Preached by that faithfull ser­uant of God M. ROBERT ROLLOCK, some-tyme Minister of the Euangell of Iesus Christ, and Rector of the Colledge in EDINBVRGH.


EDINBVRGH PRINTED BY ROBERT CHARTERIS Printer to the Kings most Excellent Majestie. An. Dom. M. D. C. VI. Cum Priuilegio Regiae Majestatis.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVL THEIR MOST LOVING FRIEND IN THE LORD, MAISTER VVILLIAM SCOT OF ELY, grace in this life and euerlasting glorie in the lyfe to come.

ALL knowledge, and all sciences in­uented by the wise men of this world without the knowledge of IESVS CHRIST, by whom remission of sinnes is obtained to the miserable soule, are but vaine and vnprofitable. The Apostle reckoning, out his pre­rogatiues,Philip. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. which were many, counts them all in respect of the excellency and knovvledge of Christ Iesus to be but losse and dung: Euen so it is with all sciences, if they be seuered from the knowledge of Iesus Christ in the Gospell. For, what a­uailes it a man to knowe the height of the Heauens, the courses of the Starres, the breadth of the earth, if in the mean-tyme his conscience accuse him for his sinnes to be vnworthie both of Heauen and earth? What auailes it a man to seeke by Physick to prolong afraile temporall life to the bodie, if his conscience tell him in the mean-tyme that his soule shall perish for euer? What auailes it a man to brag of the knowledge of the Lawe, if his conscience accuse him to be most vnjust and worthie of eternal dam­nation. In these and such like things the wise men of this world doe glorie, and yet they make not the soule the bet­ter. [Page] The knowledge of Iesus Christ in the Gospell is the onely knowledge that preserues the soule, and makes it to liue for euer,Ioh. 5. 39 as our Sauiour sayes, Search the Scriptures, for in them ye thinke to haue eternall lyfe, Ioh. 17. 3 and they are they vvhich testifie of me. And againe, This is life eternall that they knovv thee to be the onely verie God, and vvhom thou hast sent Iesus Christ. Then this science is to be sought, praised, and preferred to all others in all respects Look how highly PAVL commends it:1. Cor. 2. 6. 7. 8. 9. Wespeake, sayes he, vvisdome, among them that are perfite: Not the vvisdome of this vvorld, neither of the Princes of this vvorld, vvhich come to nought: But vve speake the vvisdome of God in a mi­sterie, euen the hid vvisdome, vvhich God had determined before the vvorld vnto our glory: Which none of the Princes of this World hath knovvne: for had they knovvne it, they vvould not haue crucified the Lord of glory: But as it is vvritten, the things vvhich eye hath not seene, neither eare hath heard, neither came into mans hart, are vvhich God hath prepared for them that loue him: But God hath reueiled thē vnto vs by his Spirit. Other sciences were inuented by men: but God himselfe is the Author of this science, he reueiled it. Other sciences are all inuented in tyme, but this science is before all tyme, from all eternitie: other sciences handles things corruptible and changeable the knowe­ledge whereof albeit it be pleasant and profitable for this present life, yet it cannot reforme the soule to eternall life: for all their vertue is but the couerture of vyce, but this science settes out and reueiles to a broken harted sinner a fauorable and reconciled God in Iesus, who is aduantage both in life and death, and in whom the heigh and won­derfull things of God, and all things that the soule of man can require for grace or glory, pertaining either to this or to that other life,Col. 2. 3. 9 10. is contained: For in him are hid all the trea­sures of vvisdome and knovvledge, in him dvvelleth all the fulnesse of the god-head bodily. Now this pretious treasure the Lord hes committed to earthen vessels, he hes set in his seruice [Page] base and contemptible persons to carie the message of re­conciliation, and to proclame to weary and loaden sinners the glade tydings of saluation, he sendes out simple men to manure his husbandrie: he sends them out as souldiers to that spirituall warfare vvith vveapons that are not carnall, 2. Cor. 10 4. 5. but mightie through God, to cast dovvne holdes, to cast dovvne ima­ginations, and euery high thing that is exalted against the knovvledge of God, and to bring into captiuitie euery thought to the obedience of Christ. Whom for the message they carie, the Gospel they preach, the word of life they offer, that hid treasure that is committed to them, the Lord craues we should haue in singulare account, honour and loue. And indeed if we had the sight of the fearcenesse of that eternall wrath of God for sinne, it could not be possible but we would say, O hovv bevvtifull are the feete of them vvhich bring glade tydinges of peace, Rom. 18. 15. and bring glade tydinges of good things! We cannot ho­nour, loue and highly esteeme of the Maister, and respect the Gospell, if we hate and contemne the seruant and messenger. And if we loue our parents, of whom we haue nothing but misery, who hes conceiued vs in sinne, nuri­rished and trained vs vp in sin, and who by nature makes vs aires of wrath and hell (for that vvhich is borne of the flesh is flesh.) Ioh. 3. 6. O how excedinglie should we loue these whom God makes instruments of our regeneration to beget vs to God, to make vs his sonnes, and to translate vs from darknesse to light from miserie to felicitie, from death to life, from hell to heauen. And yet this vnworthie world neuer duely accounts of them, but of all men they hate most malitiouslie the true seruants of Iesus Christ. And to passe by other ages and Countries, the Lord of the har­uest stryuing against our ingratitude hes sent out from tyme to tyme into this Land sundry painfull laborers and faithfull preachers of the Gospell, who preased in all re­spectes to approue themselues to God, to a good consci­ence, [Page] and to the consciences of so many as beleeued, of whom the world was not worthie.

Among the rest whom God did bewtifie with singu­lare graces, the Lord in the person of M. ROBERT ROLLOCK, that faithfull and reuerent seruant of Iesus Christ, gaue vs no sober token of his loue. For we cannot tell if vpon any almest in this Land the Lord bestowed greater aboundance and varietie of graces of his Spirite, if in any there was a more spirituall and heauenly soule, if any spared themselues lesse and vndertooke grea­ter paines that they might be found faithfull and finishe their course with joye, if any preased more to ap­proue themselues to God and a good conscience then he. O what and how many giftes and graces were in the per­son of that man! in conceiuing he was quick, in judge­ment solide, he vttered the Word with great libertie, he preached with euidence and demonstration of the Spirit and power: in opening vp of the text and raising groundes of doctrine he had a speciall grace, in teaching he was cleare and sententious, in conuincing, powerfull: in ex­horting earnest and pithie: in correcting vehement: who for graces being in account and honoured was more humble? (& rara virtw humilitas honorata) who being pro­uoked was lesse vindictine? who preased more to keepe the chaire of Veritie cleane from corrupt passions, that the word of God might haue free passage and be glorifi­ed? Who sought the world lesse? Who estemed lesse of these earthly thinges: For he behaued himselfe as a faith­full seruant of God, not seeking himselfe, but Iesus Christ, as a pilgrime heere, yea and crucified to the world: for knowing that here he had no continuing cittie, he sought for one to come he had his conuersation in heauen, from whence he looked for Iesus Christ his Sauiour to come. [Page] And hauing liued such an holy life to the glorie of God, there followed a most sweete and comfortable death in Iesus, whom he counted alwayes to be his aduantage.Reuel. [...]word 13. And blessed are they that dies in Iesus, for they rest from their labours, and their vvorkes follovv them. O how great a wound did the church receiue by the losing of such a mēber! Experience teaches vs this day when there is such distraction of harts in the Church what inlack we haue of this man, whose labours in the like dayes and cases the Lord while he liued blessed wonderfully. His life preached his death preached to the world: Many one who heard him found in expe­rience that he ranne not vnsent: For he laboured not in vaine,1. Tim. 3. 2. &c. but the grace of God was powerfull in him, and by him to many. Finally, he as a viue exemplar represented to vs such qualities and conditions as the Spirite of God requires to be in a Bishop of Iesus Christ.Tu [...]. 7. 8 Put why insist we to speake to you, Sir, of this man who was wel knowne al­most to all, but most interely to you: Neither was he stead­able to the faithfull that heard him by his vine voice onely in his life preaching, but also his workes yet teaches the posteritie. For his learned and judicious writtings left be­hind him in latine hes acquired to him a famous name and reuerend account among the learned in sundry nations, who professe that therby no smal edification redounds to the Church of God. And therefore, seeing that God did accompany his forme of teaching so powerfully with his spirit and made it so profitable, we haue thoght meet to set out these his Lectures vpon the two Epistles to the Thessa­lonians, that not only the simple may be instructed there­by but also the teachers may know and imitate his grati­ous forme of teaching: as likewise, because the other Ser­mons that were before imprinted hes bene receiued with great lyking by the humble and such as desire to be edified,

[Page] Now, Sir, whereas others in such cases vses to say that they were aduising as doubtsome to whose patronage they should recommend their worke, we heerein are re­leeued of this care: we need no deliberation: for to whom in all respects can it belong but to you? First in respect of that inteere and exceeding loue and familiaritie that was betweene you and the Author heereof. For from once by his preaching the Lord wroght in your hart, all who knew M. ROLLOCK knew also how ye loued him, dely­ted in his companie and conference, set your selfe in all thinges to pleasure him, what testimonies of true loue and vnfained kindnesse ye would haue vttered to him, how freely for the loue of Iesus ye would haue communi­cate to him temporall thinges, (if that man, who was so well content with that he had, could haue suffered you, and had not stayed the course of your liberalitie.) Also when that last messenger and fore-runner of death did sease vpon his fraile and weakned bodie, few are ignorant how carefull ye were for his greater ease to haue him transported to your owne house: How liberallie ye and your bed-fellow (whose praise ought not nor shall not be buried in obliuion) bestowed on him all thinges necessare and commodious, how chearefully ye receiued and in­tertained for his cause all them that came to visite him, and what great benefite ye counted the Lord bestowed on you in that he offered the occasion, which long ye wished to showe your liberalitie in temporall thinges towardes such a rate vessell of mercie and faithfull seruant of Iesus from whom he had receiued so many spirituall thinges. Againe who is ignorant, what affection and kyndnesse ye haue vttered and daily vtters towardes his relict and post­hume for his cause yea and towardes all these who loued him in Christ. Next, to passe by that M. ROLLOCK in [Page] testimonie of his loue dedicate to you his commentare in Latine on the second of these Epistles, as also that in his Testament he ordeined that all his bookes which he left to be printed after his decease should be dedicate to you, and come out vnder your name and patrocinie, that whosoeuer gote commoditie thereof, next after God, might giue the honour and thankes vnto you, after a spe­ciall sort this worke requyres your patronage. For throgh your care, moyen and expenses these Lectnres were col­lected and gathered from the handes of these who wraite them from his mouth, by your moyen and procurement they were reuised, corrected, and made apt for the prin­ting by your meanes they now see the light, which they had neuer seene, but had bene buried in darknesse, if the Lord had not made you an instrument to publishe them. Last, if that the paines which hath bene taine in reuising, correcting and making them apt for the printing might yeelde any right to make choise of a patrone to this work, we would not, nor could not offer it to any, but to you, Sir, not onely because of the vndeserued loue and kynd­nesse ye vtter daily towardes vs, yea and towardes all the seruants of Christ, both publikly and priuily as they them­selues doe testifie, but also in respect ye were the Author to mooue vs to vndertake such traueiles. Indeeed such a propine is farre inferior either to your desertes or our de­sire: and therefore we present it, not so much thinking thereby to discharge and satisfie the debt, as to acknow­ledge our obligation to you, and to be a testimonie of our thankfulnesse.

For these causes, Sir, we desire you to receiue this work in your patronage and protection, to defend it from the speaches of such as hes not learned yet to speake well of any person or their workes. For we are not ignorant how [Page] much and oft they who set forth other mens works vse to be subject to the sharpe censure of men, and how little thankes commonly, either they get, or may looke for of many, so that few would be found to take trauaile in them, except they were rather moued through the loue of the glorie of God, and edification of his Church, then throgh any thankfulnesse they may expect at mens hands. Last, Sir, wearie not in wel-doing, goe forward to doe good vnto the Saintes for Christs sake, and experience shall giue you a proofe of the Lords loue and blessing vpon your bodie, soule, and actions in this life, his Saints shall loue you, his seruantes shall pray for you that ye may finde mercy in that great day, and when ye haue run out your course, when your journay shall be ended, when ye haue foughten out the battaile, the Lord shall then ga­ther you to his Saints and crowne you with glorie. Now the God of al consolation, Lord of Lords, and King of kings, blesse you with al benefits spiritual and temporal, direct you by his sprit, and preserue you long to the glorie of his Name, and to he well of his Church, that your pilgrimage being ended ye may with joy rest from your labours in Iesus, in whose countenance is sacietie of joyes, and at whose right hand are pleasures for euer more, AMEN. Edinburgh the 16. of Iune. 1606.

Yours in the Lord H. C. W. A.


WE offer vnto thee, Christian Reader, these Lectures of that most reuerent and faithfull seruant of Iesus Christ M. RO­BERT ROLLOCK, vpon the tvvo Epistles of the Apo­stle Paul to the Thessalonians. We haue taine painos and traueile that thou mightest finde profite and edification. For not onely haue vve conferred sundry coppies gotten from the hands of them vvho vvrote them from his mouth, but also vve haue conferred them vvith the Latine Commentarie vvritten by the Author himselfe, that thou mightest haue fullie, so farre as vvas possible, both his ovvne phrase and matter. In conferring of the Copies vve omitted repeti­tions, cleered thinges obscure, and filled out imperfite sentences, that in nothing thou mightest finde inlack. If thou doubt, either of the style or matter, or if any vvould moue thee to conceiue any eye-list or mis­liking of this vvorke (as vve are not ignorant hovv readie many are oft-tymes, vpon small or rather no ground, before they haue either seene or read, in such cases to giue out sentence) vve pray thee shovve vs this fauour to superceede thy iudgement vntill thou hast red and considered, then mayest thou pronounce vvith the better vvarrand. If thou read vvith an hart indifferent and desirous to be edified, vve trust thou shalt finde thou hast not lost thy labours. And if thou re­turne glorie to God, and get grace to thy ovvne soule, vvhich vvere the cheefe ends of our traueiles, vve vvill thinke vve haue gotten a suf­ficient recompence and obtained our desires.



THESSALONICA was a cheefe City of Macedo­nia, rich, populous, and puissant, builded by Philip the fa­ther of Alexander the great, King of Macedonia, after the victory he had gotten ouer Thessalia inuaded by him at vnawares. For returning home victorious he builded a Citty and named it Thessalonica, that it might be a perpetuall memo­riall of that great and excellent victory he had obtained. Paul (as ye may read Act. 16. and 17. chapters) in his peregrination together with Sylas (who in this Epistle is named Syl [...]a [...]) the sixteenth yeere after his conuersion, being called by a vision to preach the Gospell in Macedonia came first to Philippi, and next passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia came to this Cittie Thessalonica, and entering in the Synagogue of the Iewes three Sabboth dayes disputed with them, prouing by the Scrip­tures that it behoued the Messias to suffer and rise againe from the dead, and therefore that Christ whom he preached was the true Messias and Redeemer of the world. At the which preach­ing of Paul, sundrie of the Iewes that dwelt at Thessalonica be­leeued and joyned company with Paul and Sylas together with a great multitude of the Grecians, and many of the cheefe we­men of the Cittie. But the Iewes that beleeued not, moued with inuy, raised a great persecution against Paul, whereby he was forced to flee to Berea: where he preached the Gospell with better successe: For the Iewes of that Synagogue receiued the word with al readines, and tryed his doctrine by the Scriptures, so that many of them, & likewise many men and wemen among the Grecians were conuerted. Yet the obstinate Iewes there also mouing persecution against him, he is brought to the bre­thren [Page] to Athens, where he waited for Sylas and Timotheus, who returned vnto him when he was in Corinth in Achaia Act. 18. 5. Therefore it was reported to him that the brethren that beleued at Thessalonica wer heauily persecuted by the obstinate Iewes: where-vpon the Apostle was moued with an earnest desire to come to them, but he was hundred by Satan. 1. Thessa. 2. 18. Therefore tarying himselfe at Athens he sent Timothie to them (1. Thessa. 3. 2.) to comforte them in their trouble, and confirme them in the trueth. Timothie returning and bringing good ty­dinges to him of the great grace of God that he found with them, because he could not come himselfe; the more to comfort, confirme and encouradge them to continue in the trueth, he writes vnto them this Epistle, which by the judgement of lear­ned men is thought to be the first this Apostle wrote.

There are foure parts of this Epistle: The first part is the Sa­lutation. chapter. 1. verse 1. The second is a Congratulation and rejoycing with them for the graces that by Timothies reporte he vnderstood to be in them, wherein he insisles very largely, euen from the 2. verse of the first chapter vnto the fourth chapter. Yet oft-tymes he breakes o [...] this Congratulation by occasion casting in sund [...]y purposes needful to be entreated. First, he falles out in a discourse of himself, and the successe the Lord gaue him in his [...] towards them, and his sinceritie in his ministrie, he remooues from himselfe all suspicion of vnsinceritie, ey­ther by decease, by vncleannessen or by guyle, together with the fountaines from whence it proceedes, as flatterie, auarice, ambition, and [...] his in [...]eere affection towardes them, from the beginning of the second chapter to the 12. verse. Next he excuses himselfe that he came not to them, from the 17. verse of the second chapter, to the last part of the verse of the third chapter, where he falles out in an exhortation to them to suffer afflictions patiently vnto the 5. verse of the third chapters, there be brings a new reason to excuse his not comming to them vnto the 9 verse of the third chapter: then returning to the congratu­lation in the end of the third chapter he concludes it with a pr [...] ­er for the Thessalonians. The third part of the Epistle is anex­hortation to holinesse of life▪ He exhorts first generally to sanc­tification, [Page] in the first three vers. of the 4. chap. Then he commes more particularly to the parts of sanctification, and insistes [...] them to the 23 verse of the last chapter. In this part of the Epistle the Apostle to comfort the Thessalonians who sorrowed aboue measure for the departure of their friendes, by the way falles out in a discourse of the estate of the faithfull departed this life, of the comming of the Lord of the rysing againe of the dead, of the tyme of the Lords comming, from the 13. verse of the fourth chapter to the 6 verse of the fifth chapter. The fourth part of the Epistle is the Conclusion, containing a prayer for them, a promise of sanctification made to them, with some other pur­poses, from the 23. verse of the fifth chapter to the end of the Epistle.


THESSA. CHAP. 1. Vers. 1. 2. 3.

1. Paul and Siluanus, and Timotheus, vnto the Church of the Thessalonians, which is in God the Father, and in the Lord Iesus Christ: Grace be vvith you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Iesus Christ.

VVe giue God thanks alvvayes for you all, making mention of you in our prayers,

3. Without ceasing, remembring your effectuall faith, and diligent loue, and the patience of your hope in our Lord Iesus Christ, in the sight of God, euen our Father.

WE purpose (welbeloued in the Lord Ie­sus Christ) by the grace of God, as his Spirite shall assist vs, to expone this E­pistle, which is the first Paul doth write to the Thessalonians: Which furnishes to vs doctrine seruing for vnderstan­ding, instruction, admonition, consola­tion, &c. Then to come to the purpose shortlie: We shall speak something of these Thessalonians to whom he wrytes; of the Argument of this Epistle, and the pur­pose of the Apostle in it. The Thessalonians were those, who inhabited a towne called Thessalonica, which (as the Historie [Page 2] [...]eares) was a chiefe towne in the Countrie of Macedonia, sounded and builded by Philip King of Macedonia, after the victorie he had gotten ouer Thessalia; for returning home vi­ctorious he builded at towne, and named it Thessalonica, to be a perpetuall memorie of that excellent victorie he had obtay­ned. But to leaue this: Paul (as ye may read, in the 17. Chap. of the Acts of the Apost.) in his peregrination together with Sylas, who is heere named Siluanus, comes to this towne in Macedonia, called Thessalonica, and entring into the Syna­gogue of the Iewes, three Saboth dayes preached vnto them, and all his preaching tended to this, to proue that it behoued the Messias when he should come in the World, first to suffer, then to ryse againe in glorie: Vpon this he subsumes that that Iesus whom he preached, had suffered, had risen vp in glorie; And therfore he concludes, that Iesus, and no other, to be the Messias and Redeemer of the World. At Paules preaching, sundrie of the Iewes who dwelt in Thessalonica were conuer­ted: a great multitude also of the Grecians who abode there, and of the chiefe women of the towne, not a few: Yet, notwith­standing of all this, sedition is moued against the Apostle, and that by certaine obstinate Iewes, who would not be conuerted: so he is compelled to flee out of Thessalonica, fleeing he comes to Beroea, where he gets better entertainment, and conuertes sundrie:Occasion of the E­pistle. Yet persecution ryses, and he is led to Athens, where he abiding, word comes to him, that the Brethren who were conuerted at Thessalonica, were heauilie troubled, and perse­cuted by the obstinate Iewes there. Vpon this the Apostle sendeth Timothie to them, to confirme them, and comfort them in their trouble. Timothie returning, and reporting the grace of God he saw there, Paul would haue gone to Thessalonica, but as he sayeth, Sathan withstoode him, and therefore he takes purpose to write this Epistle vnto them, which should be in steede of his presence. This is the occasion of the writing of this Epistle.

Then to come to the Epistle it selfe,Partes of the Epi­stle. and to speak of the parts thereof. First, there is a salutation: after the salutation, he hath a congratulation, and rejoysing with them, for the graces he vn­derstoode to be in them, by the report of Timothie. He conti­newes [Page 3] his congratulation a long tyme, almost to the end of the second chapter. Then he comes to his exhortation, and exhorts them (notwithstanding of al trouble) to preseuere constantlie to the end. This he doth in the third chapter: In the fourth and fift chapters he comes to the matter; and as before he had exhor­ted them to perseuerance: so he exhorts them to godlinesse and holinesse of life, such as becomes them, who haue receyued the Lord Iesus. This is the substance of the Epistle.

Now in this chapter: First, we haue the salutation, then the congratulation, and rejoysing for the graces of God in them; which continewes all this chapter, and the most part of the next chapter. Now to come to the salutation, wherein the Apostle salutes the Thessalonians: I will speake shortlie of it, because it is a common forme vsed by the Apostle in his Epistles, and hath beene oft exponed. The persons from whom this salutati­on comes, are Paul an Apostle, Siluanus & Timotheus, two Euan­gelists: They who are saluted, are the Thessalonians, that is, the Church of God, that was made vp of the Thessalonians, who were inhabitants of this towne of Thessalonica▪ The blessings, or good things that are wished from Paul and the rest, to the Church at Thessalonica, are grace, and peace: the Author of this grace and peace, from whom, as from the fountaine, Paul with the rest of his associates, wisheth these things to the Thes­salonians, is the Father first: the Sonne our Lord Iesus next. The cause wherefore grace and peace is wished from the Father and the Sonne to the Thessalonians, is, because the Thessalo­nians stoode in that blessed conjunction with the Father, and the Sonne, and therefore it is said in the text, To the Church of Thessalonica, which is in God the Father, and in the Lord Iesus Christ, that is to say, which is in that holie societie, and conjun­ction with the Father and the Sonne.

Now to marke something of the salutation.Note. This forme of salutation that is vsed in this place, and in other places, by this & other Apostles: al these general salutations vsed by godlie men, vnto godlie men; what are they? they are testimonies of that good minde, and good-will, that the godlie beares to the godly: They are more too; they are meanes and powerful instruments ordained by God, wherby the grace of God, the mercie of God [Page 4] in Christ, is conuoyed from God, & Christ to them, to whom the salutation is directed. There are many meanes, whereby grace is conuoyed from God to man, amongst all the rest, these saluta­tions are meanes ordained by God, to that end. Brethren, it is no small matter to wishe well to a man or woman, if thou haue a godlie heart when thou wishes well to a godlie person, of necessitie the affection of thy heart and mouth must bee effectuall.

The to goe fordward. Grace and Peace, is wished. But from whome? From God the Father, and from the Sonne Iesus Christ. The Sonne must not bee forgote heere, because all grace is geuen in him by the Father; in such sorte, that if any man will seeke grace without Christ, hee shall neuer get it. Therefore he who would haue grace, let him seeke it at God, through Christ: that he may receyue it of that fulnesse that is in the Sonne. The Iew that will seeke to the Father without the Sonne, shall neuer see grace.

Whom to is this grace and peace wished? to the Church at Thessalonica. Wherefore? Marke this ground. Because this Church is ingraft in the Father and in the Sonne by faith. Then first I see here: there is no grace, but from the Father and the sonne: and therefore there no wishing of grace to man or wo­man, but from the Father and the sonne, who are the fontaine of all grace. Againe I see grace, mercie and peace pertaines to none, but to so many as are in this happie conjunction with the Father and the Son. Art thou in the Father? Art thou in the son, ingraft in him by a liuelie faith? Then grace pertaines to thee: mercie and peace pertaines to thee. Art thou out of him, and not ingraft in him by faith? Let men wish welfare and peace to thee as they will, no grace, mercie nor peace pertaines to thee. By grace & peace is vnderstood whatsoeuer blessings of God that followes on that conjunction and vnion that is with God the Father, and the Son Iesus Christ; As for exemple: Remission of sins, Iustification before the Tribunall of God, Regeneration & clensing of this foull nature, peace, joy in the holie Ghost, & life euerlasting: all flowes from this conjunction: and therfore it must follow, that to him who is out of this conjunction with the Father and the Sonne, there is no remission of sinnes: if thou [Page 5] be not vnited to the Father and the Sonne by faith; no saluation, no regeneration, no life euerlasting, no peace for thee: all thy peace is false peace, and thou shalt curse the tyme that euer thou had that peace. Then it must follow that this forme of salu­tation, pertaines not to the Iew this day, who is out of this con­junction, neither I, nor no man can say to the Iew this day, Peace and grace to thee from God the Father and from Christ Iesus his Sonne: neither pertaines it to the Turke or Pagane, who are out of this vnion with God and Christ by faith. More then this, it will not be the name of any thing that will do the turne: there are many that taks vpon them the name of a christian, & so will seeme to be in the vnion with the Father and the Sonne, that in heart haue no conjunction with them: But I say to thee, it will not be the outwarde conjunction with them, in the name of a Christian, it will not be the wishing of good dayes and good e­uenings that wil do thee good, except thou find thy hart bound vp in that blessed vnion with the Father and the Sonne Iesus Christ.

Marke an other thing. Learne heere a forme of an effectuall and pithie salutation that the godlie should vse: first, when the godlie salutes, as Paul, Siluanus and Timothie, when they wishe any thing to thee, what wish they? Not any thing thou deserues, if thou were neuer so holie, but free grace, without any merite, as Paul heere doth: then againe, they wish it from them that hes this grace in their handes, from the Father and the Sonne. And last, they wishe it to them who stands in the vnion and conjunction with the Father and the Sonne: for this vnion will draw down the droppes of grace from the Heauen, from Iesus that is full of all grace. Therefore Brethren, these salutations of the Heathen & Gentiles, and of prophaine men now, are no­thing worth; they were neuer of valure: I will not giue a pennie for Cicero his salutem dicit; nor Plato his [...], because in wish­ing well, they knew not what they wished, they called it wel­fare, well doing: they knew not grace, nor the free mercie of God: they knew not God, the fountaine of all grace, nor Christ his Son, from whom all grace flowes: they knew not a Church, nor the conjunction of the bodie, or the members with the head: so their salutations were of no value. Euen so it is this [Page 6] day with prophaine men, who knowes not God, nor Christ nor the Church, nor knowes not his conjunction, their salutations are not worthie a stray; all their good dayes and good euenings are deare of right noght, for their salutations are only prophaine words, and when they are blessing with their mouthes, they are cursing in their hearts.

Now, brethren, to goe fordward to the next part, which con­taines this congratulation & rejoysing together with the Thessa­lonians, for those graces of God which were bestowed on them Ye se the words: We giue God alvvayes thanks for you, making men­tion of you in our prayers. In this congratulation he rejoyses toge­ther with them, for the graces the Lord hath showne on them: in rejoysing for the graces showne on them he forgets not God the geuer of all grace, but in rejoysing with them, he glorifies God & thanks him for them, and so acknowledges al the graces that were in the Thessalonians, to flow out of this fountaine, he acknowledges their faith, their charitie, their hope, not to come of themselues, but to be of God: and therefore in rejoysing with them, hee geues God the glorie of all the graces that was in them. Why should wee not congratulate and rejoise for the graces of God we se in others? we are bound to doe it. Thou art oblisht to rejoise with him that rejoyses for the graces of God geuen him, as if they were geuen to thy selfe. Paul sayes, Reioyce vvith them that reioyses: mourne vvith them that mour­nes. Rom. 12. 15. Wee are bounde when wee see the grace of God in anie people or nation, to commend it in them: for it is said trewlie, vvhen grace or vertew is commended, it growes. But looke that thy rejoysing, thy commendation of men for the grace thou sees in them, be to the end that thou may glo­rifie God, who is the Author and fountaine of all the grace, looke that in commending of men, if it were all the Monarchs in the earth, on paine of thy lyfe thou forget not God. Looke first vp to the geuer, and then to him who hath receyued: say not, Sir, or my Lord, I commend you for your good witte, and gouernance, I commend you for your man-hood and wisdome. The flattering Gentiles that knew not God sayes so: but thou who art a Christian speake not so to any man: but say, I giue thanks to God who is the fountaine of all grace, for the grace he [Page 7] hes geuen to thee: thou hast no good grace no wisdom, no man­hood, &c. but that which God the Author of grace hes geuen thee: as euer thou would see the glorie of that God, who euer thou be haue thy eye first of al, in al thy speaking and doing on the glorie of that God. I confesse there are many impediments casten in betwixt thy eyes and the glorie of God, but striue to get a sight of that glorie, or else thou shall neuer be partaker of that glorie. Thou may haue a shadow of glorie in the world for a while, but as the must before the Sunne vanishes away, so shall thou and thy glorie vanish away, to thy euerlasting confusion, if thou striue not to haue the glorie of God before thy eyes. Then hes thou anie good graces in thy selfe? giue God the glory: What hast thou, that thou hast not receyued?. 1. Cor. 4. 7. Giue him the glorie and praise of all: if it were eating and drinking at thy dinner: looke that thou eat to his glorie, and drinke to his glorie 1. Cor. 10. 31. And say in the meane-tyme, I doe not this so much to feede this mortall bodie, as I doe it to glorifie thy Majestie. When thou liues, liue to him: deying, die to him; conse­crate thy life and death to him. Fye on vs that can not learne to giue the glorie of all to our Redeemer. As for mee, bre­thren, I craue nothing more, nor that the glorie of God may shine before my eyes in my vocation, that when I speake or thinke, all maye be to his glorie, that in the end I may haue this assurance that I shall bee glorified vvith him for euer. But yet to sticke to the wordes: He sayes not; I giue thanks, but vve giue thankes, I, and Siluanus and Timotheus giue thanks: Hee sayes not for an handfull or a certaine nomber of you, but for you all. He sayes not for a tyme, but alvvayes. Marke all these wordes: He sayes, vve all, and that for all, vve thanke euer. It is a large thanking, and it testifies that the graces shovvne on the Thessalonians vvere large. When the graces of God are shovvne on me, on thee, or on anie people, thy heart must not bee narrovv, but it must bee enlarged, and thy mouth must be oppenned vvyde to praise and magnifie God the geuer of all. Or else I assure thee, vvhen his grace is large, if thy heart be narrovv, and thy mouth be oppenned but a little, the Lord shal draw in his hand & diminish his grace to thee. So is sene of it in Edinburgh this day, the graces of god on thee ô Edinburgh [Page 8] were large, but thy heart was narrow, and thy mouh was not oppened wide. Therefore the Lord is pinching his graces; if it so continew, woe will be to thee. Go this grace of the Ministrie away, and the Lord close mens mouthes and let them not speak to thee, all thy grace is gone; and I thinke the Lord is begin­ning to pinche his graces on vs, for that glorious Gospell which was preached with great libertie, and was so powerfull in the land, hes lost the power: and the nomber of the godlie of the land is contracted, for the one depends vpon the other: therefore cry, that the Lord may make his grace abound, and that he would continew with vs the light of his Euangell.

Now to the next words. He joynes with thankes-geuing, prayer:Praier ioyned vvith thāks-ge­uing. Making mention of you in our prayers: It is not aneugh to thank God for the grace that eyther we, or others haue re­ceyued, but also thou must pray: Cry for grace and continu­ance of grace; for I assure thee, if vvith thankes-geuing there be not prayer for continuance, the grace receyued shall decay. Amongst all the rest of the meanes the Lord hes appoynted for continuance of grace, earnest prayer to God is an especiall meane. So as thou vvouldst haue thy selfe standing in grace, pray euer for grace, for there is no moment, but vve are readie to fall away, except the Lord hold vs vp. The meane to entertaine grace, is, earnest prayer. The Lord holde vs vp and let vs not fall: but if the meane be not vsed, fall shall vve, thogh all the vvorld had said the contrair.

It is to be marked farther. He sayes, in our prayers. As hee would say, in our daylie prayers we are accustomed to pray to God; in our daylie prayers we forget you not, but we remember you. Marke this, Brethren. He is not meete to pray for others, that can not pray for himselfe, nor hes no acquaintance nor accesse to God. Who can solist for any man, when he hes no accesse to him vvhom hee folists? Canst thou pray for me to my God, and thou haue no accesse to him? He vvho vvill pray for others, must be vvell acquainted vvith God, and haue a daylie accesse to him. And hovv svveete a thing is it to haue familiar accesse to him? for all the joy of the world is not com­parable to that joy, which the soule findes when it is exer­cised with the Lorde familiarlie: for when thy heart is with [Page 9] him, no doubt he is with thee. Alasse, beastlie man, fy on thee that euer thou was borne, and thou haue not that svveete sense of joy that flowes from the meditation on the Lord: wilt thou let thy soule be euer stupide and senslesse? vvilt thou neuer be a Citizen of Heauen, expecting for the glorious comming of Christ, but ay ly as a sowe, muzling and grountling vpon the earth? vvilt thou neuer look vp with thy eyes to Heauen? vvilt thou ay be looking dovvn? If thou doe so thou shalt fall dovvn at last to that euerlasting damnation. The Lord raise vs vp, for heauy are we: we are dead lumps ay tending downward & can get no rising vp: the Lord raise vp our soules therfore to heuen.

Now followes the cause wherefore he rejoyses with them, in the next verse. Without ceasing, remembring your effectuall faith. That is one, and diligent loue; that is tvvo: the third is, and the pa­tience of your hope in the Lord Iesus Christ, in the sight of God, euen, our Father. Heere, brethren, not to escape the wordes, I see, first, an vncessant and perfite remembrance of the graces, God hes geuen his people, as Faith, Charitie and Patience. I see, then, in the example of Paul, Siluanus and Timotheus, that, in the memo­rie and heart of the godlie, the graces of God showen, eyther on themselues, or others, makes a deepe impression; when they see the graces of God, they take a deepe apprehension of them. In the wicked it is otherwise: let God raine down graces from Heauen on them selues and others also, as they come, so they goe, they remember neuer a good turne doen to them. Now, on this remembrance followes prayer, they remember with joy, e­uer praying, remembring by night, euer praying, remēbring by day, euer praying, at lest, in the hart, if not outwardly in words. Marke it: a man that would pray wel to God, must be of a good remembrance: vvould thou pray well? remember well: Prepare thee to pray, by remembrance of the blessings of God and pray then. What matter hast thou of prayer, when thou remembers not his blessings? So, all tends to this; that, thou be carefull to re­member the blessings of God: and as thou remembers, say, Lord, I thanke thee for that blessing. I tell thee, the losing of remem­brance of the grace of God, showne to thee and others, hes lost many graces to thee: if thou remember not the graces bygone, and be not thankfull for them, the grace of God will grow nar­row, [Page 10] and become barren and turne away from thee.

Now to come to the end shortlie, let vs touch the cause of this joy; first here are thre graces of god that comes to the Thes­salonians,Causes of thanks giuing faith, hope & charity wherfore Paul thankes God in their behalfe, to witte faith, charitie and hope. I see these thre graces recounted by the Apostle in other places: in the 1. to the Cor. cha. 13. 13. And novv sayes he, abyds thre things, faith, hope and charitie, but the cheefest of of those is charitie, because when the rest go away, it abides in the life to come: in these thre stands the perfection of the life of a christian man, in faith towards God and the Lord Iesus: begin at them in this life, begin at God & Christ his Son, & be joyned to him by faith: then come on to loue towards thy neighbour, loue thy neighbour: woe to thee that loues not thy neighbour: thou loues not God if thou loue not thy neighbour. And be­cause our life is not here, but it is hid vp with God in Christ, thou must await for thy life in him, and so comes in hope, hope for thy life in him: these thre must conuoy & accompany thee heer, till thou possesse that life. So faith is the beginning of grace, faith joynes thee with God throgh Christ, with a sweet conjunction, whereby all flowes out of him to thee, for as we said in the be­ginning, no blessing but in that conjunction with him. Faith brings forth charitie, the bud of faith is charitie; and there is such a sure bond betwene faith and charitie, that the one can not be without the other. If thou say, thou hast faith to God, and haue not loue to the Church, & the rest of the members of the body, thou art a lyar. Now the end of all grace in this life, is hope; hope of saluation and glorie, grace in this life ends in hope: it begins at faith, grows in loue, and ends in hope; & that is the last degre, it goes no farther: for as to saluation, thou can not get it heere; the farthest thou can reach to, is to hope, reaching vp to heauen, expecting that glorie that is appointed to thee there. The Apo­stle recounting the armor of a christian man. 1. Thes. 5. 8. ends in hope, he begins at faith, & thē to loue, & ends at hope: & speak­ing of the graces we haue in the Gospell, as temperance, righ­teousnes and godlines; Tit. 2. 13. He subjoines: Avvaiting for that hope and appearing of that glorie of that great God, and of our Sauior Iesus Christ. Where ye see he puts on hope as it were a crowne on the rest of the graces: hope, I say, is the last of all the [Page 11] graces in this earth, and we can go no farther, but in that life to come farewell hope: for we shall get the full sight and fruition of all the graces that now we looke for: my eyes shall se my Sa­ [...]iour the Lord Iesus Christ. So there the grace of graces in the other life, sight: for we liue heerby faith, and not by sight, but then we shall get that full sight of glorie, for vve shall se him as he is. 1. Ioh. 3. 2.

Yet to stick to the words: he sets out these vertues & graces, not simplie, but, he descriues some one vvay, some another way: and so, he cals it not faith, but, effectuall faith, or, vvorking faith: he sayes not, loue simplie; but, a diligent and labouring loue: and he cals it not hope simplie, but, the patience of your hope: a pa­tient hope,Faith vvorking a vvorking faith, a laborious loue. Novv, let vs con­sider the exercises of euerie one of them. Faith hes her excerise, in vvorking: what vvorks she? working out the filth of nature: (fy on the foull nature of men & wemen): so, that, the exercise of faith in Iesus, is in cleansing the foull heart and euerie corner of it. And therefore, in the chap. 15. vers. 9. of the Acts, faith is said to purge the heart: for, by faith, Iesus dwelles in the heart, and Christ can not be idle, hee will be exercised, and he purges out the foull stinke of nature that lyes hid in euerie corner of the heart. Hee that is not exercised in cleansing of his heart vtters euidentlie, that, he neuer had faith, say vvhat he vvill. This is the vvorke of faith.

Novv,Charitie is laborious. to come to Charitie. Faith is exercised inwardlie, in the hart, Charitie is exercised outwardlie, in the hand, and can not be idle: labouring, not for her selfe, but, for me and thee, and those, that are about her, and he who hes charitie, or, he should not doe good to his neighbour, he will rather want his hand: fy on them, who will not worke with their hands, to helpe others. This land is full of idle men, & so, it can not be without judgement, thow­sands going idle, in all parts, and how can charitie be keeped, without labour? if thou were a Lord, put to thy hand, and call to God, for to sanctifie thy labour, it is vanitie to sit idle, put to thy hand and doe good to thy selfe, or, some others, or, else, sore shall that count be, that thou shall make.

Now, come to hope. What is sho doing? She is bound vnder the Crosse, lying in patience, looking for that glorious reuelati­on [Page 12] of God:Hope pa­tient. I tell thee, either be exercised in suffering for the glorious appearance of Iesus christ or else thou shalt lose hope: for as concerning hope she must be a sufferer; for it is said, It be­houed vs throgh many tribulations to enter in the kingdome of God. Act. 14. 22. So thy hope that awaits for the kingdome of God, must be endewed with patience, otherwayes, if it be not joyned with patience, to endure tribulation, that the Lord shall lay on thee thou and thy hope shall both [...]all. And therfore when thou thinkest on hope, joyne euer the companion thereof, pati [...]nce to it. [...] Rom. 8. 25. with hope joynes patience. Heb. 6. 15. Abra­ham avvaited patientlie: and therafter enioyed the promise: hope on, indure all, with the power of God, thou shall enjoy all, and preuail: for hope neuer made man to be ashamed, hope in God for saluation, for he hath promised. and is able to performe: and hope makes not ashamed. Rom. 5. 5. Then to take vp this matter, I see all the graces of God are quick; a dead grace is naught, all are liuelie, either exercised in one exercise or other: Faith is working, Charitie is laborious, Hope is suffering, each one hes their owne exercise and therefore let not an ydle bodie that is not exercised in sanctifying of the heart by faith, of the hand by charitie, that refuses suffering in hope, let him not thinke he hes these graces of God. Thou that hast no work, no faith, no la­boring, no charitie, thou that can not beare patientlie, and who at euerie thing comming to thee art readie to dispare, thou that can not ly vnder the crosse, thou hes no hope. And therefore as thou would finde grace in the life to come, looke that thou be exercised in this life, for if thou be not exercised heere, thou shalt enter in that damnation, where there shall be no end of thy labour: & thou that wil be exercised in faith, charitie, and hope, assure thee in the life to come, thou shall not be pyned with worke, thou shalt cease from thy labour, and the teares shall be wyped from thy eyes, all paine and anguish shall be put away. Looke then how ye will spend a moment, to eschew an eter­nitie, if thou passe thy tyme idle, and do no good heere, neither to thy selfe, nor to thy neighbor, thy labour shall endure euerla­stinglie. Thou who wilt not spend a moment in labour, looke not to obtaine rest for euer.

In the end of the verse he places, and groundes this patient [Page 13] hope on Iesus Christ; there is her ground & foundation. Looke the words. And the patience of your hope, in our Lord Iesus Christ, in the sight of God the Father. The faith and hope being begunne on Iesus,Hope grū ded on Christ. a ground immoueable, all the worlde can not shake it. He setteth to her witnesse God the Father: He must be witnesse, and must stand looking into the heart, to see what sinceritie is in the heart. So beside the patience wherewith hope must be in­dewed, she must be enarmed to dree out this destinie, she can not sustaine trouble, except she be grounded. The ground is the Lord Iesus, immoueable for euer: who is able to shake him? If my hope be set on Iesus, I defye all the worlde: shake me as thou wilt, no more nor thou is able to moue him out of his place, no more art thou able to moue my hope out of my hart. There is the foundation she must haue. Yet more, she must haue a witnesse, & he who hopes must hope before the Father: for the Father seeth all, and there is no sinceritie but in the Spirit of God; and thou who wilt hope, consider God is before thee looking into thine heart, and haue him euer before thy eyes: otherwayes, thou shalt do nothing in thy life-tyme sincerelie, but all thy cogitations, motions, and actions of thy hand are all in hypocrisie. Therefore when thou doest any thing do it sin­cerelie, and say, My God is looking on me: and therefore Lord prepare my heart to doe it sincerely: let me not seeke no appro­bation of men, but let me seek the approbation of thee my God. It is a miserie to se men in the world, they wil steale from God as it were to a backside, because they can not abide his eye: euery man taketh counsaile, at it were, to hate God, and he flyes from God, because his pleasure is in hypocrisie: and thou vaine man likes neuer to do any thing in sincerity, but would, as it wer, [...]yle thy own eyes and Gods eyes, and the eyes of all the world with thy counterfaite falshood: therfore as thou would be approued in conscience, flee not from the sight of God, but craue his pre­sence, that light may come from him & lighten thee, that in that light thou may walke and studie to be acceptable to God, with whom thou must be & bid all this world farewell. Wo to them that studies not to be approued of God, & gettes not that ap­probation in their consciences. To this God the Father, with the Son and the holy Spirite, be all praise for euer.



THESSA. CHAP. 1. vers. 4. 5. 6.

4. Knovving, beloued brethren, that ye are the elect of God.

5. For our Gospell vvas not vnto you in vvord onely, but also in povver, and in the holie Ghost, and in much assurance, as ye knovv after vvhat maner vve vvere among you for your sakes.

6. And ye became follovvers of vs, and of the Lord, and receyued the vvord in much affliction, vvith ioy of the holie Ghost.

THE last day, Brethren, we spake of the first part of this Epistle, written to the Thessalonians, to witte, the salutation that the Apostle, with Siluanus and Ti­motheus directs to them. We entered in the second part, which continewes the congratulation, wherein he rejoyses to­gether with them, for the graces of God bestowed on them: geuing God the glorie of all, making him the chiefe Author of all grace: Namelie, for their faith which is imployed in clensing and purifying their hearts, for their loue and charitie, which was imployed in laboring with paineful­nesse for their brethren and nighbours, to their profite and well: and last, for their hope, which was imployed in suffering, and taking things patientlie, grounded on the Lorde Iesus Christ; hauing God the Father for an witnesse of her sinceritie. This far for the matter going before.

[Page 15] Now followes in the fourth verse, an other cause of this thankes-geuing to God, and of this rejoysing: a more effectuall cause nor any that was named yet: their eternall election be­fore all worlds. All the graces told before were in tyme, but, as for this election, it is before all tyme, from all eterni [...]e: Vpon this, as vpon a foundation, all grace that is receyued by vs in tyme is grounded, as ye would ground an house vpon an fon­dation: None getteth faith, but those that are chosen of God from all eternitie: None true loue, but those whom God loueth from all eternitie: None hope of lyfe, but those who are chosen of God from all eternitie: So all grace geuen in tyme, is groun­ded on this ground of election that was before all tyme. But to come to the words: Knovving (saith the Apost.) brethren beloued of God, your election. He styles them brethren first, then he calleth them beloued of God (for, I lyke that reading best.) The se­cond is the cause of the first. Because they are beloued of God, therefore they are Brethren to him, to Timothie, and to Siluanus: Marke this.Note. Whom God loueth and vpon whom he powreth forth his grace, as he did on these Thessalonians, we are bound to loue them, to powre out our affections vpon them, to call them Brethren in Iesus Christ, to speake kindlie and louinglie to them: for, the graces of God we see in men, hes force to con­ciliate the loue of men; so that, men when they see them in o­thers are bound of dewtie to loue them. If thou see the grace of God in any man; thou art bound to loue the man for the grace, as thou would vtter thou louest God, the geuer of the grace. The loue thou carries to a man for the graces of God thou sees in him, vtters the loue thou carries to God the geuer. Then we should learne to craue grace, to vtter holie affections to them to whom the Lord hath geuen his graces, and that, for the graces God hath bestowed on them.

But to go forward. The next thing heere that Paul vtters, is a knowledge of their election. Knovving your election, sayeth he. This is a farre sight. Then it is true, brethren, the godlie who are able through the Spirite of discretion, to take vp the grace of God in others, they haue a great insight, yea euen to the eter­nall election, and predestination to that life and glorie, where­vnto they are appointed, and they will vtter an wonderfull as­surance [Page 16] thereof. (For the word signifies, Knovving perfitelie your election) Indeed a man will haue a greater certaintie of his own election, then of the election of any other, because the warrand of his owne election is within him in his owne heart;Tokens of election. his heart is stamped therewith: he findes the seale thereof in his owne conscience: as for the election of others, it is onelie outward, as in his actions and behauiour: by the eye of the godlie, by the words of the godly and the works of the godlie, and such like thinges the visible tokens of the mercie of God in men is showen: and so the Lord makes by some outward tokens their election from all eternitie to appeare.

There are two things, whereof it is verie hard to judge v­pon, and to vtter assurance of: the first is the eternall election of others: the other is, the perseuerance of others in grace to the end: the one bygone from all eternitie, the other to come to the end. It is very hard to judge of these two, in other men especi­allie: Yet I see the Apostle takes on him to judge of both, and he vtters an assurance of both. Ye see in this place, he knowes the election of the Thessalonians. In the Epistle to the Philip­pians 1. 6. he is perswaded, that he who had begun with them (which is God) would perfite the worke he had begun, to the comming of Christ, that is, that they should perseuere in the grace they had receyued vnto the end. The ground of all was, because of the grace of God he saw in tyme of the Thessalo­lians and Philippians: therefore he knowes perfitelie the Thes­salonians is elected, and is assured the Philippians will perse­uere and stand in grace. So all tends to this, the grace of God bestowed on any (if we sawe but a sparke of grace in them) should euer moue vs to judge charitablie, that those persons are the elect of God, and will stand and perseuere in grace to the end. Away then with hard judgements of men.

More then this (Brethren) ye see the Thessalonians are ele­cted: yet he prayes for them, Making mention (sayeth he) of you in our prayers. Election no impedi­ment to prayer. And for this same cause; knowing that ye are e­lected. Marke this. The election of God, that sure ground and foundation of lyfe and saluation, prejudges not prayer. There­fore, say not, I am elected, my saluation can not faile, saued must I be [...] therefore, what needs me to pray my selfe, or cause any o­ther [Page 17] pray for me? No, by the contrair, say, I am elected, therefore, I will pray: ye are the elect, therefore, I will pray for you: that is Paule reason. For, as saluation, and life is predestinate and appointed by God, so are the meanes of saluation appointed by God, which thou must vse, if euer thou wouldst attaine to lyfe, notwithstanding of thy election. And among all the rest of the meanes, Prayer is one: thou who art chosen to life, prayers is a meane to thee, to be vsed before thou come to life: Pray must thou, and others must pray for thee, or else, thou was neuer chosen to lyfe. There was neuer man chosen to life from all eternitie; but the Lord appoynted that he should vse prayer; also God ordained that he should liue in holinesse, and vvorke good vvorkes, vvhich is an other meane must be vsed. Ephes. 2. 10. For, if prayer be not vsed, if hee liue not holie, if he liue vvithout loue, vvithout charitie and goode vvorkes, if he continevve so to the end, he shall finde that he was neuer chosen.

Now in the next verse, he falles to and proues their election: he vtters not this assurance of their election without goode warrands. There are two arguments in the text. The first is, from that vertew and power he founde in himselfe, vvhile he preached to them. The other is, from the effectualnesse and force of his Ministrie in them. The first is in Paul himselfe, the second in the Thessalonians: the first is contained in these words. For, sayes he, our Gospell, that is the Euangell preached to you, the Gospell of God: (there is no Preacher but he may take it and call it his Gospell, and except thou be saued by it, as it is the Gospell ministered by the Preacher, thou shalt ne­uer get saluation: Wilt thou goe to God immediatlie, and not heare of them, but contemne them thou shalt neuer be saued. It is Paul and Peters Gospell, and the Gospell of the preach­ers of it, ere it serue to thy well (this by the way.) This Gospell stoode not in bare language and vvords onelie, but also in povver. As he would say: when I preached to you, I vttered the Gospel in libertie and power, and therefore vpon the graces and power I found in my selfe in vttering the Gospell to you, I gather, they to whom I preached are chosen of God. Then brethren: when the Lord sends out men to preache in power, it is neuer in [Page 18] vaine; but it is a sure argument amongst them to whom they are ent, there are some chosen of God to life euerlasting: and the man who finds himselfe sent out with power to preache the Gospell, he may say certainlie, there is some I preach to chosen. Who will send out a reaper except there be some haruest to be reaped? Will the Lord send out a man instructed with power to any place, except there be some to be win to him there. The Lord sayes Matth. 9. 37. 38. The haruest is great, it is comming to maturitie, but the laborers are few: therefore pray the Lord of the haruest to send out reapers. And euerbefore any man be sent out to preache, the men to whom he is sent are rype to be instructed, so that he is sent out to gather them in to the barn-yarde. And by the contrair, when God takes away graces, and drawes away power from preachers, when he lets them vtter nothing but dead and emptie talke without power, or when he closes mens mouthes to speake, it is a token that the nomber of the chosen is growing narrow, and the Church is begun to be barren. Well, go this Ministrie away, and if this power be taken away from vs to an other part, there was neuer a surer argument of the draw­ing in of the godlie in a narrow bounds then this is, and that the remanent are left onelie as miserable catiffes appointed to dam­nation. What auailes this life and al that we haue, if we misse that glorie to come. In all our proceedings, looke what serues for the life to come; for all our liues will away, our life is not heere: this death temporall is not death; this life temporall is not life, but death eternall is death, and life eternall is life.

But to come to the words, and marke them. For our Gospell saieth he, vvas not vnto you in vvordes onelie, but in povver. Then it is not preaching in vvordes onelie that vvorkes saluation. I see there are tvvo sortes of preachings: some preachings in vvordes onelie, as these Orators vvho preached to the Co­rinthians for inuy of Paul, had nothing but vvordes. There he sayeth. When I come I vvill cognosce these men, not in their vvordes, but in their povver (if they haue anie) for the King­dome of God standes not in vvordes, but in povver of the Spirite. 1. Corinth. 4. 19. 20. There is an other preaching of the Go­spell, not in vvordes onelie, but vvith vvisdome and povver. Theefore seeing this difference is in preaching, that some [Page 19] preachinges are in vvordes onelie, and some preachings in vvordes vvith power, I must confesse the cause wherefore there is onelie vvordes vvithout povver geuen to the teachers, is oft tymes not onelie in the people themselues, although they be wicked, but in the preacher that vtters nothing but wordes without power, to worke into the hearts of the hearers. There­fore he that speakes in the name of the Lord, looke that he haue power, and aske power of God, that his words may be effectual in the hearts of the hearers to saluation, or else let him holde him silent. Either seeke that power of God may be joyned with words, or else close thy mouth, and speake not one word in the name of the Lord.

This power is not gotten lightlie, looke to the groundes of this power: Paul sets them down heer. In the holie Spirite, there is one, and in full assurance, there is an other. The first, the preaching of the Spirite:2. groun­des of povver in preaching the second, a full assurance that is in the heart of man that speaks to the hearers. Looke that he haue assurance in his owne heart, that remission which he preaches to others is gotteu to himselfe. Is he promising life to the people? looke that he haue assurance that that lyfe is in him. The first and chiefe ground of all power is the holie Spirite of Christ: if the Spirite of Christ speake not, but onlie the spirite of man, the humane power in the teacher, there shall be no power, no vertew in that word to edifie. And therefore Paul 1. Cor. chap. 2. vers. 13. when he hes spoken of the mysterie of Christ, which the wisdome of the vvorlde could not comprehende, he subjoynes, The vvhich vve speake not vvith speaches, and vvordes, vvhich the vvisdome of man teaches, but vvith vvordes, vvhich the holie Spirit teaches vs, ioyning spirituall vvords vvith spirituall matters. By the which words he meanes plainly, that except the Spirit of Christ be the principall speaker of a spirituall matter, be the matter ne­uer so true of it selfe, it shall haue no power, yea farther in the 1. cha. v. 17. he saieth, the preaching of Christ, with the wisdom of words & humane eloquence makes the crosse of Christ ineffe­ctual. 1. Cor. 2. 5. he saieth, that faith stands not in the vvisdom of mē and therfore, who euer teaches in the name of christ, let him beg earnestlie that that holy Spirite may be in the heart, to tune the heart; may be in the tongue, to tune the tongue, that the matter [Page 20] and words that he vtters may both be of the holie Spirite. It is a dangerous thing to a man to speake in the name of the Lord, except first he pray and say, I am going to this place, Lord giue me matter, giue me words, and let not the speach be so much my speache, as the speache of thy Spirite in my heart. If the Spirite be in thy heart, he will speake, but if he be out of thy heart, it will be the voice of a man onelie. No, nothing will conuert men, but that which comes of the Spirit. A natural eare may take pleasure to heare a naturall thing, a naturall heart to speak of a naturall matter: but a spirituall eare and hart wil take pleasure in a spirituall matter, which comes from the heart of a spirituall man.

Now to come to the second ground of this power: It is the full assurance of grace and mercie, that he preaches by his own feeling, he speaks nothing but of faith and particular assurance: a generall assurance is naught; for before I preache the grace of Christ, I must seeke my warrand in my heart, that that grace, righteousnes & life I teach, is setled in my minde, and vpon this assurance I must speake to others; and if the speaker (albeit the grace were neuer so good) haue not in his heart an assurance of that grace, all his words will be vnsauory words. So he must striue alwayes to participate of that grace he teaches to you, ei­ther in teaching, or before. Dauid sayes I beleued and therefore I spake. Psal. 116. 10. And Paul sayes, We beleue to ryse againe, and to be joyned to Christ, and therfore vve speake. 2. Cor. 4. 13. As he would say, I am speaking to you of the rysing of the bodie, but all this comes of an assurance in my hart, that this bodie of mine shall be dissolued, and at that last day shall liue, and be glo­rified: and vpon this assurance of mine, I preache to you this resurrection. All tends to this: He who speakes of God to vs would be a man, that in his owne heart hes a full assurance of grace: and aboue all men, a Minister that stands vp and speaks to others, shoulde haue this assurance, and shoulde seeke all vvarrandes of his ovvne saluation. And of the assurance of his heart, he should speake and say: Because I haue felt remis­on of sins in Christ Iesus, and lyfe in him, therefore I may assure you of them in him, if ye earnestlie by faith seeke them. So look that none that is faithles, on pain of his life stand vp to vtter one [Page 21] word in the name of Iesus, to offer life, or remission of sinnes▪ his speaking is but like the clattering of a Parocket, his heart is dead, and his head onelie sounds. The Apostle sayes, Because I am assured in my heart of this, therfore I spake vvith a great libertie Then there are the two groundes: first, the holie Spirite: se­coundlie, the assurance; if these two be of necessitie the worde must be profitable: and thogh a man can not get the ful measure of these two; well is he that can sigh and say, Lord giue mee an assurance in my heart, ere euer I vtter it to others.

In the end of the verse, he takes them to be witnesses of his doing, manner of speaking, and povver they savv in his preach­ing. As ye knovv after vvhat manner I vvas among you for your sake. As ye know: then they knew the power. So brethren, there will be no Congregation of the Lord that will be so senslesse and dead, but there wil be some that vvill haue that Spirite of discre­tion in them, know who speakes with power, and who not. Euerie man in the Congregation will not haue it; but certainlie in all congregations there will be some that will know emptie words, and discerne them. And therefore let euerie man that speakes in the name of the Lord, speake so, that he may take the people to whom this discretion is geuen to be witnesse of the power, and the Spirite where-with he preached.

Now all this is for their cause, all the graces Paul had, was for their cause,All grace is giuē to mē for the Church. they were not for himselfe: Matter, word, power, spirite, all was for their cause, what euer grace any member gets, all is gotten and geuen for the whole bodie: the grace that the eye of the bodie gets, the grace the hand gets, all is for vp­holding the bodie and if the Lord had had no other regarde, but of the hand onelie, he would not haue geuen it the grace to grip. So is it in the bodie of Christ: for if he had not had an other respect to Paul, but for himselfe onelie, he had neuer receyued these graces. So Iames, Peter, Iohn, &c. all their graces are for the well of the Church. The Apostle. 1. Cor. 3. 21. sayes, All is yours, whither it be Paul, Apollos or C [...]phas, al is yours, and ye are Christs, and Christ is Gods. Then the man that hath gotten the Spirite, and excels aboue his neighbours in graces, looke that in pride he contemne not the least menber of the bodie; the eye must not lightlie the foote, for if it looke to the [Page 22] skyes and let the foote stumble, it shall perishe it selfe: so who hes gotten great graces, let him take them, and lay all down at the feete of the Church, and distribute them to the well of the Church, and say, I got them all for your cause. The Apostle ha­uing gotten a reuelation and assurance, he sayeth, God gaue it for the Church. So when thou hast gotten any grace, giue it out to the Church in humilitie, whither the gift be spirituall or tem­porall, or else it had beene better thou had neuer receyued it: yea, let a King bestow all his graces vpon the Church, for his calling is for the Church, and except there wer a Church, there should not be a King: woe to them that knowe not this end, that all Kingdomes and policies standes for the well of the Church. Daniel tolde Nabuchadnezar an heathen King, that his Kingdome was for the standing of the Church. The Lord op­pen the eyes of men, to se that they do their duetie in their voca­tion, that at that last day they may be found to be members of that bodie.

To goe forward, the Apostle gathers the election of the Thessalonians: first, from that power he had to vtter the word, & that for their cause: secondly, by the effectualnes & powerful working of this God within them. Brethren, if the power that God hes geuen the preacher, for vttering of his Gospell for their well, be an argument to them of their saluation, hovv much more must the effectual working of the Gospell be an ar­gument of their well? Ioyne these two together, the powerfull preaching of the Spirit & the working therof, these two makes the assurance of the election of the hearers. And by the contrair if there be nothing but speaking without power, & no effectu­alnesse in the heart, it will not be the speaker that will auaile, it wil be ineffectuall to them to their saluation. So thou must finde the effectuall working of the Spirite in thee, which must be thy warrand. But to come to the words. And ye are become follovvers of vs, and of the Lord, and receyued the vvord in great affliction, and vvith ioy of the holie Ghost. These are the words: ye se this effectualnesse in the Thessalonians stands in imitation and following, not so much of him, as of the Lord, of whom he was a follower. Well to be short: the effectualnesse of the Gospell in the hearer ye fe consists in the imitation of the speaker, when the hearer [Page 23] imitates in lyfe the preacher; and aboue all, imitates in life and conuersation the Lord Iesus Christ, & followes Pastors as they follow the Lorde onelie, and no otherwise. If then the effectu­alnesse of the Gospel in the people, stands to imitate thee, looke thou that there be matter of imitation of thee, looke how thy mouth speaks, looke thou speake as Christ speaks, otherwise speake not, except thou may say as Paul sayes, when he hes preached to the people, ye are followers of me, I am made a guide to you going before, ye are followers: at the least, if they wil not follow thee, look that thy life be good, thogh they shold run away, go thou forward in the way of life. Preaching wil not do the turne, if thou be not a light going before the people, all thy words shall do no good, and thou shalt neuer be partaker of that glorie thou speaks of.

Then mark againe. Wherin stands this imitation? And receyued, sayes he, the vvord vvith great affliction. There the imitation of the Preacher, not only in receyuing the word deliuered by him, not onlie by following him in doing, but chieflie by following him in suffering affliction. Is he afflicted for the delyuering of it? thou that receiues it follow him in affliction. I remēber Paul in the second Epist. to Timothie. Cha. 3. v. 10. 11. 12. where he layes downe many things in himselfe to be followed, but chieflie his doctrine, maner of liuing, his purpose, his life, lenitie, patience: then he sayes, my persecution and affliction in Christ. Now he sticks on this last, & he specially bound Timothie to that, and he sayes in generall (as it were to euery godlie man) All that is vvil­ling to liue godlie in Christ, shall suffer affliction, & thou must be one of that nomber, Timothie. Brethren, we will be all content to fol­low in doing the Pastor. Hes he faith? we will follow his faith: hes he any other thing in him? we follow him in it: but whē it comes to the crosse, then we will leaue him; we will let him a­lone: no, if it were Christ himself going out of Ierusalem to Gol­gatha wher he suffered, we wil let him go all alone & will abide in Ierusalem. It is vaine to thinke that affliction onlie pertaines to the speaker, and not to the hearers. The Apostle sayes, hauing receyued the word of God with great affliction. No, affliction is the vnseparable companiō of the Gospel in this life: heares thou and receiues thou the word, make thee for affliction. And so [Page 24] Paul to Timothie makes affliction the necessare companion of the Gospell. 2. Timoth,. 1. 8. It bydes with thee heere on the earth with a crosse on the backe of it, for thou shalt not brooke it without a crosse. Therefore maruaile not at this affliction, for it is a meruaile that the Gospell should haue remainde so long without affliction in Scotland, and all this affliction in Scot­land is nothing in respect of other parts where affliction is. And therefore if we brooke this Gospell, looke for greater afflictions, then these; for who hes striuen yet to the blood, for the libertie of the Gospell?

Now in the last words, with the affliction he joynes the holy Spirite, An [...]oy sayes he, of the holie Spirite. Ye receyued the Go­spell with affliction, and with affliction ye receyued joy of the holie Spirite.Ioy of the holie Spi­rite ioined vvith af­fliction. Looke how surelie affliction is the compa­nion of the Gospell; as surelie is the joy of the Spirite the com­panion of affliction, and this is most sure, that the affliction of the Gospell is most joyfull. aboue all other things in the world. A man that suffers as an euill doer, a man that suffers for theft, a murtherer that suffers for murther, an adulterer for adulterie, he hes no joye in suffering, he is ashamed and hangs dovvne his head, because the querrell for which he suffers bringes an euill conscience: theft bringes an euill conscience, murther bringes an euill conscience, adulterie brings an euill conscience, & therfore he hes no joy in suffering. It is true, a man that is to be execute for his his euill deedes, in his execution will rejoyce, but marke the ground. It is it not the euill cause that bringes that joy, but it is the assurance of the remission of sinnes in Christ that bringes the joy: the euill turne bringes euer an horror of conscience: but vvhen one suffers for Christ and the Gospels sake, there is joye and comfort: and they that hes suffered for Christs sake, in suffe­ring haue greater joy in the spirite, nor euer they had in the ful­nesse of their pleasures in the world. Peter in his first Epist. 1. 8. sayes, In the midst of their suffring they suffred joyfully: when there is a good conscience, when men suffer for Iesus sake, there was neuer joye comparable to that joy, it is such a joye as vvill swalow vp al paine & terror. Experience of this we haue in ma­nie godlie Martyres: not that affliction brings joy with it, for it is naturall to the affliction to worke sorrow and griefe, but it is [Page 25] the good conscience that makes joye, and the good conscience comes of the good cause. When the conscience sayes, Thou art suffering for Christ that suffered for thee, and be assured after suffering thou shalt be glorified, ô the joye that that man shall finde! The Lord giues euerie man joye that suffers any thinge lesse or more for Christ: the furnisher of the joye is the Spirite, who will not suffer anie persone to beare anie thing for Christ, but he will giue comfort and joy therein. Brethren, ye heare it commonlie said, It is the cause or the querrell, and not the paine that makes the martyre: the paine & the torment, were they ne­uer so greuous will not make a man a martyre: the ground is the good cause & quarrel that they suffer for, the Gospel & Christ. But I say farther, if there be no more nor the cause or the quer­rell, that makes not martyrdome, if when thou art suffering for Iesus sake, thou hast no joy, no patience, no faith and tolerance, no joye in the holie Spirite, and reioyse more in suffering and bonds, nor he that goes free, it is no martyrdome. Ioyne me joye and the good cause vvith patience in torment all three to­gether, these make a Martyre. Peter sets downe the rules of suf­fring, saying. Let no man suffer as a murtherer, as a theefe, as an euill doer, or as a busie bodie in other mens matters. Then he subjoynes, If anie man suffer as a christian for a good cause, let him not be ashamed therein, but let him glorifie God. 1. Epist. 4. 15. 16. As in the I. Cha V. 8. he sayes, They haue in suffering for a good cause a ioy [...]spea­kable and glorious: So here he forbids them to be ashamed in suf­fering, but to reioyce and glorifie God who hes called them to that honour: for this is the highest honour of all, to suffer for Christ as the Apostles did. Marke all these grounds: These ex­amples and rules commending suffering, are not set downe in vaine: and let none thinke to be a christian and to be exeemed from suffering. Away with them who will say, they will preach and receiue the word gladlie in calmnes, but they will haue no­thing to do with suffering: but I say, if thou prepare thee not for suffering after so long a calmnesse of the Gospell, the end shall prooue that thou shalt curse the time that euer thou heard the Gospell. Therfore in purpose let vs prepare our selues to suffer, that nothing come to vs vnawares: and let vs say when we rise, here I am readie, if it please thee, ô Lord, to lay any thing on me [Page 26] for the Gospell ere euening, Lord giue me grace not to be asha­med; but to suffer in joy, my life is not heere, but my life must be laid down. And wel is him can be this way prepared and lookes for greater affliction: for no doubt, after so great calmnesse, af­fliction must follow, and all our suffering is but childrens play yet. The Lord prepare vs for it, and make vs readie when he pleases to visite vs. To this God be all praise for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 1. vers. 7. 8. 9.

7 So that ye vvere as ensamples to all that beleeue in Macedonia and Achaia.

8 For from you sounded out the vvorde of the Lord, not in Ma­cedonia and in Achaia onelie: but your faith also vvhich is tovv­arde God, spread abroad in all quarters, that vve neede not to speake any thing.

9 For they themselues shevv of vs vvhat maner of entring in vve had vnto you, and hovv ye turned to God from idols,

IN this part of this Epistle, which present­lie we haue in hand: ye haue heard (bre­thren) the Apostle rejoyses together with the Thessalonians, for those graces of God, which he vnderstood and knew to be in them, geuing God thanks therefore, rendering him the whole glorie thereof. The graces wer, as ye heard, namely first, their effectuall faith: secondlie, their laborious loue and charity: thirdly, their patient hope. Then he comes to the ground of all these graces, their election which was from all eternitie, vttering an assurance of their election and of the chusing of them before [Page 27] the world was made. The grounds of his assurance of their eter­nal election wer two: the first in himself: the second in the Thes­salonians: the ground in himselfe, was that grace of God, that li­bertie, that power which he had in preaching Christ when he came among them, which assured him, the Lord had his chosen amongst thē. The ground in them was a faire meeting, receiuing the word, & that with affliction; as he deliuered the word with affliction so they wer followers of him, and receiued the word with great affliction, but yet with joy also; for as affliction ac­companies the word, so the joy of the holie Ghost accompanies the affliction. This shortlie for that which ye haue heard al­readie.

Now to come to the text we haue red. In the first verse therof the Apostle amplifies the grace that God had geuen to them in receyuing the word with great affliction: yea (saith he) yee haue receiued the word with such affliction that ye vvere exam­ples to all that beleeued in Macedonia, that is, in the countrie round about you: (for Thessalonica where they dwelt, it was chiefe Cittie in Macedonia,) and not onelie were ye examples to them in Macedonia, but to them in Achaia, that is in the countrie next adjacent to Macedonia: so that euen as the Thessalonians in pa­tience and grace followed Paul, who was the teacher of grace to them: so the Thessalonians wants not their ovvne followers: all those that beleued in Macedonia and Achaia followes them as examples of faith, patience, & al graces. Marke it, Paul goeth before them in good example, they againe go before al the Ma­cedonians & those of Achaia in their good exāple. Then ye see examples of life hes great force,Exāples are forci­ble. either to well doing or euil do­ing: for wel doing & euil doing in this world come for the most part by example & imitation following others: a good man wil follow a good man, a wel doer wil follow a wel doer, a thefe wil follow a theefe, & a murtherer wil folow a murtherer: they that are inclinde to harlotrie and filthines will follow them that ex­ercise harlotrie and filthines: so they that intend to haue grace will followe them that are gratious, they who doe long and thirst for heauen wil follow them whome they thinke to be go­ing to heauen: they that will run to vvickednes will run to hell after them that runne before them thereto: so that our vvell and [Page 28] woe stands greatlie in imitation of others: and therefore, he who walks let him take head to euerie foote-step, especiallie he that is in any high rowme, in the sight of the people, let him take good head to his walking, and to euerie foote he sets down, how he goes, where he goes, what he is doing: for certainlie, he shall not goe alone: walks he well? he shall haue followers: walks he euill? he shall haue followers: falles he in the myre? moe shall fall with him: breaks he his neck? some shall follow him who shall break their necks with him: stands he vpright? moe shall follow him and stand vpright. Therefore the Apo­stle doubles ouer the precept, Walke vviselie, vvalke circum­spectlie. Eph. 5. 15. 17. Colloss. 4. 5. Each foote thou sets to the earth, looke where thou sets it, and looke who followes thee. And Christ sayes. Matth. 18. 7. Woe be to that man by vvhom of­fence commeth, that is, that walks not warelie but runnes himself to destruction, and drawes men and wemen thereto. This is a world wherein men had need to take head to their walking: God graunt that they who are in high rowmes, may take head to their walking, for they that goes before others may saue ma­ny, if they walke well; and may lose many by their walking and going in wickednesse, if they walke euill.

Farther marke. Who are these that followes the Thessaloni­ans? or to whom are they patterns of grace & patience in suffe­ring? The Macedonians, the Contrie about them: & beside that, the Achaians, they of the nighbour Countrie: for Achaia is next to Macedonia. And vvho vvere these? They that beleeued in Christ before the Thessalonians were called: they who were called first, followed them who were called to grace last. Marke then, the Thessalonians who were called last, outranne in the course of grace the rest of the Macedonians and Achaians, and left them behinde them, albeit they broke off before them. It is to be noted: We are all running in one course and we are all in one rinke, running towards the marke: for in the tyme of our lyfe there is none sitting: thou deceaues thy selfe that sayes thou hast a stablisht mansion heere, all must be on foote, and all must be running, and we must runne to the place where our mansion is, to the But of our glorious resurrection and life euer­lasting: if thou sit still, thou shalt stinke, rotte and perishe: but [Page 29] if thou run, and runne on while thou come to the But, thou shalt, be safe in the end, and shalt receyue the Crowne and pryce of immortall glorie. Now in this course and rinke of christianitie, it falles out so, that they that start last, shall out-runne them that start and break off a good space of tyme before them; and ouer­come them in faith, patience, affliction, and joy. Ye se this plain­lie in this example of the Thessalonians with the rest the Ma­cedonians, and them of Achaia. So that is most true which Iesus said, The last is first and the first is last. Math. 20. 16. There is a great alteration: the last outrunning them who brake off firste: they that broke off first are made last. and ly behinde, and is o­uercomde in grace. The Iewes entred in this rinke long before, yea many hundreth yeeres ere the Gentiles thought of any rink, or to come to heauen: but so soone as the Gentiles come in and breakes off in the rinke they did outrun the Iewes, & left them behind them as far as they might look to them: they were spee­die in the beginning. After Iesus came in the world and the A­postles were teaching, it is wonder to thinke hovv speedie they were: So this hath beene oft times seene that in the Church of God, they who were called last hes ouercomde them who were called first. And I thinke that nation of France hath ouercomde all the Churches in Europe, in suffering a continuall & frequent affliction: thinke not they are behinde vs in our course, no: they are farre before vs. And as to our nation in this part of afflicti­on that Paul speakes of, I thinke it is behinde all nations. Alas, what haue we suffered? our tyme is yet abyding vs. The Lord prepare vs thereto: and I thinke it is comming on; yea, it is a wonder we should haue heard the word so long without af­fliction.

Yet to the words, he calles them examples, patterns going be­fore others. He sayes not ye were a patterne singularlie, (the words hes a great force) but ye were patterns: meaning, that so many heads of men and wemen, as there were of the Thessalo­nians, they were as many patterns, euerie person was a pattern; a patterne in grace, in faith, in patience and suffering.Manye al­led [...] So that ye may marke, when Iesus come in the world, when the Apo­stles went out to the Nations, to draw the Nations to Christ, to conuert them, the Haruest was great, the world was full of [Page 30] chosen vessels: when Iesus came the world was full of men and wemen to be safe: ther was neuer so many before his cōming, & I wote not if euer there was so manie since: and that was it that Christ meaned when he said, The haruest is great but the laborer: are fevv: Therefore pray ye the Lord of the haruest to send out laborer [...] to his Wyne-yarde. Matth. 9. 37. It is a wounder to heare howe hastilie at one preaching so manie thovvsandes were conuerted. Reade the Acts of the Apostles, the second and third chapters, ye vvill vvonder at the zeale, loue, patience and joye of them. Brethren, this vvas the beginning and infancy of the Church, but since that number hes begun to be drawne in narrow bounds, & in processe of time these Thessalonians who are now so praised by the Apostle, they are so drawne in, that vve heare it not told that Christ is professed among them. So it was in the beginning heere amongst vs after the reformation, when papistrie was put avvay: it vvas a vvonder to see how men and vvemen did thring in, and vvere glad to indure great labour, and suffer afflictions for the Religion. So, no question but that reformation fell when the Lord had manie rype to be called in this land. But I vvill speake my opinion, I thinke in these dayes the number of the faithfull be dravvne in, and (except the Lord say it) they shall grow fewer, and peece & peece they shall go away. Now when all the elect shal be gathered in to the last person, then the Lord Iesus shall come and put an end to this vvorld: and I trow it shal not be long to it. To returne: So manie Thessalonians, as manie patternes of grace to Macedonia & Achaia. I aske a question ere I leaue this. Receiued the Macedonians & Achaians anye hurt by this superioritie and prefement the Thessalonians had ouer them, they vvere casten behind, the Thessalonians before, were the Macedonians hurt therby? No: the grace that God gi­ues to a man, if he vse it rightly, neuer hurts another man but fur­thers him: ouer comes he me in this grace? I am nothing impared in that, because he is a patterne to me, whom I should follovv in that grace: runnes he before me? he should vvalken mee vp to follow and runne after: for this is one meane among all the rest of the meanes the Lord vses to dravv vs forvvard in the course of grace: for we are slovv in running, & euerie one of vs by na­ture is inclyned to sluggishnes, & ay looking ouer our shoulder [Page 31] to stay our course, as Lots vvife did. Therefore the Lord hes ap­pointed this meane to draw thee forward, he wil set out one be­hinde thee, long after thee, and vvill cause him to come by thy eare vvith all speedines, and runne out before hee, to prouoke thee to emulatiō: so thou sholdest say, This man began after me, I was in faith before him, he hes outrunne me, it is shame to me: & so thou should take thee to thy foote & run: otherwise thou hast no part with the runners in this rinke. So did he with the Iewes: they were all lingring at the comming of Christ, the Gē ­tiles comes out after them, and runnes by them, that they might be prouoked to follow: so that both Iew and Gentile might run on together to that But, which is Christ. Rom. 11.

Now to the next verse: The words are plaine. He makes this more cleare, to wit, That they were examples to them of Mace­donia & Achaia. And he sayes, For from you sounded out the vvord of the Lord, not in Macedonia and Achaia onelie. Euen as, at the be­ginning this blessed Gospell sounded out from Zion (for they that preached it came from Zion, which is Ierusalem) and spread it abroad through the vvhole world. So from the Thessalonians the word sounded out, & spread to Macedonia & Achaia. Who wer these that sounded the vvord to Macedonia? Novv certain­lie it appeares vvell, euen trauelling men, so journers, passingers, marchants, traffiquers, that had trauelling in Macedonia (as men that vvould go out of Edinburgh to other parts of this Realme) & so from Macedonia to Achaia. These men as they so journed they so journed not vvith close mouthes, but they euer sounded as Heraulds and Trumpettars sounding, and vvhere euer they found occasion, they spake of Christ, and of that grace vvhich vvas in him, to them that knevv him not. So that they had con­ference euer of spiritual things. Then ye who trauels frō toun to town, & from Country to Country, ye haue your lesson here, ye should not trauell with a close mouth, & all your speach should not be of marchandice and traffique; but of some grace ye haue gotten at home, disperse and speake of it. Ye thinke of duetie ye shold seek your aduantage & marchandice: the Lord hes bound your consciences as it wer with bondes to speake & oppen the grace of god, & going to places wher there is fredome to speak the Lord bids you speak, he bids you be lamps & lights to blind [Page 32] people, where euer ye resort: for besides all other meanes, the Lord hes appointed this as a mean to win soules to Christ, that ye who trauailes and haue heard of grace should communicate that grace, and haue conference thereof to all persones where ye come, that you may vvinne your poore brother & sister that haue not heard of it. Alas, our consciences may accuse vs verie sore for the neglect of our duetie herein: And I trow, because vvhen men are abroad trauailing, they trauaile with close mou­thes, neuer speaking of the grace they got at home, the Lorde hes begun to close the mouthes of the preachers of grace in this Towne heere.

He goes forward in the next part of the verse and he ampli­fies this grace of the Thessalonians: Not onelie hes the vvorde soūded to Macedonia, but he sayes, your faith also vvhich is tovv­ards God, is spread abroad in all quarters. So that the Apostle tra­uailed to no part but the brute of their faith met him: The brute of a man will go farther nor his voice vvil be heard. Thou then shouldst take heade to thy name and fame, and trauaile to get a a good fame: for I tell thee, as thy presence is either good or bad to them that see thee, and vvith vvhom thou art conuersant, so is thy fame to them that see thee not. If thou die bearing the name of a good man, thy name doth good to the posteritie: but if thou die an euill man, thy euill name destroyes manie. Woe to them therefore that leaues an euill name behinde them, especiallie if they be in high places: and amongst all the rest of the meanes God vses to enlarge Christs Kingdome with, and to bring men to Heauen, as the presence of a man and his voice is one mean, so the name and fame of the grace of God in a man, is an o­ther meane. Take head to thy name and fame; for either it shall turne to thy consolation or to thy damnation, accordinglie as thou liuest: and thou making men to follow thy euill example in doing, shalt aggredge thy judgement: looke how little a thing will do much euill: we should then walke warelie, this life will away, blessed is he that can make his name to serue to the glorifying of God. Thou Scotland hadst a glorious name in many Countreyes:Scotlands glorious name. the rose-garland of Scotland was the pu­ritie of the Gospell of Christ taught therein; and goe it away, the Kings honour shall passe, and I feare grace also shall goe [Page 33] avvay. The Lord oppen mens eyes to see this, and lette vs not lose this name vvhich vve haue in the mouthes of good men in other countries.

Novve the last vvordes of this verse. That vve need not to speake any thing. As he would say: the fame of your faith spred so abroade, that vvhere euer I come, it mette me, so that my mouth vvas closed, that I needed not to speake of your graces. The Apostle vvhen he had conuerted anie people he euer commended them to the people he vvent to, and tolde of their graces, as the Acts beares. Novv comming to other Countries, after the conuerting of the Thessalonians, before he coulde speake one vvorde of them, the brute of them mette him so the Thessalonians did holde in that parte of his trauaile. It is most true, the people may disburdeene the Pastor of many thinges: for euerie one of them shoulde edifie an other, as he preaches & and edifyes in publict: if euerie one of them would edifie others in priuate conference, they vvoulde releeue him of a great bur­dene. The end of his whole trauailes is to edifie, and if euerie one of you edifie others, yee releeue him of a great part of his burdene. His office is to builde vp the house of the Lorde, and euerie one of you is bound to take a stone in your armes to lay vpon the building, and euerie one in their own vocati­on is bounde to helpe vp the building of the house of the Lord by conference communication, and such other meanes. But, alas, hovv is this practised in this nation? they burdene the builder, not onelie to build, but also to build without an helper, for none there is that builds with him, The bloodie murtherer, will come in with a foul slander, and will beat down all that the buil­der hes builded in the hearts of many: the foull adulterer with a foull slander, and he will beat down that which the builder hes builded: the blasphemer with a foull mouth, and he will beat down that which is builded. This is the fashiō of Scotland in building the house of the Lord. Woe to thee adulterer, mur­therer, blasphemer, &c. thou art a destroier of the house of God, and shalt be chalenged in that great day therefore.

Now he make, [...] more plain in the next verse. I neded not to speak any thing: for ere [...] open my mouth, he or she comes to tel [Page 34] me that thing, I should haue spoke, & so he brings in their nar­ration vvich spoke of his labour in conuerting the Thessa­lonians. For they themselues shevv vnto vs, vvhat manner of ente­ring vve had vnto you, and hovv yeturned to God from Idols. Ere they spoke of you Thessalonians, they spoke of my selfe, vvhat manner of entering I had amongst you, vvith povver­full preaching and libertie, as I haue tolde you before. There is his part. So that vvhere euer the Country-men amongst whom he was, spoke to him of the Thessalonians, and of the grace they receyued by his preaching, they spake to him of him selfe, of the grace God had geuen them by him. The commen­dation of grace,Commendation of the people & pastor [...]. patience and charitie in the people, should not be without commendation of the Pastor, whom God hes im­ployed as his instrument to their well. This commendation ye se beginnes at Paul, they speake of the grace of God in him ere they speake of the Theslalonians. And in that great day when the true praise shall be, the people shall not be glorified without the Pastor. If he hes had care in winning of you to Christ he shal be crowned standing by you. Paul saith A Crovvn of righteous­nesse [...] as laid vp for him. 2. Tim 4. 8. and in this same Epist. to the Thess. 2. 19. What is my hope, my ioy my Crovv [...] ye are my glory & my ioy. Meaning they could not be glorified without him, and his glorie and joy consisted in their glorie. All this telles vs in that great day what glorie and honour the faithfull Ministers of Christ shall haue, for they shall shine as starres: byde a little while, it is not long to. If thou be an instrument to make the people faithfull, if they get a crowne, thou shalt get a crowne also. This for his own part.

Then he comes on to their part. And as concerning you, vvhere euer I trauelled, they shevv me the manner of your con­uersion, and hovv ye turned from Idols, to serue the true God. So the thing that was reported to the Apostle of the Thessalo­nians, is their turning. Brethren, the first effect that is required in a man or woman in this world, is to turne them round about, to turne their face where their backe was, to turne them off the course they were on, they are in an euill course, running to de­struction, and their eye is on Hell. There is the first effect of [Page 35] the Gospell,Connersi [...] the first effects of the Gospel to turne them about; to take their eye off the Deuill, and set it on God: thy heart, thy soule and thy affection that is set on the Deuill, must be turned about within thy breast, and set on God, & if this turning be not wroght in thee by the Gospel, looke not for grace, remission of sinnes and lyfe euerlasting. Art thou a murtherer, and hast thy heart set on blood-shed? at the hearing of the Gospell, if thy heart be not turned, thy sinne shall neuer be taken avvay. He vvho is nevv comde from murther, he vvill come in and holde vp his eare to the Gospell, and heare of remission of sinnes and lyfe euerlasting through Christ, and he will take all to him, and in the meane tyme he will haue his foull heart stuffed with murther and reuenge. Away with thee ô foole: it is impossible to get pardon & remission of sinnes, when thy heart remaines yet vnturned from sinne: thou hast no part in Iesus, I debar thee from him. Trowest thou to get remission and lyfe vvhen thy heart bydes vnturned, lying still in that stincking filth? In a vvord, thou shalt get no effect of the Gospell except thy heart be turned to God. So as thou vvoulde haue lyfe after this lyfe, looke thy heart be turned a­vvay from sinne, and turned to God. So then there is the first effect that the Gospell vvorkes,Parts of conuer­sion. Repentance and turning. Wherein stands it? Looke to the vvordes: it stands first in this pointe, in leauing off Idols: if thou be an Idolater, turne thy backe on an Idoll. Thou makes an Idoll to thee of thy foull affection, as murther, theft, adulterie, vvhen thou obeyes them: turne thy back on these Idoles. Many thinkes to come to God in an instant vvith his Idole in his armes, they vvill present to God prayers, vvith the Idoll in their bosomes, as Rachell would come dovvne from Padan-Aram and vvorshippe God, but she keeped her Idoll. No, be not deceiued, if thou leaue not the Idole behinde thee, (vvhither it be an Idole in deede, or a foull affection that thou settest vppe in the rovvme of God) I discharge thee of the Connention of the Sanctes of God, for thou scornes him, and one daye he shall be auenged on thee for it. Turne thee therefore from that vvicked Idoll or else byde away.

Nowe followes the second part of the conuersion. It is not [Page 36] eneugh to turne from an Idoll (a false dead stocke, vvhich is nothing but the inuention of thy ovvne braine. Paul to the Corinthians cal [...]es it nothing. 1. Corinth. 10. 19.) but thou must turne to the true God. Turne thee from Sathan to God. Alas, filthie creature, whome to will thou turne thee if thou will not turne thee to thy ovvne Redeemer? The lesson is. It is not e­neugh to turne from an Idole, except thou turne to the true God of glorie, the liuing God. Brethren many men hes bene de­ceyed with this. Amongst the Nations there were many who would scorne Iupiter, condemne Apollo, as Diogenes, but they turned not to God, but turned to plaine Atheiseme. So there are many in these dayes who will mocke all the vanities of the Masse, and yet for all this, they will abyde Atheists, and all Re­ligion will be alyke to them. Is he amongst the Papists? he will scorne them: amongst the Protestants? he will scorne them also? This is an euill sort of men. Except thou be of mynde to [...]m­bra [...], the true God; holde thee with thy Idoll, be a Papist still; an Athei [...]t is most wicked and most dangerous, for the scor­nes all men▪ He is worse then an Idolater, and he can not eschew a judgement. For, the Histories recordes that God oft-tymes hes punished euen the verie cont [...]mners of the idoles, that is, such as preased to blot out of their heartes all sense of the God­hoode.

Learne here in these words, that miserable estate that men lay into before their conuersion The Thessalonians what wer they before Paul came among them? dead in sin, dead in lustes, with­out any sight of God or saluation. I shall tell you how all mens sonnes, (euen the Kings sonnes) are borne, (so that we haue no cause to glorie in our selues:) When he is borne first, and comes out of his Mothers vvombe, the backe of him is to God, and his face to the Deuill, and the burning eye of God is vppon him. No infant, vvhat estate so euer hee be, is borne other­wise, his face is to Hell, his backe on God his Redeemer, and thee seede of hatred, vvith the gall of bitternesse against God in his heart, and if hee remaine in nature, there is no day he liues, but there is in his heart some augmentation of the hatred of God. Now in the meane tyme the eare of him is ay pulde, [Page 37] the light of reasone beginnes not so soone in him, but the con­science will round in his eare, there is a God that created this world, and oft he will looke ouer his shoulder to get a blenk of that God his Creator, and seeing him, faine would he be quite of that Creator, and of that sight of God that reason chalenges his soule with: (looke to this our nature, fy on them that begins to extoll this nature in their doctrine) yet he can not be quite of the sight of God, and he findes that nature pushes him to seeke a God. And then he saieth: seeing I can not be quite of God, I shall make to my selfe a God, and then he will change the glory of the true God in the Image of a foure-footed beast, &c. Rom 1. 23. Then the Lord seeing this malitiousnesse in the heart of man, who sees a God and will not see him; he putteth out his eyes, & geues him ouer to a reprobate sense and minde with­out all judgement: the Lord makes him both blinde and wod as a blinde bodie running like as he were mad, and waits not what way: for he that is an Idolater, is by nature a wod waue­ring bodie, and all his race in that broad way, adulterie, mur­ther, and all other vices, and [...]unne where he will, Hell is the end of his running.

Looke then to this nature that we are borne in, it is worse nor I or the tongue of any man can expresse. Then how is this matter remedied? when the blinde man is running on in his fury, there ryses a noyse that followes him: see the mercie of God! what manner of noyse is this? It is the voice of the Law, crying, ô miserable bodie,Manner of conuer­sion. thou art condemned, Hell is thy lotte and portion, and this begins to awalk him (a terrible walking.) Now if God let him alone in this manner, desperation would be his, end. But, if it pleases God to haue mercie on that cati [...]e: there followes an other sweete voice, (alas, no other thing see I in Scotland but damnation if the Gospell be remoued.) This cry is out of the Gospell with [...] the Baptist: Sinner repent thee, turne thee to the Lord Christ and thou shalt [...]inde mercy.The voice of the Euangell. There is the cry of the Gospell, Thy sinne shall be forgeuen thee, thou shalt be safe. D [...]eth he heare this? if the Lord be power­full vnto him, he will turne himselfe immediatlie about, and looke with his face to that God and Christ with such a joy and mourning that no tongue can expresse it. A joy beginnes [Page 38] in the conuersion, because of Gods presence assuring him of the remission of all his sinnes: a sorrovve beginnes because of the offending of God in tyme bypast. So I crye this day, Beleeue in God miserable men, and ye shall finde mercie. And if the idolaters in our North-countrie were heere, I woulde crye to them, Fy on thee idolater, that hast runne on so long in diuelish wayes, turne you from your idolatrie and vvicked na­ture to the veritie of the Gospell of Christ, and you shall be saued: but if you turne not, damnation shall ouertake you, and thou shalt be casten in vtter darknesse vvhere there shall be no­thing but vveeping and gnashing of teeth. The Lorde saue out of their vvicked and detestable companie all them that in their heart longes to see the most comfortable countenance of their blessed Sauiour Iesus Christ: and the Lord concurre by his heauenlie Spirite vvith the Gospell that is prea­ched, that wee may be all in tyme conuerted thereby, and see God in Christ, and serue him in this life, that at last we may haue the full sight of his face for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 1. vers. 9. 10.

To serue the liuing and true God. 10 And to looke for his Sonne from Heauen, vvhome hee raised from the dead, euen Iesus, vvhich delyuereth vs from the vvrath to come.

1. THESSA. CHAP. 2. vers. 1. 2.

1. For ye your selues knovve, brethren, that our enterance in vn­to you vvas not in vaine.

2. But euen after vvee had suffered before, and vvere shame­fullie entreated at Philippi (as ye knovve) vvee vvere bolde in our God, to speake vnto you the Gospell of God vvith much stryuing.

THE purpose we haue in hand, brethren, is that rejoysing of the Apostle Paul, to­gether with the Thessalonians, whom he had conuerted to Christ, for these graces of God which Paul vnderstood to be in them: namelie, their faith, their loue, their hope, their election eternal, of the which he was assured, and that by sundry argu­ments and tokens. Now the last day we entred into a narration, which the Apostle showes was made to him in the Countries in the which he trauailed, both far & neere concerning the Thessa­lonians and first of all concerning himselfe, what manner of en­trie he had vnto them, with what libertie, with vvhat affliction, [Page 40] and as concerning them, how they were conuerted and turned by his preaching from the Idoles, false Gods which they vvor­shipped before, vnto God. This much alreadie.

Now in this text we haue the vses and ends of their conuer­sion and turning to the true and liuing God: There are tvvo of them: the first is, that they should serue the liuing and true God: The second is, that they shoulde looke for his sonne, vvhom he, meaning the father, had raised from the death, euen Iesus, vvho delyuereth vs from the vvraith to come. The ends of con­uersion. Nowe to come to the first end, and to marke euerie worde: Ye are conuerted, saves he, from idoles to God: and to what end? to serue the liuing and true God, where­as before ye serued but dead and false Gods, beeing miserable slaues: ye are turned and conuerted from these false Gods to im­ploy that seruice on the liuing and true God.

Then brethren, to marke shortlie the lessons, for the Text is plaine. Our conuersion & turning to God, is not that we should stand vp idle before him or play the vvanton in his eyes: but it is to be humbled before him, to honour him, and to consecrate our whole life, (if we did liue ten thousand yeeres) to his seruice. Manie men, vvhen for the fashion they haue turned from Idolatrie to God and to the Gospell, where he is present, em­ploy their vvhole life (as ye see by experience) to displease and dishonour God in his face. In the light of the Gospell hee vvill come out and playe the murtherer: in the face of Christ in the Gospell she vvill playe the harlote, the thirde will oppresse, the fourth will steale, the fifth will spew out blasphemie. Now why wouldst thou not do this when thou didst serue idoles? the lesse judgement shoulde haue falne vpon thee to haue done these things in the face of an Idole that savve thee not, nor in the face of God vvho sees thee. O hypocrite, it had beene better for thee thou hadst neuer beene conuerted to the Gospell, nor hadst ne­uer heard the sound of the Gospell, nor when thou hearest it to contemne God by thy life therein. Fy on thee, go backe againe to idolatrie, except thou behaue thy selfe comelie standing be­fore the face of that Majestie of God. Brethren, it is the thinge I haue beene thinking on: This Gospell shall serue to the greater condemnation of the multitude of people in this world, & that for the contempt thereof: fy that such villanie should be daylie [Page 41] and hourelie committed in the sight of God, in so great a light of the Gospell.

He joynes some properties to this God, and calles him the li­uing and trew God, and that to put a difference betweene him and Idoles: an Idole is dead, the Papists idole is dead and the Pa­pist turnes the liuing God in an idole. An idole is dead, without life, breath, feeling, motion or s [...]irring, without, all kind of quick­nes:God true & liuing. our God is liuing, an idole is but a false and sordged thing, a thing that a vaine head vvill inuent: fy on the [...] of an i­dole: but our God is the true God, God in verie deede, and in the end vvill be found the onelie true God. There are [...]vvo proper­ties that are geuen to him: Marke the vse of them: They are reasones mouing the Thessalonians to serue him: He is liuing, why should they not serue him? he is the true God, why should they not serue him? The life that is in God, the veritie that is in him is more then matter to moue all mankinde to honour him. Man cannot be honoured, but by others nor himselfe: take men away from a man, no honour to that man. It is not so with God, for, if all the creatures of the earth were turned to nothing, the honour and glorie of that God stands sure and absolutelie per­fite. Then, if notwithstanding of the honour in him, of the life in him, of the trueth in him, which all are matter of all seruice to be geuen to him, thou wilt not be moued to honour God, he is but an Idole to thee, an idole without life to thee, without sense or feeling, without hearing seeing, without all prouidence & care in gouerning these things in heauen and earth: thou that serues and honour him not in this life thou makes him an idole. If you thought he had an eye to see the inward of thy heart, an eare to heare what thou art speaking in thy secrete chamber, if thou thought he had a prouidence ouer this world, for all the world thou wouldst not do as thou doest. The adulterer the oppressor if they had a conscience that God sawe them and marked their doings, for al the world they would not do so as they do: but be­cause thou makes an idole of him, thinking him neyther to see nor know anie thing: therefore thou playest the wanton: thinke not but this shal be layde to thy charge, Thou was an adulterer, a murtherer, an oppressor: thinke not that this shall be the chiefe cryme thou shalt be accused for, that thou art an adul­te [...]er, [Page 42] murtherer, an oppressour: no, no, but the Lord shall say, ca­tiffe, thou made an Idole of me in thy adulterie, and closed me in Heauen, without life, sense or vnderstanding, or prouidence to take care of the things of the world, catiffe, thy damnation is for this, thou dishonoured me in the profession of my name.

Yet there is more in these wordes. He lets them se that greater advauntage they had in seruing God, nor euer they had before: before they serued dead and false things, now saieth he, ye serue not a dead & false thing, but a liuing and true God. There is great vauntage heere: Brethren, there are many sortes of slaueries in this world: but to be addicted to an Idole, or a false God, to fall down before a stock or stone,Slauery of Idolaters. of all slaueries this is the grea­test: it is true, it is a slauerie to be subject to a tyrannous man in this worlde, to his foull affections, to abyde all things he will in­joine thee, but in the meane tyme, while as thou serues the liuing and true God, thou art a free man, and thou hast a singulare comfort and consolation in thy heart: and if anie will call the a slaue, care not for that, for thou art a free man to God. 1 Cor. 7. 21. but, albeit he were a King, and had all the vvorld vnder his dominion, if he be a slaue to a false fained God, an Idole, of all slaues he is the greatest slaue: for not to knovve the true God is the greatest slauerie that is: for there is no consolation but in God: if thou had all the libertie in the vvorld, thy soule is in slauerie, if thou serue not the liuing and true God. I will not call a Nation a free Nation, a King a free King, if they serue not that liuing God. Will I call a Kingdome a free King­dome that is subject to a miserable slauerie of Idolatrie? Woe to that slauerie: and thou Scotland, if thou lose the seruice of the liuing God, of all slaues thou shalt be the greatest, be­cause so shamefullie thou hast lost it. Dauid in the 16. Psal. vers. 4. telles of the miserie of the Idolaters, and of the libertie of them who serues Iehouah. As for the Idolaters saieth he, They multiple sorrovv vpon sorrovv to themselues: then he rejoyses in his owne felicitie: who serues the liuing God Iehouah? the Lord, saieth he, is the portion of my inheritance. Therefore ere thou lose the seruice of this true God, and Christ his Sonne, lose thy life, and all that thou hast in this world. This is the onelie liberty to serue the liuing and true God.

[Page 43] Now followes the second end of their conuersion, which is to looke for the Sonne and his comming; the first was, to serue the Father of this life; the second is to awaite for the comming of the Son. Marke euerie word. It is not eneugh, brethren, to serue the Father, the liuing and true God, in faith, in loue, in all seruice that pertaines to him in this lyfe, except thy eye throgh hope reach out beyonde this lyfe in the meane tyme of thy seruice.Hope of life to cōe. Thou art heere novv seruing him, looke that thy eye reach out beyonde this life, to see and to hope for an other life. There are many in wealth, in honour, in ease, in healthe of bodie in this worlde, that vvould make a Couenant with God, and say, Lorde, Let mee dwell still to serue thee heere, and it were for euer, and I oblishe me neuer to looke for more at thy hand: giue me this lyfe, and wealthe and pleasure thereof, I shall serue thee to let me liue heere for euer, and I shall binde my selfe neuer to craue more of thee: alas, I trovv there be many of this sort. Fy on it, this can not be rooted out of the hearts of the most godlie, euen as if either God had gotten glorie suffici­entlie, or we could get perfite happinesse in this life. Alas, if our hope were onelie in this lyfe, and our blessednesse reached not out beyonde this life, of all men the christian man wer most mi­serable. I had rather chuse to be a Turke nor a Christian, except my hope reache out beyond this life, & all the pleasure and ser­uice I can do to God in it. If thou prease to be a true christian, think not with thy self, I shall driue ouer this life quietly, & shal stand fast in al trouble, but thou must bide tossing & toyling, o­therwise thou can not be a christian: for throgh many tribulations thou must enter into the kingdom of heauen. Act. 14. 22. Thē ye who wold serue God, serue him as pilgrimes in a strange country far frō him: what euer thou be doing here in his seruice walking in thy godly exercise, in the mean time let thy hart be with Christ: let thy hart be wher thy life is hid vp with Christ. Paul giues an example of this in his own person saying, I liue here as a Citizen of Heauen. Philip. 3. 20. A Citizen in the heauen is a pilgrime on the earth. And therfore he subjoynes, liuing as a pilgrime heere, and a Citizen of Heauen, I hope for my saluation in Christ. A pilgrime hes euer his eye out of this world. The se­cond Epistle to the Corinthians. Chap. 5. vers. 7. 8. he shovves [Page 44] that in this lyfe he walked in faith and confidence, but saieth he, I chuse rather to flit and remoue out of the bodie, and to dvvell vvith my Lord Iesus. Fy on thee, that is so nailde throgh head and heart to this world, that thou hes euer thy heart and sight heere. Certainelie I am of this minde, that the thing that euerie one of vs should most care for, should be to steale away peece & peece from this earth. Lowse thy heart peece and peece, and free thee from this wofull life.

Now this hope and looking is for the Sonne: something per­taines to the Father, thou must serue the liuing and true God: something pertaines to the Son, thou must looke for him from Heauen. Thinke not to honour the Father without the Sonne. The Iew is vaine that thinks to honour the Father without the Sonne, No, it will not be: serue the Father, but honour the Son also, or else the Father shall accept no honour at thy hand. Ioh. 5. 23. For all the honour of the Fathers is in the Sonne. But marke the speciall honour that is geuen to the Sonne in this life. The Sonne is honoured in faith in this life, in beleeuing that he is al­readie come in the world, that he is come in our nature and suf­fered the death for our sins: that he died▪ was buried, rose againe from the death, thou honoures him in beleeuing this. But this is the speciall pointe of this honour, to hope that he shall come a­gaine: as he come once, so looke that he shall come againe. But brethren, neither hes his glorie yet appeared, as it is in deed, and shall appeare: neither yet your grace appeares as it shall when he shall come againe. And therefore the speciall seruice we can doe, is to await for his comming, ad to glorie vnder that hope. No, beleeue thou in the Father as thou wilt, if thou hope not for that glorious returning of the Sonne, thou honours him not. This is all to stirre vs vp by hope, to looke for an other life: for all these things; King and Kingdome vvill avvay, and they who hoped for him in this lyfe, shall shine in glorie with him in that life eternall.

Fromwhence shal we hope that he comes? where shal we cast our eye (if we looke for a man to come from one part, our eye will euer be on that part where from he should come, whither it be East or West, South or North) Where then should we cast our eye? Neither to the East, West, South nor North, nor to any [Page 45] part of this earth, but cast thy eye vpward to Heauen, Iesus is in Heauen, and he shall come from Heauen, he is not in the earth: and therefore ye see in him that hopes, as the hart breakes vp­ward, so will the eye looke vpward, the hand, the head will be raised vpward: as Christ sayeth, lift vp your heads. Luke 21. 28. so his behauiour will tell thee from whence Christ shall come. And againe thy behauiour wil tell that thou hast no hope when thou tends altogether downewards, thy face euer towards the earth, & thy hart moyling in the earth: when any man sees al thy care and minde onelie vpon the earth he may say, this bodie hes no hope, he lookes not for the returning of the sonne of God.

Then followes Whom he raised from the death, meaning the sonne of God: the Father raised him. I will not insist, but so farre onelie as the text will beare me. Beleeue that Iesus is raised from the dead, and that he is in heauen; beleue the thing done & past, and then hope that he shall come againe: first be a beleeuer, and then hope: he that hopes for a thing to come must be a beleeuer of the thing by gone. Fasten thy beleef on the things bygone, that Christ died, was buried, and rose vp by the power of God, and ascended to the heauen; beleeuing all these things by gone, hope shall take hold on things to come; but if thou beleeue not these things bygone, thou shalt neuer hope that Christ shal come againe to thy deliuerie. All these things bygone goe before the thing to come: he hes told all the articles of the beleefe, ere he come to this cōming of Christ againe; therfore thou must beleue these things bygone ere thou hope for Christs cōming. Then he brings in a descriptiō of the son of God; from his name, a Sauior▪ from his office, a deliuerer: a sauior must be a deliuerer, his name bears his office, for Iesus must be a sauior of men. There are two things joined together, Christs comming and our eternall deli­uerie: when he came first in the world, he began with deliuerie, and by his death redeemed vs; when hee shall come againe he wil make an end of our deliuery & there shal be no more sin, death,Our deli­uerie de­pendes on Christs comming. trouble or sorow. So al our deliuerie depends so on christs cōming, that if he return not we shal neuer be fully deliuered: & by the contrair, Iesus returning, of necessitie thou must get a full deliuerance. They that looke for deliuerie (there is the order of hope) their hope is euer first in the comming of Christ, vpon the [Page 46] which their deliuerance dependes, then in the seconde rowme, they looke for their deliuerance. They are fooles that look first to be deliuered, that is a backward order: therefore say, I hope Iesus shall come againe, and then say, I hope to be deliuered: & ye see in the Reuelation the cry of him who lookes for saluati­on, is Come Lord Iesus. Reuel. 22. 20. The meaning is, When vve desire Christ to come, we desire the performance of our deliue­rance: when we desire Doomes-day, vve desire the perfection of our eternall deliuerie, and it will not be vntill that day: if thou be founde in Iesus thy deliuerance shall then come in the full accomplishment thereof.

Now, from what should he deliuer vs? From the vvraith to come. Christ de­liueres vs from the vvrath to come. That is, from all paine and vexation. All the terrors, & hell that shall follow on the wrath of that great God that shal be re­uealed in that great day (for, that effectuall wrath of God shall strike in that great day) are called the vvrath to come. No doubt the Apostle by this word would stirre vp our mindes to looke for a greater wrath, then euer was seene in this world: there was neuer since the first day to the last, such a wrath of God seene in the world, as shall be seene in that last day. The Lordes vvrath hes bene vttered oft times in great measure since the beginning, as in that great deludge, in the burning of Sodome and Gomor­rha with fire and brimstone, in the particulare destruction of ma­nie people and sundrie nations: but all is nothing to that great wrath, all is but play, in respect of that last wrath. And therefore, they are fooles, who measures the greatnesse of the wrath of God, by the selie momentaneall afflictions, that is laid on men and wemen in this earth. Some thinkes, God can not powre a greater wrathe, nor when he casts a man in great sicknesse, when he causes one to be rugged in sunder one part from an o­ther, when he causes one to be burnt with fire: and foolishe wretches will say, What can God doe more to me? Knowest thou not, that, there is an euerlasting wrath in God? or euer it light on thee, it shal make each member shake in sunder, & when thou sees it comming down on thee, thou shalt cry, Mountaines and Hilles fall downe on me, and couer me from the wrathe of the Lambe Reuel. 6. 16. Againe, mercie is not, to be measured, by the mercie we get heere: it is a blasphemie, to thinke, that [Page 47] God hes no greater mercie to shovv on thee, nor he shows here. So the greatest affliction that can fall on vs heere, is nothing in respect of that last wrath. Therefore, that last day is called 2. Rom. vers. 5. the day of vvrathe. There was no day before called the day of wrathe. Now, brethren, as the greatest wrath shall be powred out that day: so, the greatest mercie shall be showne to the godlie that day. And they, who shal be founde vnder the co­uert of the wings of this Iesus the Sauiour, wrath shall passe by them: but, they, who shall not be found vnder his winges, the wrath shall tumble on them. Alas, if we could consider this. Learne to seek Iesus in tyme. The way to find Iesus a couerture in that day, it must not be to beginne then, thou wilt not get him then, if thou got him not before: thinke not to cry, then, Iesus couer mee: but, the waye to make Christ a couertour to thee must be in this lyfe: beleeue in him heere, beleeue, that, he came into the worlde to releeue thee from this great wrathe that day: beleeue, that, he died for thee, rose againe for thee and hope, that, he shall come againe to that eternall deliuerance. Misse not this hope. Paul to Timothie 2. Epist. 4. 8. speaking of that crown of righteousnesse he shall receyue, he communicates that crown with others: but, who are they? they, that hopes for his com­ming. If thou, in some measure, hunger not and thirst not for his comming in this life, looke not to be couered by him hereaf­ter: grone therefore, and thirst for Iesus, in some measure, that he may keepe thee in that great day from the fearce wrath of God. Consider this, the world bindes vp mens eyes, that, they should not see Christes comming, and it makes vs, neuer to desire, to heare, nor, know of an other life, or, of Christs comming. There­fore, take vp this necessitie, and let all this lyfe be a preparation to a better life, & in al thy exercise in this life, say, Lord, I am ex­ercisde heere, in this vocation, or, that vocation at thy command: but, Lord, for all this bussines, I am a pilgrime here, my life is not in this world, and my heart and eye is beyond this worlde vvith thee. The Lord giue vs grace, to haue this hope: woe to that soule, that must departe, and hes no hope of a better life.

Now I will go forward in the Chapter following. Wherein first the Apostle sets out a discourse of himselfe, and of his own Ministrie, and the successe the Lord gaue him in his Ministrie [Page 48] towards the Thessalonians. This he telles in the two first verse [...] of this chapter.Parts of the secōd Chap. Then he comes to the recounting of the graces of God wrought in them by his ministrie, to the 17. verse. Then vntill the end of the chapter he telles the great sorrow he had that he could not win to thē, & shewes the impediments, Sathan vvithstoode him. These are the three parts of the chapter. To come to the first part, he sayes For ye your selues knovve, brethren, that our entrance in vnto you vvas not in vaine. When I came to Macedonia to vvin a number of soules that God had there my entrie was not in vaine, without effect or power: the reasone is in the next verse followinge. For saieth hee, vvee vvere boulde in our GOD, to speake vnto you the Gospell of God, vvith great stryuing. The power of God vvas perceyued in my preaching, and all my libertie in preaching of the gospell was of God. He aggreadges this his libertie by telling of the stayes and impedi­ments he got ere he came to them: he suffered manie afflictions, and was euill entertained at Philippi, and comming to them he was not free of affliction, but all his preaching was with figh­ting and daylie battell: there is the meaning of these verses.

To come then shortlie to the lessons. First Ise the people that hes beene grounded and edified in faith by the ministrie of the Pastor, and by the grace and power of God, they should not forget the graces of God they got by him; and ere they should forget, the Pastor him selfe is bound by the example of Paule, for to stand vp and to bring them in remembrance of the grace: not for his owne praise, but for the glorie of God, who hes ge­uen thee grace, that the grace of God be not obscured, but that his glorie may shine. I will lay you a ground in the first Epistle Corinth. 2. 4. 5. Your faith is builded vpon the power of God, that is geuen to the Ministrie: To the Ministrie? yea to the Mi­nistrie, to the Ministrie man, or else thou shalt neuer haue a ground of faith. The Apostle sayes, that your faith stands not in the vvisdome of men, but vpon the povver of God. And therefore, brethren Faith stands vpon that same verie ground the power of God geuen to the Ministrie. Thy eye should be drawn back to see the ground where-vpon thy faith hath beene grounded: if thou forget to looke of it, Pastors should draw thy [...] a­bout, and let thee see that thy faith was grounded on the power [Page 49] of the word in the Ministrie, I challenge your experience how oft ye remember the power of God in the ministrie, whither ye rejoice or not: saying, well is me, I haue not my faith grounded vpon the wisdom of man, but vpon the power of God; seeke it for the fondation of your faith, that it be firme and sure: for if thou haue not a sure foundation to ground thy faith on, it shall fall. And that thou may find it. I counsell thee that thou neglect not the Pastor: for if thou forget the Pastor & his ministrie, thou shalt not come to the fondation of thy faith. I put it out of que­stion, the power of Gods word by his ministry is a ground wher vppon your faith is grounded. If this ministrie go awaye, faith, saluation, and all graces in this land will decay.

The second thing wheron stands this power, is in the second verse. It stands in a libertie, boldnesse & freedome, in vttring the Gospell, and speaking of Christ. So, brethren, wher liberty, wher boldnes in preaching the Gospell is, there is effectualnes in it, & the man who hes this boldnes, is a fectfull man, & his entry shall neuer be in vaine. If the Lord giue thee libertie, if all the worlde had said the contrair, the effect shall not be in vaine, and where the Lord geues not this libertie, all the preaching is fectlesse and without frute. I shall say nothing but that which Paul saieth: where there is no liberty in the speaking of Iesus, of his mercie and grace, no freedome of mouth &c. there is nothing but a dead Gospell Where there is no libertie in vsing all the parts of the ministrie, in rebuking, admonishing and comforting, there is nothing but a dead Gospell. (I meane euer of a libertie groun­ded on God, not on mans vaine affections) where this liberte is not there is nothing but a dead ministrie. I beleue this nation be come alreadie to the hight of this liberty, not of the mouth only, but of the heart. And I think the Lord is binding vp the harts of men that they are not loused with that liberty, if it were but in preaching the Gospel, as they wer. Lord be mercifull to vs. I be­leue this worke be drawing to an end: ye haue keped it long: & blessed shall they be that dies in the light. And so when I looke a far off, I pittie the posterity, which appearantly shal be dep [...]i­ued of that liberty; al for our ingratitude, we had a grace, & libertie which we contemned. So God in justice is drawing it away.

Next marke againe. In God, sayes he, not in man. That is we [Page 50] vsed that libertie which God gaue vs. The libertie of the affe­ction of man is nothing worth. Looke then what euer be spo­ken by the Minister, it be warranded by the word of God. And looke againe, that it ryse of the inward motions of the Spirite in the hart. If a man speake of his owne priuate affection (ô Lord if he should not haue a well sanctified affection that speaks in the name of the Lord) it is better to him not to speake, he indangers himselfe & hes much to make account of. But if thou hast war­rands in the word, break out with it with liberty: for it is as great danger to thee to conceale it when thou hast a warrand, as it is to speake it of thy owne affection. And without question the Lord will controll them that will controll thy libertie here. The Lord giue eyes to men that they may see what danger they in­curre by controlling the libertie of the worde in the Church. There is his moderation in teaching.

Now one thing more. Al this power is in the beginning in his enterance to them. The Apostle is now afflicted in Macedonia, when he comes to Theslalonica, all his preaching is but a bat­taile: & last shamefully is he put away, and goes to Ber [...]a. What shall I say of this? If Paul had had no more but the spirite of a man, he would not haue immediatlie gone to Thessalonica, and there teached: and being in Thessalonica he would not haue vt­tered any thing that would haue displeased them: No, but he does otherwise: the power of God neuer so well appears in men as vnder affliction, for when man is weakest God is strongest in them. My strength, sayes the Lord, [...] shovven in infirmitie. 2. Cor. 12. 9. And in the fourth chapter of the same Epistle vers. 7. he showes, the Lord hes put a treasure in earthen veshels, that the ex­cellencie of his povver may be knovven. Then he falles out in a pro­bation of this power: My bodie is daylie slaine where euer I go, there is nothing but afflictiō. But saith he: by this I know, the lyfe of Iesus is manifest in me. He hes not a better token to knowe the life of Iesus, nor by affliction: and none can know the life of Ie­sus so well as in the last agonie of death. Other countries hes ex­perimented this power of God that appeares in affliction bet­ter then we haue done. Scotland hes no manifestation thereof in respect of other Churches. Well brethren, our tyme is com­ming fast on. The Lord of Heauen that is strongest when man [Page 51] weakest, giue vs strength and courage to abyde that tyme and holde vs vp in our infirmities, that he may be glorifyed in our affliction. To this God, the Father, Son and the holie Spirite, be honour and praise for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 2. vers. 3. 4▪ 5. 6. 7.

3 For our exhortation vvas not by deceite, nor by vncleannesse, nor by guile.

4 But as vve vvere allovved of God, that the Gospell should be committed vnto vs, so vve speake, not as they that please men, but God, [...]v [...]o trieth the hearts.

5 Neither did vve euer vse stattering vvordes, as ye knovve, nor coloured couetousnesse, God is record.

6 Neither soght vve praise of men, neither of you, nor of others.

7 Whe [...] vve might haue bene chargeable, as the Apostles of Christ: but vve vver gentle amōg you, euen as a nource cherisheth her childrē.

BRETHREN the purpose we haue in hand, and hes had these dayes bygone is the rejoysing of the Apostle together with the Thessalonians, for the graces of God bestowed on thē. The Apost. falles out in a narration concerning himself & the manner of his entrie among the Thes­salonians, setting out the grace of God that vvas vvith him, vvhen he entered in among them to this end, to let them see the ground where­vpon their faith vvas builded vvas not faire vvordes, but that effectuall grace of God that was hid vp in the [...]. The [Page 52] last day vve shevve the Apostle proponed his manner of his entrie among them, it vvas not in vaine, it vvas not fectlesse, but fectfull, and when he come and entered amongst them, he come vvith a libertie and boldnesse, vttering the Gospell of Christ, and a libertie not grounded on man, or on his ovvne affection, but on the power of God. This boldnesse he ampli­fies in respect of the afflictions vvhich before he had suffered at Philippi, & in respect of that suffering he had, while he prea­ched that word of the Gospell with libertie among them.

Now to come to this text we haue in hand. The Apostle in the third verse of this chapt. answeres to that which might haue bene thoght and objected by the Thessalonians (for he meetes the thoght of the heart) Thou sayes thy entrie amonge vs was with libertie & boldnes, but looke with what sincerity thou en­tered among vs: it is not eneugh to preach with boldnes & libertie, but there must be sinceritie, looke that thy preaching hes not bene with deceat to deceiue vs, with vncleānes, with guile. If any of these thre things haue concurred with thy preacing & ex­horting, al thy liberty in preaching & exhorting auails not. The Apostle answeres (marke euerie word) for our exhortation vvas not by deceit, nor by vncleannes, nor by guile. Look to the vvords. Our exhortation, our doctrine or preaching (for by a speciall part of the doctrine, which is exhortation he vnderstandes the whole, and that because all doctrin ends in exhorting. Exhorta­tion is the cōclusion of all doctrine) exhortation, sayeth he, was not with deceat, with vncleannes, nor with guile, that is to say, was not with any kind of fainednes, neither in substance of do­ctrin, which is called deceat (false doctrine deceiues.) Neither in affection, in vttering the Gospell, which is called vncleannesse, neither in the manner of delyuerie, which here is called guile. In a word our exhortation was voide of all sort of vnsinceritie: no part was simulate. Marke the lesson on this verse. Ye see here this meeting the Apostle makes to the verie thoght of the heart, and to the opinion they might haue conceyued, that he was not sincere in doctrine, vtters plainlie that there is oft-tymes a verie opinion and suspition in the heartes of the hearers, that there is vnsinceritie in the teacher, in delyuering the do­ctrine, and this will make such a doubt in the heart, that it will [Page 53] hinder edification and faith. And therefore the teacher had much neede to take head to himselfe in teaching, to his affecti­on, and to eschew all sort of vncleannesse, if it were but in his thoght and affections: before he speake he should striue to get a sanctifyed heart, and in word let him meete the verie thoght and suspition of the people, to remoue all blame of vnsinceritie in preaching and vttering the Gospell, that edification and faith may increase. His end in preaching is faith, that the people may beleeue and be edified: Let him therefore put away all occa­sions that may stay the edification of the people, that the worke and building may goe vp and faith may grow.

Then secondlie ye se, there are sundrie sorts of vnsinceritie: A man may be vnsincere in teaching many wayes: he may teache, and yet teache false doctrine: he may be vnsincere in his heart in teaching: he may be vasincere in delyuering, and thereby de­ceyue thee. And there is none of these wayes, but they will stay edification, if the people take a suspition, if it were of an vnsin­ceritie of the heart, it will stay the worke. And therefore, in all manner of way the teacher should striue to be sincere in vtte­ring the Gospell: that if there be any stop, it may be in him that heares, and not in him who teaches: for if the preachers stryue not for his part to sinceritie, and the people for their part to sinceritie in hearing, it will be a great stay to the worke.

Now into the next verse, when he hes remoued from him the opinion of all kinde of vnsinceritie, and hes purged himself thereof, either in doctrine, affection, or in manner of delyuerie: He sets downe the contrair, to wit, the sinceritie he vsed in do­ctrine. The sinceritie he vsed was this, that he spake: how spake he? Not as they doe who are set to please men, but to please God. There is the sinceritie in speaking: he had not men before his eyes, he respected not the pleasure of men: but in speaking and preaching his God was before his eye, and his heart was set to please God. Sinceritie in preaching and hearing is to be measured by the end that thou respects in doing thereof: for if God and his glorie be not before thy eyes, as the Butte wherat thou shootes, albeit that which thou doest and speakest had neuer so faire a face, yet al is vnsincere and vncleane. The thing I marke heere speciallie is, a Pastor that stryues to be sincere in [Page 54] speaking and preaching must set himselfe to please some in his speaking: but heere a caueat to be keeped, in the persone whom thou studies to please, either by doing, or by speaking: this is all the weight of the matter; if thy heart be set in speaking, preach­ing and doing, to please men and to satisfie the humours of men first of all: if that be the butte thou shootes at, because this man likes of this speaking therefore I wil speake this: if this speaking please this woman, therefore I will speake this. If that be the end of thy speaking, all thy speaking is vnceritie & flattery: if thou seeke to pleasure any creature, if it were the Angels, let be a man, all thy pleasant talke is but vaine talke and flatterie. I deny not but men may be pleasured to, Rom. 12. 18. but looke that thy butte be not to please men, of what estate so euer they be, but onelie to please God. First please God, and in God please them, & then thou can not go wrong. If men and wemen (what rank so euer they be of) can not be pleased in God, and will not let God haue the first place, then please thou God, and anger all the world. If thou studies to please any persone onelie in God in speaking and doing, there can be nothing there but sinceritie. A sure rule, a man can neuer faile in setting his heart to please God, in thoght, word and deed. The Lord giue vs vpright hearts to study to please our God, and then all creatures onelie in him.

Now he layes down a good ground, why in his preaching he stryued to please his God, it was not without a good cause: and the ground is, God pleased him first, & why should he not inde­uour himself to do all things to please him againe, & render him the lyke duetie. But as vve, saieth he, vvere allovved of God in such sort, that the Gospell should be committed vnto vs, so vve speake. That is, that he hes placed vs in this calling, made vs Apostles who wer vnworthie bodies: of one who was vnable of such a calling, hes made vs able: as it hes pleased him so to please me, and as he hes allowed of me, who was altogether vnworthie, my speaking shall be to please him. There was neuer a Minister that euer re­ceiued grace for that calling at the hands of men, neither at king nor subject, but onlie at Gods hand: and therefore let him studie to please, not men, but God, who geues him al graces: and if men can not be pleased in God, let him not studie to please thē. Now to speake of this allowance, there is a difference betwene the al­lowance [Page 55] of men, when they allow of men, and God when he al­lowes of men: man allowes of man, because he sees some good qualities in him, which qualities he neuer gaue him, for God gaue him them. But when God allowes of man, he allowes not for any good thing he sees in him, to moue him to allow of him, but al the allowing of God is of fre grace, all is according to the good pleasure of his will:Gods al­lovvance of free grace. he allowes not of man because he is able to do good, but because God allowes of him, therfore he is made meet and able to do good: when God choised thee before all eternitie to glorie, what saw he in thee? The Apostle saieth. He predestinate vs in himselfe. Eph. 1. 5. Of his own fre loue he cal­led vs to grace. Before he called vs to grace, what saw he in vs to moue him to make vs partakers of his grace? He saw matter of hell and damnation in vs. And therfore his allowance of vs was not for any grace was in vs: if he had allowed of vs conforme to that which was in vs, he would haue shot vs with his hand to hel for euer. So when he calles one to be a Minister and teacher of the Gospell, allowes he of him because he hes a grace before hand? No, the best Minister that is chosen he hes no more grace by nature to this holy function, nor the vildest sinner in the world. So it is the allowance of God himselfe that makes man meet to that office: so this allowance of God was in himself: no matter thereof in Paul, matter contrarie to grace was in him, he was a blasphemer. 1. Tim. 1. 12. Paul had neuer bene an Apostle, but an impe of the Deuill, if God had not allowed of him first. The note is,Gods free loue binds vs to plese him. the vndeserued loue of God, when he allowes of vs, when he calles vs to faith, or places vs in any calling (if it were a King in his calling,) either in Church or common-wel bindes & oblishes vs to spende our liues in that calling, that God may be pleased. If euer thing bound thee, this vndeserued lyking God had of thee, who first lyked thee when thou was full of [...]inne, bindes thee to set thy heart to please God: for thy blessed­nesse, joy and felicitie is to please him: and he that studies not to please him, knew neuer what joy was. Alas, if we coulde apprehend our owne miserie before Gods allowance of vs: (We are not placed so soone in any calling, but immediatlie we conceate vvith our selues, that God hes seene in vs something worthie of it,) and then againe, if we could apprehend that free [Page 56] mercy of God, after the sight of our own vnworthines, then we would set our hearts to pleasure him. For, neuer apprehending our miserie and Gods mercie and free calling, we set our selues in our calling to please men and our owne foull affections. The Lorde waken vs, for appearantlie the tyme of tryall drawes neere: we haue beene vnthankfull for the vndeserued graces of God bestowed on vs. Therefore he is begun to draw them from vs, and lets vs follow our own affections.

Now next, In what thing striues Paul to please God? what was his calling? He sayes, The Gospell vvas committed to me. That is his calling. Therefore, saye he, so vve speake. Looke what is euery mans calling? Euery man in a faithful discharge of his own calling is bounde to please God. He saieth not, God allowed of me, therefore I please him in playing the part of a king or magi­strate: but he hes called me to be a minister, therfore I wil please him in speaking. Then let euerie man set his heart to please God in his owne calling. So there are two things vve should respect in seruing God: First do all to please him; Secondlie, in the cal­ling he hath placed thee into chieflie studie to please him. Keep these tvvo, and then thou shalt be acceptable vnto him.

In the end of the verse he subjoynes, But God vvho approoueth our hearts▪ These vvordes containe an assurance that Paule had in his heart, that in speaking and discharging of his calling hee pleased God. God within me had his secreete allowance, God in my hart as he allowed of me first, ere I had grace, and placed me in the Ministrie, so now when he has geuen me grace to please him, he allowes of me There are two sorts of Gods allowing. The first is when God allowes of any man before he haue anie grace,2. sorts of Gods al­lovving. and by his allovvance makes him able to doe good: the second is, vvhen he allowes of him in the vvorke he hes ge­uen him by his grace. The first allowance moues a man to serue his God and to do all things in his calling: the second allowance is a warrand to him that he hes done well. Alwaies the lesson is. If thou set thy selfe to please God thou shalt neuer vvant a vvit­nesse of thy doings, thou shalt neuer want a secreete testimonie within thy selfe, (albeit all the vvorld should close their mouth, and neuer speake to thee) thou doest well: settest thou thy selfe to serue God, he shall round in thy eare and tell thee of thy wel­doing, [Page 57] and giue thee a secreete joye. By the contrair, doest thou euill? art thou an harlote? settest thou thy selfe to displease God, who hes geuen thee all things? thou shalt get a bitter witnesse in thy hart, saying, false villaine, thy pleasure is in displeasing God; ô catiffe, thou art adjudged to condemnation. Iohn 1. Epist. 3. 20. sayes, If thy heart condemne thee, God is greater then thy heart, much more will he condemne thee: take head to thy conscience; if thy conscience tell thee thou doest well, the Lord approues thy do­ing: otherwise, if thy conscience telles thee thou does euill, the Lord disallowes thee.

Now as he hes remooued from him before, all sortes of vn­sincere doing, and tooke to him sinceritie in speaking, to please God in all things who gaue him his allowance: he goes deeper in the verse following, and he remoues from him the soull vy­ces, out of the which springs the vnsinceritie in dealing. The first is called flattering words: the second auarice: the third, am­bition, insatiable greed of honour and estimation.Foūtaines, of vnsin­ceritie. He remoues all these three, which are as as many fountaines, wherefrom vn­sinceritie springs. It is not my purpose to insist largelie on these vices. Onelie I shall speake as accords to this place. The first then is flatterie,Flatterie. for no man vsed he anie flattering wordes in preaching. Marke the lesson. When a Preacher is inclyned to flatter and fletche on earth, either King, Queene, Councell, or subject, man or woman, he is not sincere in his calling. There is none of vs in no degree, but we may be, yea, and would be flat­tered. The Apostle is speaking heere of flatterie, not of Kings, or Princes, but of the flattering of the Thessalonians, Neither did vve vse flattering vvordes, sayes he. But my lesson is, Where any Minister is set to flatter and fletche on the earth, that man ere all be done, will fall out in false doctrine, he will frame himself so to the affection of them whom he would flatter that he wil be vn­sincere in doctrine. Why? The fountaine of flatterie is the foull crooked affection of man or woman: and so, if the vaine man wil apply himself to the crooked affection of man, the doctrine shall be crooked: ere he faile in flatterie, he shall fall out in false doctrine. The heart of them who speakes in the name of the Lord Iesus, must be set onelie on God, and not vpon any man on earth, Well, the Apostle takes them to be witnesses of this, [Page 58] and sayes, As ye knovv. It easie to knowe a flatterer, his wordes will bewray him, he will commonlie call God to witnesse, but not men. Men shold behaue themselues so, that they take not ay God onelie, but also good men to be witnesses to their doinges: Paul heere takes not God, but the people of Thessalonica to be witnesse, saying, ye knovv. It is true, brethren, albeit the words wil bewray the flatterer; yet such is the blindnes of man, who vvith selfe-loue is set to pleasure his foull affection, that if a man wold neuer so plainelie flatter him in his face, yet oft times he can not perceiue the flattery, and he beleues this fained flatterer to be his greatest friend. The Lord keepe vs from such flatterers, & ligh­ten our eies vs grace that we may discerne them.

The next verse. The seconde vice is auarice, and he calles it the pretence of auarie;Auarice. your books turnes it, nor coloured couetousnes. Auarice in anie man is dangerous, but chieflie in a Minister; it will make him to do much euill: for if his heart be set on aua­rice, and that be his end and purpose to vvin the worlde, he will in the end fall out in corrupt doctrine: for the rule of his teach­ing being his ovvne bellie and gaine, ere he faile to get his pur­pose, hee will teach false doctrine. It maye be there be some men in this lande vvhose hearts are so set on this sort of auarice, that they vvould say masse, ere they should vvant their gaine. After that this vice of auarice raigne in anie man, it vvill misguide him maruellouslie, he wil leaue nothing vndone to get his filthy hart satisfied: in anie estate in the vvorld an auaritious heart workes much mischiefe. In the next words he takes God to be witnes, & sayes, God is my record Auarice is not sodanely perceiued, because it comes in with so faire a colour, the colour of godlines, the fair­est colour that is, and the sight of man is so short that it can not looke in to the corners of the heart full of guile. But the Lorde hes an eye that can looke through thy bodie in to thy hart, and he can tell thee whether auarice be in thee or not. And therfore Paule takes God to be vvitnes that his heart was cleane of aua­rice. Then learne; there is nothing so hid in man but he will get a witnes thereof; if man can not be vvitnes, God vvho sees all things, hee shall be vvitnes to thee, and in that great day he vvill reueale all, and discouer the secreetes of all hearts: thou shalt not vvant a vvitnesse: thinke nor, vvhen thou art sinning, thou shalt [Page 59] ay lurke still in sinne; no, the Lord at last will take thee out and make thee a spectacle to the vvorld.

The last vice here is ambition.Ambitiō. Neyther sayes he, sought I the praise of men, I sought no honor, neyther of you, nor of others; and so, I am free of all kinde of ambition. To speake this by the vvaye: It is not eneugh to be free of anie sinne in anie respect, at this time onelie, in this place onelie, in the sight of some onelie; but, he that vvould be free of anie vice, as ambition, let him in all re­spects be free of it; in respect of all persones, all times, all places: for, otherwise, he is an hypocrite and he vvill begyle men. So, we should studie to please God in all wayes, in respect of all places and persones, and as if there vvere in the vvorld no moe but thy selfe allone, thou shouldst doe as he commanded thee. The les­sone is, It is dangerous for anie man to be ambitious; but, in him that teaches the Gospell in the name of the Lord, whose calling should be, to seeke the Lord & his glorie, ambition is most dan­gerous: if this man be ambitious, if the thinge he seekes by his preaching, be his honour and estimation, if his heart be inclyned that way, in the end, if occasion serue, he will proue an euil man; he will be a papist, an hereticke, and so forth. It is a most sure thing, he that is geuen to ambition will applye all his actions to obtaine honour, because he serues that sinne as a slaue. I confesse, there are none free of vice, we are all borne in sinne, (except the Lord Iesus) and naturallie we are inclyned to al vyce, to auarice to ambition, we woulde all be Kings, and rulers &c. no, none of vs is free thereof: but, blessed is that soule that getteth a peece of mortification, that his sinnes raigne not ouer him, as lords; for, if sinne raigne ouer thee, thou shalt be compelled to serue thy appetite. Wee are all foull, aswell ministers as people, but, the Lord keepe vs from ambition raigning in vs and tyrannizing ouer vs. For, then, there is no vyce nor mischeefein ths worlde that can be deuised, but we shall be compelled to commit it, and all, to serue that foull sinne; and a Minister in his calling of all men ought to haue the greatest care to flee this ambition. Alas, the raigning of these sinnes what they haue wroght in this age, experience hes told: this black darknes and this corruption that is in the kingdome of Antichrist hes risen on flattery, auarice & ambition: among all the Princes on earth, who ouercomes this [Page 60] Antichrist in auarice? who ouercomes him in ambition? who goes before him in flatterie? Miserable experience showes well eneugh, that these vyces hes broght in all heresies, and darknes, and these are thre rootes to all other vices.

Now in the wordes following, he amplifies that which he hes spoken of the sins of auarice and ambition. He saieth I soght not goods, nor honour of you, nor no others: he amplifies it In deed I might haue ben chargeable to you. I might haue soght goods of you, being the Apostle of Christ: my calling might haue made me charge­able to you, to haue taken goods and honour or you: but I did it not. Brethren this is a maruellous thing. Men hes this sentence in their mouth.ministers right to temporall things. The Minister of God hes no right nor title to these thinges which other men enjoyes. But I say to thee, he hes a title to the riches and goods of this world, to his own share of the honour of this world in his calling. Yea, Paul in the first E­pistle to the Corinthians, 9. 11. sayes, If vve haue sovve vnto you spirituall things, is it a great thing, if vve reape your carnal things? If or hers vvith you be partakers of this povver, are not vve rather? Which wordes importes a greater right we haue nor other men hes. If ye be addebted in any of these things to any man, much more to him that ministers spirituall things. And Paul charges Philemon vers. 19. not with a common pleasure or goods: but with a debt of himselfe: a Minister hes a right in a man to his lyfe if he be faithfull. But that ye should not thinke this marue­lous, the things, as Paul sayes, that are geuen by the Minister, are things spirituall: he ministers to thee that spirituall lyfe, and woe is to that man that gettes not this spirituall lyfe: and thou may say, cursed be the houre that euer I was born in, thogh thou were the Monarch of the whole earth, if thou get not this spiri­tuall lyfe, the lyfe of God, the lyfe of Christ. Then he sayes, as by Ironia: is it a faire matter to thee to minister to them temporal things? this world thinks they get ouermuch if they get a drinke of colde water, or an aiker of land: but would to God men had an eye to see what these spirituall things meanes. There is no sense of heauenlie things amongst the most part of men now in those dayes. Yet againe the speciall commendation a Minister can haue, is euen for Christs sake, and for the Gospels sake, to renounce some part of this right he hes to worldlie thinges, [Page 63] ere the Gospell should be slandered. And therefore Paul sayes, we haue not vsed our right, but we suffer all thinges, that in no maner of vvay the Gospell shoulde be stayed, and so the course of mans saluation left off. Marke it, If anie man for the Gospels sake let a peece of his right passe, (aswell an other man as a Mi­nister) that the Gospel may be furthered, and the course of mans saluation goe forvvard, it is vvell done. The Apostle sayes, Why suffer ye not vvronge rather nor before heathen magistrates ye shoulde cause the Gospell to be slandered? 1. Corinth. 6. 7. Well is hee that can let some part of these vvorldlie goodes goe, that the Gos­pell may encrease: hee shall receyue a faire recompence, and he shall get a part of that heauenlie inheritance with Christ his Sauiour.

Novv to end: In the last verse we red he sets downe a vertue contrarie to auarice and ambition; leauing auarice, leauing am­bition, what follovved? he sayes, But vve vvere gentle among you, euen as a nource cherisheth her children. So the vertue that Paul vsed contrarie to these two vices, is pleasantnes: this pleasantnes, vnderstand what it is, it is a gentlenes in all manner of dealing, in behauiour submitting him selfe to them, for the winning of them, submitting him selfe to al kinde of trauell and paine; as the paine the nource takes for the childe, to be a seruant to them that he might vvinne them, not respecting the honour and care of the world, but onlie vpon such affection as the mother hes to her childe; & so he takes a similitude from a mother toward her infant: there is no busines nor care the mother wil leaue vndone for the infant, nor respecting her hyre or gaine, but vpon an in­teere affection to the infant. Then learne shortlie; A pastor must be like a mother: Paul Gall. chapter 4. verse 19. compares him selfe to a mother trauailing in birth, vntill Christ be reformed in them; O my little children, vvith vvhom I trauaile in birth, vvhile Christ be reformed in you. Novv he cōpares the pastor to a nource taking paines to nourish them when they are borne vpon a mo­therlie affection, without eyther respect to goods or honor; and he compares the people, who by the pastor are fed in Christ, & nourished by the sincere milk of the vvord to infants. As a yong infant craues no other nourishment but milke; no more shouldst thou craue to be nourished with any other food but the sinceere [Page 62] milke of the word: and as the infant would die, except he be fed with milke: so all they that refuses to be nourished with this sin­cere milke of the word, if they continew, die shall they. Thou Lord, Laird, or Barron, Husband-man, die shall thou, if thou be not nourished with this sincere milke of the worde. If it be so betweene the people and the Pastor,Affection of the Pa­stor to the flocke. as betwene the childe and the mother: the Pastors lesson is. Looke what tender affe­ction the mother hes to her birth, to cherishe it, to take paines and trauaile, to wake and watch ouer it, and all vpon a motherly affection, without respect of honour or gaine: the lyke shoulde thy affection be towards thy flocke, and on paine of thy lyfe looke thou seeke them, and not theirs. The Mother seekes the well of her childe, and not his goods, nor honour: so seeke thou the well of thy flocke, and not their goods, nor honour, and let thy affection be motherlie: and when thou sees the motherlie affection of the mother to the childe, say, The Lord giue me such an affection to my people as this mother hes to her childe, & let my honour and gaine be to get them nourished. The ho­nour of a Minister is in Heauen, and not in earth, his gaine is in Heauen. So Paul sayeth, 1. Thess. 219. What is our hope, or ioy, or crovvn of reioysing? are not euen you it in the presence of our Lord Iesus Christ at his comming to glorifie his elect. To this Christ with the Father and the holy Spirite, be glorie and honour for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 2. vers. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

8 Thus being affectioned tovvard you, our good vvill vvas to haue dealt vnto you not the Gospell of God onelie, but also our ovvne soules, because ye vvere deare vnto vs.

9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and trauaile: for vve la­boured day and night, because vve vvould not be chargeable vnto any of you, and preached vnto you the Gospell of God.

10 Ye are vvitnesses and God also, hovv bolilie and iustlie and vn­blameablie vve behaued our selues among you that beleeue.

11 As ye knovve hovv that vve exhorted you, and comforted, and besoght euerie one of you (as a father his children)

12 That ye vvoulde vvalke vvorthie of God, vvho hath called you vnto his kingdome and glorie.

THE Apostle (ye remember brethren) leauing off for a tyme the purpose that was in hand, to witte, that rejoysing he had with them, for the graces of God was in them. In the second chapter he falles out to a discourse concerning him­selfe, making mention of his manner of entrie among them, how it was not in vaine. For when he entred among them, he entred with liber­tie, although that hee had suffered immediatlie before at Phi­lippi, notwithstanding of the battaile he had in the meane tyme [Page 64] while he preached to them. Thereafter ye heard the last day, he remoued from him selfe all suspition of vnsincere dealing in preaching the Gospell, chalenging to him self sincerity in prea­ching. Seing in preaching and speaking he had not man before his eyes, but God; not content onlie to remoue from him vnsin­ceritie in [...], he discends to the fountaines of vnsinceritie and vncleane dealing; which are three: namelie, flatterie, auarice, [...], and these three rootes of vnsincere and vncleane dea­ling in the [...], he remoues from him: he flattered them not he was not greedie of their goods, he was not greedie of ho­nour. Albert, saieth he, I might haue beene chargeable to you, as the Apostle of Christ ye were addebted to me both of your goods and honour, yet I would haue none of them, but I liued in the midst of you, vnburdensome, submit [...]ing my selfe to all fash [...]ie and paines for your sakes, as a mother nourishing her childe, will vndertake all paines for the childe: so did I for you.

Now in the first vvords of this text we haue red, that vvhich he spoke of the nource cherishing her childe, he applyes to him selfe. Th [...] sayes he, [...] tovvard [...] you. The vvord is in the first language, I was desirous of you, I had a longing de­sire of you; such desire as a mother hes to her infant: she can not suffer her infant to be out of her sight, to be absent from her, in­continent she grie [...]es for it, she is not well vvhile thee haue it in her sight. The same affection, (sayes the Apostle) I beare tovv­ards you, I loue you, I can searcelie vvant your presence: for be­ing absent from you, I haue a continual care of you. There is the meaning of the wordes in the which ye see that loue, that mo­therlie affection to call it so the Apostle bare to this Church of Thessalonica. The first grace in the Pastor, is to loue his flock: this is the ground of all the rest, if he want it all the rest is deare of the hauing, if he had all the learning and eloquence and vt­ [...]ance of men and Angels, all is nothing if there be not loue and affection in his heart to his flock Paul 2 Cor. 6. recounting our many marks of the Apostle which he bare, amongst the rest in the 6. verse of that chapter, he account [...] vnfamed loue to be one: for nombring those marks, he declares what spirituall loue he bare to the Corinthians, saying in the 11. verse. O [...], my mouth is open to you, our heart is made large, so that [Page 65] if it were possible, I vvould take you in my heart, ye dvvell not narrovvlie in me, but ye dvve [...]l [...] in your ovvne bovvelles. I loue you, but ye loue not me so intirelie as I doe you. In the 11. chapter of that Epistle verse 28. stryuing vvith the [...]alse A­postles, he shovves vvhat carefulnesse he had of the Church. Beside, sayeth he, [...], I haue the care for [...] of the vvorlde. [...] but I am afflicted, I vnderstand there are none afflicted, but I am afflicted vvith him. [...] It is vvonderfull to knovve vvhat affection hee bare to the Church of Christ. Ye vvho reades his vvorkes will vvonder that there coulde be such an affection in his heart to the Church of God. Well brethren, all grace [...] loue: all the blessinges of God in Christ [...] of God. [...] Iohn 3. 16. The giuing and death of Christ and all the blessinges in Christ came or the loue of God to vs [...] Christ. All [...] and duetie of men, that man can doe to [...] of the loue of the heart, other­wise it [...], all a van [...]hing [...], not a thing in deed, but a vaine s [...]o [...]e, albeit it be ne [...]er so glistring in the eyes of men: if thou would giue all that thou hast to the poore, i [...] it come not of loue and affection of the heart, all is lost all i [...] for noght.

Now in the word [...] following, to the end of the tenth verse, the Apostle bring [...] in [...] arguments, testifying his in [...]re affecti­on he had to them: Loue must not stand in words, but it must be v [...]tered in testimonies so that the world may see it in very deed. The worke wil [...] let men see the hart, albeit it be God who is the [...] sear [...]her of the heart. Men will not be so blinde, but in the hand they [...] hand be closed thy ha [...] is closed [...] testifying his loue & affection is a good-wil [...] he haue to them: such a good-will that he was [...] to imparte and de [...]ie to them, [...] precio [...]s [...] and all because of the loue he bare to them [...] [...] heere the first argument of the [...] [...] and liberall [...] [...]. A [...] vvho loue [...] [...], he vvill giue them [...] [Page 66] comparision. A mother who loues her childe, she will not be sparing to him, but liberall: so a Pastor that hath anie tender affection to his flocke, will not be sparing, but liberall and free to them. When the heart of man is open with the affection of loue, it will open the hand also, and if he be niggard-handed sparing on his flocke those graces God hes geuen him, it is a sure argument there is no loue in his heart.

But come to the good things whereof the Apostle was libe­rall. The first thing was the Gospell of God, a pretious thing, the glorious Gospell of the blessed Lord. That is the thing that is concredite to him, and it is the foode of the soule of man: so that his liberalitie beginnes at the foode of the soule, he must be liberall of the foode of the soule of men, which is concre­dite to him, to giue it to his flock. The mother beginnes to nou­rish her childe with the milke of her owne breast, her own sub­stance. So the Pastor must beginne at the foode of the soule, he must begin at the sincere milke of the word, without the which there is no growing, and if they be not fed with this milk of the word first, they shal neuer come to the grouth & stature of man, but shall be like dwarsses: and we so long as we dwell heere are onelie infants in heauenlie things; and all our thinking of heauen is but infancie; all our speaking thereof, the blabling of infan­cie. So we must be fed with that milk or else we shal neuer come to the stature of men, and perfection of heauenlie things. The Apostle counts this but a smal thing, to deale the gospel of God (albeit it be pretious) in respect of the other thing, his soule he had to deale to them. 1. Cor. 9. 16. He saieth, if I preach not the Go­spell, I haue not vvherin to reicice, and vvoe is to me if I preach not the Gospell, He who will not be liberall in preaching of the Gospell, which coast him not a penny, it will be long ere he geue his life for his flock▪ if they were in Hell he would neuer redeeme them with his [...] Then the next thing whereof he is liberall, it is his [...] the liberalitie of a louing Pastor will end in [...] It will begiane at the preaching of the [...] his life which is more: if it be [...] This is the affection of [...] to her childe, she [...] for [...] affection, he [...] [Page 67] for his flock. This is counted a greater thing not the other, to die for the flocke, greater not to deale the Gospell. Not that Pauls soule was more pretious then the Gospel of God: no, the Gospel of God was more precious then the soules of Paul, Peter, and of all the Apostles, and of all the men in the world: but he counts it greater, because it was an harder thing to him to do: it was an easier thing to him to preache the Gospell, nor to giue his lyfe for them. Yet brethren, albeit it was an easier thing to a man to preache the Gospell, nor to giue his life, thinges will fall out so, that all the bygone preaching shall be in vaine, except in the end thou seale vp thy bygone preaching with thy bloude, if God call thee therevnto, the Gospell shall not haue that sweet smell except it haue the perfume or thy bloude. The Apostle to the Philipp. 2. 17. sayes that the vvould rejoyce If he vvere offered vp vpon the perfume of their faith. When the Lord thinks it expedient, he must lay dovvne his soule, and vvith his bloud he must perfume the Gospell he hes preached, otherwise he hes lost all his trauell and his life to; and it is better to suffer then to lose all his trauaile, and in the end his life. This tyme is yet to come to vs, the Lorde knovves hovv neare it is. The Lorde giue vs grace that vvee lose not our tyme bygone, but that vve may laye dovvne our lyfe for the Gospell, if that neede requyre.

In the end of the verse he turnes againe to the ground of his liberall dealling. This my liberalitie is not for any liberalitie of yours toward me, nor for any respect of commoditie I will get at your hands. This my liberalitie is set onelie vpon louing af­fection. So that hee declareth the cause thereof to be loue. It is necessare to the people to be perswaded of the loue of the Pastor, otherwise except they be assured of his loue, albeit he should vtter the fairest doctrine that is, there will be no edify­ing. And so I see Paul ay seekes to show them of his loue, that they might be edified. Particular gaine will make a man preach: There are sundrie Ministers who wil be diligent to preache for game; but whē it comes to lyfe geuing they faile there. Worldlie gaine will neuer cause him be liberall of his lyfe, onelie loue makes a man liberall of his lyfe. And therefore Paul sayeth, It was onelie for loue, and not for gaine, because ye vvere deare [Page 68] vnto vs. He vvho hes not this loue, he may vvell flatter men a vvhile, but the end that [...]rye he had no true loue. The Lord giue men, especiallie the Ministrie this affection, that in the end they may proue to bee true Pastors: for if they haue not this loue, the end shall try they haue bene hyrelings. The Lord giue euerie man grace to trye-vvell, vvhat reaca [...]esle and re­solution he hes to suffer, for there is no day that the Minister ryses but he is bound to take this resolution in his heart, to render his blonde vp for Christ: And therefore albeit he die not, yet let him be dead in the resolution of his heart, and say, Lord [...] I am readie to die for thy vvorde, if it please thee so to call me. This is the first argument whereby he showes his loue towards the Thessalonians.

In the next verse he sayes, For ye remember, brethren, our la­bour [...]. I will not onelie talke to you of my good­vvill, but I will call to remembrance, what labour and tra­uaile, with what anguishe and gi [...]se I haue suffered for your cause. The vvordes are verie weightie in their owne language, and speciallie the second, the words signifies such trauaile as a man takes on him,Labor [...] the relefe of the flocke an argumēt of loue. after he is vvearied vvith trauaile, vvhen he takes on him trauaile againe. This is great labour. He la­bours while he was wearied and then he laboures againe to get rest. He vses this vvord in sundrie places. Alvvayes marke. To testifie the inward affection of the heart, the Pastor beares to the flock: it is not eneugh to professe a good-will, that he had a purpose to haue vsed liberall dealing with them, and to say, I vvill deale liberallie vvith you: that is onelie vvordes: but vvith the words, the flock must haue an experience there­of, an experience of bygone loue and of a good deed, and there is nothing better to testifie the affection, then the labour and trauaile the Pastor suffers for the flock. Charitie is laborious and painefull chap. 1. vers. 2. a man who loues an other he will vndertake paines for him: His loue will not be in word, but in action, he will runne for him, he will ryde for him night and day. If a Pastor loue his flock, he vvith trauaile day and night for it: and it is a vvonder to see vvhat paines loue vvill en­dure. Ye knowe this all well eneugh. Farther the word is to be marked. Ye remember. He charges them with a remembrance, [Page 69] and if they will forget it, he will not let them forget it. The peo­ple should remember of the paines of the pastor, thou art bound to remember vpon the care and prouidence of God for thee, thou should remember the Pastors paines: for if the Lord had not taken care on thee, he would neuer haue raised vp the Pa­stor, to take such a care on thee: and this is one of the ordinare meanes God vses to prouide for his people, by raising of Pa­stors to take paines on them, and if thou remembers not on the mans paines, thou remembers not on the Lords prouidence. The remembrance of the Lordes prouidence, and paines of the Pastor for thee goe together, and thou who lightlies the paines of the man, thou lightlies Gods prouidence: contemning the one, thou contemnes the other; remembring the one, thou re­members the other. Men [...]ill say, they remember on the Lords prouidence, and yet they speake nothing of the instrument God hes sent to winne them. No, he can not be thankfull to God that forgets his Minister.

Now in the wordes following, he makes plaine the labour & pain that he bestowed on them. First, sayes he, I preached vnto you the Gospell of God. There is a part of my labour: Preaching is a speciall labour: what matter were it if there had bene no more but preaching. I vvroght and laboured vvith my ovvn hands, not in the day onele, but in the night also: day and night I laboured. Paul was a craftsman, and had a handie-craft: he was a weuer of Tents and Pauilions: and vpon that came familiaritie betweene him and A [...]utla, and P [...]still [...], who were of that same trade, and he did dwell with them. Act. 18. 3. Besides this he was a gentleman, and for other sciences he was wel broght vp, broght vp in the lawes at the feet of Gamahell, who was a chiefe lawyer, (and yet for all this he was a craftsman,) an Hebrew of the trybe of Beniaemin, of a good estimation, he that got that benefite to be a citizen of Rome, he was a gentleman. Wel, a gen [...]lemā now­adayes thinks it shame to put his sonne to any craft: but per­chance the next day he will be hanged for theft, or murther, if he haue not a craft to sustaine him. Fy on this idle nation, and thou Scotland bears the gree of idlenesse and loytering. Where­fore was all this labouring? Because, saieth he, I should not be chargeable vnto you. Brethren, an end of his working was for his [Page 70] sustentation: an other end was, that the Gospell shoulde not be s [...]ndered. We see he was sparing of these Thessalonians, and yet he preached carefully to them, and al to this end, that the Gospel should not be slandered, he wroght with his own hands, albeit they wer debt-bound to him. Marke here, the thing in the world all men should chieflie seeke, is that the Gospell of Christ should haue the own progresse, without any stop or stay. And aboue al things a Pastor who is the instrument of this progresse, is bound that by no meane hee be the stay of the Gospell gi­ven to win soules to the kingdome of Iesus: left that which he is building vp with the one hand, be not casle downe with the o­ther, as many doe: they build on Sonday by their teach [...]ng, & all the week they cast down by their euill life: they destroy more by their life & maner of liuing, nor they builde by their preach­ing. The least offence in the world wil hinder the course of the Gospel; because of the infirmitie of men & wemen, for they will start at a stray. There was neuer a stumbling horse comparable in stumbling to the heart of man: considering that so little a thing will cause men take offence at the Gospell, and leape far­ther back nor they came forward. (We clim vp to Heauen verie softlie and slowlie: but if vve runne to Hell, vve shall fall dovvn in an houre more then vve did climme in a yeare.) There­fore we are all bound to flee all kinde of offence and slander. Looke that thou offend not, offend not the infirme to cause them goe aback, neither in the word of thy mouth, nor in any action vvith hand or foote, or by the vvinke of thy eye to say the progresse of the Gospell And of al men the Pastor is bound to walke most warelie. Paul renounces his own right to flee this occasion of offence. The Thessalonians wer bound to giue him temporall thinges, who ministered to them spirituall things: but giuing ouer his right, he laboured night and day with his hands for his sustentation. Euerie man in their owne degree is bound to suffer all extremitie, ere they be a stay to the Gospell; but cheeflie the Minister. For Paul in the first Epistle to the Corinthians chap. 9. vers. 23. sayeth, If for the Gospell they ab­steene not from their ovvne right, they shall not be partakers of the Gospell.

Farther ye may perceiue in the person of Paul and his exam­ple, [Page 71] who was in such neede as he? Albeit he was the Apostle of Christ, he was pinched in his bellie. 2. Corinth. chap. 11. verse 27. I haue, sayes he, beene oft in hunger, oft in thirst▪ oft in naked­nesse, oft in fasting, and Philippians chapter 4. vers. 12. I haue learned to be hungrie. Then vve see by the example of Paul, God vvill let them vvhome he loues best oft tymes want their necessities. Measure not the grace of God by his outvvarde dealing vvith his, he vvill let his ovvne be as hungrie, as naked as anie other. And againe learne in the example of Paul, the remedie hovv a man that vvants shall supplie his vvant. Paul vvanted, vvhat refuge had he? He biddes thee not goe steale, nor reaue from them that haue.Labour remedie of vvant. Thou vvho art able to vvorke, he biddes thee not goe begge: hast thou hands? canst thou delue man? canst thou keepe [...]heepe: hast thou learned any craft? labour with thy hands as Paul did. Rather ere thou begge goe to the vyldest labor in the world. Idle raskals in this countrie, their labour all the day is crying, and begging. Alas, it is a shame vvhen a stranger sets his foot in Scotland to see this great misor­der, and that shamelesse begging. Then there is the remedie, la­bour. O but thou wilt say, I am a gentle man, a Lords son, a gen­tle-mans son; it is shame to me to put my hand to vvorke: fyle thy hands, or perchance thou wilt be hanged if thou wer a lords son, go to the vyldest exercise that is, ere thou be idle, thou glori­fies God in thy doing & labouring: but in idlenes, thou glorifies not God: if thou be going at the pleugh, thou glorifies God. Eate thy bread vvith the sweat of thy browes, otherwise it shall not do thee good: thou who lyes on other mens labors, thou eats and drinkes their bloude. Woulde to God this matter could be mended, aswel as it is lamented: alas that there is no remedie for idlenesse. Now when he labours, wherefore labours he? for himselfe onelie' no brethren: euen to releeue the Thessalonians, that he should not be burden some to them Paul saies, Eph. 4. 28. He that steales let him steale no more. (Alas, it is ouer long to liue one day in theft,) but goe and vvork vvith his hands, not to him­selfe onelie, but also to helpe others. There are none that are bound to labour, but they are bound for the sustenance of others Thy labor is nothing worth if thou keepe all to thy selfe, & put it all in thy owne bellie. Now ye haue heard two of the arguments [Page 72] whereby he testifies his loue he bare to them.

The third argument whereby he testifies that loue and affe­ction he bare to them, is not from this or that particulare, but from his whole life & conuersation: [...] an argu­ment of [...]. ye are vvitnesses hovv I liued among gou. sholilie to my God, iustlie to my neighbour) and then hovv vnblameable, which followes on the other tvvo: he who is holie to God and just to his neighbour, there is no blame in him. A man that loues, be he pastor, or be what he will, he will showe his loue in going before others in a godlie life and conuersation. In his life and conuersation he wil be an example to others, and he liues not without vvitnes in the worlde: when thou goest out the way, the eyes of manie are vpon thee; goest thou out like a murtherer? many followe thee, goest thou out like a thiefe, an harlote [...] a number followes thee, and shall breake their necks on thee. Againe, a louing pastor will manifest his loue especiallie in going out before his flocke in an holie life: and these that haue not an holie life I will not say they haue loue: I will not say that the murtherer hath loue, no not to his owne wife and children▪ and he is but a stumbling blocke to all them that looke on him. An harlote hes no loue, she is but a stumbling blocke, & would haue al the world to follow her: these are destroyers of the buil­ding that shoulde be builded on Christ: woe to the destroyer of the Church of Christ. This is to be marked: thou wilt not liue without vvitnesses in the world, liue as well as thou wilt. Paul had vvitnesses of his life and manner of conuersation, God was vvitnes and men were witnesses: ye are vvitnesses and God [...] vvit­nes. There are two things in a mans conuersation; the one with­in, the inward sinceritie of the heart; an other without, the out­ward behauior and doing. Therefore he must haue two wit­nesses The heart none can see but God, and therefore he is wit­nesse to it: the outward actions men may be witnesses to them. The whole actions of man are seene by God and man: God sees within, men sees without: both these witnesses are requisit [...] for if you haue not the approbation of God al thy approbatiō of men serues for nothing: who can allow when God dislikes? So thou who can not nor dare not say, Lord be witnesse to my sincere heart, thou hast no witnesse of God. Againe it is needfull that the consciences of men among whom we liue in this worlde, [Page 73] should geue vs a testimonie of a goode life: & if thou laikes the testimonie of men, thou laikes an approbation thou shouldest haue: and Paul euer seeks the approbation of men and appeales their consciences. The worde in the end of the verse is to be marked. Among you that beleeue. That is, you that are faithful: he takes the approbation of the faithfull. It is faith that decernes, it is the eye of faith that sees good and euill, and not the eye of the bodie. The faithlesse man, if he were neuer so quick, can not take vp holinesse, if he be faithlesse, he can not decerne betweene the holie and vnholie. This will be his discretion: the best man he will judge him worst, and the worst man he will judge him best. And therefore with Paul let no man take him to the ap­probation of wicked men: but let him rejoice when wicked men speake euill of him: but take him to the approbat on of good men. The approbation of an vnsanctified bodie is of no valour. The true approbation is onelie of God, and of these who hes faith to take vp the trueth of good and euill.

Now the last argument that testifies of this loue, it is in such things as concernes his calling; namelie, in exhorting, comfor­ting,Faithful. [...] beseeching. There are thre named, vnder the which thre are cōprehended the whole dueties of the Pastor, as the other duety was in doing, so, this is in speaking: and not onelie must the Pa­stor speak priuatlie, but openlie; and not onlie openlie, but pri­uatlie. Wel then a louing Pastor wil not be dumbe: a dumbe Pa­stor is nothing worth: but as Paul makes the comparison, he must be as a father teaching his sonnes standing in the midst of them, exhorting, comforting, rebuking them; so must a Pastor stand in the midst of his flock, to exhort, comfort and rebuke them: loue must be in dealing with discretion, and all men must not be delt with alike, all men must not be exhorted, because all lyes not back in the way: they who are sluggish must be exhor­ted: all must not be comforted, there is some ouer proude and haue need of a reprofe, they onlie who mou [...]nes are to be com­forted. In a word (that which is spoken to Tim thie 2. Epist [...]. [...]5) there must be a right cutting of the word, a Pastor must be a cutter and caruer, and according to his discretion, he must giue to euery man. Now I finde this, and ye see it, he takes God to be witnes, and the people among whom he dwelt, saying, ye know, [Page 74] ye are witnesses to me: Learne it. The flock amongst whom the Pastor hes bene, shall be witnesses to him in that great day, ei­ther to allow of him and his doing▪ or to disalow: to absolue or to condemne. If he hes discharged a faithfull duetie in his life, his flock will stand vp before God and Christ and justifie him in their presence in that day: if he hes bene vnfaithfull, they shall make a complaint of him, that he was an vnfaithfull Pastor who hes not done his duetie in his vocation. Therefore let euery man take head hovv he behaueth himself vvith any people, for either they shall be condemners. or absoluers of him.

Now he exhorts them. To vvhat thing? To vvalke. Not to ly down, and sleep, but to get vp on foote and vvalke in this world, because this life is but a pilgrimage, and a sleeping pilgrime is nothing worth. If thou goe not on, thou shalt neuer come to thy journeyes end. How should they vvalke? Not euerie vvay: for, it were better for men to be sitting or sleeping then to be walk­ing wrong. Walke vvorthie of God. There is a kinde of comeli­nesse in going on the vvay: a man may goe on the vvay in a comelie manner, or else he may goe on the vvay in an vncome­lie maner.Rule of vvalking. What is the rule of this comelinesse? Walke vvorthie of God vvho hes called you to his Kingdome. In a vvorde, the rule is, this glorious calling of God to be a Christian man and to be partaker of his kingdome. He vvho is called to be a chri­stian man or vvoman, is also called to the Kingdome of God and Christ. Brethren, euerie mans life should be measured ac­cording to his calling, and as his calling is, so should he walke, and that calling should be a measure of his life. The king should vvalke in Majestie, to command: the people in loue and humi­litie, to obey: the Minister in vprightnesse, to teache: the people in holinesse to vvalke before him: a marchant, a man of law, each one of them is bound in their manner of liuing, according to the rule of their calling. So, they that haue their calling to be christians, should haue their walking according to their calling. Is thy calling to be a christian? Liue not as a Pagane then, but as a christian. Thou wilt say, thou art called to be a christian, and then thou wilt be in the meane tyme a murtherer, an harlote, a thiefe: Is that thy walking in thy calling? No, this christian cal­ling is to a Kingdome and glorie. There are none who are cal­led [Page 75] to be a christian, but they are called to a glorie and King­dome: they are trāslated from the power of darknesse, to the so­cietie of Christ. Therefore, seeing, their calling is to a kingdome, they should walke like Kings sonnes: we are all made by our calling the sonnes and daughters of God, adopted in Christ and heires of that glorie that God dwels in. Then, walke worthie of God and glorie. As our kingdome is aboue, flee and mount a­boue this earth, in some measure, so far, as the heauinesse of this corruption will fuffer: lift vp thy selfe, sinne holds thee down, cast off sin and preasse vpward: that life that is in God must be gotten aboue, in Christ: otherwise, if our harts be not lifted vp to that kingdome & glorie, if our conuersation in some measure be not answerable to our calling, we are vnworthie of that calling, and we haue neuer bene effectuallie called: thou was called by the eare onelie, thou heard the Gospell, thy heart neuer recey­ued the Gospell, nor saw this Kingdome and glorie that thou was called to. These wicked lyues of men showes vs, that, they were neuer effectuallie called. So as thou wouldst be a citizen of that heauenlie kingdome, and partaker of that glorious calling, liue an holie lyfe, that, after this lyfe, thou mayest be a king, & raigne with God for euer in Heauen. To this God the Father, Son and the holie Ghost, be all praise for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 2. vers. 13. 14.

13 For this cause also thanke vve God vvithout ceasing, that vvhē ye receyued of vs the vvord of the preaching of God, ye receyued it not as the vvord of men, but as it is in deede the vvord of God, vvhich al­so vvorketh you that beleeue.

14 For brethren, ye are become follovvers of the Churches of God, vvhich in Iudea are in Christ Iesus, because ye haue also suffered the same thinges of your countrymen, euen as they haue of the Ievves.

THE Apostle (ye remember brethren) in the beginning of the second chapter, he digresses and he falles out in a discourse concerning himselfe, his entering among them, what it was, his sinceritie and vp­rightnesse in his whole dealing. This he does in the second chapter vnto the 13. verse. In which verse he returnes to his principall purpose, that he had rejoysing together with them, for the graces of God bestowed on them through his ministrie. This rejoysing, as he shew you in the beginning, it stands in a thanks-geuing to God, who is the geuer of all grace: for without him no matter of rejoysing, all matter of rejoysing is in him, who is the geuer of all grace and mercie to vs. The occasion of his returning to the principall purpose is this: In the verse im­mediatlie [Page 77] going before he hes spoken of his evvne carefulnesse in teaching them all manner of waye, [...], and teaching them that they walk worthie of God, that had cal­led them to his kingdome and glorie.

Nowe in this xiij. verse he thankes God for that meeting a­gaine he found in them. He teached, he instructed exhorted, [...]nd comforted: the effect; They beleeued, they [...], they heard and receiued the thing he spoke, they embraced it▪ not as the vvord of man, but as the vvorde of God, as it vvas in very deede. It was not ineffectuall in them, but as they em­braced it, so it vvrought in so manie as beleeued: it was power­full and made in them a wonderfull alteration; and [...] the o­peration thereof it shewe the selfe to be the word of God. The meaning of the text is plaine. And therfore let vs come to some obseruations. Ye see heere first of all great matter of thanksgi­uing to God,Grace in [...] & people d [...]uble mater of thanks [...]guing. when this sweete harmonie is betweene the pastor and the people, when as he teaches and instructs them louingly and faithfullie, they receiue that worde he deliuers to them and therto they conforme their life & conuersation. There is a sweet meetting: and if euer there was matter of thanksgiuing in this world heere is matter; in the faithfulnes of the pastor and in the faith of the people meetting that faithfull discharge of the Pa­stor in his office. It is true, when the pastor findeth the grace of God in him selfe allone, albeit he finde no meeting in the peo­ple, he hes matter of thanks-giuing to God: for hovve so euer it be, if that he doe playe the part of a faithfull pastor, he is a sweet smell to God, as vvell in them that perishe as in them that shall be saued by the vvord. 2. Cor. 2. 15. If ye meete him not he will be safe, if that hee discharge a faithfull dewtie; but your bloude shall be vpon you owne heades: So he hath matte through the grace he hath receiued, to rejoyce in God. But (brethren) when grace meetes grace, when the faith of the people doth meete the faithfulnes of the pastor, when hee is not onelie a svveete smell to God, but he is the sauour of life to life to the people; there is the double matter of reioysing and thankesgiuing to God: double grace and meetinge of grace craue double rejoysinge and thankes-giuing to God for the mercie double bestovved vppon them. If anie man had euer anie grace, Paule had it; yet [Page 78] the man is neuer satisfied in his owne persone, except he finde grace in those to whom he vttered grace meeting his grace, & except he finde his ministrie povverfull to them whom he tea­ches: for otherwise he counts all his labour and running to be in vaine. Therefore all teachers should striue to finde the povver of the worde in the people; for wherefore are Ministers sent in the worlde? but to see that that word be effectuall in the people to vvinne them to God: and in verie deede he may rejoice when he sees the saluation of the people wrought by his teachinge. This in generall.

Now to come to the words. Their faith is set downe in sun­drie degrees; and marke them: the first degree is hearing; they heare the word of the Apostle;4. degries of saith there is the first grace in the peo­ple meetting the pastor, when they giue their presence & heare him patientlie. It is of the grace of God that a man or woman can sit and heare the vvord of God: and it appeares that it is the grace of God; ye see manie in Scotland that gets neuer the grace to heare, no preaching,1. Hear­ing of the vvord. no hearing in many parts of the land: mi­serable are they without preaching, without hearing No questi­on what euer other causes be of the lacke of preaching & hear­ing, it is a just judgement of God on the people: and woe be to them that drawes away the moyen of preaching and hearing from the people: miserable shall their end be. For, I see not, how saluation shall be, without preaching and hearing. There are many againe, that albeit occasion of hearing bee offred to them, and the teacher be at hand, yet they will not come to heare, they may heare and will not heare. Some will come to sit down, but if any thing touch their affection, they will heare with impati­ence: all this showes you, hearing is of grace. First, to get the oc­casion of hearing, is, grace: next, to heare patientlie, to heare sin and vice rebuked in all estates of men and vvomen it is a grace; for, some, in hearing their sinne rebuked, they heare impatiently with grudging, and as soone as they remoue and go out, that im­patience breakes out in bitter vvords, As, when Steue [...] in the 7. chap. Acts ver. 57. 58. is speaking to that Councell of the Iewes that vvere conueened; as soone as he speakes against them, they put their fingers in their eares, and rus [...]ing on him stone him to death. The 19. chapt. Acts verse 33. when Alexander stands vp [Page 79] among the Ephesians, certaine people beeing conueened toge­ther, when he begins to speake to them of the way of God a­gainst Demetrius, they cry out all vvith one shoute immediatlie, Great is Diana of the Ephesians. The 22. chapter Acts verse 23. when Paul makes a discourse of his ovvne life and comes to this, that, he vvas called to be a teacher to the Gentiles, they rent their clothes and cast dust vp in the aire. All this telles vs the fu­ry and rage of the heart, against God, against Christ & his word. And by the contrair; it is a speciall grace of God, that men and vvemen gets, when they can sit still and heare the word of God patiently. There is the first degree.

The second degre of their faith and meeting of the Apostle, is receyuing of the vvord. That is to say, a receyuing and appro­uing of the word of God,2. generall allow­ance. to be true and good, euen, a generall allowance therof. When this man will say vvithin himselfe, this is true that is spoken. Many gets not this grace: for, many when they heare, suppose they lend their eare to the vvorde, in their minde they disalovv that which is spoken: and albeit thy mouth be close, yet the minde vvill be making contradiction The natu­rall man saies the Apostle. 1. Cor. 2. 14. vvhen he heares of heauen­lie things, he vnderstands them not: yea, more, he thinks them all but foolishnesse. Set vp a naturall man, he will scorne all that is spo­ken of Christ and of spirituall things, and will laugh at them in his owne heart. When Paul came to Athens Act. 17. vers. 18. and entered among those high headed Philosophers, and begouth to speake of the way of God. They met him againe with scor­ning, and they said, What meanes this bablor? they thought all that he spoke babling. There are many of them in Scotland, who thinks, vvhen a man speaks of Christ, that, all is but babling. Then, it is a grace of God, to geue an allowance to that vvhich is spoken.

There is farther heere.3. [...] heart. The third degree of grace, is, embra­cing the word in the heart. There are many that can heare, that is a grace: when they haue heard will giue a generall allowance, that, all is good, all is true; there is the second grace, but, in the meane tyme, they will shoote it all out of their heart: they will say, it is true and good, but, what is that to me? they neuer em­embrace it in their owne heart. Simon Magus (as it is tolde, Acts [Page 80] 8. 21. allowed of that which was spoken, & it is said, he had faith; in the meane time, no application in his ovvne heart, for, shortlie after he vttered that gall of bitternesse which was in his heart & he wold haue bought the graces of the holie spirit: and ther­fore, Peter meetes him, and wishes, that, he should perish and his money to. There are manie of this sort, who vvill be content to heare & allovve it to, & say. The Minister hes said vvel this day, all is true: yea but what hast thou reported, and what hast thou applyed to thy heart? Thou heard to thy condemnation, except thou apply some thing to thy self of that grace thou didst heare.

Yet ther is a fourth degree; to receiue it as God vvord, Not on­lie to heare, allow, embrace; but to receiue it as the word of God. Albeit, Paul spoke it,4. Recei­uing of the vvord, as the vvord of God. yet, they looked vp, aboue Paul, and tooke it out of his hand, not as his vvord, but as the vvord of God: that is a greater grace. There are manie that rest to much vpon the man that teaches, and set their hearts on the mouth of him that speakes more nor on God that giues the speaker the grace. Ma­nie will heare this vvritten vvorde, allow it, embrace it, but they make it to them the vvord of man, rather nor the word of God; because they count the Scripture to be authentick, not because God did speake it, but because the Church sayes it, as the Pa­pists do say, this day. So they make the New and old Testament to be the vvord of men. The Lord keepe vs from such an error: for it is not possible to builde faith vpon that ground. I appeale thy conscience that sayest this, if euer thou didst finde that con­stant faith in thy heart: faith can not rest, except it haue an assu­rance, that, the word is from God and not from men: how manie in this countrie faile in this? There are manie that receiue and embrace it, not with that reuerence they should: when they hear it spoken they giue no reuerence nor obedience thereto, more nor it were the word of man, for when they goe out, they are as wanton in wickednesse as euer they were before. This testi­fies their want of due reuerence, If this were setled in the hearts of men, that, the word that is spoken were the word of God, and that it is not the man that speaks it, but Gods Spirite in the man [...] they would receiue it, embrace it, and obey it with greater reue­rence. O, the obedience he would giue to that word. There is na­turallie such a reuerence of God in the heart, that when they are [Page 81] assured it is of God, they will reuerence it.

Now brethren, ye see in all these degrees nothing but faith. All is expressed in faith: ye see the beginning of it, the progresse of it, the ending where it rests. It begins at the outward senses: It begins at the eare. Faith is by hearing. Rom. 10. 17. Then it goes next, to the minde, which allowes and approues it. It sticks not there, but it goes downe to the heart; and there in very deed is the right sait of faith: there is the proper loding of faith. Look, that, thy faith be not in thy head and eare onelie (there are many hes it so, and it goes away with the winde) Looke, that it goe to the minde, and be not content with that, but see, that, it goe down to thy hart. This faith, ye, see, then, it exercises the whole soule of man: it exercises both the reasonable powers & the affections. Take head to it. The thing whereinto this faith is exercised, is the word of God. Faith in the eare is exercised about the word, faith in the minde is exercised about the word, faith in the heart is exercised about the word of God. The word of God should fill the whole head, mynde and heart. This is it that the Apostle to the Coloss. sayes. chap. 3, 16. Let the vvord of God dvvell in you plenteouslie: not sparinglie, but powerfullie. And certainelie thinke on, I tell you, if thou stryue not, so long as thou art heere, to be filled with the word of God, looke not after this lyfe for his presence: if thou preasse not, in some measure, in this lyfe, to haue thy soule filled with him: looke not, that, God shall be a fa­ther to thee in the life to come. Alas, we can not get that fulnesse and our soules so wel exercised as we should haue by the word: but if we striue to this, our willingnesse is acceptable to God. Where there is a desire to thinke and meditate of it, and to re­pent that thou canst not haue that desire therof as thou wouldst, it repares that want we haue of that fulnesse.

There is yet one thing heere to be marked. The speciall ground of his thanks-giuing, is, for the imbracing of this word, not as the worde of men, but as the worde of God. Wherein ye see, it is a rare thing and a speciall blessing of God, vvhen a man is not offended vvith that goode vvorde of God. What care I for him, some vvill say oft-tymes, I vvill heare the vvord of God, and receyue it, but this companion vvho teaches, hes offended me, I vvill not heare him. Againe, he is of so meane [Page 82] graces, he can not speake two words right, he is babling. Well thou art stumbling: and thou wilt breake thy neck if thou doest so: for thou must not thank that the word of God hangs on the mouth of man, but the mouth of man doth hang on the word of God. This is the fault, we measure euer the word of God by the instrument, and counts ay of the word of God, as of the word of man that speakes it and preaches it. 2. Cor. 10. 7. Enter in comparison,The [...] God and the [...] of man are contrarie. and I will let you see, Gods doing is far from mans doing, and mans doing is contrair to Gods doing. There is the wisdome of God. It hes pleased him from the beginning to put his power in the weakest creature, in the silliest and basest to looke to the hes not chosen the wise in the world, the potent and noble, to put his power in them, when it pleased him to vtter his omnipotent power. When he vttered his power against Pharao, he puts his power in frogs, in lyce, in flees, and he is auenged on proude Pharac, by those vylde things. All this is, and was, that his power shoulde be seene, that men should not thinke, this is the power of a frogge, louce or flee: but is the power of the great God that made all thinges. And when he meanes to destroy Goliath, he will not haue the armie of the Israelites, nor Saul [...] slaying him, but he will haue sillie Dauid slaying him, without armour, with a sling onelie. All this was that the world might see, it was not Dauids power, but Gods that slew Goliath. So, the richest treasure that God hes in Heauen, vvhich is Christ Iesus in the word, he puts it in vylde veshelles, the Mi­nisters thereof. The vnsearchable riches of Christ, the power and justice of God in Christ, and all the glorie of God in Christ, he takes it and puts it not in veshelles of siluer, and golde: no, but in a veshell of earth. 2. Corinth. 4. 7. and all this is, that, the vvorlde shoulde not esteeme the treasure according to the veshell. Therefore, the Lorde will put in a veshell of claye the treasure that is Heauen in Christ. Now will ye see mans famous wisdome. When he heares the vvord comming out of this base and infirme man, he sayes, the veshell is nothing worth, it is made of clay, it serues for no purpose; a sillie fellow, from whence came he? therefore this word that is in his mouth, it can not be the word of God: would euer he haue put so preti­ous a thing in so vylde a veshell? O rebellious man, that is e­uer [Page 83] contrarie to God in all thinges, and speciallie in the Gos­pell! Experience teaches vs of the enimitie, that the wicked men in this Realme caries in their heart against God and his Ministers: they will not let God be wise in his wisdome he hes in his Ministerie, but they will be wiser. Well, fight on, his wis­dome will winne the fielde, and thou wilt lose it to thy euerla­sting destruction.

Now to goe forward. He casteth in a parenthesis, saying, As it is in deed, the vvord of God. Ye esteemed it not as the word of men, but of God, as it is in deed: Receyue it as ye please, ac­count it Gods vvorde, or mans, as ye please, it is and shall a­byde Gods vvord; and thy mouth in the end shall be shutte vp, so, that thou shalt not vtter one vvord if thou account anie otherwise of it. So vvhat euer be the opinion of men in the vvorlde, and their speaches, their saying, or gainesaying alters nothing:Th' instru­ment nei­ther adds, nor dimi­nishes the glorie of the vvord The vvord of Iesus abydes, and shall abyde the true vvord, and shall retaine the ovvne authoritie and glorie: thy vvordes vvill neuer be able to make any change. No, brethren, the mouth of man for as infirme and gracelesse as it is, will not be able to impare a jot of the glorie of that God: and by the con­trair, put it in the mouth of neuer so glorious a creature, if it wer in the mouth of an Angell, nothing will be added to the glorie of it: it is powerfull in the selfe, the creature will not be able to make any alteration. In deed, it will honour the mouth, when it is put in the mouth of a man it will make him honourable, but he can not honour it, if he were neuer so noble or eloquent. Set vp a king to preache, trow ye he will honour the Gospell? no, but he shall get honour by the preaching of it. No, if it were all the Angels of Heauen that would preache this glorious Go­spell they can not giue it honour, but they are honoured by it. And when the Angels came and cryed to men this word of God, they got a singulare honour. Paul to the Galat. chap. 4. vers. 14. sayes, ye receiued me as an Angell of God, yea, as Christ Ie­sus. Wherefore was this? for Pauls ovvne presence? no, but for the word of God in his mouth, which made him to be accounted as an Angell of God. Neuer man shall be able to ad any honour to the word, or diminishe the honour thereof. Now blessed is he who gets this grace to deliuer this word with an earnest zeale, [Page 84] to glorifie God and Christ by preaching thereof.

Now in the end of the verse. He thinkes it not eneugh to call it the word of God, but he giues a proofe of it. The vvord of God vvher euer it be,P [...]er of the vvord. will euer prooue it selfe to be the vvord of God: it can not be idle, it must be quicke and effectuall in the hearer, it must vvorke liuelie, it vvill pearce lyke a tvvo edged svvord, and therefore, it is said: vvhich also vvorketh in you that beleeue. Hovvbeit it vvas vttered by an infirme man, yet, the vveakenesse of the persone hinderes not the povver­full operation of the vvorde. It vvill not be the mouth of the speaker that vvill holde back povver from the vvord of God. But vvhen the Lord puts his vvord in his mouth, and sayes, I will put my vvord in thy mouth, go thy vvay, if all the world had said the contrare, that vvord shal be powerfull. Well is that man in whose mouth this word is put: and vvell is that people that hes a man in vvhose mouth the Lord hes put his word, the basnesse and infirmitie of the man, will not be able to hinder the povver thereof. If the Lorde once put his vvorde in his mouth (it is so vvonderfull a thing.) Set vp eloquent Deme­mosthenes, diuine Plato, facunde Cicero, &c. vvho vvere like as manie vvonders in the vvorld: let them come in vvith their e­loquence, they shal not haue such operation in the harts of men, as a sillie fellow, and simple of speache shall haue, vvhen he speakes the vvord in the name of the Lord. And if there vvas euer a vvorke in the vvorlde maruellous, that vvorke vvhich the Minister by the Spirite, and vvorde of God workes, is most maruelous. For, to regenerate a man, vvho vvas once dead, it is not a mans tongue, his eloquence, his instancie that can doe it, but onelie that powerfull, and blessed vvord of God: that all glorie and praise of his povverfull operation may be giuen to his Majestie.

Marke a word farther. He sayes, not that workes in euerie one of you: but he sayes, in you vvho beleeues. In the 1. chap. Rom. vers. 16. The Gospell is called the povver of God to salua­tion, to them that beleeues. In the first to the Corinthians chap. 1 vers. 24. It is the povver and vvisdome of God to them that hes that effectuall calling, and hes gotten the heart oppinned to take head, and drinke in the worde, onelie in these is the worde of [Page 85] God effectuall to saluation. Brethren, it is true, it is offered with power to the vnbeleeuers, as well as to the beleeuers, but this is the difference. If thou hast not an heart & hand to take it when it is offred to thee with power, thou shalt neuer receiue its thou wantst power to receiue it, but there is power in the word very sufficient vnto saluation. Alas, how manie heare the vvord with their heart so hardened, that the word strikes on their hart as an hammer on the studdie. The hardnes of thy heart beats it backe againe, so, that it is not powerfull to thee. My counsell is, except thou preasse to haue thy heart mollified, and crauest at God to mollifie it, hear not the word, or Ile assure thee, the more thou hearest, the more thou vvilt be hardened. Manie make a showe of hearing: the Lord and the Laird will come and sit in their daskes and heare the worde, and will come forth without anie profite, because their hearts were not attentiue to heare. Ieast not with the word, it shall eyther saue thee or slay thee, and in the day of damnation thou shalt cursse the time, that thou e­uer didst heare the word of Christ, if thou finde it not powerfull in thee. Come, in a minde to renew thy sinfull life, or, else, bide a­way: come to be humbled vnder this word and reuerence it, if that thou were a King, or else bide away, vnlesse thou vvouldst heap on thy selfe an intolerable damnation.

Now brethren, I shall end shortlie in the next verse. He thin­kes it not eneugh to set downe this in generall, what the vvord of God wroght in them that beleeued, but he comes to the par­ticulare. It will not be the generall word will do thee good but a particulare. The speciall effect is, It made them to be follovvers. It is good to followe them that goe the right way: they vvere fol­lowers of the Church that was in Iudea, followers of the Ievves that were conuerted and beleeued in Christ. The word confor­med the Thessalonians to the christian Church of the Iewes. Al this was by the povver of the vvord of God in the mouthes of men. Looke not for an Angell from heauen to speake to thee, nor for a sound from heauen: but looke for it out of the mouth of men. We wearie fast of this ministrie; what ministrie vvill vve haue next? will ye haue Papist [...]e againe? will ye haue Angels? No, if ye contemne this ministrie, if this ministrie be put out of the land, thou shalt neuer finde anie ministrie powerfull to sal­uation. [Page 86] Then I marke: this is the power of the word of God, a conformitie & like affection in sundry persons: to make me like thee,the vvord povverful to make cōformity and thee like me, the godlie like other: this is the power of Gods word, to cause a church follow one an other, to joine man with man, to draw in a bloodie wolfe to the sheep-fold of the Lord Iesus and to make him a sillie lambe: He that now was ra­ging to draw him to Christ & to cause him sit down, and joine himself to Gods people in holinesse and godlines. This is a mar­uelous effect that the word hes. It is not the proper effect of the word, to cut men from good men, but to make a conformitie to joine good mē with good mē, & draw al together to the church. The Lord, the great Pastor, he joynes all the members of the bodie together, and all to make a whole body to the head christ. In a word, it is the force of Gods word, to worke our felicitie & blessednesse, and I assure thee, thou who art a contemner of the word of Iesus, thou shalt neuer be happie, neither in this life, nor in the life come. All stands first in a conjunction with Christ the head, and then, with the members. Step out of the societie of the church as you wil (what is the church to thee) I denounce the terrible judgement of God against thee, if thou seek not to haue that conjunction & societie of the church of God, thou shalt ne­uer get a portion in Iesus: there is thy doome, if thou repent not. This conformitie is not al wroght at once: but, the word of God, by the power thereof, will bring one first in, then, an other man, then, the thrid man: then, one Church; secondly, an other church; thridlie, the thrid church; and so, draw them al together. So, that they who comes last, haue no disaduantage, they both haue that same word to draw them in that the first had and then also they haue examples before them, drawing them in. It is good to haue an aduantage beside the word, to draw thee in. Brethren, we that are now in the world we haue this last vauntage, we haue these patternes: looke how many haue bene called, they are as many vauntages and patternes to draw vs to God. And looke that thou heare not of a godlie man, but preasse to follovv him, and say, God make me lyke him: for, among the rest of the meanes God hes ordained to winne soules, the setting vp of patternes before men is one meane. This nature of ours is backward, (For, vve are all borne naturallie Woolfes and Tigers) so, that, it [Page 87] makes vs that vve break avvay so fast from the sheepe- [...]old of Christ, that we haue great neede of many meanes to draw vs in: And therefore, the Lorde some-tymes vses, by the word, and some-tymes by the examples of others to draw vs in to Christ Iesus.

Yet againe this conformitie that is set down wold be marked. The conformity is in suffering, ye are followers of the church in Iudea: in what? in suffering alike with them: the same persecu­tion they suffered, ye suffer: yea, more; he amplifies their suf­feringes, in that they did suffer of such like persecutores as the Church of Iudea did: euen of their own countrie-men: the Iewes it was that persecuted the Iewes who were conuerted: it is the Thessalonians that persecutes you that are in Thessalonica. This is the persecution.Conformi­tie in suf­fring. Then, learne. The conformitie that ought to be among men and vvemen in the world, stands not in doing onelie, to make others doe vvell, as he doeth well: As one Church liues holilie, so, to cause one an other liue holily: but, it must be a conformitie in suffering also, that, as one man suffred, so, an other shoulde suffer: as one Church suffered, so an other Church should suffer: it wil not only be actiue, in doing, but, pas­siue, in suffering. There is a faire effect, conformitie in suffering. Brethren, men oft tymes are readie eneugh to follow others in doing, but, they are loath to suffer: all godlie men would be like other godlie men in doing: I see not a godlie person, but, I would be lyke him: and one Church would be like an other godlie Church, in doing. But, if I see a godlie man suffer before me, I wil hold aback and shrink to follow him. If thou see one martyred before thee, thou wilt leaue him and not take part of his burden. There is not a flourishing Church in Europe, but this would be like it: but it hes no desire to be like that Church in France, that hes bene so long vnder affliction, and can not get vp the head of it. It is in deed an hard matter to the word of God, to worke doing good in the heart of man: but, a harder matter, to worke patience and suffering of affliction: but, if the word be not effe­ctual, as well to work suffering, as doing; I can not say, it hes that force and power in vs that it should haue. And therefore, albeit thou be not as yet at suffering; yet, prepare thee for suffring: re­solue not thy self for doing alone euery day, but, for suffring also [Page 88] whatsoeuer crosse the Lord will lay on thy back. And let this be part of thy prayer: Lord strengthen me in suffering. For, as thou wouldst raigne with him, so thou must take a resolution to suffer with him. Who will not suffer, let him neuer looke to be an heyre of Heauen. It is now due time to learne to be prepared for suffering for Christs cause. The Lord giue vs grace that we may suffer patientlie, that he may be glorified in our suffering. To this God be glorie and praise for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 2. vers. 15. 16.

15 Who both killed the Lord Iesus and their ovvne Prophets, and haue persecuted vs, and God they please not, and are contrary to all mē.

16 And forbid vs to preach vnto the Gentiles, that they might be saued, to fulfil their sinnes alvvaies: for the vvrath of God is come on them, to the vtmost.

IN this rejoysing of the Apostle Paull to­gether with the Thessalonians, for the graces of God that were bestowed vpon them, ye haue heard brethren. the Apost. thanked God instantlie for that meeting he founde in them when he preached to to them, exhorted, comforted & besought them to walke as worthie of that God that had called them to his kingdome and glorie. Their meet­ing [Page 89] was: they heard him, and not onelie they heard him, but they receiued the thing they heard, and not onelie receiued it, but in heart embraced it and laide it vp as a treasure and the seede of life and immortalitie: they imbraced it, not as the word of man, but as the word of God, as it is indeede: and not onelie imbraced they it as the word of God but in life and conuersation vttered it: it was effectual in their life He proued this, because they were followers of the Church in Iudea, conuerted to Iesus Christ. The speciall thing wherein they followed them was, that euen as these Churches were troubled by their owne Countrie the Iewes: euen so they that were conuerted at Thessalonica were troubled, not by forrainers but by their o [...]ne Citizens.

Not to repeat any thing we spak the last day, but to go to the text red. In this text the Apostle hauing spoken of these Iewes malicious and obstinate doing, wherby they euer impeaded the progresse of the Gospell of Christ and hindered mans saluation, scattring themselues among the Gentiles, throgh al the [...]mane Prouinces: and when anie of the Apostles came, stirring vp in­surrection, and not suffring the Gospell to haue place, so farre as they might stop it. Therefore he digresses heere and agg [...]eages the sinne of these malicious Iewes, making vp a dittay against them, and therafter he giues out the doome, and pronounces the sentence of wraith and condemnation against them. And there­fore to returne, and to oppen vp euerie sentence. They haue slaine, sayes he, the Lord Iesus. There is the first point of their dittay. These men the Iewes, that trouble the Church of Christ in Iu­dea, are they that haue slaine the Lord Iesus himself. They haue in their extreame persecution slaine and crucified to the death the Lord of glory. 1. Cor. 2. 8. That is, they haue dispatched him, not after a common manner, but after a most cruell and shame­full manner, by a cruell, sore and shamefull death. Whom haue they slaine? the Lord of glorie: and honourable personage, all the glorie of God, is, & dwels in him as it wer. Who is this by name? It is Iesus, the Sauior of the world: euerie word aggreages their fault. There is the first point of their dittay. The first crime laid to their charge, is the crucifying of the Lord Iesus Christ, this is the thing he begins at: there are mo pointes of dittay laid against them, but he beginnes at this, the persecution of the Lord him­self▪ [Page 90] Persecution beginnes not at the bodie, nor at the members of the bodie,Persecution begins at the he­ad of the Church. nor at the seruants; but it beginnes at the head, the Lord Iesus him selfe, if not in action & in deede, yet in intention; in the malice and hatred of the heart. The Prophetes in deede were slaine and persecuted in action, and died before the Lorde Iesus came in the world: but these same men that slew the Pro­phets with their hand, ere they slew the Prophets they slew the Lord of the Prophets, the Lord Iesus in their hearts: because that all the Prophets that were slaine were his seruants sent be­fore him that was to come.

Now to come forward. The second thing is, They slevv the Lord Iesus, they slew the Lord of glorie, that in his slaughter, so farre as in them lyes, the worlde should be slaine: for they that vvoulde slay Iesus vvould slay all men, so farre as lyes in them, and they slay him after a most cruell and shamefull man­ner.The greater grace the grea­ter the persecution. Brethren, this is the ingyne and nature of persecutors: the worthier the personage be who is persecuted, the greater grace of God be in him, the greater glorie and innocencie be in him, the greater will be the extremitie of their persecution. None of the Prophets of olde were so extremelie persecuted as the Lord Iesus was; neither yet the Apostles that followed him were so persecuted as he was: and all because of the greatnesse of the glorie of his personage. If ye will search the grounde of this, it must, no question, come of great blindnes, for if men savv vvell the grace and the glorie of God that is in the persones of them that are persecuted, for all the vvorlde they durst not persecute them. And therefore he sayes in the 1. Corinth. 2. chap. 8. verse, If they had knovvne they had not crucified the Lord of glorie. No if the glorie of the Church were seene, vvicked men durst not stirre her. There is yet a greater and an higher ground; The ma­lice of the heart comes in and blindes and putteth out the eye of the minde, Eph. 4. 18. Throgh ignorance sayes Paul, that comes through the hardnes of the heart, for this is the nature of the hard­nes of the heart to hate the light and to delite in darknes, which is enemie to the light of God: All our pleasure is in darknes by nature, and so it is caried against the light, and the first thing it does it puts out the light of the minde yea euen the very natural light, and so when the heart is blinded it caries him against all [Page 61] light, and chieflie against the light of God and the Lorde of light him selfe. And this is the vvorke of this fa [...]e nature of man so highlie accounted of by the Philosophers. Seeke there­fore to shutte out of thy heart this maliciousnes that blindes it, or else thou shalt be blind folde throvvne down to hell.

The thride thing to be marked heere is. When he is laying out this persecution before the Thessalonians he is comforting thē that wer afflicted. Haue they not slain your Lord? &c. what vvounder is it hovvbeit they persecute you? Brethren, all the affliction is not layde vpon one man, hovvbeit he get his bur­dene heauie enough.Comfort through Christes persecutiō The Lord hes measured to euerie one his owne part: and he vvho is afflicted should looke ouer his shul­der and see who hes beene afflicted before him, and scarcelie shall he see a godlie man but vvith his burdene on his backe, all is not laid on him alone. But aboue all let the persone that is afflicted first set his eye on the Lord Iesus. Let him looke ouer to Golgotha vvhere Christ is hanging on the Crosse, and in Christ let him looke to tvvo thinges: first to the glorie & wor­thinesse of that personage who sufferes: next, to the extremitie and ignominie of that passion: looke to these two things in him, and then looke down to thy selfe, and looke what thou art first, not a Lord, if thou were a King, but a seruant (all the Kings on the earth are but seruants in respect of him:) then go to the af­fliction thou suffers, and thou shalt finde thou suffers not the thowsand part of the affliction he suffred for thee, there is great inequalitie betweene thee and him, and then beginne to reason. The seruant is not greater nor his Lord, the disciple is not grea­ter nor his Maister. The Lord Iesus is my Lord I am not but a seruant: yet the Lord Iesus my Lord suffers and in such great extremity; then may I not be content to suffer the thousand part of his suffering? Of this comes contentment of heart, and pati­ence to suffer for the Lord. For except thy eye be set vpon that personage of Iesus Christ, it is not possible for thee to suffer with joy the simplest crosse that is for the Lords sake.

The next point of their dittay, they haue slaine their ovvn Pro­phets. Persecuti­on of the Prophets. This they did ere they slevv the Lord; albeit it be set in the second rovv [...]e. They haue slaine: vvhom? Prophetes, vvorthie men. Whose Prophets? not strangers, but men of then own na­tion, [Page 92] Iewes as they vvere, their ovvne Prophets sent by God to them, to teach and prophecie to them, to bring them to the way of life: yet they haue runne vpon them, and haue slaine them, all aggreages their fact. Ye vvill aske, vvas these Ievves that slevv the Prophets the same that slevv the Lord Iesus, they wer not in the Prophets dayes, they came long after? I answer, he vn­derstands the whole bodie of that people, fathers and children, which makes vp a bodie. The fathers slew the Prophets, Ther­fore Steuen. sayes Act. 7. 52. Which of them is he vvhom your fathers haue not persecuted? Then he comes to the children: & as for you that are children, ye haue betrayed and slaine the iust one. This is it that Christ sayes in the 23. chap. of Matt. vers. 32. Ful [...] out that or follow out that, that your fathers haue left vndone slay me and my Apostles. Yet there may be an other answere made to this. It may be that he will lay to the charge of them that slew the Lord Iesus, the slaughter of the Prophets, as though they had slaine them with their owne hands.Posteritie guilty through their fa­thers. For ye must vnderstand that the children that come after their Fathers, are inuolued in the whole guiltinesse that their fathers were in before them. Was he a murtherer? thou art guiltie of murther: were thy Grandfa­ther and his father murtherers? thou art inuolued in the same guiltinesse: and except thou by grace be transplanted out of the rotten stock of thy fore-fathers in Iesus, thou shalt die for that murther of thy fathers. All the sinnes of thy progenitors shalbe hung about thy neck if thou be not exeemed and [...]lanted in Ie­sus Christ. Yea that sinne of Adam for eating of the frute shall be laid to thy charge, and thou shalt pay for it, if thou be not transplanted out of rotten Adam, and ingraft in Iesus Christ, the second Adam. Rom. 5. 14. Not onelie is this naturall corruption drawen to children throgh propagation, but the children are inuolued in the guiltinesse of the verie action of the progeni­tours. All serues to this; to make fathers to be waie and to take head to their actions, that they slay not themselues allone, but the multitude of their posteritie, as Adam slew vs all. Yet there is an other ground and answere to this. These Iewes that slew the Lord Iesus, are counted to haue slaine the Prophets before them. The ground and cause is this (I would that all murthereis did heare this:) Slayest thou an innocent man such as Abel? the [Page 93] whole innocent bloud that was shed since the beginning lights vpon thee, thou art guiltie of it. And therefore Christ Matt. 23. 36. layes to the Ievves charge the whole innocent bloud shedde since Abell vnto Zacharias that vvas slaine betweene the temple and the altar. Therfore murtherer take head, thou shalt drowne in bloud, for by thy act thou giuest approbauen to al those murtherers that were from the beginning. Thou makest it a pastime to dip thy hand in innocent bloud: but wo to thee if thou be not washed in the bloud of christ. This for the answer to the questi­on. Now marke, brethren. When he speakes of the slaughter of the Lord Iesus committed by these Iewes, he forgets not the old Prophets: and with the Lords he joines his seruants, neither for­gets he the Apostles,Both the persecuti­on & the persecu­tors are recent in Gods me­morie. and vs also haue they persecuted: al are put in one catalogue, the olde Prophetes, the Lord Iesus, the Apostles and Martyres that were slaine. And who doeth this? It is not so much Paul as the holie Spirite that doth it: which is a token that all the martyrdomes that haue bene, is, and to be; was not, is not, nor shal not be forgot of the Lord: they are all in recent memo­rie. And suppose there were not a booke of Martyres vvritten in the earth, yet there is a booke in Heauen written, and all the Martyres from the beginning are registrate in it: and that book shall be laid oppen before man & Angels: ye shall see them, not in pictures but in face. And again, he remembers the Iewes who did it: so as there is a booke of Martyres in heauen, so is there a booke of persecuters, wherein all their names are written, and in that great day the booke shall be laide oppen, and shall be presented to their eyes, to their rebuke, shame and eternall con­fusion. So the Lord hes all in remembrance, the Lord hes a re­cent memorie: a thousand yeeres are but like a day to him, and a day as a thousand yeeres: albeit we will forget all, yet all is re­cent in his memorie. And this is verie comfortable to the affli­cted, and it is terrible to the persecutors. Woe is that man that hath not his sinnes forgote and pardoned of the Lord. There is not one teare of the sufferer but it is put vp in his bottle. This for the second point of their dittay.

Let vs novve come to the third point. The Iewes vvere not content with the slaying of the Prophetes and of the Lord Iesus himself, but when he is away they persecute his Apostles. [Page 94] A wonderful thing that this people can not hold vp their hand: the fathers slay the Prophets, the children slay the Lord, & then the Apostles. Ere I goe forvvard marke this: iniquitie, in [...]ietie & vngodlines, when once it enters in anie familie or clan, in any race of men in the vvorld, howe hard a thing it is to get it out a­gaine. Oft times when the fathers begin with it, it followes on so vpon the whole race of them, that it makes an end of them and their race both Beginnest thou that art a father? thy sonne and thy vvhole posteritie vvill follow, while in end the judgement of God light and destroy all together. Is the father a murtherer and slew he one? the sonne will double it: and so forth of other vices: and then the Lord throwes dovvne the house and cuttes off all the generation. And the Lord did so vvith these Ievves, It is said in the second command, that the Lord visites the th [...]d & fourth generation of them that hate him. What is the gro [...]nde of this? because the iniquitie of the fathers is driuen to the children to the thrid and fourth generation. Therefore the vengeance of God lights on all. Ye fathers therefore take head to your selues, and purge you frō iniquitie: for if ye be carelesse of your selues, the vengeance of God shall be on you and your children both. The example of the Iewes might be a spectacle to al the world; the verie iniquitie proceeding from the fathers to the sonnes, till all were cutted off, might nowe suffice to exhort all fathers to leaue sinne, as they woulde not be destroyed and their vvhole race after them. Marke an other thing heere. There is nothing that can not content this people: there is no kinde of message that can please them. First the Lord sends Prophets to them: then he s [...]ids his Sonne (as it is said in the parable) that they might reuerence him Matt. 21. 37. Last he sends the Apostles his ser­uants, and they are as rigorous against them, as they could: so no sort of message could content them. [...] Act. 7. 51. layes downe the ground of this.Persecu­ters ma­lice euer against the light of the spi­rite. [...] So there is the ground: because all come with the light of the holie Spirite, therefore they persecuted all. The malice of a persecuter, is euer against the light of the Spirite of God. So let euerie man be sure, so long as the Spirite of light is, there must euer be persecution. Had I an other man (will the prophaine man say) I would heare him. No, if thou hast this ha­tred [Page 95] of the light of the spirite in thy heart, if Paul should come and preach thou vvouldst persecute him: yea if Christ him selfe should come in proper person, thou wouldst persecute him: take therefore head not so much to the preacher as to thine owne heart: if thou hast the loue of the light, the preacher can not be disliked by thee, and by the contrair if thou hast not the loue of the light, thou wilt persecute all that come to thee. This for the thrid point of their dittay.

Now comes on the fourth part of their dittay. God [...]hey please [...]. This followes the other three. The slaying of the Lord: the slaying of his Prophets, and the persecuting of his Apostles. They that slew the Lord, and his Prophetes, and persecuted the Apostles: How could they please God that was the sender of them? And so in these wordes he takes off the couer of their faces. For these malicious Iewes when they were doing all this euill, they boasted of themselues they pleased God, & they wer his people saying. We are the Church and all these are enemies to God. Paul pulles off this couer, and he showes that they in doing of this, were nothing but enemies to God Ye knowe in these dayes men will come in and say, It is we that are the true Church, it is we who are seruing God aright and in the meane tyme they will be persecuting burning [...]ormenting the children of God? But what are they? will ye haue them deciphered? they are enemies to God: the Pope is the Antichrist, and this shall be ratified in that great day. But to let them alone there are many amongst our selues, who will ay be doing euill, and are enemies to God: for thou that art an enemie to his seruants, thou pleases not God: for heere is a ground, There is no glorifying of the Lord, but in his ministrie. Contemne thou this ministrie by little and little in end thou shalt be an enemie to God, if thou hadst sworne the contrair. If thou seuere the glorie of God and this ministrie, and be a contemner of it, thou shalt neuer be glorified of God. Ye haue heard foure pointes of their dittay.

Now to come to the fift. They are contrai [...] to all men; Iew and Gentile. This is a consequent of the first three: slayers of the Lord, and of his Prophets, persecuters of the Apostles & pastors, they are enemies to the saluation of all mankinde: [...] what they wil; enemies to the seruants of God, to the ministrie [...] [Page 96] which saluation is wrought, and without it thou shalt neuer ob­taine saluation, nor see the face of God) they are enemies to all mankindes saluation.

Come to the last point of their dittay. They forbid vs to speak to the Gentiles: they are enemies to the saluation of the Gen­tiles that by our ministrie shoulde be wonne to God and to his Church: the porple-wall is broken down that did hold out the Gentiles before, yet they wil hold thē out of the fold. There are sundrie sortes of Iewes that hindered the saluation of men: there is one sort of them that vvould not suffer Christ to be preached to the Gentiles at all, but euer raised vp sedition to impead that vvorke. Of these ye may read in the 13. of the Acts. There was another sort of the Iewes that suffered the Gospel to be prea­ched to the Gentiles, but added to it circumcision and the law of Moses: of whom read Act. 15. The first sort is worst. Now the Apostle heere meanes chieflie of this first sort; who, as the Lord himselfe sayes, vvould neither enter them selues into the king­dome of heauē, nor suffer others to enter. For this is a sure thing, euen as a man that hes gotten his own heart enlightned by the loue of the trueth, would haue that light to be imparted to all the world and wishes from his heart that all were partakers of it, as Paul wished to Agrippa. and the rest that heard him, that they were lyke vnto him sauing his bondes. Acts 26. 29. Well had they bene, thogh they had bene chainde, to haue had the light of Ie­sus: yet he puts to these wordes, for reuerence cause sauing these bandes.) Euen so, a man who hes the hatred of the trueth and light, he would haue all the world blinded as he is, he woulde haue all mouthes closed as his mouth is closed, that neuer man should name Christ to the world: He would haue all eyes put out, that neuer a man might see one jote. In a word he that is in Heauen translated out of this darknesse of nature, he woulde haue all in Heauen with him. And by the contrair: He that is yet in darknesse, and so in Hell, he would haue all with him. So looke what condition the man is of he would haue all lyke to him. Therefore I will neuer thinke well of men that impeades the progresse of the Gospell of Christ: they argue what is with­in them: for were this loue of the light within their hearts, for all this worlde would they not hinder the progresse of the Gospel [Page 97] Alas, ye shall finde this ouer true in the end: woe, woe, to them that hinders the planting of the Gospell. Alas, if there were this loue of the light in their hearts, there would not be so many churches vnplanted, & so many soules fuffred to perishe.

Now I draw to an end. When he hes set down these six points of their dittay, whereof the least is worthie damnation: for what judgement must light on the slayers of the Lord, of the Pro­phets and Apostles? He sets down the end of all, that euer they should I fill out their sinnes. As though he said, they are euer exer­cised this vvay to this end that the measure of their sins should be filled out▪ and then the judgement should ouertake them, This is the end of the counsell of God. They had an other end. But to make this plaine.all things fall out to man by measure vvhole the fulnes come. All thinges that fall as it vvere out of Heauen out of the counsell of God vpon men▪ fall in a mea­sure, and in a quantitie. The grace of God in Iesus Christ is gi­uon in a measure to euerie one. Ephes [...] 4. 7. The afflictions of the godlie is giuen in a measure, and peece and peece this mea­sure is filled out, vntill it come to the heape, and then the affli­ction shall cease. The filling of them did begin at the creation, and Abell felt them first, and euer since the measure of them hes beene incressing vntill it came to Iesus; and he tooke an heauier vveight of affliction vpon him nor euer was before him. Yet the measure of the afflictions of the Church is not filled out. In comes the Apostles and they get their part: after them comes the Pastores, and they get their part: and enerie persone that is in Christ gets his part, and so euerie one hes his ovvne burdene. So long as the world shall stand this measure shall be in filling out: when it shall be full the world shall fail, and the pillers of it shall be cutted, and an end shall be put to all teares. Reuel. 21. 4. This measure is long in filling. It did begin soone, it must be [...] out, sayes [...]. 1. Epist. 5. 9. So euerie one hes his owne part. Likewise, some goe by a measure and since the beginning this measure hes beene in filling: euerie age hes casten to their their owne part. It is not one age that hath [...]lled vp the measure of sinne; but euerie generation hes casten to the ovvne part to fill vp sinne: and in this age euerie one is bearing their arme-fall and burdene of sinne: he vvith murther, the with harlotrie, and he with oppression and persecution, and he comes [Page 98] in with blasphemie: yet the cup is not full, and the measure of sinne shall not be filled vp so long as the worlde doeth stand. When the father dies, the sonne will liue to fill out this measure: he makes his testament, yet the sin is not filled vp, but the thing he could not doe himselfe, he bids his sonne do it, and he will say to his sonne: Sonne I could not get this man slaine, nor this euill deed nor that euill deed ouertaken, if I had liued, I should haue done this or that: doe thou therefore that I coulde not do. So doe the Iewes, and therefore the Lord sayes, Fill out the mea­sure of your fathers sinnes, Matt. 23. 32. Now when this measure is full, the vvorld shall take an end and all shall fall down, but vvoe is the sinner, and vvell is the godlie: for the sinner shall be destroyed for euer, and the afflicted bodie shall finde saluation. Take head. There are none that knovve when this measure shall be filled out, but he who in his vnsearchable counsell hes appointed this measure of sinne, that is God: I know it not, thou knovvest it not, and therefore it is ouer presiumptuous a thing, when thou seest a man i [...] sin to say, this man hath filled the mea­sure of sinne: for it may be the Lord will let him hue to commit greater sinne. And in deed it is a vvonder to consider the pati­ence of God in suffering of sinne, and so it is called the ri [...]hes of the [...]enignitie of God. Rom. 2. 4. And this should learne vs pati­ence to sit still and abyde Gods leasure, and glorifie him. Far­ther this vvould be marked heere: there are sundrie measures of sinne: one of all the wicked that euer vvas, is, or shall be to the end: an other is of any certaine nation or countie, as of the Ievves heere: the thrid is of the particulare persone vvhereof Paul speakes. Act. 3. 10. And in lyke manner vve may consider the same measure of grace. There is now the dittay.

Will ye heare the doome? the vvrath of God is come on them to the vtmost. As he would say the vvrath of God ouertooke them long since. It holdes on, and shall holde on. vntill it bring them to a miserable end. There is the doome and judgement. It is set dovvne as a cause of the filling vp of their sinne,Proportiō betvvene vvraith & sinne. because the wrath of God leaues them not. When once Gods wrath begins to light on a bodie, that bodie will neuer doe a good turne, but sinne on still, vntill in end the vvrath light on him and bea [...]e [...]ut all his b [...]aines. And againe, when once God beginnes to looke [Page 99] on a creature vvith a fauourable eye, that creature will be ex­ercised in vvell doing: for it is the mercifull face of God that makes the man to doe vvell. And for this cause it is said that God hated Esau, and therefore he neuer did a goode turne: and againe he loued Iacob, and therefore hee did all to pleasure his God. All serues to this end, that men and vvemen should seeke to stand in the fauour of God: seeke tokens of his loue. And on the other part seeke to be free of the vvrath of God: for if it possesse thee, thou shalt doe nothing but sinne vnder it, and as thou sinnest, vvraith after vvraith shall follovv on thee, vntill it come to an height, and then it shall be heaped on thee, to thy euerlasting destruction: vvhen thou art crying peace, peace, the vvrath of God vvill come on, tumbling on thee as a Moun­taine: as vvas seene on these Ievves fourtie yeeres after this. Novv to end. The Lord giue vs euer grace, to seeke to be vn­der his fauourable countenance, and that the countenance of his terrible vvraith may be turned from vs, that that vve may studie to please him in our lyfe and conuersation through Iesus Christ. To vvhome vvith the Father, and the holie Spirite, be al praise, honour and glorie, for euer and euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 2. vers. 17. 18. 19▪ 20.

17 Forasmuch brethrer, as vve vvere keept from you [...], concerning [...]ight, but not in the heart, vve enforced the more to see your face vvith great desire.

18 Therefore vve vvould haue come vnto you (I Paul, at least once or tvvyse) but Sathan hindered vs.

19 For vvhat is our hope or ioy, or stovvne of reioy forgiune not [...] you it in the presence of our Lord Iesus Christ at his comming.

20 Yes, ye are our glorie and ioy.

THESE dayes bygone (brethren) we haue insisted vpon this rejoysing of the Apo­stle together with the Thessalonians, for the graces of God he vnderstoode to be in them: and so we haue alie [...]die ended his part of the Epistle, which [...]ands in a [...]ngratulation. Now in this text pre­senlie red, the Apostle excuseth him­selfe to the Thessalonians, because he came not to them to vis [...]e them after that tyme that first he planted the Gospell among them For they might haue said to the Apostle. Well, thou pro­fessest a great loue towards vs and giuest vs a goode [...], and vtterst a great [...] vs and the graces we [...] of God; yet then [...] the Gospel. [...] confirme the worke begun. This [...] of vs, notwithstanding of all pres [...] inword. The Apastle [Page 101] answeres this, and giues two excuses. The first is, from that ear­nest desire he had to visite them: the second is from that pur­pose he tooke after the desire to come to them and visite them; yea, for that purpose he made once or twise to come: for once or twyse he was on his journey, and was impeaded by Sathan. In the end of the chapter, he giues a reason of that desire and pur­pose he tooke to come to them. Because, sayes he, Ye are my hope, my ioy, and the coovvne of my glorying, in the presence of the Lord Iesus Christ, at his comming. And therefore, why should not I desire and take purpose to visite you? There is the summe of this present text.

Now to returne and passe throgh euery verse, and expone it, as God shall giue the grace. His first excuse is, that earnest de­sire he had to see them In the beginning of the 17. verse, he giues the reason thereof. Because on a sodaine he was rest from them, otherwise then he expected & the more sodanlie he was rest frō them the greater was his desire to see them and to visite them. Of this parting and seuering of the Apostle from the Thessa­lonians, after that he had bene with them a certaine space of tyme ye may read Act. 17. The obstinate Iewes, seeing that Christ and his Gospell was receiued of the Thessalonians, and the Lord blessed Pauls trauels among them, by the instigation of the Diuell stirred vp such a vehement sedition, that Paul is compelled to slee to Beroea. The word he vses heere hes a great pith. It signifies not onelie to be seuered, but it signifies to be made an orphanne, a puple destitute of father and mother, and spoiled of his parents: and therefore the seuering of him, was as the spoyling of an orphane or puple from the father whom he loued best in the world. The text is easie, and the obseruations fall out as easie. Ye may se first the delite and pleasure the godly haue to dwell with other to haue a mutuall presence one of an other, that euerie one may receiue of other consolation in Iesus Christ. Rom. 1. 11. 12. especiallie a Pastor, or a Minister when he see the Lord hes blessed his laboures among any people or congregation, his pleasure is to abyde with that people, his de­lyte is in the presence of that people, and when he is seuered from that people, it is as sore to him, as to a childe, or young one, when he is seuered from the parents, and spoiled of the presence [Page 102] of father and mother. Againe we may note. The Deuill the ene­mie of mans saluation muyes nothing more then the mutuall societie of the godlie: and especiailie aboue all other societies, he inuyes the presence of a faithfull Pastor vvith his people: for he knows that by this ministrie saluation is vvrought. Novv would to God men and wemen knew aswell this ministrie as he does. He knowes this ministrie of saluation is so necestarie that if thou conten [...]ne it thou shalt neuer be safe, thou shalt neuer see the face of God. I haue giuen this doome ofttymes. Therefore he invying mans saluation, his whole indeuore is to seuere him that is the Pastour [...] his people: knowing that hee being seuered, the people shall be a pray to him. This is his oulde craft, and no noueltie. Now the Deuill is euer lyke himselfe, he can raise seditions and trmults, and that to seuere the ministrie, that caries the message of saluation before the people, that they be­ing seuered, the people may be a pray to him.

Now the word vsed heere is to be marked. He sayes, he was seuered in the momēt of an hour. Meaning he was seuered vpon a sodantie, far from their & his expectation, sodainly he and they wer seuered: well, an euil turne is soone done, & in the twinkling of an eye a breake will be made: euill, is soone done, but not so soone mended. Paul could not come so soone to them againe, as he was put from them, and when he is aback, the Deuill holdes him aback; and when he would haue c [...]mde to them, he did cast in impedimēts. Yet albeit he seuered Paul in body, his hart abode with the Thessalonians: they possest his hart, the enemie could not get it seuered from them. Then there are two sorts of profences of men with mē; as there are two sorts of absence of men frō one in bodie, an other in spirite: a mans heart will be where his bodie is not: and by the contrare, the bodie will be present [...] he heart [...] not. It is easie to seuere the godlie in bodie [...] Deuill will easilie do that. It is easie to him: to se­uere [...] of the vngodlie (for there is no true con [...]ction but in Christ [...] the hearts of the godlie, it is not easie [...] The bonde that joynes them is not naturall, [...] it comes not of [...] of the Spirite of God, vvho [...] member vvith an other member. As it is an hard matter to [Page 106] breake that bonde that joynes the members vvith the head, vvhich is faith: so it is an hard matter to breake that bond that joynes the member vvith the member, that is loue and charitie, vvhich joynes vs together. Who shall seuere vs from the loue of Corist. Rom. 8. 35. A naturall bond is soone cutted: but no ham­mering will breake the bonde of Christ. Therefore seeke not to stand in nature, but seeke to stand in Christ by his Spirit, that will holde vs together, vntill that societie that neuer shall be dissolued in our head the Lord Iesus Christ be accomplished.

In the end of the verse comes in his desire. I enforced my selfe to see your face, not content of this presence of my heart that is with you:Satan cā not [...]uder the [...] desires of the godlie. There is an other vauntage. The enemie for all his inuy, yet he could not get his heart away, and when the bodie was seuered, yet he could not get the desire of the Apostle to haue a bodilie presence seuered from them. In deed if he could haue gotten the desyre and langor away, he had gotten a great victorie: but as the heart abode with them; so his desire was to haue a bodilie presence, to see them face to face. And brethren, trow ye that the desire that the godlie hes to be with other be in vaine, or can be in vaine? no, the desire of fleshe and bloud will be vaine: and that which it will desire most, it will not artaine to it. But if the Spirite of Iesus worke a desire, it shall be effectuall, either one tyme or other. Desirest thou to see Iesus and his face? (for thou feest it not yet) desirest thou to see that glorious pre­sence? thou with thy eyes shalt see it certainelie. Desires thou to be of the societie of the faithfull? thou shalt be with them. There is not, nor there was neuer a godlie man, whose presence thou thirstest for, but if not in this lyfe, yet in the lyfe to come thou shalt see him. There was neuer a godlie man of olde but thou shalt see him▪ and haue his societie which shall ind [...]re for euer. All comes to this. The desire of the godlie shall neuer be vaine. There is not a surer argument of lyfe euerlasting then is an ear­nest desyre of it. Blessed are they [...] thirst, for they shall be filled. Matt. 5. 6.

To come to the next verse. In it is contained the second part of his excuse: he had not onelie a desire, but he sayes, [...] pur­pose and vvas vvilling. That is, I entred in a deliberation and set my selfe to come vnto you. Yet more, I addressed my selfe to the [Page 104] iourney and neuer stayed while Sathan hindred me: Sathan stayeth vvel do­ing. There is the meaning shortlie. In well doing brethren, in doing that of duety we are bound to doe, it is not enough to desire to doe it, but thou must enter in deliberation and purpose & lay a conclusion with thy selfe, I vvill do it. Yet it is not enough to purpose, but as thou takest purpose goe to the action: begin to doe well, go forward in well doing ay while thou getst a stay. Manie doe vvishe well and woulde well, but do no more: he or she vvill wishe vvell, & faine would haue all vvell, and in the meane time they sit still. This is a token thy desire was not ardent: thou that wilt not en­ter in action and be ay going forward while thou getst a staye, thou hadst neuer an he rtlie desire to do well. He sayes, I vvould once or tvvise haue come vnto you. First he entred into journey and he got a stay: then he entred againe, and yet he got an impedi­ment: he leaues not off at the first. Mark this. We must not leaue off to do well for one stay or impediment: yea not for two, nor for three, nor for foure, if it be a good turne that is in hand: but we must euer goe forward that we may be excused both before God and man: and this is the excuse of the Apostle, he could do no more. Paul sayes The dayes are euill. Ephes. 5. 16. that is, there are manie impediments casten in to him that vvould do vvell in in this life. It is the godlie man that gets greatest hinderance, but the vvicked will ay forward and will prosper: but if thou be a godlie man, if thou be in thy journey, thou shalt not go one mile but thou shalt get a stay: what at then? should all these impedimēts stay vs from doing good? No, the Apostle giues the an other counsell, Redeeme the tyme. Play the part of a good marchant, that will redeeme his vauntage with the paines and trauell of his bodie. Buy the tyme by well doing, and giue thy life for it, and thou shalt lose nothing. Thou that canst lose thy life in well doing, shalt get a better lyfe for it.

He layes the fault on Sathan, Sathan hindred vs. How was this? appeared he to him; and in his owne persone c [...]mde opposition to him? How he impeaded him it is not expressed: appearantlie as he stirred vp the Iewes to cast him out, so he stirred them vp now to beset the way. It may be he inraged their hartshighly a­gainst him, or else that he rased a storme in the aire. Wel what e­uer be the instrument or meane, we may see when we are stayed [Page 105] from well doing, Sathan is euer the author, and that by permis­sion of God, for without his permission he can do nothing) he is thē the author & stayer of well doing. Therefore what euer im­pediment thou getst, take thee euer to the chiefe doer. Eph. 6. 12. It is not vvith [...], he and bloude vve haue to d [...]e. (how be it they be instruments) but [...] vvith [...] and [...], that is, the De­uil. And therfore he giues counsel, not to take thee to thy co [...]slet and steel-bonnet, wherewith thou armest thy selfe against a man: but that thou shouldst take thee to that spirituall armour, Faith, Hope and the word of God, and set thy selfe, not to resist this man or that man, but the common enemy of mans saluation who would slay thy soule. Trowest thou this be the resisting to resist man? No, the Deuill is laughing in his sleue when thou doest that, that is the hie way to goe on his course. As he forced these men to doe wrong to Paul: so thou, if thou goe to be re­uenged on man that is the instrument, thou giuest place to the Deuill to doe his worke. Last marke: whē once he seuered Paul from them, looke how busilie he holdes him aback. When he is preassing to goe to them, he caste in a stay. And againe when he is preassing to make forward, he castes in an other stay, when once he gets godlie men sundered from other there will be cast in many hinders to stay them from meeting againe. And this testifies, that all our blessednesse is a societie and conjunction, first with our head Christ, and secondlie with the members of his bodie.Our bles­se [...]es in cōmunion vvith the sanctes. Looke not for lyfe and blessednesse, if there be not a communion with the Sancts. Now the Deuill knowes this, and therefore the chiefe thing he sets himselfe on, is to rent a sunder this communion, and who euer would breake this vnion, and hes a pleasure in diuision, take him to be an imp of the Deuil: for it is a worke of the Deuill, to seuere them that should be joined, as it is the worke of God to joine them together.

Now let vs goe to the last part of this text, containing a weightie reason: first of his desire, and next of his purpose to come to them. These are the wordes, For vvhat is our h [...]pe ioy? vvhat is crovvne of my glorying? There is the question and de­mand. The answere of it is, Are not ye in the presence of our Lord Iesus at his comming? Then he doubles it: yea, sayes he, yee are my ioy and my glorie; and so he endes. Where a mans hope is, [Page 113] there is the thinge he hopes and lookes for: where his joye and crowne and glorie is, there he would be: that is to say, where his bless [...], is there wold he be. No [...] Paul vvold say. Ye Thessa­lonians are my hope my joy, my crown of the which I glorie, & therefore I woulde be with you. There is the force of the argu­ment. Now the style of the language would be marked: for the same Spirite that dytes the matter dytes the style; and spirituall matter craues a Spirituall style, 1. Cor. 2. 13. The holie spirite of Iesus must be the speaker as wel as the dyter. His language ryses vp by degree by degree, the lowest degree is in the vvord, hope; the next degree is in the word joy: the last and hiest degree is in the vvord, crowne: vvhereby is meaned a most high and ex­cellent glorie. This learnes vs this lesson. Heauen would haue an high style, that crowne would haue an hie style, the grace of Iesus Christ woulde haue an hie style when it is spoken of. And brethren, if Heauen be in the heart, as it is in the mouth, and if glorie be in the heart as it is in the mouth and if the Crovvne of glorie be in the heart as it is in the mouth, the mouth vvill euer be readie to speake of grace, of joye and of glorie in a glo­rious style: for it is true, Of the abound [...]nce of the heart, the mouth speaketh. And I vvould demaund of you, what is the occasion that men doe speake so couldlie and careleslie of the Lord of glorie, and so baselie of so glorious thinges, as of heauen and of the joye thereinto? Alas, the occasion is the vvant of sense in the heart the heart is not filled with such thinges, and therefore an emptie heart, an emptie mouth: if thy hear be full of vanitie, thy mouth vvill be full of vanitie and euanish in painting out of vanitie: for looke as thou art disposed in heart, in like manner shalt thou bee disposed in mouthe. Therefore seeke to haue thy heart furnished fullie vvith the Spirite of Iesus. No man, (sayes the Apostle) can call Iesus Lord, but by the Spirite. 1. Epist. Corin. [...]. 12. 3.

Yee more. Speaking of this joye, he passes vp by degrees. The lowest is hope: then he comes to an higher, my [...]oy: then the highest is [...] on their glorie. The greatest glorie in the earth is a crowne, and when a man is crowned in the earth, he can be no higher. But there is the difference. The crowne in the earth is corruptible, but the crowne of heauen is incorruptible. It is [Page 107] of this crown of heauen he speaks. Yet not these three degrees: for I marke this passing vp by degrees in sundry [...] parts: for when the Apostle begi [...]nes to speake of Iesus, he can be sa­tisfie himselfe in vvords and [...] Praying i [...] God, [...] yee may [...], sayes hee, vvhat is the [...] hope of his calling, there is the first step: he stands not there, he goes vp to see, what the [...] his glorie: what glorie? of his [...] [...] among his saints: this is the second degree: (yet he stands not there:) and vvhat is that ex­cellent greatnes of his power, according to the efficacie of his strong strength. There he stands. Brethren, these are not vvords, but this rising vp tels vs, the hight of the glory of heauē is wonderful: & that thou mayest attaine to it, thou must rise to it by degrees: that is, thou must passe from sense to sense, from grace to grace, from light to light, from oye to joye, from glorie to glorie, as the A­postle speakes 2. Corinth. 3. 18. So long as thou liuest thou must finde this climming of thy heart sensiblie, that thou growest in joye, and that thou hast more joye this yeere then before: and so striue continually, vntil thou come to the point, euer striuing for perfection in this lyfe, which shall be compleat when we shall see our Lord Iesus Christ. Now he calles it the crowne of glorying, that is, that makes him to glorie in God who crownes him. Brethren, when the heart is filled with glorie in Iesus christ, the mouth shall not be dumbe, but it shall oppin and vtter that passing joy, and the persone shall euer glorie in him, vvho hes set that crowne on him. O that infinite glorie and rejoysing that shall be in that glorious Majestie! now we tyre, searcelie are we begun to glorie in him, but the heart beginnes as soone to tyre, but then there shall be no tyring nor wearying, the voice shall neuer cease, but glorie in that Creator for euer and ever. Byde in patience while ye attaine vnto this glorie, and in all troubles let the hope of this glorie comfort thee. Rom. 5. 2. For there is nothing that abydes but this glorie.col. Now if hope made vs to rejoyce, how much more, present sight, present joy, and the crovvne put on our heads vvill make vs to rejoyce, and vvith gladnesse and loude voyce to praise him who [...]es crowned vs for euer.

In the latter end of the verse, he makes an answer to his owne demand, are not ye, sayes he, &c. He calles the Church [...]is [...]oy, and [Page 108] his crowne: not that properlie his blessednesse was in them, for, onelie Iesus Christ is called our hope, our joy, our glorie and crowne. Onelie Iesus Christ is our lyfe, onelie Christ is our so­lace, he hes no companion: but he calles them his hope and joy in an other sense Because they wer the meane and matter wher­by he attained to the joy, solace and crowne, which is in Iesus Christ. It is then an improper fashion of speaking: for the peo­ple in whom our ministrie is effectuall to saluation is the meane whereby we shal be glorified in the Heauen. Marke this speak­ing of the matter of his joy. He speakes not of his Apostleship, and sayes not, it is the meane of my joy: but he sayes, the bles­sing giuen me in my Apostleship in sauing you, is the meane of my joy.Faithfull discharge of a cal­ling a ma­ter of ioy. The matter of thy joy in the lyfe to come, and of thy crowne where-with thou shalt be crowned in Heauen, it is not so much a calling: if it were the calling of a King, it will not be that that wil make thee be crowned in Heauen: no, it must be the faithfull discharge of thy calling toward them with whom thou hast adoe. Art thou a King? the faithfull discharge of a King in keeping the people in good order and peace will be the meane of thy crowning in heauen. Art thou a pastor intending to win manie soules to the kingdome of heauen? it shall be a meane of thy crowning in that great day. When a crowne shall be set on a kings head, or a pastors head, it shal not be his calling that shal be the cause of his crowning: he was an Emperor, therefore he must haue a crovvne in heauen; it vvill not follow, if there be no more: He vvas a pastor, therfore he must haue a crovvne in hea­uen: no, it shall be that blessing and frute that God gaue thee in the faithfull discharge in thy calling heere, that shall be the meane of thy crowning. And therefore let neuer fleshe glorie in any calling, if there be no more, if the blessing of the Lord be not with thy calling, thou hast cause of mourning, and thou shalt say in that day, woe to me, that euer I was a King, an Em­perour, a Pastor, if there be not a faithfull discharge of thy cal­ling the greater damnation falles vnto thee, the greater thy cal­ling be.

Now to end: he is speaking of this rewarde that he was to re­ceiue at Christs comming, and he speakes not of these earthlie stipends, how beit their be much adoe and stryfe for them in [Page 109] the land, if they wer neuer so selie: he speakes not of these goods or anie thing that pertained to them, but the reward of his Apo­stleship he speaks of, is, that he claimes themselues. ye are my hope sayes he, ye are my ioy, euen ye your selues. So, in one worde, the rewarde of a faithfull Apostle shall not be the [...] of this earth, (for as niggard as men are of it: no, it shall not be his man [...]e▪ his [...], two or three [...]halders of [...]uall, or an hndreth marke; rest all not be this, but it shall be the soules of all them hee did vvinne heere on earth: and the Lord shall say to him, take them and let them be a matter of joy, of glorie and honour for euer to thee. Well, he will not wishe ought of the durt of the earth, but their owne selues, whom he will professe as the rewarde of his faithfull calling to his euerlasting joy.

I goe forward▪ before whom and in whose presence shall this joy and crowne of glorying be? He sayes, before the Lord Iesus Christ: it must be done in his sight, hee must be before, hee must be the doer of all: it must be he that shall take thee by the hand, and giue thee to the Apostle and pastor, and saye, Take, man, there is the matter of thy glorie and crowne make it a matter to thee of thy joy for euer. Brethren, there is no joy but in the face and presence of Iesus: there is no light but that that comes from his face and countenance. It is true, the pastor ministers light, but if in the meane time the light of Iesus shine not in thy heart, all is but vaine and lost labour. And therefore, Paul 2. Cor. 4. 6. sayes, all this light must come from Iesus Christ, and thou must holde vp that heart of thine, that the light of Iesus may shine in it. And he sayes also, as soone as the heart is turned, the va [...]le is remoued 2. Cor. 3. 16. and the face of the Lord illuminates thee. For what trow you the light be, the joy be, the glorie be that we shall re­ceiue: & in one word, vvhat trow you heauen be: Al the light in heauen is nothing but as a reflexe of that light that is in Iesus Christ: al the light and glory of heauen is [...] like sparkles scat­tred from him, for all glorie is in him. And therefore, if ever thou looke for joy and glorie, addresse thy selfe for Ieses Christ▪ and as thou wouldst liue, either here, or hence, [...] to his presence, and thinke neuer thou art well, vntill you get [...] that presence. Let nothing so bewitch thee, [...] of heart▪ vntill thou getst some light of Iesus Christ, [...] [Page 110] is no life nor joye within him. I aske thy conscience, Didst thou euer feele that solide joy and life, but when thy heart was set on that countenance of Iesus? Foole, thou mayst rejoice, like a dog or beast with a sensuall pleasure, but woe to thy joye and peace: there is no peace to the vvicked; for when thou art so passing thy time out of Iesus, the judgement shall sodainelie ouertake thee: for there is no saluation out of Iesus.

When shal this be? At this comming. It is true we vvalke heere in his presence, and that joye that comes downe from Heauen it comes through that glorious bodie wherewith he is cled: but the sacietie of all shall not be, vntill the eye see it, thy glorie shall not be perfited while then. I tell you, all the light we haue now, the Apostle calles it the light of the Euangell of the glorie of God: it is his face that shines in a mirror, thou seest him no o­therwise: but then this mirror shall be taine avvay, and the face of Iesus shall be holden vp in your sight. Brethren, while we are here, the light cōmes from heauen▪ and ouer shadowes and trans­formes the soule onlie, and that, not fullie, but in a part: but, when he shall come, he shall transforme not the soule onelie, but these vilde bodies, and make them conforme to his glorious bodie. Phil. 3. 21. And so, there must be a greater force in his owne pre­sence, nor is in the mirror of the Gospell. And thou that takest a pleasure to see Iesus in the mirror of the Gospell, and to be o­uershadowed with the light of the Gospell, the face of Iesus shall shine on thee: and by the contrair, thou that takest no plea­sure in the mirror of the Gospell, thou shalt neuer attaine to the sight of Iesus. Wilt thou continue in hatred of the ministrie of Iesus Christ, thou shalt neuer see the glorious countenance of Iesus.

In the end of this chapter, not being content to tell this once, he sayes it againe, yes, ye are my ioy. This doubling proceedes of a persuasion that he had of that glorie: in a word, let a Minister be faithfull to winne many soules, to pleasure God and Iesus Christ, who will recompence him so aboundantlie. The glorie is sure, the joy is sure, and if he finde faithfulnesse, and a blessing in his calling in this lyfe: as the joye and glorie is certaine, so when he is going out of this lyfe, he may be sure, and may say with confidence, I shall enter in my joy, and my soule and bo­die [Page 111] shall be crowned with his crowne of joy and glorie, and all in the presence of the Lord Iesus. To whom with the Father & the holie Spirite be all praise.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 3. vers. 1. 2. 3. 4.

1 Wherefore since vve could no longer forbeare, vve though it good to remaine at Athens alone.

2 And haue sent Timothius our brother and minister of God, and our labour-fellovve in the Gospell of Christ, to establishe you, and to comfort you touching your faith.

3 That no man should be moued vvith these afflictions: for ye your selues knovve, that vve are appointed therevnto.

4 For verely vvhen vve vvere vvith you, vve told you before that vve should suffer tribulations, euen as it came to passe, & ye knovv it.

AFTER the salutation ye haue heard (brethren) a congratulation and rejoising of the Apostle with the Thessalonians, for the graces of God in Christ, that were be­stowed on them. Thereafter followed an excuse of the Apostle, wherfore he came not to visie the Thessalonians: he excused himself, from that great desire & purpose he had to visite them face to face. He entred in the journey once, he was impeaded: he entred the second tyme, Sathan impeaded him: he could do no more. Now shortly to come this text. He [Page 112] followes out the same purpose, and continewes his excuse, showing them the desire yet left him not, but albeit he was im­peaded in his owne person to come to them, yet his desire was [...] toward them. And therefore, that which he could not bring to passe in his owne person, he thought good to per­forme by another, by a deare brother, and fellow laborer Ti­mothie. Therfore he tooke purpose, being at Athens in Grecia, and Timothie with him, to abyde at Athens himselfe alone, and to send away Timothie to them, and all to this end to establishe them in that word which they had receiued: To exhort them that they should not be commoued or dasht with the afflictions which ouertooke them and wherewith they were exercised. Vpon this, he salles out in an exhortation: exhorting them to beare patientlie those afflictions that fell vpon them. The first argument to moue them thereto is, knowing well they were ap­pointed thereto. God had ordained from all etern [...]ie those af­flictions for them, a necessitie was imposed vpon them, and why should they not then suffer and beare them patientlie? The next argument wherewith he comfortes them. There is nothing come to vs (sayes he) but that wherewith ye were forewarned. Therefore take it patientlie. This is shortlie the summe of the text standing in these two partes: in a purpose he tooke (be­cause of his owne not comming to them) to send Timothie to them, and in an exhortation to beare affliction patientlie.

Now to make euerie sentence. The na [...]ation is verie plaine, and therefore it farnishes plaine doctrine [...] sayes the Apostle I thought it best [...] to send him to you, so to remaine al [...]ue at Athen; This is to be marked; this earnest desire of the Apostle to doe that which became him in vi [...]ying these Thessalonians it les [...] him not, notwith­standing or any opposition he got: S [...]han did cast in stayes to hinder him, he stayed him to come to Thessalonica: yet Sa­than could not get the desire of his heart stayed, he desired [...] he is not able to performe that which he desi­red so earnestlie. [...]. It is a hard matter to put out of the heart of the godlie an holy desire to doe well, to do that which they should doe of [...]: yea, it is an hard matter to Sathan himselfe to [Page 113] quench the holie desyre of the heart of the godlie, Paul in the Rom. 7. 18. vvhere he sets out the battell he had betvvene the Spirite and the fleshe, he confesses in plaine wordes, that he could not get that thing done that he would haue done. In the meane tyme he sayes, To vvill is prese [...]t to me, that is say: I haue in the meane tyme a good vvill to doe vvell, albeit I can not attaine to the performance of vvell doing: the flesh in Paul stayed the action and perseuerance in well doing, but the flesh vvas notable to quenche the good-vvill he had to doe vvell. And brethren, most certaine it is, vvhere the desyre abydes in the heart, vvhen a vvillingnesse to doe well abydes, the battell is not lost, the Diuell hes not gotten the victorie, the flesh hes not gotten the victorie. Lose thou once the desyre, and will of well-doing: if there be in thee no repugnance to Sathan, but his worke goes forward [...], the Diuell then hes got­ten the vpper hand, the [...] is lost and thou art gone: keep well therfore the desire in the heart to do well: how euer thy hand & feet be bound, so that thou canst not do with thy hand any good, nor can not go with thy foote to do good: yet it this will of well doing remaine, the victorie shall be thine in the end. It is most certaine the desire of the godlie albeit it be impeaded for a time, yet in the end it shall be victorious. Therefore the Lord him­selfe promises them certaine victorie. Blessed are they vvho hun­gers, and thrists for righteousnedsse. Matt. 5. 6. (there is the desire) for they [...], (there is the victorie) The heart that desires grace, continewing in the desyre, shall be filled with grace and glorie. This for the first.

The desyre continevving vvith Paul, vvhen he is not a­ble to visie the Thessalonians in his ovvne persone he takes him to the next best, and that vvhich he could not doe by him­selfe, he tooke purpose to doe by Timothie, vvhich vvas his fel­lovv-labourers▪ Where there is an earnest desyro to doe well in the heart of any man, that thing he can not attaine to at the first, he assayes it ouer againe, and if he can not get it done in his ovvne person, he preasses to doe it in an other. As Paul assayed the first and second tyme in his ovvne persone, and vvas tvvyse in the journey: vvhen he is impeaded in his ovvne persone, that he is not able to performe it himselfe, he purposes [Page 114] to doe it by others, and so he sends Timothie to performe that which he might not doe himselfe. Then ye may see: an earnest holie desyre hes such a force that it rests not, it must break out in some effect at one tyme or other, by one way or other: it can not still remaine in the heart; nor the Deuill will not be able to impead the action for euer. No, but an holie desyre of goode in the heart, shall take effect once, in despite of all the worlde. Then marke. The great necessitie joyned to euerie one of vs, to do the thing we should do must not be left off, for one, or two, or three, or foure impediments: and when we are not able in our ovvne persone to doe it, then prouide some other meane to doe it: for it may be the Deuill will not be so busie to impead o­thers, as he will be to impead thy selfe: for it is certaine the De­uill is euer busie working, but he was not so busie to stay Timo­thie, as he was to stay Paul.

Now in the next wordes, he sayes, he thoght it best to abyde soli­tare, all alone at Athens, where he was for the tyme, (for from Thessalonica he went to Beroea, and from Beroea to Athens, and there he abode) as he would say to the Thessalonians: I tooke purpose to hurt my selfe for you, I forgot my selfe for your profite and the care which I had of you, that ye shoulde haue good companie, I choosed to be alone my selfe among the infidels, without fellow-helpers. The lesson is plaine. Where there is loue in the heart of the Pastor to the church, or any per­son▪ he will be content to be solitare, without good company, e­uen in the midst of infidels, that that Church may haue good companie: he will be content to be poore, that the Church may be riche: he will be content to die, that the Church may liue: he will wishe to be an Anathema, and accursed for his brethren, that the Lord may be glorified in the saluation of his Church. No it is an vnspeakable loue, that a faithfull Pastor hes, first to the Lord Iesus, who hes sent him: and next to the Church, that is bought with the bloude of Iesus: he will forget himselfe to remember them, he will not not onelie seuere from good com­panie for their cause, but he will forget his owne lyfe to haue them well.

Marke next. Ere he comes heere to the sending of Timothie, to the Thessalonians, he telles of the purpose he tooke. I thought [Page 115] it best to abyde at Athens myne alone. And vpon this purpose, I entered in action and sent him. Ye shall finde this commonlie in Paul, vvhen he speakes of his doing, he speakes euer of a pur­pose and decree going before, and then the action follovving. I decreed to knovve nothing among you, but Christ and him crucified. 1. Cor. 2. 2. All vvell doing should proceede of a pur­pose of the mynde:Purpose and con­sultation shold pre­ceede action. well doing would not come rashlie to our hand, but as the Lorde hes giuen a man a mynde to conclude and resolue: so well doing should come of the resolute pur­pose of the mynde: without the purpose of the mynde in well doing, the action hes not the full praise. God himselfe did no­thing, but by purpose and counsell preceeding: He elected vs of a purpose, before all eternitie: in tyme of purpose he calles vs, of purpose he justifies vs, and of purpose he glorifies vs. In a vvord, he does all things according to the purpose of his will. Ye may read this in the first chapter of the Epistle to the E­phesians. So vvhen God giues grace to any man, to doe anie thing: the first grace he giues, is a willingnesse in the mynde to doe well. Grace beginnes at the heart and mynde, and not at the hand. Philipp. 2. 13. it is said, God is he, vvho giues the in­ward vvill and purpose, that is first: and the performance, that is next. Ere he giue thee the performance of vvell doing, he giues thee the purpose of the heart to doe it. Therefore before thou put out thy hand to doe vvell, looke thou haue the pur­pose in thy heart, and then the vvell-doing is perfite: other­wise not. Many will put out their hand to doe some good thing, vvhen the heart will be fighting against the hand. Put both purpose in minde and action in hand together to do well, or else hold altogether to thy selfe.

Now to the next verse. Hauing taken a purpose, he sayes: He sent Timothie. Hauing taken purpose he goes to the action: he sends him. The lesson is easie. After purpose is taken, then goe to the action: aduyse thee well, and then stay not, but goe to, and execute thy purpose. There are manie vvho are ay pur­posing and consulting, but their purpose is ay fectlesse: and vvhen they haue taken purpose, they stand still there, their purpose in nothing vvorth. It is verie true, euen as the purpose to doe vvell is of grace, it is not of mans selfe to doe it, it is [Page 116] God vvho giues the purpose: so the action of the hand is of God, in such sort, that when thou hast gotten grace to will well, thy hand shall be bound hard and fast, that thou shalt not be able to doe it, except thou be furnished with an other grace also. When God hes giuen thee the purpose, except he also giue thee the performance, thou shalt neuer doe it: for the Apostle saies, [...] God vvho giues the purpose and the doing vvell. Whereto speak [...] this? euen to learne vs, that euer in all our actions and lyfe we continue in begging of grace, begge good purpose by prayer: then stand not there, thinke not thou hast gotten all, there are many graces, begge the meanes to effectuate it begge earnestlie the [...]. When thou hast begged the purpose and gotten it, begged the performance, and gotten it: begge the blessing to continue in it, or else all shall faile. If grace [...] not multiplied, grace after grace, we shall fall: when we haue gotten the fast grace, we shall [...], the second grace, we shall [...] yea, the third grace, we shalt [...] except God vp holde [...] and the [...] graces, except we continue, the greater is our fall. And so begge grace after grace, that we may be filled with his fulnes in Christ, and get the perfection of all.

[...] What man is this Timothie? He is set on [...] in his owne styles: he calles him hast our brother, from that common calling of all Christian men and wemen: for in Christ we all are brethren and sisters a Minister must first be a brother, before hee be a Minister. Then secondlie, he is sette [...] that particulare calling, and he is called, the Minister of [...] and vvhat [...] Paul. In vvhat [...] Christ. There is a faire Ministrie, a faire exercise hee is exercised in the seruice of God, in the glorious Gospell of Iesus Christ. Then he sends this Ti­mothie. Good mē Could be depute to the performance of God▪ acti­ons. Then vvhat man is this Timothie that he puttes in his place to visie the The [...], to confirme and establishe them in that faith? A good man, [...] man, and a brother, and yet more then that, a Minister of God, and a [...] la­bouret vvith Paul in the Gospel of Iesus Christ. Then the lesson is. That vvhich vvee can not get done in our ovvne persone, vve must doe it by others, whether [...] or in the Common vvealthe. But looke that euer thy [...] [Page 117] whom thou appointest to do that which thou shouldest doe in thy own person, be a godlie man like Timothie. M [...]ses when he could not ouertake all the affaires of the people himselfe, he chose out (at the desire of Iethro his father in law) good men to doe the turne: send not out a cyphere: appoint men that are able to doe it, as thou wilt be answerable to God. In the worke of the Lord do nothing negligentlie, but earnestly, hauing euer thy God before thy eyes. Woe to that man, that does the vvorke of the Lord negligentlie. Ierem. 48. 10. Let men therefore take head to their own doings, and to those men whom they set vnder them: that they be not cyphers, but meete to do the work of the Lord. Alas▪ this is far from the forme of this countrie. They thinke it eneugh here if they put in any man to be a show in their offices, ô if thou knew what count thou must giue to the Lord for thy doing, thou wouldest doe the worke of the Lord more care­fullie. Yet to insist on this commendation of Timothie. It is an high commendation, and all tends to this, that he shoulde be well accepted of the Thessalonians, to whom he was directed, that so he might doe them the more good. Therefore the A­postle sent him adorned with this faire testimone.Good mē deserue good com­mendatiō. Brethren, When we see good men in Church or common-weal, we should giue them their own commendation; why should not the Prince haue his ovvne commendation in sight of the people vvithout flattrie? why should not the Pastor haue his honour? but to this end Paul looked to, that they might be well accepted among the people: the next end, that being honoured among them, they may get obedience. So euerie good man should haue his owne authoritie among the people to doe his goode turnes. The Lord grant that euerie man who hes office, may haue mat­ter of recommendation within himselfe, that when he is praised he be not flattered. The Lord grant that the Prince may haue matter of his commendation; and the Pastor matter of his commendation, to this end, that their labours be not in vaine.

Now to go forward with the words. Wherefore is this good man Timothie sent to the Thessalonians? not to play him not to looke about him: but to confirme the Thessalonians in that faith in the which they were grounded by the Apostle. The office of the Euangelist vvas to confirme men in that faith [Page 118] which was had down by the Apostles, to watter that which the Apostles had planted. Paul planted, Apollo vvattred, 1. Cor. 3. 6. So Timothie was sent to do his ovvne office: his owne office was to confirme them vvho were grounded. Brethren, ye haue heard heere before a great deale spoken of that singulare faith which the Thessalonians had: and read in the whole Epistles of Paul, ye shall not finde such a commendation giuen to anie Church as to these Thessalonians: they were examples to the whole Churches about them, as to Macedonia, Achaia, &c. the word of them went abroad to all people: and yet Timothie must be sent to them to establishe them. Marke it. There is none in this life so vvell grounded on the faith of Iesus,Confirma­tiō of faith necessarie to all men on this life but night and day they haue neede of confirmation: yea, euen at the last breathe, when thou art going out of this world, thou must craue a con­firmation: for there is no perfection in this lyfe, nothing in this lyfe but beginning of grace. Let none thinke he standes, if he thinks so, he deceyues himselfe, and the man who thinkes he stands, he is readiest to fall. There is nothing heere but either to grow or decay, no standing. So we haue neede continuallie of a confirmation: faith in Christ is set downe to vs, as a ground wherevpon we are established. Continuallie euerie houre and moment we craue a setling on that ground: for why? the sea, of the ovvne nature is not so subject to commotion and slovv­ing, as the heart of a man. When it is set dovvne once in that faith vvhich is the foundation, leaue it there, it shall returne to the ovvn nature againe. Then ye see, the sea, vvhen it flowes on a rock, immediatlie the jaw returnes backe againe in the sea: So, our heart set on Christ, except by grace it be daylie, hourlie, momentlie setled, it vvill returne backe againe to the ovvne nature of it. There vvas neuer moe vvindes nor stormes on the sea, to cause it rage, nor is daylie, and hourelie brangling our faith, if it were possible to beate thy faith off the groūd-stone. Thou neuer seest thing with thy eye, but it is a blast of wind, to beat thee off thy ground: thou neuer hearst thing, but it is a blast to beate thee off thy ground. Prosperitie a blast of wind to thee: aduersitie, a blast off winde to beate thee off thy rocke Christ Iesus: the scorning vvorld is a winde to beate thee from Christ; all [...]n [...]ations are as manie windes to tosse thee heere and there [Page 119] that thou settle not. Looke then if we haue neede to be confir­med more and more in the faith of Christ.

The next words telles the maner of the establishing of our faith. And to comfort. The first word was borrowed: the next vvorde makes it plaine. The maner is, seeing the heart of man is ay fleeting. Therefore we haue sent to comfort you touch­ing your faith. The verie same ministrie which Paul had for the tyme, Timothie for his tyme; the Pastors and Doctors hes this day: That same ministrie which consistes in instructing, exhorting, comforting, admonishing, and rebuking them for their misdeedes: for all are included within this word exhort­ing, and all these serues to confirme men in the faith of Christ. Paul to the Ephesians, 4. 11. sayes, When the Lord Iesus ascended to heauen, after that glorious resurrection, leauing this earth, he left behinde him some to be Apostles, some Euangelists, some Pastours, and Doctours, to the end vve should not be ay children, fleeting, flovv­ing, and caried avvay vvith euerie light vvinde of doctrine. What meanes all this? That the vse of the ministrie is to establishe the heart of man, to holde the heart, that the winde of affliction and tentation blovve it not avvay, and to settle it on Christ, vvho is the ground-stone. Then, turne it ouer: take avvay the mi­nistrie, that men vvoulde haue so faine avvay (giue men their teyndes, they vvould be content neuer to heare a Minister) no stablitie shall be in the heartes of the people, thy heart shall be blovvne avvay from Christ, and thou shalt perishe. Alas, vve haue ouer great experience of this, and especiallie in this Cittie of Edinburgh, the Lord amende it. Count all thinges vanitie, but to be established in Christ. Alas, that vvee are so senslesse of this. A vaine heart vvaites not vvhat this word meanes, but a solide heart mournes for the vvant of the meanes of the vvorde.

Now to come to the next verse. The end of this establish­ing, confirming and exhorting of these people by the ministrie of Timothie is this, that none of them should be commoued for the af­fliction, vvherevvith they vvere exercised for the present: For, the Thessalonians at that tyme were afflicted by the Iewes, ene­mies to God and man. Then, the end is, that they should not be commoued with the afflictions, that laye on them. It is easie [Page 120] to a man to stand in a calme: but when winde blowes it is hard to stand sure: It is easie to professe Christ in calmnesse, but, when the blast of tentation strikes on thee, then, it is much to stand and hold Christ.In tenta­tions vve must stād on Christ, by faith. We are not yet wel acquainted with this. So all tends to this: Albeit the waues of the sea dashed on them, they shoulde stand fast in the faith of Christ. Brethren, all this worlde is full of tentations: the diuell blowes, and all his impes are euer blovving and raising a storme: it is a stormie world, and all the thuds light on the sillie creature. Alas, if we knevv the stumbering estate we stand into: vvhat tentations are to assaile vs; the windes of tentation from the East, West, North & South, all meeting: aduersitie on one side, prosperitie on the other side, all meeting, to dravve thee from Christ. What remedie can be sought of this wofull estate we stand in by nature? if we stand not in grace, vve shall cursse the tyme, that euer vve vvere borne and liued in this vvorld. The remedie is Stablishing. What reme­die for a ship when windes blovv? Stablishing. And hovv shall the heart be established? How is the ship made sure? By casting the ankor in the sea: the ankor of the soule is faith, and hope; thou must then cast it vpon Christ. Cast it not down in the sand, but, vpward through the vaill, to Iesus the sure ground of it: and then, all the windes, how beit they may shake thee, yet, they shall not seuere thee from him. Then where shall we get this ankor faith? Faith is by hearing, as is said. Rom. 10. 17. Thou must hold to thy eare, or else thou shalt be blowne away. Hear­ing is by preaching. So all resolves in this same ministrie, the preaching of this glorious Gospell of the blessed God: let this ministrie be heard, and thou shalt get faith: getting faith the an­kor of the soule, thou shalt stand fast, and shalt not be thrust from the Rock Christ. But, cast away preaching, as euer a ship was tossed to and fro, vntill she perishe, thou shalt be tossed, vn­till thou perishe euerlastinglie.

Now to go forward in the second part of the text, in which he exhorts them, patientlie to beare affliction. And so he falles from the last purpose and goes to the former, patience in affli­ction. Sand fast be patient, taken in patience what euer is laide on thee: the reason is [...] because vve are appointed to affliction. As God hes appointed vs in the vvoulde and ordained vs for glorie, [Page 121] in the life to come; so, as certainelie hes he appointed vs to suffer in the meane time, that, by ignominie and crosses we may passe to glorie. Heare this, and looke the vvay to heauen; that by ig­nominie, tribulation, vexation and affliction thou must come to heauen, our place of long rest. The Lord hes ordained this; ther­fore, beare it patiently. Ther is the forme of the argument: learne then, It is of the will and decree of God from all eternitie, that the creature shold suffer in this life,Gods vvil, that vve suffer in this life, shoulde be reuerēced. in one mesure, or other. Thē againe: the creature should haue such reuerence to Gods will, that, when it thinkes, that, it is the will of God it should suffer, it make no whispering; but, stoup there. Paul Rom. 9. 20. speaking of the indured reprobate▪ anent the induration, reprobation and condemnation; He teaches them, that the reprobates when they are tolde, it is Gods will that they shoulde goe to Hell, their mouth should be shut vp, that they querrell not the Lord. And he sayes in anger, What art thou that vvhispers against God's vvill the put stand vp and speake to the potter that made it, and say, vvhy hast thou made me a veshell of dishonow? No more should thou re­probate stand vp, and say to thy maker, why hast thou made me a reprobate? o that reuerence we should haue to that blessed will: and albeit the reprobates speakes now against Gods wil; yet, at last, in the end, their mouth shal be closde & they shal not haue one word to say against the wil of God; but in Hel shall be compelled to reuerence that solide will of God. Now if the re­probate should reuerence this holie will of God. then who art chosen of God, and art afflicted for thy owne well (for it is for thy sanctification) and knowing well, that there is a glorious prospect to thee therein, wilt thou not reuerence Gods wil? wilt thou not reuerence it vnder such a little burdene, the momen­t [...]neall lightnesse of affliction, when the reprobate shall doe it in such paine? All is to this end. That, euerie onely with pati­ence vnder Gods hand, in affliction, vntill the tyme come the Lord releeue them.Necessary of afflictiō. Then, ye see heere a great necessitie of af­flictions suffer must we. Paul sayes, we are appointed to suffer, before al time. Peter sayes, we are called to suffer in time. 1. Epist. 2. 21. So, when the Lord calles thee to glorie, he calles thee, by suffering and he sayes; Come to the torment and sworde, and sire, and so, by that way thou must euter in glorie. Christ our [Page 122] head entred by the crosse to glorie: so must thou. Well, then, knowing this necessitie, what should we do then? Make vs for patience, and ay prepare vs, in the morning, at euening & at our meate and ay cry, The Lord prepare vs for suffring: I am going out, I knowe not what shall befall me before my comming in: Lord conduct me in this miserable life, that I may raigne vvith thee. I knowe there is nothing but trouble in this life: in trouble Lord, comfort me and conduct me, while I raigne with thee, and rest from all troubles. This should be our daylie prayer. Alas, the vanities of this worlde so ouerrunnes our eyes, that we can not see the tottering estate we are in. There is no ankoring but in Christ. The Lord oppin our eyes to see this more and more.

Now one word on the next argument: the second argument is from the forewarning of the Apostle. For the first time vve vvere vvith you, vve tolde you vve should all suffer. The Gospell can not be without affliction, for, affliction is an vnseparable com­panion thereof: and therefore, I tolde you before, that ye might be patient. It is a common prouerbe, Once warned halfe armed: an euill that is foreseene to come, ere it light, will hurt the lesse: when it comes not to vs contrair our expectation, vve will take it in better part: but this euill that lights on a man sudainlie con­trair his expectation, ô, it is a sore and heauie trouble, and will make him to shake. When a man is crying peace, and thinkes all sure, then saies the Apostle 1. Thess. 3. 5. when the trouble ouertakes him vpon a sodainetie, vvhat shall be his dolour? His dolour shall be like to a vvomans trauailing in child-birth, which is compared to the paine of hell for the exceeding fiercenesse and sharpnesse. The Apostle knowing this, vvhere euer he came to preache the Gospell of Christ, vvith the Gospell he preached affliction, and he did euer say, O people, prepare you for suffe­ring; thinke not but yee shall suffer: that beeing forewarned, they should not stoupe and let afliction passe ouer them.Affliction foretolde more ease­ly sustaind No, he assures them, that, it behoues them, through many afflictions, to enter in the kingdome of heauen. Act. 14. 22. Euerie one who liues godlie shall suffer. 2. Timoth. 3. 12. The Apostle so warnes them, that when the people are warned, the affliction shoulde not come vnto them vnarmed: but that, when they see it, they should say, I looked euer for affliction: Now, welcome afflicti­on. [Page 123] He that is prepared for it, and knowes perfitelie, affliction wil follow the gospel, he wil tak it in his aimes, & say, welcome affliction; and he wil receiue it with such patience, as the tongue of man can not report, and where patience is joyned with affli­ction, it is but halfe affliction: but, a man who lyes sighting and waltring in trouble, ô, that man hes double disease. Therefore, brethren, since it is, that we must suffer, either in one measure, or, other, let not the things of this worlde make vs forget, that we are appointed to suffer: but, when prosperitie comes, let vs say, this world will decay: thou art mounted vp this day, thou may be casten down the morne: thou art whole this day, thou may be sicke the morne; and so, I will not be deceyued with anie thing, but, will prepair me for aduersitie. The Lord prepair vs for it, for Christs sake. To this Christ, the Father and the holie Spirite, be all praise and honour, now and euer.


1. THESSA. CHAP. 3. vers. 5. 6. 7. 8.

5 Euen for this cause, vvhen I could no longer forheare, I sent him that I might knovve of your faith, lest the tempter had tempted you in any sort, and that our labour had bene in vaine.

6 But novv lately vvhen Timotheus came from you vnto vs, and brought vs good tidings of your faith and loue, and that ye haue good remembrance of vs alvvayes, desiring to see vs, as vve also doe you.

7 Therefore brethren, vve had consolation in you, in all our affli­ction and necessitie through your faith.

8 For novv are vve aliue, if ye stand fast in the Lord.

[Page 124] IN the beginning of this chapter (Bre­thren) the Apostle Paul telles of the pur­pose he did take to send Timothie to the Thessalonians, to establishe them in the faith and to exhort them; and of the ac­complishment of that purpose: that as he tooke purpose to send Timothie to them, so he sent him. And this was one of the Arguments whereby he excuses him selfe for that hee did not come to them himselfe, being impeaded by Sathan. The next he could do was to send that brother Timothie, who was a faithfull man in the ministrie of the Lord: and therfore they should haue him excused. Then thereafter ye heard he fell out in a short ex­hortation, exhorting them to beare patientlie those afflictions and crosses that they suffer in this life. The first argument vvas from the appointment of God: God had so appointed from all eternitie that they should suffer: therefore seeing that necessitie was imposed on them, why shold they not bear the burden pau­entlie? The second argument was from his fore warning of them of the troubles for the Gospels sake. There is nothing come but that I did forewarne you of; therefore when they are come what rests but that ye should beare them patientlie?

Now, leauing that which we spok the last day vpon the text preceeding, I come to this present text. The Apostle in the fift verse of this chapter returnes again to that which he spoke con­cerning Timothie and the sending of him to the Thessalonians. In the next verse he hes a narratiue of Timothie his returning a­gaine, and of that good report he made in his returning of the Thessalonians, of their faith, loue and remembrance they had of Paul. After that in the verse following he showes what effect that report of Timothie wrought in him: it brought to him joye and consolation, notwithstanding of all his affliction he was in for the present. The reasone is giuen: because we liue when ye stand in the faith: your perseuerance is our life; and therefore what maruell if vve rejoice in your faith? And thereafter he vt­ters that he can not thanke God eneugh for that grace they had gotten of God.

Now to come back againe. The text containes a plaine nar­ratiue. [Page 125] Wherefore saies he, vvhen I could no longer forbeare, I sent Ti­mothie to you. Of this vve spoke the last day in the beginning of the chapter: and therfore vve goe forward. The end is set down wherefore he sent Timothie, to vnderstand of your faith. That is, of your perseueeing, of your abiding and of your standing in that faith yee haue receyued. This is an other end from that which vvas before. Before he sent Timothie to establish and to comfort them: nowe he sends Timothie to vnderstand of their faith and perseuerance. No matter albeit there be sundrie ends wherefore he sent Timothie; one for their cause, to establishe them: an other for his owne cause, that hee him selfe might vn­derstand of their per [...]euerance in faith, and might haue joye in the report of their perseuerance therein. So ye see, the Apostle, brethren, is euer carefull of this Church at Thessalonica planted and begun by him there. So that in the beginning he vvas care­full to lowe the seede of the vvorde amongst them, to conuert them and turne them to the faith of Christ. When he hes done this he leaues not off his care; but that vvorke he had begunne he is carefull that it bee brought to some perfection in Christe: So that he leaues behinde him this lesson vnto all pastors and vnto all that trauaile in that calling:The care of the Pa­stor [...] his stock shold be instant. to haue a continuall care ouer the people that are committed to them; to haue a care of their perseuerance and continuance in faith to the end. It is not enengh to raise them vp once, and to set them on their feete and thereafter to plucke away his hand from them, and to let them stand as it were them allone: but hee must striue to holde them vp; as he hes laide the foundation of faith, so he must build vpon that foundation continuallie, so far as lies in him, while the building be ended. He is an euil workman that wil lay the foun­dation of an house & then leape away: he is an euill teacher that will found any people on faith, and then goes away and leaues them Brethren, the beginning of faith is by the [...] way this ministrie there shall be no foundation on [...] per­sseuerance in saith is by this ministry; take it avvay, [...] once founded shall fall dovvne againe [...] [...] preaching of the Gospel [...] of God from the Congregations, and leaue [...] your owne reaching & meditation, thogh ye be [...] [Page 126] shall ye: all your reading and meditation shall not holde you vp for that is the onelie meane whereby perseuerance in faith is ef­fectuate, & without the which thou shalt not perseuere in faith, but shalt fall, and the last fall shall be worsle then the first.

The cause is subjoined in the next vvords wherfore he wold vnderstand of their faith & their perseuerance in faith, Lest saith he, in anie sort the tempter had tempted you. As he wold say, I know well eneugh the craft of the diuell, and if there be not a wattring after the planting, I knowe his temptation, hovve busie he is to roote out that which is planted: and therefore fearing he had tempted you and drawne you from faith, I vvas verie carefull to vnderstand of your faith and perseuerance therein. Then vvhat should haue falne to me through your falling by the temptation of the Enimie? I Paul who had grounded you in the faith should haue lost trauaile, and all my labour in planting you in that faith should haue beene lost. This is the meaning of all. Then vvhat made Paul so carefull of the standing and perseuerance of the Thessalonians? the tempter, the diuell, Sathan that neuer ceasses from tempting the faithfull made Paul so carefull to vnderstand of their perseuerance in faith.Temptats [...]n of Sa­than shold make the Pastour vvalkrife. What should make a pastor care­full and vvalkeryfe, to vvalke when others sleepe? There is a tempter in the vvorlde, and there is not a Church in the vvorlde but there is a tempter in it, and there is no person in it but he hes a tempter. Goe where thou vvilt go thy tempter followes thee: sit, ly, rise, doe what thou wilt doe thou shalt not vvant thy tem­pter. So long as the diuell is in the world, so long there is necessity requyred of walkryfenesse: pastors must be walkryfe, people must be walkeryfe, and euerie man and woman must be on their gua [...]rd VValke saith the Lord in the Gospell of sanct Matth. 26. 41. lest ye enter into temptation. Ther is a tempter at your eare that vvill tempt you: be walkeryfe therefore, be sober and vvatch saith Peter in his first Epist. 5. 8. Wherefore? For the enemie the diuell is going about like a roaring lyon seeking vvhome be may denoure. Goe thou where thou wilt, he is about thee: thy eye beginnes not so soone to vvinke and lose the presence of the Lord, but as soone his mouth is oppin to deuoure. A slipperie bodie, be he pastor, be he anie of the people, he knowes not that there is a Diuell, a tempter. Would all this slumbring and fleshlie securitie be trow [Page 127] ye, if men were perswaded that ther is a diuell readie to deuoure▪ So when men sleepe in sinne, in murther, in harlotrie, in theft, in blasphemie, in all the rest of those sinnes, they testifie that they know not there is a diuell in the world. Alas, manie neuer knovv that there is a tempter vvhile they be swallovved vp and be in his grip pes: manie neuer know that there is an hell. Of all sorts of men in the vvorld a slipprie pastor, a carelesse man in the mi­nistrie is the vvorst, he loses both him selfe and manie others: a carelesse man in the ministrie is vnmeete for that calling, avvay with him. And therefore the Lord woulde haue vs learne that there is not one man he sends out, but besides all other proper­ties giuen him, he giues him this walkryfenes, this vigilancie for one propertie: and more then this, the Lord vvill acquaint him with tentation, and let him see a tempter going vp and downe: & will assure him in his hart that there is a Diuell going about with euerie man. Paul therefore speaking of the incestuous man saies, Comfort him, lest the tempter deuoure him. 2. Corinth. 2. 10. and in his ovvne person 2. Cor. 12. 7. that the messi [...]ger of Sathan vvas sent to buffet him. The Lord vvill let the minister see in his ovvne person there is a tempter, that he may be the more careful of the people: as Christ himselfe was subject to all tentations that he should pittie them that are tempted.

Then to returne. By your defection and falling away, what should I haue lost? He sayes, and that our labour had bene in vaine. Therefore labours he, that he should not lose them. It is a paine to a man to take trauell, to labour night and day, and then in the end to lose all, and not to receiue frute of his trauell. It is a paine to a man to suffer for the Gospell, and then in the end to lose all. Alwayes I marke of this place. When any people makes defe­ction from the faith of Christ, not onelie the people them selues who makes defection, but also the Pastor who trauels among them, makes lose in their defection. Paul professes in the Epistle to the Galathians, 4. 11. that he feared his labour had bene in vaine, saying, I haue feared concerning you, that I haue vvearied my selfe in vaine. I feare my paines and trauell toward you be in vaine: yea brethren, the carefullest and walkryfest man in the ministrie loses his paine and labour, when he attaines not to that end that he sets before him, to wit, saluation of the people. Well then if a [Page 128] faithfull Pastor lose by the falling away or the people: what lose makes an vncarefull Pastor, when through his default any people falles away to defection? Iudge ye then, vvhat is his lose and damage: he loses not onelie the people, but himselfe: the people perishes, and the bloude of the people is craued at his hand, and so he loses himselfe too. A faithfull man in whose de­fault the people falles not away shall triumphe, their fall shall not take away his triumphe, and he shall be a sweete smell in the sight of God: fall who will fall if it be not in his default, he shall not lose his laboures, his labours and paines shall euer stand be­fore God, as acceptable to him: but as so a carelesse bodie, by whose defaulte any people or persone is lost in the Church of God, there is no triumphe for him; neither in this lyfe, nor in the lyfe to come, if he repent not; he shall be no sweete sm [...]ll in Christ to God, he is a stincking creature. Therfore let euery man that is in that charge studie to walkrifenesse, that no man perish through his default, and so he shall be a sweete smell to God, both in them that are safe, and in them who perishe. 2. Cor. 2▪ 14.

In the next verse we haue the narratiue of Timothie. returning backe againe from the Thessalonians to Paul who abode at A­thens: he reported againe to Paul good nevves of the Thessa­lomans and their perseuera [...]ce, to his great joy and consolation. But novv latelie, sayes he, vvhen Timothie came from ye [...] vnto vs, and brought vs good tidings of your faith and loue, and that ye haue good remembrance of vs alvvaies desiring to see vs, as vve desire to see you. Paul vvas impeaded in his owne person from going vnto Thessalonica, but he sent Timothies who is not impeaded, but goes forward, and does his turne among them: he watters that which Paul had planted in Thessalonica. Timothie in sa [...]ene re­turnes back to Paul with good newes, that all was well: Paul rejoyses greatlie in the report of Timothie, and in the meane time Paul remaning at Athens, does his turne, and brings some to the faith of Christ there. Now brethren, I aske, hes Sathan gotten any vantage heere by staying Paul, to goe to Thessalonica? Hes he hindered the Gospell?God ouer turns the enterprise of Sathā. No the Gospell is furthered thereby: Paul abydes and does his turne at Athens: Timothie goes and does his turne at Thessalonica, and filles Paul with good tidings that he brought from Thessalonica. Learne Sathan when he [Page 129] thinkes to hinder the progresse of the Gospell most, he fur­thers it most. When he thinkes he is most against the Church, he is most vvith the Church: yea, if he should haue set him­selfe of purpose to further the Gospell if he had taken counsell thereto, vvhen he impeaded Paul to goe to Thessalonica, he could not haue deuysed a better vvay. This is vvonderfull, the Lord hes euer disappointed him, and shall to the end: he vvho vvorkes light out of darknesse ouerturnes and vvhirles about so all his interpr [...]ses, that in despyte of the Diuell, he makes all the thinges, the Diuell thought to doe to the dishonour of God and hurt or the Church, to serue to his glorie and the vvell of his Church, I tell you in one vvord, Sathan neuer yet gotte the aduauntage of the Church nor of no godlie man no not in the sl [...]ughter of Abel, he neuer got it, nor shall get it: but that vvhereby the vvicked men thinkes they get victorie ouer the Church the Lord turnes about so that one day ye shal see, it shal be the profite and honour of the Church.

To goe to the wordes he saies, after Timothies returning he broght him good newes. Of whom wer they? of yo [...] Thessaloni­ans What wer they? that ye wer in a good estate, floorishing, full of wealthe, full of honour, all things going well and prospering with you, all things succeeding to your hearts desyre? were these the newes that Timothie tolde to Paul? no, no neuer one word or syllabe of this: what were they then? He telles me good tydings of your faith, that ye perseuere in faith in Christ, that is the first. He telles me of your loue and that bond whereby ye are bound together in loue: there is an other he telles me of that speciall affection ye beare to me.The best nevves of any people These are all his nevves. Why then (I as [...]) vvhat are the best nevves that can be reported of any peo­ple Common vveale and Cittie? It is not of their flourishing e­state in this vvorld, nor of their vvealth and riches, nor of their honour in this world al these things are transicprious all the ho­nour of this vvorld vvill avvay, the riches of this vvorld vvill a­vvay. The best nevves of any people are vvhen those thinges are reported of them that abydes for euer. When faith and loue is reported▪ vvhich they will take to Heauen with them: [...] in Iesus gripped in thy heart vvil goe to Heauen vvith thee, loue vvill goe to Heauen vvith thee. The best nevves that euer vvas [Page 130] tolde is the Gospell of peace to the worlde in God the Father through Christ. Fyon thee that receyues not these newes. As this Gospell and Euangell is nothing but these glad tydings of Gods mercie through Christ. So lykewise the best newes that can come of any people is, that the people hes receyued the Gospell and that faith in Christ. There is great matter of joye vvhen vve heare that grace, mercie and peace is preached to any people: There was neuer such joy, if we knew what is true joy, but alas we are lying on the earth, we haue no sense of hea­uenlie things, our eye is ay on the earth, as thogh there were no grace nor glorie, but in this lyfe.

But brethren to goe to euerie word, and to speake of these things Timothie reportes to Paul. The first pointe of these ty­dinges is faith; he beginnes at faith. Timothie sayes: Paul, the Thessalonians continewes still in that faith of Christ, and em­braces that Gospell of Christ, which thou taught them. There is the first part of the newes. Then ye see plainlie heere. the first part of the good tydinges that can be reported of any peo­ple, is that they holde fast the faith of Christ. and embrace the Gospell of Christ. There is the first and best [...]ydinges that can be reported of any people. And learne, He that hes not and keepes not this faith, I say in a vvorde there can be no good tale tolde of him. If he had all the vvorlde, vvithout this Go­spell, it is all in vaine, because he hes no goode propertie, and there is no blessing of God in him: That vvhich seemes to be a blessing is a verie curssing to him. The more honour and riches he hes in this world, the mo are the maledictions of God, and all his actiones, all his speakinges, or vvhat euer he does or thinkes, all is sinne. What euer flovves not from faith in Christ, is sinne, if it vvere neuer so glistering. Rom. 14. 13. So then I holde this ground. Thou canst not tell a goode taile of anie man that embraces not Christ and his Gospell. They will say, he is a stoutman, he is a riche man, the vvorlde goes vvell vvith him, but all is curssing to him, except hee haue faith in Christ: faith blesses all, and therefore no lyfe to thee, except that thou haue faith.

What is the next pointe of the tydings? Loue. Faith beginnes and she goes forvvard as the Queene of all grace. Next to [Page 131] her comes in loue, she is next in honour, and among all the rest of the graces that accompanies with faith, loue is the chiefest, Then in one vvord. The next pointe of good tydinges of any people, is to be a louing people, a people that intertaines loue and charitie: no oppression among them, but euere one is readie bent to helpe an other: such kyndnesse, lenitie and loue, that the tongue of man can not expresse it. I tell you (as I haue said before) vvhere these tydings can not be tolde, that a peo­ple intertaines loue and charitie, it is impossible thou canst tell a good taile of them. Tell me he is not charitable: I will con­clude, there is no grace in that persone. O but ye will say: yet he beleeues, and vvho hes bene so instant an hearer of the Gospell as he? but all is vanitie; thy lyfe shovves the contrare: for vvho loues not their nighbour, and saies that they loue God, they lye sayes Ioha in his first Epistle 4. 20. For certainlie loue is an vnsepa­rable companion of faith, as the shadovve is of the bodie, so that if loue be seuered from it, thy faith is of no value. Where charitie is not, there is no true faith, and therefore bee chari­table, and loue thy neighbour, othervvvise thou hast no good propertie.

The thrid pointe of the nevves, is, concerning Paul in spe­ciall, that remembrance they had of him in his absence, and of this rememberance a desyre to see him: and that because he had grounded them in that faith in Iesus Christ, and that loue to their neighbour. Brethren, as the first pointe of goode ty­dinges that can bee reported of anie, is the imbracing of this Gospell of Christ and Christ in the Gospell: So the last thing that can bee reported, is the imbracing of the Ministers of this Gospell, the imbracing of them in their presence, the remem­bring of them, and the desyring of them in their absence. These are Paules ovvne vvordes. And I affirme if anie people haue no lyking of the Minister of the Gospell, no man can tell one good vvord of good tydinges of them. If Timothie could not haue reported this farre of the Thessalonians concerning Paul that they had remembrance of him: but had said that they re­membred not of Paul; Trovvye that Paul vvould haue coun­ted of the report of their faith and charitie? No he vvould haue said, they had no faith nor charitie: for where there is not a loue [Page 132] to the Minister of the Gospell, no faith nor loue there. Many vvill say, I loue the Gospell. I loue my nighbour: but vvhen it comes to the ministrie; then if there be any vyle and contempti­ble speaking it will be of them. My Lord or the laird will sit vp and speak of that calling with such disdaine and despite that the verse Ethnick can not go beyond him; and in scoffing will say, away with these fellowes, wherefore serue they? they holde the countrie in ado. Fyon thee, that euer thou sholdst take the name of Christ in thy mouth, when thou so heatst his seruants For it is impossible where the loue of Christ and the Gospell is to seuere thee from the loue of the seruants of Christ. Thou deceiuest thy self, thou neuer louest the master when thou heatst his seruants: thou neuer louest God, when thou heatst the faithfull Minister he sends to thee. Alas, among all the curses that procures hea­uie judgement at Gods hand. this is one. the contempt of this ministrie: God is (as it were) wrestling with vs in this great con­tempt to hold in this light but if we continue, we shall lose this light, to our vtter ruyne: for God will not wrestle ay vvith vs. Take heed to this, and learne this lesson vvith Paule. As ye would haue a report of well doing, looke that this report may be tolde of you, that ye haue a remembrance and desyre of your faithfull ministrie, otherwise all other reports is nothing worth. For where there can not be a report of your lyking of the good Ministers, it can not be possible that a goode tale can be tolde of you.

The wordes in the end of the verse is to be marked. Desy­ring to see vs as vve also doe you. There is a meeting. Marke the vvord. There is a mutuall duetie craued betvveene the Pastor and the stock, a mutuall desyre and remembrance euerie one of other, a mutuall lyking euerie one of others. Kyndneste vvill not stand on the one part onelie. Now who should beginne? one must beginne Paul beginnes he remembers of them before they remember of him, he desyres their presence, ere they desyre his presence, he lykes of them ere they lyke of [...]. Speaking to the Corinthians: Epist. 6. 1 [...]. he sayes, Our mouth hes [...] opened vnto [...], our heart [...] made large, [...] haue not dvvelt narrovvlie in our bovvels. Then he sayes. [...] to you [...] be children, desiring [...] lyke recompence. And teiles them as he was the beginner to loue [Page 133] them, he desyred a rendring of the lyke loue to him. Gal. 4. 12. Be ye as I am, for I am as ye are. I craue not first of you, but I shal beginne with loue to you: render ye me the lyke. And certainelie when the Pastor beginnes not loue to the flock, the people is not to be accused for not louing of their Pastor. So the Pastor must beginne; and when they follow him not, be it betweene them and their God: and without question it will not goe away without judgement.

Now to goe to the effect of these things. Therefore brethren, sayes he, vve had co [...]s [...]lation (and to aggreadge this consolation he sayes) when he tolde me these good tydings, my miserie was great. I was lying at Athens miserable: but when Timothie re­ported these good newes to me, I vvas quickned in hearing of your faith, perseuerance, loue among your selues, and towards vs. So brethren, these tydings are not without great joy, they mi­nister comfort. Neuer one of these things are tolde, but joy and comfort breaks vp in the heart. Trow ye that it was the good report that raised this consolation in the heart? No, there was an higher ground. If Paul had not had an greater loue to the Thessalonians, all the good tydings that was reported by Timo­thie of them to him, should not haue wakned joy in his heart. It is true in deed, when we heare of the grace of God to be in a­ny other, there is matter of joy to vs, we should not heare so soone that the grace of God is in any man or woman, but we should rejoyce therein, euen as it were in our selues. When thou hearest of faith or loue in any man or woman, thou shouldst re­joice: when thou hearest of any sinner that is penitent, & turnes to God, rejoyce when thou hearest of any loue in any person, there is matter of joy, all is true. But brethren: Who rejoyces when it is reported that any grace is in any person? I answere. None but the louer; he that loues that people or person will re­joice. As for others that haue no loue to the persone the more is tolde to them of the grace of God in him, either spirituall or temporall, the more they inuy it. This is all our nature. What is it that inuyes not? Paul sayes, Charitie inuyes not 1. Cor. 13. 4. And vnderstand this, he who loues, rejoyes when he heares of any others well. Take me away loue and charitie no rejoysing in the heart of any man for an others well. Alas, this inuy that is [Page 134] among men of the prosperitie of an other testifies there is no loue. When thou hearest the report of the graces of thy nigh­bour, a [...]mnyes it, and speakes euill of thy nighbour, thou vt­test thou hast no loue to God and thou depryuest day selfe of a great grace: for thou depriuest thy self of that joy thou shouldst haue of the grace of God: thou rejoysing, thou getst part of that grace, he that hes the grace gets not all that grace his alone, but when thou rejoycest, thougetst a part of that grace. By the con­trare, if thou inuy, thou spoiles thy selfe of that joy: the joy thou shalt haue in Heauen shall not be of the grace thou shalt haue in thy self onlie (and assure thee as thou shalt haue joy in Heauen thou must haue joy in earth) but it shall rise of the graces of god bestowed on others on the earth: and thou shalt not see a glori­ous member beside thee, but of sight of it thou shalt haue such joy as no tongue can tell. So I beseech you as ye would rejoice in Heauen, beginne to joy, and learne in tyme to rejoyce for the graces of God bestowed on others here, and learne in time to loue thy nighbour [...]ó thou licentious bodie learne to loue, ô con­temner, learne to loue, thou back byter, learne to loue, thou who wouldst rejoice with a true joy, learne to loue, or thou shalt ne­uer rejoyce in Heauen. What trow ye `Paul is doing now when Timothie is turned back to him, and makes this good report of this charitie and is rejoysing? I tell you, he is gathering vp the frutes of his trauell, taking vp his rent and stipend from the Thessalonians.Pastors stipend. What is the rewarde of a faithfull Pastor and his proper stipend? Is it this little thing on the earth, his gleab and manse, two or three chalders of victuall? no. What then is the proper rewarde of the Pastor? It filles not the hand, but the heart; not the mouth of this world, but the mouth of the soule with joy. Fill out my ioy (sayes Paul Philipp. 2. 2.) fill it out, I haue not gotten it all. What is that that fils the hart of the Pastor with joy?The grace of God fils the heart vvith ioy. ye heare not that Timothie bringes any substance from the Thessalonians. But the thing that filles Pauls heart, is the grace of God in the Thessalonians the saith of the Thessalonians, the loue and good affection the Thessalonians bare to him. That is the matter of his joy. Men standes on this earth, and is loath to giue one penny to an other, but to draw al in to them selues: but I say to thee, if thou be one of Gods, and of his people, he shall [Page 135] get more of thee, nor al thy heritage, nor all thy lands and riches in the world, if he be a faithfull Pastor he shall get more of thee: For thou shalt haue no grace, nor faith, nor charitie, but he shall get the glorie of it: thou shalt haue no glorie in Heauen, but that glorie shall redound to his glorie: for that chiefe Pastor of al Pa­stors hes communicate this to his Pastors, that all the graces be­stowed by him on the people shal redound to their glorie. So he will haue all the trauels bestowed on the people by his Pastour to redound the glorie of his Pastor. Paul sayes. 1. Thessa. 2. 19. What is our ioy, or crovvne of [...]? are not ye (Thessalonians) my glorie and my joy? The Lord shall take you by the hand, giue you to me, and say: haue there the man thou hast win, take the glorie thereof to thee, and giue me the whole glorie of him, and of all: ô the shinning glorie that Paul shall haue in Heauen! ô the shinning glorie of these men, who hes trauelled on earth to get soules to God! they haue a glorious preferment, but it is not seene heere, in that day ye shall see it clearlie.

Now he aggreadges that joy he receiued of that report, from the great trouble he had in Athens: and sayes, vve had consolation in all our affliction and necessitie. In Athens he was troubled by the Epicurian and Stoick Philosophers (Alas, worldlie-wise men are not meete for the kingdome of God▪ he that would be wise in God let him be a foole) So he is in trouble:Heauēlie ioy svva­lovves vp vvorldlie payne. yet this consola­tion through the report of Timothie, swalowes vp the trouble: ô that heauenlie consolation and joy, how it will swalow vp the displeasure and heauines of the soule! Albeit the soule wer filled with sorrow, when this heauenlie joy comes in, it swalowes vp that heauinesse: it is true that this is not without a battell, and a hard battell but in the end the spirituall joye vvill get the vi­ctorie. Therfore thou vvho art in heauines, prease to get some spark of that heauenlie joy, prease to rejoice in Christ, grow in rejoycing in God. Thou who wouldst haue any paine mitigate that is laid on thy bodie, if it were sicknesse or death it selfe, if thou wouldst haue it made light, seeke that spirituall joy, for as it swalowes the dolor and displeasure of the hart, so it swalowes vp the paine of the bodie: trow ye tha [...] the Martyres could haue suffred so great paine as they did, if that the joy of the heart had not swalowed vp the half of the paine? No, if the joy had [Page 136] not impared the paine, they vvould haue curssed God and man, So let a man or vvoman vvho would haue their paine mitigate seeke to get this joy. We see how sweetlie they vvill depart out of this life vvho hes that joy in Christ, and therefore differre not till the last houre, thinking to get joy then, but in tyme vvhen thou art neither sicke nor sore, in soule nor bodie, prepare thee to get a sense of that joye that may be steadable in trouble: ac­quaint thee vvith heauen, as euer thou vvouldst goe to heauen. Avvaye with the securitie of men who playe the vvanton, and will promise to them selues heauen, if they get but leaue to aske mercie in their last breath. Fy on them, they shall be deceyued. It is true,Delay of repentāce dāgerous. the theefe that hung at Christs right hand got mercie; but the other theefe got none. Therefore repent & amend your liues in time: for vvhere one gets repentance at the last houre of their death, a thousand wants it.

Now ere I leaue this marke. Certainelie it appeares that Paul loued the Thessalonians well: for vvhen he heares the report of these good newes, he who was in trouble is reuiued: and if he had not loued the Thessalonians exceeding well hee had not receiued such exceeding joye.Loue is the occasi­on of ioy. Ye see, who loues a man vvell, when anie good report is made of him he will rejoice for it. O the great loue of Paul in all parts! it may be a mirror to all pa­stors. Woulde to God that such loue or halfe loue were in our hearts: wee are bounde to a Congregation, and yet we can not loue them as he did hauing manie Congregations: for he vvas minister as well at Corinthus, Galatia, Ephesus &c. as Thessalo­nica. Neuer did any man loue a sonne begotten of himself more intirelie nor Paul did all his Churches. Surelie a Pastor should loue his flock so well, that he should giue his life for them.

In the end of the verse he giues the reason wherefore he re­joyced, vve liue (sayes he) if ye stand in the Lord. Ioy comes of life; and naturall life brings naturall joy: that heauenlie lyfe be­gun in this life brings joye vnspeakable. He reasones; Ye are n [...]y life: what wounder then that hearing of your standing in the Lord, which is my life, I rejoice? Then if he be a louing Pastor, who loues the soule of the people well. as Paul did, the grace that the people gets of God it is a quickning grace to him, it is a viuifying of him, if he be in dolour and distiesse it is a walkning [Page 137] of him. Therefore looke what aduantage thou gettest through loue. Art thou a pastor? thou shalt get life. Art thou one of the people? if thou loue thou shalt get life to: and thy loue shall e­uer report to thee a joye in thy greatest dolour. If thou be de­parting off this life, and hast beene a faithfull pastor, the report of the standing of thy flocke shall comfort thee: if thou be one of the people, thou shalt euer haue comfort: for the grace of any member of the Church reported to thee shall bring joy to thee. But the man who hes nothinge but inuie can haue no joye: hee knowes not what this spirituall joye meanes. Therefore as thou wouldst liue in joye and consolation striue to be louing, chari­table and tender hearted to euerie one in whome thou [...]eest the graces of God: and so thou shalt get infinite matter of joy; thou shalt get peace heere and life euerlasting hereafter. The Lorde for his great mercies sake bring vs to this life through Christ: To whom be all praise and honour for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 3. vers. 9. 10. 11. 12.

9 For vvhat thanks can vve recompense to God againe for you, for all the ioy vvherevvith vve reioyce for your sakes before our God.

10 Night, day, praying exceedinglie that vve might see your face, and might accomplish that vvhich is lacking i [...] your faith.

11 Novv God himselfe, euen our Father, and our Lord Iesus Christ guide our iourney vnto you:

12 And the Lord increase you, and make you abound in loue one tovvard an other, and tovvard all men, as vve doe tovvard you,

[Page 138] IN the Text immediatlie going before, welbeloued in Christ, wee heard of the sending forth of Timothie to the Thessa­lonians, we heard of his returning, and what tidings he brought: hee reported to Paul of the Thessalonians, concerning their faith and perseuerance in faith, con­cerning their loue; and particularlie of that remembrance they had of Paul, who had founded them in the faith of Christ, in his absence desiring most earnestly to haue his presence againe. Last ye heard what effect these tidings re­ported by Timothie vvrought in Paul: they wrought consola­tion and joy, notwithstanding all the afflictions and miserie he lay in in Athens for the present.

Now brethren, to come to the text vve haue in hand. In this text he does two things: first he showes vvhat thanksgiuing he gaue to God for them and for all that joye he had conceiued of the glad newes he heard of them: he showes how earnest & in­stant he was in prayer for them, crauing day and night that hee might see them face to face, notwithstāding that report he heard of them by Timothie. Then in the secound part of the text he falles out in a prayer continewing to the end of the chapter, first beseeching God the Father and the Lord Iesus Christ to direct his journey toward them: next desiring God to increase them, and make them to abound in loue euerie one toward an other, and toward all men in the worlde: thridlie beseeching God that he would establish their hearts before him in all holinesse at the comming of Iesus Christ with his Sancts. There is the effect of the text shortlie. Novv to returne and to speake of the first part: he shovves his thanks-giuing and prayer to God for them. He sayes, For vvhat thanks can vve recompense to God againe for you, for all the ioy vvherevvith vve reioyce for your sakes before our God. I can not get a heart (would he say) to thanke my God for it,Ioy in the hart bur­stes out in thanks­giuing. as I shoulde doe. The text is verie plaine. So the doctrine is easie. First heere vve see. vvhen the heart of any man concea­ues a spirituall joy for the grace of God, eyther bestowed on him selfe, or vpon others, it is not able to conteine that joy, but it must breake out, and it must open the mouth to giue thankes [Page 139] and praise to the Lord: for of the ab [...]ndance of the heart, the mouth must speake. If the heart [...], be it good or euill, the har [...] must opened mouth, and [...] must speake either good or euill. Then the second thing [...] be marked in this text, is w [...]ē the joy of the hart opens the mouth to vtter thankes, what euer be the [...] and meane of joy, the first thanks that are giuen will not be giuen to it especially. (Paul heere giues not the glorie of this joy to the Thessaloni­ans) but the mouth will be opened to glorifie the author of all grace and joy, which is God: for without him there is no grace, neither haue we our selues any grace, neither hes any other any grace in him selfe:Thankes­giuing to God only. and without God there is no joy; except he worke the joy, there can be no joy in the heart. Yea, albeit the grace be giuen, yet if he giue not a new grace to worke joy in the heart for the grace, there can be no joy. And therefore the mouth when it is opened, to praise & glorifie, first of al it shold be opened to glorifie him who is the giuer of all: honour the instrument as the instrument, honour the Minister as the Mini­ster, but let the author & worker of al haue the glory & thanks. Then thridlie mark. In a maner he complaines that he can not get a mouth to thanke God sufficientlie for all that grace they had receiued, and joy he had receiued and gotten through their graces. Marke then, our thanking and glorifying of God for the grace receiued and joy conceiued in heart, it is not answerable in greatnes to the grace, nor to the joy receiued. For will ye cōpare these two together, the grace of God, and thy thankfulnes for it, the grace of God passes thy thankfulnes, yea, the verie joy that we haue in heart for the grace bestowed on vs or others, will be greater nor the thankfulnesse can be: and the tongue of man is not able to vtter all that joy conceiued, nor to thank God suffi­cientlie for it. Peter 1. Epist. 1. 8. he calles it a joy vnspeakable: The joy the faithfull heart will conceiue, is an vnspeakable joy. So Paul of the sighs of the godly. Rom. 8. 28. The mouth of man is not so wyde, nor so capable of grace as the heart is. I meane of the regenerate man. If the spirit of Iesus dwel in the heart, all the tongues of men and Angels, can not be able to tell nor expresse the thousand part of that joy the hart wil haue in Gods grace for all that ioy saies he, vvhat thanks shall [...] giue to God? As he wold say, [Page 140] my mouth can not get words to vtter thanks to God the author for the graces receiued, and joy that is conceiued there throgh.

Now farther we haue to learne in the wordes. He sayes, all this joy is before God,All ioy in the face of Iesus. all the joy that the heart conceyues is in the sight of God and in his presence, it is all in the sight of christ. No libertie sayes Paul, but when the heart is turned to God, and laid oppin to him. 1. Cor. 3. 16. 17. No, no light of the knowledge of the glorie of God, but in the face of Iesus Christ. 2. Cor. 46. No sacretie of joy, but in his countenance, sayes Da [...]d Psal. 16. 11. And Peter in his 1. Epist. 7. 8. sayes, that beleeuing in Iesus, and keeping him in our presence, vve reioyce vvith a ioy vnspeak [...] and glorious. So, no joye for thee, except thy eye be fixt in some measure on the face of Iesus. Looke not for it, turne thou thy back to him, and thy face from him, no joy for thee, if thou were all the Monarches in the earth: No, no joye, peace, nor tran­quillitie of conscience but in the face of God. And therfore who euer would haue joy, and rejoyce, and be glad in heart in this world, let him cast an eye on Christ, and be humelie with him: for his face is joyfull. And what is all this joy we conceyue in heart? but as little sparkles of the plenitude and fulnesse of that heauenlie joy in Christ, all proceedes as blenks from it. Expe­rience teaches vs, that neither by day nor night can the soule re­joyce, but when it hes the presence of the liuing God, in the face of Christ: for there is no sight of him but in Christ.

Now last I gather of all this: He can not thanke the Lord e­neugh for their perseuerance. Then all perseuerance in faith and loue comes of God if thanks must be giuen to God for it, of ne­cessitie it must follow that God is the giuer of it: and therefore it is a vaine tale to say that mans perseuerance is in his owne hand: he has a free will, he may stand if he will, he may fall if he will. All is vanitie, all our standing is onelie in God: if he holde vs in his hand we shall stand: if he pull away his hand we shall fal: therefore seeke at God that we may stand and perseuere; for without him we shal not stand one moment: & euerie one who stands is bound to praise him, who is the author of all perseue­rance. So brethren by Pauls example a Pastor when he sees his flock perseuere in the faith of Christ aboue all men he is bound to praise God.

[Page 141] Now to the next verse shortlie. As he hes showen he thank­ed God for that grace they haue gotten, and the joy he had con­ceiued of it, so he addes to, and showes that as he thanked, he prayed and asked more. Prayed, how long▪ Night and day, After what maner? Excedinglie vvith all feruen [...]e. To whom pra [...]es lie? to God the Father and his Sonne Christ. What prayed he? that he night see their face. And to what end? ha [...] he might accomplish that vvhich is looking in their faith. That is the effect of his prayer. So the Apostle vvould haue prayer continualie joy [...]ed with thankes-giuing. And there is not so great matter of thankes-gi­uing for the grace which is receiued, and for the joy that ry [...]es of the grace,Prayer should be ioyned vvith thankes­giuing. but yet there rests great neede to seeke more grace and more joy. So long as we liue heere, there is ay a want and in­la [...]k in the best liuer in this world. Faith is not perfite heere. Re­g [...]nerat: on & newnes of life is not perfite heere, no perfection in this life, and they who haue come farthest toward that glorious face of God; yet they are farre from the marke. Albeit thou hast run before others, yet so long as thou liuest here thou art far frō the mark: and therefore night and day thou must ask grace and furtherance: & say, Lord further me fil out the grace, it is not ful yet Lord the thankes-giuing is not full, yea the faith is not per­fite. Lord fill it out, Lord augment that heauenlie life in me.

Now, behold the maner of his prayer and his continuance of it. He sayes he prayed night and day instantlie After what ma­ner? Not coldlie, but feruenthe, with exceeding great earnestnes in praying. So ye see Paul hes bene a man much exercised in praier partlie for himselfe, partly for others. And certainelie a Minister in his calling should be much exercised in prayer, not for himselfe onlie, but for the people he hes adoe with, night and day▪ Prayer [...] and not for the fashion, but with feruencie. Then note two properties in praier The first in respect of the tyme, Praier would haue a instantnesse and continuance: [...] must not be one word and away: no but it must be [...] night and day. Then againe, Prayer would haue an [...] Be instant in tyme: be feruent and earnest [...] if it haue not feruencie it is little we use it is [...] on seem morning to euening [...] thy beeds without [...] in the heart, al is vaine. Then againe feruencie without [...] [Page 142] is but a vaine blast and will blaw away. So if thou wouldst pray to God, and vvo [...]ldst haue him to heare thee (for he of purpose holdes backe his eye to make thee instant and earnest) pray ear­nestlie and not for the fashion. And when thou commest before that Majestie, present thy selfe with an ardent desire of that that thou crauest: wilt thou compeare before him, and not desire that thing thou crauest' so thou scornest him.

Novv the th [...]d thinge in this verse is, that he might see their face: and that to this end, that he might fill out that which vvas inlacking in their faith. It may be demanded, Coulde not their faith be supplyed without Paule, that is, vvithout his ministrie? was it not eneugh that Paul had once grounded them in their faith, and reuealed to them the counsell of God? No, marke this: No increase, no growing in the faith of Iesus Christ without this ministrie. In plaine wordes, contemnest thou it, thou shalt neuer grow one inche in faith, but thou shalt goe backward. It is true, it is God that giues thee the increase and growth,Increase of faith onelie by the mini­strie. 1. Cor. 3. 7. but it is as true, he giues no growth in faith and grace, but by the mi­nistry. God giues the growth to the corne, but if the corne be not wattred vvith raine which is the ordinarie meane thereto, the corne will not grow. So if thou be not continuallie wattred with this ministrie, thou shalt not growe, (I saye ordinarelie and not extraordinarelie.) The Lord let vs see the miserable estate vve are into through contempt of the ordinare meane that the Lord hes appointed. Paul Ephes. 4. 11. sayes When the Lord past vp to heauen, he gaue some to be Apostles, some to be Prophets. &c. And how long is it needfull that this ministrie shold abide with thee? for a day, a month a yeere, or twentie yeeres? No, it is not eneugh but it must abide with thee ay vntill thy breath go out, and vntil thou giuest vp the last gaspe: thou hast ay neede of the gospell. Therefore the Apostle in that place he limites the time, vvhile ye come altogether to the vnitie of the faith, and vnto the perfite man in Christ. When commest thou to that perfite man? Not so long as life is in thy lippe. So thou hast need of the ministrie so long as thou liuest. But in deede when all thy senses goe away, when speaking and hearing go away; then the ministrie leaues thee, & thou feellest a sense of these things that thou heardst before: but if thou lay not to thine eare to heare in time, thou shalt neuer see [Page 143] them. Brethren, ye will wonder at this earnest desyre he had to see them: Might not the sending of Timothie, and wryting of this Epistle satisfie him? No, he thinkes he can not doe them that goode that he would vntill he see them and speake them, and that for this purpose to fill out then faith. Well brethren, when once Sathan gets a seuering of the pastor from the people it is hard to get them together againe. Do what Paul could do, he could not meete with these Thessalonians: For he sayes, Sa­than held him away when he would haue bene at them. Then ye see, the remedie against Sathan to stay his course is prayer, and instant prayer night and day.Presence of the Pa­stor verie povverful. But to the purpose: There is much in the presence of him who hes the grace of God in him, for augmenting the faith and grace of God in men: his message will do much, but his presence will do more: the lyuelie voice of man vvill be more effectuall, nor the written word will be: his presence will edifie more nor his letter. And so it is no small matter to haue the presence of a man that is gratious Paul knew this well, and therefore he is so instant in praying to haue their presence. If the Lord hes chosen out a man to win soules, there is nothing in that man, but it will edifie▪ his tongue, his eye, his behauiour, his countenance, all will edifie and further men to Christ.

Novv in the second part of this text he falles out in a prayer. There are thre parts thereof. The first part is, that yet God the Father and the Lord Iesus should direct his journey tovvard them, that he would giue him that grace to see them, and haue that mutuall presence. Then when he is speaking of the prayer he vsed to God, looke what fell out. Showing them he vsed to pray instantlie for them: in the meane tyme he leaues off this narratiue, and he bursts out in prayer to God. There is a sodaine change. Now take head. If that earnestnesse and feruencie to pray be in the heart, the least occasion in the world wil walken it vp, and make a man hold vp his hands, and fall on his knees immediatlie: The verie name of ardent prayer vvill raise him vp to prayer: for as of the aboundance of the heart the mouth spea­kes, so the words in the mouth will walken the heart, if there be anie spark of grace in it: and the hart being walkned the mouth will fall out immediatly to prayer. Looke to thy heart & mouth [Page 144] both. Looke that thy heart be filled with God: looke that godly speaches be in thy mouth; for certainlie as thou speakest so thou vvalknest the heart: speake well, a good affection will rise in thy hart: speak euil a foul affection wil rise in thy hart; and thy words shall be as bellowes to blow vp thine owne heart and the hearts of them that knovv the sinne and vncleannesse.

To the purpose; he prayed: to whom? To God the Father. To whom next? To Iesus Christ the Lord. He giues them both their owne styles. Christ hes bought vs vvith his bloude, and so hee is our Lord and wee his seruanes: And the Apostle sayes, For this cause is Christ risen againe, that he should haue, [...] ouer all cre­atures. Rom. 14. 9. Nowe brethren, marke their styles more nar­rowlie and shortlie. God is a name of majestie, but Father is a name of loue. Paul vses to set downe the majestie of God vvith loue to cause vs to imbrace it. This style the Lord, is a style of su­perioritie & dominion. The style then that Paul vses telles you what disposition was in his heart in praying: he spoke to a Ma­jestie, he spoke to a Lord: therefore reuerence was in his heart. He spoke to a louing father:Dispositi­on of the heart in prayer. therefore loue and homelines was in his heart. This telles vs vvhat disposition shoulde be in our hearts is when vve speake to God▪ In prayer thy heart shoulde be disposed with feare and reuerence, with loue and homelines. Re­uerence and feare would not be allone, for then it were a seruile feare. Loue and homelines woulde not be allone; for then thou wouldst grow in contempt. So joyne together homelines and feare, loue and reuerence, and then in exceeding sweetnes shall follow. And this was [...] fashion; and the fashion of all the godlie fathers, and this should be our fashion in prayer. Looke the persones he directs his prayer not to prayes not to the father allone, nor to the Sonne [...] allone: he prayes God the Father, [...] Iesus Christ [...] Lord. What showes this to vs If there were no other place in the Scripture▪ yet this declares [...]sufficientlie vnto vs, Iesus the mediator is equal with God the father: else [...] had neuer prayed to him & joyned him with that glorious Majestie of the Father? Now to open this more plainelie to you. The Fa­ther and the Sonne are one in nature, essence and substance: next as they are one in nature,Iesus eternall God. so both their doing is but one: that that the father does the sonne does, and that that the sonne does the [Page 145] father does also. In Iohn he sayes, My Father vvorkes to this day, and I vvorke vvith him. Iohn. 5. 17. Farther, the Father vvorkes with the Sonne, when he is incarnate, cled with our nature: and Iesus Christ, God and man, being in our nature workes together with the Father; and the Father giues vs all the graces out of the fleshlie hand of Christ the man: all the goodnesse that flovves to thee, it flowes through the vaile of the man-hood of Christ. Looke their thou seuere not Christ and his Father; and look that all thy duetie thou doest to them, be a common duetie: belee­uest thou in the one, beleeue in the other Ioh. 14. 1. Praiest thou to the one, pray to the other: seruest thou and glorifies thou on [...] glorifie and serue both together: honor euer the Father and the Son together; for if thou seuer the Sonne from the Father, or the nature of the man from the Sonne, Father nor Son shall doe thee no good. For when thou praiest to the Father, seuering him from Christ, as the Iewes do; or to Iesus, seuering him from our nature, thou drawest down a plague in stead of a blessing. Then joyne all together in prayer. Pray to God the Father, and the Son ma­nifested in our nature, and looke in vnto God the Father throgh the Sonne. Then he prayes to the Father, and to the Sonne.

What seekes he? In the first part of his praier he seeks, that his iourney should be directed to the. Thessalonians. Prouerb. cha. 16. vers. 9. The heart of man vvill dispone his ovvne vvay, but God vvill direct his steps. Man will say, I will byde heere to morrow, and there o­ther morrovv, and he vvill be at the fire side, and no thought of God who hes the journey in his hand. Man dispones his waies, but God directs them. Without God, when thou hast taken all thy purposes, thou hast not a foote to lift to doe them: and if he giue thee leaue to lift thy foote, vvithout him, and not knovving him, thou shalt not be able to set down thy foote in the hie way; a curse shall be on thee, and thou shalt runne and ride to destru­ction: and either thou shalt goe back, or else goe to this side, or that side, and not in the right vvay. Brethren, vvaite ye not what ye haue to doe? When thou takest any journey in hand, thou wilt not come to the doore so soone in the morning, but the Deuill vvill meete thee▪ and if Gods Angell doe not con­uoye thee, the Deuill vvill conuoy thee. Alas, haue ye adoe vvith fleshe and bloode onelie? vvill ye not looke to him vvho [Page 146] is working aboue? All this telles vs, that we should hang on that holie will God, which is the rule of all our doing. Paul sayes Romanes 15. 32. I vvould be at you, if by any meane the vvill of God vvill permit. Men vses this prophainnes [...]e in speaking, as▪ Iames sayes 4. 13. 24. I vvill goe to [...], and buy and sell, &c. But he sayes to the, what art thou doing? hast thou thy journey in thy owne hand? thy lyfe is vncertaine. I say farther then Iames. Suppose thou liue, vvhat if he giue thee not legges to trauell with? and suppose he giue thee legges, what if he curse thy jour­ney, and send Satan in the way? All this learnes vs to haue God before vs, and depend vpon him: and to speake with houes, [...]f it please God, I vvill doe this or that, Alwayes I submit my selfe to his holie vvill knovving that vvhether I goe or byde, all shall be to my well and comfort: Hang on God. for there is no prosperous succes, except thou striue to haue an hart lifted vp to God in all thy doinges. For all this vvorld vvill vanishe avvay, but to him who depends on God, what euer falles out al comes for the best, This is the rule of the Apostle.

Now the second part of the Prayer is: Seing he can not come to them as he vvould, he prayes to God the Father, and to the Sonne the Lord Iesus Christ; that those thinges he could not get done by his prefence, the Lord wil do them in his absencer that is, That the Lord vvold make them abound in loue and charitie, first among them selues, and then among all men. The example he giues, is, euen as I loued you. Then when thou canst not get that which first thou wouldst haue; leaue not off to pray for the next best. There are many that when they pray for any thing, and cannot get it, they leaue off all praying. No, but vvhen thou canst not get that first thing thou prayest for, pray for the second; it may be, if thou get not the first, thou shalt get the second: and well is the soule that gets any peece of grace. So vvhen one thing failes thee,Loue, the gift of god o [...]ely. seeke an other, and neuer leaue off suting. Then he prayes for loue and charitie. Alas for loue and charitie in this age: fare well loue, thou hast gone away out of Scotland. There is a vaine name of faith among vs; he beleeues, and she beleeues: but, loue vvhich is the true vvitnesse of faith is gone. Fare vvell loue. These are the latter dayes: all loue is dead. But, to the pur­pose. Ye see that he begges loue from God to them. Then, it [Page 147] must follovve of necessitie. As faith is the free gift onelie and grovves not in our foull stinking nature: so, loue and charitie is the gift of God, and growes not in nature. Thy loue by nature is a foull stincking selfe loue, thou hast that rooted in thy heart, thou wilt hate God and all the world for that loue: and if thou [...]akest a shovve of loue to any vvho is conjoyned to thee, all it for thy selfe, and not for Christ. Thou wilt loue thy vvyfe and children, but, not for Christ, but, for thy selfe. No sinceritie in that loue. The Papist will say, God commands vs to loue: therefore it is in our owne hand to loue, or not to loue: Is this a faire argu­ment? But, I reasone by the contraire, out of this place. Paul begges loue at God to them; therefore it followes well, loue is the gift of God onelie. For, if it were in nature, whereto should I aske it from God? Marke one rule. It is a foolish thing to mea­sure the commaund of God by the strength of nature; and the strength of nature by the command of God, and to reason, God hes bidden me doe this, therefore, I haue free-vvill vvithin my selfe to doe it; this reasoning will deceiue thee. The Lord when he commaunds thee who stands in that Couenant made with vs in Christ; with the verie command, by his Spirite he workes in thy heart aboue nature the same thing he commaunds thee, he workes that loue that he commaunds thee. O the greatnesse of this loue of God. Say, Lord, doe that thing in me thou bidst me doe; bid me doe nothing, Lord, but that vvhich thou vvorkest in me, for, I can doe nothing without thee. The Lord open mens eyes to see this.

The next thing is the measure of loue, that he askes of God▪ He seekes not loue in a small measure, he seeks not little loue, but aboundant loue. Seeke euer these spirituall giftes in as great measure as thou canst, seeke aboundance: for, thou canst not seek so much with thy mouth,Measure of loue. nor conceiue so much in thy heart, as the Lord is able to giue thee. His hand is larger nor thy heart, and so be greedie of those spirituall graces, and neuer leaue off to seeke, or to begge, till thou findst thy heart running ouer vvith grace; full of loue, full of knovvledge and light. Paul to the Coloss. 3. 16. prayes that the Lord would fill them vvith knovvledge: Looke Ephes. 3. 10. 20. Col. 1. 9. For, our perfection standes in abundance, our glorie standes in fulnesse, and our ful­nesse [Page 148] goes forward degree by degree: There is nothing in this life but a growing in faith, in knowledge, &c, we are neuer filled with loue, knowledge, &c. but we must grow peece and peece, vntill we see the Lord face to face: and then we shall get saciety, then we shall be filled when God (who is loue himselfe) shall be all in all thinges. And therefore grovv euer; get a peece of grouth this day, another peece to morrovve, and so day by day grovv, vntill thy heart be filled vvith the grace of Christ. As thou increasest in knovvledge, so thou must increase in loue: for, these must be joined together, knowledge and loue. Know­ledge is in the mynde, and loue in the heart. Ye see how pleasant it is to see the Sunne, but the light of the mynde whereby we see the Sunne of glorie is more excellent; it is the light that commeth from the Lord. Then joyne thereto the loue in the heart, these tvvo should ansvvere other in proportion. Growest thou in knovvledge of the vvay of Christ? looke thou grovv in loue to God and man: othervvayes, I say, thy knovvledge shall not auaile thee; and the greater knowledge, without loue grow there-with, the greater damnation.

Now whom should they loue? Loue euerie one among your sel­ues, loue, next, all men in the vvorld. Loue all mankinde. Ye are Christians, loue together mutuallie. Be ye among the Heathen, loue them too, who knows not Christ: loue the Domestickes of faith, but loue the strangers too: loue the members of the bodie of Christ, but loue them also, vvho are out vvith the bodie: but, in a different maner. The words lets vs see, the loue of the do­mestick is mutuall. As thou louest me, so I loue thee: as the hand loues the foote, so, the foote loues the hand. So among the members of Christs bodie, there is a mutuall loue. The band of loue goes from my hart to thee, and comes again from thy hart to me: but, it is otherwaies with the loue that reaches out beyond the body to strangers: it is but a single loue going from my hart, and not returning againe from them. I loue him, but he loues not me: I loue the Iew, but he loues not me: I loue the Turke, but he loues not me; because he is not conjoined in a body with me: we should loue them to saluation. Then, learne, we should not be narrovv hearted in loue Say not, I loue not him be­cause he loues not me: if Christ had done so, vvhen thou vvas [Page 149] an enemie, it had not beene well with thee. He loued thee being his enemie. Loue them then vvho hates thee, and them, vvho would slay thee. I will not giue a penny for thy loue, if thou loue them onely vvho loues thee. And this telles that thou art a mem­ber of the bodie, when thy loue reaches out with the bodie to others. As Christ loues his enemie, so, thou, if thou be of Christs bodie, vvill loue thy enemie. Alas, the canker of our nature a­gainst loue. If thou striue not to loue thy enemie and to get that rancor of thy nature slaine, slaine shalt thou be. Steuin when the Ievves vvere stoning him to death, sayes, Lord, let it not be laid to their charge. Act. 7. 60. Therefore, as thou wouldst haue thy soule safe, loue thy enemie.

He layes downe his owne ensample: as I doe you. He vses this commonlie when he bids them doe any thing. I craue nothing but that ye should resemble me: I loue you, loue ye others. There is a lesson Thou vvho vvilt bid anie other doe well, doe vvell thy selfe: vvilt thou bid me loue? loue then first, thy selfe, and loue all men. A Pastor vvho vvould teach his flock to loue, let him shovv loue first in his life and actions himselfe: othervvaies, he shall not haue grace in his vvords: let him cast himselfe to be full of loue, and then, his vvords shall edifie: Let him euer seeke an hartie loue to their saluation, and craue loue to them, at the hands of the Father, and Christ Iesus his Sonne. To vvhom vvith the ho­lie Spirite, be all praise, for novv and for euermore.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 3. vers. 13.

13 To make your hearts stable and vnblameable in holinesse before God, euen our Father, at the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ vvith all his Saints.

1. THESSA. CHAP. 4. vers. 1. 2. 3.

1 And furthermore vve beseech you brethren, and exhort you in the Lord Iesus, that ye increase more and more, as ye haue receiued of vs, hovv ye ought to vvalke and to please God.

2 For ye knovv vvhat commaundements vve gaue vnto you by the Lord Iesus.

3 For this is the vvill of God, euen your sanctification, and that ye should absteine from for [...]ication.

IN the wordes going before, ye heard (brethren) the Apostle makes mention to the Thessalonians, of that earnest prayer he vsed to God for them: that once it would please God to graunt him a pro­sperous journey to them. He fell out im­mediatly in a prayer. The prayer con­taines thre parts: the first part is, that God the Father and the Lord Iesus vvould direct his vvay tovvardes them. The second part is, that how euer it should fall out, vvhe­ther he should come to them or not, at Gods pleasure: yet that they shoulde abound in loue, euery one tovvardes another, and [Page 151] not that onelie, but in loue to all men: yea, tovvarde their ver [...]e enemies.

Now shortly to come to our text. In the last verse of this chapter, ye haue the third head of his prayer: he beseeches God to giue them holinesse; holinesse in generall, all kinde of holi­nesse. As he prayed before that they might abound in loue and charitie, vvhich is a part of holinesse: So novv he prayes they should haue all sort of holinesse. Thereafter in the chapter fol­lowing, he falles out in precepts of good maners, and holie lyfe and conuersation, and this he follovves out to the end of the E­pistle: sauing onely by the vvay he casts in one or tvvo infor­mations resoluing them of certaine doubtes: the first concerning the mourning for the dead: the second concerning the day of Iudgement and the comming of the Lord Iesus. Novv to re­turne. He prayes for holinesse to them. And vvhat should this holinesse doe? To make your hearts (sayes he) stable and vnblame­able before God. And at vvhat tyme? especiallie at the comming of the Lord Iesus Christ. In vvhat companie should they be esta­blished with holinesse? They alone? No, but vvith all his Saints: in that happie societie of the Church of God and the Saintes. There is the effect shortlie of this thirtienth verse. Then bre­thren marke. It is holinesse, not a fashion of holinesse in out­vvard behauiour;Holines stablishes our harts before God. but vvithin the heart of a man or vvoman, that makes them stand vp in the presence of God, that establishes them without feare, terrour, or trembling when they stand be­fore the. Tribunall of a terrible Iudge. Where there is no ho­linesse, no sinceritie of heart in man, but an heart filled vvith foull affections; full of vncleannesse and filthinesse, there the heart dare not present the selfe before the face of God, for feare that wrath come out from his angrie face, and burne it vp. The Apostle Heb. 12. 14. sayes, Without holinesse, no man shall see God; for if they see him, at shall be to their destruction. When he looks [...] the heart, and findes not holinesse and cleannesse there; his looke shall destroy the heart, and he shall make it tremble and shake at his presence. Brethren, many hes experience of an euill conscience: vncleannesse makes euer an euill conscience: and a man with an euill conscience is not able to stand in the sight of God. There is not an vncleane body but he findes this in expe­rience. [Page 152] They runne euer to some hole and cannot abide the ho­lie sight of God: he is holie, thou vnholie: he looks throgh thee, thou canst not abide his sight. Now it is true our compearance before God and his Tribunal, shall stand in the righteous merits of Christ Iesus, & except we be cled with that perfit righteous­nesse of Christ, imputed to vs by faith, ther is no slanding for vs. Rom. 5. 1. But it is as true, if thou findst not again in some measure some holinesse and cleannesse inherent in thy self; thou shalt ne­uer stand before God: for where the righteousnesse of Iesus is, wher remission of sins is in any man, there of necessitie must be some measure of holinesse & purenesse of life in him also. If thou be justified by the fre mercy of God in Christ, of necessitie thou must be sanctified & must haue some spark of godlinesse in thy selfe: for those whom he hes justified, he also hes sanctified. So when euer a man hes the justice of Christ imputed vnto him, of necessitie he must haue a share of this justice inherent in himself: wants he a part of this holinesse, brag as he will, he hes no clean­nesse throgh the blood of Christ. Iames sayes, If thou hast faith, let me se it thy vvorks. 2. 18. If any by grace be sanctified in Christ, let them vtter it in some measure in works: otherwaies they lie. So this holds sure. No standing to vs before God, except there be holinesse in vs.

Now the stiles are to be marked in the text which are giuen to God; First he is called God: then our Father. The name of God, a name of Majestie and of great glorie. The name of Father, a name of homelinesse and louingnesse. Marke it. If God vvere nothing else to vs but God, that is to say, but an high Maiestie, full of all glorie: if that Majestie dimmitted not himselfe to be a louing Father to vs through Iesus, there were no standing for vs before him, our heart durst neuer present the selfe before him. A sinne is not able to looke vpon God, as he is God one­lie, in Majestie, Honour, Glorie and Iustice. No, the whole Ma­jesties of the world dare not face him as he is God onely. All our compearing before him is, because, as he is God in Majestie and glorie: so in Christ he is become a louing Father to vs: and if vve receiue not the Spirite (that is called the Spirite of adoption, testifying to our spirite, that he is become our Father in Iesus Christ, and we are adopted in Christ; and therefore o­pens [Page 153] our mouthes to cry Abba, Father) vve would neuer haue a face to looke to him, nor a mouth to speake to him. And so as he is become a Father to vs in Christ, so craue that thou mayst get that Spirite of adoption, that thy mouth may be opened wide, with sweetnesse, to cry, Abba, Father Moreouer, these very stiles learns vs, how our harts should be disposed when we come and stand before him, euen heer in his congregation, & church, where his presence is. (We are now in his sight and presence.) He is a God in Majestie; A Majestie would haue feare and reue­rence. So ther is the first thing, stand before this Majesty of God in feare and reuerence. Then there must be more then this: he is a Father, and therefore, thou shouldst loue him: so thou shouldst both reuerence and loue him together: If these two be together, they shall mak thee to be in good temper to stand before God.

Now come to the time when the hart shal be established. It is, at the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ. It is true brethren, euen in this life, before that glorious appearing of Christ, we stand be­fore God in holinesse, and our hearts are established before him without rebuke in a manner: and euen now at this present time, who euer they be who hes holinesse in their hearts, they finde, in effect, their harts standing in his presence; when they looke to that face of his Majestie shining in the Gospell, with the eye of faith, the heart is established before the face of God, and God is pacified, and beholds them in quietnesse. Let all men discend in their hearts, and if they haue holinesse, I assure them they will haue peace and quyetnesse in the hart, when they think on him, Then this is true. Euen in this life before the great day, we stand before him established in holinesse: but it is as true, so long as we liue in this life, ther is euer a peece of vnquyetnes in the harts of the most godlie: and there are none of vs who can find so peace­able an heart before God, as we should haue. There is euer so long as we liue heere a peece of euill conscience for sinne. The cause is, because so long as we liue he [...]r, we are but holy in a part and that in a verie sober part: sinne leaues vs neuer, and therfore the prick in the conscience for sinne leaues vs neuer, And where this euill conscience is, there must euer be a peece of feare and terrour to stand before that heauenlie presence. But vvhen the Lord shall come in that latter day, which is called the day [Page 154] of judgement, when Christ shall appeare in that great day, the heart of the godlie shall be established before him, without any feare or terrour. If thou be one of the chosen of God, thou shalt stand before the face of God, vvith an heart in peace, vvithout any terrour. (But ô how great shall the feare of the heart of the wicked men be?) the cause is, because thou shalt not so soone see the face of the Lord Iesus, that faire glorious face, but as soone in the moment of thy resurrection, thou shalt be transformed in a perfite holinesse, both in body and soule. And therefore the Apostle sayes. Philip. 3. 21. When we shall see him, We shall be transformed, and this vyle body of ours, shall be made conformable to his glorious body, and vvhen vve shall see him, vve shall be made like him in glorie and holinesse, vvithout any spot or vvrinckle, or any part of deformitie in bodie or soule. What then is it, that puts this terrour in our heart to stand before God? Onely sinne. So when all sinne shall be taken away, all feare shall be taken away. Then, seeing there is no perfite quyetnesse vntill vve see him; why should not our desire be to see him? wherefore should all this feare be of this latter day, seeing thou wilt neuer be esta­blished in heart, nor get thy full glorie vntil his comming at that day? thy blessednesse shall be perfite there. I finde in the Scrip­ture the perfection of all graces differred vntill that time. Ye shall finde no grace,Perfectiō of al gra­ces differ­red til the [...]utter day. but the perfection thereof is remitted vntill that day. Paul in the same Epistle. 2. chap. 19. vers. My joy is in the sight of God, and of Iesus Christ, at his comming: He gets not perfection of joy, vntill he come. And therefore he will not promise to the Thessalonians their joy vntill that day; no per­fection of grace, mercie and peace, vntill God put an end to sinne, to death, and wickednesse. Looke then if we should long for that latter day; we looke heere and there for this thing and that thing; but who lookes for that comming of the Lord? Alas, if we knevv vvhat grace and joy Christs comming brought to vs, vve vvould looke for nothing so much, as for his comming. We are earthlie, and therefore all our lookes are for earthlie thinges: we are not spirituall, and so we cannot looke for that spirituall grace. The Lord prepare vs to looke for, and desire that glorious comming. All these earthlie thinges goes away; Heauen onelie abydes. What foolishnesse is this, seeing we are [Page 155] subject to mortality, that we should set our hearts on this world: our dwelling must not be here; but in Heauen in endliesse joy. Seeke it earnestly therefore.

Novv in the end of this verse he telles vs in vvhat company, and with whom we shal be established in holinesse before God: thou shalt not be holy thy selfe alone: thou shalt not be an a per se in holinesse, doe as thou wilt, either shalt thou be in a societie, in a companie vvith many more nor thou;All gra­ces in the societie of the sants or else thou shalt ne­uer be holie, nor see the face of God. This is plaine. Either thou shalt be in the Church, which is the communion of the Saintes of God, or else thou shalt neuer see Gods presence. He will leape out of it at this side, and he at that side; but if thou come not in again in that same societie (yea, and to the number of this church and of the Saintes that professes Christ this day in Scotland) thou shalt neuer see Gods face. All blessinges, grace, mercie, and peace euerlasting before God is in the companie of the Church, that professe the truth and puritie of the Gospell of Christ: not in the company of them, who will take the name of a Church, or that false Church, the Romane Church. So let him vvho vvill stand vvith holinesse in the number of the Saintes▪ seuere from Babylon, or else he shall be partaker of the judgement. So (bre­thren) to come againe, ye shall not read in the Scripture of any grace giuen to any man, but ye shall finde that it is giuen to him as a member of that bodie, as one of the Saintes, in the societie of the Saintes. In the first to the Ephesians verse 18. speaking of the riches of the glorie of the inheritance of Heauen; he sayes, thou shalt neuer get it but among the Saintes. Then againe he sayes, chap. 3. vers. 18. Who shall vnderstand the loue and cha­ritie of God? None but they that are in the societie of the Saintes. No light, mercie nor knowledge of God, but to them that stands knit vp as members in the bodye of Christ: ye see, cut off a member of the body and cast it away; no sap can follow from the body to it: So, if thou be cut off from the number of the Saintes, vvho are the Church of God, thou shalt neuer get any grace of Christ.

Now to the next chapter. In the fourth and fift chapters fol­lowes the last part of this Epistle, containing the doctrine of maners, exhorting to holinesse of lyfe, and godlinesse. But to [Page 156] the wordes. He sayes, And furthermore, As he would say, all is not tolde: I will tell that which rests, which is the doctrine of ma­ners, precepts of godlie lyfe and conuersation. When we haue teached all the yeere ouer; when we haue tolde you the doctrine of justification, sanctification, &c. so long as there is no speaking of a godly lyfe and conuersation; and so long as we haue not tolde you, how ye should lead your lyfe; there is euer something behinde vnspoken of. Neuer a full and perfite preaching, wher there is nothing spoken of a good or of an euill lyfe and con­uersation. For▪ there is such a necessitie laid on men and wemen in this world, that all serues for nothing, except they liue a good & holy life: Thy profession of loue, righteousnesse, mercie, & all the rest is but vanitie and winde, if thy conuersation toward thy neighbour be not aunswerable to thy profession: it is a shame to thee to speake of Christ, of holinesse, of righteousnesse, of life euerlasting, except thou liue conforme thereto. And therefore, ye shall neuer read any Epistle of Paul, but euer vvhen he hes spoken of faith, justification, &c. then in the end he subjoynes precepts charging vs to liue a godlie lyfe. And more then this; Trow ye, in the end, at Christs comming to judgement, that the pretence of faith or righteousnes will be sufficient to thy eternal saluation. No, but we must liue holie: for, al the blessinges of God in Christ tends to this end that we may liue holie: yea, this is the end of election it selfe. Ephes. 1. 4. Paul sayes. We are chosen from all eternitie that we should be holie. Then we should liue soberlie and justlie with our neighbour. Tit. 2. 12. And therefore either cast avvay profession of Christianitie, and heare neuer a word of faith, righteousnesse, &c. or else striue to liue conforme thereto. This in generall.

Now to the wordes. I beseech and exhort you, and that in the Lord Iesus Christ. What exhorts he? that they increase more and more in godlie lyfe and conuersation. As for the forme of your going forward, I haue tolde you the forme. hovv ye should vvalke in this world; walke conformable thereto. The words would be well marked, I beseech and exhort you, sayes he, in the Lord Iesus. He might haue well said, I command you; as wrytting to Phile­mon vers. 8. 9. he sayes, When I might command thee, in the name of Iesus: yet, rather, for loues sake, I pray thee. Loue turnes the com­mand [Page 157] in a prayer. All doctrin that comes from any person must come of loue, or else it is deare of the hearing. Now he showes his loue, in speaking; for the wordes comes from the heart, and so among al the rest of the wayes, whereby he vtters the loue he had in his heart, this is one, when precept and commaund is turned ouer to requeesting. When he may commaund he will not, but he turnes it ouer and exhortes. Ye may marke this ve­rie oft in the Epistles of Paul. Now the wordes are dowbled: He is not content to say, I beseech you: but he sayes also, I ex­hort you. There is no vvord lost heere. This doubling of the vvordes testifies of the earnestnesse that vvas in his heart to haue this people going forvvard in this godlie life: and con­sequentlie of the necessitie that lyes on euerie one of vs, to liue holie in this life. For, vvhere there is no necessitie, why should a man be earnest? but seeing there is a necessitie lying on all people, that either they must liue a godlie life in this worlde, or else be damned, woe to that Pastor that is no busie to stirre vp the people to liue godlie and holilie. As there is a necessi­tie in them to liue holie; so, there is a necessitie in him to charge them to liue holie. And therefore, blame not the Pastor to be busie, eyther to pray, admonishe, or othervvayes to correct, and to reproue sinne. For, he hes a necessitie laid on him, vn­der the paine of damnation, to pushe you forvvard to Heauen. For the Lord Iesus sake, that is, as euer they vvoulde looke for mercie and grace at Iesus hand; as he would say, if ye liue wel, ye shall finde him to be a merciful God: otherwaies, if ye liue euill, to be a terrible judge to you. This is some seueritie against them. Sweetnesse and sharpnesse must be joined together, thou must be moued to thy duetie, partlie by sweetnesse, & partly by sharpnesse: therfore, with his request he joines this so weghty an obtestation; & this is a common custome to this Apostle. 2. Cor. 10. 1. More, this telles that howbeit a man vse prayer and faire wordes where he might command, yet, we should not abuse his lenitie and patience; for, if thou meete lenitie and patience with disobedience, it shall bring on a greater judgement: nor if he had vsed threatning and seueritie. The greater lenitie that a man vses to thee to winne thee; if thou wilt not be winne, the greater shall be thy condemnation, and thou heapst on coales on [Page 158] thy owne head.

Now what is this he exhorts them to? That they euer ease more and more. That they goe forward still on with instantnesse, vntill they come to the mark: for, this course of holinesse hes a faire end. Brethren, there is no standing for vs in this course of Christi­anitie and holinesse of life. When thou enterst once in the way, stand not there. A man will begin and runne on till euening, and then set down his staff and rest him: but we must ay runne, sleep­ing, waking, eating, drinking, &c. ay forward: there is not an halfe houre granted thee, no, not so much tyme as to looke ouer thy shoulder to rest thee, but ay thou ought to haue thy eie on the marke. And when thou runnest, striue, not onely to ouer­runne them that runnes with thee: but more, the words meanes, that thou shouldst ouerrunne thy owne selfe; if thou runnest fast this day, runne faster to morrow, and ay prease to run forward, and when thou art lying on dead-bed, runne fastest then, and so shalt thou finde exceeding great comfort in thy running. The Lord hes bidden thee run, and cryes out of Heauen, Run as thou wouldst saue thy selfe. What is the Pastors office? Paul when the Thessalonians are running out before him, he cryes, Runne: ye are in the rinke, runne forward, excell your selfe, runne out before your selfe vntill ye come to the end of the rinke. This is the office of the Pastor, to cry behinde you when ye are run­ning: and this shout of the Pastor behinde the people, when they are in the rinke, is so needfull, that except he cry continual­lie, Run out and excell, they shall linger and ly down. That all the world may see the great necessitie we haue, to haue this mi­nistrie continuallie crying in our [...]are, runne, runne. Would to God we could let the necessitie of this cry (to runne) to sinke in our harts that we might obey it. If ye would be safe, haue plea­sure in this cry, and runne on identlie, vntill ye come to the high prease of our calling.

Now followes the forme and manner of this running for­ward vntill they come to the end of their rinke. No other forme but the forme set downe before, ye haue receiued of vs hovv ye ought to vvalke, and please your God. Brethren, as there is a running and an instant course craued of vs, so we must run, not in euerie sort▪ nor after euerie manner, but we must runne with an ordor. [Page 159] There are rules prescryued to vs how we should runne.Order in running. The A­postle 1. Cor. chap. 9. verse 24. sayes, Runne so that thou mayest get a grip of the crovvne. To Timothie he saies, ye who striues, and wrastles, and runnes, if ye striue not lavvfullie according to a good ordor, ye shall not winne. 2 Tim. 2. 5. So when we runne, we must runne according to good ordor, not rashlie, according to our owne fantasie, but according to the good lawes of God. There is no well ruled life on earth, but that life that is ruled by the rule of God. So we all running in this rinke, must be ruled by good lawes. As Paul besoght them to runne and cries, grow more and more: euen so he giues them the Lawes to runne by. So as the Minister is bound to cry to men to runne; so the word of God is giuen to him to tell thee thou shouldest runne by this rule, or that rule: the King by his rules, the counseller in his own calling by his rules: what man that euer he be, except he run in his owne calling according to his rules he shall neuer attaine to the marke. And if the Lord take away this word that telles vs the rule, whereby we should runne, miserable shall we be. This is plaine. Take this word out of the land, all shall runne wrong. Yet there is one word heere to be marked. He calles their going forward walking: Borrowing the language from a man who is going a iourney. Ye will see in the worde, many lawes, many commands, many admonitions to put men forward in the way, to go and run: but ye heere no precept in the Scripture, to sit still, eat, drink, and take thy pleasure, seeing thy life is short. So we learne, the Lord bids vs walke. The Lord hes not ordained vs to rest heere. Whatsoeuer calling he hes giuen thee, he hes gi­uen thee a continuall walking and trauelling therein, vntill thou come to the end of thy journey and then thou shalt rest: he is a foolishe bodie, who will promise to himselfe rest heere: if thou rest before thy journey be complete, it shall be to thy vtter de­struction. And therefore doe as he hes bidden thee; albeit it be painefull heere, yet in the end thou shalt find rest.

Now in the next words he defines this (vvalking) and calles it to please God. It is a paine to a man to walke all day, from mor­ning to euening, and then to finde no rest, nor fruite of his labor at night: but, I say to thee, if thy walking be not to please God, thou shalt neuer get any frute of thy walking: if thy walking [Page 160] be not euer to please thy God, thou shalt neuer get the right way, thou shalt goe like a doting bodie, and be the farther from that glorious butt, and in the end thou shalt effectuat nothing, but in that great day thou shalt curse all thy labors and exerci­ses; and thou shalt say, Alas my labours are all lost: I haue wea­ried my selfe, and now I am no better. But if thy walking be to please God, thou shalt finde a sweetnesse in thy labor, and joy in the end thereof: And when that blessed day of resurrection shall come, thou shalt say, Blessed am I in my labours, that I wrought to please my God, for now I haue gotten the butt: I finde the frute of my laboures. Paul sayes, 1. Cor. 9. 26. I runne, but not to an vncertaintie. Learne neuer to runne to an vncertain­tie, but euer runne to a butt; effectuat something by your doing. The onely way to make you runne well, is to please God. A Minister, or any other in the world, who woulde runne right, must run to pleasure their God, and then they shall finde sweet­nesse in their running. Now well is the soule that can endeuore the selfe to pleasure God: for, ther is no joy in the creature, but when it is set to glorify God night and day in this world: for, to this end are we set in the world. 1. Cor. 10. 31. and if we doe this, he shal set vs in the heauens to glorifie him.

Now in the next verse, he takes themselues to be witnesses that he had set before them the preceptes and lawes, whereby they should walke in the journey. Ye knovve vvhat commande­ment vve gaue you by the Lord Iesus. It is an happie thing to a Minister in his calling, when with a good conscience, he appeals the consciences of the people, that he cried to them and saide, ô people I bade you goe, I prescriued you rules to goe into, your blood be on your owne head; I haue discharged a faithfull due­tie to you. Brethren, what auailes it vs if we should euer preache the Gospell, if we be not saued thereby? And when we teache you the Gospell, we also stir our selues forward to come to that butt Christ; our owne teaching is the meane whereby we are sa­ued, as it is the meane whereby ye are saued. Therefore, let all goe forward together in the rinke.

Now, in the verse following, he beginnes to set down to them the rules of walking and going forward. That which he had spoken by tongue, being at Thessalonica, the same thing he [Page 161] puts in writ, by his pen. It is a foolish thing to a man, to say, The Apostle spoke one thing, and wrote another. No, brethren, Paul neuer spake one sentence to confirme any people, but it is re­gistrate to vs. It is blasphemie, to thinke, that, Paul and Peter, &c. wrote not that, which they spoke: it is follie; for, there was no sentence they spoke pertaining to our saluation, but it is written. Then, the rule is, The vvill of God, vvhich is your sanctifi­cation. That is, that ye be holie in your soules, and the whole af­fections thereof; in your bodie, and all the members of your bodie, and all the actions of your members. So, he drawes the whole rules, which are to be obserued in this course and rinke, we haue to Heauen and life euerlasting, to holinesse and sancti­fication. Then, in one word, there is the manner, how thou shalt goe forward to this butt. Be holie, be holie, thou must be holie, holie in heart, hand, mouth, foot, in all the members of thy body: separate thee from the worlde, which is full of sinne, full of foull affections, displeasing the eye of thy God, and put on ho­linesse. Who euer they be, that goe forward in holinesse, assu­redlie they shall come to the marke. Liue thou an holie life, what vocation that euer it be in, assure thee▪ thou shalt come to the prise of the high calling of God in Christ Iesus. Philipp. 3. 14. To turne it ouer againe. Busie thy self as thou wilt, if that thy businesse be not in holinesse, thou art foolishe, the faster thou runnest, thou art the farther behinde. Alas, how many are there, who busies them selues in wickednesse, and the more they wea­rie themselues, the farther are they from Heauen: Blessed are they, who can goe forward to Heauen. Stryue to holinesse, and say. Lord, I am on my journey, I cannot goe forward, except I finde an holie heart, to thinke; an holie mouth, to speake; an holy hand, to touch: Lord, sanctifie them, that I runne not in vaine. The way to runne holilie, is to keepe euer before thy eies, God, that holie one, in the face of Iesus; and to cry, O Lord, guide me in holinesse: And I assure thee, if thou wilt striue to liue holilie, and cry to God, to guide thee in holinesse, thou shalt come to that endlesse joy: But, if thou let God out of thy eye, thou shalt perishe. Brethren, this life will away, and therefore, set your harts to run to that euerlasting life.

Nowe, hauing set downe the generall, he deduces it in parts, [Page 162] and the first part, he takes vp, is cleannesse of the bodie: as he would say, fyle not the bodie with fornication; fyle thou thy bo­die with fornication, thou shalt not thinke a cleane thought, speake a cleane word, or, doe any cleane deed. Surelie, all sinnes pollutes, and fyles: The sinne, that comes from the heart, if it were but an euill motion, it goes back againe and leaues a foull blot behinde it: a rotten deed, leaues a blot behinde it▪ a foull worde in the mouth, goes back, and leaues a foull blot in the hart: when thou hast spoken a word, thou art not quite thereof, but, it comes back againe and fyles the soule. It goes not from thee so lightlie as thou trowest, no, it leaues ay a foull blot be­hinde it. So, this corruption growes daily. Brethren, I tell you, all sinnes fylles the bodie: yet, of all sinnes, harlotrie especiallie fyles the bodie. Looke the comparison, the Apostle vses 1. Cor. 6. 18. The bodie of an harlote, of all bodies is the foullest. Alas, such a fyling of the bodie and soule, followes vpon adul­terie, that it is wonderfull to tell. Seeing, therefore, speciall pol­lution of the bodie, followes on fornication. I beseech you, (as ye would present your selfe before God in cleannesse) abstaine from harlotrie: An harlot will trauell long, ere he come to hea­uen, thy heart and bodie must be sanctified, before thou come to Heauen. And so as thou would come forward to Heauen, stryue to keepe a cleane bodie and soule to God; and spe­ciallie, abstaine from this vyce of fornication. Lord keepe vs from it, vntill we come to the end of our journey, that we may be presen­ted clean before christ. To whom with the Father, and holie Spirit, be honour and praise for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 4. vers. 3. 4. 5. 6.

3 For, this is the vvill of God, euen▪ your sanctification, and that ye should absteine from fornication.

4 That euerie one of you should knovve hovv to possesse his vessell in holinesse and honour.

5 And not in the lust of concupiscence, euen, as the Gentiles, vvhich knovve not God.

6 That no man oppresse, o [...], defraude his brother in any matter: for, the Lord is auenger of all such thinges, as vve also haue tolde you be­fore time, and testified.

WE haue in hand, Brethren, the third parte of this Epistle, written by Paul, to the Thessalonians. In this part, ye haue heard, the Apostle exhortes them to a godlie life and conuersation. This kynde of doctrine he vses verie oft, in the rest of his Epistles. The exhortation, ye heard, that was in the beginning of this chap­ter, vvas, not onelie to liue vvell, to vvalke in holinesse, but, also, it vvas, to excell more and more, to stryue in that course of ho­linesse, euen, to striue to ouercome, not onelie others, that ranne vvith them in the rinke, but, also, to ouercome themselues: if they ranne fast this day, that, they should run faster to morrow, and so, each day to increase and grow. It is not eneugh, to run, not [Page 164] eu [...]ugh to striue, but we must runne▪ and striue lawfullie, as he speakes to Timothie, 2. Timoth. 2. 5. There are certaine rules and lawes, according to the which we must runne in this pre­sent course. As touching these rules according to the which we must runne, the Apostle showes to the Thessalonians, he hes prescryued them to them alreadie, vvhen he vvas among them.

Novve in the text vve haue presentlie red, hee beginnes to call the lawes to remembrance againe, and to repeate them to to them. (For vvhat euer thing he spoke by worde being pre­sent, that same thing in effect he hes left behinde him, registrate in vvritte, and this day by Gods grace it is come in our hands.) He dravves the vvhole rules and lavves to be keeped in this course, wherin we runne to this butt of saluation and to Heauen, to be partakers of that glorie: First to a generall law, which is, the law of sanctification and holinesse. For, this is the vvill of God (sayes he) euen your sanctification. Thereafter he commes to the speciall poyntes of sanctification. The first is, the ab­staining from fornication. The next in the wordes red, is ab­staining from doing wrong to ourneighbour, either by vi­olence, craft or deceite. Now to speake of the first, as God shall giue vs grace, and to take vp euerie word. This is the vvill of God, sayes he, euen your sanctification. Learne then first. The vvhole lavves and rules according to the vvhich vve shoulde vvalke and runne in this rinke, vvherein the Lord hes placed vs in this lyfe, are resolued in a generall, called the Law of holi­nesse. The law of a sanctified lyfe; He or she, that in this course, or in this rinke will prease to be holie in all the pointes of their lyfe, shall run and striue (to speak vvith the Apostle) lawfullie: and running and striuing lawfullie, in the end they shal be crow­ned. But they who in running towardes the marke, stryues not to an holinesse of lyfe, they runne not lawfullie; they keepe no rule in their running. They runne and waits not how; they are miserable in their running. And as they runne vnlawfullie, so, they shall neuer be crowned with glory: they shall runne long ere they come to the marke and prise of that high calling to be with God. Then in the course of this life, in this rinke which the Lord hes placed vnto runne in, vntill we come to the marke [Page 165] of that glorious resurrection, we must runne holilie, keep in ho­lie heart, an holie hand, keepe holie senses, keepe an holie foot in running; in a worde, we must be holie in the whole powers of the soule, be holie in the whole members of the bodie, seuer all from the pollution of this world, dedicate all to God, and so, ye shall come to the end of the rinke.

Now to goe forward in the text. To moue them to this san­ctification, and to embrace this rule of running forward to the marke.Gods vvil a sufficiēt reason of our acti­ons. He sayes, For, this is the vvill of God. He giues no other rea­son but this: It is the will of God to be so. Howbeit we heare no word of any other reason but this: it is the will of God to doe this worke, or that worke, it should suffice vs: we are so oblist to that Lord, and so bound to his obedience, that, if we know of no other reason, wherefore we should doe any thing, but onelie that it is his will, we should obey it. And the man who vnder­standes it is the will of God when he is doing any thing, and wilclose his eies, lead captiue his own reason, subject his will to the will of his God, and goe and follow on him, if it were through Hell (if he bid thee goe throgh Hell, go throgh it, close thy eyes, follow on, howbeit thouknowest no out-sight) surely, that man shall get a blessed ishue, he shall get a crowne: neuer soule vvas disapointed that set themselues to follow God. Who euer settes themselues against their affections to serue God, they come at last to Heauen. By the contrary, when a man thinks himselfe o­uer wise, and will not followe on Gods will, except he see a faire out-sight, and get great reasons wherefore he should doe this, or that, and thinkes it not eneugh to say, it is Gods will; but will say, wherefore is it Gods will? The Lord will let him followe his owne will, and his will and reason will lead him to destruction. There was neuer man whom the Lord gaue ouer to his owne will but he ran to his owne destruction.

Now to go forward. He comes next to the speciall pointes of this sanctification. There are sundrie sorts of holinesse, therefore, he will lay it down in parts, euerie part thereof in the owne or­der. And the first part of sanctification and holinesse of lyfe,First part of sanctifi­catiō, ab­steening from for­ [...]ication. he makes it to be absteening from fornication, absteening from harlotrie. It stands in keeping of an holie and cleane bodie. In running on this course, in the rinke that conuoyes to the last [Page 166] butt, and life euerlasting, thou must keepe an holie person. But to marke the wordes more natrovvlie. First he recommendes abstinence. He vvho runnes in a rinke, and striues, sayes the A­postle 1. Corinth. chap. 9. verse 25. that man he is continent in all thinges, he keepes a goode dyet; ere he enter in the rinke he vvill dyet himselfe and abstaine from many thinges vvhich othervvayes he vvould vse: So we vvho runnes in this rinke of Christianitie to be partakers of that Crowne; vve must abstaine, vve must not follow our appetites, vve must not put our hand to euerie thing our appetite biddes vs, we must not yeelde to the lustes of the fleshe, there must bee abstinence and dyet. And therefore Paul in that same ninth chapter to the Cor. verse 27. shovves how he vsed himselfe in running, to be an ensample to vs. He sayes, He held his bodie at vnder, and redacted it in a serui­tude, and vvoulde not let it be his master. Let thou thy bo­die be thy master, I promise thee thou shalt neuer see the butt. But to come more speciallie. What abstinence must it be? He names it from fornication. There are sundrie sortes of absti­nence, vvhich is requyred of them that runnes in this rinke: but among them all, this is a speciall, Abstaine from harlotrie, and pollution of the bodie vvith fornication. Among all the sinnes that defiles the bodie and the members of the bodie of anie man or vvoman, harlotrie is the cheefest sinne, and makes all vncleane and polluted in Goddes sight. The Apostle 1. Corinth. chap. 6. verse 18. sayes, All sinnes that a man committes, is out-vvith the bodie, but he vvho committe: fornication, he sinnes against his ovvne bodie; he pollutes and defyles his bodie in a speciall manner. Brethren, the bodie of a man vvhich is not polluted vvith this filthinesse, is a meete bodie to runne in this course: it is svvift and readie to runne in this course: but if the bodie be de [...]yled vvith harlotrie, it is not svvift and meete for the course Learne it. Ye shall see for common, a goode turne falles neuer out in the hands of an harlote: There is no­thing vnder the Sunne, that a bodie polluted vvith fornica­tion can doe holilie. As the person is vncleane in Gods sight, so all thinges he does are polluted, yea, that same verie action that othervvayes is goode is sinne in Gods sight. Commest thou to the Church, and hearest the preaching, & if thou be an har­lote, [Page 167] all is polluted in Gods sight. Deale all that thou hast to the poore; lyest thou in harlotrie, all is sinne. So in a vvord, an harlot can doe no goode: and if he seeme to doe anie good, it is nothing but sinne in Gods sight. Looke then vvhat estate an harlote is in.

Now to goe forward to the next verse. He sets downe the speciall remedie of this sinne and vyce, whereby they may keepe their bodie from this pollution.Remedie of forni­cation. That euerie one of you should knovv hovv to possesse his vessell in holinesse and honour. The first thing, that is requyred heere, is a science, an habite in doing: not a light fassion in doing; a doing, as it vvere, off hand: but, a setled doing, of a setled grace in the heart: a craft to possesse and to keepe the bodie in holinesse and godlinesse. Thou that vvould keepe thy bodie cleane, thou must haue an habite and setlednesse. All thinges, we doe in this life should come of a con­stant habite in the soule, of an vse and setled grace in the hart to doe well: For, as the thing a Craftis-man does is of his craft: the thing a Wright does, is of the science of his craft: so, euerie one, that vvould intende to do vvell must haue an habite and a grace in the heart to doe vvell. And speciallie, he, that vvould keepe his bodie in cleannesse, looke, that, he haue a craft of it: other­wayes, it may be, he vvill not play the harlote this night, or, that night, because he hes not the occasion, but, the first occasi­on offered, hee shall be an harlote. So, all resolues in this. The best thing in this vvorld to bannishe sinne, is, to get an heart setled and stablished vvith grace. Get an heart once stablish­ed vvith grace, then, thou shalt not be moued, but, thou shalt stand fast in all tentations, and thou shalt keepe a solide course: Let the Deuill, the vvorlde, and all the enemies of thy saluation vse all the tentations to dravv thee avvay, thou shalt stand im­moueable. And therefore, learne the craft of vvell doing, and get once the habite in the heart, of vvell doing, and then, vvell doing shall come with such facilitie to thee, that thou shalt mar­uell thereat.

Then, to come to the next words, That euerie one of you should knovv hovv to possesse his vessell in holinesse and honour. He sayes, e­uery one. He exeemes none, neither riche, nor, poore, high, nor, lovve, but he bindes euerie one, of vvhat ranke so euer he be of [Page 168] to the science of possessing the bodie with cleannesse and holi­nesse. Marke it brethren. There are none priuiledged to be an harlot: not a King, nor Queen, nor Earle, nor Countesse, no none of no estate hes this priuiledge, but all are bound to keep the bo­die cleane; and they who wil exeem themselues, and thinke their ranke to be a priuiledge to them, they shall exeeme themselues also from the rank of them who runnes in this rinke to Heauen. Thou goest not so soone to be an harlote, but thou goest out of the right way, and thou shalt neuer come to Heauen that way, runne as long as thou wilt. Now what should euerie one know? Euerie one should know to possesse his vessell that is, his bodie, not to be possessed of the bodie, but to possesse the bodie; wilt thou be possessed of the bodie, and be a slaue to it? and wilt thou let the foule affections of the bodie possesse thee? thou shalt find woe in thy bodie for euer. Paul sayes, I holde my bodie at vnder, and red [...]ct it in seruice, I will not let it be my Master. 1 Cor. 9. 27. Alwaies the thing that euerie one should know, is to possesse. To speake of this possession, it is a common saying: it is no lesse practick to possesse a thing after it be gotten, nor to acquire and conquesse it. Yea, I say, there is greater practick to possesse that well which is gotten, nor to get it. And there are moe in the world, that can find the way to get it, nor the way to keepe that which is gotten. But what thing is this they should knowe to possesse? There are many possessions in the world, but among all possessions the cheef is, that a man possesse holilie his body, which is a vessell to keepe the soule. So the first possession that euer one gettes in this world, is his own bodie, and it is the long­est possession that any man keepes: Thou shalt be pulled from thy heritage, lands, goods and riches; but as for thy bodie, albeit for a time thou lay it down, yet thou shalt take it vp againe▪ and thou shalt possesse it for euer; and it shall either be an house to honour, or else to dishonour to thee for euer. And so seeing this bodie is the first possession and the longest we haue, therefore we should be carefull how we possesse this bodie. Be not so carefull how thou keepest and possessest thy land, as how thou possessest thy bodie. There are ouer many that are so carefull to possesse their lands, that they forget to possesse their bodies; and yet their land shall they leaue behinde them. So the cheefest [Page 169] thing thou shouldst seek to possesse, is thy vessel thou cariest a­bout with thee.

But, how should thou possesse thy vessell? First, he showes af­ter what maner they should possesse it, and then, after what ma­ner they should not possesse it. The maner how to possesse it is, vvith holinesse and honour. Fy on thee, thou wilt keepe thy pot, or thy pan cleane to thy meat, the vyllest vessell in thy house, thou wilt keepe it cleane,Maner of possessing the vessell of the bodie. and will haue it washen euerie day once; and yet, thou wilt not be carefull to keep cleane that vessell, that keepes thy soule. And yet, more. It is not en [...]ugh, to keepe it cleane, but, thou must keep it in honour. There are sundrie sort, of vessels in an house, some vessels to dishonor, and some, to ho­nour. They that are euen to dishonour must be keeped cleane; but, they that are to honour, must both be keeped cleane and in honour. Thy bodie, which is the vessell of thy soule, shoulde not be keeped cleane onely, but, in honour also: for, it is the ves­sell of a honourable soule: Yea, Paul sayes 1. Cor. 6. 19. It is the dvvelling of the holie Spirit: which is more, nor thy soule. Thy bo­dy is dearer boght, nor al the vessels in this earth: it is boght with the precious bloud of Christ; fy on thee, who pollutes and defiles the bodie, which is boght with so precious a bloude. Aske some men and say to them; why defilest thou thy bodie? He will an­svvere, My bodie is my ovvne. But, I say to thee, thy body is not thy ovvn, it is Christs, he hes boght it vvith his precious bloude; if it be not Christs, it is the Deuils, and he shall possesse it in the end. And therefore, seeing, that bodie of thine is the Temple of the holie Spirit, boght vvith the bloud of Christ, keep it in holi­nesse and honour: and if there were no more to moue thee, but because it is the vessell of the soule, thou should keepe it holie and cleane: For, an harlots bodie, as a priuy, stincks so in the nose of the soule, that the soule shall say, Lord, if I vvere out of this stinking bodie: O, hovv much more vvill it stincke in the nose of the Lord. And vvhosoeuer keepes their bodies cleane, all that they haue is cleane, their heritage, their moueables and vnmoueables, all are cleane and honourable; but if thy bodie be polluted, thou art foull, all is foull: put thy finger to thy meate, it fyles it; all that goes out of thy body is foull, stinking and pol­luted, the verie earth thou goest on, thou fylest it with thy foull [Page 170] feete, albeit they be finelie decored, and it grones vnder thee, be­cause thou art heauie to it. The Lord let vs see this▪ and giue vs grace to abstaine from this filthie vice harlotrie. Trowest thou thy vvhorishe eyes shall see that faire glorious face of God? No, no: they shall not see it. Cry for the grace of sanctification, and for the bloud of Christ, that all may be cleansed, and thou [...]n the end may win to the end of the rinke, euen Christ, and liue in him, and be cleansed in him.

Now to the next verse, which containes the vvrong vvay of possessing thy bodie. The vvordes are. Not in the lust of concu­piscence. There is the vvrong vvay. Weigh the vvordes. Not vvith the passion. The vvorde passion signifies a firy flame, which breakes out of the bodie, inflamed vvith foull lustes, vvhich proceedes from the heart, and settes the bodie in a fire. The lust beginnes at the heart, and breakes out through the whole members of the bodie, vvith extreame passions, and the bodie so exercised, is a sicke and suffering bodie: the bodie of an harlote is the seekest bodie that goes; it is brunt vp vvith a fire within. The thing that is enemie to the bodie is sicknesse, and passions. And therefore, who euer would possesse their bo­die well, they must be carefull to keep the bodie from sicknesse and passions. Novv among all the sicknesses that can come to a man, the sicknesse of foull lust is the vvorst and most con­suming sicknesse: another sicknesse may well waste the moi­sture of the bodie; but, if thou be sanctified, the Lorde shall make it a meane to sanctifie thee: And oft times there vvill not be a [...]holier bodie, nor that bodie, that is lying in sick­nesse: but, this sicknesse of luste, not onely vvastes the sub­stance of the bodie, and dryes it vp; but, it destroyes the holi­nesse and honour thou shouldest haue: it is an enemie to ho­linesse. It is a sicknesse that vvill neuer sanctifie thy bodie, but, destroy it; and the longer thou ly in that sicknesse, the foul­ler and vnholier art thou. This is the nature of the sicknesse, thou shalt not onely be consumed in bodie with sicknesse, but, thou shalt lose thy holinesse in thy soule. And this is a fore matter. A sicke man in another sicknesse vvill cry to the Lord, for comfort, but, in the sicknesse of harlotrie, he vvill neuer haue a voice to cry vnto the Lord for mercie, if he repent not. [Page 171] So abhorre this sicknesse, aboue all other sicknesses. The Lord makes all sicknesses and deathe to vvorke to the best to his ovvne, but this sicknesse destroyes the soule and the bodie al­together.

Novv to moue men to abhorre this sicknesse: He bringes in the ensample of the Gentiles, and he sayes, euen as the Gentiles, vvho knevv not God. As he vvoulde say, It is a shame to you to be like the Gentiles, among vvhom this foull vyce raigne first. It is shame to you, vvho are called to this holinesse, to be lyke these foull Gentiles: Brethren, a bodie, vvho sees not God nor Christ, is a prophaine blinded bodie. And he seeing a murtherer, going before him in murther; a thiefe in thiefrie, he vvill follovv and committe the lyke vvickednesse: and so the blinde following the blinde, both falles in the pit together. But he vvho hes gotten a sight of God, and a glance of the glorious face of Iesus Christ, in vvhose face, the glorie of that Majestie shinnes, vvhen he seeth an harlote, he vvill bee so farre from following him, that he will scarcelie looke to him, but he vvill abhorre and detest him. For, in the light of the face of God, that a man sees in the face of Iesus Christ, as in a faire mirrour, he will see the filthinesse and foulnesse of sinne. None know­es how great a sinne the sinne of filthinesse and blasphemie, &c. is, but that soule that lookes in the glorious face of Iesus Christ. That mirrour is so faire and glancing, that, looking thereto, and in it seeing the foulnesse of sinne, he will be mooued to hate and detest sinne and darknesse. And I say, there are none who are truelie illuminated with the light of God, but the more they see Idolatrie, harlotrie and sinne, the more they deteste them. It will neuer giue me in my mynde, that they who will go out of this land▪ and at the first hand can find in their hart to em­brace and to kisse Idoles, wer euer truelie illuminated with that glorious face of Christ; for they that hes seene the glorious face of Iesus Christ, the more they see the vani [...]ies and filthe of the Papistrie, the more they will dispise it. Fy on thee that vvill jouke and kneele to an Idoll, thou neuer saw the face of Iesus Christ. Thou, who wilt follow the harlot in [...] the mur­therer in murther, the drunkard in drunkennesse, the chiefe in thift, thou neuer saw the face of Christ. So, the grounde of [Page 172] all mischief, is this darke ignorance in the soules of men, they know no more of God, nor the Gentiles did. Thou who wilt follovve an harlot knovves no more of God, nor a Pagane, or Heathen. Yet more I learne heere. The cheef vice that rang a­mong the Gentiles, was the vice of lust. Read the Histories and ye shall finde it to be true. Looke the 1. chap. Rom. There the Apostle speakes of the pollution of the bodie that rang among the Gentiles.Fornicati­on the fin of the gen­tiles. Will ye looke to murther, it raignes more in Scot­land nor it did there; oppression, falshood, and such sinnes raig­nes more in Scotland nor euer they did among the Gentiles. So the chiefe sinne raigning among the Gentiles, was the pollution of their bodies one with another. Now the ground of this, the Apostle makes the ignorance of God: they saw not, nor knew not God, in Christ, and therefore, each one runne, and straue to pollution. Paul Ephesians chap. 4. verse 18. 19 sayes. They had their mindes darkned, as strangers from the life of God; the light of God vvas not in them: the cause vvas throgh ignorance, vvhich vvas throgh hardnesse of heart: and vvhen they had lost sense and lost conscience too, then, they gaue themselues to vvantonnesse, and to commit all kinde of vncleannesse, and that, vvith all greedinesse, A vvanton bodie is greedie of filthinesse, it vvill svvallovv vp sinne, and can neuer be satisfied. In the 1. Rom. he telles, the Gentiles vvere vvilfullie ignorant, they vvould not knovv God, nor the light. Such vvas the maliciousnesse of their heart, they put out their eies and vvoulde not see him; they knevv him in nature: the Sunne, the Moone, the Heauens, all testifies, there is a God. Yet, the Gentiles, for all that sight they would not knowe God: Therefore, the Lord gaue them vp to a reprobat sense, to follow their owne counsell and their foull affections. So the A­postle telles vs, that, the pollution of the bodie is the plague and vengence of God, that followes on impietie; it is not onely a sinne, but, a punishment that followes vpon sinne. When one wil not know him, nor heare him, the Lord commonlie plague [...] that bodie vvith the sinne of pollution. It is the plague vvhere­with the Lord plagues many of the Earles houses in Scotland: It is the plague that eates vp men, wyfe and children▪ and all things that the great men of the land hes: because the Earle, the Lord, the Laird, the Ladie, they are prophaine, they will not [Page 173] heare God, nor know him. Therefore, the Lord giues them ouer to pollution, to be a punishment to their bodie. The Lord will a great deale more plague vs, who haue so great a light of God & knovvledge offred to vs, if we contemne God and his precepts; seeing the Gentiles had onelie that naturall light, and was pla­gued for the contempt thereof.

Now, to go forward shortly. He hes done with the first point of holinesse that concernes a man himselfe, and his owne per­son in this rinke: which is to keepe an holie bodie, and specially from harlotrie: Then, the next is, keepe thy heart and hand from wrong. The first is concerning thy owne selfe: the next is con­cerning thy neighbour:Sec. part of sanctifi­cation, ab­steening frō vvrōg. He sayes, Let no m [...]oppresse, ouercome, ouerhaile, or, circumveen another man, or, defraude his brother, in any matter. Why? The Lord is the auenger of all such things. Then, ye see the first, It is not eneugh to him, that would runne in this rinke to Heauen, to be cleane one way, but, he must be cleane many waies. There are many who beguyles themselues, they thinke, if one vertue be in them, if they haue one grace, that that one grace will vpset many vyces and sinnes. If he be a courte­ous Gentle man, and haue a faire behauiour a liberall hand, he will thinke, what matter, although [...] be an harlote in bodie, this vertue will hide the vyce, and I will be borne with? Who will beare with thee? Men may well beare with thee, but, God will not beare with thee. Another man will pride him in abstinence and temperatnesse in mouth, and otherwaies abstaining from harlotrie also. In the meane time, he will be an oppressour and deceauer; and he will thinke, that this one vertue of temperance will hide all other vices. No, brethren, the Apostle sayes, 1. Cor. 6. verse 9. Beguyle not your selues. He who suyes, the harlote shall neuer inherite the kingdom of God: he sayes also, the gree­die auaritious man shall neuer inherite the kingdome of God. Iames sayes chap. 2. verse 10. He who sinnes in one of the com­mandements is guiltie of all. Count me all the preceptes of the commandements ouer; keepe nyne of them, breake the tenth of them, be a murtherer, or, an harlote; breake one, thou art guiltie of all: and if thou repent not, thou shalt die, as well, as if thou had broken all. I tell you truelie: if there be a foull affection, or, a raigning sinne, which hes dominion ouer the bodie, (as, for en­sample, [Page 174] If fornication raigne in thee, if murther raigne in thee) I cannot say thou hast any sparke of Regeneration, or true san­ctification; thou mayest play the hypocrite, thou in vvhom harlotrie raigneth, thou mayest counterfait liberalitie: but, I say, it is no true liberalitie; for if this vyce of harlotrie raigne and rule in thee, thou art an hypocrite for in him who is truelie renewed there is no affection in the bodie, but in some mea­sure it will be renevved. The vyce may be in thee, but looke that it raigne not in thee. No, let no man thinke he hes anie true grace, all are but shadovves of grace, if anie sinne raigne in thee.

Now to marke euerie word shortlie. Let no man oppresse, or, cir­cumveene his brother, in any matter. He exceptes no man. The Earle, the Lord, the Laird, beleeues his power be giuen him to ouerhaile, to oppressemen. No, no, if thou runnest so, thou shalt neuer win to Heauen. Thou thinkst the Lord hes strengthned thy hand to oppresse the poore; no, not so, no man is exeemed, looke thou oppresse none, or, else, renounce the name of Christ; for, thou cannot be an oppressour and his member. The word signifies to climme vp vpon a bodie and to tread him downe. The second thing is, that, they shoulde not circumveene, not by deceite beguyle anie man. The first is, that none doe vio­lence. The next is, that none deceyue. The one as euill as the other: and vve shall finde as many destroyed by deceit, as by violence; and a faire clocke of justice casten ouer deceite. And in vvhat thing should they not circumveene? In any manner of dealling or, trafficking. The Lord, so long as it pleases him that we remaine in this worlde, hes appointed a mutuall buy­ing and selling, otherwayes, we could not liue: and he hes or­dained this buying and selling to be so, that bothe the parties winne, the buyer winne, the seller-winne and he vvho blockes aright, and deales vvithin his neighbour; according to the word of God aright, he vvill not be content to vvinne himselfe alone, No, the conscience of him will say, and must say, I vnderstand, as I haue made my ovvne vauntage, so shoulde my brother make his vauntage also. But, alas, such is our selfe loue, that, vve can neuer thinke, vve get aduauntage, except our brother get losse. Alas this sin is ouer much vsed in Scotland. The Lord [Page 175] amend it. The Lord is the auenger of sinne. And if in blocking thou seeke not the aduauntage of thy neighbor that blocks with thee with thy aduantage, thy aduantage shall be a curse to thee, and thou shalt cursse the time that euer thou got that aduantage.

Whom should they not deceaue? He sayes, a brother. Thou shouldst not beguyle any man, neither Turke nor Pagane, much more shouldst thou beware to beguile a Christian a brother, or sister: for, I assure thee, God will not see them wrongde. The Lord that is thy master, he vvill repaire the vvrong. He that is made a brother to the first begotten of the Father, the Lord vvill not see that brother vvrongde. The Apostle 1. Corinth. chap. 6. verse 8. settes dovvne that matter as a great indignitie, saying, Ye doe injurie, ye doe hurt to your brother▪ and them vvho hes giuen their names to Christ, ye shame your selues to beguyle your brethren. But to open the matter more deep­lie. There are manie conjunctiones the Lorde hes ordained to be among men, as of bloude, affinity, ciuile societie, &c. and e­uerie one of these conjunctiones oblishes them to do no wrong to that person, with whom they are conjoined. But, when this Christian conjunction commes in, in our elder brother Christ, when we are all members of one bodie, in one head Christ, not sundrie bodies, as brethren on earth are; this conjunction aboue all conjunctiones bindes me and thee to deale truelie in anie blocke vve haue vvith our brother. So, vvhen thou art dea­ling vvith anie man, say this vvith thy selfe, he with vvhom I deale is my brother, and a member of that bodie of Christ, and therefore, farre be it from me, to deceyue him. Alas, if men coulde thinke on this, at their blocking, that they vse to deale vvith a brother in Christ, and member of that bodie, for all the vvorlde they vvoulde not set themselues to beguile their brother. Many testifies, by their deceite, they are not brethren in this bodie, for, if they vvere brethren indeed, for all the world they vvoulde not deceaue them. Novv, there is heere another thing. I see among all conjunctiones that euer hes beene in any societie▪ or, conjunction in this earth, the most powerfull conjun­ction to keep men together in one societie, and mutuall loue and concord, is this spirituall conjunction of vs in the Lord: All the lawes and conjunctions that euer hes been in any commonwel, [Page 176] since the beginning, are not so powerfull to keepe men in soci­etie, as this conjunction we haue together in one head. Marke it. I tell you, if men and wemen be not joined together in one head, by a spirituall vnion, it may be there be a face of vnitie in the Countrie: but no societie and sinceritie in loue, except the Lord be the binder and conjoiner together, no true conjun­ction. If Christ be not the conjoyner and the binder of the man with the wife, the father with the sonne, no true conjunction. I will not say, that that Romane and Grecian Common-well, that had no part in God through Iesus Christ, had euer any true con­junction, or, sinceritie in loue. No sinceritie in concorde, but, that, that is made vp in Iesus the Lord: when we runne all in, to be members of one bodie, and he sitting and joyning vs altoge­ther, as peeces of that bodie, then, there will be a sweete conjun­ction Alas, ye see this sweete harmonie and vnitie is not among people; yea, alas, among them that professes Christianitie, grea­ter outcasts, nor among Turkes, The cause is, there are manie and ouer manie, that call themselues Christians, and takes vpon them to be in the bodie, that hes no part in Iesus, and hes no­thing adoe with him. It is shame, that, they should take this name vpon them: for, it is true, if thou wert a true member of that bo­die, thou wouldst not seuere thy selfe from the rest of the bodie, by thy murther, oppression, deceit, &c. These homicides and murtherers does testifie, men and wemen are not truelie conjoy­ned in this bodie, but keepes the name of Christianitie, without effect.

Now, he casts to one reason of these two thinges, saying, God is the an [...]ger of all such thinges. bothe of deceitfulusse and op­pression. The reason is terrible, and it telles vs, God sees all, and teaches vs, that in this rinke to Heauen, if we be not hedged in with terrors yea the best of vs, with terrors on this side, and ter­rors on that side, we will runne out of the way. And therefore, as God hes appointed faire promises to exhort men to goe for­ward: saying Goe forward, thou shalt get a faire Crowne: So, on the other part, knowing faire promises will not doe the turne, he threatens judgements, saying. Goe thou out of the way, my vengence shall ouertake thee: yea, he does more, nor this, and casts in greater terrors (he knowes, that, wordes will not doe [Page 177] the turne) whiles he takes an harlote, as it were by the neck, and and in the sight of the world, he will teare him in peeces, and let men see, that the vengence of God followes on sin and wil strike him with such a sodaine death, that men will feare to doe the like. We see daily such experience of Gods judgements: whiles he vvill take an oppressour, vvho hes oppressed men in this world, and wil tred on him with his feet, to terrifie the world, and this is his daily doing in this world. Now, taking this man, and that woman, now and then punishing them, to let the world see, that, punishment is for sinne, and sin craues judgement: yea, and let them see, there is a day of judgement comming, when he wil tak soule and bodie and cast them into hel. For, these tem­porall judgements, are but as many tokens, to tell vs, there is a day comming, when all oddes shall be made euen. When ye see a man plagued temporallie, stand not there, but thinke on the last punishment, vnlesse repentance interueene. Ye will maruell when ye see a man running in wickednesse, that, the Lord in our sight, instantlie strikes him not: No, knowe ye not the pati­ence of God? He is patient, and lets men runne in wicked­nesse, vntill the cuppe be full, and then, he powreth out his wraith and judgement on them to the vttermost. The Lord keepe vs from his judgements and wraith, for Christ his Sons sake. To whom, with the Father and the holy Spi­rit, be praise and ho­nor, for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 4. vers. 6. 7. 8.

6 That no man oppresse, or, defraude his brother in any matter: for, the Lord is auenger of all such thinges, as vve also haue tolde you be­fore time, and testified.

7 For, God hath not called vs to vncleannesse, but, vnto holinesse.

8 He therefore that despiseth these thinges, despiseth not man, but, God, vvho hath euen giuen you his holie Spirit.

IN this part of this Epistle, after the salu­tation, and after that large congratulati­on, wherein he rejoised for the grace the Lord had bestowed on the Thessaloni­ans, not after a common manner, but in great aboundance. He sets downe pre­ceptes of manners, concerning an holie lyfe, and a godlie conuersation in this worlde, and he comprehendes them all, first in a generall, and he calles it sanctification, holinesse in lyfe and conuersation, for whatsoeuer duetie appertaines to vs to be done in this lyfe, the whole may be taken vp vnder this one word, sanctification, which standes in holinesse in soule and bodie. When he hes sette downe the generall, he diuydes it in parts, and the first part of sanctification, of holinesse of lyfe and conuersation, he takes it vp to be in absteining from fornication, it respects a man, or woman in their owne person, that they keepe the soule and [Page 179] bodie that God hes giuen them, in holinesse, vnpolluted vvith filthinesse. The second part concernes our neighbour, that we doe him no wrong: He is an vnholie man that hurtes his neigh­bour, that vvill vvrong him in anie dealling or trafficking with him. He is hurt two manner of wayes: first, he is hurt by deceite, vnder colour, by fraude, beg [...]yling or circumvention He is secondlie hurt by plaine violence and oppression. Both these two sortes of wronges and injuries are vnholie: He that circumueenes his brother is vnholie, he that oppresses his bro­ther is vnholie. Novve to persvvade them to this sanctifica­tion, standing in these tvvo partes, he vses sundrie argumentes. The first argument ye heard of before, vvas from the vvill of God. This is the will of God (sayes he) your sanctification. It is the Lords vvill that ye be holie. It is not an hid vvill, but a reuealed will and oft reuealed, that ye be holie in your selfe, holie in respect of your brethren, and holie all manner of vvaye. Brethren, if there vvere not an argument to moue vs to be holy, holie in respect of our selues, holie in respect of our neighbour, this onely reason, to vnderstand it is Gods will we so doe, may be sufficient. For, albeit we knovve of no other reason, where­fore vve should be holie, but onely that it is his vvill, it bindes vs to holinesse. For, this reuerence tovvarde the Creator, and Redeemer of the world, should be in euerie creature, that they vnderstanding anie thing to bee agreable to his holie vvill, should stoup: knovving his will, they are bound to acquiesc [...] and rest there, seeking no farther, and to close their eyes at all their reasones; hovvbeit the thing that is injoyned to them, should seeme to be an impossibilitie. The Apostle speaking of his vvill Roman. chap. 12. verse 2. sayes, His vvill is euer goode; it is good vvhat euer he vvilleth, it is perfite, yea, it is the rule of all righteousnesse. So euerie one should reason vvith themselues. Is it the vvill of God? Then it is most just. I vvill follovve and obey it, my reason shall not stay it, my reason is vvrong and out of rule, his vvill is the rule of righteousnesse. I insist on this rather, because I knovve how hard it is to make the vvill of man plyable, and to frame it to Gods vvill: and vvhat discrepance is betvveene the vvill of God, and the vvill of man. So if thou giuest thy selfe ouer to thy ovvne nature, [Page 180] there is nothing God willes, but thou willest the contrare therof. And therfore our praier should be continually to God, to con­forme our froward will to his wil: this should be our praier con­tinuallie, what euer come to vs, be it prosperitie, or aduersitie: Lord do thy will, & giue me not my own will; for, if I get my o­wn wil, it will be my wreak; but, Lord, rule my will according to thy will, for thy will is onely the right will, and the preseruer of my life, and euen now while we haue time, we should cry, Lord, thy will be done: we are thy creatures, Lord let thy will be done in vs. And, I assure thee, if thou get thy will conformable to his wil, and be content with any thing he layes on thee, life or death, certainly thou shalt find comfort, & all shall come well to thee.

The second argument taine from the vengence that falles on the transgressours. He saies, For the Lord is the auenger of al [...] such thinges. He auenges the deceit vsed by vs, and the violence done against our neighbour. This second argument followes well on the other; for, one of those two must be, either the will of God must be done by vs or else vengence must be for disobedience. If the will of God moue thee not to doe that which he craues of thee,Punishe­ment for disobedi­ēce to gods vvill. to liue in holinesse before him; let the feare of vengence and punishment moue thee. For, Brethren, the will of our God, is, in the selfe, a thing so holie and inuiolable, that there was ne­uer person yet, that disobeyed that will, from ould Adam to this houre, if it were but in a litle thoght of the heart, let be a deed, in a motion of the soule, let be an action, but that disobedience and transgression of that holie and inuiolable will of God was pu­nished either in the persons self, or in the Mediator Iesus Christ. So inuiolable a thing is the just will of God, that the disobe­ence to it cannot escape punishmēt. God is not like man, impos­sible it is that thy disobedience to him, (if it were but [...]n a mo­tion of thy heart) should bee vnpunished, either in thy bodie or soule, or else thou must haue refuge to the Mediator, and it shall be punished in him. For, if thou be in Christ, thy disobedi­dience is taine away in his obedience. And therefore thinke it no childish play, to play with his will, if it were but the least cogi [...]ation of the heart: Play vvith man as thou wilt, but one thought against Gods will importes damnation, if thou hadst a thousand lyues.

[Page 181] He addes that reason in the end of this verse, as vve also [...] you before tyme and testified. This was not the first tyme that he had tolde them of it of before, and now he telles them againe, to let them se the certainty of it.The lord con [...]tant in denoun­ [...]ng exe­cuting of his iudge­ments. Brethren, this hes a deeper ground. This constancie in den [...]oncing and threatning judgement, that ye finde in those who speakes in the name of the Lord, (they will denounce once, twyse, and thryse that same judgement) tels you, the Lord will be auenged on vngodlinesse. The ground is in God himselfe. The Lord is constant in his vengence on im­penitent sinners, he alters not, howbeit he delay the vengence vnto his appointed tyme, yet the vengence standes fast: he is not like man. Man is changeable, he will brag the night, and say, I will be auenged, to morrow all is away. Man is vaine and incon­stant, the Lord is an vnchangeable God, he will perseuere with an vnchangeable mynde to vengence. Of this it commes, that those whom he sendes to denounce vengence in his name, will preache vengence to them this day, vengence the next day, and ay will tell you, the Lord will be once auenged on you. The Lord will auenge thy harlotrie, thy deceit, thy oppression, and ay constantly cry on. to let you see, the judgements bides on the impenitent sinner, he will not change his sentence for all the vvorld: If God vvere changing, ye vvho speakes in his name would change, and he wold not haue warrand in his conscience to speake constantlie: but, God being constant and vnchange­able in his purpose, of necessitie the preacher must be constant, And it hes not beene seene of before, but the constancie in de­nouncing vengence by the seruants of God against impenitent people, hes euer been justified with a sensible judgement, & the vengence they threatned constantly, it lighted. Now, brethren. we neede not to goe far off for ensamples. This constancie in threatning hes beene oft vsed in Edinburgh. This hes beene oft tolde you: if this be not amended, the famine, the Pestilence shall ouertake this Cittie. Now judge ye this day, if the effect justifies not our saying. It is follie to men to thinke, that one word of threatning of judgement spoken by the true seruants of God, will fall to the ground: no it cannot be The Lord may well de­lay long, men and wemen may well sleepe long, but, when the artickle of tyme commes which the Lord hes appointed for [Page 182] judgement, then followes the heauy judgement. And therefore we shold judge holilie of the truth that hes been spoken by the mouth of his seruants, and glorifie God al maner of wayes, count God to be true, and let all men be lyers.

In the next verse, we haue the thirde argument, to moue them to holinesse. The argument is taken from their calling; For, God hes not called vs to vncleannesse, but, to holinesse. This calling is our christian calling, whereby we are translated out of the kingdom of darknesse, to the kingdom of Iesus Christ: we are called out of Hel, to Heauen: from darknesse, to light: we are called to a king­dom and glorie prepared for vs. Now, he reasons from this their calling.Our chri­stian cal­ling shold moue vs to holines. This calling is not to vncleannesse, to be an harlot, to be a deceiuer of thy brother, to be an oppressor, but, thou art called to be an holy and a clean person: thou was called out of the pol­lution of the world, and translated to cleannesse; therefore, thy calling is holie. Of all the callings in this earth, the fairest calling is the calling of one to holinesse. The calling to an earthly king­dome is not so faire, as the calling of a man to holinesse. This Christian holinesse, it permittes no so [...]t of vncleannesse in this world, no, not so much, as a foull thought: but, it craues of him, who is called to this Christian vocation all kinde of cleannesse in the world. Learne euer to distinguish betweene thy own per­son and this faire calling of Christianitie. If thou be vncleane and filthie, it commes not of this Christian calling, but, of thy own person. And therefore: let no man, when he sees a man, or, woman, that keepes that name, and enjoyes that calling to be called a Christian (the fairest name, that euer man gotte) to be­come an harlote, an oppressour, a deceyuer, a murtherer: lay not the fault on the holie calling, but, on the foull person, that is vnvvorthie of the calling, for, he is but a vyle creature, that is so called. That Christian calling permittes not such vyle sinnes: it is the vyle person, that committes this sinne. This hes beene an oulde custome. When men sees these men, vvho professes Christianitie, fall in sinne, the mouthes of the wo [...]ld are openned to blaspheme that vocation of Christianitie, and to say, Take vp your Christian and holie man now, there is your puritie, that, ye doe now professe; and so, the blame is e­uer more laid on the calling, and not on the person. The [Page 183] Prophete sayes, Through you, my name is reproached among the Gentiles. Esay chap 25. verse 5. Take head to this. When thou, vvho art called, committes anie sinne, wicked men vvill lay the faulte on the calling, and not on the person: And there­fore, be carefull, to keepe holie thy person, that thy person be not a slander to thy holie calling. I tell thee, harlotrie is a great sinne, indeede, that offendes God; but, the exponing of this Christian calling, to be euill spoken of, is a greater sinne, to thee, nor harlotrie, murther, or, anie other sinne, that can be commited, and at that day, it shall be sorer punished, nor any sinne. There cannot be a greater sinne, nor to giue wicked men occasion to speake euill of that holy calling. And trow ye not, that this sinne is the speciall cause of this judgement this day? It is not somuch thy murther, thy harlotrie, thy oppres­sion, &c. as the slandering of thy holy vocation and calling: And therfore hes Scotland most justlie procured the just judg­ment of God.

Another thing I see heere: I perceiue this Christian calling should be the rule and square, whereby our actiones should be rewled. So, that, in no calling vnder the Sunne, we should do any thing, that is vnsetting, or, vnseemlie to this Christian calling: but, all our actiones should bee ruled conforme to it. A Chri­stian King is bounde to rule all his actiones, by the rule of this Christian calling: a Christian subject should follow the rule of this christian calling. Play the marchant, but, as a Christian man: play the part of a man of law, but, in the meane time, forget not, thou art a Christian man, &c. Let al thy actions in thy own craft be squared by this rule of thy Christian vocation. There is a great aduantage: when any man in any vocation behaues him­selfe as a Christian man, the labour is pleasant in the sight of God, and it is blessed. If a Christian man seeke the glorie of God in his calling, then, he shall be blessed in his actiones: but, when in doing any thing, the Christian calling is forgot. and the Lord Iesus is not before the eye of a man, then, the action is vnholie, yea, howbeit otherwayes it be lawfull: if the doer, in doing, doe not vvith a Christian heart, respecting the glorie of God and Iesus Christ and haue no regard of his calling in Iesus, it is vnholie: and what euer is done, without hauing Christ, and [Page 184] a respect to Gods glorie in Christ, before thee, it is vncleane. What euer ye doe, whither ye eate, or, drinke doe all to the glo­rie of God, otherwayes, all is sinne. Brethren, seeing we are cal­led to a kingdome, why should we doe any thing, that is vn­vvorthie of so glorious a calling? It vvould seeme to some, that this Christian calling bound the hands of men, that they cannot vse their calling, with such libertie, as they would▪ This is not a new calumnie. I answere. This Christian calling binds thy hand from doing any thing, that is vnlawfull, and against the vvill of God. It closes thy hand, that thou doe no vvrong. Thou vvho woulde be an harlot, it bindes thee, that thou be not an hatlo [...]e; so, the oppressor, it bindes him, that he oppresse not, and in the day of Iudgement, it will stand vp, as a witnesse against him, that he was not worthie of that calling. But, as to any calling on earth, as, to be a King, to be a subject, it will not stay thee to doe thy exercise, but, giues libertie to thee to doe and blesses thy do­ing and squares all thy actiones to thee, and makes thee holie. This christian calling neuer hindred a man to do any thing, that was lawfull, but, lowsed his handes to doe all good thinges, and sanctified all his actiones. Therefore, the Apostle 1. Cor. chap. 7 verse 20 sayes, Let euerie man, that is called, abyde in that vocation, he is called to. Is he a King? Let him byde still and be a King, and doe all the actions, that concernes a King, christianlie. Is he a subject? Let him doe all the actiones pertaining to a subject. Whereby he meanes, that, this Christian calling stayes no man in his lawfull calling, but, sanctifies it to him.

He sayes, we are called to sanctification, not to vncleannesse, Ye see the end of this calling is, to be holie and cleane. All graces spirituall, and all blessinges of God in Iesus Christ, serues to this end, to make vs holie. We (sayes the Apostle) are chosen, that we should be holie. Ephes 1. 4. The end of our vocation, is clean­nesse and holinesse.Holinesse the end of all spiritu­al graces. Lykewise, we are justified in the bloud of Iesus. to this end, that we may be holie, and renewed againe, ac­cording to the Image of God, which we lost in the fall of Adam. And therefore, the end of our clectiona [...]cere is holinesse. What meanes this preaching and hearing, but to make thee holy and cleane. Our justification, our sanctification, &c. serues all to this end, that we should be renewed againe to holinesse. So, in one [Page 185] word: The happinesse of man standes cheeflie in holinesse, if thou be happie, be cleane and holie; for, we count happinesse to stand in the end. So, the man that is cleane in soule and bodie, that is the happie man. And by the contrare, the foull adulte­rer, an vnhappie bodie: a murtherer, an vnhappie bodie, &c. And where holinesse is, I cannot say, that, there wants a bles­sing. Art thou vnholie in lyfe, and will tell me of election, that thou art chosen to lyfe, before all eternity? I see no warrand thou hast, for it. If thou delyte in wrong doing; I see no warrand, to say, thou art happie, thou hast onely the bare name of a Chri­stian. Art thou vnholie? What warrand hast thou, to say, thou art called, thou art justified in the bloud of Christ? Vocation, Justification are to holinesse. So, lackest thou holinesse? What token hast thou of thy happinesse? So, the end of all, of thy ele­ction, of thy vocation, of thy justification, of thy sanctification, is holinesse: and according to this, try thy selfe, and judge of the thinges going before: It is a vaine thing to thee, to liue lyke a dog in this world, and then, to boast thy selfe of thy election, justification &c. Now, thou is as far from Heauen, as a dogge, except in one tyme, or, other, thou haue a sense of this holine [...] in thee.

He sayes not simplie, we are called to sanctification. But he sayes, God hes called vs. There is a great motiue to holinesse: it is God, who called vs. So, there are two thinges in this verse, that should moue vs to holinesse. The first, our calling, which is to holinesse:God the caller a great mo­tiue to ho­linesse. the second, the caller. It is God, that calles vs. The worthines of such a person, as hes called vs, hes no small weight and moment, to moue vs. The glorious God calles on vs, and straynes himselfe to speake to vs, with his owne mouth. If any King should call a man to any thing no doubt, the man would thinke himselfe bound to obey, not onelie for the commoditie, he would get, by obeying that calling; but, also, because of the personage of him, that hes called him. whom he is bound to o­bey: So, then, if it be a sinne, not to obey a glorious personage on the earth, when he calles: how great sinne is it, not to obey the Son of God, when he calles thee to holinesse? Brethren, thinke of Gods calling and of his person, who hath called you, as you wil, this is most sure, When God calles thee to holinesse, it is [Page 186] impossible, but, that calling must be effectuall in you, either one way, or, other; and that, in respect of the caller. No, that glorious person cannot open his mouth in vaine, for, Gods word must take effect. No word euer came out of his mouth, but it hes the ful effect. When he cals thee to be holie, thou must be holie, and his word must mak thee holie: when he cals on thee being dead, to liue again, his word must work life in thee and quicken thee: or, else, when he cals on thee to be holie, if he make thee not ho­lie by his word, be assured, that word shall slay thee. If thou an­swere him not calling on thee, in holines of life & conuersation, thou shalt perish in filthines eternalie. And all ye, to whom this word sounds daylie, calling you to holines: (for, all our preach­ing what is it, but, to call men from wickednes & vncleannes, to holines? the murtherer, from his murther; the adulterer, from ad­ulterie;) I say to thee, if this word calling thee to holines, be not effectuall in thee, and draw thee not out of the vyle sinne thou lyes in, to holines, certainlie, it shall slay thee, and bring damna­tion on thee: all this preaching shall bring on thee the heauy judgement and vengeance of God. And yee all, vvho heares [...] this day, if your consciences challenges you of anie vice; I call you now by the word of God, from that wickednes: and I pronounce, if ye come not out of this wickednes, in respect of this worde, that calles, and God, that is calling on you; his ven­geance shall sease vpon you. And now, it is no time to thee to ly in vncleannes, when the Pest is at the doore: woe to thee dying therein being in the puddle of vncleannes, but, well is thy soule, that turnes to God, howbeit thou die in the pest of the body.

Now followes another argument, to moue vs to holines. He who wil not be holie, when God calles on him, disobeyes not man, but, God. As there are two thinges, to moue vs to holinesse, first our vocation to holinesse; secoundlie, the caller: so, there are two sinnes, that accompanies the disobedience of that calling: one sinne, against the holie calling; another sinne, against the holie God the caller.Contēpt of God & the vvord, the grea­test sinne. There is no sinne by the selfe allone: One sinne must euer haue another with it, and committing one sinne, we sinne manie waies. Compare these two, the sinne against the calling, and the sinne against the caller; by all appearance the secound is the greatest. The greatest sinne, that can bee, is, to [Page 187] contemne God. Thou that playest the harlote, thy sinne is dou­ble: first by thy harlotrie thou sinnest against thy calling thou was called to: and this is a great sinne; but the other is greater: Thou contemnest the voyce of the high Majestie of God that called thee. The oppressor sinnes by his oppression, but his sin is the greater in that he contemnes his caller. And in the latter day ye shall finde by experience, the challenge shall not be so much against the adulterer, for his adulterie, as, for that, in sin­ning, he contemned the voyce of God calling him from adul­tery. This shall be a chiefe challenge & dirtlay, especially, of chri­stians, who hes heard this word and Gospell of God, that, they contemnd the majestie of God, who called them by this word & Gospell. And surely all these particular judgements of God, that falles on men and these particular judgements on Scotland, and on Edinburgh this day, either the Pest or the famine fals not so­much for vncleannesse and other sins, as for the contemp of the Gospel, and God that calles thee by this base ministrie. And therfore the right cause of all these judgements, is the contempt of God calling vs to holinesse: For we haue not onelie sinned in committing of sin, but in contemning God calling vs from sin, and we haue spitted, as it wer in his face. Put away the contempt of the word of God, if ye put it away, who wait but but God wil be mercifull? If we contemne still, looke for greater judgement. The contempt of God and of this foode of the soule offred by the base ministrie, hes caused this plague of famine and the Pest fall on this land. The Apostle sayes, In resisting, ye resist not men, but God. There is no blessing in tyme that God giues but he ministers it by men He wil not come out of Heauen to speak to thee but he will speak to thee by the ministrie of selie simple men. He tels thee of remission of sins, of justification, of sanctifi­catiō: &c. & if thou dispise the ministry of base men, though thou wer Monarch of all the earth, thou shalt neuer get remission of sinnes, sanctification nor glorification. Now this is the thing that beguyles the world: When they looke to the vyle mini­strie of men, they cannot see God in it. They looke to the se­lie man; they goe no farther. Who speakes? A selie man speakes▪ Who calles me? I heard a selie man, and so through the man be looks not vp to heauen, to se God speaking by, the minister. And [Page 188] from this flowes the contempt: and resisting man, thou resists God that is the principall worker. The word is then contem­ned, when the man is contemned in speaking it. Resisting man, thou resists God who sent the man. Can any man resist God, and not be plagued therefore, if there be no repentance? So they who are called to the ministrie, let them care for nothing but to speake the word of God, and open their mouth to glorify God: And if he be resisted, he is not resisted, but God who sent him, is resisted. And at that last day it shall be seene it was not man thou resisted, but God. Happie are they therefore who gettes a sight of this in tyme, and that giues obedience to the worde. Happie is the bodie that receiues this word, as the word of god, and not of man.

Now the last argument followes, Who, saies he, hes giuen vs his holy Spirite. Looke now what he hes done: He hes chosen vs from all eternitie to be holielie and hes giuen vs his Spirit, and al graces to this end to be holy. When the Lord hes begun to call vs to holinesse,Spirite of god d [...]velling in vs bindes to holinesse. if he stand there, and doe no more, it will not doe the turne: if he giue vs ouer to our owne nature and free vvill, and take away his Spirit when he hes broght thee on a point of holinesse and leaue thee there, thou shalt neuer enter in Heauen. And therefore when he hes done all these thinges to thee, then he will put into thy soule and bodie his Spirit of grace to cleanse the foulnesse out of thy soule and bodie: to bring in holie mo­tions, actions and speeches; So that thou art made now (as Paul speakes 1. Corint. 6. 19.) the Temple of the holie Spirit, and then that same glorious person the holie Spirit, comming from the Father and the Son, will dwell within thee in soule and bodie, as assuredlie as we are within this Church presentlie; and thy soule and bodie shall be as sure Temples of this Spirit, as this Church is to our bodies. And is not this a great honour that in substance this glorious person will dwell within vs? So this learnes vs, that all is of grace the beginnig of grace, the midst of grace, the end of grace. Our predestination in God, our vo­cation our justification and sanctification, all in God, our glo­rification in God. Brethren the highest estate we can come to in this life is sanctification. We passe from predestination to vo­cation, from vocation to justification, from justification to san­ctification, [Page 189] we cannot reach higher so long as we are heere. We may growe in this estate but we cannot come higher. As to glo­rification, we get it in the lyfe to come when we leaue this life. All our actiones heere are impersite, and all mingled with the corruption of nature, but heereafter all will be perfited. For when we leaue this lyfe, we goe not backward, Thinke not that bodie that sleepes in Christ, that he goes backward. That body is predestinat, called sanctified heere in some measure, after this life passes a degree vpward, and commes to glorification: for holinesse in this life, it passes vp to glorie: we are holie heere, but glorious in the life to come: We are not called to be glorifi­ed in this lyfe, but to be sanctified: when we end our life in Iesus Christ we passe vp to a wonderfull glorie. Now how comes this glorie? Comes it on any thing we haue done heere in earth? Comes it of our workes or merites? No, as holinesse in this life comes of the free mercie of God in Christ; so the crowne of glo­rie in that life onelie comes of the mercie of God in Christ. We shall be glorified in Heauen, but hovv? Through the grace of God that he will giue vs in Christ. And as the crowne of glorie shall be giuen vs of free grace, so the standing in that estate of glory shall indure for euer of grace. So all comes of grace. Per­seuerance of holinesse in this lyfe, is onely by the grace of God. All perseuerance in glorie in the life to come of grace and mer­cie: nothing in earth nothing in Heauen, but free grace in mercy. Wherefore is this the Lord will haue nothing in Heauen nor earth, but mercie? To this end, that all the glorie of our saluation may be giuen to him: and he that glories in it should glorifie him. Grace, free mercie, onely in him. And let this be our song on earth, vvhen vve speake of the grace of God on earth Glorie to God, mercie to vs onelie in God The Lord giue vs grace that we may giue al and the onely praise of mercie and of glorie in this life, and in the life to come. To this God with the Son and the holy Spi­rite, be immortall praise and glorie foreuer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 4. vers. 9. 10. 11. 12.

9 But, as touching brotherlie loue, yee neede not that I vvrite vnto your for ye are taught of God, to loue one another.

10 Yea, and that thing verelie ye doe vnto all the brethren vvhich are throughout all Macedonia: but, vve beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more.

11 And that ye studie to be quyet, and to meddle vvith your ovvne businesse, and to vvork vvith your ovvn hands, as vve cōmanded you:

12 That yee may behaue your selues honestlie tovvards them, that are vvithout, and that nothing be lacking vnto you.

THE Apostle, brethren, after hee hes set downe his general exhortation to sancti­fication and holinesse. This is the will of God, sayes he, euen your sanctification: that ye be holie in soule, holie in bodie, & holie in all your actions, within and with­out. He discends and comes to the parti­culare parts of this generall exhortation. The first part of it respects a man or vvoman in their own per­son, that they keepe their person to God, as the vessell of honor: keepe it from fornication which is a sinne that especiallie and in the highest degree fyles the person of a man, both in bodie and soule, which should be keeped in holinesse to God who made it. The next part of this sanctification concernes our brother, our [Page 191] neighbour; that wee doe no wronge, nor oppresse him by vio­lence; we circumvene him not by fraude and guile in businesse concerning this life, but in all affaires we be as carefull he haue aduantage, as we are that our selues haue aduantage. When thou art onelie set to make vantage to thy selfe by thy own selfe loue, that aduantage is wrong. We heard the arguments the Apostle vses to moue them to this: First, the will of God. If the will of God will not moue thee from harlotrie, from doing euill vnto thy neighbour, let the vengeance of God moue thee, (for that is the second argument,) and it shall ouertake thee in the end, if thou continue therein. Then he came to that holie and Chri­stian calling, that should moue vs to liue holie. We are called to be holie; let vs keepe therefore our owne person holie; let vs be holie to our brother; let vs be holie in our hand, holie in our fa­culties. Then he goes forward to another argument. He that will not be holie when he is called by man, he saies, it is not with man he hes adoe, but with God. It is God that bids thee keepe thy bodie cleane from harlotrie, thy hand from wrong: There­fore thou disobeying, thou disobeyes not man, but God. What is it to disobey me or him that speakes? It is that great God that thou rebellest against, and in that great day thou shalt be chal­lenged as a rebell to that great God. These argumentes are all set downe to this end, to moue vs to holinesse. Then at last in the end of the last verse, he castes to an argument from the holie Spirite giuen vs by God, to this end. Getst thou the holie Spirit, to play the harlote? getst thou that holy Spirite, that glorious gift, the third person of the glorious Trinitie, dwelling in thee, as in a Temple, to the effect thou shouldst commit filthinesse? No, as all things oblishes thee to be holie so especiallie the holie Spirite of God dwelling within thee (crauing an holie Temple) craues holinesse: otherwayes with thy filthinesse thou shalt dis­ludge him and anger him, vntill at last he shall depart from thee, and then that foull spirit of wickednesse shall possesse thee.

Nowe to come to the text. In the first part thereof he goes forward to another particulare part of this sanctification, which is brotherlie loue. So the third part of this sanctification stands in brotherlie loue, called beneficience and liberalitie to thy bro­ther: a grace and vertue crauing an open hand, to bestow on the [Page 192] necessitie of thy brooher. So when he hes exhorted not to doe wrong to thy neighbour, not to oppresse him by violence, or surprise him by deceite: then he exhorts that thou be beneficiall to him, liberall to him, to support his want and necessitie. Hee sayes then, But as concerning brotherlie loue (bountifulnes towards thy brother) ye neede not that I vvrite vnto yo [...]. The reason of it is; What need haue I who am a man to be ouer diligent in teaching outwardlie, when God is the inward teacher of you; and when he teaches this point of doctrin in special, to loue euerie one an­other? Ther is the substance of the first words. Now to obserue something on the wordes. Ye see it is not eneugh not to do euil, but true sanctification craues that we do good also De [...] [...] from euill, sayes Dauid in his 34. Psal. vers. 15. and doe good. There are two things: It is not eneugh not to do wrong to our neighbour or brother, not to oppresse him, not to beguile him; but true ho­lines craues that we benefite him, we bestowe on him a goode deede, we supplie his necessitie, want and pouertie. All the parts of this which we call sanctification, holines of life, (that are as manie graces of God in Christ) are so inseparablie linked toge­ther as the linkes of a chaine are one in another;All the parts of sanctification link it together. that if anie of them be a missing in anie person▪ man or woman, and be not in him in some measure, I cannot saye that that person hes truelie anie part of sanctification. As for exemple. Even this one grace of almous deeds, of beneficence, showing our liberalitie on them that haue need; if this be not in some measure in anie man or wo­man:Liberali­tie. if there be nothing in the person but gredines, auarice and a closed hand: who can say that that person hes anie true or solide grace of God. If one of these vices raigne in thee, as auarice, raig­ning in the highest degree, if thou be a slaue to it, who can saye that anie true grace is in thy soule? Thou mayest wel count thou hast this grace or that grace, but I can not say that anie grace of that spirite raigne vvithin thy soule, make no account that ther is anie grace within thee, if any sinne raigne in thee without con­trolement. Count not of thy abstenance, thou wilt bee absti­nent in mouth, and then an auaritious man But look that euerie grace of God in some measure be within thee, and that sanctifi­cation goe through thy vvhole soule and bodie. Peter in his sec. Epist. & 1. chap. linkes together all the graces of God: amongst [Page 193] the rest, he countes this brotherlie loue, he linkes this linke a­mong the rest to help faith (for I assure thee faith will not stand it self alone.) Cast to, sayes he, to faith vertue, to vertue science, and so forth, vntill ye come to this brotherlie loue; Adde to thy brotherlie loue charitie, and so forth vntill all graces be linked together. Paul 2. Corinth. chap. 8. verse. 7. hes a speciall regarde to this grace, showing our liberalitie to our poore brethren: As ye abound in all thinges, in faith, knovvledge, [...] [...]oke sayes he, that ye abound also in liberalitie, and doing of almous deedes And as in all the graces of the holie Spirite in vs there is a re­semblance of the Image of Christ: So ospeciallie in this grace of beneficence. Ye knovv, sayes Paul [...]. Corinth: chap 8. verse 9. the bountifulnesse of the Lord, vvho vvhen he vvas [...], vvas made poore for our sa [...]es, that vve might be made riche in his pouertie. Novv this is the grace that is heere recommended; and novv I recommend it to you, for if it was in any age craued, now cer­tainlie at this tyme, thou hast more nor matter to shovve thy well doing and almous deedes to the poore▪ Certainlie charitie vvas neuer so colde, and mens handes vvere neuer so hard con­tracted and men vvere neuer nearer to themselues, nor they are now. The latter dayes are neare; for the nearer the end of the world be, we are the nearer our selues; and the nearer our selues the farther from God.

The Apostle when he exhorts them to this grace he comes not on so plainlie, but he vses an holy colour, and kinde of simu­lation: He exhorts them, and yet he lets not on him he exhor­tes. And as it vvere obscurelie, and passing by he giues them a watch-ward and wakens them vp to be beneficiall. To teach [...] Ministers to be wyse in speaking to the people. We should not leaue off to exhort any person in whom there is grace to do any duetie: but, yet, we should doe it so discreetly, that, our ex­hortation [...] not so much an exhortation, as a commenda­tion. For the grace of God in any person shoulde not be mis­known, but known and reuerenced, both for his sake that is gi­ [...]er, and for his sake that hes gotten it: both that God may be glo­rified in giuing him that grace, and the person may be stirred vp to perseuere in that grace. For, it is an old prouerb, Vertue being commended increasse. Ioh. 1. Epist. 2. 27. vses this same wisdom. [Page 194] I need not, saies he, teach you, the holy spirit hes taught you all thinges, and in the mean time he is teaching them continually; yet when he is teaching them, he saies, he needed not to teach thē. So Paul when he is making a cōmendation of the grace in them, he saies, it is not needful to exhort you to the grace, ye haue a better tea­cher nor I,Teaching of the ho­ly spirite. God teaches you; therfore I need not to teach you: the Lord teaches you by working in your harts by his holy Spirit, what needs me to teach you by my pen? Brethren. Ther are two sortes of teachers, God and man. Men teaches, Philosophers in schooles teaches, Ministers out of pulpets teaches, many sorts of teachers. If man be the onely teacher of grace and vertue to be embraced by the auditor, and if Gods Spirit should not concur inwardly to instruct the soule and heart, there would neuer be a good scholler in the schoole of christ; none of you to the worlds end would get good by teaching. It may be men teaching thee vvill informe thy minde, and make thee to vnderstand vvhat is spoken: but man can neuer teach the hart, that is, to embrace that is spoken: no it will passe mans power to reforme the hart: if the holy spirit moue thee not to embrace that which is spoken, thou wilt neuer embrace it, for all that man can say. As for example. I may stand vp and lay out before you this whole grace of libe­ralitie and beneficence, and paint it out in all the colours there­of, and make you vnderstand this whole vertue in all the parts: But when it commes to the heart to be practised in your life and conuersation, if the holy Spirit go not down to reforme the hart, ye shall neuer be the better, but the worse, for the knowledge shal but serue to aggreadge your condemnation. Then be neuer content with the voice of men▪ but euer cry for the inward do­ctour the Spirit of God from Heauen. And say, Lord come with this word, and teach my heart, otherwaies, all is but winde, and shall be an aggreading of my condemnation at the last day: It is thou Lord who is the onely inward teacher, and therefore ex­cept thou teach me, I shall not be taught. So except that holie teacher be with vs in teaching all is but lost tyme.

Now to come to the wordes. What is this the Lord craues of them? what teaches the Lord them? that euerie one should loue ano­ther. He teaches not onely loue, but loue that meetes loue; he will not teache thee onely to loue him, but him to loue thee a­gaine. [Page 195] This is mutuall loue. As he teaches thee to loue me, so he teaches me to loue thee.loue must be mutual. Friendship standes not in the one side, but friendship must be conjoyned to friendship. There is no bond in that blessed bodie of Christ, except there be a mutuall bond: if I loue thee neuer so well, if thou loue not me, thou shalt neuer be in the bodie: For as the rest of the members of Christ loues thee, so thou must loue them againe, or else thou hast no fellowship in the bodie. Marke the order which the Apostle v­ses in teaching. When he instructes men in any grace (there are some fundamentall graces that are so called, because they are the grounds of al graces, to wit Faith, Hope and Charitie: first Faith, then Hope and Charitie, then followes al other graces on them.) When God instructs a man in any grace, he first layes down this fundamentall grace, and teaches him to loue, then he buildes an­other grace vpon it, and puts on liberalitie on it, and biddes thee bee beneficiall: first he biddes him loue, and then hee biddes him be beneficiall. Therefore Paul 1. Corinth. chap. 13. verse 3. Speaking of that same grace of benefi­cence, saies, If I should take all my substance and deale it to the poore, if this liberalitie come not from the heart and proceed not from loue, it auailes nothing. Giue all that thou vvilt giue, if thou loue not the person thou guest it to, thou hast lost thy thankes at Gods handes. There­fore in teaching liberalitie, that thy beneficence may turne to thy selfe, and doe thee good, as it does to another man, he teach­es thee loue: For if my gift redound not to my owne well, woe is me. Then the vvay to get goode of the gift thou giuest, is to loue him thou giuest it to. The Philosopher he teaches the childe vertue, but as for loue he cannot worke it. He will teache thee liberality and descriue it to thee, but as for the hart he can­not instruct it. It is the Lord that teaches this fundamentall grace of Charitie, without the which, all thy doinges are as an house builded without good ground.

In the next verse, he proues that they are all taught of God by their doinges. Yea, saies he, and that thing verelie ye doe to all the brethren, that are in Macedonia. Ye are not speakers and brag­gers, but, doers; it is not speaking, that wil do the turne, but, doing beneficence must be in the hand and not in the mouth. This age is full of talke, as euer any age was, and all our goodnesse is only [Page 196] in our mouth and tongue, our faith in our mouth, our charitie in our mouth, our liberalitie in our mouth; little in heart, as little in hand, nothing in action. Take head. All this testifies, for all the doctrin and preaching of the grace of God in Christ, commonly God is not the teacher. God when he teaches a man to be boun­tifull, as he layes the fundamentall grace, vvhich is loue, so he makes it bud forth in the hand, that is he drawes it out in action; he draws it not out in the tongue, to clatter of it, but he draws it in the hand to doe well with it: and ther cannot be a surer argu­ment that God is the teacher of any grace, nor when we see the action of the hand conformed to the profession. Count of them by their workes. Hast thou faith? the best argument to knowe thy faith by, is thy worke. Iames saies chap. 2. verse 18. Let me see thy faith, not in thy tongue, but in thy vvorks. Would thou knovve if a man hes a liberall heart? Looke not to his tongue, but to his hand. So he who is instructed by God in any grace, he is a doing man, a doe [...], and not a speaker.

Yet ere I leaue the wordes, marke this. He saies, to all the bre­thren. Loue to all the brethren, not to him, nor to her nor to one part, but all in whole Macedonia, that is, the whole Countrey about you: As if the liberalitie of Edinburgh were extended to whole Scotland, and to all the brethren in it. Marke then the maner of Gods teaching. As he layes downe the ground Cha­ritie and builds ther on beneficencie, and bringes the grace from the heart to the hand: so he will not open one peece of the hand and shut it out to this bodie, or that bodie onely, and then draw it in againe: but he opens out the hand wide to all the brethren, and all the members of the bodie of Christ. Looke all the do­ctoures of Philosophie, when they discourse of this vertue of beneficence, and liberalitie, they lay, doe goode to thy friendes, and kins-men, aduance them: doe goode to them that doe well to thee: thy enemie, meete him againe, with an euill turne: yea, vvith tvvo euill turnes for one. And this precept is ouer vvell keeped in Scotland. But God, when he and his ministers teaches, he bids thee be beneficiall to all men, showe thy good deeds to all men yea to thy enemies. Loue thy enemies, show not only a good countenance to thy enemie, albeit he loue thee not, loue him: & by so doing coales of wraith shall be on his head. Com­mit [Page 197] the vengence to God, and he shall surely repay. Rom. 12. 19. Vengence is mine sayes the Lord, O would to God men could be­leeue that, that the Lord would take vengence on the oppressour, and on such as are set on euill works: we shall see that ven­gence powred on them in that great day. The Lord (ye heard is the auenger of harlotrie and wickednesse: then let the Lord be the onely auenger. Yet there is a great difference in showing li­beralitie. Respect (saies the Apostle) speciallie them, vvho are of the familie of faith. Galat. 6. 10. There is a difference of loue, as there are degrees of liberalitie, we are not bound to loue all men alyke, albeit we be bound to loue all men, yet we should loue them best, who are members of that bodie with vs in Christ. This difference must be keeped.

Now, when he hes left off to exhort them to beneficence. In the end of the verse, he saies, the least thing I can doe, is to ex­hort you, to increase more and more. This should learne vs, that when we see the grace of God in any person, we should not in­sist long to exhort them to that grace; for, when God is teach­ing, few wordes may serue them, to stirre them vp to that grace: but, they, whom the Lord teaches not by his Spirit, a thousand wordes will not teach them. So, they, that would releeue the Mi­nister of paines, let them seeke earnestlie, that, God vvoulde be the inward teacher in the heart, and then thou shalt be taught. Now,Necessity of exhor­tation to perseue­rance. brethren, albeit there be not a necessity to insist, to exhort men to the grace, they see, in any person, yet, there is a necessity to exhort them to perseuerance in that grace. There are none so indewed with any grace, as, with liberalitie, patience, loue, yea, faith it selfe, the ground of all graces, but, he hes need, euery day to heare the voice of exhortation to goe forward: For none hes made such progresse in the course of Christianitie (for, we are all in the rinke, running to the butt, Christ) when we haue runne all our dayes, vntill vve be gray haired, yet, vve are farre from the butt; and vve are ay falling back: and so, vve haue ay need of this voice crying after vs. Runne on, thou art running, thou hast ouercomde him, who ranne with thee: stryue to ouer­run thy self: Ran thou fast the day? run faster to morrow: amend thy pace euery day. There are none of vs, who standes so fast in grace, but, we may fall back againe: and therefore, we haue [Page 198] need, continuallie to heare this exhortation: And the Lord hes appointed his ministrie to cry after men, vvho are running in this rinke. And so if thou heare not the voice of his ministrie stirring thee vp to runne, if thou contemne the voyce of the crier, look, how fast thou euer ran forward, thou shalt run as fast backward. So, there is no better way to hold a man forward in this course of Christianitie, and to cause him grow in all grace, vntill he come to the end of the rinke, nor the crying of this ministrie, I denounce thee, contemne thou this ministrie, thou shalt neuer come to the end of the rinke, to get inheritance in Heauen. Men will not beleeue this, vntill they see it.

Now,Quyet­nesse com­mended. in the last roume, after he hes exhorted them, to abstein from fornication, not to do wrong to their neighbour, to be bene­ficiall, and to loue their brother, last, he exhorts them, to study to be quyet. The word is. Be ambitious of quietnesse. As euer ye saw men ambitious of the honour of the world, be ye ambitious of quyetnesse: Among all the parts of vncleannesse, and of the vi­tiositie and foulnesse of this our nature, this is one, called cu­riositie, ouer great businesse in other mens affaires, in the thing, that concernes not vs, nor, our calling: Euen so, by the contrair, a­mong all the properties of holinesse, this is one, To haue a sober, content estate. For, these two are opponned to other, a curious spirite and a quyet spirite: the one plaine contrair to the other, one is a vyce; the other, a vertue. And as I said before, They who hes not quyetnesse, in some measure, in their soules, but, in vvhom this curiositie raignes in highest degree, I cannot say, they haue any part of sanctification: For, there is such an vnse­parable bond of the graces of the Spirite, that, where one is, in some measure all must be Glory neuer of one, nor, of two, nor, of three graces, except thou finde the whole graces, and euery one of them, in some measure, in thee.

Now, when he hes commended the grace it selfe, he comes to the effect of the grace,Effects of quyetnes. what auails any grace, without the effect? It is an vnprofitable grace? And the first effect of quyetnesse, is, To euerie man, to doe his ovvne businesse. To keepe him within the bounds of his owne businesse, and be exercised in his owne af­fairs, and not in the affairs of other men. So, the effect of quyet­nes is not to sit idle, but to be exercised in well doing: but, in do­ing, [Page 196] not that, which perteins to another in their calling, but, that, which God hes appointed thee, in thy calling: Be as busie as thou canst in that, night and day. There is a great difference be­tweene a quyet person and an idle person: a quyet person is the best exercised person in the vvorlde; for, all his businesse is vvithin the boundes of his exercise, he is doing that, vvhich the Lord hes bidden him do (doe thy labour, but, goe not with­out the compasse of thy calling) and in the meane tyme, he is idle in other mens turnes: But, as for an idle man, I shall tell you his nature (no man can be altogether idle, but, he must be euer exercised in something, so long as there is breathe in his mouth.) An idle person does not a turne, that pertaines to his ovvne calling, but, in other mens calling he is euer busie, he is exercised in this thing and that thing, that perteynes to another man, and in the meane tyme he is a vagabound, vvithout any shift. Paul speaking of these busie bodies. 2. Thessal. chap. 3. verse 11. sayes, that, they doe no labour, and yet, they are busie bodies, exercised in other mens affaires, while as they are idle, in their o­wne calling.

The second effect, is a particular kinde of exercise; handie labour, vvorking vvith a mans ovvne hand, not vvith his ser­uants handes. And therefore, the vvord is, your ovvne proper handes. This vvoulde seeme ouer straite. It may be, that, many vvill be content to be exercised in an honest and liberall action, so, that, they may keep their hands clean: but, when it commes to an handy work, and to put to their hands and file their fingers, to the bowing of the back, and of the head, ô, that is ouer strait, it is ouer sore, to a Genle-man, to doe that, it settes him not: He is a Lords Sonne, should he fyle his hands with labour? But, Paul sayes, Labour with thy owne handes, rather ere thou be idle in this lyfe, Put to thy hand to a spade, or, shouell and dig dykes. Ye may reade 2. Thessa. chap. 3. verse 8. of Paul. I vvill shovve you what he did (appearantlie there hes beene men in Thessa­lonica, like this country people, who would not labour for their liuing) He sayes, Day and night, vvith paine and trouble, vvith my ovvne hands, I vvonne my liuing▪ beside my preaching, I won my liuing with my ovvne craft. In the might, vvhen he left teach­ing, he made tentes, for his liuing. Now, this he speakes, to be an [Page 200] exemple to these idle bodies at Thessalonica: and Paul, read of him, when ye will, he was a Gentle-man, a Roman, an He­brevv, a Pharisie, yea, one of the Apostles of Iesus, vvhich is greatest of all; yet, he labours with his owne hands for [...]as liuing. In the Epistle, to the Ephes. cha. 4. verse. 28. he saies. He that s [...]all, let him steale no more, (sinner, sin no moree: harlot, liue in harlotrie no more; alas, it is ouerlong to spend, if it were but an houre in offending God.) Then if he, that stal, should steal no more, vvhat should he doe? Works, saies he, vvith his handes. I vvould, that, they, who cannot get other moyen to win their liuing by, should la­bour vvith their handes, for their liuing, if it vvere in the vylest office, that can be (for, all offices are sanctified, in Christ.) What makes a thiefe, but idlenesse? if thou vvilt not vvorke, thou must steale. In the second Epist. Thessa chap. 3. verse 12. (If any peo­ple had neede of this admonition, this land had neede thereof.) Paul sayes, vvorke vvith your ovvne hands. Wherefore? That ye may eat your own bread, not another mans bread, but, that thou maist eate thy ovvne bread, that thou hast vvin vvith the sweate of thy brovves: vvhereby he would meane, that, they, who vvill not put to their hands to worke, but, walkes vp and down idle, (vvce to that morsell, they put in their mouth) do reaue the meat out of the mouthes of the poore laborers.

Now, to be short. He sayes, He denounced these things to them, before; and he denounced them, in the name of Iesus, threatning a judgement, as ye may see, in that place. 2. Thess. 3. 11. 12. This is an Inhibition as straite, as anie Kings inhibition: He that vvill not vvorke, let him not eate. I forbid him to put the least morsell in his mouth: he that wil not labour, I command, in Gods name, that, he eate none. It is the will of God, that they, who vvill not vvorke, and may worke, that, they should die for hunger. They who are strong and may get labour, and will not vvorke, there should be an inhibition laid on them, not to eate: and they, who eate, if they eate not the bread conquest with their owne labour, their eating is cursed to them. It is not permitted to a King, to eate bread, ex­cept he labour for it: (and surelie, his labour is an heauie labour) No, for al the warrands, Charters and securities, which thou hast of thy lands, be thou Earle, or, Lord, or Barron, except thou eate the labour of thy owne hands, thou eatest not lawfullie, but, thy [Page 201] eating is accursed. This Inhibition is not to beggers onelie, but to the greatest dominators of the earth: for, it was injoined to A­dam, Thou shalt eate thy breade vvith the svveate of thy brovve; and all Lords and great men were then in the loynes of Adam. Goe keepe sheepe, or, nolt, or, digge dykes (if it please God, thou haue no other trade) and be ay doing something.

Now,Labour, both ho­nest and profitable. in the end, he addes two reasons, to cause them labour: the first, for honestie; the other, for commoditie. He is the hone­ster man, that will put to his hand to labour, and will sit downe vvith gray bread conquest by his labour, nor he, who eates all delicates, with idlenesse. When thou hast laboured and win thy dinner, then, thou art an honest man: idlenes is no honestier an idle bodie I cannot count him honest. He that eates without la­bour (set him at the table head) he hes no honestie. Now this ho­nesty should be seene by them, that are without, euen the hea­then. Brethren, we should be honest, if it were no more, but onely for our enemies cause, for regard of our holy profession. The Enemie, the Pagane, lookes vpon thee, vvho art an idle body, and labours not, and sees nothing, but a bellie and a denourer of the creatures of God, and then, will he not slander thy profes­sion? Therefore, if it were but to saue this profession from the slanders of wicked men, labour continuallie: ere thou should be idle, labour in any exercise. Yea, more, nor this. Labour is the moyen, vvhere by the Lord hes ordained thee, to win thy enemy; vvhen he sees thee labour and win thy liuing, vvith the sweat of thy browes: and by the contrare; thy idlenes holds others back, vvho vvould embrace the Gospell. Woe to them, vvho are stumbling blocks, to holde men back, from Christ. As for the profit the laborer gets (I not will insist in it) he who in his labor hes God before his eies, & labors, not so much to win his liuing thereby, as to glorifie God, according to the command of the Apostle 1. Cor. 10. 31. Whither ye eate, or, drinke, what euer ye doe, doe all to the glorie of God: (he vvho vvorkes, let him not worke, as an Oxe, or, an Asse, but, to glorifie God He who in la­bour sets himselfe to glorifie God, to be holie (be it, to [...] pottes, to hold the pleugh to dig dykes) those men they shall ne­uer vvant the thing, the Lord thinkes may suffice them, at the least, they shall haue co [...]en [...]ment. When they sit at dinner, they [Page 202] shall haue greater contentation then they that are fed with most daintie dishes. Therefore haue ay God before thy eyes; labour ay to God, and then thou shalt haue here in this life sufficient to serue thee, and hereafter shalt haue heauenlie riches in aboun­dance. Therefore stand not, be not idle in thy calling but labor: And how? euer to God and his glorie, and then thou shalt not want: thou shalt haue plentie and sacietie of joy in that full sight of the countenance of Christ: all this worlde will away. Then blessed is that man who will set himselfe to serue God in his cal­ling while he is heere: for when this worlde goes away, he shall obtaine that glorious kingdome that lastes for euer: not by him selfe, but onelie by Christ: for in him onelie we and our labours are blessed. And therefore to him with the Father and the holie Spirite, be all praise for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 4. vers. 13. 14. 15.

13 I vvoulde not brethren, haue you ignorant concerning them vvhich are a sleepe, that ye sorrovv not as others vvhich haue no hope.

14 For vve beleeue that Iesus is dead, and is risen: euen so them vvhich sleepe in Iesus vvill God bring vvith him.

15 For this vvee say vnto you by the vvord of the Lord, that vvee vvhich liue, and are remayning in the comming of the Lord, shall not preuent them vvhich sleepe.

[Page 203] THese Thessalonians (brethen) to vvhom the Apostle writes, they were not altoge­ther ignorant of the estate of them vvho departed this life. No question, they vn­derstoode and knew the resurrection of the dead: for not knowinge that, vvhat could they know of Christianitie? Yet as appeares of this place by the Apostle, it was not a setled knowledge in the heart they had: they knevv no so as they shoulde haue done the resurrection of the bodie. And therefore when their friends whom they loued wel, depar­ted, their dolour was excessiue. When they saw the godlie who professed in the beginning, drawne to torments, martyred and execute, they tooke displeasure out of measure: euen as if they who departed this life, had perished altogether, and shold neuer haue bene more. The Apostle vnderstanding this, among other things he writes to them, he casts in this doctrine of the estate of them that are departed; to the end they should leaue off that ex­cessiue sorrow and lamentation, and not lament as the Gentiles who were vvithout hope. Then to come shortly to the wordes and purpose of the Apostle. He settes downe this proposition, I vvould not brethren, haue you ignorant concerning them vvhich are a sleepe; the end wherefore he would not haue them ignorant, is, that they sorrovv not as others vvho hes no hope.

Now concerning the estate of those that are departed, he in­structs them in sundry heads of it: First, he telles them that they are but a sleep, that is now their present estate in graue. Then he teaches them what shall follow; the rising again; when that they haue sleeped a time, as one after sleep awakes, so shal they awake. Next he instructes them of the honor they shall haue in the re­surrection vvhen they shall meete the Lord of glorie. Suppose they be dead first, they shal not be last in meetting the Lord: yea they who shall be aliue at that day, shall not be first, but they who are departed, shall be in the first rank to meete the Lord in the clouds. Of this he taks occasion to speak of the Lords com­ming, & of the glory thereof; to this end that euery one in think­ing vpon these things shold receiue comfort. Ther is the summe of this doctrine. I vvoulde not haue you brethren ignorant as con­cerning [Page 204] those vvho are at sleepe. That is, I vvoulde not haue you ignorant of their estate, vvhat is their estate while they lye in graue, vvhat their estate shall be thereafter. Of these and such things I vvould not haue you ignorant. Now the lesson is easie. There are none of vs but in some measure vve shoulde knowe what is the estate of them who are dead; vvhat is their estate in the graue, vvhat shall be their estate after the graue. It apper­taines to euerie Christian to know the estate of the dead in some measure, as well as it pertaines to them to know the estate of the liuing not passing the reuelation that the Lord hes made therin. Dreame not anie estate to the dead, knovve no more of it nor it pleases God to reueale, nor desire to know no more. The Pa­pistes passes in curiositie, and can not be satisfied with the Lords reuelation: but let vs be content with the reuelation of the Lord vntill that great reuelation come. Alwaies it pertaines to vs in some measure to knovve the estate of the departed.Ignorāce brings sor­rovv; and knovvledg, ioy. Ignorance brings a great deale of sorrow vvith it. The effects of ignorance. in things, vve should know, are displeasure and sorrow. Know­ledge of the things, vve should know, and especially of the estate of those departed this life, brings joy & consolation. Ignorance made Iacob excessiuelie to mourne for his sonne Ioseph, without anie cause, thinking he was dead, when he was aliue. Being fred from his ignorance, and knowing the estate of his son, and that he was aliue. he found joy and consolation. So light and know­ledge brings joy. The blinde opinion of this dreame of Purga­torie that the Papists hes inuented, hes brought exceeding great displeasure to many. To thinke that the soule lovvsed from the bodie should be tormented in Purgatorie, ere it enter in glorie. But men being fred from this ignorance, and knowing assuredly that the soule, immediatlie after it seueres from the bodie, passes to eternall joy, men and vvemen knovving this in the pointe of death▪ no question, they are exceeding glad. Then brethren, to speake it againe; Ignorance brings great displeasure; knowledge bringes joy: when vve knowe the estate of thinges as they are indeed, then there is joy. Therefore the Apostle sayes, That ye [...] not, as others vvho hes no hope. That is, as the Gentiles. An ignorant and hopelesse bodie who hes no hope of the resurre­ction, who knowes nothing of the resurrection; and therefore [Page 205] hopes not for it, his mourning and sorrowe will be excessiue. This is the meaning of the Apostle. Ignorance bringes [...] in death, it makes a man hopelesse, not to hope for a lyfe after this lyfe, nor for a resurrection to lyfe, and being [...], what joy can he haue? a bodie dying without hope, no [...] if thou bee not in hope when thou art dying. all the world shall not make thee to rejoyce. By the contrair, ye heare by the Apo­stle, knowledge bringes hope; for hope is the effect of know­ledge, and hope bringes joy and comfort in the houre of death. None euer yet died in the hope of that glorious resurrection, but in the houre of death, they rejoyced with joy vnspeakable. The joy that hope bringes, being grounded on knowledge, is wonderfull. It will not be conteined in the heart but the mouth will open and glory in the joy it apprehendes, throgh the hope of the resurrection in Iesus Christ. The Apostle Rom. chap. 5. verse 2. saies, We rejoyce vnder the hope of the glory of God. I meane not, brethren, that, that knowledge that workes hope, and that hope that workes joy, will take away from a man al­together all displeasure, all heauinesse, all mourning in the de­parture of our friendes, and them we loue well. No, it will nor nor should not doe that. There is no grace of God in Iesus, that puts out any naturall affection: none will take away either na­turall joy, or displeasure: no, faith and hope will not doe it, but it makes that naturall affection sanctified, and puts it in order: Our dolour, which by nature is immoderate, it moderates: hope will bring with it a measure, knoweledge will bring with it a measure, and faith which is the fountaine of all graces, will bring with it a measure. In a word, Faith, hope and knowledge, will temper and mingle the affection of displeasure, which is bitter, with the affection of joy, and make a sweete temperature in that bodie: so that the bodie that hes knowledge and hope, when it is mourning fastest, it will haue greatest joy. Beware of your mourning, and looke that it be neuer altogether without some joy. Sobst thou? sighst thou vnspeakablie? Looke, that thy [...]ighs be mingled with joy vnspeakable. Will ye haue my counsell? Let neuer joy be the alone, but let euer joy be tempe­red with sorrow: Haue not srrow the alone. but let it [...] be mingled with some joy. So long as thou liuest, thou art natu­rallie [Page 206] inclined to sinne, and sinne procures sorrow. And therfore so long as sinne dwelles in thy bodie, let euer thy joy be tempe­red with sorow, but let neuer thy sorow for sinne be it alone, but tempered with some joy in the mercie of God. This shoulde be the estate of a christian: in laughing forget not sin, but sorow for it: be not vvanton vnder the burden of sin. Againe, in mourning let joy be for the mercie of Christ to vs. The Apostle sayes 1. Thess. 5. 16. Reioice euer: yea euen when thou art mourning, for there is matter of eternall joy offered in Christ: and therfore re­joice vvith a sanctified and with an holie joye. This is the first lesson.

Then brethren, I gather on the vvords of the Apostle, As the Gentiles vvho haue no hope of resurrection; where there is no hope there is no comfort? vvhere a mans hope is bounded within the compasse of this life, and reaches not out beyond the same, there is no comfort: make him king of all the worlde, if his hope be onelie on the kingdomes of this earth, if he hope not for that heauenlie kingdome,Want of hope doth bring dis­paire in death. to be an inheritour there, he hes no joye nor comfort: I meane that solide joye and comfort vvhich the world neuer ministers to men. Al the kingdoms in the earth will neuer minister to thee solide joy, comfort & consolation. Novv brethren, this is the estate of the Gentiles. Paul Ephes. 2. 12. spea­king of their estate, sayes; they liued in the world without God, aliants from the Common-well of Israell, from the Church of God, strangers from the couenants of promise, without hope & without God in the world; and so hopelesse & cōfortlesse. I can not say, that euer any Gentile that liued as a Gentile, what euer was their ranke on the earth, that euer they had any comfort: all these Monarches that liued without grace in the world, I can not say that in the midst of their triumph & greatest glory they had any comfort; much lesse in the hour of their death had they any cōfort & joy: and when they saw there was nothing but death, and all pleasure was away, then there was nothing but sorowe, Hadrian the Emperour (I remember) who was one of the most glorious Conquerours in the world, when he was on death-bed, he flatters with his owne soule, to see if she would haue bidden within the body, saying, My litle soule, wilt thou bide within the body? thou waits not where thou art going to; without hope he [Page 207] was, and therefore comfortlesse, and dies in dispair. To let vs see there is none that deceasses without the hope of lyfe, and of that glorious resurrection, but they die all in dispare, from the King, to the begger. Who euer died since the beginning of the world, without Christ, and hope in him, (yea before he was manifested in the world) but they deceassed in dispare: So, as ye wold die in joy striue to get Christ. It is a thing flesh and bloud wil not giue thee, and it is a greater wonder to see Christ, nor to see a man through a rock; ther are so many impediments to hinder his fight from [...]. Therefore we haue to craue, that the sprit of Iesus wold lighten the eye of the mynde in vs aboue nature, to see him, and then we shall see him, and so haue comfort in death.

Now, to go forward in the wordes, and to come to the heades in particulare, concerning them, that are departed. The first thing he instructs them in (I take it vp, when he saies, Concerning them, that are asleepe.) is, in respect of their estate present, while as they lye in graue.Bodies of the godlie sleepe in the graue The bodies lying in the graue, sayes he, is not dead: Ye beleeue they be dead. No, death is one thing and sleepe is another. They are onely sleeping; for, if ye will speake of death, what it meanes properlie: The death of the creature properlie, is, the euerlasing punishment and destruction of it for euer. And they vvho dies, and are dead, they shall neuer liue againe; at the least, they shall neuer haue a sense of joy. So, the bodies of the godlie are not dead, but, sleeping, and lying in graue, and they haue a verie being: a man that is sleeping, is a man, and hes a being: a bodie in the graue hes a being, and bydes lying in the graue in substance, and shall abide continuallie: And if it should be burnt in the fyre, or, drovvned in the vvatter, the dissolution of the bodie in the graue shall not destroye the being thereof. The turning of it in ashes, is no other thing (to speake of it properlie) but, a fyning of it; as the goulde is fyned by the fyre, and the drosse burnt vp, so, the bodie is fy­ned in the graue, and the drosse of the bodie is but at vp, that at the latter day, the substance of the bodie being purified may rise, as gold glistering, to be conjoined with the soule. The Apostle 1. Cor. 15. 53. 54. 55. when he speakes of death, he sayes, that, the graue is not able to svvalovv the bodie, but, that, mortality (which is sin & death in the body) may be svvalovved vp of immortalitie. So [Page 208] it is the mortalitie and drosse of the bodie that is burnt vp, and not the substance, but the substance of the bodie is cleansed and purified, that it may raigne with the head Christ in glorie for euer. Now, to speake of this word sleeping. The Scripture when it speakes of death cals it sleeping▪ And when Iesus speakes of Lazarus, he saies, Our friend Lazarus sleepes, but, I goe to vvake him vp. Ioh. 11. 11. And it is said of Steuen Act. chap. 7. verse 60. He sleeped. In the olde Testament commonly there is a word added to it, he sleeped with his Fathers, he was joined with his Fathers. Now, to come to the purpose. There are two parts of man. A bodie, and a soule. When it is said, that, a man sleepes, thinke not, that, his soule sleepes, referring this word sleeping to the soule. Some vaine men thinkes that the soule after the de­ceasing sleepes, vntill the comming of Christ. No, the soule liues, and sleepes not; it liues and shall liue, in dispyte of all the world, either in paine, or, pleasure, for euer. The soule of the vngodly is translated immediatlie after death to paine, and hes a wonderfull sense of paine, and a liuing in paine, a continuall paine, anguish and torment. (If there were no more, to testifie this, but the pa­rable of Lazarus, and the rich Glutton it may suffice. It tels thee that the soule of the riche Glutton had in Hell the own paine. Luc. 16. 19.) The soule of the godlie againe after death liues in joy. And so Paul Philip: 1. verse 23. sayes, I vvould be dissolued, and be vvith Christ. viz. liuing in soule. And 2. Cor. chap. 5. verse 8 I loue rather to remoue out of the bodie, and to goe to God, to dvvell vvith him. And God is said to be the God of the liuing, that is to say, of the soales that liues in glorie. Matt. 22. 32. So the word of sleeping is not to be referred to the soule, but to the bodyes of men and wemen: for, as a bodie lyes downe in his bed; so the bo­die after dissolution is laid downe in the graue, to sleepe, vntill the day of resurrection. There is no sleepe that by nature is e­uerlasting and vvhen a man hes sleeped, and is satisfied vvith sleepe he must waken: So, the bodie if it sleepe in the graue, of necessitie it must waken againe: If there were no more but this word sleeping it testifies that there shall be a resurrection. Now vnderstand farther, that the word sleeping in the Scripture is re­ferred to the bodies, both of the reprobat and elect: The bodie of the reprobat is said to sleepe: The bodie of the elect is said [Page 209] also to sleepe. So Daniell sayes, chap. 12. verse 2. Many of them that are a sleepe in the dust in the earth, some of them shall rise to lyfe, some of them to shame and ignominie. We are all sleeping, but, I see a diuersitie in resurrection: the bodie of the elect shall rise, to euerlasting glorie, the body of the wicked to eternall death and damnation. And yet, albeit this word be common to both, yet, most properly, it is ascriued to the bodies of the godly: For, euen as a man sleeps, to this end, that he may rise vp again more chear­fully, and be more able to take in hand any handy-worke, & do his calling: So, it is the body of the godly onely, that sleeps, to rise more chearfully to the actions and doings of that life eternall. It is a wonderful change. It lyes down a weak and infirme body, it will rise again a strong body: it lyes down in ignominy, it wil rise againe a glorious body, and there was neuer a man so altered & comforted by naturall sleepe, as the body of the elect shall be al­tered and comforted by that sleep in the graue. As to the bodies of the wicked, woe to them: if they ly down with sadnesse and wearinesse, their rising shall be with farre greater sadnesse and wearinesse. No, they shall think, it shold be well with them, if the Lord wold let the body ay ly still there. It is a black wakning. If they ly downe with ignominy, they shall rise with greater igno­minie. So, to speake it properly, the body of the reprobate is not said to sleep, as it is, to ly dead; for, the rising of it is but to death: death in the graue, rising to death, and ay deing, and neuer mak­ing an end of death. Now, this, for the vnderstanding of this word sleeping. Then, I note shortlie of this first head, that, Paul instructs them in, concerning the soules departed. That, the bodie, that lyes in the graue.Sleeping of [...] bo­die: vvith out paine▪ comforta­ble. It lyes without the sense of torment, or, paine: if it were not more, but to knowe that farre of it, this knowledge ministers comfort, both in our owne death, and in the death of our friendes: Indeed, if we saw our friendes bodie cast into the graue, and knew, that, there were torment and paine there: no question it would bring great heauinesse, and we would remem­ber on our owne paine in the hour of our death, and it would bring sorrow to vs. So it is a benefite of God that the body lyes in the graue without paine. And this is the thing the Apostle will haue them to know.

Now to come to the wordes of the next verse. For if, saies he, [Page 210] vve belieue that Iesus is dead, and is risen againe: euen so them vvho sleepe in Iesus, God vvill bring vvith him. There are the wordes. In one vvorde then. The second thing vvhereof he vvill not haue them ignorant, is the estate of them vvho are departed: After then lying in the graue, they shall ryse, the bodie that lyes in the graue shall ryse and wake againe.Knovve­ledge of the resur­rection of the bodie more cō ­fortable. It is confortable to knowe that the bodie lyes without sense of paine in the graue: but it is more comfortable to knowe that the bodie shall ryse againe, and not onely want the sense of paine, but shall haue comfort in Christ, in that glorious resurrection. The bodies of the godly shal not onely want the sense of paine, but shal haue all pleasure and joy that the heart would with: all their senses shall be filled with joy, the eie, the eare, all shall be filled with God in who [...]e presence is onely joy. Now the thing that fils the sense with any joy in this earth are only creatures: The thing that makes the [...] rejoice, is but the creatures that are object to it: The thing that mak [...] the eare to rejoice, is but the sound and voices of the crea­tures: But, in the resurrection, when God shall be al [...] these senses of our shal be filled with God, the great Creator of al. He shall be, as it wer, the object to the eie, to the ear, to the teaching, (to speak it so, for your vnderstanding) all our senses shal be exer­cised with him. And as there is greater matter of joy in the Crea­tor, nor in the creatures; so, much more joy shall these senses of ours, the eie, the eare, the tasting, &c. haue of God the Creator of all. So far as God passes the creatures, so far shall that heauenlie joy passe the earthly joy. So, this we should know, that, the dead in Christ shall haue full pleasure and perfite joy.

But, yet, ere we leaue the words. He grounds this resurrection of our bodies on two grounds.2. grunds of the as­surance of our resur­rection. The first it, faith in Christ (if, saies he, vve beleeue, that, Christ died and raise again) But, faith in Christ, first crucified, and dead: It auailes not, to beleeue in Christ, if thou beleue not in him, as he is crucified & dead: and this not eneugh to beleue, that, he is crucified and dead, except thou with a stead­fast faith beleeue, that, he is crucified and dead for thy sins. The Deuill knovves, he vvas crucified, he savv him crucified, and no doubt, he was present at the crucifying of him: (for, he vvas the burrior of God, to him, at his crucifying) yet, the knovvledge of Christ crucified does him no good, but, euill, because he beleeues [Page 211] not, that, Christ died for his sins; and he cannot beleue, because he hes no faith. So, the first ground is faith in Christ crucified, and that he died for thee. Yet, beleue more. He saies, and rose againe. Thou must beleue (as euer thou wouldst rise in the last day) that, Christ was raised out of the graue, to the Heauens. And it is not eneugh, to beleeue, that, he rose, (the Deuill beleeues, that, he rose againe) but, beleeue, he rose for thee, for thy justification, for thy saluation, as Paul affirmes Rom. 4. 25 Then, this is our faith in Christ, where-vpon our resurrection is grounded; Faith, that he died for me; Faith, that he rose againe, for my saluation. Then, to the next ground. They, sayes he, vvho hes sleeped in Iesus. The second grounde is nothing, but, perseuerance in this Faith in Christ, euen, to the last gasp and breath: So, that, in death and in the pointe of death, thy soule take holde on Christ crucified, and risen, and sticke by him in the dissolution of the soule from the bodie. It is requisite, that, in all our lyfe-tyme and in euerie moment of our lyfe-tyme, vve should haue a grippe of Christ, apprehend him, take holde of him and rest on him: for, I assure you, they vvho vvill not grip him, are in a stagring estate, but, speciallie in the houre of death, vvhen the greatest tentation is, and the Deuill is busiest to deceyue you, it is most requisite, that, the soule haue a grip of Christ, grip to his Croce, grip to his glo­rious Resurrection: for, there is no standing, but, by the appre­hension of Christ: and if thy grippe goe, and his grippe goe off thee, in that same moment thou art in Hell: for, no lyfe to anie, but, to them, vvho are in Christ, as members of his bodie, to them, vvho hes an apprehension of him, and of vvhom, he hes a grippe. Therefore, seeing, the tyme of our departure is verie vncertaine (vvho knovves, vvhen it vvill please the Lord to call on him?) euerie one of vs, night and day, tyme and tyde, should see, vvhether we be in Christ, or, not, whether we haue an holde of him, or, not: In the morning, when thou rysest, the first thing, thou shouldst thinke of, is, Am I in Christ? haue [...] a grippe of him? or, hes he a grippe of me, or, not? A knaue will ryse and grippe to his staffe, or, sword, but, he hes no minde of a grip of Christ. Alas, vvhen Christ grippes thee not the Deuill caries thee, al that day, bodie and soule to wickednesse. Say, ther­fore, Lord holde a grippe of me; for, I am as a chylde. (Neuer a [Page 212] childe was so stagring, as thou art, except thou leane on Christ.) This is most true: It is not so much our apprehension we haue of Christ, as his apprehension of vs, that holds vs vp: A chylde that is learning to goe, albeit he grippe, he cannot holde him­selfe vp, but, it is the grip of the Nourse, that holdes vppe the chylde: It is so, betweene God and vs, We are all infantes, Iesus hes vs in his hand, we make a glifring to grip him againe, but, when he lettes vs goe, then, we fall: So, this is our comfort, that vve are gripped by God, and his grip vpholdes vs, for, vvhen he grippes to the heart of any man, his hand neuer lowses againe, and thou shalt neuer goe out of his grippe: yea, euen in that time, when thou thinkest, thou art gone, and the Lord hes casten thee offyn the meane-time he hes thee in his grip and in that meane-tyme vvhen thou appearest to be left, call to remembrance, that, he hes gripped thee, and then, assure thee, yet he grips thee. And say, Who shall be able to separate me from the loue of Christ? Rom. 8. 35. And Iesus sayes, None is able to reaue my sheepe out of my hand. Iohn. 10. 28. Who shall be able to lowse his hand? This is all in one vvorde: Seeke this apprehension, and stand fast in Christ, and death shall not seuer thee, from him, but lyfe shall follow death; glorie shall follow ignominie; immortalitie shall svvalovv vp the mortalitie, that vve are heere subject to. Well then brethren, who wait when we shall be striken? There­fore, let vs euer be prepared, and let vs not looke to the Pest. Nothing shall be able to seuere vs from God, if he haue gripped vs, `Paul sayes, Philipp. 3. 8. 9. that, he counted all thinges but dongue, that he might be found of him, and knowe him, and the force of his resurrection.

Yet, to insist in the words expressing this resurrection: he saies that, God shall bring vs vvith him, that is, with Christ. So, our resur­rection what is it,VVhat is our resur­rection. but, a bringing of vs to God, to be joyned with him, in that blessed societie? Our felicitie and blessednesse, both in body and soule is, to be joined with God. For, vnderstand, so long as thy bodie lyes in the graue, lyes in ignominie, in a maner it is seuered from God. it is apart from God, in some maner, it is not so near him, as it wil be: it is yet lying in ignominy. Now in the resurrection of the dead, that body that was separated frō God and lay in ignominie for a tyme, ryses to be joyned with [Page 213] God, to the end it may be glorified for euer. This is the resurre­ction of the bodies of the godlie. But, it is farre otherwaies, with the resurrection of the vngodly. They rise indeed, and must rise; for, they shall be pulled out of the graue; for, faine would they ly still: they must ryse, to receiue that paine of damnation, they shall ryse, but, neuer to be brought to God. The Scripture in­deed speakes, that, they shall rise, but, neuer to be broght to God, but, they rise to be seuered from God, more, nor they were. They are seuered, when they are in the graue; but, when the body shall be joyned to the soule, then, they shall be farther seuered. And looke, how far is betweene the hie Heauens and the low Helles, as far distance shall there be betweene God and the reprobate. They shall not be conuoyed vp to meete Christ in the cloudes, as the bodies of the godly are: No, but they shall stand on the earth.

Yet, to insist. Are the bodies of the elect broght them alone to God? No: what euer bodie must be brought to God in the resurrection it must be broght in companie, it must be in a socie­tie and conjunction, ere that bodie be conjoined with God. He saies, vvith Christ. That bodie must be brought to that glorious societie with God, but, first it must be joyned with Iesus; other­waies, thou shalt neuer rise to God. Then, would ye haue the or­der Paul speaks of in this resurrection (for, euerie one shall rise in order.) The first is Christ, Christ the first of them, that rises; his glorious body rose first; Then, after that, they who are in Christ, that is, they who stands in that conjunction with him, as imps in the tree, vvho are ingraft in his bodie, then, they shall ryse, with him. Therefore, in one word. Wouldst thou knowe, whe­ther thou shalt be joined with God, or, not, looke, if thou standst fast in that conjunction, and vnion with Christ, in this lyfe: and if thou finde thy selfe vnited with Christ in this lyfe, then, in the glorious resurrection, with God shalt thou be. And so, this is a thing, that, I euer aduertise you of. Looke euer, that, thou be a member of that glorious bodie. Be either an eye or, foote, or hand, be some part of the bodie of Christ. And certainly, being joined with him, when he is joyned with God, euen God the Fa­ther of necessitie (thou being a member of the bodie) thou must be joined with God. For, thy conjunction with God is not im­mediat, [Page 214] but thou must first bee joyned with Christ, and being conjoyned with Christ, thou shalt be joyned with God also in glory.

Now, vvho shall be the doer of this? It is a great vvorke to draw vp this bodie out of the graue to Heauen, and set it in that glorie. Will the bodie rise the alone? where got it that strength? will any Angell draw it vp? No, all the Angels in Heauen is not able to raise vp a bodie to Heauen: all the power in earth can­not raise vp a dead bodie. Then who must doe it? No power in Heauen nor earth, but the power of God. Paul Ephes. chap. 1. verse 19. calles it the effectualnesse of the strong povver of God. There is no vvorke in this vvorld vvherein the povver of God appeares more, nor in the vvorke of the rising, first of Christ, vvhen he vvas dead, and then of our bodies that are in him. The power and strength of God as greatlie appeares in the rai­sing of the bodie, as it did in making of the world, when before it vvas not. It is as great a matter to make a thing to liue, as to make it: There is as great power to make the dead to liue, as to make any thing of nothing. And this povver is onely pro­per to God. The power of the world may put out the life: but no power can giue lyfe, but, onely Gods. There are many slay­ers; but, none to giue lyfe, but, onely God. Therefore, let vs glo­rifie the God of lyfe. Then, marke two causes of our glorious resurrection.2. causes of our re­surrectiō. (He speakes not of the resurrection of the repro­bate.) The first cause, is, the conjunction with Iesus, begunne in this lyfe. The second cause, is, the power and might of God, in raising of them being found in Iesus. Take any of these two away, thou shalt neuer be brought to God. If thy conjunction be not with Iesus in this lyfe, the power of God in the latter day shall not raise thee, to joyne thee to God. Take this first cause away, the second shall not follow. Then, againe, if the hand of God at the day of the resurrection should not be put (as it were) out of Heauen, to take vp thy bodie, thou wouldst ly still. Ther­fore, joyne these two. First, the conjunction with Christ, that is by Faith: then, joyne, with Faith, the power and vertue of God, and so, ryse shalt thou, and be joyned with God in glorie. Now, as to the power of God to raise vs, it is not extended to vs heere, but, we shall see it in that great day: but, the thing, vve haue to, [Page 215] care for, is to looke, that, we haue saith, and of necessitie, the se­cond must follow. Hast thou faith? and art thou joyned with Christ, by Faith? of necessitie the power of God must reache to thee, to raise thee, out of the graue. Thou needest not to feare, if thou be found in Christ. All mercie, power and glorie is in him: if thou be out with Christ, no glorie, nor mercie, but, dam­nation for thee; for, the power of God shall be extended to thy destruction.

Now, to the next verse. Yet, he goes forward and teaches them, that, not onely they shall rise and be broght to God, and be joy­ned with him, But, he sayes, This say vve vnto you, by the vvord of God, that, vve, vvho liue and are remaning at the comming of the Lord, shall not preueene them, vvho sleep. He speakes, heere, of himselfe, as thogh he should haue bene liuing at the day of judgement: and yet, he died, more nor a thousand yeere since: To teach vs, euer to be in readinesse: no houre, nor, moment should be, but, we should look for the cōming of Christ; and think, we shall be liuing, whē he commes. This is our vain thoght: we think, we shal die before the day of judgment. No▪ Paul spok not so: we should not speak so, but, be ay ready, to meet the Lord, at his glorious appearance.

Now, the third head, wherein he instructed them, is, the order and ranke of men, that shall meete the Lord, in the cloudes. All that judgement shall passe by order. The God of order shall be judge,Order in meeting the Lord, after re­surrectiō. and all shall be in order, and men shall be in ranke: they who shall be raised vp from this earth, to meete the Lord, shall haue their own place and ranke. Now, the Apostle would teach them, that, they shal haue this order. They who hes departed first this lyfe shall not be preuented, they vvho shall be aliue shall not be put in the ranke before them, but, they who are dead shall be in the first ranke, and order, and ere euer that sodain change be made of them, vvho shall be found alyue, changing them from mortalitie, to immortalitie (vvhich change shall be in the twinckling of an eye) the dead in the graue shall be raised vp first, by the power of God, & their bodies shal be first glorified, and then shall come on that sodain change, of them, who shall be aliue, & then, all shal be rest vp to the clouds: first, they, that were dead, next, they, that were changed, and so, we shall come all to meete our head Christ. This is the order. Now to be short. This [Page 216] same verie speaking of the Apostle, and his instructing of them in this preferment teaches vs, that, there should be in vs such a desire to meete with Christ, that we should striue, who shal meet with him first: striue to be first, and not to be last; cast vs to haue a parte of this preferment, and considering this preferment is promised to them, vvho dies first, it should make vs joyfull to die first, and to say to them, vvho are standing about vs, vvhen vve are on death-bed, I vvill get a preferment. I am called to death first, before you, I shall be preferred to you in meetting vvith my Lord, in Heauen. Ye shall liue after me, but, I shall meete first vvith my Lord. O, vvhat it is, to get preferment in heauenlie glorie! Ye vvill count of preferment vvith Kinges of this earth, and men vvill striue, vvho shall first meete vvith the King. O, then, should vve not striue to meete vvith the King of Kings in Heauen. The Lord grant vs faith, that we may be join­ed with Christ in this bodie, that at that last day soule and bodie may be glorified in Heauen vvith Christ our Head. To vvhom with the Father and the holy Spirite, be all glory and praise for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 4. vers. 16. 17. 18.

16 For the Lord himselfe shall descend from heauen vvith a shout, and vvith the voyce of the Archangell, and vvith the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise againe.

[Page 217] Then shall vve vvhich liue and remaine, be caught vp vvith them also in the cloudes, to meete the Lord in the aire: and so shall vve euer be vvith the Lord.

18 Wherefore, comfort your selues one another vvith these vvords.

THE Apostle (brethren) in this present text (by the way as it were) instructs the Thessalonians in that head of doctrine, that concernes those who are departed this lyfe: Of the which either they were ignorant, or thought not of it as they should haue done. And therefore, in the death and departure of their kins-folke and friendes whom they loued well, they mourned excessiuely, as though there estate had beene miserable: as though after this world there should haue been no more of them, but they should perish like beasts. And therfore the Apostle, to the end that for death they shold not mourne so desperatlie, he instructs them in certaine heades of doctrine concerning the departed. The first was, that they that died, died not so much as sleeped: this death is not so much to be called a death, as a sleepe, for there shall be a waking againe, as a man lying down to sleepe, shall awake againe. The second point. Their resurrection shall be glorious: Being laid down in the graue they shall not ly for euer, but shall be gloriouslie raised againe: for heere he speakes of the resur­rection of the elect and chosen. Now the third thing he instructs them in is an peece of honour they shall haue in their resurrecti­on. They that are dead first, shall see the Lord before them that shall be found aliue: for the dead shall ryse first, and then the change shall be made of them, who are then liuing. And as the dead shall rise first, so they shall be first in ranke among them who shall goe to meete the Lord in the aire: first the dead after their resurrection shall be rest vp to the cloudes: then they who shall be liuing, shall be rest vp after them. So the dead shall get the first sight of Christ, then they who shall be found alyue, shall be changed and get the next sight. This before ye heard taught to you.

Now in the text we haue red, the Apostle takes occasion of [Page 218] that which he spoke of immediatly before, concerning the ranking and order of those that shall bee found dead on that great day. To enter in this matter more deeplie, and to fall out in a de­scription of the Lords comming in that latter day. He pointes out the manner of it, and that glorie that shall appeare. There­after he commes to that effect that shall follovv there-vpon. The first effect, shall be the resurrection of the dead; ere euer they vvho are alyue be changed (vvhich shall be in a moment) the dead rysing first, shall be rest vp to the cloudes, and then they vvho shall be changed, shall be rest vp after them. The estate of both is, they shall meete the Lord, and bee vvith him for euer. Then in the last verse, he desyres the Thessalonians vvith such speaches as these, euerie one to comfort another: vvhether he sorrovv for his owne or for anothers death, and to speake one to another of the resurrection, and of the glorie that shall followe on it. Now this text standes in a narratiue of the forme of Christes comming, vvhereof I vvill speake no farther, nor I can gather thereof out of the Scripture, and with as great shortnesse as I may: For, it is follie to speake any thing heerein vvhich is not reuealed and spoken of in the Scriptures. Now Brethren, I shall speake first (according to the Scriptures of God) of the signes and tokens that shall appeare in the world before Christes comming. For, ere he be seene, they who shall be found aliue at that great day, shall see signes and tokens of his comming. Next I shall speake of his comming and of the manner of it. And in the third rovvme I shall speake of the ef­fectes that shall followe in the vvorlde immediatlie on his com­ming.

As for the signes that shall be seene, ere he be seene. There are some of them that shall goe before his comming immediat­lie before he ryse out of his Throne, vvhere he sittes at the right hand of his Father, euen immediatlie before his rysing there shall some signes be shovven to vvarne the vvorlde, that the King of Glorie is comming. Then there shall be some o­ther signes, that shall be adjoyned vvith his comming, as hee commes through the Heauens and aire to judge the world. So the signes are of tvvo sortes, some signes before his comming immediatlie,Signes im­mediatly preceding Chr [...]stes comming. some joyned with his comming. The signes imme­diatlie [Page 219] preceeding the Lords rysing out of his Throne, to judge the vvorld, are, The vvhole vvorlde shall shake, Heauen and earth shall trimble; they who shall be liuing at that day shall see it. The vvhole povvers of the Heauen shall be shaken: The Sunne, the Moone shall be darkned, all shall be obscured: the Sunne shall haue no light, the starres shall fall downe, or, at the least, shall appeare so, because they shall giue no light, and light shall be away, nothing in the face of the earth, but darknesse: nothing in Heauen but darknesse. Ye may read this Matt. chap. 24. verse 29. Luke chap. 21. verse 25. Christ giues these same signes himselfe, that shall be immediatlie before his comming. What shall be the estat in the mean-time of those who are liuing when these signes shall appear? Al consciences shall be wakned, all shall get vp, there shall be no sleeping. The murtherer vvho hes his conscience sleeping now, shall be wakned then: the har­lots conscience shall waken. There shall be two sorte of folke found liuing then; some reprobate, some elect; the world is ne­uer vvithout these tvvo. As for the reprobate vvhen they shall looke vp and see such a wonderfull alteration, the shaking of the Heauens, the darkning of the Sunne, and Moon, then they shall beginne to shudder and to be striken with such a terrible fear, that, they shal be as they wer dead: and for fear of that judg­ment that is to follow, they shall run and seeke holes and secret places to hide them from the face of the Lord, and cry, Hilles fall dovvn on vs, Mountains couer vs, Yea, euen ere they see the Lord before his comming down, Read of this in Luke 21. 27. Reuelat. chap. 6. verse 16. &c. Now as to the elect that shall be found aliue at that tyme, they shall conceiue at the sight of these first signes an vnspeakable joye, and shall not be afraide, but shall a­vvaite for that Redemption, which they shall see to be at hand, that full Redemption in the Redeemer the Lord Iesus. And therefore, they shall not runne away and seeke holes to hyde them in, but they shall stand vp and lift vp their heades and fa­ces to the Heauens and shall looke greedilie for the comming of the Lord Iesus Christ: indeede it is true, they shall conceiue a sorrowe and shall be touched vvith a remorse, and shall vveepe bitterlie; but a sweete weeping they shall weepe, that euer their sinnes procured the death of the Lord Iesus Christ, that Lord [Page 220] of glorie. Therefore, they shall be both joyfull, and sorrowfull: joyfull, because the Redeemer is at hand: sorrowfull, for their sinnes, that Christ should haue died for them; that they should haue peirced him through with them. Reade of this at length Luke chap. 21. verse 28. Zachary chap. 13. verse 11. Reuel. chap. 1. verse 7. yea, they who peirced him through, with their sinnes, shall bewaile him. All the godlie Kinges of the earth shall be­waile him; all the elect shall sorrow, that their sinnes should haue procured the death of this sweete and glorious Lord. This for the signes immediatly going before his comming. Vnderstand (brethren) that there shall be a processe of tyme in the day of judgement, so that one thing shall (by a certaine space) goe be­fore another. It shall be sodaine, but, not so sodaine, but they who are aliue, shall see one thing done by a space of time before another; it shall be so sensible, that euerie one that is liuing at that day shall see euery thing done sensible.

Now to come to the signes joined with his comming. At his down comming,Signes ioy­ned vvith the com­ming of Christ. when the Lord rises out of his Throne, before he be seene, the whole world that shooke before he rose, shal be set on fyre, and there shall be a terrible dissolution: All thinges shall be dissolued, and so shaken lowse, that the world shall not appeare, vnto the tyme it bee made a nevv Worlde, a nevv Heauen, a new Earth, as Peter speakes. Come to the particulares. As to the Heauens, they shall bee burnt vp, and being burnt vp, they shall passe away with a sound and noyse (saies Peter) as the sounding of Chariot-wheeles. The elements, the aire, the water, all shall be consumed with fire, and be burnt vp and eua­nish. The earth, and all the workes on the earth, planting, buil­ding, all shall be burnt vp with fire, nothing shall be spared. These shall be the signes that shall be joined inseparablie with Christs comming.The signe of Christ. In the meane tyme he shall come down, when all the world shall be on a fire. And this is called by Matthevv 24 verse 30. the signe of Christ, the signe that shall be conjoined with his comming. Reade of this whole matter in this 24. chap. of Matthevv verse 30. 2. Epist of Pet. chap. 3. verse 10. 12. Reue­lat. chap. 20. verse 11. and chap. 21. verse 1. Then brethren, if there was such a commotion in the heart of men, in the first sig­nes that past before, what commotion shall there be in the harts [Page 221] of men, when they shall see the whole world on fire? A won­drous thing. When all this consumption shall be, no body shall be burnt, but the power of the judge shall reserue the bodies to the judgement that is to follow immediatlie. Peter when he hes tolde of these signes, saies, If such a dissolution of the world be, what maner of men should we be? how should we studie to prepare vs to meete the Lord? So on that great day, all these thinges shall not make the godly to shrinke, but they shall ay prease forward to meete the Lord in the cloudes. As to the re­probate, ô, that horrour and terrible feare that shall ouertake them at his comming! Now this for the two sorts of signes. The first, going before his comming: the second, joined inseparably with his comming down to judge the world.

Now, shortly to speake of Christs owne comming. And this is it which the Apostle speakes of in this place. Which for our vnderstanding I shall gather out of this and sundry other places of the Scripture.Christes cōming. Now as for the comming of the judge, he shall not come from the Sea, from the Earth, from the Plane. Where­from commes all the Kings of the earth, when they are in their triumph? The Romane Emperours came out from the Capi­toll in their Chariots. But, the King of Kinges shall come from the Heauen of Heauens, abone all these heauens that we see, from the highest place. The maner of his comming is sodaine. These signes that I spake of, shall come on a sodaintie; and yet there shall be a processe of tyme in doing thereof. He shall come on a sodaine, as the deluge of Noah did, as the 24 chap. Matt verse 37. telles. The people knew not of the deludge, that ouerwhelmed them, vntill it came: No more shall this miserable world know Christes comming, vntill he come sodainlie. And therefore, considering this, in the Scripture the Lord giues a watch-word to his Disciples: Many hundreth yeeres are past since, and repeate it heere, he saies, Matt. 24. 42. Watch, for ye knovv not vvhen the Lord shall come. The sodaintie & vncertainty of his comming shoulde make vs euer readie to looke for it. The Chariot he shall be caried in, is the cloudes of the aire. As in his ascending the cloudes resaued him from our sight, so shall the cloudes resaue him at his comming. Such a Chariot got ne­uer Emperour in all his highest triumph, none of them was ca­ried [Page 222] in the clouds. The company that shall conuoy him: he shal come, saies Matt. chap. 24. verse 30. with the Angels, and a flame of fire, that fyre that shall burne vp the world, and shall burne vp the reprobate in the owne tyme. 2. Thess. 1. 7. 8. Iude sayes, verse. 14. He shall come with millions of Angels, there shall not be an Angell, but all shall come in that conuoye, to let all the worlde see, that, all the Angels are but seruants to that Lord, and seruantes standing about him, to obey his vvill vvhat hee commandes, that his glorie and Majestie may be seene. In the meane-tyme he hes no neede of them, for they neyther can adde to his glorie, nor diminish it: yet it hes pleased him, so to vt­ter his glorie to the vvorld. And in that meane-tyme, when he is comming, he will not come in silence. Ye see, when an Armie marches forward, there is a great noyse and crying, shouting, and blovving of trumpets: So, there shall bee a noyse in the Lords comming dovvne. The Angels of Heauen shall blovve the trumpets. So he speakes Matth. 24. verse 31. Paul in this place sayes, there shall ryse a sound: The worde in this place is a vvorde of exhortation, [...], borrovved from that sound vvhich the Mariners vses to others, euerie one to moue others to rovv. A shout direct to the dead that lyes in the graue: it shall pearce through the graue and eares of the dead, and shall waken them vp. With the shout shall be conjoyned the voice of the Archangell, and with the voyce of the Archangell, the sound of the trumpet of God, and this shall be the last trum­pet, and neuer shall the voyce of the trumpet be heard againe, and it shall be the sh [...]llest trumpet that euer was heard. Now when the Lord in his comming downe shall come to the place where he is ordained to sit, to judge the worlde, which shall be in the cloudes: Then all the Angels shall showe their presence, and the Angels shall make a glorious Throne to the Lord of glorie, and there he shall sit. This much shortlie for the com­ming and appearing. I shall be short in this matter. For, I will speake nothing but make a narration of it out of other parts of Scripture.

Would ye vnderstand the effectes that followes on his com­ming?Effectes follovving Christs cōming. Certainlie notable effectes must followe on it. The Lord prepare vs for it. The Father shall be there, the Sonne [Page 223] shall be there,cōming. the holie Spirite shall be there vvith all their power, and all their Majestie. The glorie of the Father neuer appeared so glorious, as it shall appeare that day. The glorie of the Sonne neuer appeared so glorious as it shall appeare that day. The glorie of the holie Spirit neuer appeared so glorious, as it shall appeare that day. Ye see in the Parliament the Kings of the earth appears in their greatest glory to the people; so, the Lord of the world shall appeare with an infinite and vncapable sight of glorie. Now to come to the effects that shall follow on his comming.Assēbly. The first effect. There shall be an assemblie, a conuention, the fairest conuention that euer was since the world stoode. There are none that euer tooke lyfe, but all shall bee there: all shall be sommonded with the shout of the trumpetuall shall compeare: no excuse, the graue shall not excuse, death shal not excuse, dead and liuing, neuer man, nor, woman excepted, all shall be there. So, the first effect that shal follow the comming of the Iudge, shall be a conuention of the whole world, elect & re­probate, dead and liuing. And I shall tell you, after what order it wil be, by the Scripture. The first that shall come there to the con­uention, shall be they who were dead, they shall preueene them who were alyue. And Adam and Eue, shall be with the first, and in the first ranke. For before they vvho in the vvorlde shall be changed (which shall be in the twinkling of an eye; and it shall stand to them in stead of death) ere this change be made, the dead shall ryse first. 1. Corint. 15. 51 52. Some of them who are dead, shall ryse to lyfe and honour, to witte, the elect: Some of them, to wit, the reprobat, to dishonour, ignominie and death, and a worse death nor they ly in presently. Then when the dead is raised vp, and compeares first, then shall follow that sodaine change of them who shall be alyue: the elect that shall be alyue shal be altred in a moment, in the twinckling of an eie, to a glori­ous estate. The reprobat aliue, shall be altered to, but, if they wer ignominious before, they shal be more ignominious then: for, not only their soule, but soule and body shal be vgly, and if they had any beauty,Estate of the bodies of the e­lect. it shall bee changed in a wonderfull foulues. But, to speak of the body of the elect: for, the Scripture speaks most of them. Paul (1. Cor. 15. verse 35.) moues the question, with what bodies shall they ryse? what bodie shall the elect haue? For, he is [Page 224] not curious of the bodies of the reprobate, but he markes nar­rowlie the rising of the bodies of the godlie at that day. And the first qualitie he giues them, is, that, whereas their bodies wer naturall, when they were laid down in the graue, their bodies in that day, shall be made spirituall: Not, that our bodies shall be changed in spirites; no, our bodies shall be bodies indeed, of that same substance they haue now. The verie same substance of the bodie thou hast in this lyfe, the same verie substance thou shalt haue in that lyfe, and no other. It shall be present at that day, that same verie bodie, that same very hand and foote, &c. and no other bodie, nor no other hand nor foote, &c. And there shall be none of the ashes of the bodie, but it shall be keeped, vntill that day, and shall be gathered vp and joined better, nor e­uer it was before. Then, the bodie shall abyde. Our lyfe shall be much better. I liue heere a naturall lyfe, by a naturall power in my soule, but, in the resurrection, my lyfe shall be spirituall, and I shall not liue a naturall lyfe: Now I liue by a naturall power in my soule, but, then, I shall liue spirituallie, by a spirituall power in Christ. Yet, there shall be more. Another propertie of the bodie shall follow on this. This bodie, if it were neuer so faire, yet, in respect of the glorie it shall take vp, it is but ignominious, but the bodie shall rise glorious and shyning as the Sunne; not by this naturall skin and colour that we haue here; but by a pas­sing light and brightnesse, conforme to that brightnesse of Christ, when he was transformed on the Mountaine. (Reade Matt. 17. 1.) and conforme to his glorie in Heauen, as the Apo­stle telles Philipp. chap. 3. verse 21. Yet more, ye see our bodies weake. The strongest man is soone beatten downe for all his strength; all the povver of man is feeble and weake, but in the re­surrection, the bodie shall be strong and pithie. One man (to be homely with you) stronger in the resurrection, nor an hundreth: yea, nor thousands are now. For, all feeblenesse shall be left be­hinde him in the graue, and he shall ryse strong, lyke the Angels in glorie and strength. Yet more then this. (What matter of all this former glorie, if it were possible, that, this spirituall bodie could perish:) The Apostle addes to this. We shall rise incor­ruptible, immortail, to lyfe euerlasting: when we shall ryse in that strength, that power and freedome, immortalitie shall fol­low [Page 225] after mortalitie, glorie after ignomnie, strength after weak­nesse, spiritualitie after naturalitie. In lyfe we shall be spirituall, in qualitie glorious, in tyme euerlasting, there is no end of it. This is the propertie that Paul speakes of our bodies in the re­surrection.

Now to goe forward. There shall followe more in this con­uention. That same power that shall conueene all men toge­ther,Separati­on of the e­lect from the repro­bats. that same power shall make a seuering. The Angels, the Ministers of that glorious judge, shall stoppe in betweene the elect and the reprobate, and putte them a sunder. They shall seuere the sheepe from the goates, they shall put the sheepe at the right hand of the judge, and the goates at the left hand. Reade Matt. chap. 25 verse 33. Appearantlie Paul heere would meane to vs another kynde of seuering: and yet all is one. This appearantlie vvoulde be his meaning. They shal al be ga­thered together on the earth, and all shall stand together in a troup, and then this seuering shall be made: Then all the elect shall be rest vp to the cloudes, to meete the Lord in the cloudes. As for the reprobate, they shall all stand still on the earth, and shall not get that honour, to be rest vp in the aire, but shall byde on the earth, and receyue their judgement there. For, Paul, vvhen he sayes, they shall be rest vp to meete the Lord in the aire, he speakes onely of the elect. Then, there shall be a seue­ring, after which there shall neuer be a meetting againe: a great golfe shall be betweene them that none may passe: We are all mingled heere through other, and none knowes other: The sheepe oft-tymes are taken for the goates, and the goates for the sheepe; but, at that great day, the sheepe shall be seuered from the goates, and shall neuer meete againe, be it man with wyfe, parents with children. There are two effects, a conuention of all, and a seuering of all.

Yet the Iudge and the power of the Iudge shall passe for­warde, and the third effect followes. When the Judge hes all gathered together and none avvay: vvhen the rovve is called, and all are present: Then vvhen one sorte shall be placed at the right hand,Iudgemēt pronoun­ced. and the other at the left hand; then shall he fall to judgement: He cannot judge before he seuere; the verie seue­ring telles the judgement: but, before the seuering, the judgement [Page 226] shall not be pronunced. Then generallie he shall judge all ac­cording to their workes. The bookes shall be opened, the book of conscience shall be opened, the booke of workes shall be o­pened and al their judgement shal be according to their works [...] vnderstand this. The elect man shall be judged according to his works, not that his works shall be the cause that shal pro­ [...] his lyfe: but he shall be judged by his works as a testimony of his faith in Christ and of the maner of lyfe that he hes liued in the worlde as a member of Christ: So he shall be judged by his workes; not as a cause, but as a token of the true cause, as ye would judge a man by a witnesse: for the workes shall be the tokens of the true cause, which is, the onely justice of Christ imputed vnto vs by faith. I dare say, albeit the reprobate wor­the [...]e shall be damned according to their workes, yet they shall be speciallie condemned that they beleeued not in Iesus Christ, but contemned his Gospell without faith. Then to come to the sentence. The Lord will beginne at the elect, as best and worthiest and he shall giue them their sentence, Come ye blessed of my Father, and vvher [...] the Kingdome prepared for you, before [...] of the vvorlde. Matt. chap. 25 verse 32. From once this sentence is past out on them, when this absolution from death and damnation is pronounced, looke what estate they [...] be in: They shall stand with the Angles, as assessours to judge the reprobate. So Paul 1. Cor chap. 6. verse 3. saies, knovv [...] iudge the Angels? that is to say, we shall allow that most just sentence of Iesus: And among all the rest of the [...] the twelf Apostles speciallie shall haue place. For, they shall sit on twelfe Thrones, to justifie that just sentence that shall passe on the reprobate. Then shall the sentence passe out on the reprobate: the voice shall goe downe throgh the aire to the earth, a terrible voice, [...] accursed of my Father to the fire prepared for the Deuill and all his Angels. Brethren, thinke not this a fable, manie will not beleeue this, vntil they feele it in them selues.

Now to be short. To speake of the lyfe of the reprobate af­ter this sentence, they shall no [...] remaine on the earth. In the ve­rie moment of the doome (that is certaine) they shall passe to d [...]mnation. [...] At that same verie moment thou receiuest the sen­tence [Page 227] of lyfe, thou shalt goe to Heauen: The moment the repro­bate receiues sentence of damnation they shall go to Hell. Now to speake of this death and lyfe: I will not be curious, there is much spoken in the Scripture thereof, both to let vs see the glorie of the elect and the torments of the reprobate. But, I tell you in one word, it was neuer all tolde. Neuer Prophet nor A­postle expressed the greatnesse of the joy that shall come to the godlie, nor of the paine that shall come to the vngodlie. There shall bee another paine nor fyre and brimstone to bee tormented in. Neyther can any expresse the joye in Heauen, There shall be such glorie and joye as the eare of man neuer heard of, the eye hes not seene, nor yet hes it entered in the heart of man. Novv looke hovv Paul speakes of this joye heere. He sayes, [...] shall be [...] vvith the Lord. He contentes him with these wordes. To be with the Lord imports not a dwelling only vvith him, but a lyfe and glorious lyfe, joye that is vvith him vnspeakable: I cannot tell it: all the tongues in the vvorlde cannot tell it: For, all the joye in Heauen it is in the Sonne of God, and shall shine through him, that is, through the naturall [...] of man, couered ouer vvith a Majestie; and so all Hea­uens joye and glorie shall be vvith him, and they vvho shall bee vvith him shall be in that glorie and joye vvith him. I dare say more. These thinges shall not be outvvith vs onely, but vvith­in our bovvels. The joye and glorie shall not be outvvith the godlie, as it is novv: Commonlie the glorie, the pleasure, are ou [...]vvith vs, the matter of joye outvvith vs, and vve [...] to it. But then, all matter of joye shall be in vs; Christ first be in vs, and God shall be all in all, and God in [...] be dvveling in vs; and then, vvhen thou hast all vvithin thee, vvhat shall thou vvant? And therefore, in the Reuelation chap 21. verse 2; it is said, We shall not neede thinges outvvith vs. neyther a Temple, nor Sunne, nor Moone, for, God being in thee, shall be vnto thee a Temple, hee is all in all; and hee being in thee [...] all [...] thee. In one vvord, He shall be vvithin the [...], [...] because God in Christ shall dvvell vvithin thee, and [...] [Page 228] part of that glorie and felicitie of that lyfe. Novv is there no more nor this? What matter if it vverfor a tyme vve vvere to be with him? What matter of Heauen if Heauen lasted not? What matter of a Kingdome that vanishes away? A man set vp on a pompe to day, casten down to morrow? what matter of heauen­lie glory, let be the earthly glory, if it lasted not? but the Apostle saies we shall be with him for euer. Take vp then our blessed­nesse. It stands in two pointes; first a passing and exceeding joy and glorie: and secondlie in an eternity and euerlastingnesse of joy and glorie. Paul plainly and pithilie settes these two toge­ther. 2. Cor. chap. 4. verse 17. He calles it a weight of glorie, that is excellent: Then he calles it an euerlasting glorie. There are two, a weight of glorie, and an euerlasting vveight of glorie, and more excessiuelie excessiue. He cannot get wordes to vt­ter it. It is a weight that will vveigh dovvne all the vvorlde, and then a weight of glorie excessiuelie excessiue, and then eternall and euerlasting. So our felicities in glorie, and passing great glo­rie and an euerlasting glorie. As for the paines of the reprobate▪ I will not insist to speake of them, because the Apostle is speak­ing heere to comfort the elect.

Now when the Apostle hes made a discourse of the com­ming of Christ, He makes his exhortation and sayes, and so I say also, Comfort one another vvith these vvordes. Brethren, many hes sought comfort, death is dolorous and wearisome in the owne nature: and therefore, many of the Heathen hes busied them­selues to get comfort and matter of consolation in the houre of death. What matter of death, if there be a comfort therein? but then is death dolorous when it is without comfort. But, vvas there euer any that got comfort that knew not Christ, and the re­surrection, and a life after this life? no, neuer man; neither king nor Emperor. As for all the comforts they had, all was but vanitie, and dreames of comfort. Againe I say. Was there euer anie that gaue comfort to a bodie in death, or that gaue comfort to them that vvas heauie for the death of their freinde, but that man that hes a sense of that glorious resurrection of Christ and of his comming? And therefore, as thou wouldst haue comfort in death & giue comfort for death; know, that, the Lord is to come in the world: knovv, that, there shall be a glorious resurrection, [Page 229] and after the resurrection there shall be an eternall joy and glo­rie in Heauen. And looke, that, this be not onely wordes in the mouth. There are many vaine bablers of Christ, and of that glo­rious resurrection: A knaue, an adulterer, a murtherer will flat­ter himselfe, and clatter of that glorie and joy: but all is vanity▪ Wilt thou be a knaue, and then speake of these thinges? The Lord shall punish thee. Looke therefore, that, thy speaking of the latter day be not in vaine wordes; Heauen and lyfe euerla­sting is not in wordes; but, looke, that, it be fectfull in the heart, and that, of the aboundance of the heart, the mouth speake. Be­fore thou speake, feele it in thy heart, and then speake. So sayes Paul 2. Cor. chap. 4. verse 13. I beleeue I shall ryse, and therefore I speake to you. And Dauid sayes, I beleeue, and therefore I spake. Psal. 116. 10. And say, I pray God that I beleeue all these thinges that I speake to you. The Lord giue euerie one of vs grace, that, we may beleeue all these thinges of Christes comming, and of the glorious resurrection: For, vvithout Faith and Hope, of these thinges, no comfort, no lyfe. The Lord giue vs Faith and Hope, vntill he bring vs to the full sight and fruition of these thinges throgh Christ. To whom with the Father and the holie Spirite, be all honour and praise for e­uer and euer



1. THESSA, CHAP. 5. vers. 1. 2. 3.

1 But of the tymes and seasons, brethren, ye haue no neede that I vvrite vnto you.

2 For ye your selues knovve perfectly, that the day of the Lord shall come, euen as a thiefe in the night.

3 For vvhen they shall say, Peace, and safetie, then shall come vpon them sudden destruction, as the trauaile vpon a vvoman vvith childe, and they shall not escape.

IN the text immediatlie going before ye haue heard (brethren) of the comming of the Lord Iesus, the Iudge of the world in that day appointed, to judge the quicke and the dead: Of the resurrection of the dead especially of the chosen that shal be dead before that day: of the changing of them that shall be found liuing that day by vertue of the resurrection of Christ, and of the lyfe, glorie, and joy that they shall enjoy after they are rest vp in the clouds. They shall be with him for euer.

Now to come to this text we haue in hand. The Thessaloni­ans hearing and vnderstanding that the Lord will come from heauen, Iesus will come and judge the world, might haue moued the question to the Apostle, about the tyme of his comming: when he will come? what yeer, what day, what houre, what time generally shall we looke for him? The Apostle meetes this, and answers, It is not needfull, brethrer, that I vvrit vnto you of the times [Page 231] and seasons: for ye yourselues knovv perfectly that the comming of the Lord shall be as a th [...]efe in the night. And therefore, why should I goe calculat dayes and yeeres to you? seeing that the Lord shall come at vnwares, and on a suddainty: the world shal not wit vn­til he come. And he proues this in the next verse from the effect of his comming. They who shall be found in a deadlie securitie sleeping, they shall be striken sodainly: For vvhen they shall say, Peace and safetie, then shall come vpon them sodaine destruction, as the trauaile vpon a vvoman vvith chylde, and they shall not escape. And vpon that followes an exhortation to vigilance. Now to come to the words of the text, I need not vvrit to you, saies the Apostle, concerning times and seasons. It is not needfull (would he say) it is not expedient, it is not profitable to you, yea more it pertaines not to you to know it. As the Lord saies Act. 1. 7. when the Dis­ciples a litle before his ascension was curious to know the times, he saies, It is not expedient to you to knovv the tymes and the seasons the Lord hes in his [...] By times is meant, all times lesse or more, whether it be the time of an houre, a day, a weeke, yeere, or any greater tyme. It pertaines not to you to knowe anie tyme of Christes comming, yea to knowe in what age of the worlde, let be, the moneth, weeke, yeere, or day it shall be. It pertaines not to you to knowe any definite or certaine tyme. The next word is [...]. It meanes a more strait and particular tyme when things commes to passe according to the Lords preseryued tyme, in his counsell the artickle of tyme God hes appointed to it. There is nothing the Lord hes appointed, but it shall f [...]ll out in that same moment and artickle of tyme. Now would ye know what meanes these seasons? I vnderstand by them▪ the morning, noon­tide, euening. In the 1. chap. Act. It is not for you (saies Christ) to knovv tymes and seasons, vvhich the Lord [...]es put in his ovvn povvers. Ye should not know the time of his comming, whether he come in the morning, euen tyde, midnight or cock- [...]w▪ So the an­swere the Apostle makes, is, ye should not be curious about the time of Christs comming▪ asking for daies, weeks, months, yeers, it is not for you to know this.

Now to marke something, for I vvill not goe deeplie in this matter. We learne of the text immediatly going before. There is nothing vnder the Sunne more sure not this, that, Christ vvill [Page 232] come.Certainty of Christs comming. This is a thing that euerie one of vs is bound to knowe, that Christ will come and sit in judgement, and put an end to all thinges in this worlde And this is an artickle of our Creed. From thence he vvill come to iudge the quick and the dead. If thou beleeue not that Artickle, howbeit thou beleeue all the rest of the Ar­tickles, thy faith is nothing. Then the second thing I marke of this, is, the curiositie of the Thessalonians. This curiositie hes beene in all ages, that when any man heard tell that the Lord Iesus is to come againe, and to judge the world, and to put an end to all thinges, in all ages there hes risen vp men curious to vnderstand the tyme, and to searche when he shall come. The Apostles begouth this:Curiositie in search­ing the tyme of Christes comming repressed. for, immediatlie before the ascension of our Lord, they vttered this curiositie, asking the tymes and sea­sons of his comming againe. But incontinent their curiositie is snibbed and repressed by the Lord, Act. 1. 7. From that tyme men hes neuer left off to be curious of these tymes and seasons. Men hes beene curious to lay an account if Christes comming shall be in this yeere, in this age: yea, men in our age hes done this: but all is vanitie. Now thirdly, I note on Pauls part, and his answere to them. Men should not search in curiouslie a­nent the tyme of Christes comming. Men should not seeke the moneth, day, yeere nor age: that perteines not to them. There is great difference betweene the first comming of Christ, and his second comming. As to the first comming, it was the will of the Lord that the tyme of his comming should be knowne to the world: And therefore, he reuealed the yeere of his comming to the olde Prophetes. As ye may see 9 Daniell. And as Peter telles 1. Epist. chap. 1. verse 10. They searched in to the very tyme of this comming, and they did nothing but that which they should haue done. And Christ findes fault with the hypocrite Iewes, that could take vp by the sky what maner of weether should be, but searched not the tyme of his comming. Luke 12. 56. But as to his second comming, he neuer tolde of the tyme of it. Yea, in Da­niell in his last chapter 4. verse, there is a plaine inhibition to seeke out the tyme of it. Therefore, it perteines not to men to know it: yea, it is better not to know the tyme of it, nor to know it. And this Christ means Matt. 24. 42. Watch therefore, for, ye knovv not at vvhat houre your Master vvill come. Where he teach­es [Page 233] vs, that the ignorance of the tyme of his comming is verie profitable for vs, because it makes vs to watch and pray, wheras the knowledge of it would make vs carelesse.

Ye may aske at me, May we on no wayes speake or thinke of the Lords comming to judge the quick and the dead, and the tyme thereof? I answere. To define a speciall tyme, either in the cogitation or thought of thy heart, or in the words of thy mouth thou canst not, nor thou shouldest not doe it. But generallie to thinke and to say, the Lord will come shortlie, whether this age, or the next age, I know not: but, I know well, it shall not be long when the judge shall come, it shall be soone: it is lawfull for thee to thinke and say this. For, the Lord himselfe hes said, When it is craued (Reuel. chap. 22. vers. 20.) Come Lord Iesus, yes (saies he) I come shortly. When he sayes, he will come shortlie, let vs beleue it. The Historie in the Gospell Matt. 24. 25. &c. of the euill and the good seruant, teaches vs what vve shoulde doe, vntill the Lords comming. The euill seruant sayes, My Master delayes his comming home, therefore, he will begin to play the wanton, and to drinke, and to smite his companions. The good seruant will say, I am looking for my Masters comming shortlie: he will come at noone-tyde, or midnight, or Cock-crow, I will wait for it, and therefore, I will be vigilant. And so this good seruant tels that we should euer await for the Lords comming diligentlie. And surelie his comming is neare, and faine would the godlie haue his comming, to end their miserie, and to perfite the joy and glorie he hes appointed for them. And therefore, the Lord saies, I come shortlie, I shall not be long. And albeit we thinke it be long since he promised this: yet, thinke not, he delayes his comming. For, a thousand yeeres, in the sight of the Lord, are but as an houre. 2. Pet. 3. 8. and in respect of him, there is neyther long nor short tyme. So, thinke euer with the good seruant, the Lord will come shortlie, and he is daily comming: yea, and we should desire him to come shortly euerie day, and we should euer patientlie waite for it. And therefore, this clause is added in the Lords prayer, Let thy Kingdome come: Which desires, that, he would perfite that worke of glorie. Ye see Paul sayes, 2. Tim. 4. verse 7. 8. I haue fought a good fight, I haue keeped the faith, I haue runne out my course. Then, he subjoines. But, vvhat re­stes? [Page 234] I shall [...] the crovvne of glorie, vvhich the Lord Iesus as Iudge, generall vvill giue, me, and [...] onely giuen to me, but to all them vvith thirstes for his comming. Assuredlie that bodie shall receiue the crowne of glorie. Whereto are we so curious of the tyme of the generall judgement? Knovve vve not, that, our o­vvne death is our particulare judgement? Know I not, that with­in a short tyme, I shall be called to an account before that Tri­bunall? No sooner shall the soule depart out of the bodie, but as soone shall my judgement beginne: for, the soule shall imme­diatlie departe to that place vvhere it shall remaine for euer. Therefore seeing the day of my death is the day of judgement to me▪ (and how many of you that heares me this day will be li­uing this day tvventie yeeres?) What needes vs to be curious an [...]ut the tyme of the generall judgement? seeing our ovvne particulare judgement is at hand. The Lord is alreadie vvar­ning vs to [...], and yet, the Lord vvill not haue vs more know­ing the particulare tyme of death, no [...] the day of judgement. The Lord vvill haue vs vncertaine, albeit men will be curious to knovve it. The cause is, that, all may be in readinesse, that there be not an houre in the day, but thou be readie vvhen the Lord shall call on thee, and vvill say to thee, Goe, I vvill haue thee carying heere no longer: That thou may say, Lord, I vvill goe vvith thee, and vvele come death? The Lorde re­fuses to tell his Disciples particulare tymes, but biddes them vvatche for that tyme. This doctrine is verie requisite to vs. They are liuing this day vvhome [...] this daye eight dayes, the Lord vvill call on. Therefore, let euerie one prepare them selues.

No: in the second verse he giues the reason vvherefore it is not expedient that they should knovve of Christes comming to judge the worlde. For, sayes he, ye your selues knovve perfectlie that the day of the Lord shall come [...] as a thiefe in the night. That is,S [...]daintie of Christs commi [...]g [...] the [...] of it vncertain [...] sodaintie▪ Men shall neuer knowe, vntill they see Christ come. If hee, come in the morning; then ye may say when he is come, The Lord is come in the morning. And be­fore that tyme thou shouldst not thinke no [...] speake of the cer­taine houre of Christes comming. There are two thinges that cannot be knovvne both together▪ The comming of Christ [Page 235] on a sodaintie, and the certaine tyme of the comming of Christ. If I knevv the Lord vvould come sodaintie, it is follie to me to trauaile to knowe the speciall houre thereof: vvhen thou hast calculate to see the verie houre of his comming, it is but va­nitie. I tell thee, the Lord shall come as a thiefe in the night, which tyme is most vncertaine, and therefore all thy calculation failes thee. Yet, farther. He sayes, that ye yourselues knovve per­fectlie that he shall come at a certaine tyme. Heere is a certaine tyme, but there is not a certaintie of a certaine tyme, but a cer­taintie of an vncertaine tyme. And if the Apostle settes downe a certaintie of an vncertaine tyme, it is impossible to thee to get a certaintie of it. Ye shall reade this in Matthevv [...] chap. 24. verse 42. And who euer hes trauailed in any age to count the houre and tyme of his comming, the Lord hath lette them see they are confooted of error, and the Lord hes condemned that labour. It is a bolde thing to man to seeke out that thing the Lord hes hid▪ Men will stand vp and calculat such a yeere of the Lords comming. O vanitie, thou passes thy boundes, and thou had no such thing in commission giuen to thee. The Lord keepe vs from such vanitie.

But, to goe forward: in the the thirde verse the Apostle giues the reason of the sodaintie of the comming of that day as a thief in the night. For, vvhen they shall cry Peace, Peace, &c. As he woulde say, The effect shall shovve it, byde, vntill he come. The sodaine destruction at his comming shall shovve his so­daine comming. When they shall say, peace, &c. and say, all is well, shut the doores, and be merie, then, on a sodaintie, the de­struction shall ouertake them. Then, I see, that, the death, that men shall die at Christes comming, shall bee a sodaine death. Who euer shall die at Christes comming, shall die sodainlie. A great difference betweene this death, which vve die novv, and that death, which shall be at Christs comming. When men now dies, they get leasure to die. There is patience in God, there is leuitie and long suffering: for, when we see we are on death-bed neuer to liue againe, then, he drawes vs to repentance, and he wil not sodainlie strike vs to death, but giues vs tyme to amend and turne to him. A murtherer he will take him and cast him in prison, and vvill let him a [...]yde there, to see, if hee vvill repent. [Page 236] So, there is patience now: But, in the day of judgement, there shall be no lenitie, nor, patience. And if thou be a reprobate, thou shalt not haue grace nor tyme, to say, Lord, be mercifull to me: for, er thou end the word, when thou beginst to speak, thou shalt be striken. And what means this? Euen, that, this is the accepta­ble day, the day of Gods patience and long suffering. Repent therefore. Sit not the tyme, for, certanilie, wilt thou sit the tyme, vntill that comming? no patience, no grace, no repentance, but a change shall be in the twinckling of an eye. The Lord when he giues vs tyme to repent, giues vs grace also to repent. Thinke it a great blessing, when the Lord layes thee in paine, that he giues thee that tyme to repent, and make vauntage of it.

Now the wordes woulde be marked. For, vvhen they shall say, peace, then shall come on them sodaine destruction. In the chapter go­ing before, the first death was called a sleepe, yea, the reprobate when he is striken it is called a sleepe; and where sleeping is, there is a waking againe: But, the second death is commonlie called destruction, an vtter wreak and destruction, and no death. In the 2. Epist. Thessal. chap. 1. verse 9. Paul speaking of Christes comming to judgement and paine of the reprobate, he castes to a propertie to this worde, and calles it an euerlasting destruction. Heere, he calles it a sodaine hastie destruction. How can these two stand? Well eneugh: for, in the comming of Christ, it shall be sodaine: and yet, albeit the comming be sodaine, the destructi­on shall be endlesse and not sodaine. Well were them, if they were beastes: for, so soone as the branes of a beast are beaten out, then, the wreak of it is done: But, the reprobate shall ay be deing, and neuer be dead, ay wreaked, and neuer an end of their wreak­ing. What matter, if▪ at the end of ten thousand yeeres, there could be an end of their destruction. Paul in that place giues a reason of that endlesse destruction. (There is none of vs but we should vnderstand this) Seeke the cause from the judge and striker: The cause is not so much in the man striken, as in him who strikes, who is infinite. And therefore, the paine is infinite. As for exemple. Let a King, or, Monarch take a man & torment him, and yet holde his lyfe in: Burne him, and boyle him with [...]yle, yet, that paine shall end. Let him pull the skin off him, doe what torment he can to him, yet, that paine shall end. For, neuer [Page 237] a Monarch yet could keepe a man in endlesse paine: they may well pyne folke, but that paine shall haue an end: all the judges power is bounded and limited, and therefore, he must haue an end in his tormenting: But, the Lord is inf [...]t. And therefore, he may torment in pain euerlastingly. Al torment here, is but childs play, in respect of the heauy judgements of God: what matter, to fall in mans hands: their wraith and power is nothing, in respect of that infinite wraith of God, who punishes, without an end of paine. Hell is not so light a thing, as men trowes. That terrible day is not as men beleeues. Therefore, in vvhose handes that euer thou cast thy selfe, cast not thy selfe in the handes of an angrie God: No, rather chuse to die ten thousand tymes, ere thou fall in the handes of an angrie God: If thou knew the tor­ments of Hell, tho would be afrayed. So, the thing especiallie we should care for, in this lyfe, is, euer to seeke, to stand in friend­ship with him, to be war of his wraith, and rather take on thee the wraith of the whole world.

Now, he notes the tyme, when this sodaine destruction shall fall. When they shall be saying, Peace and safetie, at this tyme, scarcely shal he haue ended the word, when the strok shal light. We reade of Belshazzar, Daniell 5. 5. who was prophaning the veshels of the Lords house and crying peace; but, he had not spoken the word, when all his joints seuered, and the hand writ­ting on the wall afrayed him. In the wordes, marke tvvo things. First, on whom shall this sodain destruction fall▪ secondly, what tyme should this destruction be. Then, vvho is it, on vvhom this sodaine destruction falles? The vvord beares, men and we­men making mirth in this earth, without the care of God, or, man. The thiefe when he breakes in in a house in the night, vvho is it in the house, he oppresses? If there be a bodie, that is founde sleeping, he vvill cutte his throte, but, if there be anie waking and on his guarde, that man vvill escape the thiefe: So, the Lord, when he shall come and will compasse the whole vvorlde (as it were in a spanne) whom vvill he oppresse so­dainelie? Him vvhom he findes sleeping in the senslesse bed of securitie, vvithout thought, eyther of God, or, of the Deuill, such a man, the throate of him shall be cutted, and hee vvill be casten in Hell incontinent. But, vvho shall be safe? They who [Page 239] are watching and praying▪ lying also in a securitie, but in a spi­ritual securitie hauing an assurance of Gods grace, and mercie to them. Their throate shall not be cutted. But when is it, that the bodie sleeping in a deadlie securitie shall be destroyed? Euen when they are in the highest degree of securitie.Degrees of security Of this sleeping and securitie there are degrees. The best that liues is not altoge­ther fred from this sinne, but there is some that glories in their sinne. The murtherer glories in his murther, and he will say, He hes slaine one to me, but I haue slaine three to him for it. The whore glories in whoredome. Then in the meane-tyme when he is on the hight of his sleepe, eating and drinking, then he is in the entresse to hell; and when he is tumbling in sinne, the shall the Lord come and strike him with a sodaine stroke and light on his head with an heauy, bloody & yron rod, when thou art in the midst of thy sinne, in drinking, in murther, then shall this [...]odde light on thy head to destroy thee.

Now this word [...] or speaking, which the Apostle vses [...]ere, would be marked, there are sundrie kindes of speakinges. There is a speaking in the mouth, there is a speaking in the hart, there is a speaking also in deeds and actions. The Psalmist say­es Psal. 14. 1. The foolish man hes said in his heart, there is not a God. They confesse him in mouth, but, in heart they deny him. Paul speakes of some wicked men who professes, they knovv God, but in vvordes they deny hi [...]. [...] Tit. 1. 16. Now, the wordes of the Apostle are not to be taken so strait, of them, that spoke with the mouth only, but of those also, that speakes the fairest with their mouth, but with a false heart and a wicked deed in the hand. If thou be found speaking peace, and all sure, whether it be in mouth, hart, or hand, this sodaintie in vengence shall ouertak thee. Among al the tokens of a judgement comming, securitie is one of the chief. Woulde ye knowe, if a judgement be comming on a creature, I will tell you: If I finde the [...] sleeping and s [...]o [...]ting in mur­ther, [...] and wickednesse. I will say. Thou art able to get a black wakning. And therefore, among other [...] that shall goe before the latter day, a dead [...] shall be one: For, when they are sleeping in their high sleepe, the [...] [...] the Iudge come [...]. When was it, that the destruction lighted on the first world? when they were sleeping, eating and drinking, [Page 238] without thought of Heauen, or, Hell. When was Sodome de­stroyed? when all the inhabitants thereof wer eating and drink­ing, then, fire and brimstone came downe from Heauen and de­stroyed them. Againe, in your owne memories what euer judge­ment lighted on any Cittie, or, person in Scotland, but ye might see a sensible and dead securitie on them? It is most sure. Ye shall see the experience of it in a childe broght to the s [...]affold, among other lamentations of his miserie, he will say, alas, I was sleeping in sinne, vntill now: I was sleeping in securitie, I was playing the harlote, I was murthering &c. the verie month of him will tell his securitie. These plagues of Pest and [...] began among these borderers: what was their exercise sleeping in sin, reauing from others. So, most justly the plague hes seased on them. Trow ye to be free of it? No truely, the Pest had neuer so soone come on Edinburgh, except ye had beene sleeping. And I pronunce, in Gods name, if there be not a wakning in tyme, and arysing vp out of this senslesse securitie, there shall be another kynde of death.

Now brethren. Then comparison would be marked, whereby he settes out the sodaine judgement Euen as a dolour takes a vvo­man vvith chylde, So shall that paine ouertake them. The dolour of a woman trauelling, and the dolour in Hell is lyke other, in sundrie points. And therefore the Scripture takes oft the exem­ple of it, to descryue the paine of Hell, as in this part. Ye see, the woman beares the matter of her paine in her owne bosome, the childe: and where shall be the matter of pains of Hell, which is sinne, but in the catiues owne bosome? lykewise as a woman with childe will be full of childe: So, the heart of a knaue will be filled with wickednesse and be heauie, albeit he leape and skip on the earth. They are lyke in sodaintie. For, as the sicknesse commes on the woman sodainlie: So, the strok of hel shall be so­daine, and striken sodainlie. Compair these two paines in sharp­nesse. As the woman hes a sharp dolour, which if it lasted, were vntolerable: if the Lord gaue not leysure to draw their breath, betweene showre and showre (as they call it) it were vntolera­ble. So the paines of Hell are exceeding sharp and vntolerable. (But, heere, they differ. The womans paine is but for a tyme, but, the paine of Hell indures for euer.) Againe, when the paine [Page 240] will come on a woman, she may be at the table eating or drink­ing, or she may be sleeping, and it will sodainelie take her. So the paine of Hell will come sodainly, when the wicked are eating and drinking and making merie. But, alas, when the Apostle hes compared it to the paine of a woman trauailing with chylde, he hes not [...]aulde all, no not the thousand part of that paine. The paine of Hell passes all measure. The Scripture for our capa­citie settes downe a comprehensible paine to signifie an incom­prehensible paine. O, the incomprehensible paine of Hell! Al­wayes when thou seest a paine intolerable, thinke on Hell. And say, O Lord, this paine on me albeit it be in the fleshe, it is ex­ceeding sore: therfore, Lord saue me from that exceeding paine in Hell.

Now when he hes spoken of the tyme and paine of it. He sayes, they shall not escape. Some will say, May not men and we­men flee? He therefore seales and stampes the worde vvhich none can open. Thou shalt not escape. Art thou one who hes bene playing and liuing in dead securitie? thou shalt not escape. The bullet came neuer so sodainlie out of the gun, as the judge­ment shall come on the knaue and murtherer. Men will flee these earthlie judgements, when the sword commes, a knaue wil flee from it. When the Pest commes, it may be, that, a knaue will escape, better, nor one, that is worthie twentie of him. O, the pa­tience of God! Knowe ye what God will be doing in the mean­tyme? It may be, he is reseruing the knaue and oppressour to a sorer judgement nor the Pest: he may be keeping him to the day of Judgement, when hee shall be striken with the sodaine paine of Hell. And this is true. The longer he is reserued and re­pentes not, the heauier shall the judgement be when it lightes. For, the keeping of him is an occasion to heape sinne on him. Keepe a murtherer who hes slaine one to day, if he repent not, he shall slay another to morrow, and ay increase in sinne. One sinne is the punishment of another; and a wicked man will run from one sinne to another, vntill he come to the head of the ladder, and haue filled the cuppe full, and holde it vp in his hand, saying, It is full. What is the Lord doing? Hes he done one sin? The Lord heapes vp an heape of wraith for him: Hes he com­mitted another sinne? He addes to another heape of wraith, and [Page 241] so, vntill the cuppe be full, the wraith of God is daily augmen­ted, vntill it be powred out on his head. Alas, will not the visible experience of Gods judgementes moue vs? But how euer it be that men escape now, vntill Christ shall come to the judgement, yet there shall be no escaping at that later day. O, the hand of the Lord will ouer-spanne all, the Lords hand will draw thee out, be where thou wilt be. It is true, at that latter day be­fore Christes comming some will runne to one hole, some to another hole, some will cry, Hilles, couer vs from the vvraith of the Lambe. Shall the hilles couer them? No, no: the Hilles shall present them to the judge, all the creatures shall serue that God and search them out. The watter shall spew them out, the verie fyre shall present them to that Iudge: No escaping from the sight of that Iudge. Then, ye haue the suddentie of this judgement, the eternitie of it, and paine of it. Let all these holde vs in awe. Paul sayes, Knovving the terrour of the Lord, I trauell to be faithfull in my calling, I exhort men. 1. Corint. chap. 5. verse 11. So, let vs thinke on all these thinges, and set our selues to serue God in this lyfe, that we may be fred of paine for euer. The Lord graunt vs grace to doe so, for Christes sake. To whom with the Father and the holy Spirite be all honour and praise, for e­uer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 5. vers. 4. 5. 6. 7.

4 But, ye, brethren, are not in darknesse, that that day should come on you, as it were a thiefe.

5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: vve are not of the night, neither of darknesse.

9 Therfore, let vs not sleep as do other, but, let vs vvatch & be sober.

7 For, they, that sleepe, sleepe in the night, and they that be drunkē, are drunken in the night.

BRETHREN, ye heard, that it was a thing most sure and certaine, that the Lord Iesus will come againe to judge the quicke and the dead; ye heard againe in the beginning of this chapter the vncer­taintie of the day and houre of his com­ming, vvhat age he shall come in, vvhat yeere he shall come, vvhat month, what day, vvhat houre, vvhether in the morning, noone-tyde, mid­night, cockcrow, &c. No man knowes, neither is it reuealed nei­ther is it a thing to be knowne, it is not for our well to knowe it, but for our wel to be ignorant of it; for, if we knew it, it would in­gender a securitie in vs; the ignorance of it is, or, at the least, shold be, an occasion to vs of waking and preparation of vs, for it makes vs ready at what time soeuer he shall come to meete him. Alwaies when he shall come to the vngodly there shall be a de­struction. Iudgement shall suddenly ouertake a great nomber of men and wemen that shall be found alyue at his comming, espe­ciallie [Page 243] these who shall be glorying in the face of the world, say­ing, all is well, shall be suddenly striken, as the dolor commes on a woman with chylde, and they shall not escape,

Now to leaue all thinges taught before and to come to this present matter I haue read. The Thessalonians to whom the A­postle writes, hearing, that, at Christes comming there shall be a sudden destruction, might haue consaued a feare, (as no doubt some of them did) they might haue thought, that, that sudden destruction should haue ouertaken them at the comming of Christ. The Apostle meetes this feare, with a comfort, and he sayes, to them who were turned, who were translated from dark­nesse to light. Brethren (vsing an homely style) Ye are not in darknesse, the sudden destruction shall ouertake them onely, who at the comming of Christ shall be found in darknesse, ly­ing in blindnesse, not knowing Christ: but, as for you, brethren, that day shal not come on you as a thief, that sudden destruction shall not light on you. Indeede, it is true, it shall come on you at vnawares, but it is as true, albeit it be vnawares, yet, it shall not destroy you: The reason is, because ye are not in darknesse, ye are translated out of that darknesse ye were before into, to light, to the light of Heauen, and so ye shall be found waking when the Lord shall come, and so ye ye shall escape that de­struction that shall ouertake them who shall be found sleeping in grosse ignorance at that day. This is the meaning shortlie of the Apostle in this place. Now to marke something. Learne heere, first, when the judgementes of God are threatned, when mention is made of that latter judgement, and of that sudden destruction that shall be at Christes comming. Who are they that feares and trimbles? vvho are they that are striken vvith feare and terrour? It is not the wicked of the world that is lying in darknesse, in the ignorance of God and of Christ, that is fear­ed for any threatning of a judgement. Threaten on a yeere, the wicked who is indured in heart will neuer be striken with feare▪ The vvick­ed mocks the iudg­ment of God. tell him of judgement, the judgement shall neuer moue him a whit [...] albeit it pertaine to him. Speake to him of the sudden de­struction that shall be at Christs comming in the world, tell him, there shall be a day of count, and albeit he seeme in the mouth to acknowledge it; yet, he shall scorne it in his heart. Reade the [Page 244] second Epistle of Peter chap. 3. verse 4. There the mocker is brought in, saying, Where is the promise of his comming, for since the Fathers died, all thinges continue alyke from the beginning of of the creation. Christ indeede shall come to judge the quicke and the dead, there shall be a generall judgement, and a count and reckoning for all our actiones and vvorkes done in this world, good and euill, and a sudden destruction of the world: yet, tell the mocker of these thinges, he shall scorne them all, and he will thinke, all are but vaine fectlesse threatninges. Yea, not onely will the wicked contenine all the threatning of judg­ment, but also the verie judgement it selfe that is lighted on him, except it be all the heauier, he will contemne it. Read Fsay 9. 10. They say (sayes he) in the pryde of their heart, it is but bricke and clay houses that are casten dovvn to vs: (when the judgement commes on them) but vve shall build vp again houses of stone. Se the contēpt of the judgement of God. So except the judgement be the hea­uier, they shall contemne it, and scorne God in his face. Experi­ence telles this. The Earle, the Lord, &c. wil say when his house is casten down in the just judgement of God, What matter that this house be casten down, I shall builde vp one farre better, but the Lord may make that new house fall about thy eares. So, the world will neuer know the judgements of God, vntil the judge­ment light on them to their destruction. Well then if the wicked fear not the judgments of God, then, who feares? the godly, they whom to the judgment of God pertains not:The godly feare gods iudgmēts. And I dar say, in E­dinburgh the godliest is euer most feared for Gods judgments. The Lord is terrible when he commes in judgment. Paul speak­ing of that day of judgement. 2. Cor. 5. 11. he vtters the feare he had of it himselfe, Knovving, saies he, the terrors of the Lord, vve bring men to the Lord, that when he shall come in that terrible judgment we may finde mercy: Be not sensles at the threatning of God. If men had not bene seusles at the judgemēts of God, by famine these yeers bygone, this Pest had not comde: & if theribe not yet a greater fear of God, he shal strik on with his judgmēts.

Next I mark of this place. Who is it that is comforted against Gods judgementes?Consolati­ons belong only to the godlie. To whom belongs consolations, promises, and speaches of comfort in the Scriptures? Speakes the Apo­stle to the Heathen that ly in ignorance and not conuerted to [Page 245] the faith of Christ? They feared not, where there is no feare nor down casting, it is foolishnesse to comfort. Whereto shold I com­fort them who are lifted vp in pride? wherto shold I prease to lift vp him who is ouer high and conceatie alreadie. So, consolation, raising vp of the heart, promises of God, that serues to consolati­on pertaines nothing to the wicked, that hes no sense of miserie, and lyes in ignorance of God: nothing pertaines to them but threatning vpon threatning, judgement vpon judgement. And when they say, Peace, and all things sure; I may say, a sudden de­struction shall ouertake them. And to the men in this land lying in a dead sleepe of this fleshly securitie, and crying Peace, when they are in the midst of harlotrie of murther, &c. I say a sudden destruction and vengence shall fall on them. This shall euer be my cry, vntill they feare and trimble, and haue a sense of their miserie. neuer another word to them, but judgement out of my mouth. Should I say to a man lying in darknesse, brother, ye are in the light, judgement shall not come on you? No, no: But I will say, the Lord shall come suddenly on thee with judgement to destroy thee. So, consolation pertaines to the godly onely: and who euer ye be that feares not Gods judgements, I bidde you in Gods name take no promise of comfort to you, no consolation, vntill ye be touched with a sense of miserie and feele your sins. Then to whom pertaines all the promises of consolation in the word of God? To the godly onely who hes their eyes opened to see God in the face of Christ, hes their heart opened to feele the grace of God through Christ, to them they appertaine: And therefore, ye shall finde in all the Prophetes when a judgement is threatned, immediately after the threatning, they subjoine a sweet consolation to the godly, least they should think the judg­ment to pertaine to them.

The third thing I note. Marke the cause heere, wherefore the Thessalonians shall escape that sudden destruction: Because ye are not in darknesse, Knovve­ledge of God in Christ the cause of escaping iudgement sayes he, therefore, that sudden destruction shall not ouertake you. Marke this cause. The ground of escap­ing this judgement, is, to be fred of darknesse, to be fred of this grosse ignorance, wherein we are inuolued by nature, and to be translated to the light of God, vvherein we may see the face of Christ and Heauen, and the glorie thereof. There is the ground. [Page 246] Whosoeuer shall be found lying in darknesse at Christes com­ming▪ albeit they be found lying waking and looking vp with bodilie eyes, [...] yet if they be in blindnesse in the soule, so that they can see nothing in Heauen, God nor Christ, judgement and de­struction suddenlie shall ouertake them, and all their braines shall be beaten out ere they get leasure to cry God mercie. But againe, who euer they be that at Christes comming shall be found in the light, with the knowledge of God and Iesus Christ with some sight of Heauen, they shall escape and shall liue eter­nally. When the thiefe breakes in in an house, whom is it that he suddenly oppresses? Whom but these whom he findes sleeping with their eyes closed, he will cut their throats ere they be wak­ned. But when he breaks in on an house, and they who are in the house be waking on their guard, and ready for the danger, then the thief shal not preuaile. They will eschew the danger: so shal it be at Christs comming if he find thee sleeping sudden destru­ction shall ouertake thee; if he finde thee waking ready for the danger, thou shalt escape and liue. So ye see how needfull a thing it is to haue knowledge and light, that euery man may be saued. O what it is to knovve God, to knowe Christ to get a [...]ight of Heauen and of the lyfe to come! Thy safetie consistes in it. Then againe see how dangerous a thing is ignorance, and specially the ignorance of God, to put off the day and the night in ignorance of God. Giue thee goode cheare, rest, play, honour in the world, thou wilt put off one day, two daies, three daies, thou wilt say, what care I more; but woe to thee when Christ commes. thou will be sleeping in [...]inne. sudden destru­ction shall ouertake thee: all this tendes to this end, ly not in drunkennesse, get knovveldge out of the vvorde, knovve God in tyme, knovve him in mercie: If thou knowe him not in mer­cy in this lyfe, thou shalt feele him in judgement at that great day of Iudgement. The Lord giue euerie one of vs grace to know him; that hauing the right knowledge of him which leads to saluation, we may at his comming be elected of him to raign in his euerlasting glory in the Heauens.

Novv that vvhich he had said before of darknesse, in the next verse he makes it more plaine, and sayes, for ye are the chil­dren of light, and of the day. That is to say, the fairest light that [Page 247] can be possible. For vvhat in this vvorlde is fairer nor the light of the Sunne and day light. As he vvoulde say, ye are not in the common light, but in the light of the Sunne that shynes most cleare; ye are not children of the night, but of the day. These tvvo vvill neuer stande together, to be the chylde of the night and of darknesse; and to be the chylde of the light and of the day. If thou be the chylde of light and day, it is im­possible to thee for to be the chylde of the night and darke­nesse. And if thou be the chylde of the night and darknesse, it is impossible thou can bee the chylde of the day and light. These tvvo can neuer agree both together. Tvvo Kingdomes cannot stand in thee. If God raigne not in thee, the Deuill must raigne in thee: and if God raigne in thee, the Deuill cannot raigne in thee. Indeed so long as vve are heere, light and dark­nesse may be both in vs, for vvee are neuer free of this darke­nesse, neyther is this light of God persite in vs, but both cannot raigne together in vs: but hovvbeit darknesse be in thee, yet it hes no dominion ouer thee. For vvhere any sparke of the light of God is▪ the light raignes, and God raignes in thee, al­beit thou haue great darknesse in thee: For vvhereuer God is in any measure, he euer raignes. He sayes, Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day. Marke the vvordes. For they import a pithie meaning. They meane, that not onely they are in a light, but that in substance in a maner they are light. As I am light, and thou art light; if thou be the chylde of light, in substance thou art light, euen so as in substance thou art a bodie, in substance likevvise a soule; So in a maner in sub­stance thou art light. For ye must vnderstand this, the chylde is euer by nature of the substance of the Father and Mother. Then if ye be the children of light, of necessitie ye must be in some maner of the substance of light. Paul Ephes. chap. 5. verse 8. sayes to the Ephesians, that some tymeye vvere Gentiles, some­tyme ye vvere darknesse, but novv ye are light in the Lord, vvalke as children of light. He sayes not ye vvere in darknesse, but he sayes in verie deed ye vvere in a maner a verie lumpe of dark­nesse. Then againe he sayes not ye are in the light, but ye are light, your substance and nature is changed in the con [...]rarie, vvhere ye vvere in substance darknesse, novv ye are in sub­stance [Page 248] light, turned from the substance of daknesse, to the sub­stance of light. Now the words this way exponed, take vp an higher ground and of the escaping of judgement at the com­ming of Christ; It is not enough to be found in the light onely, but thou must be found to be light it selfe, and the child of light. I shall make this plaine. There are two sorts of thinges and bo­dies in this world that hes light. There are some bodies that in themselues hes no light in the worlde, they are darke in them­selues▪ yet they will be in the light: As for example, Ye see the black floore ye sit on, it hes no light, of it selfe it is black; but when the Sun shynes on it, it hes light and shynes. There are o­ther bodies that are not onely in the light, but in the owne na­ture are light, as the Sun, it is not onely in the light, but it is light the selfe, and there is no other light to giue it light except the selfe. Now to apply this. There are two sortes of men and we­men in the Church of God. I leaue Pagans, Turkes and Iewes, and I speak of these who are in the Church, and professes them­selues to be Christians: There are some of them in the light, in the midst of the Saintes of God, and professing the worde as the Saintes does, that hes no light of themselues, the light they haue is the light of others; as for themselues they are but black bodies and black soules; Hypocrites that hes nothing in them­selues but blacknesse (an hypocrite hes nothing but blacknesse, and yet he will be in the Church, and as farre in as any man,) but shynes in the light of the word, and of the Saintes of God. Againe there are some who are not onely in the light, shynes not onely in the light of others, but in themselues are light, and shynes in their own light, and there are beames that commes from them, and lightens both themselues and others that sittes with them; as the Sun both shynes the selfe, and makes other in­feriour creatures to shyne. Of the which sort were the Philip­pians, Paul writes to them, Philip 2. 15. and sayes, Ye are com­past with Pagans and Heathen, and ye shyne in the midst of them. So who euer gets this grace to haue this light and to carie it out to the world, they are the children of light. Now in the day of judgement, it will not be enough to be in the Church, to be a­mong the faithfull and renewed creatures, and among them who are light, to be at preaching of the word, except thou be [Page 249] light of thy selfe: what care I, if the light wherein I shyne be not my owne, but the light that shynes from another. If thou haue no more, thou shalt be suddenlie destroyed. Therefore if thou wouldest be fred from this sudden destruction, seeke light, re­generation, illumination, and neuer rest nor be glad vntill thou find in some measure, the regeneration of thy nature, and thy selfe to be light in Christ.

Againe marke heere the vniuersall partickle (ye all) He sayes not some, but he cals all the Thessalonians the children of light, and of the day he maks no exception, he is not so precise as men are now. This learnes vs both Pastor and people, a good lesson to be obserued, to thinke and to judge the best of euerie man and woman, that hes once receiued the seale of Baptisme, and hes giuen their names in baptisme to Christ, and professes christ outwardlie For, albeit many of them will be hypocrites yet it is our part after the exemple of Paul to call them the children of light. Thou art ouer seueare a censurer to call them who hes taine the name of Christ vpon them, the children of darknesse. Seuere not thou the popple from the wheet, the caffe from the corne, the goates from the sheepe, vntill the Lord come and he shall seuere them. Put not men in Heauen vvhen thou vvilt, and men in Hell vvhen thou vvilt, but be ware vvith this rashe judgement.

Now to come to the next verse. Vpon the groundes he hes laid, that all are in light and not in darknesse, and that which is more, that they are the children of light and not of darknesse, he gathers his exhortation. Then, sayes he, if it be so that we are the children of light, let vs not sleepe, but let vs vvatch and be sober. This is the effect of the wordes. There are two thinges that heere are forbidden, and two things that are commaunded. The two things that are forbidden, are sleeping and drunken­nesse: for vnder sleeping, as the text that followes makes plaine, is comprehended drunkennesse. These two thinges goe com­monlie together; a drunken bodie is ay doting and sleeping, for the senses of him are so burdened with surfet he can doe no­thing but ly downe and sleepe. Now there are two thinges re­commended, watching and sobernesse, these two agree also to­gether; for a temperate man who hes moderation in drinking, [Page 250] that man is able to watch when others sleepe, and to do a good turne in the night▪ But to goe through euerie one of them, and to begin at sleeping, for he beginnes at it heere. There are two sortes thereof. First, a bodilie sleeping, vvhen the senses of this bodie are chosed,Sleeping. the eyes closed, the eare closed, and all the senses closed, so that they leaue their function, that is cal­led a bodilie sleepe. There is another called a spirituall sleepe, and it is the sleeping of the soule and spirite, vvhen the eye of the soule is bound vp, so, that, it hes no sight of God, the eare of the soule bound vp, so, that, it cannot heare the vvorde of God. In one vvorde. When all the senses that should grippe God are bound vp, and the soule is lying in a deadlie securitie; That is shortlie the second sorte of sleeping. Novv in this place I vnderstand not chieflie this bodilie sleepe, but the spi­rituall sleepe also. For this bodilie sleepe is naturall, and is lavvfull: the Lord hes ordained that these bodies of ours should be refreshed vvith sleepe; and if thou be sanctified thy selfe, thy sleepe is sanctified also, and all thy actiones, eating, drink­ing, sleeping, and the rest are sanctified (if thou be not sancti­fied, all thy actiones, eating, drinking, sleeping, are vnhappie to thee.) Next I doubt not but at the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, there shall be found some sleeping in the bodies, who shall be waking in their soules. Christ sayes in the 17. of Luke. 34. verse Tvvo shall be in a bad sleeping, one chosen, and another forsaken. And last, albeit the bodie be a sleepe, and all the out­ward senses closed, yet the spirite of man will be waking, the eye of the soule will be opened, the eare opened; and in the bo­dilie sleepe, if it were at mid-night, a man will be waking in Christ, and apprehending him. So I vnderstand that spirituall sleeping, for he forbiddes not this bodilie sleeping onely, but this spirituall sleeping, when the soule is sleeping without sense eyther of Heauen or Hell, and whosoeuer shal be found so sleeping with his a soule altogether senslesse of Heauen and of the lyfe to come, that soule shall perishe without exception. Sleepe on▪ if the Lord come when thou art sleeping, die shalt thou, thou shalt not escape. There is no escaping for thee. But to speake of the bodilie sleeping something. Men should be ware to yeelde ouer much sleepe to the bodie: for certainelie [Page 251] where the bodie is ouer much giuen to sleeping, it is a token of a sleeping soule, and who delytes in sleeping in the bodie, the soule appearantlie is sleeping, and all moderation should be vsed. The sluggisher the bodie be, the sluggisher the soule is. The vvalkrifer the bodie be, thee vvalkrifer the soule is. Now the next thing that is forbidden heere is drunkennesse.Drunken­nesse. There are tvvo sortes of drunkennesse, the one bodilie when a man takes on ouer much drinke oppressing the senses. This is ouer well knowne in Scotland, and we finde ouer great experience heereof. Then there is secondlie a spirituall drunkennesse, vvhen the soule is opprest vvith surfetting and immoderate care of the vvorld, vvhen it drinkes in out of measure the plea­sures of this vvorld, through desire, all the riches of this world, through ambition, all the honour, through a foule appetyte, all the lustes, So the soule becommes drunken and stopped, an aua­ritious bodie a dotting bodie, a man set on pleasures a dotting bodie. Trow ye when the soule is so opprest vvith this world that it will get the eye opened vp to see Christ? No, it is im­possible. Christ speakes of both these sortes of drunkennesse Luke chap. 21. verse 34. Novv brethren, in this place, ye shall vnderstand not so much the outvvarde bodilie drunkennesse, as the invvarde spirituall drunkennesse of the soule. Woe to that soule that shall bee founde drunken vvith the pleasures and lustes of this vvorlde, and so consequentlie sleeping vvhen Christ commes. Yea farther, brethren, the verie outvvarde bodilie drunkennesse is much to be eschevved. For it is not one­lie vvith drunkennesse as it is vvith sleeping; for vve get li­cence to sleepe, if vve vse it moderatlie. But God gaue thee neuer leaue to vse drunkennesse. So it is a dangerous matter to be found drunken. It is a thing vnlavvfull and forbidden, ye shall finde that a drunken bodie commonlie shall haue a drunken soule, and vvoe to that soule, vvoe to that bodie, vvhere both are giuen to drunkennesse. The Lord saue vs from this sort drunkennesse.

Novv before I come to the other tvvo thinges that are re­commended vnto vs in this place, the argument vvhereby he dissvvades them it vvoulde be marked, Let vs not, sayes he, sleepe as others doe. As if he vvould say, Fy on you that ye should [Page 252] be haue your selues as infidels. It is the Gentiles that are sleep­ing. Let them sleep on, but sleepe not thou. The exemple of their sleeping should be an argument to you to watch. The ex­emple of their drunkennesse should he an argument to you to be sober. Now, how reasons the world? Is not this the fashion of all men, therefore why should not I doe so? all men sleepes, why should not I sleepe? He drinkes vntill he be drunken, why should not I drinke vntill I be drunken. Companionry is won­drous good, I should do as others do. But Paul reasons other­waies. It is the infidels that are sleeping and drunken, therefore watch thou ô Christian and be sober: Paul to the Romans chap. 12. verse 2 sayes, Fashion not your selues after the maner of the vvorld, but be ye changed throgh the renevving of the spirite. Follow not this ould sleeping drunken world, but be changed by the re­newing Sprit, and be waking & sober. And indeed let euery one looke to their owne experience, they who are once translated and translated out of this world (for transplanted must thou be in some measure if euer thou see Heauen) the more they see men running on the course of the worlde, the more they detest the world; the more sinne they see, the more they detest sinne; the more drunkennesse and sleeping they see in men, the more they abhorre it. So the following of the multitude and the course of the world testifies that men were neuer transplanted out of this world, out of darknesse vnto the kingdom of light, nor re­newed in spirite, and if they continue on, they shall perishe, for this world will perishe, and they who followes the world will perishe.

Now to come to the two thinges commaunded. The first is waking,Waking. the other is sobrietie. There are two sortes of watching, the bodilie watching, when all the senses are waking and ope­ned to doe their owne functions naturall. The second, when the soule of man is opened, the eye of the soule opened to see Christ and the lyfe to come▪ and to see these thinges that the eye of the bodie cannot see. It is a wonderfull light the soule hes, for it sees thinges inuisible, and sees in as it were to the verie heart of God to a bottomlesse deepe▪ for God is infinite. Yet for all this, the heart that is once illuminate by the Spirite, will see him. So the spiritual watching is, when all the senses of the soule [Page 253] are opened and hes the fruition of God in Iesus, and all exerci­sed about the graces of God through Christ, that is the spirituall waking, which is heere speciallie meant of, not the watching of the bodie, but of the Spirite. For the bodie may be watch­ing, the eye looking vppe, and all the senses exercised in their functiones. And yet the soule of the bodie may be sounde sleeping: When the murtherer is busiest at his murther, albeit he be ryding and running, the quickell man in bodie that euer was, the soule in the meane-tyme is lying in a deadlie sleepe. So I doubt not but if the Lord Iesus would come in this houre, alas the vengence that would ouertake many of them. So they who are in harlotrie, and their senses exercised most in harlo­trie, then they are most sleeping in soule. Trow ye if the eye of the soule saw God, that for all the world they would be ex­ercised in such a filthie exercise. So he meanes chieflie of the watching of the soule. Indeede it is true (as I haue said before) it is good to be walkrife in bodie, for if thou be sanctified, thy bodie waking shall be exercised in some good exercise. And therefore Christ in the garden immediatlie before his passion, Matthevv chap. 26. verse 4. woulde haue his Apostles wak­ing in bodie, aswell as in soule, least they should enter into tentation; for they sleeped vntill his enemies came,Sobrietie. and so for feare they left him. Then the second thing commaunded is sobernesse. There are two sortes of it: The one of the body, the other of the soule. The bodie when it is not surfetted with any excesse: The soule when it is not drunken with the world and pleasurs therof, is sober: for, as the bodie hes her sobrietie, so the soule hes the owne sobrietie, and heere, I specially vnderstand the sobriety of the soule, but indeed the sobriety of the body is to be joined to it. For the sobriety of the body helps much to the sobriety of the soule. As I said before, when the body passes measure in drun­kennes, the soule is commonly drunken to: so when the body is in sobriety, the soule is in sobriety and applied to godlinesse. So both the drunkennes of soule and body is forbidden. In the 21. of Luke 34. He saies, Be vvare least your harts be prest dovvn vvith surfetting and drunkennesse, that is of the body, and vvith the care­fulnes of the vvorld, that is of the soule. Therfore keep sobriety in body and soule. Then, brethren, there are two thinges forbid­den [Page 254] and two thinges commaunded viz. sleeping excessiue, and drunkennesse in soule and body forbidden: watching and so­brietie in soule and bodie commanded.

Now in the next wordes, he giues the reason wherefore they should not sleepe and be drunken, but watch and be sober. They that sleepe, sleepe in the night, and they vvho are drunken are drun­ken in the night. Now he would subsume, ye are not of the night, therefore be ye not drunken, but be sober. So this argument is taine from the inconnenientnesse of the tyme, it is no tyme to you to be drunken now, ye are not in the night. Men vses to sleepe and be drunken in the night, men who does euill seekes darknesse. Ye are not in the night, but ye are the children of the day. Therefore it settes not you to be sleeping or drunken, but ye should watch and be sober. I take vp the lesson shortly. In all our actions and doings we should haue a speciall respect to the tyme: for there is great moment and weight in the tyme, when we should doe this thing, or that thing, and speciallie in the two tymes, the day and the night. All actions must be done in these two tymes. The day hes the actions of the day. The night hes the actions of the night. The actions of the day shold not be done in the night: The actions of the night should not be done in the day. This should be commonly keeped, albeit necessitie sometyme compels otherwaies. There are some acti­ons that are seemelie to be done in the day that is not seemelie to be done in the night. As for exemple: It settes a man to be wakng in the day, it is not seemely to wake in the night, except necessitie compell. Againe there are some actions that are set­ting to be done in the night and not in the day, as to sleep in the night, and it settes a man better to drunken in the night, (if he would be drunken) nor in the day. It is a shame to be drunken before the Sun and day light. Paul in the Rom. chap. 12. verse 11. 12. 13. sayes, Men and wemen should vvalke in comelinesse all ma­ner of way. So soone as thou goest out to the sight of the Sun; albeit none saw thee but the Sun. it becomes thee to be comely. So thou who would be drunken, drinke in the night. Fy o [...] [...]t, that a drunken bodie should come to the Sun, if there were no more but the light of the Sun, it cryes to God for vengence on drunkennesse, albeit no man saw it. Now brethren, there are [Page 255] some vnnaturall men and wemen who will turne the action of the day to the night, and the night to the day. Fy on thee that preuents nature. When this faire Sunne ryses in the morning to comfort them, to let them see the face of it, and to doe their due­tie in that function the Lord hes called them to, What will they then doe? off their cloathes and goe to their beddes. Nothing the most part of the day tyme, but dead sleeping, except they be constraint otherwaies. Then when the Sun goes down, they are glad, and ryses to their villany. And so they testifie that they detest the glorious light of the Sun, which should rejoyse vs. Alwaies when others goe to their beds, then they begin to rise, to eat and drinke, &c. and to take their pleasure, this is not come­ly, and I tell thee, the vengence of God will light on thee, if it were onely for the preuenting of the order of nature. Let the day be day, and the night be night. No question, this peruerting of nature procures the heauy vengence of God to fall on them and their houses. Trow ye that God of Heauen, who ordained nature, can suffer nature to be so abused without auengement? No, I dare say, thou that doest slaye before the Sunne, the Sun shall beare witnesse against thee, and say, Lord this villan so ab­hominably committed murther in my eye, thou sette me in the Heauen that none should worke villany in my eye, but he set me to litle auaile. The Sun no doubt is wearied and groanes, to see the wickednesse of men and wemen, and the creatures groanes to see their vyle sins and faine would be releued thereof. This earth they goe on, groanes vnder the burdene and would as faine be releued of them as a woman with childe would be re­leued of her birth. Well then, if the Lord will reuenge so a sinne that is done before the light of this Sun that shynes, and if the light of this same verie Sunne aggreadges their sinne before the Lord and maks their judgement the greater. O what greatnesse must be in sin, and how fearefull must the judgement be, when sin is committed with an vplifted hand in the face of Christ, that Sun of righteousnesse shyning to vs in his Gospell! The villane cares not to commit filthinesse in Gods presence, he look­ing to vs viuely in the Gospell. Well were it to thee, thou hadst neuer heard of Christ and the Gospell. Then more tolerable might thou haue sinned. But when in the face of God and christ, [Page 256] and in the face of the Gospell thou committes such sin, how can it [...]e, but thy sinne is a thousand tymes [...] greater nor the sin of the Gentiles, and thy damnation ten thousand tymes heauier? And in Hell they that so sinnes shall curse the tyme that euer they heard the Gospell, saying. Woe to me, I haue sinned in the face of Christ and the Gospell Be ware of this, the greater grace, the greater contempt thereof, the greater judgement and damnation for it. No not so much shalt thou be punished for being a thief, a murtherer, &c. as for that (will the Lord say) thou spat in my face. And therefore we ought instantly to seeke God to giue vs grace to reforme vs from this wilfull contempt in the cleare light of the Gospell. To this God be glorie for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 5. vers. 8. 9. 10.

8 But let vs vvhich are of the day, be sober, putting on the brest­plate of faith and loue, and the hope of saluation for an helmet.

9 For God hath not appointed vs vnto vvraith, but to obtaine sal­uation by the meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ.

10 Which died for vs, that vvhether vve vvake or sleepe, vve shold liue together vvith him.

THE last exhortation of the Apostle (brethren) vnto the Thessalonians, was that they should not sleepe nor be drun­ken: but by the contrare, they shold wake and be sober. Two things are forbidden, sleeping and drunkennesse: Two things recommended, waking and sobrietie; the sleeping which he meanes is properlie a spirituall sleepe, when the soule sleepes in a deadlie securitie. [Page 257] Drunkennesse is not so much this bodily drunkennesse (which is also forbidden) as the drunkennes of the soule, when the soule takes a surfet of these earthlie thinges, so that it hes not the care not sense of that life, but is set altogether on vain pleasures. The waking he recommends is a spirituall waking, wakrifenesse in soule when the senses of the soule are opened, the eie of the soul to looke to the face of Christ, to the glorie and life to come, the care of the soule likewise opened to heare and receiue in­wardly the Gospell, which is the word of God vttered by the Minister. The sobriety that is recommended is properly that tē ­perance of the soule when the soule is content with a moderati­on of the things of this world, and vses this world as thogh it v­sed it not, not passing the bounds of rejoicing in this life, but set­ting the joy and pleasure on the life to come, that is the inwarde sobriety of the spirituall man. Now when he hes set down his exhortation he subjoines reasons thereto, and the first reason to moue them not to sleepe, not to be drunken, is in respect of the time wherin they are and for the inconuenience of the time: It is no time to be drunkē, he that sleeps, sleeps in the night; they that are drunken are drunkē in the night, No night now, since Christ is come in the world there is a continuall daylight. And therfore since it is not night, it sets not you to sleep and to be drunken as if it were night. For in all the actiones in this lyfe we ought to haue a speciall regarde of the tyme wherein we doe any thing, and specially of these two tymes, the day and the night. The actiones that becommes the day, settes not the night; and by the contrare the actions of the night sets not to be done in the day. The Lord so distributes the doings of men that he hes giuen the night his actiones and the day his actiones, and in a maner it is a confusion of nature and of the ordinance of God, to doe the a­ctiones of the day in the night, and the actiones of the night in the day, and a kinde of beastlinesse.

But to come to this text. In the first verse we haue red the A­postle giues the reason wherefore they should wake, as he gaue the reason wherefore they should not be drunken. It is in re­spect of the estate vvherein they stand presentlie. But [...]e are the children of the day: Therefore ye should be vigilant and so­ber. Euen as in all our doinges, the tyme of doing is to be respe­cted, [Page 258] if we should doe euerie thing in the owne tyme that God hes appointed thereto. So the condition of men and women who does any thing should be regarded in their doinges, euerie one should doe as becommes their estate, condition and calling; thou that art of a calling, should not do that which pertaines to another of another calling, thy actions should be in that calling God hes placed thee in. Now there are two sortes of estates and conditions of men in this world especiallie to be considered. The first the estate of the children of light: The second, the e­state of the children of darknes, there are none but of necessity they are of one of these conditions. Either they are the childrē of the night, or else, the children of the day. Chuse thee, if thou be not the childe of the night thou art the childe of the day▪ if thou be not the childe of the day, thou art the childe of the night; if thou be not Gods, thou art the Deuils. In all the doings and acti­ons of this life, men does according to one of these two estates If thou be the childe of darknes, be drunken on, for, in spite of thy teeth if thou be the childe of darknes, thou shalt be drunkē both in soule and body: if thou be the childe of God doe as besets thy estate, sleep not but wake; wake in the spirit and soule and haue the inward senses of thy soule open. If thou be the childe of the light and day, be not drunken either in soule or body, for none of them becommes the childe of the day. If thou take vpon thee to be the childe of the day and light, and giue thy self our to be a Christian, and yet will sleepe and be drunken in thy soule, and haue thy senses closed, and haue no more of the childe of light but the ba [...]e name it is better to be without it, for, the very name will aggreadge thy sin before the Iudge, and in the latter day, it will stand vp and testify in thy face against thee, & as it will ag­greadge thy sin, so it will make thy damnation the greater. Wher­as the judgmēt of a Gentile who took on him the name of dark-and not of light, shal be tolerable in a maner, thy judgment shal be intolerable and double. A murtherer who bears the name of a christian commits double murther, and therfore his judgement is double: an harlot who takes the name a christian his sin shall be double, and double shall be his damnation and he shall wish that he had neuer beene called in the world a christian man. Let none therefore thinke they are well eneugh if they be called [Page 259] christians, [...]and come and sit in the Congregation of the Lord, for if then they commit villanie and knauerie, the greater shal be their damnation. If thou be the childe of the day do the workes of the day; if thou be the childe of the night doe the workes of the night. Thou must doe one.

Now to goe forwarde in this verse. As he recommendes to them these tvvo thinges, vvakrifenesse and sobriety. So he recommendes to them in the thirde place armour, wherewith he will haue them inarmed. Putting on, sayes he, the brest plate of faith and loue. There is the first peece of the armor, and the hope of saluation for an helmet. There the next peece of the armor. In al this place what is he doing? Instructing a warriour, a souldiour what he should doe, teaching him to wake and not to sleepe, to be sober and not drunken, to be marmed and not to be naked. Ye know in the worldly warriour there are three things requy­red: first wakrifenesse, a sleeping souldiours is nothing worth. Then with wakrifenesse sobrietie, temperatnesse in his mouth and bellie, othervvayes vvhen he is lying drunken, the ene­mie vvill come on him in the night and cut his throate. Novv the thirde thing that is requyred, is that he haue his armour on him. It is not eneugh to be vvakrife and sober, but he must haue his armour on him.Armour of a spiri­tual vvar­rior, faith, loue and hope. For, if he vvant armour the armed enemies will come on him and slay him Euen so it is in a Chri­stian vvarriour. There is no Christian man nor vvoman but they are vvarriours, and they must make them to fight vnder the banner of the Lord Iesus Christ their captaine. And as it is requyred in the earthlie souldioures that they be vvake­ryse. Euen so it is requyred in the Christian souldiours. The next thing that is requyred in the Christian souldiour is tempe­rance, haue not a drunken soule, thou who wilt be a souldior vn­der Christes banner, thou must not be drunken with the plea­sures of this vvorld. Novv these tvvo thinges are not eneugh, vvith vvakrifenesse and sobriety therfore thou must haue an ar­med soule: as the bodie of the vvordly vvarriour must put on armour, so thy soule must put on armour. othervvaies, vvhen the enemie makes the assault he vvill preuaile against thee; if sinne make an assaulte, if thou be vvithout thy armour, sinne vvill preuaile. Brethren, (ye knovve and it is heere meant [Page 260] by the Apostle) The worldly vvarriour vvhen he armes him­selfe, he hes respect in speciall to these two partes of his bodie, the first his brest where his heart lyes, where the naturall life hes her chief residence: therefore he puttes on his brestplate. The next parte of the which he hes a speciall regarde is of the head, where all the senses lyes. The head is the fountain of all the sen­ses and mouing of the body, and so he will put on an Helmet to saue his head. If these two parts be well preserued from wounds he will regard the lesse of the rest of the body. If a wound be re­ceyued in the heart, no life: A wound in the head and branes, no lyfe, but a wound in the leg, &c. may be mended againe. So the Christian hes a chiefe regarde to two parts as it were, to the heart vvhere his spirituall lyfe lyes, vvhich is begunne in this lyfe, and to the head vvhere all the spirituall senses hes their ground, and where his spirituall mouing is, to defend by armor the lyfe spirituall. What euer other part of him be wounded, he hes a speciall regarde to these two. Now the Apostle bringes in this by a comparison taine from the worldlie armour vsed by earthlie souldiours. The peece of armour that should be put on on the heart of the vvorldlie vvarriour, is the brestplate. The peece that couers the head is called the helmet. The Chri­stian vvarriour hes his owne brestplate and helmet. Yet more ye see. There are two parts of the vvarriours brestplate, the brestparte and backparte, and peece before, another peece be­hinde, that the heart receyue not a wound, neyther at back nor brest. So the brestplate of a Christian vvarriour is builded vp of tvvo partes, the fore parte, Faith that embraces Iesus, the other parte vvhich vve may call the hinder and backparte, Loue, and it flowes from the other parte, loue to our neighbour it hanges on Faith to our God. As to the Helmet it is but a peece, and it couers the vvhole head and senses round about. So the Helmet of the Christian vvarriour is of one peece called the hope of saluation. Hope, that he shall be saued and liue vvith Iesus Christ. And this is his head peece. So long as he keepes this hope he shall saue his head and all his spirituall senses, feeling and mouing. &c. keepe me hope, nothing shall destroy thy spirituall seeing, hearing and feeling, and all the rest of thy senses. And if thy head be bare of hope, thy spirituall senses [Page 261] shall soone be ouerthrowne by the assaults of the enemie. So the summe shortly, the chiefe things whereby the spirituall life, the spirituall feeling and mouing is keept within a man, are, these three thinges, which is chiefly tolde of in the Scripture, Faith, Loue and Hope. Faith in God and Christ. Loue to thy nighbor. Hope to be safe in the grace of Christ. Keepe these three, thou shalt stand inarmed to resist the Deuill and all his works, keepe one of these, thou keepest all; lose one of these, thou losest all. Lose Faith, thou losest Loue; lose Faith and Loue, thou losest Hope.col. It is otherwaies with the Christian warriour, then with a worldly warriour, he may haue his Helmet on and want his brestplait, but, I assure thee, if thou want a peece of this christian armour, thou hast no part of it; hast thou a peece of this armour thou hast all: hast thou Faith, thou hast Hope and Loue: The spirituall graces that are wrought by the Spirit of God, wherein stands our regeneration, are so linked together, either must they be altogether in thee, in some measure, or, else, thou hast none of them. Either must all the powers of thy soule and al thy affecti­ons be renewed, or, else, none of them is renewed And therefore, if thou would try if thou hast these graces, looke if thou hast a­ny one of them, for, then, thou hast all. Looke if thou hast Faith, looke if thou hast a loue to thy nighbor. For, I assure thee, if thou hast no loue to thy neighbor, thou hast no Faith, speak asmuch thereof as thou wilt.

Now to the next verse. When he hes spoken of the hope of saluation, he groundes this saluation vpon the owne fundation, that they might see the fundation of it where-vpon it standes so fast and firmely, to the end they should haue the certaintie of the hope of saluation, and look certainly to be safe. The grounds are two. The first, Gods eternall ordinance and his appointing of them to saluation The second, the death of Iesus Christ. So we shall goe through these two groundes. As to the first. For, saies he,The first ground of the hope of our sal­uatiō, gods decree. God hes not appointed vs to vvraith: that is to punishment. But to obtaine saluation through the me [...]es of the Lord Iesus Christ. Then I marke the first foundation of our lyfe and saluation, is, in Gods eternall election, and it is decreed from all eternity Our saluation standes vpon the ordinance and appointment, decree [...], and purpose of God before the foundation of the world: the [Page 262] foundation of thy saluation was laid ere euer the foundation of the world was laid. Vpon this ground of Gods ordinance ryses vp the building of thy saluation. So as saluation it selfe is grounded on this eternall decree, so hope of saluation is ground­ed vpon the sight of this eternall decree. So that if thou get not a fight in some measure of the eternall ordinance and decreet of God appointing thee to saluation, thou cannot haue a sure hope of saluation: For what certaintie canst thou haue with­out a ground. So of necessitie thou must haue some knowledge of Gods decree to ground hope on. I speak this for them who faies it is a thing ouer curious to search in in predestination. No, no: For if thou get not some sight that thou art in the decree of saluation before the world was made, and say in thy self (God hes decreed that I should be saued, therefore I will hope for it) thou shalt neuer haue a sure hope. Now the decree of God is far of, it hes no beginning, and therefore it hes a farre sight: for the sight of it is not gotten immediatly. Neither I nor any man will be able to look in to Gods ordinance concerning saluation immediatly, God will not take thee by the hand and lead thee in to his secreet counsell and let thee see it: How then is it gotten? Mediatly I knowe it by the effects, and by them one by one I clim and ascend vp vntill I come to that decree of God. Paul Rom. chap. 18. verse 30. These vvhom God hes predestinate, he hes called them effectually, and hes giuen them faith. For in faith standes our effectuall calling, and them vvhom he hes called, he iustifies, and vvhom he iustifies, at last he glorifies. Then vvoulde thou knovve that thou art appointed to lyfe before all eternity, looke if thou hast a beginning of sanctification, looke if thou be sanctified by the death of Christ, and then go to thy calling. And finde thou these in thee, assure thee God hes appoynted thee to saluation before the worlde was made. If I feele with­in my selfe my effectuall calling by God out of this vvorlde to God, I assure my selfe God hes decreed from all eternitie, I shall liue with him in glorie. So to touch this againe, It is foo­lishnesse to say that it is curiositie for men to seeke a vvarrand of their saluation. And neuer shalt thou haue an assurance of thy saluation, if thou get not this hope grounded on this de­cree. The errour of the Papistes is heere rebooked, that [Page 263] sayes, there shoulde not be a certaintie of hope of saluation. Folie, folie, For if I knowe the ground of my saluation, that it is grounded vpon the ordinaunce of my God, I assure me of that lyfe euerlasting, because I knovve the certaintie of Gods ordinaunce, therefore I may justlie assure my selfe, that I shall liue vvith Christ heere, and in the end I shall be glorified with him for euer

Yet to stick on the vvordes. He sayes God hes not appointed you to vvraith. Learne by the way. From all eternitie there hes beene two ordinaunces of God concerning men and wemen.2. decrees of God, one to sal­uation, a­nother to damnati­on. There hes beene from all eternitie, and before the creation of the worlde and of men and vvemen an ordinaunce to lyfe. A­gane there hes beene another ordinaunce, that some shoulde goe to Hell: as there past an ordinaunce of lyfe in the counsell of God, so there past an ordinaunce of death. And these two decrees must stand. The decree of lyfe cannot be rescinded. The decree of damnation cannot be rescinded. And in this place the Apostle speakes of them both. Now, brethren, to en­ter deeplie in this matter it is not meete. But this vnderstand. It is not a naked permission of God that men should goe to Hell. No, the Lord hes decreed it to be done by himselfe, and not to suffer it be done by another. As for exemple, As ye see a potter makes a vessell to honour, so of purpose he makes another to dishonour and for vyle purposes. Rom. chap. 9. verse 20. So the Lord hes appointed one sorte to saluation, and another sorte to damnation. Take head. This appointing of God of the cre­atures to destruction, as destruction is a just penaltie com­ming from the judgement of God for sinne, so it commes of God, and he is the executer thereof. But if ye will take the de­struction not as a punishment but as an vtter vvreake of the creatures, I vvill not say it commes of God. As it is a penaltie of sinne I thinke it commes of God, and he is the doer thereof himselfe, othervvayes not. Alvvayes all these groundes standes sure, there is a solide foundation of life, and a solide foundation of damnation. So this should teach euerie one of vs to striue to get a sight of that solide foundation of lyfe, and Gods appointment of vs to life. It is sure some are appointed to damnation, yea and not a few nomber. Some will say, God sorbid any should goe to [Page 264] Hell, hes not Christ died for all sinners? Alas, except thou see thy warrand of Gods ordinance to thy saluation thou shalt goe to Hell. God is just as he is mercifull. And as he will be glorified in mercy toward the godlie, so will he be glorified in justice to­ward the wicked.

He sayes, He [...]es appointed you to saluation by the meanes of Iesus Christ. Then I see ere euer Gods appointment to lyfe and sal­uation take effect, there must of necessitie interueene a purchas­ing of that lyfe that God hes appointed to thee, that lyfe he hes appointed to thee before all eternity it must be boght. But by whom must it be boght? by thee: by thy moyen: No, I giue thee this doome. If thou thinke that any peece or least tytle of the deseruing of lyfe standes in thy hand, thou shalt neuer get it. Then who shall purchase it? He sayes, to be obtained by the meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ. If the Apostle had said by thy merites, then I would haue run on with the Papistes, and haue cryed merites, merites as fast as they do. But the Apostle speaks plainelie it is obtained by Christ. And therefore fy on him that thinkes that he is safe by merite. It is a wonderfull thing, God of free mercie appointes to saluation, and yet ere we come to it, be will haue it boght. What free mercy is this? No, neuer thing was so deare boght as thy saluation. For it was not boght with gold nor siluer, but with the bloude of the immaculate Lambe Iesus Christ: And therefore he sayes in the first Epistle to the Corint. chap. 6. verse 20. ye are boght vvith a pryce, he calles it a price, by reason of the high excellencie thereof. As thogh there were no pryce but onely the bloud of Iesus to be esteemed of, and yet it is a free grace of God. How can it be afree grace and boght to? If I buy it, and that with a deare price, how can it be free? Indeed it is true, if thou hadst payed the price thy selfe, it had not beene a free gift; but seeing it is not boght with a price that cōmes out of thy hand, but with the precious bloud of Iesus, who is Gods Son, it is a free gift to thee. For who gaue the Son but the Father? Who gaue the price but he that receiued it? God gaue as it were out of his owne purse the price for thee. The mercy and loue of God to his seruants is wonderfull. Wilt thou looke to thy sal­uation, nothing but mercy in God: if thou hast nothing to glo­ry in but free grace and mercie without any deseruing; other­waies [Page 265] if thou joine any part of merite with mercie, and say, the mercy of God and my merite did it, shame shall come to thee. And therefore the Apostle sayes we are onely saued by Christ, and speaks not of merite.

Now to goe forwarde to the next ground where-vpon he buildes the hope of saluation (As thou would haue an assurance of life euerlasting it is needfull for thee to spy out the grounds) The next ground of thy saluation, is the thing that fell out in tyme.The sec. ground of the hope of saluati­on, christs death. He sayes, Christ died for vs, that vvhether vve vvalke or sleep, vve should l [...]ue together vvith him. As our saluation is builded vpon God ordinance, so it is builded vpon the bloude of Iesus Christ, not liuing but crucified and slaine: And as the bloude of Iesus is the ground of thy saluation, so the ground of the cer­tainty of thy hope, is the sight of Iesus crucified. Except I see Christ bleeding for my sin I can neuer assure me that I am safe, except I see that sacrifice offred vp for my sin (as it is a sacrifice offered vp for my sin, so it is a merite to obtaine lyfe to me) I will neuer thinke I am safe. How necessare therefore is it to me neuer to let the bloude of Iesus goe out of my minde: Men will say, I wait well I am safe, and neuer will haue an eye to Christ crucified and his bloude. But I say to thee, except thy eye be fixt on the bloud of Iesus Christ, when thou fairest, thou art safe, thou liest falslie. Therefore looke euer to Christ deying, and shed­ing his bloud for thy sin. Another thing I see. There is no lyfe but through death, he hes died for vs that we should liue throgh him, to learne men and wemen not to count so much of death and to scare at it, for I tell thee this generall will stand, No lyfe but through death, it springes out thereof, as thou seest the stalk of the corne ryse out of the dead pickle. So except thy lyfe spring through death, it is not possible to thee to liue. For first death is the price of it, not thy death, but the death of Christ: for he hes gotten lyfe by his death. Then after Christ hes pur­chased lyfe to vs, yet the way whereby we must enter to lyfe, is by the way of death. Through many troubles behoues it vs to enter into the Kingdom of Heauen: Act. 14. verse 20. for straite is the way to Heauen, thou must be drawen as it were through Hell ere thou come to Heauen, and yet thy suffering and death shall not merite. The onely merite standes in Iesus. Brethren, this lets [Page 266] vs see how hard a thing it is to a sinner falling from lyfe (as A­dam fell and we all in him) to come to lyfe againe. Thinke it not an easie matter. There must be a death, yea, two deaths ere euer thou come there. O the great suffering Christ hes suffered for vs land againe thou must suffer and die thy selfe ere thou gette lyfe. Therefore learne how hard a matter it is to get lyfe. Many difficulties interueenes, death must enter ere lyfe come: which lets vs see what it is to offend God; be loath therefore to offend God. The godly knowes this how hard a thing it is when they haue offended to get againe the Spirite which they haue extin­guished, the Lord will not looke on them for a tyme as it were. Looke in Dauid after his fall. But ô the sweetnesse of mercie af­ter the restorance! They who hes tasted in any measure of the sweetnesse of Christ, giue them all the pleasures of the worlde, they will neuer get contentation, vntill they get a sight of Gods [...]ce againe lost by their sin. Dauid would haue giuen his king­dome for it againe when he made the 51. Psalme.

The Apostle heere saies, vvhether ye sleepe or vvake ye shall liue vvith Christ. Then ye see if Christ hes once died for our lyfe we shall liue: That is the certainty and ground of our hope, that Christ hes died for vs. Then when I feele this, nothing can stay lyfe, nothing can hinder me to liue with him. There is nothing in this world that will hinder thee to liue with him, but liue must thou. Sleepest thou in thy bed, thy sleepe hinders nothing, thou liuest in him: wakest thou? thou art liuing with him; liuest thou this lyfe? thou art liuing in him: art thou dying and drawing thy last breath? yet thou art liuing with him; what euer thou art do­ing in the worlde thou art ay liuing, eating, drinking, if thou be one of the godly for whom he hes died, thou art liuing with him. Yea, I dare say more if he haue once died for thee, thy sin shall not hinder thee from that lyfe to come. Dauids sin his mur­ther and adulterie hindered him not from that life, but the Lord turned it so about, that he made them worke all to his well. All thinges turnes to the best to them who loues the Lord. Albeit thou finde thy sinnes many, yet stay not on them, nothing shall hinder thee from Christ. Yet this should not make thee to take pleasure in sin: For if thou loue Christ well, thou wilt be loath to offend him. Then if we in so many troubles in this life liue with [Page 267] Christ, shall we not much more liue with him in that lyfe to come, where there shall be no trouble, no impediments, and in the midst of all these troubles let vs comforte our selues vvith thinking on the joy that we shall haue when we shall be in the Heauens with our Lord and Sauiour. Now to marke the words. He saies, that vve should liue vvith him. Looke the nature of the life that we get in the death of Iesus. It is a life that we liue with Christ, not a lyfe that we liue from him, there cannot be a spiri­tuall lyfe from him. Death will not serue to lyfe, if thou be from him, but thou must be with him. Thou must not onely liue with him as a man will liue with an house and family, but thou must liue in him. As by comparison, the arme liues with the head, so thou must liue with Christ. Ye see the conjunction na­turall that is between the head and the members, that same con­junction must be betweene thee and the Lord Iesus. If thou liue with him, thou must liue as a member, he must be thy head, and thou must be a leg, an arme, or some part of the bodie. Well is that soule that is any parte of the bodie of Christ. Therefore draw euer nearer and nearer vnto him, vntill thou be fully con­joyned with him; we haue no lyfe except we be ingraft in him, as the imp is ingraft in the tree, and so prease euer to grow in that conjunction. Look how thou was joined in him yesterday, say, Lord make a nearer conjunction this day: and to morrowe say, worke yet a nearer conjunction that I may draw nearer my head. But, brethren, this full conjunction cannot be vntill we see him face to face, we are far of now, but we shall be with him, we are from him now for a lytle space, but then we shall be with him for euer; and then in that great day thy blessednesse both in bodie and soule shall be perfited, we shall be with him and stand for euer in that full conjun­ction with out head Christ in whom is all blessednesse. To whom with the Fa­ther and the holie Spirite be all honour and praise for now and euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 5. vers. 11. 12. 13.

11 Wherefore exhort one another, and edifie one another, euen as ye doe.

12 Novv vve beseech you, brethren, that ye knovve them, vvhich labour among you, and are ouer you in the Lord, and admonish you,

13 That ye haue them in singular loue for their vvorks sake. Be at peace among your selues.

IN the last exhortatation (brethren) the A­postle stirred vp the Thessalonians to be good souldiours and warriours, vnder the banner of the Lord Iesus Christ. In a warriour we shew you there are three things specially requyred. First vigilance and wakrifnesse. Secondlie, sobriety and temperance. And last of all that he be in his armour with his Helmet on his head, and his brestplate on his brest, and all the rest of his armour on: For albeit he be wak­ing and sober, yet if he be naked the enemie will ouercome him. So it is in the Christian warriour, the same three thinges after a maner are requisite: First he must be wakrife in soule: Secondly, temperate in soule, hauing a soule not drunken with these earth­lie thinges which drawes our whole heart and faculties away from God; So that they who are full thereof are laid vp as it wer in a dead sleepe. And last it is requisite that he be clad with his armour, his owne Helmet which is Hope, his owne brest­plate, [Page 269] which is faith and loue, take away hope, faith and loue, he is but a naked man in the world and shall soone be destroied, if he be not clad with faith and loue in his brest, and with hope in his head, he will not be able to gainstand.

Followes now in the text ye haue heard another exhortation▪ and it is to vse these meanes, whereby we may continue in wak­rifnesse, in continuall sobriety and spirituall armour enarmed a­gainst the enemy. There are the wordes of the exhortation, Wherefore. As he would say, Seeing we must be wakrife, sober and enarmed in the Christian warfare, therefore I exhort you to get the meanes whereby these thinges are keeped. The means are Exhort one another, euen as ye doe alreadie. So my exhortation is that ye continue to the end. It is not eneugh to begin, except ye continue to the end. Now there are the meanes. Then bre­thren, this lesson offers the selfe to vs The meanes not to sleepe in the soule, but to be wakrife, not to be drunken but to be tem­perate, not to be naked, but to be clad with spirituall armour is, instant exhortation. Stir vp men and wemen by exhorting in e­difying▪ in an instant building vp and confirming them in the doctrine and knowledge that they haue once receiued. This worke of building will not be done in one day, or two dayes, or twentie dayes, but this building of the soule of men and we­men, building them vp in that spirituall building must be raised vp higher nor euer Babell was, yea it must rise to the Heauen of Heauens, and to the head Iesus, who sittes aboue all Heauens. This building must be instant. In one word. The means to hold men waking, and sober, and temperate in the spirituall warfare, and to holde this armour on them, is instant exhortation. Take me away the voice of exhortation, take away building in the doctrine ye haue receiued and edifying therein in stead of wak­rifenesse, there shall come on you a dead slumber, in stead of so­briety and spirituall temperance, thou shalt be drunken; in stead of armour, nothing but nakednesse and ye shall be a pray to the Deuill, this world and your owne cankerd nature, assay it when ye will. So then brethren, in one word. See the necessitie men hes of instant exhorting and edifying, not for one day or two, yea if thou shouldst liue Methusalems dayes the voice of exhortati­on should neuer goe out of thy eare: For there are a thousand [Page 270] thinges to draw vs downe to cause vs sleepe, vntill we die in sleeping, many thinges to make thee drunken, to ly dovvne lyke a drunken bodie vvithout sense of the lyfe to come. Many thinges to denude thee of armour, to set thee vp naked to the e­neme, Would to God this world wold consider the necessity of instant and continuall exhortation to moue them forwarde in the course of godlinesse.

Marke next. Who is this that should exhort? Who is this that should edifie? who should hold men waking in Spirit, hold them in sobriety, and hold on their armour by exhortation and edify­ing? who should doe it? He sayes not the Pastor, ye haue Mini­sters, let them doe it, it is their office. It is true indeed, they haue a speciall calling for that effect, and are placed in the Church to hold you wakrife, to cry in your eare vntill ye waken againe, to exhort and edify continually to build vp that spiritual building, and to build men and wemen vp as liuely stones in that spiritual building. Therefore in the first Epistle to the Cor. chap. 14 vers. 3. Paul sayes He that prophecies (that is the Preacher) he speakes to men, and whereto? to edifie in building. There is the end of his speaking to exhortation, consolation. In the 4 chap. Ephes. verse 11. He sayes, When Christ past vp to Heauen, he left not his Church voide or destitute of builders, but he sayes, he gaue some to be Apostles, some Prophetes, some Euangelistes, some Deacones and Pastours. And whereto? All to builde vp the bodie of Christ. If a Pastour be not a builder, he serues for no purpose. Yet not withstanding of this albeit it be the Pastours speciall calling to exhorte. The Apostle sayes, Everie one of you exhort; ye men and wemen euerie one exhort and edifie another. Thou should exhort thy neighbour, and let him exhort thee againe. Holde thou him waking and let him hold thee waking hold thou him in sobrietie, and let him hold thee in sobrietie againe; hold on that spirituall armor on him, on her let him and her hold on thy spirituall armor on thee again. So there are none of vs in Christs Church, but we haue all this generall calling in the Church to be builders edifiers exhorters euery one of others The simplest in the flock is bound to exhort and builde vp the best of them all that speakes with a tongue: For the Lord hes giuen to the least member some peece of grace to builde vp and instruct [Page 271] the bodie: For knowe ye what our calling is in Christ? As he is King, Priest and Prophete; a King to rule a Priest in offering vp that onely one propitiatorie sacrifice for all; a Prophete to instruct and teache: So there is not a true Christian man nor woman but they haue all these three offices, they are Kinges. Priestes and Prophetes; Kinges to rule in the Church of Christ. Priestes to offer vp in a maner a sacrifice to God, Prophetes to teache and helpe vp the building, I meane the vvhole be­die, vntill it come to the head Christ, that once the man, whose head is Christ, and the bodie the Elect in the earth, may be per­fite. So say not it is the Ministers duetie to doe this, vvhat haue I to doe vvith this? Nor vvhen one exhortes thee, say not, art thou becomme a Minister? well it thou accept not such do­ctrine of them, thou shalt die for euer, for the Lord hes opened their mouth for thy edification.

Now the third thing I marke in the last parte of the verse, euen as ye doe. I vvill not bid you exhort one another, as thogh ye did it not alreadie. No, I acknowledge the grace of, God in you in doing it alreadie, take your owne praise. Well then they are doing the thing he exhortes them to, and yet he exhortes them to doe it. When I see a man doe any thing what needes me to exhort him to it? When I see a man exhorting and build­ing what needes me to exhort him to exhort and build. Learne then. There are none in this world but they haue need continu­ally and instantlie to be stirred vp in their doing, we are far from perfection, and albeit we be running on in the rink, yet we ar far from the butt which is heuen, we are but running yet and so whil we are running, let vs go forward, if it be a minister that exhorts let him exhort on. Who euer they be that exhorts and edifies, let them goe on in edifying and exhorting to the building vp of the bodie. Now beside this, consider ye not the sluggishnesse of our nature? our nature is so dead and stupide that searslie will we haue put our hand to the turne when we will fall from it. Ye wil see a sleeping bodie put his hand to a turne, and in the meane­tyme he will fall down and sleepe. Our nature is so slippery that when we are laying vp one stone in the building, if one cry not in our eare, awake and be doing, vve vvill lette it fall. So when we are exhorting, and searslie vvill the vvorde of exhortation [Page 272] be out of our mouth, when we will fall from that purpose. So considering our nature the best of vs hes neede to be stirred vp and exhorted: when we are doing fastest, then we haue need to be stirred vp. Yet brethren, for all this exhorting he vvill not misknow the grace of God in them. Take head when thou seest men doing vvell that thou close not thy eyes thereat, and say not to them that they doe nothing; some are ouer sore censorers that vvill say thou doest nothing, thy exhortation is nothing. No let euery man haue his owne praise. If they be doing any good thing, be it neuer so litle, commend them and stir them vp to it, by giuing them exhortations and praising them. This for this exhortation. All this part of this Epistle is full of exhortati­ons concerning Christian behauiour.

Followes now another exhortation which is more particu­lare, and concernes the duety that the people ought vnto the Pastors. I shall holde me by the wordes of the text. Then, to come to the wordes. Brethren: There the style, he calles them brethren, a louing style, to testifie that loue he bare tovvardes them. Novv vve beseech you. There the next worde, a word te­stifying the earnestnesse he had in exhorting them to doe it, be­cause it was a great matter, he bids them not simplie doe it, but, he sayes, I beseech you doe it. When a great thing is to be done by any man, certainly it requyres, we vse an earnest and not a simple and slender speech. The first thing he desires of the peo­ple, is an acknovvledging. Whom of? of them vvho labours in the vvorke, that is first. Then, of them, vvho are ouer you and aboue you in the Lord. That is next. Then, of them that admonishe you. That is last. The second thing he desires of the people, that they haue them in a singulare and most speciall loue.col. Loue them, not as ye doe commonly any other man, or, woman, but, loue them after a singular maner. Wherefore should this loue be? Not so much for the persons sake, as for the works, loue them for their works. There is the summe of the wordes shortly. The exhortation may be taine vp in two words. Doe your duetie to your Pastor. Yet he is not content with the bare wordes, but, he layes out the minister before them in the whole substantiall pointes of his calling, letting them see euerie peece of his calling after another. And more then this which he speakes of the peoples duety, he [Page 273] layes not out their duety simplie, but substantiouslie: knovve him, acknowledge him; there one part; then haue him in a sin­gular loue, there is another part. And so, it is not eneugh, to haue a simple knowledge of him, but they must knowe what a man a Pastor should be. Men will say, I know him, he is a man standing vp in a Pulpet preaching with a gowne. No, the Apostle shewes vs, to know him in euery pointe of his dalling, in this pointe and that pointe of his calling, knowe him to be a Preacher set ouer you, by God, know him to be an admonisher and instructer, and againe, when ye come to your owne duety, knowe the pointes of your duetie; I should doe this, I should meete him with this duety, with that duety other waies thou knowes nothing neither in the Pastor, nor in thy selfe. Therefore, the Apostle layes them out openly to thee to know them.

But, to come to the wordes. Ye haue first a short description of a true Pastor.Descripti­on of a true Pa­stor. The first pointe of the description of a true Pa­stour, is this, He is a laborer among the people, not an idle man; He sayes not, acknowledge them that sittes idle, but acknow­ledge them that labours among you. He labours, and how? He labours in the worke of God. As the Apostle speaks to Timo­thie in the first Epistle chap. 5. verse 17. Elders, sayes he, is vvor­thie of double honor, especially those vvho labours in the vvord of God, he labours in opening vp the scriptures of God: the preaching is thought by men to be no labour as though preaching were no more, but onely to stand vp and tell a taile: yet the Apostle calles that labour, yea, I say, they labour aswell as they who holds a pleugh labours. Wherein labor they? In word and Discipline: in taking ordour with your maners. Not onely labour they in preaching, but also they take ordour with the maners of the people. Then to gather the lesson. This part of the description of a true Pastour excludes from the ministry and Pulpet; idle bellies, Ministers that beare the name of ministers, and in the meane-tyme are but idle bellies away with them: let them neuer face the Pulpet. Fy on them that takes the Ministrie on them for an idle lyfe and and to serue their affections; an idle Bishop that neuer opened his mouth to preach, an idle Pope that vvill sit vp in a throne fy on him, why should he take the name of▪ Minister on him and doe no good therein? The next part of the [Page 274] description of a true Pastor is, they are ouer you, not vnder you, but aboue you, set ouer you, as it were ouer your heads to looke downe to you, in a kinde of superioritie ouer you. Then a Pa­stour, a Minister sent of Iesus Christ the Pastour of Pastours, the great Pastour. he hes a kinde of superioritie and prehemi­nence aboue the flock. But brethren, he is not ouer them as a Lord (the onely Lord that is ouer the people is Iesus Christ) He is not ouer them then in thinges ciuill, in thinges bodilie, concerning the bodie, concerning their temporall liues, con­cerning thinges politicke, for entertaining of this temporall lyfe, but he is ouer them in the Lord, not as a Lord, but in the Lord, the Lord Iesus Christ. Not ouer them in thinges ci­uill, but in matters of the Lord, in thinges spirituall, in things Ec­clesiastick, in things concerning the consciences of men. There­fore Paul speakes to Philemon verse 8. I haue great libertie to command thee as a superiour; but how? Not of my owne autho­ritie, but in the Lord, I am ouer thee as a superiour, but not as a Lord. Take heede. There are sundrie sortes of superiorities, A Steward in a familie, in a maner, is ouer the familie he hes a preferment by reason of the office: And yet for all this, if the steward would take vpon him to bee Lord of the familie, he would be a knaue, and would vsurpe the place of his master, So, a Minister in the familie of the Lord, he is a superiour, but not superiour as a Lord, but as a steward, to dispence the miste­ries of God to the soule, and no other superiour: for none can sit ouer the conscience of any man, but onely the Lord Iesus. All the Kinges of the earth cannot haue a dominion ouer the consciences of men, the Lord is onely Lord and supreame superiour thereof; all the Ministers and office-bearers in the Church onely stewards, with spirituall stewardrie, dispensing the spirituall foode. I meane the word of God. Now brethren, this second parte of this description of the Pastour condemnes the Pope, who vsurpes a spirituall jurisdiction ouer the soules of men, vvho vvill stryue also for a ciuill jurisdiction with the Emperour and Princes of the vvorld.

Now to come to the third parte. He sayes, and admonishes you. There is the last parte of the description of the true Mi­nister of God. Admonishing standes in calling back againe [Page 275] men in the vvay vvho hes made desection, either in doctrine or maners. In this poynte consistes their labour. So, that, by this word, I vnderstand the whole parts of the office of a Pastour, as exhorting, rebuking, comforting and teaching. It is not for nothing, that, he hes made a chuse of this word admonishing, to teach vs, if he could doe all these thinges neuer so well, la­bour in teaching, comfort, exhort. If he cannot doe this, admo­nishe a sinner, tell him, sinner thou art in the vvrong vvay; if he faile in doctrine, tell him, thou failest in doctrine; if he faile in maners, tell him, he failes in maners: if he cannot doe this, he is not meete to be a Minister, if he cannot admonishe them that are sinners, if he cannot admonishe them that are in the vvrong vvay, he is not meete to be a teacher. Now, see the peruersitie of our nature, for, manie there are, vvho vvill heare comforting, exhorting, but not admonishing: but Paul teaches thee, the Pastour must be an admonisher: There is the Pastour set downe in three parts of his calling.

Now, to end this doctrine concerning them, I shall take vp this one note. I gather of this, as it were, the nature of the mi­nistrie. What is this Ministrie? It is first a labour, an exercise, not an idlenes, but a labour, it is a burdene, and he that takes it not on, as it were, a load on his back, he is not meete for it, he that en­ters to be a Minister, he must lay downe his shoulders, and take on his loade on his back, as you see an horse take on his loade on his back. So, it is a burdene and an heauie burdene: a labor and an heauie labour. But, brethren, there are sundrie sortes of bur­denes and labours in this world; There are some that are vylder, some that are honourable. Now what a labour is this Mi­nistrie? Indeede, it is true, this ministrie is thought a vyle bur­dene, and of all exercises, the labour of the ministrie is thought most vyle, in the sight of our prophane, men in Scotland this day. The verie name of a minister is thoght vyle in the earth, & so oft as they speak of him & names him, it is thoght a vyle name; the name of a cooke is not so vyle as the name of a Minister. But, in despyte of thee and all the vvorld, the Spirite of God vvill call him an honourable labourer, a person exercised in an high and honourable exercise. 1. Timoth. chap. 3. verse 1. The King is a labourer, but a honourable labourer. Euen so, euerie one [Page 276] that labours and hes offices in the Church, are laborers, but yet they are honorable laborers. So the Ministers are laborers, but, honorable laborers, for he is ouer thee, and is thy superior. And he hes a burdeene, but a honorable burdeene, and at the appea­rance of Iesus Christ in spyte of thee that contemnes him thou shalt see his honor and glory, and thou shalt wonder at that day, that euer he shold be promoued to that honor, for he shall shine in the Heauen as a star: this shall stand in despyte of the world.

Well, come on now to the duetie of the people to their Pa­stor (A Kings Master-houshold will be accounted of, the Ma­ster-housholde of Christes Church, what maner of honour shold ye haue him in?Dueties of the peo­ple to the Pastor.) The first words that expresses the duety of the flock are, knovve them, misknowe them not. The people would misknow them very faine; yet what knowing is this? It is the knowledge of the mind, when in mind we take vp & know that calling of the Ministry to be the Pastor by Iesus Christ the great Pastor to the Church, to be a dispenser of the misteries of God, and the in searchable riches of Christ, such a dispenser as ne­uer was in the world, not of bread and drinke as these world lie stewards; No, but of the insearchable riches of Christ, and that to saluation and feeding of the soule to that life euerlasting wherin soule and body shal liue for euer. This is the knowing be speaks of heere. What more? It is not a simple knowledge, to know, that, he is a Minister, but with knowing, to joine reuerence, giue him his own honor. Paul 1. Cor. 4. 1. saies, Let a man count of him (not as thou cou [...]s of Christ) but count of him as a Minister and dispen­ser of the misteries of Christ. giue him no more and cursed be that beast of Rome that wold take the place and honor of Christ on him. Now this part of duety of the flock, in reuerencing of the Pastor, is answerable to that part of the calling of the Pastor; he is a superior, a superiority craues reuerence, who euer he be that is a superior, whether in families, citties, or common-wels, or, in Church, if he be set ouer you, honor him▪ this is the ordinance of the Lord, if the Lord haue set him ouer you, honor him, look not to the man, but, to the Lords ordinance. And this, I continuallie persaue, there is a naturall hatred and contempt in the hearts of the people euer toward any superior, whether in Church, or, Po­licy, a naturall io [...]y: we are bred with it, and we entertaine it, and [Page 277] incresse it. Thou hast a naturall hatred against thy superiour if thou wert neuer so good, if thou wouldst faine haue him away, if thou wouldst cast of all yock, but this is a thing, the Lord is offended with. For, I affirme this, all superiour powers that are set ouer vs, whether in Church, or, Policie, reuerence and honor is craued to them. God ordaines it, and God will auenge the contempt thereof. Now, to speake generallie. There are tvvo sortes of superiours. One in the Policie, ouer the bodies of men in the world; another superiour in the Church of God which is nothing else but a stewartrie. Now say I, reuerence should be e­uer giuen to both, reuerence the Magistrat, whisper not against him, but reuerence him, if it be possible holde out euill thoughts out of thy heart, let be euill wordes in thy mouth. honour all, beginne at the King and come to the lowest, honour euery one in their owne ranke. Againe in the Church honour the Mini­strie as stewartes in a great familie, the familie of the Lord of Lordes, honour him as a faithfull stewart in the house of the Lord. If yee compare these two together, euery one of them are bound to reuerence other, the Politick Magistrate to reue­rence the superiours in the Church: Againe the superiours in the Church to reuerence the ciuile Magistrate, I tell you my minde, mutuallie they are superiours to others. The Church man is inferiour to the Magistrate in things ciuile, and therefore, as a common man is bound to reuerence him, and should teach all reuerence to them, in that estate. And by the contrare, the Magistrate, if it were the King, shoulde be ruled by the Mini­ster, in thinges spirituall: and he who is a stewart in the Church of God, the King is bound to take out of his hand the thing wherevpon his soule feedes, and so, he, and all other Magistrates are bound to reuerence him, as Gods stewart. If this mutuall re­uerence were keeped well were it to Church and Commonwel; but, where it is not keeped, no well in Church nor Policie, and I shall craue euer to get this mutuall reuerence keeped, and my trauell and exercise hes been this yeere bygone to get it keeped, God is my witnesse. Now this is for the first part of the duetie of the people.

The second thing, he sayes, haue them in singulare loue, for their vvorker sake. Not in a common loue, but, in a singulare loue. it [Page 278] includes all the whole affectiones of the heart, and yet there is more to be vnderstood heere, the consequentes of this loue, and the effects that followe therevpon. If loue be in the heart, it will break out in the hand. So there are two thinges heere. The one the singular loue in the heart: the other the outward good deed in the hand. If the Ministers giue to you thinges spirituall to enterteine the heauenly lyfe; is it a great matter to you to giue them thinges temporall, thinges to enterteine this fraile lyfe? Now, brethren, this point of the duetie of the people answeres to that parte of the duetie of the Pastour, which standes in labour. A labourer would haue loue of them he labours for, if it were but the seruant that labours in your kitching, ye ought to loue him, loue them who loues you. Now he who labours not in a vyle office, but in an honourable labour to your saluation; how much more should ye esteeme of him honourablie and reuerence▪ him▪ An honourable labour woulde be honourablie handled. Ye see the meeting that the Apostle craues. The Pa­stour lyes vnder a burdeene, and an honourable burdeene. On the peoples parte he craues a meeting, because the burdeene is honourable, and the Pastour should haue preferment, therefore he craues reuerence And because the Pastour labours, therefore he cranes loue and entertaining of the people. It is a common saying, Friendship wil not stand long on the one side. If this meet­ing be not of the people to the Pastor, the Ministry cannot stād, and the men cannot be able to beare the burdeene. Brethren, what shal I say, alas, experience telles vs, for fault of this meeting on the part of the people, and specially of these in Policie, to whom this matter appertaines, this Ministry is not like for to stand. And I affirme, if there be not a better meeting, and grea­ter care to reuerence this calling, and to loue and honour it, and to prouyde sustentation for them that laboures, the eyes of our posteriue shall see this Ministry decay. It is going away. Men beleeues, it is well, if they get the teyndes, If the Lord and Laird get the teyndes,Teinds. he will indent and subscryue all with you. But, either must these things be redressed, or, else, certainly there shall be a decay, and then, farewell all grace. Shame and confusion to Scotland. Trowes Scotland, that, the common-well shall floo­rishe, or, that, the estate shall be good, if this Ministrie goe away? [Page 279] No, there shall be nothing, but desolation. If they were heere to whom this matter and this admonition pertaines, I woulde charge them in the name of God, that they would show a better meeting to entertaine this Gospell, or else, shame shall ouertake them. Now this farre as the wordes of the text furnishes to me I haue spoken of the duety of the people.

Nowe, there is another precept added to this exhorting to peace.Peace cō ­manded. Be at peace, sayes he, among your selues. This is agene­rall precept giuen to Ministers, to people, and to all men, com­maunding peace, loue vnitie and concord of mynde. This is the fountaine of other graces. She goes before vs as a mother, other graces as children followe her: If she goe not before, no fol­lowing of graces. Where peace is, there is grace; where peace is not, there is no grace. And therefore Paul first to Tim. chap. 2. verse 1 sayes, Pray for Kings: for what end? that vve may lead a quyet and a peaceable lyfe in all godlinesse and honestie. Where he meanes, where peace is, these two followes, godlinesse which is the ground of the first table, and honestie which is the ground of the second table. Where peace goes avvay, farevvell these tvvo. Will ye looke to your ovvne families, if there be not peace betvveen the Husband and the Wyfe, tell me what grace can be in the familie? tell me can godlinesse, can grace be in the familie, vvhere there is nothing but stryfe and enuy? can com­mon honestie be there? No, no grace, Go to a Cittie, where there is nothing but dissention, can therebe grace, godlines or honesty there. Goe to a Kingdom or common-well, where a Kingdom is rent in peeces, can there be grace, holinesse or honestie there▪ So it is the peace in Iesus Christ, vvhich is the mother and con­querour of all graces; where the hearts of men and wemen are bound vp in peace, there is floorishing, either in Citty or hous­hold. But yet vvhat peace should this be? Wherein standes it? It stands not in a faire vvord, in a faire goode morrow, nor in an outvvard behauiour, or false fained smiling vvith thy mouth, vvhen thou hast no loue in thy heart; but this peace standes chieflie in the lenitie and conjunction of myndes and heartes. Paul to the Eph. chap. 4. vers. 3. sayes, Studie to keepe the vnitie of the Spirit in the bond of peace: where he earnestly recommends an vnion of myndes. Paul to the Philippians in the 2. chap. vers. 1. [Page 280] sayes, If there be any consolation in Christ, if any solace, if any com­munion of the spirite, if any bovvels of pittie, fill vp my ioy; and wherein standes it? Be, sayes he, of lyke minde and affection: There my joy, let your affection be one, haue one loue, haue one minde dwell with all your soules together. Ioyne so your hearts toge­ther as if they were one heart: joyne your soules together, and make vp one soule of all. And as concerning your judgements, he sayes, be not of contrare opinions and judgementes: There are some that euer delytes in contradiction. When one will say one thing▪ they will make a contradiction to it. Now ye see wherein this peace stands, and this is the peace that makes vp the King­dom of God. Paul sayes to the Romanes 14. 17. The Kingdom of God standes not in meate and drinke, but in peace and righteousnesse tovvards God. Indeed the Kingdom of men will be made vp of an outward counterfaite peace. The Grecian Kingdom, the Ro­man Impire stoode of an earthly peace, but all vanitie, the King­dom of Christ is made vp of an vnitie of our soules, knit toge­ther in Christ. When our conscience is peaceable, then our souls is knit to him, Reade the 4. chapter to the Ephesians, ye shall not finde so many arguments in no place as there, to exhort men to vnitie, There is, sayes he, but one bodie, one spirite, one hope of your vo­cation, one Lord Iesus, one faith, one baptisme, one God, one Father of all. Then if there be so many one thinges, why should ye not be one. Now the whole blessing of men standes in vnion. Yea, the blessednesse of God standes in an vnion, the Father, the Sonne, and the holie Spirite vnited together in one God-hood. The blessednesse of our nature standes in the vnion with our head Christ, and in the vnion of the members among our selues. Where this vnion is not, there is nothing but miserie. In the Kingdom of Heauen there is nothing but vnity; by the contrare, there is no peace in Hell. If the father and the sonne goe to Hell together, trow ye there shall be any loue betweene them? No, nothing but inuy, all inuy and hatred is among the Deuils: all peace and vnity is in God, who drawes the soules of men and wemen together, and makes one soule as it were in that glorious bodie of Christ. The Lord giue vs this bond of vnitie and loue that we may be joyned with the rest of the members in one bo­die to our head Iesus Christ. To whom with the Father and the [Page 281] Spirite be immortall praise honour and glore world without end.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 5. vers. 14. 15.

14 We desire you, brethren, admonish them, that are vnruely: com­fort the feeble mynded: beare vvith the vveake: be patient tovvarde all men.

15 See, that, none recompense euill for euill vnto any man: but, e­uer follovv that, vvhich is good, both tovvard your selues, and tovvard all men.

WE goe forward (brethren) in these exhor­tations and preceptes, concerning goode maners and godly conuersation, vvhich the Apostle settes downe heere, to the Thessalonians. As for these, whereof we haue alreadie spoken, as, that wakrifnesse, that should be in them, that sobernesse, that spirituall armour, vvherevvith they shold be armed, concerning that mutuall exhortation, euery one of them ought to other, concerning that duetie, that the flocke and the people ought to their Pastour, concerning that mutuall peace, that should be among them, we speake nothing now, re­commending all to your memories, who heard vs.

Now, in this text we haue reade presently, first, we haue three particulare directions, concerning three estates of persones: first, concerning vnruely men: secondly, concerning feeble minded [Page 282] men: and last, concerning them, that are infirme and vveake in saith, vveake in the knovvledge of Iesus Christ, and of the thinges, that concernes him, not firmely persvvaded of them, as vve shall heare,3. diseases, vvith their remedies. in the ovvne rovvme. So, there are heere three diseases, or, speciall sicknesses: The first is vnrulinesse, that is, louse liuing; the next, feeblenesse of hart; the thirde is vveake­nesse and infirmitie in faith, and in that persvvasion, that, vve should haue, tovvardes Iesus Christ and the Gospell. And as there are three diseases, So, the Apostle prescryues three seuerall remedies against these three diseases. Marke it. For euery dis­ease he prescryues the ovvne proper remedie and cure, for in ordinate liuing and vnrulie lyfe, Admonition; for feeblenesse of mynde and casting dovvne of the Spirite, Comfort, for weak­nesse in faith and infirmitie, bearing vvith, to beare vvith the vveake and infirme in faith Now, to goe throgh these, and first to the diseases, and next, to the remedies thereof. The first dis­ease is vnrulinesse,1. Vnrue­linesse. inordinatnesse. The Apostle 2. Thessa. 3. chap. verse 6. telles vvho are these, he calles vnrulie, they, that liue not according to that doctrine and instruction, he gaue them. The vvord of God is the rule of lyfe. The man, that liues not according to the vvord of God is vnruly. Yet, more plainely in that same place, he descryues the vnruely He calles them, 11. verse, they, vvho labours not for their liuing, they, vvho haue not a trade of lyfe. Then, he addes, that are busie bodies, busie, in other mens turnes, doing nothing in their ovvne, and therefore, they must be exercised in euill exercises, in thinges, that pertaines not to them; pratling and babling here and there, puting their hand to this mans and that mans offices. There are tvvo properties, idle and exercised; idle in their ovvne tume, exercised in other mens turnes: An euill sort of men, these men are vnruly. Now, to come to the remedie, shortlie. The remedie is admonishing, reprouing. This vnrulinesse it is an euill maladie, and eneugh to cause a man die. What medicine should vve vse to such men? shall we foster and entertaine them in their folie? No, he sayes, admonishe them, vse them sharply and seuerely in admo­nishing, tell them, they are out of rule. The 2. Thessa. chap. 3. verse 10. he telles, hovv hee vsed them, hee denounced against them, that, if they vvrought not, they should not eate, but, their [Page 283] mouth should be bound vp, so, that, they should die for hunger. Also, in that same place, he giues a charge to all men of seuere themselues from these men, that they may be ashamed of that life, it is a good and an honest thing to see a man well exercised, and that in his owne calling.

Novve, to come to the second disease and remedie for it. The next disease is feeblenesse of mynde;2. Feeble­nesse of mynde. vvhen the heart of man is casten dovvne, troubled, assaulted, heauie, so, that there is no spirite, nor, courage, but, ay going in the vvay of dispaire. What is the medicine and remedie of this man? Deale not roughlie vvith one, vvho is diseased after this maner, adde not affliction to affliction, afflict not him, vvho is afflicted, trouble not the troubled, the proper medicine to such, is, comfort. Com­fort them, that are dejected in spirit: Dauid, in the 41. Psalme 1. verse, he pronounces a speciall blessing, to him, that vvill com­fort the afflicted, Blessed is the man, that iudges vvysoly of the poore, that is, that can haue compassion on a troubled conscience. Now, the arguments of consolation, he vses, in that Psalme, are tvvo. The first, from the promises of God, to be bestowed on them, in Christ. The other, is, prayer: Promise then grace, to the troubled heart in Iesus Christ, and then, pray for it. If the hart be dejected, no comfort for it, but, from God. Al the world, all the powers in Heauen and earth are not able to comfort and raise vp the soule, but, onely the power of God, through Christ and his blessed Spirite.

Novv, to the third disease and remedie thereof. It is vveake­nesse in faith,3. Weake­nesse in faith. vveakenesse in the knovveledge of Christ and the Gospell, vvhen a man hes not a through sight and perswa­sion of these thinges, that concernes Iesus and the Gospell, when he knowes them not vvell, neither is confirmed in them. Such, as, concerning diuersitie of meates, all meates are sanctified in Christ, many knew not that, and therefore made conscience, in obseruing diuersitie of meates, and likewise, as concerning daies, that put difference in daies and keeped them, these he cals weak ones. The remedy is, beare with them, breake not the brused reede, quench not the smooking slax; no, enterteine the least be­ginning of grace in the weakest body. A fire that hes smook in the beginning, if thou enterteine it, it will, in end grow a faire [Page 284] fire. What knowest thou, but these, that hes a little sparke of faith, if they be enterteinde, by processe of tyme will grow to an high measure of knowledge, and will be as strong, as thou. Paul 15. chap. Rom. 1. verse speaking of these same weake ones, sayes, We vvho are strong in faith, that is, knowes the libertie in Christ Iesus, let vs beare the infirmities of the vveake, take their burdene off their back and lay it on our shoulders, heape not on them burdene vpon burdene, but releue them, and that vve please not our selues and make off-casts of others. Therefore, he addes, let euery one please their neighbour. Please their neighbour, and beare with him, that is the word: and he commes on, with Christs exemple. Christ he bare not vvith himselfe, selfe-loue caried him not, as it does vs, but, as it is written, the reproches of them, that re­buked thee, fell on me. He spared himselfe so little, that these igne­minies and reproaches, that should haue lighted on vs sinners, he tooke them on him. He tooke our burdeene on him. There are the wordes shortly.

Marke our lessons. This world is all diseased; men and we­men in this world are full of diseases: yea, and they, that thinks themselues wholest are sickest. I will not speake of the diseases of the bodie. There are few without their owne diseases, and that is the rewarde of sinne, yea and death followes on the end of them, but, I speake of the sicknesse of the soules of men and wemen; neuer one but they haue their owne diseases in their soule. He hes this sicknesse in his soule: she hes that sicknesse in her soule; he is miserable in his soule, another feeble in minde, the third, weake, without a sure knowledge of Christ; euery one of these sicknesses are deadlie, euerie one of them, eneugh, to cause a creature die: Art tho vnruely, if it continue with thee, and be not cured in tyme, it shall cause thee die, not such a death, as the death of the bodie; it is a sicknesse in the soule, thy soule shall die. The sicknesse of the bodie will cause the bodie die, if it be not cured; the sicknesse of the soule will cause the soule die, if it be not cured: Art thou feeble minded, thou shalt goe to dispare, if thou be not comforted: Art thou weake in per­swasion, thou shalt grow weaker and grow to nothing, if thou be not cured in tyme. So considring so many sicke bodies, and an heape of maladies among many Christans, there must bee [Page 285] be many mediciners. A man is a man, a Minister if he be his alone in a flock, if he were the best Minister, that euer spoke among so many diseased bodies, what can he doe? Therefore, looke, how many men are in the Church, there should be as many medici­ners, euery one of vs is bound to cure others diseases. Thou bound to cure my disease and I, thine; thou hast one that I lack, I must labor to cure thine; I haue a maladie, that thou lackest, thou must labor to cure mine.Competēs medicine to be apply­ed to eue­rie mans disease. I tell you plainly, none of vs, but we are bound to doe it: Thinke not, this perteines onely to a Minister, to admonish, to instruct, exhort and rebuke, thinke not, the Minister should doe all: but, if thou be a member of Christ, this binding is laide on thy back, to be a curer of thy sick bro­ther and sister. Now, ye knowe the speciall vertue, that is cra­ued in a Mediciner, is discretion, to knowe the nature of the dis­eases, to tell, this is this disease, that is that disease, and thereafter, to apply salue to the sore. To apply the competent medicine to the sicknesse. He is nothing worth, that hes but one kinde of salue for all soares, and he will destroy the bodie, if he apply on­ly one medicine for all sores; For, that, which is mending salue to one disease, it is poison to another disease: So, in the spiritual me­diciner, discretion is craued, to knowe the maladie of our bro­ther and conforme thereto, to apply the medicine, When I see an vnruly body, that workes nothing, that perteines to himselfe, but busying his head, about other mens callinges, then, I should take the medicine of sharpe rebuke and lay it to the sore, and tell him the disease, and bid him take a lawfull calling, that he may serue God therein, and susteine his body. Againe, when I see one caste downe in spirite, I must not vse that medicine to him, but, must comfort him. Iude in his Epistle vers. 22 saies, Put a difference among sinners, in the curing of them, to some, shovve comfort and compassion, some bodies craues pitty and compassion, as to others, saue them, how? vvith terror, that is the word, threat­ning vengence on them, and he addes, pull them out of the fire quickly, as it were, by the haire of the head, they are burning, if thou saue them not with a sharpe doing, the fire will consume them shortly. All men wold be handled meekly and gently, and the vnruly man would be handled as tenderly, as the body, that is dejected. Is that the way to cure him, to put smoothing coales [Page 286] on him? no, that is the way to let him burne if he lye in the fire: smooth him ouer he shall burne: A misruelie man he stands, as it were, in a fire, and such a fire, as shall burne him, if he be not all the sooner pulled out.

Now, I will not insist on these particular directions, but, I goe forward, be patient tovvard all men. This is a generall direction, not giuen for a particular disease, that concernes this man, or, that man, this disease, or, that disease in speciall, but, this concer­nes all men and all wemen and is, as it were, a generall medicine, meete for all diseases: Patience, lenitie, long suffering, meeke­nesse (to speake it so) is a simple medicine, that must be ming­led with euerie medicine:Leaity me­dicine for al diseases Put therefore lenitie and meeknesse in rebuking; lenitie and meeknesse, in threatning; lenitie and meeknesse, in admonishing: lenitie and meeknesse, in exhorting, euer lenitie: For, I tell you, if this verie simple, to wit, lenitie, be not mingled with all medicines, the medicine shall become a poison, rather, nor a medicine: As, for example, rebuke a sinner, that deserues rebuking, if there appeare nothing in thy rebuke, but, bitternesse, seueritie, anger and wraith, I tell thee, thy rebuke is a poyson, thou poysons the man, that thou rebukest, thou e­difiest him not, thou destroyest him. Therefore, holde thy tongue, be thou Minister, or, priuate Christian, that hes nothing, but bitternesse and gall, in rebukes, for, the Lord forbids such, to speake and to rebuke, because they, who onely spewes out gall and bitternesse, makes medicine, venome, and so, will de­stroy the bodie. Brethren, as this patience and lenitie should be vsed towardes all sort of sinners, so all should vse it. a Mini­ster, a priuate Christian, man, or, woman, aswell, as a Minister: Looke, that, none speake anie thing to anie brother, or, sister, except it be tempered with lenitie, except the bodie finde some sweetnesse, or, meeknesse in the rebuke, or, admonition. As for the Minister, looke the second Epistle to Timothi [...], cha. 2. vers. 24. It becommes not the seruante of the Lord to stryue, nor be a stryker, wilt thou stand vp, to instruct men and be a striuer and fighter? No, he sayes, vse lenitie tovvardes all men, suffering men, to win them, then, he commes to the meanes to win them, Instruct, sayes he, vvith all lenitie, him, vvho is contrarie mynded. Then, 4. chap. 2. verse of that Epistle, Improue and rebuke vvith [Page 297] all lenitie. Novv, as for the common men and vvemen, hovv should they behaue them, in vsing their medicine▪ Paul to Ti­tus, chap. 3. verse 2. sayes, Put them in remembrance, that, they shovve all le [...]itie and gentlenesse tovvard all men, remembring, that, vve vvere all once, as they are, all vnvvise, by our mynde, Mi­nisters and all. Our bygone estate should moue vs to lenitie: stryue therefore, to win them vvith lenitie, for, they are no worse, nor vve were, and the best of vs was once as euill, as they are: forget not this, let neuer thy miserie goe out of thy mynde, and let not grace so blinde-folde thee, that thou misknovve vvhat thou wert once; for, if thou doe it, it vvill make the [...] forget lenitie toward thy neighbour. Galath. chap. 6. verse 1. He sayes, If by anie occasion, thy brother hath fallen, ye, vvho are spirituall, restore him vvith the spirite of meeknesse, considering thy selfe, that standes, least thou fall also. There is no sinner so mi­serable the day, but, by the grace of God he may be restored to morrowe. None of vs so sure to day, but, to morrowe vve may fall. My case the day may be thine to morrowe: thou standest not by thy selfe, it is by grace, if it please the Lord to dravve avvay grace from thee, suddainlie shalt thou fall; then all standing is by grace: They, therefore, who standes, let them not rejoyce in their ovvne strength, but, thinke, that, it is by the grace of God, they stand, and pit [...]ie them, that are fallen.

Now, to goe forward. The next exhortation concernes re­uenging of injuries, randering, or, repaying of vvronges, vve haue great neede to be instructed in this, because our nature is so bent to reuenge. He sayes, See, that, none recompence euill, for euill, vnto anie man. There is an inhibition, Whereof much might be spoken, but, I shall binde me to the words of the Apostle. Then, to come to the first words. See, beware, look to it. The word sig­nifies an earnest care and studie. As he would say, take care, be earnest, beware in this turne, for, it will begyle you, if you take not all the better heede to it. This verie vvord, he vses, lettes vs see the great difficultie and hardnesse, that is, in obey­ing of this precepte, in not randering euill, for euill, but, by the contrarie, randering goode, for euill. For, brethren, there is a wonderfull promptnesse and bentnesse in the nature of all men [Page 288] euer to reuenge, the spirit of vengence is by nature in euerie one of vs, yea, in the silliest and simplest bodie, that is. This poynte of doctrine, not to rander euill for euill, but, by the contrare, good, for euill, abhorres from nature, and nature abhorres it. Say to a naturall man, doe not euill, for euill, but, doe good, for euill, he will scorne and laugh at it, and many in Scotland scornes it. Our nature abhors it so farre, that, the [...]uld Philosophers: (who set down many good morall precepts) neuer spoke one word of it: among all their morall precepts ye will not get this precept, Doe no euill for euill, doe good for euill. The Scrybes and Pha­risies Matt. cha. 5. vers. 38. &c. exponing the Law of God could not atteine to this, but gaue out this meaning of the second ta­ble of the Law, loue thy friend, doe good, to him, that does good to thee, hate thy enemie. So they exponed the Law, vntil Christ came and purged the Law. Only, then, in the schole of Iesus, only in the Gospell,Patiē [...]in suffering vvronges, bardle ar­ [...]ed. this pointe of doctrine is taught and learned, that▪ men should not doe euill, for euill, but, good, for euill. Indeede, brethren, this lesson is very hard to be practised. Good Christi­ans, who professes themselues to be schollers in Iesus schoole, how long tyme will they spend, ere they can get this lesson lear­ned? Who, let see, is brought to this poynte, that, gladly he can be content to suffer wrong, or, to suffer a double wrong▪ ere he re­uenge, yea, to doe good, for euill, ere he reuenge wrong; Who can doe this? No, all these murtherers, all these oppressors, these contumelies, wherewith the land is filled, telles plainly, that, ma­ny thousands in the land hes neuer learned this precept of the Gospell, that the Lord hes giuen, to doe good, for euill. Who of our Lords and Lairds hes learned it? If he hes gotten one slaine to him, he will slay two: yea, come to the Gentle-men, ye shall see, that, this lesson hes neuer beene learned of them. Who of our wemen hes learned it? for, if were but with the bitternesse of their mouth, they will reuenge their quarrell: and they, who hes atteined to any grace, or, any part of obedience of this pre­cept, yea, the best of all, the most patient soule, how hardly can he, with a patient, mynde dejest injuries. There is no grace of God, no sort of obedience to Iesus, but, so long as we liue heere, we keepe it with a battell: hast thou any grace, euer the canker of our corruption stry [...]s to put but the grace. So, that, if we be [Page 289] not holden vp, we shall lose this grace; and among all graces, that, men gets, I trow, this grace of Patience we keep it with the greatest trouble. There is no grace, that hes so many assaults, as this, euer to stir vs vp, to take vengence, our own nature, wicked company; fy on on thee (they wil cry) beastly body, thou hast re­ceiued wrong and wil not reuenge it; there is a thousand such in­stigations. What matter, if we could be content to rander wrong for wrong, but, our hart is so full of venome, that it cānot be satiat, vntill we double and triple ten wrongs, for one: the hart is so full of hatred, that if we could, we would shut our enemy soule and body in Hell. So; this grace of Patience, in not reuenging, is the grace we keepe, with the greatest assaults. Read the 39. Psalme when Dauid had taine purpose to take heed to his waies, that he should not speak an euill word against his enemies, yet, the hart begins to take fire and out goes the flame, and he burstes out, in murmuring against God himselfe. All this telles vs, how hard a thing it is, to one, to digest wrong, and how much more hard, to do good, for euill. And so, we are to cr [...]ue euer at God, to giue vs this grace of Patience, to suffer wrong: Alas, the company of this world is so wicked, that we are euer stirred vp to vengence. And so, we should craue euer, the Lord giue vs patience, that with pa­tience we may abide the wrong, and the Lord will auenge. The Lord sayes, Vengence is mine and I vvill auenge it. Deut. chap. 32. vers. 35. Byde, till this tyme come and surely will the Lord repay it▪ And I darsay, neuer man got wrong and with patience abode it, but, either he got reuenge here, or, else, in that day he shall see his wrongs fully repayed by God.

This, for the first words. Now, he sayes▪ See, that, no man. This precept perteines to all men, it is generall, he excemes no man, no, not the Kings of the world, from the King to the begger, no man exemed, euery soule is inhibite to do wrong, to rander euill, for euil, for, it is the King of al kings that puts out this inhibition. Brethrē, the conceit, men hes, of their own estimation, if the Lord cal them to any estate, begyles them. If a man be preferred to an­other, he beguiles himselfe▪ and he thinks, he may do what he wil, because of his preferment, he may do double wrong, and he will say, I am such a man, this is my estate, will I suffer a wrong, I can­not doe [...]? How can I suffer this indignitie? The Lord sayes, [Page 274] thy preferment is of me, thou art no better, nor the person, that is vnder thee; I command thee, vnder the paine of death, that thou patiently abide, vntill it please me to auenge this deed. Then, he sayes, doe no vvrong to any man; without any exception: thou art bound, not to rander euill for euill to any man, to the silliest and basest bodie, that goes on the earth. Measure not Gods Law, by your owne discretion. The holie Law of God forbids thee to rander injurie for injurie, to the vylest bodie in the world. And euen as the consait of men, who are preferred begyles them, euen, so, the opinion of the vyle estate of other men in their eyes be­gyles them. How durst (will they say) such a vyle lowne, or, vil­la [...]e doe such a turne, should I suffer such a wrong of such a raskall? I shall wring my hands in his hart bloud: But, I say, the Lord, that is Lord ouer thee and him both giues thee an inhibi­tion, if the man that does wrong were neuer so vyle, handle him not, but, beare with him, vntill I reuenge it.

But, to come to the precept it selfe. What forbids he? and what bids he? He forbids one thing, and bids another thing: he forbids to doe euill, for euill; he bids doe good, to all men, and that, at all tymes; mutuallie doe good euery one euer to another; extend not your beneficence to the faithfull onely, but, extend it to all, from the King to the begger, to the Turke, to the Iew, &c. But, to come to the negatiue, that is forbidden. Doe no euill, for euill.4. Sortes of randering There are foure sortes of randering: First, randering good, for good: Secondly, randering good, for euil: Thirdly, randering euill, for euill: The fourth sort, randering euill, for good. The first, randering good, for good, is euery where commanded, as for randering good, for euill, it is also here commanded: As to the third, to rander euil for euill, here it is forbidden: As to the fourth, randering euill, for good, it is much more forbidden. The Apo­stle speakes not here expresly of it, for, in a maner, it is thought, that, such foull vngratitude could not be in a man; I thinke the Apostle hes thought, such a precept needed not, as being contrare to the Law of nature. The Philosopher made not a law, against a man, for slaying his Father, because, said he, I cannot trow, that, there can fall our such an vnnaturall fact: So, to rander euill, for good, it is such a thing, that, it should not once be named. But, [...] Scotland is full of such mishant ingratitude, in randering [Page 275] euill, for good, and the man, who hes done most for him▪ in his greatest need, he will abhor that man most. Fy, if vengence shall ouertake him, that randers euill, for euill, what vengence shall o­uertake such an vngrate reprobate, that randers euill, for good? Brethren, vnderstand, in this doctrine, do not euill, for euill. He for­bids, not only the action of the hand, or, the speach of the mouth, to speake an euill word, to doe an euill deed, but, he forbids also the inward hatred of the hart; the Law of God touches the hart. And he saies, On paine of death, looke, that, thou keepe no ven­gence, nor, rankor in thy hart, to him, that hes done euil to thee, for, suppose thou would not do him euill with thy hand, and would hold thy tongue, yet, if rankor and vengence be in thy hart, thou and thy hart, for breach of this precept, shall perish, suppose the Magistrat cannot punish thee, if thou keep thy mouth and hand from euill; yet, the Lord, that sees the heart will reuenge the in­ward rankor of the hart: he forbids likewise, that thou should do euill for euill to another. Men are now very vyle, in this pointe, they will seeme to do no euill themselues, yet, by another they are doing euil, he is not reuenging with his own hand, but, yet, he is reuenging wrong for wrong, with the hand of another man. O, but, God will not be scorned, thou shalt pay for it surely. The Lord sees all the conuoy very wel, it is worse, then the other thou doest thy selfe. I will say further, Abuse not the Majesty of God, in reuenging thy querrel, yea, euen, when at the Magistrats hand thou seekest justice of them, who hes done any injury to thee, be ware, that, thou respect not thy particular. It is lawfull to the ma­gistrate, to take vengence, of them, that hes done wrong, but, take heede to thy selfe, vpon what minde thou seekest it, looke, that, it come not of thy priuat affection, that thou seeke not the hurt of the man, to satisfy thy hart being caried with the thirst of reuēge, that thou hast. For, he, whom other waies the magistrat justly pu­nishes, I tell thee, if thou do any thing to him vpon malice, thou art guilty of his death, and God shall think thee a man-slaier, but, seeke reuenge, in the loue, thou hast to justice, that God may be glorified in justice, in randering vengence, to him, that hes done wrong. It is weldone, that the wickedman suffers punishmēt for his fault, but, thou hast to look to thy hart. Seeke not the satisfa­ction of thy foull hart, for, if thou do so, thou shalt be the s [...]ayer [Page 292] of the man, but, seeke, that, God may be glorified, in randering ju­stice on the sinner: Lord, if we could do this. It is a good turne, to cut away a murtherer. Alwaies, albeit he had slaine thy father, looke to Gods glory and not to thy own affection. yea, I say fur­ther, be ware, in dealing with thy God, in seeking vengēce. Thou wilt say, the Lord acqui [...]e him: It is not of the loue of God, but, of vengence in thy hart, thou saiest it, and I tell thee, if thou make such a prayer, vengence shall turne to thy selfe. Dauid hes many sad imprecations, in his Psalmes, not onely against Gods enemies, but, also, against his owne enemies. And yet, this came not of that priuat affection, to be reuenged of them, but, Dauid respected this, that, God should be glorified, in randring vengence, to the sin­ner. Beware of it. Men may know by themselues, how hard it is, to get this loue to our enemies: but, I tell you, if there be not a striuing to these things, and a resisting and mortifying of thy na­ture, thou and thy nature both shall perish. Well is the body, that, can fight against their wicked nature in this life, albeit they come not to perfection. No there is not a tree, that hes spread the [...] so broad in this earth, as rancour and vengence hes rooted them­selues in our harts. So, our stryuing must be euer to pul out peece and peece this rancour. This day pull out one peece; to morrow, another peece, ay striue to the slaughter of it. They that will not striue shall neuer get the victorie.

Now, to the second part of this precept. Do good, sayes he, to a [...] ­men. First, to brethren and christians, and then, next, to all sort of men, albeit they be enemies. This is far more. How can our na­ture beare this▪ It is enough to me, thou wilt say, to do him no e­uill, the man, that hes dong me so many wrongs, must I doe I am good, for euill? Yea, the Lord sayes, do him good, for euill, do no euill to him, but, doe him good. There are the wordes. I say to thee, the man, or, woman, that does no good to another, when they may, if their neede craues, if it were to their enemie, in not doing good, they do euill, in not sauing, they kill. Reade, in the Gospell of Mark 3. chap. 4. vers. When Christ healed a man on the Sabboth day, the Pharisies found fault with it, The Lord sayes, Whether it is better, to doe good, or, euill on the Sabboth day; To saue a mans lyfe, or, kill him? whereby, he meanes, that, he, that saues not a mans lyfe being in danger and able to saue him, [Page 297] he slayes him, as it were, with his owne hand. This is thought hard dealing, fleshe and bloude would wonder at this dealing, and yet is the Lords will. Men sayes, commonlie, he hes done me a wrong, I will doe him no euill, but, as for my good he shall get none of it, I will neither be friend, nor, foe to him. Then, he thinkes, he hes done eneugh. Christ telles thee, heere, If the man inlacks, or, if he be hurt through the holding back of thy good deed, if it might haue helped him, thou art the doer of it. Alas, why flatters thou thy selfe, I tell thee, albeit thou doe him no e­uill with thy hand, if thou beare malice in thy hart, thou art a murtherer, and shall be challenged for a murtherer, in that great day.Degrees of patiēce, in bearing vvrongs. Brethren, there are two degrees of patience, in bearing with injuries; The first degree of patience, is, not to doe euill, for euill; The second and higher degree, is, to doe good, for euill; if thou would haue perfite patience, go vp these two steps, do, not only no euill to thy enemie, but, doe him good, striue euer to a further perfection; thy strife in this life shall be crowned with victorie, in that life to come. They who striues not to perfection in this earth shall neuer be perfite in the life to come. Well is him, that can striue to perfection, albeit he come not to it heere, he shall obtaine it heereafter. Doe good, saies he, How long? euer. There is no word heere, in vaine, doe good to thy enemie, euer on, so long, as thou hast an hand. Galat. 6. chap. 9. vers. he speakes this matter more planely, let vs not wearie in doing good, and he ad­des to the promise, we shall reape the frute of our good deeds in our owne tyme, if we long not, but, goe; forward ay to the end. This language is borrowed from the laboring of the husband­man; He will till the land, and goe forward, and then, cast the seede in the land, but, if he begin then to thinke, he hes done e­neugh alreadie, and let the land be vnharrowed, or, when the corne commes vp, he doe not weed it, how shall the frute pro­sper? shall he haue a great haruest, if he harrow it not? the foules shall gather it vp, the weather shall wash it away, and at haruest he shall get little of it to reape: So it is with vs, if we begin to do good and continue in well doing for a little space, and then, be­gin to close our hand and our purse, and thinke, we haue done e­neugh. Alas, when it commes to the haruest tyme, in that great day of the Lord, there will be no shearing, nor, reaping to life e­uerlasting: [Page 298] except, by perseuerance we continue to the end, no frute of our labours. He that striues not continuallie, he shall not ouer come: therefore, let vs euer perseuere, while we liue, and then, when our haruest and reaping commes, we shall haue a faire barn-yarde. Blessed is that man, that can perseuere. Then, hee saies, in that 6. chap. to the Galath. While wee haue tyme, let vs ay doe good, and he makes two rankes of them, to whom we should doe good: First, to the familie of faith, and then, to all ma­ner of men. This tyme would be well marked: For, there is a sea­son of all things; a season of tilling, a season of sawing, and a sea­son of reaping. The season of sawing in the spring-tyme. If thou saw not in that season, thou shalt not reape frute in Haruest: So it is in spirituall things; in this life is the time of polwing, sawing, and harrowing. The life to come is the time of reaping, and reap­ing the frute of our labours. Lose thou the tyme of thy sawing & harrowing here, thou wilt neuer get it againe, and when thou commest to the season of reaping, thou shalt not finde frute. Alas, I haue sene great men, when they haue bene on death-bed, and found death to be at hand, wold say, I haue abused my time. Lord, if I had my tyme againe, I should spend it better, nor I haue done. Alwaies, many neuer gets this repentance And well are they, who hes repentance for the tyme, that is mispent; but, where one gets this grace, twentie gets it not. Now, all tends to this, to go forward in well doing, while that we meete our head Christ: saw, harrow, and go forward, vntill the tyme of our Har­uest and reaping▪ for if thou he sluggish here and saw not, thou shalt not reape hereafter.

Now, to whom should they do good? To your selues. First eue­rie one, to other, first, to them, whom he calles the family of faith. Gallat. chap. 6. verse 10. He that would showe a good deed, let him begin at Christians, for, we are all of one familie, euen, of the familie of Christ. I assure thee, that name, Christian, bindes thee, to show a good deed to them, that caries it. It is a sweete name, I tell the more, albeit that bodie be thy enemie, yet, that name of Christian, in him, bindes thee to loue and helpe him, and do good, for euill, to him. It is no small obligation, binding euerie man, to do good. Then, he ads to, and sayes, doe good to all men. To Chri­stian, to no Christian, to Iew, Gentile, Turke, Pagane, what e­uer [Page 299] he be. Marke this. The Lord requyres, that, this beneficence and liberalitie to men and wemen be extended to all men in the whole corners of the earth: beare they the name of men and wemen, thy liberalitie should ay extend to them. Looke what reasons, Paul, Rom 12. 20. vers. giues, in recommending the same well doing to our enemies. He saies, If thy enemie thirst, giue him drinke, if he hunger, giue him meate. Giue him not it bitterly, with the buffet, but, giue him it with chearefulnesse, and pray the Lord, to mend him: the reason is, For, in so doing, thou shalt heape coales on his head: For, if he repent not, for all thy doing good to him, the meate and drinke, thou giuest him shall be as many firy coales on his head. Another reason, Be not ouercome vvith euill, but, ouercome euill vvith good. He wins the better, that suffers the wrong, and renders good, for euill, for, at last, he shall be crowned with glory. The Lord bring vs to this glorie, for Christs sake. To whom, with the Father and holy Spirit be all honour and glorie for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 5. vers. 16. 17.

16 Reioyce euermore.

17 Pray continuallie.

[Page 300] THERE are three precepts heere, bre­thren, which the Apostle joines together. The first is the precept of patience, in suf­fering wrong and not rendering euill for euill, but, doing good for euill. Of this, we heard the last day. There is next the pre­cept of joy and peace of conscience, in the first wordes, we haue presentlie red, Last, there is the precept of prayer, seeking to God, and thank­ing God, for the benefites resaued, in the next part of the text. The Apostle Paul, not onely in this place joines these three to­gether, but, also, in the 4. chap. to the Philipp. ye shall finde the same three precepts joined together, howbeit not in this order. he beginnes there,Patience, ioye and praier ioi­ned toge­ther. at joy, and he sayes, reioice in the Lord alvvaies, againe, I say, reioice: then, he commes to patience in suffering wrong, let your patient minde, let your moderation be knovvne [...] all men: for, the Lord is at hand; And last, he commes to prayer and saies, be not carefull for any thing, but, in all things let your re­quests be shovvne to God, in prayer and thankes-giuing: Then, he commes to peace of conscience again, and the peace of God, vvhich passes all vnderstanding shall preserue your harts, &c. These three are joined together: The precept of patience, joy and prayer, be­cause these three graces of God, patience, joy and prayer are vn­separable, euerie one of them joined vnseparably with another: tak one away, thou shalt not get the other; tak praier away, thou shalt not haue joy; take joy away, thou shalt not get patience in suffering. So these three are so vnseparably lined together, that, if they be not altogether in the hart of a man, none of them can be in the hart; and if one be in the hart, all shall be in it. Howbeit patience be set down first here, yet, it is not the first grace, praier is first; joy, next, and then, patience: for, praier first bringes joy; then, this heauenlie joy being broght forth and entertainde by praier, it bringes patience, in suffering troubles. Now, brethren, what shal we mak of this, ere we come to the words? Only, this, the graces of God, which are parts of our new-birth called Re­generation are so inseparably locked together, that, they cannot be seuered, and therefore, he, that would haue any one of them, let him seeke them al; he that would haue patience, let him seeke [Page 301] joy; and he that would haue joy, let him seeke praier, let him seeke them altogether; either seeke them all and get them all, in some measure, or, it shall passe thy power to keepe any one of them, either keepe all, or, want all: this is their nature, ye saw ne­uer a chaine so linked together, as these graces of regeneration are linked. It may be, that, a man haue the outward showe of a grace, but, indeed, it shall passe his power to haue a true grace, except he haue the whole graces of this new-birth, in some mea­sure. Many will seeme to suffer wrong, and yet, they will not haue the joy of the holy Spirit; but, they, that wants the joy of the Spirit, albeit they seeme to suffer many wrongs, yet, they are but hypocrites. Therefore, seeke one, seeke all; want one, want all; either haue all, or, want all.

But, to come to the text and speake of this joy, Reioice, sayes the Apostle, euermore. True rejoicing, or, joy, is that joy, that en­tertaines patience in suffering. Goe to experience and try it. There is none of vs, that hes tasted of this heauenlie joy, but, we will finde, by experience, it raise vp the hart of man and woman aboue all these thinges earthlie, in some measure. It raises vp the hart to an higher kingdome, nor all the kingdomes in this earth, this heauenly joy raises vs vp, to the kingdome of God. This kingdome of God, saies the Apostle, Rom. chap 14. vers. 17. Is peace and ioy in the holie Ghost. So, that, they, who hes this joy, are in a­nother kingdome, as far aboue these earthly kingdomes, as the heauen is aboue the earth, and by this joy, they are lifted vp, to heauen, and being vp there, they look downe to all these things on the earth, the troubles, afflictions and persecutions, as thogh they were nothing, and thinkes them nothing: joy being in the hart, it swallowes vp the heauiest displeasure, that, can be (looke this by experience) A little measure of it in the hart will swalow vp sadnesse, suffering of wrongs and injuries in this world. This world is but a world of suffering. In the 5. chapter of the Acts, verse 41. ye see, the Disciples of Christ after his ascension are drawen in, before the Councell; there, they are scourged, manas­sed, and threatned, that they should not speake in the name of Christ. But, what doe they, when they are dimitted? They go away with joy: is there matter of joy heere? they are beatten, scourged and boasted, yet, they goe away with joy, reioicing, that, [Page 302] they vvere counted vvorthi [...], to suffer, for Christs sake. Brethren, if joy had not swallowed vp sadnesse, the Apostles had not rejoy­ced. Reade the Psalmes of Dauid, He beginnes with such a sad­nesse in many of them all, that he would appeare to be in Hell, and ere the Psalme be ended, ye will see, that, he burstes out with exceeding great thankfulnes. This meanes, that, there was a joy, and an exceeding great heauines in the hart, and there was a battell betwixt them, and in the end, joy got the victorie and swallowed vp sadnesse.

But, now, what is this joy, that he meanes of, when he saies, Re­ioyce euermo [...]. It is no other thing, but, that, which he calles in the fourth chapter to the Philippians,Descripti­on of [...]oy. The peace of God, that pas­ses all vnderstanding, standing about the hart, as a guard. And to speake the trueth of this, it is the end and crowne of all the gra­ces of God in Iesus Christ, it is that end, whereto all the graces of God tends: and when they come there, they go no further. Wher­fore came Christ in the world, but that we should haue peace and joy in conscience? Wherefore died he? that we should haue joy. Wherefore rose he? that we should haue joy in his resurre­ction. Wherfore are we all called to be Christians? that we shold rejoice. Wherefore are our sins remitted? onely to rejoyce. This is the end of all, joy. What is Heauen but joy? What is life euerla­sting, but joy vnspeakable? What is glorie, but joy? Paul joynes these two together, joy and the crowne of glorie. 1. Thess. chap. 2. vers 19. Therefore, in one word, what is true happines? nothing but joy, joy in God, throgh Iesus Christ. What is any thing vn­der Heauen without joy in the hart? If a man haue all the world and all the honour and riches of the world, except he haue joy in them, what auaill they? So, joy is the blessednesse of men and women: And therefore, when the Apostle bids vs rejoice euer­more, what craues he, but, that we should prease euer forward to our blessednes and Heauen; begin thy blessednes here, or, thou shalt neuer get blessednes hereafter Life euerlasting begins here, in a measure of joy, that is not persite, and ends in the next life, in glory, which shall be perfited.

Yet, brethren, the nature of joy would be better seene and knowen, that men be not deceiued with it. The joy, that is cra­ued, of what kinde is it? There are sundrie kindes of joy. Is it a [Page 303] fleshly and carnall joy, [...] that will be in the mouthes of prophaine people; be merie, eat, drinke. Is that this joy? no, no. When Paul bids thee rejoyce, he bids thee not passe the time like the Epïcu­rians, Eate, drinke and be merie: The joy, that he craues, the na­ture thereof is not fleshly: but, it is cleane, holie and spirituall. To speake the trueth, it is in the hart (all joy is in the hart of a bodïe) but, it is not so much the joy, that is of the naturall affecti­on, as it is the motion of the spirit of Christ within vs, vsing the affectiones of our hart as a parte to reioyce in, when he is dwelling in vs. When a man reioyces naturallie, it is his heart, that reioyces, but, this is another kinde of reioycing. It is the Spirite of consolation, that comforts, the Spirite of Iesus, that dwelles in the hart, and wakens vp the affection aboue nature, and makes it,It is [...] and [...] that was naturall, as supernaturall, it cannot be so well tolde, as felt. Rom. chap. 8. verse 26. The Spirite of God requests for vs, vvith sighes vnspeakable. Then, the Spirite sighes within the heart. If the Spirite of God be within the heart, the sighe will not be so much the sighe of the bodie, as of the Spirite of God: [...] It is so with that spirituall ioy; the ioy in the hart if will not be so much the ioy of the heart, as the ioy of the Spirite of God, a ioy vnspeakable. No, no tongue can tell the greatnesse of it. And, brethren, if there vvere no more, but, this, that it cannot be toulde, it telles you the nature of it, it is not a naturall ioy, the naturall ioy can be all toulde. the heart of man is comprehensible, and the affectiones of the hart can be toulde, but, the joy of the Spirite of God is incompre­hensible. The joy of the Spirite of God in the heart of the poore sinner cannot be toulde by all the Angels of Heauen, let be by the tongue of man. For, no man can re [...] the infinitnesse of Gods Spirite. Therefore, put a difference betweene it and all other ioyes.

The property of this ioy is here expressed,Properti [...] of this ioy, It is con­tinuall. it lastes euermore, it is continuall, it alters not, it is without interruption, it is not broken off▪ prosperitie will not breake it, aduersitie vvill not breake it, lyfe vvill not breake it, death vvill not breake it, it abydes, in lyfe, it abydes, in death, yea, euen, to the verie poynte of death, vvhen it pleases the holie Spirite to vvorke, it vvill be in a greater measure in his soule than, nor it vvas in [Page 304] the life-tyme. When we thinke the body should be heauiest and saddest, then, it is most joyfull. This earthly joy is soone broken off. he is now in joy: in the twinkling of an eie, it shall be broken off: this houre glade, the next houre, wo. Balthazar was a mery man when he was prophaning the vessels of the Lord and ban­ketting in the meane tyme of his merinesse came the hand, writ­ting vpon the wall and then, he beginnes to shake, and his coun­tenance is changed with shuddering and shaking. [...]. Ye heard in this same chapter, when the wicked saies, Peace, all things are sure, then, a sudden destruction ouertakes them. So, this worldly joy is ay interrupted, it is ay turned in sorrow; if thou be content with a worldly joy proceeding of a worldly thing, (if it were all the kingdomes of the earth) thy joy shall be turned in a weep­ing for euer; but, the spirituall joy is continuall without inter­ruption.

Then, if this be the nature of it, it is spirituall, it is cleane and pure, heauenly, not rude, fleshly, nor, earthly. If this be the pro­perty of it,Matter of spiritu­all ioy. it continues ay (for, this propertie must follow on the nature of it, a spirituall thing must euer abide) What can be the matter of it? there must be some cause of this joy. No joy, but there must be some cause and matter, that moues it. Then, what is the matter of it? There are two sorts of things in the world, that wakens vp joy in the heart of man. The first is earthly things; ye know the things, worldlie honor, riches, they waken vp joy in the hart: Another sort is called spritual, heuenly, clean. There is no other, but, these two, either things heuenly, or earth­lie, to cause men to rejoyce. Then, are these earthly things the matter of this spirituall joy he speaks of? Examine the nature of it, it is spirituall, it is the joy of Christ. Will these worldly things, if there be no further consideration of them, cause the Spirit of Christ rejoyce within thee? Will a kingdome make Christes Spirit within the hart of a man, to rejoyce, if there be nothing more, but, as it is a worldly kingdome? No, I say, they will not be the matter of this joy: looke to these worldly things how thou resauest them, if they be not resaued out of Gods hand as arles­pennies of heauenlie thinges, and tokens of better benefites and of life euerlasting, they shall neuer make the Spirit of Christ to reioyce in thee. Thy hart may be blyth for worldly thinges, be­cause [Page 305] thou art an earthly bodie. A King may rejoyce in a king­dome, &c. but, if they be not taine out of Gods handes, as ar­lespennies of heauenly and spirituall benefites, the Spirite of Christ shall not rejoice in thee. Take heed, if it wer but a morsell of meate, if thou take it out of Gods hand, as a token of that hea­uenly food to life euerlasting, the Spirit of Christ shall rejoyce in thee. Therefore, be neuer content of earthly things, as earthlie things onely, nor, of the naturall joy of the hart of man. A sow hes a naturall joy, [...] in filling the bellie. No beast in the field, but it hes a sensuall joy in the selfe, by nature, in the foode thereof. Fy on thee, that cannot haue more joy, nor a beast. Thou art made for Heauen and not for Kingdomes here: Therefore, re­joyce in heauenly thinges; and I say, the Kow and other beasts are better, nor thou, if thou rejoyce not with that heauenly joy, for the kingdome prepared for thee, in Iesus Christ. Woe to thee, that hes not the joy, that proceeds of the Spirit of Iesus. Againe, this joy lasts euermore, it is continual, it bides in the night, it bides in the day, it perishes not. These worldly things are al perishing. He will be a King the day and will be casten down to morrow. He is riche the day, and will be begging to morrowe. How can thinges changeable, be matter to me of joy, that standes euer­more? No, they cannot. If my joy restes on earthly things, when earthly things failes me, of necessity my joy must faile me. When the ground of joy failes, my joy must faile. Worldly things must faile, therefore, the joy in worldly things must faile, and specially, in death: Either shall earthly things faile thee, or, else, thou shalt faile them; if thou were a King, thou must faile in thy kingdome, thou must leaue [...]; either shall the worldly things be taine from thee, or, thou from them: What Monarch euer yet since the be­ginning of the world for al their dominions, if they had not God and Christ, had euer a sparke of joy at the houre of his death? A dram weight of this joy is worth all the kingdomes of this earth; and if thou hast gotten a little peece of this joy, thinke it bet­ter, nor thou wert made Monarch of all the world. No que­stion, the least peece of Christes graces and of this regenera­tion is worth all the Kingdomes of this world. Euen so, these earthlie thinges cannot bee the matter of this joye. Thou shalt neuer get the joy of the holy Spirite, if thou seeke it in the [Page 306] world. Then, wherein standes this joy? Paul 4. chap. to the Phi­lippians verse 4. sayes, Reioyce in the Lord. He sayes not, rejoyce in the world, or, kingdomes of the world, but, he sayes, rejoyce in the Lord and in all those graces, he hes broght with him, in re­mission of sins, in life euerlasting, &c. Take heed, compare this joy with the matter thereof, This joy is spiritual, Iesus is a Spirit, all his graces are spirituall. Then, these two agrees very well, a spirituall matter, a spirituall joy. Then, againe, this joy is conti­nuall, Christ is for euer. Heb. 13. 8. His graces standes for euer. Al the mercies of God in Christ are eternall and vnchangeable. How well then standes these two, a joy continuall, a matter con­tinuall; a joy, that is eternall; a matter, that is eternall. But, thou wilt say, [...]. albeit that matter of my joy, Christ Iesus neuer perishes, yet, we must perish, and albeit he stand, yet, we must fall. No, no. Paul, to the Rom. chap. 8. vers. 35. saies, What shall separate vs from the loue of God, in Christ? No, if thou be once well imped in him by his Spirite and a lyuely faith, all the world shall neuer bring thee back againe, thou shalt neuer be separate, heauen and earth shall first perishe, ere they, who are imped in Christ, be separate from him, death shall not separate them. Paul sayes, Christ is to me both in life and death aduantage. Philipp. chap. 1. vers. 21. These earthly thinges may vantage thee in this naturall and transitory lyfe, [...]. riches may vauntage thee in this lyfe, honour may be plea­sant to thee here, but, when death commes, then may thou justly say, I will get no more vantage of my riches, I will shake all off me and go naked to the graue, but, Christ will go to the graue with me: yea, euen, to the resurrection he shall accompany thee, and then, soule and body shall be joined together, and thou shalt be with him for euer. In one word, the matter of this joy are not earthly things, but, spirituall. It is Christ and his graces, that is the ground of all this joy, vntill thou come to that lyfe euer­lasting. And this, for the opening vp of the words.

Learne,Vse [...] then. There are none of vs, that walkes in the light of the Gospell of Christ, and hes taine the name of Christians v­pon vs, but we are bound and oblist to rejoyce, and be glade, and that, not for one tyme onely, one day, or, one night, or, one yeere or, one season, but, euermore, and at euery occasion, in prospe­ritie, in aduersitie, in life and death, euer rejoyce; and weulde [Page 307] ye know the paine? all obligations are vnder some paine, the paine of it, is, vnder the paine of banishing vs out of Gods King­dome, out of heauenly Ierusalem. He that would not rejoyce vnder the hope of heauenly Ierusalem must be banished out thereof. Rom. 14. verse 17. Gods Kingdome in righteousnesse and peace, and ioy in the holy Ghost; if thou prease not to rejoyce in Christ and his Kingdome, in life and death, prosperity and ad­uersitie, thou shalt be shut out of it. I say, they, who neuer felt of this heauenly joy, and neuer rejoyced in Christ, in his Redemp­tion of vs from sin, in that life purchast to vs, by his bloud, who neuer rejoyces in these, but ay is glad when he is exercised a­bout these earthly things, that man neuer yet saw Christs King­dome. And albeit he be outwardly in the Church (the Church is called the Kingdome of God, in the Gospell) yet, indeede, he is not one of the Kingdome, he is going vp and downe in com­pany with them of the Church, but, he was neuer in the Church, for, thou must be spiritually in it and not bodily. And if there be a great sin in the world, this is one, not to rejoyce in such a mat­ter of joy; God offers thee saluation in Christ; if thou rejoyce not therein, thou cannot doe a greater contempt to the light of the Gospell, wherein life and saluation is offered, no [...] a greater inju­ry to God, thou bereaues God of his glory▪ for, what shall be the chiefe glorifying of God, but a rejoycing in his mercies, through Iesus Christ. Alas, what great blessednesse we defra [...]d our selfes of, when we rejoyce not in the worke of our Redemption. It is wonder, what joy the Angels haue, in looking in, to this worke of the Redemption of man. Peter, in his 1. Epistle, chap. 1. vers. 12. sayes, The Angels desires to looke in to this misterie. Were not the Angels preachers to the shiephirds, of that joy and blessing, that came to the world? Luke chap. 2. verse 13. 14. Fy on thee, Christ is come, to redeeme thee and not the Angels, and yet, they re­joyce, and wilt not thou rejoyce? The earth and heauen leapes and rejoyces for the hearing of their deliuerance by Christes comming againe, and thou cannot rejoyce, fy on thee, When all the dumme creatures, aboue, vnder, and about thee, rejoyces, and thou cannot rejoyce. Waken vp that dead hart of thine, and re­joyce in God, or, else, the spirit of sorrow and sadnesse shall wa­ken thee, that thou shalt weepe for euer. The tyme of joy is pre­tious, [Page 304] if thou rejoyce not heere, thou shalt neuer get that joy in Heauen hereafter.

Now, ye will say, should we rejoyce ay? The wise man sayes, Ecclest. chap. 3. vers. 4. [...]. All thinges hes the tyme, there is a tyme of vveeping, a tyme of laughing. How should we ay be glad? I aun­swere, it is true, there is a tyme of mourning, and a tyme of sad­nesse: and, I trow, this same verie tyme is the tyme of sad­nesse. But, I tell thee, againe, for all this sadnesse, rejoyce must thou, and when thou art commanded to be sad, for sin, thou art commanded to rejoyce in Christ, for remission thereof: where nothing is in the hart but sadnesse, it will bring a man to dispare, Sadnesse would euer be mingled with joy, sadnesse, for miserie, would be mingled with joy, for hope of reliefe, or, else, the end shal be dispare. And it is wonderfull, to see the Spirit of Iesus at [...] tyme to worke joy and sadnesse, [...]. how he wil make the hart sigh, with sighes vnspeakable, and in that moment, with that same ve­ry sigh, that same very Spirite will make the hart rejoyce with joy vnspekable: Know ye not this? This sadnesse is called con­trition and brokennes of hart, it is a sadnesse wroght in the hart with sighes vnspeakable, conjoyned with joy, that is vnspea­kable, if it be with faith in Iesus Christ. Peter saies, 1. Epist. 1. cha. 8. vers. Beleuing in Iesus Christ, vve reioyce vvith ioy vnspeakable and glorious. So, when thou art sad, haue thy eyes set vpon Christ, when thou art sad, go from the sight of men, but go not from the sight of Christ, if thou wert in wildernesse, if Christ be in thy eies, with sadnesse, vnspeakable joy shall be mingled. Then weeping is recommended, rejoycing is recommended, and we must sorrow while we are here, but looke, that, Christ in thy sor­rowing be in thy eyes, and that joy that is mingled with sad­nesse, in the end it shall swallow vp the sadnesse, life shall swal­low vp death.

But ye will say, the best man and most faithfull will be some tymes so easten downe, that he cannot get a sparke of joy, looke to it. Thou wilt say, rejoyce thou; he will say, I cannot; [...]. I tell you, if he had all the kingdomes of the world, he would giue them for a sparke of joy, the soule of him will be, as it were, bea [...]ten downe to Hell. How then sayes he, rejoyce euermore [...] how can he bid this? The answere is easie. The Apostle speakes of that [Page 305] thing, that should be indeed: it is true, a Christian should euer re­joyce; and it is as true, at some time, there wil not appeare a spark of joy in him. But, I say, if euer a person hes gotten the Spirit of Iesus, and hes had this solide joy, that person shall neuer altoge­ther leese that sparke of comfort and joy. Yea, brethren, that spark of comfort and joy will be lying, as it were, smored vnder an heap of ashes, so, that, it will not be known by the persons self, in whom it is, and yet, it will be lurking in this hart; and in spite of the deuill and the world (that would driue men to dispare) it will break out. Dauid felt this, when he had angred the Spirite. and saies, Restore to me thy spirit againe Psal. 51. vers. 12. He had done foull factes, adultery and murther, he lay long in these sins, yet the Spirit leaues him not, but, abode in him, and yet he saies, re­store to me thy Spirit; for, yet, he could scarce know, that, he had the Spirit, albeit in the meantime this Spirit was within him. The Lord keep vs, from angering this Spirit; if thou anger him, he wil anger thee, and wil draw himself aside, in such sort, that thou wilt not know, thou hast him; and, in the meantime, he will waken the conscience of sin and make it accuse thee, and as a tortor within thee, to torment thee, as if thou wert in Hell. Therefore, anger not the Spirit of Iesus. This much for this precept.

Now, as to the precept of Prayer, to touch it shortly, When he said, rejoyce euermore. Then, he saies, Pray continually. There the third linke of this chui [...]e,Prayer. Praier, The first, patience; The second; Rejoycing; The third; Prayer [...] Pray continuallie, saies he. The Apostle, 4. chap. Philipp. 6. 7. verses. He dravves out the peace of God, out of Prayer: Be [...] carefull in any thing, but, in all thinges let your requests be shovven vp to God, by prayer and thankes-giuing. Then, he sayes, The peace of God, that pas­ses all vnderstanding, shall be a guard to your my [...]des and consci­ences. As if he had said, when ye are troubled for any worldlie thing, I tell you, if ye can call to God. for all thinges that falles out, ye shall get contentment; Gods, Spirite shall guard you in all trouble, the peace of God shall preserue you; what hast thou lost, when thou hast lost the world and gotten that heauenly joy? When thou hast gotten an heauenly thing for an earthly, what hast thou lost? No, neuer man, in the want of an earthly thing praied to God effectually, but, he got cōfort, he got that peace of [Page 306] conscience. So, that, if the got not the earthly thing, he got heauen­ly thinges. Thou wilt finde such joy in the hart, after prayer, that it is vnspeakable. Then, it is prayer, that fosters joy: For, I tell you, homelines with God in prayer, makes joy, and keepes Gods presence in our eyes Euer seeke from him and euer speake to him, and that will keep the face of Iesus before vs. Now, what is it, that keeps joy in the hart? Onely the keeping of the face of Iesus in the hart. When thou hast not the face of Iesus, no joy. Turne thy hart from the face of Christ, and turne thy speache from him, thou shalt haue no joy in hart. Againe, turne thy hart to the face of Iesus, hold thy hart before his face, of necessitie thou shalt haue joy. Felt ye euer the spirituall joy, when ye felt not Christ in the hart? Who euer felt comfort, that felt not Christ dwelling in their hart? None. Therefore, Peter sayes, Beleeuing in him. (What is beleeuing in him, but, keeping him in hart?) vvere ioyce vvith ioy vnspeakbale. 1. Epist. chap. 1. verse 8. Would to God this were more, nor wordes. Our hart and minde is so blinde and senslesse, that, Christ and all his graces is but wordes and winde, that strikes on the eare. Seeke the solide fee­ling of Christ in the hart. Thinke it not eneugh, to prattle of him and to haue him in thy mouth, but, seek to finde him in thy hart. Thou shalt neuer finde him, if thou finde him not in thy hart, it is in the hart, he makes his residence; and if he be inthy hart, thou shalt know: for, thou shalt find a sensible ioy possessing thy hart and it shall open thy mouth, to say, dwel Lord, in my hart: The Lord worke these things, that they be not words.

Now, brethren, there are two sortes of praier. One, in seeking to beg and seeke at God,tvvo sorts of prayer. for, we are all beggers. The other is in thanking him, when we haue gotten any thing: Seeking must come of need and necessity: a begger must be a misterfull body, otherwaies,1. Seeking he is a shamelesse begger. He is shamelesse, who can stand before God and seeke any thing, if he haue no sense of his need and mister? Our neede and mister is double. For, we mister ay a new grace, euery moment, a new benefite: we neuer get so many graces at once, but, euer there is some new grace we stand in need of. God giues thee not all benefites at once, but he vvill haue thee euer seeking: againe, when we haue receiued any grace, we haue need of a new grace, to keepe it. Alas, we are so weake, [Page 307] that, we cannot but lose the grace, that, God hes bestowed on vs, except the Lords hand follow on and keep it in our hart. There are two needs of praier. One need of grace, another need, to keep the grace, we haue receiued. So, there is two sorts of begging: the first is for grace; the next is for keeping of the grace. Neuer wearie to aske. The Lord wold haue thee euer begging. Ay, say, Lord, giue me. Then, say, Lord keepe this grace, thou hast giuen me, otherwaies, I will lose it. For, I assure thee, if the Lords hand be not euerie moment holding grace in thy hart, thou art ay rea­dy to lose it. Therefore, the Apostle sayes, Pray continually. A­las, if we knew what thing we are bound to, we would discharge a better duety to our God, we should not passe the time in play­ing, but, we should pray continually.

Ye vvill thinke it an hard thing to be euer praying; ye vvill say, should we do no other thing, but, ay, pray, should this be our exercise continually? Take heed: By praying, is vnderstood, not preceesly this outward forme of prayer, the falling down on our knees, the lifting vp of our hands and eyes, so, that we do not a­nother turne. No, I meane not so. Thou hast a lawfull vocation, go win thy liuing, according to thy calling. He that said, Pray continually, The same said, Go labour and win thy liuing, other­waies, thou shalt not eat. Avvay vvith Munkries and Nunries. Then, when continuall prayer is craued, no other thing is craued, but, that, thy hart and minde be euer exercised on God. Let thy hart and contemplation of thy mynde be euer on him, be neuer so distracted with any exercise of the world, but, keep God euer, in some measure, before thy eyes, seeking his grace and blessing to thy exercise. When thou art busiest in thy exercise, let thy hart be seeking blessing thereto. Paul saies, 1. Cor. 10. chap. 31. verse, Whether ye eat, or, drinke, or, what euer ye do all to the glory of God. If I eat to the glory of God, my hart must be blessing & thanking him for the benefit receiued, seeking a blessing of him, that it may doe me good, desyring, also, that heauenly foode. I tell thee, this earthly foode should be nothing else to thee, but, a remembrance of heauenly things, and of Christ, that is onely the foode of the soule. Then, in all thy exercises, euer hold thy hart on God; let thy hart be praying, when thy tongue is speaking of these thinges, that concernes thy exercise, so, thy exercise shall [Page 308] be in the Lord. The Apostle vses to say, do this, and do that, in the Lord. What means he, but, only, in that doing thy hart shold be set on the Lord? Ay enterteine Gods Spirit. Thinke not, that, the exercising of the hart on Christ shal hinder thee, in any thing, in thy exercise. No, but, by the contrare, the face of God looking on thee it brings blessing; keep him in thy eie and think on him, and so, thy exercise shall be sweete; keepe God in thy eye, and thou shalt finde a wonderfull joy, and an helpe in thy exercise. Now, I end, with this prayer. Lord, seeing there is no blessing but, when we keep Iesus Christ in our eyes, Lord, grant, that, the face of Christ go neuer out of our eyes let neuer the remembrance of Iesus depart from vs. To this Christ, be honour and glorie, for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 5. vers. 18. 19.

18 In all thinges giue thankes for this is the vvill of God in Christ Iesus, tovvard you?

19 Quench not the Spirit.

THE last part of this Epistle (Brethren) which we haue in hand presently, stands in an exhortation to an holie lyfe and conuersation vvorthie of the Lord Iesus Christ. The last day, we shew you, there are three preceptes joyned together; the precepte of patience, to beare vvrong and injuries in this vvorlde patientlie, [Page 309] and not to rander euill for euill, as we are bent by nature, but, to do good for euill. Then next, the precept of joy, the inward joy, and peace of soule and conscience, that passes all vnderstanding that, euermore we shold rejoyce. And last, the precept of prayer, which standes in two partes, the one, in seeking at the hands of God; the other, in thanking him, for the grace receiued at his handes. We shew you that conjunction that is among these gra­ces, patience, joy and prayer, patience is the effect of joy, and the inward joy that is heauenly and spirituall is the meane to en­terteine patience, and to make a man beare patiently the wrongs he suffers in this present world▪ for, in a maner, it rauishes him vp aboue the world and all thinges in the world, and makes him to looke ouer all these earthly thinges and injuries that falles out in the world, as though they were not, and, in some measure, he hes his contemplation with God, in Heauen. So, that, the joy he hes will swallow vp all these earthly troubles, and the life of God in him will swallow vp mortalitie and death. Againe, praier is the meane to enterteine that joy we haue with God, for, it keeps Gods presence and the face of Iesus in our sight, and the face of Iesus is so joyfull, as no tongue can tell: For, all the light and joy we haue in our harts proceedes from the face of Iesus, and from the face of God in Christ, and then, it shynes on vs. And this face of Iesus it shines in the Gospell. And therefore, blessed were we, if we could looke euer in the mirrour of the Gospell, where we shall get this light and the face of Christ, that makes vs rejoyce: it appeares in a mirrour now, but, we shall see him face to face, when the body of Iesus shall be perfect; all is but a beginning now, that, we haue here, he is far from vs, and al the sight we haue of him is but a blenke; let euery one looke to experience; there are so many thinges goes in betweene vs and him, that we can skarcely keepe his face, in the which standes our joy. Alwaies, it is prayer, that enterteines this presence of God; looke to it by experience, take away prayer that men pray not to God, take away mediatation and thanking of God, take away this communing with God, it shall passe thy power, to haue any presence of him, and without his presence, no joy in him. Then, shortly, to come to the matter in hand: This prayer consistes in two parter. In asking and seeking at him, according [Page 310] to the needs and misters we haue, we are ful of wants and misters. There is none of vs all, from the greatest to the lowest, from the King to the begger but great is the need we haue; so, euery one of vs hes need to be begging: neuer was there a begger at our doore, that hes so great neede to beg, as we haue neede to beg at Gods hand: beg things spirituall and things temporall; things for this life, things for the life to come; for, if we beg not, we shall die for hunger and plaine want of grace, and we shall, not onely lose this lyfe present, but a better life, life euerlasting. The next part of Praier is thanksgiuing; we spoke the last day of seeking. Now, this day, first, in this text, we haue red, we haue to speak of thanks­giuing which we should rander to God.

The wordes are. In all thinges giue thankes; for, this is the vvill of God. When he hes said, pray continuallie, immediatlie he subjoynes, in all thinges giue thankes. Marke it. So he joynes these two together,Sec. part of prayer; thanksgi­uing. Prayer, or, asking at God, and then, thank­ing of him. Brethren, I see, not onely in this present text these two thinges, Prayer and thankesgiuing joyned together, but, in sundrie other places, Philippi. chap. 4. verse 6. Be not carefull for any thing, but, in euerie thing let your requestes bee shovven foorth to God by prayer and supplication vvith thankesgi­uing. To the Colossians 4 chap. 2. verse, Continue, sayes he, in prayer and vvatching, vvith thankesgiuing. there, they are con­joyned:Seking & thanksgi­uing, euer ioined to­gether. the one of these should not be seuered from the other; Prayer should not be seuered from thanksgiuing, thanksgiuing should not be seuered from prayer. The neede and necessity we haue in this world, that mooues vs to prayer, is not so great, but, euer there is matter of thanksgiuing to God, for the graces that is giuen euery moment of our lyfe, day and night: For, there are none of vs, but we haue experimented, in some measure, the bountifulnesse of our louing God; who dare say otherwaies, but in the greatest strate, that euer he was in, he [...]and by experience of the mercy of God, a measure of grace, for reliefe? Alas, if it wer no more, but this grace; in thy need, to get grace to seek grace, it is a speciall grace; thou art oblist to thanke God, for that grace, thou getst, to beg grace. Againe the blessing and mercy of God is neuer showen on vs in such aboundance in this world, but, in the me and [...] thou hast neede and mister, and in the most [Page 311] floorishing estate, thou art in, thou standest in neede. The great­est Monarch, that is in his greatest floorishing, he standes in neede; and therefore, as he hes cause to thanke that God, that hes exalted him, so hes he cause, to be a begger, to seeke more: For, there is a Kingdome, that is aboue all Kingdomes; a glorie, aboue all this glorie; riches, aboue all these riches; a pleasure, aboue all earthlie pleasure; so, as long as thou art not come to this hight; yet, beg, for, none shall come to that hight, neyther King, nor, Monarch shall come there, but, by continuall begging. Ye see Dauid, in his Psalmes, he prayes and askes, when he is in neede and in his necessitie. But, at that same very tyme, he also thankes: Ye see, he will begin a Psalme with great heauinesse of hart, but, ere he come to the end, ye will see, in that same Psalme, how he will rejoce, and with joy he will thanke. Then, looke Paul, in the beginning of all his Epistles, he commonly sayes, I thank God for you; but what more? are ye in such estate, that, I need not pray for you? No. Therefore, he subjoynes, euer praying for you. As he would say, as I am thanking God for you; so, I am a begger for you. Brethren, learne to pray, by example of these old fathers, who were better learned, nor we. When thou seekest any thing at God, thanke him also; there is not a more forcible argument to God, to mooue God to graunt any thing, nor to thanke him: I cannot knowe what tune a prayer can haue, with­out thanking: For, effectuall prayer cannot be vvithout thank­ing. To let you see this, in one word. Read Rom. chap. 8. verse 36. and there, ye shall finde, that, the Spirit of Iesus interceedes for vs. Well, if the Spirit of Iesus raise vp in the hart sighes, and furnishes thee prayer, it shall not be without thanksgiuing. And if thy prayer be any thing worth, it must come from the Spirite of God. Many vvill make a forme of prayer, but, vvithout the Spirite, it is but pra [...]ling: and therefore, their prayer is abho­ [...]nable. Therefore, enter neuer to prayer, but aske the Spirite of Iesus to pray with. It is impossible to man to open his mouth to pray feruentlie, except the Lord open it by his Spirite. Dauid say in his 51. Psalme, verse 15. Lord, open thou my mouth and then, I shall preache thy praise. And Paul, to the Corinthians, sayes, None can name the name of Iesus and call him Lord, but by the holie Ghost. 1. Cor. 12. chap. 2. vers. if the Spirit open not thy [Page 312] mouth, thou may bable of that glorious name, but, to speake of it to thy comfort, and as thou should doe, without the Spirite teach thee, it is impossible. Now, to returne to the matter. If the prayer be any thing worth, if the Spirit of Iesus request for vs with sighes vnspeakable, then, impossible it is, but God must an­swere thee. The Spirit of [...] neuer seeke any thing at God, without effect. If the Spirite [...] prayer to thee, it is impos­sible, but thou must resaue an answere. Rom. chap. 8. vers. 26. it is said, The spirt interceeds vvith sighes vnspeakable: And the Lord knovves the meaning of his ovvne spirite. A man sighes not so soone with the Spirite of God, but, as soone is the sigh con­ueyed vp to the presence of God. And to speake it plaine, the sigh touches not the hart of man so soone, but, as soone it touches the hart of God; so, of necessitie he must receiue an answere. The very prayer makes a way and accesse to the presence of God. And brethren, all the joy in this world is in that sight and pre­sence of God. Thou neuer knew what joy was, that neuer got a sight of God, in Christ. Then, what must joy bring out? (Prayer to God gets Gods presence, the presence bringes joy) What must joy bring out? Of necessitie, an hart, that rejoyces, must burst out in thankfulnesse. If the hart rejoyce, the mouth must be o­pened to thanke. Go to experience. Your harts was neuer touch­ed with joy, but, either hart, or, mouth bursted out in thanking. Ioy cannot be without thanking, and the proper effect of joy it thankfulnesse. Then, ye see, neither should these two, Prayer and thankfulnesse be seuered one from another, neither can they be seuered. It may be, our Spirit will make vs pray and vtter not thankes-giuing; but, all that is partling and vttering of griefe, and not prayer; but, the Spirit of God prayes not without thank­ing God, and againe, he thankes not, without prayer. Now, to go forward. I haue made you see how these two goes together. But, to come neerer the purpose: We said, whatsoeuer forte of prayer it be, whether it be asking or thanking, it serues to bring out joy, all tendes to joy; for, in joy is our blessednesse: I [...]ould you the last day, the blessednesse of man is in rejoycing in God. So, that, he who hes not that spirituall joy, hes no blessednesse, if they had al the world. Then, we see, prayer bringes joy, asking bringes joy, so, also, vve see, thanking bringes joy, thanking of [Page 313] God rises on joy, thanking of God ends in joy, thanking of God standes in the midst. Prayer will begin with sorrow, and it ends in joy, vpon this joy commes thanking, vpon thanking commes joy againe. So, all endes in joy. Would ye haue this out of the Scripture? in that 4. Philipp. verse 7. drawes not Paul that peace of God, that passes all vnderstanding, our of prayer and thanks­giuing? In all things, let your requests be shovv [...]n to God vvith prayer and supplication, vvith thankesgiuing. Then, he subjoines, when ye haue prayed and thanked, that peace, sayes he, that passes all vn­derstanding, shall guard your mindes in Christ. Then, peace rises on these two groundes, prayer and thanksgiuing to God. So, thank­ing brings joy, asvvell as prayer.

To go forward in the words. Thank him, sayes he, in all things. As he would say, in all thinges, that are incident and falles out in the world, thanke him. As all is matter of joy, Prosperity and aduersitie; vvell, vvoe; life, death; so, let all be matter of thanking, what euer he sends, thanke him. Is it a great matter, to thanke him in prosperitie, when thinges goes well with thee? But, I say, thou hast not the grace of thanksgiuing, except thou can thanke him asvvell in aduersitie, as prosperity, asvvell in death, as in life. Then, I see, these three thinges, joy, prayer and thanking, they haue a common propertie, which is continuance, without inter­mission, in all maner of thinges, in prosperitie, in aduersitie, in well, in woe, in life, in death rejoyce euermore; in prosperitie, in aduersitie, in well, in woe, in life, in death, pray euer. And last, in prosperitie, in aduersitie, in vvell, in vvoe, in life, in death, in all thinges thanke him: Will ye go through them. As for joy, thy estate can not be so euill in the world, if thou be in Christ, but thou hast matter of ioy: Then, againe, vvere thy estate in this vvorld neuer so good, yet, thou hast neede to pray; for, so long as thou remainst here, thou getst not all graces: And last, if thy estate vvere neuer so miserable, yet, if thou haue a grip of Christ, thou hast matter to thanke God▪ Then, if this be true, hes not the Apostle said well? Reioyce euermore. Then pray continually, then, in all thinges giue thankes to God: Let not therefore these thinges be vvords onely, but, practise them in lyfe. There is none of vs, but vve haue matter to practise our ioy. Who are in such a misery, but they haue some matter of ioy; yea, there are [Page 314] none of vs, but we haue cause, to vse all these preceptes; Rejoice euermore; pray continually; and in all things giue thankes.

Now, to come to the reason, in the next wordes. For, this is the vvill of God. In all thinges, in prosperitie, in aduersitie, thanke him. Wherefore? Because it is Gods will, that, ye should thanke him, aswell in aduersitie, as in prosperitie; in death, aswell as in life, it is his will, rest on his will. Yet, brethren, to speake one vvord of this vvill (I haue spoken of it sundrie tymes before) I say, and the Scripture sayes, The onely light of this vvorld is Gods vvill.Gods vvil, the onely thinge to be knovvn, & the on­ly rule of our acti­ons. And I say, the onely knowledge and wisdome, that a man can haue in this vvorld, is to knovve vvhat is Gods vvill. Fy on all the knowledge and vvisdome of men in this world, if they knowe not this. He will start vp, and he will be called a vvise man. All the Philosophers vvould be counted vvise men: but, vvhich of all the Philosophers did knovve vvhat vvas Gods vvill? And these tvvo partes of his vvill is speciallie [...]oulds vs in the Scripturel First, vvhat vve should doe, that vve may serue him. And then, vvhat he vvill doe with vs. A vaine Philosopher hee knovves much of nature, but knovves he the vvill of God? Knovves he it not? Then, he is a plaine foole. Knovves he these thinges? Then, he is a vvyse man. Paul, to the Ephesians, chap. 5. verse 17. Be not fooles, but vnderstand vvhat is the vvill of God. Then, wherein standes wis­dome? To knowe what is the will of God. Who is the foole? He that knowes not, what is the will of God. Who knowes Gods will is wise, and the end shall proue it. Then as the onely true knowledge and wisdome in this world is to know Gods will: so, the onely [...] and square of our life in the world, is the rule of Godds will. There are two thinges, we haue to seeke, knowledge and action. Would thou haue knowledge? Know Gods will. Would thou haue action and do any thing that would merite a­ny commendation? Do according to Gods will. The rule, of all actions that is truely commendable in Gods sight is his will: for, that man who hes the commendation of God, is onely the man, that should be commended; do any thing because God hes wil­led thee to do it; go not to thy, own will▪ for, thou do, thy wil & maners not being agreable with Gods wil, shall lead thee to Hel. Then, do nothing, but, according to Gods will. First, know what [Page 315] is Gods wil, and then, do nothing for al the world, but, that, which is agreable thereto. If thou doest thy own will, or, the will of any man, looke, that, it be conformable to Gods will and so, do it, o­therwaies, not, and then, do it, because it is the will of God, and not because it is the will of man. Then, see ye not, how graue an argument, the Apostle sets downe, knowing it is Gods will, that, we should thank him ay, should we not repose on his will? It is Gods vvill, vvhich is the onely light and rule of all actiones. Whosoeuer knowes his will, they haue a faire light in all their actiones. A man will neuer wander wrong, who hes such a light before his eyes. If thou see, that, it be Gods vvill that thou goe through wildernesse, through darknesse, yea, through Hel, obey his will and take journey, and I promise thee, thou shalt finde the fairest outgait, that euer was. Count not of the way, if thou haue the light of the will of God before: It is not possible, that, Hell shall preuaile against that bodie, that settes the selfe to plea­sure God. Well is him, that sets himselfe to pleasure him, who is Lord ouer all, and who onely is able to pleasure vs all. The world shall not pleasure thee, if God pleasure the not. What mat­ter to displease all the world, if we set our selues to please him.

Marke, further, he sayes, It is the vvill of God, tovvardes you. This is a speciall will, that concornes all Christians, not a gene­rall will, concerning the world, but, a speciall will, concerning you, that are Christians, vvho hes giuen your names to Christ, and are translated from this vvorld, that ye thanke him, in pro­speritie and aduersitie, in vvell and vvoe, there is the meaning. Then, ye see, in this place, a speciall, vvill of God concerning this calling vve stand in, and the speciall, vvill of God, concer­ning vs Christians, is, that vve thanke him: Christian men and vvemen are most debtfull to thanke him, and ought, aboue all creatures, to thanke him: Fy on thee, that vvill take the name of Christ on thee and not thanke him. Thanke him in all things, he can lay before thee. It is his will, that thou thanke him, at least, striue to thanke him for well and woe, prosperity and aduersity, for death, aswell, as life. As for other men, Iewes, Turkes and Pagans, &c. that are not Christians, God craues not this thanks­giuing at them. A maruelous thing. The Turke he hes the glory and wealth of the vvorld, and yet the Lord sayes, I vvill haue no [Page 316] thankes of thee, neither in vvell, nor in vvoe, because thou art not in Christ, all my glory is in Christ, all the seruice I craue in the vvorld is in Christ. So, the pratling of the Turke and Ievv, that makes them to thanke God, is all but vanitie, he craues it not of them. O, hovv great a honour is it, to call a man to thanke and to serue him. No, neuer King got such great honour, as vve get, vvhen vve are called to thanke and to serue that King of Kings, all our glory standes in seruing and making homage to God; so blessed are they that are called to this honour, through Iesus Christ. Therefore, he sayes, through Christ, meaning, that, in Christ is the matter of all thanksgiuing. There is matter in Christ, of all thanksgiuing. In vvell and vvoe, Christ is to me ad­uantage, both in lyfe and death▪ sayes Paul. If thou hast aduantage in death, vvhy should not thou thanke him? In one word, where Christ is, there is matter of thanksgiuing to God, in the greatest misery we can be in the world. Againe, where Christ is not and who are not in him, as members of that glorious body, ioyned in society with that glorious head, if they had all this broad world, they haue no cause to be merie, nor to thanke, no, to open their mouth to praise. And to speak the trueth, they cannot be merie. They may laugh, but, the true ioy is in God, he is the Lord of ioy; a man may well laugh, but, he can haue no true ioy, except he haue Iesus in his hart. That man in aduersitie and in the point of death will laugh more sweetly and vtter greater ioy, nor the greatest worldly man in the midst of his prosperitie. So, I say, and I command thee, looke, that, thou reioice not, without Christ; I say, to all men, reioyce not, but, be sad, if thou hast not Christ. The Lord hes not ordeined thee to be glad, it is his will, onely that they, that are in Christ, reioyce, and be neuer glad vntill thou get Christ. I counsell you, if ye had all the world, if ye find not Christ in the hart be, neuer glad. What matter hast thou to be glad, when the great God turnes his back on thee? It may be, he will cast a kingdome to thee ouer his shoulder, as it were a bone casten to a dog, what is that to thee, if thou get not his ioyfull presence? Read Dauid, in all his Psalmes, he was neuer glad, but, when he had the presence of God.

Now, I come to the next precept. Quench not the spirit. The wordes are few, but, they conteyne great matter. Quench not the [Page 317] spirit, put not out the holy Spirit of Christ. Take heed. He [...]es bene speaking before of the graces of God. What is patience in suffering wrong? What is joy? What is thankfulnesse, but the graces of the Spirit? He hes beene before speaking of his gra­ces and recommending them to thee. Now he commes to that glorious person himselfe, vvho is the giuer and vvorker of all these graces, of Patience, of Joy, of Prayer and Thanks-giuing. The holie Spirit the third person of the Trinitie that God giues to me and thee, if thou be Gods seruant. It is vanity to think that a true Christian man gettes onely the graces of the Spirit: they get the verie Spirite. No, it is not the graces of the Spirite that will dwell in the hart and soule and bodie of a man; no, but the Spirit it selfe. The Spirit will dvvell as surelie vvithin thy hart as euer a man dvvelt in an house. That Comforter that Christ pro­mised to his disciples when he was going vp to Heauen, was not the graces of the Spirit; no, but, the Spirite it selfe to dwell in our hart, and to work it in al the graces. So, it is not the graces, but, the spirit he speaks of, here, when he saies, quench not the spirit. Paul saies, Ephes. chap 4. vers. 30 Grieue not the holy spirit. It is a sim­ple guestning to make thy guest sad, make not the spirit of Christ sad: Paul saies in another place, that the spirit is giuen thee as an ar­lispenny of thy saluation. Ephes. cha. 1. vers. 14. Thou [...]oses the arles­pennie, if thou make him sad. But to the wordes. The speache, when he saies,Quench­ing of the spirit. quenche not the Spirit appeares to be metapho­ricall. It is borrovved and not proper and it is borrovved from a fyre or candle that vses to giue light and heate. Then if it must not be quenched: It must follovve that the Spirite of Christ must be a fyre vvithin vs; It must follovve, he must be a light inlightning our soules as a lanterne and lampe of light set vp within the darke and dead soule, to let the soule and af­fectiones haue light; and the Spirite of Iesus shynes vvithin the darke soule of a man, as a lanterne shynes in a darke night, and puttes out that masse of darknesse that is in the soule of man. And therefore because it is as a fyre, he sayes, Quench not, And Paul to Timothie 2. Epistle chap. 1. vers. 6. sayeth, stir vp or kindle the gift that is in thee, it is lyke a flamming fyre, the gift of it is but a light or flam that commes from this fyre. So he sayes, Stir vp, kindle vp the gift that thou hast receiued. [Page 318] Now ye see by experience, a fire or light is two maner of waies quenched; take me away coales timber, or such other matter to burne; take me away the nourishment that holdes in the fire, it will die out: Another way, cast water on it smore it, it will also die out, albeit ye take not burning thinges from it. So it is with this heauenly fire: First draw me away the meanes whereby the Spirit is fostered, and the fyre of the Spirit is holden in (for as the fire feeds on the subject, so the fire of the Spirit feeds on the own nutriture and foode) take me away this foode of the Spirit, as thou seest a fire die out, so he will die out. Take me avvay this word and prophecying, euen this word preached, take me away the ministrie,Mean [...] to [...] the spirit. in spyte of thy hart the Spirite shall die out. The world would faine haue this word away, but this is a maine vio­lence done to Iesus, to put the light of Iesus out of the hart: O Lord vvhat count shall there be at that great day for the con­tempt of this word! But is there no more to be had but the hear­ing of this word, to enterteine the Spirit of Iesus? Yea. It will not be the hearing only that wil hold in the Spirit. Thy lyfe must be answerable to the word. Thou must feede him with holy moti­ons and thoughts within the hart, feede him with holy speaches in the mouth. Paul Ephesians 4. chap. 29. verse, speaking of cer­taine vyces to be contempned, he meanes planely that rotten talke puts out the Spirit. Last, he is fed within the soule with ho­ly actions, that holds in the light of Iesus Spirit: As the oile holds in the fire, take away these materials, the Spirit shall die within thee. The other meane to put him out is not onely to draw away from him the matter he feeds on, but to giue him as it were poi­son to feede on. An harlot poysons him with an harlatrous hart: A murtherer with a bloudie hart: A blasphemer with a blasphe­mous hart; we poyson him with foull thoughts in the hart, foull speaches in the mouth, wicked actions in the hands, this is water to put out the fire.

Then brethren learne one lesson. As euery one should take heed to the graces of the Spirit, to keepe patience joy, prayer, and thankfulnesse continually (these are the graces of the spirit) So specially and before all we should take heed to the work [...] of all, the holy Ghost that dwels in our soules as a temple. Take heed how thou treatst him, what enterteinment thou giuest him, [Page 319] looke that thou treat him well, doe euery thing thou thinkest may pleasure him absteine from all thinges may offend him. Set thy hart to please him, and let thy pleasure be in pleasing him, and pray euer, Lord if thou hast giuen me thy Spirit, giue me grace to enterteine him that I anger him not, Lord giue me grace to doe all thinges to please him, to doe nothing to offend him. Alas if a honourable man would come in thy house and take a nights ludging, thou would looke diligently that all the house and family were in good order. So hold thy bodie and soule in reuerence and order for the holy Spirits sake that dwels in thee, othervvaies he vvll not ludge with thee. Murtherer, fyle not thy hands vvith bloud if thou vvould haue him to dvvel vvith thee. Paul sayes 1. Cor. chap. 6. verse 19. 20. The Lord hes boght thee out of the deuils hands, out of thy ovvne hands, for thou vvould lose both thy soule and thy body, if it vvere in thy hand. He hes boght thee with the bloud of the immaculat Lambe, and to this purpose to be a ludging of the holy Spirit to dwell in. He is speaking to harlots, he sayes. Thou art not thy ovvn: Thou art boght vvith a pryce. God hes boght thee with the bloud of Christ to be a temple of the holy Spirit. Where the Spirit ludges, there is the Father and the Son, the whol Trinitie. So in effect the man boght with the bloud of Christ is a ludging to the Trinitie, the Father, Son and holy Ghost. Alas, if thou could looke to this, for all the world thou would not destroy that ludging of God. If once this trueth of God could sinke in mens harts, for all the world they would not quenche this Spirit and defyle this tem­ple of God. Alas the blindnesse of men vvho knovves not vvhat estate they stand in for vvant of sight and attention, for want of regarding of the trueth we go to Hell. And if euer thing was to be deplored in this world, this is to be deplored that the Spirit of God is abused; when he commes to sanctifie men and wemen he gets villanie and wrong done to him: they wold pollute him when he commes to sanctify them. Indeed he is disludged of his ludging. These murtherers takes him by violence, as it were, and with their hands puts him out of their hart by the shoul­ders. God keepe vs from the sin against the holy Ghost. Goe thou on this way ay conte [...]ning the Spirit, thou shalt enter in this sin vvhich shall neuer be for giuen thee in this life nor in [Page 320] the lyfe to come.

Now to speake of the way how we may know that we haue this Spirit. These things cannot be told by words, thou must go to experience and there is none of you that hes had a taste of the sweetnesse of the Spirit, but ye will feill him dwell in you; if ye haue him, thou wilt knowe him aswell as euer thou knew any guest that ludged with thee, for he brings with him such a faire light, such a lyfe and joy, &c. that thou may easily know him. He commes in joy, in prayer, in thanks-giuing, thou wilt knowe him in these, but thou wilt finde him in experience; if thou growest in his seruice to honour and reuerence him as he dwels in thee. To treat him as thou wouldst treat a honorable man that ludges with thee; he will dwell with thee, but if thou be [...]uggish in these things, thou wilt finde he will draw himselfe to a nuke of thy soule, as it were, for a tyme, thou wilt find him cease from his working of regeneration within thee: if thou cease to enter­teine him by praier godlines in hart, holy speaches in the mouth, holy actions in the hand, he will ly closse within thee for a time and do nothing. And then if the man be godly, he will be [...]ad and sory: For no ioy in the godly but when he feeles the Spirit within him. Now if when he is not well [...], he depart: How much more when we striue, as it were, to poyson him, when we bring vp euill motions in spite of him, when we fall out in euill language in mouth, euill deeds in the hand, shall he withdraw himselfe and depart, so that we will finde no sense of joy? When a man failes to harlotrie, he smores the Spirit. As for exemple, Dauid, if euer man felt the Spirit of Iesus in him, he felt him; yet when he fell to adulterie and murther the spirit lay so closse in him that he found him not. Then he wakens, and sayes. I haue bene sleeping. I find not the joy that I was wont, and so he saies, Restore to me thy spirit again. Psa. 51. verse 12. Would he haue said restore, except he had found the Spirit of God which he had before, withdrawen in working within him: What shall I say. No joy nor rest without this Spirit be enterteinde within vs. The Lord giue vs grace to enterteine him in soule and bodie, in holy speaches, thoughts and deeds. To this Lord be glorie and praise for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 5. vers. 20. 21. 22. 23.

20 Despise not prophecying.

21 Try all things, and keepe that vvhich is good.

22 Abstaine from all appearance of euill.

23 Novv the very God of peace sanctifie you throughout: and I pray God that your vvhole spirit and soule and body may be keept blamelesse vnto the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ.

IN this parte of this Epistle (brethren) there are certaine exhortations and pre­cepts so linked together, that the next is ay the cause and meane of the former. He beganne at Patience in suffering, and not randering euill for euill, but recompen­cing good for euill. Then he came to joy. Rejoyce euermore. Ioy is the meane and cause of Patience: from joy he came to Prayer, in asking that which we neede at the hands of God, and in thanking him for the grace and benefite receyned. Prayer is the meane that inter­teines joy in the hart; from Prayer he came to the Spirit, the holy Spirit of God who is the worker of all these graces in our hart. The Spirit workes Patience, the Spirit it workes Ioy, the same Spirit [...] vp the hart to Prayer and to thankfulnesse. This Spirite the worker of all grace in the hart should not be quenched by leauing off of well doing, or by doing euill, for both these two quenches the Spirit.

Now [...]hortly to come to ou [...] purpose. In the first verse vve [Page 322] we haue read presentlie. He commes to the meane whereby the Spirit of Christ, the worker of all graces with vs, especiallie is in­ter [...]ind in the soule and hart of a man and woman. And he saies Despise not Prophecying. The thing he recommends is Prophe­cying. To make the words plaine to you. By Prophecying here I vnderstand not the foretelling of things to come (as there was raised vp from tyme to tyme Prophetes in the Church of God that fortold either wel or w [...] that was to fal on the church in the own time) this prophecying was not such foretelling of things to come, it is no other thing in this place but the opening vp of the Scripture: and so this word Prophecying is taine in the 1. Cor. 14. chap. throghout all that chap. But he that Prophecyes, sayes he, he speakes to men, to edifing, to exhortation and consolation. That is, he applyes the word of God to the present vse for the tyme: So that if a man needes to be edified, he edifies; to be comforted he comfortes; to be exhorted, the exhortes. So then to make the words plaine, `Despise not Prophecying: It is asmuch as he would say, despise not the preaching of the word, despise not this mini­strie whose calling is to preach this word. Now, brethren ye see heere among all the meanes whereby the Spirit of Christ is en­terteinde in the hart of a man, the Apostle makes a choise in this place of preaching, hearing the word of God set downe in the Scripture opened vp and applyed to the right vse. Certainelie, this is to the great commendation of this same visible ministrie, and of this teaching of the word in the presence of the congre­gation and people of God. Shall I tell you? There is such a neces­sity of the preaching of this word (for as base as it semes to men) that if it be not holden vp, farewell the Spirit of Iesus Christ. If it be not, there shall not be in the earth a visible Church, for the word preached is the slandart that is holden vp on high to the world, that men and women that would be safe may goe in vnder it and make vp a Church. Take me away this slandart, where shall men goe to? who shall knowe the Church? So take me away this outward preaching of the word vnto the which men should resort to seeke saluation, no Church. Will men goe to experience (I shall but touch it) there is but ouer great expe­rience of this in this Countrey this day: Abstaine [...] hearing of the word, let it be of negligence or of malice, yet thou shalt [Page 323] in proces of time feele thy hart voyde of all sense and feeling of God, thou shalt lose thy eyes, thy light and sight of God, thou shalt lose the sight of lyfe and Heauen, if that thou doe it in contempt and malice, thou shalt grow as prophane as a pro­phaine dog, and wallow in all kinde of wickednesse, and euill deed after euill deed shall fal out in thy hand. Looke to the great men of this land. What is the cause he is such a murtherer? Onely the contempt of this word preached. What is the cause he is such an adulterer? only the contempt of the word. I cannot tell if there be any great mens houses (at least there is verie few) but thou may see the contempt of this word hes heaped judgement on judgement on them. Ye who wold read of Prophecying which is the opening vp of the word in the face of the Church of God, and who would read of the powerfull working of it in the hart of men. read 1. Cor. chap. 14. verse 1. Seeke after spirituall things, but specially after Prophecying. And in that same chapter 24. verse by supposition he lets vs see, by comparison betweene Prophe­cying and strange language, what prophecying works: When a man is teaching the word, then commes in at the doore an infidle that hes no vnderstanding, he layes to his eare and heares, and he hears himself rebuked; incontinent his conscience wakens and lets him see the filth that is within him. So the poore man hauing his conscience wakned, he falles down on his face and seeks mer­cy, and then he will be mooued to make a confession, and say, It cannot be but this man hes the Spirit of God that maks my sin so manifest to me, it cannot be the spirit of man, but it must be the power of God whereby he speakes. I will not insist, Brethren. I shall summe vp to you in few words the diuersitie of the dis­position of men cōcerning this word of God. Al is not alike dis­posed,Diuersity of mens di­sposition concer­ning the vvord. toward the Spirit and the word, which two things onely saues men. There are some that cares neyther for the Spirit nor the word, such [...] dogges; atheists, men liuing with­out God in the world; speake of a Spirit to them they will scorne it; a prophane bodie that hes not the Spirit, the name of a spirit is but a scorne vnto him, tell him of spirituall lyfe he will laugh an heedfull laughter. Lykevvise speake to him of the vvord, and tell that saluation must be by the word. the prophaine dog vvill laugh and scorne at it. These are the vvorst men in the [Page 324] world. There is another sort that clames to a Spirit. They will acknovvledge the Spirite of God, but vvhen it commes to the vvord of God, they vvil feuere so the vvord from the Spi­rit, as though the vvord had nothing adoe vvith the Spirit, nor the Spirit vvith the vvord: And as though all the speaking to the Church vvere not by the vvord preached but by other re­uelations: they will binde the Spirit to vaine fantasies, illusions and dreames. These are Anabaptists that dependes on these illusions of the deuill and their owne fantasies and foolish reue­lations. The third sort wil acknowledg the Spirit, so wil they the word and Scripture, but they think it is eneugh to read the word. He will say, I will sit at home in my chamber, and I will read, sometime of the olde and sometime of the nevv Testament, and what will the Minister tel me in the Pulpet but I will get it here, and as for the opening vp of this word, he wil scorne is. This sort of men is verie euill; and they will finde in the end that the word read and not preached vvill doe them little good. Novv the last and best sort vvho will get grace, are they who reuerences the Spirit and word, and seeke by all means to haue them ludging in their soules, not only reads themselues if they haue knowledge, but hes a pleasure to haue it opened vp to the vse of the Church, and their vse in the congregation. It is these men that by the Spi­rit truely imbraces the word, for faith is by hearing. Rom. 10. 17.

Now I goe forward to the text. In the next verse is another exhortation. Try all things, and keepe that vvhich is good, reteine it after try all.Tryall of doctrine. In these wordes the Apostle settes downe the order after the which a man or woman shall allowe or disalow of pro­phecying, that is preaching, when they heare it. The allowance or disallowance of it must be after a certaine order. The order is this in one word. Try [...], and then either allow or disallow. There are two sortes of extremities in hearing of prophecying. There are some that wil allow ere euer they try at the first hand. These are vaine heades. Peter calles them vnstable soules. 2. Epistle 2 chap. 14. vers. These are men that hes soules e­uer fleeting and flowing, and wil be euer caried away with euery light winde of doctrine. This is the cause that so many becom­mes Heretikes, and I beleeue, there be some among vs that de­lites in new faces; if a stranger step out in the midst of them and [Page 325] speake, incontinent will they fay, there was neuer such a man in the world, this is an extremitie. Another sort is of them, that will not heare preaching and giue audience, that there after they may try: when a man presents himselfe to speake in the name of the Lord, they will not giue him audience; and certainly if there were no more, but, the reuerence we ought to God, we ought to heare him that speaks in his name, but then try his doctrine, and allow, or disalow thereof, as it agries with the word. Now these are the two extremities. The midst is betweene them, and this midst is to be tain as best of al. Heare, and when thou hast heard, try; after tryell, if thou findst [...]it sound, good and wholsome, keep it; if not, farewell it, lend not thy care any longer to it. This is the rule Iohn sets out in his first Epist. chap. 4. vers. 1. Welbeloued, beleeue not euery spirit, but try the spirit vvhether it be of God, or not: If thou finde not the doctrine agreable to the analogie of faith, away with it. The Iewes at Berea are commended for this, Act. chap. 17. verse 12. when Paul and Sylas came among them, they heard, but beleeued him not, vntill they ran to their bookes and conferred that which they had heard with the [...]ould canonicall Scripture, and found, that, they agreed, then, they allowed of their doctrine. Now, brethren, in this Church of Thessalonica among all the rest of the gifts of the Spirit that they had, this was one; the gift of discretion and judgement, to disce [...]e betweene true doctrine and false doctrine, betweene spiritual doctrine and car­nall naturall doctrine. Paul knowing this, wrytes [...] them and desires them, according to the gift of the Spirit of discretion, to discerne right doctrine from wrong. I [...] is euen so with all the Church of God on the earth. The Lord, among all the giftes he giues to the members of this Church, he giues this gift also, to judge of that which they heare, to judge betweene true and false doctrine, the doctrine that is lyke stubble that may not bide the fire, and the doctrine that is like gold. The Lord in the Church hes giuen some this discretion▪ and certainly if it were not so, the Church should spoue be poysoned. Some gets this gift to taste the doctrine whether it be wholsome or not: A man that wants the taste will [...]eceiue poyson for [...]. So if the Church want this taste, they would receiue poison for food. But marke againe. [...]uerie one gets not this gift, and the Church is beholden to them [Page 326] who gettes it: for they try doctrine and saues the Church from poyson. And, I say, where one hes it, foure wants it. And where one is spirituall and hes it, ten will be carnall and flestilie. The Corinthians, as we may see in Paul, (Alas there are many lyke the Corinthians amongst vs) tooke vpon them, being carnall harted, to judge of spirituall thinges, and so they preferred vaine men that came in with [...]ratorie to the Apostle Paul who spake with the power of the holy Spirit. Alwaies among the Church there are some that hes it, and ye that wants it, seeke it: for it is a speciall gift to decerne betweene the trueth and falset; and when ye go to heare a preaching, among all your prayers, say. Lord giue me grace to discerne what is spirituall, and what not, that I may embrace that vvhich is spirituall, and may leaue that vvhich is carnall. Some will haue it in some greater mea­sure nor others. In the 8. chap of the Actes, Philip a good man being in Samaria, Simon M [...]gu [...] the sorcerer was with him, Phi­lip tooke him not vp, but yet when Peter came he perceyved him, and he sayes, knaue, I see thee in the gall of bitternesse [...] repent thee or destruction shall suddenly ouertake thee. Marke it. Further this place is not to bee vnderstoode of false teach­ers vvho are alreadie damned▪ neyther of them vvho hes not a calling to speake in the Church: but of them vvho hes an ordinarie calling, the doctrine of such men onely should bee tryed by the Prophetes and euerie one that hes the spirit of dis­cretion. 1. Cor. 14. 32.

Now (brethren) to goe forvvard shortly to the next verse. The [...] vvordes are these. Abstaine frem all appearance of euill. This precepte is generall, and concernes asvvell doctrine as any other thing in the vvorld that can haue the appearance, or any shovve of euill: As for the doctrine vvhen thou hast heard it, and hast tryed it; if after tryall thou be not satisfyed vvith it, but yet there abydes a doubt in thy hart. Then, vvhat should thou doe? Abstaine from it, meddle not vvith it, doe neuer thing vvith a doubting conscience. And therefore, I say to thee, if thou doubt of the verie least thing that is good, if thy consci­ence be not perswaded; it is good, doe it not [...] I say to thee, it is better, to doe the thing that is euill, and haue a persvvasion in thy conscience that it is good, nor to doe the thing that in it [Page 327] selfe is good if thy conscience thinke it euill. If thou doe against thy conscience it is euer euill. Doe neuer against conscience. What euer is not of faith, it is sinne; if thou be not perswaded in conscience it is good, if it vvere neuer so good, it is sin to thee. So if there lyes any suspition in thy hart of the doctrine, that it is not altogether sound, abstaine from it, and meddle not vvith it. As for other things, any thing in the vvorld that hes appea­rance, of euill,Appear­ance of e­uill to be eshevved. suppose it be not euill yet if it appeare to be euill, touch it not, meddle not with it. If thy conscience tell thee, this is sin, on paine of thy lyfe doe it not. Fight neuer with thy con­science what euer thou fight with (suppose it be euill informed) for it is sin. If it seeme to thee, to be euill, meddle not with it. More, if it seeme to be euill to others, namely, to those that the Apostle calles vveake ones, albeit thou be persvvaded of thy christian liberty; yet, for their sake that thou make them not doe contrare their conscience, abstaine: abstaine for their sake, albeit not for thy owne sake, from these things may offend their con­science, as, meate, drinke, &c. Iude in his Epistle verse 23. goes fur­ther in this, and sayes, and hate euen the garment spotted by the flesh; that is, the outward coat that is spotted with sin, touch not once the coat of sin. Lay not thy finger to the outward slugh of it, for, it wil spot thee if thou lay thy finger on it. Then, brethren, take it vp in one word. Ye see, here, how ware, men shold be of sin, thou art bound to abstaine from it, yea, to hate and detest the very ap­pearance of it, the mowe of it, let be the inward body of it. Thou sinst when thou layest thy finger end on the coat of it. Alas then how sinst thou, when at all thy senses thou drinkst it in, as it were, water. The murtherer drinks in bloud, as it were water; the har­lote drinkes in harlotrie at all his senses, as it were water. If it be euill to allow of the appearance of it, how great euill is it to take the whole bodie of sin in thy arme and lay it with pleasure to thy hart. Neuer man will take thing so sweetly in their armes, as men will take this viper of sin in their hart. A murtherer can ne­uer be satiat with bloud; an harlot can neuer be satiat with har­lotrie; A blasphemer can neuer be satiat vvith blaspheming. Ye that would doe no euill (the common word is) doe no euill like, abstaine from the hew and collour of it, touch it not once, let be to embrace or suffer it to reigne in thee.

[Page 328] Now, brethren to go forward, to that which followes. In the last verse we haue red; he [...] concludes the whole exhortations of this Epistle with a prayer to God. I shal be short in it. Novv, saies he, the God of peace sanctifie you throughout. I pray God, that, ye may be keept in soule and bodie in sanctification to Christ,Exhorta­tion con­cluded vvith praier. that is the effect of the words. All his exhortation is to holinesse and sanctification: For, that is the generall he laid downe in the 4. chap. 3. vers. This is the vvill of God, euen, your sanctification. Now in the conclusion, what does he? He prayes. What prayes he? That the Lord would grant them that same thing he was exhorting them to. He was exhorting them to sanctification; and he praies God, to giue them sanctification. This is the Apostles fashion in other places, to the Ephes. 3. chap. 13. verse, He beseches them to stand constant in the faith of Christ and faint not, for his tribu­lation. And then, he subjoynes, For this cause I hovv mykrees to the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, that ye grovv not faint. So, he ex­hortes them to constancie and he prayes God to giue them it. Paul and the rest of the Apostles neuer exhorted any Church to sanctification, to any good thing, as though it had lyen in the handes of the people and Church to haue done it. But, in the meane tyme while, he exhortes them, he was perswadod that it behoued God to giue them grace to doe it, and that it lay in the hands of God onely whether they should do it, or not do it. And therefore when he exhortes them to doe any thing, he addes praier, I beseech God to giue you, the grace to do it. The Papists thinks it lyes in the hands of a mans selfe to doe godd; they euer extoll free will Fy [...]n them, it lyes not in the pow [...]r of fleshe and bloud to do any thing that is acceptable to God. No, it is a poisonable doctrin: and this vanity they gather, vpon these pre­ceptes and exhortations; If, say they, there were no power in mans hand, why should the Lord command [...] it is vanity, to com­mand that which cannot be done? I answere, in one word; This is a foolish conclusion, if there were no more but this that the Apostle sayes, first, it is the vvill of God, your sanctification. Then, he subjoynes. I pray to God that he vvould giue you the gra [...]e of sanctification; as if he would say, I bid you not, as though inlay in your owne hands but, I pray to God, that, he would worke it: It showes the vanity of this conclusion.

[Page 329] Now to the wordes. Whom to prayes he? To the God of peace. The God of peace, sayes he, sanctifie your soules. Read all the Canonicall scriptures, ye shall neuer finde that any of the ould fathers directed their prayers to any Saints; either to Abraham, Isaac, or Iacob, or to any other holy men or Angels. But, this, by the way. In all the praiers of the ould fathers, and all the Psalmes, there is neuer a prayer, but to God onely. Now how styles he him? He calles him the God of peace. The God who is the Au­thor and giuer of all peace.Peace. What peace is this? Euen the peace that he calles, The peace of God, that passes all vnderstanding, that guardes your harts and myndes in Christ Iesus. Philipp 4. chap. 7. verse. No other thing, but that same peace of the conscience, when we are surely perswaded, that, all our sinnes are freely re­mitted vnto vs, in the bloud of▪ Christ and that through him we shall get glorie for euer. Then if we haue this peace, we will be quyetnesse in all the miseries of this world. Then end of all grace is peace. Iustification ends in peace: our calling and pre­destination from all eternitie ends in this peace of conscience in the soule; regeneration ends in this peace. Now, looke, how this style agrees with the matter, he is praying for sanctification, and he styles him the God of peace, who is the Author of all peace;Both the means & the end ar [...] of God. and he askes at his hand sanctification. Marke this. He who is the giuer of our felicity, is he that giues vs all the meanes that brings vs to that felicity, he that must giue thee the crowne of glorie, he must giue thee sanctification to glorie. In one word: he that giues thee felicitie, is the gi [...]e [...], also of all the meanes, whereby we attaine to felicitie. So, thou hast no cause to glorie in thy selfe. The beginning of grace is of God, the meanes is of God, the end is of God, nothing in our selues, all in God.

To goe forward to the petition. There are two thinges he craues in this petition.Sanctifi­cation & conserua­tion ther­of, craued of God. The first is sanctification, or holinesse. The next is conseruing and keeping in that same sanctification and holinesse. First, he prayes, that, they may be sanctified. Next, he prayes, that, they may be keept, vntill Christ come againe. Paul 12. Rom. 2. verse. Be not fashioned, that is, shapned lyke the vvorld and men of this world, but be, transchanged, that is, turned away, from that thing to another, and that, though the renuing of the mynde, that ye may proue vvhat that good and acceptable vvill [Page 330] of God is. What [...]row ye then sanctification is? It is no other thing but a new shaping ouer of them againe, as ye will shaip a gar­ment. The Apostles takes that similitude. Brethren, we were all well eneugh shapen in Adam and Eue ere they fell, and we had an exceeding good shape; but since they fell we become all wanshapen creatures and monsters. When thou seest an vnregenerate creature, a murtherer rejoycing in murther, then say, thou art a curst monster of a man. So, in Adams fall vve became monsters of nature. Thou saw neuer such a monster as an vnregenerate man. Now, we being monsters through A­dams fall, in Christ we begin to take on vs a new shape, accor­ding to the glorious Image of God. So our sanctification is onely as a renewing of vs againe, according to the first shape of the Creator, in holinesse and righteousnesse. Novv vvhat is it must be shapen ouer againe? What parte of vs is it that is wanshapen? The Apostle sayes, The God of peace sanctifie you throughout. The whole man, through that foull aposta [...]ie in A­dam is become a monster. Not a finger in thy hand, but it is be­come a monster. The eye a monster, or, else, such a foull looke would not be. The tongue a monster, or, else, such foull language would not be. The ear a monster, or, else, we would not desyre to heare foull and euill speaches. No part of thee, but, all are mon­strous, except thou be renewed: And therefore, he prayes, that, they may be renewed and made ouer againe throgh Christ, euen in the whole parts of the body and soule. Therefore pray thou and say, Lord renew, not this part, or, that part onely, but, renew me wholly. The Lord renew the mynde and begin there; The Lord renew the body, the Lord renew the eye, the ear, the hand. The Lord renew all ouer againe. For, I tell thee, if therebe any part of thee vnrenewed, thou shalt al go to Hel, for that vnruely part. The Lord vses not to renew one part & not another, but, he renews altogether. This shortly for the first part of the petition.

Now in the next part he beseches the Lord of peace to san­ctifie them throughout, and that their vvhole spirit, soule and body may be keeped vvithout spot or blame, to the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ. He prayes, that they may be keeped in holinesse So, it is not eneugh, to get one grace, to get sanctification and ho­linesse, but, thou must be keeped still on, in that grace, vntill thou [Page 331] come to glorie. Thē again, as grace is of God (al grace is of God) So, the perseuerance in grace to the end is of God. Thou hast no more in thy power when thou hast gotten grace, to stand one moment in grace, if God hold not his hand about thee, nor thou had to tak that grace before thou got it. Thou hast no power in nature to stand in grace. So, perseuerance in grace is of God on­ly, aswell as the grace is in Gods hand to giue. And as we must pray for the grace, before we get it, and say, Lord sanctifie vs; so, we must pray for the continuance of it, and say, Lord, continue vs in it, if thou Lord hold it not into my armes I will not get it keeped. Therefore, Lord, keepe thou it.

Now, to go forward. What shold be keeped blameles without spot?All the partes of man to be keeped blameles. One part, or, peece, or, the whol man; should I pray to God, to keepe my soule onely in holines and not my bodie? my body onely and not my soule? Wilt thou part them? or thinkest thou, that, God wil keep one part of thee in holines and not the whol? When men goes to Idolatrie, they will pray to keepe their hart holie; When they will bow their bodie to Baall, they will say, my hart is to God. No, if he keepe not all, if thou dedicate not all to him, all shall goe to Hell. So, the Apostle sayes, I pray the God of peace, that, he vvould keepe blamelesse your spirit, your soule and bodie. In these three thinges he takes vp the whole man, within and without. I will onely speake this far. By the Spirit he vn­derstands the cleannest part of the soule. Ephes. 4. chap. 23. vers. He calles it the Spirit of the mynde, that is, the light of the mynde, which is reason. The reason is not common with the beasts, but, it is common with the Angels. So, it is the speciall part of a man, and thou may thanke God, that hes it, and thou should pray to the Lord, to keepe it. The next is the soule, whereby he vnder­stands the inferior part, wherein are the senses, that part of the soule that hears, sees, &c. Then, he saies, the bodie. So, ye see, God must keep all in holines; and he that would be keeped of God, must seeke to be keeped whole, and euery part of him, without exception: For, I tell thee, no part of thee is able to keepe ano­ther. The olde Philosophers made a Queene of reason, as thogh she should keepe all, and should keepe the soule and body in her light. It is solie, who can keepe her? God must keepe the Spirit, that is, the reason, aswell as the bodie: and the Spirite hes [Page 332] as great need to be keept as the foote; for, sinne will begin at the reason, it is the first breaker of: so craue that he keepe all, or he shall keepe none. Alas, what is man, without grace? What hes he to boast of? Thou wilt boast of thy will and reason. If the Lord withdraw his hand from thy reason thou shalt be a plaine idiot, thou shalt fall to filthie wickednesse. So, brethren, these wordes are of great weight. He sayes not that he prayed that he would keepe the Spirit, but the whole spirit; the soule, but the whole soule; the bodie, but the whole bodie. So we must not be keeped in the speciall parts, but in the whole properties and in­ferior powers of the soule and body; if the least haire of the head be not keeped by the Lord, if the Lords prouidence extend not to the keeping of the smallest part of the bodie, thou shalt not be able to stand. Thinke not thou shalt stand, except the Lord hold thee vp, no growing but in God. Therefore the Apostle sayes, Thou that vvouldst glorie, glorie in Christ. 1. Corinth. 1. chap. 31. verse. He is our keeper, and vve are not able to stand one moment of an houre vvithout his aide, neyther in soule nor in bodie.

Now, how long should we be keeped blamelesse? He limits the tyme, and sayes, Vnto the comming of the Lord Iesus Christ. Marke the tyme. Is it no longer, but till Christ come againe? No, brethren, euermore. It is true, our conferuation and perseuerance vses to be limited, to Christs comming. Paul 2. Tim. 4 [...]. chap. 18. verse, sayes, God vvill keepe me to his heauenly kingdome, that is, vn­till I enter in his heauenly kingdome. Peter sayes, 1. Epistle 1. chap. 5. verse. We are keeped through the povver of God, till the last tyme. I tell you the cause, we are in greatest danger in this world; infinite dangers are we in, as it were hanging aboue Hell, readie to fall downe euerie moment, if the Lord hold vs not vp; the deuill is seeking whom he may deuote, and when we trow least, then we are most suddenly assaulted by him: Beside the deuill, haue we nor this [...]ankerd sin, that is within vs? Haue we not a this broad world about vs? Haue we not the graue and death great enemies in their owne nature, except the Lord sanctifie them? Certainely they also would deuote vs, except we were in Christ. We are compast in this world about on euerie side with cruell enemies. Therefore, considering this dangerous e­state, [Page 333] the Scripture craues ay, that, we may be keeped, vntill Christ come, and then all enemies shall be slaine, the deuill, the worlde, death and all shall be slaine. Death shall die for euer. This canker of nature shall be swallowed vp, all our enemies shall be wreaked. So, our conseruation is craued, vntill his com­ming; but, our conseruation shall not end then, but euen in Hea­uen we shall be conserued by the hand of God for euer, through Iesus Christ. When thou commest to Heauen thou shalt not be thy selfe alone, thou shalt not stand by the nature thou tooke of Adam, nor by any power that is in thee, no more nor a new borne childe can stand alone; but, when thou commest to Hea­uen, thy standing shall be by Christ and God. Then, seeing all our conseruation and standing, both heere and heereafter is by God, we should rander all honor to his glorious Majestie for euer.



1. THESSA. CHAP. 5. vers. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.

24 Faithfull is he, vvhich calleth you, vvhich also vvill doe it.

25 Brethren, pray for vs.

26 Greete all the brethren, vvith an holy kisse.

27 I charge you in the Lord, that this Epistle he read vnto all the brethren the Saints.

28 The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ be vvith you, Amen.

[Page 334] WE haue in hand presently (welbeloued in Iesus) the conclusion vvhich is the last parte of this Epistle. He begins it with a prayer, crauing in his prayer euen that same thing hee had exhorted them to, to vvitte, holinesse, sanctification, con­tinuance, and perseuerance in holinesse and sanctification to the end, and so ac­knowledging God to bee the giuer of that same very thing which he exhorted them to, and that it lay not in their hands nor free will to will or doe any good, but all stands in the hands of God, who is the giuer of all grace. He prayes, that, it would please God to giue them that grace he exhorted them to, and he would stir them vp to seek that same grace at the hands of God; for it is vanity to stryue to any grace without God. And there­fore as thou would do any thing, pray to God to giue thee grace to doe it. Let thy eye be euer on God, and in the midst of the a­ction when thou thinkst thou art best exercised, craue grace of perseuerance: for, I assure thee, he leaue thee in the best of thy action, thou wilt fall backward. Therefore there is such neces­sitie that the eye be euer on God, that it is impossible to a man to do any thing that is good, except his eye be euer on him, beg­ging grace and perseuerance in grace at his hands.

Now he goes forward: and in the thinges that followes to the end of the chapter and Epistle, there is such a varietie that euery thing here set downe is a seuerall heed of doctrine. First, he pro­mises to them that same thing he had prayed for at God. Then he maks a petition to them, desiring them to pray for him. Then to commend him to the brethren. Then he adjures them that they read this Epistle to all the people. And last he bids them fairewell, recommending them to the grace of Christ. Ye see what varitie of thing she hes. I minde to be short in them, seeing they are almost things common in euery Epistle, making a choise of that I thinke best for our comfort and necessity. Now he be­gins at the promise, Faithfull is [...]e vvhich calleth you, vvhich also vvill doe it. There is the promise. The Apostle would say, that that I pray God, that he will grant you; to wit; he will preserue you in the end in faith, that I am assured he will doe; He will not [Page 335] leaue you, vnto the tyme he perfite his worke begunne in you. There is the promise. Ye see first in this promise, the prayes that he made immediatly before for them, praying to God, that he would preserue them in holinesse to the end, is grounded vpon an assurance in the hart, that God would grant that same thing which he prayed for to the Thessalonians. Marke it. And first, learne, concerning prayer: All prayer for thinges heauenly and spirituall concerning the life to come (I speak not of the world­ly thinges,Confidēce in prayer. but thinges heauenly and spirituall) should arise on some certainty and assurance of the hart, that God will grant to vs the things we aske. Therefore Iames in his Epistle last chap. 15. verse. he calles prayer, the prayer of faith, that is, that ryses of faith and assurance in the hart, that God will grant vs the thing we aske. Iohn in his first Epistle, last chap. 14. verse, he joynes these two together, confidence or assurance, and prayer, and he sayes. This is that confidence vve haue in the Lord, that, if vve aske any thing according to his vvill, he vvill heare vs: There is confi­dence in prayer, that, when we pray, we should haue that assu­rance that God will giue vs these things we seeke, not according to our will, but according to his owne will. It is his will that we should haue these heauenly things, through the bloud of Christ. And therefore our prayer for them should rise on confidence, that God will grant them for Christs sake.

Yet farther, I see in this place three thinges joyned together. First, he exhorts them to a continuance in an holy lyfe to the end. Secondly, he prayes for the same continuance in holinesse, that God would preserue them to the comming of the Lord Iesus.Exhorta­tiō, praier and pro­mise con­ioyned. Thirdly, there is a sure promise made to them of that same thing he prayed for, that God would perfite his worke in them, and neuer leaue his worke, vntill he crowne it, and these three, continuance in holinesse, prayer for it, and promise thereof, can­not be well seuered. It auailes not to stand vp and exhort to any good thing, except the exhorter pray to God, that it would please him to grant them that grace he hes exhorted them to: the man that cannot pray for that grace he hes exhorted them to, he is not meete to exhort. Then againe, prayer without promise auailes little. A man who hes not assurance in his hart, to pro­mise grace from the hands of God vnto any people or person. [Page 336] is not meete to pray for any people or person. He to whom the Lord hes not giuen that grace in hart to promise with assurance, he is not meete to pray, for pithie prayer must ryse on some confidence in the hart. To be short. In a Pastor these three must goe together. He must be a man that is meete to exhort, that hes a grace to pray, and an accesse to God; and last he must haue an assurance in his hart of that grace of God, so, that he dar be bold to promise to them that grace he exhortes them to, and craues at God. And that which I speake of a Pastor, I speake of all men. For all should be exhorters, and euery one teachers of their bre­thren, and so euery one should see if they haue these graces to exhort, to stir them vp to godlinesse, to pray for them, and to promise to them grace with assurance.

Now to goe forward. He sets not downe his promise simply, and barely, the Lord will doe it, but he layes downe the ground and foundation where-vpon he builds his promise, vvhich [...] their effectuall and inward calling. He is faithfull that he [...] called you. So, the ground of this promise is their inward and effectuall calling. By this calling, I vnderstand no other thing, but an in­ward declaration of the eternall will of God in the hart of any man concerning his saluation;2. sorts of calling. To speake the trueth, this calling of a man by the word, is nothing but a reuealing inwardly in his hart, that election and choising of God that was from all eterni­tie. He calles him when he reueales that eternall election to him, and assures him that he hes chosen him before al eternity. There is another calling when the word soundes in the care, without perswasion of the calling in the hart. This is an outward calling. Many are called this way, but few gets this inward calling in their hart to saluation. Then this is the meaning of the Apostle, as if he had said to them, if ye be called (Thessalonians) if ye find the Lord to declare inwardly to your hart his eternall will in your election, I dare be bolde to promise, that, that God who hes made that declaration in your hart, shall neuer leaue you, vntill he persite his worke, and put you in Heauen. This ground standes sure, that God shall neuer leaue you who hes gotten the assurance of election, vntill he crowne his worke in you. There are the wordes shortly. Then, marke, brethren; The promise that one can make to another, that, God will not leaue them to [Page 337] the end, it must not be spoken absolutely, but it must be conditi­onall. The condition is, of thy effectuall calling. This condition holding sure, that thou art effectually and inwardly called to life, surely the promise may be made to thee, with assurance, God wil neuer leaue thee to the end: And I or any man vpon this con­dition may boldly make you this same promise, that Paul made to the Thessalonians, and I may say to you (this ground hold­ing that ye are called inwardly, and that ye haue receiued an in­ward declaration, as it were, out of the mouth of God of your e­lection in Christ) I may promise you, that, God shall neuer leaue you vntill he crown his worke. Then, if it be so, who euer would haue comfort of the promise of God made in Christ, when lyfe is promised, perseuerance is promised, the crowne of glorie is promised, who wold haue comfort in these promises, let him go to the ground, looke if thou findst in thy hart thy inward calling, looke, if God by his Spirit inwardly assures thee that thou shalt haue lyfes, if thou findst it, assure thee the promise perteines to thee; but if thou finde it not spoken inwardly by God to thee, thou hast no warrand, that the promise of grace perteins to thee, thinke neuer thou wilt be crowned, and that he shall perfite his worke in thee, seeing he neuer began to worke in thee. God will neuer perfite the worke he neuer began. Therefore euerie one of vs should take heed when we read or heare the promises of God in the Scripture, if we haue this ground or not; if I finde I haue the ground, I may fullie assure me, there is no promise but it is made to me; but if I see not the ground, no promise per­teines to me. Then, on this, marke further Gods fashion of doing. This is his maner of doing:Gods cal­ling vn­chāgable. First, he calles, that is to say, he lettes men and women vnderstand by faith inwardly, that he and she is one whom he hes taine purpose from all eternitie to saue. There is the beginning. Then he goes forward and neuer leaues them vntill he persite his worke in them. No, if he beginne once with them, and giue them assurance that they are inwardly cal­led, the gates of Hel will neuer preuaile against them, albeit they be in Hell at that same tyme of their calling they shall end in Heauen; he will draw them through Hell to Heauen, through death to lyfe, all the world shall not alter his purpose. If he be­gin once he will end. Therefore, to the Philipp. 1. chap. 6. verse, [Page 338] he sayes, I am persvvaded, that, he that hes begunne the good vvorke in you, he vvill perfite it to the comming of the Lord Iesus Christ: I am perswaded, there is neuer one, with whom he beginnes the worke of their effectuall calling, but, of necessity he must perfite it. A man will beginne a worke and draw his hand from it a­gaine, and let it stand; but, God is not lyke man, he neuer be­ganne the worke, but he will perfite it. And therefore, I say, who euer they be that would end with him, and haue an assu­rance that God shall be with them in their end, and shall crowne them with a crowne of glorie, they should take heed vvhether God hes begun with them or not. If I finde his hand begin to worke with me, I will perswade my selfe in spite of al the world he shal perfite it; but if we find not God begin with vs, he shal ne­uer crown the work: Al stands in the beginning, al the grace we get in this lyfe, such as holinesse, sanctification, is nothing in ef­fect, but the beginning of grace. So that the thing we haue to do in this life, if we should liue a thousand yeeres, is to enter in count whether the Lord hes begun this worke or not. If I finde he hes begun this worke in me, then in my death and letter houre I will assure my selfe, the Lord wil end his worke with me, I will make a sweete end, and he will crowne me with glory.

Yet, farther, he sayes, Faithfull is he, vvhich calleth you, vvhich also vvill doe it. He grounds againe this promise of the continu­ance of Gods grace,Heighest ground of faith, the constant nature of God. which is vnder this condition of effectuall calling on an higher ground. If thou wold haue a sute faith, thou must haue many grounds, faith is not builded on the sand, it must haue sure groundes: He grounds this ground of their effectuall calling on an higher and surer ground, that all the world wil not be able to shake, it is vpon the vnchangeable and vnalterable na­ture of God, the constant nature of God, not fleeting and flow­ing, as mans nature is. God is not like man. The word he speakes, it standes, it neuer alters. The purpose he takes is vnalterable. To the Heb 6. chap. 18 vers. It is impossible, that, God should lye. 2. Tim. 2. chap. 13. vers. He cannot deny himselfe, he abydes faithfull and sure. Then, brethren, if he hes said to the hart inwardly, It is my will from all eternity, that thou be one of these that shall be safe. Hes he spoken it? that word shall neuer be altered, Heau [...]n and earth shall all go to, ere there be one word of that altered, God is faith­full, [Page 339] the word he hes spoken cannot be altered: Therefore if he hes called thee, giuen thee a sight of thy election, it will neuer alter. Paul knew this well, and therefore he assures them, that he would perfite the worke begunne in them: on this condition, that he hes called them inwardlie; this assurance should be in the hart of the Preacher, thou should haue thy hart established on these same groundes, thou should knowe the vnchangeable na­ture of God, that he cannot alter: for, if thou knowest not, that he cannot alter, thou hast no certainty of faith. So, the ground of faith is, the vnchangeablenesse of God. it neuer restes vntill it pearce into that infinite deepnesse in God. To speake it so, It is not the word of God that is spoken that is the cheefe ground of faith: for faith goes in through the word, and grippes in to that vnchangeable Majestie. Then the cheefe ground of faith, is the vnchangeable nature of God, and it neuer gets rest, vntill it get that vnchangeable God. And then when it hes gotten him, it restes on [...] restes then on his word, and obeyes his word; if he then speake to me, I will heare him and obey him. Then God should be painted out in his nature, so far as man can: But who can doe it? He should be knowne to be a mercifull, true and just God, and none can haue faith but he must knowe these. Alas, thou that wilt be content with the scrufe of the proper­ties of God, and will not seeke in to the deepnesse of God, and take him vp in his properties, and pearee in to his nature and rest on him, thou shalt neuer get a setled faith. Therefore seeke ay knowledge, and prease in to him, that thou may stand in some setlednesse.

Now to come to the rest of the text. When he hes exhorted them, prayed for them, made promise to them: What then does he? He commes downe and sayes, Brethren pray for me. He he beene a [...] it were, sitting aboue them, exhorting them, pray­ing for them, promising to them as a superiour far aboue them, and ere ye looke about you he commes downe, and sits downe on the earth and his course about lookes vp to them and biddes them pray for him: What learne we of this? There is none so high mounted that hes so excellent graces in the Church of God, if it were the Apostle Paul himselfe, but he should hum­ble himselfe, as it vvere, vnder the most humble and lovvlie [Page 340] in the Church, and as hee hes prayed for them, so hee should pray them to pray for him againe. Pray for me as I haue prayed for you; as I haue exhorted you, exhort ye me; as ye haue neede to be prayed for by me, so haue I need to be prayed for by you. So, nothing I can doe to you, but I haue neede of it my selfe. Ye see the ei [...] of the head far aboue the foote, the one is lowe on the earth, the other high in the head; it is the light of the body and guides the foote, bids it goe on this way, goe on that way, it hes graces far aboue the foote; yet for all this preheminence and giftes it hes gotten, it must looke downe againe to the foote, and say, foote cary me, and beare me; for if thou cary not me to this place, and that place where I would be, I cannot come there. I [...] is so with the members of the body of Christ: The eye of them, that is, the man that hes gotten greatest preheminence, he must sloup downe and humble himselfe to the poorest bodie in the Church of God and seeke helpe mutuall in the Church: the sil­liest bodie in the Church hes gotten a grace which he hes not gotten, without the which grace he is not able to stand. The foote can carie the eye, but the eye cannot cary the foote: So the poorest and vylest body in the Church hes gotten some grace that the greatest in the Church must s [...]oup downe and seeke a grace at the silliest bodie. Therfore let none be proud. Thou that wilt contemne the soberest grace that the filliest bodie in the Church of God hes gotten, thou shalt lose all grace. Then I see againe (brethren) the necessity of prayer.Necessity of prayer. The Lord grant this that we could once knowe it well. There is no grace nor perse­uerance in grace without prayer: Without prayer to God let none seeke to stand to the end, thou that cannot open thy mouth to pray to God neither morning euening nor midday, &c. thou shalt neuer get grace; looke neuer for this perfection. Thou can­not go forward in the rinke without prayer, and so thou shalt neuer come to the butt. And as ye see heere, it is not onely mans owne prayer that is requisit, to bring them to the rinks end but it must be mutuall prayer; I must pray for thee to helpe thee for­ward thou must pray for me to help me forward. So prayer must be mutuall, and as it were, euery one must be taking others by the hand, and lifting them vp from the filth of the earth to hea­venly things. So he that will contemne mutuall prayer and say, [Page 341] I will pray for my selfe, I am familiar with God, I haue a b [...]ad back to beare all their curlings if they were neuer so many. A­las the curslinges will thrust him downe to Hell, and his prayer shall not auaile: And thou who contemnest the pray or of the silliest bodie in the Church for thee. if thou shouldst [...] all day on thy knee thou shalt get small [...]therance. The prayer of the Church is a nece [...]ar meane to bring thee to Heauen; For as he appoynted thee to Heauen, so he [...] no appoynted prayer of the Church to bring thee to it.

Now he commes to the [...] sayes he, one another vvith an holy kisse. As he would say, I cannot be present with them, I cannot speake to them face to face, but [...] you to whom I direct this Epistle, con [...]oy my salutation to them, and in my name salute them as it were with my mouth. Brethren, what is a salutation? A testification of our loue that we beare so them we salute. Now there are sundrie fortes of salutations, a man will salute one with his owne mouth, then when he cannot get him saluted with his owne mouth, he will send his commen­dations with another man. There are two fortes, I will testifie my good will by my owne mouth in his presence, and againe I will testifie it by another, and will send my [...] good will by his hand: And truely looke how sure euer thing in this earth was caryed by a mediat person, as sure this loue will be caryed by one to another; he will take my loue on his back and cary it to another; and as sure as any gift is presented to any person as sure will my loue be presented to [...] I send it. And what good will it doe? The chiefe thing we [...]aue is the conjun­ction of the members one with another. Now the band that con­joynes the members, is loue; and [...] may send this same band by an other. He may tak my band that commes from my hart, and eary to any man: Then the band that commes to him it kindles vp his hart, and he loues me againe, and so his hart is giuen to me a­gaine. So, seeing this happinesse in this lyfe standes in this con­junction, euery thing should be vsed that may enterteine this conjunction, if it were but a good morrow or a good night, e­uery thing holds this conjunction together, vntill we be fully joyned to Christ, in the which conjunction standes our ful hap­pinesse.

[Page 342] Yet to insist. This salutation is to all the brethren, none excep­ted. To speake it in one word: Such familiar salutations as these, salute them with a kisse and an holy kisse, they are not compe­tent betweene all sorts of men; I perceyue not that the Apostle salutes this way any of the Gentiles and Heathen; it is true we are bound to wish well to all, to the prophainest in the world, yea to the enemies of Christ, and I will say, the Lord turne euery enemy of Christ to him: but certainely, when it commes to such saluta­tions as these that Paul vses, as to say, salute with an holy kisse, they are proper onely to the domesticks of faith, and therefore he sayes, salute all the brethren, not all that ye meete with, but all the brethren. Loue pertaines to all, but there as a speciall loue that pertaines to the members of the bodie, as to brethren and sisters, there are special salutations that specially pertaines to the members in the bodie, and therefore discretion must be had; all salutations must not be had to al alike we should haue a regarde of the condition of the person whom we salute. There may be a fault aswell in this vndiscreete doing, as when we leaue it vn­done; giue euery one their owne duety. Thou art addebted to a brother in a speciall kindnesse and salutation, and is not addeb­ted so to a Turke, and to one that is not in Christ.

In the end held esires that they salute all the brethren, vvith an holy kisse. We know it was a fashion of olde ere Christ came; thē Iewes at meeting they wold kisse other euen men wold kisse men, the same fashion continued in Christes dayes, and after Christ it was l [...]fed also, as [...] may see in the Epist [...] of Paul, and in the primitiue [...] Church at their meeting together, at the Sup­per of the Lord they would kisse in token of their vnitie. Now this holy kisse is called by Peter, the kisse of charme, 1. Epistle 5. chapter. 14. verse. Ioyne [...] an holie kisse is nothing but a [...] that [...]yfes of an [...] loue [...], when loue is in the [...] it is sinceere without by [...] other [...]ife it is not sinceere▪ [...]a­d is kisse was not holy because loue was not in his hart vvhen he kissed his Master,Sinceritie to be vsed in saluta­tion. so this kisse vvas in hypocrisie. So in our fashion that is novv vsed, albeit vve, kisse not one another vvhen vve [...]id good-marrow, or good-night, vve make [...] out­vvard testification of the loue, of the hate invvardly; if there be not loue in the hart, all is but hypocrisie. And except helsing [Page 343] ryse of loue in the hart, it were better to thee to hold thy tongue, thou art but an hypocrite; when thou salutest vvith thy mouth, if thy hart would eate him vp, thou wilt appeare to haue hony in thy mouth and the gall of bitternesse is in thy hart. Alas ma­ny Iudasses now. Sweete sleeked lippes, false malitious inuyfull harts. Alwayes the lesson is, in all these outward testifications of loue, looke euer that there be [...] loue in the hart, that the testi­fication may be sinceere, and thou may get good of them; For I assure thee, this loue to thy neighbor does good to thee: ô Lord if sincerity be not good in the members of Christ! Alas this de­creeped age is turned to a plane hypocrisie, and al are but words of office; thy vylde salutation returnes to thy owne hurt. As it does him no good nor euil whom thou salutest, so it does thee e­uill and returnes to thy own hurt. Hypocrisy euer hurts the hart it came from.

Now to the next words I charge you in the Lord, that this Epistle be read to all the brethren, the Saints. This is another purpose: For in the end as I tolde you there is varietie of things casten toge­ther: Appearandly, by the wordes it would seeme, that this E­pistle was directed cheefly to the Pastor, Elders, &c. and in one word, to the Presbyterie, that vvas there. Therefore, lest the infe­rior and common sort of Christians should be defrauded of this benefite, the Apostle showes, that, it is his vvil, that this Epistle be communicate to the vvhole vulgar sort of christians, that vve [...] in Thessalonica, neuer one should be defrauded of the benefite of it. He sayes not simply, I vvill you to do this, but, he vses another vvord, I charge you in the Lord; I binde and oblishe you, vnder a paine, the paine is the vvraith of the Lord, Marke it. There must be great grounds and causes of this straite charge, vnder al high­est paine. First, this straite charging lettes vs see the great neces­sitie, that vvas, that the common people at Thessalonica should heare of this Epistle, asvvell as the rulers of the Church. Se­condly, it lettes vs see, that, the Apostle perceyued, there should be impedimentes casten in, that should hold aback this vvry­ting of his, from the people, he knew the deceite of the deuil, that he would be busie, to haue this letter closed vp and neuer to be communicate to the common people: and therefore, he charges thē, that it shold be read to the people. Now, I obserue. This, that [Page 344] he speakes of this Epistle, which is but a part of the Scripture, I draw it to the whole Scripture canonicall of the olde and new Testament;Necessity of reading and bear­ing the Scripturs. and I obserue the need that all sort of men and we­men so long as they liue in this lyfe hes to vnderstand the scrip­ture, to read it, or if they cannot read it, to heare it red: there is a plaine necessity laid on euery one of you men and wemen in all rankes to read the scripture▪ and if ye cannot read them, to heare them red, Searche the Scriptures, sayes the Lord, in Iohn 5. chap. 39. verse, for by them ye shall obtaine saluation; it stands men on their saluation and damnation to know the Scriptures. Then se­condly learne. The deuil, the enemie of mans saluation, knowing how necessar [...] the Scripture is to the saluation of men, hes euer striuen to holde the Scripture hid as a closse booke from the common people. What ca [...]es he of the chiefe of the Clergie to let them knowe the Scriptures, he will let them passe if he can get the multitude of people to carie to H [...]ll with him? This wicked doing of his continues still in the world, and the word is closed vp among the Papists, and it is forbidden to be red by laikes, that is, by simple men and wemen, and it is forbidden to be translated in their owne language. Marke yet further. They who are rulers in the Church, teachers of the common sort, are bound vnder the paine of the wraith of the Lord Iesus to light on them, that they communicate these Scriptures to the com­mon people, and put the booke in the hand of them that can read, and if they cannot read themselues, to read to them. The rulers of the Thessalonians are charged to read this Epistle to all the common sort. So all the rulers in the Church to the end of the world shall be oblished to instruct the common people; and therefore the translating of the Bible in euery common lan­guage is ordained, that the idiots who hes the mother tonge on­ly, may vnderstand what is the will of the Lord in the Scripture. Then if it be so, the Doctors in that harl or Church in Papistri [...] that hes closed the booke of God to the people, and clasped it with double claspes, O what damnation abydes them▪ (if ye haue an English new Testament to the fire with you▪) dare tho [...] be bould to read the Scripture thy selfe in thy owne language▪ thou shalt die for it. Alas the wraith of Christ bindes [...] and holdes them [...] to their vtter destructions. If it were but for [Page 345] letting the people of God remaine in ignorance without know­ledge.

Now to the last wordes. The grace of our Lord Iesus be vvith you, and he seales it vp with this word Amen. When he entered in with them in the beginning of the Epistle, what was his saluta­tion? Nothing but a recommendation of them to the grace of Christ: at his first meeting with them he prayes that they should receiue the grace of Christ.Grace vvithout merite vvishes both in the begin­ning, and ending. When he bids them fare-well he bids the same grace of God be with them; he wishes grace in the beginning and grace in the end. Learne this, If the Apostle had thoght that there had bene a greater thing in the world nor the grace of Christ, he had wished it either at the beginning or at the ending; but knowing well the best thing he could wishe to the people is Christs grace, as he began with it, so he ends with it. And alas, what can we wishe more, for vnder the grace of Christ all the graces and blessinges we can haue heere, and in the life to come are comprehended: If one would set himselfe to wish the best thing in the world to another, what can he wish better nor the grace of Christ? for all is in it. Now it is to be vn­derstood what is the grace of Christ. No other thing but the free fauour of God in Iesus Christ; I call it free, because it is without desert or merite on our part, a fauour that commes not on our deseruing; for we merite nothing but Hell. Then, brethren, what is this he hes bene speaking to these Thessalonians? Certainly, I read not in all Pauls Epistles of so high a praise of Faith, Loue and Charitie of any Church, as he hes of this Church of Thessa­lonica; and yet for all this in the end he sayes not, I beseech God that he consider your merite, for ye haue deserued well, and he is much oblist to your deseruing (as that presumptuous villaine the Pope will say) Lord reward you according to your deser­uing. No, he ends not so, but he sayes, Indeede Thessalonians ye haue done well▪ but yet I commit you to the free mercy of God. The thing I wish to you is not for your deseruing, but against your deseruing. I wish to you the free grace of Christ, according to Christs saying in Luke 17. chap. 10. vers. When thou has [...] done all that thou can doe, say, I am but an vnprofitable servant, I deserue not so much as a faire looke of Christ. Hell shall ouertake thee for all thy doing, except mercy come betweene thee and thy God. [Page 246] Then onely mercie without deseruing is our saluation. In the 2. Tim chap. 1. verse 16. he names one Onesiphorus, and he reckons out great kindnesse that he had done to him (and that which was done to Paul was done to his Master) he saies, he hes refreshed me, when I haue beene exceeding wearie, be thought no shame of my fetters and bonds, and hearing tell I vvas at Rome he sought me out very diligently. Yet for all this, he sayes not, Onesiphorus deser­ues well at Gods hand, and I pray that the Lord would rewarde him according to his demerites. No, but he sayes, The Lord shovv mercy on Onesiphorus. And he doubles it ouer againe, and he saies, God grant as I haue found mercy at Onesiphorus, so he may finde mercy at the Lords hands in that day. He sayes mercie, not re­ward but free mercie: and so I end. Nothing but mercy and free grace; when we haue done all we can, nothing but mercy, mercy in earth, mercy in heauen. On paine of lyfe when thou hast done all the good thou may doe, beware thou think of any deseruing at the hands of God But cast thy selfe on thy knees, and hold vp thy hands, and cry for fre mercy and pardon of thy sinnes, and say, away with all my workes, they are but dung and filth; I craue pardon for my sinnes of thy free mercy in that bloude of Iesus Christ: Except thou craue this, thou shalt neuer haue solide joy in thy hart. And shall I say that one of these false quenchers of the Spirit felt euer this sweetnes in Christ, which onely ryses of the assurance of the free mercy of God. Therefore let our onely reposing be vpon this free fauour in Christ. To whom with the Father and the holy Spi­rit be all praise for e­uer.




PREACHED BY THAT FAITHFVLL seruant of God. Maister ROBERT ROLLOK, some-tyme Minister of Gods vvord, and Rector of the Vniuersitie of EDINVRGH.


EDINBVRGH PRINTED BY ROBERT CHARTERIS, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Majestie. Anno Dom. M. D. CVI. Cum Priuilegio Regiae Majestatis.


THIS second Epistle to the Thessalonians seemes to haue beene written soone after the first. The oc­casion of the wryting thereof may be gathered of the Epistle it selfe. The Thessalonians were at that tyme persecuted and heauily troubled for the faith of Christ; and lykewise there entered in amongst them false teach­ers and deceiuers who went about to perswade them that the comming of Christ was instantly at hand, taking oc­casion, as it appeares, by the Thessalonians mistaking of certaine speeches vttered by the Apostle in the first Epi­stle, especially these wordes in the fourth chapter, We vvhich liue and are remaining in the comming of the Lord shall be caught vp in the cloudes vvith them that are dead in Christ, after their resurrection, to meete the Lord in the aire, and so shall vve euer be vvith the Lord. Where-vpon the Thessalonians conclu­ded that Christ should come before they died, and they should be on lyfe at his comming. The deuill to confirme them in this errour raises vp these deceiuers who went about to perswade them of it, as though it had beene true that they should haue beene liuing at the comming of the Lord, alledging that they had it, both by the re [...]ela­tion of the Spirit of God, and also by the tradition of PAVL. The Apostle therefore thought it needfull to [...] this second Epistle to the Thessalonians, partly to comfort them against the persecutions of their enemies, [Page] partly to admonish them that they giue not eare to these false deceiuers, assuring them that before Christ come the Antichrist should come, and there should be an vni­uersall defection from the trueth. The Epistle may fitlie be diuyded in six parts. The first part is the salutation in the two first verses in the first chapter. The second is the Preface, wherein he rejoyceth for their perseuerance and increase of Faith, of Loue and Patience in all their perse­cutions and tribulations, from the third verse to the fift. In the third part he comfortes them against the troubles and persecutions that they sustained for the faith of Christ from the fift verse to the end of the first chapter. In the fourth part he admonishes them that they giue not eare to these false teachers that said Christs comming was at hand, showing them that before the second comming of Christ the Antichrist should be reueiled, and there should be an vniuersall defection from the faith of Christ Yet he comfortes them against the feare of defection, and ex­hortes them to abyde constant in the doctrine they had receiued from him, crauing [...] comfort and constancie to them at Gods hands. This par [...]e is conteinde in the whole second chapter. The fifth part containeth exhor­tations to good maners and Christian dueties, from the beginning of the third chapter to the sixteenth verse. In the last part he concludeth the Epistle with prayer and salutation, from the sixteenth verse to the end.


2. THESSA. CHAP. 1, vers. 1. 2. 3 4. 5.

1. PAVL and Siluanus, and Timotheus, vnto the Church of the Thessalonians, which is in God our Father, and in the Lord Iesus Christ.

2 Grace be vvith you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Iesus Christ.

3 We ought to thanke God alvvaies for you, brethren, as it is meete, because that your faith grovveth exceedingly, and the loue of euery one of you tovvard another aboundeth.

4 So that vve our selues reioyce of you in the Churches of God, be­cause of your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulati­ons that ye suffer.

5 Which is a token of the righteous iudgement of God, that ye may be counted vvorthie of the kingdome of God, for the vvhich ye also suffer.

HAVING ended (Brethren) as God gaue the grace, the first Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians, I thought it meet­est to goe forward in the second Epistle: for otherwayes the worke would seeme not to be perfyted, and the matter con­teined in the second Epistle, is very wor­thie to be insisted vpon And it appeares very well among all the Epistles that Paul vvrote, that, these [Page 2] two directed to the Thessalonians were the first: This second Epistle which we presently haue in hand appearantly hes beene written soone after the first. The occasion of the wryting of it appeares well of the purpose and argument it selfe. The Apostle in this Epistle comfortes the Church of the Thessalonians, vvhich vvas persecuted and heauily troubled for the faith of Christ. Another occasion we take vp in the second chapter: There entered in this Church (for the deuill can neuer be idle) false teachers and deceiuers, who went about to perswade the Thessalonians, that the comming of Christ was instantlie at hand. The Apostle therefore taking occasion hereof, admo­nishes them not to giue eare to these men; and he telles them that before Christ come the Antichrist should come, and that there should be an vniuersall defection in the world. I take these to be the two occasions of his wryting.

There are three chapters of this Epistle. In the first after he hes saluated them, and giuen thanks to God for them, he enters in to comfort them against all the troubles they were in for the pre­sent. In the second chapter he admonishes them not to giue eare to these false teachers, that said that Christes comming was at hand. And therefore he prophecyes of the comming of the An­tichrist, and of the vniuersall defection of men in the world And in the third and last chapter he enters in (as his maner is) to exhortations, and Christian admonitions to the end of the E­pistle. Now to come to the first chapter, first he salutes them, next he commes to a congratulation for the graces of God re­ceiued by them, last he commes to the consolation.

As to the salutation, it is the common forme he vses in all his Epistles, and there is not one word altered from the salutation he vsed in the first Epistle. And therefore because I handled e­uery word in the first Epistle, I mynde not to insist in it here a­gaine, onely this far, There are three persons that salutes, Paul, Siluan [...] and Timotheu [...] Paul an Apostle, Siluanus. and Timothe­ [...] two Euangelists. These three persones salutes the Church of God at Thessalonica: That Church, he sayes, that is in God the Father, founded and grounded first on him. Then in the Lord [...] Christ the Sonne, builded on the Father and the Sonne: All [...] must stand on the Father and the Son. The graces he [Page 3] wishes to the Church are these common graces he vses in all his Epistles. The grace of God, the peace of God, that is from the Father, and from the Lord Iesus his Sonne. Now onely this far: by the example of the Apostle we learne of the salutation that he permits before his Epistle. When we enter in to speake of any Church, to wryte to any people concerning faith, concerning Iesus Christ, to make a declaration in the entresse of that loue, that beneuolence, that hartlinesse, that we beare to that people, to the end that they may be prepared againe to heare with alike loue, beneuolence and hartlinesse, and so the Pastor vttering his lyking to the people, and the people againe their lyking of the Pastour: the Pastour may haue courage and libertie to goe forward in doctrine: the people may giue audience and re­ceyue the better instruction. There is the end of all the salu­tation.

Now I goe forward to the thanks-giuing, and I will speake something of it as God will giue me the grace. We should thanke God alvvaies for you: He sayes not we thanke God simply, but vve should thanke, we are addebted, bound and oblist of duetie to thanke him Then the lesson is cleare. Thanks-giuing to God is a debt that we are bound and oblist to pay to God;Gods be­nefi [...]es matter of thanksgi­uing. for we giue him not thankes for nothing: Ye will not beare the Apo­stle say, we thanke him simply, but ye will finde a matter where­fore he thanks him, euen for his graces and his benefites. There are two sortes of his benefites and graces, there are some be­stowed on our selues, some on others. As for them that are be­stowed on our selues, out of question, there is none but he vvill confesse he is debt-bound to thanke God for them, at lest he must confesse this in word, thinke as he will. As for the benefites bestowed on others, we are bound likewayes to thanke God for them. As concerning the Pastor that hes adoe with any people, if euer man was bound to thanke God for any benefite, he is bound to thanke him for the benefite showen on the people he hes adoe with; because their blessing is the frute of his labours and trauels: and therefore he is bound to be thankfull for it. I say more. There is no member in the Church of Christ but he hes cause to thanke God for euerie blessing he bestowes on a­nother. I am bound to thanke God for the blessing he bestowes [Page 4] on thee, thou art bound to thank God for the blessing he showes on me. And euery one should thanke God for others blessinges. All is for the well of the bodie, the grace I get is for the well o [...] the bodie. The grace thou gettest is for the well of the bodie. We are al members of the body, and therfore we are al bound to thank God for the benefites bestowed on the bodie: I shall giue you a familiar similitude. Should not the hand of a man thanke the man that hes cured the foote, if the foote hes bene sore. The eie likewise in a maner wil it not be thankfull to him that hes cu­red the hand; and so of all the rest of the members. Now would to God we were as sensible members of the spirituall bodie of Christ, as the members of the naturall bodie of man are sensible among themselues, and could vnderstand that euerie one is a member of that bodie. But let our sense be as it will, if thou be a member of the bodie of Iesus Christ, thou art as much bound to be thankfull to God for any benefite bestowed on another, as the hand is bound to be thankfull for the graces bestowed on the foote; otherwayes thou shalt be challenged at that day of judgement for vnthankfulnesse. Paul 12. chap. to the Romans 15. vers. sayes, Reioyce vvith him that reioyces, and mourne vvith him that mournes.

Now to go forward. We should thanke God [...]lvvaies. Then (brethren) thanks-giuing is an euerlasting debt, a continuall debt we ought to God, there is no end of it, there is no intermission or leauing of it day nor night▪ As Paul speakes of charitie to the Ro­mans chap. 13. vers. 8. Ovve nothing to any man, but loue euery one another. Charitie is a debt that should neuer be payed out at the ground, but ay continuing in paying. Euen so thanks-giuing to God is a debt we should euer be paying but neuer put an end to paying of it, for it can haue no end: in earth euer thanking: in Heauen when we are with [...]im euer thanking, and our glory shal be in an euerlasting thanking of him: for why, if he could leaue off to show grace and could draw his hand frō vs, as men does, then we had cause to [...] from thanking. But the graces of God in Christ are endlesse grace for grace. And therefore seeing his grace hes neuer an end, why should thou make an end of thank­ing him: when his hand is opened liberally to thee, why should thou close thy mouth, and not render thanks to him.

[Page 5] Yet further. We thank him alvvayes for you, sayes he, as it is meete. Marke the words, as it is meete, as it is worthie. The word sounds so in the proper language, as if he had said. He is worthy of all thanks, and therefore we should thanke him. There is a worthinesse in God for the blessinges he bestovves on vs, there is a deseruing in him, there is a merite in him; it is be onely that deserues and merites. There are two thinges, debt and merite, (I but touch them) euerie one respectes other, where there is a debt, there is a merite; and where there is a merite there must be a debt.God onely merits & man is debtor. These two wordes answeres to other▪ There is no merite vnder the Sunne but Gods merite when God hes to doe with man. As for vs there is nothing but debt, no deser­uing in vs, all that we can doe to our God is meere debt; as euer a man was addebted to another. All the thanks-giuing vve can giue him is debt, all vvorkes vve can worke are debt, what euer he gettes of vs, he merites and deserues it▪ This is the trueth, and yet the enemies of the trueth will turne this euer againe, and will ascryue the merite to stinking fleshe, and the debt to God. The debt that appertaines to vs they ascryue to God; and the merite that appeartaines to God they ascryue to vs. They sette vs a­boue God: for he who merites is aboue the debtor: Lord what a change is this? Paul to the Romans chap. 11. verse 35. sayes, Who gaue him first, that hes bound him to giue them againe? Wilt thou be before him? gaue thou him first any good? if thou can doe it, then thou merites; if not, then it is a blasphemie to thinke that thou can merite: Fy on thee, there is nothing in the part of the creature but debt, yea, meere debt, nothing on the part of God but merite.

Now to goe forward in the matter of this thanks-giuing that neuer hes an end, that should be without intermission, and that God deserues at our handes. The matter and cause of thanks-giuing is grace: The first grace is Faith; not a simple faith, but an exceeding grouth in faith; Because, sayes he, your faith grovves exceedinglie. The next grace is loue; not simple loue, but aboundance of loue, and abounding in mutuall loue, so that the hearts of them ranne ouer in loue, as a veshell will doe when it is ouer full. Well then, there is the matte [...] and cause of this thankes-giuing, an exceeding grouth of sure faith, al [...]undant [Page] mutuall loue that euery one bare to other. Then compare this place with that which is in the first Epistle, chap. 1. verse 3. He thanked God for their faith and loue, not for their grouth, now his style is higher: and he thankes God, not for faith simply, but for grouth; not for loue simply, but for abounding in mutuall loue. Then ye see since the first tyme the Apostle wrote the first Epistle to them, the Thessalonians hes growen in faith and loue. There is the lesson.Grouth in faith in loue. There must be a grouth in grace, grace must grow in vs, and we must grow in grace. If thou grow not in grace, faith and loue, if thou goe not forvvard, of necessity thou must goe backward. Thinke not that a man will stand still in one estate of faith and loue, so that he will say, I wil fix my stalfe here, and I will goe no further nor this pointe. If thou fix down thy stalfe in faith and loue, thou shalt fall faster backward nor e­uer thou came forward, and thou shalt neuer come to the end nor mark. If thou fix thy stalf and neuer prease to go forward, thou shalt neuer come to that glorious resurrection; in plaine talke, thou wilt neuer come to Heauen. To be homely with you; We should haue a care euer to grow in this lyfe; for so long as we liue, we are either children, or at the farthest we are springels (to vse that word) Then I aske, will a childe come to the stature of a man or woman, if there be not grouth? No▪ Euen so if is im­possible to one to come to the stature of that spirituall man without growing: we are men when we come to Heauen, and are joyned to our head, and no sooner, and there our grouth ends. Can thou come to a spirituall mans stature, if thou grow not in faith and loue in this earth? And therefore, as euer ye vvould come to Heauen and obtaine that glory; prease to grow in grace, to spring in faith and loue in this world in some measure; marke your grouth in grace as euer ye did in stature. He will be busie to see it he be higher this yeere nor he was the last yeere: but whom marks if he be growne higher in spirituall things this yeere nor he was the last yeere. This stature will away, these earthly things will away, but this grouth [...] Christ abydes for euer. Of this grouth read Ephes 4. chap. vers. 13 14. 15. where he exhorts vs to grovven faith to the [...] age of Christ, and to grow in loue, vn­till we be joyned with our head.

Yet marke more. As [...]n the first Epistle 1. chap. verse 3. he [Page 7] thanked the Lord for faith simplie, and loue simplie, so here he giues him all thankes for the grouth therein. Marke it. He thankes not them for the grouth, he giues them not one part of the thankes, and God the other, but he thankes God for all. And good reason, for who is able to put one inche to his stature? Art thou able to make thy selfe growe in this bodily grouth? No, it is impossible. Then far lesse is there any grouth in the spirituall man, but that allanerly which God giues. No standing nor perseuerance in grace but that which God giues. Al is giuen by God. Fy on that stinking doctrine of the Papists. When God, say they, hes giuen man a grace, he permits a man to his free will to goe forward, as it were in mans owne option whether to goe forward or not. I only touch this. As the graces commes of God, so of necessity the increase & grouth of graces commes of God and not of any grace left in vs. In one word, Giue him the praise of the beginning of grace, giue him the praise of thy progresse in grace, giue him the end, giue him the praise of all: For he it is that giues the grace, the progresse and grouth therein, it is he that crownes his worke in thee, it is he that works all, that all the glo­ry of grace may be giuen to him.

Yet to insist. What is this Faith? Faith is nothing but a joining of vs with God in Christ. What is Loue? this mutuall loue? No­thing but a joyning of vs with the Church here on earth. What is grouth of Faith? Nothing but a growing nearer and nearer to God, to dravv him nearer and nearer to vs. What is the growing in Loue? Nothing but a drawing nearer and nearer to the Church, which is the bodie of Christ. Then draw neare to the head, draw neare to the bodie seuere not thy selfe from it. Then what is the matter of thanks-giuing? Euen this, that they were drawen nearer nor they were before to Christ, and to his Church. Then, brethren, when haue we matter of thanking God for any man for any people? Euen when we see any man or peo­ple drawing nearer to Christ, and the body of Christ nor they wer. If a man had al the kingdomes of the earth, there is no mat­ter to rejoice for in him; if we see him ly aback from Christ, and from his Church; if he draw not nearer and nearer to Christ and his church in this life, I will neuer rejoyce for all his kingdomes. Vnhappie is that man that sunders from Christ what euer he be; [Page 8] is he a Lord, an Earle, a King, and in the meane-tyme hes he no­thing adoe with God, vnhappie is he: For the greater blessinges worldly, if he be not joyned with God and the Church, the grea­ter shall be his damnation.

Then last here, looke what he speakes of loue, and of the aboundance of loue; it is not single loue, but loue that is double and mutuall;M [...]tuall loue. that is to say, the loue that commes from my hart to thy hart; and againe, the loue that commes from thy hart to my hart that is mutuall and double; this is the loue that he prai­ses, the double bond of loue: and it must not be a double bond onely betweene two: there are sundry thinkes they loue wel-e­neugh if they loue one, and that one loue them again. No, the A­postle sayes here, Euery member of the body must loue all from the highest to the lowest: The hand of a man in the owne sort loues the whole members of the body, from the head to the foot, honorable or vnhonorable, high or low, be what it wil, no mem­ber in the body but it loues all. So the loue the Apostle craues, is that loue that one hes to all; and againe, that loue that all hes to one. So that there should be no member in the body of Christ but it should be linked in with loue to Christ, and euery member of his body. There is no member of the body of man but it hes a certaine linke whereby it is linked to the rest. The finger of the hand hes a link with the toe of the foot, albeit they be far distant. So there should be no member of the body of Christ, but it shold be linked with euery one of the rest of the members, albeit they lay ten thousand myles sundrie. It lyes not in our power to cause all men loue [...] it lyes not in my power to cause al men loue me, nor in thy power to cause all men loue thee; but I tell thee what thou should doe, looke thou loue all for thy part, and if they loue not thee againe, they haue to answere to God. For he cranes this mutuall loue of vs. This is the mutuall loue that holdes the brethren together, if it be not, the members cannot be joyned to­gether in the bodie. It is true, we will neuer get it perfite in this earth: for so long as the deuill, the flesh and our lulles abydes, there wil be euer distraction; yet we should striue against the de­uill and our owne cankerd nature to be linked and joyned with the members of the bodie, vntill we be perfitely joyned with Christ, where there shall be no seuering. If we were once perfitly [Page 9] joyned with him, we shal neuer be seuered hereafter. There shall neither be deuil nor canker in nature to leuer vs then. Therefore this should be our prayer, Lord joyne vs to thee, that we may no more be seuered from thee and thy Church, by the deu [...]le, by sin, nor our owne corruption.

Now in the next verse he amplifies this their faith and great loue. Their faith and loue was so great that he was forced to preach their praises in all the Churches wherein he resorted: he came to no Church but remembring their great faith and loue, he was compelled to preach their praises, and to set them forth as an example to be followed. Before he thanked God for them, and for their faith and loue; now he glories in the graces they had receiued, before the world, men and the churches wher he came in his journey. When he thanked God concerning them he vtters neuer one word of their▪ praise; but comming among men, and speaking to men and to the Church, there he praises them. Mark this difference. Then brethren, there is a great diffe­rence in speaking of the graces of men, when we speake to God and before him, when we speak to men and before men. When thou speakst to God of man, let no praise of man be heard before him: be ware of that, but let God haue al praise and glory if thou be speaking to God, if it were of all the kings of the earth, vtter no praise of any king there; for, in comparison with God, kings are but dust, and worse nor the dust that is trode vnder foote. So, let God haue al the praise of any grace he hes giuen to any man; and say not, Lord I praise thee for this parte, of the grace, and I giue man praise for that parte of the grace. No, but say, Lord, I giue thee the vvhole praise of the grace, because all the grace he hes gotten is of thee. But when we speak to men and tels them of the graces of God men hes gotten, then we may glory in men, but with this prouision, that it be in God. We may commend men before men, for their faith, loue, patience, but looke that all this commendation be in God first, and then to this end, to make men whom thou commendst as examples in wel doing. See that thou look to the well of them thou speakst to, that they should follow them whom thou praisest for wel-doing. If thy minde be puft vp without reuerence of God, & without respect to the wel of him thou speakst to, thou derogatst Gods glory; we should be [Page 10] ware when we speak to the praise of any man, that we derogate nothing from the glory of God.

Yet marke further the order he vses. He glories not first be­fore men, and then begins to thank God; but first he turnes to God and giues God the glory of the grace he hes giuen to them. We ought to thank God, sayes he, alvvaies for you, as it is [...]. Then he commes to men and glories of their graces in the presence of men. Then, brethren, it is dew tyme to praise men and to giue them their owne commendation for the graces God hes giuen them: when first thou hast glorified God, giuing him the first praise and commendation. This is the order. When thou giuest God the first praise, and then commes to men and praises the graces in them before men, that praise is in God and he allowes of it. But vvhen thou beginnes in praising men to men, and re­members not God the giuer of all, thou spoilest God of his glorie. So vve should take verie good heed hovv vve praise godlie men: for verie narrovvlie shall vve escape derogation to Gods glorie, except the Spirite connoy the vvhole hart and mouth. And therefore in praysing men vve should be vvart vve derogate nothing to the glorie of God, vvho is the cheefe giuer of all. All the kings of the earth should stoup and giue all honour and glorie to God.

Now in the end of this verse he sets dovvne the matter of this his glorying, Faith namely, and with Faith he joynes Patience. because of your patience and faith in all your persecutions that ye suffer. In the verse going before he made mention of faith without pa­tience, but in this verse he maks mention of faith and patience, & ther eason is, Because faith in effect is nothing but the anchor of the soule: As the Apostle to the Heb. chap. 6. vers. 19. calles hope the anchor of the soule: and as an anchor is casten on sure ground to stick; so is Faith casten on Christ and fastned on him. Now there is nothing in this world that the deuill, the world, sin, which are the enemies of Faith in this world enuyes more nor when they see the soule of a man anchored on Christ, as on a sure ground. And therefore they seeke euer to seuere thy soule from Christ, and to breake the anchor. He will spew out floods of persecu­tion and tentation, javv after javv, to raise, if it were possible, the anchor of Faith in Christ, that the anchor being away, the man [Page 11] may flow and fleete, and at the last perish. Then what is the remedie? It is needfull, that, faith be sure grounded: if faith be not grounded on Christ she shall perishe; and further she must haue a troup of graces about her, she must be hedged on all sides with a varietie of graces.Ignorāce of God & of Christ are the causes of vengence. And so it is, where euer true faith is in Christ, there is a troup of graces about it. Now all these graces that compasses her are as many branches that com­mes from her selfe as from the roote. There stands about her, Hope, Loue, Patience, &c. a number of graces of all sortes, all commes from her, for she is mother of all. All serues her, for she is Queene of all; Hope, Loue, Patience, and the rest, are as many maids standing about her to serue her. Now among all these graces Patience is one; the duetie and seruice of Patience is to stand betweene faith and the jawes of tentations and per­secutions, and to receiue all the jawes of tentations on her shoul­ders, that the anker of the soule which is Faith may stand sure. So, Patience standes vp and holds the jaw off Faith, otherwaies, thy faith will be broken: and it is impossible to him that hes no Patience to abyde the speaches, let be to sustaine the persecuti­ons of men; if Patience be not, Faith will not abyde sure. And by the contrare looke how needfull it is that Patience be joyned with Faith, it is as needfull that Faith be joyned with Patience: and therefore he joynes these, your Patience and your Faith in all persecutions. And as I told you, Faith is the mother of Pati­ence, and where the mother is not, the daughter cannot be: and if this anchor of Faith be not anchored on Christ, Patience will not hold off the jaw: for the solide ground to rest on is Christ. Where faith is not, Christ is not; and take him away no standing. So the cheefe ground of all standing, is faith grounded on Christ Iesus, all the rest are but branches to Faith▪ faith is the cheefe ground. The standing of all is through Christ when the anchor of the soule is grounded on him.

Now one word in the end of this verse. He speakes heere of a Faith in tribulation and persecution, not of Faith in case, rest, and quyetnesse, but of a Faith in trouble. The Faith of the Thessa­lonians was not a Faith in ease and quyetnesse, but a Earth that lay vnder a continuall exercise, lay vnder persecution: for, the Church of Thessaloniea was exceedingly troubled, as appeares [Page 12] in this Epistle. Many will be content to beleeue, faith in Christ is a wondrous faire thing: He would beleeue and she would be­leue, but looke what kinde of faith men would haue, a faith with quyetnesse in the world, with honor eneugh, with riches, and all this worlds wealth. This is the faith that all men would haue. But (brethren) the faith of Christ (which is the true faith) must be ca­sten in the fornace, otherwayes it will be full of drosse: Will ye get fine golde that is not casten in the fornace and fyned in it? Trow ye to get a fyne and true faith that is not fyned in the for­nace of trouble and persecution, at the lest, one vexation or o­ther? all troubles are not alike, but of necessity faith must be ca­sten in some fornace;Faith fi­ned by troubles. thou must be in some tribulation, either within thee, or without thee, in goods, riches or some thing: and this is the faith that hes the commendation here, a fyned faith as gold hes the fynesse throgh the fire. Peter 1. Epist. 1. chap 7. vers. tels the excellency of this faith compared with gold: gold when it is casten in the fire and the drosse of it burnt vp will be far bet­ter nor it was, and yet there was neuer gold so f [...]ire but it wil per­rish; fine it oft-times ouer it may be ever the finer, but it shal per­rish in the end; but he sayes, faith that is fined and tryed, shall be found to your praise, glory and honor, vvhen Christ shall be manifested. As he wold say, it shal not perish, but at that great day of Christ▪ it shal tend to thy euerlasting glory Let vs not prease to feed our selues in our fantasies, thinking that we shall haue a faith in ease, quyetnes & honor. No, lay this ground down, if thou wold haue a faith to abide till Christ come, assure thee thou must suffer, and thou must abide the jawes of tentations till all thy faith be tryed, and the whole dros washen away, and the fine gold stand vp. At these are but dreames, to think that thou would hold Heauen in the one arme and the world in the other arme. No, thou must let the world go, and take Heauen in thy whole armes with afflicti­on, or else thou shalt lose Heauen and get the world in thy armes with damnation. Now this for the thanks-giuing and congratu­lation for their increase of faith and aboundance in loue.

Now come to the second part, Consolation: Making mention of their persecutions, he takes occasion to comfort them, and I thinke that be the principall purpose he hes to doe with them: and the first argument he vses heere, is that just and latter judge­ment, [Page 13] that generall judgement. He sayes, the persecution that ye suffer for Christes sake, for the kingdome of Heauen, they are sure arguments that there shall be a just judgement, and that Christ shall come to judge the world, and render to euerie one according to his works. And therefore vpon the remembring of this just judgement that shall be; ye Thessalonians comfort your selues,Persecu­tiones of the godlie, a sure ar­gumēt of the day of iudgment to come. for it shall try who did right and who did wrong. Then take vp this, The persecutions the godly suffers in this life, what are they? they are very ocular demonstrations (that is the force of the word) of the generall judgement to come, wherein Christ shall judge the world. And in the persecution of the godly (as it were in a mirror) I may see or thou may see Christ comming to judge the world, & to render to euery one according to their de­serts: for looke how I or thou may reason: When I see a person troubled for righteousnes sake, I will conclude, here is an inno­cent man, here are godly people troubled wrongously, therefore, of necessitie there must be a judgement wherein all ods must be made euen; I looke certainly for a judgement to come: God can­not be God, if there be not a judgement, wherein he shall be a­nenged for the wrong done to this man: I will not conclude a particulare and an earthly judgement; I will not say, when I see a godly man troubled, therefore, the troublers of him shall be plagued ere they go off the world: it is ouer high. Indeede the Prophetes of olde had this reuelation, but it is ouer high for vs▪ because experience in all ages hes proued that some of the greatest persecutors hes died in peace, and no visible judgement hes ouertaine them heere. But, this I am sure of; when I see godly men opprest, I may say, there shall be a day of generall judge­ment, vvherein God shall be anenged of the persecutours, if re­pentance interceede not. Novv vvold ye knovv any token that Christ shall come againe and put an end to the vvorld, and that there shall be a generall judgement? Looke if ye see or heare tel that the godly and innocent are troubled in the world, take that for as sure an argument as can be that a generall judgment shal be. And as surely as the master is comming after the forerunner, as surely shall the general judgment come after the suffring of the godly, they must dravv on a judgment, and at the last they must draw Christ out of Heauen to take vpon him the place of [Page 14] a Iudge to rander to euery man according to his doing.

Now another thing: He comfortes them taking his reason from the generall judgement, he telles them there shall be a ter­rible judgement, when a terrible judge shall come and sit downe in a judgement seat. What comfort is this? Ye see many vvill shake and shudder when they heare of it, and faine would desire neuer to heare of it. It is true the promise of the generall judge­ment will neuer comfort the wicked, and they that troubles o­thers; the more that they heare of it, the more will they trimble and shiuer. But it is as true that the most comfortable voice they that suffers wrong can heare, is the hearing of the comming of Christ in that latter day, and it is the matter of patience, it vvill make them ly vnder affliction with exceeding joy; the thought of the comming of Christ giues patience in all troubles, and this may be found in experience: the cheefe joy of the godly is the remembring of Christs comming: It is not mens judgement, their absolution and condemnation that we should stand vpon. What cares me, if all the world would absolue me, if I be con­demned by God? And againe, vvhat care [...] me if all the vvorld condemne me, if God absolue me? It is not mens absoluing or condemning, that bringes the true joy or heauinesse to the hart: but it is Gods absolution and condemnation that will doe this. And therefore as thou would haue comfort in that terrible judg­ment, doe well, and suffer wrong, and byde patiently, for surely it will not be long; there is such a crying of bloude, and such vvronges in this vvorld, that, truelie, in this decrepite age, Christ must come shortlie. Then, this is the first argument of consolation.

The other is more effectuall. I shall touch it. Ye that suffers shall be thought vvorthie of the kingdome of God, for the vvhich ye suffer. He commes nearer, as he would say, ye haue no cause to trimble and feare, ye shall be absoluted from that terrible judge­ment, and ye shall be counted worthie of the kingdome of God. The enemies of the trueth gathers of these words, that, there is a merite and worthinesse for suffering. But Paul Rom. chap. 8. verse 18. sayes, All this suffering is not vvorthie this vveight of glorie. So I answere. This worthinesse is not our owne, but that which is Christs worthines and properly pertaines to him, heere [Page 15] is improperly ascryued to vs: for, throgh that strate conjunction we haue with Christ, he and we are made one, and therefore his graces, after a sort, are ascriued to vs. I hauing Christ may chal­lenge his merite and worthines, his graces that he hes conquised, as life euerlasting, &c. to me as euer man might challenge any land or heritage. Therefore gather not here any worthines sim­plie without Christ. Alwayes, I see the cheefe cause of consola­tion to the godly that suffers here, is not so much that the wick­ed shall be punished for euer, as that the godly shal be adjudged to glory. There is the cheefe ground of my consolation, Let a man doe all the euill he can to me, my comfort is not that he shal be punished at that latter day, but that then God shall glorifie me at that latter day. Desire not so much the latter judgement that then the wicked may be punished, as that thou may be glo­rified. Look Gods purpose, he hes appointed this latter day, one­ly to this end, that, the godly may be glorified. The other end of the punishment of the offenders is not the cheefe end, for the cheefe end that God looks to, is, that, he may be glorified in mer­cy. It is true, he will be glorified in justice, but he delytes most to be glorified in mercy. He seeks to be glorified in all his proper­perties, in his wisdome, power, &c. But the mercy of the Lord passes all, and he seekes aboue all, that, his glory should shyne in his mercy toward sinners. And certainely Christ was sent in the world that his glory should shine in mercy. His preaching was to mercy. God hes greater glory in sauing one sinfull soule in Christ, nor he hes in condemning of millions of the wicked. So, brethren, wonder not that many goes to Hell, but, wonder, that, euer a sinner should be safe, and maruell more at the mercy of God, in sauing of one sinner, nor at his justice in the perdition of ten thousands. So the mercy of God is wonderfull, his power and all is wonderfull, but, his mercy passes all his properties. To him be glory for euer.



2. THESSA, CHAP. 1. vers. 6. 7. 8▪ 9.

6 For, it is a righteous thing vvith God, to recompence tribulation to them, that trouble you.

7 And to you, vvhich are troubled, rest vvith vs, vvhen the Lord Iesus shall shovv himselfe from heauen vvith his mighty Angels.

8 In flaming fire, rendring vengence vnto them, that doe not knovv God, and vvhich obey not vnto the Gospell of our Lord Iesus Christ.

9 Which shall be punished vvith euerlasting perdition, from the pre­sence of the Lord, and from the glory of his povver.

IN the first part of this chapter, ye haue heard (brethren) next after the saluata­tion a preface, wherein he rejoyces toge­ther with them, for that increase and grouth of the graces of God in them, namelie, of their Faith, Loue and Charitie. In rejoycing with them he giues God the thankes and all the glorie of whatsoeuer grace they had receyued. We entered the last day in the second parte, which containes a consolation: For these Thessaloni­ans sustained affliction and trouble for the faith of Christ, therefore the Apostle confortes them. We heard the first ar­gument of comfort he ministred to them, was from the just judg­ment of God. Your troubles and afflictions ye suffer are all [Page 17] sure tokens, that, Iesus Christ will come one day and judge this world justlie: Among all the assurances of the latter judge­ment ths is one. The trouble that the godlie suffers in this world. In the affliction and trouble of the godly, ye may see (as it were, in a mirror) the Lord comming to judge the world, when we see an innocent man troubled, we may gather our conclusion, there must follow of necessity a day of count and reckning: it cannot be, that the just Lord will suffer▪ vnjust dealing to passe away vnpunished. Then, in the second argument he drawes nearer to them, and sets downe the end of this just judgment that shall be, the end shall be for their well: For, when the Lord shall come to judge the world, they shall be counted worthy of that kingdom, the kingdome of Heauen, for the which they suffered. Worthie, not in themselues (for, all the affliction vnder Heauen will not make a man worthy of Heauen▪) but, worthy, in the righteous merites of Christ, where-with one day we shall be clad, and for his worthinesse and merite shall be adjudged to life euerlasting

Now in the beginning of this text, he proues, that the day of judgment they shall be adjudged to lyfe euerlasiting and glory. He takes his argument from the nature of that Iudge. It is a iust thing, sayes he, to God, to recompence tribulation to them vvho trou­bles you. As if he had said, the Iudge is just, yea, by nature he is ju­stice it selfe, and therefore, the judgement must be just, and in his just judgement he must adjudge you to life, and he must render to euery man his due; being just, he must render to them who hes af­flicted you, affliction againe. And to you vvho are afflicted, he must tender rest, euen, as he renders to vs: For, I in my owne person haue beene afflicted aswell as ye haue beene, and I am assured, he will render rest to me, and so also will he to you: there is the meaning of the words. Then ye see, brethren, here, he grounds their deli­uerance in that latter judgment vpon the just nature of God: ye may see our life euerlasting vnto the which we shall be adjudg­ed in the day of judgment leanes on a solide foundation, euen the most just nature of the Iudge; all the world is not able to shake it, if thou can shake God, then thou may shake our life euerla­sting. Seuer justice from him, and seuer life from his owne, both are alyke; do the one, if thou may do the other. And so, bre­thren, ye see where-vpon the assurance of your faith and hope [Page 18] of life euerlasting is grounded, it is grounded vpon an insight of the nature of God, vpon a knowledge of him, what he is in his owne nature, that he is just, he is righteousnesse it selfe, knowing then that he is just, seeing, as it were, at the least in some measure in God, and in his nature that he is just, I take assurance that that just God shall adjudge me to life, I make this more generall: all assurance, all hope of any grace we haue to receiue at the hands of God, what euer it be, must proceede from an insight and knowledge of the nature of God; how can I or any man looke for any good at the handes of him vvho is not knovvne to me? hovv shall I assure my selfe I shall get any good from him, I know not? Therefore, the man or woman who would haue faith in God, or hope of lyfe, or any good at his hands, must seeke to pearce in to the deepnesse of the infinite nature of God, so farre as can be, to knowe him in his justice, wisdome, power, mercy, and in all these infinite properties in his nature; then knowing him in these infinite thinges, he must assure himselfe of such and such graces at his hands; I know him to be powerfull, therefore, with his power he will deliuer me; I know him to be mercifull, in his mercy I am assured he wil show mercy▪ on me; I know him to be wise, therefore I am assured he will deale wisely with me, he that is skilfull and the God of order will deale skilfully with me. Then, ye see, that, faith will neuer be builded vpon a scroofe and superficiall thing. The world thinks it ynough, to know, there is a God▪ to know his name and no more. No, thy hart cannot be builded on a s [...]roofe. It is impossible to any to haue that solide and assured faith in God and that hope of lyfe, except they haue a solide knowledge, in some measure, of his nature and of his properties. And that bodie that preases not to pearce in to the deepnesse of God; cannot haue that Spirit of God: for, in the first Epistle to the Corinth. chap. 2. vers. 10. it is said, The spirit of God searches, and what? in to the infinit deepnesse of God, and there he lets thee see Gods minde towardes thee. So, that, if any be indewed with that searching Spirit of God, of necessitie that Spirit must conuoy their eyes, in some measure, in to the secreetes of God, to the deepnesse of that infinite nature: It is a wonderfull sight that a true and solide faith hes in God. It will peace in to the infinite nature of God, and builde on that infinite nature the so­lide [Page 19] ground of faith. I speake this that ye may seeke to knowe the nature of God.

Yet to the wordes. It is a righteous thing vvith God, not to men, but, to God. The meaning of the Apostle is, What euer seemes right in the eye of man, this is righteous in the eye of God, to render to euery man his due. Now the Lord forbid, that our life or death euerlasting hang vpon that that seemes just and vnjust to man. Lord forbid, that Heauen or Hell hang at mans girdle, or depended on his judgement, I assure you, many would goe to Hell from hand. As God in nature is a just Iudge, euen so, man by nature a wrangous and vnjust judge: Let him be gi­uen ouer to himselfe, hee shall neuer judges one whit of that which is just,Differēce betvvene the iudg­ment of God, and of men. at the least, he shall neuer judge sincerelie of that worke. I shall tell you the differences between the judgement of God and man shortlie. Man when he judges is oft-tymes so blinded, that he sees not the thing that is just: for, he will take vp the thing that is vnjust to be just, and the thing that is just to be vnjust. Then againe, supponing by the light of the minde he see the thing that is just, yet there is such a peruersnesse in his will and affection, that, in spyte of the light of the mynde he will peruert justice; that thing he knowes to be just he will call it vnjust. And the thing he knowes to be vnjust he will call it just. But it is not so with God: for, first, he by that infinite judgement in him sees that thing that is just to be just, nothing can begyle him, at the verie first looke he vvill knovve that vvhich is just. And then againe, vvhen he sees it to be just, there is such an vprightnesse in him that he vvill decerne it to be just. Then, brethren, it is vvell vvith vs that our lyfe and death dependes not on men, vpon their judgement, their speak­ing, it is vvell vvith vs that our saluation and condemnation de­pends not on their blind and corrupt affection, but on him that sees euery thing, as it is, and judges justlie. There is the ground of our saluation.

Novv to goe forvvarde. The effect of his justice, vvhat is it? The just Iudge sitting in his judgement seate he renders to euerie man their ovvne, his justice standes in distribution: He renders to the troublers, by the saw called Lex talionis, euen such thing as they did, to wit, trouble. But to the godly he giues rest, [Page 20] joy and comfort for euer. What should he render to the afflicters but affliction. To the troublers but tribulation againe. So what euer man does, he gettes the lyke repayed to him againe in his hand:God rea­ders infi­nite trou­ble to the afflicters of the god­lie. afflictes he, he shall be afflicted: trouble he▪ he shall be troubled, if all the world had said the contrare. Indeed it is true, brethren, the affliction that he receiues, albeit it be alyke in qualitie: (for affliction is euer like affliction) yet looke to the quantitie of that trouble the troublers shall receyue, It is incom­parable, in quantitie: for, in quantitie it shall be infinite. All that which they may do to the godly is but finit and hes and end: But that affliction where-with they shall be repayed home againe is infinite. And therefore read the Rom. chap. 2. vers. 8. 9. where Paul telles of that rendring alike at that great day, he cannot get words sufficiently to expresse their affliction. They shall get in­dignation, then wraith, they shall be opprest with tribulation & anguish, and shall be casten in the presse of affliction. Whereto should we speake of this? Can any words expresse it? No, all the words of the Angels of Heauen and men in the earth cannot ex­presse the affliction they shall be afflicted with in that day. In­deed, the afflictions: the godly sustaines here may be suffered, but the affliction the wicked shall suffer at that day shal be into­lerable. Now ye may say, how can this stand with Gods justice, to repay a thing infinite for a finite thing; to render infinite affli­ction for finite affliction; to render the paines of Hell for a short temporall paine? I answer. God in repaying wrong to them that hes done wrong, lookes not so much to the wrong that one man does to another, as to the wrong done to his owne Majesty that is infinite. Thou oppressest thy neighbour, thou troublest a brother. The Lord when he commes to judge, he looks not so much to the wrong thou hast done to thy neighbour, or to thy brother, as to the wrong done to himselfe: He respects the wrong done to him who is infinite, and therefore, thou shalt be repayed with an infinite paine. This is Gods justice. Then againe. Neuer a man that did wrong. and that hes tane pleasure to do wrong, did euer the wrong, nor was able to doe so great wrong, as he would haue done, if he had gotten his will fulfilled in doing wrong, there would neuer be an end of his wrong: If the trouber had his vvill in troubling, no end of his trouble: If [Page 21] the murtherer had his vvill in murthering his bloodie svvord vvould neuer be put vp, but he vvould euer be murthering, he vvould be euer oppressing. And therefore, God in his judg­ment lookes not so much to the thing thou doest, to the stroke of thy hand, to the word of thy mouth, as he looks to the thoght and will of thy mynde. It hes no end of euill. The Lord for thy endlesse euill vvill in hart, vvill render thee an endlesse paine. This much for the first rendering.

The second rendring is the rendring to the godly according to Gods justice. What renders God to the godly? Not as he did to the wicked, affliction for affliction, trouble for trouble; but by the contrare, vvhere they vvere afflicted, lying tread dovvne in the presse of affliction, then the Lord shall louse their bondes, and take the oppressours and vvrap them in the same bondes, and tread them vnder his feete. So, the second sort of rendering,God ren­ders infi­nite glory, to the god­ly afflicted. is rendering not alyke to alyke, but a thing that is vnlyke, rendering to the afflicted relaxation for euer. Brethren, there is no comparison betvveene the afflictions of the godlie, and that vvhich the Lord shall render to them for their affli­ction. That vvhich the godlie suffers is but a meane and small thing. It is not vvorthie to be spoken of, to be rent on the Raoks, to be burnt quick, for the name of Iesus, is not vvorthie to be spoken of in respect of that wonderfull glorie we shall possesse. The Apostle in that second chap. to the Romans, 10. verse, can­not get words to expresse their glory which they shall enjoy at that latter day. Honour and glory, that passes all the ignominie that can be in the world a thousand stages, immortalitie, thou shalt neuer die againe, lyfe, and lyfe that is without end, peace and joy euerlasting. There is no comparison. In the 2. Corinth. chap. 4. verse 17. Paul calles the afflictions of the godlie, the momen­taneall lightnesse of affliction: they are first light, then their af­flictions lastes but for a moment. Yet, sayes he, they shall vvorke to you an euerlasting vveight of glorie, and glorie that is excellentlie excellent: he cannot get vvordes to expresse it. The glorie is in quantitie a vveight, in tyme it is euerlasting; in dignitie it is excellentlie excellent. Whereto shall I speake it? All the tongues that is in Heauen and earth is not able to expresse that glorie as it is vvorthie to be spoken of: For, in the 1. Epist. to [Page 22] the Corinth. chap. 2. verse 7. it is said, These thinges hes not ente­red in the hart of man that the Lord hes prepared for them that loue him. And who are they, if not they who suffers for him? This much for the rendring both to the one and the other according to the just nature of God.

Now in the end he addes to this word, vvith vs. He shall render relaxation to you and to me also. I am troubled as you are. And therefore I hope for the same deliuerance and relax­ation that I promise to you. Promise nothing to the people, but the thing thou thinkest to get a parte of thy selfe. Promise no resurrection, except thou thinkest to get a parte thereof. But the thing I marke is this. I see all grace and glorie is in a societie vvith the Saintes: resurrection, lyfe euerlasting is vvith the godlie: For as there is a communion vvith the Saintes in afflictiones 1. Peter chap. 5. verse 9. so there is a communion with the Saintes in rest, in grace and glorie. Ephes. chap. 3. verse 14. 1. Thessa. chap. 3. verse 13. And this thing we may take vp euer in this Apostle, he speakes of no grace but euer together vvith the Saintes, all is in one conjunction. Let none therefore prease to come to Heauen but in this conjunction. Thou wilt leape from the Church, but I assure thee leape as thou wilt, and think to come to Heauen without that societie, thou shalt neuer come to Heauen, thou shalt neuer get relaxation but in this soci­ety. Thinke it no small matter to be of the number of the godly: thou shalt neuer be glorified in that latter day, if thou be not one of that nomber. Then marke another thing. He sayes, they shall get relaxation with him. Then it followes that he was afflicted with them. Who gettes rest? but they who are troubled. Who will come to Heauen? None but they who for Christs sake on the earth hes suffered some affliction, either within or without. No, look not that a man will come sleeping to Heauen. Heauen is a relaxation out of bondes; who can be lowsed, but they who haue [...]ene bound? This may learne vs to take in patience to be bound, to be euill spoken of, and to suffer either one thing or o­ther for the hope of that lyfe euerlasting.

Novv to goe forvvarde in the text follovving▪ ye haue a short but a pithie description of the Lord Iesus comming to judgement to render and repay. When shall this rendring be? [Page 23] When shall affliction be rendered to the afflicters, and relaxati­on to the bound and troubled? When our Lord Iesus Christ shall come to iudge the vvorld. Not till then. There is the dyet nothing but patience vntill then. Thou art ouer sudden. Thou would haue the Lord rendering to thee rest, and to thy enemie trouble at the first moment. Thou would haue him to put thee in Hea­uen at the first hand, and thy enemies▪ in Hell at an instant. No, byde, till the tyme of the manifestation come.Tyme of rendring. Then, the tyme of rendering is the tyme of manifestation of light, it is the day of light, of such a light as was neuer in the world▪ for, while Christ come, all is hid▪ Heauen is hid. Hell is hid: Right is hid▪ wrong is hid; damnation is hid; saluation is hid; lyfe hid, death hid; godlie men is hid; reprobate men hid; all hid, till Christ come to judg­ment. 1. Iohn chap 3. verse 2. When Christ shall come he shall be first reuealed from Heauen, an infinite light shall come from Heauen accompanying that glorious Majestie. Then Hell shall be seene, Heauen shall be seene faire and broad, lyfe shall be seene, death shall be seene, all shall appeare then as they are. So, byde still a whyle, and byde in patience, thou who would haue relaxation, and thy bondes shall be loused in patience; byde, till that tyme. Thou that would see afflicters afflicted [...]ly▪ still in pa­tience▪ for, in that moment when thou shal see the Lord com­ming from Heauen▪ thou shalt see an end of all these thinges such rendring as euer thou would haue desyred. So nothing but patience.

Now, marke the style the Lord gettes in this reuelation and comming. He is called▪ The Lord▪ A style of glorie, a name of power. So the Lord in his comming and manifestation shall be manifested lyke a Lord, and in a surpassing power ouer quick and dead. Rom. chap. 14. verse 9. He died and rose againe, that he might be Lord both of the quick and the dead. Then againe he is called Iesus, that is, a Sauiour▪ as he shall be manifested at that day as a Lord; so shall he be manifested as a sweete Sauior Iesus, to the just and godly of this world. So, then, his appearance shall be as a Lord and Sauior, to the comfort of his elect and as a Lord in power, to the destruction of the wicked.

Now, to goe forward▪ (I shall not be [...]ur [...]ous, but shall open onely the wordes▪) The Lords comming and reuealing himselfe [Page 24] as Lord, and as Iesus the Sauior is descriued and set out in an high glorie:Christ shal come frō heauen. His reuelation shall first be from the Heauen. That word Heauen is not put in lightly. He is reuealled not from the earth, or from any low part: No Monarchs that euer reuealled themselues in the world came downe yet from Heauen: The Lords reuelation when he shall show himselfe to the world shal be from the Heauen: The Heauen now is a vaile casten in be­tweene our eyes and the Lord. So that we cannot see him, but at that day the Lord of glorie shall break downe thro [...]gh the vaile and come down to the aire to be seene by vs. Now if ye wil aske what an Heauen this is▪ Paul 4. chap. to the Ephes. vers. 9. 10. saies he was caried to an heauen aboue a [...] the [...]e heauens which we see. And therefore these Heauens from the which the Lord shal ap­peare, is a place aboue: He shall break throgh all these Heauens while he offer himself to be seene in the clouds. Then this com­ming from Heauen lets vs see he shall come to his in glory. The greater glorie, the greater comfort to vs, the greater discomfort to the wicked, the greater feare and trembling to the reprobate. Take heed to this ye who takes pleasure in sin, what feare and terror shall ouertake you in that day. So this is the first part.

Now in the next wordes he is des [...]ryued from his companie that shall conuoy him.Angelles shal accō ­pany Iesus, in his cō ­ming. The Lord in his second comming he shal not come his alone; in the first comming he came in the world basely, like a poore man accompanied with no glorious traine. The Lord was made poore that thou should be made rich; the Lord took vpon him ig [...]miny that thou shold get glory. Now in the second comming he shall be gloriously a [...]companied. No neuer Monarch was so accompanied when they came to their kingdom as the Lord Iesus shal. They shal wōder that he going in his first comming in the world so poorely should haue such glory. The first company he shal come with shall be Angels, the gloriousest creatures that euer was, not one or two, but millions of Angels, principalities and powers. Iude sayes 14. vers. the Lord [...] come vvith thoulands of his S [...]ints. And I say as I think, there shall not be an Angell in Heauen, but all shall come with Iesus. And what shall be then habite? They shall come like an armie al as it were, in a [...]mes. Men who are in their armour in their harnes they appeare most glorious to the world. So all the Angels shall [Page 25] come as an army armed with power; and therefore it is said, An­gels of his povver▪ terrible to the wicked, because they shall be en­armed against them; comfortable to the godly, for they come for their defence. The Angels in their owne nature are strong, by their creation potent; they are principalities, powers by vertue of their own nature. But the word would import more. They shall not onely be strong with their owne power, but, they shall come enarmed with the power of Christ, with an exceeding and ex­traordinary kinde of power, such a power, that they were neuer sene in before, in such a majesty as neuer was seene of before, and al to the glory of that glorious Lord Iesus, who is Lord and judge blessed for euer. An earthly king when he is in his greatest glory is but accompanied with selie infirme creatures who hes little strength. But, the Lord Iesus, who is King of kings shall be ac­companied at his comming with Angels of such an infinite strength, that the deuill and all the world shall not be able to withstand any one of them.

Now, to goe forward, the next companie that shall be with him shall be creatures, something inferior, Not so glorious as the Angels,Flaming fyre shall accōpany Christ. but, very glorious, a flamming fire, a fire with a great flame; and therefore, fire that shall cast downe from it excee­ding great heat and light to the world. Ye will aske, what fire will this be? I will not be curious heerein: but, I think, that, that fyre that shall be at that day shall be that same naturall element, that the Lord created, when he made the rest of the creatures. This appeares very vvell, of Peter, in his second Epistle, chap. 3. vers. 6. 7. When he sayes, the first world was destroyed by vvater, and the second vvorld shall be destroyed vvith fyre. Certainely, as the first vvorld vvas destroyed by a naturall vva­ter; so, shall the second vvorld be destroyed by a naturall fyre. This fyre shall then appeare in such a glorie, quantitie, and light, as it vvas neuer of before: because it is imployed in the seruice of a most glorious Lord. Would ye knovve vvhat shall be the vse of this glorious fyre? Read. 2. Epist. of Peter chap. 3. This fire going before him shall burne▪ first, the heauens; then, it shall come to the elements, and melt them all vvith heat. It shal next come to the earth and shall burne vp the earth and all the works. Would ye know what shall come after? There shall be a new heauen and [Page 26] a new earth. And so, this fire shall▪ serue for the purifying and burning of the drosse of the creatures: for, all the creatures, the Heauen, the Earth, the Sunne▪ the Moone, he [...] drawen on a cor­ruption, through our sinnes. But, is there no other vse of this fire? This fire shall also in the Lords justice be a fire to deuoure the aduersaries▪ Heb. chap 10. verse 27▪ to burne the reprobate for e­euer. And therefore, vaine man, who takes pleasure in thy sinnes, let [...]he memorie of this flamming fire terrif [...]e thee, that, in tyme, thou may repent. Now, this much for that glorious companie, where-with the Lord Iesus shall be accompanied in that glori­ous comming.

Now, come to the effects, in the next words. When he is come from the Heauen accompanied with the glorious Angels and flamming fire, certainely, he will not come for nothing: Kings in the earth may fli [...] their campes for nothing; but, the King of glorie will not doe so. Now, the effect, in one word, is, rendering, repaying, recompencing; the judgement is, in rendering to euery one, his owne due: In rendering, first he beginnes at the godles and wicked after his comming in such a glorie. He shall render the wicked, that, which is due to them, that is, vengeance. To whom? To them, that knovv God on this earth, [...] them, that o­beyed not the Gospell of the Lord Iesus. Marke it. The Lord keepe vs from the causes of this rendering. There shall be none, that knew not God,Faith ac­cōpanied vvith a troup of graces. and obeyed not the voyce of Christ in the Go­spell, but▪ vengence shall ouertake them in that glorious appear­ing of that judge in the world▪ These are the two great [...]aultes and sinnes, that shall procure, in the day of judgement, vengence▪ from Iesus Christ. Now, as there are two thinges, that procures this vengence, so, there are two things, that brings life at that great appearance of the Lord Iesus Christ. The first, is, the knowledge of God. The next, is, the knowledge of his Sonne the Lord Iesu [...] Christ▪ Ioh [...] chap. 17. verse 3. This is lyfe euerlasting, to know thee to be the onely God, and whom thou hast [...], Iesus Christ knowe these two, knowe God, knowe Christ in his Gospell, [...] ▪ vengence shall not ouertake thee▪ Then, by the plaine contrare. There are two grounds and causes of death and damnation▪ The misknowing of God, and the [...] of Iesus heere [...] in his Gospell, and these two are [...] [Page 27] gether. Then▪ brethren, in one word, Let not the Iew be bold to say, he knowes God▪ when he knowes not his Son; all the know­ledge a man can haue of God, when he knowes not his Sonne, is nothing: for, God the Father cannot be knowne, but in his Son Iesus Christ, and without the knowledge of God in his Son, there is no saluation from judgement. The Son is the Image of God, and God will be knowne in him. Heb. chap. 1. verse 3. He is the brightnesse of his glory, and the ingraued forme of his person. So, that there can be no sight of God, but in the face of Christ the man. Ioyne these two together, know God know the Son, know the Son that thou may know the Father; for, no sight of the Father, but, in the Son.

This further wold be marked. When he speaks of obedience to Christ. He sayes not, they that obeyed not the Lord Iesus, but, he sayes, They vvho obeyed not the Gospell of the Lord Iesus. This is spoken, to the commendation of the Gospell, and of the preach­ing of it, and this base ministry which men esteemes so litle of. Looke how he rankes this Gospell and the preaching of it with Christ himselfe. He counts them that obey the Gospell, to obey Christ, and he counts them, who are rebellious to the Gospell, to be rebels to Christ. And therefore say I, boast as thou wilt, of Christ, and of the knowledge of him, if thou despise this Gospel, and this base ministry, vengence shall light on thee: Thou wilt say, thou knowest Christ and in the meane time, there wil be no­thing in thy hart, but, a contempt of the Gospel & of the preach­ers of the Gospell. But, boast as thou wilt, of the knowledge of Christ; thou shalt finde, if thou be impenitent in this pointe, ven­gence▪ shall light on thee. Rebels to the Gospell and preaching thereof, in earth, rebels to Christ, in the Heauen. Think not, when thou hungerst the Gospell out of the land, by drawing away in thy [...]lookes all the thing the Gospel should be sustained on▪ that, thou knowest God and Iesus Christ. What matter of the hung­ring of the bodies of men, in respect of the Gospell. When thou closest the mouth of men, so, that, for hunger, they are not able to preach, say not, thou knowest Christ and loues the Gospell, thou liest falslie. Whē throgh thy gredines thou art an hinderer to the ministrie, whom the Lord thrusts out, to be dispensators of the foode to the soules of men, thou hungerst the Gospell. When [Page 28] thou doest this, say not, thou louest Christ. Thou wilt say in that great day, Lord, where saw we thee hungring, where saw we thee naked, &c. But, the Lord then shall say, What euer thou did to the Ministers of the Gospell, thou did it to me, thou stayed the planting and progresse of the Gospell, throgh thy auarice. O sa­crilegious Abbot, Bishop, and Priour, and the rest of that rable, and ô ye rauening woolfes, that deuoures the teinds, to the pre­judice of the plantation of this ministry and Gospel, to the hung­ring of innumerable soules. Look to this matter and tak vp your selues, that the Lord meete you not in vengence, looke to this at this tyme, and with draw not the moyen whereby this Gospell may be propagated in the world. I speak no more of this matter. One day will show the trueth of these things.

Yet, ere I leaue the words. Marke, further. He is speaking of the godlie, that were persecuted, and he brings in the Lord Iesus rendring, and yet, he sayes not, he shall render vengence to them, that afflicted and troubled the godlie, he speaks not of them, that were afflicted. But, he sayes, to them, vvho obeyed not the Gospell of the Lord Iesus. So, he touches the groundes: persecution and troubling of the saints rises euer on this ground, rebellion to God, rebellion to Christ, no persecuter, but a rebell to God, a contem­ner of the Gospel of Christ, be is a contemner of God and Christ. And in the meane-tyme, with this, he comforts the persecuted Thessalonians, they shall not escape trouble, who hes troubled you, because the Lord hes his entrest. And therefore, assure the [...], if there were no other thing, but, this rebelling against God and Christ, of necessitie, vengence must follow. Trouble euer rises of misknowledge of God. What matter of men, in afflicting men, they [...]rebell against God, and that rebelling shall not escape punishment.

Now, in the next words, he commes more particularly to the vengence. To sca [...]se of these thinges oue [...] far, it is but vaine cu­riositie. Therefore, it is expedient, in these things, to [...]old fast the plaine words, that we alter not to the one side, nor, to the other. Curious spirites hes spoken much of this matter without any grounds. It might haue bene asked, What can this vengence be▪ He answers, and calles i [...] a perdition. Then, he cals it, euerlasting per­dition, and wrack of the creature. There are sundry sorts of ven­gences, [Page 29] all vengences are not the vtter wrack of the creature: for, many men after punishment will get vp their heads againe and come throgh, but▪ after this punishment, vtter wrack and perditi­on shall follow. A beast, when it dies and is feld, it is wracked; but, looke the nature of this wrack, it shall be euerlasting, a wrack without an end, a death without a death, a death that shall neuer haue an end, ay dying and neuer dead. So first, it shall be perdi­tion and an vtter wrack, and then, neuer shall haue an end. The ho [...]ling and vtter cry of the reprobat in Hell, [...] how dolorous is it? But, what matter of the extremity of it, if it had an end; but, alas, extremity without end of pain, how dolorous is it? Many wil ne­uer know this, till they be shot in Hel: Heauen and Hel is thoght mocking: Many wil neuer know, there is an Hel, vntil they feele it in experience. The Lord waken vs, that once we may think of this. Alas, there is such a stupiditie in the hart of man, that he can neuer beleue this. So, there the vengence, a perdition, and an end­lesse perdition.

Now, in one word. He resolues this particular vengence in the own grounds; there is, first, a perdition; then, an eternity of perdi­tion. In the next words, he lets you see the groundes, first, of per­dition, and then, of the eternitie thereof. As to the perdition it selfe, He sayes, it commes from the face of God. The wicked shall not see so soone the face of Iesus Christ the Iudge at that day, but, as soone they shall melt away, as the waxe at the fire; and as ye see the matter of melting is in the waxe it self; so, the matter of the melting of the wicked shall be in themselues. But, what matter, if it had an end. And therefore, next, he layes downe the ground of [...]rernitie [...]aine from the glory of the power of the infinite Iudge. The power of the glorious Iudge is eternall, infinit and endles; the power of man hes an end. He is a mighty monarch to day; but, to morrow euanishes; his power lasts not. But, the power of the lord Iesus shal neuer hauean end; and from once he begin to pu [...] the finger of his power on the soule of the wicked, they shall ne­uer be free of vengence. It is a terrible thing to fa [...]in the hands of an angry God; from once he grip thee, his hand shal neuer louse▪ his power indures euer, and therefore shall thy paine indure e­uer. So, ye that will thinke, an endlesse paine cannot be, lift vp your eyes and consider the eternitie of his power and infinitnes [Page 30] of God, and then ye may see the great and euerlasting vengence that he hes to be po [...]red on the wicked, and great and euerla­sting mercy on them that pertaines to him in Christ. The Lord giue vs eyes to see it, euen for his Christs sake. To whom with the Father and the holy Spirit be praise for euer.



[...]. THESSA. CHAP. 1. vers▪ 10. 11. 12.

10 When he shall come to be glorified in his Saints, and to be made marueilous in all them that beleue (because our testimony towar