THE CARNALL PROFESSOR. Discovering The wofull slavery of a man guided by the flesh. Distinguishing A true spirituall Christi­an that walkes close with God, from all Formalists in Religion, rotten hearted hypocrites, and empty powerlesse professors what­soever.

BY That faithfull Servant of Christ, Robert Bolton, B. D. late Preacher in North­hampton Shire.

LONDON, Printed for R. Dawlman, at the Bra­zen Serpent in Pauls Church­yard. 1634.


Christian Reader.

THe Father of all Spi­rits having takē this worthy Author to himselfe, pitty it were to entombe his labours in the grave of silence together with him; the rather considering how usefull a member he hath al­wayes beene to the Church of God, and what prosperous suc­cesse his endeavours have found in the hearts of Christians. The thing hee chiefly aimed at, was fruitfulnesse in the place where­in God had set him; which oft he enjoyed experiment of (to the cheering of his spirit) in no smal [Page] measure. It cut the very heart strings of his righteous soule, to see many dry & withered bran­ches (fit for nothing but the fire) cumbering the precious ground of the Almighties gar­den; and possessing the roome of more growing plants. Hee was wonderfull active in the cause of Christ, and desired as well to doe good as to be so, where e­ver hee came. It was not the least of his care, not to live unto himselfe: He knew he served a good Master, which made him studious of improving every ta­lent for the best advantage; wel may hee bee called good, that makes others far the better for his goodnesse: And indeed set­ting this aside, what hath the creature to commend him to God, or releeve his soule in any distresse?

Thou hast here in briefe the soule of man unbowelled before thine eye, and that masse of cor­ruption [Page] lodging in a carnall heart (together with its power and plague) discovered unto thee, wherein is plainely demon­strated the miserable condition of a man guided by the flesh, and the happinesse attending such as are led by Gods Spirit; as also the bitter conflict of these two opposite inmates in a belee­ving soule, with the meanes of victorie.

Our life is nothing but a dai­ly warfare, every moment wee are more or lesse to encounter with adversaries; Satan al­waies labours the destruction of the Saints, though his wayes to effect it are not one & the same; sometimes he inticeth men to sin by allurements, sometimes by vexing and disquieting their inward peace, at least he aimeth to make the life of a Christian uncomfortable by his manifold assaults; hee is vigilant to cor­rupt upon all occasions as he can [Page] espy opportunity, and will not cease to assaile, though he be o­vercome; when hee cannot pre­vaile by flatteries, he seekes by force and violence to overthrow the poore servants of Christ.

Amongst his many snares to entrappe our poo [...]e soules, this is not the meanest, that he la­bours to divide the kingdome a­gainst it selfe, and to use men as his instruments for their owne destruction; Satan well knowes that comming in his owne likenesse, he would seeme very odious and soone be resi­sted, therefore he maskes under a vaile of humility that he may the more securely withdraw us from our hold in God.

But we have a valiant lea­der, let us sticke unto him, even Iesus Christ the righteous, who is a Lion of the tribe of Iuda, a mighty Prince able to tread all our enemies under foot; well may Satan barke and roare but [Page] he can stir no further then God gives him liberty; he cannot tempt whom he will, nor when he will, nor how he will, with­out permissiō frō above; he may desire to sift us as wheat, but the Lord wil make choise of the temptation, and set bounds to our enemies malice, thus far you shall goe and no further.

If a child have his father by the hand, though he be in the darke, or sees any danger ap­proaching yet he feares no hurt; neither shal we be dismaid with any temptation, whilest by the eye of faith we see that invisi­ble one ready to support us; the chiefest strength of soldiers ly­eth in their captaine, who yet must fight for themselves and him, but our whole strength ly­eth in Christ, who by his Al­mighty power subdueth all things for us; of our selves wee have no ability to prevail against the strong one in the world, all [Page] our victories come from God; we are too weake to withstand the least temptation through our owne strength, but relying upon the Lord we shall be more than conquerors over the grea­test.

It had been much to be wi­shed that this holy man had sur­vived the publishing the residue of his worthy labours, that so they might have come more re­fined & polished into the worlds view, however, pitty it is that goodly childrē should be brought to the birth, and there perish for want of helpe to bring them forth. These things in their de­livery found much acceptance and wrought effectually in the hearts of many, who knowes whether a further blessing doth not yet attend them?

Deare Christian next unto the glory of God, thy good was chiefly aimed at in bringing this worke to light; be not therefore [Page] wanting to thy selfe, and thy soules blisse. Remember the day cannot alwayes last, the night will come, and thou know­est not how soone: This may be the last booke that ever thou shalt reade, and this the last houre that ever thou shalt spend here on earth; Oh use it consci­onably, and blesse God for any furtherance in thy way to happi­nesse. While thou hast the light beleeve in the light, and walke in the light, that then maist bee the child of light. Occasions are headlong, being once past, they cannot be recovered. The five foolish virgins came too late, and were shut out of hea­ven. Thy time is short, the art of well doing long: on this mo­ment depends eternity, of bles­sednesse if it be well, of misery if it be ill imployed. Hee that is not ready for God to day, will be lesse sit to morrow. It is no time to begin to live, when thou [Page] art ready to dye; then to seeke after heaven, when thou com­mest to thy Crutches; At length grow spiritually wise, let the best things have the best place in thee. It will be too late when thou art in hell to say, oh that I had been more religious and provided better for my soule; be exceedingly abased for thy former neglects; let it wound thy soule that thou settest out no sooner, and art yet no further in the race of godlines; get ground of thy corruptions now daily; count that a lost day, in which thou art not somewhat bettered, and labour for such infallible e­vidences of Gods love, that no reprobate under heavē [...] possi­bly attain unto▪ get such truth of grace in thy inner man as may distinguish thee from all out­side professors (meere empty caskes of Religion) and such as is not common to hypocrites, and castawayes together with [Page] thy selfe. To which end seri­ously peruse this following trea­tise, wherein thou shalt finde sufficiency of real worth to com­mend it selfe. Looke up to hea­ven for a blessing upon it, and desire the Lord to goe along with thee in it, and prosper the same for thy soules good, which he heartily desireth who rests,

Thine in the Lord Jesus, I. T.


ROM: 8. V. 13.‘For if yee live after the flesh ye shall die, but if through the Spirit, ye mortifie the deeds of the body, yee shall live.’

IN the Chapter going before, the Apostle ha­ving delivered the double use of the Law: first, the proper use to shew men the way to live, if in case they were able to ful­fill and keepe it: Secondly, [Page 2] the accidentall use by reason of Sinne, which is imployed in condemning us, by discovery of our trans­gression, to comfort the distressed heart of a poore sinner: hee describeth in the latter end of the for­mer Chapter a speciall meanes to shun this ine­vitable danger; namely, the righteousnes, obedience, and sufferings of Christ: And in this Chapter fur­ther enlargeth the same by way of confirmation unto the 5. verse. After which lest it might bee thought that a Christian may live as hee list, being freed from sinne by the me­rits of Christs death, or that a profane person should [Page 3] claime any interest in that blessed sacrifice of Christ, he further proveth by ma­ny pregnant reasons, that every Christian ought to endeavour after holines, that thereby hee may prove himselfe to be tru­ly ingrafted into Christ, by participating of the fruit of his Spirit, and that hee is in deed (and not in word only) a true Christi­an by his unblameable life and conversation, as the goldsmith is knowne by his costly peeces, or any mechanicall artificer by the works which his hāds accomplish.

In the verse I have read unto you, the Apostle concludeth very effectu­ally [Page 4] amongst the rest of his arguments, that wee must live according to the spirit, and not according to the flesh; seeing the one de­signeth and noteth unto us life, the other death, both most infallible to­kens of our future estate and condition: So that if any man or woman be de­sirous to know what shall betide them after this life, If any be desirous to know even the secrets of God▪ I mean his determi­nation as touching them­selves, their wives, their children, friends or foes after death, let them re­sort to the Holy Ghost spea­king in this place, and con­verse with their owne [Page 5] hearts, if they finde the quickning spirit but as a lively sparke raked up a­mongst the great heap of their owne corruptions, they shall assuredly live for ever. If they find one­ly meere flesh and blood to be their guide, then wo to them, they are in the state of Castawayes and lost creatures, be they Prince or Peere▪ noble or ignoble, rich or poore, there is no difference nor exception with God; and therefore they ought speedily to sue for their deliverance through favour by the Sonne of God, lest death prevent them to their e­verlasting misery.

But it may be these ti­tles [Page 6] of Flesh and Spirit are unknowne, or at least not observed through the sub­tlety of Sathan, thickning the eye of dexter and right discerning; & there­fore that we may through­ly kenne the flesh in de­spight of the flesh, and judge in the spirit of the spirit, let us for our furthe­rance herein consider these sixe profitable ob­servations.

  • 1. What Flesh is.
  • 2. What it is to live in the flesh.
  • 3. What that death is▪ which is here threat­ned as a just punish­ment to such as live after the flesh.
  • [Page 7] 4. What the Spirit is.
  • 5. What it is to mortifie the deeds of the flesh.
  • 6. What is meant when he saith they shal loue.

1. The word [Flesh]1 is sometimes taken for the body, as 2 Cor. 7. 1. Let us clense our selves from all filthinesse of the flesh and spi­rit; that is, of soule and body.

2. For the humane na­ture 2 of Christ,1 Pet. 3. 18 who was put to death concerning the flesh.

3. For this present life,3 If thou take a wife thou sin­nest not, 1 Cor. 7. neverthelesse such shal have trouble in the flesh.

4. For the outward as­pect 4 and appearance,Gal. 1. 13. Yee know how through the infir­mitie [Page 8] of the flesh I preached the Gospell.

5 5. For the ordinary course of nature, Gal. 4. 29. Hee that was borne after the flesh, &c.

6 6. For whole mankind, All flesh is grasse, &c. Esay 44. 7.

7. For naturall corrupti­on, and inclination of the mind, will, and affections to that which is against the Law, and so it is taken in this place.

The reason why the ho­ly Ghost termeth this na­turall corruption inherent in the soule as well as the body; by the name of flesh▪ Reas. is, because so strict is the Union betwixt the one and the other in an unre­generate man, that as a lo­ving [Page 9] couple they seeke the preservation of each others estate, and like Hy­pocrates twins, they laugh together, they weepe to­gether, and are alike af­fected: A bloody heart, and a bloody hand, a false heart and a false tongue, a lascivious mind, an a­dulterous eye; yea and which is more, so strange­ly sometimes is the soule overcome with the love of the body, that whereas by nature, reason should command (and rule the flesh▪ as the weaker vessell) the belly and backe so subtly insinuate and creep into favour with the un­derstanding, that as the foolish wife with her [Page 10] beauty and composed de­vices, over-ruleth her husband, though a man of understanding; So these importunat cravers never give over their suite unto reason, they make it a drudge to sensuality, and an attorney to sollicit the cause of meere grosse and carnall pleasure.

In consideration where­of (I meane because of this mutuall intercourse of the soule and the body in accomplishing of sin,) many learned Divines have made this a questi­on, Whether the soule bee first infected with the conta­gion of the body or no? but of that I will not stand, it being besides our pre­sent [Page 11] purpose, onely thus much I note, that there­fore the Holy Ghost na­meth the flesh to intimate the mutuall confederacy betwixt the soul & body of man, how that by rea­son of sin he is now wil­fully made a slave and vas­sall to fleshly desires.

And therefore likewise it may bee supposed that the Holy Ghost nameth the flesh onely, as a man that blameth the provo­king Wife for the lewd action done by her hus­band. For albeit, sinne ly­eth principally, in the soule as poyson in the teeth, yet it sheddeth and disperseth it selfe at his pleasure actually into the [Page 12] members of the body, of whom it is aptly accom­plished as occasion is of­fered. And as the whole toad is called a venomous creature because of some one part preserving poy­son, (the rest being capa­ble of the same virulent infection:) So the whole man is said to bee sinfull; not as if the body of it selfe, as it consisteth of bones & sinnewes and li­ving arteries can proper­ly bee said to be sinfull o­therwise then as the house is said to be wicked because of the wicked dwellers. Albeit I graunt as the serpent was a fit in­strument for the devil be­cause of his subtilty, so the [Page 13] body and all the parts thereof being corrupted, are become unto the wicked soule, as the con­venient tooles for the ar­tificer, or as a picklocke, or fitted weapon in the hand of a theefe, & there­fore Paul calleth them [...], Wea­pons of unrighteousnesse; or as a shrewish servant to an upright Master [...]; Servants to un­cleannesse.

For the soule sealing up every evill action with voluntary consent, may be said to bee the theefe and the body the receiver, both alike culpable be­fore God, seeing each in his nature & place hath [Page 14] stricken a stroke in the committing of sin.

That our whole man is naturally corrupt appeares by the verdict of God himselfe, who saith, that he is but flesh, Gen. 6. 3. a very heape, and lumpe, and bundle of iniquity.Genes▪ 8. The imagination of mans heart is evill from his youth, and so accordingly his whole disposition and estate even from his subsi­sting to th [...]s present. I know that in me (that is in my flesh, or nature) dwelleth no good, saith the A­postle. There is not so much as a thought of time betwixt a mans naturall being, and his sinfull be­ing. So soone as ever wee [Page 15] are borne, wee are borne sinners, being guilty of A­dams transgression before God, which is therefore called Originall sinne in re­gard of the auncientnesse of it, continuing eversince Adams fall, accompany­ing the nature of man from his very first being, and having the source and fountaine of all sinfull practises in it. Our first pa­rents being once corrupt, how could any cleane thing bee brought out of their filthinesse?John 3. 6. Of flesh nothing could bee borne but flesh; Adam begat chil­dren in his own likenesse; If the roote had beene holy so had the branches beene, but the tree being once [Page 14] [...] [Page 15] [...] [Page 16] corrupt the fruit could not chuse but be according.

How should this star­tle and affright the secure worldlings of our time? sawest thou ever a le­prous person whose body is bespred with sores and scabs: Such and a thou­sand times worse art thou in the sight of God. Knewest thou at any time a man in debt for some hundreds of pounds more than he is worth, for whom the Bayliffes and Serjeants lye in waite at every corner: see the sha­dow of thy own estate in him. A world of actions hath the Lord against thee, and his justice is rea­dy to attache thee, and [Page 17] seise upon thee every houre. Could we seriously thinke on this, it would make us unsatisfied in a­basing our selves, and cause us never to rest, till we have made our peace with God. Thou behol­dest abroad a vaine per­son, fairely set out to the eye, tricked and trimmed in the best fashion, and it may be thou knowest of some secret foule disease he hath, or of some great debt he is in: Dost thou not in thy thoughts now scorne such a one of folly; Dost thou not say to thy selfe, no marvell (sure) he should be so proud, that hath such a deale of filthi­nesse underneath his gay­nesse, [Page 18] that lies in every bodies debt, and owes more than hee is able to discharge. Turne this home to thine own soule and wonder as much at thy selfe that can bee so carelesse, so fearelesse, so presumptuous, when thy soule hath such neede of washing, and there are a­gainst thee such Bills of iniquity, and for ought thou knowest not yet blotted out before the Lord. Canst thou thinke well of thy selfe that hast by nature such a filthy soule? Oh bewail that spi­rituall thraldome where­in thou art plunged, com­mune wth thine own heart and say, Into what misery [Page 19] & bōdage have I brought my selfe? Thou Lord madest me holy, pure, and upright; but by sin I sold my selfe unto the service of Sathan, from which to this day, I cannot get de­liverance. My mind is blind, vaine, foolish, my will perverse and rebelli­ous, all my affections out of order, there is nothing whole or sound within me. Night and day I am pestered with sinfull mo­tions. The desires of my deceitfull heart bee so strong and prevailing, that I am carried head­long to that which is evil. The cursed earth is not so apt to bee overgrowne with weedes, bryers and [Page 20] thornes, as this soule of mine with lusts, passions, distempers, worldly cares and sinfull thoughts, the law of the flesh rebelleth against the law of my minde, and diffuseth its ve­nome into every action I performe, and carrieth me violently to the commit­ting of sin against know­ledge and conscience. The Gally-slaves condition is very hard and miserable, but mine is farre worse! No drudgery so base as the service of sinne. No Tyrant so cruell a [...] sinne, which allows no respite, or time of refreshing.Rom▪ 7. O miserable man that I am who shall deliuer me from this body of death? I have [Page 21] deepely defiled my selfe by transgression, but have no power to cleanse my heart O Lord. I have de­faced thine image, but cannot repuire it. I have yeelded the powers of my soule to the obedience of sinne, and now I would cast off that subjection, and breake those snares, I am altogether unsuffici­ent for it.Rō. 7. 21. When I would do well, evill is present, and I know no meanes to per­fect my desire. I want no strength to perfect that which is evill, and I am ready and apt upon all occasions to goe astray, but I am not able to doe any good, such is my fee­blenesse. I am invironed [Page 22] and beset with sinne on e­very side. Oh when shall I bee set at liberty, that I may runne the wayes of Gods commandements?

Hitherto of the phrase of speech used by the Ho­ly Ghost, namely, the flesh for the whole man body and Soule, the particular corruption of either: which that wee may shun as farre as wee may wee must learne to know thē in their speciall heads, that so with some certainty we may kenne our owne stepps and discerne our owne hearts whether we walke according to the flesh, yea or not.

Concerning the cor­ruption of the soule and [Page 23] first as touching the flesh­ly understanding.

As the fierce dragon bringeth not forth the innocent dove, or the roa­ring Lyon, the harmelesse sheepe; no more did A­dam in the state of his im­purity beget children su­table with his condition in the state of innocency, but having defiled the ho­linesse of his nature by eating the forbidden fruit (as a little levin levineth the whole lumpe so) he im­parted the same nature to his son, as most evident­ly appeared in Cain, and from him to all the rest of his posterity, even unto our selves, being all of us begotten in sin and con­ceived [Page 24] in iniquity.

So that whereas before the minde was endued with a perfect actuall knowledge of God, (so far as the humane nature may be supposed capable) yea and which is more, was enriched with power and ability of knowing more than as yet he had actually attained: Now as the cleere sunshine over­whelmed with a cloud; so is the minde of man o­vercast with palpable darknesse, being destitute not onely of all reall knowledg excepting that naturall knowledge he hath of God taught him by the creatures (which is rather a light and wave­ring [Page 25] opinion, thē a groun­ded and setled perswasi­on) but also of all ability, of attaining the true knowledge of God by a­ny faculty, vertue, in­dustry, or meanes what­soever inherent in him­selfe.

That the Mind is thus fast bolted up in the dun­geō of ignorāce appeareth plainly by the Apostle, which affirmeth,1 Cor. 2. 14. that the naturall man perceiveth not the things of God: and that The wisdome of the flesh is enmity against God. Rom▪ 7. 45. Nay, reason & experiēce mani­fests this truth, for as the birds behold not the things which betyde in the depths nor the fishes [Page 26] acquainted with the dwelling in the ayre: No more doth a poore natu­rall man go beyond the cōpass of his sense, or know further with any certainty then experience (the mi­stris of fooles) directeth him. And therefore how­soever by reasonable dis­course hee may gather as Paul speakes, The invisible things of God, Rom. 1. 19. as his eternall power and Godhead, from the consideration of the crea­tures, yet little or nought doth hee truely know either concerning God or his worship, as appea­reth by all ages, and nati­ons who have acknow­ledged as much, and yet every one have chosen a [Page 27] God of their owne ma­king, and worshipped him also in their owne man­ner.

Moreover, that man by nature hath disabled him­self & is become impotēt, indocible, and not capable of instruction, appeareth by the Apostle who affir­meth that we are not ( [...]) sufficient of our selves, 2 Cor. 3. 5. to thinke any thing as of our selves, but our sufficiency is of God, and therefore our Saviour Christ opened the understanding of his disci­ples that they might under­stand the Scripture. Luk. 24. 45 From hence it commeth that the pictures in the Church are as much affected▪ and taught by the Word, as [Page 28] the common sort of hea­rers, which areas a goodly company of images in a carvers shop, having eyes and▪ see not, eares and heare not, beholding the Preacher with outward re­verence & attention, and yet not able with all their wit and endeavour to per­ceive any thing that is spoken, if it contradict sense, or to conceive it, if it seeme impossible in na­ture.

It is observed in the Church of England, that many thousands have li­ved twenty yeares toge­ther under a preaching Minister, yea and that mi­nister sometimes very painefull and diligent in [Page 29] the discharge of his cal­ling; yet scarce a man a­mong them all able to give an account of his faith in any one article, o­therwise then hee hath learned it by roate out of his English Credo in De­um; or to give any testi­mony of his profiting more by the Word, then in the time of that Popish and blasphemous Idola­try. The reason whereof is, that [...] or, inability of nature before spoken of, through which he is as unable to conceive of the incarnation of the Sonne of God, the miraculous conce­ption of Christ, the spirituall regeneration of the faithful, the resurrection of the body, [Page 30] eternall glory, and the like; as an horse to flye in the ayre, or a dead man to rise out of the grave by his owne power. If your ap­prentice in tenne yeeres being actively taught, bee not able to attaine the mystery and science of his trade, you count him an asse or blockhead; why then may wee not terme the master an uncapable sot in the mysteries of God, which hath spent twenty or thirty yeeres in the knowledge thereof, Sabbath upon Sabbath, Sermon after Sermon, and yet like the mill wheele turning all the yeere, is yet in the same place where it was in the beginning.

[Page 31] It may be you will ask mee,Quest. what is this to the purpose, or at all concer­ning my text?

It is very materiall if you marke it:Answ. for you must know, that to bee fleshly minded, is not on­ly to be a whoremaster, or an adulterer, as the world imagineth; Oh say they, hee is a man given to the flesh, he is a bad liver, as if there were no fleshly cor­ruption but that; Yes be­loved, if thou be ignorant of God and his worship, walking after thine owne inventions, dead-hearted, secure, and carelesse, vaine in thy imaginations, contēt with thy naturall estate, &c. thou art as fleshly as [Page 32] the wretchedst whore­master, and as carnall as the most wicked liver, in Gods account: Remem­ber that flesh is here oppo­sed against Spirit; what­soever is not Spirit is flesh, and therefore ignorance is flesh, unlesse thou wilt blasphemously affirme that it hath his originall from the Spirit. Now as he that is desirous to seat in his minde the true frame of the body, must view it in an anatomy consisting of bones and sinewes: so he that would learne the true discripti­on of the body of sinne, must see it in his original, both in the minde, will, and affections, after this he [Page 33] shall easily perceive how by veines▪ it disperseth it selfe like a net over the whole soule, and distills into act both inward and outward, to the finall de­struction of the whole man. Thus much of the Understanding.

2. Concerning the Con­science.

In the next place wee are to consider of the Conscience, which is a part of the understanding in all reasonable crea­tures, determining in all particular actions either with or against a man. This in the state of inno­cency did onely excuse, to accuse is a defect in the Consciēce following the [Page 34] first Creation. Now the fleshy infection of the Conscience is the impurity thereof.Tit. 1. 15. Either it is dead, or living and stirring▪ The 1 dead conscience hath two degrees, either of slum­ber,What a dead con­science is. which doth not ac­cuse a man for his sinne unlesse it be capitall, and not for that alwayes, un­lesse in some grievous ca­lamity. 2 S [...]ared, which accuseth not for any sin, and this is compared in Scripture to that part of the body which is with­out sense, life, or motion, scared with an hot iron, 1. Tim▪ 4. this comes not to a man by na­ture, but by encrease of the corruption of his na­ture.

[Page 35] These two are caused 1. Chiefly through de­fect 1 of reason in all crazed braines. 2. Through the 2 strength of affections o­vercasting the minde and swallowing up judge­ment. 3. Ignorance of 3 Gods will and error in judgement.

The stirring Conscience, What a stirring conscience is. 1 which doth sensibly ei­ther accuse or excuse hath these differences. 1. To accuse men for doing evil. 2. To excuse for doing 2 well in some particular a­ctions; this being in a man without Christ, as also sinne, for all the ver­tues of carnall men are Splendida peccata, glistring or shining sinnes.

[Page 36] 3. Concerning Memo­ry.

As a loving father set­ting his sonne to schoole, giveth him a chest to locke up his bookes and whatsoever hee hath, of price and value, that hee may there preserve them till neede requires: So the Lord in the state of inno­cencie, revealing himselfe and his will unto man, gave him a good memory & strong treasury, wherein he might lay up whatsoe­ver his minde truely con­ceived, and fetch it again to bee meditated and thought upon as occasion was offered. But this also being tainted with the flesh in spirituall matters, [Page 37] will hold nothing; but be­ing already furnished with divers impressions of worldly matters, is no way able to embrace the principles of Gods truth, or to retaine that which may be his onely comfort longer then a dynt struck in the water; from whence it commeth that a carnall man entertaineth the word at one eare and letteth it out at another, his whole religion consi­sting in hearing, not bind­ing himselfe firmely and effectually to remember any thing, unlesse it be a matter which he thinketh either cleareth him in his sinne, as, God is mercifull, and, at what time soever a [Page 38] sinner repenteth: or else that toucheth his neigh­bour in the next seat, but as for the knowledge of God and his nature, a sa­ving faith in Christ, or the like, teach him every weeke, nay every day for the space of twenty yeers together, he will not re­member so much as a beast may bee taught in some active sleights in an houre. I know what I say, a dogge or horse may soo­ner be taught to remem­ber a toy whereof his na­ture is capable in one houre, then a meere na­turall man the true sub­stance of religion all the dayes of his life.

[Page 39] 4. Concerning the Will.

The former faculties of the soule are called spe­culative; there is another kinde called practicall, which are, the Will and af­fections, and these are ex­ercised in action, as the o­ther in Contemplation. The Will is the absolute Mo­narch in a man, and the Vnderstanding is his Coun­sellor. Now whereas be­fore the Will was counsel­led and guided by true reason and understanding and so was both able and willing to bee conforma­ble unto God▪ now it is both impotent (as was said of the understan­ding) not able in any sort to desire or will heaven­ly [Page 40] things,Phil. 2. 3. as also rebelleth against that which is good, and willeth that which is evill. And no marvaile, for if the under­standing, which should be the guide thereof bee grosse and carnall, the Wil cannot bee spirituall. It must needes bee a misera­ble State where the Prince wanteth wisdome, and the people due moderati­on.

5. Concerning the Affe­ctions.

The affections likewise which are divers disposi­tions of mans soule stirred up by diversity of objects, are more stained with fleshly corruption then a­ny other part of the crea­ture [Page 41] besides, which in re­gard of their violence, make a carnall person to be caryed like a mad man upon a wilde horse, so as he can neither stay him­selfe, nor bee staid by o­thers. Which fleshly cor­ruption consisteth in this, that they are moved unto contrary objects; for those which should bee stirred up by the evilnesse of an object to abhorre it, doe in that respect, embrace it and move towards it; and those which should bee moved by the goodnesse of an object to embrace it, doe in that respect abhor and shunne it. For which cause they may fitly bee compared to a bedlam, [Page 42] who rageth and raileth a­gainst his keeper, or unto a sicke body, which loa­thing that which would worke the cure, hanker­eth still after that which engendreth corruption and increaseth his disease. For example, whereas man should love God, and embrace each thing as incites ther­unto; contrariwise he ha­teth God and his Mini­sters, yea and embrāceth from his heart each thing which may most soundly and effectually kill and slay that affection in him, soft apparell, sweet meats, faire building, outward pompe, rich coffers, mer­ry company, sleepe, ease, (what if I say whores and [Page 43] harlots) these be his loves, these be his mistresses, these be his Paramours, and all these in a carnall man are like entising mi­nions, labouring to di­vorce his affection from his maker. You cannot love God and Mammon, Luke 15. God is a jealous husband, he will not communicate the pleasure that hee ta­keth in an honest heart, maryed to himselfe, unto any stranger.

Againe, whereas at the first, man joyed in the fruition of the presence and favour of God, in ser­ving and meditating of him and his workes; now he taketh no pleasure therein at all, but if by the [Page 44] Law, or for shame hee bee drawne to some spirituall exercise, nothing is more tedious unto him, his bo­dy is imprisoned in a seat, his minde walketh about all the while, either hee climbeth up unto one of the scaffolds, viewing his friends, defying his foes, or else is in his shop coun­ting his ware, plotting some bargaine, or the like.

Moreover, whereas we should bee sorrowfull for our sinne, we are sor­rowfull that wee cannot sinne, poverty, sickenesse, danger, prison, displeasure, strike us downe dead: but the poverty of the soule stript naked of Gods [Page 45] graces, the sicknesse of the minde, able neither to see nor know the Almigh­ty, grieveth us not at all. Whereas in the time of in­nocēcy man relyed himself upon God for an happy e­state, and gave credit to his promises; now though he protest and binde it with a solemne oath, no man beleeveth him; though hee hath sent his beloved Sonne from his owne bosome to ransome us out of our spirituall captivity, and left it for e­ver in perpetuall record, witnessed by men and An­gells, yet who regardeth it in his heart? or blesseth God in his soule for the same? Iesus Christ of Na­zareth [Page 46] the Carpenters sonne, was too base a fellow to gratifie the stately perso­nages of our times: No, the Gods of England shall deliver us, wit, learning, beauty, strength, friends, riches, nobility, sinne, Sa­than, this present world, any thing save Jesus Christ. So that hereby it is manifest that man is so farre from having affiance in God, that he is at defi­ance with him, refusing and renouncing his patro­nage and protection.

By this therfore which in cursory wise hath been uttered, you may easily perceive how fearefully this fleshly poyson hath dispersed it selfe, over our [Page 47] whole man, and made e­very faculty of soule and body swell with pride, and ambition against God; yea and like a mad dogge, to byte and snatch at every hand, even them of his owne nature. As a light Chariott drawn with wilde horses, and driven with a blinde man (wil­ling to give the raines whither soever the horses will runne) must needs be in great danger of shat­tering all to pieces; So the understanding being deprived of light, which should give notice to our blinde will, and wilde affe­ction, must needs in the end overthrow both soule and body, with the finall [Page 48] calamity of the whole man; unlesse the Lord give a better guide, and take the whip out of the hand of our corrupt will, and govern the affections & faculties of our soules, with the restraint of his saving Spirit.

[...], Originall sinne is an hereditary disease, which in time breakes out in whole mankinde, it is the match that dischar­geth the pealing pieces of all our infamous actions; It is the husband which begetteth on us his wife (the faculties of our soules and bodies) many bratts, many actuall transgressi­ons, as Paul notably alle­gorizeth;Rom. 7▪ which that I [Page 49] may more fully lay open and worke your hearts to a holy indignatiō against and detestation of, consider (but in a few par­ticulars) the many and great evils which accom­pany the same.

1. It is an universall 1 corruption, wholly strip­ping thee of all that righ­teousnesse and holinesse, wherein at first thou wert created, like a disease o­verspreading the whole man, filling thee with a generall pravity to all that is good, and a con­stant propensity to all that is evill.

2. It cleaves as fast to 2 thy nature, even as black­nesse to the skinne of an [Page 50] Ethiopian, which cannot possibly bee washed out; thou mayest loppe the branches, but the roote will never die, till thou expirest with it. As long as corne is in the field, it will have chaffe about it; so, as long as thou conti­nuest in this miserable world, the remnants of olde Adam will stil abide in thee: A man may as easily shake off the skinne from his backe, as ridde himselfe of this evill in­habitant, wee beare our snare with us, and carry our enemie about us where ever we goe.

3 3. Consider the great contagion and pestilentiall humour that followes [Page 51] this sinne, it derives ve­nome upon every action that comes from us. Sinne in the soule, is as poyson in the fountaine, that sheds infection into eve­ry performance wee take in hand.Rom. 7. Whensoever thou art going about any good, this evill will be pre­sent with thee. This is that which in thy prayers deads thy Zeale, humiliati­on and importunity with God, causing thee to rest in the worke done, never enquiring after the truth of thine owne heart, or Gods blessing thereupon. This is that which fills thy minde with impertinent thoughts, and wrong ends in religious duties. [Page 52] This is that which in thy calling makes thee so un­mindefull of God and his service, so froward, vain, and unprofitable in thy Christian course, ayming at nothing but thine own advantage.

4 4. Consider the tem­ptations that arise from this sinne, the daily and hourly solicitations wher­with it sets upon the soule, to withdraw it from good things, and incline it to evill. A man is tempted of his owne lusts▪ (saith S. Iames) when he is drawne away and entised. Iames 1. 14. If a man shoote an arrow against a rocke, it may be broken but can never enter; No more can Satans tempta­tions [Page 53] prevaile against the soule, without something within to give them ad­mittance; when he tem­pted Christ hee could not hurt him, because hee found nothing in him to receive his darts;Joh. 14. 30. but in us the flesh holds treacherous complyance with Sathan, and this wicked world, and is ready to let them in at every assault. Seede will never grow in any creature, without a womb to foster it; temptations may vexe, but they can­not defile us, without our owne sinfull entertaine­ment. It may grieve a chast woman to be solici­ted by base Ruffians, but it cannot corrupt her whiles [Page 54] shee retaines her chastity. If wee can keepe in our hearts from imbracing Sathans offers, and shew our distast of them, the sin is his then, & not ours: but here is the misery, Sathan knowes how our inclina­tion stands, hee searcheth out our dispositions, and thereunto frameth his temptations; therefore wee have great neede of spirituall wisdome, to ob­serve where wee lie most obnoxious, where Sathan doth most plant his for­ces, and ever to apply our strongest watch, our most importunate prayers to those gappes.

5 5. Consider the warre, and rebellion of this sinne, [Page 55] the flesh lusteth against the spirit, Gal. 5. 1 Pet. 2. and fleshly lusts warre against the soule, saith the Apostle; whilest wee are in this militant condition we shall have hourely ex­perience of this traytor in our bosomes. And this warre is not at a distance, but an intimate and close contrariety in the same part, the same soule that cōmands obedience doth it selfe resist it; in the same will there is a delight in the Law of God, and yet a counter-motion to the law of sinne; In the same heart singlenesse and sen­siblenesse of sinne, and yet much secret fraud and hardnesse in the appre­hension of wrath. In the [Page 56] same affections love of God and love of the world, feare of God, and feare of men, trust in God, and doubting of his favour.Mar. 9. 24. Lord I beleeve helpe thou mine unbeleefe, was the cry of the poore man in the Gospell, and such must be the complaint of the best of us. Lord I remember thee, helpe my forgetful­nesse; Lord I presse to­wards thee, helpe my weaknesse. Lord I rejoyce in thee, helpe my heavi­nesse. Lord I desire to have more communion with thee, help my strang­nesse. I am dull and dead hearted, doe thou quick­en me. I desire to please thee, helpe my failings; [Page 57] We must not only wrestle with God, by strong and importunate prayers, but with the lusts and fro­wardnesse of our owne hearts.

6. Consider the strength 6 and power of this sinne, to bring about what ever it hath projected for the advancement of Sathans kingdome,Rom. 6. it raignes like a King, and hath the strength of a law in our members, Rom. 7. 23 and a law with­out strength is no Law, for Lawes are made to binde and keepe men in order; therefore the wicked are called servants to sinne, Rom. 7. and the best of us all are cap­tives, that is, unwilling servants. So much flesh [Page 58] as remaines in any man, so much disability he hath to withstand sinne. The choisest vessell of mercy and most peculiar Saint of God, is no way able to keepe his standing as of himselfe, for this is cer­tain, that to be preserved from the strength of our owne lusts, wee have not onely use of the good graces which God hath given us already, but of a continuall support and underpropping. Grace in the best (here) is but like the putting of hot water into cold, which may bee warmed for a time, but yet presently returnes to its former temper, cold is predominant, however the [Page 59] preserving of fire under it keepes it hot for the pre­sent. It is not the Grace which any of us receive can overcome sinne in us, if God should there stop, and leave us to our selves, without a fresh supply; that which preserves us is his promise of never failing us of healing our back slidings, Heb. 13. 5. and following us with his mercy all our dayes. Hos. 14. For grace doth not onely pre­vent a wicked man to make him righteous, but followes him, lest hee be­come wicked againe.

7. Consider the inde­fatigablenesse 7 of this sinne, how unwearied it is in e­very mischiefe it sets a­bout. If we resist the devill, James 4. 7. [Page 60] hee will flye from us, but this fleshly heart of ours will never sound a retreat, it is like a wounded wolfe that runnes up and downe to doe mischiefe; a man that hath in some measure overcome his lusts, will bee farre more sensible of their stirrings and struglings, then another in whom they rule without disturbance. Sin is kindled by that which quencheth all other fires, and surely grace which ex­tinguisheth other tem­ptations doth occasionally enrage the flesh, though in regard of exercise and a­ctuall power it dye daily.

The reason is, because a thing in its proper mo­tion [Page 61] is never tyred; who ever knew the Sea give o­ver raging, or the streame grow weary of running? Now corrupt motions are as naturall to a man as the course of a river. Though there may be difficulty in fulfilling lusts, there can never be any in the rising and sprouting of lusts. It is no paines to conceive seede, though it bee to bring forth a birth; the longer any man lives in sinne, the sweeter it is to him.Eccles. 1. 8. The eye is not satisfi­ed with seeing, nor the eare with hearing; no more is a sinner with his deeds of darknesse, if he should live for ever, hee would sinne for ever. Evill comes out [Page 62] of the heart, as sparkles out of the fire, which ne­ver cease while the fire continues. Lust is like a furious rider, never wea­ry of the way, hee may have enough to load him, but can never have e­nough to weary him; he may quickly have enough to sinke him, but can ne­ver have enough to satis­fie him.

Lust it selfe growes never olde nor weary, when adultery in the heart hath worne out the body, so as it strength wi­thereth, yet even then it will finde a vent in a wan­ton eye, unchast speeches and thoughts full of un­cleanenesse. Though a [Page 63] man may weary himselfe in the acting sinne, yet lust is never satisfied in conceiving sinne.

Lastly, consider the 8 propagation of this sinne, which may well therefore be called an olde man, be­cause it dyes not, but pas­seth from one generation to another. A mans actu­all sinnes are personal, they both beginne and end in himselfe. But originall sinne is naturall, and there­fore together with our nature it passeth over to our posterity. It is an en­taile that can never be cut off, it hath held from A­dam, and so will continue to the worlds end. Every parent is the channell of [Page 64] death to his posterity. Adam diffused damnati­on to all mankinde. Nei­ther is it any wonder that from a cursed root, should proceed branches fit for nothing but the fire.

What a watch then should we keepe over our evill hearts,Vse what paines should we take by prayer and unweariednesse of spirit to suppresse this e­nemie? If there were any time wherein the flesh did sit still and sleepe, wherein the water did not runne and seeke for vent, wee might then les­sen our care, but since it is ever stirring in us, wee should bee ever stirring a­gainst it, using all meanes [Page 65] to diminish and abate the same. Since the heart is unwearied in evill, wee should not faint nor bee weary of well-doing. Since the heart is so abun­dant in evill, we should a­bound likewise in every good worke.

Retaine in thy freshest memory such quickening thoughts as these: If I commit this sinne, it will cost me unvaluably more heart-breake and spiritu­all smart, before I can pur­chase assurance of pardon and peace of conscience, then the sensuall pleasure is worth. If I never re­pent it will be the ruine of my soule for ever. When thou goest to buy [Page 66] a commodity, if the price be great, thou forbearest, and wilt thou venture up on sinne, knowing what it will cost thee? If Iudas had knowne as much be­fore he betrayed his Ma­ster, as now he feeles, hee would never have com­mitted that villany. Alas, thy soule is incomparably more worth then the whole world, and wilt thou for a little paltry pleasure of some base and rotten lust, which passeth away in the act, hazard the losse of so precious a jew­ell?

Doe not consider the smalnesse of thy sinnes, but the greatnesse of thy God, who is displeased [Page 67] with them. Mortificati­on is tedious, but heaven is sweete, men are con­tent to goe all day after their hawkes and hounds, enduring hunger and thirst, for a little pleasure not worth the enjoying, why then should wee re­fuse any labour for the obtaining so rich a re­ward?

In lust a man wearieth himselfe and hath no hope but here our labour is not in vaine in the Lord, wee shall reape if we faint not. A little glory in heaven, nay a little comfort in earth, will plentifully re­compense all our travaile and paines in this kinde. Looke not alwayes on [Page 68] Satans temptations, the worlds solicitations, and thine owne sinfull incli­nations, these as clogs will presse thee down and much dishearten thee in thy Christian course, but looke unto Iesus the author and finisher of thy faith, who will carry through al difficulties, and overcome sinne in thee by his grace; call therefore to him, hee is within the voice of thy prayers, and will come to strengthen thee.

2 How jealous ought Christians to bee over themselves, having so dangerous an enemy nigh unto them;Job 31. 1. Iob would not trust his eye without a covenant, nor David his [Page 69] mouth without a bridle, Psal. 39. so strangely & unexpected­ly will nature breake out. Vēture not on any tēpta­tion presumptuously; be not cōfident of any grace received so as to slacken your zeale.Gen. 39. Ioseph flung out and would not trust himselfe in the company of his Mistresse, compa­ny might easily have kin­dled concupiscence, and a little of Sathans blowing might have caried the fire from one stick to another. David would have no wicked thing to abide in his sight, Psal. 101. hee knew how full of ill humours his heart was, how apt to catch e­very infection that came neere it, and therefore [Page 70] tooke speciall care to de­cline the very objects and examples of sin. When men thinke there is least danger, then the danger is greatest; sinne and Sa­than are ever watching their opportunities, which is, when wee watch not. Security will rust us, un­doe us, and eate out all that good is in our soules, if any thing will awaken the dead and drowsie heart of man, it is some vexing sin or other.

Me thinkes the consi­deration of this thorne in our flesh, Vse 3. (which we daily carry about us) should much humble and a­base our spirits; Alas, how long have we lived [Page 71] in an empty fruitlesse manner, barren of grace and goodnesse, spending our precious dayes in fol­ly and vanity, dedicating the flower of our age to sinne and Sathan? How oft have we despised mer­cy, and cast the precepts of the Almighty behinde our backes? What little growth in holinesse have wee? What little im­provement in the wayes of God? How much wea­rinesse and revolting of heart? How evill and un­profitable in regard of the meanes we have enjoyed, and what we might have beene? How many no­torious visible sinnes hast thou committed, to [Page 72] the scandall of the Gospel and the wounding of thine owne soule? How should the consciousnesse of this humble thee in se­cret before God?

Brethren, think of this, the more vile any man is in his owne eyes, the more precious he is in Gods. And the best way to bring a man to a base esteeme of himselfe, is to reflect his thoughts seri­ously upon his owne e­state, to view himselfe in his naturall condition; There is no good, so truly good but his heart abhors it; No evill so extreame­ly wicked, but there is an inclinablenesse in him to embrace it; no servant so [Page 73] ready to doe his masters will, as hee is to doe the workes of the devill, no rebell so desperately ad­verse to his lawfull sove­raigne, as hee is to God. Oh that men were truely sensible of their carnall condition.

The want of this, is the cause of all that security and deadnesse of spirit, which seares up the heart of many thousands of people. This makes so little care of being saved. Hence it is that the Gos­pell preached is so smally reckoned of, the name of Christ is no more preci­ous, the word of grace no more honoured, the pro­mise of salvation no more [Page 74] laid hold on, and hear­kened after, the threat­nings of hell no more stood in feare of then they bee; it is indeed one and not the smallest part of our native wretched­nesse, that our eyes are so holden with selfe-love that wee cannot perceive our misery, nay, wee are pleased with it, and think it a peece of our happi­nesse to continue in it. Wee have not onely no disposition to goe from it, but which is worse, a strong desire to remaine still therein. Where is the man that truely discernes he is lost and undone, that sensibly groanes under the weight and burthen [Page 75] of sinne, that cryes out with the Leaper, I am un­cleane, I am uncleane, I have not in me by nature so much as a graine of goodnesse, I am a very lumpe of corruption, I am an enemy to God, and to my owne soule: I can­not so much as frame a thought tending to the furtherance of my best good, Every thing I med­dle with, is defiled by me, the very earth is weary to beare me, and according to the kinde thereof, both it, and all the creatures complaine to God against me, I am a burthen to the times and places wherein I live, every man I con­verse with is the worse [Page 76] for mee, &c.

Lastly, to prevent sur­prisalls by this cruell ene­my, study his policies be­fore hand; for howsoever the strength of the flesh be very great, yet the policy thereof doth farre exceed it: for being not a pro­fessed enemy, but a secret traitor, it is more exerci­sed in cunning undermi­ning of our safety, with subtle slights, and poli­tique stratagems, then in assaulting us after an o­pen and hostile manner. Sathan cannot deceive us unlesse our owne flesh assi­sting him, doe first de­ceive us. The danger whereof is so much the greater, because it is so [Page 77] deep and disguised, that it can hardly be discovered and found out: it displayes not its colours in open field, but lyes hid in secret ambushments, min­gling it selfe with our owne forces, and making a shew of simplicity, and sincerity, when there is nothing but craft and, de­ceit in it, perswading us that we are nothing so e­vill and corrupt as indeed wee are, and that those good things which wee seeme to have are of farre more excellency then in truth they bee, that our little mite is a great treasu­ry, that we are in an hap­py and blessed condition, whereas wee were never [Page 78] neerer unto death and de­struction; that surely God loves us because we pro­sper in the world, and live civilly and quietly a­mongst our neighbours, wronging no man, that so much zeale and strictnesse is more then neede, that the best have their fai­lings, that great sinnes are very small ones, and little sinnes are none at all, &c.

Infinite are the wind­ings and labyrinths of the heart of man, the coun­sells and projects of this flesh of ours to establish the kingdome of sinne in it selfe: What man is there who will not out­wardly seeme to spit at Sathan, and defie his [Page 79] workes of darknesse, and yet what man is there in whose bosome secretly Sa­tā doth not plot & devise wicked enterprises. The more time a man spends to make himself acquain­ted with himselfe, and begs of God to reveale the hidden corruption of his evill nature to him, the more abhorrency and condemnation will hee have of himselfe, and the more adoration and won­derment, at the infinite mercy of God, that hee is not consumed; when once a man hath his evil wayes discovered to him by Gods spirit, he will be a­based and confounded in his owne sight. It is no­thing [Page 80] but ignorance that keepes men in pride. If to bee wise to doe evill, and foolish to doe good, if to plead for sinne and Sa­than, If to receive good parts and abilities from God, and to fight against him with the same, bee matters to be boasted of, then there is a great crop of pride in every mans nature, else wee must all conclude that hee which gloryeth in any thing meerely in himselfe, hath chosen nothing to glory in but his owne shame. Alas, the best of our wise­dome is but sensuall and devillish, fleshly deceit as the Scripture speakes, a man may bee very wise, [Page 81] and yet imploy the same upon nothing but mis­chiefe.

You have heard the li­neaments of originall cor­ruption, which in the wis­dome of the Holy Ghost is called flesh. Now as a body infected with the plague, doth not present­ly complaine, or shew the disease till afterward: So this venome in children lyeth lurking, and work­eth not till the faculties of the soule are prettily well hatched up, and then like a charmed cup it fumeth up into the braine, and fills it with idle thoughts; it enchanteth the consci­ence, invenometh the af­fections, and maketh the [Page 82] heart like a tipling house, full fraught with ruffian-like passions Such strange and totall disorder, such contention betwixt the heart and the conscience, such raging in the affecti­ons, such desperate unru­linesse in the will, such er­ror and staggering in the understanding; that a man may well be compared to a rude family consisting of treacherous servants, al false and idle, of equall au­thority, being subject to none, but Lords of them­selves.

Vnderstanding directed by the law of nature, at­tempteth to advise, the will saith shee will not yeelde, but doe as shee [Page 83] lists; Affections prevaile with Will, and overcast judgement. Conscience cry­eth out upon them all, and threatneth the Law: Faire spoken pleasure en­treateth it to be quiet, and that all villany may bee cōmitted without check. Lust by degrees entreat­eth the will to put out the candle and light of know­ledge; then when igno­rance, as dark as hell, hath invaded and overshadow­ed the whole man, the minions of Venus court may walke dismasked without kenning; adulte­ry, fornication, uncleane­nesse, wantonnesse, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, debate, envy, murther, drunken­nesse, [Page 84] gluttony, &c. and the whole Crew of fleshly workes may creepe out of the heart,Gal. 5. like the serpent and her brood in the night, or as the Graecians out of the Trojan horse, and goe hand in hand securely and without re­proofe, seeing Conscience being drowsie, through the strong wine of volup­tuousnesse is laid asleepe, and therefore will not a­waken unlesse the sins be too great and pricke him sore; or els dead & feared, being deprived of under­standing, as the body of vitall spirits, which should quicken and direct her in both her actions of testi­mony and judgement.

[Page 85] The whole man is full of disorder; trust not therefore any of thy members alone without making a covenant with it.Iob 31. 1. If thou hast occasion to use thine eye, take heed unto it, it is full of the seeds of adultery, pride, en­vy, covetousnesse, there are lusts of the eye. If to use thy tongue, set a doore be­fore thy lips, there is an hell within thee that can set it all on fire,James 3. 6. and fill it with rotten and stinking communication.Psal 39. 1. If to use thy hands or feete, watch carefully, for there are seeds of more sins, theft, bribery, murther, unclean­nesse in them, then there are joynts and sinewes in [Page 86] those members. Origi­nall sinne is an universall corruption, it makes us all over flesh, the minde a fleshly minde, the will a fleshly will, the affecti­ons and lusts all fleshly, so that it is more difficult to roote out this one sinne, then to overcome many actuall transgressions.

That man or woman therefore of what estate or degree soever they be, noble, or ignoble, bond or free, which are not transformed by the renew­ing of their minds, Rom. 12. 2. but have their hearts full fraught with unbeliefe, and igno­rance; whose Consciences are benummed, or dead, not able to accuse, or (if [Page 87] to accuse) yet not able to excuse through the righ­teousnesse of Christ: They whose wills are perverse and immeasurably unruly, not subject and confor­mable to the will of God; whose affections are like to the Camelion, ready to turne themselves upon e­very object, into any e­state, except that which is holy: Lastly, those whose bodies are the har­dy executioners of every wicked practise, given out in charge by these corrupt guides (the facul­ties of the soule) they most assuredly without all contradiction, walke and live as yet after the flesh.

If therefore thou artVse. [Page 88] desirous to know in par­ticular, whosoever thou art in this present assem­bly, whether thou be car­nall or no, enquire of the word of God, what thou art by nature in all the parts of soule and body, how unapt and uncapa­ble of all holinesse, how prone and disposed unto all manner of wicked­nesse.

Secondly, examine thy thoughts, how thou hast conceived of God and his incomprehensible nature, how acute and sharpe sighted in his wayes. Hearken to thy conscience, (if thou hast any) and heare it speake, or if thou hast none at all, so set it [Page 89] downe in thy examinati­on. Summon thy will and affections also, to be tryed by the same word; if thou perceivest no difference in these from the com­mon estate of most men, no alteration from former times, it is suspitious thou art carnall. But if thou finde by the guide of the word (by the word I say, for thou being blind canst not see where thou art) that yet thou remainest ignorant, and still walking in thy erroneous and pre­sumptuous course, both towards God and men, if thou finde in thy minde these or the like thoughts:

That there is no God.1

No providence, or 2 [Page 90] presence of God.

3 If thou thinkest thy selfe safe from all perill, and art rocked asleepe by the tempest of other mens judgements.

4 If thou thinkest thy selfe a very wise man and farre exceeding others.

5 If in deede, notwith­standing thy outward ho­linesse, thou thinkest the Gospell and the sufferings of Christ to be meer foo­lishnesse.

6 If thou thinkest per­versly and basely of them that worship God truely.

7 If thou thinkest death wil not come yet, nor yet, and so livest as if thou hadst made a covenant with the grave.

[Page 91] If thou thinkest God is 8 as man, that he will par­don thee howsoever thou livest, and that the punish­ment of hell may easily be shunned.

If thou thinkest the 9 day of judgement to bee far off.

And upon these cor­rupt imaginations, not onely findest checke (for that may be performed in some men by the light of nature, enforcing the con­science to accuse thee, yet thou never the neerer) but also no positive thoughts utterly opposit, but rather growest reso­lute therein, cōmitting all to thy will and affections to conclude of thy spiri­tuall [Page 92] estate. If thy minde be full of vanity, wasting it selfe in childish and un­profitable notions, slippe­ry & unstable in all good matters, full of ignorance and darknesse, so as thou seekest not after God in the way where he will be found, full of curiosity, foo­lish and impertinent que­stions, full of pride and contradiction against the word of truth, having fleshly reasonings against the spirit of God, full of carnall wisdome, humane inventions, methods of its own to serve God, and come to happinesse by, thou mayest then assure thy selfe, thy minde is meere flesh, thou being [Page 93] dead in thy understand­ing through the vanity, impotency andignorance thereof.


If thy conscience (which God hath placed as a sen­tinell or watchman in thee to observe thy dea­lings) be full of impurity, and disobedience, full of dead, rotten and unsavory workes, full of false and absurd excusations. If it be either so be nummed, and insensible, that it will not accuse (unlesse it bee for murther, adultery, the every or such like grosse offences) or dead as a limbe taken with a gan­grene, [Page 94] that it cannot ac­cuse at all; Or if it have life, yet if it apply it selfe corruptly, as to acquit thee for doing evill, or to condemne thee and hang thee up for doing good, fearing thee where no feare is, then hath the flesh prevailed over thy conscience, and thou art wholly carnall.


Further, if thy memory be so decayed, that if one would give thee a thou­sand pounds, thou art not able to imprint the do­ctrine of salvation were it never so oftē taught thee, and yet able upon a spee­dy rehearsall to repeat a [Page 95] tale of an houre long, with every circumstance concerning any thing done in such a Kings daies or reported to be done, as the tale of Robin Whood, Guy of Warwick, and I know not what paltery stuffe, thou maist assure thy selfe, that flesh also is the guide of thy memory, and that it is voide of all holinesse. For as clay will not cleave to iron or brasse; So the fleshly me­mory will retaine no spi­rituall memorandum, but that which is fleshly, a­greeing with his nature, and therefore the story of Gods will offered to the memory is like to quick-silver powred upon a [Page 96] plaine table which never resteth running and dis­persing it selfe till it bee harboured in a concavity fit to retain its substance: So the principles of Chri­stian science will not stay in a carnall memory no more then an honest man in a brothell Inne or Ale-house; and therefore no marvell that they light at the foregate, and take horse at the postern, come in at one eare and out at another.


Moreover, if thy will be full of loathing, and aversation, so as it cannot endure to heare or see a­ny [Page 97] thing that is good, but pluckes in the shoulder, and casts it behinde the backe: If it be full of en­mity against holinesse, slighting and neglecting the best things: If it bee full of obstinacy against religious courses, thwar­ting and crossing the strict wayes of God: If full of disability to any good, so as it cannot hearken nor bee subject to the Law of God, but rebells against his blessed truth: If thou art resolute to commit the wicked purposes of thy heart, stout and stub­borne against admoniti­on, turning the deafe eare to the preaching of Gods word, loath to intermed­dle [Page 98] with matters of the Spirit, but willing to ful­fill the lusts of the flesh, having thy hand in every impious action, with this imperious style, sic volo, sic jubeo, I will and com­mand it to bee so, not re­specting whether the thing bee crooked or straight, right or wrong, good or bad; then is thy will meerely carnall, and doth dominere like a blinde King, or ignorant Pilot sitting at the sterne of the whole man, and yet not skilled in one starre, nor knowing one point of the card, nor respecting the Compasse, nor regar­ding the point of the dia­mond, but downe the ri­ver [Page 99] with the full saile of affections, and tempests of sudden passions, no re­gard to the country whi­ther wee saile, no respect of the hidden rockes, no consideration of fearefull gulfes, no casting of an­chor, no notice of the Climate, &c. no marvell then if blinde will make in the end a sudden and fearefull shipwracke both of soule and body.


To conclude, if in thy heart, as in a cage, thou finde the uncleane birds of adultery and for­nication, the viper of malice, and cockatrice of envy, the hydra of cove­tousnesse consisting of [Page 100] many heads, having in their fronts the super­scriptions of thee very, vi­olence, perjury, murther, and idolatry: If in thy heart thou find infidelity, security, pride, confidence in the creature, &c.

If it bee full of hardnes, so as no sinnes, no judge­ments, no hopes, no feares, no promises, no instructions are able to awaken and melt the same: If it bee full of impotency, not altered by the invitations and in­treaties of God to returne unto him: not perswaded by the fruitlessenesse of all sinnefull lusts to forsake them: If it be full of fol­ly and madnesse, so as all [Page 101] the creatures in the world are not able to cure it, full of infidelity ready to de­part from the living God, under-valuing his preci­ous promises, and mistru­sting his power, full of pollution and uncleane­nesse, full of unsearchable deceit and wickednesse, a very forge and mint wherein all manner of sinnes are framed in secret purposes and desires, from whence they spring forth into life and action, then is thy heart also nothing but flesh, & thy whole man nothing but rottennesse and corruption.

If it bee asked here­in, how I distinguish betwixt the Elect and the [Page 102] Reprobate, for albeit Gods children bee purged through the blood of Christ, yea and the force of sinne in some measure weakened in them,Ephes. 4. 23 and inherent sanctity begun in all the parts of their soules by the holy Ghost even in this life; yet flesh­ly corruption is still har­boured, and the roote of every sinne remaines in the best, putting forth the hemlocke of a wicked practice in their Christian course.

I answer, yet can they not be said to live accord­ing to the flesh, seeing the substance as it were and principall tenour of their lives is directed accord­ing [Page 103] to the Spirit. As the aire in the dawning of the day is not wholly so dark nor wholly so light as at night and noone day: So is the estate of the rege­nerate, not all flesh, as the wicked, nor all Spirit as them that are glorified, but partly flesh and partly spirit, grace and corruption, not severall in place, but in reason to be distingui­shed: yea the flesh is more in measure than the spirit, and therefore Paul calls the Corinthians, other­wise justified and sanctifi­ed, yet carnall, 2 Cor. 3. 1 Rom. 8. and we are said to receive but the first fruits of the Spirit whilest we are here. Notwith­standing for all this, such [Page 104] is the power of the Spirit, that albeit it be small like David, yet it is able ordi­narily to prevaile against that uncircumcised Phili­stim the flesh. And further it is of such inestimable vertue, that as one graine of muske giveth a stron­ger perfume than many o­ther grosse smells: So doth that sweeten all our actions in the nostrils of God. And as a man albe­it all the parts of his body be dead, so that he nei­ther knowes nor sees, nor can speake, yet if he have any life in a corner of his heart, any breath, or any motion remaining, none will be so hard hearted as to pull him out of his bed [Page 105] and bury him as a dead man: So although in this life we have many a dead palsie; many a dint, many a dry buffet by the hand of Sathan; yet so long as the breath of God is in us and we keepe the truth of the spirit, like the star of a diamond, it will cause us to shine in this darknes of our corruption, and like an antidote, preserve us against eternall death.

A word of application to two sorts, and I pro­ceed.

First,Vse. 1. to the Ministers of Gods word, let mee speake my thoughts with griefe of heart: Such is the universall impiety of this decayed age, so ap­parent [Page 102] [...] [Page 103] [...] [Page 104] [...] [Page 105] [...] [Page 106] to the spiritual eye so weighty in the hand of him that wisely ponder­eth it, that I feare me the Lord is neere, and the day of visitation approacheth. Is it not a strange thing to consider our Ministers, how ignorant, how arro­gant, how dissolute and carelesse many of them are? (to omit the empty caske the idoll minister) what strange children doth our mother the U­niversitie nourish in her bosome, how wanton, how unbroken, proud, and licencious? Theologie a science of living well and blessedly for ever, is made a stepping stone to promotion, a matter of [Page 107] disputation and idle spe­culation, and the meere stuffe wherewithall to make a sermon: Practice and obedience is com­mended to the people, but as for the Clerke that be­longs not to him. It is well if hee reprove sinne soundly in the pulpit, though he be utterly dis­solute in his owne person: Beloved, to speake accor­ding to the spirit, and yet live after the flesh, is an in­fallible note of an hypo­crite; let men make what they can of it. Not that I byte the faithfull shep­heards of Gods flocke in any place whatsoever seated in this our Church, so farre is it from mee to [Page 108] touch the Lords annointed, or to harme his Prophets: But the licencious prea­cher is the man I taxe, as being the shame and dis­credit of the Lords Mini­stery.

As concerning the people,Vse 2. to undertake to single out all the fleshly and carnall professors of the Gospell, were to num­ber the drops of the great Ocean, to tell the starres, and to cypher the sands of the sea shore: The sonnes of Adam have so covered the earth, that a righteous man is scarce to be found, a man that in­deede warreth against the flesh, grieveth at the times, and sigheth for [Page 109] our sins. Are there not ma­ny among us which be­ginne in the Spirit and end in the flesh? that faint in the race and embrace the world? hot in the be­ginning, key-cold in the ending, stayning their names and defiling their soules? I speake of the better sort which (as it seemes) thinke the Lord too long a comming, and therefore will fall too, and stay no longer. Is it not a grievous thing to behold many an ancient in Israel to be so sowly o­verseene, as to sell their birthright for a messe of pottage, their God for a peece of bread, and the unspeakable peace of a [Page 110] good conscience for out­ward peace, liberty and freedome?

Where is the spirit of Paul become, which e­steemed all things as dung and drosse to winne Christ? Phil. 3. 8. Are wee yet children, to bee woonne with a toy, and lost with a trifle; are we no more faithfull in our love towards God then to prostitute our selves at the entisings of the world, and to become a fitmate for every fleshly companion? Christ pro­nounceth them blessed that hunger and thirst after righ­teousnesse, Mat. 5. not they that hunger and thirst after good cheere, gay apparell, faire houses, outward pompe, [Page 111] and fleshly vanities. Christ forbiddeth us to love the world, or the things of the world, because the fashion thereof passeth away; and yet how many have pligh­ted their hearts to the world, as if it were the onely good and true feli­city. O fearefull times, O fleshly corruptions, O the lamentable estate of this our land and country. Is there never a watch­man to discover this dan­ger? Or prophet left to bewaile our transgressi­ons? The gappe is great who can stand in it! The breach is like the brea­king out of the Seas, and the noise of our sinnes like the roaring of many [Page 112] waters: The atheisme and the hypocrisie of our land, her pride, covetous­nesse, and adultery, shall justifie the spirituall whoredome of Spaine and other Countryes which never injoyed those meanes, and mercies as we have done. Oh how that outward peace and abundance which wee have had lulled us asleepe in sinfull security!

Wee goe to Church, pray,Quest. and heare, I hope that is sufficient.

YeaAnsw. (enough indeed to one whose stomacke is scarce able to digest that) but where is the man that in all the wayes of his or­dinary calling labours to [Page 113] walke in obedience and feare of God, to carry al­wayes the affection of a servant, as considering he is doing the Lords work? That consecrates and san­ctifies all his courses by prayer, that beggeth strength, presence, and supplies of the spirit from God, to lead him in the wayes which he ought to goe, and to preserve him from those snares and temptations, which in his calling he is exposed un­to? That is carefull to re­deeme all his precious time, and to make every houre of his life comfort­able and beneficiall to himselfe and others? where is the man whose [Page 114] particular calling doth not trench and encroach upon his generall calling, the duties which he owes to God? That spares suf­ficient time to humble him to study Gods will, to acquaint himselfe with the Lord, and keepe a constāt communion with his God? Nay, that doth not steale from the Lords owne day, to speake his owne words, to ripen and set forward his owne or his friends advantages? where is the man whose heart is ready prest to o­bey every of Gods Com­mandements as well as a­ny of them? That cleaves to Christ and his blessed truth, when they goe alone [Page 115] severed from all outward credit, pleasure and profit whatsoever? where is the man that denies him­selfe in his most beloved sinnes, that beares wrongs and injuries patiently, that is willing to be tram­pled upon, and to bee set light by, for the cause of Christ, and the testimony of a good conscience? Ah fearefull times, what last and worse age of the world is this we are fallen into? Kill and slay, whore and taverne, sweare and game, revell and rout, live as wee list, doe any thing, so it be done man­fully, warily, and with the minde of a gentle­man, who dares controll [Page 116] it? Yes heare what the Spirit saith, Yee shall die.

But I am free from any grosse enormity,Obiect. happily some small sinnes may cleave to my nature, but these I cannot avoid nor shake off so long as I con­tinue in this earthly ta­bernacle.

True it is,Answ. that haynous sinnes are more terrible, because they waste and destroy the conscience at once, and cast men into hell with headlong fury: but little sinnes unrepen­ted of are no lesse dange­rous, seeing they cause a consumption of piety, & bring men by degrees to eternall condemnation. Doe but gather the least [Page 117] things together, and they will make a great heape. Drops are but small, yet they fill great Rivers; though thou lightly estee­mest them, while thou dost weigh them, yet feare when thou beginnest to number them. Though thou contemnest small sinnes, yet feare the great punishment which at­tends them; Doth not e­very sinne by prevaricati­on, dishonour the Lord, how dares then a sinner call any sinne small? A lit­tle thing is little, but yet faithfulnesse or unfaithful­nesse in a little, is a great matter.Acts 5. Ananyas and Sap­phira told but a lye, and were presently strucke [Page 118] dead in the place in a fear­full manner. Vzzah put forth his hand but to stay the Arke, and was smitten with sudden death. Wee must not consider what wee have done, but how great hee is whom wee have offēded. It is not the least thing in mans life, to neglect such things as seeme to bee least, and I know not concerning what faults wee may bee secure, seeing we must be judged even for sinnes of ignorance, and give an ac­count of our idle words and thoughts. The lesse discernable a vice is, the greater care wee should have to avoid it. Wee soone come to the sight [Page 119] of great sinnes, and so to repentance for them, whereas wee persist and goe on in the lesser with­out controule. It is good therefore to take heed of the least, as though they were the greatest; for so much the more easily shal we abstaine from any of­fence, by how much the more wee are afraid of committing it: that man seldome falls fowly, that is fearefull of falling at all; sinne is Satans livery, which who so ever wil­lingly weares, acknow­ledgeth his soveraignty, and their owne servitude. Though the most sancti­fied men have still their imperfections and frailties, [Page 120] yet to live in the least of­fence against knowledge and conscience, is an evi­dent signe wee are in the devils bondage, for hee that truely hates one sin, will hate all of the kinde. There is not any sin com­mitted but leaves a poy­son in the soule behinde it. If the gate be set open the enemy will soone en­ter in. Witnesse the many experiences of Gods children, who winking at smaller sinnes, have beene plunged into greater. If once thou givest leave to thy corrupt affections to play their parts, thou shalt hardly make them give over. Little sinnes usher great ones and [Page 121] bring them into the closet of thy heart. How dares then a sinner call any sin small, when as the Sonne of God gave his life for it, above which nothing in the world can bee estee­med?

The holy Ghost uses the future tense here, Yee shall die, to intimate thus much, that albeit for a season the theater of ini­quity is much frequented, the actors favoured with great applause, and every carnall man playeth his part with grace, to the admiration of the behol­ders, although the wages bee not paid so soone as the worke is done, nor the dislike which God hath [Page 122] of sinners declared pre­sently by the execution of his feareful judgement upon them, yet shall they escape no more then a beast taken in a trappe, or the prisoner included in a strong tower. When the Lord shall come in the clouds with his holy An­gels, the assises shall bee kept in the aire, the priso­ners of the earth, not­withstanding their boa­sting among their fellows shall all be arraigned be­fore him, and then shall ensue the verdict of the conscience upon them, e­ven that fearefull sen­tence of death,Mat. 25. Goe ye cur­sed into everlasting fire pre­pared for the devill and [...] [Page 123] angells. This may teach us to give small credit to the glittering face and flattering countenance of outward things. Let us cheere our selves never so much in our youth, and walke forth-right in the wayes of our owne hearts, and sight of our owne eyes, yet for all that God shall bring us to iudgement. Eccles. 11. The waters are deepest where they are stillest, upon a hot gload there followeth a violent storme; the ter­rors of Gods wrath shall assault the wicked man, as a sudden tempest, and carry him away by night. Job 27.

In this one word Yee shall die, is contained the infinite volumne of all [Page 124] misery; the great Ocean of all sorrow, it being an Epitome of mans future calamity. Did a man cer­tainely know that hee should lose all his goods, friends, honor, and credit, if hee committed this or that particular action. I suppose he would shrinke from doing it. If the adul­terer should know that he was watched, and that one behinde the doore stands ready with a pol­axe to choppe off one of his legges or armes, mee thinkes the feare of that mischiefe should bee too strong for his bruitish af­fections, and conquer his lustfull passions. If the drunkard should know, [Page 125] that in such a taverne whither he usually goeth posting with his cup com­panions, there standeth in one of the drinking pla­ces a man with a pistoll charged with white pow­der of purpose to shoote him through; I imagine how gladly hee would leave his wine and sugar and betake himselfe to his heeles, yea and ac­count him his friend that would push him over the threshold and thrust the doore after him. And this not without reason; for as a man would bee willing to give all that he hath, yea and to lose some of his limbes to redeeme his life. (Skinne for skinne [Page 126] and all that a man hath will be give for his life)Job 2. So will hee be contented to deny his pleasures, and profits, if in case they prejudice that; unlesse it bee those, wherein the temerarious rashnesse of affection pre­venteth reason, and enfor­ceth the body to commit the action before the minde hath given any counsell.

Now if reason can thus prevaile against corrupt passions when hurt is in­tended against the body, why should it not much more perswade the under­standing, conscience, and will to endeavour them­selves against fleshly cor­ruptions, which are per­nicious [Page 127] to the soule, and not onely temporall, but eternall death to the whole man.

By death, in this place is understood, not the first but the second death, as appeareth plainely by the antithesis and opposition of eternall happinesse a­gainst this everlasting death and misery: And so it is taken in many places of scripture:Rev. 2. 11. Hee that overcommeth shall not be hurt of the second death. Rev. 21. 18 The fearefull and unbelee­ving, &c. shall have their part in the lake which burn­eth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. What need many proofes as if every scripture were [Page 128] not given by divine inspi­ration? Here wee see the Tragedy, that must follow the pleasant Comedy of worldly joyes, and the hard reckoning that is gi­ven after all the junkets of fleshly pleasure.

If you aske mee what this death is,Quest. I thus define it?

When the aforesaid ig­norant and unconsciona­ble wretch hath played his pageants in City and Countrey,Answ. upon the scaff­fold of this present earth, and perhaps hath gotten him wealth, wife and children, builded a faire house, borne office in the parishwhere he dwelleth, purchased much land, en­grossed [Page 129] sundry commodi­ties, and mounted upon the proud foaming steede of all stumbling vanity; of a sodaine, when hee most wisheth and hopeth to live; as a fish taken with a hooke, or a bird with the snare, he shall bee entrap­ped with death: His flesh­ly body shall be cast into the earth for a time, and his soule into the bot­tomeless pit of hell.

Now after that the soule and body hath for a certain season made their abode in the said places of the grave and hell, as a Malefactor in the prison untill the Law day; then shall they by the unspeak­able power of God be u­nited [Page 130] again into one man, at the voice of an Archan­gell and trumpet of God,1 Thes. 4. 16. and be summoned toge­ther with the rest of the dead to make their ap­pearance before the Al­mighty, to heare that fearefull sentence of con­demnation pronounced against them. Depart from mee yee cursed, Mat. 25. &c. This is the truth which the Lord hath spoken; let all flesh cover their faces, lay their hands on their mouthes, and stand agast hereat. Mocke not at Gods judgements as com­monly thou doest at the devil in a play. It is fearful jesting with thy maker, or playing the foole with [Page 131] edged tooles.

If further you demand what shall be the state of this creature,Quest. thus cursed of God and condemned to death?

I answer,Answ. if men may bee deceived in judging of the creature subject to sense, and outward being; much more hardly are they able to conceive of things invisible, and made purposely of God in his wisdome to exceede the apprehension of any crea­ture. For which cause as the ioyes celestiall doe farre surpasse all earthly melo­dy (and therefore cannot be conceived truely, be­cause man wanteth a cleer spectacle wherein to be­hold [Page 132] them) So the sor­rowes of everlasting, tor­ment being transcendent, all the glasse of humane misery cannot be suffici­ent in full conceit to ex­presse it, or come neere it, neither can it be knowne of any fleshly creature, saving onely of such as feele it.

Yet least any man here­in should be utterly igno­rant, and so waxe secure, esteeming death eternall as a poeticall fury or viz­zard to be playd withall, thereby fearfully deroga­ting from Gods power, wis­dome, and glory in inflicting justice; the holy Ghost hath given us some secret items concerning this [Page 133] point, and slightly, in com­parison runne it over, as a Painter with a little white lead drawing forth the great Elephant; not so much teaching us what it is, as what indeed it is not.

The first thing touch­ing 1 this matter to be con­sidered briefly, is, the sepa­ration of these carnall men before spoken of, from the presence and glory of God; whose com­munion, as it is the head and heart of all felicity, so to bee deprived of his fa­vourable presence is the very summe of all misery. For as a grievous malefa­ctor once in favour with his Prince, bound in chains [Page 134] of iron, hung up on the top of an hill, debarred of all mortall helpe, set apart to be consumed with fa­mine night and day, filleth the hils and dales with his restlesse moanes, and stay­eth the most speedy pas­sengers with the hollow cryes of his extreme mise­ry. Or as a Princes daugh­ter set on shoare by a per­fidious shipman, where is nought but trees and wil­dernesse, lyons, beares, and antilopps, debarred of all comfort, within the hea­ring of the groveling dens, compassed about with seas: So and much more fearefull is the state of that man whosoever he be, that is banished from [Page 135] the presence of God in regard of the graces of the spirit, which are the infallible pledges of his love and favour, however he enjoyeth ma­ny outward good things, as the stranger in a Prin­ces Court may make him selfe glad with his wine, though altogether un­knowne, or at least with­out any speciall notice ta­ken of him by the Prince.

But when God shall 1. strip him of all temporall blessings, as riches, honor, health, wealth, friends, peace, &c.

2. When he shall make himselfe knowne to his blinde soule with a more manifest and apparant re­semblance [Page 136] of his glory in justice, declaring the de­testation hee hath of his supposed knowledge, his unconscionable consci­ence, his devillish wil and corrupt affections.

3. When hee shall first shut the doore upon him that leadeth unto life, and then also for ever cast him out of his presence, as a man that throws a toad or serpent out of his garden, and that into the place of everlasting tormēt (Lord) what tongue can expresse, or heart conceive the hea­vy estate of this forlorne or abject creature? To be out of favor with a Prince is much, but to be out of favour with God, who can [Page 137] abide it? There is no man living unlesse he be despe­rate, but either hee think­eth himself high in Gods favour, and therefore is still peaceable within himselfe, or else is posses­sed with such a spirit of slumber, that the faculty of due pondering the pre­tiousnesse of Gods pre­sence is taken from him; as in a drūkard wch neither regardeth his frendnor his foe, but when the drinke shall be out of his head, as at the departure of his soul, then shall hee strike his knees together, & his heart shall bee cold as a stone; like that of Nabal, when the feast was past, and hee had heard the [Page 138] judgement denounced: then shall hee open his eyes as the man which hath beene blind from his birth, and behold the ven­geance of God upon him.

By the Presence of God in this place I doe not un­derstand a bare locall re­sidence with God:Job 1. so Sa­than may stand before God; neither can any thing created go from his presence, hee being in hea­ven, Psal. 139. in hell, and in all places: but by his Presence I un­derstand as the holy Ghost teacheth me, the comfort, the joy and blisse which betydeth the Creature through his presence. Now what the losse here­of may be, I leave to thy [Page 139] owne heart: and yet it be­ing fleshly, may happily err, or not esteem so high­ly as the thing requi­reth. To helpe thee in a word; Adam after his of­fence fled from Gods pre­sence, and the Lord ratifi­ed it, for indeed hee cast him out of the garden where hee had communi­on and fellowship with God, yet so, that hee left him certaine signes and tokens of his former dig­nity both spirituall and temporall in soul and bo­dy: from whence it com­meth that wee his chil­dren doe yet retain some resemblance of our for­mer happinesse, though our holinesse is quite lost: [Page 140] We have Lordship over all the creatures, wee are fed with the fruits of the earth, we have some cōli­nesse of person, and im­pression of majesty, beyōd the beasts, yea we have a smack of God: And in politicall matters, yet preserve some slender and slight footings of his wis­dome and providence: the King ruleth, the peo­ple obey: the heaven, the earth, and the stars yeelde themselves according to the will of the Creator, propitious unto man, hee enjoyeth their light, their influences, their fruits, & sundry commodities: And all this because man (albe­it out of the garden of E­den [Page 141] the place of delight, yet) is still as long as hee liveth in the Cookes gar­den: being thrust (as it were) out of a most plea­sant parlour, where God appeared in glory, into a more obscure place of lesse communion with him.

Now when the first death commeth as a sore­runner to the last judge­ment, man is deprived in an instant, of all preten­ded comforts and out­ward favours, and plung­ed into an infinite depth of woe and bottomlesse gulph of wrathfull mise­ry, his body strangely al­tered, being severed from his soule which gave it [Page 142] both life and reason, yea and deprived of all earth­ly succour excepting a ditch in the earth to pre­serve his bones and Cin­ders unto the time of the resurrection. All which (marke it) by the decree of the just Judge of hea­ven, shall for ever be de­prived of all shew of fa­vour, or the least drop of mercy, and be exiled the Courts of the Almighty, world without end.

Here the Kings of the earth shall bee degraded, the Lords and Ladies of the Court abashed, and each rich & stately person utterly disherited of all his substance.

To bee out of favour [Page 143] with the world is trouble­some to weake flesh, but to bee discountenanced with God, this is the Oce­an of all misery: Every creature then beholdeth with a threatning face, the heavens lower, the earth frownes, and withdraw themselves from our com­fort. For as hee that lo­seth the good will of the Master, loseth also the heart of the true and tru­sty servant; So he that is once discountenanced with God, all creatures in heaven and earth make head against him. Oh that our great landed men (as wee call them) which have seated them­selves for ever (as they [Page 144] suppose) would consider of this tragicall ruine; they are so shamefully be­guiled with the compo­sed countenance of the harlot voluptuousnesse, the strength of pleasure, ari­sing from worldly wealth hath so dispossessed them of their wits, that they rave in the pride of their hearts, not considering their latter end. Out beg­gar, I scorne thee, my land is worth three hun­dred pounds by the yeer, and wilt thou presume to keepe mee company, &c. Ah consider that thou art carnall, and livest accor­ding to the flesh, and therefore must dye. All outward things shall for­sake [Page 145] thee, thy wealth and credit, thy pastime and acquaintance, all shall bee abandoned, God himselfe will strippe thee of these robes, and clothe thee with shame for ever; In vaine doest thou presume of mercy, thou caryest the bagge for a season, but it shall one day bee rent from thy side, and God shall bee glorified in lea­ving thee naked.

The second thing to 2 bee considered is that great reproach which shall seise on the carnall man after this life, by rea­son of the cleere revea­ling of all his hidden sinnes.

Little Children abide in [Page 146] him, 1 Joh. 2. 18. that when hee shall ap­peare we may be bold, and not be ashamed before him at his comming. If a man come and publish a hidden crime, we are ready with our action to cleere our honesty, and defend our reputation by challenging the benefit of the law, in a case not sufficiently pro­ved against us. But at this time the skirts of thy pol­lution shall be discovered before the sun, and though thou wipest thy mouth (like the harlot which Solomon describeth) yet thy sinne shall be written in great Characters in thy forhead, so as hee that runnes may read thy chambering and wantonnesse, thy whore­dome [Page 147] and uncleannesse, thy theevery and oppres­sion, yea all thy cradle sinnes, which never yet were set on foot, (thy wicked and abominable thoughts I meane) which lye lurking in thy heart as in a denne, not daring to come abroad, for feare of losing thy credit. Oh the fearefull reproach ensu­ing hereupon, when ma­ny a sober man and vertu­ous matron, so falsely e­steemed of in the world, shall have their vizzards pluckt downe from their faces, the ulcer of their hearts launced, and all the buried corruptions of their childhood, of their youth, and riper age, [Page 148] plainely before men and Angels, Saints and blessed Spirits, devills and repro­bates laid open, to their eternall shame. Imagine that thou being a man of great credit and esteeme, shouldest have all the va­nities of thy heart, where­unto thy conscience gi­veth testimony, and all the night practises of thy youth commēced against thee, even in the high Court of Parliament, be­fore thy Prince and no­bles, how couldst thou shew thy face? Now thou pluckest thy garment a­bout thee to cover thy shame, but then thou shalt bee stript naked and un­clothed, to the reproach [Page 149] of thy selfe and thy whole family: now thou shel­terest thy iniquity in a closset or secret chamber from the eyes of him that cannot pierce the walls: then shalt thou stand be­fore the face of the hea­vens, in the presence of him whose eyes are as a flaming fire, knowing the secrets of thy parlour and polluted bed, thy words, thy thoughts, the place, time and every circum­stance of thy sinne: Now thou overlayest the drosse of thy heart with a guild­ed outside of joy and me­riment, but then the Lord shall blow upon the paint of thy face, thy withered deformity shall then bee [Page 150] espyed: now like Ierobo­ams wife, thou disguisest thy selfe with pretended holinesse; but at that time the Lord shall defeate thee, and display thy hy­pocrisie.

To conclude, what cau­seth a man having one foote on the earth, and a­nother in the grave, halfe dead and halfe alive, to acknowledge some capi­tall sinne, which in his health hee would not for all the world? The Lord will make thine owne conscience impeach thy selfe, and discover thy transgressions: Thou thinkest not so, so thought Iudas, but as then with him, so also with thee, [Page 151] the case will cleane be al­tered.

The third appendix of 3 their death, is their socie­ty with the devill and his angells; Mat. 25. we ac­count it a fearefull thing to see a Spectrum or diabo­licall delusion, and so it is to our weake nature; but to be really present with Sathan world without end, a companion in tor­ment, what earthly man can abide it. To bee in a prison full of Murtherers, it is horrible, but in that bottomelesse pit with thousands of condemned spirits abject and forlorne creatures, a heavy heare­ing. The theefe before he bee attached and cary­ed [Page 152] to the gaole, perhaps he frequenteth the house of many a worthy person. It is not thy stocke and kindred, thy pompe and outward bravery that will serve thy turne when thou art arrested with death, all the world will not be of sufficient credit to baile thee. Thinke se­riously of this and lay it to heart: To bee taken out of the fields of plea­sure, and to bee throwne into the dungeon of hell, there to bee guided with that cursed crew is no je­sting-matter; Oh that all carnall livers of our age would cōsider hereof; no doubt it would somewhat restraine them in their [Page 153] wilfull course, and gash their hearts amidst their pleasures. O that that the curious and nice women that cannot abide the noise of a canon, or the sudden flashing of fire, could ponder the misery whereunto they are born, namely to▪ dwell in dark­nesse with those blasphe­mous spirits world with­out end. In the night season or in a darke place, thou art ready to runne a­way at the sight of a sha­dow, or at the reciprocall imagination of thy owne thought, upon the noise of a Scritch owle▪ or the like; and thinkest thou that thou canst abide the sight, nay the company, [Page 154] and continuall familiarity of that hellish Cave? The Lord give thee a heart to consider of this fearefull horror before it betide thee, and to goe out of thy selfe to behold the strange change which is wrought by the grave and sepulchre.

4 The fourth is, the in­credible horror and di­stresse of consciēce which the carnall liver sustain­eth by the sense and fee­ling of the whole wrath of God powred upon him for ever. They shall goe forth and looke upon the car­kases▪ of men which have transgressed against me, Esay 66. for their worme shall not die, nei­ther shall their fire bee quen­ched, [Page 155] and they shall be an ab­horring to all flesh. In re­spect whereof the punish­ment of the damned is likened in holy Scripture to fire, Rev. 22. 8. to a Worme, Mat. 13. to gna­shing of teeth, to utter dark­nesse and the like. Not as if these were sufficient to describe it, for what can declare the depth of that which hath no bottome; but onely by these most fearefull creatures in a su­perficiall manner to pro­portion that which no­thing favoureth. For as the joyes of heaven are un­speakable; So are also the torments of hell, and ther­fore why doth my barba­rous tongue endeavour to decipher them? Deare [Page 156] Christian, esteeme of my words not as the full size of the thing it selfe, but as a slight picture, or a briefe draught of that unuttera­ble volumne of all misery. I am not able possibly herein to shew the myste­ry of this wonderfull worke made by the Lord, of purpose to set forth his glory in justice. Yet to helpe thy consideration, which is nothing serious in regard of the thing (I speake it also to the shame of my selfe) I would faine imprint some conceit hereof in my heart, that might make way to a se­cond thought.

Wee esteeme horror of Conscience a matter of [Page 157] great importance, because the most of us in these fearefull times▪ are posses­sed with secure hearts and benummed spirits. But when conscience shall once be throughly wake­ned, like a wilde beast it will then shew his fiery eyes, and take thee by the throat. No torment of tenne thousand tyrants like unto it. Doe but re­member in what feare and dread sometimes thou seemest to be, when in a sleepe or vision, a glimpse of hell flashings are presented unto thee, oh how thou strivest and strugglest, how thou cry­est and ravest with paine? Nay, how glad art thou [Page 158] thou awakest and findest it to bee but a dreame, how thou tellest thy friend as much as thou canst, (but alas, nothing in respect of what thou feltest) what thinkest thou this to be? Certaine­ly the groveling of the Conscience, stirred up by Sathan of purpose to o­verwhelme the godly, to solicite to despaire, and in the wicked to torment them before their time; yet in respect of God, a most friendly admonition for by this a man is suffe­red in a vision to see and feele the torment of hell, to know the price of Christs blood, to labour by all meanes possibly to [Page 159] make sure his election. In the wicked also it hath this use. I could never have thought it possible for a mortall man to have beene capable of that measure of distresse, had not the Lord in his mer­cy, for the further subdu­ing also of my bedlame flesh, suffered mee some­times to behold and feele the flashings of hell through his grace, causing me as a child to be stilled by the view of fearefull beasts. If then in a dream, or in a mans life time there may bee such an in­credible horror, that it may cause the eyes to stare, the tongue to rave, the haire to stand an end: [Page 160] How much more hideous will it be when really and in deede with perfect knowledge & sense broad waking, we shall feele the strokes of the Almighty, the terrours of God shall lay hold of us. In con­sideration whereof, in the name of God, as you ten­der your eternall welfare, enter into the exami­nation of your selves, and discerne of your estates whether they bee carnall or no; cry out for the spi­rit, you heare what the Holy Ghost saith, If you walke after the flesh, ye shall dye, How strangely doth the sentence of Corporall death appall a man though pronounced by a wretch [Page 161] like himselfe, and shall not the doome of death e­ternall, given out by the Holy Ghost at all astonish you?

Oh let not Sathan har­den your hearts, resist the devill, and he will flye from thee: It is a Commande­ment and a promise; What faire warnings doth God give unto men by himselfe and Ministers, by the mo­tions of his Spirit, and checkes of our conscien­ces from time to time, and shall we bee so voide of grace as to make our selves a booty for Sathan, to stand still while he de­prives us of our lives and soules and all? Me thinks reason should something [Page 162] prevaile with us in things so neerely concerning our best good: But alas, a hardened heart like Pha­raohs, a flint, an adamant, a marble spirit: no admo­nition will serve its turn, where grace is wanting, no impression takes any roote: Men will make triall and then beleeve. A feareful experience this is, thou maist first try in an earthly cause and then be warned; but from hell thou canst not returne. Remember Dives, credit not the multitude, Olde Tophet is wide and large, humble thy selfe there­fore betime, and repent of thy grievous sinnes.

[...]. But if ye morti­fie: [Page 163] As before the Apo­stle described an infallible token of death; so here he proceedeth to shew in like manner a teckmerion or a certaine signe of life, and that is the killing and slay­ing of sinne, which is called Mortification. 1 Cor. 15. For as seed which thou sowest is not quickened before it die: or, this corruptible body glorifi­ed before it be for a season dead and buried: So nei­ther is the new man [...]ra­med in us, which accor­ding to God is created in righteousnesse and true holinesse, untill the olde man bee wounded and laid for dead in us; which like a gyant standeth up to expell and oppose the [Page 164] prosters and meanes of all holinesse.

And this is the cause that the holy Ghost ma­keth mention onely of this weakning of the force of sin, through the death and buriall of Christ, not excluding the other part of sanctification, which is vivification, What vivi­fication is. viz. a vertue flowing from the resurrecti­on of Christ, causing us also to rise to newnesse of life. It were to small purpose to bring place upon place to prove that, which through the whole booke of God is so cleerely apparant.Rom. 6. How shall we that are dead to sin live yet therein? Gal. 5. They that are Christs have cruci­fied the flesh with the affecti­ons [Page 165] and lusts thereof. What can be plainer than this? As the Physitian first pur­geth before hee giveth a restorative, so every one that shall be saved hereaf­ter, must first receive an allayer of his corruption here; he must first be laun­ced before he can be hea­led.

You may know the bo­dy of sinne in all his par­ticular members, by that which hath beene spoken touching the Flesh. Let e­very man & woman here present examine himselfe from top to toe what cure is wrought by the spirit in his soul, whether the king­dome of sinne and Sathan be demolished and weak­ned, [Page 166] and the Kingdome of Jesus Christ advanced and built up in him; whe­ther corruption dyes, and grace lives in his heart, I beseech you deale faith­fully with your owne soules, and answer me di­rectly to these interroga­tories. Are thy words which heretofore have beene full of prophane­nesse and worldlinesse, now directed to Gods glo­ry, and the good of those among whom thou li­vest? Are thy thoughts which heretofore were loose and ungodly, now bounded within a sacred compasse, and spent whol­ly on heavenly things? Is thy understanding infor­med [Page 167] of the mysteries of Christs Kingdome? Is thy memory which here­tofore hath beene stuffed with trash and toyes, now capable and greedy of di­vine knowledge? Doest thou order every passage of thy life, by direction out of Gods word? Art thou inwardly consciona­ble in the performance of holy duties? Doth the ten­dernesse of thy cōscience smite thee, not onely for grosse and open sinnes, but even for vaine cogi­tations, and the least ap­pearance of any evill? Art thou watchful against all occasions and tempta­tions of sinne? Doest thou feele thy selfe grow [Page 168] and increase in the wayes of holinesse? Hast thou such a gracious taste of the glory of God, and e­ternall life, that thou desi­rest to meete thy Saviour in the clouds, not so much to be rid out of the mise­ries of this life, as to bee freed from the heavy bur­then of sin which hangs so fast upon thee? In a word, doest thou so judge of things now, as thou wouldest doe hereafter, when thy soule is best a­ble to judge, as in the houre of death, and the day of distresse? Doest thou approve of things as they further thy last ac­count? as they commend thee more or lesse unto [Page 169] God, and will bring true peace or sorow to thy soul at last and no otherwise; then blessed and happy is thy condition, and know this for the comfort of thy soule, that thou art dearely beloved of God, yea his peculiar one, and precious in his eyes; Sa­than and all the powers of darknesse are fast chai­ned up for ever doing thee any hurt; Thou shalt never more bee afraid of evill tidings, though the earth be moved, and the mountaines fall into the midst of the Sea, yet thy heart shall abide strong and comfortable; I dare boldly pronounce that God is reconciled unto [Page 170] thee, and that his sweete love which never chan­geth hath seized on thy soule.

What will it availe a man to say he is rich (like the bragging Laodicean) and yet be extreame mise­rable, Revel. 3. poore and naked? what will it further any of us to say we feele the decaying of sinne, when as the Kingdome of Sa­than still flourisheth in us? Away with this glozing and deceitfull dealing, hy­pocriticall holinesse, is worse then professed wic­kednesse; this, it is so o­dious in Gods eyes that hee will plague those in whom it ruleth, with his severest judgments, those [Page 171] very good workes where­in the hypocrite seemeth to make hast to heaven, cary him post to hell. No­thing brings the soule more into a generall con­sumption then this sinne; it deprives a man of true peace of conscience, har­dens his heart, and fills him with such inward perplexity that hee dares not looke God in the face with any comfort.

The deeds of the body.

The meaning of the 2 holy Ghost is not, that wee should cut off the out­ward acts of sinne onely (like many a dissembling hypocrite which hath the gift of restraining his af­fections that they breake [Page 172] not out) but that wee should kill sinne at the heart and in the cradle, then shall wee make sure worke and never hereaf­ter stand in feare. The next way to drench the conduit, is to dry up the fountaine: In vaine dost thou loppe sinne unlesse it be deprived of its master roote. It may be thou wilt say, that is a thing impos­sible. Indeed to thee which art wholly evill it is, marke therefore what followeth.

[...]. By the Spirit: This is that little David which taketh the Goliah of our corrupt nature and choppeth off his head: this is hee that bringeth [Page 173] light out of darknesse, life out of death, which shi­neth as a starre through the watry clouds of hu­mane infirmitie.

As there bee divers ac­ceptations of the word flesh, so also of the Spirit; sometimes it is taken for the soule, sometimes for naturall reason; but that is not here meant. To omit all other constructions, the word Spirit in this place is taken for that cre­ated quality of holinesse which by the holy Ghost is so wrought in the minde, will and affections of a man whereby the power and force of sin comes to be a­bated, & the faculty of ho­lines & inherēt sanctity is [Page 174] renewed in us.

But why doth the A­postle say if yee mortifie, Quest. is it in our power to deprive sinne of its life and be­ing?

It pleaseth God to speake of things,Answ. as done by us, when as indeed they are wrought in us. Such is his fatherly wise­dome that oft he ascribeth those things to us, which hee himselfe secretly effe­cteth. Wee mortifie the deeds of the body, but it is by the spirits helpe: the strength to subdue sinne is put into us from hea­ven. Wee are as able to shake the foundation of the earth with our little finger, as to shake our sin [Page 175] by our owne strength. Nature will not slay our lusts, it must be the Spirit of Christ: corrupt nature labours by all meanes to preserve its owne being.

Hee that goes among Lions must needs be torne in pieces; sinnes are Lions and will soone destroy us, if God help us not. Mor­tification of sinne is possi­ble, through the Spirits assistance, otherwise im­possible. When therefore thou feelest pride, cove­tousnesse, lust, growing up­on thee, looke for power from above or else thou art undone. Pray in the words of Iehosaphat, 2 Chro. 20 Lord there is no strength in mee to stand against these sinnes, [Page 176] neither doe I know what to doe, but mine eyes are to­wards thee. Alas, how are we overcome of evill, whereas we should over­come evill with good; we shake at the very noyse of temptation, and give in presently, wee have power over our eyes, tongues or thoughts, but let sinne passe in and out at pleasure: All which shews how nothing wee are in our selves, Sathan and the world are too strong for us, standing in our owne might, but by leaning on the power of God we re­maine invincible, what­soever inordinatenesse a true Christian espies, hee presently endeavours the [Page 177] killing through the effica­cy of Christ. Indeed pas­sions are not so bridled, nor corruptions so quel­led, that they doe not stir, but the force and power of them is so farre subdu­ed, that they shall not raigne, or hale us ordina­rily to that which is euill. Hast thou been long kept under by some customa­ry vice, against which thou hast resolved, and re­solved, but canst not pre­vaile? Get thee to Christ by the help of his Spirit, thou shalt get victory o­ver all thy infirmities. Die to thy selfe, renounce the broken reede of thine owne freewill, which hath so often deceived [Page 178] thee, and put all thy trust in the grace of Christ, that will crucifie thy olde man and give him his deaths wound, be weake in thy selfe, and strong in the Lord, and through his might thou shalt be more than conquerour. As faith encreases, the power of corruption will decay and languish; this fires the heart with such an un­quenchable love to God, that in comparison of o­bedience, it contemneth the whole world besides. It puts into us both cou­rage and constancy, to fight against the strongest lusts, and set upon the practise of the most diffi­cult duties, notwithstan­ding [Page 179] all opposition from the world and devill; yea though wee have beene foyled, or taken the re­pulse. Hee will not feare the subduing of the most head-strong passion, who resteth upon God for power and abilitie: nor bee dismayed because once hee hath received a foyle, who depends upon God for strength to reco­ver: nor dread the might of his greatest adversary, who knowes that God will bee at his right hand to sustaine him, nor start aside in the most difficult dutie, whose heart is fast linked unto the Lord, and relyeth upon his grace to be enabled to whatsoever [Page 180] he is pleased to call him. In the affaires of this life we love to excell, and out­strip others: and in mat­ters of Religion to bee dead and lumpish, is it not abominable? would we raigne with the Saints hereafter, and not labour with them now? receive the price and not runne the race? divide the spoile and not fight the battle? The Merchant undertakes dangerous ad­ventures to raise his e­state; yet alas what is the gold of India to the joyes of heaven? a fading pos­session to an eternall weight of glory?

When once we discern what love the Lord bea­reth [Page 181] to us, we cannot but returne love for love; when a man considers, hath Christ given him­selfe for mee, forgiven me so many debts, confer­red favours of all kindes upon mee, what then shal I retribute to him againe? O my soule, why doest thou not resigne thy selfe to the pleasure of his will in every thing, run when he calleth, and doe what he requireth at thy hands? what doest thou feare? wherewith art thou en­tangled? God is thy Fa­ther and Soveraigne, to him thou owest thy selfe and all that thou hast, thy honour, wealth, life, or whatever is more preci­ous [Page 182] then those. Thou canst not love thy selfe as is meete, if thou deny not thy selfe to follow the Lord in all things. Is there any thing too hard tobedone for his sake? too deare, or good for him? what hast thou in heaven or earth worthy to be af­fected but thy Saviour? What is to be dreaded but his displeasure? Is there any recompence to the joyes of heaven? any dan­ger to the torments of hell? any pleasure to the sense of Gods favour? Re­solve then with thy selfe, and say, I have fully pur­posed to observe thy commandemēts, for they are the joy of my heart, [Page 183] but Lord I leane not up­on mine owne strength, but upon thy grace, who givest both to will and to doe; thou hast comman­ded me to keep thy testi­monies, give mee I pray thee to doe what thou re­quirest.Psal. 119. Teach me the way of thy statutes, and I will keepe it to the end.

Some understand by the mortifying of sinne, not onely the first wound which it receives at a sin­ners first conversion, but also the whole practice of repentance renewed tho­row the whole course of a mans life, for a man after his conversion, is continu­ally to lie in armes against his owne flesh, and to stir [Page 184] up the spirit with the for­ces thereof, which other­wise will bee overwhel­med with the adversary, not able to maintaine the fight.

For Christians (whilest they are here) are not wholly flesh, nor wholly spirit, but a part of each: God hath placed in our bodies two inmates of contrary dispositions, two strangers of divers na­tures and qualities (not in the highest degree, for then they would utterly expell one another, but) in a remisse māner, which causeth this bickering and skirmishing in our in­ward man.

Now whereas every [Page 185] one whose understanding is renewed, seeth the drift of his flesh (however tho­row the deceit thereof he doth not alwaies feele it) give mee leave to pre­scribe some few directi­ons wherby he may come to have his corruptions subdued, and temptations vanquished, that they tri­umph not over his spirit to the disquiet of his con­science.

That which I shall prin­cipally 1 commend to eve­ry Christian, is, that hee buckle about him the compleat armour of God;Ephes. 6. wee must not fly away. from Sathan; a run-away never makes a good con­clusion of his temptati­ons. [Page 186] Some sins indeed are best conquered by flying,2 Tim. 2. but from sathan it is nei­ther possible nor lawfull to fly. However stand it out, what if we quake? better tremble every veine than sinne, better die in the place than fly from the place. Resist the devill and he will fly from you: 1 Pet. 5. we are sure to conquer if wee keepe our ground. Sathan will play his part to hold his hold, and will never out unlesse hee be forced. When a man comes to abhor his lusts, then hee gives sinne its deaths wound. It is the nature of sin not to be driven away without force and vio­lence. A few angry lookes [Page 187] and sharp words will not doe it: you may rate away your dog, but sinne is not so easie removed, as ap­peares in many who will speake bitterly against their lusts, calling them­selves, beast, and wretch, but presently they returne to their former courses. Whē thou hast therefore to do with sinne, have no com­passion, fight against it with all thy might, never leave till thou hast got the heart bloud of it out; so much as thou sparest sin, so much thou hurtest thy selfe. Saul spared Agag, 1 Sam. 15. but it was his ruine; and if thou sparest sinne it will cost thee the Kingdome of heaven: kill therefore [Page 188] thy sinnes or they will kill thee. It is a case of life and death; bee carefull, old wounds must have strong medicines. What adoe have wee to bring under our unruly lusts? hee that favours these let him want favour: we weede our gar­dens, and are ever weed­ing: sins are ill weeds and grow apace: our hearts are a step-mother to good­nesse, and a natural mother to vice, therefore bee al­waies dealing with it. The Captaine that batters the enemies fort a day or two, and then gives over, gives the more courage to his enemy, and loses his labour. In this life thou shalt never want some­thing [Page 189] to be mortified. Hast thou begun to repent? ne­ver give over so long as thou hast a heart to sigh for thy sinnes. Sathan that strong man will not yeeld possession suddenly; looke how much power wee get to resist sinne, so much power Sathan lo­seth; there is never a prayer wee make, nor act of resisting that wee doe use, but gives the devill a knock, and sin a mortify­ing blow, by fighting a­gainst our lusts; what e­ver wee see and feele at first, wee doe and shall conquer corruption at last.

Repell evill motions at their first onset, if wee re­sist [Page 190] at the beginning the worke is halfe done, wee shall find Sathan a coward, but if wee resist not wee shall find him a lyon; wee must trust neither our selves nor sathan with any temptation. Begin as soon as the temptation begins to peepe, and where sa­than begins doe thou be­gin, despise not the least sin, a small wound may kil a man in time, little gashes make way for greater. If the enemy assault one way, and the garrison de­fend another way, the towne is lost. Sathan will try his skill, and doe his uttermost to prevaile a­gainst us, why should wee not then improve our gra­ces [Page 191] to make head against him? we may preserve our selves from being con­quered by him, though we cannot utterly subdue him. There is no possibili­ty of remaining safe with­out resistance; they are much deceived who think though they have no spi­rituall armour upon them they may rest secure.

Alas what can a naked man doe? hee can no more free himselfe from the power of the devill, than a poore silly lambe from a roaring lyon: If we bee foyled the fault is our owne, for God gives us means to stand fast; Who would not be kept from spiritual wounds & hurts, [Page 192] from eternall bondage to sin and sathan?

2. Beware of pride, swelling in the body is dangerous, so is it in the soule; when a man pleases himselfe with his owne weldoing, his heart is soone puffed up. Hee that thinkes to stand by his owne strength shall sud­denly fall; the weakest shall be able to overcome their greatest enemies be­ing under-propped of the Lord. In every strong en­counter we must look for supply from above. It is dangerous to looke for that frō our selves, which wee must have from Christ. All our strength lies in him, as Sampsons did [Page 193] in his haire, therefore de­pendant spirits are al­waies the best. Nothing is stronger than humility, that goeth out of it selfe, or weaker than pride that, resteth upon its owne bottome. Sathan knowes that nothing can prevaile against Christ, or those that relye upon him, therefore hee labours to keepe men in selfe depen­dancy.

If you would in truth mortifie sinne, represent it to your thoughts as the most hurtfull, hatefull and most loathsome thing in the world, and represent to your minde the obey­ing of Gods will, as the most sweete, profitable, [Page 194] and excellentest thing whatsoever, and then you cannot but shunne the one and embrace the other: for,

1 Sinne is the onely ob­ject of Gods infinite ha­tred, he hates nothing at all properly but iniquity. Now what a bedlam is hee who willingly com­mits any sinne, which be­ing once done is insepara­bly attended with the in­finite hatred of so great a God, for which the paines of hell must of necessity be suffered; bee suffered either by the party him­selfe, or his surety.

2 Sinne is the most filthy thing in the world; even fowler than the foulest [Page 195] fiend in hell, or the devill himselfe; for sinne made him a devill and sunke him into hell, and what­soever maketh a thing e­vill, is it selfe much more evill, the Sunne lightens all other bodies, is it selfe much more light. Hence it is that in Scripture it is compared to the filthyest myre in which a sow lyes downe and wallowes,2 Pet. 2. to the pollutions and impu­rities of the world singu­larly so called, sinne being indeed the transcendent filth of the whole world; How are the bodies and soules of men stained and defiled with this gan­greene?

It is likewise very infe­ctious,3 [Page 196] corrupting every thing comes neere it. The first sinne that ever the Sunne saw, was so preg­nant with soule-killing poyson, that it polluted all the sonnes and daugh­ters of Adam that ever were since: At the first breaking out thereof it suddenly blasted (as it were) both heaven and earth, staining the beauty of the one and the bright­nesse of the other, so as from that houre the whole creation hath groaned un­der the same. If but one sinne be doted upon and delighted in, like a lumpe of leaven it sowres all the soule.

Yea, it is the greatest [Page 197] ill that can befal the crea­ture, greater than damna­tion it selfe. A man would thinke it a lesser ill to tell a lye, than to lye in hell. But what saith a Father; though wee thinke hell to be the forest of all evills, yet I thinke it is farre bit­terer and more grievous to offend Christ, then to bee tormented with the torments of hell. Who would for a space of plea­sure here, deprive himself of eternal blisse hereafter? of the unknowne plea­sures of an appeased con­science, a Iewell of such in­finite value, as that all hu­mane glory is but as dust in the ballance to it? In the day of tryall the comfort [Page 198] of a good conscience will bee worth ten thousand worlds; never was any sound joy or sanctified peace without this.

Who art thou that lift­est up thy proud heart a­gainst the Almighty, a base & unworthy worm, the vilest creature that e­ver God made, next unto the devill, who when thy breath is gone (which may fall out many times in a moment) thou turnest to dust, rottennesse, and filth. Oh let the consideration of the immortality and dearnesse of that precious soule that lyes in thy bo­some, curbe thy corrup­tions and make thee star­tle at sinne. Onely sinne [Page 199] wounds the soule, filling it with the pangs of death though it never dye, and with paine, not onely a­bove all patience, but all resistance.

Consider the infinite and inestimable price that was paid for sinne, I meane the heart blood of Jesus Christ, blessed for ever; and when ever thou art tempted to doe wic­kedly, suppose thou see­est thy Saviour comming towards thee, besmeared with goare blood, and speaking thus unto thee; Oh goe not forward upon any termes, commit not this sinne by any meanes, it was that which drew me downe from the foun­taine [Page 200] of all blisse, to put on this corruptible and miserable flesh, to drinke off the dregs of the bitter cup of my Fathers wrath, to wrastle with all the for­ces of infernall powers, to lay downe my life at the gates of hell with intole­rable paine: what an heart hast thou, if thou darest goe on against the sweet intreaty of so sweet a Saviour? in every sinne thou committest, thou layest (as it were) the blood of Christ in one scale, and some worldly prefer­ment, or sensuall vanity in the other, and shall these things out-weigh that?

4 Moreover, labour for a [Page 201] tender and wakefull con­science, which may bee sensible of the least of­fence, and apprehensive of Gods wrath attending the same; what hope is there of his repentance whose conscience is sea­red? and yet how busie are many to increase their owne woe, by putting sinne out of their remem­brance? Certainely, a lively conscience, that shall faithfully present us with an exact view of our e­states, is a great blessing; if it were not so, why should God threaten the Israelites to smite them with blindnesse, Deut. 28. 18. and with a stony heart, meaning, that hee would inflict such a [Page 202] kinde of brawny and in­sensible dulnesse upon them, that in doing evill, they should bee utterly without any apprehensi­on of their misdoing; well is hee that hath a consci­ence stirring him upon the least sinne, that will awake at the least blow; and performe its office. David could have no peace till he had made his peace with God,Psal. 51. hee did but cut off the lappe of Sauls garment, 2. Sam. 24. 10. and his heart smote him and brought him upon his knees, and made him cry, Lord I have sinned exceed­ingly, take away the trespasse of thy servāt, for I have done very foolishly. Had his con­science [Page 203] beene dull and hard, what security would have crept upon him? what carelessenesse to be­come a petitioner to God for mercy? Never there­fore turne thine eyes frō beholding that which conscience offers to thy view. Alas, conscience doth nothing of it selfe, but by speciall authority and commissiō from God, whose deputy it is.

Yet it is possible to turne that which of it self is a blessing, into a curse: It is a blessing to live un­der a faithfull Ministery, yet if a man bee not a doer of the word, but a hearer onely, he may increase his owne judgement thereby. [Page 204] When men come to the Ordinance, their consci­ences are many times wrought upon more strongly than they would, now it is good simply for the conscience thus to run and it is a token of Gods great love unto man to furnish his minde with such a reflecting faculty upon himselfe. But here lyes the mischiefe, many deale with their conscien­ces as rich men doe with an earnest beggar, or as great men with an impor­tunate petitioner, whom they will make as if they did not heare, and passe along by without regard, when their heart smites they will not answere, [Page 205] when it brings sinne to their sight, they turne their heads aside and will not behold it. If they find by experience that when they are alone their con­science use to encoun­ter them, they furnish themselves with vain and wretched company, such as wil be sure to give con­science no leisure to speak. If the word of God any whit awakens them and stirres up conscience to doe its office, they thrust it from their remembrance by worldly thoughts and cares, or sleepe it out that they may not be disquie­ted. The poore consci­ence must bee conscience off till another time, (as [Page 206] Paul was when hee dispu­ted with Faelix)Acts 24. 26 such vari­ety of trickes doth the devill teach to decline and shun the workings of con­science upon sinfull per­sons. By which meanes that which in it selfe is a great blessing, becomes a wonderfull curse unto them, the using of consci­ence in this unkinde man­ner, is the next way to move the Lord to silence it for ever. Look as God dealeth with whole so­cieties of men in taking away the benefit of a powerfull Ministery from them, when it is not hear­kened unto; So dealeth hee with particular per­sons in striking a dumbe­nesse [Page 207] upon their conscien­ces, when the voice there­of is not regarded. Listen therefore to its secret checkes and smitings, though men will not bee brought to repetition of sermons in their families, yet they have a repeater in their bosomes, that will be at private repetition with the in spite of their teeths, and tell them, This is not according to that you have beene taught, you have beene reproved and convinced of this sin in the publike Ministery, why doe you not leave it? for shame reforme this pride, hypocrisie, lying, swearing, formality, if re­ligious courses will bring [Page 208] true peace at last, use them to purpose, rest not in outside shewes, without the power and life of god­linesse. How many times doth conscience presse us to repentance and better obedience? How often doth it startle us in our postings to hell, and call upon us to settle to amēd our lives? Conscience speakes to us, as the Lord to Ionah, Jonah 4. 4. doest thou well to be angry? Dost thou wel to be thus carnall and earthly, thus eager upon the world, thus cold and indifferent in holy duties? conscience gives privy nips and secret checks. It 1. points with the finger and gives direction, if it [Page 209] be neglected, it smites with the fist and gives correction.

Therefore if ever thou desirest that sinne should dye, and grace flourish in thy heart, despise not con­science when it speaketh; doth it presse thee to any workes of piety, reforma­tion of abuses, selfe-deni­all, &c. in any case em­brace his counsels. Hear­ken to this preacher whom thou canst not sus­pect of partiality or ill will, conscience cannot be suspected to be set on by others. Doth it chide and reproch thee of thy waies? doth it punctually arrest thee of thy particular be­loved sinnes, doe not ex­tenuate, [Page 210] much lesse de­fend thy crime, but accuse thy selfe as fast as that ac­cuses, acknowledge thy folly, abase thy spirit, and covenant with thy conscience a full and speedy reformation. If this were done, how soone would Sathans kingdome be de­molished, and all corrup­tion weakned in us.

But alas, how few re­gard the voice of consci­ence, or once hearken to it? the very want of this sets open a floodgate of wickednesse in the world. If men cannot stop con­sciences mouth, they will at least stoppe their own eares. If Conscience offer to be talking with them, [Page 211] they shuffle it off till their better leisure. Alas poore soule, God will one day strippe thee of all thy im­ployments, and turne thee loose to thy consci­ence, and it shall have li­berty to baite thee and bite thee at pleasure. How much better is it to be willing to hearken to the voice of conscience here, than bee forced to heare it in hell hereafter? Hearken to the reproofes and admonitions of it now and thou shalt not heare the dolefull clamours of it then.

Further, set faith a work 5 to conquer your corrupti­ons; that wil doe wonders if wee apply the victory [Page 212] wch Christ hath made for us: though we be cowards he was not, and what ever he did it was for us. Hee stood in our place & beat Sathā to our hands. What if Sathan beat mee may a Christian say, since Christ in my stead hath beaten him all to peeces? I have long agoe overcome Sa­than in my head: In Christ my Captaine hee is a van­quished enemy; faith makes his victory ours, and sets him against every tentation; we are not so weake in the hands of Sa­than, as Sathan is in the hands of Christ; therefore is faith said to bee our vi­ctory, 1 Joh. 5. 4. because it makes Christ ours, who is our [Page 213] victory. A Christian is ne­ver safe, except he can by faith lay fast hold on Christ, and set up him and his power against the gates of hell and powers of darknesse. Faith must have one to side with it against Sathan, who hath absolute command over Sathan. If Christ doe but say the word, the Devil is soone said, and his temp­tations die. To him then who is our refuge and strength let us repaire in all perplexities, by apply­ing him to our selves by a lively faith, and making him our sword and buck­lar: Say, I of my selfe am weake as water, not able to vanquish the least tem­ptation, [Page 214] or subdue any fleshly lust or corruption whatsoever, but in Christ made mine by faith I am strong and can doe all things. The promise is that if wee resist Sathan, stedfast in the faith, he shall flye. Rom. 4. 7. Beleeve then that thou shalt overcome, and thou shalt overcome; war against sin and sinne shall die; faith is our victory and nothing else, because that alone apprehends & applyes the promise. Rea­son can doe no good, be­cause the temptation is spirituall and reason car­nall, a naturall thing hath neither stroke nor force against that which is spi­rituall; beside, Reason is a [Page 215] secret friend to Sathan, and takes part with him a­gainst our selves. Can a man conquer the devill with a wisedome that is divellish, that hath him for its damme? downe with flesh and bloud then, a­way with our owne wit, let faith doe all, else it will doe nothing. Faith never workes so well, as when it works alone; it is no more but beleeve the promise and Sathan is gone.

If Christians bee not perswaded that God will mortifie their corrupti­ons, they will very much at their manifold slips, be off and on, and coldly im­brace religious courses? Alas, our owne strength [Page 216] is too weake for the work of holinesse, to represse and vanquish the lusts of our rebellious hearts, which are by nature and custome so deepely pol­luted with sinne. If wee have not faith to beleeve that God will aide and blesse our endeavours and doe the whole worke for us, what courage can we have to goe about it? What shameful foyles and repulses shall we sustaine in it. Hee will manfully fight against his lust, that is assured of victory from God in the end. It is a great heartning to resist evill, or to doe any good duty, when wee beleeve God will be with us, and [Page 217] helpe us therein.

Faith acquaints a man with his emptinesse of grace, how unable hee is to crucifie his inordinate affections, or to repaire the decayed image of God in him, and that he is in a wofull case, unlesse the Lord put to his hel­ping. What profits pardon of sinne, to one that lyes under the power and do­minion of sinne? There­fore a true beleever fights couragiously against his corruptions, and cryeth instantly to the Lord for helpe: though the com­bate be never so hot, hee will not yeelde, because hee apprehends victory; for grace doth flow from [Page 218] Christ into our hearts more or lesse, as our faith is weaker or stronger, though we have no grace of our selves, yet if wee cleave to him wee shall want none. Doth the streaming fountaine deny water to the thirsty tra­veller? No more doth Christ to the empty par­ched soule, that comes un­to him. Hee is an over­flowing fountaine, his grace is unsearchable, his store can never bee dimi­nished. Hee filleth the empty, and satisfieth the poore, that he might bee acknowledged the well-spring of all grace and goodnesse.

6 Lastly, be sure to keepe [Page 219] the flesh under, by stop­ping all passages of provi­sion for it, cleere thy minde of sinfull cogitations, blot out of thy memory ribald speeches, and obscene jests, preserve thy heart from unlawfull lusts, wic­ked desires, and unruly passions. Keepe thine ap­petite from intemperance and excesse, thy tongue from corrupt communica­tion, thine eares from un­godly and dishonest dis­courses, thine eyes from waton & wicked objects, and finally, thy body from sloth and idlenesse, effe­minate delicacie and car­nall pleasures. It fares with the flesh and the spirit as with two mortall ene­mies [Page 220] in the field, hee that by any meanes aideth and strengtheneth the one, doth thereby make way for weakening of the o­ther. Hee that joyneth with the flesh doth oppose the spirit, and hee that standeth on the spirits side, doth bring the flesh into captivity. Who would strengthen an ene­mie to oppugne himselfe? wee give stings and wea­pons to the flesh, arming it against the spirit, when as wee pamper the body with delicacy, inflame it with wine, handle it dain­tily, and nourish intice­ments and provocations to lust in it. If the flesh be full fed it will despise the [Page 221] Spirit, and commit many outrages in a Christian soule. Yea it will waxe proud and insolent, foyle the regenerate part, and force it to live in misera­ble slavery. Better to be­come a swine-heard with the prodigall, than to bee a servant to our base lusts. The heathen could say, he was borne to more noble ends, than to bee a slave to his owne body, and shall not our spirits bee e­levated to a higher pitch of excellency than his, as having God for our Fa­ther, and Christ for our elder brother? which of us enobled by birth, and liberally brought up, be­ing clothed with loth­some [Page 222] some ragges, and defiled with noysome excre­ments, would not hastily strippe them off, and with indignation cast them a­way? This flesh of ours doth us more mischiefe than the devill himselfe, alas, hee could never hurt us, were we not first be­trayed by this inbred ene­my, yea it is worse then hell and damnation, as be­ing the cause of both, without it hell were no hell, neither could destru­ction fasten upon us. All the outrages and horrible crimes which are commit­ted in the world, may challenge the flesh for their chiefe cause and au­thor. It was this that [Page 223] pierced our Saviours hands and feete, & which moveth men daily to cru­cifie him afresh, and tram­ple his precious blood un­der their filthy feet; and can we finde in our hearts to have any peace or truce with such a malicious e­nemy? shall we not ra­ther with implacable rage, and constant resolu­tion, assault, pursue, and wound it to the death? shall we not rather take part with the Spirit, in warring against the flesh, and disfurnish all provisi­on and munition from the one, that the other may be furnished with all ne­cessaries? Our spirit is the better part, and should [Page 224] bee most regarded; Who would deprive his soule of so sweet a guest, to en­tertaine inordinate lusts? The more familiar Sam­pson was with Dalilah, the more was God a stranger to him. For the weaknes of the flesh encreaseth the strength of the spirit, even as cōtrariwise, the strēgth of the flesh bringeth weaknesse to the spirit, and indeed what wonder is it, for a man to be made stronger, by the weaken­ing of his enemy? who would purchase the plea­sure of a base sinne at so high a rate, as to lose the comfortable society of Gods blessed Spirit? what meanest thou to admit [Page 225] such a mate into thy heart with which Gods spirit cannot sort? It may bee thou wilt not rudely bid him get out of doores, yet thou mayest weary him forth, by welcomming such guests into thy soule, as he can no wayes brook. Oughtest thou not much rather to crucifie the flesh, and walke in the spirit, that so thou mayest not fulfill the lusts thereof? doth not God call upon thee to slay thy corrupti­ons, to doe thy best, not onely to subdue them, but to put them to death; en­couraging thee thereunto by a gracious promise: that if through the spirit, thou doest mortifie the deeds [Page 226] of the body, thou shalt live, both the life of grace here, and of glory hereafter?

What is the use of all this but to stir us to looke about us,Vse. seeing wee have so secret and subtill and ad­versary to circumvent us. Thinke not the Christian combat ended when some few battles are fought, & that thou art now out of danger, rather expect and prepare for more. Many stout Captaines have been overthrowne, because af­ter a cōquest they feared no fresh assault. The flesh is restlesse in its assaults e­ver besieging us: wee can neither fly from it, nor chase away that from us; it is not therefore suffici­ent [Page 227] to make good onsett, nor yet to hold out the brunt of some assaults, but all must be finished (how bitter so ever) ere we can looke for victory.Heb. 12. We must resist unto bloud, and bee faithfull unto the death, if ever we expect the crowne of life. He that prevaileth in some conflicts, and is at length vanquished, cannot be said to overcome. Saul fought many of the Lords battels valiantly, but hee withdrew himselfe, and the Lord forsooke him; though thou hast done much, yet give not over so long as there remains any thing to be done. Consi­der not what conflicts have beene endured, as [Page 228] how many are still to bee encountred: Regard what is to come, rather than what is past; timerously to cease from resisting tem­ptation, is dangerous to our selves, and dishonora­ble to God; it maketh Sa­than to insult over us, and get advantage against us; let us not thinke if we yeeld the field, the devil will bee contented. It is not the glory of conquest that he seeketh so much as our destruction; which when I consider, I cannot but bewaile the naked condition of many per­sons, who suffer their ar­mour to hang on the wals and rust, never putting it on to any use. Alas, what [Page 229] benefit can come by a thing that lies dead? doe we thinke we stand in no need of it? or that God made this defence in vain? experienced Christians find the contrary.Bellum est, non trium­phans. Our life is nothing but a conti­nuall warfare; so long as we are in this mortall bo­dy, carnall motions will rise in our hearts; though wee cut them off they spring out againe; though thou quench them, they are kindled againe, will thou, nill thou, they soone returne; they may be sub­dued, but cannot bee roo­ted out. It is no easie work to lead a christian life, considering the continu­all conflict of these two [Page 230] parties (the flesh and spi­rit) of so contrary disposi­tions within us. It is im­possible wee should ever walk after the one, unlesse we resist the other. Sathan will bee sure to take part with corruption, and keepe grace low, and looke how much we detract from the flesh, so much our spiritu­all part will prosper and be in good liking.

How may a man know that grace hath gotten the upper hand,Quest. and that the power of sin is abated in him?

Dost thou loath nothing more than thy former spirituall bondage?Answ. Hast thou a secret dislike of thy naturall estate? seest a ne­cessity [Page 231] of reforming it, and watchest over those things which are most pleasing to it, this cannot proceed but from a worke of grace in thee; for Nature is a lo­ver of it selfe, and seekes by all means its own pre­servation; when a man is come to this, that he doth not approve his sinfull in­clination, nor willingly give way unto it, but stu­dies rather which way to curbe and restraine the same, it is a manifest signe of some higher hand, by which the flesh shall bee more and more over ru­led. I doubt not but a man after there is some change wrought in him by grace, may in some particulars [Page 232] receive a foyle by his owne corruptions, and by that law of his members, which fights and rebels a­gainst the law of God; hardly may a man say hee is truly changed, unlesse he be sensible of the strug­gling of nature against grace; but yet still it is a pledge of such a work be­gun, as shall never be bro­ken off, when Nature in the proper disposition thereof is become a bur­then to the soule, and a man would faine bee bet­ter, and have it otherwise with him than it is.

Grace cannot stand with the regiment of sin: That person in whom grace is truly wrought, desires to [Page 233] bee furnished with the compleat armour of God, that he may resist the de­vill; the strength and bent of his will and affections are for God and goodnes; hee chooseth holinesse with a full purpose and re­solution to walke in it; he turnes from his former e­vils with a detestation of them, and leaves them with a resolution never to take them up againe; he daily prayes, and cryes earnestly to God for strength against corrupti­on, and wisheth, O that my wayes were so directed, that I might keepe thy statutes. He is not for God to day, and the devil to morrow. Hee is no Morning Saint, [Page 234] and evening Devil, but de­sires continually to walke with God in all well plea­sing. A Gracious heart keepes a constant warre with his lusts, the law of his members is evermore rebelling against the law of his minde. Rom. 7.

Howsoever upon the assault of some furious temptation, (haply) hee may be wounded and ta­ken prisoner by some ra­ging lust, which imperi­ously treads and tramples upon him; yet doth hee not yeelde and give him­selfe over to the power of lust. Grace within bestirs it selfe, the heart sighes and groanes and seekes to God for succour. If thy [Page 235] case be thus, that thou ab­horrest Sathan and his snares, that thou delightest in the law of God concer­ning the inner man, Rom. 7 22 that thou ponderest with care and diligence willingly and setledly to follow the things of the Spirit, (that is) such things as the spirit prompts and sug­gests? Doe you grieve inwardly for that domini­on which the flesh exer­ciseth over you, lessening the power and practice of sinne all you can? not leaving the reines to cor­ruption to carry you whi­ther it will, but rather holding it in with a bridle of righteousnesse.

Doth not the feare of [Page 236] God in you (though some­times driven from its sta­tion) still dwell as con­trouler in your soule, re­presse refractory thoughts and affections, and sway your heart against the na­turall inclination, that you may keepe Gods word, that though you bee in­terlaced with the flesh, yet you give the guidance of your life to the holy Ghost, loving that he may have the principality in you?1 Pet. 4. Doe you chiefly at­tend your spirituall be­ing,Col. 3. and principally affect things in heaven, and not things on earth? Doest thou submit to the com­mandement with pleasure in it, so as thou canst tru­ly [Page 237] say:Psal. 40. I am content to doe thy will, yea thy law is with­in my heart.

Doest thou lay hold upon good thoughts and desires so soone as they offer themselves unto thee, welcomming them in the kindest man­ner into thy heart, and constraining them by a respective usage to stay still with thee? so soone as any good motiō arises, doest thou (feare the de­ceitfulnesse of thy heart, and) pray with David, knit my heart; this fickle fugitive heart of mine is alwayes ready to steale from thee, knit it O Lord, and tye it fast unto thy selfe, that as it is now with [Page 238] thee, so it may still con­tinue. O Lord keep this frame of the thoughts of thy servants heart for e­ver.

Are thy failings, mat­ter of daily humiliation unto thy soule? Doest thou finde and feele that nothing under the Sunne, more stings and pierces thy soule, than to be now and then overtaken with sinfull passions, or carried away with the swinge of any corruptions, against thy godly purpose and re­solutions?

Doest thou love righ­teousnesse it selfe, as righ­teousnesse, bee the thing and subject of never so small a nature? And dost [Page 239] thou hate sinne, as sinne, bee it never so little in thine eye? Is the one pre­cious to thee for his sake whom it resembles, and the other loathsome be­cause it opposes the Al­mighty? Doest thou o­bey God out of a love of goodnesse, seeing a beau­ty in the wayes of holi­nesse, being humbled when thou hast done thy best, that thou canst bring no more glory to him, & dost thou love righteous men for righteousnesse sake? Is thy service rea­dy and cheerefull, with­out repining and delay? Canst thou be content to obey against profit, plea­sure, credit, liberty, ease, [Page 240] the liking of the world, or carnall friends, preferring Gods commandements a­bove all things, yea life it selfe?Mat. 16. 25 Art thou sensible of the dishonour done un­to God, and more vexed for that, than for any dis­grace or injury offered to thy self? it is a good signe.

But art thou quick sigh­ted into the faults of others, and indulgent to­wards thine owne, it is an ill symptome.

The best men are most severe against themselves, and tender over others. A gracious heart dislikes sinne in any, but in him­selfe most of all. He is ve­ry backward in censuring others, but exceeding for­ward [Page 241] in accusing himself. None can say so much a­gainst him, but he is rea­dy to say much more. He loveth goodnesse in the greatest enemie, and ha­teth sin even in the grea­test friend.

Art thou conscionable of the least offence, as wel as the greatest, cherishing an universall hatred of all sinne in thy soule, whe­ther secret or open, with­out exception, and cary­ing a constant purpose and resolution in nothing willingly to sinne against God; but whatsoever thou knowest to be a sin thou wilt not deliberately doe it for all the world, at all times, and in all places, [Page 242] though no eye sees thee, and it may be beneficiall unto thee? Here is a no­table signe that grace hath gotten the upper hand, when as thou preferrest vertue before vice, even then when in humane reason, vertue will be the loser, and vice the gainer. An unsound conscience is large, and can swallow downe any thing; the sin­cere conscience is strait, and the least bone, though but such as are in little fi­shes, will sticke in her throat. Neglect of smaller matters may justly bring our obedience in greater matters in suspition; the same God that requires our fidelity in the one, re­quires [Page 243] it also in the other. A gracious heart, is like the eye, troubled with the least more, & certainly hee that is unjust in a little, will bee also unjust in much.

Is the uprightnesse of others of Gods servants, more highly esteemed by thee than thine owne? Doest thou see greater excellencies in them than in thy selfe? Feelest thou no bottome in other mens praises, when thy heart tells all is not well within. An humble Chri­stian hides himselfe in the closet, and as in prayer, so in all good duties shuts the doore, he is much af­fected with a sense of his owne infirmities, resting [Page 244] it selfe wholly upon the power of God, to be per­fected in her weaknesse, and is many times more humbled, for the mix­tures and defilements of good workes, than for some workes simply evill in themselves; he desires to be good, rather then to be thought so.

Are the sinnes of o­thers, and the sorrowes of the Church, as sensible and bitter to thy soule, as thine owne? Canst thou forget thy selfe, and thy particular businesse to lay these to heart?

Doest thou rejoyce al­wayes to be crossing and thwarting thy selfe in those succours, and sup­ports [Page 245] of sinne which thy corruption suggests?

Is that experience which thou hast of sinne, and of grace, no dead but a stirring experiēce, quic­kening thee to duty, and mortifying corruption in thee, so as not onely knowledge, but conscience also swayes thee to Chri­stian duties? and art thou as carefull to persevere in grace, as once to imbrace it, these are good signes.

Cheere up therefore thy drooping spirit, the Lord by the power of his grace hath tooke possessi­on of thee. Nothing but grace alone, is able to keep the love of sinne out of the heart, though per­adventure [Page 246] some other thing may keepe it out of thy hand. Civility and hypocrisie may a little snib sinne, or bid it for a while stand aside, and give way to better things, but it is onely grace that strikes this Goliah dead. It is onely the spirit which subdues the flesh.

But wee must know, there is a great deale of difference, betweene for­saking of sinne, through the strength and power of grace, and for other car­nall ends and by-respects; for an hypocrite may sometimes forsake sinne, (not out of any love to God, or hatred of ill, but) because sinne leaves him, [Page 247] happily hee feares it will bee some losse or discre­dit to him, or else fit meanes and opportunity of committing it, serve not his turne, and there­fore hee forbeares. It is nothing for a man to bee chast, where there is no provocation to uncleane­nesse. Here was the tryall of Iosephs integrity, that though the occasion were offered by his owne Mi­stresse to doe the deed, in such secresie and security that no eye perceived it, yet the feare of God o­verruled him. Many seem to bee meeke and mode­rate men, while they are well dealt with, but let some injury bee offered [Page 248] and the contrary will ap­peare: That wee are in­deed, which wee are in temptation; Examine thy heart then in this particu­lar, what is the ground of that divorce which seems to bee betwixt thee, and thy olde lusts? If it flowes from any thing in the world, but the love of God and goodnesse, thou art in a wretched conditiō, be thy thoughts of thy selfe never so plea­sing.

Art thou one whose heart likes well of sinne, though thou canst not or darest not commit it? Art thou one who when thou art convinced and rebu­ked of thy failings, thy [Page 249] heart riseth against the re­proofe, though for thy credit, and profit sake, thou seemest to welcome, and thankfully entertaine the same. I tell thee thou art in a dangerous condi­tion, thou hast but weake and slender evidence of the spirits prevailing in thy heart.

But why saith the A­postle here,Quest. yee shall dye, and not, yee shall be dam­ned; in as much as that is chiefly meant?

Because the Spirit of God would drive men from sinne,Answ. by that which is most fearefull, to their present apprehension; the remembrance of death doth more forcibly move [Page 250] the minde, than the re­mēbrance of Hell, though hell bee a thousand times more grievous then death for our affection is moved according to our know­ledge of the thing: that which most wayes is knowne, affecteth most, wee know hell onely by faith, but we know death to bee fearefull by reason and sense, because we feel it growing upon us eve [...]y day.

The opposition made here by the Apostle warnes us, that a necessity lyes upon us to mortifie our sinfull lusts. It stands upon our lives, unlesse we slay sinne, sinne will not faile to slay us. It is [Page 251] like a Serpent in our bo­some which cannot live, but by sucking out that blood whereby wee live. What pittiful folly is this? we hate them which pur­sue our bodily life, we es­chew them by all meanes that would spoile us of our worldly goods, onely wee cannot hate Sathan to the death, who seekes by sinne to spoyle us of e­ternall life.

That same commande­ment which was given to Adam and Eve, Every sin is as the forbidden fruit. If ye eate of the forbidden tree ye shall dye, is in effect here given to us all, If you live after the flesh you shall dye; let not us make an exception where God hath made [Page 252] none; every sinne to us is that forbidden tree to Adam, if wee meddle with it, we shall finde no better fruit than he found: Bitter death growes upon the pleasant tree of sinne, for the wages of sinne is death.

It is therefore a point of great wisdome to dis­cerne betweene the deceit of sinne, and the fruit of sinne. Hee that would rightly know the face of sinne when it stands be­fore him, to tempt him, let him looke backe to the taile of that sinne which he hath already commit­ted, and the sting which it leaves behinde it. The perishing pleasures of sin [Page 253] are paid home with ever­lasting perdition; it is done in a moment, but brings forth death, and breeds a worme that will never die. Men may sleep in their sinne, but their damnation sleepes not.

Every mans state in this life, is a prediction of that condition which hee shall have hereafter. Hee that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reape corruption, but hee that soweth to the spirit, shall reape immortali­ty and life. No man com­meth to heaven, or hell, but by the way that leads thereunto. A wicked life is a thorow-way to the place of darknesse. But a godly life is the direct [Page 254] path to salvation. As the tree fals, Eccles. 11. so it lyes, and it commonly falls on that side, which did most bend towards the earth before: if the greatest growth of our affections and actions, spring out af­ter the spirit, no doubt, we shall fall on the right hand and be blessed; but if otherwise they grow downeward, and thou live after the flesh, assured­ly thou shalt fall on the left hand and perish irre­coverably.

Wee shall not be jud­ged according to the par­ticular instant of our death, but according to our general course of life; [...] according to our [Page 255] deeds in that present, but according to the desires of our hearts before.

But seeing they who walke after the flesh are dead already,Obiect. why doth the Apostle say, You shall die?

I answer,Answ. both are true, every ungodly person is now dead, but yet a more fearefull death abides them. For albeit they be dead in sinne, and depri­ved of the favour of the Creator, yet the vaine comforts of the creature doe so bewitch them, that they know not how mise­rable and wretched they are, but when the last sen­tence of damnation shall bee pronounced against them, they shall not one­ly [Page 256] bee banished from the presence of God, into e­verlasting perditiō, where the fire of the Lords in­dignation shall perpetual­ly torment them, but they shall also bee stripped of all comfort and refresh­ment from the creature whatsoever. The least de­gree of their punishment shall be a fearefull famine of worldly supportments.

Hee that knowes any thing of the narrow way to heaven, of the nature of Gods justice, and the cunning sleights of Satan, of the difficulty of true repentance, and how fear­fully mans heart is hard­ned, by custome and con­tinuance in sinne, would [Page 257] not delay making peace with God, till his last houres, for ten thousand worlds.

Which when I consi­der,Vse. I cannot but deplore the iniquity of our times, wherein not onely carnall men have set themselves to worke all manner of sinne with greedinesse, but even they which here­tofore have probably see­med to mortifie the deeds of the body, doe now re­nue the battle, and are in outward view reconciled and shake hands with the flesh: Now are the dayes wherein the love of many shall waxe cold, when men shall bee lovers of them­selves, lovers of pleasure [Page 258] more then lovers of God. Oh how is the Spirit quenched, and the flesh in­flamed every where? shew me the man that truly en­deavours the suppressing of sinne. Oh this is a hard taske, it requireth much patience, and vigilancie, and will bring no small paine and sorrow to the flesh in the end. What then? be not dismayed, thy future peace will more then recompense thy present trouble. What availes a little outward flashy joy, when the con­science is disquieted and vexed within? who would redeeme a moment of pleasure, with eternity of paine? All is but bitter [Page 259] sweetes, so long as sinne raignes. What is the rea­son of these fearefull out­cryes, and desperate con­clusions of Christians, concerning their spiritual estate? Whence is it that they taking Satans part in accusing and condemning themselves, do utter such dolefull exclamations as these; when conscience is throughly awakened.

Alas, I have most wret­chedly spent the prime and strength of mine age in vanity and pleasure, in lewdnesse and lust: The best of my time hath been wofully wasted in obey­ing Sathan and serving my selfe, and therefore though I be weary of my [Page 260] former wayes and looke backe upon them with a trembling heart, and grie­ved spirit, yet I am affraid God will never vouch­safe to cast his eye of compassion upon my soule. Though I have beene a professour long, yet many times my heart is full of doubting when I call to minde the hai­nousnesse of my unre­generate life, and see since I was enlightened and should have behaved my selfe in forwardnesse and fruitfulnesse for God answerable to my former folly and licentiousnesse in evill, so many slips and imperfections every day, and such weake distra­cted [Page 261] discharging of duties commanded both to­wards God and man, that my very spirits sink with­in me. Many times when I reach out the hand of my faith to fetch some speciall promise into my soule, for refreshing and comfort, comparing advi­sedly my owne vilenesse and nothingnesse, with the riches of mercy and grace shining therein, I am overwhelmed with admiration, and thinke with my selfe, how is it possible that this should bee? Can such glorious things belong to such a wretch and worme as I am? I cannot deny but there is mercy enough in [Page 262] God, but for me, such a notorious wicked liver as I am, mercy for me, surely it cannot be. Alas; I have beene no ordinary sinner, my corruptions have car­ryed me beyond the vil­lanies of the vilest crea­ture you can name, the e­normity of my wayes have set an infamous brand upon mee in the sight of the world, besides those secret pollutions and sinfull practises which no eye ever beheld save God alone. Had I not beene extreamely outra­gious, and gone on thus with a high hand, I might have had some hope, but now all expectation failes me; I despaire of salvati­on, &c.

[Page 263] Oh the feares and per­plexities which pursue the soule when sinne is once committed, consci­ence unpacified will rave, and dragge a sinner be­fore Gods tribunall. The sting of an accusing con­science is like an Harlot, Prov. 7. more bitter then death. Who so pleases God shall escape from it, but the sin­ner shall bee taken in it. Conscience being disqui­eted, no earthly thing can asswage and mitigate it.

Yee shall live.

After that God hath called, iustified, and sancti­fied a poore sinner, hee [Page 264] glorifieth him at last with himselfe in eternall blisse. Death is but a sleepe to such as are in Christ, wherein the body is sepa­rated from the soule, rot­ting in the earth a while, that it may bee the more capable of glory hereaf­ter; but the soule is imme­diately transported into heaven, and there remai­neth unto the last judge­ment, praising God, and expecting the consumma­tion of the Kingdome of glory.

Before the comming of Christ, the powers of heaven shall be shaken; Sunne and Mooone shall suspend their light, the starres shall seeme to fall [Page 265] from heaven, the Elect shall rejoyce, the repro­bate shall tremble; the whole universe shall bee consumed with fire, and depart with a noise of the chariot wheeles, the earth and elements, with the workes thereof, shall be consumed in a moment, and brought to nothing. At the same time shall the trumpet be heard, soūded by an archangell, & Christ shall come in the clouds with great power & glo­ry, with a troop of angels. Then the Elect which were dead, at the hearing of the trumpet, shall rise with their bodies, and the rest alive shall be changed in a moment, and all of [Page 266] them shall bee made like the glorious body of Christ. After which, they being gathered before the throne of God, shall bee separated from the repro­bate, and caryed in the aire, & set upon the right hand of God, where they shall heare this sentence; Come ye blessed, &c. After which they shall enjoy e­verlasting happinesse: the parts whereof is eternall life and perfect glory. This eternall life is that fellow­ship with God, whereby God of himself is life unto the Elect. They shall not need meat, drinke, sleepe, aire, heate, cold, breath, physick, apparell, the light of the sun, or moone; for [Page 267] the spirit of God shall bee instead of all these, from whom immediately they shall bee quickened for e­ver. Their glory consisteth in this that they shall con­tinually behold the face of God. 2. They shall be like unto Christ, just, holy incorruptible, glorious, honourable, beautifull, strong, nimble. 3. They shall possesse the new hea­vens, and the new earth, they shall joyfully praise and laud the name of the Lord world without end.


A Table of the prin­cipall heads.

  • DIsorderly Affections discovered. Page 41
  • Misery of being guided thereby. 47
  • Antidotes against sinne. 65
  • BEginnings of sinne to be resisted. 190
  • Better be in hell than offend Christ. 197
  • Body not to be pampered. 220
  • HOw a man may know whether his heart be carnall. 87
  • Conscience corrupted, and how. 33
  • What a stirring conscience is. 35
  • Carnall men indocible. 38
  • Corrupt motions natural to a car­nall heart. 61
  • A fleshly conscience described. 93
  • The distresse of conscience that be­tides the wicked. 154
  • The estate of a creature cursed of God. 131
  • Rejoycing to crosse a mans selfe a [Page] signe of sincerity. 244
  • DEath, what is meant by it here. 127
  • What the first death is. 141
  • The second death described. 133
  • Then the most secret sinne shall be discovered. 149
  • Danger of being unarmed. 191 & 218
  • Discovery of a true Christian: or, in­fallible marks to try himself by. 236
  • Christians should discerne betwixt the deceit of sin, and the fruit of sin. 252
  • FAith a speciall means to overcome temptations. 212
  • How it doth this. 213
  • Nothing hurts us so much [...] our owne flesh. 220
  • Forsakings of sin different. 246
  • Fl [...]sh, what it signifieth. 7
  • It disperseth sinne into the whole man. 11
  • Why naturall corruption is called by the name of fl [...]sh. 8
  • It cleaves close to our nature. 50
  • What it is to be fleshly minded. 31
  • It derives venome upon every acti­on. 51
  • It tempts daily. 52
  • [Page] It continually warres against the spirit. 55
  • It is unwearied in sinfull follicita­tions. 59
  • It raignes in naturall men. 57
  • Not so in the godly. 100
  • They are part flesh, and part spirit. 101
  • We must fight with Sathan, if wee would overcome him. 186
  • GRace abides not in a carnall me­mory. 96
  • How a man may know whether grace hath got the upper hand in him. 230
  • Grace cannot stand with the Regi­ment of sinne. 232
  • Nothing but grace can subdue sin.
  • To bee deprived of Gods favour, an unspeakeable misery. 141 246
  • HEart narrowly to be watched. 64
  • An unsound one discovered. 99
  • The thorne in our flesh should hum­ble us. 70
  • Want of Humiliation very prejudiciall to the soule. 73
  • Symptomes of a good heart. 237
  • Hypocrites speake after the spirit, and live after the flesh. 107
  • Hypocrisie, the danger of it. 170
  • [Page]LAw hath a double use. 1
  • Little sins very dangerous. 117
  • Lust growes never old. 62
  • Losse of Gods presence, what it is. 138
  • Loathsomnesse of sin described. 194
  • MIsery of being under the flesh. 16
  • Memory corrupt through sin. 36
  • How discerned. 94
  • No member to be trusted alone. 85
  • Man by nature uncapable of good­nesse. 27
  • Hee hath nothing in himselfe to glory of. 80
  • Mortification described, discovered. 165 & 183
  • How we are said to mortifie sin. 174
  • Meanes to subdue the flesh. 185
  • Markes of a spirituall Christian. 239
  • Jealousie over our hearts, a meanes to keepe out sinne. 69
  • Licentious Ministers reprooved. 106
  • ORiginall sin a hereditary disease. 48
  • It overspreads the whole man. 88. & 49
  • It is full of propagation. 63
  • [Page] Its manner of tempting us. 81
  • FLesh powerfull to bring about its projects. 57
  • Policies of the flesh, to be studied. 76
  • Pride, disableth to resist temptations. 192
  • Provision for the flesh must be hinde­red. 219
  • Peace with the flesh dangerous. 226
  • Carnall Professors reproved. 109
  • Discovered. 112
  • Our present condition, a prediction of our future. 253
  • Price of sin infinite. 199
  • SInners shall be exceedingly repro­ched at the day of judgment. 146
  • Root of sin must be killed. 171
  • Reason, a weak thing to expell temp­tations. 214
  • SOule, corrupted by sin. 23
  • Sin must be slaine, or it will slay us. 250
  • Signes of a fleshly mind. 50
  • Sinne the greatest ill. 197
  • Hainous sins waste the consciēce. 116
  • To live in any sin, a signe we are un­der Sathans bondage. 120
  • [Page] Many begin in the spirit and end in the flesh. 109
  • Impenitent sinners shall surely bee damned. 122
  • Society with the devills, every sinners portion. 151
  • The Spirit onely can mortifie the flesh. [...]5
  • Sinne is not driven away with an [...] ­gry locke. 186
  • Signes of the Spirits prevailing in us. 235
  • A Christians strength is in God. 216 & 193
  • Severity against our owne sinnes, a blessed signe of grace. 240
  • TEmptations of the flesh undiscer­nable. 77
  • Tendernesse of conscience a speciall preservative against sin. 201
  • It is a great blessing. 202
  • Yet may be turned into a curs. 203
  • Tryall of a true Christian. 166
  • VOyce of conscience to bee hear­kened to. 206
  • Vniversall hatred of sin, discovers a gracious heart. 241
  • [Page]WIll since the fall corrupted. 39
  • A corrupt will discovered. 96
  • Men weake in themselves. 176
  • Every sinner underualues the bloud of Christ. 200

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