farre [Page 72] from giving him reall satisfaction, as that First, he Hated all his workes, for there is nothing makes one Hate more eagerly then disappointment in the good which a man expected. When Ammon found what little satisfaction2. Sam. 13. 15. his exorbitant lust received in ravishing his Sister Tamar, he as fiercely hated her after as he had desir'd her before. Secondly, He Despaired of finding any good in them▪ be­cause they be get nothing but travell, drudgery, and un­quiet thoughts.

Lastly let us take a view of Riches, the ordinarily most adored Idol of all the rest. The wise man saies first in ge­nerall, neither Riches nor yet abundance of Riches will sa­tisfie the soule of man. Eccl. 5. 10. This he more particular­ly explanes. First, from the sharers which the encrease of them doth naturally draw after it. vers. 11. and betweene the Owners and the sharers there is no difference but this, an emptie speculation, one sees as his owne, what the other enjoyes to those reall purposes for which they serve as well as he. Secondly, from the unquietnes which naturally growes by the encrease of them, which makes an ordinarie drudge in that respect more happy. vers. 12. Thirdly, from the hurt which usually, without some due corrective they bring. vers. 13. either they hurt a man in himselfe, being strong temptations and materials too of pride, vaine-glory, couetousnesse, luxurie, intemperance, forgetfulnesse of God, love of the world, and by these of disorder, dissolutenesse, and diseases in the body; or else at least they expose him to the envie, accusations, violen­ces of wicked men. Fourthly from their uncertainty of abode, they perish by an evill travell, either Gods curse,See Io [...] 20. 15.—29. or some particular humour, lust, or project overturnes a great estate, and posterity is beggerd. Fifthly from the certainty of an everlasting separation from them. vers. 15. 16. and this he saith is a sore evill, which galles the heart of a worldly man, that hath resolved upon no other hea­ven then his wealth, when sicknes comes to snatch him [Page 73] away from this his Idoll, there is not onely sorrow, but wrath and [...]ury in him. vers. 17. Sixthly, from the disabi­lity to use or enjoy them, when a man through inordinate love, or distrustfull providence, or sordidnesse of spirit, or encumbrances of employments, will not while he lives enjoy his abundance, and when he dies hath not, either by his owne covetous prevention, or his successors inhu­manity, an honorable buriall. Chap. 6. vers. 1. 2. 3. Se­venthly, from the narrownesse of any satisfaction which can be received from them, vers. 7. All the wealth a man hath can reach no higher then the filling of his mouth, then the outward services of the body, the desires of the soule remaine empty still. A glutton may fill his belly, but he cannot fill his lust; a covetous man may have a hovse full of monie, but hee can never have a heart full of mony; an ambitious man may have titles enough to o­vercharge his memorie, but never to fill his pride; the a­gitations of the soule would not cease, the curiosity of the understanding would not stand at a stay, though a man could hold all the learning of the great library in his head at once; the sensualitie of a lascivious man would ne­ver be satiated, it would be the more enrag'd, though hee should ty [...]e out his strength and waste his spirits, and stu­pifie all his senses with an excessive intemperance. When men have done all they can with their wisedome and wealth they can fill no more but the mouth, and pover­ty and folly makes a shift to doe soe too. vers. 8. the de­sires wander, the soule [...]oves up and downe as ever. vers. 9. Eighthly, from their disability to protect or rescue a man from evill, to advance the strength of a man beyond what it was before. vers. 10. Though a man could scrape all the wealth in the wo [...]ld together, he were but a man still, subject to the same dangers and infirmities as before, nothing can exalt him above, or exempt him from the common Lawes of humanity: neither shall he be ever a­ble to contend with him that is mightier then he. All [Page 74] his wealth shall be never able to blinde the eye, or bribe the Iustice, or testraine the power of Almighty God, if hee bee pleased to inflict the strokes of his vengeance vpon his Conscience.

The fourth degree of vexation is from the Review of them. First, if a man consider the meanes of his getting them. His conscience will oftentimes tell him, that pe­radventure he hath pursued indirect and unwarrantable wayes of gaine, hath ventured to lye, flatter, sweare, de­ceive, supplant, undermine, to corrupt and adulterate wares, to hoard up and dissemble them t [...]l a dearer season, to trench upon Gods Day for his owne purposes, that so he might not onely receive, but even steale away bles­sings from him. Secondly, if a man consider the manner, the inordinate and over-eager way of procuring them. How much pretious time hast thou spent which can ne­ver be recal'd againe, for one houre whereof a tormented soule in hell would part with all the World if he had the disposall of it, to be but so small a space within the pos­sibilities of salvation againe, how much of this pretious time hast thou spent for that which is no bread, and which satisfieth not? How many golden opportunities [...]. Chrysost. ad pop. [...]. [...]om. 2. of encreasing the graces of thy soule, of feeding thy faith with more noble and heavenly contemplations on Gods truth and promises, on his Name and Attributes, on his Word and worship, of rouzing up thy soule from the sleepe of sinne, of stirring up and new enflaming thy spi­rituall gifts, of addressing thy selfe to a more serious, assi­duous, durable communion with thy God, of mourning for thine owne corruptions, of groning and thirsting af­ter heauenly promises, of renewing thy vowes and reso­lutions, of besieging and besetting heauen with thy more vrgent and retired prayers, of humbling thy selfe before thy God, of bewayling the calamities, the stones, the dust of Sion, of deprecating and repelling approching Iudgements, of glorifying God in all his wayes, things of [Page 75] pretious, spirituall and everlasting consequence, how ma­ny of these golden opportunities hath thy too much ab­surd love and attendance on the world stolne from thee? and surely to a soule illightned these must needs be mat­ters of much vexation. Thirdly, if a man consider the use he hath made of them: How they have stolne away his heart from trusting in God to rely on them; how they have diverted his thoughts from the life to come, and be­witched him to dote on present contentmens; to love life, to feare death, to dispence with much unjust liberty, to gather rust and securitie in Gods worship? How much excesse and intemperance they have provoked, how little of them have been spent on Gods glory and Church, how small a portion we have repaid him in his Ministers or in his Members? how few naked backes they have clothed? how few empty bellies they have filled? how few langvishing bowels they have refreshed? how few good workes and services they have rewarded? These are considerations which unto sensible consciences must sometime or other beget much vexation. Fourth­ly, if a man consider his owne former experiences, or the examples of others that bring the vanitie of these earthly things into minde. How some of his choysest pleasures have now out-liv'd him and are expir'd; how the Lord hath snatched from his dearest embracements those Idols which were set up against his glory; how many of his hopes have fail'd, of his expectations and presump­tions proved abortive; how much mony at one time a Sicknesse, at another a Suite, at a third a Thiefe, at a fourth a shipwrack or miscariage, at a fifth, yea at a twen­tieth time a lust hath consum'd and eaten out; How ma­ny examples there are in the world of withered and blas­ted estates, of the Curse of God not onely like a moth in­sensibly consuming, but like a Lyon suddenly tearing a­sunder great possessions.

The last Degree of Uexation from the Creature is from [Page 76] the Disposing of them. All Creatures, sinners especially, that have no hope or portion in another life, doe natu­rally love a present earthly Immortality: and therefore though they cannot have it in themselves, yet as the Philosopher saith of living Creatures, the reason why they generate is, that that Immortality which in their owne particulars they cannot have, they may [...] so farre as they are able procure in the species or kinde which they thus preserve; so rich and worldly men, though they cannot be immortall on the earth them­selves, yet they affect an immortality in their names and dwelling places, Psal. 49. 11. and therefore they desire to transmit their substance unto such successors as may haue wisedome and noblenesse of minde to continue it. Now then if a man either have no heire, or one that is so active as to alter, or so carelesse and supine as to ruine all, either base to dishonor the house, or profuse to over­throw it, these and many other the like doubts must needs infinitely perplex the mindes of men, greedy to per­petuate their names and places, Eccles. 2. 18. 19.

The second thing which we proposed to consider in this argument was the Grounds of this Vexation. I shall name but Three. Gods Curse; Mans Corruption; and the Creatures Deceitfulnesse.

I have at large before insisted on the Curse considered alone, now I am to shew in one word the issuing of Vex­ation therefrom. The curse of the Creature is as it were the poison and contagion of it; and let a man mixe poi­son in the most delicate wine, it will but so much the ea­sier, by the nimblenesse of the spirits there, invade the parts of the body, and torment the bowels. Gold of it selfe is a pretious thing, but to be shackled with fetters of gold, to have it turn'd into a use of bondage, addes moc­kery to the affliction; and farre more pretious to a par­ticular man is a chaine of iron which drawes him out of a pit, then a chaine of gold which clogs him in a prison; [Page 77] a key of iron which lets him out of a dungeon, then a barre of gold that shuts him in. If a man should have a great Diamond curiously cut into sharpe angles, worth many thousand pounds, in his bladder, no man would count him a rich, but a miserable and a dead man; this is just the case betweene a man and the Creatures of them­selves without Christ to sanctifie them unto us; though the things be excellent in their owne being, yet mingled with our corruptions and lusts, they are turned into poison, into the Gall of Aspes within a man, they will not suffer him to feele any quietnesse in his belly, in the ful­nesse Iob 20. 14. 16. 20. 22. 23. of his sufficiencie he shall be in straights, and while hee is eating, the furie of wrath shall raine downe upon him. Let a mans meate be never so sweet in it selfe, yet if hee should temper the sawce with dirt out of a sinke, it would make it altogether loathsome; and a wicked man eates all his meate like swine wrapp'd up and over­dawb'd with dirt and curses. A little, saith Salomon, which the righteous hath is better then great riches of the ungodly: In se it is not, but Quoad hominem, in regard of the man it is: for that little which a righteous man hath is to him an experience of Gods Promise, a branch of his love, a meanes of thankefull affections in him, a viaticum unto heaven; whereas the wicked mans a­bundance turnes into his greater curse, their table becomes their snare, and those things which should have been forPsal. 69. 22. their good prove unto them an occasion of falling. God makes his Sunne to shine on the Iust and on the unjust, on a garden of spices and on a dunghill: but in the one it begetteth a sweete favour of praise and obedience, in the other it raiseth up noisome lusts, which prove a sa­vour unto death. And who had not rather be free in a cottage, then condemn'd in a palace? Saint Paul distin­guisheth of a Reward and a Dispensation. If I preach 1. Cor. 9. 17. the Gospell willingly I have a Reward, if against my will a Dispensation is committed unto me. We may apply it [Page 78] to our purpose. Those good things which the faithfull enjoy though but small are yet Rewards and Accessions unto the Kingdome of God and his righteousnesse, and so long they bring joy and peace with them; but unto the wicked they are meerely a Dispensation, they have onely the burden and businesse, not the Reward nor be­nediction of the Creature.

The second Ground is the Corruption of nature, which maketh bitter and uncleane every thing that toucheth it.Tit. 1. 15. Hag. 2. 12, 13, 14 Revel. 10. 9. It polluteth holy flesh, much more will it pollute ordina­ry things. We reade of a Roule which was sweete in the mouth, but bitternesse in the belly: Such are the Crea­tures; In the bowels of men, their hearts and conscien­ces (which are the Seminaries of Corruption) they turne into gall, however in the mouth they have some smatch of honie in them. For this is a Constant Rule, Then only doth the Creature satisfie a man when it is suteable to his occasions and necess [...]ies. The reason why the same pro­portion is unsufficient for a prince, which is abundant for a private man, is because the occasions of the prince are more vast, massie, and numerous then the occasions of a private man. Now the desires and occasions of a man in Christ, that doth not ransacke the Creature for Happi­nesse, are limited and shortned, whereas another mans are still at large: for he is in a way, his eye is upon an end, he useth the world but as an Inne, and no man that tra­vels home-ward will multiply businesses unnecessarily upon himselfe in the way. In his house he can finde sun­dry employments to busie himselfe about, the education of his children, the governement of his family, the mana­ging of his estate are able to fill up all his thoughts, whereas in the Inne he cares for nothing but his refresh­ment and rest: So here, The faithfull make their home their businesse, how to have their conversation in Hea­ven, how to have a free and comfortable use of the foo [...]e of life, how to relish the mercies of God, how to go­verne [Page 79] their evill hearts, how to please God their father and Christ their husband, how to secure their interest in their expected inheritance, how to thrive in grace, to bee rich in good workes, to purchase to themselves a further degree of glory, how to entaile their spirituall riches to their posterity in a pious education of their children, these are their employments: the things of this life are not matters of their Home, but onely comfortable refresh­ments in the way, which therefore they use not as theirSolatia non negotia. grand occasions to create businesses to them, but only as interims and necessary respites. So that hereby their oc­casions being few and narrow, those things which they here enjoy are unto those occasions largely suteable, and by consequent very satisfactory unto their desires. But worldly men are here at Home, they have their portion in this life: hereupon their desires are vast, and their oc­casions springing out of those desires, infinite. A man in the right way findes at last an end to his journey, but hee that is out of the way wanders infinitely without any successe. Rest is that which the desires and wings of the soule doe still carry men upon. Now the faithfull being alwayes in the way, doe with comfort goe on, though it be peradventure deepe and heavie, because they are sure it will bring them home at last; but wicked men in a fai­rer way are never satisfied, because they have not before [...]. Arist. polit. lib. 2. cap. 7. them that rest which their soule desires. For inordinate lusts are ever infinite. What made the heathen burne in lust one towards another, but because the way of na­ture is finite, but the way of sinne infinite? What made Nero that wicked emperour have an officer about him, who was called Arbiter Neroniana libidinis, the Inven­ter and Contriver of new wayes of uncleannesse, but be­cause lust is infinite? What made Messalina, that prodi­gie of women, whom I presume Saint Paul had a parti­cular relation to, Rom. 1. 26. Profluere ad incognitas li­bidines, as the Historian speakes, prostitute her selfe with [Page 80] greedinesse unto unnaturall and unknowne abominati­ons, but because lust is infinite? What makes the ambiti­ous man never leave climbing, till he build a nest in the starres; the covetous man never leave scraping, till he [...]. Arist. polit lib. 1. cap. 9. fill bagges, and chests, and houses, and yet can never fill the hell of his owne desires; the epicure never cease swal­lowing, and spuing, and staggering, and inventing new arts of catches, and rounds, and healths, and caps, and measures, and damnation; the swearer finde out new gods to invocate, and have change of oathes as it were of fashions; the superstitious Traveller runne from Eng­land to Rhemes, and from thence to Rome, and from Rome to Loretto, and after that to Ierusalem to worship the milke of our Lady, or the cratch and tombe of our Saviour, or the nailes of his Crosse, or the print of his feete, and I know not what other fond delusions of silly men, who had rather finde salvation any where then in the Scriptures; what is the reason of these and infinite the like absurdities, but because Lust is infinite? and infinite Lust will breed infinite occasions, and infinite occasions will require infinite wealth, and infinite wit, and infinite strength, and infinite instruments to bring them about: and this must needs beget much Vexation of minde not to have our possessions in any measure proportionable to our occasions.

The third and last ground is the Creatures deceitful­nesse, there is no one thing will more disquiet the minde then to be defeated. Those things wherein men feare miscarriage, or expect disappointment, they prepare such a disposition of mind as may be fit to beare it: but when a man is surpriz'd with evill, the novelty encreaseth the vexation. And therefore the Scripture useth to expresse the greatnesse of a judgement by the unexpectednesse of it: Esai. 64. 3. Esai. 30. 13. Esai. 47. 9. Psal. 58. 9. 2. Pet. 2. 1. When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for. The unexpectance doth adde unto the Terror. A breach in an instant, a momentary, a sudden destruction, a swift [Page 81] damnation, a flying roule, a winged woman; such are theZach. 5. 2. 9. expressions of a severe Iudgement. And therefore it was a wise observation which Tacitus made of a great Ro­mane, he was Ambiguarum rerum sciens, eo (que) intrepidus; He foresaw, and by consequence was not so much trou­bled with evill events, as those whom they did surprize. Now men are apt to promise themselves much con [...]ent­ment in the fruition of earthly things, like the foole in the Parable, and to be herein disappointed is the ground of much vexation. When a man travels in deepe way & sees before him a large smoothe plaine, he presumes that will recompence the wile he was formerly put to; but when he comes to it, and findes it as rotten, as full of sloughs, and bogs and quagmires as his former way, his trouble is the more multiplied, because his hopes are deceiv'd: The divell and the world beget in mens mindes large hopes, and make profuse promises to those that will worship them; and a man at a distance sees abundance of pleasure and happinesse in riches, honors, high place, eminent employments, and the like; but when he hath his hearts desire, and peradventure hath out-climb'd the very modesty of his former wishes, hath ventur'd to breake through many a hedge, to make gaps through Gods Law and his owne conscience, that he might by shorter passages hasten to the idoll he so much worship­ped, he findes at last that there was more trouble in the fruition, then expectation at the distance; that all this is but like the Egyptian Temples, where through a statelyClem. Alex. in Paedag. li. 3. ca. 2. frontispice and magnificent structure a man came with much preparations of reverence and worship but to the Image of an vgly ape, the ridiculous idoll of that people. A man comes to the world as to a lottry with a head full of hopes and projects to get a prize, and returnes with a heart full of blankes, utterly deluded in his expectation. The world useth a man as Ivie doth an Oke, the closer it gets to the heart, the more it clings and twists about the [Page 82] affections (though it seeme to promise and flatter much) yet it doth indeed but eate out his reall substance and choake him in the embraces.

First then they deceive our judgements, make us thinke better of them then they deserue; they deale with us as the Philistines with Sampson, they begin at our eyes. Thus the divell began to beguile Eve, When she saw that theGen. 3. 6. 1. Tim. 2. 14. Tree was good, and pleasant to the eyes, then being thus first deceived, she became a transgressor: and thus Esau disputes himselfe out of his birth-right; I am at the pointGen. 25. 32. of death, the pottage will make me live, the birth-right will not goe into the grave with me; I will preferre my life before my priviledge.

Secondly, they deceive our hopes and expectations. Achan promised himselfe much happinesse in a wedge of gold and Babylonish garment; but they were deno­ted and cursed things, they did not only deceive him, but undoe him; The wedge of gold (if I may so speake) did serue to no other purpose but to cleave asunder his soule from his body, and the Babylonish garment but for a shrowd. Gehazies presumptions were vast, and the bar­gaine he thought very easie to buy garments, and olive yards, and vineyards, and sheepe and oxen, and man­servants and maide-servants at the price of an officious and mercenarie lye, he thought he had provided well for his posterity by the reward of Naaman; but the event proves quite contrarie, he provided nothing but a leprosie for himselfe and his seede forever.

They deceive our hopes in respect of Good; They pro­mise long life, and yet the same night a mans soule is takenLuk. 12. 20. Ezek. 28. 9. from him, and they the instruments of that calamity: How many men have perished by their honours? how many have beene eaten up by their pleasures? how many hath the greedy desire of wealth powred out into the grave? They promise peace and safety (as we seeIer. 2. 36. how Israel boasted in their mountaines, confederacies, [Page 83] supplies from Egypt and Assyria, in their owne counselsHos. 10. 6. Esay 10. 7. 16. Esay 47. 8. 11. Iob 6. 19. 20. and inventions) and yet all these end in shame and disap­pointment; They promise liberty, and yet make men slaves unto vile lusts: they promise fitnesse for Gods ser­vice, and nothing more apt to make men forget him or his worship: Thus all those phantasticall felicities, which men build upon the Creature, prove in the end to havePsal 62 9. Hos. 10. 13. Ier. 16. 19. been nothing else but the banquet of a dreaming man, nothing but lies and vanitie in the conclusion.

Lastly, They Deceive us likewise in respect of evill. No Creatures, however they may promise Immunitie and deliverance, can doe a man any good when the Lord will be pleased to send evill upon him. And yet it is not for no­thing that a truth so universally confessed should yet bee repeated in the Scripture, That silver, and gold, and cor­ruptible 1 Pet. 1. 18. Psal. 49. 7. 8. things are not a fit price for the soules of men. Doubtlesse the holy men of God forsaw a time when false Christs, and false Prophets should come into theRevel. 18. 13. world, which should set salvation to sale, and make mer­chandise of the Soules of men (as wee see at this day in popish Indulgences, and penance, and the like no lesse ridiculous then impious superstitions). Neither is it for nothing that Salomon tells us, That riches yea whole Trea­sures Prou. 11. 4. 10. 2. Ezek. 7. 19. Zeph. 1. 18. doe not profit in the day of death: a speech repeated by two prophets after him. For surely those holy men knew how apt wealth and greatnesse is to bewitch a man with conceits of Immortality, as hath been shewed. Who were they that made a covenant with death, and were atEsay 28. 14. 15. an agreement with hell to passe from them, but the scorn­full men, the Rulers of the people, which had abundance of wealth and honour? Who were they that did put far away the evill day, & in despight of the Prophets threat­nings did flatter themselves in the conceite of their firme and inconcussible estate, but they who were at ease in Si­on, who trusted upon the Mountaines of Samaria, whoAmos 6. 1, 7. lay upon beds of I [...]orie, and stretch'd themselves upon [Page 84] their couches. But we see all this was but deceite, they go captive with the first of those that go captive, & the ban­ket of them that stretched themselves is removed. All earthly supports without God are but like a stately houseAmos 2. 14 16. on the sand, without a foundation; a man shal be buried in his owne pride. He that is strong shall be to seeke of his strength, he that is mighty & should deliver others, shall be too weak for his own defence, he that is swift shall be amaz'd, and not dare to fly; if he be a bowman, at a great distance, if he be a rider & have a great advantage, he shal yet be overtaken, and he that is couragious, & adventures to stand out, shall be faine to flye away naked at the last.Amos 9. 2. 5. Obad. vers. 3. 9. Esay 57. 13. Ier. 2. 28. Deut. 32. 37. 42. Ier 11. 12. Esay 10. 3. 4. Ezek. 22. 14. Ier. 4▪ 30. Esay 31. 3. What ever hopes or refuges any Creature cā afford a man in these troubles, they are nothing but froth & vanity, the Lord challenges & derides them al. And the Prophet Esay gives a sound reason of it all, The Egyptians are men and not God, & their horses are flesh & not spirit, when the Lord shal stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth, shall fall, and he that is helpen shal fal down, and they al shal faile together.

Before wee proceed to the last thing proposed; here is a question to be answered. If the Creatures be so full of Vexation, It should seeme that it is unprofitable and by consequence unlawfull either to labour or to pray for them. Which yet is plainely contrary to Christs dire­ction, Give us our daylie bread, and contrary to the pra­ctice of the Saints who use to call for the fatnesse of the earth and dew of heaven, peace of walls and prosperity of Palaces upon those whom they blesse.

To which I answere. That which is evill by accident doth not prejudice that which is Good in it selfe and by Gods ordination. Now the vexation which hath been spoken of is not an effect flowing naturally out of the condition of the creature, but ariseth meerely by accident, upon the reason of its separation from God, who at first did appoint his owne blessed communion to goe along with his Creatures. Now things which are good in [Page 85] themselves, but accidentally evill may justly be the ob­ject of our prayers and endeavours: And so on the other­side, many things there are which in themselves alone are evill, yet by the providence and disposition of God they have a good issue, they worke together for the best to them that love God. It was good for David that he had been afflicted: yet wee may not lawfully pray for such evils on our selves or others, upon presumption of Gods goodnesse to turne them to the best. Who doubts that the calamities of the Church doe at this time stirre up the hearts of men to seeke the Lord and his face, and to walke humbly and fearefully before him; yet that man should be a curse and prodigie in the eyes of God and men, who should still pray for the calamities of Si­on, and to see the stones of Ierusalem still in the dust. Death is in it selfe an evill thing (for the Apostle calles it an enemy, 1. Cor. 15.) yet by the infinite power and mer­cy of God, who delights to bring good out of evill, and beauty out of ashes, it hath not onely the sting taken away, but is made an entrance into Gods owne presence, with reference unto which benefit, the Apostle desireth to be dissolved and to be with Christ, Phil. 1. 23. Now notwithstanding this goodnesse which death by accident brings along with it, yet being in it selfe a Destructive thing, we may lawfully in the desires of our soule shrinke from it and decline it. Example whereof we have in the death of Christ himselfe, which was of all as the most bitter, so the most pretious: and yet by reason of that bitternesse which was in it, hee prayes against it, presen­ting unto his Father the desires of his Soule for that life which he came to lay downe: as his obedience to his Father, and love to his Church made him most willingly embrace death, so his love to the integritie of his humane nature, and feare of so heavy pressures as he was to feele, made him as seriously to decline it. And though the Apostle did most earnestly desire to be with Christ, yet [Page 86] he did in the same desire decline the common rode thither through the darke passages of death, 2. Cor. 5. 4. Vnlaw­full indeed it is for any man to pray universally against death, because that were to withstand the Statutes of God, Heb 9. 27. but against any particular danger wee may; as Ezechiah did, 1. King. 20. 1, 2. reserving still a generall submission to the will and decrees of God. For we are bound in such a case to use all good meanes, and to pray for Gods blessing upon them, which amounts to a prayer against the danger it selfe. So then, by the Rule of contraries, though the Creatures be full of vanitie and vexation, yet this must not swallow up the apprehension of that goodnesse which God hath put into them, nor put off the desires of men from seeking them of God in those just prayers which he hath prescribed, and in those lawfull endeavours which he hath commanded and al­lowed.

The third thing proposed was the consideration of that Vse which we should make of this vexation of the Creature. And first the consideration thereof mingled with faith in the heart must needes worke humiliation in the spirit of a man, upon the sight of those sinnes which have so much defaced the good Creatures of God. Sinne was the first thing that did pester the earth with thornes, Gen. 3. 17. 18. and hath fill'd all the Creation with vani­tie and bondage. Sinne is the ulcer of the soule; touch a wound with the softest Lawne, and there will smart arise; so though the Creatures be never so harmelesse, yet as soone as they come to the heart of a man, there is so much sinne and corruption there, as must needs beget paine to the soule. The palate, prepossest with a bitter humour, findes it owne distemper in the sweetest meate it tastes; so the soule, having the ground of bitternesse in it selfe, finds the same affection in every thing that comes neere it. Death it self, though it be none of Gods works, but the shame and deformitie of the Creature, yet with­out [Page 87] sinne it hath no sting in it, 1. Cor. 15. 55. how much lesse sting, thinke we, have those things which were made for the comforts of mans life, if sinne were not the Serpent that did lurke under them all? Doest thou then in thy swiftest careere of earthly delights, when thou art posting in the wayes of thy heart, and in the sight of thine eyes, feele a curbe privily galling thy conscience, a secret dampe seizing upon thy soule, and affrighting it with dismall suspicions and trembling pre-occupations of attending judgements, see a hand against the wall writing bitter things against thee? Dost thou in all thy lawfull Callings finde much sweat of brow, much toyle of braine, much plunging of thoughts, much care of heart in compassing thy just and lawfull intendments? Doe not lose the op­portunitie of that good which all this may suggest unto thee, take advantage to fish in this troubled water. Cer­tainely there is some Ionah that hath raysed this storme, there is some sinne or other that hath caused all this trouble to thy soule. Doe not repine at Gods providence, nor quarrell with the dumbe Creatures, but let thine in­dignation reflect upon thine owne heart; and as ever thou hopest to have the sweat of thy brow abated, or the care of thy heart remitted, or the curse of the Creature removed, cast thy selfe downe before God, throw out thy sinne, awake thy Saviour with the cry of thy repen­tance, and all the stormes will be suddenly calmed. Cer­tainely the more power any man hath over the corrup­tion of his nature, the lesse power hath the sting of any Creature over his heart. Though thou hast but a dinner of herbes with a quiet conscience, reconciled unto God, thou dost therein finde more sweetnesse then in a fatted Oxe with the contentions of a troubled heart. When ever therefore we finde this Thorne in the Creature, wee should throw our selves downe before God, and in some such manner as this bewaile the sinne of our heart, which is the roote of that Thorne. Lord, thou art a God [Page 88] of peace and beauty, and what ever comes from thee must needs originally have peace and beauty in it. The Earth was a Paradise when thou didst first bestow it up­on me, but my sinne hath turned it into a Desert, and curs'd all the increase thereof with Thornes. The honour which thou gavest me was a glorious attribute, a sparkle of thine owne fire, a beame of thine owne light, an im­presse of thine owne Image, a character of thine owne power; but my sinne hath put a Thorne into mine ho­nour, my greedinesse when I look upward to get higher, and my giddinesse when I looke downeward for feare of falling, never leaves my heart without angvish and vexation. The pleasure which thou allowest mee to en­joy is full of sweet refreshment, but my sinne hath put a Thorne into this likewise; my excesse and sensualitie hath so choaked thy Word, so stifled all seeds of noble­nesse in my minde, so like a Canker overgrowne all my pretious time, stolne away all opportunities of grace, melted and wasted all my strength, that now my refresh­ments are become my diseases. The Riches which thou gavest me, as they come from thee, are soveraigne bles­sings, wherewith I might abundantly have glorified thy Name, and served thy Church, and supplyed thy Saints, and made the eyes that saw mee to blesse mee, and the [...]ares that heard me, to beare witnesse to me, wherewith I might have covered the naked backe, and cured the bleeding wounds, and filled the hungry bowels, and sa­tisfied the fainting desires of mine owne Saviour in his distressed members; but my sinne hath put in so many Thornes of pride, hardnesse of heart, uncompassionate­nesse, endlesse cares, securitie and resolutions of sinne, and the like, as are ready to pierce me thorow with ma­ny sorrowes. The Calling wherein thou hast placed me is honest and profitable to men, wherein I might spend my time in glorifying thy Name, in obedience to thy will, in attendance on thy blessings; but my sinne hath [Page 89] brought so much ignorance and inapprehension upon my understanding, so much weakenesse upon my body, so much intricatenesse upon my employments, so much rust and sluggishnes upon my faculties, so much earthly­mindednesse upon my heart, as that I am not able with­out much discomfort to goe on in my Calling. All thy Creatures are of thems [...]lves full of honour and beauty, the beames and gli [...]pses of thine owne glory; but our sinne hath stained the beauty of thine owne handy­worke, so that now thy wrath is as well revealed from Heaven as thy glory, we now see in them the prints as well of thy terrours as of thy goodnesse. And now, Lord, I doe in humblenesse of heart truly abhorre my selfe, and abominate those cursed sinnes, which have not onely defiled mine owne nature and person, but have spread deformitie and confusion upon all those Crea­tures, in which thine owne wisedome and power had planted so great a beauty, and so sweet an order. After some such manner as this ought the consideration of the thornynesse of the Creature humble us in the sight of those sinnes which are the rootes thereof.

Secondly, the consideration hereof should make us wise to prevent those cares which the Creatures are so apt to beget in the heart: those I meane which are bran­ches of the Vexation of the Creature. There is a two fold Care, Regular and Irregular. Care is then Regular, First, when it hath a Right end, such as is both suteable with and subordinate to our maine end, the Kingdome of God, and his righteousnesse. Secondly, when the meanes of procuring that end are right; for we may not do evill to effect Good. Recovery was a lawfull end which A­haziah did propose, but to enquire of Baalzebub was a meanes which did poyson the whole businesse: nay Saint Austin is resolute, that if it were possible by an of­ficiousAug. de Mendac. ad Consent. lib. lie to compasse the redemption of the whole world, yet so weighty and universall a good must rather [Page 90] bee let fall, then brought about by the smallest evill. Thirdly, when the manner of it is good, and that is, first, when the Care is moderate, Phil. 4. 5, 6. Secondly, when it is with submission to the will and wisedome of God, when wee can with comfort of heart, and with much confidence of a happy issue recommend every thing that concernes us to his providence and disposall, can bee con­tent to have our humours mastered, and conceits capti­uated to his obedience, when we can with David re­solve not to torment our hearts with needlesse & endlesse projects, but to rowle our selves upon Gods protection. If I shall finde favour in his eyes, he will bring me againe, 2. Sa. 15 25. 26. and me shew both the Arke and his habitation; But if he say thus unto me, I have no delight in thee, let him doe to me as seemeth good unto him. Such was the resolution of Eli, It is the Lord, let him doe what seemeth him good. Such1. Sam. 3. 18. the submission of the disciples of Cesarea, when they could not perswade Paul to stay from Ierusalem, The Act. 21. 12. 14. will of the Lord be do [...]e. Cleane contrary to that wicked resolution of the King of Israel in the famine, This evill is 2. King. 6. 33. of the Lord, what should I waite for the Lord any longer. Now in this respect care is not a vexation but a duty; he is worse then an Infidel that provides not for his own.1. Thes 5. 8. Our Saviour himselfe had a bag in his familie, and Salo­mon sends foolish and improvident men unto the smallest Creatures to learne this care. Prov. 6. 8.

That Care then which is a branch of this Vexation is not [...] but [...], a cutting, dividing, distracting care, against which wee ought the rather to strive, not onely because it is so apt to arise from the Creature coupling in with the corruption of mans heart, but also because of its owne evill quality, it being both Superfluous and sin­full. First, Irregular cares are superfluous, and improper to the ends which we direct them upon, and that not to our maine end onely, Happinesse, which men toyling to dis­cover in the Creature where it is not, doe insteed thereof [Page 91] finde nothing but trouble and vexation; but even to those lower ends which the Creatures are proper and suteable unto. For unto us properly belongs the Industry, but unto God the care, unto us the labour and use of meanes, but unto God the blessing and successe of all.1. Cor. 3. 6. Though Paul plant and Apollo waters, it is God onely that can give the increase, he must be trusted with the e­vents of all our industry. Peter never began to sinke tillMatth. 14. 28. he began to doubt, that was the fruit of his carking and unbeliefe. Which of you by taking thought can adde oneLuk. 12. 25. cubit to his stature, saith Christ, our cares can never bring to passe our smallest desires; because I say the care of e­vents was ever Gods prerogative and belonged wholly to his providence. Vpon him wee must cast our care, up­on1. Pet. 5. 7. him we must vnlode our burdens, and he will sustainePsal. 55. 22. us. Wee are all of one family, of the houshold of GodEph. 2. 19. Gal. 6. 10. and of faith, now we know children are not to lay vp for parents, but parents for children. If we should see a childe carke and toyle for his living, wee should presently con­clude that he was left to the wide world, and had no fa­ther to provide for him; and that is our Saviours argu­ment, take no thought, for your heavenly Father knoweth Matth. 6. 32. you have need of these things. Let us therefore learne to cast our selves upon God. First, Infaith depending vpon the truth of his promises, He hath said I will not faile thee nor forsake thee, and upon the All-sufficiency of his Power, Heb. 13 5. Dan. 3. 17. our God whom we serve is able to deliver us. This was that which comforted David in that bitter distresse, when Ziglag was burnt by the Amalekites, his Wives ta­ken2. Sam. 30. 6. captive, and himselfe ready to be stoned by the peo­ple, He encouraged himselfe in the Lord his God. This was that which delivered Asa from the huge hoste of the2. Chron. 14 11. 12. 2 Chron. 16. 9. Lubims and Ethiopians, because he rested on God; and all which afterwards hee got by his diffidence and carnall projects, was to purchase to himselfe perpetuall warres. That which grieved the Lord with his people in theNumb. 14. 11. [Page 92] Wildernesse was their distrust of his power and prote­ction, Can he spread a Table in the Wildernesse? Can hee Psal. 78 19. 20. Psal. 106. 24. give bread also and flesh for his people? And indeed as Caines despaire, so in some proportion, any fainting un­derGen. 4. 13. temptation, any discontent with our estate, proceede from this, that we measure God by our selves, that wee conceive of his power onely by those issues and wayes of escape which we are by our owne wisedomes able to fore-cast, and when we are so straitened that wee canEzek. 37. 11. Esay 49. 24 25. see no way to turne, there we give over trusting God, as if our sinnes were greater then could be forgiven, or our afflictions then could be removed. It is therefore a nota­ble meanes of establishing the heart in all estates, to haveHab. 3. 3. 18. Zach. 4. 6. 10. Esay 55. 8. 12. Hos. 11. 9. 2 Chro. 20. 6. 12 the eye of Faith fixed upon the power God, to consider that his thoughts and contrivances are as much above ours, as Heaven is above the Earth; and therefore to re­solve with Ieroboam, that when wee know not what to doe, yet we will have our eyes upon him still. Sonne of Man, saith the Lord to Ezekiel, can these dead bonesEzek. 37. 3. live; and hee answered, O Lord God thou knowest. Thy thoughts are aboue our thoughts; and where things are to us impossible, they are easie unto thee. Secondly, byMat. 10. 16. 17. Prayer. This is a maine remedy against carefull thoughts. When the Apostle had exhorted the Philippians, that their Moderation, that is, their Equanimitie and calme­nesse of minde in regard of outward things, should bee knowne unto all men, he presseth it with this excellent reason, The Lord is at hand, he is ever at home in hisPhil. 4. 5. 6. 7. owne family, he is neere to see the wants, and to heare the cries of all that come unto him; therefore saith hee, Bee carefull for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and sup­plication with thankesgiving (thankesgiving for what you have, and prayer for what you want) let your requests be made knowne unto God, and hee shall furnish you with peace in all estates. A notable example of which pro­mise we have in Anna the Mother of Samuel; In the1. Sa. 1. 7. 10. 18. [Page 93] bitternesse of her soule she wept, and did not eate (name­ly1. Chron. 29. 9. Deut. 12. 18. Deut. 28. 47. Mal. 2. 13. of the Sacrifices, which were to be eaten with rejoy­cing) then she prayed, and vowed a vow unto the Lord, and having cast her cares upon him, she then went her way, and did eate, and her countenance was no more sad. Ezekiah in his sicknesse chattered like a Swallow,Esay 38. 14. 20. and mourned as a Dove; but after his prayer he sungHab. 3. 2. 16. 18. 19. songs of deliverance to the stringed instruments. Haba­knk before his prayer trembled, but after his prayer hee triumphed in the midst of death. David full of heavi­nessePsal. 6. 6. 9. and of gronings in his prayer, but after as full of comfort against all his enemies.

Secondly, as Irregular Cares are needlesse and super­fluous, so they are sinnefull too. First, In regard of their obiect, they are worldly cares, the Cares of the men of this world: therein wee declare our selves to walke in con­formitie to the Gentiles, as if wee had no better founda­tion of quietnesse and contentment then the heathenEph. 4. 17. Matth. 6. 32. which know not God. And this is Christs argument, after all these things do the Gentiles seeke. We are taken out of the world, wee have not received the spirit of the world,Ioh. 15. 10. 1. Cor. 2. 10. Rom. 12. 2. Psal. 4. 3. Tit. 2. 14. 1. Pet. 2. 9. Cyprian. and therefore wee must not bee conformable unto the world, nor bring forth the fruits of a worldly spirit, but walke as men that are set apart, as a peculiar people, and that have heavenly promises, and the Grace of God to e­stablish our hearts. Illi terrena sapiant qui promissa coe­lestia non habent, It is seemely for those alone who have no other portion but in this life, to fixe their thoughts and cares here. Secondly, they are sinnefull in regard of their Causes, and they are principally two. First, Inordinate lust or coveting, the running of the heart after covetous­nesse; Secondly, Distrust of Gods providence, for thoseIam. 4. 3. desires which spring from lust can never have faith to se­cure the heart in the expectation of them. Lastly, they are sinnefull in their Effects. First, They are murthering 2. Cor. 7. 10. cares, they worke sadnesse, suspicions, uncomfortablenes, [Page 94] and at last death. Secondly, They are Choaking cares, Math. 13. 22. they take of the heart from the word, and thereby make it unfruitfull. Thirdly, they are Adulterous cares, theyIam 4 4. steale away the heart from God, and set a man at enmity against him. In all which respects wee ought to arme our selves against them.

Which that we may the better doe, wee will in the last place propose two sorts of directions. First, How to make the Creature no vexing Creature. Secondly, How to vse it as a vexing Creature: for the former. First, pray for conveniencie, for that which is suteable to thy minde, I meane not to the lusts, but to the abilities of thy minde. Labour ever to sure thy occasions to thy parts, and thy supplies to thy occasions. If a ship out of greedinesse be overloaden with gold, it will be in danger of sinking, notwithstanding the capacity of the sides be not a quar­ter filled; on the other side fill it to the brimme with fea­thers, and it will still tosse up and downe for want of due ballasting: so is it in the lives of men, some have such gree­dy desires, that they thinke they can runne through all sorts of businesse and so never leave loading themselves, till their hearts sinke and be swallowed up with worldly sorrow and securitie in sinne: others set their affections on such triviall things, that though they should have the fill of all their desires, their mindes would still be as floating and unsetled as before. Resolve therefore to do with thy selfe as men with their ships. There may a Tempest arise, when thou must be constrained to throw out all thy wares into the Sea; such were the times of the Apostles and after bloudy persecutions, when men were put to forfake Father, Mother, Wife, Children, nay to have the ship it selfe broken to pieces, that the Marri­ner within might escape upon the ruines. But besides this, in the calmest and securest times of the Church these two things thou must ever looke to, if thou tender thine owne tranquillity. First, fill not thy selfe onely with light [Page 95] things. Such are all the things of this world in themselves, besides the roome and cumbersomenesse of them (as light things take up ever the most roome) they still leave the soule floating and unsetled. Doe therefore as wise Mariners, have strong and substantiall ballasting in the bottome, faith in Gods promises, love and feare of his name, a foundation of good workes, and then what ever becomes of thy other loading, thy ship it selfe shall bee safe at last, thou shalt be sure in the greatest tempest to have thy life for a prey. Secondly, Consider the burden of thy Vessell; All ships are not of an equall capacity, and they must be fraighted, and mann'd, and victualed with proportiō to their burden. Al men have not the same abi­lities, some have such a measure of grace as enables them with much wisedome and improvement to manage such an estate as would puffe up another with pride, sensuali­tie, superciliousnesse, and forgetfulnesse of God. Againe some men are fitted to some kinde of employments, not to others, as some ships are for merchandise, others for warre; and in these varieties of states every man should pray for that which is most suteable to his disposition and abilities, which may expose him to fewest temptati­ons, or at least by which he may bee most serviceable in the body of Christ, and bring most glory to his Master. This was the good prayer of Agur, give me neither po­verty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me: this is that we all pray, Give us Our daylie Bread, that which is most proportion'd to our condition, that which is fit­test for us to have, and most advantageous to the ends of that Lord whom wee serve.

Secondly, labour ever to get Christ into thy ship, hee will check every tempest, and calme every vexation that growes upon thee. When thou shalt consider that his truth, and person, and honor is imbarked in the same ves­sell with thee, thou maist safely resolve on one of these, either he will be my Pilot in the ship, or my planke in the [Page 96] Sea to carry me safe to Land; if I suffer in his companie, and as his member, he suffers with me, and then I may triumph to be made any way conformable vnto Christ my head. If I have Christ with me, there can no estate come which can be cumbersome unto me. Have I a load of misery and infirmity inward, outward, in minde, body, name or estate, this takes away the vexation of all, when I consider it all comes from Christ, and it all runnes into Christ. It all comes from him as the wise disposer of his owne bodie, and it all runnes into him as the compassio­nate sharer with his owne bodie: It all comes from him who is the distributer of his Fathers gifts, and it all runns into him who is the partaker of his members sorrows. If I am weake in body, Christ my head was wounded, if2. Cor. 8. 9. Phil. 2 7. Matth. 12. 24. Act. 27. 23. weake in minde, Christ my head was heavie unto death. If I suffer in my estate, Christ my head became poore, as poore as a servant, if in my name Christ, my head was e­steemed vile, as vile as Beelzebub. Paul was comforted in the greatest tempest with the presence of an Angel, how much more with the Grace of Christ; when the Thorne was in his flesh, and the buffets of Satan a­bout2. Cor. 12. 7. 9. his soule, yet then was his presence a plentifull protection, my Grace is sufficient for thee, and hee confesseth it elsewhere, I am able to doe all thingsPhil. 4. 13. through Christ that strengthens me. Christs head hath sanctified any thornes, his back any surrowes, his hands any nailes, his side any speare, his heart any sorrow that can come to mine. Againe, have I a great estate, am I lo­den with abundance of earthly things, this takes away all the Vexation that I have Christ with me; his pro­mise to sanctifie it, his wisedome to manage it, his glory to be by it advanced, his word to be by it maintained, his Anointed Ones to be by it supplied, his Church to be by it repaired, in one word his poverty to be by it relie­ved. For as Christ hath strength and compassion to take of the burden of our afflictions, so hath he poverty too, [Page 97] to ease that vexation which may grow from our abun­dance. If thou hadst a whole wardrobe of cast apparrell, Christ hath more nakednesse then all that can cover; if whole barnes ful of corne, and cellars of wine, Christ hath more empty bowels then al that can fill; if all the pretious drugs in a country, Christ hath more sicknes then all that can cure; if the power of a mighty Prince, Christ hath more imprisonment then all that can enlarge; if a whole house full of silver and gold, Christ hath more distressed members to be comforted, more breaches in his Church to be repaired, more enemies of his Gospel to be oppos'd, more defenders of his faith to be supplied, more urgencies of his Kingdom to be attended, then al that wil serve for. Christ professeth himself to be still hungry, naked, sick, andMatth. 25. in prison, and to stand in need of our visits and supplies. As all the good which Christ hath done is ours, by reason of our communion with him, so all the [...]vill wee suffer is Christs, by reason of his compassion with us. The ApostleEphes. 2. 6. Col. 1. 24. saith that we sit together with Christ in heavenly places, and the same Apostle saith, that the suffrings of Christ are made up in his mēbers. Nos ibi sedemus, et ille hic laborat. Aug. We are glorified in him, and he pained in us, in all his ho­nor we are honored, and in al our affliction he is afflicted.

Thirdly, cast out thy Ionah, every sleeping and secure [...], &c. Chrysost. ad pop. Antioch. hom. 5. sinne that brings a Tempest upon thy ship, vexation to thy spirit. It may be thou hast an execrable thing, a wedge of gold, a babylonish garment, a bagge full of un­just gaine, gotten by sacriledge, disobedience, mercilesnes, oppression, by detaining Gods, or thy neighbours rights; It may be thou hast a Da [...]la, a strange woman in thy bo­some, that brings a rot upon thine estate, and turnes it all into the wages of a whore; what ever thy sicknesse, what ever thy plague be, as thou tenderest the tranquil­lity of thine estate rouse it up from its sleepe by a faithfull, serious and impartiall examination of thine owne heart, and though it be as deare to thee as thy right eye, or thy [Page 98] right hand, thy choicest pleasure or thy chiefest profit, yet cast [...] out in an humble confession unto God, in a hear­ty and willing restitution unto men, in opening thy close and contracted bowels to those that never yet enjoy'd comforts from them; then shall quietnesse arise unto thy soule, and that very gaine which thou throwest away is but cast upon the waters, the Lord will provide a Whale to keepe it for thee, and will at last restore it thee whole againe.

The last direction which I shall give to remove the vexation of the Creature is out of the text, and that is, To keepe it from thy Spirit, not to suffer it to take up thy thoughts and inner man. They are not nego­tia but viatica onely, and a mans heart ought to be up­on his businesse and not upon accessories. If in a tempest men should not addresse themselves to their offices, to loose the tacklings, to draw the pumpe, to strike sailes, and lighten the vessell, but should make it their sole worke to gaze upon their commodities, who could ex­pect that a calme should droppe into such mens laps. Be­loved when the Creatures have rais'd a tempest of vexa­tion, thinke upon your Offices, to the pumpe, to powre out thy corruptions, to the sailes and tackling, abate thy lusts and the provisions of them, to thy faith, to live a­bove hope, to thy patience, It is the Lord, let him doe as seemeth good to him, to thy thankfulnesse, the Lord gi­veth and the Lord taketh away, Blessed be the name of the Lord. If Iob should have gazed on his children or sub­stance, he might have been swallowed up in the storme; but God was in his heart, and so the vessell was still safe. But what is it to keepe the Creature from the spirit? It isPsal. 6 [...]. 10. in the phrase of Scripture, N [...]t to set the Heart upon rich­es. Apponere cor, to carry a mans heart to the creature, the Prophet gives a fit expression of it when hee saith, That the heart doth g [...]t after covetousnesse; when a man makes all the motions of his soule waite upon his lusts, [Page 99] and drudgeth for them, and bringeth his heart to the edgeNec vulnus ada­ctis debetur gla­dijs, percussum est pectore fer­rum. Luc. of the creature: for the world doth not wound the heart, but the heart woundeth it selfe upon the world. And it is not the rock alone that dasheth the ship, without its own motion being first tossed by the winde and waves upon the rocke; so it is a mans owne lust which vexeth his spi­rit, and not the things alone which he possesseth.

To set the heart on the Creature denotes three things. First, to pitch a mans thoughts and studies, to direct all the restlesse enquiries of his soule upon them, and the good he expects from them. This in the Scripture is ex­pressed by Mic. 2. 1. Devising, Hab. 2. 10. Consulting, Luk. 12. 17. 18. Thinking within ones selfe, being tossed like a Luk. 12. 29. [...]. Meteor with doubtful­nesse of minde and carefull suspence, Hos. 4. 17. Ioyning ones selfe, making Rom. 13. 14. Provision for lusts, &c. Secondly, to care for, to employ a mans affections of love, delight, desire upon them, to set a high price on them, and over-rate them above other things. For this cause covetous men are call'd Eph. 5▪ 5. Col. 3. 5. Idolaters, because they preferre monie, as a man doth his God, before all other things. When the wo­men would have comforted the wife of Phineas with the birth of a sonne, after the captivitie of the Arke, it is said she regarded it not, the Text is, she did not put her heart 1. Sam. 4. 20. Ioh. 16. 21. upon it: though a woman rejoyce when a man childe is borne, yet in comparison of the Arke she no more regar­ded the joy of a sonne, then a man would doe if the sunne should be blotted out of heaven, and a little starre put in the roome; and therefore, though children be the gloryHos. 9. 11. of their parents, yet shee professeth that there was no glory in this to have a sonne, and lose an Arke, a starre without light, a sonne without service, a levite borne and no Arke to waite upon; and therefore she did not set her heart upon it. They will not set their heart upon us, 2. Sam. 18. 3. say the people to David, for thou art worth ten thousand of us; that is, they will no whit regard us in comparison of thee: so then a mans heart is set on the Creature, when [Page 100] he prizeth it above other things, and declareth this esti­mation of his heart by those eager endeavours with which he pursueth them as his God and Idoll. Thirdly, to relie upon, to put trust and affiance in the Creature: and this is imported in the word by which the Prophet expresseth riches, which signifieth strength of all sorts, vires, and propugnaculum, the inward strength of a man and the outward strength of munition and fortification: therefore, saith Salomon, the rich mans wealth is hisProv. 10. 15. Psal 49. 6. 1. Tim. 6. 17. Ier. 9. 23. strong city, and rich men are said to Trust and Glorie in their riches, examples whereof the Scripture abundant­ly gives in Tyre, Babylon, Ninive, Edom, Israel, &c.

Now a man ought not thus to set his heart on the Creature; first, because of the Tendernesse and delicacie of the spirit, which will quickely be bruiz'd with any thing that lies close upon it and presseth it. As men weare the softest garments next their skinne, that they be not dis­quieted, so should we apply the tenderest things, the mercies and the worth of the bloud of Christ, the pro­mises of grace and glory, the precepts and invitations of the Spirit unto our spirits. And now as subterraneous winde or ayre being pressed in by the earth, doth often beget concussions and earth-quakes; so the spirit of a man being swallow'd up and quite clos'd in earthly things must needs beget tremblings and distractions at last to the soule. The word heere which we translate Vexation is rendred likewise by Contritio, a pressing, grinding, wearing away of a thing, and by Depastio, a feeding on a thing, which makes some render the words thus, All is vanitie and a feeding upon winde. That as windie meates, though they fill and swell a man up, they nourish little, but turne into crudities and diseases; so the feeding upon the Creature may puffe up the heart, but it can bring no reall satisfaction, no solid nutriment to the soule of man. The Creature upon the spirit is like a worme in wood, or a moth in a garment, it begets a [Page 99] rottennesse of heart, it bites asunder the threads and si­newes of the soule, and by that meanes workes an inep­titude and undisposednesse to any worthy service, and brings a decay upon the whole man; for cares will pre­vent age, and change the colour of the haire before theHos. 7. 9. 11. time, and make a man like a silly Dove, without any heart, as the Prophet speakes.

Secondly, because the strength of every man is his spirit; Mens cujus (que) is est quis (que). Now if the Creature seize on a mans strength, it serues him as Dalilah did Sampson, it will quickely let in the Philistines to vexe him. Strength hath Two parts or offices, Passive in undergoing and withstanding evill, and Active in doing that which be­longs to a man to doe. Now when the heart and spirit of a man is set upon any Creature, it is weakned in both these respects.

First, it is disabled from bearing or withstanding evill. We will consider it, First in temptations; Secondly in afflictions. First, A man who hath set his heart inordi­nately upon any Creature is altogether unfit to with­stand any temptation. In the Law when a man had new married a wife, he was not to goe to warre thatDeut. 24. 5. yeere, but to rejoyce with his wife. One reason where­of I suppose was this, because when the minde is strong­ly set upon any one object, till the strength of that desire be abated, a man will be utterly unfit to deale with an enemie: so is it with any lust to which a man weds himselfe, it altogether disables him to resist any enemie: after Hannibals armie had melted themselves at Capua with sensualitie and luxurie, they were quite strangers to hard service and rigid discipline, when they were againe reduc'd unto it.

The Reason hereof is, first The subtiltie of Satan, who will be sure to proportion his temptations to the heart, and those lusts which doe there predominate, setting up­on men with those perswasions wherewith he is mos [Page 100] likely to seduce them; As the Grecians got in upon the Trojans with a gift, something which they presum'd would finde acceptance. The divell dealeth as men in a siege, casts his projects, and applies his batteries to the weakest and most obnoxious place. Therefore the Apo­stleIam. 1. 14. Causas corrupte­larum non in il­lecebris, sed in cordibus habe­mus, & vitiosi­tas nostra mens nostra est. Salvi. de Guber. lib. 6. saith, that a man is tempted, when he is led away of his owne lust and enticed; the divell will be sure to hold intelligence with a mans owne lusts, to advise and sit in counsell with his owne heart, to follow the tyde and streame of a mans owne affections in the tempting of him. Adam tempted in Gen. 3. 5. knowledge, Pharaoh by lying Exod. 7. 23. wonders, the Prophet by pretence of an 1. King. 13. 18. Angels speech, Ahab by the consent of 2. Chro. 1 [...]. 11 false prophets, the Iewes by the Ier. 7. 4. Temple of the Lord and carnall priuiled­ges▪ the heathen by pretence of Act. 19. 27. vniversalitie, and Act. 17. 19. an­tiquitie. When Dauids heart after his adultery was set vpon his owne glory more then Gods, how to saue his owne name from reproach, we see as long as that affecti­on preuailed against him, as long as his heart was not so throughly humbled as to take the shame of his sinne to himselfe, to beare the indignation of the Lord, and ac­cept of the reproach of his iniquity, hee was ouercome with many desperate temptations: he yeelds to be him­selfe a temper of his neighbour to unseasonable plea­sures, to drunkennesse and shame, to bee a murtherer of his faithfull seruant, to multiply the guilt, that hee may shift of the shame of his sinne, and provide for his owne credit. Peters heart was set upon his owne life and safe­tie more then the truth of Christ or his owne protestati­ons, and Sathan fitting his assault to this weakenesse pre­vailes against a rocke with the breath of a woman. They that will be rich, saith the apostle, who set their hearts up­on1. Tim. 6. 9, 10. their riches, whose hearts runne after their couetous­nesse, fall into temptation and a snare, into many foolish and hurtfull lusts. Such a heart is fit for any temptation. Tempt Acha [...]s covetous heart to sacriledge, and hee will [Page 101] reach forth his hand to the accursed thing; Tempt Iudaes his covetous heart to treason, and he will betray the pre­tious blood of the Sonne of God which is infinitely be­yond any rate of silver or gold for a few pieces of silver, the price of a little field; Tempt Gehazies covetous heart to multiply lie upon lie, and he will doe it with ease and greedinesse for a few pieces of money, and change of rayment; Tempt Sauls covetous heart with the fattest of the Cattell, and hee will venture on disobedience, a sinne worse then witchcraft, which himselfe had rooted out; Tempt the covetous heart of a Iudge in Israel to doe in­iustice,Amos 2. 6. and a paire of shooes shall spurne righteousnesse out of dores, and pervert iudgement; Tempt the cove­tousProv. 1. 18, 19. heart of a great oppressor to blood and violence, and he will lie in waite for the life of his neighbour; Tempt the covetous heart of a proud pharisee or secure peopleLuk. 16. 14. Ezek. 33. 31. to scorne the word out of the mouth of Christ or his pro­phet, and they will easily yeeld to any infidelitie. The like may bee said of any other lust in its kinde. If the heart bee set on Beautie; Tempt the Sonnes of God to forsake their covenant of marrying in the Lord, the Israe­lites to the idolatrie of Baal Peor, Sampson to forsake his vow and calling, easily will all this bee done, if the heart haue the beauty of any creature as a treacher in it, to let in the temptations, and to let out the lusts. How many desperate temptations doth beauty cast many men vpon? bribery to lay downe the price of a whore, glut­tonie and drunkennesse to inflame and ingenerate new lusts, contempt of the Word and Iudgements of God to smother the checkes of conscience, frequenting of Sa­thans palaces, playes and stewes, the chappels of Hell and nurseries of vncleannesse, challenges, stabbes, com­bats, blood, to vindicate the credit and comparisons of a strumpets beauty, to revenge the competition of un­cleane Corrivals. Thus will men venture as deepe as Hell to fetch fire to powre into their veines, to make [Page 102] their spirits frie, and their blood boyle in abhorred lust. If the heart bee set on wit and pride of its owne conceits, tempt the Libertines and Cyrenians to dispute against the truth, the Greekes to despise the Gospell, the wise men of the world to esteeme the ordinance of God foo­lishnes of preaching, the false teachers to foist their straw and stubble upon the foundation, Achitophell to comply with treason, Lucian to reuile Christ, and deride religion, easily will these and a world the like temptations bee let into the heart, if pride of wit stand at the dore and turne the locke.

Whence is it that men spend their pretious abilities in frothy studies, in complements, formes and garbes of salute, satyrs, libels, abuses, profanation of Gods Word, scorne of the simplicitie and power of godlinesse, with infinite the like vanities, but because the [...] hearts are ta­ken up with a foolish creature, and not with God and his feare? If the heart be set on Ambition, tempt Corah to desperate rebellion, Absolom to unnaturall treason, Ba­laam to curse the church, Diotrephes to contemne the Apostles and their doctrine, Iulian to apostacie, Arius to heresie, the Apostles themselues to emulation and strife, easily▪ will one lust let in these, and a thousand more. What else is it that makes men to flatter profane­nesse, to adore golden beasts, to admire glistering abo­minations, to betray the truth of the Gospell, to smother and dissemble the strictnesse and purity of the wayes of God, to strike at the sins of men with the scabberd and not with the sword, to deale with the fancies of men more then with their consciences, to palliate vice, to dawbe with untempered morter, to walke in a neutra­litie and adiaphorisme betweene God and Baal, to make the soules of men and the glory of God subordinate to their lusts and risings, but the vast and unbounded gulfe of ambition and vaine glory? The like may be said of se­uerall other lusts. But I proceede.

[Page 103]Secondly a Heart set on any lust is unfit to withstand temptation, because temptations are commonly edged with Promises or Threatnings. Now if a mans heart be set on God, there can no promises bee made of any such good as the heart cares for, or which might be likely to ouer-poise and sway to the temptation, which the heart hath not already; spirituall promises the Divell will make few, or if he doe, such a heart knowes that evill is not the way to good; if hee make promises of earthly things, such promises the heart hath already from one who can better make them, 1 Tim. 4. 8 neither can hee promise any thing which was not more mine before then his; for either that which he promiseth is convenient for me, and so is Manna, foode for my nature, or else In­convenient, and then it is Quailes, foode for my lust. If the former, God hath taught mee to call it mine owne already, giue us our Bread, and not to goe to the Divels shambles to fetch it; If the other, though God should suffer the Divell to giue it, yet he sends a curse into our mouths along with it. And as such a heart neglects any promises the Divell can make, so is it as heedlesse of any of his threatnings, because if God be on our side, neither principalities, [...]or powers, nor things present, nor things to come, can ever separate from him; stronger is hee that is with vs then hee that is with the world, it is the businesse of our calling to fight against spirituall wicked­nesses, and to resist the Divell. But when the heart is set on any creature, and hath not God to rest upon, when a man attributes his wine and oyle to his lovers and not to God, his credit, wealth, subsistency to the favours of men and not to [...]he all-sufficiency of God, then hath the Divell an easie way to winne a man to any s [...]ne, or with­draw him from any good, by pointing his temptations with promises or threatnings fitted to the things which the heart is set on.

Let the Divell promise Balaam honour and prefer­ment, [Page 104] on which his ambitious heart was set, and he will rise early, runne and ride, and change natures with his Asse, and be more senslesse of Gods fury then the dumbe creature, that he may curse Gods owne people: let the Divell promise thirty pieces of silver to Iudas, whose heart ranne upon covetousnesse, and there is no more scruple, the bargaine of treason is presently concluded: Let the Divell tempt Michaes Levite with a little better reward then the beggerly stipend which he had before, Theft and Idolatry are swallow'd downe both together, and the man is easily wonne to be a suare and seminary of spirituall uncleannesse to a whole tribe. On the other side, Let Sathan threaten Ieroboam with the losse of his kingdome, if hee goe up to Ierusalem, and serve God in the way of his owne worship, and that is argument enough to draw him and all his successors to notorious and Egyptian idolatry; and the reason was because their hearts were more set upon their owne Counsels, then upon the worship or truth of God. Let the Divell by the edicts and ministers of Ieroboam lay snares in Miz­pah, Hos. 5. 4. 11. and spreade nets upon Taber, that is, use lawes, me­naces, subtilties to keepe the people from the City of God, and to confine them to regall and state-Idolatrie,Hos. 13. 1. presently the people tremble at the iniunction of the king, and walke willingly after the Commaundement. Let [...] erect his prodigious [...]dole and up­onDan. 3. 6, 7. on paine of a [...] ▪ furnace require All to worship, it and all people, nations, and languages are presently upon their faces. Let the Divell threaten Demas with perse­cu [...]ion, and presently hee forsakes the fellowship of the Apostles, and imbraceth this present world. And as it was heretofore so is it still.

If a mans heart be not set on God, and taught to rest upon his providence, to answer all Satans promises with his All-sufficiencie to reward vs, and all his threatnings, with his All-sufficiency to protect us, how easily will [Page 105] promises begvile, and threatnings deterre unstable and earthly minds? Let the Divell tell one man, All this will I give thee, if thou wilt speake in a Cause to pervert judgement, how quickly will men create subtilties, and coine evasions to rob a man and his house, even a man and his inheritance? Let him say to another, I will doe whatsoever thou sayst unto me, if thou wilt dissemble thy conscience, divide thy heart, comply with both sides, keepe downe the power of godlinesse, persecute zeale, set up will-worship and supersti [...]ions, how quickly shall such a mans religion bee disgviz'd, and sincerity, if it were possible, put to shame? If to another thou shalt by such a time purchase such a Lordship, out such a neigh­bour, swallow up such a prodigall, if thou enhance thy rents, enlarge thy fines, set unreasonable rates upon thy Farmes, how quickly will men grinde the faces of the poore, and purchase ungodly possessions with the blood of their tenants? If to another, beware of laying open thy conscience, of being too faithfull in thy Calling▪ too s [...]rupulous in thy office, least thou purchase the dis-fa­vour of the World, lest the times cloud overthee, and frowne upon thee, lest thou be scourged with persecuted names, and make thy selfe obnoxious to spies and cen­sures, how will men be ready to start backe, to shrinke from their wonted forwardnesse, to abate their former zeale, to co [...]ple in with, and connive at the corruptions of the age, in one Word to tremble when Ephraim speakes, and not to tremble when God speakes? So hard is it when the heart is wedded to earthly things, and they are gotten into a mans bosome, to beare the assaults of any temptation.

Lastly▪ this comes from the just and secret wrath of God, giuing men over to the deceitfulnesse of sinne, and to the hardnesse of their owne hearts, to beleeve the lies2. Thes. 2 9. [...]2. and allurements of Satan, because they rejected the counsell of God, and the love of his truth before. In the [Page 106] influences of the Sunne we may observe, that the deeper they worke the stronger they worke; the beames nea­rer the Center meeting in a sharper point doe consoli­date and harden the very Element; so the Creatures by the justice of God, when they meete in a mans Center, reach as farre as his heart, doe there mightily worke to the deceiving and hardning of it: the eye, nor any other outward sense, can finde no more in the Creature, then is really there; it is the heart which mis-conceives things, and attributes that Deity and worth to them, which the senses could not discover. If men then could keepe these things from their spirits, they should ever conceive of them according to their owne narrow being, and so keepe their hearts from that hardnesse which the Creatures, destitute of Gods blessing, doe there beget, and so worke in the soule a disposition suteable to Sa­tans temptations.

Secondly, a Heart set upon any lust is unfit likewise toMark. 10. 22. beare any affliction. The Young man whose heart was upon his riches, could not endure to heare of selling all, and entring upon a poore and persecuted profession. First, Lusts are choice and dainty, they make the heart ve­ry delicate, and nice of any assaults. Secondly, they are very wilfull, and set upon their owne ends, therefore they are expressed by the name of concupiscence, and [...],Ephes 2 3. The wills of the flesh, and wilfulnesse is the ground of impatiency. Thirdly, they are naturall, and move strongly to their owne point; they are a Body, and our very members; no marvell then if they be sensible ofCol. 2. 11. & 3. 5 Heb. 12 11. paine from afflictions, which are contrary unto nature. The stronger the water runnes, the more will it roare and some upon any opposition: lust is like a furious beast enrag'd with the affliction, the chaine that binds it. Fourthly, Lusts are very wise after a fleshly and sensuallRom. 8. 6. manner, and worldly wisedome is impatient of any stop­page or prevention of any affliction that crusheth and [Page 109] disappoints it. Therefore the Apostle doth herein prin­cipallyIam: 3. 13. 17. note the opposition betweene heavenly and car­nall wisedome, that the one is meeke, peaceable, and gen­tle, the other divelish and full of strife. Fifthly, Lusts are Ezek. 28. 5. Psal. 10. 4. Obad. v. 3. Esay 10. 12. Ier. 22. 21. & 43 2. Hos. 13. 6. proud, especially those that arise from abundance of the Creature, and pride being set upon by any affliction makes the heart breake forth into Mal. 3. 13. 14. Nehem. 9. 29. Ier. 13. 17. impatience, debates, and stoutnesse against God; a proud heart growes har­der by afflictions, as Metals or Clay after they have past thorow the furnace. It is said of Exod. 7. 23. & 9. 17. Pharaoh, that he did not set his heart to the Iudgements of God, but exalted himselfe against his people; Pride grew stronger by Af­fliction. Besides, Psal. 10. 6. Ier. 21. 13. Ezek. 28. 2. pride in earthly things swallowes up the very expectation of Afflictions, and therefore must needs leave the heart unprepared against them. Sixthly, Lusts are rooted in 2 Tim. 3. 2. selfe-love, and therefore when Christ will have a man forsake his lusts, he directs him to Mat 1 [...]. 24. de­nie himselfe. Now the very essence of Afflictions are to be grievous and adverse to a mans selfe. Seventhly, Lusts are Iam 4. 1. 4. 1. Pet. 2. [...]1. contentious, armed things, and their Rom. 8. 7. enmity is a­gainst God, and therefore utterly unfit to Levit. 26. 41. accept of the punishment of sinne, and to Mic. 7. 9. beare the [...]ndignation of the Lord, or to submit unto any afflictions. Eighthly, Lusts 2. Tim 3 8. Ier. 12. 21. Zech. 7▪ 9. 12. Luk. 16. 14. Acts 7. 51. 2. Cor. 10. 3. 5. resist the truth, set up themselves against the Word, and thereby utterly disable men to beare Afflicti­ons, for the Psal. 1 19 92. 114. 143 165.. Word sanctifies, and lightens all Affliction, the Word shewes Gods Ier. 30. 11. Esay 63. 13. Esay 28. 27. 18. Hab. 3. 3. Psal. 78. 38. moderation and Heb. 12, 6. 10. 11. Esay 10. 12. intention in them, an 1. Cor. 10. 13. Zech. 1. 16. 4. 6. 7. Esay 64. 7. 12. Hab. 3. 17. 19 Prov. 10. 3 Ier. 17. 8. issue out of them, the Psal 119. 71. Heb. 12. 11. benefits which will come from them, the 2. Cor. 12. 9. Phil. 1. 29. Phil. 4. 12. 13. 1. Cor. 10. 16. supplies of strength and abilities to beare them, the 2. Cor. 4 17. Esay 6. 7. & 54. 8. promises of a more abundant & excee­ding weight of glory, in comparison whereof they are as nothing. Lastly, if wee could conceive some Afflictions not contrary to lust, yet Afflictions are ever contrary to the [Page 110] Rom. 13. 14. provisions of lust, to the materials, and instruments of lusts, such as are health, pleasure, riches, honours, &c. And in all these respect a Heart set upon lust is weake­ned and disabled to beare Afflictions.

Secondly, when the Heart is set upon the Creature, it is utterly disabled, in regard of its active strength, made unfit to doe any duty with that Deut. 6 5. strength as Gods re­quires. First, because Bonum fit ex causâ integrâ, A good duty must proceede from an entire Cause, from the whole heart. Now Hos. 10. 2. Iames 1. 8. lust divides the Heart, and makes it Psal. 78. 37. unstedfast, and unfaithfull unto God. There is a two­fold unstedfastnesse, one in degrees, another in objects, the former proceeds from the remainders of corruption, and therefore is found in some measure in the best of us, the other from the predominancy of lust which over­swayes the heart unto evill. Good motions and resolu­tions in evill hearts are like violent impressions upon a stone, though it move upwards for a while, yet nature will at last prevaile, and make it Act. 7 39. Ier. 11. 10. returne to its owne motion. Secondly, a Heart set on lusts mooves to [...] ends but its Phil. [...]. 21. Esay 56. [...]1. Ezek. 34. 2. ow [...]e, and selfe-ends defile an action though otherwise never so specious; turnes 2. King. 9. 7. 10. 10. 16. Hos. 1. 4. zeale it selfe and obedience into murder, hinders Ioh. 5. 44. all faith in us, and acceptance with God, nullifies all other ends, swal­lowes up Gods glory and the good of others, as the leane Kine did the fat; as a Wenne in the body robs and consumes the part adjoyning, so doe selfe-ends the right end. Thirdly, the Heart is a fountaine and principle, andIam. 3. 12. principles are ever one and uniforme, out of the same fountaine cannot come bitter water and sweet, and there­foreIam. 1. [...]. the Apostle speakes of some, that they are double­minded men, that have a heart and a heart, yet the truth is, that is but with reference to their pretences; for the Heart really and totally lookes but one way. Every manRom. 7 3. 4. is spiritually a married person, and he can be joyned but to one; Christ and an Idoll (as every [...]ust is) cannotMatth. 6. 24. [Page 111] consist, he will have a chaste spouse, he will have all ourEphes. 5. 27. Psal. 45. 10. Matth. 10. 37. Cant. 5. 10. 16. Phil. 3. 8. desires and affections subject unto him; if the Heart can­not count him altogether lovely, and all things else but dung in comparison of him, he will refuse the match, and with-hold his consent.

Let us see in some few particulars what impotency unto any good the Creatures bring upon the hearts of men. To Pray requires a hungry spirit, a heart convinc'd of its owne emptinesse, a desire of intimate communion with God; but now the Creature drawes the heart, and all the desires thereof to it selfe, as an ill splene doth the nourishment in a body. Lust makes men pray amisse,Iam. 4. 3. fixeth the desires onely on its owne provisions, makes a man unwilling to be carried any way towards heaven but his owne. The Young Man prayed unto Christ to shew him the way to eternall life; but when Christ toldMark. 10. 21. 22 him that his riches, his covetousnes, his bosome lust stood betweene him and salvation, his prayer was turned into sorrow, repentance and apostacy.

Meditation requires a sequestration of the thoughts, a minde unmixt with other cares, a syncere and uncor­rupted relish of the Word; now when the heart is pre­possest with lust, and taken up with another treasure, it isMatth. 6. 21. as impossible to be weaned from it, as for an hungry Ea­gle (a Creature of the sharpest sight to fixe upon, and ofMatth. 24. 28. the sharpest appetite to desire its object) to forbeare the body on which it would prey; as unable to conceive aright of the pretiousnesse and power of the Word, as a feaverish palate to taste the proper sweetnesse of the meate it eates.

In Hearing the Word, the heart can never accept Gods Commands, till it be first empty, a man cannot re­ceive the richest gift that is, with a hand that was full be­fore. Now thornes, which are the cares of the World, filling the heart, must needs choake the feede of the Word. The Pharisees and Lawyers rejected the coun­sellLuk. 7. 29. 30. [Page 112] of God against themselves, because their pride would not let them yeeld to such a baptisme, or to such a doctrine as requires emptinesse, confession of sinnes, justifying of God, and condemning of them­selves (for these were the purposes of Iohus Baptisme, and of the preaching of repentance.) That man comes but to bee rejected who makes love to one who hath fixt her heart and affection already. A man must come to Gods Word as to a Physitian, a meere patient Mat. 9. 12. 13. without reservations, or exceptions, he must set his cor­ruptions as an open marke for the word to shoot at, hee must not come with capitulations and provisoes, but lay downe the body of sinne before God to have every earthly member hewed of. Till a man come with such aIam. 1. 21. resolution as to be willing to part from all naughtinesse, hee will never receive the ingrafted Word with meek­nesse, and an honest heart; a man will never fol­low Christ in the wayes of his Word, till first he have learned to denie himselfe, and his owne lusts. Nay if a man should binde his devotion to his heart With v [...]ws, yet a Dalila in his bosome, a lust in his spirit, would easily nullifie the strongest vowes. The Iewes made a serious and solemne protestation to Ieremie that they would o­beyIer. 42. 5. 6. the voyce of the Lord in that which they desired him to enquire of God about whether it were good or evill; and yet when they found the message crosse their owne lusts and reservations, their resolutions are turned into re­bellions, their pride quickly breakes asunder their vow, and they tell the Prophet to his face that hee dealt falslyIer. 43. 2. between God and them; a refuge which they were wellIer. 5. 12. Ier. 17. 15. 2. Chro. 36. 16. acquainted with before. Some when then conscience a­wakens and begins to disquiet them, make vowes to bind themselves vnto better obedience, and formes of godli­nesse; but as Sampson was bound in vaine with any cords so long as his haire grew into its length; so in vaine doth any man binde himselfe with vowes, so long as he nou­risheth [Page 113] his lusts within; a vow in the hand of a fleshly lust will be but like the chaines and fetters of that fierceLuk. 8. 19. [...]unatick, very easily broken asunder. This is not the right way. First, labour with thy heart, clense out thy cor­ruptions, purge thy life as the Prophet did the waters, with seasoning and rectifying the fountaine: Tis one thing to give [...]ase from a present paine, another thing to roote out the disease it selfe. If the chinkes in a ship bee unstopt, 'tis in vaine to labour at the pumpe; so long as there is a constant in let, the water can never be exhau­sted; so is it in these formall resolutions and vowes, they may ease the present paine, let out a little water, restraine from some particular acts, but so long as the heart is un­purged, lust will returne and predominate. In a word whereas in the Service of God there are two maine things required, faith to begin, and courage or patience to goe through, lust hinders both these. How can yee beleeve since yee seeke for glory one from another? Ioh. 5. 44. when persecution arose because of the word, the Temporary was presently offended. Matth. 13. 21.

Thirdly and lastly in one word. A man ought not to set his Heart on the Creature because of the Noblenesse of the heart. To set the heart on the creature is to set a diamond in lead, None are so mad to keep their Iewels in a cellar, and their coales in a closet; and yet such is the profannesse of wicked men to keepe God in their lips on­ly, and Mammon in their hearts, to make the earth their treasure, and heaven but as an accessorie and appendix to that. And now as Samuel spake unto Saul, set not thine heart upon thine Asses, for the desire of Israel is upon1. Sam. 9. 20. thee; Why should a Kings heart be set upon Asses? so may I say, why should Christians hearts be set upon earthly things, since they have the desires of all flesh to fix upon?

I will conclude with one word upon the last particu lar, How to use the Creatures as Thornes, or as vexing [Page 114] things. First Let not the Bramble be King, Let not earth­lyIudg 9. 14. 15. things beare rule over thy affections, fire will rise out of them, which will consume thy Cedars, emasculate all the powers of thy Soule. Let Grace sit in the throne, and earthly things be subordinate to the wisdome and rule [...] servi, ne [...] domini deteriores. 2. Sam. 23. 6. 7. of Gods Spirit in thy heart. They are excellent servants, but pernicious Masters. Secondly, Be arm'd when thou touchest, or medlest with them: Arm'd against the Lusts and against the Temptations that arise from them. Get faith to place thy heart upon better promises; enter not upon them without prayer unto God, that since thou art going amongst snares, he would carry thee through with wisedome and faithfulnesse, and teach thee how to use them as his blessings and as instruments of his glory. Make a covenant with thine heart, as Iob with his eyes, have a jealousie and suspicion of thine evill heart, lest it be surpriz'd, and bewitched with finfull affections. Third­ly, touch them gently, doe not hug, love, dote upon the Creature, nor graspe it with adulterous embraces; the1. Ti [...]. 6. 10. Iam. 4. 4. 1. Ioh. 2. 15. love of mony is a roote of mischiefe, and is enmity against God. Fourthly, use them for Hedges and fences, to re­lieve the Saints, to make friends of unrighteous Mam­mon, to defend the Church of Christ, but by no meanes have them In thy field, but onely About it; mingle it not with thy Corne least it choake and stifle all. And lastly vse them as Gedeon, for weapons of Iust revenge againstIudg. 8. 16. the enemies of Gods Church, to vindicate his truth and glory, and then by being wise, and faithfull in a little, thou shalt at last be made ruler over much, and enter into thy Masters Ioy.

FINIS.
THE SINFVLNES OF SIN …

THE SINFVLNES OF SINNE:

Considered in the State, Guilt, Power, and Pollution thereof:

By EDWARD REYNOLDS Preacher to the Honourable Societie of Lincolns Inne.

PAX OPVLENTIAM. SAPIENTIA PACEM.

FK

LONDON, Imprinted by Felix Kyngston for Robert Bostocke. 1631.

THE SINFVLNESSE OF SINNE.

ROM. 7. 9.‘For I was alive without the Law once: but when the Commandement came, Sinne revived, and I died.’

WEE have seene in the foriner Treatise, that man can finde no Happinesse in the Creature; I will in the next place shew; That he can find no happinesse in Himselfe; It is neither about him, nor within him: In the Creature nothing but vanitis and vexation, in Himselfe no­thing but Sinne and Death. The Apostle in these words sets forth three things. First, The state of Sinne, Sinne Revived: Secondly, the Guilt of Sinne, I Died, or found my selfe to be a condemn'd man in the state of perdition. Thirdly, the evidence and conviction of both, When the Commandement came, which words imply a conviction and that from the spirit. First, a conviction, for [Page 118] they inferre a conclusion extremely contradictory to the conclusions in which Saint Paul formerly rested (whichElen [...]hus est Syl­logismus cum contradiction [...] conclusionis. Arisi. is the forme of a conviction) Saint Pauls former conclu­sion was, I was alive; but when the commandement came, the conclusion was extremely contrary, I Died. Second­ly, It was a spirituall conviction. For Saint Paul was never literally without the Law, but the va [...]le till this time was before his eyes, he is now made to understand the Law in its native sense and compasse; the Law is spiritual, v. 14. and he is enabled to discerne it spiritually. Absurd is the1. Cor. 3. 14. Doctrine of the Vid. Iacob. Portum contra Ostorod. cap. 1. Socinians, & some others, That unrege­nerate men by a meere natur all perception, without any di­vine superin [...]us'd light (they are the words of Sine lumine su­pernaturali po­tenti [...] superin­fuso. Episcop. disput. 3. Episcopius, and they are wicked wordes) may understand the Armin. in Rom. 7. pag. 843. Remonstr. De­clar. fidei. cap. 1. §. 14▪ Exam. Censur. cap. 1. [...]l. 33. 37. whol [...] Law, even all things requisite unto faith & godlines. Foo­lishly confounding, and impiously deriding the spirituall and divine sense of holy Scriptures with the grammatical construction. Against this we shall need use no other ar­gument, then a plaine Syllogisme compounded out of the very words of Scripture, Darknesse doth not comprehend light, Ioh. 1. 5. [...] men are Darkenesse. Eph. 5. 8. 4. 17. 18. Act. 26. 18. 2. P [...]t. 1. 9. yea Held under the power of darkenesse, Col. 1. 13. and the word of God is light, Psal. 119. 105. 2. Cor. 4. 4. therefore unregenerate men cannot understand the [...]d in that spirituall compasse which it carries. There is such an asymmetry and disproportion be­tweene our understandings, and the brightnesse of the word, that the Psal. 119. 18. 27. 73. 125. 169. Phil. 3. 10. Saints themselves have prayed for more spirituall light, and vnderstanding to conceive it. That knowledge which a man ought to have (for there is a knowledge which is not such as it1. Cor. 8. 2. ought to be) doth passe knowledge, even all the [...]ength of meere naturall reason [...] Ephes. 3. 19. to attaine unto,Ioh. 104. 14. peculiar to the sheep of Christ. Naturall men have their principles vitiated, their 2. Cor. 3. 14. faculties bound, that they 1. Cor▪ 2. 14. Ier▪ 6▪ 10. cannot understand spirituall things till God have as it were [...]nplanted a 1. Ioh. 5. 20. [...]ew understanding in them, [Page 119] Acts 16. 14. framed the heart to attend, and set it at 2. Cor. 3. 17. 18 Lu [...]. 24. [...]5. liberty to see the glory of God with open face. Though the vaile doe not keepe out Grammaticall construction, yet it blindeth the heart against the spirituall light and beauty of the Word. We see even in common sciences where the con­clusions are suteable to our owne innate and implanted notions, yet he that can distinctly construe, and make Grammar of a principle in Euclide, may be ignorant of the Mathematicall sense, and use of it: much more may a man in divine truths bee Spiritually ignorant even where in some respect hee may be said to know. For the Hos. 7. 9. Esay 42. 25. Scriptures pronounce men ignorant of those things which they see and know. In divine doctrine Iohn 7. 17. Psal. 25 9. 14. Rom. 12. 2. Matth. 11. 25. obedi­ence is the Ground of knowledge, and Holinesse the best qualification to understand the Scriptures. If any m [...]n will doe the will of God, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God. The [...] will he teach his way, and [...]eale his secret to them that feare him, to babes, to those that conforme not themselves to this evill world.

To understand then the words, we must note▪ first, thatAnte omnia opu [...] est Dei Timore ad ipsum con­verti, ut eius vo­luntatem cog­noscamus—in tantum non vi­dent in quan­tum hui [...] secul [...] vivunt. Aug. de Doctr. Christi. l. 2 c. 5. Deus nos Adiu­vat & ut Scia­mus, & Am [...] ­mus. epist. 143. Non doctrina extrinsecus insonante, sed inte [...]na, occulta, mirabili, ine [...]fabili potestate ope­ratur Deus in cordibus hominum & U [...]ras Revelationes & bonas voluntates. de Grat. Christi. c. 24 And elsewhere he recants his opinion, Quod, ut praedicato Eva [...]gelio con­ [...]tiremus, nostrum esset proprium & ex nobis. Adprosper. & Hilar. lib. 1. cap. 3. there is an opposition between [...] & [...], those two Clauses in the Text, Once, and When the Commande­ment came. It is the conceite of So­ [...]. Armin. Tolet. vid. [...]xam. censur. c. 11. fol. 129. some, that the latter as well as the former is meant of a state of unregenerati­on; and that Saint Paul all this Chapter over speaketh in the person of an unregenerate man; not intending at all to shew the fleshlinesse and adherency of corruption to the holiest men, but the necessitie of righteousnesse by Christ, without the which, though a man may, when once the Commandement comes and is fully revealed, will good, hate sinne; in sinning doe that which he would [Page 120] not consent unto, and delight in the Law, feele a warre in his members, mourne and cry out under the sense of his owne wretchednesse, yet for all this he is still an unrege­nerate man: an opinion tending directly to the honour of Pelagianisme, and advancement of nature, which made Saint Austen in that ingenuous and noble worke of hi [...] retractations to recant it, and in all his writings a­gainst the Pelagians (in which, as in other polemicall workes, where the vigilancy of an enemy, and feare of advantages makes him more circumspect how he speaks, his expositions of Scripture are usually more literall and solid, then where he allowes himselfe the scope of his owne conceits.) He still understandes those passages, of the complaints of a regenerate man against his inherentContr. Iu [...]. lib. 6. cap. 23. & cont. 2. Epist. Pelag. lib. [...]. cap. 8. 9. 10. 11. concupiscence. We are therefore to resolve that the op­position stands thus. Once in my state of unregeneration, I was without the law, that is, without the spirituall sense of the Law, but when the Lord began to reveale his mer­cy to me in my conversion, then he gave me eye to un­derstand it in its native and proper compasse. The Apo­stle was never quite without the Law (being an Hebrew, and bred up at thefeet of Gamali [...]l) therefore the diffe­rencePhil 3. 5. Act. 22. 3. 2. Tim. 1. 3. betweene being without the Law, and the com­ming of the Law, must be onely in modo exhibendi; be­fore he had it in the letter, but after it came in its owne spirituall shape. And there is some emphasis in the word ca [...]e, denoting a vital, moving▪ penetrative power, which the Law had by the spirit of life, and which before it had not as it was a Dead letter.

Secondly, wee must note the opposition betweene the two estates of Saint Paul. In the first he was Alive, and that in two respects. A live in his performances, able as he conceiv'd to performe the righteousnesse of the law with­out bla [...]e Phil. 3. 6. A live in his Presumptions, mispersua­sions, selfe-justifications, conceits of righteousnesse, and salvation. Act. 26. 9. Phil. 3. 7. In the second estate Sinne [Page 121] revived, I found that that was but a sopor, a benumd­nesse, which was in my apprehension a death of sinne: and I died, had experience of the falsenesse and miseries of my presumptions. The life of sinne and the life of a sin­ner are like the ballances of a paire of scoles, when one goes up the other must fall downe, when sinne lives, the man must dye; man and sinne are like M [...]entius his couples, they are never both alive together.

Many excellent points, and of great consequence to the spirits of men would rise out of these words thus un­folded: as, First, that a man may have the Law in the Church wherein he lives in the letter of it, and yet bee without the Law in the power and spirit of it by igno­rance, misconstructions, false glosses, and perverse wre­stings of it; as a covetous man may have the possession of monie, and yet be without the vse and comforts of it. 2. Cor. 3. 6. 2. P [...]t. 3. 16. Matth. 5. 21. 22. 27. 28. 31. 32. 33. 38.

Which should teach us to beware of Ignorance; It makes the things which wee have unusefull to us. If any man have the Law indeed hee will labour First to have more acquaintance with it, and with God by it. The more the Saints know of God and his will, the neere [...] communion doe they desire to have with him. Wee see this heavenly affection in Iacob. Gen. 32. 26. 29. Gen. 49. 18. in Moses. Exod. 33. 12. 18. in David. Psal 119. 18. 125. in the Spouse Cant. 1. 2. in Manoah. Iud. 13. 17. in Paul. 2. Cor. 5. 2. Phil. 3. 13. 14. As the Queene of She ba1. King. 10. 7. when shee had heard of the glory of Salomon was not2. Sam. 14. 32. content till she came to see it; or as Absolom being re­stor'd from banishment, and tasting some of his Fathers love, was impatient till he might see his face; so the Saints, having something of Gods will and mercy revealed to them, are very importunate to enjoy more. Secondly, to be more conformable unto it, to Iudge and measure him­selfe the oftner by it. Psal. 119. 11. The law is utterly in [Page 122] vaine, no dignity, no benefit nor priviledge to a people [...]er 8. 8. Hos. 8. 2. Rom. 2. 13. 17. by it, if it be not obeyed. Thirdly, to love and praise God for his goodnesse in it. Ioh. 14. 21.

Secondly, ignorance of the true meaning of the Law, and resting upon false grounds doth naturally beget these two things. First, blinde zeale, much active and in ap­pearance unblameable devotion. As it did here, and else­where in Saint Paul, Phil. 3. 6. Act. 22. 3. in the honou­rable women, Act. 13. 50. in the Pharises, Matth. 23. 15. in false brethren, Col. 2. 23. in the Iewes, that submitted not themselves to the righteousnesse of God. Rom. 10. 2. 3. In the papists in their contentions for trash, rigorous observation of their owne traditions, out-sides, and superinducements upon the pretious foundation. Se­condly, strong mis-perswasions and selfe-justifications, dependant upon our workes, and rigid endeavors for sal­vation at the last, Hos. 12. 8. Esai. 48. 1. 2. 58. 2. 7. Amos 5. 18. 21. 25. Mic. 3. 11. 12. Zech. 7. 3. 4. 5. 6. Hos. 8. 2. 3. Luk. 18. 11. 12. unregenerat men are often secure men, makingDe arbitris sen­sus sui Deum pensitant. Tertu. con [...]. mar. l. 2. c. 2 principles and premises of their owne to build the con­clusions of their Salvation upon. But beware of it. It is a desperate hazard to put eternity upon an adventure, to trust in God upon other termes then himselfe hath pro­posed to be trusted in, to lay claime to mercy without any writings, or seales, or witnesses, or patents, or ac­quittance from sinne, to have the evidences of hell, and yet the presumptions of heaven, to be weary of one sabbath here, and yet presume upon the expectation of an eternity which shall be nothing else but sabbath. InIudicia domesti­ca. Tertull. Apol. [...] Clem. Alex. the Civill Law, Testes domestici, Houshold witnesses (who might in reason be presum'd parties) are invalid and uneffectuall. Surely in matters of Salvation if a man have no witnesse but his owne spirit, misinform'd by wrong rules, seduc'd by the subtilties of Satan, and the deceite of his owne wicked heart, carried away with the course of the world, and the common prejudices and presump­tions [Page 123] of foolish men, they will all faile him when it shall be too late; God will measure men by his owne line, Esai. 28. 15. 17. and righteousnesse by his owne plummet, and then shall the Haile sweepe away the refuge of lies, and waters over-flow Deut. 19. 19, 20. the hiding place of those men that made a covenant with death. Secondly, beware of proud resolutions, selfe love, reservations, wit, distinctions, evasions to escape the word; these are but the weapons of lust, but the exaltati­ons 2. Cor. 10 4, 5. of a fleshly minde; but submit to the word, receive it Iam. 1. 21. with meekenesse, be willing to count that sense of scrip­ture truest which most restraineth thy corrupt humors, and crosseth the imaginations of thy fleshly reason. Our owne weapons must be render'd up before the sword ofLuk. 11. 22. Qui se dedebant arma tradide­runt. Brisson. deformul. lib. 4. the spirit, which is the word of God, will be on our side; Love of lusts and pride of heart can never consist with obedience to the word. Nehem. 9. 16. Ier. 13. 17. 43. 2.

Thirdly, converting and saving knowledge is not of our owne fetching in or gathering, but it is [...], a Doctrine that comes unto us, and is brought by that sa­cred blast of the spirit which bloweth where he lifteth. We doe not first come and are then taught, but first we are taught and then we Come. Ioh. 6. 45. Esai. 55. 5. 65. 1. we must take heed of attributing to our selves, boasting of our owne sufficiencies, congtuities, preparations, con­currencies, contributions unto the word in the saving of us; Grace must prevent, follow, assist us, preoperate and cooperate, Christ must be All in All, the Author and the Finisher of our faith; of our selves we can doe nothing but disable our selves, resist the spirit, and pull downe whatever the word doth build up within us. Ever there­fore in humility waite at the poole where the spirit stirres, Give that honour to Gods ordinances as when hee bids thee doe no great thing, but onely wash and be cleane, heare and beleeve, beleeve and be saved, not stoutly to cast his Law behinde thy backe, but to humble thy selfe to walke with thy God, and to see his name and powerMic. 6. 8, 9. [Page 124] in the voyce which cryes unto thee.

Fourthly, though sinne seeme dead to secure, civill, morall, superstitiously zealous men, in regard of any present sense or sting, yet all that while it is alive in them, and will certainely, when the booke shall be opened, ei­ther in the ministry of the word to conversion, or in the last judgement to condemnation, reviue againe. All these points are very naturall to the Text, but I should be too long a stranger to the course I intend if I should insist on them. I returne therefore to the maine purpose. Here is the state of sinne, sinne revived; the Guilt of sinne, I died; the Conviction of it by the spirit bringing the spiri­tuall sense of the Commandement, and writing it in the heart of a man, and so pulling him away from his owne Conclusions.

The Doctrines then which I shall insist on are these two. First, the spirit by the Commandement convinceth a man to be in the state of sinne. Secondly, the spirit by the Commandement convinceth a man to be in the state of death because of sinne. To convince a man that he is in the state of sinne is To make a man so to set to his owne seale and serious acknowledgement to this truth That he is a sinner, as that withall he shall feele within himselfe the qualitie of that estate, and in humility and selfe-ab­horrencie conclude against himselfe all the naughtinesse and loathsome influences which are proper to kindle and catch in his nature and person by reason of that estate: and so not in expression onely but in experience, not in word but in truth, not out of feare but out of loa­thing, not out of constraint but most willingly, not out of formality but out of humility, not according to the generall voyce but out of a serious scrutinie and selfe ex­amination, loade and charge himselfe with all the noi­somenesse and venome, with all the dirt and garbage, with all the malignitie and frowardnesse that his nature and person doe abound withall even as the waves of [Page 125] the sea with mire and dirt; and thereupon justifie al­mighty God, when he doth charge him with all this, yea if he should condemne him for it.

Now we are to shew two things. First, that a meere naturall light will never thus farre convince a man. Se­condly, that the spirit by the Commandement doth. SomeAct. 17. 23. 27. things nature is sufficient to teach, God may be felt and found out in some fence by those that ignorantly wor­ship him. Nature doth convince men that they are not so good as they should be, the Law is written in theRom. 2. 15. hearts of those that know nothing of the letter of it; I­dlenesse, beastiality, lying, luxury the Cretian poet couldTit. 1. 12, 13. condemne in his owne countrey-men; Drinking ofEster. 1. 8. healths ad plenoscalices, by measure and constraint, con­demn'd by Law of a heathen prince, and that in his luxurie. Long haire condemn'd by the dictate of nature1. Cor. 11 14. and right reason, and the reason why so many men, and whole nations notwithstanding use it, is given by SaintHieronym. in 1. Cor. 11. 14. Hierome, Quia à natura deciderunt, sicut multis alijs rebus comprobatur. And indeede as Tertullian saith of womens long haire, that it is, Humilitatis suae sarcina, theDe Coron. mil. cap. 14. burden as it were of their Humility, so by the warrant of that proportion which Saint Paul allowes, 1. Cor. 11. 14. 15. We may call mens long haire Superbiae suae sarcinam, nothing but a clogge of pride. Saint Austin hath writ­ten three whole chapters together against this sinfull cu­stomeDe opere mon. cap. Aperte contra Apostoli Prae­ceptum. Manifesta ver­ba Apostoli in perversam de­torquere senten­tiam. of nourishing haire, which hee saith is expressely against the precept of the Apostle, whom to vnderstand otherwise then the very letter sounds, is to wrest the ma­nifest words of the Apostle unto a perverse construction. But to returne, these Remnants of nature in the hearts of men are but like the blazes and glimmerings of a candle in the socket, there is much darknes mingled with them. Nature cannot throughly convince.

1. Because it doth not carry a man to the Roote, Adams sinne, concupiscence, and the corrupted seeds of [Page 126] a fleshly minde, reason, conscience, will, &c. Meere na­ture will never Teach a man to feele the waight and curseRom. 5. 12. of a sinne committed aboue five thousand yeeres before himselfe was borne, to feele the spirits of sinne running in his bloud and sprouting out of his nature into his life, one uncleane thing out of another, to mourne for thatIob 14. 4. Psal. 51. 5. Rom. 7. 7. filthinesse which he contracted in his conception, Saint Paul professeth that this could not bee learned without the Law.

2. Because it doth not carry a man to the Rule, which1. Ioh. 3 4. Psal. [...] 19. 96. is the written Law, in that mighty widenesse which the Prophet David found in it. Nature cannot looke upon so bright a thing but through vailes and glosses of its owne. Evill hateth the light, neither commeth to theIoh. 3. 20. light, cannot endure a through scrutinie and ransacking left it should be reproved. When a man lookes on the Law through the mist of his owne [...]usts he cannot but wrest and torture it to his owne way, Saint Peter gives two reasons of it, because such men are [...]. 2. Pet. 3. 16. 1. Vnlearned men, namely in the mysterie of Godlinesse, have not been taught of God what theIoh. 5. 45. Eph. 4 20. truth is in Iesus; till that time a man will never put off his lusts, but defend them, and rather make crooked the rule, coine distinctions and evasions upon the law it selfe, then judge himselfe and give glory to God. 2. Fickle, unstable men, men apt to be tossed up and downe like Eph. 3. 17. 4. 14. Psal. 78. 37. empty clouds with every blast, never rooted nor grounded in the love of the truth, unstedfast in the Covenant of God, that Esay 56. 2, 6. Heb. 6. 18. Act 11. 23. lay not hold on it, and are therefore altoge­ther undisposed to 1. Tim. 4. 16. 2. Tim. 3. 14. Tit. 1. 9. Iud. v. 3. 1. Thess. 5. 21. Continue or hold fast the truth. A man in his lusts is like a man in a disease, not long well in one way, but is ever given to changes and experiments, and as he changeth, so doth he ever new shape the scrip­ture and dragge it downe to the patronage of his owne wayes. So that the Law in a wicked mans heart is like a candle in a foule lanterne, or as a straight oare in trou­bled [Page 127] water, or the shining of light through a color'd glasse, wried and chang'd into the image of the corrup­ted minde wherein it lies. The Law in it selfe is Psal. 19. [...]. Perfect, Psal. 119. 128. right, Ibid. v. 140. pure, Ibid. v. 138. Psal. 19. 7. sure and faithfull, Rom 7. 12. 14. holy, just, and spiri­tuall, Psal 119 50. Heb 4. 12. lively and operative, and men by nature are un­like all this, Eccles. 7. 29. degenerate and Deut. 32. 5. crooked, Iam. 1. 8. wavering and unfaithfull, 2. Tim 3. 13. deceiving and being deceived, Gen 6. 5. Tit. 1. 15. unholy, car­nall and impure, Col 2 18. fleshly minded, Rom. 1. 18 [...]. dead and reprobate to every good worke. Such a great disproportion is there betweene Nature and the Law.

3. Because it doth not Drive us out of our selves for a Remedie; The sublimest philosophie that ever was did never teach a man to denie himselfe, but to build up his house with the old ruines, to fetch stones and materials out of the wonted quarrie. [...]am. 4. 10. Humiliation, Dan. 9. 7. confusion, Ezta. 9. 6. Ezek. 16. 63. shame, Ezek. 36. 31. Gen. 18. 27. Iob 42. 6. selfe-abhorrencie, Iob 40. 4. 2. Sam. 6. 22. to be vile in a mans owne eyes, 2. Cor. 1 [...]. 11. to be nothing within himselfe, to be willing to Nehem. 9. 33. owne the vengeance of almighty God, and to 1. Cor. 11. 31. judge our selves, to Ezra. 9. 13. Psal. 51. 4. justifie him that may condemne us, and be witnesses against our selves, are vertues knowne only in the booke of God, and which the learnedest Philoso­phers would have esteemed both irrational and pusillani­mous things.

4. Because naturall 2. Tim. 3. 8. Tit. 1. 15. judgement is so throughly di­storted and infatuated, as to Esai. 5. 2 [...]. count evill good and good evill, light darkenesse and darkenesse light: to Prov. 14. 12. perswade a man that he is in a right way when the end thereof will be theissues of death, that he is Rev. 3. 17. Hos. 12. 8. Prov. 21. 2. Rich and in need of no­thing, when in the meane time he is miserable, poore, blinde and naked; Arist. polit. lib. 2. cap. 1, 2. Platoes community, Eudem, lib. 3. cap. 7. mag. moral. cap. 31. Ethic. lib. z. c. 8. lib. 4. cap. 14. lib. 4. cap. 7, 8. Aristotles Vrbanitie and magnanimity, Alicubi Quintilia. Ciceroes blinding the eyes of the Iudges, De petitione consulatus ad M. fratrem. and his officious dissimulation and compliancie, the Stoicks apathie Quintil. lib. 12. cap. [...]. and officious lies that [Page 128] so much admired Tertul Apolog. cap. 46. stoutnesse, or rather sullennesse of those rigid Heathen that puld out their owne eyes that they mighy bee chaste, and kild themselves to be rid of evill times, nay more, Luk. 18. 11. 12. Act. 26 5. Ios [...]ph. Antiq. lib. 18. c. 2. De Bello Iudaico lib. 1. cap▪ 4. [...] [...]d. Epi­pha [...]m contra Haeres. lib. [...]. to Haeres. 16. the Pharisies strictnesse, the zeale and unblameablenesse of Paul, the devotions of obsti­nate Iewes, Prov. 21. 27. Hag. 2. 12. all the strength of civill, morall, formall shewes and expressions of goodnesse, though specious in the eyes of men, yet in the eyes of God that seeth not as manseeth, they are all but sinfull and filthy, losse and dung.

Lastly, because nature in particular men never knew, nor had experience of a better estate, and therefore must needs bee ignorant of that full Image in which it was created, and unto which it ought still to be conformable. As a man borne in a dungeon is unable to conceive the state of a Palace, as the Childe of a Noble man stolne away, and brought up by some lewd Begger, cannot con­ceive, or suspect the honour of his blood: so utterly un­able is corrupted nature, that hath bin borne in a wombePsal. 51. 5. Gen. 6. 5. of ignorance, bred in a hell of uncleannesse, enthrall'd from the beginning to the prince of darkenesse, to con­ceive,Gen. 8. 21. 1. Cor. 7. 14. Esay 1. 4. Prou. 22. 15. or convince a man of that most holy and pure con­dition in which hee was created, the least deviation where-from is sinne unto him.

Now then since Nature cannot thus convince, the spi­rit in the Commandement must. We have no inward prin­ciple but these two. We grant there is a difference to be made betweene the illumination and Renovation of theHeb. 6. 4. spirit; men may be illightned, and yet not sanctified; as a false Starre, or an ignis fatuus may have light without influence or heate: yet withall it is certaine too, that it is impossible to know sinne in that hatefulnesse which is in it, with such a knowledge as begets hatred and detestati­on of it, or to know divine things with such a knowledge a [...] is commensurate to them, such as in their spirituall and immediate purity they are apt to beget, but that know­ledge [Page 129] must worke admiration, delight, love, endeavours of conformity unto so heavenly truths. No comprehen­sion of things divine without love. Ephes. 3. 17. 18. theSacros Scriptu­rae libros [...]ull us inimicus cognos­cere sinitur. Aug. de Mor. Eccles [...]. l. 1. c. 25. Si voluntatem Dei nosse quis­quam desiderat fiat Amicus Deo—Hoc si haberent non es­sent Haeretici. Idem de Gen. contr. Mani­ch [...]os. l. [...]. c. 2. reason why God gives men over to strong delusions, to beleeve lyes, is because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved. 2. Thes. 2. 10. 11.

This conviction then of sinne the spirit worketh: First, by revealing the Rule: Secondly, by opening the condi­tion of the state of sinne: Thirdly, by giving a heart ex­perimentally and reflexively to understand all, or by shaping and framing the heart to the Word, and so min­gling them both together.

The Apostle saith, that By the Commandement sinne revived. By the life of sinne I understand the strength of it, and that is twofold: A strength to condemne, and a strength to operate, or worke in a man obedience to it selfe: a strength to hold a man fast, and to carry him its owne way. Sin is a body, and hath earthly members, Col. 3. 4. which are very active & vigorous; the Apostle spea­keth of a holding propertie which it hath, Rom. 7. 6. and this strength hath the sinewes of all strength in it; It is a Lord, and so it hath the strength of power to command, and it is a husband, and so it hath the strength of love to perswade and prevaile.

First, it is a Lord and Master, in which respect it hath these tyes upon us: First, a Covenant, there is a virtuall bargaine betweene lust and a sinner, Esay 28. 15. we make promise of serving, and obeying sinne, Ioh. 8. 34. Rom. 6. 16. and that returneth unto us the wages of iniquitie, and the pleasures of sinne, 2. Pet. 2. 15. Heb. 11. 25. Se­condly, love unto it, as unto a bountifull and beneficiallLuk. 22. 25. Lord. Sinne exerciseth authority over us, and yet we ac­count it our benefactor, Hos 2. 5. 12. 13. Iob 20. 12. 13. Thirdly, an easie service, the worke of sinne is naturall, the instruments all ready at hand, the helpers and fellow­servants many to teach, to encourage, to hasten, and lead [Page 130] on in the broad way. Fourthly, in sinne it selfe there is a great strength to enforce men to its service: First, it is edg'd with malice against the soule, arm'd with weapons1. Pet. 2. 11. to fight against it, and enmity is a great Whetstone to va­lour. Secondly, it is attended with fleshly wisedome, suppported with stratagems and deceits, hastened and set on by the assistance of Satan and the world, Eph. 4. 22 Heb. 3. 13. Thirdly, it hath a Iudicature and regiment in the heart, it governes by a Law, it f [...]nds forth lusts axnd temptations like so many edicts into the soule; and when we object the Law of God against the service that is re­quir'd, then as that Persian King, who could not find outHerodot. a Law to warrant the particular which hee would have done, found out another, That hee might doe what hee would; so sinne when it hath no reason to alleage, yet it hath Selfe-will, that is, all Lawes in one, Gen. 49. 6. 2. Pet. 2. 10. Rom. 7. 23. In one word, the strong man is furnish­ed with a whole Armour. Lu [...]. 11 [...].

Secondly, sinne is a Husband, Rom. 7. 1. 5. and so it hath the power of love, which the wise Man saith, is as strong as death, that will have no deniall when it comes. S. Paul tels vs, there is a constraining power in love, 2. Cor. 5. 14. Who stronger then Sampson, and who weaker then a woman? yet by love she overcame him, whom all the Philistimes were unable to deale with. Now as be­tweene a man and a strumpet, so betweene lust and the heart, there are first certaine cursed dalliances and trea­ties, by alluring temptations, the heart is drawne away from the sight of God and his Law, and enticed and then followes the accomplishment of uncleannesse. Iam. 1. 14. 15. This in the generall is that life or strength of sinne here spoken of.

Wee are next to observe, that the ground of all this is the Law: The sting of Death is sinne, and the strength of sinne is the Law, 1. Cor. 15. 56 1. Ioh. [...]. 4. from the Law it is, that sinne hath both strength to condemne, and to [Page 131] command us, or have dominion over us, Rom. 6. 14. Now the Law gives life or strength to sin three wayes: First, by the curse and obligation of it, binding the soule with the guilt of sin unto the Iudgement of the great Day. Every sinner hath the sentence past upon him already, and in part executed; He that beleeveth not is condemned already, the wrath of God abideth on him. All men come into the world with the wrath of God like a talent of lead upon their soule, and it may all be pour'd out within one houre upon them, there is but a span betweene them and judge­ment. In which interim, First, the Law Rom. 3. 19. stops the mouth of a sinner, Rom. 11. 32. Gal. 3. 2 [...]. Shuts him in, and Rom. 7. 6. holds him fast under the guilt of his sinne. Secondly, it passeth Gal. 3. 10. 13. 2. Cor. [...]. 7. Mark. 16. 16. 1. Cor. 14. [...]5. sentence upon his soule, sealing the assurance of condemnation and wrath to come. Thirdly, it beginneth even Hos 6. 5. to put that sentence in execution, with the Rom. 8. 15. spirit of bondage and of 2. Tim. 1. 7. feare, shaking the conscience, wounding the spirit, and scorch­ing the heart with the pre-apprehensions of Hell, making the soule see some portion of that tempest which hangeth over it, rising out of that sea of sinne which is in his life and nature (as the 1. Kin. 18. 44. Prophets servant did the Cloud) and so terrifying the soule with a certaine Heb. 10. 26. fearefull expecta­tion of Iudgement. Thus the Law strengthens sinne, by putting into it a condemning power.

Secondly, by the Irritation of the Law. Sin tooke oc­casion, saith the Apostle, by the Law, & so by the comman­dement became exceeding sinnefull. Rom. 7. 8. when lust finds it selfe universally restrain'd meets with Death and Hell at every turne, can have no subterfuge nor evasion from the rigor and inexorablenesse of the Law; then like a River that is stopt, it riseth, and fomes, and rebels against the Law of the minde, and fetcheth in all its force and opposition to rescue it selfe from that sword which heweth it in pieces. And thus the Law is said to streng­then sinne, not perse, out of the Intention of the Law, but by Accident, antiperistasis, exciting▪ and provoking that [Page 132] strength which was in sinne before, though undiscern'd, and lesse operative▪ For as the presence of an enemie doth actuate, and call forth that malice which lay habitually in the heart before: so the purity of the Law presenting it selfe to concupisence in every one of those fundamen­tall obliquities wherein it lay before undisturb'd, and way▪ laying the lust of the heart, that it may have no pas­sage, doth provoke that habituall fiercenesse and rebelli­on which was in it before, to lay about on all sides for its owne safety.

Thirdly, by the conviction and manifestation of the Law; laying open the widenesse of sinne to the consci­ence. Man naturally is full of pride and selfe-love, apt to thinke well of his spirituall estate upon presumptions and principles of his owne; and though many professe to ex­pect salvation frō Christ only, yet in as much as they will be in Christ no way but their owne, that shewes that still they rest in themselves for salvation. This is that deceite, and Guile of spirit, which the scripture mentions, which makes the way of a foole right in his owne eyes. The Philosopher tells us of a Sea, wherein, by the hollownesseAristot. Problem. sect. 23. quest. 5. Tertul [...]de Ani­ma, cap. 52. of the earth under it, or some whirling and attractive propertie that sucks the vessell into it, ships use to be cast away. in the mid'st of a calme: even so many mens soules doe gently perish in the mid'st of their owne securities and presumptions. As the fish Polypus changeth him­selfe into the colour of the Rock, and then devoures those that come thither for shelter: so doe men shape their mis-perswasions into a forme of Christ and faith in him, and destroy themselves. How many men rest in pharisai­call generalities, plod on in their owne civilities, morali­ties, externall Iustice, and unblameablenesse, account any thing indiscretion and unnecessary strictnes that exceeds their owne modell; every man in Hell that is worse then themselves (I am not as this Publican) and others that are better, but in a fooles paradise? and all this out of igno­rance [Page 133] of the Law. This here was the Apostles Case, when he lived after the strictest sect of the Pharisies▪ sin was dead, he esteemed himself blamelesse: but when the Commande­ment came, discoverd its owne spiritualnes, & the carnal­nesse of all his performances; remou'd his curtald glosses, and presumptuous prejudices; opened the inordinatenes of natural concupiscence, shewd how the lest atome doth spot the soule the smallest omission qualifie for hel, make the conscience see those infinite sparkles and swarmes of lust that rise out of the hart, and that God is all eye to see, and all fire to consume every unclean thing, that the smal­lest sins that are, require the pretiousest of Christs blood to expiate and wash them out; then he began to be co [...] ­vinc'd that he was all this while under the Hold of Sinne, that his conscience was yet under the paw of the Lyon; as the Serpent that was dead in snow, was reviu'd at the fire; so sinne that seemes dead when it lies hid under the ignorances and misperswasions of a secure heart, when either the Word of God (which the Prophet calls fire) or the last Iudgement) shall open it unto the conscience, it will undoubtedly revive againe, and make a man finde himselfe in the mouth of Death. Thus wee see, that un­to the Law belongs the Conviction of sinne, and that in the whole compasse of evill that is in it. Three hatefull evils are in sinne, Aberration from Gods Image, obnoxi­ousnesse to his wrath, and rejection from his presence. Staine, Guilt, and miserie (which is the product or issue of the two former). Now, as wee say, Rectum est sui index & obliqui, The Law is such a Rule as can measure and set forth all this evill; Ir is Holy, Iust, and Good. Rom. 7. 12. Holy, fit to conforme us to the image of God, Iust, fit to arme vs against the wrath of God, and Good, fit to present us unto the presence and fruition of God. According unto this blessed and complete patterne was man created; An universall rectitude in his na­ture, all parts in tune, all members in joynt: light and [Page 134] beauty in his minde, conformity in his will, subordination [...] Ge [...]rg. [...]. con­ [...] d [...] [...] Dei. cap. 4. [...] 4▪ 8 and subjection in his appetites, serviceablenesse in his bo­dy, peace and happinesse in his whole being. But man, be­ing exactly sensible of the excellency of his estate, gave an easie [...]are to that first temptation which layd before him a hope and project of improving it: and so belee­ving Satans lye, and embracing a shadow, he fell from the substance which before he had, and contracted the hellish and horrid image of that Tempter which had thus deceiv'd him.

Having thus consider'd in the generall how the Law may be said to quicken or revive sinne, by the ob­ligation, Irritation, and Conviction of it: Wee will in the next place looke into the life of those particular species or [...]ankes of sinne which the spirit in the Commandement doth convince men of. Wherein I shall insist at large onely upon that sinne which is the subject of this whole Chapter, and (if not solely) yet principally aim'd at by the Apostle in my Text, namely those evils which lye folded up in our originall concupiscence.

Here then first the Spirit by the Law entiseth vs to A­dams Ioh. 3 5 6. Rom. 5 12, 16, 17, 18. 1. Cor. 15. 17, 48, 49. Sinne, as a derivation from the root to the branches; As poison is carried from the fountaine to the Cisterne, as the children of traytors have their blood [...]ainted with their Fathers treason, and the children of bondslaves are under their parents condition. We were Omnes in Ada­ [...] [...], quia [...]mnes [...]. Aug. Traxit [...] ho [...], quia unus erat cum [...] quo traxit▪ Aug. [...]p 23. pres­ [...] [...]. coll. c. 18. Genus H [...]manumin parente▪ primo [...]elut in radiceputruit. Gregor. all one in Adam, and with him; In him legally in regard of the [...] Chrysost apud Au [...]. vid. Ge [...]ard. voss. [...]. [...]. [...]. part. 1. & 2. stipulati­on and covenant between God and him, we were in him parties in that covenāt, had interest in the mercy, & were liable to the curse which belonged to the breach of that Covenant; and in him naturally, and therefore unavoi­dably subject to all that bondage and burden which the humane nature contracted in his fall. And though there [Page 135] be risen up a [...] In­stitut. vid. Iacob. Portum. cap 27. Remonst. exam. censur. cap 7. sect 4. Quis ante pro­digiosu [...] Coele­s [...]ium Re [...]tu praevari [...]ationis Adam omne ge­nus [...] n [...]g. vit [...] Vincent. Lirinens advers. Haeres. c. 34. sect of men, who deny the sinne of Adam to be our sinne or any way so by God accounted, and to us imputed, yet certaine it is that before that arch-here­tick Pelagius, and his disciple Caelestius did vex the Chur­ches, never any man denied the guilt of Adams sinne (and guilt is inseparable from the sinne it selfe, being a proper passion of it) to belong to all his posterity. This then is the first charge of the spirit upon us, participation with A­dam in his sinne. And in as much as that Commande­ment unto Adam was the [...] L [...]x, & Matrix praeceptorum Dei. Tertul. con­tra Iudae [...]s c. 2. primitive Law, so justly re­quired, Possibile a [...] [...] ­cile praeceptum. Aug. cont. Iul. l. 3. c. 18. Aug. Enchirid. c 45. so easily observed, therefore exceeding great must needs be the Transgression of it. Pride, Ambition, Rebellion, Infidelity, Ingratitude, Idolatry, Concupis­sence, [...]heft, Apostacy, unnaturall Affection, Violation of covenant, and an universall renunciation of Gods mercy promised; these & the like were those wofull ingredients which compounded that sinne, in the committing wher­of wee all were sharers, because Adams person was the Fountaine of ours, and Adams Aug. Retract. li [...]. 1. cap. 13. Aquin. Andrad. Ortho­dox. expli [...]. lib. 3. Will the Representative of ours.

The second charge is touching universall corruption which hath in it Two great evils. First, A generall defect of all righteousnesse and holinesse in which wee were at first created; and secondly, an inherent [...]. Iuo­ledientia. Viva­citas, libido. [...]or­bidus, affectus. Aug. deperfect. In [...]. c 4 de Civ. Dei. l 14. c 15. [...]. [...]. l. 4. c. 13 de [...]. & con­ [...]. lib. 2. c. 13. Retract. lib. 1. cap. 15. [...]. Instit. Martyr. [...] Anglic. Art. 9. Deordination, pravitie, evill disposition, disease, propension to all mis­chiefe, Antipathy and aversation from all good, which the Scripture calls the Ioh 3. 6. flesh the Rom 8. 6, 7. lam. 3 15. wisdome of the flesh, the Rom. 6. 6 Eph. 4. 22. body of sinne, Colos. 3. 5. earthly members, the Rom. 7. 23. Law of the mem­bers, 1. Ioh. 3. 8. the workes of the Divell, Ioh 8 44. the lusts of the Divell, the Iam. 3. 6. Hell that sets the whole course of nature on fire. And this is an evill, of the through malignity whereof no man can be so sensibly and distinctly convinc'd, as in the evidence of that conviction to cry out against it with such strange, [Page 136] strong and bitter complaints Rom 7 24. 1. Cor. 12 8. as Saint Paul doth till his Luk 24 45. understanding be by Christ opened to understand the Rom. 7. 14. Ioh 4. 24. Spiritualnesse, Heb 4 12. penetration, and Psal. 119. 96. compasse of that holy Law, which measureth the Luk. 10. 27. very bottome of every acti­on, and condemneth as well the [...] Ori­ [...] [...], [...] & [...] non [...] quam [...] Tertull. de p [...]dicit. c 6. originals as the acts of sinne. And hence it is that [...] con­ [...] [...] 1. S [...]to de natura & grat [...]a, li [...] 1. c. 3. And [...]ad [...]. explic. lib. 3. p. 217. [...]er. in Gen. lib. 5. de [...]. In­n [...]nt. [...] excel. 4 [...]. 4. num. [...]64. [...]. de gratia [...], cap. 5. [...]. [...]. [...]. cap. 8. §. 1. qu [...]m [...] ho [...] [...] re­ [...] [...] n [...] Deus Author [...]. lib. 2. cap. 7. & [...] esse dicit. de gratia & lib. Arbitrio. many men pleade for this sinne, as onely an evill of nature rather troublesome then sinnefull. That concupiscence was not contracted by na­ture de novo in the fall, but that it is annexed to nature by the Law of Creation, that it belongeth to the constituti­on and condition of a sensitive Creature, and that the bri­dle of originall and supernaturall Ri [...]hteousnesse being re­mou'd, the Rebellion of the fleshly against the spirituall, that is, as these men most ignorantly affirme, of the sensu­all against the reasonable part which was by that before suspended, did discover it selfe. It will not bee therefore a misse to open unto you what it is to be in the State of o­riginall sinn [...], and what evils they are which the Com­mandement doth so discover in that sinne, as thereby to make a man feele the burden of his owne nature, smell the sinke and stinch of his owne bosome, and so (as the Prophet speakes) abhorre himselfe, and never open his mouth any more, either proudly to justifie himselfe, or foolishly to charge God; but to admire and adore that mercy which is pleas'd to save, and that power which is able to cure so leprous and uncleane a thing.

First, consider the universalitie of this sinne, and that manifold. Vnivers [...]litie of Times: from Adam to Mo­s [...]s, even when the Law of Creation was much defaced, and they that sinned did not sinne after the similitude of Adam, against the cleare Revelation of Gods pure and holy will. For that I take to be the meaning of the Apo­stle in those words, Untill the Law sinne was in the world; but sinne is not imputed where there is no Law. Though the Law seemed quite extinct betweene Adam andRom. 5. 13, 14, 20, 21. Rom. 2▪ 12, 14. [Page 137] Moses in the wicked of the world, and with it sinne, be­cause sinne hath no strength where there is no Law; though men had not any such legible Characters of Gods will in their nature as Adam had at first, and therefore did not sinne after the similitude of his prevarication; yet even from Adam to Moses did sinne reigne over all them, even the sinne of Adam, and that lust which that sinne contracted. And if sinne reigned from Adam to Mo­ses▪ in that time of ignorance, when the Law of not lusting Ro [...]. [...]. [...]. was quite extinct out of the minds of men, much more from Moses after; for the Law entred by Moses that sin might abound, that is, That that concupiscence which reigned without conviction before, during the ignorance of the originall implanted Law, might by the new editi­on and publication of that Law be knowne to be sinfull, [...]. [...]. 13. and thereby become more exceeding sinful to those who should be thus convinced of it: that so the exceeding sin­fulnesse of sinne might serve both the sooner to compell men to come to Christ, and the Grace of Christ might thereby appeare to be more exceeding gratious: for the Law was reviv'd, and promulgated anew meerely with relation to Christ and the Gospell; and therefore the Apostle saith, It was added and ordained by Angels in the Gal. 3. 19. Phrasis [...] no­tat ministerium Legati. Tarnou. ex [...]rcit. biblic. pag. 83. edit. [...]. Hand of a Mediator, or by the ministery of a Mediator. Where there are three reasons to shew Gods Evangeli­call purpose in the publication of the Law anew. First, it was not published alone, but as an Additament, with relation to the Evangelicall promise which was before made. Secondly, the service of Angels, or Messengers; which shewes, that in the Law God did send from Hea­ven anew to instruct men, and therein to take care of them, and prepare them for salvation; for Angels mini­ster Heb. 1. 14. for this purpose, that men might be heires of salvation. Thirdly, the ministry of a Mediator, namely, Moses, whoDeut. 5. 5. was Mediator in the Law, with reference whereunto Christ is cald Mediator of a better Covenant, and wasHeb. 8. 6. [Page 138] faithfull as Moses. Now where there is a Mediator ap­pointed,Heb. 8. 6. therein God declares his purpose to enter anew into a treaty with men, and to bring them to termes of agreement and reconciliation with him. Men were re­bels against God, held under the sentence of death and vengeance; they are in darkenesse, know not whither they goe, are well pleasde with their owne estate, give no heed to any that would call them out. For this reason, because God is willing to pull mē out of the fire, he sends first Moses armed with thunder, and brightnesse, whichExod. 34. 30. 2. Cor. 3. 7. can not be endur'd (for the shining of Moses his face, which the people could not abide, denotes the exceeding purity and brightnesse of the Law, which no sinner is ableDeut. 5 25. Heb. 2. 15. Rom. 8. 15. Heb. 12. 18-20. with peace to looke on) and he shews them whither they are hastning, namely to eternall death, and like the An­gell that met Balaam in a narrow roome shuts them in, that either they must turne backe againe, or else bee de­stroyed: and in this fright, and anguish, Christ, the media­tor of a better covenant, presents himselfe, as a Sanctuary and refuge from the condemnation of the Law. Second­ly, there is universalitie of men, and in men universality of parts, All men, and every part of man shut up under the guilt and power of this sinne. Both these the Apostle proves at large, Iewes, Gentiles, all under sinne, none righ­teous, Ro. 3. 9-19. 23. no not one, all gone out of the way, altogether become unprofitable, none that doth good, no not one; Every mouth must be stopped, all the world must be guilty before God, all have sinned and come short or are destitute of his glory. God hath concluded all in unbeliefe, the Scripture hath shut up all under sinne; this shewes the universality of per­sons.Rom. 11. 32▪ Gal. 3. 22. The Apostle adds, Their throate is an open sep [...]lcher, with their tongues they have used deceit, the poyson of aspes is under their lips, their mouth full of cursing and bitter­nesse, their feete swift to shed bloud, destruction and unhap­pinesse are in their wayes, and the way of peace they have not knowne, there is no feare of God before their eyes, these par­ticularsGen. 6. 5. 8. 21. [Page 139] are enough to make up an Induction, and so to inferre a universalitie of Parts. Every purpose, desire, Imagination, incomplete and inchoate notion, every fig­ment, so the word properly signifies (with referenceAmama. Anti­babaris. biblic. l 2 P. 395. Heb. 4. 13. Mark. 7. 21. Col. 2. 11. 3. 5. 9. Licet facultates non fuerunt per lapsum abolitae, determinatio tamen earum ad obiecta spiritis▪ alia fuit proti­nus extincta. Zexman de Imag Dei. cap. 7. Ephes. 4. 17. Rom. 1. 28. Rom. 3. 11. [...]. Theo­philus ad Anto­lis. l. 1. Rom. 1. 18, 2, 22, 28. 1. Tim. 6. 4. 5. 2. [...]. 2. 16, 23. 1. Tim. 6. 20. 2. Cor. 10 5. Ephes 4. 21. whereunto the Apostle, as I conceive, cals sinne The crea­ture of the Heart, and our Saviour, the Issue of the Heart) is evill, onely evill, continually evill. Originall sinne is an entire body, an old man (which word noteth not the im­potencie or defects, but the maturity, wisedome, cun­ning, covetousnesse, full growth of that sinne in us;) and in this man, every member is earthly, sensuall, and dive­lish. As there is chaffe about every corne in a field, salt­nesse in every drop of the sea, bitternesse in every branch of wormewood, so is ehere sinne in every faculty of man. First, looke into the minde: you shall finde it full of vani­tie, wasting and wearying it selfe in childish, impertinent, unprofitable notions. Full of ignorance and darknesse, no man knoweth, nay no man hath so much knowledge as to enquire or seeke after God in that way where he will bee found; nay more, when God breakes in upon the minde by some notable testimonie from his Creatures, Iudge­ments, or providence, yet they like it not, they hold it downe, they reduce themselves backe againe to foolish hearts, to reprobate and undiscerning mindes, as natural­ly as hot water returnes to its former coldnesse. Full of Curiositie, Rash unprofitable enquiries, foolish and unlear­ned questions profane bablings, strife of words perverse dis­putes, all the fruits of corrupt and rotten mindes. Full of Pride and contradiction against the Truth oppositions of science, that is, setting up of philosophy and vaine deceit, Imaginations, thoughts, fleshly reasonings against the spi­rit and truth which is in Iesus. Full of domesticall Princi­ples, Rom▪ 8. 7. fleshlie wisedome, humane Inventions contrivances,1. Cor. 1. 23. 1. Cor. 3. 12. 19. Col. 2. 23. Iam. 1. 8. super-inducements upon the pretious foundation, of rules and methods of its owne to serve God and come to hap­pinesse. Full of Inconsistency and roving, swarmes of emp­ty [Page 140] and foolish thoughts, slipperinesse, and unstablenesse in all good motions.

Secondly, looke into the Conscience, you shall finde it full of Insensiblenesse, the Apostle saith of the Gentiles,Ephes. 4. 19. That they were past feeling, and of the Apostates in the latter times, that they had their consciences seared with 1. Tim. 4. 2. a hot iron, which things though they be spoken of an Ha­bituall, and acqui [...]'d hardnesse which growes upon men by a custome of sinne, yet wee are to note that it is ori­ginally in the Conscience at first, and doth not so much come unto it, as grow out of it. As that branch which at first shooting out is flexible and tender growes at last e­ven by it owne disposition into a hard and stubbo [...]e bow, as those parts of the naile next the flesh which are at first softer then the rest, yet doe of themselves grow to that hardnesse which is in the rest; so the consciences of children have the seedes of that insensibility in them, which makes them at last dea [...]e to every charme, and se­cure against all the thunder that is threatned against them. Full of Impurity and disobedience, dead, rotten,Tit. 1. 15. Heb. 9. 14. unsavorie workes. Full of false and absurd excusations, and accusations, fearing where there is no cause of feare, and acquitting where there is great cause of feare as Saint Pauls here did.

Looke into the Heart, and you shall finde a very He [...] of uncleannesse. Full of deepe and unsearchable deceitIer. 17. 9. Ier. 8. 5. and wickednesse. Full of hardnesse, no sinnes, no judge­ments, no mercies, no allurements▪ no hopes, no feares, no promises, no instructions able to startle, to awaken, to melt, or shape it to a better image, without the immedi­ate omnipotency of that God which melts the moun­taines, and turnes stones into sonnes of Abraham. Full of Ro [...] 2. 4. E [...]y 57. 11. [...] 9. 15. 16. 18. 30. Impenitencie, not led by the very patience and long-suffering of God, no [...] allured by the Invitations and entea [...]ies of God to returne to him, not perswaded by the fruitles­nesse and emptinesse of all sinnefull lusts to forsake them. [Page 141] Full of [...]llr it is bound up, riveted fast into the heart of aProv. 22. 15. 1. Cor. 3. 19. Ier. 8. 9. Rom. 1. 21. E [...]cles 9. 3. Heb. 3. 12. Psal. 1 c 6. 24. Psal. 78. 18, 19, 20, 12. Mat 15. 19. Heb 4. 1 [...]. Iam. 3. 6. Ier. 6. 10. Rom. 8. 7. Ier. 2. 27. Neh. 9. 29. Ma [...]. 1. 13. Zach. 7. 11. Libertas as Arbi­ [...] perijt qu [...]n­tum ad Iu [...]it­am, non quan­tum ad natu­ram aut pecca­tum. Vid. [...]ag. cont. 2. epist. Pe­lag. lib. 1. cap. 2. & lib. 2. c. 5. & [...]nchirid. c. 30. 31. [...], and there from childish folly growes up to wise and sober folly, (as I may so speake) till the heart bee changed into a cell of darknesse. Full of madnesse, and [...]age, in [...]dnen is in the hearts of men while they lieu, all the creatures in the world are not able to cure it. Full of In­fidelity. A Heart that departs from God, undervalews his pretious promises, & mistrusts his power. In one word ful of all pollution and uncleannesse, that Forge where all sins are framed in secret intents, desires, purposes, lusts, and from whence it springeth forth into the life, the flames of it breaking out into the tongue, and into every other member in adulteries, murthers, thefts, blasphemies, and every wicked word and worke.

Looke into the will, and you shall finde it, First, full of Disability unto any good, It cannot hearken, nor be sub­ject unto the law of God. But there may be weaknesse where yet there is a good will and affection; not so here, it is Secondly, full of loathing and aversation, It can­not endure to heare or see any thing that is good, casts it behind the back, and turnes away the shoulder from it. But there may be a particular nausea or lothing of a thing out of some distemper and not out of antipathy: a man may loath the sight of that in a disease, which at another time he loves. But the will doth not sometimes loath, and sometimes love, but Thirdly, it is full of enmity against that which is good, It lookes upon it as a base thing and so itPsal. 106. 24. Luk. 6. 14. Exod. 5. 2. scornes it, and it lookes on it as an adverse thing, and so sets up resolutions toMatth. 23. 37. Act 7. 39. 51. Act. 13. 46. Luk. 7. 30. Luk. [...]9. 14. withstand it, and it looks upon it as an unprofitable thing and soMal. 3. 14. slights and neglects it. But enmity is seldome so rooted, but that it may bee over­come, and a reconciliation wrought; not so here, the fleshly will may be crucified, it will never be reconcil'd; for Fourthly, it is full of [...], and Gal. 5. 17. Ier. 2. 25. Esay 30. 15, 16. Ier. 6. 17. & 7. 27. I [...]r. 44. 16, 17. contrariety, which is a Twisted enmity (as I may so speake) which cannot be broken. One contrarie may expell another, [Page 142] but it can never reconcile it. The flesh will never give o­ver the combate, nor forbeare its owne contumacie and resolutions to persist in evill.

Looke into the memorie, and you shall finde it very unfaithfull to retaine good, very tenacious to hold anye­vill; It is like a Heb. 2. 1. Nehem 9. [...]7. leaking vessell, lets out all that is pure, and retaines nothing but mud and dregs. The Lord made great promises to the people of Israel to bring them into the holy land, began to fulfill them, in wonders, in terrible wonders, in mercies, in multitudes of mercies (and no­thing fo fit to make impressions on the memorie as pro­mises, miracles, and multiplied deliverances) and yet as if they meant to contend with God, which should be the greatest, the wonder of his goodnesse or the wonder of their unthankfulnes, all this was not long a wearing out, for it is said, They did soone forget it all. Look into thePsal. 106. 7. & 13. 21. whole man, and you shall finde him full of perturbation and disorder. A man cannot trust any member he hath a­lone, without Iobs covenant, without Davids bradle toIob 31. 1. Psal. 29 1. keepe it in. If thou hast occasion to use thine eye, take heed unto it, It is full of the seeds of adultery, pride, envie,Matth. 20. 15. 2. P [...]t 2. 14. 1. Ioh. 2. 16. wrath, covetousnesse, there are Lusts of the eye. If to use thy tongue, Trust it not alone, set a dore before thy lips, there is a Hell within thee that can set it all on fire, thatIam. 3. 6. can fill it with rotten and stinking communication, there is blasphemy, persecution, theft, murther, adultery, curses, revilings, clamors, bitternesse, crimson and hellish, fierie and brimstone abominations in that little member, able to set the whole frame of nature on fire about the eares of ungodly men. If to use thy hands or feete, looke unto them, there are seeds of more sins, theft, bribery, murther, adultery (what not?) then there are joynts or sinewes in those members. If to use thine eare, be slow to hear, take heed how you heare, it is easily open to vanitie, lies, slan­ders, calumniations, false doctrines, trashie and emptie doctrines. Thus all over we finde a Body of sinne; And [Page 143] which is yet more strange, this sinnefulnesse cleaves not to our members onely, but runnes over with a prodigious exuberancie into our very excrements, and adjacents. Ab­solom proud of his haire, Iezabel proud of her paint, He­rod proud of his robes; and though the word be [...] a sword and a fire, yet it cannot cut of no [...] melt away any of this pride, till Absoloms haire become his halter, till Iezabels paint be washed of with her owne blood, and vermin make the robes of Herod baser then a menstruous cloath, or a beggers rags. Thus we see how universala corruption originall sinne is; Therefore in Scripture the whole man is1. Cor. 3 3. Ioh. 8. 44. called flesh, because in carnall works we worke secundum hominem, when wee are carnall wee walke as men, as our Saviour, saith of the Divell when hee speaketh a lie hee speaketh De suo, of his owne, according to his owne na­ture; so when men walke after the flesh, they worke of their owne, they walke according to themselves. For of our selves we can doe nothing as the Apostle speakes but onely sinne, when wee doe any good it is by the grace of God, but lusts, which are the fountaine of evill, are all our 2. Cor. 3. 5. owne, God gave the Heathen over to the lusts of their1 Cor. 15. 10. Rom. 1. 24. own hearts; and every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his owne lust and enticed. So then wee are all o­verIam. 1. 14. Col. 2. 18. flesh; The minde, a fleshly minde, the will a fleshly will, the affections and lust, all fleshly. So that as the Apo­sileEph. 2 3. Gal. 5. 24. saith of the Body, many members but one 'Body; so we of originall sinne, many lusts but one body, therefore the Apostle ca [...]s it [...] in the singular number sinne, up­on [...] in Ioh. 1. 29. Rom. 7. 17. Vid. Scultet. [...]. Evang. lib. 1. pag. 87. which excellent is the observation of the Author of the booke De Duplici Martyrio among Saint Cyprians workes, plus est tollere peccatum quam peccata, It is more difficult to root out this sinning sinne, then to overcome many actuall.

Secondly, consider the closenesse and adherency of this sinne. It cleaves as fast to our nature, as Blacknesse to the skinme of an Ethiopian, that cannot possibly bee [Page 144] washt off. As fast as Ivie to a wall (it is the similitude ofEpiphan. Hares. l. 2. H 64. Epiphanius) though a man may lop and shorten the branches, yet the rootes are so fastened to the joynts and intralls of the wall, that till the stones be puld all asun­der, it will not be quite rooted out. As that house where­in there was a fretting and spreading Leprosie, though itLevit. 14. 41-45 might bee scrap'd round about, and much rubbish and corrupt materialls removed, yet the Leprosie did not cease, till the house with the stones, and timber, and mor­ter of it was broken downe: so originall concupiscence cleaveth so close to our nature, that though we may bee much repair'd, yet corruption will not leave us, till our house be dissolved. As long as Corne is in the field, it will have refuse and chaffe about it; as long as water re­maines in the Sea, it will retaine it saltnesse, till it be defe­cated and clensed in its passage into the Land; and so is it with the Church while it is in the world, it will have the body of sinne about it, it will bee beset with this Sinne. In the Apostle it is for this reason call'd [...] Heb. 12. 1. Uid. Glassi [...]phi­lolog. Sacram. lib. 1. Tract. 2. pag. 168. an encompassing sinne, a sinne that will not be cast off, that doth easily occupate and possesse all our mem­bers and faculties; a man may as easily shake off the skin from his backe, or poure out his bowels out of his body, as rid himselfe of this evill inhabitant: It is an evill that is ever present with us, and dwelling in us.Rom. 7. 20-23.

But it may be objected, Doth not the Apostle say, that by being baptized into Christ, or planted into the like­nesseRom. 6. 3-8. 11. & 7. 3. 4. of his death, our old man is crucified, the body of sinne is destroyed, we are freed from sinne, as a woman is from a dead husband, we have put off the body of theCol. 2. 11. Glass [...]philolog. Sacr. l. 2. pag. 425 1. Ioh. 3. 9. sinnes of the flesh, by the Circumcision made without hands that is, by Baptisme and the Spirit? Doth not the Apostle Saint Iohn say, He that is borne of God, that is, he that is Regenerate by Water and the Spirit. sinneth not, neither can sinne? To this I answer in generall with the same Apostle, If we say wee have no sinne, we deceive our Ioh. 3. 5. [Page 145] selves, and there is no truth in us. More particularly, wee1. Ioh. 1. 8. must distingvish both of Death and of sinne. There is a twofold Death; an Actuall, or Naturall Death, when the essentiall parts of a living Creature are taken asunder, and the whole dissolved: and a Virtuall or Legall Death; when though the party bee naturally Alive, yet hee is Dead in Law, and that notes two things: First, a designa­tion unto a certaine Death at hand, and ready to bee exe­cuted: Secondly, a disabilitie unto many purposes which lay before in the mans power; as a man condemn'd, though hee have his life out of indulgence for a short space, yet hee is then set apart, and appointed for death, and in the very sentence disabled to order or dispose of any thing which was then his owne. When a woman is divorced for adultery from her husband, though she bee Alive naturally, yet Legally and to the purpose of mar­riage she is Dead to her husband, so that though shee should live in the same house, yet she should have nothing to doe with his bed or body. And thus the Apostle spea­keth of sinfull Widowes, that they are Dead while they Live, 1. Tim. 5. 6.

In sin likewise we may consider, The guilt of it where­by it makes us accursed; and the dominion of it, where­with it bringeth us into bondage: in these two principally consists the life and the strength of sinne, which it hath from the Law. Now by being baptized into Christ wee are delivered from the Law. Rom. 6. 14. Gal. 3. 25. First, from the covenant of the Law, Christ hath put an utter period to the Law quoad officium Iustificandi, hee is the end of the Law for righteousnesse. Wee are righteous nowRom. 10. 4. by Grace and Donation, not by nature, or operation: byRom. 3. 20. 21. Phil 3. 9. Ephes. 2. 8. 10. the righteousnesse of God, not that whereby God is righteous, but that which God is pleased to give us, and stands in opposition to a mans owne righteousnesse, which is by working.

Secondly, from the Rigor of the Law which requires [Page 146] perfect, and perpetuall obedience, Gal. 3. 10. Though thePlanè dicimus decessisse legem quoad onera, non quoad Iustiti­am. Tertull. Gospell command holinesse, Matth. 5. 48. and promise it, Luk. 1. 74. and worke it in us, Tit. 2. 10. 11. yet when the Conscience is summon'd before God to bee justified or condemned, to resolve upon what it will stand to for its last triall; there is so much mixture of sinne, that it dares trust none but Christs owne adequate performance of the Law: this is all the salvation, the maine charter and2. Sam. 23. 5. priviledge of the church. Wee are not therefore rigorous­ly bound either to a full habituall holinesse in our per­sons, which is supplied by the merit of Christ, nor to a through actuall obedience in our services, which are co­vered with the Intercession of Christ. Wee are at the best full of weakenesse, many remnants of the old Adam hang about us, this is all the comfort of a man in Christ, that his desires are accepted, God regards the sincerity of his2. Cor. 8 12. Mal. 3. 17. heart, and will spare his failings, even as a man spareth his Sonne that desires to please him, but comes short in his endeavours; that he will not looke on the iniquitie of his holy things, but when he fals will pitty him, and take him up, and heale him, and teach him to goe; thus wee areHos. 11. 3. Hos. 14 5. delivered from the rigour of the Law, which yet is thus to be understood; That though wee bee still bound to all the Law as much as ever under perill of sinne (for so much as the best come short of fullfilling all the Law, so much they sinne) yet not under paine of Death which is the rigour of the Law. And therefore

Thirdly, wee are delivered from the Curse of the Law, Gal. 3. 13. from the vengeance and wrath of God against sin. Christ was made a curse for us, Esay 53. 3.

Lastly, from the Irritation of the Law, and all compul­sorie and slavish obedience: we love by Christ all the principles and grounds of true obedience put into vs. First, knowledge of Gods will, the spirit of Revelation,Col. 1. 9. Phil. 2. 13. wisedome and spirituall understanding. Secondly, will to embrace and love what wee know. Thirdly, strength [Page 147] in some measure to performe it. And by these meanesPhil. 4. 13. Luk. 1. 74. Rom. 7. 22. Psal. 110. 3. Mic. 4. 2. Rom. 5 5. [...] Cor. 3. [...]7. 2. Tim. 1. 7. Ioh. 13. 34. Iam. 1. 25. Matth. 11. 30. 1. Ioh. 5. [...]. the Saints serve God without feare, with delight, willing­nesse, love, liberty, power, the Law is to them a new Law, a Law of liberty, a light yoke, the Commandements of God are not grievous to them.

Being thus Dead to the Law, we are truly Dead to sinne likewise, and sinne to us, but not universally. Dead in regard of its strength, but not in regard of its beeing. To apply then the premisses. Sin is Dead naturally quoad Reatum, in regard of the gvilt of it, that is, that actuall guilt of sin, wherby every man is borne a child of wrath, and made obnoxious to vengeance, is done quite away in our regeneration, and the obligations cancell'd. Col. 2. 14.

Secondly, sinne is Dead Legally, quoad Regnum, in re­gard of the dominion and government of it, in regard of the vigorous operation which is in it. First, sinne is con­demn'd, Rom. 8. 3. and therein destinated, and design'd to death, It shall fully bee rooted out. Secondly, in the meane time, it is disabled from a plenarie Rule over the conscience, though the Christian be molested and pester'd with it, yet he doth not henceforth serve it, nor become its instrument, to bee subject in every motion thereof, as the weapon is to the hand that holds it: but Christ and his love beare the sway, and hold the Sterne in the heart, Rom. 6 6. [...]. Cor. 5. 14, 15. 1. Pet. 4. 1, 2.

Thirdly, the sentence of the Law against sin is already in execution. But we are to note, that sinne though con­demnd to die, yet (such is the severity of God against it) it is adjudg'd to a lingring death, a death upon the Crosse:Ut sentiat se mori. [...]. and in the faithfull sin is already upon a Crosse, fainting, struggling, dying daily; yet so, as that it retaines some life still, so long as we are here, sinne will be as fast to our natures, as a nailed man is to the Crosse that beares him. Our Thorne will still bee in our flesh, our Canaanite in our side, our Twinns in our wombe, our counterlustings,Aug. Confess. lib. 8. cap. 5. and counterwillings; though we be like unto Christ per [Page 148] primitias spiritus; yet we are unlike him per Reliquias Depeccator: me­rit. & Remiss. lib. 2. cap. 7 8 28. Contra I [...]lian. lib 6. cap. 16. Contraduas epist. P [...]lag. lib. 3. c. 3. Hicron. [...]p. 8. 9. Fulgent. ad Mon. lib. 1. Psal. 19 12. Pro [...]. 20 6. 1. Cor. 4. 4. 1. Ioh. 3. 20. Exam. Censur. cap. 11. §. 6 fol. 132 133. vetustatis, by the remainders of our flesh; not to sinne is here onely our Law, but in heaven it shal be our Reward. All our perfection here is imperfect; Sinne hath its deaths blow given it, but yet like fierce and implacable beasts it never lets goe its hold till the last breath, Animamque in vulnere ponit, never ceaseth to infest us, till it cease to bee in us. Who can say, I have made my heart cleane? Cleanse thou be (saith holy David) from my secret sinnes. Though I know nothing by my selfe, yet am I not thereby iustified, saith the Apostle; and the reason is added, He that iud­gethme is the Lord; which Saint Iohn further unfolds, God is greater then our hearts, and knoweth all things. Which places (though most dangerously perverted by some late Innovators, which teach, That a man may bee without secret sinnes, that he may make his heart cleane from sinne, and that Saint Paul was so) doe yet in the ex­perience of the holiest men that are, or have been, evince this truth, that the lusts of the flesh will be, and worke in us, so long as we carry our mortall bodies about us. And this God is pleased to suffer for these and like purposes: First, to convince and humble us in the experience of ourVid. Aug. de nat. & grat. c. 27. Socrat. [...]ccl. Hist. lib. 5. c. 16. 2. Cor. 12. 7. Ezek. 36. 31. owne vilenesse, that wee may be the more to the prayse of the glory of his great grace. As once Theophilus Bishop of Alexandria dealt with the Egyptian Idols, after the embracement of Christianitie; most he destroyed, onely one of their Apes and Images he kept entire, not as a mo­nument of Idolatry, but as a spectacle of sinne and mise­ry, that in the sight thereof the people might after learne to abhorre themselves that had liv'd in such abominable Idolatries. Secondly, to drive us still unto him, to cast us alwayes upon the hold and use of our Faith, that our prayers may still finde something to aske which hee may give, and our repentance something to confesse, whichAug despir. & lit cap. ult. he may forgive. Thirdly, to proportion his mercy to his justice, for as the wicked are not presently fully destroy­ed, [Page 149] have not sentence speedily executed against them, butEccles. 8. 11. Iob 21. 30. Psal. 37. 13. 38. are reserv'd unto their Day, that they may be destroi'd to­gether, as the Psalmist speakes; even so the righteous are not here fully saved, but are reserv'd unto the great day of Redemption, when they also shall be saved together, as the Apostle intimates, 1. Thess. 4. 17. Fourthly, to worke in us a greater hatred of sinne, and longing after glory, therefore we have yet but the first fruites of the spirit, that we should grone and waite for the Adoption and Rom. 8. 23. 2. Cor. 5. 2, 3, 4. Redemption, therfore are we burdened in our earthly ta­bernacle, that we should the more earnestly groane to be cloathed upon with our House which is from Heaven. Fift­ly, to magnifie the power of his Grace in the weakest of his members, which, notwithstanding that inhabiting Traytor, which is ready to let in and entertaine every temptation, shall yet make a poore sinfull man stronger in some respect then Adam was himselfe, even able to overcome at last the powers of darkenesse, and to be suf­ficient against all Satans buffets. Lastly, to commend the2. Cor. 12. 9. greatnesse of his mercy and salvation when we shall come to the full fruition of it, by comparing it with the review of that sinfull estate in which here we lived when we were at the best, without possibility of a totall deli­verance.

Thirdly, consider the great Contagion, and pestilen­tiall humour which is in this sinne, which doth not one­ly cleave unseparably to our nature, but derives venome upon every action that comes from us. For though we doe not say That the good works of the Regenerate are sinnes, and so hatefull to God (as our adversaries belieK [...]liisons sur­vay. li. 6. cap. 5. B. [...] opus [...]. Tom 1. op 6. Bellarm. de Iustisic. l. 4. c. 10. and misreport us) for that were to reproach the spirit and the grace of Christ by which they are wrought: yet this we affirme constantly unto the best worke that is done by the concurrence and contribution of our owne faculties such a vitiousnesse doth adhere, such stub­ble of ours is superinduc'd, as that God may justly charge [Page 150] us for defiling the grace he gave, and for the evill whichSee this point learnedly sta­ted by D. Rey­nolds Confer. with Heart. cap. 8. Divis. 4. pag. 525. 528. and by D. Iohn White in his Way to the Church. Di­gress. [...]7. Vid. Calvinum hec [...]ore suo, nempe p [...]sime & [...] tractantem. [...]. lib. 3 c. 14. Aug. [...]. mer. & remissi. lib 2. [...] 18. Numb. 19 22. [...]. 2. 14. we mixe with them may turne away his eyes from his owne gifts in us▪ Sinne in the facultie is poison in the fountaine, that sheds infection into every thing that pro­ceeds from it. Ignorance and difficultie are two evill pro­perties which from the fountaine doe in some measure diffuse themselves upon all our workes. Whensoever thou art going about any good this evill will be present with thee, to derive a deadnesse, a dampe, a dulnesse, an indisposednesse upon all thy services, an iniquitie upon thy holiest things, which thou standest in neede of a priest to beare for thee, Exod. 28. 38. and to remove from thee. In the Law whatsoever an uncleane person touched was uncleane, though it were holy flesh; to note the evill quality of sinful nature, to staine and blemish every good worke which commeth from it. This is that which in thy prayers deads thy zeale, fervencie, humiliation, selfe­abhorrencie, thy importunitie, faith, and close attention, this like an evill sauour mingleth with thy sacrifice, ca­steth in impertinent thoughts, wrong ends, makes thee rest in the worke done, and never enquire after the truth of thine owne heart, or Gods blessing and successe to thy services. This is it that in reading and hearing the Word throwes in so much prejudice, blindnesse, in­advertency, security, infidelity, misapplication, miscon­struction, wresting and shaping the word to our selves. This is that which in thy meditations makes thee roving and unsetled, driving to no point nor issue, running into no conclusion nor resolutions of further obedience in faith and godlinesse. This is that which in thy converse with others mingles so much frowardnesse, levitie, unpro­fitablenesse to or from them. This is that which in thy calling makes so unmindfull of God and his service, aime at nothing but thine own emoluments; Where is the man who in all the wayes of his ordinarie calling labours to walke in obedience and feare of God, to carry alwayes [Page 151] the affections of a servant, as considering that he is doing the Lords worke? That consecrates and sanctifies all his courses by prayer, that beggeth strength, presence, con­currence, supplies of spirit from God to lead him in the way which he ought to goe, and to preserve him against those snares and temptations which in his calling he is most exposed unto? that imploreth a blessing from hea­ven on his hearers in their conversation, on his clients in their cause, on his patients in their cure, on himselfe in his studies, on the state in all his servlees? That is care­full to redeeme all his pretious time, and to make every houre of his life comfortable and beneficiall to himselfe and others? Where is the man whose particular calling doth not trench and incroach upon his generall calling, the duties which he owes to God? That spares suffici­ent time to humble himselfe, to studie Gods will, to ac­quaint himselfe with the Lord, to keepe a constant Com­munion with his God? nay that doth not adventure to steale from Gods owne day to speake his owne words, to ripen or set forward his owne or his friends advanta­ges? In all this take notice of that naughty Inmate in thy bosome; set thy selfe against it, as thou wouldest do against the Stratagems of a most vigilant enemie, or of a perfidious friend, Qui inter amplexus strang [...]lat; that like Dalilah never comes alone, but with Philistimes too; like Iael, never comes with Milke and Butter alone, but withall with a naile and a hammer, to fasten not thy head alone, but, which is worse, thy heart also unto earthly things.

Fourthly, consider the Fruitfulnesse of it. It is both male and female, as I may so speake, within it selfe, both the Tempter, and the seed, and the wombe. Suppose wee it possible for a man to be separated from the sight and fellowship, from the contagions and allurements of all other wicked men; kept out of the reach of Satans suggestions and sollicitations; nay to converse in the [Page 152] midst of the most renowned Saints that are; yet that man hath enough in himselfe, and would quickly disco­ver it, to beget, to conceive, to bring forth, to multiply, to consummate actuall sinnes. The Apostle S. Iames sets forth the birth and progresse of actuall sinne, Every man is tempted when he is drawne away and enticed of his owne lust, there Lust is the father, the adulterer; and Lust when it hath conceived bringeth forth sinne, there Lust is the mother too; and there is no mention of any seede but the temptation of lust it selfe, the stirrings, and flatte­ries, [...]. Rom. 7. 5. Iam. 3. 6. and dalliances of the sinfull heart with it selfe. Iam. 1. 13, 14, 15. The same Apostle compares it to Hell, which notes the unsatiablenesse of the wombe of sinne, that doth enlarge its desires as the grave; nay to the fire of Hell; nothing so apt to multiply as fire, every thing ministers occasion of encrease unto it; but then ordinary fire workes out it selfe, and dies; but. Lust as it is like fire, in multiplying, so it is like Hell fire in abiding, it is not preserv'd by a supply of outward materials to foment and cherish it, but it supports its selfe. It is like a troubled Esay 57. 20. sea, which casteth up mire and dirt, a fountaine out of which every day issue Adulteries, thefts, murthers, evill Matth. 15. 19. thoughts, &c It bringeth forth fruite like Summer fruit: Who hath heard such a thing, who hath seene such things? Esay 66. 8. shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day, saith the Prophet: yet consider how suddenly this sinne brings forth. When you see in your children of a span long their sinne shew it selfe before their haire or their teeth, vanity, pride, frowardnesse, selfe-love, revenge, and the like, then thinke upon your owne infancie, and bewaile [...] lib. 1. cap. 7. Adams image so soone in your selves, and yours in your children. I have seene, saith Saint Austin, a sucking in­fant, that was not able to articulate a word, looke with a countenance even pale for Envie, upon his fellow Suck­ling, that shared with him in the same milke; upon which consideration the holy man breakes forth into this pious [Page 153] complaint, Ubi Domine, quando Domine, where ever was the place, O Lord; when ever was the time, O Lord, that I have been an Innocent Creature? Secondly, con­sider how continually it brings forth, even every day, Gen. 6. 5. or all the day long, as fast as the Sunne begets swarmes of vermine, or the fire sparkles. Thirdly, consi­der how desperately it breakes forth: When thou seest a man wallow like a beast in his owne vomit, dart out blasphemies against heaven, revile the Gospell of Salva­tion, teare the blessed name of God in pieces with abhor­rid and hideous oathes; Cain murthering his brother, Iudas betraying his master, Ananias lying to the Holy Ghost, Lucian mocking the Lord Iesus as a crucified Impostor, Iulian darting up his bloud against heaven in hatred of Christ, the Scribes and Pharises blaspheming the holy spirit, then reflect on thy selfe, and consider that this is thine owne image, that thou hast the same roote of bitternesse in thy selfe, if the Grace of God did not hinder and prevent thee. As face answereth unto Prov. 27. 19. face in water, renders the selfe same shape, colour, linea­ments, proportion; so the Heart of man to man, every man may in any other mans hart see the complet image, deformities, uncleannesse of his owne. Suppose we Two Acorns of a most exact and geometricall equality in se­minall vertue, planted in two severall places of as exact and uniforme a temper of earth, needs must they both grow into trees of equall strength and [...], unlesse the benignitie and influences of heaven doe come diffe­rently upon them. Our case is the same, we are all na­turally cast into one mould, all equally partake the selfe same degrees and proportions of originall lusts, our harts equally by nature fruitfull in evill; If then we proceed not to the same compasse and excesse of riot with other men, we must not attribute it to our selues, or any thing in our natures, as if we had made our selues to differ; but onely to the free and blessed influences of the Grace of [Page 154] Christ, and his Spirit which bloweth where it listeth.

Lastly, consider how unexpectedly it will breake forth.2. King. 8. 13. Is thy servant a Dog that hee should doe this great thing, To dash children to pieces, and rip up women with childe? It was the speech of Hazael to Elisha the Prophet. As if he should have said, I must cease to be a man, I must put off all the principles of humanity, I must change natures with fierce and bloody Creatures that are not capeable of pitty, before I can do such facts as these: Is thy servant a Dog? Yes, and worse then a dog; when pride, ambiti­on, selfe-projections, the probabilities, and promises, the engagements and exigencies of a Kingdome shall enli­ven and rouse up that originall inhumanitie that is in a man, he will then be not a Dog onely, but a Woolte, and a Lyon. I will not denie thee, I will dye for thee, though all Mat. 26. 33, 35. should be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offen­ded. They were the words of a great Disciple; Alas Pe­ter, thou knowest not thine owne hear [...]; 'tis but like a quiet Sea, when the winde, the Temptation shall blow, thou wilt quickly be troubled and finde an alteration, thy tyde will turne, and an ebbe of thy zeale will follow. Who could have expected or feared adulterie from such a man as David after such communion with God? Im­patiency from such a man as Ieremie after such revelati­ons from God? Idolatry from such a man as Salomon af­ter so much wisedome from God? Fretfulnesse and fro­wardnesse of spirit in such a man as Ionah after such deli­verances from God? Fearefulnesse in such a man as A­braham after so much protection from God? Cursing from such a man as Iob, after so much patience and expe­rience from God? O in such examples learne thy selfe and feare thyself. The Disciples could say, Master is it I that shall betray thee. Peter did not aske, Master is it [...]? [...]or Iohn, Master is it Thomas? but every one, Is it I? True indeed, I have a deceitfull flesh, a revolting heart, a Traytor in my bosome, It may as soone bed as another [Page 155] man. If anyone fall, Restore him with the spirit of meek­nesse, Gal. 6. 1. saith the Apostle, considering thy self, that is, doe not rejoyce against thy brother, nor insult over him, doe not despise him in thy heart, nor exalt thy self; thou art of the same mould, thou hast the same principles with him; that God which hath forsaken him may forsake thee, that temptation which hath overcome him may happen un­to thee, that enemy which hath sifted him may winnow thee, and therefore in his fall learne compassion towards him, and jealoufie to thy selfe, Restore him, and consider thyselfe.

Fifthly, consider the temptations that arise from this sinne, the daylie and hourly sollicitations wherewith it setteth upon the soule, to unsettle it in good, and to dis­pose it unto evill. Satan is emphatically in the Scripture cald a Tempter; and yet as if his were but halfe-tempta­tions,Matth. 4. 3. 1. Thes. 3. 5. S. Iames saith, that a man is indeed tempted by his owne lusts, when he is drawne away, and enticed. First,Iam. 1. 14. drawne away from God out of his sight and presence, and then sollicited unto euil, either evill simplie, or evill con­comitantly, in doing good duties formally, blindly, un­zealously, unconstantly▪ unspiritually. If a man shoote an arrow against a rock, it may be broken, but it cannot en­ter: no more can Satans temptations preuaile against the Soule, without something within to give them admit­tance. Therefore though he tempted Christ, yet he pre­vailed not, and our Saviour gives the reason; He hath no­thing Ioh. 14. 30. in me, nothing to receive his darts. But now in us the flesh holdes treacherous compliancie with Satan and the world, and is ready to let them in at every assault: This is a great part of the cunning of wicked Angels to [...]. Iust. Martyr. Apol. [...]. Bernard. engage and bribe over a mans owne concupiscence to their party. Seed will never grow into a living Creature without a wombe to foster it, there must be [...] cor­dis as well as Seminarium Hostis, the conception of the heart, as the temptation of Satan. Temptations may vex, [Page 156] but they cannot corrupt us without our owne sinnefullQuid tibi factu­rus est Tentator? Te vince& mundus est vi­ctus. Quid tibi facturus est Tentator ex­tranius—Ad­sit intus castitas, victa est foris iniquitas.—Si non in te inven­ta fuerit Avari­tia, remansit fru­stra extenta muscipula, &c. Aug. tom. 10. Serm. 9. de Di­versis, cap. 9. Non diabolus voluntatem de­linquendi impo­nit, sed materi­am voluntatis subministrat. Tertull. exhort. castitat. cap. 2. Vid Aug. contr. 2. cp. Pelag. lib. 1. c. 2. Eos qui soris no­bis oppugnant intus vincimus vincendo concu­piscentias per quas nobis do­minantur. Aug. tom. 3 lib. de A­g [...]ne Christiano, cap. 2. entertainement; as a chaste woman may be sollicited by some base ruffian, but yet no whit in danger while shee retaines her chastitie, It may grieve her, but it cannot de­file her. Many points of temptation the Divell can com­passe alone. Suggestions, perswasions, arguments, instiga­tions, injections of blasphemous or Atheisticall notions; but all these are at the worst but as the violence of a man that ravisheth a Virgin; If wee can wholly keepe in our hearts from affording their embraces, and accepting the offers of Satan, if wee can with all the strength of our soule cry out like the Ravished woman in the Law, they are the sinnes of Satan and not ours But here is the mise­rie, Satan knowes how ou [...] tyde stands, he searcheth out our dispositions, and thereunto sorteth his temptations, and taketh ingredients of our own to temper with them, and to sweeten them, As Agrippina when she poisoned her husband Claudius temper'd the poison in the mea [...]e which he most delighted in: One man hath lust and wit, Satan tempteth him to scorne and slight the humility of the waies of God, and the simplicitie of the Gospell; ano­ther hath lust and monie, Satan tempteth him to pride and oppression, to earthly mindednesse, and trust in his strong tower; another hath lust and poverty, Satan tempteth him to murmuring, discontent, rebellion, ano­ther hath lust and youth, Satan tempteth him to vanitie and intemperance, another hath lust and learning, Satan tempteth him to vaine-glory, and ambition. There is in every man much need of spirituall wisedome to observe where hee lies most obnoxious, where Satan doth most plant his forces, and direct his attempts, and ever to apply our strongest watch, our most importunate pray­ers, to those gapps of our calling, which are most naked* Weems Christi­an. S [...]ag. De [...] ▪ 2 [...]. 27. to those lusts in our nature which are most predominant. [...] I [...]sum delectabili cibo boletorum venenum. Tacit. An. Boletum [...] Avidissime [...]iborum [...]alium [...]. Su [...]t.

[Page 157]Sixthly▪ consider the War and Rebellion of this sin; I find Rom. 7. 23. Gal. 5. 17. 1. Pet. 2. 11. a Lawin my members warring against the law of my mind. The flesh lusteth against the spirit. Fleshly lusts warre a­gainst the soule. Which passages are not so to bee under­stood, as if when lust doth fight it fights against nothing but the spirit, but yet it may be so dishartned and crush'd, that it shal not alwaies rebell (which is the late, wretched, and ignorant glosse of our new Pelagians, who expressely contrary to the doctrine of S. Paul, and the Articles of the Church of England, with the Harmony of other Refor­med Churches, deny the sinfulnes of originall concupis­cence, or that it alwayes lusteth against the spirit;) but the meaning of them is, that while wee are in the Militant▪ Church, we shall have hourely experience of this traytor in our bosome; and whensoever we go about any spiritual worke, this evill will be present with us, and fight against us. And this warre is not at a distance, but it is an inti­mate and close contrariety in the same part, like the com­bate betweene heate and cold in the same water, no roome nor space to hold a Mediatour, or to entertaine a Treaty, or to shift and evade the conflict. The same souleQuid est hoc monstrum? Im­perat animus corpori, & pare­tur, Imperat animus sibi & resistitur, &c. Aug. confess. lib. 8. c. 9. 10. that commands obedience doth it selfe resist it. In the same minde the wisedome of the flesh which is sensuall and divelish fighting against the wisedome of the spirit which is meeke and peaceable. In the same will a de­light in the Law of God, and yet a bias and counter­motion to the law of sinne. In the same understanding a light of the Gospell, and yet many relikes of humane principles, and fleshly reasonings; much ignorance of the purity, excellency, and beauty of the wayes of God. In the same heart singlenesse and sensiblenesse of sinne, and yet much secret fraud and prevarication, hardnesse and dis-apprehension of sin and wrath. In the same affecti­ons, love of God and love of the World, feare of God and feare of men, trust in God and doubting of his favour. Lord, I beleeve, helpe thou mine unbeliefe, was the cry ofMark. 9 24. [Page 158] the poore man in the Gospell; and such must bee the complaints of the best of us: Lord, I will, helpe thou mine unwillingnesse: Lord, I heare thee, helpe thou my deafenesse; Lord, I remember thee, helpe thou my for­getfulnesse: Lord, I presse towards thee, helpe thou my wearinesse: Lord, I rejoyce in thee, helpe thou my hea­vinesse: Lord, I desire to have more fellowship with thee, helpe thou my strangenesse: Lord, I love and de­light in thy Law, helpe thou my failings. Such tugging is there of either nature to preserve and improve it selfe. Iacob was a man of contention and wrestling from the be­ginning.Gen. 25. 22, 26. Gen. 27. Gen. 32. 24. Gen. 29. 25. Gen. 31, 36-41 Contention with his brother in the birth, con­tention for the birth-right, contention with an Angell for the blessing, contention for his wife, and for his wages with Laban. He was a Typicall man, his name was Israel, and he was a patterne to the Israel of God. We must be all men of contention, wrestlers not onely with God in strong and importunate prayers for his blessings, but with our elder brother Esau, with the lusts and froward­nesse of our owne hearts. The Thiefe on the Crosse was a perfect embleme of the sinne of our nature, he was naildLuk. 23. 39. hand and foot, destin'd unto death, utterly disabled from any of his wonted outrages, and yet that only part which was a little loose, flies out in reviling and reproaching Christ: Our old man by the mercy of God is upon aGal. 5. 24. Crosse, destin'd to death, disabled from the exercise of that wonted violence and dominion which it used; and yet so long as there is any life or strength left in him, hee sets it all on worke to revile that blessed spirit which is come so neere him. The more David prevailes the more Saul 1. Sam. 18. 7, 8. & 28. 9. Gen. 38. 28. rageth and persecuteth him. As in the wombe of Tamar there was a strife for precedencie, Zarah thrust out his hand first, and yet Pharez go [...] fo [...]th before him: so in a Christian many times the [...] thru [...] out the hand, and begins to worke, and presently the flesh growes sturdie and boisterous and gets first into the action. A man sets [Page 159] himselfe to call upon God, lifts up his hand with the skarlet thred, the blood of Christ upon it, is in a sweete preparation to powre out his complaints, his requests, his praises to his father; and ere he is aware, pride ln the excellencie of Gods gifts, or deadnesse, or worldly thoughts intrude themselves, and justle-by Gods spirit, and cast a blemish upon his offring. A man is setting him­self to heare Gods word, begins to attend and rellish the things that are spoken as matters which doe in good ear­nest concerne his peace, begins to see a beauty more then ordinary in Gods service, an excellencie with David in Gods Law, which hee considered not before, resolves hereafter to love, frequent, submit, beleeve, prize it more then he had ever done; presently the flesh sets up her mounds, her reasonings, her perverse disputes, her owne principles, her shame, her worldlinesse, her want of lei­sure, her secular contentments, and so resists the spirit of God, and rejects his counsell. I have enough already, what needs this zeale, this pressing, this accuratenesse, this violence for heaven? strive wee what wee can, our infir­mities will encompasse us, our corruptions will bee about us. But yet Beloved as in a pyramide, the higher you goe the lesse compasse still you finde the body to bee of, and yet not without the curiositie and diligence of him that fram'd it: so in a Christian mans resurrection, and conversation with Christ in heaven, the neerer he comes to Christ, the smaller still his corruptions will bee, and yet not without much spirituall industry and christian art. A Christian is like a flame, the higher it ascends the more thinne, purified and azurie it is, but yet it is a flame in greene wood, that wants perpetuall blowing and encouragement. A man sets himselfe with some good re­solution of spirit to set forward the honor in questioning, in discovering, in shaming, in punishing (within the com­passe of his owne calling and warrant) the abuses of the times, in countenancing, in rewarding, in abetting and [Page 160] supporting truth & righteousnes: his flesh presently inter­poseth, his quiet, his security, his relations, his interests, his hopes, his feares, his dependencies, his plausibility, his cre­dit, his profit, his secular provisoes, these blunt his edge, upbraid him with impoliticknes with malecontentednes, with a sullen & cynicall disposition against men and man­ners, and thus put I know not what ill favor'd colours up­on a good face, to make a man out of love with an honest busines. In a word, good is before me, the glory, the ser­vice, the waies of God: I see it, but I cannot love it, I love it, but I cannot doe it, I doe it, but I cannot finish it; I will but yet I rebell, I follow, and yet I fall, I presse forward and yet I faint and flagge, I wrestle and yet I halt, I pray and yet I sinne, I fight and yet I am Captive, I crucifie myIn tota anima, & in toto corpo­re conditorem habeopacis De­um, quis in me seminavit hoc bellum? Aug lib. 5. contr. Iulian. cap. 7. Odi quod sum, non sum quod amo, infelix ego, qui in me vene­natu [...] inimi [...]ae arbor is gustum [...] c [...]ucis ligno digessi Aug. ep. 106. Conflictus licet non sit damnabi­lis, quia non per­ficit iniquita­t [...]m, miserabilis tamen, quia non habet pacem. Aug. de Nupt. & concupis. lib 2. cap. 2. lusts, and yet they revile me, I watch my heart, and yet it runnes away from me; God was at first the Author of nothing but peace within me, what envious man hath sowed this warre in my bowels? Let the Apostle answer this question saith Saint Austen, By one man sinne entred into the world. That which I would be I am not, and that which I hate I am; O wretched man, in whom the Crosse of Christ hath not yet worne out the poysonous and bitter tast of that first tree. It is the patheticall com­plaint of Bonifacius in the same Father. How doth the Apostle even breake with complaining of this rebellious and captivating power of originall concupiscence, [...], O wretched man that I am, who shall de­liver me? though hee were delivered from the dam­nation, yet hee was not delivered from the miserie of this sinne, which must necessarily arise from the stirrings, and conflicts of it. Though lust in the regenerate bee not damnable, because albeit it bring forth sinne, yet it doth not finish, and consummate it, for it is broken off by re­pentance, and disabled by the power of Christs spirit, yet it is still miserable, because it disquieteth the spirituall peace and tranquillity of the soule. But there is no great [Page 161] danger in the warre, if the enemie bee either foolish, or weake, or treatable, that either victorie may bee quickly gotten, or some pacifications and compositions conclu­ded. But no such things here.

Seventhly, therefore consider the wisedome, the poli­cies,Rom. 8. 7. Iam. 3. 15. Ier 4. 22. 2 Cor. 10 5. the unsearchablenesse of this sinne. The Scripture cals it The wisedome of the flesh, earthly, sensuall, divellish wisedome, wisedome to doe evill, Reasonings, strong holds, Imaginations, high thoughts; And all this wisedome is emploi'd to Deceive the Soule, therefore is fleshly wise­dome calld by Saint Iames Divellish▪ because it hath theIam. 1. 14. 2. Pet. 3. 17. Gen. 3. 13. 1. Tim. 2. 14. I [...]r. 17. 9. Divels end to Draw away men from God, and to entice, and beguile them. Therefore in Scripture the heart of man is said to bee Deceitfull and unsearchable, and lusts are cald Deceiveable lusts, and the deceitfulnesse of sinne: Eph. 4. 22. 2. Thes. 2. 10. H [...]b. 3. 13. [...]. Solâ Socordiâ Innocens. Tacit. [...]. Eph. 2. 3. Prov. 25. 3. Hos. 5. 2. Grande profun­dum est Homo, [...]uius capillos tu Domine nume­ratos habes, & tamen capilli eius magis nu­mera [...]iles sunt, qu [...]m affectus & motus cor­dis. Aug. Con­fess. lib. 4. cap. 16. Saint Paul hath a heape of words to expresse this ser­pentine quality of sinne by, cogging or cheating, cunning, craftinesse, methods, deceit. Eph. 4▪ 14. But a man may be very wise, & that wisedom look upon none but mischie­vous and deceitfull ends; and yet for all this no great hurt done by him, because he may be unwilling to take the paines, like him in the historian that was innocent not out of good nature, but meerely out of lazines: Therfore thirdly, this Deceite of sinne is actuated and set on work with very strong desires, and universall lustings, the Apo­stle cals them not lusts onely, but wills, or resolutions of the flesh and of the minde it selfe. Hence those secret sins which David himselfe was so troubled withall, those swarmes of lusts which the soule forgeth in it selfe as so many Creatures: that which Salomon saith of the Kings heart, is true of that fleshly King in every mans bosome; It is unsearchable, a Gulfe, a Hell of sinnefull profound­nesse. Policies to keepe from good, policies to poison and pervert good, policies to make good unseasonable; poli­cies to bring to evill, policies to keepe in evill, policies to maintaine, justifie, extenuate evill. Policies to make me [...] [Page 162] rest in false principles, policies to glosse and corrupt true principles, policies on the right hand for superstition and flattering of God with will-worship, policies on the left hand for open profanenes. Infinite are the windings and labyrinths of the heart of man the counsels and projects of the flesh, to establish the Kingdome of sinne in it selfe. It is an argument of one of the grandest consequences in Divinity, this one of the wisdome of the flesh, those wiles and principles that hold up the throne of the Prince of this world. What man is there who will not in professi­on be ready to spit at the name of Satan, and to defie him and the workes of his Kingdome: and yet what man is there in whose bosome Satan hath not a Counsell-table, a troupe of statists, by whom hee worketh effectually the designes of his owne Kingdome? The more time any man will spend to make himselfe acquainted with him­selfe, the more light of Gods Law hee will set up in his heart, the more he will begge of God to reveale the se­crets of his evill nature unto him, to make him see that abundance of the hart, That treasure of the hart, that Hell of the heart, that panoplie and magasin of sinne and temp­tation which is there; the more with the prodigall hee comes unto himselfe, and views that evill heart, that bit­ter roote which is in him: Certainely the more confusion and silence, and abhorrencie, & condemnation will there be of himself, the more adoration of that boundlesse mer­cie, of that bottomles puritie, which is able to pierce into every corner of so unsearchable a thing, able to clense eve­ry hole and dungeon, and to enlarge it into a fit receptacle for the Prince of glory. Notable to this purpose is that place of S. Paul; If all prophesie, and there come in an unbe­leever 1. Cor. 14. 24, 25 or unlearned man, he is convinc'd of all, he is iudged of all, and thus are the secrets of his hart made manifest, and so falling downe on his face he will worship God. As soone as a man is convinc'd and Iudg'd out of the word, and hath the secret filthinesse of his heart laid open before [Page 163] him, hath his Conscience cut open, and unridg'd by that sacrificing sword, which is a discerner of the very intents of Heb. 4. 12. Rom. 15. 16. the heart; he presently fals downe upon his face in the acknowledgment of his owne unworthinesse, and ac­knowledgeth all worship to be due to that most patient and mercifull God, that had all the former dayes of his ignorance endured such an uncleane vessell, which was from the very wombe fitted for wrath, and now at last revealed his Gospell of salvation, opened the bowels of Christ for a sanctuarie and refuge against all that venge­ance that attendeth, and against all those spirituall ene­mies which did hunt his soule. When men have their owne evil waies revealed unto them (which is ever doneEzek. 16. 63. Ezek. 36. 31. Luk. 18. 13. by Gods spirit when hee will please to bee pacified with them) then must they needs be confounded, and be loath­some in their owne sight, and never open their mouths any more, nor hold up their faces, or stand before God withEzra 9. 15. their wonted confidences and presumptions. This was the bottome of Davids repentance, That hee was conceiv'd Psal. 51. 4, 5. in sinne, that was not the first time that hee was an adul­terer, hee had it in his nature from the very wombe. Men testifie their pride in their looks and fashions, in their eies and tongues, 'tis the deepest, the closest, and yet one of the openest sinnes, as a great Oke that spreadeth much in sight, and yet is very deepe under ground too; But now if men did truly consider what black feete they are which doe hold up these proud plumes, what a stinking roote it is which beares these gawdie flowers, what a sul­phury and poisonous soile it is that nourisheth these pain­ted apples, they would beginne a little to new rate them­selves. It is nothing but ignorance that keepes men in pride. If to be wise to doe evill, and foolish to doe good, if to take endowments from the hand of God, and to fight against him with them, if to pervert the light of rea­son and Scripture to plead for sinne, and the purposes of Satan, as lascivious poets use the chast expressions of Vir­gil, [Page 164] to notifie their fordid and obscene conceits; If to beTertul. de prae­scrip. advers. Haeretic. c. 39. so wise as to make evill good, and good, evill, light darke­nesse, and darknesse light; to distingvish idolatry into re­ligion, superstition into worship, Belial into Christ, bee matters to be proud of, then there is in every mans nature a crop and harvest of just pride. Else wee must all con­clude, that hee which glorieth in any thing which is meerely from himselfe, hath chosen nothing to glory in but his owne shame.

Eightly, consider the strength and power of this sinne, to command, to execute, to bring about what ever it hath projected for the advancement of Satans king­dome. It hath the power of a King, It reignes in our mem­bers: Rom. 6. 12. Rom. 7. 23. and it hath the strength of a Law, it is a Law in our members; and a Law without strength is no Law: for Lawes are made to binde, and hold men fast; and there­fore the Apostle cals lust a Law, because it commands, and holds under all our members to the obedience of it. Therefore wicked men are call'd the Servants of sinne, Iob. 8. 34. and the best of us are Captives, that is, unwilling ser­vants.Rom. 7. 14. Which notes such a strength of sinne, as cannot ex toto be altogether withstood. So much flesh and uncir­cumcisednesse as a man hath in him, so much disabilitie likewise hath he to withstand sinne.

In the wicked it hath an absolutenesse, an universall and uncontroled power; First, they cannot but sinne, they can doe nothing but sinne; Without faith it is impossible Heb. 11. 6. Tit. 1. 15. 16. to please God; and to the impure and uncleane every thing is uncleane. His mercies cruell, his prayers abomination, his offerings the sacrifice of fooles. Secondly, if they seeme to forsake any sinne, 'tis not of hatred to that, as a sinne (for he that said. Thou shalt not commit adultery, said Iam. 2. 11. also, Thou shalt not kill) but it is because they preferre others before it. A man that hath many concubines may so dote upon some particulars, as that the rest haply may goe untouch'd, or but cursorily saluted; and yet that is [Page 165] no argument of hatred to them, but of preferring the o­thers. So a mans hart may be so takē up with the pursuit of some Herodias, some darling lust, as that others may seeme utterly neglected, and scorn'd; when the truth is, The hart that playes the adulterer with any sin doth indeed hate none. Thirdly, if by the power of the Word they be frighted from the sinne they most love, yet lust will carry them to it againe, as a Sow returneth to the mire, or a man to his wife. Fourthly, if they should be so fir'd and terrified away, that they durst never actually returne againe; yet even then lust will make them wallow in speculatiue uncleannesse, their thoughts, their delights, their sighs, their byas would still hanker the other way. As lust may dog, and pester, and overtake a holy man that hates it, and yet hee hates it still; so the Word may frightand drive a wicked man from the sinne hee loves, and yet still hee loves it. Fifthly, this sinne as it keepes men in love with all sinne, so it keepes men off from all good duties. It is as a chaine upon all our faculties, an iron gate, that keepes out any good thought, or poysons it when it comes in.

In the faithfull themselves likewise it is exceeding strong, by antiperistasis from the Law, to deceive, capti­vate, sell as a slave, to make him doe that which he hated and allowed not, and not doe that which he would, and lov'd. It may seeme a paradoxe at the first, but it is a certaine truth, Originall sinne is stronger in the faithfull, then those very Graces which they have received. Vnder­stand it thus. A man giveth to a prodigall sonne a great portion into his owne hands, and then gives over the care of him, and leaves him to himselfe; iin this Case, though the money of it selfe were sufficient to keepe him in good quality; yet his owne folly, and the Crowes that haunt the carkasse, those sharking companions that cleave to him, will suddenly exhaust a great estate. So if the Lord should give a man a stocke of Grace as much [Page 166] as David or Paul had, and there stop and furnish him with no further supplyes, but give over the care and pro­tection of him, his lusts are so strong and cunning, as they would suddenly exhaust it all, and reduce him to nothing. For this is certaine, that to be preserved from the strength of our owne lusts, we have not onely use of the good graces which God hath given us already (per modum principij inhaerentis) but of a continued support and under propping (per modum principij adsistentis) of [...]. Phil. 1. 19. those daily succours and supplies of the Spirit of Grace, which may goe before us, and leade into all truth, and teach us the way which we are to walk in, which may stil say to our lusts in our bosome, as he did to Satan at the right hand of Iehoiada, The Lord rebuke thee; that mayZech. 3. 2. still whisper in our eares that blessed direction, This is the way, walke in it. Though a man were able to devoure asEsay 30. 21. much at one meale as was spent upon Bel the Idoll, yet he would quickly perish without further supplyes: so though a man should have a great portion of Grace, and then be given over to himselfe, that would not preserve him from falling againe. Grace in us is but like the put­ting of hot water into cold, it may warme it for the time, but the water will reduce it selfe to its wonted tem­per, cold is predominant, even when the water scalds with heate, but that which keepes water hot, is the preser­ving of fire still about it: so it is not the Graces which the best of us receive, if God should there stop, and leave us to them and our selves together, that would over­come sinne in us: but that which preserves us, is his pro­mise of never failing us, of putting under his hand, of renew­ing Heb. 13. 5. Psal. 37. 24. Lam. 3. 22, 23. Hos. 14. 4. Psal. 23. 6. 1. Pet. 1 5. Iude vers. 24. his mercies daily to us, of healing our back slidings, of fol­lowing us with his goodnes & mercy all the dayes of our life, of keeping us by his power unto saluation through faith, that same which Fulgentius excellently calls Iuge Auxilium, the daily ayde and supply of Grace. For Grace doth not onely prevent a wicked man to make him righteous, but [Page 167] followes him, least hee become wicked againe, not onely [...] Impi­ [...] ut s [...]at Iu­sius, subsequi­tur Ius [...]m ne fiat Impius. Pravenit, ut Lumen cons [...]at, subsequitur ut quod contul [...]t servet, pravenit elisum ut sur­gat, subsequitur elevatum ne ca­dat, &c. Fulg. de praedest. lib. 1. preuent him that is fallen, to rayse him, but follow him after he is risen that he fall not againe. Consider further what a multitude and swarme of lusts and members this body of sinne hath, and how they concurre in the unitie of one body too. For this is worth the nothing, that sometimes they are cald in the singular number Ioh. 1. 29. Rom. 7. 17. Iam. 1. 14. sinne to note their unitie, and conspiration; and sometimes in the plurail number 1. Pet. 2. 11. Eph. 4. 22. Col 3. 5. Eccles. [...]. 3. lusts and members, to note their multitudes and serviceablenesse for severall purposes. And what can bee stronger then an Army consisting of multitudes of men and weapons, reduc'd all to a wonder­full unitie of mindes, ends and order. So then both in re­gard of its regall authoritie, of its edicts, and lawes of go­vernment, of its multitude of members, and unitie of bo­dy, originall sinne must needs be very strong.

Ninthly, consider the madnesse of this sinne. The heart of man, saith Salomon, is full of evill, and madnesse is in his heart while he lives. Insania is a generall word, and hath two kinds or species of madnesse in it; madnesse, or un­soundnesse in passions, which is furor, rage and fiercenes; and madnesse or unsoundnesse in the Intellectuals, which is Amentia, folly, or being out of ones right mind. And both these are in originall sinne.

First, it is full of fiercenesse, rage, precipitancy when ever it sets it selfe on worke; the driving thereof is like2. King. 9. 20. the driving of Iehu, very furious. This disposition the holy Ghost takes notice of often in the nature of wicked men, that they are [...] and [...], implacable men,Rom. 1. 31. whom no bounds, not limits, nor covenants will restraine,2. Tim. 3. 3, 4. or keepe in order: and againe [...] and [...], fierce, headstrong, violent, rash, they know not where not when to stop. Therefore the Scripture compares it to a brea­king Hos. 4. 2. Hos. 7. 6. Esay 57. 20. forth, or violent eruption, like that of fire out of an Oven, or of mire and dirt out of a raging Sea. Men flat­tet themselves in their sinnes, and thinke when they have [Page 168] gone thus or thus farre, they will then give over, and stop at their pleasure. Sed modo & modo non habent modum, as Austen said of his counterfeite and hypocriticall pro­mises, sinne can never finde a center to rest in, a fit place to stop at. These are but like the foolish conceits of chil­dren, who not being able to discerne the deception of their owne senses, and seeing the Heavens in the Orizon seeme to touch the earth, resolve to goe to the place where they conceive them to meete, and there to handle and play with the Starres; but when they are come thi­ther, they finde the distance to be still the same: so is it with the foolish hearts of men, they conceive, after so much gaine, or honour, or pleasure, I shall have my fill, and wil then give over, but as long as the fountaine with­in is not stopt, the pursuites of lust will bee as violent at last as at first. As he in the Fable ‘—Expectat dum defluat amnis, at ille Labitur & labetur:’ So though men thinke, that their lusts will at last grow drie; and they shall easily step over them unto God; yet the truth is, the cutragious desires of men will grow stronger and stronger, even as a river, the farther it goes from the fountaine, doth of ten times spread it self the wi­der. The heart is strongly set upon its owne sinne, as any Creature is upon its owne motion. They set their heart, Hos. 4. 8. Eccles. 8. 11. saith the Prophet, on their iniquity, the heart of the sonnes of men, saith Salomon, is fully set in them to doe evill. As impossible it is for lust to stop it selfe, as for the Sea to give over swelling, or the fire devouring the matter that is before it. The man possest with a Legion of Divels is a notable Emblem of a mans sinfull nature (for indeed sin makes a man of the Divels blood, yee are the children of your Father the Divell, Ioh. 8. 44.) He is conversant with nothing but death, dead workes, dead companions, death the service, and death the wages. He is full of hideous af­fections, he cuts and teares his owne soule; the presence [Page 169] of Christ is horrible and affrightfull to him, and if hee worship him▪ 'tis out of terror, and not out of love; his name may well bee called Legion, for the swarmes, the services, the strength, the warre of lusts in the heart: 'Tis a torment to lust to come out of a man, and to a man to be dispossest of his lusts, there will be paine at the parting of sinne, the uncleane spirit will teare when he must come out: but in this principally was he the picture of our evill nature, in that hee was exceeding fierce and untameable,Matth. 8. 28. Mark. 5. 3, 4. no man durst passe by him, no chaines were strong enough to hold him: and this is the character of wicked men, To breake bands and cords asunder, and to bee their owne Psal. 2. 3. Psal. 12. 4. Lords.

Examples of this fiercenesse of nature the Scripture doth give us abundantly. The Iewes are for this proper­tie compar'd to a swift Drom [...]dary, or to a wilde Assefull Ier 2. 24. [...]. Clem. Alex. Ier. 8. 6. of desires, that snuffeth up the winde, as the use of Horses is in their lust, and cannot be turned. To a Horse rushing in­to the battell; 'tis a similitude from the inundation and precipitancy of torrents, that carry downe all beforeHos. 4 16. them. To a backesliding Heiser, whom no bounds can hold, but he will breake forth into a large place, and have roome to traverse his wayes. To a wilde A [...]se, that goesHos. 8. 9. where his owne will and lust carries him, alone by him­selfe, no Rider to gvide him, no bridle to restraine him, no presence of God to direct him, no Law of God to over-rule him, but alone by himselfe, as his owne Lord. With very fiercenesse they did even weary themselves in Esay 57. 10. Ier 9. 5. their way. Notably did this rage shew it selfe in the So­domites; they reject Lots entreaties, they revile his per­son, they grow more outragious, and pressed in even toGen. 19. 9. teare open the house. Like where unto was the rage of the Pharisies and Iewes against Christ, when he had fully convinc'd them of their sinne, and his owne innocency, and they could hold dispute to longer with him, they run from arguments to stones and raylings, Thou art a [Page 170] Samaritane and hast a Divell. And elsewhere it is said,Ioh. 8 48, 59. Luk. 6. 11. That they were filled with madnesse at the sight of the Mi­racles which Christ wrought. Such was the rage of those which stoned Stephen, they g [...]ashed their teeth, they stop­ped their eares, they shouted with their voyce, they ran with one accord and stoned him: and Saul, who was one of [...] 1 them, is said to have breathed out threatnings like a tyred Wolfe (unto which some make the Prophecy of Iacob touching Beniamin, of which Tribe Saul was, to allude)Gen. 4 [...]. [...]7. Act. [...]. 3. & 22. 4. & 26. 10, 11. Gal. 1. 13. Act. 17. 5, 6. Act. 19. 28, 29 [...]4. Act. 22. 22, 23. and elsewhere to have wasted the Churches, and to have dragg'd the Saints into prison, and to have been exceeding mad against them. And such measure himselfe afterwards found, combinations, uprores, assaults, draggings, wrath, clamors, confusions, rushings in, casting off of clothes, throw­ing of dust into the aire; any thing to expresse rage and madnesse.

But you will say, All these were at the time wicked men, what is that to nature in common? ▪Have the Saints such fierce and intemperate affections too? Surely while we carry our flesh about us, wee carry the seeds of this rage and fury. Simeon and Levi were Patriarches of the Church, and Heads of the Congregations of Israel; yet see how Iacob aggravateth, and curseth their fiercenesse▪ In their anger they slew a man, in their wrath they digge [...] Gen. 49. 6, [...]. downe a wall: Cursed be their anger for it was fierce, and their wrath for it was cruell. Peter was a holy man, yet when the windes blew, when the sluces were open, and the water had gotten a little passage, see how it gathers rage; how fierce and mad it growes, even against the evidences of his owne heart, against the conscience of his owne promises, a deniall growes into an oath, and that multiplies into cursings, and damnings of himselfe; for so [...]. Matth. 26. 74. the word imports, an imprecating of Gods wrath, and of separation from the presence and glory of God upon himselfe, if he knew the man. Ionah was a holy Prophet, and one whose rebellion and fiercenesse against God [Page 171] might in reason have been quite tam'd by the Sea and the Whale; yet looke upon him when his nature gets loose, and you shall finde more madnesse and tempest in him, then in the Sea into which he was throwne: Angry, exceeding angry at Gods mercy to Ninivie, and (with a strange uniformitie of passion in a contrary occasion) as angry at Gods severity to the Gourd. That which made Iob, though before full of impaciency in some particularIob 40. 2. 4. fits, to lay his hand on his mouth, and reply no more, which was Gods debatement, and expostulation with him, Ionah regarded not, but reproves, and replyes with much madnesse of heart upon God himselfe, I doe well to Ionah 4. 9. be angry even unto death. So belluine and contumacious are the mindes of men set upon their owne end, that though God himselfe undertake the cause, they will out­face his arguments, and stand on their owne defence. Asa was a holy King, his heart was perfect with the Lord 1. King. 15. 14. all his dayes, yet when the Prophet sent from God told him of his folly in entertaining leagve with the Syrians, and depending upon their confederacies, It is said, that 2. Chron. 16. 10 he imprisoned the Prophet, and was in a rage, or in a tem­pestuousnesse against him. Theodosius was a holy and ex­cellentPrinceps Reli­giosissimus. Hie­ron. Cle [...]ens a­nimus, miseri­cors, communis, in omnes hono [...]i­ficus. Aurel. Victor. Benesicium se accep [...]sse puta­vit, cum rogare­tur ignos [...]ere. Ambros▪ orat. [...]un. Theodoret. Paulinus. Prince, and amongst all other graces for none more eminent then for lenitie and compassion: yet so farre did his furie kindle, upon occasion of an uproare at Thessalonica, where one of his servants had been slaine, that he commanded an universall massacre without di­stinction to passe upon the City, where, in a very short space of three houres, there were seven thousand men butchered by the Emperours Edict, and the City fill'd with the blood of Innocents.

And this should teach us to keepe the stricter watch over our owne hearts, since such excellent men as these have fallen, since so many occasions may throw us into the like distemper, since the sinne of our nature is but like a sleeping Lyon, or at best but like a wounded Lion, any [Page 172] thing that awakens and vexeth it begets rage and furie, to be the more circumspect over our selves, and the more jealous of our owne passions, in those particular cases es­pecially, wherein this fi [...]e is most apt to kindle.

First, when thou art in disputation, engag'd upon a just quarrell to vindicate the truth of God from heresie and distorsion, looke unto thy heart, set a watch over thy tongue, be ware of wild-fi [...]e in thy zeale, take heed of this [...]. I [...]e v 9. madnesse of thi [...]e evill nature. Much advantage the Di­vell may get euen by disputations for the truth. When m [...]n dispute against those that oppose themselves, as the Disciples against the Samaritans, with thunder and fire from heaven, with railing and reviling speeches, such as the Angell durst not give unto Satan himselfe, when men shall forget the Apostles rule to instruct those that oppose 2. Tim. 2▪ 25. Gal. 6. 1. themselves with meeknes, and to restore those that are fal­len with the spirit of meeknes. When tongve shalbe sharp­ned against tongue, and pen poisoned against pen, when pamphlets shall come forth with more teeth to bite, then arguments to convince, when men shall follow an adver­sarie, as an undisciplin'd Dog his game, with barking and bawling more then with skill or cunning, this is a way to betray the truth, and to doe the Divell service under Gods colours. It is a grave observation which Sulpitius Severus makes of the councel at Ariminum, consisting of foure hundred Bishops whereof eighty were Arians,Exparte nostro­ [...]um leguntur Hom [...]es adole­scentes, parum docti, & parum Cau [...]; ab Ar [...]a­nis autem missi senes, [...], & [...] valen­ [...]es, ade [...]que [...] facile s [...]periores Sulp. [...]. lib. 2. and the rest Orthodox; when after much treaty and a­gitation nothing was concluded but either party kept immoveable to his owne tenent, It was at last resolv'd that the sides should severally dispatch an embassage to the emperour of ten men apiece, who should make rela­tion of their faith and opinions. And here now grew the disadvantage; for saith hee, the Arians sent Aged men, cunning, and able to manage their employment to the best; but on our part, there were young men sent of lit­tle learning, and of strong passions who being vex'd and [Page 173] provok'd by the adverse partie, spoild their owne busi­nesse, though farre the better, with imprudent, and intem­perate handling.

Secondly, when thou art upon any civill controversie or debate for matter of right, looke unto thy heart, take heed of that seed of madnesse which lies lurking in it, lest upon occasion of lawfull controversie, there breake out rage and revenge upon the persons of one another. It is not for nothing that the Apostle saith, There is utterly a fault amongst you because you goe to Law with one ano­ther. 1. Cor. 6. 7. Why? The Apostle doth plainely allow Iudicature, vers. 1. A man may go to law before the Saints, they may iudge small matters and things that pertaine to this life. vers. 2. 3. 4. And for any man from such a place to inferre the unlawfulnesse of sueing to publick justice for his right, is a piece of Anabaptisme and folly justly puni­shed with the losse of his right. What then is that [...], that Impotency and defect which the Apostle blameth in them? It consisteth in two things, first their going to law before Heathen Iudges, thereby exposing the pro­fession of Christianity to imputations of scisme, divisions, and worldlinesse amongst the enemies of it: In which case rather then put a rub unto the progresse of the Gos­pell, by giving unreasonable men occasion to censure the truth thereof by their altercations, and making the mini­stery evill spoken o [...] by their scandals, they were to suffer and to beare wrong. For those words, Why doe you not rather take wrong, and suffer your selves to bee defrauded, are not a Positive precept as Iulian the Apostate object­ed scornefully to the Christians, unlesse it be in smaller in­juries, which may with more wisedome be borne by pa­tience, then by contention repaid or overcome; but one­ly a Comparative precept, that a man should rather choose to leave his name, life, estate, goods, interests, ut­terly unvindicated, then by defending them unavoyda­bly to bring a scandall upon the Crosse of Christ. Second­ly, [Page 174] which is to my present purpose, Their going to law, though in itselfe Iust when before competent and fit jud­ges, had yet an accidentall vitiousnesse that by their in­advertencie did breake out of their evill hearts, and cleave unto it, and that was, their litigations ranne from the businesses unto the persons, It brake forth into violence and wrong against one another, much perturbation of minde, revengefull and circumventing projects shew themselves under the colour of legall debatements; Nay saith the Apostle, you doe wrong and defraud, and that your brethren. Such a notable frowardnesse and rage lyes in the natures of men, that without much caution and watchfulnesse it will bee blowne up into a flame even by honest and just contentions.

Thirdly, In Differences upon private conversation, looke to your hearts, give not the raines too much to an­ger or displeasure, to suspicions or misconstructions of your neighbours person or courses: give not the water passage no not a little. Be Angry, saith the Apostle, but Eph. 4 26. sinne not, let not the sunne goe downe upon your wrath. It is not a Precept; for such Anger as is required of us by wayCameron de Ec­clesia, pag. 15. of duty the Sun may safely go down upon; nor is it a par­don for anger whē we fal into it, to take of the inordinate­nes of it; but it is a speech by way of concession, or unavoi­dable supposition. It cannot bee but that the Saints them­selves upon severall occasions and provocations will be o­vertaken with anger, but yet though their infirmity break forth into the passiō, let not pride & self love harden that passion into a habit, let them be wary that the flame grow not upon them to set them on fire, Give no place to the Divell. The longer a man continues in anger, the more roome the Divel hath to get in upon him, & enrage him. Anger is the kernell and seed of malice, if it be let lie long in the heart, that is so fertile a soile, and Satan so diligent a waterer of his owne plants, that it will quickly grow up into a knottie and stubburne hatred. Wee read of hatreds [Page 175] which have runne in the bloud, and have been entaild, Hereditarie malice, as the Historian cals it, Hatreds whichOdia Haeredita­ria [...].— [...] rebelles seditione rogi. Stat. Liv. have surviv'd the parties, and discover'd themselves in their very funerals, Hatreds which men have bound up­on their posterity by oaths, as Hasdrubal took a solemne oath of Hanibal that he should be an irreconcileable ene­mie to Rome. And what doe all such expressions import, but that there is a boundlesse frenzy in the flesh of men, a fiercenesse which no lawes can tame, and that there is e­nough of it in the best men, to breake out into implaca­ble affections, if grace, and prayer, and watchfulnesse doe not prevent it.

Fourthly, in Afflictions paines of body, temptati­ons of spirit, abridgement of estate, trials in reputation and favour or the like, looke by all meanes unto thy heart, take heede of these seedes of rage and madnesse which are in thee. Never more time to looke to thy mounds, to repaire thy bulwarks, then when a tempest is upon thy sea. Have you seene a beast breake his teeth upon the chaine that bindes him, or a Dog poure out his revenge upon the stone that did hurt him, then have you seene some darke shadowes of that fiercenesse and furie, that is apt to rise out of the hearts of men when Gods hand lies close upon them. When thou hearest of the strange impa­tiencie of Ionah at the beating of the Sun upon his head, un­toIonah 4. 9. whom yet it was a mercy beyond wonder that he did now see the sunne: when thou hearest of those deepe ex­postulations of David with God, Hath he forgotten to be Psal 77. 9, 10. gracious? forgotten his promises? forgotten his truth? forgot­ten his power and mercy? and shut up all his kindenesse in displeasure? When thou hearest of the impatiencies of Iob, a man yet renowned for his patience, expostulatingIam. 5. 11. and charging God, Is it good for the [...] that thou should'st Iob 10. 3. oppresse? When thou hearest of those deepe curses of [...]e­remie against the day of his birth; of those froward ex­postulationsIer. 20. 14▪ 18. and debates of the people of Israel with [Page 176] Moses, & of Moses with God, Why hast thou evill entrea­ted Exod. 5. 21, 22. this people, why hast thou sent me? O then reflect upon thy selfe, and be afraid of thine owne evill heart, which is farre more likely to breake out against God then any of those were. And for a remedie or prevention hereof keepe in thy sight the historie of thy sinnes, make them as hai­nous to thine owne view as they are in their own nature; The way not to rage against afflictions is to know our selves aright, that will make us confesse unto God with Ezra, let our calamities be what they will, That the Lord Ezra. 9. 13. hath punish'd us lesse then our iniquities have deserved. The way to beare the hand of God with patience, and with acceptance, is to confesse our sinnes, and to be hum­bled for them. If their uncircumcised hearts bee humbled, Levit. 26. 40, 41. and then they accept of the punishment of their iniquities, saith the Lord: noting thus much, that the sight of our sin, and humiliation for it, makes a man willing to submitLam. 3. 39, 40. to Gods chastisements. Wherefore doth a living man com­plaine, a man for the punishment of his sins? there are three strong reasons together why we ought not to murmur in our afflictions. First, Wee are men, and what an impudence is it for the clay to swell against the potter that form'd it, and complaine why hast thou made me thus. Secondly, wee are sinners, all the punishments wee suffer are our owne, the wages of our iniquities, and what a madnesse is it to complaine against the justice of our Iudge? Third­ly, wee are living men and therefore God hath punished us lesse then our sinnes deserve, for the wages of sinne is death, and what ingratitude is it to repine at mercifull, and moderated punishments? but yet such is the froward­nesse of our nature that wee are very apt thus to mur­mur; what is the cure and remedy of this evill affecti­on? Let vs search and try our waies (saith the Church) and turne to the Lord our God; the more wee grow ac­quainted with our sinnefull estate, and marveilous pro­vocations, with the patience and promises of God, the [Page 177] more we shall justifie God, and waite upon him, the more wee shall judge our selves lesse then the least ofMic. 7 9. Gods mercies and forbearances. I will beare the indigna­tion of the Lord, saith the Church againe in the same case, I will not repine nor murmure at his dealing with me, I will acknowledge that righteousnesse belongeth unto him, and confusion unto me, and the ground of this reso­lution is the sense of sinne, Because I have sinned against him. I have pressed, and wearied, and grieved, and vexed him with my sinnes, without any zeale or tendernesse of his glory; but he hath visited me in judgement and not in fury, in wrath he hath remembred mercy, and not quite consumed me as he might have done, he hath not dealt with me after my sinnes, nor rewarded me accor­ding to mine iniquities, he hath spared me as a sonne when I dealt with him as a traytor, and hee will pleade my cause, and bring me forth to the light, and revenge my quarrell against those which helped forward my af­fliction.

Thus we see the way not to rage against Afflictions is to understand and be sensible of the foulenesse of our sinnes. Otherwise pride and madnesse will undoubted­ly shew themselves in our Afflictions. What desperate and horrible rage did the heart of Pharaoh swell into, when in the middest of those fearefull Iudgements heeExod. 9. 17. 7. 23. hardned his heart, and exalted himselfe against the peo­ple of God, and trampled upon them, and did not set his10. 11. heart unto the iudgement, but threatned and drave out M [...]ses and Aaron from his presence, and pursued them with finall and obdurate malice, through the midst of14. 23. that wonderfull deliverance? The like example we see in that impatient and fretfull reply of Iehoram king of Israel in the great famine: This euill is of the Lord, what should I 2. King. 6. 33. waite for the Lord any longer? If this be all the reward we haue for waiting and calling upon God, to what purpose serve our humiliations and fastings? what profitablenesse [Page] [Page 178] at all is there in his seruice? Thus we find the hypocrits challenging God for afflicting them, upbraiding him with their humiliations, and the fruitlesnesse of his ser­vice: Wherefore haue we fasted, and thou seest not? where­fore Esai. 58 3. haue wee afflicted our soule and thou takest no know­ledge? ye haue said it is in vaine to serue God, and what Mal. 3. 14. profit i [...] it that wee ha [...]e kept his ordinance, and that wee haue walked mourn [...]fully before the Lord of hoasts, &c? And thus Saul, when hee found himselfe forsaken1. Sam. 28. 6▪ 7. by God, and should haue humbled himselfe, and sought his face, he proceeded in a further rage to inquire of the witches which himselfe had commanded to be destroy­ed.

These things should teach us all to labour with God in prayer, that what ever evill hee sendeth upon us, hee would not suffer his strength and spirit to forsake us, nor giue us ouer to the rage and madnesse of our owne na­ture. O what hearts should men see in themselues, if they would looke upon their owne faces in other mens lives! See [...]ulian dye with revenge and rage against Christ; Iudas bursting asunder under the weight of Gods wrath; The cursed persecutors 20 Anno Im­perij Dioclesiani exacto amb [...] im­peratores con­s [...]ntientibus animis imperio se abdicarunt; publicè pro [...]iten­tes se moli nego­tiorum [...]: sed apud [...]os quibus arca­na s [...]i pectoris crede [...]ant, id ex [...] sa­cere se [...]teban­tur. Quia enim ne [...] Christian [...]s [...], [...]ec praeconium Christiani nominis extinguere possent; se nec Imperio velle f [...]ui. [...]. Tom. 2. De Dio [...]lesiano & Maximiniano Herculeo. putting of their power, retiring to a priuate life, pining away with vex­ation, because the Gospell of Christ was too hard for them; Achitophel dispatching himselfe for very mad­nesse, because his oracle was not beleeved; One despaire, another blaspheme, another wrestle with his affliction as a beast in a snare, till the part swell and rancle, and grow too bigge for the punishment which is upon it; How could not this chuse but make men out of loue with themselues, and labour to haue more holdfast of the Spirit of Christ; that this madnesse of our nature may thereby betained, and our equanimity and mode­ration made knowne to all men?

[Page 179]Fifthly, and lastly, In the Ministery of the Word, when thy bosome sinne is met with, and the plague of thine owne heart discouer'd, when thou art prick't in thy master veine, when the edge of the sword enters to the quicke sacrificeth thee, crucifieth thy lusts, cuts off thy earthly members, ransackes thy conscience, and shewes thee the inside of thy foule soule; heere by all meanes looke unto thy heart; never so likely a time for madnesse and fierce opposition to set up it selfe, as when a man is driven into a corner and cannot flie. Sinners are all co­wards, and cannot indure the brightnesse of Moses face, are not able to abide the scrutinie of the Word, butIer. 2. 27. Ioh. 8. 9. would faine turne their backes upon it; not onely out of scorne, but out of feare too.

Many a sturdy sinner will seeme to contemne the plainenesse and power of the Word, as an illiterate rude foolish thing, to scorne & undervalue the persons, compa­nies, discourses of faithfull Ministers, as of despicable, or supercilious, or schismaticall fellowes: but the truth is (and they in their owne consciences know it too) that though there bee indeede much stoutnesse and con­tempt, yet there is more cowardice: Scorne is the pre­tence, but feare is the reason; they cannot indure to bee disquieted and gall'd: as a diseased or wounded horse cu [...]vets, and pranceth, and is very actiue and impatient; at first sight a man would thinke it pride and metall, but the truth is tis paine and smart that causeth it. Well then sinners are all cowards, and would faine fly, but even cowards themselves, when they are shutin and surroun­ded, will fight with more fiercenesse then other men, even for very feare. The basest vermin almost that is, when shut out of all his refuges and holes, will trie his strength before he will perish, and leape in the face of his pursuer. And this now is the property of the word to [...] men in, The Scripture, saith the Apostle, hath shut up all under sinn [...]. Gal. 3. 22. And we shall ever finde, that [Page 180] the deeper the conviction hath been, the more likewise hath beene the preiudice, and the fiercer the Opposition against the word: see Ier. 5. 5, 12. 6. 10. 43. 1, 2. Nehem. 9. 29, 30. Ioh. 8. 48, 59. Ioh. 11. 47, 53. Act. 5. 33. Act. 6. 10, 11. 7. 54. 57, 58. Ier. 36. 23. 2. Chron. 36. 15, 16, 17. As in the meeting of two contrary streames, if one prevaile not to carry away and over-rule the other, there must needs arise a mighty noyse and rage in the conflict: so is it in the wrestling and strife betweene the Spirit of God in the Word, and the current of a mans owne corruptions; the greater strength and manifestation of the Spirit the Word hath in it, and the fewer corners and chinkes it leaves for sinne to escape at, the more fierce must needes the opposition be, if the word be not prevalent enough to turne the current. Let us therfore beware whatever we do of snuffing or rebelling against the warnings which are giuen us out of the Word. It is hard to kicke against the prickes; there is no overcomming Gods Spirit: a man may fall upon the stone, but hee shall be broken by it; if he be so strong, and lift so hard, as to move the stone, it shall fall upon him, and grinde him to powder. Let us not resolve to baffle the ministers, and to despise their message; (It is a sinne that leaves no remedy for a man,2. Chron. 36. 16 to throw away the physicke, to trample under foote the playster that should heale him) Let us not thinke to blow away the Words of God as if they were but so much empty winde; for the Lord saith that they shall be­come Ier. [...]. 13, 14. fire, to devou [...]e the adversaries; Let us not distin­guish Scripture to our owne humours, nor accept or re­ject Gods Truth as will best▪consist with our owne re­solutions; but as it is the power of the Word to Capti­vatePsal. 68. 18. 2. Cor. 10. 5. Psal. 119. 128. Act. 3. 2 [...]. even rebelliousthoughts to the obedience of Christ; so let us resolve to accept of every one of Gods righte­ous Commandements, and to hate every false way, to heare Christ and his Ministers in all things, to answer to Gods severest cals, even then when they make us tremble [Page 181] and doe astonish us, as Saint Paul did, Lord what wilt Act. 9. 6. thou haue me to doe? Even when the word affrights thee, yet giue this honour to it, not to reject it, nor fly from it, not to smother and suppresse it, but to endure it to search thee, and to submit thy selfe unto it. This is a notable way to abate the Originall madnesse which is in thy heart.

Secondly, as there is furor in madnesse, so there is Amentia too, A distemper in the Intellectuals, as well as in the passions: Every man that is throughly mad is a foole too: And therefore the same originall word is translated in one place madnesse, Luk. 6. 11. and in ano­ther place, follie, 2. Tim. 3. 9. Now this distemper is Twofold: for either it is an universall privation and defect of reason; or at least it is an inconsistency, a lubricitie, a slipperinesse of reason. And these are very deepe in the nature of a man, folly is bound up in the heart of a childe, and in spirituall things we are all children.

First, there is an universall ignorance and inconsiderate­nesse of spirituall things in the nature of man, he takes lesse notice of his condition then the very bruite beasts. The Oxe knoweth his owner, and the Asse his masters crib, Esai. 1. 3. but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. The St [...]rke in the heavens knoweth her appointed time, and the Ier. 8. 6, 7. Turtle, and the Crane, and the Swallow, but my people Esai. 42. 25. knoweth not the judgement of the Lord. The very dumbe Assereproved the madnesse of the Prophet, as Saint Peter 2. Pet. 2. 16. speakes. And for this reason it is that we shall observe That frequent Apostrophe of God in the Prophets, when he had wearied himselfe with crying to a deafe and re bellious people, he turnes his speech, and pleads before dumbe and inanimate Creatures; Heare, O Heavens, and Esai. 1. 2. Deut. 3 [...] 1. [...]er 2. 12. Ier. 6 19. give eare, O Earth, nothing so farre from the voyce of the Prophet as the heavens, nothing so dull and impenetrable as the earth, and yet the heavens likelier to heare, the earth likelier to listen and attend, then the obdurate sin­ners. [Page 182] Heare O ye mountaines the Lords controversie, and ye Mic. 6. 2. strong foundations of the earth. Nothing in the earth so im­moveable as the mountaines, nothing in the mountaines so impenetrable as the foundations of the mountaines, and yet these are made more sensible of Gods pleadings and controversies then the people whom it concern'd, The Creatures groane (as the Apostle speakes) under theRom. 8. 21, 22. burden and vanitie of the sinnes of men; and men them­selves, upon whom sinne lies with a farre heavier burden, boast, and glory, and rejoyce in it. Of our selves we have no understanding, but are foolish and sottish, as the Pro­phetIer. 4. 22. speakes, we see nothing but by the light and the understanding which is given unto us, we cannot have so1. Ioh. 5. 20. 2. Cor. 3. 5. much as a right thought of goodnesse. The Apostle doth notably expresse this universall blindnesse which is in our nature, Ephes. 4. 17. 18. Walke not as other Gentiles in the Vanitie of their minde, having the understanding darkned, being alienated from the life of God, or from a godly life, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blind­nesse of their Hearts. First their minds are vaine; the minde is the Seate of Principles, of supreme, primitive, underi­vedArist. Eth. lib. 6. truths; but, saith he, their mindes are destitute of all divine and spirituall principles. Secondly, their under­standing [ [...]] is darkened: The understanding, or Di­anoeticall facultie is the seate of Conclusions, and that is unable to deduce from spirituall principles (if there were any in their mindes) such sound and divine conclusions as they are apt to beget: so though they know God (which is a Principle) yet this Principle was vaine in them, for they conceiv'd of his glory basely, by the similitude of foure footed beasts, and creeping things, they conceiv'd him an idle God as the Epicures, or a God subject to fate and necessity as the Stoicks, or a sinfull impu [...]e God, that by his example made uncleannesses religious, as Saint Cyprian speakes; one way or other they became vaine in their imaginations of him; but secondly though they [Page 183] knew him, yet the conclusions which they deduc'd from that Principle, That he was to be worshipped, &c. were utterly unworthy his majesty, They worshipped him ig­norantly, Act. 17. 22, 23. superstitiously, not as became God, they changed Rom. 1. 21, 25. his truth into a lye. Thirdly, suppose their principles to be found, their Conclusions from those principles to be naturall and proper, yet all this is but speculation, they still are without the end of all this, spirituall prudence, their hearts were blinded, the heart is the Seate of know­ledge practicall, that by the Principles of the minde and the Conclusions of the understanding doth regulate and measure the Conversation, but that was unable, yea a­verse from any such knowledge, for they held the truth Rom. 1. 18, 28. 24. 26. 29. 32. of God in unrighteousnesse, they did not like to retaine God in their knowledge, they served the lusts of their owne hearts, were given up to vile affections, were filled with all unrighteousnesse, and had pleasure in evill workers, even when they did things which they knew deserved death, and provoked judgement. This is that universall defect which is in us by nature; and very much of this remaines in the best of us. Here then when we are not able to conceive the Lords purpose in his word, though of it selfe it be all light, when we finde with David that it is too excellent for us, let us learne to bewaile that evill concupiscence of our nature, which still fils our under­standings with mists, and puts a vaile before our faces. The whole Booke of God is a pretious Mine full of un­searchable [...]. Basil. in pro. em. lib. de Spiritu Sancto. treasures, and of all wisedome; there is no scoria, no refuse in it, nothing which is not of great mo­ment, and worthy of speciall and particular observation, and therefore much are we still to bewaile the unfaith­fulnesse of our memories and understandings, which re­taine so little, and understand lesse then they doe retaine. If David were constrain'd to pray Open mine eyes to see more wonders in thy Law, how much more are we to pray so too? If there were a dampe of sinne in Davids [Page 184] heart, that did often make his light dimme, that did make him as abeast in understanding, as himselfe complaines; how much darkenesse then and disproportion is there betweene us and that blessed light? Looke upon Here­tiques old and new, Marcions two gods, a good and an evill, Valentinians thirty and odde gods in severall lofts and stories; worshippers of Caine, worshippers of Iudas, worshippers of the Serpent, and a world of the like sot­tishScripturas [...] sua di­versitate com­munes. Aug. Ep. 253. Evangelium pertrabunt ad sententiae suae praecipitium. Iustin martyr Epist. ad Zenam. impiecies: nay amongst men that pretend more light, to see the same Scriptures on both sides held, and yet opinions as diametrally contrary as light and darkenesse, one gospell in one place, and another gospell in another, to speake nothing of those [...] and naevi, those ble­mishes that are in the writings of the most rare and choi­sest instruments in Gods Church; All these are notable evidences of that radicall blindnesse which is in our na­ture, and is never here quite removed: for if the light be not seene, it is not for want of evidence, but for want of [...]. Theophil ad Autol. lib. 1. sight.

Secondly, consider the slipperinesse and inconsistencie of naturall reason in spirituall things, it can never stay up­on any holy notion: And this is another kinde of mad­nesse. Mad men will make a hundred relations, but their reason cannot stand still, nor goe through with any, but roves from one thing to another, and joynes together notions of severall subjects like a rope of sand: some few lucid intervals they may haply have, but they quick­ly returne to their frenzies againe. This is the condition of our nature, let a man enter upon any holy thoughts, the flesh will quickly cast in other suggestions, to make him weary and faint under such unwelcome speculations. Therfore it was that David prayed, Vnite my hart to feare thy name; Keepe it alwayes in the thoughts of the heart of thy servant, &c. This was the businesse of Paul and Bar­nabas to the Saints, to exhort them that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto God. And hence that phraseAct. 11. 23. [Page 185] of Scripture to ioyne a mans selfe to God, and to lay fast Esay 56. 3. Heb. 6. 18. bold upon him. And this every man that sets about it will finde to bee a very hard worke; It will give every man just cause to cry out against the intrusions of a naughty heart. This is that which makes many mens righteousnesse like the morning Dew; now the Grasse seemes drunken with wetnesse, and an houre after even gapes for drought; now a vow and resolution, anon a re­lapse and returne againe; now an [...]are to Christ, present­ly another open to sinne; now offers and tender of peace, anon retreates and exceptions; now a skirmish with sinne, and presently a truce; like Penelopes Web, wrought in the day, and untwisted in the night.

Tenthly, consider the Indefatigablenesse of this sinne, how unwearied it is in all the mischiefs that it is bent up­on. It is said of Satan that he goes about seeking whom hee 1. Pet. 5. 8. may devoure, as it was of Christ▪ That he went about doing good; I thinke wee shall never in the Scripture finde the Divell at a pause, or sitting still like one that were spent and tir'd. But yet I finde that for a season he hath depar­ted, Luk. 4. 13. when hee had such a terrible foyle as put him out of all hope of victory; I finde that hee may bee driven away and put to flight. Resist the Divell and hee Iam. 4. 7. shall flie from you. But now the fleshlie heart of a man will never be made sound a retreate, but sets on indefati­gably upon the spirituall part: It is (as I said) like the Thiefe, when it is nail'd and crucified it will still revile, like a wounded woolfe it runnes about to doe mischiefe, or as a tyred Oxe it treads with more weight upon theBos lassus forti­ùs figit pedem. Plus Romae ne­gotyfuit cum se­miru [...]d Carthagine, quàm cum inte­gra. Flor. soule. As the Historian said of Carthage that Rome was more troubled with it when it was halfe destroy'd, then when it remain'd whole and entire: so the man that hath in some measure overcome his lusts, will bee farre more sensible of their stirrings and strugglings, then another in whom they rule without disturbance. Wee may ob­serve in some froward men when their causes are tried [Page 186] and prove desperate in right, they will yet still create per­verse matters to molest their neighbors, and the more they sinke in the maine, the more clamorous they will be to proceed; as eager gamesters the more they loose, the deeper game they play, and the harder they set to it; so is it with the lusts of men, the more they are subdued, the more rebellious and headstrong will they be so farre as their power goes against the spirit of Christ. Lime is kindled by that which quencheth all other fires, and sure­ly Grace which [...] other temptations, or at least abateth th [...]m doth occasionally, and by antiperista­sis enrage the flesh, though in regard of exercise and actu­all power it dye daylie.

The reason hereof is, First, that which is naturall can [...]. Arist. Ethic. lib. 2. cap. 1. [...] Rhet. lib. 1. never be chang'd, neither is any thing ever tir'd in its natu­rall motion. The motion of a stone upward growes fain­ter and fainter because carried by a violent impression, but downeward stronger and stronger because it gathers strength even by sympathie to the place whereunto it moves. Now originall sinne is the corrupt nature of a man, and the motions therefore of it are not violent but alto­gether naturall, and that naturall motion is set on and made the easier by the impulsions of Satan, as a stone throwne or hurried downeward moves the swifter, be­cause the naturall weight thereof is improv'd by the ac­cessory impression. Who ever knew the Sea give over ra­ging, or a streame grow weary of running? Now the mo­tions of corruption are as naturall as the estuations of the sea, or the course of a river. Though there may be diffi­culty in fullfilling lusts, there can never be any in the rising and sprouting of lusts: As there may be paines in drawing water out of a Fountaine, but there can be no paines in the waters swelling or rising out of the Fountaine. It is no paines to conceive seede, though it bee to bring it forth in a birth: so in the begetting of sin, there is no paines requir'd for the heart to lust, for thoughts to arise, though [Page 187] the finishing of sinne may bee oftentimes painefull as well as deadly. Originall sinne is call'd by the Apo­sile a Law in the members, which putteth a byas into them, a forwardnesse, and propension to all evill. Now as a Bowle moves not with any difficultie when it fol­lowes the sway of its owne bias, so neither doth the heart in following lusts which are the weights and bias of the fleshlie soule. And therefore the longer any man lives in sinne, the sweeter 'tis to him. Wearinesse, and propensi­on are termes inconsistent. Secondly, Nothing is weary while it workes all De Suo, of it selfe, that which tyres a faculty is the fetching in of subsidiarie spirits, which be­ing exhausted and spent the faculty giveth over working, and is said to be wearie. The eye is never weary with the act of seeing (which is it owne worke) but it is said to bee weary, meerely because of the deficiency of those animall spirits which are from without sent in unto it to assist it in its owne worke, which if they did in the same measure and strength without decay flow to the facultie, it could never be tired in its owne operation. So the locomotive facultie, when the hand worketh, or the foote walketh, would never be wearied in it selfe, if those spirits which are requisite to strengthen it in its exercise did not lessen, and faile, and breath out in the motion. But now our lusts make us flesh all over, in them wee worke all de nostro of our owne; It is as naturall to the heart to lust, as it is to the eye to see, and in this respect more too; for though the Act of seeing bee the eyes alone, yet the eye stands in need of forraine assistance from the heart (which is the forge and seminarie of spirits) to continue the exercise of this Act: But the Heart is wholly within it selfe furnish'd with all the strength and principles of lusting, or if it were not, yet those spirits which the temptations of Satan or the world infuse to assist it, doe never faile nor waste a­way, but as waters drawne out of a fountaine, the faster they are cald in, the more plentifully they come.

[Page 188]Thirdly, Originall sin is Indefatigable, never wearie of warring, of tempting, of raging, of intruding, of bringing forth, o [...] polluting all we do, because it is unsatisfied, The Eccles. 1. 8. eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the [...]are with hearing. It is of vast and infinite desires, and the more it is supplied with that in which it seeketh satisfaction, the more greedy it growes; as naturall motions the longer they continue the swifter they are. A sinner if he should live for ever, would Omnis peccator peccat in su [...] ae­terno. Greg. sin for ever, & never say it is enough. Every imagination, every Creature that is shap'd & form'd in the hart, every purpose, desire, motion, ebullition, is onely evill every Day, saith the text; no period, no stint, Evill from the child­hood, Gen. 8. 21. Amama Anti­barb. biblic. l 2 p. 403. Ex quo excussus est ex vtero, from the time of brea­king forth out of the wombe, as the learned observe from the propriety of the word. Evill comes out of the heart as sparkles do out of the fire, never cease rising while the fire continues. Notably is this insatiablenesse of lust ex­pressed by the Prophet in two excellent similitudes. First,Hab. 2. 5, 6. from Drunkennesse, which makes a man still more gree­dy, doth not extinguish but enflame the perverse desire; none cal in for wine faster, then they which have had too much before. Secondly, from Hell and the grave, whichEsay 5. 14. Prov. 30. 15, 16. 1. King. 18. 43. have no stint nor measure. The Cloud which the Prophet shewed his servant, was no bigger at first then a hand; af­ter, it grew to cover all the Heavens, and the reason was, it rose out of a Sea: so the sin of man will continually grow and overflow all his life, and the reason is, it hath a Sea of lust continually to supply it. Therfore in the Scripture it is [...] 1. Pet 4. 4. Iude v. 13. Esay 57. 19. [...]. Eph. 4. 19. Rom. 1. 27, 29. call'd an effusion, a rushing out, an aestus, like the foaming or boyling of the Sea, a strange excesse of ryot, unto which, saith the Apostle, wicked men runne: a Greedinesse, a co­vetous improvement of uncleanenesse, a burning of lust, a fulnesse of all mischiefe. Now from this insatiablenesse of lust must needs follow the indefatigablenesse of it too. When a thing is out of the place of its owne rest, it neuer leaves moving naturally till it have gotten to it; therefore in as [Page 189] much as lust can never carry the hart to any thing which it may rest in, needs must it flutter about, & be alwayes in motion. If there were an infinite space of aire, the motion of a stone in that space (if there were any motion) must needs be infinite, because it would no where have a Cen­ter, or middle place to hold it (for there can be no medium where there are no extremes.) Desires are the wings upon which the soule moves, if there be stil things found to en­tice the desires, and none to satisfie them, no marvell if the soule be stil upon the wing, in perpetual agitation, like the wind which continually whirleth about, or the RiversEccles. 1. 6, 7. which never leave running into the Sea, because they ne­ver fill it. But it may be objected, that the Scripture makes mention of the wearinesse which sinne brings upon men, of that impotency of sinning which growes upon them. The Sodomites wearied themselves in their rage against Lot. So the Prophet saith of wicked men, that they wea­ry themselves to commit iniquity. I answer, that these ve­ryIer. 9. 5. places prove the indefatigablenesse of lust, in that it never gives over, even when the instruments thereof are ti [...]'d. The Israelites were weary of gathering straw, but were the Task-masters weary of exacting it? The mem­bers may be weary of serving their law, but is the law of the members weary of quickning or commanding them? Nay, herein is seene the cruell tyranny of lust against us, that it never leaves drawing, enticing, heartning, supply­ing us for sinne, even when wee are quite wearied in the service of it. Thou wert wearied in thy way, yet saidst Esay 5 [...]. 10. thou not, There is no hope. Thou never didst consider, I have thus long drudg'd in the service of sinne, and have found no fruit, received no such satisfaction as I promis'dRom. 6. 21. my selfe; and therefore why should I weary my selfe any longer? Why should I labour for that which is noEsay 55. 2. bread, and which satisfyeth not? Thou never didst be­thinke thy selfe of returning to the right way, but wen­test on with wonted madnesse and rage still, though thou [Page 190] foundedst for certaine that there was no profit in thyIer. 2. 11, 12. & 7. 8. Esay 30. 5, 6. Hos. 8▪ 7. evill way, that thou didst sow nothing but winde, and shouldst reape nothing but a whirlewinde. Baalams lust was too swift for his weary beast; when the Asse was frighted, and durst goe no further, yet the Prophet was as unwearied as at the first. Lust is like a furious Rider, never weary of the way, though the poore beast which must serve the Riders turne may quickly bee worne out. Woe to him that lodeth himselfe with thicke clay, saith theHab. 2. 45. Prophet, How long? He may have enough to loade him, he can never have enough to weary him. He may lod [...] his house, his memory, his bagges, his wits, his time, his conscience; but he can never fill his Hell. He may quick­ly have enough to sinke him, but hee can never have enough to satisfie him: As a ship may be overladen with Gold or Silver even unto sinking, and yet have compasse and sides enough to hold ten times more: so the heart will quickly be loaded unto sinking, but never filld unto satiety. In one word, wee must in sinne distingvish be­tweene the Act, and the Concupiscence from whence thatInter vivacita­tem & Libidi­nem. Aug contr. Iul. lib 4. cap. 14. Act ariseth; or in the faculties betweene the Life and the Lust of them, betweene their naturall strength and activitie, and their law of corruption. The livelinesse and strength of the faculties may quickly be wasted, and yet the lust strong still. Sinne in Act hath a concurrence of the powers of the soule, and services of the body, which in their motions may quickly langvish. But yet as the Phi­losophers say of the soule, though it may seeme tyr'd and spent, and waxen old, because the body in which it re­sides growes unfit for its service, yet the soule indeed itself Anima non se­nescit. Scal. de sub. [...]. Arist. de Anim. l. 1 c. 4. doth not grow old, but if it had equall instruments would be as vigorous in the oldest man, as in the youngest: so we may say of sin, though the body may grow weary of a­dultery, or the mind weary of plodding mischiefe, or the thoughts weary of contriving deceit, yet concupisce [...]is non senescit, Lust it selfe growes never old nor weary. [Page 191] Nay, as the water when it is stopt in its principall course, yet one way or other where it best may it will make a shift to finde a vent, and to discover it selfe: even so lust in the heart will one way or other, when the minde and faculties, the body and members are quite tyr'd out in the principall service, make a shift to breake forth into some easier vent. When the adultery in the heart hath worne out the body, and spur'd it so long in this uncleane race, that it now sinkes under the burden, and hath no more blood to lose, yet even then it will finde a vent, and such a man will have eyes full of adultery, a tongvefull of adul­tery, thoughts and speculations full of adultery, a memo­rie in the review of former lewdnesse full of adultery. The thiefe on the Crosse had as good a will to crucifie Christ, to naile him, and pierce him as any others, but hee was fast enough for doing this; yet his malice will finde a vent into his tongve to revile and raile upon him. Balaams tongve could not execute the office to which hee was hir'd, yet it will have a vent, and shew it selfe in journey­ing, counselling, and consulting how the people might draw a curse upon themselves. As a dogge may have hisNumb. 31. 16. Mic. 6. 5. stomack cram'd usque ad vomitum, and yet his appetite unsatisfied, for hee presently returnes to his vomit: so though a man may lode and weary himselfe in the acting of sinne, yet lust it selfe is never satisfied, and therefore never wearied.

What a watch then should we keepe over our evill hearts, what paines should wee take by prayer and un­weariednesse of spirit to suppresse this enemy? If there were any time wherein the flesh did sit still and sleepe, wherein the water did not runne, and seeke for vent, wee might then haply slacken our care; but since it is ever stirring in us, wee should bee ever stirring against it, and using all meanes to lessen and abate it: since the heart is unwearied in evill, we should not faint, nor be weary of well-doing. Since the heart is so abundant in evill, wee [Page 192] should abound likewise in every good work of the Lord, alwayes considering what advantage this labour will give us against the toyle of sinne: in lust a man wearieth himselfe and hath no hope, but here our labour is not in vaine in the Lord, wee shall reape if wee faint not; and a little glory in heaven, nay a little comfort in earth (though neither one nor other may be called little) will be a most plentifull recompence, pressed downe and running over for any the greatest paines that can bee taken in this spiri­tuall watch. Yee have need of patience, saith the Apostle, to goe through the will of God, to bee in a perpetuall combate and defiance with an enemy that will give no respite nor breathing time. The temptations of Satan, the solicitations of the world are not so many, nor heauie clogs to men in their race, as that to which they are fast­ned, this weight that presseth downe, this besieging sinne which is ever enticing, clamouring, haling, rebelling, in­truding, with love, with strength, with law, with argu­ments, with importunities calling a man from his right way. From this consideration the Apostle immediately inferres this duty of patience, Lay aside every waight, saith the Apostle, and the sinne that doth so easily beset us, and runne with patience unto the race that is set before us. And we must not cast our eye alwayes to the clog which wee draw, that may much dis-hearten us; but looke unto Iesus, the Author and finisher of our faith, hee that can carry us through all these difficulties, that gives us wea­pons, that teacheth our hands to warre, and our fingers to fight, that is our Captaine to leade us, and our second, ( [...], our fellow-Combatant) that fighteth against sinne in us by his grace. Looke what hee did, what con­tradiction hee endured, lest yee bee wearied and faint in your minds; Looke what he promiseth, a victory against our lusts, and a Crowne after our victory. Looke when he commeth, 'tis yet but a little while; The comming of the Lord draweth nigh, the Lord is at hand; Call to [Page 193] him, he is within the voyce of thy prayer, hee will come to strengthen thee; waite upon him, he is within the eye of thy Faith, he will come to reward thee. Looke upon the Cloud of witnesses, those that are now the Church of the first-borne, and have their Palmes in their hands; they all went through the same combate, they were all beset with alike infirmities, they were all men of the same pas­sions with us, let us bee men of the same patience with them.

Now lastly, consider the Propagation of this sinne. Which may therefore well be called an old man, because it dies not, but passeth over from one generation to ano­ther; A mans Actuall sinnes are personall, and therefore Intransient, they begin and end in himselfe; but originall sinne is naturall, and therefore with the nature it passeth over from a man to his posteritie. It is an entaile that can never be cut of, it hath held from Adam and will so continue to the worlds end holding al men in an unavoi­dable service and villanage unto Satan the Prince of this world. In Humane Tenures if a man leave a personall estate to all his children indefinitely, without singling out and designing this portion to one and that to another, though it bee true to say that there is nothing in that estate which any one of the children can lay an entire clayme unto as his owne, but that the rest have joynt in­terest in it, (for the children, though many in persons, are yet but one proprietarie in regard of right in the estate of their father, till there be a severance made) yet notwith­standing a Partition may be legally procur'd, and there is a kinde of virtuall or fundamentall severance before, which was the ground of that which is afterwards reall and legall: But now in this wretched Inheritance of sin which Adam left to all his posterity, we are to note this mischiefe in the first place, that there is no virtuall parti­tion, but it is left whole to every childe of Adam. All have it, and yet every one hath it all too. Soe that as Philoso­phers [Page 194] say of the Reasonable soule, That it is whole in the whole, and that it is whole in every part: so wee may say of originall concupiscence, It is Tota in Genere Humano, and Tota in quolibet homine. All in mankinde, and all in every particular man. There is no law of partition for one man to have to him in peculiar the lusts of the eye, another to him the lusts of the tongue, another to him the lusts of the eare, &c. but every man hath euery lust originally as full as all men together have it.

Secondly, we are to note a great difference further be­tween the Soule & sin in this regard; though all the soule be in every member as wel as in the whole body, yet it is not in the same manner and excellency in the parts as in the whole. For it is in the whole to all the purposes of life, sense, and motion, but in the parts the whole Soule serves but for some speciall businesses. All the soule is in the eye, and all in the eare, but not in either to all purposes, for it sees onely in the eye, and it heares onely in the eare; But originall sinne is all in every man, and it serves in e­very man to all purposes: Not in one man onely to com­mit adulterie, in another idolatry, in another murther, or the like, but in every man it serves to commit sinne against all the Law, to breake every one of Gods commande­ments. A whole thing may belong wholly unto two men in severall, by diverse wayes of propriety, or unto sundry purposes; A house belongs wholly to the Landlord for the purpose of profit and revenew, and wholly to the te­nant for the purpose of use and inhabitation; but it seemes in ordinary reason impossible for the same thing to belong wholly to sundry men in regard of al purposes for which it serves. But such an ample propriety hath every man to originall sinne, that he holds it all, and to all purposes for which it serves. For though some sinnes there are which cannot by some men bee properly com­mitted (properly I say, because by way of provocation, or occasion, or approbation, or the like, one man may par­ticipate [Page 195] in the sinnes which another commits) as a King cannot be [...] to his superiors in governement, because he hath no superiors; a lay man cannot commit the sinne [...] of a Minister, an unmarried man the sinnes of a husband, &c. yet this disability ariseth out of the exi­gence of personall conditions, but no way out of the li­mitednesse or impotency of originall sinne, which in eve­ry man serves to all the purposes which can consist with that mans condition; and as his condition alters, so is it likewise fruitfull unto new sinnes. And these are two great aggravations of this sinnefull inheritance That it comes whole unto every man; and that every man hath it unto all the purposes for which it serves.

Thirdly, it is to be observ'd that in originall sin (as in all other) there are two things, Deordination or sinfulnes, and Guilt or obligation unto punishment. And though the for­mer of these be inseparable from nature in this life yet e­very man that beleeveth and repenteth hath the damna­tion thereof taken away, it shall not prove unto him mor­tall. But now this is the calamitie; Though a man have the guilt of this sinne taken of from his person by the be­nefit of his owne faith, and the grace of Christ to him: yet still both the deordination, and the guilt passeth over un­to his posteritie by derivation from him. For the former the case is most evident, what ever is borne of flesh isIoh. 3. 6. Iob 14. 4. Iam. 3. 11, 12. flesh, no man can bring a cleane thing out of an uncleane, an evill roote must bring forth evill branches, a bitter fountaine corrupt streames; leaven will derive sowernesse into the whole masse, and the Fathers treason will staine the blood of all his posterity: And it is as certaine for the latter, that though guilt and punishment may bee remit­ted to the Father, yet from him it may be transmitted to his childe. Every parent is the chanell of death to his po­sterity. Totum gonu [...] [...] fecit Adam is damnationis Tertul. de Testi­mon. animae. c. 3. traduce [...]; Adam did diffuse and propagate damnation unto all mankind. Neither is [...] any wonder, or injustice [Page 196] that from a cursed roote should proceed branches fit forNec mirum, nec iniustum quòd Radix proserat damnata dam­natos. Aug. cont. Iul. lib. 3. cap. 12. Ex olea semine non fit nisi olea­ster. Aug. de nupt. & concup. lib. 1. c. 19. nothing but the fire. As a Iew that was circumcised brought forth an uncircumcised sonne, as cleane crne sowed comes up with chaffe and stubble, as the seed of a good Olive brings forth a wilde Olive: so is it with the best that are, their Graces concurre not to naturall gene­ration, and therefore from them is nothing naturally pro­pagated. For first the wiping off of Guilt while the fault abides is an Act of Grace and pardon; now pardons are ever immediate from speciall favour, from direct grant, and therefore cannot runne in the bloud, nor come to a man in the vertue of his birth, or by derivation; espe­cially where the pardon runnes not in generall termes, but personally by way of priviledge and exemption, and that too upon certaine conditions, the performance and vertue whereof is intransient, and cannot availe any by way of imputation or redundancie. Secondly, though the personall Guilt be off from the man, yet the ground of that Guilt, the damnablenesse, or liablenesse to be imputed unto punishment is inseparable from sin; though sin be not mortall de facto▪ So as to bring damnation to the person justified, yet it never ceaseth to be mortall de merito, that is, to be damnable in it selfe, in regard of its owne nature and obliquity, though in event and execution the dam­nable vertue of sinne be prevented by faith which cures it, and by repentance which forsakes and cuts it off. For wee must observe that To merit damnation belongs to the nature of sinne, but to bring forth damnation▪ belongs to the accomplishment and finishing of sinne, when it is suf­feredIam. [...]. 15. to grow to its measure, never interrupted, never prevented; God hath patience toward sinners, and wai­teth for their repentance, and doth not presently powre out all his wrath; if in this interim men will bee perswa­ded in the day of their peace to accept of mercy offer'd, and to Breake of sinnes before the Epha be full, then theirDan. 4. 27. Ezek. 18. 30. sinnes shall not end in Death. But if they neglect all Gods [Page 197] mercie, and goe on still, till there be no remedie, then sinne growes to a ripenesse, and will undoubtedly bring forth Death. Since therefore the nature of sinne passeth to posterity, even when the guilt thereof is remitted in the pa [...]ent, needs must the guilt thereof passe too, till by grace it be done away.

Fourthly, In originall sinne there is a twofold denomi­nation [...]. or formalitie. It is both a Sinne, and a Punishment of sinne. For it is an absurd conceite of some men who make it an impossibility for the same thing to be both aRemonstrant. in exam. censurae. cap. 7. [...]ol. 85. sinne and a punishment. When a prodigall spends all his mony upon uncleannes, is not this mans poverty both his sin and his punishment? When a drunkard brings disea­ses on his body, and drownes his reason, is not that mans impotencie and sottishnesse both his sin and his punish­ment? Indeed sinne cannot rightly be cald an inflicted —non est lex aequior ulla—Quàm necis Artifices Arte perire sud. Poenalis vitiosi­tas. Aug deper­sect. Iustit. c. 4. punishment, for God doth not put it into any man; yet it no way implies contradiction, but rather abundantly magnifies the justice and wisedome of Almighty God, to say that he can order sinne to bee a scourge and punish­ment to it selfe: And so Saint Austen cals it, a penall viti­ousnesse or corruption. So that in the derivation of this [...]in wee have unto us propagated the very wrath of God. It is like Aarons rod, on our part a branch that buddeth unto i [...]iquitie, and on Gods part a Serpent that stingeth unto Death. So that Adam is a twofold cause of this sinne in his posterity. A meritorious cause, he did deserve it by prevarication as it was a punishment, & an efficient cause, he doth derive it by contagion as it is a sinne. And this is the wretchednesse of this sinne, that it is not onely a meanes to bring the wrath of God upon us, but is also some part and beginning of the wrath of God in us, and so is, as it were the earnest, and first fruits of damnation. Not as if it were by God infus'd into our nature (for wee have it put into us no other way but by seminall con­tagion Rom. 5. 12. Gen. 5. 3. and propagation from Adam) but God seeing man [Page 198] throw away and wast that original righteousnes which he at the first put into him, and appointing him to bee the head and fountaine of all mankind not only in nature but in foro-too, in regard of legall proceeding, with-held from him and his seed that Gift which was freely by him in the Creation bestowed, and willfully by Adam in the fall rei [...]cted, and adjudg'd this miserie upon him, that hee should passe over to all his posterity the immediate fruit of his first prevarication, which was originall sinne, con­tracted by his owne default, and as it were issuing out of his willfull disobedience upon him, because they all were in him interessed as in their head and father in that first transgression. Thus have I at large opened those many great evils which this sinne hath in it, that life of concu­piscence which the Apostle here speaketh of. I cannot say of it as the Romane Epitomizer of his Historie, I [...] brevit abella totanteius imagi [...]m amplex [...] su [...], that inFlorus. a small compasse I have comprized the whole Image of old Adam, but rather cleane contrary, In amplatabull non dimidiam eius imaginem amplexus sum. The halfe of this sinne hath not all this while beene described unto you.

Now therefore to conclude this Argument (wherein I have been the larger, both because of the necessarinesse of it, that we may know whither to rise in our humiliati­ons for sinne, and because it is the principall s [...]ope of the Apostle in the place, and serves most abundantly to shew our owne everlasting insufficiency for happinesse in our selves) we see by these things which have been discovered in this sin, at what defiance we ought to stand with the doctrine of those men, first, who mince and qualifie, and extenuate this sinne as the Papists doe, making it the Intensive Ma­ius est peccatum actuale quam o­riginale. Aquin. p. 3. q. 1. [...]rt. 4. c. A theologis no­s [...]ris minimum omnium pecca­torum censetur. Andrad. Ortho­dox▪ explic. lib. 3. Omnium pecca­torum levissi­mum si ipsam per se criminis rationem intuearis. Idem in de [...]ens▪ [...]id. Trident. lib. 5. part. 1. smallest of all sinnes▪ Lumbard. dist. lib. 2. dist. 33. Scot. Ibid. Bonavent. Ibid. q. 2. Durand. qu. 3. Aquin. part. 3. qu▪ 1. art. 4. ad 2. Bellar. lib. 6. c. 4. not deserving any more of Gods [Page 199] wrath, then onely a want of his beatificall presen [...]e, and that too without any paine or sorrow of minde, which might be apt to grow from the apprehension of so great a losse, nay not onely denying it after Baptisme to bee a sinne, but onely the seed of sinne, an evill disease, langvor, tyranny, and impotency of nature: but that even in the wicked themselves [...] non re­natis in pecca­tum imputatur potius quàm re­vera & propriè peccatum est Stapleton. de Iu­stis. lib. 3. cap. 3. Falsum est con­cupiscentiam quae in nobis ma­net esse pecca­tum originale. Becan▪ Opuscul. de Authore pec­cat. c. 4. Bellarm. de Amiss. grat. & statupeccati. lib. 5. cap. 5. 7. 89. Greg. Val. to. 2. disp. 6 qu. 12. p. 1. §. 5. 6. Soto de natura & gratia, lib. 1. cap. 10. Durandus & privationem Iu­stitiae & concupiscentiam peccatum hoc esse negat, & quod sit Reatus seu dignitas con­tendit. lib. 2. distinct. 30. qu. 3. concupiscence is rather imputed for sinne, then is really and formally sinne, Quamvis in decalogo prohibeatur, peccatum tamen non est. Staplet. de Iustif. lib. 3. c. 5. Omnem [...] esse peccatum nonest verum. Bellar. de Stat▪ peccati. lib. 5. c. 14. notwithstanding it be forbidden in the Commandement; and upon these presumptions Staplet. de Iustif. l. 1. c. 13. Greg. Val. to. 2. disp. 6▪ q. 12. p. 1. § 4. & qu. 13. p. 1. reviling the doctrine of the Reformed Divines, for exaggerating this sinne, as that which over­spreadeth in its beeing all our nature, and in its working all our lives. Secondly, of those who heretofore, and even now deny any sinfulnesse either in the privation of the Image of God, or in the concupiscence and deordination of our nature. It was the doctrine of the Pelagians in the primitive times, that Aug. opere poster. con. Iul. lib. 2. c. 16. mans nature was not corrupted by the fall of Adam, that his sinne Epist. 106. was not any ground to his posterity either of death, or of the merit of death, that De Re­ [...]iss. peccat. l. 1. cap. 8. 9. 13. De natura & gratia. c. 9. De peccat. Orig. c. 14. sinne comes from Adam by imitation, not by propaga­tion. That Cont. Iul. lib. 3. c. 3. Baptisme doth not serve in Infants for remis­sion of sinne, but onely for adoption and admission into Heaven; that as De Remiss. peccat. lib. 3. cap. 2. Christs righteousnesse doth not profit those which beleeve not, so Adams sinne doth not pre­judice, nor injure those that actually sinne not. De peccat. merit. & Remiss. lib. 3. cap. 2. That as a righteous man doth not beget a righteous Childe, so nei­ther doth a sinner beget a Childe guilty of sinne. ThatCont. Iul. lib. 3. cap. 5. all sinne is voluntary, and therefore not naturall. That De peccat. Orig. cap. 33. de Nupt. & Conc. lib. 2. c. 25. Marriage is Gods ordinance, and therefore no instru­ment [Page 200] of transmitting sinne. That Cont. Iul. lib. 5. cap. 3. concupiscence being the punishment of sinne cannot bee a sinne likewise. Vid. Prosper. advers. collat. Aug. cont. Iul. lib. 2. cap. 1. Gerard. voss. Hist. Pelag. l. 2. part. 2. Latium de Pelag▪ lib. 1. part. 4. cap. 1. 2. 3. 4. These and the like Antitheses unto Orthodox Doctrine did the Pelagians of old maintaine. And (as it is the policy of Satan to keepe alive those heresies which may seeme to have most reliefe from proud and corrupted reason, and doe principally tend to keepe men from that due humiliation, and through-conviction of sinne, which should drive them to Christ, and magnifie the riches of Christs Grace to them) there are not wanting at this day a Sociniani. vid. Iacob. ad Por­tum. cont. Chri­stoph. Ostorod. cap. 27. Anabaptist [...] in a Dialogue of Predestinat. Remenstrantes in nupera illa & sane pessima pro fidei su [...] confes­sione apologia, delirijs Anabap­tisticis & socini­anis refertissi­ma. cap. 3. & 7. Inter pontificios Pighius pecca­tum originale inh [...]rens & connatum nega­vit: Imputati­vum tamen ag­noscit & probat. broode of sinfull men, who notwithstanding the evidence of Scripture, and the consent of all Antiquitie, doe in this Point concurre with those wicked Heretikes, and deny the originall corruption of our nature to bee any sinne at all, but to be the work of Gods owne hands in Paradise; nay deny further the very imputation of Adams sinne to any of his posterity for sinne. And now because in this point they doe expressely contradict not onely the Iob 14. 4 Gen. 6. 5. & 8. 21. Ioh. 3. 6 Psal. 51. 5. Rom. 5. 12, Ephes. 2. 3 Rom. 3. 23. Gal. 3. 2 [...]. 1. Cor. 15. 18. 19. 49. Vid. Gerard. Voss. Hist. Pelag. l. 2 part. 1. Thes. 2 & Bellar▪ de stat [...] peccati. l. 5. c. 4. Doctrine of holy Scriptures, the Qui negat omnes homines primorum hominum peccato nasci obnoxios, ipsa Christianae fidei subvertere firmamenta conatur. Aug. cont. Iulian. lib. 1. c. 2. foundation of Orthodox Faith, the Uid. Uoss. Histor Pelag. lib. 2. part. 1. Thesi. 6. Aug. cont. Iul. l. 1 c 23. consent of Ancient Doctors, and the Infantes Baptizari [...] remissionem peccatorum secundum regulam universalis ecclesiae con [...]itemur. C [...]lestius Pelag. apud Aug. de peccat▪ original. lib. 2. c. 5. Rule of the Catholike Church, but in no lesse then foure or five particulars doe manifestly oppose the do­ctrine of the Church of England in this Point most evi­dently delivered in Artic. 9. one article; for the Article saith, Man is Gone from originall righteousnesse; they say, Man did not goe away from it, but God snatched it away from man: the Article saith, that by Originall sinne Man is enclined unto evill, and calleth it by the name of concu­piscence and lust, they say, that Originall sinne is onely the privation of righteousnes, and that concupiscence is a con­created [Page 201] and originall condition of nature: the Article saith, that the flesh lusteth alwayes contrary to the spirit, they say in expresse termes, that this is false, and that the flesh when it lusteth indeed doth lust against nothing but the spirit, and that the Apostle in that place meant onely the Galatians, and not all spirituall or regenerate men: the Article saith, that this lust deserveth Gods wrath and condemnation; they say, that it doth not deserve the hatred of God: and lastly, the Article saith, that the Apo­stle doth confesse that concupiscence and lust hath of it selfe the nature of sinne; they say, that it is not properly either a sinne, or a punishment of sinne, but onely the condition of nature: in all these respects it will be need­full to lay downe the truth of this great Point, and to vindicate it from the proud disputes of such bold Innova­tors.

And first let us see by what steps and gradations the Adversaries of this so fundamentall a doctrine (which as Contr. Iul. li. 1. Saint Austin saith is none of those in quibus optimi fidei Catholicae defensores salvâ fidei compage inter se aliquando [...] consonant, wherein Orthodox Doctors may differ and abound in their owne sense) doe proceed to denie the sinfulnesse of that which all Ages of the Church have called Sinne.

First they say, That the Anabaptists in their Dialogue of Predestination. Nec Scriptura, nec veracitas, nec sapientia, nec bonitas Di­vina, nec peccati natura, nec ratio iustitiae atque aequitatis per­mittunt, ut dicamus, Deum posteros Adami revera censuisse eiusdem cum Adamo pecca­tireos. Remonstr. Apol. seu Exam. Cens. ca. 7 sect. 4. fol. 84. Sinne of Adam is not any way the sinne of his posterity, that it is against the nature of sinne, against the goodnesse, wisedome, and truth of God, against the rule of Equitie and Iustice, that Infants who are Innocent in themselves, should bee accounted Nocent iu another; therein taking away Baptisme for remission of sinnes from Infants, who being not borne with guilt of Adams sinne stand yet in no neede of any purgation.

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Secondly, they say that thoughCum Rem [...]n­strantes Ada­mum morti aeteraae [Sive ut supra dicunt Aeternae poenae damni] obnoxi­um factum fu­isse dicunt cum poster is omni­bus, non volunt mortem istam eodem prorsus modo inflictam fuisse utris (que) tum Adamo [...]tum posteris, sed volunt eam in­flictam fuisse Adamo ut trans­gressori-In po­steros vero ejus propagatam propter conditi­onem natur [...] ejusdem quam ex Adamo pec­catore trahunt. Ibid. cap 4. fol. 57. Adams sinne may be thus farre said to be unto posterity imputed; as that by reason of it they become obnoxious unto Death, (namely to an eternall dissolution of body and soule without any reunion, and an eternall losse of the divine vision, without any paine of sense) yet that death which to Adam in his person was a punishment, is not so to his posteritie, but onely the condition of their nature.

Thirdly, they say thatIidem in Con­fessi. seu decla­ratione sententiae circa articulos fidei. cap. 7. §. 4. Corvin. contr Molin▪ cap. 10. ad §. 4. & expressius cap. 8. ad §. 1, 2, 3. Pigh. contr. that which is called originall sinne is nothing else at all, but onely the privation of o­riginall righteousnesse; and that concupiscence was [...] contracted, and brought upon nature by sinne, but was originally in our nature, suspended indeede by the pre­sence, but actuated by the losse of that righteousnesse.

Fourthly, they say,Respons. ad Epistolam Walachr. pag. 88. In Apolog. seu Exam. Censur. ca. 7. §. 4. fol. 85. poenae non peccati respectum habetista car [...] ­tia, Corv. cont. Molin. cap. 8. pag. 122. That that Privation was not by man contracted, but by God inflicted as a punishment upon Adam from whom it comes, but onely as a condi­tion of nature unto us; that man in his fall and prevari­cation did not Throw away or actually shake off the Image of God, but God pull'd it away from him; which if God had not done, it would have remained with him, notwithstanding the sinne of the first fall.

Fifthly, they say,Corv. ibid. pag. 122. 126, 127, 128. Malum culpae non est quia nasci plane est involuntarium: Et si malum culpae non est, nec potest [...]sse ma­lum poenae, &c. Apol. ca. 7. fol. 84. 8. David did not sinne in being conceiv'd and borne, ergo thereby he had no sinne. Anabaptists in their Dialogue. at (que) hoc erat Pelagi [...] ­rum argumentum. Argui non debent quae vitari non possunt. Aug De natura & gra [...]. cap. 12. Infans aliud nisi quod natus est esse non potest, adeo (que) nec reus est dum Hoc est quod nascitur. Aug. cont. Iul▪ lib. 3. cap. 12. Our Divines unanimously withstand the do­ctrine of the Papists in this Point, that Concupiscence is naturall and not sinfull. Whitak. De peccat. orig. lib. 3. Field of the Ch. lib. 3. cap. 26. Bishop Whites desp. 24. That in as much as the privation of originall righteousnesse was a punishment by God up­on Adam justly inflicted, and by Adam unto us natural­ly and unavoidably propagated, It is not therefore to be [Page 203] esteem'd any sinne at all, neither for it can God justly condemne any man; nor is it to be esteem'd a punish­ment of sinne in us, though it were in Adam, because in us there is no sinne going before it of which it may bee accounted the punishment, as there was in Adam, but onely the condition of our present nature.

Lastly, they say that Adam being by God deprived of originall righteousnesse, (which is the facultie and foun­taine of all obedience) and being now constituted under the deserved curse,Lex prima ces­sabat primosoe­dere per inobe­dientiam primi hominis rupto, cessabat etiam obligatio ad obedientiam ed lege praescrip­tam. Lex aut ad obedientiam obligat, aut ad poenam; cum ita (que) homo jace­ret sub maledi­ctione ad obedi­entiam ampl [...]s non obligabatur, quia ab eo coli amplius Deus non vol [...]bat. Corv. contra Molin. cap. 8. ad §. 8. pag. 122. Remonstrantes negant actus illos qui sequuntur privationem divinam esse formaliter peccata, non negant quidem mate [...]aliter peccata dici posse, qua [...]nus Actus sunt difformes voluntati divinae, at negant cosformaliter esse peccata quaescil. ad p [...]nam valide obligent eos à quibus fiunt, &c. In Apolog. seu Exam Censur. cap. 7. fol. 86. [...] Ibid. fol. 83. b. Si Deus mortem temporalem comminatus fuisset Adamo, eius (que) poste­ris, necesse fuisset Adamum eius (que) posteros ex morte ista iterum resurgere, & postea in [...] cruciatus praecipitari: De quo sane Scriptura ne [...] quidem meminit. De ijs qui Evangelium & apertam vitae aeternae promissionem respuunt ac reijciu [...]t ita loquitur Scriptura, de Adamo eius (que) poster is nec volam habet nec vestigium. Deus non omnibus peccatis, id est, peccatoribus, adsignavit [...]ternam poenam sensus & damni. Ibid. cap. 7. [...]. 90. all the debt of legall obedience, wherein he and his posteritie in him were unto God ob­liged, did immediately cease; so that whatsoever outra­ges should after that have beene by Adam or any of his children committed they would not have beene sinnes, or transgressions, nor involv'd the Authors of them in the guilt of iust damnation. That which unto us reviveth sin, is the new covenant; because therein is given unto the law new strength to command, and unto us new strength to obey, both which were evacuated in the fall of A­dam. Vpon which premises it doth most evidently fol­low; that unlesse God in Christ had made a covenant of grace with us anew, no man should ever have beene pro­perly and penally damned but onely Adam; and he too, with no other then the losse of Gods presence: (For [...] Hell and torments are not the revenge of Legall, but of Evangelicall disobedience) not for any actuall sinnes, for there would have beene none, because the exaction of [Page 204] the Law would have ceased; and where there is no Law, there is no transgression; not for the want of righteousnesse, because that was in Adam himselfe but a punishment, and in his posteritie neither a sinne, nor a punishment, but onely a condition of nature; not for habituall concu­piscence, because though it be aUitium illud defectus est non peccatum. Corv. contr. Moli. [...] 8. ad §. 14. p. 128. disease and an infirmitie, yet it is no sinne, both because the being of it is connatu­rall and necessary, and the operations of it inevitable and unpreventable for want of that bridle of supernaturall righteousnesse which was appointed to keepe it in. Last­ly, not for Adams sinne imputed, because being commit­ted by another mans will, it could bee no mans sinne but his that committed it.

So that now upon these premises we are to invert the Apostles words, By one man, namely by Adam, sinne en­tered into the world, upon all his posterity, and death by sinne; By one man, namely by Christ (tanquam per causam sine quâ non) sinne returned into the world upon all Adams posteritie, and with sinne, the worst of all deaths, namely hellish torments, which without him should not haue beene at all. O how are wee bound to prayse God, and recount with all honour the memorie of those Worthies who compiled Our Articles, which serue as a hedge to keepe out this impious and mortife­rous doctrine (asDe Gratia Christ. c. 14. Fulgentius cals it) from the Church of England, and suffers not Pelagius to returne into his owne country.

There are but three maine arguments that I can meet with to colour this heresie, and two of them were the Pelagians of old. First,Exam. Censur. c. 7. fol. 86 p. 8 & Pelag. apud Aug. De natura & gratia. cap. 12. that which is naturall and by consequence necessarie and unavoidable cannot be sinne; Exam. Censur. cap. 5. fol. 57. 8. Originall sinne is naturall, necessarie, and unavoidable; therefore it is no sin. Secondly, thatIbid cap. 7. fol. 84. 8 & Pelag. apud Aug. cont. Iul. lib. 3. cap. 12. which is not vo­luntarie cannot be sinfull; Ibid. in Exam. Originall sinne is not volun­tarie; therefore not sinfull. Thirdly, noExam. cap. 7. fol. 85. 86. sinne is immedi­atly caused by God; but originall sinne, being the priva­tion [Page 205] of originall righteousnesse is from God immediately, who pull'd away Adams righteousnesse from him; Ther­fore it is no sinne.

For the more distinct understanding the whole truth, and answering these supposed strong reasons, give me leave to premise these observations by way of Hypo­thesis.

First, there are Two things in originall sinne, The pri­vation of righteousnesse and the corruption of nature; for since originall sinne is the roote of actuall, and in actuall sinnes there are both the omission of the good which we ought to exercise, and positive contuma [...]ies against the Law of God, therefore a vis formatrix, something an­swerable to both these must needs be found in originall sinne. This positive corruption (for in the other all agree that it is originall sinne) is that which theIoh. 3 6. Rom. 6. 6, 7, 24. Gal. 5. 17. Col. 3. 5. Rom. 7. 23. Scripture cals fl [...]sh, and members, and law, and lusts, and bodie, and SaintPoenalis vitio­sitas, de perfect. Iustit. cap. 4. Inobedientia, de Civit. Dei. lib. 14. cap. 15. Libido, contra Iulian li. 4. c. 14. Morbidus af­fectus, de Nupt. & Concupis. lib. 2. cap 31. Re­tract▪ li. 1. ca. 15 [...]. Iust. Martyr. Ep. ad Zenam. Austin, vitiousnesse, inobedience or inordinate­nesse, and a morbid affection: Consonant whereunto is theArticul. 9. Article of our Church, affirming, that man by ori­ginall sinne is farre gone from righteousnesse, which is the privation; secondly that thereby he is of his owne nature enclined unto evill, which is the pravitie or cor­ruption: and this is the doctrine ofMagist. Sensent. lib. 2. distinct 30. Aquin. 1 [...]. qu. 82. art. 1. Driedo de Gratia & lib. Arbit. lib. 1. Tract. 3. part. 4. memb. 2. pag. 154, 156. Greg. Arim. lib. 2. dist. 30. qu. 1. Bonavent. li. 2. Distinct. 30. par. 2. quest. 1. Andrad. De­fens. Concil. Trident. lib. 5. & quamplures alij. many learned pa­pists.

Secondly, the Law beingPsal 19. 7. Rom. 7. 14. perfect and spirituall sear­cheth the most intimate corners of the soule, and redu­ceth under a law the very rootes and principles of all hu­mane operations: And therefore in a [...] much asMath. 7. 18 Absit ut sit in aliquo vera virtus qui ipse Iustus non est. Aug. contr. Iul. l. 4. c. 3. well being is the ground of well working, and that the Tree must be good before the fruite, therefore wee conclude, [Page 202] that the Law is not onely the Rule of our workes, but of our strength, not of our life only but of our nature, which being at first deliver'd into our hands entire and pure, cannot become degenerate, without the offence of those who did first betray so great a trust committed unto them. Deut. 6. 5. Luk. 10. 27. Lex etiam origi­nes delictorum, id est, concupi­scc [...]tias & vo­luntates non minus qu [...]mfa­cta conde [...]nat. Tertul de pud [...] ­cit. c. [...]. Thou shalt loue the Lord thy God, Ex [...]ni vald [...] tuo, with all thy might, saith the Law; it doth not only require us to love, but to have mindes furnish'd with all strength to love God, so that there may be life and vigo [...] in our obedience and love of him. The Law requires no more love then strength, therefore if it did not of us re­quire strength to love, but onely suppose it, it could re­quire no love neither, for the Rom. 5. 6. Apostle tels us that by nature we are without strength. So that if the meaning of the Law be onely this, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all the strength which thou hast; and not this, Thou shalt love him with all the strength that I require thee [...] have, and that I at first gave thee (so that the strength and faculty, as well as the love and duty may c [...]dere sub pr [...]cepto, fall under the command) the meaning of the Law would amount but to this, Thou shalt not, or nee­dest not to love the Lord thy God at all, because thou hast no strength so to doe, and art not to be blamed for having none.

Thirdly, it is not the being voluntary or involunt [...] that doth make a thing sinfull or not sinfull, but being opposite to the Rule, which requires complete strength to serve God withall; Now all a mans strength is not in his will, the understanding, affections, and bodie have their strength, which failing, though the will bee never so prompt, yet the worke is not done with that perfection which the Law requires: yet withall wee are to note in this point two things. First, That Ex prima bo­mi [...]s mala vo­luntate contra­ctu [...], factum est quodammodo Haereditarium. Aug. Retract. lib. 1 cap. 13. originall sinne is, [...] ­do, voluntarie too, because brought in by that will which was originally ours, for this is a true rule in divinity, Voluntas Adae reputatur no­stra Aquin p. 3. q. 84. ar [...]. 2. ad 3. & 12. q. 81. art. [...]. in corp. Andrad. Ortho­dox. explicat. lib. 3. Eodem modo omnium voluntates in illo conclusae censentur quo & naturae. Vo­luntas [Page 203] capitis totius naturae voluntas reputatur, that A­dams will was the will of all mankind, and therfore this sinne being voluntarie in him, and hereditarie unto us, is esteemed in some sort voluntary unto us too. Secondly, that a thing may be voluntarie two wayes, First, efficien­ter, when the will doth positively concurre to the thing which is done; Vid. Aquin. [...]2 qu. 79 art. 1 in C. & q. 74 art. 3. C. & Aristot. Eth lib. 3. c. 5. Secondly, Deficienter, when the will is in fault for the thing which is done, though it were not done by it selfe. For wee must note, that all other Arist. Ethic. lib. 1. cap. vlt. faculties were at first appointed to be subject to the will, & were not to move but upon her allowance, and conduct, and therefore when lust doth prevent the consent and com­mand of the will, it is then manifest that the will is wan­ting to her office; for to her it belongs to suppresse all con­tumacie, and to forbid the doing of any illegall thing. And in this sense I understand that frequent speech of Saint De lib. Arbit. lib. 3 c. 22. Retract. l. 1. c. 13 de vera Relig. c. 14. Austen, That sinne is not sin except it be voluntarie, that is, sinne might altogether be prevented, if the will it selfe had its primitive strength, and were able to exercise up­rightly that office of government and moderation over the whole man which at first it was appointed unto. Which thing the same Non ex toto vult, non ergo ex toto imperat. Et iterum, non u [...]tque plena im­perat. Et ideo sunt duae volun­tates, quia una earum t [...]ta non est & hoc a [...]est [...] ▪ quod al [...]e­ri dee [...] Confess. lib. 8. c 8 9. Father divinely hath expressed in his confessions; What a monstrous thing is this, saith he, that the minde should command the body and be obeyed, and that it should command it selfe, and bee resisted? His answer is, The will is not a totall will, and therefore the command is not a totall command, Si voluntas renatorum omni ex parte inimica esset concupiscenti [...], eam è suo regno omnem exterminaret. Whicak. cont. Staplet. de Iustif. lib. 3. cap. 3. for if the will were so throughlie an enemie to lust as it ought to be, it would not be quiet till it had dis-throned it.

These things being premised, wee conclude That as our nature is universally vitiated and defil'd by Adam, so that pollution which from him wee derive is not onely the languor of nature, the condition and calamitie of man­kinde, the wombe, seed, fomenter, formative vertue of o­ther [Page 208] sins, but is it self truly and properly sin, or to speak inPeccatum car­ [...]s & vere pec­catum. Fulg. de grat. Christ c. 15. Vid. Aug. de pec­cat. mer. & re­miss. lib. 2. c. 4. de nupt. & con­cupis. lib. 2. cap. 24. contr. Iul. lib. 2. c. 3. 4. 5. & lib. 4 c. 2. lib. 5. c. 3. 7. lib. 6. c. 15. 19. Vide Staplet. de Iustis l. 2. c 14. 1. Ioh. 3. 4. Rom. 7 23. Gal. 5. 17. Rom. 6. 23. Ephes. 2. 3. Rom. 7. 13. Eccles. Gen. 1. 3 [...]. Rom 7▪ 15. Prov 7. 11-21. Rom. 7 18-21. Matth. 15. 19. Iam. 1. 14. Iam. 3. 15. 1. Ioh. 3. 8. Iam. 3. 6. Ioh. 8. 44. Aug. Tract. 49. in Iohan. Quan­do libido vincit, vincit & diabo­lus. Id. contr. Iul. lib. 5. cap. 7. 1. Pet. 2. 24▪ Gal 5 24. Rom. 6 5. 6. Act. 2. 38. Col. 2. 11, 12. the phrase of the Church of England, hath of it selfe the na­ture of sin▪ First, where there is [...], transgression there is sin; in this sin there is more, for there is [...] ▪ rebelli­on, and antipathie against the whole Law; therefore con­cupiscence is sin. Secondly, That which inferres death, and makes men naturally children of wrath, is sinne; but lust, and fleshly concupiscence reviving, bringeth death, and wrath; therefore it is sinne. Thirdly, where there is an excesse of sinne that thing must needs be sinfull; but concupiscence by the commandement is exceeding sin­full, ergo. Fourthly, that which is hatefull is evill and sin­full (for God made all things beautifull and good, and therefore very lovely) but concupiscence is hatefull, what I hate, that I do. Fifthly, that which quickneth to all mis­chiefe, and indisposeth to all good must needs be sinfull, as shee that tempteth and solliciteth to adulterie may justly be esteem'd a harlot; but concupiscence tempteth draweth, enticeth, begetteth, conceiveth, indisposeth to good, and provoketh to evill; therefore it is sinne. Sixth­ly, that which is hellish and divelish must needs be sinne­full, for that is an argument in the Scripture to prove a thing to be exceeding evil; but concupiscence is even the Hell of our nature, and lusts are divelish; Therefore they are sinfull too. Nemo se palpet, saith Saint Austen, desus Satanas est, de Deo beatus, Let no man sooth or flatter himselfe, his happinesse is from God, for of himselfe he is altogether diuelish. Seventhly, that which was with Christ crucified is sinne, for hee bore our sinne is his body upon the tree; but our flesh and concupiscence was with Christ crucified, They that are Christs have crucified the fl [...]sh with the affections and lusts; Therefore it is sin. Last­ly, that which is washed away in Baptisme is sinne, for Baptisme is for remission of sinnes; but concupiscence and the body of sinne is done away in Baptisme; Therefore it is sinne. And this is the frequent argument of the an­cient [Page 209] Doctors against the Pelagians to prove that infantsAug d. peccat. merit & remiss. lib. 1. cap. 16. 17. 24. 26. 28 34 39. lib. 2. cap. 26. 27. 28. l. 3. c. 4. de nupt. & concu­piscent. lib. 1. cap. 20. lib. 2. cap. 33. contr. Iul. Pelag. l. 3. cap. 2. 3. lib. 6. c. 16. & locis alijs infinitis. Fulgent de In­carnat. et gratia Christi. cap. 15. Prosper. contr. Coll. cap. 18. had sinne in their nature, because they were baptized un­to the remission of sinnes.

To give some answer then to those pretended reasons. To the first wee confesse that nothing can bee toto genere Necessarie, and yet sinfull: neither is originall sinne in that sort necessary to the nature in it selfe, though to the na­ture in persons proceeding from Adam it be necessarie. For Adam had free will, and wee in him, to have kept that originall righteousnesse in which wee were created, and what was to him sinfull, was to us likewise, because wee all were one in him. Wee are then to distingvish of natu­rall and necessarie, for it is either primitive and created, or consequent, and contracted necessity; the former would in­deed void sin because God doth never first make things impossible, and then command them; but the latter growing out of mans owne will originally, must not therefore nullifie the Law of God, because it disableth the power of man, for that were to make man the Lord of the Law.

To the second three things are to be answer'd. First, The sinfulnesse of a thing is grounded on its disproportion to the Law of God, not to the will of man. Now Gods Law sets bounds, and moderates the operations of all o­ther powers and parts, as well as of the wil. And therfore the Apostle complaines of his sinfull concupiscence, even when his wil was in a readines to desire the good, and re­fuse the evill. Ro. 7. 18. Secondly, no evil lust riseth or stir­reth,Voluntarium aliquid dicitur quid est d [...] volun­tate. Ab aliquo autem dicitur esse aliquid du­pliciter. Directe, quod scil. procedit ab aliquo in quantum est Agens, indirecte, ex [...] ipso quod non agit sicut subr [...]e▪ [...] navis dicitur esse a Gubernatore, in quantum [...]gu­bernando, &c. Aquin. 1. 2▪ qu. 6. ar. 3. Peccatum originale est voluntarium [...] vo­luntate primi parentis—quod sufficit ad peccatum original, quia non est personae, s [...]d na­turae peccatum. Al [...]aret. de Auxil. Grat. lib. 6. d. sp. 44. num. 15. though it prevent the consent of the will, but the wil may be esteemed faultie, not in this that it consented unto it, but in this, that it did not, as it ought to have done, hin­der [Page 210] and suppresse it. For the stirrings of lust before the will, is their usurpation, and inordinatenesse, not their na­ture, which therefore the will according to that primi­tive soveraignty which in mans nature shee had ought to rectifie, and order againe. Thirdly, originall sin, though to persons it be not, yet to the nature it was voluntarie, and to the persons in Adam as in their common Father, for with them otherwise then in him no covenant could be made, and even in humane lawes the Acts of parents can circumscribe their children.

To the third, wee utterly deny that God did take a­way originall righteousnesse from man, but he Pontificij ex hac parte sunt novatoribus mo­destiores, qui A­damum seipsum privasse docent & probant. An­drad. Orthodox. explicat. li. 3. & apud ipsum Fer­rariens. in Tho. contr. gent. lib. 4. c. 32. Threw it away himselfe; God indeed with-holds it, and doth not obtrude againe that upon us which wee rejected before, but he did not snatch it away, but man in sinning did nul­lifie it to himselfe. For what was righteousnesse in Adam but Fit in Homine Iustus ordo na­turae, ut anima subdatur Deo, & Animae Caro. Aug. de Civ. Dei lib. 19. c. 4. [...]. Clem. Alex. strom. l. 6. & pae­dagog. lib. 1. c. 13. perfect and universall rectitude, whereby the whole man was sweetly order'd by Gods law, and within him­selfe; now Adams sinne having so many evils in it as it had, pride, ambition, ingratitude, robberie, luxurie, idola­try, murther, and the like, needs must that sinne spoile that originall righteousnesse which was and ought to bee universall. Secondly, wee grant that originall sinne is not onely a fault, but a punishment too; but that the one of these should destroy the other Sicut caecitas cordis— & peccatum est quo in Deum non creditur, & poena peccati qua cor superbum dignâ animadversione punitur, & causa peccati, cum mali aliquid caeci▪ cordis errore committitur, ita concupiscentia carnis, & peccatum est, quia inest illi inobedientia contra dominatum mentis, & poena peccati quia reddita est merit is inobedientis, & causa peccati, defectione consentientis, & contagione nascentis. Aug. cont. ful. lib. 5. cap. 3. wee utterly denie; for which purpose wee may note, that a punishment may be either by God inflicted in its whole being, or by man in the substance of the thing contracted, and by God in the penall relation which it carries ordered. It is true, no pu­nishment from God inflicted upon man can bee in the substance of the thing sinfull, but that which man [Page 211] brings upon himselfe as a sinne Gods wisedome may or­der to be a punishment too. When a prodigall spends his whole estate upon uncleannesse, is not his povertie both a sinne and a punishment? when a drunkard or adulterer brings diseases upon his bodie, and drownes his reason, is not that impotencie and sottishnesse ▪both sinne and pu­nishment? did not God punish Pharaoh with hardnesse of heart, and the gentiles with vile affections? and yet these were sinnes as well as punishments. To expedite this point in one word as I conceive of it. Two things are in this sinne, Privation of Gods Image, and lust or habitu­all concupiscence. The privation is, in regard of the first losse of righteousnesse, from Adam alone, by his volun­tarie depraving of the humane nature, and excussion of the image of God; but in regard of the Continuance of it, so deficienter, Gods justice and wisedome hath a hand in it, who as he is the most just avenger of his owne wrongs and the most free disposer of his owne gifts, so hath hee in both respects been pleased to whith-hold his image formerly rejected, and not to obtrude upon ingratefull and unworthy men so pretious an endowment, of which the former contempt and indignitie had justly made them ever after destitute. Concupiscence wee may con­ceive both as a disorder, and as a penaltie. Consider it as a punishment, and so though it bee not by God effected in nature, (for he tempteth no man, much lesse doth hee corrupt any) yet is it subject to his wisedome and ordi­nation, who after he had been by Adam forsaken, did then forsake him likewise, and give him up into the hand of his owne counsell, leaving him to transmit upon others that seminarie of uncleannesse, which himselfe had con­tracted. Consider it as a vice, and so wee say that lust, or flesh doth not belong to the parts as such or such parts, but is the disease of the whole nature, either part where­of though it doe not equally descend from Adam, yet may hee justly bee esteem'd the Father and Fountaine of [Page 212] the whole nature, because though generation doe not make all the materials and parts of nature, yet doth it worke to the uniting of them, and constituting of the whole by them. So then naturall corruption is from A­d [...]m alone meritoriously by reason of his first prevaricati­on; from Adam by our parents seminally, and by genera­tion and contagion; but under favour I conceive that it is not from the body in the soule, but equally and univer­sally from the whole nature as a guilty, forsaken, and ac­cursed nature, by some secret and ineffable resultancie therefrom, under those relations of Guilt and cursednesse. This with submission to the learned I conceive in that great question touching the penalenesse, and traduction of originall concupiscence, reserving to others their liber­tie in such things, wherein a latitude of opinions may con­sist with the unitie of faith and love.

But to returne to those things which are more for practice. This doctrine of originall sinne doth direct us in our [...] [...]. Chrys. ad pop. Antioc. Hom. 2. Iam. 1. 13. humiliations for sinne, shewes us whither wee should rise in judging and condemning our selves, even as high as our fleshly lusts, and corrupt nature. Let not any man say, saith S. Iames, that he was tempted of God; I shall goe further, Let not any man say of himselfe by way of excuse, extenuation, or exoneration of himselfe, I was tempted of Satan, or of the World; and who can be too hard for such enemies, who can withstand such strong solicitations; [...]. Chrysost. ad pop. Antioc. Hom. 4. Let not any man resolve his sinnes into any other originall then his owne lusts. Our perdition is totally of our selves, wee are assaulted by many enemies, but it is one onely that over commeth us, even our owne flesh. Saint Paul could truly say, Rom 7. 20. 1. Chro. 21. 1. 2. Sam. 24. 10. It was no more I that sinned; but did he charge his sinnes therefore upon Sa­tan, or upon the World? No, though it was not he, yet it was something that did belong unto him, an inmate, a bosome enemie, even sinne that dwelt within him. It is said, that Satan provoked David to number the people, and [Page 213] yet Davids heart smote himselfe, and did not charge Sa­tan with the sinne, because it was the lust of his owne heart that let in and gave way to Satans temptation. If there were the same minde in us as in Christ, that Satan could finde no more in us to mingle his temptations with all, then hee did in him, they would be equally suc­cesseles [...]e; but this is his greatest advantage, that he hath our evill nature to helpe him, and hold intelligence with him. And therefore wee must rise as high as that in our humiliations for sinne: For that will keepe us ever hum­ble, because concupiscence will be ever sti [...]ring in [...]: and it will make us throughly humble, because thereby sinne is made altogether our owne, when wee attribute it not to casualties, or accidentall miscarriages, but to our nature; as David did, In sinne was I shaped, and in iniquitie did Psal. 51. 7. my mother conceive me. It was not any accident, or ex­ternall temptation which was the roote and ground of these my sinnes, but I was a transgressour from the wombe, Esay 48. 8. I had the seedes of adultery and murder sowne in my ve­ry nature, and from thence did they breake forth in my life. When men shall consider, that in their whole frame there is an universall ineptitude and indisposition to any good, and as large a forwardnesse unto all evill, that all their principles are vitiated, and their faculties out of joynt, that they are in the wombe as Cockatrice egges, and in the conception a seed of [...]pers▪ more odious in the pure eyes of God, then Toads or Serpents are in ours, this will keepe men in more caution against sinne, and in more humiliation for it.

Lastly, from the consideration of this sinne we should be exhorted unto these needfull duties: First, to much i [...]a­lousie against our selves, not to trust any of our faculties a­lone, nor to be too confident upon presumptions, or expe­riences of our owne strength. [...]ob would not trust his eiesIob 31. 1. Psal. 39. 1. without a covenant, nor David his mouth without a bridle; so strangely and unexpectedly will nature breake [Page 214] out if it feele it selfe a little loose, as may cost a man ma­ny a cry and teare to set himselfe right againe. Though a Lyon seeme never so tame, though the Sea seeme never so calme, give them no passage, keepe on the chaine, look still to the Bulwarkes, for there is a rage in them which cannot be tamed. Venture not on any temptation, bee not confident of any grace received so as to slacken your wonted zeale, count not your selves to have apprehended any thing, forget that which is behinde, presse forward to the price that is before you; and ever suspect the trea­cherie and tergiversation of your owne hearts. Ioseph flung out, and would not trust himselfe in the company of his mistresse, He hearkened not to her to lye by her, or to bee Gen. 39. 10, 12. with her, company might easily have kindled concupis­cence, a little of Satans blowing might have carried the fire from one sticke unto another. David would have no wicked thing in his house, nor in his sight; sinne is aPsal. 101. 3, 4, 7. plague, hee knew how full of ill humours, and seeds of alike evill, his heart was; how apt to catch every infecti­on that came neere it, and therefore he tooke care to de­cline the very objects and examples of sinne. God would not suffer any people, or monuments of Idolaters to beeExo 34. 12-16. spared, lest they should prove temptations and snares to his owne people; and their hearts should runne after the like sinnes. Keepe thine heart, saith Salomon, with al [...] Prov. 4. 23. diligence, never let thine eye bee off from it, hide the word, and the spirit alwayes in it, to watch it, for there is an adulterer ever at hand to steale it away. Therefore the Lord would have the Israelites binde Ribbands up­onNum. 15. 38. Deut. 11. 20. their Fringes, and the Law on the Posts of their dores, that by those visible remembrancers their mindes might be taken off from other vanities, and the obedience of the Law more reviv'd within them. And Salomon alluding to that custome shewes the vse and the fruites of it▪ Bind them, saith he, continually upon thine heart, and tye them Prov. 6. 20, 2 [...]. about thy necke, make the Law of God thy continuall [Page 215] ornament; when thou goest it shall leade thee, when thou sleepest it shall keepe thee, when thou awakest it shall talke with thee; in all thy wayes and conditions it shall be thy safegard, thy companion, and thy comfort.

Secondly, To warre and contention against so strong and so close an enemie. Our flesh is our Esau, our elder brother, and we must ever be wrestling with it. The flesh and the spirit are contraries, one will ever be on the pre­vailing side: and the flesh is never weary nor out of work to improve its owne part, therefore the spirit must bee as studious and importunate for the Kingdome of Christ. But you will say▪ To what end serves any such combate? it is impossible to vanquish, or to ouercome lust. The Divell may bee put to flight, there is hope in a conflict with him, but lust may be exasperated by contention, it cannot bee shaken of.

To this I answer in the generall first, that it is our du­tie to fight with sinne, and it is Christs office and promise to overcome it, Wee must performe that which hee re­quireth of us, and trust him with that which hee promi­seth unto us. Besides, by this meanes the bodie of sinne is first weakened, though not quite destroi'd. For as in theLev. 14. 41-45. Leviticall Law when a spreading leprosie was in a house, the walls were first scraped round about, the dust throwne out, new stones and new morter put to the old materials, and then last of all the house upon the uncure­ablenesse of it was broken quite downe, and dissolved: so in our present leprous and corrupted condition, wee are to deface, to weaken, to scrape of what wee can of the body of sinne, and leave the rest for God to doe when hee shall be pleased to dissolve us.

Secondly, It is by this meanes captivated likewise,Iosh 9. 21. Num. 31. 18. Iosh. 17. 13. though like the Gibeonites, and the Moabitish maides it bee not slaine, yet it is kept under and subdu­ed.

Thirdly, however, by this meanes it is discover'd and it [Page 216] is a good part of warre to know the latitude of an ene­mies strength, to prie into his stratagems and contrivan­ces. For the knowledge of sinne will make us more ear­nest in mourning for it, more importunate in our pray­ers against it, more humble in our consessions of it, more unquiet till wee be acquitted by the blood of Christ and his spirit from it, more urgent to lay hold upon the victo­ries and promises of Christ against it. This is the sum of all, and a most sufficient encouragement. The grace ofI [...] renascenti­bus [...], in pro [...]cienti­bus minu [...]tur, in resurgenti [...]us [...]ollitur. Aug. con [...]r. Iulian. lib. 6. cap. 16. Christ in us will weaken much, the grace and favour of Christ unto vs will forgive the rest, and the power of Christ at the last will annihilate all.

Thirdly, To patience and constancy in this spirituall combate. Wee are beset, and compassed about with our corruptions, the sinne hangs on with much pertinacy, and will not be shaken of, therefore there is neede of pa­tienceHeb. 12. 1. Heb. 10. 36. to runne the race that is set before us, to doe the whole will of God, to hale perpetually our clog after us, to pull on and drive forward a backsliding and a revol­ting heart, to thrust still before us a swarme of thoughts and affections through so many turnings and temptati­ons as they shall meet withall. When the spies returned from the holy Land, they disheartned the people, because they had seen giants the sonnes of A [...]ak: so when theNum. 13. 29, 33. spirit of man considers, I am to enter upon a combate that admits no treatie of peace, or respite, with an old man▪ full of wisedome, furnished with a whole Armorie of weapons, and with all the succors and contributions which principalities, and powers, and spirituall wicked­nesses can bring in, an enemie full of desperate rebellion and unwearied rage against the Kingdome of Christ in [...]e: and I find by daylie experience what foiles he gives me, what captivitie he holds me under, how unable I am to hold conflict with but some one of his Lusts, how un­furnish'd with such generall strength as is requisite to meet so potent an adversary; in this case a man will bee [Page 217] very apt to faint and bee wearied in his striving against sinne. And therefore to encourage and quicken us unto patience wee must not seeke our selves in our selves, nor fix upon the measure and proportion of our former gra­ces, but runne to our faith and hold fast our confidence, which will make us hope above hope, and bee strong when wee are weake: Wee must looke unto Iesus, and consider first, his grace which is sufficient for us, Second­ly, his power, which hath already begunne faith and a good worke in us, Thirdly, his promise which is to finish▪ it for us, Fourthly, his compassion and assistance, he is our second, ready to come in in any danger and undertake the quarrell, Fifthly, his example, he passed through alike contradiction of sinners, as wee doe of lusts, Sixthly, his neerenesse, he is at the dore, it is yet but a little while, and he that shall come will come and will not tarry. Seventhly, his Glory which is in our quarrell engaged, and in our weakenesse perfected. Eighthly, his reward which hee brings with him, it is for an eternall weight of glory, that wee wrestle, Ninthly▪ his faithfulnesse to all that Clowd of witnesses, those armies of Saints▪ whome he hath car­ried through the same way of combates and temptations before us, and whose warfare is now accomplished. Last­ly, his performances already. First, he maketh the combateQuicquidinde minuitur▪ hinc cres [...]it. Hieron. [...]p. 21. every day easier then before, our Inner man growes day by day, the house of David is stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul weaker and weaker. And Secondly, as in all other afflictions, so in this especially hee giveth unto us a peaceable fruit of righteousnesse after wee have beene exercised in it.

But you will say these are good encouragements to him that knowes How to do this worke; but how shall I that am Ignorant, and impotent know how to suppresse and keepe downe so strong an enemie with any patience or constancy that all this workes in me? To this I an­swere, first consider wherein mainely the strength of lust [Page 218] lies, and then applie your preventions and oppositions accordingly.

The strength of lust is in these particulars. First, it's wis­dome and cunning craftinesse, whereby it lies in waite,Eph. 4. 14. and is upon the catch of every advantage to set forward its owne ends. Secondly, it's suggestions, perswasions, ti­tillations, treaties, flatteries, dalliances with the soule, which like the smiles of a harlot entice, and allure the heart to condescend to some experience and practiceIam. 1. 14. 1. Tim. 3. 14. with it: Thus Evah being deceived fell into the transgres­sion. For the suggestion quickly begets delight, and de­light as easily growes into consent, and when the Will like the Master-Fort is taken, the inferiour members [...] no longer stand out. Thirdly, its promises and presump­tions, its threatnings and affrightments: for Hopes and fear as are the edges of temptation. Lust seldome or never prevailes, till it have begotten some expectation of fruit in it, till it can propose some wages and pleasures of iniqui­tie, 1. Pet. 2. 15. [...]ude v. 11. Heb. 11. 25. Deut. 29. 19. some peace and immunitie against dangers or judge­ments denounced, wherewith men may flatter them­selves: some unprofitablenesse, toyle, and inconvenience in a contrary strictnesse. Lust deales with the soule, as Iael with Sisera, first, it calls a man in, gives him milkeIudg. 4. 18-21. and butter, cove [...]s him with a mantle, and casts him into a quiet and secure sleepe, and then after brings out the naile and hammer to fasten him unto death; and yet all this while a man saith not within himselfe, What have I done, there is no hope, after all this my wearinesse, in the Esay 57. 10. tent of Iael, in the promises of lust, but like the Mother of Sisera cherisheth vast expectations, and returneth an­swers of spoyles and purchases to himselfe. We will [...] Ier. 44. 17. Incense to the Queene of Heaven, say the people to [...] ­my; we have not onely great and publike examples, [...] Fathers, our Kings, our Princes, our Cities, but great Re­wards to encourage us thereunto, for then had wee ple [...]y Hos. 2. 5. of victuals, and w [...]re well and saw no evill. I will go after my [Page 219] Lovers that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oyle and my drinke; neither did shee ever returne to her first husband, till shee found by evident experience that it was then better with her then amongst Mal. 1. 13. 3. 14. her idoles. So that which made that hypocriticall people weary of the wayes and worship of God, was the unpro­fitablenesse which they conceiv'd to be in his service, and the unequalnesse of his wayes: whereas indeed the faultEsay 58. 3. was in their owne unsincerity and evill ends. For theMic. 2. 7. Word of the Lord doth good to those that walke vprightly, as the Prophet speakes. Fourthly, its Lawes and Edicts, whereby it setteth the members aworke, and publisheth its owne will; and that either under the shew of reason (for sinne hath certaine Maximes, and principles of corrupted reason, which it takes for in­dubitable and secure, wherewith to countenance its ty­rannicall commands) or else under the shape of Emolu­ments and Exigences, and Inevitablenesse, which may serve to warrant those commands that are otherwise de­stitute even of the colour of reason. Like that device of Caiaphas, when they knew not how to accuse Christ, orIoh. 11. 47-50. charge him with any face of capitall crimes, yet hee had found out a way that though there were no personall reasons, nor iust grounds to proceede upon, yet admitting and confessing the innocencie of the person of Christ, the Expedience notwithstanding and Exigencie of state so re­quiring it, fitter it was for one innocent person to perish, and thereby the safety of the common wealth, whichPercrebuerat Oriente tote ve­tus & constans opini [...], esse in fa­tis, ut eo tempore Iudaed profecti rerum p [...]tiren­tur. Sueton. in Uesp [...]si. cap. 4. depended upon their homage to the Romanes, to be se­cur'd, then by the preservation of one man to have the welfare of the whole people lie at hazard, and exposed to the fea [...]es, and jealousies, and displeasures of the Ro­mans, who by publike fame were very suspicious of an universall prince which was to arise out of Iudea, and none so likely to be the man, as he who could raise dead men out of their graves, and so be never destitute of ar­mies [Page 222] to helpe him: so though there was no [...]quum est, yet there was an exp [...]dit, though no reason or iustice, yetPluribus per­suasi [...] ine [...]at, a [...]iquis sacer­do [...]um literis contineri, eo ipso tempo [...]sore vt v [...]l sceretoriens, [...]. Iud [...] [...] po [...]iren­tur; quae [...]mba­ges [...] & Titum [...] [...]acit. Histor▪ liv 5. [...] non dis­simili crrore no­taver [...]t [...]. d. Bello Iud [...]co. lib. 5. cap. 12. there was Exigence and Expediencie why hee ought to die, though not as a malefactor to satisfie for his owne offence▪ yet as a sacrifice to expiate, and to prevent those evils of state which the fame of his mighty workes might have occasion'd. And thus doth sinne deale with men, sometimes by the helpe of corrupt reason, and counter­feite maxi ne [...] it makes the sinnes which are commanded seeme warrantable and equall; sometimes, where the things are apparantly evill, and cannot bee iustified, yet by pretence of some present exigencies it makes them seeme necessary and [...]avoydable. Fifthly Its violence and importuni [...]e, for sinne is so wilfull that as he once answe­red the Persian king, when it cannot finde a law to war­rant that which it requires, yet it will make a law to com­mand what it will: and it will beset and pursue, and im­portune the soule, and take no answere. Balaams ambi­tion was sufficiently nonplusd by the severall answeresNumb. 31. 16. and parables which God put into his mouth, and yet still it pursues him, and will put him upon all experiments,Mic. 6. 5. make him try the utmost of his divelish wit to curse Gods people, and promote himselfe. Io [...]h his fretfulnesseIona. 4. 4. 8. had beene once put to silence, and could reply nothing when God charged him, yet upon a second occasion it gathers strength, and becomes more headstrong, even to dispute with God, and to charge him foolishly. Da­lilah we know was an Allegorie or type of lust, and weeIudg 16 16. know how violent and urgent she was with Sampson▪ till she grieved and vexed his soule with her dayly importu­nities. Sixtly, its provisions. those subsidiary a [...]des and materials of lust which it fetcheth from abroad, thoseRom. 13. 14. 1. Ioh. 2. 15, 16. [...]am. 4 4. Ro [...]. 6. 19. things of the world, with which the heart committeth adulterie; for the World is the Armorie and store-house of lust. Lastly its instruments, which willingly execute the will of sinne, and yeelde themselves up as weapons [Page 221] in the warre: In these things principally doth the strength of lust consist.

Having thus discovered wherein the strength of lust lies, set your selves against it in these particulars thereof. First, for the wisedome and deceite of lust: First set up a spirituall wisedome, which may discover and defeate the projects of the flesh; Christs teaching is the onely way to put off the old man, and to be renewed in theEphe. 4. 20, 21. spirit of the minde. Secondly, mutuall exhortation is a great helpe against the deceitfulnesse of sinne, Exho [...]t Heb. 3. 13. one another while it is called to day, l [...]st any of you be hard­ned by the deceitfulnesse of sinne. Silence is the best ad­vantage an Enemie can have, when one doth not warne nor give notice to another. If a Cheate or cunning Spie should come to a place, and apply himselfe with severall ins [...]nuations unto severall persons, for the better managing his purposes, and sifting out those discoveries which he is to make, the best way to disclose the plots and mischiefes of such an Enemie would be to conferre, and compare his severall passages and discourses together; so Christi­ans mutuall communicating of the experiments, tempta­tions, conflicts, victories which they have had in them­selves to one another, is a sure way to discover and pre­vent the deceit of lust. Rahabs hiding and concealing the spies did much advance their project against Iericho; and so the keeping of the divels counsell, and stifling his temptations, and the deceits of lust, is one of the greatest advantages they can have. Thirdly, receive the Truth with love, for lies and delusions are the doome of those2. Thes. 2. 10, 11 men who receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Secondly, for the perswasions and suggestions of lust, entertaine no Treatie, have no commerce with it, be notPsal. 1. 1. in its company alone, let it not draw thee away, sit not in counsell with it. Qui deliberant desciverunt, if it pre­vaileTacit. to get our eare▪ and make us listen unto it, it will [Page 222] easily proceed further. As soone as ever Saint Paul wasGal. 1. 16. called, he immediately refused to conferre with flesh and blood, which relation elsewhere making, he useth another expression, Whereupon O King Agrippa I was not disobe­dient to the heavenly vision; intimating thus much, thatAct. 16. 19. but to hold a conference with the flesh is a beginning of disobedience. If our first mother Evah had observed this rule, not to deliberate, or admit any dispute with the Serpent, but had at first offer rejected his motion, with this peremptorie answere, We have a Law given us, and servants must be rul'd by their master and not by their fellowes, It is fitter to obey God then to dispute against him, to execute his commands then to interpret them, she might have prevented that deluge of sinne and cala­mitie which by this one over-sight did invade the world. Therefore the Lord strictly commands his people, that when they were to succeed the nations whom God would cast out before them, and should dwell in their land, they should take heed that they were not snared by following them, neither should they enquire after their Gods saying. How did these nations serve their Gods▪ Deut. 12. 30. The very acquanting themselves with the formes of o­ther mens idolatries might ensnare them. Therefore as soone as lust stirres and offers to perswade thee, start away from it as Ioseph did, Come not nigh the doore of a Prov. 5. 8. strange womans house, though the first allurements seeme modest and moderate, yet if the Serpent get in but his head, he will easily draw in the rest of his body, and if he should not, yet his sting is in his head.

Thirdly, for the promises and threats of lust, first, be­leeve them not, for lust is a Tempter, and it is given to all Tempters, to be liers too. When God hath said one thing, let no arguments make thee beleeve the contrarie. As we are to beleeve above hope, so above reason too; for though sophistrie may alledge reasons for a false con­clusion which every understanding is not able to answer [Page 223] or evade, yet there is a voyce of Christ in all saving truth, which his sheepe are apt to heare and subscribe unto, inIoh. 10. 4, 5. which there is an evidence to make it selfe knowne, and to difference delusions from it, though haply a man have not artificiall logick enough to distinguish it from every captious and sophisticall argument. If an Angell from Gal. 1. 8. heaven, saith the Apostle, preach any other Gospell let him be accursed; we know what it cost the man of God, when he gave credit to the old Prophet of Bethel, though1. King. 13. 18. 24. pretending an Angels warrant, to goe backe and eate with him, contrary to the commandement which he had received before. Secondly, get security of better promi­ses (for all the promises of the flesh if they should bee perform'd will perish with a man) learne to rest upon Gods All-sufficiencie, see thy selfe rich enough in hisHeb. 11. 25. wayes, there are more riches in the persecutions, much more in the promises and performances of God, then in all the treasures of Egypt. Lust can promise nothing but either thou hast it already (and the same water is farre sweeter out of a fountaine, then when it hath passed through a sinke; the same monie farre better when it is a Blessing from God, then when a bribe from Lust; when it is the reward of a service, then when 'tis the price of sinne; when it is given by the Owner, then when depo­sited by a thiefe) or else thou art farre better without it, thou walkest amongst fewer snares, hast an over-plus of spirituall goods for thy earthly defect, hast thy poverty sweetned and sanctified by better promises; and there­fore respect none of the wages of Lust, consider that God is the Fountaine of life, that thou hast more and better of it in him then in the Creatures, that when thou wantest the things of this life, yet thou hast the promises still, and that all the offers of lust are not for comforts, but for snares, not for the use of life, but for the provisions of sin: and there is more content in a little received from God, then in whole treasures stollen from him, and all sinfull [Page 224] gaine is the robbing of God.

Fourthly, for the law of lust, setup the law of the spi­rit of life in thy heart. It is a royall Law, and a Law of li­berty. whereas lust is a law of death and bondage; and where the spirit comes, a man shall be set free from the law of sinne and of death. Keepe thy selfe alwayes atRom. 8. 2. home, in the presence of Christ, under the eye and go­vernment of thy husband, and that will dash all intru­ders and adulterers out of countenance. Take heed of quenching, grieving, stifling the Spirit, cherish the mo­tions thereof, stirre up and kindle the gifts of God in thee, labour by them to grow more in grace, and to have neerer communion with God; the riper the Corne growes, the looser will the chaffe be, and the more a man growes in grace, with the more ease will his corruptions be sever'd and shaken off.

Fifthly, when lust is violent and importunate: First, be thou importunate and vrgent with God against it too, when the Messenger of Satan, the Thorne in the flesh,2. Cor. 12. 7, 8. did buffet, and sticke fast unto S. Paul, hee reiterated his prayers unto God against it, and proportion'd the vehe­mency of his requests to the violence and urgency of the enemy that troubled him; and he had a comfortable an­swer, My Grace is sufficient for thee, sufficient in due time to cure, and sufficient at all times to forgive thy weake­nesse. In the Law, if a ravisht woman had cried out, sheeDeut. 22. 25-27 was esteemed innocent, because the pollution was not voluntary, but violent. And so in the assaults of lust, when it useth violence, and pursues the soule that is wil­ling to escape and flye from it, if a man with-hold the embraces of his owne will, and cry out against it, if he can say with Saint Paul, It is no more I that doe it, but sinne Rom. 7▪ 20. that dwelleth in me, though in regard that the flesh is something within himselfe, he cannot therefore be estee­med altogether innocent, yet the Grace of God shall bee sufficient for him. Secondly, when thou art pursued, [Page 225] keepe not Lusts counsell, but seeke remedy from some wise and Christian friend by communicating with him, and disclosing thy case unto him; sinne loves not to bee betrayde or complained on, mutuall confession of sinne,Iam. 5. 16. to those who will pray for a sinner, and not deride him, or rejoyce against him, is a meanes to heale it. Thirdly, when thou art in a more violent manner then usuall as­saulted by sinne, Humble thy selfe in some more peculiar manner before God, and the more sinne cries for satisfa­ction, denie it and thy selfe the more: as Salomon saith of children, so may I say of lusts, Chastice and subdue thy lusts, and regard not their crying.

Sixthly, cut off the materials and provisions for lust, weane thy selfe from earthly affections; love not the World, nor the things of the World, desire not anything1. Ioh. 2. 15. Iam. 4▪ 3, 4. Prov. 30. 8, 9. to consume upon thy lusts, pray for those things which are convenient for thee, turne thy heart from those things which are most likely to seduce thee, possesse thy heart with a more spirituall and abiding treasure; hee who lookes stedfastly upon the light of the Sunne, will be able to see nothing below when he lookes downe againe; and surely the more a man is affected with heaven, the lesse will he desire or delight in the world. Besides, the provi­sions of sinne are but like full pastures, that doe but fatten,Hos. 13. 6, 7. and prepare for slaughter. Balaam was in very good plight before, able to ride with his two servants to attendNum. 22. 22. him, but greedinesse to rise higher, and make provision for his ambitious heart, carried him upon a wicked busi­nesse, made him give cursed counsell against Israel, which at length cost him his owne life.Num. 31. 8.

Lastly, for the instruments of lusts, make a covenant with thy members, keep a government over them, bring them into subjection, above all keepe thy heart, establish1. Cor. 9. 27. the inward government; for nothing can be in the body which is not first in the heart; keepe the first mover uniforme and right; all other things which have their [Page 226] motions depending there, must needs be right too.

Having thus opened at large the life and state of origi­nall sinne, it remaines in the last place to shew, how the spirit by the commandement doth convince and discover the life of actuall sinne: in omitting so much good, in committing so much evill, in swarving and deviating from the rule in the manner and measure of all our services. And this it doth, by making us see that great spiritualnes and perfection, that precise, universall, and constant con­formitie which the Law requires in all we doe. Cursed is every one that abideth not in all things that are written Gal. 3. 10. in the booke of the Law to doe them. Perfection and per­petuitie of obedience are the two things which the Law requires. Suppose we it possible for a man to fulfill every tittle of the Law in the whole compasse of it, and that for his whole life together, one onely particular, and that the smallest and most imperceptible deviation from it being for one onely time excepted, yet so rigorous and inexora­ble is the Law, that it seales that man under the wrath and curse of God. The heart cannot turne, the thoughts cannot rise, the affections cannot stirre, the will cannot bend; but the Law meets with it, either as a Rule to mea­sure, or as a Iudge to censure it. It penetrates the inmost thoughts, searcheth the bottome of all our actions, hath a widenesse in it which the heart of man cannot endure. They were not able to endure, saith the Apostle, the things Heb. 12. 20. Deut. 5. 25. Exod. 34. 30. which were commanded; and Why tempt you God, saith Saint'Peter to those that preached Circumcision, and put a yoake upon the brethren, which neither we nor our fathers Act. 15. 10. were able to beare? Circumcision it selfe they were able to beare, but that yoke which came with it, namely, the Debt of the whole Law was by them and their fathers ut­terlyGal. 5. 3. unsupportable. For this very cause was the Law published, that sinne might thereby become exceeding sin­full, that so Gods grace might bee the more magnified, and his Gospell the more accepted. Let us in a few [Page 227] words consider some particular aggravations of the life and state of actuall sinne, which the spirit by the Word will present unto us.

First, in the least sinne that can bee named, there is so much life and venome, as not all the concurrent strength of those millions of Angels, one of whom was in one night able to stay so many thousand men, had been able to remove. More violence and injustice against God in a wandring thought, in an idle word, in an impertinent and unprofitable action, then the worth of the whole Creation, though all the Heavens were turned into one Sunne, and all the earth into one Paradise, were able to expiate. Thinke we as meanely and slightly of it as wee will, swallow it without feare, live in it without sense, commit it without remorse, yet be we assured, that but the guilt of every one of our least sins being upon Christ, who felt nor knew in himselfe nothing of the pollution of them, did wring out those prodigious drops of sweat, did expresse those strong cryes, did poure in those wofull ingredients into the Cup which he dranke, as made him, who had more strength then all the Angels of Heaven, to shrinke and draw backe, and pray against the worke of his owne mercy, and decline the businesse of his owne comming.

Secondly, if the least of my sinnes could doe thus, O what a guilt and filthinesse is there then in the greatest sinne which my life hath been defiled withall? If my Atomes be Mountaines, O what heart is able to compre­hend the vastnesse of my mountainous sinnes? if there bee so much life in my impertinent thoughts, how much rage and fury is there in my rebellious thoughts? In my thoughts of gall and bitternesse, in my contrived mur­thers, in my speculative adulteries, in my impatient mur­murings, in my ambitious projections, in my coverous, worldly, froward, haughty, hatefull imaginations, in my contempt of God, reproching of his Word, smothering [Page 228] of his motions, quenching of his spirit, rebelling against his grace? If every vaine word be a flame that can kin­dle the fire of Hell about mine eares, O what vollies of brimstone, what mountaines of wrath will be darted up­on my wretched soule, for tearing the glorious and terri­ble name of the great God with my cursed oathes, my crimson and fiery execrations? What will become of sti [...]king, dirty, carrion communication, of lies and scornes, and railings and bitternesse, the persecutions, adulteries, and murthers of the tongue, when but the idle­nesse and unprofitablenesse of the tongue is not able to endure this consuming fire?

3. If one great sin, nay one small sin be so full of life, as not all the strength, nay not all the deaths or annihilati­ons of all the Angels in heaven could have expiated, O how shall I stand before an army of sinnes? So many, which I know of my selfe, swarmes of thoughts, steames of lusts, throngs of sinfull words, sands of evill actions, every one as heavie and as great as a mountaine, able to take up if they were put into bodies all the vast chasm [...] betweene earth and heaven, and fill all the spaces of na­ture with darkenesse and confusion? and how infinite more secret ones are there, which I know not by my selfe? How many Atomes and streames of dust doth a beame of the Sunne shining into a roome discover, which by any other light was before imperceptible? How ma­ny sinfull secrers are there in my heart, which though the light of mine owne conscience cannot discover, are yet written in Gods account, and sealed amongst his trea­sures, and shall at the day of the revelation of all things bee produc'd and muster'd up against me, like so many Lyons and Divels to flye upon me?

Fourthly, if the number of them can thus amaze, O what shall the roote of them doe? Committed out of ignorance in the midst of light; out of knowledge against the evidence of conscience; out of presumption and fore­stalling [Page 229] of pardon, abusing and subordinating the mercies of God to the purposes of Satan, not knowing that his goodnesse should have led me to repentance; out of stub­bornnesse against the discipline, out of enmitie against the goodnesse, out of gall and bitternesse of spirit against the power and purity of Gods holy Law?

Fifthly, not the roote onely, but the circumstances tooVolui & seci: Non pen [...]riâ, sed fastidio iu­stitiae. Nec eâre vole­bam frui quam furto appete­bam, sed ipso furto, & pec­cato. Non erant for­mâ necsapore illecebrosa. Nequissimi ado­lescentes▪ Confrictione sociorum animo­rum accendebam prurisū cupidi­tatis [...]. Nocteintempe­stiva. Ingentia onera. Non ad nostras epulas, sed pro­iscienda por­cis, solâ nos ini­quitate epu­lari. Risus erat quasi titillat [...] corde quod fallebamus eos qui haec à no­bis fieri non pu­tabant. Ex lud [...] & [...] nocend [...] [...]. adde much to the life that is in sinne. See how notably Saint Austen aggravates his sinne of robbing an Orchard when he was a Boy, that which others lesse acquainted with the foulenesse of sinne might be apt enough but to laugh over. First, it began in the will, and the members follow'd, I had a minde, and therefore I did it. Secondly, I did not doe it for want of the things, but out of the naughtinesse of my heart, and my inward enmitie to righteousnesse. Thirdly, I did it not with any aime at fruition of the fruite, but onely of the sinne; it was not my palate, but my lust which I studied to satisfie. Fourth­ly, the apples I stole were very unapt to tempt, no rellish, no forme in them to catch the eye, or allure the hand, but the whole temptation and rise of the sinne was from within. Fifthly, I did it not alone, there were a troope of naughty companions with mee, and wee did mutually cherish and provoke the itch of each others lust. Sixth­ly, it was at a very unseasonable time of night, when at least for that day we should have put a period and given a respite unto our lusts. Seventhly, it was after wee had spent much time before (and should now at least have been tired out) in pestilent and foolish sports. Eighthly, wee were immodest in our theft, we carried away great loades and burdens of them. Ninthly, when wee had done, we feasted the Hogs with them, and our selves [...]ed upon the review and carriage of our owne lewdnesse. Lastly, the chiefe sport and laughter which wee had was this, that we had not only robb'd, but deceiv'd the honest [...]en, who had never so bad an opinion of us, as that wee [Page 230] should doe it; and thus another mans losse was our jest. And after all this, his meditations upon it are excellent; with David hee goes to the roote, Ecce cor meum Deus meus, ecce cor meum. O Lord, what a nature and heart had I, that could commit sinne without any [...], without any incentive but from my selfe? and againe, What shall I returne unto the Lord, that I can review these my sinnes, and not be afraid of them? Lord, I will love thee, I will prayse thee, I will confesse to thy Name, it is thy Grace which pardoneth the sinnes which I have committed, and it is thy Grace which prevented the sinnes which I have not committed: Thou hast saved me from all sinnes, those which by mine owne will I have done, and those which by thy Grace I have been kept from doing. If every man would single out some nota­ble sinnes of his life, and in this manner anatomize them, and see how many sinnes one sinne containeth, even as one flower many leaves, and one Pomegranate many kernels, it could not but be a notable meanes of humbling us for sinne.

Sixthly, not evill circumstances onely, but unpro [...] ­ble ends adde much to the life of sinne: when men sp [...]d Esai. 55. 2. mony for that which is not bread, and labour for that which satisfieth not; when men change their glory for that which doth not profit, forsake the Fountaine, and h [...]w outbrokenIer. 2. 11, 13. Hos. 8. 7. Esai 30. 5. Rom. 6. 11. Cisternes which will hold no water; [...]owe nothing but winde, and reape nothing but shame and reproach. Our Saviour assures us, that it is no valuable price to get the whole World by sione: and Saint Austen hath assur'dAug. demenda. ad Consenti [...]. us, that the salvation of the World, if possible, ought [...]ot to be procurd by but an officious lie. But now how many times doe we sinne even for base and dishonourable end [...] ▪ lie for a farthing, sweare for a complement, swagger for a fashion, flatter for a preferment, murder for a rev [...]ge, pawne our soules which are more worth then the whole frame of nature for a very trifle?

[Page 231]Seventhly, all this evill hitherto staies at home, but the great scandall that comes of sinne addes much to the life of it, the perniciousnesse and offence of the example to others. Scandall to the weake, and that twofold; an active scandall to mis-guide them, Gal. 2. 14. 1. Cor. 8. 10. or a passive scandall to grieve them, Rom. 14. 15. and beget in them jealousies and suspitions against our per­sons and professions. Scandall to the wicked, and that twofold also; the one giving them occasion to blaspheme that holy Name and profession which we beare, 2. Sam. 12. 14. 2. Cor. 6. 3. 4. 1. Pet. 2. 13. The other hardning and encouraging, comforting and justifying them by our evill example, Ezek. 16. 51, 54.

Eighthly, the evill doth not reach to men onely, but the scandall and indignity over-spreads the Gospell; a great part of the life of sinne is drawne from the severall respects it hath to Gods will acknowledged. When we s [...]e not onely against the Law of Nature in our hearts, but against the written Law, nor onely against the truth, but against the mercy and Spirit of God too; this must be a heavy aggravation. O what a hell must it bee to a soule in hell to recount, so many Sabbaths God reached f [...]rth his Word unto me, so many Sermons he knock'd at my doore, and beseeched me to be reconciled; he wo [...]d me in his Word, allured me by his promises, expected me in much patience, enriched me with the liberty of his owne p [...]etious Oracles, reached forth his blood to wash me, poured forth his teares over me, but against all this I have stopped the [...]are, and pulled away the shoulder, and hardned the heart, and received all this grace in [...]ine, and not withstanding all the raine which fell upon me, continued barren still. God might have cut me off in the wombe, and made me there a brand of hell, as I was by nature a Childe of wrath, he might have brought me forth into the world out of the pale of his visible Church, [...] into a corrupted Synagogue, or into a place full of ig­norance, [Page 232] atheisme, and profanenesse, but he hath cast my lot in a beautifull place, and given me a goodly heritage, and now hee requires nothing of me but to doe justly, and worke righteousnesse, and walke humbly before God, and I requite evill for good to the hurt of mine owne soule.

Ninthly, the manner of committing these sinnesis is full of life too. Peradventure they are Kings, have a court and regiment in my heart, at best they will be Tyrants in mee, they have been committed with much strength, power, service, attendance, with obstinacy, frowardnesse, perseverance, without such sense, sorrow, or apprehensi­on, as things of so great a guiltinesse did require.

Lastly, in good duties whereas grace should bee ever quick and operative, make us conformable to our head, walke worthy of our high calling, and as becommeth godlinesse, as men that have learned and received Christ, how much unprofitablenesse, unspiritualnesse, distracti­ons, formality, want of rellish, failings, intermissions, deadnesse, uncomfortablenesse do shew themselves? How much flesh with spirit, how much wantonnesse with grace, how much of the world with the word, how much of the weeke in the Sabbath, how much of the bag or barne in the Temple? how much superstition with the worship? how wuch security with the feare? how much vaine-glory in the honour of God? in one word, How much of my selfe, and therefore how much of my sinne, in all my services and duties which I performe? These and a world the like aggravations serve to lay o­pen the life of actuall sinnes.

Thus have I at large opened the first of the three things proposed, namely, that the spirit by opening the Rule doth convince men that they are in the state of sin, both originall and actuall.

The next thing proposed was to shew what kinde of condition or estate the state of sinne is. And here are two [Page 233] things principally remarkeable: first it is an estate of most extreme impotency and disability unto any good: Secondly, of most extreme enmity against the holinesse and wayes of God.

First it is an estate of impotency and Disability to any good, Paul in his pharisaicall condition thought himselfe able to live without blame, Phil. 3. 6. But when the com­mandement came he found all his former moralities to have been but dung. Our naturall estate is without any strength, Rom. 5. 6. so weake that it makes the Law it selfe weake, Rom. 8. 3. as unable to doe the workes of a spiri­tuall, as a dead man of a naturall life, for wee are by na­ture Dead in sinne. Eph. 2. 1. and held under by it, Rom. 7. 6. And this is a wofull aggravation of the state of sinne, that a man lies in mischiefe (1. Ioh. 5. 19.) as a carkasse in rottennesse and dishonour, without any power to deliver himselfe. He that raised up Lazarus out of his grave, must by his owne voyce raise up us from sinne, The dead shall heare the voyce of the Sonne of man, and they that heare shall live. Ioh. 5. 25. All men are by nature strangers to the life of God, Eph. 4. 18. and sorreiners from his house­hold, Eph. 2. 19. Able without him to doe Nothing, no more then a branch is to beare any fruit, when it is cut of from the fellowship of the roote which should quicken it, Ioh. 15. 4. 5. In me, saith the Apostle, that is, in my flesh there dwelleth no good thing. Rom. 7. 18. a man is as una­ble to breake through the debt of the Law, or his sub­jection to death and bondage, as a beast to shake of his yoke. Act. 15. 10. or a dead man his funerall clothes. Ioh. 11. 44. In one word, so great is this impotencie which is in us by sinne, that we are not sufficient to thinke a good thing. 2. Cor. 3. 5. not able to understand a good thing, nor to comprehend the light when it shines upon us. 1. Cor. 2. 14. Ioh. 1. 5. Our tongues unable to speake a good word, How can yee being evill speake good things. Matth. 12. 34. Our eares unable to heare a good word, To whom [Page 234] shall I speake and give warning that they may heare, behold their eare is uncircumcised and they cannot hearken. Ier. 6. 10. our whole man unable to obey, the carnall minde is not subiect to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. Rom. 8. 7.

The Reasons hereof are these. First, Our universall both naturall and personall [...], wee are by nature all flesh, children of the old Adam, Ioh. 3. 6. Children of Gods wrath. Eph. 2. 3. and so long it is impossible wee should doe any thing to please God, for they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom. 8. 8. a man must first be renewed in his mind, before he can so much as make proof of what will be acceptable unto God. Rom. 12. 2. This naturall Impurity in our persons is the ground of all im­purity in our workes, for unto the [...] every thing is uncleane, Tit. 1. 15. and all the fruit of an evill Tree is evill fruit. Math. 7. 18. And Saint Paul gives the reason of it, Because our fruit should be fr [...]itunto God, Rom. 7. 4. and fruit unto holinesse. Rom 6. 22. Whereas these works of naturall men doe neither begin in God, nor looke to­wards him, nor tend unto him, God is neither the prin­ciple, nor the object, nor the end of them.

Secondly, Our naturall [...] ie, the best performance of wicked men is but [...], the Gift of an enemie, and the sacrifice of fooles. It proceedeth not from love which is the Bond of perfection, that which keepeth all other requisite ingredients of a good worke together, Col. 3. 14. which is the fulfilling of the Law, Rom. 13. 8. and the principle of obedience, and all willing service and conformity to God, Gal. 5. 6. Ioh. 14. 15. and ever procee­deth from the spirit of Christ, Gal. 5. 22. for by nature we are enemies, Rom. 5. 10.

Thirdly, Our naturall infidelity, for the state of sinne is an estate of unbeliefe, The spirit shall convince the world of sinne, because they beleeve not. Ioh. 16. 9. Now infide­lity doth utterly disable men to please God, without [Page 235] faith it is impossible to please him. Heb. 11. 6. There can no good worke be done but in Christ; we are sanctified in Christ, 1. Cor. 1. 2. we are created in Christ unto good works, Eph. 2. 10. we must be one with him before wee can be san­ctified, Heb. 2. 11. and this is the reason why faith sancti­fies and purifies the heart, Act. 15. 9. and by consequence the whole man (for when the fountaine was clensed all the waters were sweete. 2. Reg. 2. 21.) because faith is the bond which fastens us unto Christ. Eph. 3. 17.

Fourthly, Our naturall ignorance and follie. For the state of sinne is ever an ignorant estate. Evill men under­stand not judgement. Prov. 28. 5. The usuall stile that the Scripture gives sinners, even the best of sinners, those who keepe themselves Virgins, and escape many of the pollutions of the world, as Saint Peter speakes, 2. Pet. 2. 20. is fooles Math. 25. 2. though they know many things, yet they know nothing as they ought to know. 1. Cor. 8. 2. Now the roote of our well pleasing is wisedome and spirituall knowledge, Col. 1. 9. 10. that is it which makes us walke worthy of the Lord, and fruitfull in good works. Where­as want of understanding is that which makes us altoge­ther unprofitable, that wee doe no good. Rom. 3. 11. 12.

And now what a cutting consideration should this be to a man to consider, God made me for his use, that I should be his servant to doe his will, and I am utterly unfit for any services save those which dishonour him, like the wood of the vine, utterly unusefull and unmeete for any worke? Ezek. 15. 4. what then should I expect but to be cast out, as a vessell in which is no pleasure? If I am altogether barr [...]n, and of no use, what a wonder­full patience of God is it that suffers mee to cumber the ground, and doth not presently cast me into the fire? that [...] me like a noisome weed to poison the aire, and choake the growth of better things? If I drinke in the raine, and bring forth nothing but thornes, how neere [Page 236] must I needs be unto cursing? And this conviction should make men labour to have place in Christ, because there­by they shall bee enabled to please God, and in some measure to bring that glory to him for which they were made. For this is a thing which God much delights in, when a creature doth glorifie him actively, by living unto him. He will not loose his glory by any Creature, but fetch it out at the last, but when the Creature operates out of it selfe to Gods end, and carries Gods intention through its owne worke, then is hee most honored and delighted. Herein, saith Christ, is my Father glorified, that ye beare much fruit, Ioh. 15. 8. and herein did Christ glori­fie his father in finishing the worke which he gave him to do. Ioh. 17 4. What an encouragement should this bee for those who have hitherto liv'd in the lusts of the flesh, to come over to Christ and his righteousnesse; and for others to goe on with patience through all difficulties, because in so doing they worke to that end for which they were made, they live to God, and bring forth fruit unto him, who hath in much patience spared and in infinite love called them to himselfe? How should we praise God that hath given us any strength in any way to doe him ser­vice? that is pleas'd to account himselfe honoured when he is obeyed by us, who spoile all the works we do with our owne corruptions? And how should we husband all the pretious moments of our life to the advantage of our master, whose very acceptation of such unworthy servi­ces should alone bee both encouragement and reward enough unto us? The more profitably any man lives, the more comfortably he shall die.

Now to consider more particularly this disabilitie which comes along with sinne, we may note, that it is ei­ther totall, when a man is all flesh, as by nature we are; or at best partiall, in proportion to the vigor of concupif­ence, and life of sinne in the best of us. To touch a little upon both of these.

[Page 237]First, in a wicked man, who is totally in the state of sinne, there is a Totall and absolute impossibility and impo­tency to doe any thing that is good. Every figment and motion of the heart of man is onely and continually evill. Gen. 6. 5. But though his heart be evill, may not his acti­ons or his words be good? No, for that is the fountaine whence all they issue, and impossible it is that sweete water should proceed from a bitter and corrupted foun­taine, Matth. 12. 34. Iam. 3. 11. Looke on the best acti­ons of wicked men. If they pray to God, their prayer is an abomination, Prov. 28. 9. If they sacrifice, God will not accept nor smell, nor regard any of their offerings he will esteeme them all abominable and uncleane, as a dogs head, or swines bloud, Amos 5. 21. Esai. 66. 3. Seeme things ne­ver so specious in the sight of men that doe them, yet in his sight they may be uncleane, Hag. 2. 13, 14. If they turne, and enquire and seeke early after God, all this is not fidelity but only flatterie, Psal. 78. 34. 37. Like the spicing and embalming of a carkasse, which can never put so much beauty or value into it, as to make it a welcome present unto a Prince.

But what then? Can a wicked man doe nothing but sinne? when he gives Almes, builds Churches, reades the Scripture, heares the Word, worships God, are these all sinnes? if so, then he ought to forbeare them, and leave them utterly undone. Here are Two Points in this case, First, to consider How all the workes of naturall men may be esteem'd sinfull; and secondly, this being granted that they are sinfull, How they ought to carry themselves in re­gard of doing or omitting of them.

For the former of these, we are first to premise these notes. First, a worke done may bee Sub duplici genere Boni, it may be measured by Two sorts of Goodnesse; first there is Goodnesse ethicall or morall, in relation unto manners, and in order unto men; and secondly, there is Goodnesse theologicall or divine, in relation to Religion, [Page 238] and in order unto God. A thing is morally Good, when it is Good in the sight of men, good unto humane pur­poses, good by way of Example, or by way of Edificati­onQuamvis viden­ [...] [...] cor­ [...] & r [...]tio vi­ [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] servit, nullo [...] [...] [...] [...] virtu [...]es quas si­ [...] vide­tur—Nisi ad De­um [...], eti­am ipsae [...] su [...]t potius quam virtutes. [...] lib. 19. cap. 25. Non [...] qui [...] [...] [...] pauperi [...] Deosae­ [...], [...] sunt vitia vir­t [...] thu [...]; [...] est [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] [...] operib. To. 4. c. 7. to others, who judge as they see. But a thing is then done divinely when it is done with the spirit of holinesse and of truth (for the Father seeketh such to worship him) when it is done in obedience to the word; for wee are to note that a thing may bee done by a man rationally out of the sway and rule of right reason, and a certaine gene­rousnesse and ingenuitie of spirit, which loves not to con­demne it selfe in the thing which it allowes, and to walke crosse to the evidence of its owne rules, and yet that thing is all this while done but unto himselfe, and his owne reason is set up as an idoll in Gods place, to which all the actions of his life doe homage: or a thing may be done obedientially, with an eye vnto Gods will that re­quires it, not onely in a common conviction, but in a fili­all and submissiue affection, as unto him; when you fa­sted and mourned, saith the Lord, did you at all fast unto me, even to me? If you will returne o Israell, returne unto me saith the Lord, Zach. 7. 5. Ier. 4. 1. A notorious fin­ner walkes contrary to the principles of his owne reason and nature Ro. 1. 32. 1. Cor. 11. 14. contrary to the prospe­ritie and securitie of his present life, Levit. 26. 14. 1. Cor. 11, 30. and contrary to the will and Law of God. Now when a man breakes of a sinfull course, with ayme onely at his owne reason, or prosperitie, though this bee to re­turne, yet it is to turne to our selv [...]s, and not unto God. They assemble themselves for corne and wine, saith the pro­ph [...]t, and so seeme to returne, but though they returne, it is not to the most high: but like a deceitfull bow, though it seeme to direct the arrow to the marke, yet indeede it sends it out another way, Hos 7. 14 16. and in this regard though the substance of a worke seeme very specious unto men, who iudge according to the sight of their eyes, and measure the a [...]me and intention by the worke which [Page 239] they see, not the worke by the intention which they can­not see; yet to God that seeth not as man seeth, it may be an abomination, Luk. 16. 15.

Secondly, we are to note, That amongst Christians di­vine workes may be done morally and meerely [...], ac­cording to the course of the places and times which a man lives in. Such were Saint Pauls services before his Conversion, which therefore he esteemed but dung, and suffered the losse of them, for a man may do good things, and yet when he hath done lose them all, 2. Ioh. vers. 8. Nay they may be done profanely, as Balaams blessing of Israel, and the false brethrens preaching, out of envy and ill will. Phil. 1. 15. 16. And morall things may be done spi­ritually and divinely; such were the Almes of the Chur­ches2. Cor. 8. 5. of Macedonia to the Saints, that which they did they did as unto God, which made them ready to conse­crate not onely their substance, but themselves to the ser­vice of the Saints. Such was the contribution of the Phi­lippians towards the necessities of Saint Paul, it wasPhil. 4 18. done with an eye to God, in which respect the Apostle cals it a sacrifice of a sweete savour, well pleasing unto God. The Good was intended unto Paul, but the service was directed unto God.

Thirdly, we are to note That some things are so essen­tially Good in themselves, as that they cannot be done, but they must bee well and spiritually done; such are those things which take in God into their very perfor­mance, and doe intrinsecally and in the substance of the worke respect him. Such are to love, feare, beleeve, trust, depend upon God; which things, though in regard of the unperfect manner of doing them they may have sinne mi [...]gled with them, because not done with all that strength as the Law requires, can yet never be totally [...], and so unacceptable unto God. Other things may be Good materially, and in common acception, because they are the things which God commands to be done; [Page 240] but yet, because the doing of them doth not necessarily and [...] take in an ayme and respect to God, but is onely [...] unto him, and that so as that the same thing may be done with other respects, therefore the Goodnesse is not in the things themselves barely con­sidered, but in the right manner of performing them. Such were Iehu his zeale, the Pharises praying, the hy­pocrites fasting, and the like. In one word, somethings are so inherently Good, that though they may be done imperfectly, yet they cannot be do [...]e profanely; others so good with relation to God, that because they may be done without that relation, and such other conformities as are required in them, therefore they may cease at all to be good; as to preach out of envie, to pray out of hypocrisie, to fast out of opinion of merit, &c.

Now as indifferent things may be made good by cir­cumstances: as to eate or not to eate is indifferent, yet not to eate for feare of scandall is charitie, and to eate, for feare of superstition, is Christian liberty. To observe things indifferent as indifferent, without any conscience of the thing it selfe, onely in Eadem opera hominum, sicut causas habue­rint bonas vel malas, nunc sunt bona, nunc mala, que non sunt per se ipsa peccata, &c. Aug. contr mendacium ad Consent. li. 2. c. 7. due submission to the com­mands of iust authoritie, is obedience; to observe the same things without such authoritie, and that upon su­perstitious reasons, directed to binde the conscience, and leading to the thing as such a thing, is in regard of others great scandall, and in regard of a mans selfe bondage and idolatrie: Thus I say as indifferent things may bee made good or bad by circumstances: so other things, the matter of which is commanded, may yet be made in the doing of them evill, when that due respect and conformitie which the Law wherein it is commanded requireth is not observed. If a man build a wall, with p [...]etence to keepe out the Sea or an enemy, and yet leave a wide gap and entrance open to admit them, though hee who sees no­thing but firme wall may admire the worke, yet he who viewes the whole will but deride it: so though a ma [...] [Page 241] doe very much, though hee proceede so farre as to offer up the children of his body, and bestow mountaines of cattell Mic. 6. 6, 7, 8. upon God and his service; yet omitting righteousnesse, and iustice, and humiliation before God, though to men it may seeme very specious, yet unto God it is both abo­minable and ridiculous. As a piece of silver or gold may be shaped into a vessell of dishonor, which shall be de­stin'd unto [...]ordid and uncleane uses: so may a worke be compounded of choyce ingredients, the materials of it may be the things which God himselfe requires, and yet serving to base purposes, and directed to our owne ends, it may stinke in the nostrils of God, and bee by him reiected as a vessell in which there is no pleasure. A cup of cold water to a prophet as a prophet shall bee re­warded, when a magnificent almes with a pharises trum­pet shall be rejected: As a small thing which the righte­ousSee Dr. Vsshers Answer. cap. 11. pag 466-472. Mr Boltons Di­rections. pag. 149-154. Down [...]. Wa [...]s. part. [...]. li. 1. ca. 7. [...]. Clem. Alex. strom l. 5. [...]. Clem. Alex. strom. lib. 4. Vid. Aug. De natura & grat▪ cap. 57. & 69. De Gratia Christ. contr: Pe­lag. & [...]. l. 1. [...]. 13. & 26. cont. 2. epist. [...]. lib. 3. cap. 5. hath, so a small thing which the righteous giveth, is better then great riches of the ungodly.

Fourthly, wee are to note what things are requisite unto the doing of a thing so as that it may bee an Act of obedience, and thereupon acceptable unto God.

First, then it must have a new principle, the Spirit of Christ, and the Law of the Spirit of Life, and Faith pu­rifying the Conscience from dead workes.

Secondly, in regard of the manner, it must bee done with the affection of a childe, not out of bondage, but in love, 2. Tim. 1. 7. In voluntary service and resignation of all the members unto righteousnesse. Rom. 6. 19. In universall respect to all the Commandements, Psal. 119. 128. In obedience to God the Law-giver, for he never obeyes the Law even when he doth the workes therein contained, but when hee doth it with all submissiue and loyall affections towards him that commands it. Iam. 2. 10, 11. this onely is to live unto God, and to bring forth fruite unto him.

Thirdly, it must be directed unto holy ends; and those [Page 242] are principally foure, to which others are to be subordi­nate,Aug. de morib. Man [...]ch. lib. 2. ca. 13. & ep. 120. but not repugnant. First, the glory of God, we must bring forth fruit, and finish our workes, and doe all that we have to doe with respect unto his glory, Ioh. 15. 8. Ioh 17. 4. 1. Cor. 10. 31. Secondly, the Edification, Ser­vice, comfort of the Church, that nothing redound to their offence, but to their profit and salvation, 1. Cor. 10. 3 [...], 33. Col. 1. 24. 2. Tim. 2. 10. 2. Cor. 1. 6. Thirdly, the Credit, honour, and passage of the Gospell, that it may be furthered, and not evill spoken of, 2. Cor. 6. 3, 4. 1. Cor. 9. 19. 23. Phil. 1. 12. Fourthly, a mans owne sal­vation, that he be not after all his paines a cast-away, but that he may save himselfe. 1. Cor. 9. 27. 1. Tim. 4. 16. 1. Pet. 1. 9.

Fourthly, all the meanes unto that end must be regular and sutable, Evill must not be done to bring good about, Rom. 3. 8. and all the circumstances which accompany the action must be right too. For as in the body there is not onely requir'd beauty, but order and proportion; Let the face be of never so delicate and choice complection, yet if any part be mis-plac'd it will cause a notable de­formitie and uncomelinesse to it: so in duties, an excel­lent worke may be so mis-plac'd, or mis-tim'd, or atten­ded with such incongruous and unsutable circumstances, as that it may prove rather a snare of Satan, then a fruit of the Spirit.

Lastly, to make it completely acceptable, It must passe through the Incense and Intercession of Christ, who as he doth by his Merits take away the Guilt of sinne from our persons; so by his Intercession he hideth the polluti­on and adherencie of sinne that is in our services, and so giveth us accesse, and maketh all our duties acceptable by him to God. Ephes. 2. 18. 1. Pet. 2. 5. He hath made us Revel. 1. 6. to be priests unto God, and our Prayers, and good workes, as spirituall sacrifices come up before God. But it is not suffi­cient that there be a Priest, and an offering, except there [Page 243] be an Altar too upon which to offer it (for it is the Al­tar which sanctifieth the offering) Now Christ is the Al­tar Matth. 23 19. which sanctifieth all our spirituall sacrifices, Their sa­crifices shall be accepted upon mine Altar, and they shall come up with acceptance on mine Altar, Esai. 56. 7. 60. 7.

These things being thus premised, we conclude, first, A wicked man cannot doe those things at all which are so essentially and inherently good, as that the very op [...] operatum or doing of them is from the spirit of Christ, as to love God, to trust him, and depend upon him: for as there are some things in nature which cannot be coun­terfeited or resembled; the shape of a man may bee pictur'd, but the life cannot, nor the reason, nor any thing that doth immediately pertaine to the Essence of man: so there are some things in grace which cannot by hypo­crisie be done neither in the thing it selfe, nor in the man­ner of doing it, because sincerity, spiritualnesse, and filiall respects belong to the very substance and matter of the duety.

Secondly, other workes, whose Goodnesse doth notVid. Aug. epi. 48. & cont. Iulian. Pelag. lib. 4. ca. 3. De Nupt. & Conc. lib. 1. ca. 3. Retract. li. 1. c. 3. cleave necessarily to the doing of them but to the man­ner of doing them, wicked men may performe: but then they doe them onely ethically and in conspectu hominum, with relation to men and manners: not spiritually as un­to God, nor in obedience or respect to him. For first the Spirit of Grace is Christs spirit, Rom. 8. 9. Gal. 4. 6. and our flesh is quite contrarie unto it, Gal. 5. 17. and none have this spirit, but they who have fellowship with the father and the sonne, and are united unto him, 1. Ioh. 4. 13. none of which dignities belong to wicked men. Secondly, every thing that is spirituall is vitall, for the spirit quickneth; the spirit of Holinesse never comes but with a Resurrecti­on, Rom. 1. 4. Ro. 8. 10, 11. 2. Cor. 3. 6. and therefore he is called the spirit of life, Rom. 8. 2. but now as the persons of wicked men, so their workes are all dead, Heb. 9 14. and therfore not being done spiritually & obedientially, impos­sible [Page 244] it is that they should in any sense please God, Rom. 8. 8. whose pure eyes can endure nothing which beareth not, in some, though most remote degree, proportion to his most holy nature, 2. Pet. 1. 4. But it may be objected, doth God use to doe good to those that hate him, and that even for the things which himselfe hateth in them? doth not that worke please him, which he is pleased to reward? and we finde the workes of wicked men in the Scripture rewarded. Ahab humbled himselfe before1. King. 21. 19. God, and therefore God brought not the evill denoun­ced upon him in his owne dayes. Iehu executed the2. King. 10. 3 [...]. command of God upon the house of Ahab, and God established the throne of Israel upon him for foure gene­rations. Nebuchadnezzar caused his armie to serve aEzek. [...]9. 18, 19, 20. great service against Tyrus, and the land of Egypt was given him for wages, and for the labour wherewith hee served against it.

To this I answere, that this God doth not to iustifie or allow wicked mens actions, when they are in shew conformable to his Will; but first to shew that his mer­cie is over all his workes, when he is pleased to recom­pence the actions which hee might iustly punish: Se­condly, to shew that God will never be upbraided, forEsai. 58. 3. Mal. 3. 14, 15. Iob 21. 14, 15. Ezek. 3 [...]. 20. being any way behinde with men. Wicked men are apt to twit God with the unprofitablenesse of his service, and the unequalnesse of his wayes, to boast that their worke hath beene more then their wages; and therefore utterly to stop their mouthes, when he shall proceede in iudgement with them, he gives them such rewards as are most sutable to their owne desires (the hypocrites prayMatth. 6. 2. 5. and give almes to bee seene of men, and that reward which they desired they have) and such as are most su­table to their services: As they bring him uncleane ser­vices, so he rendereth unto them unsanctified rewards; as the give him services full of hypocrisie which doe not please him, so he gives them benefits full of bitternesse [Page 245] which shall not profit them. Thirdly, to preserve hu­maneIllud constat in­ter omnes vera­citer pios nemi­nem sine vera pi­etate, id est, veri Dei vero cultu, veram posse ha­bere virtutem: nec eam veram esse quando glo­riae servit huma­nae: eos tum qui Cives non sunt civitatis aeternae—Vtiliores esse terrenae civitati, quando habent virtutem vel ip­sam, quàm si nec ipsam, &c. Aug. De Civ. Dei. li. 5. cap. 19. societie from violence and outrage, for when wic­ked courses are from Heaven plagued, and moderate prospered, this keepes order and calmenesse upon the face of mankinde, which might otherwise bee likely to degenerate into brutishnesse. Fourthly, to intice and incourage wicked men unto sincere obedience; for thus may they recount with themselves: If God thus reward my uncleane, how aboundantly would he re­compence my spirituall services? If he let fall such crums unto dogges, how aboundantly would hee provide for me if I were his Childe? If the blessings of his left hand riches and glorie bee so excellent even to the Goates, how pretious would the blessings of his right hand, length of dayes, and eternall happinesse be if I were one of his sheepe? So then it is not Ex pretio operis, but only Ex largitate donantis; The reward is not out of the va­lue or price of the worke, but out of the bountie of God, who will not leave himselfe without a witnesse, but as a master for incouragement and allurements sake will reward the industrie of an ignorant scholler, though hee blot and deface all that he puts his hand unto; so God to overcome men by his goodnesse and bounty, and to draw them to repentance, is pleased to reward the workes which he might iustly punish.

But have not the wicked some measures and propor­tions of the Spirit given them, by which they are enabled to do those workes they doe? Heb. 6. 4. 1. Cor. 12 6. 7. And is not that a good worke which proceedeth from the supplies of the Spirit of God? To this wee answere, First, as it is the influence of the same Sunne, which ripe­neth both the Grape, and the Crabbe, and yet though the Grape have sweetenesse from the Sunne, the Crabbe still retaines the sowrenesse which it hath from its selfe: so it is the same spirit which helpeth the faithfull in their holy, and the wicked in their morall workes, which yet [Page 246] still retaine the qualitie and sowrnesse of the stocke from whence they come. Secondly, we deny them not to bee good in Suo genere, that is, morally, and in the sight of men; but yet they are not good in Gods sight, so as to procure acceptance with him; for which purpose wee must note, That God gives severall proportions of his Spirit, and for severall purposes. To some the Spirit to sanctifie and renew, Rom. 1. 4. Tit. 3. 5. To others the spi­rit to edifie and profit withall, 1. Cor. 12. 7. To some cha­ritie, and to others gifts, 1. Cor. 14. 1. To some as Instru­ments, that they may walke profitably before men, as Cirus was annointed for Iacobs sake, Esai. 45. 1, 4. To others as Sonnes and Members, that they may walke acceptablie before him, 1. Pet. 2. 5.

But then comes the second Case proposed, if a wicked man can doe nothing but evill, then it seemes hee ought to leave undone all his Almes, Prayers, Fastings, and Religions services, because we are to abstaine from every thing which is polluted with sinne; and that which God will not see, man must not doe. To this I answere No, by no meanes. The poore man at the poole of Bethesda, Ioh. 5. 7. though utterly impotent and unable to crawle in when the Angell came to stirre the waters, did not yet neglect what lay in his power to waite at the place, and to en­deavour his owne cure; Naturall impotency can give no excuse to wilfull neglect. When Simon Magus was in the gall of bitternesse, yet Saint Peter directed him thenAct. 8. 22, 23. to pray. Here then these two Rules must regulate this Case. First, a wicked mans necessity of sinning must not nullifie the Law of God, which requires the doing of those things, though not with such an uncleane heart as he doth them. The impotency of man must not either prejudice Gods Authoritie, or diminish his owne dutie. As, though where sinne abounds Grace doth more abound, yet a man must not sinne that grace may abound; so, though when a wicked man doth the things of the Law, he fin­neth, [Page 247] yet he must not omit the duty, upon pretence to escape the sinne. Secondly, when a thing is evill Propter fieri, because it is done, the doing of that thing is unlaw­full, and inti insecally sinfull, and therefore to be avoided; but when a thing done is evill, not because it is done, but because something which should make the doing of it good and acceptable is omitted, and so it is evill not in the substance of thing, but by reason of the defects which cleave unto it, here this ought stiil to be done, but the other ought not to bee left undone. Iehu was com­manded2. King 10. 30. to destroy the house of Ahab, he did so, and thus farre he did well; but his ends and Gods divide the same Action, God out of Iustice, he out of policie, and there­fore though he esteemed it zeale, yet God accompted it murther and shedding of bloud, and though as it was in substance the thing which God commanded, he did re­ward it, yet as the execution thereof was otherwise then he required, so he threatneth to revenge it: I will avenge Hos. 1. 4. the bloud of Iezreel upon the house of Iehu. What then, is Iehu to commit murther? God forbid: and yet is he to doe that, in doing whereof he did commit murther? yes, for God requir'd it. So then he was to performe Gods Command, but he was not thereby to worke out his owne projects, God commanded him to execute his justice, but not his owne revenge. When the Prophet Ieremie foretold the captivity of the Iewes, if hee had preached judgement with such an affection as Iehu did execute it, with aimes at his owne credit in the truth of his message, with delight in the ruine and desolation of the Church, with expectation and desire to see the la­mentable accomplishment of his owne preaching (as [...]ona 4. 1, 5. Ionah did at Ninive) though hee had done that which God required, yet had he greatly finned in corrupting his message with his owne lust: but herein was the faithfulnesse of that holy man seene, that though he did proclayme the woefull day, yet he did not desire it, but [Page 248] said Amen to the words of those false prophets, thatIer. 17. 16. 28. 6. preached peace and restitution againe. So then to con­clude this Case, when an Action hath evill in its owne substance, it is to be omitted, but when the Action is of it selfe the matter of a precept, and so hath evill onely externally cast upon it by the Agent that doth it, here the Action is not to be omitted, but the Agent is to be re­formed.

But you will say, If I may not doe evill that good may come of it, then I may not doe good when evill will come of it, upon the same reason, because evill is al­together to be prevented and avoided. To this I answer, that the Argument followes cleane contrary, I may not doe evill though good would come of it, I must doe good though evill should come of it. For when a com­mand is absolute and peremptorie, we must not observe it with respect to consequences, nor foist in conditions or relations of our owne to over-rule the duety, lest wee make our selves Lords of the Law. Now the Comman­dement for doing Good, notwithstanding any conse­quences which may attend it, is as absolute and per­emptory, as the command for not doing evill, and there­fore we must not observe or forbeare it with respect unto any consequences. For God will have us to measure our dutie by his command, which requires to abstaine from evill, and to doe good, not by the Events that are inci­dentall and externall to the dutie done. So then that which is good materially of it selfe is to be done though evill follow, first, because God requires it, and his will must stand against all consequences. Secondly, because the evill that comes along in the doing of it is not any way belonging or naturally appendant upon the dutie, but is foisted into it by our wicked nature, and the wickednesse of man must not either annihilate the commands of God, or voide and evacuate his owne dutie, or lastly justifie or priviledge his presumptions. Thirdly, because so to doe [Page 249] is not to prevent evill, but to multiply it, not to escape sin, but to double it. We must observe Gods way of brea­king of sinne, and not our owne; It was never knowne that one sinne was the way to prevent or to cure ano­ther. Besides there is lesse sinfulnesse in a defect which attendeth a duety done, then in a totall omission of it; for that comes in by way of consequence, the other is against the very substance and whole bodie of the command; that proceedeth from naturall and unavoidable impo­tency, this from a wilfulnesse which might have beene prevented.

Now since the wicked haue such a totall disabilitie, as that what ever they doe is altogether sinfull, hath not a dramme of holynesse in it, the principles, the ends, the wayes all Carnall; Heere then wee might observe the foulnesse of those reliques of Pelagianisme, in doctrine of the Papists, who flatter and complie with nature against the grace of Christ, in their doctrines of merit of congru­itie and preparations for grace, the acceptablenesse of heathen vertues in the sight of God, the infallible atten­dance of Grace upon naturall endeauours, as if things totally evill, and deserving wrath, could prepare for Grace. But I rather choose to speake to the Conscience, It should serve therefore to amaze naturall men in the sight of this state of sin, and to throw them downe under Gods mighty hand, when they shall consider that their best workes are totally evill, that doe what they will it is altogether abominable in Gods sight. What a wofull thing is it for a man to be debtor to the whole Law, one iot or title whereof shall not passe away, and to bee ut­terly unable to doe any thing which beareth proportion to the least title of that Law, because the Law is all over spirituall, and he all over Carnall. It would be an Insup­portable burden to perish everlastingly for but one sinne: how infinitely more to be answerable for all those infi­nite trespasses, not one whereof can bee remitted with­out: [Page 250] all. This one point of the Disabilitie of Nature to please God in any thing, if it were duly considered, would compell men to goe unto Christ, by whom they may have accesse, and for whom their services shall have ac­ceptance before God, till which time they are all but dung▪ and God will throw them in the faces of men a­gaine: And the reason is, till a man takes Christ by faith along with him, these sacrifices have no golden Censer Amos 5. 21, 22. to perfume them, no Altar to sanctifie them, nothing but a mans owne evill heart to Consecrate them upon; which makes them to be our owne, and not Gods offe­rings. When the Prodigall came unto himselfe, and considered, I have nothing, I can doe nothing, all that I eate is dirt and filth, I am an unprofitable creature in this state; these thoughts made him resolue to goe unto his father. When Saint Paul considered that what1. Tim. 1. 13. Phil. 3. 6, 7, 8. ever before his conversion hee thought of himselfe, yet indeede all his zeale was but blasphemie and persecuti­on, all his moralitie but dung and dogs meate, all his un­blameablenesse & presumptions but losse unto him, then he began to set an infinite value upon the excellencie of the knowledge of Christ, and to suffer the losse of all, that he might be found in him. Sinne must be very sinnefull, that Grace may be very welcome.

Secondly, this Impotencie and Disabilitie is Partiall, even in the most Regenerate; so much flesh as they have in them, so much deadnesse and unserviceablenesse still; and this may bee seene in two points. First, there is a great disabilitie in the best to worke and goe on with patience and comfort in Gods service. How apt are we still to quench and grieve the Spirit? How doth every mans experience constraine him to crie out, In mee dwel­leth no good thing, to will is present with mee, but I cannot performe the things which I would, Lord I beleeve, helpe thou mine unbeleefe? How doe we faint and waxe wea­ry of well-doing? How are wee led captive to the law [Page 251] of sinne which is in our members, so that wee cannot doe Gal. 5. 17. 1. Cor. 2. 6. the things which we would? for though the Scripture call the Saints perfect, and testifie of some that they served God with their whole heart, yet that is onely in oppo­sition to Corde duplici, a double heart, denoting such an integrity onely as doth not admit a purposed division of the heart betweene God and sinne. Therefore wee meete still with exhortations to grow, and abound, and with promises of bringing forth more fruite, and menti­on of proceeding from faith to faith, and from glory to glory, and of supplies of the spirit, and growing to the measure of the stature of Christ, and the like expressions, all which denote the admixture of Impotencie in the best. And this Impotencie is so great, that of themselves they can never doe any thing, but returne to their wonted coldnesse and dulnesse againe: for it is nor their having of Grace in them barely which makes them strong, but their Communion and fellowship with Christs fulnesse, I am able to doe all things through Christ that strengthens me. The branch can beare no fruite, nor preserve or ri­pen that which it hath, but by its unity with the roote; light continues not in the house but by its dependance on the Sunne, shut out that, all the light is presently gone. Take water away from the fire and its nature will be presently stronger then the heate it borrowed, and suddenly reduce it to its wonted coldnesse: So wee can doe nothing but by the constant supplies of the Spirit of Christ; he that begins must finish every good worke in vs, Phil. 1. 6. He that is the Author must be the finisher of our faith too, Heb. 12. 2. Without him we cannot will nor doe any good, Phil. 2. 13. Without him, when we have done both, we cannot continue, but shall faint in the way, His Spirit must lead us, Rom. 8. 14. Esai. 40. 11. His arme must heale and strengthen us, Hos. 11. 3. Ezek. 34. 16. A [...] we have received him, so we must walks in him, with­out him wee cannot walke, Col. 2. 6. God is the God of All [Page 252] Grace, to him it bolongeth not onely to call, but to perfect, not onely to perfect, but to strengthen, stablish, settle us, 1. Pet. 5. 10.

Secondly, this Impotencie is seene in this, that the good things they doe cannot fully please God by themselves, but stand in neede of further purification from Christ, and pardon from God; Even when wee are Children we must be spared, and borne withall, Mal. 3. 17. Deut. 1. 31.

The use which we should make of this point is first to keepe us Humble, in regard of this thorne in our flesh, which disables us to doe any good, and when wee have done our uttermost, yet still makes us unprofitable ser­vants. Lay together these considerations.

First, remember the long time that thou wert utterly barren, and didst live nothing but a life of sinne, how much of the flowre of thine age hath bin dedicated unto Satan, and thine owne lusts; how thy childhood & youth hath beene all vanity; and why thinke we did God re­quire the first fruits in the Law, but to shew that wee were all his, and therefore that he ought to have the first and best of our life devoted unto him, and submitted un­to his yoke.

Secondly, consider even now when thou art at best that thou art not sufficient of thy selfe to thinke a good thought, that in thee, that is in thy flesh, in thee from thy selfe dwelleth no good thing, the originall of all the good thou dost is without thee, By the Grace of God thou art what thou art, and all thy sufficiency is in his Grace.

Thirdly, when this Grace doth call, knocke, quicken, put thee onto any good, how averse and froward, how dull, indirigible, undocile is thy evill heart, like a filly Lambe, never findes the way it selfe; and when it is led, is every step ready to stoppe and to start aside.

Fourthly, when it prevailes to set thee indeede a worke, how exceedingly dost thou faile in the measure [Page 253] of thy duties? How little growth in strength? How litle improvement in spirituall knowledge or experience? How much wearinesse and revolting of heart? How evill and unprofitable hath thy life beene in comparison of those worthies whom thou shouldest have followed, and in proportion to those meanes of grace which thou hast had?

Fifthly, in thy progresse, How often hast thou stum­bled? How many notorious and visible sinnes, even in great Characters, have oftentimes stained if not thy pro­fession by a publike scandall, yet thy soule in private by a consciousnesse unto them? And how thinke wee did Davids murther and adultery pull downe the pride of his heart when ever it offered to rise in any Heavenly action?

Secondly, in this point it will bee needefull to give direction in a case of dayly occurrence, what a man should doe when he findes his naturall impotencie dead him in Spirituall workes? when he findes stupiditie, be­numbdnesse of spirit, and many defects, which hee can­not overrule nor subdue in Gods service; whether it were not better to for beare the very dutie, then to grieve the spirit with undue performances? To this I answere. First, omit not the dutie though thou art never so ill af­fected, for that is to give place to the Divell, and to yeeld to the flesh, and the Divell is pleased either way; when by his allurements he can perswade us to evill, and when by discomforts hee can discourage us from good. Be­sides by doing spirituall things a man growes more spi­rituall, and gathers strength even in the action; as water which comes hard at first flowes very plentifully after it hath beene a little drawne. They that beginne in teares may end in ioy: David began to pray with no comfort, much sore vexation and weakenesse of spirit under the sense of Gods heavie displeasure, and yet hee ends with much faith, peace, and triumph. The Lord hath heard [Page 254] my supplication, the Lord will receive my prayer; Let all mine enemies be ashamed, &c. Psal. 6. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10. Se­condly, take Saint Pauls advice to stirre up the gift that is in thee, awaken & revive thine owne spirit, by commu­ning and debating with thine owne heart, by consulting with God in his Word, diligent acquaintance and right knowledge of his Will, by fruitefull, and seasonable con­ference, borrowing light from thy brothers candle, re­buking or rectifying thy selfe by his example, this is that which the Scripture cals whetting the Law upon one ano­ther. Deut. 6. 7. By renewing thy Covenant, comming afresh to the Fountaine of Grace, which is in Christ: As iron is quickned by the Loadstone, and the Earth moves swiftest when it is neerest to its place; so the Soule ap­proaching neerer to Christ, renewing repentance, re­counting errors, reviving covenants, dedicating it selfe afresh to his service, must needes be much sharpned and encouraged anew. Thirdly, when thou canst not doe a thing with life, yet doe it with obedience; when not in Comfort, yet with feare and trembling; when not as thou wert wont, yet as thou art able. God loves to bee sought when hee hides. Tell me, O thou whom my Soule loveth, where thou lodgest at noone? When Ezekiah could not pray he chatter'd and peep'd, and when thou art not able to speake thy desires, the Spirit can forme thy sighs into prayers? Lastly, when still thou art heavie and in darknesse, flie to thy Faith, take Iobs resolution, though he slay me with discomforts, yet I will trust in him; an­gry though he may be, yet hee cannot be unfaithfull; though hee may like Ioseph conceale his affection for a time, yet impossible it is that he should shut up his com­passions, and renounce the protection of such as in truth depend upon him. Who is there amongst you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voyce of his Servant, that wal­keth in darkenesse and hath no light? Let him trust in the Name of the Lord, and stay upon his God, Esay, 50. 10. [Page 255] God will ever have us so much Conscious of our owne defects, and sensible of our owne disabilities, as that wee may still runne to the Sanctuary of our Faith, and rest on him, not glory or rely upon our selves. And now if our Impotencie drive us to the grace of Christ, make us more v [...]e in our owne eyes, and crie out with the Apostle of our owne wretchednesse, there may be as much life and obedience All over, as when this or that particular duty was performed with more vigor; for that which was wanting in our strength may be made up in our humili­tie; and this is a sure rule, God is more praysed and de­lighted in those graces unto which humilitie doth more essentially belong, as Faith & Spirituall sense of our owne disabilities, and the like, then in any others. And thus as a small heape of gold may be equall in value to a greater of silver; so though in other regards we should be many times weake, yet if the sense of that make us more hum­ble, and the lesse holdfast wee have of any thing in our selves, make us take the faster hold of the hope that is set before us, we may be equally acceptable in the sight of God, who doth not Iudge of us according to our sense of our selues, but hath respect to the lowlinesse of his Servants, and of their Graces.

The second thing I wil but name (having largely insisted upon it from another Text) & that is, that the estate of sin is an estate of enmitie against God and his wayes: this is amongst other characters of wicked men by nature, that they are [...], haters of God, Rom. 1. 30. and Enemies of the crosse of Christ, by minding earthly things, Phil. 3. 18. 19. and this by nature is universall; the Apostle useth three expressions for the same thing, when we were sin­ners, when we were without strength, and when we were enemies, Rom. 5. 6, 8, 10. to note that Impotencie and E [...]itie is as wide as sinne; and therefore else where he saith, that we were enemies by wicked workes, Col 1. 21. And our Saviour maketh it all one not to love him, and [Page 256] not to keepe his sayings. Ioh. 14. 24. and to refuse subje­ction unto him, and to be his enemie, Luk. 19. 27. The very mindes of men, and their wisedome, their purest faculties, their noblest operations, that wherein they re­taine most of the Image of God still, is yet sensuall, earthly, fleshly, divellish, enmity against him, Iam. 3. 15. Rom. 8. 7. In a word, Wee are by Nature enemies to the Will of God by rejecting his Word, Ier. 6. 10, 8, 9, 1, 19, 44, 16. 2. Chron. 36, 16. Zech. 7. 11. Matth. 23. 37. Act. 13. 45. 46. Enemies to the Spirit of God, by withstanding his Operations, Act. 7. 51. Gal. 5. 17. Act. 6. 9. 10. Enemies to the Notions of God, by disliking and suppressing the thoughts and knowledge of him, Rom. 1. 18, 21, 28. Rom. 3. 11. Enemies to the righteousnesse of God, by setting up our owne workes and merits, Rom, 9. 32. 1. Cor. 1. 23. Enemies to the wayes of God, by fulfilling our owne lusts and wicked workes, Col. 1. 21. Iob. 21. 14, 15. Enemies to the Servants of God, in persecutions and cruell workings, &c. Ioh. 15. 19. 2. Tim. 3. 3. Esai. 8. 18. Zech. 3. 8. Gal. 4. 29. Heb. 11. 36.

And how should the consideration of this fetch us in to the righteousnesse of Christ, make us fall downe and adore that mercie which spared and pittied us when we were his enemies. Consider but two things; First, what an vngratefull thing? Secondly, what a foolish thing it is to be Gods enemies, as every man is that con­tinues in sinne without returning unto him? First, how ungratefull? He is our Father, (Adam the Sonne of God, Luk. 3. 38.) and therefore there is due unto him Honor: He is our Master, and therefore there is due unto him feare and service: He is our Benefactor, He left not himselfe Mal. 1. 6. Act. 14. 17. without a witnesse; All we are, All we enioy, is from him: He is the Fountaine of our life; It is his mercy that we are Psal. 36. 9. Act. 17. 25. 28. Lam. 3. 21. 1. Cor. 6. 20. not consumed, his compassions faile not: Therefore there is due unto him Love and Reverence: He is our Purcha­ser, He bought us out of bondage, when wee had sould [Page 257] away our selves; therefore there is due unto him Fealty and Homage, nay, he humbled himselfe in Christ to beeHeb. 2. 12. Eph. 5. 32. our Brother, to be our Husband; He tooke our ragges, our sores, our diseases, and paines upon him, and there­fore there is due unto him all Fidelity and Obedience.

O what an aggravation will this be against the sinnes of men at the Last day! that they have beene committed against the Mercie and Patience, against the Bountie and Purchase, nay, against the very Consanguinitie of God himselfe! Hee died for us when we were Enemies, and we will continue Enemies against him that died for us! And yet the folly is as great as the impietie. Consider what God is? The Iudge of all the World, All Eye toGen. 18. 25. see, All Eare to heare, All Hand to finde out and punish the sinnes and provocations that are done unto him! A Iealous God, and jealousie is most impatient of disaffecti­on! A consuming fire! and who amongst us can dwell with Heb. 12. 2 [...]. Esal. 33. 14. devouring fire, who amongst us can dwell with everlasting burnings? Doe we provoke the Lord to Iealousie, are wee stronger then hee? Saint Paul hath resolv'd his owne question before, as long as wee are Enemies wee are without strength. And now for the Clay to contend with the Potter, for the Postheard to smite the Rocke, for impotencie to stand up against Omnipotencie, what a madnesse is it? Let us learne wisedome from our Savi­ours parable, Consider whether wee with our tenne thou­sand Luk. 14. 31. are able to goe out against him that meeteth us with twentie thousand? whether wee with our ten thousand flies and lusts are able to meete him with twentie thou­sand Angels and Iudgements? And when we are indeed convinc'd, that in his presence no flesh living shall be ju­stified; that it is a fearefull thing to fall into the hands of the Living God; that our hands will not be strong, nor our hearts endure in the day when hee will have to doe with us; How can wee choose but send forth an Em­bassage, especially since he is not a great way off (as it is [Page 258] in the Parable) but standeth before the dore, and is nigh at hand, and will not carry; an embassage of repentance, to give up our armour, to strip and judge our selves, to meete him in the way of his judgements, to make our selves vile before him, and be humbled under his mighty hand, and sue forth conditions of peace, to meete him as the Gibeonites did Iosua, and resolve rather to be his ser­vants, then to stand out against him. This is certaine, God is comming against his Enemies, his attendants An­gels, and his weapons fire: And if his patience and for­bearance make him yet keepe a great way off, that hee may give us time to make our peace; O let the long suf­fering of God draw us to Repentance, least wee treasure up more wrath against our selves! Consider the great aggra­vation of that spirituall Iezabels sinne, I gave her space Revel 2. [...]1. 2. Pet. 3. [...] to repent of her fornications, and she repented not. Consi­der that the long suffering of God is Salvation, and there­fore let us make this use of it; Labour to bee found of him in peace, without spot and blamelesse.

The last thing in this first point proposed was, How the spirit by the Commandement doth thus convince men to be in the state of sinne. To this I answere briefly. First, by quickning and putting an edge upon the Instrumen­tall cause, the sword of the Spirit. For the word of it selfe is a dead letter, and profiteth nothing, it is the spirit that puts life and power into it. I am full of power by the Rom. [...]. 2. Spirit of the Lord to declare unto Iacob his transgressions, saith the Prophet, Mic. 3. 8. As the Spirit is a Spirit of life, so hath he given to the Word to be a Word of life, quicke and powerfull, Phil. 2. 16. Heb. 4. 12. Secondly, by writing it in the heart, casting the heart into the mould of the Word, and transforming the spirit of man into the image of the Word, and making it as it were the Epistle 2. Cor. [...]. [...]. le [...]. 31 33. 31. [...]0. of Christ, bending and framing the heart to stand in awe of Gods Word; for writing his Law, and putting his feare into the heart is the same thing with God. In which [Page 259] respect (amongst others) men are said to bee Sealed byEph. 4. 30. the Spirit, because that Spirituall Holinesse which is in the Word, is fashioned in the hearts of the Saints, as the image of the seale is in the waxe. As the light of the Sunne doth by reflection from the Moone illighten that part of the earth, or from a glasse that part of a roome from which it selfe is absent: So though the Church bee here absent from the Lord, yet his Spirit by the Word doth illighten and governe it: It is not the Moone alone, nor the glasse alone, nor yet the Sunne without the Moone or the glasse that illightneth those places vpon which it selfe doth not immediately shine, but that as the princi­pall, by them as the instruments; so the Spirit doth not, and the Word cannot alone by it selfe convince or con­vert, but the Spirit by the Word as its sword and instru­ment. So then when the Spirit turnes a mans eyes inward to see the truth of the Word written in his owne heart, makes him put his Seale unto it, frameth the will to search, acknowledge and judge the worst of its selfe, to subscribe unto the righteousnesse of God in condemning sinne, and him for it, to take the office of the Word, and passe that sentence upon it selfe which the Word doth, then doth the Word spiritually Convince of sinne.

Which should teach us what to look for in the ministry of the word, namely that which will Convince us, that which puts an edge upon the Word, & opens the heart & makes it burne, namely the spirit of Christ▪ for by that only we can be brought unto the righteousnesse of Christ, we are not to despise the ordinances in our esteeme, when we find them destitute of such humane contributions and attem­perations which we haply expected, as Naaman did the waters of Iordan, for though there bee excellent use of Humane learning▪ when it is sanctified for opening the Word, as a baser colour is a good ground for a better; yet it is the Word alone which the Spirit worketh by▪ the flesh, and fleshly accessions of themselves profit no [Page 260] more, nor adde no more reall vertue or lustre to the Word, then the weedes in a field do unto the Corne, or then the ground colour doth unto the beautie of that which is put upon it. We should therefore pray for the Spirit to come along with his Word; It is not enough to be at Bethesda, this house of mercie and grace, unlesse the Angell stirre, and the Spirit move upon these waters; It is Hee that must incline and put the heart into the Word, or else it will remaine as impotent, as before. But of this point also I have spoken at large upon ano­ther scripture.

Having then thus shewed at large that the Spirit by the Commandment convinceth men to be in the state of sin both Actuall and Originall, imputed and inherent; what kinde of state that is, A state of Impotencie and Enmity; How it doth it, by quickning the Word, and opening the heart: Now we are very briefly to open the second point, That the Spirit by the Commandment convinceth a man to be under the guilt of sin, or in the state of death because of sinne. I died, for which we must note, First, that there is a two fold Guilt, First Reatus Concupiscentia, which is the meritoriousnesse of punishment, or liable­nesse unto punishment, which sinne brings with it: and Reatus personae, which is the actuall Obligation, and ob­noxiousnesse of a person vnto punishment because of sinne. Now in as much as nature is not able to discover without the Spirit the whole malignity and obliquity that is in sinne, therefore it cannot sufficiently convince of the Guilt of sinne, which is a Resultancie therefrom, and is ever proportionable thereunto. In which respect the Iudgements of God are said to be unsearchable, Rom. 11▪ 33. And the wicked know not whither they goe, 1. Ioh. 2. 11. cannot have any full and proportionable notions of that wrath to come which their sinnes carry them unto.

Secondly, wee may note that there is a Twofold Conviction of this Guilt of sinne; A naturall Conviction, [Page 261] such as was in Cain, Iudas, Spira, and other despairing men; which ariseth from two grounds. First, the Pre­sent sense of Gods wrath in the first fruits thereof upon their consciences which must perforce beare witnesse to Gods [...]ustice therein; and this is that which the Apostle calls Torment, 1. Ioh. 4. 18. which though it may arise from naturall principles (for wee know even heathens have had their Laniatus and Ictus as the Historian speakes, their scourges and rendings of Conscience) yet is it much set forward by the Word, because therein is made more apparant to the Soule the Glory and theRevel. 11. 10. Rom. 3 19. Deut. 5. 25. 2. Cor. 3. 7. 2. Thes. 2. 8. Esai. 11. 4. Hos. 6. 5. Esai. 33. 14. Heb. 2. 15. 10. 27 Gen. 3. 10. Rom. 8. 15. 2. Tim. 1. 7. Power of God; therefore the Two Prophets are said to Torment the inhabitants of the Earth, and the Law is said to make men guilty, and to kill, to hew, smite, and de­stroy those whom it deales with all. Secondly, such a faith as the Divels have, begotten by the Word, and assented unto by the secret suggestions of the heart, witnessing to it selfe that it hath deserved more then yet it feeles; and this begets a fearefull expectation of being devoured, surpriseth the heart with horrid tremblings and pre­sumptions of the vengeance to come, which the Apostle calls the Spirit of bondage and feare. But all this being an Assent perforce extorted (for wicked men confesse their sinnes as the Divels confessed Christ, more out ofMatth. 8. 29. Torment, then out of Love to God, or humiliation un­der his mighty hand) amounts to no more then a Na­turall Conviction.

Secondly▪ there is a Spirituall and Evangelicall Con­viction of the Guilt of sinne and the damnation due there­unto, arising from the Law written in the heart, and tempered with the apprehension of mercie in the new Covenant, which begets such a paine under the Guilt of sin, as a plaister doth to the impostumation which with­all it cures; such a Conviction as is a manuduction unto righteousnesse: And that is, when the Conscience doth not onely perforce feele it selfe dead, but hath wrought [Page 262] in it by the Spirit the same affection towards it selfe for sinne, which the word hath, is willing to charge it selfe,Lam. 3. 40, 43. Mic. 7. 9. Psal. 51. 4. Ezra. 9. 13, 15. Dan. 9 7, 8. 1. Cor. 11. 32. Amos 4. 12. Esa. 16. 8. and acquit God; to endite, accuse, arraigne, testifie, condemne it selfe, meete the Lord in the way of his Iudgements, and cast downe it selfe under his mighty hand. That man who can in secret and truth of heart, willingly, and uncompulsorily thus stand on Gods side against sinne, and against himselfe for it, giving God the Glo [...]ie of his righteousnesse if he should condemne him, and of his u [...]searchable and rich mercie, that hee doth offer to forgive him, I dare pronounce that man to haue the Spirit of Christ. For no man by nature can willingly and uprightly Owne damnation, and charge himselfe with it as his due portion and most just inheritance. This can never arise but from a deepe sense and hate of sinne, from a most ardent zeale for the Glory and Righteousnesse of God.

Now then since the Conviction of sinne, and of the death and Guilt thereof are not to drive men to despaire or blasphemie, but that they may beleeve and lay hold on the righteousnesse of Christ, which they are then most likely to doe, when sinne is made exceeding sinfull, and by consequence death exceeding deadly; give mee leave to set forth in two words what this Guilt of sinne is, that the necessitie of righteousnesse from Christ may appeare the greater, and his mercie therein bee the more glorified.

Guilt is the Demerit of sinne, binding and subjecting the person in whom it is to undergoe all the punishments legally due the reunto. This Demerit is founded not on­ly in the Constitution, Will, and Power of God over his owne Creatures, of whom hee may justly require what­soever obedience hee giveth power to performe, but in the nature of his owne Holinesse and Iustice, which in sinne is violated and turned from: and this Guilt is after a sort Infinite, because it springeth out of the aversion from [Page 263] an Infinite Good, the violation of an infinite Holynesse and Iustice, and the Conversion to the Creatures infi­nitely, if men could live ever to commit adultery with them. And as the Consequence and reward of obedi­ence was the favour of God, conferring life and blessed­nesse to the Creature, so the wages of sinne, which thisEphe. 2. 3. Ioh. 3. 36. Gal. 3. 13. Guilt assureth a sinner of, is the wrath of God, which the Scripture calleth Death and the Curse.

This Guilt being an Obligation unto punishment, lea­deth us to consider what the nature of that curse and death is unto which it bindeth us over. Punishment bea­ring necessarie relation to a command, the trangression whereof is therein recompenced, taketh in these conside­rations. First, on the part of the Commander, a will to which the Actions of the subject must conforme, reveal'd and signified under the nature of a Law. Secondly, a justice which will, and thirdly, a power which can pu­nish the transgressors of that Law. Secondly, on the part of the subject commanded there is requir'd, first, Reason and free-will originally, without which there can be no sinne; for though man by his brutishnesse and impotency which he doth cōtract cannot make void the commands of God, but that they now binde men who have put out their light, and lost their libertie; yet originally God made no law to binde under paine of sinne, but that unto the obedience whereof hee gave reason and free-will Secondly, a debt and obligation, either by voluntarie sub­jection, as man to man; or naturall, as the creature to God, or both, sealed and acknowledged in the covenants betweene God and man, whereby man is bound to fulfill that law which it was originally enabled to observe. Thirdly, a forfeiture, guilt, and demerit upon the violation of that Law. Thirdly and lastly, the evill it selfe inflicted, wherein we consider, first, the nature and qualitie of it, which is to have a destructive power, to oppresse and dis quiet the offender, and to violate the integritie of his well [Page 264] being. For as sinne is a violation offered by man to the Law, so punishment is a violation retorted from the Law to man. Secondly, the Proportion of it to the offence, the greatnesse whereof is manifested in the majestie of God offended, and those severall relations of goodnesse, pati­ence, creation, redemption which he hath to man: in the quality of the creature offending, being the chiefe, and lord of all the rest below him: in the easinesse of the pri­mitive obedience, in the unprofitablenesse of the wayes of sinne, and a world of the like aggravations. Thirdly, the end of it, which is not the destruction of the creature, whom as a creature God loveth, but the satisfaction of justice, the declaration of divine displeasure against sinne, and the manifestation of the glory of his power and ter­rour. So then Punishment is an evill or pressure of the Creature, proceeding from a Law giver just and power­full, inflicted on a reasonable Creature for and proporti­onable unto the breach of such a Law, unto the perfor­mance and obedience whereof the Creature was origi­nally enabled, wherein is intended the glory of Gods just displeasure and great power against sinne, which hee naturally hateth. Now these punishments are Temporall, Spirituall, and Eternall. Temporall, and those first with­out a man, The vanitie of the Creatures, which were atRom. 8. 20. Gen. 3 [...] 7. Ier. 12. 4. first made full of goodnesse and beautie, but doe now mourne and grone under the bondage of our sinnes. The wrath of God revealing it selfe from heaven, and the curse of God over-growing the earth. Secondly, within him,Illodie mori ce­pernn [...] quo Mor­tis Legem qua i [...] seniu [...] veteras­cerent ceperunt. Aug. All the Harbingers and Fore-runners of death, sicknesse, paine, povertie, reproach, feare, and after all death it selfe. For though these things may be where there is no guilt imputed, and so properly no punishment inflicted (neither the blinde man nor his parents had sinned, that he was borne blinde) as in the same ship there may bee a male­factor and a Merchant, and to the one the voyage is a trafficke, to the other a banishment; yet to the wicked [Page 265] where they are not sanctified, they are truely punish­ments, and fruites of Gods vindicative justice, because they have their sting still in them. For the sting of death is sinne.

Secondly, Spirituall, and those threefold. First, Pu­rishment Eph. 2. 17, 19 4. 18. of losse; separation from the favour and fellow­ship with God, expulsion from Paradise the seat of Gods presence and love, Aliens, forreiners, farre from God. Secondly, Of sense, the immediate strokes of Gods wrath on the soule, wounds of Conscience, scourges of heart,Deut. 28. 65. taste of vengeance, implanting in the soule tremblings, feares, amazements, distracted thoughts, on a cleare view of the demerit of sinne, evidences of immortality, and presumptions of irreconciliation with God. This made Cain a runnagate, and Iudas a murtherer of himselfe, yea some touches of it made David cry out that his bones were broken, and marrow dryed up, and his flesh scortched like a potsheard; It is able to shake the stron­gest Cedars, and make the mountaines tremble like a leafe. The sonne of God himselfe did sweate, and shrinke, and pray against it, and with strong cries decline it, though the suffering of so much of it, as could consist with the holinesse of his person, were the worke of his office and voluntary mercy. Thirdly, of sinne, when God in anger doth forsake the soule, and give it over to theRom. 1. 24. 26. Hos. 4 3. Matth. 13. 13, 14 2. Thess. 2. 11. frenzie and fury of lust, to the rage and revenge of Satan, letting men alone to joyne themselves unto idoles, and to beleeve lies. Now as the operation of the sunne is stron­gest there where it is not at all seene, in the bowels of the earth, or as lightning doth often blast and consume thePeccatum quod i [...]ultum videtur habet poenam p [...] ­dissequam, ut nemo de ad [...]isso nisi amaritudine doleat, aut caeci­tate non doleat. Aug. inward parts, when there is no sensible operation with­out: so the Iudgements of God doe often lie heaviest there, where they are least perceiv'd. Hardnesse of heart, a spirit of slumber, blindnesse of minde, a reprobate sense, tradition unto Satan, giving over unto vile affections, re­compencing the errors of men with following sinnes, are [Page 266] most fearefull and desperate judgements.

But doe we then make God the Author of sinne? God for bid. In sinne we may consider the execution and com­mitting of it as it is sinne, and this is onely from man, for every man is drawne away and enticed by his owne lust: and the Ordination of it as it is a Punishment; and this may be from God, whose hand in the just punishment of sinne by sinne in obstinate, contemptuous, impenitent sin­ners may thus farre be observed.

First, Deserendo, by forsaking them, that is, takingIob. 12. 20. Esay 29. 13. 14. Revel. 2. 5. Ezek. 3 26. Amos 5. 13. Math. 13. 12. 13. Rom. 11. 8. away his abused gifts, subtracting his despised Graces; calling in and making to retire his quenched and grieved spirit, removing his candlesticke, and silencing his Pro­phets, and giving a bill of divorce that either they may not see, nor heare at all, or hearing they may not under­stand, and seeing they may not perceive, because they did not see nor heare when they might.

Secondly, Permittendo, when he hath taken away hisAct. 14. 16. Act. 17. 30. Rom. 1. 28. own Grace which was abused unto wantonnesse, he suf­fers wicked men to walke in their owne wayes, and be­cause they like not to retaine him in their knowledge, nor to live by his prescript, therefore he leaves them to themselves, and their owne will.

Thirdly, Media disponendo, ordering objects, and pro­posing meanes, not onely to Try but to punish the wic­kednesseAct. 4. 27, 28. Gen. 50. 20. Deut. 2. 30. 1. Sam. 2. 15. 1. King 12. 25. Esai. 19. 14. of men, and to bring about whatever other fixed purposes of his hee hath resolved for the declaration of his wonderfull wisedome to execute, and as it were to fetch out of the sinnes of men; as the conspiracie of Pilat, Herod, and the Iewes, which their former wickednesse had justly deserved to have them given over unto, was by God order'd to accomplish his determined and un­changeable counsell touching the death of Christ. Ex­cellent is the speech of Holy Austin to this purpose, The Deus inclinat voluntates que­cunque voluerit, [...]ve ad bona pro misericordia, si­ve ad mala pro meritis, Iudicio utique suo, ali­quando aperto, aliquando oc­culio, semper Iusto. Cont. Iul. lib. 5. cap. 3. Non per patien­tiam tantum, sed per potenti­am. Ioh. 13. 2. Luk. 22. 6. Math. 26. 25. Lord enclineth the wils of men whither soever pleaseth him­selfe, whether unto Good out of his mercie, or unto evill out [Page 267] of their merit, sometimes by his manifest, sometimes se­cret, but alwayes by his righteous judgement, and this not by his patience onely, but by his power.

Fourthly, Perversas voluntates, non invitas flectendo, sed spontaneas & suo impetu faciles ulterius Satanae praecipi­tandas tradendo. By giving over perverse, wilfull, rebel­lious sinners to the rage and will of Satan to hurry and enrage them at his pleasure unto further sinfulnesse. When Iudas had listued to the Temptation of Satan to betray Christ, had set himselfe to watch the most private opportunitie, had been warned of it by Christ, and that upon a question of the most bold and impudent hypo­crisie that was ever made, Master, Is it I? (though it is not an improbable conjecture that Iudas at that very time upon the curse that was pronounced might secretly and for that time seriously resolve to give over his plot, and upon that resolution to aske the question) then at last, Christ by a sop did give Satan as it were a furtherIoh. 13. 27. 28. seisin of him, and the purpose of Christ was that that which he was to doe, hee might doe quickely. He was now wholly given up to the will of Satan, whose temp­tation haply before, though very welcome in regard of the purchase and project of gaine which was in it, had not fully silenc'd nor broken through all those reluctancies of Conscience, which were very likely to arise upon the first presentment of so hideous a suggestion; but now I say whether out of a sinister Construction of our Saviours words, That thou doest doe quickly, as if they had been, not as indeed they were, a giving him over to the gree­dinesse of his owne lust, and to the rage of Satan, but ra­ther an allowance of his intention, as knowing that hee was able to deliver himselfe out of their hands unto whom he should bee betraide, and so his treason should onely make way to Christs miracle and not to his crosse; or whether it were out of a secret presumption, that, notwithstanding Christ had made him know how his [Page 268] conspiracie was not hid from him, yet since he was of all the company singled out whom Christ would Carve un­to; therefore his conspiracie was not so vile, but that Christ would red [...]re in gratiam, countenance and respect him after all that, and that as by the plot hee had not so lost him, but that hee had gain'd him againe, so also hee might doe after the execution too. Now I say after that soppe, and those words, without further respect to the strugglings and staggerings of his Conscience, hee goes resolvedly about that damned businesse, for he was now delivered unto the will of Sathan. The like libertie and commission was that which God gaue to the evill spirit against Ahab and his Prophets, that hee should goe1. King. 22. 22. forth with lying perswasions, and should bee beleeved, and prevaile according to that of the Apostle, that God 2. Thes. 2. 11. 12. giveth over those that beleeve not the Truth, but have plea­sure in unrighteousnesse, to strong delusions that they may beleeve a lye, and that the God of this world doth blinde 2. Cor. 4. 4. the eyes of those which beleeve not.

Lastly, the Punishment of sinne is Eternall, That wrath which in the day of the Revelation of Gods righteous Iudgement shall bee powred forth upon ungodly men.1. Cor. 1. 30. 1. Pet. 1. 18. Esai 35. 10. Ioh. 3. 36. 1. Cor. 1. 18. Eph. 4. 30. Rom. 8 23. Col. 3. 3, 4. 1. Ioh. 3 2. Rom. 1. 18. The Saints are redeemed already in this life, and are said to have Eternall Life; but yet that great day is by an excellency called the day of Redemption, because then that life which is here hid, shall be then fully discovered. So on the other side, though the wrath of God be revea­led from Heaven already against all unrighteonsnesse, and Abideth vpon those that beleeve not, yet after an especiall manner is the last day called a day of wrath, be­cause then the heapes, treasures, stormes and tempests, blackenesse and darkenesse of Gods displeasure shall in full force seize upon ungodly men.

And this wrath of God is of all other most unsuppor­table. First, In regard of the Author, It comes from God; Now we know a little stone if it fall from a high place, [Page 269] or a smal dart shot out of a strong bow wil do more hurt, then a farre greater that is but gently laid on. How we­full then must the case of those be who shall have moun­taines and milstones throwne with Gods owne arme from Heaven upon them: for though God in this life suffer himselfe to bee wrestled with, and even pressed downe, yet at last he shall come to shew forth the glory of his Power in the just condemnation of wicked men.

Secondly, in its owne nature, because it is most heavie, and invincible. All conquest over an evill must proceede either from Power, which is able to expell it, or from Faith and Hope that a man shall be delivered from it by those that have more power then himselfe; what ever evill it is which doth either keepe downe Nature that it connot rise, or hedge it in that it cannot escape, is very intollerable. Now Gods wrath hath both these in it. First, it is so great that it exceedes all the power of the Creature to overcome it, heavier then mountaines, hotter then fire, no chaffe nor stubble shall stand before it: and it shall be All within a man, folded up in his very substance, like the worme in the wood on which it feedes: And se­condly as it is heavie and so excludes the strength of na­ture to overcome it, so is it infinite too, and thus it ex­cludes the hope of nature to escape it. The ground of which infinitenesse in punishment is the infinite dispro­portion betweene the Iustice of God which will punish, and the nature of man which must suffer. Gods Iustice being Infinite, the violation thereof in sinne must needes contract an infinite demerit, and debt (because in sinning we robbe God of his Glory, which we must repay him againe.) Now the satisfaction of an Infinite debt must needes be Infinite, either in degrees (which is impossible, For, first nothing can bee Infinite in Being, though it may in duration, but onely God. And, secondly if it could, yet a finite vessell were not able to hold an infinite wrath) or else in some other infinitenesse, which is either [Page 270] infinitenesse of worth in the person satisfying, or for de­fect of that infinitenesse of time, to suffer that whith can­not bee suffered in an infinite measure: And this is the reason why Christ did not suffer infinitely in time, because there was in him a more excellent i [...]finitenesse of person, which raised a finite suffering into the value of an infinite satisfaction (though [...]. Scotus and from him some learned men have rendered another reason hereof, because hee suffered onely for those who were to breake off their sinnes by Repentance.

Now then to conclude all; In as much as sinne is by the Law made exceeding sinfull, and death exceeding deadly, not to legall but evangelicall purposes; not to drive men to blaspheme or despaire, but to beleeve; not to frighten them from God, but to drive them unto him in his Sonne; (for the Law comes not but in the hand of a mediator▪) And in as much as this is the accepted time, and the day of Salvation, that now he commandeth All Men every where to repent, because he hath appoin­ted a Day, in the which he will Iudge the World in righ­teousnesse, whom hee doth now invite, and beseech in mercy: We should therefore be wise for our selves, and being thus pursued and cast in the Court of Law, flie to that Heavenly Chancery, that Office of Mercie and mi­ [...]gation which is set up in the Gospell, and that while it is yet called to Day, before the Percullis bee shut downe, before the blacke flagge be hung out, before the Talent of Lead seale up the measure of our wickednesse, and the Irreversible decree of wrath be gone forth; for we must know that God will not alwayes bee despised, nor suffer his Gospell to waite ever upon obdurate [...] ­ners, or his Sonne to stand ever at our dores, as if he stood in need of our admittance. But when there is no remedy, but that we judge our selves unworthy of Eternall Life, and stand in contempt and rebellion against his Court of Mercie, he will dismisse us to the Law againe. O Consi­der, [Page 271] what wilt thou doe if thou shouldest bee dragg'd naked to the Tribunall of Christ, and not bee able with all thy cries to obtaine so much mercie from any Moun­taine, as to live for ever under the weight and pressure of it! When thou shalt peepe out of thy Grave, and see Heaven and Earth on fire about thine eares, and Christ comming in the flames of that fire to revenge on thee the quarrell of his Covenant! Whither then wilt thou fly from the presence of him that sitteth on the Throne? Let us therefore learne to Iudge our selves that wee may not be condemned of the Lord, to fly to his Sanctuary, before wee be haled to his tribunall; Hee requires no great thing of us, but onely to relinquish our selues, and in humilitie and sincerity to accept of him and receive that redemption by beleeving in him, which hee hath wrought by suffering for us; this if in truth and spirit we doe, all the rest will undoubtedly follow, namely the life of our Faith here, in an universall obedience, and the end of our faith hereafter, even the falvation of our Soules.

THE RAIGNE OF SINNE.

ROM. 6. 12.‘Let not sinne therefore Raigne in your mortall bo­di [...]s, that you should obay it in the lusts thereof.’

AFter the doctrine of the state and guilt of sinne, It will be needefull for the further Conviction thereof (that sinne may appeare exceeding sinfull) to shew in the next place the Power and the Raigne of sinne; from which the Apostle in this place dehorteth us.

Having in the former Chapter set forth the doctrine of Iustification, with those many comfortable fruites and effects that flow from it, he here passeth over to another head of Christian Doctrine, namely Sanctification, and Conformitie to the holinesse of Christ, the ground wher­of he maketh to be our Fellowship with him in his death and Resurrection: for Christ carried our sinnes upon the Tree with him, and therefore we ought with him to die daily unto sin, and to live unto God. This is the whole [Page 273] argument of the precedent parts of the Chapter, and fre­quently elsewhere used by the Apostle, and others, 2. Cor. 5. 14, 15. Gal. 2. 20. 3. 27. 5. 24. Ephes. 2. 6. Phil. 3. 10. Col. 2. 12. 13. 26. 3. 1. 4. Heb. 9. 14 1. Pet. 4. 1. 2. Now the words of the Text are as I conceive a Prolep­sis, or answer to a tacite objection which might be made. A weake Christian might thus alledge, If our fellowship in the death of Christ doe bring along with it a death of sinne in us, then surely I have little to doe with his death; For alas sinne is still alive in me, and daily bringeth forth the workes of life. To this the Apostle answeres, Though sinne dwell in you, yet let it not raigne in you, nor have its wonted hold and power over you. Aliud est non habere peccatū, aliud nō obedire desiderijs [...]ius: Aliud est, Imple­requod praec [...]p­tum est, non con­cupis [...]es, aliud est per quendam abstinentiae [...] ­natum salte [...] id agere quod item scriptum est, post concupiscentias tuas non eas, &c: Aug▪ de natura & gra. cap. 62. Non sic manet peccatum ut e­ius non sit [...]acta remissio, sed ma­net in vet [...]state carnis tanquam superatum & peremptum, si non illicitis con­sensionibus, quodammmodo reviv [...]scat. Id. depec. mer. & Remiss. l. 2. c. 28. Impossible it is while you carry about these tabernacles of flesh, these mortall bodies, that sinne should not lodge within you, yet your care must be to give the kingdome unto Christ, to let him have the honour in you which his father hath given him in the Church, to Rule in the midst of his ene­mies, those fleshly lusts which fight against him. By Mortale cor­pus dicens totū hominem signi­ficat. Ambrose in loc. Mortall bodie, we here understand the whole man in this present estate, wherein he is obnoxious to death, which is an usuall figure to take the part for the whole, especially since the body is a weapon and instrument to reduce into act, and to execute the will of sinne.

Before I speake of the power of sinne, here are Two points offer themselves from the connexion of the words to those preceding, which I will but only name.

First, Sinne will abide for the time of this mortall life in the most regenerate, who can say, I have made my heart cleane, I am free from my sinne? David had his secret sinnes, which made him pray; and Paul his thorne in his flesh, which made him cry out against it. To the reasons of this point before produc'd wee may adde, that God suffers our sinnes to dwell in us, first to magnifie the glo­ry of his mercy, that notwithstanding he be provoked e­very day, yet he doth still spare us. It is said in one place, [Page 274] that when God saw that every Imagination of theGen. 6. 5, 6. thoughts of mans heart was continually evill, he said, I will destroy man whom I have created from off the face of the earth; yet afterwards God said, I will not againe curse the ground any more for mans sake, for the imagina­tion Gen. 8. [...]1. of mans heart is evill from his youth. The places seeme at first view to be contradictory to one another. But we are thus to reconcile them, After there had been a propi­tiatory offering made by Noah unto God upon an Altar, which was the type of Christ, it is said that God smelt a sweete savour, and resolved, I will no more curse the earth, not Because, but Although the imagination of mans heart be evill from his youth; that is, though men are so wicked that if I would Iure meo uti, take advantage to powre out againe my displeasure upon them, I might doe it every day, yet I will spare them notwithstanding their lusts continue in them. For we are not to understand the place as if it tended to the extenuation of originall sinne (as Carthusian. Cornel. à lapide. Pighius. Greg. de val. To. 2. Disp 6. qu. 12. punct. 1. sect. 6. some doe) I will take pitty upon them, Because of their naturall infirmities; but onely as tending to the magnifying of Gods mercy and patience, I will take pit­ty upon them, Tarnou. Exerc. biblic. Ios. 17. 18. though I might destroy them. For so the originall word is elsewhere taken. Thou shalt drive out the Cananites, Though they have iron chariots, &c.

Secondly, to magnifie the Glory of his powerfull pati­ence, that being daily provoked yet he hath power to be patient still. In ordinary esteeme when an enemie is daily irritated, and yet comes not to revenge his quarrell, we accompt it impotency and unprovision, but in God his pa­tience is his power. When the people of Israel murmu­red upon the report of giants in the land, and would have made a Captaine to returne into Egypt, and have stoned Ioshua and Caleb, so that Gods wrath was ready to breake out upon them, and to disinherite them, this was the argu­ment that Moses used to mediate for them, Let the Power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, [...] Numb. 14. 17. 18. 19. [Page 275] The Lord is long-suffering and of great mercy. Thou hast shewed the Power of thy mercy from Egypt untill now, even so pardon them still. If we could conceive God to have his owne justice joyned with the impotency and impatiency of man, wee could not conceive how the world should all this while have subsisted in the midst of such mighty provocations. This is the only reason why he doth not execute the fiercenesse of his wrath, and con­sume men, because he is God and not man, not subject toHos. 11. 9. Mal. 3. 6. the same passions, changes, impotencies as men are. If a house be very weake and ruinous, & clogg'd with a sore waight of heavy materials which presse it downe too, there must be strength in the props that doe hold it up; Heb. 12. 1. An [...]os 2. 13. even so that patience of God which upholds these rui­nous tabernacles of ours, that are pressed downe with such a waight of sinne, a waight that lies heavie even upon Gods mercy it selfe, must needs have much strength and power in it.

The second point from the Connexion is, That our Death with Christ unto sinne is a strong argument against the raigne and power of sinne in us. Else wee make the death of Christ in vaine, for in his death hee came with water and bloud, not onely with bloud to justifie our1. Ioh. 5. 6. persons, but with water to wash away our sinnes.

The Reasons hereof are, first, Deadnesse argues disabi­lity to any such workes as did pertaine to that life unto which a man is dead. Such then as is the measure of our death to sinne, such is our disability to fulfill the lusts of it. Now though sinne be not quite expir'd, yet it is with Christ nail'd upon a crosse, They that are Christs have Gal. 5. 24. crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts: so that in a regenerate man it is no more able to doe all its owne will, then a crucified man is to walke up and downe, and to do those businesses which he was wont to delight in. He that 1. Ioh. 3. 9. is borne of God sinneth not neither can sinne, because he is borne of God, and his seede abideth in him.

[Page 276]Secondly, Deadnesse argues disaffection. A condem­ned man cares not for the things of this World, be­cause he is in Law dead, and so reserv'd to an execution, and utterly devested of any right in the things hee was wont to delight in: the sight or remembrance of them doth but afflict him the more. A divorc'd man cares not for the things of his wife, because in law she is dead vnto him, and hee unto her. So should it bee with us and sin, because we are dead with Christ, therefore we should shew it no affection.

Thirdly, Deadnesse argues liberty, unsubjection, justifi­cation, Rom. 6. 7. 7. 1, 4. He that is dead is freed from sinne, as the woman is from the husband after death. And therefore being freed thus from sinne we should not bring our selves in­toGal. 5. 1. bondage againe, but stand fast in the liberty where­with Christ hath set us free, and sinne should appeare inEph. 2. 1. Heb. 9. 14. our eyes, as it is in it selfe a dead thing, full of noisome­nesse, horrour, and hideous qualities.

We therefore should labour to shew forth the power of the death of Christ in our dying to sinne; for this is certaine we have no benefit by his sufferings, except wePhil. 3. 10. have fellowship in them, & we have no more fellowship in them, then we can give proofe of by our dying dayly to sinne; For his blood clenseth from all sinne. Let us not1. Ioh 1. 7. by raigning sinne Crucifie Christ againe, for he dieth no more: In that hee died, hee died once unto sinne; Death Heb. 6. 6. hath no more power ov [...]r him, to shew that sinne mustRom. 6. 9, 10. Rom. 7. 4. 2. Cor. 5. 15. have no more power over us, but that being once dead to sinne, we should thenceforth live unto him that died for us. There is a speech in Tertullian, which though proceeding from Novatianisme in him, doth yet in a mo­derated and qualified sense carry the strength of the A­postles argument in it, Si possit fornicatio & moechia denno Tertul. de pudi­cit. cap. 17. admitti, poterit & Christus denno mori, If fornication and adultery may bee againe committed by a man dead to sinne in that raging and complete manner as before, if [Page 277] raigning sinne after it hath beene ejected out of the Throne, and nail'd to a Crosse, can returne to its totall and absolute soveraigntie as before, Christ may dye a­gaine, for the sinnes of a Iustified and regenerate man are Crucified upon his Crosse, and in his body.

Now I proceede to the maine thing in the Text, name­ly the Regall power of sinne. It is an observation of Chry­sostome and Theodoret on the Text, which though by some rejected as too nice, I shall yet make bold to com­mendNon dicit ne Ty­rannidem exer­ceat, sed ne reg­net. Illud enim est illius propri­um, hoc vero no­strae mentis. Theodoret. Rom. 7. 20. [...]. Chrysost. for very pertinent and rationall. The Apostle did not say (say they) Let not sinne Tyrannize, for that is sius owne worke and not ours, as the Apostle sayeth, Now then is it no more I that doe it, but sinne that dwelleth in me, all the service which is done to a tyrant is out of vi­olence, and not out of obedience: But he sayes, Let it not raigne in you, for to the raigne of a King the obedience of the Subjects doth as it were Actively concurre (where­as the subjects are rather patients then agents in a tyran­ny.) So then in a Raigning King there is a more Sove­raigne power then in a Tyrant; for a Tyrant hath only a Coactive power over the persons, but a King hath a sweete power over the wills and affections of his Subiects, they freely and heartily love his person, and rejoyce in his service; which rule though it be not perpetuall in the letter and in civill governements; (for the unwillingnesse of a people to serve a Prince may not onely arise from his tyrannie, but even when he is just and moderate, from their owne rebellion) yet it is most generall and certaine in the state of sinne which is never a King over rebelli­ous subjects, who of themselves reject its yoke and go­vernement.

For the better discovery then of the power of sinne we must note first that there are but three wayes after which sinne may be in a man. First, as an usurping Tyrant, and seditious commotioner, either by surprizall invading, or by violence holding under, or by projects circumven­ting [Page 278] a man against his will, taking advantage of some present distemper of minde, or difficultie of estate; as in David of idlenesse, in Peter of teare and danger, or the like. And thus sinne doth often incroach upon the Saints of God, and play rhe Tyrant, use them like Captives that are sold under the power of sinne. It was thus a Ty­rant in Saint Paul; we reade of him that hee was sold under sinne, and wee read of Ahab, that hee was sold to [...]. 7. 14. [...]5. 1. King 21. 10. sinne; but with great difference, the one sold himselfe, and so became willingly the servant of sinne, the other was sold by Alam, from which bondage hee could notAdam ve [...]didit [...], ac per hoc omne sem [...] subjectum est peccato. Ambros. in Rom. 7. Rom. 8. 20. Ven [...]ndatus in [...] transgres­sione Aug▪ con. 2. Ep. Pel. l. 1. c. 10. Ios. 9. 23. Ios. 17. 13. Luk. 1 [...]. 22. Rom. 6. 6. Col 3. 5. utterly extricate himselfe, though hee were in bondage to sinne, as the Creatures are to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of his act that had subjected him long be­fore. Secondly, As a st [...]ve, a Gibeonite▪ or Tributarie Cananite, as a spoyled, mortified, crucified, dying, de­caying sinne, like the house of Saul growing weaker and weaker; and thus sinne is constantly in all the faith­full; while they are i [...] the field the chaste is about them. Thirdly, As a raging and commanding King, having a throne the heart, servants the members, a counsell the world, flesh and Divell, a complete armorie of lusts and temptations, fortifications of ignorance, malice, rebelli­on, fleshly reasonings, lawes and edicts, lastly a strict ju­dicature, a wise and powerfull rule over men, which the Scriptures call the gates of Hell. And of the Power ofMatth. 16. 18. this King we are to speake.

In a King there is a Two fold Power. A Power to com­mand, and a Power to make his commands be obeyed. Sinne properly hath no power to command, because the kingdome of it is no way subordinated to Gods King­dome over us, but stands up against it. And even in just and annointed kings there is no power to command any thing contrary to that Kingdome of Christ to which they are equally with other subject. But though sinne have not a just power to command the soule, yet it hath [Page 279] that upon which that power, where it is, is grounded, namely a kinde of Title and right over the soule.

Sinne is a spirituall Death, and man by his first fall did incurre a subjection to every thing which may be called Death, so that then a man did passe into the possession of sinne; whence that phrase spoken of before, Thou hast Esai. 28. 15. sold thy selfe to worke evill. Now Quod venditur transit in potestatem ementis, when a thing is sold it passeth into the possession of that to which it is sold. This is the co­venant or bargaine betweene a Sinner and Hell, Man purchaseth the pleasures and wages of sinne, and sinne takes the possession of man; possession of his nature in Originall sinne, and possession of his life in Actuall sinne.

The tryall of this title of sinne, that wee may discerne whether we are under it or no, must be as other Titles are; we must first inquire who they are, unto whose right and possession a man may belong, and then examine the Evidences which either can make for himselfe. To sinne wee know doth appertaine the primitive right of every1. Cor 6. 20. 1. Pet 1. 18, 19. naturall and lapsed man (for we are by nature the Children of wrath.) A purchase then there must come betweene, before a man can passe over into anothers right; this pur­chase was made by Christ, who bought us with his blood: And the treatie in this purchase was not between Christ and sinne, but betweene him and his Father; Thine Ioh. 17. 6. they were and thou gavest them me, for the fall of Man could not nullifie Gods Dominion nor right unto him▪ for when man ceased to be Gods Servant, he then began to be his Prisoner; and though Sinne and Sathan we [...] in regard of man Lords, yet they were in regard of God, but Iaylors, to keepe or part from his Prisoners at his pleasure. Besides though Christ got man by purchase yet Sinne and Sathan lost him by forfeiture; for th [...] prince of this world seizing upon Christ in whom he hadIoh. 14. 30. [...] ti [...] [...]at qui [...] nigat. Luc. [...]o right, (for he found nothing of his owne in him) did by that meanes forteite his former right which hee had in [Page 280] men of the same nature. Wee see then, all the claime that can be made is either by Christ, or Sinne; by that strong man, or him that is stronger; A man must have evidences for Christ, or else hee belongs unto the power of Sinne. The evidences of Christ are his Name, his Seale, and his Witnesses. His Name, a new Name, a name bet­terRevel. 2. 17. Esai. 56 5. Gal. 4. 19. then of sonnes and daughters, even Christ formed in the heart, and his Law ingraven in the inner man. As it is fabled of Ignatius, that there was found the Name of Iesus written in his heart; so must every one of Gods House bee named by him with this new name, Of Him Eph. 3. 15. are all the Families in Heaven and in Earth named. The Seale of Christ is his Spirit, witnessing unto and securingEph. 1. 14. 4. 30. Rom. 8. 16. our spirits that we belong unto him: For hee that hath not the Spirit of Christ the same is none of his, and by this 1. Ioh. 3. 24. we know that he dwelleth in us, and we in him, because hee hath given us of his Spirit. The witnesses of Christ are1. Ioh. 4. 13. three, The Spirit, the Water, and Blood. The Testimo­nie of Adoption, Sealing the Fatherly care of God to our1. Ioh 5. 8. Soules, saying to our Soules that he is our Salvation and Inheritance. The Testimonie of Iustification, our Faith in the blood and price of Christ, and the Testimonie of Sanctification in our being cleansed from dead workes, for he came to destroy the workes of the Devill, hee came1. Ioh. 3. 8. Mal. 3. 2, 3. Mal. 4. 2. 2. Cor. 2. 14. Ephes. 2. 17. 1. Pet. 3. 19. Tit. 2. 14. 1. Cor. 1. 30. with Refiners fire and with Fullers sope, and with healing under his wings, that is (as I conceive) under the preach­ing of his Gospell, which, as the beames of the Sunne, make manifest the savor of Him in every place, and by which he commeth and goeth abroad to those that are a far off, and to those that are neere. It was the Office of Christ as well to Purifie as to Redeeme, as well to Sanctifie as to Iustifie us; so that if a man say hee belongs to Christ, and yet bringeth not forth fruite unto God, but lives still married to his former lusts and is not cleansed from his filthinesse, hee makes God a lyer, because hee beleeveth1. Ioh. 5. 10. not the Record which hee gives of his Sonne; (for Hee [Page 281] will not have either a barren or an adulterous spouse)Esai. 54. 1. Rom. 7. 4 [...]. Ephes. 5. 27. Heb. 6. 6. Luk. 2. 32. Ioh. 1. 9. Numb. 24. 17. Mal. 4. 2. Non sumus certi Testimonium il­lud non esse à Diabolo. Cornel. a Lapide in Rom. 8. 16. yea he putteth Christ to shame, as if he had undertaken more then he were able to performe: Besides, Christ being a Light, a Starre, a Sunne, never comes to the heart without selfe-manifestation, such evidence as can­not be gainesaid; unto him belongs this royall preroga­tive to be himselfe the witnesse to his owne Grace. And when the Papists demaund of us How wee can bee sure that this Testimnoy of Christs Grace and Spirit is not a false witnesse and delusion of Sathan; wee demaund of them againe, If the flesh can have this advantage to make such Objections against the unvalueable Comforts of Christs Grace, and the heart have nothing to reply; If Christ witnesse, and no man can understand it; If the Spirit of Christ be a Comforter, and the Divell can com­fort every jot as well, and counterfeit his comforts to the quicke, and so cozen and delude a man; what is any man the better for any such assertions of Scripture, where the Spirit is called the Spirit of Comfort, the strengthnerIoh. 14. 26. Ephes. 3. 16. Heb. 13. 9. of the inner man, and the heart said to be established by Grace? Certainely the Comforts of the Spirit must fall to the ground, if they bring not along a proper and di­stinct lustre into the Soule with them. And this Ambro­siu [...] Catharinus himselfe a learned Papist, and as great a scholler in the Trent Councell as any other, was bold to maintaine against the contrary opinion of Dominicus Soto in a publike declaration, unto whom Bellarmine dares not adhere, though it bee his custome to boast of their unanimitie in point of Doctrine. Besides sinne is of a quarrelling and litigious disposition, it will not easily part from that which was once its owne, but will bee ever raysing sutes, disputing, arguing, wrangling with the Conscience for its old right; Christ came not to send peace, but a sword, perpetuall and unreconcileable com­bats and debates with the flesh of man. If a man hold peace with his lusts, and set not his strength and his heart [Page 282] against them, If they bee not in a state of rebellion, they are certainely in the throne. It is impossible for a King to rebell, because hee hath none above him; and so as long as lust is a king it is in peace, but when Christ sub­duesLuk. 11. 21. Rom. 7. 23. it and takes possession of the heart, it will presently rise and rebell against his kingdome. Heere then is the triall of the Title. If a man cannot shew the evidences of a new purchase, the Spirit, the Blood, the Water, the Sonneship, the Righteousnesse, the Holynesse, Conver­sation, and Grace of Christ; If he be not in armes against the remnants of lust in himselfe, but live in peace and good contentment under the vigor and life of them, that man belongs yet unto the right of sinne. For if a man beEzek. 36. 26, 27 Christs, there will bee Nova regalia extremely oppositeCol. 3 5. 12. Rom. 6. 13. Psal 119 24. Eph. 6. [...]3. Rom. 7. 23. Ier. 31. 33. Ioh. [...]6. [...]1. to those of sinne. A new heart for the Throne of the Spi­rit; New members to bee the servants of Righteousnesse; New Counsellors, namely the Lawes of God; A new Pa­noplie, The whole armour of God; New lawes, The law of the minde, and of the heart; A new Iudicature, even the government of the Spirit: Thoughts, Words▪ Actions, Conversations, All things new as the Apostle speakes. 2. Cor. 5. 17.

Now let us in the next place consider the power where­by sinne makes its commands to bee obeyed, wherein it is more strong and sure then a Tyrant, who ruleth against the will of his Subjects. The particulars of this strength may be thus digested.

First sinne hath much strength from it selfe, and that in these regards. First, it is very wilfull, it is as it were all will. Therefore it is called in the Scripture, The will Eph. 2. 3. 1. Pet. 4. 3. Ioh 1. 13. of the flesh, and the will of the Gentiles, and the will of men. And the will is the seate of strength, especially seeing the will of man, and the will of sinne or the flesh are in the Scripture phrase all one. If a man had one will and sinne another, mans will drew one way and sinnes another, peradventure his power to resist might be stronger then sinnes power to command: but when the will of sinne [Page 283] is in the will of man as a bias in a bowle, as a flame in smoke, as a weight or spring to an engine, as spirits in the body, to actuate and determine it to its owne way, how can a man resist the will of sinne, who hath no other then a sinfull will to resist by?

Secondly, as sinne is wilfull, so it is very passionate and lustfull, which addes wings as it were to the commands of sinne. The Apostle cals them passions, and those wor­king passions; when we were in the flesh, The motions of Rom. 7. 5. sinne did worke in our members. There is [...], and there are [...], Lust and passions of lust, which1. Thess. 4. 5. Rom 1. 26, 27. Gal 5. 24. the Apostle cals vile lusts, and burning lusts, and affecti­ons and lusts, that is, very lustfull lusts. Lust is in the best, but these violent passions and ardencies of lust are shrewd symptomes of the raigne of sinne. To be fierce, implacable, head-strong, like the horse in the battaile, and that not upon extraordinary distemper or surprizall (as Ionah and Asa were) but habitually, so as on anyIona. 4. 9. 2. Chro. 16. 10. occasion to discover it, is by the Apostle put in amongst the Characters of those that denie the Power of Godli­nesse.2. Tim. 3. 3, 4, 5. For sinne must not hold its power where▪ Godli­nesse hath any.

Thirdly, it hath Lawes and Edicts, full of wisedome and cunning, edg'd and temper'd with many encourage­ments and provocations to those that obey, which (as IHeb. 11. 25. 2. Pet. 2. 15. said before) the Scripture cals the Wages of sinne, and pleasures of sinne, by which Balaam was enticed to curse Gods people. A Law is nothing else but a Rule or Prin­ciple of working which orders and moderates the course of a mans life; And so sinne hath a way to carry men in, and Principles to governe men by, which Saint Paul cals Seculum the course of the world. Such as are RulesEphe. 2. 2. of Example, Custome, good intentions, Gods mercy ta­ken by halses, without respect to any conditions which it brings with it, the common frail [...]e of our nature, that we are All men, and that the best have their infirmities, [...] [Page 282] [...] [Page 283] [Page 284] distinctions, evasions, justifications, extenuations, partiall strictnesse in some particulars, the opus operatum, or meere doing of dueties requit'd, and many like, most of which things I have spoken of more largely heretofore upon another Scripture.

Fourthly, it is full of flattery to entice and woe a man, cunning to observe all the best seasons to surprize the soule. And though enticements be base, yet they are very strong, like a gentle showre or a soft fire they sinke, and get in closer then if they should be more violent. That which is as soft as oyle in the touch, may be as sharpe as swords in the operation. And therefore as a man is said in one place to be enticed by lust, so elsewhere he is saidIam. 1. 14. to be driven and thrust on by lust. Take heede to your Deut. 4. 19. selves lest you corrupt your selves, lest thou lift up thine eyes to heaven, and when thou seest the sunne, and the moone, and the starres, shouldst be driven to worship them and serve them. The Objects themselves have no co­active or compulsory power in them (for they worke but as Objects, which is the weakest way of working that is, for Objects▪ a [...]e never totall Agents, but onely partiall, they doe never any more then cooperate with some fa­cultie and power unto which they are suteable) yet such is the strength of those lusts which are apt to kindle by those Objects, that a man is said to be driven to idolatry by them. All which false prophets can doe is but morall and by way of cunning and seducement, yet such is the strength of those lusts which they flatter and worke up­on by their impostures, that they are said to Thrust a Deut. 13. 5. man out of the way which the Lord commanded him to walke in. For as we use to say of the requests of a King, so we may of the flatteries and allurements of sinne, That they doe amount unto commands.

In one word, sinne is throughly furnish'd with all sortsLuk. 11. 22. 2. Cor. 10. 4, 5. of Armour, both for defence and opposition, all strong holds, all reasonings and imaginations, and thoughts [Page 285] which can be contriv'd to secure it selfe; and therefore no marvell if it have much strength from itselfe.

Secondly, it hath much strength from Satan and the world, which are the counsellers and aides of sinne, which bring in constant supplies and provisions unto it.1. Ioh. 2. 16. Therefore lusts are said to be of the World, and to bee earthly and divellish, because the world and the divell supply them with constant fuell.

But lastly and principally lust hath much strength in and from us. First, because they are naturall unto us. A mans sinne is himselfe, it is call'd by the name of our Rom. 6. 6. Eph. 4. 22. Col. 5. 9. Old man. And therefore to be 1. Cor. 3. 3. Ioh. 1. 13. 1. Pet. 4. 2. carnall, and to walke as man, to live after the lusts of the flesh, and after the lusts of men are all one. To Rom. 6. 2. live to sinne in one place is to 2. Cor. 5. 15. live to our selves in another. To Gal. 5. 24. crucifie fleshly affections in one place, is Col. 3. 5. to mortifie our earthly members in ano­ther. To Tit. 2. 12. deny ungodlinesse and worldly lusts in one place, is to Math. 16. 24. deny our selves in another. To Heb. 12. 1. lay aside the sinne that doth so easily beset us in one place, is to Math. 5. 29. 30 cast away our right eye and our right hand in another. And therefore the wayes of sinne are call'd Act. 14. 16. our owne waies, and the lusts of the flesh Iam. 1. 14. our owne lusts, and being our owne, we love and cherish them. Eph. 5. 28, 29. No man ever ha­ted his owne flesh, neither can any man by nature hate his owne lusts, unto which he is as truly said to be Rom. 7. 4, 9. married as the Church is to Christ. And this serves much to set forth the power of sin. For the love of the subject is the strength of the Soveraigne; a king shall then certainely be obeyed, when he cōmands such things as it were diffi­cult for him to prohibite. Secondly, lust hath from us wea­pons to set forward its strength, The heart a forge to con­trive, and members instruments to execute, the heart a wombe to conceive, and the members midwives to bring forth lusts into act. Lastly, sinne must be very strong in us because we are by nature full of it. So the Apostle saies of naturall men that they were filled with all unrighte­ousuesse, [Page 286] and full of envie, debate, deceite, &c. and S. Peter, Rom. 1. 29. 2. Pet. 2. 14. that they have Eyes full of Adultery, that cannot cease from sinne. Now where there is All of a strong thing that must needes be exceeding strong. If all the foure windes should meete together in their full strength, what moun­taines would they not roote up by the foundation? What a mighty rage and strength is there in the sea, onely be­cause it is full of waters, and All water belongs unto it? Who is able to looke upon the sunne, or endure the brightnesse of that glorious Creature, onely because it is Full of light? the same reason is in fleshly lusts, they are very strong in us, because our nature is full of them, and because all their fulnesse is in our nature.

Now this strength which is thus made up of so many ingredients, doth further appeare in the Effects of it, which are these Three, all comprised in the generall word of Obeying it in the Lusts thereof, which denotes a full & uncontroled Power in sin. First, the somenting▪ enter­taining, Hos. 9▪ 7. Zeph. 1. 12. Psal. 66. 18. Hos. 4. 8. Mic. [...]. 1. Ezek. 33. 31. Rom. 6. 19, 20. Esai. 5. 18. cherishing of lust, shaping of it, delighting in it, consenting unto it; when a man doth joine himselfe to sin, and setle himselfe upon it, & set his heart to it, and respect it in his heart, and studie & consult it, and resolve upon it. Secondly, Executing of it, and bringing into act the sugge­stions of the flesh thus conceived, yeelding to the com­mands, drudging in the service, drawing iniquitie with cords and cartropes, resigning both heart and hand to the obedience of sin. Thirdly, Finishing it, going on without wearinesse or murmuring, without repenting or repining in the waies of Lust, running in one constant chanell, till like the waters of Iordan the soule drop into the dead lake. All these three Saint Iames hath put together to shew the gradations, and the danger of fleshly Lusts. Euery man is Tempted, when he is drawne away of his owne Lusts and enticed; Lust when it hath Conceiued bringeth forth sinne, and sinne when it is Finished bringeth forth Death. First, there is the Suggestion, Lust draweth a­way [Page 287] and enticeth. Secondly, the Conception and forma­tion, in the delight and consent of the will. Thirdly, the Execution, and bringing into act. Fourthly, the Consum­mation and accomplishment of Lust, filling vp the mea­sure, going on vnweariedly to the last, till there is no hope, and so abusing the patience and long suffering of God unto destruction. Sinne growes till it be ripe for the slaughter; now if men in the interim cut off their sinnes, and turne to God before the decree be sealed, be­fore he stirre up all his wrath, and will suffer his Spirit no longer to strive, if they cōsecrate that litle time & strength they have left to Gods Service, then the kingdome of sin is pull'd downe in them. To this purpose is the CounsellDan. 4. 27. of Daniel to Nebuchadnezar; That he should breake off his sinnes by righteousnesse, and his iniquities by shewing mercie to the poore, that is, he should relinquish those sins which were most predominant in him; his unjustice, and oppres­sion, and tyrannie against poore men (thus Paul preach­ed of righteousnesse, and temperance, and judgement to come, to Felix a corrupt and lascivious Governor) & by that meanes his tranquillitie should be lengthened, not by way of merit (for a theefe deserves no pardon, because he gives over stealing) but by way of mercie and favour.

Hitherto I have but shewed that sin is a strong king. But this is not enough to d [...]ive men to Christ, (which is my principall scope.) It is further required that men bee Convinc'd of being under this power of sinne. The first use then which I shall shew you may bee made of this Do­ctrine is for Conviction and tryall of the raigne of sinne in our selves; for the more distinct expediting whereof I shall propose these three cases to be resolved. First whe­ther sin may raigne in a Regenerate man so, as that this power and kingdome of sinne shall consist with the righ­teousnesse of Christ? Secondly, How wicked men may be Convinc'd that sinne raignes in them, and what dif­ference there is betweene the power of sinne in them, [Page 288] and in the regenerate? Thirdly, why every sinne doth not raigne in every unregenerate man?

For the first of these, we must remember in the gene­rall, that sinne doth then raigne when a man doth obey it in the lusts thereof, when he doth yeelde up himselfe to Act. 26. 18. Col. 1. 13. execute all the commands of sinne, when he is held under the power of Sathan, and of darkenesse. And for the re­generate wee must likewise note what Saint Paul, and Saint Iohn have spoken in generall of this point. Sinne shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the Rom. 6. 14. Law, but under Grace, saith Saint Paul, when a man is delivered from the Obligations of the Law, he is then de­livered from the strength of sinne; (for the strength of sinne is the Law) And he that is borne of God sinneth not, 1. Cor. 15. 56. 1. Ioh. 3. 9. neither can sinne, saith Saint Iohn, that is, cannot obey sinne in all the lusts and commands thereof, as a servant to sinne, from which service hee hath ceased by being borne of God (for no man can bee Gods Sonne and sinnes servant:) for we are to distinguish betweene doing the worke of sinne, and obeying sinne in the lusts thereof. As a man may doe divine workes, and yet not ever in obedience to God, so a man may be subject as a Cap­tiue in this or that particular tyrannie of sinne, who is not obedient as a servant to all the governement of sinne, for that takes in the whole will, and an Adequate sub­mission thereof to the peaceable and uncontroll'd power of sinne. Let us then inquire how farre the power of sinne may discover itselfe in the most regenerate. First, the best have flesh about them, and that flesh where ever it is worketh, and rebelleth against the Spirit of Christ, so that they cannot doe the things which they would. Se­condly, this flesh is of itselfe indifferent to great sinnes as well as to small, and therefore by some strong temp­tation it may prevaile to carrie the Saints unto great sins, as it did David, Peter, and others. Thirdly, this fleshis as much in the will as in any other part of regenerate [Page 289] men, and therefore when they commit great sinnes, they may commit them with consent, delight, and willingnesse of heart▪ Fourthly, this flesh is in their members as well as in their wills, and therefote they may actuate, and exe­cute those wills of sinne which they have consented unto. Fifthly, we confesse that by these sinnes thus committed, the Conscience of a regenerat man is wasted and woun­ded, and overcome by the power of sinne, and such a particular grievous Guilt contracted, as must first bee washed away by some particular repentance, before that man can be againe qualified to take actuall possession of his inheritance, or to be admitted unto glory. In which case that of the apostle is most certaine, that the very righ­teous 1. Pet. 4. 18. shall scarsely be saved. For wee are to note that as some things may indispose a man for the present use, or dispossesse him of the Comforts and Emoluments, which yet are not valid enough to devest him of the whole right and state in a living: so some sinnes may bee of so heavie a nature as may unqualifie a man for an actuall admittance into Heaven, or possession of glory, which yet doe not nullifie his Faith, nor extinguish his Title and interest unto it. Thus we see that sinne may in the most holy have great power; the examples whereof are all written for our learning, to teach us what is indeede within us, how circumspectly wee should walke, how watchfull over our hearts, how stedfast in our Covenant, lest wee fall after the example of those men, and so breake our bones as David did. For one great sinne pre­sumptuously committed, will bring either such a hard­nesse of heart, as will make thee live in a wretched secu­ritie and neglect of thy service, and peace with God; Or such a wofull experience of his wrath and heavie displea­sure against sinne, as will even bruise thy Conscience, and burne up thy bowels, and make thee goe drooping and disconsolate it may be all thy dayes.

But yet, though sinne may thus farre proceede against [...] [Page 288] [...] [Page 289] [Page 290] a regenerate man, all this doth not amount to a complete raigne. Though sinne may have a victorie in the faithfull and that even over their wills, yet it hath not a kingdome, which imports a complete and universall resignation ofAdmodum piè & [...]re suo [...]o­ctissimè contro­versi [...] hanc exp [...]divit sua­ [...] memo­riae [...] Abbot Epis [...]us [...]. [...]. [...] diatrib. cap. 21. the whole will and man to the obedience of it. It is one thing to have the whole consent of the will unto some one sinne stollen away by some particular temptation; and another, to be whollie addicted and devoted to the waies of sinne, to have the whole heart universally married to Lust, and filled with Sathan, whereby it bringeth forth fruite unto dea [...]h. Into the former of these we grant the faithfull may fall, (and yet even in that case, the seede of God which abideth in them, though it did not operate to prevent [...]inne, will yet undoubtedly serve to supplie repentance in due time; and though Consent went be­fore to conceive sinne, yet it shall not follow after to al­low it being committed; but they review their sin with much hatred, and selfe-displicencie, with affliction of spirit, humiliation of heart, admiration of Gods patience and forbearance, with renewing their Covenant, with Complaints and heavie bewailings of their owne fro­wardnesse, with a filiall mourning for their [...]ngratitude and undutifulnesse unto God.) But that a regenerate man should totally addict himselfe to the wayes of sin, is repugnant to the Scripture, and extremely contrarie to that Throne which Christ hath in the heart of such a man.

For the second Case, how unregenerate men may bee convinc'd that sinne doth raigne in them, wee must observe that the complete raigne of sinne, denotes two things. First that strength, power, soveraigntie, and do­minion of sinne, which hath beene already opened. Se­condly, A peaceable, uncontroled, willing, universall subjection of all the members vnto the obedience of that King.

Now to measure the unregenerate by this Adequate [Page 291] Rule, wee must know, that they first are of severall sorts and stampes. Some are apparantly and in conspectu ho­minum outragious sinners, upon whom every man that sees them, and is well acquainted with the trade and course of sinne which they live in, may without breach of Charitie passe this sentence, there goes a man who de­clares himselfe in the eyes of the World to bee a servant of sinne; (I speake not this for liberty of censuring, but for evidence and easinesse of discerning onely.) Every man that thinkes it basenesse and below the straine of his spirit to tremble at Gods Word, to feare judgements a­gainst sinne denounced, who with a presumptuous and high hand rejects the warnings which God sends him, who in his practise and sinfull conformities makes more account of the course of the World, then of the curse of God; of the fashions of men, then of the will of the Spi­rit; of the estimation of men, then of the opinion of Christ: and such is every one that allowes himselfe in the same excesse of rage and riot, of swearing, swaggering, and uncleannesse with his divelish associates, in the name and autho [...]itie of the Lord Iesus. I pronounce that man to be a servant of sinne: and if he continue sinnes servant, he shall undoubtedly have sinnes wages; The wages of sinne is Death, even the everlasting vengeance and wrath to come; and if hee despise that warning, the word which I have spoken shall rise against him at the last day.

Others there are of a more calme, civill, composed course, men much wiser but not a dramme holyer then those before. And here mainely stickes the inquirie, and that upon Three exceptions, with which they may seeme to evade, and shift off this power of sinne.

First, in those men there appeareth not so soveraigne and absolute a dominion of sinne as hath been spoken of, in as much as they seeme to live in faire externall confor­mitie to the truthes which they have learned. To which I [Page 292] answere first in generall, that there may bee a raigne of sinne where it is not perceived, and that Insensibility is a maine argument of it. For this is a certaine rule, the more tenderly and seriously any man is affected with sense and sorrow for the power of sinne, the more hee is delivered from it. The young man in the Gospell was fully per­swaded that hee had kept the whole Law, and little thought that his owne possessions were his king, and that he was a vassall to his owne wealth, till Christ convinced him of a mighty raigne of covetousnesse in his heart. A ship may in the midst of a calme by reason of a great mist, and the negligence of the Marriners to sound and disco­ver their distances from land, split it selfe against a rocke, as well as be cast vpon it by some irresistible storme: and so that man who never fathams his heart, nor searcheth how neere he may be to ruine, but goes leisurely and uni­formly on in his wonted formall and pharisaicall securi­ties, may, when he thinkes nothing of it, as likely perish under the power of sin, as he in whom the rage thereof is most apparant. As there is a great strength in a River when it runnes smoothest and without noyse, which im­mediately discovers it selfe when any bridge or obstacle is set up against it: so when sinne passeth with most stil­nesse, and undisturbance through the heart, then is the raigne of it as strong as ever, and upon any spirituall and searching opposition will declare it selfe. The Pharises were rigid, demure, saint-like men, while their hypocri­sie was let alone to runne calmely and without noyse; but when Christ by his spirituall expositions of the Law, his Heavenly conversation, his penetrating and convin­cing Sermons, had stopt the current, and disquieted them in their course, wee finde their malice swell into the very sinne against the holy Ghost. It is the light of the Sunne which maketh day when it selfe lies shut under a cloud and is not seene; so in every naturall man there is a po­wer and prevalencie of sinne, which yet may lie undisco­vered [Page 293] under some generall moralities. Thus as the Ser­pent in the fable had a true sting while it lay in the snow, though it shewed not it selfe but at the fire: so there may be a regall power in sinne, when upon externall reasons it may for a time dissemble it selfe. Ahab and Ieroboams wife were as truely Princes in their disguise, as in their robes; and a Sow as truely a Swine when washed in a spring of water, as when wallowing in a sinke of dirt. The heart of man is like a beast, that hath much filth and garbage shut up under a faire skinne, till the Word like a sacrificing sword slit open, and as it were unridge theHeb. 4. 12. 13. Conscience to discover it. All the wayes of man, saith Sa­lomon, are cleane in his owne eyes, but the Lord weigheth Prov. 16. 2. the spirits: He is a discoverer of the secrets, and in [...]rals of every action.

For the more pa [...]ticular opening of this point it will be needefull to answere some few questions touching the raigne of some particular sinnes which haply are seldome so thought of. And the first is Touching smallsinnes whe­ther they may be said to be raigning sinnes? unto which I answere, That it is not the greatnesse but the power of sin which makes it a king. We know there are reguli as well as reges, kings of Cities and narrow territories, as well as Emperours over vast provinces. Nay many times a sinne may be great in Abstracto, as the fact is measured by the Law, and yet in Concreto, by Circumstances, it may not be a raigning sinne in the person committing it: and on the contrary a small sinne in the nature of the fact, may be a raigning sinne in the commission; as in a Corpo­ration a man not halfe as rich as another may bee the chiefe magistrate, and another of a farre greater estate may bee an underling in regard of Governement. As a small stone throwne with a strong arme will doe more hurt then another farre greater if but gently laid on, or sent forth with a fainter impression: so a small sinne, com­mitted with a high hand, with more security, presump­tion, [Page 294] and customarinesse, then others, will more waste the conscience then farre greater out of infirmitie or sud­den surprizall. As wee see drops frequently falling will eare into a stone, and make it hollower then some few farre heavier strokes could have done, or as water pow­red into a Sieve with many small holes, or into a bottom­lesse vessell, is equally cast away; A Ship may as well perish upon sands as rockes. [...]. A [...]ist. Polit. li. 5. cap. 8. Qui modi [...]a spernit, paula­tim decidit. Aug Consess l. 9. ca. 8. Dayly small expences vpon lesser vanities, may in time eate out a good estate, if there be never any accompts taken, nor proportion ob­serv'd, nor provision made to bring in as well as to ex­pend: so a man, otherwise very specious, may by a course of more civill and moderate sinnes runne into ruine.

The second Question is, Whether privy and secret sins which never breake forth into light may raigne. To which I answere, That of all other sinnes, those which are secret have the chiefest rule, such as are privy pride, hypocrisie, selfe-justification, rebellion, malitious projects against the Word and worship of God, &c. The Prophet com­pares wicked mens hearts to an Oven, Hos. 7. 6, 7. As an Oven is hottest when it is stopp'd that no blast may breake forth: so the heart is oftentimes most sinfull, when most reserv'd. Apud Persas persona regis sub specie ma [...]estatis [...]culitur. Iust. lib. [...]. [...]. A [...]st. de mundo. It was a great part of the state and pride of the Persian kings, that they were seldome seene by their subjects in publicke; and the kingdome of China at this day is very vast and potent, though it communi­cate but litle with other people: so those lodging thoughts, as the Prophet cals them, which lie stifled within, may be most powerfull, when they are least discover'd. First, Because they are ever in the throne (for the heart is the throne of sinne) and every thing hath most of it selfe, and is least mi [...]ed and alter'd where it first riseth. Secondly, because they are in the heart as a stone in the Center, freest from opposition and disturbance, which, breaking forth into act, they might be likely to meete withall. And [Page 295] this may bee one of the depths and projects of Sathan against the soule of a man, to let him live in some faire and plausible conformitie for the outward conversation, that so his rule in the heart may be the more quiet both from clamours of conscience, and from cure of the Word.

The third Question is, Whether sinnes of ignorance may be raigning sinnes? To which I answere, That it is not mens knowledge of a king which makes him a king, but his owne power. Saul was a king when the witch knew1. Sam. 28. not of it. For as those multitudes of imperceptible starsArist. [...]. lib. 1. cap. 8. in the milkie way doe yet all contribute to that generall confused light which wee there see: so the undiscern [...]d power of unknowne sinnes doe adde much to the great kingdome which sinne hath in the hearts of men. A letter written in an unknowne language, or in darke and invi­sible Characters, is yet as truely a letter as that which is most intelligible and distinct; so though men make a shift to fill their consciences with darke and unlegi­ble sinnes, yet there they are as truely as if they were written in capitall Characters. Saint Pauls persecution was a sinne of Ignorance, that was the only thing which left roome for the mercy of God, so he faith of himselfe, I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly, through un­beliefe. 1. Tim. 1. 13. Which words we are not to understand causally, or by way of externall motive to Gods mercy, as if Saint Pauls ignorance and unbeliefe had been any positive and objective reason why God shewed him mercy, but only thus, I was so grievous a persecutor of the Church of Christ, that had it not beene for my ignorance onely, I had beene a subject uncapable of mercy. If I had knowne Christs spirit, and beene so conuinc'd as the Scribes [...]. Chrys. and Pharises, to whom hee used to preach, were, and should notwithstanding that conviction have set my selfe with that crueltie and rage against him as I did, there would have beene no roome for mercy left, my sinne would have beene not onely against the members, but [Page 296] against the Spirit of Christ, and so an unpardonable sinne. His persecution then was a sinne of ignorance, and yet we may know what a raigning sinne it was by the description of it, That he made havocke of the Church, [...]. and haled men and women into prison. And indeed Ig­norance doth promote the kingdome of sinne, as a thiese with a vizard or disguise will be more bold in his out­rages, then with open face. For sinne cannot be repro­ved, [...] nor repented of, till some way or other it be made knowne. All things that are reproved are made mani­fest [...]. 5 [...]. [...]. [...]. [...]5. by the light.

The fourth Question is, Whether naturall concupiscence may be esteemed a raigning sinne? To which I answere, That as a childe may be borne a king, and be crowned in his cradle; so sinne in the wombe may raigne. And indeed Concupiscence is of all other the sinning sinne, andRo [...] ▪ 7 1 [...]. most exceeding sinfull. So that as there is virtually and radically more water in a fountaine though it seeme very narrow, then in the streames which flow from it, though farre wider, because though the streames should all dry up, yet there is enough in the fountaine to supply all againe: so the sinne of nature hath indeed more funda­mentall foul [...]nesse in it, then the actuall sinnes which arise from it, as being the adulterous wombe which is ever of it selfe prostituted to the injections of any diabo­licall or worldly temptations, and greedy to claspe, cherish and organize the seeds of any sinne. So that pro­perly the raigne of sinne is founded in Lust; for they are ou [...] lusts which are to be satisfied in any sinfull obedi­ence;Rom. 1 [...]. 14. [...]am 4 3. All the subsidies, succours, contributions which are brought in are spent upon Lust; and therefore not to mourne for and bewaile this naturall concupiscence, as David and Paul did, is a manifest signe of the raigne ofPsal 51 5. Rom. 7. 23. 2. Cor. 12. 8. lust. For there is no medium, if sin, which cannot be avoi­ded▪ be not lamented neither, it is undoubtedly obeyed.

The last Question is, Whether sinnes of omission may be [Page 297] esteemed raigning sinnes? To which I answere, That the wicked in Scripture are Character'd by such kinde of sinnes, Powre out thy vengeance upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not upon thy Ier. 10. 25. Psal. 10. 4. name. The wicked through the pride of his heart will not seeke after God, God is not in all his thoughts. There is no Hos. 4. 1. Matth. 25. 42. Mal 3. 18. Eccles. 9. 2. truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. I was an hungred, and you gave me no meate; thirsty, and you gave me no drinke; a stranger, and you tooke me not in, &c. As in matters of governement, a Princes negative voyce whereby he hinders the doing of a thing, is oftentimes as great an argument of his royalty, as his positive com­mands to have a thing done (nay a Prince hath power to command that to be done, which he hath no power to prohibite; as Iosias commanded the people to serve the Lord:) So in sinne, the power which it hath to dead and take off the heart from Christian duties, from Com­munion with God, from knowledge of his will, from de­light in his word, from mutuall Edification, from a con­stant and spirituall watch over our thoughts and wayes, and the like, is a notorious fruit of the raigne of sinne. So then as he said of the Romane Senate, that it was an as­sembly of kings, so we may say of sinfull lusts in the heart, That they are indeed a Throng and a people of kings.

The second Exception where with the more moderate sort of unregenerate men seeme to shift off from them­selves the charge of being subject to the raigne of sinne, is, that sinne hath not over them an universall dominion, in as much as they abhorre many sinnes, and doe many things which the rule requires. All these things, saithMark. 10. [...]0. the young man in the Gospell, have I done from my youth. And Hazael to the Prophet, Is thy servant a dog, to rip2. King. 8. 13. up women and dash infants to pi [...]ces? He seemed at that time to abhorre so dete [...]able facts as the Prophet fore­told.2. King. 10 16 [...]ing 21. 27. Ma [...]k. 6. 20. Come, saith I [...]hu, and see my zeale for the Lord of hoasts. Ahab humbled himselfe, Herod heard Ioh [...] [Page 298] gladly, and did many things, the foolish virgins, and apo­state;Ioh. 5. 35. 2. Pet. 2. 20. abstained from many pollutions of the world; and from such abstinencies and performances as these men seeme invincibly to conclude that they are not under an universall raigne of sinne.

For clearing this Exception we must know that thereGen. 20. 6. 2. Co [...]. 12. 7. 10. are other causes besides the power and kingdome of the spirit of Christ, which may worke a partiall abstinence in some sins, and conformitie in some duties.

First, the Power of a generall restraining Grace, which I suppose is meant in Gods with-holding Abimelech from touching Sarah. As there are generall Gifts of the Spirit in regard of illumination, so likewise in order to conversation and practice. It is said that Christ behol­ding the young man, Loved him, and that even when heMath. 10. 21. was under the raigne of Covetousnesse. He had nothing from himselfe worthy of love, therefore something, though more generall, it was which the spirit had wrought in him. Suppose we his ingenuitie, moralitie,Habent non­nulla munera fi [...] [...], sed non perveniuat ad regnum promis­ [...]um. Aug. De Civ. Dei. lib. 16. [...] p. 34. care of Salvation, or the like. As Abraham gave porti­ons to Ishmael, but the inheritance to Isaac: so doth the Lord on the children of the flesh and of the bond woman bestow common gifts, but the Inheritance and Adoption is for the Saints, his choisest Iewels are for the Kings Daughter. There is great difference betwixt Restraining and Renewing Grace; the one onely charmes and chaines up sinne, the other crucifies and weakens it, whereby the vigor of it is not withheld onely, but aba­ted: the one turnes the motions and streame of the heart to another channell, the other keepes it in bounds onely, though still it runne its naturall course; the one is contrarie to the Raigne, the other onely to the Rage of sinne. And now these graces being so differing, needs must the abstaining from sinnes, or amendment of life according as it riseth from one or other, be likewise ex­ceeding different. First, that which riseth from Renew­ing [Page 299] Grace is Internall in the disposition and frame of the heart, the law and the spirit are put in there to puri­fie the Fountaine; whereas the other is but externall in the course of the life, without any inward and secret care to governe the thoughts, to moderate the passions, to suppresse the motions and risings of lust, to cleanse the conscience from dead workes, to banish privie pride, speculative uncleannesse, vaine, emptie, impertinent, un­profitable desires out of the heart. The Law is Spirituall, and therefore it is not a conformity to the letter barely, but to the Spiritualnesse of the Law, which makes our actions to be right before God. Thy Law is pure, saithPsal. 119. 140. David, therefore thy Servant loveth it. And this spiritu­alnesse of obedience is discerned by the Inwardnesse of it, when all other respects being removed, a man can be Holy there where there is no eye to see, no object to move him, none but onely hee and the Law together. When a man can be as much grieved with the sinfulnesse of his thoughts, with the disproportion which he findes betweene the Law and his innerman, as with those evils which being more exposed to the view of the World, have an accidentall restraint from men, whose ill opini­ous we are loth to provoke; when from the Spirituall and sincere obedience of the hart doth issue forth an uni­versall Holinesse like lines from a center unto the whole circumference of our lives, without any mercenary or reserv'd respects wherein men oftentimes in steade of the Lord, make their owne passions and affections, their ends or their feares their God.

Secondly, that which riseth from Renewing grace is equall and Psal. 119. 128. a [...], &c. Clem. Alex. strom lib 4. uniforme to all the Law, It esteemeth all Gods precepts concerning al things to be right, & it hateth euery false way. Whereas the other is onely in some [Page 300] In he [...] major [...], quod [...] ▪ od [...]rum [...], [...]tem pro Dei [...]. 3. particulars, reseruing some exceptions from the gene­rall rule, and framing to it selfe a latitude of holinesse, beyond which in their conceits is nothing of realitie, but onely the fictions and chimaeraes, the more abstract no­tions and singularities of a few men whose end is not to serve God, but to be unlike their neighbours. I deny not but that as oftentimes it falleth out in ill affected bodies, that some one part may be more disordered and disabled for seruice then others, because ill humors being by the rest rejected doe at last settle in that which [...] [...]aturally weakest: so in Christians likewise, partly by the temper of their persons, partly by the condition of their liues and callings, partly by the pertinacious and more intimate adherence of some close corruption, part­ly by the company and examples of men amongst whom they liue, partly by the different administration of the spirit of grace, who in the same men bloweth how and where he listeth, it may come to passe that this uniformitie may bee blemished, and some actions be more corrupt, and some sinnes more predominant and untamed in them then others. Yet still I say Renewing Grace doth in some measure subdue all, and, at least, frame the heart to a vigilancie ouer those gaps which lie most naked, and to a tendernes to bewaile the incur­sions of sin which are by them occasioned.

Thirdly, that which riseth from Renewing Grace is constant, growes more in old age, hath life in more a­bundance, proceedeth from a heart purged and prepa­red to bring forth more fruite, where as the other growes faint, and withers; an hypocrite will not pray alwaies, a torrent will one time or other dry vp and putrifie. Wa­ter will mooue vpward by art till it be gotten levell to the spring where it first did rise, and then it will returne to its nature againe. So the corrupt hearts of naturall men, how euer they may fashion them to a shew of ho­linesse so farre forth as will [...] even to those ends and [Page 301] designes for which they assum'd it, yet let them once goe past that, and their falling downe will make it ap­peare, that what ever motions they had screwed up themselves unto, yet still in their hearts they did bend another way, and did indeed resist the power of that grace, whose countenance they affected. Euen as Scipio and Annibal at Scyphax his table did complement, and discourse, and entertaine one another with much sem­blance of affection, whereas other occasions in the field occurring made it appeare that euen at that time their hearts were full of reuenge and hostility.

Lastly, that which riseth from Renewing Grace is with [...]. Arist. Rhet. li. 1. Ut perfectae fidei & obsequelae est obedientiam di­ligere & id quod quis agit affectu charitatis im­plere, & necessi­ta [...]em agendi amantis volun­tate praecurrere: ita & magnae innocentiae est iniquitates non modo non agere, sed od [...]sse, quia interdum non [legendum nos] ab his metus & terro [...] aver. tit. Hilar. in Psal. 119. mem. delight▪ and much complacencie, because it is na­turall to a right spirit; it desires nothing more then to haue the law of the flesh quite consum'd, whereas the o­ther hath paine and disquietnesse at the bridle which holds it in; and therefore takes all advantages it can to breake loose againe. For while naturall men are tam­pering about spirituall things, they are out of their ele­ment, it is as offensiue to them as aire is to a fish, or wa­ter to a man. Men may peradventure to coole and clense themselves, step a while into the water, but no man can make it his habitation; a fish may friske into the aite to refresh himselfe, but he returnes to his owne element: wicked men may for varietie sake, or to pacifie the grumblings of an unquiet conscience looke sometimes into Gods law; but they can never suffer the word to dwell in them, they are doing a worke against nature, and therefore no marvell if they finde no pleasure in it: nay they Quis coram Deo innocens invenitur qui vult [...]ieri quod vetatur, sisubtrahas q [...]od timetur? quantum in [...] [...]allet non [...]sse [...] pecca­ta prohibentem atque punieutem. Qui. ge [...]nas me [...]it, non peccare [...] sed ar dere; ille autem peccare [...]tuit, qui peccat [...]m ipsu [...] sic ut g [...]bennas odit. August. Epist. 144. Mallet si fieri posset nun esse quod [...]eat, ut liberè [...], quod occuliè deside [...]at. Id. de [...]at. & grat. c. 57 non fit in corde quod fier [...] videtur in op [...]re, qu [...]ndo mallet homo non fa­ [...]ere, si posset impune. Id. cont. 2. ep [...]. Pel [...]g. l. 2. c. 9. & lib. 1. [...]. 9. & li. [...] ▪ cap. 4. doe in their hearts wish that there were no [Page 302] such law at all to restraine their corrupt desires, that there were no such records extant to be produced a­gainst them at the last; and as soone as any occasions call them unto sensuall and sinfull delights, they [...]. Cle [...]n. Alex. steal [...] away the law from their owne consciences, they sup­presse and imprison the truth in unrighteousnesse, they shut their eyes by a Tanta est vis voluptatum ut ignorantiam pro [...]elet in occa­si [...]em, &c. Tert. D [...] spe [...]tac. ca. 1. Malunt nes [...]ire, quia [...] ode­runt. A [...]ol. ca. 1. [...] intelli­gere sensum Do­mini, &c De fu­gain persecat. cap. 6. [...]. Iustin Martyr. Quaest & Resp. qu. 140. [...]. Arist. Ethic. [...]. Cle. Alex. strom. li. 4. voluntary and affected ignorance, that they may more securely, and without checke or perturbation resigne themselves to their owne waies.

Secondly, a deepe, desperate, hypocriticall affecta­tion of the credit of Christianitie, and of the repute and name of holinesse, like that of Iehu, Come [...]ce my zeale for the Lord of Hoasts. And this is so farre from pul­ling downe the raigne of sinne, that it mightily streng­thens it, and is a sore provocation of Gods jealousie and revenge. The Prophet compares hypocrites to a Hos 7. 16. de­ce [...]tfull Bow, which though it seeme to direct the arrow in an even line upon the marke, yet the unfaithfulnesse thereof carries it at last into a crooked and contrarie way. And a little after, we finde the similitude verified: Hos. 8. 2, 3. Israel shall crie unto me, my God we know thee. Here seemes a direct ayme at God, a true profession of faith and interest in the covenant; but obserue presently the deceitfulnesse of the Bow, Israel hath cast off the thing that is good, though he be well contented to beare my name, yet he cannot endure to beare my yoke; though he be well pleased with the priviledges of my people, yet he cannot away with the tribute and obedience of my people, and therefore God rejects both him and his halfe services, The enemie shall pursue him. They haue sowed the winde, and they shall reape the whirle winde, saith the Lord in the same Prophet. My people are like a husbandman going over plowed lands, and casting a­broad his hands as if he were sowing seed, but the truth is there is nothing in his hand at all but winde, nothing but vaine semblances and pretences, the profession of a [Page 303] leedsman, but the hand of a sluggard; and now marke what an Harvest this man shall have: That which a man soweth, that also shall he reape, he sowed the wi [...]de, and he shall imh [...]rit the wind [...] as Salomon speakes. Yet you may observe that there is some diff [...]rence; As in Harvest ordinarily there is an increase, hee that sowes a Pecke, may haply reape a Qua [...]ter; so the hypocrite here sowes winde, but he reapes a whirle winde; he sowed vanitie, but he shall reape furie (for the furie of the Lord is com­par'd to a whirle winde.) God will not be honored with a lie: shall a man lie for God? This argument the Apostle useth to proove the Resurrection, because, else, saith he, we are found false witnesses of God, and God doth not1. Cor. 15. stand in neede of false witnesses to justifie his power or glory. Why takest t [...]ou my Word into thy mouth, seeing Psal. 50. 16. 17. A. Gellius. noct. Attic. lib. 18. cap. 3. thou hatest to be reformed? We reade, that in one of the States of Greece, if a scandalous man had lighted upon any wholsome counsell for the honor and advantage of the countrie, yet the Common-weale rejected it as from him, and would not be beholden to an infamous & bran­ded person: And surely Almighty God can as little en­dure to be honored by wicked men, or to have his Name and Truth by them usurped in a false profession. When the Divell, who useth to▪ bee the father of lies, would needes confesse the Truth of Christ, I know who thou art, even Iesus the Sonne of the Living God; we finde our Sa­viour as well rebuking him for his confession, as at other times for his Temptations. Because when the Divell speakes a lie, he speakes De suo, he doth that which be­comes him; but when he speakes the Truth and Glori­fies God, hee doth that which is improper for his placePsal. 88. 11. and station (for who shall praise thee in the pit?) Hee speakes then De alieno, of that which is none of his owne, and then he is not a lyer onely by professing that which he hates, but a theefe too. And surely when men take upon them the Name of Christ, and a shew of re­ligion, [Page 304] and yet deny the power thereof they are not on­ly liers in professing a false love, but theeves too, in usur­ping an interest in Christ which indeede they have not; and are like to have no happier successe with God (who cannot be mocked) then false pretenders have with men; who under assumed titles of princes deceased, have laid claime to kingdomes. God will deale with such men as we teade that Tiberius dealt with a base pretender to a Crowne, when after long examination hee could not [...]. Io­seph de B [...]llo Iu­daico. lib. 2. ca. 5▪ catch the impostor tripping in his tale, at last he consul­ted with the habite and shape of his body, and finding there not the delicacie and softnesse of a Prince, but the brawinnesse and servile fashion of a Mechanick, he start­led the man with so unexpected a triall, and so wrung from him a confession of the Truth. And surely just soChristi nomen indu [...]re, & non [...]er [...]hristi via▪ pergere, quid ali­ud est qudm prae­varicatio divini nomints? Cyp. de zelo & livore. will God deale with such men as usurpe a claime unto his Kingdome, and prevaricate with his Name; he will not take them on their owne words, or empty professions, but examine their hands; If hee finde them hardned in the service of sinne, hee will then stop their mouth with their owne hand, and make themselves the argument of their owne conviction.

Thirdly, the Power of pious and vertuous education; for many men have their manners as the Colliar had his faith, meerely by tradition, and upon credit from their forefathers. So saint Paul before his Conversion liv'd as touching the Law unblameably in his owne esteeme, because he had beene a Pharisce of the Pharisees. Many times we may observe amongst men▪ that contrarieti [...] of affections proceede from causes homogeneall and uniforme, and that the same temper and disposition of minde will serve to produce effects in apparance contrary. When two men contend with much violence to maintaine two different opinions, it may easily bee discerned by a judi­cious stander by, that it is the same love of victory, the same contentious constitution of Spirit which did foster [Page 305] those extreme discourses, and many times men would not be at such distance in tenents, if they did not too much concurre in the pride and vaine glory of an opinionative minde. And surely so is it in matters of religion and pra­ctise, many times courses extremely opposite are em­brac'd out of the selfe same uniforme frame and temper of spirit; a humor pertinaciously to adhere to the wayes which a man hath beene bred in, may upon contrary educations produce contrary effects, and yet the princi­pall reason bee the same, as it is the same vigor and vertue of the earth which from different seedes put into it produceth different fruites. So then a man may abstaine from many evils, and doe many good things meerely out of respect to their breeding, out of a native ingenui­tie, and faire opinion of their fathers pietie, without any such experimentall and convincing evidence of the truth, or Spirituall and Holy love of the goodnesse, by which the true members of Christ are moved unto the same ob­servances.

Fourthly, the Legall and Affrighting Power which is in the Word, when it is set on by a skilfull master of the assemblies. For though nothing but the Evangelicall vertue of the Word begets true and spirituall obedience, yet outward conformitie may be fashioned by the terror of it. As nothing but vitall, seminall, and fleshly prin­ciples can organize a living and true man; yet the strokes and violence of hammers, and other instruments being moderated by the hand of a cunning worker can fashion the shape of a man in a dead stone. As Ahab was hum­bled by the Word in some degree, when yet he was not converted by it.

Fifthly, the power of a naturall illightned Conscience, either a wakened by some heavie affliction, or affrighted with the feare of Iudgement, or, at best, assisted with a temper of generousnesse and ingenuitie, a certaine no­blenesse of disposition which can by no meanes endure [Page 306] to be condemned by its owne witnesse, nor to adven­ture on courses which doe directly the wart the practicall principles to which they subscribe. For (as I observed before) many men who will not do good Obedientially, [...] in qui­bus [...] obsequuntur. Salvian. lib. 3. with faith in the Power, with submission to the Will, with aime at the Glory of him that commands it, will yet doe it Rationally out of the conviction and evidence of their owne principles. And this the Apostle cals a doing by Nature the things contained in the Law, and aRom. 2. 14. being a Law to a mans selfe. Now though this may carry a man farre, yet it cannot pull downe the kingdome of sinne in him, for these reasons. First, it doth not subdue All sinne, All filthinesse of the flesh and spirit, and so perfect 2. Co [...]. 7 1. [...]olynesse in the feare of God. Drive a swine out of one dirty way, and he will presently into another, because it was not his disposition but his feare which turned him aside. Where there are many of a royall race, though hundreds be destroyed, yet if any one that can prove his descent do remaine alive, the title and soveraigntie runnes into him (as wee see in the slaughter which Athaliah 2. Chro. 22. 23. made) so in sinne, if any one bee left to exercise power over the Conscience without controle, the kingdome over a mans soule belongs unto that sinne. Secondly, though it were possible (which yet cannot be supposed) for a Naturall conscience to restraine and kill all the chil­dren of sinne, yet it cannot rippe up nor make barren the wombe of sinne, that is, Lust and Concupiscence, in which the raigne of sinne is sounded: Nature cannot discover, much lesse can it bewaile or subdue it. As long as there is a Divell to cast in the seedes of temptations, and lusts to cherish, forme, quicken, ripen them, impossible it is but sinne must have an of-spring to raigne over the soule of man. Thirdly, all the Proficiencies of Nature cannot make a mans indeavours good before God; though they may serve to excuse a man to himselfe, yet not unto God. If one beare holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with [Page 307] his skirt doth touch fl [...]sh shall it be uncleane, saith the Lord Hag. 2. 11. 14. in the Prophet? and the Priest answered no. But if one who is uncleane by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be uncleane? and the Priest answered, it shall be uncleane. So is this people, and so is this nation before mee, saith the Lord, and so are all the workes of their hands before me, they are uncleane. They thinke because they are the seed of Abraham, and dwell in the land of promise, and have my worship, and oracles, and sacrifices, not in their hearts, but only in their lips and hands, which are but the skirts of the soule, that therefore doubtlesse they are cleane; but whatever they are before themselves, in their owne eyes and estimation, yet before me neither the priviledge of their persons, Abrahams seede, nor the priviledge of their nation, the land of promise, nor the priviledge of their meere outward obedience, the workes of their hands, nor the priviledge of their ceremonies and wor­ship, that which they offer before me, can doe them any good, but they, and all they doe is uncleane in my sight. Offerings and sacrifices in themselves were holy things, but yet unto them saith the Lord, to a revolting and dis­obedientHos 9 4. people, they shall be as the bread of mourners, that is uncleane, and the Prophet▪ elsewhere intimate theAmos 5. 21, 22. reason, I hate, I despise your feast dayis, I will not smell in your solemne assemblies, though yee offer me your meate offerings I will not accept them, neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Your burnt offerings arae Ier 6 20. Vestra dicit quae secundum libid [...] ­nem suam, non secundum reli­gionem Dei cele­brando, sua iam non dei [...]cerant. Tert. cont. Mar [...]. lib. [...]. cap 22. not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweete unto me. Though the things done be by institution Gods▪ yet the evill per­formance of them makes them Ours, that is▪ sinfull and uncleane. Mercie it selfe without Faith, which ought to be the roote of all obedience, is a sinfull mercy; mercy in the thing, but sinne to the man.

Sixthly, the sway and bias of selfe-love, and particular ends. When a mans disposition lookes one way, and his ends carry him another, that motion is ever a sinfull mo­tion, [Page 308] because though it be sutable in outward conformity to the Rule, yet it is a Dead motion like that of puppets or manimate bodies, which have no principle of motion in themselves, but are carried about by the spring or weight which hangs unto them (for a mans ends are butVitium est infi­deliter misereri. Ang. Heb. 9. 14. lam. 2 17. 2. King 9. 6, 7. his weights) and so the Obedience which comes from them is but a Dead obedience, which the Apostle makes the attribute of sinfull workes, and Saint Iames of a dia­bolicall saith. The act of Iehu in rooting out the house of Ahab, and the Priests of Baal was a right zealous action in it selfe, and by God commanded, but it was a meere murther as it was by Iehu executed, because hee intended not the extirpation of idolatry, but onely the erecting and establishing of his owne throne. To preach the Word is in it selfe a most excellent worke, yet to some there is a Reward for it, to others onely a Dispensation, as2. Cor. 9. 17. the Apostle distinguisheth, and he gives us as there, so else where, the reasons of it, drawne from the severall ends of men, some preach Christ out of envie, and others out of Phil. 1. 15. good will. To give good counsell, for the prevention of1. Sam. 19. 2. 20. 37. 42. approching danger is a worke of a noble and charitable disposition as we see in Ionathan towards David; but in Amaziah the priest of Bethel, who disswaded Amos from preaching at the Court, because of the kings displeasure, and the evill consequences which might thereupon en­sueAmos 7. 10. 13. (of all which himselfe was the principall if not sole author) this was but a poore curtesie, for it was not out of love to the Prophet, but onely to bee ridde of his preaching. To seeke God, to returne, to enquire early after him, to remember him as a Rocke and Redeemer are in themselves choice and excellent services; but notPsal. 78. 34. 37. to doe all this out of a straight and stedfast heart, but out of feare onely of Gods sword, not to doe it because God commands them, but because he slayes them; this end makes all but lying and flatterie, like the promises of a boy under the rod. To feare God is the conclusion of [Page 309] that matter, and the whole dutie of man; but not toEccles. 12. 13. Hos. 3. 5. P [...]l 130 4. 2 King. [...] 33, 34. feare the Lord and his Goodnesse, but to feare the Lord and his Lions (as the Samaritans did) this is indeede not to feare the Lord at all.

Lastly the very Antipathie of sinnes must necessarily keepe a man from many. For there are some sinnes soScelera dissident. Senec. dissident and various, that they cannot consist together in the practice of them. Though the same Roote of originall corruption will serue for both, yet the exerci­ses of them are incompatible: As the same roote will convey sap to several boughes, which shall beare fruits so different as could not grow out of the same branch. The2. Cor. 7. 1. Apostle gives a distinction of spirituall and fleshly fil­thinesse betweene many of which there is as great anCumfaciunt haec humines sine fi­de, non peccata coercentur, sed alys peccatis al [...] peccata vincun▪ tur. Aug. de Nupl. & Cunc. lib. 1. cap. 3. Act. 23. 6▪ 7. opposition as betweene flesh and spirit. Ambition, pride, hypocrisie, formality, are spirituall sins; drunken­nesse, uncleannesse, publike, sordid, notorious intempe­rance are fleshly sinnes; and these two sorts cannot ordi­narily stand together, for the latter will speedily blast the projects, disappoint the expectations, wash of the dawbe and varnish which a man with much cunning and paines had put on. Pilat and Herod did hate one a­nother, and this one would haue thought should haue advantaged Christ against the particular malice of either of them against him (as in a case something paralell it did Saint 'Paul when the Pharises and Sadduces were divi­ded) but their malice against Christ being not so wellAct. 4. 27. Luk. 23. 12. able to wreake it selfe on him during their owne distan­ces, was a meanes to procure a reconciliation more mis­chievousEsai. 9. [...]1. then their malice. Ephraim against Manasseh, and Manasseh against Ephraim, but both against Iuda, one sinne was put out to make the more roome for another. Many men have some master sinne, which checks and abates the rest. Caeteras cupi­d [...]ates h [...]ius u [...]ius ing [...]nti cup [...]e pres­serunt. Aug. De Civ. l 5. c. 12. v [...]. plu. The ancient Romans were restrain'd from Intemperance, Iniustice, violence by an extreame affection of glorie and an universall soveraigntie. As [Page 310] Calores calo­ribus onerando deprimimus, & sanguinis flux­um defasâ [...]nsu­per v [...]uld [...]. Tertu▪ & Aug. de n [...]t. & grat. c [...]p. 28. c Math. [...]7. 46. Ioh 7. 3. many times men cure heates with heates, and one flux of blood with another; so some sins though not cur'd are yet forborne upon the predominancy of others. The Pharises hated Christ, and feared the people, and many times this feare restrain'd the manifestatiō & executiō of the other.

The Third and last Exception is this. Vnregenetate men of a more calme and civill temper may conceive themselves delivered from the raigne of sinne, because they have many conflictes with it, and reluctancies a­gainst it, and so afford not such a plenarie and resol­ved Obedience to it as so absolute a power requireth. To this I answere, That this is no more sufficient to conclude an overthrow of the raigne of sinne, thenQuirites. the sudden mutinie of Cesars souldiers, which hee easi­ly queiled with one brave word, could conclude the nullifying of his government. For when we mention uncontrolednesse as an argument of sins Raigne, we meaneRom. 2. [...]5▪ not that a bare naturall Conviction (which the Apostle cals an Accusation) which imports a former yeelding to the lust, and no more; but that a spirituall expostulati­on with a mans owne heart, ioyned with true repen­tance,Ier. 8. 6. Gal. 5. 17. and a sound and serious Lusting against the de­sires and commands of the flesh, are the things which subdue the raigne of sinne. The whole state then of this point touching the Roialtie of si [...]ne will be fully opened, when we shall have distinctly unfolded the Differences betweene these Two Conflicts with sinne, the Conflict of a naturall Accusing Conscience, and the Conflict of a spirituall, Mourning and Repenting Conscience.

First they Differ in the Principles whence they pro­ceede. The one proceeds from a spirit of feare and bon­dage, the other from a spirit of love and delight. An un­regenerate man considers the state of sinne as a kingdome, and so he loves the services of it▪ and yet he Considers it as Regnum sub graviore regno. as a kingdome subiect to the scrutinies and enquiries of a higher kingdome, and [Page 311] so he feares it, because the Guilt thereof, and day of ac­compts affrights him so that this Naturall Conflict [...]iseth out of the Compulsion of his Iudgement, not out of the propension of his will; not from a desire to be Holy, but onely to be safe and quiet; he abhorreth the thoughts of God and his Iustice; whereas the faithfull hate sinne with relation to the purity and righteousnesse of God, desire to walke in all well pleasing towards him, hunger after his grace, are affected with indignation, selfe-dis­plicencie, and revenge against themselves for sin, mourne under their corruptions, bewaile the frowardnesse of their slipperie and revolting hearrs, set a watch and spi­rituall iudicature over them, crie out for strength to re­sist their lusts, and prayse God for any grace, power, dis­cipline, severitie which he shewes against them. In one word, a naturall conscience doth onely shew the danger of sinne, and so makes a man feare it; but a Spirituall conscience shewes the Pollution of sinne, the extreme contrarietic which it beares to the love of our heart, the rule of our life, the Law of God, and so makes a man hate it, as a thing contrary not only to his happinesse, but2. Pet. 1. 4. to his nature, of which he hath newly beene made par­taker. A dogge will be brought by discipline to for beare those things which his nature most delights in, not be­cause his ravine is changed into a better temper, but the following paines makes him abstaine from the present baite: so the conflict of the faithfull is with the unholy­nesse of sinne, but the conflict of other men is onely with the Guilt and other sensuall incommodities of sinne. And though that may make a man forbeare and returne, yet not unto the Lord: They have not cryed unto me, saith theHos. 7. 14. Lord, with their heart, when they howled upon their beds. Their prayers were not cries, but howlings, brutish and meere sensuall complaints, because they proceeded not from their hearts, from any inward and sincere affecti­on, but onely from feare of that hand whith was able to [Page 312] cast them upon their beds. As a sicke man eates meat, not for love of it, which he takes with much reluctancie and disrellish, but for feare of death which makes him force himselfe (a. Saul said to Samuel) against his will, where­as1. Sam. 13. 12. a heal [...]y man eates the same meate with hunger and delight: so a naturall▪ conscience constraines a man to doe some things which his heart never goes along with, onely to avoide the paine which the contrary guilt infers. In a Tempest the marriners will cast out all their wares, not out of any hatred to the things (for they throw over their very hearts into the Sea with them) but because the safety of their lives, and preservation of their goods will not stand together; not sub intuitu mali, sed min [...] ­ris boni, not under the apprehension of any evill in the things, but onely as a lesser good which will not consist with the greater; and therefore they never throw them over but in a Tempest: whereas at all other times they labour at the pumpe to exonerate the ship of the water which settles at the bottome, not onely for the danger, but stinch and noysomnesse of it too. Thus a Naturall conscience throwes away sinne as wares, and therefore never forbeares it but in a Tempest of wrath, and sense of the curse and quickly returnes to it againe; but a spiri­tuall conscience throwes out sinne as corrupt and stin­king water, and therefore is uniformely disaffected to it, and alwayes laboureth to be delivered from it. A scullion or colliar will not dare handle a coale when it is full of fire, which yet at other times is their common use; wheras a man of a more cleanly education, as he will not then, because of the fire, so not at any time, because of the foulnesse: so here a Naturall conscience for forbeares sinne somtimes, when the guilt and curse of it doth more appeare, which yet at other times it makes no seruple of; but a Spirituall conscience abstaines alwayes, because of the basenesse and pollution of it. The one feares sinne, because it hath fite in it to burne; the other hates sinne, [Page 313] because it hath filth in it to pollute the Soule.

Secondly, these conflicts differ in their seates and sta­tions. The naturall Conflict is in severall faculties, as be­tween the understanding and the will, or the will and the affections, and so doth not argue any universall renova­tion, but rather a rupture and schisme, a confusion and disorder in the soule: But a spirituall conflict is in the same facultie, will against will, affection against affection, heart against heart, because sinne dwels still in our mor­tall body; Neither doe the spirit and the flesh enter into covenant to share and divide the man, and so to re­side asunder in severall faculties, and not molest one ano­thers governement; there can be no agreement betweene the strong man and him that is stronger, Christ will hold no treatie with Beliall; he is able to save to the uttermost, and therefore is never put to make compositions with his enemie; he will not disparage the power of his owne Grace so much as to entertaine a parlie with the flesh. So then they fight not from severall forts onely, but are [...] ­ver struggling like Esau and Iacob in the same wombe. They are contrary to one another, saith the Apostle, and contraries meete in the same subject before they exercise hostility against one another. Flesh and spirit are in a man as light and darkenesse in the dawning of the day, as heate and cold in warme water, not severed in di­stinct parts, but universally interweav'd and coexistent in all. There is the same proportion in the naturall and spirituall conflict with sinne, as in the change of motion in a bowle. A Bowle may be two wayes alter'd from that motion which the impressed violence from the ar [...]e did direct it to▪ sometimes by an externall cause, a b [...]ke meeting and turning the course▪ ever by an internall, the sway and corrective of the Bias, which accompanies and slackens the impressed violence throughout all the motion. So is it in the turning of a man from sinne; A naturall man goes on with a full consent of heart, no bias [Page 314] in the will or affections to moderate or abate the vio­lence; only sometimes by chance he meetes with a con­victed judgement, or with a naturall conscience, which like a banke turnes the motion, or disappoints the heart in the whole pleasure of that sinne; but in another, where haplie he meetes with no such obstacle, he runnes his full and direct course. But now a spirituall man hath a Bias and Corrective of Grace in the same facultie where sin is, which doth much remit the violence, and at length turne the course of it. And this holdes in every sin, be­cause the Corrective is not casuall, or with respect onely to this or that particular, but is firmely fix'd in the parts themselves on which the impressions of sinne are made.

Thirdly, they differ in the manner or qualities of the conflict. For first, a naturall conflict hath ever Treacherie mixed with it, but a Spirituall conflict is faithfull and sound throughout; and that appeares thus. A Spirituall heart doth ever ground its fight out of the Word, labors much to acquaint it selfe with that, because there it shall have a more distinct view of the enemy, of his armies, holdes, supplies, traines, weapons, strategems. For a spirituall heart sets it selfe seriously to fight against every method, deceite, armor of lust, as well against the plea­sures, as the guilt of sinne. But a naturall heart hath a se­cretPraeterita, In­ [...]antia f [...]tura part obl [...]vione [...], p. [...] pe [...] [...] ser [...] [...] q [...]d­qua [...] & [...]. [...]. Hi­s [...]. l. [...] 3. treacherie and intelligence with the enemy, and therefore hates the light, and is willingly ignorant of the forces of sinne, that it may have that to alledge for not making opposition. There is in every naturall man in sinning a disposition very suteable to that of Vitellius, who used no other defences against the ruine which ap­proached him, but onely to keepe out the memory and report of it with fortifications of mirth and sottishnesse, that so he might be deliver'd from the paines of preser­ving himselfe. Thus the naturall conscience finding the warre against sinne to be irkesome, that it may bee de­liver'd from so troublesome a businesse, labours rather to [Page 315] stifle the notions, to suppresse and hold under the truth in unrighteousnesse, to strive, resist, dispute with the spi­rit, to be gladly gull'd and darkened with the deceites of sinne, then to live all its time in unpreventable and unfinishable contentions. Secondly, a naturall conflict is ever particular, and a spirituall universall against All sin, because it proceedeth from hatred which is ever [...],Arist. Rhetoric. lib. 2. cap. 4. as the Philosopher speakes, against the whole kinde of a thing. A naturall man may be angry with sinne, as a man with his wife or friend, for some present vexation and disquietnesse which it brings, and yet not hate it, for that reacheth to the very not being of a thing. And for a naturall man to have his lusts so overcome as not at all to be, would doubtlesse be unto him as painefull, as mutila­tion or dismembring to the naturall bodie; and there­fore if it were put to his choice in such termes as might distinctly set forth the painefulnesse and contrarietie of it to his present nature, he would undoubtedly refuse it, be­cause he should be destitute of a principle to live and move by: and every thing naturally desires rather to move by a principle of its owne, then by violent and for­raigne impressions, such as are those by which naturall men are moved to the wayes of God. And therefore the naturall conscience doth ever beare with some sinnes, if they be small, unknowne, secret, or the like, and hear­kens not after them. But the spirit holdes peace with no sin, fights against the least, the remotest, those which are out of sight. Paul against the sproutings and rebel­lionsRom. 7. 23. [...]. Cor. 12. 8. Psal. 19. 12. Ios. 6. 19. 21. Deut. 7. 2. Exod. 24. 12. of naturall Concupiscence, David against his secret sinnes, as Israel against Iericho and Ai and those other cities of Canaan; it suffers no Accursed thing to be refer­ [...]ed, it slayes as well women and children as men of warre, lest that which remaines should be a snare to de­ceive, and an engine to induce more. The naturall con­science shootes onely by aime, and levell against some sins, and spares the rest, as Saul in the slaughter of the Ama­lekites. 1. Sam. 15. [...] [Page 314] [...] [Page 315] [Page 316] But the spirituall shootes not onely by levell a­gainst particular notorious sinnes, but at randome too against the whole army of sinne, and by that meanes doth peradventure wound and weaken lusts which it did not distinctly observe in it selfe, by complaining unto God against the bodie of sinne, by watching over the course and frame of the heart, by acquainting it selfe out of the Word with the armour and devices o [...] Satan, &c. The opposition then betweene the naturall conscience and sinne is like the opposition betweene fire and hard­nesse in some subjects; the conflict betweene the spiritu­all conscience and sinne is like the opposition betweene fire and coldnesse. Put mettall into the fire, and the heat will dissolve and melt it, but put a bricke into the fire, and that will not melt nor soften (because the consisten­cie of it doth not arise Ex causâ frigidà, but siccâ) butVid. Arist. de Meteor. l. 4. c. 7. put either one or other into the fire and the coldnesse of it will be removed; and the reason is because betweene fire and hardnesse there is but a particular opposition in some cases, namely where a thing is hard out of a domi­nion of cold as in mettals, not out of a dominion of dry qualities as in bricke and stones; but betweene fire and coldnesse there is an universall opposition. So a naturall conscience may peradventure serve to dissolve or weaken, in regard of outward practice some sinnes, but never All; whereas a spirituall reacheth to the remitting and abating every lust▪ because the one is onely a particular the other an universall opposition Thirdly, the naturall conscience fights against sinne with fleshly weapons, and therefore is more easily overcome by the subtiltie of Satan, such as are servile feare, secular ends, carnall disadvantages, generall reason, and the like; but the spirituall conscience ever fights with spirituall weapons out of the Word, Faith, Prayer, Hope, Experience Watchfulnesse, Love, godly Sorrow, Truth of heart &c.

Fourthly, they differ in their Effects. First, a natural [Page 317] conflict consists with the practice of many sinnes unque­stioned, unresisted; but a spirituall changeth the course and tenor of a mans life, that as by the remainders of the flesh the best may say, We cannot doe the things which we Gal. 5. 17. would: So by the first fruits of the spirit, and the seede of God, it may be truely said, They cannot sinne. For1. Ioh 3. 9, 10. though they doe not attaine a perfection in the manner, yet for the generall current and course of their living it is without eminent, visible, and scandalous blame. Second­ly, the naturall is onely a combate, there is no victory fol­lowes it, sinne is committed with delight and persisted in still; but the spirituall diminisheth the power and strength of sinne. Thirdly, the naturall if it doe over­come, yet it doth onely represse or repell sinne for the time; like the victory of Saul over Agag▪ it is kept alive, & hath no hurt done it, but the spirituall doth mortifie, crucifie, subdue sinne. Some plaisters skinne, but they do not cure, give present ease, but no abiding remedie against the roote of the disease: so some attempts against sinne may onely for the present pacifie, but not truely clense the conscience from dead workes. Fourthly, the naturall makes a man never a whit the stronger against the next assault of Temptation, whereas the spirituall begets usu­ally more circumspection, prayer, faith, humiliation, growth, acquaintance with the depth and mysteries of sinne, skill to manage the spirituall armour, experience of the truth, power, and promises of God, &c.

Lastly, they differ in their end. The naturall is onely to pacifie the clamors of an unquiet conscience, which ever takes Gods part, and pleads for his service against the sinnes of men. The spirituall is with an intent to please and obey God, and to magnifie his Grace which is made perfect in our weakenesse.

Now for a word of the third Case, Why every sinne doth not raigne in every wicked man? for answere where­unto we must, First, know that Properly it is originall sinne [Page 318] which raignes, and this king is very wise, and therefore sends forth into a man members and life, as into seve­rall provinces, such vicero [...]es, such actuall sinnes, as may best keepe the person in peace and encouragement, as may least disquiet his estate, and provoke rebellion. Se­condly, we are to distinguish betweene the Raigne of sinne, actuall, and vi [...]tuall, or in praeparatione animi; for if the state of the king requires it, a man will be apt to obey those commands of [...]ust, which now haply his heart ri­seth against, as savage and belluine practices, as we see in Hazael. Thirdly, though Originall sinne be equall in All and to all purposes, yet Actuall sinne for the most p [...]t followes the temper of a mans minde, bodie, place, calling, abilities, estate, conversings, relations, and a world of the like variable particulars. Now as a river would of it selfe, caeteris paribus, goe the neerest way unto the sea, but yet according to the qualities and exigencies of the earth through which it passeth, or by the arts of men, it is croo­ked and wried into many turnings: So Originall si [...]e would of it selfe carry a man the neerest way to hell, through the midst of the most divellish and hideous abo­minations; but yet meeting with severall tempers and conditions in men, it rather chooseth in many men the safest then the speediest way, carries them in a compasse, by a gentler and a blinder path, then through such noto­rious and horrid courses, as wherein having hell still in their view, they might haply be brought some time or other to start backe and bethinke themselves. But lastly and principally the different administration of Gods ge­nerall restraining Grace (which upon unsearchable and most wise and just reasons he is pleased in severall mea­sures to distribute unto severall men) may bee conceived a full reason, why some men are not given over to the rage and frenzie of many lusts, who yet live in a volun­tary and plenary obedience unto many others.

To conclude, By all this which hath beene spoken we [Page 319] should bee exhorted to goe over unto Christ, that wee may be translated from the power of Sathan; for he on­ly is able to strike through these our kings in the day of his wrath. Consider the issue of the raigne of sinne, (wherein it differs from a true King, and sympathizeth with Tyrants, for it intendeth mischiefe and misery to those that obey it.) First, sinne raignes unto Death, that which is here called the raigne of sinne, [...]s before called the raigne of Death, and the raigne of sinne unto Death. Rom. 5. 17. 21. Rom. 6. 16. Secondly, Sinne raigneth unto feare and bondage, by reason of the death which it brings, Heb. 2. 15. Thirdly, Sinne raigneth unto shame, even in those who escape both the death and bondage of it. Fourthly, It raigneth without any fruite, hope, or benefit, What fruit had you then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? Rom. 6. 21. Lastly the raigne of sin is but momentary, at the length both it selfe and all its subjects shall be subdued. The World passeth away, and the lusts thereof, but he that doth the Will of God abideth for ever. 1. Ioh. 2. 17. Of Christs Kingdome there is no end. We shall reape if we faint not. Our combate is short, our victorie is sure, our Crowne is safe, our triumph is eter­nall, his Grace is All-sufficient here to helpe us, and his Glory is All-sufficient hereafter to reward us.

THE POLLVTION OF SINNE, AND VSE OF THE PROMISES.

2. COR. 7. 1.‘Having therefore these Promises (dearely beloved) Let us clense our selves from all filthinesse of the flesh and spirit, Perfecting holinesse in the feare of God.’

HAving set forth the State, Guilt, and Po­wer of Sinne, I shall now in the last place for the further opening the excee­ding sinfulnesse thereof, discover the pol­lution and filthinesse which therefrom both the flesh and spirit▪ the Body and Soule doe con­tract.

The Apostle in the former chapter had exhorted the Corinthians to abstaine from all communion with Idola­ters, and from all fellowship in their evill courses. Seve­rall arguments he useth to enforce his exhortation. First [Page 321] from the Inequality of Christians and unbeleevers, Bee not yee unequally yoked with unbeleevers, v. 14. It hath a relation to the Law of Moses, which prohibited to plow with an Oxe and an [...] Asse, or to put into one yoke things disproportionable. Secondly, from their contra­rietse, and by consequence uncommunicablenesse to each other, there is as everlasting and unreconciliable an ha­tred betweene Christ and Be [...]al, righteousnesse and un­righteousnesse, as betweene light and darknesse, ver. 14. 15. Thirdly, from those pretious and excellent Promises which are made to Christians, they are the Temples of God, his people, and peculiar inheritance, h [...] is their Fa­ther, and they his Sonnes and daughters, ver. 16, 17, 18. And there are many reasons in this one argument drawn from the Promises to inferre the Apostles conclusion. First, by that unction and consecration whereby they are made Temples unto God▪ they are separated from pro­fane Discamus ex h [...]c p [...]rte san­ctam superb [...]am, [...]ctamus nos esse [...] m [...]liores. H [...]erom▪ Ep. Psal 4. 3. uses▪ designed to Divine and more noble imploy­ments, sealed and set apart for God himselfe, and there­fore they must not be profaned by the uncleane touch of evill society. Secondly by being Gods Temples, they are l [...]fted to a new station, the eyes of men and Angels are upon them, they offend the weake, they blemish and deface their Christian reputation, they justifie, comfort, encourage, settle the wicked in their sinfull courses, by a deepe pollicie of the deceitfull heart of man, apt to build u [...]grounded presumptions of safety to it s [...]lfe, by the fel­lowship of such whom it conceives to be in a good condi­tion. Thirdly, they involve themselves in the common calamities with those with whom they communicate. It Israel had not separated themselves from▪ Egypt by the blood of the Paschall Lambe, but h [...]d communicated with them in their idolat [...]y, they should have felt the sword of the destroying▪Angell in their houses, as well as the Egyptians. If upon hostility betweene nations, war­ningGr [...]g. Tho [...]s. de Rep [...]b. lib. [...] 1. be given by an adversary to all strangers to voyde [Page 322] the place which he commeth against, and they take not the summons; though of themselves they bee no way engaged upon the quarrell, yet being promiscuously mingled with the conquer'd people, they also shall share in the common calamity, and become captives with the rest: so good men by communion with the wicked, are involved in the generall miseries of those with whom they communicate. Fourthly, they betray the safety and tranquillitie of the Church and state wherein they live; for they under Christ are the foundations of the com­mon wealth, their prayers establish the Princes throne, their cryes hold God fast and will not let him alone, to destroy a people. If the Salt bee infatuated, every thing must be unsavoury, if the foundations faile, what can the people doe?

Now lastly, in the words of the Text the Apostle shewes the aptnesse of the promises to clense and purifie, and that therefore they to whom they are made do mis­imploy and neglect them, if they purifie not themselves from all that filthynesse of flesh and spirit which by com­munion with the wicked they were apt easily to con­tract.

I shall not trouble you with any division of the words, but observe out of them the point I have proposed, Tou­ching the pollution and filthinesse of sinne,▪ and inferre other things in the Text by way of corolarie and application unto that.

The wise man saith That God made all things beauti­full in their time, and then much more man, whom hee created after his owne Image in righteousnesse and holy­nesse with an universall harmony & rectitude in soule and body. Hee never said of any of the Crea [...]ures, Let u [...] make it after our o [...]ne Image as he did of Man, and yet the Creatures have no more beautie in them, then th [...]y have footesteps of the power, wisedome, and good­nesse of him that made them. How much more beau­tifull [Page 323] then was the soule of man, for whose service this whole glorious frame was erected, and who was filled with the knowledge and love of all Gods revealed Will? Now sinne brought confusion, disorder, vanity, both upon the whole Creation, and upon the Image of God in Men and Angels. What thing more glorious then an Angell, what more hideous then a Devill, and it was no­thing but sinne which made an Angell a Divell. What thing more beautifull and benigne then Heaven, what more horrid and mercilesse then Hell, and yet it was sin which drew aG [...]henna de coelo. Salvian. [...]. Chrys [...]in Rom. 1. Ho [...]. 4. Hell out of Heaven, even fire and brim­stone upon Gods enemies. What more excellent and befitting the hands of such a workman then an universall fulnesse and goodnesse in the whole frame of nature? What more base and unserviceable then emptinesse and disorder? And it is sinne which hath put chinkes into all the Creatures to let out their vertue, and hath brought vanitie and vexation of Spirit upon all things under the Sunne. In one word what more honourable then to ob­taine the end for which a thing is made? What more ab­horrid then to subsist in a condition infinitely more wo­full then not to be? and it is sin only which shall one time or other make all impenitent sinners wish rather to bee hurried into that fearefull gulfe of annihilation, and to be swallowed up in everlasting forgetfulnesse, then live with those markes of vengeance, under those mountainous and unsupportable pressures, which their sinnes will bring up­on them.

When we looke into the Scriptures to finde out there the resemblances of sinne, wee finde it compar'd to the most loath some of things. To the blood and pollution of a new borne childe, before it bee cut, washed, salted, or swadled▪ Ezek. 16. 6. To the rottennesse of a man in his Grave, The whole world lieth in mischiefe and sinne, 1. Ioh. 5. 19. even as a dead man in the slime, and rottennesse of his Grave. To that noysome steame and poysonous exha­lation [Page 324] which breath▪s from the mouth of an open sepul­cher, their throat is an open sepulcher▪ Ro [...]. 3. 13. that is, out of their throate proceedeth nothing but stinking and rotten communication, as the Apostle cals it. Eph. 4. 29. To the nature of Vipers, Swine, and Dogges, Luk. 3. 7.Phil▪ 3. 8. Rom [...]. [...]4. Iam. 3. 8. 1. Cor. 15. 65. Iam. 1. 21. 2 Pet. 2. 20▪ 2. Pet. 2. 20. To the dung or garbage, the poyson, sting, excrements, vomit of these filthy creatures; to a roote of bitternesse which defiloth many, Heb. 12▪ 15. to thorns and briers, which bring forth no other fruites but cu [...]ses, Heb. 6. 8. To the excrements of mettals, drosse, and re­probate silver, Ier. 6. 28. Ezek. 22 18. To the excrements of a boyling pot, a great scumme, Ezek. 24. 11. 12. To the worst of all diseases, sores, Esai. 1. 6. Rottennesse, 2. Tim. 3. 8. Gangrenes or leaprosies, 2. Tim. 2. 17. Plague and pestil [...]nee, 1. King. 8. 38. The menstruousnesse of a removed woman▪ Ezek. 36. 17. To a vessell in which there is no plea­sure, which is but the modest expression of that draught into which nature emptieth it selfe, Hos. 8. 8. And which is the summe of all uncleannesse, sinne in the heart is compar'd to the fire of hell, Iam. 3. 6. So that the pure eyes of God doe loath to see, and his nostrils to smell it, Zach. 11. 8. Amos. 5. 21. It makes all those that have eyes open, and judgements rectified to abho [...]re it in ot [...]ers. The wicked is an abomination to the righteous, Prov. 29. 27. When desperate wretches poure out their o [...]thes and execr [...]tions against Heaven, scorne and persecute the Word of Grace. count it basenesse and cowardise not to dare to bee desperately wicked, then every true heart mournes for their pride, compassionates their misery, defies their solicitations, declines their companies and courses, even as most infectious, serpentine, and hellish exhalations which poison the ay [...]e, and putrifie the earth upon which they [...]reade. And when God gives a man eyes to looke inward, unridgeth the Conscience, unbo▪ welleth the heart, stirreth up by his Word the sinke which is in every mans bosome, makes him smell the [Page 325] carrion of his owne dead workes, the uncleannesse of his evill Conscience, the filthinesse of his Nature, every man is then constrained to abhorre himselfe, to be loath­some in his owne sight, and to stoppe his nose at the poy­son of his owne sores, Ezek. 36. 31.

For the more particular discovery of this Truth, let us first looke upon the best workes of the best men. Though we say not that they are sins, and in naturarei culpable, as our adversaries charge us; yet so much evill doth ad­here unto them by the mixture of our corruptions, by passing through our hands, as when sweete water pas­seth through a sinke, as that God might justly turne a­way his eyes from his owne Graces in us, not as his Gra­ces, but as in us. It is true, the Spirituall off [...]rings andMal. 1▪ 10. Phil. 4. 18. Heb. 13. 16. Prov. 15. 8. sacrifices of the Saints, as they come from Gods Grace, are cleane and pure, a sweet savour, acceptable, well pleasing, and delightfull unto God. But yet as they come from us they have iniquitie in them, as not being done with that through and most exact conformitie to Gods Will, as his Iustice requires, and therefore if hee should enter into judgement, and marke what is done amisse, he might reject our Prayers, and throw backe the dung of our sacrifices into our faces, for abusing and defiling his Grace; For cursedis every one that continueth not in eve­rything written in the Law to doe it. Cleane then and ac­ceptable they are. First, comparatively in regard of wic­ked mens offerings, which are altogether uncleane. Se­condly, by favor and acceptance, because God spareth us as a father his sonne that desires to please him. Thirdly, (which is the ground of all) by participation with Christ, Eph. 1. 6. being perfum'd with his incense, being strained through his blood, being sanctified upon his Altar; When he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of gold, to purifie the sonnes of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, then shall they Mal. 3. 3, 4. off [...]r unto the Lord an off [...]ring in righteousnesse, then shall the offerings of Iudah and Ierusalem bee pleasant unto the [Page 326] Lord. But in it selfe ou [...] best righteousnesse is as a m [...]n­struous ragge. If God should lay righteousnesse to theEsai. 64▪ 6. line and judgement to the plummet, should take such ex­ceptions as he justly might at the most holy action that any Saint can offer to him; If hee should shew the con­science how short it falls of that totall perfection which his pure eye requires, how many loose thoughts, how much deadnesse, wearinesse, irreverence, diffidence, vi­tiat [...]th o [...]r purest prayers; how many by ends, corrupt respects, ignorances, oversights, forgetfulnesse, worldly intermixtures deface and blemish our brightest actions; how much unbeliefe consists with the strongest faith; how many thornes, stones, birds, doe haunt and cover the best ground, the most honest and good heart to stifle and steale away the word from it; how many weedes doe mingle with the purest corne; how much ignorance in the sublimest judgements; how much vanitie in the severest and exactest mindes; how much loosenesse and digressions in the most sadde and composed thoughts; how many impertinencies and irregularities in the most bridled and restrained tongue; how much mispence of the seasons and opportunities of Grace in the most thrifty redemption of our time; how much want of Compassion and melting affections in our greatest almes; of love to the truth, and right acceptation of the beautifull [...] of peace in our largest contributions; how much selfe­allowance and dispens [...]tion to iterate, and re [...]erate ou [...] smaller errors; if in these and a world of the like advan­tages God should be exact to marke what is done [...], who were able to stand in his presence, or abide his com­ming? Say the papists what they will of merit of con [...]ig­nitie, commensurate to eternall life▪ and proportionable to the Iustice and [...]everest scrutinie of the most pure and jealous God▪ yet let the Conscience of the Holies [...] of them all bee summon'd to single out the most pure and merito [...]ious worke which he ever did, and with that to [Page 327] ioyne issue with Gods Iustice to perish or be saved accor­ding as that most perfect of all his workes shall appeare [...]ighteous or impure; and I dare presume none of them would let their salvation runne a hazard upon that triall. So then there is pollution by way of adherencie and con­tact in the h [...]st workes of the best men.

How much more then in the best workes of unregene­rate men? Their sacrifices uncleane and abominable be­fore God, being offered upon the Altar of a defiled con­science, Prov. 15. 8. Tit. 1. 15. Their prayers and solemne meeting [...]hatefull, loathsome▪ impious, Esai. 1▪ 13, 14, 15. For either they are but the howlings of [...]flicted men, that crie out for paine, but not out of love, Hos. 7. 14. or the babling of carelesse [...]nd secure men, that cry Lord, Lord, and mumble a few words without further notice, like Balaams As [...]e, Math. 7▪ 21. or the wishings and wouldings of inordinate men, that pray for their lusts and not for their soules, Iam 4. 3. Or lastly the bold and unwarranted intrusions of presumptuous men, who without respect to the Word, Promises, or Conditions of God▪ would haue mercie from him without grace, and forgivenesse of sinne without for saking of sinne. Their mercies are cruell mer­cies; their profession of religion but a forme of godlinesse, 2. Tim. 3. 5. All as I said before but the embalming of a carcasse, which abates nothing of the hideousnesse of it in the sight of God.

And now if the best workes of wicked men are so un­cleane and full of filthinesse in Gods eyes, where then shall appeare their confessed sinnes? If their prayers and devotions stinke, how much more their oathes and exe­crations? If their sacrifices and that which they offer to God is vnclean, how uncleane is their sacriledge and that which they steale from him? If their mercies be cruell, how cruel their malice, murthers, br [...]beries, oppressions▪ If there be so much filthinesse in their profession, how much more in their persecution, in their reviling and scorning [Page 328] of the wayes of God? If their fastings and maceration be sinfull and not unto the Lord, Zach. 7. 5. What is their drunkennesse, their spuing and staggering, their clamors and uncleannesse, all their cursed complements and cere­monies of damnation?

O consider this all yee that have hitherto forgotten God! Remember that his eyes are purer then alwayes to behold iniquitie; Remember that his spirit will not alwaies strive with flesh! Admire his bottomlesse patience, which hath thus long suffered thee an uncleane vessel to pollute thy selfe and others, and forborne thee with more pati­ence then thou could'st have done a Toade, or Serpent, then which notwithstanding in his sight thou art farre more uncleane: And Remember that his Patience is Sal­vation, and should lead thee to repentance! Consider, that the Law of the Lord is pure, and his feare cleane, and his holynesse beautifull, the garments with which he clo­theth his Priests, garments of comelynesse and prayse, made for glory and beauty; he comes with fire and sope, with water and blood to heale our sores, to purge our un­cleannesse. But now if there be lewdnesse in our filthinesse, obstinacie in our evill wayes; if it suffice us not to have thus long wrought the will of the Gentiles, let us with feare consider those wofull denunciations: Let him Revel. 22. 11. Hos. 4 13. Ezek. 24. 13. that is filthy be filthy still: Ephraim is ioyned to Idols let him alone: Because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not bee purged from thy sinnes any more, till I have caused my furie to rest upon thee.

We have considered the Quod s [...], that sinne is full of filthinesse and pollution. I will but name the Quid [...]it, What this filthinesse is. It hath Two things belonging to the nature of it. First, a privation of the nitor or beauty Aquin▪ 1. 2. qu. [...]6. artic. 1. which the image of God brought into the soule with it. A difformity to the holinesse and brightnesse of the Law. The Law was both Holy and Good, not onely the Rule but the beauty of our life and nature. So that as evill is [Page 329] a declination and swarving from the Law as a Rule, so it is sinne, and as it is a swarving from the Law as our beau­ty, so it is the staine and pollution of the soule. Secondly, it notes a positive foulenesse, an habituall (both naturall and contracted) defilednesse of minde and conscience, an introducing of the image of Satan, hideous markes of hel­lishnesse and deformity in the soule, body and conver­sation. Every desire, motion, and figment of the heart being nothing but the exhalations of an open sepulcher, the dampe and steame of a rotten soule.

Now in the last place let us see the Quale sit, those Evill Properties which accompanie this pollution. Foure woefull qualities belong unto it. First, it is a deepe pol­lution of a Crimson dye, of a skarlet tincture that will not weare out. Esai. 1. 18. Like the spots of a Leopard, or the blicknesse of an Ethiopian, which is not by way of ac­cidentall or externall adherencie, but innate and con­temper'd, belonging to the constitution. Ier. 13. 23. It is engraven upon their heart, written with an iron pen, and the claw of a diamond, and so fashion'd even in the very substance of the soule. Ier. 17. 1. It is an iniquitie mar­ked, which cannot bee washed away with niter and much sope, no more then markes imprinted and incorporated in the substance of a vessell. Ier. 2. 22. The whole inun­dation and deluge of Noah could not wash it of from the earth, but it return'd againe. A showre of fire and brimstone from heaven hath not so clensed it out of the country of Sodome, but that the venome and plague of it doth still there appeare in a poisonous and stinking l [...]ke. The plague which came amongst the Israelites for the abominations of Baal Peor had not clensed the fil­thinesse all away, but many yeeres after the staine re­mained, Ios. 22. 17. Nay, the very flames of Hell shall not in all eternity be able to eate out the prints, or to fetch away the staines of the smallest sinnes from the nature of man. Nay, which is yet stronger then all this, [Page 330] though Grace be of it selfe apt to wipe out, and conquer sinne, yet that measure and portion of Grace which here the best receive, though it may shorten, weaken, abate, yet it doth not utterly roote [...]t out. Who can say I have made my heart cleane, I am free from my sinnes? The best of us have yet our sores running upon us, and stand i [...] neede of a garment to cover our pollutions.

Secondly, It is an universall pollution. I said unto thee when thou wast In thy bloud, live. We are by nature all overdrown'd and plung'd in the filthinesse of sinne. The Apostle here cals it filthinesse of flesh and spirit, to note the compasse of the staine of sinne. For notwithstanding some sinnes belong principally to the spirit, as pride, he­resie, idolatry, superstition, &c. and others to the flesh, as drunkennesse, gluttonie, uncleannesse, &c. yet certaine it is that every sinne defiles both flesh and spirit, by theAdeo non sol [...] anima transigit v [...]tam, ut nec cog [...]atus, licet solos, licet no [...] ad effectum per [...] dedu­ctos, [...] a [...].— [...]ine opere, & sine effect [...], cog [...]atus, [...] Aclus. T [...]t [...]e [...]. carn [...]s cap. 14. reason of their mutuall dependencie in being and working, and of the contagious quality of sinne. Sinnes of the flesh soake and sinke and eate in to the bottome of the spirit, to drowne that with hardnesse, insensibility, errour, secu­rity, inconsideratenesse, contempt of God, &c. and the sinnes of the spirit breake out like plague sores into the flesh, pride into the eye, malice into the hand, heresie [...] to the tongue, superstition and idolatry into the knee, &c. the soule and body have so neere communion, that one can no more sinne al [...]e without the contagion of the other, then one wheele in an Engine move without the motion of the other.

Thirdly, it is a spreading pollution. A leprosie, a gan­grene, a plague, that diffuseth poison and infection upon others. First, it spreades in a mans selfe. An evill lust will infect the thoughts, and they the desires, and they the words and actions, and they grow into habits and reflect backe againe upon the heart and conscience to harden and defile them. Secondly, this infection staies not in a mans selfe onely, but runnes forth upon others, to leade [Page 331] and misguide them; we will certainely doe as we have done, We and our kings, our princes, and our fathers, in theIer. 44. 17. cities of Iudah and in the streetes of Ierusalem. To drive and compell them; why compellest thou the Gentiles to live Gal 2. 14. Ezek. 16. 52. 54 2 Sam. 12. 14. as doethe Iewes? To comfort and hearten them; Thou hast justified, and art a comfort to thy sisters Sodome and Sa­maria. To exasperate and enrage them; Thou hast given 1. King. 13. 18. occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme. To deceive and seduce them, as the old Prophet of Bethel did theIer 9. 14. Prophet of the Lord by his lie. To teach and instruct them; the Israelites by their idolatry taught their children to walke after Baalim. And by how much the more au­thority over the persons of men, or emmencie of place, or reputation of piety any man hath, by so much the more spreading and infectious are his sinnes, being taken with the more trust and assurance. If a minister be loose and scandalous, a magistrate carelesse and rustie, a gen­tleman rude a [...]d uncleane, a man that professeth the power of godlinesse, unjust and worldly, strange it is how the lower and more ignorant ranke of men, who be­leeve that surely such men as these are not by their places so farre from, or by their learning and studies so unac­quainted with God as they, will be hereby strengthned in their deadly and formall courses. Thirdly (which is yet worse) the vory godly are apt to be infected by the sinnes of the wicked. It is not so strange to see a godly man mis­guided and seduc'd by the errours of others like himselfe, the estimation of whose persons may over-rule the opiniō of their actions, and so make a man take them upon trust from them. But that a Holy man should carch infection from the example of another who is in the gall of b [...]ter­nesse, is a thing that wonderfully sets f [...]th the corrupti­on of our nature, and the contagion of sin [...]e. The sonnes of God saw the daughters of men, and were polluted, the people of Israel saw the Midianitish women and were en­snared. A Holy mans conversing with loose, carnall [Page 332] and formall men, diswonts him from the wayes of God, brings a deadnesse of spirit, and insensible decay of grace upon him secretly, and therefore the more dangerously conveyes a mediocritie and compliancie of Spirit with formes onely of godlinesse and pharisaicall outsides, be­gets much dispensation and allowance in many errours, that he may keepe pace, and not seeme too austere, cen­sorious, and ill conceited of the men whom hee walkes with. Therefore David would not suffer a wicked man to be in his presence, nor any wicked thing to be before his Psal. 101. 3. eyes, lest it should cleave unto him. Take heede, saith the Apostle, lest any roote of bitternesse springing up trouble Heb. 12. 15. you, and thereby many be defiled. Fourthly, it spreads not onely upon men, but defiles and curses the good Creatures of God about us; It puts a leprosie into the stone in the Zach. 5. 4. wall, and the beame in the house, barrennesse into the Ier. 12. 4. earth, mourning into the Elements, consumption into the Rom 8. 20, 21. 2. Pet. 3. 10, 11. Beasts and Birds, bondage, vanitie, griefe, and at last combustion and dissolution upon the whole frame of nature.

Fourthly, it is a mortall & apoysonous pollution, the pol­lution of deadly sores, & putrifactions. I said unto thee in Ezek. 16. 6. thy blood live, yea I said unto thee in thy blood live. It notes that that estate wherein they were in their sinnes, was so deadly, that the cure of them was very difficult, it requi­red the repetition of Gods power and mercie. If a childe new borne should lie exposed in its blood to the injurie of a cold ayre, not have the Navell cut, nor the body wrapp'd, or wash'd, or tended at all, how quickly would it be that from the wombe of the mother it would drop into the wombe of the Earth? The state of sinne is an estate of nakednesse, blood, impotencie, obnoxiousnesse to all the temptations and snares of Sathan, to all the darts of death and hell. The ancients compare it to fal­ling into a pit full of dirt and stones, a man is not onely polluted, but hee is bruized and wounded by it. To con­clude, [Page 333] there is no deformity nor filthines extant which did not rise from sinne. It is sin which puts bondage into the Creature, which brings discords and deformities upon the face of Nature. It is sin which put devilishnesse into Angels of Heaven, and hurried them downe from their first habi­tation. It is sin which put a sting into death, without which though it kil yet it cannot curse. It is sin which puts fire in­to Hell, and supplies unto all eternitie the fuell & materials for those unextinguishable slames. It is sin which puts hell into the Conscience and armes a man with terrours and a­mazements against himselfe. It is sin which puts rottennes and dishonour into the grave; he that died without sin rose up without corruption. It is sinne which wrings out those clamors and grones of bruit creatures, which wrestle under the curse of Adams fall. It is sin which enrageth and mad­deth one beast against another, and one man against ano­ther, & one nation against another. It is sin which brought shame and dishonor upon that nakednesse unto which all the Creatures in Paradise did owe awe and reverence. It is sin which turn'd Sodom into a stinking lake, and Ierusalem the glory of the Earth, into a desolation and haunt for Owles and Bitterns. It is sinne which so often staineth Heauen and Earth with the markes of Gods vengeance, and which will one day roule up in darkenesse, and de­voute with fire, and reduce to its primitive confusion the whole frame of nature. It is sinne which puts horror into the Law, makes that which was at first a Law of life and liberty to be a Law of bondage and death, full of weak­nesse, unprofitablenesse, hideousnesse, and curses. It is sinne which puts malignity and venome into the very Gos­pell, making it a savor of Death unto Death, that is, of another deeper death and sorer condemnation, which by trampling upon the blood of Christ wee draw upon our selves, unto that death under which wee lay before by the malediction of the Law. And lastly (which is the highest that can bee spoken of the ve [...]ome of [...]. [Page 334] It is sinne which, in a sort, and to speake after the man­ner of men, hath put hatred into God himselfe, hath mo­ved the most mercifull, gratious and compassionate Cre­ator, to hate the things which he made, and not to take pittie upon the workes of his hands. If God had look'd round about his owne workes, hee could have found no­thing but Goodnesse in them, and theresore nothing but Love in himselfe. But when sinne came into the World, it made the Lord repent, and grieve, and hate, and destroy his owne workmanship.

And the consideration hereof should drive us all like Lepers and polluted wretches to that Fountaine in Is­raell which is opened for sinne and for uncleannesse, to buy of him white rayment that wee may be clothed, and the shame of our nakednesse may not appeare. For which purpose we must first finde out the pollution of sinne in our selves, and that is by using the Glasse of the Law, which was published of purpose to make sinne appeare excee­ding sinfull. For as rectum is sui index & obliqui so pu­rum is sui index & impuri, That which is right and pure is the measure and discovery of that which is crooked and impure. Now the Law is Right, Pure, Holy, l [...]st, Good, Lovely, Honourable, Cleane; and therefore very apt to discover the contrary affections and properties in sinne. And having gotten by the Law acquaintance with our selves, there is then fit place for the Apostles precept, To cleanse our selves from all filthinesse of flesh and spirit. First the Lord discovered the preposterousnesse of Isra­els services unto him, when they came before him inEsai. 1. 15. 18. their uncleannesse, and lifted up hands full of blood, and then comes the like precepts to the Apostles here, wash ye, make ye cleane, put away the evill of your doings from before mine eyes, &c.

But can an uncleane thing cleanse it selfe? Can that which is intrinsecally, naturally, inherently uncleare purifie it selfe? It may pollute any thing which touch­eth [Page 335] it, but how can it cease from that which belongs to its nature, or wipe out that which hath eaten in, and is marked in its very substance? It is true of our selves wee cannot cleanse our selves, It is Christs Office to SanctifieEzek. 16. 14. his Church, and it is His comlynesse with which wee are adorned, without him we can doe nothing; but yet having Aug. De peccat. merit. & Remis. lib. 2. cap. 5. him we must wash our selves. For God worketh not up­on men as a carver upon a stone when he would induce the shape and proportions of a man, but yet leaves it a stone still and no more; but as himselfe did worke upon Earth in Paradise when hee breath'd into it the Soule of man, and so made it a Living Creature. It is true a natu­rall man is as dead to grace as a stone is to naturall life, and therefore if onely man should worke upon him hee would continue as dead still; but hee who of dead Earth made a living man, is able of stones to raise up children unto Abraham, and the worke of conversion is a worke of vivification. Now then being quickned, we must walke Ezek. 11. 19, 20. and worke our selves. I will take away, saith the Lord, the sto [...]ie heart out of their flesh, and I will give them an heart of flesh, that they may walke in my statutes, &c. So then God commands us to cleanse our selves when yet it is his owne worke. First, to teach us that what he doth is not out of dutie or debt, but of Grace and Favour for when he doth that which he commands, it is manifest that ours was the duty, and therefore his the great [...]r mercy, to give us mony wherewith to pay him the debt we owed. Thou workest allour workes for us, saith the Prophet. TheEsai. 26. 12. worke as it is a dutie is ours, but as it is a performance it is thine. Secondly, He doth it to shew that though hee be the Author and finisher of our Faith, though he whoHeb 12. 1. Phil. 1. 6. beginneth our good workes doth also performe them untill the day of Christ, yet he will not have us abide al­wayes under his hand as dead stones, but, being quick­ned, and healed by his Spirit, and having our impoten­cies remooved, we likewise must cooperate and move to [Page 336] the same end with him; for he doth not so worke for us, but hee withall gives us a will and a deede to concurre with him to the same actions, As wee have received Christ, so wee must walke in him. Thirdly, to shew usPhil. 2. 13. where wee must fetch our cure, to teach us that hee will bee sought unto by us, and that wee must rely upon his Power and Promises. Therefore Hee commandeth us the things which we cannot doe, that we might know of whom Ideo jubet quae non po [...]sumus, ut nove [...]imus quid ab illo petere de­beamus. Ipsa enim est sides quae [...] im petrat quod l x impera [...] Aug. de Gra. & lib. [...]. c. [...]5. Ezek. 18. 30. to begge them, for it is Faith alone which obtaineth by Prayer that which the Law requireth onely but cannot effect, by reason of the weaknesse of it. In one place the Lord commandeth, cast away from you all your transgres­sions, and make you a new heart and a new spirit. In ano­ther place he promiseth, I will sprinkle cleane water upon you, and you shall be cleane from all your filthinesse and from all your idols will I cleanse you; A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stonie heart out of your flesh. and will give you an heart of flesh. How can these things consist toge­ther, He commands us to doe that which hee promiseth to doe himselfe? but onely to shew that God gives what he requires. The things which he bids us doe, (as if they were to bee the workes of our owne will, and being in­deede the duties which we owe) yet he promiseth to doeNos non faci­ [...] ut [...] [...]aci­at quae pro [...]sit; sed ill [...] [...] ut nos [...] praecepit. Aug. in us, to shew that they are the workes of his grace, and that his promises are the foundation of all our performan­ces. For wee by working doe not cause him to fulfill his promises, but hee by promising doth enable us to per­forme our workes. So then wee cleanse our selves by the strength of his promises, they are the principles of our Purification. This the Apostle expresseth in the text. Having therefore these promises (dearely beloved) Let us cleanse our selves.

This then is the next thing wee must inquire into, wherein the strength of this argument lies, and how a man ought to make use of the promises to inferre and [Page 337] presse upon his conscience this dutie of clansing himselfe. Here then first we must note, that promises doe containe the matter of rewards, and are for the most part so pro­posed unto us. Abating onely the first promise of ca [...]ing unto the obedience of Faith, which I conceive is rather made unto Christ in our behalfe (Aske of me and I will give thee the heath [...]n for thine inheritance and the utter­most parts of the earth for thy possession) then unto us for­mally, because the seede of Abraham are the subject of the promises, I say excepting onely that, I conceive all other promises to beare in them the nature of a reward, and so to carry relation to presupposed Services. For benefits have usually burdens and engagements with them, so that promises being the representation of re­wards, and rewards the consequents of service, and all services being generally comprehended in this of clean­sing our selves from all [...]ilthinesse, and of finishing holinesse in Gods feare, manifest it is that the promises are in this re­gard fit arguments to induce our dutie. The Gospell which is the Word of Promise hath an obedience annex­ed2. Thess. 1. 8. unto it, which the Apostle cals the Obedience of the Gospell: And Faith being the hand to receive the pro­mises hath an obedience annexed vnto it likewise, whichRom. 1. 5. 16. 23. the same Apostle cals the obedience of Faith, for it is not only a hand to receive, but a hand to worke. To live to our selves, and yet lay claime to the promis [...]s, is to make God a lyer, not to beleeve the record which hee gives of himselfe, that he will not cast away pretious things upon swine. His promises are free in fier [...], made onely out of Grace, but conditionall in facto esse, performed and ac­complished with dependance upon duties in us. God is 2. Thess. 3. 3 [...]. Faithfull, saith the Apostle, who shall stablish you and keep you from evill, there is the promise, and we are confident that you will doe the things which we command you there is the duty which that promise cales for. When we pray, Give us our dayly bread, by saying, Give us, we acknow­ledge [Page 338] that it is from God, but when wee call i [...] ours, wee shew how God gives it, namely in the use of meanes. For Bread is Ours, not onely in the right of the promise, I will not faile thee, nor forsake thee, but by service and2. The. 3. 11. 12. quiet working in an orderly calling.

Secondly, Promises are apt to purifie not onely as ar­guments to induce it, but likewise as efficiens causes and principles, being by Faith apprehended, of our Holynesse. And so the force of the reason is the fame, as if a rich man having given a great estate unto his sonne, should adde this exhortation, having received such gifts as these, and having now where withall to live in qualitie and worth, keepe your selfe in fashion like the Sonne of such a father.

Efficients they are. First, as tokens and expressions of Gods Love, for all Gods promises are grounded in his Love. His Iustice, Truth, ahd Fidelity are the reasons of fulfil­ling Promittendo se fecit debitorem. Aug. promises, because in them hee maketh himselfe our debtor (Therefore saith the Apostle, There is laid up for mee a Crowne of righteousnesse which God the righteous Iudge shall give unto me [...]; and againe, God is faithfull, 2. Tim. 4. 8. 1. Cor. 10. 13. Heb. 10. 23. who will not suffer you to bee tempted, and faithfull is hee that hath promised, who also will doe it; and Saint Iohn, If we confesse our sinnes, he is faithfull and lust to forgive 1. Ioh. 1. 9. us our sinnes, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousnesse. One would thinke a man should rather feare the revenge then expect the forgivenesse of sinnes by Gods [...]ustice, but God is as Iust in performing the mercy which Hee promiseth, as in executing the vengeance which he threat­neth. So then Iustice and Fidelity are the reasons of ful­filling promises, but Gods Love and Mercy is the onely rea­son Deut 7. 7, 8. of making promises. The Lord did not set his Love up­on you nor choose you (saith Moses to Israel) because ye were more in number then any people, but because the Lord Lo­ved you, that is the ground of making the promise, and be­cause he would keepe the oath which he had sworne to your [Page 339] fathers, that was the ground of performing his promise. For thy Words sake, and according to thine owne heart, saith2. Sam. 7. 18. 21. David, hast thou done all these great things. According to thine owne heart, that is, ex mero mot [...], out of pure and unexcited love, thou didst give thy Word and Promise, and for thy Word sake thou hast performed it, not for any thing that was in mee (for wh [...] am [...] O Lord, or what is my house?) hast thou brought me hitherto. Thou wilt performe, saith the Prophet, the Truth to Iacob, and the Mic. 7. 20. mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworne unto our fa­thers from the dayes of old; Why Truth to Iacob, and Mer­cy to Abraham? We must note, the promise after a sort began in Abraham (therefore he is call'd the Father of the Faithfull) and when God makes a promise, it is onely out of Mercie; but the Promise was continued unto [...]a cob, who being Abrahams seede was an hei [...]e of the Promise, and so the inheritance which was out of mercy given unto Abraham, did out of Truth and fidelitie des­cend unto Iacob, the seede of Abraham; and therefore we shall finde Covenant, Mercy, and Oath ioyned to­gether in the Scripture, to note unto us both the ground of making the Covenant, Mercy▪ and the ground of per­forming the Covenant made, the Truth and Fidelity of God. Thy God shall keepe unto thee the Covenant and the Deut. 7. 12. Mercy which he sware unto thy fathers, saith Moses. To performe the Mercy promised to our fathers, and to re Luk. [...]. 72, 73. member his holy Covenant, The oath which he sware to ou [...] father Abraham, &c. saith Zachary in his song. Th [...] wee see that the Promises are the tokens and fruits o [...] Gods meere Love▪ And in that regard they are apt to cleanse, or to moue us to any dut [...]e which God requires of us. For Love and mercy, being by faith apprehended▪ are strong arguments to love and feare God againe. is love him because he loved us, and they shall feare th [...] 1 Io [...] ▪ 4. 19. [...]. 3. 5. Lord and his goodnesse; the goodnesse of the Lord be­getteth feare, and that is all one as to cleanse and purifie [Page 340] for the feare of the Lord is cleane and pure. There is anPsal. 19. 9. Illa [...] Tim [...] viru [...] neveniat; illa T [...]men virum ne discedat. Illa, timeone damne [...]; illa, Timeone descrat Aug in [...]p. Iohan. uncleane feare, like that of the Adulteresse, who feareth her husband, lest hee should returne and deprehend her in her falsenesse to him; but the true feare of the Lord is cleane, like that of a chaste spouse who feareth the de­parture of her Love. There are none so destitute of huma­nity as not to answere Love for Love.

Secondly, Promises are the Efficient causes of our Pu­rification, as they are The grounds of our Hope and ex­pectations. Wee have no reason to Hope for any thing which is not promised, or upon any other conditions then as promised. Hope is for this reason in Scripture com­paredHeb. 6. 19. to an Anker both sure and stedfast, because it must have something of firmenesse and stabilitie to fasten up­on before it can secure the Soule in any tempest. To hope without a promise, or upon any promise otherwise then it stands, is but to let an Anker hang in the water, or catch in a Wave, and thereby to expect safetie to the Vessell. This argument the Apostle useth why we should not cast away our confidence, or slacken our hope, be­causeHeb. 10. 35, 36. there is a Promise, which by patience and doing the Will of God we may in due time receive, and which is a firme foundation for our Confidence to [...]est upon. So Abraham is said to have beleeved against hope in hope that Rom. 4. 18. hee should be the father of many nations and the ground of that hope is added, According to that which was spo­ken, to that word of Promise, [...]o shall thy se [...]de be. And else where he is said to have looked for a City which had Heb. 11. 10. foundations; that is a Citie which was built upon the Immutable stabilitie of Gods [...]ath and Promise. Thus we see Promises are the grounds of our Hop [...], and Hop [...] is of Tit. 2. 11, 12, 13. a cleansing nature. The Grace of God, saith the Apostle, teacheth as to deny [...] and worldly lusts, and to live [...]oberly, righteously▪ and Godly in this present World; the reason whereof is presently enforced, Looking for that blessed Hope, and the Glorious appearing of the great [Page 341] God. And againe, He that hath this hope in him, saith S. 1. Ioh. 3 3. Iohn, namely to bee like him at his comming, Purifieth himselfe even as He is Pure. Hee that hopeth to be fully like Christ hereafter, and to come to the measure of the stature of his fulnesse, will labour to his uttermost to bee as he was in this World. For a man hopes for nothing de futuro, which he would not presently compasse, if it were in his power. No man is to bee presum'd to Hope for the whole who hates any part, or to expect the fulnesse, who rejects the first fruites of the Spirit. He that loveth not his brother whom hee hath seene, how can hee love God 1. Ioh. 4. [...]. whom he hath not seene? That is, He that cannot endure nor looke on that little glimpse and ray of Holynesse which is in his brother, in one of the same passions, infir­mities and corruptions with himselfe, will much lesse be able to abide the light of the Sonne of righteousnesse, and that most orient, spotlesse, and vast Holynesse which is in him. The same reason holdes here, he that cannot en­deavour to purifie himselfe here, doth never truely hope to be like Christ hereafter. He that directs his course to­wards Yorke can never bee presumed to hope that hee shall by that journey get to London, when he knowes, or might easily be informed that it is quite the other way. And the truth is, no wicked man hath any true or a [...] saint1. Pet. 1. 3. Peter cal [...] it lively Hope to come to Heaven. Blind pre­sumptions, ignorant wishings and wouldings hee may have, but no true Hope at all. For that ever supposeth some knowledge and preapprehension of the Goodnesse of that which is Hoped for; and there is nothing in Hea­ven which wickedmen do not hate as very evill to them; the Presence of the most Holy God, the purity and brightnesse of his Glory, the Company of Christ Iesus and his Saints, &c. If they might be suffered first to have a view of it, and see what is there doing, what Divine and Holy imployments take up all the thoughts, de­sires, and powers of the blessed company there, they [Page 342] would abhorre no place more. Hope begets Love (whom 1. Pet. 1. 8. having not seene, ye love, saith the Apostle) Hope to bee like Christ hereafter will worke a love and desire to ex­presse so much as wee can of his Image here. Hee that longs for a thing will take any present occasion to get as much of it as he may together. Notably doth Saint Paul set forth this purifying propertie of hope in the promises. Phil 3. 13 20. I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Iesus. I am already appre­hended of Christ, he hath in his body carried me in hope vnto Heaven with him, and made mee sit together in Heavenly places, and this hope to come to him at last, to attaine to that price of the high calling of God in Christ Iesus, makes me presse, and pull, and strive by all meanes to attaine to perfection, to expresse a Heavenly conversa­tion in earth, because from thence I looke for a Saviour the Lord Iesus Christ: Hope (as we said) is an Anker, Our Anker is fix'd in heaven, our vessell is upon earth, now as by the Cable a man may draw his vessell to the Anker, so the Soule being fixed by hope vnto Christ, doth hale and draw it selfe neerer and neerer unto him.

Thirdly, Promises are the efficient causes of our puri­fication, as they are the objects of our Faith: For we dare not beleeve without Promises. Therefore Abra­ham Rom. 4. 19. 21. stagger'd not through unbeliefe, but gave glory to God, because he was fully perswaded, that what he had promised he was able to performe. It is not Gods power simply, but with relation to his Promise which secures our faith. So Sarah is said through faith to be deliver'dHeb. 11. 11. of a child being past age, because she judg'd him faith­full that had promised. Now by being Objects of faith, the Promises must needs cleanse from filthinesse; for faith Act. 15. 19. also hath a cleansing property, It purifieth the heart, and worketh by love, and looketh upon the things promised as desireable things, rejoyceth in them, and worketh ho­mogeneall and sutable affections unto them. Againe, [Page 343] we must note, That sinne comes seldome without Promi­ses to pollute us, begets vast expectations and hopes of Good from it. Balaam was whet and enliven'd by pro­mises to curse Gods people; The Strumpet in the Pro­verbes, that said to the young man, Come let us take our fill of loves, conceiv'd most adequate satisfaction toProv 7 18. her adulterous lusts by that way. This was the delusion of the rich foole in his Epicurisme, Soule take thine [...]ase, Luk. 1 [...]. 19. eate, drinke, and be merry, for thou hast much laid up for many yeeres: Of the Iewes in their Idolatries to theIer. 44. 17. Hos. 2. 5. Queene of heaven, because that would afford them plenty of victuals, and make them see no evill: Of Ge­hazies foolish heart, who promised to himselfe Olive­yards2. King. 5. 26. and Vineyards, and sheepe and Oxen, and men­servants and maide servants by his officious lie. And this was one of the divels master pieces when he tempted Christ, All these will I give thee, if thou wilt fall downe and worship me. Thus we see sinne seldome comes with­out promises to seduce and pollute the soule. And yet the Truth is these promises cannot hold up the hope of any man. When a man hath wearied himselfe in the pursuitEsai. 57. 10. Rom. 6. 21. Act. 13. 34. Gal. 3. 15. 16. Heb. 6. 17. 18. Psal. 110. 4. of them, yet still there is lesse hope at last then at first. But now faith fixing upon sure mercies, upon promises which cannot be abrogated or disannull'd (being made i [...]eversible by the oath of God, who after hee hath sworne cannot repent) and seeing not onely stabilitie, but pretiousnesse in the promises, and through them loo­king upon the great goodnesse of the things contained1. Ioh 5 4. in them as already subsisting and present to the soule, and by this meanes overcomming the world (whose onely prejudice and advantage against Christ is this, that the things which hee promiseth are long hence to come, whereas that which it promiseth it likewise presenteth to the view of sense; which difference faith destroieth, by giving a subsistence and spirituall presence of things hoped for to the soule) by this meanes, I say, faith doth migh­tily [Page 344] prevaile to draw a man unto such holinesse, as be­commeth the sonnes and heires of so certaine and preti­ous promises. Till a man by faith apprehends some in­terest in the promises, he will never out of true Love en­deavour a conformitie unto God in Christ. By them, saith Saint Peter, we are made partakers of the divine na­ture, 2 Pet 1. 4. and doe escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. What is it to be made partaker of the di­vine nature? It notes two things: first, a fellowship with God in his holinesse; that puritie which is eminenter and infinitely in Gods most holy nature is formaliter, or secundum modum creaturae, so farre as the image of his infinite holinesse is expressible in a narrow creature, fa­shioned in and communicated unto us by our union with Christ. Secondly, a fellowship with God in his blessednesse, namely in that beatificall vision, and brightnesse of glory which from the face and fulnesse of Iesus Christ (who as [...]. Cor. 15. 48, 49 a second Adam is made unto us the Authour and Fountaine of all heavenly things) shall at last in ful­nesse, and doth even now in flashes and glimmerings shine forth upon his members. And all this we have from those great and pretious promises which are made unto us of Holinesse and of Blessednesse. For as we say of the Word in generall, so more especially of the Promi­ses, they are operative words, and doe produce some reall effects, being received by faith. As a man when he receiveth a deed signed, sealed, witnessed, and delive­red, doth not onely take parchment or waxe, or emptie words, but hath thereby some fundamentall right crea­ted unto the things in the deed mentioned to be con­vey'd, so that the deed is declaratorie and operative of some Reall effects: so in the word and promises of God sealed by the bloud of Christ, ratified by the oath of the Covenant, testified by the Spirit of Truth, deliver'd by the hand of Mercy, and received by the hand of Faith, there doth not onely passe emptie breath and naked [Page 345] words, but also some Reall effects by the intendment of God are thereby produc'd; namely, the cleansing of our sinfull nature from the pollutions of the world, and the transforming thereof into the image and purity of the divine nature.

Fourthly, Promises are the efficient causes of our puri­fication, as they are the Raies and Beames of Christ the Sunne of Righteousnesse, in whom they are all founded and established. They are All in him Yea, and in him 2. Cor. 1 20. Amen. Every promise by faith apprehended carries a man to Christ, and to the consideration of our unity with him, in the right whereof we have claime to the Promi­ses; even as every line in a circumference, though there never so distant from other, doth, being pursued, carry a man at last to one and the same Center, common unto them all. For the Promises are not made for any thing in us, nor have their stability in us, but they are made in and for Christ unto us, unto Christ in our behalfe, and unto us onely so farre forth as we are members of Christ. For they were not made to seeds as many, but to seed, namely Gal 3. 16. Caput & corpus unus est Christus. Aug. to Christ, in aggregato, as comprehending the head and the members in the unitie of one body. So then every Promise carrying us to that Vnitie which we have with Christ by his spirit (who is therefore call'd a spirit of Adoption, because he vesteth us with the sonneship of Christ, and a spirit of holinesse and renovation, because he sanctifieth us by the resurrection of Christ) doth thereby purifie us from dead workes, and conforme the members Ephes. 2. 21. to the Head, building them up in an holy Temple and into an habitation of God through that spirit by whom we are in Christ. In one word, Our interest in the Promises is grounded upon our being in Christ, and being one with him; and our being in him is the ground of our purifica­tion. Every branch in me that bringeth forth fruite, my father purgeth, that it may bring forth more fruite. AndIoh 15. 2. in this respect the promises may be said to purifie, as still [Page 346] carrying us to our interest in Christ, in whom they are founded.

Fifthly and lastly, the Promises are causes of our pu­rification, as Exemplars, patterns, and seeds of purity unto us. For the Promises are in themselves Exceeding great 2. Pet. 1. 4. and pretious, Every Word of God is pure and tryed like Prov. 30. 5. Psal 12. 6. 19 89. 119 140. gold seven times in the fire, it is right, and cleane, and true, and altogether righteous, and therefore very lovely and attractive, apt to sanctifie and cleanse the soule. San­ctifie them by thy truth (saith Christ) thy Word is truth, Ioh. 17. 17. Ioh 15. 3. and againe, Now ye are cleane through the Word which I have spoken unto you. For the Word is Seed, and seede a similates earth and dirt into its owne pure and cleane nature. So by the Word there is a trans-elementation, as it were, and conforming of our foule and earthie nature [...]. Isis. [...]. 1. Ioh 3 9. to the spiritualnesse of it selfe. Therefore the Apostle useth this for an argument, why the regenerate cannot si [...] (namely in that universall and complete manner as o­thers doe) because they have the seed of God abiding in them, that is, his Word, Spirit, and Promises abating the strength of lust, and swaying them to a contrary point. For thus the Word of promise makes a mans heart to argue. Hath God of meere Grace made assurance of so pretious things to me who by nature am a filthy and un­cleane Creature, obnoxious to all the curses and ven­geance in his booke? Hath he wrought so great delive­rance,Ezra 9 13. 14. and laid up such unsearchable riches for my soule? and should I againe breake his Commandements, and joyne in the abominations of other men? Would he not be angry till he had consumed me; so that there should be no escaping? Should I not rather labour to feele the comforts and power of these Promises, encouraging mee to walke worthy of so great meroy, and so high a calling? to walke meete for the participation of the Inheritance of the Saints in light? Shall I that am reserv'd to such honour, live in the meane time after the lusts of the Gen­tiles, [Page 347] who have no hope? Quid nos pro Domino [...] bo­no facere conve­nit, cum ille pro mal [...]s servis tanta fecerit. Salvian. li. 4. Hath God distinguished me by his Spirit and Promises from the world, and shall I confound my selfe againe? Shall I requite evill for good to the hurt of mine owne soule? These and the like are the reasonings of the heart from the beauty and purity of the Promises.

Thirdly and lastly, Promises are Arguments to in­ferre our Purification, because in many of them that is the very Matter of which they consist, and so the power and fidelity of God is engag'd for our Purification. I will clense them from all their iniquity whereby they haue sin­ned Ier. 33. 8. against me, saith the Lord. And againe, I will sprin­kle Ezek. 36. 25. cleane water vpon you and you shall be cleane: from all your filthinesse and from all your idoles will I clense you, &c. And againe, They shall not defile themselues any more Ezek 37. 23. with their idoles, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions, but I will save them, and I will cleanse them. And againe, I will heale their backeslidings, Hos 14. 4. I will Love them freely. The Lord will wash away the filth of Psal 4 4. the daughters of Sion, & purge the bloud of Ierusalem from the midst thereof by the Spirit of Iudgement, and by the spi­rit of burning. Which Promises, bringing along the